Rick Santorum isn’t what you’d think. He’s exactly as he says, though most people don’t listen. He’s the biggest of ‘Big Government’ politicians.
Under president Rick you couldn’t buy rubbers, gays couldn’t marry, pregnant women would always become mothers, and the Army would immediately begin bombing Iran. Santorum America would be something like a Christian fascist state. Some folks love that idea enough to grease its every corner and joint:
Debunking the myth of Santorum’s “big government conservatism”
Chris Adamo | Renew America
The essence of the attack on Santorum is that he cannot claim to be truly conservative, since he recognizes the responsibilities of a just government in the protection of the unborn, and maintaining such time-honored cornerstones of our society, and civilization in general, as traditional marriage . .
Nevertheless, Santorum does understand that government is vested with certain responsibilities to intervene in the lives of the citizenry, particularly on behalf of those who are the most helpless.
“Some will reject what I have to say as a kind of ‘Big Government’ conservatism.”
“This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone. That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”
Clear enough? Liberty isn’t for you.
“This is the mantra of the left: I have a right to do what I want to do” and “We have a whole culture that is focused on immediate gratification and the pursuit of happiness . . . and it is harming America.”
So simple: lather, stimulus, rinse, failure. Then repeat.
‘Wha — WOW. What is it?’
It’s Texas Brain Proxy, Carol. Why . . you’re soaking in it.
‘SOCIALISM! Hey, it really works.’
Take a look at Rick Perry, Carol. Wouldn’t you just love to know his secret?
“[Obama] had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. It created zero jobs, $400-plus billion dollars in this package. And I can do the math on that one. Half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs.”
‘It’s Texas Brain Proxy!’
Right you are! Get rid of those tiresome accuracies cluttering up your veritas gutters and truth canals. A little dab of Proxy, and say goodbye to the tired old days of. .
. . let’s take a look at stimulus spending in Texas using that state’s own website . . It received more than $250 million for construction work on schools but that work was apparently done by ghosts.
Texas received $160 million for construction work on water treatment facilities, $326 million for weatherization projects, almost $600 million for low income housing projects; apparently, all the work done on all of those projects was done by no one at all. There was $25 million to update HVAC systems in public schools, which somehow managed to get done without employing a single person. Not a single person was employed to do any of those things, which is pretty incredible when you think about it.
‘Izzat really true? Thinks make brain hurt.’
You could use a little TBP, Carol. Open wide . . and mmmmm. What do you say?
‘MMMMM. Cash kills railroads and tunnels!’
The MAGIC of Proxy . .
‘Hooray! Teachers sex weasels! Bees make bridges! I can’t stop, Bob . . ‘
Why should you?
‘The stimulus needed tax cuts . . no, it was loaded with hundreds of billions in tax cuts. That’s how Republicans stopped it from being a job-killing . . oooOOWWWWWwww . .’
Isn’t disappointment guaranteed you when you choose to be a Conservative? Doesn’t it hurt, the way so few people behave? Think of the problems that would vanish if we could all be the same.
State multiculturalism has failed, says David Cameron BBC News | 5 February 2011
David Cameron has criticised “state multiculturalism” in his first speech as prime minister on radicalisation and the causes of terrorism.
At a security conference in Munich, he argued the UK needed a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to all kinds of extremism . .
The speech angered some Muslim groups, while others queried its timing amid an English Defence League rally in the UK . .
“Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism,” the prime minister said.
Your liberalism, yes, as in ‘squeeze the outsiders.’ So Britons are to do what, exactly? Or Americans, who have been bludgeoned by right-wingers with “naive multi-culturalist,” they need to change, how? I’m curious to know what you’d have me do from now on.
When I see someone wearing a headscarf, should I criticize them? Should I tell them that a normal person doesn’t dress like that?
When I smell someone cooking strange, odoriferous food, should I knock on their door? Should I remind them of the mainstream pleasures of hamburgers and hot dogs?
When I see somebody observing strange customs, like praying to an unfamiliar God, should I point out that most of us doubt He exists? Should I add that some think His religion evil? Or, at least, hilarious?
I am nauseated at the sound of “multi-culturalism has failed.” In what way should I change my tolerant habits? I can’t tell you how I would love to know. Because the only alternatives to acceptance and mutual respect, as far as I can tell, are outdated regionalism and racism.
When someone criticizes institutions or traditions, like our flag, our holidays, our celebrities, I oughta take them to task? I might lecture them on the meanings of such things? Perhaps I’ll make it personal and tell them what it all means to me. That should be effective, right, because I am such a typical, wonderful, national-type person. Gosh, lucky me.
And, please, do let me know how to go about tightening up Cameron’s “collective identity.” What is it, by the way? Is it somewhere where I can see it? Or must I read about it in a book? Such things were once the fancies of historians, gazing long hours into their way-back machines.
This attack on multi-culturalism is ugly politics, period. They offer no alternative because there is no civilized alternative. Only an anachronistic fool would want to beef up the cultural, if not criminal, codes on behavior, attitude and appearance. The absences of such things are the trademarks of open, Western societies. You can’t tighten freedom.
Remember these guys?
They look pretty normal to me. To you, maybe not. So what are we really talking about?
Well, the elected and powerful have officially joined the Tea Party. ‘Officially joined’, here, means the new faithful called a press conference last Wednesday to announce a list of House members that have joined the shiny new Tea Party Caucus.
Minnesota’s greatest, Michele Bachmann, and several other patriotic congressmen held a presser today announcing the launch of the House Tea Party Caucus! Her office also released a list of inaugural members — some of whom didn’t know they’d signed up.
Oops. Tea Partiers hazy in the head? I mean, err, huzzahs! I’m sure they’ll be blazing bold new paths and breaking down barriers unilaterally because this is some radical new political shit, indeed. You cannot box this sort of lightning, no sir, not this ball of fire.
Tea Party Caucus members endorse Israeli attack on Iran
Posted By Josh Rogin | Monday, July 26, 2010 – 2:30 PM
Now that the congressional supporters of the Tea Party movement have formed their own caucus, their policy positions are becoming easier to track. Expanding their foray into foreign policy, 21 members of the new caucus have now come out explicitly endorsing Israel’s right to strike Iran’s nuclear program.
Aww, fuck. Ball of Fiery Armageddon, anyone? So much for all that “The government’s out of control!!” And “It won’t listen to the people!!” Now, for the Bachmann Tea Party, it’s “The government needs to start a World War!!” And “It’ll totally be worth another trillion of your hard-earned tax dollars!!”
Almost two dozen Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers cosponsored a new resolution late last week that expresses their support for Israel “to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force.”
That’s great. I’m sure that while Israel launches a massive airstrike against Iran, and the Tea Party Caucus are all excitedly jumping up and down, creaming in their shorts, they’ll also be inventing all sorts of clever strategies to sidestep being sucked into a Middle East conflagration.
Unless, you know, the new House version of the DIVERSE TEA PARTY is merely made up of hysterical far right-wing Republicans. Because those guys would likely happily march thousands of Americans into the maw of Looks Like The Apocalypse in defense of Israel. And isn’t that very minimally governmental? Doesn’t that reek of fiscal responsibility? Isn’t that deeply respectful of individual freedoms?
Well, lookee — here’s a list of those freshly minted Tea Party rebels, and, yes, it’s the usual assholes. Founder Batshit Bachmann loved the trillion dollar wars and George W. Bush so much, she couldn’t stop kissing and hugging the chicken hawk budget buster.
Steve King never met a war he wouldn’t fund but was one of only 11 congress people to vote against the $52 billion in aid appropriated after Hurricane Katrina. Pete Hoekstra called a press conference in 2006 to claim the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction — voila — had been found. Moron. Pete Sessions voted for the Iraq War and for that Tea Party vat of cyanide, The Bailout, but just opposed a few billion bucks for unemployment benefits in the middle of the Great Recession. Paul Broun opposed healthcare reform so vigorously — which will save us money — that he said Socialists “don’t have the appreciation of life as we do in our society, evidently.”
Right, Paul. Very right-wing, the lot of you. You’re not co-opters of a popular and ill-defined movement merely to get back in power. No, you just care about life and freedoms and responsible public service, so go ahead and vow you’ve always been about limited government. And do that while you want credit for the ‘win’ produced by wasting 100,000-plus lives and a trillion dollars in that unintrusive government program you concocted the last time you ran the show: The War in Iraq.
“They make more money off of race than any slave trader ever. It’s time groups like the NAACP went to the trash heap of history where they belong with all the other vile racist groups that emerged in our history…”
“. . I am disinclined to take lectures on racial sensitivity from a group that insists on calling black people, ‘Colored.’”
We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!
In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the ‘tea party movement’.
The tea party position to “end the bailouts” for example is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn’t that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.
And the ridiculous idea of “reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government.” What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!
The racist tea parties also demand that the government “stop the out of control spending.” Again, they directly target coloreds. That means we Coloreds would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.
Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we coloreds ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?
Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.
Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew
NAACP Head Colored Person”
It’s about time Conservatives made it clear whom they were rooting for, ruckus-wise.
Coming around only once every four years, it’s the world’s greatest stinging hornets and swarming insects poetry jam in centuries, if not more. Bzzz. There’s also a bizarre Soccer Kabuki Montage playing out in the background, to no one’s entertainment.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 The Apathetic but Freedom-Loving American’s Guide to the World Cup
Posted by: Kevin Glass at 1:54 PM
Do you not particularly care about soccer other than global geopolitics? Upset with others acting morally superior over you for not paying attention to the “beautiful game” of “football?” Fear not! I’ve got just the compromise for you.
Just root for the team from the country ranked higher in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom!
What A Douchenozzy Idea. Hopefully America will come in dead last, and then you can lecture/console us because you will have made it possible and patriotic to root against ourselves! I like this, and I like you!
. . between Spain and Switzerland, you can just look up which country loves freedom more! (Answer: Switzerland. And they won, in a stunning upset and a victory for freedom everywhere.)
Right. FREEDOM! EVERYWHERE!
Here are the World Cup teams ranked in the top 10 most free, in order: Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, United States, Denmark, Chile.
HOPE WE DON”T HAVE TO PLAY THE FREE COUNTRIES! YAY THEM! MAYBE WE SHOULD BECOME A FREE COUNTRY! YAY FUTURE!!
Chin up, freedom-lovers. At least now, if you want to pretend to care about the World Cup, you can rationalize it.
This afternoon’s match is South Africa (freedom rank: 72) vs. Uruguay (freedom rank: 33). Now you know who to cheer for!
THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION!! YAY!! UNITED STATES BOOOOOOO!!
Now that Arizona has made it illegal to be an undocumented immigrant in their state, has made it mandatory for law personnel to verify the legal status of anybody they arrest, has asked for police officers to demand anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant to produce papers, the papier mache justifications are being propped up all over the internet.
These are some:
Arizona’s immigration law is necessary
April 30, 2010
State Sen. Sylvia Allen
I’m an Arizona state senator. I want to explain SB1070, Arizona’s immigration bill, which I voted for and which was just signed by Gov. Jan Brewer.
Rancher Rob Krentz was shot to death on his ranch over a month ago and the shooter fled into Mexico. His family suspects a drug smuggler is responsible.
That was a terrible crime, it’s a terrible story. It probably was a drug smuggler, or some such violent criminal.
But I’ve got two questions for you: 1.) what is up with that hair? Wow. 2.) what has that got to do with illegal immigration? They come here to get access to our employers. The cartels and smugglers are only interested in the big money movement of drugs. They’re not taking up residences next to you, getting jobs in local restaurants and then hanging out in the parks with their kids. You don’t seem to know much about the problem you say you’re worried about.
I participated in a state Senate hearing two weeks ago on the border violence that is, and has been, sweeping our border communities for years. From those hearings, we learned that:
— The people who live within 60 to 80 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border have been terrorized by the Mexican drug cartels and human smugglers. One rancher testified that 300 to 1,200 people cross his ranch every day, vandalizing his property, stealing his vehicles, cutting down his fences and leaving trash. He testified that in the last two years, he has found 17 bodies and, alarmingly, several copies of the Quran.
The Al Qaedas are leaving their precious Qurans behind? CIA behaviorists will be intrigued by that. Either that, or the saddlebags on their camels could be cinched a little tighter. Well, at least you’re not just calling the Mexicans ersatz terrorists . . because your Governor beat you to the punch?
Gov. Brewer: ‘Arizona has been under terrorist attacks’ with ‘all of this illegal immigration.’
Hey, Sylvia — forcing your neighbors to produce papers when they bump into police on the streets will end this problem how, exactly?
— Another rancher testified that drugs are brought across his ranch in a military-style operation, with guards armed to the teeth. A point man with a machine gun goes in front, a half-mile behind are the fully armed guards, a half-mile behind them are the drugs, and behind the drugs are more guards. This was not the only rancher we heard who talked about the drug trains.
Hey, Sylvia — forcing your neighbors to produce papers when they bump into police on the streets will end this problem how, exactly?
— One man told of two border crossers who came on his property, one of them shot in the back and the other in the arm by drug runners who forced them to carry drugs and then shot them. They frequently hear gunfire at night and are afraid to leave their ranch for fear of what the smugglers will do to it.
No terrorists. Or bees.
Hey, Sylvia — forcing your neighbors to produce papers when they bump into police on the streets will end this problem how, exactly?
We must know who is coming into the country, and they must come in an organized manner — legally, so that we can assimilate them into our population and protect the sovereignty of our country.
FINALLY, some overt racism. Thank you, Sylvia.
Maybe it is too late to save America. Maybe we are not worthy of freedom anymore. But as an elected official, I must try to do what I can to protect our Constitutional Republic.
. . while daubing some wistful tears from your eyes with the nearest corner of Old Glory. How you manage the courage to go on, Sylvia, boo hoo . .
Living in America is not a right simply because you walk across the border. Being an American is a responsibility. Freedom is not free.
Yes, and what a painful sacrifice it will be for you to hassle, detain and extract bureaucratic paperwork from Latino Americans over the years. Let’s hope they’re as tough as you are.
“KTNW reporter Mac Fukudoma here, reporting from today’s raucous local Town hall event. Quite a sight, I must say, all the different citizens and protesters here at the King City Eagles’ Lodge, making their opinions known. Let me see if I can grab someone here and get an interview. You, sir, you–can you take a moment to talk to us? Thanks. Mac Fukudoma, KTNW–what’s your name, and why did you come here today?”
“My name’s Bob, and I came here to protest the government trying to turn my country socialist.”
“I noticed you have a holstered pistol on your belt–that’s a bit of a surprise. Why did you bring it to this crowded event?”
“I felt it was a statement I wanted to make about freedom. I refuse to live any other way, except the free way.”
“Freedom, yes. But I was wondering…”
“Me, I’m only gonna live free.”
“…I…see. And I also see you’re not the only one who’s armed–YOU sir. Yes, you–could you take a minute to talk to me? Yes–thanks. You can face the camera, right there. I see that you’re carrying a large rifle over your shoulder. Just what is that, an AK-47?”
Really good stuff, very funny. It’s like what the guys who wrote ‘Arrested Development’ would come up with for a dumbfuck Republican teen.
Just been fired from Waco Trib. Now they will have to rely on their other New York Times Best Sellers, and array of clever and diverse journalists to convey their diverse & tolerant point(s) of view. Here’s my Teditorial after being told to not criticize in my Sunday features that they chose to not run.
And array of clever and diverse language with diverse & tolerant sentence(s). His Teditor wanted to tone down the nastiness, but the nastiness is well-toned and hopping mad. Look out:
I’ll Take Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press for $100, Alex by Ted Nugent
When the Nazis had the Americans surrounded in the town of Bastogne, they demanded American General McAuliffe surrender or they would level the city. General McAuliffe’s reply: Nuts!
The new editor of the Waco Trib recently told me that I could only write nice things about people, that I could not be critical. Basically, that I need to tone it down. I can not, nor will not, comply with this Romper Room request. My reply: Nuts!
“Hello, this is Romper Room. I’m afraid we’re going to have to ask that you try and keep it down, Mr. Nugent. The shrieks of ‘MOTHERFUCKING NAZI COCKBAGS‘ keep startling the children. Thank you.”
The editor is wrong to try and muzzle my opinions.
As a columnist, I express my opinions. That’s what columnists do. That’s also the charge of an independent and free press.
The job of the press is to be the “fourth” arm of government. To intentionally muzzle itself is to fail at its most basic watchdog responsibility. As readers, voters and citizens we should demand a watchdog press, not a lapdog press.
Any Teditor woulda loved this stuff, I’m sure. Woulda lapped this up like a muzzle dog. Taken it not sitting down nor standing for it, forever pressing his lap muscles. And has anyone seen that mysterious fourth arm of government? It’s also mysterious why Ted feels he cannot express his sacred opinion without being an asshole.
I can’t envision Thomas Jefferson, George Washington or Ben Franklin making a request of an anti-King George columnist to tone it down. I can’t imagine Martin Luther King toning down his message. It is impossible for me to fathom any American to tone down what is in his heart and soul.
I criticize where I believe criticism is due. That’s what Thomas Paine did when he published Common Sense prior to the Revolutionary War. He criticized King George for his heavy handed and wrong policies. We are free in large part because of Thomas Paine’s open, routine and strident criticism.
For the record, that’s George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine and Martin Luther King. Although he probably meant MLK junior. Those are his fellow message-bringers and critics. Cat Scratch Fever.
…When I have criticized President Obama, I have almost always countered his dunderheaded, Marxist policies with a free market, more personal freedom alternative. More government control is not the answer to what ails America. Obama believes otherwise.
This newspaper and others should encourage spirited and lively debate and criticism, especially when so many newspapers are losing
I don’t support milquetoast journalism. It bores me.
You are free to disagree with my opinions. In fact, I encourage those of you who do to fill the letters to the editor page of this newspaper. I revel in open debate. That’s the America I know and love. Express yourself, Texas. Lay it on the line. Give it your best shot. Be bold in your disagreement.
Construcitve, bold criticism is cool. It rocks. It can literally change the course and destiny of an individual, neighborhood, community, and nation. It is the most basic of our Constitutional rights — the 1st Amendment. Failing to criticize emboldens politicians to stay on course regardless how many icebergs are dead ahead. Political correctness is the cancer of journalism, not its cure.
Ted’s right, bold criticism can change things. He must’ve learned that in the sixties. After he showed up for his Vietnam draft board physical in his shit-caked pants. They thought he was crazy, so they gave him a deferment. The joke was on them–Ted was only a conniving coward. So there’s Ted’s philosophy in life: “if you don’t like something, like a war, you should crap your shorts.” That sort of criticism hits the mark, though your underwear is hard to miss.
America and Texas was born with a defiant streak.
The fresher streaks are Ted’s doing.
Those genes still flow through my veins.
And his commentary, through his jeans.
To request that I not criticize is to spit on the memory of those who gave birth to America. Again, I criticize where I believe criticism is due.
In his clothes.
That’s my civic job and your job as Americans.
If the editor of this newspaper doesn’t like that, he will have to fire me. I will not surrender to his wrong demands.
In the words of another famous American military man, William Barrett Travis, commander of the Alamo: God & Texas. Victory or death.
Yes, Medicare: what the hell do Republicans think it is, a National Parks program? It’s ‘government-run’ healthcare. It ain’t death by socialism, it is cost-effective, and people who use it like it.
So what’s to be afraid of? Where are the thousands of dead bodies caused by government inefficiency, bureaucracy and ineptitude? Where are the Nazi healthcare camps? Where are the furious patients who can’t find a doctor, can’t see a specialist, can’t get anywhere in the system because the government forever stands between them and their doctors?
Frankly, this fear-mongering gambit is a pathetic joke, but very few people recognize it. They really are unsure about how the programs will play out after they’re put into effect. And the whole concept, with all the different entities involved, all the money, the insurance programs and companies, the services and providers–it’s some incredibly complicated stuff.
But, take heart, it’s not like we’ve never done anything like this before:
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria. Medicare operates as a single-payer health care system. The Social Security Act of 1965 was passed by Congress in late-spring of 1965 and signed into law on July 30, 1965, by President Lyndon B. Johnson as amendments to Social Security legislation. At the bill-signing ceremony President Johnson enrolled former President Harry S. Truman as the first Medicare beneficiary and presented him with the first Medicare card.
The debate over Medicare extends far beyond 1965, to 1945 when Harry Truman stated that the government should offer medical insurance to some, or all, Americans. And, in 1961, after a Democrat got into office, who went on the warpath to beat back looming national healthcare? The AMA and Ronald Reagan.
If this isn’t the exact same bullshit you’re hearing today from exactly the same sorts of morons about the evils of healthcare reform, then my hearing is shot. Forget about the start of the clip, try beginning at the 4:00 mark:
1,) It’s ‘socialized medicine’. I still don’t understand what the actual bugaboo here is. France has ‘socialized medicine’, and it’s routinely rated, inside and outside of France, as the best, or nearly the best, heathcare system in the world. Besides, the reforms will be government ‘aided’ or ‘sponsored’: it doesn’t actually run the whole system. Just like our well-known Medicare, which Reagan is thoroughly bashing here, and which obviously hasn’t transformed America into a nation of tuberculosis-ridden soccer players. Medicare is also the most cost-effective American system for delivering healthcare. Take that, clueless Reaganites.
2.) It destroys doctors’ livelihoods (ends the ‘great American system’). Medicare obviously hasn’t done that. While it does not pay particularly well (which I believe does need to be addressed–after the reform bill passes), it does get thousands of elderly patients in to see doctors that otherwise would not. All doctors know this, and all doctors would rather see patients, to help get them well and to stay well, than not. And Medicare paperwork is easier than almost any other program’s. So Reagan’s argument here, too, is completely crap.
3.) It’s the beginning of totalitarianism, the end of your freedom. This is just too fucking stupid to even bother arguing about.
So this ‘government healthcare’ has actually been with us all this time. And we’re not all dead, or wimps, or poor, or dead.
Well, what about the people who use Medicare–what do they think of it? Who’s Afraid Of Public Insurance? Health Care Consumers Give Medicare Higher Marks Than Private Plans
by Mark Blumenthal
Monday, June 29, 2009
typical healthcare reformer
When asked how much they trust various health care players “to put your interests above their own,” respondents rank doctors (78 percent trust “a lot” or “some”) and nurses (74 percent) at the top of the list.
Among those insured through Medicare, however, “the Medicare program” (68 percent) scores nearly as high. Among those with private insurance, “your health insurance company” earns much less trust (48 percent).
Perhaps that result is just about perceptions of corporate interests and not about patient experience?
We can test that question with data from a set of surveys known as the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. CAHPS is an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services that developed a standardized survey questionnaire used by virtually all health insurance plans — public and private — to assess patient satisfaction. Most private insurers use the CAHPS questionnaire and disclose the data to the National Committee for Quality Assurance in order to receive their accreditation. So thanks to CAHPS, we have a massive collection of data comparisons of how patients experience and rate Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance.
Those comparisons show the depth of Medicare’s popularity. According to a national CAHPS survey conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2007, 56 percent of enrollees in traditional fee-for-service Medicare give their “health plan” a rating of 9 or 10 on a 0-10 scale. Similarly, 60 percent of seniors enrolled in Medicare Managed Care rated their plans a 9 or 10. But according to the CAHPS surveys compiled by HHS, only 40 percent of Americans enrolled in private health insurance gave their plans a 9 or 10 rating.
More importantly, the higher scores for Medicare are based on perceptions of better access to care. More than two thirds (70 percent) of traditional Medicare enrollees say they “always” get access to needed care (appointments with specialists or other necessary tests and treatment), compared with 63 percent in Medicare managed care plans and only 51 percent of those with private insurance.
There it is. It’s effective, and it’s popular. Which is the opposite of Republicanism, so it’s no wonder they despise it.
Cantor is so stupid that he’s a joy to behold. He really thinks he’s making hay by yelling at the President to jump into the fray immediately in Iran, to immediately endorse the reformers and threaten retaliation for any crackdown on protestors:
“We stand with the people of Iran in their struggle to participate in a democratic election and who deserve the right to freely assemble and voice their opposition to its questionable outcome.
“The Administration’s silence in the face of Iran’s brutal suppression of democratic rights represents a step backwards for homegrown democracy in the Middle East. President Obama must take a strong public position in the face of violence and human rights abuses. We have a moral responsibility to lead the world in opposition to Iran’s extreme response to peaceful protests.”
As anybody with a minimally hitchhiking brain knows, America is seen as anything from a frequently blind and wayward power to a homicidal tool of Satan in that part of the world. While the reformers may appear to have lost the election, they have the momentum and the world’s stage.
The President’s coming out in the open, endorsing the refomist candidate and making threats at the Ahmadinejad government could easily provide a p.r. coup for the conservatives, swinging the tide in the opposite direction. A potentially catastrophic mistake, that sort of heavy-handed approach isn’t wise.
Unless you don’t really particularly care about the people of Iran and would prefer to just see yourself on television soon, as Cantor does.
One reason why Cantor and [Mike] Pence have been demanding that the President take a stronger public line in support of the protesters in Iran is that supporting Mousavi’s voters openly is the emotionally satisfying, easy, almost mindless thing to do, so it is very appealing for opposition figures who have no ideas. But there is more to it than that. All of this comes back to the problem of Republican denial about why they lost power. They are supremely confident about their views on national security and foreign policy, and they cannot conceive that a majority of the country would reject them because of the policies they advocated and enacted. Worse still, they remain wedded to the hectoring, moralistic and aggressive approach of the last administration, in which sanctions and condemnation are the only “soft” tools they understand. They are so wedded to this approach that that they think this is not only the best kind of foreign policy, but that anything other than this is fecklessness and surrender. To a disturbingly great extent, replacing the current leadership may not have much of an effect on shoddy foreign policy thinking on the right, because the rot is so deep and widespread, but it is particularly important that Republicans in positions of responsibility at least attempt to play the role of credible, informed opposition, which may sometimes mean acknowledging that the President has handled an issue correctly. It will also mean building up the credibility and knowledge to challenge and resist the President if he embarks on misguided or irresponsible courses in the years to come. Cantor and Pence have shown this week that they do not have either one.