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Old 08-08-2009, 12:24 PM   #901
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ACLU? Really? I guess you haven't heard they're on "your" side about the report fishy comments idea... So much for it being the Communist organization that conservatives often like to paint it as...
i must admit i too "hated" the evil ACLU, without even really knowing anything about it. this was before my "re-education", when i used to watch O'Reilly every night.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:10 PM   #902
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You know, all that Patriotic Act, Terrorist surveillance, FISA court stuff.

If the privacy of your phone calls is so important why not be at least somewhat concerned about your medical records?

Remember, someday a Republican may be back in the White House.


so now the shoe is on the other foot?

i can see the point, but the point equally applies to you from 2001-2009.

you lose concern for privacy so that we can kill terrorists.

we lose concern for privacy so that 40m people might have health insurance.

i suppose those are simply different priorities, but if you think you've caught (for lack of a better term) "The Left" in some act of hypocrisy, it applies equally to you.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:13 PM   #903
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I've yet to really notice that loss of Privacy. Anyone? Isn't the actual number of chronically uninsured around 8 million?
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:18 PM   #904
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so now people's free speech needs to be reported to the white house? and what are they going to do with the information they get?


given the shocking ignorance out there about health care, the health care plan, and who pays for what, this seems rather responsible.

it's shocking that people don't know that Medicaid and Medicare are government-run programs, nor do they know that if they get health care from their employer, it's already coming out of their paycheck. it's precisely these people who would benefit most from single-payer health care, and just as Republicans do with, say, abortion, they exploit these folks with fears of "communism" or "socialism" or "black man in the white house asking for your money like those homeless black people do whenever you have to go into Detroit."

Tempers Flare at Romulus Health Forum



and we have this little gem from Madame Proudly Ignorant herself, Sarah Palin:

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The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
it's beyond parody.

and, yes, there's a current of racism at the core of this.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:20 PM   #905
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Yes, but it seems an attack like this would be... I don't know... covered a little more in the media had the roles been reversed. Especially since the victim was black.


do you have anything to add other than how "unfair" the media is.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:21 PM   #906
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I've yet to really notice that loss of Privacy. Anyone?


but i'm sure it will be totally different with health care.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:41 PM   #907
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If I may jump in here, I would like to share an article my brother wrote. He is an award winning investigative journalist and works locally for a non profit organization called the Center for Justice. He has a very impressive resume and I am so proud of him I could just boast all day long but I will stop.
Just sharing another opinion on the health care debate and why the mob anger is about something deeper than health care reform.

**********************************
Mobs in America
Published on August 7, 2009

If angry conservatives can shout down health reform, then America is in deeper trouble than we thought.
In case you missed it, Paul Krugman has an insightful and important opinion piece in yesterday’s New York Times entitled “The Town Hall Mob,” that gets at what is arguably the most disturbing trend in American political life.

Some would argue that the most disturbing trend in our political life is the continuing saturation of the electoral process with special interest money. But here, as Krugman points out, we actually have a marriage between vested industry groups with lots of money, and genuinely angry citizens who are now using the health care debate to vent spleen about all sorts of phantoms. Generally, the anger is expressed in charges about how Obama and the Democrats are seizing the country and leading us to fascism, or socialism, depending on the speaker, or the mute, crimson-faced, sign-waver.

Thus, from the wild scenes at district-level, public meetings this past week, what we seem to be witnessing is not just a well-organized assault on health care reform. It also appears to be a chilling escalation of hysterical, open therapy events for conservatives still fuming over the Republican Party’s reversal of fortunes and the ascension of a black family to the White House. Here the even nuttier “birther” conspiracies challenging Obama’s legitimacy to be President are conspicuous and perhaps not a coincidence.

I hope by my criticisms of Obama’s lame response to Wall Street’s devastating piracy and the President’s shameful reluctance to prosecute torturers, I’ve persuaded some of you that I’m not a knee-jerk partisan. But this attack on health care reform is not just loony, it’s dangerous moonshine.

Consider that one of the principal funders of this supposedly grassroots, anti-reform effort is Rick Scott, the disgraced former head of Columbia/HCA, a private hospital chain that pled guilty and paid $1.7 billion in fines for overcharging government health plans. (Scott drew an outraged reaction from CNN anchor Rick Sanchez yesterday when he lamely offered that the company paid the fine after he (Scott) was removed from his position.)

But the real reason these events should frighten you is contained in this scene from a Texas town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Gene Green (D) that Krugman relates in his column: “An activist turned to his fellow attendees and asked if they ‘oppose any form os socialized or government-run health care.’ Nearly all did. Then Representative Green asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Almost half raised their hands.”

It reminded me of a cartoon I saw a couple days ago where a couple on their way to demonstrate against government involvement in health care are asking a pharmacist to hurry up and give them their government subsidized prescriptions because they’re late for the rally.

I think this is a vivid extension of the utter craziness in American political culture that Thomas Frank brilliantly portrayed in his 2005 book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” Frank’s organizing question is how lower and middle income conservatives have been enlisted as political foot soldiers and cannon fodder to promote laissez faire policies that generally undermine their own economic interests. Frank’s answer is that there is a weird alchemy in the culture wars where, in exchange for religious totems (Republican opposition to abortion, gay rights, etc.), the good folks of Kansas are willing to accept the agenda of corporate greed heads, even when it conflicts with their own economic self-interests. Again, I think it goes back to this nutty notion Americans have that–despite the immense taxpayer subsidies and perks to banks, agribusiness, and other private groups–we’re all still yodeling cowboys at heart who just want big gov’ment to get out of our ways so we can fend for ourselves with the money we’ll make in Dodge City. Dream on.

What the shouting accomplishes, of course, is that it makes the facts irrelevant. Facts can’t get a hearing when a group of people decide that an orderly public meeting is not going to occur on their watch. Want to read something chilling? Go to Talking Points Memo and read this “Rocking the Town Halls–Best Practices” memo distributed by one of the conservative/populist groups behind this shout-them-out movement.

Part of the absurdity, here, is that there’s nothing in Obama’s political makeup that marks him as a proponent of big-government. If we had a health care system where a basic right to health care was even close to being delivered by private insurers, no one would be happier about it than Obama who, lord knows, faces daunting challenges from so many other directions. But now we have a collection of angry mobs, blocking even the discussion of reforms, with the blood-curdling scream that Obama is taking us down the road to socialism, or worse. This, even when it is Obama’s team that, as much as the Republicans, has thwarted any meaningful consideration of a single-payer system, variations of which work in most other industrialized nations.

Indeed, as Krugman hints at in his column, the energy behind Obama’s reforms may have already been drained by his readiness to compromise with opponents who are heavily backed by private insurers and willing not just to distort facts, but use ideologically charged and even race-coded language to whip up opposition to reforms.

Ultimately, though, it comes back to the rest of us, and what we’re willing to do to protect what’s left of our democracy from people who are demonstrating that, in their misplaced rage, they are proudly unwilling to have a reasoned discussion. If that’s America to them, it can’t be America to the rest of us.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:12 PM   #908
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My daughter and I were discussing the US health care issue last night, along with this thread specifically, and noted that (just an observation, no judgment) in general, many US citizens seem much more paranoid about steps their government take than do citizens of any other democracy we could think of. In Canada, even when citizens are ideologically opposed to the party in power, although we might not agree with their policies or like every decision they come to, there's not this pervasive feeling that the government is out to get us/do us harm/invade our privacy. We talked about how the US was pretty much founded on anti-government sentiment, and how it's carried over to present day.

I just find it amazing that people would be willing to put their trust in a private, for profit company to have their best interests in mind, before the government. Besides that, I guess I really don't have a point, but I'd be interested in reading any comments that this might generate.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:14 PM   #909
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^ i dont trust private for profit companies OR the government i dont like the current system or Obama's plan.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:28 PM   #910
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Isn't the actual number of chronically uninsured around 8 million?
If you listen to Glenn Beck's twisting of the the truth, then yes it's closer to like 5 people who are uninsured.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:33 PM   #911
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I just find it amazing that people would be willing to put their trust in a private, for profit company to have their best interests in mind, before the government. Besides that, I guess I really don't have a point, but I'd be interested in reading any comments that this might generate.
Yes, the mis-information about the "evil" government and it's programs was reinforced for my generation with Ronald Reagan and his mantra of deregulation.
Look what we have now, GREED and more greed with NO oversight. Especially in the health care industry. Why can't people see this? The stock market crashing was not enough? The refusal of health care is not enough?
The health care industry is an industry for the most part that is working and rewarding itself for keeping Americans sick so they can continue to produce large profits to pay for their multitude of vacation homes and luxury items.
They don't want you to be healthy, otherwise where is the profit in NOT prescribing drugs? Where is the profit in
naturual alternative medicine that doesn't involve the pharmacuedical companies?
There has got to be a happy medium. Whenever things become lopsided that's when things fall apart.
There is more going on here with these angry "mobs" and the battle cry for NON reform. They are angry about the election. Pure and simple and are misguided by FEAR perpetuated by fear mongers like rush and Bill O.

Fear is not of God, fear destroys hope.

You guys gotta read this article, it's as funny as it is insightful by the always amusing Bill Maher. I know he is very alienating, but this is so funny.
********
From the Huffington Post:



Just because a country elects a smart president doesn't make it a smart country. A few weeks ago I was asked by Wolf Blitzer if I thought Sarah Palin could get elected president, and I said I hope not, but I wouldn't put anything past this stupid country. It was amazing - in the minute or so between my calling America stupid and the end of the Cialis commercial, CNN was flooded with furious emails and the twits hit the fan. And you could tell that these people were really mad because they wrote entirely in CAPITAL LETTERS!!! It's how they get the blood circulating when the Cialis wears off. Worst of all, Bill O'Reilly refuted my contention that this is a stupid country by calling me a pinhead, which A) proves my point, and B) is really funny coming from a doody-face like him.

Now, the hate mail all seemed to have a running theme: that I may live in a stupid country, but they lived in the greatest country on earth, and that perhaps I should move to another country, like Somalia. Well, the joke's on them because I happen to have a summer home in Somalia... and no I can't show you an original copy of my birth certificate because Woody Harrelson spilled bong water on it.

And before I go about demonstrating how, sadly, easy it is to prove the dumbness dragging down our country, let me just say that ignorance has life and death consequences. On the eve of the Iraq War, 69% of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Four years later, 34% still did. Or take the health care debate we're presently having: members of Congress have recessed now so they can go home and "listen to their constituents." An urge they should resist because their constituents don't know anything. At a recent town-hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his Congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross country to protest highways.

I'm the bad guy for saying it's a stupid country, yet polls show that a majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. 24% could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket.

Not here. Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators and more than half can't name their congressman. And among Republican governors, only 30% got their wife's name right on the first try.

Sarah Palin says she would never apologize for America. Even though a Gallup poll says 18% of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth. No, they're not stupid. They're interplanetary mavericks. A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen, and a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, which is an absurd sentence because it contains the words "Bush" and "knowledge."

People bitch and moan about taxes and spending, but they have no idea what their government spends money on. The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes 24% of our federal budget. It's actually less than 1%. And don't even ask about cabinet members: seven in ten think Napolitano is a kind of three-flavored ice cream. And last election, a full one-third of voters forgot why they were in the booth, handed out their pants, and asked, "Do you have these in a relaxed-fit?"

And I haven't even brought up America's religious beliefs. But here's one fun fact you can take away: did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which one came first.

And these are the idiots we want to weigh in on the minutia of health care policy? Please, this country is like a college chick after two Long Island Iced Teas: we can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care. We should forget town halls, and replace them with study halls. There's a lot of populist anger directed towards Washington, but you know who concerned citizens should be most angry at? Their fellow citizens. "Inside the beltway" thinking may be wrong, but at least it's thinking, which is more than you can say for what's going on outside the beltway.

And if you want to call me an elitist for this, I say thank you. Yes, I want decisions made by an elite group of people who know what they're talking about. That means Obama budget director Peter Orszag, not Sarah Palin.

Which is the way our founding fathers wanted it. James Madison wrote that "pure democracy" doesn't work because "there is nothing to check... an obnoxious individual." Then, in the margins, he doodled a picture of Joe the Plumber.

Until we admit there are things we don't know, we can't even start asking the questions to find out. Until we admit that America can make a mistake, we can't stop the next one. A smart guy named Chesterton once said: "My country, right or wrong is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying... It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober.'" To which most Americans would respond: "Are you calling my mother a drunk?"
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:46 PM   #912
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:47 PM   #913
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If you listen to Glenn Beck's twisting of the the truth, then yes it's closer to like 5 people who are uninsured.
What are the real numbers?

From my understanding, the uninsured isn't even the full problem, it's also the under-insured, the people who are paying exorbitant rates for their insurance or procedures/treatments that aren't covered, and those who have to jump through hoops (not always successfully) to get their insurance companies to cover legitimate health care needs.

Quote:
Please, this country is like a college chick after two Long Island Iced Teas: we can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:49 PM   #914
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I read stuff like that and I laugh....but then I re-read the specifics, from the polls, and I get sad. Such a sense of entitlement in this country, and everyone wants their fucking rights but nobody wants the responsibilities that come with those rights....and educating yourself, or at least paying attention in class seems like a basic responsibility.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:51 PM   #915
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we have LOTS of dipshits in this country. i see them everyday at my job. i wonder how some of these people survive day to day being so dumb. the worst are the people around 20 y/o and below.
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