Local boys support a public option

The local boys in question being R.E.M.





Via The Rude Pundit, a quote from an honest-to-god Socialist, Eugene Debs:

The baseness, hypocrisy and corruption of these twin political agencies of Wall Street and the ruling class cannot be expressed in words. The imagination is taxed in contemplating their crimes. There is no depth of dishonor to which they have not descended – no depth of depravity they have not sounded.

To the extent that they control elections the franchise is corrupted and the electorate debauched, and when they succeed in power it is but to execute the will of the Wall Street interests which finance and control them. The police, the militia, the regular army, the courts and all the powers lodged in class government are all freely at the service of the ruling class, especially in suppressing discontent among the slaves of the factories, mills and mines, and keeping them safely in subjugation to their masters.

How can any intelligent, self-respecting wageworker give his support to either of these corrupt capitalist parties? The emblem of a capitalist party on a working man is the badge of his ignorance, his servility and shame.

And when did he say that? June 16, 1912. Welcome to the future.


Just for the record

There is no equivalency between (a) wrongful imprisonment and torture, and (b) gun control legislation. Regardless the Constitutional issues involved, you cannot equate base violation of human rights with an attempt to regulate ownership of deadly weapons. Period.

Okay, I feel better now.


Healthcare townhall questions

Paul Broun is having a town hall meeting next week, and I am considering attending. The idea would be to blog about it (of course), but what I’d really like to do is ask a suitably lunatic question. So far I only have a couple ideas, though:

  • A two part question– one of your colleagues has suggested that to prevent healthcare from passing we should slit our wrists. What form of suicide do you advocate, and how can we be sure that your replacement will be similarly dedicated to killing healthcare reform?
  • You have compared Obama to both Hitler and Stalin. What kind of mustache should I draw on my protest poster?
  • I’ve heard about the animal heads you have on the wall in your office. Which liberal’s head would you most like to add to your collection?
  • Why should my taxes go to support someone else’s healthcare? Can’t people just hold bake sales when they get sick?

Suggestions from anyone reading this would be more than welcome…


Good question

In a rant worthy of the Rude Pundit, James Wolcott rightfully asks:

Where the fuck are the Democrats?


Franken on healthcare reform

Judging by the video, “Angry Mob” is a misleading title, but Franken is definitely facing some skeptics. He does an excellent job of discussing the issues and addressing the concerns raised.


Social Security and Medicare

Stumbled across this today, and thought I’d pass it along since it’s relevant to a conversation Chandra and I had a few days ago– a summary of the 2009 reports on Social Security and Medicare. Not incidentally, it also reinforces why it’s so important to do something about healthcare. Key bits from the introduction are below:

Each year the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds
report on the current and projected financial status of the two programs.
This message summarizes our 2009 Annual Reports.

The financial condition of the Social Security and Medicare programs
remains challenging. Projected long run program costs are not sustainable
under current program parameters. Social Security’s annual surpluses
of tax income over expenditures are expected to fall sharply this
year and to stay about constant in 2010 because of the economic recession,
and to rise only briefly before declining and turning to cash flow
deficits beginning in 2016 that grow as the baby-boom generation retires.
The deficits will be made up by redeeming trust fund assets until reserves
are exhausted in 2037, at which point tax income would be sufficient to
pay about three fourths of scheduled benefits through 2083. Medicare’s
financial status is much worse. As was true in 2008, Medicare’s Hospital
Insurance (HI) Trust Fund is expected to pay out more in hospital benefits
and other expenditures this year than it receives in taxes and other dedicated
revenues. The difference will be made up by redeeming trust fund
assets. Growing annual deficits are projected to exhaust HI reserves in
2017, after which the percentage of scheduled benefits payable from tax
income would decline from 81 percent in 2017 to about 50 percent in
2035 and 30 percent in 2080. In addition, the Medicare Supplementary
Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund that pays for physician services and
the prescription drug benefit will continue to require general revenue
financing and charges on beneficiaries that grow substantially faster than
the economy and beneficiary incomes over time.