They’re Not Cleaning It Up, They’re Covering It Up

Kindra Arnesen is not the only one appalled at this sham of a clean-up effort and the corporate whitewash media-blackout over the level of sheer disaster currently ravaging America at the hands of BP and Transocean.

Arnesen does not even touch on the toxic and hazardous dispersant (Corexit) that does nothing but add a poison that makes the oil harder to clean-up (and videotape / photograph) into the mix of all the other health hazards and environmental hazards already in play.

ProPublica.org:

The two types of dispersants BP is spraying in the Gulf of Mexico are banned for use on oil spills in the U.K.

As EPA-approved products, BP has been using them in greater quantities than dispersants have ever been used in the history of U.S. oil spills.

Reuters.com:

Oil-dispersing chemicals used to clean up the vast BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico carry their own environmental risks, making a toxic soup that could endanger marine creatures even as it keeps the slick from reaching the vulnerable coast, wildlife watchdogs say.

The use of dispersants could be a trade-off between potential short-term harm to offshore wildlife and possible long-term damage to coastal wildlife habitat if the oil slick were to reach land.

YouTube Changes Its Face On Us

This new streamlined YouTube is improved in the sense that we can see a billion & one videos lined up, but somehow it feels like they just made the whole site a video version of Twitter.

I think it’s all a big grand master plan to get everybody on Facebook in the whole universe. We will make you Facebook even if you don’t own a computer, all devices must have Facebook Apps to be worthy of creation!

Jon Stewart Castrates The Blogosphere

As is usually the case, it is left to the Comedy Central programming of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to point out these funny aspects of our media and our society that go mainly overlooked.

From “The Blogs Must Be Crazy” segment:

It’s almost as if these headlines are freakishly out of proportion to the content contained within them.

Oh, did you Comedy Central writers notice that too?

A good headline makes all the difference, and if somebody isn’t getting castrated, eviscerated and then decapitated its just not a good headline.

I guess the real title of this post is: Lightborn Eviscerates The Blogosphere

But I have a suggestion: the “versus posts.”

Someone vs. Someone, instead of Someone metaphorically cannibalizes Someone else.

Just a thought…

LiberalViewer Tackles “Citizens United v. FEC”

LiberalViewer of YouTube attempts to set the record straight on mischaracterizations of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.”

It appears based on watching this video that the ruling is greatly misunderstood by both sides and I myself am inspired to try and read the whole 180+ page Opinion of the Court.

I am in no way advocating the chilling of free speech by value of it simply coming from a corporation or union.

It is a falsehood to state that this ruling allows for “unlimited contributions to political candidates” and also a point that is not within the primary argument against this ruling, as it did not effect those existing limitations.

I believe, personally, that the argument made that this will benefit non-profit advocacy organizations over private sector special interests has some serious flaws in it, while it is not altogether untrue.

It’s true that some of the confusing regulations surrounding political advocacy have been discarded in this recent decision, but it is the structure and measure of what they have done that is so reprehensible.

Were it to be the case that a corporation had to declare their logo and “I Support This Ad” with the CEO standing there; then this decision would be far different in implications to our political process.

This logic that major multinational corporations will for some reason “not go there” with political issues is true to a certain extent but it precludes the simple truth that when seeing itself as threatened, as the insurance companies did the early days of the Health Care Debate, they will spend whatever they can as fast as they can to flood us with … media. Media like television ads.

How quickly we forget as a nation, as a people, that Sen. John Kerry was literally “slimed” out of his equal opportunity at the democratic process in a bid for president no less by what we now call “swing voting” but if you track this story out it was a bunch of frauds who demeaned their personal character in a outright smear campaign. One of them lives right here in Santa Cruz, California and just like the Bush administration itself they are taking no responsibility for this in public.

How easy it will be now for a nameless silent corporate partner to just bankroll a bunch of TV ads either pro or con for a candidate that had policies that just might ask them to give a little back after they take so much from the environment, for instance. If understand that McDonald’s is Pro-McCain, just as a random example, then many of my concerns go away. But as it stands the Sierra Club, the NRA and the example of the video clip Microsoft could all wildly flood a campaign with media while grassroots money and dedicated social advocates of any position would be overshadowed.

Also this argument that money doesn’t win elections is also partly false. Money is not enough, as the examples of Ross Perot and Mitt Romney illustrate, but the 2008 Campaign for the White House was in part decided on the dollars and cents. Of course you need the solid candidate, as the Democrats held with Obama, to seal the deal but my studies in Political Science completely disagree with the scoffing of this notion of looking at the financial impact and earnings to get the best picture.

As I stated before, I believe I may have to read this entire decision before I am totally satisfied I understand it fully.

For now, I am strongly standing with the words of President Obama in his State of the Union address calling this decision a means by which we will “open the floodgates” to foreign special interests and corporate lobbyist influence over the actual results of our elections themselves.

I feel both the SCOTUS and perhaps LiberalViewer as well have concerned themselves too much with entities that deserve very little concern or express protections of the court while neglecting to see the ramifications of said decision on the people that truly represent democracy at it’s core.

To put it plainly: this appears a “open door” policy in terms of slash-and-burn negative political ads at the end of a campaign cycle to force a candidate to lose based on hyperbole, as we have seen before in politics. Slime works, and I as I understand it the SCOTUS just ruled in favor of slime in our elections.

============================

UPDATE!

Russ Feingold at CounterPunch.org explains what Sam Donaldson was speaking about that I referred to as “inaccurate” in the above piece.

I was under the impression that he was saying that Soft Money limits are now gone under this ruling but in fact it he was speaking to the issue of spending directly out of the treasury without limit.

***Thanks to Paul J. Rourke for bringing this to my attention and providing the link.

LiberalViewer, October 27th 2009

LiberalViewer on YouTube has touched what I feel is a very important issue facing us today in the U.S.

 

LIBERALVIEWER: Do you agree that the bias at Fox News is quantitatively and qualitatively different from any bias at the other major media outlets?

It’s absolutely different, in every way. The truth of it all, as I see it, is that Fox News just took the model of far right-wing radio and applied it to television broadcasting.

LIBERALVIEWER: Do you think the evidence of political organizing cited by Rachel Maddow is the best evidence Fox News is different or are the combative interview style applied only to one side, the parroting of Republican talking points, and the pattern of partisan distortion of the facts I showed better evidence that Fox News is different?

 

I feel that if 14 members of the GOP truly did write Rodger Ailes hand-written letters about having Glenn Beck retract his comments about race in regards to President Obama and this was ignored for ideological or perhaps commercial interests in place of the common good of the nation by Fox CEO Rodger Ailes himself then that is the best evidence out there. But if that’s a bogus news-story then your analysis without a doubt trumps that of any found on the major networks.

I thought about it and I’m completely against this “boycott Fox” nonsense. I want them to highly reform their television-side and don’t give a hoot about the radio-waves.

If they would just have some level of integrity in the television broadcasting they produce my qualms with them would cease.

I like the “old days” as I call them when Alan Colmes was actually on TV dispelling some of the nonsense. Now he is only really on the radio.

I find it interesting that they uninterested in reviving just the concept of the “CON vs. LIB” television show in a prime-time slot. Little by little all my ability to defend what they are doing as “news” just fades away. I see it as a situation where they are just very big, they have a partial media-monopoly, so they have plenty of room to hire everyone in the world.

I view all radio as morning-zoo, madhouse, boiler-plate, funhouse ride antics. Something happens though with the make-up and the lights and the cameras of television, or at least I think that is what is really going on ‘behind the curtains’ of this issue.

Fox News is more or less playing the role of a criminal while MSNBC operates as a cop.

I would describe the whole situation as: ridiculous.

Fox “Not-a-news-agency” News is Banned From White House Porch

Obama on FOX-thumb-340x229(Chicago Tribune: Swamp Politics)

Is it a good idea to single out just one outlet in the manner that The Obama White House recently has in the case of removing Fox Broadcasting from the press pool?


At first, I was in favor of the move to ignore the Fox Broadcasting Company by Barack Obama.

His efforts to clear his name on the website “Fight The Smears” stem almost entirely from Fox. He has every right to defend himself from these smear-merchants and radical right-wing propagandist supporters.

The right-wing lobby called “Fox News” (as in the cable pseudo-news) and “Fox News Talk” (as in the radio pseudo-news) is still “not a news organization” in my opinion. But I think this label should include everyone from COMEDY CENTRAL to HLN to CNN to MSNBC, everyone except PBS and C-SPAN.

It’s been televised tabloidism in place of televised journalism for far too long. In my view.

Any White House that would send a clear signal that The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Countdown, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Glenn Beck Show are all the same thing would be nothing but a benefit in this age of media-hate & mass misinformation.

These programs are not news, they are purely entertainment-television.

Each of these programs has an agenda, as does the network behind each.

There is nothing wrong with doing agenized-news. But it is dishonest and unethical to claim objectivity if you are playing toward a specific political wing, or any specific agenda. This is the greatest offense of the so-called “Fair & Balanced” Fox Broadcasting. As a network they cater to right-wing political agendas and refuse to declare themselves as a format that promotes conservative ideology. In that case I see it as a function of false advertising on behalf of the network.

All these programs, it‘s important to point out, are television-propaganda toward that agenda. Which might be only the agenda to make you laugh.

The broadcasting produced by this political lobby / news agency / entertainment format in only the viewing of it is not dangerous. It is taking these kinds of broadcasts as serious news formats that is problematic in a democratic society.

The informed viewing of propaganda is merely educational. However, to those who refuse to see the difference between opinions and facts the viewing of the propaganda of reckless liars, there is a dangerous situation produced.

Mine is a somewhat complex argument in regards to The News Wars between The Obama White House and Fox Broadcasting Company:

It is a good move that Obama is standing up to bad journalism mixed with bad business practices, but a bad move that he singled out FOX alone when all the news agencies screw something up.

FOX is just the biggest offender of the smears.

I believe radio and satellite should remain untouched by sweeping regulations, but televised broadcasting of race baiting and McCarthyism is just too much tabloidism for me to handle.

This sensationalist-reporting on politics that has been going almost entirely due to FOX NEWS is not exclusive to them, so I think it would be wise to pick out a few other agencies, perhaps CLEARCHANNEL and COMEDY CENTRAL, to also declare as non-news formats.

It is clear to me when a news group is run by an agenda, thus becoming more like a political lobby than a news group, but it is not clear to everyone.

A President who stands for educating the public should seek to educate people on what exactly “bias” is, and hopefully shed some light on the issue.

The specific near-criminal acts of failure to disclose vital information of a story committed by FOX NEWS should be spoken of plainly and openly if not handled more severely. This tactic of isolation is my only qualm with Obama’s approach to dealing with fake news.

If it is the desire of this White House to tackle the specific crimes against society that Fox has committed, then I would hope the case was made in specifics.

It is my personal view that a news group, of any sort, can lose it’s status as “press” if they fail to uphold the journalistic truth as a matter of course.

I believe Obama did not go far enough to fight unethical journalism and false reporting.

But I certainly agree with the point that FOX has become something other than a news agency when they promote bad journalism that is not related to their opinion-makers.

Did Glenn Beck Commit a Murder-Rape in 1990?

glenbeck199(Times photo, 2000: Fraser Hale)

Did radio and television personality Glenn Beck of Fox Broadcasting commit a murder-rape in 1990?

This blog posting exists only to try and help examine the vicious rumor that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. I don’t claim to know the truth of this matter. I only claim to know of a rumor floating around saying that Glenn Beck committed a murder-rape, and I believe that this should be discussed. So I, along with others, are going to do our part to get to the bottom of this.

Why does Glenn Beck not address these charges?

Why would Glenn Beck seek arbitration outside of the U.S. courts instead of coming forward to clear up the rumor?

I’m not saying I think he did it. I, in fact, think he is innocent of these serious criminal charges.

I’m saying that we should discuss this seriously as a nation, and a people. We should ask our friends, our boss, and our colleagues.

The Freedom of Speech must be heard over this specific matter. The voice of the people must come to be known throughout the United States on this very serious national issue we all face.

Notice: This post is a parody/satire of a different author. We all assume Glenn Beck did not rape and murder a young girl in 1990, although we also haven’t yet seen any proof that he didn’t. But we think Glenn Beck definitely uses tactics like this to spread lies and misinformation.

Read the last sentence again. That’s the point.

Hit Glenn Beck Where it Hurts

glenn_beck_me_so_crazy

The left loves to hate him and the right loves to worship him, but Glenn Beck has crossed a line and only those who fail in supporting racial equality continue to support him past this point.

The way to get race baiting off the airwaves is not screaming into the phone nor creating a blog.

It is to go after the advertisers.

ColorOfChange.org has a petition to stop the race baiting on FOX News.

I encourage you to join me in signing it.

Bipartisan Blogging Dies at Birth

blogging-300x210

When I first set forth to imprint myself upon the wildly evolving beast of the blogosphere I held with me a tenuous goal: to create a fully bipartisan blog.

A place that would be both policy and ideology neutral, yet dealt in real news topics.

While the value of this concept in itself still appears quite sound in my mind, I discovered through personal experience that throwing that concept away was the best thing I ever did for my blog as a rank amateur in the mix. (Still working on that.)

Blogger tis I:

My posting entitled “Ann Coulter Still Sucks” was one of first impressions unto this wild animal of internet-posting that I can claim to my credit. Every word of that is partisanship, I am completely unashamed.

My posting entitled “The Libra-Scorpio Cusp” is enjoyed by many. I point out an internet inconsistency between websites and briefly address my feelings on Astrology.

Recently I was honored to have received an Editor’s Pick on Open Salon for what accounts to the end result of these bipartisan efforts of mine.

I thank the Editors of Open Salon for the honor in being selected.

In course of presenting the issue of Jimmy Carter’s words concerning race in America, I unconsciously fell into my routine of trying to revive the lost art of bipartisanship.

I presented the words of Alan Wilson rebuking the words of Carter directly as to any racial motives in his father Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst.

I withheld the words of what I view as righteous indignation and retained myself to news-commentary.

However, my truly Bipartisan Blogging is dead. I fully intend to address every issue that I view as significant regardless of the possible offense drawn from that perspective.

Once you mix an opinion with a platform, you get punditry. Once the opinion is interjected into the Left versus Right Debate, it is already too late.

What remains within me though are the principals of striving toward fair play and equal consideration of alternative perspectives, and still with my own case intact. The value of this bipartisanship effort is lost, but the spirit remains intact. The reason being for this loss, in my view, has to do this the source from which it comes.

Despite all reports to the contrary, I am not a big deal.

The person to revive journalistic standards in the United States, is not I.

I instead must cry out into the wilderness to capture this beast, while those within the press need only touch a laptop. So is the way of things. But while ‘truth’ can be subjective, the facts are not.

“You can have your own opinion, but you don’t get to chose your own facts.”

I make a great many declarative statements in the course of blogging, formed primarily from simple political and media analysis, which accounts to online punditry.

But I believe strongly in full disclosure of the fact that I am a liberal and freely admit it may alter my world view in some cases.

But the facts don’t lie, and I believe in the growing majority of cases the facts are on my side.

Pointing Fingers:

It could be said that I am extremely critical of the right wing in US Politics.

If one were to ever take the time to read backwards into my blog it can be found that I have tried to draw a line between “Thinking Conservatives” and “Limited Conservatives“.

Other times I have directly defended the specific quotes of both Carrie Prejean and Rick Warren.

Treading this line in not some political game on my part, but rather my honest opinion on those matters.

I believe that is what we have escaped from in the madness of mass computing and super-fast news-cycles. Partisanship sells books as much as it moves blog-hits, so perhaps some of these political shock jocks like Ann Coulter would rather be reasonable in her arguments, but it simply doesn’t pay the bills.

The truth being what is lost in this exchange, and I think that sort of thing is a shame.

I would much rather have a discussion in disagreement than just label others as “tools”, “fascists”, “un-American”, or “racists”.

But that creation of mine that might cross party lines, and maybe bring sanity to the mix to see what happens will have to wait for a another day. The raw truth of opinion should not replace factual evidence. Such is the road to tyranny.

So I have taken another road. I drew a line in the sand that allows me to say what I will of Republicans, or Democrats.

For instance, the Republican Party is currently self-destructing and the Democratic Party has dropped the ball on health care reform.

Such statements embody my current stage in blogging evolution.

Finale:

The spirit of political bipartisanship and the need for balance remains within me, but the middle ground is now mainly unattainable without the acceptance of false claims and baseless assertions. Any critical review of facts debunks most conservative mantras.

There is much to be said for ideological differences enhancing a debate but when the debate is centered around misrepresentations and sweeping accusations of assumed wrong-doing there simply to no room in which to move in.

I will most likely continue to be mistaken for a conservative by both machines that dictate ad banners and internet users alike, but this just a by-product of my attempt to split everything down the middle.

To me, most these differences are best settled in the voting booth at election time.

But if the accuracy of the information we receive is suspect and unverifiable then we have a responsibility as citizens to recognize this fact.

This tense political and social division has forever been an element of American Life, but I believe that the situation is amplified by media-giants who profit from the repetition of partisan smears of any person or group.

I can only pray for a day of more a more honest and non-biased form of journalism catching the eye of the American public, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Eric Lightborn

http://ericlightborn.blogspot.com

http://twitter.com/EricLightborn

September 29th 2009

Mad as Hell about Health Care!

Mad as Hell Doctors

“This Fall, the rubber gloves meet the road.”

Find the MAHD on:

(Facebook)+(Twitter)+(YouTube)

_________________________________________________

Dr. Paul Hochfeld on Ed Schultz.

Quoting from MadAsHellDoctors.com:

You CAN handle the Truth
There’s no nice way to say it. The financial cost of health care is killing our citizens, hobbling our economy, crushing small business, and threatening the solvency of our government. 
In the meantime, the Health Care Industry is spending almost two million dollars a day lobbying Congress and manipulating public opinion to accept “reform” legislation that leaves a vicious, for-profit system intact. The “public option” is a trap.  We need real reform that finds immediate savings, controls costs, and accomplishes the moral imperative of true Universal Access. 
A Single Payer plan is the only real path to a Health Care System that is socially, ethically and fiscally responsible. And yet, our elected officials refuse to even discuss the possibility of a Single Payer plan!
 
If that doesn’t make you mad, we recommend checking your pulse.

The “public option” is doomed.
Firstwe will still have a dysfunctional health care system designed around insurance companies.
Secondit will be impossible to cover everyone without raising taxes.
The Obama administration is already saying it is acceptable to leave out 15 million people. Which 15 million? Will you be one of them? Who gets to decide?
Third: in a “post-option” environment you can bet that the health insurance industry will manipulate the rules so that the sickest, most expensive patients will gravitate toward the public plan, which will cause it to fail. When it does, the opponents of real reform will point to the “public option” and scream: “See! Single Payer won’t work!”

There is a time for compromise – this isn’t one of them.
 
  
We believe there is only one way to control costs.
________________________________________________________

This issue and it’s seriousness is severely under-reported or completely propagandized in some media outlets.

This is a map of the uninsured Americans and the percentage of those in your state who are uninsured.

 

Quoting Dr. Hochfeld from a radio-interview with Alan Colmes of FOX News:

“60% of doctors are in favor of government health insurance. The vast majority of primary care providers are in favor of it.”

“We are down to about 30% primary care providers in this country, we should be at about 50%. The more primary care providers you have, and the more resources you put into primary care, the better your health care outcomes and at a lower cost.”

“We are wasting 20% of our dollars on health care costs. It’s a threat to our security. We can’t afford to throw money at health care.”

“Once we get rid of the insurance companies we can have a health care system run by health care professionals.”

“The way ‘single-payer’ works is we take the money we are now spending on health care .. 60% of this 2.4 trillion dollars is already going through the government .. instead of calling it ‘insurance premiums’ it’s just called ‘health tax’. It’s not more money, it’s the same money. Because we cut out the insurance companies, we actually get more for our health care dollars.”

“I’m mad as hell about the political process.”

“I think he [Obama] learned that the industry is far more powerful than he could ever imagine and our political process is far more corrupt than he could ever have predicted.”

 ____________________________________

 

This last quote is vital for me to point out.

 

I find it distrubing those on the left would find it easy to throw the man we elected to change things for the better down the stairs just because the system is broken.

 

That’s why we elected him.

 

Let the man work!

 

This is called ‘incrementalism’ and in my view President Obama should have just gone for the whole-nine-yards of single-payer but it’s looking like that’s not going to happen. Mostly because they are all corrupt in Congress and hyper-corrupt in the GOP so it’s just plain outside of the list of options before Obama.

 

Or at least that’s my take.

 

I support Mad as Hell Doctors and all those fighting for Universal Health Care.

 

My heart is with you. Let’s keep making this case until the establishment will finally listen.

In Defense Of All Life (Abortion)

Lila Rose is the President of an anti-abortion group called Live Action.

Watch the video of Lila speaking here.

If I could insist that as long as bombings of innocent civilians are legal in the US that we show the results of these campaigns to the public through the imagery of the dead children and the dead bodies of unarmed civilians published in newspapers and televised in the media.

Until we were so sick and tired of seeing the injustice that we would do away with it altogether.

Maybe then we might value all life, like we value American life.

Maybe then we might hear angels signing as we dismantle our blood-soaked war machine.

My request is illegal in the US.

You cannot show the bodies of the dead in US media.

I am convinced that if we changed that law, and had a free press in a country that grants Freedom of The Press, we would see an end to war-profiteering and an end to American Imperialism.

But that life doesn’t matter to Lila Rose.

All the corpses of those killed in the name of finding WMDs don’t matter more than dirt to her.

All those murdered by contractors and tortured by interrogators don’t matter more than spit to her.

The only life these sort of people care to protect is unborn life. And in the process they want to harm, imprison and in some cases kill anyone who does anything but resoundingly agree with them.

Lila has since launched several successful undercover investigations exposing racism and statutory rape cover-up at Planned Parenthood. Her brave work has revealed new evidence to build a strong case against the abortion industry and lobby.

In other words she has waged a slander campaign like that of the one James O’Keefe waged against ACORN. Most likely she lied to people and targeted this group that she personally feels animosity toward until she found what she wanted to find. Exactly like the false campaign on ACORN. These people are nothing but McCarthyists and propagandists.

And there is no such thing as the “abortion industry” nor the “abortion lobby”. That’s just political spin to make it sound like groups that are Pro-Choice are in fact pro-abortion.

An outright lie.

Overt Race-Baiting From Limbaugh And Racial Politics At-Large

rush_limbaugh_operation_chaos_cigar

“In Obama’s America white kids now get beat up with black kids cheering, ‘Yeah! Right on, right on!’”

“When is the last time Gen. Powell endorsed a white liberal for president?”

“This whole election [2008] was based on race.”

These are just a small taste of the flagrant racialist sentiments that have come from the Pro-Republican ultra-conservative rightwing-mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh.

Not once has any major Republican party figure come out to distance themselves from these shameless attempts to drum up anti-black sentiment against Barack Obama.

While Jimmy Carter expressed what I thought needed to be said, the larger part of my personal feelings on the matter is that of the unwillingness to question those that present themselves as conservatives or Republicans but in truth engage in viscous race-baiting.

It is the lack of togetherness around combating racism that leads me to such reasoning.

If their movement was so invested in racial equality, wouldn’t they want Limbaugh thrown off the air? Or at very least to stop calling himself a conservative and just admit to being a Race-baiter more than he is anything else?

But, no.

He is a mainstay in conservative-talk and even the Chairman of The RNC, Michael Steele, wouldn’t stand up to him on a matter as simple as if Limbaugh was an “entertainer“ or not.

Obviously Rush Limbaugh is a Radio Entertainer, but these quotes are examples of exactly what kind of entertainment his program really offers. Race-baiting against African-Americans and vile, political hatred for all who disagree with him all wrapped up in one package.

In that much alone, bringing no other examples, I could say almost the same words the former President Jimmy Carter spoke that have sparked controversy except more directed on to the shoulders of mainstream conservatives than the anti-Obama forces.

This failure to reject the racialist statements of a popular political-talker on any real level begs to question if indeed many support these untrue and racially divisive statements.

In short, it is this defense of figures like Limbaugh or the defense of racist cartoons that promotes the idea in minds of some that perhaps racial motivates do exist far more strongly than political motives in minds of others.

PORTSMOUTH, NH - AUGUST 11: Police stand near protesters outside Portsmouth High School where U.S President Barack Obama is holding a town hall August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. President Obama is in town to speak about the need for health insurance reform to a crowd of eighteen hundred. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

PORTSMOUTH, NH - AUGUST 11: Police stand near protesters outside Portsmouth High School where U.S President Barack Obama is holding a town hall August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. President Obama is in town to speak about the need for health insurance reform to a crowd of eighteen hundred. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

“We have to take our country back!”


“Get your government hands off my Medicare!”

There are two reasons why I believe some of the extreme sentiments in The Health Care Debate are perhaps more than merely political partisanship from the right.

(1) The Patriot Act expanded federalism and government power, as well as government involvement in our lives, without anywhere near the same level of intense resistance from these same groups who claim to stand only for limiting government power.

(2) Republican President George W. Bush initially expanded federalism, once more in a single presidency, to include market recovery spending again without anywhere near the same level of personal attacks on his character.

The ideals of conservatism state that we should have let the market fall and just let the chips fall where they may. The ideals of conservatism state that creating more government is always the wrong direction and only limiting it is the correct course.

If this resistance was in fact some ‘grass roots’, ‘bipartisan’, ’community event’ based on conservative ideals then these same people would have held protests and thrown tea parties at the actual expanse in federalism, and not at this late stage.

This talk of revolution and talk of oppressive government certainly begs any level of credibility with even the most elementary review of facts. A disconnect exists between the level of outrage and the stances they claim to hold dear.

It is important to point out, that I agree with Speaker Pelosi on the matter of astroturfing in the Health Care town halls.

I eluded to that in a previous post: “Marble-cake Federalism and Health Care Reform”.

‘Astroturfing’ is a political term you don’t hear often. It means that a big entity, like a medical insurance company, is funding the protestors by means of paid-provocateurs and organizers usually working as private contractors.

I am not trying to belittle or demean those that have issues with the Health Care bills or issues with the very notion of government Health Care Reform.

I am only saying that in my view all these events don’t add up.

The problems in Congress and the deficit issue or the many other points I have heard made never include addressing why these issues, that have been this way prior to the election of Barack Obama and during the presidency of George W. Bush, are suddenly such strong points of contention.

I would remind everyone of the Obama Stimulus and how a very similar message was present in those speaking out in public and in the media but none of them ever explained why they neglected to protest or even voice their opinion when Bush issued a Stimulus Check and bailed out the banks.

Non-explanations combined with a specific rejection of specifically this president combined with intense pre-judgments, like the charges of “indoctrination or despotism coming from people on the right wing when Obama merely addresses school children, are the reasons that I support Jimmy Carter in confronting the issue instead of shying away.