Monday, July 27, 2009

Cornyn and Hutchison hypocritical as usual

While Senators, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, complain about the Obama administration and Democratic controlled Congress spending on the stimulus, the budget and potentially on health care reform their votes in favor of building seven more F-22 fighters for $1.75 billion are hypocritical in the extreme. Republicans including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Senators John McCain and John Kyl among others agreed that the F-22 was unnecessary and an inappropriate expenditure. Fortunately the vote to kill the F-22 was truly bi-partisan with 42 Democrats, 15 Republicans and 1 independent; unlike some other legislation lately which had only token Republican support.

Our senators claim to make their votes based on what’s good for Texas and the country but how is building a cold war era fighter that can’t be flown near an aircraft carrier and hasn’t been used in combat over Baghdad because its super-sensitive electronics can’t deal with the mass of radio signals good for the country?

I’ve heard some Republicans say they voted for the F-22 to save jobs; but their party generally claims, quite loudly, that government spending doesn’t create jobs, so which is it? There are plenty of worthwhile projects that $1,750,000,000 could fund including bridge repairs, building schools, green energy and energy efficiency projects that would pay dividends for all of us for years to come.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What bible are they studying?

I find the current debate about health care reform fascinating as it relates to religion and the Republican party and the contradictions therein. Specifically Republicans and Libertarians of all stripes complain that health care is not a right and therefore should not be in anyway run by or paid for by the government, yet most of these very folks at least claim to be pious Christians.

I’m not sure which bible the folks arguing against the “public option” or single-payer health care studied, but in my 12 years of Catholic education I was taught Christian charity, love thy neighbor and that feeding the poor and healing the sick were the attributes of a true Christian. I doubt anyone would call Catholicism a liberal faith given the Church’s stand on abortion and gay marriage so I don’t see where its teachings can be said to be a liberal.

So the question is what have others learned from their religious education that causes them to favor withholding medical care from folks too poor to pay for it? What bible are they studying? In mine when Jesus healed the sick he didn’t ask for a co-pay. I don’t think Sister Agnes, my elementary school principal, would approve of what these folks have taken away from their bibles.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Every day we hear the same health care myths from politicians and industry alike, but what are the facts?

Myth - The U.S. has the finest health care in the world.
Fact - If that were so we wouldn’t rank 24th in life expectancy according to the World Health Organization. "Basically, you die earlier and spend more time disabled if you’re an American rather than a member of most other advanced countries," according to Christopher Murray, M.D., Ph.D., Director of WHO's Global Programme on Evidence for Health Policy.

Myth - We don’t want a government run health care system like Canada where it takes a year to get a hip replacement.
Fact - Some hospitals in some provinces do take that long but many if not most don’t. We don’t really know for sure how long it takes in the U.S. since there is no standard for nor central collection point for this data. But let’s assume that as the opposition to health care reform claims hip replacements only have waiting lists of six weeks in the U.S., guess who pays for the vast majority, none other than Medicare the federally run single payer system.

Myth – If we have government run health care then health care will be rationed.
Fact – Health care is rationed now in the U.S. to a much greater degree than any other developed country.

Myth – Government run health care won’t let you choose your doctors.
Fact – Private insurance companies don’t let you choose your doctor, if the doctor you wish to see isn’t in your network, either you don’t see them or you pay the bill yourself.

Myth – Government run health care will tell your doctors which medications they can prescribe.
Fact – Private insurance already tells your doctors which medications they can prescribe by limiting what they will pay for or how high your co-pay will be.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Our country is endangered by neo-Nazi infilitrators in our armed forces

July 12, 2009

The Honorable Henry Cuellar
336 Cannon H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
phone: 202-225-1640
fax: 202-225-1641

Dear Congressman Cuellar,
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports a continuing surge in racial extremists infiltrating our military. It’s imperative that our armed forces are not inadvertently training future domestic terrorists. We must not wait for another terrorist action like the Oklahoma City bombing by Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh to wake up to the fact that a rising number of bad apples have joined the U.S. military for this express purpose.

What I find truly disconcerting is that the Pentagon appears to consider homosexuals who serve honorably more of a threat to the good order of the military than neo-Nazis who reject our Constitution's most cherished principles. While the military has discharged more than 12,500 service members because of their alleged homosexuality since 1994, it has refused to adopt a true "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to extremists in the military.

There is no place for neo-Nazis in our military as they endanger their unit members as well as those of us at home when they return. The overwhelming majority of our courageous men and women in uniform reject extremism and are dedicated to our nation's highest ideals. We owe it to them — and to the American public — to ensure that the ranks are as free of extremists as possible.

I urge you to support an immediate investigation of the military’s induction standards and push for adoption of a “zero tolerance” policy regarding extremists of any type.