The Watering Hole – Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 – Soledad O’Brien, GOP Lie Detector

It’s been a while since I had any desire to tune into CNN, but thanks to Soledad O’Brien, there’s a chance slightly better than a snowball’s in Hell that I might start watching again. Soledad has been doing something lately you don’t often see on the TV machine – challenging Republican lies. And boy, do they get testy when you do that. This past Tuesday she nailed former NH Gov John Sununu, a former GHW Bush Chief-of-Staff who resigned after misusing government resources to conduct personal business, over his lie that the Romney Medicare plan is not being turned into a voucher program. Apparently the word “voucher” must not have tested well with focus groups when used in conjunction with Medicare (as opposed to when used with “school choice”) because the Republicans insist that it is not a “voucher program,” it’s a “premium support program.” The government will give seniors a fixed amount so they can go out on the free market and buy their own Medicare plans. That fixed amount in known in reality-based circles as a voucher. Notice how testy Sununu gets when Soledad points out the facts. He starts name-calling, and saying she’s just mimicking the White House. (Actually, she’s mimicking the CBO.) How mature.

The next day, she got in to a heated discussion with Romney Surrogate Liar Tim Pawle-zzzzzzzz.

I’m sorry, with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawle-zzzzzzzz.

I’m never going to get this post finished if I keep doing that. Try again.

She got into a discussion with T-Paw, who tried to milk an old Washington trick to “prove” his point. The controversy centered around the Washington definition of the word “cut” in relation to spending and budgets. For those who don’t know, whenever someone proposes reducing the amount of money by which a government program will increase spending, it is called, by both political parties, a “cut.” They do it so they can say, “The other guy wants to cut Medicare!” (Or Education, or Defense, or whatever.) They say this even if the actual amount of money to be spent increases! And, of course, both sides do this because they know the American public doesn’t understand what they’re really saying. They hear “spending cuts,” and they think spending will actually go down. It doesn’t. It just goes up by less.

Which brings us to yesterday and an interview with Rep Jason Chaffetz. This time they were back to whether or not the Romney plan is a “voucher” program or a “premium support” program. Like his fellow Romney surrogates before him, Chaffetz just flat out denies the meaning of words in order to claim he’s right and she’s wrong. It’s another favorite tactic of Republicans – just say the opposite of the truth and claim that whatever the other person is saying is “simply not true.” Keep in mind that their goal is not to win the argument, which they can’t because they don’t have the facts on their side. Instead, the goal is to confuse the American people enough so they don’t believe the side that is telling the truth. The fact is that Obama’s plan saves money by reducing fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare spending. So the Republicans want to make people believe anything but that. And that’s pretty much how they approach any political argument.

If Soledad O’Brien keeps this up, I may just start watching CNN again. At least, I will when she’s on.

[H/T Pete, who brought Soledad O’Brien’s exploits to my attention.]

This is our open thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you want.

[Cross-posted at Pick Wayne’s Brain.]


98 thoughts on “The Watering Hole – Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 – Soledad O’Brien, GOP Lie Detector

  1. Michelle Goldberg on UP: “A lot of these cuts were agreed to by hospitals, precisely because they were going to get more patients under the ACA.”

    Not merely more patients, but paid for patients! They also reduce the effort to collect on delinquent bills owed to the providers.

  2. “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan” is an anagram for “My ultimate Ayn Rand Porn.”

    • That was really well done. I guess it helps that Romney tends to speak in the same monotonous tone all the time, so it flows together nicely. You’d swear Romney said all of that himself, as is. Thanks, bmm.

  3. Richard Belzer on UP, re Wikileaks: “What the government is afraid of is that 1984 goes both ways now. They didn’t count on that. I mean, they’re looking at us but we can look at them now, obviously.”

  4. Where did Mitt live during the past five years? That may be the question behind why the Obama campaign wants only the last five years of Mitt’s tax returns released. Did he list California as his home? Did he list his son’s basement as his home? (I find that hard to believe for a multi-millionaire.) Or did he list a home he bought in late 2009 as his home?

  5. Ryan gets big applause with a line about putting people back to work from a crowd of retired people. They ain’t going back to work!

  6. David Simon at The Audacity of Despair sums up the 13%:

    “Can we stand back and pause a short minute to take in the spectacle of a man who wants to be President of The United States, who wants us to seriously regard him as a paragon of the American civic ideal, declaiming proudly and in public that he has paid his taxes at a third of the rate normally associated with gentlemen of his economic benefit.


    Am I supposed to congratulate this man? Thank him for his good citizenship? Compliment him for being clever enough to arm himself with enough tax lawyers so that he could legally minimize his obligations?

    Thirteen percent. The last time I paid taxes at that rate, I believe I might still have been in college. If not, it was my first couple years as a newspaper reporter. Since then, the paychecks have been just fine, thanks, and I don’t see any reason not to pay at the rate appropriate to my earnings, given that I’m writing the check to the same government that provided the economic environment that allowed for such incomes.

    I can’t get over the absurdity of this moment, honestly: Hey, I never paid less than thirteen percent. I swear. And no, you can’t examine my tax returns in any more detail. But I promise you all, my fellow American citizens, I never once slipped to single digits. I’m just not that kind of guy.


    This republic is just about over, isn’t it?”

  7. Happy 76th birthday to Robert Redford, actor, film director, producer, businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, and founder of the Sundance Film Festival.

  8. Christian Love, American Style, courtesy of this week’s Daily Kos Hatemail:

    Hello FaggoThug

    Dear Mr. Homo B. Dicktickle, resident of Cumbath Junction: Please let heterosexual Americans live their lives and follow their Christian religion in peace. I know your liberal ideology requires that Christian values be destroyed and perversion be made the law of the land, but you need to understand that Christians won’t be bullied around forever. We will vote cocksucking pedophiles like you and Obama out of office and straight to jail. God has punished you and your filthy kind with AIDS and real American voters will punish you with ZERO votes.

    Where are the Nazis? Out, because they defied God. Where are the communists? Out, because they openly defied God. Why did John Mccain lose? Because he had spent his spent career mocking God and giving in to homosexualist demands like the coward he is. The bottom line is this: if you want to shove your tongue into an other man’s asshole in public then you have the right to do that. And if actual real Americans then want to throw you in jail for being a disgusting deviant then we also have right to do that. If you want to have balls in your mouth then maybe you should consider psychiatric treatment because that is sick and twisted.

    Christians are getting angry and we’re getting organized. We have been spat upon and harassed for decades but it ends now. The first step is to replace the faggot in the White House with the non-perverted liberal Mitt Romney and then to replace Romney with someone who actually is both conservative and Christian. Your thugs don’t scare us and your “lawyers” don’t scare us. We may have little power and money but we have faith and we are the majority in this country and we want it back. For every billionaire-Soros you have we have a Christian volunteer who works for free. For every glitzy Hollywood scumbag or media whore you have we have a real American Christian who works hard to protect our faith.

    I’m praying for God to smite you down and to give you AIDS.

    • As a believing christain, that poster is part of the body of Christ. Judging by his comments, I’d say say the rectum.

    • Damn. I just realized I hadn’t reached my quota for the week. Must go out and spit on and harass some Christians. Sad to know that “Christians” have little power or money. That’s probably because there are so few of them left.

    • This type of person is not a Christian, they are false Christians who use Christianity as a shield to spew their hateful, vile venom. Notice the under dog role “it” places Christians like itself in. These types of “Christians” believe they are the victim, that they are under attack and being persecuted by an evil, secular world filled with dirty hippies, socialists, communists. liberals and progressives all who want strip away their religious beliefs.

      This makes them feel more like the Christians and Jews written about in the new and old testaments. Until I see Christianity being banned from society and Christians being fed to lions as to entertain the rest of us heathens, these hateful, vile creatures need to eat a heaping bowl of shut the fuck up.

      They are plain and simply tools of ignorance and show characteristics and traits more becoming of Lucifer then they do of Jesus Christ.

  9. @LOLGOP: Is there any chance Paul Ryan confused Rage Against the Machine with the Free Credit Report Dot Com band?

  10. I like this ad. As someone on Twitter said, it’s equal or better than Reagan’s “Morning in America” (which I always thought of as “Mourning in America.”)

    • “We’ve got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the US and we hate him!” Williams yelled to the crowd.

      Hank’s a good and devout Christian, sounds like.

      • I would think he’d want to come up with something a little more clever, but I guess he knows his audience.

      • Hates farming? His wife has done a great deal for my kind of farming. Hates the military? He’s trying to get them home safely and is willing to support them when they return with something a bit more tangible than the obligatory ribbon and flag pin. What’s Hank done besides drink too much?

          • Perhaps. I do think the president should fulfill Hank’s deranged fantasy and take the man’s guns first. I suspect Hank is a mean and careless drunk.

    • For a supposedly devout Muslim, Obama sure does drink a lot of beer in public. Can Bocephus explain that? Or is that just part of the “lulling into a false sense of security” meme the Right likes to cry. When he wins re-election, I guess Obama will both impose Sharia Law on everyone AND take away all our guns.

      I wish the media would stop simply reporting what they say and tell them they sound like raving paranoid lunatics.

  11. Hey. I’m almost famous and I missed most of it! Oh well, it’s been a great day of glider flying and eating and drinking. I think I’ll go to bed early and try to get to the football field while the players are in church.

  12. The next time you hear a Republican claim that Obama wants to cut $600 billion from defense, know that it;s a lie. You don;t have to just assume, you can prove it;s a lie.

    The sequestration deal, which was agreed to by Republicans, calls for cutting defense spending by $492 billion over nine years. Where does the other $108 billion come from? From the savings on the interest we’d be paying to borrow that $492 billion.

    Also, while I’m no policy expert, I really do believe that we could save a ton of money (or, in technical Economic-speak, a “shitload”) if we stopped privatizing basic services like feeding our troops. We have people who can cook, so let them. It;s cheaper to just buy the food and cooking equipment and let our own troops feed each other. besides, it helps build camaraderie.

  13. “So many people are rubbing on their messy parts. It’s awful, awkward, and germy.”

  14. Just got in from the store. I like to go late because it’s cooler. It is cooler. It’s after 8 p.m., and it’s 95 degrees. 😯

    We have a little cloud cover (or more smoke) and it’s holding the heat down. Yeesh…

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