Friday, September 25, 2009

SNL Opening

The bit right up to the "Live from New York" announcement is the fun part. I particularly like the Food Network interview. Although the Glenn Beck parody was so spot on it was scary. (If you can't view it here, you should be able to click and view it at NBC's site).

Mild Pet Peeve

I've been seeing these ads against a tax on soda pop. An actress playing a concerned mother tells the audience how hard it is to feed her family, and that we should contact Congress to tell them not to tax juice and soda.

Here's the peeve. Soda is a luxury item. It is not healthy, and a person trying to feed their family with "pennies" would not buy it. They would drink water instead. To argue against this tax from that angle strikes me as utterly stupid.

Not that I think a soda tax is a good idea. I think there are a few million better ways to raise money. But I get really peeved at the idea that soda pop is something that a responsible mom would be buying for her children as a necessity.

If she'd stuck to talking about fruit juice, the ad wouldn't bother me so much... but soda? Totally not needed for a healthy family. Frankly, the ad makes me think that maybe the tax is a good idea after all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Free Speech Means Responsibility

This is from a speech. Before you look at the date, try to figure out who is talking and when:
In this country we cherish and guard the right of free speech. We know we love it when we put up with people saying things we absolutely deplore. And we must always be willing to defend their right to say things we deplore to the ultimate degree. But we hear so many loud and angry voices in America today whose sole goal seems to be to try to keep some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other. They spread hate. They leave the impression that, by their very words, that violence is acceptable. You ought to see -- I'm sure you are now seeing the reports of some things that are regularly said over the airwaves in America today.

Well, people like that who want to share our freedoms must know that their bitter words can have consequences and that freedom has endured in this country for more than two centuries because it was coupled with an enormous sense of responsibility on the part of the American people.

If we are to have freedom to speak, freedom to assemble, and, yes, the freedom to bear arms, we must have responsibility as well. And to those of us who do not agree with the purveyors of hatred and division, with the promoters of paranoia, I remind you that we have freedom of speech, too, and we have responsibilities, too. And some of us have not discharged our responsibilities. It is time we all stood up and spoke against that kind of reckless speech and behavior.

If they insist on being irresponsible with our common liberties, then we must be all the more responsible with our liberties. When they talk of hatred, we must stand against them. When they talk of violence, we must stand against them. When they say things that are irresponsible, that may have egregious consequences, we must call them on it. The exercise of their freedom of speech makes our silence all the more unforgivable. So exercise yours, my fellow Americans. Our country, our future, our way of life is at stake.
-William J Clinton, April 24, 1995

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Beck's Teabaggers complain about DC Metro. The Tea-Beckers, who claim they went to Washington DC to complain about being taxed to pay for healthcare, are complaining that the DC Metro wasn't good enough for them. These people, who don't want any social services, are complaining because some of them had to take a *gasp* taxi to the protest! They had to pay for PRIVATE service. The government didn't just automatically take care of them! How horrible that the government that they hate and are protesting against (with their incredibly racist and often misspelled signs) isn't giving them a ride to their protest against the government!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

If You Are Rude, You Get Pwned

Rep Wilson, who shouted a provable falsehood at Obama during Obama's speech, has an opponent waiting in SC. Rob Miller is an Iraq War Veteran who almost defeated Wilson last time despite having 1/4 of the money. He decided to run again, and after Wilson's outburst people decided to donate to Miller to get Wilson out of office. As of this writing, Rob Miller has gotten over $400,000 in on-line contributions since Wilson's rudeness.

We're talking about nearly a half million dollars in campaign contributions in less than a day.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

My Health Care Reform Plan

My plan is simple, which is why it will never be adopted. It's also by a person who understand the whole issue as a regular person, which is why it probably wouldn't work.

1) Allow anyone to buy into Medicare. Set prices based on costs, and use the clout of Medicare to keep costs reasonable (but not artificially low). Do not force anyone into Medicare, but make it a choice for everyone.

2) Don't force everyone to buy insurance. With one caveat. If you are able to afford insurance but choose not to buy it, you must pay for any and all health care you need by yourself. So if you refuse to buy catastrophic insurance (even though you can afford it) because you think you are invincible, then you darn well better be invincible. If you go into debt to pay off health care bills after you refused health care insurance you could afford, tough luck.

3) Pass a law that if a person dies due to insurance companies refusing coverage (and this needs to be well documented by more than one doctor, not based on a single opinion) then the insurance company is fined $1,000,000,000 with the majority of that going to the survivors. A petty sum for a priceless life, but maybe after paying a few billion for negligence, insurance companies won't deny critical coverage any more. As an alternative, I would favor murder charges against the person/people who made the decision to deny coverage.

I can see lots of flaw with my plan, but I bet any politician worth their salt could fix the loopholes and make it work. The crucial part of my plan is point 1, I could give up 2 & 3 if I had to.

The key is allowing people to have a choice between a single-payer system (Medicare) and private insurance. People will vote with their feet, and move from Medicare if it is crappy, or to Medicare if private insurance is crappy.

Right now, most people have the choice between an over-priced private insurance that will drop them like a hot potato if they actually get sick and... an over-priced private insurance that will deny them coverage based on loopholes and fine print if they get sick.