Happy Hour Discurso


Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Yes, late again, curses. I’ve been busy reading most o’ the day. And then there was the small matter of the empty inbox… (speaking of which, there’s still time to make the Captain and the Admiral happy if you’re reading this before late Sunday morning). But enough with the reasons, let’s get on with the spanking the stupid.

The Census Bureau seems to have gotten there ahead of us:

In the past couple weeks, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has used her public appearances to fear-monger about the 2010 Census.

[snip]

Yesterday, Census Bureau spokesman Steve Buckner spoke to Minnesota Public Radio and said that many of Bachmann’s concerns were misguided.

[snip]

Buckner also said that Census officials have been working with Bachmann’s office to clear up the misinformation:

BUCKNER: Well, we certainly are working with the Congresswoman’s office here in DC, and have already had a briefing with her to explain the rules of the Census and why they’re there, and explain some of the Constitutional law. I mean, the Supreme Court has upheld the powers of the data to be collected. But we’re not asking anything on the 2010 Census that I can see that would be intrusive in terms of the basic information.

As Buckner also pointed out, “For the most part, people put more information on a credit card application than they do on the Census form.”

I hope Michele’s having fun being educated regarding her duties. But I’m not sure she’ll learn. It’s hard to smack sense into the senseless. Which should make it interesting when she breaks federal law by not filling in the Census completely. But I do hope she doesn’t end up in prison. What she needs is psychiatric care, not punishment.

Speaking of psychiatric and other health care, let’s take a moment to see where we’re at. The Prez and the public (along with the vast majority of Dems), want a public option. The GOP and their braindead base don’t wanna public option cuz that’s so-shuh-lized mid-uh-sin. Yet shouting talking points and silly slogans is no way to govern a country. If the opposition party’s opposing, they need to present an alternative. Morning Joe came up with the utterly brilliant idea of asking Rep. Cantor what that alternative plan might look like (video at the link):

Eric Cantor is asked by MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan to explain just what the GOP’s plan is for health care reform, and again, Cantor fails to give any details as to just what their plan is, other than saying no to a public option and offering consumers more “choice”. Even Ratigan points out at the end of the interview that Cantor didn’t answer his question.

As Jason Linkins pointed out at the HuffPo, Cantor had some similar trouble on the same show when asked by Mike Barnicle what the GOP’s plan was for health care reform back on May 6th, 2009.

Jason Linkins also has the specific question-and-answer from that original fiasco, which illustrates the whole bankruptcy of the Con philosophy perfectly:

MIKE BARNICLE: You just raised the issue of health care. We live in the only civilized nation in the world, where if … your child gets sick with a really terrible illness, you might find yourself in bankruptcy court in order to pay the bills. So, without the pretty language, without the big words, can you tell me: what’s your health plan, what’s it going to cost, how are you going to get it done, how can you work with the Democrats in concocting … in coming up with a health plan that works for everyone?

CANTOR: First of all, let me just go in here and address the assumption here in the discussion. We also have a health care system that, in reality, if you are sick anywhere in this world and you can afford it, you can come here for your care because we do have access to the best care, but you’re right, there are too many people who don’t have access to that care, so what we need to do is to be able to address — number one — the coverage and access to insurance, and number two, to be able to demonstrate that we can bring down cost. Now this notion that we are somehow going to allow the government to take over providing the care because that’s going to address the cost factor, is just a false start. You can’t assume that this place in Washington is going to do things efficiently. What we do know is that we need to promote the ability for people to — number one — if they lose their job, they don’t necessarily lose their health care — number two — if they are sick and they have a pre-existing condition, we must allow for them to access affordable coverage, because that’s a huge issue right now, how people can access coverage when they are sick, and that has to do with expanding the risk pools, giving people the ability to access much more affordable coverage. Right now, we are so tied to a third-party payer system that, you know, people are at a whim cut off from access to care. so we’ve got to go back to centering our focus on patient/doctor relationships.

Do you see a plan in there? No? That’s probably because there isn’t one. There’s a hash of lame GOP talking points, magic unicorns, and wishes. A plan it is not.

The truly pathetic part:

So we have the second failure on the same show within a little over a month for Cantor to actually respond in a meaningful way with details and to give them some specific answers on just what the GOP’s health care plan entails. Willie Geist’s response when Ratigan pointed out that Cantor didn’t answer the question….we’ll have him back on again to explain it.

I’m so looking forward to strike three.

Yesterday, the House passed important cap-and-trade legislation. Today, the whining starts. We know the wingnuts would whine, so before we get to them, let’s watch a Dem snivel over imaginary victimhood:

Last night, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which will establish the first national standards for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and global warming pollution. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) responded on Twitter this morning, saying that the legislation’s cap on carbon pollution would “unfairly punish” Missouri’s families and businesses:

Claire McCaskill tweets on cap and trade

Missouri gets 85 percent of its electricity from coal and is home to the world’s largest coal company, Peabody Energy. Peabody has spent neatly $10 million lobbying against climate legislation since 2008. In reality, the cap-and-trade system the House passed fully protects states now dependent on coal, with multi-billion-dollar programs for advanced coal technology. “My focus in the shaping of the bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee was to keep electricity rates affordable and to enable utilities to continue using coal,” coal-district Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) explained during yesterday’s debate. “Both of these goals have been achieved.”

Deary, deary me, Claire. Looks like your buddies in the coal industry got just what they needed, so you’re little pity party’s just kind of silly now. In fact, it’s just about as silly as the rabid base reaction to the few Republican yay votes:

RedState labeled them “quisling” Republicans who “sold out the nation\’s [sic] future.” Malkin put up a “wanted” poster with the eight, under the text: “Wanted in the United States of America for selling out taxpayers.” She went on label them the “GOP’s Cap-and-Tax 8.”

And Robert Stacy McCain is targeting the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), now that the “Monstrosity From Hell That Will Destroy the American Economy” passed with the help of eight GOP lawmakers.

Wow. “Monstrosity From Hell,” even. All this for a watered-down piece of energy legislation that’ll end up costing families under 50 cents per day. Sad, aren’t they? Too bad they don’t get this excited when Congress decides to authorize rampant spying on American citizens.

And then here’s where it gets really funny. Victor Davis Hanson tries to explain that because a few places experienced colder weather this year, global warming’s a complete crock (apparently, he’s too ignorant to know the difference between a long-term trend like climate and a short-term thng like weather. Dumbshit). And then came the WSJ, trumping his dumbfuckery a thousandfold:

Also yesterday, the Wall Street Journal editorial page ran an item from Kimberly Strassel that offered even less persuasive evidence. (via Jon Chait)

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. — 13 times the number who authored the U.N.’s 2007 climate summary for policymakers.

Ah, yes, the Inhofe list. Strassel sees “more than 700 scientists” who reject evidence of global warming, but a closer look reveals that the list includes economists, engineers, geographers, TV weathermen, and physicists — none of whom has a background in climate science. Some of the “more than 700″ actually accept global warming as fact, have asked that their names be removed from the list, only to find Inhofe ignore their requests.

In my favorite example, one of the 700 “scientists” is a weatherman at the FOX-affiliated station in Bowling Green, Ky. The “scientist’ doesn’t have a college degree, believes in creationism, and rejects evidence of global warming because he doesn’t believe “God would allow humans to destroy the earth He created.” He’s also argued that his perspective on science has value, despite not having a background in science, because, “The way I see it, some people are too smart for their own good.”

But other than the fact it’s nearly entirely bogus, yeah, it really shows some skepticism about climate change among scientists, ya, sure, you betcha. *Wink*

It’s things like those that may help explain poll numbers like these:

This week’s big Washington Post poll asked respondents who they trust to handle health care, the economy, the budget deficit, and terrorism. The poll didn’t include a partisan breakdown, but WaPo’s polling director sent it over to us, and here’s where indys stand:

* On health care, 51% of indys trust Obama, and 26% trust GOPers in Congress.

* On the economy, 51% of indys trust Obama, and 31% trust the GOP.

* On the budget deficit, 52% of indys trust Obama, and 30% trust the GOP.

* And on terrorism, 53% of indys trust Obama, and 36% trust the GOP.

To recap: On every one of these major issues — even terrorism — majorities of indys trust Obama, and small minorities trust Congressional Republicans.

No wonder DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan was wondering, with respect to the annual DNC vs. RNC softball game, “Are there even nine Republicans left to field a team?”

Yes, but I’m not sure how many of them can play ball. After all, they’ll always taking their ball and running home…