December 1, 2013

Knock Knock. Who's There? The Joker

No, not that Joker, these three jokers. (Hey - I think I just made a Trifecta post here).

First, there's this joker, the birther Rev. James David Manning, who thinks that Barack Obama had his love child's baby mama killed.

That's right: POTUS has a love child, apparently conceived when he made an emergency visit to a dental clinic in Connecticut in 2011 when a pistachio had lodged in his tooth. Clearly that was a ruse; the real purpose was to have sex with dental assistant Miriam Carey, the woman who was tragically killed in October after a chase through the streets of DC. At least some of  that information is according to the Russians.  

Importantly, Carey's family is not engaged with Reverend Birther on this. According to attorney Eric Sanders,
There is no suggestion, nor has there ever been any suggestion by the Carey family that President Obama is the child's father.
Now there's probably not much we can do about the Russians and their intelligence, and there's probably not much we can do about Rev. Manning's intelligence or commitment to his cause, which is ostensibly to have the people of Harlem turn to Jesus and change their lives. And there's nothing wrong with that.

We can wonder, (and I certainly do) if his ATLAH World Ministries is receiving tax breaks as a church for their highly political evangelical missions, such as these:
You can preach the gospel, and you can preach it with passion and confusion and righteousness, but you can't preach politics and get a tax break for doing it. And that's true for both sides of the pulpit. 

Then there's this joker, a former governor of Florida who stepped up to his computer and tossed out a tweet about the US embassy to The Vatican. Here's what he said:

Now, we all know when politicians tweet, sometimes things can get messy.  As with this tweet of Jeb's, when there are facts out there that contradict what you're saying. 

See, the Obama administration is not closing our embassy to the Vatican; it's being moved to our embassy compound, into a building purchased by the State Department under Jeb's brother's administration, where it will not only be more secure, but in a 'very distinguished' building instead of a nondescript house, and where the government will save $1.4M a year.  No staff are being cut. No prestige is being cut -- there will be complete separation between the embassies, including separate entrances. It's all good, right? 

Well, no. Of course not.

Jeb was not the only one complaining about this, there were others -- in fact there was so much noise about it that the State Department had an open conference call with the press to discuss it. Here's the intro to the call (emphasis added):
Hi. Good evening, everyone and thanks for joining us on such relatively short notice. As many of you have seen or participated in, there's been a number of stories, blog postings over the last few days about the State Department relocating the US Embassy to the Holy See.  So we thought it would be worthwhile to invite all of you to talk to a senior State Department Official...a little bit about the move and then answer some of your questions.
I don't know how many news outlets attended the call; only the Catholic News Service and the Religious News Service are on record as having asked questions.  Everyone else either was satisfied with the information provided, or else they were only concerned with stirring the pot and didn't attend or chose not to report the facts. Jeb Bush has not yet tweeted a correction. 

And speaking of corrections, I wonder if we'll hear from Dubya on this?  Friday morning his daughter Jenna Bush Hager was co-hosting part of the Today Show; in a segment about her dad's Christmas ornament, Jenna misspoke when she noted Dubya's inspiration for painting. She got a text from her father with the correction - it was Winston Churchill, not Woodrow Wilson, as Jenna had said. 

Maybe he'll step in and set his brother straight.

And lastthis joker on Fox, Jenna Lee, who continued to put forth the message about the non-existent death panels in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Lee took a filibuster story and turned it into an ACA 'death panel' story -- even as another Fox reporter correctly explained what the alleged death panel, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB. is charged with: slowing the growth in Medicare spending.

Here's some info:
Beginning with fiscal 2015, if Medicare is projected to grow too quickly, IPAB will make binding recommendations to reduce spending.  Those recommendations will be sent to Capitol Hill at the beginning of the year, and if Congress doesn't like them, it must pass alternative cuts -- of the same size - by August. A super majority of the Senate (at least two-thirds of those present) can also vote to amend the IPAB recommendations. If Congress fails to act, the secretary of health and human services is required to implement the cuts.
Wow.  A group of folks are to make recommendations to reduce spending and send them to Congress; if Congress does nothing, the recommendations will go into effect?  Seems like the only bad thing here is the 'if Congress fails to act' part, right? Kinda puts the burden on the do-nothings to do something, and we know how well that's working for us, right? Seems like the death knell rings for them, not us.

We want government spending to be reduced. We want to slow the growth in health care spending. We want to reduce entitlements.  I mean, that's what the Republicans tell us all the time. So why the heck are they so up in arms about the IPAB?  And why does Fox insist on making this a bad thing?

I do get confused on this stuff sometimes, but one thing I'm sure of -- there's no shortage of jokers in the deck.

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