Just some thoughts that popped into my head throughout the day today:

  • Taxing the upper 1% by income tax is meaningless. And crushing down with capital gains increases ends up pinching down on us poor fools that now gamble long term for our hope of meaningful retirement (IRAs, 401(k)s, etc).
  • I have a book addiction.
  • I need another bookcase (see previous).
  • I don't care if some executive in Grosse Point, or the Hamptons, or Beverly Hills or (insert ultra-wealthy enclave here) loses their job. I really don't. A bit sad that I've lost compassion for a fellow human. But it is hard to have compassion for someone supping upon china plates while another someone buys food with stamps.


Healthcare Again

Can someone tell me what the healthcare reform would be sans a public option?

I'm dead serious? How is it any different? What changes? What makes it better for those in desperate need of care?

There will never be a bipartisan solution. Forget that. Anyone that tells you it is possible is a fool. The far right is just digging in their heels on the hope that the left will blow all their political capital by the next election. Then they (the right) can cackle that the "reform" failed.

What is needed here is for the left, the real left ("blue dogs" are merely dixiecrats in disguise) to seize this opportunity and to cram the reform down everyone's craw. To take the will and use it the way their counterparts on the right always do; the way left used to know how to do.

That's what it takes in the US. It's what it always takes to get things done here; to get things past a group of people that are, as a general rule, neophobic. It takes a few people of vision, power and conviction to break the status quo so severely that returning becomes an impossibility without total societal breakdown.

If you try to take the gradual change, there will be constant fighting and petty, tit-for-tat reversals.

It is almost akin to an intertial thing. If the will is expended strongly enough, the ball can be made to roll such that by the time the opposition can gather any will, it is almost unthinkable to the public to change back. Those on the center-left (the real left is nearly non-existant), take note of what those on the right have done over the last 15 years.

And the politicians in control of the reins: this is your time to say you amounted to something. That you stood and said, "We will make the change, damn the costs." Yes, your career will be on the line. But if you are obsessed with building a long political career, you will let yourself focus on your short term gains (the next election) over the long term gains of the greater good. And if you play it right, if you push and this succeeds, well, you can then feed your vainglory by knowing your name will get etched down among those others that decided that what was right was far more important than what was right for them.

Big talk from someone with nothing to lose? Perhaps. Keep in mind I don't stand where you stand. I serve my duty by taxes, voting and making my opinion known. By standing up and criticizing not only those for whom I did not vote, but also being critical of those for whom I did.

To paraphrase: We chose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. This is our Moon Shot. This is our great chance to finally yank ourselves again towards the top. To be the exemplars of change and progress. To admit that, yes, we are flawed, but we will fix our flaws.

Feh, healthcare reform without a public option. If that's the way we want to go, we may as well not even try. The system will still be broken.

There are times and places and things upon which we should compromise. This is not one of those things.