Sweet

Nice touch appointing Sen. Al Franken as President of the Senate for the confirmation of Judge Sotomayor to the SCOTUS. Heh.

Big Brother Wants to Follow You

I’m sure that we’ll be seeing lots of outrage about this from those fervid conservatives, defenders of individual civil liberties and privacy rights who populate the ranks of the Bloggin’ Tories, right?

No? Nobody… not even a single damn one of them? Gee, that’s kinda weird.

Oh wait… I forgot. It was introduced by the Harper Conservatives, so it’s A-OK. Nothing to worry about. No slippery slope here whatsoever. Absolutely nothing could possibly go wrong with this plan. Ever.

CIGNA Whistleblower Speaks Out

Wendell Potter, the former head of public relations at CIGNA, one of America’s largest insurers, speaking to Bill Moyers last month in his first interview since leaving the industry.

Watch the entire interview at the PBS website here. Although Potter’s lengthy confessional wasn’t exactly a revelation to many observers, it’s nonetheless highly worthwhile as confirmation of what you suspected to be the awful truth about for-profit healthcare is based on facts, not just fabricated “horror stories” and hysterical paranoia.

So why anyone would want to help perpetuate the status quo in America while at the same time viciously slagging our own system — one that, while admittedly flawed in many respects, consistently delivers better medical outcomes at a lower cost — is entirely baffling to say the least. I guess it just goes to show what happens when rabid ideological zealotry trumps logic, evidence, and plain old common sense.

Astroturfing

Rachel Maddow exposes some of the groups behind the fake anti-healthcare “grassroots” movement.

Yessir, they’re just a bunch of “average Americans’’ you know:

Conservative activist groups are deeply involved. A leading example is Americans for Prosperity, whose sister foundation is chaired by David H. Koch – a billionaire whose family made a fortune in oil production and whom Forbes magazine in March ranked as the world’s 19th richest person – and which also coordinated the “tea parties’’ in April protesting Obama’s “irresponsible’’ economic policies. The groups are running millions of dollars of television ads and have sent a bus across America to stir up sentiment against revamping healthcare. Its website lists town hall meetings planned by Democratic lawmakers to help activists find a venue for protest.

Another group organizing against the overhaul is Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, led by Rick Scott, former head of Columbia/HCA, a healthcare company that paid $1.7 billion in fines for overcharging government programs in the 1990s. It has been working with a public relations group responsible for the “swift boat’’ ads against Senator John F. Kerry during his 2004 presidential bid. Still another is FreedomWorks, a conservative group led by Dick Armey, a former Republican House majority leader.

More at the Boston Globe here.

Update: Of course, the Malkinettes have a somewhat different take on things…