Why Is No One Covering This?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No, not that poll. We're not bright. At this point, if you don't recognize that's dog bites man, you're not paying attention. The rest of the industrialized world has health care for all its citizens - we think that means death panels. We have the 37th best health care system in the world and we'll shout you down if you want to fix it. We're completely held hostage by insurance companies and forced to take whatever crap is shoved down our throats at work because it's the only connection we have to those insurance companies. But a system that would fix both of those conditions would by tyrannical. U-S-A. U-S-A. U-S-A.

No, not this. That's a senior Obama official telling the Washington Post that the "left of the left" is killing health care because of their ridiculous desire for a public option. As the official spokesman for the left of the left, let me say we actually want single payer.

That's a helluva spin. It's not the corporate interests who have spent; well spent this:

Arlen Specter (R-D- PA- $4,026,933)

Max Baucus (D- MT- $2,833,731)

Mitch McConnell (R-KY- $2,758,468)

Ben Nelson (D-NE- $1,196,799)

Joe Lieberman (D- CT- $1,036,302)

Chuck Schumer (D-NY- $981,400)

Chuck Grassley (R-IA- $884,724)

...those are campaign contributions spent by anti-health care reform forces in the last decade. Or this:


...the amount of lobbying money spent during the same time frame by those same anti-health care reform forces. Yes, that's in bbbbilions. As in "what would motivate an industry to spend billions of dollars in lobbying? What could they possibly receive in return to justify all that money spent? I mean - the CEOs who approved this sort of expenditure - they probably got punished somehow by their boards of directors, right?

Or maybe Ron Williams of Aetna made 24 million dollars in 2008.

Our health care system, the one that is being defended by billions of health insurance dollars, kills Americans every day while the CEOs of those insurance companies pocket millions.

But universal health care = Nazis.

We're idiots. But this isn't about that.

Or this (quoting Bernie Sanders)

The estimate is about $400 billion a year in administrative costs, in billing, in profits, in CEO compensation, in advertising--all of those things which have nothing to do with the provision of healthcare...

In California, my understanding is that 1 out of every 3 dollars of premiums goes to administration. If we are gonna address the very rapid and dangerous increase in healthcare [costs], then the only way to do that is through a single-payer system which wrings out all of the waste that private health insurance creates.

It's not those corporate interests and purchased politicians of both parties; it's not the wedding of corporate purchasing power, authoritarianism, and the ignorance of the American people.

(a note - a response I've gotten to my "uh, why all the guns outside the town halls" is "it's protest! Free speech! You like free speech, Jividen!" I do. True story. Sure, this is clearly designed not to promote, but to chill speech, but I can pick up what you're laying down. People should be able to protest their President, absolutely. And if it was Bush, giving a speech, and say protesters showed up with loaded automatic weapons and signs talking about watering the tree of liberty, I'm sure that would have been fine.

Or - they would have been arrested without a peep from the media.

And that's if they were just holding the sign.
With no gun around anywhere.

But that was just once, right? Or maybe twice?

These people:

got arrested.

This dude:

got interviewed.

What kind of country would it be if the 4th Amendment had the sort of lobbying muscle that the 2nd Amendment does? Would George Clooney stand before a cheering throng as he yelled out "You want to search my house without a warrant supported by probable cause? You can have the keys to my front door when you pry them out of my cold, dead hands!!"

But none of that is what I want to talk about.

I want to discuss the curious tie in between Bravo (gay ESPN) and Operation Smile.

You all know what I'm talking about!

The 2009 television drinking game of choice at my house (fair disclosure, I don't drink, but I sure can eat me a chocolate chip cookie - particularly now that the Nestle cookie dough recall is over. A longer national nightmare I cannot recall. Hey, homonyms!) involved taking a shot whenever Jessie starting yammering about the good people at Operation Smile. It was a weird season long product placement; as intrusive as the Diet Dr. Depper in the new 90210 (as of yet, there's not a character I care about even a little bit since they shipped off Lucinda Bluth. I keep waiting for BlackBrandon to pull out a trenchcoat and a sawed off shotgun to start killing off drug dealers.)

But if it remained there it would only be a mild curiosity that helped add to my tremendous weight gain.

However, on last week's Miami Social - suddenly Hardy (who is mysteriously silent about his days on Big Brother 2. Don't think we don't know who you is Hardy! You are Captain Club Promoter now, with your {absolutely bizarre} tendency to be shot like you were Don Cheadle's partner in Oceans 11. But we know you as the All-american boy next door who fell under Nicole's dark and mysterious spell in what remains Big Brother's best season {6 was better, right? The result was unsatisfying, but 6 was better. And maybe All-Stars was better too - but for historical importance, what beats BB2? I'm still doing the Chilltown hand signals. Talk about being under the sway of authoritarianism}) suddenly Hardy is putting on a benefit for, wait for it, Operation Smile. It was like when NBC has one of their enviro-friendly weeks and Tracy Jordan is talking about chlorofluorocarbons, "The ozone layer is racist, Liz Lemon!"

And I just need to know what the hell is going on. Where's my Fox News poll:

27% of Americans believe that Operation Smile will force healthy white Christian babies to be disfigured by Obamacare plastic surgeons. Your tax dollars will fund this.

Sometimes my stories confuse me. NYC Prep and Miami Social both pimping for Operation Smile!

And I turn to mainstream media for answers.

But the answers do not come.

And now what?

(Update - so, if you read the comments, you'll find that I now have an answer - the fine people at Operation Smile not only do good work - they have excellent taste in blogs.  That was surprise number one for the day - surprise number two is my friend Kate, baker of the aforementioned cookies, ran into the aformentioned Jessie later that day.  She did not inquire about the whereabouts of PC.  Although that would have been awesome.  The Blog of Revelation~  Solver of Mysteries, Eater of Cookies.) 


Travisina said...

Good news for those Operation Smile kids: now they can eat cookies too. In fact, the benefits should just be named Operation Cookie.

Jim said...

Operation Cookie would be fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

On behalf of Operation Smile, thank you for your thought provoking post. To add to your Operation Smile/Operation Cookie campaign I'd like to announce our partnership with Mrs. Fields cookies. Check it out here:

To address your questions about our appearance on not one but two Bravo shows; Hardy contacted us last year about putting on an event on our behalf. We knew it would be filmed by Bravo but had no info about the show or the air dates and time.

We also were aware that Jessie, the student chair of our NY Junior Smile event would be a primary feature on another Bravo show; again not having any idea when it would air and how much the show would include information about us and our mission.

It was true coincidence (and possible maneuvering on Bravo's part)that the shows aired back to back and that our name was so prominent.

We are excited that while seemingly pre-planned, the feature on these programs has served to educate people about cleft deformities in developing countries and how $240 and 45 minutes can give a child a new life!

We're honored great bloggers, Tweeters and other social media folks are helping to spread the word and are excited about the opportunities to help provide more surgeries to children as a result!

Hope this solves the mystery-enjoy the cookies!

Renee Hamilton
Operation Smile

Jim said...


You mean, if I have questions about the world, all I have to do is ask them in this blog and I'll get answers?

The ramifications of this are astounding.

Blog said...

Now that the Operation Smile issue has been resolved, can we get with the urgent business of analyszing the GWARP19 numbers for Brett Favre?

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