a Someone should care, maybe not you....: March 2010 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

23 March 2010

Health Care?

Well, I was right. They passed the Health Care bill and now we have to live with whatever this mess turns out to be. I am really curious to see how it works. They are going to require me, on penalty of fines, to buy insurance. Now, if I could afford insurance I would have it already. But I can’t, so I don’t. But I am now going to be required by law to have it. They say there will be a subsidy for those who are poor to buy insurance. I can’t help but wonder how much that is going to be. I somehow doubt it is going to be all, and unless it is all or almost all I am going to have a really interesting time trying to fulfill that legal obligation while paying my mortgage, power bill, gas, and, food and other current expenses on the 12K I make a year.

I really, deep down don’t believe that the government has any obligation to buy me insurance or to require the taxpayers of America to buy me insurance. But I am not such a fanatic about it that I would try and refuse it if they came and said here it your insurance, your covered. But, this hodgepodge mixture of you have to buy it but we’ll help you pay for it just doesn’t seem like it is going to work at all. Color me skeptical.

17 March 2010

What went wrong?

I am fascinated by the increasing desperation surrounding the HealthCare reform bill. (Which is a misnomer because Health care itself is not being changed; they are just stirring around how it gets paid for.) the President is really sounding desperate when you hear him talking about it now. It is like he has begun to believe that if this fails his presidency fails. There is still a long time in his term for him to do something else if this doesn’t make it.

But you have to ask yourself, Why is this bill in so much trouble? Or even better, Whey the Hell didn’t they pass this last year? My theory on that is a bit different from most I have heard.

I really think that the one thing that has kept health care reform from passing, and has sunk any chance of the President’s promised and hoped for reconciliation and bipartisanship in government, was the Democrats 60 seat supermajority in the Senate.
This gave the Democrats a (false) sense of invincibility. If they had not had that last seat they would have approached this thing completely differently. They would have had to ACTUALLY TRY to work with the Republicans. And they would have found a few Republicans who would have worked with them. AS it is, they had the MAJORITY, they could pass anything they wanted to. So they made no real effort to work with anyone. They sort of solicited ideas, they talked a lot about Olympia Snow, they made some gestures but when push came to shove, instead of working together to find a common ground and get something done, they just said “We don’t really need you. If you aren’t going to come along, we’ll pass it anyway right over you.” Unfortunately, for them, they failed to remember that the Democratic Party is not at all monolithic when it comes to political ideals. There are LOTS of relatively conservative Democrats mixed with lots of exceptionally liberal Democrats. And since the more conservative ones would really like to keep their jobs, and just may have some actual standards and beliefs they won’t/can’t compromise the Democrats painted themselves into a corner. They crafted two bills, one in the House and one in the Senate that are not compatible with each other. The Republicans seeing that there was no real attempt to include them, sat back and started throwing stones, while the Democrats fought amongst themselves to make something. They had the votes to pass anything they wanted, so they passed nothing.

Now, too late, they don’t have the votes anymore and they are desperately trying to salvage something from the mess they foisted upon themselves. And I honestly believe that when push comes to shove and the arms are twisted and the metaphorical (maybe) knives are pulled in the back rooms, the Democrats will succeed in passing something. But what is coming is not going to be a well thought out, reasoned, rational bill. Because they can’t convince the house to vote for the Senates bill, they are going to foist some frankenbill off on the American people that may, MAY, lower some insurance costs, and MAY get some of us uninsured folks something that will vaguely resemble health insurance and a price that MAY be almost affordable. (I have my doubts about that one) But, due to the twisted, cobbled up, mishmash nature of the bill it will inevitably create two or three new levels of bureaucracy and regulatory confusion in the Health Care system. And any time there is an increase in bureaucracy and confusion there will be an equally inevitable increase in corruption and fraud. This combination will cost us all, each and every one of us a fortune in the future. Not right out of our pockets to doctors, or even to insurance companies, but to the government as it pays for the new bureaucrats and the new investigators to check on the bureaucrats, and the tons and tons of paperwork that it will generate and slow the whole system down even more.

I am not rally happy with the Republican Party right now, but at least when they have a majority they can pass the stuff they want to pass. Incompetence is, in the long run, more destructive that malice. Or possibly even outright evil.

06 March 2010

Well, that's annoying.

I noticed that a bunch of my old posts were filling up with spam so I finally put the hated character recognition this in and promptly got spam on my latest post.

Grump, curse, grumble.

Anyone paying attention to the recent flare up of the Falklands Islands dispute between the UK and Argentina? there has been a fair amount of talk about it places other than the US. I think it is pretty much a fancy stage show. It enables the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, to up her sagging poll numbers by getting tough with the UK, it enables Gordon Brown to do the same think by standing firm against Argentina. Neither country wants or can afford a fight so I doubt anything will come of it.
I was disappointed to see the Obama administration not support the UK. It would seem to me that we owe them. The simple fact that pretty much EVERYONE who lives there wants to remain part of the UK should count for something. Mexico has a much better claim on the Gadsen Purchase than Argentina does on the Falklands.

02 March 2010

An Arrogant Ass?

I think I joined most Americans this week in a moment of shock at the idea that Sen. Dunning from Kentucky had decided to take it upon himself to shut down a bill and would accomplish something that pretty much everyone thought needed to be done. The word “arrogance” sprang to mind pretty fast. I felt about that pretty much the way I felt about Sen. Shelby doing the same thing to judicial appointments after all the crying the Republicans had done a couple of years ago about just giving people and up/down vote. It pissed me off.

But you know, Sen. Dunning at least has a real point. If the Senate cannot find a way to pay for this bill that both Republicans and democrats want to pass, even if that way is just to say, “Hey, it is coming out of the unspent stimulus money.” Then there is no chance in Hell they are going to come up with a way to pay for any of the many things that will need paying for that they disagree on. WE cannot just keep spending money and saying “Yeah, we’ll apportion some money for that later.” It doesn’t work. Look at Greece now. They put off making those hard decisions for a long time. Just keep on spending and make folks happy. Well, they can’t put it off any more and the decisions are being made for them.

I do not want us to end up in that situation some day. I would much prefer we suffer a little now and not keep digging the hole, than find ourselves at the bottom of the hole with no way out.

Dunning may be an arrogant ass, but he may be right too.