If you have an open mind but think the President botched Bowe Bergdahl, take the time to watch this.  And then perhaps the segment that follows.  Did you know that John McCain endorsed the prisoner exchange before he denounced it?

Like so many “scandals,” it turns out there is no “there” there.

(And when something does go wrong, it’s investigated and sensible attempts are made to fix it.  For example: — fixed within weeks and working now to the benefit of millions.  For example: Benghazi — the tragedy that might have been averted if  Republicans hadn’t blocked requested funds for beefed up security abroad and that certainly would have been averted if our brave and selfless Ambassador, well knowing the danger, hadn’t chosen to make that trip on 9/11 — but that, in any event, led to 29 recommendations the Secretary swiftly adopted.  For example: the IRS targeting — ordered by a Bush appointee and, as it turns out, directed at left-wing as well as right-wing groups, not for political purposes but as a way to prioritize a flood of applications.  For example: the VA delays — which could have been mitigated if Republicans hadn’t blocked additional funding to handle the demand, and which, happily, it appears Bernie Sanders and John McCain may now have arranged to resolve.)

The real scandals, from my point of view, are that the governors of 19 states have rejected the Medicare expansion that would have been of such help — in some cases, life-or-death help — to millions of their citizens.  And that the American Jobs Act, that would have put the unemployed to work revitalizing our crumbling infrastructure, was filibustered. And that the minimum wage, that would lift millions out of poverty and help to stimulate the economy, has been filibustered.  And that extension of unemployment benefits was filibustered.  And that immigration reform remains blocked.  And that some are working to make it harder to register and to vote.


In looking for potentially interesting links for the paragraph above, Google took me to “Pros and Cons of Obamacare.”  (“Too many online sources only want to give you one side of the story, we aim to bring you an unbiased look at both the negative and positive aspects of the Affordable Care Act.”)  It doesn’t relate to the website launch, but I got hooked reading the table of pros and cons anyway.  Consider some of the contrasts.  Pro: “Tens of millions of uninsured will get access to affordable quality health insurance through the marketplace.”  Matched with this con: “In order to get the money to help insure tens of millions there are new taxes, mostly on high-earners.”  Pro: “You can’t be dropped from coverage when you get sick or make an honest mistake on your application.”  Con: “Insurance companies must cover sick people and this increases the cost of everyone’s insurance.”  Right?  Think how inexpensive health insurance could be if it didn’t have to cover sick people!

Hmmm.  I get all these benefits, but people with more than $250,000 in income each year have to pay a little more tax.  I think I’m against it!

I can’t be denied coverage for having or developing a pre-existing condition, but health insurance companies are going to have to insure people with health issues.  I think I’m against it!

Sorry.  I get these little sarcspasms.*

What would be so awful if we all just proudly embraced our significant gains in making our people and our economy healthier, both of which the Affordable Health Care Act does?   Was it really necessary for the Republicans to spend nearly half a billion dollars in TV ads to try to defeat it and — though having failed to do that — to leave so many Americans feeling bad about it?  What IS the matter with Kansas?  (If you missed Chris Hayes brilliant hour on that, I’ll be posting it later this week.)

*Not a word, but is one now: a spasm of sarcasm.  A sarcspasm.




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