This Southern Republican defies GOP in coming out for the Medicaid Expansion to Obamacare

via This Southern Republican defies GOP in coming out for the Medicaid Expansion to Obamacare.

THU JUN 05, 2014

by Egberto Willies

Many have been saying this would happen. As reality meets rhetoric, reality ultimately wins. Sometime one must bring reality into the fold kicking and screaming. A few months ago I wrote the article “When does lying about Obamacare become immoral and evil?” The simple answer is now. Waiting until people die makes it effectively murder.

Republicans are starting to feel the pain of their intransigence and spite. A few months ago a self-described Republican Fox News addict from North Carolina urged Americans to sign up for Obamacare. Yesterday Belhaven, North Carolina Republican Mayor Adam O’Neal flanked by Moral Monday’s leader Rev. William Barber urged his fellow Republicans to take the Medicaid Expansion to Obamacare.

“I am a Republican. I am standing amongst a bunch of Democrats,” Mayor O’Neal said. “No party is right all of the time. We all make mistakes.” The mayor went on to say that he was proud to team up with Rev. Barber and other Democrats to change course. He wants Republicans in North Carolina to take the Medicaid Expansion to Obamacare.

“The path the legislators are on right now has already caused stress on our hospitals; and especially rural hospitals,” Mayor O’Neal said. “Our rural hospitals could hardly survive in the past due to the reimbursement for indigent care. Without Medicaid Expansion the reimbursements are falling and hospitals like the one in my hometown are on the brink of possibly even closing. … If you do not have critical access hospitals, people needlessly die. That’s a fact.”

Mayor O’Neal is correct. One need just remember Charlene Dill’s story as a vivid example. There are studies that quantify how many will die in states that refuse the Medicaid Expansion to Obamacare. But it need not be. Mayor O’Neal sums it up well.

“I hope they reconsider and decide to focus on federal reform too meet our concerns and don’t let our rural hospitals suffer and our poor suffer,” Mayor O’Neal said. “Don’t let our hospital close. Rural citizens dying shouldn’t be soldiers of our legislature’s defiance.”





Slap Hilary?!?!?! Have they no shame? Take action now…

First of all, I have resisted, and continue to do so, the numerous invitations circulating to jump on the Hilary Clinton bandwagon.  That includes the various petitions declaring the time for a woman President will have arrived by the 2016 election.    While that argument may succeed in garnering support for a Clinton campaign, it could as easily be used to promote Sarah Palin.  Having watched the UK segue from the Callaghan government to Thatcherism, my own preference is to bide my time until at least some people have declared their candidacies, something Clinton has yet to do, and decide who to support at that time.

However, I have received the following from UltraViolet which does require your urgent attention because it is just so disgusting…

A Republican Super PAC has put out a new online “game” where they ask their supporters to virtually slap Hillary Clinton across the face. The Super PAC is known as The Hilary Project and is an anti-Hillary Clinton group.

Violence against women is not a joke.

It’s disgusting, it’s outrageous and–regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum–it has no place in our politics. I just signed a petition demanding that they pull down this website and apologize for advocating violence against women. Can you join me? 


You don’t have to be a fan of Hilary Clinton to agree violence against women isn’t funny; it isn’t a joke; it’s obscene and its promotion should be a criminal offence.  Join me and take action now…


The ill-advised future (or not) of the tea party, and how it will cripple the GOP

What a calamity they’ve been for the country! We will have wasted six years of the Obama presidency fighting tooth and nail just to defend decades old programmes, never mind putting in place a truly progressive health care system.

Caveat Lector

Recent centrist moves and minor steps toward compromise on the part of Ohio Republicans has apparently angered the Ohio Tea Party, with the advent of the election of Matt Borges, who once lobbied for the gay-rights group Equality Ohio, breaking the proverbial camel’s back.

From an article in the Columbus Dispatch:

Feeling betrayed by the Republican Party and its leaders, tea party groups in Ohio appear to be uniting and moving toward either a split from the GOP or action to punish Republican candidates who fail ideological purity tests.

A series of events, culminating with the April 26 election of Matt Borges as chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, spurred a flurry of meetings and conference calls among tea party leaders last week to plot a course of action heading into the 2014 statewide election.

Options being discussed, according to Seth Morgan, policy director for Americans for Prosperity, range…

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Gagging on Ag-gag Laws by Jim Hightower on – A Syndicate Of Talent

Gagging on Ag-gag Laws by Jim Hightower on – A Syndicate Of Talent.

More from Jim Hightower, who accurately fingers ALEC as the shadowy source of Ag-Gag Laws introduced by pet legislators in a number of states…

Our nation’s founders mounted a revolution to establish our free-press and free-speech rights, enshrining them in the First Amendment to ensure the free exchange of ideas — even when the Powers That Be didn’t like the message that such freedoms produce. In fact, the Founders knew from hard experience that the protection of those freedoms was especially essential when the Powers That Be have something they’re eager to hide from the citizenry.

Yet here comes a mess of so-called “conservatives” attempting to use state government to outlaw messengers who shine a light on corporate wrongdoing — turning those who expose crimes into criminals. Even kookier, these repressive laws declare that truth-tellers who so much as annoy or embarrass the corporate owner of the animal factory are guilty of “an act of terrorism.”

Oddly, each of these state proposals is practically identical, even including much of the same wording. That’s because, unbeknownst to the public and other legislators, the bills don’t originate from the state lawmakers who introduce them. Instead, they come from a Washington-based corporate front group named ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council.

This infamous “bill mill” periodically convenes its corporate funders to write model bills that serve their special interests. Then ALEC farms out bills to its trusted cadre of state lawmakers across the country, who introduce them as their own, not mentioning the corporate powers behind them.

The secretive ALEC network produced the model ag-gag bill in 2002 and began shipping it from state to state under the ominous tile, “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act.”

The freedom-busting terrorists in this fight are not those who reveal the abuse, but the soulless factory-farm profiteers in the corporate suites and the cynical lawmakers who serve them.

Actually, factory farms are not farms at all. They are corporate-run concentration camps for pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys and other food animals.

Held in corporate confinement, these creatures of nature are denied any contact with their natural world, instead being crammed by the thousands into concrete-and-metal buildings, where they are locked in torturously tiny cages for the duration of their so-called “life” — which is nasty, brutish and short. All this merely so food giants like Tyson Foods, Smithfield and Borden can grab fatter and quicker profits. Their abusive industrial system is so disgusting that America‘s consumers would gag at the sight of it.

Mea culpas, “The Arab Mind”and the White Man’s Burden

Mea culpas, “The Arab Mind”and the White Man’s Burden  Reblogged from Campaign for America’s Future, PM Update, 21 March 2013

This piece by Digby is so full of common sense, it warrants full repetition…


David Ignatius wrote his Iraq mea culpa today and it’s a good one. He admits that Iraq was an epic strategic blunder and that he was wrong to have been such an enthusiastic cheerleader for it. But in chronicling his mistakes, I find this one to be almost shocking coming from a sophisticated man of the world:


Another lesson is the importance of dignity in the Arab world. Most Iraqis despised Saddam because, in addition to torturing their sons and daughters, he had taken their dignity. But many came to loathe America, as well, because for all our talk of democracy, we damaged their sense of honor and independence. As the Arab world proves over and over, from Palestine to Benghazi, people who are penniless in terms of material possessions would rather die than lose their sense of honor to outsiders.


Right. That’s unique to the Arab world. Imagine, if you will, how even a rich country would feel if someone crashed airplanes into their biggest city and killed thousands of their people? I’d expect they would be quite incensed.  It turns out that poor people, just like rich people, don’t care for it when strangers come in and start killing their families and taking everything they have. It doesn’t take a political genius or a psychologist to know that.


What Ignatius leaves out is that the Very Serious People not only believed that the Iraqis would greet them as liberators, they also assumed they were some kind of primitives.  They even consulted the “experts”:


Saturday, June 12, 2004


 Bad Books For Stupid People

This business of using dogs to torture Iraqi prisoners actually is more depraved than is obvious, if you can believe that.

We know that big tough American guys like Trent Lott wouldn’t piss all over themselves if they were tied up naked while a 150 lb snarling German Shepard was allowed to back them into a corner and take a piece out of their flesh. They don’t have a problem with dogs like those arabs do.
This is but another example of the crude, stereotypical approach we seem to have taken toward the Iraqis (and undoubtedly the Afghans, as well.) And it is likely because the “intellectuals” who planned and implemented the war don’t have a clue.

Sy Hersh mentioned in his May 24th article in the New Yorker one of the many possible reasons why:

“The notion that Arabs are particularly vulnerable to sexual humiliation became a talking point among pro-war Washington conservatives in the months before the March, 2003, invasion of Iraq. One book that was frequently cited was “The Arab Mind,” a study of Arab culture and psychology, first published in 1973, by Raphael Patai, a cultural anthropologist who taught at, among other universities, Columbia and Princeton, and who died in 1996.


The book includes a twenty-five-page chapter on Arabs and sex, depicting sex as a taboo vested with shame and repression. “The segregation of the sexes, the veiling of the women . . . and all the other minute rules that govern and restrict contact between men and women, have the effect of making sex a prime mental preoccupation in the Arab world,” Patai wrote. Homosexual activity, “or any indication of homosexual leanings, as with all other expressions of sexuality, is never given any publicity. These are private affairs and remain in private.”


The Patai book, an academic told me, was “the bible of the neocons on Arab behavior.” In their discussions, he said, two themes emerged—“one, that Arabs only understand force and, two, that the biggest weakness of Arabs is shame and humiliation.”

You might as well read a ZOG comic on mudpeople as read this for any true understanding. The passages on sex could have been written during Queen Victoria’s reign which is, indeed, the period from which many silly, crude stereotypes about Arabs and sex really got off the ground. (The funny thing is that Patai’s book portrays middle eastern culture as being rigidly sexually repressed when during Victoria’s time they were reviled for being scandalously oversexed. It seems that no matter what, westerners believe the Middle East is all fucked up when it comes to sex. Unlike we Americans, of course, who definehealthy sexuality.)

So, a bunch of second rate minds read a third rate book about people they know nothing about except what they’ve seen at parties where Ahmad Chalabi is holding court, and they fashion a torture regime based upon a ridiculous thesis that arabs (unlike Western he-men apparently, which is interesting in itself) are particularly uncomfortable with being herded around naked, forced to pretend to masturbate in front of women and piling themselves up in naked pyramids, among other sexually charged, homoerotic acts.

It’s always interesting to see people’s innermost fears and insecurities projected on to another isn’t it? These neocons have some serious issues.


One of the most fatuous aspects of the Iraq war was the supporters’ insistence that the US was doing something uniquely benevolent by invading and killing people in that country.  And even more absurd, that they would love us for it.  Let’s face it, the throwbacks weren’t in Iraq.  They were here.  That anachronistic belief in “White Man’s Burden”got a lot of people killed for nothing.


It turns out that human beings are all pretty much the same when it comes to being humiliated, dominated and killed by strangers. They don’t like it. Who knew?


How To Disarm A Tea Partier With Nothing But Words

How To Disarm A Tea Partier With Nothing But Words Reblogged from Upworthy, 14 March 2013

According to Mischa Nachtigal, writing for Upworthy, the following are his key moments:

These are my favorite parts:

At 0:05, she starts off by talking about North Carolina’s role in the Civil War. Ah, history…

0:57, the interviewer asks her how North Carolina has related to President Obama.

1:55, the woman suggests racism only existed (and ended) 140 years ago.

2:15, find out how the Tea Party will appeal to more than just white men.

3:00, she lays out the Tea Party values (yes, they have values).

3:13, she compares the Tea Party to the Sons of Liberty. Classic.

3:40, a good question: Does the Tea Party acknowledge the civil rights movement?

4:20, she says what “take America back” really means to the Tea Party.

5:24, she lists off her diversity credentials while awkwardly using the word “ethnic.”

6:04, she continues to try and explain that diversity is a bad thing.

7:01, surprise, surprise, she dodges a question!

7:45, apparently members of the Tea Party are charitable people… about 30 seconds later she says child services and health care are a scam.

8:20, she gets confused but still just proceeds to blame the Democrats for all that is wrong in the world.

9:08, watch how she responds to the idea that Republicans are exploiting people’s old beliefs.

Lastly at 10:09, you can finally figure out what the Tea Party is, in a nutshell.

“They All Look Like a Vatican Version of the Tea Party Movement”

“They All Look Like a Vatican Version of the Tea Party Movement” | Mother Jones.  Reblogged 11 March 2013

“Even on a good day, I get discouraged thinking about the election of a new pope,”laments Maureen Fiedler, a nun and blogger at the progressive Catholic newspaper National Catholic Reporter. “They all look like a Vatican version of the tea party movement.”

Little wonder they resemble the Tea Party.  Vatican reactionaries have spent the last three and a half decades doing everything they can to erase all memory of the Second Vatican Council; US conservatives have spent the same time reversing anything which smacks of Johnson’s Great Society and Roosevelt’s New Deal.  Both tasks are nearing completion…

The Group Behind CPAC Has a White-Nationalist Problem

The Group Behind CPAC Has a White-Nationalist Problem | Mother Jones, 8 March 2013

Let’s Adopt These Planks From GOP’s National Platform

Let’s Adopt These Planks From GOP’s National Platform by Jim Hightower on – A Syndicate Of Talent.  Reblogged 6 March 2013

In which Jim Hightower, my favourite Texan, demonstrates his Dr Emmett Brown prowess by taking the GOP back to the future…

But now here’s some unexpected news!

It comes from what purports to be an official document of the National Republican Party. And — wow! — the policy positions it contains show that top thinkers and strategists really are serious about coming to their senses and rejecting the plutocratic extremism and far-right wackiness that has stained their recent presidential, congressional and gubernatorial campaigns.

Right at the top, this 18-page manifesto proclaims that, “Our government was created by the people for all the people, and it must serve no less a purpose.” ALL the people!

Forget last year’s ridiculous pontifications by Mitt Romney and others dividing America into virtuous “creators” (like themselves and their billionaire backers) and worthless “moochers” (like you and me) — this document abounds with commitments to the common good.

“America does not prosper,” it proudly proclaims on page three, “unless all Americans prosper.” Shazam — that’s downright democratic!

And then there’s this: “Government must have a heart as well as a head.” And this: We must conserve and safeguard “our natural resources for the greatest good of all, now and in the future.” And this: “The purpose of the Republican Party is to (build) a dynamic prosperity in which every citizen fairly shares.”

And how’s this for a complete turnaround: “Labor is the United States. The men and women, who with their minds, their hearts and hands, create the wealth that is shared in this country — they are America.” Holy Koch brothers, share the wealth?

Yes, and how about this: “The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the (Republican Party).” Eat your heart out Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, John Kasich and you other labor-bashing GOP governors!

The document also offers unequivocal support for (of all things) the United Nations, as well as for the U.S. Postal Service and such progressive-minded policies as equal rights for women, expanding our national parks, “vigorous enforcement of anti-trust laws” and raising the minimum wage. New enlightenment in the Grand Old Party. Hallelujah!

Can all this be true? Yes — except it’s not new. This document is the Republican Party platform … of 1956. Fifty-seven years ago, under the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, Republicans not only said sensible things like that, they put them in their national party platform as pledges to the American people. How far they’ve devolved, huh?

And don’t miss Hightower’s take on devolution…

They had a choice.

this didn't have to happen; if you aren't angry, why not? (image: courtesy service employees international union)

this didn’t have to happen; if you’re not outraged, why not? (image: courtesy service employees international union)

Shocking Side By Side Comparisons.  Reblogged from Service Employees International Union correspondence of 1 March 2013

For months we’ve warned of the automatic budget cuts that take effect March 1st. Due to extremists in Congress failure to compromise, those across-the-board cuts, known as the sequester, are happening today.

This didn’t need to happen.

It was a choice made by right-wing Congress members: a choice to cut 600,000 children and mothers from access to vital nutritional aid, limit access to 4 million seniors from Meals on Wheels, cut 70,000 children from Head Start as well as the program’s social workers, and cost 1 million jobs in our already-fragile economy.

Congress could have chosen to invest in education, healthcare and good jobs. Instead, right-wing leadership insisted on tax breaks for the wealthy few and protection of corporate tax loopholes.

Click here to see a side-by-side comparison of Congress’ choice – what gets cut and what gets protected. Then, will you share it with 3 friends?