Patriots superfan Victor Thompson of Florida—photo by St. Petersburg PD
I think I speak for all of us when I say, what time is the Super Bowl? Super Bowl broadcast time and how to watch is one of the foremost questions of the day in that famous country we all know and love, America. In fact, the only thing I like thinking more than what channel is the Super Bowl on? is how I can be more patriotic? The United States needs patriots now more than ever. If we’re going to make America great again, we need to rekindle the revolutionary spirit that once burned in every heart from Boston to Atlanta.
Hawks falcons need to come together to protect us from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Today is Friday, and patriotism is on the march. Won’t you line up and salute with me?
Before we begin, does anyone need take a long look at himself in the bathroom mirror?
Maybe you heard about this, but yesterday the Senate Intelligence Committee released the summary version of its six-year investigation into CIA torture during the Bush administration. The summary is 525 pages long. It describes detainees who were subjected to medically unnecessary rectal hydration procedures, detainees who were deprived of sleep for as long as a week, detainees made to stand on broken feet—you know what? Let’s just go ahead and call them prisoners. Once you’ve waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for the 183rd time, he’s your prisoner. The president has condemned these behaviors as torture. But he refuses to comment on whether they produced meaningful intelligence that deterred terrorist attacks.
This image of Conan the Barbarian provided as a public-service alternative to pictures of inspectors, hearings or tax forms.
Congressional hearings into news that the IRS singled out conservative political groups applying for tax-exempt status is either a tempest in a teapot or a tempest issuing from the mouth of a tyrannical socialist dragon, depending on which news outlet you read. Mitch McConnell says that the heightened scrutiny of Tea Party organizations reflects a “culture of intimidation” in the Obama administration, which is kind of a weird assertion in light of claims that the President also covered it up. As often happens in our brave modern news cycle, the question of what the IRS did has been elbowed aside by questions of who knew what about what the IRS did, whether what the president might have known they did constitutes an impeachable offense, and how “so many Americans knew this was happening,” as Sarah Palin claims. Now you can know what’s happening, too, simply by reading this 55-page report.
Let's see...which shirt will ensure that my views are taken seriously?
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.