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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

October 3, 2007



Let 'em go hungry; let 'em stay sick. it just ought to be the slogan for the Bush administration and how they keep on treating those who just happened to be born into the wrong tax bracket.

It's only the fourth time that President Bush has vetoed a bill, and this one comes at the expense of those who simply cannot protect themselves: needy, sick children. President Bush has vetoed the S-CHIP bill. In another one of his "big business over anything and everything else" moves, Bush has given in to the special interest health care insurance company concerns that providing health care to children whose parents just can't afford it will lead to health care for everybody.

Yeah, I know he said he was going to do it, but I figured that common decency would just overtake him.

Boy, was I wrong!

The GOP cries that "The Democrats Don't support the troops!" when the Dems try to use the purse-strings (which the Constitution grants them power over) to get President Bush to the negotiation table in vain attempts to stop, or at least plan to stop (eventually), the Iraq war. There can be no doubt that this President has never, and will never, support programs designed for the protection of our children. The bill, which now covers about 6.6 million such children expires this weekend, and with no bill to take its place, there could be no coverage for those who desperately need it. The new bill would have extended coverage to about 10 million and, somehow, in the mind of a Bushie, that's just a no-go.

But $9 billion a month in Iraq war expenses - a war that was supposed to cost the American taxpayer only $1.5 billion in its entirety - is just peachy-keen with George W. Well. As long as his "base" of "haves and have mores" are getting theirs, then all's right in Bush-Land.

And the truth of the matter is that the Bush administration knows that those without health care coverage - the ability to see a doctor when they have to see a doctor - will, in fact, cost the US taxpayer, and our economy much, much more

"Denying healthcare to those in need only RAISES health care costs in the long run,"
-Kerry Weems, the Acting Administrator Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from the US Department of Health and Human Services and the guy who is heading the HHS S-CHIP program

The US Senate, with some Republican support, has enough votes to get the bill, as is, past the President's veto stamp. However, the House is about two dozen votes shy of their goal. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (DEMOCRAT-CA) has some work to do - and this time, it's for the children.

"We remain committed to making S-CHIP into law with or without the president's support,"

Oddly enough, some Democrats in the House voted against the bill, missed the vote or voted "Present" when called upon. One such "nay" vote came from none other than Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (DEMOCRAT-OH) in an obvious vote to protest the lack of a real comprehensive health care bill. It's time for Rep. Kucinich to take a baby step, and he has to do it on this one.

Just as a reminder to President Bush, children don't work and cannot be responsible for taking care of themselves. Unless, of course, the plan is to get rid of those inhibitive child labor laws and put those kiddies to work. Wasn't it Ebenezer Bush - I mean Scrooge - who said "Are there no work houses?" when asked to contribute to needy children?

And one has to think that the extra sin tax on cigarettes, to bring the total federal tax to one dollar per pack, had some kind of influence on the President. after all, the states which produce tobacco went red twice for Bush, including Al Gore's home state of Tennessee, the second largest tobacco producing state in the nation behind North Carolina. And what about all of those big tobacco lobbyists? Some President is going to get a nice treat under his tree this Christmas.

"Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people. By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children's Health Insurance Program, President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America."
-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV)

To hear the president cry for the spirit of compromise in some situations might give one a headache. To hear him cry about a bill with such widespread bi-partisan support - a bill that has been vetted through a tough negotiation process and has brought together both sides for the good of the children would make one's head explode!

The children deserve better and those who oppose this bill, hopefully, will have to pay in 2008.

-Noah Greenberg

More on S-CHIP

Here's on the bottom line my friends on S-CHIP. The Iraq occupation costs this country 4 billion per month. Bush just asked Congress for an additional 200 billion dollars. Expanding S-CHIP so that it covers the working poor, would cost 35 billion dollars.

I'll be the first to tell you that I rather have single payer health care and dispense with all of the patches. But, right now, the political will to move on single payer health care is not quite there. In the meantime, we must continue to support the patch work system the best we can. This nation can easily afford the S-CHIP expansion.

Now, here's the real outrage ... if you weren't already outraged enough. The SHIP expansion is actually paid for by an additional tax on cigarettes. So now you know why GOP Congressional Rep Blunt is so against this bill. His family are lobbyists for the tobacco industry. Can you say Greed Over People party? Even more so, hey I am on a roll, this bill is paid for but the Iraq occupation is not. It's a subject for another day but I really like David Obey's proposal for a "war tax". It's time that Americans put up or shut up. If they really love the Iraq occupation then pay for it. If you really hate it like I do, get out there in the streets and do some yelling. Maybe paying a tax will be just what is needed to goad people from their coaches into the streets. At the very least, write some letters condemning this stinking Iraq occupation, make some phone calls. The people who oppose this occupation are way too silent.

-Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg