Morning Sun Forest wallpaper

Morning Sun Forest wallpaper

A couple different conservative views of the effort to repeal The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). One based on greed and one based on pure wingnuttery.  Bill Frist: Health Care Is ‘Law Of The Land,’ GOP Should Drop Repeal And Build On It. Did Frist have a sudden epiphany and become a responsible citizen and  humanitarian. That would be a leap for Doctor for Dollars,

This may be wishful thinking. As The Washington Examiner’s lobbying editor Tim Carney notes, Frist “is invested, literally, in the law.” He has made a fortune as a result of stock ownership from the family-founded Hospital Corporation of America, the for-profit hospital chain.

And than there is one of my favorite know nothings Rep. Steve King(R-IA). Steve King Claims Health Insurance Regulations Violate The Constitution. When a Democrat makes a sweeping statement like that they better be prepared to back it up. They better be prepared to be informed about the Constitution, the commerce clause in particular and the necessary and proper clause. Steve, who is always ready to live down to my low expectations, as is typically right-wing Republican, prefers the pull things out of his arse approach,

First of all [the Affordable Care Act] is unconstitutional. We can go through all of that component, Gordon, but, in the end, this trade off of giving up our personal decisions on what health insurance policy we choose to buy, what health insurance policy will be delivered to us because of market demands, and making decisions on doctors and tests and second opinions, as a whole list of things that are taken away from us under Obamacare. All of that, for what? So that we have a federal mandate that children must stay on our insurance until age 26? I want mine to grow up, as a matter of fact.

So few sentences. It looks like Stevie Boy would toss in an actual fact just to throw everyone off balance. Employers can choose whatever health care insurance they prefer to provide health care coverage. If an individual buys it on their own they will buy it from private carriers through the insurance exchange. The big spooky govmint ain’t going to come between you and your doctor. As Politifact noted, PPACA is a private sector solution – none of those pesky death panels. Canada has a single payer system and even in that evil Marxist scheme doctors and hospitals are private institutions who make their decisions based on the best results for the patient. Notice we do not hear horror stories from Canadians about being denied care or older relatives being put to death because of costs. The option for children to stay on their parents insurance has already become one of the most popular aspects of health care reform. Finally there are at least 100 legal scholars who not only disagree with Super Constitutional Steve, but actually took time to make their case in rational terms, Over 100 Law Professors Agree on Affordable Care Act’s Constitutionality(pdf)

We, the undersigned, write to explain why the “minimum coverage provision” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires most Americans who can afford it to have health insurance or pay a tax, rests on sound, long-established constitutional footing. The current challenges to the constitutionality of this legislation seek to jettison nearly two centuries of settled constitutional law.

Congress’s power to regulate the national healthcare market is unambiguous. Article I of the U.S. Constitution authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce. The national market in healthcare insurance and services, which Congress found amounts to over $2 trillion annually and consumes more than 17% of the annual gross domestic product, is unquestionably an important component of interstate commerce. One of the Framers’ primary goals was to give Congress the power to regulate matters of national economic significance because states individually could not effectively manage them on their own. The problems facing the modern healthcare system today are precisely the sort of problems beyond the reach of individual states that led the Framers to give Congress authority to regulate interstate commerce.

[   ]…In 2005, Justice Antonin Scalia explained that the necessary and proper clause gives Congress broad authority to ensure that its economic regulations work. In Justice Scalia’s words, “where Congress has authority to enact a regulation of interstate commerce, it possesses every power needed to make that regulation effective.” Just last term, a majority of the Supreme Court, in an opinion joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, wrote that in “determining whether the Necessary and Proper Clause grants Congress the legislative authority to enact a particular federal statute, we look to see whether the statute constitutes a means that is rationally related to the implementation of a constitutionally enumerated power.”

A total of 13 pages of legal precedent and justification for the Constitutionality of the PPACA. More work and thinking than Steve has probably done in his lifetime. The people of Iowa are not getting their money’s worth. Even a chimp would have enough sense to step aside and let the adults do their job.

Good Q&A type article, Do Republican critiques of the healthcare law add up? As they campaign to repeal the law, they argue that it will hurt the job market and add to the federal budget deficit. Repealing reform will increase the deficit and will not be a job killer. It’s must be nice to be a modern-day Republican. No allegiance to the facts. No need for honor and honest debates. Just repeat the same lies over and over until they become the nationally accepted order from the czars of doublespeak.

Mid-terms were a downer, but the Right was a little a head of itself on all the triumphalism. The game changes fast and yesterdays bleak days for Democrats are already looking a little better, Bysiewicz Poll Shows Her Leading Lieberman

An internal poll conducted for the nascent campaign of former Conn. Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D) shows her narrowly ahead in Democratic primary matchups and three-way general election contests against incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) and the two GOP statewide nominees last year.

Try not to cry all over your keyboard, Joementum is retiring. Voluntarily, before he was trounced in 2012.

The vindication of Dick Cheney – By Glenn Greenwald

It overstates the case to say there are no differences.  There were some: Obama formally ended the “enhanced interrogation program” (the authorization for which had been withdrawn when he took office); banned CIA black sites (which were empty when he took office); and has not invoked the Article II lawbreaking theories of Bush’s first term (Bush largely abandoned them as well in his second term as Congress began legalizing his programs).  And there is a more conciliatory tone, and some greater technocratic efficiency, in some foreign policy pronouncements.  But the crux of Bush/Cheney radicalism — the mindset and policies that caused much of the controversy — continues and has even been strengthened.

Glenn asks why liberals are not making as much noise about this as they were a couple of years ago. I’m not sure exactly what Glenn wants. All the challenges to the excesses of the Bush – and now Obama national security policies have either played out in court, or as is usually the case they have been stopped in their tracks by the administration’s use of national security privilege to stop them in their tracks. I’m a back street blogger, but say The Nation, or Kos, or Rachel Maddow made regularly weekly rants about investigating the CIA and torture for example. Does Glenn really think that would make any difference. Even before the mid-terms we had a Congress that was very skittish about pushing such investigations. There is definitely no chance now for legislative branch inquires. So the courts have dead ended. The legislature is not going to do anything. That leaves bloggers shaking their fists. Not very effective in getting the executive branch and it’s Justice Department to take action. Glenn is frustrating sometimes, he has a list of grievances and no answers.

What will $6.5 billion buy? Two Girls Scale Border Fence In Under 20 Seconds (VIDEO)

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Magnifying Glass and Old Map wallpaper

Magnifying Glass and Old Map wallpaper

 

Is there a contest underway to see who can be the biggest wing-nut dipstick. Gateway Pundit (Jim Hoft) seems to be ahead on points just judging from the last few days. The last we heard from Hoft he was scarfing up any web page he could find to prove Tucson murderer Jared Loughner was a liberal ( or a leftist. Hoft, like most right-wingers think they’re the same thing). In his desperation he posted a fake web page, Shameless: Jim Hoft Falls For Fake Facebook Profile In Attempt To Link Loughner To Obama. Hoft has since pulled that down, but MM has a screen shot. Which proved that conservative bloogers show the same standards for nutroots citizen journalism they display on the opinion page of the Wall St Journal. With the lesson in such recent memory most bloggers might have learned to take a breath and do a tiny bit of research before rushing to the latest smear. For that, one would have to have qualities like integrity and humility. These are not highly esteemed virtues among most conservatives, so true to form Hoft is back, Wingnut Blogger Jim Hoft Mistakes Closed Caption for Applause Prompt at Tucson Memorial ( screen shots at link). So the Right is trying to politicize the Tucson memorial the way they did with the Senator Paul Wellstone memorial service. L,G, and M has a good post on the Right’s latest freak out over how one should mourn, Who taught you how to mourn?

I can only imagine what critics of the memorial might do if they attended a Jewish one: “Why are these people screaming and ripping off their clothes?  Why is everyone pinning shreds of ripped cloth to their suits?  Who organized all these pins?”  If you actually have been close enough to someone of a different religion, race or class to attend a service for or with them and are still criticizing this execution of this one, you reveal the emptiness of your criticisms and the baseness of your convictions.

What did the queen of right-wing bed wetting take away from the memorial service? Obama is dying his hair and that is very ….something conservative folks with values like Jim Hofts find distasteful, Late Night: Obama’s DIE JOB!

The latest outrage is that the President of the United States may be dyeing his hair, which is wicked and conniving and wicked, for obvious reasons, these reasons being, well because. Anyone who dyes their hair is worse than Hitler, who didn’t dye his hair, but murdered millions of innocents.

Open Salon has a note from a closed captioner about the applause prompt – We Reject Your Reality and Substitute Our Own! It should go without saying that the same people who think President Obama is part of the greatest presidential hoax in history – his Hawaiian birth certificate – are not going to let some evidence change their lizard brains about an applause sign. They need urban myths like this the way an addict needs their crack. And MM has done a post on the closed captioning, No, Jim Hoft, The White House Did Not “Ask For” Applause On Jumbotron

President Reagan’s son Ron has stated in a new book that his dad’s Alzheimer’s may have come on as early as 1984 – Michael Reagan Rips Half-Brother Ron Over Book and Alzheimer’s Claim. Ron is a liberal as is his sister Patti Davis. There has been some speculation about the time frame in which Reagans’ Alzeimers started to appear. Such as Lesley Stahl of CBS News, in her 1999 book, Reporting Live. We may never know for sure. There are still mysteries and theories about Abraham Lincoln. Such are curses of being a public figure. According to the Reagan worship club this Alzheimers talk is going to reap great benefits for liberals. Conservative blogger Moe Lane, Trying to erase ‘tear down this wall.’( linked to as a great post by several other nutbars),

It is my first instinct to treat this report of Ronald Reagan Jr’s… commentary… by simply letting it pass by without a response.  For those not wishing to click through, the boy (use of term deliberate) is indulging elderly liberal fetishists everywhere by making the claim that his father was suffering from Alzheimer’s as far back as the 1984 debates*, as well as ‘details’ regarding a supposed operation in 1989 that had even the US News & World Report doing some fancy footwork in order to avoid having to declare it a lie.  It’s the Left; it’s pornography; it’s Left-porn.  Outside of that particular niche market, its utility is… low.

The problem with that simplistic analysis is that if Ronnie had been suffering from some kind of medically determined diminished mental capacity during his presidency than the Right can claim Reagan bears no responsibility for his disastrous administration. Reagan gave us Iran-Contra, the HUD scandals, the lobbying scandals, the EPA scandals and Reagan playing socialist( by conservative standards) with the Savings and Loans collapse and subsequent take-overs. The Reagan administration had more felony convictions than any presidential administration. Would diminished capacity also mean Reagan does not get credit for single handily bringing down the Soviet Union. Well, he didn’t and does not deserve credit anyway. That myth is a Conservative spit in the face to all the people who actually contributed, often in blood, to bringing down the Berlin Wall. Reagan was president at a time the Soviet Union was collapsing. An event predicted by economists and CIA analysts since the late 70s. Does he deserve credit for being at the right place at the right time, than stepping into the spot light to claim credit. He does deserve some credit, but in historical context. Imagine millions of people had been tearing down a great wall for fifty years. Reagan comes along and knocks over the stone. It is sad and ironic the Right wants to take credit for Reagan’s liberal legacy in regards to the Soviets, Tear Down That Myth

Though no evidence has turned up to corroborate the Rohrabacher account, the triumphal storyline has endured. What’s more, it has done so even though it runs counter to Mr. Reagan’s actual policies toward the Soviet Union at the time. From the autumn of 1986 through the end of his presidency in January 1989, Mr. Reagan was in fact moving steadily closer to a working accommodation with Mr. Gorbachev, conducting a series of summit meetings and signing a major arms control agreement — steps that were strongly opposed by the American right.

The opposing perspective on the Reagan speech is that it was nothing but a stunt. The adherents of this interpretation include not just Democrats or liberals but many veterans of the George H. W. Bush administration.

In a 1995 book about the end of the cold war, “Germany United and Europe Transformed,” two former officials of the first Bush administration, Condoleezza Rice and Philip Zelikow, minimized the significance of the Berlin Wall address and its role in the events leading up to the end of the cold war. They argued that after the speech was given there was no serious, practical follow-up. No one pursued any policy initiative with respect to the Berlin Wall. “American diplomats did not consider the matter part of the real policy agenda,” they wrote.

Others agreed. “I thought it was corny in the extreme,” Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to George H. W. Bush, told me. “It was irrelevant, that statement at that time.”

Even some of Mr. Reagan’s own senior foreign-policy officials seem to think the speech was not particularly noteworthy. In his 1,184-page memoir, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz does not mention the speech at all. Similarly, Jack C. Matlock, who served as Mr. Reagan’s Soviet adviser and then as United States ambassador to Moscow, does not discuss the speech in his own book about Mr. Reagan’s relations with the Soviets.

But those who dismiss the speech as insignificant miss the point, too. They fail to see its role in helping the president line up public support for his foreign policy.

Conservatives have been in search of a political messiah since the FDR administration. Historians still rate FDR and Lincoln ahead of Saint Ronnie. After Bush 43, who may go down as the worse president in the nation’s history, the Right seems even more determined to find a conservative savior. Ultimately Regan’s triumph’s were his liberal legacy of engagement with the Soviets and backing off the scorched earth conservative economic policies which he started in his first term. Bill Maher recently joked the Founders would have hated the tea baggers. As far Right as Reagan was there is no way Reagan would be elected today, in light of the far Right shift advocated by the likes of the tea baggers and Bush 43.

Western Snow Storm wallpaper

Western Snow Storm wallpaper

Blue Blur High Speed Train wallpaper

Thank goodness Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Rag is doing it’s part to make the U.S. even less well informed. We would not want the average American to get their hands on the truth. Who knows what the consequences might be, Wisconsin 1, Illinois 0 – With Springfield raising taxes amidst its fiscal disaster, the new Republican governor of the Badger State is telling Illinoisans, “Escape to Wisconsin.”

Illinois this week earned the honor of becoming the first state in 2011 to sock it to taxpayers, passing a tax hike the size of Lake Michigan. Citizens cried out, legislators deflected, but the most interesting response came from neighboring Wisconsin, where newly elected GOP Gov. Scott Walker had three words for Illinois businesses: “Escape to Wisconsin.”(emphasis mine)

Note the lack of numbers. Otherwise people might get the crazy idea that Illinois legislators did the responsible thing for the residents of their state. Who realize now is not the time to be laying off more teachers, cutting funds for alternative energy research, laying off firefighters  and police or other public workers – whose wages are spent at businesses Republicans swear they care about. WI Gov. Scott Walker Begs Illinoisans To ‘Escape To Wisconsin’ Where Taxes Are Actually Higher

Conservatives like Walker have insisted on using the figure that Illinois is increasing taxes by a whopping 66 percent. While this is factually accurate, it’s misleading as it makes the tax increase seem much bigger than it actually is. Illinois tax rates will only go from 3 to 5 percent (hence 66 percent increase), representing a total increase in tax rates of just 2 percent. This will allow Illinois to solve a massive $15 billion budget deficit without gutting state programs. But even with this increase, tax rates for individuals will still be lower than in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has different tax brackets; the lowest income rate if you make over $11,000 is 6.15 percent. The highest rate is 7.75 percent. Bloomberg noted this yesterday:

Absent from Walker’s sales pitch was the fact that Wisconsin’s top income tax rates remain higher than Illinois even under the increase … Walker hasn’t yet proposed lowering the state’s income or corporate tax rates.

But this didn’t stop Fox New host Neil Cavuto yesterday from insisting that Illinois is experiencing a “tax storm.”

Neil Cavuto and Fox are to accuracy in reporting what a flim-flam man is to easy riches.

Sarah Palin’s “blood libel” remark filled in a few spaces on the Republican reaction to any tragedy. It painted Republicans as the real victims. It exaggerated any harm done to Palin or conservatives. It exploited a tragedy to paint moderates as evil extremists. It gave Palin yet another opportunity to vent her spiteful petty attitude on the American public. What might have been lost in Palin’s remarks are worth noting. Those who did not, probably now know the history of the term blood libel. Palin’s hijacking the term for political reasons is especially egregious since  Palin once belonged to a church who thought Jews needed to be saved from Judaism,

Palin seems to disdain intellectualism, she’s a vociferous opponent of gun control and she attended a fundamentalist church that hosted Jews for Jesus, which seeks to convert Jews to Christianity. (Palin apparently sat through a speech by a leader of the group in which he said terrorist attacks on Israel were punishment for Israelis’ failure to accept Jesus as the Messiah.)

I’ve lost count of the number of pundits who have made the case that Palin bears no direct blame for the Tucson massacre ( Digby, James Fallows at The Atlantic, Daily Kos and myself to name a few). All premised on the fact the murderer was probably suffering some mental problems and the logical fallacy that a few gun sights on a map do not a murderer make. What does Palin do. She comes along and says we’re wrong. Words can make people murder,

Then she went on to say that “journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.”

So when Palin said “Remember months ago “bullseye” icon used 2 target the 20 Obamacare-lovin’ incumbent seats? We won 18 out of 20 (90% success rate;T’aint bad)”, in Palin’s very own speech – which she had days and tons of help from her advisers – she claims that words do have a direct cause and effect on violence. Remind me again why anyone should ever bother to defend Palin. In case anyone missed it, Joan Walsh, Sarah Palin will never be president – The stunning narcissism and inability to even fake empathy show why she’ll never lead the nation

The narcissism required, on a day the nation is commemorating the Arizona shooting victims, to put her own sense of victimhood front and center, is stunning. The “blood libel” idiocy may be the worst of it, especially given that Giffords herself is Jewish. But that’s not the only thing wrong with her performance. Hilariously, after all the times she’s mocked President Obama for using a teleprompter, you can see a teleprompter screen reflected in her eyeglasses throughout much of her Facebook chat. Seeing the flickering teleprompter in her eyes is eerie; it’s where some flicker of her soul should be, but you don’t see any. Looking into Palin’s eyes, you see a blazing, self-pitying anger that’s shocking, even for the self-described “pit bull in lipstick.”

Republican Hate Speech Did Not Cause Tucson Massacre But They Still Have Blood on Their Hands

There is no straight line cause and effect link between the Tucson murders and the not too subtle Republican references to shooting people to achieve their political agenda ( second amendment solutions, gun sights on a map). Though I say that with a nod to the Right’s contribution to our paranoid and violent culture. There have been some conservatives, who also likely have some mental issues along with their political bent who – in their own words and that of family been inspired by conservative pundits,

In March, Senator Patty Murray received a death threat after voting to reform our nation’s health care system. The potential assassin said she had a target on her back and it would only take one bullet to accomplish his objective. Charles Wilson was arrested and convicted for repeatedly threatening to kill Murray. During the sentencing phase of his trial, Wilson’s cousin submitted a memo to the court arguing for leniency.

The cousin wrote:

“What happened later with Charlie is something I think I can understand. He became basically housebound due to illness and his small world became even smaller. His brother got him a computer and he was able to stay connected with family. And he watched television and found Glenn Beck…I found Glenn Beck about the same time that Charlie did and I understand how his fears were grown and fostered by Mr. Beck’s persuasive personality…While his actions were undeniably wrong and his choices terrible, in part they were the actions of others played out against a very gullible Charlie. He was under the spell that Glenn Beck cast, aided by the turbulent times in our economy.”

Finally, in a jailhouse interview this summer, California gunman Byron Williams said he was inspired by Beck — whom he called his “schoolteacher on TV” — to try to assassinate the staff of a liberal philanthropic foundation in San Francisco.

As tragic and potentially tragic as these wing-nuts have been, freedom of speech is just that. If conservatives want to abuse that freedom to incite the unhinged that is part of the price we pay for freedom. It is a mistake to focus exclusively on the obvious cases of conservatives calling for violence. Republicans have caused far more death and carnage talking about mushroom clouds, that health care reform is a Marxist plot, treating every American as a potential terrorist, raising the retirement age of Social Security while hiding behind the flag and imagining what some guys who wore wooden dentures would do. Is was only right that we go to Afghanistan is pursuit of those who planned the terror attacks of 9-11-2001. In the name of conservative expertise on all things pertaining to national security, our Republican administration outsourced the capture of Osama Bin laden to Pakistan and he escaped. Who says Republicans are against foreign aid.We’ve been counting bodies ever since. That job botched, conservatives in their infinite wisdom, shifted resources – $700 million dollars – to ramp up for the invasion of Iraq. They used some violent rhetoric than, but mostly they talked about patriotism and ties to Al Qaeda and WMD that didn’t exist. No urgent need to head to the bunker or buy flak vests if conservatives talk about killing judges if they do not get the court decisions they want, but there is a straight line between the four thousand plus American dead, over twenty thousand wounded and tens of thousands of dead, including Iraqi children. When Republicans talk about free market solutions ( Sarah Palin, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Fox News) to solve our health care problems ( the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a free market solution) that is the sound of death. While repeal doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, such a repeal by Republicans would sentence 45,000 people to death. Just in terms of pure numbers the deaths caused even tangentially by conservative zealots talking trash pale in comparison. When is it time to keep the kids inside. When conservatives start claiming that cutting taxes to the bone will create a heaven on earth,

Instead, to raise cash, the legislature has pursued a series of wild sell-offs and budget cuts. It privatized the capitol building and leased it back from its new owner, an arrangement that brought in substantial revenue but over time will cost Arizona far more. The legislature has sold off numerous other state properties at bargain prices, and has put up future lottery revenues as collateral on a $450 million loan. Meanwhile, Arizona removed more than 300,000 adults from state health coverage and terminated one health-care program for 47,000 poor children. Funding was slashed at the agency that deals with reports of child abuse and neglect, and also at Children’s Rehabilitative Services, so that parents of children with cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, and a number of other conditions are now required to pay 100 percent of treatment costs.?

All totaled, the cuts amounted to roughly $1 billion, which came on top of a similar amount that had been slashed the previous year. These cuts, in combination with the sale of state assets (which raised more than $700 million) and the securitization of the lottery, plugged a massive hole in next year’s budget. But the deficit for 2011 is already projected to be at least $1 billion and possibly double that, on a total budget of only $9 billion. The situation will only worsen from there, as federal stimulus money dries up and the state runs out of short-term sources of cash. “Could we cut our way out of it mathematically?” Dennis Hoffman, an economist who has forecast revenue for Arizona governors since 1983, mused when I asked him about the crisis. “Anything is possible on paper, but for practical purposes it can’t be done, unless you want to start releasing prisoners, shutting down universities, and eliminating extracurricular activities in the schools. We’ve already had a $2 billion haircut over the past two years. Try another $2 billion and see what the state looks like.”

How many lives will be in shambles, how much suffering will the poorest the oldest, the most vulnerable endure because Republicans think cutting taxes is always the same thing as patriotism. More than have been cut down by loons with a grudge. What kills more Americans than Glenn Beck’s or Bill Reilly’s rants? The Republican cultivation of ignorance, eliminationism, uber nationalism as patriotism and thinly veiled contempt for that document they claim to revere – the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson warned us, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, …it expects what never was and never will be.”

Fall Wheat wallpaper

Fall Wheat wallpaper

Tom DeLay, former U.S. House leader, sentenced to 3 years in prison

Priest said he agreed with a jury’s verdict in November that DeLay had committed a felony by conspiring to launder corporate money into the state election, and ordered bailiffs to take DeLay – wearing a navy blue suit and his trademark American-flag lapel pin – to jail immediately. But he was released when DeLay’s attorneys quickly posted a $10,000 bond.

Priest also sentenced DeLay to five years in prison on a separate felony conviction of money laundering, but agreed to let him serve 10 years of community service instead of jail time for that charge. Priest acknowledged that DeLay – who said he had already raised and spent $10 million on his defense – would appeal the verdict to higher courts.

But he rejected DeLay’s contention that the prosecution’s novel use of a money-laundering statute – meant to target bank robbers, drug dealers and criminal fraud – was unjust.

Its use was justified, Priest said, because the crime for which DeLay was convicted was itself novel. DeLay was accused of approving the transfer of $190,000 in corporate funds to the Republican National Committee’s coffers in Washington and a return of the same amount in checks to state candidates.

[   ]…”I can’t be remorseful for something I don’t think I did,” said DeLay, who had been silent in front of the jury even while he insisted on his innocence during numerous press conferences outside the courtroom.

Delay embodies the Right’s delusional conviction that they can do no wrong. Even if laws were broken, money laundered and the republic itself undermined by such behavior – it is all justified under the higher cause and near religion of Conservatism. That kind of arrogance is a flare, a warning that one is dealing with ideological extremists who are neither guided by or influenced by rationalism or decency.

Watchdog fired by Obama loses appeals case

A three-judge panel rejected appeals Tuesday by Gerald Walpin, a former federal watchdog fired by President Obama in 2009, likely ending his attempts to get back his old job.

[   ]…Two of the three federal appeals court judges who rendered Tuesday’s decision are Republican appointees. Karen LeCraft Henderson, who wrote the unanimous decision, was appointed to the court in 1990 by George H. W. Bush; David S. Tatel was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994; and George W. Bush named Thomas B. Griffith to the appeals court in 2005.

Walpin’s behavior since that incident has been anything but stable. His claim that he loved his job because he thought he was making a contribution to better government is remarkable. Republicans frequently want to have it both ways – to pick up a government paycheck as they use their government posts to spread the gospel of government is always bad in every instance. They seem to take these jobs, then perform poorly to prove they were right about how bad government is.

James Fallows wrote this post on Saturday and it has proved to be some of the most insightful analysis thus far of the Tucson murders, The Cloudy Logic of ‘Political’ Shootings

Shootings of political figures are by definition “political.” That’s how the target came to public notice; it is why we say “assassination” rather than plain murder.

But it is striking how rarely the “politics” of an assassination (or attempt) match up cleanly with the main issues for which a public figure has stood. Some killings reflect “pure” politics: John Wilkes Booth shooting Abraham Lincoln, the German officers who tried to kill Hitler and derail his war plans. We don’t know exactly why James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King, but it must have had a lot to do with civil rights.

[  ]…- Sirhan Sirhan horribly transformed American politics by killing Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, but Sirhan’s political causes had little or nothing to do with what RFK stood for to most Americans.

– It’s not often remembered now, but Manson family member Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme tried to shoot Gerald Ford, again for reasons that would mean nothing to most Americans of that time.

My impression of Loughner so far is that he is another Sirhan or Squeaky Fromme. There is only some incoherent fragments of ideology that seemed to have informed Loughner’s views. His reading material included a bit of the genuine far left and the extreme Right. Yet because of his apparent inability to write anything coherent I tend to have doubt he read more than a few lines from any book. Like Sihan and Squeaky politics were peripheral to his world view. That seems to be confirmed by this interview a friend of his did with Motherjones – Loughner Friend Explains Alleged Gunman’s Grudge Against Giffords

Tierney, who’s also 22, recalls Loughner complaining about a Giffords event he attended during that period. He’s unsure whether it was the same one mentioned in the charges—Loughner “might have gone to some other rallies,” he says—but Tierney notes it was a significant moment for Loughner: “He told me that she opened up the floor for questions and he asked a question. The question was, ‘What is government if words have no meaning?'”

Giffords’ answer, whatever it was, didn’t satisfy Loughner. “He said, ‘Can you believe it, they wouldn’t answer my question,’ and I told him, ‘Dude, no one’s going to answer that,'” Tierney recalls. “Ever since that, he thought she was fake, he had something against her.”

In the days ahead we’re likely to have more insights into what makes Loughner tick. Until then we’ll be treated to some of the most unhinged and dishonest back peddling and blame shifting I’ve seen by the Right. Some people have dared ask the question if Loughners action may have been influenced by the violent metaphors and rhetorician imagery used by the Right, i.e. gun sights targeting Gifford, talk of “second amendment” solutions if the tea nuts do not get their way. I think it is wrong and difficult to prove that listening to some of the same heated rhetoric the right has been using since the days of Watergate and G. Gordon Liddy has a direct connection, a hidden finger on the trigger if you will, to what one lone loon does. Especially in this case where the perpetrator’s grudge against the victim was based on some internalized litmus test concerning government and whether words have meaning. Though just as the Right is whining about its free speech rights to express violent rhetoric, it is certainly fair game for their opponents to use their free speech rights to wonder if the political and cultural climate created by such words contributes to an atmosphere in which violence is an acceptable solution to ideological conflicts.Micheal Moore makes a good point with this Tweet,

If a Detroit Muslim put a map on the web w/crosshairs on 20 pols, then 1 of them got shot, where would he b sitting right now? Just asking.

If Loughlin was a Muslim, the Right would be on an all out Muslim hatefest. Loughlin would have been symbolically tried and hung already. We’re all supposed to play this tragic incidents game by the Right’s rules. They can build up a cultural lynching party for anything they see as an injustice, but moderates cannot even ask questions or wonder out loud. In that light I’ve never known a little thoughtful self reflection to be harmful. Rather than take a moment and merely entertain the idea that words might beget actions, the Right is trying to do what they accuse more moderate Americans of doing. They are shifting the blame to anyone to the left of Eva Braun. Michelle Malkin has worked up a list of people on the non-right, who have mostly said mean things and a few who have indeed behaved very badly. Some of the examples are absurd. A couple comediennes who make a living performing outrageous humor talking about kicking someone’s ass. Obama once using that hackeyed old expression about bringing a knife to a gun fight – because no right-wingers has ever used that phrase. Talk about apples and oranges comparisons. The media in its attempt to be balanced has once again bent itself into an obscene pretzel to point out the poor behavior of both sides – Loughner, Violent Rhetoric and Media False Balance

Yesterday in the New York Times Paul Krugman (1/10/11) suggests that we not pretend that “both sides” are responsible for toxic political rhetoric:

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: It’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Rep. Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the GOP.

…Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at the Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.

Malkin and the other far Right extremists should have the courage to make it a contest. Who can name the most violent acts on either side of the political spectrum. The liberal side is not unblemished and I for one condemn those acts of violence unequally, but liberals are pikers, pests and amateurs when it comes to acts of violence over the past forty years. Rage on the Right – The Year in Hate and Extremism

Hate groups stayed at record levels — almost 1,000 — despite the total collapse of the second largest neo-Nazi group in America. Furious anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009. And, most remarkably of all, so-called “Patriot” groups — militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose “one-world government” on liberty-loving Americans — came roaring back after years out of the limelight.

[  ]…The number of hate groups in America has been going up for years, rising 54% between 2000 and 2008 and driven largely by an angry backlash against non-white immigration and, starting in the last year of that period, the economic meltdown and the climb to power of an African American president.

According to the latest annual count by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), these groups rose again slightly in 2009 — from 926 in 2008 to 932 last year — despite the demise of a key neo-Nazi group. The American National Socialist Workers Party, which had 35 chapters in 28 states, imploded shortly after the October 2008 arrest of founder Bill White for making threats against his enemies.

At the same time, the number of what the SPLC designates as “nativist extremist” groups — organizations that go beyond mere advocacy of restrictive immigration policy to actually confront or harass suspected immigrants — jumped from 173 groups in 2008 to 309 last year. Virtually all of these vigilante groups have appeared since the spring of 2005.

In early 2009 the DHS issued two reports on political extremism and hate groups. Who posed the biggest threat?  The Right –  The Circle of Strife: Right-Wing Furious over DHS Terror Warning. Right-wing murders such as Poplawski, Cummings and Adkisson left no doubt as to who influenced them. They cited people like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly – From Republican Rhetoric to Right-Wing Terror. Hate speech, which mentioned using murder as a way to fight back against “liberal tyranny”, was not just used by a few tea nuts on a corner somewhere but by well known conservative leaders such as Michelle Bachmann(R-MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Peter King(R-NY) and Tom Delay (R-TX). It is largely right-wing conservatives who are organized into groups who espouse violence as a legitimate political tool.

If all the false equalvalincecies of the Right were not enough, there is the blame shifting. It figures that Jim Holt at gateway Pundit would be leading the charge. Holt is so desperate to make Loughlin into a liberal he is willing to post fake web sites created by other wing-nuts as proof – Shameless: Jim Hoft Falls For Fake Facebook Profile In Attempt To Link Loughner To Obama

In the wake of Saturday’s tragic shooting in Arizona, Gateway Pundit and Breitbart blogger Jim Hoft has been on a one man mission to prove that the deranged shooter was a “typical leftist nut.” This morning, Hoft posted what he seems to think is bulletproof evidence supporting this thesis, but, as is usually the case with him, it is merely evidence that someone as hackishly irresponsible as Hoft should have no role in our national political discourse.

Hoft headlines his latest post “Whoops! This Changes Things- Loughner’s Hero Was Barack Obama,” then proceeds to breathlessly exclaim that “Killer Jared Loughner idolized Barack Obama.”

He sources this scoop to “The Examiner” “via Free Republic” and links to a blog post by Anthony Martin at Examiner.com. In the portion of his post excerpted by Hoft, Martin writes:

Even more curious are Loughner’s ‘heroes.’  He mentions by name Venezuelan Communist Hugo Chavez, Latin American Communist mass-murderer Che Guevara, American Socialist revolutionary Saul Alinsky, and even Barack Obama.

The link takes you to the Free Republic message board, where a commenter by the name of “Scanian” writes:

From facebook for a Jared Laughner from Tuscon, Arizona, the man named as the shooter. People who inspire him include Barack Obama, Saul Alinsky, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Huo Chavez, Noam Chomsky, Mao Tse-tung, Joseph Stalin, and Yassir Arafat. He writes “Fight the Right! Obama and the Progressives will overcome the tyrrany of big business and the racist Tea Party.

BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!

You’ll notice a glaring problem with this assertion: namely, that the shooter’s name was Jared LOughner, not “Laughner.” (The spelling of his name was originally misreported by several media outlets.)

On Saturday, several people created fake profiles for the shooter, including this one, captured by Voices of Central Pennsylvania, a monthly community newspaper. Voices wrote that the Facebook  page for “Jared Laughner” – since taken down – lists “People Who Inspire Jared” as including Obama and added: “With images of President Obama, various noted intellectuals and leftists, a statement indicating homosexuality preferences, and anti Tea Party and revolutionary slogans, it seems possible that it was a deliberate attempt to distribute disinformation.”

That Hoft would reprint the outrageous assertion that Loughner idolized Obama – based on a random commenter on a fringe message board that provided no evidence for his assertion – says a lot about his complete lack of journalistic integrity. It’s also completely in character for him.

Holt has scrubbed the post from his site, but MM has a screenshot. I did not think much about it at the time, but a few months ago right-wing bloggers were having a big circle jerk over a list of a supposed socialist organization with many Democratic members of Congress listed as belonging. This fake web site stuff has apparently become a common tactic among wing-nuts.

Tide Change Sea Shore wallpaper

Tide Change Sea Shore wallpaper

 

Rep. Peter King, R-NY has offered material support to terrorists. Acts would would result in jail for anyone else. But as the Bush era proved Republicans can get way with pretty much anything –  IRA terror victim speaks out against Rep. Peter King, R-NY

Now that Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., has assumed the chairmanship of the House Homeland Security committee and is promoting hearings on Muslim “radicalization,” there’s been a burst of media coverage surrounding his decades-long support for the IRA, the Irish terrorist group, which he broke with only recently, in 2005.

But for Tom Parker, an official at Amnesty International in Washington who hails from Britain, the distaste for King is personal. As Parker notes in a new Op-Ed, and explained further in an interview with Salon Thursday, he survived an IRA terrorist bombing in 1990 when he was 21.

“I have no problem with his support for a unified Ireland. What really bothers me is the hypocrisy of the man,” says Parker, who is now policy director for terrorism, counterterrorism and human rights at Amnesty International USA.

It was King’s designation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a terrorist that prompted Parker to go public. Parker himself is critical of Assange, “but to call him a terrorist when you have supported people who actually blow stuff up, it seemed to me that was really beyond the pale,”…

In a recent post I noted the cherry picking conservatives were doing to show red states were setting an example for the rest of the country. Low taxes and minimal regulations were the main reasons for the red state miracles. Those would be the same red states which collect more federal dollars than they contribute. And this is not to pick on red states per se. Lots of descent hard-working Americans are struggling in those states as everywhere else. Which is exactly the point. Those states are, despite claims to the contrary,  not immune from the slow job recovery we seem to be having and the loss of state revenue – The Texas Omen

And that reality has implications for the nation as a whole. For Texas is where the modern conservative theory of budgeting — the belief that you should never raise taxes under any circumstances, that you can always balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending — has been implemented most completely. If the theory can’t make it there, it can’t make it anywhere.

How bad is the Texas deficit? Comparing budget crises among states is tricky, for technical reasons. Still, data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggest that the Texas budget gap is worse than New York’s, about as bad as California’s, but not quite up to New Jersey levels.

The point, however, is that just the other day Texas was being touted as a role model (and still is by commentators who haven’t been keeping up with the news). It was the state the recession supposedly passed by, thanks to its low taxes and business-friendly policies. Its governor boasted that its budget was in good shape thanks to his “tough conservative decisions.”

Oh, and at a time when there’s a full-court press on to demonize public-sector unions as the source of all our woes, Texas is nearly demon-free: less than 20 percent of public-sector workers there are covered by union contracts, compared with almost 75 percent in New York.

A brief review of who the Right thinks the bad guys are. ACORN –  a community organization that promoted a combination of sweat equity and the power of the ballot to empower low-income Americans – to help them fully participate in our country and economy. The Right decided they were evil. George Soros and Tides – a flimsy cobbling together of conspiracy theories that would make even the most imaginative comic book writer blush at the incredulity. Unlike the bed wetting keyboard warriors on the Right, Soros has actually risked his life fighting communism and fascism. They declared war on science and scientists who dared come to scientific conclusions which contradicted the beliefs beamed to the Right via the wing-nut grapevine. In other words anyone or any organization that stands up for the rights of the average American or stands up for reason, surely makes its way onto the Right’s hit list. In the months ahead look for public employees and their unions to be the next target, The Shameful Attack on Public Employees

The final Republican canard is that bargaining rights for public employees have caused state deficits to explode. In fact there’s no relationship between states whose employees have bargaining rights and states with big deficits. Some states that deny their employees bargaining rights – Nevada, North Carolina, and Arizona, for example, are running giant deficits of over 30 percent of spending. Many that give employees bargaining rights — Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Montana — have small deficits of less than 10 percent.

Public employees should have the right to bargain for better wages and working conditions, just like all employees do. They shouldn’t have the right to strike if striking would imperil the public, but they should at least have a voice. They often know more about whether public programs are working, or how to make them work better, than political appointees who hold their offices for only a few years.

Don’t get me wrong. When times are tough, public employees should have to make the same sacrifices as everyone else. And they are right now. Pay has been frozen for federal workers, and for many state workers across the country as well.

What are Republican priorities? Not full employment. Not laying the ground work for an economic recovery through alternative energy and innovative technology. Not looking out the Joe and Jane Average and their rights. Above all else the well off must be protected from any tax increases. No one loves taxes, but at some point fighting small temporary tax increases to save the few at the expense of the many becomes self defeating for everyone.

Republicans Are Lying About The CBO, Health Care Reform and the Deficit

The American Spectator, for those not old enough to remember, was one of the right-wing rags that was part of the vast right-wing conspiracy to go after the Clintons in the 90s with every kind of smear, unfounded gossip and bald-faced lies that could dream up. There is no reason any rational person should believe the rantings of an organization that deals exclusively in character assassination, wild baseless accusations and right-wing spin. They writes about repealing health care reform, BREAKING: CBO Says Repealing ObamaCare Would Reduce Net Spending by $540 Billion ( the link also gives one a look at the genuflecting right-wing bloggers who echo these assertions without doing the slightest bit of fact checking)

The Congressional Budget Office, in an email to Capitol Hill staffers obtained by the Spectator, has said that repealing the national health care law would reduce net spending by $540 billion in the ten year period from 2012 through 2021. That number represents the cost of the new provisions, minus Medicare cuts. Repealing the bill would also eliminate $770 billion in taxes. It’s the tax hikes in the health care law (along with the Medicare cuts) which accounts for the $230 billion in deficit reduction.

Whether the alleged e-mail is real or they have extracted parts of it without some important coveats is up for speculation. The CBO itself says no such thing and the CBO punishes it’s finding to the public on its own blog, Additional Information on CBO’s Preliminary Analysis of H.R. 2

CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have not yet developed a detailed estimate of the budgetary impact of H.R. 2, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, which would repeal the major health care legislation enacted in March 2010. Yesterday, we released a preliminary analysis of that legislation indicating that, over the 2012-2021 period, the effect of enacting H.R. 2 on the federal budget as a result of changes in direct spending and revenues is likely to be an increase in deficits in the vicinity of $230 billion, plus or minus the effects of forthcoming technical and economic changes to CBO’s and JCT’s projections for that period.

We have been asked to provide the revenue and direct spending components of that total. Extrapolating the estimated budgetary effects of the original health care legislation and accounting for the effects of subsequent legislation, CBO anticipates that enacting H.R. 2 would probably yield, for the 2012-2021 period, a reduction in revenues in the neighborhood of $770 billion and a reduction in outlays in the vicinity of $540 billion, plus or minus the effects of forthcoming technical and economic changes to CBO’s and JCT’s projections.

Republicans are have given their bill to repeal health care reform the inane name Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. As the CBO reports repeal of health care reform will result in a net increase to the deficit of  $230 billion. Republicans and blog trolls who respond to these numbers are pretty desperate to sound like they know better often citing – without any numbers or evidence, that these numbers are wrong. Without hard facts those claims are baseless lies. The opinions of armchair conservative clowns. The NYT also analyized the  numbers and the CBO report and found that the American Spectator and Boehner(R-OH) are lying. The Job-Killing Health Care Law Act would cost tax payers $145 billion from 2012 to 2019 and by $230 billion between 2012 and 2021. In addition the Republican bill would take away insurance from as many as 54 million American workers. The new Republican House of Representatives have been in power for three days and they are already breaking promises about openness and transparency (from the NYT link) –

At Mr. Boehner’s news conference, reporters peppered him with questions about repealing the law — including the cost analysis and a plan by Republicans not to allow amendments on the repeal measure even though the party had promised to maintain a more open legislative process.

“Well, listen, I promised a more open process,” Mr. Boehner said. “I didn’t promise that every single bill was going to be an open bill.”

Mr. Boehner grew testy when a reporter noted that Democrats who controlled the Senate were unlikely to bring up the repeal measure, let alone support it, and that Mr. Obama could veto it.

“Don’t you think it’s a waste of time?” Mr. Boehner was asked.

“No, I do not,” he said, raising his voice. “I believe it’s our responsibility to do what we said we were going to do. And I think it’s pretty clear to the American people the best health care system in the world is going to go down the drain if we don’t act.”

Boehner and his mindless immoral Republican sycophants are in fact the death panel party. Repealing health care reform will condemn 45,000 Americans to death annually.The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Debunking False Claims About Health Reform, Jobs, and the Deficit

Claims that health reform will destroy jobs by harming the economy are sharply at odds with the findings of leading non-partisan experts. [5]

* House Republicans have charged that the bill will destroy jobs by adding greatly to businesses’ costs.  In fact, health reform is unlikely to raise most businesses’ health insurance premiums.  CBO estimates that it will reduce premiums for employers with more than 50 workers — who account for 70 percent of the total insurance market — by up to 3 percent by 2016.  For small employers, the estimated change in premiums ranges from an increase of 1 percent to a reduction of 2 percent. [6]
* Similarly, Moody’s Analytics says that the Affordable Care Act’s “net long-run impact on the economy will be minor” and that any disincentives from higher Medicare payroll taxes “will hardly make a difference.” [7]  Moody’s also points out that “there is the potential for the new law to reduce ‘job lock,’ when workers stay in a particular job because they are afraid of losing their insurance. . . .  If the bill works as planned, Americans will be more able to switch jobs and open new businesses.”  The result would be a more productive economy.
* The health reform law may also have other positive impacts on the economy.  Expanding health coverage improves health outcomes by helping people obtain preventive and other health services and improving continuity of care. [8]  CBO has suggested that this could enhance the nation’s economic productivity.[9]

 

And a related article – ‘Job-killing’ regulation? ‘Job-killing’ spending? Let’s kill this GOP canard. And here – Harvard Economist Estimates Health Repeal Would Destroy Up To 400,000 Jobs Per Year Over Decade. CBPP also debunks the claims about costs and those baseless accounting gimmicks – ‘

Claim: The law uses a gimmick to make it appear fiscally responsible: its biggest spending increases don’t take effect for four years, so CBO’s cost estimate for the first decade (2010-2019) includes ten years of revenue increases but only six years of significant spending.  The unstated implication of this charge is that in subsequent decades, when ten years of revenue increases are accompanied by ten years of spending increases, the law will greatly increase deficits.

Fact: There is no gimmick here, and this charge is groundless.  CBO estimates that the law will reduce deficits not only over the 2010-2019 decade, but in the second decade and subsequent decades.  In fact, the law will reduce deficits by more in subsequent decades than in the first decade, because its most important cost-saving measures are phased in and produce larger savings over time.

And two separate reports: Health Reform Will Reduce the Deficit Charges of Budgetary Gimmickry Are Unfounded and No Evidence for House Republican Charge that Health Reform Is a “Job-Killer”. Republicans, who as exemplified during the Bush and Reagan years know how to kill jobs better than a an exterminator knows how to kill pests. Taking job creation advice from these guys is like taking nation building advice from Dick Cheney. Perrspectives also has an easy to read run down of the latest round of Pravdaish disinformation disseminated by the Pants on Fire Party, CBO: GOP Health Care Repeal Adds $230 Billion to Deficit. Honor and integrity have never been the Right’s strong suits. Those virtues seem to trip them up at every turn. It has been said we cannot have a strong and enlightened republic with an uniformed citizenry. That seems to be the Right’s major goal.

If Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) is evil socialism than why do so many Republicans want to participate in the version of Obamacare we have set up for members of Congress – Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) Justifies His Government Health Insurance: ‘I’m Actually Lowering’ The Premiums For Older Congressmen

One of the first orders of business in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is a move to repeal the landmark health care reform law that was passed last March. However, following Rep. Andy Harris’s (R-MD) infamous rant about the delay in his congressional health care coverage, the media is beginning to question whether the GOP is hypocritical for decrying the specter of “government-run health care,” yet accepting government-sponsored health care plans for themselves.

For instance, yesterday, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) justified accepting government-subsidized health care for himself because, “God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation…That can happen to anyone.” In an interview with ThinkProgress, Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA) said that he supported congressmen receiving government-sponsored health coverage because “it’s not unreasonable to offer those benefits.” Seven Republican congressmen, however, are trying to remain consistent by opting out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan.

This week, ThinkProgress caught up with Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) to ask whether he would be joining his colleagues in rejecting government-sponsored health care for himself, given his push to repeal health care reform for the nation. Schock told us the “only” reason he would stay on the congressional health care plan because he was “a 27-year-old single male” who was “actually lowering” the premiums of his older colleagues. He also brushed off the notion that this was hypocritical on his part, calling them “completely separate issues,” despite the numerous similarities including taxpayer subsidies and a highly-regulated exchange:

SCHOCK: It is, yeah. I had Blue Cross Blue Shield when I came here as a 27-year-old single male. I paid about $80 a month. And now, because I’m in a risk pool with a bunch of older seniors, my health care costs me $170 a month now for the same Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage. So I think it’s kind of interesting how people make such a big deal out of the health care coverage we have, which is not bad by any means. But I haven’t given it much thought because quite frankly I think I’m helping out the institution by lowering the risk pool for some of my older guys.

TP: I just know there are a lot of people who have made the hypocrisy charge, that there’s an average of $700 per month in taxpayer subsidies on these employee government health care plans, yet saying that the general public is not getting the same types of subsidies and help in buying health insurance for themselves.

SCHOCK: No, I get that argument. The only thing I would submit is because I’m an outlier in the group, I’m actually lowering the…(crosstalk)…When you’re under 30 in a body of…but, so.

TP2: Sir, you receive taxpayer subsidies even though you do have a lower rate. And you’re within a pool that’s highly regulated, as health reform does for the rest of the nation. Don’t you think it’s fair if you’re going to repeal health reform for everyone else, you should at least reject this subsidized, highly-regulated plan that members of Congress and their staff benefit from?

SCHOCK: No, I really actually think they’re completely separate issues.

TP2: Why’s that?

SCHOCK: Because I don’t think what we do with the health care bill has anything to do with what kind of health insurance programs members of Congress pay for.

TP2: No, it’s quite similar. There’s an exchange, there’s subsidies, just like you benefit from an exchange and subsidies, that are paid for by taxpayers.

SCHOCK: Well, I think the bill we voted on is completely different.

Schock cannot be specific about the differences because there are much in the way of differences. he pays for some of his insurance out-of-pocket and tax payers pick up the tab for the other part. Schock sees government as a way to benefit conservatives just as they see government as a way to fill the pockets of business via crony capitalism. Everyone else can get out their hat and try to catch some of the crumbs as they trickle down. If Schocks twisted pretzel logic was not enough – Some Republicans embrace their federal healthcare plans

At least two new GOP members of Congress said they’ll keep the plans some of their colleagues have shunned.

Rep. Joe Heck’s (R-Nev.) office and Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) said they’ll take advantage of the insurance coverage they’re eligible for through the Federal Employees Health Benefits program — the same health insurance available to other federal employees. The plan is not a single-payer system, but offers different private plans from which federal employees can choose.

“What am I, not supposed to have health care?” Grimm told The New York Daily News. “It’s practicality. I’m not going to become a burden for the state because I don’t have health care, and God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation.”

But Grimm and Heck would gladly condemn millions of Americans to the emergency room health care plan. You wait until you are in agonizing pain or at death’s door then go to the ER. Everyone ends up paying those bills – being a burden” to the state.