Friday, May 27, 2011

New York 26th

The fall out from the special election in New York's 26th congressional district has been interesting. You have Democrats saying that it is the coming end of the Republicans. You have Republicans saying that it is meaningless. The most interesting reaction comes from our own Paul Ryan. Congressman Ryan said that the Democrats ran a campaign based on untruths and fear mongering about medicare. That the media fell for it and essentially created an environment where they couldn't win. Come on Paul! How do you think the Republicans won in 2010? How many times did we hear how disastrous "Obamacare" was? How many times did we hear about the "failed stimulus"? How many times did we hear that Obama raised taxes? That campaign was all about fear mongering. The truth on Medicare in Congressman Ryan's budget is that it will only affect those under age 55, so he is correct in that the seniors have nothing to worry about, but he is wrong that the rest of us have nothing to worry about. The truth is that you will get $8000 dollars to purchase health insurance without any increase for inflation when health care costs are rising at around 20% per year. The increase has slowed in recent years so maybe this will be ok. The problem comes with whether you can get insurance for $8000? The problem is can you get insurance for $8000 if you have a pre-existing condition? The problem is can you get insurance for $8000 if you are over 65? I'm afraid that the answers to these questions are no. When you combine that with the elimination and or reductions to pension plans, corporations eliminating or reducing the corporate match to 401K and stock purchase plans, and forecast reductions to Social Security and you rightly get fear. The Republican party wants to take the country back to 1928, when the safety net was practically non-existent and there was a tremendous amount of poverty and lack of healthcare among the seniors and the unemployed and the poor.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Exxon's great ads

I was watching TV the other night and an inspirational ad about energy came on. In this ad they talked about how innovation has led to extracting natural gas (cleaner fuel) from solid rock. Way cool, no mention of problems or complaints. Then I find that it is paid for by Exxon-Mobil. Aren't they the ones who had the big accident in Pennsylvania? And why no mention of what the process is called---Hydrofracking? This is a process that has been implicated in groundwater pollution all over the country. Drill baby drill. Shows the power of money and media access to control the message.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Concealed Carry

Wisconsin has begun debate on concealed carry again. But, unlike last time we now allow (or at least have ruled) extensive open carry. There are 2 competing bills. One would require a license the other would require nothing. As we all know there are 3 clauses in the 2nd Amendment and as far as I can tell the issue of licenses can't possibly be inferred from it. So, the correct bill is the one that allows concealed carry with no restrictions. One sheriff has gone on record as saying that we need licenses so that we now who is carrying. Doesn't that defeat one of the arguments that the NRA (who supports licenses, go figure) uses to fight gun control? The NRA believes that the Government can't know who has guns in case we start a revolution but yet they support allowing Government to know who is carrying a gun. I don't understand the sheriffs wanting to now who is carrying when these same sheriffs were all for open carry. If you are going to allow open carry without documentation why be restrictive on concealed carry? Of course, this gets us to the point of why do you need to concealed carry when you can open carry with no restrictions?