Friday, March 26, 2010
We didn’t get the public option through the Senate or the House this time. The blogosphere wanted it, the people wanted it, and it was the right thing to do. But we ran headfirst into a brick wall called conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom is neither conventional nor is it wisdom. It’s expediency. It’s going along to get along. It’s cowardice disguised as toughness. It’s a short cut to your fifteen minutes of fame through a swamp of dirty money and dirtier dealings.
Some of the first tier progressive blogs are screaming bloody hell at congress members who went back on their pledge to vote no if the public option wasn’t part of the final bill. Some of them are preparing fundraisers to back primary challengers of these nefarious lawmakers.
I was one of the strongest advocates for the public option and was pissed beyond a doubt that Pres. Obama failed us. And he did fail us. If he had embraced the public option early on (like he said he would during the campaign) there would have been little grief. Sure there would have been opposition but after a few of his barn-burner speeches, he would have had thousands of people calling the holdouts to change their votes. Sen. Max Baucus would have been forced to include it in the Senate bill despite the caterwauling of the three Republicans in his little cabal. If the president had realized or, more to the truth, come to the conclusion that he would be getting NO help from the GOP last spring, his campaign would have easily carried the votes for including the public option.
However, he was bound and determined to be the ‘Bipartisan’ President. He was going to include both sides of the aisle in the discussions and the debate. The GOP went along just far enough to give the president a small vestige of hope for compromise then played him like a cheap banjo. Fault for this lies with the president and his Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. Emmanuel has never been a friend to the progressive wing of the party. He has always been a dealer, a back room manipulator who only gets ahead by playing others as fools.
As progressives got more successful at promoting the public option, he took hold of the president’s ear and poisoned the well as far it was concerned. Polite noises were made in support of the public option to appease the masses but there was no grand speeches, no full court press. President Obama let the public option die on the vine to appease the corporate money that Emmanuel needs to keep his K-street cred (and bankroll).
So, do we get our panties in a bunch because we were denied the public option? Do we, like some of the high and mighty blogs of the Left go out of our way to punish those who would not support our cause? Believe me I would usually say ‘Hell, YES!’ but not this time. There are some lawmakers who deserve our wrath. Sens. Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska being the vilest of the bunch. There are others who pissed me off but their positions on other issues are important enough to keep them around. Besides, one of the worst parts of challenging in a primary is that you make your candidate vulnerable in the general election. You have to be sure you can win both elections or you shoot yourself in the foot.
The bill has passed. We didn’t get everything we wanted. We woke up on Friday morning after the reconciliation vote and the public option wasn’t under the tree. Now, we can piss and moan, sulk around the room and make life miserable for those around us. Or we can sit down and enjoy what we did receive. There are others ways to get what we want. Let’s work on those. Our time is limited; the season of campaigning for the 2010 midterms is upon us so we can’t waste a lot of time rehashing the past. There are other issues that need our attention right now. Economic reform, consumer protection, unemployment, lots more – the list is pretty big.
It’s always better to tackle the next big issue after you get a win than after you lose one. I hope the Big Blogs understand that. Here at this lowly flyspeck on the blogosphere, we do.
Shake it off. This is a win. Get back to work.
So Mote It Be,
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I commented on a post over at Busted Knuckles' place, the Ornery Bastard that dealt with 'socialized medicine.' BK's joint is always a good source of info, rough and tumble debate and a new swear word or three. Add him to your blogroll somewhere near the top. (Just beneath my link..."wink")
I've received a couple of emails from friends asking to post it here. Scared Stiff replied to my comment his approval, for which I thank him.
Here it is, for good or bad...
Seems I'm hearing a lot about 'socialized medicine' these days. Congressman Alan Grayson's introduced legislation to allow any adult to buy into Medicare. The cost would depend on one's age bracket.
Call it Medicare for All, call it single payer, call it socialized medicine. Shit, call it Melvin - I don't give a fuck. I'm fucking almost $8,000 dollars in debt because my fucking insurance co. has a problem paying my doctor. I racked up $60 in phone charges to get them to pay $50 for a fucking office visit - that was covered by the goddamn policy!
Britain, Sweden, Canada... all those 'pathetic' countries have health care for all. They also have efficient transit, great universities and a standard of living that ain't so bad. We're not talking Bangladesh here. Here in the States, we can't get a goddamn bridge built without cost overruns, time sucking delays and years of bitching. Then, they charge you a fucking toll because it took so goddamn long and cost so much.
The free market is a fucking lie. It ain't a market and it sure enough ain't free. It's just another excuse to screw the little guy out of his money. The 'free market' makes billionaires out of millionaires by sucking the life savings out of the working man.
Our gov't ain't perfect. That's for damn sure. But it seems most of the problems I see come from the greed and hypocrisy of some of our leaders. Who the fuck was in charge of this place while the Debt was run up? Who put our best and brightest out in the desert to end up in a steel box? Who stands in the way while those leaders who are worth a damn try to get us back on track?
Medicare needs some fixing if it is opened for us all. That's our job. Make sure that doctors and hospitals get what they deserve and in a timely manner. Make sure that prescription drugs are affordable and available for all, Medicare or not! One of my prescriptions cost me, with co-pay, $200 for two weeks. The same drug 100 miles north in Canada costs $4. What the fuck.
I don't give a rat's fucking ass what it's called. I'm sick to fucking death hearing about 'socialized medicine', and 'nanny-state' and 'government takeover' or any other bullshit out there.
We're Americans goddamnit! We don't have to copy anyone else. We can do shit OUR fucking way. Raise taxes? Why? Pass laws that have teeth against the corruption and graft run rampant on Wall Street. Make the motherfuckers pay their goddamn taxes like the rest of us. Close the loopholes for these bastards. Bring our men and women home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Put people back to work fixing our infrastructure, national parks and that 'new' technology I keep hearing about. Putting another 10 million people to work puts more money in the Treasury. Paul Krugman (Nobel fucking prize winner) can tell you about that.
There's no goddamn reason why Europe has a better transit system than us. Or health care. Or standard of living. Seventy years ago they were a smoldering ruin thanks to WWII. It took American dollars to rebuild them. We did it because that's who we are. We do what's right.
We have the means to do this shit for ourselves. The only thing keeping us from doing it is fear - fucking FEAR. It's time to sack up and get to fucking work. Fuck the bullshit pissing and moaning, we got to get our asses to work and clean this place up.
Face it, our government is US. We put them there, we keep them there, we live with what they do. If you don't like it, change it!
Thanks to BK for giving me the opportunity for the rant and the platform.
So Mote It Be.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
This morning President Obama signed into law the Health Care Reform bill after the House passed it with six votes to spare. Now, the Senate takes up the additions that fix some of the glaring holes left in the bill to get it past the bullshit conservatives. These will accomplished by reconciliation, which can't be used for everything we want but will fill some of the more egregious holes.
Reconciliation only needs a simple majority to pass, which means Sen. Reid only needs to get 50 votes. (yes, that's a tie but the Vice President will cast the deciding vote so 50 is an instant 51)
Here's the video of the signing ceremony:
Take a good look folks. This is what leadership looks like.
It ain't perfect, it ain't pretty but it's how we roll. We have a lot of fucking work to do to get beyond this first step. Obama got the bill passed after the pundits called it DOA. He did it by doing what he does best. Pound the pavement and shake the rafters. He should have done this months ago but that's old news.
No time to party, put away the cake and ice cream. Work begins now.
So Mote It Be,
Monday, March 22, 2010
The House voted yesterday to finally put a Health Care Reform bill on the President's desk. The bill is landmark legislation, the embodiment of months back room deals, late night speeches, town hall fiascoes and gut wrenching compromises.
What we have left is a bill that addresses some things but falls far short on too many others. The bill is important, not for what is does, but for what it doesn't do.
Progressives have to look at this as a stepping stone, not a finish line. We're not across the river yet. There are too many variables in the bill that leave gaping holes that the insurance companies will get through like flies through an open window. Let me be crystal clear, the insurance companies will not sit idly by and just accept this. Even with the mandate and the lack of regulations, they still want to keep the status quo. This bill isn't perfect but it will cost them some money and that's what they are all about.
I have to view this inadequate legislation as a foundation, something to build upon. Unfortunately, our congresscritters will think their work is done and leave any changes to future generations. To hell with that. Now is the time to get the goods together to add flesh to this skeleton. Some have started already; courageous legislators that know the shortcomings of this bill and have the fixes ready for consideration. Such congressmen as Alan Grayson.
1. Real Regulation of Insurance Companies.
This was one of the most important aspects of the bill and it was one of the first to be removed. Sure, there are some limitations but not nearly enough. Every important restriction was watered down to appease the congressional lapdogs of the insurance industry. What we need is concrete regulation: removal of the anti-trust exemption, oversight of rate increase, elimination of ALL pre-condition restrictions and beefed-up enforcement of this law. Send industry executives to jail if they balk on these rules. Remove all loopholes that allow insurance companies to get around tax laws and SEC regulations so that they are required to play by the rules, not find ways around them.
2. A real Public Option!
Rep. Alan Grayson has legislation that will allow every legal resident of the United States to 'buy into' Medicare. His bill is only four pages long but it lays it out plainly. If you want to get health care but don't want to dive into the swamp that is the health insurance pool, then you have the option to have a portion of your pay sent to the government so that you can participate in the Medicare program. Could it be any simpler? No hassles with insurance pools, insurance companies that defraud their customers or spending hours arguing for the smallest payments. Give us the option to tell the for-profit insurance companies to go to hell once and for all.
3. Remove and Rescind the Hyde Amendment.
What the hell is this garbage? I can go to the doctor and get a prescription for Cialis, Viagra, or any other of the popular weiner drugs, see a physician to have my boys disconnected from my penis or seek out any of a dozen services for men all covered by insurance. But how about the ladies? What can they do? Sit down, shut up and pop out those puppies as many as you can 'cause Jesus tells you to. Bullshit! I have no business telling a woman how to deal with reproductive services and neither does our government. If a woman has a need for LEGAL abortion services then that's between her and her doctor and should be covered like any other ailment. There is no debate here. Abortions are legal in this country and as long as that remains true then they must be covered by any and ALL insurance. If Catholics don't like it then don't get an abortion.
As far as I can tell, Catholic bishops and priests protect the unborn because that ensures a steady crop of little boys for playtime. To hell with the Catholic Church.
There are a lot of other problems with this bill and we'll deal with them as they crop up. Our job is to keep our congresscritters' feet to the fire with patching these holes.
What the Fuck is this...
Teabaggers are the most disgusting, anti-American assholes that occupy our space.
Words can't express how vile and reprehensible this is. The Republican Party is the party of Greed, Racism, and Hate. That's not just a rabid Liberal spouting off on his blog but a verifiable and proven description of their core values. These cretins disgust me and all good Americans. A pox on all their houses for this garbage. Racism is a poison in this country, a vile disease that runs rampant in every corner. The GOP fans these flames of bigotry by inciting fear and hatred of the first African-American president at every tea party event they speak at. This is the modern GOP. Greedy fucking racists, the lot of 'em.
Seems my craptacular state attorney general, Rob McKenna has filed suit to challenge the HCR bill. McKenna is a corporate whore. He only gets concerned for the state constitution when his Chamber of Commerce buddies get their panties in a bunch. He doesn't stand up for the little guy in WA, he stands ON them. Freakin' bastard. Our gov Chris Gregoire supports the bill but Snidley McKenna will have no part of that.
Jesus Christ on a Taco, it's bad enough that I'm represented in Congress by a know-nothing idiot who pretends he worth a damn. Now, I have to bear the shame of a soulless corporate weasel like McKenna making a mark for his GOP cred.
Could go on and on but have to head out to the coal mine to toil for my corporate masters.
So Mote It Be,