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The Right-Wingers Who Cried Wolf

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Posted on Mar 25, 2010

By Joe Conason

Listening to right-wing talk radio on the day after Congress passed health care reform, Bill O’Reilly was stunned. To him, the hosts and the callers sounded “crazed” as they shrieked about “the end of the world, we’re socialist now, we have to take the country back.” Maybe the Fox News host hasn’t been listening, but there has been plenty of crazy in the air now for many months on his network and elsewhere on the airwaves.

Going too far for O’Reilly is going very far indeed, but the madness of the conservative reaction has yet to abate. His friend and colleague Glenn Beck declared that health care reform means “the end of prosperity in America forever ... the end of America as you know it.”

Bill Hemmer, another Fox host who probably needs medication, has suggested that the legislation will send Americans who don’t have health insurance to prison. The Washington Times editorial page compared the bill to the Black Death, and The Drudge Report put up a headline suggesting that its passage is the equivalent of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

On radio, Rush Limbaugh, the past master of extremist chatter, told his listeners that the bill is an “utter disaster” that represents “the destruction of America as founded.” With its new regulation of insurance companies, he warned, this reform will inexorably lead to the destruction of the private health care industry and bring down the health care system, because the real plan is for government to take over all medical care. Lesser wingnuts in print and on the air scream that this bill means government will take over the entire economy and control everything we do—and even that the costs of health care will somehow result in “global Armageddon.”

Stirring up such lunacy almost worked for the Republicans, who came close to stopping health care reform again. Each episode of reform versus reaction has seen them go further and further in falsehood and demagoguery, and each time they have prevailed, until now. But this time, with reform signed into law, they may suffer the consequences of their actions, when their own lies come around to hit them like a boomerang.


Square, Site wide
Health care reform isn’t socialism (just ask the old Socialist Party USA, which has denounced the bill for that very reason). It isn’t the end of the world, the destruction of the American system or the ruin of democratic capitalism. It won’t mean that government is taking over the health care system. It isn’t going to send anyone to prison or arraign elderly patients in front of “death panels.”

Over the next six months, millions of voters will take a deep breath and realize that those attacks were blatantly untrue. They may even discover that the bill passed by the Democrats and signed by President Barack Obama will benefit their families immediately.

Although many of the bill’s most significant changes will not become effective until 2014, several important reforms will take effect this year. Insurance companies will be prohibited from their notorious practice of dropping coverage of people who get sick. Their rules on lifetime limits will be eliminated, and their limits on annual coverage will be liberalized.

Insurers will no longer be permitted to exclude children from coverage because of pre-existing conditions. And uninsured adults who have pre-existing conditions that prevented them from obtaining insurance will get coverage from a special risk pool that will end when the new insurance exchanges—in which private companies will compete—go into operation a few years from now. A similar program will cover early retirees who are too young to qualify for Medicare, assisting companies in turning over their workforce and creating jobs.

The bill also closes the infamous “doughnut hole” that the Republicans created when they wrote the Medicare Part D drug coverage bill. Patients who fall into that gap will receive a $250 rebate right away, and the hole will eventually be closed completely.

Limbaugh listeners and Fox fans will stick their fingers in their ears and scream “socialism,” but the rest of America may listen—and then decide, sometime between now and Election Day, that passing health care reform was the right thing to do.

Joe Conason writes for The New York Observer.

© 2010

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By courageous14u, March 28, 2010 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

The only Difference with The Scholars Who teach the graduates and The graduates themselves At All of our accredited institutions is That We See The Immediate Mistakes and failures Of the graduates.By Design, Those Who Bestowed These High Degrees In educated matters To these Failures To The public they Serve,Have In Fact Trained Them to Do so.WOW!!
I mean,It just seems The prisons are full of Convicted criminals;yet,the important positions that Regulate,insure,and medically control all of us Have a degree,that is in effect,license to steal from those of us not educated enough to avoid.cultivate greed,don’t be surprised what comes up next spring.

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By ofersince72, March 27, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

maybe we can NUC our way out of this mess..

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By Jeff52, March 26, 2010 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Let’s see if I have this straight:

“Insurers will no longer be permitted to exclude children from coverage because of pre-existing conditions. And uninsured adults who have pre-existing conditions that prevented them from obtaining insurance will get coverage from a special risk pool that will end when the new insurance exchanges—in which private companies will compete—go into operation a few years from now. A similar program will cover early retirees who are too young to qualify for Medicare, assisting companies in turning over their workforce and creating jobs.”

So someone who previously had free or inexpensive health care insurance from his or her employer who decides to retire at age 62 now has to pay for that coverage from a company in an insurance exchange?  How is this “reform”??  Oh, right, it is reform for the insurance companies so that they can make more money.  How utterly stupid of me to think that this “reform” does something good for the working class in this country.  Duh .......

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, March 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

The decline and break up of the United States will only happen if the oligarchs fail to take over after the fall of the Republic that they have engineered. We are on the precipice right now. [They just arrested it for the moment but we are primed to finish the descent into economic hell. All planned by them.]

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By Uncle B, March 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The great Russian prediction will surface and fester profusely as burgeoning Asian demands, with a strong Yuan, for finite oil reserves of the world, continue to push liquid fuel prices skyward and out of American reach in the next few decades.
The Yuan, a stable currency, backed by 1.6 Billion laborers in China outbids the U.S.A. for most of its world resource consumption. 80% of the worlds resources are currently required to only maintain U.S.A.‘s Status Quo!
The facts, that even the American military cannot resolve: the burgeoning growth in Asia: the finite light sweet crude supplies in the world. will alter the American dream in convulsive fashion over the next decade. Obamacare will save lives of the increasing numbers of disenfranchised Americans and, the well heeled republicans with hard-ass policies, there numbers will drop as they too lose fortunes and face the real depression, soon at hand, and a depression driven by lack of oil and the cost of conversion for America from a liquid fuel based economy to one based on Solar, Wind, Wave, Hydro, Tidal, Geothermal, Nuclear generated electricity!
Simply put, America is oil-bankrupt and the world sources are running dry at the same time as Asians, 1.6 Billion in China alone, another 2.1 Billion in India and Pakistan are demanding, and willing to pay higher prices for oil, considerably more than higher EROI Americans can afford!

American right-wingers are but the tip of the iceberg of unrest about to be unleashed in an oil-starved, under-educated, poorly dieted, under-exercised, over-weight, “Fatted Calf” American population of air-conditioned border-line survivors with very high EROI’s and unsustainable lifestyles by any measure. Raise the price of energy, starting with oil and subsidizing Nuclear, Solar and Wind in a broken economy and you have a formula for the kind of suffering by the Great Hulking American Neanderthals that can cause revolt, political skirmish and unrest in the country! Add to that the decimation of Detroit City, the Rust Belt, the Katrina disaster, all the first signs of Third World-ship in America and you can see the very fabric of America stretch to tearing.

Deeply entrenched in the soul of every American is a sense of “entitlement”. Disappoint this basic sense and you will have a foment of hatred and dissatisfaction brewed by resentment for the fewer richer folk that will rent the cloth in two and reveal the fiat, funny money ponzie scheme that is America’s financial base for what it is and take the country down in mindless street to street Anarchy and devision, Americans, armed to the teeth, some for defense some for offense will plate their cars with steel windows to survive stop-light encounters and place torches as found in South Africa under cars to stop muggers, and bandits! All will be chaos, and America will fade from the world scene as Asians re-double their world prowess and lead in Physics Math and Science and a new age of prosperity without the repuglican Capitalist corporatist formula in tow.

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By rico, suave, March 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

AT&T will take a 1 billion dollar charge to pay for the new health care bill’s mandates on the company. Is that a good thing?

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By BarbieQue, March 26, 2010 at 2:45 am Link to this comment


I’m sorry to admit that I can not understand most of your post. Perhaps English is not your primary language.

Lets remember that Lincoln was not only a (R)epublican, but the First Republican president. There’s an example of a 3rd party success! And that many Southern (D)emocrats were behind the times regarding civil rights.

You can fool some people some times
but you couldn’t fool all the people all the time
and now you see the light!
Stand up for your rights.
Get up stand up
stand up for your rights.

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By anti_supernaturalist, March 25, 2010 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

** As seen on TV! Wrong-way anarchism

* America’s Ignorati fail Anarchy 101.

Ah, nothing like seeing xian white male, gun toting loud-mouth fat head, self-styled patriots shooting wildly and throwing bricks in support of their oppressors.

Anarcho-ignorati fight for a corporate tyranny that denies them drug treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (known to real men as BPH), erectile dysfunction, and urinary incontinence.

Remember, if you cannot afford Avodart, GlaxoSmithKline MAY be able to help.

* About 20-25% of Americans are incurable fools.

Ignorati exemplify a great truth uttered by Pres. A. Lincoln: you can fool some of the people all of the time.

Guys, next time you look in a mirror to see how manly you appear with your gun hanging out (instead of its Freudian equivalent) — you will have seen the enemy and he is you.

the anti_supernaturalist

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By tropicgirl, March 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its the American people, up to 60% that want this repealed, unfunded, thrown
out in court and basically, ignored. The GOP really doesn’t want the battle, but
will themselves be voted out if they don’t do something FAST.

And, Hopeless One, why don’t you learn how to speak to the American people
with respect? Or better yet, why don’t you get some respect? The next
president will, guaranteed, have a presidential tone.

The health insurance companies and the government want four main things:

1) to bail out the insurance companies, creating a few too-big-too-fail
monopolies, AND TO mandate health insurance patronage by threat of the IRS
police, especially ON THE KIDS, because their business model does not work
for the profit they intend to receive.

2) to trickily insert new taxes, for no real reason except they never have
enough. Never waste a good crisis, eh?

3) and to do to the health insurance providers, professionals and service
providers what was done to the airline industry professionals. Cut their pay, cut
their pay, cut their pay.

But this time, instead of doing it by faking bankruptcy, they do it faking health
insurance reform, with the IRS police, of course. (Hey Weiner, who is the
enforcement agency?, who is the enforcement agency? who is the enforcement

4) Slash Medicare. Reagan would be so proud.

All these things were promised NOT to occur during the campaign. I don’t
know how anyone ever expected AMERICANS to lie down for this. We don’t do
things like that here I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on.

And how anyone can defend Obama, and the Dems for this lying, sneaking
poor excuse for a policy is totally beyond me.

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By gary, March 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

progressive or conservative…hmmm   lets look at the last 100 years..progressives pushed for 1.child labor laws 2.womans voting rights 3.unions,4.socialsecurity.5.civil rights 6.medicare etc   cons pushed for anyone could be a con is beyond me ofcourse in a country where half the people don’t believe in evoloution anything can happen

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By omop, March 25, 2010 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Looks like Sarah’s urgings to “re-load and aim” has missed its first its first victim
(possibly on purpose).

Congressman Eric Cantor is quoted by CNN as having had shots fired into his

And so it goes…..

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By bogi666, March 25, 2010 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sole Prop, the reason for so many people being irrational is MINDLESSNESS, which is th inability to discern thoughts from facts. MINDFULNESS is the examination of thought to discern if they are factual or just thoughts. This requires some work. In the USA this MINDLESSNESS is so endemic that the irrational construe the thoughts of others are their own facts, pure ignorance and laziness. This MINDLESSNESS fostered by the insitutions of the pretend christain churches, businesses and government, so MINDLESSNESS is instutionalized and adverised, just watch TV ads, government spokesmen, and televangelists.

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By AmiBlue, March 25, 2010 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Are we sure they were/are crying wolf?  They may still carry out some of their threats of violence.

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By hark, March 25, 2010 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I never dreamed that the American people would react this way to health care for all.  They didn’t with Social Security, they didn’t with Medicare, they didn’t with Civil Rights.  This is utterly baffling.  One has to think the American people have gone mad.

But I still think that in time they will settle down and wonder what all the fuss was about.  Then they will begin to appreciate the fact that health care has become a right, not a privilege, and they will react just as explosively if the Republicans try to take it away from them.

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By Sole Prop, March 25, 2010 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

Yet through all this weirdness progress seems to be
made. Surprises me as much as anyone, I’d guess.
It’s hard to pick out exactly what the real argument is,
what’s really bugging people who are upset. Everyone
has their list, I’m as upset as anyone else.

It’s just curious that so many people seem to irrationally react
to very real problems in ways that make these problems
worse. Maybe the country needs a good psychiatrist who
could explain some of this stuff.

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By falken751, March 25, 2010 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

Can you imagine, John McCain and Sarah Palin if they had won the election, what a hell hole this country would be in?

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By balkas, March 25, 2010 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

Let’s not forget that, imo, the ‘whackos’ are made; The nature usually, even at it worst, makes one whacko in one mn people.

In US u have ab 50 mn in-US-made unsane people.
But they are honest. They have been taught by holliwood, schooling, advertising, priests, educators, pols, media that US constitution had been written by most honest people on earth.
It being infallible, u do not mess with it. And if u don’t know what constitution says it is because u want to wreck US.
And the circular reasoning never deceives. tnx

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, March 25, 2010 at 3:07 am Link to this comment

I’ve never seen America so cuckoo. The Palinistas are
bat shit crazy and downright dangerous.
The tea baggers are crazier than a whorehouse rat.
America is coming apart at the seams and that crazy
scenario (the Russian writer) of America breaking up
is starting to seem reasonable.


A leading Russian political analyst has said the
economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed
his long-held view that the country is heading for
collapse, and will divide into separate parts.

Professor Igor Panarin said in an interview with the
respected daily IZVESTIA published on Monday: “The
dollar is not secured by anything. The country’s
foreign debt has grown like an avalanche, even though
in the early 1980s there was no debt. By 1998, when I
first made my prediction, it had exceeded $2
trillion. Now it is more than 11 trillion. This is a
pyramid that can only collapse.”

And how does this analyst foresee the schism coming?

He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six
parts – the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese
population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas,
where independence movements are on the rise; the
Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate
mentality; five of the poorer central states with
their large Native American populations; and the
northern states, where the influence from Canada is

He even suggested that “we could claim Alaska – it
was only granted on lease, after all.” Panarin, 60,
is a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has authored
several books on information warfare.

The wackos are running amok; thank god I got out.
Good luck y’all.

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