Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kelly Ayotte votes to kill Medicare

Okay, it's official. Kelly Ayotte voted to kill Medicare. The GOP voted in the Senate to make Paul Ryan's bill which would convert Medicare from a system which pays your hospital bills to a system which gives you a coupon for $5000 (or some such amount) each year and then tells you, you are on your own.

The current going rate for a heart bypass surgery in the state of New Hampshire is about $100,000, all of which is covered by Medicare today but if the GOP and Senator Ayotte are  in power, not tomorrow.

If you get sick Medicare will not save you under GOP rules. Go sell your house and everything you own. Move in with your kids. Rather than raise taxes on the rich the GOP would kill Medicare and next, Social Security.

(She looks like such a nice young lady. Who woulda thunk?)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Republicans Stripped Down over Medicare

(Notice how nice the Stars and Stripes complement their outfits.)

Trying to find what Kelly Ayotte has to say about Paul Ryan's Couponcare plan to kill Medicare has been likely trying to grasp a cloud in your hand--it just keeps slipping out and disappearing. I may not be the most sophisticated search engine user, but I simply cannot pin the lady down. Titles say, "Kelly Ayotte supports Congressman Ryan's plan for Medicare," but no quote follows, then "Kelly Ayotte says Ryan's plan is not a voucher plan," but no quote, and oh what a lovely quote that would have been and "Kelly Ayotte does not support Ryan's plan."

So, as they say in politics, the righteous Ms. Ayotte may have "evolved," which is to say, her principles blew off like the fuzz off a dead dandilion, when she saw the poll results.

The problem for Ms. Ayotte, and for all true believer Republicans, is they have certain "core principles" or ideology which lead them inexorably to hate Medicare, and not less, Social Security.

The first is that taxes are BAD.   That means, of course, anything which requires taxes (except of course, bombs, fighter planes, aircraft carriers, submarines, just-say-no, sexual abstinence programs) must be BAD. 

Medicare and Social Security require lots of tax, and so they are BAD.

The big problem, politically, i.e. getting elected, is that people love Medicare and Social Security, especially older people.

So when Paul Ryan says he wants to give you a coupon for $5000 or even $10,000 to spend on your medical care every year, it doesn't matter if he gives you a plastic card embossed in gold, even the slowest, thickest voter knows a heart surgery costs $80,000, easily, and that $10,000 will pay for maybe the first twenty mintues of that surgery. And after that, it's sell your home and move in with the kids.

So even in New Hampshire, where there are few taxes but people are irate about what taxes there are, the cry is, "Keep your government hands off my Medicare!"

This is, of course, on a more basic level, a philosophical question about how much you want to be responsible for your neighbor. If you pay for your neighbor's healthcare, that's a pretty big committment.  The Finns were famous for looking down their noses at the Americans because the Americans do not provide health care for their own, nor day care nor any of the social support systems Finns have done for generations. Americans were like those tribal peoples of the various Stan countries, unwilling to help anyone other than members of their own families, and even not that, on occasion.  But Finland is a country of what? Eight million. When you talk about including Finns in a bigger family, say all of Europe, then they are not so eager to pay for healthcare for undeserving, lazy Greeks, Spaniards and Portuguese. 

So, the problem we've been having as Americans, as peole who live in New Hampshire, is we really don't like a lot of our fellow citizens. We don't think they deserve our help.

But Medicare, and Social Security have been the two big successes and these programs have been relentlessly attacked by Republicans. George W tried to kill both. His Republican heirs keep trying. The mistake Paul Ryan made was he was more open about his intentions, more honest.

And when Ryan unzipped his clothes, when he asked other Republicans to do the same, what the public saw was pretty disgusting. Now all the Republicans in Congress are rushing to zip back up.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Righteous Right Takes Credit for Osama Mission

One thing you have to say for Karl Rove, and all those who travel with him (Rush, Glenn,Sarah P., Michele, the Righteous Right) is they do stick to their story.

I watched the coverage of the Osama Bin Laden mission, watching President Obama leaning forward in that Situation Room, with Hilary with her hand over her mouth, plain on every face the intensity of the situation, and I watched clips from the President at the Press Club festivities, where he carried off his remarks, cool as the underside of a pillow, and I read the comments from the military brass who call Obama, "Cool Hand Luke," and I had to conclude--this guy has cards he isn't showing, and they are all aces.

What a contrast to the Blow Hard Right. Donald Trump, all self important, loud and idiotic.  Rush Limbaugh, who has never in his life had to make a decision where lives hang in the balance.  Karl Rove, who has never been in the field of any conflict personally.

And now Rove is saying that all Obama did was to take advantage of all the information Rendition and torture dropped in his lap. And, of course, rendition and torture had nothing to do with locating Osama. Someone in the Pakistani intelligence got a license plate number, and that connected to a courier and the rest is history, far as I can tell.

But then again, I don't really know, because I don't have all the details, not even close to the whole story.

But not knowing anything real does not stop Rove or any of his blow hard friends. They always know, because what they know is only what they already believed in the first place, unemcumbered with the truthiness of facts on the ground.

God save us from the Righteous Right.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama and the Hampton Mother

"I think the tools that President Bush put into place--GITMO, rendition, enhanced interrogation, the vast effort to collect and collate this information--obviously served his successor quite well."
                       Karl Rove, Fox and Friends May 2, 2011.

Just in case you missed it: The competence evidenced by the Democratic Obama administration, which succeeded where his Republican predecessor had failed, is actually a mistaken perception.

What Mr. Rove and the Republicans want to point out is that the success of this mission depended on torture, and Abu Gharib, and GITMO and all those things you thought you didn't like about the great Republican rendition machine. 

Republicans must be forgiven for being unable to see government's successes, because whenever they are in charge, there are no successes to be seen.

But when a clear government success occurs they will either try to destroy it (as in Medicare) or they will claim it as their own, as in killing Osama Bin Laden. 

Actually, Karl Rove is not the only frothing  right winger  trying to spin Obama's victory into a Republican success.  Overheard in a North Hampton parking lot, this conversation:

"Oh, Osama's been dead for years."
"Yes, they're just releasing it now because Obama's so low in the polls."
"You don't say?"
"Yes, my daughter's in the Navy. She says they've been saying that for years. Everyone knows it."
"Well, I didn't know that."

I wanted so badly to ask that lady, the mother of the Navy daughter, if the space aliens from Roswell had captured Osama Bin Laden and handed him over to their fellow space alien, President Obama. 

I wonder if "They" didn't believe in Navy SEALS, or in the valor and discipline of the people who actually flew in on those helicopters. 

I wonder if George W. Bush flew along with them, with a Mission Accomplished banner to hang in that compound, to claim credit where credit was due? Maybe Karl Rove was with him. And the lady's Navy daughter. 

Or maybe, it was just those space aliens at it again.