Friday, January 26, 2007

I Love Ted Kennedy. So There.

People sure like to make fun of Ted Kennedy, but I love him. He just nails the
Republicans on the minimum wage.

"What is it about working men and women that you find so offensive?"

Once More, With Feeling: 'Twas the Night Before Fitzmas...

...and through Hootervill-age,
A hope was held out for an end to the pillage.
An end to the theft of American dollars,
An end to the demonization of scholars.

The people of Hooterville wished and they prayed
For justice and peace to be no more DeLayed.
They longed for the day that their country would be
No longer a captive of venality.

For many a year now, the Hooterville people
Have cried, "What's the matter with all of you sheeple?
How can you just sit there and let this go on?"
But, sadly, their outrage was met by a yawn.

And those who were stealing from those who have least,
Rampaging like some kind of greed-maddened beast,
Were holding us up, shouting, "This is a heist!
So put up your hands in the name of our Christ!"

Then, what to our wondering eyes should appear
But a man speaking words that we so longed to hear:
"It's time for the Piper at last to be paid"
And Hooterville happily hip-hip-hoorayed.

Indictments all round for the scum who would claim
That they'd never known Wilson or Valerie Plame
And all along, vengeance had been the sole reason
To 'out' our own agent, and so commit treason.

For war must be waged, and their coffers be filled -
Who cares about mothers whose sons have been killed?
Who cares for the dying, the crying, the hurtin' -
Just look at those profits for ol' Halliburton!

It's time for the hammer of justice to fall;
Time we put a stop to it once and for all.
A stop to corruption, and cronies, and lies.
Let's stop before one more American dies.

And what do I want 'neath my own Fitzmas tree?
A Scooter, a Rover, maybe a Cheney!

(I keep trotting this old chestnut out, but it's kind of timely just now.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Let's Talk Health Care.

Today, I found out that what I thought was the flu was actually a kidney infection. Not bad enough to go to the hospital, thank God, but pretty darn painful.

I'm one of the lucky ones. For now.

I have Screen Actors Guild insurance, which is fairly comprehensive. It used to be free if you made a certain amount of money yearly through SAG. A few years ago they started charging a premium. Extremely low - $150 a quarter - but a premium nonetheless, no matter how much money you made through SAG. Every year, we've been making less and less money through SAG. Barring a miracle, in a few years we won't make enough money to qualify for that plan. Of course, since we're vested, we can self-pay about $900 a month.


It might as well be $9000 a month as far as our ability to pay that goes.

Along with that, my GP who I've been going to for 18 years has decided this year to close his regular practice, and open up a 'boutique' practice, with more personal service and no waiting to get in. All this for the modest fee of $1800 a year - double that for the 2 of us. On the one hand, I'm crushed. I started going to him when he was a new young doctor - we had kids around the same time, and he's been there for me through a lot of medical issues over the years. On the other hand, I can't say I blame him. Doctors are forced to see so many patients that it gets to be like a treadmill. There's no time to actually be a doctor, hardly - to be able to actually spend the time with a patient. Can you blame him for trying to find a little quality in life? If I could afford it, I'd sign up for his service, but I can't.

I have a wonderful OB/GYN who I was able to call today. Thank goodness it was close enough to being GYN that I could call him. I've been going to him almost as long as to my GP, and I'm worried that he, too, will 'wise up' and pack it in. He's one of that rare breed that goes beyond the call of duty. He's no warm-and-fuzzy, cuddly type - he's better. He is always there, always concerned about doing his very best to care for his patients, as is his staff (including his head-nurse wife). You can tell a quality doctor by his or her staff, and he's had the same fantastic people since I've known him.

But if the so-called "health-care industry" has its way, people like my doctors are going to be just ground under, used up, and thrown out. All to fatten the bottom line of people who aren't even involved in health care, except to find new and creative ways to deny it to people who need it.

And I am, as I said, one of the lucky ones. We have got to get these leeches out of the system.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Live-blogging SOTU

I've been woefully lax.

I wouldn't be surprised if I've lost all my readers. But, as you know, I've had lots on my plate. Yesterday, I got the flu bug that I've been fending off for the last few weeks, and have been in bed all yesterday and today. Since I'm just laying here in bed, I thought I'd live-blog on my laptop. I'm listening with Mike Malloy to keep from screaming.

It's just incredible. Barely had he opened his mouth when he came out with that Luntzian phrase 'Democrat majority'. Then he went on to talk about "No Child Left Behind" and subtly espouse vouchers.

6:50 - Well, let's see - he's talked about health care. And his solution is to eliminate 'junk lawsuits'. Meaning, of course, closing off any avenues for redress after the overburdened health care system denies you care.

Private health accounts. Why do they get to profit from our misery?
What else? Oh yes, the economy is just peachy keen. Isn't that swell?

The Senate must give my judicial nominees their eager support and an immediate up-and-down vote. That's their job. My job's to give the orders, your job is to do what I say, see? Order-giving is hard work. Don't make my job any harder by arguing with me. It ain't no use.

And one of the most jaw-dropping statements of all - that "Yet one question has surely been settled — that to win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy." It has not, you cretin!!! Quit lying!

6:56 - Nucular, nucular, nucular. Sunni extremists?

Oh god. He's talking about an African. Yay Mtumbo. 'Son of the Congo'. Sounds a little too 'Little Black Sambo' for my taste, but that's just me.

And notice that he said "Global Climate Change" instead of Global Warming. The devil's in the details, folks.

Now he's praising a former gas-station attendant-turned-hero-soldier. Isn't that wonderful?

"We've been through a lot together"? You've put us through hell - that's what you mean.

7:05 - It's over. Nothing about Katrina. The silence screams. Waiting for Jim Webb.

7:17 - Jim's up. Missed first part, but got there in time to hear him mention Katrina.

He's talking about the difference between what constitutes a 'good economy' for the rich - high Dow - and what it means for the rest of us. He mentioned that it takes an average worker a year to make what an average CEO makes in a day.

"The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable – and predicted – disarray that has followed."

And he does not shrink from mentioning the Robber Barons. Here's the text of Jim Webb's response.

On C-Span, they're trying to find people who agree with Bush. The only one was what sounded like a very young guy saying, in effect, "I support Bush because he knows more than we do".

How Britney of him.

Here's the full text of the KKofK's SOTU. I can't do it any more.

Update - I just noticed, when I checked the transcript on Raw Story, they have written "Democratic majority" instead of what he said, which was
"Democrat majority". Check the tape!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Have You Ever Kept A New Year's Resolution?

Every New Year, we're awash in resolutions. This New Year, I'd like to ask a different question: Have you ever made one that you've kept?

I have. I made a resolution one year - can't remember which - to make sure I appreciated my life and the people around me as if it would be gone tomorrow.

I can honestly say that I have learned to do that. My life is so much richer because of it, and less stressful, too - I don't get aggravated at so many petty things, and I don't think I'll get caught wishing I had said "I love you". I make sure it gets said.

I wish I could be as successful with some of my other resolutions, such as losing weight. However, if I had to pick just one to keep, gratitude would be it, and I'm glad I have.

How about you? I'd love to hear yours - inspire me!