Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mandate Fail

The mandate to buy insurance makes this a tax bill. I do not see how the new bill can be constitutional. I cannot find any justification in the constitution that allows the delegation of setting tax rates to a private company. The government has the right to tax, they have the right to assign the collection of those taxes to private entities. They do not have the right to let private entities set the rate of that taxation.The auto insurance argument is a fail as the states that have mandates have review of the rates as well as the ability to opt out. (Don’t own a car, self insure by posting bond.) They are voting in the house today but not in the Senate so the drama will continue. Happy equinox. Here is a little quiet spot to preserve some sanity.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

“This has all happened before”


We are coming the penultimate moment of the health care reform battle. We are given the false choice between no bill and a very bad bill and the ides of March are some mystical deadline. Why the President even delayed his vacation and disappointed his little kiddies to make it happen.
“This has all happened before”, a cheesy line from a Sci-Fi series sets the scene. In the first years of the Clinton presidency the health care reform bill cobble together by one bribe after another failed to pass. It was at that moment that the right wing had succeeded. They had claimed the Clinton presidency was illegitimate from the jump. Right wing radio was calling it America held hostage and started a countdown reminiscent of “Night Line” and the Iranian hostage situation. It had worked for the right to take power before. Now that they had defeated his signature agenda item they claimed that the people were on their side and Clinton turned so hard right that he signed into law the repeal of the banking regulations that had protected us since the depression. While Clinton did slow defense expansion he took an axe to social spending and sucked up to the corporations as hard as Monica was sucking him.
In 2008 the same whack jobs took to the streets and demanded to see the presidents birth certificate. When Bush was appointed by the supreme court that his party had stacked not a peep from these warriors for freedom but a black man elected by an overwhelming majority, he can’t run my country. Then came the screams of socialism as the bailout for the banks outraged the formerly employed populations. Quick factual note, The financial rescue was passed under W. revisionist history not withstanding Obama did not stop the great depression 2.0, it happened under the Democratic congress. Nancy, and Harry saved the world, not Barry. It was George signed the Tarp bill.
The hated Ralph Nader has proven right again, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” or was that Pete. Maters not the facts speak for themselves. The president who now flat out lies without even trying to be subtle about it claims that everything he said in the campaign was just a mirage. He never wanted the public option. Here is a mash up of his campaign videos talking about the public option. He thinks we are so stupid that we will not remember what he said. He used this before on his FISA vote. Just pretend it didn’t happen and move forward. Evidently most of us are.
The conservatives have already won. The health care reform act or whatever other bullshit name they will call it in the end will do nothing to reform health care. The devil is in the details and the details are all in favor of the corporations. There is no lifetime cap, it is replaced with a yearly cap. It trades no exemptions for preexisting conditions for a mandate to buy insurance from a private company. This will not pass the legal challenges in my opinion. This is the one thing that the right is right about. You can’t make a citizen give his money directly to the corporation. The government has to be the middle man in the form of taxation. The car insurance argument is a straw man as I can opt out. I do not have to own a car so I am not forced to buy the product. If it does get through the courts the rich get staggeringly richer. When the bill goes up in flames they get the status quo. Either way the cost of health care is not contained. They gave away all the cost cutting measures before the negotiations even started in backroom deals with corporations. No importing of drugs from overseas and no Medicare negotiating for lower drug prices. No single payer, no public option so no price controls on insurance rates.
The remaining question is will the Democratic leadership fail by passing a bad bill or by not being able to pass any bill. Regardless of the outcome the media corporations will sell the corporate line and for those of us outside the 1% life will get worse as we continue to aggregate all the wealth at the top. If you want to see how our grandchildren will live and work look not to Europe but to China. The modern incarnation of the capitalist state.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oaksterdam

Went down to the Bay Area for the first time since the move. Had to renew my 215 recommendation and that required a trip. The practice had changed hands since my last visit so I had to renew in person as opposed to through the mail. the highway has changed a lot since my last trip, 2001 and I went across the new bridge spanning the straights, the $4.00 toll seemed a bit excessive.
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The clinic was downtown and I found it very easily. The directions I got off the web got me close enough but next time I will take the Bart. I am not a fan of driving in the city unless I have no other choice. I was really disappointed in the scene. I will look for more next time down as I was not feeling well to begin the trip and the exam aggravated my back. There was nothing going on with the exception of a line at the Id store.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Nate's numbers don't add up


Needed more space than twitter provides for this response.
The time has come for the democrats in congress to man up. People are making the argument that BHO. is no FDR. Nate over at 538.com tries to defend Obama but his numbers do not add up. FDR. had 64% of a senate requiring 67% for cloture. BHO. began with 59% of a senate requiring 60% and Nate is claiming advantage FDR. BHO got his 60th vote long before FDR got his 67th. This defense doesn’t hold water.
FDR moved his agenda by writing the bill and sending it to congress. BHO. Has decided to let the legislature legislate. This has proven to be a horrible approach to this point. President Obama has a few months left in which to present an agenda and get it passed before the next election cycle is too far gone to get anything done. When the midterms bring losses this will be interpreted as anti BHO. By the media and we will have a one term president with a failed economy. The window is closing. The question remains are we going to get “Change we can believe in” or hands across the aisle?