when the status quo frustrates.

20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedom To Screw Other People Over

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

This list is great. I’ve copied and pasted my favorites, helpfully annotated.

You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)

Freedoms being lost: The freedom to have me pay for your uninsured emergency room visits and your freedom to start up a business which can’t bring in enough revenue to cover a single annual expense of $750. Jesus wept!

You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).

Freedoms being lost: The insurance companies’ freedom to deny coverage to anyone who isn’t young and healthy.

You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).

Freedoms being lost: Your insurance company’s freedom to refuse to pay for you to be cured of most serious illnesses, such as cancer. You are also losing the freedom to have me pay for your uninsured emergency room visits during your downhill spiral. More Jesus tears!

Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).

Freedoms being lost: Your freedom to drive up my insurance premiums by needing a lot more expensive medical treatment for conditions that, had you used preventive care, could have been circumvented or caught far earlier in their much less expensive phases.

If you are a physician and you don’t want the government looking over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational purposes. It’s not like the government will ever use it to intervene in your practice and patients’ care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))

Freedoms being lost: Your physician’s freedom to hide from you the quality of the care he provides and how much it tends to cost. I personally am going to miss the current system of finding a physician, which if I’m lucky can be based on a friend’s recommendation but is more often a total crapshoot based on geographic proximity to my home or workplace, where I get to test-drive him on my precious, one-and-only body.

You are a health insurer and you want to raise premiums to meet costs? Well, if that increase is deemed “unreasonable” by the Secretary of Health and Human Services it will be subject to review and can be denied. (Section 1003)

Freedoms being lost: Your insurance company’s freedom to jack up your rates without any explanation or justification. Jesus Tears Mark III!

The government will extract a fee of $6.7 billion annually from insurance companies. If you are an insurer, what you will pay depends on your share of net premiums plus 200% of your administrative costs. So, if your net premiums and administrative costs are equal to 10% of the total, you will pay 10% of $6.7 billion, or $670,000,000. In the reconciliation bill, the fee will start at $8 billion in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015, $1.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018 (Section 1406).Think you, as an insurance executive, know how to better spend that money? Tough.(Section 9010 (b) (1) (A and B).)

Freedoms being lost: Your insurance company’s freedom to funnel as much of their profits as possible into “administrative costs” rather than into your medical care.

You will have to pay an additional 0.5% payroll tax on any dollar you make over $250,000 if you file a joint return and $200,000 if you file an individual return. What? You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9015).
That amount will rise to a 3.8% tax if reconciliation passes. It will also apply to investment income, estates, and trusts. You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Like you need to ask. (Section 1402).

Freedoms being lost: For 98.5% of Americans, absolutely none.

WOW, did Obama REELY go into the LION’S DEN?!? huh? wow…

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

I’m sure you’ve all heard of this by now:

Obama makes appearance at annual GOP retreat

Just two days after giving the State of the Union speech, President Obama stepped into the lion’s den at the GOP retreat in Baltimore Friday to make a fresh start with House Republican leaders. Obama accepted the invitation from the Republican leadership to discuss upcoming legislation initiatives and to participate in a question and answer session about some contentious public policy decisions.

(If you haven’t seen it yet, you can get the whole series of videos here.)

I did watch it, and I should also note that I didn’t really watch the State of the Union address other than a few snippets here and there. I suspect I could have just as easily skipped out on watching both of them. President Obama is a great speaker and clearly a very intelligent and articulate man who performs with admirable coolness under fire–but I already knew all that, dating back from before Obama was actually President. I do admit that it is a pleasure to have him be the official face of America both at home and abroad–I spent most of Bush’s eight years in office cringing every time he opened his mouth.

But I wasn’t too impressed by the activity itself. Really, more even than being unimpressed, I found myself wondering why on earth it was occurring at all. To promote bipartisanship..? Not likely. As anyone who has actually dealt with groups of people who disagree while simultaneously being necessary to whatever final goal is being attempted knows (and if you’ve spent any time in corporate America at anything above the level of absolute peon, that’s you), the only way to get people to really cooperate with you is to air your dissention with them in private. Doing so in public will only work if you somehow have their nuts up against the wall anyway so it doesn’t matter what they think or feel. Basically, if you’re doing so in public with someone or someone who has any real power to screw up your agenda, your purpose is actually not to advance your agenda, but either to (a) make yourself look good to your stakeholders or (b) make them look bad to theirs, as publicly as possible.

It is important to realize that, because otherwise you might find yourself wondering why Obama would feel the need to kiss the GOP’s ass with this rather supplicant-scented meeting–my boy Jon did a pretty funny takedown of that attitude a week or so ago, in reference to the Massachusetts special election:

…because you know, if Coakley loses, Democrats will only then have an 18-vote majority in the Senate…which is more than George W. Bush EVER had in the Senate when he did whatever the fuck he wanted to do. In fact, the Democrats have a greater majority than Republicans have had since 1923.

I did go shopping for conservative commentary on the Obama/GOP retreat Q&A, because I found myself wondering if any of them believed it really was ass-kissing, towards them!–turns out that yes, they do indeed believe this.

Michelle Malkin:

But the session has been most compelling — the most transparency and openness we’ve seen since the start of his term.

Good on the House Republicans for throwing the doors open.

And, yes, I’m going to compliment the president: Good on him for taking part.

Yet another dividend of the Massachusetts Miracle.

Forget the staged dog-and-pony campaign rallies…

Redstate:

The GOP is touting the benefits of having the president say – on the record – that they have offered substantive proposals. They also argue that this appearance puts Nancy Pelosi in a tough position: the president promised bipartisanship, and she’s delivering none. They see the chance to knock her down a few more pegs…Republican Members were delighted after the presentation.

Ace of Spades:

It’s funny how our Post-Partisan President only gets around to addressing Republicans when he needs their votes. Funny how he didn’t do that for a year…And it is this asshole — President “I Won” — who has staked his young and now failed presidency on nothing but winning and steamrolling the opposition and ignoring critics and demonizing dissenting voices, all to “win” on this issue, to prove he could win, and so to prove that he was El Supremo Jefe and we all had to buckle under his benevolent dictatorship.

It is this asshole who has denied himself the wiggle room to compromise, and so it is this asshole who is now attempting to persuade us to compromise, because he can’t.

That was the majority response…though not all of ‘em are quite that stupid:

Althouse:

Okay, I will be looking for the strengthful nuance that knocks down all arguments.

More than the State of the Union — or on top of the State of the Union — this may be a pivotal moment for the future of the presidential agenda on Capitol Hill. (Democrats are loving this. Chris Hayes, The Nation’s Washington bureau chief, tweeted that he hadn’t liked Obama more since the inauguration.)

Got it. The Prez’s people loved it. Maybe this wasn’t really about inspiring bipartisanship but firing up the base.

…bingo? I don’t really follow conservative bloggers much, but this chicky may be one for me to watch in future.

All-in-all, color me “meh.”

Well, that’s it then. All Hail the GOP, the true party of righteousness!

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

The last three times I’ve opened a browser window, the top news headlines have been variations on the above theme. Yep, folks, the brief insanity of the American people in both electing Barack Obama to the White House and purging Congress of its Republican majority has ended! The tide is turning! And here’s the proof!

By seizing gubernatorial seats in Virginia and New Jersey, Republicans on Tuesday dispelled any notion of President Obama’s electoral invincibility, giving the GOP a lift and offering warning signs to Democrats ahead of the 2010 midterm elections.

Wow. A Republican governor in Virginia! When we have a Democrat as president! Because one thing Virginian voters sure are known for is–!

List of Virginia governors, 1982-present

Charles S. Robb (Democrat) 1982-1986 President at time of election: Ronald Reagan (Republican)
Gerald L. Baliles (Democrat) 1986 -1990 President at time of election: Ronald Reagan (Republican)
L. Douglas Wilder (Democrat) 1990-1994 President at time of election: George H.W. Bush (Republican)
George F. Allen (Republican) 1994-1998 President at time of election: Bill Clinton (Democrat)
James (Jim) Gilmore III (Republican) 1998-2002 President at time of election: Bill Clinton (Democrat)
Mark Warner (Democrat) 2002-2006 President at time of election: George W. Bush (Republican)
Tim Kaine (Democrat) 2006-2010 President at time of election: George W. Bush (Republican)

–consistently electing a governor of the opposite party of the sitting president. And nope, it’s not a coincidence; for one, in Virginia, the incumbent governor is barred by law from seeking reelection, and two, Virginia has a large number of voters registered as “Independent” (about a third of all voters), the majority of whom consider themselves “Moderate.” Which means, that whatever direction they percieve themselves as being pushed…say, by the ideology of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States…they will dig their heels in and lean the other way. As you see above.

Now, I already knew all this from simply living smack up against Virginia for about sixteen years now (which is why I engaged in some heavy eye-rolling after the third or fourth repetition in the news of the title meme of this post); however, I can’t claim the same level of familiarity with New Jersey governors and voters–maybe it has some sort of grandiose meaning. But as far as Virginia goes…well, no. Sorry, folks.

Because racism’s dead. You knew that, right?

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.

NEW ORLEANS – A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

“There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage,” Bardwell said. “I think those children suffer and I won’t help put them through it.”

Yep, children from those marriages, even the ones that don’t last, I mean it’s not like they could e-v-e-r grow up to become President of the United Sta—

“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”

Mostly I think of “piles and piles” as describing my laundry. And did he seriously just brag about letting black people use his bathroom..?

I sure love living in “post-racial” America!

Okay, so where’s mine?

Friday, October 9th, 2009


I’m waiting.

I am also “not George W. Bush,” which as far as I can tell, is the achievement that Barack Obama just won the Nobel Peace Prize for. I have a nice empty spot on one of my bookcases where it’d look just right. Really!

You’re Fired.

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

…if only I had that power. Oh well.

The Obama administration supports extending three key provisions of the Patriot Act that are due to expire at the end of the year, the Justice Department told Congress in a letter made public Tuesday.

Wrong!

Bad!

No!

…ignoring me. Yep. Figures…well, my vote WAS meaningless, wasn’t it?

On the brighter side:

Operation Rescue says it’s broke, may shut down

Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., faces charges of murder and aggravated assault in the slaying of Tiller as the Wichita abortion provider ushered at a Sunday morning church service.

Tiller’s killing has also been a public relations nightmare for the group — despite its public condemnation of the slaying — since the name and phone number of the group’s senior policy adviser was found in Roeder’s car when he was arrested. A television crew zoomed in on the scrawled note inside the car in images that made their way to the Internet.

…ALL TOGETHER NOW….”Awwwwwww!” :D

Michelle Obama is a Hot 100 Girl of Maxim

Monday, August 24th, 2009

So, I stumbled across this yesterday, and my brain is still having difficulty actually processing it as a concept:

2009 Hot 100 Girls of Maxim
At long last the stimulus package America really needs: The eyeball-searing, fantasy-fulfilling, brain-exploding return of the Hot 100!

93. Michelle Obama
He may be dealing with two wars, an economic meltdown, and a rapidly graying dome, but at least our Commander in Chief gets to come home to the hottest First Lady in the history of these United States.

My reactions, in chronological sequence:

1. That’s a very nice picture of Mrs. Obama.
2. Maxim is a really stupid magazine.
3. No, I’m not being sexist, it’s the exact same kind of stupid as Cosmopolitan–hey, equal-opportunity stupidity! How often do you get to see that in the real world–
4. Is that really the President’s wife on a Hot 100 Maxim Girl list?!
5. Oh my God, Maxim is such a stupid magazine!
6. She is pretty hot, actually. I don’t think I look that good now.
7. I wonder what the comments say…?
8. Okay, now I’m sorry I looked at the comments.
9. To really analyze this, I should look at the other 99 Hot Maxim Girls–
10. No, I just can’t do it. Not even for the blog!
11. Not only do Democrats get all the good musicians at their convention, now they get to have the hot first lady too–do you think Republicans ever get jealous of all this effortless cool..?
12. Maxim is really the stupidest, most sexist while simultaneously being the most brainlessly trivial magazine, ever. Gah!

How I Grew Up Without Health Insurance, or Emergency Rooms Don’t Do Chemotherapy

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

“Wow,” said the doctor.

That’s not what I expect a doctor to say while peering into my ear, of all places. “What?” I asked.

“You have really heavy scarring in there,” she said cheerily. “You must have had a ton of untreated ear infections as a child!”

Had I? I remembered being sick a lot, and there had been times of excruciating ear pain—“Oh?”

“Oh yeah,” she said. “I’m surprised you don’t have any hearing loss, or balance or vertigo issues. The scarring’s so bad, the cilia in your inner ear, you know—probably not too many of those left.”

Goodness, that explained a lot…I left the doctor’s office feeling kind of dazed. All my life I’ve suffered awful, debilitating motion sickness—even as an adult, after most other people I knew outgrew getting carsick in the back seat on the way to Grandma’s house, I never did. Over the years I’d become the master of what little I could do to mitigate it and also of hiding it from others (to a point—my face turning greenish-white wasn’t something I could ever manage to hide, but luckily that degree of nausea takes hours of continuous motion to achieve and I avoid hours of it whenever possible). My first husband was remarkably unkind about it, insisting it was all in my head and cutting me no slack whatsoever over it in the apparent belief that if it wasn’t coddled, I’d snap out of it.

(Needless to say, that never did work…all it did was make me feel unloved and violently nauseated, as opposed to just violently nauseated. Oh, well.)

When I started junior high, we had a gymnastics section in PE class. How it worked out for the boys I don’t know, but it was a real class divider for the girls. See, girls from nice families got gymnastics classes and gymnastics camps as a matter of course, usually for several years in earlier childhood—us poor girls? Not so much. And there it was, laid out for all to see. And for me, it’d always been even worse—your average poor girl had usually figured out on her own how to do a simple cartwheel as part of the normal childhood process. Sadly, not I—I could never manage one; not because I lacked athleticism, I was always a fast runner and a good catcher, for instance—but because I lacked balance. The very worst, most humiliating part of the gymnastics section, of course, was the balance beam. I couldn’t even get up on the goddamn thing. I mean it—as part of even the simplest routine, we had to do a running mount of some description. I could jump up to it, but I couldn’t catch my balance once up there. I fell off. Immediately and inevitably, every single time. I wasn’t normally a laughingstock—at that time I was generally considered a nice, quiet, smart girl in the semi-official peer rankings—but even the kindest of the other girls couldn’t help letting a few giggles escape whenever it was my turn to give it a try.

Years later, during my first Army physical, the medic informed me that I had significant high-frequency hearing loss. I remember staring at him in surprise and saying, Huh? I hadn’t noticed—“Well, you’re probably used to it,” he said. “You’ve probably had it for years. But it does prevent you from being qualified for some military jobs, so I gotta make a note of it in your records—sorry!”

Well, at least I finally knew why…

…and, about four years ago, one of my best friend’s sisters died from a brain tumor. She died because, among other things, she couldn’t afford chemotherapy to the tune of $5000 a month, and neither could the rest of her extended family, though everyone chipped in for as long as they could. She died because the tumor made it impossible for her to work (it first made itself known by giving her a seizure in her boss’s office), so she lost her job and the health insurance that came with it, and was unable to get any other health insurance because her tumor was a “pre-existing condition.” She wasn’t able to get Medicaid because her husband was employed. But if he quit his job so she could get it, then he and she and their three children wouldn’t have been able to live at all—no money, no home, no food, no clothing—

So she died, literally in my friend’s arms, weighing about 70 pounds, suffering from senile dementia at the age of 39, incontinent and in agony. She left two daughters and a son, ages 18, 16 and 13, behind, and a husband who became a widower at 45.

So these reasons, among others, are why I think it’s really hysterical when people start shrieking about how the government is trying to take away your health care choices! and shouldn’t it be between your doctor and you..!? This is not to pooh-pooh all their concerns; some of them are legitimate—it’s impossible not to be continually horrified at the ever-increasing monster that is the federal budget deficit, for instance. But there seems to be an amazing ignorance of the fact that many of their fellow Americans currently have only the choice of permanent physical disability or death, and the only decision their doctor is willing to make is to refuse them treatment of any description. Or perhaps it’s only indifference—which doesn’t incline me towards extending any sympathy in return, eh? I do wonder which one it is, at times. I hope it’s not the latter.

ChangeSpeak

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Remember when Barack Obama beat out Apple for Marketer of the Year?

So then, wherefore this?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Redefinition Accomplished
comedycentral.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Economic Crisis Political Humor

A quick glossary:

  • Great War On Terror = “Overseas Contingency Operations”
  • Terrorism = “Man-caused Disasters”
  • Toxic Assets = “Legacy Assets”

Okay, “Legacy Assets” does sound better than “Toxic Assets”. Well done, Team Obama! High fives all around.

But WTF is up with “Overseas Contingency Operations”? How the heck is will.i.am supposed to make an inspirational song out of that mouthful of marbles?

See, when Bush was prez, all the branding and rebranding was about fist-pumping, chest-thumping straight-shooting. Crusades, Shock and Awe, With Us or Against Us, Axes of Evil, Freedom Fighting, Dead or Alive, all that jazz.

Has his advertising team gone on vacation? Language like “Overseas Contingency Operations” is what you’d use to cover something up– that’s no way to sell a multiple-front war! Where’s Obama’s pride? Why, it’s almost like he wants to keep on doing all of the same profitably genocidal things Bush took so much pride in, but he just doesn’t want people to figure it out!

Oh, wait…

Attack of the Drones

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I can remember a time when Obama was careful to say that the only condition under which he would conduct military ops in Pakistan without their consent would be if he had solid intelligence of Osama bin Laden’s location, and they were unwilling to do anything about it.

Then, literally two days into his presidency, he went and killed a bunch of Pakistanis, including three children. Presumably he knew where Osama’s cave was, and those damn towelheads wouldn’t do anything about it.

And presumably the five drone bombings since then were also gunning for Osama.

In fact, there’s quite a body count piling up of people who, if they were still able to make wishes, would wish that Obama would just frickin’ learn to aim, already.

Osama must be getting scared of living near the borders, because now Obama’s team is thinking about taking the fight into the interior.

Several administration and military officials stressed that they continued to prod the Pakistani military to take the lead in a more aggressive campaign to root out Taliban and Qaeda fighters who are attacking American forces in Afghanistan and increasingly destabilizing nuclear-armed Pakistan.

Cuz, you know, this continued campaign of America bombing Pakistani territory is having absolutely no effect on Pakistan’s political stability. No sirree.

See, that was on Al Jazeera Qaeda network, so just take whatever they just said and believe the opposite. Because they hate us for our press freedoms.

Yes, thankfully, as a paladin among nations, our intentions are pure. The only possible reason we could have for mucking about in Balochistan would be to get Bin Laden.

…A solution to these problems can be found by creating an independent corridor to the Arabian Sea in Balochistan. This corridor, together with the occupation of Afghanistan, would also ensure US access to Central Asian crude oil, the raison d’etre of the so-called war on terror.

(These are not the drones you are looking for…)

To conclude, then, there are good reasons to believe that a US-Israel-India axis is in pursuit of a coordinated plan to balkanise militarily consequential Muslim states (next Pakistan, then Iran — the order reversed by Musharraf’s weak military policies); ‘secure’ Pakistan’s nuclear weapons; support Baloch irredentism not only to open a corridor both for logistic support of its troops in Afghanistan and for export of Central Asian crude oil, but also to weaken Iran and Pakistan in the long-term; coerce the Pakistan Army into a civil war (advocating suppression of the Taliban by force in Pakistan, while admitting the failure of exactly this policy in Afghanistan); and further consolidate its hold over civilian leadership by creating the kind of financial dependency that would allow it to control ‘democratic’ elections, and to annul their results if they were unfavourable (as Israel did with Hamas).

I have no idea what that was about. Or why WIIIAI would say: “By the way, when are people going to start describing our military activities in Pakistan as a war and maybe, I don’t know, discussing whether it’s a good idea?”

He just doesn’t get it. Obama is the peace president.

Let’s Keep an Eye on This

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Hmmm.

Obama made that clear Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, announcing a new Presidential Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships that will weigh in on matters ranging from funding of social-service providers and poverty alleviation to the more controversial issue of abortion reduction.

Why is “abortion reduction” controversial? “Abortion increases,” now, that would be controversial! It seems like we could look at this one of two ways:

1. The number one cause of abortion is unplanned pregnancy. “Abortion reduction” could be directly translated, then, as “unplanned pregnancy reduction,” which I think everyone except the looniest of the Quiverfull types is in favor of. No controversy there, right? Of course, how to best reduce unplanned pregnancy is a topic full of manufactured controversy, with scientists on one side (who define “best” as “most effective”) and religious fundamentalists on the other (who define “best” as “most acceptable to God”). There’s definitely a corollary to the “controversy” over the Theory of Evolution here.

2. The easiest way to reduce abortions would be to make them legally unavailable. Certainly that’s a controversial idea, but it’s been one for decades–not exactly a new controversy, is it?

Perhaps the controversy lies in nobody’s ability to make out exactly how “abortion reduction” is being defined?

But, moving on:

“The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another — or even religious groups over secular groups,” Obama said.

Or even religious groups over those Godless heathens! Sigh

“It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state.”

Slightly better tone there at the end, Boss.

One of those controversial points was the question of whether faith-based groups that receive government funding should be allowed to hire only individuals who share their religious beliefs. Early in Bush’s first term, he signed a series of Executive Orders exempting religious organizations from nondiscrimination laws.

That hiring question is the first landmine Obama will face. In Zanesville, he left no question as to where he stood on the issue. “If you get a federal grant,” Obama said then, “you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help, and you can’t discriminate against them — or against the people you hire — on the basis of their religion.”

The statement caused an immediate uproar within the ranks of Obama’s religious supporters, who pushed him to back off from the promise to undo Bush’s Executive Order. He has not done so publicly, but several of them insist that Obama and his aides have given them private assurances that there will be no rapid movement to change the status quo with regard to religious hiring. If so, it would be a rare case of political ham-handness by the Obama team, because his secular supporters say they have been assured that the hiring change will take place.

It’ll be very telling to me, personally, which way he ends up going, or if he manages to neatly dance around going any way at all for as long as possible.

We’ll see what happens.

Contemplating Obama and Economic Recovery

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

While I don’t agree with everything he has to say in the column he wrote today for the Washington Post, I can’t help but admire his obvious literacy. It’s funny how one falls into habits of thought without realizing it–I’d really come to view the President of the United States as merely a symbol for a specific ideology, not as an individual who acted upon national matters after giving them in-depth and intelligent thought specific to their particular circumstances and concerns.

I’ve had the same mental whiplash lately with feminist issues–I had subconsciously come to accept that women were going to be irrevocably second-class citizens where the national government (and most state governments) were concerned; the fight was to move the populace as much as possible to limit the powers of governance that naturally adhered to this ideal. The notion of “top-down” changes in women’s status had completely left me as something that actually came to mind as a possible solution. All directives coming from the “top” were going to be anti-woman; the only workable strategies were going to have to come from we-the-masses.

But, back to the economic stimulus package–I’ve been really hesitant to weigh in because economics is not my area of expertise, especially on the macroscopic scale. I never feel qualified to make pronouncements about what will and will not work to help repair our national economy; however, I will go ahead and venture my tentative opinions here; I’d love to hear from others with better knowledge than me of how macroeconomics work (and who are not simply quoting a party line, from either side of the aisle).

The Prez writes, in his WaPo article:

Now is the time to protect health insurance for the more than 8 million Americans at risk of losing their coverage and to computerize the health-care records of every American within five years, saving billions of dollars and countless lives in the process.

Now is the time to save billions by making 2 million homes and 75 percent of federal buildings more energy-efficient, and to double our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy within three years.

Now is the time to give our children every advantage they need to compete by upgrading 10,000 schools with state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries and labs; by training our teachers in math and science; and by bringing the dream of a college education within reach for millions of Americans.

And now is the time to create the jobs that remake America for the 21st century by rebuilding aging roads, bridges and levees; designing a smart electrical grid; and connecting every corner of the country to the information superhighway.

From which I distill the following*:

(*If I’m partially or completely off-base with any of these, definitely let me know! Like I said, this whole area of understanding is not really my forte.)

(more…)