Tag Archives: senate

Pitching the Vote

As we head into the big election week for the congressional midterms, the media is all aflutter trying to predict the outcome well in advance of actual voting. This is ostensibly in keeping with a trend of trying to be the first media outlet to accurately announce the winners. I think it is more than that, however. I believe that the media—ever so left leaning—is trying to use the cover of prognostication to actually effect the election results.

It is human nature to want to be on the winning side in any contest. No one wishes to be associated with a losing team, or losing effort, and those who find themselves in this unenviable position often try to distance themselves from the team to avoid embarrassment. If a candidate is predicted to win, this prediction may actually swing undecided voters to support the candidate based on their chances of winning, rather than voting for a candidate that more closely aligns with the voter’s ideology.  No one wants to vote for the losing side.

Look for numerous ads paid for by campaigns and political action committees designed to sway voters, but also, be on the lookout for articles run in newspapers, magazines and on TV that ostensibly are trying to cover the race, but are actually casting one side or another in a negative light—even if it is only saying something banal such as “this campaign is struggling with funding” or “this campaign is x number of points down in polls.” Those supposed news stories are nothing more than attempts to get voters to vote against those campaigns by painting them as losing propositions.

Also, look for stories that tout as successes that which has previously been panned as failure. An article on Yahoo from Business Insider this morning praised the successes of Obama Care even though it is pretty much recognized as an abysmal failure by both parties. The article says that it is a success because more people have insurance than had it before. It doesn’t mention any of the controversial issues that have arisen from the measure.

The most egregious issue with campaign ads are the blatant lies and obfuscations that campaigns issue during the elections. One candidate has taken an opponent’s words on abortion out of context to make it appear as if he supports rape. Ridiculous. Another ad for another candidate tries to intimate that the opponent would be a bad representative because he made millions as an insurance salesman. I’m sorry, but I think a person who earns millions of dollars in their job is a success and would probably make a pretty good representative. If he were running in my district, I’d vote for him.

People have been calling for campaign reforms for decades. Unfortunately, this will never happen. The first amendment provides for free speech and, aside from some case law that prohibits out-and-out lying, a candidate can say pretty much whatever they want in an advertisement and can buy as much air time as they can afford. What this means for you and me is that we get deluged in political advertising from TV, radio, internet, mail, email, and even phone calls from all directions until election day filled with some of the most inflammatory statements of dubious veracity ever imagined.

I would love to recommend a law prohibiting such commercials, but again, it is provided in the first amendment and I am an unrepentant supporter of the constitution and the bill of rights. The only way to combat this onslaught of lies is through education. Research the candidates and find out through their voting record what is fact and what is fiction. Caveat emptor applies to the electorate. Do not blindly accept the advertisements of political candidates any more than you would blindly accept a salesman’s pitch. But also, do not listen to the news media telling you who will win. You determine who will win only when you vote.

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Picking Sides

As the government shutdown enters into its third week, the pundits are ramping up the blame game by pointing fingers at everyone on capitol hill.  The blogosphere is repleat with opinions from republican supporters as well as democrat opiners.  These bloggers’ blame is directed along party lines.  Democrats point the finger at the house and specifically at Ted Cruz while the republican bloggers blame the senate/president.  The solution, they all say, is for the other side to cave in, surrender and capitulate.

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Face the Nation host Bob Sheaffer questioned in his Sunday commentary why the two sides couldn’t set aside party differences and compromise for the good of the country.  What he and the bloggers fail to consider is that neither side can compromise and neither side alone is at fault for the shutdown.
Obama and the senate have committed to the ACA (Obamacare) to the degree that if they agree to back off or even delay implementation, they concede their whole position on the issue.  It would be like admitting they were wrong or misled the public when they forced the law through.  It would unwind the whole law, which is what the republicans want.
Ted Cruz and the republicans cannot submit a budget that funds the ACA because to do so would validate the law and make it next to impossible to repeal without winning both the Senate and the White House in 2016, and by that time, it would cause more problems to repeal it.  Also, a failure to decapitate the ACA would cause more problems in the 2014 elections and could conceivably cost the Republicans the House.  They have to gut it here, or may not be able to at all.
The two sides are at opposite ends and to not win is to lose.  This issue is a pass/fail situation because it is a yes/no question.  Fund it or not.  Accept a budget without ACA or not.  The House did try to compromise by kicking the funding down the curb until next year, but that was rejected out of hand by the Senate.  The president has said repeatedly that he will not sign any budget that does not fund the ACA, even if it is accepted by the Senate.
This is a classic stalemate and in the end, it will boil down to who blinks first and that can only be determined by the party on whom the people put the most pressure.  This is a matter for the people.  If the people really want the ACA, then they should call the house republicans and tell them to back down.  If voters believe that the ACA is a bad deal and shouldn’t be law, they should contact the president and the senate democrats and tell them to accept the house budget proposal.
That having been said, there are some things to consider.  The fact that it is called a law does not mean it has to be funded, especially considering the way with which it was enacted and given the almost unanimous opposition it is generating from businesses and the medical community.  Financial expert Dave Ramsey blasted the ACA because, despite the administration’s claims to the contrary, the law will raise premiums for almost every currently insured person in the country and it will cost every person who currently pays taxes.  In fact, the only people who will benefit from the ACA are the uninsured and those who do not pay taxes.  Forbes magazine identified a limitation with the ACA in that when signing up for the exchange, the process runs a credit check before revealing the options to the applicant.  Why run a credit check if not to determine who can get coverage?
So, if you think the House is holding America hostage just to defund a law that should be enacted, then call or text them and tell them to fund it.  If you think that the President is doing his best to push America into his dream of the utopia of liberalism, then tweet or email him and tell him to let the issue go and accept the budget proposal from the House.  The government shutdown will continue until the issue is resolved.  Both sides are to blame for the shutdown and it can only be ended when one of them gives in and that can only happen when the people have their voices heard.

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How Much For That Vote In The Window

The biggest political debacle with the most potential social impact is well under way and could affect every American when it is enacted. Health care is a hot button topic in this Democratic-majority government in which we find ourselves. The socialist-leaning democratic party under control of uber-socialist, ultra-left Pelosi and Obama have force-fed their agenda to the American public for the past year and many who voted for them are finally waking up to the realization that they made a mistake. Even the democratic congress is fracturing under the strain of a ultra-left administration.

In order to push their issue through the senate and the house, Obama and senate majority leaders have used several tactics to garner the votes needed to over-ride republican attempts to block the legislation. In the end, these tactics worked as several democratic hold-outs changed their votes to support the measure, despite their well-justified concerns about its impact. Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Ben Nelson of Nebraska all initially indicated their intention to vote against the measure, but changed their mind at the last minute after constant haggling with party leadership.

Now, ideally the political system is designed to have individuals represent a group of people who live in a state in this country. This is to simplify the voting process. Senators are supposed to enact the will of their constituents in government. They are to vote as their districts wish in all things. The same holds true of the House. But in both cases, it is exceptionally rare that the will of the people is actually considered in voting. Many Americans have grown quite cynical about the process and consider all politicians crooks.

A comic strip set it into perspective this way: you are a die-hard sports fan and you always support your team. You root for them all the time and cheer loudly for them during games. I offer you $1000 dollars to root for this other team just once. You say ‘hey, it’s a thousand bucks and I can still root for my team next week. Besides the outcome of this game is pretty much set, so my cheering won’t make the difference. Sure, why not, just this once, root for the other guy.’ This is the modern political scene. Never mind that you have forsaken your team. Never mind the fact that you just sold your vote; you got a thousand bucks.

Ben Nelson sold out his constituents of Nebraska in order to appease party leadership. Maybe just so they could be home for Christmas, but we will never know everything that the dems used to entice these senators to sell out their states; suffice to say it must have been a good deal. The only way we can prevent this kind of force-fed legislation is to put people of character who remember where they come from and who put them into office in the first place.

Calling your senator or congressman is one step in getting your vote considered, but in the end, those we elect will cast their votes their way. Think about this when casting your vote in the senate, congressional and presidential elections. Only vote for those who remember the mandate written into our founding principles: Of the People, By the People and For the People.

On a side note, has anyone asked of Obama and the Dems what the rush is? Why is it so crucial that this measure be passed now? Why can they not publish a fully detailed plan written in simplified language so that everyone can read it before calling for a vote? It is simple. This plan is not just about health care. It is either so loaded with pork-barrel items or it is masking a law that the Dems know the American people won’t support that they want to hide it in this legislation. It is a tried and true ploy of misdirection. Make a big fuss with the left hand so that no one knows what the right hand is doing. The sad fact is that we won’t know what our politicians voted in until it is too late. We can only hope that once these mongrels are finally voted out of office, that we can undo the damage they are about to enact.

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Someone Call For A Doctor?

The time is coming when getting health care will be a simple and inexpensive matter. No matter your illness, you will find the proper treatment, with affordable care and the finest doctors. All you have to do is sign off on this new plan put forward in congress. It is so simple, how can anyone disagree with it?

Well, for starters, there is an old adage: you can’t get something for nothing. There is another one that goes along the idea of “you get what you pay for,” but you get the gist. Healthcare is not an inexpensive proposition. In fact, it is one of the costliest expenses anyone can face. Child birth for example costs in excess of $6000 just for the hospital bill alone. This doesn’t include the sundry items that go along with it or the cost for complications with the delivery. A C-section can double that charge. Doctors charge for their time as well. Doctors earn on average anywhere from $200,000 to $700,000 a year depending on their specialty and expertise.

Do they deserve it? That is a blog for another time, but the short answer is yes. You go through eight or more years of college and then work almost 24 hours a day as an intern while learning your job and see how much you charge for your time. But they do not always get what they earn. Insurance companies force doctors to accept less than the amount they bill. It is like the Wal-Mart mentality. Buy in bulk and you can name your price. Insurance companies have thousands of clients that need care. If the doctor wants these patients, they have to accept a smaller amount per patient in order to get the volume.

This is where insurance companies get their power. We hire them to pay our medical bills for us. They negotiate a rate that is much more affordable than we would otherwise have to pay. But the trick is that they don’t actually pay a whole lot when you average it out over their client list. Only 40 percent of us will visit a hospital or ER this year, yet we all pay our insurance premiums. Some of us go a lifetime never stepping foot in a health care facility. This is money the insurance company banks. It is straight profit. They don’t actually want anyone to go to the hospital so they can bank more premiums without having to actually pay a medical bill. They also deny coverage whenever they can to maximize their profit. This is where the problem begins. They are a business after all, and businesses exist to make money.

People hate being told “no” to medical care. Seeing someone ill or dying is a tragedy that no one wants to bear and it is made worse when they do not have medical coverage. Very few people can afford medical care on their own. Why? See paragraph one. Why is it so expensive? Education is not cheap, nor is research and development of procedures, equipment and medicine. Yet society is under the impression that everyone is entitled to medical care, no matter if they can pay for it. It is like they think it is a basic human right.

Nothing is farther from the truth. Medical care is expensive and rightfully so. Before the advent of modern medicine, people died by the thousands from things we today cure with a pill. A doctor is a businessman who performs a service. He or she deserves some compensation for their service. Should we expect that they render their service with no pay? Should we expect a plumber to fix our pipes when we cannot afford to pay them? Of course not. If we think the plumber charges too much, we can shop around for a cheaper one. You can do the same with your doctor. It’s economics. Sure it is tragic when someone dies, but there is no government regulation or law guaranteeing a stop to death. Nor is there a guarantee to good healthcare. Nowhere in the constitution does it say all citizens are entitled to health care.

The liberals think otherwise. They are under the impression that the first order of business is ensuring that everyone has medical coverage. This seems like a good idea on the surface. Sickness and death are bad things and we as a society should do what we can to mitigate bad things. But since health care is so expensive, how do we provide care to those with no money? Who shall pay for it? You? Me? That is the root of the debate. Since liberals think that the government coffers are filled with an endless supply of money, they love the idea of putting health care on the government dole. Our tax dollars will pay for every person to have health care, no matter that in reality less than 17% of US citizens are uninsured or underinsured. That 17% will drive our taxes up and raise the cost of healthcare for everyone.

What can the government do? Force doctors to charge less? That will drive people out of the medical profession. No one will want to make the investment in education if they are looking at a federally mandated capped income. Those who do become doctors will be the equivalent of the lowest bidders for a contract; probably not the best people to be poking around inside you. How about if the government just monitors the health care plan? That would be worse than an HMO. The federal government would be denying treatments left and right and letting people wither and die while they or their family file appeals.

Should everyone have access to health care? Sure. Should someone pay for health care? Of course. More than 83% of us have health insurance the majority of which is paid for in most cases by our employers. Simple idea that: want insurance—get a job. No job? No insurance. Sad situation to be in to be sure, but just because you get laid off or fired doesn’t mean that everyone else should pay for your health care. Consider it motivation to get a new job, or a better job.

Is the health care system in our country perfect? Far from it. Does it need reform? Sure, why not; let’s make some changes. Health care should be a simple and inexpensive matter. No matter your illness, you should expect the proper treatment, with affordable care and the finest doctors…in a perfect world. We cannot just say that the federal government is the best entity to manage our health care and be done with it. Medicine is and should remain a private business. This ensures that doctors and patients can continue to expect privacy in their dealings and that the doctors can make their assessments and diagnosis and treatment plans without government interference. Government has no business in the treatment room. Remember, this is the same government that pays $700 for a toilet seat. They cannot make our healthcare system work any better than it is now. They will probably make it worse.

This matter is before congress now. Many senators and representatives have spoken out against this bill, but the proponents still insist on hammering it home to get it passed before Christmas. In my next blog, I will discuss these flip floppers. Stay tuned.

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