Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Republican "Census" Form

(gee, you just never know what's going to arrive in the mail!)

Dear Michael Steele,

I was a little surprised to receive your "OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT FUND RAISING PLEA DISGUISED AS A CENSUS FORM" in the mail today. I am quite honored that you want to know my views about the Republican Party.

In fact, the accompanying letter says that my registered Census "is one of a select few being mailed into Texas' 26th Congressional District." Wow. Lucky me.

But your questions are making me mad. Especially since I am a registered Democrat. For example (and I quote) -

"How much does it concern you that the Democrats have total control of the federal government?"

"Do you believe the huge, costly Democrat-passed stimulus bill has been effective in creating jobs?"

"Do you worry that the Obama Administration is committed to greatly expanding the government's role in your life?"

And on and on and on ...

Come now, Mr. Steele. If you want me to answer your inflammatory questions, kindly fill out the form below, attach a check for $25 or more, and send it to me. You already have my address.

Question # 1:
The Republican strategy is to:
__ Propose absolutely no ideas
__ Vote no
__ Propose ideas, and then vote no on the exact same ideas

Question # 2:
When you look back on the Bush years, do you think:
__ Bush was not a true Republican
__ Bush was misunderstood
__ Bush who?

And Question # 3:
According to the Republicans, a true American is someone who:
__ Votes Republican
__ Attends tea party rallies with other Medicare and Social Security recipients
__ Would never be mistaken for an illegal alien, even in Arizona
__ Thinks Glenn Beck is serious
__ All of the above

Thank you for your time, Mr. Steele. And now, I plan to print out this little blog post and return it to you in your Business Reply Envelope. No check attached.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Good news

Good news!

Did you hear?

The jobs report this week was really exciting! (details here)

Businesses added 162,000 jobs in March, the largest gains in 3 years. Not enough to change the overall 9.7% unemployment rate, but way, way better than the 700,000+ jobs we were losing at the end of the Bush administration, right? Right?

Wrong. According to Senator John Cornyn's facebook page, which I visit only so my fellow Texans can get some kind of balanced viewpoint even if they choose to ignore it - and I quote -

"Sadly, March jobs report flat."

Hmm ... well, how about THIS good news? The new health reform bill includes an immediate tax credit for small businesses, starting at an average of 35% and increasing up to 50% for the first two years a company buys insurance through its state exchange (details here).

But - according to Maria Bartiromo on the Morning Joe show last week, which I will never watch again - and I quote -

"Well, but first the business would have to buy the insurance. So it kind of sounds like a fee to me."

Ok, so a tax credit somehow becomes a fee. Hmm ... but did you hear? The reform bill also empowers the federal government to cap insurance premium increases, which is totally obviously necessary unless we all want to pay 30 to 40% more for insurance each year.

But - according to Rick Moran, whose name is hilariously similar to a popular misspelled Tea Party sign, though I am much too tactful to bring that up, this is all part of a bigger plot.

Here is a quote from Mr. Moran's recent blog post:

"The federal government will ... have the ability to deny 'excessive' rate increases by insurers under Obamacare. This will be a mechanism by which the government deliberately destroys the private insurance industry in order to to force a single payer system down our throats."

Ok. Fine.


So people finally finding jobs is terrible news. Tax credits for small business owners are terrible news. Premium limits are terrible news.

Maybe this will cheer you up:

Angela Braly received a 51% pay increase in 2009. Braly is the CEO of WellPoint, the insurance company that recently announced premium increases of up to 39% in California. Her overall compensation for 2009 was $13.1 million, while the company enjoyed profits of $4.75 billion (details here).

Way to go, Angela.

Nice job, WellPoint.

Good news, indeed.