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Thoughts on Events the Week of November 4

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 4, 2017

Obamacare: The Senate failed, again, with its latest, and let’s hope last, attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare with a plan that doesn’t do anything the Republican president promised it would. You can’t put lipstick on a pig and call it Melania.

Although the whole process seemed like utter chaos, it follows a predictable pattern. Important social progress begins small and under vicious attack from reactionary forces, but as its value becomes recognized, it is accepted, grows in popularity and expands. (Republicans are right about this part.)

Would it be too much to ask now for Republicans to work with Democrats and improve the existing legislation? Two items will make it safer, better and less expensive:

  1. Strengthen the mandate. Require participation from everyone, or make the penalty the same as the cost of the insurance. This will spread the risk (the whole point of insurance), increase the revenue and reduce the average cost per patient.
  2. Enable the government to negotiate prescription drug prices, which is presently prohibited by law – thank you President Bush, you moron. It’s like telling Walmart it can’t charge less than other retailers because, well, it just can’t.

Everyone complains about rising drug prices (I’ve certainly seen me do it). The U.S. government is the biggest purchaser of prescription drugs in the world. How much lower would drug prices be if the biggest customer could use its leverage? Even Ponzi Don could negotiate this deal.

There; that should do it. Though, there are a lot more improvements that could be, and should be made, such as allowing insurance companies to sell health insurance across state lines, a Republican idea I’m fine with. Why do we need 50 insurance regulating agencies rather than just one anyway, other than to inflate state bureaucratic payrolls?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Ponzi Don is mad at this sorry guy because he says McConnell can’t get anything done, which is utterly laughable. McConnell is the only one who has gotten anything done; Ponzi should be kissing McConnell’s shoes.

Ponzi’s only “win” is the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court. But if McConnell hadn’t abused the Constitution egregiously, that Justice would have been appointed by President Obama, as the Constitution intended, and it wouldn’t have been Gorsuch.

Kurds: The autonomous region of majority Kurds in Northern Iraq voted to leave Iraq and become an independent country, and I wish them well. Almost everyone except the Kurds opposes this, including the United States government.

Our opposition is disingenuous, short-sighted and stupid. First, this split is inevitable. It was inevitable even before President George W. Bush lied us into invading Iraq in 2003. Iraq is not a country. It is a triptych cobbled together by Europeans without appreciation of the polar likes – Sunnis and Shiites – they were trying to unite.

Second, the Kurds are our only true Muslim friends in the region. We should support them in every way we can. They have supported us in every way, even our misadventures. This is amazing when you consider that we have betrayed their trust more than once, most egregiously by President George H.W. Bush. What has that family got against the Kurds, anyway?

Iraq doesn’t want to give up the oil under Kurdish soil. But the Kurds owe Iraq nothing. They were persecuted mercilessly under Hussein.

Countries neighboring Iraq with Kurdish minorities are afraid their Kurds will start agitating for more autonomy. Could happen, depending on how they are being treated where they are. Dishes such as independence can become very popular, to wit:

“A patron while dining at Crewe,

found an elephant dong in his stew.

Said the waiter, “Don’t shout

and wave it about

or the others will all want one, too.”

 

Our position is more proof, as if more is needed, that the U.S. will support the status quo, no matter how untenable the status quo may be, in the name of stability.

Women Drivers: Saudi Arabia’s monarchy made the streets of Riyadh less safe this week, by allowing women to drive. Just kidding. This hidebound, ultra-conservative nation is the last to allow women this privilege. At this rate of progress they may stop stoning women for adultery soon.

Football: The Dallas Cowboys played on Monday night in Phoenix and beat the Arizona Cardinals by 11 points – 28 to a 17.  The game was tougher than the score might indicate. All of Dallas’ best offensive players made a great play. DeMarcus Lawrence was a beast on defense.

The Cowboys’ Achilles heel has been its defensive backfield. Bad drafts, bad acquisitions and bad luck have kept Dallas scrambling back there. This year, reasoning there were lots of good defensive backs in the draft, Dallas did a house cleaning, and let a number of their backs go. I agree with many of their decisions – Carr was not worth the investment in him, Clayborn didn’t pan out like I thought he would, etc. – but it was risky.

The Cowboys did get a couple of good backs recently, and had a good draft for them this year, too. But that injury bug has kept biting, with the result on Monday night, Dallas was fielding a defensive backfield with a lot of talent and promise but not a lot of experience.

This caused some serious scrambling, but the young and the backup players responded. What they lacked in experience they made up for with effort and energy. It wasn’t a work of art nor an art of war, but it was enough to win. Cowboy management should be pleased. I was.

Sudden Thought: Let me get this straight. If I buy a ticket for an NFL game (I checked on tickets for the Cardinals v. Cowboys game Monday night. The only ones I could afford cost $115 each), and if any of the players take a knee in protest during the National Anthem, then I should walk out of the stadium without even seeing the kick-off. I watched on TV instead.

More Football: Sunday, the Cowboys lost 35 to 30 at home to a much improved Los Angeles Rams football team, and looked very ordinary doing it. The defensive deficiencies were exposed. The vaunted offensive line couldn’t protect Dallas’ quarterback Dak Prescott, who is having a sophomore slump.  If you score 30 points, you ought to win an NFL game, but the Cowboys didn’t even look like a playoff team today. Have I mentioned recently that I don’t think much of Dallas’ coaching staff?

The Oklahoma Sooners had an open date this weekend. I watched some of some Big XII games, but didn’t see much of interest.

Status of the States: or, who was Moore Strange? Alabama, the most recently enshrined worst state, took the cup for its Republican primary. Voters chose between a candidate who is completely corrupt and one who is completely crazy. Alabama chose crazy (in Louisiana or New Jersey, it might have gone the other way).

 

The oddest thing about this contest, however, was that Luther Strange was marketed as the “establishment” candidate, and was supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (and President Ponzi Don, but that’s a Carol for another Christmas). What the hell was the Republican Party thinking supporting either one of these miscreants, let alone calling Strange an establishment candidate? He’s crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

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