I had a decimal place wrong in the “Four(ty Thousand) Dead Americans post that went out by email Friday.

The estimate is that, pre-Obamacare, not a dozen (as I initially posted) but TEN dozen American lives were lost each day for lack of access to affordable health insurance.

Republicans proudly fought to prevent — and then repeal — Obamacare, but to their dismay, Obamacare seems to be working.  So — as Friday’s link to the Massachusetts experience shows — at least some of those tens of dozens a day will not die.

Having lost the fight to keep us all from having access to affordable health care (at the expense of affluent investors asked to share 3.8%  more of their dividends and capital gains, though still not as much as they were paying under Ronald Reagan), now the Republican goals are to keep from extending Medicaid in as many states as they can . . . to keep from giving the working poor a minimum wage raise . . . and to make certain we don’t put the unemployed to work repairing our crumbling infrastructure.

Oh!  And to get to the bottom of the Benghazi talking points.

Because — like the Clintons’ failed $30,000 investment in a Whitewater land deal (thirty thousand dollars!) and Al Gore’s fundraising calls from a government-owned telephone line (calls that cost three cents a minute!) and Barack Obama’s birth certificate (Fox News is still not persuaded!)  — that’s what truly matters.

As the New Yorker‘s Andy Borowitz headlined it Friday:  Poll: Millions of Americans Who Need Jobs Want Congress to Get to Bottom of This Benghazi Thing First.


Not everyone sees it my way.

Steve N.: “Loyalty can be blinding.  Unfortunately, yours is keeping you from seeing the troubles with the current administration.  If not for Fox, the station that you and so many liberals bash, we wouldn’t be finding out some of the stuff that is just now coming out.  And finally other news outlets are getting on board.  It’s too bad it took so long for them to do actual news reporting.  Up to now many of our so called ‘news’ outlets have been cheerleaders for the Democrat party.  Well, let’s hope that we get more reporting and less cheerleading.”

☞ Remarkable how differently bright people of good will can see the world.  Like the 70% of those who voted to reelect Bush who believed Iraq had a hand in attacking us on 9/11.  Simply not true, but don’t tell them.

Steve N. offers just one example of “stuff that’s just  now coming out thanks to Fox” — an MSNBC clip on the Beghazi talking points and the continued allegation that, in the early days after Benghazi, the administration tried to spin the tragedy away from terrorism.

Yet, if you watch that clip, offered to show how awful this administration really is . . . (never mind that the stock market and corporate profits are at record highs; the deficit has been cut two thirds and the housing market stabilized; GM is alive and Bin Laden is dead; 320 million of us no longer have to worry about losing health care coverage because we have. or might develop, a pre-existing condition; we’ve ended two wars and avoided two more even as Syria appears to be 92% done disposing of its chemical weapons) . . . I don’t think you’ll see anyone joining the Fox News bandwagon.

In fact, the suggestion is made that — far from spinning things to start a disastrous war, as the prior administration did so successfully (where, asks reader Noah Stern, is Darrell Issa’s outrage over that?) — one goal of the Benghazi talking points may have been to tamp down a possible explosion of conflict in a volatile region.

Remember that moment in the second presidential debate where Mitt Romney had his triumphant Benghazi “gotcha” moment over this?  And then Candy Crowley (and the transcript) noted that Mitt actually had it wrong?  This strikes me as similar.  People are trying so hard to find proof, in the Benghazi talking points, that this Kenyan (except he was born in Hawaii), Muslim (except he’s not), Marxist (tagged by some “Republican lite”) who pals around with terrorists (except that, no, actually, he kills them) is doing a rotten job.

Even “60 Minutes” got Benghazi badly wrong and had to apologize.

And Fox?  Fox would be comical if it hadn’t done such damage stoking the flames of science-denying, government-bashing resentment and frustration.

I know Steve N. to be well-motivated and at least somewhat open-minded.  I remain hopeful that he — and that uncle of yours — will come around yet.

They will all be welcome, whether as Democrats, Independents, or moderate Republicans.

But this far-right stuff that’s come to control the Republican Party and paralyze Congress?  Shutting down the government rather than pay the bills it itself racked up?  Filibustering a rise in the minimum wage?  Blocking a vote on universal background checks that 90% of the people — and 74% of NRA members! — favor?  Refusing a vote on the immigration bill the Senate has passed and the President is eager to sign?

I take your time addressing Steve N.’s email not, obviously, because there’s anything unique about it, but for just the opposite reason: so many people think this way, because they watch Fox News.

They might want someone from Harvard or Yale performing their brain surgery or defending them in a lawsuit. But they sure wouldn’t want some elitist running the country.  It’s all about Joe the Plumber and Cliven Bundy (a hero to Fox until he got “the Negro” part of it).

And the Koch brothers are laughing all the way to the bank.



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