Anyone following my 140 character rants on Twitter should know that I oppose the Affordable Care Act because it is not liberal enough. If the for-profit health insurance industry was going to be allowed to continue to exist, it should be kept on a short leash. In this aspect, the ACA is somewhat successful. No longer can those with pre-existing conditions be turned away, children may stay on their parent’s health insurance plans for much longer and a much larger percentage of monthly premiums paid must be used on healthcare rather than administrative expenses. All of these are good things, but not nearly enough in a nation which has not only some of the finest healthcare in the world, but some of the most unaffordable. The lion’s share of the blame for that lands on the for-profit health insurance industry.( Read more... )
I got an email from the Obama administration reminding me to contact my representative regarding the health care reform bill. So, I wrote a letter:
I had attempted to call your office, however your phone line is busy. I have recently moved to the 14th District, thus inheriting you as a representative.
My reason for contacting you is simple: I want you to take a principled stand and do the right thing - VOTE NO ON THE HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL currently in reconciliation. Health care should be considered a civil right, however the current bill that the Obama administration is attempting to pass is nothing more than a handout to the for-profit insurance industry; this same for-profit insurance industry which is the cause of our health care woes in the first place. Mandating people to buy insurance simply for being alive in this country is, quite bluntly, vulgar. Furthermore, the anti-choice language which Congressmen such as Bart Stupek continue to push in this bill is not only vulgar but deeply offensive. I urge you to do the right thing and VOTE NO ON THE HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL!
I believe that our nation's health care system desperately needs an overhaul. As I stated before, health care should be considered a civil right. A single-payer system of health care is the way towards this goal of insuring that no American ever avoids the hospital for fear of going into debt or actually ends up in debt due to a medical emergency. The current bill the Obama administration is pressing you and other Democrats to vote in favour of is not the type of reform needed. In fact, this bill does not even represent a good start nor do I have any faith that it can be "fixed later" as so many naïve individuals have told me. Quite frankly, I have been frustrated with the Democratic Party and their collective waffling over simple moral principles for quite a while now and I am in no mood to settle. VOTE NO ON THE HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL - and while you are at it, take a stand and push for single-payer. HR 676 still exists and is what we should be trying to pass now.
Rest assured, a vote of NO from you on this bill will go a long way towards insuring that I don't vote no on keeping you in office this November.
Thanks for the reminder, Mr. President.
Nearly 18 months ago, Mark Morford wrote this article for the San Francisco Gate: "Is Obama an enlightened being?" An excerpt:
Here's where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.
How's that working out anyhow? My sources say...not so good.
A more recent Morford work is the borderline offensive, sexually-obsessed "Please mount my hot blue alien." Apparently Avatar is a beautifully rendered fanservice film. I simply must see this film now! Well, save for the fact that these fetish pieces never cater to my fetishes.
Does Morford want to be taken seriously? Have I stumbled upon a humour columnist? Is this guy actually a 14 year old trapped in a man's body? I only have the answer to one of those questions.
Getting back to Obama, Morford is a true believer (in other words, a fool). In the column "Obama, the great disappointment?" he answers the title question with a resounding "no!" One of his main arguments for this lack of liberal failure on the part of the Obama administration is the forthcoming passage of the Health Insurance Reform bill.
A sobering thought came to mind about this bill which is about to become law: it defines my health insurance as a Cadillac plan. I'm lucky for the moment - I have a low deductible and pretty much everything I need medically is covered (with the realisation that I benefit from not being female, mind you). Meanwhile, I have loved ones who have to pay upwards of $2000 (that's a two followed by three zeros - I have not forgotten a decimal point) out of pocket before getting any benefit from the insurance company. The taxes imposed on "Cadillac" plans by this bill will likely force insurance companies to cut coverage to contain costs - that is, costs will be passed down to consumers in the form of increased deductibles.
And this is success, according to Morford? Perhaps he, like Obama and like most of our so-called representatives has been paid off by lobbyists. I'd have a dearth of disappointment too if large corporations were shoving money in my face in exchange for my conscience.
California One Care is an organisation pushing for the passage of SB 810, a bill in that state's legislature which would create a single-payer health care system there. This is one of their ads:
At the federal level, we are not going to see real health care reform. It is going to have to be done state by state. Inefficient, yes; but is inefficiency not the cliché of government? In any case, a single-payer system is the only way to save millions of lives and millions of dollars.
I second what Joseph Cannon said regarding the Michael Moore video posted below: "Nice to see Michael Moore finally free himself from his illusions about Barack Obama. Too bad he couldn't give up his delusions about Hillary back in 2008."
There are two things politicians listen to: 1.) the money pouring in from corporate lobbyists and 2.) the polls - how many votes will be gained or lost by my actions? Most of us aren't in a position to buy and sell our elected officials, so we have to use tactic #2 (which, in all honesty, should be tactic #1, but hey - capitalism).
The question is this: how many of you are willing to step outside of your comfort zone like I did in November of last year and vote for a candidate who isn't a member of the party you are registered to?
Propaganda from the Democratic Party:
We did it. With House passage of health reform last weekend, we took a huge step toward providing affordable options to those without insurance, providing greater security for those who are already covered, and reducing costs for families and small businesses.
There have been many attempts in the last nearly 100 years, but Saturday's vote was the first time a chamber of Congress succeeded in passing comprehensive health reform. As President Obama wrote after the vote, "This is history."
But now we need to keep the pressure on -- and one of the best ways to show our support is to fill local newspapers across the country with letters about why we need reform now.
If you think for one minute I am going to write a letter to the editor in support of this ABORTION of a health "care" bill, you are sadly mistaken. The Democratic Party has failed those who put them in office. This bill is nothing more than a hard slap in the face to progressives and liberals everywhere (especially women) and a great big thank you note to the health insurance industry.
Frankly, it is the health insurance industry which is the problem. Their pernicious monopoly over who lives and who dies in the United States should have been punished long ago. The only real health care reform bill I want to see passed is HR676.
Of course, the Obama administration and the majority of Congressional Democrats have ignored HR676, if not outright tried to kill it. I guess we can't do anything which would make the health insurance industry and their lobbyists unhappy, now could we?
I was a loyal Democrat until the selection of Barack Obama last year in Denver. It seems to me that Democrats, with few exceptions, just don't want my vote any more. So be it, unless you give me a good solid reason to come back, I will "waste" my votes on third parties and write-ins stating "No acceptable candidates running for this office."
I am not going to stand around and be abused by my so-called "representatives."
No one - Democrat, Republican, whatever - gets my vote EVER unless they drag themselves naked across broken glass begging for it.
Like so many talking heads during both the primary and general campaigns of 2008, Olbermann damaged his credibility. He allowed personal biases to consume him and take control during his programme. Rebuilding credibility is not an easy task, but in the following five segments, Olbermann rhetorically navigates himself into a position closer to true:
Although still too enamoured with President Obama in my opinion (I do not believe that Obama is "one of us" nor do I believe that in his heart he wants to do the right thing - he's bought and paid for like any other politician, if not moreso), Michael Moore brings up some very good points in this video:
The overreaching concept is that We The People have to force the President and our Congress Critters to do what we want them to. And that means threatening their incumbencies if they don't give us what they want. I like the way Joseph Cannon phrased it and I went so far as to steal (paraphrase) the quote from him when I made a statement at the Mad As Hell Doctors Town Hall I attended yesterday evening:
If you don't vote for HR 676, I'll vote for your opponent -- even if you're running against Jack the Ripper. In fact, I'll send money to Jack's campaign.
The way things are going, I hope Jack is getting his platform ready.
Fatness has always been seen as a slight on the American character. Ours is a nation that values hard work and discipline, and it's hard for us to accept that weight could be not just a struggle of will, even when the bulk of the research—and often our own personal experience—shows that the factors leading to weight gain are much more than just simple gluttony. "There's this general perception that weight can be controlled if you have enough willpower, that it's just about calories in and calories out," says Dr. Glen Gaesser, professor of exercise and wellness at Arizona State University and author of BigFat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health, and that perception leads the nonfat to believe that the overweight are not just unhealthy, but weak and lazy. Even though research suggests that there is a genetic propensity for obesity, and even though some obese people are technically healthier than their skinnier counterparts, the perception remains "[that] it's a failure to control ourselves. It violates everything we have learned about self control from a very young age," says Gaesser.
In a country that still prides itself on its Puritanical ideals, the fat self is the "bad self," the epitome of greed, gluttony, and sloth. "There's a widespread belief that fat is controllable," says Linda Bacon, author of Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. "So then it's unlike a disability where you can have compassion; now you can blame the individual and attribute all kinds of mean qualities to them. Then consider the thinner people that are always watching what they eat carefully—fat people are symbols of what they can become if they weren't so virtuous."
I personally, take no pride in the Puritanical foundation upon which the United States was built. If anything, I find it disgusting, as it is nothing more than a vulgar cycle of abuse which the Puritans perpetuated. They claimed oppression from which point they set forth to conquer a new land and become the oppressors. And so it has been throughout history: the oppressed are never satisfied with becoming free - satisfaction comes with taking the place of those who were doing the oppressing.
Granted, that interpretation simplifies matters greatly. However, I see "fat hatred" as yet another extension and manifestation of that particular mindset.
I've been saying for ages that HR3200 is a steaming pile compared to HR676 when it comes to reforming health care in the United States. Well, the Obama administration just made that pile stink a little more. From the AP:
President Barack Obama's health secretary is suggesting the White House is ready to accept nonprofit insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run public option in a health overhaul plan. A Republican senator says that is worth looking at.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Obama still believes there should be choice and competition" in the health insurance market — but that a public option is "not the essential element."
The "public option" was probably the only thing in HR3200 which even slightly looked like a reform. With that gone, this is truly a reform bill with no reforms whatsoever. To wit: government as usual. And you suckers thought you'd all voted for change.
I thought it was mostly the result of sexism that caused screaming hoards of so-called "progressives" to tear Sarah Palin apart (as opposed to merely attacking her policies). With this missive from Palin, I have to move her from the "I disagree with this person" file that she shared with John McCain to the "bugfuck insane" file where she can take up residence with Rick Santorum. The bugfuck insane money quote from Palin's Facebook page:
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
Death panel? That's a new one, as I've heard the "rationed care" canard more times that I can recall. What Palin is complaining about are the same crimes which have been perpetrated by the private insurance sector for decades now. Insurance companies only make money when people stay sick, and Palin apparently is just dandy with this system.
Sadly, if she wants things to stay the same, she really has nothing to worry about from the Democrats. HR3200 is a thousand-page steaming pile of shit that, unlike HR676, does absolutely nothing in regards to reforming health care. It does, however, allow the collective we to get down on our knees and fellate the same insurance companies who have been ass-raping us into deeper sickness for decades now.
The America I know and love can do way better.
From the Washington Post: A Sphere of Influence - lobbyists for healthcare companies who formerly worked with key committees in drafting health care legislation. Of the 23 members of the finance committee, only four Democrats and three Republicans do not possess such a lobbying connection. That is not to say that they aren't being lobbied, however.
Ted Rall's syndicated column this week takes aim at Obama's half-assed plan for healthcare reform. The money quote:
There is no true middle ground on healthcare. The most civilized and efficient approach, tried and tested by the rest of the industrialized world, is fully socialized medicine. Put the insurance vampires out of business. Cutting out the health profiteers and encouraging preventative care will save hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
Failing a comprehensive solution, let the free market reign. True, 20,000 Americans will continue to die each year due to lack of insurance. But private healthcare corporations will continue to invest in innovative treatments and medications. The city of Hartford will keep adding shiny new skyscrapers to its skyline--and our taxes won't go even higher over this issue.
Obamacare offers the worst of both worlds--it would be expensive and inadequate.
The main reason I do not support Obama's Public Option plan is because, unlike Single Payer, it does not address the problem: the insurance companies. It is vulgar that we in the United States have placed dollar values on human lives. I recently had a friend mention that due to reorganisation in the company they work for, their employer insurance deductible has sky-rocketed to over $1,000. Under Obama's plan, for-profit insurance companies will be allowed to continue abusing people like that. It is the rare, privileged few who can afford a $1,000 deductible.
Obama's Public Option plan is like sticking a band-aid on a broken leg. It doesn't even begin to address the real problems with the healthcare system in the United States.
A woman from Texas has reportedly undergone nine breast enlargement operations to become the proud owner of the world's largest breast implants — size 38KKK.
American doctors had refused to carry out any more operations on Sheyla Hershey, 28, when her breasts were a staggering 34FFF, but that didn't stop her from going under the knife for the record breaking surgery.
"To me, big is beautiful. I don’t think I have anything to worry about," the Houston-resident said.
Still determined to increase her bustline, Hershey jetted off to Brazil where there are no limits on the size of implants.
The surgery required a full gallon of silicone.
They say that everything is bigger in Texas and this woman's breasts just reinforce the stereotype. Of course, I think she should ask for an alternate sizing chart in order to avoid the unfortunate racist overtones of having a pair of 38KKKs.
The thing that really blows my mind is how much silicone this woman now has in her body. I'm not a big plastic surgery fan, personally - I say let the genetic chips fall where they may more or less. However, if people want to slice and dice for the sake of "beauty," I don't think it's my place to say what one can or can not do with his or her body. Still, I can't imagine pumping that much of a poisonous metal in one's chest cavity; was there no saline available? Let's hope the containers holding the silicone are triple-thick and well-nigh rupture-proof. Of course, with implants of that size, you'd think the women getting them would want them filled with helium, so as to provide that all important extra lift and to avoid back strain.