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Obamacare

HD49B Barb Sutter has unique definition of independent

by Eric Ferguson on November 3, 2014 · 1 comment

HD49B Barb Sutter lit

Barb Sutter lit in HD 49B


HD49B GOP candidate Barb Sutter says at the top of her campaign lit “Barb Sutter is an independent voice for our community” (click the image to enlarge). I suppose “independent” sounds good in a swing district, if appealing to voters inclined to split tickets. It sounds like someone who isn’t beholden to a party or any big donors or special interests. Yep, sounds good. And sounds funny, given that before becoming the candidate, Sutter was, no kidding, the SD49 GOP chair. Independent enough to make up a new definition of independent I guess.
 

She mentioned being the chair before becoming the candidate in an interview a few months ago on Republican Roundtable, a local public access program. This wasn’t the only instance where she’d showed interesting understandings of things. In that same interview, she agreed that schools increase the number of students labeled “special needs” just to get more money. The interviewer was the one who said it, and she replied, “There’s truth to that”. Embedding is disabled on this video, so you’ll have to follow the link. Scroll ahead in the video to 14:30.

 

“There’s truth to that”. So you know this, do you? It’s fraud, so you’ve reported the schools doing this, right? No? Are you countenancing fraud, or just making up what you’re saying? Basically, the whole interview is some variation of:
 
INTERVIEWER: Government sucks and everyone is dishonest.
Sutter: Yep.
 
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clowns-1They didn’t ask just in Iowa. I’m referring to a survey answer given by this election’s answer to Todd Akin or Sharon Angle, State Senator Joni Ernst, running for US Senate in Iowa. Asked “Will you support legislation to nullify ObamaCare and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care scheme known as ObamaCare?”, she said yes. “Yes” to arresting federal officials implementing Obamacare, really. The survey was run by a group of crazy people called “Campaign for Liberty” who asked the question of all the 2012 state legislative candidates in Iowa…
 
And in Minnesota.
 
But hey, at least there a lot fewer candidates wanting to arrest anyone implementing Obamacare in Minnesota than in Iowa. Hurrah for us!
 
Besides asking responding candidates if they would arrest federal officials implementing Obamacare, they also asked about eliminating the need for a permit to carry a concealed gun, and if TSA employees who pat down travelers should be arrested for sexual assault.
 
Most candidates chose not to respond to the survey. I don’t know if they missed it, feared it would provide material to some blogger doing, um, exactly what I’m doing, or didn’t see why this gaggle of nutballs was worth their time. I hope the latter. Some, however, did answer, mostly giving the desired answers or even agreeing to sponsor bills. Some of those who answered are running again in 2014. Surprise, the latter group are all Republicans aside from one minor party candidate, namely:
 
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1922312_291422187681656_881030080_n- First of all, Rep. John Kline (R-MN) has about as anti-woman a congressional record as one could have.
 

So, who can Republicans count on to “preach the Gospel of Bachmann” … of course, John Kline. Just look at the bills that he has sponsored :
 
H.R.7 : No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
H.R. 23 Sanctity of Human Life Act
H.R.61 : Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act
H.R.217 : Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act
H.R.346 : Stop Abortion Funding in Multi-state Exchange Plans (SAFE Act)
H.R.447 : Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2013
H.R.732 : Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act
H.R.940 : Health Care Conscience Rights Act
H.R.1091 : Life at Conception Act
H.R.1797 : Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
(MN Political Roundtable)

(That’s just regarding reproductive choice; there are many, many more War on Women efforts, with Kline’s name on them, in other areas.)
 
– And there’s this:
 

But the Supreme Court isn’t the only government body limiting insurance coverage to women. A new White House report released Wednesday argues that the 24 state governments that have failed to expand their Medicaid programs to individuals and families earning 138 percent above the federal poverty line could also be undermining women’s health.
 
That’s because women make up nearly 70 percent of adults on Medicaid and the report finds that limiting their access to coverage significantly restricts their access to health care. Relying on past health research, the analysis concludes that “having health insurance increases the probability that individuals report receiving ‘all needed care’ over the prior year.” “If the 24 States that have not yet expanded Medicaid did so, an additional 651,000 people would receive ‘all needed care’ over a given year once expanded coverage was fully in effect,” it says.
(Think Progress)

“A Comprehensive Guide To Right-Wing Media’s Mockery, Victim-Blaming, And Denial Of Sexual Assault.” What a bunch of sorry, craven, whimpering, worthless losers the right-wing punditry are. I don’t know how to successfully hold them accountable, though.
 

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Democrats need to watch their language

by Eric Ferguson on June 30, 2014 · 3 comments

Don’t be linguistically hoist by your own petard.

No, that title doesn’t mean Democrats need to stop swearing. Ever been to a DFL meeting? You could broadcast those without a seven second delay; not with much audience except the five Republicans hoping something stupid will be said, but certainly without fear of FCC fines. I’m referring to our actual verbiage. The way we communicate.

 
Yes, I know, you’ve heard about messaging and framing, and semantics, and your head just swims as the concepts fade from your brain. You don’t need any theoretical understanding as long as you get it empirically; say X and not Y. So my intention here is to look at specific word choices. I’ve been delaying posting as I give time for examples to accumulate, not that I’m not bound to miss a bunch. Feel free to disagree of course, but also feel free to add. You might well have better ones than I came up with.

 
Let’s just dive in. In order basically as they occurred to me, not alphabetical or topical or ranked by importance:
 
“Photo ID”, not “Voter ID”: They’re not the same. We’re playing into the hands of the voter suppressors every time we say “voter ID”. The problem isn’t getting an ID; the problem is getting an ID with a photo on it. We already have voter ID for registering, when you need something with your address on it; bank statements, rental agreements, or utility bills. If a voter could vote with a utility bill, showing ID to vote would still be a pointless step given the scarcity of impersonation, but at least the requirement wouldn’t be disenfranchising. Getting the photo ID is the hard part for many people, especially when what people have is disallowed, like states that sent confirmation cards to registered voters stopped accepting those cards at the polls because they don’t have photos. Saying “voter ID” grossly understates the difficulty many voters have in getting acceptable ID, and the voter fraud invention industry depends on the majority for whom photo ID is no big deal giving it no thought. At least “photo ID” gets us part way to making the point that people do have ID, but new laws won’t accept it. As we learned in Minnesota when we beat back the photo ID constitutional amendment, public support is broad but shallow, and quite amenable to factual arguments (how rarely that happens unfortunately).
 
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Obamacare trutherism is a thing

by Eric Ferguson on April 18, 2014 · 3 comments

It's a conspiracy!Yes, Obamacare trutherism is a thing. Conservatives don’t believe it can possibly work, so all the good news is lie. There’s the national version, that the numbers are made up, and in Minnesota we have our own version, that MNSure was bailed out by the state.
 
Probably many reasonable people are also incredulous at the idea Obamacare worked, because the pundit class and the beltway media joined the conservative bubble in trumpeting everything that went wrong, except the Medicaid gap; they were happy to ignore that. Reasonable people, however, will eventually figure out there wasn’t a disaster (hopefully before election day). Conservatives are off in full-throated denial after their media and politicians spent years telling them Obamacare is a disaster, already failed, lost in a death spiral, blah de blah — and now turns out Obamacare failed to fail. Even Healthcare.gov works now. Bad enough the predictions of failure were wrong, but conservative media often announced it had failed, and how can anybody be so stupid as to not see that? So the numbers must be all fake!
 
Yeah, um, about that. Let’s see if I can help any conservatives browsing by (let’s play concern troll!), and who buy the notion that Obama’s numbers are so fake you’d think he was trying to sell an invasion of Iraq. How can you tell if the numbers are real? Regarding the Census Bureau changing some questions, you could send a journalist to actually ask them for details. Granted, that would require having some journalists, so that’s a tough one for conservatives. Still, then you could find out they’ve been working on these revisions since before Obamacare and testing for a few years, so comparisons will be apples to apples. Nothing hidden there.
 
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Happy Obamacare Schadenfreude Day!

by Eric Ferguson on April 1, 2014 · 2 comments

Bigtime Obamacare schadenfreude. You earned it, if you’re among those who helped politicians who supported health care reform try to get reelected; if you did your bit to make it work, if you swallowed hard when the ACA wasn’t what you wanted but it was all that could pass and it would help a lot of people. Go ahead and watch the whole thing and drink in the montage of always wrong and always certain conservatives announcing Obamacare’s “death spiral” over and over and … you get the point. Rachel Maddow was hilarious.
 
Obamacare will meet the original projection of seven million people signing up through the exchanges (to dash the hopes of anyone hoping the April 1 publishing date gives hope it’s false, this came out March 31st). The CBO lowered the projection to six million reasonably projecting that rollout problems made the original projection unreachable. Nobody expected seven million, and “nobody” means nobody; not the CBO, not the Obama administration, not reform advocates. Oh yeah, Republicans were off by about seven million. Their response, as with other things they don’t want to believe, as Maddow puts it with hands over her ears, “la la la la la”.
 
For a bonus, yesterday it turned out the likely number of previously uninsured people newly insured thanks to Obamacare is 9.5 million. It would have been millions more if the Supreme Court hadn’t stupidly permitted the Medicaid gap, and if Republican state governments hadn’t created it by cruelly denying the Medicaid expansion to their low income residents too poor for the health insurance subsidies.
 
Such stupidity and cruelty deserves no pity as you enjoy Rachel Maddow and her signage:
 

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(From December, 2013.)
 
I was scrolling through the various commentaries on offer at TownHall.com yesterday when I spied one written by Newt Gingrich’s daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman titled “Are We Sick of Him Yet?” Being all too familiar with the anti-liberal, anti-progressive and rabidly anti-Obama venue that TownHall has devolved into I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I opened the article to find just what I had suspected to be contained therein. In this stock and shop worn anti-Obama diatribe Ms. Cushman likens Obama’s decline in popularity of late to a story she once heard about a woman who wanted a divorce from her husband, not for any of the usual reasons, but because she had grown sick of him. So much for family values and the sanctity of marriage among conservatives.

 

Cushman went on to juxtapose from the marital to the political: “Relationships that begin bright and shiny can fade into dark and gloomy when events occur that change one’s interactions, perceptions and hope for the future. Hope was gone — the relationship could get no better.” She then went on to try to force fit this juxtaposition, derived from her friend’s failed marriage, into a broad brush analysis of Obama’s present public relations predicament: “He has fallen furthest among 18- to 29-year-olds — down 7 points within the last week to 42 percent. More telling than his 40 percent overall approval rating (Gallup), is his disapproval rating, which has reached 53 percent…the 53 percent disapproval rating marks a new high. Simply put: More people than ever before disapprove of the job that Obama is doing…What can’t be determined is if Obama can get back that loving feeling or if it’s just that finally we’re sick of him. Maybe we need a divorce.” Thus reading Ms. Cushman’s piece we are left to conclude that vast swaths of the American people have grown sick of Barack Obama and are desperately in need of relief from this most onerous, if not debilitating relationship. However, short of impeachment, which is thus far unlikely no matter how strong the flights of fancy on the right are about such a thing, there’s no divorcing Obama for the next three years so get over it.

 

But as novel an approach to dealing with Barack Obama as Ms. Cushman’s might be seen to be, she has stumbled pathetically in her analysis of our collective gastrointestinal maladies by failing to examine the extent to which the American people have grown sick of Obama’s critics on the right. A simple examination of polling numbers from Real Clear Politics or Polling Report.com on the public approval of Congress shows that while Obama’s popularity has fallen the popularity of the Republicans on Capitol Hill remains stuck near historic lows at 21% and that 73% disapprove of how they are handling their job. While those numbers are off the absolute lows, its only by a few points and that with all of the problems besetting Obamacare already factored into the latest numbers. These results for Congressional Republicans are consistent throughout all of the recent polling, even that of the right leaning Fox News Network. And when it comes to the popularity of the regularly reliable anti-Obama movement that is the Tea Party the results are pretty much where they’ve been for quite some time, at the historic lows in terms of both popularity with the American people and those who consider themselves members of the movement.

 
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bachmann18Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Fox News yesterday. She’s joined up with several other Republicans to push a bill that would prevent taxpayer funded bailouts of health insurance companies.
 
Why would they be going under? Let’s let her explain:
 

Congress should pass the anti-bailout bills currently in Congress to prevent health insurance companies from profiting at the expense of taxpayers, says U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.
 
Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Wednesday, Bachmann, R-Minn., said Americans don’t want to see “bailout fever” in Washington.
 
Bills by Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., call for the government not to aid the insurance industry in the event that its profits fall below projections because too few young, healthy people sign up for heath coverage.

Just to bring a little reality to the situation. The health insurance industry wants Obamacare. The health insurance industry is going to make vast profits from Obamacare.
 
Young people currently make up 25% of enrollees. The industry would like to see 40%. Sane people anticipate that the percentage will rise.
 

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Kurt Daudt would repeal health care reform

by The Big E on December 17, 2013 · 3 comments

kurt-daudtHouse Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) is one of those far right wing politicians who swept into office in the 2010 Tea Party wave. Moderation, cooperation and bipartisanship are anathema to Tea Party Republicans like Daudt. So it’s no surprise he would repeal Obamacare.
 
Not that he can do much in the State Legislature controlled by the DFL, but, you know, a right wing lunatic can dream, can’t he?
 

But the MNGOP has done what it can in Minnesota to make sure that our implementation, http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2013/12/gop-leaders-dayton-representative-spar-over-mnsure-performance-criticisms, wouldn’t go well. Mainly through neglect. They did nothing when they ran the legislature.
 
When reporters pushed the Republicans on their role in the exchange’s missteps, they demurred. The GOP blocked or ignored exchange legislation during their time in the majority, when Dayton pushed ahead on his own.
 
“Would I love to repeal this? In a heartbeat,” House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said, noting that the federal regulatory atmosphere made such a move unlikely.
 
Dayton called the exchange’s performance “unacceptable” last week. On Monday, his administration was critical of the new GOP attacks.
 
“No one has ever gotten health care via press conference, so it is unsurprising that today’s round of GOP rhetoric was so unproductive,” Dayton administration Spokesman Matt Swenson said in a press release.
(MinnPost)

So remember this during the 2014 legislative session when Daudt complains that the DFL majority won’t work with him. Work with him on what exactly? Repealing Obamacare? Preventing the DFL majorities from doing anything? That’s the only compromise he’s interested in.
 
Photo: MinnPost

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bachmanneyesThe logic-defying insanity continues …
 
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will not give up her quest to stop Obamacare. Her latest tactic is unique; she’s going to sue President Obama.
 
You probably recall how Obama promised that we could all keep our health insurance plans under Obamacare. Many are getting canceled because they suck so bad. Either because co-pays are too high or they cover too little. NPR reports that many of these people who are getting their insurance canceled are finding much better plans under Obamacare.
 
You probably also recall that Obama reversed this by executive order so that Americans can keep their crap plan.
 
But that won’t stop Bachmann:
 

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann may be readying a new line of attack on the federal health care overhaul by filing suit against President Barack Obama for his reversal on letting some Americans keep their health coverage.
 
Politico reported last week that Bachmann, R-Stillwater, is talking with other, unnamed lawmakers about the move. The report was based on Bachmann’s remarks at an event sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
(St. Cloud Times)

Let me get this straight. Bachmann is going to sue Obama because he tried to appease Republicans like Bachmann who shrieked about Americans losing their insurance. If she wins, then Americans are forced to lose their crap insurance plan … something that Bachmann said was bad? Have I got her logic right?
 
I think I just gave myself a headache.
 

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