Thirty Republican senators come out strongly in favor of… gang rape.

The objecting Republican senators are all accepting campaign contirbutions of various sizes from the US Chamber Of Commerce (or, as we like to think of them, the Flat Earth Society), and various defense contractors.

Courtesy of Change Congress.

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Change Congress commissioned a poll of North Carolina voters regarding Senator Richard Burr’s vote on this issue – seeing as how Burr voted after taking almost three-quarters of a million dollars from the Chamber of Commerce and it’s associated goons, as well as the defense industries. Check the numbers; you’ll see that while Burr is striking out (narrowly) on this one issue with conservatives in his state, the majority of Republicans seem set to vote the straight brain-dead ticket in 2010.

Reason? Logic? What dat? As long as it’s not MY daughter gettin’ raped and locked in a box…

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A comment I received recently

A comment I received recentlyMost likely in reaction to some of the posts about Christian soldiers, although it’s a bit hard to tell. Posted verbatim, with no editing.

COMMENT: hey you ugly little worm,what is your contribution to mankind.we are thankful in this country to have Christians at the helm of our worry about your head being cut in my assessment are a Jew,with no common sense.if it weren’t for the few willing men in uniform,protecting your ugly arse,and truly you are that(ugly,should wear a burka)you would be told to convert to islam,sooner than,onward christian soldier.btw,i am agnostic.

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Republicans in the news

Republicans in the newsA quick scan of the headlines to see what the mob of screaming ignorant mopes is up to in the way of strategy.

1) Republican Representative from Indiana Steve Buyer had a great scam: start a scholarship foundation for students, then keep all the money.

“A nonprofit foundation associated with Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Monticello, has been quietly collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for the primary purpose of helping students pay for college.

But the foundation, which enjoys tax-exempt status, has yet to award its first scholarship after six years in existence.”

It turns out that the money -$800,000- came from businesses with pending issues in front of Buyer’s House committees.

So of course, once he’s found out, Buyer denies everything.

Then he admits that the whole swindle was used to fund golf junkets for him and his corporate employers.

In the GOP tradition of dipsomaniac liar Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Republicans are now whipping up their teabag followers by frothing about Muslim spies in Congress.

Citing the ravings of a conservative author (and abetted by his spying-on-the-nonexistent-spies son), the GOP is attempting to convince people that the Great International Muslim Conspiracy is planting interns in sensitive committees where they are subverting the fine plans of the Republicans to take America back from the liberals.

If the GOP succeeds in this colossal bit of ignorance-mongering, all brown people with Islamic names will have to register with the police before they’re deported to Guantanamo. And everyone with a beard will be rather suspect, as well.

Hey, it worked for them before, right?

They’re moving the idea into Congress as you read this.

The only strategy the Republicans have is to oppose the Democrats.


“After nearly nine months in office, President Obama has filled some 250 appointments to top government positions. That’s about half the number of vacancies for Senate confirmed jobs.

The process has stalled for reasons including increased vetting by the administration, and Senate Republicans have put holds on more than a dozen top nominees.”

Not satisfied with wrecking the economy, making us the laughing stock of the world with 8 years of Bush’s ignorance and slime, their strategy appears to be “lie down and hope someone trips and falls over us.”

And in that spirit, John McCain – the man who vomited Sarah Palin into the public arena – now turns out to be the greatest supporter of the giant corporate telcos and ISP’s. Is it because of his deep philosophical commitment? His long study of the subject?

Nah. They’re paying him.


“Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is the top recipient of campaign contributions from large Internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast over the past two years, according to a new report from the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Responsive Politics. McCain has taken in a total of $894,379 (much of that money going to support his failed 2008 bid for the presidency), more than twice the amount taken by the next-largest beneficiary, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. ($341,089).

Meanwhile, McCain has emerged as the ISPs’ biggest champion against new “network neutrality” rules from the Federal Communications Commission, which voted Thursday to move forward in the process to adopt such rules. Shortly after the FCC vote, McCain introduced a bill (the “Internet Freedom Act”) that would block regulation of the nation’s largest broadband networks.”

5) North Carolina State Senator Phil Berger had a brilliant idea: circulate a moronic push poll that guaranteed anti-Democratic answers, then deliver thousands of them to the Democratic governor! Boy, that’ll show ‘em!.

Uh, perhaps he should have read a few of them first.


“When North Carolina state senator Phil Berger (R) trucked a wheelbarrow stacked with Republican surveys into the governor’s office, he thought he was delivering a neat blow to Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue.

According to The News & Observer, the 3,000 or so surveys, filled out by prospective Republican voters, included questions such as “Do you think death panels made up of government bureaucrats should decide if your loved ones live or die?”

But it seems Berger didn’t actually read the surveys before wheeling them in during a press conference in which he attacked Perdue’s tax policies, among other things. When Perdue’s staff skimmed 1,000 or so of the surveys, they found comments that may have given Berger second thoughts.

“I am embarrassed to be associated with this organization. Your tactics are disgusting and you’re going to lose a generation of voters,” was one, Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson told the News.

“Stop wording questions so geared up to get the answers you want and start wording them to actually find out the people’s opinion, not just confirm your own,” read another.”

6) Are all Republicans from Mars? Well, that would be placing their origin a little close, I’m afraid. Try a lot further out, as this Democratic focus group report shows.

“They believe Obama is ruthlessly advancing a ‘secret agenda’ to bankrupt the United States and dramatically expand government control to an extent nothing short of socialism,” the analysis said.” While these voters are disdainful of a Republican Party they view to have failed in its mission, they overwhelmingly view a successful Obama presidency as the destruction of this country’s founding principles and are committed to seeing the president fail.”

7) But they’re going to stop him, though. Between the comic-book screeching of Fox News and the various wings of tea bag schmuckery, it’s shaping up to be a Kevlar Presidency:

“The Boston Globe reports that a new internal Congressional Research Service report and government sources say there are an unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama — and that the Secret Service is insufficiently funded and staffed to deal with them.”

8) Ignorant Republican Quotes! Don’t think it isn’t hard to choose – global warming, creeping socialism, etc. – but this one by Senator John Kyl, a Republican from Arizona is a serious winner:

I’m Not Sure It’s A Fact That Lack Of Health Insurance Causes People To Die

He said it.

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The question is not: Are all pigs Republicans? The question is: Are all Republicans pigs?

The question is not: Are all pigs Republicans? The question is: Are all Republicans pigs?Yes on the federal level – Joe “The Distinguished Asshole From South Carolina” Wilson did it once, now he does it again:

Yes on the state level – Pro “family values” Republican State Representative brags on mic about extramarital affairs with two women, one of whom is a lobbyist with business in front of him:


Plenty of other sanctimonious Republican assholes, as well. Probably more tomorrow.


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Washington Post article on foreign health care plans, delineated by Trudy Lieberman (and reprinted here in toto from Columbia Journalism Review without permission)

Washington Post article on foreign health care plans, delineated by Trudy Lieberman (and reprinted here in toto from Columbia Journalism Review without permission)Trudy Lieberman brings it like a champion, once again. How would you know about this otherwise?

(Some of the added emphasis in this post is mine; to read the unadulterated version, check the CJR site)

From CJR:

Campaign Desk – August 28, 2009 01:39 PM

Laurel to T.R. Reid

For extraordinary clarity in explaining foreign health systems

By Trudy Lieberman

As I have posted many times on Campaign Desk, the media, for the most part, has hardly touched how health care works in the rest of the developed world. Special interests, instead, have filled in the blanks with shrill and false advertising about socialized medicine and rationing. The public discussion has become so polarized and virulently nasty that it’s nearly impossible for any lessons from abroad to gain traction.

In last Sunday’s Washington Post, T.R. Reid, a former Post reporter and would-have-been host of Frontline’s “Sick Around America” last March, busts five myths about foreign health care, in an article based on reporting for his new book, The Healing of America: a Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. What’s remarkable about this piece is not that he challenges commonly held beliefs about how bad things are in England or Germany (other groups have tried to do that), but that he does it with clarity, simplicity, and honesty-three attributes that have been missing from much of this year’s health care reportage.

Myth one: It’s all socialized medicine out there. No, says Reid. Some countries, like Britain and Cuba, provide health care in government hospitals with the government paying the bills. But in other countries, like Canada, private-sector providers give the care that is paid for under their national health systems. “In some ways, health care is less socialized overseas than in the United States,” he writes.

Myth two: Overseas care is rationed through limited choices or long lines.
Generally not, Reid points out. In most places, patients can go to any doctor or have choices of providers. There are no limits like we have in the U.S.-no lists of in-network doctors and pre-authorization forms. In Canada, he acknowledges, some people wait for non-emergency care, but Britain, Germany, and Austria outperform the U.S. when it comes to waiting times for appointments and elective surgeries. Waiting times are so short in Japan, most people don’t bother making appointments. I know from my own reporting in Japan that people simply walk into any hospital, and pronto, they are seen.

Myth three: Foreign-health care systems are inefficient, bloated bureaucracies.
All other payment systems are more efficient than ours, Reid writes. U.S. health insurers have the highest administrative costs in the world, spending about twenty cents of every dollar for paperwork, marketing, and claims review. Japan controls costs better than any other country, even though its population uses more services than Americans use. Quality is high, and life expectancy and recovery rates for major illnesses are better than in the U.S.

Myth four: Cost controls stifle innovation.
That assertion is just plain false, Reid says. While groundbreaking research comes from the U.S., it also comes from other countries with much lower cost structures-like France, where hip and knee replacements were invented, or Canada, where the breakthrough in deep-brain stimulation to treat depression was made.

Myth five: Health insurance has to be cruel.
In America, insurance companies routinely reject applicants with preexisting medical conditions, and rescind policies of those who accumulate big medical bills. That doesn’t happen in other countries, where all the national insurance schemes must accept everyone and pay all the bills that citizens present. Reid observes that the key difference between the U.S. and other systems is that foreign health plans exist only to pay medical bills; they aren’t in business to make a profit.

The most persistent myth of all, says Reid, is that “America has the finest health care in the world. We don’t.” When you compare results, most other industrialized countries have much better statistics. For awhile at the beginning of the presidential campaign, advocacy groups and politicians talked about the under-performing U.S. health care system. But that was before Celinda Lake advised Democrats not to mention statistics like how America ranks thirty-seventh in the world in health outcomes. When spokespeople and politicans stopped talking about America’s bad showing, so did the media.

Reid reminds us why we need to keep reminding audiences how and why America falls short, and he offers a fine template for reporters needing help breaking down health bill complexities, misinformation, and the half-truths that will keep floating around. We urge readers of Campaign Desk who are not journalism professionals to see what Reid has to say. Apparently Post readers are already doing that: Post ombudsman Andy Alexander told me that Reid’s story was the most widely viewed story on the paper’s Web site Sunday and Monday.

Now, this is an excellent primer. And it’s something much needed; Ms. Lieberman went out and did some person-in-the-street interviews with ordinary people to find out who’s paying attention, who isn’t, and what they do and don’t know about the issue.

In New York, they don’t know squat.

And in Columbia, Missouri, it’s about the same.

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The health care thing; a few loose ends

The health care thing; a few loose endsTrudy Lieberman bringing it every time:

1) Was a public plan ever really in the cards?

2) Who will be at the table? (part XIV)

3) Who will be at the table? (the whole sad story).

4) Nicholas Kristof interviews one of the originators of the “Block Socialized Medicine” shitbomb (he feels bad about it now). Homeboy also spilled his guts to The Hill.

5) Robert Reich thinks the public option may have one last chance. Maybe.

6) Paul Krugman examines healthcare in the civilized world (if only we were part of it).

7) A short piece on how insurance companies revoke coverage of sick people, just because they can.

After all, it’s the health of the shares we really care about. The patients can go screw.

8) Not that there’s any shortage of money in the health care industry; Bloomberg reports there are SIX lobbyists per federal lawmaker, hard at work screwing you.

9) Krugman again, on why the “bipartisan” thing is so much BS. Personally, I think the idea of any bipartisan agreement with Republicans has the same chance as decent, law-abiding people reaching agreement with the Mafia. Just in case you didn’t know where I stand on this.

10) “Thousands Line Up For Promise Of Free Health Care.” God bless the people who set this up.

How the Republicans, the healthcare industry, and several well-connected astroturf lobbying goups organized the howling reactionary zombies.

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