Monday, January 29, 2007


Lately, all we hear is how George Bush is the Decision-Maker, the Commander In Chief, the High Mucky-Muck, and we should all listen to him and just do what he says. That's an interesting take, because if you read The Constitution, nowhere does it say that the President becomes Commander In Chief of The United States. No, in fact, it says he becomes Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces. I did not join the Armed Forces. George Bush is not my Commander In Chief; he is my servant. He is not the decision-maker; he is the individual who carries out our decisions.

All you have to do is read The Constitution and the documents used to ratify it. The President was to be the public face of the Government as Congress with all its representatives could not be. But the President cannot make Law. He does not legislate; he executes the Law as given to him by the Legislature, in this case Congress. And all of these individuals, Congress and The President are representatives of the People. They are Public Servants. It would be nice if they acted like that.

Instead, we get Dick Cheney calling those of us who are demanding that he do his job, which is to represent the interests of the American people, traitors. Making statements such as "I'm the Vice President, and they're not." Instead we get George Bush telling us that he's the Decider, that he's the Decision-Maker. Which is a bunch of crap. George Bush believes that he is the ultimate arbiter of what it is to be an American. He believes that he can do whatever he wants, and that the law does not apply to him. In fact, the entire Administration believes that they are not Public Servants, that they are Sovereign and we are vassals.

If I remember correctly, there was a small war fought over that very issue.

If you'd like to read people better at explaining this, go to Glenn Greenwald's site. Or Atrios. Both had rather extensive posts on this subject.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007


I was going to write about the Republicans in general, but then I was sitting here watching This Week with George Stefanopoulus and George Will is sitting there on the panel defending the President's bogus Healtcare Plan. And just about everyone else on the panel is arguing against him.

Will is an idiot. Plain and simple. The rest of the panelists are also idiots. Set aside the stupidity of the President's plan for Healthcare and the way it would be paid for, let's get first principles straight. Healthcare is not a commodity. It is a necessity. We talk about equality of opportunity, yet how can you have equality of opportunity when you allow member of your community to be sick?

47 million Americans do not have Health Insurance. When they get sick they wait until the situation becomes nearly untenable. In many cases, this means they become unable to work, unable to tak care of themselves, which leads to a downward spiral in their standard of living and their families standard of living. In effect, we damn those that cannot afford Health Insrance to a life of uncertainty and anxiety. We damn them to a second class citizen status.

The President's plan won't help that because like most people, he believes Healthcare is a commodity. He believes that you can pick and choose your healthcare just like you can pick and choose the style, color, and model of your car. Which, on its face, is just wrong. Imagine, for instance, breaking your arm. Now, according to the commodity view of Healthcare, you would sit down and study your options and pick the best option for taking care of your broken arm. Of course, this ignores the fact that you might be in terrible pain, that while you're studying which Healthcare option is best you may get gangrene, and a host of other problems. Not to mention work lost.

What happens when you cannot get healthcare is that you work sick and you do it up to the point until you can't work anymore. And then you either strain the healthcare system or lose your job, or more likely both. So in the end, not only do you pull down yourself and your family, you pull down the system. Stephen Colbert covered the financial aspects of the President's plan on his show the day after the SOTU. He put it best concerning that aspect. But let's not kid ourselves, Healthcare is a necessity, not a commodity. And as long as we think of it as a commodity, we won't move this debate forward.

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