Report of My Death. Et tu, Brute



Meek speaks: reports are ‘inaccurate at best’

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Drama fills the airwaves.  The tragic comedy comes to life, or is theatre of the absurd.  The curtain rises.  The cast murmurs.  They say, it was first heard, or read in May 1897.  At the time, Mark Twain and his demise were the topic.  Today, The New York Times splashed the story on the front page of the paper.  Bill Clinton Tried to Get Meek to Drop Out. The former President and friend of the Meek family, “last week tried to convince Kendrick Meek, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Florida, to drop out of the race.”

Tonight, on Countdown, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann’s Show, Charlie Crist affirmed the reports.  The Florida Governor said he has close connections with a man who knew of the conversation, first-hand.  Even before this claim, the story spread like wildfire.

Yet, as Mark Twain had stated more than a century before, Kendrick Meek reiterated.  As far as I can see, nothing remains to be reported, except that I have become a foreigner. When you hear it, don’t you believe it. And don’t take the trouble to deny it. Merely just raise the American flag on our house in Hartford and let it talk.” The soon-to-be authentically Democratic Senator stood before a throng of supporters and said.

(CNN) – At a press conference Thursday night Democratic Senate nominee Rep. Kendrick Meek called press reports that he was asked to drop out of the race “inaccurate at best.”

“Any rumor or any statement that I decided to get out of his race is inaccurate at best,” Meek said.

Meek said neither former President Clinton nor the Democratic National Committee called him to say he should get out of the race.

He also addressed Governor Crist’s comments earlier in the night that Meek was asked to step aside.

“He’s trying to push Democratic votes in his direction,” Meek said. “He wants to climb on my back to get those votes.”

Meek ended the conference saying, “If there was a conversation between Bill Clinton and I, we’re the only two people that can say how that conversation went.”

As he spoke these words, people were left to ponder. Why might the rumor have been raised?  What is the reason for such unfounded gossip?  Might Governor Crist only wish to feed a flame and fuel his campaign?  Until moments ago, we could have only guessed what occurred.   Many in the audience may not have expected what occurred.  The drama unfolded.

What was the motivation?  Asked and answered, by Bill Clinton himself.  Who was the person actually behind the gossip?  Again, asked and answered by the Meek family friend, President Clinton.

What the public saw earlier was Julius Caesar or his alter ego.  Then, the knife pierced his flesh.  With his last breath, or first, during his resurrection, Kendrick Meek might be heard to whimper, Et tu, Brute.

Tuned into the television, Congressman Meek and his backers might have finally relieved themselves of the bond that has for too long been a blameless barrier to greater success.

President, Bill Clinton himself took the stage.  He humbly or smugly, dependent on your perspective, said he talked to Representative Kendrick Meek about ending his bid for Senate twice. Once again, in his vapid vigor to further the Party, President Clinton divides it.  He conquers all that he argues is good for America.  Just as his habit has been, Bill Clinton asserts that he feels our pain, and then, serves himself.  

Oh, supporters of the Clintons say not.  Lest we forgo our history, The Long Demise of Glass Steagall.  Health Care reform a la Hill and Bill.  Then there is the reality of the Clinton impeachment.  

For me, these realities have never faded from view.  Reform cannot be achieved when a Party or persons within a politically motivated campaign place their win above what benefits all the people.   Personally I know, that the truth and all the tales told prior to the revelations do not change my vote.  I would honor my beliefs regardless of what others might say.  I stand with the one Senate aspirant who has consistently worked for the people, who is one of the people, and who believes as I do, in the democratic principle.

When we place politics before democratic principles, the right to run for office, vote on policy, and those who work for the people, then we commit to our own certain death.  This performance may have come to a close, or perchance, this is but the opening act.  The question remains.  If we do not learn from history, are we not destined to repeat it?

References for a Divided Reality . . .

He Works. We Wait



“White House to Main Street” Town Hall: Elyria, OH

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

A recent change of the guard in the Massachusetts Senate race force the President to reveal he is working.  We, the American people, are waiting, just as we have been for months and months.  For a full year, countless citizens have felt as though they were patient.  Yet, the President did not seem to have their interests at heart.  True change has not come.  Countless constituents anticipate none is forthcoming.  Three hundred and sixty five plus have gone by and the American people are tired of being patient.

The circumstances in their personal lives have proven to be critical, worse now than in 2009.  Oh, some remain hopeful. They continue to believe.  Several are waiting for Godot, who as we all know, never comes.  Millions await the Messiah.  Many thought Barack Obama was the great liberator.  This human was perchance, a deity, devotees continue to declare.  He is a divine being, or was in the eyes of the electorate before he entered the Oval Office.  Now, Americans are wasted, wanting.  They trusted and waited for him to transform the nation.  Today, the people wonder; is it too late.  

Senator Obama was and is suave, sensitive, and a sensational orator.  Surely, words would become action.  Progressives suspended disbelief.  The Left listened to a man advocate for more war in Afghanistan. Then, they decided he was the profound peacemaker.  Conservatives too saw themselves in this gentleman.  He was polished, polite, and predominately known for his prestigious credentials. Hence, the fiscally traditional believed the wait was over.  Today, each of these exclaim, as President he is not the one.

In contrast, the markedly Independent did not pause.  These mavericks need no intervals. The detractors, decidedly cynical, opinionated opponents, and the perpetually free from Party politics, never waited for what they wanted.  They did as they always have.  Raging Republicans and “free” thinking Independents gathered the reigns, took to the streets and stood firm.  They rallied the troops of discontented Americans.  They stood their ground.  These lovers of self-governing principles never grew weary.  Self-directed voters shouted; they screamed.  They garnered strength and swayed some from the Right and some from the Left to take their position.  We will kill the Obama agenda, shrieked crowds of “concerned” citizens.

The Religious Right also does not hesitate.  Indeed, they never doubted that the person known as Barack Obama was not a savior.  He was, or so these individuals said, a “socialist.”  Committed Conservatives cringed at the notion that Mister Obama might be thought of as the embodiment of a second coming.  They would chortle in distress; perchance this President would be another Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

It was not difficult to persuade those who had previously adopted a wait and see approach.   Numerous issues have not been attended to.  The pledge to end “Don’t Ask. Don’t tell,” frustrated a few.  Gay or straight families and friends have become impatient.  The thought that Health Care For All was left for Congress to ponder, plan, and present was seen as folly. The President, who belatedly cajoled the House and the Senate, was thought ineffective or just not truly interested in the welfare of the people.  Then there were the financial woes the President promised to address and did not adequately do so.  Indeed, millions of citizens muse; Obama sold out.  Our Chief Executive appointed Wall Street insiders to serve as his economic team.  Each of these individuals held a singular intent.  With bailout bucks, they would buy friends, influence enemies, and reward former colleagues.

Common citizens cried out in economic pain.  Rather than enact policies that might relieve the people’s plight, billions were bestowed upon wealthy bankers.

Americans have been waiting for his audacity to bring more than hope for bipartisan approval on program after program.  Most of the electorate wanted Mister Obama to exit Iraq fully, not to leave tens of thousands of troops behind.   Numerous waited for him to assertively enact a renewable energy policy.  However, as was evident at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, the President, does not plan to authentically regulate or reduce greenhouse gas  emissions.

Since Mister Obama took office, small businessmen and women applied for loans, only to have their applications rejected.  Granted, he pressed bankers to respond to the needs of the little people.  Still, calls for cash went unheeded.  Underwater homeowners also pleaded.  Refinance my mortgage please.  Requests were denied.  Ultimately, days before voters in the Bay State cast a ballot for Scott Brown, a banner headline appeared in the local paper; Obama’s foreclosure relief program called a failure.  Most borrowers have not been helped.

Credit card companies were allowed to go wild.  As the President observed, Credit has become “less of a lifeline and more of an anchor.”  Interest rates rose drastically, although not on personal savings accounts.  While the President proposed and [assed legislation to curb the crunch, The Credit Card Industry found other ways to avoid a pinch.  They will Profit From Sterling Payers.  Unemployed and underemployed, well, they were neglected just as they had been before the Messiah came.

These troubles are not unique to any one region.  Trials and tribulations exist throughout the United States.

While some may prefer to wait for the day when the President’s plans bear fruit, doubters do not.  For millions, the results in Massachusetts speak volumes.   These persons proclaim, this election, just as the two held months earlier, were not a reflection of a poorly run campaign by Martha Coakley, Virginia’s Creigh Deeds, or the New Jersey incumbent Democratic Governor, Jon Corzine.  All were sure signs of voter discontent.   The Republican wins were a blow for the Obama Administration.   Now, perhaps, the President will hear the message.

Certainly, Obama enthusiasts have come to accept what cannot be avoided.  Americans lack confidence in the Commander-In-Chief.  The tidal wave of resentment has generated much concern. Loyalists, know not what to do.  They gather round cyberspace chat rooms.  Some seek solace in the acumen of broadcasters.  What will Keith, Rachel, or Jon Stewart say?  How might these masterful commentators direct the stalwart?  A few hop onto another bandwagon.  The theory is a populist philosophy will turn folks around.

This is the position the White House adopts.  Shortly, after the special election results were released, Mister Obama answered without hesitation.  He stood before an audience in Elyria, Ohio, a community devastated by what some suggest is an economic Depression.  There the President enthusiastically proclaimed he is working for us.  For emphasis, Mister Obama forcefully opined, “Let me tell you – so long as I have the privilege of serving as your President, I’ll never stop fighting for you.”  The Nation’s Chief Executive then assured average Americans, “(T)his isn’t about me. It’s about you.” Yet, this novel appearance calls Mister Obama’s assertion into question.

Several observers stated Obama was back.  Fire was, once again, in his belly.  His campaigner style will certainly help his poll numbers to soar.  His persuasive presence would ensure a Democratic win.  However, the familiar rationale proved to be erroneous.

The President had attempted to coax a Massachusetts crowd days before the dire voter decision.  At the behest of Martha Coakley, the nation’s Chief Executive rallied round the Democratic candidate.  Still his rhetoric could not reverse the momentum.  Indeed, what would be an overwhelming demise was delivered.

Possibly, more than a mere Senate seat was lost.  Patience amongst Obama supporters has waned. The reality that American Independents and Republicans never looked back became more clear.  Scott Brown was but the amplification of the incensed mantra.  Stop health care. Do not provide civil trials for terrorists.  Rather than raise taxes; cut them. Secret backroom deals will not stand.  Special interests are not ours.  

Average American Joe and Jane are jollied.  Unlike the blindly faithful, they knew not to wait for Barack Obama or Godot.  The energized, eager, and enraged took the government back.

The hurt and hurting citizens saw that Barack Obama made the office his own, or perchance, he preserved the Clinton presidency.  The incensed did not trust the followers who point to the progress made in the effort to exit Iraq.  Instead, those outraged by slight concessions sympathized with the soldiers who struggle to survive on foreign soil.  

Disheartened, even early supporters squeal at the reality this President has increased America’s involvement in the Middle Eastern affairs. The Obama Administration authorized targeted assassinations.

Today, the once hopeful also speak out.  “He Wasn’t The One We’ve Been Waiting For.”  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan did not foretell what was to come. Devotees did not expect the President to defend the latest unemployment numbers as the he did.   “The jobs numbers are reminder that the road to recovery is never straight.” This thought was not what disciples hoped for.  No, the devoted Obama aficionados did not expect him to  apolitically offer an axiom, the path towards peace. is a rough road to travel.  Nor did the dedicated expect that support of the Messianic President would equate to justification for a mixed record on Counterterrorism Reform.  

Few from the Left thought they would help elect a Republican.  Dutiful Democrats could not imagine the day that they would declare I will wait no more.  For decades, people trusted, a President from their Party was, as Mister Obama opined, working for them.  Yet, this time, perhaps in the previous two elections, and in the next go round, the public will proclaim as Boston area Waitress Vitoria Vigna, did. “I am a Democrat and to say I voted Republican was, I was like, oh, my god, I’m voting Republican.”  However, as Ms Vigna expounded, the sentiment is, “people are more agitated and anxious and a lot of people’s attitude is what has really changed? Really?”  What has changed?  Possibly, the population has given up on Godot and on Presidents who they believe have not fully perform as promised.

He Works. We Wait, or did . . .

Santa Claus Has Come To Health Care Reform



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

“Tis the season to be Jolly” This was the sentiment expressed by President Barack Obama.  The actual words were, the health care Bill passed on Christmas Eve was “the most important piece of social legislation since the Social Security Act passed in the 1930s.” Together with the proposed regulations our Representatives approved weeks ago, citizens of this country can rest assured “the toughest measures ever taken to hold the insurance industry accountable” will soon be law. This would be wondrous news if only the legislation brought joy to the land or authentic health care coverage to the American people.  

Millions muse; it will not.  The American people are reminded of the professionally wrapped gift boxes left under the tree or stashed on a shelf near a Menorah, Kinara, or near the Fanouz, These too, may glitter like gold.  Still, the contents can be as lackluster as the new directive, meant to better manage America’s medical system, would seem to be. Whether we celebrate traditional holidays or only observe those who do, most of us have learned, all is not as it appears to be.  

Sure, some may wish to reassure the public in the same way they would if a lad or lass learned that Mommy and Daddy not Saint Nicolas, bought the presents, and they will return what the tot thought a disappointment.  The conference committee has yet to meet. Congress seems posed to impose initiatives, that establish every individual must be insured.  Allowances will be made for those who cannot reasonably afford medical coverage.  Only Americans who experience an extreme hardship will qualify for government assistance. For the masses, a substantial financial penalty (2 to 2.5 percent of a persons income) will be charged to citizens who violate the mandate.  

People who now think themselves comfortably ensconced in an employer paid policy may be fine with the bequest, for now.  However, once they learn, what they thought beautiful ribbons and bows are strings attached to the package, sorrow might set in.  If a forty percent [40%] proposed excise tax is adopted almost two-thirds of the employers recently surveyed by Mercer, a benefits consulting firm, said they expect to reduce employee benefits rather than pay the levy.  

Nevertheless, an ebullient Barack Obama asserted Americans need only  Trust us.”  The White House is as Santa’s Workshop.  Good gifts are made here.

The American people are skeptical.  Today, throughout the land many wonder whether they can trust that life is lovely in this holiday season or that the President can produce as he promised.  The country’s Chief Executive appears certain he can; indeed, he has.  The Obama family delayed their traditional Christmas departure to Hawaii until the President was sure his health care reform plan was safely secured in the Senate.  Sadly, for common citizens, this legislation was as a Christmas stocking full of coal.  It was not wondrous or reason for a celebration.  For the American people rest and relaxation was not possible.  The sense of good cheer was lost.  It went the way of Single Payer and the public option. Average Americans had awaited the treats President Obama pledged to provide.

Few recognized that in 2003, the precedent was established.  Then, in an Illinois campaign speech, in front of an AFL-CIO chapter, the candidate declared his dedication, “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.” (applause) “I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see.”

All those years ago, just as Mister Obama had done more recently in his presidential bid, after he offered reason to believe in the best of possibilities, did he dash all hope.  He articulated his angst and said, “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.”   Before Americans knew him well Barack Obama “presented” reasons that passed for resolve.  As his momentum increased so too did the mission.  Give the gift of hope and then withdraw it.  

It was September 7, 2009.  As President Obama stood with union members, who gave him an enthusiastic reception at Cincinnati’s Coney Island Park, he stated his commitment “I continue to believe that a public option within the basket of insurance choices would help improve quality and bring down costs.”  This pronouncement was not an exact proposal offered for execution.  

Later, Senator Obama espoused the need to insure everyone affordably in Iowa, at the The Heartland Presidential Forum.  A Plan for a Healthy America appeared prominently at his website during his Presidential bid.  Even after he took residency in the White House, Mister Obama sang the praises of the “public option.”  He did so in a speech given in front of a confrontational crowd, the American Medical Association.  

These stalwart supporters remembered what the President has now presumed was but history buried long ago.  In a Cable News Network interview, aired on Super Tuesday Primary Election Day 2008, Senator Barack Obama stated, “If a mandate was the solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house.”

The Presidential aspirant articulated what millions of Americans avow; “The reason they don’t have a house is they don’t have the money. So, our focus has been on reducing costs, making it available. I am confident that if people have a chance to buy high quality health care that is affordable, they will do so. And that’s what our plan does, and nobody disputes that.”  

No one, except perchance, President Barack Obama.  After less than six months in the White House, the once seeker, and speaker of a much-admired truth, disputed his own plan.   Nonetheless, just as little ones do during the holidays, those devoted to the dream retained hope.  

Whilst Mister Obama called the public option his preferred choice and stressed his want to ensure broad coverage, he has never demanded that it be part of a final bill. The need for competition, or a choice other than private insurers policies would be nice, however, Mister Obama did not require these.

Earlier and now again, Barack Obama waved the possibility that pleased the American people, and then did not fully work to make the dream come true.  

As summer began, and the spring was no longer evident in Barack Obama’s steps.  It was then that Obama first explained he was Open to a Mandate on Health Insurance. Independents and the more Progressive began to understand; the Emperor wore no clothes.  Perchance, it was thought by the more enchanted, Santa’s bright red suit was only a bit soiled, stained, and worn

One need only ponder the duality of words dispensed.  President Obama acknowledged that his acquiescent approach to health care legislation had likely been a mistake and that he had “probably left too much ambiguity out there” by allowing the House and the Senate to draft bills.  Yet, just as the mythical reindeers and the Claus’, Mister Obama has chosen to do nothing other than let the narrative lie.

Definitive details, or even a refined design, were not outlined.  Not in the Presidential campaign; nor from the halls of the White House.  He did venture out on occasion and give voice to his signature issues: hope and change.

However, only days before the President bequeathed his gift on the American people, in the White House, President Obama defended himself against abundant criticism.  In an Oval Office interview with The Washington Post, Mister Obama rejected the notion that he has compromised too much to secure health-care reform. He said that it was not true that he anointed Congress the sole authority to pursue what was thought to be his broad legislative agenda.

In the dialogue, Obama vigorously sanctioned the soon to be health care reform law. He said it was just as he pledged to deliver.  Like Santa Claus, President Obama had looked at his list.  He had checked it twice.  The President postured that he was not naughty.  Indeed, he had been very, very nice.  Mister Obama had no misgivings, and offered I am  “not just grudgingly supporting the bill. I am very enthusiastic about what we have achieved.”

“Nowhere has there been a bigger gap between the perceptions of compromise and the realities of compromise than in the health-care bill,” Mister Obama said. “Every single criteria for reform I put forward is in this bill.”  Challenged by the claims that he had not done as he vowed to do, the President stated,  “I didn’t campaign on the public option.”

With an abundance of contradictions many muse, that, just as children, the American people have been carefully led through the Santa lore, Americans slowly and surely came to believe in “change.”  Barack Obama, as a Senator swayed the malleable minds of those desperate to believe in a dream.  He offered opportunities.  He showed us why it was vital that we serve someone or a cause greater than ourselves.  

As a candidate, Mister Obama presented the American people with possibilities.  As he spoke, unimaginable sugarplums that would satisfy a nation hungry for health care improvements danced in the heads of voters.   On Christmas Eve morning, as Mister Obama celebrates his transformative triumph, citizen cry out. “Is this the health reform Obama promised?” The answer is indubitably “No!” What has been passed in the Halls of Congress is not even close to the change Americans were led to believe in.

In an Albuquerque town hall, August 2008, heard the poised United States Senator speak.  Then, and there, he was eager to please, He offered “If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system,”   However, he added, there is a distinction between his desire and what he would do.

Little more than a year earlier, Candidate Obama concluded what he now says he never did.  With circumstances as they are, there would be widespread opposition.  In his days as a candidate, Barack Obama deduced; we must tread lightly and carry the big stick called change.  Such was the pattern on the path to the Presidency.

The “fierce urgency of now” was prominent in the Obama rhetoric Mister Obama proclaimed. “People don’t have time to wait,” Obama said, “They need relief now.”  Then, in the same breath, careful not to claim that he could convert the current health care behemoth, the Presidential challenger relented. , “So my attitude is let’s build up the system we got, let’s make it more efficient, we may be over time-as we make the system more efficient and everybody’s covered-decide that there are other ways for us to provide care more effectively.”

Back then that was the rationalization,  believers bellowed with Barack Obama.  There is a Santa Claus.  Fairy tales can come true.  It can happen to you if you are young at heart and elect Mister Obama to serve as President.  The public trusted the person who now occupies the Oval Office, when he said we will not fail.  There will be change “Not this time.”  

With words warped in time and space, the thought is President Barack Obama has become practical, or perchance he is as he always was, anything but Santa.

Yes, there is a Santa Claus?  Reality, Reform, References and a Skewed Reality  . . .

Prescriptions



Lieberman: I Won’t Vote for a Health Care Reform Bill with Medicare Buy-In, Public Option

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

On the eve of what was thought to be, perhaps, a sign of progress in the six-decade long health care reform debate, joblessness mounts.  Depression increases.  The intensity of illness is on the rise.  Few if any can afford to visit a doctor.  People are unemployed, under-employed, and if an individual has an income, hours are reduced.  There is barely enough to pay the most basic bills. let alone insurance premiums.  Yet, staffers have been asked, no told, by business owners, workers must pay a larger portion of their health care coverage.  Bosses bellow in unison; with profits down, certainly the corporations cannot continue to offer perks.  Medical indemnities are a privilege, not a guarantee.  If you feel ill, if you are injured, take two pills and call no one in the morning.  

Do not dare telephone the Democrats.   They have made their peace with the health care crisis. Republicans will not respond to the cries of a public, and Independents are, as you know independent! The decree; health care reform was dead on arrival.

Each of these bodies assures the American people.  A prescription for the cost of exceedingly high health care in America, well essentially, there is none.  Any cure will be but a compromise.  That is the way Congress works.   Representative are comfortably covered.  Senators are too.   The American people can suffer, and they do.

Universal Single Payer, Not for Profit programs as an idea was scrapped before it ever reached the Halls of Congress.  The possibility of a Public Health Insurance Option?  Tea Party protesters, who were persuaded by advertisements bought and paid for by Pharmaceutical companies, Insurers, and an Ex-Chief Executive Hospital  Entrepreneur eliminated any hope for that opportunity.  

Should the poor, the poorly covered, or the persons who cannot possibly pay for policies become sick, magnate, underwriters, and makers of medicines will worry not.  Illness and accidental injury will add to their shared incomes.  Drug manufacturers, those who assess risks, and moguls will all be fine.  Each will be financially made more comfortable if nothing changes.  Senator Joseph Liebermann, Independent, [in name only] “Democrat,” from Connecticut will also be firmly fixed if prospects for reform are dashed.

For less than a week, there was chance, the slightest potential, that the ever-popular Medicare program  would be  expanded.  While Medicare For All was another unfulfilled dream, swiftly dropped from the Congressional debate, it was proposed that the program as it exists today, could be enhanced.  The thought was persons ages 55 through 64 could begin to collect benefits if only the Democrats and Republicans agreed to this compromise.  That would help twelve percent of Americans who are without health insurance.  That amounts to 4.3 million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Yet, as of late, Monday, December 14, 2009, the word was that Medicare Buy In Plans may also be dashed.  Senator Lieberman would see to that.  On the weekend, the Connecticut independent Democrat, indicated he would not vote for it.  Tonight, a closed-door meeting was held, or perchance, the “Progressive” Party was held hostage from within the Chamber.  

Mister Lieberman understands that the majority  cannot move without his support.  The American people will not procure a health care reform Bill unless Joe votes for, rather than against any proposal.  

Some consider what might have motivated the Senator.  Granted, Connecticut has the highest U.S. concentration of insurance jobs.  However, the Senator pledges, this, and ample contributions from these corporations, do not play a role in his decision.  Lieberman says, he is concerned solely for the citizens of this country.

Regardless of what is true for the Connecticut Senator, the expansion of Medicate depends on him.  Hence, the Democrats relent.  Those who most desire a radical transformation have resigned themselves to the reality, without Joe, resolutions are a “no go.”

As he exited the Monday evening meeting, Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana was heard to murmur, “If dropping the Medicare expansion is necessary, that’s what should be done.”

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia said that it was not yet clear if there would be enough votes to pass the bill, but that he believed Democrats would rise to the challenge. The American people wonder as they ponder all that has occurred so far.

Meanwhile, with the memory of a breakthrough behind us, the number of unemployed grows.  Misery and melancholy amongst the masses multiplies.  infirmity increases, and wounds go unattended.  Time with a physician is thought too pricey.  People are out of work, without adequate wages, and earnings have eroded.  Essentials are expensive and many have been eliminated. Dollars for insurance dues?  Only Congressmen and woman can afford those, or the time to dilly-dally with the destiny of those who long ago lost the power to govern.  Thus, the prescription remains the same.  Take two pills, or none, and call no one in the morning.

Health Care Reform, and the Reality of Party Politics . . .

Common Sense Health Care; Individualism or the Commonweal

CmmnSns

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Democrats dance in the streets and declare success.  An ABC News-Washington Post poll released on October 18, 2009, found that only twenty percent of the population defines themselves Republican.  Progressive assert this result will work in the their favor if the public option is to pass.  However, the now ecstatic portion of the electorate discounts the “disconnect” discussed in the aforementioned study and also addressed in a Pew Research Center report published only a week earlier.  The overjoyed overlooked the Independents (42%), the leaner’s, Left and Right (39%), and the less than inspirational number who proclaim themselves proud Democrats (33%).   For these individuals, the topic of health care reform is a complex issue.  Trust in Congress is near nil.  People are engaged in the subject, albeit a bit overwhelmed.  Sixty-six percent (66%) say they do not understand the proposed policies.  Personal matters move most people, more so than Party politics does.  Possibly, that is the problem, or the predicament that precludes authentic medical insurance reform in America.

Health care concerns consume every American and $1 out of every $6 [six dollars] citizens and the country spends.  Currently, in the United States, 17.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) is devoted to medical costs.  In 2007, a national study, revealed more than sixty-two percent of bankruptcies were the result of expenditures related to illness and injury.  This total reflects a twenty percent increase in financial defaults due to medical bills since 2001.   Eighty percent of the persons who filed insolvency claims had health insurance.

Nevertheless, countless citizens cry our; our current health care coverage system is the “best in the world.”   Several of those who think medically speaking, the American people are not well-served say reform would make matters worse.  All crave what they believe to be common sense.  However, there are as many definitions of good judgments as there are people, politicians, pundits, and regular people.  Personal preferences have power over our opinions.  Perchance that is why so many believe “common sense” in the health care coverage debate is crucial.

When Senator Max Baucus, and the Finance Committee he chairs, unveiled their version of a Bill, they titled the remedy a common sense cure.  However, hours before the measure passed, uncommonly candid assessments appeared.  “Unfortunately, the bill would leave 17 million citizens and legal residents without insurance in 2019.”  Authentic appraisals frequently conflict with assertions.  Consider the notion called common sense.

For months, in town halls, tea parties, and at kitchen tables nationwide talk of health care reform triggers cries for “common sense.”  America’s Chief Executive asserts a need for it.  Cable News Correspondents and Commentators, such as Glenn Beck calls for it.  Magazine Publisher Larry Flynt offered his thoughts on the topic. Columnists Peggy Noonan states, “Common Sense May Sink ObamaCare.”

Entrepreneurs’ enter the fray. Whole Foods Chief Executive Officer, John Mackey addressed the common sense axiom as it relates to our wellbeing.  “Every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.””  Then, there are the American people.  They too are very familiar with what passes for lucid logic.  However, few ponder the variance in veracities.  The subject that supersedes sound judgment is the slant, “Individualism or the Commonweal.”  The two contradictory “ideals” together in a single mind cause conflict, or cognitive dissonance.

Recent Realities

Still, some “truths” remain solid.  Statistics show the rise in health care costs is steady.  Those families and individuals unable to acquire insurance for medical treatments has also increased.  Only two short years ago, measured data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that there were 46 million Americans without health insurance in 2007.  Newer research released by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine stated that in January 2009 almost 52 million Americans were uninsured.  These numbers do not take into account the persons with inadequate coverage or those whose policies are canceled retroactively.  .  Recission is profitable and the preferred practice for many insurers.

Cancelation of policies is a popular notion. Employers consider personal compensations to be of greater value than the health of their personnel or the wellbeing of the common folk.  Perhaps the philosophy in practice explains why, in late 2007, Employer-provided insurance continues to decline.  Poverty is on the rise.  The median income is less than in the past.  Job-based health insurance has become but a dream.

Employee contracts are also now easily eliminated.   In a fifteen-month span, from February 2008 through May 2009, employers have shed 5.1 million jobs.  Many of these laborers cannot expect to be re-hired.  Professionals and business personnel are not exempt from these numbers.  In what was once the most prosperous country on the globe, the losses are great.

Only six months ago, Americans learned, in a single month “more than 320,000 Americans lost their employer-provided health insurance.”  This “amounts to approximately 10,680 workers a day.”  The authors of an investigation analysis avow, “Middle Class families, frequently collapse under the strain of the health care system that treats physical wounds, but inflicts fiscal ones.”   Possibly, that is why in Common Sense 2009 Larry Flint argues, “Wall Street, the mega-corporations and the super-rich . . . decide our fate.”

Thus, the average American struggles with a sense of destiny.  Those who think themselves stable and secure, gainfully employed and covered, are happy with the current health care system.  For the few who believe they are solid citizens, the uninsured as merely careless.  Their thought is, control is best when it is in the hands of commoners with common sense.  Hence, with posters held high in their hands countless have chosen a path of civil disobedience.  Protesters rally.  Everyday people rant.  Collectively, throngs of citizens who oppose the “ObamaCare” chant words first penned by writer Thomas Paine.  However, much is lost in the translation.

Thomas Paine; Reflections From the Past

Essayist, Pamphleteer, Radical, Inventor, and intellectual Philosopher Paine, some say, is the only voice of reason. Voters resolve Paine speaks to the rights of individuals.  He understood and addressed the necessary apprehension for Administrative rule.  Rarely remembered or recited is the founder’s resolve to embrace an elected Legislative and Executive Branch.

In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest, they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought.

A thousand motives will excite them thereto, the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labor out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing.  This necessity . . . will point out the necessity, of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

Perhaps, in our shared hours of physical and fiscal pain we might wish to recall the words Paine penned when the New World was young, rather than rely on what in recent years has become the New World Order.  Our forefather, Thomas Paine stated a need for government,.  He understood; human frailties, such as greed, necessitate rules and regulations.  The role access to authentically adequate medical treatments plays in the broader community, would not have been lost on a man who recognized we all share responsibility for societal ills.

Paradigm of Perception; Thomas Paine Text Transformed

Today, those who rant against an official health care policy reason that in this republic elected officials are the enemy.  A person has rights, they shout. People who rage in opposition to plans that would transform the insurance cartel frequently quote Thomas Paine as though he would have supported their contentions, “We are all responsible for our own lives.”

Individuals intolerant of government have a great support system.  The Press, who loves to stir the pot, pours out prose to incite.  Glenn Beck, who thinks himself inspired by the original work of Thomas Paine makes “A Case Against an Out-of-Control Government.” This independent maverick ignores the words written by the man he, and other anti-Administration protagonists, thinks a prophet.   Perchance, the Broadcaster missed the passage,

“Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected, and in the event of which, their affections are interested., is the Author.”

A fondness for one’s fellow man is rarely found in Mister Beck’s rhetoric.  Indeed, he has arguably fueled the flame of fury, divided the people, and contrary to the case for a central government, Glenn Beck has ignited a fire in defiance of the Paine doctrine.  In the name of a need to preserve and protect the public’s rights, the modern Author misconstrued Paine’s original text.  Announcer Beck has chosen individualism. He ensured that his economic future is secure and rejected the reality of the commonweal.

Writer Peggy Noonan, on the other hand while not a supporter of causes that advocate for the common welfare, did at least speak of the public as a whole.  She muses; American’s are reluctant to accept reforms.   “Resistance” explains the disdain for a policy change.  Countrywide the mood has been altered.  “The crash gave everyone a diminished sense of their own margin for error. It also gave them a diminished sense of their country’s margin for error. Americans are not in a chance-taking mood.” Perhaps, Ms Noonan is [politically] correct.  Ostensibly, it would seem the former Ronald Reagan speechwriter is “right.”

Today, few Americans have faith.  What they once thought was common sense has proven not to be the case.  The people trusted what earlier Administration’s proclaimed.  However, contrary to what a past President and authoritative candidates said, all was not well in the United States. The Economy (was not) Strong Enough to Handle Turmoil.   The number of uninsured Americans increased by nearly 8 million during the Bush Administration.  Perhaps, cognitive dissonance is contagious.

The Commonweal Crumbles As Individualist Chide

Citizens live in a country.  The American people reside in communities, and yet, most are concerned with only me, myself, and I.  People ponder their personal circumstances, and those of their corporations.  What is truth for persons in the business world affects us all.

No longer willing to believe in government, let alone a new Administration, proprietors who invested in smaller companies think to save themselves from Federal control.  Shop owners say they do not want Uncle Sam to oversee or own insurance options.  For these tycoons, competition in the private insurance industry is preferred.  As individuals these Chief Executives ignore the veracity that they too will pay for the pain they reap onto the public and their personnel.  The cost to companies will be nearly $2.4 trillion dollars for workers health care costs in the next decade.

The decision to emphasize earnings will have other effects. The Congressional Budget Office concluded “Employers who offer to pay for health insurance pay less in wages and other forms of compensation than they otherwise would, keeping total compensation about the same.”

The phenomenon known as “job lock” is also often lost in critical conversations related to health care reform.  The American people, supervisors, and subordinates are disconnected from the details until the day when thy suddenly are affected or afflicted.  A healthy staffer rarely thinks of the time when he or she might become ill or be injured and feel imprisoned by a job that provides health care benefits.   Professional passageways may be closed when insurance coverage becomes more important than the quality of life.  Nor, does a vigorous staffer remember medical care coverage can be retroactively removed.

Recipients Receive Government Medical Care and Reject Reform

Recipients of Medicare also disregard associations.  Rather than think of the generations they gave birth to people who benefit from the Federal plan speak loudly of their opposition to government managed health care programs. This seems contrary to common sense,, since these same individuals are joyous with what they receive.  This dichotomy offers little but a larger puzzle.  Where is the Common Sense? Many love what they have and loathe the possibility that others may profit from a similar or identical program.  

In America, our countrymen have adopted an alternative democracy, one devoid of universal concerns.  Unlike centuries ago, when a now popular Pamphleteer professed the need for a collaborative collective, in recent decades, by design, Americans have come to think of “me” first. Citizens are critical of the text that advocates for the commonweal, while they embrace its original author, Thomas Paine.

How might this have occurred?  Children in the “United” States no longer study civics. The subject has been removed from schools curriculums..  The cost of such classes was thought too high. The lessons were not learned at home.  Parents had to pay the price for a culture that does not cultivate a strong sense of community.  Much of our common history, and perchance, common sense has been lost.

Awareness for the predicament of our fellow Americans is absent.  Frequently,, people in this “affluent” country are detached from what they rather not believe exists.    Prosperous people, those who are, for now, content with their health care coverage, believe that those who lack medical insurance are impoverished.  The general public presumes people who do not work are by choice without coverage. Few can fathom what occurs when a free clinic opens its doors for a day.  In Houston, thousands of employed individuals turned out in search of medical treatment that they could afford.

Salvage Common Sense

If Americans are to embrace common sense as they say they wish to, we, the people must decide.  Does duplicity define us?  Will we choose to work as one; or we once again serve only our self-interest.  

Reform can expand the options for all and sacrifice none.  If Americans again hold dear the notion of the social equality, some citizens could state, I am happy with my employer-provided health care plan.  Others may prefer to opt for a government program.  A few could conclude, I will cover myself, eat well, exercise regularly, and escape most every illness.  It matters not which plan individuals choose.  When we work together we serve the commonweal and act on the axioms Thomas Paine set forth.

In America, should we decide to conserve the commonweal, retain consumption as the rule, establish that indeed we are rugged individualists, or reform our ways.   Will Americans waste not and want not?  Could the original thought transcribed in Common Sense once again be our greater truth? What will 2009 bring; more rants, rallies, or reason?  Only the approved insurance reform Bill will reveal which common sense approach Americans are willing to adopt.

Health Care Reform References . . .

Glenn Beck; Race Relationships or Health Care Reform



Glenn Beck calls Obama racist

Americans may recall, it began with a Sweet aside and grew into a [Glenn Beck] beckon.  Now, the stage is set.  The audience is explosive.  Words of woe are shouted from every hall.  For more than a month the media has given rise to the troublesome message.  The reason for health care reform; the Obama Administration yearns to provide a platform for “stealth reparations.”

Reporters, Lynn Sweet and Glenn Beck, as well as the corporations who support their work have helped refocus the nation’s attention.  What the country imagined would be a time to talk of health care reform has become an era of ethnic erosion.  Pundits pose the possibility as a reality; it is “us against them,” white against Black, or perhaps, the American people in opposition to President Barack Obama.  Since, a press conference held many weeks ago, claims of racism have filled the airwaves.  The victim, or according to Fox News host Glenn Beck, the purveyor is the Commander-In-Chief, Mister Obama.

Mister Beck was given the stage, amidst all the hoopla over health care reform; when Chicago Sun Times Columnist Lynn Sweet opened the door.  Ms Sweet offered a not so sugary treat.  In late July she created a distraction from the crucial debate over medical insurance.  It would seem that Ms Sweet had no time or interest in how a broken health care system might be fixed.  Nor did the profundity of the debate appeal to Fox News Announcer Beck.  However, as a source of entertainment Mister Beck thinks the topic truly fine.

The flamboyant Fox News broadcaster does not relate to the fear of a sudden recission. At least for now, Mister Beck feels certain that his health care costs are covered.  The possibility of a legal retroactive cancelation of his or his entire family’s policy is not an “option” Glenn Beck considers.  The opinionated Anchor boasts only of the advantages of the current private health care system, as he links health care reform to Nazis.  Mister Beck suggests any alteration in our insurance system would kill elderly and newborns.  Surely, he surmises our very survival depends on maintaining the status quo.

Pride and prejudice; these are the qualities that work well for Glenn Beck.  He has realized people respond when he speaks of the President’s supposed bigotry.  Popularity and the prosperity fame reaps are a far more pleasant endeavor for each of these Reporters. Tis true for the two; the treatment of Black persons at the hands of law enforcement is a more titillating theme than the cost of medical services. Perchance, that is why these members of the Press thought Professor Gates, the Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer, and a beer summit, were food for their fodder.  

Lynn Sweet.  who in the past promised analysis is not her preference.  “Product.” Is Ms Sweet’s penchant.  Glenn Beck concurs; “topical talk” is his trademark.  The drier subject of an American health care crisis is not as dicey as overt discrimination might be.  

The subject of segregationists offers a superior slant to those who wish to garner attention.  Indeed, separatism has allowed for much sensationalism.  Couple these with Socialism and succession, and what a wonderful stew Sweet and Beck have brewed.  These themes have helped to ignite fires and fury in many a town hall meeting.

Currently, Americans can speak of nothing else.  Some say, the first African American President wants to take over the country.  Others offer beware of a Black nation..  

Some terrified citizens coalesce around the Glenn Beck battle cries, the volume increases.  Fans of, the boisterous Broadcaster say Beck represents us.  Thus, the man behind the “people’s” movement is in demand..  Special appearances are arranged.  The American people want to know what the man who offers the “Fusion of Entertainment and Enlightenment” thinks. Beck opines, any and all of the President’s proclamations prove Barack Obama to be . . .  “a racist.” [sic].

However, once this accusation was publically posed Announcer Beck did not receive the reception he had hoped for.  Sure, Glenn Beck has his followers.  He also has his detractors.  Some of these were once partners.  Embarrassed by the snide, rude, and crude criticism, “the President is a racist,” many advertisers withdrew their financial backing for the Glenn Beck Program.  While the corporations may not have had a problem with the popular performer or his sharply pronounced bigotry, these businesses understood the power Glenn Beck’s words would have.  

Perhaps, entrepreneurs’ worried of their earnings.  Possibly, public relation became the priority.  Outright racially charged outbursts do not make for the popularity of a product.  Capitalist comprehend the truest concern the public might be offended by what seems more pronounced than a simple offhand remark made in private.  In America, it is important to maintain an image.  Colorblind is the politically correct manner of the day.

Complaints did indeed pour in.  It is not polite to call the President of the United States a bigot.  Heaven forbid, or more accurately, the Almighty dollar dictates decorum.  Hence, companies, which did not wish to be associated with such  vile criticism, took contracted commercials off the Glenn Beck Program schedule.  A petition drive demonstrated approval for the move.  “More than 180,000 of “the people”, us, have stood up and 62 companies have pulled their support.”

Now, another appeal has appeared.   Add your voice  The contention is . . .

Our campaign has been a huge success so far. As Beck’s show decreases in value, FOX will do everything possible to reverse the trend.

It’s time to thank those advertisers who dropped Beck and keep them from returning, while calling on more advertisers to pull back as well.

It takes just a moment to sign, seal, and deliver a thought.  Perhaps the American people can still reclaim the conversation, and health care can again take center stage.  Rather than allow Glenn Beck an opportunity to rant, rage, and call the President of the United States a racist, the people can call for calm.  Citizens need only pen a paragraph as I, Betsy L. Angert did in the following.

Dearest News Corporation President, Chief Executive Officer, and Fox Board of Directors. . .

Please do not let Glenn Beck continue to yell, “Fire in the theatre,” or to state the President started the blaze.  A fearful audience is quick to anger.   A person who feels threatened by the inferno will do more than blame the individual they are led to believe started the combustion.  People will pummel the being even if that that man, woman, or President is innocent.  

Please News Corporation executives, ask yourself; would you wish to be responsible for providing a raucous instigator a platform.

If you would, reflect upon the public fury Glenn Beck incites, and do not allow him to be the source of a stampede.

Perchance, if, we the people insist on more than a Sweet; yet sour aside, if we eschew persons or products whose sponsors pay for slice and dice discussion, than the cultural divide will not dominant our policies, practices, and programs.   Should we speak up and speak out civilly, the chaos in the amphitheatre called America will be calmed.  Shun racist rhetoric, then, perhaps, we, as a nation would become as our forefathers envisioned, one, indivisible . . . . . and fully insured regardless of race, color, or creed.

References for the racial, media prompted rants . . .

We Can’t Afford to Wait



We Can’t Afford to Wait

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Only today Cable News Network aired a report that suggests most of those who want a public option health care plan are African Americans,  Persons in this population are more likely to be uninsured.  Statistics show dark skinned individuals also seem  predisposed to poor health.  News broadcaster Kyra Phillips continues.  Black people, when surveyed, say they think Mister Obama has performed well in office.  In contrast, far fewer white Americans approve of what the Obama Administration has done on the job.  Subtly, Ms Phillips reminds the audience, the current President of the United States is the nation’s first Black Commander-In-Chief.  The implication is obvious.

Yet, the tale is not necessarily as told.  Witness the stories shared in a MoveOn.org video, study the faces, and consider the situation of those who say they cannot afford to wait for health care reform,  Mostly white faces fill the screen.  

Of course, someone may surmise, this presentation was staged.  It was not.  Days ago, this author received a request to do as these individuals have done.  An electronic message was sent to millions of Americans.  The appeal was, Please share your story on a sign.  Hold the poster up and photograph yourself for all to see.  Send the snapshoot to MoveOn.org, and our organization will compile what we collect.  

Common everyday citizens responded en mass.  The people, informed of the intent saw this venture as an avenue to further their personal cause.  Each considered what was a potential presentation, perhaps the most powerful means to give voice to their message.

Here they are; real persons who openly say they cannot afford to wait for a public health care coverage option.  Be they affluent, ill, an average American, or the strong who fear for family, the plea is palpable.

Caucasian small business propitiators offer the words, “We cannot wait for affordable medical insurance coverage.”

Pink persons who had policies that were canceled once they were diagnosed with a life threatening illness tell us as a country, we have delayed a public option plan for far too long.  

Fair-haired families, forced to spend a large portion of their income on medical insurance say the nation cannot continue to over any real choice.  Coverage too costly does no one any good.  Inevitably, someone pays for the burden others bear.  Only insurance offered at a reasonable rate or free access to treatment for those who , for a time, have no funds will benefit Americans from all walks of life.

Certainly, people of every color need adequate and affordable medical treatment plans.  Americans yearn for policies that do not bar people with a pre-existing condition.  Citizens, no matter the race crave for a program that will not be canceled if they find themselves in poor health. People of all creeds cannot postpone access to pragmatically priced medical coverage.

Please pass this message on.  Send the video and the text to any Anglo who believes only the poor or brownish purplish persons burden the “phenomenal,” private, American health care system.

Read the references . . .

Betsy McCaughey; Resigned to Ruin Health Care Reform



The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 2
www.thedailyshow.com

Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Healthcare Protests

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

There are moments frozen in time.  Words may give us pause.  Contrary actions can astonish most observers.  Yet, those who obstinately offer these postures may be oblivious to how others view what they think, say, or do.  Betsy McCaughey, her present circumstances, and the role she consistently plays in political debates, illustrates how many people can be moved to tears and jeers concurrently.  This week, Betsy McCaughey, who since the Clintons first tried to change the health care system, has been resigned to ruin the possibility of any reform, sat before a captive Daily show audience.

This persuasive player with words has proven her self to be a source of comic relief.  Nonetheless she is no less a tragic hero.  Ms McCaughey has had many a success.  She near single-handedly has destroyed health care reform legislation twice.  However, perhaps on this occasion, she has experienced some failure, albeit possibly only a personal humiliation.

Some assessed Ms McCaughey’s performance as awkward.  As the interview progressed, it was clear, in her attempt to further the case against medical reorganization, she was seen as other than the scholar she is thought to be.  Viewers of the program laughed at what had, for months, passed for profound.   Death panels, indeed.  Policies for physician reimbursement weaken? Quite the opposite.  

Host John Stewart countered her every complaint in regards to legislation with a reasonable rational argument or analogy.  While Betsy McCaughey remained self-assured, soon after, the public now presumes, problems arose.    Reports stated Betsy McCaughey was asked, or belatedly chose, to tender her resignation from a firm, which profits from the delivery of health care left just as it is.

Betsy McCaughey – an outspoken proponent of the myth that Democrats’ health care reform proposals will lead to the creation of “death panels,” as well as a former lieutenant governor of New York and adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute – has stepped down from her position as a director of Cantel Medical Corp., which bills itself as a “leading provider of infection prevention and control products in the healthcare market.

The esteemed and accomplished Administrator may have finally experienced a repercussion of her frequent follies.  Perchance, this fall will cause her to incur a financial fiasco.  We can only hope she will not be left without employer provided medical coverage, or that she has the dollars to dole out for what other Americans know to be an ever-costly expense. No one would wish for her downfall to be as those who came before her.  

For the tens of millions who struggle to survive without health care coverage Betsy McCaughey’s exit from the stage came perchance too late.  Only today, Sunday, August 23, 2009, words of wonderment left the nation to once again lick its wounds,   It seems just as occurred in the early 1990s, with the help of Betsy McCaughey,, citizens are again being told health care reform will have to wait.  The time is not now.  Again, Americans are placed in a deep freeze.  Collectively, the people find reason to pause, and ponder.  

Will someone such as Betsy McCaughey alway provide us with comedy, tragedy, and no health care coverage?

References for Ruin of Health Care Reform . . .