Posts Tagged ‘Congress’
Posted by keithosaunders on March 25, 2017
Trump Care, or to be more apt, Death Care, was withdrawn by a House that didn’t have enough Republican votes to get it through to the Senate. I can’t seem to wrap my head around the reason for its failure. Was it because of moderate Republicans who would have to face a constituency that would find itself either uninsured or paying up the wazoola for health care? Or was it because of hard-line, conservative Republicans who thought that the bill was too generous and will not be happy until there are bread lines.
It’s hard to believe that the Trump administration thought that they could ram this bill through Congress in a month’s time and move on to gutting the infrastructure of the country via a budget bill. Talk about hubris.
Posted in health care, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: ACA, Affordable Care Act, Congress, health care, Obama, Obama Care, Paul Ryan, Republicans, Senate, Trump, Trump Care | 2 Comments »
Posted by keithosaunders on January 26, 2017
We’re less than a week into Donald Trump’s presidency and it’s clear that we have elected a madman. He continues, without a shred of evidence, to assert the lie that millions of people voted for Hillary Clinton illegally. He appears to want to make good on his promise to build a wall along our southern border even though it will cost billions and do little to prevent illegal immigration. It looks like he’ll do his best to gut the EPA and inhibit efforts to contain global warming. All in less than one week!
The folks for whom I reserve my greatest contempt, however, are the Republican Congressman and operatives. Unlike Trump, these people know what they’re doing. They’re gutting our countries natural resources, selling out the younger generation, feeding the rich, and taxing and imprisoning the poor. All for their own benefit. They can rot in hell as far as I’m concerned.
Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: border wall, Congress, Donald Trump, EPA, Hillary Clinton, immigration, Republicans, Trump wall, US | 6 Comments »
Posted by keithosaunders on September 9, 2011
I thought that Obama made a great speech last night. Then again, that’s what he does — he’s a great orator. We have yet to see him back up his rhetoric with bold ideas. I was glad that he called out the Republicans in Congress, when he made his gentle gibe about simple math.
Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies? Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers? Because we can’t afford to do both. Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires? Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs? Right now, we can’t afford to do both.
This isn’t political grandstanding. This isn’t class warfare. This is simple math. This is simple math. These are real choices. These are real choices that we’ve got to make. And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose. It’s not even close.
It’s interesting to note that the bulk of the cost of Obama’s jobs program will be incurred in the form of tax breaks which will be given to companies as incentives for hiring. Even though Obama paid lip service to the idea that the rich should pay more taxes, (why should Warren Buffet pay less taxes than his secretary?) I will be surprised if such taxes are enacted. I cannot believe that the obscenely wealthy should be entitled to such an advantage when the economy is hanging by a thread. Then again, big money is a formidable force to be reckoned with.
Certain issues in politics confound me, until I remember that there are forces unseen that are guiding the issues. Behind such forces is big money.
Health care is something we can seemingly all agree on. Why shouldn’t there be a public option — polls show that the public favors it. Yet it was a nonstarter during the health care reform debate of 18 months ago. The answer is that the health insurance lobby is an exceptionally strong and wealthy force. They don’t want it, ergo we can’t have it.
Gun control is another such issue. Who in the general populace is in favor of automatic weapons? I would guess the answer is well less than one percent. Yet efforts to try to ban such weapons are quixotic to the point that members of either party would be risking political suicide to even attempt reform. Again…follow the money.
The same could be said of the Iraq war. It was obvious that the Bush and Blair administrations had no concrete evidence that Saddam had been harboring terrorists. Yet we went in. Why would we kill tens of thousands of innocent people, and spend trillions of dollars on an invasion that was, at best, a distraction from the ongoing war in Afghanistan? Of course it was about money. Either that, or stupidity. Take your pick.
Posted in Politics | Tagged: Barack Obama, Congress, debt ceiling, George, health care reform, Obama Care, Obama's speech, Republican congress, Republicans, taxing the rich, terrorists, Tony Blair, War in Afghanistan, War in Iraq | Leave a Comment »
Posted by keithosaunders on January 11, 2011
Every so often we are reminded of what a violent society we live in and how little hope there is of it changing. The six fatalities and the near-fatal shooting of Arizona Representative, Gabrielle Giffords by a lone gunmen is an all too familiar tragedy in a country that refuses to implement effective gun control.
Yesterday I heard an interview with one of Gifford’s fellow Arizona Congressman. When asked what could be done to avoid such an incident he feebly replied that “Americans have to find a way to be more civil with each other.”
Really? Is that the best you’ve got?
The interviewer pressed on asking the Congressman to elucidate, but he did little more than rephrase his original answer. Gun control was obviously not even close to entering the equation.
Thanks to an antiquated amendment which had more to do with protecting American Revolutionary’s from British soldiers than an inalienable right to buy an automatic weapon, we have a populace that has easy access to guns that can fire thirty-three bullets at a clip.
I’m all for allowing people to own rifles and to hunt animals for sport. I can’t understand the need to have a weapon that’s purpose is to kill people. Why must we repeat this same tragedy time and again?
Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said he would introduce a measure to re-establish a prohibition that lapsed in 2004 on clips that feed more than 10 rounds at a time. He said, “The only reason to have 33 bullets loaded in a handgun is to kill a lot of people very quickly. These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market.”
Gun control advocates are going to tell me that people who really want guns will get them. Fine. You can’t tell me, however, that effective gun control would not save any lives. Even if it were only to save one or two lives a year it’s worth it. Who cares if the gun companies make less money? That’s what this boils down to, doesn’t it.
Posted in Politics | Tagged: Arizona, Congress, Frank Lautenberg, Gabrielle Giffords, gun control, Jared Loughner, NRA | 21 Comments »
Posted by keithosaunders on January 7, 2011
You can’t make this stuff up. The new Republican congress is dedicated to slashing spending, thereby making it impossible for the sick to receive health care and the unemployed to receive relief. Before they got down to the business of spreading hopelessness to the unemployed there was a show to put on — a reading of the U.S. constitution.
This would have been corny in high school but the fact that elected officials — grown men and women who are ostensibly working — have to waste our time in an Orwellian act of patriotism is mind-boggling to put it mildly. I’m hoping they’ll go over weights and measures tomorrow. I’m a little rusty in that department.
During the reading of the section that states that the president must be a U.S. citizen, some nimrod in the gallery yelled out, “Except for Obama!” Yes, that old chestnut.
I love how there is a name for these kind of people: Birthers. It’s like a cult. No matter how much evidence is presented to the contrary birthers swear that Obama is not a citizen. Isn’t it amazing how easily the country was taken over by an Arab communist? Seriously, I am thankful that I was not born a birther. Imagine the fear that permeates these cretin’s existence. It has to be exhausting.
CNN, that hard-hitting news station, dug deep and came up with a constitutional activist — Janine Turner. What a surprise — a blond pundit! She looked like Howdy Doody on acid. Turner carefully explained that she was not a birther, but that she had grave concerns about where Obama’s birth certificate was. Turner defended the congressional heckler by saying it was a symbolic act. I would agree — it symbolizes the systematic dumbing down of our population.
- Janine Turner
Posted in Politics | Tagged: Barack Obama, birther, CNN, Congress, constitution, janine turner, life, Politics | Leave a Comment »
Posted by keithosaunders on November 4, 2010
Every once in a while I am reminded of just how out of step I am with the majority of the American people. Last night was one of those nights. The idea that a Republican led Congress bent on cutting spending and rolling back the health care bill has the best interest of our country in mind is laughable.
Representative John Boehner, who almost certainly will be our next Speaker of the House, had this to say:
“I believe that the health care bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best health care system in the world and bankrupt our country. That means that we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill, and replace it with common-sense reforms that will bring down the cost of health insurance.”
Am I missing something? The last time I checked our health care was ranked 37th in the world, which puts us smack dab between Slovenia and Costa Rica. The Republicans had months to come up with a decent alternative and they failed. Why? Because their primary objective is to see that Obama is a one term president. Not that they would have focused on health care had they controlled the executive branch. They held the presidency for 20 out of the 28 years without so much as an attempt at modifying health care. Now that they are out of power they offer no solutions, only obstruction.
It defies logic that anyone earning under $100,000 a year would ever vote Republican. Who are they identifying with? Barbara Bachman is never going to invite you to her country club for a set of tennis and John McCain could give a rat’s ass whether or not you are denied health insurance for a pre-existing condition.
Obama is no liberal. He has failed to amend FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) to end illegal wire tapping. He has not prosecuted members of the Bush administration for war crimes, i.e. torture and war profiteering. He has been late to take a strong stance against Dont Ask, Dont Tell, and most important of all he has failed to enact tougher regulations on the banking industry.
He has, however, done a good job with the extremely poor hand he was dealt. For all of the chastising Obama has endured over the state of the economy, he actually saved it. TARP — the Troubled Asset Relief Program — probably staved off a depression, and ended up recouping all of the money that was loaned. With interest. Contrast this with the Republicans, whose primary goal is to see that the Bush tax cuts become permanent; cuts that largely benefit the top one percent of earners. And Obama is the elitist?!
As always the elephant in the room is racism, and it is hardly subtle. When the Republicans refer to Obama as ‘different’ we all know what this is code for. This covert rhetoric is an enormous source of their support. Tea Partiers and Republicans alike would have you believe that big government is evil. This is specious to say the least. No one in his or her right mind would support de-funding of the military, Social Security, or Medicare. Cutting education, food stamps, and keeping the minimum wage stagnant…now that’s a horse of a different color.
This man would not have a beer with you.
Posted in Obama, Politics | Tagged: Barack Obama, Congress, FISA, health care, John Boehner, midterm elections, Republicans, TARP, Tea Party | 10 Comments »
Posted by keithosaunders on September 22, 2010
It’s one thing when a moderate Republican wins an election, but it’s an entirely different thing when incompetent radicals such as Christine O’Donnell and Carl P. Paladino are victorious. I realize that Delaware had an extremely small turnout, but I was stunned that tens of thousands of people supported a candidate (O’Donnell) who believes that masturbation is commensurate with adultery. Over in New York State, Paladino, who is running for governor against Andrew Cuomo, supports prison camps for welfare recipients.
Meanwhile, in Washington, there are enough votes in the Senate to prevent the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law — policy that prevents gays from openly serving in the military. It is deplorable to me that a significant faction of our leaders believe that a person’s sexual orientation has a bearing on his or her ability to serve.
What is going on here? For me there is only one explanation: Blatant racism and homophobia. These candidates, and for that matter a large portion of our elected officials, are clearly not qualified to lead. O’Donnell barely graduated college. Paladino is an anti-semite who circulates racist emails. They have no business impacting a community election, let alone a national contest.
I lived in New York City for 26 years, more than enough time to understand that outside of Manhattan and a few sections of Queens and Brooklyn, is right-leaning at best, and virulently racist at worst. It is not a stretch to see how an anti-intellectual candidate such as Paladino could connect with Staten Islanders, let alone Long Islanders.
It all boils down to the shock and outrage that a black man became president. It flies in the face of everything these dullards were taught and believed in. They would rather support candidates that would worsen their situation, i.e. cut taxes for the rich and decrease access to education.
I can’t entirely blame the candidates or the Republican Party. They are exploiting an opportunity and using it to their advantage. It’s the voter who I reserve my outrage. It is they who vote against health care, jobs, and education. They won’t find opportunities for advancement from the racist Paladino, or the righteously wacky O’Donnell. What they will find is a celebration of mediocrity. It is a sanctification of 18th century oppression that I thought we had moved beyond.
Posted in Obama, Politics | Tagged: Barack Obama, Carl P. Paladino, Christine O'Donnell, Congress, Don't ask don't tell, racism, Tea Party | Leave a Comment »
Posted by keithosaunders on March 20, 2010
After months of political wrangling and machinations the Health Care Reform Bill will be voted on in the House tomorrow, March 21st. People, it’s time. I understand that this is a flawed bill and that an absence of a public option is huge blow. The bottom line is that 32 million more Americans will be insured (1 million more than originally thought) and 138 billion dollars will be pared from the federal deficit in the next ten years.
There is no moral reason to oppose health care reform. The Republicans have yet to offer a valid plan, save for their feeble talking points — being able to buy insurance across state lines, and tort reform. The last administration had eight years to deal with this and did not lift a finger, tort reform and all.
A year ago, when health care reform was first presented, I figured that this was an issue in which Obama’s bi-partisan efforts would be a plus. Why wouldn’t the Republicans want to do what is humane and necessary? How naive I was.
I have reached the conclusion that there exists a Darwinian sense of entitlement among people of wealth and means. Their rational is that they have worked hard for what they have achieved and they are deserving of privilege by means of their talent and drive. The tacit implication is that it is the uninsured person’s own fault for not having had the perseverance and the ability to succeed in a competitive world.
Of course these is a racist component to this. What is the term “big government” but a euphemism for a welfare state. It is hardly subtle. The Republicans have spent the better part of 40 years deriding the gains accomplished through Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement, as well as LBJ’s Great Society programs. All of this is a way for the rich, or middle class white person to feel good about where he is in society, and to alleviate the guilt that comes with knowing there are people being denied access to health care and a better life.
Posted in health care, Obama, Politics | Tagged: Congress, health care reform, House, insurance, LBJ, Martin Luther King, Obama, Republicans | 5 Comments »
Posted by keithosaunders on March 20, 2010
On August 29th, 1970 Miles Davis appeared at the Isle of Wight festival. Primarily a rock festival it featured such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull, and The Who.
Miles was in rare form — on fire! The group consisted of 2 keyboard players — Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett. I know that Jarrett did not like playing electric pianos but he sounded good, playing one of the raunchiest sounding keyboards (supposedly an organ) I’ve ever heard. He somehow manages not to overpower the music. I wonder how Chick, who was playing rhodes, and Keith got along on that tour. I would have liked to have overheard some of their conversations.
It is my belief that the entire U.S. Congress, yutzes that are, should be locked inside of a screening room and forced to listen and view this concert. I am convinced that the ensuing mass heart attacks would be instrumental in driving home the point about the importance of health care reform.
You can watch a great interview with Keith Jarrett about this concert at Joshua’s blog here
Posted in health care, jazz, Uncategorized | Tagged: Chick Corea, Congress, health care reform, Isle of Wight, jazz, Jethro Tull, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Jarrett, MIles Davis, The Who | Leave a Comment »
Posted by keithosaunders on February 17, 2010
Today in Salon Glenn Greenwald wrote:
Dick Cheney went on ABC News this weekend and boasted of the role he played in ordering the waterboarding of detainees. Andrew Sullivan has written several posts accurately describing this statement as a “confession of committing a war crime on national television.” Harper’s Scott Horton identifies the specific criminal statute Cheney confessed he violated, makes clear that — as the Attorney General himself previously said — there is no reasonable debate possible regarding the criminality of waterboarding under U.S. and international law (notwithstanding the efforts of Politico and friends to pretend otherwise), and then asks: “What prosecutor can look away when a perpetrator mocks the law itself and revels in his role in violating it?”
There are no words to describe my feeling of disappointment with the Obama administration. In a way it’s worse than Bush because I expected so much more from them. They’re going to be a one term presidency and we’re never going to see indictments.
So where is all this centrism getting them? If only they had done the morally correct thing — — allowing due process for prisoners, and rescinding the more egregious of Bush Co’s legislation, i.e.warrantless wiretapping — I could have forgiven them for being a one term administration. In fact I would have felt proud of them and placed the blame squarely on an obstructionist Republican/Blue Dog Democrat Congress. The way things stand now I feel that Obama shares in culpability. I hold out hope that things can turn around, but not much.
Posted in Politics | Tagged: Bluedog, Cheney, Congress, Democrats, Obama, Politics, Republicans, waterboarding | Leave a Comment »