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Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Hellfire & Brimstone

Posted by AB on December 21, 2009

The battle over health care reform has brought some pretty fiery rhetoric to the good people of the United States.  In my opinion, save for the outbursts of Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), Congressional Republicans have been spreading the most abhorrent language to his or her constituents.  When we look back to this debate 20 years from now, we will all remember the big lie that was “death panels,” used by Republicans to scare senior citizens.  Unfortunately, the closer we get to a health care reform bill, the more incendiary the rhetoric has become.  Over the weekend it became biblical.

This weekend in Nebraska, former Republican Presidential nominee Mike Huckabee visited to criticize Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE).  Why would the former Arkansas Governor travel to Nebraska on short notice?  Because he saw an opportunity to once again act as demagogue when Nelson finally agreed to join the rest of the Democrats to vote for a health care reform bill.  Huckabee, forever the political opportunist, dropped this little line to drive home his point (via CNN):

 “I don’t want [senators] to go up there…and then somehow go back and boast ‘Here’s some money I got from you.’  The last time we saw that kind of historic moment it was 30 pieces of silver, and that didn’t work out to well for us either.”

He, of course, was referring to Judas’ betrayal of Christ.  Of course it is the same as expanding health care coverage to 30 million Americans, right?  What a stupid think to say, Mr. Huckabee, even for you.

And last night, stung by the realization that Senate Democrats had assembled the needed 60 votes to stop a filibuster, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) went to the floor of the “greatest deliberative body in the world” to release one of the most heinous comments that one could ever imagine.

That’s right; Sen. Coburn is calling for the American people to pray that a Democratic member  is unable to show up.  To the great disappointment of Sen. Coburn, God did not intervene, and even the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) made the 1 a.m. vote.  Democrats reached cloture by a vote of 60-40, along party lines.

I don’t know what is going on with our politicians these days–they seem to have all lost their minds.  The Senate bill should pass on Christmas Eve, and then there will be a whole new series of vitriol, as the Senate bill will go to conference to merge with the bill that was previously passed by the House of Representatives.  After the eventual passage of the health care reform bill, maybe we can all begin thinking more clearly.  Until then, get accustomed to “crazy talk.”

Posted in Economics, Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Media Glee and Tiger Woods

Posted by AB on December 11, 2009

When the news came out that Tiger Woods had been in a car accident, I was watching a college football game on CBS.  During a commercial break, the CBS Sports anchor reported that Tiger Woods had been in a car accident, just outside his home, and was in serious condition.  The news seemed dire.  But a short time later, the same anchor backed off of the report that his condition was so serious.  I later went to my computer to see if there were any additional, more accurate reports.  I had no difficulty finding additional reports, but accuracy was at a premium.  Within about an hour, I must have read or heard a dozen different accounts of the story.  Unfortunately, weeks later, no one seems to know what really happened during that early morning incident, but that has not stopped the media from reporting each and every whisper that it hears.

In recent years, we have been inundated with the flaws of man.  The 24-hour cable news programs, along with the internet has magnified the sensational over the newsworthy.  They cannot be blamed, however, for the sensationalism.  It’s part competition, but it’s mostly because of the demand over an increasingly dumbed-down culture in our country.  What does it say about us that we are more interested in the “Octo-mom” or the “Balloon Boy?”  What does it say about us that we are more interested in the stories told by Tiger Woods’ mistresses than we are of health care reform?

All stories like that of Tiger’s have some journalistic merit, but I have rarely seen anything like the media backlash in this case.  Not since the Bill Clinton impeachment has infidelity received so much media attention–that’s saying a lot.  The thing has surprised and disappointed me is not so much the saturation of coverage, but the apparent glee on part of the media.  It has seemed as if many were just itching to unload on Tiger Woods.  No news or talk show host can refrain from shaking his or her head in response to the latest attention-grabbing rumor about Tiger Woods.  On the other hand, it is great to see that everyone in the media has been perfect throughout their entire lives.

No one can condone the actions of Tiger Woods, and I certainly won’t, but adultery is not a crime.  The relationship difficulties are between Tiger and his family, and no matter the disapproval by the media, he does not have to talk about that relationship with anyone.  So, media, it is okay to report on this story, but let’s just try to be a little less giddy about the fall of one of the world’s great popular entities. 

In hopes that Tiger Woods will have the courage to stand up after being knocked down, I’ll leave on a paragraph from Kahlil Gibran’s, The Prophet:

You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link.    This is but half the truth.  You are also as strong as your strongest link.                              To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam.                                                                                                                                                  To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconsistency.                       

Posted in Entertainment, Misc., Politics, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Response to My Letter to Rep. McHenry

Posted by AB on September 9, 2009

In my earlier post about the form letter response from Rep. McHenry’s office, I meant to post the actual text.  I thank my good friend for reminding me.

 Dear Mr. xxxxx:

                 Thank you for contacting me regarding the challenges facing America’s healthcare system. I appreciate having the benefit of your thoughts.

Although the U.S. healthcare system is without a doubt the most advanced in the world, capable of providing miracle care, there are issues of access and cost that are a serious cause for concern.

I believe we must enact changes that provide greater access, protect the rights of patients, and eliminate the waste, fraud, and abuse in the system. Over the past several years in Congress, I am proud to have supported initiatives to increase health care coverage through the creation of Association Health Plans for smaller businesses, allow for greater access to health insurance through interstate commerce, and reform the broken medical malpractice system.

In reviewing the different options for reform being considered in Congress today, it is my first priority to preserve what works in American health care and protect the sacred doctor-patient relationship. Doctors are the experts, and the best system is where a patient and doctor make the decisions about care.

 

We’ve seen what happens in other countries when politicians and bureaucrats get between the patient and the doctor – quality decreases and bureaucracy increases. Oftentimes it’s the elderly or chronically ill who are most disadvantaged when options are taken away and healthcare is rationed.

 

As a nation, I believe we need targeted reform with measurable results that improve patient care, expand health care availability, and lower costs, without jeopardizing the doctor-patient relationship that ensures Americans have the personal choices to fit their individual health care needs.

 

Please be assured that during the debate on health care in Congress, I will continue to support efforts that will improve access, affordability and advancement of health care.  Thank you again for contacting my office.  It is an honor to serve as your United States Congressman.  Your suggestions are always welcome, and if ever I may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Sincerely,

 

Patrick McHenry

Member of Congress

 

PTM/jsm

 


 

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Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Got A Response from McHenry

Posted by AB on September 9, 2009

Well, I finally got a response from the office of my congressman, Patrick McHenry (R-NC), after I sent a letter about healthcare.  Too bad it was a pitiful form letter with all of the right-wing talking points clearly expressed.  I can’t say that I am surprised at this pitiful response, but I am disappointed, nonetheless.  It shouldn’t take over a week to send a form letter about health care.

As I write this, I have found the reason that it took so long for Rep. McHenry’s office to click “send” with a form letter response.  McHenry and his crew are spending all of their time, which is funded by us taxpayers, undertaking in the right-wings newest witch hunt–the CZARS!  Oooooh!  That sounds communist, doesn’t it.  Apparently, he and his staff don’t waste valuable time doing silly “research,” to find those things called…what are they called, again?…oh, yeah…FACTS!  Here is an article from ThinkProgress, explaining Rep. McHenry’s new obsession.  He’s a regular Glenn Beck these days.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Whew! No Brainwashing. We Dodged A Bullet!

Posted by AB on September 8, 2009

The President of the United States gave a speech to the nation’s school-children and, thankfully, he refrained from the planned brainwashing and socialist indoctrination to send a message of self-responsibilty, patriotism, and perseverance.  Whew, we dodged a bullet.  I was sure that he would open his speech with the recitation of the “Pledge to Obama.”  Then he would pull his pocket-watch from his coat, wave it front of all of the children until hypnotised, and force the youngsters to become his loyal civilian military force.  That’s right, the Obama Youth.

Wait a minute…I’m not Glenn Beck, or Michelle Malkin, or Sean Hannity, or Rush Limbaugh.  Hell, I don’t even work a Fox News.  So, with my sanity in tact, along with the ability to process information, I actually watched the speech.  I could have read a transcript of the speech last night.  But again, I have my sanity and the ability to process information.  Those who would try to scare you to death are counting upon people who cannot process information, or people who have actually lost their sanity.

Sorry to break it to you crazies, but the speech was excellent.  Maybe if Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, or Bill Clinton had given such an inspirational speech to my classroom, I might have done even better in school.  The speech contained nothing about politics, nothing about socialism, nothing about the economy, nothing about health care, and nothing about the joys of supporting terrorists.  I was inspired to be a better person, and I have been out of school for a while, now.  

For those who kept their children away from school out of fear of having their children come home brainwashed by the evil, black socialist, here is the speech.  You should watch it.  Maybe you will gain the confidence to think for yourself.

http://www.dailykostv.com/w/002108/  (video and transcript)

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Week Later…Still No Word from McHenry

Posted by AB on September 8, 2009

One week ago, today, I typed and emailed a letter to my US Representative, Patrick McHenry (NC-10).  My letter, which was about health care, was very respectful to my Republican congressman.  The respect that I showed Rep. McHenry is far more than the Republican party has been showing President Obama.  Maybe the congressman only replies to Republicans, or only to those who agree with him.  At any rate, this week did include the Labor Day holiday, so I will do something that he would never do for me or any other Democrat:  I’m going to give him and his staff the benefit of the doubt.

I’ll be waiting for a response.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Letter to Patrick McHenry (R-NC)

Posted by AB on September 1, 2009

Today, I sent a message to my US Representative, Patrick McHenry (R-NC10).  I doubt that it’s going to make any difference, but I thought that it was my responsibility to let him know how I feel.  Here it is:                    

Dear Congressman McHenry,

I am a proud resident of North Carolina’s Tenth Congressional District, which you represent.  As you are aware, the nation has been captivated by the health care debate and, unfortunately, there does seem to be quite a bit of anger on both sides of the debate.  I have read about, and watched video of the disrespectful and disruptive behavior of health care reform critics.  Frankly, it embarrasses me to see my fellow Americans acting in such a way.

I am a Democrat and proponent of health care reform, including the installation of a public insurance option.  While no bill will be perfect, one with the public option will be most effective and efficient.  I have heard many on your side of the aisle correctly assert that we have the best health care in the world—we do.  Unfortunately, all of that great technology and skill mean nothing for those who lack access. 

 This is one of those moments in the history of our nation that our children, and our children’s children, and their children will look upon as a turning point that helped to shape the next generation of American global influence.  It is a shame that there are people in the greatest nation in this world’s history who constantly fear what might happen if they happen to become sick or injured.  It is an embarrassment that there are people in this nation who must choose between feeding their children and buying medication. 

 This is the time for leadership in this country; Democrats and Republicans, conservative and liberals, blacks and whites, Christians and Jews, Southerners and Midwesterners.  I did not vote for you, but you still have a responsibility to represent me, as much as you have a responsibility to represent those who voted for you, or those who didn’t vote at all.

I understand that you envision, for yourself, a long and illustrious career in politics and public service.  If you are to establish yourself as a leader, this is the time to do so.  It is time to stop following like a sheep, which has been my perception of you short career in the US House of Representatives.  That is not meant to sound as harsh as it does, because I understand that you must pay your dues, so to speak.  But now is the time to lead.  Now is the time to calm the waters of partisan division.  Now is the time to do what is best for the Tenth District, for North Carolina, and for the United States of America.  Do not allow yourself, Congressman, to be on the wrong side of history.  Health care reform will pass.  The question that you should ask yourself each time you look into the mirror is this:  “Am I for a better America, or am I for a partisan America.”  It never hurts to do the right thing, and the right thing is to ensure that all Americans have health care coverage.

Do the right thing.

I look forward to your leadership and hard work, for not only those who voted for you, but also for those who didn’t.

Posted in Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (1932-2009)

Posted by AB on August 26, 2009

We have lost a great American leader.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy lost his 15-month-long battle with brain cancer, early this morning.  He was 77-years-old.  Everyone knew that this day was near, but that fact does not make the loss any more difficult for his family, friends, and this Country.

Kennedy, the “Lion of the Senate,” is considered by many as the greatest, most influential Senator of the last 50-years or more.  He had a hand in every major Congressional legislation that the United States has passed since the mid-1960’s.  His life’s passion, however, hangs in the balance.  He was dedicated to making health care a right, rather than a privilege.  Unfortunately, his illness  has prevented him from leading the Senate through this legislation, and his colleagues have proved themselves incompetent.

All Americans–Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, of all ages and every race– have been influenced by the actions of Ted Kennedy, and for the better.  He will be missed, but we must attempt to live up to the legacy that he built and left behind.  I can think of no better way to honor Senator Kennedy than to make real health care reform a reality.

God Bless, Sen. Kennedy.  You no longer have to fight, and you can, finally, be reunited with your beloved brothers.

Posted in Economics, Entertainment, Misc., Politics, Sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Any Bill a Failure for Conservative Groups

Posted by AB on August 11, 2009

What do conservative groups want out of this health care debate?  Many conservatives, in public, say that we need health care reform, but they seem to have a problem with absolutely everything about it.  Conservatives in the media, in congress, and in other groups say, “No, no, no” so much that it is difficult to see what they are for.  Well, Politico has a short article about a recent conference call by conservative groups, including the National Tax Limitation Committee, the American Liberty Alliance, the Tea Party Patriots.  Apparently, they are pressing members of congress to kill health care.  An AFL-CIO union official who listened-in on the call, quoted the moderator as saying “The goal is not compromise, and any bill coming out this year would be a failure for us.”

There you have it.  What are conservatives for?  It sounds like they are for, well, anything but reform.  I assumed that this was the case, but was surprised that someone let it slip.  Any health care reform would be good for Americans, but their biggest fear is that any success would be accredited to President Obama and Congressional Democrats.  So, if you are for health care reform, and you run into someone who is against this bill or that amendment, the easiest way to shut them down is to just ask them what they are for. 

Always be respectful, civilized, and peaceful as you debate, even if others aren’t.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Republican Health Care Plan

Posted by AB on July 21, 2009

With all of the calls of “socialism,”  “rationing,” “government-run healthcare,” and even warnings of death, I have been patiently waiting for the Republican health care plan.  Well, I must wait no longer.  It has been revealed in a memo from the Republican National Committee (RNC), and Huffington Post’s Sam Stein has obtained a copy.

What is the plan, you ask?  The plan is to scare Americans with words like “risk” and “experiment,” in order to delay, and eventually kill any reform coming from President Obama and Democrats in Congress.  The media is inundated, daily, by idea-less Republicans and cowardly Democrats, saying that the President should “slow down” on health care.  This is understandable, but gutless, nonetheless. 

The Democrats who are dragging their feet are mostly moderates or conservatives with representative constituencies.  They fear being perceived as being too liberal.  Most Republicans care more about politically injuring the President, not what is good for the country.  They know that if health care passes, they will be on the wrong side of history, again, and they will get absolutely no credit.  The President has given Republicans the opportunity to take part, but trying to score political points, they have missed out on collaboration.  Now, they have only one play, and that is to obstruct. 

Fortunately, all of that it is too late; health care will pass.  It will not be pretty–there is far too much at stake–but the will of the American people will be felt, and President Obama is the right person to get done something that is far-overdue.

Posted in Economics, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »