Thoughts on Events the Week of March 31

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on April 6, 2014

Obamacare: The deadline for enrollment passed, and Obamacare met its goal. In fact, the goal was exceeded. The original goal was seven million sign ups, but after the botched kick-off of the website, the Obama administration lowered its sights to six million. In the end, the figure was at least 7.1 million, with those in line at the deadline still to be accepted and counted. Add on the new enrollees in Medicaid, and the total of people with new healthcare coverage will be at least 10 million.

The Administration had less faith in its product than I, who predicted they would reach the 7 million goal, and that the launch glitch would become a distant memory by election time.

But, I’m not as giddy as were they when the goal was met. I won’t be happy (except for our personal joy at getting platinum coverage for Cynthia for half the cost of our mediocre coverage previously) until this first step has evolved to a single payer system, or a market-based system with a choke chain around the market’s neck (see Japan).

It will be interesting to see the Republican reaction to the successful launch. To date, they have bet the ranch on pandering to repeal Obamacare, even though they knew this would not happen. Now they will have to come up with a new line, or perhaps even propose an alternate plan.

Of course, they don’t have such a plan, so focused have they been on repeal and denial. If they do come up with a workable plan, I’ll ask, and I hope others will wonder, why they didn’t come forward with it earlier on, when it might have been discussed, rather than spend two years in futile denial, especially since Obama asked them to come forward if they had any ideas to improve Obamacare. Their refusal is ample evidence, as if more were needed, that they just couldn’t stand the idea of Obama’s having any success, even for something they knew would benefit millions of us.

Ryan Budget Redux, Redux: The Ayn Rand mini-me introduced yet another ludicrous, mean spirited budget, which even his Republican colleagues denounced almost before he could finish his speech. When challenged on the obvious and odious nonsense in his budget, Ryan responded with words to the effect that he didn’t really put the budget out as a serious proposal, just to put his position on record (read pander to his base). From the reaction, not even his base could swallow this one. When are conservatives going to stop thinking of this guy as a serious policy wonk, when he’s just a character out of Dickens?

The Supremes: pulled another chair out from under our campaign finance laws. I’m ambivalent about how to react to this. Maybe I shouldn’t worry too much about it. Big money donors have gotten precious little return on their investment in political races so far. I love to see these Plutocrats (make no mistake, with this latest Supreme Court decision we are officially no longer a Representative Democracy, but a Plutocracy, at least for now), lose their ass and hip pocket. This may have beneficial effects. Rich people don’t get rich by pissing away money. Maybe they will quit, but I am skeptical.

On the other hand, what I see today is so odious, so viscerally wrong, and so contrary to democracy, or even decent fairness, that I cannot be sanguine until it is reviled, and reformed. We’ve seen this before, in the satirically named “Gilded Age,” and it is vile, and it can be reformed.

I have been giving some thought to this, and I will post more comments about it on this blog within the next week and a half.

Afghanistan: Voted. It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen them do, including driving out the Russians. In the face of all that violence, they went to the polls and expressed a determination to choose their government. I’m proud of them, whatever government they choose.

The only downside is that the new government, whoever it is, may let us keep some troops there, which I oppose. Afghanistan is, after all, still just a pile of rocks, not worth the risk to our troops to be there. On the plus side, though, we should soon get to see Hamid Karzai killed and eaten.

Ocotillos: Cynthia and I were in Scottsdale and saw the Ocotillos in full bloom. The Ocotillo is a tall spindly desert plant, many of which grow among the Saguaro Cacti, and whose blossoms are in small red clusters that sit upon the tops of the branches like little red flags. Seeing them in bloom among the Saguaros is one of my favorite sights. Interestingly, the Ocotillo blooms every spring at the same time, regardless of the weather, or the amount of precipitation over the previous winter. This assures that there is a source of food for hummingbirds as they migrate north in the spring. Ocotillos, Si!

Coming Attractions: Oops!  I’ve done it again, promising thoughts on reforming Plutocracy before they are written, but I will deliver timely.

2 Responses

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  1. Bob Keller said, on April 18, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I’ll respond to your Affordable Care Act comments on my blog in the next few days. I’m certainly happy for you and Cynthia and I’ll include a reference to your comments above in my essay.

    • EloiSVM42 said, on April 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      I look forward to reading your comments about Obamacare.

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