Thursday, August 19, 2010

Conservative Values

As his horrified wife looks on, Senator Vitter R-LA admits to infidelity before the cameras. He is perfectly comfortable as his wife is unbelievably humiliated, either by the fact Senator Vitter has been hiring hookers or by the fact that his particular twisted fetish involves hookers changing his diapers.

Senator Vitter is up for re-election this year, and it is unknown whether the Louisiana electorate share in Mrs. Vitter's shock, horror and humiliation so plainly visible on her face.

But that isn't all of the swaddled Senators problems. Another one is Brent Furer, one of the Republican Senator's aides. Seems Brent likes doing cocaine, getting liquored up and driving around, and terrorizing his girlfriend before stabbing her in the face. When he makes bail he goes back to DC where, as part of his portfolio, he works on women's issues.

When the Republican Senators' aide has to go to Louisiana for one of his numerous court appearances, the taxpayer picks up his travel expenses.

Senator David "Diaper" Vitter has drawn a primary opponent, a virtual paragon of nice, conservative family values sort of a guy, retired Republican State Supreme Court Justice Chet Taylor. In a demonstration of family love, Judge "Chester the Molester" has a samsonite marriage (shack-n-pack) with his own son's estranged wife.

Is it really possible to lose to these guys?


According to press reports, Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) ended with dramatic success:

Halliburton Co. said on Wednesday that it has gotten a letter of intent from Shell Iraq Petroleum Development BV that would make Halliburton the project manager for developing the Majnoon field in southern Iraq.

Halliburton said it wold be working with Nabors Drilling and the Iraq Drilling Company. The contract needs final approval by Iraqi authorities, Halliburton said.

Iraq reached a deal with Shell in January to develop the mammoth oil field, along with partner Petronas, Malaysia's state-run oil company. Shell and Petronas plan to raise production in the field from the current 45,900 barrels per day to 1.8 million barrels per day over 10 years.

Halliburton shares rose 9 cents to close at $28.79 on Wednesday.

And if President Obama's employee doesn't feel properly praised, he needs to re-read my headline. It's the best he's gonna get.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Ground Zero Muslim Mosque

I've given this a little thought and feel I have reached a compromise that will suit all parties involved. Perhaps instead of a full fledged Mosque, the developers might consider scaling it back a little bit. I suggest they scrap plans of the 8 story statue of Osama bin Laden flipping off lower Manhattan and even do away with the minarets as well.

Maybe they should make it more like a community center and just put in a prayer room somewhere. I think maybe they shouldn't build it on ground zero and move it a couple of miles away. I know of an old Burlington Coat Factory building available.

I sure hope this is helpful and we can get back to the very real problem of jobs and the economy, instead of telling a bunch of swarthy mid-easterners to get in the back of the bus.

Boehner The Environmentalist

The Tan Man Cares
Replacing Divots For 18 Years

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Maureen Dowd Punches Hippies

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd supports White House press secretary Robert Gibbs broadside against the "professional left." But, she thinks he should be removed from that position because:
He’s often unresponsive and sometimes hostile to the press. His adversarial barking has only heightened tensions with a press that was once lampooned for fawning over his boss.
Wow. Modo finds it perfectly reasonable for Gibbs to say the professional left should be drug tested, but lack of press comity is sufficient to bounce him from behind the podium. He need not respect the wishes of the activists that supported and worked to put his boss in office, but the MoDo's of the world prance around in their Manolo Blahnik's while doing Cartman impersonations.

Modo compares and contrasts the way the two parties deal with their fringe elements and sympathizes with the "asymmetry at the heart of American politics," noting how Republicans pander to their supporters yet Democrats do not.
Fox built up a Republican president; MSNBC is trying to make its reputation by tearing down a Democratic one.
One network advocates blind fealty while the other seeks good policy for the benefit of Americans. One network is symbiotic to the authoritarian cultist tribalism of the ruling caste and low-information fan base and the other calls out political leaders who fail to deliver on campaign promises.

Modo sprinkles in plenty of words like "crazies" and "ideologues" and "radicals" throughout her column drawing false equivalencies on the right and left, leaving a nice comfy reasonable centerness equidistance from the fringes. This is where the Modo's of the world feel good legislation and punditry occur.

But that place is not where the middle exists.

The fringes of the right are populated with names like Newt and Rush and David Fucking Brooks and Palin and Bachman. Folks whose rolodexes are full of reporters phone numbers and booking agents who also have their numbers as well.

I can't think of one left-wing fringe politician who resigned in disgrace and has not held elected office in over a decade and gets booked on teevee shows as often as serial himbo Newt Gingrich.
Whenever someone like MoDo pens a column like this, the impression is made that the left is rigid and demanding and are unwilling to compromise to reach the sensible center. She puts it like this:
Obama and Gibbs are upset that the lefties won’t recognize the necessity of compromise. The left is snapping back: What necessity? You won 365 electoral votes. You have both houses of Congress. And bipartisanship is an illusion.
Well, liberals are not bullies or feel the need to be dictatorial. But to the larger point of compromise--this suggests a trade--a give and get. The left is absolutely correct in being annoyed that we worked our asses of to get these majorities only to see policies weakened radically for no discernible benefit whatsoever. Then MoDo slips in this one:
Some liberals, like the president, felt he could live without the public option, whereas lefties thought the public option was essential.
The public option is a sore spot without a doubt. For some reason, the MoDo's of the world are convinced it is strictly a fringe lefty Quixotic charge. Even though it was wildly popular with everyone--and the left thought it would be a good thing to enact policy that polled in the high 60s and low 70s--the fringe left "won't recognize the necessity of compromise."

The DFH furiously whipped the House and Senate--pledges were signed and oaths were taken to support the public option. Hey, in a fair fight, liberals don't mind a black eye. Punching hippies is a national sport enjoyed by pols and pundits alike. But this wasn't a fair fight. We were told for months and months by political reporters that the votes weren't there for the public option in the Senate.

So, where was the upperdown vote on the public option? The administration sacrificed it in a backroom deal with AHIP, the lobbying group for the health insurance industry before the first vote was cast. The same thing was done for big Pharma and drug reimportation from Canada or Medicare negotiating for bulk prescription buys.

Maybe to the MoDo's of the world, this falls under the category of compromise. So what did the Obama administration get for slaughtering the public option in a backroom altar to corporate special interest lobbyists? Campaign contributions directed to Democrats with pledges and oaths not to support Republicans.

The disillusionment of the left does not come from reasonable compromise but from a candidate who campaigned against powerful special interests cutting secret backroom deals getting elected and cutting secret backroom deals with powerful special interests.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The 2010 Elections

All things point to Democrats losing seats in the mid-terms. The only question is how many seats? The 2006 and 2008 elections were massive blowouts with Democrats first taking the House and then winning a super-majority in the Senate. To be fair to Senate leader Reid, D-NV, the 60 vote majority was brief and sporadic, what with the illnesses of Kennedy and Byrd.

The 2006 and 2008 elections were the result of a long wind-up of the left-wing. Many organizers were furious with the selection of W by the Supreme Court and never got over it. Count me among them. Networks were created, rallies were formed and voter registration drives were manned and carried out.

It was during this time, W's second term, that I decided to do my small part. I set a goal of registering 3 people and making sure they voted. I tripled that and felt good about it as we took back the House.

And Pelosi took impeachment off the table.

I stayed in the fight anyway and phone banked, and continued to recruit voters. Mostly I targeted apathetic voters and encouraged them to return to the polls to support worthy Democrats.

This happened millions of times across America and resulted in a massive defeat of Republicans across the board.

But then something happened. For some reason those elections were interpreted as wanting moderately Republican legislation that the Republicans were not in favor of supporting. Legislation could not be more liberal than the most conservative Democrat in the most conservative district in the country.

In other words, all the hard work the Democratic base had put in for all those years was merely to protect the most corporate friendly Democrats--even those we took great pains to eliminate--like Joe Lieberman.

I can point to two unqualified liberal legislative acts signed into law by President Obama; The Equal Pay Act, aka the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the Hate Crimes Bill, aka the Matthew Shepard Act.

At his point, I'm wondering, is this it? Is this the best we can hope for? All of our hard work and we get health insurance reform that just guarantees more customers for wretched health insurance companies subsidized by tax dollars? No public option or expanded Medicare, or drug re-importation?

Financial regulatory reform that is thin milk, headed up by Chris Dodd, D-CT, who is retiring this year and trying to feather his bed at some financial institution?

Lobbyists are still writing our legislation. All we did was shuffle some names around at the K-Street hand-out line.

No doubt things would be far worse with a Republican Senate, a Republican House and a (shudder) McCain-Palin administration. That isn't even the point. The point is a lot of people really worked their asses off to get corporate friendly legislation that is viewed tepidly by most of the voters and hated by all right-wingers.

This is what they call "the enthusiasm gap."

Why should I take my time to recruit voters, phone bank, precinct walk, rally and network? What shall be my battle cry, "We Suck Less?"

Oh, I'll vote and even donate to very carefully selected candidates, like I did with Bill Halter, the one candidate running for US Senate in Arkansas who might have had a chance in November. Obama and Bill Clinton and the entire incumbency protection racket threw everything they had behind the corporate friendly Blanche Lincoln, D-WalMart.

Blanche supported the Employee Free Choice Act when the Dems were in the minority, but when the Dems were in the majority and it could actually pass, well, she couldn't support it anymore. She was in favor of the public option until it could pass, then she was against it.

The Obama administration laughed in my face when Blanche beat Halter and told me I wasted my time and flushed my money down the toilet. Now, Arkansas Democrats are deeply divided, it's Blanche's numbers that are in the toilet and the rightwing are a cohesive voting block.

See, no matter how much leg you show Republicans, they're just not that into you.

And now, I'm not either.


I've been seeing stuff on the interwebs, a series of tubes, about Journolist and did a Google to find out about it. Apparently, it was a group email list, called a listserv, where like-minded individuals could discuss events of the day. The group, by rule, was composed of center-to center-left people on the political spectrum and included some actual journalists as well as bloggers, people of academia etc.

I certainly cannot take any such list very serious. First of all, I was not on it and as a stalwart and foundational thinker of progressive thought such an oversight would clearly have rendered such an organization rudderless.

What is totally hilarious about this issue is the Gestaltian reaction from the right-wingers. This proves, to them, that the liberal media is coordinating their message to crush conservatives. Tucker Carlson and other conservatives have posted many emails as proof that liberals are secretly trying to influence the media.

Why the liberal media would need to be convinced by a secret media listserv is not entirely clear. And the words "liberal" and "coordinate" should not even be used in the same day, much less in the same sentence. None of this however, fits in with the victimization of wealthy white conservatives or their carefully culled base of victims of tax collectors for the welfare state.

But seriously, does a left-wing cabal of journolisters actually pull the levers of power? Well, with virtual unanimity the left-wing has been screaming at the Obama administration to appoint Elizabeth Warren to the Consumer Protection Agency, part of the recent lukewarm financial overhaul legislation, and have been met with the sound of crickets.

Yet, the entire right-wing wurlitzer engorged themselves on a big steaming pile of Brietbart, aka, the carcass of Shirley Sherrod, and she gets fired in fifteen minutes.

How stupid can these people get?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No Teahadists Are Racist

What gives people such ideas? I mean, it's not like they wrote "nigger" across his forehead or anything.

Opposed To Tort Reform

Awhile back I had a little back and forth with another blogger about tort reform--he is in favor of it--and I put in my minor thought on the issue, but it got me to thinking. Perhaps I should flesh out my thoughts and explain my positions.

First up, I'll address Steve, who blogs at The Otter Limits and his post here. He provides a link to Wikipedia on tort reform then summarizes by stating,
Basically, it reduces the amount of frivolous lawsuits.
No, Steve, it doesn't. It caps damages and takes options away from jurors, you know, peers, otherwise known as the American people.

See, our founders left a land of propertied elites who pranced around in powdered wigs ruthlessly prosecuting feudal serfs for encroaching on the propertied elites interests. A New Deal and a new country was formed, where the power of law and government was laid into the hands of the people.

Tell the folks around those parts who were gathered in as jurors what happened and let them judge. Many, many laws since have been written to enlarge the importance of lawyers and judges, mainly to diminish what the good people of the jury is allowed to hear. And now some people want to further limit the American people from punishing dangerous and negligent practices of very powerful propertied elites.

It's Deja Vu, all over again. But back to Steve, who attempts to define a frivolous lawsuit:
In my opinion, a woman that sues McDonald's (and wins) because she spills her hot coffee on herself, is afrivolous lawsuit.
Now, if I were a member of the Bush defending, warmongering, 101st fighting chairborn trike force, I would say something like, oh, I don't know, "Hey Steve, why do you hate America?" but since I am not like that I won't say it.

Everyone knows of this case and it is the canard poster child for tort reform because very few people know the details of the case. Allow me to introduce you to Stella Liebeck.

This 79-year-old grandmother was a passenger of her grandson when they went through the drive-through at McDonald's for a cup of coffee. He pulled to the curb so Stella could add cream and sugar. She placed the cup between her knees to remove the lid and dumped the entire cup of coffee in her lap.

The coffee was so hot, she received 3rd degree burns, required skin grafts and hospitalization for 8 days. She lost 20% of her body weight during this time, reducing her weight to 83 pounds. She required 2 years of medical treatment. It sounds like it damn near killed her.

But how is this the fault of McDonald's? I'm glad you asked.

She asked for a settlement of $20,000. Her medical bills were $11,000 and McDonald's offered $800. So a lawsuit went forward. Further investigation revealed that in the previous ten years McDonald's had received literally hundreds and hundreds of complaints about the scalding and dangerously hot coffee and McDonald's had paid out over half a million dollars to settle them, but their coffee remained virtually the hottest in the industry.

So, in short a massive corporation realized it was producing an injurious product and yet continued to do so and refused reasonable settlement offers. A jury awarded Stella nearly $3 million, the judge cut that to $640,000. During the appeals process, both parties reached a settlement for less than $600,000.

I am opposed to huge corporations giving boiling cups of hot lava to old ladies and giving free coupons for sundaes when they get burned.

When a massive multi-national corporation becomes aware of an injurious product they are making, I want the fear of a trial lawyer to cause them to cease and desist. When a "cap" is placed on liability, corporations will do a cost-benefit ratio, much like the infamous Ford Pinto Memo.

In 1972 the auto industry needed the value of a human life so they could do cost-benefit ratios. I mean, if it costs more than the benefit, why bother to do it? To remove their fingerprints from coming up with such a morbid and absurd dollar figure for a human life, the auto industry pressured the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to do it for them.

The NHTSA placed the value of a human life at $200,725. Ford plugged in this number with 180 fiery deaths a year and found a full recall with an $11 fix per car would make the cost of fixing the pinto outweigh the benefit of 180 lives. It just warms the heart, doesn't it?

It was a trial lawyer, with a sky-is-the-limit damages, coupled with public outcry that caused the NHTSA to force Ford to recall the Pinto. Then, as now, the Government watchdog organization was wholly captured by corporate overlords.

Judges throw out most frivolous lawsuits. Some get through. Oh well, I can live with that. But tort reform limiting caps, no way. Those of us who understand history and the corporate mentality don't want any part of it.

Trial lawyers are the good guys.

And The South Shall Rise Again

The latest skirmish between the Gray and the Yella, finds guerilla warrior Andrew Blightfart (an ill wind that leaves devastation in its wake) firing high-tech sniper rounds into opposing ranks, hitting no one. The resulting chaos--caused by a rudderless chain of command--leads to the intentional fratricide of a loyal soldier.

By now, everyone knows about Andrew Breitbart's doctored video of Shirley Sherrod's address to an NAACP audience and the ensuing firestorm that it caused. Blightfart claims The NAACP started the fight by calling the Teahadists racist, which of course they didn't. The NAACP called for the Tea Party to "refudiate" racist elements within their ranks.

But the victimology of the conservative movement does not allow for nuance. I recall the drubbing Janet Napolitano received when Homeland Security released a document alerting to the threats of rightwing extremists. The entire rightwing wurlitzer claimed they were under assault and went to DEFCON 4.

The Administration responded by retracting the document.

And Van Jones.


And now, Shirley Sherrod.

But the fault is not with Blightfart, or Fix News, or rightard radio. They do what they do and everyone knows this. The fault lies with the Administration's rope-a-dope strategery. Sometimes it's a tough gap to hit, what with Chris Matthews saying "You don't have a hair on your ass if you take that shit!" (Okay, so maybe I paraphrased that a little bit) and when they come out swinging they have to listen to days and days of him lecture, "In politics, you never fight down, you fight up. What the hell are they doing? Fox News is probably loving this."

But above all, anything that emits from Blightfarts gashole, and pukes from Fox Spews, should maintain the default position of completely false. Oh, and Rahm, who looks like a fucking r@t&rd now?

Monday, April 12, 2010


Tim McVeigh stalagmites hate Democracy and America so violently they seek to overturn a massive landslide election by force. Teahadist's in Oklahoma are in serious conversation with wackjob local politicians to form a local armed militia to defend Oklahoma from the will of the people.

Teabag suckler and GOP wannabe for Governor, Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, thinks armed hooligans running amok promoting armed coups is a swell idea.
The founding fathers "were not referring to a turkey shoot or a quail hunt. They really weren't even talking about us having the ability to protect ourselves against each other," Brogdon said. "The Second Amendment deals directly with the right of an individual to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from an overreaching federal government."
Double dip nut sucker state Rep. Charles Key, R-Oklahoma City, said he believes there's a good chance of introducing legislation for a state-authorized militia next year.

Yes, as I write this, we rest a week shy of the 15th anniversary and in the waning shadows of the survival tree, where an anti-government fanatic blew up the Afred P. Murrah building, killing 168 Americans.

And now, we have a bunch of losers, who hate losing so much that they are willing to get a gun to show how unpatriotic and un-American they are by imposing their will by bullets instead of the ballot. Fucking worthless cocksuckers. And they are conspiring with a few cowardly politicians, desperate for some votes, willing to fellate these worthless pieces of shit.

Turning Fifty

So, as I turn the corner to approach the back nine, I guess it's time to reflect on the past 50 years. A big, huge, gigantic thank you must be paid right up front to Dr. Seuss, and Green Eggs and Ham. And my mom for buying the book. And my big brother for relentlessly reading it to me.

You see, this is how I learned to read, and I learned to read before my first day at school.

Thanks Mom, bro, and Doc.

And my little sister. Until she showed up, girls were just dumb girls. Then she looked up to me. She admired me. I was admirable. I had never before been admirable, not even by myself. And my sister was a girl. I began to view girls differently.

Thank you, sister.

I was a football player and gymnast in high school and could run the 100 yard dash in 10 seconds flat and graduated a year early. Sort of an over-achiever.

I got married and raised a family. Three kids, none of which is in jail or on the pipe. Perhaps some may think this is a low bar, but hey.

After the Oil bust in the early eighties, I went back to school and entered corporate life. Two cell phones, plus a pager. Conducted leadership and sales seminars, herded politicians to ribbon cuttings as a photo-journalist and aided in numerous political campaigns.

The crowd I ran with crowed about stress pimples as though they were shrapnel wounds.

After years of creating, implementing and selling just about everything, sometimes in the multi-million dollar range, I burned out and went into business for myself.

I was not a good boss, because if I had five dollars in my pocket, hell, that was enough for bait and I was going fishing.

Someone bought me some work boots--the classified section rolled up inside one of them with some ads circled.

Back into the oilfields I went.

I am confident as I look forward to the next 50 years that I have the ability to do anything I want--as long as a chair is involved.

Thanks for the many good wishes on my facebook page. You know who you are.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Don Blankenship: Hoist By His Own Petard

Sad news out of West Virginia. A mine exploded, killing every miner inside, save two, one of which is still in intensive care. In the worst mining disaster in over a quarter of a century, 29 miners lost their lives. Hope turned to despair which faded into incredible loss and grief. Soon, this will be replaced with fury and demands of accountability and steely resolve.

So, our attention turns to Don Blankenship, the head cheese for Massey Energy. Now Don, ran the company like a real Don. He was known as a union buster who preferred to run things in a dictator like fashion. Employees did what they were told, or got fired. It was always a simple take-it-or-leave-it proposition with Don Corleone Blankenship.

Over the years Don has stacked up thousands of safety violations. Some fines he would pay, some fines he would fight, but always he would make political contributions in an effort to reign in those pesky regulators and perhaps round of some corners of the regulations.

In short, Don is the poster child for the Republican default position of anti-union, deregulation, open range capitalism.

And now, hanging over him is a cloud of criminally negligent homicide. Multiple counts. Depraved indifference due to the well-documented history of safety violations. Perhaps his legal team and political contributions will enable Don to avoid criminal prosecutions, but his civil liabilities will be unavoidable and enormous.

But the point is all of Don's struggles against unions and regulation, which he felt impeded the ability to run coal, and coal is what pays the bills, are the very things that would have prevented the Montcoal disaster and avoided what is in store for Don Blankenship.

At some point unions and regulations should be seen as a benefit and not a hinderance for industry Titans such as Don. It is my hope that Mr. Blankenship is totally ruined forever by this unfortunate and preventable disaster. Safe mines do not explode. Powerless employees either go home or go in. Organized labor have options that Don fought tooth and nail to prevent.

Because coal is what pays Don's bills. Hey Don, how much coal are you running now?

Cross posted at The Seminal.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


The National Review Online, a wingnut welfare operation, heard rumors that discrimination may play a role in higher minority unemployment in today's Great Recession. So, NRO rounded up a posse of ex-spurts (has been drips under pressure) to discuss and conclude. Here is a photo of the folks heading up NRO's "symposium."
What's wrong with this picture?

After a thorough discussion, they concluded "Discrimination is an insufficient explanation for black unemployment." Well, that sort of misses the point.

Gravity, is an insufficient explanation for my epic fail triple somersault. Note I didn't say gravity doesn't exist, because it does, and like discrimination, it sucks.

But to the larger point, it is sort of tone deaf to deliver color commentary with a monochromatic panel.

Republicans Defend Their Base

Watching the Republican party and their vast right wing wurlitzer defend the behavior of the looney teabagging base, in a brick-throwing, spittle-flecked, slur-hurling id-like tantrum, is akin to the defense of a dog bite. First, says the lawyer, my client doesn't own a dog. Second, if he did own a dog, he certainly wouldn't bite anyone. Third, if he did bite someone, he must have been provoked.

Point number three is also known as the abusive husband defense. See, his wife makes him beat her.

For 30 years Republicans have carefully cobbled together this coalition, nourished them with the fell meats of rancid distrust and bootstrappilosophy. "Getting government off our backs," was a useful dog-whistle slogan against tax collectors for a welfare state. The base new what this meant to them--don't take my hard earned money and give to some lay-about colored.

But what it really meant to the boys who ran the store was giving private corporations free reign to rape, pillage and plunder. It was a win-win for Republicans.

Then something happened. The Fairness Doctrine, which kept some sort of harness on the media, was killed during the Clinton Administration. Deep pockets began purchasing radio stations all across the land, pockets friendly to Republicans, and the steady encephalitic drip, drip, drip of right-wing ideologues like Rush began to seep into the next generation.

And market success began to overtake electoral victory.

Stars and multimillionaires were created out of this vast right-wing media conglomeration, and its audience became a movement who demand absolute rigidity in not only abstract political philosophy, but also in policy itself.

The result was that any and all Democrats must be hated. If they agreed with any Republican policies, then the policy must be flawed. No compromise ever on anything--compromise is like "date rape."

The moderates have been pushed out of the Republican party by the purists, and heated primaries to decide who have the wing-nut bonafides results in a treasure trove of Democratic ads to run in the general election. This will concern the "mushy middle" the swing voters, that are so precious in deciding elections.

The teabaggers are now in control of the Republican party, and every candidate actively and gleefully seek their approval. But there are only so many angry white folks to go around, and not enough to be more than an impediment to progress.

And this will only make them angrier. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


There is no shame from sleazy, profitmongering health insurance companies. They are already side-stepping the new health insurance reform law in order to reject children:
Insurance industry lawyer William Schiffbauer told the New York Times, “The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy. But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition. And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost.’’
This is why it should be illegal to profit from health insurance. American Health Insurance Providers (AHIP) now have a new mascot.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Demonstrating Teabagger Gets Broke Back

I don't care who you are, that shits punny right there. Setting aside the entire Republican party as "not ready for prime time," because let's face it, they are not, a determination should be made about the governance of America.

Which leaves us with the fractious Democratic party. Some among us are uncomfortable with unregulated vaginae and feel Catholic pederasts should divine control of not man parts--wielders of the not man parts (save for the nun chucks) should be shunned as unserious and silly little split tails.

President Obama, in order to get elected, said his first act would be to sign the Freedom Of Choice Act and now, in order to pass his health care reform bill, he codifies the Hyde Amendment by Executive Order.

He publicly claimed to be in favor of the public option while giving private assurances to private insurance organizations that none would be in the final bill.

In short, President Obama kicked every demographic group in the teeth to pass a piece of republican legislation which only drove the teabaggers into a brick throwing frenzy.

Unions had to make a special call and twist arms to prevent their hard-fought health benefits from being taxed.

Women saw control of their own body parts being traded as mercantile on the exchange.

Liberals saw health insurance firmly yoked to private industry determined to profit from our dying quivers.

Minorities found an open maw to consume any meager leftovers from a week of toiling in the traces going to massive corporations guaranteed a 15% minimum in profits.

He wishes for 15%.

Some lecture the liberal base that certain trades, like the one to Bart Stupak and his dirty dozen of posse regulators was needed.

That we should not join with the wacked out teabaggers to deny health insurance for 31 million additional Americans.

That they can never afford the deductibles and copays is irrelevant--the important part is that we supply a one-way cash flow to the health insurance industry. A health insurance policy offered by the federal government, one beyond the grips and Enron style accounting tricks of the health insurance industry is a bridge too far--it is too liberal and the teabaggers and its republic polyp party would declare this a massive takeover of the health care industry.

We wouldn't want that.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Anatomy Of The Health Care Bill

President Obama knew coming in that reforming health care, the Wild West of American Capitalism, would be a tough job. Only two industries, professional baseball and health insurance are exempt from anti-trust legislation. So how do you harness something free to collude and cahoot--a beast that has never been ridden?

And the pharmaceutical industry, flush with billions delivered from the cash cow of overcharged sick Americans and an army of lobbyists willing to purchase meaningless reform or finance opposition that upset their apple cart.

And the Republicans, ran out of office during a five alarm fire stand armed with moltov cocktails to pitch at any fire trucks arriving on the scene. A party willing to see this country burn to the ground rather than any democratic policies enacted for water.

And the liberal base of the President's party seeing their moment of empowerment wanting to slit the throats of those profiting from sick people and demanding Medicare for all--also known as single payer.

The post-partisan President sought to thread that needle.

And to thread that needle, President Obama chose the DLC-Clinton model. The DLC or Democratic Leadership Council is a corporate friendly organization formed to suckle off some of the Republican campaign dollars from the corporate teet. The DLC-Clinton model is where progressive goals are obtained through private entities for the mutual benefit of the private entities and the administration.

In early July of last year the Obama administration entered into deals with Pharma and America's Health Insurance Plans, (AHIP). Pharma agreed to cut up to $80 Billion in projected costs to American citizens and seniors over the next ten years, run ads supporting vulnerable Democrats in their districts, not to torpedo the reform effort, and no playing footsie with Republicans. They would receive no drug reimportation bill, no shifting of drugs from Medicare part B to Medicare part D, and no Government negotiated prices for drugs.

The deal with AHIP was similar--$155 Billion in cuts over ten years, run some ads, don't torpedo the effort, eliminate pre-existing conditions, quit dropping sick people, etc. They would get 30 million new customers mandated by law to purchase their product with tax subsidies for those who can't afford it.

AHIP became a little concerned with the public insurance option but were assured it would not be in the final bill. Even though candidate Obama campaigned on a Government run plan and President Obama said he favored it, behind the scenes it was a different story. The public option was merely a cudgel over the head of AHIP to encourage compliance and something to keep the progressives busy with. It was traded away in early July.

These meetings and deals were not aired on C-Span. The congress scampered around having their kabuki with the Senate, meanwhile the deal was done and no meat was left on the bones. Congress looks bad in this whole thing because they didn't have much to work with.

What we are left with is the most massive transfer of wealth from the public sector to the private sector in American history, save for WWII. This money goes to an industry rife with bad practices. However, the money comes attached to some regulations--and not a regulator in sight.

I feel better already.