Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Combatting crazy with facts

mcjoan (DK): White House Launches "Reality Check" Site

The White House has launched a new Web site to debunk some of the crazier ideas floating around about healthcare reform, Health Insurance Reform Reality Check. From the e-mail annoucing it:

Dear Friend,

Anyone that's watched the news in the past few days knows that health insurance reform is a hot topic — and that rumors and scare tactics have only increased as more people engage with the issue. Given a lot of the outrageous claims floating around, it’s time to make sure everyone knows the facts about the security and stability you get with health insurance reform.

That’s why we’ve launched a new online resource — WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck — to help you separate fact from fiction and share the truth about health insurance reform. Here's a few of the reality check videos you can find on the site:

There's more information and a number of online tools you can use to spread the truth among your family, friends and other social networks. Take a look:

Health Insurance Reform Reality Check

Combatting crazy with facts is an impossible task. The vocal minority of birthers, deathers, and teabaggers--collectively the screaming right-wing performance artists--don't give a shit about facts. But that they've actually been able to change the subject to euthanasia and rationing shows just how gullible, or uninterested in reality, the public and the punditry (I'm looking at you, Tweety) is. This site will be helpful for all the other people out there trying to figure out what's really in this for them.

JedL (DK): Glenn Beck is a deather

Glenn Beck says he agrees with Sarah Palin's false claim that President Obama is creating "death panels" that could kill her infant son:

(Transcript after the jump.)


Deather, defined

Main entry: deather
Function: noun
Etymology: From birther, a related conspiracy theory which holds that President Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen. Inspired by the teabaggers of April 15, 2009.
Date: Mid-2009
Definition: One who believes or spreads the false conspiracy theory that the health care reform legislation before Congress would create "death panels" or force seniors and sick people into euthanasia.
Examples: Sarah Palin is a deather. Glenn Beck is a deather. Rush Limbaugh is a deather.

Maddow is the only reliable fact checker on teevee. No "he said, she said" crap.
GOP taking the low road in health care debate Aug. 10: Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, joins Rachel Maddow to talk about the scare tactics those on the right are using to discourage support for health care reform.
The 10 biggest health insurance companies saw profits rise over 400% between 2000 and 2007. Hmmm, who was President then? Hmmm, did his policies make this possible?
Health insurance is a big money business Aug. 10: Rachel Maddow is joined by former health insurance executive turned whistleblower, Wendell Potter, to explain the way health insurance companies put their corporate profits ahead of the people they're meant to insure.

Think Progress: Rep. Blackburn pushes false myth that health reform will ‘diminish’ Medicare benefits.

Republicans have been trying to defeat health reform by scaring seniors that their Medicare benefits will be cut if the bill passes. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) have made the false argument in recent weeks. Today, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) repeated the myth in a phone interview with Memphis’ ABC affiliate. She offered a host of vacuous, Frank Luntz-approved talking points before making this statement:

Our seniors are saying, look don’t diminish Medicare. We have been paying into Medicare. That is pre-paid for us. It’s been coming out of our paycheck for 40 years. And they don’t want that Medicare to be diminished.

Watch it:

Of course, it’s ironic that conservatives who have long argued for killing Medicare are now proclaiming to be the protectors of it. “Nobody is talking about cutting Medicare benefits. I just want to make that absolutely clear,” President Obama has said. The health reform bill would not “diminish” Medicare benefits. “To the contrary, reform would simply eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies.” In addition, The Gavel notes several provisions in the House bill that strengthen Medicare:

Phases in completely filling in the “donut hole” in the Medicare prescription drug benefit (where drug costs are not reimbursed at certain levels), potentially savings seniors thousands of dollars a year.

Eliminates co-payments and deductibles for preventive services under Medicare.

Limits cost-sharing requirements in Medicare Advantage plans to the amount charged for the same services in traditional Medicare coverage.

Improves the low-income subsidy programs in Medicare, such as by increasing asset limits for programs that help Medicare beneficiaries pay premiums and cost-sharing.

BarbinMD (DK): David Vitter Faces Down A Pre-Screened Mob

David Vitter welcomes an encounter with an angry mob at his town hall events:

Yesterday, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) held a town hall meeting in Pineville, LA, attended by nearly 1,500 people. The discussion mostly focused around health care reform, and Vitter said that he is "totally and unalterably opposed" to the proposals being put forth in Congress.

At one point, however, an attendee asked Vitter about the confrontations at Democratic town hall meetings around the country. Vitter seemed to mock his colleagues, saying that although he had been advised to have "security" for his town hall meetings, he "told them the best security is to do what the people want you to do." He added that "the angry mob is always welcome at my events."

What he didn't mention:

Questions from audience members were screened and selected in advance of the event.

Which probably means he didn't need a diaper for the occasion. Of course that's assuming there aren't any hookers in Pineville.

Smooth Like Remy: No Excuses

Check out the average approval ratings for President Obama going state by state.

click to enlarge

To be sure, the southern states lag in his approval ratings but notice that quite a few states have his approval rating at above 60%. So then you have to ask why some of the Democratic members of Congress from those states are acting like cowards whenever one of President Obama's legislative priorities come up. He ran on a platform and he is now implementing that platform and the people are still with him. Its time for Democrats to grow a spine and follow the will of their constituents.
We can no longer give blue dogs or conservaDems a pass because they represent a traditionally red state or district. The country is turning blue and dammit our Congress needs to follow suit!

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