Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Harris County GOP Corruption, Lieberman denies Americans, 95% of GOP House against H1N1 Vaccine, Sex for Tickets, and Lessons of the Recession

Quick Hits for October 27, 2009

* The big news of the day has to be the public option moves by "moderate" Senators. I am not sure whether to blame Harry Reid for incompetence in leadership or Joe Lieberman for his shift to the Republican Party, though he hasn't done it in name. Al Gore's greatest mistake was bringing Lieberman to national notoriety. Either way, the public option continues to be at stake, and it is the one thing that can force insurance companies to start playing fair with the care and coverage for all Americans or lose the business of Americans who are given an alternative. Remember, if the public option sucks, not one single American is forced to sign up for it. We can all still buy our own health insurance. There is no reason NOT to do it.

* Reminder: While many grow frustrated by the H1N1 virus news of more deaths, people have to remember a few things: First, the primary reason that there are not as many flu vaccines is due to what it actually takes to make a vaccination, which include the growth of materials needed to kill the flu virus. Second, we must remember that at the time the funding for the H1N1 virus vaccine was on the table, 95% of all of the House Republicans opposed the funding. If they had their way, we would have had no funding for that vaccine. The party of "no" tried to prevent the funding that people are being critical of as not doing enough now. Thank goodness that some had the foresight to get us at least this far considering the virus didn't even exist a year ago.

* Talk about taking things a step too far: Philadelphia Phillies fan Susan Finkelstein apparently took her love for the team to another level when she posted an add on Craigslist offering sex for Phillies World Series tickets. I have long been a sports fan, but at some point people need to maintain their dignity and self-respect. One has to wonder about our priorities when we give an entertainment event such as a baseball game such significance but we don't put nearly as much effort into the very decisions that will have real impacts on our lives. Maybe Susan is a lesson to us all.

* Too often we assume that everything works and we don't pay attention until it is too late. Harris County, Texas may be one of those areas. The Burnt Orange Report reports the Voter Registration Office of Harris County has engaged in voter suppression tactics by the Republican Party where candidates paid Ed Johnson and Dwayne Bohac more than $140,000 resulting in the rejection of more than 70,000 voter registration applications, and attempting to block or disqualify just under 7,000 provisional ballots. The result may have been at least 2 seats for the GOP that they might not have won otherwise. Watch for more of this as Texas seems primed to turn blue soon.

* The Christian Science Monitor pointed to five lessons of the recession that Americans have learned that include: reducing nonessential purchases, building a cash cushion, shifting to low risk investments, consulting a financial adviser, and diversifying portfolios. Let me suggest a few others that are showing up but need to become lasting lessons: reducing the costs of your daily expenses like grocery shopping by using smart shopping methods like coupons, price matching, asking for discounts, and smartly utilizing return policies; building your own home business to shore up your income or create income alternatives to offset potential job losses in a bad economy; and managing credit better through the smarter use of credit cards, and the moving away from variable rate mortgages and teaser rates.

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