Monday, December 28, 2009

Health Care, Bribes and JanieN

We tax all the others and pass the savings on to you

I can't write my end-of-year column yet. No one knows yet what's going to happen with the health care bill but what a farce it's been so far.

The health care bill (now the health insurance bill) is in a lot of trouble. Turns out that the Dems have had to bribe at least a few of their own in order to get their vote. $300 mil for Dem Sen. Mary Landreiu's Lousiana, complete exemption from Medicaid increases forever for Dem. Sen Ben Nelson's Nebraskans. Political hardball: Nelson says he will vote for the bill only if "nothing's changed".

This even irritates the NY Times, according to an editorial. Federally-subsidized vote-buying, they call it. Some doofus Dem strategist named Bob Shrum has the onerous job of trying to sell this as everyday politics, American style. I'm tempted to say "Don't believe it" but I already know you don't. No one does.

Don't get me wrong here. They would have bribed any Repub senators they needed to but they refused them admission to the talks in the first place. So it's all Dems all the time for this one. Stand by for a ram.

* * * * *

I've done a lot of international traveling over the past eight years or so, beginning in October, 2001, a month after the 9/11 attacks. I've had to endure everything you've gone through but probably a lot more times. I've missed flights and endured indignities that I couldn't have imagined beforehand. Still, I tried to grin and bear it because it was for the greater good. So did you. Now it turns out that Homeland Security failed in every detail regarding this week's terror attack on an American aircraft.

Janet Napolitano and her TSA employees have pulled me aside (no criminal record, no threats, nothing to indicate why) but they let a guy board who was on the terror watch list AND had been reported as a terror threat by his own father! Hey, JanieN!!! How's that $44 bil budget working for you? Need some more?

JanieN had the temerity to tell CNN (thus you and me) about this near-disaster that
"The system worked." Oh, really, Janie? Then she told NBC it hadn't. She was for the system before she was against it. Hello, John Kerry.

JanieN thinks that "disgruntled" military vets might be a terror threat. I'm a vet and I'm hardly ever gruntled so that must include me, by definition. But cancel the visa of
this guy after they had been put on notice, or even at least add him to the no-fly list? Well, no. It might offend some sensibilities, maybe even cost a political point or two. Might cost a couple hundred lives, too, but so?
* * * * *

JanieN doesn't like the term "terror attacks", either. Way too insensitive. She likes "man-caused disasters". You know, like global warming, distant and hard to define and therefore hard to assign responsibility for while still being urgent enough to throw money at. No use in telling us what our real risk factor might be.
"I referred to man-caused disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur."

Ummm, would one of those risks be
known terror threats being allowed to board flights to the US? We weren't prepared for that even though it had happened before and we knew about it this time? Hey, Janie! When did that stop being your responsibility? My kid could have gotten that one right.

It doesn't matter who your employer is, hasn't there always been someone around who was completely ignorant of what they were being paid to do? In government, they usually get kicked upstairs. Now we have a lawyer-politician in charge of Homeland Security, reporting to a guy whose biggest risk before becoming president was deciding to vote "Present" rather than yea or nay. Did we really imagine that it would be different with them?

* * * * *

"Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there."

Janet Napolitano

* * * * *

"Can't anyone here play this game?"

Casey Stengel

No comments:

Post a Comment