Monday, March 25, 2013

Worrying About Rand

I worry about Rand Paul becoming President.  The Ayn Rand namesake has a broad appeal among those sadly pathetic losers who get political only when the promise of legalized drugs are an issue.  And that's a lot of voters.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Super Size That

Poor Michael Bloomberg, health activist and Mayor of New York City.  A judge has struck down his attempt to ban non-diet, sugary soft drink sales at NYC eateries.  Bad idea right from the start.  He would have been better off with a sin tax approach.  Bloomy was willing to exempt diet sodas,  which was another bad idea.  Let's say 25 cents on any soft drink 16 oz. or under, and 50 cents over that.

I've always wondered; If we got rid of every government funded medical program, took all the money we spend on them, add all the tobacco tax money, alcohol taxes, add a soda tax, and a surcharge on all restaurant meals, would we have enough cash to pay for single payer?  I wish I had the resources to do that math, because I bet we'd be close.

One of the great political feats of the right has been their successful campaign to get people thinking of taxes as this separate thing in their lives.  The reality is, increased taxes to pay for a true, federal health care program, would actually mean less out-of-pocket money, over the course of an average life, than we now spend as individuals.  I don't know about anyone else.  But, if my lifetime health costs went down, I wouldn't care that I was paying the government rather than an HMO.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Elizabeth Warren For President

Hey, I know everyone wants Hillary to be the first woman Prez, but come on, it's time to ask an important question.  Is Hillary a New Democrat?.  For those unfamiliar with the concept, the New Democrat Movement was the brain child of Bill and aide Terry McCaullife.  (I'm too lazy to look up the correct spelling, so don't complain.)  The whole idea was to turn the Democratic Party into a Wall Street friendly organization without that whole crazy Repug, send the Hispanics back to Mexico, the blacks to jail, and the gays to hell thing.  Hey, it would be possible to protect those shady, creative, financial products without having to have Pat Robertson over to the lower Manhattan loft apartment.  Yuck.  I'll bet he doesn't understand the whole concept of a canape.  How uncouth!

Elizabeth Warren may not be the shining female star of the party, though she may be getting there, but at least she won't give the treasury to Goldman Sachs.  The only question...Is she electable?  I may prefer Warren to Hillary, but I'll take Hillary over Marco Rubio in a second.

Just wondering.  If Elizabeth Warren ever does become President, will the Repugs drum the guys out of the party that blocked her nomination to the new Consumer Protection Agency?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hurricane Hugo

Some day, perhaps not in my lifetime, the age of oil will end.  Future historians will look back on our world and wonder why, so many developing nations, awash in the most prized substance on earth, didn't use that wealth to build for the future.

Hugo Chavez is dead.  It's true, unlike many leaders of oil rich nations, he spent much of his country's wealth on benefits for the poor.  What he didn't do was use that wealth to build democratic institutions that could continue to help the Venezuelan people after his death.  He didn't expand and diversify his country's economy.  He may have been 100 times better than the oil dictators in Nigeria or Sudan, but he'll still go down in history as a failure.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Boycott NBC

As long as NBC provides a home for racist, jackass billionaire, Donald Trump, I won't watch the network.  Join me and boycott NBC!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Have Seen the Future....

............and it involves long lines.  I went to the post office this morning.  All I needed was a couple of stamps and I had to stand in line for half an hour to get them.  The budget cuts that will soon sweep the country have already come to the post office.  I won't go into all the reasons why the post office is wanting for money.  I'll just write that there are issues that go beyond email, reasons that include long-standing Republican policy that has been putting up roadblocks to an efficient, government run institution that benefits us all.

Oh those Repugs, they're at it again.  The tuskers argue that the mail should be run like a private business, that it should have week unions, or better yet none at all, and it should make a profit.  And so we get down to the fundamental argument of governance.  For those who agree with the Republican theory of things, the post office shouldn't even exist.  If an American citizen chooses to live somewhere it's not profitable for a private carrier to serve, or if that citizen can't afford the higher costs of a FedEx or UPS, so be it.  In the world of free wheeling, anything for a buck, market capitalism, that's just the way things are.  For those of us who think that it is the job of government is to provide needed services at a reasonable price, and that those services should be subsidized so that they can be used by all.....well, if we had our way, lines at the post office would be a lot shorter and Saturday service wouldn't be on the chopping block.