Today: Health insurance lobbyists resort to flat-out lying, Ana Marie Cox takes on the birthers, and Rachel does a darn good Dramatic Chipmunk impersonation.
Thug Life GOP
You know all those people who love their current corporate health insurance plans — or their inability to afford them?
Yeah, me either.
And yet, Rachel led off with the story that somehow busloads these people are popping up all over the country at town meetings, screaming about how they would rather leave that tumor right where it is than let the country take care of its own like every other freaking industrialized nation on the planet go all commie pinko socialist, which for some reason we’re worrying about again after 30 years of not.
Not to mention putting the poor health insurance companies through the hell of having to compete with an entity that doesn’t have an active incentive to overcharge people and deny them coverage when they get sick.
I believe the town hall screamers usually set up discreet crying booths just in case people become too overwhelmed with pity for the insurance industry.
As much as this looks like a buildup to a standard tale of lobbyist sleazebaggery in the fight over health care reform, it isn’t.
It’s a buildup to a tale of such brazen sleazebaggery and outright lying that you may need to have a friend come over to help you close your jaw and put your eyeballs back in.
[Should the need arise, think carefully about which friend you pick. Once your eyeballs pop out the first time, it counts as a pre-existing condition. And the fine print in your Certificate of Insurance gives your provider’s friendly representatives the right to cover your friend with ants and/or slugs until he admits to helping you reinsert them in a non-approved home-based ocular resocketing procedure.]
Even the wonderful Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post seemed impressed by the level of open, unadulterated public evil involved. A spokesperson for the Cheney family described them as “all a-twitter.”
If you want to see the level to which our political discourse has sunk, you can find the story and download a pdf of the memo over at Think Progress.
How do you not know you’re a dirtball when you’re lying and actively trying to stop legitimate discussion and information from coming out?
I would love to see what these people say on Career Day at their kids’ schools. Do you think they just brazen it out, or do they have to spend a little time weeping and shaking in the broom closet beforehand?
Rachel gave us some hopeful news for Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the Current TV journalists who were sentenced to a labor camp in North Korea: Bill Clinton is flying in to try to help.
I am a huge admirer of Bill Clinton’s skills as an inspiring speaker and of his intellect, but I’ll be honest: I kind of hope he’ll turn on the Bubba a little and charm the Dear Leader’s socks off.
Rachel noted that the government’s Cash for Clunkers program is kind of genius: with just one stone it stimulates the economy and helps take inefficient cars off the road. And it’s been successful beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
Which means Republicans, who six months after the election have still failed to define a single policy other than “Whatever Is the Opposite of what Obama Just Said,” are in the hilariously awkward position of explaining why the program is secretly a complete failure that must be stopped.
Enjoy the Republican cognitive dissonance and the gruff charm of Senator Sherrod Brown (D – Ohio).
Rachel reported that the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, originally proposed by Senator Jim Webb (D – Virginia) and some whippersnapper named Barack Obama, is starting to go into effect.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has a web page set up to help veterans sort out and apply for their new benefits.
As Rachel pointed out, the post World War II G.I. Bill led to an era about which many Republicans are nostalgic. How will they manage to figure out a context in which the new version is actually awful? I can’t wait!
The Ensign Affair
Hey, remember Senator John Ensign (R – Nevada) and his icky affair?
Of course you do, because once you have that mental image of him and his staffer locked in a passionate embrace against the copier while her husband, Ensign’s other staffer, composes blackmail letters in the supply closet and the married couple’s teenage son, Ensign’s other other staffer doing, um, advanced political consulting regarding the Halo 2 vote or something in the spare office, your brain just won’t let it go.
You’ll just be innocently waxing the car or organizing your stamp collection and then WHAM! Your brain whips it out on you and suddenly you’re incapacitated with a case of the yucks for the rest of the afternoon.
Anyway, some new e-mails have come to light and Rachel has been looking carefully at the affair’s timeline (and, I hope, wearing protective gear while doing so, because cases of advanced Senatorial affair willies are definitely not covered by most nongovernmental health plans).
Turns out that some more of Ensign’s colleagues at the National Republican Senatorial Committee also knew about the affair and were forced to deal with prolonged bouts of illicit interoffice snogging heebie-jeebies when they were supposed to be getting Republican Senators elected.
Worked out great, didn’t it? NRSC, are you sure you’re still totally cool with all this?
Happy Birther Day
How can you stay mad at the birthers when they make something as wonderful as this next clip happen?
Rachel gets dramatic and Ana Marie Cox (hooray!) brings the hammer down on the racism that underlies all the birther nonsense.
Ms. Cox also gives a great defense of why informed mockery of awful people like the birthers is not just appropriate, but important.
It is, in fact, our civic duty to point out the absurdity of these spring-loaded buffoons at every turn and our social duty to refuse to take them seriously for even one minute while they insist on doing this.
Plus, it’s fun. Enjoy.