January 5, 2014

Boy, a grounding in reality and empathy are sorely lacking in this country. I read this article in the National Journal and it made me shake my head at how much of our political dialog is being governed by people who have no frickin' clue (emphasis mine):

"I don't have any use for the federal government," [Kentucky resident Terry] Rupe said, even though his household's $13,000 yearly income comes exclusively from Washington. "It's a bunch of liars, crooks, and thieves, and they've never done anything for me. I'm not ungrateful, but I don't have much faith in this health care law. Do I think it's going to work? No. Do I think it's going to bankrupt the country? Yes."

Rupe sounds like he could be standing on a soapbox at a tea-party rally, but he happens to be sitting in a back room at the Family Health Centers' largest clinic in Louisville—signing up for Medicaid. Rupe, who is white, insists that illegal immigrants from Mexico and Africa get more government assistance than he does. (Illegal immigrants do not, in fact, qualify for Medicaid or coverage under the Affordable Care Act.)

He's not alone in thinking this way. A majority of whites believe the health care law will make things worse for them and their families, according to a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll.

"President Obama's idea is taking from the working people to give to the people who won't take care of themselves. It's redistribution of wealth," Rupe said. "I've always taken care of myself. You got these young girls who go out and get pregnant and then they get $1,500 a month for having a kid, so they have two."

On the other side of town, Adele Anderson was signing up for Medicaid at a public library. The white, middle-aged woman makes $10 an hour as a child-care provider; she also gets $86 a month in food stamps. She was unaware that Republicans voted to cut $40 billion over 10 years from what's called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. "Democrats are too liberal," Anderson said. "They just want to give handouts."

What the hell, people? These are people who are the takers, whining about the Others they think are getting handouts. Terry Rupe isn't taking care of himself; the federal government is. But he resents those dark-skinned people getting assistance. Adele Anderson derides Democrats for getting handouts while taking food stamps. Come on now.

I truly blame the media for allowing this kind of denial and hypocrisy to reign. Watch how they do it this Sunday. How much reality will be involved in anything Rand Paul says? Or Mitt Romney? Or Scott Walker? Do you think reality will be injected by the hosts? Not bloody likely.

ABC's "This Week" - Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Political roundtable: ABC News’ Cokie Roberts, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Republican strategist and CNN contributor Ana Navarro, former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith. Actor Mark Wahlberg, writer and director Peter Berg, and former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. Special Forces roundtable: ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz, Col. Steve Ganyard, USMC (Ret.) and Vice Admiral Robert Harward, U.S. Navy (Ret.).

NBC's "Meet the Press" - Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Gene Sperling, director of the White House's National Economic Council; CNBC's Jim Cramer. Dr. John Noseworthy, CEO of the Mayo Clinic; Dr. Delos Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic. Roundtable: Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), PBS Newshour’s Judy Woodruff and NBC Political Director Chuck Todd.

CBS' "Face the Nation" - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Reps. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Matt Salmon, R-Ariz. Roundtable: Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal, David Sanger of The New York Times, David Ignatius of The Washington Post, and CBS News Political Director John Dickerson.

MSNBC's "UP with Steve Kornacki" - Michael Cohen, The Century Foundation; Perry Bacon, TheGrio.com.

MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry" - Mayor Ralph Becker, (D-Salt Lake City); Adam Smith, Political Editor of the Tampa Bay Times; Dorian Warren, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Public Affairs, SIPA, Columbia University; Amy Goodman, Host & Executive Producer of Democracy Now!; Ron Christie, former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush / CEO of Christie Strategies LLC; Julian Zelizer, Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University / Author, “Governing America”.

MSNBC's "Disrupt with Karen Finney" - Rula Jebreal, MSNBC Contributor; Juana Summers, Politico; Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast; Dana Milbank, Washington Post; Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post; Amb. Marc Ginsberg, Fmr. U.S. Ambassador.

CNN's "State of the Union" - Sperling; Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis. Joan Biskupic of Reuters. Political panel: Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report, along with CNN Commentator Cornell Belcher and Mattie Duppler of Americans For Tax Reform.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Zanny Minton Beddoes, economics editor of The Economist, Ian Bremmer, founder and president of the Eurasia Group, Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens and New America Foundation President Anne-Marie Slaughter. Bono, the leader singer of U2, and Elon Musk.

"Fox News Sunday" - Mitt Romney; Mark Rienzi, a lawyer for an organization of Catholic nuns challenging a requirement that some religion-affiliated groups provide health insurance that includes birth control; Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Power Panel: Brit Hume; Amy Walter, National Editor, Cook Political Report; George Will; Charles Lane, Editorial Writer for The Washington Post.

So what's catching your eye this morning?

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