Brain, Washed In The Blood

“I firmly believe that God kept me for a reason much bigger than I ever would have dreamed or imagined.”

—Herman Cain

Herman Cain, by God, is movin’ on up.

Now that he has won a straw poll in Florida and improved his standing in the polls, Herman Cain, known to Palinistas as “Herb,” is enjoying a jumbo Classic Combo pizza of publicity.  And as was the case with other recent Republican presidential candidates who were suddenly thrust into the media spotlight, Cain couldn’t resist saying something dumb:

African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view.

That’s dumb because he goes on to say:

This whole notion that all African-Americans are not going to vote for Obama is not necessarily true. I believe a third [of African-Americans] would vote for me, based on my own anecdotal feedback. Not vote for me because I’m black but because of my policies.

So, African-Americans are brainwashed but not so brainwashed as to ignore Herman Cain.  I think I get it. Good luck with getting their votes now, Herb.

What I don’t get is why God can’t seem to get his act together. First he sends us Michele Bachmann, then Rick Perry, and now Herman Cain, who, as you will learn, God saved from cancer presumably to lead the free world.

Cain’s brainwashing charge is interesting coming from a washed-in-the-blood Baptist preacher who admits that he has “been in the church all my life.”  Think about that.  All-my-life. The man is 65 years old. Is it possible that Mr. Cain—who said in May,”This country needs a leader, not a reader“—sitting in those church pews, may have had his brain scrubbed clean of all ability to think for himself?  Or perhaps his brain has been programmed to interpret events in strange ways?

He told CBN:

So my faith is a big part of who I am and at my church now, which is the same one I grew up in, I’m one of the Associate Ministers there because I was called to the ministry. Sometimes when people are called to the ministry they think that God wants them to give up something else. But God has done some magnificent things with my life, especially what he has done in terms of my health.

“Called” to the ministry. Is that a sign of a laundered brain? And what do we make of that what-God-has-done-in-terms-of-my-health stuff? Remember, after the audience gave him a cancer-surviving ovation, what he said in a recent GOP debate about his health? He’ said he’d be dead now if Obamacare had been in effect when he learned he had cancer in 2006 .  Remember? But he said more than that:

If [I] had been under Obamacare, and a bureaucrat had been trying to tell me when I could get that [CT] scan, that would have delayed my treatment. I was able to get the treatment as fast as I could based upon my timetable, and not the government’s timetable. That’s what saved my life.

That’s what saved my life.”  On a stage during a debate, Herman Cain said that access to expedited cancer treatment saved his life.  But back in March he described it differently and even more disturbingly, at least for a presidential candidate.  I will quote his story in full because in terms of brainwashing one can’t find a better example of how a mind, molded by years of conservative religious indoctrination, can interpret events in spooky ways. 

As you read the following bizarre account, from a video interview (posted below) on the Christian Broadcasting Network, think about this same man sitting in the Oval Office and interpreting unfolding events in, say, the Middle East, and also think about the fact that a lot of folks would say “Amen” to the account:

In 2006, I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I had cancer in my colon and cancer in my liver. I had to go through chemotherapy. The surgery required removal of 30 percent of my colon and 70 percent of my liver. And then I had to go through some more chemotherapy.

That was nearly five years ago and I only had a 30 percent chance of survival. God said ‘Herman, not yet’.” My question was, ‘Lord why are you keeping me here?’ Now let me tell you why I know God kept me here. Let me give you why I know God kept me here to do something that I never envisioned.

When I started thinking about running for president, I thought about Noah. Noah didn’t know how to build an ark. I started to think about Moses. Moses resisted going back leading the children out of Egypt. The Bible is full of people—Joshua didn’t want to lead the children into the Promised Land. God spoke to Moses and encouraged Moses—you must talk to our son Joshua—and he did and that gave him the strength.

When I was first detected that I had stage 4 cancer I had to go and get a second opinion. The doctor that was recommended was a doctor in Savannah, Georgia, three hours away from Atlanta. I resisted. I said, ‘Why do I need to go all the way to Savannah and I live here in Atlanta with all these hospitals and doctors here. I know I have cancer. I know what we need to get done. Let’s get on with the program.’  You know that business mentality.

And so the friend of mine said, ‘I think you want to go see this doctor. His name is Dr. Lord.’ I said, ‘What? L-O-R-D?’ Yes. He was a colon cancer specialist. Dr. Lord gave me my second opinion.

When I went to MD Anderson Cancer Center and I had to go through orientation with my wife in terms of how to navigate through this big medical facility, we went into the orientation office and the lady that was supposed to give us our orientation, she was busy with some other new patients. So the lady at the counter said to keep you and Mrs. Cain from waiting, I will give you your orientation so you won’t have to wait.

I said, ‘Well thank you. How nice I didn’t know they had good customer service at a big medical facility but they do.’ So we go into the conference room and she put all the materials down that we were supposed to go through. And she started to tell us about what we needed to do, how I could get my blood work done the night before. I said, ‘Wait a minute. You’ve been so nice. What is your name?’ She said ‘Grace’. I said, ‘Do you spell it the same way as you spell it in Amazing Grace?’ She said, ‘Yes.’

A lady named Grace. My wife and I looked at each other and I said, ‘Thank you Lord.’ He’s with me on this journey. I’m not done yet. I was randomly assigned an oncologist and a surgeon. The surgeon’s name is Dr. Abdullah. He’s from Lebanon. That made me a little nervous initially but only to find out that he’s a Christian. He’s a Christian. And when I went in to see Dr. Abdullah, he was explaining to me how he was going to remove a part of my colon and a part of my liver in one operation.

I’m going, ‘Doc you must be a miracle worker. How are you going to do that’? The colon is on the left. The liver is on the right. How are you going to do that with one incision?’

He said, I do it all the time. I’m going to start in your sternum and I’m going to make an incision in the shape of a “J”. As in J-E-S-U-S? He said yes. A Jesus cut. I said, ‘thank you Lord.’ God said ‘not yet’ and He gave me these signs along the way that let me know that He was with me.

And I firmly believe that God kept me for a reason much bigger than I ever would have dreamed or imagined. Whether that is ultimately to become the President of the United States or not, I don’t know. I just know at this point I am following God’s plan.

You get two plans in life: yours and God’s. Now mine was to become a successful businessman and I was able to do that. And I believe that God allowed me to become a successful businessman because He had something else in mind beyond that successful business career.

The reason I’m here today and the reason I believe that I’m going to be successful from this point forward. There was a song that a songwriter who was a good friend of mine when he was alive, he wrote a song called ‘God is on my side’. I’ll never forget it. 

Noah…Moses…Joshua…Dr. Lord…A Lady Named Grace…Dr. Abdullah The Christian…The Jesus Cut…”God is on my side.”  Put them all together in a brain “washed in the blood” and you have a man who an increasing and disconcerting number of Republicans want to become President of the United States.

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“Cash Warfare”

The “leaderless resistance movement” known as Occupy Wall Street, in case you haven’t noticed, has been scaring conservatives for almost two weeks now.

Related to that, there was a brilliant, must-see opening segment on Thursday night’s Rachel Maddow Show:

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More Bad News From The Class War Front

As if we needed any more examples of how the middle class has been on the wrong end of the class war over the last generation or so, a disturbing story on NPR this morning began like this:

As companies have been moving away from traditional pension plans, they have been shifting employees to new retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, that transfer the cost — and the risk — to workers.

The reason for the shift, according to the companies themselves, is because the traditional pension plans were “unsustainable.”

Except that it turns out they weren’t unsustainable.  Ellen Schultz, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and author of, Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder And Profit From The Nest Eggs Of American Workers, says that those companies that had pension plans for their employees “were well-prepared” for the increasing cost of not only the pensions but of “high health care costs for the retirees.”

Schultz told NPR:

The plans were in fact significantly overfunded. They had more than enough to pay every dime for every person currently employed and already retired.

What happened?  Hey, we’re talking about corporations here.  We all know what happened. In order to increase profits and bump up executive compensation to more-money-than-God levels, the companies “used assets in the plans to pay for other things.” And thus:

Schultz says there was a massive transfer of wealth over the past two decades, from a multitude of retirees to a small number of executives. But while she calls her book Retirement Heist, she concedes that nothing that happened was illegal.

“When you have a properly funded plan, it doesn’t matter how many retirees you have or how long they live,” Schultz says. “It’s not the fact that you have a lot of retirees; it’s the fact that you have abused the pension plan.”

If you want to learn how some of this abuse has taken place, check out an article Schultz wrote three years ago for The Wall Street Journal  that goes into detail about how some companies screw their would-be pensioners. 

Think about it: You work many years for a company, deferring justly-earned compensation until retirement, and when you are ready to pack it in, voilà, you find your pension has been devalued because the honchos in the company have used the pension fund to supplement the benefits of—who else—other honchos.

Read all about it and then come back and tell me how Obama is starting a class war.

The Fight To Save The Post Office Continues

Postal unions and the employees they represent were disappointed a couple of weeks ago when President Obama basically sided with the Bush-appointed majority on the USPS Board of Governors on the issue of six-day delivery. 

The Obama Administration, which recently has been on a job-creating mission, is ready to give the USPS the ability to kill Saturday delivery—and kill thousands of jobs along with it. The National Association of Letter Carriers estimates the job loss would amount to 80,000 full and part-time jobs, including 25,000 city carrier jobs.

All of it unnecessary.  And dumb.  As I have tried to make clear (here and here), Congress created much of the mess the USPS finds itself in and Congress can fix it, but these aren’t ordinary times.  And with the President on the wrong side of the issue, it’s going to be that much harder.

Still, the fight to save the Postal Service from its ham-fisted managers and Congress and now the Obama Administration continues, and I present three recent segments from The Ed Show, which should fire up those postal employees who may be a little down and out:

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The Cosmic Uppity Negro

“Behold, I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.”

—Revelation 22:7

“An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation.”

—William James


So, President Barack Hussein Obama has now been very publicly described as,

…a great antagonist expected to fill the world with wickedness…

That, of course, is part of the dictionary definition of the word “antichrist,” which was shouted at President Obama at a fundraiser in Los Angeles on Monday, aptly held, it turns out, at the House of Blues:

The Christian God is the only and only true living God. The creator of heaven and the universe.

Jesus Christ is God! Jesus Christ is God! Jesus Christ is God! Jesus Christ is the son of God!

You’re the Antichrist!

Oddly, this came on the heels of a New York Times article on Obama and the antichrist charge, and within an hour or so of an Obama/Antichrist segment presented on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. 

And even more spooky strange for me, the next day after the zealot in Los Angeles identified Obama as the Antichrist, I received in my mailbox a pamphlet inviting me to a “FREE Prophecy Seminar” here in Joplin on Saturday.  Wow, now that’s timing.

The FREE six-day seminar—”ARMAGEDDON: Understanding Amazing Prophecies“—is being held at the local Seventh Day Adventist Church, although the identity of the church is not made clear in the brochure.  What is made clear in the brochure is that if I go to the church on the fifth night—Thursday—I am in for a treat:

The Antichrist Revealed!

Discover 10 clear clues that identify who it is.

Damn! The guy in Los Angeles took all the fun out of going on Thursday! I already know who it is!

In any case, this really is a serious matter.  Mainly because in order for Barack Obama to actually prove to some Biblical literalists his bona fides as the Antichrist-Beast, he has to begin by killing the Two Witnesses.  (If you don’t know who the Two Witnesses are, relax. Nobody does—yet.  And, no, it’s not Penn & Teller.) 

After Obama-Beast kills the Two Witnesses, he will then demand that the world worship him, which won’t be that hard since, according to conservative Republicans, many of us already do.  Then, for the hell of it, Obama-Beast gets himself killed.  But not to worry. He is then miraculously resurrected.  That’s how things work in the Bible.

Next, with the help of another Beast-like figure—Mormon Mitt Romney maybe?—Obama-Beast will seize control of world commerce and, you guessed it, this is where 666 or the Mark of the Beast comes in:  If you don’t have I LOVE BARRY or a suitable equivalent stamped indelibly on your forehead, you don’t eat. It’s that simple.

Finally, there will be a gazillion people killed at Armageddon, and Obama-Beast, the Cosmic Uppity Negro, will get his comeuppance.

Some version of this end-times prophecy schematic is believed by a large number of Americans—mostly Republicans—who may or may not believe Obama is at the center of it, but who definitely believe we are in The Last Days.

I know that because I used to be one of them.


Here is a great “Rewrite” segment from Lawrence O’Donnell last night:

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Chris Christie, GOP Savior, Struggles Against Bruce Springsteen, For God’s Sake

With once-conservative darling Rick Perry’s campaign cracking like Newt Gingrich’s bed slats, the darling de jour of the Republican Party, Chris Christie, has come to Missouri.

If you watch cable television, the chatter over whether Christie will mount his necessarily huge steed and come in and rescue the Republicans from national embarrassment is incessant.  It tires the ears, frankly. 

Christie has repeatedly and emphatically stated he is not going to run because he is not “ready” to run—something which his New Jersey poll numbers indicate, in terms of his job performance:

Approve:   43%

Disapprove: 53%

Here is how he matches up against local potential opponents:

Head to head against Bruce Springsteen?  Really?

All that bad news is from the state that knows him best, mind you.  But here in Missouri, at least some folks know a little something about him, especially his attacks on unions. FiredUp!Missouri posted the following picture of union supporters greeting Christie in St. Louis:

Christie was in town to speak at the Missouri Republican Party’s annual fundraising dinner on Monday and this morning at a breakfast for Ann Wagner, former state party chairman, who is running for Congress in the 2nd District against Crazy Ed Martin.  (By the way, Sean at FiredUp!Missouri claims the increasingly contentious race between Wagner and Martin is “the odds-on-favorite for the most entertaining primary of the 2012 cycle.”  If you want to know why, look here and here.)

In any case, Christie is out and about raising money for Republicans, which keeps the speculation going about his intentions.  I know one GOP candidate, though, who absolutely hates this development: Newt Gingrich.  Right now, he has no competition in the post-debate all-you-can-eat buffet competition. 

The U.S. Economy: “If We Get The Politics Right, The Engineering Isn’t That Difficult”

ABC News’ This Week was quite depressing on Sunday, with some of the talk focused on the economic mess in Europe and the mischief it is causing here in the United States.

Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of the mammoth investment firm, PIMCO, commented on the phrase used last week by the Fed’s Ben Bernanke to describe things: significant downside risk”:

EL-ERIAN: …this was the only — only the third time that we could find that they use the word “significant” before “downside risk,” right? The first time was in September ’08…

AMANPOUR: So that had a psychological impact, as well as everything else?

EL-ERIAN: Oh, huge. I mean, that’s why we wiped a trillion dollars — I mean, if you want to know what it means for the 401(k), they’ve basically lost 6.5 percent of their savings over the week. We need to move quickly on a number of areas, and it has to be the U.S. having the Sputnik moment, realizing that the time has come for political unity, Europe having a moment of truth, and China helping out.

That was sort of the theme for the discussion: getting our political act together so we can actually, well, act.  Later, Christiane Amanpour pushed it further:

AMANPOUR: So just to go to Mohamed’s point, Secretary Geithner said this week, “We’re seeing a terrible wave of politics get in the way of governments doing what is necessary and essential and urgent for the economy. We have a political system that looks manifestly broken, and it makes people nervous about the future.”

I mean, to add to that, I’m already hearing, you know, it’s — it’s all over the place that people — Capitol Hill right behind me — are concerned that even this relatively minor thing that they’re having a big argument about right now, FEMA and disaster, is causing this gridlock. So how they can do the heavy lifting if they can’t do the light lifting?

EL-ERIAN: The image that you always have to keep in your mind is that the global economy and the markets are in the backseat, and the policymakers are on the front seat. And what is happening on the front seat is the following. First, the drivers are very erratic. Secondly, they’re not even looking through the windscreen; they’re arguing with each other.

In that situation, people get very nervous. In that situation, you lose confidence. That is true for Europe. That is true for the U.S.

We have two distinct issues. We have a political issue and an engineering problem. In Europe, both are very hard. In the U.S., it’s mainly political issue. If we get the politics right, the engineering isn’t that difficult.

Now, on the one hand El-Erian’s comment, that the engineering to help fix things “isn’t that difficult” to do, is really quite uplifting, even though there wasn’t time on the program to go into much detail. 

It’s just that other part he mentioned—”if we get the politics right“—is so utterly depressing because it is so utterly undoable.  American voters put Tea Party extremists in charge of the House of Representatives last year and gridlock, brinksmanship, and ideologically-created “crises” are now the norm in our politics.

And El-Erian’s metaphor—that policymakers are in the front seat of the car, driving erratically and arguing with each other instead of looking at the road—doesn’t quite capture the reality of the thing.  Yes, policymakers are in the front seat arguing, but the drivers—Mr. Obama and the Democrats—are trying to keep the damn car on the road and the Tea Party Republicans in the passenger seat are trying to grab the wheel and run the car back into the ditch, just so they can get the keys and drive.

Fortunately, and to change metaphors, despite all the dysfunction, despite the slow-growth economy, the flights to investment safety are still landing in the airports of long-term U.S. Treasuries.  We are still the safest bet in the world. Bloomberg reports that since the end of June there has been a rally in that market, with long-term securities “returning 24.9%.”  And the report says:

That’s the biggest quarterly gain since at least 1978, when the Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes began tracking the debt.

The Bloomberg article began with this:

Betting on Ben S. Bernanke has been the most profitable trade for government bond investors in 16 years, defying lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad who said the Federal Reserve chairman’s policies would lead to runaway inflation and the dollar’s debasement.

Treasuries due in 10 or more years have returned 28 percent in 2011, exceeding the 24.4 percent gain in all of 2008 during worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes. Not since 1995, when the securities soared 30.7 percent, have investors done so well owning longer-dated U.S. government debt.

That’s the good news.  The full faith and credit of the United States is still the one thing shaky-kneed investors can count on. And that is despite the bad news: There is no sign that those Republican policymakers in the passenger seat will stop trying to grab the wheel and push Obama out of the car.

Billy Long Gets A New Name

Remember when Bill Clinton was dubbed Slick Willie?  He can now move over and make room for Slick Billy.

As the dreadful prospect of yet another budget battle in Congress looms over us, thanks to Frank Morris and NPR we have Southwest Missouri’s own congressman, Billy Long, giving us his not-reassuring assurance that Joplin will continue to receive disaster aid following our record-setting tornado. 

Morris reported that Long, “a Tea Party stalwart who ran for Congress as a man fed up with Washington,”  is full of praise for the place today, including Washington residents Barack Obama and Janet Napolitano and, uh, Nancy Pelosi:

“The president came in, he was great. [Homeland Security Secretary] Janet Napolitano came in, she’s been great,” he says. “[House Minority] Leader Pelosi came up to me on the floor, hugged me and said, ‘Billy, anything the people of Joplin need they’ll have.’ “

Napolitano was here in Joplin on Thursday and praised Long back:

“He’s worked well with our office, with our shop,” she said. “When he was asked about FEMA, to rank it shortly after the fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, he said he’d give it a 12.”

FEMA has, according to the story, provided “close to $100 million” to help clean up the mess, some of which still remains, and “an additional $19 million plus on rent and home repairs.”

But the story does not reveal whether Long, given the current fight over disaster relief at the center of the budget impasse in Congress, will side with those who are demanding budget offsets for FEMA funding or whether he will treat that emergency funding like it has been treated in the past: in times of disasters, we don’t fight over disaster relief.

Morris tells us that, “Long insists the tornado hasn’t altered his views” on government generally, despite his praise for FEMA particularly:

“Budgeting is about priorities,” he says, “and you certainly have to prioritize for situations like this.”

Long says he’s confident that whatever tough choices may have to be made, Uncle Sam’s not going to skimp on helping people laid low by a natural disaster.

Okay. But what about the offset problem?  What are the “tough choices”? Will Long vote to provide disaster relief without strings attached?

Once again, nobody knows. He ain’t sayin’ or he ain’t been asked.  That’s why we can now call Colonel Ozark Billy Long simply: Slick Billy.


[h/t: Busplunge]

Jethro, Get The Truck!

Joe Scarborough said this morning that Rick Perry looked “lost” in last night’s debate.

That’s one way to put it, I suppose. Most of the time Perry reminded me of Jethro Bodine, nephew of Jed Clampett.  You may remember that with his sixth grade education Jethro had a wide-ranging aptitude: he could have been a brain surgeon or a double-naught spy or a famous Hollywood producer.

Or, in the case of Rick Perry, the President of the United States. 

Watching Perry last night was like watching Jethro do his “cyphering” routine:  “Three-goze-inta-nine-three-times… ”  Uncle Jed once said of Jethro—or was it Rick Perry?—”If brains were lard, his wouldn’t grease too big a pan.”

That’s not really fair, though. Perry was smart enough to throw yet another entitlement program under the bus last night: George W’s Medicare Part D.  That pretty much takes care of the welfare state as far as Perry is concerned.

But to illustrate just why Rick Perry’s Jethro-esque grasp of the issues would be no match for Obama in the general election, follow this:

BRET BAIER: Governor Perry, if you were president, and you get a call at 3 am telling you that Pakistan had lost control of its nuclear weapons, at the hands of the Taliban, what would be your first move?

PERRY: Well obviously, before you ever get to that point you have to build a relationship in that region. That’s one of the things that this administration has not done. Yesterday, we found out through Admiral Mullen that Haqqani has been involved with — and that’s the terrorist group directly associated with the Pakistani country. So to have a relationship with India, to make sure that India knows that they are an ally of the United States.

For instance, when we had the opportunity to sell India the upgraded F-16’s, we chose not to do that. We did the same with Taiwan. The point is, our allies need to understand clearly that we are their friends, we will be standing by there with them.

Today, we don’t have those allies in that region that can assist us if that situation that you talked about were to become a reality.

Now, obviously Perry had studied a couple of 3 x 5 index cards with a few facts about the region on them, but he didn’t have the slightest idea of how to answer Baier’s question.  And as for Bret Baier, despite the fact that the Fox questioners ask several follow-up questions throughout the night, and despite the fact that Baier had no trouble interrupting President Obama when he interviewed him sometime back, Mr. Baier did not follow up and ask Perry just what the hell he was talking about.

And that’s how journalism works at Fox.  In fact, the whole night, with a couple of exceptions, was a tribute to right-wing extremism, both in the choice of questions and in the responses.

Fox did stray from the Tea Party reservation, though, when it played a clip of Stephen Hill, a soldier serving in Iraq.  Hill asked:

HILL: In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I’m a gay soldier, and I didn’t want to lose my job. My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?

There were boos from the audience. Boos, for God’s sake!  An American soldier was booed by a few folks in a Republican audience and not one—not one—candidate on that stage could manage to condemn the booing. 

Santorum went on to stutter something about how he would reinstitute the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, policy, but I ask yet again: Why is there such a thing as a gay Republican?

As for Mitt Romney, by default he was the clear winner of whatever that was last night.  It’s not hard to look presidential among so many unpresidential contenders.  He lied about Obama several times, but he did refrain from calling the President a socialist, and even though Romney demagogued the immigration issue to death—good luck in the general with that one, Mitt—he managed once again to favorably contrast himself to Perry.

For me, the worst moment of the night was one that involved a discussion of what “fair and balanced” journalist Chris Wallace called “Obamacare,” as if that were the official name of the program:

WALLACE: Mr. Cain, you are a survivor of stage 4 colon and liver cancer. And you say, if Obamacare had been…(APPLAUSE)…and we all share in the happiness about your situation. But, you say if Obamacare had been in effect when you were first being treated, you would dead now. Why?

Now, Herman Cain, given the pale-faced candidates and the pale-faced crowd, looked like a member of The Lonely Negro Society in that huge room, but he did manage to shamelessly exploit his unfortunate bout with cancer this way:

CAIN: The reason I said that I would be dead under Obamacare is because my cancer was detected in March of 2006. From March 2006 all the way to the end of 2006, for that number of months, I was able to get the necessary CAT scan tests, go to the necessary doctors, get a second opinion, get chemotherapy, go — get surgery, recuperate from surgery, get more chemotherapy in a span of nine months. If we had been under Obamacare and a bureaucrat was trying to tell me when I could get that CAT scan that would have delayed by treatment.

My surgeons and doctors have told me that because I was able get the treatment as fast as I could, based upon my timetable and not the government’s timetable that’s what saved my life, because I only had a 30 percent chance of survival. And now I’m here five years cancer free, because I could do it on my timetable and not a bureaucrat’s timetable.

This is one of the reasons I believe a lot of people are objecting to Obamacare, because we need get bureaucrats out of the business of trying to micromanage health care in this nation. (APPLAUSE)

Never mind that profit-minded bureaucrats are at this very moment micromanaging the health care system. The truth is that Herman Cain is fabulously wealthy—and thus has nothing to fear from any insurance program, good or bad—and if it were up to him and those on the stage, nearly 50 million Americans would not have insurance at all. 

Every single Republican wants  to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—the real name of Obamacare.  And yet Mr. Wallace never bothered to ask Herman Cain what would happen to any American without insurance, if they were afflicted with the kind of cancer he had.

That seemed like an obvious question to me, but then I’m not a Fox journalist.


Last week, I gave kudos to Sen. Roy Blunt for supporting disaster relief without strings attached.  In case you forgot, Blunt actually was one of 10 Republicans who voted with Democrats to approve a $7 billion funding bill for FEMA, which has been critical for our recovery here in Joplin and elsewhere.

My Blunt kudos may have been a case of premature ejaculation (don’t panic: “a short sudden emotional utterance“).

Discussing the possibility of the Senate voting on an amended version of the House temporary budget resolution—which failed to pass, but more on that later—Fox “News” reported:

The House is scheduled to pass it’s [sic] bill Wednesday and head out of town Thursday. Reid has said he intends to try to amend that bill to plus up disaster aid to $6.9 billion. Whether or not he will have the votes, again, remains to be seen. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who’s state was ravaged by a tornado in May, would not commit Tuesday to supporting Reid’s move, as he did previously.

So, my premature kudos for Blunt I officially, uh, withdraw.

Now to the House: With the end of the fiscal year fast approaching, House teapartiers, in an unholy alliance with Democrats, put a political chiv in the back of Speaker Boehner by not voting for the Continuing Resolution to fund the government through November 18. 

Boehner, who has never really been in operational control of the House, was understandably upset over the kids in the House Tea Party letting him down, even after he threatened them. But he promised there would not be another fiasco over the budget, like the last one, and the one before that, and the one before that.

In any case, here’s how Roll Call reported Boehner’s shallacking:

The House threw the appropriations process into chaos today, voting down a stopgap funding resolution that conservative Republicans and virtually all Democrats opposed.

Chaos.”  And what is at the heart of that chaos?  Disaster funding.  FEMA.  Offsets.  

Republicans have played games with disaster funding and Democrats refuse to join them. Democrats in the House oppose the inadequate funding of FEMA in the CR and refuse to support the budget offsets that involve cutting off funds for a valuable loan program for advanced technology vehicles that has been a real job creator.

For his part, Boehner only needed 18 more Republicans to pass his CR, but 48 Republicans, mostly extremists, voted against the resolution because it followed the discretionary spending levels of the infamous debt-ceiling deal instead of a slightly lower amount previously passed in a separate House budget resolution.

By requiring FEMA funding to be subject to a debate about offsets, as Tea Party Republicans and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor have done, we are in chaos.  This is exactly why from the beginning of the disaster recovery in Joplin I tried to ask my congressman, Ozark Billy Long, what his position on offsets and disaster funding was. 

And of those few who have tried, nobody has been able to get him to answer definitively. He voted for Boehner’s CR, with its stingy funding for FEMA and its offsets for disaster relief, and unfortunately that doesn’t tell us whether he will vote for a resolution that does not contain offsets.

I guess we’re just supposed to wait and find out, because I still have not had a response from Long’s office to my question.

And, too, I suppose we’re going to have to wait and see how Roy Blunt will vote on disaster relief.

In the mean time, no more premature short and sudden emotional utterances from me.

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