Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Year Of Dangerously Living

If you are reading this, it means I've made it through another year without health insurance. I think this makes an even dozen years that I have paid retail for medical services and, knock wood, nothing major has happened, except this stomach trouble from worrying about not having any coverage. I'm on the barter system with my doctors now because the insurance companies treat me like an Untouchable in India or a leper on Molokai. For those fortunate enough to be insured who are puzzled by this situation, I'll repeat; I can not buy health insurance anywhere, for any price. And after a year of watching the health care debate while avoiding doctor visits as much as possible, it doesn't look as if I'm any closer to acquiring it any time soon. Thank goodness I avoid doing strenuous things.

I understand the president's reasons for allowing Congress to write the health care reform bill. He went to school on the Hillary-Care fiasco and didn't want to make the same mistake by presenting a finished product that no one but a bunch of policy wonks understood. I'm certain, however, that Rocky never expected the entire opposition party to turn their backs to him en masse. Time and again he has reached his hand out to the Republicans, and they continue to beat him about the head and shoulders in response. Obama has run out of cheeks to turn. Yet like the boy who wakes up Christmas morning to a stocking filled with horse manure and shouts, "There must be a pony," I keep looking for the angle in Obama's continued attempts at bi-partisanship. I know that Barack and Rahm Emmanuel are smart guys and clever politicians, and the election proved that they are great strategians, so there's got to be some Machiavellian strategy in there somewhere concerning their persistent courting of Republican support for health care reform, but for the life of me, I can't see it. Maybe the pony ran away.

This Thursday, a massive, male-bonding, bi-partisan, drum circle will take place at the White House where, again, Obama will try to reach accord with his political opponents. They will submit their predictable ideas; tort reform, buying insurance across state lines,  protection for insurance company profits,  privatizing Medicare; and their preferences will be duly noted and most included in any bill. But it doesn't matter. Senate Republicans have already shown they are prepared to vote against the very same bills that they originally sponsored in order to deprive this president of a political victory, even if it's good for the country. Never in modern history has the entirety of a political party's elected representatives turned into a mass collection of refuseniks. Bi-partisanship might have existed in some dreamy memory of the New Frontier, but it's been over since the election of Bill Clinton.

Yet the GOP continues to insist that they just want this country returned to the original vision of the Founders. First, the Founders were slaveholders who believed the only people entitled to vote were rich, white, male landowners. Secondly, men like Jefferson and Madison were towering intellects with vast knowledge in a broad range of subjects. Hardly men who would enjoy exchanging ideas with John "ManTan" Boehner or Mitch McConnell, much less having a beer with them. But the Republicans are currently winning the message wars, Obama's popularity is dropping, and the Teabaggers are definitely motivated to return the country to a wrecking-ball style government. After all, there are still a few institutions left standing. The conservatives made their motivations clear at last week's CPAC conclave in Washington. Barely a year into the Obama presidency, and they're trying to Jimmy Carterize this man. The convention's surprise guest, Dick "The Bruiser" Cheney, predicted to his delirious audience that Barack Obama would be a one-term president. Also, I know Obama was trying to show political resolve when he told Diane Sawyer, "I'd rather be a good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," but he only emboldened his enemies.

If that's how Rocky feels, however, he may as well go down swinging. There is renewed Senate interest in the public option the House has already passed and Speaker Reid has agreed to bring the issue to the Senate floor. The right will demonize it as a "Government takeover of healthcare," when actually it's just a government-run health insurance plan to compete with the profiteers of sickness and death. Now that the Democrats have lost their formerly useless sixty vote majority, they are freed from having to negotiate with bad actors whose major concern is not the health and welfare of the citizenry, but who acquires the most power in the next election. The Dems can now go by the rules of reconciliation, which the Bush crowd nearly put their brand on, which only requires 51 votes to pass legislation. This eliminates the further need to smooch the derrieres of the Senate Republicans and the corporate-owned Democrats too. Either that, or make them fulfill their threat to filibuster. Call their bluff. We've all seen Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." It will be great entertainment and a magnificent civics lesson. So, bring in the cots, shut the doors, turn on the C-Span cameras, and let's hear and see the same people who are trying to kill health care reform read from the Scriptures.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sputnik, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to agree with Bill Moyers, and even Krugman. I think we're fubar (f'd up beyond all repair). This last Extreme Court decision to allow corporate funding of campaign ads, etc, is the final straw in our corporate government. It's been this way for a long time, and as the Extreme court has the final say in all matters of law, they've created a self-perpetuating rule, which ensures that radical, revisionist judges who are in the corporate pockets will surely legislate from the bench. It may take a French style revolution to upend what the powerful, wealthy, and connected have wrought upon us.

Until we get term limits, get the money and lobbyists out, and stop the revolving door to Wall street, energy companies, and those corps that have business before congress, (for ALL parties), there will only be the ruling class, and the peasants hoping for crumbs..... such as health care, education, housing equality, a social welfare net, foodstamps..... anotherwords, THE POORHOUSE! Cynical? Not really... I just read the news, and try to get by day by day.....
AMF...

zephyrman

SIREEN said...

Dear Randy! I feel your pain in my heart! Walking around Memshelvis without health insuranse. Dang it Sputnik! With all the Memfrica thugs and tea-bagged anon-wanna-bees...that"s just asking for it! We've got to turn this around! I tried to get a better deal on my health insuranse and I get the dang-est letter back telling me--- AARP YOURS! So what I'm doing now is trying to follow Michelle Obama's lead by waging a war on childhood obesity to be pro-active about my health issues! Since I am going through my second childhood I have more baby fat than ever! I have gotten out my Salsa Cd's so I can do my Salsacises while I eat my low sodium chips with my Michelob ultras! Did you catch Michelle on Huckabee? She said the next time he interviews her she wants to see him with his shirt off! Now I know he lost a 100lbs but can you imagine that crazy cracker interviewing the first lady with those sagging man boobs staring her in the face! For the love of God I sure hope his health insuranse will pay for a much needed breast reduction before that interview takes place.
Now Randy! I have refrained from posting like I use to on your magnificent blog because there is someone who can't stop blogging and his actions has helped me see the errors of my ways! The man is OBSESSED! Why doesn't he just say what he is going to say & leave it there! No he has to go on & on where we lose all hope for serious dialogue. Better remain silent & be thought stupid than open one's mouth BLAH BLAH BLAH & remove all doubt or something like that! Why doesn't he start his own Blog? He could call it I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK...SLAVES AND ALL! I just know that person can do so much better! Well I have got to go now since my long haired miniature dachshund Stufis is humping my beautiful cat Pooshey. I discourage such behavior in my Godly abode! Thank you Jesus! Yours truly! SIREEN

manorchurch said...

Ah wuz in Memphis oncet. Ah remember a big bridge and a lot of black mud. It was pre-GPS, so Ah had to rent a Hertz safari elephant to get to the airport. (And I drove the elephant to Knoxville looking for a place to turn around to get to the Hertz depot, which, if any of you have ever noticed, is always on the other side of a no-U-Turn.) Yep, Ah cleared outathere and never went back. Ah 'speckted back then that Memphis would affect the mind, and now I know Ah wuz raht, Sireen.

The New Anonymous said...

Dear Born Again Hippies! I have had a change of heart! For Lent I have given up my Right Wing Agenda! Globalization of the economy, it is claimed, will "lift all boats." Bull Shit! It will only "lift all yachts." It's not doing much for those on their leaking life rafts. Yet the economy inevitably will be more globalized, only hopefully taking into account the rights of the poor and the rights of nature!
Were our government for the people, we would have the best aducation in the world, universal health insurance, a decent way of financing elections, and a massive commitment to sources of clean energy!

800 lb gorilla in room said...

Idea for Randy:
you could get a fulltime job, not the useless crap in your profile, and let your new employer pay your health insurance.
You can't be denied employment because of health issues. If they did you could sue them.
yeah that will work.
GET A JOB.

Sputnik57 said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous Gorilla,
Thanks for helping me see that my problems getting insured are all of my own making, and anyone who considers themselves self-employed doesn't deserve health coverage anyway.

Furthermore, I now see that my life's accomplishments are meaningless crap and what I really ought to do is go out and find me a bossman whose going to treat me right.
Chump.

manorchurch said...

That's the meaning of life, ain't it? Get a job. Get a good job. That's the ticket; that's the key to success; that's what brings happiness. Yet, if you look at who holds 80% of the wealth in this country, none of those guys are working for anybody but themselves. Buffett, three years ago, came right out and said, "Look -- my secretary pays more taxes than I do. What kind of equitable system is that?" And the rich population continues to get fewer and richer, and the poor population continues to get larger and poorer. Yet, somehow, "get a job" remains the mantra. Go figure.

SIREEN said...

Mr.Anon! You have faked a change of heart & now you have gone & disguised your silly ass as an 800lb. gorilla attacking our brother Randy because he has no health insuranse! You are one cruel #*%=head! You remind me of a shoplifter who writes to a department store & sez, " I've just had a change of heart, & I can't sleep at night because I feel so guilty. So here is $100 that I owe you." Then he signs his name, and in a little postscript at the bottom he adds, "if I still can't sleep, I'll send you the rest." Anon! Something has been laid on my heart...because I care about your sorry ass soul so much I am going to lift you up in my imagination by your two feet...hammer toes & all...and dangle you upside down before our Almighty Lord in prayer. My hope is that my prayer like a song will not only speak to your heart, but that it will spiritually rip you limb from limb & lay you barren, naked, and writhing in conviction on the cold, dank, tile floor...that you may shed the snake skin of your hateful version of this legalistic fundamentalism that makes you seem like such an asshole that i know that you are really not and that you may truly experience the awesome gracious unconditional love of God as revealed in our changeless Savior...& that you may be an instrument of that agape love that you so desire to be! WHEEEEEW! There I said it! Thank you Jesus! Yours truly! SIREEN

Anonymous said...

The Democrats hold more power than any other political party in history by virtue of their (former) super majority in the Senate, their substantial majority in the House, and the fact that they own the White House. They could have run any damned piece of legislation that they wanted to (before Scott Brown's election) and the Republicans could not have stopped any of it. And you continue to blame the Republicans for the Democrats' ineptitude? This means that the whining will NEVER stop. Why are liberals so opposed to personal responsibility? It is the Democrats who are responsible that there is no health care legislation, so tune into reality and start criticizing your own impotent yet beloved Democrat Party. You would do better to go to Washington and pay a visit to every Democrat who voted against the health care bill and hold THEM accountable. But that would be too honest and to realistic for a liberal to stomach. It is much easier to blame others. If nothing is passed soon, the issue will be dead in the water till Obama is run off in 2012. The Repubs will probably attempt to pass a health care bill when they get back in power, but then the Dems will block it, because it won't be socialistic enough...and the band plays on ad nauseum. I do wish that something would get done, though. The fundamental problem is that the vision for America held by the two parties is so divergent. It is like mixing oil and water. That being the case, I don't know what can be done.

Anonymous said...

Sireen, I hate to blow your ultra biased mind, but I just got back in town shortly before I wrote the 6:07 p.m. comment. Actually, I respect what Sputnik has accomplished in the field of music. He is something of a pop music musicologist. I lived in Memphis during much of the 70's and 80's and saw him play a number times. My clearest memory of him was in the late 70's at Lafayette's in Overton Square. I think that he preceeded Marianne Faithful. He encouraged the crowd to drink up and get crazy. I decided then that he was a man after my own heart, but that was before I got political. I disagree with Sputnik politically, but I would never strike at his worth as a man. In addition to his musical accomplishments, he is quite a journalist. But the biggest testimony to his success in life is that he has a large number of devoted friends, and that says a lot about the true worth of a man. Sorry to disappoint you, but the Gorilla guy must be someone new to the blog. I am sure that Mr. Gorilla will read this defense of Sputnik and perhaps give him something to think about. Life is more than meat (and politics).

SIREEN said...

Anon! I have unjustly judged you to be The 800lb. gorilla that attacked Randy this morning. Please forgive me for the error of my ways! Be that as it may I will continue to aggressively & graciously pray for your spiritual progression! Day atta time baby! Day atta time! Thank you for your kind words about Randy. In the minutes, should I record this as a 'vigorous theological discussion' or a serious 'ecclestastical debate'?

Anonymous said...

All is forgiven. I too rush to judgment sometimes. We can disagree without being disagreeable. Sireen, you make good sense when you are not mad.

SIREEN said...

Let me get this right? Anon thinks I make perfect sense and manorchurch thinks I lack adequate mental facilities.Hmmmmmmmmmmmm! Which reminds me before its renovation, our church lacked adequate restroom facilities. At Mass, Father Farken didn't know why we were all laughing our ass off while he was preaching the gospel about the attributes of John the Baptist! We wah snickering because like a fool he kept repeating the emphatic statement over & over: "What the church needs is more Johns." Some times I feel like I am in a middle of a joke and I am not aware of the punch line! Be that as it may, of course Anon I receive your olive branch of peace & reconciliation. Ain't nothing funny bout Peace, Love & Understanding? Yours truly! Sireen

Inquiring Mind said...

I have heard what I hope to be rumors. I have heard that Sputnik has never had a paying, regular job and that he doesn't even qualify to draw social security. I also heard that he is living in his parent's home. Could any of this be true?

Sputnik57 said...

Not that I have any need to justify my life to you, but how about this, chum?

As a kid, I sold tableware for my father and worked at Julius Lewis men's store.

The band that I founded was produced by Sam Phillips and made more money as high-schoolers than you'll ever know, and released two singles on Sun Records.

I moved to New York in 1969 and was produced at Columbia Records by John Hammond.

I managed two record stores in Knoxville before joining another band and making an album in Nashville for Ovation Records.

I have played 1000's of gigs all over the world for tens of thousands of people. Maybe you even attended a time or two.

I was signed to ABC Records where my composition was the single.

I relocated to Nashville at the behest of a music publisher for whom I worked for many years before being hired by Merit Music as a staff songwriter.

I have written 300 songs and PUBLISHED over 200. I own my own music publishing company and my songs have been recorded by George Jones, Rufus Thomas, and the Impressions, among others.

My 60's recordings have just been anthologized by a British label and I have another self-released and produced CD on the market.

My blog posts are printed bi-weekly in the Memphis Flyer, for which I am compensated.

I worked as a volunteer radio programmer for 12 years to entertain folks like you for free, and I have worked as a featured announcer for the syndicated radio show "Beale Street Caravan."

I have a bachelors degree in journalism, own my own home, recently applied for social security, and am editing a book that I have written for publication.

And I'm a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Now, how about telling us what the fuck you have ever accomplished, scumbag.

Love,
Randy

Anonymous said...

Inquiring Minds, Boy are you sooo full of shit. But I guess Randy already defended himself, not that
he should ever have to defend himself from some no name asshole like you. Funny how people can spread mean things about other people and hide behind anonymity. Does that make you feel strong or just evil and able to get away with it. Oh and by the way Randy is also married and not only a wonderful husband but the BEST stepfather EVER.So before you spread any more bullshit get your facts straight--- DICK. Oh by the way I'm not afraid to sign my name. Melody Haspel

Father Farken said...

Since when has a singer/songwriter, writer, entertainer, journalist, disk jockey, musical artist, music producer and director, song n' dance man, art critic, emce, humorist, political activist and Minister of Peace and Justice ever had a regular paying job? The artist gets screwed more than any one! If you don't believe me ask Van Morrison, Clyde Broadway, Ernie Pecker, Blind Lemon Meringue. At Least George Jones paid up! I wish that you would lay off The Good Hearted Sputnik! You read his blog for free and what are you offering him but grief! Listen! Before I was a priest I was in love with a beautiful lady wrestler who dropped me with more than a high ladder body slam. Broken heart & all I went to a midtown Memphis saloonery to cry my life away in me beer! Then the music stopped and I hear this smooth raspy voice dedicate this Carl Perkins medly to his old friend Ferghus Farken. It was Randy! He sang Matchbox, Boppin' The Blues, Honey Don't, Blue Suede Clown Shoes! It was amazing! It was if I was raised from the dead! While Randy was singing a Honkey Tonk Angel appeared to me and shared the gospel with me and I knew then that I didn't have to jump off the Wolf River Bridge after all. Instead I began my spiritual journey following the one who gave his all for us. Whether Randy bought or inherited his pop's old house is really none of our business. Some of my best friends have 4 legs and use to live in a cage or under a bridge! No questions asked! Iguess what aaI am saying is...If you are tearing down our Sputnik...Boy!...you are standing on the fighting side of me! The Peace of the Lord! Fighting Father Farken

No Longer An Inquiring Mind said...

So those were rumors. I was recently told those things and I just wanted to know the truth of the matter. I wasn't slamming anyone. Now I'm sorry that I asked. Now the world knows the truth. Do you have to be so vicious when questions are asked? I began by saying that I had heard rumors.

Father Farken said...

Dear No Longer! The viciousness was in your questioning of Sputnik's character and you know it? Sputnik has as much character as anyone that I have ever met!

Anonymous said...

It looks like this blog is developing a troll problem. By the way, that was a mighty impressive resume Sputnik. That should quiet some of your detractors. Now, let's get back to the political battlefield.

Anonymous said...

So you heard rumors and what, just decided to spread them? That's really smart,what are you in the 5Th grade? Why would any adult say such stupid things about someone they obviously don't know? Geez, I don't understand you people. Please go on and get a life, preferably your own.

Anonymous said...

yeah. what about the health care "summit" and the useless Republicans?

800 lb gorilla in room said...

You were just tested.
You failed.
I slammed you then just sat back and watched the reaction. I love the way you all felt so hurt and offended.
Like you were wronged.
This is exactly the way you treat anyone with a conservative view.
You're all emotion and no substance. you were so hurt you had to list your accomplishments.
Big hat. No cattle

Anonymous said...

Gorilla, please translate what you just tried to say. What you just said was somewhat inscrutable. Also, I don't think that anyone can knock Sputnik's resume. It beats mine and I am his political adversary.

SIREEN said...

Dear plucked chicken in a gorilla suit! You are all hat & no man fries. You have slammed not Randy but your very self and you don't even know it for you have revealed youself to be not only misguided, immature and neurotic but evil as well. Repent you evil-doer and turn from your wicked ways. I rebuke you in the name of Jesus and command the legion of demons to flee not only your gorilla suit but your slothful sick soul and pitiful mind as well. May God give you a good washing and melt your ice cold heart that you can make something useful of whats left of your wasted, miserable self-centered life. Yours in Christ! SIREEN

Father Farken said...

That Sireen should be on Ripley's Believe It Or Not for she is truly "on fire for the Lord!" The Peace of the Lord! FFF

Randy said...

Mr. 800 lb. Chimp,
You know, you're right; you hurt me. You intentionally and maliciously hurt me and created unnecessary anguish in a human being that has never done anything to harm you. Congratulations on being such an investigative reporter. Does this make you feel better as a person?

And Mr. Anon; I know we're political adversaries, but I appreciate the kind things you said in my defense. Thank you.
But I guess sometimes an asshole is just an asshole.

Anonymous said...

Father Farken. Are you condoning what Sireen just did?

Father Farken said...

In This case ...uh....YES! The peace of the Lord! FFF

Anonymous said...

Can't we all just get along?-Rodney King

SIREEN said...

Thank you Father Farken for your touching story about how Randy led you through a broken heart to a living pilgrimage with the Lord. As you always quote Augustine...the great African Church Father "God draws straight with crooked lines!" This I know is true. And Can you believe this? You were in love with a Lady Wrestler! What a coincidence! You do know that my mamma was also a lady wrestler? The Great Black Pantheress...the Mid South Lady Wrestling Champion? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Anonymous said...

didn't I see the lady pantherss at the north hall in the late fifties or early sixties? she was marvelous. you lucky girl.as I remember she was somewhat fabulous with a great shock of wild red and black hair, would this be who you are speaking of?

Anonymous said...

Let me say one more time...that was a very impressive resume. Now I know that when I address you, in some ways, perhaps many ways, you are my betters. I am not too proud to admit that. Visitors to this blog should have renewed respect for you. I for one have assumed too much just from reading your commentaries. Actually, my main beef is that you don't spread your villification of politicians across the board. My heresy is that I don't trust the government or politicians of any stripe. In fact the problem with ousting liberal Democrats is that they are usually replaced by Republicans and they are usually only slightly better than the Dems they are replacing. Even if the Repubs take back the Senate and the House, I will be holding my breath because they will probably screw up just about as badly as the Dems. If more conservatives knew just how bad George Bush (and his father) was for America was, they wouldn't know whether to shit or go blind. Now that we are in a self-revealing mode, I have a request. Since I was turned on to this blog a few years back, I have always wished that Sputnik would write something of a manifesto in which he reveals his political, etc. world view. I have always had to read between the lines in his commentaries to see or guess where he is coming from. So, how about a Sputnik Manifesto? If you do that at least when people criticize your views they won't be shooting in the dark. And one final remark. I may be obnoxious at times, but I have a tender heart. It absolutely broke my heart that your wife felt that she had to jump into the Gorilla induced fray earlier to defend her husband. That was a sign that things had gone way over the line. I hope that that doesn't happen again. It was absolutely shameful that she was driven to that.

SIREEN said...

You didn't know my Mamma. She never ever dyed her hair. especially not red like some drug induced punk freak. She was authentic through and through. If you want some real live drama just talk about my mamma. Don't you talk about my Mamma. Don't you go there. And don't you talk about Sputnik's wifey...like you are so concerned. Your just way out of bounds. I bet you never had a woman defend you. Why would they? They'd be throwing you under a bus as soon as possible just to be liberated. Don't you understand! We are on to you and your Freak Show. I have a spiritual gift of discernment & I can see through your jive! Now repent your 6ft 4in of red clay & put yourself in the merciful hands of God before the feds carry you away for some much needed government control. Don't get me wrong I am still praying for you but like Andre the Italian opera singer sez...ITS TIME TO SAY GOOD BYE! THANK YOU JESUS! UH...good bye! SIREEN

Anonymous said...

WTF!? Sireen, the trolls have confused you. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but if you think that Gorilla and I are one and the same person you have no spiritual discernment at all. You have just added to his glee. And it would never enter my mind to make a comment about your mother. At least take care to attack the right culprit. When I say something that pisses Sputnik off it has to do with his political opinions. When I step out of line, I apologize. Trolls don't do that. Read the comments more carefully. Ask a question or two before you bring out the heavy artillery. I care nothing for drama. I am interested in this blog mainly because Sputnik is a proponent of modern progressivism. I like to spar with folks like that. I am not into hurting anyone's feelings. In fact I hate it. That is why I made the comment about his wife's distress.

SIREEN said...

Jesus sez one should be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove. When somebody tramples on your innocence sometimes you have to hiss. HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Excuse me for pasting the words of Walter Williams but he says it so well. Also Randy as you know I don't read your blog very often because of our political diferences but I felt compelled to send this quote. As for how productive any of us are we all made our choices and now we do what we have to do to survive. Your buddy, Steve Spear

"For Congress to guarantee a right to health care, or any other good or service, whether a person can afford it or not, it must diminish someone else's rights, namely their rights to their earnings. The reason is that Congress has no resources of its very own. Moreover, there is no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy giving them those resources. The fact that government has no resources of its very own forces one to recognize that in order for government to give one American citizen a dollar, it must first, through intimidation, threats and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American. If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something that he did earn. To argue that people have a right that imposes obligations on another is an absurd concept. A better term for new-fangled rights to health care, decent housing and food is wishes. If we called them wishes, I would be in agreement with most other Americans for I, too, wish that everyone had adequate health care, decent housing and nutritious meals. However, if we called them human wishes, instead of human rights, there would be confusion and cognitive dissonance. The average American would cringe at the thought of government punishing one person because he refused to be pressed into making someone else's wish come true. None of my argument is to argue against charity. Reaching into one's own pockets to assist his fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else's pockets to do so is despicable and deserves condemnation." --economist Walter E. Williams

Amanda Reckonwith said...

"Now I know he lost a 100lbs but can you imagine that crazy cracker interviewing the first lady with those sagging man boobs staring her in the face!"

LOLOLOL!!!! Thanks, Sireen. I needed a laugh!