Hypocrisy Hits A Brick Wall

"I would rather die in agony than accept assistance from you."   The Charlotte Observer reports on the case of a rugged individualist that is finding out the hard way that choices have consequences:

Lang is a self-employed handyman who works with banks and the federal government on maintaining foreclosed properties. He has done well enough that his wife, Mary, hasn’t had to work. They live in a 3,300-square-foot home in the Legacy Park subdivision valued at more than $300,000.

But he has never bought insurance. Instead, he says, he prided himself on paying his own medical bills.

That worked while he and his wife were relatively healthy. But after 10 days of an unrelenting headache, Lang went to the emergency room on Feb. 25. He says he was told he’d suffered several mini-strokes. He ran up $9,000 in bills and exhausted his savings. Meanwhile, his vision worsened and he can’t work, he says.

Sounds like he’s one of the people the ACA was created to help- waitaminute…

Lang, a Republican, says he knew the act required him to get coverage but he chose not to do so. But he thought help would be available in an emergency.

Okay, principled opposition (up to the point where HE needed help) it is then…go on…

He and his wife blame President Obama and Congressional Democrats for passing a complex and flawed bill.

(My husband) should be at the front of the line because he doesn’t work and because he has medical issues,” Mary Lang said last week. “We call it the Not Fair Health Care Act.”

What the?  Are you SERIOUS?

The ACA was created specifically to help people like you, you dunce.

YOU made the decision to refuse to take part, and in voting for GOP leadership at the state and federal level, voted to DENY those options to everyone in your state.

Now that that decision has bitten you in the hind quarters, you think you deserve SPECIAL treatment?

If you had happened to a single black female fast-food worker, many of your Tea Party brethren would be excoriating you, perhaps even cheering figuratively or literally, as you slowly went blind.

I won’t do that, and based on recent responses to your GoFundMe page, many others on the left won’t either.

Let me speak plainly. I do hope that you get the help you need to keep from going blind.

I also hope you manage to LEARN something from this.

Specifically, you need a better governor, better legislators, and a better SCOTUS Chief Justice.

 

UPDATE: Some notes from a Balloon Juice thread made sense of the “front of the line” quote:

@Frankensteinbeck:

This is not hypocricy. ‘Personal responsibility’ means ‘niggers deserve what they get.’ I know this is hard to swallow for most people. You don’t want to believe in code words, because in most situations they’re so unlikely. Let me tell you a story I hope will convince you.

Recently, Ron Paul came up in a thread here and I followed a link to an excerpt from his newsletter. You know, the ones so blatantly racist he’s now denying he wrote? This one was written in the wake of the Rodney King riots, about how you have to steel yourself to kill blacks when they come for you.

It read like a laundry list of current conservative talking points. Personal responsibility, dependency on the welfare state, everything that is sometimes referred to as a dog whistle. In particular, I was impressed by their use of ‘inner city youth’. Even the phrasing about shooting black people was standard ‘stand your ground’ type arguments.

The only difference was they tacked on ‘because black people are animals.’

Three quarters of modern Republican positions and motivations are straight racism, with a paper-thin mask to keep them from being booed and called names in public. This guy is mad that the government was giving to blacks what should rightly go to him.

QFT

Mr. and Mrs. Lang are cheesed off that all of the blacks and browns don’t have to dutifully take their spots at the back of the bus, now that Mr. Lang needs a seat.

Damn.

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Snipe Hunt

Sen. Richard Burr decided to use the Friday news dump to snipe at veterans groups for not automatically siding with the GOP in their jihad against VA Secretary Eric Shinsheki.  You remember him, don’t you – the guy that tried to tell the Bush administration that they were woefully unprepared for Iraq and got canned for it?  The GOP does, and once he was named VA Secretary, it was only a matter of time before the long knives came out.  Burr figured that the vets groups would join in the GOPTea dogpile, and when they didn’t, decided to spoil their weekend by spewing a squid cloud of hurt feelings and castigation:

“It became clear at the hearing that most of the other VSOs attending appear to be more interested in defending the status quo within VA, protecting their relationships within the agency, and securing their access to the Secretary and his inner circle. But to what end? What use is their access to senior VA staff, up to and including the Secretary, if they do not use their unprecedented access to a Cabinet Secretary to secure timely access to care for their membership? What hope is there for change within the VA if those closest to the agency don’t use that proximity for the good of veterans across our country?

I believe the national and local commanders of every VSO have the interests of their members at heart, and take seriously their commitment to their members and their organization. Unfortunately, I no longer believe that to be the case within the Washington executive staff of the VSOs that testified. Last week’s hearing made it clear to me that the staff has ignored the constant VA problems expressed by their members and is more interested in their own livelihoods and Washington connections than they are to the needs of their own members.

I fear that change within the VA will not be possible unless and until these organizations also reconsider their role as well as the nature of their relationship with VA.”

Bear in mind that the leadership that Burr is throwing rocks at is in DC and is well aware that the GOP loves some veterans, until they need something that costs taxpayer dollars, or until helping them gives doesn’t make President Obama look like the worst person in the universe.  The organizations singled out wasted no time in telling Burr to know his role:

The VFW:

“…will afford you the same amount of respect you showed for the Veterans of Foreign Wars by the monumental cheap-shot and posturing you’ve engaged in by enlisting in an absolutely disgusting ambush style of politics.

***

Senator, this is clearly one of the most dishonorable and grossly inappropriate acts that we’ve witnessed in more than forty years of involvement with the veteran community and breaches the standards of the United States Senate.

***

I suggest you compare the more than exorbitant number of days off you receive, including virtually the entire month of August…and certainly not a single five-day work week to the often time long, arduous hours they put forth every week of the year…We don’t act in grabbing a headline or securing an interview on cable news; our only agenda is to ensure that the veterans of this nation receive timely and adequate healthcare.  If you have issues I suggest you contact one of us directly.”

BOOM.

Ban Hammered

All anyone ever needs to hear about Donald Sterling, forever…

Nice start, Mr. Silver.

D’ownfall

Looks like karma has caught up with 1% fluffer Dinesh D’Souza – AGAIN!:

Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative commentator and best-selling author, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

The candidate was Wendy Long, a Republican who sought to unseat Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand as New York’s junior senator in 2012, according to a person familiar with the case.

A lawyer for D’Souza said his actions were “at worst,” an act of misguided friendship.

D’Souza was charged in an indictment made public on Thursday with one count of making illegal contributions in the names of others and one count of causing false statements to be made.

The indictment said D’Souza directed individuals to contribute a total $20,000 to the campaign of an unnamed Senate candidate in 2012 and then reimbursed them for their contributions.

***

Gillibrand, a 1988 Dartmouth graduate, ended up winning re-election to her first full term, collecting close to 72 percent of the vote.

In late 2012, D’Souza resigned his post as president of King’s College, a small Christian college in New York City, after admitting he had become engaged to a woman even though he was legally married, although separated from his wife. He has been an outspoken defender of traditional marriage.

This guy is like the Energizer bunny of stupid.  He just keeps going, and going, and going…and you have to love (and by love I mean despise) the lawyer’s attempt to pass this off:

Mr. D’Souza did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever. He and the candidate have been friends since their college days, and at worst, this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza,” Brafman said.

So, he just happened, out of the goodness of his heart, to pay people to contribute to his candidate of choice, then repaid them for their contributions (thereby making himself the sole and illegal source of those contributions) in violation of campaign finance law, but he really didn’t mean it?  Besides the fact that “I didn’t mean it” stops working as an excuse for most sentient people in early childhood, this is just stupid.  I don’t think his pivot from “I didn’t mean it” to “I didn’t know it was against the law” is going to be particularly helpful.

BOOM!!

Senate Democrats finally got tired enough of the NeoConfederate nullification of a sitting President to say “the hell with kicking the ball, I’m kicking Lucy instead”:

Both parties actually reached an agreement months ago to streamline the confirmation of Obama nominees, a pact Reid said Republicans have breached with their recent and repeated obstruction of nominees to the influential DC Circuit court. Republicans have flatly opposed Obama nominating any judges to the court, seeking to preserve the court’s conservative tilt. Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley even suggested eliminating seats on the DC Circuit to prevent Obama from filling them.

“Republicans simply don’t want President Obama to make any nominations to this vital court,” Reid said before the vote. “None! Zero!” The DC Circuit has jurisdiction over a number of key regulatory matters–which means that it has a lot of influence over how much of the Obama administration’s accomplishments survive legal challenges. Obama’s three most recent nominees to the DC Circuit were all filibustered by Republicans. With the rule change, their confirmation is all but assured.

***

Opposing Reid’s attempt to kill the filibuster for executive and judicial nominations, Republicans were left making a number of contradictory arguments–that the rule change was both a “distraction” from the failure of the president’s health care law and an nefarious attempt to implement his regulatory agenda, a naked “power grab” but one Republicans will likely preserve if they retake the Senate.

President Obama laid out the case, and it turns out the GOPers were even worse than I thought they were:

It’s no secret that the American people have probably never been more frustrated with Washington, and one of the reasons why that is is that over the past five years, we’ve seen an unprecedented pattern of obstruction in Congress that’s prevented too much of the American people’s business from getting done.

All too often we’ve seen a single senator or a handful of senators choose to abuse arcane procedural tactics to unilaterally block bipartisan compromises or to prevent well-qualified, patriotic Americans from filling critical positions of public service in our system of government.

Now, at a time when millions of Americans have desperately searched for work, repeated abuse of these tactics have blocked legislation that might create jobs. They’ve defeated actions that would help women fighting for equal pay. They prevented more progress than we would have liked for striving young immigrants trying to earn their citizenship, or it’s blocked efforts to end tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. They’ve even been used to block common-sense and widely supported steps to protect more Americans from gun violence, even as families of victims sat in the Senate chamber and watched. And they’ve prevented far too many talented Americans from serving their country at a time when their country needs their talents the most.

It’s harmed our economy, and it’s been harmful to our democracy, and it’s brought us to the point where a simple majority vote no longer seems to be sufficient for anything, even routine business through what is supposed to be the world’s greatest deliberative body. I realize that neither party has been blameless for these tactics. They’ve developed over years, and it seems as if they’ve continually escalated. But today’s pattern of obstruction — it just isn’t normal. It’s not what our founders envisioned. A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to refight the result of an election is not normal, and for the sake of future generations, we can’t let it become normal.

So I support the step a majority of senators today took to change the way that Washington is doing business, more specifically, the way the Senate does business. What a majority of senators determined, by Senate rule, is that they would restore the long-standing tradition of considering judicial and public service nominations on a more routine basis.

And here’s why this is important. One of a president’s constitutional responsibilities is to nominate Americans to positions within the executive and judicial branches. Over the six decades before I took office, only 20 presidential nominees to executive positions had to overcome filibusters. In just under five years since I took office, nearly 30 nominees have been treated this way. These are all public servants who protect our national security, look out for working families, keep our air and water clean.

This year alone, for the first time in history, Senate Republicans filibustered a president’s nominee for the secretary of defense, who used to be a former Republican senator. They tried everything they could to hold up our EPA administrator. They blocked our nominee for our top housing regulator at a time when we need more help for more families to afford a home and prevent what has caused mortgage meltdowns from happening again.

And in each of these cases, it’s not been because they opposed the person, that there was some assessment that they were unqualified, that there was some scandal that had been unearthed. It was simply because they opposed the policies that the American people voted for in the last election.

This obstruction gets even worse when it comes to the judiciary. The Constitution charges the president with filling vacancies to the federal bench.

Every president has exercised this power since George Washington first named justices to the Supreme Court in 1789. But my judicial nominees have waited nearly two and a half times longer to receive yes or no votes on the Senate floor than those of President Bush. And the ones who eventually do get a vote generally are confirmed with little if any dissent.

So this isn’t obstruction on substance, on qualifications. It’s just to gum up the works. And this gridlock in Congress causes gridlock in much of our criminal and civil justice systems. You’ve seen judges across the country, including a Bush-appointed chief justice to the Supreme Court, say these are vital vacancies that need to be filled. And this gridlock has not served the cause of justice. In fact, it’s undermined it.

Over the past three weeks, Senate Republicans again denied a yes or no vote on three highly qualified Americans to fill three vacancies on the nation’s second-highest court, even though they have the support of a majority of senators. Four of President Bush’s six nominees to this court were confirmed. Four out of five of my nominees have been obstructed.

So the vote today I think is an indication that a majority of senators believe, as I believe, that enough is enough. The American people’s business is far too important to keep falling prey day after day to Washington politics. I’m a former senator. So is my vice president. We both value any Senate’s duty to advise and consent. It’s important and we take that very seriously.

But a few now refuse to treat that duty of advise and consent with the respect that it deserves. It’s no longer used in a responsible way to govern. It’s rather used as a reckless and relentless tool to grind all business to a halt.

And that’s not what our founders intended. And it’s certainly not what our country needs right now.

And I just want to remind everybody what’s at stake here is not my ability to fulfill my constitutional duty; what’s at stake is the ability of any president to fulfill his or her constitutional duty.

And public service is not a game, it is a privilege. And the consequences of action or inaction are very real. The American people deserve better than politicians who run for election telling them how terrible government is, and then devoting their time in elected office to trying to make government not work as often as possible.

Now, I want to be clear the Senate has actually done some good bipartisan work this year. Bipartisan majorities have passed common- sense legislation to fix our broken immigration system and upgrade our courts — our ports. It’s passed a farm bill that helps rural communities and vulnerable Americans. It passed legislation that would protect Americans from being fired based on their sexual orientation.

So we know that there are folks there, Republican and Democrat, who want to get things done. And frankly, privately they’ve expressed to me their recognition that the system in the Senate had broken down and what used to be a sporadic expertise of the filibuster had gotten completely out of hand.

I believe, I’m confident, that that spirit will have a little more space now. I want us to make sure that we can do more work together to grow the economy and to create jobs.

And if there are differences in the Senate, then debate should be had, people should vote their conscience, they should vote on behalf of their constituents, but they should vote. That’s what they’re there to do. And ultimately, if you got a majority of folks who believe in something, then it should be able to pass.

You know, Americans work hard, they do their jobs, and they expect the same from everybody who got sent here. And as long as I have the privilege of being in this office, I’ll keep working as hard as I know how to make sure that the economy is growing, and we’re creating good jobs, and we’re widening prosperity and opportunity for everybody. And I know that that’s what the majority of folks in the Senate believe as well. But the gears and government have to work. And the step that the majority of senators took today I think will help make those gears work just a little bit better.”

Good job, Harry!