Happy Hour Discurso


Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Cat on lap etc. Awkward typing position etc. Blame typos on cat etc. etc…. I think that shall have to go without saying from now on, because she has come to believe Happy Hour is her hour.

If food were as abundant as Con stupidity, I could feed all of the starving children in the world right now, with enough left over for a ten-course banquet for a few hundred of my closest friends. I don’t quite know how we can cram it all in here, but we shall do our best.

Let us begin with health care reform, which is giving a Cons a chance to display their stupidity like peacocks display their tails:

Republican opponents of health care reform have a new, colorful talking point. It turns out, if you put reform plans into a chart, fiddle with box sizes, arrow colors, and creative fonts, you discover that health care reform is … complicated.
GOPHealthchart.png

After a brightly colored chart failed to kill the Waxman-Markey bill, House Republicans are scrapping doubling down on the idea. They’ve created a new one to demonstrate just how complicated the Democrats’ health care reform bill is.

Just as in the case of the Waxman-Markey chart, though, this doesn’t actually explain anything. And it ironically begs the question of whether Republicans secretly want a simpler, single payer system to replace more complex reform proposals.

There are a wide variety of arguments against reform, but this may be the most ridiculous. The chart apparently proves that the health care system will be complex. Well, yes, it is. It will involve a lot of people, money, government agencies, and private entities. Of course, I hate to break it to the House Republican caucus, but the health system is already complex, and features a lot of people, money, government agencies, and private entities.

Rather like this, in fact:

Luckily for us, the health wonks at TNR anticipated this little gambit and helpfully designed a chart depicting the wonderful, simple health care system we already have:

(click to enlarge)

Seriously, this makes health care reform look like what it actually is — streamlining the health care system, not complicating it. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine how it could be any more complicated.

But, of course, the Cons used more colors on their chart, which makes it look crowded and complicated and fraught with danger. And they shall whip that chart out at every opportunity.

Let the battle of the charts begin:

Using the same sophisticated charting techniques the Republicans use, Democrats have charted the Republican health plan, picture below:

rhealthplan-400x280.jpg

Any questions?

Yes, actually. Why does anyone take these fucking fools seriously? Even now, I hear talk of bipartisanship. It should be clear to Dems by now that there ain’t no fucking bipartisanship:

The Senate HELP committee held four weeks of markup hearings on their health care bill. They accepted 160 Republican amendments. They allowed virtually every amendment, every concern of Republicans to a free and open vote. And in the end, the bill split entirely along party lines.

A Senate committee became the first congressional panel to advance healthcare reform legislation this year, marking a significant step toward the achievement of President Obama’s foremost domestic initiative.

On a party-line, 13-10 tally, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted to move its portion of the upper chamber’s healthcare reform legislation to the floor […]

HELP Committee ranking member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) slammed the bill and the partisan nature of the panel’s proceedings. “The bill lays the groundwork for a government takeover of healthcare,” Enzi said.

I don’t know how many times you have to say this. Republicans will not vote for health care reform. If so much as one of them does, I would be stunned. And it appears that the political staff in the White House understands this as well.

A bill could be made up of 99% Con “ideas,” and yet they would vote against it en masse, all the while whining about how partisan it is. So fuck ‘em. Stop trying to make the sniveling shits happy and just get us some health care reform before we all die of treatable diseases.

Pay no attention to the fucktards fuming about bogus numbers. Ignore the Scientologist-influenced dumbshits comparing health care to auto maintenance in WSJ editorials. They have proven themselves beneath our consideration.

And so we shall leave them crying in their corners and move on to other abundant sources of stupidity, such as Arizona’s shame, Sen. Jon Kyl:

It seemed jarring given the dire economic circumstances, but Sen. Jon Kyl (R) of Arizona, the #2 Republican in the Senate, argued over the weekend that he’d like to see all stimulus efforts end. The government should, Kyl said, wrap up the pending contracts and then stop recovery investment altogether.

Of course, if the government pursued Kyl’s recommended course, that would mean a whole lot less job-creating investment in his home state of Arizona. On Monday, several Obama administration officials wondered whether Kyl’s colleagues in the Grand Canyon State agree with his approach to the economy.

On Monday, four Obama Cabinet secretaries sent letters to Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer asking if she, too, wanted to shut off the spigot of federal stimulus cash.

“I believe the stimulus has been very effective in creating job opportunities throughout the country,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote to Brewer. “However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to the state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know.”

To be sure, for a cabinet secretary to ask a cheeky question like this to a senator and a governor was a little bold, but I suspect some administration officials are annoyed by Republican leaders’ public calls for an end to stimulus efforts.

What was interesting, though, were the responses. McCain said he “strongly support[s] the comments of Senator Kyl.” Brewer’s spokesperson suggested LaHood may have been “threatening” Arizona, and expressed her gratitude for Kyl’s “leadership.”

It seems like this could use some additional follow-up. On the one hand, we have Kyl arguing that recovery funds should be eliminated entirely. On the other hand, we have Kyl’s Arizona colleagues saying they want the recovery funds and support Kyl for saying there shouldn’t be any more recovery funds.

Brewer et al may want to be a little more careful with their rhetoric, considering how much stimulus money they’ve already happily spent. It’s unbecoming to bite the hand that feeds.

Speaking of Arizona’s shame, her other shame, John McLame, is busy making an utter ass of himself and fucking up the smooth operation of the federal government (yes, again):

Following a Senate hearing yesterday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar explained to reporters that his department “can’t go about doing our job” because Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is preventing the confirmation of his top land staff:

We don’t have the capacity at this point in time, frankly, to provide those answers, because I don’t have the leadership yet. So yes, it will be a detriment at this point in time. We frankly can’t go about doing our job if we don’t have our people in pla
ce
.

Senate rules allow a single Senator to anonymously block the confirmation of Presidential appointments, for any reason. McCain is blocking Bob Abbey, the nominee to be the Bureau of Land Management administrator, and Wilma Lewis, the nominee for Interior’s assistant secretary for land and minerals, “until the Obama administration takes a position on his legislation to clear a path for a copper mine in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest.”

You know, Senator, some might call that extortion.

And it’s not just McCain. Click the link to discover who else is holding appointees hostage. If you get the impression of a Mafiosi holding his breath and stamping his feet until he gets his way, you’re not alone.

We’ve still got a restaurant’s worth of stupidity, but I’m sure you’re stuffed by now. I’ll just leave you with this one thin dinner mint:

And Fox News again floats the tale about the stimulus money going to the San Francisco marsh mouse — even though it was debunked a few days ago … by Fox News.

Visitors from other planets would be forgiven for thinking that our entire right wing is just one enormous, complicated joke.

Comments

  1. says

    I think there's a simple explanation for why many pundits and elected officials think our current health care system isn't complicated. The reason is that they don't have to deal with it. Someone else does that for them, whether that someone else is a wife, an aide, or a personal secretary. Plus, most of them are rich enough that they don't need to worry, anyway.The rest of us should keep that thought in mind when listening to these folks. We deal with the complexities; they don't have to. For them, it's a system where everyone gets an MRI the instant they need it. For us, it's hours waiting in an emergency room for care that will cost us lots of money even if we do have health insurance. The difference between those two realities explains a lot about who's happy with this system, and who isn't.