“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Have the Whackos Won?

Well, the wackos have won a partial victory, led by Wacko-In-Chief Sarah Palin.

By grabbing onto the propagandist rhetoric of the worst kind, Palin undercut one of the better provisions in HR 3200, calling end-of-life counseling "death panels."

The proposed legislation was nothing of the sort, of course. It was a provision that allowed the reimbursement of counseling for terminally ill patients. The measure would've opened options for hospice care, either at home or in an inpatient facility, and other opportunities for enhancing the quality of life near the end of life. It also would have paid for counseling and some legal help in preparing for the end-of-life.

Instead, Palin and other right-wing extremists used the same fear-mongering tactics that stampeded this nation into Iraq — Vietnam with sand— and the Patriot Act, which gave Dick Cheney an extension on your phone and a tap into your Internet.

Palin was aided and abetted by a group known as "Patriot@FaxDC.com," which is blast faxing members of Congress and spewing its stupidity at newspapers. This outfit is a huge offshoot of the Tea Party movement that started last spring.

Take a gander at the e-mail The Amarillo Independent got today:

Alert: Part of the controversial Obamacare proposal pending in Congress that discusses "end-of-life" counseling and medical procedures that could be rationed based on the age of the patient and other factors was written by suicide advocates who argue openly for the "right" to death, according to reports.

The sources for the Obamacare provisions have been documented on a blog for Family Research Council Action and discussed by prominent pro-life columnist Jill Stanek.

"Come again that promotion of euthanasia isn't part of Section 1233?" Stanek wrote in her new explanation of the dangers of Obamacare. " Kudos to FRC's The Cloakroom …for drawing attention to the fact that the two authors of Section 1233 are major proponents of euthanasia and assisted suicide."

The authors include an Oregon congressman who has argued for assisted suicide before federal courts and an organization that openly boasts it helps "thousands of clients each year by ... guiding their search for a peaceful, humane death...."

FRC Action reports on its website the group "has been getting some heat" for its criticism of the plan.

"Today comes (a) smoking gun … with the group Compassion & Choices coming out defending the questionable rationing portions of the bill and admitting THEY ACTUALLY WROTE THE LANGUAGE!" FRC Action said.

Can you believe this stuff? There is not one documentable name for the source of these allegations. There is a regurgitation of garbage published by the right-wing Family Research Council, the folks who want to censor your television watching, but not one reliable source.

My column in the Aug. 13 issue talked about propaganda and public relations.

I support Pres. Barak Obama's agenda strongly but I wish he had been more calculating in the way he had introduced health care reform and more aggressive in the way he defends it now.

One problem at hand is that the vocal minority has taken charge of the conversation. The other problem is that the attack on health care reform is concurrent with an attack on the elected officials of the federal government.

As a progressive, I think we need insurance and health care reform tied together. And as a compassionate human being I don't believe all government workers are bad. But, as I look at the members of Congress and their behavior and their self-serving activity that has turned them into a “ruling class” I share the anger with the right-wing wackos.