Monday, August 31, 2009

Six Queens, Meryl Streep, Daytime Emmys and Design Star


Sunday was chockfulla stuff.

Chockfulla. Not a word. Sue me.

We had made plans to meet our neighbors, David and Neal, and friends, Roger and Thomas, for a late breakfast followed by a movie. It was going to be a hot day in Smallville, so queens, breakfast and a movie seemed like fun. We were going to meet at 11 AM so Carlos and I got the chance to sleep late, and woke up a little after eight [that's late for us]. I puttered around for a few minutes and by the time I got to the kitchen Carlos had the griddle out and asked if I wanted pancakes.

Pancakes? WTF?

We're having breakfast in two hours!
So.......................No?

Seriously, he was thinking of pancakes as a little something to nibble on before breakfast!
We settled for coffee and juice. And chatting.

It seems a friend of ours bought a new phone and didn't want his old one. Carlos says to me, Byron wants to know if I want his blueberry.
You read right: Blueberry. ::::sigh:::::

I tell Carlos about a girl at work who is, shall we say, an idiot. She's been there for months and still acts like it's her first day. She doesn't know how to do anything or where we keep anything, and is always demanding, not asking, for help. Well, that dog just won't hunt. At one point she demanded help and then turned to look at me.

Don't look at me, I said.

She smiled like that would work.

I said it again, with different emphasis, Seriously, Don't. Look. At. Me.

I'm all for helping people who need it, but people who refuse to learn their job set me on edge and after a thirty-day probation period, the help ends if the stupidity continues.

Enough of this.

We get ready for the movies. As Carlos is the Queen of the Procrastinators--I'm just a member of the royal court--I told him we were leaving at ten-twenty and if he wasn't in the car at ten-twenty he could find his own way.

And I would have.......not really.......so he was ready on the dot.

Brunch was fun. Any time you get six queens together with food it's bound to be enjoyable. There was talk of all things gay: sex, pets.....not sex with pets, please...food, of course, Diana Ross--Thomas didn't know I'd danced with her and he wanted to touch me inappropriately--and IKEA.

Good food; good friends; good times.

And so, since we're speaking of good food and good times, let me rave about Julie & Julia starring the divine Meryl Streep. What a wonderful film. Meryl Streep was Julia Child from the opening scene to the closing. She was six feet tall and puffy and round and totally Julia. Amy Adams was also good as Julie, and it was nice to see her and La Streep in a frothy bit of fun after seeing them both in Doubt. There was such a sense of joy and love and laughter in Julie and Julia's lives that it spilled over into the theater. It was a good fun movie, and La Streep was brilliant, as usual. Loved it. Recommend it. Gonna buy it.

Plus it didn't hurt that Stanley Tucci was in it. He makes my knickers flutter........La Tooch!

After the movie, Roger and Thomas and David and Neal headed to Kroger for their grocery shopping while Carlos and I went to the Homo Depot for deck stain and a new mat for the bathtub.

It's a full life. Don't hate.

At the Depot I looked at paint colors for the living room. The previous owners had painted it Baby Blue.....light LIGHT LIGHT baby blue above the chair rail and then this striation of blues below the chair rail. Seriously, Chez Smallville was once home To People With No Discernible Sense Of Color And Taste.

And that is changing! Dammit!

I am painting all the trim a lovely satin ivory and ripping down chair rail. Then we'll do a Frappe or Oatbran on three walls and a dramatic La Fonda Midnight on one loooong ass wall--I love the names of paint colors! Now, to be fair, i allowed Carlos the options of picking color and he hates anything he considers dark, like La Fonda Midnight, let's say. But he does like blue. And lavender; I put the kibosh on lavender before that got too far.

So Carlos scans the paint samples, talking about what he likes while I keep saying Just pick a color. And he finally settles on a blue he likes. It's pretty, I say. It's also the exact same blue that is already on all the walls.

Carlos is done picking color.

At home I showed him my samples and explained the reasoning and how the look would play in the room and he, well, he sighed off on it. That isn't a misspelling or a Freudian slip. I know what I'm saying, Carlos sighed off on the paint color. But he'll like it; the forest green dining room scared the Baby Jeebus outta him but he's come around.

Back home we relaxed for bit as the rains came, with a bit of lightning and thunder. It turned nice after, with the heat moving away and the cool weather settling in. Speaking of settling in, I sat down to watch the Daytime Emmys for the sole purpose of seeing Bree Williamson of One Life To live win the Emmy for playing Jessica, whose husband Nash fell through a skylight and died right after he found out Jessica's sister was sleeping with a man they all believed to be her uncle. I know. Soaps. But I love me some OLTL. And the scenes Bree payed as her husband lay dying, I thought, were fantastic, and so I wanted her to win.

She didn't.

I wasn't happy. I sat through Rachel Ray and Dr. Phil and Erik Estrada and she didn't win. I sat through a Sesame Street sing-off and she didn't win. I sat through Tyra Banks, and she didn't win. Someone else who left her show won.

This should have won:

I would'a Elvis'd the TV but Design Star was next.


Oh, Dan. Cute adorable Dan in his Carnaby Street cap looking all cute adorable Dan.

The challenge this week was to redo a backyard that had been demolished into nothingness. It was a pool, some fences and dirt. Torie says she'll take the leadership role because she's done model homes. She's set up patios. I'm less than impressed.

It's five minutes into the show and already I know it's Goodbye Torie. Doesn't she know the leader almost always gets the boot; it's written in the rules somewhere I'm sure.

Still, we had drama.

Torie, as leader, doesn't utter a word as they tour the yard, so Antonio, who is looking more and more Fred Flintstone to me, takes charge. He orders Brontosaurs Burgers for everyone while they brainstorm.

Modern. Zen. Pergola. Playset.

Check. Check. Been there.

But, BUT, as they work to prepare the yard for new sod, it finally happens. the Design Star moment I've been tuning in religiously to see: off comes Dan's shirt. Antonio, whose torso seems to be covered in hair and tattoos from the Bedrock House Of Ink seems annoyed at Dan's shirtlessness. Annoyed, or slightly turned on, I wonder.

After that moment of beauty which is a joy forever, Torie tells Dan he has five thousand dollars to spend on a pergola, but she apparently, accidentally, stupidly, gives him ten thousand [of their twenty-five thousand dollar budget] and Dan buys a pergola for $10,648.00. I know the exact amount because Torie and Lonnie kept saying it like ti was mantra to get rid of Dan.

Bitches.

Since they are officially over budget, another Design Star first, but not a good one, Clive spots them 5 Big Ones to finish the job.

As they work, Fred, er, Antonio, gives the play by play:

Torie's in chawge a'da plants.
She's so pissed at Dan for the Ten K pergola that she's not merely digging holes to plant the ferns as much as she's bitchslapping the ground in anger.

Lonnie's in chawge a'da foiniture.
None of which matches and her placement makes no sense. Two chaises side-by-side and the third pushed away. Lonnie clearly has separation issues.

Dan's in chawge a'takin' off his shoit.
Antonio's in charge of sounding like a jealous queen.

But they finish the yard. The judges don't really like it. They don't see zen; hell, Candace doesn't even see design, she just sees shopping. And they critique the Designtestants hosting abilities.

Antonio comes off as gruff and I get the impression he'd like to be a landscaper so he'd have some place to bury the bodies. Just sayin'.
Torie seemed like a beauty queen until her voice went up a few octaves and she sounded like a beauty queen on helium.
Lonnie is dull as dishwater. I take that back because I've seen some pretty flamboyant dishwater. She's just dull.
Dan was less giggly and came off quite well.

Vern likes Dan. He tells Dan he's "telegenic" which is Vern-speak for Take your shirt off and come to my house.
Genevieve liked Antonio and Torie but Genevieve is an idiot. I still don't get why she's a judge.
Candace didn't like Lonnie. The dull card was played again.

Antonio's safe for taking over the lead. he's off to bowl on his tippy-toes with lodge brother Barney.

Lonnie's safe for planting bamboo along the fence. Yes. Planting bamboo and doing really nothing else is cause for celebration.

Dan and Torie. Bottom two.

Dan is chastised for spending nearly half the budget on the pergola, which none of the judges liked anyway. But he is slightly praised on his hosting abilities and shirtlessness. the last bit of praise came, not from the judges, but from happy queens the world over.

Torie is abused for being the leader who does not lead. Oddly enough, she's from Texas like that other leader who knows not how to lead. W, anyone?

After all is said and done, Torie gets the boot. She leaves without the Tiara! I predicted this in minute five, so why did I stay up for the whole thing again?

Oh yeah, Dan. Shirtless Dan.

Now I remember. I couldn't find a picture of him, you know, like that, so this will have to do.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Birthday From Smallville to Nutwood

I got word from the Queen of the Ginger Snaps that someone was havin' a birthday!

Happy Birthday Beth, the diva of Nutwood Junction.

I searched and searched for an irreverent brithday song and think I found one with just the right bits of snark and sarcasm and tinged with humor.

Have a gggrrrrrrrrrrreat day!


Sunday Morning Tuxedo


In Memorium






Sunday Funnies


____________________________

David Letterman: "John McCain at one point had to have a crazy woman removed by security at one of these town hall meetings. And I'm thinking, jeez, he should have done that a year ago."


______________________________

Conan O'Brien: "Fox News host Glenn Beck has lost over 30 sponsors since he called President Obama a racist. And the latest sponsor that he just lost is Clorox bleach. That's amazing. Even a company whose sole purpose is to make things whiter thinks Glenn Beck has gone too far."
______________________________

David Letterman: "The entire island of Martha's Vineyard has gone Obama crazy. There's even a cocktail that they've named after Barack Obama. It's called the Obamarita. Not to be confused with a cocktail inspired by John McCain, the Cosmopoligrip. And then there was one a couple of years ago inspired by George W. Bush, the Mojidiot. Of course, there was the Bill Clinton Screwdriver."

__________________________

Bill Maher: "Then there's the people who come to the town hall meetings about health care and think that Obama is going to do the same thing that Hitler did. I mean, what can't you tell these people that they won't believe? I could start a rumor right now. I could say, you know what? Under Obama's health care plan, when you bring your child to a pediatrician, from now on, when he's done, instead of giving him a balloon, he's going to give the kid a condom. Stupid is a preexisting condition, yes."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

And Now For A Word From Tom Colicchio


So, I'm watching Top Chef, as I usually do on Wednesday nights, and the elimination challenge was to cook for a bachelor and bachelorette party. Well, it seems as if one of the cheftestants, a lesbian named Ashley, was angry that she had to cook for a straight couple about to be married when she, herself, cannot marry the women she loves.

This annoyed me. I mean, is that any different that, say, a straight chef angry that he has to cook for a gay couple? We wouldnt stand for that! We'd be outraged! We'd take our aprons off, slap them on the counter and storm out in a huff, by nelly. So, it pissed me off that Ashley bitched and moaned.

Plus, let's not forget she's in the hospitality industry. She is there to cook, not to judge; to saute, not to politicize; to bake, not to....okay, I'm done with that.

But then Tom Colicchio decided to blog about the issue of same sex marriage on his blog. Says Tom: "I’m going to go out on a limb and say a few words about same-sex marriage: First of all, part of the problem with the issue is that it is framed by opponents as a discussion of whether gay people should get special rights. This is specious – yes, special legislation or court decisions grant them the right to wed in a particular state, however this is done to ensure that they share equal protection under the law by finally being able to avail themselves of the same rights as everyone else. They are not seeking special treatment, just equitable treatment. Second, religion has no business being part of the discussion. When a couple is wed in a house of worship, the officiant may be performing a religious rite, but as far as the law is concerned, that officiant has been authorized to perform a civil function, plain and simple. And even were same-sex marriage to be legalized by the state, no one would be holding a gun to the heads of the clergy to require them to perform a ceremony that their faith or personal creed does not condone. Just as some rabbis would not perform my marriage to my wife because I wasn’t Jewish, clergy can decline performing same-sex marriages; gay couples can either find clergy willing to officiate or can be wed in a civil setting. The idea that religious leaders are continuing to shape state law is just wrong. The institution of marriage should be available to all. The idea that you can have a life-long partner and not make decisions for them in a hospital, not share in insurance benefits, not automatically have parental rights unless you are the birth parent, is just flat-out wrong."

You go, Tom!

Ponderings


My friend Maria sent me these. I usually hit delete, and I did, in fact, delete many of these, but I found these few [few?] amusing:

  • I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
  • More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.
  • Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
  • I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?
  • Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
  • Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?
  • There is a great need for sarcasm font.
  • Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I saw when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the %$*& was going on when I first saw it.
  • I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.
  • I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
  • I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
  • LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".
  • I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
  • Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".
  • How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?
  • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!
  • What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?
  • MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  • I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
  • Bad decisions make good stories
  • Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....
  • Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.
  • "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.
  • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?
  • I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
  • As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
  • I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
  • Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.
  • The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Asshat King!

Apparently, while believing Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain and Tupac are lunching at a Cracker Barrel in West Virginia, Michael Steele also believes that the Democrats want to push health care so they can, gulp, kill Republicans!
Steele talks out of both sides of his ass at the same time and neither side makes sense.

Welcome...................

A few people snuck in when my back was turned, so I'd like to give a Smallville "Hi y'all" to:

Corve who visits from Jamaica and Corve DaCosta's Blog.





Jose, who hails from Belgium and Llaves Rojas.






And then JT, from both Oregon and Rejected Reality.






Check 'em out.

Just When You Think A Republican Couldn't Get Any More Idiotic


I, like many of you, don't often equate Utah with moderate government officials. Well, that wasn't always right. Utah's former governor, Jon Huntsman, who resigned his position because--no, no adulterous affair or drug addiction or random acts of stupidity--he was named ambassador to China. Huntsman, while a Republican, was at least moderate in his dealings with the LGBT community.

Not so the asshat who's taken his place.

New governor, Gary Herbert, has said that discriminating against gay people shouldn't be illegal, although he would prefer it if everyone were treated with respect.

Shouldn't.Be.Illegal.

Herbert, who, like an ostrich buries his head although in a much hotter more rancid locale, does not believe sexual orientation should be a protected class in the same way as race, gender and religion. He says: "We don't have to have a rule for everybody to do the right thing. We ought to just do the right thing because it's the right thing to do and we don't have to have a law that punishes us if we don't."

Well, then Gary, let's get rid of all rules because people should just know that rape is not good and speeding is bad and murder, well, no one really likes that. So, why do we need any rules at all, Gary?

Seriously, Utah, this is your governor.

Sheesh, look who I'm talking to: Utah!

Will Carlson, Equality Utah's public policy director, said: "I agree that we ought to be able to just do the right thing. Unfortunately, the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission makes it clear that not all employers are doing the right thing."

And so, while Salt Lake City is considering an anti-discrimination ordinance, conservative lawmakers are eyeing passage of a state law that would trump it, and newly appointed dumbass Governor Gary Herbert is reserving judgement on the ordinance because, get this, he hasn't read it. Still, he's made it quite clear that he doesn't like the idea of protected classes in general.

Dumbass Governor Gary Herbert: "Where do you stop? I mean that's the problem going down that slippery road. Pretty soon we're going to have a special law for blue-eyed blondes ... or people who are losing their hair a little bit. There's some support for about anything we put out there. I'm just saying we end up getting bogged down sometimes with the minutiae of things that government has really no role to be involved in."

Hey Gary, lemme break it down for you.....I'll wait until you pull your head out of your ass. Okay, better now? Here goes: when it becomes clear that blue-eyed blondes or men with combovers are being denied housing, being denied jobs, or being fired from their jobs just because they're blue-eyed blondes or balding men, then maybe, just maybe, we'll do something about it.

Utah, you have an asshat for governor.

Quote of the Day

"I had moved back to Tucson with my kids because I just thought it was quieter, and my family was there. But Tucson has turned out to be a very conservative place, and I didn’t want my kids coming home from school saying things like ‘That’s so gay.’ So we moved back to San Francisco, and I sent my kids to a school that actively taught that homophobic remarks are just… not OK, and my kids’ attitudes have changed as a result of it.
Look, my kids are going to be able to form their own ideas, but at least I wanted them to be able to question things. My son is super pro-gay rights, and even though he has a girlfriend, I wanted him to know that as he emerged sexually, he’d be able to do whatever he wanted to do. You know, that it’s not something you have a choice over." Linda Ronstadt
So, here's a little Linda for you....and for me....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Get Out!


I am sick of the Sanfords.

No, not Fred and Lamont Sanford, but Mark and Jenny Sanford.

Jenny first. Quit talking already. Quit telling us what a great parent you are and how you're doing what needs to be done for the boys and then giving yet another interview where you play the Pity Card and slam the father of your children. That isn't being a good person, that is being vindictive and childish. Yes, we know; he cheated; he cried; he apologized to her first. You're wounded. We get it.

Now. Shut. Up.

And that goes double for you Mark. Shut. Up. Shut. Up. STFU!

Yesterday in the grand old state of South Carolina, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer became the highest ranking Republican to ask Mark Sanford to quit. Bauer said he would not run for governor if Sanford resigns or the House moves to impeach him in the next month. In the interests of fairness, this is being seen as a way for Bauer to get certain items in his agenda going, and then he can leave the state house as a pseudo hero and come back stronger for some other public office.

hat said, Mark, of course, whined a bit and stomped his feet and muttered something about being "railroaded" out of office.

Railroad? I thought he was a hiker.
Thank you! I'll be here all week!

But I digress.

Andre Bauer: “The serious misconduct that has already been revealed along with lingering questions and continuing distractions make it virtually impossible for our state to solve the critical problems we’re facing without a change of leadership. That is why I must now call upon Governor Sanford, in the interest of our state, to resign. It is why I myself will lead the way by putting the best interests of the people of South Carolina ahead of my own personal and political interests.”

Sanford said Bauer's statement was nothing but "pure politics."

Like the pure politics Sanford employs when he portrays himself as a fiscal conservative, spending months fighting to keep stimulus money out of the state, while charging the state for his upgraded travel expenses, including one of his side-trip booty calls to Miss Argentina.

If that's pure politics South Carolina-style, we need to make a change.

Mark Sanford is claiming past governors also flew business class and first class on the state’s dime and that some lawmakers have used the state plane to attend weddings and other personal events.

Indeed, maybe they have, but they didn't portray themselves as fiscally responsible; they didn't use the state money and state planes to speed off for a little La Vida Loca Con La Mujer Del Argentina. And Mark, if that's your reasoning, that other governor's have used state funds and aircraft in the past, I ask you this:

If past governors had jumped off a bridge, would you?

Just a thought.

We've Also Lost A Friend Of The LGBT Community


Oh, sure, there will be detractors of Senator Kennedy's in the days when his passing becomes a distant memory. There will be rehashing of stories forty-some-odd years old. But what you won't hear from those people who would seek to throw dirt on his name is how the man acted in government. How he set aside the teachings of the Catholic Church in which he was raised, and sought to make changes so that we are all equal.

No one, no one, knew more about Separation of Church and State than Edward Kennedy.

While he leaves behind a legacy on a number of issues, from education to health care, his contributions to making the world better for the LGBT community cannot go unnoticed. He has fought for us in times when no one else dared lift a finger, making him a friend of the LGBT community, and an ally in government.

In 1993, Edward Kennedy replaced the retired California Democratic Senator Alan Cranston as the chief sponsor of the “gay rights bill” that was then being introduced in the Senate.
By 1996, Senator Kennedy was one of only fourteen votes--fourteen--to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act, proving that he was not only willing to put himself out there for LGBT rights, but be one of the few to do it and say it before most others in politics.

It's a simple case of civil rights, and Senator Kennedy knew that.

Kennedy also fought to block a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, championed by a number of conservative Senators. Way back in June 2002 Senator Kennedy supported adding sexual orientation and gender identity to federal hate crimes laws.

Simple civil rights.

When Massachusetts became the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage, Kennedy didn't back away from commenting on the historical impact for civil rights that this decision had. he said:

"The nation’s eyes were on Massachusetts today, and they saw a triumph for civil rights and fundamental fairness. Today’s historic vote will have a national impact on civil rights for years to come. Massachusetts has led the nation in education, in health care and in biotechnology, and today Massachusetts renewed its commitment as a proud leader in civil rights."

And this year, even as he battled cancer, Senator Kennedy was one of the leading co-sponsors of a Senate 'Employment Non-Discrimination Act' (ENDA), saying:

"Ensuring equality for all Americans is the least we can do in living up to the standards of inclusion that this nation is built upon. There is no place for discriminating against any of our citizens for whatever reason and I commend my colleagues for their willingness to champion equal rights for every American."

So, as you remember Edward Kennedy, and remember his flaws as well, because we are all only human, and filled with failings of our own, also remember that he was a fighter for the LGBT community, a fighter for civil rights, a fighter for all of us.

if you're so unlined, go HERE and sign a petition to make Health Care Reform happen in this country, and fulfill Senator Kennedy's wish. It will go to your U.S. Senator, urging them to make sure that quality health care is a fundamental right in this country, and not a privilege.

We Need A History Lesson About Nazis -- Leonard Pitts

by Leonard Pitts
I hope this column makes you sick.

See, we'll be talking about Nazis, something many of us are doing lately. Indeed, just this week a fellow named Joseph e-mailed me about a caller he heard on a radio show. The man, vexed over healthcare reform, likened President Obama to Adolf Hitler. Asked why, he said, "Hitler took over the car companies, then healthcare and then he killed the Jews.''

Said Joseph: "I almost swerved my vehicle off the road when I heard that.''

But the caller is hardly unique. Google "Obama + Nazis'' and you get almost seven million hits. Nor is the phenomenon new. Substitute President Bush's name and you get nearly 2.8 million.

An invasion of sorts

Even granting that many of those hits are benign, it seems obvious the Nazis have invaded American political rhetoric in a big way. As in Rush Limbaugh declaring healthcare reform "a Hitler-like policy,'' swastikas popping up at protest rallies, a poster depicting Obama with Hitler's moustache and a pamphlet that says: "Act Now To Stop Obama's Nazi Health Plan!

It's important to remember that the Nazis are passing out of living memory; U.S. soldiers of that era are said to be dying at the rate of 1,200 a day. Which makes it too easy, I think, for a nation of notorious historical illiteracy to remake the Nazis as some kind of all-purpose boogeymen for slandering political enemies and scoring cheap rhetorical points.

So I thought it would be good to make you sick, i.e., to spend a few minutes reminding some and teaching others what you invoke when you invoke the Nazi regime.

For the record, then: It was Nazis who shoved sand down a boy's throat until he died, who tossed candies to Jewish children as they sank to their deaths in a sand pit, who threw babies from a hospital window and competed to see how many of those "little Jews'' could be caught on a bayonet, who injected a cement-like fluid into women's uteruses to see what would happen, who stomped a pregnant woman to death, who once snatched a woman's baby from her arms and, in the words of an eyewitness, "tore him as one would tear a rag.''

Ideology over reason

That's who the Nazis were, ladies and gentlemen -- those obscenities plus six million more. They were the triumph of ideology over reason and even over humanity, the demonization of racial, religious and political difference, the objectification of the vulnerable other. And the authors of a mass murder that staggers imagination, still.

You would think, then, that where they are invoked to draw a parallel or make a point, it would be done with a respect for the incalculable evil the Nazis represent. You would think people would tread carefully, not because of the potential insult to a given politician (they are big boys and girls) but because to do otherwise profanes the profound and renders trivial that which ought to be held sacred by anyone who regards himself as a truly human being.

But in modern America, unfortunately, rhetoric often starts over the top and goes up from there. So fine, George W. Bush is "a smirking chimp.'' Fine, Barack Obama is "a Chicago thug.'' We have a Constitution, after all, and it says we can say whatever we want. It doesn't say it has to be intelligent.

Historical amnesia

And yes, you are even protected if you liken Obama or Bush to Hitler. Yet every time I hear that, it makes me cringe for what it says about our collective propensity for historical amnesia and our retarded capacity for reverence. Once upon a lifetime ago, six million people with DNA, names and faces just like you and I, were butchered with gleeful sadism and mechanistic dispatch. Six million people.

You and I may no longer respect one another, but is it asking too much that we still respect them?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let's See If We Can Do It For Teddy

Ted Kennedy on Health Care Reform:
This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American...will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me—and more urgency—than ever before. But it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years.

Stuff


I don't get the whole Twilight/Robert Pattinson thing. I mean, to me, it looks as if he hasn't had a bath since the late 90s.

And me with my HazMat suit at the cleaners.
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There's talk of a Hancock sequel. You know, when they begin to make sequels out of movies that should never have been made in the first place, it's, well, I might be wrong, but it's an End Of Days sign.

It's also a sign, Will Smith, that your career is just about over.
______________________________

I was channel surfing the other day and came across the Wendy Williams show. Now, I will admit I have no idea who she is, but she is more drag-o-licious than Tyra Banks on a good day.

So I was hooked.

Wendy is up in the audience taking questions and this giant black man stands up and says, in a deep deep voice, "First off, let me say I'm a gay man....."

And Wendy taps him on the arm and says, "Honey, I know. You're wearing a brooch."

And he was; and I died.
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Matt Lauer and the Asshats at the Today Show had money-whore Mark Lester on. Y'all remember Mark Lester is the one who says he was the, um, donor de la sperm for Michael Jackson, so he could have Debbie Rowe or a surrogate or someone, give him Paris.

Well, Mark is still whoring out his story. He keeps saying he doesn't want anything ::::$$$$:::: but I smell a broke-ass liar.

Then, as if it wasn't low enough to have Lester on, the Today Show proudly paraded around his daughter and asked viewers to vote in a poll if she looked like Paris or not.

First there was the Michelle Obama Shorts Poll, and now the Sperm Donor Daddy Poll.

Sink any lower Today and we'll never see you again.

Not a bad idea, actually.
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I love Flipping Out with Jeff Lewis on Bravo.

He's an anal gay man, which doesn't mean what you think it does--or at least I don't think it does--it just means he is persnickety. and nutty.

And I like nutty people and he is the nuttiest. I also like that he's laying off the collagen lip injections because for the last couple of years he was looking a little too Goldie Hawn if you get my drift.
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Billy Ray Cyrus says he's a friend to his daughter, future rehabber Mylie. Just what every teenaged girl needs, a father for a friend while she pole dances on national TV.

And they won't let gays adopt in some places but Billy Ray can have as many soon-to-be crazies as he wants.
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Paris Hilton.
Lindsay Lohan.
Oprah Winfrey.

And making their first appearance on the list, and our first couple on the list, in more ways than one:

Mark and Jenny Sanford.

That's all.

I Heart Chelsea

"Everyone in Britain thinks Victoria Beckham is a big deal,
but in the U.S. no one cares.
She's like the soccer of people."
Chelsea Handler


Happy Birthday Dust Magnet

And I say magnet, because through his wit and wisdom and the ability to cut a vein and bleed so we can all see that we're more alike than we ever realized, he has drawn us to him.
Like a magnet.
Sheesh! I didn't think I'd have to spell it out for you!
Anywhore (A Dustism I love) Happy Birthday DD!
We love you!

The Lion Has Passed


"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.
We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all."

Edward Kennedy
February 22, 1932 - August 25, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What is That?

From our Smallville neighbor Neal:

Pulling Out All The Stops


A friend of ours clued us in on an interesting article called "Republicans, Religion and the Triumph of Unreason"--you can read it HERE--which talks about how the Republicans can, and will, do anything and everything to discredit Barack Obama.

And it just isn't about party politics and upon which side of the aisle your bread is buttered, it fringes and hinges upon racism. The plain and simple fact that it's a Black man in the White House. Seriously, think of what has been said about Obama since he began his run for the presidency.
  • It was hinted that he was a mob rule, gangster Chicago politician.
  • It was said he was--and many think still is--a Muslim.
  • It was said he was a member of a black church that hates white people.
  • It was said that he was born in Kenya.
  • It was said that Hawaiian authorities conspired to have his birth certificate faked so he could be president.

It all sounds crazy until you realize that a majority of Republicans and Southerners firmly believe that Obama is not an American citizen, or say they just don't know for sure. They want him to answer questions about his citizenship even though evidence to the fact that Obama is a citizen has been front and center since his campaign began. I think, for many Republicans and Southerners, it is the unspoken rule that a black man really isn't an American citizen, and could never be one; America is white, or so they'd like you to believe. A black man telling the white man what to do. A black man offering change to this country, working to keep our economy strong and our country safe. A. Black. Man.

What else could explain the huge fight and the flood of misinformation about health care? The Republicans use their old George W. Bush fear tactic to feed the frenzy of the populace. They spread misinformation and outright lies so that the issue isn't health care, the issue is Barack Obama. Scare the people, and they will fall in line; it worked before. We all goosestepped along with W and his Mob because we were told that we were in danger. Now the republicans are at it again. Scare us with images of death panels.

Yet the facts are quite simple, and they cannot be disputed:

"The US is the only major industrialised country that does not provide regular healthcare to all its citizens. Instead, they are required to provide for themselves - and 50 million people can't afford the insurance. As a result, 18,000 US citizens die every year needlessly, because they can't access the care they require. That's equivalent to six 9/11s, every year, year on year. Yet the Republicans have accused the Democrats who are trying to stop all this death by extending healthcare of being "killers" - and they have successfully managed to put them on the defensive."

The Republicans want you to believe that Obama and the Democrats want to kill grandma, yet the Republicans themselves don't want to help the nearly 20,000 Americans each year who die because they don't have access to health care. Who do you trust?

The Republicans say that Obama wants to force people to have living wills declaring their "expiration" date and yet all those same Republicans, Plain, Gingrich, Limbaugh to name a few, have said that living wills are good. Now, and only now, they change their tone to one of fear.

Obama will kill you. Be afraid of him because he's different; he's a Muslim; he's an illegal; he hates white people; he isn't one of us. Be afraid; he's a black man. I say be afraid of those people who continue to spread fear; ask yourselves why they do it? For the betterment of the country? Or for the betterment of their party?

Think.

"However strange it seems, the Republican Party really is spinning off into a bizarre cult who believe Barack Obama is a baby-killer plotting to build death panels for the grannies of America. Their new slogan could be - shrill, baby, shrill."

Think. Don't let the Republicans do it for you.

Funding Hate Before Health Care


I am a firm believer in separation of church and state. I don't believe any one religion should be allowed to influence policy or politics or promote one candidate over another. Churches are here to provide spiritual teachings for those who seek such things; they are here to provide comfort and support for those who need them; they are here to shine a light in the dark for those people who might be lost and are seeking a new path in life.

What they aren't here to do is fund hate.

Catholic Church, anyone?

In 2004 the Catholic Church gave more than $500,000 to help enact a same-sex marriage ban in Michigan. Couldn't that money have been better used to fund services to help the poor? counseling sessions for the young men who suffered abuse by pedophile priests? No, the church used the money to fund a political movement to ban same-sex marriage.

In 2008 the Catholic Church spent $200,000 of its own money to fund the Prop H8 campaign in California. In addition, they spent another $1 million funneling hate through organizations like the Knights of Columbus.

And now, up in Maine, the latest front line in the fight for marriage equality, the Catholic Church has spent $100,000 and is promising to spend another $2 million to fight against same-sex marriage.

Why is the church funding political campaigns? Why aren't they using this money, some nearly $4 million, to fund other issues they say are near and dear to their hearts, like health care? They say that health care is an important issue for the church because the lack of adequate care directly affects causes the church also says are very important: poverty, children, and immigration.

Just last week President Obama gathered numerous faith groups together to talk about universal health care. He worked with Jewish organizations, Methodist organizations, Baptist organizations, Muslim organizations, and evangelical organizations; but not one Catholic Bishop. The Catholics were busy urging Lutherans not to accept gay men and women into the clergy.

The Catholics say they want health care, but are spending millions fighting a different battle. They say they support a public option on health care but are working to keep gay men and women out of the clergy. They say they want to end poverty but spend millions fighting for discrimination.

We need health care and they want to fund hate.

Charlie and The Wailing Wall


Okay, now I've heard everything.

Well, probably not.

Last week we had a pastor or somesuch telling us that God sent tornadoes to Minnesota because the Lutherans don't hate the gays. See, it was his polite way of saying "God Hates Fags" without actually saying it.

Now, comes word that Charlie Crist--who has had his own run-ins with gayness in the past. It's not telling tales out of school to say that there have been rumors for years that Charlie Crist is a Friend Of Dorothy.

So, I find it interesting that this man, who many think of as a closeted homosexual, thinks that because he asked God to spare Florida from hurricanes that explains the lack of storms down there for the past couple of years.

It goes like this: Charlie Crist told a group of real estate agents he's had prayer notes placed in the Western Wall in Jerusalem each year and no major storms have hit Florida. He made note of the fact that Florida was hit by eight hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, but not since his election in 2006.

Charlene, I mean, Charlie, Crist: "Do you know the last time it was we had a hurricane in Florida? It's been awhile. In 2007, I took my first trade mission. Do you know where I went?" He was referring to a trip to Israel where he went to the Western Wall and inserted a note with a prayer. He said it read, "Dear God, please protect our Florida from storms and other difficulties. Charlie."

"Time goes on - May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December - no hurricanes,"
Crist said. "Thank God."

So then, delusional Charlie, upon hearing that Senator Nan Rich was traveling to Israel, asked her to put a note in the Western Wall.

"It was the same note, by the way, the same prayer," Crist said.

This year a friend was going to Israel and Crist gave him a prayer to put in the Western Wall. The note was placed in the wall in May.

"May, June, July, August - we're getting closer," Crist said. "Knock on wood. I would ask you all to say a prayer."

Charlie? A little suggestion. Think bigger. Put a prayer in the wall asking God to make the United States economy rebound quicker. Make health care reform pass? Stop that bothersome global warming. Give Jennifer Anniston a hit movie.

Or maybe, Charlie, just maybe, you could slip into your ruby loafers and travel to Oz where you can ask the wizard for a brain. Or at least the good sense God gave a goat.

A Tuesday Asshat


"I have a son who is a farmer. He has sheep. He says to me: Father, if the sheep were only male, the world would die. There would be no more sheep.

The natural tendency of man is to allow the world to continue to exist. So a man who comes and says 'I hold an orientation that does not allow for the perpetuation of the world,' could such a man be prime minister?

Could a man be prime minister who loves to sleep with sheep? With horses? Can a man whose orientation is for horses be prime minister? Can a man who likes girls aged five be prime minister? I can't understand how a man can kiss another man. When I think about it, I want to vomit. When I think about a bearded man fondling another bearded man, it kills me."
-- Israeli National Union Chairman Ya'akov Katz, responding to a poll showing 44% of Israelis think they're ready for an openly gay Prime Minister. Katz intends to replace Benjamin Netanyahu in the next election.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's Homicide


from the Washington Post
A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that the Los Angeles County coroner has ruled Michael Jackson's death a homicide.
The finding makes it more likely criminal charges will be filed against the doctor who was with the pop star when he died.
The official says the coroner determined a fatal combination of drugs was given to Jackson hours before he died in his rented Los Angeles mansion on June 25. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been publicly released.
Forensic tests found the powerful anesthetic propofol in Jackson's system along with two sedatives, the official says.
Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, is the target of a manslaughter probe headed by Los Angeles police

Princess Jason Turns Into A Frog

Ah, Design Star. Designing for the most horrific client of all, the child. And then having to do the hosting tryout on top of that.

Dan. Beautiful Dan. Dan the man. He was given the green room of Helena. No, it wasn't actually green, but his client was the family recycler, so she wanted eco-friendly. And he gave her that with bamboo floors and repurposing her dresser and bubble gum machine. I liked his room, though it seemed a bit sparse, especially above the headboard with the recycled ironwork that Vern hated. Vern. Pffft! He's a design-by-the-numbers kinda gay--not a misspelling--who wouldn't know a good design if it smacked him in the head. And Genevieve hated the color; I hate Genevieve. Arrogant little pissant, smug, self-righteous, pompous, egotistical.....Huh? Oh yeah. but Candace's knickers got all a'twitter at the gumball machine lamp. I know how she feels. Dan does that to my knickers, too.

As a host Dan was a adorkable, all grins and giggles--the judges didn't like the giggles but they made me wanna hug Dan even more. Okay, so I would have hugged him anyway but the giggles were cute. He comes across as extremely likable, lovable, hug-able. Dan.

Antonio got Connor, the five-year-old dinosaur freak and so Antonio gave him a dinosaur freak room. It was all right, if you're a five-year-old dinosaur freak. But when you turn six and you're into Star Trek or fire trucks, or, as in my case, Malibu Barbie, will you still be in love with a dinosaur room? I think not. And that photo he took of Connor and then pasted on the wall to make it look like Connor was hoisting the TV above his head? Am I the only one who thought it weird that the PhotoConnor had no legs? Am I the only one who pictured Connor waking up from a nightmare to see his legless body walking toward him, aiming a flatscreen at his head?

And as a host, Antonio scared the Baby Jeebus outta me, with that accent and those tattoos. "I did da rock bed and made da cave and did da pitcher of da lil guy for da wall." Hmmmmmm.....nope.

Torie got Carina, the soon-to-be-Soho bound artiste! I liked the bed, although it was a tad too generic for me, and I loved the fact the she put Carina's name on the wall--though why she had to explain that the 'I' was a paintbrush shows just how much it wasn't. But those shower curtains of fabric seemingly stapled to the wall don't spell Carina or design, they spelled desperation!

As for her hosting skills, or lack thereof, it was a little I, Robot for me, like she was a Tin Woman off to Oz to see if she could get some personality.

Lonni got hold of Victor's room; Victor, a seventeen-year-old baseball player, who looked beyond thrilled ::::sarcasm:::: to have Lonni up in his crib. But she persevered and worried about finishing and painted a series of home plates for his wall--slightly reminiscent of the chevron pattern she did last week. Vern worried she might be a one-trick pony and she is, a pony with one .................horrible.........................trick.

Hostess Lonni came off as a bit too Miss Design America. I wanted to see her in a crown and doing that little wave with her hand. Then I wanted her to get off my TV.

Jason drew the luckiest number of all, or so he thought. The seventeen-year-old girl who wanted Princess Chic. He screamed like a seventeen-year-old girl when he found out; and she screamed like a seventeen-year-old girl who was a'scurred of the gay man screaming back at her. Jason cried because he got to do a princess room and he teared up because his carpenter was no good and he bawled when he couldn't find just the right rug. I know how he feels; I had myself committed for seventy-two hours once because I couldn't locate a teal bath mat for the guest bath. But he struggled and fought and screamed and cried, and then tacked placemats to the wall for the 'chic' headboard.

As a hostess, he reminded me of Gilda Radner, on SNL, jumping around the princess room. I fully expected him to slip a pair of white pajama bottoms on his head and show us what he'd look like as a blond.

Neeldess to say it was Bye Bye Jason....your show has been cancelled. Or, as Carlos might say, Pack your knives, the tribe has spoken, and you have been evicted from the race.

Myths and Falsehoods About Health Care Reform

I thought we'd start off the week with a little light reading; you know, just some info and misinfo that needs to be put out there so we can make an educated decision without shouting and name-calling. So, grab a coffee and a danish, and let's begin:

MYTH 1: There is no health care crisis and the health care system currently works fine; only a small number of uninsured people would benefit from reform.

  • Rush Limbaugh: "There really isn't a crisis in health care in this country. The crisis in health care that--if you wanna say, that does exist--is the fear that a major illness or catastrophe could wipe you out, which isn't gonna change. In fact, the odds of you being wiped out by a catastrophe or accident once the government gets started running this stuff is greater than if the private sector -- but day-to-day, there's no health care crisis in this country. You can get it. So, it isn't about health care, per se. This is just about gaining control, taking money, and controlling people's lives, and wiping out Republicans -- a nice cherry on top."
  • Steve Doocy, Fox & Friends: "Currently, 90 percent of all Americans have got some sort of health care coverage, which means they are effectively blowing up the system for 5 percent. Now, the 5 percent, you gotta worry about them -- you gotta worry about everybody who doesn't have it. But is it worth all of this for 5 percent?"

But the REALITY is that 25 million Americans were underinsured in 2007. And the situation facing the underinsured is the same thing that people who have no insurance at all face: they go without recommended treatment, follow-up care, medications or do not see a doctor when sick. Both groups face a financial hardship due to medical debt.

Big Insurance restricts or denies coverage by rescinding health insurance policies on the grounds that customers had undisclosed, pre-existing conditions. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee examined the "practice of 'post-claims underwriting,' which occurs when insurance companies cancel individual health insurance policies after providers submit claims for medical services rendered" and found that three major American insurance companies rescinded almost 20,000 policies--saving themselves $300 million.

MYTH 2: Progressive health care reform proposals will introduce a system of "rationing" into American medicine.

  • Sean Hannity, Fox News: "We're gonna have a government rationing body that tells women with breast cancer, 'You're dead.' It's a death sentence."
  • Michelle Malkin, columnist: "Big Nanny Democrats want to ration health care for everyone in America -- except those who break our immigration laws."

The REALITY is that Big Insurance already rations care. In fact, they acknowledge that they do so, restricting coverage of procedures and tests like MRIs and CAT scans and denying coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent: [P]eople always say, 'Is there going to be rationed care?' And I can tell you, as a practicing physician, as someone who deals with this on a daily basis, rationing does occur all the time....I get all this paperwork that basically says, 'Justify why you're doing such and such procedure. Justify why you're ordering such and such test.' And if the justification is inadequate, the answer comes back, 'Well, that's not going to be covered.' Which basically is saying that the patient is going to have to pay for it on their own, which is, in essence, is what rationing is, in so many ways."

Big Insurance also rations care by rescinding coverage. President Obama even cited the case of a Texas woman, diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, who was scheduled for a double mastectomy. Three days before surgery, the insurance company canceled the policy, in part because she forgot to declare a case of acne. By the time she had her insurance reinstated, the cancer had more than doubled in size.

MYTH 3: Health care reform provides for euthanasia, "death panel"

  • Betsy McCaughey, FredThompsonShow.com: "And one of the most shocking things I found in this bill, and there were many, is on Page 425, where the Congress would make it mandatory--absolutely require--that every five years, people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner, how to decline nutrition, how to decline being hydrated, how to go in to hospice care. And by the way, the bill expressly says that if you get sick somewhere in that five-year period -- if you get a cancer diagnosis, for example -- you have to go through that session again. All to do what's in society's best interest or your family's best interest and cut your life short. These are such sacred issues of life and death. Government should have nothing to do with this."
  • Sean Hannity, The Sean Hannity Show: "Now, she [McCaughey] actually uncovered in this bill a particularly outrageous provision -- and by the way, there will be more to come in the Obamacare plan. According to McCaughey, she's saying under the House provision and the House version, perfectly healthy senior citizens are going to be forced to undergo, quote, 'end of life counseling,' apparently to encourage them to check out before their time is up."

And yet the REALITY is that advance care planning is not mandatory in the House health care bill. Section 1233 of America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009--which includes "Page 425"--amends the Social Security Act to ensure that advance care planning will be covered if a patient requests it from a qualified care provider. It's covered IF a patient REQUESTS it.

Now, onto the DEATH PANEL CLAIM.

  • Glenn Beck, The Glenn Beck Program: "So, why is there no more discussion than there is on Sarah Palin and what she said over the weekend that there would be ... [a] death panel for her son Trig? That's quite a statement. I believe it to be true, but that's quite a statement."
  • Brian Kilmeade, Fox & Friends: "[E]veryone's talking about seniors, and they're talking about the middle class and affordable health care. If the upper class is paying for the next two classes, and are seniors going to be in front of a death panel? And then just as you think, 'OK, that's ridiculous,' then you realize there's provisions in there that seniors in the last lap of their life will be sitting there going to a panel, possibly discussing what the best thing for them is."

The REALITY is that "Death panel" claims have been conclusively discredited by more than 40 media reports. PolitiFact wrote: "We've looked at the inflammatory claims that the health care bill encourages euthanasia. It doesn't. There's certainly no 'death board' that determines the worthiness of individuals to receive care. ... [Palin] said that the Democratic plan will ration care and 'my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care.' Palin's statement sounds more like a science fiction movie than part of an actual bill before Congress."

MYTH 4: Under the health care reform legislation you will be denied care, and it will be given to undocumented immigrants instead.

  • Dick Morris, The Sean Hannity Show:"The point about these death panels is that if you restrict the amount--the lifesaving surgeries, and you tell someone, no, you can't have that bypass surgery--but I'm going to die if I don't have it. Well, here's the grief counselor. That will happen. And whether they fund the grief counselor or the end-of-life counselor or not, the rationing will take place when they tell you, no, you can't have the surgery because we have to give it to a 40-year-old illegal immigrant instead."

The REALITY is that the house bill expressly stipulates that those "not lawfully present" may not receive subsidies to purchase insurance. Under the "Individual Affordability Credits" section of the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009:

MYTH 5: Health care reform would be funded by broad-based tax increases.

  • Mara Liasson, Fox News Sunday: "But the fact is, what have they been hearing? It has a $1 trillion price tag over 10 years, it's going to raise your taxes. I think --
    Chris Wallace: "Well, aren't those both true?"

And yet the REALITY is that the surtax in House bill applies only to income exceeding $350,000 per year for joint filers. The House health care legislation would establish a 1% tax on joint income exceeding $350,000 but not greater than $500,000 per year; a 1.5% tax on joint income exceeding $500,000 but not greater than $1 million per year; a 5.4% tax on joint income exceeding $1 million per year. Single filers would be subject to the 1% surtax starting at income exceeding $280,000 per year.

MYTH 6: The House Democrats' bill will raise income taxes on small businesses and subject all small businesses to an 8 percent payroll tax as a penalty for not providing insurance to employees.

  • Wall Street Journal editorial: "The health-care bill is a jobs killer, with its 5.4-percentage point income surtax that would hit small business especially hard."
  • Gretchen Carlson, Fox & Friends: "[T]he real victim, potentially, of this health care reform ... is the small business owner. ... [T]hey are going to be hit potentially with this health care reform if they don't offer health care to their employees -- an 8 percent penalty on them."

In REALITY the House Ways and Means Committee stated that, using the broadest definition of a small business owner (i.e., any individual with as little as $1 of small business income), that only 4.1% of all small business owners would be affected by the health care surcharge."

Companies with annual payrolls of less than $250,000 would pay no penalty under the House bill. The House bill would establish a 2 percent payroll penalty for employers with combined payroll between $250,000 to $300,000 that don't offer health insurance to employees; a 4 percent penalty for employers with $300,000 to $350,000 in payroll; a 6 percent penalty for employers with $350,000 to $400,000 in payroll; and an 8 percent penalty for companies with annual payrolls exceeding $400,000. Additionally, the bill actually establishes tax credits for small-business employers that do provide health care.

MYTH 7: Health care reform would add $1 trillion-plus to deficit.

  • Associated Press: "But even the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that none of the health plans pending on Capitol Hill would control long-term spending, and that ones with the elements Obama wants would add around $1 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years."
  • Karl Rove, The Sean Hannity Show: House Democrats are "planning on a 1 trillion, 420 billion -- 420 million dollar price tag of additional spending over the next 10 years, and what they've done is, today, supposedly -- we haven't seen the details -- but they've trimmed that by 10 percent. So we're only going to beggar ourselves by $900 billion over the next decade and that's assuming they get all of the tax increases and all of the Medicare cuts that are built into this."

But the REALITY is that the House bill would increase the federal budget deficit by $239 billion over 10 years--not $1 trillion. In a July 17 cost estimate of the bill as introduced, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that it "reflects a projected 10-year cost of the bill's insurance coverage provisions of $1,042 billion, partly offset by net spending changes that CBO estimates would save $219 billion over the same period, and by revenue provisions that JCT estimates would increase federal revenues by about $583 billion over those 10 years." CBO thus concluded the legislation "would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period."

MYTH 8: House health care reform bill would "outlaw individual private coverage."

  • Investor's Business Daily editorial falsely claimed that the House bill includes "a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal." The editorial later stated that the "provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage."
  • Sean Hannity, Hannity: "The one thing that we do know in the health care bill is that it's gonna literally -- the bill says -- Investor's Business Daily had an article today -- and the bill says that if you don't have your insurance the year this legislation is implemented, you can't have a private insurance company. So that will end--hang on--that will end private insurance."

The REALITY is that the bill does not "outlaw" private individual insurance. The provision to which the Investor's Business Daily editorial referred establishes the conditions under which existing private plans would be exempted from the requirement that they participate in the Health Insurance Exchange. Individual private health insurance plans that do not meet the "grandfather" conditions would still be available for purchase, but only through the exchange and subject to those regulations. As Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted, the assertion "that individuals would no longer be able to keep their personal coverage" is "just not accurate. It's not in any version of the House bill; it's not in the Senate bill."

MYTH 9: Obama "admitted" that he has not read the House health care reform bill.

  • Rush Limbaugh asserted on his show that that Obama "doesn't know what's in the bill! He admits he doesn't know."
  • Sean Hannity, Hannity: "The president even admitted before the press conference--the day before -- he hadn't read the bill."

In REALITY, during a July 20 conference call, a blogger asked Obama to comment on the claim made in the July 15 Investor's Business Daily editorial that the bill, in the blogger's words, "will make individual private medical insurance illegal." Obama responded, "You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you're talking about."

MYTH 10: The co-op "compromise" eliminates the need for the public option.

And yet in REALITY progressive experts argue that the public plan is necessary for successful reform. Many news outlets have characterized Senator Kent Conrad's cooperative health insurance proposal as a "compromise," "hybrid," or bipartisan "alternative" to a public insurance option without noting the view by progressive experts that a public option is necessary for health care reform to be successful. The truth is that these nonprofit health-care cooperatives won't have any real bargaining leverage to get lower prices because they'll be too small and too numerous.

MYTH 11: Obama is pushing a single-payer system like Canada's or a nationalized health care system like the United Kingdom's.

  • Bret Baier, Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier: "President Obama spent a good deal of time at that news conference [on June 23] talking about health care reform, and Canada's medical system has been cited as a possible model."
  • Sean Hannity, Hannity: "I think Obama certainly" wants a Canadian-style "single-payer system."
  • Charles Krauthammer, Special Report: "[Obama]'s a man who's expressed ... a radical domestic agenda, which involves, as he puts it every time, a holy trinity of health care reform, by which he means nationalizing health care. ... And this is all in the service of leveling the differences between rich and poor and leveling the differences between classes."
  • Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe: "Of course--of course it's--not only is it naive, it's reckless to suggest that in the midst of a banking crisis that may have a $2 trillion price tag that you are going to choose this time to nationalize health care with a $635 billion down payment."

But in REALITY the president has rejected the Canadian-style single-payer system and the U.K.-style nationalized health care. During a March 26 online town hall meeting, Obama was asked: "Why can we not have a universal health care system, like many European countries, where people are treated based on needs rather than financial resources?" He replied, in part, "I actually want a universal health care system," adding that rather than adopting a "single-payer system" like Canada's, "what I think we should do is to build on the system that we have and fill some of these gaps."

Indeed, Obama has embraced the creation of a federally funded "public plan" as one of many insurance options available in the health care market, not the sole option, as in "single payer" systems such as Canada.

MYTH 12: Health care reform proposals are socialist and will lead to socialized medicine.

  • Glenn Beck, The Glenn Beck program: "President Obama has his massive $1.5 trillion health care plan. It's hogging up the news cycle. The Republicans and, you know, a lot of people are starting to say, 'Isn't this socialist here? I mean, this is pretty crazy.' The answer to me on that one is really easy: Yep, it's good old socialism. You know, pretty much raping the pocketbooks of the rich to give to the poor. I think that's socialism."
  • Rush Limbaugh, Rush's Morning Update: "The Obama budget also funds the relentless drive toward socialized medicine. And all that is just the beginning. The way to look at this budget is not with an economic lens, it is with a philosophical one. Liberals want to make America -- remake it in their image. And this is how you will pay for it.
  • Laura Ingraham, guest-hosting The O'Reilly Factor: "Powerful arguments against socialized medicine have been around not for months, but for decades. Ronald Reagan was saying this back in 1961." After playing a clip from Reagan's recording, Ingraham added, "I have to believe that Ronald Reagan is smiling down on these town hall forums where law abiding and hard-working Americans are standing up for freedom."

In REALITY the conservatives have trotted out the "socialized medicine" smear for 75 years and it has never been true. In an Urban Institute analysis it states, "socialized medicine involves government financing and direct provision of health care services," and therefore, recent progressive health-care reform proposals do not "fit this description."

Media Matters for America found that, as far back as the 30s--with respect to at least 16 different reform initiatives including President Franklin D. Roosevelt's consideration of government health insurance when crafting the 1935 Social Security bill; President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 legislation establishing Medicare; and the health-care initiative by President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton in 1993 and 1994--conservatives have attempted to smear those proposals by calling them "socialized medicine."

It's what they do. use fear to sway the public.

MYTH 13: Prominent opponents of health care reform, like Betsy McCaughey, Rick Scott and Newt Gingrich, are credible health care experts.

  • John Roberts, CNN's American Morning: "Former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey is a long-time expert in public health and is currently the chairwoman of an advocacy group for patient safety."
  • Elizabeth MacDonald, Fox Business' Cavuto:"I want to go to my next guest. She's terrific. We're going to go fair and balanced now. She's Betsy McCaughey. She says that cutting health-care costs will only lead to worse care not better. Betsy is founder and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infectious Deaths."

In REALITY, Betsy McCaughey is a serial misinformer who has perpetuated numerous falsehoods about health care reform.

  • McCaughey falsely claimed that the House health care reform bill would "absolutely require" end-of-life counseling for seniors on Medicare "that will tell them how to end their life sooner."
  • McCaughey also falsely claimed that the Senate HELP committee's bill "basically" "pushes everyone into an HMO-style plan."
  • McCaughey concocted the false claim that a health IT provision in the economic recovery act enabled government bureaucrats to "monitor treatments" or restrict what "your doctor is doing" with regard to patient care.
  • Challenged on her false claims about health care legislation, McCaughey allegedly insisted that she was right about the ultimate effect of a bill despite misrepresenting what it actually said. McCaughey's influence over the health care debate is not new.

In REALITY, Rick Scott has repeatedly been quoted by CNN, Fox News, and The Wall Street Journal as opposing Democrats' health care reform efforts even though he was chairman of a scandal-plagued hospital firm.

  • Rick Scott he resigned as chairman of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., the nation's largest for-profit health care company, in 1997 amid a federal Medicare fraud investigation. In the Justice Department's press release describing a tentative settlement, they said: "When added to the prior civil and criminal settlements reached in 2000, this settlement would bring the government's total recoveries from HCA to approximately $1.7 billion."

In REALITY, Newt Gingrich has a financial stake in opposing Democrats' reform proposals.

  • Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation is a for-profit entity that receives annual membership fees from several major health insurance companies, which have a direct interest in whether a public insurance plan is part of health care reform.
  • Gingrich himself reportedly profits from his involvement with the group. Indeed, the group's website notes that the "Center for Health Transformation and The Gingrich Group are corporate for-profit organizations not affiliated with any other corporation or organization"

MYTH 14: Medicare has failed, and so the government can't be trusted to "run health care."

  • Sean Hannity, Hannity: "But why would you have so much faith, trust, hope, and confidence? Are you happy when you go to the DMV? Are you happy with the Postal Service? Social Security is bankrupt. Medicare is bankrupt. Why do people have faith that the government can run health care?"

In REALITY, Medicare costs have risen more slowly than private insurance. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman: "[S]ince 1970 Medicare costs per beneficiary have risen at an annual rate of 8.8% -- but insurance premiums have risen at an annual rate of 9.9%. The rise in Medicare costs is just part of the overall rise in health care spending. And in fact Medicare spending has lagged private spending: if insurance premiums had risen 'only' as much as Medicare spending, they'd be 1/3 lower than they are."

from HERE