Saturday, August 29, 2009

Touching Kennedy Eulogy

Part 1

Part 2

Ted Kennedy Jr.’s Touching Eulogy for His Father

Monday, August 24, 2009

Massive Feederal Debt

As previously reported the Federal Deficit is Soaring with estimates for this year being between $1.6 trillion or $1.8 trillion. Now the projected deficit for the next 10 years is up $2 trillion. There are so many disturbing elements to this ever expanding deficit, not least of which is how the U.S. economy will recover with this level government debt. As the deficit shoots upwards so does the risk of inflation, making recovery increasingly more difficult. Not to mention that China owns so much of our debt that at this point they're practically a part owner of this country. The government seriously needs to reexamine its priorities and reign in its spending or this country will find itself in a world of hurt.

Major Garrett reports New 10-year Federal Deficit: $9 Trillion, Up from $7 Trillion
The Obama Office of Management and Budget tells Fox the federal deficit over the next decade is projected to be $2 trillion higher than previous estimates.
The new 10-year aggregate federal deficit is $9 trillion.

An official said the prolonged recession and the ensuing decline in federal revenue prompted a recalibration of the deficit numbers.

The numbers also reflect a projection that post-recession economic growth may not be as robust as after previous recessions, the official said.

An Unsustainable Federal Deficit

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ridge and the Terror Level

If anyone is in doubt that politics is plays way to big a role in the running of the government another example comes out of the Bush White House.

Ridge: Bush officials sought to raise terror alert before ‘04 vote

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge says he successfully countered an effort by senior Bush administration officials to raise the nation’s terror alert level in the days before the 2004 presidential vote.
Ex-Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge says he was pushed to raise the terror alert before the 2004 election.

Ex-Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge says he was pushed to raise the terror alert before the 2004 election.

“An election-eve drama was being played out at the highest levels of our government” after Osama bin Laden released a pre-election message critical of President George W. Bush, writes Ridge in his new book, “The Test of Our Times.”

Attorney General John Ashcroft and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld strongly advocated raising the security threat level to “orange” — even though Ridge believed a threatening message “should not be the sole reason to elevate the threat level.”

The former Pennsylvania governor also writes that he saw no reason for the move, which he now calls a bad idea, because additional security precautions had already been taken in advance of the election.

Ridge On the Politics of Security

Whole Food CEO Under Fire

Whole Foods is facing a boycott because its CEO John Mackey wrote an Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal opposing government run health care. Mackey's thoughtful article gave eight ideas for health care reform, and is not anywhere near what most rationale people consider provocative or radical. On the contrary, he is one of few public figures to put together a clear, concise, well-reasoned approach to health care reform. For his trouble he's being boycotted by those on the far left who can not accept that not everyone shares their point of view. The WSJ article is definitely worth a read for anyone interested in health care reform...

The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare - Eight things we can do to improve health care without adding to the deficit.

The following excerpt Food Fight Over Health Care, from a transcript of On the Record with Greta Vansusteren, also illustrates that Mackey is good person who does right by his employees, and is absurdly being targeted for vocalizing his opinion on health care reform. Hopefully those who see the injustice in this will counter the boycott by stopping by a Whole Foods store and picking up some groceries.

BRIAN SULLIVAN, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: The irony of this story, Greta, is that if John Mackey, who is the CEO of Whole Food who has been running the company, started the company in Austin Texas about 30 years ago, if he had positioned what he positioned in "The Journal" when we were not considering health care, this would have been considered radical reform. He said here are eight ideas as a successful CEO that I have, including tort reform, allowing insurers cross state lines, self-directed ideas. And yet he is vilified by some of the more liberal followers out there of the president's plan. They are, as you said, waging war against Whole Foods, 18,000 on Facebook in a boycott. There is Web page set up. And they are calling him, get this, Greta, a right-wing zealot. VAN SUSTEREN: This CEO of Whole Foods, in 2007, he said he had enough money to live comfortably, so in 2007 he cut his salary down to $1 a year, and he donated all of the proceeds from his stock option to charity. This does not sound like a guy who wants to stick it to the poor when it comes to health care. He had a different idea, and that was what was in the "Wall Street Journal." SULLIVAN: He is a self-described libertarian. And I do not know if that was angered some people. Not only was he taking $1, but he pushed this through, Greta, a $100,000 need-based fund for Whole Foods workers. They offer domestic partners same sex benefits at Whole Foods. Heretofore this has been considered a relatively progressive company. Now he comes out and says the government-run plan is not the way to go. And he is absolutely being slaughtered on the left side of the blogosphere.

A Misguided Boycott Of Whole Foods

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Health Care Debate Is Missing An Explation

The health care debate has become one of the most confusing and highly charged debates in recent memory. One main reason for this is that the administration has repeatedly left unanswered the basic question of how this plan will work. There is some good reason for this as there is no real concrete plan as of yet, just a bill that is in process which has been criticized as lengthy but not clear. However, the President has spoken about health care repeatedly in town halls, in press conferences, and has directly addressed the country, but has not once has he given a basic explanation on how his plan will work. Again today in a op-ed in the New York Times President Obama talks about why health care is needed. Yet no one is at a loss for why health reform is needed, they are at a loss for how health reform will work.

Cost is a major issue. The administration says that the plan will be funded approximately 1/3 by eliminating waste and inefficiencies. Yet CNN ran an article stating that little has been done in the current bill to address fraud. Tort reform has also been excluded, which means the waste that occurs through doctors practicing defensive medicine, and the underlying cost of malpractice insurance will not be dealt with. Digitizing medical records has been cited as a way to reduce costs. This would likely reduce costs down the road, but wouldn't there be an initial cost of moving records to a database, setting up a database (or other system) with the appropriate security and protocols? How will this happen? Who will establish this system and oversee its management and especially its security?

The reason so many people are nervous is that if the system is squeezed for savings it makes sense that care might suffer. Without the 'how' people are likely to jump to conclusions, and while proponents can complain that people 'are playing the politics of fear,' the reality is that some people are honestly afraid of what might happen to Medicare and Medicaid if reform means cuts. Granted some have come to ridiculous conclusions like Governor Palin's over-the-top remark about 'death panels.' However, the irony is that remark actually effected the debate because there was no other explanation out there about what 'end of life counseling' means. The administration is adamant that health reform pass, and pass quickly, but they don't appear to know what reforms they want or how they will work. How can the President expect the public to support reform when no one can explain it?

From Purple People Vote Independent Political Blog