Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Ed Schultz Sits In On Voting Mad

April 21, 2010

Since I’ve been way too busy to blog lately, I have elicited the help of one of my favorite talk show hosts, Ed Schultz. Enjoy this clip from Ed, and I’ll be back as soon as I can!

Open Forum: What Does The Tea Party Want?

April 16, 2010

Love ’em or hate ’em, The Tea Party is now a legitimate political movement. With the ability to influence politicians and shape the Republican/Conservative dialog, The Tea Party has a voice that is too loud to be ignored. But what exactly are they saying with that amped-up voice of theirs?

Sure, I could profile them based on my purely anecdotal observations: they hate big government, taxes, abortions, and federal spending. They love guns, Sarah Palin, the sovereignty of states’ rights, American isolationism, and guns. Their positions scare many liberals, and they motivate conservatives.

But I don’t know any Tea Partiers personally, so perhaps I am missing something? I just want to know exactly what they see as the American way of life? What would they do if they ran the country? What would they change, and what would stay the same?

If you are a Tea Party member, supporter, or if you know someone who is please direct them to this blog, I just want an answer to this simple question: What does the Tea Party Want?

All comments will be posted without moderation, in an attempt to open up an honest dialog between the Tea Party and their detractors.


The Semantics Of Orrin Hatch

April 5, 2010

In yesterday’s Chicago Tribune there was an opinion piece written by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), with retired Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, and Northwestern University Law Professor Steven Calabresi (read it here). It was the title “Forcing Americans To Buy What They Don’t Want” that caught my eye, and what followed was a stream of misleading boilerplate text that I’ve heard over and over from the GOP regarding the healthcare reform bill that is now law today.

I am just a regular guy, so far be it from me to take on such accomplished men as Senator Hatch, Mr. Meese, and Professor Calabresi, but I know BS when I smell it. So here goes.

First the title of the piece. Senator Hatch and his Hatchmen posit that Americans are being forced to buy health insurance, and this is something we supposedly do not want. Or perhaps they are trying to intimate that we are being forced to buy government health insurance? I can’t seem to figure out any other possible meaning of the title, and either explanation is a lie. Americans want health insurance, they want the security of knowing that if they pay for it they can’t be dropped when they get sick, and they want to be able to buy it if they were sick once before. The only thing Americans are being forced to do is insure that their bills will be paid so the rest of us don’t pick up the tab in increased premiums and higher taxes. Otherwise, it sounds like Hatch wants to return to being a welfare state where we pay for those who can’t or won’t pay for themselves.

The article opens up with some pithy statements about “playing fair”, and “ends not justifying means” in order to assert that the Democrats passed this law while ignoring the procedural rules of Congress. Really? If that were the case then the GOP’s lawyers would have already succeeded in overturning it. The fact is that Democrats used all the rules that were available to them, and Hatch doesn’t like it because he and his party couldn’t stop it. They got beat fair-and-square and now they are calling foul. That sounds like a case of being a sore loser over “how the legislative game is played”, as he puts it. Game over. You lost. Deal with it like a grownup.

But Hatch saves his best canned party lines for the end when he says “In 220 years, Congress has never required Americans to purchase a particular good or service”, and he specifically cites the “liberal” pivot of comparing this to being mandated to purchase auto insurance. Hatch has the nerve to say that purchasing auto insurance is okay because it is a state mandate, and not a federal mandate. C’mon Senator–you’re either for mandates or against mandates. A state mandate can’t be good when a federal mandate is bad; those are just semantics.

Just because the Fed has never mandated the purchase of health insurance before, that doesn’t make it a bad idea right now. Senator Hatch’s argument sounds like an argument against evolving, against learning, against growing up and facing our responsibilities together as a nation. Why, that sounds like an argument against patriotism, and e pluribus unum, and “one nation under God”! It’s an argument against the United States of America!!!

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get semantical on you.

My Response To Rush Limbaugh

April 2, 2010

In a recent rant by uber-blowhard Rush “dude, where’s my Oxy?” Limbaugh, he completely goes off the rails in his flat-out hysteria over President Obama’s successful legislative victories:

“Never in my life have I seen a regime like this, governing against the will of the people, purposely. I have never seen the media so supportive of a regime amassing so much power. And I have never known as many people who literally fear for the future of the country.”

Oh Rush, all those prescription drugs have burned away your jaded memory. It was just a few years ago when those same words could have come from the mouths of Rachel Maddow, or Ed Schultz, or any rational and sane US citizen. Regime? Governing against the will of the people? Media Support? People who literally fear for the future of the country?

I spent eight years of my life uttering those same words every day. About tax cuts for the rich while my middle class taxes went up and my property value and income dropped. About an illegal invasion of a country that had no weapons of mass destruction. About ignoring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. About illegal wiretaps. About torture. About stocking the Supreme Court with anti-abortion activists judges bent on overturning Roe vs. Wade. About the inability to correctly pronounce “nuclear”. About having a bonehead for the leader of the free world.

Rush, you foul-mouthed, bloated, racist, elitist, lying, jerk. Those words you utter should have been uttered for the eight long and depressing years of W’s presidency. That was a regime worth ranting about. That regime bolstered FOX as they became a Conservative media powerhouse. W and his neo-con supporters made you a very rich man while the rest of us watched our country go down the toilet.

My mom reads this, so I am holding back the worst words in my vocabulary. But Rush, I despise you. I hate you more than W, Cheney, Rove, Frum, and all the other neo-cons that have soiled America’s reputation. You could care less about my opinion because you live in an Ivory Tower, high above the regular people like me. But one day you will fall from that tower like some bizarre version of Humpty Dumpty, and I hope that no one is there to put you back together again.

April Fools On Parade

April 1, 2010

"Lesbian bondage strip club? Quick, fire a staffer and it'll all go away!"

"The Democrats have hopey, we've got dopey and nopey! You betcha!"

"Healthcare reform passed, so I am preparing for armageddon by stocking up on all the self-tanning cream I can buy!"

"Where the hell is my fucking cream of wheat?!"

"911 911 911 911 911 911 911 911 911 911!!!!! Did I get elected yet?"

"If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." (actual foolish quote)

Kristallnacht In America

March 24, 2010

Germany, 1938

New York, 2010

On November 9, 1938, thousands of Jewish owned businesses in Germany were destroyed by Nazi mobs who hurled bricks through the storefront windows, ransacked the buildings, and burned many of them to the ground. By the next morning, almost 100 Jews had been murdered, and tens of thousands of them were arrested. Forever known as Kristallnacht (crystal night) or “Night Of Broken Glass”, this was effectively and symbolically the beginning of the Holocaust.

On March 22, 2010, Democratic offices in New York, Kansas, Arizona, and Ohio were vandalized by brick-throwing vigilantes in response to the passage of the healthcare reform bill the day before. Even more Hitleresque are the reports that several Democratic lawmakers received death threats against their children because of their support of the bill.

Anyone who has read this blog knows that i do not appreciate comparisons to the Holocaust. But I find these tactics by the extremist opponents to healthcare reform to be too similar to ignore.

The irony is, these are the same people who called President Obama “Hitler” and healthcare reform “Nazi Healthcare.”

There is a group taking responsibility for this action, but I am not going to give them exposure here. You can look it up on the internet.

I’m just saying: Be careful, America has lost its mind.

A Picture Worth 37,000,000 Words

March 23, 2010

President Obama signs the healthcare bill into law, giving 37,000,000 uninsured Americans access to health insurance.

Making our lives better. Making a difference. Making history.

Hey Rush, time to pack your bags!

March 22, 2010

A few weeks ago, Conservative blowhard extraordinaire Rush Limbaugh said that if the healthcare reform bill passed, he was going to leave the USA and probably move to Costa Rica (where, incidentally, they have “socialized” medicine).

Well Rush, your one-way flight is waiting to take you and your insanity away.

Last night, Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party courageously passed the sweeping healthcare reform bill that is heading to the White House to be signed into law. Say what you want about the process and the procedures because it no longer matters. The bill legally passed for the good of the American people, and no amount of posturing, lying, Sarah Palinizing, or whining will  change this. If they want to repeal this law, the GOP needs to get itself a majority in Congress and a Conservative in the White House. Then they will need to explain why they are taking away things like the ban on pre-existing conditions, the ban on lifetime insurance caps, and why they want to re-open the “donut hole” in the Medicare Prescription Drug plan. Good luck with that.

Today officially marks the opening of the 2010 mid-term election campaign season, and it started off last night with a bang. As Representative Bart Stupak was finishing his remarks on the House floor explaining why he, as the most ardent anti-abortion member of the Democratic Party, was agreeing to vote in favor of this bill, someone from the Republican side of the House chambers shouted out “baby killer!” Wow. Just when you thought Joe Wilson owned the title of “Most Obnoxious Politician” for his “you lie” outburst during President Obama’s address a few months ago, a new source of despicable brattiness has come out from under a rock. But none of his cronies will give him up, and as of this writing his identification is still unknown. How typical of this particular brand of Republicans. They don’t even have the nerve to take ownership of their own disgusting behavior.

But I have to give Minority Leader John Boehner credit; when he says something stupid, at least he takes credit for it. Last night in his remarks, he claimed that the House “failed” because there was no bi-partisan deal. A deal is defined as an “agreement, compromise, or settlement.” You cannot have a bi-partisan “deal” when one side refuses to agree, compromise, or settle, and that is exactly what the GOP did for the last 14 months as the healthcare reform debate raged on. There was not one single vote in favor of the bill’s passage last night coming from the right side of the room. Is that how you compromise? Even when there are several components of the bill that include Republican ideas? The Republicans actively took themselves out of the development of this bill by fighting it tooth-and-nail, and by creating lies such as “death panels”, “socialized medicine”, and “government takeover.” Those are the only significant contributions their entire party made to this process, and now they will pay the price  by cementing their reputation as the “party of NO.” As in “no ideas”, “no compromise”, “no civility”, “no compassion”, and “no progress.”

But back to the business at hand. Rush Limbaugh needs to pack his things and move to Costa Rica. Here’s a packing list for him just to be sure he doesn’t leave anything behind:

John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Eric Cantor, Karl Rove, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, The Tea Party, Glenn Beck, David Frumm, the guy who yelled “baby killer”, Roger Ailes, Michelle Bachman, John McCain, and Joe LIEberman.

Goodbye, and good riddance.

COUNTDOWN TO HEALTHCARE REFORM: Anyone want to make a prediction on the house for tomorrow/Sunday?

March 20, 2010


Anyone want to make a prediction on the house for tomorrow/Sunday?

#hcr#p2 #votingmad #fb

Tell us what you think in the comments.

HCR: What They Are Trying To Obstruct

March 17, 2010

If you only heard the John Boehner and Mitch McConnell sound bites, you’d have plenty of reason to wonder if the current healthcare reform bill on the table was evil or not. A lot of politicians are effectively putting their jobs on the line depending on how all of this shakes out over the next few months and years. But consider what is going to immediately take effect with the passage of this bill into law, and it makes one wonder what all the controversy is really about:

Eliminating Lifetime Caps: No longer will insurance agencies be allowed to drop a policyholder simply for outliving their coverage. There are some medical conditions that can cost millions of dollars in treatment and care over a policyholder’s lifetime, where the person actually lives a decent life. Should this person be thrown out of treatment or into bankruptcy just because they have a horrible but maintainable medical condition?

Insurance is always a gamble for either side: the overwhelming majority of policyholders NEVER cost more than the services they pay for in premiums, and thus they are mostly very profitable. But some insurance customers will far exceed their lifetime value because of circumstance or plain old bad luck. Accidents and diseases strike rich and poor with equal frequency, so why penalize someone just because they don’t have the financial resources to save their own life? It is cynical to call that “survival of the fittest” in a country that espouses equal opportunities for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If you pay for a health insurance policy that basically just collects your money in good times, then that same policy should pay off in bad times too. That’s a fair contract.

Eliminating Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions: It is barbaric to turn our backs on people who need healthcare. If you have cancer, then having health insurance is critical to your recovery. Then if you go into remission–which is the goal of treatment–you shouldn’t be penalized for being a survivor by being denied future coverage. Currently the insurance companies are insulated from future liabilities by being able to deny coverage to people who were previously sick. That’s like saying, “Congratulations, you’ve survived your struggle against a life-threatening disease, but now you are on your own. Good luck if you ever get sick again, but you are dead to us now.”

This is especially important to children, who we claim to treasure more than anything else in this country. The same people who are against this reform are the same people who rant and rave against passing the national debt on to the future of this nation–the children. They want to protect our childrens’ futures by not saddling them with debt, but could care less if those same kids get sick and die from lack of resources and access to quality care. It makes no sense. Children come into this world with total innocence, and they deserve a chance to grow up and fix all the problems we’ve created.

Expanded Coverage For Dependent Children: This gives parents the option of covering their non-student dependents up to the age of 26. The current age limit is 21, unless they are enrolled as full-time students. Today’s economy has altered the playing field for young people, and employer-provided insurance doesn’t exist in abundance like it used to. And besides, do you know many graduates who come out of school with a job at all these days? That’s not their fault, it’s ours. So we owe them a better chance. It doesn’t mean they get free insurance, just the opportunity to have paid access. There’s a huge difference. It’s not an entitlement, it is an option.

Small Business Tax Credits: This sounds like a completely right-wing, pro-business idea. And it is. Republicans are always screaming for tax breaks and aid to small businesses, and this is exactly that. For a small company to compete for top talent, they need to offer benefits that are competitive with large corporations. Health insurance costs can destroy the existence of a small business, so why not give them a hand? I dare one single Republican to call this a “re-distribution of wealth”, when all it can do is help create jobs, and encourage the start-up of innovative new companies in the United States.

Preventive Care: Checkups, routine testing, and immunizations can all catch, diagnose, and prevent diseases early and cut down on the cost of treatment in the future. So the current HCR bill provides for full-coverage of these kinds of doctor’s visits. All it does is protect the insurance companies’ liabilities–the customers they have contracted with to insure care for. The people who pay the premiums finance the high salaries of the insurance company CEOs, and their collective profitability drives shareholder returns. Don’t kill the golden goose by ignoring it, encourage it to live a long and prosperous life at least until it qualifies for Medicare.

Appeals Process: If you feel that your insurance company is unfairly denying your claim you should have some recourse to appeal and protect the rights that you have paid for. It doesn’t mean you will always win, but there shouldn’t be the current draconian system of the insurance company having the final word. That runs contrary to the American way of life. There would be an independent arbitrator that mediates these kinds of disagreements, just like in sports. Why is it we care more about ballplayers getting fair contracts than we do the average American citizen getting fair treatment by their health insurance company? An insurance company has gobs of money (ours) to hire top lawyers to fight these cases, and the average citizen is almost helpless by comparison, and needs an impartial advocate on behalf of the truth. Something tells me the legal lobby is behind the resistance to this reform.

Close The “Doughnut Hole”: For seniors who fall into the Medicare Part D Drug Coverage “gap”, this reform will provide  help to pay for prescriptions. Otherwise seniors will be less likely to receive their medications, thus increasing their risk of developing diseases or great health complications, and then requiring more financial resources for care. This is an excellent way to keep healthcare costs down, no matter what anyone says to the contrary.

Now, will someone please explain what the hell is so controversial about any of that?