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September 23, 2009

Chill Wind? What Chill Wind?

I love Memeorandum. One of the best things about it is watching the way certain stories get linked by righty bloggers while others are immediately pounced upon by the left side of the Blatherosphere.

During the Bush years, America was treated to constant hand wringing over the way the Bush administration was supposedly "chilling" free speech. So pervasive and soul crushing was this heavy handed censorship that brave truth tellers like Keith Olbermann were brutally punished for daring to voice their patriotic dissent.

Oh. My bad. That never happened.

But we all remember how impassioned defenders of patriotic dissent like Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Bill Moyers, Cindy Sheehan and the entire anchor desk of MSNBC were rounded up at midnight and rendered to airless cells at Gitmo, thus discouraging the rest of us from bravely speaking truth to power, don't we?

Oops. Wrong again. That never happened either, did it?

Well certainly, now that the Obama administration is trying to suppress facts substantiated by his own Congressional Budget office, these brave defenders of free speech will erupt in righteous fury, no es verdad? Because the First Amendment applies to all Americans, right?

Dang. Wrong a third time.

I guess Americans only deserve "the facts" when the right people profit from free speech:

While H.R. 3200 would place strict price controls on Medicare Advantage plans-requiring them to pay out 85 percent of premium revenues in medical claims-Medigap policies face a far less strict 65 percent requirement. In other words, under the Democrat bill, seniors could pay as much as 20 cents more out of every premium dollar to fund “kickbacks” to AARP-sponsored Medigap plans than Medicare Advantage plans.

...A Hill source summed it up for me this way: “AARP has endorsed a huge reduction in funding of Medicare Advantage, which touches over 10 million middle-lower income seniors. If Medicare Advantage funding is reduced, and seniors are forced out of the program, they become potential buyers of the heavily-promoted and very profitable Medicare Supplement program sponsored by AARP (MediGap is 70% of AARP’s annual income). Medicare Supplement is a huge source of revenue to AARP.

Or as Patrick so trenchantly notes:

Sadly, the prevailing narrative slanders anyone who has the temerity to oppose the president. It turns out that we were misled by the left's neo-Clintonian parsing of the verb "is." Dissent is only the highest form of patriotism when the right people say so. If they disagree with dissent, or do not publicly subscribe to it, then dissent devolves into thoughtcrime.

The thing is, there's an enormous difference between simply demonizing your opponents and using the full power of the federal government to silence criticism - even if it happens to be factually accurate. One might think anyone who really believed all that blather about the dangers of government censorship would be up in arms about the Obama administration's heavy handed bullying.

One would be wrong.

Maybe all that Lefty free speech outrage was just another cynical political ploy? After all when you own the megaphone, you can just make anyone who disagrees with you disappear.

Posted by Cassandra at September 23, 2009 08:42 AM

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Imus and Glenn Beck connect the dots. Glenn Beck and Imus have a lot in common what Change for Color tried to do to Beck via Boycotts. Was eerily similar to what happened to Imus via Al Sharpton and Media Matters. The Chilling has been going on for some time now.


Posted by: Ree at September 23, 2009 12:00 PM

"the prevailing narrative slanders anyone who has the temerity to oppose the president"

« Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose »

Posted by: I Call BS at September 23, 2009 12:27 PM

Republican Chilling Wind: express the opinion "Dude, WTF? That won't help us at all. That'll only help the bad guys!"

Democrat Chilling Wind: Threaten legal action if they don't shut up.

yep, opinion = legal action. /sarc

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at September 23, 2009 12:57 PM

Communism 101, as described by Orwell: Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others (paraphrased).

I do remember being very stoked seeing Martin Sheen with a strip of duct tape across his mouth back then. Finally, I said to myself, some peace and quiet from the endless idiotic babble of the Hollywood Left! Sadly, it was merely another ploy from the usual narcissists like Sheen, and not a spontaneous act from a concerned citizenry.

Posted by: a former european at September 23, 2009 01:33 PM

Sadly, it was merely another ploy from the usual narcissists like Sheen, and not a spontaneous act from a concerned citizenry...

That's what YOU think! Stifling Martin Sheen is perhaps one of the few remaining issues all Americans can agree upon.

Posted by: People's Committee to Duct Tape Martin Sheen at September 23, 2009 01:36 PM