Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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Starbucks to Offer More Sizes, Republicans Blame Health Care Reform

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This is cross-posted at Leaving My Marc.

In a big announcement this morning, Starbucks has introduced two new beverage sizes to its U.S. stores: the Plenta and the Micra.

Hugh Mungis, Starbucks VP of Volume issued the following statement:

Whether customers are looking for a large or small size, the Plenta and the Micra satisfy all U.S. and Canada customers' needs for more and less coffee. Our size selection is now plentiful.

Republicans have responded by saying "Hell No, You Can't" and blasting this as a direct result of the recently signed health care reform (HCR) legislation.

Republicans McClellan and Frum Rip the “Tea Party”; McDonnell Flirts With...

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The question is, do Scott McClellan and David Frum speak for many other Republicans? Here in Virginia, we elected a Tea Partier as Attorney General, and we've got a governor who's apparently in full agreement with him.  That same governor is also saying he has "a great deal of respect for Sarah Palin" and that "[s]he's a principled conservative." Frum and McClellan apparently make up the "sane" wing of the GOP, while McDonnell and Cooch make up...well, a different wing.

Mike Signer: “How to Beat the Demagogues”

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Virginia Tech Adjunct Professor and former Virginia Lieutenant Governor candidate Mike Signer takes on "demagogues," brick-throwing "Tea Party" activists, and "melodramatic opportunists like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck."  Signer's key points:

1. "Ad hominem attacks can backfire...ad hominem attacks against opportunists like Beck and Palin can often backfire, making them both more popular and even more sympathetic."

2. "Help educate people about our constitutional traditions...the chattering class must translate its concern about stability into forceful, thoughtful, sustained attempts to educate the citizenry about the systemic dangers of demagogues."

3. "Extreme opportunists usually self-destruct...Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, even the nativist Lou Dobbs (rumored last year to be looking at a presidential run) may look longingly at actual national power. But they will most likely collapse if they actually seek it and refuse to let go their demagogic ways."

4. "Side with the people and show them results...[Democrats] should focus on direct job creation people can see, rather than economic theories they have to believe."

I particularly agree with Signer's last point, that Democrats need to ramp up efforts aimed at helping "Main Street," perhaps along the lines of a modern-day "Civilian Conservation Corps," "Works Progress Administration" and "National Youth Administration."  Let Republicans fight for rich people and Wall Street, while Democrats fight for working people and the middle class. That's not just the right thing to do economically and morally, it's also the smart move politically. Can we say "no brainer?"

The True Face of the Tea Party Reveals Itself

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See Talking Points Memo for full coverage of this shameful afternoon. Why is this not surprising? And where are the Republican "leaders" to denounce this disgraceful behavior?  AWOL, of course.

Video: “The Tea Party and the Circus” on Health Care Reform

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A few key points on this video. First, note that anti-healthcare-reform "tea partier" after "tea partier," when asked, can NOT name specifics in the bill (or anywhere else) to back up their heated rhetoric/talking points. Second, note that when asked where they got their information, it's from totally biased (which they admit when asked) sources like "Fox News" and not from actually reading and understanding the legislation. Third, note how time and again, tea partiers in this video simply deny facts they find inconvenient, like the FACT that there are 30 million people without health insurance in this country. Fourth, note that lack of compassion, for instance that people without health insurance should just "go to the hospital." Fifth, note the cult-like worship of Glenn Beck and his "principles."  Finally, note the excellent job the interviewer does in trying to pin these people down and letting them attempt to respond. It may not be a "circus," exactly, but it sure is funny at times. If you find "dark" and "disturbing" to be funny, that is.

P.S. Check out this graph, courtesy of Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com, which demonstrates that conservatives are moving in a completely different direction on health care reform as liberals and moderates in this country. Gee, I wonder if 24/7 echo chamber brainwashing by Faux News, Rush, Glenn, etc. might just be causing that. Hmmmm.

UPDATE #2: See Paul Krugman's "Why We Reform" for an intelligent, well-informed argument (the exact opposite of what we see in the above video) why we need health care reform now.