The highlight was to be Sarah Palin’s speech, and the highlight it was. The Alaskan Barbie was in great form and the audience loved it, handing her many ovations.
The speech itself was in no way historic or substantive. But it was a fitting keynote speech, better than one that might be given here by, say, Newt Ginrich, or at a gathering of Democrats by,say, Al Gore. Palin criticized Obama and his policies and filled her speech with platitudes and tea party beattitudes.
" 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy to change Defense officials will announce changes to the government's policy of barring open homosexuals from serving in the military, though amendments may take years to implement."
Implementation may take years?? Hell, there are plenty of gays in the military now. What is there to implement? There is also talk of possibly polling military personnel for opinions and attitudes. What would have been the result of such a poll when President Truman integrated the armed forces? And I don't recall years of implementation of his integration order.
By now, millions have seen on TV the expression on Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's face when President Obama stated that the Supreme Court had reversed a century of law and are permitting corporations, even foreign ones, to influence U.S. elections with their money. Commentators uniformly described Alito as mouthing the words "not true" in an unusual breach of secorum.
In an exclusive interview with Supreme Court reporter Linda House, Justice Alito disputed these observations and gave an unusual glimpse of Supreme Court deliberations. The Justice insisted that the words he mouthed were "how true". He was proud of the Court's work in reversing precedent and freeing corporations to spend untold millions to fight the radical Democrats. It was not easy, he said. In addition to those liberal members, he had to contend with arguments by pretty boy John Roberts, Mr. Nice Guy Chief Justice.
Roberts noted that he had repeatedly said in confirmation hearings that he respected precedents and would hesitate to overturn settled law. So what, argued Alito, in those hearings we all said things we didn't mean. Eventually,Roberts came around and of course the Scalia-Thomas team was on board.
Is this Hoover or FDR in 1937? Haven't heard the word Jobs in connection with this plan. After failing to lead and push his party on the stimulus and healthcare, if he does not improve the job situation, Obama will be a mediocre one term president.
Although misuse of the filibuster (helped by the supineness of the Democrats) is a big problem, the major impediment to effective legislation and governance is the financing of campaigns and thus the careers of politicians. This decision is a blow to finance reform.On top of Massachusetts election, a really bad week for our country.
Looks as though we'll get a Senate bill, now that unprincipled Senator Nelson and perfidious Senator Lieberman have agreed to let the Senate do its job and vote. No Republicans would do the right thing for our country. In fact, they complain about rushing this bill through although it has been an endless struggle all year.
The legislation has some reform but has been watered down at the behest of those most influenced by insurance company lobbyists. With 30-40 million new customers mandated to buy health insurance, and no public option, insurance company executives and the lobbyists are toasting each other with the finest champagne.
Also winning are the drug companies. No strong pricing pressure and no importation of reasonably priced drugs from other countries.
Our whole system is strange - and costly. It started innocently enough with employers providing health insurance as a benefit during World War II in order to get around pay restrictions. But this led to most health care availability being dependent on where you worked. Not acceptable.
But why should heath care be dependent on insurance at all? A nation must provide for the health of its citizens. It's not like insuring against fire, or flood. Everyone has to receive health care. So it's like insuring against the need for food. The systems resembles a layaway plan, paying in advance for a product with an insurance back--up.
So why should profit making insurance be inserted between a citizen and health care, or between a citizen and food? It's too late to eliminate the present system entirely but these insurance entities should at least be treated as utilities and regulated as such. Like water and electricity. We're moving in that direction,which is good, particularly in the absence of a single payer system.
Late night comics may joke about Dobbs pursuing a new career at a Mexican TV station, but this is not so. The truth is that just after the first of the year Lou Dobbs and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will begin a nationwide speaking tour.
In a conference call yesterday, Republican consultant Oliver B. Reese advised party leaders to seek candidates who were overweight. "Not obese, mind you" said Reese, despite the success of President Taft. But just enough poundage to tempt opponents to imply that you were too fat to serve.
Obie, to use Reese's nickname, explained further that voters believe that heavy people were more trustworthy, perhaps jolly. Also, voters can relate better to corpulent candidates, since many Americans exceed the weight chart standards.
In addition to last Tuesday's results, history suggests that this is a winning strategy. Skinny Obama's poll numbers are down and we know how famously fit George W. Bush performed in office. So follow President Clinton's lead, get those Big Macs.
The International Agency for Global Cooperation has given its prestigious Annual Bipartisanship Award to President Barack Obama of the United States. The grant includes the historic Jimmy Carter Silver Cup and $5000 in cash.
In its announcement, the Award Committee cited President Obama's tireless sfforts to obtain Republican cooperation for health care reform. Mr. Obama had countless meetings and social events with opposition leaders and refrained from forceful imposition of his own views.
President Obama's wise and inspiring work culminated in obtaining the vote of Senator Olympia Snowe
Soon after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to President Barack Obama, political opponents and other prominent Americans weighed in with adverse comments.
Financial guru Jim Cramer told his TV audience that he knew the fix was in when some of the TARP money was secretly funneled to the Nobel Committee.
Lou Dobbs said that the Nobel Committee had followed the pattern of awarding Nobel prizes to Africans.
TV comic Roger Standpipe felt that it was passing strange that the award was given to President Obama on the same day that the U.S. was going to shoot the moon.
Representative Michele Bachmann stated indignantly that this award proved the influence of ACORN over the Nobel Committee.
Former Republican leader Bob Dole remarked dryly " I guess that the Nobel Committee knows a messiah when it sees one"
An excellent speech to Congress on health care reform. I regret lack of a strong demand for the public insurance option and for surtaxes on the rich but his presentation of his plans to the American people was impressive and effective.
However, one element puzzles me. The President called for a competitive insurance exchange, perhaps including a public option, to become available in four years. But would we not be demanding insurance coverage and insuring the uninsured before four years from now? These millions would then be buying coverage, often subsidized by taxpayers, from private insurers before competition results in lower premiums.
Rep. Charles Boustany, a heart surgeon, gave the Republican response to Pres. Obama's speech to Congress on health care reform. Congress has been working on this legislation for many months. While every day Americans lose coverage, go bankrupt, or even die under present system, Dr. Boustany urges Congress to "start over" I certainly wouldn't want him to start a heart operation on me.
Baucus will never do the right thing for health care
Here are my HEALTH CARE CONCLUSIONS
The other day, a former neighbor came by to visit. At one point she complained that, having just signed up for Medicare, she feared the Medicare changes in health care reform plans. Well, the reform does not threaten Medicare. Medicare changes are not the thrust of these reforms. Medicare's funding problems have to be addressed separate from current reform plans.
Putting aside drummed up fears like "death panels". what's not to like about health care reform? Certainly, there is the cost of insuring the uninsured, but most Americans are in favor of righting this wrong. (and we're paying a lot for their health care as it is). President Obama wants to eliminate pre-existing condition limitations, prevent denials when illness occurs, help preserve insurance when jobs are lost, and reduce costs for the benefit of businesses and individuals. It's all good stuff.
Then there is the public option. This is not government take over or socialism; it is a public insurance option, to operate like Medicare. It is not government-run, like the VA System (although the VA system is efficient and successful) Nor does it put a government bureaucrat between patient and doctor. I've had Medicare for almost 20 years and have yet to run into a bureaucrat, and have had no denials.
At the outset, the public insurance option is necessary because we will have to subsidize some of the currently uninsured; and so we want a lower cost alternative. Longer term this government insurance operation will help keep private insurers competitive and can better negotiate with providers to reduce the overall cost of health care.
Everyone agrees that our health care system is broken and presents an unsustainable burden on our society. Now is the time for President Obama and the Democrats to bring the change voted for last November.
Over the weekend the Obama administration again signaled a retreat on the public option as an essential part of health care reform. In its misguided efforts to seek bipartisanship with the Republicans, the White House seems to be negotiating with itself, making more concessions to no avail. The priority for the Republicans is to bring down Obama and the Democrats, not to ccoperate in the enactment of legislation that would benefit the American people.
The retreat led to increases in the stock prices of health care insurers. More profit for them seems to be a Republican goal. But since Republicans oppose government spending, you might think that they would consider this: the legislation will provide subsidies for low income uninsured people so that they can buy insurance. If a lower cost public option is available, the government saves money.
But of course we can't have more socialism, like Medicare.
During the primaries, I enthusiastically supported Obama. I was confident that Hillary would make a good president. But I considered Barack Obama to be someone special, a tranformative person who might well be a great president. I still support President Obama but some of his Bush-like decisions have been a disappointment and I think his political decision to court Republicans assiduously on health care has been a grave mistake.