Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Audacity of Deception!

Unlike many right-wing Republicans, I as a Progressive Democrat will not hesitate to point out the flaws and deceptions of my own Democratic President.  I was shocked to learn that president Obama in an interview with the Washington Post today declared and I quote,  "I didn't campaign on the public option" - This I'm sorry to say is a boldface lie.

As most major media, including the Washington Post and the New York Times have already pointed out, President Obama not only campaigned for the public option, but he debated for it as well.  It was on his campaign website and even in his professionally produced campaign advertising.

It's also worth noting that while he campaigned for a public option he also debated and campaigned against a public mandate.  Let's go to the videotape...


There can obviously be no disputing that the president did in fact campaign for the public option. Instead of admitting that however, and acknowledging that the Senate health care bill is flawed and not even remotely similar to what was promised.  The President has chosen the typical political ploy of attempting to rewrite history.  Needless to say I'm very dismayed and disappointed.

The truth is that the health care bill about to pass the Senate does not contain a public option, and therefore does nothing to provide cost-cutting competition to the big insurance companies. It does however provide a mandate that we all buy private insurance whether we like it or not.  This plan therefore is effectively giving the insurance industry over 30 million new customers. If that's not a gift to big insurance,  I don't know what is.  - Just Thinking...

Please feel free to comment below or e-mail me direct at and your comment will be posted.

The Senate Is about to Pass Health Care! Should We Be Saying Merry Christmas or Bah Humbug?

Due to some last minute changes in the Senate health care bill, most Progressive Democrats, including Howard Dean, (see my previous post " Howard Dean Says Kill the Bill! " )  have reversed their position and decided to reluctantly support the new Senate health care legislation.  I must admit however, I'm still a bit skeptical and as reports there are still many unresolved issues. 

The Senate bill would:

#1—Deny Americans the choice of a public option. In contrast, the House bill contains a national public option, the key to real competition, greater choice, and lower costs.

#2—Leave insurance unaffordable for some lower income and working people. Both bills require virtually all Americans to buy insurance. But even with the subsidies provided, some families could have to pay up to 20% of their income on health care expenses.

#3—Impose dangerous restrictions on women's reproductive health care. Unfortunately, both bills do this and the House provision is worse. Both versions would be a dangerous step and neither should be in the final bill.

#4—Tax American workers' health coverage to pay for reform. The Senate would pay for part of reform by taxing the hard-won benefits packages of some working Americans. The House, on the other hand, pays for reform with a small surcharge on only the wealthiest Americans—a far better approach I think.

#5—Allow insurance companies to remain exempt from anti-trust laws. Under current law, insurance companies are actually exempt from laws designed to prevent monopolies and price-gouging. The House bill would fix this, but the Senate bill leaves it in place.

Of course, these aren't the only problems with the bill. Most glaringly, both the Senate and House bill would leave millions uninsured,  a far cry from the vision of universal coverage so many of us have fought for.

Additionally, this latest version of the bill does nothing to rectify the "Health Factor" (a.k.a. previous existing conditions) issue as well as some of the other problems I've addressed previously. When the bill goes to committee, hopefully the House and Senate leadership, as well as the White House will get the message and rectify these key outstanding issues immediately.  But I'm not counting on it. As I said before, I'm unfortunately, still very skeptical of this bill.

As far as Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska is concerned,  making  "Backroom Deals"  is not the kind of  "Change " I was hoping for.  Nor is it the kind of   "Change"  I can believe in.

                                    And as far as Senator Joe Lieberman is concerned...

Democrats should have called his bluff and let him filibuster!

 - Just Thinking...

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Howard Dean Says Kill the Bill!

Giving Seniors 55 to 64 the option of  "Buying In"  (at their own expense, of course)  to the already very popular and successful Medicare program was an excellent idea. This was obviously not the Universal Health-Care Public Option I had hoped for, but it was a start.  Now, absent both the public option and the Medicare buy-in, this new health care bill is useless.  In fact, it's a ripoff!  As Howard Dean and others have stated, this is nothing but a Christmas Present to Big Insurance Companies!

With the possible exception of the late Ted Kennedy, there are few leading Democrats that have been stronger proponents of health care reform than Howard Dean. A Licensed Medical Doctor and former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, former Governor Dean is a highly motivated Health-Care Reformer and is certainly well qualified to address this issue. If he says kill the bill, there must be a reason why.

Many Democrats, including the President still want the bill to pass however, the feeling is that something is better than nothing. But is it really? This new bill claims to eliminate (by 2012) the pre-existing conditions clause currently used by insurance companies. But closer scrutiny reveals It's merely a change in rhetoric.

While it's true that insurance companies will now be forced to accept all applicants they will still be able to raise rates and charge significantly more to people that have what will now be called "Health Factors". You know "Factors" such as high blood pressure or a history of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and so on. Sounds like a "Pre-Existing Conditions Clause" to me.

In addition, they can even charge more for other "Factors" such as age and to people who are overweight, smoke, drink alcohol or engage in so-called "Poor Lifestyle Choices".

The bill further claims to extend and ensure Medicare for years to come by cutting the program of some $313 billion in funding.  Talk about your convoluted logic and political doublespeak.

Oh - and get this, if you are among the uninsured, like it or not, you will be forced to buy one of these policies or face a financial penalty (i.e. you'll be fined). Effectively guaranteeing private insurance companies at least 30 MILLION new customers.

Now requiring full participation in a competitively priced, public health plan is understandable. But forcing us to buy overpriced private insurance is indeed a real gift to the big insurance companies.

I'm sorry to say, but in its current form, I have to agree with Howard Dean on this one. It's time To Kill the Bill!

 - Just Thinking...

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Senator Joseph Lieberman Is a Schmuck!

Everyone knows it would be impossible to have real health care reform without a public option. I'm disgusted at this point with President Obama's lack of leadership and the Democrats in general for failing to be more aggressive on this issue. I personally campaigned tirelessly for Obama and other Democratic candidates in 2008. My priorities were to end the Bush Wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan and concentrate those resources on domestic issues here at home. My number one motivation and priority was health care reform with a public option.

Now, 11 months into his presidency.  Obama still has 135,000 troops in Iraq and has announced a new expansion of the war in Afghanistan.

As far as the health care  "Public Option" is concerned, well needless to say that got thrown under the bus real quick. Other than some polite lip service early on, My New President hardly made the "Public Option" one of his priorities.

Democrats tried to placate us, by expanding Medicare. Seniors 55 to 64 would be given the option of "Buying In" (at their own expense, of course) to the already very popular and successful Medicare program. This was obviously not the public option we had been promised, but it was a start I thought. Besides, so the theory went, this would get Senator Joe Lieberman on board, since everybody knows he has been supporting the expansion of Medicare for years. As he states in this video.  Just three short months ago...

Well guess what?  Surprise, Surprise!  Joe Lieberman states on  "Face the Nation"  Sunday morning that he can no longer support the expansion of Medicare Provision and if it's included in the bill he will join Republicans and filibuster against it.

You see Joe Lieberman has never really supported Health Care Reform.  The truth is he's firmly in bed, financially and otherwise, with Big Insurance and Big Pharma.  He has continually done their bidding by undermining true health care reform every chance he gets.

Senator Joseph Lieberman should be stripped of his chairmanship and no longer seated with the Democratic Caucus.  He's a Traitor and yes indeed,  He's a Schmuck!

 - Just Thinking...

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sharpton Blasts Woods for Lack of Mistress Diversity‏

Can't tell you how many times I've found this kind of deceitful, misleading propaganda in my e-mail inbox. In case you haven't seen this email or one of the many similar to it, I'll present it here in its entirety before I comment further.

Sharpton Blasts Woods for Not Having a Black Mistress!

The Rev. Al Sharpton held a press conference today to blast Tiger Woods for the lack of diversity among his mistresses. Sharpton claims that the lack of African-American women among Woods’ harem will have a negative affect on the black community, specifically poor young black girls.

“Why is it that a man who calls himself black can’t bring himself to cheat on his wife with a black woman?” said Sharpton, speaking to a group of supporters in Harlem . “What does it say to young black girls everywhere, when you pass them over? Shame on you Tiger Woods! What would your daddy say?”

Sharpton, who has long championed taking black women as mistresses, said that today’s black athletes need to stop neglecting black women when it comes to extramarital affairs, and should follow the examples of positive black role models such as Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King, Jr., both of whom cheated on their wives with black women. Sharpton also stressed that cheating with African-American women would help the black community financially by giving black girls the chance to sell their stories to tabloids and gossip magazines.

(Now if all that wasn't enough ~ wait until you read this next quote.)

Added Sharpton, “I’m not asking you to not cheat on your wives, I’m just asking you to give back to your own community.”

Needless to say this e-mail is a complete and utter fabrication.  A Hoax!  Oh why am I being so polite?  It's a F*cking Lie!!

As near as I can tell, it originated from a spoof website known as Celeb Jihad.  Since then it's been picked up by a dozen or more websites.  Most of which present it as a joke, but wouldn't you know, there are a few right-wing political websites that try to pass it off as fact.  Now of course it's become a viral e-mail.  An e-mail that is actually being taken seriously by some. (Granted these are usually people with a Sarah Palen type mentality, but that unfortunately seems to be about 23% of the population ~ scary isn't it?) 

The real question here is why are so many people readily embracing and believing this story?  Why are some people, always ready to believe anything negative or disparaging they read or hear about the African-American Community? And why do they so eagerly and gleefully send this e-mail to everyone they know?

I can't help but think it's because it reinforces their own prejudices and stereotypes.  Perhaps it's a way for them to justify and rationalize the hate they harbor in their hearts.

The irony here, of course, is that so many of these people claim to be Christians and isn't this supposed to be the Christian Season that celebrates Peace on Earth and Goodwill Towards Men?

  - Just Thinking...

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Letting Go of God"

Julia Sweeney's "Letting Go of God" airs this month on Showtime.

Perhaps best known for her performances on Saturday Night Live (1990-1994) Julia Sweeney is a successful American Actress, Comedian and Author. Here she chronicles her journey of faith from a lapsed Catholic recommitting to the church, to Buddhist, to New Age Mystic, and finally agnostic/atheist whose philosophical transformation upsets her family and friends. This is a lighthearted (sometimes hysterical) look at a very serious subject. It's a fascinating and extremely entertaining one-woman stage show that follows up her critically acclaimed "God said Ha".
The remaining December schedule includes...

On Showtime Showcase: Thursday, December 10 at 7:55 AM Eastern.
and also at 8 PM Eastern that same night.

On regular Showtime: Saturday, December 12 at 10 AM Eastern.
and again on Wednesday, December 16 at 10:15 AM Eastern.

On Showtime 2: Thursday, December 17 at 1:40 PM.

If you're unable to catch it on Showtime may I strongly suggest you rent or buy the video. This show gives new meaning to the words "Must See".

Here's a 17 minute excerpt...

Please feel free to comment and thanks for reading.