Warning: this video contents plenty of cussing!!! John Oliver says what I am thinking.
Ah, the advantages of premium cable to express immense anger and frustration. Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight,” featured John Oliver’s profanity-laced tirade that George Carlin would be proud of. From SNL’s solidarity, to Colbert’s shaky voice of concern, to even Bill Maher’s anger, comedians have spent the weekend trying to help the world come to grips with yet another tragedy. Oliver went another route, and instead completely lost his shit.
“Sadly, we must begin with a few words about France which, on Friday, suffered the deadliest attack on its soil since World War II,” said Oliver at the top of the show. “Look, it’s hardly been 48 hours and much is still unknown, but there are a few things we can say for certain. And this is when it actually helps to be on HBO, where those things can be said without restraint, because after the many necessary and appropriate moments of silence, I’d like to offer you a moment of premium cable profanity.”
The pain of this tragedy is almost unbearable. I have dealt with the issue of gun violence for more than 20 years. As a trauma surgeon, I have wallowed in this issue. I’ve seen gun violence from every angle. I’ve seen these weapons used for combat. I’ve seen these weapons used in self defense. I’ve seen these weapons used in anger. I’ve seen these weapons accidentally discharged, maiming or killing a loved one. I’ve even seen an unfortunate gentleman accidentally shoot himself with a gun that was held together with duct tape as he was trying to kill dinner.
I think that the tragedy in Newtown brings up two very important questions. First of all, what can we do to address mental illness in the United States? Yes, I know we do not have a full picture of the gunmen. But, what we do know is that mental illness has played a huge role in the mass killings over the past several years. Secondly, a modified M-16 rifle was used to kill the majority of the victims. Would some sort of gun control measure fix this problem?
I think that addressing mental illness is critical. We desperately need more psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other people trained in helping patients with mental illness. Over the last 30 years, we’ve poorly address this problem. I simply don’t see this Congress standing up and pouring money into the mental health issue. I might be wrong. It is possible that Newtown has changed the politics, but I doubt it. I look for passionate speeches in the House and in the Senate. I just don’t see that much is going to get done on this issue.
On the issue of gun control, I think that we’ve reached a critical point in which something will get done. Unfortunate, I simply don’t see major changes. I see some sort of bill that will address assault weapons. There might be a second bill that would address Americans with mental illness owning or having access to weapons. I don’t look for this measure to be written very strongly.
Over the next several days, I think that the reaction of the American people will help to form legislation. If the anger, frustration and horror of Newtown fades into memory, then not much will get done on Capitol Hill. On the other hand, if the American people begin to channel their anger into pressuring Congress to do something, Congress will act. I look forward to seeing what happens in the coming days.
Update: Are you wondering what assault rifles you can buy at Wal-Mart? Here’s your answer. (You can buy hollow-point bullets at Wal-Mart also…in case you are wondering.)
If you vote for a plan that really ends Medicare, you should be able to stand up and defend your vote. Republicans have never liked Medicare.
This is unbelievably rich.
House Republican freshmen admit that their so-called “MediScare” attacks on Democrats helped them win a big majority in 2010. Democrats had voted for the health care law, which included $500 billion in “cuts” to Medicare—primarily slashing overpayments to private insurers—and Republican challengers never let them forget it.Now, they say, it’s time to let bygones be bygones….
On Tuesday, Kinzinger and 41 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to rein in Democratic attacks on GOP members who voted for the House budget, which includes a plan to privatize Medicare and cap spending on the program.
“We ask that you stand above partisanship, condemn the disingenuous attacks and work with this Congress to reform spending on entitlement programs,” the letter reads.
Can you say “death panels”?
Even better than this, however, is Leader Pelosi’s response, in the form of a memo to GOP freshmen.
We know it’s hard for you to accept the anger over your vote to end Medicare as we know it, but holding a press conference to ask the American people to ignore your irresponsible vote is, frankly, a bit puzzling. You defended your vote just two weeks ago, but you didn’t like what you got back from your constituents. It’s time to take responsibility for your actions….In case you missed it, here’s the helpful memo we sent your way yesterday.
To: GOP Freshman
Fr: Democratic Leader’s Press Office
Da: May 10, 2011
Re: The Truth Hurts — You Did Vote to End Medicare as We Know It
Just half a day after Speaker Boehner said he wants to engage in “honest conversations about how best to preserve Medicare” (ie: the GOP’s plan to end Medicare as we know it), you are trying to silence criticism of your vote supporting the plan….
Sometimes the truth hurts.
House Republicans voted for a GOP budget that:
Ends Medicare as we know it.Forces seniors to pay over $6,000 more a year.
Requires a 54-year-old today to save an additional $182,000 in his or her retirement account, or $250 a week, just to pay the costs of the plan.
Democrats have a plan to ensure older Americans have access to affordable, high quality care – it’s called Medicare and it currently serves more than 46 million Americans.
It’s not a “messaging” problem, it’s not a “mean Democrats” problem. The House Republicans voted nearly unanimously to end Medicare. That vote is not just going to go away.