Quick Hits for October 25, 2009
* Bush Advisor Ed Gillespie decided to stand up for the Bush Administration on Afghanistan. In response to Rahm Emanuel's statement about the Bush Administration's Afghanistan policy being adrift, Gillespie said that wasn't true indicating that the Bush Administration had a proposal and a review of the situation in Afghanistan. What Gillespie never explains is why none of the things Emanuel addressed like an Afghani Army, an Afghani Security Force, and Afghani services were addressed over the previous 7 years. Maybe if they had paid attention to Afghanistan for the previous 7 years, a last ditch review and proposal before leaving office wouldn't have been necessary to cover their collective political backsides.
* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is talking about a public option with an opt out clause in the final Senate version of health care reform. While it is an improvement to see that Harry hasn't given up on a public option, the notion of giving states an opt out clause is one that completely undermines the purpose of a public option. The healthiest state 2008 report indicates that blue states have an average ranking of 20.7, but the red states that voted for McCain and that are most likely to opt out of the public option average 31.6 in ranking. In other words, the people who most need a public option may well be held hostage by the far right in their states. Given that they are the least healthiest, if they can't afford health insurance now, they probably can't afford to move to a blue state to get medical care of a public option.
If it is the view of Democrats that they need to stand up and protect those who can't protect themselves from others, whether it be abusers or Republican extremists, then it is Majority Leader Reid's responsibility to pass a public option that doesn't allow Republicans to deny Americans the health care they deserve.
* While it isn't unusual for political parties to do some things to protect their backers, or their interest groups; the Republican Party has taken it to new heights. Apparently, a woman was gang raped while working for Halliburton in Iraq, and when she tried to report it to the company, they locked her up until they eventually released her. She tried to sue the company and was told she couldn't sue because of a clause in her employment contract. As a response to this, Senator Al Franken put forth an amendment to prevent these clauses by eliminating government contracts for employers with these clauses. Of the 100 Senators, 30 voted to reject protecting employees and their liability while protecting an environment that promotes gang rape. None of the 60 Democrats voted against it, but 3/4 of all Republican Senators voted against the amendment. Wow.
There is a ton to say about this, but Jon Stewart said it better than I can. Take a look, it is well worth a few minutes of time.
* Every once in a while, I start searching terms on say Twitter to see how people are portraying things. Right now, the right is attacking "progressives" and putting forth grand distortions such as the use of "FEMA Camps" for the "homeless" as a way to control the population. This is a myth by the paranoid about government in general, and part of it feeds the view of small government people, but the other part feeds those paranoid of government. What they fail to realize is that what gave FEMA and the military the ability to do these things like create FEMA "camnps" was the Patriot Act put forth by the Bush Administration. Maybe the people we should be afraid of for the fantasies of the paranoid are the neocons who wrote in these kinds of ties, not the progressives who fight for civil liberties.