FireDogLake Stands Against Free Speech to Sell Obamacare

-By Warner Todd Huston

As long as Obamacare passes, the good folks at the extremely leftist site don’t seem to mind too terribly if that old saw of “free speech” is violated. At least it is easy to come to that conclusion after reading a posting on the FDL main page by a fellow aptly calling himself “Scarecrow.”

In a piece ridiculously headline, “Defeated: Kyl’s Amendment to Let Insurers Frighten Medicare Enrollees,” this “Scarecrow” fellow celebrates the fact that the iron boot heel of government was slammed down on the neck of folks opposing a government policy. Yes, that old useless idea from the Founders, those long-dead white guys, of free political speech is apparently all stuff and nonsense.

What provoked “Scarecrow’s” ire was an email message that Humana healthcare insurance group sent out to its members warning that if passed, Obamacare will reduce Medicare benefits.

Apparently “Scarecrow” thinks this is a lie… or something. This hyperbolic strawman even went on to invent quotes out of his imagination of what happened on the Senate floor as Senator Kyl introduced his amendment. A whole tableau of righteous Democrats calling Kyl and Humana a liar was presented almost as if it really happened that way. Hyperbole and a flair for the luridly dramatic. A nice left-wingie one-two punch that.

But the fake quoting isn’t the only imaginary thing that “Scarecrow” handed his unsuspecting readers. His entire effort to scold Kyl and Humana for saying that Obamacare means Medicaid and Medicare cuts is a bit of a sham, too. The fact is that Medicare and Medicaid cuts are in the Baucus bill. Though it is true that precise cuts are not clear, even the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has understood cuts as fact — as can be seen in its chart below.

So, um, if Medicare and Medicaid cuts weren’t imminent, why then, Mr. Strawman, did the CBO put that whole business about Medicaid and Medicare cuts in its chart? For that matter, “>even The New York Times admits that it isn’t clear that Baucus is right to say there are no cuts in Medicare in his healthcare bill. And for the NYT that is quite an admission.

So, it looks like Humana is right, that cuts are a comin’ for Medicare and Medicaid. So what is “Scarecrow” going on about, anyway?

I can’t help but hear that famous song after reading this FDL piece…

(Cross posted at
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,,,,,, Human Events Magazine,, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for

He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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