By Jim Hightower on December 31, 2013

Created by Republican legislators to look like the state's official health exchange site, where people can sign up under the Affordable Care Act.

In this wicked world of woe, there are hucksters, flimflammers, plain ol' crooks... and Republican members of the California Assembly.

This last bunch of scoundrels went out of their way to monkeywrench the rollout of President Obama's new health care law. Obama's computer geniuses were making a hash of the initial rollout in October, but the sign-up was finally smoothing out -- and with any Obama success, GOP lawmakers automatically start tossing monkeywrenchs.

This time, the tool they tossed is a fake website created by California Republican legislators in August to look like the state's official health exchange site, where people can sign up to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act. When things finally got worked out on the national health care exchange in November, the Repubs mailed a pamphlet to their constituents, directing them to the decoy site, calling it a "resource guide" to "help" them navigate the ACA sign up process.

Far from help, however, the faux site is a trap. It's filled with boilerplate Republican propaganda against the law, gimmicks to discourage viewers from even applying for the health care they need, and a rash of distortions and outright lies. There's so much bunkum on the site that its fine print includes a disclaimer saying they don't vouch for "the quality, content, accuracy, or completeness of the information" it provides.

The silliest thing about the lawmakers' blatantly political ploy is that even if it convinces some people to forgo the ACA's benefits, who does that hurt? Not Obama -- but their own constituents! I know there's no IQ requirement to be a state legislator, but what were they thinking?

We can laugh at their low comedy, but if you're a California taxpayer, congratulations: You paid for the GOP's bogus website and mailings.

A bogus Health care website, courtesy of the GOP (via MSNBC, December 4, 2013)

California Republicans Defend Fake Obamacare Site (via ABC News, December 3, 2013)

California GOP creates fake health care website to discourage constituents from obtaining insurance (via Daily KOS, December 2, 2013)

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Photo: J.D.S via Shutterstock.

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Earlier this year, Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus declared that the 2014 midterm elections were shaping...

He doesn't believe in it. But Mary Burke does, and she wants to raise it. So do most Badgers.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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