Friday, March 26, 2010

CUBS win! CUBS win! [but no joy in Mudville]

Hey, how about them Dems, huh? Harry Caray would have been proud of some Chi-towners this week. The concept of reforming health care has been around almost as long as the Cubbies' last World Series win in the 19-aughts. Since we've raised the comparison to barrier-breaking Jackie Robinson before (conclusion: Obama's no Jackie), we were all set to analogize to America's pasttime yet again. But a funny thing happened on the way to the ballgame. Some crazy fans started brawling in the cheap seats, and the losing team came out of the dugout to toss a few more bats into the fray.

Seriously, what is up with all this violence and hate on the nutbar right? The process took more than a year; they had their August town halls; Obama wasn't on his game at the beginning, he took single payer off the table, there was no public option at the end... The bill they now call "reform" does some good things, sure, but still needs improvement. It is a moderate fix to a broken, unsustainable system; it was a Republican plan from 40 years ago; Romneycare from 4 years ago. So where is the socialism? Where is the government takeover?

And what is worse, where are 'opposition party' leaders to condemn the fringe? Why is the 2nd of only 2 major political parties in this country if not outright condoning then subliminally encouraging such a rise in right-wing extremism? There is no "Militia" in G-O-P (but there is the "M" in T-E-A...-M). We haven't been unconditional supporters of the Dems, but come on, this faux rage is ri-donk-u-lous! And it's faux, alright, as in Faux News. Check out Steven Benen's Political Animal blog, linked on the right. Or Bob Cesca. If you have the time, read some comments to that HuffPo piece. Some of these folks are just unhinged. [College hoops are not the only Madness this month, by the way. Zing! We're good at sports puns. And how cool is it that Steven Weber, yes the same, is writing on Bob's blog?]

So if there's that much anger at HCR, why aren't the Tea Partiers threatening Wall St. ??? Where are the calls for trying war criminals who committed or authorized torture, or lied the country into war? You know what would have paid for health care reform by now? Not invading and occupying Iraq. We're not shrinks here, and we didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express recently, but if we had to speculate, the racists are really vocal right now. How else to account for it? There are almost zero-to-no people of color at Tea Party rallies; there is no Big Tent. These loons were never going to accept a black President, and thanks to the MSM's horse-race mentality, and to Republican batshades, their paranoid lunacy is being shoved right out onto the open field. The delegitimizing process began before the election in November 2008 and has kept on chugging right up to present day.

So, to the MSM: stop giving these whackjobs a platform; stop with the false equivalency. And to so-called Republicans: stop this cycle of hate, this Naomi Klein Shock Doctrine of a strategery has no place even in the game of politics. [By the way, Keith, your Special Comment was great on Monday night, but the target audience doesn't watch you]. We can only hope that government-run law enforcement is there in time; that government-run fire departments -- all paid for with Tea Party tax dollars -- can travel across public roads to help whenever called. When you bench the best you got, and you bring the crazies up from the minors, when all that's left is co-opted anger and fear, that is one losing team.

Here's a final question to ponder: how many wingnuts does it take to change the scoreboard at Wrigley Field? A>: we never want to find out.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nature's H

We are fans of Bill Maher, always watch on TiVo, 1 of the best. He took about 4 months off so last Friday's show was only his 2nd back in this new season. He is a big animal rights guy, so naturally, he tossed out a comment about Tilikum, the killer whale at Orlando SeaWorld, having killed a beloved trainer. [Gist: 'sad for the death, but that's what happens when a big, wild animal is kept in a tiny pen'; Mom agrees. Because the orca's worth so many millions to SeaWorld, they're not putting it down. Sorry, we were distracted by Olivia Wilde, wow is she amazing looking? Wife agrees]. Just wondering aloud, since Queen of Batshade believes dinosaurs and people co-existed about 4,500-6,000 years ago, isn't it amazing that any humans survived? We didn't have health care then, so we must have been even awesomer, you betcha!

So, Bill, you had the disingenuous conservative on, but you let him get away with the usual pivot on the concept of reconciliation. What was that!? Maybe there aren't enough low-information voters who watch your show, or maybe you didn't have time to hammer this home, but here's the problem: on the radio, TO-DAY, in about a 30-second report from CNN 'headlines' at the top of the hour, the reporter said HCR was a "controversial bill" and that Dems might use an "extraordinary measure" known as budget reconciliation. See what we're up against here? The refs have already been gamed!

Controversial? Only among chickensh-t conservadems and people who actually want to fix 1 of the worst abuses this country has ever known. 37th in the world in health care, but 1/6th of our economy. 45,000 dead every year from lack of insurance. There's no controversy.

Extraordinary? You can't throw a shoe at 1 of the blogs we follow without seeing that 'budget' reconciliation has been used before, and often by corporate-owned, white-haired old dudes with '(R-Insurance Giant)' next to their names. The only extraordinary thing here is watching people try to defend the status quo.

Steve Benen's Political Animal is the real animal worth watching: health reform legislation has already been passed last year in both chambers of Congress! Budget reconciliation can be used on stuff that has to do with the budget. Anyone that says otherwise, even some moron at CNN, should be thrown to the fishes. To borrow from Hulk Hogan, "Whatcha gonna do when the pythons run wild on you brother?!"