Last Time I Checked

Post-election coverage

November 4, 2010
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has brought good news and bad news.  The good news is that the money I’ve spend in the past for my HP printer and my ebay auction items didn’t help elect Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina.  And it’s good news that wrestling fans’ investments in the sport didn’t support the win of Linda McMahon.  The bad news of course is the we Americans are so caught up in the hype, rely too much on Fox News input, and lack a basic education in our system of government to understand that it’s a politician’s job, his/her only job, to get elected!  

My top dreams for this country:

  • Campaign reform that includes truth in advertising, limits on spending, public disclosures on contributions from corporations, PACS, and individuals, campaign time limits, and a prohibition on the use of public resources under the guise of outreach to voters (i.e., mailings to constituents) in an election year
  • More campaign reform that includes strict time limits for broadcast and requires equal access to the opposition candidates 
  • Get lobbyists out of Washington and require legislators to meet with them in their home office; this will be a stimulus to local economies and eliminate the unfair advantage in access that lobbyists have to our representatives 
  • Ethics in politics: censor false statements and punish extreme hyperbole made by office holders at all levels
  • Transparency that gives the public adequate opportunity to review proposed legislation and requires congress to report back to constituents via a radio, TV, web-based, or town hall meeting on the legislation in an objection fashion
  • More coverage of legislators on C-Span (thanks to the House Majority speaker for this idea and for suggesting greater transparency)
  • Health care insurance for all Americans, paid for by both the public and private sectors, with provisions to eliminate waste, fraud, and restrictions to women’s reproduction medical procedures (if the pubs say they want less government, let them start by getting out of our bathroom, bedroom, and doctor’s office!)
  • Enforcement of the separation of church and state
  • Taxation on large corporate and individual contributions made to 501 (c) (4) organizations (this would include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other member-based organizations)
  • Elimination of many of Bush’s tax cuts, especially to individuals earning, say, $300,000 or more, but certainly those earning 6 figures
  • A more simplified tax structure but an increase in deductions for middle-class wage earners
  • Elimination of the ceiling on Social Security taxes so that we do not have to keep increasing the retirement age and do not have to worry that cuts will have to be made in the future
  • No more tax credits for oil companies 
  • No more tax credits for overseas companies unless – perhaps – there is a proven and direct connection that benefits the United States economy
  • Re-define what constitutes a small business
  • Public supported K-12 education that requires knowledge of U.S. history, the constitution, and our political system in order to get a diploma
  • Set a goal to bring back manufacturing jobs from countries like China that risk our national security and health (food and drugs for example)
  • Research the impact of immigration to our economy – the benefits vs the drawbacks economically – and give the facts to Americans
  • Stop wasting money building border walls
  • Decriminalize drugs and if we’re not going to eliminate privatized prisons, make them fully accountable and keep them from influencing legislation like they did in Arizona which is a huge conflict of interest
  • Reinstate regulations of the banking and investment industry to protect Americans from ever having to go through a financial crisis like this one again!
  • Change the Department of Agriculture subsidies to benefit local farmers instead of large corporations

Back to it

November 2, 2010
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on election day.  I have to admit I’m feeling a bit sick to my stomach, but I hope the dems have countered the foolish tea partiers’ rants and that most of America is still sane.  It’s hard to tell with some of the things I see on TV or read in the paper (whether people are sane in this country).  The pubs definitely are great fear mongerers, and it must be hard on them to see things like Stewart’s rally last weekend in Washington. 

During this campaign and all the accompanying political ads I was pretty shocked to see an ad with a world war II vet protesting health care sponsored by an over-60 group.  He said something about the generation that fought for our freedoms.  I can’t equate freedom with not having healthcare.  Seems we’d be less free if we didn’t have it.  But maybe the dems moved too fast and maybe there are provisions in it that are bad.  I know I haven’t done much research to see the red flags.  But I do believe that in today’s world there is no excuse for every person not to have access to health care via universal coverage.  And universal coverage, in my mind, does not mean that it’s the only the government providing the coverage.  My son, who is in the medical field, told me today he wasn’t sure if he supported this.  He cited the people he sees who come in with an entitlement attitude, who are obese, etc.  He thinks this might further burden an already over-burdened industry (I say industry intentionally) because there would be no controls over who accesses health care that they might not need.  We didn’t get to talk very long about it, so I couldn’t really counter his argument about that.  But his perspective, while perhaps based on ignorance or fear, is probably shared with a lot of people who feel disenfranchised about the democratic processes in this country.  Or confused.  It’s easy for me to sit here and state that I believe every American should have health care insurance that provides adequate health care.  That’s a personal value I have.  But for those who don’t share that value, I ask them to think about what would happen to them if they no longer had coverage and could not afford to get treatment for a chronic or acute health problem.       

As I posted in Facebook today, nothing could be worse than the re-election of George W.  Not even Nixon’s re-election.  Nuff said.

Posted in The Last Word

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These days, I am mostly happy. Not wildly happy. Happy as in feeling very content with my life. Happy with my darling husband and wonderful family. Happy I have a pooch to keep me company. Happy that I pretty much get to choose and do whatever I want. That kind of happy.