You make us upchuck when you make shit up, Chuck!

From Joan Walsh at Salon:

I’ve said this before: It’s getting past time for President Obama to spell out specifics about which healthcare reform plan he supports, given the five House and Senate bills and umpteen other proposals circling Washington. And unfortunately for Obama’s dreams of bipartisanism, it’s way past time for him to give up his hopes that he can bring “sensible” Republicans on board with a smart, fair bill.

I’ve suspected that was true for a while, but today is the day to, well, pull the plug on that project. Unbelievably, one GOP senator who’s been held up as a paragon of reason and bipartisan comity, Iowa’s Chuck Grassley — one of three Republicans negotiating with three Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee — trashed Obama’s plan today in terms that went beyond Sarah Palin’s ignorant rant.

…snip…

“There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life,” Grassley told a town hall crowd. “And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you’re going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don’t have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you’re going to pull the plug on grandma.”


Original DVD cover

“You have every right to fear.” What a statesman! Where to start? There are at least five different healthcare reform bills vying for support, and their many provisions can be confusing, but there is not one sentence in any of the five that mandates either “death panels” or “pulling the plug on grandma” — and Chuck Grassley knows that much much better than I do.

From THINK PROGRESS (August 10, 2009):

Last week, Sarah Palin made the audacious claim that President Obama plans to institute a system of “death panels” where “bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of [people’s] ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.” Even some conservatives rejected Palin’s claim as “crazy.” Today on his radio show, however, Glenn Beck said that he thinks she has a point. ” I believe it to be true, but that’s quite a statement,” said Beck, adding, “I believe she at least should be listened to and you should question, ‘Is it evil?’”

From Politifact:

Ezekiel Emanuel is a Health Policy Adviser at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and is a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, but until last week, he had largely flown under radar of the national political media.

That changed when Rep. Michele Bachmann, R- Minn., made a statement from the floor of the House on July 27 in which she said the American public needed to know what the people who advise Obama about health care reform think. Specifically, she said, Dr. Emanuel “says medical care should be reserved for the nondisabled. So watch out if you’re disabled.”

…snip…

Here’s what Bachmann said:

“The President’s adviser, Dr. Emanuel, believes communitarianism should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the nondisabled. So watch out if you’re disabled.”

She noted that, “We just lost my father-in-law to dementia two months ago. I thank God that the doctors were able to alleviate my poor father-in-law’s symptoms at the end of his life at age 85. Apparently, under the Democrats’ health care plan, my father-in-law would not have received the high quality of care that he received in his last two months of life. Or if you’re a grandmother with Parkinson’s or a child with cerebral palsy, watch out.”

…snip…

Some of Dr. Emanuel’s academic writing is confusing and hard to understand for non-academics. But Dr. Emanuel has also written extensively in more mainstream media – the Atlantic and Wall Street Journal, for example – about his opposition to euthanasia and his belief in appropriate end-of-life care.

Here’s a quote from a Jan. 7, 1997, commentary written by Emanuel for the Wall Street Journal: “For the millions of others, legalizing euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide would be of no benefit. To the contrary, it would be a way of avoiding the complex and arduous efforts required of doctors and other health-care providers to ensure that dying patients receive humane, dignified care.”

…snip…

But to make the sensational claim that Emanuel says health care should not be extended to the disabled is a gross distortion of his position, lifted out of context from an academic paper in which he poses philosophical ideas but doesn’t necessary endorse them. Emanuel’s hefty medical record also counts for something, as well his unequivocal public position against euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. We rule Bachmann’s statement False.

From CBSNEWS:

For more than decade in Congress, Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer has been known for his ever-present bow-tie and tireless advocacy of bikes.

So it is something of a surprise to the Portland Democrat that he has earned a new measure of fame in recent days – as author of a health-care provision that some critics say would set up a “death panel.”

In a widely quoted Facebook posting, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin charged that federal bureaucrats would play God, ruling on whether ailing seniors or children with Down syndrome – such as Palin’s son Trig – are worthy of health care. Palin called the proposal “downright evil.”

Many news organizations – including The Associated Press – debunked Palin’s claim.

…snip…

But Blumenauer says he is astounded that Palin and other critics have not tempered their bleak descriptions of the health care bill.

“It’s deliberate at this point,” Blumenauer said of Palin’s failure to correct her Aug. 7 Facebook posting. “If she wasn’t deliberately lying at the beginning, she is deliberately allowing a terrible falsehood to be spread with her name.”

Blumenauer singled out another prominent Republican, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, saying he has “linked arms with Sarah Palin and death panels.” While Gingrich has not used the term death panel, he has declined several opportunities to denounce Palin’s claim.

“You are asking us to trust turning power over to the government, when there are clearly people in America who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards,” Gingrich said Sunday on the ABC’s “This Week.”

Blumenauer called the comments despicable and part of an orchestrated effort by Republicans to discredit the health care overhaul and scare seniors.

From Talking Points Memo (August 12, 2009):

RNC Chairman Michael Steele just appeared on the Neil Cavuto show, where he endorsed Sarah Palin’s accusation that President Obama will set up “death panels” to decide who is worthy or not of medical care.

“Well I think it’s proper,” said Steele, when Cavuto asked him about Palin’s remarks, “because it’s in the context of what people are seeing in some of the legislation that’s floating around out there. When you’re talking about panels that are gonna be imposed, that will be making life-and-death decisions, that will be making decisions about whether or not you get health care or don’t receive health care, I think that’s perfectly appropriate.”

Now how you characterize it is a matter of interpretation,” he then added, “but it doesn’t change the fact that buried within a lot of this legislation is stuff that’s fairly onerous.”

This just in. From THE HILL:

The Senate Finance Committee will drop a controversial provision on consultations for end-of-life care from its proposed healthcare bill, its top Republican member said Thursday.

The committee, which has worked on putting together a bipartisan healthcare reform bill, will drop the controversial provision after it was derided by conservatives as “death panels” to encourage euthanasia.

“On the Finance Committee, we are working very hard to avoid unintended consequences by methodically working through the complexities of all of these issues and policy options,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement. “We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.”

…snip…

“The bill passed by the House committees is so poorly cobbled together that it will have all kinds of unintended consequences, including making taxpayers fund healthcare subsidies for illegal immigrants,” Grassley said. The veteran Iowa lawmaker said the end-of-life provision in those bills would pay physicians to “advise patients about end-of-life care and rate physician quality of care based on the creation of and adherence to orders for end-of-life care.

“Maybe others can defend a bill like the Pelosi bill that leaves major issues open to interpretation, but I can’t,” Grassley added.

So there ya go, kids, the health care reform bill will be dictated on Twitter by the idiots on the fringe.

33 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Chuck Grassley, Congress, Democrats, Fox News, Glenn Beck, humor, Immigration, movies, Nancy Pelosi, Newt Gingrich, parody, politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Senate, Senate Finance Committee, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

33 responses to “You make us upchuck when you make shit up, Chuck!

  1. We know members of the death panel from American Idol! They are a tough panel! Death with dignity! Send grandpa to the mustang ranch with a bottle of Viagra, a pack of cigarettes, and a bottle of bourbon! He’ll keel over with a smile on his face! That’s a plan that will be popular!

  2. Of course, we’ll ignore the fact that right now, people are refused life-saving treatments. But they’re refused it for monetary reasons. The problem is that people might run into problems of “rationing” from the government. We can’t have that! As long as it’s good, old fashioned greed that’s killing grandma, it’s okay.

    Seriously … “end of life counseling” isn’t even about pulling the plug, it’s about writing living wills and such. These people are extrapolating, and they have to know it. (Well, except Beck. He’s a fruit loop!)

    I heard Jay Sekulow on NPR (“Talk of the Nation,” maybe?) the other day, and he even sounded like he was saying, “It’s not really here, but I’m a conservative, so I’m supposed to say it is.” His best arguments were, “I argue in front of the Supreme Court, so believe me” and “I’m not the only one who says this.”

    • wickle,
      bishop harry jackson was on the ed show today. he’s against health care reform, because he had esophageal cancer 3 years ago, and if his surgery had been delayed, he would have died. 😕 he said that the poor are not entitled to be treated the same as rich people if, as a result, the rich people die. of course, he’s not worried about the poor people who are not diagnosed at all until it’s too late, because they can’t afford to see a doctor. it was stunning! you can watch it here.

      • I don’t know who Ed is, but he’s nailing Christians and the supposed Christian leadership right now. That monologue is pretty damning. I’ve long said that the fact that we NEED a welfare system in this country is a stinging indictment of churches, and says something about the job that we’ve been called to do but aren’t.

        I don’t know Harry Jackson, but the fact that he wrote a book with Tony Perkins (who has stated outright that preventing gun control laws is more important than feeding the poor) tells me plenty. It’s very, very sad that this crap is being done in Jesus’ name. I’m sure glad that he’s concerned about his life. He manages to mention it enough. So much for that selfless love, huh?

        You know, in the Old Testament law farmers were told not to go back over their fields, and to leave anything that they missed the first time, or which ripened after the harvest, for the poor and the widows. That’s not exactly free enterprise, is it?

        Heck, it borders on socialism, doesn’t it?

        Sigh … Way too many people spell “God” G-O-P.

        • wickle,
          i thought guys like the bishop can’t wait to go to heaven and be with jesus. he sounds like he’s pretty afraid of dying.

          i’m not religious, and i really believe that religion and politics should be completely separate entities. when i heard chuck grassley’s statement today, i almost choked:

          I think the best thing to do is if you want people to think about the end of life, number one, Jesus Christ is the place to start, and after that, in the physical life, as opposed to your eternal life, it ought to be done within the family and considered a religious and ethical issue and not something that politicians deal with.

          i guess jews, muslims, atheists, buddhists, and everyone else who isn’t christian should go pound rocks or something. i don’t know about anyone else, but i found this extremely offensive. there’s a time and place for everything, and the place for statements like that is in church, not on the national political stage.

          p.s. i don’t give obama or the dems a pass on using religion either.

          • Of course, the “in the family” argument is pretty stupid, too. Does your family know all of the legal and medical options available to people facing major medical decisions? Mine sure doesn’t. I’d actually kind of like to consult experts on things like that.

            As for religion … it depends. If it’s being used to tell someone who isn’t a believer to act like one, then I’m with you. If it’s just a basis for external morality, then that’s different. Mandating school prayers, for example, is absurd, but church-based civil rights groups don’t bother me, as long as there are lines drawn between the civic and the ecclesiastical.

            It also depends on how the arguments are made. If all I’ve got is “Cause God said so,” then I should leave you alone. If I can apply my religious principle into something more universal, such as a respect for human rights and dignity, then it seems okay to me.

            But, yes, religion is used by both major parties and then some … and it’s never pretty. The Religious Right’s eagerness to bow down at the altar of the Golden Elephant is nauseating.

            • many people don’t feel comfortable talking to their families about these things. they would rather speak to a professional. nobody is going to force anyone to speak to anyone else. if someone wants to take advantage of the service, they can. if they don’t, they don’t have to. i don’t understand why it’s so difficult to understand.

              i get what you’re saying about using religion to further human rights and dignity. i think it cuts both ways. while it might attract people of faith to a certain issue, i think it might also chase people away. wouldn’t it be better to leave religion out of it and come together as people of common decency? not sure exactly how to state what i’m trying to say. i just feel that religion can add a level of exclusion. if you want to do the right thing, does it matter what drives you to do it? it might matter to you as an individual, but isn’t a person of another religion or no religion at all just as worthy?

              • I think we’re on the same page.

                I might, for example, oppose the death penalty for religious reasons, but that argument alone isn’t persuasive … for one thing, not all Christians agree with me, and non-Christians have no reason to listen to me. I have to take my religious principle and be able to apply it in a way that makes sense to a secular audience or else it’s not a valid public-policy issue, in my opinion. Moreover, I think that religious advocacy groups should only work within the churches — trying to persuade all believers of something. Once they get outside of that body, we need to be able to work with people of other faiths or no faith, yes. I agree completely on that.

                I’ve long thought that feminists and the Religious Right should get together against sex slavery and things like that. They each oppose it, but the leaders might hate each other more than they hate the real evil — the slavers.

                On the other hand, can you imagine how powerful a moment it would be if James Dobson and Kim Gandy got on the same stage to issue a joint statement? They might disagree tomorrow at the abortion forum, but that has nothing to do with the sex trade.

                Sadly, though, that type of exclusion is exactly what some people want. My pastor has often said that yes, Christians are persecuted for being Christians in some parts of the world. In the US, though, we’re usually picked on for being jackasses. That isn’t exactly the same thing.

                if someone wants to take advantage of the service, they can. if they don’t, they don’t have to. i don’t understand why it’s so difficult to understand.

                I think that most of the noisemakers actually know this. But they also know that they can tell a lie loudly and often enough to get the flocks in line.

  3. In 2008 Up Chuck Grassley (R-IA) got a tidy sum of $342,737 from the health care industry.

    In the 2010 year cycle he’s racked up $144,500

    The old coot is 76 years old…. forget about Granny, he’s probably worried they will pull the plug on HIM. As he should…. look at his voting record:

    In 2006, Grassley received a 0 percent rating from the REP (republicans for environmental protection)

    Senator Grassley has the third-worst voting record in the entire US Congress (both House and Senate combined) on veterans issues.

    I wish every one of these politicians had to disclose exactly how much money they got for health & big pharma before they run off their mouths @ town hall meetings.

    Why Senator, you seem to have
    *Strings Attached*!
    Pockets full of money from the profiteers.

    Grassley should be cited for prostitution.
    A whore for the industry.

    • grassley is worried about someone pulling the plug on his senatorial career. what’s really sickening is that either the people don’t know who’s lining the pockets of politicians, or they know and don’t care.

  4. I get so fucking sick and tired of the right wing canard that says they don’t want a government bureaucrat standing between health care and a patient. I guess for them it’s okay for some health insurance bureaucrat to stand between health care and a patient. I guess it’s okay if the big insurers ration care due to market pressures from being part of a free enterprise capitalist system and not due to some big brother government trying to steal away the patient’s rights to be denied coverage by big insurance’s bottom line.

    • z,
      i get sick of the dems who can’t get the point across that people are being sucked dry by insurance companies and not getting what they paid for. it’s the easiest argument to make. they should be parading people out who have lost loved ones or went bankrupt or are dying due to the lack of insurance or the shenanigans of the insurance companies.

  5. “We just lost my father-in-law to dementia two months ago. I thank God that the doctors were able to alleviate my poor father-in-law’s symptoms at the end of his life at age 85.

    That’s a quote from your Bachmann statement above… What did the doctors do to alleviate her poor father-in-law’s symptoms at the end of his life? Did it have anything to do with end of life decisions, such as a “Living Will” or “Medical Power of Attorney” I wonder?

    • michele was lost to dementia long before her father-in-law! the difference is that batshit bachmann’s dementia was due to toxic amounts of kool-aid.

      • In his book “Real Magic”, Kossack ibonewits proposed another form of chemical contamination to account for mental maladies in people like batshit Michele.

        “Instead of shooting up smack or speed, they tear a page out of the Bible, melt it, and shoot that up. ”

        Geez, Madame Representative, you’re supposed to read the Bible and think about it, not mainline it!

  6. I haven’t had the time to read the comment thread, so this might have been said already.

    In reading the last paragraphs from “The Hill”, I agree that ANY legislation that is worded in ways that would allow unintended practices to occur should be either re-worked or deleted. We don’t need the new health care program, whatever it ends up being, to backfire against us. Just don’t scare people to death for unnecessary reasons in order to keep the system the way it is now, broken and expensive.

    • ynb,
      we have yet to invent a language in which words cannot have unintended meaning. for example, some of the same morons who are protesting health care reform are the ones who insist that the 2nd amendment allows them to have any kind of weapon their little hearts are set on owning. how do you interpret ‘a well regulated militia?’ no matter what the wording, there will be different interpretations. that’s why we have a judicial branch–to interpret what the law says. deleting the amendment was ridiculous. it was very clear what was being proposed, and saying that it would have unintended consequences was nonsense.

  7. Hello Nonnie !! 😀

    I sent you an email, in case you had not noticed.

    I will now try and write a comment on health care reform.

    If you are an aspiring pol who wants to get elected to congress, isn’t it a lesson early on, that you must look after your contributors first and foremost (say big pharma), and after you have done everything in your power to please your contributors, you can then take a shot at looking out for your electorate. Well this might be the case for lots of pols, anyway.

    Over the years and many successful re-elections, this message gets reinforced to the extent that you only care about your contributors (say big pharma), and don’t give a toss for the poor electorate. That’s how the system works, right? For it seems that money is usually by far the most important factor in winning an election.

    So is it more important to have health care reform which will always turn out to be a damp squib because it is orchestrated by the contributors (big pharma) whose only interest is maintaining the status quo …

    OR have electoral reform FIRST, where some genius comes up with a plan that says there is only one lobbyist allowed from now on in the whole of Washington, or the whole of America, or the whole world if necessary, and he or she has to do all the lobbying work of the thousands of lobbyist that used to be, and have now been replaced, by the one, (him or her), lobbyist. That way the single lobbyist person will be so inundated with overwork, he or she will only have the tiniest bit of time to lobby on behalf of big pharma — thus diminishing the role of the contributor …

    THEN after electoral reform, you have health care reform — which will be proper ’cause the health companies will have a much diminished input (phone to the damn lobbyist always engaged, so the lobbying machine no longer effective).

    In other words, you will seldom get a satisfactory out come from a political system that is badly skewed because of the tons of money swilling around in it, the guys with the most money will nearly always get their way. There has to be some clever plan to get around this.

    • I have a new plan, forget the one before.

      My new plan is the UK plan, only in reverse.

      What happened in the UK was the National Health Service (NHS), a public health care system, was invented in 1948 and over the years it became all encompassing and monolithic. It was a big mature industry. If you got sick, the choice was go to the NHS for treatment or … nothing.

      Then, say around 1990, private health care became quite fashionable. Private hospitals got built. Private health care even got a good reputation. Public and private health systems run along side by side. Presumably, private health care continues to chip away at the NHS market share to this day.

      Now if you get sick there is a genuine choice, NHS or private (for those who can afford it).

      Thinking about the above caused me to come up with
      The Reverse UK Health System Plan Only For America.

      How it works:
      Pres. Obama says “Screw this”, and declares health care reform a dead duck, no longer to be pursued.
      Then he goes on TV to say that all rethugs should hence forth be delighted and pleased as the big fat rich insurance companies will continue to run the show, and nothing will change.

      Then, he starts a small company funded by taxes to provide an alternative public health service free at the point of delivery. Small offices in every community will open to the public, and a little notice in the window will say that you can get free health care from the New Obama Free Health Care Company or you can go private and pay for it.

      A small trickle, mostly very brave extremely progressive democrats will test out the service and find it is OK.
      Gradually, more will come. After all, now there is a genuine choice, private or public.
      In ten years time it will be true to say that the New Obama Free Health Care Company continues to chip away at the private health care industry market share.

      • mighty mikk0mouse,
        health care reform is a molehill compared to the mountain that is campaign finance reform. if you wait for the latter, you will never get the former. however, if you accomplish the former, you make a big chink in the armor of the latter.

        the problem with the obama free health care company is that it will be overwhelmed the moment the door is opened. there are thousands of people swarming in los angeles for free health care being offered. many of them are employed with insurance, and they still can’t afford to go to a doctor or pay for their meds.

        it’s simply time to tell the rethugs and the blue dogs to get on board or get out of the way. if they fight reform, then they will be targeted. enough is enough.

  8. The moron who interpreted the 2nd amendment for militias was the newest supreme court justice. The Brooklyn hispanic militia is protected by their rights she protects.

  9. the frigging media has made this debate into one giant circus – just so they have ratings

    first — they ALL should be calling out every GOP goon on Medicare — like O’Donnell did

    second – how many of these dipshit asswipe Republicans voted for the govt to interfere in the Schiavo case. Bush shortened his vacation for that! and he would even cut it short for “bid laden determined to strike”

    and for all the noisy town halls – where are the 47,000,000 uninsured??? why arent they screaming back at the assholes in the town halls

    oh – because most of them are working 3 jobs to pay for the health care they dont have

    • there should be a law that lawrence o’donnell must appear on every news show to counter the lying rethuglican talking heads. i don’t know why ed schultz and tweety allow larry o to sub for them, because he makes them look like incompetent oafs in comparison.

  10. Grassley sez plan things 20 years before you die? How will we know? Can he get Reagen to take a break from giving God advice and send us an Rmail or something? My lasting image of crazy Chuck is him whipping up that crowd outside and telling the “pick up your guns and follow me to Washington”. To do what?

    • what i will always remember about yer-ass-is-grassley is how he told someone at a townhall meeting that, if they want insurance as good as his, they should get a job with the government. why the hell do people vote for someone like him?

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