This person dressed like a banana and standing on a plinth is part of an art installation last month at London's Trafalgar Square. But the photo reminds me of the latest over-the-top activities of so-called "teabaggers" on Washington's Capitol Hill.
John Cole's article about the health care debate, the Republicans' just-released "alternative" bill and the clueless mainstream media coverage is priceless:
"Why is this not a bigger story:
"Late last night, the Congressional Budget Office released its initial analysis of the health-care reform plan that Republican Minority Leader John Boehner offered as a substitute to the Democratic legislation. CBO begins with the baseline estimate that 17 percent of legal, non-elderly residents won’t have health-care insurance in 2010. In 2019, after 10 years of the Republican plan, CBO estimates that …17 percent of legal, non-elderly residents won’t have health-care insurance. The Republican alternative will have helped 3 million people secure coverage, which is barely keeping up with population growth. Compare that to the Democratic bill, which covers 36 million more people and cuts the uninsured population to 4 percent.
"But maybe, you say, the Republican bill does a really good job cutting costs. According to CBO, the GOP’s alternative will shave $68 billion off the deficit in the next 10 years. The Democrats, CBO says, will slice $104 billion off the deficit.
"The Democratic bill, in other words, covers 12 times as many people and saves $36 billion more than the Republican plan. And amazingly, the Democratic bill has already been through three committees and a merger process. It’s already been shown to interest groups and advocacy organizations and industry stakeholders. It’s already made its compromises with reality. It’s already been through the legislative sausage grinder. And yet it saves more money and covers more people than the blank-slate alternative proposed by John Boehner and the House Republicans. The Democrats, constrained by reality, produced a far better plan than Boehner, who was constrained solely by his political imagination and legislative skill.
"I seriously do not get this country. The subservience to the Republicans by the media at least made sense when they were in the majority and held the Presidency in 2001. But this is 2009, the Republicans have been routed electorally for the past few years, everything the Republican party believed in failed miserably the last eight years and they have been exposed as total frauds. They released a budget with no numbers on April Fools Day; they have been whipping up teabaggers and gun nuts into a froth for months and screaming about death panels because they have no ideas or solutions and when they finally do release their health care “plan,” it totally and completely sucks. It is nothing but fail, fail, fail, from the GOP: they just lost two more seats in the house; they are going through a horrible (yet delicious) civil war; yet according to the media, everything is bad news for Democrats.
"You know what is bad news for Republicans? They used to be able to get elected and be incapable of governing and as the House elections on Tuesday and the CBO score today show, now they are incapable of getting elected and governing.
"And yet somewhere, Chuck Todd or one of the other Beltway drooling class is typing up their next thought piece explaining how all of this is bad news for Democrats and David Gregory’s staff is probably getting touch with McCain and Boehner’s chiefs of staff to see if they are available for Meet the Press on Sunday.
"I can’t tell what is a bigger joke- the Republicans or our failed media experiment. Three decades of screaming liberal media bias is about the only smart long-term thing Republicans have done in my lifetime."