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Brain-warping stupidity

Two truly insane things to contemplate today.

The support for Cliven Bundy’s anarchy in Nevada. This one’s a real stunner. Here’s a guy who says he doesn’t acknowledge the existence of the US government, who grazes his cattle on federal land (i.e., our land, yours and mine, which our tax dollars support and maintain) without paying for the privilege, who has ignored court orders for decades and currently owes a million dollars in fines and fees. When the feds come to arrest him — as they would anyone with this history — a group of crazies armed to the teeth show up to “defend freedom.” And the right wing, from Rand Paul to Sean Hannity, leaps in to fan the flames. In Hannity’s broadcasts he looks like he’s just hoping that a shooting war breaks out so he can launch another moronic attack on a “government out of control.”

So, here we have a group on the Republican right that is famous for loudly proclaiming that we are a nation of laws countenancing a law-breaking crackpot. There are, at last count, some 18,000 honorable farmers and ranchers across the country who use public land and pay the reasonable fees to do so. After all, when Bundy uses federal land to fatten his cattle on he’s basically cheating all the other ranchers who pay the fees or who pay for their own land on which their cattle graze. There are good reasons why the Nevada Cattleman’s Association has condemned Bundy over his antics.

The so-called “standoff” that erupted was the result of an influx of what Harry Reid properly called “domestic terrorists.” Some of these armed militias were local but most were right-wing fanatics from around the country, the ones who have paranoid dreams about the UN and see “black helicopters” in the evening skies. Things were tense for some time when the BLM officers finally decided that it wasn’t worth the carnage that would likely ensue if they moved on Bundy’s ranch. They released the cattle they had corralled and left. They should be praised for their discretion. The person seemingly most disheartened by this was Hannity who had stated that he expected the federal agents to make a midnight raid and kill Bundy and his family.

This nonsense provokes a thought: Whose side would these bozos be on if the stand-off was between a Black man who had been refusing to pay his rent for twenty years, had several courts rule against him, who owed his landlord a million dollars and whose actions were being supported by a bunch of gun-toting members of the Black Panthers? Just asking….

The support for state’s refusal to enroll in Medicaid. As of this writing there are still 21 states that have opted out of the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA (aka Obamacare) — three others are still considering various options. And, yes, every one of these is a “red” state where either a Republican governor or a Republican controlled legislature has blocked adoption. What is beyond insanity is that 100% of the cost of Medicaid is paid for by the feds for three years and 90% of it thereafter. It doesn’t cost these states anything to sign on. In fact, it will cost them dearly not to because all the poverty-stricken folks with serious medical conditions and no insurance will be using the public hospital emergency rooms and the tab for these procedures will fall to the states. The latest estimate from the Lewin Group is that these states will cost themselves a tad over $100 billion over the next five years.

This nonsense provokes a thought: Would these reactionary idiots be acting this way if the ACA had been passed by a Republican president? After all, it was Romney whose Massachusetts bill was the model for it and, in case you didn’t know, that bill was crafted by the conservative think-tank the American Enterprise Institute. It was their effort to recognize the need for health care reforms and to try to preempt the possibility of a single-payer system. Their reasons were simple: it benefitted the insurance companies which would suffer economically under a British type single-payer program. Just wondering ….

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