Saturday, February 20, 2010

Morgan Freeman on our Economy

This sums up our economy for me. Morgan Freeman portrays me, and the young man is an amalgam of Ben Bernanke, The Obama Administration, The Bush Administration, and Congress.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Canadians Still Come To The US For Health Care That Matters

When the Premier of a Canadian Province leaves his country for the US for heart care, that tells me about all I need to know about the relative differences between socialized health care and private care. Basic facts, from the CBC:
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams will be sidelined from three to 12 weeks because of heart surgery he'll undergo at an undisclosed location in the United States, acting premier Kathy Dunderdale says.

Telling details:
"Having the surgery done in the province was never an option that was offered to him," Dunderdale said.

"Ultimately, we have to be the gatekeepers of our own health, and he has taken medical advice from a number of different sources," she said. "Based on all of the medical advice that he's received, he is doing what is best for him, to do everything he can to ensure that he can have the best outcome from the surgery and that he can be back on his feet and back here doing his job as quickly as possible."

Never an option. Doing what's best for him. Well, so great that the Canadians in high places can leave their country to get adequate care. What about the rest of the country? The little people?

More! How about the claims that innovation will be stifled in the US if we have socialized care. That's BS, right?
Kaminski said people shouldn't view his decision to seek medical help elsewhere as a condemnation of Canada's medical health system.

"It could be something as simple as a slightly new technique that's being tried that gives a speedy recovery and that's not yet approved in Canada," she said.

Kaminski said it might also be a procedure that can't be performed for whatever reason by medical professionals in the province.

People vote with their feet. That's where the results are shown. One could say, "Oh, the Premier left Newfoundland, which is a pretty remote Province". True, but he didn't go to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, or Vancouver, either. He went to the USA.

We're stupid if we want this here.

Williams is not the first Canadian politician to go to the US for treatment. CBC has a clip showing more:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Thought On Bayh

One of Senator Bayh's stated reasons for bowing out is the increasingly partisan nature of the game.

Ok, but if Bayh is a moderate, and believes that being a moderate is for the better, what does leaving accomplish but reduce the number of moderates and throw it more over to the more purely partisan? It doesn't make sense.

I'm a Libertarian, and it's frustrating as hell being one. So, I should quit, stand aside, and assure that the Republicans and Democrats continue to destroy the country? Um, no.

I really believe one of two things, or a combination: He didn't want his wife to take arrows on the basis of her corporate board positions; and, there's some heavy dirt out there that he just didn't want to have see the light of day. Pure speculation, of course.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why Delay?

Can someone smarter than me explain why school districts have these two-hour delays? I mean, other than to make the lives of parents more difficult, because employers aren't on a delay.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Good Time To Revisit The 17th

Indiana just turned into a circus with Evan Bayh's retirement announcement. It wouldn't be the case if the 17th Amendment hadn't been passed.

Quick! What's the 17th?
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

Big deal, right? Prior to the passage of the 17th, the various state legislatures appointed their two US Senators, for the purpose of protecting the interests of the states.

It was with great amusement that I visited the Daily Kos to observe the wailing, anguish, and knashing of teeth over the 'betrayal' of Bayh to the Democratic Party. You know what? If you're in any state other than Indiana, you can get bent! Bayh isn't your Senator! Project the failings of your party onto your own Congress Critter!

Now, I know- it's impossible to reconcile the votes of Bayh and Dick Lugar and conclude that both could possibly have had the interests of Indiana in mind. And, prior to the passage of the 17th, the state's legislature could have observed the very thing, and recalled one or the other, and installed a new Senator.

While the push for direct election of Senators was populist inspired, and while it did take that power away from the states (the real Point Of Beginning for the diminuation of State's Rights, btw), it empowered a new class like never before- corporate donors, which tend to be national interests.

Ironically, it was also intended to diminish the influence 'industrialists' had over Senators. Oops! The anticipated main attraction in Bayh vs. Coats was to be the attacks against Bayh's corporate interest wife, and against Coats' corporate interest last 12 years.

This wouldn't be, couldn't be, with legislature appointed Senators. There would be no campaign committees for Senators. They wouldn't spend their time chummying with lobbyists for the purpose of trading law for war chests. They would have to please their statehouse.

Bayh Quits

The first thing that came to mind for me upon the news of Evan Bayh's sudden announcement that he is retiring from the US Senate is regards the rules for elections. Tomorrow is the deadline for Democrats and Republicans to file their signatures to be on their parties' respective primary election ballots. A Huffington Post article sums up the rules well.

It does not appear that there will be time for Indiana Democrats to choose a top-flight candidate to back, and get signatures for. There was one intrepid Democrat, Tamara D'Ippolito, who was prepared to give Bayh a Primary challenge- if she herself could collect the necessary signatures on time, which has not been done. This suits the Democratic Party elite, apparently. From Fire Dog Lake:

I just spoke with Tamyra D’Ippolito, the candidate who was already running in the US Senate primary as a Democrat in Indiana before Evan Bayh ended his re-election bid today. D’Ippolito’s potential presence on the primary ballot complicates the ability for Indiana Democrats to handpick a nominee. If nobody qualifies for the primary, Indiana Dems can choose the candidate. But if D’Ippolito qualifies, then she would be the only candidate on that primary ballot, and Brad Ellsworth or Baron Hill or whoever would have to run a write-in campaign to defeat her in that primary in May.

So how’s D’Ippolito doing? She’s collected 3,500 of the 4,500 signatures, 500 in each Congressional district in Indiana, which are needed by noon tomorrow in order to qualify. D’Ippolito said that she’s particularly short in IN-08, in the Terre Haute/Evansville area of the district. Her campaign manager has contacted all of the heads of the county Democratic parties asking them if they would help her get on the ballot.

But she’s not getting the sense that they want to be helpful in that effort. “Politics in Indiana is the old boy’s school. They’re getting ready to put one of their own in,” D’Ippolito, a cafe owner in Bloomington who gained experience in politics running a primary campaign for Gretchen Clearwater in 2006. “My gut feeling tells me they’re meeting in a room, I don’t know if they’re smoking cigars,” D’Ippolito said, basically working under the assumption that Bayh’s announcement was timed so the state party could pick the nominee by themselves. “The timing of this is amazing.”

D’Ippolito told me she is the first woman to ever run for the US Senate in Indiana. Her impression from working on prior campaigns and from this one is that Indiana political culture is a “tight old boys school, it borders on sexism.” In a state where the population is 52% women, D’Ippolito says “in the future, we women of Indiana are not going to tolerate” the chummy, insider culture.

Now, I suspect it may be as much as that she's a complete unknown, and one that hasn't raised any significant money, and hasn't yet mustered the needed signatures. Her website is child's play. Really, when I looked it over this afternoon, the first thing I thought was, "A complete amateur like this could perhaps win the US Senate, thanks to party label. I can think of a thousand better Libertarians".

But her comments are interesting. The Democrats? Good ol' boys? Borderline sexists? I love it. May they eat each other alive.