ACA Upheld by Supreme Court; NPR Obfuscates on The Takeaway
June 29, 2012

The Supreme Court did uphold the ACA yesterday, with Chief Justice Roberts voting with the ‘liberals’ to uphold the law on the grounds of tax law rather than on the commerce clause. The consensus of the talking heads is that he did this in order to preserve the appearance of the Court’s integrity, apparently not realizing that all three people who believe the Court actually has any integrity left are locked up in an asylum somewhere in northern Maine.

I still hold that the Republican branch of the court is corrupt and that they have not the best interests of the people. Their interests are political, almost solely political, aimed at increasing the power of the right wing, the so-called conservatives who are rapidly morphing into authoritarians modeling fascism.

Immediately following the ruling the congressional Republicans announced that they would do everything they could to repeal the law, starting with a vote in the House July 11 to repeal, a vote that will undoubtedly succeed, and will do nothing other than set the stage for their assault of lies and deceit for the next four months. They have nothing to offer Americans that would contain the howling rise in health care costs or that would give everyone a fair shot at getting good healthcare. The Republican prescription is to let the insurance companies continue their vile predation on the people. That fellow from Florida, former Representative Alan Grayson, said it best: The Republican health care plan – Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.

That’s pretty much the sort of thinking that Romney uses in his plan for the country. Cut taxes on the wealthy, raise taxes on the middle class and the working poor, cut social and medical programs and benefits, and spend trillions more on the already bloated military. Oh, yeah, and one more thing – pick a fight with Russia, because they’re, you know, the real enemy. There’s no room in the Republican mind for providing for the common good of all the people – just the rich people. So their plan for the first glimmer of a program that moves toward universal health care, which every other advanced society on the planet has in place, is to kill the program – and any number of people who might otherwise live useful, productive lives.

One might expect a serious and useful discussion of this matter on National Public Radio, and perhaps somewhere on NPR such discussion occurs. But not on their morning flagship show.

NPR’s inept morning show, the Takeaway, performed its usual useless stunt of bringing in a liberal supporter and a conservative opponent of the law, letting hostess Celeste Headlee breathlessly bounce them against each other, thus guaranteeing we would hear spin and opinion rather than dispassionate, informed discussion of the facts of the law and the situation. Fortunately her co-host, John Hockenberry, was off today so we didn’t get both barrels of thoughtless, breathless nonsensical broadcasting. I do wish NPR would dump that show and provide some useful news and discussion in its place. The show is a waste of air time and bandwidth, fit for adolescent mindsets at best. With a little bit of effort, just the tiniest bit, the producers could tip the show into a bad parody of shows that parody news shows. The Takeaway is just another reason why the country has tipped into a civil war. It’s only a matter of time until the shouting and name-calling are replaced with bullets, at which point the complete inadequacy of health care in this country will be fully apparent.

Of course the Republicans, mindless and vicious in their pursuit of power and their worship of wealth, would welcome the sort of violence some of their members propose. The Republicans figure they can count on the blithering insanity of Wayne LaPierre’s NRA to provide them with the manpower and the weaponry to fight an actual shooting war, while the Democrats will spend their time blithering nuances and policy distinctions while they’re being lined up in sports arenas to be shot.

Perhaps Headlee and Hockenberry might provide bullet by bullet commentary. Or perhaps they might commentate on cage fights featuring liberals versus conservatives. That’s more their style, seasoned with reading tweets and emails which they pretend are actual useful news.

One can only hope that NPR decides to take them away. Perhaps with a nice severance package that includes health care.

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Mothers, don’t let your children grow up to be Tennesseans… ‘cause they’ll grow up stupid
April 20, 2012

No, this isn’t about the law down in Tennessee that will sneak religious fairy tales into science classes. Not directly anyway.

NPR’s Takeaway program this morning featured a discussion on the Tennessee law. On one side they had a representative from a national science organization. In the middle they had the usual not-too-competent interlocutor, John Hockenberry. And representing Tennessee they had a seventh grade science teacher.

Okay.

And then Hockenberry says the science teacher doesn’t believe evolution is true.

Think about that for a second. A certified science teacher, teaching seventh graders, who believes one of the most fundamental theories of science isn’t true.

The State of Tennessee certified this guy to teach science. To children. A guy who doesn’t accept the Biblical flood of evidence, of fact, of research, that support evolution.

This same State of Tennessee wants to make it okay to teach Biblical fairy tales in science classrooms. Or rather to protect teachers who want to do so. It’s all a little ambiguous, no doubt designed that way to cover its sins.

And during this little colloquy did Hockenberry ask the teacher to explain why he didn’t believe evolution is true? Barely in passing, and getting the answer, “There’s some problems with it,” which Hockenberry just brushed past. I should note that Hockenberry has had a distinguished career in journalism, but on this show he inserts his opinion too often, asks questions that roll on forever, and ignores key items, i.e., why was this guy certified to teach in Tennessee, and what the hell was Tennessee thinking when it certified him.

There’s about a dozen states trying to pull this off. It’s a little fluid, but the states where this is going on or has gone on (it never goes away) include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Indiana. And that’s likely not an exhaustive list.

What we’ve got here is a case of severe stupidity being enshrined in law and education, and in children’s minds, by the state, where citizens have chosen to elect incredibly narrow-minded, ignorant religious fundogelical freaks to their legislatures and state offices.

Never mind ‘America the Beautiful’. A more accurate song would be titled ‘America the Backward’.

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