I wrote a post once about how conservatives latch onto a recent news item and give it their spin. The spin consists of all or several components – outright lies, various degrees of distortion, the sin of omission – these frequently forget to mention that conservatives did or said the same thing. Conservatives claim there are WMD in Iraq. They’re proven wrong. Days, weeks and sometimes months go by. Conservatives claim they have found new evidence of WMD. We all go over to Fox or NBC or wherever and wait for this amazing news to break. Once again it turns out conservatives have manufactured their own reality. It has been a couple of weeks since the whole Limbaugh controversy with Sandra Fluke and a couple of years since the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that in the long run the ACA would indeed save money. So no surprise that both those issues are up for some conservative spin recycling. They are using the same lies and distortions as the first time. One assumes they think everyone will buy the same bull if it given a fresh coat of shrill. The quiet voice of evil, the Nurse Ratched of conservatism Victor Davis Hanson ( an intellectual – it says so all over conservative web sites that publish his drool) makes the new fresh and invigorating observation that Bill Maher’s insult of Sarah Palin is actually worse than Limbaugh’s is of Sandra Fluke and other women. I wrote about how absurd the comparison was here that included condemning Maher for his remark. My facts and clarity about false equivalence seem such puny things now compared to the razor-sharp insights of the great conservative intellectual Hanson,
David Axelrod’s moral-equivalence argument that Limbaugh’s smear is worse than Maher’s because the former is both more influential and more identifiable with Republican circles is a sad sort of sophistry. Limbaugh may have a larger audience, but I suspect if you googled “Rush Limbaugh” and compared it to “Bill Maher,” the so-called hits would be about the same, given the latter’s ability, through political profanity and contrived P.T. Barnum–like antics, to find enormous publicity and influence beyond what his mediocre talents as a comedian might otherwise earn.
Hanson suspects that “the so-called hits would be about the same”! Ever consider that possibility? I know I certainly hadn’t.
If only there were a way to determine whether it’s true!
… Oh, wait — I’ve been informed by an eight-year-old that there actually is a way to determine whether it’s true:
Google “Rush Limbaugh”
Search About 32,200,000 results (0.29 seconds)
Google “Bill Maher”
Search About 14,500,000 results (0.18 seconds)
Ye old Google Hits Speculation Theorem. Only in this case not only did it not prove Hanson’s case, it proved that Hanson was too lazy to try it himself – all that typing and hitting enter. All beneath the great man. This election cycle Maher has given a million bucks to a Obama PAC. So declared allegiances or not, at least for this election cycle that makes him a Democratic supporter. Has Maher, previous to this year ever headed a fundraiser for a Senate candidate from any party? No. Limbaugh has, including one for John Cronyn(R-TX). When asked to condemn Limbaugh’s remarks about Iraq military veterans who opposed the war in Iraq, Limbaugh had called them all “phony soldiers” – Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Orrin Hatch(R-UT) defended Limbaugh. has any Democratic president ever sent Maher a letter thinking him for helping get Democrats elected? No. Limbaugh did receive a letter from Reagan which he thanked him “for all you’re doing to promote Republican and conservative principles … [and] you have become the Number One voice for conservatism in our Country.” Any high-ranking Democratic officials think Maher is the Number One voice for moderate Democrats like Obama. Limbaugh was given a broadcast award by the loony conservative media watchers at Media Research Center run by a conservative Brent Bozell ( a morally twisted character that regularly frequents Fox News. Even heard of Bill Maher being given an award by an actual Democratic organization or think-tank for his work on behalf of Democrats. No, because Maher is an outsider. he is wealthy and has a fair-sized soap box in the media, but he is not a Democratic activists, fundraiser and ideological leader the way Limbaugh is. For those who do not keep up with conservative gatherings, CPAC is their big annual conference. CPAC is hosted by the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF), a 501(c)3 charity. Speakers have included Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Pat Buchanan, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tony Snow, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. A gathering or morally confused freaks, so it makes sense that Limbaugh should be a speaker. Clearly Maher does not like conservatives, especially social conservatives and the neocons. he has never made a political speech at a large Democratic meeting urging the take down of a sitting conservative president. Now all of that took a few minutes. I did not get paid to do the research. Unlike Hanson I am not on wing-nut welfare at the Hoover Institute. Maybe the deal with conservative intellectuals is that when they pronounce their ever so grave and serious judgement, they don’t need no stink’n arguments that include evidence. They say things. Like the gods, the mere act of speaking makes their words true.
Back in 2009 the CBO released its analysis of the Affordable care Act (ACA) and found that it would save the nation – government and individuals – money. So of course the conservatives lies started – OK they had already started and the CBO report gave them something to either distort or claim the CBO had been taken over by Maoists from Mars. A few of us have noticed that some years have gone by since than and we had another analysis – with a new time frame – you know because time passes and all – so like clockwork more conservatives lies – No, Obamacare’s Cost Didn’t Just Double. Sigh.
But there is nothing new or surprising about this. It’s only slightly more money than the previous year’s outlays. The ten-year number seems to jump only because the time frame for the estimate has moved, dropping one year, 2011, and adding another, 2022. Obamacare has virtually no outlays in 2011, because the Medicaid expansion and subsidies don’t start up until 2014, which means the shifting time frame drops a year of no implementation and adds one of full implementation.
Still, doesn’t that just validate what the law’s critics have always said, that the administration was playing games to hide the program’s true impact on the deficit? Hardly. Remember, this is just the raw cost of expanding insurance coverage we’re talking about here—in other words, the money the federal government is sending out the door. The new law also calls for new revenue, in the form of taxes and penalties. It also reduces spending, mostly through Medicare, to help offset the cost of the coverage expansion. When the Affordable Care Act became law, CBO estimated that the net result of all these changes, taken together, would be to reduce the deficit. Now, with this revised estimate, CBO has decided the law will reduce the deficit by even more money.
Yes, you read that right: The real news of the CBO estimate is that, according to its models, health care reform is going to save even more taxpayer dollars than previously thought.
As I wrote about Saturday conservatives in Congress have their own privatized boondoggle. On the surface and only the surface it looks like the ACA except it is a way to finally end Medicare. So it remains strange that they oppose Obamacare – which is really Romneycare – which was based on a conservative plan endorsed by the far Right Heritage Foundation. If this makes no sense it is because many people like to have some guiding principles in the way they view things and aspects of public policy they would like to see improved. Conservatives have no guiding moral principles per se. Thus they can have all kinds of conflicting opinions. Krugman takes note in this brief blog posts about how things work in Conservaistan, The Mighty Wurlitzer in Action
Read the comments on today’s column and you’ll find many, many references to the alleged fact that the estimated cost of the ACA has risen by a trillion dollars — which happens to be a complete lie.
The remarkable thing is how quickly the lie has become part of what everyone on the right knows. And even if some of the people citing this “fact” could somehow be convinced that it wasn’t so, they’d brush it off, because there’s such a pattern of liberal duplicity, demonstrated by lots of other supposed facts — all of which are also lies.
This is the reality of modern American politics: a large and cohesive bloc of voters lives in an alternative reality, fed fake facts by Fox and Rush — whom they listen to out of tribal affiliation — and completely unaware that it’s all fiction.
It’s also, by the way, why attempts at outreach by Obama will fail. Even if he gives the GOP 95 percent of what it wants, these voters will never hear about it; they will still know, just know, that he’s a radical bent on destroying America.
One of the psychological hurdles that the general public has to get over after fifty plus years of conservatives wrapping their pure unadulterated crap in the flag and the Bible, is that they do not and will never love the USA. They love America as Pottersville. They love the dream of a future USA as some dysfunctional kingdom with half the population as serfs – a professional class to attend to their needs – and the ruling overlords – the plutocracy. They are almost there. Like Frederick Douglas I believe that work is good for one’s character and that people who work should be rewarded. Conservatives want everyone to believe that the 1% are the hardest working people in America and we must not do anything to upset them – the rest fo us, the people who do actual work – are the leeches. Conservatives are the people who lied us into Iraq and spent a trillion dollars to rebuild it, than raged against any bill that would help average Americans. It was a conservative administration with help from Congressional conservatives who bailed out Wall Street and calls the people who were reduced to collecting food stamps, because of Wall Street’s criminality, lazy. When is the last time Limbaugh or the Koch brothers cut their own lawn or waxed their own limos.
Just recently a Goldman Sachs executive blow the whistle on Goldman. Why is Goldman – one of the major players in bringing about the financial meltdown able to be back up to speed, engaging in the same outrageous behavior they were before the recession. One of the people you can thank is Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA). Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) Weakened Restrictions On Goldman Sachs Abuses Aired By Whistleblower
In his public resignation letter in today’s New York Times, former Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith said that one of the fastest ways to get ahead with the firm is to persuade clients “to invest in the stocks or other products that [the firm is] trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit.” He lambastes a firm culture where colleagues openly boast of “ripping their clients off.”
The sad thing is, this sort of shady might well have been on the way to being curtailed if not for the actions of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA). After Brown was elected to the senate in 2010, he threatened to join a Republican filibuster of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, using that threat to significantly water down the bill. Among the industry-favored concessions he extracted was weakening of the “Volcker rule,” which was meant to curb risky speculative investments that do not benefit customers.
brown was sweep into the Senate on a wave of tea bagger propaganda. Always one to be substanceless, no wonder Brown has been caught using the late liberal lion Sen. Ted Kennedy for political cover. Brown is a kind of poster boy for early 21st century politics, he stands for everything and nothing. He sticks his finger into the wind and tries to gauge what will keep him in office. If that means screwing over working class Americans, he is obviously glad to do that. If it means flip and flopping on women’s rights he’ll do that so often no one knows what he stands for. If it means being a puppet for the same people who brought the nation to its economic knees he’ll recite Goldman talking points verbatim.