Day by Day

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Peek Behind the Curtain

Congress continues its deliberations and maneuvers as the Democrats try to come up with one single Health Care Plan that will satisfy all the needs and requirements of Americans - not just their healthcare needs, but the political obstacles to passing it.

So, many Americans are curious about what the final version will look like. There are differing ideas in the several committees working on the bill and no one really knows whether to be for or against such a nebulous creation. (Well, the folks in the middle anyway - the Right is against the Democrat plan and the Left naturally supports the Democrat plan... those in the middle just aren't sure yet.)

So while they craft and scheme and study, where can we turn to see what may be in store for us in terms of government run health care? Does a prototype exist?

Yes. And arguably, it could be a great example. The military health care system. From the very top down, members of the Armed Forces are lauded as the best the country has to offer and deserving of all the support the country can lend. This certainly must be true for their health care, no?

Yet, in today's USA Today article, Gregg Zoroya declares "Routine GI Health Needs Not Met".

What's this?

The military has its own complete healthcare system. It's single-payer, universal, and government run... all the very best descriptors of what is trying to be brought to all Americans.

Before even reading the article, the chart next to it shows that for the last year, of the Army's 36 major hospitals, 26 don't meet standards for providing access to health care within seven days. That's 72%, or roughly a 1 in 4 chance of being seen in a timely manner. The best year shown, 2007, gives only a 45% chance of being seen in a timely manner.

This is the Army medical system taking care of its own - Army Soldiers and Army families. It should be safe to say that they're highly motivated to take care of them as quickly as possible.

This is government health care when they're taking care of the most important people in the system - Soldiers and their own families. I wonder what it'll be like when they're taking care of just regular Joes?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Misplaced Values

Tomorrow is the 40th anniverary of the first moon landing.

A search for "moonwalker" reveals Michael Jackson.

And perhaps the fact that a dance move that makes you look like you're walking forwards while in fact you're moving backwards is the best analogy for where we stand today.

We may feel we're moving forward, and a cursory glance may not prove otherwise, yet... are we?

There are currently only nine people, or roughly .00000001% of the world's population, alive who've walked on another world. Their average age is 77. How long before we start adding to their numbers instead of blithely letting their number dwindle?

Perhaps that's the saddest countdown of all right now, as it drops to zero? And then, when it does reach zero, we will have successfully restored our world to it's pre-1969 state - one, where no one knows what it's like to have walked on another world.

And that is not progress.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Censure Isn't Enough

The South Carolina GOP voted recently to censure Governor Sanford for his shenanigans down in Argentina. For those not familiar with the term, basically it's a political version of "You've been a very bad boy, so promise you won't do it again, and you can keep your job."

The job he wasn't doing.

The job he will have a very difficult time doing in the future.

Again, I say he should resign. Or be impeached. And the voters of SC have every right to call for his head (or perhaps more appropriately, some anatomy lower down) on a platter.


Because he cheated on his wife? Well, it's morally reprehensible, and it's certainly against the values that he and the party stand for. A very good reason for the voters and the Party to do some soul-searching, but... not impeachable.

Because he took off for a few days and wasn't reachable? Hmmm... if it'd been the busy season, maybe, but let's be honest. The Legislature wasn't in session, and not much was going on. Four days. Could have been worse. He could have stayed away the full ten days he'd originally booked his trip to Argentina for.

Because he rerouted travel and went against official US foreign policy to have an excuse to visit his lover? We're getting warmer.

How about that he used state funds? He's repaid that, so unlike anyone else who steals (sorry convenience store thieves), he's off-the-hook. Since SLED has decided he didn't violate any laws, there's no grounds for impeachment.

How about this latest revelation? Pay attention voters. During a period of economic downturn, there was one company wanting to expand its operations in South Carolina (more jobs, larger tax revenue, etc.) and another company wanting to celebrate a plant expansion... he turned down both invitations so he could be in Argentina. In essence, and crudely, he screwed over the state so he could get screwed.

Governor Sanford, how can you govern?


Leave now.

It's called Integrity. Show you have some.