Quick Hits for December 13, 2009
* I have heard grumblings from progressives on the left with President Obama's administration not being left enough. Such people need to come from the utopian left to the pragmatics of politics. Unless you have 60 far left Democrats in the Senate, you have no chance of getting to a utopian left policy without gradual steps. Currently, President Obama is having to be very centrist in order to get things through the Senate and deal with so many Blue Dog Democrats in office. Additionally, it took President Bush eight years to do the damage he did, it can't be undone in 11 months and anyone who expects it to be is foolish and has little to no grasp of politics. President Obama has done pretty well for his first year, given the circumstances, especially if he gets health care done before January 20th. I may not agree with it all, but it is a pretty good first year for any President to get this much done in this set of circumstances.
* In this economy, we are seeing the cracks in the health care system as poor women have overwhelmed the free clinics for cancer screenings. In the best of economic times, about 1 in 6 doesn't have health insurance, but in the worst, the numbers are going to be worst as people lose their jobs and the benefits that go with it. More needs to be done.
* The Washington Post reports that we now have about 17 million children who are underfed or going hungry nightly. The Obama Administration is brainstorming to find solutions, and the problem is sad. But part of the answer is us. You heard me, you and me. If you know some of these people who have these kids, quietly drop them off some food, or a gift card for say Wal-mart or Target without even letting them know who it came from. Part of the problem is the stigma and the ego where we don't want to let anyone know that we are in trouble at home. Part of the solution is to let them off the hook. The government can't necessarily, but if you are friends of someone that you know needs help, you can give it without any credit and any payback except for that which Karma brings you and the good feelings you get from helping others. We are a community of people, we need each other, and we don't have to wait for a government answer to help.
* Republicans Hypocrisy on health care is exposed when we look at the 2003 Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage bill which cost almost 50% more than the Senate health care bill and was passed by Republicans, grew the debt, and was far less efficient a bill. The Senate bill costs $848 billion over 10 years vs. the 2003 Republican Congress bill which ran $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Maybe it is time for the GOP to stand up and pass health care for people, not just kick backs for pharmacutical companies.