Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I have run into a wall. Some of my loyal readers may have noticed that posts have gotten far and few between these days, and part of that is my ADD when it comes to choosing a topic.

So, I leave it you, dear readers: give me a topic, any topic, multiple topics, to write about, and I will look through the list. If it's a short list I'll write about all of 'em; if it's long, I might put the list up for a vote.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Political Obedience

And the grand corporations say "sit... Sit! SIT!"

"Good little politico. Have a campaign contribution."

When will we see the influence of money leave politics? Will there have to be a revolution? Will the Supremes finally remember that money does not, in fact, equal speech?

In its most base form, witness the health care debate. On the side of the existing system, there are those who cry out "socialized medicine!", "rationed care!", and (my personal favorite) "the government can't do anything right!" Said, primarily and loudest, by people who work for the government.

When your insurance company says it won't cover certain things, like, say, chemotherapy, because you were diagnosed with cancer right after you got insurance, and they want to claim "pre-existing condition," that sounds like someone's rationing something. Money, maybe. Of course you can get the coverage you need, so long as you go to court. Everyone has time to do that these days, right?

And the idea that the government is just SO incompetent: why do we trust them to do anything right, like, say, protect our borders, or field an army? If they can't buy a light bulb without a hundred forms being filled out, how can they possibly have enough time to move an aircraft carrier from point A to point B?

To all the conservative nay-sayers (who don't read this blog - why do I even bother?): single-payer health care is cheaper than for-profit health care. It means that the government simply acts as the insurance company, paying doctors and hospitals when they are billed for services. You will pay higher taxes in order to get this, but employers no longer need to contribute their own money (unless they so choose, I guess) in order to offer you health care. In other words, you can work anywhere, and have health care. You can be unemployed and have health care. You can be retired and have health care. And you can buy supplementary health care insurance (if you want) so you can get fancier health care. Common amongst Great Britain's wealthier citizens.

Medicare (which has its problems, no denying that) has an overhead cost that is only 15% of private health insurance overhead. For every dollar you spend on your doctor visit, 12-20% of that is spent on paperwork, legal fees and profits for the insurance company. For every dollar spent by Medicare, that number is somewhere below 3%. Because all you're doing is saying how much does it cost, and what was the illness being treated.

The one thing you don't have to ask is whether the CEO needs a bigger yacht.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Glimpse of the Perverse*

In which we discover that Newt Gingrich has no scruples, the Left has no spine, and Rush still has no testicles.

Obama got make his first big appointment, that of judge Sonia Sotomayor, to the United States' Supreme Court, as a replacement for the retiring David Souter. who wrote a famous decision saying that the government had every right to take the property away from those folks who weren't using it to its full potential. Prompting an immediate lawsuit by someone saying that the land under Souter's antique ranch house in New England could be more suitably used for the construction of a shopping mall.

Don't worry, he still lives there.

However, the story isn't about him - it's about her. Or, more importantly, it's about the right-wing punditocracy that's currently foaming at the mouth and flailing around madly trying to come up with ways to block the nomination, or at least to turn the nominating process into irrelevant crap by making the nominee answer all those "when did you stop beating your wife" kind of questions that the Repugs are so adept at creating.

She said once (severely paraphrasing) that being a Latina would give her a different perspective than that of a white male, and that having her background might make her a bit more empathetic to a poor minority person's plight than an old white man might be. Not unlike the quote from Samuel Alito about how his Italian-American background might influence his decision-making.

"Racism!" shouts Newt and Rush. Of course, not to be outdone, G. Gordon Liddy suggested that there might be certain times of the month where she shouldn't be asked to make decisions because of PMS.


I mean.



I have to wonder how Sandra Day O'Connor (a Reagan appointee) might have reacted to Mr. Liddy's statement.

Anyway, the Left, with it's infinite ability to find things to apologise about, has already been out there, full-throated, quite sorry that their prospective nominee actually had the nerve to go out and to say something that's true (darn her!). Both Robert Gibbs and his master, President Obama, have sort of said something to the effect that if she had to do it all over again, she probably wouldn't have said something like that.

When will the left-wing in power develop spinal bones? Get the mealy out of their mouths? Remove the skirting from around the issues?

And for Rush to call someone else a racist...

"You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed. " - Rush Limbaugh

That's not racism, that's just tellin' it like it is - right, Rush?

*With apologies to E. A. Poe