Archives for August 2009

Town Hall Fail

About a month ago, just before the congressional August recess, I spent some time finding out what the representatives in my area felt about health care.  Even though I live on the left coast, there’s only one Representative in my county that is a supporter of HR 3200, the 1000+ page behemoth of a bill that would allow the government huge control in the medical field.  Representative Susan Davis, of California’s 53rd district, plans to vote yes on this bill.

Being adamantly opposed to this particular health care reform, I was looking forward to attending Susan Davis’s Town Hall Meeting, where she would be making a statement and taking questions about her support of the bill.  I had to search for a while, as the meeting was not listed on her website, but I finally found some information about a town hall meeting that she would be holding on health care reform, to take place August 29 at 1pm.  I put it on my calendar.

Silly-nilly me.  I should have known that with the difficulty of finding the information, along with the unwillingness of lefty elected officials being so disinclined to answer difficult questions (Barney Frank even asked one questioner, “On what planet do you spend most of your time?” and then proceeded to tell her that arguing with her would be “as pointless as arguing with the kitchen table.”) that the date might change.  I gave Susan Davis too much credit.  It never occurred to me that she would stealthily change the date of her town hall meeting regarding health care to two weeks prior than the date she originally gave.  Surely an elected official, someone that depends on the votes of their constituents, would not pull a switcheroo that would make it impossible for us protesters to express our opinions.

But that is exactly what happened.  Last night, I was preparing for my sojourn to a town hall meeting.  I checked my facts on health care, and wrote out some talking points on a 3×5 card so I wouldn’t get flustered by the hub-bub of it all. I laid out my clothes (not Brooks Brothers, just in case you were wondering), and I hoped online to check the address and get directions.  I searched Twitter to see if any of my local tweeps wanted to meet up.

On Twitter, I saw some weird comments about green jobs.  Huh.  I wondered what green jobs had to do with health care?  Maybe Cap and Tax, but health care?  With a sense of unrest, I pulled up Google and did a couple of searches.  And found out that Susan Davis had switched the topics and dates of her meetings.  When I did my original search last month, I saw that she had been planning to have a town hall meeting on green jobs earlier in the month, and a meeting on health care on August 29th.

I guess she decided to switch them around.  Leaving people like me SOL.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t have a time machine.  I can’t go back a few weeks and attend Susan Davis’s health care town hall meeting.

Here’s what I can do.  I can do it call her office (619-280-5353) and tell her how disappointed I am in her reluctance to openly discuss HR 3200 with citizens in her hometown.  I can write a blog post about her cowardice.  I can make a point to my readers: If this health care bill is such a great piece of legislation, why won’t those planning to vote for it talk to us about it?  Why don’t they answer our questions?  Why do some, like Barney Frank, flat out insult those that dare to question their government?  If a government option is going to lead to finer health care than the private industry provides, then why won’t one single Representative or Senator come out and promise that they will accept the public option for their own health care?

When did so many of our elected officials forget that they were not anointed or crowned as royalty, but elected as representatives?  They answer to us, the people that voted them in, and the people that have the power to vote them out.  They better start answering our questions.

Conspiracy Theory

On a radio interview yesterday, Obama stated:

I think early on, a decision was made by the Republican leadership that said, ‘Look, let’s not give him a victory, maybe we can have a replay of 1993, ’94, when Clinton came in, he failed on health care and then we won in the mid-term elections and we got the majority.’ And I think there are some folks who are taking a page out that playbook.

Haven’t the libs been making fun of the GOP for months because we don’t seem to have a front man? Now all of a sudden we have powerful head honchos whose only agenda is to get Obama out of the White House? Pick one, People! Either we’re a flailing and unorganized mob, or we’re a well oiled machine funded by Rush Limbaugh’s golden microphone.

Or possibly, just maybe, some of our congressmen (you know, those people that are supposed to represent their constituents to Washington) are listening to us when we say, “No thank you!” to even more government involvement in our lives.

Obama went on to say he’d “love to have more Republicans engaged and involved in this process.”

We are involved. We’re just saying NO.

What am I Afraid of?

For the past few weeks, my mind has been wrapped around the health-care debate.  Just hearing the words government option sends chills down my spine.  My body (which incidentally enjoys being taken care of by quality health-care) responds to those words with an increased heart rate and sweaty palms.  The idea of government taking part in the practice of medicine SCARES the heebeejeebees out of me.

The main line of defense for the pro-government-health-care-option (or whatever it’s being called today… co-ops, isn’t it?) crowd has been to mock that fear; to question it and make it seem ridiculous.  They say I’m backwards and uninformed for not wanting to follow Europe’s example of socialized health-care, where life is apparently much better than it is here in the US.  They say I’m silly for thinking I won’t get to keep my private health insurance.  They say I’m mean and selfish for not wanting to pay higher taxes to provide health-care for those that cannot afford it.  They say that due to the preventative treatment allowed by government run health-care, quality of life for all will improve, babies will never die, and we’ll finally achieve immortality (or something like that).  How could I be afraid of all of that goodness?

What am I afraid of?

I’m afraid I’ll lose my private health insurance. President Obama has stated point-blank that his plan is to lead the US into a single-payer system, using a so-called government “option” as a transitioning period.  Let me break it down for you.  The government says, “Don’t worry, of course you can keep your private health insurance (although we’re going to tax you so much that you won’t have any other realistic option than to accept the government plan)!”  Do you see how this hurts the middle class?  Only the extremely wealthy will be able to afford private health insurance once you add in all the taxes and fees associated with it.  The rest of us will be forced to accept the government care if we want any coverage at all.  The middle class is the one that will suffer the most, as they are forced to surrender their private insurance and accept the waiting lists and rationing that come with government health-care.

I’m afraid of waiting lists and rationing.  I’m afraid of getting too sick or too old, when the cost-benefit ratio for keeping me alive is no longer worth it to a nameless, faceless bureaucrat. Health-care will be rationed in a socialized system, as we’ve seen in the UK, in Finland, in Canada, and many others.  I’m afraid of being told it’s my patriotic duty to die, so the cost of keeping a person alive can go to someone perceivably healthier than myself.  I’m afraid of unnatural selection, when at 22 weeks pregnant and in premature labor, I might be denied drugs like magnesium sulfate and terbutaline (which would stop contractions and mature the baby’s fetus’s lungs), because not only are they expensive, but the cost of caring for a preemie in the NICU can be upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I’m afraid that my quality of care would plummet.  If I need life saving treatment, I don’t care if my doctor is a one-armed albino that speaks in haiku’s and has a tendency to skip everywhere he goes.  I just want him to be an expert in the area I need treatment.  At the same time, I don’t think someone should become a doctor just because he or she might add “diversity” in the medical field.  It is discriminatory to give grants/promotions/benefits/special treatment to people based on their skin color, height, weight, the size of their ears, or because they pick their nose.  Ok, I take that last one back.  Anyone that picks their nose during a medical school entrance interview should not be allowed to become a doctor.  At the same time, the pool of intelligent and dedicated individuals willing to work themselves to the bone to become good doctors would shrink.  Too many people considering medical school might take a look at the bureaucratic red tape nightmare of government health-care and say, “No thanks!”

I’m afraid breakthroughs in medical technology will come to a halt. Since 1945, 87 of the 143 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine awarded have gone to Americans.  American doctors and scientists have pioneered transplant surgeries, chemotherapy, and vaccinations in the 20th and 21st centuries.  Will there still be breakthroughs when the government decides what kinds of care physicians can provide to what kinds of patients?

I’m afraid that my children and grandchildren will be paying for thisFrench health-care is often touted as one of the best systems in the world, yet it is currently causing a huge deficit in their economy.  In the US, Medicare and Medicaid are already bankrupting us and leading to higher taxes and inflation.  How long before our country bankrupts itself?

I’m afraid that my tax dollars will be used to fund abortions, something that I’m morally opposed to.  Religious schools don’t receive tax-payer money because it would be unfair to require people morally opposed to religious education to pay for it.  How is requiring me to pay for abortions any different?

I’m afraid this is just be the beginning, as Ronald Reagan warned in a 1961 radio interview:

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project, most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.

What am I afraid of?

Government health-care, that’s what.

Disruptive Protesters

Nancy Pelosi used to be a fan of disruptive protesters.  In 2006, she believed that nothing was more American than exercising your first amendment rights.  She said so herself.

Why the change of heart Ms. P?  Do you really think it’s reasonable for a different set of rules to apply to people that disagree with you?  Where’s the equality in that?

Sarah Strikes Back

Sarah Palin responds to Obama’s rebuttal on the Death Panels in the HR 3200 health-care bill.  Snap!

Now We’re Un-American

Last week, President Obama told those of us that disagree with his plans to take us into the dark age of medicine to get out of his way.

In an op-ed today, Speaker of the House Pelosi called those with dissenting opinions “Un-American.”

The leader of the free world is a bully, and the 3rd in line for that position is a name caller.  How did this happen?  Let’s hope that we don’t get to the point of wedgies and swirlies.

Shut Up & Sit Down?

Did President Obama really just tell people opposed to his socialist agenda to get out of the way?

“But I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.”

Are you kidding me?  Isn’t this the same community organizer that said, “My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington”?  And now he’s telling the 54% of Americans that oppose the health care plan (the one that he’s not even familiar with) to get out of his way?  How exactly is he following through on his commitment to represent us to Washington if he doesn’t even want to listen to what the majority of Americans have to say, let alone work with politicians on the other side of the aisle?

And how exactly is exponentially expanding the government entitlement programs that created the mess in the first place going to clean it up?  It’s like  trying to put out a fire by throwing gasoline on it.  Of course I’m going to organize with my community to stand in the way of politicians that want to tax me into bankruptcy so that the US can have a health care system as stellar as Great Britain’s, where 40% of cancer patients are never able to see an oncologist.

No Mr. President, I will not get out of your way.  I will do everything I can to stand up to you and protect the freedom, liberty, and equality of all Americans, according to my constitutional rights.  This is not a school play yard, and I will not be bullied into silence.

The (Brooks Brothers) Mob

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few months, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the Tea Party protests being held across the country.  They are energizing rallies of liberty loving Americans who have the audacity to question the thousands of pages of bills that are being  rammed through congress like a freight train.  A freight train that is going to end up costing American taxpayers trillions of dollars.

Protesters want to know: Where is that money coming from, if not from the taxpayers?  Why should the money I pay in taxes go to fund other people’s new cars or abortions?

We have the gall to question elected officials (who work for us) on their doublespeak.  Please tell me, President Obama, were you lying last month when you said, “First of all, if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan.  Nobody is talking about taking that away from you.” or in 2003 when you said, “A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

People are attending townhall meetings with their representatives, and asking questions like, “Medicaid is broke, Medicare is broke, Social Security is broke and you want us to believe that a government that can’t even run a cash for clunkers program is going to run one-seventh of our U.S. economy?”

People want to know.  There is a grassroots movement taking the country by storm, while being no more forceful than to ask tough questions, and maybe even sometimes ask those questions in a raised tone of voice.  There have been thousands of these protests over the last six months, attended by millions of Americans.  Guess how many arrests have been made for violence or obscenity at the Tea Party protests.  Zero.  Wow, what a group of wing nuts!

So how is our government and the media responding to these peaceful protests of upset Americans?  By dismissing them.  Insulting them. LYING about them.

Rachel Maddow says we’re “tea-baggers” a term I’m unfortunately newly familiar with.

Nancy Pelosi insists that protesters are “carrying swastikas and symbols like that to townhall meetings.”

Barbara Boxer told Chris Matthews the the protesters are nothing but angry and noisy “well-dressed middle-class people in pinks and limes… [the] Brooks Brothers Brigade.”  She also told him (and his 8 viewers), “You in the media have to take a look at what’s going on here.  This is all planned.  It’s to hurt our president and it’s to change the congress.”  I don’t know which is a more ridiculous notion: That the Tea Party movement was planned to hurt the president, or that MSNBC is considered “media” to some.

And the Democratic National Committee released a one minute ad yesterday that calls Tea Party protesters “right-wing extremists,” claims that we’ve “lost the confidence of Americans,” and “Now desperate republicans and their well funded allies are organizing angry mobs…their goal: to destroy President Obama.”

There are so many things to say about those comments that I’m not sure where to begin.  How about the insult that Senator Boxer gave to liberal protesters?  It’s probably not the best campaign move to insult those that put you in office.  I can only assume that by saying the Tea Party protesters are too well dressed, she’s comparing them to liberal protesters.  And if the Tea Party/conservative protesters are too well dressed (in Brooks Brothers, no less!), then the liberal protesters must be slobs.

What about Ms. Pelosi?  Swastikas?  Really?  If you’re going to lie, at least make up something remotely believable.

Rachel Maddow- thank you so much for expanding my vocabulary to include tea-bagging.  I’m really not sure how I could’ve lived the rest the my life without knowing what that classy term meant.  Maybe you could learn some new vocabulary from the Tea Partiers too.  Like liberty.  Look it up, it’s a word worth knowing.

And as for hoping to destroy President Obama?  Nope. Not the plan.  Destroy his agenda to double or triple our energy costs, lead us to a single payer health care system, and generally spread the wealth around?  Yeah.  That’s worth bringing down.  I will stand up to anyone that tries to steal my liberty and freedom.  Given the explosion of peaceful protests recently, I’m not standing alone.