Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Give me your tired, Your poor...

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Something tells me Republicans can't keep a straight face when they read those words on the Statue of Liberty. The GOP could care less about the less fortunate among us, and just the thought of having to help the "wretched" must send chills up their spines. As evidence, consider their recent track record: NO to health care reform. YES to protecting Wall Street. And perhaps the most egregious example is Arizona, where they recently passed an immigration bill that makes them look more like a police state than a democracy.

And don't forget the Tea Party. Republicans have gone out of their way to promote and defend these people because they're primarily white, wealthy men - a.k.a. their base.

The GOP may claim they don't have a double-standard when it comes to race in this country, but Alternet asks us to imagine this: What If the Tea Party Were Black?
Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters — the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protesters — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? ...

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.
You get the picture. Republicans have a double-standard, and so do tea party members. How else to explain their silence about Arizona's immigration law? I'd like to hear them answer this question that someone asked over at Washington Monthly:
Shouldn't the tea party crowd be having a cow over this new immigration bill that Arizona just passed? Doesn't that sound like big government tyranny to them? Giving the police the power to demand "papers" from someone just on their own suspicion?
I somehow doubt we'll see them marching in the street in defense of their Hispanic brothers and sisters. They only care about their own sorry, white butts. This is what "white privilege is all about" (as anyone who lived through the civil rights era knows only too well):
The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be...
Recent events - and votes - tell us who Republicans really represent: White America, the wealthier the better.

(Cross-posted at Blogging for Michigan.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Recipe for Scrambled Eggs - Republican Style

When I read Eclectablog's post about ousted Congressman Walberg's town hall meetings focused on repealing the recently passed health care bill, I couldn't help but wonder if Walberg liked Sue Lowden's "chickens for checkups" idea too. After all, Walberg thinks it's perfectly acceptable for the uninsured to get their health care by walking into an emergency room. Yep, that's a cost effective way to provide health care to people - not. Even Mitch McConnell admits it's a bad idea:
It's not the most efficient way to provide it. As we know, the doctors in the hospitals are sworn to provide health care. We all agree it is not the most efficient way to provide health care to find somebody only in the emergency room and then pass those costs on to those who are paying for insurance.
Okay, so we all know Walberg's idea is lame, but what about this "chicken for checkups" idea? Could it work? Personally, I live in a condo and I doubt the association board would approve a chicken coop outside my door, but even assuming they agreed, would my doctor take a chicken in lieu of cash? Are there even enough chickens in the world to cover health care expenses? According to TPM, absolutely not. "There aren't enough chickens in the world -- let alone the United States -- to cover the costs of health care in this country alone."

They crunched the numbers so we wouldn't have to:
Total U.S. health care costs in 2008: $2.3 trillion
US population: About 300 million
Average cost of health care per person: $7,681
Average weight of a chicken: 5.9 lbs
Market price per pound: 85 cents
Average spot price per chicken: $5.02
Average number of chickens per resident needed to cover health care costs: 1,530 chickens
Total number of chickens needed to cover United States health care costs: 459 billion chickens
Estimated worldwide chicken population: 16 billion chickens
Current worldwide chicken shortage to cover U.S. health care: 443 billion cluckers
Cluck, cluck. It looks like Lowden and Walberg are both peddling a bunch of chicken poop when it comes to health care reform.