Politically Speaking, My Views on the Left the Right and Everywhere in Between

Final Call for Healthcare Reform

Posted in Issues, The Left, The Right, U.S political news by politicalily on March 7, 2010

President Obama has once again put out a call for Congress to schedule a final vote on healthcare reform. While passing healthcare reform would provide excellent political capital for President Obama and the Democrats it would also be excellent for the American people. The cost of health insurance is sky-rocketing at an alarming rate.Nearly everyone has seen their premiums increase and neither the American people nor the President have been able to get a straight answer from the insurance companies as to why they are massively raising premiums-by as much as 60% percent in states like Illionois. It seems as the cost of insurance raises the amount of coverage that they provide moves in the opposite direction. Preventive care is often not covered by insurance, the cost of preventive procedures is miniscule compared to the cost, both literally and metaphorically of the operations and procedure that result from preventive action not being taken.Preventive measures not being covered by insurance companies results in people skipping regular screenings and exams only to find themselves falling seriously ill to disease and conditions that could easily of been preventive or spotted and treated before they become severe. The high-cost of medical care paired with the low coverage of insurance leaves millions of Americans vulnerable every year. The other problem in the health insurance industry lies with the lack of coverage for pre-existing conditions. Those who have a history of medical problems or are more likely to fall ill, the people who need insurance the most,  find themselves exposed without insurance or paying astronomically high prices for insurance, while those who are healthy and require little medical assistance are insured. This is a backwards system that takes advantage of this sick and a system like this should not exist in a country like the United States. If we do not pass healthcare and allow those with pre-existing conditions to gain access to insurance we would be abandoning our sick and disabled, something I believe no politician would promote, but by voting against healthcare they would actively be doing . Republicans have said that the Democrats are trying to push something down the throats of Americans that they do not want, the Republicans are clearly mistaken. The American people have seen the problems in our healthcare system and fall victim to greedy insurance companies every day. The mother who can’t afford glasses for her child and watches him and his grades in school suffer everyday, the children who watch their parents grow sick but refuse costly care so their kids can attend college, the husband who watches his ailing wife die because they couldn’t afford a life saving procedure, these Americans are demanding health care reform and so is nearly every other person in the country. People have always said that those in Washington D.C are out of touch with voters and this has never been so true  of any politician than those who vote against reforming our healthcare system.

The whole health insurance system is broken and requires serious fixing. If all members of congress cannot come together and pass reform they are letting their constituents down. By letting healthcare reform die and by letting insurance companies continue to take advantage of hard-working Americans legislatures would be failing those who trusted in them and elected them into office. President Obama has called for a final vote and the American people have called for reform, the only question left is whether our congressmen and women will listen and answer that call.

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The President’s State of the Union

Posted in Politicians, U.S political news by politicalily on January 28, 2010

WOW! Barack is back! The President was his usual exceptionaly eloquent self and displayed remarkable political skills. I believe last night’s State of the Union is probably the best speech President Obama has ever given. If you want to know more about the best features of the President’s speech simply replace every “The President needs to” with “The President did” in my previous post. If you haven’t heard the full address I highly suggest finding a video of it and watching that video. President Obama’s first State of the Union was genius and a work of art!

The President’s address was the perfect mix of offense and defense. He addressed issues, such as the Massachusetts election, that are of political importance today. He defended his policies and his party and artfully reminded the Republicans whose fault all of our economic woes really are. His speech will really resonate with “main street” America. The President showed all of us that he cares more about the middle class than the fat cats. He strayed away from vague messages of hope and change and supplied detailed examples of what we are going to do. The American people will respond well to these details. The President responded to attacks that he cares more about healthcare then the economy by focusing on the economy and spending a relatively small amount of time discussing health insurance reform. Though he didn’t make healthcare the focus of his speech he promised that he would not be giving up on reforming our healthcare system, this was an amazingly artful way to handle a controversial issue like healthcare. After doing some damage control the President switched to the offense. The President surprised many people by throughly discussing green technology,energy and jobs. This is a excellent move on his part because it appeals to many people. Green energy helps the environment and provides jobs, two things most Americans want to happen. He also discussed plans for Iraq and Afghanistan that appeal to members of both parties. The President discussed many, many other issues, but I would rather discuss the overall tone of his address. The President’s address will unite Democrats and appeal to Republicans. He scolded both parties for the bitter partisanship and pleaded for it to end. He reassured Democrats that he is not giving up and that neither should they. Plus, I’m sure all Democrat’s in attendance enjoyed the backhanded jabs at Former President Bush. Though the Presidents’s address was somewhat partisan he also made a, what I consider to be succesful, attempt at reaching out to Republicans. He discussed issues, such as TORT reform and off-shore drilling, that are generally favored by Republicans and opposed by the President’s party. The President’s address also appealed to me because of the expertly placed doses of humor. The President’s speech was like a perfectly prepared Julia Child recipe, it was made up of all the most perfect ingredients and the end result was absolutely delectable!

Change We Might Still Believe in, Maybe

Posted in General, Politicians, The Left, The Right, U.S political news by politicalily on January 22, 2010

So Scott Brown won. It is not really that big of a deal. Sure Democrats no longer have a filibuster proof super majority, but they do have a majority in both houses, a Democratic President in office, and somewhat of a mandate from the people. The Democrats are still the ones in power. As for healthcare, I believe it will still pass. All President Obama has to do is get the House of Representatives to pass the Senate version and it could be on his desk by the end of the week. Of course Democrats in congress have shown that they are unorganized and fairly inefficient so it may take longer, but in theory it could work. Healthcare will still get passed because we have a determined President who will make it happen. Even if that is the only thing he accomplishes.

The voters of Massachusetts choose a Republican candidate because they are still looking for  change they can believe in. President Obama ran on a platform of change and so far things have pretty much stayed the same. Voters blame the party that is in power for all of the problems that our country is facing and rightly so. Democrats have shown that they may not be capable of getting us out of this mess and so voters have turned to the Republicans. Though I believe the American people are still wary of the GOP and have some confidence left in the left, though it is waning fast. Democrats need to take this election as a warning sign and get their act together. They have the power to transform our country right now because of their majority in congress, but if they don’t get something done and show the American people that they can solve the problems facing our nation, in November that power is going to be swept out from under their feet. President Obama if you think it is hard to get your party’s legislation through congress now, it is going to be impossible if you lose the majority. The Democrats will inevitably lose their majority if they keep up the status quo. The American People need some of that change they believed in.

A Sleepless Night for Democrats

Posted in Politicians, U.S political news by politicalily on January 18, 2010

Hopefully Democrats slept good last night because I can guarantee they wont tonight. With the election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat tomorrow I’m sure our President as well as every Democrat in the Senate have bitten their nails down to the quick . President Obama’s agenda depends on Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, winning tomorrow’s election. According to recent polls it looks as though it is going to be a very close race. A Suffolk University survey of three counties found Brown leading by double digits in all three. An ARG poll found Brown leading by seven percentage points, and a Research 2000 survey showed the race tie. Well it looks as though the Republican candidate, Scott Brown, is ahead, but in reality the race could go either way. If Brown wins the Democrats will loose their super majority and it will become even more difficult for the Democrats to push their legislation through congress. Coakley emphasized this by telling voters that a vote for her is a vote for President Obama and his extensive agenda which is popular throughout the state. The Coakley campaign has pulled out the big guns by bringing the President to Massachusetts to campaign across the state. President Obama also seems to have realized how crucial this election really is. The President stared in a last minute Coakley campaign ad featuring clips pulled from a rally. I have to say having the President of the United States in your camp is definitely an advantage.

The fate of the healthcare bill is in the hands of the voters of Massachusetts. Ted Kennedy, who previously held this Senate seat, was an outstanding advocate for healthcare reform and would of done everything in his power to make it happen. If I was a voter in Massachusetts going to the polls tomorrow I would keep in mind whose seat we are filling. Without a super majority in the Senate healthcare reform is more than likely going to fail. Choosing a Republican to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat when Healthcare reform depends on a Democrat occupying his seat seems disrespectful to his legacy. Either way this election is going to have huge implications for both parties. If you have any Democratic friends be nice to them tommorow because I’m sure they are going to be exhausted!

A Harry Situation

Posted in Issues, Politicians, U.S political news by politicalily on January 12, 2010

If you haven’t heard about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s so-called “racist” comments you must have suffered a power outage that restricted your television, computer, and radio usage. If you have just regained power and rushed to read my blog, first of all, thank you, but more importantly here is a recap of today’s headlining event. In the new book “Game Change” Reid is quoted as saying Obama could succeed as a black candidate in part because of his light-skinned appearance… and speaking without a “Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Many Republicans believe this portrays Reid as a racist and have called for him to step down as Senate Majority Leader. In response to the outcry of disapproval Reid called many promenient African-Americans, including the President, and apologized for his comment. I do not believe Reid’s comment is even the slightest bit racist. There is clearly no malicious intent and Reid is showing support for the black candidate, Barack Obama, not trying to demean him. Reid’s voting record also shows that he has been supportive of civil rights and is in no way a closet racist as some in Washington may be. His comment is in no way racist, though he could have worded it better.

Inevitably, the Republicans have grabbed a hold of this new found “scandal” and absolutely refuse to let go. I imagine every right-wing politician, especially those running for senate seats in the 2010 election, feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Causing a commotion over Reid’s comment will greatly benefit Republicans. Drawing attention to Reid’s comment is like pouring salt in the Democrat’s wounds. The Republicans know that the Democrats face a tough election in 2010 and by shrouding the head Senate Democrat in controversy they are just kicking them while they are down. The Republican’s also know that by ushering this to the political forefront they have found the President’s achillies heel. President Obama has been reluctant to discuss race even as candidate Obama, but this has forced him to respond. I belive this could be a move by the Republicans to counter President Obama’s graceful response to the Christmas Day terror attacks that has his approval ratings on the rise, a slight rise, but any ascension is good. President Obama will have  to make a response and that could be a tricky situation because we all now race is a sticky issue. While this may be a smart move on the Republicans part I think it is petty and a low blow. The Republicans are being huge hypocrites and they know it.

As for the Republican’s call for Reid to resign, not going to happen. Reid shouldn’t step-down because the democrats, the ones he leads, are behind him. Sure he is probably going to lose his Senate seat, and therefore his position as Senate Majority Leader, but he shouldn’t step-down. Reid should keep going and not give up, unlike our good friend Sarah Palin who quit her job as Governor of Alaska, don’t even get me started on that!

Our Humble President

Posted in General, Issues, Politicians, U.S political news, World Political scandals by politicalily on January 8, 2010

Yesterday I, like may others, listened to President Obama’s speech regarding the failed Christmas Day terror attack. I thought it was an excellently written and well delivered speech, but that is what we’ve come to expect from our exceptionally eloquent president. I have been thinking about what he said and about what fragments of his 12 minute address I wanted to address. I’ve decided I wanted to write about his willingness to admit the mistakes that the government made. This attack is nothing compared to September, 11th, but I don’t remember President  Bush acknowledging that he was even somewhat at fault.. The President’s remark” Ultimately the buck stops with me” really hit home. A leader will be blamed for anything and everything that goes wrong whether or not it was actually their fault. President Obama took full responsibility for letting this happen even though there probably wasn’t much he personally could have done to prevent it. That takes courage and is quite honorable. And rather than saying that the system still worked fine he admitted things had gone wrong and that mistakes had been made at all levels. He said yes we made mistakes,but we will learn from those mistakes. Learning from your mistakes is the best thing that anyone can do and I am glad we have a leader who is willing to do just that.

Terror in the Skies

Posted in U.S political news, World Political news by politicalily on December 28, 2009

I’m sure by now everyone has heard about the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas day ,it’s all the news channels are talking about. I know this has huge implications for airport security. Not only is the attack frightening, now you’re going to have to be even earlier to the airport, ugh! This is not what i’m worried about,  i’m focused on the political implications of this attack.

The question I had to ask myself was whether this has any effect on U.S politics. At first glance I thought not, but now i’m  not sure. First, This is a chance for President Obama to improve his popularity ratings or it could be the nail in his political coffin. After the September 11th attacks President Bush’s popularity rating was at 92%, wow! By no means does this attempted attack compare to September 11th, but if President Obama can handle it effectively and make the American public feel secure he will start to win back their support. If President Obama makes a mess of this or, in the minds of the American people, doesn’t do enough to take care of this problem they will continue to doubt him.Second, this shows that terrorism and terrorist groups are still alive and kicking. This demonstrates to the American people and the rest of the world that the war on terror is not over. However, one could argue that we will never win the war against terrorism and that it is simply a black hole sucking up American resources, as well as, American lives. I would have to disagree with those people. By fighting the war against terrorism, specifically in Afghanistan, we are showing terrorist that the United States is willing to fight for freedom and our saftey. Staying in the Middle East we are demonstrating to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups that we will do anything to protect American security. We will make known to them that we aren’t going down without a fight. To me that sounds like a classic example of the American spirit, and who doesn’t love patriotism.

Debating Afghansitan

Posted in Issues, U.S political news by politicalily on December 22, 2009

Recently President Obama announced he would send 30,00 troops to Afghanistan. I want to give a shout out to debate. The topic we are currently debating is the troop increase in Afghanistan. Debate is exponentially fun and teaches great life skills. I assure you the abilities you learn in Debate come in very handy almost everyday. Debate is without a doubt the best sport. Yes, debate is a sport.

Okay, enough about debate lets get back to Afghanistan. I am generally against war, but in this case I believe a troop increase is the best and only option. We obviously cannot keep the status quo as it is doing us no good and a troop withdrawl would be devastating. The only option left is too increase troops and that is what we are doing. We need to stop focusing our attention on wiping out the Taliban and Al Qaeda because they will simply go elsewhere and attack us from there. We need to put our money and manpower into helping the Afghani people become self sufficient. Once that happens people will stop turning to the Taliban for a good paying job. I think there needs to be five goals 1) Build hospitals and supply medical facilities 2)Build schools and improve the education system 3) Pave roads 4) Provide  farmers with  alternatives to growing poppies 5) Supply rural villages with electricity and water.

I think we need to especially focus on goal number 3, paving roads. If we pave the roads not only will it make delivering aid to villages easier, it will make the danger of IEDs moot. Think about it, you can’t plant an explosive in cement. Paving roads would save many civilian and American lives. Even Vice President Joe Biden agrees with me. When he was still only the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Biden stated “More troops are needed in Afghanistan,” he called for greater focus on basics like roads and power plus giving the military cash for quick projects like digging wells. Maybe my ideas aren’t so crazy. After all, the Vice President of the United States agrees with me. If we increase aid and focus our manpower on improving the lives of the people of Afghanistan I believe we can once and for all conquer terrorism in the region.

Finally, I want to address the political implications of President Obama’s decision. Barack Obama is one smart cookie! If you read my blog on compromise you’ll know I advise it. Well, Obama took my advice and compromised. He gave the Republicans a troop increase, but not as many as they wanted. And to the Democrats he gave a timeline, but said if necessary he would keep the troops there for longer. By combining the best of both party’s ideas he gave his country a plan we could all agree on. 58% of Democrats approve of his plan and so do 55% of Republicans. I applaud President Obama for reaching across the aisle and making a decision that makes everyone happy. President Obama’s plan is beautiful in terms of the political ramifications and will get the job done!

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Our Prize Winning President

Posted in Politicians, U.S political news by politicalily on December 22, 2009

I know President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize is old news, but I can’t help wanting my chance to weigh in. Most people think that he didn’t deserve it. Even most Obama supporters I know think it is too early to judge him, but I disagree. President Obama changed the way the world views America and the way America deals with the rest of the world. President Obama took Bush’s ” your either with us or against us” stance and turned it around. He apologized for America’s “holier than thou” attitude and vowed to give the world a friendlier America.This is what President Obama gave the world . He made a commitment to start using words instead of fists and we became a more diplomatic country. President Obama promised, and has started to work on, a more peaceful United States and in turn a more peaceful world. I believe that is most certainly worth recognition. And a Nobel Peace Prize.

Healthcare is Hurting my Mental Health!

Posted in Issues, U.S political news by politicalily on December 21, 2009

Whew! Thank God it is almost over! Once the healthcare bill is passed I believe everyone will be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Wherever you stand on healthcare you’ve got to admit this has been one long and confusing process. I usually don’t have much of a problem understanding key issues, but I can’t lie healthcare has got me confuzzled. I strongly believe in universal healthcare, but I just don’t know if this bill is strong enough to accomplish that.

When President Obama was Candidate Obama his plan for healthcare sounded great! I’m not sure that it still does. He promised a public option, an expansion of medicare, and universal coverage. None of those things are present in the bill that is currently close to being passed in the Senate. The Democrats gave up the public option, I was very sad to see it go. I think that healthcare and health insurance should be a right. No person should suffer because they cannot afford medical help. I also don’t think companies should be able to capitalize on people’s health,the sky-high prices insurance companies charge should be criminal. The way that insurance companies treat their customers is appalling! Republicans have said that it will destroy the insurance industry if we have a government run public option, actually that isn’t so.

Lets take a second and think about the college industry. There are public colleges and there are private colleges. Just because there are public colleges doesn’t mean that private colleges are going out of business, far from it! Now lets revert back to the health insurance industry. Imagine if the government sold healthcare whose main goal was not to make a profit, but to insure as many Americans as possible. This would force the insurance industry to straighten up, charge reasonable rates, and treat their customers right. Would that really be so bad?

The Democrats have had to give up a lot for this bill to pass, and honestly I don’t understand why. With a majority in both houses and a Democratic president in office you would think the Democrats could push the healthcare bill through quickly with a public option and all, but a few sticklers have ruined it for everyone. President Obama has given up a lot to pass healthcare and the current bill is unrecognizable compared to the bill that was first introduced in the House. Honestly, I don’t blame those who want to kill the bill and start over. Just because Democrats have persuaded Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson to break the filibuster and pass the bill doesn’t mean healthcare is home free. The House version will have to be reconciled with the Senate version in conference committee and go back to both houses for another vote. Who knows how long it will take the current healthcare bill to be passed and how watered down it will be when it is, but the one thing I can be sure of is that any step towards healthcare coverage for all is a good one!