Friday, August 07, 2009

Rush Limbaugh Stokes Flames of Hatred and Violence: Compares Democrats to Nazis

Reacting to Rush Limbaugh’s latest hate speech comparing the Democratic Party to Hitler's Nazi Party, Rep. Steve Israel, Democrat of New York, condemned Republican Boss Limbaugh's stoking the flames of hatred and simmering violence in Democratic town hall meetings. Limbaugh's radio show rant alleged similarities between the Obama Administration’s health care logo and the Nazi symbol: "[President Obama's] healthcare logo looks DAMN LIKE the Nazi logo." Then he posted a morphing graphic (below) on his website to further this insanity:

The TRUTH is the medical symbol in the Obama Administration’s logo -- IN ITS ENTIRETY -- is common to medical organizations as far back as the late 1970s. Many medical organizations, notes a medical website, use
“a symbol of a short rod entwined by two snakes and topped by a pair of wings, which is actually the caduceus or magic wand of the Greek god Hermes (Roman Mercury), messenger of the gods, inventor of (magical) incantations, conductor of the dead and protector of merchants and thieves. It is derived from the Greek karykeion = "herald's staff", itself based on the word "eruko" meaning restrain, control.

It is interesting to see that most organizations using this symbol are generally either commercial or military (or American).

Walter J. Friedlander surveyed 242 logos or insignias of American organizations relating to health or medicine in which the caduceus or staff of Asclepius formed an integral part dating from the late 1970s to early 1980s.”

So much for hate speech with the BIG LIE comparing the Obama healthcare logo and/or Democratic Party symbology with the Nazi Party.

Using Limbaugh’s twisted illogic, the following symbols are dead ringers for the Nazi Party logo. Notice, for instance, the eagle head, wings spread out, turned to its right:

1. U.S. Air Force Symbol

2. Boys Scouts of America symbol

Rep. Israel, who is Jewish and founder of the Institute on the Holocaust and the Law, responded forcefully to Limbaugh’s hateful screed that Democrats, like the Nazis, were against big business, “and of course we all know they were opposed to Jewish capitalism.” Said Mr. Israel:

“I do expect my Republican colleagues to denounce his comments. The Holocaust taught us that silence in the face of evil expression becomes acquiescence to evil. And what Limbaugh said is pure evil.

Today, there are survivors of the Holocaust with tattoos stenciled on their arms who are registered Democrats. And he's treated them with vile contempt.”

As usual, Limbaugh’s statements and analogies are historical fantasies. The fact is the Nazi Party received its major private sector boost from Big Business interests and not from average voters. In this respect, the Nazi Party is a mirror image of the Republican Party, whose main constituency has traditionally been Big Business. The Nazi Party, at its zenith, was only as popular as the Republican Party, with 44% of the vote in the election of 1933.

But of course, this is where the comparisons end. Or do they?

GOP leaders from John Boehner to Mike Enzi have expressed sympathy for mob behavior in Democratic congressional town hall meetings. The GOP has been spreading the myth that the carefully orchestrated Astroturf uprisings are actually individual expressions of concern from average citizens, when in fact such thuggish behavior is driven by corporate interests and powerful lobbyists such as former Republican leader Dick Armey, with threats of violence aimed at intimidating proponents of healthcare reform -- a tactic straight out of the Nazi Party's Brown Shirts playbook.

It should be noted that the GOP’s self-described “maverick,” John McCain, is one of the few voices on the Republican side to publicly oppose mob rule in town halls:
“Town hall meetings are an American tradition -- we should allow everyone to express their views without disruption -- even if we disagree!”

How soon before the danger of escalating violence in this corporate-driven mob assault on Democratic town hall meetings -- with Republicans joking about their fellow Democrats being hung in effigy and Limbaugh spouting hatred into his mega-microphone -- turn the unruly mob into a lynch mob? At the very least, Republican Congressman Todd Akin (MO) who made this lynching joke, "different people from Washington, DC, have come back to their districts and have town hall meetings, and they almost got lynched" (LAUGHTER), should be censured by the full House.

But most important, when do Limbaugh’s violent fantasies cross the legal threshold of yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded theater? Perhaps it will take a visit from the Justice Department and the FBI for Limbaugh to dial back his hatred.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The stupid, it burns

In a conversation between Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck, Beck apparently said that Obama's presidency is "the worst time in the Republic."

Just checking, but worse than the Civil War, when nearly half the country left the Republic and the country almost tore itself apart? Really?

My Kenyan Birth Certificate

Laffing, redux

Obviously, the silliest thing about the Arthur Laffer quote below is the meme that Medicare and Medicaid aren't already government-run, which just show how stupid they think we are. There's a second point to pick on, though, and that's the crack at the Post Office. I know that they're an easy target, but for the most part, they're a (private) agency that takes almost any item you give them and gets it to any other address in the country, often in a couple of days, and most items cost less than 50 cents. For any company, that's remarkably time-efficient and cost-efficient. The employees may be somewhat annoying at times, and the lines don't always move quickly, but if a new health care system was that efficient, we'd all be grateful.

The DMV, though, is a different story entirely. Of course, that's state-run, not federal, so it's still a sign of idiocy.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Rachel Maddow PSA: Exposing the Scripted G-NO-P Thuggishness

These people are incredibly pathetic tools; do they really think that such thuggish behavior is going to pull the wool over the American people's eyes? Do they think the American people are really as stupid as they are, despicable bottom-feeding morons? Pfft.

Moneyed special interest corporate agitators are as old as this republic. So, how much is the insurance industry corporate lobby paying their storm troopers? A check would be nice. Walk-around, scream and shout money? Travel expenses from and to their survivalist bunkers? Brown bag cash? Because if they're not getting paid, boy are they ever addle-brained pathetic tools on steroids!

Thanks, Rachel, for this point-by-point exposé of the insurance industry corporate lobby, the real entity behind this faux "grass roots" scripted right wing town hall thugghishness.

Fox News => Talking Point => Town Hall Disruption => Crank Cycle

(Thanks for this, Telemann.)

AMERICA’S MOST TRUSTED NEWS ANCHOR, Jon Stewart , brilliantly exposes the “Crank Cycle:”: Faux News plants the seed, a viewer pollinates the point, and an outrage-generating ecosystem is created. View video here.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Master Rebators - The Crank Cycle
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Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

We're not Laffing with you, we're Laffing at you

Arthur Laffer, developer of the mathematically trivial and utterly meaningless Laffer Curve:

"If you like the Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they're run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government."

How to Make a Rightie's Head Explode

Score one for the Big Dog!

North Korea's official news agency says leader Kim Jong Il has pardoned two American journalists and ordered their release following a request from former President Bill Clinton.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Not a Hall of Famer...

But still, it is Corner Time.

One of our favorite loons, Nancy J. Thorner of palatial Lake Bluff gives us

Why was there no mention of tort reform? The insane cost and arbitrary rewards of our malpractice system is forcing doctors to practice defensive medicine--what the Tribune calls unnecessary medical treatment--for fear of getting sued. Tort reform would yield tens of billions in savings, yet there is no mention of tort reform in any of the proposed health-care reform bills.


"Tort Reform" has nothing to do with bringing down medical costs. It serves only to protect insurance company profits. From the jury system to review boards to several levels of judicial scrutiny to sanctions for frivolous litigation, we have more than adequate safeguards available to ensure that malpractice recoveries are just that--appropriate recovery for damages suffered.

So Nancy.....

New G-NO-P Strategy: Send in the Thugs

The Republicans finally unveiled their strategy to enlighten the American people on alternatives (read sarcasm here) to the President’s healthcare priorities and the bills that have cleared the House and Senate: Send in the screamers to drown out debate, information, and Q&As, do everything to disrupt the healthcare town hall meetings; in short, carpet-bomb the body politic with fear and loathing.

In the kickoff August follies, the thugs crawled out of their rocks and bunkers to assault healthcare town halls from Texas to Pennsylvania, trying to drown out questions and debate from solid majorities of attendees with legitimate concerns. At a Texas town hall for Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the G-NO-P storm troopers screamed the oh-so-original Nancy Reagan Republican solution to drugs, sex, and [everything else except tax cuts and military spending]: “just say no!”

Irony of ironies, these know-nothing thugs conceded their only point: Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation. But in their whacky wingnut world, the uninsured are the undocumented like, well … President Obama. Rep. Doggett said the thugs were outsiders summoned by Texas Republicans and the familiar corporate lobby Tea Bag networks now working for the "health"-for-obscene-profits industry with orders not to participate, but to scream and disrupt. According to a leaked memo, the thugs were urged to “yell,” “stand up and shout,” and “rattle” the members.

At a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania featuring the classy HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius and Senator Arlen Specter, about 40 thugs put this strategy to the test. They lined the aisles trying to drown out questions from the 400 persons who had come to participate in the healthcare debate with shouts of “abortion,” “socialism,” “rationing,” the usual ignorant rants from those who didn’t take the time to educate themselves on what’s in the legislation.

The HHS Secretary and the Senator navigated through the disruption and answered all questions. In this crazed incarnation of a G-NO-P led by right wing radio nuts, slogans and screams replace ideas and debate.

One sign read: "Go Home, ACORN." Huh ...? Bring it on, know-nothings.