Barack Obama’s Eulogy For Ted Kennedy

Video of Barack Obama’s eulogy for Ted Kennedy above. Transcript is below the fold.


Debunking Health Care Myths

McSweeny’s debunks more health care myths. For example:


The Democratic health care reform proposal will not let you choose your own doctor.


You will have a wider-than-ever range of doctors to choose from! In order to accommodate 45 million new patients, the plan expands the definition of “doctor” from “medically licensed professional” to now also include:

• Morning radio DJs who have adopted the moniker

• Televised bullies (Phil, Laura)

• PhDs in any field, and “All But Dissertation” PhD candidates. Trust us, you will have no problem getting an appointment to see these master procrastinators.

• Soda creators (Pepper, Brown*)

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Obamacare™ will ration life-saving medicine away from the elderly and disabled via “Death Panels.”


While nothing can replicate the current mercy-driven system of rationing via “Private Insurer Form Letter,” the new proposal certainly does not consign end-of-life decisions to panels of faceless bureaucrats. Rather, they are taken up by exciting, glamorous “Celebrity Death Panels”™ (C-List minimum).

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People in Britain are deeply unhappy with their socialized medicine system, which ours will become.


People in Britain are deeply unhappy with everything. It is their only source of happiness.

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Universal health care will transform the United States into another Cuba/Canada/France/Venezuela/The Democratic Republic of the Congo.


A common misconception! It will, in fact, transform us into a Jamaica/Costa Rica/Amsterdam/Chad.

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If you do it standing up, you’ll have a boy.


The BHO-HMO offers full coverage for pre-, neo- and post-natal care, without regard to procreative positioning.

The myths discussed here aren’t really that much more absurd than those coming from the Republicans.

Sarah Palin One Year Later

It has now been a year since John McCain destroyed any chance of winning by picking a running mate who turned out to be totally ignorant of the issues and incapable of handling any government position beyond Mayor of Wasilla. Big Hollywood, the right wing blog which was established to counter what they see as left wing influence on culture, has a particularly absurd article from John Ziegler on Sarah Palin. I could go through it and point out all the ridiculous statements made but there is no need as Mudflats has done an excellent job of debunking it.

I’ll just point out one section. Perhaps the most absurd claim made by Ziegler was in comparing Palin to Obama:

That to the media if you are a young, good looking, charismatic,  non-white male without a long resume and  are a conservative running for Vice-President, you are an embarrassment to the country. But if you are a young, good-looking, charismatic, non-white male without a long resume and are a socialist running for President, you are the Second Coming.

Beyond the absurdity of calling Obama a socialist, Ziegler misses the tremendous differences between Obama and Palin. Mudflats mentions just a few:

Ah, now I see.  Their resumes are the same length.  The fact that one line says “Constitutional Law Professor” and the other says “Mayor of Wasilla” doesn’t matter.  President of the Harvard Law Review vs. Sportscaster?  They each take up one line, so let’s not quibble.  And actually if you add up Sarah Palin’s college career, it’s five lines on a resume because she went to five different schools.  Obama only went to two, so HA!  She’s more edjicated.

Trust in Government and Belief In Health Care Distortions

Charles Blowattributes the widespread belief in many of the false claims about health care reform being spread by Republicans on increased distrust in government, arguing that “it stands to reason that many people probably don’t trust Washington on health care reform because, right now at least, they just don’t trust Washington.”

There is logic to distrusting Washington. While the Democrats are far from perfect here, the dishonesty coming from government increased tremendously during the Bush years. If Blow is right, Democrats are now suffering from the distrust in government which increased during the Bush years.

Blow also writes:

These fluctuations highlight a peculiar quirk of recent American politics — according to an analysis of The New York Times/CBS News polls from the past 33 years, Americans seem to trust the government substantially more after a Republican president is elected than they do after a Democratic one is elected — at least at the outset.

The comment about “at the onset” is key. Americans trusted government when Republicans were elected but often have been burned by this trust. Therefore it makes sense that they showed distrust of government at the same time as they voted in Democrats.

Blow repeats a common but erroneous stereotype in writing:

It seems curious that the same party that believes in big government doesn’t trust that government to do the right thing when Democratic leaders control it. But Democrats are a curious lot.

Republicans are actually the party of big government at least as much as the Democrats.  Despite the tremendous amount of growth in government under Republicans, they have fooled some into thinking of them as opposing big government because of their rhetoric, not their actions.

People vote for Democrats for a variety of reasons–not necessarily because of support for government programs. The differences in Democratic voters are similar to the differences among liberals which I have previously discussed. There are certainly some liberals and Democrats who tend to support big government, but there are also many liberals and those who vote Democratic because of concern over civil liberties and restoring the checks and balances on government which were eroded under the Republicans.

With health care reform, assuming can still be passed, it might come down to getting the program through first and then earning trust. Once people see that the actual plan is nothing like it is being misrepresented by Republicans their view of it will change.

Campaigns based upon such distortion have become standard operating procedure for the Republicans in recent years. The big question is whether Americans will figure this out, forcing Republicans to stop relying on such tactics.