How health insurance companies gave Obama’s health care reform it’s second wind

In November, the Democrats were on the ropes. The GOP had just elected themselves a golden child with Scott Brown and tilted the scales back below sixty votes in the Senate. They had won two gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey. The media was calling the Health Care Reform bill dead. Time between now and the next election cycle was getting shorter and the drums of defeat were beating loudly.

But then the bill got the biggest shot in the arm from the insurance companies. They increased their rates 39% in California, cut off cancer-survivors in Youngstown, Ohio, jacked up rates all over the country and even sent this poor puppy a letter that increased his health insurance costs by 21.8% over last year.

That was the second wind.

Had the health insurance companies instituted a premium freeze for 2010, not cut off existing customers regardless of circumstances and sent letters out with the message, “We’re all in this recession together, so we’re not going to increase your premiums,” they could have taken the wind right out of the sails of the Reformers. They would have convinced the average American they were not greedy, money-grubbig heartless bastards, but caring, warm folks who only had your health in their hearts.

They would have gained the entire GOP and most independents as free PR agents for their industry. “They get it, we can make a difference!” would have been the rally cry and the Obama Administration and progressive Democrats would have been left fighting an enemy that simply no longer existed. By August, the country and Congress would have been embroiled in a mid-term election with Democrats fighting to explain why they spent so much wasted time fighting the benevolent insurance companies. Most likely they would have lost a few seats and the balance of power would have tipped a bit. President Obama would have then had two years of accomplishing nothing and the insurance industry would have been healthy for the next several decades, free to plunder and pillage recklessly while Obama’s successor’s successor worked up enough public passion to start another health care reform movement.

But they didn’t. They rushed hard toward the profit line, cutting off aunt Sallie who had cancer and facing a home foreclosure. They dropped health insurance for residents in Flint, Michigan where unemployment is 27%. They continued to increase premiums an average of 22% across the country, claiming it was necessary because of rising health costs. They tightened their grip on the wallets of those lucky enough to remain employed and even tighter on the small businesses and entrepreneurs trying to weather the economic downturn and tight credit markets. And yet, they continue to post record profits.

Sometimes you have to retreat back a few steps to advance forward.

But they didn’t.

Bad business, bad public relations. On that account alone, the health insurance industry deserves to go the way of the horse buggy, passenger train and telegraph industries.

Sarah Palin, please grow up, shut up, go away or learn some English

Sarah Palin (on loan from CNN.com)
Sarah Palin (on loan from CNN.com)

In a CNN.com blog post yesterday, Ms. Palin is quoted as saying:

I would think we all tear up during the national anthem at the beginning of a baseball game, don’t we? That’s an alikeness between Alaskans and New Yorkers.

Sigh. I think she meant to say something like “common bond” or “the bonds that united as as a nation” or even “similarity.” I am beginning to suspect she makes up words as she goes. She reminds me of Damon Wayans’ malaprop character on In Living Color. Malaprop is a big word, so I linked it up, in case Ms. Palin is reading… oh, never mind.

It really is time for the smart guys to be in charge. The beer-drinking buddies, the “Joe the Plumbers” are not the future of this country, they are its past. It is not cool to be dumb. It never was.

In recent decades, we’ve seen the damage one dumb man can do. We’ve also seen the damage a highly provincial man can do. Neither was good for this country as one led to high inflation and a hostage crises and the other led to wars, loss of a moral compass and submission to mob fear.

I’m not sure how many bloggers remained “anonymous” about their feelings on Sarah Palin. That women created a blog wake so deep and fast that if you didn’t attach your name to it, your blog was a waste of time to write or read. There was nothing about anonymity or boredom in that ride.

We’ve had a taste of what a smart Sarah Palin would be like. We call her Tina Fey. And the real thing pales in comparison to the imitation.

Truemors was being goofy.

So here are my comments to 

Palin Calls Bloggers “Kids in Pajamas…in Their Parents’ Home”

Here is the quote from the Fox News site:

–QUOTE–

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything else that has been raised or said about you in the media, either during the convention — I mean, during the campaign or since the campaign ended, that you think you need to address that has been, you know, an allegation about you?

 

PALIN: Well, unfortunately, early on, there are a tremendous number of examples that we can give regarding my record and things that could have, should have been so easily corrected if — if the media would have taken one step further and — and investigated a little bit, not just gone on some blogger probably sitting there in their parents’ basement, wearing their pajamas, blogging some kind of gossip or — or a lie regarding, for instance, the — the discussion about who was Trig’s real mom? You know, Was it one of her daughters or was she faking her pregnancy?

–UNQUOTE–

Yes, it is true that she does not say ALL bloggers blog in pajamas in their parents home, but she is stereotyping bloggers much like, oh, I dunno.. like what a GOP group did for Obama on what African-Americans eat, for example… 

http://www.dogwalkblog.com/2008/10/18/the-price-of-stupid-and-ignorance/  even though it may be true of SOME African-Americans… Couple that with the tone in her voice (check out YouTube) and her reference really is unmistakable.

Sarah Palin is just not that bright. My God, the sentence structure and subject-predicate agreement alone is horrifying! Lawyers would be endlessly employed trying to figure out which “is” meant “is” or “was” or what “is” really is. 

She is GREAT for energizing the DNC base to vote against her and non-stop entertainment for humans and canine alike, but presidential? Hmmm… no.

Posted by email from rufus’s posterous

Sarah Palin is a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Wannabee


In the 1968 film adaptation of Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, there is a scene where the Baron of Vulgaria steals Chitty, kidnaps Grandpa and assembles all the smart guys of the kingdom to make the car fly. It is reasoned that if they just kinda disassemble the car, examine every piece of hardware, then glue a life preserver on another car, put a wing here and there, their car will also float and fly.

And, to sweeten the deal, the Baron will execute anyone who can’t make his car fly by his birthday party, a few days hence.

The truth of why Chitty Chitty Bang Bang can fly is because it is in her soul, it is who she is. It is becasue she has a great spirit of having once been great on the race track and once again, has a “family” (the Potts) who adore and cherish her, enabling her to soar. The “smart guys” fail because they start by asking “what” instead of “why.”

Barack Obama is a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He is able to inspire, speak with ease and eloquence, think through complex issues quickly and articulate a plan that is at once detailed, yet understandable. Faced with this “Chitty,” the Republicans immediately race to “disassemble” Obama, identify those things that make him soar and attempt to make a flying car of their own – Sarah Palin.

Palin is young, she is attractive, she is daring, she has executive experience (minimal, but we can spin that.) She is all those things that Barack Obama is; until she starts talking. Then, it becomes painfully clear that she can’t motivate a country to action, that she has not found that “soul” to inspire a nation. That she is divisive and that she just is not very bright. (ahem, sorry, intellectually curious)

But, since the smart guys assembled her and they wish not to be executed, they start yelling at the top of their lungs, “She can fly, she can.. I’ve seen it with my own eyes!” And, the people around them who have clearly seen Palin not fly repeat the chant because they too, do not want to die. They so desperately believe their own dream that they fail to see the facts in front of them.

In the end, the common folk (children) rescues Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, she spreads her wings, repels the baron and his smart guys, Grandpa is rescued and the Baron (and Baroness) are seen for what they really are. But, in an ironic twist, the Baron never understands why his car did not fly. I suspect — if the Baron were a GOP leader — he would still be trying to make a flying car from Chitty parts.

Perhaps if he tried harder. Perhaps if his smart guys were able to analyze the magic coat of paint three more layers deep. Perhaps if he believed more. Perhaps if he put on lipstick one more time and winked one more wink, he too could have a flying car.

Posted by email from rufus’s posterous

Other posts you may enjoy reading:
NY Post
The Real Right
The Examiner
Crook Sandliars.com
Huffington Post

The price of stupid and ignorant

The Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated distributed the flyer above with their newsletter. They claim it just represents food and the chicken, watermelon, Kool-Aid and ribs were not racist.

Yeah, right. How big of a rock was the president of the GOP group, Diane Fedele, living under for how many years? And, her daughter gets on television saying her mom couldn’t be a racist because she was married to her dad, who is Mexican. Stop digging the hole for yourself!

Here is what should happen and I hope does. KFC and Kraft Foods (Owners of Kool-Aid) file a lawsuit against the group, the RNC and Ms. Fedele personally for using their product images without permission. And, they would win.

Think twice, do once.

*All products mentioned and images used in this post are the property of their respective owners.

Countries are not corporations so quit trying to run them like they are

Carly Fiorina‘s comments about neither candidate being able to run a corporation is causing a bunch of flap. We want our elected officials to understand how to balance a checkbook, but I’m not so sure we want them to be able to run a corporation.

A corporation’s only goal is to make profit. It is a “good citizen” because being perceived to be so is profitable, either in innate value or real dollars and cents. That good citizen images makes employees feel good about working there and customers fell good about buying from them. At the end of the day (or the quarter), profit is the only goal of a corporation.

A government’s only goal is the protection of its citizen, from enemies both outside and within. Corporations who strive to increase their profits to the detriment of the government’s citizens is one enemy that a government should be on guard against. A free market, unregulated, will result in the greedy grabbing anything they can and expanding out their reach to the detriment of others. Really, the current mess should come as no shock to anybody who has been paying attention to the human condition for the past several thousand years. Read a book; literature is rife with this stuff.

In a more personal context, I am a really good dog. I walk along the sidewalk, I don’t crap in other people’s yards and don’t jump up on the dinner table, even though it smells really good most of the time. I do this mainly because there are consequences for not. Some of self-imposed, like the desire to be liked and respected. But, if there were no consequences at all for my actions, including losing the respect of my caretakers, I’d be up on the table helping myself to the food, crapping nilly-willy all over the lawns and digging up flower beds. I am a dog; it is my nature.

Running a country is the antithesis of running a corporation. Or, it really should be. If not, it should be strongly considered.

When goods cost so much that you have to invent ways of allowing consumers to purchase them, you have an unsustainable consumer market. The recent housing stuff where buyers needed no money down and were paying below market rates is an example. The market simply ran out of consumers with capital and needed to dig deeper into those who could not afford it. The same goes for the auto industry. When the average car started topping $20,000+ and only had a life of about 7 years, the average person didn’t make that much disposable income. So, the auto lease was invented. And on and on. The formula was not about how much equity you owned in anything, but how much you could pay every month to “use” something that you could convince yourself you owned.

Our economy only exists when people buy stuff, not make it and sell it. When the consumer simply can’t afford to buy stuff, we fold into ourselves like a house of cards. That is what is happening today.

People who own most of own homes and don’t have to move, are happy with the car they have the skills to fix, have some cash in the bank and have their health will do fine over the next few years as this economy corrects itself. Those who don’t will be a strain on the economy as we right ourselves. What we need at the head of government is not someone who knows how to wring profit out of a dollar, but how to protect the citizens from the unfair claims of those who wish to take what is not theirs, both from within and out. And that is not socialism; that is just a simple counter-weight to greed.

We already have Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman, Warren Buffet and Craig Newmark, among others running the corporations. What we need is someone at the helm of government who is a strong enough will to either entice or force these other strong-willed persons to play fair and nice.

And that is what I think Carly Fiorina was really saying. At least that is what I HOPE she was saying. And it is not a bad thing.

Pay attention to the news cycle and do something with it

Clever focus on Arizona, with McCain running for president
Clever focus on Arizona, with McCain running for president
Yesterday, I received the monthly issue of Association News, read the front cover and was immediately in awe of the level to which this organization is paying attention to the world around them.

One could say that the choice of featuring Arizona was merely coincidental or that the state was next on the calendar to be featured. OR, one could give these really clever, in-tune and aware folks credit for recognizing that if they were to include Arizona — the state John McCain is from — on the front cover, right about now in the election and news cycle and talk about it that they would get some lift in the blogs, Google News and just an overall heightened interest in Arizona by the otherwise complacent national media.

Just plain clever. I just hope they increased their circulation just a bit with the GOP events and their CPM to advertisers.