Friday, May 13, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
"I think a lot of people just feel like the American dream, the core notion that if you work hard and you act responsibly that you can pass on a better life to your kids and your grandkids -- a lot of folks aren't feeling that anymore," he said. "And so, that's why it's so important for us to focus not only on recovery from recession, but also dealing with some of those problems that existed before the recession so that middle class families are able to see their incomes go up, their savings go up, they can retire with dignity and respect, they can send their kids to college."
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
His campaign today provided a brief outline of his health care approach, including:
• Restore to the states the responsibility and resources to care for their poor, uninsured, and chronically ill.
• Give a tax deduction to those who buy their own health insurance, just like those who buy it through their employers.
• Streamline the federal regulation of healthcare.
• Reduce the influence of lawsuits on medical practice and costs.
• Make healthcare more like a consumer market and less like a government program.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but that sounds like Romneycare on steriods. He's attacked the Obama plan as forcing a mandate on people to buy insurance, yet none of the above "nuances" that Romney will mention seem to really deal with this. Indeed, it sounds like the Frankenstein's monster of the old private system joined to the regulated government system, and therefore will be unwieldly and bloated, worse than Republicans charge the Obama plan is.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, not winning many people over with this, Mitt. Better rewrite it.
The idea that Sean Avery has an unusual personality for a professional athlete is nothing new. Famous for once spending a summer as an intern at Vogue, infamous for the crude comments about ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert that got him run out of Dallas and traded back to New York, the Rangers winger long has been known for being anything but the typical jock.
That image was further reinforced over the weekend when Avery became the first New York professional athlete to endorse same-sex marriage, releasing a video for the Human Rights Campaign's New Yorkers for Marriage Equality drive.
A little background on the athlete: Avery is anything but an Alan Alda type, in case the description of his comments about Elisha Cuthbert escaped you (they were more directed at her then-boyfriend, to be honest). He's what you would call an "instigator," a title I aspire to often enough. For example, he once elbowed a goaltender in the back of the head while the play was elsewhere.
Perhaps "cheap shot artist" is a better title.
Anyway, he's not the kind of guy you would figure to take the side of the weakling. And yet, he's come out (er, no pun intended) in the past in support of gay rights, mentioning how his stints in New York and LA saw him interacting with gay men and lesbians regularly.
And hello!? Interning at Vogue was not exactly the most macho thing a hockey player could do!
But I get it. A lot of my instigation in various places is about defending people who can't defend themselves easily. I understand nuance and explanations, where many people assume that if you have to explain, you've lost the debate.
I suspect there's a large measure of "stop bullying" here.
It's sad that there is not one openly active gay athlete playing in any of the major professional sports in North America.
I emphasize "openly," because we can be certain there are plenty who are either deeply in denial about their orientation or feel they have to hide in a closet. And damn, closets are not fun.
Imagine school-yard bullying on a grand scale from people who really can harm you. And those are just the fans!
Now toss on top a heaping spoonful of lost product endorsements and the ability to put a few extra bucks for the eventuality of a forced early retirement from the sport, and you have enormous pressure for an athlete to pretend to be something he or she is not.
My position on gay marriage is a simple one: yes. Gay men and lesbians should be allowed to marry each other. Period. The snark is that why should straights like me be the only miserable ones, but in truth, the issues run very deep. This world is a brutal nasty savage place, and only humans seem to have the capacity to make it even MORE brutal and savage, so wherever and whenever possible, we ought to find moments where we can help make it sublime.
There's little downside to same-sex marriage, and enormous upside for society. Even accepting the insane, outrageous and militant fundamentalist Christian position that God hates teh gheys, do you really care that they won't be getting into heaven for two reasons instead of one?
Meanwhile, couples can pay taxes and take vacations and openly be with each other. They can be happy. Or miserable. They can be human.
It makes you uncomfortable to see two men or two women holding hands or kissing?
Then you know how it feels for me to see a couple from some town in Pennsyltucky riding their Hovarounds down 42nd Street straining to lean over their enormous bellies to rub lips together to lick the last bit of barbecue sauce off. But I accept that as a gospel truth.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
In his remarks, the speaker expressed strong resistance to the effort by some Senate Democrats and President Obama for an alternative to enacting specific spending cuts as the price for increasing the debt limit: “triggers” that prompt automatic spending reductions and perhaps tax increases if Congress and the White House do not meet targets for lowering the deficit in coming years. That idea has emerged as providing the potential for compromise over the debt increase.
Mr. Boehner said the reductions should be “actual cuts and program reforms, not broad deficit or debt targets that punt the tough questions to the future. And with the exception of tax hikes — which will destroy jobs — everything is on the table.”
Must be a pretty tiny table if tax cuts can't even squeeze on top of everything else. I'm thinking like the hall table under the mirror where you toss your keys when the bank forecloses on you, and you move out, wife in tears, kids sobbing because they won't have a tree house in the new three-room apartment you're renting in that little complex over by the entrance to the Interstate.
You're going to raise taxes, Boener. You ought to get out front of this issue so we can have a real dialogue about the future of this great nation and how we can all pitch in and help.
All of us. Not just the bottom 95% but people like me, and you and your crony Koch brothers and all the billionaires who have butt-fucked the American people for far too long.
RICHMOND, Va., May 10 (Reuters) - Lawyers for President Barack Obama go to court on Tuesday to try to save the cornerstone of his healthcare overhaul, arguing that the requirement for Americans to buy insurance is constitutional.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will consider whether a lower court was correct in striking down the requirement. But they will not be the final arbiter in a fight that is expected to reach the Supreme Court.
Legal scholars see the case as pivotal because it is the first to have oral arguments before an appeals courts. That means its ruling could affect other courts and become the first challenge to the law to reach the high court.
The healthcare law, which requires Americans to buy insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, was a major victory for Obama, one that Republicans are working to undo in the courts, statehouses and Congress.
A momentary digression, if you will allow me. I would really love for an administration spokesperson to get out in front of this story and start telling us precisely what good has come of healthcare enactment. I mean, we all know the wonkies on this: everyone will be covered, all children are covered, the age that a child can be carried has been raised already, no pre-existing condition qualifications, that sort of thing. What I want to see is someone in authority (Secretary Sebelius would be fine) give us anecdotes to work with.
But I digress...
What's really going to burn the right-wing's bowels is the fact that Obama, through the luck of the draw, stacked the appellate panel:
RICHMOND, Va. — Two appointees of President Barack Obama have been selected for the three-judge federal appeals court panel reviewing his health care overhaul in Virginia.
Judges Andre Davis and James Wynn were randomly selected for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel.
Now, you and I understand what random means: it means "by chance". But remember, we're talking about people who wouldn't accept the statements of duly elected government officials that a birth certificate that was good enough for the government to issue the ultimate document of citizenship, a passport, wasn't good enough to establish that the president was truly a fellow American.
So this ought to be a good week for fans of pussilanimous pules.
It gets better. The third judge on that panel was appointed by Bill Clinton, who also tried to enact healthcare reform.
If the earth stops spinning, it's likely because of the critical mass of lazy overweight Teabaggers swirling in the opposite direciton in their Hovarounds...
Monday, May 09, 2011