Posted on 10-03-2014
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

This blog discussed the desperate attempts to gin up support for Obamacare last week.  The oligarchs Koch have been running a series of mendacious sob stories about sympathetic victims losing health coverage.  Cancer patient Julie Boonstra starred in one of the first commercials.  As soon as the advertisement aired people smelled a rat and asked the Koch front group for supporting material for their assertions.

The group ran ads with Boonstra claiming that identifying factual inaccuracies was an attempt to “silence here.”  However, when confronted with information from her insurer that she would actually save money, Boonstra retorted she did not believe it was true.  Such is the legacy of Republican misinformation of the act.  It must also be noted that Boonstra is the ex-wife of former country Republican party chairman.  But of course that is just a “coincidence.” The mendacity will continue

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Posted on 09-03-2014
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Asif Mandvi dismantles another tedious right wing talking point about Obamacare – that it will destroy “the best healthcare system in the world.”  Of course the WHO has ranked our system 37th- but why should facts interfere with a talking point.  The reality also is that many people cannot afford our health care.  The speechless look on Fox Business commentator Todd Wilemon who cheerfully opined that the solution for poverty was that the poor should “just stop being poor” is priceless.  Video below:

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Posted on 04-03-2014
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Republicans appear to have convinced themselves that Obamacare is a disaster.  Horror stories are repeatedly trotted out only to wither in the gaze of scrutiny.  In most of these cases the alleged victim ends up getting better coverage for less money or was not aware of better coverage options (often due to deliberate  misinformation spread by the Republican party).  If Obamacare was such a disaster surely there would be more victims available. 

This brings back memories of the desperate Republican attempts a decade ago to identify the hallowed family farm that would be lost due to estate taxes.  They failed to find one… Probably because American agriculture is dominated by corporate farms and the yeoman farmer is increasingly a relic of history.

The video below shows Stephen Colbert mocking the desperate Republican attempts (now funded by the oligarchs Koch) to identify Obamacare horror stories.

Colbert followed that up with a hilarious satire with Patrick Stewart playing an Obamacare hating Louisiana workman on a fake anti-Obamacare ad. Video below:

Paul Krugman postulated recently that part of the problem is that the few losers are likely to be people in the 1% paying more taxes or healthy young men forced off minimalist policies.  These obviously are not likely to draw much sympathy.

This brings up another point.  Almost 4 years since Obamacare became law the Republicans have yet to unveil their oft promised viable replacement.  Part of the problem always has been the fact that Obamacare was a Republican idea that somehow got tainted because President Obama embraced it.  The other problem is that almost every Republican alternative diminishes consumer protections and would be far more disruptive to the healthcare industry.

As a result it is just easier to peddle faux Obamacare horror stories.  The mendacity (like attacking Democrats for Medicare “cuts”that were part of the Paul Ryan budget) will continue.

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Posted on 18-10-2013
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Eric Stern has a great article where he easily demolishes the lates round of bullshit from Sean Hannity on Faux News (what Jon Stewart refers to as bullshit mountain).  Starting with the small business owners whose blame Obamacare for “increased costs” even though their 4 person business is not subject to any Obamacare coverage rules to the others who are likely to get better policies for less if they got off their rumps and shopped at the exchanges, the article demonstrates why so many people are clueless about the law.

The Obama administration’s messaging has been outright awful.  However, they have also been dealing with an alleged news corporation spreading outright falsehoods and lazy establishment stenographers who cheerfully parrot the misleading statements issued by Republican politicians about the law.

This however is par for the course for Sean Hannity and his network, who were outraged when the President called them out on it a few weeks ago.

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Posted on 20-08-2013
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Back in 2009 Senator Jim DeMint encouraged opposition to the passage of Obamacare by stating its defeat would be “Obama’s Waterloo.”  The bill passed and was upheld by the Supreme Court.   Obama was reelected.

Now out of the Senate and heading the Heritage Foundation into hackish irrelevance DeMint has been urging the pointless attempts to defund Obamacare by holding the economy hostage.

A couple of weeks back Heritage pushed a poll purportedly showing wide support to repealing Obamacare that was so bad that even partisan hacks like Jennifer Rubin mocked it.  Today DeMint suggested that Obama would plausibly sign a bill defunding his greatest domestic policy victory.

The belief in the utter stupidity of his supporters that this would happen is breathtakingly cynical.  Maybe he is counting on the geniuses who wanted to “keep government out of their Medicare” to fall for this fund raising con job.  It is a sad commentary on the degeneration of the intellectual right.

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Posted on 23-01-2013
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Terry Lee of Cedar City, Utah who claims to have chosen two employees for layoff because they voted for Barack Obama.
Lee justified his decision on the alleged expenses his digital forensics business would incur because of “Obongocare”. Of course he could not identify these costs and his 9 employee business is well short of the 50 employees required for a business to comply with the Affordable Care Act.

So in addition to being an asshole Terry Lee appears to be an ignorant twit. Draw your own conclusions as to what his choice of phrase for Obamacare reveals about the rest of his character.

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Posted on 28-06-2012
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Seconds after the court upheld the individual mandate of Obamacare under the taxing power the Republican outrage machine clicked into full gear accusing Obama of taxing the middle class.  Exhibit A is the video below.

 

Turns out that the Romneybot version 2006 made essentially the same argument:

 

 

Hmm…

The real reason is not hard to figure out.  In a country founded on a tax revolt where the masses of citizenry demand services, but are allergic to paying for it defending legislation under the taxing power can be political suicide.  This is why Republicans like Romneybot (in any version) and Tim Pawlenty twist themselves into pretzels asserting that they never raised taxes…they raised fees.

The mandate is the only part of the bill that is unpopular.  But it is necessary to pay for all the goodies in the bill Americans like and many desperately need.  But the allegedly fiscally conservative party would like to pretend that the goodies can be delivered without any cost…but then again this is the party that deludes itself that tax cuts raise revenue, evidence be damned.

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Posted on 28-06-2012
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

LMAO

 

Breaking: Conservatives planning to leave U.S., but can't find wealthy Western democracy without universal health care. #hrc #scotus
@MSignorile
Mike Signorile

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Posted on 28-06-2012
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

President Obama’s tyrannical attempt to ensure that the health care access of Americans is not subject to the vicissitudes of the job market or preexisting health conditions survived today after CNN, Faux News and the Huffington Post re-enacted Dewey v. Truman.

A 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice John Roberts elected to uphold a bill originally drafted by the conservative Heritage Foundation.  You can read the opinion here.   The court embraced the nonsensical activity-inactivity argument and found the mandate (the only part of the bill that is actually unpopular) unconstitutional under the commerce clause but upheld it under the taxing power.  The bill now survives with the decisive vote of a chief justice appointed by George W. Bush, giving conservatives their new Justice Souter or Justice Blackmun to rail against.

Bozell: Roberts "reputation is forever stained in the eyes of conservatives, and there will be no rehabilitating of it” http://t.co/gYZAEPDI
@TimJGraham
Tim Graham

 

 

Meanwhile Mitt Romney offered a passionate defense of the independent mandate that was the most controversial element of Obamacare.

 

 

Oh wait…that was the last election cycle.

#MittRomney denounces US health law as "bad policy" and pledges to repeal if elected president http://t.co/tihYw9Uz #healthcare
@BBCWorld
BBC News (World)

 

 

This is now a socialist attack on our freedom

This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration.
@benshapiro
benshapiro

Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn't a tax. Obama lies; freedom dies.
@SarahPalinUSA
Sarah Palin

Now more than ever: WHAT THE (BLEEP) JUST HAPPENED?
@MonicaCrowley
Monica Crowley

This also means that the Republicans resume their promise to repeal and replace (no idea with what).  It is time for the Democrats to highlight how most of this law is actually popular – once you take Obama’s name off.  Today truly was a pleasant surprise.

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Posted on 09-11-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

The last year saw increasing numbers of Republicans embrace the tea party’s cause of repealing “Obamacare.”  Feelings towards the law are mixed.  However, just as many people remain woefully ignorant that Barack Obama actually cut taxes or that almost 40% of the $700 billion dollar stimulus bill was larded with useless tax cuts in a futile attempt to get Republican support, public awareness of what actually constitutes Obamacare is low.  As Ezra Klein notes, when you get to the individual components of the bill most of them enjoy broad public support.  It is a pattern similar to the cause of cutting government expenses, where the devil is in the details and deficit peacocks continue to tie themselves in knots in identifying meaningful cuts.

The most unpopular component of the bill is the individual mandate.  Interestingly enough it was the one major policy disagreement between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries.  Clinton wanted one, Obama did not.  However, faced with the free rider problem he changed his mind after assuming office.  With insurance companies forbidden to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions they supported the mandate.  Keeping that restriction in place without a mandate could also lead to an explosion of health care costs.

For a total repeal of Obamacare to happen, Republicans will have to make the pre-existing coverage requirement unpopular.  Not surprisingly windbags like Rush Limbaugh have started equating the rule to welfare.  It will be interesting to see if the dittoheads follow the corpulent pied piper like lemmings to support such a cause near and dear to health insurance companies.  David Frum exiled to conservative Siberia for daring to suggest that the passage of Obamacare was a disaster for Republicans expects a lot of posturing with little action from the Republicans.  Meanwhile Richard Cohen notes that Republicans continue to further the delusion that our bloated and inefficient healthcare system is the best in the world – American exceptionalism run amuck.

Ultimately the likeliest avenue for the repeal of Obamacare will come from the conservative majority on the Supreme Court (needless to say the right wing and the Federalist Society will not treat such an action overruling Congress as “activist”) not the Republicans in Congress.

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