Thursday, August 13, 2009


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This interview was on Hardball last night.

I couldn't think of a better title for this than what I have, because to my mind it does encompass "everything" that is right and good about America and "everything" that is bad, deficient.

Good because this girl is brave enough to go on national television to defend her demands of Sen. Specter. She's a decent human being who has simple decent goals for her family and I don't think anyone can fault her for wanting that.

What is bad, however, is that she's a conduit for points of view that may not have her best interests in mind. I really doubt she knows what life in Russia is or was like and she apparently does not understand the "socialism" of Social Security and Medicare let alone the concept of Constitutional Law.

A very large portion of the American electorate is ignorant of the basic issues behind all our lives. A major cause for that fact is that nearly all of our media is part of corporate businesses, our media who, as my boy Olbermann has said more than a few times, are successful when they make money for their owners, and he does make money for GE and they keep him on the air despite the continuing feud with NewsCorp.

The Washington Post was recently caught trying to sell their influence to the rich and powerful, David Gregory of Meet the Press told Governor Sanford he'd get the best treatment of his issue on his show, John Solomon offered to help cover up possible criminal political activity, it's all about access, getting the scoop, the ratings and advertizing money.

We desperately need to get the influence of money out of our politics and print/radio/video media.

I don't know the best way to do that, but I believe it's vital for our country's democracy to do so.

A good start would be to get the lies and the lying liars who tell them out of our public discourse.

Update: Down in the comments, Publius saw through Katy's persona toute suite. Joan Walsh at

{QUOTE}While Abram told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell that she wasn't very sophisticated about politics, and claimed not to even know her family income, in fact she's a leader of the ( Glen Beck's ) 9/12 group, setting up its networking site on Ning, greeting new members, inviting folks to events at her home and elsewhere – and last night, after her star turn, comparing her cause to that of Martin Luther King Jr.{END QUOTE}

Click for Abram's site.

Rick Perlstein has a good read in WaPo:

Here's a piece of it, but all of it is worth the 5 minutes:

{QUOTE}It used to be different. You never heard the late Walter Cronkite taking time on the evening news to "debunk" claims that a proposed mental health clinic in Alaska is actually a dumping ground for right-wing critics of the president's program, or giving the people who made those claims time to explain themselves on the air. The media didn't adjudicate the ever-present underbrush of American paranoia as a set of "conservative claims" to weigh, horse-race-style, against liberal claims. Back then, a more confident media unequivocally labeled the civic outrage represented by such discourse as "extremist" -- out of bounds.

The tree of crazy is an ever-present aspect of America's flora. Only now, it's being watered by misguided he-said-she-said reporting and taking over the forest. Latest word is that the enlightened and mild provision in the draft legislation to help elderly people who want living wills -- the one hysterics turned into the "death panel" canard -- is losing favor, according to the Wall Street Journal, because of "complaints over the provision."{END QUOTE}



  1. I weep for this poor, ignorant woman. She ascribes intentions to the Founding Fathers for which there is no evidence, and has no idea of what "socialism" is. I wonder when was the last time she actually sat down and read the constitution? Much like our son saying his co-workers at the big defense contractor do not want America "Europized", but beyond that term, all he could offer was "socialized medicine".

    It's a matter of fear, just like the fear that GWB & Co used to sell Iraq, torture, an assault on our civil rights and so forth. This young lady probably has no concept of what 48 million uninsured American means, and probably has no idea that the number is that high.

    I watch something like this, and if I had no offspring, I would just say that the best course of action is to let the country collapse. That's the only way these people will learn anything.


  2. I am sure the young lady believed what she said, but it was apparent from her reaction to the question of Social Security and Medicare, she did not know what she was saying. And, this is, from my viewpoint, one of the underlying problems with contemporary American society.

    I may have posted this previously, but it bears repeating. In a high school English class, our teacher, Mrs. Shea, asked a question about what the author might have been trying to illustrate in a given passage. The student she called upon began, "Well, Mrs Shea, I believe the author was....". He was immediately interrupted by Mrs. Shea, who said, "Mr. Jones, this is not a religious education class. I am asking for what you may think, conclude, assume or know, but a statement of faith, and by that I mean what you believe, is not acceptable." That stuck with all of us like glue.

    Of course, the First Amendment allows all of us to have virtually any religious belief we may choose to hold. But, belief is not knowledge. When one begins to believe that all socialism is bad, yet doesn't even know the elements of socialism are already in practice and they routinely accept, that's sad. For all intents and purposes, private health insurance is a form of for-profit socialism. Everyone within a given plan pays the same premiums, any only the sick receive the benefits.

    Even more frightening, there seems to be a trend where belief replaces the quest for knowledge. One doesn't need facts, as one's beliefs trump facts. Unfortunately, the longer beliefs are held, the more they become incorporated into one's sense of self, and thus become resistant to change. Factual data refuting one's beliefs will typically be handled in one of three ways:

    1. The data will simply be rejected without analytical processing.

    2. The data will be broken down into ever smaller tidbits until one tidbit supports the belief, and that tidbit, however insignificant, will be accepted as validation of the belief.

    3. The individual will recognize the error of the belief and change his or her belief.

    #3 is the absolutely least likely outcome, as it is not only a repudiation of the former belief, it is a repudiation of one's very sense of self.

    Thus, when knowledge is replaced by belief, rational discourse is damn near impossible. Thus, we have phenomenon such as the "Birthers", or GWB and WMDs, where no amount of evidence to the contrary will change what they believe is true.



  3. Below is a repost of a response I made to FM's discussion of the same question:

    What did you expect? The right wing is well organized, very well funded, and has access to major media assets that are willing to give them as much air time as they can afford.

    There’s a large percentage of the US population that can be easily stampeded when you blast them with enough fearful images and the right-wingers have been experimenting with these images for the last 6 years or so. The Swift boat debacle during the 2004 election was just the first large operation in an undeclared media war that the Democrats don’t appear to have recognized.

    If the Democrats want healthcare to be passed they are going to have to fight fear with fear. Perhaps they should casually mention that insuring the average family of four now costs $10,800 per year and at the current rate of growth will cost over $21,000 by 2018. By the way, the average household earns $52,000 a year before taxes right now and that isn’t expected to keep pace with the growth in healthcare costs.

    Companies are increasingly dropping healthcare coverage for their employees because it is too expensive. Healthcare currently consumes over 16% of the national GDP and will exceed 33% of the GDP by 2019 at the current rate of growth.

    If the Democrats really wanted to cause some strong emotions they could even mention that the finance sector and the healthcare sector of the economy are now at almost 40% of the economy and are virtually the only two sectors to show consistent growth over the last 10 years. In ten more years we may well see that number climb to over 50% of the economy if we don’t fall into another financial crisis.

    But I doubt the Democrats are up to the challenge and Obama’s healthcare plan (which really isn’t that good but is at least a start) will be shelved when Congress reconvenes this fall.

    This is why I expect the Republicans to regain the House in the 2010 elections if they can get some fresh, reasonably charismatic nominees who can keep their programmed answers straight.

  4. WASF.

    That's pretty much what this tells me. Here's a young woman who should be a physician, an engineer or a military officer, and yet is so goddam credulous and incurious that she is willing to stand up in public and offer these feeble justifications of...what? The profit margins of the for-profit hospitals and insurers who are funding her sources of information? The GOP, which has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the same (plus pretty much every other major economic institution in the country)?

    She's just sad, and I agree with Pluto that if this is what fool is out there voting, we're likely to have the damn oligarchs back in two years from now.

  5. Well, this woman may be a "decent human being," as Basil says, but I say she's not a good American. She essentially admits she's slept through the past eight years of illegal, immoral and stupid wars, along with the subverting of the Constitution by craven politicians. She didn't care about any of that because she thought neither she, nor her husband and son was in any danger of being affected. She was wrong, of course, but, given her obviously shallow body of knowledge, she believed the politicians. Now she cares because she fears she might have to pay out some dough, which once more makes a twit like her easy prey for the wingers.

    I'm sick of these self-satisfied morons. These are the people who would sell any of us out in a heartbeat. Shit, it looks as if she's ready to sell out her parents.

  6. Much of this nonsense would evaporate if Fox News was taken off the air or started actually reporting news instead of a 24/7 barrage of fear, hatred, half-truth and innuendo. I have patients that stare at this garbage all day's like there is only one channel to watch. It's gotten to where I instantly mute the tv on entering the room so I can do my assessments without blowing a fuse.

    If you haven't checked it out in a while please do so.. you'll see one of the main sources of disinformation fueling the ignorance of people like this utter moron on Hardball. Just the finger in the air is enough to tell you who you are dealing with. What a freaking tool.

  7. Hate to say this, Rick98c, but the rot has spread WAY beyond Fox and they are becoming one of the more responsible main stream media news sources simply because they haven't changed while the other media sources are swinging out in the wind.

    Want proof? CNN ran a show on whether or not Obama is an American or whether he's a fake dropped on the unsuspecting American public. They didn't come to a conclusion by the end of the episode, just left the ridiculous question hanging.

    Didn't these people think that perhaps the US election process didn't go over the same ground like 20 times before Obama was allowed to run?!

    You know what's driving this whole controversy? The news media has found it profitable.