An Absence of Class March 23, 2010Posted by koreanpower999 in Uncategorized.
Tags: Barack Obama, health care, racism, Republican Party, tea party
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The New York Times
By BOB HERBERT
Published: March 22, 2010
Some of the images from the run-up to Sunday’s landmark health care vote in the House of Representatives should be seared into the nation’s consciousness. We are so far, in so many ways, from being a class act.
A group of lowlifes at a Tea Party rally in Columbus, Ohio, last week taunted and humiliated a man who was sitting on the ground with a sign that said he had Parkinson’s disease. The disgusting behavior was captured on a widely circulated videotape. One of the Tea Party protesters leaned over the man and sneered: “If you’re looking for a handout, you’re in the wrong end of town.”
Another threw money at the man, first one bill and then another, and said contemptuously, “I’ll pay for this guy. Here you go. Start a pot.”
In Washington on Saturday, opponents of the health care legislation spit on a black congressman and shouted racial slurs at two others, including John Lewis, one of the great heroes of the civil rights movement. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was taunted because he is gay.
At some point, we have to decide as a country that we just can’t have this: We can’t allow ourselves to remain silent as foaming-at-the-mouth protesters scream the vilest of epithets at members of Congress — epithets that The Times will not allow me to repeat here.
It is 2010, which means it is way past time for decent Americans to rise up against this kind of garbage, to fight it aggressively wherever it appears. And it is time for every American of good will to hold the Republican Party accountable for its role in tolerating, shielding and encouraging foul, mean-spirited and bigoted behavior in its ranks and among its strongest supporters.
For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness. All you have to do is look around to see what it has done to the country. The greatest economic inequality since the Gilded Age was followed by a near-total collapse of the overall economy. As a country, we have a monumental mess on our hands and still the Republicans have nothing to offer in the way of a remedy except more tax cuts for the rich.
This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry.
Glenn Beck of Fox News has called President Obama a “racist” and asserted that he “has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”
Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, has said of Mr. Obama’s economic policies: “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”
The G.O.P. poisons the political atmosphere and then has the gall to complain about an absence of bipartisanship.
The toxic clouds that are the inevitable result of the fear and the bitter conflicts so relentlessly stoked by the Republican Party — think blacks against whites, gays versus straights, and a whole range of folks against immigrants — tend to obscure the tremendous damage that the party’s policies have inflicted on the country. If people are arguing over immigrants or abortion or whether gays should be allowed to marry, they’re not calling the G.O.P. to account for (to take just one example) the horribly destructive policy of cutting taxes while the nation was fighting two wars.
If you’re all fired up about Republican-inspired tales of Democrats planning to send grandma to some death chamber, you’ll never get to the G.O.P.’s war against the right of ordinary workers to organize and negotiate in their own best interests — a war that has diminished living standards for working people for decades.
With a freer hand, the Republicans would have done more damage. George W. Bush tried to undermine Social Security. John McCain was willing to put Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Oval Office and thought Phil Gramm would have made a crackerjack Treasury secretary. (For those who may not remember, Mr. Gramm was a deregulation zealot who told us during the presidential campaign that we were suffering from a “mental recession.”)
A party that promotes ignorance (“Just say no to global warming”) and provides a safe house for bigotry cannot serve the best interests of our country. Back in the 1960s, John Lewis risked his life and endured savage beatings to secure fundamental rights for black Americans while right-wing Republicans like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan were lining up with segregationist Democrats to oppose landmark civil rights legislation.
Since then, the right-wingers have taken over the G.O.P. and Mr. Lewis, now a congressman, must still endure the garbage they have wrought.
Health Care Reform Passes March 22, 2010Posted by koreanpower999 in Barack Obama, health care, Uncategorized.
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On Sunday night, the House of Representatives passed a historic health care reform bill. After almost a year of prognostication and partisan politics, it finally passed. Just a few weeks ago when the Democrats lost the filibuster-proof majority in the Senate through the election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s former seat in Massachusetts, most politicians and pundits declared health care reform dead. However, since that point it seemed to have lit a fire into President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We finally got to see the Barack Obama that we thought we would see. He was actually engaging the process and fighting for this bill which he wasn’t doing before this. Sometimes Obama does act like the coo kid in high school who seems disengaged. I know he’s a pragmatist and that is definitely necessary in politics. But people resonate to someone who is willing to fight for the issues they believe in. They resonate with leaders who will take ownership of a legislative bill and put their neck out their to pass it. Obama finally after months and months of waffling, bumbling, and floating decided to take the bull by the horns.
With all that said, I think this bill is far from perfect. It still doesn’t fully reign in the health insurance industry. I’ve always been a single payer proponent. However, next to that, I wanted to see a robust public option. However, through the lack of leadership by the White House and the Congress along with the obstructionism and lying of the Republicans and also being sold out by conservative Democrats bought and paid for by the insurance industry like Joe Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln, the public option never had a fair debate.
With all that said, there are some great things in this bill. Though this bill not as historic as Social Security and Medicare, is still a great accomplishment. More changes will have to be made over time to fully deal with our broken health care system. Beyond just the politicians, we need people inside the world of health care, especially doctors willing to be engaged in the dialogue and willing to make sacrifices. The AMA has said they are for health care reform if their salaries are not affected. How does that work? Doctors are vital in the dialogue about fixing the failing health care sytem. With future doctors like Dale Terasaki, there is still much hope.
I hope the passage of this health care reform is just the start of fixing our broken health care system. I hope conservatives and the Republican will actually have real and plausible ideas to deal with the issues of cost and access to health care instead of just obstructing and spreading fear and lies through the Tea Party movement. This is about more than politics. The lives of real people are on the line.
Unexplicably Funky March 11, 2010Posted by koreanpower999 in Uncategorized.
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Do you ever feel you’re in a unexplicably funky sometimes where you feel two forces tugging at you? I don’t feel overwhelmingly high or low. I just feel this mish mash of feeling both the euphoria of my triumphs and the agony of the failures of my life at the same time. It’s the overwhelming presence of God mixed with a perception of His deafening absence. It’s experiencing a secure embrace while at the same time feeling like I’ve been pushed to the side. I don’t really know what I’m feeling right now.