Last night, the US Senate voted on a piece of legislation that was based on a tax return none of us have seen. The tax return of a direct employee of one of the President’s biggest supporters. The White House refers to the Buffett Rule over 17,000 times.
Buffet’s secretary was used as a prop at the State of the Union address.
Yet, no one in the media demands to see the only tax return in America that we are currently trying to base federal policy on. #ReleaseTheReturn.
Regardless, as you’ve told the media breathlessly going back years and years—“Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent.”
#ReleaseTheReturn showing your secretary paid 30% on $60K. I dare you. You know you are lying.
So, as you might be aware, Obamacare is in a bit of trouble because it’s …you know…blatantly unconstitutional. Apparently it’s not just crazy conspiracy theorist tea partiers who believe that, judging by the Supreme Court. Here is an extensive highlight reel of what happened in the biggest day of arguments, about the constitutionality of the individual mandate, packaged in easy to chew, bite sized chunks.
CLIP 1: Verilli, The guy arguing for Obamacare starts off on a miserable note, stuttering, pausing, coughing and reaching for a drink of water. An awkward way to start to say the least. It’s hard to defend the indefensible, you know.
SCOTUS VERILLI NERVOUS 032712
CLIP 2: Alito asks why the government wouldn’t also be able to mandate burial insurance if the Obamacare mandate stands. Everyone needs a casket or to get cremated, so why not?
SCOTUS ALITO BURIALS 032712
CLIP 3: Kagan argues that since we know most people will need health insurance, the government can mandate that people buy it. The anti-Obamacare side responds, saying this gives Congress power to regulate anyone with any statistical connection with a problem.
SCOTUS KAGAN CARVIN 032721
CLIP 4: Kennedy says that since Obamacare is a further reach than anything else in history, the government has a high burden to try and justify it.
SCOTUS KENNEDY CHANGING RELATIONSHIP 032712
CLIP 5: This is probably the most encouraging clip if you want Obamacare overturned. Justice Kennedy is likely the swing vote. He accuses the government of trying to fundamentally change the entire relationship of government and the individual.
SCOTUS KENNEDY FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE 032712
CLIP 6: If clip 5 is the most encouraging clip, this is the second most. Kennedy asks if there are any limits under the commerce clause. In other words, can the government make you buy anything if this thing goes through?
SCOTUS KENNEDY LIMITS ON COMMERCE CLAUSE 032712
Clip 7: If clip 5 and 6 are the most encouraging—this is the most worrisome. Here is Kennedy seemingly entertaining the idea that the health care market actually IS unique. Therefore, maybe it’s worth making an exception for it. My biggest worry is that Kennedy is looking for a way to say “I’ll let you have the individual mandate this time, but I won’t let you get away with this stuff again.”
SCOTUS KENNEDY NOT TRUE IN OTHER INDUSTRIES 032712
CLIP 8: Scalia asks a question that should never have to be asked: can you create commerce just to regulate it? Any sensible person would say no. The Obama administration says not buying insurance, still includes you in the insurance market. This is nothing but legalistic insanity via justification.
SCOTUS KENNEDY SCALIA CAN U CREATE COMMERCE 032712
CLIP 9: Great stuff from Scalia. “Could you define the market that everyone has to buy food, therefore everyone has to buy broccoli?” The response to all of these questions seems to be – “Of course that very similar situation is ridiculous, but Obamacare slightly differs, so it’s okay.”
SCOTUS SCALIA BROCCOLI 032712
CLIP 10: Scalia fundamentally destroys the entire concept of the argument. Bottom line—whether it’s a good idea or not, it violates the Constitution. The government is supposed to have limited powers. If the government can do this, what can’t it do?
SCOTUS SCALIA GOVT SHOULD HAVE LIMITED POWERS 032712
CLIP 11: The government tries to argue that this isn’t really unprecedented, because the court has upheld the commerce clause before. Scalia points out that all of his examples actually involved commerce. You’ll notice a pattern here. The crux of this entire case is that conservatives believe if you don’t buy health insurance, you’re not participating in the health insurance market. Liberals believe if you don’t buy health insurance, you are participating in the health insurance market. I’ll leave it up to you to rule on which one of those sounds right.
SCOTUS SCALIA REGULATING COMMERCE 032712
CLIP 12: Sotomayor argues that this is just like tax credits on solar panels.
SCOTUS SOTOMAYOR TAX CREDITS 032712
CLIP 13: The government argues that people without insurance are screwing those people who have it. The truth is, most of those people are young and healthy. Alito points that out with stats—the average person in this group will pay $5800 for insurance, and will only use $850 of actual health services. That’s just handing money to insurance companies.
SCOTUS UNINSURED NUMBERS ALITO 032712
CLIP 14: The government is faced with a tough argument: you’re forcing people to buy insurance for things they can’t possibly use. For example, some people will never have use for pediatric or maternity care. Yet, the government tells them they must be covered for it.
SCOTUS VERRILLI CONGRESS ENTITLED TO SCOPE OF COVERAGE 032712
CLIP 15: In a moment of apparent dementia, the government claims that the similar plan in Massachusetts has actually worked. In reality, since it’s passage there have been almost $9 billion in extra costs, with the state of Massachusetts only paying about $400 million of it. Wait times are the highest in the nation, costs have been increasing at about 6% per year, and all of this cost in quality and dollars has led to less than 5% of the state gaining coverage. Oh yeah, and 5 times as many people wait until they get sick, buy coverage, get treated, and then cancel the coverage afterwards.
SCOTUS VERRILLI IT WORKED IT MASS 032712
CLIP 16: This is one of my favorite points. Over and over again the liberal argument revolved around “cost shifting.” If I don’t buy health insurance, then I’ll go to the hospital and everyone else will have to pick up the tab. But, why will everyone else have to pick up the tab? Because of other government rulesrequiring them to do so. So the government is the CAUSE of the cost shifting in the first place. The liberal justices go to great lengths to say that they can’t force people to buy cars for example. But, if the congress separately passed a bill that said everyone must have access to a car when they really need it—they could. At least under the argument you’re about to hear destroyed.
SCOTUS OTHERWISE HAVE 032712.mp3
CLIP 17: This one is a little longer, but it’s interesting. If you don’t buy a car, that has ramifications on others. Dealership owners, workers, etc. But, no one would argue that not buying a car puts you in the car buyer market.
SCOTUS VIRTUALLY EVERYONE WILL USE HC 032712.mp3
CLIP 18: Even if Obamacare was the best thing ever, it is still unconstitutional. Even if there was a wonder drug that cured every disease—you couldn’t force people to take it. The point about foreign nations is brilliant. And…stick around for the Kagan cut off, right as he is about to put her away.
Democrats love attacking republicans as “flat Earthers” so they can attempt to spend trillions of dollars to control the temperature without having to actually make a coherent argument to do so. President Obama recently went down that road, in an attempt to paint the GOP as a bunch of anti-science morons:
“We’ve heard this kind of thinking before. Let me tell you something, if some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they must have been founding members of the flat earth society. They would not have believed that the world was round.”
This argument is ridiculous, and we’ve picked it apart a million times, so I won’t bother going into the specifics here. But, my favorite new piece of information is this: the Flat Earth Society is actually still a real thing. Like, they actually still believe that the Earth is a flat disc of land, surrounded by mountains holding the water in. And they believe we are currently going up, which is why we’re sticking to the ground. You see, gravity doesn’t exist.
Anyway, this is important because, believe it or not—the real Flat Earth Society has an opinion on man-made warming of the planet.
Daniel Shenton …the new president of the Flat Earth Society…turns out to have resolutely mainstream views on most issues. The 33-year-old American, originally from Virginia but now living and working in London, is happy with the work of Charles Darwin. He thinks the evidence for man-made global warming is strong, and he dismisses suggestions that his own government was involved with the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
That’s right. Obama can call conservatives flat Earthers all he wants, but the truth is that the real flat Earthers agree with him on such important matters of science. Aren’t you happy, Mr. President? You might not want to hang out with flat Earthers, but they want to hang out with you!
(By the way, if you’re arguing against evolution, feel free to use this too. But…for those 9-11 truthers out there…I mean, what are you? Flat Earthers?)
MSNBC and Democrats (I apologize for my redundancy) are touting a poll that shows a lot of Republicans in Alabama and Mississippi think Barack Obama is a Muslim. Never mind that the head political correspondent in their own newsroom said ”I think this question was designed to get a higher percentage in the answer than maybe what’s actually true.” Read more.
And, of course, political opponents routinely answer poll questions the way they think will most bother a person they don’t like. Remember “More than half of Democrats, according to a neutral survey, said they believed Bush was complicit in the 9/11 terror attacks.”
All of that being said, here is what the media isn’t telling you: the majority of people who believe Barack Obama is a Muslim are not Republicans. Let’s look at a national poll on the subject, conducted by Pew in 2010. (I go back a couple of years to find a national poll with crosstabs. I’ll try to update the post if I find something a little more recent, but you’ll get the point here.)
Pew asked 2,811 people about Barack Obama’s religion. Approximately 536 of them incorrectly said he was a Muslim. Of those 536 people, 261 of them were Republicans, 275 were not. In other words, about 51% of those who believe Obama is Muslim are outside the Republican party.
This echoes much of the national polling on Birthers, MSNBC’s other favorite obsession. Some polls showed that only 38% of Birthers were Republicans. Why doesn’t every republican politician on earth bring this up when they’re asked about it?
So, while MSNBC holds the truth of republican MuslimTruthists and Birthers to be self-evident—Pew apparently does not. In this poll the majority are Democrats or Independents, and while there are probably polls that show the numbers slightly leaning the other way as well—the point is that huge chunks of the MuslimTruthists crowd are as Republican as they are Kenyan. The unfortunate issue here is that a lot of people, regardless of what side of the aisle they are on, are just wrong. That doesn’t make for a good segment of MSNBC ranting though, so it goes unnoticed.
I was one of the nine people watching a Tennis Channel rerun of Indian Wells this weekend and happened to notice this. I understand that it has no relevance to anything, but it had to be shared anyway. Sure, you’ve seen people in the crowd of a sporting event yawn before…but have you ever seen one like this?
Now, watch it again and picture that she just saw her entire family murdered, or that she is in excruciating pain. I think the face she makes actually fits either of those scenarios as well. This level of boredom is probably not a good sign for the sport of tennis.
Usually, when pollsters ask the American people if the rich should pay more in taxes–the answer is yes. However, the Hill asked a far more important question–what rate should the rich be paying?
Of those who answered:
80% think taxes on the rich should be lower than they are today.
94% think taxes on the rich should be lower than what Obama says he wants to raise them to.
If that’s true, why do people always say they want the rich to pay more? Essentially–Americans have no idea what tax rate the rich are paying. So, they’re just guessing on what they feel. When they know the facts, they think those rates are obscene. Republicans, independents, and democrats agree. It’s a consensus!
The media has been so successful vilifying the rich, that the American people find themselves strongly disagreeing with…themselves. Nice work media!
Oh, no…not for Catholics. Of course not. But, congratulations if you are someone who happens to be Amish! (Why are you reading this online anyway?)
In case you missed it, one of the absurdly stupid arguments coming from the Obama administration on the violation of religious freedom they’ve been finessing the past few weeks with Catholics and birth control, goes like this:
Jay Carney: “The issue here is giving employers the right to deny women — to deny women — access to preventive services, including contraception free of charge. So essentially, this bill or these bills would give any employer the right to deny the women who work for them contraceptive coverage. That’s dangerous and it is wrong.”
If you let Catholic related organizations offer insurance plans that don’t include the things they find morally repugnant, you are giving license to all businesses to limit access to the basic human right of birth control, and women’s health…and…and…other stuff…or something.
Sure, we just found out that this “right” existed approximately two weeks ago, and you could point out that the products that make up this “right” have only existed for a few decades of all of human existence. It’s the equivalent of calling high speed internet a “right”, which they also do.
But, lost in the back and forth over religious freedom is the fact that the Obama administration does believe in religious freedom. It just apparently prioritizes the religious freedom of the Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites, above Catholics and others. Why? People forget, there is a religious conscience exemption built right into Obamacare. You can read about the details from Snopes here, as they discuss an email that went around claiming that Muslims would be exempt from Obamacare (most likely not true.) But, it appears that the Amish will be exempt—raising an interesting question that somebody should get the Obama administration to answer:
If religious conscience can get the Amish out of Obamacare completely, why can’t religious conscience get Catholics out of providing the pill?
*Update: It’s implied above, but maybe it’s important to point out more overtly: according to the argument made by the Obama administration, the Amish have their access to women’s health and preventative care limited by Obamacare. How dare they?
Ever wonder how liberal lies against conservatives are constructed? The insatiably lazy Eric Wemple of the Washington Post constructs such a transparently false accusation about Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly it’s worth examining just for the fun of it.
On the one hand: Neither Beck nor O’Reilly likes CNN analyst Martin, in part because of Martin’s politics and opinions…
On the other hand: Neither Beck nor O’Reilly wants to align himself too closely with anti-homophobia. Such a stance might not go over well with the base, plus open these guys up to charges of political correctness…
Thus, the prescription: Mock Martin personally on the air — go all ad hominem. But make explicit your lack of regard for the condemnation of homophobia.
Okay, so the first accusation is that Glenn wanted to bash Roland Martin personally. I wouldn’t say that. He called Martin an idiot for what he does publically on CNN, which is a national television network. I don’t know if Martin is an idiot in his personal life. I wouldn’t rule it out, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Regardless, I won’t quibble with this part of the story, for the sake of getting to the Washington Post’s main point.
Essentially: Glenn said Martin shouldn’t be fired because he didn’t want to “align himself too closely with anti-homophobia”. To put it another way, Glenn won’t say homophobia is wrong because he’s a homophobe and/or his audience are homophobes.
This is a complete lie, the Washington Post knows it’s a lie, and luckily for us—it’s an easily provable lie.
How easily? Well, literally the very next sentence after we finished talking about the Roland Martin issue (and his bizarre obsession with ascots) Glenn said this:
GLENN: There’s another one that GLAAD is I think rightfully taking on, and that is the Ellen DeGeneres nonsense that’s happening with J. C. Penney.
PAT: I guess because she’s a lesbian.
GLENN: Can I ask you how that affects you? How does that affect you?
PAT: I don’t get that one either.
GLENN: That doesn’t even, that doesn’t make any sense…so now we’re going to ban people…listen to what that is, that’s big government fascism on the other side.
Glenn went on to call the campaign “dangerous”, Pat said that people “need to stop with all of this nonsense” and I said “Stop worrying about who other people hire.” That’s Glenn Beck (and associates), criticizing a conservative group for going after Ellen DeGeneres because she’s gay. The EXACT thing the Washington Post said Glenn would never do–and it happened exactly 62 seconds after they cut off the transcript. (O’Reilly took the same stance on the Ellen story.)
Then—while talking about how Ellen can defend herself, and that Martin is still an idiot, he discussed a vicious anti-gay beating in Atlanta:
GLENN: There’s a really, really bad antigay story out there that is shocking in nature. And nobody seems to be carrying the water for this one. And I wonder– because this one is real, true hatred.
So, within less than two minutes, you have Glenn taking the exact stand the Washington Post said he would never take, on two different issues. Not to mention that 17 seconds before the Post begins the transcript, Glenn was saying that Martin “clearly has issues” with gays based on quotes that had been released. Literally, the words Glenn speaks directly before the transcript is: “What is this? 1975? You want to talk about progress? You haven’t made any progress. I don’t know where you’re coming from…” Does that sound like someone excusing homophobia?
To try and make this case to their readership, who they obviously regard as incredibly stupid, the Washington Post:
1) Edits out what Glenn said in the seconds before the quote they use, which would disprove their argument.
2) Stops their transcript one minute before Glenn does two more stories that also disprove their argument.
This is the state of the media today. Not to mention—think of the mental gymnastics in use here. This Post article takes the story of a liberal being homophobic, and cites evidence of a conservative criticizing him, to prove that conservatives are the ones who are homophobic.
So, why did we really not call for Roland Martin to be fired? Penn Jillette puts it best: More speech is better than less speech. I don’t want any of the pathological liars that make up MSNBC’s on-air staff fired either. Let them speak and show themselves for who they are.
In fact, I would argue that knowingly editing someone’s words to lie about them in the Washington Post is a far more serious issue than an insensitive tweet—but I don’t want Eric Wemple fired either. Let him suck at his job as publicly as possible.
Also, in case you were wondering–if you hate people because they are gay, then you are an idiot. No needle threading necessary.
This could potentially be the most blatant misuse of a statistic that I have ever seen. Surely, you’ve heard: 98% of Catholics use contraception.
First, even if that were true, I struggle to understand why that means we should be forcing Catholic-related organizations to go against their own teachings. I am equally stumped as to why we should force insurance companies to give contraception away for free, just because a lot of people like it. When people really like a product, you usually don’t have to give it away.
But, more importantly, the statistic in question, is a complete and total lie. It is being parroted by the media incessantly, and even being used in official Obama administration infographics.
If you take a second to think about it, it’s an obvious lie, one that just doesn’t pass the smell test. Anytime 98% of people supposedly agree on something, a red flag should go up. I mean, when you’re poll looks like the results from a Saddam Hussein election, you know you have problems.
Think about it for a second. Do you even think that 98% of Catholics are having sex? Think about the people you know in your life. Do you think 98% of them are hooking up? Really? Do you think that 92 year-old down the street is living an elderly version of Californication? My guess is no. This little bit of common sense leads to the truth.
1) They didn’t count anyone that wasn’t a Catholic woman between the ages of 15-44. Obviously, that eliminates everyone that might be too old or too young to be having sex. But, it also eliminates tens of millions of people who are not too old to be having sex.
2) They didn’t count anyone who was pregnant. Obviously, the vast majority of these people were not using contraception.
3) They didn’t count anyone who just gave birth. Obviously, the vast majority of these people were not using contraception.
4) They didn’t count anyone who hadn’t had sex in the last three months. No, this doesn’t just eliminate ugly people. It eliminates every non-married person who is listening to the Catholic church enough to not have sex outside of marriage. In other words, the most likely group to be listening to the Catholic church about contraception.
5) They didn’t count anyone who was trying to get pregnant, or was indifferent to becoming pregnant. In other words, they eliminated the single most likely group to avoid contraception.
6) They didn’t count anyone who was having sex, trying to avoid pregnancy, but also not using a specific contraception method. I guess this would be the good ol’ “pull-n-pray”—which, incidentally–isn’t as religious as it sounds.
7) Two out of every five women in the survey were so incredibly Catholic that they either attended church services “less than once a month” or “never.” Never?
The study asked a bunch of Catholic women who are both 1) regularly having sex and 2) trying not to get pregnant, whether they’re using contraception. How did you not get 100% on that question? I mean—what are your other options in that situation? Specifically searching out people who are medically sterile? Buying the Cialis mailing list and trying to find guys with ED? Punching dudes in the groin before you hook up?
There are more problems with the study, which you can read about in depth here.
The truth is, of course, that its simply not true that 98% of Catholics use contraception. It’s absurd. In fact, I’d venture to say that outside of basic human functions like breathing, 98% of Catholics don’t do anything. They’re individuals, making individual decisions.
One final question: If Planned Parenthood is doing such a wonderful job providing low cost contraception to people in need, why does Obamacare have to mandate it?
By now, you may have heard the outrageous outrage from democrats about this ad from Pete Hoekstra, who is running for Senate in Michigan.
It features an Asian actress speaking in broken English, thanking Hoekstra’s democratic opponent for borrowing so much money from China, and helping their economy. As you might predict, democrats were very upset, claiming Hoekstra is using stereotypical images and sounds to play on the fears of xenophobic Americans. (You know, the ones clinging to their God and guns.)
The outrageous outrage may have peaked on the Larry O’Donnell show where he criticized the ad as an example of racial stereotyping, xenophobia, and nativism. He then called on members of SAG and AFTRA (actors unions) to pledge to turn down work on commercials like this. (Leave it to someone on MSNBC to believe that if the union doesn’t do it, no one else will.)
What Larry didn’t mention, was this campaign against Pat Toomey by the DSCC—the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee—waaaayyyy back in 2010. While trying to claim that Toomey cared more about Chinese jobs than American ones, the Democrats utilize both the classic “GONG!” and the oh-so-clever “fortune cookie.” (You have to admire the crunching cookie sound effect.)
One of the funniest parts of both ads is that the main charge seems to be that Toomey voted to give normal trade status to China. When? 5/24/2000..as summarized by the New York Times in an article entitled:
THE CHINA TRADE VOTE: A CLINTON TRIUMPH
Of course, the charges in the two sets of ads are slightly different. Hoekstra is criticizing his opponent for spending too much. The democrats were criticizing Toomey for being happy about China modernizing their economy…and therefore not starving their people to death quite as often…or something.
But, the truth about both sets of commercials is that they are…dumb. There is no reason to add-in gong sound effects, fortune cookie crunches, and/or broken English to make a point about China. Hoekstra is probably a fine candidate, though I don’t know anything about him, but this is a bit of an overreach.
On the plus side, we at least now know how this sarcastic statement turned out (from that same blog in 2010):
(Surely, if a republican were to run an ad about China with a gong and the crunch of a fortune cookie, no one would protest.)
While there’s a good argument to be made that this is a weak approach from Hoekstra, democrats simply have no moral ground to make it. It’s as laughable as a Kardashian/Obama lecture on frugality.