Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Romney 2.0...or 2.1...3.0...whatever...

Mitt Romney finally rolled out his supposedly "novel" health plan today and, guess what? Same old, old-old. Leave it to the states. In other words, pass the buck. What's the difference between government? State or federal---it's still the government and explodes, once again, the Right's demonization of anything federal government when---and the distinction must be continually pointed out---it wants to do so.  Romney's plan would leave all the hard work ---covering the uninsured---to the states and, generally approaches health care reform these days (as opposed to his novel approach in Massachusetts) with the usual---let the market do its job.  If a service (since providing or making sure of adequate health care to all its citizens in one of the richest nations on earth is deemed under the Right, a service, not a right or, it seems, a priority) is desirable enough to the public (re: consumer), then said consumer should be willing to pay for it. Of course, following along, insurance companies would be willing to offer it (with sow extra premium, no doubt). In other words, the way it is now.   And lest one think that the three health insurers' announcement---led most recently by United healthcare---that they plan to voluntarily keep some portions of the Obama health care plan even if it is thrown out by the Supremes was some sort of magnanimous gesture to the masses. Thank again. In a coordinated effort (and no, I don't think I am being conspiratorial here), Romney made clear that reforms (if properly put forth as a need by consumers in a free market-friendly manner) might eagerly be taken up by insurers like, coincidentally, "the provision to allow children to stay on their parents health care plan until age 26"---coincidently, the same provisions United healthcare and others are proposing that they will keep even if the Obama plan is thrown out by the Supreme Court.  And who said corporations don't care about society's well being? Hmmmmm... Of course, this is all to be expected. Romney has consistently shown during his tenure as a perpetual candidate to acquiesce, bend, and flex to the will of his right wing masters. If he becomes president, it follows to reason that one can expect more of the same---at least well into his second term, when, a faint hope might emerge that the "real" Mitt Romney might finally might stand up (or not!).  Also, playing to expectation is the general response to Romney's new plan by the Right---can you hear it?  Silence...or near silence (see Ryan's tepid response below).  No deafening roar of hypocritical protest from said corner. No over the top accusation of socialism. J'accuse!!!  No demand that it be immediately revoked by the highest rigged court in the land (you know who you are).  No melodramatic posturing and screeching that it is the end of the American way of doing things---of the capitalist system even!  No assignation of negative label like "Obamacare." No...nothing.  Harbinger of things to come.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Not calling a spade a spade...

One may find this article interesting. The title suggests that one should put credence in the ideas put forth by Newt Gingrich because, regardless of the uncomfortable nature of his statements about black people and food stamps, some of the issues that he raises are valid. Upon reading the article, however, it becomes clear that there is something seriously lacking in it. Namely, the lack of any insight into the true motives of the candidates who are up for the Republican nomination. The author fails to note that Gingrich is being totally disingenuous because he has no intention of attacking the "problem" that he seems to think the issuance of food stamp benefits to black people is by proposing any helpful or effective reforms, he is merely engaging in race baiting and stereotyping for the sake of getting votes. The article seems to suggest that Newt Gingrich is actually interested in "raising" the status of the poor. Nothing could be further from the truth because if he really wanted to do something to help the poor, he would also, in the same breath, criticize corporations who, according to this article in Time magazine this week, have been the biggest beneficiaries of the current recession. Furthermore, as the article points out, since Gingrich's main statement concerned supposedly helping people who "want to get off the system and help themselves," then he would already have plans to put to the citizenry his ideas about how to get those people back to work and with decent wages. Of course, he has no such plans because 1) he doesn't have a clue how to get us out of this financial pickle and back to work, and 2) he's only saying all of this to get votes and capitalize on people's fear of other cultures and classes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

They made their bed...

As we head into the South Carolina primary, I think it is useful to think of what has happened to the GOP over the course of many years. This article from the May issue of National Journal succinctly lays out the extent of the far right's hold on the GOP (44% of primary voters are evangelicals---not good news for Romney) and illustrates why the Republicans have such a difficult task resisting the influence of the Tea Partiers and those of the same zealotry (by far populated by evangelical Christians). The Republicans--- in courting the nutty vote for decades--- have made their bed, now they are sleeping in it. Romney might be able to neutralize some of their discontent by putting up a tea party or/far right candidate for vice president. First, however, he has to win the nomination and they are going to make it difficult because, first and foremost, it is pretty evident that Romney's Mormonism is a big issue for them (in addition to them not believing that he has their puritanical interests in mind). They are sort of like the far left in their insistence on ideological purity but worse in that they are like dogs with bones (and mean ones at that)---they are not going down without a fight (preferring to see the Republicans go down first if their needs are not addressed). Here is another article/blog posting from openSalon from the perspective of the Republicans' creation and embrace of the southern strategy, an effort put in place by the Republican Party to use race as a wedge issue. It encourages those old ways of thinking (otherizing) and has worked spectacularly well for them over the years to the detriment of civil society.

Here we go...again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mr. Murdoch goes down...

Here, too, is pretty insightful coverage of Rupertgate in US News.

And from AP.

For Murdoch's empire, a scandal of its own -

For Murdoch's empire, a scandal of its own -

"When you think of how powerful Murdoch is here and in the UK … it's like a Wizard of Oz moment: Pull back the curtain and it's just this pathetic little dude."

Hilarious, but as some have perceptively pointed out, the real scandal is the state of media ownership at the present. This could be a moment when things are turned on their head so that
the dangers of concentrated media ownership are revealed and rebuffed...but don't count on it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blah, blah, blah...

Every time I read one of these type of articles, it saddens me that such an accomplished woman, who for many years of her marriage was the main breadwinner of the house (while Barack was off dreaming of great things), has been reduced to a mind-numbing clothes rack. I wonder what she REALLY thinks about being the subject of such banal chatter. No wonder Hilliary chose the pantsuits (and even then she couldn't completely escape---who designed them, how many colors does she have, do they all have the same cut, how much do they cost...).

Well, at least they can't say she's the angry black female anymore now that she is playing "the first lady role" exceedingly well.