Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

Kagan on Health Care

Undercurrents in Elena  Kagan’s improv performance suggest that if the new health care law comes before the courts, she might be partial to one part of it. Of course, knowing what she thinks about most anything is a guessing game. Anyhow, I note this entry from the Kaiser Health News, the invaluable service that aggregates news in the health sphere every day. 

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan suggested at her confirmation hearing Tuesday “that a controversial requirement in the new federal health-care law that most Americans obtain insurance has a legal basis — a question that is likely to come before the courts.” In answering Republican senators, Kagan “signaled” that she supported “enacting a health-care law that for the first time will require most legal residents of the United States to obtain insurance. Some Republicans contend that such a mandate is unconstitutional, and GOP-led states are threatening to file lawsuits challenging the provision,” according to the Post. “Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) asked Kagan whether she supports the argument that the mandate is allowed under the Constitution’s interstate-commerce clause. Kagan declined to address the requirement but made clear that she supports an expansive reading of Congress’s regulatory authority”

No sooner had  I read this, than Kaiser recorded a string of planned Republican challenges along with nutty Tea Party stuff: Minority Leader John Boehner and Whip Eric Cantor want to repeal the act. California  GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina is against it. Rick Barber, the nut case congressional candidate in Alabama, said the new law was “slavery.”  And naturally, Sarah Palin was saying how horrible it all is because it raises costs, especially for children with special needs (proponents, of course, say it will lower costs).

Days of Whine and Rogues: Palin’s Persecution Complex

If you can stand to read one more thing about Sarah Palin’s overhyped autobiography Going Rogue, have a look at Thomas Frank’s takedown in today’s Wall Street Journal, called “The Persecution of Sarah Palin.” Frank argues that the supposedly tough, indefatigable Palin–the woman who shoots wolves from helicopters and is pround of her high school nickname “Sarah Barracuda”–has in fact drawn virtually all of her political capital from depicting herself as a victim.  

Remember when, as First Lady, Hillary Clinton was ridiculed for talking about the “vast right-wing conspiracy” against her husband’s presidency? The conspiracy against Palin, if we are to believe her take on things, is vaster still. It includes not only everyone to the left of William McKinley, but also everyone who ever contradicted, annoyed, or said mean things about her. Furthermore, it’s these malevolent enemies, and never Palin herself, who are responsible for every one of her screwups, shortcomings, and humiliations.

Members of Palin’s base–who similarly tend to see themselves as victims of the tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading left-wing freak show–appear to wholeheartedly embrace, and even celebrate, this etiology. Frank writes that conservatives “love a whiner,” and continues:

It is her mastery of the lament that explained former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s appeal last year, and now her knack for self-pity is on full display in her book, “Going Rogue.” This is the memoir as prolonged, keening wail, larded with petty vindictiveness. With an impressive attention to detail, Ms. Palin settles every score, answers every criticism; locates a scapegoat for every foul-up, and fastens an insult on every critic, down to the last obscure Palin-doubter back in Alaska.

From Ms. Palin’s masterwork, we learn that the personal really is the political. Every encounter with a critic seems to be a skirmish in the culture wars, from the Alaska debate moderator who didn’t play fair once to the “wealthy, effete young chap” who ran against her for governor.

It’s those “effete” types who have most relentlessly persecuted poor Palin–including that devious shill for the liberal elite,  Katie Couric. According to Frank, Palin “claims that what ruined her famous interview with wily CBS News personality Katie Couric was the latter’s ‘condescension,’ which caused Ms. Palin to bungle questions like the one in which she was asked to name her favorite newspaper.”

This type of victimology, which depicts the “little guy” at the mercy of this snobbish but shadowy elite, is nothing new in the Republican Party; it’s at the root of the “conservative populism” Frank himself described in What’s the Matter with Kansas? But it seems especially twisted coming from the gun-toting, trash-talking Palin, who likes to act as if she could survive in the Alaskan wilderness with nothing but a pocket knife and a book of matches, but can’t prevail against a bunch of liberal journalists or McCain campaign meanies.

When she quit the Alaska State House this summer in what many saw as a cut-and-run move, Palin says her father declared: “Sarah’s not retreating, she’s reloading.” But clearly, Palin does best when she can pretend that she’s the one in the crosshairs of a hostile and unfair world.

Join Sarah Palin: Stamp Out Socialism

What with Sarah Palin out and about, it’s time for all Americans to think more seriously about her message, especially when it comes to the socialist menace. Palin began using the S word to refer to Obama back during the campaign, and in June she sadly told Sean Hannity that socialism is “where we are headed” under the new administration.

But the Palin’s warnings may have come too late, since the nation had meandered far down the pink path long before she raised the alarm. Socialism has already wormed its way into the national fabric, hastening its rot. In Maine, home of the simple, taciturn, penny pinching, shrewd yankee of yore, Sam Smith, a veteran blogger with an independent streak, has pulled together a chilling list of socialistic enterprises you may unwittingly be helping to support. If we’re really going to deep six socialism, here’s how Sam thinks we should start:

– Return to the old system of fire fighting in which blazes were handled by private fire brigades hired by private insurance companies. Brooke Harrington described the practice in Economic Sociology: “If you wanted a fire brigade to come to your aid in . . . emergencies, you had to join a kind of club with private membership fees. It worked like this: you ponied up the fees, the club gave you a plaque to put over your front door, and then if fire swept through the neighborhood, the club dispatched help, but they only assisted paying members. So if you didn’t have that plaque over your door, the fire rescue teams would pass you right on by. It would not be uncommon to find that your house burned down while the one next door would be saved.” Sounds a little like our health insurance system.

– End public education. Public schools – which strongly aided the growth of America – are about as socialistic as you can get. Obama, it should be noted, is trying to help reduce this deleterious influence by converting public schools into profit-making charter operations.

– Close down all federal highways or sell them off to the highest bidder so they can turn them into profit-making roads using tolls.

– Abolish Social Security, Medicare, food stamps and all other such welfare programs.

– End all government interference with the banking and financial industries. This would have recently saved us hundred of billions in bailout funds.

– End all veterans programs including closing veterans’ hospitals.

– Sell off all public transportation to unregulated private interests.

– Close all public hospitals, end public subsidies to other hospitals and privatize all ambulance service.

– End all government regulation of food or health products.

– End the practice of government plowing streets after a snow storm. As Boston mayor James Curly put it, “The Lord brought it; let the Lord take it away.”

Long Live Margaret and Helen

I must be a little slow on the uptake. It’s been eight months since I started this blog, which is supposed to be for and about “pissed-off progressive old folks,” yet somehow it’s taken me this long to learn about two fellow bloggers who are supremely qualified for that title. I mean Helen and Margaret, longtime best friends in their eighties who live in Texas and Maine, respectively, and blog at  http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com.

The banner photo alone is worth the price of admission, and the posts by Helen and Margaret (mostly Helen) are worth reading just for their titles, though you shouldn’t stop there. Recently these titles have included “Pat Buchanan Is a Cracker,” “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Dick Cheney?” and “My God, Bush Was an Idiot!”, along with equal-opportunity evicerations like “Bye Bye Evan Bayh” (on the Democrats’ sellout on health care reform). 

I know you must be sick of reading about Sarah Palin and her over-hyped resignation. (As my teachers used to say when some other kid was getting a lot of attention by acting like an asshole, “Just ignore him and he’ll stop.”) But try to find the wherewithal to read Helen’s post on the subject. To give you just a taste:

Things are getting tough and once again she is trying to hide behind that dysfunctional family of hers. She actually stood there and talked about how the Palins had a family meeting and everyone agreed it was time for her to step down as Governor.   Well, I call that bullshit.  The only family meetings the Palins have usually involve someone peeing on an early pregnancy test stick.