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Brett Kavanaugh under Fire

Look, let us take a deep breath. Let us see what is happened over the last week with regards to the Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. As expected, Kavanaugh had a bruising and contentious hearing. He had stuck to a well-worn playbook in which you basically say nothing. This is the playbook that he helped develop over the last 20 to 30 years. Then, comes a story that kind of bubbles up from the background. Some lady, someone we have never heard of before, accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when he was a teenager. Does his behavior as a teenager reflect on the man that he is now? Maybe? Many of my friends that follow me on Facebook, or people that I have been friends with for over 40 years. They know that we did dumb and somewhat embarrassing stuff when we were kids. Yet, I think this is important, how you defend yourself now reflects on not who you were 30 years ago but what kind of man you are now. You are about to be appointed to the highest court in the land. This is the time when you can show us, Americans, exactly who you are. Is it possible that you are roundly accused? Of course it is. Stand up and face your accuser. Do not go on Fox News and hide behind the beautiful anchorwoman who is throwing softball questions. We all remember David Vitter who stated that he loved his wife and would never be associated with a DC Madam. We remember Larry Craig who, with his wife standing beside him, denied the allegations of propositioning a male police officer in an airport bathroom. Brett Kavanaugh had an opportunity to clear his name. He could have and would have been granted an opportunity in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. All he had to do was ask Charles Grassley for a fair hearing. Not a kangaroo court but a fair hearing where witnesses from both sides could be heard. He is Brett Kavanaugh. He is not just a lawyer. He is one of the super lawyers in our country. He could have and should have presented a marvelous defense of his character. Instead, like a drunken sailor, he keeps swinging wildly at as a target. Well practiced phrases like “outrageous” and “twilight zone” roll off of his lips.

All of this should have been anticipated by the White House. We are currently living in the #MeToo movement. It was hard if not impossible not to anticipate that some female was not going to come out of Brett Kavanaugh’s past. The problem is, it appears that they have allowed the president to handle the media coordination and statements. Deny, deny and counter deny may work if you are a reality TV star. You cannot use the same media playbook if you are being nominated to the Supreme Court.

Here is the real problem, conservative Democrats now, cannot support Brett Kavanaugh in any way. Female Republican senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have a real problem. In the past, they have spoken out in favor of women’s issues. Now, can they support Brett Kavanaugh? Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is really in trouble. The math to confirm him is really turning against him. To me, the turning point was when a woman who supported Brett Kavanaugh and then found her own name being disparaged in his yearbook and she withdrew her support. That was the turning point.

Let me be clear, I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a smart, gifted conservative lawyer. I believe that he is bad for our country. Yet, I do want him to have a fair hearing. I never, ever want to see anyone be publicly dismantled like this. It is sad. No man should be put through such scrutiny but this is the political process that we live with. This is what happens in a democracy. We now live in an environment of no holds barred democracy. This is the environment that help create Donald Trump. Changing our environment is going to be difficult. I pray for our democracy.

By |2018-09-26T21:39:36-04:00September 26th, 2018|Congress, Domestic Issues, Party Politics, Supreme court|Comments Off on Brett Kavanaugh under Fire

John Mackey of Whole Foods and the Republicanism of healthcare reform

If John Mackey came up to me in the grocery store, I wouldn’t know who he was. He wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled The Whole Food’s Alternative to ObamaCare. Why? Why is the CEO of a grocery store chain allowed to take up the opinion pages of the prestigious Wall Street Journal on a topic about which he has no expertise?

This article could have been penned by Michael Steele, Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey or Senator Charles Grassley. It is a generic Republican healthcare article which hits all the talking points. People want choice. We should have health savings accounts and high deductible insurance plans (more choice). We need to let the marketplace work — decrease regulation. We need to allow health insurance companies to freely roam our country. There should be no mandates on what insurance companies can cover and can’t cover. We need to make costs transparent so that the marketplace will work better. Reform Medicare. Allow tax breaks so people can donate money to help those who have no insurance. Tax cuts, decrease regulation and cuts to government spending. The Republican trifecta.

One of the things that I find so infuriating is that a CEO is allowed to pen an article in the Wall Street Journal and has nothing new to say. He is regurgitating the same old talking points. He sprinkles on a couple of references to what “his employees want” and he gets time in the Wall Street Journal.

It has only been since Republicans have been crashing these town halls that we’ve heard anything about people who want healthcare choice. I think this is a complete myth. People want to go to their own doctor. People want to be able to choose their own hospital. People want to be covered. I don’t think Americans want any more choices. We don’t want to choose between this complicated healthcare insurance plan and that complicated healthcare insurance plan. Look, I’m a trauma surgeon and I have no idea when I sit down and look at my own health insurance plan that is provided by the hospital. I find these plans unintelligible. All I want to know is, when I go to the emergency room and when I go to the doctor, will that be covered. I want a plan that covers me (and my family) going to my doctor and the emergency room. That’s it.

I think health savings plans are crazy. If you want to save money, put your money in some sort of financial institution (assuming that it is solvent).

Repealing state laws will do the same thing for insurance companies that it did for the banks. It’ll be the wild wild West once again. Small insurance companies will be crushed. There will be insurance mergers. We will end up with a handful of insurance companies — wait a minute, that’s what we have right now. Basically, the big gets bigger. It doesn’t mean that they will offer lower premiums. It means that the healthcare executives will be flying nicer jets.

Why are employers in the healthcare business anyway? Why don’t we take them out of the healthcare business and let these employers get back to managing their business.

I think that tort reform needs to be enacted but we live in a society that is run by lawyers. 90% of the folks on Capitol Hill are lawyers. I think it would be very difficult to get meaningful tort reform especially in our polarized environment.

I wonder if I write an essay on grocery stores will the Wall Street Journal except it?

By |2009-08-15T20:58:47-04:00August 15th, 2009|Corporate Wrongs, Healthcare|Comments Off on John Mackey of Whole Foods and the Republicanism of healthcare reform

Senator Grassley must have left his thinking cap at home

C-SPAN can be an awful thing. Now with the Daily Show, blogs and the like is really hard for a congressman to stand up and say something really stupid without somebody knowing. Senator Charles Grassley stood up and just made a complete fool (no that’s not it) moron (nope) ass (no that’s not it either) — you decide. How would you describe Charles Grassley’s performance besides laughable.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Chuck Grassley’s Debt and Deficit Dragon
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Spinal Tap Performance
By |2009-08-06T21:54:52-04:00August 6th, 2009|Senate|Comments Off on Senator Grassley must have left his thinking cap at home
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