Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tax Credits to Help Society Balance the Physician Supply.

Here's to your health America. Tax credits were used to help spur Hybrid Car sales, but were limited to a specific amount per car model, so as not to just be a giveaway once that model's market was established. What does this have to do with health care? Or is this just another post about the bailout? I'll tell you, and no. We need more General Practicing Physicians and we need to slow the growth in specialists. So, once again, enter the tax credit. Every year, for 15 years from when a new physician would enter medicine, and of course they would have to verify they have remained a general practitioner, they would get a tax credit equal to 3.5% of what they paid for medical school. After 15 years they would have saved over half of what they paid. Practice generally for less than 5 years and owe back whatever credits they received. 5-10 years they owe back half of what they received. 10-15 years, they owe back a quarter of the benefit they received. Within a decade we should have corrected the imbalance. If after 2-3 years of the start of this program, we are finding the credits do not outweigh the perceived benefits of being a specialist, we can increase and accelerate the credits. Once we have the proper balance, we can use credits to address whatever new areas need to be adjusted, or to keep people continuing in those practice areas most beneficial to society. The risk of physicians who practiced 10-15 years wanting to then change course to pursue a specialty would be small.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Don't let MotorCity Stall.

Surprise, the Republicans are opposing bailing out the car companies. Unlike financial jobs and companies, they don't seem to worry about the ramifications and human costs of losing union jobs and manufacturing, especially when they reside in a state that just voted democrat in the presidential election. As Satan said about this Republican opposition: "That's my boys!" Sure, dating back to the days when there was little competition and the car companies were flush with cash, the unions won contracts loaded with high costs for health care, retirement and hourly wages that during the more recent times of intense competition, have helped to derail the car companies. Of course, it was also the manufacturers own lack of foresight in the areas of quality and hybrid technologies, that also cost them dearly in the competitive marketplace. True, also, the public continued to ask for, and buy, gas guzzling SUV's, which did little to encourage the manufacturers to make the changes to better fuel economy that manufacturers in other countries already had to contend with because of the high price of oil in their local markets. Now, of course, the public changed its tastes very quickly in the face of high gas prices, and the manufacturers have to play catch up. It is important to note, that the situation was not ignored, and the manufacturers did not remain stagnant. In recent years they were winning concessions from the unions, improving quality and updating their green technologies. Because of all of this, the car companies were in the midst of a promising turn around when this terrible economic slump derailed them. It is the combination of the sagging economy and tight credit that has halted car sales in their tracks, and all the manufacturers are suffering. These conditions were brought on as much by bad government policies and poor stewardship of the economy by the financial services sector that has now received its own bailout, as any missteps by the car companies. Don't let this temporary economic upheaval, exacerbated by factors outside the control of the automobile manufacturers, permanently impair manufacturing in America. We would lose hundreds of thousands of jobs, both automakers and the companies that support them, erode the tax base of the middle of this country, reduce our exports to other countries, completely cede our personal transportation choices to foreign manufacturers and give up the ability to innovate and recapture global sales in entire sectors of the economy. There is more at stake here than 3 irrelevant companies and a few over compensated line workers, whatever some conservatives would have you believe. I know I am asking you to write a lot of letters to politicians lately, and, well, write another one!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Don't Let the Bailout Leave These Behind!

Whether Bush does it (unlikely) or Obama has to do it (likely?), it is imperative that one group not be left out of the financial assistance. Failing to assist them will lead to rising unemployment, a rising number of uninsured, escalation of the recession and further financial pain and instability for most Americans. It would cost less than $170 billion to provide complete aid to them for two years! I am speaking, of course, about the States. Many states are looking at budget deficits, cuts to necessary services, often health care and education, and will be forced to cut drastically, lay off, or at least cause layoffs in the industries effected by the cuts. Compared to the bailout of finance and business, whose real cost, especially if you factor in the coming assistance to the automobile manufacturers, is already fast approaching $1 Trillion dollars, this would be economical and wide ranging. The effects of ignoring the states would be a dire progression of the recession. The effects of helping the states would be an instant upsurge of consumer confidence and easing of recessionary pressures. Write to your government officials. Even Satan gives this plan '2 horns up', because, as you know from reading this blog, unlike President W. Bush, Satan hates to see more uninsured kids roaming the streets of out great nation. Just another difference he likes to point out because during this election season he has continuously heard a comparison that causes him a great amount of personal distress: "George W. Bush is the devil!" So please, let your politicians know you support bailing out the states. And if you hear anyone calling W. Bush the devil, please, let them know that Satan finds that very offensive.
Thank you.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tomorrow: Triumph and Regrets.

If Obama loses, though polling would tell us the Bradley effect is as bad as ever it was, I think he can regret his ultimate mistake of not asking Hillary to be his running mate. She attracted just about as many people as he did, they were different people, which together made a formidable base, and she beat him in most of the states he needs to win the election. If John McCain loses, then he can regret taking Palin as his running mate. Picking a right wing W. Bush apostle may have helped with his base. Picking an unqualified, lying (can you say bridge to nowhere), unintelligent (is pollution really caused by people?, she does not think so!)person was an obvious pander; believing that choosing a woman was more important to the women of America than picking someone qualified. Tomorrow night we shall see who regrets what.

Barack Obama for President

I have been working on this endorsement for a while, and scrapped it several times. I have made the case here for months and did not think I needed to say much more here and now. Nevertheless, I hear a lot of things that don't seem so optimistic in a Presidential election for the greatest nation ever on the face of the earth. Also, I do not think everything I hear is accurate. I do not think that in this election it is about choosing the lesser of 2 evils or the devil you know over the devil you don't know. First, these are 2 basically good men. One has a longer history of time in politics, but if you visit his own website, that of John McCain, you will find little about his record. It is not nearly the extensive history we used to see at Hillary Clinton's website. This is because, except for campaign finance reform, you cannot find much John McCain has accomplished. He has reached across the aisle and usually aggravated Democrats as much as Republicans. He is a maverick in the sense that as a politician you usually need to get along with someone, even if it is just your base, but he actually gets along with very few, or at least agrees with them, and gets them to agree with him, equally little. This is not really the mark of someone who can bridge gaps and get things done. I have been told by conservatives, that McCain only agreed with Bush for expediency, and would be his own man if elected. They seem comfortable with this postulated dichotomy, but not with the idea that Obama is not an unknown but actually says what he means (as opposed to what Republicans say Obama "really meant"). I'll try out his ideals and new ideas, as opposed to what John McCain has done lately (agreed with George W. Bush a lot) or what John McCain used to be like (nice guy who did not get along well with others or get much accomplished). When he was so much one way, and then sold himself to another direction to try to get a nomination, how can anyone know what a President McCain would really be like? What would a President Obama be like? I don't know. Obama has not had as many years in office to prove he won't get much done, that is true. He says a lot of good things, and when McCain supporters ask me how I can trust that he means those things, I can only assume they are mistrustful from personal experience with their candidate. That's why I endorse Barack Obama for President. There's no reason to think he is the lesser of 2 evils. He might actually be good. Next up. My election night with Satan---2008! (Then maybe we can get back to all that health care stuff on the back burner, and catch up wih some of the other promised posts that I have fallen behind on, as well as those promised from guest satanic bloggers.) Until tomorrow night then!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A knowledgeable and eloquent man from the Conservative side.

Although I am sure Republicans just see a turncoat for racial reasons.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Am I Harder on John McCain?

Sure. Here's why. He's not a bad guy and I don't think he's a racist, but he has borrowed advisers and plays from the book of George W. But that is only part of it. It is the way he misleads us, as all conservatives do, when they talk of domestic policy. You see, I have talked a little about Obama's health plan, and it has merits and short comings. His energy policy will be expensive, but he does not deny it and he does not hide it or lie about it. Let's look at a couple of McCain's major policy claims as an illustration. Energy and health care. For energy he says he will build 45 nuclear plants. Now, I am not a big fan of nuclear, clean in some ways, nasty dirty in others and could be dangerous. But we didn't invest all these years in new technologies and because of that fusion, among other technologies, is as elusive as it was 20 years ago. So we may have no short term choice. But here's the thing, McCain talks about cutting spending and shrinking government. Each of those plants will cost $10 billion dollars. Cut spending and shrink government, or start a half trillion dollar energy program, and that is just one piece of the energy puzzle! So which will it be? As for his health plan, I have already talked about how his tax ideas won't work, but I like his community health centers idea. If you have read this blog about health care reform you see I want hospital run medical clinics. But with Medicare rates and insurance reimbursement what they are, the hospitals can't afford to build these clinics. Billions more for that and I won't put an exact price because John won't put out an exact number of clinics. Is he going to cut spending and shrink government or enact these initiatives? If history of conservative administrations from 1980 to the present is any guide--- he will do neither. He will tell us what great plans they are, but we need to "wait, my friends, until times are better and we can afford to do this. Let us first spur on the economy with a tax cut for business and the wealthy". This is why I am so hard on John McCain. Because even if you like what he says...he won't be doing it. As for some other things, as I have previously said, John McCain thought the economy was good before he thought it was bad and he thought the bailout was bad before he thought it was good. He might help in Afghanistan, but hasn't a clue about Iraq. A McCain presidency will be 4 more years of inaction on important issues, and mistakes on others. That is why I am harder on him. Not a bad guy, just mired in an ideology that will not let him succeed.

How I believe the election will unfold.

Here is my take on the electoral college map. I believe Obama will win the popular vote by about 3-5%. Here is my electoral college map, as provided by Yahoo. I will update that and my popular vote totals as information comes in right up to the election. I hear talk of an Obama rout, but I do not see justification in the statistics to call for that yet. Check back as conditions change. I will put it in my link section, and leave it up until the election. If I am turn out to be pretty accurate on election day, then I will leave it up until Yahoo stops the link!!
By the way, I have only given Ohio and Florida to McCain because I do not think the voting will be fair in either state. If there does turn out to be irregularities, I will renew my call to remove Florida from the electoral college, and start looking at Ohio next. See how quick they get their acts together if that were to happen!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debates are done! Where do we stand?

They're done. I think this was John McCain's best debate, but I don't think he did very well. That is because he could not. His policies and stands are not what are right for America now. He tried to frame this debate about what was wrong with Obama because he knows there is not enough substance behind his policies. He wants health care insurance to be able to be shopped across state lines, which take it from someone who sold the stuff, will raise the premiums and screw up the plans in all those states where health care and thus health insurance, are cheaper. He would rip apart the state system, which might have merit, but not for the reasons he gave. Then on abortion he explained that he would leave it to the states to go against Roe Vs. Wade because he's a Federalist. He said there would be no litmus test for judges, except he ended by saying, and I bet he wishes he'd ended a few seconds earlier, "no litmus test except a strict adherence to the constitution, but any judge that supports Roe in my opinion isn't adhering to the constitution" (I did paraphrase a little, but that was pretty close) Which is it John? Break apart state governance or a Federalist? No litmus test, but no judges who find Roe acceptable? He mis-characterizes Obama's plans but that is okay. If Joe the Plumber is rich now congratulations, many in America are not. Which leads me to my biggest gripe about Obama's performance. Enough with letting John McCain talk about redistribution of wealth and class warfare. What Obama is proposing for the richest Americans, is making the tax code fair again, by repairing the inequities that have favored them in the tax policies under George W. Bush. That is all. Fairness. Not redistribution and not class warfare, and I am disappointed that Obama has failed to clarify that. Nevertheless, as McCain still comes across as dismissive (although less so tonight), seething and petulant, Obama continues to make the case that he is the steady and Presidential figure this country wants and needs. SO where do we stand? The polls indicate it is going for Obama and I do not see that anything changed that tonight. We shall see what the polls continue to say. Some have questioned, with some statistical merit, that in some ways the race and in particular the electoral race is closer than it appears. Maybe, but the momentum for change seems t be with the candidate the people are embracing as the agent of change. I have said it before, and I say it again, there is nothing so scary about the unknowns of Obama compared to all the mistakes and poor policies John McCain has made and proposed, much less all his poor choices in support of much of the W. Bush agenda. Tonight, he could have tried to turn the tide by really speaking to the people about how his policies could benefit them. Instead, as he has done, he gave short answers about how he was going to take care of everything (because, you know, this stuff is all so easy) and then made this about why Obama was not a good choice. It did not work for George H.W. Bush against Clinton, and it is not going to work against Obama now. I look forward to all of us trying to take a President Obama's good starting plan for health care reform, and moving it into a true agenda for reform needed for the 21st century and beyond. WHat is best about this situation though, is Obama has shown he has a command and plausible agenda for most of the aspects of the Presidency. He is not a one issue candidate, which is fortunate because this is not a one issue nation. God bless this great country of ours, the men and women out there risking their lives to defend it, and all of us, as we move forward and show the entire world that the best times for the greatest nation ever on the face of this earth---are ahead of us!

I had to laugh....

I found this online: If Obama Were White, He'd Be Hit Twice as Hard.
If you are interested, it is short and can be found here: http://www.newser.com/story/39904/if-obama-were-white-hed-be-hit-twice-as-hard.html. (So can my comment, but I have copied and expanded it here.)

While it is true that generally, I would say it was Sarah Palin and not John McCain that has been stoking hatred, it is John McCain that is paying for it. The reality is that the Dems have been going equally soft on McCain because he is a war hero, something the Republicans didn't do for Kerry. Where conservatives took a war hero and tried to lie about his accomplishments, no one has pointed out that what McCain gave for his country was a great sacrifice, but getting shot down and imprisoned for years is not a qualifying event for President. And NO ONE is taking any shots against Palin, presumably because she is a woman---except to point out the numerous things she says that do not make sense. The democrats have treated John McCain better than George W. Bush did in the 2000 primaries. Conservatives just cannot accept that they were in charge of the WhiteHouse for 8 years, the congress and senate for 6, and have made such a disaster of things that the country is leaning left. Rather than take responsibility, which conservatives never do, they will now blame their losses on fears of being labeled racists if they said "the truth". My friends, you have pointed out about Ayers, and the democrats pointed out about Wright long ago. But those aren't the issues. They are the economy, Iraq, the environment and the future of America, and on those fronts are why Obama is leading.
It is not pretty watching conservatives panic. Amusing, but not pretty. Would that they had spent years worrying about our soldiers dying in Iraq, our 45 million uninsured Americans, business getting rich while ordinary Americans were falling behind and the looming energy crisis, they would not have to panic now as America might even agree that Obama was too inexperienced. But now, thanks to the mess the W. Bush Administration and Republican Congress created, people are craving that change, even if there is an element of unknown. Better the unknown that seems in the right direction, than the known which clearly isn't.

Monday, October 13, 2008

McCain scrambles to remake candidacy with 'comeback' speech. Decides to start discussing issues instead of anti-Obama rhetoric. Palin speechless.

Really. Sarah Palin has nothing to say, because she doesn't know anything about the issues. She threw a tantrum when she heard about this new campaign style, because she was told this was always going to be all about hate, and she knew she could handle that. It is rumored that she was overheard telling her taxidermist: "...crazy old man! How does he expect me to learn about the issues now, it takes all my time trying to spin my ethics violation, which by the way was neither improper nor a violation, nor unethical even, no matter what that bipartisan commission found. C'mon, who you gonna believe, a bunch of politicians and lawyers or a wolf shooting, moose eating, soccer/hockey mom that does a wicked Tina Fey doing herself, impression?"
Oh yeah, and McCain says he is going to talk issues---as soon as he gets some. No, no he has some, he just likes to change them often. It's like a hermit crab trying on different shells, he just wants to see which one is best, and by best, he means which one does not get ripped apart by the pundits and the public, so he can move on to the next issue. Remember, John thought the economy was good before he thought it was bad. He thought the bailout was bad before he thought it was good. And he thought Sarah Palin was a good choice and now he tries not to think of her at all.

New York Times Columnist and Princeton Professor Paul Krugman wins Nobel economics prize

Smart and perceptive. A man who's research spawned new ways of thinking about global production and trade and who is right on the money, often, on the home political scene. Congratulations!
Here is a link to his blog:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

McCain Locks In the White Supremacist Vote. (and what vote is Sarah Palin going for?)

With John's latest verbal assault "in the next debate I will whip his you-know-what" referring to Obama, are we to presume he was throwing out a little code to remind the southern states that might for the first time in decades be leaning towards a democrat, of the good old days when blacks knew their place---and if it wasn't picking cotton it was tied up and at the end of their owner's whip? Or are we to believe that this usually well spoken and learned man is just becoming unglued? He probably resents the implications that he is unstable. Will he really prefer becoming the KKK poster boy, instead? He seemed to be trying to avoid that recently by trying to paint Obama as a decent man at some of his more vehement rallies, and saw the ugly side of some of his supporters when they booed their candidate. Has he decided, like he did years ago with George W. Bush, that if he cannot beat them he should join them?? Now, I am quite sure conservatives will say over-sensitive liberals are just nit-picking. Possibly, but in a year long primary battle with a full field of candidates, the democrats all managed to avoid such verbal blunders (even if their spouses did not always do as well). Or perhaps John was just trying to show that he can put his foot in his mouth as easily and often as his running mate Sarah Palin. I haven't bothered with her much because...well, why bother. But did you know she feels she was exonerated of ethics violations even though the bipartisan commission in Alaska found she violated ethics rules. Foot in mouth or just plain liar? She must be going for the 'liars who can't even get their lies straight' constituency, but I think she already had a lock on that one.

What Republicans are afraid of. (Part 1)

You know, I know a lot of conservatives, and speak with them on a fairly regular basis. They're actually family and friends and I care a great deal about them; not because they're conservatives of course, but because their family and friends. So when the issue of the election comes up, which is probably a stupid thing to be talking about in the 1st place with family and friends, I often get the same response, "I'm afraid of Obama." Now on the face of this, I can understand. They say they don't understand exactly what he would do or stands for because he's an unknown. You don’t have to argue that point with me, because here on these very blog pages I have not been so friendly to Obama during the primaries and had endorsed his rival Hillary Clinton. But since, politics affects health care reform and this blog is actually about both, I feel it's time I weigh in on this election although I have been uncharacteristically silent compared to previous elections. So, in part 1 I am going to state my thoughts on what conservatives are afraid of, and then in part 2 we are going to hear from our favorite pollster from Hell; he's lean and mean and a soul searing machine… he puts the Satan in satanic and the devil in the details… he's no stranger to you and he’s a friend of this blog… Satan. But first, I look at the country and the world today. I think back to eight years ago, when we ignored the warnings about Al Qaeda using our own airplanes a month before 9/11. I think about the fact that the military we used to clobber the Taliban in Afghanistan and defeat Saddam Hussein's armies in Iraq was the military that Bill Clinton maintained and armed. Certainly, we know this to be true, because George Bush didn't have time to alter the military. Now, every conservative likes to say that Democrats will decimate the military if given the chance. They say this for two reasons. First , because they need to find something to say, because they used to say it was the tax-and-spend Democrats. A funny thing about that. While it's true that you can't say the Republicans like to tax people, although I like to call them the unfairly taxing Republicans, because they have no problem with an unfair tax code that more burdens the middle and lower classes. You can however call them the free-spending Republicans. How can they any longer attack the Democrats for big government and high spending, when in the last 28 years, the only time we did not have hundreds of billions of dollars being added national debt every year , was under Bill Clinton --- a Democrat. I've actually heard a couple of conservatives have the nerve to claim that the credit for that goes to the Republican-led Congress and Senate that Bill Clinton had to deal with during much of his presidency. They fail to note that under Ronald Reagan, the Democrat led Congress and Senate gave into most everything he wanted because the public support was behind Reagan, and also that under George W. Bush he mostly had a Republican-led Congress and Senate that led to the biggest deficits of all time. This despite all the spending in Iraq and Afghanistan only totaling a little more than one year's deficit under George W. Bush, is pushing through tax policies that he said was going to increased tax revenues because they would expand American business, the fact that his wars have expanded America business by war spending on materials, the fact that we have had growth in stock market and housing price values for much of his terms and decent employment figures. If we had these raging deficits during reasonably good times under most of the W. Bush administration at least economically (which was certainly a hold over from the wonderful Bill Clinton years) and in what circumstances could Bush and the Republican Congress and Senate have imagined America would have to have had to start to reduce deficits during their terms? Conservatives also like to say that the Democrats will cut spending and ruin the military because they like to scare people. After all it worked so well in 2004 when it reelected George W. Bush. Now, go back to 9/11; we can blame 9/11 on a combination of factors, but none of them relate to Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton built up a fine military, a good reputation for the US around the world and had Richard Clarke in there fighting terrorism. George W. respected Richard Clarke so much he kept him around for a while. And after all, George W. Bush was being George W. Bush. Why would we expect him to take anything seriously, and not be playing golf, which is just the way he's always been as all his successive business ventures collapsed. It wasn't a surprise to me that Mitt Romney wasn't the Republican candidate for this election, because clearly conservatives like to choose business failures not business success stories. So you take a lazy failure and you make him president, you have no right to expect he's going to do any better than he did. Now jump ahead eight years, our initial success in Afghanistan and Iraq was destroyed not by a bad military, but by a bad commander-in-chief and the poor people he put under him to manage the warfare. Did the surge work? Of course, sending in thousands more troops to kill more Iraqis worked just like Bill Clinton sending in 100,000 new police officers across the country to curb crime. Eventually, if we send in enough troops and kill enough Iraqis, when their leases many troops as there are Iraqis left, we will have created a real and lasting peace. At least from our viewpoint, apparently. Besides Iraq and Afghanistan, we have the economy, which we drove so into the ground thanks to George W. Bush and six years of conservative Congress and Senate that voted along with him all the time, that we have driven the rest of the world's economies into the toilet as well. I actually have seen conservatives blame the current state of the economy on the Clinton administration's deregulation. When I stopped laughing, I point out that whether deregulated or regulated, a situation is only as good as the current oversight. Nobody has been minding the store during the entire Bush administration. Plus they have continued to deregulate, and pass rulings that encouraged less oversight. The lone exception is the Sarbanes-Oxley act, passed under George W. Bush out of panic for the last corporate greed mess stimulated by the attitude and lax oversight of this administration, that has onerously burdened smaller businesses, while clearly not handling those areas of business practices that were going to cause us these problems. Then of course, we have the rest of the Middle East, where we have accomplished nothing of note in the last eight years, but of course not much of note had been accomplished before that. We have the environment which has gone a bit downhill in the last eight years. We have North Korea and Iran which have basically been mishandled in the last eight years. The world is a much worse off place than it was eight years ago. Some conservatives point to the fact that we haven't been attacked on American soil since 9/11 as proof that their policies, at least in some ways, work. But as I point out, the attacks on our soil were the two on the World Trade Center eight years apart. We weren't necessarily due yet. We have certainly seen terrorism across the world, terrorist recruitment up thanks to some of our policies, and Al Qaeda enter Iraq where it never was before we invaded. You will notice that 9/11 happened in 911 2001 not during the Clinton years. You can blame the conservative supreme court and the poor voting procedures of a Bush run Florida for 9/11 as much as anything else. You see, if the actual elected person, Al Gore, had taken office, we would have every reason to believe based on past experience that he would've read the reports and taken them seriously and acted a month before 9/11. It may never have happened. Of course, we'll never know, but it should keep you awake at night thinking about it, because no one has ever accused Al Gore of being uninformed or not on top of what's going on. So after all this, what is my point? What are conservatives afraid of? I've tried to point out, that what I truly believe they are afraid of, is that things will get better under Barack Obama. They like to say they're afraid of the unknown and the terrible things that might happen, but could the consequences be much worse than what's happened under George W. Bush, which is why I stated everything or I should say, restated everything, here now. No, what conservatives don't even have the ability to admit to themselves, which is why they just have this blanket statement "Obama scares me", is because what they're really afraid of is that things will get better and they won't have a shot at the White House again for a very long time. You see that's what happened last time, after things are great on the Clinton, Al Gore won the election. However, because of shenanigans in Florida and a conservative supreme court they were able to steal the election for George W. Bush. They know that won't fly with the American people again. The American people don't forget and they will remember for a very long time what happened when they allowed the Supreme Court to steal an election and how bad everything has been since.
I have weighed in here on the negatives of Obama in the past. I have weighed in on some of the positive aspects of John McCain from the distant past. Haven't bothered to weigh in on some John McCain's weaknesses when he was a Republican that I liked. Why bother? And all his time in the Senate so, actually hasn't accomplished much. It's true, what he said in the debate about his record, that he is reached across the aisle, but also that he hasn't always been like by people in his party or the other party. It's true. He doesn't get along with enough Republicans or Democrats to accomplish very much. He never has. More recently, for several years, he has tried to get along with the most conservative Republicans by kissing up to George Bush and showing that he can be the kind a guy that they can get behind. Pathetically, they still haven't really gotten behind him, but that's okay because let's be real, they’re not going to vote for Barack Obama. I guess McCain is most worried that they won't come out and vote at all. Now in the last debate, John McCain explained in just a couple of sentences, that he's going to fix the economy and catch Osama bin Laden because those things are really not that hard. Not that hard?! John McCain is either a liar or is sadly confused and deluded. These have been two of the greatest hallmarks of the George W. Bush administration. In just a couple of sentences John McCain has proven what he's been trying to stop the Democrats from doing for quite some time. He proved he is just like George W. Bush. And as I have stated here, anything we could possibly fear about the unknown of Barack Obama, has sadly already been realized by George W. Bush and company. This is why I can wholeheartedly endorse Barack Obama for president and why I dearly hope his deeds will match his words and the feeling and compassion behind them, and that he will do his best to fulfill the promises and expectations his belt among the people who were going to vote for him. His words and deeds and what actions we have seen, have all been of a man who cares about this country and all the people in it. There is no history or uncovered documents and letters that would lead us to believe there is anything more to fear from Barack Obama than fear itself.
Next up: we'll hear from Satan.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Paying Healthcare Providers for Performance.

It is interesting that in today there is an article in the New York Times Science Times about paying healthcare providers for performance, because I happened to have just been working on this same topic. The article clearly, and concisely pointed out the pitfalls of paying for performance. I think there is merit and reason to such a promise, but I advocate a much different system. There is the idea of paying for results, which is different than paying for performance, and is also being tested by Medicare. But as usual, insurance companies and Medicare, just don’t get it. Their solutions fall somewhere in the middle, rather than developing proper methods, they like to use the most basic and limited thinking to reach their goals. In my pay-for-results plan, there is your base pay plus two bonuses for lowering mortality rates and improving treatment rates based on certain criteria. There are no payments for treatment guidelines as in the current system, because it contributes to the risks and abuses pointed out the article, such as avoiding surgery for patients at higher risk or even treating patients who are very high risks, as well as starting antibiotics and other treatments before you are clearly sure of the diagnosis. You earn your bonuses for lowering mortality or treating in the most efficient manner, meaning earliest and easiest intervention. Only if you don’t get a good result while not following the guidelines the government has established, would you be penalized. In this way, you can show that you are able to achieve excellent results without blindly following generalized guidelines. The problem with these guidelines developed by the government is not that they’re bad, because they’re not. Statistically, they are driven as the generalized best practice. However, if people were machines, especially mass-produced well maintained machines like computers, this generalization would work a lot better. The problem is, human bodies don’t all work perfectly alike, and medical science is art as well as science as there is so much still to be learned. Therefore, providers for innovative and maintains strict controls to be on top of the situation can probably do a better job than generalized guidelines. However, if you’re not good at what you do, and you are flouting guidelines without showing a corresponding better practice, you’ll not only get worse results but the system will now be in place to penalize you for it. Patients will need to be set up in the two tiers, with the most sick patients being put in the final tier, and will be judged statistically on a separate basis, so as not to skew your results and lower your bonus. This will help to remove the encouragement, not to take on the sickest and most high risk cases.
Since generalization is built on statistical evidence I am quite sure it saves lives in institutions where the creativity is lacking, or the attention is not quite there, where they are understaffed and overworked, so it is not a good idea to abandon them completely. Rather, they should be used as a measurement tool to compare what treatment is being done at organizations that are doing below acceptable limits. For the best institutions they should be used to figure out what they are doing right and how to ultimately make those generalizations even better.
It is important to create a tier structure that takes into account the kinds of cases, the hospitals are taking on. We don’t want to encourage hospitals to shy away from the toughest cases, or those institutions that currently do, and should handle the toughest cases, to worry about how they may skew their results in a negative manner.
Clearly, we need to hold providers accountable. Just as we want people who repair all our homes or cars. We need to understand that unlike homes, cars and computers, fixing people is not an exact science, and everything we need to know is not known. Having said that however, we have a right to expect that our providers are not only well trained and licensed, but are knowledgeable and prepared to practice using established, statistically beneficial guidelines, unless they have a good and experienced rationale to divert from these guidelines.
We should not allow insurance companies and Medicare to start dictating treatment. When the only way for a provider to get paid is by following the guideline of treatment, even when they strongly have reason to believe they can do better than those guidelines, then they won’t, and medical science will not march forward. Insurance companies and the government are always looking for a way to pay out less, and this is reasonable if they can find ways to more efficiently offer the same or more effective care. However, what’s necessary here is the creation of a more comprehensive and multi-tiered evaluation system and check and balance system, to allow providers to do what they do best, yet help them to avoid some of the pitfalls and errors to which many of them are prone.
We can do better. We must not allow insurance companies, nor government, to choose what is easy and expedient. Simple cost-cutting and financial constraints are not going to fix our health care system, nor halt health care inflation in the future, unless we accept the realities that major change must be affected. At the same time, we must preserve what is best about our system, and that is our well-educated provider system, our top-notch research and development system and our cutting edge development of technology in healthcare and related fields. We can do better and we will do better.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Fighting Terrorism Scorecard.

Some Presidents have terror trust upon them, like Bill Clinton in 1993 when, without warning the World Trade Center was attacked. Others are prepared and forewarned with their great understanding of the world around us, like George W. Bush who ran during the 2000 debates as the "anti-terrorism President". After 9/11 George W. Bush said he would have "moved heaven and earth to have stopped those attacks". Since it has long been established that he had warning that Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden were planning to use our own airplanes against us in a terror attack, we can presume that rather than figurative, W. Bush was being literal. Apparently he might move heaven and earth, which I am pretty sure he actually cannot do, but he would not order the airlines to lock their cockpit doors; something that has been done since the attacks, and has long been credited with helping Israel's airline, EL AL, avoid hijackings. Because he was warned but failed to act in any way, shape or form, George W. and his administration get a big NEGATIVE on their first brush with terrorism. George W. then invaded Afghanistan, the hideout of Osama bin Laden, after establishing that he and Al-Qaeda were the culprits. That goes down as a big POSITIVE. We then invade Iraq, even though intelligence tells us they are not related to the attacks, do not harbor Al-Qaeda, in fact Saddam Hussein was afraid of Al-Qaeda. That's okay. We don't claim they had anything to do with 9/11. We claim they are dangerous on their own right, preparing weapons of mass destruction and all. When this turns out to be false, and we start to learn that the administration knew these were lies, we suddenly start to claim they were part of 9/11 all along. By 'WE' of course, I mean our Government. Then the bipartisan commission finds, as we knew all along, that Iraq had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda or 9/11. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain and Joe Lieberman have apparently not read any of this intelligence or been briefed on any of these reports. Many citizens of our country and people around the word have been getting the message however. That would go down as another big NEGATIVE. Our destroying the Iraqi military and having not a clue how to fill the void allowed Al-Qaeda to, for the first time, get a foothold in Iraq and start killing our troops with roadside bombs and Iran supplied anti-tank and helicopter weaponry. Incidentally, also empowering Iran. Our use of torture and indefinite imprisonment during the conflict has helped to turn Arab sentiment against us that had been won over back by the Gulf War. Our hypocrisy has tainted us not only in the MidEast, but on the entire world stage, emboldening Russia. We'll call that another real big NEGATIVE. Our taking the eye off the ball by going into Iraq leaves the job undone in Afghanistan, allows the Taliban to regroup and lets Osama gets away. NEGATIVE. That's five events with one positive and four negative for, or a 20% positive percentage. If you took math anywhere but President Bush's classes at Yale, you know that is a failing grade. If there is any place where John McCain most agrees with George W. Bush, it is in the fight on terror. Do the math. What is really sad is that because the Republicans talk tough, people actually believe them, even with their abysmal record. These are smart people, some of them anyway. If a stockbroker told them he'd make them a lot of money but had a terrible track record of losing people's money, these people would never listen to them. If they were shopping for a car and the salesman said this is the best car in the world, they would still look up Consumer Reports to objectively verify this. But let a Republican talk tough on terror, and it doesn't matter that they have done absolutely nothing, well, almost nothing, and certainly done almost nothing right. Like I said, DO THE MATH, and if you don't want to vote for Obama, then write in a vote for a house plant, or a sponge, or anything or anyone not McCain/Palin, because this country and its citizens cannot afford 4 more years of fighting terrorism the Republican way. We need to start fighting the real threats and we need to focus on that fight until we beat them! But when you do cast your vote, before you write in that house plant, remember that Bill Clinton, a democrat--shudder---caught the 1993 attackers of the World Trade Center, and when Al-Qaeda attacked us in other countries, Bill Clinton sent in cruise missiles, and when Saddam Hussein would break the no-fly zone, Clinton would bomb his bases and other military targets. By that count, Bill gets a passing grade. You can vote Obama, or vote for a sponge (Spongebob for President, anyone?), but I think we'll all probably be better off with Obama.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Country First

Country First. That's the sign that the Republicans wave around at their convention. I guess they are trying a change of pace, since they tried putting their country last and the richest people first from 2000-2006. They still put their country last from 2006-2008 but it was less comprehensively because they lost the congress, because the country woke up and realized they were being put last. Just about their entire convention has been about veterans. Veterans are heroes and patriots, but that does not mean they are qualified to be President. If you only had to be a brave war hero, then John Kerry would have been our President the last 4 years, and America might have already been on the road back to the greatness it deserves. We can't change the past, but we can fix the future. The Republicans had their chance...and they messed things up. True, we don't need Obama to get us out of Iraq because despite what the Republicans want; Bush wanting the war to continue and McCain saying we will stay there 100 years, the Iraqis are throwing us out! Still, we need a change to right so many other things. Vote Obama. Or go ahead and write in your vote for a sponge, a Buick, a house plant, what-have-you, just not John McCain or any other Republicans.
By the way, did you notice those young Republicans cheering Rudy Giuliani saying John McCain would keep the fight against terrorism on the offensive? Why are they at the convention? Why haven't they enlisted to fight the good fight in Iraq (or even better---the real fight in Afghanistan)? The old Republicans love to cry for war because they aint going, and they aint sending their kids either, make no mistake. Seem a bit hypocritical? Alright, it's true, not just a bit. Of course, not all Republicans are hypocrites. John McCain's kid is in Iraq (as will soon be Joe Biden's), and Palin has family going as well, but sadly, that is pathetic, not patriotic. The only terrorists they will get to shoot at in Iraq were ushered in by George W. Bush, as has been pointed out in this blog before. If Republicans are so easily fooled, and fail to learn when the truth is pointed out to them; that Iraq had nothing to do with 911, and a bipartisan commission pointed that out, and that the Bush Administration lied, and covered up these issues, how can you trust such easily fooled people to run your country? The answer of course, is you can't, and when you try, you get the last 8 years. And Bush was the guy doing the fooling! He's the clever one! The rest are just still believing the lies he sowed! At this point it should just be NUFF SAID. Time will tell.

Monday, September 01, 2008

More on Health Care Reform. Changes to come.

I just want you to know that I have happily worked for insurance companies selling both life and health insurance as well as managing entire units and regions for those companies. Nevertheless, I must call this section, "how the evil insurance companies screwed up everything".
You see, in the 70s and 80s, when insurance companies are able to make ordinals of money on safe interest-bearing investments, they took their eye off the ball and simply reimburse whatever charges doctors and hospitals submitted. This allowed for out of control costs growth and waste. There was no fiscal discipline for decades in healthcare. This is by far not the only cause of the situation, but because the insurance companies acted as insulation between the public and providers, there was never the need to deal with the spiraling costs. Of course, due to the complexity of healthcare, it’s never going to be cheap, and there is no developed nation where health care is quality where it is cheap, although in many places it's less costly and more efficient than it is in the United States.
Now, I don't blame the insurance companies for everything or necessarily even the majority of the current problems. I also wouldn't blame them almost at all if they made a reasonable rational attempt to fix the problems that they did create. But they did not they, like the government, tried Band-Aid fixes that not only do not address the problems that are unfair in their attempts at what meager solutions they offer.
Their cost containment solutions are always aimed at the end providers, ignoring what those providers cost of doing business really is. Now, I have stated myself but I believe we spend enough on healthcare already, but I know that to fix the system to make it operate on these budgets requires major policy retooling. To go to the last end of the providers and say you've got to charge less, we are not paying you any more next year than we did this year, we are only paying for this many days of hospitalization and we won't take into account that people aren't machines and we can't always know exactly what's going on inside them and what the outcome is going to be, are all punitive measures with no rational basis for expecting them to work , or work efficiently. Neither government nor insurance companies get it. There is no simple fix here. Insurance companies place in this business is going to need to change drastically. Insurance companies and HMOs aren't doing a good job, aren't doing the right job and aren't set up correctly for what our healthcare system needs. On a much more superficial basis I am going to begin to lay out here what I do much more comprehensively in my book; and that is how we are going to need to remake the interplay of insurance companies, government funding and healthcare providers into something that works now and will continue to work into the very far foreseeable future.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You heard it here first--You are not a Patriot if you vote Republican!

What does it really mean to be an American? What is a patriotic American? A few great Americans wrote that "all men are created equal". If they had lived in more enlightened times I am quite sure they would have said "all people are created equal". It has been a long time since Republicans treated all Americans, much less all people, as equals. In the last eight years George W. Bush has treated only those who are rich and friends of his and Dick Cheney's as equals. Conservatives of George W. Bush's ilk lie and obfuscate to meet their own personal agendas. They tell you that you need smaller government because it's not right for government to interfere in your lives. I'll tell you government should be as little involved as absolutely possible. The convince you that really all government is for us to protect you from invading nations, and other than that you should really be on your own; because its best for you that way. Then they'll tell you they can have an abortion, can have sex with who you choose, probably love to have certain kinds of sex and only allowed to marry people that they deem proper. What they really mean when they tell you that you need smaller government is that they feel that rich people like them shouldn't have to help out the poor and sick. They don't care about healthcare reform because they can afford health insurance. They want to make it illegal for you to have an abortion, but then cut programs that would provide aid for you and your child once they're born. In case you were wondering, this is not the American way. It's not what our forefathers fought for. It's not the meaning of their written words. If you study history and historical documents you will find that the people who founded this country were great people and great thinkers. They took risks and committed selfless acts. There are almost no politicians alive today who could stand up to a comparison with those that started this great nation. Our soldiers are patriots. They risk their lives for protecting our great nation. Even in wars that you may consider unjust, from Vietnam through the Iraq war, you can only blame the wars on the politicians, but you must respect and revere what our soldiers offer up to their nation. Our police and firefighters are patriots. They lay it on the line for their fellow country people every day. When you vote you are committing a patriotic act. When you speak out, whether for or against your government, you are committing a patriotic act. Your forefathers created this great nation and thousands of lives have been laid down through the years to protect your rights to say what you have to say. If you look at the politicians who tried to paint dissenters as unpatriotic you will see that they have committed more unpatriotic acts; more acts diametrically opposed to the well and teachings of our forefathers, then anyone else. It is no surprise that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have spent a good part of their administration painting critics of theirs as unpatriotic, because they are perhaps the most unpatriotic leaders of this great nation that we have seen in our own lifetimes. Now, I'm not going to call John McCain unpatriotic. He served his country and he suffered for it. He tried to round on his conscience and cleanly, and was ripped apart by George W. Bush in 2000 because of it. This year, with the Republicans so out of favor, he could've run as the renewed and reinvigorated John McCain who stood for something for many years. He chose not to. To pander to the right wing conservatives he sold his soul, and not to Satan but far worse, to George W. Bush. He has aligned himself with unpatriotic liars who have sullied the great history of our nation. No, I will not call John McCain unpatriotic. However, his campaign and his presidential ambitions have aligned himself with those that are so unpatriotic that it would be a crime against this nation to reward his poor choices by voting him into the White House. I do not know a lot about Barack Obama. I think that's the problem, nobody does. I don't know how he'll react in a crisis or how he'll handle world affecting events, but I do know he hasn't made the poor choices John McCain has. Also in the limited things we do have from Barack Obama we can see a consistency of purpose and compassion throughout the years. I also believe, while they should not have snubbed Hillary who I do believe was qualified to be president, that in choosing Joe Biden he has shown his openness to be guided by experience at his side. Thus, after analyzing our forthcoming election I can only find that the right thing for America and the patriotic thing to do, is to elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden to be president and vice President of the United States later this year.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

President Hillary. Maybe someday...

Hillary Clinton did an amazing job in her speech at the Democratic national convention. She mended fences, praised and pushed Obama , and attacked John McCain. In short, she did everything she was supposed to, and everything the Obama people could have hoped for. So why was Michelle Obama looking so miserable throughout Hillary's speech? Could it be because she looked so presidential? Could it be that she was afraid the audience would be thinking they picked the wrong candidate? Some think Obama has been struggling in the polls because he seems to have lost his direction. He snubbed Hillary for his vice presidential candidate, and could Michelle Obama now be realizing what a terrible mistake that was; failing to create the dream ticket because of his own stubbornness and pride? Joe Biden's a really good guy. Maybe he's qualified to be president, but he sure didn't get many votes when he tried. He's not likely to bring many votes he couldn't get over to Obama. By choosing Biden, after extolling the virtues of going outside the box and not picking a Beltway insider and looking for somebody who didn't have the same old jaded Washington experience, he merely appeared to be caving in to the criticisms that McCain has leveled at him that he somehow escaped when Clinton and Edwards and Biden, et al., leveled them at him themselves. In one fell swoop, choosing Biden over Hillary, but yes, choosing someone like Biden, created the look of a panicky candidate with no firm belief in his own rhetoric. As Hillary said, we need a democrat President...but will we get one in 2008? Stay tuned.

Getting back to how to reform health care.

I am sorry that I've been away so long. Many factors influenced that. Partially because I was so disgusted at what's gone on politically in this country in the last several months. Before I start talking about all of that again, and I do believe what's going on is going to impact health care reform, I wanted to remind everybody that this is a healthcare reform blog some going to put as some of my latest writings on healthcare reform that I have just rewritten in my hopefully forthcoming book:

we need to remember that when dealing with healthcare reform, we need to understand that health care is a lot like electricity; in that it is essential and everyone should have access to it. We need to leave as many aspects free market as possible, but at the same time. It needs to be run with a lot of regulations. Not only dealing with safety, as it has up to now, but it's dealing with access and financing as well.

The reasons are many why we need to preserve what's best about the United States healthcare system. The attacks on our system are numerous, but many are specious as well. While obviously something needs to be done about costs, because it is pointed out that we spend the most on healthcare, it is wrongly pointed out that it obviously is not worth it because we don't have the best longevity rates of a modern population. But of course, we are the most modern population, the richest country, and raise our standard of living for the majority of Americans many years before the rest of the modern world Court up. Because of this, in some ways we are more obese and slovenly than the rest of the world. But as our nation comes to grips with this and starts to work on this, the rest of the world is busily trying to catch up. They are consuming more empty calories, more refined sugars and flour and actually see smoking rates rising in their countries. As one of the earlier pioneers of the modern industrialization movement, America also had the good fortune and subsequent burden of utilizing materials and processes that turn out to be dangerous and/or greatly polluting. While some materials, because of our discoveries and other nations discoveries, will be spared from use in other emerging nations now, we are still seeing the cycle of initial over polluting because of emerging industrialization.

As we are ahead of the curve in "rich country" diseases, I believe we will be ahead of the curve in regaining good health. You will see as America's longevity rates increase that many other modern era countries will stagnate or begin to decrease, before making their own U-turn back to health.

It is of the utmost importance that the amazing research and good work that we do here in the United States is not hampered by a bureaucratic, shortsighted government system. This is why we need government controls and oversight, but a free market solution to the healthcare crisis.

Looking at the total amount that America spent on all healthcare in 2007, I am of the belief that we spend enough. The areas that were going to tackle our waste, realignment of insurance, realignment of physician practice, oversight. In general through process improvement techniques and various cost-cutting initiatives, while you might find it tough to take 20% of your family's budget, a large corporation that hasn't been through extensive cost-cutting in the recent past can often remove 10 to 40% of costs without a significant deterioration of functioning. I think it would not be unreasonable to be able to remove 20% of costs out of our healthcare system and then work back in a vigorous inflation rate so that going forward practitioners, suppliers and providers would all find comfortable increases built into the system.

The realignment of physician practices going to be uncomfortable to many. It is going to reek of government controls because it is literally redefining physicians roles in society. However the proof fashion of physician is just not a profession that has gotten out of control with independence and entrepreneurialism. In reality if we look at physicians as healthcare executives, we can conjure whether so many should be independent? You don't meet a lot of independent vice presidents of corporations. Sure some executives become consultants, or they take a new idea and start a Corporation. Doctors can do the same. But the fundamental system of delivering healthcare through independent entrepreneurs encourages waste. These independent physicians are not adding anything in the form of lower pricing, better services or products or new innovations as would happen when the entrepreneurs begin new companies. These practitioners just go out into the fields to do business as usual like everyone else in the medical field and hope to bring in enough patients for them to make ever more money. It would be like if a McDonald's employee left and started another chain of hamburger joints, and created an exact duplicate of McDonald's and charge the exact same prices. Of course, he would be sued for copyright infringement, but more so, if he did not add to the equation by making everything better or cheaper, he would fail because nobody would find a reason to go to him instead. With physicians, it's true that all things being equal you might choose a physician whose a block or two closer to your home, but more likely you will choose one in your health plan, and that's the extent of most people's shopping. We need a certain amount of physicians in this country to take care of everybody so there is room for them to exist. But just like the copycat of McDonald's the majority of these physicians don't add anything by being independent as opposed to hospital paid employees in offices placed throughout the community.

When a physician works for a hospital and is placed in a field office and knows what salary he's going to make then, just like an executive at a Corporation, he knows the only way he's going to get above average raises will be to do a good job, get good results, do well for the customers and do his best to keep costs in line for the Corporation. Therefore, an adequate physician can expect to get raises in line with inflation, a superb physician keeping his eye on all these things we just mentioned can expect to get excellent raises. A physician who does a subpar job would lose his job like any executive of the cooperation, I would not have to wait to be sued by enough people that his license and ability to earn an income would become in jeopardy. This should be a much tighter run ship and a better self policing agency. This will wring out costs from the system and remove stress from the physicians. Those who are most entrepreneurial, whoever better way to do things, a way to save money for the patient, or who can do a better job for the patience, will still rise to the surface and will be able to open their own independent practices. I do not aim to outlaw independent practices. But it will become necessary to charge more, to have a higher co-pay, for those in independent practice. Therefore, only those that add to the value proposition, that do something better than their colleagues, will be able to run a private practice because they will be the only ones will be ever convince people to pay a higher co-pay to come to see them. In one fell swoop we would have cut costs and created a system where only those who can better the system and improve care will be doing the work independently.

Our system is not broken, it simply was designed with no cost controls. The cost controls that are trying to be placed on the system now, especially by government, are ridiculous. They simply arbitrarily decide that they're not going to pay more for something, they don't cut costs a cutting reimbursements on procedures, they trying to turn back the clock by medical providers at the same time that they voted raises for themselves and allow executives to have ever more exorbitant pay packages. The way the government tries to do it is unconscionable. But we do at a cost controls because the costs are out of control. The methods I speak of will bring in controls after creating a more efficient less expensive system, and then we'll build then comfortable increases into the future. Some form of change is coming, over that we can be sure because the system cannot continue to stand the way it is. Forgetting about how much it's pointed out in the rest of the world, we will point out here many times that they were too many people uninsured, too many underinsured and we already pay more than enough for all of it. There it changes that will be less painful and at the same time more beneficial. While you will see many systems offered to control costs by controlling K. our was simply limiting expenditures, you will see that these are not healthcare reform but healthcare reduction and limitation. When I speak of here is reform, and while change is scary, I believe reform will be embraced far more than reduction and limitation as proposed by the government.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama confirms he's a loser, but at least it is good to be back.

Satan Here. LH is on his way back to blogging and he promises some stuff to make it worth the wait for all of you that have been waiting LOL. But seriously folks, or should I say folk, I partially blame myself for the lull as I have been too bored to offer up any discussions to LH. And I understand somethings have gotten in the way of his appearing here but I understand he is back! In the meantime, he was so disappointed in Obama's choice of Joe Biden for his Veep candidate that he felt I should write a bit about it since he felt it was my fault. I did whisper it in Barack's ear, but it was a joke. I thought he would pick Hillary, it was the only logical choice. He picks everything he criticized Hillary for, confirming all the things McCain criticizes him for. Politics as usual...bad politics. More from LH on this soon, as he gave me a strict word count limit. He doesn't seem to trust me. Because of this, you will not hear the one about the 3 Victoria's Secrets Models that were sent to Hell by accident. It was a good one, I tell you, but I do not have the space to tell you. Sorry.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Iraq Is Up For Grabs! Come One! Come All!

No, this is not the post I promised. That will come this weekend. Just a short note to point out that if elected, a President Obama has promised to end the war in Iraq in 2009. As anyone can tell, I am for ending the war. Nevertheless, promising such an immediate timetable tells Iran and Al-Qaeda, that, whatever the situation, "We are out of there! Come on in! Do what you want", because we have already made it clear we won't be there to stop you, though it was our invasion that created the opportunity for you to finally get the prize you have both been denied for years and years. Obama seems to be thinking like a child, in absolutes and for immediate gratification, and at this point the Democratic electorate seems to be like-minded. The broader electorate and even the Democrats will probably rethink this in the general election. Unless we want more Republican mess, and at least 4 more years in Iraq under a President McCain (you can spell a McCain Presidency as W. BUSH II), Hillary and the remaining Democratic Primaries better get back on track!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What's Going on with the Primaries?

With nothing substantive, and ideas that already appear to be unworkable, or at least not going to accomplish their goals (most notably HealthCare) , and a record that will probably not stand up very well to McCain, why is Obama leading in the primaries? Because Hillary is going down with the low opinion of the Congress. They have done nothing since getting elected. They did not get us on our way out of Iraq and they did not impeach Bush. Nevertheless, while Congress should change these things, Hillary needs to start talking about how the economy can be changed by president Clinton immediately, about how great America is, and will be, and she needs to stop ceding states to Obama when recent exit polls said the last minute decision-makers were going to her! I am not a one issue voter, but HealthCare is important and she is the only one really talking about CHANGE. Obama likes the word, but doesn't actually back it up with stated substantive policy changes! Hillary didn't think to use the word first, but her policies would be quite a change from the last 8 years! By the way, all of those educated people voting for Obama, why? Hw has stated no actual policies. This is an educated opinion? Besides, stop letting Obama and the Republicans rewrite history. The last Clinton Presidency was actually a GOOD time for America!
Next Up: HealthCare Reform Plans and Satan weighs in on the Primaries!!!!!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Who’s Dumber than Democrats?

I had hoped to stay out of the primary season, because I prefer to wait until the final candidates have been chosen, before putting in my comments. However, I have not been able to ignore what is going on lately, mainly because it is so pathetic. When it looked like Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, it really wasn't necessary to say much. I'm not saying she was a guaranteed great president. I'm just saying that of the field that was running, she appeared to be the best.

There is, after all, no possible way, with the country and the world in the state that we have helped to create, that any Republican candidate could possibly gain back credibility for their party and even remotely have a chance to win the 2008 presidential election...unless of course the democrats were to run, oh, say, a pineapple* as their candidate. Alas, of course, the Democrats are doing what they are always so good at doing, and are trying to once again pick a pineapple, or other such unelectable candidate. Actually, they would run a pineapple if they could...but since they are not in season, they would run an unripe and unelectable neophyte candidate instead.

Obama and Edwards are unelectable. Between the two of them, they bring, well, besides almost no experience, they don't bring much else, besides good intentions. If you don't know which road is paved with good intentions, I would introduce you to a frequent contributor to this blog, Satan, but he is not back yet from the Iowa caucuses. I believe he is thinking of a stop over in New Hampshire. Anyway, I have said this in a previous post, back when the election season started: If Obama or Edwards is the candidate the Democrats choose; the same democrats that vote for him now, will cave when the Republican candidate starts saying that in these difficult and violent times, with war in Iraq, Bin Laden in Afghanistan (or somewhere) and Iran going nuclear, that we need a strong and proven leader. And the loser democrats who all chose the guy in the primaries, will then vote for the tough talking Republican, just like they did George “I got you all into this mess in the first place” W. Bush in '04 when he did just that to well intentioned milquetoast Kerry.

I think Hillary is a good candidate and she will make a good president. Is she the best candidate out there? I was kind of leaning towards Al Gore, but I think she's the best of who's actually running. I like Mike Bloomberg, but I think he is considering getting in too late for him to be properly vetted. Independents are also at a disadvantage in this system, even with his considerable financial resources.

These other candidates are trying to turn Hillary’s experience into the “status quo” because between the two of them they have NO experience. She does have 35 years trying to help people and effectively (and sometime ineffectively) making changes! She has made mistakes that she has learned from. The others haven't had the opportunity and we can't afford for them to learn on the job. Only the inexperienced try to make experience into a bad thing, but the American people need to see through this. It is true that you can have bad experience, George W. Bush has certainly shown us that. But Hillary has a near lifetime of dedicated public service where her and her family have fought for everybody in this country. Wrong or right she has always tried to do what's best and has tried to make major changes for the betterment of this country. She has a track record of successes and failures. Everyone else brings nice oratory and good intentions. But you need more than that to run the greatest country ever on the face of the earth. By the way, Hillary has good intentions too; she has just backed them up with actions.

Let me also say here that, I like Oprah, I like her and respect her a lot. She is an amazing human being, who has accomplished a lot, and I hope someday to be on her show. However, I cannot explain why she so exuberantly endorsed Barack Obama. She's been around long enough and experienced enough to know that great change is possible in this country, but at the same time she knows it didn't come from just good intentions or good oratory. It required difficult and forceful action and painful transitions. It not only requires many forces and people working together, but strong leadership to get there. You cannot unite just with good intentions. You need strong leadership. Jimmy Carter was a perfect example of how good intentions could fail to work, and he was working with a Democratic Congress and Senate. Ronald Reagan is a good example of someone who can get what he wanted accomplished, even when dealing with a Democrat Senate and Congress, he was bullying with them., and brought his case to the American people to have them help him push his agenda along. Now, this is not to say that Mr. Obama does not have the additional qualities necessary, but that we have no reason to know if he does. If there is one job, that even though you cannot know what it is like until you have it, that cannot afford much of a learning curve, it is President of the United States. He might make a great President someday, and we may indeed find out, but I don't think he has shown us enough to get there now. We had another inexperienced guy, who said he would cross party lines and be a "uniter, not a divider" and who needed to learn on the job (and hasn't, by the way) and as we all know, George W. really did not work out well.

There is still time for the Democrats and Hillary to turn this around and preserve the Presidential election for the Democrats, and subsequently, for the betterment of our country and the world. But it doesn't look good.

*(This pineapple debacle may stem from the Democrats misunderstanding of a recent CNN/Reuters Poll that asked: "If an election for President were held today and the choices were Barack Obama, John Edwards, John McCain, Mitt Romney or a Pineapple, which way would you vote? The Pineapple won this hypothetical election by a two to one margin over the runners up.)

Well, the New Hampshire results are in, and either a lot of new Hampshire residents read my blog, or maybe I should have named this post: Who's Dumber than Iowa Democrats? But we shall see where things go from here before I rename anything.