Friday, May 22, 2009

Conservative Talker Admits Waterboarding Is Torture!

Conservative talk show host Mancow Muller consented to waterboarding. He expected to be able to last about 30 seconds and had dismissed waterboarding as just "getting water on your face".

After a very mild demonstration with medical personnel standing by and the ability to stop it at any time, he lasted about 7 seconds before calling it quits. In his own words, this former critic of waterboarding concedes it is "absolutely torture".

Now, having performed this little experiment on friends in a consensual BDSM scene, I can tell you he got off even lighter than anyone I have ever played with. Now when the hell will Sean Hanity try this?

National Health Care - Don't Let The Insurance Companies Scare You!

As the health care folks start making noise about how "we can do better than government run health care", I have to wonder why they haven't? I am not alone. Paul Krugman asks the same question in his column in the NYT today.

It's a valid question and the answer is simple as I see it. Private industry cannot provide health care an efficiently and cheaply as a government run system. Why? They have to factor in the "profit" to any cost they incur. Without that "profit" they are out of business, and they get that by marking up costs and denying procedures to sick people. Not a very nice thing to do.

Jon Stewart asked the real question on his program last week when he grilled Newt Gingrich as to why we couldn't trust the government to run health care but we could trust them to run the military. That reframes the issue in a way anyone can understand.

We have one of the least effective health care systems in the world, and we have millions of American's without any insurance or access to health care at all. How difficult is it to see that the private insurance industry has no incentive to do anything about this? Remember that "profit" item?

American businesses suffer under the weight of providing health insurance for their employees and that cost goes up every year without any predictable limits. Our country's competitiveness is being hindered by our poor system of providing health care and other countries do not have to deal with this. Yes their taxes may be higher, but they can predict those and factor them into their cost.

It's time we got serious and ignored the propaganda being spewed by the insurance industry and start listening to small businesses and the citizens of the country. A government provided health insurance or health care is both practical and efficient. It works for every other industrialized country and it can work here. All we need is politicians with a set of balls who can turn down contributions from the health insurance industry and make a change.

Back in the 1950's the doctors and hospitals teamed up with insurance companies and scared the public with threats of "socialized medicine". That planted a seed of fear that still persists long after most doctors see that the current system is broken.

As a citizen without health insurance, this is of vital interest to me and I admit that from the start. Our great system of health care has consistently denied me coverage as an independent worker because of "pre-existing conditions", in other words just about anything at all that has ever affected my health. I am tired of waiting for some kind of affordable health care and tired of avoiding the doctor to prevent adding any more reasons to deny me coverage in the future.

Health care in this country is only for those with the money to afford it. Even the insured have to fight to get treated properly and that is just WRONG! So write your alleged representative in Washington and tell them to do the right thing, we need national health care NOW.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jon Stewart Spears Gingrich On Health Care

Last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart interviewed Newt Gingrich and presented one of the best re-framing moments I have ever seen. Gingrich was disparaging a national health care system as socialized medicine and putting forth the old GOP argument that big government can't do anything. Steward abruptly changed the subject.

"Why would you believe that a Washington based military program can work?"

To that Gingrich could only return to more "taxation" rhetoric. The framing is brilliant and hard to dispute especially when you are a hawk. Sometimes comedians can see things in a perspective others can't. Great interview.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Newt Gingrich Pt. 2
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Michael Steele Threatens to Resign As RNC Head

I guess it's finally dawning on Michael Steele that he is a "front man" for the GOP. He is the "new face" of the Republican Party...but nothing else. In reality he is the mask of the party that underneath is still the same old one it's always been.

Steele is finally realizing a fact that I have been blogging about for months. He is a figurehead.

As the RNC strips him of any power bit by bit, he finally got the message. In response to the news that the RNC is contemplating taking away the power of the purse from Steele he said, "they can contemplate all they want to, but the reality is if they want a figurehead chairman you can have a figurehead chairman, but it won't be Michael Steele."

Sounds like he is threatening resignation. We'll see.