Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In Lieu Of Flowers, Reform Health Care

I reacted in an unexpectedly emotional way after turning on the television this morning to news of Senator Edward Kennedy's passing. Perhaps it was because I knew that my mother would be grieving his death even more significantly. Beyond his own accomplishments and history of service, he represents the last of a powerful tribe. The deaths of his brothers defined a generation - especially young, Democratic activists like my parents. Especially young, East Coast, Catholic, Democratic activists like my mom.

As a friend noted on FB, the vultures are circling, ready to tear at his legacy, revive tired Chappaquiddick jokes (which are meaningless for my generation), and express their unmitigated disdain for his policies, but more vehemently, for his person.

Many of those vultures will be Republicans. Not all Republicans, however, will attack the Senator. Some will celebrate a man whose dedication cannot be questioned. Like Jack Pitney does, here.

I suppose one could argue, as I will, someday, when figures like Bush or Cheney die, that celebrating their service free of acknowledging their philosophy and tactics would be a grave mistake of the "you must give him credit for being a great orator" variety. Perhaps that analogy would be apt. But I believe Bush and Cheney were wrong as much as I believe Ted Kennedy, personal foibles aside, fought for the public policy I support and upheld ideals I uphold.

Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy. You will be missed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today On Comedy: Basic Comedic Truths

"It’s not funny to see someone powerless being mocked. I think most people react against that, actually—unless they are a particularly cruel audience. What’s much more fun is to see someone who does have power, and is in the dominant position, become exposed." (from here)

On Health Care Reform

Being blogless frustrated me no end while such juicy bits of reform discussion were out there to be posted. Here are two things:

First, a James Fallows post about the amazing McCaughey-Stewart Daily Show showdown (with links to the entire interview - you need to watch it if you haven't yet).

Second, I find the comments to this Chron article fascinating. I think they probably give the best cross-section of national reaction to the debate. It doesn't bode well, either.

P.S. Here's one more article on why costs rise and how we got here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Status Update

As you'll note from the below post, Phoblog has just returned after a 30+ day silent period. I'm pretty sure that's the longest in the site's 5 year history. You'll see an August 9, no longer very timely post down there as well. That was the start of the publishing problems. Hopefully, this marks the end. As you can imagine, I've been climbing the walls with all this health care reform stuff and no outlet for the ranting aside from the limited character allowance on Facebook - no substitute really.

So, here we are. In case anyone is still around, thanks for periodically checking back.

Praise Be, FTP Has Returned

So thanks go to either Blogger for fixing the glitch or more likely to Josh Orum of (without whom there'd never have been a blog to being with). Looks like we can publish again.

Or, we'll see what happens when I hit publish, right about now. . . .

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Continued Support Of A Party That Would Welcome This Woman Will Compromise My Ability To Think Highly Of You

That's a warning to my Reep friends - of which there are many and whom I love dearly.

Because Sarah Palin says - with what I presume is a straight face:
"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care," the former Republican vice presidential candidate wrote.
So you have two choices, Reep friends: leave the party or show Palin the door, because there is absolutely no basis to defend such deceitful statements. Even if that statement were true - which, of course, it is not - it pretends that private companies aren't currently denying care for people left and right and issuing death sentences as they go.

I suppose a capitalist death panel is fine and representative of that Alaska spirit. has been running a series seeking to answer the question of what will destroy America. I offer a continued acceptance of this sort of policy debate as a likely culprit. It's all such lies. It's all such a convenient, adopted ignorance of current health care practices.

Maybe we deserve what we get.