Crazy Is In The Air

 Congress, Featured, Politics, Society  Comments Off on Crazy Is In The Air
Sep 052009
 

The crazy’s were certainly out in full force this week.

Let’s just go ahead and get started right here at home in good ole Florida. Jim Greer, head of the Republican Party here in Florida has gone out fuming about Obama giving a speech to school children about such anti-American activities as: working hard; setting goals; and being good students. Now you think this all sounds crazy, but this is a real strategy for Republicans. It is an academically researched fact that Republicans do better in the less – educated demographics. So of course they wouldn’t want children indoctrinated into the well-educated classes of this country.

But if you listen to Mr. Greer, he apparently thinks that if kids play Obama’s speech backwards, he convinces that socialism is the best thing for them. Let’s see, I think Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did something similar, and wasn’t George W. Bush sitting in a classroom right here in Florida when the planes hit the WTC?

Booking Photo of Roger Stephens

Booking Photo of Roger Stephens

Mr. Stephens here gets the award for craziest. It seems that Mr. Stephens was shopping in a Walmart in Stone Mountain, GA. When he’d had enough of a crying baby, and after having already threatened the mother, he decided to slap the baby around a little to make it stop crying, and this was a stranger. Stupid thing to do, but, I admit to their having been a few times in public places when I wanted to slap a parent or two.

The tea-baggers just can’t allow there to a civil discussion on health care reform in this country. Rep. Frank Pallone tried to host a town hall meeting in his New Jersey district. The crowd could only shout that his mother should have had an abortion instead of having him. Disgusting as it is on the surface…how stupid when one of the the complaints of the tea-baggers is that the reform plan might pay for abortions. They’re stupid and dumb.

But it went beyond just childish and silly at Rep. Pallone’s meeting when the crowd shouted down a woman in a wheel chair who wanted to ask legitimate questions.

The woman, Marianne Hoynes, described how the forum was invaded by organized teabaggers from New York, “so this wasn’t even their town-hall meeting.”

Hoynes: There was a large group of people who showed up that night for the purpose of making sure that questions couldn’t be asked, and we couldn’t hear information. I don’t know how to describe it any other way.

… You know, you could tell that they were very organized. They came in groups, they had signs ready, which — outside they were chanting, but as time went on, and certainly by the time we got into that room, which held about 500 people, they got more and more verbally violent — I don’t know how else to describe it.

They began by just screaming and yelling at Congressman Pallone that he should have been aborted, and that his mother should have had an abortion, that he was a domestic terrorist.

… What they did was completely un-democratic. I wanted to learn more about this health-care system. We were allowed to either ask a question or make a statement, and I wanted to share with Congressman Pallone what it was like to be sick in America today. And I had that right, I thought. They really tried to scream me down — and everybody else, too, not just me. And I felt bullied, and I was not gonna take it. I was going to finish what I had to say, and it was very upsetting. It was very un-democratic, and very un-American.

Town-hall meetings are supposed to be exercises in democracy. But the teabaggers are turning them into exercises in para-fascist intimidation, eliminationism, and general thuggery.

Then another tea-bagger got his finger bitten off outside a town hall…and guess what? He relied to Medicare (you know…guvmet run health care) to get his injury taken care of…the very thing he there to protest. I wonder how many died of irony over that one?

And then there’s Michelle Bachmann. Congressman Bachmann is always good for a few laughs, and she obliged this week in a radio interview. Apparently she’s come to the conclusion that the Democrats all hate her and want to sabotage her because she might someday become President. (Please God, no!)

Aug 122009
 

Ed Schultz of The Ed Show interviews Robert Greenwald about an investigative report on the CEO of United Health Care Group. Turns out the guy is making about $102,000 per hour. At one point a few years ago his salary alone accounted for $1 in every $700 spent on healthcare in America.

The fact is, in this country we have always recognized that some things are not best left to the marketplace. How would you like it if the Fire Department showed up, but before they would start spraying water they needed you to show you insurance card and fill out some forms…oh, and did you get pre-approved to have that kitchen fire?

People are complaining about “government bureaucrats standing between them and their doctors. Medicaid recipients consistently give the program very high satisfaction ratings, and it operates on much lower overhead than any private insurance company. It is time that the lower and middle income people being duped by these bogus “grass roots” organizations (setup and funded by the insurance companies) realized that their anger is directed in exactly the wrong direction.

No one does well when their healthcare is run by insurance company bureaucrats and high-flying executives motivated only by profit. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that our personal health is not something best taken care of by “for profit” insurance companies. They don’t make money paying to get you healthy. It’s really just that simple.

UPDATE: 2010-06-29; 16:07:05: According the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, United HealthGroup’s CEO, Stephen Hemsley, received $101,959,866 in total compensation in 2009. I have to ask, really, who is worth that much.

Aug 122009
 

Ed Schultz of The Ed Show interviews Robert Greenwald about an investigative report on the CEO of United Health Care Group. Turns out the guy is making about $102,000 per hour. At one point a few years ago his salary alone accounted for $1 in every $700 spent on healthcare in America.

The fact is, in this country we have always recognized that some things are not best left to the marketplace. How would you like it if the Fire Department showed up, but before they would start spraying water they needed you to show you insurance card and fill out some forms…oh, and did you get pre-approved to have that kitchen fire?

People are complaining about “government bureaucrats standing between them and their doctors. Medicaid recipients consistently give the program very high satisfaction ratings, and it operates on much lower overhead than any private insurance company. It is time that the lower and middle income people being duped by these bogus “grass roots” organizations (setup and funded by the insurance companies) realized that their anger is directed in exactly the wrong direction.

No one does well when their healthcare is run by insurance company bureaucrats and high-flying executives motivated only by profit. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that our personal health is not something best taken care of by “for profit” insurance companies. They don’t make money paying to get you healthy. It’s really just that simple.

UPDATE: 2010-06-29; 16:07:05: According the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, United HealthGroup’s CEO, Stephen Hemsley, received $101,959,866 in total compensation in 2009. I have to ask, really, who is worth that much.

Bill Moyers Explains Money, Politics and Healthcare Reform

 Business, Congress, Politics  Comments Off on Bill Moyers Explains Money, Politics and Healthcare Reform
Jul 202009
 

As is so often the case, Bill Moyers does another outstanding job of pointing out the differences in how healthcare is viewed.

I continue to be amazed at the absolute ignorance of people who can’t understand that this version of “free market” healthcare is not, and will not work. In the free-market, companies are out to make a profit. They don’t make a profit by paying for your care. They profit by collecting the highest amount in premiums, and paying out the least amount possible. That may be good for them, and Moyers shows you how good it is, but that doesn’t bode well for me if I fall ill.  Continue reading »

Katrina: Republican Excuse to Continue Regressive Agenda

 Congress, Corruption, Politics, Society  Comments Off on Katrina: Republican Excuse to Continue Regressive Agenda
Sep 222005
 
  • A nice little tax cut for your wealthy friends – $327 billion
  • Some corporate welfare for your campaign contributors in the oil business – $8.5 Billion
  • Having a king-sized natural disaster to help you try to cut the programs you don’t like for the old and poor – Priceless
  • For everything else, there’s the queers.

With great fanfare, and recalling the "Gingrich Revolution" of the 1990s, House conservatives yesterday proposed a broad set of spending cuts they said would help offset the costs of the Katrina reconstruction effort. Their plan reduces the budget by $500 billion over 10 years, and does so in large part by dismantling programs that invest in middle- and working-class Americans. Progressives can do better. It’s possible to cut far more unnecessary federal spending, accomplish it in half the time, and do so while upholding the principles of fiscal responsibility and concern for the common good.

The proposal announced yesterday cuts substantial funding from several "long-standing targets of conservative scorn," like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the foreign operations budget. The largest proposed cuts are targeted at Medicaid, "the health care safety net for low-income children, elderly, disabled, pregnant women and parents." The plan cuts $225 billion by converting the federal share of certain Medicaid payments into a block grant, and $8 billion more by increasing Medicaid co-payments. Eliminating subsidized loans to graduate students slices off an additional $8.5 billion. $11 billion more is saved by passing restrictive new rules for federal retiree health care and federal pension programs.

A progressive approach to trimming the budget could result in greater savings over a shorter period of time. For example, rolling back the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans would save $327 billion over five years. Cracking down on offshore tax shelters would save $65 billion over the same time period. Simply allowing Medicare recipients to purchase drugs through the mail would save $43 billion over five years. Repealing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry contained in the recent energy bill would save $8.5 billion. Shelving costly and unnecessary weapons systems would save $200 billion. Getting rid of counterproductive agricultural export subsidies would save $30 billion over the first five years along. Giving up half of the 6,371 special earmarked projects of the 2005 transportation bill would save an additional $12 billion. A progressive approach to trimming the budget could cut $688 billion in federal spending over just five years.

 Republican Offsets      Progressive Offsets  
 Title III Program Cuts  $307B    Rollback Tax Cuts for the Wealthy  $327B
Other including DoD and DHS  $333B    Eliminate Offshore Tax Shelters  $  65B
 Cut Federal Share of Medicaid  $225B    Repeal Oil Industry Subsidies  $    8.5B
 Increase Medicaid Copayments  $    8B    Allow Medicare Mail Order Drug Purchases  $  43B
 Eliminate Loans To Graduate Students  $    8.5B    Shelve unnecessary Defense Systems  $200B
 Restriction on Federal Retiree Healthcare and Pensions  $   11B    Eliminate Agricultural Export Subsidies  $  30B
 Foreign Operations Budget  $   37B    Eliminate 1/2 of 6,371 Transportation Bill Projects  $  12B

 TOTAL After 10 Years

 $929B  

 TOTAL Savings after only five years

 $685.5B

Let’s take a special look at some of the cuts included in the Republican Plan. I think most agregious is their call to eliminate "Corporate Welfare." This from a Congress that gave the oil companies, already experiencing windfall profits, huge subsidies in the just passed energy bill. Take a look at a partial list and see if you notice any patterns:

  • Eliminate the Applied Research for Renewable Energy Sources Program
  • Eliminate the Clean Coal Technology Program
  • Eliminate the FreedomCAR Program
  • Eliminate the ITA’s Trade Promotion Activates
  • Eliminate the Advanced Technology Program
  • Repeal the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act
  • Eliminate the Foreign Market Development Program
  • Eliminate the Market Access Program
  • Eliminate the Export Enhancement Program
  • Eliminate the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative

Continue reading »

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