It looks, just by the words of Sens. Nelson and Lieberman here from this morning on “Face the Nation” that Health care reform, at least in it’s current form, is dead. Nelson can’t abide a bill without strong abortion language, and Lieberman is a demanding lil S.O.B., and not only does he want the public option dead, he wants class act, a national insurance trust which would give a cash benefit for those who are “functionally disabled”, done away with, and he dislikes the medicare buy in.
Dammit, if this dumbass scuttles health care reform, he has to lose his job as head of the Senate homeland security committee, at the very least. THIS kind of thing would not happen if we only had a better handle on lobbyists and their money. Lieberman, like is fairly well known, is in the tank for the pharmaceutical companies, he has, after all, taken millions of dollars from insurance companies and those who work with them. Go to opensecrets.org and you’ll see who gives him the most money. Between lobbyists, health, and the insurance industry, he has gotten almost $16,000,000 in contributions over his career from these groups.
Curiously, Sen Nelson, while not getting anything like the money that Sen. Lieberman has, has the same top 3 contributing sectors, who have given him over half of the money he has received over his career, over $5,000,000 in contributions. They’ve been bought, regardless of how they vote, they’ve been bought. Others have actually made money like Sen. Lieberman has and are on the other side of this debate, but all that means is that Joe is easily bought, more pliant for whatever reason. And even if it isn’t true and his motives are entirely pure, the picture of impropriety that is created by the actions taken here makes a joke of everything we as a free people stand for.
Judges have to recuse themselves when they have a vested interest in a case, when they have skin in the game, as the saying goes. Where are the laws that put the same level of necessity of responsibility on our legislators that is necessary of our judges? Why has there been no outcry for that? All we really want is accountability from our duly elected representatives, and without some kind of protection from monied interests, we will never truly have that.
Barring that, we the people have no way to buy votes like these industries can do ourselves, so where does that leave us? Stuck adrift on a sea of lobbyist money, drowning or floating at their behest.
Larry Summers says the recession is over. Nice. I think we should wait to see the numbers get better, for companies to start hiring again before we start to make statements like that. There is a difference between only losing 11,000 jobs in a month, and gaining thousands of jobs.
A C-span viddy from Thursday with Elizabeth Warren. I like Liz, she’s good people. She needs to find a more prominent role in the Obama Administration. Like maybe Larry Sanders job.
That’s about it from here. Later!
Today’s nuggets, By Peter Drucker, via Wikiquote: what’s absolutely unforgivable is the financial benefit top management people get for laying off people. There is no excuse for it. No justification. This is morally and socially unforgivable, and we will pay a heavy price for it.
Political freedom is neither easy nor automatic, neither pleasant nor secure. It is the responsibility of the individual for the decisions of society as if they were his own decisions–as in moral truth and accountability they are.
The better a man is, the more mistakes will he make–for the more new things he will try. I would never promote a man into a top level job who had not made mistakes, and big ones at that. Otherwise he is sure to be mediocre.
Minor error and single sentence re-write 12:30 pm 12/14/09. Grammatical error fixed, 2:46pm, 12/18/09