An Arizona Primer

In light of Arizona’s noxious new immigration law, folks may be confused as to whether or not they should have papers on them at all times in the Grand Canyon State.  This helpful illustration should clear things up:

(Tip o’ the shot glass to Jerry Coyne)

Good on Yer, Flagstaff!

I’m very, very proud of my former city right now (h/t):

The Tucson and Flagstaff city councils voted Tuesday to sue Arizona over its tough new immigration law, citing concerns about enforcement costs and negative effects on the state’s tourism industry.
They are the first municipalities in Arizona to approve legal challenges to the law. Earlier this week, proposed litigation in Phoenix took a hit when the city attorney said Mayor Phil Gordon lacks the authority to file suit without the support of the City Council.
[snip]
The Flagstaff City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that says it’s an unfunded mandate to carry out the responsibilities of the federal government.

Here’s the full text (pdf).  You’ll notice they got in a good dig about the bill making it less likely that immigrants will report crimes, too.

Good on yer, Flagstaff!  Go, Tucson!  I hope they start a landslide among cities.  And, Phoenix?  You don’t have an excuse – Tucson’s closer to the border than you are, so you can’t stick your nose up and claim those idjits up north don’t understand your suffering at the hands of teh evil immigrants. 

Additionally, let me congratulate Los Suns on their victoryViva Los Suns!

There are good people in Arizona.  Hear them roar.

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

You may recall from last week that the Cons got caught with their pants around their ankles on the whole issue of paying for abortions.  Michael Steele swore he’d ensure RNC health insurance policies no longer included coverage for elective abortions.  That, however, won’t let them off the hook:

But does that actually “settle” the matter? The new RNC policy, apparently, is to have insurance through Cigna, opting out of abortion coverage. But let’s not lose sight of the original fungibility problem — the RNC is taking Republican money and giving it to an insurance company through premiums. That company will then use its pool of money to pay for abortion services, not for RNC employees, but for other customers.
In other words, the Republican National Committee will still indirectly subsidize abortions, every time it writes a check to Cigna.
And if the RNC disagrees with this reasoning, and believes the issue is “settled,” then the party has rejected the reasoning of the Stupak amendment at a fundamental level.

And as if the RNC’s abortion funding hypocrisy isn’t enough, it seems Cantor and Gingrich have been subsidizing abortions, as well.  Deary, deary me.

As for the Stupak Stupidity itself, it doesn’t look long for this world.  Not only are there plenty of liberal Dems sworn to fight it, but it’s not looking Constitutional at this point, either.  Even pro-life Dem Bob Casey’s against Stupak’s Stupidity.  Credo’s got a petition up and shall be sending coathangers to the Conservadems who voted for the Stupidity.  And the White House is making its opposition known.  The Stupidity, it seems, has very few friends.

Stupak’s doing what any other con artist now getting excoriated for his con job does: blames the victims.  Rep. Diana DeGette takes him to the woodshed over it.

By the way, if you think the Catholic bishops who helped drive Stupak’s Stupidity through were standing on principle, you haven’t noticed the financial stake they have in this.  It seems to me it’s about time to revisit some tax laws.

In other news, health care reform is definitely good for business.  Goldman Sachs assures us that if a watered-down version passes, however, it’ll only be good for the insurance business.

That’s not, however, why right-wing Texans are overwhelmingly against reform.  I think we can put that down to too much Teabagging.

The AARP’s for reform, though, which is too much for John McCain, who in an Arizona town hall urged his admirers to cut up their AARP cards.  Sad, pathetic people.

And, finally, you’ll likely not be surprised to learn that after the disaster in the House, Senate Cons don’t plan to present a bill of their own:

The Senate GOP caucus will, however, apparently at least throw a few ideas into the mix, even if it’s not in the form of an coherent, comprehensive policy.

Senate Republicans cannot say what exactly the budgetary impact of their health alternatives would be, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said this weekend. […]

The New Hampshire Republican said that GOP alternatives, which they’ll offer as amendments to Democrats’ health legislation, “don’t cost money.”

It stands to reason, then, that either Republicans have come up with magical proposals, or they intend to ignore the tens of millions of Americans who currently lack coverage.
Gregg went on to say that his party won’t get analyses from the Congressional Budget Office because “we don’t know how to score them under CBO rules.” He added that Republicans “know from experience” that their ideas would “produce more effectively delivered cost service.”
Right. Because if there’s one thing Republicans have “experience” with, it’s improving health care delivery efficiently and cost effectively.
Remind me, has that ever happened?

Nope.

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

Now that health care reform has passed the House, all eyes turn to the Senate.  TPM has the definitive rundown of the six Conservadems who could fuck it all up.

Two of ’em are already vowing filibusters: Lieberman will filibuster if there’s a public option, and Ben Nelson will filibuster if the Senate doesn’t include Stupak’s incredibly stupid abortion restrictions.  Connecticut, your mission is to kick Lieberman to the curb.  Nebraska, likewise for Nelson.  Kick hard.  I want to see these assclowns go down to double-digit losses.

Speaking of abortion bullshit, Rep. Wasserman-Schultz vows the Stupak Stupidity will go down to defeat.  And so far, 41 House Dems are right there with her.  Who’s for a nice game o’ chicken, then?  I’m game.

If the Stupak Stupidity ends up in the final bill, I do hope the Amato Amendment will, as well. After all, every sperm is sacred.  Just ask the Catholic bishops who pushed for the Stupak Stupidity to begin with.

The Cons put on quite the show during debate on the Stupak Stupidity, going so far as to shout down any Congresswomen trying to debate the damned thingDebbie Wasserman-Schultz returned some of their back-of-the-hand treatment today.  Good for her.  Oh, and in answer to Pete Sessions, who thinks women should pay more for insurance because “we’re all different,” and using smokers paying more as an example, let me just say: smoking’s a choice, being female is not (without extensive surgery), you fucktard. 

The RNC seems to be feeling a bit frisky, declaring they’ll give Blanche Lincoln the John Kerry treatment if she dares vote for cloture and then vote against the reform bill.  If they want to play that game, they can be my guest – it’ll probably make it easier to get a more progressive Dem elected in a very regressive state.  But if Sen. Lincoln wants to retain her Senate seat, she should listen to Steve’s sound advice.

Here’s a great new moniker for the GOP: grandstand, oppose and pretend.

Few people outside the Teabagger movement can make Sarah Palin look intelligent by comparison, but Fred Hiatt’s doing his best.

Dick Armey wants us all to know he believes people should be denied for pre-existing conditions, and moreover, we’ve got too much health insurance.  That bullshit may be popular among the Teabaggers, but I have a strange feeling the majority of Americans aren’t as impressed.

Former AMA president and current anti-reform dumbshit Donald Palmisano wants us all to know that reform’s not necessary because doctors will be happy to treat you for free if you can’t pay.  I’m sure that will come as news to other docs.

I find it interesting that Americans were watching the health reform debate on barroom teevees

Donna Edwards is paying it forward.  Have I mentioned lately how awesome she is?

And, finally, Steve Benen reminds us that, if health care reform isn’t perfect right out of the gate, neither was Social Security.  That’s a reassuring thought as we fight for as much progress as we can get.

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

The Cons are desperate.  You know how I know they’re desperate?  Because they play the terrorist card whenever they’re on the verge of losing.  And if you thought death panels were over-the-top, well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

I’m going to have to start calling her “Washington State’s Shame:”

Rep. Virginia Foxx’s (R-N.C.) looked pretty ridiculous yesterday when she said Americans have “more to fear” from health care reform than “from any terrorist right now in any country.” But it seems the health=terror concept is catching on in GOP circles.

House Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who is leading this week’s campaign by GOP women to attack the House Democratic health care bill, on Tuesday compared the proposal to an “internal” terrorist attack.

McMorris Rodgers initially avoided endorsing comments made Monday by her colleague, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.)…. But when pressed on whether the bill represented something as grave as a terrorist attack, McMorris Rodgers drew a line between the nature of terrorism and the effect of the Democratic proposal.

“I would say it’s the difference between an internal versus an external attack. Yes,” McMorris Rodgers said. The Democratic bill “is internal. This is rocking our foundation.”

Given the prevalence of this talking point, it almost seems coordinated. Foxx compared reform to terrorism yesterday. Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) made the same comparison last week.

Think it stops there?  Oh, ye who hath little understanding of how the Cons tend to get on a stupidity roll:

Glenn Beck must have been feeling the pressure from Virginia Foxx yesterday in the Absurd Wingnuttery Championships. So, after Foxx compared the liberal health-care reform package working its way through Congress to terrorism, Beck went on his Fox News show and compared the package to the 9/11 attacks:

Beck: On 9/11, we experienced a feeling we had never had before — when the buildings and our markets and the economy came falling down around our ears, we realized — ‘Oh my gosh. Our country isn’t unsinkable.’

We came, on that day, to the understanding that this Republic is fragile. Here we are now, a decade later. I’m on the air again, warning you that our government cannot sustain our massive spending. The system will collapse if we continue down this progressive path.

Where Glenn Beck goes, Cons in Congress follow.  I’m sure we’ll hear plenty more about how health care reform is sooo much worse than those horrible terrorists.  And I have to tell you something.  If I run across someone stupid enough to fall for this ridiculous bullshit, I’m having them locked up as a danger to self and others.  That much burning stupid can’t be allowed out of the streets.  People might get burned.

This talk of terrorists has nearly overwhelmed the greatest good news of all.  The Cons have a health care “reform” bill of their very own now!  Of course, if you have a pre-existing condition, you’re fucked, despite all that lovely talk from Cons earlier about how folks shouldn’t be turned down for having pre-existing conditions.  Oh, and if your state has awesome protections for consumers, you can bet your plans won’t, since the Cons’ bill lets insurers choose the states with the worst regulations.  Oh, and if you really, really wanted bipartisanship, you ain’t getting it with this bill, because the Cons didn’t include a single, solitary Dem idea, not even one of the 80% of them the Cons claimed they agreed with

Otherwise, I’m sure it’ll be awesome, although we won’t know until the rest of it’s made public.  I can’t hardly wait.

Elsewhere in health care reform stupidity, Blue Dogs are rooting for failure (what a shocker, I know) and Mary Landrieu’s still a fucking moron.

But at least the cavalry’s finally arrived for the public option: Obama’s political operation’s pushing hard for it.

We’re in the home stretch, my darlings.  We might even see reform before we’re old, gray and on Medicare.  Just don’t hold your breath, because that might be considered a pre-existing condition…

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

I can’t wait until these assclowns pass some sort of health care reform so the endless parade of outrageous dumbfuckery can… well, it’s never going to stop.  I mean, come on.  We’ve got Smilin’ Tim Pawlenty all set and ready to opt his state right out of reform.  You know that once reform’s passed, no matter in what shape or form, the Cons will go even more batshit insane than they already are.

But at least we won’t have to watch all the sausage-making anymore.  It’s getting nauseating.  Here we have the White House getting ready to pull the trigger on us.  Therefore, the Senate’s considering pulling the triggerQueen Snowe’s going to be spending her whole entire weekend shitting all over the very idea of a public option.  Nancy Pelosi’s gone from saying the public option’s totally alive to saying we might not get what we want.  In the course of a single fucking day, mind you.

Looks like telling those dithering dumbfuck Dems to get off the fucking fence and pick a side didn’t go too well.

Argh.

I just hope Rep. Dingell gets through to some of these dumbshits:

In a tense, closed door caucus meeting this morning, during which House Democrats were made to go on the record on the question of whether they’d vote for a health care bill with a robust public option, some of the caucus’ most nervous members got a bit of perspective from its longest serving members.
“It was really fairly simple speech,” said Rep. John Dingell (D-MI). “All I did was to remind the members that the Republicans are out there to beat us by seeing to it that we accomplish nothing during this Congress especially on health care. It’s exactly the same tactic, the same strategy they used in 1993. And I reminded them that that tactic took control of the House from us, because, one of the principal reasons was, we were not able to pass a health insurance bill.”
Dingell tells me, “I reminded them that Democrats were divided on the issue. And I told them that if they want to come back and control the Congress they should get behind this bill.”

I pointed out that there are 47 million Americans–not 35–that would be able to draw benefits under this. That’s not only a moral, but an economic necessity. Because we can no longer afford the cost of health insurance… I pointed out that by 2082 or thereabout two curves will cross on a graph. The first the cost of health care the second the United States GDP. We’re going to confront a massive and frightening situation.

The more immediate point, though, is that these members have made the wrong political calculation. “I told them that this country will support members that do what they think is right and go home and defend it,” Dingell said, reminding them that the real danger is not that some of the bill’s provisions, particularly the robust public option, might be unpopular in their districts, but that they go home empty handed.
Dingell’s optimistic. “I think we’re going to win–I think we very well have to win.”

Keep screaming, sir.  Maybe, possibly, eventually, if you scream loud and long enough, some sense will penetrate.

Maybe.

Meanwhile, liberal Dems have taken aim directly at Rahm Emmanuel in a carefully-phrased letter.  Shorter liberal Dem letter: “Fucking lead, fucking follow, or fucking get out of the fucking way.”  If they’d phrased it exactly like that, there’d be a better chance he’d get it.

Pelosi completely dissed a Tenther.  ‘Twas glorious.

AHIP’s already facing the wrath of the White House, but now they’re really in for it.  I don’t think they’ll survive Patriot Baby.

Reid’s making a calculated gamble that might save us from the trigger.  Mebbe.

Specter thinks we’re going to get cloture, without Snowe, which maybe possibly means we’ll have it without a fucking trigger.

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel delivered quite the spanking to his party.  Never knew the old boy could wield the Smack-o-Matic so vigorously.

And Rep. Weiner delivered the coup de gras by calling out the 55 Cons who, while they are dead-set against public options for the rest of us, are more than happy to take advantage of government-run health care by signing up for Medicare.

This is why I do not despair.  We’re having a rough day, but the fight’s still on, the warriors are on the battlefield, and we might still win the war.  We shall see.

Oh, and the next time someone tells you Faux News is a legitimate news channel, ask them why one of their supposedly “fair and balanced” reporters is rallying against health care reform.  That should be amusing.

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

Well, my darlings, I promised you more patented Michael Steele stupidity, and here it is:

In general, even most opponents of health care reform maintain the pretense of concern about the failures of the status quo. It’s not unusual to hear Republicans say, for example, that they’d like to support reform, just not the reform proposal on the table. It’s a shallow talking point, but it’s intended to shield them from criticism that the GOP is satisfied with the broken system that most Americans don’t like.
Michael Steele missed the memo.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, in an interview this weekend on Univision, said, “I don’t think we need a comprehensive overhaul of our health care system.”

“Because our health care system,” he continued, according to a transcript posted by Latina Lista, “while it remains the best in the country and while it provides largely the services that people need and the quality of those services are very, very good, there are costs associated with this system that needs to be address more directly.”

He explained the Republicans’ plan for health care, describing it as “elbow grease” that requires neither regulation or taxation.

“It’s common sense solution, it doesn’t require a nationalizing of our health care system, and it doesn’t involve or require a great government intrusion through regulation and taxation and other confiscatory policies,” he said. “What it requires is applying a little, you know elbow grease, to allow those businesses, those Hispanic businesses for example, under the market place and get the health care that they need.”

It’s hard to know where to start with this, though it’s hard to miss the fact that Steele thinks our country’s health care system is “the best in the country.” I suppose that’s true, in a circular kind of way. It’s also worth noting that Steele still thinks there are Democratic plans for “nationalizing of our health care system,” reinforcing suspicions that the RNC chairman has no idea what he’s talking about.
But more important is how badly out of touch Steele is. Even now, after months of debate, he’s convinced “a comprehensive overhaul” is excessive, and would prefer to just tweak the system around the edges. That’s not where the country is — the most recent CBS News poll found that 53% of Americans believe “fundamental changes are needed” to the U.S. system, while an additional 31% believe our system “has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it.” That’s a combined total of 84% who want, at a minimum, some serious changes to the status quo. What’s more, those numbers are even higher than in September, suggesting the appetite for an overhaul is growing.

It’s hard to get more stupid than “We don’t need to reform our country’s health care system because we have the best health care in the country,” but I’m sure other Cons will try.

Do you want to know how good our health care system is?  So good that a 40 year-old man has to join the Army to insure his wife, who has ovarian cancer – and before Bush the Buffoon got us involved in two wars, he would’ve been too old for that option.  He gets to miss his daughter’s high school years, because he’ll be away in the Army.  He can’t take his wife to chemo, because he’s away in the Army.  That’s how good it is.

We need single payer.  All we can hope for now is a public option.  Is there hope?  The GOP seems to think so – they’ve given up on moderate Dems helping them derail health care reform.  Good.

Max Baucus wants us to know that the public option’s alive, only very badly burned.

 Well, actually, he said we’d get one, he just didn’t know what kind.  Sen. Burris says it damned well better be a good one.  Otherwise, his vote’s a big fat fucking NO.  Good on him.

Blanche Lincoln’s constituents gave her hell over the public option during their little chat.  Not so good: she’s a total tool of the insurance industry.  Just check out this exchange:

“We are terribly disappointed that you have caved in to the insurance industry and failed to support the public option for health care. It may very well affect our vote for you in the next election,” Ray and Judy told her on the chat, which is posted online.

“Unfortunately the insurance companies opposed the bill I supported in the Finance Committee. There are many ways to provide greater options and choices to individuals, including non-profits, a state plan, and a co-op plan,” Lincoln wrote back.

“The insurance companies opposed it” is not a valid excuse for fucking us over, Sen. Lincoln.  You’d best remember that if you don’t want to go back to being Ms. Lincoln, Private Fucking Citizen.

As for what the public wants, well, when the question’s phrased as a choice between a bipartisan bill and ne with a public option, they want a public option more than they want happy Cons.  So bipartisanship has got to go.  Are you listening, Senate Dumbocrats?

Well, some of them are.  Some of them are pathetically whining that they need the Obama administration to step up and tell them, specifically, to put the public option in the bill.  If someone knows what’s wrong with these idiots, please share, because I can’t figure it out.

Sen. Harkins isn’t being a WATB.  He’s too busy telling public option opponents to shut the fuck up and get on board with the majority

Meanwhile, over in the House, Blue Dog Marshall’s busy telling everyone that Medicare and Medicaid are just like the Soviet Union.  No wonder he could only spout this stupidity on Faux News:

“We’ve got this sort of central payment system, which is a fundamental problem. It’s health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, making the payments, and we’ve got consumers and doctors pretty divorced from the costs associated with the decisions that are being made,” said Marshall. “As a result, we’ve had an explosion in cost. I think we’ve got to see a fundamental change in the system that we’ve got right now for payment. If we don’t do that, we’ll continue to have opportunities to fix waste, fraud and abuse, because systems that are centrally planned and controlled — like the Soviet system — are just full of those kinds of issues.”

Does this even mean anything, or is it the word salad of a severely delusional mind?  It sounds like he’s saying we shouldn’t have any health insurance at all.  WTF, are we supposed to pay cash for treatment, and if we haven’t got the cash, too fucking bad?  Is that what he’s trying to tell us?

What an assclown.  Can someone tell me why this dumbshit’s even considered a Democrat?  He’s a social fucking conservative, for fuck’s sake.  And he’s absolutely insane on health care.  What’s left – a light green thumb, a mild opposition to troop surges, and a few scattered economic ideas that would be considered heresy by Teabaggers.  Not even fucking close to enough.  Georgia’s 8th – if you want a Con, elect one honest enough to call himself one next time. 

At least he’s not the Speaker of the House.  No, the Speaker, thankfully, is a woman getting ready to hand the coup de gras to the Senate:

As always, the legislative process is unpredictable, and the Senate is operating in isolation from the House. But with the public option potentially in the balance, Speaker Pelosi’s goal is this: present conservative Democrats in both chambers with a Hobson’s choice between a public option bill and a potentially more expensive Senate bill that may have no public option at all.

Those fiscally-responsible Conservadems will have a hard time explaining why they’re rejecting that one, now, won’t they?

I think I’m enjoying the sausage-making process again….