John Shadegg

By now, it’s easy to be cynical about the Internet’s ability to degrade rational argument. After all, one can only read so many birther blogs without starting to go numb. Still, once in a while, the foggy chaos that is the online world parts, and we catch a glimpse of how the realm’s worst ideas form, adapt to the environment, and, despite their utter lack of fitness anywhere else (well, with the popular exceptions of AM radio and Fox News), thrive in cyberspace. Perhaps the best recent example is a chart that has been racing around the conservative blogosphere for the last few months.

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With the House Republicans planning a Wednesday vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, I’m going to go back through some of their arguments over the next few days.

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&c

-- John Judis defends Wikileaks, but James Rubin thinks it undermines the left. -- Mike Pence does his best John Shadegg impression. -- Leslie Nielsen's best quotes.

Shadeggelic

  Watch John Shadegg express astonishment at the notion that unemployment benefits could provide economic stimulus: BARNICLE: What about the fact that unemployment benefits pumped into the economy are an immediate benefit to the economy? Immediate… SHADEGG: No, they’re not! Unemployed people hire people? Really? I didn’t know that. BARNICLE: Unemployed people spend money Congressman, ’cause they have no money. SHADEGG: Aha! So your answer is it’s the spending of money that drives the economy and I don’t think that’s right.

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Allowing individuals to purchase health insurance policies sold in other states is a key feature of every Republican health care proposal It's also a horrible idea, as Jonathan Chait and Ezra Klein have both explained today. You should read both of their critiques. If they don't convince you, I'd recommend an article Robert Gordon wrote for Slate, back when John McCain embraced the proposal in his presidential campaign. As Gordon put it: Today, insurance companies need to follow the laws of the states where they sell individual insurance plans, just as credit-card companies did before 1978.

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The closest thing Congress has to its own Tea Party takes place every Wednesday afternoon, in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office building.

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We realize that the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to American soil is a complex problem and that people can object in good faith. But some of the rhetoric from the right on the issue has gone from NIMBY to just plain DSM-IV.

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State of Denial

Mitch Berger, a Washington-based lawyer, has a rare, incurable and very expensive-to-treat cancer.  He is not fond of insurance companies. As Democrats scramble to assemble a health care reform package that a majority of the party can support, Republicans have agreed on what they claim is a quick and easy way to reduce health insurance costs. In delivering the Republican reply to the President’s recent joint-session speech, Charles Boustany of Louisiana offered the GOP plan, saying "Let's also talk about letting families and businesses buy insurance across state lines.

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Tea'd Off

On Saturday, September 12, America threw a gigantic temper tantrum in Washington D.C. Organizers called it the “largest gathering of fiscal conservatives in history,” and they’re probably right. But for an angry, anti-government fit, the march was remarkably civil. They had come in large bands--14 buses from Morristown, New Jersey; 12 from Harford County, Maryland--prepared with picnic baskets and lawn chairs. They festooned their hats with teabags and dressed in Revolutionary-era finery.

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How long will it be before Arizona Rep. John Shadegg tearfully recants his disgraceful slanders against Rush Limbaugh and joins the Limbaugh Six? Yesterday, the Arizona Republic reported: Shadegg disagrees with radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, who has said he hopes Obama and his liberal policies fail. "I sincerely hope he creates the strongest recovery possible," Shadegg said.

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