Healthcare Hypocrisy: Republican Style

There’s a certain danger in politics of, as they say, “drinking the kool-aid”.   This is usually a reference (and it’s used by both sides) of believing one’s own rhetoric to the point of suicide  (it’s a colloquialism based on this event).

In this case we have the constantly repeated mantra coming from the right about the “huge, astonomic, likely-to-bankrupt-us” cost of the healthcare-reform legislation passed last year.  This mantra is, as per, a big lie.  Note that it wasn’t the biggest lie of 2010 (that went to saying HCR was a “government takeover“)

So on the one hand you have this “HCR is too expensive” kool-aid, which has been drunk from extensively, and on the other hand you have the official scorekeeper continue to point out how the legislation actually cuts the deficit in the logn-term, another campaign promise from the R’s (note: this is possible when you tax *and* spend, and not possible if you *cut taxes* and *spend*).

Washington (CNN) — Legislation being pushed by House Republicans to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul will add $230 billion to the federal debt by 2021, according to an analysis released Thursday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

[full article]

Then they get elected on the lie (and the CONSTANT OUTRAGE!!  ABOUT NOTHING!! THAT DISAPPEARED AFTER THE ELECTION!), then create hard and fast spending rules they should have to follow which would expose the big lie…and then quickly provide an exemption to that rule in order to provide the smoke and mirrors necessary to disguise how bad that kool-aid actually tastes. 

I love how the article puts these two statements together, it doesn’t get more succint than this…

“I don’t think anyone in this town believes that repealing Obamacare is going to increase the deficit,” [New Speaker of the House John Boehner] said.

Republicans have exempted a repeal of the health care law from new rules prohibiting legislation from adding to the federal debt.

Note that bit.  Boehner says *no one* thinks it saves money…EXCEPT FOR THE REPUBLICANS THEMSELVES (and the CBO and the Democrats….which is actually pretty much everyone).

I’d get used to this stuff.   When you are rewarded for using deceptive practices, you have zero incentive to stop doing them.

Oh, and bonus points for Boehner.  He makes sure to cover all the buzzwords.   The quote…

The people “want this bill repealed, and we are going to repeal it,” said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. If it is not repealed, “it will ruin the best health care system in the world … (and) will ruin our economy.”

This is a great flavor of the ole ‘aid.  It comes from guys like this (and asstarts like Frank Luntz) (note: read this linked article, it’s great background on how these lies gain flight)…

 In 2008, [Wendell Potter’s] conscience got the best of him after visiting the Remote Area Medical’s healthcare fair in Wise County, Virginia and saw people standing and sitting in long lines, waiting for free care. “They were treating people in animal stalls and barns. It looked like it might have been a war torn country. I could not believe this was the United States of America.”

Shortly after leaving his six-figure job, he decided to expose and speak out against the very practices he once defended.

In his new book, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care And Deceiving Americans, he writes, “If you are among those who believe that the U.S. has the best healthcare system in the world–despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary– it’s because my fellow spinmeisters and I succeeded brilliantly at what we were paid very well to do with your premium dollars.”

“And if you were persuaded that the health care bill President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010 was a ‘government takeover of the health care system,’ my former colleagues and I earned every penny of our handsome salaries.”

UPDATE:  The champions of Democracy also quickly disenfranchised about 4,500,000 Americans.   Expect them to try and do so to many, many more.

Game Review ToDo

I mentioned in this post that this year was to be a bit more focused on gaming.    Below is my New Year’s Resolution Review List.  These are games that I’ve missed or not worked my way through and would like to give it a shot in 2011.  Many of these I came across in the Steam Holiday sale.  I figure these should hold me over for at least the next six months or so, if not longer.

There are a number of older games on the list.  I think this is more of a feature than a bug.  PC gaming, in particular affords a longer shelf life than most consoles can imagine.  One of the benefits of Moore’s Law is that each successive computing generation is easily capable of emulating the previous one.  Hence, with a bit of work, we can still enjoy those 2600 and C64 games to this day.  I’m not going to go back that far, but I wanted to get a good review of the decade in gaming, so there are certainly some elderly titles on the todo list*.

I’m hoping to spend an official week with each title (although my real life gaming will skew and Diablo 3 comes out this year, so at least one month is already spoken for) and do the review after that.

Here goes, in no particular order (other than alphabetical):

1) Alien Breed 3: Descent (have a weakness for these style games)

2) Amnesia : The Dark Descent (I like games that start off by telling you not to try and win them)

3) Arcania: Gothic 4 (almost done, should be an early review)

4) Archon Classic (a classic, like it says)

5) Batman: Arkham Asylum (very good, and a complete anomaly in major IP titles)

6) Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (oh yeah)

7) Battlestations: Midway (came in a publisher idea)

8) Battlestations: Pacific (see above)

9) blur (Rock’n’Roll Racing update)

10) Burnout Paradise (fun driving time)

11) Commander Keen (the id original)

12) Conflict Denied Ops ( idea)

13) Counter Strike Source (my review will most likely be me getting slaughtered for a week, but there ya go)

14) Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (already gone halfway through this)

15) Depths of Peril (love the concept not sure on the execution)

16) Deus Ex GOTY Edition (yeah…just wanted to relive a classic and compare)

17) Deus Ex Invisible War (never did this one)

18) Disciples II : Rise of Elves/Gallena’s Return (softspot for these style games)

19) Doom 3 (I think I already have this review, have to dig it up…did a first person review, quite fun).

20) Evlen Legacy (various expansion…got this on a lark…we’ll see)

21) Empire : Total War (played the first few scenarios…wow).

22) Everyday Shooter (this’ll be an off week, I already have this one down).

23) Front Mission Evolved (Giant Robots, 3rd Person shooter)

24) Guardians of Graxia (again, softspot).

25) Gyromancer (RPG * Bejewled = Hours gone).

…second half coming tomorrow…


*Oh and by “review” I mean a bit more lengthy analysis of the qualities and weaknesses of particular titles.  In the PC gaming world, I think a more accurate picture can be taken once a game is *final*, not once it is *gold*.   So this isn’t the place to find  glowing reviews of the latest greatest slightly tweaked sequel, but more of a long-term view.  Like someone forced, forced I say, to play games until the end of time.