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Today's Note From a Madman
Thursday, February 8
Pony Up for Health Care
What, one may ask, is President Bush's idea of a health care plan?
I'm glad you asked.
Step one in the Bush mind as it relates to insuring all Americans is to raise the premiums for all Medicare beneficiaries. Step two must be to have the Secret Service turn us all upside down, shake us and see if any loose change comes out.
By eliminating the "annual indexing of income thresholds," more and more Americans, not just the Bush "base" of "haves and have mores", will have higher premiums and prescription drug prices. And all for - get ready for this - a gain of a mere $10 billion over the next five years! That's the equivalent of about a five week occupation of Iraq. And noting that the increase would also affect the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Plan, whose "donut hole" already costs participants 95 percent of the drug's cost, one has to ask if it's possible to pay MORE than 100 percent of a prescription drug's retail price?
No wonder Big Pharma is taking out ads all over television telling us all how well the Bush drug plan is working. It's working FOR THEM just fine.
Bush's idea is to eliminate the budget deficit which he created by giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to his ultra-rich friends by making more and more of us regular Americans shoulder the difference.
When Bush gets out of office in 2009, maybe the new president should make him budget director or something.
“This is exactly the wrong approach.” It's all a part of “the president’s misplaced priorities.”
-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (DEMOCRAT-NY)
I don't believe that these are the President's misplaced priorities. I believe his priorities have, and always will be to those who got him elected: His "base" of "haves and have mores", as he so eloquently put it a few years ago.
So, instead of finding a way to insure all Americans against illness, President Bush wants to charge those who can barely afford their health care now even more for, what we all know will be, even less coverage.
And while this is all going on, the drug and health care companies will be sharing in even more US citizen subsidized profits.
Gee... I hope Bush's war profiteering buddies don't get wind of this. They'll be so jealous!
And while the President is giving more and more to Big Pharma, he is making sure our children are getting less and less. While keeping those "base" profit margins high, Bush will cut four percent from CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The savings is $5.4 billion over the next five years.
The President wants the program to go back to its “original objective” of covering only the children whose family income is less than the poverty level. A family of four is considered to be living in poverty if they earn just under $21,000 per year. What kind of health care will the parents of two children be able to afford on an annual income of $22,000 per year?
It reminds me of when Ebenezer Scrooge asked the men collecting money for poor children in "A Christmas Carol" if there weren't enough work houses for these children.
Ba-Humbug, Mr. Bush.
So far, the trial of I. Scooter Libby for, among other things, lying to the FBI, has been a case of "He said, Everybody else said". Libby told the FBI that he heard of Valerie Plame from reporters. So far everyone who has testified for the prosecution has testified that Libby told them of Plame's identity. For the last two days, NBC's and Meet the Press' Tim Russert has been on the hot seat of truth, A.K.A. the witness stand.
Russert's testimony is clear: He never told Libby that "all the reporters know" that Valerie Plame, Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife works for the CIA. In fact, Russert claims that he hadn't learned about her identity until well after the phone call.
"That would be impossible. I didn't know who that person was until several days later."
-Russert in his testimony
Russert's testimony and credibility stand at the forefront of the Lying Libby trial. Over the next few days, Libby was calling journalist after journalist telling all who would listen that he had heard of Plame's identity from "reporters" while never mentioning that it was Russert who was that reporter.
Supposedly Russert had heard the news from Andrea Mitchell, another NBC-MSNBC reporter. She even said so in an interview, but later recanted.
Libby's attorney attempted to portray Russert as someone who might have forgotten that he mentioned Plame's name by asking him about several other phone chats which he couldn't recall. Russert would have none of that. In the end, all that Libby was left with was his word versus Russert's, and all of the other witnesses who have contradicted him so far,, including former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who spent time in jail for not releasing her sources.
The choice is simple here. Who are you going to believe? The man with an agenda and an ax to grind or every single witness who has testified against him?
I wonder how fast this presidential pardon is going to come after the conviction?
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