Archive for September, 2009

The Public Option

“We need this option because the insurance companies have failed to meet their obligation” to the public, said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., accusing firms of putting profits over their customers. He said that without his proposal, consumers would face substantial premium increases once health care legislation takes effect.

Republicans countered that private companies would eventually be forced out of business, and argued that millions would be forced to get their insurance from the government.

Let me let this sink in.  Private health insurance giants would be forced out of business by the goverment plan because presumably, the private companies would not be able to run as efficiently as a goverment option, or provide the same level of service as a government option.  WHAT??  You Republicans spend 1/2 the time telling me that government run, socialized programs, are terribly innefficient and far inferior to private offerings – then the other 1/2 telling me how a government option would be so superior to the private option that these poor, deprived, only-doing-what’s-best-for-Americans, private companies would have to shut their ruby-encrusted doors. 

Which is it??

September 29, 2009 at 11:25 pm 1 comment

More American

I was recently told that without a doubt, a Chevy built by Mexicans or Canadians is “more American” than a Toyota built buy Americans.  And that got me thinking…

What is “more American” to purchase:  (1) A product manufactured by foreigners working for a company that is headquartered in America; or (2) a product manufactured by American workers (in American factories) by someone headquartered in another country? 

In other words: How important is the geographic location of the CEO’s desk?

I have to think about not just the worker and his/her family, but the whole kit ‘n caboodle…everything that goes along with both the factory and the work.  I think that Toyota and Honda might be just as “American” (if not more-so) than buying GM or Dodge*.  Especially considering that these foreign manufacturer’s sacrificed some of their bottom line in exchange for R&D, increased efficiency, and other long-term sound business practices which results in their American employees still being able to cash their check and support their families. 

Factories equal land and buildings….and those require endless maintenance from all sorts of third parties.   There is lanscaping and irrigation and roofing and HVAC and fire systems and repairs from gutters to toilets. There are cafeterias and insurance premiums.   There are electricity charges and water bills.  There are computers and network cabling and phone lines and data links.  There is machinery and machinery maintenance and raw materials and waste.  Factories are generating revenue for lots of other companies. 

Next is the paycheck and this doesn’t just go to the worker’s family and then disappear – it is given to other local businesses in the worker’s country (be that America or a foreign country).  The worker spends it at grocery stores, clothing stores, sporting events, little league dues, vacations, mortgages, and so on and so on (most of which also generates sales taxes).  Some of the paycheck goes towards income taxes.   Like the factory itself, the paycheck is generating other revenue.   

The taxes (property, sales, income) are also spent again in the country where the factory is located.  Tax revenue is used to pay teachers and soldiers.  To pay people to build roads and to build satellites.  To conserve our parks and to build our tanks.  

Seems to me that buying a Toyota Tundra that was built in Texas is more American than buying a Silverado built in Mexico or Canada.

Some well known Americana companies that have moved most, if not all, of their manufacturing outside the U.S.:

Fender – Nearly all of its instruments are built in Mexico, China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and India.  Only a few high-end models are built in America. 
Levi’s – Check your label: A very few still say “Made in the U.S.A.”
Rawlings – “Baseball is as American as apple pie. But baseballs themselves — the actual leather-covered spheres hurled in the major leagues — are only as American as gallo pinto, the national dish of Costa Rica, where Rawlings balls have been made since 1986.”
The Chrysler Building – An American Icon.   In July of 2001, the Abu Dhabi government bought a 90% stake in Manhattan’s Chrysler Building for $800 million. 
7-11 – “While the chain’s down-home origins may lie deep in the heart of Texas, its parent company is nestled amid the flashing neon of Tokyo.”
GM, Ford, Dodge: Many cars and trucks are built in Mexico and Canada.  On the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit there are cars from Chevy, Ford, Dodge, and Toyota.  The only car that’s American is the Toyota.

* Ford is excused for while they made poor decisions to overpay executives and to ignore fuel efficiency in their US cars, they (1) Have shown they can do it by being the number 1 auto importer into Brazil (a energy-independent country who uses flex-fuel / bio-fuel in all its new cars) and by building a 60+ mpg Ford Focus in England.  So it can build efficient cars for South America and Europe, it simply chose not to in the USA; and (2) they did not accept / require bailout money as did GM.

September 28, 2009 at 9:15 pm Leave a comment

TYT on Racism and the GOP

Some good stuff from TYT:

Fox News Host on Hip Hop murders:

September 24, 2009 at 9:18 pm 1 comment

Another Terrorist-Fist-Jabber

Fox News better put the alert and let Americans know about another dangerous leader who doe the “terrorist fist jab”: The Dalai Lama

September 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

Open Letter to Burgess

Open Letter to Michael Burgess (R-TX)

Seemingly every year my health care costs continue eating into my income.  Every couple of years the premiums go up, and with that the co-pays and deductibles also go up.  I am getting less AND paying more for it.  
Last year my deductibles increased 500%, my office co-pay by 50%, prescription co-pay by 100%, annual checkups for my children are no longer covered past the age of TWO, my dental insurance was completely removed and replaced by a “discount” program.  In exchange for all these cuts…my premiums increased more than 17%, Michael.  That blows away the CPI.  How can you say that we do not need reform? 
And when I need it most, the insurance companies are allowed to simply reject me.  They can even reject me just because I took a cancer screening test under my previous insurer. (Doctor said it’s possible it’s cancer and if so, early detection is the key. I take the test, it’s negative, covered by insurance, no problem.  Until years later the next insurance company considers me a risk and rejects coverage and I spend my retirement savings in just a couple of years). 
How you can stand up as a representative of the people of Texas and say that you hope everything stays the same is shocking. 
How is it that there is no reform offered by the Republicans?  Your inability to propose any other solutions is a message that you believe this system does not need change.  It appears to me that the only reason for this viewpiont is because you’re simply being contrarian to everything a Democrat proposes. 
For example, tax credits to purchase private insurance: When a Republican says it, it’s a great idea. 
Another exmampe: You also say you have many questions about the details of the proposal.  The same proposal that you and other lawmakers have complained is TOO long and TOO detailed. 
It’s a decent health care system…IF you’re between 25 and 50 and employed by a medium-to-large company. 
If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. 

September 11, 2009 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

Rob Miller vs Joe Wilson

Let me introduce Rob Miller – he is the guy running against the loud-mouth Joe Wilson (R-SC).

According to the AP, backlash against Republican Joe Wilson (attempting to shout down the President’s address to Congress) has led to $750,000 in donations to his Democratic opponent Rob Miller. 

 Hypothetical: Had a Democratic Congressman done this last year (I know, but just pretend)…had a Democrat done this to a Republican President, the conservatives would have him painted as an American-hating traitor, yes?  

Consider donating $5 to Rob Miller:

I hope Joe Wilson loses his seat in Congress! 

blah blah

September 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm Leave a comment

Mobs, Death Wishes, Terrorism

It’s pathetic to see how just a few years ago dissenting against the Republican President was “un-American” but now that a Democrat is President, Republican Senators apparently feel comfortable interrupting a televised address to a joint session of Congress, screaming at the President in the middle of a speech.  What’s so great about your leadership skills, Joe Wilson?  A member of the United States House of Representatives and you can’t maintain a manner of decorum during a presidential address. 

“There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally,” Obama said.

Wilson (Republican, SC) answered the comment with his outburst, loud enough to be picked up on television and in such an unusually disruptive fashion as to merit reprimands from across the political spectrum.

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, a fellow South Carolinian, said Wilson’s heckling was more damaging to South Carolina’s reputation than the exploits of Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, who admitted to having an extramarital affair with an Argentinian woman.

“I thought he [the governor] had embarrassed us as much as we could be embarrassed. But to have a congressman use the floor of the House of Representatives in a joint session to insult the president the way Joe Wilson did is as embarrassing as anything anyone could think of,” Clyburn said. “Our state can do without this.”

This is more of the Republican Mob that we’ve seen lately.  “Shout down anyone who disagrees”.  “Anyone who dissents is wrong and their voices do not need to be heard”.  What’s next from Republicans – will we hear “Anyone who dissents is wrong and their voices should be silenced”? 

Unfortunately, we are already hearing that.  And not from lunatics preaching from a cardboard box – but from from the leaders of Christian churches.


September 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

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