Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Newest, Oddest Conspiracy Theory From Republicans On Obamacare: Obama Secretly Agrees With Halbig Decision On Subsidies

Have any of you heard of Gruber-gate? It's the hip, new "scandal" that all the conservative kids are talking about nowadays! See, last week, the U.S. court of appears for the District of Columbia ruled in a 2-1 decision that health insurance subsidies would not be eligible to people who were in states that didn't have a state insurance exchange. This was definitely not good news for President Obama and his allies. Many on the pro-Obamacare side have argued that the rationale for panel's ruling makes no sense whatsoever:

The 4th Circuit has the most plausible, commonsense reading of a badly drafted part of a 2,400-page statute. The alternative is that Congress included in Obamacare the seeds of its own destruction, giving naysaying governors the power to kill it—without ever saying so. The history of passing this law was full of devious twists and turns, but that form of willful self-destruction is not among them.

The anti-Obamacare crowd however, obviously disagreed, and last week some conservative columnists unearthed the smoking gun. Ryan Radia, from the libertarian think tank, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, discovered a video of one of Obamacare's leading architects, Jonathan Gruber, seemingly agreeing with the conservative interpretation. The same day, John Sexton at Breitbart released an audio clip of Gruber making the same argument at a different venue. Needless to say, the entire world of conservatism was utterly ecstatic about this brilliant display of ownage. As conservative writer, Moe Lane says:

Possibly the most damning thing about this video is that Jonathan Gruber stated, quite forthrightly, that the decision to deny subsidies to federal exchange policies was deliberate, and designed to push states into starting their own exchanges. That is… extremely unhelpful to the current Democratic narrative.

Now, this might make Gruber and the pro-Obamacare crowd look bad, but this supposed smoking gun managed to do something else as well. It changed the argument that the plaintiffs were using in Halbig, from arguing on technical grounds, to arguing on the original intent of the law's framers.

Therefore, this brings up a question that I haven't really seen anyone ask. If the original intent of the Obama administration was to only allow subsidies to be available to states with their own exchanges, then....shouldn't Obama have been cheering the D.C. court ruling? Think about it. If that was the original plan, then the D.C. court ruling made sure that everything would be going, well,  according to plan, right? Why is the Obama administration disputing the decision if that's what they wanted all along?

I've seen some conservatives argue that Obama didn't think that the Republican governments in many states would go through with their threats of not setting up their exchanges, but now that it's apparently clear many still won't, Obama has to pretend he never supported the original idea to begin with.

But that makes no sense. Remember, according to the story revealed in Gruberghazi, the law was supposedly set up so that if Republicans refused to build their own exchanges, the Democrats could then use the fact that the states would be losing millions and billions of dollars in subsidies to attack Republicans.

But guess what? The Democrats can still do that! They can hammer Republicans relentlessly on their decision to screw over the people in their states, and hopefully have them eventually give in. In fact, you would think this was excellent timing because this is something that the Dems can use to attack Republicans in the midterms. The point here is that nothing has changed!

Furthermore, if Republicans truly believe that Obama is lying about the original intent of Obamacare, then they should attempt to call his bluff. Present a bill that would simply change the text of the law to make it clear that subsidies would be available to people on either exchange. If the Republican theory is true, then Obama would refuse to sign it, and then they would have all the proof that they need that Obama, and not them, is the one who really wanted to make getting insurance much harder for poor people.

Of course, they won't do that cause they themselves don't believe the crap they're spewing, and they don't want there to be any fixes to what they see as the worst piece of legislation since the dawn of civilization.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Adam Carolla Thinks School Lunch Programs Will Make Kids Hate Their Parents

Former The Man Show host, Adam Corolla, explained on his radio show yesterday why he's become more outspoken about politics over the past few years :

Well, you know, I've not changed my tune to any great extent. I think I've become more conservative as I've gotten older, as I've had a family. As people do when they get older and they get older and have a family and pay taxes. You start looking for school systems for their kids that are usable and things like that. There's a move toward a more conservative life in general as you get older. It goes -- many of the principles sort of bode with frankly getting older, having a family, focusing on your children and your family and things like that.
He was doing pretty good so far, but then he makes the mistake of continuing to speak:

But as far as my talking points go, you know, stop shitting out kids you can't afford. You pay for their school breakfast, not because I want you to pay for their school breakfast but because the kid should know that mom and/or dad are paying for breakfast, making the effort. It's a psychological thing, it's not a matter of I don't want to pay 39 cents a day for your kid. I don't give a fuck about that. The fucking government takes half of money and does whatever the fuck it wants with it anyway. I mean, your kid's breakfast is the least of my worries. I worry about your kid and the message that is being sent to your kid by momma not making a breakfast. That's what I a worry about.

Well, now. Isn't that compassionate of him? He cares so much for the kiddies, you see. It's oddly similar to the rationale provided by Republican boy genius, Paul Ryan, a few months back for why we should completely destroy the idea of government funded school lunches. The possibility that many of these parents can't provide lunches as opposed to not wanting to make them for their kids doesn't seem to ever come up in these conversations for some reason.

Carolla speaks from experience though. His family lived off welfare growing up and he himself received government subsidized school lunches:

The lesson seems  to be pretty clear. Parents should buy/make their kids their own lunch, otherwise they may grow up to be bitter, right-wing douchebags some day.

What was also amusing was how Carolla was whining about how the word "conservative" is seen as a negative nowadays:

It’s bizarre and that’s what we have turned it into. But also, it’s the left turning conservatism into a pejorative, number one. Being conservative didn’t used to be a pejorative in any stretch of the imagination. Being a conservative with your money was being prudent. Being conservative as it pertains to work or investments or even at the poker table it was sort of prudent. Conservative meant prudent; it was not a pejorative.
The left has taken over the word conservative and turned it into a pejorative. So it’s like, “Oh, you’re a conservative?” They’ve done a wonderful smear campaign.
“Oh, are you a conservative?” “Yes, I’m a conservative.” “Oh, great. You hate women. You hate blacks. You hate all cultures. You love people’s money. You hate poor people.”
“No, no. I just want to focus on education. I want to focus on hard work. I want to focus on being motivated and getting ahead in a country that made for that ethic…”
Now, it’s weird that I can be conservative and never talk about religion. Because conservatives are a bunch of Bible-thumping, you know, brainwashed, you know, they believe the earth is 1,000 years old. How come I’m not religious? I’m an atheist. See, they just pick and choose whatever they want.

Sorry, Adam. You guys are doing a great job ruining that word on your own. You definitely don't need any help from liberals on that front.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sorry Republicans, Looks Like Obamacare Is Here To Stay

Here's a poll that should make every conservative pundit and politician soil their undies:

Republicans who signed up for Obamacare this year are liking their new insurance coverage, according to a new survey.

A poll of Obamacare enrollees published Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund found that 74 percent of newly insured Republicans are happy with the plans they bought. Overall, 77 percent of people who had insurance prior to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act said they are pleased with the new coverage they obtained in the last year.

The survey revealed the current uninsured rate among working-age adults in the U.S. has dropped to 15 percent, down from 20 percent in July-September 2013 -- meaning an estimated 9.5 million people have gained coverage since then.

74% of Republicans - REPUBLICANS!! - are happy with their new government-defiled health insurance. Just to give you an idea of the significance of such a number, only 21% of Republicans had a positive opinion of Obama after Bin Laden was killed. As Bill Maher once said, Obama could save an average Republican from drowning, and they'd still hate his guts. The fact that we have not just a majority, but nearly 3/4 of Republicans accepting something positive came out of the socialist, Kenyan anti-Christ is a colossal accomplishment.

Truth be told however, this shouldn't really be that surprising. Obamacare, for all its faults, really does have some very pleasing things that make it very attractive to most non-wealthy folks. Indeed this very thing was predicted correctly (for once) by Bill Kristol in 1993:

The long term political effects of a successful Clinton health care bill will be even worse — much worse. It will relegitimize middle-class dependency for “security” on government spending and regulation. It will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government…
Conservative complain all the time about big government not being able to do anything right, and being awful for the populace. But the truth is that the real reason they don't want big government policies to be in place is that they might end up actually being popular. That's what conservatives fear more than anything. They've seen how popular programs like social security and medicare are, and how that makes it much more difficult to eliminate them.

And now conservatives have to face the frightening fact that repealing Obamacare has just gotten significantly more challenging. In a few years, you're going to see right-wing nitwits holding up signs like this:

But with Obamacare instead.