First of all, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Newt Gingrich is a big Skynyrd fan. Second of all, get ready to have a lot more completely unproductive arguments over facts with guys like this, because the Congressional Budget Office has released a report projecting that the proposed health care reform bill will have little impact on insurance premiums. Kind of. It turns out that the math on this one was really hard—so hard that the CBO initially refused to make an estimate. On the insistence of Senators Max Baucus and Evan Bayh, though, they’ve been crunching numbers for weeks now, pausing only to drink Mountain Dew and watch Buffy on Netflix, and they have concluded that, um, a bunch of stuff will change. But not really. The upshot of the CBO report is that premiums for individuals in large-group employer plans—that is, those in pools of 50 or more—would see a +1% to -2% change by 2016, while those in small-group employer plans would see their premiums drop by zero to 3%. Individuals who purchase policies for themselves—my unemployable ass, for example—will see the largest difference, with a projected 10 to 13% increase in premiums. Yes, increase. That’s a little misleading, though, because A) the cheapest policies currently offered to individuals fall below proposed minimum standards, so people paying higher premiums will also get better coverage and B) federal subsidies will reduce the actual cost to individuals by about 50%. Are you confused yet? The health care debate just got a little more complex, and that’s a boon to Republicans.
Last Thursday, while the rest of us were eating stuffing and probably violating the Constitution, Sarah Palin was participating in a 5k Turkey Trot in Kennewick, Washington. As is often the case with Palin, though, the word “participating” does not mean what you want it to mean. It turns out that the former Alaska governor dropped out of the race midway through, ostensibly to avoid the crowd of onlookers waiting for her at the finish line. See, she just wanted to run in the race and meet some Real Americans, not turn the Red Cross charity event into some sort of Going Rogue publicity spectacle. That’s why she announced her participation only two days before on her Twitter feed, and why her team was called the Rogue Runners. And shame on you for finding some cruel poetry in Palin’s decision to quit a charity race she had time to enter because she quit the governorship of Alaska. You try operating the complex assemblage of touch-screens and levers required to synchronize the Palin II‘s legs for 3.1 miles.
Combat! blog’s vacation in sunny lazy California continues today, and I am too sunny to produce a long post about fat people/pants. Fortunately, the ever-vigilant Ben Fowlkes has sent me a terrifying video of interviews with Sarah Palin supporters. Surely it’s an example of uncharitable editing, but it still offers a chilling vision of an America that does not make its political decisions on the basis of political issues. The melange of talk radio catchphrases that passes for discourse among these people is simultaneously baffling and weirdly distinct; they all talk kind of the same, and what’s most unnerving is that Sarah Palin talks like that, too. She’s like some sort of rhetorical surrealist, who has tapped into a deep vein of subconscious connections that operates below logical reasoning. Understanding the people in this video is like trying to read a digital clock in a dream. Video after the jump.
Anyone who follows current events already knows that Sarah Palin was eaten by a grue during her tour of Cameron Cave in Hannibal, Missouri last June, and since then a replicant version of her body has been operated by a funny snake. That’s just something people who take politics seriously have come to accept. What you may not know is that, after nearly exposing his ruse at a fundraiser for Wisconsin Right to Life last week, Sarah Palin Mark II has been working extra-hard to remind us all that he is totally a human being, just like us, and definitely not a garter snake piloting an elaborate construction of tubes and servos designed to simulate human behavior. To that end, she’s written a book, in which she carefully explains that, despite being a millionaire, a former beauty queen and the 2008 Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States of America, plus eating a live rat every seven to ten days, Sarah Palin is an ordinary American just like us.
Since August, when Sarah Palin was eaten by a Grue as a result of staying in a darkened area too long while studying foreign policy, a replicant version of her body has been operated by a funny snake. We know this. What you may not know is that the snake finally finished writing that book—which is currently being edited to remove numerous and baffling references to the warmth of field mice—and he is now free to pilot Sarah Palin’s body around the country, collecting multi-thousand dollar speaker fees and making his views known. Like most snakes, the one controlling Palin’s body is friendly and inquisitive, and spends most of his time scanning the ground in search of candy and coins, which he hopes to barter for social acceptance. In that capacity, he’s discovered a possible left-wing conspiracy and a change in our minting policy that may shock and disturb you.