Mr. Compassionate Conservative Rush Limbaugh has a solution to our health care problem. You're on your own. So if you're a fat cat like Rush Limbaugh who can afford to stay at the Ritz, you're fine. You're like most of the rest of us, well...too bad so sad.
LIMBAUGH: This is an insurance problem, catastrophic problem, basically. This is not the way to fix health care.
VAN SUSTEREN: How...
LIMBAUGH: This is not the way to reform it.
VAN SUSTEREN: How would you fix it?
LIMBAUGH: Well, long-term, easy. The answer is easy. Health care, other than catastrophic, accident, severe illness -- health care's got to be priced the same way a hotel room is or a car is. You want to stay at the Ritz, you pay for it. You want to stay at a Motel 6, you pay for it. You don't -- we don't have insurance for hotels. We don't have insurance for airplane travel. We have it for health care because the government's been paying it, or insurance companies have been paying it for 50 years. People now assume it's their right to have it because they're Americans.
Now, that would take a while but these health savings accounts could get the ball rolling on that. But a first thing -- catastrophic insurance is what the government ought to provide or what people -- that somebody -- the ordinary, everyday doctor visits, check-ups, and so forth, pay for it yourself or go buy your own policy that you can afford, that covers what you want covered, if you don't want to pay for it yourself. And then have the catastrophic stuff that everybody's worried about wiping them out -- you would save so much money.
Bill pulls out an old record made by none other than the Republicans favorite, St. Ronnie from back in 1961, speaking out against the dangers of socialized medicine, and has a bit of fun with it. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
If Glenn Beck isn't insane, he's doing a really good job of trying to make everyone believe he is. After railing about the horrors of the minimum wage being raised and claiming that will end up pushing people into community service and Americorps, Beck strips down to lederhosen, leaps up onto his desk, and proceeds to read the Americorps pledge.
I assume this is supposed to be some sorry attempt at humor, but it looked more like a circus side show to me. The only thing Beck was missing was the big red nose and wig.
Join this unprecedented wave of global citizen activism in solidarity with the people of Iran. On July 25, participate in an event in one of more than 105 cities around the world. Find out how else you can help.
Note: the song used in the video above is by Dj Spooky and features Sussan Deyhim a renowned Iranian singer. It's available as a free download, here. "Azadi (The New Complexity) is a song based on a very old poem by Rumi, one of the poet laureates of Iran’s ancient tradition of poetry. The word Azadi itself simply means Freedom".
Bill Moyers weighs in on the right wing screechers crying about the possibility of the Fairness Doctrine being brought back. I think the bigger issue is media consolidation, which Bill has addressed in other shows, but did not do so here. Those complaining about the possibility of the Fairness Doctrine coming back will always have the biggest megaphone until these companies are broken up, and media ownership rules are revised.
Moyers: Do I think any conservative commentator wished for what happened in Knoxville last year, or to Doctor George Tiller in Wichita two months ago? Not for a minute. The killer who pulled the trigger is the guilty party. But do I wish the vendors of venom, and their sponsors, would think harder about how angry words become accomplices of foul deeds? Yes, I do. Most certainly. Especially as the words and crazy theories of militias and other elements of the lunatic fringe are given even a shred of credibility by their repetition in the conspicuous conservative media. God only knows the price we pay when we turn political opponents to be debated, into mortal enemies to be eliminated.
Now, when some of those who shout through the megaphone of right wing radio hear a critique like this, they immediately throw a fit. They claim that people like me are calling for a return to the Fairness Doctrine. Some of you remember the Fairness Doctrine, adopted 60 years ago by the Federal Communications Commission. It said that opposing points of view had to be presented on radio or TV in a way that was honest, equitable and balanced. If not, said the FCC, a station could lose its license.
Ronald Reagan abolished the doctrine in 1987, but mention it today and the Rush Limbaugh's of the world still scream like martyrs being stretched on the rack. These people earn millions inciting riots in the public mind. If they were required to be fair, they would soon be penniless, out on the street, cup in hand. So when we first telecast our report on the killings in Knoxville last year, some of them threw a tantrum, as if our criticism of their malicious rhetoric was a call for government censorship.
It's true that in this current climate of mean-speak some members of congress and others have called for reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. But I'm not one of them. The Doctrine is a throwback to a time when there were a lot fewer ways to hear news and opinion than there are in today's universe of websites, blogs, and tweets. Just last week, the two new commissioners to the FCC expressed their strong opposition to its restoration. The new FCC chairman is opposed, too.
Conservatives nonetheless wave the fallacious threat of its return as a bloody flag, lofted above the straw men they evoke to roil the faithful and keep the cash registers ringing.
So let me say it again: the first amendment protection of a free press extends to The Savage Nation as surely as it does to The Nation magazine. Anyway, you can't coerce taste; fairness is not a doctrine to be enforced, but a choice to be made, a responsibility to be honored.
That's it for this week, but the Journal continues at our website. Log onto PBS.org and click on Bill Moyers Journal, where you can find out more about the history of talk radio and free speech and follow the debate on health care reform.
I'm Bill Moyers. See you next time.
Real Time's New Rules for July 24, 2009. Good one this week.
Maher: And finally, New Rule, not everything in America has to make a profit. You know, if conservatives get to call universal health care socialized medicine, I get to call private for profit health care soulless vampire bastards making money off human pain. Now I know what you're thinking. But Bill, the profit motive is what sustains capitalism. Yes. And our sex drive is what sustains the human species, but we don't try to f$#k everything. It's okay for some things to remain nonprofit just when like when it comes to sexual relations, some people are off limits, like your cousin, or your sister, or if you're a leading Republican, your wife.
Did you know that the United States is ranked fiftieth in the world in life expectancy. And the forty nine loser countries where they live longer than us, oh it's hardly worth it. They may live longer, but they live shackled to the tyranny of nonprofit health care. Here in America, you're not coughing up blood little Bobby. You're coughing up freedom.
The problem with President Obama's health care plan isn't socialism, it's capitalism. When did the profit motive become the only reason to do anything? When did that become the new patriotism? Ask not what you could do for your country. Ask what's in it for Blue Cross-Blue Shield.
Now if we could just get our politicians to speak as honestly on the subject. And on a side note, Rachel Maddow is going to be on next week.
This doesn't sound good.
SCHULTZ: And finally, my sources on Capitol Hill—going to health care now, Chuck—are telling me that in the Senate, the public option is in serious trouble.
Are you hearing that?
TODD: I‘ve heard the same thing. You know, in the Finance Committee, Kent Conrad, who‘s the guy that sort of created the idea for the co-op, what I would advise you, Ed, is get to know what this co-op is going to do.
I‘ve talked to some who are big advocates of the public insurance option who believe they can do things within the framework of this co-op that will make folks who are supporters of the public—overall big public option feel better about this. But the fact of the matter is, you‘re not going to get Grassley. You might not get Ben Nelson. You might not get Kent Conrad for anything that‘s called a public insurance option.
And the “co-op” may be just better language to use and easier to sell in some of these places. So, as somebody said, it can walk like a duck, it can quack like a duck. You just can‘t call it a duck. And so, “co-op” may be the language of choice here.
Kent Conrad and Chuck Todd obviously think we're all dumb as stumps.