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Voila

VOILA....John Goodman, a think tank president, evangelist for Health Savings Accounts, and advisor to John McCain, offers us his solution to the crisis of the uninsured:Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access...

| Thu Aug. 28, 2008 1:47 PM EDT

VOILA....John Goodman, a think tank president, evangelist for Health Savings Accounts, and advisor to John McCain, offers us his solution to the crisis of the uninsured:

Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort...."So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American — even illegal aliens — as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care. "So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

This is, obviously, idiotic — though in an almost charming, movement conservative Tourette's sort of way — but one wonders who Goodman thinks is going to be the payer of last resort for non-emergency care? Santa Claus?

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Republican Solution to Health Care Crisis: Head, Meet Sand

Check this guy out. Texas once again led the nation with the highest percentage of residents without health insurance, a...

| Thu Aug. 28, 2008 1:26 PM EDT

Check this guy out.

Texas once again led the nation with the highest percentage of residents without health insurance, a U.S. Census Bureau report showed Tuesday...
But the numbers are misleading, said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank. Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)
"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American — even illegal aliens — as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.
"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

The fact that this guy is anywhere near actual public policy is scary. He is aware, of course, that you can't get a dental exam, mental health care, or any kind of preventative care at an emergency room? He is also aware that emergency room care is the most expensive of all kinds of health care, and that we should be taking active steps to minimize it, not ignore it?

Just tuck this little nugget away: The man who helped write John McCain's health care plan believes the solution to the health care problem in this country is to literally pretend we don't have one.

Stem Cell Hell

STEM CELL HELL....It's not clear to me how much anyone really cares about party platforms these days, but according to Stephen Spruiell the GOP platform now calls for a complete ban on all embryonic stem cell research. Publicly funded, privately...

| Thu Aug. 28, 2008 1:18 PM EDT

STEM CELL HELL....It's not clear to me how much anyone really cares about party platforms these days, but according to Stephen Spruiell the GOP platform now calls for a complete ban on all embryonic stem cell research. Publicly funded, privately funded, new lines, pre-existing lines, whatever. If it's an embryo, you can't use it for research.

This is the kind of thing that, over and over, seems like it ought to be a big deal to me. And yet, at the federal level, it never really seems to generate more than yawns. I guess everyone is used to conservative hardliners insisting on ideological purity, being humored in one way or another, and then, in the end, ignored. So no one takes it seriously.

Which, in a sense, is almost fair. Still, just for the record: the Republican Party now officially opposes all embryonic stem cell research no matter what. In case anyone ever asks you.

God Understands Irony, Part 2

Remember when the meeting of global warming deniers in Florida was canceled due to an impending tropical storm? This might...

| Thu Aug. 28, 2008 1:13 PM EDT

Remember when the meeting of global warming deniers in Florida was canceled due to an impending tropical storm? This might top that. President Bush's speech at the Republican National Convention may be postponed from its current Monday slot because tropical storm Gustav may hit the Gulf Coast that day.

John McCain Does Not Understand Cause and Effect

Others are focusing on the more bizarre moments of Time's McCain interview, but I want to highlight a passage near...

| Thu Aug. 28, 2008 1:06 PM EDT

Others are focusing on the more bizarre moments of Time's McCain interview, but I want to highlight a passage near the end. Here's McCain:

I believe that the world is better off without Saddam Hussein. I believe it's clear that he had every intention to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction. I can only imagine what Saddam Hussein would be doing with the wealth he would acquire with oil at $110 and $120 a barrel.

Are there any sixth graders available who can explain to John McCain why that last sentence makes no sense?

The Manchurian McCain

THE MANCHURIAN McCAIN....Wow. McCain really does sound like the Manchurian candidate here:Q: What do you want voters to know coming out of the Republican Convention ? about you, about your candidacy? A: I'm prepared to be President of the United...

| Thu Aug. 28, 2008 12:46 PM EDT

THE MANCHURIAN McCAIN....Wow. McCain really does sound like the Manchurian candidate here:

Q: What do you want voters to know coming out of the Republican Convention — about you, about your candidacy?

A: I'm prepared to be President of the United States, and I'll put my country first.

It goes downhill — way downhill — from there. He's really, really terrified of going off message these days.

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Dep't of Rapid Response: 1968 Edition

Posted on the McCain campaign's blog yesterday: Flashback: 40 Years Ago Today, Bill Ayers Arrested at DNC Emailed to...

| Thu Aug. 28, 2008 12:44 PM EDT

obama_seven_years.jpg Posted on the McCain campaign's blog yesterday:

Flashback: 40 Years Ago Today, Bill Ayers Arrested at DNC

Emailed to reporters by the Obama campaign shortly thereafter:

Flashback: 40 Years Ago Today, Barack Obama Was Seven Years Old

They made sure to include the photo at right.

Mitt Romney Would Be Karl Rove's Handpicked VP

According to Politco: "Rove is pushing Romney so aggressively some folks are beginning to wonder what's going on," grumbled one...

| Thu Aug. 28, 2008 12:25 PM EDT

According to Politco:

"Rove is pushing Romney so aggressively some folks are beginning to wonder what's going on," grumbled one veteran Republican strategist.
From his perch on Fox, Rove has touted McCain's fierce primary rival as strong vice presidential material.
"Romney is already vetted by the media, has strong executive experience both in business and in government, has an interesting story to tell with saving the U.S. Olympics, and also helps McCain deal with the economy, because he can speak to the economy with a fluency that McCain doesn't have," Rove said on "Fox News Sunday" in June.

Rove is specifically worried about one guy.

Rove called Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) late last week and urged him to contact John McCain to withdraw his name from vice presidential consideration, according to three sources familiar with the conversation. Lieberman dismissed the request, these sources agreed.
Lieberman "laughed at the suggestion and certainly did not call [McCain] on it," said one source familiar with the details.

I'm kind of stunned that the conversation has narrowed to these two guys. Romney, who McCain despised in the primaries because of his transparent lack of principle, and Lieberman, a conservative Democrat who threatens to rip the Republican Party apart. Surely the McCain campaign is smart enough to find a dark horse that will surprise the media (thus resulting in even more breathless coverage) and excite the base?

Update: Rove's denial on this story is so lame even Fox News says he's "waffling."

Thursday Cat Blogging

Kevin Drum's passion for the kitties is leaking over to MoJoBlog. So I'll briefly note this important development: cats...

| Thu Aug. 28, 2008 11:47 AM EDT

winged-cat.jpg

Kevin Drum's passion for the kitties is leaking over to MoJoBlog. So I'll briefly note this important development: cats have grown wings. Yes, it is true. I saw it on BoingBoing.

In all seriousness, please check out Kevin. He's been blogging up a storm, not only providing crucial updates on Domino and Inkblot but also giving readers an outside-of-Denver view on the convention. Haven't been able to catch much of the action? Read David Corn's night-by-night reviews of the action in Denver: Night One, Night Two, and yesterday's very-successful Night Three.

The Good Soldier

THE GOOD SOLDIER....Jon Chait on Biden's speech:What continues to be missing is a frame to explain why John McCain believes all these wrongheaded things he talks about. But it's very simple. McCain used to stand against the ideologues and moneyed...

| Thu Aug. 28, 2008 2:13 AM EDT

THE GOOD SOLDIER....Jon Chait on Biden's speech:

What continues to be missing is a frame to explain why John McCain believes all these wrongheaded things he talks about. But it's very simple. McCain used to stand against the ideologues and moneyed interests of the GOP, but he decided that if he wanted to win the GOP nomination, he had to make himself their ally. I suspect Democrats will regret this when Republicans tear Barack Obama's character apart next week.

Amy Sullivan expands on this a bit:

A number of speakers have made reference to their personal friendship with John McCain, carefully noting how much they admire him, before going on to criticize him. And that's effective to a point — "more in sorrow than in anger" plays differently than straight-on attacks.

But Democrats might find it would be more effective if they explained why they're so disappointed with their friend John McCain. How did this great guy they admire so much became a candidate whose positions appall them? It wasn't a fluke, it wasn't like he had a personality transplant. And the answer would seem to fit perfectly into a powerful Democratic narrative. John McCain changed because that's what he had to do to win the Republican nomination. That's what the reigning conservative ideology and interests demanded of him.

Right. It's what Biden was getting at when he said, "These times require more than a good soldier, they require a wise leader." It's a good line, but too subtle. The expanded version is that McCain has had to prostrate himself to the neocons, the theocons, and the moneycons because that's what it takes to win the Republican nomination these days: you have to be a good soldier. And one way or another that's a story that the Democrats need to tell. A laundry list of flip-flops doesn't make an impression unless you explain what's behind it.

It's also why I liked the passage from Bill Clinton's speech that I highlighted yesterday. He didn't just tie McCain to George Bush, he tied him directly to the full range of contemporary right-wing dogma. That's what Obama needs to do too. In some simple way, he needs to make people understand that all the stuff they don't like about the past eight years isn't just the fault of one guy's idiosyncrasies, it's the fault of an entire worldview. And if you elect McCain, you're electing that worldview too.