The Rockin Johnny B

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


By now you’ve probably heard horror stories about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, has forced so many people to lose their insurance policies. You’ve heard that affordable health insurance policies are being canceled and replaced with policies that are far more expensive than the canceled policies. But have you heard that across the country, insurance regulators are cracking down on the private insurance companies, because of the scam they are running on their customers? Probably not.

 Insurance companies, what’s going on?

What’s going on? Diane Barrette is a good example of what’s going on. Barrette, a 56 year old woman from Florida, who claimed on CBS News that her $54 health insurance policy was going to cost $591 a month because of Obamacare, was a victim of exactly the kind of scam that these state agencies are dealing with.

Barrette had received a letter from one of the private insurance companies, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, telling her that her old policy was canceled. The letter went on to say that the company would be replacing it with the new policy, and quoted a price that was ten times the cost of the old policy. CBS highlighted Barrette’s story as if she were the victim of Obamacare. She wasn’t. She was the victim of another private insurance industry scam. If CBS had been doing their job and acting as reporters and not right wing spokespeople, they would have known it, too.

 Here’s how this scam works.

How this scam works is that private insurance companies send out letters notifying existing customers that their current policy has been canceled, because of the ACA’s new requirements. They then offer customers a new, ACA compliant policy at far higher rates than what the customer would pay if he went through the ACA marketplace. In most cases the insurance companies do not tell their customers what other options are available or even let them know they have a choice under the new law. Some insurance companies have pressed their customers to sign up for the new policies by a certain date, saying if they don’t, their health coverage will be lost.

 Consumer Reports found her a policy for $165.00.

On the program, Barrette tells CBS that she has to hurry and make up her mind by November 1st or she will lose out on her chance to buy in. CBS offered her no explanation of her alternatives, but Consumer Reports examined Barrette’s story shortly after it aired. They easily found her a policy in the Marketplace for $165.00, not the $591 Blue Cross Blue Shield was shamelessly going to charge her.
What’s more, Consumer Reports also looked at her old policy, the one she was paying $54 a month for. They determined that it was “junk.” In essence, Barrette had been paying one of these corrupt private insurance companies  nearly $650 per year, to have almost no real medical coverage, under her previous Blue Cross Blue Shield policy.

 Insurance companies are exploiting the people who are looking to them for advice.

Talking Points Memo (TPM) recently published an in depth expose’ on how insurance companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield are scamming people all across the country. While in most states it’s not criminal, it’s a scam nonetheless. By telling consumers that their policies have been canceled under the new law and offering them insurance plans that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than what those consumers would pay in the marketplace, these insurance companies are exploiting the people who are looking to them for advice. High pressure tactics are used to get confused customers to sign up for these overpriced policies, including threatening letters and harassing phone calls.

 Humana was fined more than $65,000 in Kentucky for this scam.

In Kentucky, state insurance regulators went after Humana for the scheme. In that state, Humana was one of the worst of these private insurance companies, guilty of exploiting people’s fears over Obamacare. The company sent out thousands of letters to their Kentucky customers telling them their policies were canceled and that they had only a short window of time to buy into new (expensive) policies. The letter also told them that their premiums would go up once Obamacare went into effect. In all, 2,200 people fell for the scam, rushing to buy the marked up policies that the company was selling. The policies were sold at a much higher cost than what is offered in the ACA Marketplace. Humana was fined more than $65,000 for the scam. The 2,200 customers who signed up to buy the more expensive policies were released from their contract with the company.

 In Washington, state regulators issued a consumer alert about the scams.

In Washington, state regulators issued a consumer alert about the scams.Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler wrote:
Don’t just take what your insurance company says, make sure you shop around. You have the right to buy any plan inside the new exchange or in the outside market.
The scam is taking place all across the country, not just in some areas or some states. Consumer complaints have been lodged in Colorado, Missouri and Florida, just to name a few. Since health insurance companies like Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield operate on a national basis, it is not surprising to see these kinds of letters being received all across the U.S.

 ”The reality is that this could do real harm.”

Laura Etherton, a health policy analyst at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, told TPM:
If you’re an insurance company, you’re trying to hang onto the consumers you have at the highest price you can get them.You can take advantage of the confusion about what people get to have now. It’s a new world. It’s disappointing that insurance companies are sending confusing letters to consumers to take advantage of that confusion. The reality is that this could do real harm.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Oh those crazy conservatives

Conservatives simply hate facts and just bully ahead with's some examples.

Crazy Conservative Contradictions:

1. There is no need to regulate corporations! The free market dictates that all corporations will act in the best interest of the consumer or be put out of business by the “Invisible Hand.”

The Conservative Contradiction: Corporations only exist to make money. You cannot expect them to do anything that will interfere with the bottom line. They cannot concern themselves with environmental issues or customer safety if it is more profitable to ignore them. You, as the consumer, need to be more careful!
2. Corporations should have all the rights of a person. They should be free to exercise their First Amendment rights and buy influence elections just like any other citizen of the United States.

The Conservative Contradiction: Corporations are not people so they cannot be treated like any other citizen of the United States. You can’t arrest them for manslaughter or negligent homicide even if they DID add known carcinogens to that baby food on purpose.
Ultimate Contradiction: Unions (basically, a group of people pooling their resources) should not be allowed to influence elections. It corrupts the democratic process.
3. You should never try to organize labor. That’s selfish. Unions extort money from corporations, inflate the salaries of workers and give them unearned benefits like maternity leave and pensions. Union workers are greedy and do not care about the companies they work for. The fact that they are paid so well is a sure sign that they are wrong.

The Conservative Contradiction: How dare you try to limit CEO pay and severance packages?! Those people work hard and earn every penny they get, even if they drove the company right into bankruptcy! So what if they took billions of tax payers’ money to stay afloat, they still deserve those bonuses!
4. All liberal celebrities should shut the hell up. They don’t know what they’re talking about and should leave politics to politicians. Liberal celebrities aren’t real Americans anyway because they’re from Hollywood!

The Conservative Contradiction: Here to explain to you how liberal policies are unpatriotic and probably illegal are Victoria Jackson, Kelsey Grammer and Jon Voight.
5. The Government cannot create any jobs at all and can never reduce unemployment, only the private sector can do that.

The Conservative Contradiction: The Government has too many people on its payroll; we have to reduce the number of public sector jobs.

Ultimate Contradiction: See how many public sector jobs we’ve lost under Obama? He made unemployment worse!
6. We really invaded Iraq to get rid of a terrible dictator and it had nothing to do with 9/11.

The Conservative Contradiction: Why is Obama invading Libya?! To take down a terrible dictator?! How is that our problem?!
7. Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 because he gave the order to carry out the attack.

The Conservative Contradiction: President Obama can’t take ANY credit for the death of Osama bin Laden because all he did was give the order to carry out the attack.
8. Any journalist, politician or private citizen that questions President Bush during a time of war is a traitor.

The Conservative Contradiction: During this time of war it is our patriotic duty to question President Obama about every little detail of his agenda.
9. Providing billions in tax-payer money to people in dire financial straits is Socialism and will lead to the destruction of the country.

The Conservative Contradiction: Providing trillions in tax-payer money to banks in dire financial straits is Capitalism and will lead to the salvation of the country.
10. We must protect innocent fetuses by any means necessary. Terrorism and assassination is justifiable because we are protecting children!

The Conservative Contradiction: Providing pregnant women with medical care and proper nutrition is a burden on the tax-payers and we can’t afford it. We need that money to fight terrorism!
11. Islam is a religion of terrorists! They murder innocents in the name of Allah and that’s just wrong! That’s why we’re better than they are!

The Conservative Contradiction: All homosexuals should be put to death! They are the work of Satan! If we cannot pray away their gay then we must do as the Jayzus commands and stone them to death!
12. My freedom of religion is absolute! It says so right there in the Constitution! You can’t restrict my right to worship where and how I want!

The Conservative Contradiction: Those damn Muslims keep putting up mosques wherever the hell they want! Who do they think they are?! That should be illegal!
13. The Constitution is inviolate! Why are liberals always trying to shred the Constitution?!

The Conservative Contradiction: We should just ignore the 14th Amendment! It allows anchor and terror babies! We have to protect ourselves from the furrners!
14. Damn liberals always trying to select activist judges that will just “interpret” the Constitution however they want to fit their Socialist agenda! The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing and we should also follow their intent, not just make it up as we go along!

The Conservative Contradiction: Citizens United? I think the Supreme Court did a fine job of interpreting the Constitution to fit our much more complex times, don’t you?

Friday, November 22, 2013

100 Things to say to annoy a Republican

Conservatives are so easy to anger these days. Even the most insignificant statement can set off their tempers. If you want to enrage a conservative, I suggest saying the following:
1. A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor, for free.
3. Joseph McCarthy was an un-American, witch hunting sissy.
4. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors.
5. The South lost the Civil War, get over it.
6. The Founding Fathers were liberals.
7. Fascism is a right-wing trait.
8. Sarah Palin is an idiot.
9. The Earth is round.
10. Reagan raised taxes eleven times as President.
11. Reagan legalized abortion as Governor of California.
12. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.
13. Ronald Reagan supported gun control.
14. Global warming is real.
15. Republicans hate illegal immigrants, unless they need their lawns mowed or their houses cleaned.
16. The military is a government-run institution, so why do Republicans approve the defense budget?
17. The Cold War is over and the Soviet Union no longer exists.
18. Paying taxes is patriotic.
19. Republicans: Peddling the same failed economic policies since 1880.
20. The Republican Party began as a liberal party.
21. The Presidents’ full name is Barack Hussein Obama and he was born in the United States of America.
22. George W. Bush held hands with the King of Saudi Arabia.
23. President Obama saved the American auto industry, while Republicans wanted to destroy it.
24. Hate is not a Christian virtue.
25. Jesus was a liberal.
26. Republicans spend MORE money than Democrats.
27. Tea parties are for little girls.
28. Public schools educate all children; private schools are for indoctrinating children.
29. The Constitution is the law, NOT the Bible.
30. Sharia law doesn’t exist in America.
31. The President is NOT a Muslim.
32. Corporations are NOT people. People are people.
33. Fox News isn’t real news, it’s just a racist, sexist, hateful, right-wing propaganda machine.
34. The Federal Reserve was a Republican idea.
35. Women are equal citizens who deserve equal rights.
36. Women control their own bodies.
37. Abortion is a relevant medical procedure, just ask Rick Santorum.
38. Please use spell-check.
39. It’s “pundit”, not “pundint”.
40. Social Security is solvent through 2038.
41. Health care is a right, not a product.
42. Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan ruling made by a conservative leaning Supreme Court.
43. G.O.P also stands for Gross Old Perverts.
44. The donkey shouldn’t be the Democratic mascot because Republicans are the real jackasses.
45. Barack Obama ordered the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It took him two and half years to do what Bush couldn’t do in eight.
46. Waterboarding IS torture.
47. 9/11 happened on George W. Bush’s watch, therefore he did NOT keep America safe.
48. Republicans invaded Iraq for oil, so Iraq should be allowed to invade Texas to get it back.
49. Separation of church and state is in the Constitution, it’s called the First Amendment.
50. Muslims are protected by the Constitution, just as much as Christians.
51. Barack Obama is the first African-American President, get over it.
52. The Oval Office is NOT a “whites only” office.
53. America is a nation of immigrants, therefore we are all anchor babies.
54. The white race isn’t disappearing, it’s evolving.
55. God is a particle.
56. Evolution is real.
57. The Earth is 4.54 billion years old, not 6,000.
58. The Founding Fathers did not free the slaves.
59. The Revolution was NOT fought over slavery.
60. Paul Revere warned the Americans, NOT the British.
61. Federal law trumps state law.
62. The Civil War was about slavery, NOT state’s rights.
63. Corporations care more about profits than they do about people.
64. Getting out of a recession requires government spending.
65. Glenn Beck is a nut-job.
66. Republicans: Paranoid since 1932.
67. Republicans don’t want to pay for your birth control, but they want you to pay for their Viagra.
68. Republicans actually NEED Viagra.
69. Fox News is owned by an Australian and has a Saudi prince as an investor.
70. Republicans complain about immigrants taking American jobs, then freely give American jobs to foreigners overseas.
71. Republicans hate communism, so why do they refer to themselves as red states?
72. Labor unions built this country.
73. Republicans hold America hostage as a political strategy; the temper tantrum throwing kind of political strategy.
74. Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian.
75. When Republicans see black, they attack.
76. Inside every Republican is a Klansman or a Nazi waiting to bloom.
77. Republicans only care about children BEFORE they are born.
78. Republicans are hypocrites, they’re just too stupid to know it.
79. The Christian-Right boycotts movies that have violence, and then promotes guns and insurrection.
80. I think therefore I am NOT a Republican.
81. Republicans that oppose gay marriage are most likely in the closet themselves.
82. Churches should stay out of politics, or be taxed.
83. People are too poor to vote Republican.
84. Democrats think for themselves, Republicans form think tanks to do it for them.
85. Republicans hate education because they couldn’t hack it in school.
86. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins and Republicans wallow in it.
87. A little socialism on the Left is better than a little fascism on the Right.
88. The current corporate tax rate is the lowest in 60 years, so stop whining about it being too high.
89. Republicans: Anti-Gay Marriage, Pro-Lesbian sex.
90. Republicans: Terrorizing the American people since 1981.
91. Republicans have their own terrorists, just look up Timothy McVeigh.
92. Republicans love outsourcing, just ask the Chinese Communists.
93. The Republican answer to the oil spill was to apologize to BP, a foreign oil company.
94. Democrats will be working hard to bring jobs to Americans, while the Republicans tea bag each other in the middle of the aisles.
95. Voter disenfranchisement is immoral and un-American, that’s why Republicans do it.
96. Republicans would let your house burn down unless you pay them to put it out.
97. Democrats want to take care of the sick. Republicans take their credit cards and then deny them medical attention.
98. Republicans say teachers are union thugs, then proceed to rape and mug the entire middle class on behalf of corporations.
99. Republicans think rape isn’t a crime, but miscarriages are.
100. Republicans are idiots and arguing with them is a waste of time!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

7 Types of Republicans

How to debate these types of Republicans:

If you’ve ever spent time trying to discuss politics with a Republican you’ve probably noticed that there are several different types of Republicans, all with their own unique debating style. In this article I’m going to attempt to break down the seven types of Republicans, what’s wrong with their views, and how you should debate them. I’ll start with the most intelligent, and work my way down.

The Educated Republicans:
These are the rarest of all Republicans. Occasionally you will run into one in public or in a public forum online. These Republicans can be the most difficult to deal with. They have learned everything there is to know about their position… from a Republican perspective. They’ve educated themselves on all the reasons why their position is correct, and are not concerned with anything that contradicts their beliefs.
The problem with this type of Republican’s views:
Anyone with the Internet and five minutes can find something that thoroughly discredits their version of the “facts.” Even when confronted with contradictory facts, they continue to fall back on their original arguments; try to change the subject to something they are more comfortable talking about, or start expressing opinions with no factual merit.
What to remember when debating them:
Keep them on-topic. Don’t let them ignore your counterpoints and then change the subject on you. They’re masters of that, but if you can keep them on topic, eventually they will just start expressing opinions to which you can say “do you have any facts to back that up?”

Fox News and Conservative Talk Radio Republicans:
This is one of the angriest groups of Republicans. They watch Fox News or listen to conservative talk radio and they think it makes them an expert on politics. The only knowledge they have of politics are parroted talking points without any facts to back them up. When you defeat them in debate, they will resort to calling you names like “liberal,” “commie,” “socialist”; “baby-killer,” etc. They think all liberals are socialists who want to take their money and give it to people who don’t deserve it.
The problem with this type of Republican’s views:
They have no idea what they are talking about. Usually they’re just repeating things they’ve heard from Fox News or Rush Limbaugh. They think that liberals want to take away their freedoms and they clearly don’t know what the word “liberal” means, or what liberals have contributed to our country and our freedoms. They think President Obama is comparable to Hitler for passing healthcare reform. They accuse you of watching MSNBC if you don’t agree with them. They call you a sheep but expect you to blindly believe everything they tell you, without question.
What to remember when debating them:
Keep demanding facts from them to back up their assertions until they break down and call you any of the aforementioned names. Ask them to name specific freedoms that liberals have taken away from them. They have a tendency to become violent so watch their hands if you are debating them face to face.

Christian Republicans:
These Republicans are hypocrites. They do everything in the name of Christ, while simultaneously acting as un-Christlike as humanly possible. They support the right to carry assault weapons, are pro-war, and completely ignore the fact that the Bible depicts Christ as a liberal who was opposed to capitalism and violence. They sincerely believe that this is God’s country and that God loves us Americans more than anyone else in the world. They think that anyone who is not 100 percent pro-Israel is anti-Semitic. They hate everyone who doesn’t agree with them and think the Bible tells them to… and they hate gay people because they think they are sinners.
The problem with this type of Republican’s views:
They do terrible things in the name of their Lord. They think that anyone who doesn’t agree with them is damned to hell or hates America. They believe that we are a Christian nation even though the Founding Fathers made sure they did not brand this country as a Christian nation. The Founding Fathers wanted a country of religious freedom, free from religious persecution, but these Republicans will never admit that.
What to remember when debating them:
There’s a list of all the quotes that prove our Founding Fathers wanted a country of religious freedom. The link is HERE. Another thing to remember is that the Christian Right is neither. Start asking them questions like “how would Jesus feel about war?” “how would Jesus feel about assault rifles?” or “do you REALLY think that America is God’s favorite country, in the ENTIRE universe?” And, of course, these questions should yield a response that thoroughly proves that they are hypocrites, and continuing to argue with them would be a waste of time.

Tea Party Republicans:
These Republicans are a dumbed-down combination of the previous two groups of Republicans. They think Sarah Palin is intelligent and it’s the media filter’s fault that she looks so stupid. They think Reagan was fiscally conservative even though he tripled the deficit. They watch Fox News religiously, and think Glenn Beck is credible. They don’t understand why people think they’re racist while they’re standing next to people holding racist signs. They protest higher taxes even though taxes have gone down for 95 percent of working families since President Obama took office.
The problem with this type of Republican’s views:
They parrot Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin talking points. When you discredit one thing they say, they immediately move on to the next subject. Anyone who doesn’t agree with them is a socialist, even though they can’t give you the actual definition of socialism. Many of them are on Medicare while protesting “socialism.” They have never met a socialist, so they have no idea what socialists believe. They think liberals are socialists and socialists are Nazis.
What to remember when debating them:
They have no idea what they’re talking about. Ask them to prove what they are saying. If you ask them a question and they respond with another question, refuse to answer their question until they answer yours. Don’t back down. Remind them that taxes have actually been lowered for 95 percent of working families. If debating them in public, be careful because they are known to carry guns in places they don’t need them, like public parks and bars and churches.

Birther Republicans:
The birthers think that Obama was born in Kenya. No matter how much evidence you present that is contradictory to that thesis, they will continue to insist that he is not the legitimate president. They are sore-losers because McCain lost the election in 2008 – even though President Obama has won reelection since then. They will never support Obama, even if he paid off the entire national debt.
The problem with this type of Republican’s views:
They think Obama was born in Kenya. They think that Orly Taitz, who grew up in a communist country, is credible, and that Obama is a socialist. They think Donald Trump is a smart guy. They think that Obama’s birth announcements in Hawaiian newspapers were propagated over 40 years in advance of his election, just so that he could be elected someday.
What to remember when debating them:
Don’t waste your time. You could wave Obama’s actual birth certificate in their face and they would still say it’s a fake. They are sore-losers and they will never be happy as long as Obama is president. Make jokes asking to see their birth certificates, or Sarah Palin’s birth certificate. This is the best way to get them to go away.

Racist Republicans:
[DISCLAIMER: I am putting this one almost last for a reason. I do NOT think all Republicans are racists. I have Republican family members who are not racist. This section is only about the small percentage of Republicans who are ACTUALLY racist, because they do exist. I'm not "playing the race card" or "race-baiting," I'm just describing a small group of racists who also affiliate themselves with the Republican Party]
Racist Republicans hate Obama because he’s black. They think that all Muslims are terrorists. They think Obama is a terrorist Muslim. They think anyone with a name like Obama’s is a terrorist.
The problem with this type of Republican’s views:
They’re racist, but they think Obama is a racist. They can’t understand why people call them racists when they post racist pictures or racist comments and then claim not to be racist. Whenever they possibly can, they will call you a racist, to hide the fact that they are actually racists.
What to remember when debating them:
They’re racists. Racists are uneducated bigots. You would have a much easier time convincing an apple tree to start growing oranges.

Extremely Uneducated Republicans:
These Republicans are Republicans because they think it’s cool. They have a Republican friend in one of the other groups listed, so they think they know what they’re talking about. They have terrible spelling and grammar but they expect you to believe whatever they say because they are saying it to you.
The problem with this type of Republican’s views:

It’s hard to tell if they ever made it past the 4th grade. Most of their posts are illegible. They don’t know anything about their position other than what they have heard their friends say. They think Republicans are fiscally conservative because they say that they are, and call anyone who doesn’t agree with them “sheep.” They ignore all historical information that is contradictory to what they say. They are 100 percent blind to facts.
What to remember when debating them:
No amount of facts or logic will ever convince them that their buddies are wrong. You could be a college professor and they will still think your facts aren’t credible. Instead of trying to argue with them, try explaining algebra to your dog. I’m sure it will be much more productive.

Hopefully this has been an informative resource for you. I hope you will remember some of the things I have said the next time you are engaged in a debate with a Republican. There’s definitely an overlap between several of these types, so you may have to utilize several different tactics to debate them.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In today's Opine: The Gay Agenda

We must not cower to gay agenda

   Four lesbian couples are suing for recognition of their “marriages.” Why did two move to Idaho?
     When moving to a new locality, whether a subdivision, state or another country, you agree to abide by local regulations. If they don’t like our regulations, they shouldn’t have come. They and the other two are free to leave.    
  Same-sex marriage was never practiced anywhere in the world until the push for it started in the United States 60 to 70 years ago. Homosexuality, including pedophilia , was practiced in places like Rome, but partners were never considered married. In fact, the man usually had a wife as well as his same-sex partner.    
   There has never been a problem with a person living with another of the same sex. What homosexuals do is flaunt their behavior in society.     
   Actually, they don’t flaunt their actual behavior, just that they want to practice it, but they don’t want the public to know the real practice. One 1978 study found that “43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having one thousand or more sex partners.”    Granting “gay rights” opens the door to so much more — polygamy, pedophilia, bestiality, necromancy, and maybe more. Numerous attempts have been made to recognize polygamy based on gay marriage.    
   In Colorado, two psychologists testified before a parliamentary session on a bill related to sexual assault on children that pedophilia “is a ‘sexual orientation’ just like homosexuality or heterosexuality.” In Missouri, a man was “denied basic civil rights” when the state refused to recognize his marriage to his mare.    
   Homosexuals, like other liberals who oppose our traditional Christian values, demand that the rest of us concede to them but refuse to tolerate us and call us intolerant bigots or worse. We must stop our cowering.     Allen Marsh, Nampa

Poor ol' Allen, who is "cowering" before those pesky gay folks cause they've got an "agenda."  I hate to break it to the guy, but so have you got an agenda.  Gay bashing is your agenda.  Why does the gay community scare you so much?  Is it because they want the same rights that you hold so dear: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?

I think the Native Americans thought the same about our arrival in the "New Land."  Why don't those ugly white people go back where they came from, who needs 'em?  They just come here and steal our land and defile our women.  Why don't they stay in their own oppressive country?  Who are they to come over here and dictate to us how things should be?  We already have a culture and it's working just fine.

And linking homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, necromancy?  Just disgusting.  They don't even belong in the same sentence with homosexuality.  Few gays are pedophiles.  Probably the same statistically as in the general population of so-called Anglo-saxon Protestant community.

I got news for ya, Allen.  You are being called a bigot because the name is appropriate for you and your kind.  What about gays scares you so much?  Maybe we should check out your sexuality problems.

Oh, and by the way, I'm straight.  Very straight.  So straight that someone who is gay or lesbian does not intimidate me whatsoever.  I refuse to judge a person because of his/her sexual orientation and the psychologist who says pedophilia is a sexual orientation is way off in left field...I defy him to say that to someone with some sense in the Psychiatric community.  He's a hack at best and a misogynist at worst.  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual: VI doesn't even mention homosexuality as a psychological problem any more but does list pedophilia as a psychological disorder.  So, Allen, the upshot of all this is you don't know what you are talking about.  Gays are just like us with different likes and dislikes, want's and wishes, and they are basically Americans just like the rest of us and deserve the same rights and protections which we enjoy.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Obama Myths

Here is the REAL truth...

No United States President in history has had as many false and malicious rumors spread about him.  As part of an ongoing public service commitment by this website, we present our series of articles debunking right-wing myths.
Myth: Obama’s thesis paper is sealed
Reality: Obama did not actually write the kind of ‘thesis’ that some universities require for graduation, and accordingly there are none on file.  Obama did write a ‘thesis’ about nuclear disarmament for an honors course his senior year, but reporter have already been told that Obama did not keep a copy and  as reported by Snopes back in 2008, Columbia had not retained a copy either.  NBC News contacted Professor Michael Baron, his former professor back in 2008 but he advised he thought it had been tossed out during a move he made back in 2000.
Myth: Obama’s College records are sealed from Occidental College, Columbia and Harvard
Reality:  Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, it would be illegal under federal law for Occidental, Columbia or Harvard to release the records of any student to reporters or member of the general public without specific written permission from said student.  Obama has not released those records, but neither has any other presidential candidate in history.  
Myth: Obama’s Selective Service Registration is sealed
Reality: This myth is actually pretty moot since there has not been a draft in the United States since 1972, the year Obama turned 11.  Nevertheless, Obama’s Selective Service registration is public.  His registration number is 61-1125539-1 and was registered by Obama on September 4, 1980 as confirmed by the Selective Service Administration and has been posted publicly.
Myth: Obama’s Medical Records are sealed
Reality: Obama released summary medical information during the 2008 campaign, and since taking office has followed the same practice of other presidents releasing the results of his first medical exam on February 28, 2010 and his second exam October 31, 2011.
Myth: Obama’s State Senate Records are sealed
Reality: Obama’s voting record as an Illinois State Senator is a matter of public record and during the 2008 campaign reporters extensively reviewed them.  The website for the Illinois General Assembly has transcripts of all Senate debates in which Obama took part posted as well.
Myth: Obama’s Law Practice Record are sealed
Reality: Obama routinely disclosed a full list clients for the firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Gallard where he worked while serving in the state senate although he did not release the list of specific clients he worked for personally.  However, while campaigning in 2008 he did confirm several specific clients when asked to include the liberal organization Acorn, who he represented in 1995.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tea Party Prattle

To the cheers of Tea Party members everywhere, Larry Klayman called for a coup to overthrow our elected government, and replace it with a new dictatorship. Now he has expanded this, and given the dates for the armed insurrection in Washington DC:

Last Wednesday, the great usurper, Barack Hussein Obama, after having been indicted by an Ocala, Florida citizens’ grand jury, was convicted by a people’s court of defrauding the American people and Floridians by proffering them with a fake birth certificate. See As readers of this column and know too well, Obama is not a natural born citizen eligible to be president of the United States, as he was not born in this country to two American citizen parents. However, to justify his fraud and his elections to the highest office in the land, and after years of inquiry, in 2011 the Obama White House posted on its website a birth certificate purporting to show him having been born in Hawaii. The problem is however, according to forensic experts, the birth certificate is altered and forged.

The day of reckoning has come. Obama, having failed to plead in response to the indictment that was served upon him, waived his right to a jury trial. Thumbing his nose at We the People, as the citizens’ prosecutor, I appeared before a citizens’ court judge and presented evidence from Cold Case Posse investigator Michael Zullo showing that Obama tricked voters into electing him in 2008 and 2012. As a result, the citizens’ judge found him guilty on two counts of falsifying information to federal and state election officials. He was thus sentenced to the maximum prison term for these offenses of 10 years, and ordered to immediately surrender himself into the custody of the citizens of the United States and Florida.

Of course, Obama will not willingly obey the law of the people. He will attempt to hide behind the iron fences of the White House, perhaps cowering under his desk for fear that the people will rise up and demand his ouster.

On November 19, 2013, a day that will hopefully live on in the history of our once great republic, I call upon millions of Americans who have been appalled and disgusted by Obama’s criminality – his Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda – among other outrages, to descend on Washington, D.C., en masse, and demand that he leave town and resign from office if he does not want to face prison time.

I further propose that we borrow the techniques perfected and used by such epic crusaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, to show Obama and his enablers that the American people are more than fed up and will not take it any more. The millions who are being summoned to our nation’s capital should, like Gandhi did in India and South Africa, peacefully shut the city down, by blocking roads and massing in front of the White House chanting for Obama to get out of our nation’s capital. In addition, I propose bringing the victims of his reign of terror to a podium across from the White House in Lafayette Park to give their testimony on how he has singularly severely harmed and in some instances even killed their loved ones through his actions.
In the words of Thomas Paine in the days leading up to the first American Revolution, “these are the times that try men’s souls.” The nation under Obama and even his inert and castrated political opponents, the Republican Party, have driven our country into the bowels of impending doom. The moral and ethical fabric, our economic underpinnings, and our national confidence and prestige are in the tank. Russia has become the leading world power, however evil and compromised under its communist KGB leader Vladimir Putin. The United States is a mere shell of its prior self under real modern leaders like Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, to name just a few.

We must act now. Our Founding Fathers pledged their sacred honor, fortunes, and lives to form a new nation under God. They knew that the odds of defeating the British were not great, save for His Divine grace and intervention. Now, 237 years after they signed the Declaration of Independence in my native city of Philadelphia, the nation has come full circle to the tyranny that has been imposed by a new despot, one far more evil than King George III. King George III may have been a greedy “control freak,” but at least he was a Christian. The United States is being run by a Muslim bent on furthering an Islamic caliphate who seeks to destroy our spirituality and the body politic of our Judeo-Christian roots.

Life is not easy. It requires risk and sacrifice. If as a nation we want to restore our freedom, and we are on the verge of being enslaved under Obama’s socialist Muslim inclinations, we must take our fight to a new level. Tea partiers, bikers, construction workers, police officers, school teachers, farmers, truckers, clergy, housewives, husbands, students, doctors, lawyers and all elements of our society who see our nation slipping away into the abyss, must now stand tall and descend on the capital, much like the Egyptians recently did in ousting another radical Muslim, their then president Mohammed Morsi. If the Egyptians can seek to rid their country of the poison of the Muslim Brotherhood without any real history of democracy, then we Americans, who know what democracy is and have practiced it prior to the ascension of the great usurper, can and must succeed.

Obama has now been convicted of having defrauded the American people into electing him as president. Even more so than Nixon during Watergate, he has no legitimacy to remain president and must be forced to resign. If We the People do not demand justice and remove him from office, then we will be furthering his fraud and we will have no one but ourselves to blame for the death of the greatest nation ever to have been on this earth.

In the words of one of our great Founding Fathers and an architect of our Constitution, “we must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin walked the walk along with the likes of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Let us now walk in their footsteps and march into to Washington, D.C., this November 19th, and rid the nation of the criminal who lurks in our White House. Let us send a message to the other corrupt government officials of all political persuasions, that this is our nation, not theirs. Let’s “Occupy Washington” and restore freedom to our shores!

You can see the lunacy, can't you?  These people actually believe this twaddle.  They believe the president isn't a REAL AMERICAN, CHRISTIAN, but instead is a socialistic Muslim bent on destroying everything we hold dear and cherish.  What?  Like being WHITE ANGLO-SAXON CHRISTIANS?  There's only one main word in that description that Barack is not: White.  That my friends is the only thing I can see that runs through all these attacks.  Barack Obama is not a WHITE man.  I sincerely believe racism is alive and well in this country but it is cleverly disguised and cloaked in the flag and Faux Christian Rhetoric.  There is nothing Christian in this diatribe. Nothing Christ-like in the Republican party any longer and the Tea Partiers are the worst of the worst of that party.

I believe in the two party system, but the second party...the Republican Party has begun a decline that they may not soon recover from.  They are so far from the thinking of Main-Stream America, as to be labeled ridiculous.  They will pay for their idiocies in 2016.  The voting public, I fear, will not be kind to them in the next election cycle.

Monday, November 11, 2013

An eye for an eye...the time has come...

Anti-choice protesters tend to be bullies and one man figured out how to push back. In 2011, the owner of a building that houses a Maryland reproductive health services clinic decided to take matters into his own hands after a mob of anti-abortion protesters harassed him and his family one too many times. With the help of a group of friends and community members, a new pro-choice movement was founded. Delightfully, it’s based on the idea of “do unto others as they have done unto you.”

The building he now rents was firebombed by dangerous extremists decades ago.

Todd Stave, the owner of the building that houses the Maryland clinic, grew up in the shadow of the debate over women’s reproductive choices. His father originally owned and operated the clinic that Stave now rents to others. In an interview with the Washington Post he described seeing protesters outside his home at an early age. The building he now rents was once firebombed by dangerous extremists decades ago.

Stave finally decided he’d had enough of the radical protesters.

Stave’s personal information has been displayed on posters and fliers, his address and phone number shared over the internet. He and his family have been harassed by angry protesters and hateful extremists, both in person and over the telephone, at all hours of the day and night. It wasn’t until the anti-choice protesters showed up at his daughter’s middle school, waving signs with his name and contact information along with the bloody pictures of mangled fetuses, that Stave finally decided he’d had enough.

With the support of his community, Stave came up with a plan. He turned the tables on the vicious anti-choice movement, using their own tactics against them. Collecting names and personal information of the sign carrying protesters, he organized a team who began giving the crazed protesters a taste of their own medicine.

Voice of Choice has grown to include thousands of members and volunteers, from all across the country.

Unlike the people who harassed his family, Stave’s group does not resort to threats or hysterics. They may mention the name of the person’s child, their school or even their street address, but always in the context of a polite conversation. Since first forming just over two years ago, the group, now known as Voice of Choice, has grown to include thousands of members and volunteers, from all across the country. They use e-mail, telephone and social media to respond to harassing callers and hate spewing protesters, sometimes returning as many as 5,000 phone calls on behalf of a person who is being harassed by anti-choice fanatics.

“If you hit me I will hit you back.”

“I like to tell people that I developed my strategies when I was on the playground in grade school. Basically, if you hit me I will hit you back. And while we have had great success turning the tables on those who were used to acting with impunity, the reality is that people from both sides of the abortion argument admire the civility in the way we make our point,” Stave wrote on the one year anniversary of Voice of Choice.

Voice of Choice is a necessary counter-movement to anti-choice protesters.

Given the level of extremism often displayed by anti-choice protesters, Voice of Choice is a necessary counter-movement. The group defends the rights of women and those of the people who support them. To volunteer or lend your support to the movement, visit Voice of Choice web-site here. The group also has a Facebook page, which you find here and a twitter account, here.

The ACA and dropped insurance policies

Insurance cancelled? Don't blame Obama or the ACA, blame America's insurance companies! By Juan Williams, a Fox News Analyst.

Liar! Pinocchio! Deceiver!
With all the charges flying against President Obama in the on-going effort to stop ObamaCare it’s time for a reality check.
Having failed to kill the Affordable Care Act in Congress by shutting down the government the opposition is currently taking delight in charging the president with lying to the public when he said anyone who likes their current health care plan will be able to keep it under the new law.
It turns out that some people in the individual care market – about 5 percent of the overall insurance market -- are having their insurance policies canceled.
It is estimated that half of those folks will get better coverage for a lower price. Some people will even get subsidies to help them pay the lower price.
But some people losing their current policies [and being offered better coverage] are going to have to pay a higher price. Taking crocodile tears to a new level, ObamaCare opponents are now rushing to their defense and calling the president a liar.
These critics include Republican politicians who did not vote for ObamaCare; these are Republican governors who refuse to set up exchanges to reach their own citizens; these are people oppose expanding Medicaid to help poor people getting better health care; these are people who have never put any proposal on the table as an alternative fix for the nation’s costly health care system that leaves tens of millions with inadequate medical coverage and tens of millions more totally uninsured. 
The fact is if you are one of the estimated 2 million Americans whose health insurance plans may have been canceled this month, you should not be blaming President Obama or the Affordable Care Act.
You should be blaming your insurance company because they have not been providing you with coverage that meets the minimum basic standards for health care.
Let me put it more bluntly: your insurance companies have been taking advantage of you and the Affordable Care Act puts in place consumer protection and tells them to stop abusing people.
The government did not “force” insurance companies to cancel their own substandard policies. The insurance companies chose to do that rather than do what is right and bring the policies up to code.
This would be like saying the government “forces” chemical companies to dispose of toxic waste safely rather than dumping it in the river.
Or the government “forces” people to drive with intact windshields and working brake lights.
How dare they “force” drivers to pay money to get those things fixed if they are broken?
One of the most popular and important provisions of the Affordable Care Act is setting basic minimum standards of medical insurance coverage. Here are some of those standards:
- Your insurance company is no longer allowed to cancel your policy if you get sick
- Your insurance company cannot deny you coverage or charge you more if you have a pre-existing health condition
- Your insurance company must allow you to keep your children on your plan until they turn 26 years old or get a job that provides health insurance.
- Your insurance company cannot impose lifetime caps on you health coverage.
- And perhaps most relevant to current discussion about insurance companies canceling substandard policies, your insurance company must cover what are called “essential health benefits.”
What are “essential health benefits?”
They are clearly defined on
Essential health benefits must include items and services within at least the following 10 categories: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.”
That’s right.
If you are rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, the ACA says your insurance company has to pay for the ambulance ride.
If your son or daughter has a bout with depression or suffers from panic attacks, the ACA says your insurance company needs to pay for their medicine and treatment from a mental health professional.
People should be angry that their insurance companies were not paying for these humane, common sense benefits all along.
It baffles me that people are directing their anger at the ACA which rights these terrible wrongs.
The Hartford Courant newspaper reports that the CEO of Aetna insurance made $36 million last year plus several millions more in stock options.
They also report that the CEO of Cigna cleared a cool $12.5 Million plus stock options.
The American health insurance industry is one of the most profitable in the history of the world. Before the ACA, they made money by finding any excuse, any loophole to deny coverage to the sickest and most vulnerable people in our society.
Rather than being vindictive and canceling policies under the pretext of ObamaCare, the insurance companies should be thanking their lucky stars that they do not have to contend with a public option or a single payer system. That is what the law allows in every other modern industrialized democracy.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Big Lie

I find it interesting that folks believe by cutting taxes one can increase productivity. Over and over again its been proven that this just isn't the case. A simple illustration will show what I mean.

You are a worker making $10 per hour. I am your boss and I say I'm cutting your pay by $1. You now are making $9 per hour, but now I say I want you to increase your spending to bolster the economy. Do you see the dichotomy? You have less to spend, but you are being asked to increase spending to make up for your loss. See the idiocy?

How does this relate?

The government runs on the money we tax payers give it. If we cut taxes and ask the government to run on less, what happens? First off, in order to meet budget, the government lays off workers. Those workers now are headed to the unemployment offices to draw their stipends. They also head to the SNAP offices to get their food stamps. You now have a larger unemployment figure and these people are paying no income taxes. How can this situation possibly aid the country's productivity and lessen the debt/deficit?

It has been estimated that over 40% of the people who are employed in this country work for the government in some capacity. There are 313,914,040 people in the U.S. today and if only 200 million of them are employed workers and 40% [or 80 million] are government employed, even if you only cut 10% of these people from their duties, that would mean 8 million people would be demanding unemployment benefits and food stamps. The average unemployment check is $293 per week or $1172 per month and 8 million people are drawing that amount; the total would be $937.6 million dollars paid out by the fed every month these people are unemployed. The average SNAP benefit is $133 per month and that equals $106.4 million paid out for food stamps per month.

Can you see what that would do to the national debt? Yet every time a conservative campaigns, he/she invariably says h/she will cut taxes, but that never happens now does it. No, they invariably add to the deficit and raise taxes to pay for it.

It is hokey to believe any politician can cut spending and increase revenue. Simple math proves the point. I hate to say it but this is the great Capitalism Lie. We are led to believe there is a magic potion, tax cuts, that will save the economy. Especially cuts for big businesses and not for the average middle class person. Everyone knows if you give big businesses more money, they will hire more people...NOT. Big business reinvests its money overseas or in other facilities in countries that don't have high wages so Big Business can make more money...they are not spending their money to bolster the U.S. Economy; that just doesn't make good business sense, now does it? No.

This way of thinking is called 'Trickle Down' economics. Reagan was a big believe in it and showed he was in the way he created a Laissez-faire atmosphere for big businesses and he actually increased taxes many times to pay for it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why Obamacare?

Healthcare In America Is Already 'The Best In The World'
One of the more positive sounding admonitions from health care reform opponents was that the United States had "the best health care in the world," so why would you mess with it? Well, it's true that if you want the experience the pinnacle of medical care, you come to the United States. And if you want the pinnacle of haute cuisine, you go to Per Se. If you want the pinnacle of commercial air travel, you get a first class seat on British Airways. Now, naturally, you wouldn't let just anyone mess with someone's tasting menu or state-of-the-art air-beds. But like anything that's "the best," the best health care in the world isn't for everybody. The costs are prohibitively high, the access is prohibitively exclusive, and the resources are prohibitively scarce.

What do the people in America who "fly coach" in the health care system get? Well, at the time of the health care reform debate, they were participating in a system that was, by all objective measurements, overpriced and underperforming -- if you were lucky enough to be participating in it. As anyone who's fortunate enough to have employer based health care or unfortunate enough to have a pre-existing condition can tell you, health care for ordinary people already involved all of those things that we were told would be a feature of the Affordable Care Act -- long waits, limited choice, and rationing.

When the Commonwealth Fund rated health care systems by nation, the top marks in the surveyed categories went to the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Netherlands. Ezra Klein examined the study, and observed:

"The issue isn't just that we don't have universal health care. Our delivery system underperforms, too. 'Even when access and equity measures are not considered, the U.S. ranks behind most of the other countries on most measures. With the inclusion of primary care physician survey data in the analysis, it is apparent that the U.S. is lagging in adoption of national policies that promote primary care, quality improvement, and information technology.'"

Death Panels
The only thing that perhaps matched the vastness of the spread or the depth of the traction of the "death panel" lie was the predictability that such a lie would come to be told in the first place. After all, this was a Democratic president trying to sell a new health care reform plan with the intention of opening access and reducing cost to millions of Americans who had gone without for so long. What's the best way to counter it? Tell everyone that millions of Americans would have increased access ... to Death!

The best account of how the "death panel" myth was born into this world and spread like garbage across the landscape has been penned by Brendan Nyhan, who in 2010 wrote "Why the "Death Panel" Myth Wouldn't Die: Misinformation in the Health Care Reform Debate." You should go read the whole thing.

But to summarize, the lie began where many lies about health care reform begin -- with serial liar Betsy McCaughey, who in 1994 polluted the pages of the New Republic with a staggering pile of deception in an effort to scuttle President Bill Clinton's health care reform. As Nyhan documents, she re-emerged in 2009 when "she invented the false claim that the health care legislation
in Congress would result in seniors being directed to 'end their life sooner.'"

Nyhan: "McCaughey's statement was a reference to a provision in the Democratic health care bill that would have provided funding for an advanced care planning for Medicare recipients once every five years or more frequently if they become seriously ill. As independent fact-checkers showed ( 2009b; 2009a), her statement that these consultations would be mandatory was simply false--they would be entirely voluntary. Similarly, there is no evidence that Medicare patients would be pressured during these consultations to "do what's in society's best interest...and cut your life short."

But the match that lit the death panel flame was not McCaughey, it was Sarah Palin, who repeated McCaughey's claims in a Facebook posting and invented the term "death panel." As Nyhan reports, Palin's claims were met with condemnation from independent observers and factcheckers, but the virality of the term "death panel" far outstripped its own debunking. To this day, the shorthand for this outrageous falsehood remains more firmly planted in the discourse than the truth.

One thing worth pointing out is that Palin, in creating the term "death panel," intended to deceive people with it. In an interview with the National Review, Palin admitted: "The term I used to describe the panel making these decisions should not be taken literally." Rather, it was "a lot like when President Reagan used to refer to the Soviet Union as the 'evil empire.' He got his point across." Of course, while Reagan was exaggerating for effect, he wasn't trying to prey on the goodwill of those who were listening to him.

The Affordable Care Act Is A "Jobs-Killer"
Naturally, the GOP greeted anything that the Obama White House did -- from regulating pollution to flossing after meals -- as something that would "kill jobs." The Affordable Care Act was no different. As you might recall, Republicans' first attempt at repeal came in the form of an inartfully named law called the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." But did the health reform plan threaten jobs? Not by any honest measure. Per McClatchy Newspapers:

    "The claim has no justification," said Micah Weinberg, a senior research fellow at the centrist New America Foundation's Health Policy Program.

    Since the law contains dual mandates that most individuals must obtain health insurance coverage and most employers must offer it by 2014, "the effect on employment is probably zero or close to it," said Amitabh Chandra, a professor of public policy at Harvard University.

As McClatchy reported, the "job-killing" claim creatively used the "lie of omission" -- relying on "out of date" data or omitting "offsetting information that would weaken the argument." The Congressional Budget Office, playing it straight, deemed it essentially too premature to measure what the effect the bill would have on the labor market. At the time, Speaker John Boehner dismissed the CBO, saying, "CBO is entitled to their opinion."

Perhaps, but lately, job growth in the health care industry has bucked the economic downturn and health care has remained a robust sector of employment. And it stands to reason that enrolling another 30 million Americans into health insurance will increase the demand for health care services and products, which in turn should trigger the creation of more jobs.

Is there a downside? Sure. More demand, and greater labor costs, could push health care prices upward even as other effects of health reform push them down. But it's more likely that repealing the bill will have a negative impact on jobs than retaining it.

The Affordable Care Act Would Add To The Deficit
The only thing more important than painting the Affordable Care Act as a certain killer of jobs was to paint it as a certain murderer of America's fiscal future. Surely this big government program was going to push indebtedness to such a height that our servitude to our future Chinese overlords was a fait accompli. As Ryan Grim reported in May of 2010, the CBO disagreed:

    Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $138 billion in the federal deficit over the same period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic source tells HuffPost. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the second ten year period.

    The source said it also extends Medicare's solvency by at least nine years and reduces the rate of its growth by 1.4 percent, while closing the doughnut hole for seniors, meaning there will no longer be a gap in coverage of medication.

Recently, the CBO updated its ten-year estimate by dropping off the first two years of the law (where there was little to no implementation) and adding two years at the back end (during which time there would be full implementation). As you might imagine, replacing two years of low numbers with two years of higher numbers increased the ten-year estimate. But opponents of the bill immediately freaked out and declared the costs to have skyrocketed. As Jonathan Chait reported:

    The outcry was so widespread that the CBO took the unusual step of releasing a second update to explain to outraged conservatives that they were completely misreading the whole thing:

    "Some of the commentary on those reports has suggested that CBO and JCT have changed their estimates of the effects of the ACA to a significant degree. That's not our perspective. ...

    Although the latest projections extend the original ones by three years (corresponding to the shift in the regular ten-year projection period since the ACA was first being developed), the projections for each given year have changed little, on net, since March 2010."

    That is CBO-speak for: "Go home. You people are all crazy."

As Chait goes on to note, the CBO now projects that "the law would reduce the deficit by slightly more than it had originally forecast."

The Affordable Care Act $500 Billion Cut From Medicare
Normally, if you tell Republicans that you're going to cut $500 billion from Medicare, they will respond by saying, "Hooray, but could we make it $700 billion?" But the moment they got it into their heads that the Affordable Care Act would make that cut from Medicare, suddenly everyone from the party of ending Medicare As We Know It, Forever got all hot with concern about what would happen to these longstanding recipients of government health care.

In fairness, as Factcheck pointed out, the GOP opponents of Obama's plan were simply picking up a cudgel that had recently been wielded by the president himself:

    Whether these are "cuts" or much-needed "savings" depends on the political expedience of the moment, it seems. When Republican Sen. John McCain, then a presidential candidate, proposed similar reductions to pay for his health care plan, it was the Obama camp that attacked the Republican for cutting benefits.


    Whatever you want to call them, it's a $500 billion reduction in the growth of future spending over 10 years, not a slashing of the current Medicare budget or benefits. It's true that those who get their coverage through Medicare Advantage's private plans (about 22 percent of Medicare enrollees) would see fewer add-on benefits; the bill aims to reduce the heftier payments made by the government to Medicare Advantage plans, compared with regular fee-for-service Medicare.

The New England Journal of Medicine concurred:

    A phased elimination of the substantial overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans, which now enroll nearly 25% of Medicare beneficiaries, will produce an estimated $132 billion in savings over 10 years.


    The ACA also produces nearly $200 billion in savings by assuming that providers can improve their productivity as firms in other industries have done. On the basis of this presumed improvement, the law reduces Medicare's annual "market basket" updates for most types of providers - a provision that has generated controversy.

The law doesn't cut any customer benefits, just the amount that providers get paid. Hospitals and drug companies agreed to these cuts based on the calculation that more people with insurance meant more people consuming what they sell and, more importantly for the hospitals, fewer people getting treated and simply not paying for it.

The Affordable Care Act Provides Free Health Care For Undocumented Immigrants
This lie was launched to prominence with the help of a false accuser, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson, who famously heckled President Barack Obama during an address to a Joint Session of Congress by yelling "You lie!" after the president had mentioned that undocumented immigrants would not be eligible for the credits for the bill's proposed health care exchanges.

As Time's Michael Scherer pointed out, this was not much of a challenge for factcheckers:

    In the Senate Finance Committee's working framework for a health plan, which Obama's speech seemed most to mimic, there is the line, "No illegal immigrants will benefit from the health care tax credits." Similarly, the major health-care-reform bill to pass out of committee in the House, H.R. 3200, contains Section 246, which is called "NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS."

In fact, as Ezra Klein pointed out, the Affordable Care Act "goes out of its way to exclude" undocumented immigrants:

    As the AP points out...there are about 7 million unauthorized immigrants who will be prohibited from buying insurance on the newly created exchanges, even if they pay out of their own pocket. And the exclusion of this group from health reform -- along with other restrictions that affect fully legal immigrants as well -- could create a massive coverage gap that puts a strain on the rest of the health system as well.

Klein goes on to add that "immigrants-rights advocates tried to prevent this scenario from happening," but they ended up losing to the politics of the day. The concession they won was a promise from the president that he would shepherd a comprehensive immigration reform package through the legislature. They lost that round, too.

Republicans, And Their Ideas, Were Left Out Of The Bill And The Process
Were health care policies dear to Republicans left out of the health care reform bill? Totally! Unless we're counting the following:

--Deficit-neutral bill
--Longterm cost reduction
--Interstate competition that allows consumers to purchase insurance across state lines
--Medical malpractice reform
--High-risk pools
--An extension of the time young people were allowed to remain on their parents' policies
--No public money for abortion
--Small business exemptions/tax credits
--Job wellness programs
--Delivery system reform

In fact, the Democrats were eager to get GOP input and enthusiastic about including many of their desired components in the bill.

Oh, and did we mention that the Affordable Care Act was modeled on a reform designed and implemented by a former Republican governor and presidential candidate, whose innovation was widely celebrated by the GOP while said former governor was running for president? And did we mention that the individual mandate that was used in Romneycare to ensure "no free riders" was originally dreamed up by the Heritage Foundation? And did we add that additional DNA of the Affordable Care Act was borrowed from the Senate GOP alternative to the Clinton plan in the 1990s and the 2009 Bipartisan Policy Committee plan, which was endorsed by Tom Daschle, Howard Baker, and Bob Dole?

As for the process, you might recall that the White House very patiently waited for the bipartisan Gang Of Six to weigh in with its own solution, and openly courted one Republican gang member, Sen. Chuck Grassley, long after it was clear to every reporter inside the Beltway that Grassley was intentionally acting in bad faith.

And perhaps you don't recall the bipartisan health care summit that was held in March of 2009? if so, don't feel bad about it -- RNC Chairman Michael Steele couldn't remember it either, when he yelled at the president for not having one.

The Demonization Of 'Deem And Pass'
So, here's a fun little story about obscure parliamentary procedures. In May of 2010, as the health care reform michegas was steaming toward its endgame, it looked like the measure might fall. The Senate had passed a bill, but the House was stuck in a bit of a jam. It had no other choice but to take a vote on the Senate's bill, because if the House bill ended up in a conference committee to be reconciled with the Senate's, the whole resulting she-bang was assured of a filibuster, as the Democrats had, in the intervening period, lost their Senate supermajority.

But the House had a problem. As I wrote at the time:

    House members are averse to doing anything that looks like they approve of the various side-deals that were made in the Senate -- like the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback." The House intends to remove those unpopular features in budget reconciliation, but if they pursue budget reconciliation on a standard legislative timeline -- where they pass the Senate bill outright first and then go back to pass a reconciliation package of fixes -- they'd still appear to be endorsing the sketchy side deals, and then the GOP would jump up and down on their heads.

    Enter "deem and pass." Under this process, the House will simply skip to approving the reconciliation fixes, and "deem" the Senate bill to be passed. By doing it this way, the Democrats get the Senate bill passed while simultaneously coming out against the unpopular features of the same.

"Deem and pass" is the aforementioned obscure parliamentary procedure. And here's the thing about obscure parliamentary procedures -- everyone loves them when their side is doing them, but when they're being done to you, then they are basically evil schemes from the blasted plains of Hell.

So if you're guessing that the Republicans declared the Democrats' use of "deem and pass" -- which also carried the moniker "the Slaughter Rule," after Rep. Louise Slaughter, who proposed its use in this instance -- to be a monstrous and unprecedented abuse of power, then give yourself a prize! And give yourself a bonus if you guessed that in reality, the GOP had used "deem and pass" lots of times. As Ryan Grim reported, "deeming resolutions" had been in use dating back to 1933, and in 2005 and 2006, Republicans employed them 36 times.

Other Republicans complained that Slaughter was supporting a tactic that she once vigorously opposed. That's true! She fought the "deem and pass" during the Bush administration and lost. Which is precisely when she learned how effective it could be!

The Affordable Care Act Would Create A Mad Army of IRS Agents
Lots of people wouldn't mind having better access to more affordable health care. But what if it came with thousands of IRS agents, picking through your stool sample? That sounds pretty bad. It also sounds pretty implausible! But that was no impediment to multiple health care reform opponents making claims that the tax man was COMMINAGETCHA!

In this case, the individual mandate -- which requires people to purchase insurance or incur a tax penalty -- provided the fertile soil for this deception to spread. A March 2010 floor speech from a panicked Sen. John Ensign was typical of the genre:

    My amendment goes to the heart of one of the problems with this bill. There is an individual mandate that puts fines on people that can also attach civil penalties. And 16,500 new IRS agents are going to be required to be hired because of the health care reform bill.

March of 2010 was a pretty great time for this particular lie. In one five day period, Ensign was joined by Reps. Paul Ryan ("There is an individual mandate. It mandates individuals purchase government-approved health insurance or face a fine to be collected by the IRS which will need $10 billion additional and 16,500 new IRS agents to police and enforce this mandate."), Pete Sessions ("16,000 new IRS agents will be hired simply to make sure that this health care bill is enforced.") and Cliff Stearns ("There is $10 billion to hire about 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce the individual mandate on every American").

All wrong! Per Factcheck:

    This wildly inaccurate claim started as an inflated, partisan assertion that 16,500 new IRS employees might be required to administer the new law. That devolved quickly into a claim, made by some Republican lawmakers, that 16,500 IRS "agents" would be required. Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas even claimed in a televised interview that all 16,500 would be carrying guns. None of those claims is true.

    The IRS' main job under the new law isn't to enforce penalties. Its first task is to inform many small-business owners of a new tax credit that the new law grants them -- starting this year -- which will pay up to 35 percent of the employer's contribution toward their workers' health insurance. And in 2014 the IRS will also be administering additional subsidies -- in the form of refundable tax credits -- to help millions of low- and middle-income individuals buy health insurance.

    The law does make individuals subject to a tax, starting in 2014, if they fail to obtain health insurance coverage. But IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified before a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee March 25 that the IRS won't be auditing individuals to certify that they have obtained health insurance.

As Factcheck goes on to note, on page 131 of the bill that was passed, the IRS is explicitly prohibited from "from using the liens and levies commonly used to collect money owed by delinquent taxpayers, and rules out any criminal penalties for individuals who refuse to pay the tax or those who don't obtain coverage."

Affordable Care Act Bill Is Way Too Long And Impossible To Read!
Oh, Congresscritters, the poor dears! So many bills to read and so little time -- between raising campaign cash at lush fundraisers and receiving marching orders from powerful corporate interests -- to actually read them all. And this Affordable Care Act was a real humdinger of a long bill. And long bills are bad because length implies complication and complication requires study and study implies some form of "work." So the proper thing to do is to mulch the entire print run of the bill and use it to power the boiler that heats the "sex dungeon" in the Longworth Office Building, the end!

Actually, reading the bill is not that hard, despite the complaints. As the folks at Computational Legal Studies were able to divine:

    Those versed in the typesetting practices of the United States Congress know that the printed version of a bill contains a significant amount of whitespace including non-trivial space between lines, large headers and margins, an embedded table of contents, and large font. For example, consider page 12 of the printed version of H.R. 3962. This page contains fewer than 150 substantive words.

    We believe a simple page count vastly overstates the actual length of bill. Rather than use page counts, we counted the number of words contained in the bill and compared these counts to the number of words in the existing United States Code. In addition, we consider the number of text blocks in the bill -- where a text block is a unit of text under a section, subsection, clause, or sub-clause.

As HuffPost noted in March of 2010, "the total number of words in the House Health Reform Bill are 363,086," and when you throw out the words in the titles and tables of contents and whatnot, leaving only words that "impact substantive law," the word count drops to 234,812.

"Harry Potter And the Order Of The Phoenix," a popular book read by small children, is 257,000 words long. (Although in fairness to Congress, the Affordable Care Act contains very few exciting accounts of Quidditch matches.)

The 2012ers Join The Fun
We couldn't have a list of Affordable Care Act distortions without noting the ways some of your 2012ers have added to the canon.

Herman Cain said that if the ACA had been implemented, he'd be dead. Not likely! The new law expands coverage so that uninsured individuals who face what Cain faced (cancer) have a better chance of getting coverage, and it restricts insurers from tossing cancer patients off the rolls based on their "pre-existing condition." But more to the point, Cain would have always been the wealthy guy who could afford to choose his doctor and pick the care he wanted. The Affordable Care Act doesn't prohibit wealthy people from spending money.

Rick Santorum says that his daughter, who is diagnosed with a genetic disorder called trisomy 18 and who required special needs care, would be "denied care" under the Affordable Care Act. Nope! Again, the law restricts insurers from throwing people with pre-existing conditions off their rolls. And for individuals under 19, that went into effect in September of 2010.

Michele Bachmann believes that the Affordable Care Act would open "sex clinics" in public schools. This is Michele Bachmann we're talking about. Do you even need to ask?

And finally, Mitt Romney has said, as recently as March 5, that he never intended his CommonwealthCare reform to serve as a "model for the nation." "Very early on," he insisted, "we were asked -- is what you've done in Massachusetts something you would have the entire government do, the federal government do? I said no, from the very beginning." Unless "very early on" and "from the very beginning" mean something different from the conventional definition of those phrases, Romney should augment his daily pharmaceutical intake with some memory-enhancing gingko biloba.

So Many More To Choose From!
Obviously, we did what we could to include as many of these lies and distortions as possible, but there's no way to include them all. If you're a completist, however, be sure to check out the Impossible Tale Of The One-Dollar Abortion, the Story of the State-Based Inflexibility That Wasn't, The Curious Case of the Politically Connected Waivers and Nancy Drew And The Hidden $105 Billion Expenditure.