Friday, November 6, 2009

Pendulum Swings

Pendulum Swings

History tells us again, the pendulum swings. Whatever the course of government, the reaction will come as sure as day or night. Whether it is a reaction to Health Care or the loss of jobs, people will react and the polls will swing.

The last three weeks have seen unprecedented coverage of every nuance of the Health Care reform Act(s). Every politico and pundit has weighed in, and Congress has responded. Hr3962 is a Bill on its way. Congress has also responded to public outcry with another extension of Unemployment. The economy has started growing again, with a respectable 3.2% growth rate. This seems to be a good sign that the Democrats have gotten some things right. However, two new Governors have also been elected. Far from the expected outcome, both are from the Republican Party.


The unemployment rate is up to 10.2%. A new extension has been enacted, but the dragging on of the arguments for and against universal Health Care, the failure to act quickly on another extension of Unemployment and the failure of the President to back either decisively has cost the Democrats dearly. It is a fact that constituents who cannot pay their bills will look where they see light.

In 1980, voters weary of being poor became the Reagan Democrats. In 2009 there is the greatest hue and cry of the modern age for politicians to listen.. After a time, even Congress has heard the call and answered, just not soon enough. The world moves very swiftly in 2009. Hours can see a major story become old, stale news. The politicians need to adapt to the new reality on the ground, or be buried in it. The rhetorical pendulum will swing back. The question is whether any of our leaders can catch it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good For The Goose

Why should we demand leadership? It is clear our President has his mind made up on certain issues. He is not inclined to let us push him into making what HE considers to be one-sided legislation. He will not kowtow to the feeling among us, his supporters, that he needs to put a stop to Republican smear and disinformation campaigns, or put them in their place when they promote violence or intimidate the rest of us. He has his principles.

The real problem, Mr. President, is that, while you are willing to push back at, chide or openly deride our efforts, it seems to be a one way street. It seems you want to be a peacemaker, bipartisan, and unite instead of divide.

I am sure the lure of appeasement is strong. The only thing wrong with appeasement is: It Does Not Work. History is full of examples. England’s attempt with Hitler is the most famous. Anyone who has ever had to finally deal with a schoolyard bully is aware of this. No matter what you do, they are going to attempt to undermine you. The fact that you want a more united country is admirable. The fact that you're pursuing it at the cost of the country, while we need your actual leadership, is not.

The fact is, when you push at your support base, and bow to your opponents, you weaken us all. These acts of appeasement, however well-intended, are giving strength and encouragement to the enemy. The likes of Randall Terry are only brave enough to make the statements they do because they know full well you won’t lift a finger to stop them. The time to make steps toward greater unity between the parties is when the stakes are smaller, the political noise softer.The most important legislation of the century, Health Care Reform, is on the line.It is utterly irresponsible to put politics above this. It seriously makes me wonder whose side you are on.

The answer, and request, are simple. Make this your hallmark: When it is important enough, you will stand. No matter what your peaceful, unifying leaning might be, you will have to eventually take a stand. DO IT NOW!

The long trail of collateral damage from your seeming indecision and unwillingness to be strong must end now. Right now there are still enough of us behind you for it to matter. I ask you, no, We ask you, please take the stand for a strong public option and put this thing to bed, once and for the sake of us all.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Two Votes

Two votes and we win! Harry Reid tells us we are just a couple of votes shy on Health Care Reform.

Sounds too good to be true, you say? Well, that may be. Did you ever think, just for a second, that you had won the big prize in a contest, then find out about the "well, shucks?" The prize, and your winnings are all in great big print, and the part that tells you how to get that prize (well, shucks, there is a little something else first) is in the much smaller print? Then you find out, page after page, that there is a whole lot to this "little something", and you really didn't win anything.

Welcome to the American Way, the Senate, and Harry Reid's two votes. Well shucks, it's only Two votes to go. Harry Reid tells us we are two votes shy.

I was once a car salesman, and the way we were taught to do things was very simple. First you get them to love the car (don't talk about price) then you explain all the features, what it will do for them and get them to like you (do not talk about price). Repeat these steps and while you are at it say things about the dealer that will make them like him (I told you, no price!). All through this posturing, you and your manager are figuring out exactly what the person in question will like and hate about... the price. Any of this posturing and sleight of hand looking familiar? ...Harry, tell us the price.

The things to know about the last two votes that aren't true about any of the others is that we need those more, they stand out, and they also (the two voters) Know this.

Being one of those votes puts them in a powerful position. They can do a lot of neat stuff. They can hold us up as sure as two masked men with guns pointed at the stage coach driver. They may want special favors thrown in to the bill. They may want a guarantee on a bill they sponsor. They may want open blackmail. Makes it seem kind of silly to ever let it get to that, doesn't it?

It can seem to be a real game changer. But wait, there's more! After it starts to look like those guys are going to have all this weight to throw around, that starts to look pretty good to some of the others. So, what do you know, now we suddenly have a few 'undecided' votes start to show up. These guys were with the bill in the first place, and for all the right reasons, but it would be irresponsible to throw away the opportunity for a deal like that. Wouldn't it?

Now, here we are, wheels spinning and no traction. All kinds start to get ideas at a time like this. It's kind of like a two minute warning in football. It can really mean 'only an hour' left to go, because all the jockeying starts there.

Two votes to go. Good luck Harry, may the Gods be with you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Forty seven million uninsured . America has forty seven million uninsured*. I can't even wrap my mind around that. That someone finds it acceptable to still allow billions of health care dollars, in a rigged game, to be siphoned off as though it were a public feeding trough is even more amazing to me. Yet here we are.

The senate bill on Health care is a joke (America's Healthy Future Act). HR3200 is a lot closer but no one even makes believe that it is anything but a starting point in negotiations**.

The problem with the attitude in Washington is always the same - they think we will forget.

Of course, they think we'll forget because we do.

The insurance companies act as though they are just another free enterprise, but they have eliminated any real competition (antitrust exemption, allowances to adjust premium and access any way they like). They feel free to reset the rules any time or way that they can agree (with each other, no need to worry about law) in their own best interest to do so. I say to you in the health care business, YOU do this:

1. By treating Drs. as though they were cattle (or chattel), holding the prod to them to accept ever smaller fees, ever-increasing patient loads and never-ending demands to "do more with less" (ref; any health policy you like). These beaureaucratic fools decide who or what gets treated at all. Doctors are constantly forced to abandon practices and policies decided for the good of the patient, simply to up the bonus for you crooks, upon whom we have no choice but to depend. These are the same crooks we have heard for years tell us it was in our own best interest.

2. By scalping the public, getting ever-higher premiums and returning ever-less coverage and service with each passing year. This, while paying millions in 'sick tribute' to politicians who have protected you against everything from anti-trust to even having to reveal how much of the 'blood money' you collect would ever be used for any actual health care. You have paid your way from even having to refrain from rigging standards and prices (for which people in any other business go to jail), because as long as you all deny coverage for a pre-existing condition or make actual sick people just do without, it will seem to be the norm. As long as everybody does it, it's OK, right?

And now you on the right have the unmitigated gall to try and make these plunderers of our country seem like some sea of saints, with jobs that need to be protected. You belong in jail.

*Census Bureau and CDC figures combined.
** Quote: Dingell(D)Mich in Huffington Post(10-15-09)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Welcome to the new world. I am a middle aged American with a pretty firm grip on reality, and a view to express. This being America and the internet, I can do that. I don't know that I can say where all this ability to say what I mean will lead right away, but it's time for a lot of us to stand up and be heard, and I by God intend to do just that. I suppose I should give a rough idea of who I am in that regard.
I like the idea of a public option and health insurance for all Americans, and I really think that expanding Medicare to age 0 would be a pretty good way to do that. I like a lot of what our new president espouses, but I think he needs to get a pair and stand up!
Mr. President, quit being so damn wishey-washy! The Republicans don't like you, they aren't ever going to do you any favors, this war between the parties being a knock-down-drag-out, all or nothing affair is at their insistence so put them where they belong. There is no middle ground when you are deciding whether Americans deserve medical care...they do! There also isn't any negotiating whether they deserve to unnecessarily die... they don't! All of you guys in Washington act as though you come right out of the funny papers. You get the idea that if people are sick of the fighting then every issue should be decided as buddies. This is nonsense. If an entire party is willing to go along with defending profits at the cost of our entire economy, it is no longer a matter of differing viewpoints. You are the new Sherriff and you have a job to do. Do it!
That all said I will have to go for tonight, but there is so much left to cover, discuss, discourse and get out the word about that I will see you later.