Friday, October 8

Rachel Maddow v Art (Crazy Bag) Robinson: Cage Match

Sometimes the crazy comes in buckets.. thick heavy buckets. This is truly appalling, truly amazing, like watching a 20 Car pile-up in slow motion which turns into a giant explosive Blevy, and not being able to look away even as the skin begins the blister from the heat.



Wow... just WOW!

Before I break down this lunar loon, let me first cleanse your palatte with a previous piece that Maddow did with Congressman Pete Defazio, where the question of whose funding this guy was first openly asked.



Ok, back to crazytown.

Most of Rachel's interview with Robinson is obviously a complete cluster-frack, but in the midst of all this we do get one half-way cogent position, or comment from this nutbag.

The only thing he was willing to admit to is being a global warming denier. Check.

Maddow: You're well known for your belief that Global Warming is made up. That that is not true, that's sort of a source of your national reputation, to the extent that you have one. You're opponent Mr. Defazio...

Robinson: That's not a belief, that's a conclusion I reached as a Physical Scientist. I have a degree from CalTech. Many others who have degrees from CalTech have agreed with me on this. Thousands of Physical Scientist in this country who on the basis of scientific evidence alone reject the cause of global warming. I'll tell you madam, there are thousands and thousands of them - far more than there are at the UN pushing this bogus claim about global warming.

Did anyone mention to this officious Caltech blowhard that Rachel Maddow has a Bachelors degree from Stanford and is a Rhodes Scholar with a PHd in Philosophy from Oxford University based on a thesis titled HIV/AIDS and Health Care Reform in British and American Prisons?

Everything, EVERYTHING, after this was dodge, deflect, and blame or accuse Peter Defazio of something or the other, and Rachel Maddow of being up to some nefarious evil Liberal Plot to defame and smear Mr. Robinson.

I'm not going to get into his own quotes which paint him as a denier of HIV's link to AIDs and his argument that the entire thing was a government political plot. He rejected that anyway. All he wanted to say was...

Robinson: Pete Defazio voted for higher taxes. Pete Defazio voted for more government regulation. Pete Defazio has cut off Oregonians from access to use their forests and their fisheries. Pete Defazio voted for the Medical Care after he promised that he wouldn't

Pete Defazio's Voting Record is Here via Project Vote Smart.

He voted for the Stimulus which included Tax Cuts for 95% of Americans. He Voted for Energy Efficiency Loans, he voted against Cap and Trade, he voted for Vouchers for Fuel Efficient Cars, He voted to add the Taunton River to part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, he voted in favor of Tax Credits for Offshore Drilling and in favor of Oil Production Leases, he voted against forcibly removing our forces from Afghanistan, he voted in favor of the New GI Bill, he voted to improve House Ethics and he voted for the final Health Care Act, even though it didn't have a Public Option.

Generally speaking Defazio is your average middle-of-road Democrat. Not a fire-breathing Liberal, but not a Conserva-Crat either. Here he is with Rachel again explaining way back in the day how Obama's Stimulus was too weak on infrastructure. Oh, for the days when Obama used to tell the Repubs - "I Won"!



Here's a tip Art, when you're being interviewed - the interview is about YOU and what you believe - not all the problems with your opponent.

But Robinson, in this interview refused to explain his support for the concept of hor-mesis, which is the idea that exposure to low-level radiation could actually be beneficial for humans, and hence we should simply dilute the waste of Nuclear Powerplants with sea water and allow it to spread through the population.

This is something I actually bothered to look up. Dodgy though it can be Wikipedia has something on the subject of Hormesis.

Hormesis (from Greek hórmēsis "rapid motion, eagerness," from ancient Greek hormáein "to set in motion, impel, urge on") is the term for generally-favorable biological responses to low exposures to toxins and other stressors. A pollutant or toxin showing hormesis thus has the opposite effect in small doses as in large doses. A related concept is Mithridatism, which refers to the willful exposure to toxins in an attempt to develop immunity against them.

In toxicology, hormesis is a dose response phenomenon characterized by a low dose stimulation, high dose inhibition, resulting in either a J-shaped or an inverted U-shaped dose response. Such environmental factors that would seem to produce positive responses have also been termed “eustress”.

As a layman, I find that pretty clear. It's sounds like the same principle behind vaccinations and immunity. A small or low level dose or exposition to a potential toxin, virus or poison can lead to the development of resistance and which can render something immune to the effects of this toxin. If we're talking about Small Pox, or some other virus this seems to have been clearly borne out in science. However, when you're talking about radiation it's an entirely different story. Viruses interact with our bodies in a specific way that can allow us to develop anti-bodies which can specifically target and eradicate that virus from out systems. Radiation isn't a virus, it's a form of energy entering our bodies and destroying cells as it's passes through. It's like arguing you could became immune to a Light if you just had enough anti-bodies for it, or that you could develop a resistance to a knife blade entering your sternum.

Still apparently the idea has not gone unaddressed in Scientific Circles.

One percent (195 out of 20,285) of the published articles contained 668 dose-response relationships that met the entry criteria.[1]

Indeed, the idea that low dose effects may be (sometimes strikingly) different is accepted, but that the low dose effect is positive is questionable. In one of the better studied areas of hormesis, radiation hormesis the United States National Research Council (part of the National Academy of Sciences),[2] the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (a body commissioned by the United States Congress)[3] and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Ionizing Radiation (UNSCEAR) all agree that radiation hormesis is not clearly shown, nor clearly the rule for radiation doses.

So it seems that Mr. Robinson is not entirely a fool, still he seems to be a half a bag short of a nut. Just remember that Ted Kasczinky, aka the Unibomber, also had a prestigious degree from Harvard, a Phd in Mathematics from the University of Michigan and was an instructer at UC Berkeley by the time he was just 25. Since then things have gone less well for Ted, and after multiple bombings and murders, his address is now the Colorado Supermax Detention Facility.

Smart is apparently no antidote for crazy.

Pete Defazio is currently running 2 points ahead of this guy -- why don't we SEND HIM SOME MONEY via Act Blue? (Update: Nate Silver has this race as a 100% chance for Defazio's reelection, holding a 27 point lead - which is a massive relief, Robinson did receive $178,000 independently, but Defazio currently has over $600,000 more than Robinson in reserve)

Vyan

Thursday, October 7

Federal Judge Finds Health Care Law - Constitutional

From TalkingPointsMemo.

In Detroit today, U.S. District Court Judge George Steeh refused to issue a preliminary injunction to delay implementing the law in the state. He also dismissed the key contention of the bill's conservative opponents: that a mandate requiring individuals to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.

Ruh Roh! All those Wingnut Attorney General's and Governors who've been jumping up and down screaming about how unfair and unconstitutional the PPACA is, just got O'Keefe Slapped.

Continued.

"This ruling marks the first time a court has considered the merits of any challenge to this law and we welcome the court's decision upholding the health care reform statute as constitutional," says DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler. "The court found that the minimum coverage provision of the statute was a reasonable means for Congress to take in reforming our health care system. The department will continue to vigorously defend this law in ongoing litigation."


In denying this element of the lawsuit the judge said that the requirement was intended to help lower the overall cost of health care, and was clearly within the powers of congress.

This decisions doesn't directly affect the cases from 20 various states - including the one by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's general counsel bypassing her own State AG when he refused to be involved - who have all filed suit against implementation of this law arguing that the Interstate Commerce Clause does not allow the Congress to create a law impacting consumers of a resource that is clearly provided across multiple states.

Congress has done similar measures in the past, because essentially the "fine" is really a "tax" which is handled and assessed by the IRS. If you buy health insurance, you are exempt from this tax in the same way that first time home buyers are afforded a tax credit, which lowers the amount they send to the IRS. This personal responsibility mandate really isn't any different from that, and even if one of these suites does manage to reach a sympathetic judge it wouldn't cancel the implementation of the Health Care Law, what it might do is for the first time allow a Federal Court to Repeal a Federal Tax which was duly passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.

Would you then see a stampede of other States rushing to block and repeal the end of the Bush Tax Breaks for Millionaires and Billionaires arguing that returning to the rates from the 1990's is "Unconstitutional"? That may seem farfetced but many of them are currently arguing that the Minimum Wage is Unconstitutional even though it easily survived challenge before the Supreme Court almost 60 years ago, but then they do keep saying the want to take the "County Back". Apparently back to the 19th Century and Charles Dickens.

As Senate Candidate and Former Federal Magistrate Joe Miller Said.

"What I'd recommend that you do is go to the Constitution and look at the enumerated powers because what we have is something that we call the 10th amendment that says, look if it's not there if it's not enumerated, then it's delegated to the states," Miller said. "Everything that's not there is reserved to the states and the people."

Interesting that Joe Miller's read the 10th Amendment, but he hasn't read the 9th Amendment because it makes the opposite argument on the limits of "enumeration".

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

So even though a specific right isn't enumerated, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist and isn't retained by people. That would include clearly implied rights such as the right to privacy which is only generally prescribed by the 4th and 5th Amendments, and the rights to Life, which requires the ability to Live via access to Health Care which is clearly one of the "Blessings of Liberty" outlined in the preamble, the protection of both is indeed part of the Congressional Powers as it is charged with "providing for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States" under Article 1, Section 8.

Not that this ever seems to deter most of these so-called uber-Constitutionists who constantly argue that there is an absolute right to life (which isn't specifically enumerated in Constitution, it's only mentioned in the "Declaration of Independence"), but no right to privacy (which is *almost* enumerated) from either sides of their mouths.

Considering all the unrestrained nutball crazy we've seen coming from the Right-Wing over the past two years, I wouldn't put anything past them or beneath them.

Vyan

Wednesday, October 6

Moral Bankruptcy & a la Carte Compasion



It's amazing to me the depth of cruelty and total lack of caring, but here we can see it in full display. Despite the fact the Gene Cranick - and his neighbor - both offered to pay on the spot to save his house, all his possessions, his families three dogs and their cat were all lost while the Fire(non)fighters stood by and watched! The reaction on the right now just how much these people really don't care about the American people and just how much they hate Americans, particularly the poor ones.

As Keith describes in his piece we've now had a couple days to hear what the wingnuts have to say about this, and none of it is good.



GRAY: (mocking Cranick’s accent) Even tho’ I hadn’t paid mah seventy five dollahs I thought dey’d put it out. [...] I wanted ‘em to put it out, but dey didn’t put it out.

BECK: Here’s the thing. Those that are just on raw feeling are not going to understand. [...]

GRAY: But I thought they was gonna put the fire out anyway, but it burned down. Dat ain’t right! [...] What’s the Fire Department for if you don’t put out the fire?! [...] I thought they’d put out mah fire even if I didn’t pay seventy five dollars.

BECK: This is the sort of argument that Americans are going to have.

GRAY: It is.

BECK: And it goes nowhere if you go onto “compassion, compassion, compassion, compassion” or well, “they should’ve put it out, what is the fire department for?” [...] If you don’t pay the 75 dollars then that hurts the fire department. They can’t use those resources, and you’d be spongeing off your neighbor’s resources. [...] It’s important for America to have this debate. This is the kind of stuff that’s going to have to happen, we are going to have to have these kinds of things.

Chris Hayes to his credit brings up exactly what I was thinking about this issue.

Chris Hayes: What we have now is Single Payer Fire Fighting. We all pay in and we all universally get this service.


More from Keith.



Fire protection should not be an on demand option, like HBO or NBA Channel, it's needs to be a basic service available without discrimination to only because of the impact it has disproportionally on the poor - but the risk that it puts the rest of society, our homes and families in, when you you live next door to someone who hasn't paid their fee. In this case, because the homes were far enough apart to prevent embers from drifting directly from house to house it was fairly easy to protect his neighber. But let's also remember, this fire didn't even begin on Mr. Cranick's property, it's started in a nearby FARM.

Here's what the NRO guys have been saying - as reported by Thinkprogress.

First Dan Foster, who had no problem with it - in theory.

I have no problem with this kind of opt-in government in principle — especially in rural areas where individual need for government services and available infrastructure vary so widely. But forget the politics: what moral theory allows these firefighters (admittedly acting under orders) to watch this house burn to the ground when 1) they have already responded to the scene; 2) they have the means to stop it ready at hand; 3) they have a reasonable expectation to be compensated for their trouble?

Then came Kevin Williamson.

Dan, you are 100 percent wrong. [...] And, for their trouble, the South Fulton fire department is being treated as though it has done something wrong, rather than having gone out of its way to make services available to people who did not have them before. The world is full of jerks, freeloaders, and ingrates — and the problems they create for themselves are their own. These free-riders have no more right to South Fulton’s firefighting services than people in Muleshoe, Texas, have to those of NYPD detectives.

Thank you Mr.-I-Got-Mine-So-Everyone-Else-Can-Frack-Off!

Jonah Goldberg.

Here’s the more important part of the story, letting the house burn — while, I admit sad — will probably save more houses over the long haul. I know that if I opted out of the program before, I would be more likely to opt-in now. No solace to the homeowner, but an important lesson for compassionate conservatives like our own Dan Foster (Zing!). As Edmund Burke said, example is the school of mankind and he will learn from no other.

Fuck You Dorothy and you're little Dog Toto too, next you'll pay the Emerald City Entrance Fee up front - now won'tcha - Won'tcha!!

And then you had John Derbyshire who likes to have things more "Crunchy".

Dan, Kevin: I am entirely with the South Fulton fire department here. In the terms of Nico Colchester’s great 1996 essay, they are being crunchy rather than soggy:

Crunchy systems are those in which small changes have big effects leaving those affected by them in no doubt whether they are up or down, rich or broke, winning or losing, dead or alive. ... Sogginess is comfortable uncertainty. ... The richer a society becomes, the soggier its systems get. Light-switches no longer turn on or off: they dim.

One of the duties of conservatives in this soggy fallen world is to stand up for crunchiness. For the fire department to have extinguished the Cranicks’ fire would have been soggy, even aside from the considerable degree of sogginess it would have left on the property.

Yeah, I think that House than landed on your Witchy-Poo sister was pretty Crunchy too there. There's no doubt, she's dead John.

Imagine if we were talking about A la Carte Police? Wouldn't that be considered a Protection Racket by most courts? Speaking of which, what if we have A la Cart Judges, where the favorable decision goes to the highest payer? (Some would argue that that's already true, when it comes to legal representation, and we call all see how well that's worked out...)

And another thought occurs to me, what exactly do any of these guys think of the Individual Mandate? Y'know, since we can't have Freeloaders and Deadbeats who cause everyone else to pay for them in this Country. The fact that about 50,000 American's a Year are dying because they don't have access to affordable health care and all. And this isn't just about those people, just like a fire a contagious infection can spread if it's not treated - and that risk is increased to the general public when people have no regular doctor, and haven't kept up on critical flu vaccinations.

What does the NRO really think of this? Well they put up this video from Republican Congressman Jim Jordan.



Jordan: For the first time in history we have the Federal Government saying you have to purchase a product or else you'll be fined. This is a matter of freedom

No, it's really not about "Freedom". For years the Federal Government has raised taxes on people who didn't buy a specific product. People who buy their first Homes get a Tax Credit for it, that people who don't purchase a home don't receive. You don't have to buy one, but if you don't - you pay a greater tax. The individual mandate really isn't any different from that.

But to Conservatives, Libertarians and Tea Baggers it seems when it comes to requiring everyone to pay a subscription fee in order to have access to Fire Protection, Republicans are All For It because it teaches all those Dead-Beats A Lesson, but when it comes to requiring everyone pay for Health Insurance that can help keep them Alive, and protect the rest of us of having to pay for them when inevitiably they actually do become sick - and everyone will at some point or another... no matter what the Interstate Commerce Clause says, they scream Blood Unconstitutional Murder!

Heartless, Mean-spirited Hypocrits Much?

Vyan

Sunday, October 3

Remember Why We Fight

This past Saturday the NAACP and unions such as the AFC/CIO had a rally that put the best Glenn Beck and Fox Disinformation Channel could muster to shame, but of course it was far too much for Fux News and former Senator and Dead Baby Fetishist Rick Santorum to honestly recognize that Progressives had matched and exceeded their best, instead they had to rely on their tried and true bestest counter tactic.... Slander and Bullshit.



I don't think I have to say much here, because I think their own naked demented bullcrap speaks volumes.

But let's not editorialize, let's let them speak for themselves.

Rick Santorum: You're going to see out there on the mall a bunch of people spewing Anti-American rhetoric. If you look at Glenn Beck's Rally, these are people who love America, love what it stands for, celebrate America, celebrate our past, and you're going to see a litany of grievances about how bad America is, these people only like America for what they want to change it to be, but they don't love America for what it is, and that is not going to go over well with the American public.

Yeah, right. sure.

The people at the Glenn Beck rally had no grievances with "how bad America is"? Oh really? Why don't we let them tell us about that.



Here's an amazing report on the "One Nation" Rally, which is a direct contrast to everything claimed by the Rick Sanitorium and the Tea Partiers, yet ironicallly, broadcast by the Fox News Channel. Yikes!



Wouldn't it be something if these people watched their own damn station?

Far too much to ask I know, but richly ironic.

The current numbers are that the Glenn Beck "Restoring Our Honor" rally brought 87,000 people to the mall - despite Beck's claims that it was a 500,000. Wouldn't it be cool if Progressives could bring that many people out?

Yeah, I know, far too much to expect I know. Except...

Oh wait, apparently they did bring over 125,000 people, according to Crooks and Liars. Geepers!



Ruh Roh!

What's a desperate angry paranoid hate-filled bigoted Tea Bagger to do now?

I really didn't see anyone in this video who harbors "Anti-American" feelings - although I suspect more than a few might harbor Anti-Santorum Feelings, rather I think I saw a bunch of people who believed in E Pluribus Enum, from many into one, that that diversity is not our weakness - but out strength, that we are a group of people who are willing to fight for this country, to sacrifice for this country, but not just for the benefit of those who are already rich and prosperous due to wondrous opportunity that America has afforded them already, but for those who are in desperate need, for those who are in pain, for those who are barely surviving - we are people who are willing to fight to give those who need it most a better access to opportunity, better access to success, and better access to Liberty.

And Justice... For All not just for Dick Armey, the Koch Brothers, Halliburton, Wackenhut, Wellpoint, Cigna, Anthem/Blue Cross, Massey Mining, Blackwater/Xe and BP.

Fox Propaganda Station and Rick Sanitorium are not neutral arbiters of fact. They Lie, and Lie Loudly to the benefit of the biggest Corporate Contributors to NewsCorp &trace, even the Saudi Prince who happens to be financing the "Victory Mosque at Ground Zero". Opps, did I burst someone's bubble with that one? Tough.

America is a indeed Secular Country, rather than a Theocratic Caliphate - so far - yet still it should be noted that Jesus of Nazareth said: Blessed Are the Meek, for they shall inherent the Earth.

Jesus who some call the Messiah said: It would be more difficult for the Rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, than for a Camel to slip through the Eye of Needle.

Jesus the Prophet said: That which you do to the least of your brethren, you do to me, and to God.

Jesus the Son of Man said: Let those among you who are without sin, cast the first stone.

Jesus tossed out the money changers, who had upset the will of God.

Jesus forgave the criminal, the adulterer, the murderer and the thief, for only through the eye of forgiveness can the divine light of redemption and rebirth burn.

The fact is that Jesus was a Pacifist and a Liberal - something Rick Santorum the self-proclaimed "Jesus Freak" should know well, but of course doesn't - and let God and all Tea Baggers tremble with that thought.

I may be premature and getting all HOPE and CHANGEY up in here, but It looks to me like we have a lack that of a so-called of Enthusiasm gap on our hands.

Oh! Heaven forfend!!

Shake Santorum Shake! You're latest reconning looms.

Vyan