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20 December 2009: Republicans all over TV, lying

Republicans are all over Sunday morning TV pissing and moaning about the Senate health care bill.

One of their main lies is that President Obama promised to change the way Washington does business but, instead, this bill has passed because of "back-door deals."

Let's remind our Republican friends of some inconvenient facts:

-- President Obama reached out to Republicans. He went out of his way to invite Republican Congressional leaders to the White House. He went to the Capitol time and again to meet with Republican and Democratic leaders.

-- And what did the Republicans do in return to Obama's extended hand?

"This will be his Waterloo!!" Senator Jim DeMint, R, SC

Quoting every single Republican in the House and the Senate:
" NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!! "

Enough said.

Sarah Palin's book tour is like the rest of her life: Phony bullshit

The Old Redneck probably is violating every copyright law ever put on the books, but, here goes.

You need to go to this link and read the full article by Joe McGinnis at his blog, the Daily Beast:

Here are the first two paragraphs -- it gets a lot better.

-- quote

On her book tour, Sarah Barracuda pretends to be one of the people. But she's really winging across the country on a private jet.

As much of her entourage, including HarperCollins publicist Tina Andreadis, risked a collective case of White Line Fever, covering more than 3,000 road miles during the book tour’s first week, Sarah Palin herself seems to have remained above it all, apparently cosseted in the luxury of a Gulfstream II 12-passenger jet rented from Universal Jet Aviation of Boca Raton, Florida, at a cost of more than $4,000 per hour.

-- end quote

Why am I not surprised -- not surprised at Palin's phony bus tour and not surprised that the Palinators are eating it up.

Easiest job in the world: Fact-checking Sarah Palin

Fact-checking Saran Palin must be the easiest job in the world -- if she says it, it's not a fact.

In her ghost-written book, "Going Rogue," as the epigram to Chapter Three, "Drill, Baby, Drill," Palin assigns the following remarks to the Hall of Fame UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden:

"Our land is everything to us... I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it -- with their lives."

Only the quote wasn't by John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach.

It was written by a Native American activist named John Wooden Legs in an essay entitled "Back on the War Ponies," which appeared in a left-wing anthology, "We Are the People: Voices from the Other Side of American History," edited by Nathaniel May, Clint Willis, and James W. Loewen.

Psalms 109: What it REALLY says

No doubt you've seen a lot of comment about a new pile of crap from the rightwingnutters -- a whole campaign complete with T-shirts, bumper stickers, emails and more, all built on the biblical passage in Psalms 109 which says in part:

May his days be few;
may another seize his position.
May his children be orphans,
and his wife a widow.

Many have pointed out that this campaign seems to imply the urgent need to eliminate President Barack Obama at the earliest opportunity by any means necessary -- you can figure out the rest.

But what is Psalms 109 really about?

In Psalms Chapter 109, King David, who is one of the revered heroes of the Old Testament, is lamenting and crying out to God for help.

He says:

For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me,
speaking against me with lying tongues.
They beset me with words of hate, a
nd attack me without cause.
In return for my love they accuse me,
even while I make prayer for them.
So they reward me evil for good,
and hatred for my love.

Got that?? David says: "The wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me."
Hmmm. King David must have been dealing with Republicans, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh.

David goes on:

They say, Appoint a wicked man against him;
let an accuser stand on his right.
When he is tried, let him be found guilty;
let his prayer be counted as sin.
May his days be few;
may another seize his position.
May his children be orphans,
and his wife a widow.
May his children wander about and beg;
may they be driven out of the ruins they inhabit.
May the creditor seize all that he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil.

And then King David says:

Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love.
Let them know that this is your hand;
you, O Lord, have done it.
Let them curse, but you will bless.
Let my assailants be put to shame;
may your servant be glad.
May my accusers be clothed with dishonour;
may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a mantle.
With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;
I will praise him in the midst of the throng.
For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
to save them from those who would condemn them to death.

Now -- you would think that those who use the Bible for their own narrow, bigoted political purposes would know what they are talking about.

The irony is that those who have chosen this Bible verse as a slogan clearly have no idea of the context and meaning of that which they quote because Psalms 109 says exactly the opposite of what they want to say.

But, then, no one ever accused the biblethumpers and rightwingers of being very smart.

75 percent of Republican Senators support gang rape

Here's the story: As we all know, Bush's war in Iraq was fought by US soldiers supported by two big contractors -- Halliburton and KBR.

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. In an apparent attempt to cover up the incident, the company then put her in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and “warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.” Even more insultingly, the DOJ resisted bringing any criminal charges in the matter. KBR argued that Jones’ employment contract warranted her claims being heard in private arbitration — without jury, judge, public record, or transcript of the proceedings. After 15 months in arbitration, Jones and her lawyers went to court to fight the KBR claims.

FINALLY -- in September 2009 -- four years after the gang rape -- a court ruled in favor of Jones.

Jones argued that the alleged gang rape was not related to her employment and thus, wasn’t covered by the arbitration agreement. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2 to 1 ruling, found her alleged injuries were not, in fact, in any way related to her employment and thus, not covered by the contract.

One of the judges who ruled in her favor, Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale, is a West Point grad, Vietnam vet, and one of the court’s most conservative members, a sign, perhaps, of just how bad the facts are in this case. It’s a big victory, but a bitter one that shows just how insidious mandatory arbitration is. It’s taken Jones three years of litigation just to get to the point where she can finally sue the people who allegedly wronged her. It will be many more years before she has a shot at any real justice.

So, you ask, what does this have to do with Republican Senators?

In October 2009 the Senate's newest member, Senator Al Franken (D, MN) introduced an amendment to the Defense Appropriation Act, 2010 -- the legislation that approves the Dept of Defense budget. Here are the details:

S.Amdt. 2588 to H.R. 3326
(Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010)
Statement of Purpose: To prohibit the use of funds for any Federal contract with Halliburton Company, KBR, Inc., any of their subsidiaries or affiliates, or any other contracting party if such contractor or a subcontractor at any tier under such contract requires that employees or independent contractors sign mandatory arbitration clauses regarding certain claims.

Franken's amendment, then, says that no money will go to any contractor who requires their employees to sign mandatory arbitration agreements as a condition of employment.

Jamie Leigh Jones tetified in favor of Franken's amendment, telling her horrible story.

The amendment passed by a 68 to 30 vote (two Senators absent, not voting).

ALL 30 "NAY" VOTES WERE CAST BY REPUBLICANS. Obviously, gang rape is okay with these assholes. Here's a list of the Republicans who support gang rape:

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Details here:

Not that it'll do any good but I'm sending a letter to each of these Repulicans telling them exactly what I think of them and their support of gang rape.

Is your local 7-11 run by undercover "radical Muslims?"

First, let's review how we got to this point.

Some time ago, a loony rightwinger -- David Gaubatz, a former Air Force investigator and Arabic speaker -- dispatched his son Chris to grow a beard and go undercover as a Muslim to obtain an internship at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Gaubatz has long warned about the threat of "radical Islamism" in the United States He also has claimed that he found Saddam's long-lost WMDs while in Iraq and has labeled Obama "Muslim" and a "self-admitted 'crack head.'"

Gaubatz's son returned from his undercover mission -- not surprisingly -- with PROOF that "radical muslims" are infiltrating the -- are you ready for this?? -- US CONGRESS by getting jobs as interns!!!! His claim was made in a -- get ready for this -- book published by -- WorldNutDaily!! Talk about a reliable source!!

Now, four completely wackadoodle Republikkkon Congresscritters have picked up on this claim and are demanding that the Congress be purged of these undercover, covert radical muslim infiltrators who have been slipped onto Congressional staffs by CAIR, who, by the way, is now receiving death threats.

They even have a list of names and they are calling for an investigation into a plot by:
" ... a Muslim advocacy group of trying to plant spies on Capitol Hill. "

Oh, wait a minute, no, they don't have a list -- but let's see who is the brain trust behind this effort?

Sue Myrick (R-NC), who recently said of domestic terror threats:
" Look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country. "

John Shadegg (R-AZ), who on Wednesday said that:
" ... what we’re really getting here is we’re not just getting single-payer care. We’re getting full on Russian gulag, Soviet-style gulag health care. "

Paul Broun (R-GA), whose most recent claim to fame was saying:
" We’ve got a lot of domestic enemies of the Constitution and one of those sits in the speaker’s chair of the United States Congress, Nancy Pelosi. "

Trent Franks (R-AZ), who said last month that the President of the United States:
" ... has no place in any station of government, and we need to realize that he's an enemy of humanity. "

In other words, the loonie tunes, whack-a-doodle, teabaggers disguised as sane people prowling the halls of Congress.

We don't need an investigation -- what we really need is mental health screening for anyone bearing the Republikkkon label.

Meanwhile, you might want to avoid your local 7-Eleven!

"Revenue Neutral," no deficit ??

Let's see if I understand this:

-- If we want to bail out Wall Street genuises who crashed our financial system, we can run up huge deficits to do so.

-- If we want to tell over 900 lies to start a war against a nation that does not threaten us, we can pay for the war with huge deficit spending that will be with us for generations.

BUT -- if we want to ensure that all Americans have access to health care, we can't run a deficit for that.

Funny how the Republikkkon mind works. Or not.

I FOUND IT !!! The Republican Party's Health Insurance Reform Plan

Here it is, folks !!!

After much searching and digging and research, I have found the Complete, Unabridged Republican Plan for Health Insurance Reform -- it's even for sale at

Here's a link:

Connect these dots: Rush Limbaugh; Viagra; and the child sex trade

Back in the days following the 9-11-2009 attacks on the US, there was a lot of talk about "failure to connect the dots" among people who believed that, had US intelligence and law enforcement agencies been talking with each other and sharing information, someone somewhere would have put together enough pieces of the puzzle -- or connected enough dots -- to have prevented the 9-11 attacks.

In the same vein, let's connect these dots:

Dot #1: Rush Limbaugh

Dot #2: Viagra

Dot #3: The Dominican Republic and the child sex trade.

Dots #1 and #2 come from this article:

Rush Limbaugh's Dominican Stag Party

29 Viagra pills, two "24" producers among radio star's all-male crew

JULY 6, 2006--

Rush Limbaugh was traveling with four other men--including the producers of the hit show "24"--when he was detained over a mislabeled bottle of Viagra found in his luggage during a Customs search.

A Department of Homeland security passenger manifest shows that Limbaugh and his four buddies flew from the Dominican Republic on a Gulfstream IV jet owned by Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates his radio program.

Limbaugh returned to Palm Beach, Florida on June 26 with Joel Surnow, "24"'s co-creator and executive producer and Howard Gordon, another of the Fox hit's executive producers (Hollywood agent Jeffrey Benson was also part of the Limbaugh quintet).

With all those guys in tow, it is unclear what Limbaugh needed with those 29 100mg Viagra pills.

The passenger manifest was among several documents released today by the Palm Beach County State's Attorney in response to a TSG open records request.

Included in the material released were a copy of the handwritten statement Limbaugh provided investigators after he was detained upon the discovery of the impotency drug.

An affidavit sworn three days later by Limbaugh was also released.

In that document, Limbaugh explains that the Viagra "was intended for my exclusive use" and that the drug had been prescribed in the name of his drug treatment doctor, Steven Strumwasser, "to further maintain and protect my privacy."

And Dot #3 can be found here:

Dominican Republic? Say, wait a minute, isn't that where.......

PUERTO PLATA, Dominican Republic --

It's being called Canada's Thailand.

A pervert's paradise where children as young as 12 are being sold into prostitution -- usually by a family member looking to cash in on the pink-tanned turistas and their appetite for sun, sand and sex.

Many of the children in the sex trade here are used and abused by wealthy locals while a growing number serve as sex slaves for even wealthier foreigners.

They are sex tourists who spend more on a trip to the Caribbean than most Dominicans make in a year.


Hmmmm. How about those dots?

Stupifyingly stupid -- unbelievably stupid -- and they are proud of being stupid

As we all know by now, "Conservapedia" -- the brainchild (??) of Phyllis Schlafly's son, is sponsoring a project to re-translate the bible to remove all "liberal bias" therefrom.

Conservapedia is supposed to be a wikipedia for conservatives and is advertised as being an excellent resource for homeschoolers to use so as to avoid the "liberal bias" in other online sources. Okay if you want your kids to remain ignorant -- which seems to be the goal of biblethumpers and holyrollers.

Well, back to the original topic.

The "Conservative Bible Project" can be found here:

Here is a quote from the "project" in which three examples of "liberal bias" are cited.

-- quote from

First Example - Liberal Falsehood

The earliest, most authentic manuscripts lack this verse set forth at Luke 23:34:[7]

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Is this a liberal corruption of the original? This does not appear in any other Gospel, and the simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing. This quotation is a favorite of liberals but should not appear in a conservative Bible.

Second Example - Dishonestly Shrewd

At Luke 16:8, the NIV describes an enigmatic parable in which the "master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly." But is "shrewdly", which has connotations of dishonesty, the best term here? Being dishonestly shrewd is not an admirable trait.

The better conservative term, which became available only in 1851, is "resourceful". The manager was praised for being "resourceful", which is very different from dishonesty. Yet not even the ESV, which was published in 2001, contains a single use of the term "resourceful" in its entire translation of the Bible.

Third Example - Socialism

Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the "social justice" movement among Christians.

For example, the conservative word "volunteer" is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word "comrade" is used three times, "laborer(s)" is used 13 times, "labored" 15 times, and "fellow" (as in "fellow worker") is used 55 times.
-- end quote

Now, let's examine these examples of "liberal bias."

According to the biblical account, while Jesus was being crucified, he asked god to forgive his killers -- ""Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." According to Conservapedia, this passage appears in only one of the four gospels, and, some of the people crucifying him knew what they were doing, so, this passage is a liberal invention.

Got that? I know -- the reasoning escapes me, too, but remember -- we aren't dealing with really bright people here.

The point of this passage is NOT that some of the people crucifying Jesus knew what they were doing. The point is that Jesus forgave even his killers. Of course, the rightwingnutters,

biblethumpers, and holyrollers who are behind the "conservative bible project" can't have Jesus appear to be forgiving -- they want to slay their enemies and pray for President Obama to die -- so -- let's wipe out all evidence of Jesus's forgiving nature.

I can't wait to see what they say about this passage from Matthew, Chapter 18:

" 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. "

Oh, wait -- I see -- more liberal bias, what with the math involved and all.


Now, let's check out their second example of "liberal bias."

A lying, cheating, stealing overseer is described as being "shrewd." The "conservative bible project" doesn't like the word shrewd because -- according to them -- the word connotes "dishonesty." Instead, let's use "resourceful."

Let's see -- resourceful -- as in firing your workers then hiring them back as contract employees so you don't have to give them bennies and can pay them lower salaries. That's resourceful.

I see where they are going with this one.


Finally, we have their third example:

" Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the "social justice" movement among Christians. "

"Socialistic" words such as "comrade," "laborer," "labored," and "fellow" are to be banned from the conservative bible?

Goddam, but it's gonna be a lot of fun when they get around to removing the "liberal bias" from such passages as Matthew, Chapter 5, where we find this socialist, liberal nonsense:

-- quote

Matthew, Chapter 5

1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
2and he began to teach them saying:
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. . . .

-- end quote

The ignorance of these people knows no bounds. None.

Time for John "Tanning Bed" Boehner to hear the truth

Few days ago, John "Tan In a Can" Boehner made the following asinine comment (oh, wait -- he's a Republikkkon -- you expected something different?) :

-- quote

I'm still trying to find the first American to talk to who's in favor of the public option, other than a member of Congress or the administration. I've not talked to one and I get to a lot of places. I've not had anyone come up to me -- I know I'm inviting them -- and lobby for the public option.

-- end quote

Aside from the fact that he would have to live in a very sterile bubble to avoid meeting anyone in favor of a public option, it's time for action.


Here's his Twitter address:

Let him have it -- 140 characters at a time.

Michele Bachman proves -- again -- she's the dumbest person in the entire world

Ben Bernanke testified in Congress yesterday about upcoming financial regulation measures.

Bernanke stated that increased transparency won’t do the trick — you have to straight-up ban certain financial instruments, starting with, say, the ones where lenders throw trillions of dollars of credit at random borrowers without so much as even asking their names.

Several members of the committee asked Bernanke questions about financial regulation, stimulus, and other relevant matters.

Then came time for Michele Bachmann to speak.

She got right to the heart of the matter: "What are you going to do about ACORN, and is there going to be a New Global Currency in the making?"

The other members of the committee pounded their heads on their desks while Bernanke tried to take the questions seriously.

If you like watching stupid people act stupid, watch it here:

"I want my country back !!!"

A common refrain among the radical fringe nutcases calling for Obama's impeachment -- or worse -- is "I want my country back !!!"

Here's a long quote from another guy who wanted his country back:

“The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality. Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press– in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past years.”

“The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.”


The Truth about ACORN

Let's cut through the rightwing, Fox-generated bullshit and lay out some facts:

-- ACORN is not a criminal enterprise.
-- ACORN has not engaged in voter fraud of any kind.
-- When ACORN has discovered its staffers doing anything that smacks of illegality, the staffers have been fired.
-- Republikkkons and rightwingers hate ACORN because the organization works -- successfully -- on behalf of poor people, whom Republikkkons and rightwingers hate.

ACORN's major campaigns -- all of which have been successful -- were (1) raise the minimum wage; (2) curtail predatory lending practices by banks; and, (3) expand the electorate to include people who frequently do not vote.

The Reupblikkkons and rightwingers cannot tolerate any of these three successes because: (1) they want to keep working people as poor as possible; (2) they and their supporters and donors profit from sleazy banking practices; and , (3) they want to make certain that the only people who vote are white folks from the Baptist church and country club.

In a 24 Septmber Washington Post column, Harold Meyerson lays out the facts -- and describes how the national media has, once again, failed:

-- QUOTE ---

For ACORN, Truth Lost Amid the Din
By Harold Meyerson Thursday, September 24, 2009

So what does ACORN actually do, anyway?

The embattled community organizing group is much in the news these days, thanks to the idiocies of a handful of now-suspended staffers having been filmed and YouTubed by a right-wing sting squad. Most of the stories present ACORN as, at best, a shady organization up to no good in America's inner cities, not to mention the nation's primary source of voting fraud.

What's been obscured amid all the polemics, or the polemics passing as news reports, is what ACORN is and does. Founded in Little Rock in 1970 as an organization agitating for free school lunches, Vietnam veterans' rights and more hospital emergency rooms, ACORN has grown in the past four decades into the nation's largest community organizing group. Based in low-income neighborhoods, it has nearly 500,000 dues- paying members, recruited by door-to-door canvassers, with chapters in 110 cities in 40 states. Nationwide, it has more than 1,000 staffers.

What are the projects on which all these staffers and members work? Raising the minimum wage, for one. ACORN conceived and led the successful initiative campaign to raise the wage in Florida in 2004 and in four more states in 2006. In the past four years, it successfully pressured seven legislatures in other states to raise their minimum wage as well.

Another major campaign has been to limit the interest and fees that banks charge homeowners. In the 1990s, ACORN spearheaded a number of legal actions, often joined by states' attorneys general, that compelled such lenders as Citigroup to change many of their practices. The group has led successful drives to outlaw the most egregious predatory lending in nine states. It also counsels thousands of inner- city homeowners and home buyers.

ACORN's third focus has been to expand the electorate. In the 2007-08 election cycle, it registered 1.3 million new voters in the nation's inner cities. This activity particularly vexed many Republican politicians, who have repeatedly accused the organization of massive voter fraud. The Bush administration's politicization of the Justice Department -- its widely reported firing of U.S. attorneys for their failure to bring voter fraud indictments (all of them looked and could find scarcely any instances of same) -- stemmed from the administration's apparent desire to depress minority turnout, a goal it sought to accomplish by demonizing ACORN.

Now, how much of this would you know from following the stories about ACORN that have been running in even the best of the media? Little to nothing, as Peter Dreier, a professor of politics at Occidental College, and Christopher R. Martin, a professor of journalism at University of Northern Iowa, just concluded in an exhaustive study of news coverage of ACORN. Looking at the 647 stories on the group that ran in leading newspapers and broadcast networks in 2007 and 2008, they found that not only did a majority of such stories focus on allegations of voter fraud but also that 83 percent of the stories that linked ACORN to those allegations failed to mention that actual instances of voter fraud were all but nonexistent.

"Only a handful of the stories in the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal," Dreier and Martin note, "mentioned that actual cases of voter fraud were very rare" -- even though all three papers had covered the firings of the U.S. attorneys for their failure to find such cases. But the steady drumbeat from right-wing pundits and journalists about ACORN and voter fraud, the authors conclude, eventually set the terms of discussion even at elite mainstream media.

Nonetheless, the mainstream media have also come under attack for not giving greater play to the most recent round of alleged ACORN scandals because the stories were first aired on the TV broadcasts of such right-wing polemicists as Glenn Beck. On Sunday, The Post's ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, wrote that "one explanation may be that traditional news outlets like The Post simply don't pay sufficient attention to conservative media or viewpoints." Dreier and Martin's study makes clear that in the case of ACORN, the reverse is true.

Dreier and Martin also note that newspapers in cities where ACORN has long been active against predatory lending and in voter registration -- they studied the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Cleveland Plain Dealer -- provided more balanced stories and relied less on partisan sources than the national papers did. But with some national newspapers shuttering their domestic bureaus, the truth about ACORN -- the nation's premier tribune for the poor -- may be harder and harder to find.


CBO says Baucus's "co-ops" are worthless

Opponents of Obama's real health insurance reform proposals cite the CBO estimate of $1 trillion over ten years, ignoring the fact that we spent $2.5 trillion last year alone on health care.

Meanwhile, here's something they don't want you to see.

The CBO sent a letter to Senator Max "I Don't Have A Clue About Health Insurance" Baucus with estimates of the cost of his bill.

Buried in the CBO letter was this parenthetical remark:

-- quote
“(The proposed co-ops had very little effect on the estimates of total enrollment in the exchanges or federal costs because, as they are described in the specifications, they seem unlikely to establish a significant market presence in many areas of the country or to noticeably affect federal subsidy payments.)”
-- end quote
Middle of page 5.

The real essence of opposition to President Obama

This photo from the 12 Spetember "tea party" in DC captures the true essence of opposition to President Obama.

It's NOT about taxes, federal spending, or any of the other excuses. It's pure racist hate. These people cannot stand the fact that a black man is President of the USofA.

The only thing missing here is a Klan robe and a burning cross.

"Tea Party" protestors in DC, 12 September -- TRASH

Literally, actually, TRASH.

The "tea party"protestors who descended on DC on 12 September to protest against "Obama's socialism" and public funding of health insurance need to understand some facts:

-- They traveled on publicly-funded and maintained roads;
-- And on publicly-monitored airways;
-- They marched on publicly-funded and maintained sidewalks, streets, and parks.

And when they left, DC government employees will clean up their trash.

Check the photos:,-2009

This one is too good to pass up. The "tea party" protestors profess their patriotism and denounce President Obama as an alien, a "socialist," a "communist," and worse. But here's what the "tea party" protestors think of the American flag:

Yep -- after their "tea party" was over, they tossed the American flag in the trash. "Real Americans" my ass.

Dropping the F-bomb: Bob McDonnell, Republican candidate for governor of Virginia: Real class

Bob McDonnell is the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia. McDonnell entered Virginia politics as a darling of the "religious right." McDonnell has spent two decades pushing a radical reactionary rightwing agenda.

A few weeks ago, the Washington Post published a paper that the 34-year-old McDonnell wrote in a course at Pat Robertson's University in Virginia Beach, VA. Here's a link to the WaPo article

And here's the first paragraph from that article:

At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master's thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." He described as "illogical" a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.

Here's a link to McDonnell's paper (PDF):

Now -- to the point -- turns out that Ol' Bob may not be the squeaky-clean, born-again christian that he claims to be. In a radio interview on Friday, 11 September 2009, McDonnell let fly with the F-bomb -- of course, when a Republican does something like this, it's no big deal -- he'll be forgiven -- right?? Still, the word "hypocrite" comes to mind.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Bob McDonnell, the normally-disciplined Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, mistakenly blurted out the F-bomb during a live radio interview on Friday.
Appearing on Washington-area radio station WTOP, McDonnell was sparring with host Mark Plotkin on the topic of transportation funding.

Plotkin asked if McDonnell would consider an increase in the state gasoline tax to help fund the transportation budget. McDonnell said no, and uttered the expletive during his response.
"So no tax will be raised during your four-year term?," Plotkin asked.

McDonnell answered: "I'm going to find other ways to be able to fund transportation. I've outlined twelve f—ing funding mechanisms that are creative, that are entrepreneurial." The remark was first flagged by the Virginia Democratic blog NotLarrySabato.

McDonnell is running against Democrat Creigh Deeds in the governor's race, one of two marquee political battles in 2009 along with the New Jersey governor's race.


Photographic proof that the American rightwing has gone irreversibly insane

Want to see photos of crazy people proving how crazy they are? Here you have it -- photos from the 12 September 2009 "Tea Party" in Washington, DC.

Rightwing wackadoodle websites passing off old photos as photos of 12 Sep "Tea Party" on the DC Mall

As we all know, "Tea Baggers" from all over the country descended on DC today -- 12 September 2009 -- to rail against President Obama. Oh, I know -- they claim they are non-partisan and are protesting against big government, government spending, high taxes, and the like.

Bull. Shit.

The tea baggers are Ku Kluxers in polo shirts and polyester trousers. They are protesting because there's a black man in the White House. Period.

Now, let's get to the point.

As soon as the protestors started to assemble, the rightwing blogosphere went crazy claiming that as many as 2 million teabaggers were in DC. Michelle Malkin even posted on her blog a photo that she claimed was from a DC traffic webcam showing the huge crowd. Her claim was picked up immediately and the 2 million figure became a matter of faith on the rightwing blogs.

IN FACT -- all news media (except, of course, Fox -- which is not news media) is reporting the crowd was 60 - 70,000, which is the number being used by the DC fire and police departments -- who know a little something about crowds.

Meanwhile, the rightwing blogs are posting old photos, claiming that they are photos of today's march.

Here's one photo that the rightwankers are trying to pass off as today's tea baggers in DC:

And here's the original of the photo -- it's from 1997:,23417.msg76797.html#msg76797
Another dead giveaway is that the sun is shining brightly in the photo -- 12 September 2009 was overcast in DC.

Then, we have this photo which claims to show "2 million" at the tea party -- this is one that Michelle Malkin is hyping:
The photo allegedly was taken by a DC traffic webcam of the tea party crowd at 14th and E this morning.

But check out the live feed from the real DC traffic webcam at 14th and E at this link:

Save the two photos to your hard drive, open them side-by-side in Photoshop and notice:

-- Trees in the real time traffic webcam are more full than in the photo that claims to be of the tea party crowd.
-- The view from the real time traffic webcam is a wider angle than in the photo that claims to be of the tea party crowd.
-- The view from the real time traffic webcam is taken from a different angle -- focus on the dome on the building along the right edge of the photo -- note that in the fake photo the dome protrudes above the neighboring building -- in the real traffic webcam the dome does not stick up above the roof of the adjacent building -- the photos were taken from different angles.

Not to be cruel or anything -- but -- a couple of observers reporting from the "Tea Party" remarked that the crowd was mainly over 60, ENTIRELY white, and mostly overweight -- maybe the 60,000 WEIGHED as much as 2 million and that's where the rightwing bloggers are confused. Who knows.

Here's the latest lie from the rightwing

Here's the latest wingnut email making the rounds


Keep your eyes peeled for our ever vigilant media to jump on this one – yeah, right.

A vehicle at 15 mpg and 12,000 miles per year uses 800 gallons a year of gasoline.

A vehicle at 25 mpg and 12,000 miles per year uses 480 gallons a year. So, the average clunker transaction will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year.

They claim 700,000 vehicles – so that's 224 million gallons / year.

That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil.

5 million barrels of oil is about ¼ of one day's US consumption.

And, 5 million barrels of oil costs about $350 million dollars at $75/bbl.

So, we all contributed to spending $3 billion to save $350 million.

How good a deal was that ???

They'll probably do a great job with health care though!!



First, they didn't even get their own arithmetic right because 5 Million X $75 is not $350 million, it's $375 million. However, more important, they got the production figures wrong.

A barrel of oil produces only 19.5 gallons of gasoline, so that 224 million gallons of gasoline requires 11.5 million barrels of oil. At $75 per barrel, that amounts to $862,500,000 per year saved.

That means in 3.4 years we break even on gasoline savings alone.

However that doesn't include the hidden costs of pollution and accidents that will be reduced by more fuel-efficient and safer cars. Nor does it include the jobs created which then go on to contribute taxes and consumer spending.

I wouldn't be surprised if this paid for itself in 2.5 years or even less if we allow for cars with fuel economy greater than 25 mpg being purchased, or annual mileage more like 15,000 miles per year.

Why did the Republicans select "Lord Charles" Boustany (R, LA) to respond to President Obama's health insurance reform speech ??

Why did the Republikkkons pick Charles Boustany (R, LA) to give their response to President Obama's speech on health insurance reform? Probably because he's a failed heart surgeon and they thought his credentials would lend credibility to his reponse.

In addition to the fact that his response received NO media coverage, there are other facts we need to examine about "Lord Charles" -- and when we look into his background we find more proof of just how big a piece of shit the entire Republikkkon Party really is.

"Lord Charles" Boustany is bugfuck crazy.

"Doctor" Boustany (as he prefers to be called) is an interesting choice for the GOP rebuttal. After all, not only does he seem to enjoy seeking legal redress for some colorful problems, he's also been the defendant in at least eight malpractice suits.

Here are two of Charles Boustany’s more colorful lawsuits:

-- He sued two con artists who told him he could become a British Lord; and
-- He sued a construction company for “mental anguish” over a pool resurfacing job.

But let's not let his suits overshadow the fact that Boustany has been sued for medical malpractice by eight patients.

Since 1992, Boustany has been sued for malpractice by eight separate patients. Boustany was found in fault by the state Medical Review Panel.

BOUSTANY WAS FOUND AT FAULT by the Louisiana Medical Review Panel twice – including a two-year old child Boustany performed an unnecessary and debilitating heart operation on and a woman whose right leg was amputated as the result of complications from surgery – and patients were awarded damages totaling nearly $2 million.
-- Boustany was sued for medical malpractice for surgery performed on a child and found in fault by the state medical review board. The plaintiff received $600,000 in compensation as a result.
-- Boustany was sued for medical malpractice after a cardiac operation he performed resulted in the patient requiring her leg to be amputated. According to the state medical review board, Boustany fell below the standard of care in treating the patient, who was later awarded more than $1.2 million in damages.

In another case -- Melanie Malagarie sued Boustany for medical malpractice stemming from surgery performed on her young daughter, Leonette. When Leonette was an infant she underwent heart surgery for a condition called Tetrology of Falot. The surgery was described as being a “good result,” according to court documents. Shortly before Leonette turned three, Boustany recommended surgery described as a “complete repair of Tetrology of Falot.”

After surgery, Leonette was reported to have suffered multiple severe damages including acute renal failure, acute respiratory failure and evidence of post-operative infections.

In 1992, the court dismissed the case because Malagarie failed to file a complaint with the state’s medical board.

Two years later, she submitted the case to Medical Review Panel, which found in her favor. The case was later dismissed after the parties settled the matter, awarding Malagarie $600,000 in compensation. Boustany’s insurer offered her $100,000 on his behalf and the Louisiana Patient’s Compensation Fund provided the other $500,000. (Melanie Malagarie v. Dr. Charles Boustany, Dr. Shannon Turney, Dr. Geeta Dalal, Lafayette General Hospital et. al, Case No: 92-5260, 15th Judicial District Court Parish of Lafayette)

Congressman Boustany once attempted to buy an English Title. There was one small problem ... it was a fraud.

Apparently, two con artists hoodwinked dumb wealthy Americans like Congressman Boustany that they could buy an English Title, which would give them all sorts of goodies like being called Lord Boustany and a seat to ride in the Queen Mum's 100th Birthday celebration back in the mid-1990's.

Most millionaires like Congressman Lord Boustany would let the money go. But not Congressman Lord Boustany. Noooo.

He filed a lawsuit that never went anywhere in Lafayette Parish, and it is available to the public. Here is a link to all three pages of the complaint, but the most relevant one is page 2, which shows how much he paid for the Title - $18,500 - and lists both his name and that of his wife in the pleading, and why they are filing suit.

On the other hand, maybe the Republikkkons selected Lord Charles for their response because of his familiarity with the health insurance industry. As the watchdog group Public Campaign documented before the speech, Boustany has raked in $1.25 million from health and insurance interests since being elected in 2004.

Lord Charles was also a co-sponsor of legislation that included provisions for end-of-life care, or the so-called "death panels" that helped inflame opponents of the Democratic health bill.

Let's see:

-- Eight malpractice lawsuits against him. In two he was found at fault and in one he settled out of court.

-- Then he falls for a scam in which he tried to buy a British title.

-- A major portion of his campaign funds comes from medical insurance companies.

No wonder the Republikkkon Party likes Lord Charley.

Here's the fool himself -- Joe Wilson (ASSHOLE, SC)

Here he is, Representative Joe Wilson (DUMBASS, SC) shouting "YOU LIE!!" at the President of the USofA during a Presidential address to Congress on Wednesday, 9 September 2009.

President Obama was listing the many lies being told about various health care reform legislation when Wilson shouted.

Wilson was elected in 2001 and in 2008 he got only 54 percent of the votes in his district.

Here is the website for Rob Miller, the Democrat who got 46 percent of the votes in 2008 and who will run against Wilson in 2010:

Contribute what you can to Miller -- let's help him get Wilson out of Congress.

And -- here is Wilson's contact information -- let him have it:

The Midlands' Office

1700 Sunset Blvd (US 378), Suite 1 West Columbia , SC 29169

Phone: (803) 939-0041

Phone: (888) 381-1442 (*only accessible when calling from area codes 803, 843, and 864)

Fax: (803) 939-0078

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Lowcountry Office 903 Port Republic Street, Beaufort, SC 29902

Mail to: Post Office Box 1538, Beaufort, SC 29901

Phone: (843) 521-2530

Fax: (843) 521-2535

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Washington Office 212 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-2452

Fax: (202) 225-2455

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Let's get Joe Wilson (R,SC) out of Congress

Up until today, Joe Wilson was just another anonymous Southern Republican dumbass, wackadoodle Congressman, unknown to all but the poor people of South Carolina and the most serious horse race junkies.

Today, he's the hyena who disgraced himself, his party, and the House chamber by screaming "YOU LIE!" like an 8 year-old during the President's eloquent speech on the most critical challenge facing our nation.

There's something we can do to let Joe Wilson know what we think of his childish approach to a serious problem -- we can help out Rob Miller.

Rob is an Iraq War vet -- a Marine who came back to South Carolina to try and restore dignity to South Carolina's Second CD, where Joe Wilson was selling out the district by voting for unfair trade deals and corporate giveaways.

Despite being a relative unknown, being outspent by a substantial margin, and a general Republican lean to the district, Rob came within just 8 points of knocking Wilson off in 2008. And we're lucky to have him running again.

Rob's a fair trade Democrat who supports the Employee Free Choice Act. He's a breath of fresh air for a state that desperately needs new leadership. And we can help him tonight, as the nation sees what an immature loser his opponent is.

Let's chip in to help Rob -- with early financial support, and with the notoriety Wilson has brought on himself, we've got a chance to help send Joe Wilson packing -- and to bring maturity and decency to South Carolina politics.

Here's Joe Wilson's Facebook page

Give him hell!!

Wilson is the wackjob who shouted "YOU LIE!!" at President Obama during Obama's speech Wednesday night.

Wilson's opponent in 2010 is Democrat Rob Miller who got 46 percent of the vote in 2008. Here's Miller's site -- make a donation to his campaign and let's get Wilson out of Congress:

Representative Joe Wilson (DUMBASS R, SC) shouts at President Obama "YOU LIE!!"

Yes, you heard it right -- right in the middle of President Obama's health care reform speech tonight a member of Congress shouted "YOU LIE!" at the President.

Joe Wilson (R, SC) is the one.

Here's what happened. Obama was talking about the lies that have been told about health care reform legislation. One of the many lies is that illegal aliens will be covered under current legislation. That's a lie -- every piece of legislation being considered specifically prohibits coverage or payments to people not in the country legally.

President Obama stated that illegal aliens would not be paid or covered -- at which point Wilson shouted "YOU LIE!"

The Old Redneck is so pissed off he can't see straight.

Wilson is a fucking disgrace. Oh, he'll be re-elected, no doubt -- his constituents more than likely are as stupid as he is. After all, he's from South Carolina.

I'm sending an email to his office -- you may want to do the same.

Here's his website's email:

Let him have it.

President G. H. W. Bush indoctrinates school children

Earlier this week, the Dept of Education announced that, on 8 September, President Obama will make a speech directed at children in school in which he will urge them to sutdy diligently, stay and school, and in general be good citizens.

The Republicans responded in their typical way -- by going crazy!!! The chairman of the Florida Republican Party proclaimed that the speech is nothing but "socialist indoctrination" and Republicans everywhere are urging parents to keep their children out of school that day.

Here's something the lunatics planning to boycott President Obama's stay-in-school speech should have considered before getting all wingnutty about it: On the eve of the 1992 presidential campaign -- 1 October 1991 to be exact -- President George H. W. Bush pitched his education plan in a speech broadcast live to school classrooms nationwide.

Bob McDonnell: Virginia does NOT need a radical reactionary governor

The Old Redneck lives in Virginia. In November 2009 we will elect a new governor -- the candidates are Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell.

McDonnell has a long record in Virginia politics as a far-right, radical reactionary who is wedded to the most egregious rightwing, "Christian fundamentalist" nonsense. Essentially, McDonnell has built his political career on God, guns, and gays -- supporting God and guns and bashing gays.

Now, however, in light of massive Republican losses in 2008 because the public finally rejected the hate spewing from Sarah Palin, McDonnell is scrambling to re-invent himself as a moderate, fiscally-conservative, big-tent Republican.

It won't work.

On Sunday, 30 August, the Washington Post surfaced a paper that McDonnell wrote while he was a student at Pat Robertson's CBN University (CBN = Christian Broadcasting Network).

Here are links to the PDF copy of the paper and to the Washington Post article.

Instead of the Old Redneck telling you what's in the paper, you need to read it for yourself.

Now, McDonnell will try to distance himself from this paper and it's radical "keep the women barefoot and pregnant" proclamations by claiming that this paper is but the musings of a youth. But he wrote the paper WHEN HE WAS 34 YEARS OLD.

If you look at the 15 action articles he lists in the paper, then, review his political track record, it is clear that he has not deviated one inch from the radical reactionary philosophy presented in his paper.

McDonnell is now in a real bind:

-- If he stands by the paper, he loses Northern Virginia, women, and anyone else who can read and think.

-- If he denounces the paper -- or even distances himself from it -- he loses his fundamentalist base.


Here are some of McDonnell's positions as stated in his own words.

"Leaders must correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state," he wrote. "Historically, the religious liberty guarantees of the First Amendment were intended to prevent government encroachment upon the free church, not eliminate the impact of religion on society."

He argued for covenant marriage, a legally distinct type of marriage intended to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce.

He advocated character education programs in public schools to teach "traditional Judeo-Christian values" and other principles that he thought many youths were not learning in their homes.

He called for less government encroachment on parental authority, for example, redefining child abuse to "exclude parental spanking."

He lamented the "purging of religious influence" from public schools.

He criticized federal tax credits for child care expenditures because they encouraged women to enter the workforce: "Further expenditures would be used to subsidize a dynamic new trend of working women and feminists that is ultimately detrimental to the family by entrenching status-quo of nonparental primary nurture of children," he wrote.

He went on to say feminism is among the "real enemies of the traditional family."


The Old Redneck sheds no tears over McDonnell's bind.

The Old Redneck provides the answer to health insurance reform


-- In 1960 we spent 5 percent of our GDP on health care. Today we spend 17 percent. All projections are that in 30 years -- 2039 -- we will spend 30 percent or more of our national wealth on health care.

-- Republicans and Democrats agree that we cannot continue down this road. Health care costs are killing our economy. The major factor in the GM bankruptcy was NOT the quality of their cars -- it was the legacy health care costs contained in their employment contracts. And GM is not alone -- every business is staggering under health insurance costs for their employees.

-- Democrats say we MUST have a "public option" -- Medicare for all.

-- Republicans say no public option because we can't put private insurers in competition with the guvmint.

-- Republicans and Democrats agree that we must stop insurance company abuse -- cancel insurance if you get sick, not issuing policies for mythical "pre-existing conditions," and the like.

-- Republicans claim that health care costs are rising because of greedy malpractice lawyers.

-- Democrats reply that patients need protection from incompetent physicians.


1. Congress mandates medical insurance just as the states mandate car insurance. Everyone MUST have health insurance. You can get it through your employer or you can get your own, but you must get it.

2. Congress writes three insurance policies and sets the premiums for these policies.
-- Bronze policy: Basic coverage, low cost.
-- Silver policy: More coverage than bronze, more expensive.
-- Gold policy: Even more coverage, even more cost.
-- Congress reviews these policies and premiums every 2 years and makes adjustments as necessary.

3. Congress mandates that EVERY insurance company MUST sell these three policies at Congressionally-mandated premiums. If the insurance companies want to sell other products, they are free to do so but they MUST sell these three basic policies at premiums set by Congress.
-- Guvmint is not in competition with private companies, Republicans happy.
-- Everyone has affordable insurance, Democrats happy.
-- Insurance companies gain a zillion new customers, they are happy.
-- If, for example, you have limited income and purchase a Bronze policy, when your income improves, you probably will buy more coverage from the same company. Insurance companies happy.
-- Employers could offer their employees, say, Silver coverage. If the employee wants more, let the employee pay for it. Employers are now happy.

4. Congress takes over the malpractice business.
-- Just as banks pay into the FDIC, medical providers will pay into the FMIC -- Federal Malpractice Insurance Corporation. Premiums would be less than under private malpractice insurance but awards to patients would be limited.
-- The FMIC decides what constitutes malpractice, what the awards will be, and how physicians will be punished.
-- Now, under FMIC, when you go to the doc, if he screws up, you know you'll get half a million $$$ for the loss of an eye -- not $100 million -- and the doc knows that he'll have his license suspended for 12 months. Everybody goes away a little bit happy and a little bit unhappy -- which means it's a good plan.
-- Tort reform problem solved, Republicans happy.
-- Malpractice is punished, Democrats happy.
-- Trial lawyers pissed off. Screw 'em.
-- No more mesothelioma ads on TV, soap opera fans happy.
-- If a doc does not want to participate in the FMIC, then he is at the mercy of the private insurers and the trial lawyers. Good luck, doc.

5. Congress establishes catastrophic illness caps -- if you are hit with crushing medical bills, the guvmint takes care of you.
-- Everybody happy.

6. Congress reworks Medicare and Medicaid to provide insurance to the truly indigent, the elderly who want it, and to people in transition between jobs, and similar situations.

The Old Redneck has now provided the answer.

What's the next problem you want me to solve?

Virginia Governor's Race: The REAL Bob McDonnell Exposed -- and It's UGLY

EXCELLENT WashPost article on the REAL Bob McDonnell, 2009 Republican candidate for governor of Virginia. This article exposes the REAL McDonnell, not the reformed, moderat McDonnell-Lite the VA Republicans are trying to push.


---- QUOTE ----

'89 Thesis A Different Side of McDonnellVa. GOP Candidate Wrote on Women, Marriage and Gays

By Amy GardnerWashington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, August 30, 2009

At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master's thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." He described as "illogical" a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.

The 93-page document, which is publicly available at the Regent University library, culminates with a 15-point action plan that McDonnell said the Republican Party should follow to protect American families -- a vision that he started to put into action soon after he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.

In his run for governor, McDonnell, 55, makes little mention of his conservative beliefs and has said throughout his campaign that he should be judged by what he has done in office, including efforts to lower taxes, stiffen criminal penalties and reform mental health laws. He reiterated that position Saturday in a statement responding to questions about his thesis.

"Virginians will judge me on my 18-year record as a legislator and Attorney General and the specific plans I have laid out for our future -- not on a decades-old academic paper I wrote as a student during the Reagan era and haven't thought about in years."
McDonnell added: "Like everybody, my views on many issues have changed as I have gotten older." He said that his views on family policy were best represented by his 1995 welfare reform legislation and that he "worked to include child day care in the bill so women would have greater freedom to work." What he wrote in the thesis on women in the workplace, he said, "was simply an academic exercise and clearly does not reflect my views."

McDonnell also said that government should not discriminate based on sexual orientation or ban contraceptives and that "I am not advocating vouchers as there are legal questions regarding their constitutionality in Virginia."

The Washington Post learned of the thesis in a recent interview with McDonnell, who mentioned it in answering a question about his political roots. McDonnell brought up the paper in reference to a pair of Republican congressmen whom he interviewed as part of his research. McDonnell then offered: "I wrote my thesis on welfare policy."

McDonnell's opponent, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath), and other Democrats have sought to highlight McDonnell's conservative record, saying he is obscuring a large part of his background to get elected. Deeds recently spoke to women's groups about McDonnell's record on abortion, saying that voters needed to know about his stances.

"There is a just a massive effort underway to rebrand Bob McDonnell, and his whole legislative career speaks otherwise," said former delegate Barnie K. Day (D-Patrick), who supports Deeds. "The voters have a right to know who these candidates really are."

When asked about Regent, McDonnell generally responds that it is one of many schools he has attended. He received a bachelor's in business administration at the University of Notre Dame in 1976, and he received a master's in business administration from Boston University in 1980 while serving overseas in the Army.

After four years in the Army and the start of a management career with a Fortune 500 health supply company, McDonnell moved with his wife, Maureen, and two young daughters from a suburb of Kansas City, Mo., to Virginia Beach, where he enrolled in a public policy master's program at what was then called CBN University. The school was founded by Pat Robertson and named for his Christian Broadcasting Network.

McDonnell said that he was seeking a faith-based institution that explored the Christian origins of Western law and that he and his wife wanted to return to Virginia, where they grew up. The school expected students to take their faith seriously; they were admitted only after signing a statement affirming that Jesus Christ was their savior. The school also produced a number of politically active conservatives. Its Web site used to say that 150 of its graduates worked in President George W. Bush's administration. Regent's motto: Christian leadership to change the world.

The combination of faith and public service was on McDonnell's mind, too. His 1989 thesis -- "The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade" -- was on the subject he wanted to explore at Regent: the link between Christianity and U.S. law. The document was written to fulfill the requirements of the two degrees he was seeking at Regent, a master of arts in public policy and a juris doctor in law.

The thesis wasn't so much a case against government as a blueprint to change what he saw as a liberal model into one that actively promoted conservative, faith-based principles through tax policy, the public schools, welfare reform and other avenues.

"Leaders must correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state," he wrote. "Historically, the religious liberty guarantees of the First Amendment were intended to prevent government encroachment upon the free church, not eliminate the impact of religion on society."

He argued for covenant marriage, a legally distinct type of marriage intended to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce. He advocated character education programs in public schools to teach "traditional Judeo-Christian values" and other principles that he thought many youths were not learning in their homes. He called for less government encroachment on parental authority, for example, redefining child abuse to "exclude parental spanking." He lamented the "purging of religious influence" from public schools. And he criticized federal tax credits for child care expenditures because they encouraged women to enter the workforce.

"Further expenditures would be used to subsidize a dynamic new trend of working women and feminists that is ultimately detrimental to the family by entrenching status-quo of nonparental primary nurture of children," he wrote.

He went on to say feminism is among the "real enemies of the traditional family."

McDonnell said in his statement that he is "fully supportive of the tremendous contributions women make in the workplace. My wife and daughters work. My campaign manager in 2005 was a working mother. I appointed 5 women to my senior staff as Attorney General."

Maureen McDonnell held a variety of positions with the federal government before the couple started a family, according to the campaign, and she has since run a series of small businesses out of the home. McDonnell's daughter Jeanine served in the Army in Iraq and is now a civilian contract employee; his daughter Cailin is coordinating youth outreach for the Republican Party of Virginia's election efforts this year. Neither daughter is married or has children.

McDonnell's thesis also spends a good deal of time on the importance of tax policy to the health of families. He called for the repeal of the estate tax and for the adoption of a modified flat tax to replace the graduated income tax. Awarding deductions and distributions based on need "is socialist," McDonnell wrote.

His advocacy of abortion restrictions is well known; he sponsored or co-sponsored numerous pieces of legislation on the topic, including a ban on late-term abortions, a requirement that minors receive parental consent before having an abortion and a mandated 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. He and like-minded colleagues succeeded in repealing Virginia's estate tax and reforming welfare law, as well as restricting access to abortion.

He also sponsored bills on four occasions to establish covenant marriage in Virginia. All four were unsuccessful. Under McDonnell's proposals, couples choosing to enter covenant marriage would have been required to obtain premarital counseling and sign a declaration of intent acknowledging that marriage is a lifelong commitment. In addition, the time of separation necessary for couples with children to obtain a no-fault divorce would have been extended from one to two years.

One controversy that drew wide attention was an effort in the General Assembly in 2003 to end the judicial career of Verbena M. Askew, a Circuit Court judge from Newport News who had been accused of sexual harassment by a woman who worked for her. As chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee, McDonnell led the effort in the House. He said he was opposed to Askew's reappointment because she didn't disclose, as required, that she was a party to a legal proceeding.

McDonnell was widely quoted at the time as saying that homosexual activity raised questions about a person's qualifications to be a judge. Spokesman Tucker Martin said McDonnell was misquoted and does not consider homosexuality a disqualifying factor for judgeships or other jobs.

Askew, who was not reappointed, denied any wrongdoing and was never found by a court to have harassed the employee.
Republican friends who support McDonnell's campaign for governor acknowledge parting ways with some of his more conservative views. Former governor and U.S. senator George Allen said he doesn't share McDonnell's opposition to abortion in cases of rape or incest. "There should always be an exception," he said. And state Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle (Virginia Beach), a close friend first elected to the legislature the same year as McDonnell, described covenant marriage as "the state overstepping its bounds."
Allen, Stolle and other Republicans say that such positions represent a small piece of McDonnell's record.

McDonnell is quick to point out his promotion of criminal justice legislation, an interest that stemmed from his two years as an assistant prosecutor in Virginia Beach after his graduation from Regent. He points to a record of bipartisan cooperation as attorney general that included toughening Virginia's laws on sex offenders, cracking down on identity theft and promoting stricter laws against animal fighting. He says that he worked closely with Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, particularly in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, and that he was praised by Democrats on the day he left office for his handling of the Virginia Tech crisis and other accomplishments.

Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who has shared most of McDonnell's conservative positions over the years, said there is no question that the candidate is playing down his conservatism today. Marshall said McDonnell risks alienating two groups of voters: moderates who might view him as hiding his true beliefs and conservatives who might think that he is no longer conservative enough.

"If you duck something, that tells your opponents that you think your position is a liability," said Marshall, who is backing McDonnell. "Why else wouldn't you acknowledge it? But I'll tell you, I've got precinct captains who are annoyed that he's not answering these questions. He doesn't have to bash people in the head with it. But he doesn't have to put it in the closet, either. There's a balance you can take."

---- END QUOTE ----

Here's a link to the thesis -- it's a 5.11 MB PDF file:

Coal industry lobbyists caught in a BIG lie

A few weeks ago, a "new" organization popped up calling itself FACES -- Federation for American Coal, Energy, and Security.

They are running TV and print ads telling us that we all should burn more coal -- the more coal we burn, the better.

The ads feature lovely families, good-looking young women -- all the usual stuff. BUT WAIT A MINUTE -- who are these fresh-faced, clean-scrubbed people who ask you to burn more coal??

Turns out the photos are all STOCK PHOTOS FROM A STOCK PHOTO SERVICE -- iPhoto

They can't find any real people to photograph.

Laying waste to the Republikkkon lies about health insurance reform legislation

Here's an excellent article that lays bare the Republikkkon and rightwing lies about health insurance reform legislation.

Cut the crap: What's REALLY in health insurance reform legislation

Here's a website I found today. They are publishing a series of articles explaining what is REALLY in the health insurance reform legislation:

Five myths about health care around the world

5 Myths About Health Care Around the World

By T.R. Reid
Sunday, August 23, 2009

As Americans search for the cure to what ails our health-care system, we've overlooked an invaluable source of ideas and solutions: the rest of the world. All the other industrialized democracies have faced problems like ours, yet they've found ways to cover everybody -- and still spend far less than we do.

I've traveled the world from Oslo to Osaka to see how other developed democracies provide health care. Instead of dismissing these models as "socialist," we could adapt their solutions to fix our problems. To do that, we first have to dispel a few myths about health care abroad:

1. It's all socialized medicine out there.

Not so. Some countries, such as Britain, New Zealand and Cuba, do provide health care in government hospitals, with the government paying the bills. Others -- for instance, Canada and Taiwan -- rely on private-sector providers, paid for by government-run insurance. But many wealthy countries -- including Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland -- provide universal coverage using private doctors, private hospitals and private insurance plans.

In some ways, health care is less "socialized" overseas than in the United States. Almost all Americans sign up for government insurance (Medicare) at age 65. In Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, seniors stick with private insurance plans for life. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the planet's purest examples of government-run health care.

2. Overseas, care is rationed through limited choices or long lines.

Generally, no. Germans can sign up for any of the nation's 200 private health insurance plans -- a broader choice than any American has. If a German doesn't like her insurance company, she can switch to another, with no increase in premium. The Swiss, too, can choose any insurance plan in the country.

In France and Japan, you don't get a choice of insurance provider; you have to use the one designated for your company or your industry. But patients can go to any doctor, any hospital, any traditional healer. There are no U.S.-style limits such as "in-network" lists of doctors or "pre-authorization" for surgery. You pick any doctor, you get treatment -- and insurance has to pay.

Canadians have their choice of providers. In Austria and Germany, if a doctor diagnoses a person as "stressed," medical insurance pays for weekends at a health spa.

As for those notorious waiting lists, some countries are indeed plagued by them. Canada makes patients wait weeks or months for nonemergency care, as a way to keep costs down. But studies by the Commonwealth Fund and others report that many nations -- Germany, Britain, Austria -- outperform the United States on measures such as waiting times for appointments and for elective surgeries.

In Japan, waiting times are so short that most patients don't bother to make an appointment. One Thursday morning in Tokyo, I called the prestigious orthopedic clinic at Keio University Hospital to schedule a consultation about my aching shoulder. "Why don't you just drop by?" the receptionist said. That same afternoon, I was in the surgeon's office. Dr. Nakamichi recommended an operation. "When could we do it?" I asked. The doctor checked his computer and said, "Tomorrow would be pretty difficult. Perhaps some day next week?"

3. Foreign health-care systems are inefficient, bloated bureaucracies.

Much less so than here. It may seem to Americans that U.S.-style free enterprise -- private-sector, for-profit health insurance -- is naturally the most cost-effective way to pay for health care. But in fact, all the other payment systems are more efficient than ours.

U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world; they spend roughly 20 cents of every dollar for nonmedical costs, such as paperwork, reviewing claims and marketing. France's health insurance industry, in contrast, covers everybody and spends about 4 percent on administration. Canada's universal insurance system, run by government bureaucrats, spends 6 percent on administration. In Taiwan, a leaner version of the Canadian model has administrative costs of 1.5 percent; one year, this figure ballooned to 2 percent, and the opposition parties savaged the government for wasting money.

The world champion at controlling medical costs is Japan, even though its aging population is a profligate consumer of medical care. On average, the Japanese go to the doctor 15 times a year, three times the U.S. rate. They have twice as many MRI scans and X-rays. Quality is high; life expectancy and recovery rates for major diseases are better than in the United States. And yet Japan spends about $3,400 per person annually on health care; the United States spends more than $7,000.

4. Cost controls stifle innovation.

False. The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries with much lower cost structures. Any American who's had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra, come from British, Swiss or Japanese labs.

Overseas, strict cost controls actually drive innovation. In the United States, an MRI scan of the neck region costs about $1,500. In Japan, the identical scan costs $98. Under the pressure of cost controls, Japanese researchers found ways to perform the same diagnostic technique for one-fifteenth the American price. (And Japanese labs still make a profit.)

5. Health insurance has to be cruel.

Not really. American health insurance companies routinely reject applicants with a "preexisting condition" -- precisely the people most likely to need the insurers' service. They employ armies of adjusters to deny claims. If a customer is hit by a truck and faces big medical bills, the insurer's "rescission department" digs through the records looking for grounds to cancel the policy, often while the victim is still in the hospital. The companies say they have to do this stuff to survive in a tough business.

Foreign health insurance companies, in contrast, must accept all applicants, and they can't cancel as long as you pay your premiums. The plans are required to pay any claim submitted by a doctor or hospital (or health spa), usually within tight time limits. The big Swiss insurer Groupe Mutuel promises to pay all claims within five days. "Our customers love it," the group's chief executive told me. The corollary is that everyone is mandated to buy insurance, to give the plans an adequate pool of rate-payers.

The key difference is that foreign health insurance plans exist only to pay people's medical bills, not to make a profit. The United States is the only developed country that lets insurance companies profit from basic health coverage.

In many ways, foreign health-care models are not really "foreign" to America, because our crazy-quilt health-care system uses elements of all of them. For Native Americans or veterans, we're Britain: The government provides health care, funding it through general taxes, and patients get no bills. For people who get insurance through their jobs, we're Germany: Premiums are split between workers and employers, and private insurance plans pay private doctors and hospitals. For people over 65, we're Canada: Everyone pays premiums for an insurance plan run by the government, and the public plan pays private doctors and hospitals according to a set fee schedule. And for the tens of millions without insurance coverage, we're Burundi or Burma: In the world's poor nations, sick people pay out of pocket for medical care; those who can't pay stay sick or die.

This fragmentation is another reason that we spend more than anybody else and still leave millions without coverage. All the other developed countries have settled on one model for health-care delivery and finance; we've blended them all into a costly, confusing bureaucratic mess.

Which, in turn, punctures the most persistent myth of all: that America has "the finest health care" in the world. We don't. In terms of results, almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the United States does. In terms of finance, we force 700,000 Americans into bankruptcy each year because of medical bills. In France, the number of medical bankruptcies is zero. Britain: zero. Japan: zero. Germany: zero.

Given our remarkable medical assets -- the best-educated doctors and nurses, the most advanced hospitals, world-class research -- the United States could be, and should be, the best in the world. To get there, though, we have to be willing to learn some lessons about health-care administration from the other industrialized democracies.

There REALLY was a "death panel" -- it was a private institution and the federal government put it out of business

Live or Die? That Was for the Panel to Decide.

By John Buntin
Sunday, August 23, 2009

Death panels: Republicans warn they'recoming; Democrats say such a thing is unimaginable.

Something about the health-care debate gets people arguing about improbable scenarios, such as the United States turning into Canada or the government killing grandmas. But in the case of death panels, the overheated rhetoric has some historical truth. For a decade, there actually were death panels in this country. And it was big government that ended them.

Before World War II, there was no cure for chronic kidney disease. If your kidneys stopped cleansing your blood of toxins, you died. But in the late 1930s and early '40s, a Dutch physician, Willem Kolff, hit upon an ingenious solution: pumping the blood of patients suffering from end-stage renal failure through a machine that eliminated waste. Using 50 feet of sausage casing wrapped around a wooden drum that rotated in a tank of water and salts, Kolff invented the first dialysis machine.

Kolff's device wasn't perfect (in part, perhaps, because at the time he was also busy organizing Europe's first blood bank, participating in the Dutch resistance to the Nazis and hiding a Jewish boy in his home). The first 16 people he hooked up to his machine died anyway. But in 1945, Kolff finally got his "artificial kidney" working correctly. After the war, he moved to the United States, where he and other scientists quickly made significant improvements to the machine. By the early 1960s, researchers in Seattle had perfected a Teflon shunt that allowed patients with chronic kidney disease to be on dialysis indefinitely, dramatically extending their lives.

But there was a problem: money. At the time, dialysis for one patient cost more than $10,000 a year. The University of Washington Hospital, which had put up the money to support the first dialysis patients, saw an impending crisis as more and more people lined up for treatment, and administrators decided not to admit anyone else until additional funding was secured.

In 1962, with help from a $100,000 foundation grant, Seattle's King County Medical Society opened an artificial kidney clinic at Swedish Hospital and established two committees that, together, would decide who received treatment. The first was a panel of kidney specialists that examined potential patients. Anyone older than 45 was excluded; so were teenagers and children; people with hypertension, vascular complications or diabetes; and those who were judged to be emotionally unprepared for the demanding regimen. Patients who passed this first vetting moved on to another panel, which decided their fate. It soon gained a nickname -- the "God committee."

Born of an effort to be fair, the anonymous committee included a pastor, a lawyer, a union leader, a homemaker, two doctors and a businessman and based its selection on applicants' "social worth." Of the first 17 patients it saw, 10 were selected for dialysis. The remaining seven died.

In the fall of 1962, Life magazine published a story about the "life and death committee." In Washington, D.C., the deputy surgeon general fired off a memo to the secretary of health, education and welfare, warning that "strong pressure for some federal action" from the public might ensue.

It didn't. Instead, as the technology spread, medical centers in other cities struggled to serve large numbers of patients with limited numbers of dialysis machines. The rise of home dialysis reduced the number of people excluded from treatment, but panels across the country still met to decide who would receive access to the life-saving treatment. Supply was one limitation. Money was another, and the ability to pay often meant the difference between life and death.

Finally, in 1972, Congress decided to step in and provide federal funding for dialysis through the recently created Medicare program. The availability of treatment exploded. Today nearly half a million Americans suffer from end-stage renal disease, and dialysis is helping keep 340,000 alive.

So what does this tell us about what universal heath insurance might mean? It tells us that, if history is any guide, the government will expand access to health care, not curtail it. Federal involvement has never led to death panels. It has only ended them.