Much has been said about healthcare in the last few months. It seems there is nothing more to talk about. I mean come one we’re headed towards National Socialism or Communism (interesting how one policy can lead to wildly divergent political outcomes eh?), we’re going to kill grandma, we’re going to ration healthcare, we’re going to take healthcare decisions out of the hands of patients and put it in the hands of bureaucrats (a dramatic shift, no doubt, from my insurance company denying any and every treatment I’ve ever needed until I called in to bust some balls). Well this post is about absolutely none of those things, so I’d appreciate it if we could avoid such silliness.
No, this post is about the costs to our healthcare that arise from our social isolationism. Okay, so the title is a bit misleading, it says individualism, but I tend to not see a dramatic difference. Individualism encourages us to look to no one but ourselves for our necessities, which when taken to its logical endpoint, means we become more isolated. Semantics aside, my argument is pretty simple: our isolationism is costing us in our healthcare spending – and big time. Read more…
How would you define power, in a political sense? Like my last few posts, this one is inspired by Professor Larry Klugman. On the first day of his political science course he defined Power with the following formula:
Power = Access + Process
Governor Quinn has named four new members to the BoT, all of whom are U of I alumni.
The new members are:
- Former Springfield Mayor Karen Hasara
- Timothy Koritz, a staff anesthesiologist at Rockford Memorial Hospital
- Pamela Strobel, retired executive vice president and chief administrative office of Exelon
- Carlos Tortolero, the president of the National Museum of Mexican Art.
This post was also inspired by Professor Larry Klugman. He picked up a digital “20 Questions” game at Walmart for a few dollars to play around with it. He figured it would contain many commonly picked items, but thought its range would be somewhat limited. Klugman reports that it successfully guessed what he was thinking of well within twenty questions, until he tried “The Constitution.”
This time he beat the machine by lasting more than 20 questions. On the 24th attempt, the machine finally ventured a guess. It didn’t get “Constitution” but the answer was still intriguing.
The item the machine guessed was “a receipt.” Professor Klugman urged me to share this with the blog, noting he thought the answer was surprisingly intellectual. In many ways the Constitution is a receipt for our democracy.
The US House of Representatives held a moment of silence for Michael Jackson! There is so much wrong with this I just don’t know where to begin. A washed up, perverted, butthole surfing, child molester, 400 million in debt, main claim to fame is his ability to moon walk while holding his nuts and squealing Wheeee Heeeeee. Our congress is more out of touch that the worst loons the Roman Empire ever dreamed of at its most decadent and depraved! Did someone spike the drinking fountains on the Hill with LSD or something? What the hell is going on!?! Maybe I am looking at this from the wrong perspective. I always believe the challenge in life is to take a disadvantageous situation and turn it to my advantage. So maybe if we encourage this type of insanity these ass clowns will have so many “moments of silence” they will never say anything and possibly not do as much damage! Finally a way to shut them up!
At the risk of inflaming the Rainbow Panther brigade, Brian Pierce should simmer down about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, (”DADT”) at least for a little while. Even the most strident gay rights advocate should be able to see that the progressive cause is facing more pressing national priorities right now, like health care reform and the global economic crisis. Taking up DADT right now would be a distraction that would cost the Obama Administration too much political capital. Read more…
The Supreme Court today refused to hear a case challenging the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. There’s been an enormous amount of frustration in the gay community over the White House dragging its feet on this issue, and it certainly doesn’t help that the Obama administration was urging SCOTUS not to hear this case, arguing that DADT is “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.”
I share the growing fear that the Obama administration has decided to distance itself as much as possible from gay rights issues, and that it has no plans to act on behalf of the gay community unless it is absolutely forced to. It’s hurtful and disappointing and, for a president who has been fairly gutsy on national security and foreign policy, genuinely surprising to me. Read more…
So beloved leader is starting another Hate America tour, kissing the butts of our enemies and fair weather friends in the middle east while alienating our only true alliance. great! meanwhile, have you noticed gas is creeping back up, 2.70 per gallon in town today. And we have drilled exactly no new oil wells, broke ground on exactly no new refineries, developed exactly no coal shale technology, built exactly no new nuke plants, developed exactly no new natural gas fields, run exactly no new pipelines from Anwar, let’s see – what we have done is spend a butt ton of money, not sure on what —– Oh probably our new attack submarine fleet, oh no, maybe new fighter jets? no we are cutting back on those, probably our new satellite defense system, – no, well maybe it is on our revitalized space program, well no not that either. I don’t think we have even built new levies for those leeches in New Orleans who are too stupid to know better than to build their town below sea level! But we are ok if Iran develops nuclear technology as long as they cross-their-hearts-and-hope-to-die promise no to use it for weapons. How many Trillions, or Bazillions, (or gaggles or googles or whatever) have we spent? (no not on date night with Michele but on making America the greatest nation on earth?) Easy answer – exactly none
With the money we are spending we could build coast to coast high speed railroads, develop a fleet of natural gas cars and trucks, hell we could build a tunnel to Brittan! A new power transmission grid fed by new advanced nuclear reactors, all dangerous spent nuclear fuel should be safely buried a mile deep in solid bedrock below Nevada at Yucca Mountain. We should be completely energy independent from the nuts in the Middle East. Lets revitalize our steel industry. A nation that doesn’t make its own steel is in decline. Let’s measure this “great” administration’s success by how much they BUILD (lest Atlas shrugs and all the builders go away). Crap, I’d settle for a fleet of Zeppelins!
I’m not sure how many of you in the Agora are following the card check legislation, also known as the Employee Free Choice Act. This is an epic battle between labor unions and business. The EFCA would simplify the process of forming a union by allowing a majority of workers to sign a card supporting a union, rather than voting on unionization. It also includes binding arbitration provisions, and increased penalties, but most of the media focus is on “card check.” This eliminates the company’s opportunity to launch a campaign against unionizing, or take affirmative steps to address the needs of workers to preclude the need to unionize. Big business has chosen the secret ballot as the symbol of their battle, which I consider a mistake. I think a well reasoned explanation of practical objections, particularly those based on current economic circumstances, would be a better way to sway public opinion, in part because explanations of the current unionization regime don’t seem particularly unreasonable in the public mind.
Recently Sen. Specter, a moderate, endangered Republican, stated he will not vote for cloture to bring the card check vote to the floor. Now a compromise proposal is being floated, but both main interest groups are opposing it. All along both groups have vowed that no compromise would be acceptable. I suspect that position will hold, at least through 2009. But the reason isn’t Arlen Specter.
In the media we may hear lots of stories about why the bill is held back. The story may center on specific moderate Senators, or we may hear a narrative about how the EFCA is too bloody of a battle to fight now when we are facing economic disaster, or that the Dems are waiting for Frankin, or that unions need to wait for the economy to recover to weaken the business’s gloom and doom predictions. But what’s really going on? It all comes down to money. This is the kind of fight that employs a great many lobbyists, many of whom have less and less other paying work due to clients cutting their lobbying budget or being unable to pay their bills. Too many people on both sides are getting paid for anyone to want to draw thier guns. Why fight the war when after it’s waged the retainer checks will stop coming in? And until the vote takes place, both unions and business groups will stay especially interested in fundraisers for moderate, endangered members like Specter.
The economic slump got you down? With recent economic news, it’s awful hard to see how much worse things can get. Taxes are going up, spending is down, revenue is down, employment is down, unemployment is up. Is there any bright spot in all this? Yes indeedie doo there is!
Well, first off let’s get on the table that this won’t fix all of your problems, but it’s a start.
Sick of paying high property taxes? Taxes that pay to send her kids to school? His golf course that you never use? The library with the musty books? That black hole of a mass transit district?
The plan: Incorporate your own low-tax municipality! Within months you’ll see business flock to you and residents clamor for housing and you can sit back and bask in the fact that your property taxes are 20, 30 or 50% lower than that guy in that place. Just follow these easy steps! Read more…