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The Reality of Ukraine

As predicted, all the 24-hour news networks are talking about all Ukraine, all the time. These networks are now dragging out “military analysts” to give us the multiple different military options. We are currently getting a minute-to-minute update on what’s going on in Ukraine. To my mind, all of this is useless.

We continue to be shown the same lesson over and over again. As the world’s last superpower, our power is not unlimited. We can’t do everything, everywhere. The Ukraine is in the backyard of Russia. Russia has bases, military bases, in the Ukraine. This puts us at a huge disadvantage. It really doesn’t matter how much we want to expel the Russian “invaders” unless we want a full-on military assault, we don’t have any good military options. This leaves diplomatic options which are limited at best. This is the reality.

From NYT:

Russia’s move to seize control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula on Saturday led Ukraine to call up its military reserves on Sunday and warn Moscow against further incursions as Western powers scrambled to find a response to the crisis. (more…)

By |2014-03-02T10:42:43-04:00March 2nd, 2014|Foreign Affairs|Comments Off on The Reality of Ukraine

Suzanne Somers and her break with reality


Early this week, the former Three’s Company star, Suzanne Somers, decided that she needed to enter the healthcare debate. I’m not sure what her qualifications would be. Maybe because she is a fitness guru… that qualifies her as an expert. Okay, I’ll go with that.

She starts off with a statement that is guaranteed to upset or excite half of her audience. She writes, “First of all, let’s call affordable health care what it really is: It’s socialized medicine.” Seriously, is that the way we are going to start the conversation? That’s just about as subtle as that line from Saturday Night Live – “Jane, you ignorant slut.” The word “socialized” is associated with badness in the US. It embodies all of the bad of government. According to WikiPedia, Ron Paul’s #1 source for information, “socialized medicine is a term used to describe and discuss systems of universal health care—that is, medical and hospital care for all at a nominal cost by means of government regulation of health care and subsidies derived from taxation. ” (more…)

By |2013-11-04T08:59:27-04:00November 3rd, 2013|Healthcare|2 Comments

The reality of the healthcare debate

Progressives are now having an identity crisis. Are we going to support this bill that is a mere fraction of what we wanted? Maybe it is better to kill this bill and start over? Again, I would go back to some of my posts earlier in the year — what were our goals? I thought the goal of healthcare reform should be to provide accessibility, portability and cost-effective medical care for all Americans. Neither the House nor the Senate version would provide that.

I think, when you look at this legislation, it is filled with a bunch of half measures. In reality, this is Congress. Whether it is a Republican or Democratic league control Congress, this is what we’re going to get. If we scratch what we have now and start over again, why would we end up in the same position? Congress is controlled by special interests. I don’t think that these large corporations wanted to get into politics, but I think they had to get into politics. These large corporations are all about profits. How corporations have changed over the last 30 years is a subject for another discussion, but we should all agree that corporations have become profit-making machines. If these corporations can influence rules and regulations, they can improve their profit margin. Therefore, they had to get into the business of lobbying, and lobbying effectively, for their corporations or they would lose out to their competitors.

It should have been clear to everyone before this debate started that the balance of power in this country has tipped towards the corporations. The fight in this healthcare legislation has not been over conservative versus liberal ideology. Although this is what the media has been selling, this is 100% wrong. This fight has been between major corporations (pharmaceutical companies, hospital associations, the American Medical Association and insurance companies) versus the American people. As I see it, there’ve always been two problems that Progressives have not been able to solve in this debate:

  • the American people have a very short attention span. Because of this, we are not going to be able to exert the type of constant pressure on our congressmen that is needed to pass significant healthcare legislation.
  • Very few large corporations were going to win if significant healthcare legislation was passed , so there were no corporations with corporate money supporting reform, while there were millions of dollars trying to kill reform.

Now, I think the whole debate becomes clear. Until we in the progressive movement change the equation, we’re not going to be able to change the outcome. Starting over from scratch would be an exercise in futility. We need to increase legislation, which decreases the power of corporations. Until we’re able to do that, we’re not going to be able to pass any significant healthcare reform. Single-payer remains a dream until we’re able to control corporations. We should have no lobbyist or corporate paid expert testify on Capitol Hill. If Congress can’t find an expert who’s not in the back pocket of a corporation, then they just have to fly by the seat of their pants. We need to decrease the influence of money in elections. Elections must be publicly financed. Once were able to control this beast, then, and only then, should we read address healthcare reform.

By |2009-12-22T20:04:16-04:00December 22nd, 2009|Healthcare|Comments Off on The reality of the healthcare debate
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