Orchestrated Protests and Misinformation Against Health Insurance Reform

Rolling Stone features a story on The Lie Machine which shows how the insurance industry and Republicans worked to spread misinformation, and get right wingers out protesting, in an attempt to block health care reform. From the story:

According to internal documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights had been working closely for weeks as a “coalition partner” with three other right-wing groups in a plot to unleash irate mobs at town-hall meetings just like Doggett’s. Far from representing a spontaneous upwelling of populist rage, the protests were tightly orchestrated from the top down by corporate-funded front groups as well as top lobbyists for the health care industry. Call it the return of the Karl Rove playbook: The effort to mobilize the angriest fringe of the Republican base was guided by a conservative dream team that included the same GOP henchmen who Swift-boated John Kerry in 2004, smeared John McCain in 2000, wrote the script for Republican obstructionism on global warming, and harpooned the health care reform effort led by Hillary Clinton in 1993.

“The insurance industry is up to the same dirty tricks, using the same devious PR practices it has used for many years, to kill reform,” says Wendell Potter, who stepped down last year as chief of corporate communications for health insurance giant CIGNA. “I’m certain that people showing up at these town halls feel that they’re there on their own — but they don’t realize they’re being incited, ultimately, by the insurance industry and the other special interests.”

Behind the scenes, top Republicans — including House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Minority Leader John Boehner and the chairman of the GOP’s Senate steering committee, Jim DeMint — worked hand-in-glove with the organizers of the town brawls. Their goal was not only to block health care reform but to bankrupt President Obama’s political capital before he could move on to other key items on his agenda, including curbing climate change and expanding labor rights. As DeMint told an August teleconference of nearly 20,000 town-hall activists, “If we can stop him on this, the administration won’t be able to go on to cap and trade, card check and the other things they want to do.”

A Plea To Leave Our Current Insurance System Alone

The system is only broke for tens of millions of people–why fix it?

Delusional Right Wingers Compare Their Attempts To Restrict Reproductive Rights To Civil Rights Battles

The Los Angeles Times looks at the latest strategy from the right wing to try to circumvent a Supreme Court decision and impose their views upon the country:

Abortion foes, tired of a profusion of laws that limit but do not abolish abortion, are trying to answer the question in a way that they hope could put an end to legalized abortion.

Across the country, they have revived efforts to amend state constitutions to declare that personhood — and all rights accorded human beings — begins at conception.

From Florida to California, abortion foes are gathering signatures, pressing state legislators and raising money to put personhood measures on ballots next year. In Louisiana, a class at a Catholic high school is lobbying state legislators as part of a civics exercise.

“We have big and small efforts going on in 30 states right now,” said Keith Mason, co-founder of Colorado-based Personhood USA. “Our goal is to activate the population.”

Critics deride the effort as the “egg-as-person” movement and say it threatens in vitro fertilization; some kinds of birth control, including IUDs and pills; and stem cell research. They say that Americans will reject it as a government intrusion into their privacy.

Yes, this is real government intrusion in individual’s lives–not the imagined abuses seen by many conservatives. The irony is that such measures are supported by many of the same people who are engaging in right wing protests based upon a delusional view of what Obama is doing, often expressing rhetorical but not real support for freedom

As Ted Miller, spokesman for NARAL Pro-Choice America, said, “It’s a backdoor abortion ban.” So far voters and state legislatures have rejected such efforts. Supporters see a comparison between their efforts and supporters of homosexual rights and even Martin Luther King’s struggle for civil rights. What they fail to recognize is that the general movement of history has been for greater liberty and their attempts to impose such reactionary views have little chance of success in the modern world which they so desperately fight. Despite a rare outlier poll which suggests greater opposition to abortion, the vast majority of Americans would not back such a ban and a return to the era of shirt hanger abortions. A poll from May showed that 68 percent oppose overturning Roe v. Wade with only 30 percent supporting this. By continuing to pursue this issue, the right wing continues to marginalize themselves. Continued opposition to reproductive rights will leave the Republicans as a minority regional party limited to the south and Mormon belt of the west.

RIP: Andy Williams’ Brain


Andy Williams has become senile, or perhaps just nuts, in his old age. The Telegraph reports:

Andy Williams, the veteran pop singer, has accused Barack Obama of “following Marxist theory” and “wanting the country to fail”.

Williams, a lifelong Republican whose hits include Moon River and Music To Watch Girls By, told the Radio Times he thought Mr Obama wanted to turn the US into a “socialist country”…

“Don’t like him at all,” he said, “I think he wants to create a socialist country. The people he associates with are very Left-wing. One is registered as a Communist.

“Obama is following Marxist theory. He’s taken over the banks and the car industry. He wants the country to fail.”

Aricept cannot cure this.