Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Run the Country Like Big Business Would

"The Proposal"

When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers must find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well..

Wall street, and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision", and his board of directors gives him a big bonus.

Our government should not be immune from similar risks.


Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members.
Reduce Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State).
Then, reduce their staff by 25%.

Accomplish this over the next 8 years

(two steps/two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.

Yearly Monetary Gains Include:

for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay/member/ yr.)

for elimination of their staff. (estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)

for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.

reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (Those members whose jobs are gone. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion/yr)

The remaining representatives would need to work
smarter and improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country!

Now there's a radical idea!

We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well.
It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.

Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

Summary of

$ 44,108,400 reduction of congress members.

$282,100, 000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff.

$150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff.

$59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.

$37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.

$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.

year, estimated total savings. (that's 8-BILLION just to start!)

Big business does these
types of cuts all the time.

If Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like everyone else) in order to collect retirement benefits, tax payers could save a bundle.

But unfortunately now they get full retirement after serving only 1 term.

It's time we start treating these morons like they and their friends treat us - Sheep being led to the slaughter!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

High Def Healthcare

Anyone who has gone from a standard television set to a new 'high definition' one will tell you there is nothing like it! You can almost see blades of grass growing. Well maybe not the actual growing process but if you look carefully you can see individual blades!

Looking at nature in this way is wonderful and enlightening. Some of our most amazing discoveries can be traced back to the ability to see even the tiniest of details. Go back and find an old book titled, "The Microbe Hunters" by Paul de Kruif. This book was first published in 1926 but has since been reprinted several times so you may still find a copy for yourself. (Or you could click the link provided and sit at the computer for days.)

The idea of looking at something more closely is not new nor should it ever get old. It is the most important part of understanding the knowledge the world around us offers.

However at some point we must use the knowledge gained by our minute examination to act on what we learn.

The current climate swirling around the health care reform debate in our country has been getting closer scrutiny than any issue I can remember in recent times. The anger it has unleashed on both sides of an argument that really should not have sides is amazing.

But if we put the issue under the microscope we can boil it down to fundamentals that would make the old masters of science and medicine proud.

I will not be able to list every point being made by every voice in the debate but I can say that a few truths do come to mind at the outset.

1. We all would like to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

2. We would all like to attain 'point #1' while we still have some money left to enjoy life.

3. Capitalism, American style is the way we do business in this country.

4. As long as we do not break the law we do not wish to allow others to decide how we live.

5. If someone infringes on our freedom or attempts to harm us we must stop them.

6. We have a terrible system of Government that just happens to be the best in the world at this time.

7. We expect certain services to be handled at the Government level in return for our taxes.

8. Some people will attempt to play the system in order to get ahead no matter who they harm.

9. Health care is WAY too expensive and getting worse!

Naturally there are many more lines one could add to the above list and most would be apropos however the longer the list the less people will read it to the end.

And that brings me to the final point. We are being afforded an unbelievable glimpse into the workings, or failures of our Government with the 24 hour news cycle and hundreds of choices on Cable networks. We cannot possibly hear, see or read everything that is thrown out for our consumption. NOR SHOULD WE!

Do we really need to see that blade of grass grow? Isn't it enough to know that we examined the soil and determined that we used the right fertilizer and that a few days later the lawn was more plush?

It is time for the U S Congress to do the right thing. We have seen the blemishes on the face of our health care system. We understand that the health insurance industry is not going softly into that good night and we are not asking them to do so.

What we are asking, no demanding is a system that offers us a choice in that most basic of rights, our health!

Many say that they do not want a bureaucrat in DC to decide how we get our health care or how much it should cost.

But they are looking at an old 'low def' TV.

Right now what we have is a 'bean counter' in Dubuque deciding whether a woman in Maine should be allowed to have the surgery she so desperately needs!
And to make matters worse that bean counter gets a bigger bonus if he can deny health care and save the company money! The only other winner in this scenario is the lady's local mortuary.

We have options in everything we do and yet our country is still the best there is in the world. We choose paper or plastic; NBC or CBS; Honda or Ford; and unfortunately Republican or Democrat. Why not allow us to choose our health care insurers? Trust us to see the issues clearly enough to make the right choice!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Frustration - A Pre-Existing Condition

The current political scene is dominated by frustration. Frustration on the part of the majority as well as the minority but the two sides are handling it quite differently.

Rather than working together as a team the Democrats who were elected in large part as a knee jerk reaction to the policies of the previous administration have not been able to get their acts together. They continue to try to be fair and bi-partisan with a group that has anything but fairness on their mind.

The American electorate spoke last November with resounding voice that they wanted change but the only thing that has changed is the side of the aisle that seats the majority in Congress. The same failed policies continue and no change will ever happen unless and until the Democrats realize that they are being played.

When the Republicans claim that they are not being listened to in the conversation about health care reform they are flat out lying. In fact they are basically the only ones being listened to as the Democrats continue to attempt bipartisanship.

One can have a constructive debate only if both sides argue within the framework of honesty and fairness. But when one side turns counseling the elderly on the choices they have about their health care into "Death Panels out to kill old people" then the debate ends.

There have been so many obvious lies thrown out by the Republicans and their Conservative friends that one wonders how they can sleep at night. Naturally the wonder ends when we realize that the health insurance lobby is controlling the argument with free flowing funds from their fat deep pockets.

The amount of money being made by our leaders in Congress is far more than they can make merely doing the job they were elected to do. These amounts are part of the public record and you may find out how large a bribe your congressman is getting very easily if you care to do so.

If Congress passes a health care bill that actually helps the millions of citizens of this country it will conversely hurt the bottom lines of the insurance industry. These companies cannot allow that to happen. Rather than lose billions they happily and readily spend millions upon millions to 'persuade' their puppets in Congress that it is in everyone's best interest to keep the status quo.

What can be done to stop this from happening? Not even exposing the lies seems to work. When Max Baucus caved in to many of the requests of the Republicans before finally coming up with his so-called health care reform bill he was supposedly trying to appease his counterparts on the 'right' and get them to vote for change. But when they subsequently said they still could not support the bill it should have become clear that they would never agree to anything that hurts their 'Golden Goose.'

Mr. Baucus himself is a recipient of some of that ill-gotten gold and therefore cannot be trusted to do the right thing either. It is up to President Obama to show us that he has right stuff to get the job done.

Can he? Only time will tell. And in the time it takes more Americans will die and others will go bankrupt while Insurance companies deny and deny and continue to get rich and fat on the backs of we the people.

Did I say there is frustration on all sides? That is not totally true. The full force of frustration is only on the side of the majority and the American people. The Republicans and the Conservatives are only frustrated in that they do not hold the majority and therefore cannot merely ignore the Democrats. But while they may be in the minority for now the minority rules!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who Lies?

The President spoke and many of America listened. But as is usually the case with politics in the era of the internet and the 24 hour news cycle many did not.

And the problem is the ones who needed to listen and understand the most were among the missing.

They may not have been home or perhaps their televisions were not working or maybe they were watching Fox which chose to air another one of those sadly prolific and incredibly stupid reality shows instead of the speech.

But the worst ones who chose not to listen were sitting on the right side of the aisle in the very room in which the speech was given. I am of course speaking of those wonderful people from the GOP, Republicans.

And speaking of Fox, their News (that's a joke) station did have the speech and when Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina couldn't control himself and brain-farted "You Lie" at the President one of Fox's most trusted commentators laughed!

Who might that idiot be?
Glad you asked!
None other than Turd Blossom himself - Karl Rove.

I will not reiterate anything the President said during his time in front of the joint session of Congress as there are plenty of other places to find the actual and imagined words he spoke. But I will say that he was masterful both in presentation and content. He said what needed to be said and aimed his harshest criticisms at the LIARS on the right and the non-believers on the left.

The powerful insurance lobby will have to work overtime to repair the damage President Obama did to their bribery schemes. But I have no doubt they will merely open their wallets a little more and reel back many of the Congressmen who find themselves suddenly sitting on the fence.

Mr. President - The key here is to strike while the iron is hot and mold it into a workable health insurance and health care plan. Don't make it an open-ended process by allowing time and grass (or Grassley) to grow under your feet. Get the faithful together and ask them to help you twist an arm or two. You must turn the blue dogs who are still skeptical of what we the people need into responsible leaders.

Mr Smith may have not actually gone to Washington as in Frank Capra's sadly unrealistic fairy tale but we need A Few Good Men (and women) to get off that fence and protect us from big insurance!
We want the truth!
We can handle the truth!
What we can't handle are the lies!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's Ranting Time Again

I listen to the news way too much these days but the key word there was LISTEN. Too many people in this country either do not listen or refuse to hear what is being said. there are also quite a few who are paid to repeat lies and therefore can not listen or hear the truth. For them it would be a conflict of interest in a big time way. These people are generally known as Republicans and some Democrats who are in fact puppets of the DC lobbies.

For example here are a few points boiled down to the basics.

Republicans continue to say that they are all for health care for all but among other things they fear the great costs involved.

First of all the costs have not been offered as yet since the entire plan has not even been written. For that I blame President Obama.
But the Republicans know this. However merely throwing out the fear that we could bankrupt the country they get a great deal of poorly informed people on their side.
They also talk about health care killing people! These morons love their oxymorons.

When Republicans look for reasons NOT do something they use the same tired old arguments and scare tactics that unfortunately have worked for so long; "It's too costly - It will kill old people - Women will die with breast cancer - It will mortgage our future - Think of your children."
It will cost a lot but we're worth it.
No old people will be put in harms way unless drafted.
Women should be outraged at this one!!!!
Our future is now and besides the mortgage system is the one that got us here! Fix it!
And I am thinking of the children!

Don't be surprised if the next Republican/Conservative TV ad is - "Guns don't kill people, Obama's healthcare kills people." And inthe background you;'ll see an old grandma dead.

The Republicans lost the last election in a big way and they are an angry minority. They need to get people onto their side or they are doomed.
Do they care about health care for the masses?
They have the best health care money can buy and those poorly informed masses are paying for it!

As for the rest of us we should be sick and tired of hearing the lie, "We have the best health care in the world."
Do you realize that America is actually ranked 39th?
It is a lie propagated by the Conservatives and Republicans and some Democrats (once again all of whom have great free health care) meant to use pride of country too get us riled up about change.
"We don't want Canadian health care or Great Britatin's health care or God forbid France's health care system of SOCIALIZED medicine here."

Why not?
Before you allow these lobby spokesmen masquerading as congressmen to make up your mind do a little research. You will be quite surprised at how good those other systems are.
No, they are not perfect, not by a long shot but they are light years ahead of our FOR TOTAL PROFIT AT THE COST OF LIVES system.

The opponents have no shame! They are not arguing truthfully and they must not be rewarded for lies! We cannot allow this to keep happening.

And what is more important than health?
Weren't we brought up on the phrase, "When you have your health..."

And getting back to children: Public school is a mandate. Education is a must.
Are the Republicans against schooling?
And what about all the other government run programs?
Are the Republicans against the military; the police force; the fire department; the forestry service; the post office and on and on...?

We mandate auto insurance but we don't regulate the insurers so they are free to increase your costs regularly. Those costs are killing us. If something is mandated then it must be considered a utility and have guidelines.

Let's do that with health insurance.
Let's do it right this time.
Mandate health Insurance for all citizens.
Allow the people a public option with regulated costs and fair terms!

We gave billions to big banks and they are voting themselves hundreds of mills in bonuses. when we say it must be regulated Republicans say no.
They say that government can't get involved in CEO compensation because it's a dangerous road to take and all the large companies will lose their talent to other companies willing to pay more the obscene amounts of cash they demand.
But one true statement they make is that the Board of Directors of these companies vote to determine compensation and they are the ones who should hold down bonuses or make them fit situation.
BUT THE BOARDS ARE MADE UP OF GOOD OLD BOYS WHO SIT ON EACH OTHERS BOARDS! That means they say to each other "You show me a big one and I'll show you a big one in return.

There is talk of taxing big trades on Wall Street and naturally the traders are against it.
I trade so I should be against it as well but I am not!
A typical trader talking on CNN said that he and his people could trade 10 million shares a day and even a tiny tax percentage could add up to $10,000 a day.
He said that because he knows that to most of us $10,000 is a great deal of money.
But everything is relative - He trades TEN MILLION SHARES A DAY!!!!!
Anyone with enough money to trade that much probably farts $10M.
Tell these guys to drop one hooker or take one less junket per year and they will save that much and more.

Obama and his team are showing that they are too weak and meek to get things done in big old boys land where the lobbies rule & the public's a fool If he and his team do not grow some big ones and soon we are all doomed to years and years of Republican / Conservative rule even when they are in the minority!