Friday, October 11, 2013

Conservative Says Government Should Not Be Involved In Healthcare; Has Ten Kids Enrolled In Medicaid

Yet another wonderful example of government for me, not for thee:

"I don't think that the government should be involved in health care or health insurance," says Greg Collett, a 41-year-old software developer in Caldwell, Idaho, who would rather pay the fine for now -- $95 the first year -- than signup. "I calculated it out and it is cheaper for me for the next four years to pay the fine rather than get coverage," Collett said. "At some point where it would make financial sense to pay for insurance rather than pay fines, I will make the decision from a financial standpoint."...Collett counts himself among the 29 percent of people who said in an NBCNews/Kaiser poll they are angry about the health reform law. "The issue for me is that it is not the proper role of government," he said. Collett, who is married and has 10 children, says the kids are covered by Medicaid, the joint state-federal health insurance plan for people with low income and children who are not covered. But it's "absolutely not okay," that they are, Collett says quickly. "There are a lot of people out there that'll cry foul." Collett, whose children are home-schooled, likens taking Medicaid to sending children to public school. He also does not approve of government-funded public schools. "The government is taking your money. They are spending it on things they shouldn't be," he says. "Trying to get whatever you can back -- I have nothing against that. You have to at some point try and get your tax dollars back."

As usual, try and contain your shock.

I like how Danielle Boone here, tries to defend having his children suck on the government teat by not really defending it at all. Not that I'm suggesting he take his kids off medicaid or anything (no need to deprive them of antibiotics just so their dad can make some stupid political point), but it's just amusing that this dude thinks it's okay to be oppressed by the government in this specific instance as long as you're angry about it. Hell, he seems like he's trying to make up for that by not enrolling his kids in public (read: GOVERNMENT) schools.

Admirable effort, Greg. But sadly, you're still part 47 percenter.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Former Speechwriter For President Bush, Marc Thiessen Admits Republican Plan Is To Crash The Economy With Debt Ceiling

One of the most bizarre things that I've witnessed in all my years of following politics (and believe me, there's a LOT) is the Republican messaging on the debt ceiling. It is incredibly muddled, far more so than their messaging on the government shutdown, which itself is also quite muddled. Since the Summer of 2011, when this debt ceiling crap began, Republicans have been very careful to not actually go into detail about the potential dangers that would come about from defaulting on the debt. 

When pressed, the most anyone would say about it was that the treasury could prioritize our payments, deciding who gets paid and who gets screwed (this possibility doesn't seem likely, by the way). The reason most wouldn't come right out and discuss the consequences of such an action is cause people would come to realize that the GOP is in fact, made up of a bunch of nihilistic sociopaths.

Not raising the debt ceiling would have catastrophic effects throughout the global economy, which would no doubt cause us to dip back into a recession, one that would be significantly worse than the one that resulted from the 2008 crash. Republicans would have you believe that that's just an exaggeration and that things would be fine and dandy. Of course, that's a load of horseshit, because if there were no serious negative repercussions for doing such a thing, then what the hell would be the point of holding it hostage? What incentive would Obama or anyone have for giving into Republican demands? The whole point of taking a hostage is to compel your enemy to offer you something in return for their safety. And this only works if the hostage is someone (or something) that the person you're extracting concessions from, actually cares about.

That's exactly the point that former speechwriter for President Bush, Marc Thiessen, makes in an absolutely stunning column on the Washington Post:

Obama has accused Republicans of hostage taking. Let’s be clear: I’m all for taking hostages. Both sides do it all the time. But one of the first things they teach you in Hostage Taking 101 is that you have to choose a hostage the other side cares about saving. Obama and the Democrats don’t care about stopping a government shutdown. With a shutdown, Republicans are essentially putting a gun to their own heads and threatening to pull the trigger if the Democrats don’t capitulate. Not surprisingly, it’s not working.

Some congressional Republicans can’t seem to get it though their heads: When it comes to a government shutdown they . . . have . . .no . . . leverage. By contrast, when it comes to the debt-limit showdown, they do have leverage; while Obama can let the government close and blame the GOP, he cannot allow the United States to default. 
As former treasury secretary Timothy Geithner explained during the last debt-limit standoff, the effects of default would be “catastrophic,” resulting in the “loss of millions of American jobs,” and would have an economic impact “potentially much more harmful than the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.” Obama will not permit an economic crisis worse than 2008-09 and the “loss of millions of American jobs” on his watch. He has no choice but to negotiate with GOP leaders and cut a deal to avoid a government default.

To my recollection, this breathtaking passage is the clearest and most candid admission of the GOP's strategy from any right-winger ever.

Let me be clear. The fact that the Republicans are planning to destroy the economy if they don't get their way isn't news - everyone already knows this - it's the fact that Thiessen is brazenly admitting it out loud!

I mean, seriously, it needs to be quoted again and again and again:

Obama will not permit an economic crisis worse than 2008-09 and the “loss of millions of American jobs” on his watch.

Here you have Thiessen arguing that Obama won't allow the Republicans to destroy millions of jobs. Remember, Obama is supposed to be the bad guy in all this!

You can't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

GOP Rep Inadvertently Demonstrates Why Obama Cannot Compromise On Obamacare Even An Inch

So the Republicans have come up with a strategy on how to avoid blame for shutting down the government. It's a two-pronged plan. The first part consists of Republicans insisting that it is in fact, the president, and not them, the party who proudly declares how much they hate government, who wants to shut down the government (a.k.a. the "I know you are but what am I?!" gambit). The second part, which has taken shape for the past week or so, is equally idiotic.

To quickly review, when this inane battle first started, the House sent a bill funding everything in the government, EXCEPT Obamacare. It was then sent over to the Senate, where Harry Reid used it to line his bird cage. After that, the House sent another bill that would allow a one year long delay in the individual mandate, thus settling for merely crippling the law as opposed to outright destroying it. Republicans have now used this little trick to prove that they're the ones being reasonable, while mean old Harry Reid and Obama are being stubborn jerks.

This is of course, an absurd proposition. At first glance it might not seem particularly offensive, but that's only because Republicans started off from a completely insane opening bid: the complete destruction of Obamacare. Anything short of that would seem, to the average viewer who doesn't follow this sort of thing closely, uncontroversial, and they may very well think the president is being pigheaded by not wanting to negotiate.

But that's not the case at all. If some random gunman kidnaps one's daughter and threatens to kill her, this does not make the parent equally "extreme" for expecting her to come out of this alive. Nor would be a reasonable "compromise" if the gunman agreed to let her live but keeps part of her arm.

So had Republicans doing just that earlier today on CNN. Ashleigh Banfield invited GOP Reps Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to talk about the looming shutdown. Both whined about how the Democrats weren't willing to negotiate at all on Obamacare and Banfield asked why the House attached an amendment to defund Obamacare to the continuing resolution, knowing that it would cause massive problems. Her explanation included this important piece, which Blackburn said without even a hint of self awareness (Apologies, can't embed the video for some dumb reason, but it starts at 4:00):

This year, they [the Senate] did pass a budget, but then they said "Okay House, we're not going to negotiate with you unless you agree to a tax increase." We weren't gonna do that.

Yes, in a tirade about the Democrats being uncompromising, she unwittingly points out how uncompromising she and her fellow Republicans were as well.

Now you might be thinking whether any of this is relevant, in which case, yes it is. Imagine if, after President Bush enacted his tax cuts, the Democratic House, under Nancy Pelosi offered a continuing resolution bill that had an amendment that repealed all those tax cuts. Obviously, Bush and his Republicans wouldn't take such a demand seriously. So then Pelosi and the Dems send an amended bill that would raise the rates from 35% to 37% as opposed to the original 39.6% they used to be. Would Republicans accept such a "compromise"? HELL NO! It would be mocked endlessly, and be laughed out of the room. Republicans would never even entertain the idea of raising those taxes even by a penny.

And yet we're supposed to believe that it's perfectly fine if Republicans offer this bullshit "compromise" on Obamacare? Republicans would never compromise on taxes, so why should Obama and the Democrats ever compromise on health care reform? The idea that the President should willingly chip away at his signature achievement is something that no self respecting journalist should take seriously.