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Liberal Opinion Blog. Boston, Massachusetts. Political Democrat, Independent. Debunk Republican Lies, Misinformation

Archive for September, 2009

The Spider and the Fly

I’m still unable to connect to the Internet, so I’m again using a public computer.

I only have one hour so I can’t do much, therefore, I’ve decided to post another one of the poems that I love.

Today (sept 30, 2009) it’s one about the art of persuation, bolstered by vanity and flattery:

The Spider and the Fly

Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to shew when you are there.”

Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”

Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, ” Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I ‘ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome — will you please to take a slice?”

“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind Sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”

“Sweet creature!” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I’ve a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”

“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you ‘re pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I’ll call another day.”

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.

Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple — there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!”

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue —

Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour — but she ne’er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

By: Mary Howitt (1799-1888).
Published in 1829.

Desiderata

I am having computer problems. I changed my Modem and now my computer cannot find my IP address…so no internet.

I’m working on it. Posting from a public computer…I decided to reacquaint myself with something calming. The poem:

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career
however humble;
it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Written by: Max Ehrmann (1872 – 1945).

According to Wikipedia, Desiderata is Latin for: desired things.

Ehrmann, a poet and lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana, apparently wrote the inspirational prose poem about attaining happiness in life.

Wikipedia says various spiritual movements of the 1960s and ’70s seemed to like this poem. I love it!

No Room At The Inn…for Gaddafi!

We are coming across as such an angry nation…populated with petulant, uncivil people.

We look at demonstrators in other places burning flags and chanting anti-American slogans, and we don’t even understand WHY. Perhaps we don’t need to, because NOW, we’re beginning to act just like them.

Democracy means you don’t need to agree with or like a person to ensure that that person’s rights are upheld. It’s hard. But that’s the strength of Democracy!

Two heads of state, who are here to attend the U.N. General Assembly meeting, are being denied a place to stay or hold their events.

These two leaders are our guests. This is where the U.N. building is. If you don’t want them to come here, throw the U.N. Headquarters out of America – or arrange to change those leaders!

Until then, whenever they come to the U.N. where they have a right to be by agreement, they need to be treated as guests. They are heads of state…even though you may NOT like their head…or their state!

How would we/you feel if our leaders go overseas and can’t find a place to stay – or hold an event? Come on America, I expect better from you.

Should these countries change their leaders just because WE don’t like them?

Yes, you can protest when they come to town. That’s your right. But come on!

What did you achieve? You vented and you felt good – now what? You just dissed and angered millions of people who support and love their leaders, whether you think they’re vile or not!

Wouldn’t it have been better to treat them with civility and show the world that Americans are different, forgiving, respectful, nice…?

Did we not marvel at the Amish after than horrific shooting in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County (2006)? That community lost five kids, but they embraced the family of the shooter.

That was big news – to us – because we would NOT have been so forgiving. Being the good Christians we are, we’d have been out there agitating to get the family thrown out of their home and probably lynched, too! The Amish lesson did not last long!

We embrace anger and vengence. We must always be reading testimonials in court about our grief and anger over the murder of a loved one. We must call the murderer a thug, an animal, a monster who should rot in jail or hell…

And we are supposed to be so religious, such a Jesus-loving nation! But we don’t act religious, unless we’re ranting against abortion or gays! That’s where our religion comes in!

Leaders who come here to the U.N. can at least get a place to stay and somewhere to meet up with their friends. That is courtesy, America. It’s not love.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi thought he could stay at The Pierre Hotel on Fifth Avenue, but it had a change of heart when other guests paying large amounts for their rooms apparently didn’t want him there.

Iranian President President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad found a hotel to stay.

But two New York events halls rejected the Iranian U.N. delegation’s reservations for a hall to hold a banquet for Ahmadinejad on Friday (Sept. 25, 2009). The Helmsley Hotel and Gotham Hall also turned down the Iranians, saying the venue refused to be a platform for propaganda.

Could they not come up with a better reason, at least? Propaganda? If they’re anti-propaganda, there’s a whole host of companies they should not deal with, including some that run unauthorized tests on poor children overseas!

However, the Iranians did find a venue to hold their banquet at Essex House Hotel. But the hotel came under intense pressure to cancel the reservation…and they did!

Former Ambassador Mark Wallace (coached Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin for interviews and debates) heads the organization United Against Nuclear Iran. He’s spearheading U.S. boycott efforts against Iran and wants Essex House to cancel the event.

Wallace wrote to the general manager of the Essex House, calling on them to: clarify and reconsider its decision to host the banquet and address and instead decline to provide such a venue for President Ahmadinejad

By doing business with the Iranian government the Essex House is accepting blood money from a regime that brutally suppresses its own people and that is a danger to global security”.

Really? Iran is a danger to global security. Unlike Say Russia or China, neither of which suppresses its people…or has an army…or nuclear weapons!? You really think Iran is more of a threat to the U.S. than Russia?

Will you be out there demanding that Putin or Russian President Dmitry Medvedev be thrown out of Camp David? Did you see him sitting next to President Obama…smiling…at us? We are such fools!

(By the way, who got together and decided that only some nations can have nuclear weapons, but others can’t?)

Shouldn’t we simply be making sure that our weapons work, so that if anybody was foolish enough to try something we’d annihilate them?

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if most countries just minded their own business?

We’ve been in bed with many thugs in Haiti, Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. We’ve traded, colluded and raises our glasses with leaders who were dictators and murderers…because it suited us!

In our backyard, Rafael Trujillo, Dominican Republic. His tyranny is considered one of the bloodiest of the 20th century. He attacked the Haitian border and killed (an estimated 20-30 thousand) fleeing Haitians. But he was anti-communist and anti-Castro, so we looked the other way.

Haiti, not to be outdone, came up with François “Papa Doc” Duvalier – the one who made himself President for Life. Duvalier had his own private militia known as Tonton Macoutes.

it’s estimated that he, too, killed some 30-thousand Haitians. They braved the Atlantic in rickety boats to escape Tyranny. But Duvalier, too, was anti-communist and anti-Castro, so we looked the other way.

You get the picture – I don’t need to talk about Saddam Hussein or the Congo’s Mobutu Sésé Seko…and the many others!

I guess there was no reason to protest because these dictators were killing their people…and other groups they did not like – they were NOT killing Americans.

I’m NOT blaming America, though. Countries do what countries need to do. I just want us to understand that this also applies to other nations too!

This world will never have peace…long as us humans live in it! Or at least, long as we continue with our hypocrisy – on race, on trade, on politics, on sex, on everything!

Terror Plot…Plotters Missing!

In the news Wednesday morning (Sept. 23, 2009) we were told that the FBI is still looking for suspects in the alleged terror plot against New York – or is it Colorado – or our subway here in Boston – or maybe it’s the world leaders meeting at the UN? Is it backpacks or trucks? I’m confused.

Can’t you just tell me you’ve busted up a terror ring and ALL OF THEM are in jail?

Of course not! That’s too easy, and neat! And reassuring!

Instead we’re left wondering:
(a) Why did you make such a big deal if you do not have the evidence?
(b) Were/are not clear what the plot is?
(c) And don’t even know where the other plotters are?

Come on now Authorities. I/we hope you find those answers soon!
Now that you’ve tipped them off, you’re running all over the place, checking empty warehouses, trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Couldn’t you have just tailed those guys a little more and nabbed them the day before the attacks? Or the day of? Just shoot them, keep a couple for questioning?

OK, so I don’t know what I’m talking about – but it sure seems like YOU don’t know what you’re talking about either.

So much so, you’re warning potential targets in the hope that the terrorists will think you’re on to them and lie low. I guess that’s smart, sort of.

Here’s what’s gone down so far: (and yes, I understand why you did it, cover was blown, etc…)

Over the weekend, officials arrested 24-year-old Najibullah Zazi, of Denver, Colorado and his 53-year-old father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, in Denver. 37-year-old Ahmad Wais Afzali, an imam at a Queens, N.Y. mosque, was arrested in New York.

They’re charged with lying to the FBI. No terror charges so far.

Federal authorities were tracking Zazi, a suburban Denver shuttle-bus driver with possible links to al Qaeda. Zazi drove to New York City around the anniversary of the September Eleven attacks.

They think he may have been plotting with others to detonate backpack bombs (hydrogen peroxide) on New York trains.

(Bombs hidden in back-packs killed 191 people in Madrid on March 11, 2004…and bombing attacks in London killed 52 subway and bus commuters on July 7 2005).

The FBI was watching Zazi but apparently New York Police (NYPD) blew the bureau’s cover by questioning the religious leader who promptly called Zazi to warn him.

Seems the NYPD has a division that operates independently from an FBI-run terrorism task force. Why guys, WHY? Who doesn’t trust whom?

We’ve been through all that when the CIA owned it’s turf and protected it and the FBI owned it’s turf and protected it and somewhere in that Venn diagram was a black hole that sucked in the information that could have…maybe, may have shed light on the activities leading up to September-eleven.

I thought that was why we created Homeland Security- the department that now says the United States government’s national threat level is Elevated or Yellow.

And for all domestic and international flights the U.S. threat level is High or Orange. The one overseeing several agencies, including: Immigration, Customs, Coast Guard and The Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

According to homeland Security: The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is a member of the national Intelligence Community (IC) and ensures that information related to homeland security threats is collected, analyzed, and disseminated to the full spectrum of homeland security customers in the Department, at state, local, and tribal levels, in the private sector, and in the IC.

It’s supposed to be intelligent and analytic over the secretive and cryptic. Did I&A (I&A?) know about this FBI surveillance? Did they know about the NYPD division which operates independently from the FBI-run terrorism task force?

Now here we are, left hand doing…right hand not knowing…and the whole body suffering.

Let’s see what more I can gleam from the news about this terror plot:

FBI denies NYPD missteps hurt terror probe.
According to NBC, NYPD and FBI officials are denying that the potential missteps forced their hand in last week’s raids, prompted Zazi to abort his New York visit and caused friction between the two agencies, which work together through the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

In a statement, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said that while the agencies “have no information regarding the timing, location or target of any planned attack, we believe it is prudent to raise the security awareness of our local law enforcement partners regarding the targets and tactics of previous terrorist activity.”

CBS: FBI Terror Probe Expands, Intensifies. According to CBS, the investigation into an alleged bomb plot targeting New York has expanded to include nearly all of the FBI’s 57 field offices in the country and some overseas.

CBS says authorities are on a hunt to see if suspects had stored a cache of explosives somewhere in New York City. In an exclusive interview with “60 Minutes,” Attorney General Eric Holder speaks about how urgent the threat was.

“I think we’ve disrupted that which they’ve planned and it’s not totally clear to us at this point what it is they had in mind, though I think it is clear that something very serious and something very organized was under way,” Holder said.

ABC: Law enforcement officials say the alleged terror plot against New York City may be “still alive” despite the arrest of its alleged ringleader Zazi.

In Washington, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin to law enforcement authorities urging vigilance at so-called “soft targets” including sports stadiums and luxury hotels.

Zazi’s computer apparently contained information relating to New York area baseball and football stadiums and a video of Grand Central Terminal in New York.

CNN had nothing on their front page, but I did find, under latest news, this item: Sanjay Gupta: I caught H1N1. And under More US News: 18 things to teach your sons about women.

5/. Keep backup supplies of quality chocolate in the house for her to raid.

Chocolate is a comfort food. So we (females?) can eat it while we watch stories about alleged terror threats ON OTHER NETWORKS!

PS: Afzali was freed Thursday, (Sept 24, 2009) on a 1.5 million-dollar bond…but he will wear an electronic monitor.

Why No Single Payer…?

The argument goes like this:

(a) President Obama and his supporters did not want to put forward a Single Payer system because it would not be a wise political move. So they came up with the “Public Option” as a kind of middle ground. They hoped people who really want a Single Payer Plan would support the Public Option.

If the Public Option worked out, it could evolve into a Single Payer plan down the road. But if the Public Option fails, then we’ll end up with a better private system because the competition would have made insurance companies perform better.

Everybody wins, right? Except that with such half-baked, appease everybody schemes…nothing ever works out as planned.

It’s like a guy who’s seeing two women, both will get upset and leave (well, maybe).

(b) Moneyed interests like the insurance companies and drug manufacturers.

For instance, there’s an ad that’s been attacking the Health Care Bill (HR 3200) and calling for real reform that puts patients first. According to PBS show – Bill Moyers Journal (May 22, 2009) the group behind the ad calls itself: Conservatives for Patients’ Rights.

Moyers says the group has spent more than a million dollars on ads in the month of May alone. They’ve hired a conservative public relations firm called CRC – the same people behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the gang who savaged John Kerry’s service record in Vietnam.

The guy in the ads is Richard L. Scott.

According to Moyers, Scott is an entrepreneur who took over two hospitals in Texas and built the largest health care chain in the world, Columbia/HCA.

In 1997, Scott was fired by the board of directors after the company was caught ripping off the feds and state governments for hundreds of millions of dollars in bogus Medicare and Medicaid payments – the largest such fraud in history.

The company had to cough up nearly 2-billion dollars to get out of the mess. Scott got off (as Moyers put it “scot-free”) and apparently walked away with a 10-million-dollar severance deal and 300-million worth of stock.

Now that’s the kind of real reform that puts patients first!

Insurance companies are businesses and they, like every other business, want to maximize revenue and minimize costs. To do that, don’t expect them to insure every sick person who comes along.

It’s like asking a person whose house was flooded to apply for flood insurance to get money to pay for clean-up! Won’t happen!

Private insurers employ armies of people who come to work just to figure out ways to refuse to pay for sick people…like you and me…when our day comes!

But when the powerful Senate Finance Committee, chaired by democrat Max Baucus (Montana’s senior U.S. Senator) was holding its round table discussions on Health Care Reform, these business interests got to testify.

Groups like The Business Roundtable, The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce and representatives of the insurance industry, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield… They love their huge profits and bonuses. What are they going to say that we don’t already know?

Two guests on the Bill Moyers Journal: Dr. Sidney Wolfe, the acting president of the non-partisan group Public Citizen, teaches internal medicine at Case Western Reserve. Wolfe is also a senior associate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins University.

And Dr. David Himmelstein who’s on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. He serves as head of the Division of Social and Community Medicine at Cambridge Hospital, where he practices as an internist.

Dr Wolfe thinks Insurance companies are getting away with the status quo, keeping things as they are, because their power is frightening.

According to Dr. Himmelstein, people are satisfied with their doctor and the hospitals they go to. And most Americans aren’t sick and don’t actually have experience of their health insurance.

But when people get sick, and actually have to use their insurance, that’s when people find out the dark side of the policies they have…huge co-payments, huge deductibles…

He says half of the bankruptcies in the U.S. are medical bankruptcies. And of those medical bankruptcies, three quarters of those people had insurance, at least when they first got sick. But people have insurance that goes away after they actually need it.

Dr. Himmelstein
: Single Payer is what we used to call national health insurance. Government collects the money for health care from taxes, you don’t pay premiums, instead you pay taxes, and government pays all the bills.

Hospitals remain privately owned and operated. Doctors remain mostly in private practice. But their bills go to the government insurance program, just as they do today with Medicare, but we’d be able to streamline the payment system if we had only one payer instead of Medicare being one among many.

So a hospital would get one check a month that pays for the entire operation. And that means you can eliminate the huge billing apparatus of the hospitals and the doctors’ offices where we’re employing many people to do our billing. And fighting with insurance companies…saving billions a year.

DR. Sidney Wolfe: Over the last 30 plus years there have been maybe two and a half, three times more doctors and nurses. Pretty much in proportion with the growth in population. There are 30 times more health administrators.

These people are not doctors. They’re not nurses. They’re not pharmacists. They’re not providing care. Many of them are being paid to deny care. So, they are fighting with the doctors, with the hospitals to see how few bills can be paid.

That’s how the insurance industry thrives by denying care, paying as little out as it can, getting the healthiest patients, and yet getting reimbursed as though these patients were sicker than they really are.

So, it’s a system that is guaranteed to waste a lot of money. And what we’ve said is that the amount of money that’s just being wasted in one year is enough to pay for more than enough of the premiums for those that are uninsured and the people that are underinsured.

According to Moyers, progressive groups like: Labor union SEIU and Families USA (it supports President Obama’s goal of a public health insurance plan to compete with the private sector) also testified before the Senate Finance Committee.

But groups like the California Nurses Association…whose 85 thousand members nationwide were early champions of a single-payer program…were not invited and staged a protest.

So what does Senator Baucus think about Single Payer, even though the plan has significant support, yet remains the one thing that was not on the table at the moment (May)…or now?

BAUCUS: Well, just to be honest, it’s not on the table – the only thing that’s not – because it cannot pass. It just cannot pass. We can’t squander this opportunity. We can’t spend – we can’t waste capital on something that’s just impossible.

Baucus is the third highest recipient of donations from the health insurance and health care industry in general. He’s the highest Democratic recipient. (According to Donna Smith, the top two are republicans).

Smith, a community organizer and legislative advocate for the California Nurses Association, also appeared on the Bill Moyers Journal. She thinks Baucus should have to disclose about those contributions every time he chairs a hearing on Health Care Reform.

PBS/Bill Moyers Journal: (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html or just pbs.org).

Senator Baucus, I’m NOT anti you. There are MANY congressmen on all sides who are beholden to insurance companies and oil companies and drug companies and aircraft companies and steel companies and Wall Street and auto companies…etc, etc.

Nor am I advocating Single Payer. I’m just wondering WHY it’s getting the silent treatment!

Single Payer Silence

What is Single Payer?

As the Health Care debate rages on, why have we heard so much about “Public Options” and fictitious “Death Panels” but little about Single Payer?

Many health care professionals, like the group: Physicians for a National Health Program, (PNHP) support Single Payer.

The group bills itself as a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. It says it has more than 17 thousand members and chapters across America.

So when I wanted to understand what Single-payer was, I turned to their website and found this:

Single Payer is a term used to describe a type of financing system. It refers to one entity acting as administrator, or “payer.” In the case of health care, a single-payer system would be setup such that one entity, a government-run organization, would collect all health care fees, and pay out all health care costs.

In the current US system, there are literally tens of thousands of different health care organizations—HMOs, billing agencies, etc. By having so many different payers of health care fees, there is an enormous amount of administrative waste generated in the system.

(Just imagine how complex billing must be in a doctor’s office, when each insurance company requires a different form to be completed, has a different billing system, different billing contacts and phone numbers—it’s very confusing.)

In a single-payer system, all hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers would bill one entity for their services. This alone reduces administrative waste greatly, and saves money, which can be used to provide care and insurance to those who currently don’t have it.

Access and Benefits
All Americans would receive comprehensive medical benefits under single payer.

Coverage would include all medically necessary services, including rehabilitative, long-term, and home care; mental health care, prescription drugs, and medical supplies; and preventive and public health measures.

Care would be based on need, not on ability to pay.

Payment
Hospital billing would be virtually eliminated. Instead, hospitals would receive an annual lump-sum payment from the government to cover operating expenses—a “global budget.” A separate budget would cover such expenses as hospital expansion, the purchase of technology, marketing, etc.

Doctors would have three options for payment: fee-for-service, salaried positions in hospitals, and salaried positions within group practices or HMOs.

Fees would be negotiated between a representative of the fee-for-service practitioners (such as the state medical society) and a state payment board. In most cases, government would serve as administrator, not employer.

Financing
The program would be federally financed and administered by a single public insurer at the state or regional level. Premiums, copayments, and deductibles would be eliminated.

Employers would pay a 7-percent payroll tax…employees would pay 2-percent. 90 to 95 percent of people would pay less overall for health care. Financing includes a cigarette tax of 2-dollars per pack.

Single Payer was discussed on PBS show – Bill Moyers Journal (May 22, 2009). (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html or just pbs.org).

Moyers calls Single Payer one of the most controversial but popular options relating to health care reform.

And many health care professionals (who may have a much better handle than most of us on health care and insurance as it relates to the patient and health care delivery) seem to be throwing their weight behind it.

But they were not being invited to the table, so they took their protest to the Capitol…where some were arrested for it.

As Dr. Margaret Flowers told Moyers: Health care professionals like her want to take care of patients…not have insurance companies and administrators who know nothing about medicine tell then what they can and can’t do!

Another protester, Dr. Pat Salomon: There were all these arbitrary decisions, which were not about people’s health care. They were about profits. How can I get away with the least amount of care offered to this person, so that their premium is going to give me the most profit? That’s not the way health care decisions should be made.

Donna Smith, a community organizer appeared on the Bill Moyers Journal. She’s the legislative advocate for the California Nurses Association, whose 85 thousand members across the country were early champions for a single-payer program.

She told Moyers: Congress is not listening to advocates of a single-payer system. They seem to be bent on one direction and one direction only…expanding the broken system that we have now.

She says there are so many insurance companies involved in making health care decisions in this country, and so many Americans suffering at the hands of those insurance companies, whether it’s through higher premiums and higher co-pays and deductibles…

According to Smith, The California Nurses Association asked Congress and the Obama administration to allow them to contribute to the Health Care Reform debate. She says doctors and nurses were invited to attend the White House forums on health care reform (but didn’t speak) only after protesting and getting quite active.

Smith thinks it’s because lawmakers have already made a choice…to stay with the moneyed interest, the people who fund the campaigns and the people who fuel the government system…

She points to democrat Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee which was holding hearings on health care reform.

Smith says Baucus, is the third highest recipient of donations from the health insurance and health care industry in general. He’s the highest Democratic recipient. She thinks he should have to disclose that at the beginning of every single hearing that he chairs.

Smith argues that doctors have had to spend several hours per day on the phone hassling with insurance companies, trying to negotiate to get a patient a treatment.

In terms of cost, she says the argument about socializing things and making things government-run seems a little bit yesterday to her…because in three days, we were able to come up with three quarters of a trillion dollars to throw into Wall Street.

Check the PNHP website (pnhp.org). It says Single Payer activists have set up a memorial on the National Mall for the more than 44-thousand Americans who die every year from lack of health insurance.

ACORN No Oak!

Acorn has been caught in a conservative trap…

Because its roots were not as grounded as the tree from which it falleth…

Acorn knows that the republicans don’t like it. Nothing to do with any alleged ACORN association with prostitutes, just ask Louisiana republican David Vitter (his number was on a D.C. madam’s list) or Idaho Senator Larry Craig or televangelist Ted Haggard… (Don’t know who they are? Google!)

Republicans want to destroy ACORN because the group has a liberal agenda and helps register low/no-income people to vote and these folks don’t vote republican. If Acorn was registering millionaires, republicans would go find prostitutes for Acorn.

However, for an employee of any organization, especially one that gets federal funds to counsel clients on ways to avoid paying taxes is wrong. And stupid! Of course Tax accountants do this every day for the republicans and their wealthy friends and donors.

Their tax advisors find them tax shelters, help wealthy people stash their money in Swiss banks and talk about trusts and estates and 529 Plans and Roth IRA’s and minimizing the Death Tax burden and so on. And of course, that’s OK.

Republicans and their lobbyists find ways to avoid declaring gifts as taxes (just claim your wife was handling the bills and you didn’t know, really, silly me…I mean you!)

Republicans are not the only ones who do this. Democrats do it, Independents do it. The only people who don’t so it are poor people. The ones Republicans are always trying to crush and tread on!

Still, Acorn, what were you thinking?

You look so ghetto!

In walks a pimp straight out of those stupid black ghetto movies with the “Ho” or should I say “B” and you’re counseling these people to hide their revenue.

The staffer is suggesting that the prostitute call herself a: “freelance performing artist.” Freelance? There’s a lance involved but it’s not free!

And the Acorn staffer is telling the pimp he could claim the young prostitutes as dependents! For what, drugs?

What kind of educational backgrounds are Acorn looking for in their hires? And what else is going on over there? Come on!

And will those fired employees please call me? I need some tax advice. I’m apparently paying too much!

Democrats of course, are running as far away from Acorn as they can. Democrats are just so chicken! You got to admire republicans for at least standing by their bad guys! With Democrats all you have to do is sneeze, and they’re off and running!

Running – like they did over Health Care.

Republicans say boo! They fall down!

Lily-livered!

Ask Democrats what a fight is and they think it’s a cross-country meet!

I would not run away from Acorn. I’d stand up and demand they clean house, and do it immediately. If it wasn’t for Acorn, maybe some of you would NOT be in office.

Nebraska Republican Mike Johanns offered an amendment to bar ACORN from getting any money from the fiscal 2010 Interior Appropriations bill (HR 2996) and 45 Senate Democrats along with Joseph Lieberman, (one-time Democrat, now independent /“wink, wink” republican from Connecticut).

Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a thorough investigation of ACORN.

John Boehner asked President Obama to cut off all federal financing: “It is evident that Acorn is incapable of using federal funds in a manner consistent with the law.”

Are you, Mr. Boehner, referring to the same “law” of the land under which the Bush administration and republicans were giving the go-ahead to torture suspects…spiriting them off to faraway places so our hands would be clean?

Republicans, who have long been itching to get even with ACORN, have introduced bills that would end all federal funding to the group.

I’m glad to see, though, that some Democrats do have balls. Some are not rushing to hang and quarter ACORN.

As New York Representative Jerrold Nadler put it:

“It may be that ACORN is guilty of various infractions, and if so they should be investigated…Congress must not be in the business of punishing individual organizations or people without trial. That’s what this amendment did, and it is flatly prohibited by the Constitution.”

Thank God for you, Rep, Nadler. Any more…?

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