The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

  • Hit Counter

    • 41,259 hits
  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • September 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Dec    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    252627282930  
  • Rock the Vote, powered by Credo Mobile

    Yahoo! Avatars

Who Used the Term First?

Posted by ALmod on December 14, 2009

In an answer to Don, who commented on one of my blog postings just before comments closed– as they do after a month…

I’m going to turn this into a formal request to all of my readers.  Please Google a question before you ask it.  Otherwise, expect a long time before I can respond.  How long?  Well, Don posted his question on the 5th, and I’m just now getting to it, but a quick Google search allowed me to answer his question in about 5 minutes.  A lack of an answer doesn’t mean that I can’t answer.  It just means this…  I’ve been tied up with other things, and I simply don’t have time to answer every email that comes across my desk when you could have answered it yourself.  I’ve had no less than sixteen different people emailing me and wanting to debate in length the entire Tea Party issue, policy issues, and the health care bill(s).  From here on out, if your question starts out with something akin to “What does the health care bill say about…”, please don’t expect anything less from me than, “Here’s the link.   You tell me.”

December is a HORRIBLE month for me almost every year, but this year has been particularly bad.  Of course, the holidays are going to make December quite busy for anyone.  I have no less than five parties to attend every single year whilst toting a toddler and cramming in my last minute shopping that, yes, I should have done in October.  This December, that’s compounded by a few other things.  I had a car accident a couple weeks ago, and it’s taken me quite a bit of time in talking to the other people involved, dealing with the insurance company in totaling out the car, picking up police reports, getting a rental, getting out of the rental, and buying a new car (which involved quite a few days of haggling with dealers and doing research).  That’s not all.  My aunt sent me an invitation to a lesser family holiday event that led me to believe the big party had been rescheduled, so we accidentally scheduled two parties on the same day, but my mother seems to create drama over the fact that we’ll be late (as opposed to not showing up at all).  That’s not all.  My daughter is having some trouble in preschool that has required some parent-teacher conferences, a screening by the local public school system, and appointments and phone calls to a child psychologist for a screening.  The psychologist is supposed to be good, but their office apparently isn’t great about picking up the phone or returning phone calls when you do get through.  That’s not all.  A shipment of Christmas gifts purchased online hasn’t shown up yet, so I’m making calls to THEM to see what the holdup is.

In a nutshell, I’m swamped.

So now, to answer this question in particular, which seems to be the subject of many emails to me from many different people:

The first joke that I can recall was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in March, where he showed footage of Fox News’ Griff Jenkins saying demonstrators were going to “teabag the White House.”  You can find that footage on http://www.thedailyshow.com and various other places.

Here is one of those clips.

As is widely known, the tax day protests were highly PROMOTED (not merely COVERED) by Fox News.  I’ll let Rick Sanchez bust this one for me:

Various footage of Fox promoting the event, even to the point of them labeling the event as a “Fox News Tea Party”:

Speaking of Fox News and promoters…  I’ve already proven to SEVERAL of you via email about how the promoters and Fox News used pictures of other events from as early as the 1970s and represented them as pictures of the tea party protests to make the crowd seem larger.  That was easily proven to be the case, and if for some reason there’s still someone out there who’s going to ask me to prove it, I’d ask you to Google it.  It’s out there and quite easy to find.

By the way, I didn’t happen to notice anything snotty in the way CNN covered the event.  But in particular, pay attention to what starts at about 3:33 in the video, so I hope that when Fox News manufactured this outrage over something that they created (but claim that the liberal left created), nobody takes them seriously.  It’s why I brought up the subject of the photograph thing.  In fact, Fox News making things seem a certain way when it isn’t is nothing new:

Like when they used footage of the wrong event to make crowds look bigger at a later event.

Of course, by the time the jokes started from MSNBC– the most widely distributed source of the “humor”– it was early April.  By then, the meaning had already been widely known, as you can see from reports in February and March of tea party protesters using the term.

Here’s a sign in February.

That was in fact the earliest example of anyone using the term in that manner in regard to the tea party protests, and I’d challenge anyone who says otherwise to provide the evidence to back it up.

Well after the double meaning became widely known, it was still used by many sites promoting the events and people holding signs at the big rally:

Here’s one website.
Here’s one sign.

All that being said, the argument that I keep hearing is that “it wasn’t all of the protesters/promoters or even a large percentage.”  Nevertheless, it was still protesters/promoters who first started using the term.  It was these same protesters/promoters who made up a decent portion of that large crowd that you boasted.  Are you going to say they didn’t count?  Even if they don’t, it’s still completely false to say that anyone from the “liberal left” or began use of the term in reference to tea parties to pick on you.  Your guys used it first, and it was funny.  The other guys just went with it.

Yes, I noticed the term the first time I heard Griff Jenkins utter it, and because I recognized the term without anyone having to tell me I’ve been accused of being crude or hanging out with questionable people simply because I recognized the term.  I’m sorry to break this to you, but I know because I (like 11 million other people) play World of Warcraft, which gives me significant exposure to high school and college age kids and their vernacular.  Anyone under the age of 35 (and some over) will likely be at least vaguely familiar with an urban dictionary and the words held within.  “Teabagging” isn’t exactly an obscure word, either.  In fact, I’d say it’s more widely used than “fallacio. ”  And because of the age of many of the players, it’s become quite common in-game to “teabag” your fallen opponents.  As you can see from the video below, which was made in 2008, it’s typically taken as a psych out or a joke to those you’ve defeated in-game:

By the way, if you are fnot familiar with the terminology used in that video, the jokes will go right over your head.  But please don’t ask me to break it down and explain what this guy’s talking about.  That would require nothing short of a novel.  Instead, I’d recommend a free 14 day trial of the game.  Run to a major city (which you can do at level 1), and read the chat.  After an hour or so, you’ll have a better idea.

Juvenile?  Yes.  Crude?  Maybe.  Out of the mainstream?  Obscure?  Hardly.  World of Warcraft isn’t the only MMOG out there, and I can assure you that the terminology is pretty much the same in all of them and even some outside the game.  And if WoW has well over 11 million subscribers, then imagine how those numbers add up when you include other games.  Does that make me crude?  No.  I just play a game, and part of playing that game exposes me to words that aren’t even necessarily limited to the other players within the gaming community.  It’s like calling folks who watch CSI crude or implying that they’re less morally sound than you simply because they’re familiar with the terminology used on that show.

So if you guys don’t mind, I’m going to be AFK for a while.  I realize this isn’t exactly OOC for me, since I do it a lot, but don’t expect me to run you through any instances anytime soon.

Advertisements

Posted in Mainstream Media, Public Outrage, Tibits | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

More Tea Party “/facepalm”

Posted by ALmod on November 11, 2009

Jon Stewart caught something I completely missed.

Posted in Mainstream Media, Public Outrage | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on More Tea Party “/facepalm”

Teabaggers v. Holocaust Survivors

Posted by ALmod on November 10, 2009

How is it exactly that something like this somehow flew under the MSM radar?

I suppose that using the Holocaust is convenient when you’re opposing health care reform– until the survivors start calling you out on it.

Then, all you have to do is just sit back and read the comments to see the true face of the Tea Party.

The people I feel for are the true Libertarians who started this back during Bush’s time in office to truly protest conservative principals before it turned into the right-wing Obama bash-fest that it is today. These were the true nonpartisans.

Not happy with merely hijacking the GOP from true conservatives, and realizing that the real conservatives have mostly moved on, the wolves had to change their wool sweaters. Unfortunately, that’s what I see when I hear the word “libertarian” these days.  It’s just not cool to be “Republican” anymore.

Posted in Public Outrage | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

A “Woman’s Problem”

Posted by ALmod on November 7, 2009

It struck me today in this whole abortion debate over the House bill that there still exists a certain mentality.

Before I go further, let me address my own views.  I’m personally pro-life, but I also know (as a woman who has experienced pregnancy and childbirth) that the issue of women and reproduction is not quite so simple as either choose to have sex or don’t.  We have a whole other series of body parts that men do not have that carry with them their own potential to cause or have problems.  And when those parts (and the rest of our bodies) experience pregnancy, that carries a whole other set of potential problems in and of themselves.  Add to that the fact that human relationships are never simple.  What started out as a perfectly wonderful marriage from a woman’s perspective can the next day turn into a nightmare.  Add to that, we can be put through the health strain that is pregnancy entirely against our will.  Add to that the fact that a thousand and one different things can go wrong during a pregnancy that not only affects your life but the life of the child that you carry.

And at any time, the man can simply walk away with few (if any) consequences.

I would probably never under any circumstances elect to have an abortion, but I understand that there are complicated circumstances that do exist that would make it very hard for me to judge someone who would.

Now, all that being said, a certain ugly narrative has been going on during this whole health care debate.  Senator John Kyle, in particular, stood out by arguing that maternity care not be included in basic coverage because as a man he didn’t need it.  Now, as someone who would be expected to argue that every baby should have an opportunity to live, it strikes me as particularly unnerving that he would suggest that it’s acceptable to exclude coverage that would be needed for that to happen.  Indeed, without well baby checkups, many babies wouldn’t make it to the delivery room– including the male ones.

One commenter on the situation argued that if women couldn’t afford to buy extra coverage or pay out of pocket for such expenses that they shouldn’t have sex.  That same commenter today argued in context of the abortion debate that covering abortion was akin to having taxpayers pay for a woman’s voluntary sexual behavior.  Many nodded in agreement.  The problem with that argument– and ultimately with that mindset– is that at no time has a woman ever magically found herself pregant without the aid of a man, unless said woman was going to give birth to a religious figure.  Still, it’s “a woman’s problem.”

How different would this narrative be if men could get pregnant?  Would we be having these conversations at all?

What if we as women embraced the idea that pregnancy and other consequences of sex were indeed our problems?  What if we decided that it was as simple as being if we didn’t want those problems then we shouldn’t have sex?  Those problems don’t just end at the alter, either.  Married women would have to consider this as well.  What if Lysistrata had it right?  What if we just decided not to have sex?  Ever.  Married or not.  Girlfriend or not.  Because it is our problem like it or not because of the way this world makes it our problem alone, and maybe we should consider that at all times, even when we have a ring on our finger.

I wonder if that would then make it a man’s problem.

Posted in Health and Wellness | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

You stay classy, Paepcke!

Posted by ALmod on October 29, 2009

Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m not a Langford fan.  And I think the guilty verdict was deserved.  Heck, Langford’s own defense pretty much consisted of “Langford did it, but…”  There are no buts.  Langford did it and admitted it.  It’s nice that you think he’s a swell guy in spite of that, but it boils down to the fact he did it.

Now all that being said, let me direct you to this writeup by Kyle Whitmire, who (along with John Archibald) covered the trial spectacularly.  Now once you’ve read that, watch the video of Langford’s reaction, and then pay attention to the second reporter and the question he asks.  That reporter was NBC 13’s Jon Paepke.

Now, it’s quite obvious to anyone who isn’t a moron that Paepke wasn’t asking a serious question.  That was a kick in the nuts and berries that you’d expect from a blogger or pundit– not a professional news reporter.  Grow up.

Posted in Local Government, Mainstream Media, Scandal | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Answering Questions: A Response to BrokeSnake

Posted by ALmod on October 29, 2009

In response to Five questions that linger for me about Health Care reform:

My apologies to BrokeSnake for not simply leaving a comment, but there is a character limit, and so I’m taking this opportunity to answer him on my own blog.

1.  Do people want good, low price health care or more government control?

Well, here’s the rub.  You can’t have good, low price health care without more government control.  We know that doing nothing certainly won’t give us good, low price health care.  That’s obvious.  And while I’ve seen folks argue that less government control might work, consider that we already allow them to be exempt from anti-trust laws (a government control).  Look at the good that’s done us.  It’s eliminated competition for them, and we’ve got health care that is more expensive than in any other country and isn’t guaranteed– even if we’re paying for it.  That scenario alone should tell us that these companies at the very least need to be subjected to anti-trust laws so that they are forced to compete with each other, but that’s a type “government control.”  Even without a public option, you’ll still at least need some government regulation to improve the situation.

2.  Is the guarantee to all Americans a service that will provide all of us with free health care?

No, and it never has been.  The idea that there was somewhere a guarantee for “free” health care actually comes from opposition talking points.  Even proponents of a single-payer system will tell you that it isn’t free.  Of course, you might have some gullible loony somewhere that believes there’s some public services fairy that waves her wand and gives us police protection and public schools, but most people with an iota of common sense realize that nothing is ever free.

The actual goal is not free health care.  The goal has been better quality health care with a cheaper price tag.  That’s a realistic goal that’s been implemented in too many other countries for us to say it’s impossible here.  Americans deserve it.

3.  If affordability is the issue, what the hell is wrong with Medicaid?

Affordability is one issue, but it’s not the issue.  While the cost of health insurance is too high to be acceptable, many people are still able to afford it and will actually buy it.  The problem is that many of those people cannot get insurance because the insurance companies refuse to sell it to them.  Or some buy it but get dropped after they get sick.  Let me repeat that for you.  People who are able and willing to pay for health insurance and some who actually have insurance are the ones who most need reform because there are too many cases where the insurers will only cover a certain amount and then drop you or they will refuse to cover a treatment that you thought was covered.

Back to the affordability thing.  Let’s say that you are dropped.  Let’s say that you can’t afford insurance.  In order to qualify for Medicaid, your income cannot exceed a certain amount.  Therefore, you are encouraging those people to be less productive so that they can get medical coverage.  Do we really want that?  Add to that, when you have government providing coverage for the sickest, oldest, and poorest Americans, it guarantees a profit to insurers.  It’s basically a government subsidy for a private corporation.  Why not instead do what other governments do and require private insurers to offer coverage to everyone and allow the pool of younger, healthier patients to offset the cost of the older, sicker ones?  Meanwhile, those who actually do have a lower income can receive a tax credit so that they can purchase a private plan and keep that money flowing through the private sector rather than the federal government.

But again, it’s not the poorest among us who are suffering the most.  As you pointed out, they’re covered by Medicaid.  The larger issue is in fact the middle class and the stability, quality, and affordability of the coverage that they pay for.

4.  How would a government option not be a monopoly?

Before I answer this question, let me say this.  I am not a health insurance executive.  The profits of a private corporation are not my concern.  For me, it is much more important that, should someone in my family become seriously ill, we would not have to sell our home or declare bankruptcy and could instead focus on that person getting better.  There are some things more important than corporate profits, and it does no less than infuriate me that someone who is not an executive of one of these companies would actually argue that corporate profit is the REAL important issue.

Now, let me direct you to the salary for the faculty of Harvard University.  Take a gander here as well.  That should at least in part answer your question.  Those are not crappy salaries, and yet this is a private institution in direct competition with a government option.  If you ship a package, you don’t have to do it through the USPS.  Companies still get sprinkler systems and hire security guards and get surveillance cameras in spite of public fire departments and police departments.If your objection is that a corporate exec should not have competition so that he can make a $12 million bonus instead of a $3 million bonus, then I’m sorry that I can’t see eye to eye with you.  Now, there’s no doubt that these companies would make a lot more money if government equivalents did not exist; however, they do in fact exist and do quite well.

But if you are seriously arguing that we should not inject government competition into the mix that would encourage lower costs and better care simply because a health insurance executive would earn $2 million a year instead of $12 million, then I can’t sympathize with your argument.  They can compete.  They just won’t be able to compete and make obscene profits at the same time.

5.  If we were not happy with the service, how do we change it?

The same way you change it now.  Seriously.  Have you even looked at the contents of what’s being proposed?

There would be a large variety of plans offered– all by private insurers.  And if you add the public option, it would be as simple as adding one more insurance company to the list.  You can get coverage through your employer or on your own.  One cool change is that if you have a good plan through your employer that you like, you can keep that plan should you go elsewhere or start your own small business.  The same variety will still exist.  Selecting those offered through the proposed Health Insurance Exchange will look like this.  (That link, by the way, is the system used by members of Congress and federal employees.)  Of course, packages will still be offered outside the exchange, and you are free to purchase one of those if you like, but plans offered within the exchange have a minimum set of benefits that must be covered and must have a cap on the amount that you will pay out-of-pocket.  Those plans must also be fully portable and cannot be dropped due to health or age.  Insurers can offer as many benefits as they like and as many different kinds of plans as they like as long as they cover those minimum benefits.

Additionally, if your income is within a certain range (most of us), then you’ll receive a tax credit to help you purchase insurance through the exchange.  Basically, the only real change is that your insurance companies will be required to offer more plans that meet certain standards, and you’ll be offered the opportunity and assistance in purchasing them.  In essence, you’ll have even more variety to choose from than you do now.

Posted in Bama Bloggers, Blogroll, Federal Government, Health and Wellness, Legislation | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Answering Questions: A Response to BrokeSnake

The Stantis Cartoon You Didn’t Get to See

Posted by ALmod on October 29, 2009

Thank you to Matt Murphy for posting it, and of course to Scott Stantis for drawing it.

Scott Stantis, The Chicago Tribune

Posted in Local Government, Mainstream Media, Scandal | Tagged: , | Comments Off on The Stantis Cartoon You Didn’t Get to See

I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news for Troy King…

Posted by ALmod on October 21, 2009

Both Alabama senators are throwing their backing behind someone else.

Now, considering how popular Shelby and Sessions are among local Republicans, that can’t be good news for King.  However, being backed by Shelby and Sessions isn’t the sort of thing that bolsters my support of any candidate, so I have to wonder if on some level this is reverse psychology.

Posted in Alabama Government, Elections | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news for Troy King…

Larry Langford Isn’t the “Big Fish” for the Feds

Posted by ALmod on October 21, 2009

Many people have asked…  If this isn’t a case of political persecution, then why hasn’t Bettye Fine Collins been indicted yet?  That’s a good question.

Well, let’s set aside the whole fact that the FBI has been for some time up to their eyeballs in public corruption cases.  Typically, it’s in your better interest to start with the “smaller fish” and see if you can cut deals so that you can catch your “bigger fish.”  And some smaller fish have been pursued before they went after Langford.  But there are still fish in the water– many, many fish.

Langford is a big fish, but he isn’t the big fish.

My gut is telling me that something very big is about to come crashing down on J. P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs.  The number of times those names have been brought up in the first two days of testimony alone is telling.

EDIT: I forgot to include Lehman Bros. in the names being brought up in this trial.

Posted in Alabama Government, Corporate Craziness, Federal Government, Jefferson County, Scandal | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Larry Langford Isn’t the “Big Fish” for the Feds

More Epic Fail: Denying Infants Health Insurance

Posted by ALmod on October 16, 2009

He’s four months old. It’s not like there’s anything he could have done to cause himself to be particularly chubby.  His mother isn’t overweight.  As Jon Stewert put it (paraphrased by me), it’s not like his mother’s breasts are named Ben and Jerry.

Posted in Corporate Craziness, Federal Government, Health and Wellness, Legislation | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on More Epic Fail: Denying Infants Health Insurance