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To Conservatives Dismay Liberals Play Let’s Make A Deal

Healthcare reform passes in the Senate along partisan lines.  Not a single Republican Senator supported the bill.  Whatever you think of Republicans, one thing you can say is that when they smell political blood they are ready to transform into the political equivalent of a pool of sharks.  They pulled out all the stops to sink this thing.  They talked about death panels and fiscal irresponsibility and judgment day and President Barack Obama’s Waterloo and all manners of nonsense to keep this bill from becoming law.

The conservatives are trying to tell the public that they were railroaded.  The liberals took over the legislature and refused to budge on any issues.  The Republicans were locked out of any meeting to discuss the bill and therefore could not bring themselves to support any part of it.  The liberals were unwilling to negotiate and were unwilling to listen and it is the liberal’s fault that this bill passed along partisan lines.  So much for Mr. Obama’s promise to reform Washington and reach across the aisle.

At least that’s what they’re saying.  The reality is much different.  In the final stretch, the liberals were making all kinds of deals to pull this bill through its darkest hour.  Massachusetts Senator Joe Lieberman got the public option scratched.  Somebody else got stronger anti abortion measures installed into the bill so anyone who wants their insurance to cover abortion related procedures has to write a totally separate check.  And Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson was able to negotiate a deal where the people of Nebraska do not have to contribute their fair share of funding for Medicaid expansion into perpetuity.  The conservatives are upset over all the deals that were cut to keep the not a Republican majority from falling apart and succumbing to a Republican minority filibuster.  So what do the conservatives mean when they say that the Democrats were unwilling to negotiate?

From what I’ve been able to gather, it looks like the liberals were doing nothing but cutting deals.  In fact, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham wanted the South Carolina attorney general to launch an investigation to get to the bottom of all the deals that were made in the last few days leading to the historic healthcare reform bill vote.  So if the Democrats were so busy cutting so many deals, why do the Republicans insist on maintaining their claim that they were railroaded?  They can’t have it both ways.

If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was willing to give the people of Nebraska a pass on Medicaid expansion, it seems pretty obvious he was open to negotiation with anyone who was willing to negotiate in good faith for the bill’s passage.  Therefore, I can only assume that no one in the Republican camp was willing to do any negotiating to pass this healthcare reform.  To me, it appears that no conservative Senator was willing to cross that high profile line in the sand drawn by the collective conservative body.

And the idea that the majority was trying to rush something through at the very last minute is a grand example of intellectual dishonesty at its finest.  This country has been trying to reform healthcare for the past four decades.  The last great attempt during President Bill Clinton’s administration went down in flames.  The political muscle to push something through just wasn’t there and nobody has bothered to do anything about ever since.  That was fifteen years ago.

By some estimates, forty five thousand Americans die every year because of a lack of healthcare.  We are willing to wage war because of what happened on that fateful day on September 11th that wound up killing three thousand Americans.  But we are more than ready to wait and tolerate the annual death of so many tens of thousands of Americans because we don’t want to do anything to rush a healthcare reform bill through our legislature.  These people say let’s wait a little while.  Give it a few more years so we can work out something a little more agreeable.  And while we’re waiting, pay no attention to those people who continue to die because of a lack of coverage.

People know that if they defeat this bill now the political winds of change would loose their steam and would take years to gather again.  Mr. Obama would lose any political momentum on this issue and would never get another opportunity to try again.  No one is trying to rush anything through.  But the legislative process is an ungainly behemoth that is difficult enough to move when there is overwhelming support to get anything done.  It’s downright resistant when there is such solid opposition against changing the status quo.

Personally, like many other people, I don’t particularly care for this bill.  It is my opinion that too many considerations were made to protect the insurance industry making a watered down bill that is only a symbol of anything healthcare reform.  The insurance industry should have been totally removed from the healthcare equation.  Anybody who profits from denying people healthcare should not be involved with reform.  But that’s just my opinion.

Hopefully, this bill will have some redeeming value.  I am cautiously optimistic.  Anything has got to be better than the status of quo of letting the insurance companies have their way with the public.  Their lame promises to always do better sometime in the future have gone unfulfilled for so long that they stopped believing they could do it themselves a long time ago.  We’ve been taken for granted for so long that the only way change was going to happen was at the end of a political gun aimed squarely at their figurative head.

The American public needed each and every deal possible with so much organized opposition to healthcare reform.  And if the conservatives wanted to be part of the process, if they honestly wanted to participate in the reform process, chances are they could’ve cut their own deals as well.  But unfortunately, the only deals that they were interested in was the type of deal that kept the status quo.  And the status quo was no deal for reform at all.  Besides, so many people want to focus on all the backroom deals to get pass healthcare reform.  What about all the backroom deals to assure its defeat?

Sunday, December 27, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, Healthcare Reform, Life, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts | 2 Comments

Why Not Take It Seriously?

The Democrats are a bunch of spineless pussies. With a majority of the House of Representatives combined with a virtual filibuster proof majority in the Senate giving the Democrats iron clad control of the legislature branch, topped with complete control of the White House and the executive branch, these pussies can’t get anything more than a fart passed in our federal government without at least one Republican to give his or her explicit approval. Republicans were eating the Democratic Party’s lunch when they had the majorities and the White House. It looks like the Republicans are still mugging the liberals for their lunch money.

The Democrats act like a bunch of keystone legislatures running around in oversized floppy shoes and hitting themselves in their own heads with their own batons as they try to look meaningful and try to look pertinent or try to look as if they have a purpose or try to look like they even matter.

The healthcare reform bill appears to be healthcare reform only in name. Nothing resembling reform remains in the tepid, watered down, version of the original health bill. Rumor has it the public option has been taken off the table in order to protect the insurance industry from supposedly unfair competition from the government. The insurance company wasn’t thinking about fairness as they made billions of dollars in profits by denying healthcare claims and by doing their own impersonation of the dreaded death panels and doing their best to get in between people and their doctors.

But now that the shoe might be headed to the other foot, now that the insurance companies are the ones who might be bending over and taking it up the shaft as people make the choice to go with a public option, our legislatures, the people who are supposed to represent the best interest of their constituents, think we need to protect the insurance industry by removing the threat of a public option. Now I know that there are conservatives that would do everything in their power to protect the corporate benefactors. The previous administration really did a wonderful job giving corporate America everything it wanted and then some. Lower taxes and less regulation have combined to make a one-two punch that ravaged our economy and made the average American a lot worse off than we were eight years or so ago.

And when the American people finally decided as a collective that it has had enough of the conservative agenda, the only place to turn for something different was to the conservative politician’s adversary, the liberal politician. Voting for the Democrats, some of us thought we would actually catch some slack and get cut something resembling a break for a change.

But the poor Democrats can’t compete with those big bad Republicans who are looking for a fight, any fight that would give them some kind of political victory. And healthcare reform appears to be a godsend. Like an iron curtain the Republicans are ready to just say no and thwart any threat to the status quo, leaving every single Democrat and independent left a necessity to get anything through. Knowing they don’t have the numbers to keep legislation from passing, the Republicans promise a filibuster, to talk incessantly about nothing, to keep a vote on healthcare from taking place. And the Democrats, knowing what’s at stake, want to play hardball with each other to get the party to cave to what they want.

One Democrat says he or she won’t vote for anything with a public option, another says he or she won’t vote for anything without a public option. One Democrat says he or she won’t vote for anything that doesn’t put an outright ban on any abortion benefit, another says he or she won’t vote for anything that doesn’t provide some kind of abortion benefit. One Democrat says he or she won’t vote for anything the insurance companies don’t like, another says he or she won’t vote for anything the insurance companies do like. And the differences go on and on and on.

Real meaningful healthcare reform is dead. It’s been murdered by a political machine that, for the most part, pretends to have the public’s best interest at heart but is all the while stabbing the people in the back. We can’t have real reform because too many people know that the real power is in corporate America and not with the American people. I don’t blame Republicans for this condition. They never sold themselves as anything other than streetwalkers turning tricks for their corporate pimps.

But Democrats want to keep their relationship with corporate America on the down low. They want to appear like they have more interest in the public’s welfare. But in reality, it appears that the Democrats are trying harder to steal tricks than that silly rabbit on the breakfast cereal.

To be honest, it doesn’t matter who gets in office these days. For most people in politics, there is no incentive to the right thing by the American people. It’s all just a con game kind of like the wrestling so many people are addicted to watching. We think something might change when we get the other guy in office. But at the end of the day, the two sides are really the best of friends who would rather spend the day with each other than spend a minute with the American people. In their world there is no real difference from one politician to another. To keep voting for change by voting for the same political parties is madness. One day we’ll wake up and realize it’s time to stop this crazy shit and start taking this a lot more seriously.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 Posted by | Democrats, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Life, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts | 3 Comments

Why Ask When Everyone Already Knows The Answer

Friday, December 4, 2009 Posted by | Democrats, Life, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts | Leave a comment

A New Round Of Political Games

PoliticsGamesCapital

The dust has settled in the struggle between conservatives and liberals and we are beginning to see the changes in our political landscape.  Yesterday, the Republicans Party picked up the governor’s office in Virginia and New Jersey, even though President Barack Obama had campaigned a bit for both of those state’s Democratic nominee.  Yesterday’s results may call attention to the fact that Mr. Obama is not able to overcome the rest of the Democratic Party’s inability to appeal to their Democratic base.  This should be a warning to all the Democratic politicians facing reelection next year, two years into Mr. Obama’s administration, at all levels of the government from the local to the national.

It is a safe assumption that most of the Democrats have safe seats.  But a good percentage will face strong competition from Republican or conservative challengers.  Over the next year, these politicians will have to decide how closely they want to align themselves with Mr. Obama’s agenda and the rest of the party leadership.  Their constituents are watching their choices and actions very closely.

But it isn’t all roses for the conservatives.  Republican Party politicians suffered their own share of setbacks.  An upstate New York district that the Republicans have controlled for more than a century went to Democrat Bill Owens won a special election after conservative activists went public with their political bickering.  Staunch conservatives pressured the Republican nominee to quit the race and supported a third party candidate.  Indeed, every incumbent should take note that the voting public is ready for change, any change in the political climate, if they feel their representatives, regardless of party affiliation, aren’t working for the public’s benefits.  The voting public is more cynical now than ever.  People want tangible, real solutions to the problems facing the country and not just hard line dogma that does nothing but inspire people to dig their heals in.

What all of us should have learned from yesterday’s elections is that issues can trump ideology.  Issues like the three Gs, god, guns, and gays, take a back seat when the entire country is in a recession.  In polling-place surveys, the overwhelming majority in Virginia and New Jersey said they were worried about the economy.  And even though there are signs of economic recovery, good jobs have not returned just yet, and trouble looms if people are still not seeing some kind of improvement in their bottom line by the next time they go to the polls.

Yes people were ready for change last year when they elected Mr. Obama.  But people are still waiting for that change and if the Democrats that were so overwhelmingly elected last year aren’t able to produce the change they promised then maybe they need a reminder that they only have so much time to dither in their political roles before they too will be replaced.  It isn’t so much that Republicans can win as Democrats can lose and they can lose big.  The biggest advantage the Democratic Party had in previous elections was the record of former President George W. Bush.  But Mr. Bush wasn’t going to stay the albatross around the conservative’s neck forever.  And as much as people might like Mr. Obama as a person, he alone does not a party make.

Today the airwaves were thick with conservative politicians and analyst and political pundits and party leaders bragging about their party’s political victories.  The blue state and red state numbers aren’t really going to change that much.  Numbers wise, there should be little impact to the legislative agenda.  But from an incumbent who should want to stay in his or her job’s perspective the impact can be earth shattering.  In order to appeal to a broader political base, Democratic contenders might try to move more to the center and abandoning their own political base.  Such a move is bound to deflate their core constituents and no matter how much a Democratic candidate might try to look conservative, the Democratic can’t out conserve a conservative.

The truth of the matter is that this should be a wakeup call for both Democrats and Republicans to do more to work together for the benefit of the people.  It might sound like a common sense concept.  Every politician promises to work across the aisle for the benefit of the American people.  But in practice, the politician that is ready to do what is best for the people is truly a novel concept.  There will always be a tendency for the politician to do only that which protects the politician’s job.  Sincere change for the better will always be hard when half the people in politics can benefit more by gumming up the works and keeping the status quo.  Every year we hear how the people want change and the political spectrum changes because people want the bums out.  This year is no different.  Next year will just be more of the same.

Thursday, November 5, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, Life, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts | Leave a comment

A Simpler Way

OneWaySign

The Republican Party has its Democratic counterpart at a serious disadvantage.  The Republican Party is far more homogenous than the Democrats.  Looking back at clips and glimpses of the Republican National Convention, the majority of the crowd was obviously identifiably white.  While there were some ethnicity displayed on the stage with high profile appearances and commentary from people like Michael Steele and Bobby Jindal, the vast majority of conservatives are racially white.

While the white community makes up something in the neighborhood of seventy to seventy five percent of the national population, I’ve seen estimates that the Republican Party was over ninety three percent white while the Democratic Party was down in the sixty percent range.  So the Republican Party can appeal to its base with broad strokes of political policies that promote the protection of institutions that can be mostly associated with the status quo and with white privilege.  It is common sense that white privilege would appeal to a mostly white base.

Without all the complications associated with trying to make a cohesive, unified group with people from divergent ethnicities and cultures and historical backgrounds, the conservatives can keep their messages simple and revolving around a single theme of keeping the status quo that is traditionally geared towards white people.  Indeed, for many people in the more conservative party, anything that changes our social makeup is a threat to our traditional American way of life.

When I see conservative people holding up signs saying they want to take their country back, I have to ask, take their country back from whom?  As far as I know the white community isn’t in any real danger of losing control or of being minimized to the point of insignificance in America’s racial spectrum.  If the racial makeup of the upper echelons of the United States government is any indication, the white community is well represented and isn’t going away anytime soon or anytime later.

The same can be true about the captains of corporate America, the representatives of state level governments, the judicial system, nonprofit agencies, entertainment from the perspective of both the people front and center and the people who operate and control things behind the curtain or behind the camera, just about any corporation’s middle management, and any other slice of America held in high regard.  The white community is, by every measurable social comparison, is truly in the driver’s seat.

But nevertheless, the conservative party can appeal to the conservative base by manipulating their fears that we the minorities are doing what we can to put an end to the perpetual condition of white privilege rooted in racial discrimination built on a solid foundation of state sanctioned black subjugation.  Then again, if truth was told it wouldn’t be very hard to imagine minorities working their best as a collective to end white privilege in order to make a more racially equitable society.  But the moment we do anything that makes our national collective more fair or anything to make things more equitable, some people want to scream socialism, one of the main scourges of conservative principles.

Democrats on the other hand are not so lucky to have such a one trick pony core.  Blue dog Democrats can appear to be just as conservative as any hard core Republican.  Democrat in name only, they exist at one end of the political spectrum.  These Democrats have more in common with their Republican opponents than some of their associates they share their side of the political aisle with.

And the political issues are just one set of the complex mix of subjects that make up the vast interests of the Democratic Party.  Although such diversity can sound a lot more inclusive, it is the inclusion of this diverse collection of people with differing ideas, perceptions, perspectives, needs, wants, backgrounds, futures, and etcetera that makes it somewhat difficult to operate with anything resembling a unified political bloc with the same basic ideas, interests, perceptions, beliefs, faith, and all.

I guess that’s one of the inherent problems associated with having a liberal orientation that is geared towards the possibility of new ideas and new concepts and progressive ways of thinking, but in different directions, that have to come together as opposed to having the same basic orientation with relatively little acceptance for a diverging path from people who may have diverging interests.

This is not to say that the Republican Party doesn’t welcome people who think in progressive ways.  I do believe the party can be very innovative.  But innovation is limited to assuring that the status quo stays in place.  And from a racial perspective and class perspective and economic perspective and more, I feel that keeping the status quo would seriously put me and other people in the black community at a true disadvantage if we were to chose the simpler way.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 Posted by | Black Community, Democrats, Life, Politics, Racism, Republicans, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Joe Wilson’s War

JoeWilson

Can you believe this?  Republican South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson broke the rules of civility, threw decorum out the window, and called President Barack Obama a liar during his address to both chambers of the Congress.  Mr. Wilson claims he was caught up in some fit of passion that he simply could not contain his emotional outburst.

Joe the Heckler immediately apologized after the address was through.  At the request of Republican Party leaders, Mr. Wilson called Mr. Obama that night to apologize.  A sudden rush of people going to Mr. Wilson’s website knocked out the servers and phone lines.  His Democratic opponent reported nearly a half million dollars in new political contributions the next day.  A hastily created web site highly critical of Mr. Wilson includes a link to donate to Ron Miller, his suddenly popular political opponent.

What Mr. Wilson has done is thrown down the gauntlet.  In essence Mr. Wilson has issued a challenge to him and to the Democratic Party.  In front of the nation, in front of the world, a lackey in the Republican Party tossed an insult to the leader of the Democratic Party.  If this was the Godfather, the insult would have required a hit on the Tattaglia family.

For all intents and purposes Mr. Wilson was doing his part to undermine Mr. Obama’s office and called the President and the rest of the Democrats pussies.  Mr. Wilson was making a bet that none of the Democrats had the balls to throw down.  And even if they did decide to mix it up, the Republicans had the support from so many Americans ready to carry guns to town hall meetings where the President was scheduled to make an appearance.  The President’s poll numbers were steadily falling.  More and more people were deciding that healthcare reform was not what they needed since they think they already have what they need to assure and insure their health and the health of their family for the future.  Mr. Wilson was feeling pretty good.

And to many people, the people who think Mr. Obama pals around with terrorists, who think Mr. Obama is secretly a Muslim who attended a Christian church intent on spreading hatred for white America, who thinks that Mr. Obama threw his grandmother under the bus because he described her as a typical white person, who thinks Mr. Obama isn’t a United States citizen and his certificate of birth from Hawaii is not legit, who thinks Mr. Obama is out to take everyone’s guns, who throw tea parties because they think Mr. Obama is responsible for the massive deficit, who thinks Mr. Obama is preparing death panels, who thinks Mr. Obama is Adolph Hitler reincarnated, Mr. Wilson is emerging as an American hero.  The same people who will yell that Mr. Obama is a terrorist and “kill him” at a Republican rally will support Mr. Wilson and anybody who would scream any unruly criticism of the President.

This isn’t anything new.  Glen Beck called the President a racist with a deep seated hatred of white people and he hasn’t stopped yet.  A lot of people called Mr. Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court a racist with a deep seated hatred of white men.  And through it all people rally around these mongers of hatred like moths to a flame.  In response to all the cash contributions going to Mr. Wilson’s political opponent Ron Miller, Mr. Wilson is asking people to donate to his coffers and people are opening their wallets.

In his speech the other night, Mr. Obama said that he’s ready to call people out and it sounded aggressive.  But Mr. Obama is once again ready to let bygones be bygones and turn the other cheek.  Instead of calling Mr. Wilson out and holding him up as an example of the atmosphere of politics these days, he’s more likely to invite Mr. Wilson to the White House to make peace over a drink of his favorite suds.  With all the talk of blister Mr. Obama has shown time and time again that he is more than ready to forgive and forget with a great deal of emphasis on the forget part.

When the Reverend Jeremiah Wright called him a politician Mr. Obama was so outraged that he formally and very publicly severed his relationship with the man.  Mr. Wilson calls Mr. Obama a liar and more likely than not Mr. Obama will let bygones be bygones and open up a six pack.  That’s not the way you take people to task.  That’s not the way you call people out.  That’s not the way you make people regret their tempting fate.

In the Godfather, to let such disrespect stand would mean that a family was weak and toothless.  Well, it should be obvious how Mr. Wilson and many Republicans feel about the Democratic family.  It looks like the gauntlet has been slammed down at Mr. Obama’s feet.  Joe Wilson is ready for political war.  But a challenge is just a challenge until somebody agrees to a dual or something.  Joe Wilson is ready for war.  And a lot of people who support Joe Wilson are ready for political war.

Thursday, September 10, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, Life, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts | | Leave a comment

You Lie Mr. President!

PresidentAddress

President Barack Obama was trying to put the rhetoric and angst against healthcare behind him.  All of us have seen the town hall meetings with people on both sides of the issue foaming at the mouth.  Granted, one side has a lot more foaming people than the other, but there was rhetoric coming from both directions.  But the era for civility and calm conversation will have to wait just a bit longer.  In the middle of his healthcare address, South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson yelled from the floor two words, “You lie!”  This was in response to Mr. Obama’s statement that his plan for healthcare reform would not cover illegal immigrants.

Now Mr. Wilson might want to explain away his rudeness as a momentary lapse of civility based on his passion for the subject at hand.  Supposedly, Mr. Wilson is a firm opponent of illegal immigration.  He might even try to blame his emotional outburst on his latent turrets syndrome that manifests whenever he sees an authoritative black man.  But one of the television cameras in the house chamber panned over to Mr. Wilson.  He was holding a sign in his lap saying, “What bill?”  It should be obvious that Mr. Wilson came prepared to do his impersonation of a typical town hall foamer ready to cause a ruckus for ruckus sake and not ready to listen at all.

In response to Mr. Wilson’s outburst the chamber erupted in a wave of disapproving boos.  Mr. Obama held Mr. Wilson with a harsh gaze for a moment and calmly responded, “That’s not true.”  As Mr. Obama went on with his speech, both Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joe Biden continued to send eye daggers Mr. Wilson’s way.  Mr. Wilson looked around at all the people giving him their own stairs of disapproval as if to say, “What?”  For the remainder of the night, his attention was focused on his Blackberry.

Mr. Wilson’s actions did much to reinforce Mr. Obama’s words.  As if prepared for a shameful display of Mr. Wilson’s caliber.  “What we have also seen in these last months is the same partisan spectacle that only hardens the disdain many Americans have toward their own government,” said Mr. Obama.  “Too many have used this as an opportunity to score short term political points, even if it robs the country of our opportunity to solve a long term challenge.  And out of this blizzard of charges and counter-charges, confusion has reigned.  Well, the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed,” he added, to Democratic cheers.

Well, in Mr. Wilson’s own words, you lie Mr. President.  There will always be time for bickering and for lies and for mistruths for political gain.  There will always be time to put self serving political agendas ahead of what’s best for the nation.  There will always be a time for a politician to scream an improper comment from the safety of the sidelines.  There will always be time for people to be obnoxious when there is plenty to support the notion that others are ready to support and reinforce obnoxious behavior with their own obnoxiousness.

Many other Republican Party politicians expressed open contempt for Mr. Obama by tweeting during the speech, scanning their BlackBerrys, or holding up copies of Republican healthcare reform bills during the speech.  Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said that he was incredibly disappointed in the tone of Mr. Obama’s speech.  He said that he found Mr. Obama’s tone to be overly combative and believed he talked in a manner beneath the dignity of his office that will make it more difficult to find common ground.  The way Mr. Graham speaks you’d think Mr. Obama simply walked over to the Republican side of the House and just bitched slap them all, not that they and their Democratic associates, don’t deserve it.

So this morning, it’s clear that the speech didn’t do much of anything.  People on the left are still on the left.  People on the right are still on the right.  If anything, the trenches just got deeper, the heights of the stonewalling has a new layer of stone on top.  There will always be a time for entrenchment.  It seems to be the natural order of things.  If anything, it is the time that we can achieve anything that resembles reform or at the very least a bipartisan effort that looks like it might lead to reform, is what has come to past.  The idea that we can set aside differences and come together for the true benefit of the American people is a bold lie.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Life, Lindsey Graham, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts, Universal Healthcare | | 5 Comments

Equally Idiotic

ObamaJoker

How often have you turned to some national news show only to see two people on opposite sides of an issue arguing with each other?  Usually it goes something like this:  The host of the news show will put out a hypothetical question.  Coming up next we’ll find out which is more racist, the Democrats or the Republicans?  We’ll discuss this question and more with a high profile member from the Republican Party and another high profile pundit from the Democrats.

Now how many people will actually tune and listen with an unprejudiced ear?  It is rare to find a person in America who truly holds no opinion either way on any of these subjects and will open themselves to be influenced one way or the other in five minutes of two people throwing explicit and implicit insults at each other.  Some people might call this fair and balanced news reporting.  But in all honesty it’s nothing more than a slightly more civilized version of the Jerry Springer Show.

I haven’t really paid much attention to CNN lately and decided to do something different this morning.  Instead of my usual of watching the local broadcast from the CBS affiliate KMOV-TV I decided to see what was happening on CNN.  It didn’t take long for me to regret my decision.  This morning the public was treated to a new segment where one of the whacky crazy antics of zanies from the far left is compared to a single crazy antic from one of the zanies on the right.  I turned the television off and dragged my disgusted ass to work.

As I drove to work I thought of the implications of CNN’s new segment.  Right now the chaos over healthcare is being ratcheted up to seriously scary levels.  On the conservative side we see people holding up signs calling the President a socialist or a communist, we see pictures of the President done up in makeup similar to Heath Ledger’s Joker from one of the Batman movies or donning a mustache ala Adolph Hitler, we see people taking handguns to protest holding signs with subtle threats about shedding blood and offing bureaucrats, and we see conservative politicians easily stirring up this hornets net of fear with insinuations that the current government administration wants to employ “death panels” that will make the decision to kill the elderly and the infirm and whoever else they deem unworthy of life.  On the other hand, we have the Speaker of the House saying that the over the top protests of shouting and the refusal to listen is un-American.  But picking one from each side simply makes all the zaniness look even handed.

It’s a familiar tactic.  It is one of the tactics that has been employed against any talk of racism.  The moment somebody says we have racial disparity you can count the seconds before somebody says something like, I’m a white person and back in school a black person beat me up and stole my lunch money.  But it’s a rather asinine attempt to equate racial disparity to somebody getting their lunch money stolen by somebody who’s on the other side of the racial divide.  But if we follow the method of comparing a single event from one side of a wrong to a single event on the other side, we can make the illusion that both sides of the racial divide are equally wrong.

It is a fact of life that on any issue between peoples there will be jerks on both sides.  But simply because there are jerks on the other side of the divide doesn’t automatically equate the wrongs of the two.  Just because somebody is an idiot on one side doesn’t negate or equate to all the idiocy that occurs on the other side of an issue.

CNN continues to do a disservice to the public by doing its unfair share of fanning the embers of disorder and confusion in order to make the most out of any controversy.  And instead of reporting on all the stupidity we’ll focus only on one fringe act and that way people won’t get the complete picture in order to make a completely informed opinion.  So CNN reports only a small part of the story and then asks people to call in with their opinion of what’s happening.  And even the reporting of the opinions won’t be an accurate picture of how people truly feel.  CNN will pick two opinions from one side to read and two opinions from the other.  It gives the impression that the split is straight down the middle when it may be anything but.

But controversy and a confused public and an impression that things are even is an easy formula for good ratings.  It works for Jerry Springer.  He started out trying to be serious about informing the public.  But he quickly discovered that controversy was good for ratings.  Mr. Springer gave up his show about informing the public for the current circus he is infamous for.  CNN started off trying to be serious as well.  But with each and every change they make to their programs they become more like a circus as well.

Saturday, August 15, 2009 Posted by | CNN, Democrats, Politics, Republicans, Universal Healthcare | | Leave a comment

Self Destructing Democrats

SelfDestructingDemocrats

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, Life, Politics, Thoughts, Universal Healthcare | Leave a comment

Sacrifice For Country

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The argument over the public healthcare option is reaching a fever pitch and coming to a head.  The health industry lobby is working overtime and pulling out all the stops to keep the public option from ever becoming an option for the public.  The industry claims that the government plan would destroy the very fabric of the space time continuum.  All would be lost for our nation if we let people purchase healthcare through a government option.  These people contend that it would be better if we simply stay the course and let people lose their homes and their lives because of the cost of healthcare and health insurance.  The fact that people are being denied claims under the pretense of preexisting conditions is nothing to worry about.  Just pay your premiums, don’t ever make a claim, and you’ll do just fine.

In his push to make change that the people can believe in President Barack Obama is putting a serious effort behind the public healthcare plan.  On the surface at least, it looks like Mr. Obama wants to provide healthcare to the people.  It just might be nothing more than a push for some kind f legacy as the first black President.  But irregardless of that, there is an effort by the executive branch to provide the public option to the people.

One of the claims about the public option that the healthcare industry makes was to convince the people that they don’t want a government official in between them and their healthcare.  But the fact that we have so many people’s claims for healthcare coverage being denied after they have religiously paid their premiums for years for the most minor of reasons by corporate personnel who are willing to do anything management demands in order to protect their bonuses, let alone their jobs, is never mentioned.  If the corporate bureaucrat wasn’t a real and immediate problem for so many people wouldn’t be clamoring for a change in the system.

The industry is fighting back and fighting back hard.  The commercials to convince the public that the public option isn’t in their best interest is being complimented with claims of horrendous tax increases, the threat of loss of healthcare options (as if we have options), and a lobbying effort to leverage as many politicians and other public figures as possible.  And all these efforts are wearing away our resolve to do something to change the system.

The conservative politicians are voting as a bloc to deny the public option.  Whatever their individual reasons may be, these politicians are moving as a single unified group without exception.  The conservative politicians know that their conservative base favor a hard stance against any social program with possibly the sole exception of an exceptionally strong military machine.  These people think that the healthcare system is fine and if some people are losing everything they worked for because of a medical condition then that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.  These are the same people that were working to convince me that Sarah Palin was the best choice to sit at the ready to replace the President in case of emergency.

But there are a number of politicians who have a bigger idea of what is at stake and yet are still unwilling to take the plunge and support the President’s effort.  These people know that there are simply too many conservative constituents in the districts that they represent to take a chance on their political career.  These politicians might recognize the fact that universal healthcare or a public option might be a good idea.  But if these politicians vote to support the President and his social program, they can kiss reelection goodbye.  So goes the cowardice of political office.

Right now America is embroiled in two wars.  These wars have demanded the ultimate sacrifice from well over four thousands American troops.  We thank these people for the sacrifice that they voluntarily make on behalf of their country and the greater good.  But the American public constantly works with politicians who refuse to lay their political careers on the line for the benefit of the American people.  It’s okay for us to sacrifice our children and our future and our fellow citizens.  But the idea of a politician sacrificing their career for the benefit of the American people is something much too strange a fruit for the American people to pick.  That should help to put things into some perspective.

We keep talking about the sacrifice our men and women in uniform make in our military services on behalf of their country.  Everyday these people are dying in service to their country.  However politicians can’t even think about sacrificing their job to help their country.  But then again, many of us fellow Americans refuse to pay an extra dime in taxes as a service to our fellow countrymen.  Way to sacrifice America.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, Life, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts, Universal Healthcare | 2 Comments