16 March 2009

Monday Mix-up

This week is the closest thing to a religious festival that gets celebrated in our house. For the last ten years at least, our house has been NCAA March Madness central... I must admit I love the Tourney... the chance to see a little school upset a bigger, more powerful school is always a great thing. I am bound and determined to be watching when a 16 finally beats a 1. It'll happen, it's just a matter of patience.

Here's a couple of things to think about for tonight.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was quoted as saying that the AIG Executives should either apologize and resign or commit hara-kiri. Now, while I certainly understand the anger and frustration with the executives at AIG (along with every other giant bank/insurer that has been bailed out) I don't really find it appropriate for a member of the Senate to be calling for people to kill themselves. That makes me a bit uncomfortable. I want them to be miserable for the pain they have cause average Americans, but I wouldn't want anyone to commit suicide over money. I just can't understand that. Now I realize that Sen. Grassley probably doesn't intend for anyone to actually do it, but I have to wonder what his reaction would be if someone did.
Barney Frank seems to be a bit more rational about it, simply saying that "maybe it's time to start firing some people." That I could definitely understand. I've been saying from the beginning that an CEO of a company that takes bailout funds should have to resign.

****Edit: H/T to Dan for this very appropriate video :)

Second little thing....Arianna Huffington is asking what the interview of Dick Cheney (The Dark Overlord) would have been like this weekend if Jon Stewart would have been doing it. I find this rather interesting. I wonder how "real journalists" feel about that? Do any of them feel guilty for not pushing former administration officials, for not questioning the information that was coming out of the White House/State Department/Federal Reserve/Pentagon? It seems that the press has completely abdicated their position as a form of regulation for our government. Is this something that the journalists are comfortable with?

Let me know what ya'll think!

A Question of Health...

An article in my local paper this morning discussed how Americans are cutting corners with their health care in these tough economic times. Skipping appointments, cutting pills in half, skipping recommended tests...all in an effort to balance the costs of their health with the costs of their lives. Some (Rep. Zach Wamp, R-TN, in particular) feel that this is exactly what “good” Americans should be doing.

My question is how did we get to this point? Was it Bill Frist voting on issues that would effect the family business (HCA)? Was it numerous Congresspeople voting in the interest of insurance and pharmaceutical conglomerates in order to keep the well of political donations full? Was it greed only previously seen in the oil sector by those same insurance and pharmaceutical companies? Was it the callousness of the “I'm not paying for you” crowd? It's hard to tell, but it's killing us.

Now everyone seems to be scared of the “socialized” medicine boogeyman. “I don't want to have to wait six months to get a surgery!!” They cry...but here's the thing, at least you can have it done! Try getting a hospital/doctor to schedule a surgery with out insurance...”that'll be $20,000 ma'am, at least half upfront”.

I think as human beings we deserve a certain level of security in our health. I find it interesting that Doctors take an oath to do no harm, but see no conflict in sending a patient away because of their inability to pay. Only until patients are at the point of acute distress do the doctors/hospitals spring into action, by then it could be too late or at the very least much more expensive to treat. Why would anyone wish that on their fellow Americans? Why is it that most Americans seem to have no qualms about expending trillions of dollars for the sole purpose of killing people, but hesitate at the cost of caring for their fellow man?

Are we a nation of sociopaths?