Romney promises to overturn Obamacare – what you will lose.

If Mitt Romney is elected in November, he promises that one of his first acts will be to kill Obamacare.  Since most Americans haven’t the faintest idea of what is actually IN Obamacare, except for the spittle-spewing rhetoric of the Right, here is what you, the voter will lose if Romney is elected: So far, these are the primary elements of Obamacare and their scheduled implementation: In July of 2010: If you couldn’t get health care because of a pre-existing condition, no matter how far back in your past, as of July 2010 you could now enter a high-risk pool and get health insurance at a reasonable cost (this was just a temporary measure – see below). In September of 2010: Insurance companies were no longer to refuse to cover a child who had a pre-existing condition. If you were paying for health insurance, it had to cover preventive services, such as colonoscopies and mammograms without a copay or being held against your annual deductible. It became illegal for your insurance company to enforce lifetime limits on coverage (a blessing for people with chronic diseases). It became illegal for your insurer to merely cancel your insurance if you got seriously [More…]

Why the ‘Free’ Market Works Solely For The Elite (a true story)

In 1925, a 25-year-old chemical engineer named Fred C. Koch (yes – THAT Koch) with a degree from MIT in Chemical Engineering joined a company created by fellow MIT classmate, P.C. Keith – Keith & Winkler Engineering, in Witchita, Kansas.  This was at the height of the “Roaring 20’s” when the “free” market was an unregulated, laissez-faire market, much like the one two of his sons Charles and David, along with the Libertarian Right (from Ron Paul to the Cato Institute to the entire Republican Party) are vowing to reinstate.  When P.C. Keith left the company, it was renamed Winkler-Koch Engineering.  After 2 years of work, Fred Koch developed a simpler, cheaper way to convert crude oil into gasoline.  So far, this sounds like the favorite American success myth of “Built a better mousetrap…”.    Alas, the unregulated free market was dominated by a small cartel of companies, led by John D. Rockefeller and his company, Standard Oil. Koch’s new process threatened to make smaller, independent oil companies competitive with the giants.  So, as is more the rule than the exception in a so-called “free” market, Standard Oil and the other giants got together and began filing phony lawsuit after lawsuit [More…]

Will America Have to Apologize for Mitt?

Mitt Romney and the entire reactionary right have been repeating ad nauseum the blatant lie that Obama went around the world, “apologizing for America,” despite the fact that nobody on the right has been able to find and cite a single case of the President actually doing what they charge. Now, given Mitt’s blithering performance alienating our closest ally, when all he had to do was say, “Have a Great Olympics,” and move on, it is likely that Obama is going to have to follow Mitt around the world, apologizing for him.  

A Rational View of Aurora

The Aurora, Colorado theater tragedy has brought out many issues and violently (pun intended) differing points of view.  One of the most disturbing to me is the often expressed idea that, somehow, if enough of the theater-goers had concealed carry permits and were armed with a handgun, the perpetrator (I will not dignify him by using his name) could have been stopped, preventing at least some of the tragic deaths and other casualties.  It has been widely reported in the press that, post-tragedy, gun sales in Colorado have skyrocketed. This is the knee-jerk reaction of people who have never taken the time to think through all of the aspects and consequences of an armed public, but merely respond with the standard line of whatever ideology they hold.  Let’s take Aurora as a hypothetical example and assume there were a number of patrons with handguns.. The theater is dark, lit only by the images on the screen. Some people see a person in full SWAT gear enter from an exit to the side of the screen.  Many assume at first he is part of the show.  He immediately throws canisters that fill the room with smoke and, apparently, teargas, and then [More…]