OK, folks, here’s the House target list. If any of the congress critters on this list below is yours, please be sure to nag him or her mercilessly (but politely) to override the S-CHIP veto next week.

GOPers who voted NO

AL Robert Aderholt
AR John Boozman
CA Brian Bilbray
CA John Doolittle
CO Marilyn Musgrave
FL Gus Bilirakis
FL Ginny Brown-Waite
FL Tom Feeney
FL Rick Keller
IA Tom Latham
ID Bill Sali
IL Judy Biggert
IL Tim Johnson
IL Peter Roskam
IL Jerry Weller
LA Rodney Alexander
MD Roscoe Bartlett
MI Joseph Knollenberg
MI Thaddeus McCotter
MI Tim Walberg
MN Michelle Bachmann
MO Sam Graves
MO Kenny Hulshoff
NC Robin Hayes
NJ Rodney Frelinghuysen
NJ Scott Garrett
NJ Jim Saxton
NV Dean Heller
NY Thomas Reynolds
NY Randy Kuhl
OH Steve Chabot
OR Greg Walden
PA John Peterson
TX Kay Granger
VA Thelma Drake
VA Randy Forbes

GOPers who didn’t vote last time

CA Wally Herger
WY Barbara Cubin

Dems who voted NO
MS Gene Taylor
NC Bob Etheridge
NC Mike McIntrye

The Right Blogosphere is still in denial mode. This guy actually claims “Democrats are being attacked, not the Frost family.”

Um, I believe I heard Keith Olbermann say the Frosts had gotten death threats.

Malkin isn’t giving up. Today she is telling us the Frosts own three cars. She illustrates this by showing photographs of recent, showroom models of the cars. We don’t know how old the Frost cars are, or if they are all working.

This is a variation on the old “Cadillac Queen” myth, of the black welfare recipient who drives to the store in a Cadillac to buy groceries with food stamps. Of course, the Cadillac might be fifteen years old and in dire need of a muffler. FYI: half the hillbillies in the Ozarks own more than one car, although rarely are they all in working condition. The time-honored practice is to keep one going by stripping parts off the others. In my old neighborhood back in the day, every third home was graced by some rusted vehicle on cinder blocks in the yard. People who cared about appearances kept the heap in the back yard, of course.

But the claim on the Right is that the Dems used Graeme Frost to avoid talking about the real issues of S-CHIP. But in fact,

1. It’s the Republicans, not the Democrats, who whipped up a phony outrage campaign to avoid talking about the real issues of S-CHIP. If the Frosts are a red herring, it’s the Right that made them so.

2. The circumstances of the Frost family perfectly exemplify the real issues surrounding S-CHIP. In a sane world, they would have provided an ideal starting point for the real-world discussion the Right claims it wants but avoids by any means handy.

E.J. Dionne:

The right is unapologetic. “The Democrats chose to outsource their airtime to a Seventh Grader,” wrote National Review’s Mark Steyn. “If a political party is desperate enough to send a boy to do a man’s job, then the boy is fair game.” …

… rather than just condemn the right-wingers as meanies, let’s take their claims seriously. Doing so makes clear that they are engaged in a perverse and incoherent form of class warfare.

The left is accused of all manner of sins related to covetousness and envy whenever it raises questions about who benefits from Bush’s tax cuts and mentions the yachts such folks might buy or the mansions they might own. But here is a family with modest possessions doing everything conservatives tell people they should do, and the right trashes them for getting help to buy health insurance for their children.

Most conservatives favor government-supported vouchers that would help Graeme attend his private school, but here they turn around and criticize him for . . . attending a private school. Federal money for private schools but not for health insurance? What’s the logic here?

Conservatives endlessly praise risk-taking by entrepreneurs and would give big tax cuts to those who are most successful. But if a small-business person is struggling, he shouldn’t even think about applying for SCHIP.

Conservatives who want to repeal the estate tax on large fortunes have cited stories — most of them don’t check out — about farmers having to sell their farms to pay inheritance taxes. But the implication of these attacks on the Frosts is that they are expected to sell their investment property to pay for health care. Why?

Oh, yes, and conservatives tell us how much they love homeownership, and then assail the Frosts for having the nerve to own a home. I suppose they should have to sell that, too.

Right you are, E.J. The Frosts have assets. They live in their biggest asset, and can’t very well take cash out of that asset without borrowing money on it or selling it and moving into a shelter, but never mind that. Their assets should have made them ineligible for assistance, the Right says.

But S-CHIP is a program for families with some means, not the truly destitute. The truly destitute qualify for Medicaid. S-CHIP is a safety net, meaning the program exists not only to provide health care for children but to prevent families from completely going under financially because of health care costs. The objections of the Right show us clearly that the Right doesn’t get it. They want a program that requires a family to hit bottom, to lose everything, to be shoved so low that getting up again is nearly impossible, before they get one red cent of taxpayer money.

Paul Krugman:

The Frosts and their four children are exactly the kind of people S-chip was intended to help: working Americans who can’t afford private health insurance.

The parents have a combined income of about $45,000, and don’t receive health insurance from employers. When they looked into buying insurance on their own before the accident, they found that it would cost $1,200 a month — a prohibitive sum given their income. After the accident, when their children needed expensive care, they couldn’t get insurance at any price.

Fortunately, they received help from Maryland’s S-chip program. The state has relatively restrictive rules for eligibility: children must come from a family with an income under 200 percent of the poverty line. For families with four children that’s $55,220, so the Frosts clearly qualified.

Graeme Frost, then, is exactly the kind of child the program is intended to help. But that didn’t stop the right from mounting an all-out smear campaign against him and his family. …

All in all, the Graeme Frost case is a perfect illustration of the modern right-wing political machine at work, and in particular its routine reliance on character assassination in place of honest debate. If service members oppose a Republican war, they’re “phony soldiers”; if Michael J. Fox opposes Bush policy on stem cells, he’s faking his Parkinson’s symptoms; if an injured 12-year-old child makes the case for a government health insurance program, he’s a fraud.

Awhile back David Brock of Media Matters wrote a book called The Republican Noise Machine. From a review by Bradford Plumer in Mother Jones (September 1, 2004):

Brock documents how right-wing groups pressure the media and spread misinformation to the public. It’s easy to see how this is done. Fringe conspiracies and stories will be kept alive by outlets like Rush Limbaugh, the Washington Times, and the Drudge Report, until they finally break into the mainstream media. Well-funded think tanks like the Heritage Foundation overwhelm news reporters with distorted statistics and conservative spin. Mainstream cable news channels employ staunchly rightwing pundits — like Pat Buchanan and Sean Hannity — to twist facts and echo Republican talking points, all under the rubric of “balance.” Meanwhile, media groups like Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center have spent 30 years convincing the public that the media is, in fact, liberal. As Brock says, it’s all a sham: “I have seen, and I know firsthand, indeed from my own pen, how the organized Right has sabotaged not only journalism but also democracy and truth.”

Most of the time, they still get away with this. But just this once their bluff was called, and the world pushed back. And they can’t stand it.

Today Mark Hemingway at NRO is sniffling that Graeme Frost suffers from Manipulated Child Syndrome and compares Dem treatment of Graeme with that of “stage mothers” pushing their kids into show business. Except there’s absolutely no evidence anyone was unkind to Graeme except the mouth-breathing Right.

And do we want to talk about Noah McCullough? From the New York Times, February 26, 2005:

The battle over Social Security has been joined by an unusual lobbyist, a 9-year-old from Texas who has agreed to travel supporting President Bush’s proposal.

The boy, Noah McCullough, made a splash with his encyclopedic command of presidential history, earning five appearances on the “Tonight” show and some unusual experiences in the presidential campaign last year. He beat Howard Dean in a trivia contest at the Democratic National Convention and wrote for his local newspaper about his trip to see the inauguration.

“He’s very patriotic and very Republican,” said Noah’s mother, Donna McCullough, a former teacher and self-described Democrat. “It’s the way he was born.”

In a sign of how far groups go to carry their message on Social Security, Progress for America has signed up Noah, a fourth grader, as a volunteer spokesman. He starts on spring break from James Williams Elementary School in Katy, Tex.

Progress for America, which spent almost $45 million backing Mr. Bush last year, plans to lay out $20 million on Social Security this year. It has spent $1 million on television commercials and is working to send experts around the country. Among them are Thomas Saving, a trustee of the Social Security Trust Fund; Rosario Marin, a former United States treasurer; and one really, really young Republican. Noah will not be eligible to collect Social Security for nearly 60 years.

Noah will travel to a handful of states ahead of visits by the president and will go on radio programs, answer trivia questions and say a few words about Social Security. Though he is obviously not an expert (and not really a lobbyist, either), officials say the effort is a lighthearted way to underline Mr. Bush’s message.

Somehow, it was OK to trot 9-year-old Noah all over the country, but having 12-year-old Graeme read one message into a radio microphone was child abuse. Jon Henke of Q and O fame points out that some leftie bloggers made snarky comments about Noah at the time (Atrios called him “Cousin Oliver”! Oh, the horror!). Let’s talk about what the Left did not do.

The Left did not invade the McCullough’s privacy, publish misinformation about their assets, publish their home address to encourage people to harass them, drive by their home to describe it to a national audience and speculate how much it was worth, call them to ask personal questions, criticize them for where they send their kids to school, or publish insinuations about them in major newspapers. (Malkin, in the New York Post — “Reid’s staff says Gemma and Graeme get tuition breaks. But it’s not clear when those scholarships were instituted and/or whether the other two receive tuition aid. …”)

The Malkin Monster will never quit. But that would make an override of the S-CHIP veto all the sweeter.

17 thoughts on “Good SCHIP

  1. Pingback: and more on SCHIP | Blog and News Tidbets

  2. Nice work on this story, Maha. What I found even more objectionable in Malkin’s latest post is the reprint of the email from the alleged neighbor. I love how Malkin and the rest of the nuttersphere always flip out about unnamed sources being used in articles, but have no problem using anonymous emails to bolster their cases when it comes in handy.

  3. Yes, this is indeed a variation on the old “Cadillac Queen” myth, but let’s not forget that Saint Ronnie (like Malkin) didn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story:

    “Over a period of about five years, Reagan told the story of the “Chicago welfare queen” who had 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards, and collected benefits for “four nonexisting deceased husbands,” bilking the government out of “over $150,000.” The real welfare recipient to whom Reagan referred was actually convicted for using two different aliases to collect $8,000. Reagan continued to use his version of the story even after the press pointed out the actual facts of the case to him.”

    Yesterday, I asked 3 liberal friends about the “welfare queen” story. They all remembered Ronald Reagan telling it, but not one of them knew that it wasn’t true, or that he continued to tell it after it was proven false.

    Something to keep in mind.

  4. This post engendered a few thoughts, while orthogaonal to the central them, might bear consideration.

    I recently was a member of a jury on a case that required the judge to explain “aiding and abetting” which basically means that someone knew of the intent to commit a crime and they provided some form of assistance…i.e. they helped. The penalty for being convicted of “aiding and abetting” is equivalent to that which could be received by the principal who committed the crime.

    The Coutlers and the Malkins are given their platform with full knowledge of the outrageous lies and venom they spew. CNBC, Today Show, Fox and many others are GUILTY.

    We should not let them forget this and the fact that we have their number, EVER.

    The “but we just interview her” excuse does not play. It is as weak as the classic “dog ate homework” excuse.

  5. Who the hell do the Frosts think they are trying to better themselves. Serfdom requires knocking down any who dare attempt to stand upright. ‘Tis far better that they be forced into bankruptcy.

  6. What do the numbers look like on an overide? If no one has the exact numbers, what’s the point spread in Vegas. Just kidding.

  7. “But S-CHIP is a program for families with some means, not the truly destitute. The truly destitute qualify for Medicaid. S-CHIP is a safety net, meaning the program exists not only to provide health care for children but to prevent families from completely going under financially because of health care costs.”

    Yes! Thank you! The Frosts aren’t supposed to be destitute. That’s the whole point of the program. They would have been financially, emotionally and physically wrecked if it weren’t for SCHIP. That’s the whole damn point. But its more fun to play gotcha and drop little class warfare bombs than address the core issues.

  8. Pingback: The American Street » Blog Archive » Michelle Meshuggina Takes the Cake; Demands continuation of her Frost-ing

  9. Wow, Malkin is disgustingly vile..What a vicious bitch. What a twisted and gnarled spirit she possesses.
    I have to wonder about her husband though…how he can join in matrimony with someone so devoid of spiritual beauty..she’s a bitter nasty hag who’s full of hate and acrimony, and what she’s doing is what she truly is. She should break out her bible and read about the qualities that constitute a virtuous women, and maybe she could see how repulsive and offensive to beauty she actually is.

    Somebody please put a muzzle on that bitch!

  10. What weasel-like constructions Malkin uses: “Reid says” and “it’s not clear when” they got scholarships.

    Golly, Ms. Malkin, I thought you were some hot-shot “journalist” yourself. Wasn’t the whole point of your drive-by to gather the facts?? How is it that it is not clear to a journalist like you just when they got scholarships? Didn’t you ask the family? Check with the school? Actually talk to anyone about them?

    It’s ever so much more fun to cast aspersions, and actually knowing any facts might interfere with that, huh? Same as it ever was.

    The good news is that the longer they try to sell this slime, the more people will get disgusted by them.

  11. biggerbox — that’s her pattern. I’m sure you remember her encounter with Chris Matthews from 2004, about John Kerry’s war record —

    BROWN: He volunteered twice. He volunteered twice in Vietnam. He literally got shot. There‘s no question about any of those things. So what else is there to discuss? How much he got shot, how deep, how much shrapnel?

    MALKIN: Well, yes. Why don‘t people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg. They are legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound.


    MATTHEWS: What do you mean by self-inflicted? Are you saying he shot himself on purpose? Is that what you‘re saying?

    MALKIN: Did you read the book…

    MATTHEWS: I‘m asking a simple question. Are you saying that he shot himself on purpose.

    MALKIN: I‘m saying some of these soldiers…

    MATTHEWS: And I‘m asking question.

    MALKIN: And I‘m answering it.

    MATTHEWS: Did he shoot himself on purpose.

    MALKIN: Some of the soldiers have made allegations that these were self-inflicted wounds.

    MATTHEWS: No one has ever accused him of shooting himself on purpose.

    MALKIN: That these were self-inflicted wounds.

    MATTHEWS: Your saying there are—he shot himself on purpose, that‘s a criminal act?

    MALKIN: I‘m saying that I‘ve read the book and some of the…


    MATTHEWS: I want an answer yes or no, Michelle.

    MALKIN: Some of the veterans say…

    MATTHEWS: No. No one has every accused him of shooting himself on purpose.

    MALKIN: Yes. Some of them say that.

    MATTHEWS: Tell me where that…

    MALKIN: Self-inflicted wounds—in February, 1969.

    MATTHEWS: This is not a show for this kind of talk. Are you accusing him of shooting himself on purpose to avoid combat or to get credit?

    MALKIN: I‘m saying that‘s what some of these…

    MATTHEWS: Give me a name.

    MALKIN: Patrick Runyan (ph) and William Zeldonaz (ph).

    MATTHEWS: They said—Patrick Runyan…

    MALKIN: These people have…

    MATTHEWS: And they said he shot himself on purpose to avoid combat or take credit for a wound?

    MALKIN: These people have cast a lot of doubt on whether or not…

    MATTHEWS: That‘s cast a lot of doubt. That‘s complete nonsense.

    MALKIN: Did you read the section in the book…

    MATTHEWS: I want a statement from you on this program, say to me right, that you believe he shot himself to get credit for a purpose of heart.

    MALKIN: I‘m not sure. I‘m saying…

    MATTHEWS: Why did you say?

    MALKIN: I‘m talking about what‘s in the book.

    MATTHEWS: What is in the book. Is there—is there a direct accusation in any book you‘ve ever read in your life that says John Kerry ever shot himself on purpose to get credit for a purple heart? On purpose?

    MALKIN: On.

    MATTHEWS: On purpose? Yes or no, Michelle.

    MALKIN: In the February 1969 — in the February 1969 event.

    MATTHEWS: Did he say on it purpose.

    MALKIN: There are doubts about whether or not it was intense rifle fire or not. And I wish you would ask these questions of John Kerry instead of me.

    MATTHEWS: I have never heard anyone say he shot himself on purpose.

    I haven‘t heard you say it.

    MALKIN: Have you tried to ask—have you tried ask John Kerry these questions?

    MATTHEWS: If he shot himself on purpose. No. I have not asked him that.

    MALKIN: Don‘t you wonder?

    MATTHEWS: No, I don‘t. It‘s never occurred to me.

    People are asking questions about whether Malkin eats live puppies. I know people are asking these questions, because I just asked it. She has never honestly addressed the question of her puppy eating. We must demand that she reveal every aspect of her personal life to us to clear this up.

  12. That ploy of “some people say…” has been used from the beginning at Fox but if the media rug can get pulled from Malkin then she can spew all she wants from within her own home. She only matters to the extent that she has a platform.

    Maybe there’s value in having a wingnut on public display to be made an example of, but I am not entirely sure about that.

    Are the worst of the worst, such as Malkin a net asset or liability for progressive causes. A lot of time gets spent on them. Maybe quashing their assinine innuendo, lies and distortions is cathartic for us.

    Certainly lies in public discourse should not go unchallenged but who’s amplifying Malkin and Coulter’s voices and letting them define the discussion? Maybe 25% of our venting should be directed at media that gives them their soapbox. I write any and every show that has Coulter as a guest and let them know it is not even good entertainment, among other things. I don’t waste my time on Fox though, they’re beyond persuasion or help.

  13. it really floored me when the hardly-ever-right wing denigrated the frosts for not being truly “poor” and receiving assistance.

    the point being made (by reality, it turns out) is not that the frosts weren’t destitute when they received assistance to get health insurance…the point is that the middle class can no longer afford health insurance because it’s become so expensive!

    it’s rather like saying i’m stupid because i can’t easily hook up a tv nowadays…it’s not that i’ve grown stupider, but tv hook ups have become more complicated.

    the range of affordability for insurance has been slowly creeping up the past decades, and now it’s out of the reach of many people who, under the same circumstances, could easily afford it several years ago. that’s certainly not the fault of the people who have the same jobs and work just as hard as they did two decades ago.

    but the repubbbs definitely don’t want you to focus on the real factor here…insurance, pharmaceutical and medical companies who are raising their prices out the reach of most americans.

  14. Now now, maha.

    O’Reilly’s staff says that Malkin does not eat puppies. But it is not clear whether that covers older pets and/or whether it applies to all breeds, and also kittens. 😉

  15. Bush made it cost-effective for small business owners – just like that Frost fella, as a matter of fact – to buy trucks. Whereas cars aren’t deductible as a business expense, huge, massive trucks are fully deductible. And, of course, wingnuttia applauded the move.

    The lesson here? Government subsidized SUVs? Great! Healthcare for kids? Hisssssssssss.

  16. minor mistake – 25k for an suv is deductible in the first year, and the rest is depreciated over 6 years.

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