Monday, February 22, 2010

Will this be the final Health Care battle?

The President’s Proposal puts American families and small business owners in control of their own health care. | The White House

Everyone should read and study this document. It seems to me that all the relevant issues are addressed, compromises have been made, and both Republican AND Democratic proposals have been incorporated. This is a document that all should support. It will make for an interesting televised meeting on Thursday .. Stay tuned.

My favorite snippets from the proposed legislation:

It makes insurance more affordable by providing the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history, reducing premium costs for tens of millions of families and small business owners who are priced out of coverage today. This helps over 31 million Americans afford health care who do not get it today – and makes coverage more affordable for many more.
Tax cuts... hmm.. I'll betcha they won't be as popular as you'd think with all the tax cut nuttery going around. After all, its tax cuts for the middle class.... Who's gonna have to pay?

It sets up a new competitive health insurance market giving tens of millions of Americans the exact same insurance choices that members of Congress will have.
Not exactly a public option and most definately a poor cousin to the BEST system out there, the Single-Payer, but it's compromise after all.

It brings greater accountability to health care by laying out commonsense rules of the road to keep premiums down and prevent insurance industry abuses and denial of care.
I love the use of keywords like, "accountability" and "commonsense." Do Democrats have any commonsense? (Just kidding folks.... )

It will end discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions.
A no-brainer.. really!

It puts our budget and economy on a more stable path by reducing the deficit by $100 billion over the next ten years – and about $1 trillion over the second decade – by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud and abuse.

More key words: waste, fraud, abuse, reduce the deficit....

Ya gotta wonder though at the AP's coverage of this proposal as they put out an alert on my iPhone this morning. It sounded seriously like a last-ditch, desperation heave into the end zone of public policy. Here's the AP description from the headline today, "Obama puts forward last-ditch health care plan." And from the opening paragraph:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Making a last-ditch effort to save his health care overhaul, President Barack Obama on Monday put forward a nearly $1 trillion, 10-year compromise that would allow the government to deny or roll back egregious insurance premium increases that infuriate consumers.
I missed the part where the AP became yet another shill for right wing talking points.... Doesn't it sound like to you a really scary 1 Trillion bill? How far down in the article will it say that the proposal seeks 1 Trillion in REDUCTIONS IN THE FEDERAL DEFICIT! Republicans have already announced their opposition. (That's a stunner....) and Pelosi is looking forward to talking it over with her congresscritters....

I'm just hoping that Mr. Obama has the courage to, by God, just get this bill passed. Damn the torpedoes!

Plane to Building.... Incoming.....

Glenn Beck Dodges Incoming Plane at CPAC

There was a domestic terrorist attack last week. Did anyone notice? This from the Nation mag:
Why aren't the rightwing media and their auditioning politicians getting hysterical over Obama taking so much time to make a statement about the IRS attack as they did over Obama's "slow response" to the Christmas bomber? I mean, Stack killed himself and another person and injured 13, two of them critically; the Nigerian guy just scorched his privates.

The political gamesmanship of the conservatives and the Republican Party continues... Their answer to everything? "Give us the Power!"


Sunday, February 21, 2010

George Will, Sober, Serious, and ... Wrong Again

George F. Will - Global warming advocates ignore the boulders -

George Will has certainly had his moment on the soapbox with the issue of Global Warming. He's at it again today in the WaPo exhorting his readers to be wary of the "religion" of global warming. He talks of the "Climate-Gate" as the ultimate proof of the foofery of liberals who believe that there is a problem. He excoriates the zealots who are concerned that Earth may be in crisis, and states starkly that
"The global warming industry, like Alexander in the famous children's story, is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Actually, a bad three months, which began Nov. 19 with the publication of e-mails indicating attempts by scientists to massage data and suppress dissent in order to strengthen "evidence" of global warming.
But there already supposedly was a broad, deep and unassailable consensus. Strange."
There you have it. Absolute truth and REAL common sense analysis based on the presence of zealots advocating the cause along with the presence of some strange email messages that no one understands but "pundits" can interpret them for us. Strange indeed! Mr. Will is a member of the sober and serious wise men who follow the workings of the smart guys in power who, (wink) really know what's going down, who have inside knowledge of the inner workings of power, and assures us with complete sincerity that the whole Global Warming issue is overblown and that everyone should just calm down. Mr. Will gets his real agenda into the debate by finally making what, for him, sounds strangely like a mea culpa.
"Global warming skeptics, too, have erred. They have said there has been no statistically significant warming for 10 years. Phil Jones, former director of Britain's Climatic Research Unit, source of the leaked documents, admits it has been 15 years. (not 10, an error serious enough to Mr. Will to  disprove the entire work of the CRU.) Small wonder that support for radical remedial action, sacrificing wealth and freedom (emphasis mine) to combat warming, is melting faster than the Himalayan glaciers that an IPCC report asserted, without serious scientific support, could disappear by 2035"
Sacrificing wealth and freedom can just wait 10 or 15 more years according to Mr. Will. Look, he found a scientist that admitted straight away that all the "Warmerists" are wrong! The trend is over 15 years!! Not a measly 10!! Mr. Serious Will needn't worry about giving up any "freedom or wealth" for a long time yet..... Let the cows fart! Doesn't matter. Lower the emission standards! (but keep prices high.... remember, we're building wealth here.... ) Doesn't matter!

Here's the very same Phil Jones, scientist, in the very same article quoted by Mr. Serious.
Question to Mr. Jones:
E - How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?
"I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity."
Mr. Jones goes on to acknowledge the previously mentioned email psuedo scandal and agrees that steps must be taken to insure the credibility of the scientific reporting. Mr. Jones gave the sober serious answers, in his interview with the BBC, the very same interview cherry-picked quoted by Mr. Will.  Read the whole interview here.

Mr. Will's point is simply that Global Warming is simply not an issue because a) it's backers are believers in the "religion of Global Warming" and are liberals tree huggers who don't truly appreciate the power of "freedom and wealth" b) Scientists have been wrong before c) there is a special government envoy for Climate Change, so it must be bogus and d) Environmentalists use "specious science" , and deny "the absence of warming" proved by his selective reading of Mr. Jones' interview.

After reading these two articles, I'm pretty sure I know who the sober, serious writer is. It certainly isn't the pundit who knows the in's and out's of power in Washington.... Global Warming just isn't in the cards for the wealthy and powerful.

Interesting that Mr. Will never points to any scientific evidence supporting his own point of view. His only point is that the science is "specious."  That's wealth and freedom talking.....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Eric Cantor - Which America does he speak for?

Cantor: 'We Will Say No To The Health Care Bill' | TPMDC

Eric Cantor, you've got to shake your head and wonder.....

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) isn't exactly laying the foundation for the bipartisan part of next week's bipartisan health care summit at the White House.
At CPAC this morning, Cantor declared that "we will say no to this health care bill because no is what the American people want."

That's right.  The American people (of course it's only 34% of the folks that actually live here and hold citizenship) want Republicans to just say no. The GOP speaks for "the American people."  How about the rest of us?

Cantor said Democratic health bills are predicated on "back-door dealing" and declared that "these bills are ultimately designed to lead this country to a single-payer system, something that the American people reject."

There are those notorious "American" peeps again.  This time it all the way up to the 37% who didn't want that nefarious "single-payer" health care plan.  As for "back-door dealing" .... jokes like this aren't even funny.  Holier than thou Mr. Cantor?  Sounds like someone is feeding you some marketing advice. Damn the hypocrisy, full speed ahead.

We Republicans will go to the president and insist that he push the reset button and get serious  about offering Americans a positive reform agenda.

That's right folks.  This statement from a group of politicians whose expressed intent is to stall, slow down, strangle, and kill health reform.  This from a group of politicians that has yet to offer any alternative proposals for health care reform save the preservation of the status quo??

Get Serious??  Get Serious?? Get Serious??

An Agenda To Remember

I'm stunned by the political events of the past several weeks.  Starting with President Obama's State of the Union address, through his debate with the House Republicans, to his town hall tour, to the SCOTUS ruling endowing corporations with the right of free speech, and finally to the delivery of the advertising campaign in the form of talking points to the Republican Party by none other that Frank Luntz.

It seems that Republicans are now dedicated to killing all attempts at regulatory reform of the nation's banking system.  Mr. Luntz has delivered talking points, developed in focus groups, that focus on the very things that folks are against or afraid of.  He has advised his GOP clientele to use these words along with their descriptions of Banking legislation.

Mr. Luntz's advertising campaign against health care was so successful that the GOP has embraced him again in their attempt to defeat all attempts to reign in the financial captains of the universe who would continue the socialization of risk of losing their wealth, while privatizing the reward of building it. 

These events are doubly disturbing because, when added to the obstructionism of Senate and House Republicans, the ability of the government to work is at stake.  I can't imagine a political party who's sole agenda is to shut down government completely, and then crow to their constituants about how bad government is.  The duplicity of Republicans shows even more clearly when they refuse to EVEN ENTER INTO SERIOUS DEBATE.

When politicians argue BOTH sides of and issue, when they reverse themselves on long held policy decisions only to toe the party line, these politicians CAN'T BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY.  There is no loyal opposition, there is no attempt to compromise and there is most seriously, (with the little-reported policy statement by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis) no attempt to offer policy alternatives!  I guess Republicans can point with pride to their biggest accomplishment of a generation.  "We brought the government of the greatest nation on earth to a complete and stunning halt."