Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

This week we witnessed one of the most bizarre weeks of political coverage in history. What amounted to a minor glitch on the ACA rollout turned into a political donnybrook and a media Cirque du Soleil. On Thursday, President Obama held a press conference to attempt to calm the pitchfork and torch crowd. It was OK, but I had a different approach in mind. Here, then, is the way I would have liked the presser to have gone:

“Good afternoon. Thank you for coming here on such short notice, leaving behind your vital work of regurgitating every lie and half-truth feed to you by the Republican party. I promise I will not keep you for long from that important mission. But first, I would like to address some of the developments this week related to the healthcare rollout.”
“Let me begin with my friends in the other party. I do realize you never wanted health care reform. As a matter of fact, I realize you never wanted to give up your plantations. But sooner or later, times catch up to you. Surely you must have realized that owning slaves and wearing powdered wigs would someday go out of style. Well, maybe not, but I digress. Out of style they went and so did your brand of self-centered politics. I know it was nice for you to visit your doctor’s office secure in the fact that there would be no bothersome ‘other’ people, in the waiting room. And you could have a clear conscience too, not only because you are a bunch of sociopaths, but also because you know that these ‘other’ people were safely crammed into understaffed, germ infested emergency rooms safely away from your white asses! Then I came along with all these uppity notions that all Americans should have affordable health care and your Lilly white little world was shattered. It wasn’t enough that this black fiend twice used a fake birth certificate to get into the White House. Oh, no. Now he wants us to share OUR health care system with EVERYONE! And what did you tell the people of America would happen? Death panels, doctor shortages, people with severed limbs waiting for months to have them reattached, and all this because some uppity black guy hates America. Well, I have news for you. I do not hate America, I hate YOU! I hate your party; I hate your drunken Speaker, and I hate those jowls hanging from Mitch McConnell’s chin. I hate that Russian psycho named Ayn Rand who gave you the right to feel good about your greed. I hate the Koch brothers who would use people who are willing to work for nothing in exchange for keeping their sleeping bags in a box at the park. But most of all I hate that your party acts like a giant polyp blocking progress. So my message to you today is this: get out of the way because this train is coming and it is not a wreck, it is your worst nightmare!”

“Now, for my friends in my own party. Thank you. Thank you for nothing. As if it weren’t bad enough that the Republicans want me to fail, then you come along to help them. I sometimes have a dream that I’m in the movie “Gravity”. Everyone is one big happy family, busy fixing the health care system and then, BANG! The Tea Party explodes, I look up and there you are frantically cutting the lifeline connecting me to you. Through my helmet I scream to help me, but you keep pointing to your asses and indicating that is all you care about. So I float away, on my own, with my wits and will to succeed the only chance of survival. I wake up in a cold sweat as Michelle pats my forehead and asks ‘wereyou having that dream about your friends in congress again?’ I say yes, and try to go back to sleep. But what would really make me sleep would be a party that didn’t cut and run at the first sign of trouble. It would be nice that when the Republicans were planning to slip a knife in my back, my friends were not the ones sharpening the blade. Ah, rest, I shall never know thee!”

“Finally, I would like to address you here in this press room. I have shared this room with you during the many successes and crises of my presidency. But I must say, never once did I enjoy it. How could I? I look out at the room and the faces I see nauseate me.”
“David Gregory, of NBC, you are the Eddie Haskell of journalism. Every week you lick the asses of every republican you can beg to be on your pathetic dog and pony show. You ask leading questions like ‘Just how bad a job is the president doing?’ or “do you think Obama will fail completely or is there a chance he’ll get something right in his second term?’. Just once maybe you could throw me a bone, like ‘I think he likes his dog’ or ‘it might be his medication’, anything to make me believe you have something good to say.”
“Chuck Todd, of MSNBC, I realize that your application to Fox News has been rejected twice. What I don’t understand is why you keep auditioning for the job at your current employer. Here’s a news flash: They don’t watch your show! Nobody does. That’s right, all that brown nosing is for nothing. You really should use that time for something that would really help you, like shaving that ridiculous beard or finding a new hair stylist. Certainly someone in the entire DC area can do a better job than Andrea Mitchell! Speaking of which, Andrea, it’s time to ditch that shriveled up ex-Fed Chairman for a new Ayn Rand model. Paul Ryan, perhaps?”

“And now for Fox News. Sean Hannity, nice hair. Apparently it keeps you on the air, so good for you. Bill O’Reilly, you freak me out, in a creep-in-the-van sort of way. Get a facelift already. And Elizabeth Hasselbeck? Nice move. Now you look like the smart one!” And finally, Ann Coulter, I risk the wrath of my lovely wife Michelle but I must ask you to eat a cheeseburger!”

“This concludes my prepared comments, and now I’ll take questions”

Silence in the press room.

Today I’ve been watching the House of Representative’s hearings on the problems with the ACA rollout.  It is fascinating how Republican/Tea Party congressmen enjoy what is known as “The Kangaroo Court”. This is not to be confused with Justices Thomas, Alito, or Scalia who have their own version. No, I’m speaking of the court that has become so popular with the GOP/TP ever since President Obama raised his hand to take his first oath of office.

So just what is the GOP’s obsession with the Kangaroo? Well, to answer that question, lets take a look at their unique characteristics.  No, not the GOP congress, Kangaroos.

  • Kangaroos are marsupials. Now that may be known to most of you, but to the scientifically challenged GOP, not so much.  So they may confuse the word “marsupial”  with a Christian fundamentalist sect, or an automatic weapon.  Either of these misinterpretations would endear the Kangaroo to any right wing radical in congress. Can’t you just hear Steve King praising the God fearing, Christ loving Marsupials for their faithful resistance to all evils Liberal.  Or can you imaging Louie Gomert’s Meet the Press interview where he defends our right to own a marsupial and vows to fight any effort to restrict their use in defense our homes?
  • Of the 60 different species of Kangaroos, the largest is the RED Kangaroo. Need I say more?
  • Kangaroos have powerful legs and are known for their jumping ability, as is the GOP. They can jump from one Obama scandal to the next before an observer can blow his didgeridoo. Witness any interview on Meet the Press and you will marvel at the speed a member of the GOP can jump from Benghazi to Solyndra then back to the IRS before David Gregory even has  chance to wipe the brown spots off his nose.
  • Kangaroos can twist their ears in any direction. This is especially useful to GOP congressmen in filtering out facts when they are corrected on current talking point. I have actually seen Michele Bachmann’s ears spinning after being corrected on actual American history.
  • Finally, and perhaps most important, female Kangaroos have pouches. This is especially handy for GOP congressmen for collecting all that money the Koch brothers pay them to hop around and jump as high as they are told. Look closely the next time you see a member of the GOP and no matter how slim or rotund, they all have a full pouch.

So my proposal is this: Perhaps the GOP has the wrong logo. Yes, I love elephants, and they are intensely sensitive and loyal animals (which probably should disqualify them from being associated with the Republican Party to begin with!).  But, given the GOP propensity for Kangaroo Courts, maybe the Kangaroo is more appropriate. And, as an added coincidence, the current GOP chairman, Reince Priebus sort of resembles a Kangaroo, don’t you think?

Liberals, Stop Kicking the Dog!

Posted: October 26, 2013 in Health Care

There is a fatal flaw in some progressive thinking. That is, that to distinguish ourselves from our right wing brothers and sisters, we must be willing to decimate our most cherished projects at the first sign of trouble. Witness, for example, the latest hair pulling going on in progressive media regarding the recent glitches on the HealthCare.gov website. Now let me say at the outset that there are problems that need to be fixed and the roll out has been less than stellar. However, the relentless parade of liberal commentators on cable news ready to shoot the wounded has been nothing short of nauseating. As if the always willing Fox News Noise Machine needed any help, we have added the voices of our “friends” in the media to pump up the volume.  From Jon Stewart to Ezra Klein they have been willing to join the forces of health care ambulance chasers ready to declare the Affordable Care Act dead on arrival.

Now maybe it’s the void left after all the drama of Mr. Cruz and his fact-challenged caucus leading us to the brink of economic collapse.  Or, maybe Jon Stewart gets a chill up his leg if he can belittle Kathleen Sebelius with a little comedy shtick. But the fact of the matter is that by lending their voices to the Koch brother cronies, they are, as one Twitter poster put it “feeling privileged to kick their own dog”.

Let’s not forget that when the February 15th deadline came for states to decide if they would set up their own exchanges, 26 states decided not to cooperate with the ACA implementation and forced the Federal Government to provide the marketplace for their consumers. This caused a major logistic nightmare for any website developer and was part of the deliberate sabotage orchestrated by the Koch brothers and their bought-and-paid-for governors. Add to that the 14 states that declined Medicaid expansion, denying the poorest of their population access to health care. Then came the drumbeat from the right, led by Dudley Cruz-wrong, that “Obamacare” was a “train wreck” even before it was implemented. And, to prove his point, Ted Cruz attempted to fulfill his own prophesy by adding the U S economy to the carnage.

Then came October 1

The government shut down and the approaching debt limit loomed. Our friends in the liberal press were so busy rounding up the usual suspects in those debacles, that the glitches on the ACA website almost escaped their attention. The daily threat of financial Armageddon almost made them miss an opportunity to take part in one of their favorite pastimes, kicking their own dog. In this case, the dog they were ignoring was HealthCare.gov.

Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to the Rescue!

Thanks to the cooler heads in the U S Senate economic disaster was avoided and Jon Stewart & Co. could get down to the business of proving that they were willing to kick their own dog without any help from the Tea Party. Yes, these were our “friends’ in the media, willing at the first sign of trouble to start pointing fingers and attempt to make themselves look “fair and balanced”. Except that they were neither fair, nor balanced. Yes, the website was overwhelmed with traffic. Yes, consumers were frustrated with the failed attempts to complete their applications. This is nothing new in the history of internet commerce. Remember the 2010 rollout of the new iPhone? That didn’t go very well either, yet no one suggested that the entire concept of the iPhone was in peril because of a website glitch. So here’s some news for my favorite liberal media heads; the ACA is not in jeopardy because of a website glitch. Mr. Klein may not want to hear it, but it is only a website, a website that will be improved and working fine very soon.

And to close, some unsolicited advice to my friends in the liberal media: CHILL! Everything will be OK. The patient has a flesh wound, not a fatal shot to the heart. Stop the wailing and gnashing of teeth and get with the program. Sell the ACA and quit your obsession with minutia. Oh, and while you’re at it, stop kicking the poor dog!