Sasstoday's Blog

The Inconvenienced President
August 18, 2010, 7:29 pm
Filed under: Political Commentary

One gets the nagging, uncomfortable feeling that President Obama is inconvenienced by the rigors of the job he so desperately sought: that he must somehow fit the “distasteful” aspects of the most powerful position in the world (dealing with wars and terrorism and a disastrous economy, for example) in between golf games, vacations, celebrity functions, dates and campaigning.

The President was in his element during his own campaign; the national news media pranced in his path tossing rose petals before him. His charm, his grin, his lanky physique, his ability to give a rousing, if not rather vacuous speech, gave him the platform in which he excelled. Then came the election. Then came the Inauguration. Then came the Presidency. Then came tough decisions about war and death, a bad economy, race issues, oil spills, foreign disasters, and those pesky Arizonans and other Americans who think laws ought to be enforced.

It’s unsettling to feel as if the President of the United States wants to be President for the perks; but the rest of the job? Just one big hassle.  President Obama knows as well as any politician that appearances matter and in some cases they matter a lot. 

President Bush gave up playing golf in 2003 out of respect for our war dead and their families. Barack Obama has played more golf in his first 18 months in office than President Bush played in eight years and Obama continues to play. The time for games is over, Mr. President.


Tea Anyone?

Yours truly plans to emcee the Columbia Tea Party rally Thursday at South Carolina’s Statehouse. Now, while definitely a fiscally conservative bunch I didn’t realize being fiscally conservative also made one a racist, homophobe and moron to boot. But those are the prejudiced comments being hung around the necks of people who, on the whole, are simply saying city, state and federal big spenders need to SLOW DOWN and be accountable for how much they spend. Duh.

The national deficit is 1.4 trillion dollars. The national debt (take a look at the national debt clock and watch the numbers zoom by) is up to 12.8 trillion (OOPS! It just changed by more than 4 billion: the amount by which the debt is growing DAILY.) A few billion/trillion here, a few billion/trillion there; what’s the fuss? Oh, I forgot to factor in the INTEREST on the debt. Who can keep up?

Here’s where the media folks could help out. People who work for TV, newspapers and blogs should never use the term “the federal government” when referring the ga-zillions of dollars “the federal government” (sorry, I’m trying to make a point here) doles out to individuals, cities, states, entitlements etc. etc. etc., and for grants, grants, grants, etc. etc. etc.

All the media have to do instead is say “taxpayer dollars” will fund…blah, blah, blah (see the above). Too many Americans think the federal government has money. The federal government has no money, except yours.

I don’t think most people fuss all that much about paying their taxes (believe it or not, my tax preparer just e-mailed me what I owe as I write this: how cruel!) when they feel it’s fair and that their money is being used wisely. That’s just not the case anymore on a local, state or national level and people are just a tad fed up. Good for them.

Stay tuned for sasstoday’s first ever tea party experience. Now, I’ve got a check to write by April 15th to “you-know-who”.

Ream the Deem Bill

New Update: House Dems drop ‘deem and pass’ in favor of separate vote on Senate health bill. (Score one for the American people.)

Now back to my original post on 3-19-2010 which I still deem quite worth the read.

As we move forward on the health care non-debate and the House prepares to pass the Senate bill by voting on it, or not, they may just “deem” it passed, at that point I guess they can just beam the deemed, virtually unseen, bill to the President. He will deem it wonderful and voila! A new entitlement unlike any we have dared deem possible takes over one-sixth of the American economy (keep those presses rollin’…rollin’…rollin’…rollin…we need that paper money….your hide!!!!). And then we’ll all find out what government deems best for us.

It’s the compassionate thing to do afterall; we’re talking about people’s lives here. Deem, I mean dern, straight! Problem is government is a “thing”; “things” do not have compassion. People have compassion. But even said people, once named to a board that has to make decisions based on available monies, well, may not “deem” you deserve the health care you need. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (Rahm’s brother btw, known as “Zeke” to his peeps, and a key health advisor to the President) advocates for a “whole life system”. So,  some Medicare board would decide based on statistics, life expectancy, etc, whether let’s say “you” are worth life prolonging procedures. Those most at risk are people who are sick,  have special needs, are elderly or suffer from conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s.

When government’s in charge, when the doctor shortage hits crisis stage (one survey indicates nearly half say they’ll get out of medicine entirely or retire early if Obamacare passes) and you throw in 30 million more people, that’s called “rationing”. That’s called nobody’s happy. And the most vulnerable patients are going to be the pricey ones: the ones who just cost too much money and statistically might not be “deemed” such a great bargain.

And let’s go over this… very… slowly….and…. carefully….and… clearly. Yes, the health care system is broken, yes, it needs fixing, and yes, we need something like high-risk insurance pools for people with pre-existing conditions; how-many-times-do-people-have-to-say-that-before-it-gets-through.

But we have this itsy-bitsy problem. We don’t have any money.  Medicare alone has 36-100 trillion (can you write out 100 trillion dollars? How many zeros do you see? Lots and lots of zeros) in unfunded liabilities (ie: no money to pay for all those baby-boomers comin’ into the system, like, ALREADY).

Now the President LOVES to talk about cutting Medicare fraud and waste by 500 billion and then (this just slays me) spending it on something else to save. Savings? Zero (duh).  And sasstoday wonders why the President never talks about reforming or cutting Medicaid, which anyone can tell you is rife with rotgut waste, fraud and abuse. And Americans again have an itsy-bitsy problem believing that the government can spend 900 billion to 2 trillion dollars and save money and cut fraud, waste and abuse in programs it created and from which it has yet to cut fraud, waste and abuse.

And now the House finally has a final (maybe) bill. The Senate has a final (maybe) bill. Now the American people will get to hear a lively and in-depth debate about what’s actually in these bills, how they work and how the American people will pay for all this; it is a new era of bi-partisanship and transparency. NOT! The thing most transparent to the American people is the corruption of government. There are a few undecided Democrats out there who could decide to vote “no”—that is, if they don’t a quick ride on Air Force One first.

(Disclosure: there are some snarky comments about sasstoday and how she gets her health care. They are in my comments box.  I will answer them in six months, so said readers can get used to waiting, Canadian style, for non-essential health care concerns to be addressed.)

Obamacare Chart: Philip KleinObamacare Chart: Philip Klein

Thelma & Louise Moment (and not just for Pres.)

UPDATE: Bill O’Reilly leads his show with story sasstoday first wrote about Nov. 15, 2009 (Refer to “Docs in a Box”; I love vindication.)

Now back to the main story:

President Barack Obama has said passing health care is a “Thelma and Louise” moment. So I guess that means we’re all going over the cliff as Gina Davis and Susan Sarandon did in the movie? Maybe so. Americans are getting increasingly used to Big Government taking care of all their ills but when it comes to a government takeover of the entire health care system at least the American people are stopping, pausing, asking themselves: “Do we really want government to get this big? Do we really want our children, and children’s children, and children’s children’s children’s children…(could go on and on) to be saddled with inconceivable debt?” And do we want Big Government, which can’t run any solvent program, to be in the hospital room with us when decisions are being made about whether we’re allowed certain procedures, that involve, oh… things like whether we live or die?

The latest Rasmussen poll indicates Americans get it, God bless ’em. We care not just about our immediate, personal health care and its costs but about the long-term implications for the nation as a whole. 57% of voters believe that passage of the legislation would hurt the economy. Only 25% believe it would help. And 81% of the American people, God bless ’em, say it’s likely the plan will end up costing more than projected. Wonder where they get that idea? Only 10% say the official numbers are likely to be on target.

And, and, OMG! Is there any wonder the American people don’t trust Big G to do the right thing by them when it comes to health care when Nancy Pelosi says this week (“I kid you not” as we liked to say in high school, a phrase that could aptly preface just about everything the Democrats are doing in Washington and that I think we should revive in popularity); so anyway, Madam Speaker’s quote (I kid you not!) was, “…we have to pass our bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.” I kid you…sorry, nevermind, you get my point.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
And most Americans, God bless ’em, seem to get this notion that you can’t spend between 900 billion and two trillion dollars and costs go down.  And when it comes to cost, I’ll pay for your gall bladder surgery, your back surgery, your heart surgery, your knee replacement, but geez, don’t ask me to pay for your abortion.

I’d prefer the fog of controversy stay in Washington where it belongs and not in our doctors’ offices and in our hospital rooms: preferably not the places for “the fog”. I know plenty of people, myself and many friends and relatives included, who, on paper,  don’t look very procedure-worthy (ie: we’d be told to take a painkiller instead of getting a pacemaker as the President urged at a town hall meeting for one woman’s elderly mother). We’re not talking little procedures here, we’re talking life-saving procedures that we might desperately want and need, thank you very much.  By the way, the “virtual” colonoscopy (approximately 15 minute) procedure the President had recently is not allowed for ordinary Americans on Medicare. Two days of dealing with colonoscopy prep and procedure, like everyone else his age and older has to endure, is worth a whole lot o’ speech giving time on health care bills that I still don’t think anyone in Congress has read. Based on Pelosi’s comment we won’t know what’s in the final bill until it’s too late.  Say what? (Another phrase that should come back.) 

For those of you living completely healthy lives and thinking government-run health care is just dandy  keep in mind somethin’s gonna get ‘cha: old age, accident, disease, whatever, sooner or later.  And  somebody, somewhere, in some agency who could care less who you are or how much you want to live and thrive and experience life, making decisions about said life, scares the bejesus out of me. If you think insurance companies are bad (which by the way make whopping profits of 3-6% but the President’s got to demonize somebody at this point) wait ’til government’s calling the shots on your life.

No one’s saying we don’t need changes in health care; we just don’t need THESE changes, whatever they are, which after a year of debate on C-span (hahahahahaha!) are still 4500 pages of mysterious, legalistic gooble-dee-gook.

Political Cartoon by Ken Catalino

By at least a two-to-one margin the people are saying “Stop, No, Don’t Go!” to the President’s Thelma and Louise over the cliff health care debacle. But the President isn’t listening, doesn’t want to listen or is too arrogant to listen,  take your pick, and will send a few Democrats over the cliff and parachute out of the car just in time for his own re-election bid in 2012.  I just wish the American people weren’t in that car and had parachutes too. And darn it, I want a 15 minute, virtual, no-prep colonoscopy next time!

If At First You Don’t Succeed…
February 24, 2010, 8:36 pm
Filed under: News Views | Tags: , ,

Try a panel. Or a group. Or a workshop. Or a commission. Or a forum. Or a summit. Or another summit. Or another panel, another group,  another forum, another workshop, another commission.

Tomorrow we get “Yea!” Another summit. (Right after the U. S. Senate passed another  “Jobs Bill”  ie: another stimulus that stimulates nothing). But back to another summit: the much ballyhooed six-hour health care summit hosted by President Barack Obama in which he decides to have a huge, media blather, blather, blather photo-op  fourteen months after his election which is apparently his idea of “transparency”. And we, we silly Americans thought the President’s campaign promise of a new era of hope and change and transparency really meant Congress would have to open some of those still closed-door negotiations on something as critical as your and my health and life and independence and happiness. Did that happen? We all know the answer.  But now, at last we get the oft promised transparency–when the bill is seriously ill and therefore may be subjected to death. (Anyone have an aspirin out there?!) We finally get transparency and boy is it easy see through, or what?

President Obama meets with Republicans on February 25th to try to put his legislation on life support (but it’s ailing badly which begs the question: Should it really be allowed to live?) And actually it’s reported the President will only have eleven pages of legislative negotiating points (compared to the 4500 pages of the actual bills). Those eleven pages are evidently all the White House has ever come up with or is willing to talk about. The President himself never proposed a health care bill at all; he left it completely up to the wildly partisan Pelosi/Reid conjoined Democrats who originally wanted to unravel the health industry in a mere six weeks. But the people said, “No, no, no! (like you say to a two-year-old except you have to raise your voice a bit or write a lot of letters). Ah, the people: those stubborn Americans who get in Congress’s way and gunk up the smoothly oiled political machine. The people (those silly, silly Americans who rather like their doctors and the overall excellent quality of U.S. health care) have already spoken: chuck it and start over. Does that “sum-mit” up?

sasstoday Helps Administration Understand “Anger”
February 15, 2010, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Political Commentary

Since the Obama Administration doesn’t seem to get the whole “anger” thing among millions of Americans, Sasstoday is willing to help explain it.  Here’s a list of a few things that have turned and are turning the people against the President and his Liberal, ie: Progressive ie: Democratic pals in power. They can thank me later.

Creating a health care nightmare

Spending trillions

Calling concerned citizens “mobs”

Spending trillions

Siding with Honduras’s unconstitutional president

Spending trillions

Kowtowing to Iran while protestors die

Spending trillions

Snubbing the Dalai Lama

Spending trillions

Handing out cash for clunkers

Spending trillions

Dithering on Afghanistan

Spending trillions

Golfing while dithering

Spending trillions

Dithering on N. Korea

Spending trillions

Campaigning instead of governing

Spending trillions

Blaming instead of governing

Spending trillions

Bailing on The Czech Republic & Poland

Spending trillions

Believing China

Spending trillions

Believing Russia

Spending trillions

Believing Iran

Spending trillions

Avoiding calling terrorism terrorism

Spending trillions

Criticizing Israel

Spending trillions

Not criticizing brutal Arab regimes

Spending trillions

Growing government not jobs

Spending trillions

Denigrating America

Spending trillions

Funding abortions via health care

Spending trillions

Funding health care for illegal aliens

Spending trillions

Planning to rob, not fix, Medicare

Spending trillions

Fining and/or jailing people over health care

 Spending trillions

Saluting the fallen for a photo-op

Spending trillions

Bailing on transparency

Spending trillions

Granting civilian trials to KSM

Spending trillions

Mirandizing the Christmas Day bomber

Spending trillions

Taking credit for ending the Iraq War

Spending trillions

Mentioning Ft. Hood massacre after “shout outs”

Spending trillions

Going on TV (ad nauseam)

Spending trillions

Bowing to foreign leaders (ad nauseam)

Jumping to conclusions about police officers

Not jumping to conclusions about terrorists

 Sasstoday hopes it’s enlightened the President and Co. a bit but somehow we doubt it. And aside from copious amounts of “sass” we also generously and willingly offer “sensibility”; therefore, the President gets big bravos for listening to his Commander in Afghanistan and sending the reinforcements requested. Wonder where he got the idea for a “surge”?

Clinton and Canadian Benefit from US Health System

As the nation wishes President Clinton a speedy recovery following his February 11th heart procedure, one can’t help but be glad he doesn’t live in Canada. The former President started having problems earlier in the week. He called his doctor. His doctor said come on in. Clinton checked into the hospital Thursday, had a procedure (which is probably still considered miraculous in much of the world but commonplace in the U.S.) to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. He went home the very next day.

Let’s contrast this with the medical situation of Danny Williams. Williams is the premier of Canada’s east coast province of Labrador and Newfoundland. Canada as we all know has a universal health care system. Williams just underwent heart surgery in the United States because the treatment he needed is not available in his home province, or possibly in all of Canada? (I mean, he talked this over with his doctors who evidently didn’t dissuade him from leaving Canada because he’s here, not there, having it done).

Meanwhile, back in Newfoundland the opposition Liberal Leader offered Williams her wishes for his full recovery. But she also says he owes the public (doesn’t that strike you as a bit odd when it comes to a person’s private medical decisions?) more of an explanation about exactly what procedure he needed and why he felt it necessary to go to the U.S.

Let’s see? Could it be the reason most people from other countries come to the U.S. for serious surgery? Maybe because it’s the best in the WORLD? Maybe because you don’t have to wait weeks or months and risk dying in the process.

A warm “Get well soon!” to both men recovering in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Oh! I just had a thought. Before subjecting Americans to Canadian style medical treatments (or lack thereof) let’s let House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, study the Canadian system the Democrats fawn over. She can even use her taxpayer-funded jet to fly to Canada for any and all medical procedures she needs. This would be an excellent way for her to experience, first hand, the benefits of the marvelous Canadian system. Canada is, after all, a lot closer to D.C. than her home state of California. Just think of the money it would save taxpayers. Pelosi would miss a lot of closed-door health care negotiations back in Washington while she sits in Canadian waiting rooms like the rest of the folks up there, but hey, that’s what Blackberries are for.