Thursday, October 30, 2008

Iraq—Searching for the Real Story, Volume 5 – What Next?

For better or worse, the next President will inherit the mess of the ongoing occupation of Iraq. What should he do?

In Volume 4, I stated my conclusions about the reality that must be faced in Iraq. No matter how one defines “victory,” one can’t reach it working through preconceptions or through the lens of think-tank neo-conservative theories.

I have read analyses of Iraq from many perspectives. I have heard interviews with soldiers and officers who had been in Iraq. I have heard from others who have been in Iraq for humanitarian purposes.

While I can't claim to be an expert on Iraq, I do have a vision of the what the US should do next. I believe the path ahead in Iraq must be:
  1. Grounded in the reality of Iraq in 2008
  2. Founded on the islands of hope within Iraq
  3. Multi-national
  4. Involve all factions within Iraq

1. The path ahead must be fully grounded in the reality that is Iraq in 2008.

One must admit the chaos of competing factions and militias; the conflicting viewpoints of Shia, Sunni and Kurds; and the fact that all these groups shift alliances from time to time. We need to know the factions "on the ground" by making contact with these groups.

2. The path ahead must be founded on the island of hope within and without Iraq.

Equal in importance to understanding the chaos of competing factions is to understand the islands of hope. These are the foundations for a future characterized by a stable social order and the cessation of factional violence.

I believe that these are some of islands of hope:

  • The people long for the “normal life” of working and living daily in peace.
  • The Iraqi people don’t hate each other as much as it is made out to be. Yes, the militias compete for position and influence, but that is a reflection of the vacuum of social order, not entirely of deep-seated hatred between factions.
  • Many of Iraq’s neighbors desire a stable and peaceful Iraq.

These islands are within Iraq – even within the hearts of the majority of the citizenry – and outside Iraq, particularly in many of the neighboring nations.

How do we proceed?

3. The path ahead must involve all factions within Iraq.

The US and the Iraqi government must reach out to all the factions within Iraq. These factions and militia must become engaged in some form of nation-building instead of destructive violence.

We know that these groups shift alliances, when it is to their benefit. We know that the success of the so-called “2007 Surge” is in no small part due to redirecting militias (e.g., getting the Awaking [Sunnis] to help expel the foreign forces of al-Qaeda in Iraq) or achieving cease fires (e.g., Mahdi Army).

These are the kinds of successes that need to be multiplied.

Here there are 2 choices for the future: either the various Iraqi factions can be marginalized as “the enemy” or a way can be found to engage them constructively.

Clearly, the McCain vision of another 100 years of occupation in Iraq follows a path where the militia and other violent factions are treated as the “enemy.” This is never a winning strategy. Any nation will come to hate a foreign occupying, no matter how benign – this has been true for millennia.

4. The path ahead must be multi-national.

Engaging all the various factions in Iraq may be better accomplished with the help of some of Iraq’s neighbors. Many factions don’t trust either the US or the current Iraqi government. Other nations (including Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia) may be able to aid in bringing some factions to the table or, at least, understanding their position.

Equally important is that the occupying forces must become more multi-national. While US troupes remain “lighting rods” for attacks by any disgruntled insurgent group, a more multi-national peace-keeping force, with a strong contribution from Middle Eastern nations, may facilitate the creating of a more stable and non-violent order in Iraq.

Granted, this approach runs counter to the neo-conservative theories that got us into this mess. The Republicans still criticize any approach that involves talking with Iran and Syria. Sen. McCain frequently cites Sen. Obama’s suggestion of talking with Iran as evidence of his lack of qualifications for understanding international affairs.

Still, I believe the Republicans are wrong. The US must proceed on a path that engages the Middle Eastern nations that desire a stable Iraq. Together, the path ahead must be a process that turns the various factions from violence to coming to the table to discuss peaceful coexistence.

This path to peace is the only path to “victory” for the US.

Who can accomplish this?

On this issue, I think the choice of candidate is clear. John McCain clearly thinks as a warrior; but the war in Iraq is over. The factional violence must come to an end. A warrior cannot lead us in that direction.

Now is the time to wage peace. The Iraqi people have longed for it for 5 long years, but the Bush Administration could not provide it. Barack Obama is a leader who operates in ways that facilitate the multi-national process of engagement and discussion that I have outlined.

But, will he have the patience to take the time needed? He has a stated commitment to a timetable for withdrawal. He will be tempted to reduce troupes so he can redirect spending to urgent domestic needs. Still, he remains our best hope.

Comments and Discussion

I don’t believe any presidential candidate has outlined such a detailed path to peace and US withdrawal in Iraq. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Iraq—Searching for the Real Story, Volume 4 – What Have I Learned?

For better or worse, the next President will inherit the mess of the ongoing occupation of Iraq. In this volume, I look at what I have learned and what the Administration should have learned.

What Have I Learned?
This should be titled “what have we learned” but I fear that the Bush Administration, the Republican and Democratic Party Platforms, and a vast number of Americans have not learned much for these years of US occupation in Iraq. The politicians still view events through the strong lens of partisan policy. Americans are tired of the endless war and clearly interest is waning.

So here are my conclusions. I believe these are the realities that the next President must come to grips with to work towards the goal of eventual US withdrawal.
  • We can’t trust the Bush administration to learn from experience – they are guided only by neo-conservative think tank theory with no need to understand any details of the Iraqi people, particularly the objectives of the constituent factions.

  • Though unjustified, ill-conceived and poorly executed, the invasion/occupation did achieve two objectives aligned with Bush Administration policy (but don’t expect the Administration to be as frank as I will be about this):

    1) The extremist terrorists function as alpha male primates. The lack of any retaliation would be interpreted as weakness. Direct retaliation against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan was needed. The invasion of Iraq (though it was unjustified) can be seen as another retaliation in the testosterone-based dance to establish dominance among alpha male primates.

    2) The placement of American troupes in the Middle East acts as a lightning rod – saving would-be extremist terrorists the cost of air fare as they only need travel to Iraq for the opportunity to kill Americans.

    In these 2 aspects, there may have been some reduction in the possibility of terrorists attacks against the US homeland.

  • On the other hand, the invasion/occupation was one of the greatest recruiting tools for anti-American terrorist groups.

  • The invasion/occupation has greatly benefited Shia Iran, deposing a hated enemy, replacing a hostile Sunni regime with a more desirable Shia majority government, while pacifying the Kurds who are generally happy with the invasion/occupation.

  • The Bush Administration chose Iraq because it was the weakest nation to invade and there was and remains a high level of pro-American feelings in the general population.

  • The terms “enemy” and “victory” cannot be easily defined as it was in the wars of old, fought by nation-state against nation state. Factions and militias change alliances from time to time. One month, they are firing on US troupes, the next they are aligned in the fight against a common enemy.

  • The violence in Iraq is at times closer to the gang violence of LA: in the post-Saddam era, rival factions are positioning for the issues are turf and creating a new pecking order. Even attacks on US troupes may be less about hatred of Americans and more about self-boosting.

  • Success (i.e., the lessening of violence) in Iraq requires the constructive engagement of the major factions and militia.

  • The non-indigenous “al-Qaeda in Iraq” is an oppressor of the Iraqi people and is opposed by most factions.

  • Most Iraqis want the US to withdraw, sooner than later.

  • Democracy, at least as we understand it in the US, is not the “magic potion” to unite Iraq.

  • Despite the violence of the last 4 years, the Sunni and Shia in Iraq generally don’t hate each other. During the iron rule of Saddam Hussein, many Sunni were close friends of Shia and vice versa. The opening of Pandora’s Box resulted in a power vacuum which was filled by violent power struggles among militias and factions.

  • There is hope.

Where Do We Go From Here?
To be continued……………..

Iraq—Searching for the Real Story, Volume 3 – Where We Are Now

For better or worse, the next President will inherit the mess of the ongoing occupation of Iraq. In this volume, I provide an overview of post-invasion events, particularly consideration of the so-call "surge" of 2007.

Act 1: Water under the Bridge
That we’re stuck in Iraq is water under the bridge. Though the invasion was ill-conceived and poorly executed, we simply can’t leave precipitously, without re-plunging the nation again into chaos. Like the stabbing victim, quickly removing the knife is not a good remedy.

And we owe some effort to rebuilding the damage to Iraq’s infrastructure, not only of military operations, but from the near civil war that has ensued.

Act 2: The So-Called “Surge” Of 2007 and Why It Appears To Have Worked
The success of the 2007 troupe surge is evidence of the occupation was insufficient in size for the job. For 4 years, chaos approaching near civil war prevailed. A greater force, more multi-national in composition, was needed from day one.

But not only increased troupe strength lead to a reduction of violence. Three other factors were identified by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in The War Within: A Secret White House History (2006-2008).

  1. Targeting key individuals in insurgency groups
  2. Sunni militias switched their target from US troupes to the so-called “al-Qaeda in Iraq”
  3. A cease fire by Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army

These operations diffused the insurgency on three major fronts. This made it not only safer for US troupes, but also for Iraqi civilians. Getting the minority Sunni militias, who were not happy with the Shia-led government in Baghdad, to focus their efforts on the foreign forces of al-Qaeda in Iraq (fellow Sunnis) was a particular coup. But these efforts cannot be underestimated.

Woodward writes as follows:

“Beginning in the late spring of 2007, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies launched a series of top-secret operations that enabled them to locate, target and kill key individuals in groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni insurgency and renegade Shia militias, or so-called special groups. The operations incorporated some of the most highly classified techniques and information in the U.S. government.”

“A second important factor in the lessening of violence was the so-called
Anbar Awakening, in which tens of thousands of Sunnis turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq and signed up with U.S. forces. Al-Qaeda in Iraq had made a strategic mistake in the province, overplaying its hand. Its members had performed forced marriages with women from local tribes, taken over hospitals, used mosques for beheading operations, mortared playgrounds and executed citizens, leaving headless bodies with signs that read, "Don't remove this body or the same thing will happen to you." The sheer brutality eroded much of the local support for al-Qaeda in Iraq.”

“A third significant break came Aug. 29, when militant Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his powerful Mahdi Army to suspend operations, including attacks against U.S. troops. Petraeus and others knew it was not an act of charity. The order followed a gunfight between the Mahdi Army and Iraqi forces in the holy city of Karbala, during which more than 50 Shia pilgrims gathering for an annual festival had been killed and another 275 wounded. Sadr's order marked an unexpected stroke of good luck, another in a series for the Americans.”

[All quotes from Woodward’s The War Within: A Secret White House History (2006-2008).]

So What Have I Learned?
To be continued.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Iraq—Searching for the Real Story, Volume 2 – Prelude to Invasion

For better or worse, the next President will inherit the mess of the ongoing occupation of Iraq. In the 3rd volume, I will look ahead to what the new President should do. But for this posting, I look back briefly at how we got into the mess.

When historians look back at the 2003 invasion of Iraq, they may better document why US policy took a complete reversal over the course of 20 years. For this look-back, I’ve chosen to focus on the one man who was in the lead for implementing the 1983 courting of Saddam Hussein (with gifts of weapons and advice) and then 20 years later lead the charge to demonize him and topple his regime.

Act 1: Rumsfeld in Iraq (1983-1984)
One of the strangest back-stories preceding the Bush Administration’s decision to invade Iraq is the apparent 180 turnaround by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. Near the end of the first term of President Ronald Reagan, Rumsfeld served as Special Envoy to the Middle East. In this roll, Rumsfeld provided military hardware and advice to Iraq during its war with Iran. Essentially, he was sent to befriend the regime of Saddam Hussein, at the very time Iraq was using its chemical weapons against the Kurds.

Now, in the context of that point in time, Islamic clerics had been in control of Iran since 1980, when the US Embassy in Tehran was occupied. US policy aimed to hold back the expansion of Iran’s brand of revolutionary Islamic influence in the Middle East. Therefore, befriending the secular, though totalitarian, regime in Iraq was considered an effective countermeasure.

Act 2: Rumsfeld as Architect of the Iraq Invasion (2001-2003)
Rumsfeld’s interest in invading Iraq dates to the afternoon of September 11, 2001, when he put forth the idea of “hitting” both Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. He made many public statements emphasizing Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. Clearly, he knew of the chemical weapons that Iraq used in the 1980s. But why did the Special Embassy, who prided himself on normalizing US relations with Iraq in 1984, now advocate the overflow of the regime he courted?

The Bush regime pounded the war drum on Iraq, emphasizing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the regime’s crimes against its own peoples, a possible link to Al Qaeda, and generally portraying Saddam as the boggy man.

Postlude: What Went Wrong?
The pendulum of Rumsfeld’s advocacy wrought damage both in the US and Iraq at each apex of its swing:


  • US support uplifts Saddam Hussein at the very time he was gassing the Kurds.
  • This only tightened the repressive regime’s control over Iraqis.
  • Is this one of the beginnings of a pattern of US administrations ignoring international human rights standards?
  • The pattern of US support for repressive Middle Eastern regimes is cited by militants and terrorists as part of their hatred of the US.

The Iraqis were damaged by the tightening grip of Hussein, while the US was damaged by being known as a supporter of repressive regimes.


  • No WMD found.
  • No connection between Hussein and Al Qaeda.
  • Invasion forces were inadequate in number for the subsequent occupation.
  • After Pandora’s Box was opened, civil order disintegrated in the absence of the iron fist rule of Hussein.
  • The planners of the occupation had little understanding of the cultures and complex relationships among the majority Shiites, the minority Sunni, and the Kurds in the north.
The Iraqis were damaged by the years of chaos and unrest wrought by the invasion. The US reputation was damaged by the unsanctioned near-unilateral invasion of a sovereign nation, followed by the twin albatrosses of the occupation and mounting death of servicemen and women.

What Next?
We can't go back in time to undo the invasion. The next President must take over where the Bush administration leaves things. What to do?

To be continued.........................

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Redistribution of Income

In the discussion between Sen. Obama and Joe the Plumber, the Senator mentions spreading the wealth around. Joe was concerned that if he successfully bought the business and did well, his reward should be keeping this newly earned wealth.

Sen. McCain and other Republicans pounced on this, hinting that Sen. Obama was suggesting the socialist principal of The Redistribution of Income. (Heaven forbid!!!)

Now, up to this point, I've reflected on much of the libertarian side of my views, but not the socialist side. I have to come clean and say it proudly:

I believe in the Redistribution of Income!

You see, part of my beliefs come from what may be called a Christian Socialist view. If we go to the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles, we read how the early community cared for each other and distributed the proceeds of their wealth according to each one's needs (Acts 2:45). This is my basis for my belief that I am called to redistribute portions of the income I receive, being a fairly well-paid professional, for others with needs greater than my own.

I have come to believe that my earthly things are not ultimately mine to possess. Rather, they are gifts given that I might use for myself and others.

Now, most Libertarians may think I'm crazy believing it this. Many who call themselves Libertarian are attracted to this political viewpoint because they don't want government telling them what to do, they don't want to pay taxes (or pay as little as possible), and their possessions (home, land, wealth, etc.) are theirs and no one should tell them what to do with it.

To that I have three replies:

1) Though I believe in the Redistribution of Income, as a Libertarian, I don't believe that the government or anyone else should force anyone to follow this course of action. My belief comes from faith and only those so called through their own faith or beliefs should follow in the path of Redistribution of Income.

2) Not all Libertarians are of a self-centered view that precludes caring for others. For example, the "Libertarian Girl" ( cares for people and hopes for an end to poverty.

3) Finally, if one really believes in the fullness of liberty, then each of us are entitled to our own views. And in a free society, those who wish to voluntarily redistribute their wealth to the less fortunate, should be free to do so.

So, in conclusion, as a Libertarian and Christian Socialist, I proudly admit: I Believe in the Redistribution of Income!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Guilt by Association?

In the last weeks we hear both Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin trying to paint Sen. Obama "guilty by association" because of his association with Bill Ayers, former leader of the militant Weather Underground in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

But let's compare the Obama-Ayers association to the associations of a well-know person whom Gov. Palin truly admires, even adores.

Seems there is little know about this person's first 30 years of life (what's he hiding). But we do know this:
  • He was born while his parents were traveling (why would they travel when expecting?)
  • Shortly after he was born, his father insisted the family flee to another country (what were they fleeing?)
  • Rumor was that his mother's husband was not his biological father
  • His family was visited by an unspecified number of visitors from the vicinity of Iraq (where the visitors related to a terrorist group?)
  • At about 12 years old, he escaped for a few days from his parents while the family was traveling (they only had one son, how could they loose him for 3 days?)

After 30, it seems he left his work as a carpenter and traveled about with 12 other men of questionable backgrounds:

  • One was known for extorting payments from his own people on behalf of the occupying forces (collaborating with "the enemy?")
  • Another was associated with nationalist insurrectionists (this group would stab their victims during crowded public assemblies in city plazas and the like)
  • A pair of brothers who had a make-shift fishing business, but left their nets and boats followed this charismatic character (losers?)

With this band of characters (and often other followers), he proceeded to associate with some of the "worst" elements of society, even prostitutes, criminals, and tax collectors who were know to collaborate with "the enemy."

He often spoke in ways that angered the leaders of his people. Eventually he came to an unfortunate end, sentenced to death and executed at the young age of 33.

Yes, this was Jesus Christ. Christians like Gov. Palin (and me) worship and adore Him as God's Son.

Yet, during His life on earth, there was a lot of fodder for those who might wish to paint Him "guilty by association."

I don't believe it is right to paint anyone guilty by association. Period.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who is Joe the Plumber?

John McCain mentioned this "Joe the Plumber" (someone at one of Obama's rallies) during the debate, saying he can't buy the plumbing business if Obama's tax plan is enacted.

But who is this Joe the Plumber?

What does he really think?

How much do we really know about him?

Has he associated with any known terrorists or radical preachers?

Why, only 30 min. after the debate ended, is Joe the Plumber already in Wikipedia?

America demands answers and we want them now!

I hope he makes the circuit: Saturday Night Live, the Daily Show, Colber Report, Letterman, Leno, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. etc.

Forget Sarah Palin! America wants to meet Joe the Plumber!

Addendum: Update Oct. 19, 2008
As it turns, Joe is an unlicensed, non-union plumber with a modest income, but is hard working, puts in long days on the job, and shares in the American dream of advancing himself by acquiring the business. Not surprising, his views are moderate to conservative. And he was mentioned on all of the above!

Maybee after a week of fame, he might eventually return to some sense of a normal life!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Iraq—Searching for the Real Story, Volume 1: Who's the "enemy?"

We can’t depend on the Bush Administration, the Republicans or the Democrats to give us the real story of Iraq. What we get instead is an over-simplified view of a complex situation, either filtered through Administration policy or skewed by partisan politics.

This will be the first of a number of posts examining the topic of Iraq: What is really going on there? How did we get in this mess? And most importantly, where should we go from here? (Hint: both political parties are far off the mark on this one!)

So where to begin?

Let’s try the basics. In Iraq, who are the allies of the US and who is “the enemy?” Now, the Administration insists on using the terms “the enemy” and “victory.” But are they defined?

Who is the “enemy?” What is “victory?”
Both the Bush Administration and Republicans such as presidential candidate John McCain insist on using phrases like defeating the “enemy” and achieving “victory” without defining either term. In wars past, these terms were obvious, but not so in Iraq.

Iraq is just not like those “old fashioned” wars where it was obvious who the enemy was. The enemy was always a particular nation or alliance of nations. For example, in World War II, everyone knew the enemies of the US were the Nazis in Germany and their Axis alleys of Italy and Japan.

And everyone knew when victory was achieved. As each of these nations surrendered, there was a big surrender ceremony with a signaling of an instrument of surrender, leaving no doubt that enemy was defeated and victory was in hand.

So – pop quiz: Who is/are the enemy(ies) in Iraq (select all that apply):

a) Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party (Sunni)
b) Former members of Ba’ath army and police
c) Al Qaeda in Iraq (Sunni)
d) Mahdi Army (Sunni)
e) Badr Organization (Shiite insurgents)
f) Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq (Sunni Islamists)
g) Iraqi Armed Revolutionary Resistance (Marxists)
h) Various other militia that fire upon US troops or set up IEDs
i) Shiite insurgents from Iran
j) Whichever group is firing upon US troops this week
k) All of the above
l) How would I know?

You know, in baseball, they say you can’t tell the players without a scorecard. Well, the Bush Administration has never published a scorecard so the American public knows who’s on first in Iraq and how the home team is batting.

At some point in time since the US invasion, each of the above groups could have been considered “the enemy.” But with changing times and shifting allegiances, not all of them still are.

Consider the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq? Before the “surge” they often attacked US troops. Now they are fighting against Al Qaeda in Iraq. Part of the “success” of the “surge” was getting native Sunni militia to purge their territories of the “outsider” Sunnis of Al Qaeda.

Clearly during the invasion, the Ba’ath army of Saddam was considered the “enemy.” But now, consideration is given to integrating these forces with the national security forces.

It’s clear that Iraq is no “old-fashioned” war with a clearly defined “enemy.” Don’t let anyone simplify it for you; this is a complex and changing situation. Even after researching all the players in Iraq, it’s not easy to tell who’s playing for which team.

I’d bet that even George W. Bush, John McCain, and Barack Obama can’t list all the groups in Iraq and which ones are our “friends” and which ones are our “enemies.” I’d bet even this trio would FAIL the pop quiz on Iraq!

So how can policy and decisions be made, when the policy makers and decision makers don’t have a full grasp on the playing field?

To be continued……

Thursday, October 9, 2008

How to be a follower of the New Libertarian Socialist

If you enjoy this blog, consider being a follower. It's simple. All you have to do is:
  1. Go to my blog:

  2. To the right, under the banner are the words “Followers of the New Libertarian Socialist”

  3. Click on the link for “follow this blog”

It’ that simple! Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Developing a New Political Philosophy

"With liberty and justice for all."

I started this blog to work out my political philosophy. It’s not that I never had opinions on politics, but that I wanted a chance to write about them, and develop them into what I would hope to be a coherent, practical, but unique viewpoint.

As I’ve always been a little different, I wanted to stand apart from the Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives.

I came up with the term “New Libertarian Socialist.”

Now this is a bit of a paradox in itself as Libertarianism and Socialism are polar opposites regarding the role of government. But like Libertarians, I wanted to emphasize the importance of liberty and the individual’s ability to be unique and think for herself/himself. Like the Socialists, I feel a strong need to be concerned for others, particularly the less fortunate.

I added the word “new” as there is a long history of Libertarian Socialism, whose advocates were often considered anarchists. Generally, all the thinking along these lines (if you Google libertarian socialist) was by dead white guys in Europe. But a political philosophy has to be alive which means it can’t depend on the thoughts of the dead, but must be invigorated by the thoughts of the living of our time.

I’ve added a summary of my political philosophy to the banner of the blog:

  • Preserving freedom
  • Respecting human rights
  • Government is a tool of the people
  • Preferential concern for the poor
  • Concern for the poor should be a joint effort of individuals, non-profit groups and government
  • Ideology should not stand in the way of common-sense and practical solutions
  • Fiscal responsibility in government: revenue that matches spending

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why Kill Employer-Based Health Benefits?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a popular, common-sense expression that summarizes why the McCain health proposal lacks common sense!

One of the strangest proposals from the McCain team is the plan to substitute a $5,000 tax break for employees for the current tax break for employers who offer health benefits.

A majority of the middle class in our nation receives health care benefits through their employer. It’s not always perfect, but it does cover a lot of people at a far more reasonable price then if each of us were to get a plan by ourselves.

But that’s what McCain wants us to do. Without the tax incentive, employers would drop the offering of group health care programs (and the cost to administer them) and each of us would be on our own, trying to buy a very expensive individual policy that would cost far more than the $5,000 tax break.

Maybe the tax break is a good idea for those without employer-based health benefits. But not for those of us who have these benefits.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!!

I bet even Gov. Sarah Palin has that one in her folksy vocabulary!

So, I can’t figure out why this other wise common-sense Governor from Alaska signed onto the McCain health plan disaster.

This plan really will be bad for the Republican base and swing voters – the conservative and middle-of-the-road working and middle class folks who actually work for a living and probably get their health care at work!

Let me count the ways that the McCain plan is bad:
  1. Instead of buying into group coverage with low rates, each person is on their own and the rates will be higher.

  2. Employees that are older or who have pre-existing conditions (e.g., heart problems, cancer, etc.) may not be able to get coverage at all.

  3. Employees lucky enough to get new coverage may be with a new carrier or HMO and therefore have to choose new doctors and specialists instead of the ones who know them and their health issues.

  4. Younger folks who are healthy may opt out of getting coverage.

  5. Those who are financially strapped may not be able to afford coverage.
  6. When the uninsured have untreated symptoms that grow into a serious medical condition, they end up at the Emergency Room, costing more money than if they had preventive care covered by a health plan.
I could go on, but the point is this plan is bad for all workers. And it’s especially bad for the very political base of conservative folks who work for a living that McCain needs to win.

Sen. McCain: Employer-based health care ain’t broke, so don’t try to fix it!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Someone Buy a Period for Gov. Palin

While Gov. Sarah Palin did not falter in the debate last night, her sentences seemed interminable.

For 3 minutes, she would piece together prepositional phrases, subjunctive clauses, and compound sentences. And when you think it’s just about done, a new conjunction (“but” or “and”) keeps the sentence alive.
A transcription may reveal that Gov. Palin spoke the longest sentence in US VP debate history!

Pat Sajak, I'd like to buy a period for the Gov., please!