Includes thoughts and comments about energy needs, resources, conservation and their relationship to politics at home and around the world.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sotomayor Nomination

There is much to commend about Judge Sotomayor as a candidate for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. There are also some aspects of her work and comments during her career in law and on the bench at the federal level that are bothersome. I fear she will be biased in her decisions in any case involving minorities (i.e., blacks, latinos et al). Having experience with type I diabetes in my late son, I am also concerned about Judge Sotomayor's health. She appears to be overweight which is never good for a diabetic. In terms of the court's decisions, her presence should not alter the 5-4 margins that have prevailed since Alito and Roberts were seated, but could do great damage should other judges leave while Obama remains in office.

Obama Health Plan

One of my key concerns about the healthcare reform plan so far has been the so-called "government option". Supposedly designed to force private insurers to be "competitive", it could easily force private insurance out of the picture altogether, leaving only the government plan. I believe that is precisely what Obama wants as he drives us ever closer to a socialist state. I also believe the plan as presently constituted would lead to the rationing of healthcare. As an 81 year-old, that scares the hell out of me! Like more than 80% of currently insured Americans, I am perfectly happy with I've got and I don't want the government coming between my doctors and me!

Another concern is the fact that no one is talking about our tort system which I contend is the biggest single cause of rising care costs. Even familiy or general practictioners are paying upwards of $ 30,000 in annual malpractice insurance premiums, with many specialists in higher risk practices paying as much or more than $ 150,000. And to further protect themselves, doctors are ordering more and more high-tech tests on their patients whether they really need them or not. These costs must be recouped somewhere down the line from patients and their insurers.

The longer they take to come up with a healthcare reform bill, the more people will come to see everything that is wrong with it. That's why the big rush is on for Congress to try to get something out before the August recess. I think it is highly doubtful that the deadline will be met, and when a bill does come forth it will bear little resemblance to what Obama wants. I'll be grateful if that happens.

Cap and Trade

Obama's energy plan is also in trouble and rightly so. Its emphasis on "green"energy (i.e., wind, solar, geothermal etc.) and complete dismissal of nuclear power makes no sense, given the limitations of "green" energy. Obama seems to be backing off on his anti-nuclear position to a degree, but that's not enough. I think his energy proposal has even less chance of passage than healthcare reform.

If he fails to get his way on either healthcare or cap and trade, he'll go down to defeat in 2012. Most certainly, he will be beaten if both measures are lost. I also see a real shakeup in Congress starting with the 2010 elections.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sarah Palin Decides to Step Down

Causing concern on both sides of the political aisle, Sarah Palin will end her brief term as Governor of Alaska on July 26, 2009. Is she just plain sick and tired of the bogus charges her political opponents have heaped up on her? The expense of fighting those charges, rumored at being at least $500,000 so far? For the sake of her family? Those are some of the suggested reasons behind her decision, but is there more?

In my opinion, Palin's opposition is deeply afraid of her powerful attraction. They had to try to cut her down one way or another. They sent an army of investigators up to Alaska to dredge up anything and everything they could find that might stick. Now that she has decided to step down, they are charging her with being a quitter, thus questioning her strength under fire. Some are saying she's a bit irrational, therefore even more unreliable. Many other pundits are saying she'll never be a serious candidate for President again.

I have no way of knowing what's driving Palin, but I do have a pet theory. I believe she will go out on the speaking circuit to further explain her political philosophy which parallels that of many who have become active in the Tea Party and 9/12 movements. She would not have been able to do that while remaining in the Governor's seat in Alaska. Her ideas will be instrumental in the firming up of a platform on which she will re-enter public office on the strength of those movements. By no means have we seen the last of Sarah Palin.

Michael Jackson

I have never quite understood how people become so enthused over an entertainer that they lose all sense of reality. Michael Jackson is but the latest in a line of characters who succumbed to drugs that ultimately killed them. Jackson's case was made worse by his pedophilic tendencies and gross mistreatment of his body to take on the appearance of a white man. Some have said you must separate his talent from his off-stage persona. That's like saying O.J. Simpson should be recognized for his talent as a football player apart from his being responsible for the death of his wife and her friend. I'm sorry, I can't make such a separation and I think the attention and adoration given Jackson is sickening beyond belief.

Obama's Race to Socialism

Healthcare and energy are now fueling Obama's rush to socialism and a collectivist state. There can be little doubt now that he intends to end private health insurance by insisting on a government managed option. He insists that the option is for people currently uninsured and those who can't afford private coverage. He also says it will "keep private insurers honest" and force them to be competitive. How can a private, profit-making insurer compete with the government who 1) is not profit oriented, and 2) has unlimited access to tax revenues? The fact is it can't. And, if that weren't enough, how long will it take for employers who currently pay a good portion of the premium on a private plan for their employees to decide to discontinue the practice leaving the latter no real choice but to take up the government option? When that happens, the government will have a strangle hold on healthcare as we know it.

Obama is determined to get us off fossil fuel energy, come hell or high water. He has refused to support further growth in nuclear power and he ignores totally the fact that petroleum is the source for treating many of mankind's needs beyond energy production. He also believes that research money will hasten the day for alternative energy sources. Money is not the problem. Science and engineering are already working full bore on alternatives, and it's being done by privste enterprise, not government.