26 November 2009

The Snake and the White House

According to this article, the White House met "early and often" with health care lobbyists while it was putting-together its version of health care reform.  To be fair, the lobbyists came from both sides of the debate.  Both entrenched "for profit" health care interests and real reformers had a chance to pitch the White House their view of what health care should be.

I still don't like it.  For profit, market-driven health care created the mess we have now.  It's raised the price of health care to a point far beyond what many Americans can pay.  CorporateCare knows it.  The White House knows it and America knows it.  It's what business does.  Business' first responsibility is to the owners' profits.  Forget all that stuff about delivering goods and services and creating jobs.  Business exists to deliver profit.  If that means rationing health care to those who can pay for it and ignoring the rest, so be it.

Some years ago, a popular song told the story of a man who found a nearly frozen snake.  He took the snake into his home and warmed it by the fire until it recovered.  Then the snake bit the man.  Answering the stunned and puzzled look on the man's face, the snake said "You knew I was a snake when you took me in."

Listen-up Mr. President.

31 October 2009

A Special Place in Hell

I can't help but think there's a special place in Hell for anyone who would allow a child to suffer needlessly.  And after watching the behavior of American politicians during the still-continuing furor surrounding health care reform, I'm sure it's full of Republicans. 

As they have everytime health care reform has been proposed, not a single Republican is showing the slightest sign of supporting it.  Despite all we've learned of the inadequacy of the American health care system, Republicans' loyalty to their extreme ideology remains intact.  They're standing-by the special interests and their rich supporters. 

That intransigence is killing children.

A recently released Johns Hopkins Children Center study of children and health insurance reports the deaths of 17,000 children in the last two decades because they lacked adequate health insurance.  According to "lead investigator Fizan Abdullah, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric surgeon at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, '(i)f you are a child without insurance, if you're seriously ill and end up in the hospital, you are 60 percent more likely to die than the sick child in the next room who has insurance.'"

I don't know if that will change any Republican minds when they read the study but I don't think so.  They're minds are closed and their hearts are cold.  They need something to warm them.

23 October 2009

Global Obstruction Pathology

Republicans are the party of "no."

They continue their opposition to health care reform and in recent days they've opposed net neutrality and, appallingly, protecting female workers from rape by their co-workers.  Before that, their opposition included clean air (cap and trade) and worker's rights (card check.)

I'm sure they'd like everyone to believe all this is principled opposition but I don't think so.  I think there's something in the human psyche which drives some individuals to opposition regardless of reality.  They can look at something, see it clearly and still take a counterintuitive position on it.

Let's call it Global Obstruction Pathology.

The party of no is full of individuals who suffer from Global Obstruction Pathology.  It's a willingness, maybe even a visceral need, to oppose anything which doesn't spring from their own self-interest.

Republicans know health care reform is necessary and long overdue.  They've said so and some have even admitted their party has been wrong in not pursuing it long before now.  They can't support it, though, because the Democrats want to do something about it now.

They know our environment needs protection.  It was their party, long-ago in the Nixon era, which created the Environmental Protection Agency.  You'd think they'd support "cap and trade."  It's a market-based solution to the pollution problem.  Republicans are supposed to love markets.

Their opposition to protecting women from rape by their coworkers is a mystery.  The 30 Republicans who opposed the Franken amendment to stop rape won't say why.  Maybe they just had to say no because of their GOP.

16 October 2009

Coddling the Military

Do you thank military members you see?

One the hate mongers on my local hate radio station was talking this morning about his son's experience on the way to deployment in Iraq.

First of all, it's rather odd that radio hate mongers or their families, in particular, and conservatives, in general, actually serve in the military.  Our recent experience tells us conservatives mostly send others to die in their wars.  But it's not so odd of radio hate mongers to talk about honoring the military.  Glorification of the military is an integral part of fascism and American conservatism is the new world version of fascism.

This guy was saying his son had experienced receiving the good wishes and thanks of persons in an airport where he changed planes.  That, too, isn't so odd.  Many Americans have taken to thanking military persons in uniform for their service.

I wonder if it's healthy, though.  Our country wasn't designed to be the Uniformed States of America.  Our Second Amendment, for instance, guarantees the People a civilian military.  That's because a military is a threat to democracy.  Do we dishonor our founding principles when we encourage militarism by thanking those in uniform?  

I think we do.  Moreover, we endanger our democracy by coddling and glorifying them.  We should return to the days when Americans pursued peace not war.

09 October 2009

A Memorable Day

This was a remarkable day.  With the news of Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize came not congratulations from throughout America but ridicule from rightwing hate radio.  From the early morning to the late afternoon, they ranted and railed.  They claimed he had done nothing to deserve a peace prize.


He's not George Bush.

For most of America that's enough.  For eight years, Bush bombed and killed innocents.  He started wars and dreamed of starting more.  He wallowed in blood.  He embarrassed America.  He's a blot on America's reputation.

Barack Obama changed that.  He came to office with a determination to extricate America from the bloody mess Bush had created.  He came to expiate our guilt.  He came to cleanse our reputation.  He came to restore America's honor.

And the world loved him for it.

The world wanted the America of old back.  They wanted the America that fights to free men from oppression not to create it.  They wanted the America that creates peace and prosperity not the America that creates war and poverty.

The Nobel Peace Prize says the world is happy with what Barack Obama has given them.

03 October 2009

Conservatives Cheer US Defeat

I never thought I'd see it and when I did I wished I hadn't.  It was a stomach-turning sight.

When the the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected the American bid for the 2016 Olympics, the Conservative world erupted in wild cheering.  Hate radio talk show hosts giddily announced the news.  Rush Limbaugh was almost uncontrollable in his glee.  He bounced-around in his chair at his microphone like a four-hundred pound schoolboy as he chanted President Obama's name to associate him with America's defeat.  Glenn Beck said the news was "so sweet."

So sweet, Glenn?  The news of an American defeat is "so sweet?"  Why is that, Glenn?  How can you claim to be a patriotic American when seeing it lose makes you so happy?  Why do you hate America so much?

30 September 2009

Public Enemies

Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee rejected the public option...twice.  These well-fed, well-insured bureaucrats decided that Americans who can't buy decent health insurance won't get it anytime soon, at least not that they can afford from someone they can trust.  Instead the Senate fat cats decided these uninsured Americans will have to trust their health to the mercies of the health insurance industry.  

The health insurance industry!

The health insurance industry, in a conspiracy with some well-funded government bureaucrats, some of whom voted yesterday, allows up to 45,000 Americans to die every year because they can't afford health insurance.  Yet, the Senate Finance Committee wants us to trust them with our very lives.  Why would the committee members want us to trust them?  Whose side are they on?

25 September 2009

A Double Standard

Yesterday, Binyamin Netanyahu, Premier of Israel, stood before the United Nations and said:
"To those who refused to come and to those who left in protest, I commend you," he said. "But to those who gave this Holocaust denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?"
Israel's Premier Fires Back in Speech
His people?  He's Premier of Israel and Israel is only 75% Jewish. What about the rest of Israel? Aren't they "his people," too?

If an American President were to go before the United Nations and say the United States was a Christian nation, he'd be roundly criticized. Yet, at 86% Christian, the United States is more Christian than Israel is Jewish.

Who will condemn Netanyahu?

The Vietnamization of Afghanistan

Someone turned back the clock 40 years.  In the mid '60s, the Vietnam war was America's overseas adventure and it was demanding more and more blood.  Almost every week, the commanders were throwing thousands more young Americans into the meat grinder.  Before long, America had committed 500,000 to the conquest of Vietnam.  President Obama's man in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, must of have read the history and liked what he saw.  Now he wants 500,000 for the conquest Afghanistan.  

Sending them to Afghanistan seems like even less a good idea than sending them to Vietnam was.  Vietnam at least had some history of domination by outsiders.  It had been a French colony.  Not so Afghanistan.  Afghanistan is the place where foreign armies go to die.  Ask the British and the Soviets. Their investment of blood and treasure in Afghanistan ended badly.

What makes America think the end will be any different for us?  Is McChrystal so infused with military machismo that he thinks he can dominate the Afghanis by force of arms?  Has Obama bought into the idea of American exceptionalism?  

Let's hope not.  Over 50,000 Americans left their lives in Vietnam.  We have less reason to believe our effort to impose our will on Afghanistan will be less bloody.  After over eight years of fighting there, America hasn't achieved much of anything and the toll of dead Americans is rising.  It's time to get out.

23 September 2009

Don't Worry

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll puts the Democrats only 3 points ahead of the Republicans for control of Congress in 2010.


It's a little early to worry about the spread.  With over a year to go and the payoff for all the hard-work of 2009 still ahead, the Democrats have plenty of time to turn-around their sinking numbers.  And they will.  The stimulus is working.  Health care will be successful and public disgust for the Republicans has nowhere to go but up.

There's nothing to worry about.

20 September 2009

What in the world is Time talking about?

For years wingnuts have been trying to tell anyone who would listen that the media are biased in favor of liberals.  Those of us who actually read what the mainstream media produce know that's not true.  Nevertheless, the idea has taken hold and many who don't follow the controversy actually believe it.  

That's unfortunate.  It means the recent Time article on Glenn Beck will be given far more credence than it deserves and Beck will come-off looking far better than he deserves.

From its uncritical dealing with the differences in reporting the size of the crowd at the recent Beck-promoted Washington DC protest to ignoring Beck's daily distortions and outright lying, the Time article was an insult to the very idea of journalism.  It's little more than a puff piece we might expect to read in a publication with the permanence of a passing cloud not the chronicle we've come to expect Time to be.  

Time deserves to be ripped for its pitiful performance and Jamison Foser had taken on the task.  His article Time Magazine's Dishonest and Incompetent Profile on Glenn Beck Enables His Sick Lies lays out the case for dismissing the Time article as just another case of mistaken identity.  Apparently, someone is impersonating America's one-time premiere news magazine.

18 September 2009

Say It Ain't So, Joe.

Representative Addison "Joe" Wilson, (R) South Carolina, attacked President Obama for what was little more than a difference of opinion on health care for illegal immigrants.  When President Obama, addressing Congress, said they wouldn't qualify under his plan, Wilson screamed out his disagreement with the now infamous phrase "You lie!"  Those of us who witnessed this outrage, if only on television, can be forgiven for assuming Wilson was, by his protestation, a staunch supporter of American immigration laws.

Well, not so much.

Now we see that ol' Joe decided to bend the rules a bit for his good friend and illegal immigrant Sainey H. Fatty.  According to Wilson Authored Bill To Let Illegal Immigrant Stay In U.S. at Talking Points Memo, Wilson authored a "private bill" to allow Fatty to stay in the US.  Imagine that.  The majesty of the Legislative Branch bent to the service of a law breaker.

Kind of makes you wonder what ol' Joe was so upset about. With all the yelling, I mean.

Scalia's Bizarro World

This is outrageous.  Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court says there's nothing wrong with injecting religion into government.

Justice Antonin Scalia has defended the court's accommodation of religion in the public sphere in recent rulings, saying the founding fathers would want it that way.

Scalia told the Jewish daily newspaper Hamodia for Wednesday editions that it was never U.S. constitutional, social or legal tradition to exclude religion. He noted that the Supreme Court recently allowed the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas State Legislature. 
Scalia recalls 9-11 experience for Jewish daily

Scalia claims to be a textualist, an originalist.  Now, despite the utter lack of anything in the Constitution which would permit religion to become a part of public policy, he's insisting "It's in there."

Where to these wingnuts get this stuff?  Do they stay up nights dreaming of bizarre things to say?  Or are they so talented they can just make-up stuff in an instant when they see an opening to spew their nonsense.

17 September 2009

The Senate Health Care Markup

Max Baucus finally released his health care markup, the markup he and his committee have been working on for months.  Imagine that.  Months of work and this monstrosity was the best he could do.

This thing stinks.  It raises the cost of health care to American families and doesn't really guarantee anything to anybody.  Why did they bother?  I can't imagine it being passed by the Senate much less being accepted by the House.

It deserves the death it certainly will see.

A Time of Great Unease

This first posting comes at a time of great unease in America. Conservatives have committed themselves to obstructing President Obama's implementation of the mandate he received from the American People. Many of us witnessing this appalling betrayal of trust by Conservatives in government can no longer remain silent. We must speak out. If not in hope of changing the course Conservatives have set for themselves, then in hope standing against their treason.