Assuming that you get all your news directly from press releases, you’re probably already familiar with this story of the truth shining forth despite the best efforts of the sugar-industrial complex to cover it up. With the dead bodies of fat kids. “Today,” it reads, “the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) launched a new million dollar ad campaign designed to put an end to the blatant inaccuracies surrounding the much-maligned ingredient: high fructose corn syrup.” Ah, yes, the Center for Consumer Freedom—so named because “People’s Center for Consumer Freedom,” “Glorious Center for Freedom and Truth” and “Southern Poverty Law Center” were already taken. Apparently so was “Corn Refiners Association,” because that’s who sponsored the press release. They’ve also created the website Sweetscam.com, which sheds some long-overdue light on the conspiracy to make people think that eating a bunch of high-fructose corn syrup will make you fat, when in fact “Some research demonstrates that lean people actually eat more sugar (and less fat) than obese people.” That’s one of the many myths debunked on Sweetscam.com’s Myths and Facts page, along with “sugary sweeteners are bad for your teeth” (in fact, “almost any food left on your teeth for too long will lead to tooth decay over time”) and “high-fructose corn syrup is actually high in fructose.” See, that’s actually sort of a private joke among high-fructose corn syrup’s friends, like the way you call an enormous black man “Tiny.”
Wouldn’t it be great if the American military seized control of the government, deposed our duly-elected President and enforced their own interpretations of the Constitution without the oversight of Congress or the judiciary? No? Um, yeah, I don’t think so either—I was just asking. I’m going to go over here now and absolutely not advocate the armed overthrow of the U.S. government.
That’s essentially the position of John L. Perry, who two days ago used his Newsmax.com column to advocate a domestic military coup to solve “the Obama problem.” I’m going to go ahead and use the word “advocate,” despite Perry’s assertion—possibly deployed to prevent, you know, his being arrested for sedition—that “describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it.” He says so just before reminding us that “Officers swear to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ Unlike enlisted personnel, they do not swear to ‘obey the orders of the president of the United States,'” rhapsodizing for 350 words about the possible reasons why this possible coup would be totally justified, and winding everything up with a completely hypothetical, non-advocating question: “Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a ‘family intervention,’ with some form of limited, shared responsibility?”
For those of you whose work environment/Amish fundamentalism prevents you from watching a YouTube video all the way through, that’s Glenn Beck boiling a frog alive on national television. He’s attempting to illustrate “the old saying,” that if you throw a frog into boiling water he’ll jump right out, whereas if you start the frog in lukewarm water and gradually heat it to boiling, “the frog won’t realize what’s happening and die.” Nietzschean aphorist Glenn Beck is not. Huck Finn-ean frog catcher he ain’t, either, and the several seconds he spends trying to get hold of one of the frogs—which turn out to be alarmingly small and cute—give the viewer a chance to realize that this is something he actually intends to do. “Barack Obama has galvanized this country,” Beck says, citing the number, size and urgency of the bills the President has ostensibly proposed. “He’s forced us to wake up and think.” I wouldn’t go that far, but okay. Unlike John McCain, who’s been slowly heated, the American people have been thrown into our present political situation all at once. “And what happens when you throw ’em in?” Beck demands. Then he throws his frog into his kettle of boiling water, from which it completely fails to jump out, possibly because its skin and outer layers of musculature have been flash-cooked and its eyeballs have burst. Beat. “Okay, forget the frog,” Beck says. Then he tells us to forget about both Democrats and Republicans, too, because they are fake. And…scene.
Senator Max Baucus (D-MT, go Griz) unveiled his long-awaited health care reform proposal this morning, after a year of personal reflection and more than three months of wrangling with a small group of Democratic and Republican Senators. If you’ve got twenty or so hours to spare, you can read the full text of the bill here. The Finance Committee chairman’s plan is bipartisan in the sense that it is the product of his discussions with Republican Senators Chuck Grassley, Mike Enzi and Olympia Snowe, and not so bipartisan in the sense that they’ve all refused to endorse it. For his part, Grassley is still concerned about the two most important issues facing elderly white men who live in central Iowa: abortion and immigrants. “There are still some serious outstanding issues that have yet to be resolved,” Grassley said in a public statement. “Like preventing taxpayer funding of abortion services and the enforcement against subsidies for illegal aliens.” While Baucus’s legislation, like all other proposed health reform bills, expressly forbids federal funding of coverage for illegal aliens, Grassley does not feel that the wording is strong enough. He also wants to include a five-year waiting period before legal immigrants can be eligible for federal subsidies, as part of America’s longstanding Mow My Lawn and Then Get the Hell Off My Property policy.
By now you’ve probably seen the video of Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) putting the rhetorical whompus on one of his constituents at a town hall meeting in Dartmouth. If you somehow haven’t, do yourself a favor. The question—put to him by the most adorable hate-filled populist ever— was “Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy, as Obama has expressly supported this policy, why are you supporting it?” It’s an elegant rhetorical trap, but Frank finds a way out of it. First, he points out that the questioner is currently holding a photograph of the President with a Hitler mustache drawn on it. Then he asks her what planet she spends most of her time on, and concludes that “Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in it.” As they say in Boston: face! Somewhere, Cicero is smiling.*