Day: April 2, 2010

Dan Quayle’s Recommendation To The Republican Party Should Be Ignored!

Former Vice President Dan Quayle, a major embarrassment and albatross around President George H.W. Bush’s neck during his administration, has been pretty much out of the political scene for years, but now he has emerged with advice for his fellow Republicans.

Quayle recommends that his party unite with the Tea Party activists, as the best way to regain power in Washington, DC.

It is obvious that Quayle has learned nothing new in the 17 years since he left the Vice Presidency, and made most Americans relieved that there was no longer a danger of his becoming President.

If the Republicans voters do indeed follow his advice, and if mainstream candidates such as Charlie Crist, John McCain, and Senator Bob Bennett of Utah lose their races to right wingers, the Republican party will be more marginalized. It is not that Crist, McCain and Bennett are all that centrist, but their Tea Party opponents are so much MORE conservative than they are!

Dr. Jack Cassell, Congressman Alan Grayson, And Health Care Reform

A major controversy has erupted in central Florida, in the town of Mount Dora, where an urologist, Dr. Jack Cassell, has posted a sign on the door of his office telling Obama supporters to go elsewhere for medical care.

A strong critic of the Health Care reform, Dr. Cassell claims that he is not denying anyone medical care from him, who wants it. He sees it as his right to make his position clear on the health care reform, and believes that very few people who have come to his office have turned away from walking in.

Congressman Alan Grayson, who is the Representative from Cassell’s district, is bringing a case to the Florida Medical Board and the American Medical Association against Dr. Cassell, as acting in a discriminatory manner against some of his patients, and others who might seek medical care from him.

He points out that the Hippocratic Oath and the American Medical Association Code of Ethics makes clear that a medical professional is not to use political viewpoints as a reason to refuse medical care to any of his patients.

Many would argue that this is a freedom of speech case, and certainly, in his role as a private citizen, Dr. Cassell has every right to express his views in any forum outside of his work place. But in his role as a medical professional at work, it is totally inappropriate and against medical ethics to do what he is doing.

Grayson is pursuing the idea of consequences for what Dr. Cassell is doing, and it seems appropriate that Dr. Cassell needs to agree to cease and desist in what he is doing at his workplace, and pursue it instead in other venues or even in running for public office to promote his views, if he sees fit.

Freedom of speech does not include the right to intimidate patients and imply denial of medical care, as much as it does not include the right to “shout fire in a crowded theater”. There is a time and place for such assertions of the First Amendment!

Threats Against 36 State Governors: Political Rhetoric Gone Crazy!

All of the recent, irresponsible political rhetoric over Health Care reform, and the general confrontational language of talk radio and Fox News Channel, has now led to threats against 36 state governors, and the FBI is very concerned!

These governors, holding the most difficult political positions as the Great Recession continues, have been warned by a group called Guardians of the free Republics, that they must resign and leave office in three days, or face action to be removed!

This group, on its website, is alarming in its rhetoric, and while they do not specifically advocate direct violence, it is the perfect match waiting to be lit that could lead to bloodshed and violence, including possible assassinations!

The people behind this, supposedly, are people who seem to believe that they have no responsibility to pay taxes or have a license to drive. In other words, they are “sovereign citizens”, who are basically anarchistic in nature, and are seen as similar to the right wing group arrested last week in Michigan that was advocating violence against police and other law enforcement authorities.

This is just further proof of the danger of right wing extremists, many of them connected to racist organizations and militia groups, to our national security. These are domestic terrorists, as dangerous as Timothy McVeigh was in 1995 when he blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building, killing 168 and injuring nearly a thousand other citizens.

We are in a delicate time domestically, and it is the responsibility of all commentators, on radio, television, and other media, to act responsibly in what they say and write, so as not to fuel these nuts among us!

Can we be optimistic that this will indeed be the case, that being responsible as a priority over riling up people and enriching themselves, will be practiced by talk radio and Fox News Channel and other reckless media? 🙁 Don’t hold your breath on that one! 🙁

Senators Jim Bunning And Tom Coburn And Flood Insurance Extension

Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, already among the most despicable members of the present Senate and of all time members of the upper body, have again, by their stupidity and vindictiveness, done great harm to millions of Americans!

Both of these men, utilizing the “hold” technique to stop temporarily the extension of unemployment compensation as a tactic against the Obama Administration, has now effectively reverberated in a new disgraceful manner!

Part of the legislation was to extend government sponsored flood insurance for millions of homeowners, and because of their shenanigans, there was a delay in that renewal! Between now and April 12, if any flooding occurs, such as has been happening in the Northeast, and earlier in the Midwest, any such flood damage will not be covered because of the gap in time of the legislation going into effect!

How can these men sleep at night, playing politics with people’s lives, whether for unemployment compensation or for flood insurance? 🙁

How can these men, who love to profess that they are “good Christians” and flaunt their religion, say that they are decent and religious people, when they show no compassion for their fellow human beings, many of them less fortunate who need whatever help government can give them? 🙁

If there is an afterlife, as these “religious” men would profess does exist, it is hard to imagine that they will end up where “good, decent” people, whether religious or not, will reside!

Senator Jim DeMint And The Big Lie Technique: The “Individual Mandate”

South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint has become a master of the Big Lie Technique, which was masterfully used by Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany!

Of course, the Big Lie Technique is that if you repeat and perpetuate a lie enough times, most people will believe it!

DeMint, infamous for saying his goal was to make the Health Care reform President Obama’s “Waterloo”, has stated that the “Individual Mandate”, which requires everyone to purchase health insurance by 2014, will require the Internal Revenue Service to hire 16,000 agents to hunt down and arrest citizens who refuse to buy health insurance, and also refuse to pay a fine.

If one actually looks at the wording of the Health Care reform legislation, one discovers that while it is expected that everyone purchase health insurance, and that there is a fine if one does not do so, there is no enforcement mechanism that actually will penalize anyone who does not do so!

And right now, there are about 16,000 IRS agents, and there is no plan to double the number of agents because of the so called “Individual Mandate”.

What it comes down to is that every citizen in this country has a responsibility to purchase health insurance, so as not to become a burden on the rest of us if he or she gets sick or is injured. Is it really too much to say that just as all of us are required to pay taxes, obey traffic laws, and in theory be available to serve on juries and to exercise our right to vote, as well as fill out census forms once in ten years, that we also have a basic responsibility to do what we can to protect our health, just as we are expected to insure our homes and automobiles against danger?

It is time for everyone to realize their basic responsibilities to their country, as John F. Kennedy enunciated in his Inaugural Address in 1961. It is time for us to realize that protecting our health, and caring about the health of our fellow citizens, is more important than having those extra drinks, tobacco, and illegal drugs that undermine our health and safety, and that a responsibility of adulthood is to insure our health, as much as we somehow find the ability to support our need for food, clothing and shelter.

It is also time for the GOP to stop spreading lies and propaganda about Health Care reform, and to accept the responsibility to stop dividing us and in the process of doing so, encouraging confrontation and lawlessness that could at anytime lead to bloodshed and violence!

Obama And The Environmentalists: Not Quite What They Were Looking For!

President Obama has surprised environmentalists by proposing oil drilling in the Atlantic from Delaware to Central Florida, and in some areas of the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.

At the same time, he is not allowing oil drilling in South Florida waters and in parts of the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.

In so doing, he has angered both environmentalists and Republicans, because he has gone too far for the former and too limited for the latter.

Obama says he recognizes that fossil fuels are not the long term future, but argues that some further exploration is needed to help the energy situation over the next two to three decades.

The danger to the coastlines of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Arctic is still a worrisome thing, although Obama claims that methods of oil rigging and shipping are such that the danger is far less than it was years ago. There is also the concern over danger to wildife and ocean species, but he claims that he is following a safe, measured approach.

Basically, Obama is trying to come down squarely in the middle–allowing some energy development and growth, but being still cautious enough to displease Republicans and conservatives who think all areas should be open to oil drilling.

This adds to the growing perception by thoughtful observers that Obama is really a moderate centrist who will never be able to please the extreme left of his party, and of course, will continue to be called a “socialist” by the far right and the Republican opposition.

Despite this disappointment that many environmentalists feel, it seems to the author that Obama’s head is in the right place, and that, overall, his environmental policies will be seen as more positive and productive in the long haul!

And in the long run, being a moderate centrist with a tip to the left is not a bad place to be for an American President!

Employment Numbers Improve, But A Long Way To Go :(

The employment situation finally improved somewhat in March, with an increase of 162,000 jobs, but there is still a long way to go!

The unemployment rate stayed stable at 9.7 percent, and the underemployment rate rose slightly to 16.9 percent.

The unemployment rate is worse among minority groups, particularly African Americans, and since so many people have been out of work for more than six months, and a substantial number for a year or more, there is little to celebrate.

This issue will be the crucial one in the upcoming Fall 2010 midterm elections, since people tend to vote their pocketbook above all considerations, even those who have secure jobs but worry about the overall economy and how it might affect the future for them and their children.

So the Democrats and President Obama must focus now on job creation, and hope that the economic turnaround, which seems to have begun, will continue to accelerate over the next six months.

If it does not, then the Democratic party losses this November will be greater, rather than less, and will make Obama’s challenge in the last two years of his first term all the more problematical!

Obama And Iran Sanctions

President Obama has achieved something no one would have thought possible.

The Iranian government continues to defy the world community through its development of nuclear power and the strong belief, despite their denials, of working to create nuclear weapons, which would be a threat both to Israel and its Arab neighbors, along with the world at large.

Obama has convinced both China and Russia to join in the sanctions on trade that have been proposed, and that is no small deed!

Iran remains the major threat to world stability and peace, and it is hoped that economic sanctions will have the desired effect, although it is hard to be optimistic. But still, gaining the support of the Chinese and the Russians is an important step forward!