Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Wingnut Tuesday: his exact words Edition

Aravosis: Official House GOP Website Promoting Video Of Rep Saying Obama’s Mom Might Have Aborted Him
No matter how bad our guys are, their guys are always worse.
John Cole: No One Could Have Predicted, Teen Pregnancy Edition

I’m sure you are all as surprised by this as I am:

Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush’s evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US’s major public health body.

In a report that will surprise few of Bush’s critics on the issue, the Centres for Disease Control says years of falling rates of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease infections under previous administrations were reversed or stalled in the Bush years. According to the CDC, birth rates among teenagers aged 15 or older had been in decline since 1991 but are up sharply in more than half of American states since 2005. The study also revealed that the number of teenage females with syphilis has risen by nearly half after a significant decrease while a two-decade fall in the gonorrhea infection rate is being reversed. The number of Aids cases in adolescent boys has nearly doubled.

The CDC says that southern states, where there is often the greatest emphasis on abstinence and religion, tend to have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and STDs.

At least the southern states get to lead the nation in something.

John (at Eschaton): Screw Us All Once More, For the Gipper

I'd love to see one of the several cable news networks with 25 hours of prime time slots a week air one of those "Did you know?" segments on this.

The history of the debate, almost as much as the current facts, and you know, reality, illustrates nicely how hollow GOP obstructionism is.

    Over at "The Corner," Jonah Goldberg highlights this 1961 clip from Ronald Reagan, criticizing Medicare. Goldberg said Reagan's criticism of the landmark health care program is, nearly a half-century later, "still fresh today."

    As Jonathan Chait explained, "This is true, but not in the way Goldberg thinks."

    Listening to the recording now, it's kind of embarrassing to hear how very wrong Reagan's attacks on Medicare were at the time. In 1961, Reagan was a GE spokesperson, known for his conservative politics. When he lashed out at the idea of Medicare, it wasn't surprising, but it was the message itself that was so bizarre.

    According to Reagan, Medicare would lead federal officials to dictate where physicians could practice medicine, and open the door to government control over where Americans were allowed to live. In fact, Reagan warned that if Medicare became law, there was a real possibility that the federal government would control where Americans go and what they do for a living.

    In a line that may sound familiar to Sarah Palin fans, Reagan added, "[I]f you don't [stop Medicare] and I don't do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free."

    With the benefit of hindsight, we now know these crazy warnings were completely wrong. As Chait put it:

    You'd think conservatives would be embarrassed about this sort of talk. After all, can there be anybody who doesn't live in a militia compound who believes the passage of Medicare represented the death knell of that freedom in America? Does anybody think this business about the government dictating what city doctors live in has come true? Yet conservatives continue to trumpet it.

    Why? Reagan's diatribe is "still fresh" because it's exactly the same sort of rhetoric conservatives employ against health care reform today. I imagine his readers are supposed to consider it "fresh" because they're supposed to substitute "Obamacare" in their head every time Reagan refers to Medicare. This allows them to sustain a mental condition wherein hysterical conservative predictions about the last social reform are forgotten in the specific, but remembered in the general and applied to the next social reform.

    Reagan's misguided diatribe from 48 years ago also serves as a reminder that we hear the same arguments from conservatives, over and over again, every time real reform is on the table. Republicans, Fox News, and Limbaugh, for example, reflexively shout "socialized medicine" whenever the issue comes up -- just as the right has done for 75 years.

  • from the comments -

    I e-mailed Jonah Goldberg and mentioned that in the clip Reagan was opposing Medicare, which is now an extremely popular government program. I asked him if he thought that the Republican party should now also opposed Medicare and he said yes. Actually, his exact words were "Fine with me given how it sucks." I wrote back to say that I hoped he would encourage congressional Republicans to take that position.

    Posted by: Amy on July 20, 2009
Rachel does good here, real good . . .
Correcting the record on race
July 20: MSNBC's Rachel Maddow respectfully corrects some of the falsehoods about the role of race in America expressed in a previous show by guest and colleague Pat Buchanan.
Koppelman: Fox's Kilmeade apologizes for "pure" societies remark

It took a while -- almost two weeks -- but Fox News' Brian Kilmeade has finally addressed, and apologized for, some rather remarkable comments he made while hosting "Fox and Friends."

As War Room reported at the time, on the July 8 edition of the cable net's morning show, Kilmeade and colleagues were discussing a study that had been conducted in Finland and Sweden, the results of which suggested that married people were less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's. Kilmeade dismissed that study, however, saying observations from Finland and Sweden wouldn't necessarily apply to Americans, because, "we keep marrying other species and other ethnics and other ..." After an interruption from his co-host, Kilmeade continued, "See, the problem is the Swedes have pure genes. Because they marry other Swedes .... Finns marry other Finns, so they have a pure society."

In his apology, which you can watch below, Kilmeade says, "I made comments that were offensive to many people. That was not my intention, and looking back at those comments, I realize they were inappropriate. For that, I sincerely apologize: America [is a] huge melting pot, and that is what makes us such a great country."

(Hat-tip to Gawker.)

No comments:

Post a Comment