To the Cheney’s: please go away

August 31, 2009

I’m not looking for your opinions on terrorism, the actions of certain CIA operatives during the Bush Administration, or anything else.

I, along with half the American population and 80% of the world’s population, endured 8 years of your crap.

I don’t want to hear or read about any one with the last name of Cheney in the news.

We know your positions. Please go away and stay away. Thanks!

Enough!

Democrat Dave

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R.I.P. Senator Kennedy

August 26, 2009

What a horribly sad day for me and for America.  Today, we lost one of our great Americans:  Senator Ted Kennedy.

I knew his health situation had to be very bad when he missed his sister Eunice’s funeral quite recently.  I had no idea his death was so imminent. I gasped out loud when I heard the news about Ted Kennedy’s passing this morning. Stunning news for me.

I’m a huge fan of Ted Kennedy. While some will remember him for a few flaws, I will remember him for the giant he was in the Senate and for America over the course of nearly 50 years of public service. 

America would be benefiting right now from his calm, cool, collaborative style to negotiate the health care reform under discussion right now.

It has been said that there isn’t a single piece of major legislation passed in the last 40 years that doesn’t have his finger prints all over it.  That’s impact.  He knew how to reach across the aisle to get things done, something today’s politicians seem to have never learned.

I lived in Massachusetts for 3 years and had the pleasure of voting to send him back to the US Senate.  He won with 75-85% of the vote as I remember it.  The GOP wouldn’t even run a viable candidate against him.

Here’s a story about Ted Kennedy you probably won’t hear about during all the tributes:

While I lived in Massachusetts, there was a nursing strike that went on for a number of weeks. Nurses and families were very concerned about the lack of continuity of care for the terminally-ill patients. When the situation appeared to be at its greatest point of impasse, Senator Kennedy intervened to bring the parties together to resolve the issue in just a few days. Why did a U.S. Senator intervene? Because people were hurting and he thought he could help. While I remember great adulation at the issue being resolved, I don’t remember Ted Kennedy going before the media to get his much-deserved praise.

Shortly before Ted Kennedy’s death, he wrote the following words for Newsweek in a piece called “The Cause of My Life:”

This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver–to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, “that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American…will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege.” For four decades I have carried this cause–from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me–and more urgency–than ever before. But it’s always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years.

I’d rather celebrate Senator Kennedy’s life than mourn his passing. Thank you, Senator Kennedy, for your contribution to America. May you rest in peace knowing the profound contribution you’ve made.

Democrat Dave


Boehner to Drug Makers: Stop Appeasing Obama

August 17, 2009

The GOP House Minority Leader is telling a former GOP house member, Billy Tauzin, a lobbyist for big pharma, to quit negotiating with Barack Obama as Barack attempts to lower America’s health care costs.

It seems the President is playing the GOP’s sand box.  Oh, my.

If you want to understand the party of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and the status quo, the GOP, read the following post available at Huffington Post.

Make sure you take your blood pressure medicine first.

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


Death Panels and Health Care Reform

August 17, 2009

The GOP, the party of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and the status quo,  is doing everything it can to undermine health care reform.  The GOP considers that any health care reform that passes will be a defeat for the party rather than a win for America.

The GOP knows that by employing FUD they have a formula to maintain the status quo and give themselves a shot at being relevant again.  The GOP has announced that any health care legislation passed would undermine their stated mission of retaking Congress and the White House.

The GOP is serious when they say they want President Obama (and, by inference, the United States) to fail so the GOP will look more appealing in the 2010 and 2012 elections.  The GOP believes that if everyone has access to health care, the GOP will become an even more irrelevant, inconsequential minority party and remain there for years to come. 

Public Option

This morning I learned why the “public option” is so intimidating to the GOP:  if there was a public health care insurance option that is cheaper than what is presently available, businesses might migrate to the less expensive plans leaving the current insurance industry in shambles. But, isn’t it also a possibility that a more level playing field would be created for consumers resulting in lower prices across the board?

What is the insurance industry’s incentive to be more competitive today?  There really isn’t one.  Competition is certainly an incentive.

  • A colleague of mine in Maine (who is in the insurance field as an independent consultant) stated that not too many years ago, there were 40 health insurance companies competing there.  Now, there are 3.  And, what’s happened to insurance costs?  They consistently exceed the rate of inflation.
  • My health insurance went up 18% this year.  Explanation?  None.  Value-add to me?  None.
  • I just spoke with a business owner in Massachusetts who said her business health insurance is going up 30% this year.  No change in coverage, risk, number of employees, etc.  The bill is simply going up 30%.

So, the really big concern about a “public option” isn’t so much the “public option” as it is a concern that the present health insurers won’t be able to compete with the public option.  Isn’t that interesting!  Just who do our Congressional representatives work for?  Their constituents or insurance companies who held them fund their reelection campaigns?

And, the GOP says we don’t have a problem?  Where are their facts that counter what I’ve just stated above?  Oh, they don’t need facts–they just need FUD and status quo.

Death Panels

The notion of death panels was invented by a woman who is a paid advocate for the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries to scare the heck out of people–FUD.  She’s done her job–earned her fee.  Her lies have fueled vast quantities of FUD.

It is clear a lot of people aren’t thinking–they are just reacting. The GOP loves to go after the more gullible in our midst–that is who the “death panel” message was intended for.  Apparently, the most gullible in our midst include Sarah Palin and her supporters as they jumped on the “death panel” bandwagon like a moth to a bug light.  Yes, Sarah, it would be appalling to think that your parents and Trig might be put to death by President Obama’s “Death Panels.”  And, that’s why such a plan has never been raised except in the minds of those who love to create FUD.

Does the GOP think that Death Panels would be more like “America’s Got Talent” where an individual in need of health care would get up on stage,  a panel would hear an individual’s case and render a decision about whether they get health care or not–a thumbs up or thumbs down verdict right then and there?  Or, does the GOP think it would work more like American Idol where actual viewers would get to decide overnight and we’d get a decision the very next evening?

Are people really stupid enough to think that the greatest nation on earth would indulge in such reprehensible bull crap as death panels?  Seriously?  Wake up!!

America’s Health Care System

The US health care system is ranked #19 in the world.  It’s not #1 in the world as some politicians would have you believe. So, the next time you hear that we have the best there is, know that it’s not true and not even close.  It’s got systemic problems that need to be fixed.

The US cannot continue to live with the status quo.  If you need to understand why we need to fix it, read Barack Obama’s Op-Ed piece in the New York Times published 16AUG09.

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


Top 5 health care reform lies

August 11, 2009

Courtesy of MoveOn.org:

The health care fight has turned ugly, fast. Right-wing mobs are crashing congressional town halls,1 lies are spreading via anonymous email chains,2 and Sarah Palin bizarrely said that President Obama was going to set up a “death panel,” whatever that is.3

Many of these claims are just incredible—but if we don’t fight back with the truth, the right will continue to poison the health care debate. So as part of our Real Voices for Change campaign this August, we’re working to set the record straight.

Check out the list below: “Top Five Health Care Lies—and How to Fight Back.” Can you spread the word by passing this email along to 10 of your friends today?

Also, if you’re on Facebook, please post the list today by clicking here: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51746. If you’re on Twitter, retweet: @MoveOn Check out the Top 5 Health Care Lies—and How to Fight Back. http://bit.ly/Bncs5

Top Five Health Care Reform Lies—and How to Fight Back

Lie #1: President Obama wants to euthanize your grandma!!!

The truth: These accusations—of “death panels” and forced euthanasia—are, of course, flatly untrue. As an article from the Associated Press puts it: “No ‘death panel’ in health care bill.”4 What’s the real deal? Reform legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP, to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with information on preparing a living will and other issues facing older Americans.5

Lie #2: Democrats are going to outlaw private insurance and force you into a government plan!!!

The truth: With reform, choices will increase, not decrease. Obama’s reform plans will create a health insurance exchange, a one-stop shopping marketplace for affordable, high-quality insurance options.6 Included in the exchange is the public health insurance option—a nationwide plan with a broad network of providers—that will operate alongside private insurance companies, injecting competition into the market to drive quality up and costs down.7

If you’re happy with your coverage and doctors, you can keep them.8 But the new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses or individuals who choose to opt into it, including many who simply can’t afford health care now.

Lie #3: President Obama wants to implement Soviet-style rationing!!!

The truth: Health care reform will expand access to high-quality health insurance, and give individuals, families, and businesses more choices for coverage. Right now, big corporations decide whether to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered—that is rationed care. And a big part of reform is to stop that.

Health care reform will do away with some of the most nefarious aspects of this rationing: discrimination for pre-existing conditions, insurers that cancel coverage when you get sick, gender discrimination, and lifetime and yearly limits on coverage.9 And outside of that, as noted above, reform will increase insurance options, not force anyone into a rationed situation. 

Lie #4: Obama is secretly plotting to cut senior citizens’ Medicare benefits!!!

The truth: Health care reform plans will not reduce Medicare benefits.10 Reform includes savings from Medicare that are unrelated to patient care—in fact, the savings comes from cutting billions of dollars in overpayments to insurance companies and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.11

Lie #5: Obama’s health care plan will bankrupt America!!!

The truth: We need health care reform now in order to prevent bankruptcy—to control spiraling costs that affect individuals, families, small businesses, and the American economy.

Right now, we spend more than $2 trillion dollars a year on health care.12 The average family premium is projected to rise to over $22,000 in the next decade13—and each year, nearly a million people face bankruptcy because of medical expenses.14 Reform, with an affordable, high-quality public option that can spur competition, is necessary to bring down skyrocketing costs. Also, President Obama’s reform plans would be fully paid for over 10 years and not add a penny to the deficit.15

We’re closer to real health care reform than we’ve ever been—and the next few weeks will decide whether it happens. We need to make sure the truth about health care reform is spread far and wide to combat right wing lies.

Can you forward this email to your friends today? And remember, also post it on Facebook by clicking here: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51746. And on Twitter, by retweeting: @MoveOn Check out the Top 5 Health Care Lies—and How to Fight Back. http://bit.ly/Bncs5

Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Kat, Ilya, Michael and the rest of the team

P.S. Want more? Check out this great new White House “Reality Check” website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/ or this excellent piece from Health Care for America Now on some of the most outrageous lies: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51729&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=1

Sources:

1. “More ‘Town Halls Gone Wild’: Angry Far Right Protesters Disrupt Events With ‘Incomprehensible’ Yelling,” Think Progress, August 4, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51733&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=2

2. “Fight the smears,” Health Care for America NOW, accessed August 10, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51729&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=3

3. “Palin Paints Picture of ‘Obama Death Panel’ Giving Thumbs Down to Trig,” ABC News, August 7, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51728&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=4

4. “No ‘death panel’ in health care bill,” The Associated Press, August 10, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51747&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=5

5. “Stop Distorting the Truth about End of Life Care,” The Huffington Post, July 24, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51730&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=6

6. “Reality Check FAQs,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 11, 2009.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#i1

7. “Why We Need a Public Health-Care Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51737&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=7

8. “Obama: ‘If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep Your Doctor,'” The Wall Street Journal, 15, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51736&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=8

9. “Reality Check FAQs,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 10, 2009.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#r1

10. “Obama: No reduced Medicare benefits in health care reform,” CNN, July 28, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51748&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=9

11. “Reality Check FAQs,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 10, 2009.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#s1

12. “Reality Check FAQs,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 10, 2009.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#c1

13. “Premiums Run Amok,” Center for American Progress, July 24, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51667&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=10

14. “Medical bills prompt more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies,” CNN, June 5, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51735&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=11

15. “Reality Check FAQs,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 10, 2009.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#c1

Sources for the Five Lies:

#1: “A euthanasia mandate,” The Washington Times, July 29, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51732&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=12

#2: “It’s Not An Option,” Investor’s Business Daily, July 15, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51743&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=13

#3: “Rationing Health Care,” The Washington Times, April 21, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51742&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=14

#4: “60 Plus Ad Is Chock Full Of Misinformation,” Media Matters for America, August 8, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51734&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=15

#5: “Obama’s ‘Public’ Health Plan Will Bankrupt the Nation,” The National Review, May 13, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51744&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=16

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Bill Clinton’s North Korea victory

August 4, 2009

I don’t know how Bill Clinton was able to negotiate the release of 2 American journalists who were captured, tried, convicted and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for crimes against the government of North Korea, but I am so very glad his mission succeeded.

I’m delighted for the families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee that they are now safely winging their way to Los Angeles to be reunited with their families.

I must tell you–few Americans can imagine the horror and likely death sentence they were facing in prison.   How do I know this?  I did some research here at this URL to better understand what they might be facing.

I literally lost a few nights sleep thinking about the absolute horror inflicted on the human beings imprisoned in these camps.  The odds of surviving for 12 years would be quite slim.  If you want to learn more, click the link above.

My understanding is that Laura and Euna never actually got to the actual prison where they were sentenced to go–they were held under house arrest.

I’m grateful that this has ended this way.

What do you think?

Democrat Dave