Congress

Super Congress in Session - More of the Cruel Charade


Wall Street and the big banks owe $1.5 trillion for the bailout (at least).  The Super Congress needs to cut $1.5 trillion over ten years.  Get the money from Wall Street and cancel the Super Congress.  Problem solved.

Healthcare Reform - Abandoning the Self Employed

Michael Collins

Before it ever arrived at the president's desk for signature, the health reform act contained a fatal poison pill.

The most creative sector of the business community has a dagger at its heart in the form of the relentless, unyielding, and over burdening cost of health insurance. The self-employed and very small businesses have seen their insurance premiums climb 20% to 75% since 2009. To purchase an adequate family plan, a self-employed person will pays an amount 50% to 70% of the nation's median personal income, $32,000 a year, for family health plan. This includes premiums, deductibles, and out of pocket expenses. That is twice the cost for relatively generous plans at medium to large size companies. Very small businesses, two to twenty employees, pay about the same (Image: Paul Henman)

Wasn't health reform supposed to take care of just this sort of inequity? Didn't the title of the bill say it all? The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act There is no protection for the self-employed when they have these stark choices facing them due to unaffordable insurance rates. They can give up working for themselves; buy adequate insurance and take a huge hit to income; buy a substandard plan and hope that whatever comes up is covered; or, abandon insurance at real risk to their health and, in some cases, their lives.

Why Does Congress Hate America?

Michael Collins

Oh, it's just that Collins guy mouthing off again.

Actually, I was far too easy on Congress yesterday in Lawless Nation - Congress.

Here's why: HR 3808 The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010

The bill is the response to the events outlined in a story that Numerian scooped on foreclosure problems. The banks are in big trouble. They failed to follow the law and rules in handling mortgages. Instead of foreclosing on home owners, those upside down and under water can consider strategic defaults on the mishandled notes. Legal efforts have reached a point where there's a "tsunami of legal action against mortgage servicers" as Tyler Durden calls it.

Lawless Nation - Congress

By Michael Collins Part II of III (Part I) WASHINGTON - Placed in office through legalized bribery, supported by public funding for their every need, protected against the laws that we're expected to obey, Congress represents the epitome of lawlessness; lawmakers who have no regard for the law. (Image)

Members of Congress are different. They get to retire at age 62 with lifetime pensions and health benefits. To qualify, they need just five years of service. They get free phone, mail, and other communications plus paid domestic and foreign travel. Supposedly, they're not allowed to take gifts but the list of exceptions offers plenty of room for luxurious appreciation.

The biggest gift of all - a six to seven figure job with a major corporation or lobbying firm right after retirement - is still fair game for any member. The revolving door never stops.

Lawless Nation - the Executive Branch

By Michael Collins
Part I of III

"The architecture of a totalitarian state is almost fully in place and the lawless implementation is accelerating. While the Bush violations of the Constitution and various federal codes were greeted with shock in some quarters, the staid declaration of a presidential assassination order by Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Barack Obama, was met with virtually no resistance by Congress." Michael Collins

Ray Lutz for Congress Press Release

PRESS RELEASE - July 27, 2010
CANDIDATE LUTZ CALLS CONGRESSMAN HUNTER OUT ON HIS ANTI-AMERICAN SANCTUARY CITIES "GAG-ORDER"

LUTZ SAYS IMMIGRATION POLICY TOO IMPORTANT TO BE USED AS PARTISAN ELECTION FOOTBALL

El Cajon, Calif. –
“Hunter wants to stop the debate, but he knows he can’t pass his gag order -- he’s just playing partisan politics to get in the news,” said Ray Lutz, the Democratic challenger to California’s 52nd Congressional Seat. “I say let the courts chew on Arizona's SB-1070 law and decide once and for all if it is unconstitutional. What's the harm in that?”

Any guesses on whether this will happen?

From The Hill:

A bipartisan contingent of freshman and sophomore lawmakers is pushing House appropriators to cut the salaries of lawmakers by $8,700 each next year.

The 5 percent cut would save taxpayers $4.7 million and comes more than a month after Congress voted and President Barack Obama signed a measure to freeze congressional pay for 2011.

Are you holding your breath? Then again... They already do make most of their money when they hit the ground running as lobbyists. So a haircut now wouldn't be unfathomable.

Where are the Populists?

Michael Collins

"There
are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you
just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity
will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if
you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find
its way up and through every class that rests upon it.
William Jennings Bryan, 1896

Populism is broadly defined
as "political ideas and activities that are intended to represent
ordinary people's needs and wishes." The majority are  deliberately
held down by the financial elite.  Removal of the financial elite is
the vehicle to realize the "people's needs and wishes." (Graph)

The
statement from William Jennings Bryan is pure populism. It becomes less
pure as he proceeded with his speech. He used a metaphor of burning
down the nation's big cities since they were, he claimed, the
stronghold of the financial elite and support for the gold standard for
currency.

In practice, populism almost always entails anger and resentment.

Constitutional Hypocrisy

Millions of Americans are politically informed, smart, active and angry. They see many wrongs in our political and government system. They are fed up with politics as usual, meaning corrosive corruption of politicians by corporate and other special interests. They see little good in either the Democrat or Republican parties. And they almost always share a common bond: They love and honor the US Constitution, even though they may see some flaws in it. Yet they are also constitutional hypocrites.

Please read the rest of my article at:

Corporate Tantrums - Can We Trust these Companies with Our Health?

 

Some major health insurers and other health interests are behind some of the highly emotional and disruptive scenes at town hall meetings around the country.

What does this say about their level of desperation concerning the health care debate?

Anyone who has raised a high spirited teen knows that when the facts are obvious about some misbehavior, there's always the chance that the facts will recede into a background of a highly emotional argument.  Raise you voice after you see easy $3,000 damage to the car and you might hear, "Why are you yelling at me!" and so forth.  Once the discussion heads in that direction, you've lost, at least for the moment.

Just One Simple Question...

Crossposted here from dKos on behalf of SaraBeth by GH. Some minor edits were made and text adjusted to adapt the piece to this venue, but it is otherwise intact.

I belong to several forums around the Net...mostly political in flavor and feisty in temperament. Recently I posted in one a question that I have yet to hear asked, let alone answered... and my friend, and fellow denizen of Delphiforums, JRichards, ran with it...and I am so glad he did...

For this is a question that NEEDS to be asked by everyone of EVERY obstructionist Congress man and woman....And asked again and again until satisfactory answers are given...

If government healthcare is so VERY, VERY BAD.... why do you have it and why do you allow the military to have it...?

And JR responds... (His full response is included over the fold.)

Do you deserve to die?

The Forgotten Question in the Health Care Debat


Rationed care.   Image

Do you deserve to die?

Do your friends and family?

Michael Collins

Scenario 1: You've just been diagnosed with a cancer of the lymphatic system.  You're told that it requires a procedure within the next two weeks.  Unfortunately, you were laid off from your corporate job 11 months, 30 days ago.  You are on your last day of COBRA.  Your company retirement and savings are all gone.  You can't afford the $1,200 a month premium needed to continue your coverage.  Without the operation, you will die.  Do you deserve to die?

Scenario 2: Your spouse has a long history of illness.  Then you discover she has a virulent infection that, if untreated, threatens to disable her to the point where she's immobile and requires 'round the clock medical care.  You work for yourself.  While you have catastrophic health insurance, it doesn't cover the needed treatment nor does it provide for nursing care.  Does your wife deserve to experience this untreated sickness and suffering until her premature death?

Health Bills Debate

 


In a scathing critique of health care coverage by America’s news media, the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review contends that “this year’s health-care debate sounds like the one in 1993.” That debate produced the Clinton administration’s proposed reforms that were politically dead on arrival.


 


“With few exceptions … the press has done little to challenge this reality or help to broaden the health-care debate,” wrote Trudy Lieberman, a Columbia Journalism Review contributing editor who monitors this issue. “Rather, it has mostly passed along the pronouncements of politicians and the major stakeholders who have the most to lose from wholesale reform. By not challenging the status quo, the press has so far foreclosed a vibrant discussion of the full range of options, and also has not dug deeply into the few that are being discussed, thereby leaving citizens largely uninformed about an issue that will affect us all.”