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.


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