Friday, January 29, 2010

Raise Your Hand If You’re That Stupid

There’s a wonderful posting on the Think Progress web site about the political hypocrisy of Republican members of the U. S. House. Every single one of them voted against the stimulus package and most continue to bad-mouth both it and the president. But when those stimulus dollars show up in the form of projects in their districts, these same people are right there at the ground breakings rhapsodizing about how much the project will mean to their constituents.

There are a lot of examples, but my personal favorite is Republican Congressman Goeff Davis of Kentucky. This guy recently put out two press releases to the media.

In the first release, he opposed a second stimulus program and said the first stimulus has failed.

In the second, he has the gall to claim he assisted in getting more than a million dollars for the public schools in his district … money coming from the original stimulus package which he voted against!

And get this: the two releases were sent out on the same day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Apparently They Hated It Real Good

Among those most critical of President Obama’s State of the Union address was the Tea Party Express. Their statement described the president’s remarks as “hot air delivered in a way too long speech.” The statement was not attributed to any individual ... for a way too obvious reason.

Then there was Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who is catching heat today for shaking his head and mouthing "Not true" when the president offered criticism of the court's recent 5-4 decision allowing corporate contributions to political campaigns. Of course protocol demands no reaction from judges lest - God forbid - anyone think they are not totally impartial.

Oh ... and yesterday, while being a pundit on Fox News, Sarah Palin offered her thoughts on the "health care reform mandation." (Mandation?? Don't bother looking it up. You won't find it.)

These are the people we're up against??!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apparently Piling On Is Legal in Politics

Tonight -- this afternoon here in Hawaii -- President Obama will deliver his first State of the Union address. The pundits are already saying it had better be damn good or his entire presidency will be headed down a rat hole.

Huh?? The poor guy inherited two wars, a shattered economy, a dysfunctional health care system, and God knows what else … and they say he’s a flailure because he hasn’t turned it all around in 12 months?

What infuriates me most, however, are the Republican politicians who continue to demand bi-partisan efforts at dealing with all these messes, but sabotage every attempt at any serious progress. They have only one goal: they want him to fail. And these are the same lapel-pin blowhards who constantly flaunt their “patriotism.”

Well, I for one would like to see Obama get good and pissed off ... and sock it to ‘em!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Supreme Court has really gone and done it this time.

In the holy name of the First Amendment, the five conservative justices on the highest court in our land have pretty much turned our country over to the Almighty Corporation. Companies and unions can now spend money with no limit to support or oppose politicians and issues.

Consider: If a United State Senator thinks the federal government should more closely regulate banks, the banking industry can throw unlimited dollars into a smear campaign against him in the next election. You think the Swift Boating of John Kerry was a disgrace? Well, folks, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

This is a disaster for democracy and if conservatives truly believe all that love-of-country rhetoric we keep hearing, they should be just as outraged as the rest of us.

I know that’s expecting an awful lot from the people who fall into lockstep behind any incompetent fool who happens to carry the Republican banner, but perhaps they will see that this time it’s different. This time we are all in trouble.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It’s A Day To Be Doubly Disgusted.

Well, the Republicans pulled it off in Massachusetts yesterday. They elected Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for almost 50 years. Scott Brown … a guy who promised to block health care reform, something Uncle Teddy fought for during most of those years. How ironic is that!

The Republican cause was aided by a typical slight-of-underhand: An wealthy arch conservative ran media urging people to vote for the third candidate on the ballot, an almost anonymous clown who happens to be named Joe Kennedy. Of course, this particular Joe Kennedy is a kooky-fringe-conservative and no relation to Jack, Bobby or Teddy. Nevertheless, the media campaign blathered that he was “a name you can trust,” thereby assuring all the brain-dead voters that he was one of the Kennedys. Of course every vote cast for Joe-Kennedy-the-stalking-horse, was one less vote for the democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, and a plus for the Republican Scott Brown.

And then there are the other miserable Democrats who abandoned their party, their president and (very likely) any chance of meaningful health care reform because … because … well, who the hell knows why??

Perhaps – typical Democrats! – they threw their candidate under the bus because Barack Obama hasn’t yet fixed an economy it took George Bush 8 years to wreck. Or because they actually believed the preposterous lies the Republicans told about “death panels” and other such nonsense. Or even because, Martha Coakley inexplicably had said Curt Shilling was a Yankee fan.

Whatever the reason, it was short-sighted and dumb. And, if it really does mean the end of health care reform, millions of Americans will pay the price for it.

We Democrats can be such damn fools!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Will Massachusetts Vote for Selfishness?

On Tuesday, Massachusetts will choose a successor to the late Senator Ted Kennedy in a special election that could also turn out to have tragic and ironic consequences.

The contest pits State Senator Scott Brown, the Republican, against Democrat Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney general.

The central issue of the campaign is health care reform. If he’s elected, Brown could reduce the Democrats’ crucial 60-vote margin in the Senate by one … and that could be enough to block health care reform altogether.

Brown says, if elected, he will do exactly that. They already have universal health care in Massachusetts by state law. So he is saying to Massachusetts voters, you’re already covered, so why should you pay more – an arguable point, by the way – just so people in the other 49 states can get health insurance.

That’s what I find so infuriating. Brown is skating right past the intellectual or ideological arguments and appealing directly to the most selfish instincts of the electorate. You’ve already got yours, who cares if others will be denied theirs?

And the ultimate irony is that – should this miserable bozo be elected – he will be assuming the Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy, who fought most of his career to see that all Americans had access to decent health insurance.

Tuesday’s vote will not only pick a new U.S. Senator. It will tell us a great deal about the people of Massachusetts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Brief Follow-Up to the Previous Rant

A reader has written -- quite correctly, I believe -- that Governor Lingle has been a government employee long enough to have earned tax-payer provided health insurance for life after she leaves office. As I recall, the free health insurance won't kick in until she reaches age 67 but, one way or another, Lingle's benefits will just keep on a-comin'.

In the meantime, she continues to toe the Republican Party line and remains opposed to reforming the health insurance system for everyone else.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sticking to the Script Through Thin and Thinner

The Maui News ran an op-ed column by Governor Linda Lingle the other day. It was about the health care reform legislation pending in Congress. What a surprise: She doesn’t like it.

But in a remarkable coincidence, an article appeared that same day in the highly respected New England Journal of Medicine reporting on a study that says 36 countries around the world have more effective health care than the United States.

But all the love-it-or-leave-it patriots needn’t fret. When it comes to the cost of health care, the U.S. is still Numero Uno.

Throughout this long debate on health care reform, Republican politicians have demanded a bi-partisan effort, tried to frighten people with absurd talk of “death panels,” tried to block any debate on the subject, offered countless amendments to weaken the final product … and will vote against it anyway.

Still, undaunted and unashamed, Governor Lingle continues to repeat the Grand Obstructionist Party line and tell us that health care reform will be bad, bad, bad for us.

Of course, she has access to excellent medical care thanks to health insurance provided for her by Hawaii taxpayers.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Shamelessly Hypocritical or Terminally Ignorant?

Here’s a wonderful item gleaned from the November 13th edition of the Texas Observer.

The local newspaper in Carthage, Texas, recently published a full-page ad paid for by a group calling themselves the Tea Partiers. The ad included more than 300 signatures from people petitioning against health care reform.

Some dear soul has since noted that the chairman of the group had undergone heart surgery this past summer … paid for by Medicare.

Well, dagnabit … I’ll bet that’s the same good ol’ boy who jumped up at a Town Hall gathering last summer and hollered, “Keep yer government hands off my Medicare!”