Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dick of the Week: Michelle Malkin

Yes, the age-old question answered...the D.O.W. can be a woman.

Intrepid investigative reporter Michelle Malkin is doing her best to defend America from the fraudulent propaganda forced into our pinned-open eyelids by the omnipotent Democrat Party and their Army of Twelve Year Old Stormtroopers! Leaving no stone unturned no dark alley uninspected Malkin exposes the lies and deception...

Oh, you mean she just uses her highly trafficked right-wing bully pulpit website and tv appearences to make baseless smears and charges against a 12 year old boy and his family because they dared speak up about SCHIP? That's the right-wing merchant of bullshit we all know and loathe.

Apparently while I've been too busy to post about anything but baseball, this has been a real hot topic...Well, there's no more baseball for a few days, and this the big, fat, hanging curveball I need to get my fury swing back in shape.

It seems the Democrats had a twelve year old boy make the response to Bush's radio address a week or two ago, and he told the story of his family's struggles with health insurance and experience with SCHIP. You know, the thing President Compassionate Conservative vetoed..."I don't know why President Bush wants to stop kids who really need help from getting CHIP," young Graeme Frost said, referring to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Always eager to please the Dark Lords of the GOP Sith, Malkin and her ilk jumped at the chance to savage these perfectly ordinary American citizens in the public arena, claiming (like Karl Rove) that they are "fair game." That's right, opening your mouth in a free society opens you up to personal destruction. I hope this wench was careless enough to tread across the line into slander and libel territory.

Here's Malkin:
Update 2:50pm Eastern: I just returned from a visit to Frost’s commercial property near Patterson Park in Baltimore. It’s a modest place. Talked to one of the tenants, Mike Reilly, who is a talented welder. He said he had known the Frosts for 10 years. Business is good, he told me, though he characterized Frost as “struggling.”

[...] I also passed by the Frosts’ rowhouse. There was an “01-20-09″ bumper sticker plastered on the door and a newer model GMC Suburban parked directly in front of the house. I’ve seen guesstimates of the house’s worth in the $400,000-plus range.

Bet you didn't know Michelle's a real estate appraiser in her spare time... She "guesstimates" the house is worth over $400,000? Even if the house IS worth that much, my first question was, "When did this family buy it? What did they pay?" Did MM ponder this as well? Of course—she's not stupid, just dishonest. Better to make it sound like these Frost characters are living high on the hog in a half-million dollar "remodeled" brownstone. USA Today checked:
Bloggers said the house was worth more than $400,000. It turns out it was bought for $55,000 in 1991 in a Baltimore neighborhood where "there were drug dealers and prostitutes on our street," Bonnie Frost said. Halsey Frost, a woodworker, did most of the renovations, which are "still not done," Bonnie said.

Oh, and a carpenter who drives a truck? The audacity!

Next up? Go after the kids' school—here's Malkin:
The family is not as destitute as the MSM has made them out to be. FreeRepublic member icwhatudo (oh, so clever!) asks the tough questions the mainstream media won’t ask. Like why a “working family” in need of government-subsidized health care can afford to send two children to a $20,000-a-year-private school.

She then blockquotes "icurfullofshit":
…One has to wonder that if time and money can be found to remodel a home, send kids to exclusive private schools, purchase commercial property and run your own business… maybe money can be found for other things…maybe Dad should drop his woodworking hobby and get a real job that offers health insurance..."

Hoo boy, I'm not done with that motherfucker yet...but here's USAT on the school part:
Bloggers said Graeme and Gemma go to private Park School, where tuition costs about $20,000. Graeme gets a scholarship, while Gemma's brain injuries were so severe that the city pays to educate her at a school for children with disabilities.

Did I forget to mention that the thing that sent this family into a medical bill death spiral and put them on SCHIP was a terrible car accident? No matter, the brownshirts show no mercy.

Back to the Freeper asshat, icwhatudo: "...if time and money can be found to remodel a home"—This family home was a dump they bought sixteen fucking years ago when that part of Baltimore was a slum, and he fixed it up himself—let me state first-hand, this is not always laying around in hammock with a beer while paint dries—working on your house can really be hard and time-consuming, and I do it because I can't pay somebody else to. (I have a screen door in my garage that I primed in May that have yet to paint and re-hang—perhaps it'll be ready by the time screen season rolls around again. What's my problem? I have just two kids and none of them have severe disabilities.)

And this crap about him "running his own business"... As if this guy is some kind of tycoon or George "Arbusto" Bush running an oil business into the ground on the Saudi's dime. "Owning a business" more often equals a constant struggle than unbridaled wealth, morons.

I "own my own business."—guess that makes me "a CEO" in the eyes of a frothing pundit. At a certain point, paying for health insurance for my family became too expensive for me and my "business" to support. So, I got a day job, one I am vastly overqualified, and underpaid for, but it has great benefits. Here's the problem—it took me over a year to get it. And I didn't have a couple of my kids in the Brain Injury Clinic. And that job on its own does NOT pay our normal bills, so I still dabble with my "hobby" at night to make ends meet. This can be tough, and perhaps not a viable option for this family. Something that loudmouths in the world of subsidized opinon-spewing probably can't really relate to.

Malkin goes on to criticize the Maryland SCHIP program as lax for "not impos(ing) an asset test on applicants." But Maryland DOES means test, and the Frosts are well within range:
[USAT] The couple — who have four children in all —earned about $45,000 last year, well below the $55,220 limit for a family of six set under the original SCHIP program...

The original program. Yes, these thieving Frosts aren't even one of the new "too rich for a hand-out" families Bush likes to dishonestly use as pretext for his veto. But Michelle and others on the right think they should have to sell their home to meet an assets test even though it would destroy the family's future?


All of that said, I'm not sure I completely support the Dem's strategy here, and I do not think that there should be total insulation from any kind of scrutiny if you offer yourself up for a publicity stunt like this. But it was quickly clear this family met the requirements for the program, and found themselves even in that position only due to tragic events, and they should have been left alone at that point. They are now pawns caught in the middle of two forces much bigger than them, who are really more interested in advancing agendas than them or their particular needs, and that's the sad part.

Can we please just quit this fucking dance and get on with National Healthcare already?

MORE: Digby, Ezra, Firedoglake, John Cole. Cole follow-up

UPDATE: One of the other assholes Malkin quotes in her screed claims the Frosts could get health insurance if they really wanted it:
A check of a quote engine for zip code 21250 (Baltimore) finds a plan for $641 with a $0 deductible and $20 doc copays.

First of all, I find that almost impossible to believe. When we paid for our own insurance four years ago, it was more than that for any decent plan, and the only way we got under that amount was to decline maternity coverage—which (gasp) meant we couldn't have the baby if Mrs. F got pregnant. Probably not a position the right wing wants to support.

Also left out of this guy's "analysis" is the fact that this family has pre-existing conditions no insurer would want to touch. My daughter would put us in the same situation. IF we didn't have good insurance her medical issues over the last two years would likely have bankrupted us. And if I needed to to purchase my own insurance now her conditions would jack the rates through the roof.

Medical conditions are often genetic (bad) luck of the draw, and exactly the kind of thing a civilized society shares the burden of—not tosses to the gutter. There is no way I could have "budgeted" for the tests and procedures my daughter went through, and if they had happened while I was dependant solely on "my business" it would have ruined us. This is exactly what happens to families all over the country—medical bills are the largest cause of personal bankruptcies. And the Republican Congress in it's infinite "compassion" made sure it was even more difficult to declare bankruptcy a few years back.

I am at a berserker rage level of hatred and anger right about now.


Mike said...

Well done, Furious. Your rage is definitely intact. Malkin is a nightmare. She sold her soul long ago.

None of this changes the fact, of course, that the Dems screwed up again. Why is it ironically appropriate that a 12 year old boy should be their 'spokeman" and take the heat for their errors.

Don't get sucked back in, Furious. Don't do it.

angie said...

Don't get me started. She is an evil woman. And this "debate" is the best example of the lack of "compassionate conservatism." I am all for national health care. I hope it comes soon.

As an aside, do you know she once quoted one of my studies (on living wills). I about quit my job.

Mr Furious said...

Angie just sent me this email:

The Republicans vs. the injured child

Two words for Rush Limbaugh, right-wing bloggers and other Republicans who say the family of a 12-year-old boy the Democrats have used as a poster child for expanding SCHIP (the State Children's Health Insurance Program) is too rich to deserve government help with medical care: Tony Snow.

When Snow announced in August that he was leaving his job as White House press secretary, he said he was doing so because he "ran out of money." Snow made $168,000 at the White House and presumably received health insurance as a federal employee. Snow said that he'd made "more money" in his "previous career" working for Fox News, and that he didn't want to dip into what he'd managed to put away before coming to the White House just so that he could keep working there. "I made the decision not to say to my wife and kids, 'You know, we've finally saved up all this money and done these things, and you're just going to have to give them away so Daddy can work at the White House,'" Snow explained. "We took out a loan when I came to the White House, and that loan is now gone. So I'm going to have to pay the bills."

The clear implication: The $168,000 Snow was making at the White House wasn't enough to handle month-to-month expenses for Snow, his wife and their three kids.

So how about that 12-year-old? His family of six -- one kid bigger than Snow's -- has an annual income of about $45,000. Without SCHIP -- and without health insurance subsidized by an employer -- the family's only route to medical insurance for the kids would have been to buy it themselves on the open market, if they could have gotten it; they apparently tried but were refused because of preexisting conditions.

Yes, the family has equity in a house and a commercial property worth about $160,000, but anyone want to guess how long even a few hundred thousand dollars in equity would last if you had to pay out of pocket -- as the kid's family would have if not for SCHIP -- for the medical care for two children who suffered severe brain injuries in a car crash? And anyone want to explain how a family that makes $45,000 a year could afford the payments on the home equity loan that would have been needed to extract that equity in the first place?

Tony? You out there?

That first link to the NY Times article is a good one.

Mrs. Furious said...

this is exactly the kind of shit I can't handle.
not only is this bitch a goddamn mother fucking asshole... but the whole sitution and needless defamation of a struggling family is sickening.. it makes me cry.
and having spent PLENTY of time in the hospital there was not a time that we were there that you wouldn't see families and just know they were struggling. People who have to take off work for LONG periods of time to stay with their children, etc. As Mr F said he works 2 full time jobs for the medical insurance and that is not unusual in families with sick kids... and for all you out there who make good money... many of us do not... and please the medical co-pays alone (and we have great insurance) is still a couple thousand dollars a year. If we had to pay out of pocket last year would have cost us more than Mr F makes.

Smitty said...

Malkin is heartless, and wrong. Your post shows where she is wrong on every one of her points. And the Right won't check-up on her.

I loved your (and Cole's) link to Ezra's post about what the Hell happened to political discourse on the Right. Forget the facts, go straight for the heart.

The other thing I found interesting about their bogus "investigative" journalism about the family's ability to afford health insurance is exactly what that plan entails. $640 a...month? Year? $0 deductable (what is it, car insurance) and $20 doc co-pays. BUT...what about the other tiny parts of a plan that cost you loads. ER visits? Prescription co-pays? Surgery co-pays? Maximum number of visits per year? Maximum lifetime benefit?

Itrepid investigative reporter my ass. Shrill partisan neocon hack is more like it.

Chris Howard said...

Hey, why tell the truth when you can lie? If you really oppose national health care ideologically, the proper response is something like - "I appreciate that schip helped the Frost family, but that's not what this debate is about" or something like that. Civil discourse is a thing of the past, and it's mainly the fault of the Right.

She "guesstimates" the house is worth over $400,000?

Just a side note - I think housing prices in some areas of the country have gone to ridiculous extremes. I was watching those house-flipping shows on TLC and some of the houses that wouldn't get over $200k here are going for $500 or $600k. It's insane.