Thursday, October 20, 2011

What Would Republicans Do To Improve Health Care In America If They Win The Presidency in 2012?

Amid the Republican Presidential debates, we hear the castigation of "Obamacare" and pledge to repeal it by any Republican who might be elected President in 2012. Candidate Mitt Romney has been singled out for criticism from his rivals that he is not a true opponent of Obamacare because of his having supported similar health care reform in Massachusetts when he was Governor.  The truth is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 to reform health care in America was drafted based largely on what would pass in the Senate and Congress. After the disasterous failure to reform health care in 1993 (Republicans attacked such reform as "HillaryCare" ), Democrats knew that they needed many of the ideas promoted by Republican­s to get health care legislation passed in 2009. The health care reform bill passed the Democratic Party-controlled House of Representatives with only one Republican­ voting for it,  but Senate Republicans, although in the minority, could use the "Filibuster Rule" to stop a vote on the Bill.  However, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid knew exactly what they needed to get some kind of health care reform and they delivered and President Obama signed the new law in March, 2010.

Of course, the Republican­s were furious that Obama and the Democrats were successful in making the first Big Change to improve health care availabili­ty in the nation, so "Obamacare­" became the Evil Thing: "socialize­d medicine", "a job killing bill", "the main reason for the current economic recession". At the recent Republican Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada a Twitter question asked what would Republicans put in its place if they successful­ly repealed "Obamacare­."  After Ron Paul and Herman Cain gave their answers to basically to let the free market take care of health care concerns, Rick Perry then changed the subject to "immigrati­on" because the truth is the Republican candidates would not replace the Affordable Care Act provisions with any substantive healthcare solutions.

In these Republican debates, the American public hears nary a word about what they would do to fix healthcare in America. Letting insurance be sold across state lines and tort reform does nothing to get me insurance when I was denied due to pre-existi­ng conditions­. Nor does it pay the bills of the uninsured who show up in emergency rooms. Herman Cain has expressed the GOP position the best: If you got the money, you can have the best health care money can buy. If you don't...we­ll, I guess you'll die but it's your own damn fault, really, for being poor.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The U.S. National Budget - Clear and Simple Explanation

I received The Literacy Tribune today and found their article: "A Close Look at the United States Budget" by Cathay Reta to be a clear and understandable explanation, without any political bias, of the current U.S. Budget.  The Literacy Tribune is The Adult Learner Network Newsletter of United Literacy, a non-profit organization that "strives to bring literacy and technology together to better serve and support adult learners and local literacy organizations throughout the United States."

A budget is not only a financial tool for the financial order of a family, organization, business or government, but it is also an expression of the values and priorities of a family, organization, business, or government.  Does our national budget reflect the values and priorities that our nation should have?  What do you think?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Remembering Bandit

Bandit left the house one evening on  August 12.  She never returned.  I was with my daughters in California on vacation.  Ron had gone outside for something.  It was dark by the sliding glass door.  Bandit pounced outside as Ron opened the door to go back in.  She's done that many times before.  Although we don't want our kitties out after dark because of the danger from owls and coyotes, sometimes they get out and stay out all night. Ron thought: "She'll be back later, waiting by the glass door to be let back in."  But she did not come back that night, or the next, or anytime.  Ron checked the lots across the street and next door, but no Bandit.  He left the porch light on and checked each evening, expecting her to be there like she always had before. No Bandit.

 When I returned from California, I made flyers and handed them out door-to-door and posted them throughout the neighborhood.  The webmaster of our neighborhood association sent out a picture via email. I got one call from a neighbor who thought she was in their yard.  However, it was not Bandit.  I registered with the Animal Shelter and received pictures of found cats for the next 30 days.  Two looked like Bandit.  I went to the shelter a couple of times, but they were not Bandit.  My daughter, Amanda, who took in Bandit as a 6 week old kitten, along with her litter mate, Precious, went to the shelter and looked at every cat.  No Bandit.

Precious was insufferable, she cried constantly, so lost without her sister

Ron was heart-broken, too. He had grown very found of these kitties, but Bandit especially was loved.  Bandit, the alpha cat, smart and saavy, surely she was able to survive anything threatening in the neighborhood. 

Now it is more than two months since Bandit has gone.  The season is changing.  Soon there will be freezing snow and bitter cold.

 On one of our trips to the Animal Shelter, we adopted a new cat.  Her name is Beeto.  She is 2 and a half years old.  She had been at the shelter for 3 and one half months.  As a black cat, she probably would not be adopted.  My daughters, Amanda and Mary, said she would be euthanized soon, so I adopted her.  I wasn't sure if Precious would accept this new cat.  But the shelter gives you 30 days to make up your mind.

 Precious is wary.  She hisses at Beeto.  She's not totally accepting, but it's getting better each day.  Precious has stopped her constant crying.  Beeto is getting used to us.  She purrs and rubs against you.  She loves a good scratch on her head, back, and belly.  She lets me pick her up.  She's curious and friendly, although still a bit skitterish given her traumatic recent past. She's not Bandit, of course.  Who could ever be Bandit who lived with us for 7 years and ruled our home as Queen of the kitties?

Amanda called me the other morning.  She had a dream about Bandit.  She visualized that Bandit had gone feral and was the protector of the vulnerable critters and other feral cats.  She roamed the forest free and happy.  She even wore a yellow Ninja bandana as she fought off coyotes and owls who tried to carry her and other critters off. I cried and smiled at the same time.  "That sounds like Bandit," I thought.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall and Balloon Fiesta Time

Marigolds and Morning Glories are still blooming

With the changing of the seasons
Mother Crow comes calling
flutter of great wings above
Mother Crow roosts
atop the pinyon tree.
She casts a wary eye and calls out: "Caw, caw, caw..."
with this reply received: "Caw, caw, caw, caw"
from some distant place downwind.
The leaves are turning
the sun rises a little later
with each new day
of the waning year.
Fall has arrived.
The jay birds have flown
and Mother Crow ascends.

Tall pinyon tree in the front of my home is probably 200 years old

Pinyon pine cones, although small this year, provide nuts for the jays and crows

2011 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
One of New Mexico's premiere fall events is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta that began October 1st.  My daughters and Matt went with me to the Mass Ascension on Sunday morning at 7:00AM.  The weather was perfect. Over 350 balloons launched.  We had a wonderful time.

My daughters, Mary and Amanda

Matt and Mary ducking under the balloons as they are inflated

Lots of special shapes were present

Humpty Dumpty

Spider Pig

Mary and Matt

Mary and Amanda