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Posts Tagged ‘reform’

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 »

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 »

Did You Lose Your Healthcare Today?

Posted by AB on August 3, 2009

While Republican lobbyists organize protests to shout down Democratic Congress members and Obama Administration officials during townhall meetings, thousands of Americans will lose healthcare coverage, daily. 

The US House of Representatives have recessed, and after this week, the US Senate will enter into the August recess.  Now, these lawmakers will return to his or her constituents, and one of the most critical issues they will discuss is that concerning healthcare reform.  I’m sure that many Americans are interested in having the opportunity to ask quetions of their democratically-elected representatives, and this ability retained by Americans to have this direct contact with those who actually make laws is just another reason that our country is so great.   Townhall-type forums allow for public discussion of important issues that affect all Americans.  Unfortunately, there are those who are attempting to shout-down and intimidate Representatives and voters, alike.

The healthcare industry is prepared to spend over a million dollars a day, yes, a day to kill healthcare reform.  And where is that money going?  Well, one lobbying group dedicated to “killing” healthcare reform is called FreedomWorks.  The Chairman of FreedomWorks is former Republican Majority leader Dick Armey–that is his real name.  This is the same organization that funded the so-called grassroots movement called “Tea Parties.” 

 A disturbing memo from FreedomWorks has been leaked, and it is one of the most sickening, anti-American, anti-democracy memos imaginable.  The memo calls for anti-healthcare supporters, and in some cases the group will bus-in supporters, to disrupt townhall meetings by intimidating Representatives and constituents.  This tactic is not only dispicable for the lies that are perpetrated by these people but, most of all, for the total disregard for the rights of their fellow Americans.

Meanwhile, there have been estimates as far back as February that suggest that approximately 14,000 Americans a day will lose healthcare coverage.  That is nearly 100,000 people a week that will lose healthcare.  And what is the solution provided by these opponents of healthcare reform?  Well, in their diseased minds, there is nothing wrong with our healthcare system.  Their ideal solutions is one that would cut even more taxes on insurance and pharmaceutical companies while Americans see premiums rise at over triple the rate of inflation and wages. 

So, if you find yourself at a townhall meeting to discuss the future of this country, and there are 10-20 loud assholes disrupting the discussion, don’t get angry.  First ask them to respect the speakers and those in attendence.  Then ask them if they have healthcare–they likely do.  Then find out where they are from; chances are that they are not from your congressional district, as they have been asked to disrupt any and all townhall meetings possible.  The most important thing to do is to, however, is to resist this intimidation, peacefully, and collect the information that that affects your family.  Find the truth.

Warning:  These people are thugs, and I would put nothing past them. 

*If you can stomach it, I have posted some YouTube clips of these protests, via TPM.

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