Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Enough Politics!

Time for some pretty flowers and artwork, courtesy Laura Trevey.


Lorna said...

Someday I am going to post on feminine wiles. My husband accused me of using it all the time. :-)


Vagabonde said...

Flowers are good. When I lived in San Francisco in the 60s, I always had flowers in my hair, blue ones if I could get them.

Baino said...

Akshully . . I like hearing about politics from your side of the fence. . much more refreshing than media hype. Lovely watercolour, I must try painting.

Susan said...

Lovely....and soothing to the soul.

Judy said...

I love this painting!

Reya Mellicker said...

I've just caught up, with much interest, on your series on the health care reform debate. Oh yeah, California Girl, you and I are on the same page about this.

I think the furor predates Nixon, though. Have you ever read "Founding Brothers?" We've always been a contentious nation.

The energy of this latest debate is particularly toxic, though. I wish everyone would just STOP for awhile and breathe, really think about what's happening and what's at stake.

Excellent posts, thank you so much!

Tony C. said...

Back to Politics:

If you haven't read it yet, let me recommend Glenn Greenwald at Salon, and read the post of Aug 19.

It is all about the money; Cali. Your analysis of the healthcare problem doesn't go back far enough: The problem is money in government, pure and simple. Now I am a liberal and I believe in a social safety net and in government run healthcare: But Greenwald is right when he says the current trajectory is all about how to best serve the corporate interests, and Obama (I voted for him and contributed over $300 to his campaign) has pulled a bait-and-switch on us.

The anger and angst you talk about is real, it is just a reflection of continuing oppression and corruption by the corporate and monied interests that always supercede morality at every level of government. The problem is money in government, specifically the hundreds of billions in discretionary budgetary money that can be funneled to monied interests in a myriad of ways, from tax loopholes to buying overpriced or unnecessary products and services.

This is done in return for campaign contributions and an understanding that politicians get cushy work-free jobs in colleges (think A&M), lobbying firms, the non-profit industry and at the top of the corporate pyramids.

I will point out that there doesn't have to be a quid-pro-quo on these things: Corporations and lobbying firms hire former pols regularly to demonstrate (to sitting pols) that they pay off their political debts. They would be stupid not to do so; companies that haven't demonstrated a willingness to share the wealth don't get heard in Washington, they are the victims of the corporations that do.

What makes a former pol a good lobbyist is not any particular skill in negotiation or glad-handing, it is the simple fact of their existence: The big salary and cushy job are the demonstrable proof that a company (or industry) knows how to play ball in Washington, and that is who the politicians favor.

It is the taxpayers that pay the bill for this pony show. The companies pay the "tax" of hiring former politicians, a few million, and in return get tens of millions or hundreds of millions in tax breaks, excess profits, deregulation that saves them money, or laws that kill competition (like sugar import restrictions or government blanket prohibitions on certain vendors or products) that let them overcharge citizens or overcharge the government. Oh, did I mention unnecessary and overpriced products to the government? Like billions of dollars worth of military hardware that will never be used?
That too.

The problem is money in government.


by Cole Scott