Linda Lewis: Make sure health care facts, news are accurate


Health care is very personal; allow me to share my own story with you. Despite being a poster child for taking care of myself with excellent diet, exercise and wonderful alternative health care, I've managed to both "blow out" my ACL and contract Lyme disease from a tick bite. I had insurance, with a high deductable, two good incomes between my husband and myself, and it still took a year to pay off all the debt from ACL surgery. Clearly, when the Lyme disease hit, I couldn't switch insurance policies because it would have been considered a pre-existing condition. So we were stuck with increases in premiums of as much as 25 percent in one year.

My point is, if this could happen to me, this and much worse can happen to any of us, at any time. According to the Secretary Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, premiums have increased 300 percent in the past few years while wages remained flat. If we are lucky enough to have employer-covered health insurance, it's costing our employer an arm and a leg, and still we could lose coverage at any time if we lose our job or if our employer just isn't able to continue to cover us. Emergencies, accidents and pre-existing conditions can happen to anyone at any time.

I was lucky enough to hear President Barack Obama speak in Grand Junction last weekend. The crowd was polite and respectful, predominantly Republican, and asked some good, tough questions. Because it's important to get our information from the source, rather than from biased special interest groups with loads of money, I'd like to share some of the most important things I learned straight from Obama. First, his proposal includes the following:

- No denial of coverage for pre-existing illnesses. (In our active mountain community, how many of us have seriously injured joints, didn't have coverage at the time, so now must live with our impairment?)

- No arbitrary caps on coverage (90 percent of plans have caps, which can limit cancer treatment to six months, for example).

- A limit on out-of-pocket expenses.

- Prevention against anyone going broke because of illness (the majority of bankruptcies are because of illnesses, and in most of these cases, folks had health insurance).

- An end to the canceling of insurance (usually just when you need it most).

- The ability to keep your plan and your doctor, if you like.

- The public option, a government-sponsored insurance plan that would operate with low administrative costs (about 3 percent, as compared to 17 to 33 percent for private insurance). This would enable all Americans to be covered.

- Preventative care, including screenings and alternative health care (75 percent of health care costs go to chronic conditions, the vast majority of which could be prevented with diet and lifestyle).

Obama also talked about some of the things his health care proposal doesn't include. No. 1 would be the "Death Panel." Older Americans would not have to go before a panel to see whether they would be allowed to continue living. This strange notion actually originated with some thoughtful legislation put forward by the last Republican Congress offering a voluntary session with an end of life/Hospice counselor. These same congressional Republicans now are calling this option "pulling the plug on Grandma." That's totally dishonest and not part of a meaningful effort to solve our health care crisis.

Also not included in the president's proposal is rationing of care. Today, rationing occurs when insurance companies deny coverage or raise rates, despite a 1,000 percent increase in profits during the past five years.

In conclusion, it's incredibly important to get our news from a reliable source and carefully scrutinize the radio and television channels' accuracy for facts. Just last Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal and US News and World Report released a study showing that the vast majority of misinformation that Americans believe to be true originates from FOX News. Health care is too important an issue to allow intentional lies to polarize and create fear rather than foster reasonable debate and solutions. The last time we were fed such misinformation, we were led into an unjustifiable war. Let's not ever let that happen again. Let's know the validity of our sources and come together as people of good will to create a health care plan that will benefit ours and future generations.


trump_suit 7 years, 5 months ago

This was well written Linda. We need serious disucssion and debate about these issues instead of the "Scary Stories" and misinformation that are being fed to us from the opponents of reform.

I would really like to see some of the creative options and choices that could be offered by the conservatives in this country. Instead we hear a constant diatribe against issues that do not exist like:

Death Panels health Insurance for Illegal Aliens Gov't rationing of Healthcare Gov't payment for abortion

These are examples of how far the opponents will go to discredit these efforts. None of this is real and is derailing what should be a serious debate about our future.


BoatNative 7 years, 5 months ago

Awesome piece, Linda.

Just wait, those who frequent the comment section like it is their job to do so will accuse you of "listening to the President" as if he is not a viable source.

I know during the last administration that many liberals, including myself, disagreed with the President. But I never immediately discredited every word uttered from his mouth. There is a line between civil opposition and un-patriotic activity. Unfortunately, many Americans have crossed that line in this debate about health care reform. This is a problem that needs to be fixed, and it will be this year. To deny this necessary progress from being made simply out of opposition to President Obama and Democrats nation-wide is disappointing.


JLM 7 years, 5 months ago

First, just to be "accurate" as accuracy is what we are all after, right?

There is no ONE plan just now --- and there is NO plan which is proposed by the White House of President Obama.

There are 5-6 plans being circulated in the House of Representatives many of which do, in fact, include each and every one of the things which you contend is "not included".

I have read two of the plans and have scanned another two --- so I can say with some authority that neither you nor the President are giving an accurate rendition of the facts.

Exactly which plan is the President's plan? How can the President possibly comment accurately when there is not a "single" plan before the Congress? How? Please explain this to me.

President Obama has not endorsed any of the bills currently before Congress, so what "plan" is he talking about?

Are you being honest or are you just spouting platitudes?


seeuski 7 years, 5 months ago

The President is a very viable source, he promised that without the stimulus package we would go past 8% unemployment to 9%, we are near 10% with the stimulus. Two weeks after Investigator General Gerald Walpin reported on the theft of $800,000 dollars of our stimulus money by Kevin Johnson, the Mayor of Sacramento Ca and longtime friend of Obama, he was illegally fired. Obama promised the most transparent Government and what do we get? 40 some czars that are personally responsible to no one but Obama. The illegal activity of hiring multiple marketing firms with taxpayer money to promote his agenda. One firm finally has taken responsibility for the emails that were sent to unsuspecting Americans with a letter from David Axelrod again promoting the Obamacare plan. We have a White House who encourages Americans with one point of view to snitch on Americans with an opposite point of view by sending their posts or emails to Obama. My guess is a few here have been tempted or have acted on it. And now when people are disseminating the Bill, HR 3200, and are coming to conclusions as indicated by Trump-suit we are called racists, liars, nutters etc. etc. Creative options are what we have been clamoring for all over this debate and we have even shown where one in particular is a proven success, I will again link the op-ed below, but all that is ignored because that won't create the Government control you all so loudly scream for. The evidence coming in from Canada's own Health Care Administrators of the "sick and imploding" state of that single payer system is totally ignored. The proof does not support the theory that the Government will do an opposite job with a total control of the system than it has done in every other endeavor it has screwed up as Obama often points out about the USPS, Medicare and Medicaid.

That is why this example of success should be a start as opposed to a complete overhaul.

Tort reform must be part of health care reform....


JLM 7 years, 5 months ago

Linda, at the risk of being a tad rude and pointing out the obvious, given your unfortunate physical ailments, what exactly did you expect to happen?

Did you want or expect someone else to pay for your care?

Are you not one of the lucky ones with insurance and the financial wherewithal to pay your own way in the world? Why are you not happy just to be able to make it on your own?

Do you expect to have a nice life, live in SBS, have two incomes and get someone else to pay your bills? Who did you expect to pay for your care? Why?

Yours is the typical liberal lament --- "well, sure, I could pay for it myself, but why can't I get the government to pay for it?" This is the ultimate privileged nanny state which the Obama administration is trying to create and is one of the reasons why a thoughtful citizenry has finally risen to protest.

Individual responsibility --- both in our conduct which creates the need for medical care and in the shouldering the burden of paying for it --- is at the core of any good healthcare plan. You ski, you hurt your knee, you have to pay to fix it. Lifestyle choices have consequences. You want to eat cheeseburgers 24/7, then there are health and financial consequences.

BTW, can we pay your automobile insurance for you also? Please? Sheesh!


seeuski 7 years, 5 months ago

The left goes after the CEO of Whole Foods for bringing in his ideas in an op-ed.

Do You Know Who You Are Boycotting?
posted at 8/21/2009 7:05 AM CDT

* Mackey lectures at Universities about the horrors of factory farming
* He says "Right now, Americans have to pretend factory farms don't exist. They turn their eyes away, because there's no alternative, there's no choice. Once there is a choice, we will allow ourselves to be outraged."
* He makes $1 a year and donates his stock portfolio to charity.
* He set up a $100,00 fund to help his employees with personal problems.
* He's a vegetarian and his company will not buy from producers that treat their animals unethically.
* He flies commercial, rents the smallest cars, and stays in the cheapest hotel rooms - not because he's cheap, but because he has no need for largesse
* He and his wife participate in yoga
* He gives over $1 million a year to animal welfare groups, education, relief work, and spiritual movements.
* Employees have full say in who they work with - a new employee must receive a 2/3 vote in order to make it past probation.
* Employees also vote on all company-wide initiatives
* There's a salary book in every store - "no secrets" management believes everyone should know how much everyone else is making
* Executive salaries are capped at 14 times the lowest workers salary - If they want more money, everyone else has to get more money first
* Non-executive employees hold 94% of company stock options
* Pay is linked to team performance - profit sharing
* At least 5% of annual profits go to local charities
* Full-timers get 100% of their health care costs paid for - under plans the employees have selected
* "They just have a lot more respect for you as a person here" says an employee

And because he had a different idea about how the United States can fix it health care situation, none of this matters? He's a caring person and many of you want to treat him like a monster. Why? Not because he opposes reform, but because he's bringing more ideas to the table.

You people are despicable. If the country had more CEO's like Mackey, this country would be a greater place.

seeuski 7 years, 5 months ago

The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare:

Mr. Mackey is by no means a Conservative or a Republican. He started his business from his garage at his home.


seeuski 7 years, 5 months ago

I thought you might get that one wrong LT. That whole post down to the statement"this country would be a better place" was that persons own words who remains anonymous for obvious reasons. The person is obviously angry over the attacks aimed at John Mackey who I presume that person works for due to their details of the companies operations. But coming from the name caller extraordinaire you are amusing.


Fred Duckels 7 years, 5 months ago

Linda, We are now dealing with the results of trying to put everyone into home ownership, if we are fortunate we may pull out of this marvel of social engineering. Next comes health coverage for everyone, we must not leave anyone out, and in the process let's also give the lawyers and unions a disportionate advantage, since they like us. After we solve these problems there are still a dozen other good causes that we suffer from. It is really unfortunate that business people having labored long and hard, end up losing everything. Being loving human beings, should instill the decency to outlaw such inequities. And surely there is someone, somewhere that is responsible and needs to be held accountable. Today we have protesting oafs that think that our compassionate ideas are foolish, shame on them. I wonder why Mother Nature hasn't already thought of our schemes to eliminate insecurity? She must be an old woman, set in her ways, and "totally ignorant". I would call it wisdom.


Troutguy 7 years, 5 months ago

I read the article three times, and nowhere in there did Linda say she was "expecting the Govt to pay for everything" as one of the comments suggested. I think she is just lamenting the fact that the insurance industry is in charge of our healthcare. Not our doctors, and epecially not us. I've got no problem paying for my doctors services, but I do have a problem when I have to fight my insurance carrier for services that are covered under my plan. I pay a certain amount a month, hoping to never have to use it. But, if I do need to, I expect to take them at their word and cover what they say they will cover. Also, those of us lucky enough to have insurance are already paying for those who "eat cheeseburgers 24/7" and don't have insurance. That is why there is a need to get even the most basic coverage for all. We're gonna pay for it one way or the other. Anyone who owns a car/motorcycle is required by Govt to have insurance. Where's the outcry over that?


Chuck McConnell 7 years, 5 months ago

Linda, I hope it is a obvious to everyone else that your friends commented immediately. Clearly more of the leftest cooking of the books.

Can you really be serious about Obama and the AFL-CIO being accurate sources of information? Last week Obama stated without equivocation that AARP supported his and the Dem. House plans for reform. That was a lie. AARP stated publically they didn't support his plan but do want some form of reform. And the unions? Those boys forced the Auto companies in America to pay such outrageous health care benefits that they brought down the companies and tossed hundreds of thousands of their own members out of work when they could not compete globally. I suggest Russia's Putin is a more accurate source of information.

I actually do, however, agree with many of your points of reform. PEC's are wrong as well as canceling private medical care plan members without cause. The industry is far from perfect. But if you want to achieve sane reform, do not put health care in government hands. Social Security, Medicare, Medicade and the prescription drug plan are bankrupt. Adding 47 more people to government run programs sure will not bring them to solvency. How about tort reform? Obama is totally against this because the trial lawyers give his campaign and other leftests so much money. Tort reform alone could pay for millions of uninsured Americans right away.

The Fed has had 70 years of Dems and Repubs to "bend the cost curve" and they have succeeded -- they have bent it straight up!


Tim Scannell 7 years, 5 months ago

The main premise that statements from President Obama and the President of the AFL-CIO are unbiased and factual make your points less credible. They are both successful politicians on one side of the debate. Are their sales talking points inherently more accurate and honest than points made by those against the proposed Gov't healthcare plan? Can you please post the link to the WSJ article you reference.


Boatperson 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes, once again overrun by the powers that be.

Blah-ba-blah-ba-ba-blah? Blah-blah blah blah-blah-blah-bla-bla-blah. Blah! Blah! Blah! Ha! Ha!


Tim Scannell 7 years, 5 months ago

If mandating we all buy insurance or if eliminating pre-existing condition limits or arbitrary caps on coverage was the goal, the gov't could do that today. The issue is who pays for it and how. Medicare spends 24% more per participant in administration costs. How is that better? If your "right" to universal healthcare requires that I pay for it, where are my rights?


JLM 7 years, 5 months ago

The simple truth of the matter is that some folks are talking about healthcare, healthcare reform, healthcare insurance, healthcare insurance reform while Obama & Co are talking about "free" healthcare with the productive part of our society paying for the unproductive part of our society and it all being administered and managed by the government.

The core problem with that approach --- other than the obvious fact that it is nuts --- is that government has never demonstrated the core competency of being able to even remotely administer any health related complex beauracracy --- not Medicare, not CHIPs and not VA hospitals.

The first words from this administration some months ago was the nutty proposition that wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and A'stan who had private insurance should look to their private insurance to provide care for service connected disabilities and combat wounds!

This was their very first utterance on health care.

Do you think these guys have a clue as to what is really going on?

Literally within hours the American Legion and the VFW had ripped them a new orifice and Commandante Obama had abandoned the idea. The real zany thing is that he thought it was a reasonable idea until he met with them!

This guy is the ultra liberal, inexperienced, shallow, vapid wunderkind that................................Hillary said he was! A mile wide but an inch deep!

"Cash for clunkers" --- a program designed, implemented and managed by this administration with the benefit of their very best thinking --- an unmitigated disaster which has seen an increase in sales for Toyota while we own a very good car company of our own --- Obama Motors/the former GM.

Obamacare? Thanks, no, please pass the pork!


trump_suit 7 years, 5 months ago

LOTS of scary stories and complaints about the loons on the left but not one concrete idea in the bunch.

Bottom Line - Health Insurance is broken and reform is needed. Get on the bandwagon or get out of the way.


JLM 7 years, 5 months ago

No, actually, I thought that Candidate Obama ran the better campaign --- the most modern campaign, the most technically superior campaign, the best funded campaign in the history of US politics, harnessed the Internet like a Percheron, raised money like an evangelical preacher and he had the benefit of a perfect storm.

The perfect storm was the combination of a weak and despised outgoing administration (he hung GWB around John McCain's old wrinkled neck like a pork chop and set the dogs loose on him), a weak Republican candidate who mirrored every advantage Obama with a weakness McCain, a controversial VP pick by McCain, a doddering old chap in a time of innovation, an economy which served up a fat, slow pitch which Obama was able to knock out of the park and a fawning, adoring media which all but committed sodomy praising him --- tingles running down their very legs don't you know?! LOL

I must say with some sincere pride that I was proud to see America elect a Black man (though for the record Barack Obama is Black only in the context of his skin having not a drop of slave blood in his veins and not being a rightful heir to the American slave horror).

Frankly, I had hoped for better. He promised better. He had better promise personally.

President Obama cannot hold Candidate Obama's jock. He is a double talking showman given to a performance which fails to live up to HIS promises and which appears to be helplessly under water. His post racial mojo was undone in an instant with the Skip Gates incident and his knee jerk, ill informed and reflexive statement. Talk about not ready for prime time!

Of course, he is the only honest politician ever spawned by the S Chicago political machine! Riiiiiiiight!

We will have plenty more to be disappointed about before too much longer --- the Stimulus (oh, I am so glad unemployment did not breach 8% --- uhhh, my bad, sorry), Obama Motors (bailing out a failed company, union, state and then crushing them with the 'cash for clunkers' program), Obamacare, Obama's war in Afghanistan and who knows what else. Heck, it's still early.

We still have immigration, tax policy, more economy, more Obamacare, the ultimate failure of GM, a couple of big states going bankrupt and, oh yeah, "gays in the miliary."

So, "sore" about Obama's "election" --- not so much, really. Scared to death about his Presidency, well, YES, indeed!

Obama, a mile wide but an inch deep!


JLM 7 years, 5 months ago

John Mackey has had the most incredible American Dream experience imaginable. I have known JM since he was a pot smoking hippie running a health food store across from the Shoal Creek Saloon at a low point on Lamar Blvd in Austin, TX.

John had the misfortune of owning that store when a huge flood inundated the Shoal Creek watershed and flooded his store. It happened more than once. He began to appreciate the organic food business and the delivery of grocery product on about the third rebuilding of the Lamar Blvd store.

They used to stack sandbags and plastic tarps at the door and tried to fashion Rube Goldberg schemes to keep the flood waters at bay. Never worked and the joint is about 2 blocks down Lamar Blvd from a flagship Whole Foods (on higher ground, don't ya know?).

The rest is history.

John Mackey is about as far as you could get from being a corporate CEO from the typical big MBA school mold. He is at heart still an easy come, easy go pot smoking slacker (with a damned good head for numbers and marketing) as he was all those years ago in Austin.

He still lives there and his idea of a wild time is hiking the Appalachian Trail.

The idea that the leftward leaning loonies are teeing it up against one of their own is precious.

John, you go boy! This bud's for you! LOL


seeuski 7 years, 5 months ago

I will be driving to Denver West this week to spend some cash in his store. How dare he have an apposing point of view from the faker in chief.


Troutguy 7 years, 5 months ago

JLM- Why do you seem so surprised that a politician would say one thing on the campaign trail, then not follow thru when they are elected. "Read my lips. No new taxes." I imagine this has been going on long before Obama was elected, from both sides of the aisle. We now live in the 24 hours a day campaign cycle. As soon is someone is elected, the next day they are out campaigning for the next election. Plus, they've got to take care of all their buddies that gave them the money to get elected in the first place. No longer are we even given the chance to vote for the best candidate. We get whoever the national heads of either party decide who can win the election, not necessarily govern the best. Our political system is completely broken, and from the looks of it, things aren't gonna get better any time soon. It's been a couple hundred years since our last revolution to throw out the bums in charge. Is it time again?!


seeuski 7 years, 5 months ago

Are you in trump-suits way troutguy? This is starting to sound ugly here.

I think when you have a President who sets up a snitch line we are headed for a problem.


Troutguy 7 years, 5 months ago

Well said, JLM. It truly is a sad day when we can't take our elected officials at their word. Even though they deny, deny, deny, they are beholden to the 'not so special interests'. Nobody gives these people money without expecting something in return. I've always wondered how giving money to a potician is considered free speech. But I guess it is, because money talks, B.S. walks.


JLM 7 years, 5 months ago

Troutguy --- guilty as charged.

Yes, I am a bit naive and I am a bit of an optimistic idealist. A fool undoubtedly by some's measure. But a genuine fool, not a knee jerk incarnation. I earned the right to be foolish.

I still want to believe that we produce men of the caliber of the Founding Fathers or the grit of my Father who had his life snatched out of his control by the turn of events in WWII (he was at both Pearl Harbor and D-Day) and who just went about their business quietly stamping out evil in the world.

I still believe in the American Dream. Hell, I've lived it. I know it can happen. I hate that that opportunity is being stamped out by our government.

I served honorably and was rewarded by all the great lessons that service to our Country provides. I was made better by the experience and struggled to earn the respect of men I was not ready to lead.

But I eventually did and it turned out OK. I am proud not of my service but that I was allowed to lead such great American citizens.

I came to understand the hopeless despair of draftees pressed into service who served honorably though unwillingly and I learned to measure my volunteer service by the great trust bestowed upon me by being entrusted with their lives. I spent them carefully and in a miserly fashion.

I have had to tell Mother's in writing and in person that their sons have watered the tree of liberty with their blood --- and I don't like it. It stole my youth when my youth was the only thing I had but it made me a better adult. I think so anyway.

I want a Commander in Chief who will at least understand the seriousness of the world we live in --- certainly in foreign affairs but also in shaping the lives of our people through our economy and the vitality of the American Dream.

I am sick to death of a society which seems to be drifting toward no limitations on anything, no mechanism to develop character of the following generations and a constant stream of buffoons on the make. I am sick to death of special interests whose interests are simply not special.

It breaks my heart to think that a man's labor is owned by his government now through August of each year. It is shameful.

A revolution, you say? Hmmm, not quite there yet but I would sure be willing to pitch in when the time comes.

And, yes, I do think that guys like President Obama know in their quietest moments when they have to evaluate their own souls that they are lying. And, no, it is not just one party.

So, when the time comes, count me in.


Boatperson 7 years, 4 months ago

"Wisdom is what's left after we've run out of personal opinions." - Cullen Hightower


NamVet 7 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Seeuski please read Bob Herbert article in the Pilot today. If there is anyone in Steamboat that needs to read this and understand what our military has gone thru over the past 8 years you do.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

A must see video from ABC's John Stossel.

Oh, if we were all cats and dogs.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

I read it. You should not look to friendly Americans as your enemy Sir. Good night.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

Secondly Mr. NamVet I have donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, have you? Cindy Sheehan has been picketing Barack Obama because of his troop increases in the war zone and not one MSM source will cover it, seem odd to you? She was on 24/7 when the last POTUS was in charge. Politics and its bedfellows.


NamVet 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes I have plus I've been there in San Antonio to witness first hand W's legacy. I've also spent many days at a VA Hospital helping out. I don't give a damn about Cindy I only care about our men and women in uniform that have been treated like pawns over the past 8 years. The American people refuse to pay or serve in these 2 wars and put 100% of the burden on less than one percent of the population. If we had this attitude in 1941 we would have lost WW2. When my Father landed on Omaha Beach on D Day and his Brother landed on Iwo they didn't say let someone else do it like today. If a country goes to war the entire country goes not less than 1%. It is time to bring our people home as Mr. Herbert wrote.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree with you 100%, we should go all in to win or come home. Damn right. This political game that is being played now requiring our soldiers to read Miranda rights is a joke. And AG Holder/Obama using the CIA interrogation tactics as a political ploy during the health care debate is anti American. The medias use of Abhu Gharaib photos to bash Bush has been proven to have caused a substantial increase in attacks against our military. But don't forget that the Military is all volunteer and many thousands willfully did just that after 9/11 and still do willingly. My Father volunteered to go in WWII and saw combat in France and then was wounded, captured, tortured and held prisoner for 10 months and was liberated by our own. An 87 year old WWII Vet from the 29th ID stood up at John McCain's Town Hall 2 days ago and it got me. I miss Pops.


JLM 7 years, 4 months ago

The simple truth of the matter is that with an all volunteer Army, the American people do not have to make personal sacrifices --- in effect, they subcontract them to those folks for whom military service is a tradition (my family), those for whom military service is an adventure (again, my family) and those for whom military service is simply a job or a path to citizenship.

The burning question is --- have they also subcontracted their patriotism? Unfortunately, there is ample evidence to suggest that is true also.

The current military is the very best that we have ever fielded. Better educated, better trained, better led and better equipped. Sure, there are a lot of things which could be improved but all in all, it is the world's best fighting force. No military in the world has the American capability to wage the modern air-sea-land combined arms warfare that has become almost second nature to our military. It is limited only by its size.

Our President has failed to pragmatically recognize and support our military in ways which are meaningful. Frankly, I suspect it is simpy a matter of ignorance and inexperience on his part.

Even his boobish suggestion that a soldier's private health insurance provider would be responsible for service connected injuries and combat wounds was borne of simple ignorance and when the American Legion and VFW counseled him, he came around but it is quite revealing as to what an inexperienced and shallow chap he truly is and the folks around him.

The current Administration has not had a single Rose Garden medal pinning ceremony since its Inauguration. If I were President and we were at war on three fronts (Iraq, Afghanistan, terror), I would be pinning everthing above a Bronze Star on a guy's chest in the Rose Garden or in the theater of operations.

Given the exquisite nature of this Administration's press and media savvy, it is difficult to imagine how they have missed this opportunity.

Instead, what we are going to do is investigate the CIA and see if we can't pin the tail on the donkey of some guys who apparently blew a bit of second hand smoke on some bad guys!

We should all be making some personal sacrifice or some personal investment of our own time and treasure to support the military in some small way. They are our Army and they are protecting our way of life --- which is the best in the world.

So the real question is --- have you subcontracted YOUR patriotism or are you doing something meaningful to demonstrate it?


Jeff_Kibler 7 years, 4 months ago

Unbelievable! Stossel and ABC are complicit in the vast right-wing conspiracy.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

How many vacations and NY style dinner dates has Obama taken in his first few months and will the media get after him half as much as they did with GWB? Will they compare the costs and include the Obama AF1 flyover of NYC which sent people running for their lives? Just a thought during these rising deficit times.


Meusel 7 years, 4 months ago

So JLM, I guess what you're saying is that "W", Cheney, Rumsfeld, Limbaugh, and those other chicken hawks subcontracted their patriotism.


JusWondering 7 years, 4 months ago

Is anyone else tired of both the extreme left and the extreme right, both of which claim to have "moderate" views, or it just me?


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

I guess I am a right winger for quoting the WH.

"Burton defends new vacation" "After a mid-August trip to America's national parks and a weeklong vacation on Martha's Vineyard, President Obama plans ...

... to take a little more time away from the office next week.

Obama will head to Camp David on Wednesday, Sept. 2, and stay through the weekend, White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters in a Thursday briefing. " "As I recall, the previous president [took] quite a bit of vacation himself, and I don't think anyone bemoaned that," Burton said."

Yea? Just the whole left wing media everyday, and Bush was going to his own Ranch, not NYC for a dinner night out or a whirlwind tour of the whole West or France date night. And now this week and next. Call me a right winger I guess but the WH's own deficit prediction for the next 10 years went up by 2 trillion DOLLARS!!! But we are in a spend our way out of the depression mindset. I don't see how people can remain moderate under these circumstances and these WH actions. But that's just me. Enjoy the day.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

If this doesn't freak you all out then nothing will.

"Bill would give president emergency control of Internet"


knee_dropper 7 years, 4 months ago

How about some moderation here? What was the topic of this article and thread again? Seeu, if all these other topics are so important to you why don't you start your own thread dealing with them in the forums? . . . BTW thanks for the run-down on what Obama's been doing for dinner and vacation; that's really gonna sway my opinion.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

Sorry to have bothered you knee, I think it all matters. It's the big picture.


dave mcirvin 7 years, 4 months ago

Linda points it out all too well. We are all just a single, terrible diagnosis away from family bankrupcy.

I hope seeus isn't too upset that she wasn't named the keynote speaker at the "freedom conference".


Brian Kotowski 7 years, 4 months ago

Gimme a break, seeuski. So many legitimate arugments and questions about the health care debate, and you snivel about the President's vacation? I especially enjoyed this whine:

""As I recall, the previous president [took] quite a bit of vacation himself, and I don't think anyone bemoaned that," Burton said."

Yea? Just the whole left wing media everyday..."

In other words: other people are childish & irrelevant, and so am I!!

Grow up.

Some questions I emailed to all 7 of our Congressional reps & both Senators a couple months ago (haven't gotten a reply from any of them, beyond automated form responses):

Will the text of the bill be complete & not subject to change before it's voted on?

Will those voting on the bill have read it, comprehend it, & understand the pros & cons?

What system currently operating is the closest to what is being proposed, that we can look at for comparison?

Who is doing the actuarial work & setting standards for coverage?

How does it compare to private plans currently available?

Are illegals covered? If so, what's the price tag?

Will experimental treatments be covered?

Will long-term care/assisted living be covered? If so, how will it be paid for?

Will cost-to-value considerations be used to deny care?

Will we be entitled to the same coverage (at the same cost) available to senators & congressional reps? If not, will senators & congressional reps keep their current coverage at taxpayer expense?

What's the cost per year for the 1st 40 years?

We're told it'll cost $1 trillion for the 1st 10 years. A lot of the big-ticket provisions don't kick in right away, lowering the 10-yr cost. What's the price tag for the 2nd decade?

Will there be a penalty for those opting not to get health insurance?

Can you attach a dollar amount to the new taxes, and who will be paying them?

What's the income threshold for those who will see higher taxes as a result of this plan?

Will the govt be able to electronically deduct premium payments from my bank account without my permission?

How do you reconcile piling another trillion dollars (for starters) onto the current debt with "I won't sign a bill that will add to the national debt"?

Will the public option be in the final bill?

How can a public option not lead to a single payer system?

How would we prevent a public option from becoming the grease fire that is Medicare, Social Security, the VA, the USPS, and just about anything else the govt runs?


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

Sep, Since you don't seem to understand why you will never receive a response from all your email writhing I will let you in on it. They-don't-care-about-your-questions-period. It is not about health care, it is about turning the whole medical delivery system over to be run by Government agencies which are 50% Unionized at least. That means huge amounts of money going to Union bosses who then return the favor in elections. That is why I moved the discussion towards the insidious spending habits of this Administration during terrible economic times and I was ticked off by the White Houses response to that question. Those were not my words about Bush did it too, it was Dan Burtons who speaks for Obama. Spending my friend spending, whether health care, cap and tax, stimulus or vacations it must stop. It is our money after all.


JLM 7 years, 4 months ago

meusel ---

No I give W a bit, but just a bit, of credit for having at least taken the trouble to learn how to fly a fighter. That is a dangerous undertaking. I have always wondered how a guy who would undertake that dangerous trade would be unwilling to practice in a zip code w/ a bit of danger.

The rest of them are exactly as you have described them --- chickensh!ts --- who are unwilling to go in harm's way and whose utterances are fairly colored by their lack of service when the country could have used a solid example.

I lump all the draft dodgers in the same classification before I even become remotely interested in their politics. I can agree with a fella's politics while still questioning his personal level of commitment, bravery and cowardice.

A pox on all of their chickensh!t houses!

Frankly, if you cannot serve the Nation, I question how one can lead the Nation. Not saying a person has to have military experience to be qualified but simply that if a guy avoids his duty then that is something altogether different.

There are frankly no great subtle complex explanations --- they are all chickensh!ts and physical cowards.

I went to a military academy and served with elite units home and abroad and frankly it is way, way overrated physically. A reasonably fit snowboarder could make it physically through Airborne, Ranger, Pathfinder, Jungle Warfare schools and perform adequately in combat. [Ranger School was far tougher physically than combat.]

It is the mental toughness which separates the men from the chickensh!ts.

I particularly loathe the guys who went to Divinity School --- that's like sticking your thumb in America's eye. On the other hand, the bravest man I ever saw was a Conscientious Objector.


NamVet 7 years, 4 months ago

JLM having been involved in both in my opinion being a Ranger/Seal is more demanding and dangerous than flying high perfornance jets. I found pilot training and military flying not to be easy but I'd take it any day of the week over being on the ground as I was in Vietnam as an NCO. The pay was better also. Being in the Guard or Reserves in the Vietnam era was a place for the sons of politicians and the rich to avoid being sent to a combat zone which is no longer the case. The draft dodgers you described are pretty much the last 3 Administrations plus the blowhards of hate radio and cable. Like Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney said they had better things to do with thieir lives than serve in the military during Vietnam.(make money) However they would be the first to send someone else if they could make a buck from it.
In an interview in 1992 Cheney was asked why Elder Bush did not invade Iraq and get rid of Sadam. His answer was that if they had done that they would unleach a sectarian war that could not be stopped. It would cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars and we'd be stuck there for decades. Of course that is what has exactly happened. So why was he so right in 1992 and so wrong in 2003? Follow the money and you'll have your answer. Money that could have been used for some sort of health care reform instead it was totally wasted.


JLM 7 years, 4 months ago

I have never flown a military aircraft but I have a couple thousand hours in Bonanzas and I would respectfully disagree with you that flying fighters is not a hugely dangerous undertaking. Once you cross the danger zone into the area in which a mistake can cost you your life, then it is dangerous enough. For me, anyway!

Sure being in combat is more dangerous than just about any endeavor in whch you can sleep in clean sheets and air conditioning. LOL --- never could figure out why I passed up the chance to be in the Air Force or Navy. Guess I just like a bit of dirt to dig in.

All my Ranger training (winter Ranger, mind you) got me was that I had to lead all the sh!tty patrols! It all worked out OK. Heck, I went to any school at which you could get a badge!

Beware the temptation to categorize any political party as having a monopoly on chickensh!ts. I have found both parties to have a generous helping.

Patriotism is a funny thing. While I personally confess to having a hang up on guys who avoided service rather than guys who service never quite found them --- the lucky ones??? --- I sometimes wonder if my standards are too high. I guess having had the experience, I am mindful of the fact that simply enduring is the key to well....enduring. It seems like chickensh!ts often morph into chicken hawks.


JLM 7 years, 4 months ago

Say what you want about W but I think he got it about the solemn duty of a President in committing troops to combat and who really bears the burden. One can believe that and still maintain a healthy skepticism about the second Iraq War. I am a bit ambivalent about the Iraq War, thinking it may be a useful investmetn 25 years from now while certainly open to the suggestion that it has been an incredible financial burden. The financial decisionmaking and the financial basis --- Iraqi oil is going to pay for it all --- for paying for it all is just nuts. All wars are nuts.

I fear that A'stan has already crossed the threshold of being more expensive to get out than it was to get in. That is a big piece of terrain and it is not called the Graveyard of Empires for nothing.

I always get a kick out of guys who were never in the service who categorize everybody who ever served as a "hero". I have certainly never felt heroic and I think I got much, much, much more out of the experience than I was able to contribute. In some ways it is their way of compensating for their lack of service.

My Dad was a Cmd Sgt Major and so it came naturally to me. It was the family business and having grown up on Army posts, I was instantly familiar and comfortable. I liked soldiering and I liked soldiers. It was an honor to be entrusted with the lives of America's sons and I tried to do the best I could.

I had ocassion to train with SEALs and British SAS and I am of the mind that maybe the SEALs are a bit tougher than Rangers but then they operate in smaller units which provides for more selective candidates while Rangers can operate up to the Battalion/Regiment size.


NamVet 7 years, 4 months ago

J I didn't say that flying fighters was not dangerous, it is. I scared the hell out of myself on more than one occasion flying at 100 ft. agl at max speed. Over the years many of the guys I flew or trained with bought the farm. There was a big difference between flying over North Vietnam in the 60's and 70's vs. flying over South Texas. My point was the guys on the ground like the Rangers/Seals are in harms way 24/7 while a pilot may be in that situation for maybe an hour on a mission. I just think it is more dangerous on the ground based on my experience. You are right that both parties are just a guilty of stupidity when it comes to starting wars. The Dems have Vietnam and Rep. have Iraq/Afganistan. Both grossly mismanaged from the start. Having spent 8 years in the Middle East I knew the difference between Sunni and Shiite wheras W thought all Muslims were the same and he was the President. If W had listened to Gen. Shinseki instead of firing him when he told him that in order to win and secure Iraq it would take 3 times as many troops the outcome may have been different. The my way or the highway attitude is why it became a disaster. I have great admiration for the elder Bush who I met on a few occasions but unfortunately none of his knowledge and experience rubbed off on his son. The end result is that besides the human toll the money wasted could have used to fix health care in this country which is going to get a lot worse as premiums continue to rise year after year and the population ages. In 10 years only the biggest corporations and the super rich will have health insurance if nothing is done. I don't know what is the best way to fix the system but if nothing is done it will only get harder to fix.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

Tort reform, portability, interstate policy purchasing and clinics for the poor are some of the many proposals that have been offered by the opposition to the current desire of the Democrats to take control of the whole delivery system, and now Howard Dean admits on a TV interview that the Lawyer unions are the reason that tort reform is dead. Please help us, we need strong leaders to fend off the politics of union power and political income.

And NamVet, had GHWB finished the job in 1991 we would not be posting on this site or topic right now. That's the way I see it anyway.


NamVet 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree with you that Tort reform is part of the solution however the great majority of Congressman and Senators are lawyers both Democrats and Republicans. They ALL get big contributions form their brother lawyers which is why they won't talk about it or do anything. They do not want to bite the hand that feeds them. As for GHWB in 1991 I felt the same way but he said it would have been a total disaster if they had marched to Baghdad. Considering what has happened he and Cheney seem to be right, though Cheney forgot his own words. No power especially a western power has been successful in either Iraq or Afganistan. The way things have gone I think you may be adding the USA to the list of failures, only time will tell but I'm not optimistic.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

I believe that the weight lifting would have been so much easier back in 1991, Al Quiada was in its infancy and the media was much more fair at the time than it was under GWB. The Abhu Gahraib daily photo op sessions for over a month did cause more US casualties along with the anti Bush venom that the enemy was enjoying. I think there is good evidence to show that this Country would have avoided all the terrorist attacks that began in 1993 and leading up to 9/11, or as Obama wants to call it, the National Day of Service. What a joke. So I have always held GHWB responsible for that decision and its aftermath. I think now we either go all in and finish the job in Afghanistan or bring em home although I would not consider it a failure. We have made a difference even if the ice is thin now. A lot of bad guys are gone.


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