Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are fired


Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins don’t care about your health.

Mainers think that we have elected these women to represent us, our issues, our needs, and our views in a legislative body that governs our Country.  It would be awfully nice if that were true; that they actually listened to their constituency and spoke on our behalf in Congress.  But that is not at all what is happening. 

Why do certain individuals run for public office?  I would think it would be because the individual believes he or she can offer good ideas, new ideas, to solve the problems of our nation and to better the lives of the people in it, especially the people from the State they represent.  But more often than not, voters are left scratching our heads and thinking “what are these people thinking, that’s not what we want”.

People in Maine are suffering.  They need to see doctors, dentists, specialists, mental health professionals, surgeons, and the list goes on and on.  Maine is no different from any other State but Maine is where I live so that is what I will speak to.  In a million years I never thought I would find myself in a position where I did not get the health care I need because I simply can not afford it.

Senators Snow and Collins earn about $170,000 a year, this year.  They are also entitled to lifetime benefits after serving for just five years, including health insurance and a pension.  Members of Congress are eligible for a pension when they reach the age of 50 if they’ve completed 20 years of service. Members are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62.  When they retire, they are eligible to receive an annual salary equal to as much as 80% of the three highest grossing salary years.  So even if their ONLY income was that of their Senator salary they could retire after 5 years in some cases and earn about $136,000 a year, EVERY YEAR, IN RETIREMENT.  They ALSO  have choices in health care too numerous to even begin to explain on this page.

What’s the bottom line?  Senators like Snowe and Collins don’t have to care what happens to you and your family.  They don’t care if you have health care.   They just have to last long enough to retire with a government pension.  And the more years they are a Senator, the bigger their pension will be.  So they do everything they can do to keep the contributors happy so that the Senators can spend lots of money to get re-elected, so that the Senators can continue to amass a fortune.  And if you are interested to see what a Federal Employee’s health insurance plan looks like, click here

So while Maine’s portion of the 47 million uninsured in this country continue to suffer, and while untold numbers of “under-insured” citizens in the State of Maine continue to go bankrupt and live in poverty because of health care costs, Senators Snowe and Collins don’t worry about such trivial things.  They need those campaign contributions from the health care industry, and will do anything to keep those contributions coming, so that each of them can stay in Congress as long as possible, to receive lifetime health benefits and Pension benefits that are a crime when compared to the CITIZENS THAT ARE PAYING FOR THESE BENEFITS.  Yes, it all comes out of your tax dollars.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that our illustrious government representatives get an AUTOMATIC cost of living increase unless they elect NOT to let it happen.  What would you do if every year your salary would be adjusted upward for a “cost of living” increase unless you got all of your co-workers together and “voted” not to accept the increase.  Pretty nice gig, huh?

When the first Continental Congress was formed, Benjamin Franklin proposed that elected officials not be paid for their service.  In the end, that obviously did not happen.  But why do U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives earn more than the national average salary.  That’s what they should make, about $40,000 to $45,000 per year. That’s the average salary of all the workers in the United States.  As for health care and pension benefits, they don’t work harder than anybody else and don’t deserve more than the people they represent.  So they certainly should not get more in benefits that the average U.S. worker.   Congress doesn’t even work a full year like the rest of us.  The MOST number of days that a Senator like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins would work is 153 in 2009.  Subtract from that the trips they take paid by the taxpayers, or trips they take paid for by lobbying firms, and then they get so many days off to campaign if it is an election year; what do we have left.  I don’t even know the answer.  Nobody will tell me the truth.  HOW MANY DAYS TO YOU WORK, MS. SNOWE?…MS. COLLINS?….ANYBODY?

This government was designed to be for the people and by the people.  Right now, “the people” are hurting and struggling.  Yet Senators like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have a gross take home pay of about $3,270 a week.   A WEEK.  But that number only applies if they actually work every week.  They don’t.   Again, the 2009 schedule calls for Senators to work 153 days.

Nothing I am saying here is new information.  I am just saying that something has to change.  If you took all of the money out of politics, you would be left with people who are there because they want to be there, and want to make a difference.  Instead, we are stuck with people who make a lot of money, amass retirement benefits and life long health insurance, and yet the country is suffering.   Don’t you remember reading the book “Animal Farm” in junior high school?

Olympia Snowe has said that she doesn’t trust any “government-run” health care system.  But she sure trusts the government enough to funnel my tax dollars into her paycheck, her pension, and her own health plan.

Like I said, Maine’s so-called “moderate” Senators are probably no different from any other Senators.  But I can only speak about Maine Senators because that’s where I live.  We all wish they were in it for the right reasons.  But when Maine’s Senators don’t want Maine citizens to have universal health care, for all, I have to wonder why they are our Senators.  What do they think they are accomplishing for us, and why are they financially benefiting so much for doing nothing except saying “no”.  I have no idea what these women are “for”.  I only know what they are against.  At this point, they are against me; and you.

Since Snowe and Collins work for me (I help pay for their salary) and they have not fulfilled their obligations to me, I am firing them effective immediately.

Alan Grayson’s remarks are not the same as Republican Death Panels


More fake disdain from the Republican Party and political fat-ass pundits today.

Recently in an after hours session of the House, Democrat Alan Grayson help up a sign that said “Die Quickly”.  His verbal assault went further.  He said that the Republican answer to health care is “don’t get sick, and if you do, die quickly”.

While we all now this was a joke and a bad one at that, he was simply trying to make a point.  Let’s face it, the Republicans still can not come up with a health care plan but the are clairvoyant because they know that Democrat plan is wrong.  Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, NO, NO, NO.  But don’t ask them what the right plan is, they have no idea.  So I understand Alan Grayson’s opinions and tactics.

However, Republicans are comparing this to Joe Wilson’s “YOU LIE” comment at a joint session of congress.  Republicans are saying that Grayson should be censured or reprimanded in some way.  They say it is an unacceptable outburst of hate and misinformation.

Hmm.  Let’s think.  Wilson was the first person EVER in the history of the Congress to interrupt the President by yelling out disagreeable remarks during a joint session.  There are rules of conduct in Congress and Wilson stepped way over the line by yelling out “YOU LIE”.  He owed the President an apology and owed the Congress one as well. 

Alan Grayson merely put up a sign in a late night session of Congress when almost nobody was there.  None of the Republican leaders in Congress stuck around to hear all of the debates and to listen to “the juniors” like Grayson when it was his turn to speak.  It was below them.  The place was almost empty.  If it weren’t for C-SPAN catching it on tape, I’m not convinced many would have noticed Grayson’s remarks.  Bringing theatrics and visual aids is a long-standing tradition in Congress.  Grayson was trying to make a point.  Maybe Republicans don’t want you to die quickly, maybe they do, but it was a joke.  Not a funny joke, more of a ploy to get some attention.  A tactic to expose Republicans for what they are: in the pockets of the health care industry, and doing everything they can to maintain the status quo.

Alan Grayson’s sign CAN NOT be compared the Republican’s “Death Panel” crusade.  Republicans flooded the airwaves, both on talk radio and television, trying to convince the American public that Obama’s health care plan includes Death Panels and that they want to kill off grandma.  That tactic was real, scary, and many people truly believed it.  This is the perfect spot for a comment about the ignorant, hate-filled Republican base but I’m going to rise above it).   The words “Death Panel”  became part of the Republican mantra for weeks on end, and even when they knew it wasn’t true, Republicans still would not come right out and admit it there was no such thing.  They would talk in circles so as not to have to blatantly admin THERE ARE NO DEATH PANELS IN THE HEALTH CARE BILL.  I’ve heard them on political talk show saying things like “well there’s no real proof but if you read between the lines. yadda, yadda, yadda, and “government takeover of healthcare” blah, blah, blah.

Alan Grayson was trying to get people to WAKE UP.  For some reason, many politicians don’t understand, or just don’t want to understand, that without OPTIONS from which American’s can choose for their own healthcare, then there is no reform.  Covering pre-existing conditions isn’t going to cut it for people who DON’T HAVE INSURANCE anyway.  For people who don’t have insurance, or are under-insured, everything is a pre-existing condition.

The public option needs to be nothing more than an extension of Medicare or Medicaid to everyone who want it or needs it.    Placing some puny little rules on insurance companies doesn’t stop those insurance companies from jacking up prices and forcing Americans through miles of red tape to get the coverage they are due.  There is no way to enforce the “new rules” that might be imposed on insurance companies.  If an insurance company wants to cancel your policy, they will now cancel an entire line of business.  For example, they could easily say “Healthcare Plan A is being discontinued because it is no longer profitable”.  This is well within their rights.  If they can’t cancel individual policies, what is to stop them from cancelling insurance on a wide-spread basis using loop holes in the legislation.  Nobody can force an insurance company to continue a product that they are losing money on; so they will just discontinue it.  It happens every day.

And here’s one last thought:  My tax dollars pay for Federal Employees healthcare, yet I don’t have adequate healthcare myself.  What if we take away all healthcare for Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court until Congress can figure out a way to give  all Americans the same health coverage that they have.  Then they can apply for it and fill out all the paperwork just like the rest of us.  If a federal employee is single, he will pay about $160 a month (or $77 dollars per semi-monthly paycheck) for his insurance.  But he will get one of the richest plans in this country.  I pay about that for myself and have a $3,000 deductible before my “insurance” even kicks in.  Yet, I am paying for this sample employee’s health insurance.  We could have the same illness and he will live, and I will die, because I don’t have $3,000.

Do you folks even begin to get this yet?

Back to Healthcare – Max Baucus should just become a republican


Oh, the intrepid Max Baucus.  If he weren’t such a complete idiot he wouldn’t be good at anything.  Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee, led by the fearless Baucus voted against the “Public Option” twice, based on two separate amendments by two different Senators, Chuck Schumer, and Jay Rockefeller.  Although Schumer’s amendment received more “Yes” votes, Democrat Senators with backbones were hard to find within the remaineder of the 23 panel committee.  For Democrats to vote “No” on a public option at this point is ridiculous.

Baucus tried to defend himself by saying:

It is my job to get a bill through with 60 votes and because nobody has proved to me that a bill with a public option in it can get 60 votes I must vote against it.”

No, that is not your job, MAX.  It is your job to help PASS a bill that the American People WANT.  And at this point almost 70% of Americans want an option outside of the classic employer-provided healthcare.  How can you write a bill that includes a public option and then vote against your own bill because you don’t think you have enough votes to pass it.  That makes NO SENSE.  You are a complete idiot who gets far too much in campaign contributions from big Insurance companies.

So in essence Max Baucus is trying to get us to believe that he LOVES the bill, it’s fantastic, I would totally vote for a public health insurance option.  If only he knew that everybody else would vote for it, he would have voted for it too. 

So, American People, are you buying this?

Maine Senators don’t care about health insurance reform, or you


Today I called the offices of both Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, you know the moderate Republicans, the progressive Republicans.  Bull shit.

According to the staff person that answered the phone, Olympia Snowe “hasn’t finalized here position on health care reform”.  She hasn’t??  Everybody else in the country has chosen a position.  And most of them don’t know what they are talking about.  So Ms. Snowe is the only person in America who hasn’t decided on a position?  They asked me if I wanted a response.  Of course I want a response.  I want to know why you don’t have a position and I want to know when you will publicly state what your position is.

As bad as Susan Collins position is, at least she has one.  She categorically is against a public option and against a single payer plan.  OK.  So if you extrapolate that, she’s against reform in general.  Susan Collins released a statement.  I couldn’t find it on her site but I found it on a political blog.  If you are interested, here it is: http://principalquattrano.com/images/collins_lg.jpg

It is FILLED with standard Republican talking points and phrases like “Washington-run public insurance” and continues to quote “The Lewin Group”.  Now, the Lewin Group is quoted by literally every Republican member of the House and Senate.  The Lewin group is touted as being the foremost  independent experts in the country regarding health care.  Well, by right wing politicians and pundits, at least.

In reality, the Lewin Group is a front.  They are a fake independent health care consulting firm wholly owned and operated by United Health Group, one of America’s largest health care providers.  There is nothing independent about Lewin.  Yet, if you listen to any Republican in Congress when they have the floor, or when they are on Fox News, you will hear each of them continually reference the Lewin Group as a preeminent source for what a catastrphe Health Insurance Reform would be on every level.

So Susan Collins, the moderate, is quoting the same bogus sources as every other republican.  Further, on one hand, Collins says that the reduced operating costs of a government backed health insurance plan would bring an end to private insurers and it’s not fair.  On the other hand she says we can’t accomplish Health Care reform because the cost is too great.  WELL IT CAN’T BE BOTH.  It can’t be a cheap-to-run health insurance plan AND too expensive at the same time.

The contradictions go on.  She states that the increased costs of health care are a burden to employers.  Well, that’s true.  But if employees don’t like their plan, or feel they could get better coverage from the government plan (and I can tell you from experience that many employees would bail on their existing health coverage), employer costs, in most circumstances would GO DOWN because fewer people would need private coverage.  Again, Susan, you can’t have it both ways.

And finally, she said she talked directly to the President.  She states that in her conversation with him, she pointed out that States with high-quality, low-cost health care like Maine (?) should not be harmed by reforms but rather rewarded for their efficiencies and innovations.  I don’t know what State she lives in but I can tell you the following:  finding a primary care physician, or finding mental health care, or finding a dentist in Maine is next to impossible.  There are not enough doctors, they are not taking new patients, there aren’t enough dentists, psychiatrists won’t take a new patient unless they have the right “kind” of insurance.  I don’t have a clue what she means by our “efficiencies”.  When I was out of work for 18 months, I was denied for the State of Maine health insurance program (for the unemployed, disabled, people on public asistance, etc) because they weren’t taking any new applicants right then.  They put me on a waiting list – a waiting list to get health care.  It was 2 months after I went back to work (18 months later) that I receive a letter from the State of Maine with an application to fill out for the State health insurance program for the poor.  What exactly was efficient about that.

In conclusion, if my Congressional representatives don’t want to fight for a national health care system, then let me join the health insurance plan that they have.  I want to pay the same amount that a Congressperson  pays our of his or her own pocket and I want the same level of coverage. 

That sounds about right, doesn’t it.  What could they possibly have against that.  I am not asking for anything more than Congress gets, and they work for me; I pay their salary.  Maybe as your employer, I will decide that we can’t afford to provide you with health insurance anymore.  That’s what employers are doing all over the country to make ends meet.  I think it’s worth considering.

The wheels on the Republican bus have officially fallen off


I didn’t think that the Republican Party could fall out of favor any further than it has.  But in true Republican fashion, they never let you down when it comes to disappointment.

I would not have believed if I didn’t see it.  Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher blamed Barack Obama for the violence and death on the streets of Iran.  He said that if Obama had spoken up and denounced the violence three days ago, the violence would have been avoided.  That woman who was shot and died on live television would be alive if it weren’t for Barack Obama.  Yes, this guy actually said it.

And what if John McCain was our President.  According to his recent remarks, we would be at war with another Islamic country; further degrading the standing of the United States around the world.  And thousands upon thousands more would be dead.  McCain couldn’t even answer this question:  Is Barack Obama on the side of Majmud Ahmadinajad or is he on the side of the factions that are protesting an unfair election.  McCain said “Well I know what side I”M on” insinuating that Barack Obama was on the side of the tyranical President.  He’s kidding right?  No he’s not.

Then, Republicans like radio host and columnist Mark Savage, and a Maryland Republican women’s group, and many others too numerous to mention, have been, just in the last few days, comparing Barack Obama to Hitler.  They are litterally trying to make direct comparisons between Obama’s actions and policies to Hitler’s reign of terror.  It is amazingly ridiculous and hateful, and so far off base that I can’t figure out who these people are trying to convince to join or support their party.  They should have stuck with the idea that Barack’s birth certificate is a fake.  At least that is a conspiracy theory the right wingers can REALLY get behind. 

And now Mark Sanford, South Carolina Governor, admits to infidelity with an Argentinean woman, which explains where he was over Father’s Day Weekend when neither his wife, his sons, nor his administration  knew where he was.  And all the while they thought he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.  He was lost in the woods, alright, metaphorically speaking.  I can’t wait to see how Sanford’s close friend, Joe Scarborough handles this tomorrow morning on “Morning Joe”.  Will he defend Sanford using tax payer money to go to Argentina for a booty call?  Just this morning (Wednesday) Joe was defending Sanford’s behavior.

This is like a bad plot in a bad daytime soap opera.  Even Luke and Laura knew when it was time to give up the Ice Princess plot line.

So Mark Sanford goes on TV today and gives a very long list of all the people he hurt; beginning with his sons.  The young people behind him in his news conference were giggling.  I don’t know who they were or why they were there.  But it was sad, demeaning, and even somewhat humorous.  If there were ever a reason to have a pre-planned speech or tele-prompters, that news conference was it.  This is a man who said President Clinton should resign for such sexually deviant behavior.  Well, Mr. Sanford, will you now resign, because you should based on your own moral compass.

Is it any wonder why the Republican Party is falling apart.   What comes next; calling Barack Obama a extra-terrestrial being while some other Republican congressman gets arrested for molesting pre-school boys. 

Barack Obama is poised to strike and get whatever he wants out of Congress; Republicans or Democrats.  Now is the time Barack.  DO IT!  Get health care passed.  Clean up the environment, Get all the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, create millions of jobs, send America over into the financial abyss; finance our asses off.  Who cares?  It can’t possibly be worse than anything that brain trust we call the GOP can come up with.

And just yesterday, the GOP had begun to lay out plans to take back Congress in 2010.  Sorry guys, I don’t think so.

And the cherry on top?  Rush Limbaugh said about Sanford – “he could have been our JFK”.

I can’t even keep up anymore with the train wreck and casualties that make up the GOP.

It’s time to Fade to Black.

The Auto Bailout Debate continues


Joe Scarborough on “Morning Joe” (MSNBC) was a raving, ranting, unintelligible maniac this morning.  What the hell is “patriotic economics”.  He wants to save the American auto industry at all costs because they are American.  He’s not a socialist or anything.  He’s a true blue republican, in his mind.  Yeah, right.  What do you call blindly subsidizing a company with no oversight.  Congress doesn’t know how to run a car company so how can oversee it.

First of all, we know the banking bailout didn’t work so why are we continuing to bailout other industries.  Congress lost control of the credit crisis the second they agreed to sign that bill.  Paulson doesn’t know what he’s doing and he can’t or won’t tell us where the money has been spent so far.  All legal, I might add.

If we’re going to bail anybody out, bail out the people.  It would cost less to put these folks on unemployment and retrain them for other jobs than to just keep writing checks to auto industry fat cats.  And don’t give me this crap about American cars being better, and safer, than Japanese or German imports.  If Joe Scarborough feels safe with his newborn in the back of his GMC Yukon, good for him.  I’ll take a Toyota Sequoia or Honda Ridgeline any day of the week, you know why?  Because the trucks I want to drive are tough and rugged and will last longer than any American truck.  AND, the resale value will be…well, it will actually have a resale value.  How much is a 5 year old Yukon with 120,000 miles worth, Joe?

So Joe, and Pat Buchanan, can blow it out their you know what with this “Patriotic Economics” bullshit.  Toyota, Honda, Vokswagen, Mercedes and Nissan all manufactur cars right here in the good old USA with American workers.  The difference is, these car companies don’t have bloated executive salaries, bloated pension and health benefits, and guaranteed paychecks whether you actually work or not as compared to all of the American car companies with their labor unions.  American workers at foreign car companies have jobs like the rest of us; the kind without decades of legacy bargaining chips that have been leveraged to the hilt.  Companies like the big 3 don’t work in this economy anymore and haven’t for decades.  They no longer fit into the American workforce and they don’t build cars that Americans want.

They had plenty of warning; like 30 years of warning, if not more.  Good night sweetheart, well, it’s time to go.  Hey I was out of work for 18 months and it killed me.  I just went back to work in October of 2008 (yes, last month).  If I can make it, so can they.  Somebody needs to tell GMC, Ford, and Chrysler to find a good bankruptcy attorney and let their suppliers know that the gravy train is pulling into the station.

Please help support Senate Bill 1738 – Protect our children


Joe Biden introduced a bill back in July that increases the funding for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of child predators, also knows as child molesters, child pornographers, child rapists, child predators, just pick one.  According to the Congressional web site, the bill summary is as follows:

A bill to establish a Special Counsel for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction within the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, to improve the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, to increase resources for regional computer forensic labs, and to make other improvements to increase the ability law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute predators.

There are nineteen other co-sponsors of this bill, among them Barack Obama, Orrin Hatch, and Kay Bailey Hutchinson; so this is not a partisan bill and it SHOULD NOT BE a partisan bill.  You can’t apply a parties political platform to child molestation.

Please contact your representatives, find out how they are voting, and if they are not voting for this bill, ask them to vote for it and ask why they wouldn’t vote for it.  Their response may tell you a lot about who they really are and what they stand for.  If you need help finding your congressional representatives try Congresspedia at the following address: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Portal:Congresspedia.

We can not afford to allow the continuation of the most disgusting and damaging crimes against human beings that you could ever imagine.  We’re talking about destroying children, young children, even infants.

Thank you and please do what you can to help.