Pan o Palo


Cuckoo Bananas
December 19, 2009, 8:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.  — Will Rogers

It’s been a crazy (for lack of a better term) couple of weeks politically.  While the status quo has been busy maintaining the, uh, status quo, with regards to defense spending and loud commercials, they’ve also been busy gutting, molding, and attempting to remedy how health care is done in this country.

(bear with me…I’m being generous for adjective’s sake when I use words like gutting and molding)

Now that Democrats in the Senate have achieved their 60 85 120 votes they need to overcome a filibuster, and appeased the CBO gods, we’re supposed to rejoice and salute our uterus-controlling overlords for a job well done…well, the third of us that seemingly still approve of what’s in the current bill.

The art of compromise never looked so hideous.

There’s plenty of blame to go around.  There’s Obama, who really hasn’t looked the role of an effective leader in this regard.  There’s the rest of the Democratic Poobahs who went about this legislation with the gusto of a lethargic turd.  There’s the usual Rightist cast of characters perpetrating lies and fomenting faux populist outrage.  And there’s the rest of us that either sat it out or failed to be outraged or concerned and take up tactical means to push those in power.

Those with the megaphones were never interested in making this a better piece of legislation.  They were interested in being proven right and wag their finger at the rest of the world in order to say to us “I told you so!”.  Those with the ability to make this happen were only interested in having something to run on next year.  Those who made up the citizenry weren’t willing to stop traffic in order to prevent future cases of Stupak in women seeking abortions and limit the power that the ED/BigPharm lobby had on this legislation.

It’s sad, but I’m not done.

Mandates and restrictions on Women’s care are an outrage and something any conscionable person should stand against.  Reining in HMOs and their pals (I’m looking at you, Sens Franken and Klobuchar) should have been at the top of any bill.  The fact that they are allowed to veto so much of what effects our collective health is disgusting at minimum, and kleptocratic at most.

There was always going to be some guarantee that this bill wasn’t going to meet my expectations.  But the outright lack of substance in this bill is galling.  Sure, we’ll here snippets of what’s in and what’s out from our media elite, but who’s gonna go out and tell the rest of us that don’t listen to them how it’s gonna effect the rest of the populace?

Lucky for us, it’s not over, and there’s still a chance to junk the whole thing and start anew.  It’s looking less and less likely that’ll happen, so we must be heard and seen.

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Parsing Persnickety Progressive Pragmatism
December 4, 2009, 10:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

From Saturday’s Star Tribune, I give you State Senator John Marty:

If 21st-century progressives had led the 19th century’s abolition movement, we’d still have slavery. But we’d have limited slaves to 40-hour workweeks, and we’d be proud of the progress we’d made.

In earlier eras of U.S. history, progressives believed they could fight injustice and move society forward, and they did. Today, however, many progressives have lost faith in their ability to affect significant change. Many are content simply to tinker with problems, whether the issue is getting living wages for work, ending poverty or removing toxins from our food supply.

For example, consider universal health care. All progressives claim to support this, but many aren’t willing to fight for it — not because they believe it’s bad policy, but because they believe it is “politically unrealistic.”

While I’m not partial to equating past struggles to current events (yes, I know the famous quote), I think what Marty says is apt.  The larger issue here is progressives yoking themselves to a President and a congress who are clearly not progressive.

“Progressive”, like other political terminology, has been bastardized under the influx of new and constant media.  As a result, it’s become harder and harder to recapture and re-redefine a lot of words that relate to politics.

I don’t know if there’s anything that can be done in this regard, but I applaud State Sen. Marty for calling progressives out in this instance.