RachelWatch: The Health Care Noise Machine


Today: Barney Frank talks financial reform and Rachel takes on the Lewin Group, the Tobacco Institute of the health insurance industry.

Birther Caucus

Rachel started off our week with a taste of the bizarre: Not only are birthers still getting press, they are actually frightening their elected representatives enough to pretend to take them seriously.

Crop circle people, I hope you are watching these guys. You could learn something.

Seriously, featured cowardly Republican politicians? Is this why you got into public service? To pander to the racist voting block? To be so frightened of your own constituents that you can’t bring yourself to say something that is demonstrably true?

Real leaders have spines and are willing to speak the hard truths. This is an easy one. Reexamine your lives.

Kill Bill

Rachel confirmed what you’d been suspecting: The Republican plan to “slow down health care reform for a sensible review” is of course an attempt to stop health care reform entirely. The current lag is about buying time to get the noise machine cranked up.

And the noise machine is blaring a lot of amazingly bad information lately – including “nonpartisan” information financed by a little outfit known as United Healthcare.

Former DNC chair Howard Dean dropped in to help Rachel get your dander up.

Congressional Democrats, remember how I was talking to the Republicans about locating their spines earlier? Now would be a good time for you too.

Or have new ones installed. Don’t worry, you have government health care – you’re covered.

I know there are a few bold souls among you, but for the most part I could not be more disgusted with the great, quivering swaths of cowardly elected Democrats lately.

Please, just this once in your invertebrate careers, get out there, get loud, and make this one good thing happen.

If you do this one good thing, you can be as rabbity or as weasely as you want for the rest of your days and you will still get to retire knowing that you had a hand in saving thousands of lives and preventing the financial ruin of untold thousands more.

Get one set of vertebrae between you and share them for all I care, but GET them, get out there, and start throwing some elbows on this one.

Hit the airwaves. Stop being polite. When the Republicans are lying, freaking call them on it. You don’t have to be polite when you know they’re lying!

Try righteous indignation – you might even discover you enjoy the rush.

Don’t weigh a safe, timid bet on another term against the greater good of millions and accept a compromise that you know is bad. Just this once, dare to be the people you dreamed of becoming when you first ran.

If you pass something genuinely useful that benefits the people instead of the health insurance industry, we’ll totally let it slide when you’re wussbags about defense spending or something next year. I promise.

Ms. Information

Don’t let your dander down just yet. Rachel gave us an update on the appalling KBR electrocution case.

When Staff Sergeant Ryan Maseth was electrocuted in the shower of his own barracks, KBR was actually sleazy enough to lie, first claiming that he had brought an electrical appliance in with him, and then that he had touched live wires while showering.

An inspector general’s report holds both KBR and military leadership responsible for several electrocution deaths, and investigations into slipshod work continue.

Rachel also reported that Sarah Palin stepped down as Alaska’s Governor on Sunday, with much fanfare, a little pizzazz, and a whole lot of that Maverick’s disregard for traditional syntax that we’ve all grown to love.

And whatever wrong Sarah Palin may or may not have committed against the state of Alaska, Rachel and Ana Marie Cox have officially committed a crime against the nation by failing to re-watch Palin’s entire speech on the air while doing shots every time she said “media” or dropped a G.

Fortunately, some people have the decency to pick up the slack and make their drinking public. President Obama, Officer Crowley, and Professor Gates will be hashing things out over Budwiser, Blue Moon, and either Red Stripe or Beck’s, respectively.

And in my mind, they will all be using yard-long beer bongs to do so.

Mr. Greedy

Good lord. Our financial industry right now is in essentially the same state our sausage industry was in during the early 1900’s. And about as appetizing.

The magnificent Congressman Barney Frank (D – Massachusetts) stopped in with sword, spine, and umbrage all ablaze.

I always love Barney Frank, but I love him even more for telling people to call up their elected representatives and demand results.

Vice Versus

Remember how liberal hotheads used to talk about how the Bush administration was really a dictatorship?

Turns out if they weren’t, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Recent reports indicate that Dick Cheney wanted to see how stretchy the Constitution could get by sending the military to Buffalo, NY to round up some suspected terrorists. As opposed to, say, the police.

Great jumping catfish. How does Cheney keeps getting scarier? It defies all logic. Not to mention physics. Should we be concerned that he could collapse into a black hole of scary?

New stories from the emerging Bush-Cheney slap fight portray them in sort of a good-cop/bad cop scenario. Or, let’s be honest, a bad cop/maniac cop scenario.

Rachel seemed to think that they are engaged in a legacy-polishing duel, and that loyal Bushies are trying to spread the story that he was protecting us from Cheney, but I have a freakier theory.

Maybe this is all still part of Cheney’s plan. Maybe he thinks he’s nobly elevating Bush by sacrificing himself.

Or maybe I’m thinking about this too much.

Anyway, I’m hoping this story continues, mostly because Rachel is unable to get through the phrase “Bush defending our civil liberties” without cracking up.

Until tomorrow, keep our nation great by drinking a yard of beer for the President and not makin’ things up about Sarah Palin.

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