A New Can Of Worms
28 April 2004
Don't Have Anything to Say in Your Campaign?
Then try to re-fight the Vietnam war.
Economic recovery is well underway, the Iraqi's will have some measure of sovereignty on June 30th. Things aren't perfect, but under W's leadership they are good enough. When Kerry uses the term desperate to describe the Administration he is admitting his own dire straits more than claiming anything about the Administration.
This election will still be event driven. The negative events of the last month, however, haven't done any more damage to Bush-Cheney. It will be interesting to see whether an event big enough to really derail the re-election can occur. If this past month is any indication, it may take something pretty big to shake the foundations of Bush-Cheney.
The Good, The Bad and th Ugly
This Sun-Times story suggests, by the Gov. Bolshevik's tone, that gov. is beginning to feel pressure on the budget. There is both good and bad in, what sounds to me like a tirade:
"All we hear from the people who do business in and around that statehouse in Springfield is, 'We can't close this corporate loophole 'cause this lobbyist doesn't want to do it.' Or, 'The truckers are here and in some districts Downstate that could cost us a legislative seat or two.'
"If the Legislature repeals the truckers' fee for $102 million, that amount is equivalent to kicking 49,000 people off Medicaid."
Several lawmakers, however, contend Blagojevich's methods of plugging the $1.7 billion budget hole are flawed and would hurt the business climate. House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), for example, has criticized the governor's plans to borrow more money. A better fix, some suggest, is a temporary sales or income tax hike, something Blagojevich rejects.
"I will remind everyone the last time the Speaker suggested a temporary tax increase was 1989. That temporary tax increase . . . is still an income tax increase that's on the books," the governor said.
The Good: The gov. reminded everyone that temporary tax increases aren't temporary in Illinois. He also sticks to his pledge that he is not going to raise income and sales taxes.
The Bad: Blagojevich has played havoc with the buisness climate and we will all pay a price. It is an indirect income tax on all of us.
The just plain ugly: Blagojevich gives away the farm when he clearly puts more value on Medicaid recipients than productive members of society. If we reformed Medicaid we wouldn't be in this mess. Obviously, government handouts are more valuable to the governor than productive jobs and economic growth.
This Could Get Interesting
Senate leader: Dump the Chief is the headline in the Sun-Times this morning. The lead is:
"Senate President Emil Jones issued an ultimatum to the University of Illinois on Tuesday: Get rid of Chief Illiniwek by next month or face tighter ''scrutiny'' of school spending."
I, for one, have never considered mascots racist or steoreotyping. I barely consider Chief Illiniwik a mascot because he is hardly out there leading the cheers.
Morevoer, symbols are interpretive. I believe, and a lot would probably agree, that forcing one's interpretation of a symbol or an event is a rather chilling aspect with regard to free speech (in a broad sense -- not the 1st Amendment). There are more practical issues to deal with however.
When Stanford, under similar pressure, in the early 70's to dump their "Chief," they suffered hugely on the donations front from alumni and some to this day refuse to give. Those running the U of I, I'm sure, are acutely of this.
This really puts them between a rock and hard place if Jones continues to play hardball with the U of I.
27 April 2004
A Little Heat on Health Care
My April 11th column on the failure of single payer health care to make headway in the US stirred up a hornets nest. Jim Duffet of Illinois of the Illinois Campaign for Better Health Care responded with ad homenins:
"They’re back again, but this time their lies and scare tactics have and will be even worse. I guess Mr. Greg Blankenship and the Illinois Policy Institute which he represents have embraced the gutter politics of Karl Rove and others from Washington DC."
The Campaign's cause celebre is universal health care. It says so right on their site:
"Universal Health Care provides quality, affordable health care for EVERYONE"
It then goes on say that to support universal health care in Illinois get involved and suppor the Health Care Justice Act.
Yet, in his article he writes:
"Never does it state in this bill that the Health Care Justice Act requires implementation of a government-run universal health care system or a single-payer system."
Well, then why he is he supporting it? If this vehicle doesn't move toward his goal of a universal health care system then it seems reasonable thahe wouldn't be staunchly supporting it.
Also, I never say the Bill imposes a universal health care system. I say:
"The Health Care Justice Act would establish an unelected commission to determine what kind of single-payer plan to impose on Illinois citizens."
This crowd loves to say that the United States is the only civilized country in the world that doesn't have universal health care. That's demonstrably false. Both Singapore and Switzerland have market based health care systems. Singapore utilizes health savings accounts and the Swiss have a mandate that everyone must purchase health insurance. Is is the position of the CBHC that the Swiss aren't civilized?
My favorite line from the three screeds at the Coles County Leader is this one:
"I, for one, would rather have qualified physicians decide what care I need than have insurance company bureaucrats and my ability to pay decide it."
This is exactly what I say should happen. The underlying principle behind consumer based healthcare reforms is that nothing comes between the doctor and the patient. Not a private sector manager nor a GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRAT. Mr. Thorsen gets half of it right. Both he and I apparently believe that faceless people hunkered in large bureaucratic organizations with their own interests should be making health care decisions. Clearly, we will get that if groups such as CBHC are successful.
The third attack comes from Becky Spoon. There is not much too talk about here. She just offers platitudes.