Monday, August 31, 2009

Which Side Are You On? ...Day 30

Baron Hill will be at IUS this evening to hold a discussion on current issues. Look for health care reform to be at the top of the list, if not the only thing on it. If you have followed these postings with any regularity and read the links provided here, my view on this matter should be clear: health care reform is vital to the overall success of the Obama administration; it constitutes his compact with the electorate, failure, or what can reasonably be defined as failure, puts his second term out of reach. The majority of sources cited here have not been sanguine about a positive outcome.

For a more hopeful view, read this. Such an outcome would be correctly called a success.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dry Out Time Out

The City Council will meet this Thursday, out of sync because of the Labor Day weekend.

One of the ordinances on the agenda is a moratorium on building permits. This is not intended as a punitive measure against builders or developers. It is, rather, an attempt to let the City catch up with the issues it faces as a result of damages caused by storm water and sewer problems.

During several recent Council meetings, people from various neighborhoods have come before the body to alert us to problems of raw sewage, or storm water, or a combination of the two flooding into their houses. The resulting damage and loss of personal effects has been extensive. The assignment of responsibility to the deity has been convenient, but not necessarily beneficial to these residents.

The proposal before the Council is simple. The Storm Water Board is developing a Storm Water Master Plan. This process should take about six to nine months. During the last Council meeting, I asked an engineer working on the plan, if that plan would result in better development( better meaning less flood-prone or less likely to inflict flooding on surrounding houses or buildings ) after the plan is completed and its findings implemented. He agreed that it would.

A woman from one of the affected areas told of a vacant lot near her house. She suggested that water which flooded the streets of her neighborhood and poured into basements there, might have been made more severe if that vacant lot were built upon, adding impervious surface to the equation of an obviously problematic drainage area. Further, she said, if it were dedicated to use as a detention basin for flood waters, the vacant lot might actually reduce the problem rather than exacerbating it.

The lot to which she referred is in an established subdivision. Construction on that specific lot is permitted "by right". The only element of oversight the City now has on such a parcel is a review of plans pursuant to a building permit, because the overall drainage questions have been answered years ago when the development was granted approval. Unfortunately, unexpected problems are arising to prevent proper drainage, and this is resulting in property damage and loss of personal items. Have rain patterns nullified earlier assumptions? Has maintenance lagged? Or is something else amiss? Hopefully, the Storm Water Master Plan now in development will explain what has gone wrong and point us in the direction of fixing the problems.

The expected time to complete the Master Plan is not excessive. If it is done correctly and thoroughly it may prevent, or at least, lessen the severity of flooding throughout the city. Of course, a plan will not solve anything in and of itself, it will need conscientious application and enforcement to be effective.

As the old joke goes, when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you need to do is to stop digging. In this case, for six to nine months.

Which Side Are You On?...Day 29

For years now, one political party has claimed exclusive protection of family values. Now, as the time to make choices which can protect families is upon us, they choose profits over people.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

WHich Side Are You On?...Day 28

Here are the Top Five Lies About Health Care as reported in Newsweek:

You'll have no choice in what health benefits you receive.
No chemo for older medicare patients.
Illegal immigrants will get free health insurance.
Death panels will decide who lives.
The government will set doctors' wages.

Read the entire article here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 26

Attention literalists: This video of Teddy Kennedy does not specifically discuss health care reform, but it does hit the very real issue of class inequality and the way in which the haves are dismissive of the have-nots.

I don't really know any haves, if you consider people like Rick Scott, who puts millions of his own money into the fight against health care reform. And, my continuing amazement is that while very few others know any people like him either, and have little or no chance of becoming like him, many of these same people want to fight for his intersts which are aligned against their interests.

Is it a belief that somehow, if we let the richest have free rein, there will be "More pie for me"? They fail to realize they don't even have a fork.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 25

How much different might the debate on health care have been had this legislative giant been in the battle?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 24

These are from last week. Anthony Weiner has emerged as one of the most coherent spokesmen for health care reform. Here's hoping he is given a more visible role in the debate when the recess ends and it returns to Washington.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 23

One of the worst problems the current health care system causes is wage stagnation. Companies facing ever increasing health costs hold back on salary increases, trading benefits for a better wage.

This affects communities as well as individuals.

Collectively, the amount of money which can build and improve cities and towns across the nation is being siphoned off into bloated profits for health insurance companies. If insurance lobbyists prevail in the health care debate, they may get so bloated they take off, like so many hot air balloons.

Sure, they'll step up their funding to community arts groups, and cajole extra days out of their employees to repair poor peoples' houses or man food banks. But possibly that money could be put to better use if spread around more equitably through higher wages.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Which Side Are You On?.....Day 22

Frank Rich lays out the case why Obama is playing with fire by courting the very people who wish his political demise. If their opposition prevails in denying meaningful reform to our broken health care system, the Obama presidency is finished. Surely that is what these forces are working for.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 21

Last night David Letterman had a joke about the ruckus at the Town Howls, which have been prominently featured in the news. Town Howl protesters are so enraged he said, "because if there's anything Americans hate,it's comprhensive health care."

If there's anything Americans hate, you've got to ask yourself why.

Newt Gingrich has been working to make Americans hate health reform. Why?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Open Letter to the New Albanian


You've asked why not deal with New Albany's problems and issues rather than focusing on the health care reform effort. I'll answer that question, but I fully understand it is merely subtext for the real questions which are suggested by last night's Council meeting and some of which were asked directly by Jeff in a comment in a previous post (...Day 20).

First, the health care issue. I believe there is not a more important issue today. It has effects at the local level and the failure to pass meaningful reform, I believe, dooms Obama's presidency. I am putting these articles on my blog as a small, perhaps insignificant, contribution to what I hope becomes a current of support for reform. Aside from your knock, Jeff, I hope someone reads them as something beyond "making fun of town howls". Meaningful health reform has the potential to transform this nation in a positive way to a greater extent than anything else currently on the horizon.

My recollection of the chronology leading to your expulsion last night...
As I sat through Ms. Denhart's comments I actually thought someone had brought a baby to the meeting and it had just awoken to cry. That was my first reaction to the unusual noise. I still don't know who made the noises but I know now it wasn't a baby. If my memory is correct, the next thing I heard was Steve Price saying something about respect for the speaker. You called something out to Steve and you were gavelled down. You said something else and the cop walked over to escort you out. On the way past Ms. Denhart, you leaned in and called her a "lying bitch". Others inferred a modifier in the phrase but that's all I heard.

You are entitled to your opinions. Ms. Denhart is, likewise, entitled to hers. I recognize that your opinion of me and the other Council members as constituting possibly "The Worst Council in the History of the World" leaves little chance that you will heed any of my words here.

I believe you hold an important place in this community. I believe you know that. I believe that your new business is a valuable addition to the city and it is one major piece of an encouraging future for New Albany. If you recall, I wrote comments on your blog attempting to deflect some brickbats thrown your way, perhaps even by Ms. Denhart. In that comment, if I can recall it, I think I said that New Albany will gain much more from the money spent on the sidewalk improvements in front of your business than what was spent on it. Regardless of your current opinion of me, I stand by that comment. Ms. Denhart was wrong to throw an insult your way regarding the sidewalk and, mistakenly, the patio. But that in no way can excuse your behavior.

Early this year Jeff Gillenwater, bluegill, was verbally accosted by Dan Coffey. I spoke in the Council chamber to denounce the Council president's behavior. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. I would speak up again in that circumstance. I don't mention that to get a pat on the back, but to help you recall that the Council has addressed such an issue when warranted.

I fully understand that you and your friends do not think New Albany is on the right path to a better future. You've stated often that you believe the Council is an impediment to that better day. I also understand that your greatest ire is probably not directed at me but at Dan Coffey and Steve Price. Both of these Council Members are veterans and have built up a sufficient degree of loyalty to be returned to the Council. I would guess your first reaction to that comment is to think that the results are illegitimate because of the current district apportionment. I continue to believe that issue will be addressed.

As I said, you are in my opinion, a valuable contributor to this city's current revitalization and its future prospects. Anyone who steps up to address the problems of this city is valuable to the effort of correcting those problems and opening up opportunities. It takes a certain amount of courage and concern to stand before a group of strangers and speak your mind. Citizens who come to the Council chamber, or any other venue, addressing issues of concern to them, or the public at large are owed nothing less than respect.

Last night's meeting was a disgrace. Regardless of whether Steve Price was out of line addressing the gallery, or if Dan Coffey exercised the prerogatives of the chair in a manner you saw as unfair, your response directed at Ms. Denhart was indefensible. A racial epithet directed at a black man or a derogatory term directed at a homosexual would have been equally indefensible.

You have built up a store of the un-elected version of political capital, and a sizable amount in my view. You have the intellectual tools to further your aims, and as I said earlier, I believe your aims, as demonstrated by your actions, are beneficial to New Albany's future. Continued actions such as you displayed last night jeopardize your ability to contribute to that future because those actions squander the so-called "political capital". As one who believes in your realized and unrealized contributions to our city, I think it would be a shame to lose that opportunity.

I am not writing this with some prescription of atonement. I believe that you voted for me and that if I run again, you probably won't. I can't help that. I'll not make any excuses for my success or failure as a councilman. I will continue to try in my imperfect way to make this a better place to live and if my efforts don't please the citizens, I am plainly aware of the outcome.

Finally, bluegill characterized the Council's action as sitting on our hands as a melee erupted. Part of the reason I laid out the chronology above was to show that events happened in a rapid and confusing sequence. By the time I, or perhaps anyone, would have had a chance to react, Ms. Denhart had been insulted. At that point, your feet had left the diving board. Whatever contribution you could have made to that meeting was lost. It was your choice. And, it was wrong.

Believe it or not, this is offered in a spirit of peace, with hope that similar incidents will not happen.

Which Side Are You On....Day 20

Earlier in the week on Thom Hartmann's radio show he was discussing the apparent capitultion by the President in support of a Public Plan Option as a necessary component in meaningful health care reform. Hartmann had sent a letter to the President suggesting that the tried and true Medicare system be the Public Plan Option by extending its coverage to those who voluntarily buy into it regardless of age.

The discussion examined some of the reasons this bottom-line component of health care reform has hit rough waters, and part of the reason Hartmann and his listeners settled on, was a lack of clarity in the President's vision, thus leading to a lack of clarity in the public's understanding of his goal. One caller offered a sound bite, which I believe he stated more succinctly than I am here reporting. But it was something like this: "Medicare as Public Option--Shovel Ready Stimulus".

Paul Krugman explores the trouble Mr. Obama's lack of clarity has caused his health reform effort.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 19

I've always wondered why average, everyday people put bumperstickers on their cars that say "JAZZERCISE". What are we to make of that display of loyalty to the JAZZERCISE movement? The driver of the car is a JAZZERCISE instructor? JAZZERCISE saved this person's life by dancing them back from the brink of morbid obesity? This person invented JAZZERCISE? Are some people named JAZZERCISE? They just like bumper stickers, and any sticker will do?

My mind wanders sometimes when I'm behind the wheel. That's how I ended up in Otisco once, but that's another story. But what can make a person, an individual, identify so much with a product which they presumably don't produce or sell, and from which they derive no monetary benefit, that they would willingly place free advertising for that product on their car and drive around displaying it?

That's simply a minor observation of a harmless action. No one is diminished by someone else displaying a JAZZERCISE sticker on that someone else's car. Harmless. And thought provoking only to those with too much time on their hands due to auto confinement.

But another type of exo-indentification is showing itself now. And this product loyalty is dangerous and it is not confined to someone else's car bumper. I am speaking about the tendency, or at least the appearance of a tendency, of people to feel product loyalty to their health insurance seller. This loyalty manifests itself in the acceptance of the slanted view of health care put forth by this billion dollar industry.

The industry wants to stave off a public option because this option would be a highly competitive alternative to the system which renders billions of dollars of profit. The industry is essentially asking for protection from competition. The high level executives of these companies, I would bet, are many of the same ones who decry Unions for advocating protection against competition from slave labor in China. These guys will sing the loudest from the "Miraculous Market Hymnal" when such protection would ensure manufacturing jobs stay in this country rather than being exported to foreign lands. This outsourcing of labor cuts manufacturing costs and labor, but does not diminish profits to the corporation, quite the contrary.

Thousands of people die in this country because they either don't have health insurance, or the health insurance they do have is inadequate.People who buy into the protectionist corporate line are helping to prop up a system which denies a basic human right to their fellow citizens. They are buying into a lie which says the U.S. is the best (aren't we always?) in health care; we're actually ranked 37th in the world. They are buying into a lie which prevents reform, not because the proposed models don't work, they work in every other industrialized nation on Earth, but because, to ignore the lies will decrease the profits of health insurance companies. The health insurance industry does not make a product. It performs a service. And the service it provides is boosting profits to its shareholders and obscenely compensated executives through the denial of health coverage, and the skimming off of a little bit here, and a little bit there on each and every piece of paper they push through the labyrinthian maze.

Those who stand in the way of health reform, and work to maintain the system we have now are,in effect, sporting a bumper sticker that says, "PROFITIZE".

Here is a link to comprehensive exercise in myth busting. It is well worth your attention when conversing with someone on the other side of this issue.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 18

Barney Frank, unlikely pilot of the "'Straight' Talk Express", hits the nail on the head at this Town Howl meeting.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 17

Either Obama is playing one serious game of political chess or he is on track to become the greatest disappointment I've ever seen on the political front.

For the time being, I believe he's a chess player. I guess it's called hope.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 16a

Some members of the Presient's own party have put so much distance between themselves and meaningful health care reform they've actually gained membership in a different party. They are now officially the: so-called Democrats. These guys are worse than no help.

As President Obama's weak-kneed fellow Democrats cave, and as members of his administration signal that the "public option" is nothing to count on in the final health bill, someone offers a sensible alternative.

Listen up Mr. President, at least somebody's thinking.

____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

Published on Monday, August 17, 2009 by
Dear President Obama: A Modest Medicare Proposal
by Thom Hartmann

Dear President Obama,

I understand you're thinking of dumping your "public option" because of all the demagoguery by Sarah Palin and Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich and their crowd on right-wing radio and Fox. Fine. Good idea, in fact.

Instead, let's make it simple. Please let us buy into Medicare.

It would be so easy. You don't have to reinvent the wheel with this so-called "public option" that's a whole new program from the ground up. Medicare already exists. It works. Some people will like it, others won't - just like the Post Office versus FedEx analogy you're so comfortable with.

Just pass a simple bill - it could probably be just a few lines, like when Medicare was expanded to include disabled people - that says that any American citizen can buy into the program at a rate to be set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which reflects the actual cost for us to buy into it.

So it's revenue neutral!

To make it available to people of low income, raise the rates slightly for all currently non-eligible people (like me - under 65) to cover the cost of below-200%-of-poverty people. Revenue neutral again.

Most of us will do damn near anything to get out from under the thumbs of the multi-millionaire CEOs who are running our current insurance programs. Sign me up!

This lets you blow up all the rumors about death panels and grandma and everything else: everybody knows what Medicare is. Those who scorn it can go with Blue Cross. Those who like it can buy into it. Simplicity itself.

Of course, we'd like a few fixes, like letting Medicare negotiate drug prices and filling some of the holes Republicans and AARP and the big insurance lobbyists have drilled into Medicare so people have to buy "supplemental" insurance, but that can wait for the second round. Let's get this done first.

Simple stuff. Medicare for anybody who wants it. Private health insurance for those who don't. Easy message. Even Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley can understand it. Sarah Palin can buy into it, or ignore it. No death panels, no granny plugs, nothing. Just a few sentences.

Replace the "you must be disabled or 65" with "here's what it'll cost if you want to buy in, and here's the sliding scale of subsidies we'll give you if you're poor, paid for by everybody else who's buying in." (You could roll back the Reagan tax cuts and make it all free, but that's another rant.)

We elected you because we expected you to have the courage of your convictions. Here's how. Not the "single payer Medicare for all" that many of us would prefer, but a simple, "Medicare for anybody who wants to buy in."


Thom Hartmann

Which Side Are You On?...Day 16

Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman says, "all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies."

Read the rest of Krugman's piece here.

Greed or care. Pretty simple. Which side?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 15

In Saturday's Tribune, the roving reporter of "Feet on the Street" asked the question, "What do you think of Baron Hill's decision to not hold town hall meetings about health care reform?"

One of the respondents averred, "I think a town hall meeting would be necessary. I'm not for nationalized health care, it obviously doesn't work in England."(emphasis added)

It obviously doesn't work? But where's that English chap reporting from? The Lake District perhaps? Oh, tag we're


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 14a & b

a) The party of Lincoln? Sir, cosmically avert your eyes.

b) This guy is speaking for your party. Where's the terrible swift sword when you need it?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Glenn Beck's Operation
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

Which Side Are You On?...Day14

Meaningful reform of the broken American health care system is threatened by President Obama's unilateral insistence on bipartisanship. His goal of reform is obviously made more difficult by the goofball fringe of corporate pawns working to ensure the continued hegemony of the health insurance industry. But as he continues working the fields, he should also beware of corn snakes; they are sneaky and their bite can be lethal.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 13

For those who question my, as a New Albany City Councilman, interest in this national issue, it is this: Even the rats aboard a sinking ship drown.

Our city and small cities across the land are handcuffed by fiscal restraints put in place by well-meaning citizens and by those who are of the decidedly not well-meaning Norquistian variety.

The quest for this basic civil right holds the prospect of unlocking the vital potential of millions of citizens who are held in dead-end jobs because they "need the benefits".

These people can begin to pursue entrepreneurial gigs that would revive our economy and provide them with more meaningful work lives. These efforts are the kinds of businesses which can be nurtured through one generation into the next. This builds wealth and it builds stable communities with potential for sustainable growth. It could happen in New Albany. It could happen in any of the countless cities across the land.

And yet, New Albany is divided against itself. The nation is divided against itself. Too often, those who step forward to offer their voices in the civic conversation are wittingly or unwittingly speaking someone else's words. The health care debate is a prime example of people's reluctance to accept change, and their fractured attention reinforces this reluctance by preventing a solid understanding of the facts of the debate, thus opening them up to being used as pawns by industry against their own best interests. Thomas Frank's book, "What's The Matter With Kansas" examined that phenomenon.

We can see this at work right here in River City as people howl and object to any spending. This howling is oblivious to the forces at play around us. Inflation is likely to heat up as the economy continues to recover. We demand more services, directly, or indirectly through growth and strain on existing infrastructure.

All the while health care costs grow dramatically. The City currently pays about $1,400,000 annually for health insurance costs. These are for current employees and retirees. The system rides a wave of inflation caused by many factors, but the City budget gets swamped by the costs. The services we demand are cut in its wake, and the City deteriorates. The best solution to these spiralling health care costs is a single-payer plan as put forth in H.R. 676. The New Albany City Council passed a resolution in January supporting H.R. 676.

Health reform is fiscally responsible, yes, but it is simply the right thing to do.


Below is today's installment of Which Side...? It contains a video from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day 12a*

Yet another reason One Southern Indiana might expect at least one automatic NO vote from any requests brought to the City Council on its behalf.

*post should be for Thursday August 13, but I can't figure out the pre-post post- date deal.

Which Side Are You On?...Day 11

Below is an excerpt from a Guardian article. It points out the cluelessness of some opposing health reform in the U.S.. The response by Stephen Hawking refers to an egg-on-your-face editorial in Investors Business Daily. Need we ask which side they are on?


The danger, says the Investor's Business Daily, is that he borrows too much from the UK. "The controlling of medical costs in countries such as Britain through rationing, and the health consequences thereof, are legendary. The stories of people dying on a waiting list or being denied altogether read like a horror script … People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless." We say his life is far from worthless, as they do at Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge, where Professor Hawking, who has motor neurone disease, was treated for chest problems in April. As indeed does he. "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS," he told us. "I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived." Something here is worthless. And it's not him.

The complete article is here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Which Side Are You On?..Days Nine and Ten

One of the most troubling aspects of the current effort at health care reform is the narrow self-interest displayed by the "haves" and their seeming disregard of the "have nots". As Jerry Seinfeld said to George, "We're trying to have a civilization here."
The cry of the single payer advocates is germane to a functional civilization, "Everybody in. Nobody out."

As the Washington Post article shows, the self-interest may be largely self-delusion. Ask the erstwhile members of the Anthem Blue Cross "network" how they like their health coverage.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day Eight

What's the use when the quarterback hands the ball to the other team?

A bit like New Albany in certain respects.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day Seven

I recall newspaper stories I used to read as a kid from time to time. These were reports from distant Pacific islands where a lone confused Japanese soldier would be found still manning his post in the Emperor's efforts to win World War II, many, many years after the surrender of 1945.

In like fashion a latter-day holdout is seen here executing the Bush administration's demogogic all-fear-all-the-time strategy. Instead of GIs, this holdout's enemy is reason, civility and us.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day Six

It's not called the lunatic fringe for nothing.

Moratorium on Building Permits?

At the August 3, 2009 City Council meeting a proposed ordinance was discussed during "Comments by Public Officials", a regular agenda item.

It was not available to the public at the time of the meeting.



WHEREAS: Citizens of various areas of the city have appeared before this Council to alert the Council to the occurrence of flooding in their homes and loss of personal property, and

WHEREAS: This flooding may be caused by over-burdening the existing drainage system comprised of both sanitary and stormwater components, and

WHEREAS: Communication from the Stormwater Board indicates that a Master Plan relating to stormwater drainage is underway, but still months in the future, and

WHEREAS: Residents of long standing are reporting unusual and increased overflows of the drainage system, resulting in serious and costly damage to their homes and personal effects, and

WHEREAS: Residents of areas and neighborhoods have reported an apparent change in the capability of the present drainage system to handle additional capacity without causing further damage to homes and personal property, and

WHEREAS: Some of those citizens have expressed to this Council fear that new “by-right” building or development may cause further stress to the drainage system, and

WHEREAS: High water represents a threat of transporting water-borne pathogens when stormwater and sewage are mixed due to inadequacies or failures within the system, and

WHEREAS: High water unexpectedly appearing on neighborhood streets, drainage swales or other conveyances may constitute an “attractive nuisance” to children unfamiliar with the dangerous force of flowing water,


The Common Council of New Albany finds it prudent to authorize the relevant persons or offices within City Government to impose and enforce a moratorium on the issuance of new building permits until such time that the Stormwater Master Plan is completed and judged sufficient to address the scope of the drainage problems facing the City of New Albany.

Only those building permits which could result in additional flow of stormwater into the system, or those building permits which could result in the paving of currently un-paved ground, are subject to the moratorium.

And further, the Common Council wishes the record to show that all remedial steps currently underway, or in planning, to address the drainage problems facing the city, shall continue during the period of this moratorium.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Which Side Are You On?... Day Five

This excerpt from the Rachel Maddow Show exposes the faux passion behind the Town Hall confrontationists.

The sad part of these spectacles is not that vital reform may be killed because it is genuinely opposed by citizens who have a better plan, rather, it can be seen as near criminal behavior because it is,in fact, corporations acting against the public good to protect profits: profits over people. That offers a sad fate for this nation's future, although it's really nothing new.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day Four

Some on the ideological fringe used to refer to CNN as the Commie News Network, or the Clinton News Network in an attempt to expose its perceived liberal bias. In light of the network's apparent support for its "news" host Lou Dobbs' outlandish championing of the tin-foil-hat "birther" crowd, while simultaneously refusing to air a populist ad supporting health care reform, perhaps Ted Turner's former gem should now be known as the Craven News Network.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Which Side Are You On?...Day Three

"A public option (in health care) is equivalent to getting your water from a public utility, versus having to rely on purchasing bottled water."

--Keith Olbermann on his MSNBC show "Countdown with Keith Olbermann"
August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Which Side Are You On?......Day Two

But he has a really long walk to the men's room.

Hard to imagine why anybody could be on Ed's side.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Which Side Are You On?... Day One

The Sunday yack fests made much of the fact that Obama's poll numbers are sinking. The conclusion the panelists drew from this fact is that "Obama-care" (please spare me the cutesy, derivative monickers) is in trouble. In other words, the Obama health plan faces the same fate as the ill-fated "Hillary-care" plan, back in the early days of the Clinton administration.

Is theirs the correct conclusion? Or is it wishful thinking on the part of over-paid talkers who are out of touch with the real concerns of everday citizens?

Polling research finds support in the range of 60% for a "single-payer health plan". That view is missing or remains unspoken during the majority of the talk shows.

A single-payer plan has the support of the majority of doctors.

Is it possible that polling questions attempting to take the public's temperature on the Obama plan are oblivious to the possibility that support is shrinking not because people fear government run health care but, rather, they object to Obama's plan because it is not BOLD enough?