Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Loses of 2009 & The Work Ahead

The Democrats in America were handed a gift late in 2008, with 60 Senate seats, a majority in the house and the presidency of Barack Obama. Even in the face of the collapse of the economy it was proper time for jubilation, hope in the coming changes to healthcare, banking regulation, the environment and more. We got much less than we hoped for.

Make no mistake - this was a valiant fight, but lost to the strictly partisan efforts of the GOP. Using the tactics defined by Lee Atwater and refined by Carl Rove, the GOP held up every good bit of legislation by whatever procedures they could, and they are the ones to blame. I'll also toss some blame on Obama - his desire to appeal to a broad spectrum of voters via "bipartisan reforms" was a total failure. The GOP has no desire to negotiate other than to obfuscate. Obama should have been smart enough to realize this. Where the heck is that bulldog Rahm Emanuel?

The Los Angeles Times has a front page story today about expected loses in the elections of 2010. Oddly, the paper edition carries a more dire prediction in the subtitle, "Democrats stand to lose seats nationwide in midterm elections" than that on the web site, "Republicans could have a big year, but they need to win 40 House and 11 Senate seats to regain control of Congress. That's a tall order." Obviously, if we hope for any real change we cannot afford to lose a single seat in the Senate or the House, and must add to the number of Democrats in national office.

Remember these items to use in your conversations with voters on the edge:

Healthcare Reform
is the piece of crap it is simply because of the obstructionists in the GOP, and those blue dogs that value their positions rather than the ideals they profess. The only real change that would have made a difference, and it would be huge, is single payer healthcare. Yes, it would mean the closure of many insurance businesses and I say, yes, please, let's put them out of business. They have made enough off the backs of the middle class.

The Economy was in the tank before the election of 2008. While we can't say the fault lies entirely on the GOP side (the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act was under Clinton's watch) but with the banking crisis coming at the very end of eight years of George W. Bush's presidency it is logical to lay it at his feet. Further, and this is important, the bailouts were initiated by the "Free-Market" guys. Once put in motion there was no turning away from them.

The Wars we are engaged in: Afghanistan, Iraq and "On-terrorism" were all begun by the GOP. The use of corporate soldiers - can you say Blackwater - rose to the highest levels ever, it may be unprecedented. Paid several multiples of the rank-and-file, the privatization of war is but one of the failures of the concept of privatizing government. Let's not forget Haliburton, either. Dick Cheney's corporation made BILLIONS on the deaths of our soldiers.

There is more but this is as much as I've got at the moment. Add as you like, please.

But work it, folks. Talk to people, get them to vote in this expected low turnout year. Remind them of the atrocities committed by the GOP. Remind them that Joe Lieberman is a traitor now on the sides of pharma and the insurance industry and that he went to the GOP (oh, right, he's independant, yeah) simply because he was taking care of his constituency, the corporations of his state.

Remind people that we need a party for the people, not corporations. Point to the loses of 2009 as delivered by the GOP and all their dirty tricks. That is where the problem resides.

Happy New Year, folks. May it be so.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Theological lesson for the day - the tetragram "YHWH" was the first written intention of God's name. It was meant to be unpronounceable, never spoken in deference to the power of God. Apparently Bono feels differently as he calls out in love and thanks to God that was, is, came, went, and will come again.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Healthcare - We're Losing

It ain't done yet, with negotiations continuing and talk of going to reconciliation which could yield even more varied results, but at this moment it appears the medical insurance consortium has written the bill it wanted all along. Here are the key points that are totally objectionable:

No Importation of Drugs
It is unconscionable that U.S. companies can sell their products (drugs) in other countries at lower cost than can be negotiated here. To further stifle the consumer by keeping the importation of those drugs illegal is entirely a gift to pharma.

Required Insurance Policies
By taking all that are uninsured and requiring them to buy a policy run by the current insurance companies is leading the sheep to slaughter.

No Public Option
Without a public option to counter the corporate-led offerings there is no competition. To say that competition exists in medical insurance is to deny the collusion that is evident.

I want to support this administration's attempt at healthcare reform but cannot. It is horribly flawed on several levels and does nothing for the middle class.

This bill should be voted down and the democrats should go back to writing a bill that serves the people, not the corporations.

How the heck did this happen? I blame the GOP for the most part, but also the attempts at bipartisanship by the Obama administration. There are no bipartisan desires on the side of the republicans and without that, there should be no attempt to include them in any negotiations.

We don't need healthcare reform. We need health insurance reform. That is entirely lacking in this bill as I understand it.