Sunday, November 22, 2009

Moyers, lbj ,nam and afgan.

The POTUS, LBJ.,Moyers, Nam and Afgan.
((Sweet, sweet memories you gave-a meyou can't beat the memories you gave-a me
Some grief, some joyMemories are made of this.."Dean Martin, Memories are Made of This-----POTUS Obama will shortly make a decision and speech on strategy for Afgan.
The Pentagon favors a big COIN move. Thousands more NATO (US) troops and a nation-building thrust. This could include a “neighborhood watch” for 40K villages. That’s a lot of nation-building.
Hopefully the POTUS will describe an exit strategy..displaying a get-out of Afgan.card. It has been 9 years since we went into Afgan.
Last night’s Bill Moyers Journal drew a parallel between Obama’s Afgan. mess and LBJ’s Nam mess.
Moyers was a bright 30-yr. neophyte in the Johnson entourage. Not a heavyweight, but a consensus builder.
Last night, Moyers used audio tapes of LBJ’s Nam conumdrum.We hear LBJ lamenting to Georgia Sen. Dick Russell. Russell had no useful guidance or knowledge.
We hear JBJ talking to Sen. Bill Fulbright. Ol’ Bill says go into Nam full-time. This was 1964, and Fulbright was in his half-bright stage.
We hear LBJ cutting-off McGeorge Bundy. LBJ had no use for the Harvards.
We hear McNamara’s gunho silly support for a ground war.
We DON’t hear Sec.St. Rusk. He was always an inscrutable Budda, but a hard-liner. JFK always said Rusk never gave him anything to chew on.
We hear LBJ’s fear of the Goldwater right.
We DON’T hear Humbert Humphrey, who was marginalized by 1964.
And we DON’T hear LBJ quoting from George Ball’s prescient anti-Nam memo.
LBJ went for the ground troops-500K +.As a result, he lost over 40 House seats in 1966. And he was forced to retire in 1968.
He fractured our politics by 1968. In 1968, there were peace candidates everywhere. RFK and McCarthy. HHH, after his Salt Lake City bombing halt speech. Nixon, who had a secret plan to end the war. But Nixon also had Kissinger sabatoge the Paris peace talks. And then there was Wallace and his VP candidate, Curtis LaMay. They were peace candidates who would have brought peace to Hanoi thru nuclear attacks.
LBJ was wrong on a ground war in Nam. Let’s hope our POTUS is not an LBJ.
November 21, 2009 10:00 AM

The Senate and the health care debate

The Senate and the health care debate

There are at least 40 millionaires in the Senate. Being wealthy does impact a person’s values. The Senate is an elitist (House of Lords-type) club.

The Senate also grossly violates the “one man, one vote” equalitarian dictum.

The two Utah,conservative Mormon Senators, Orin Hatch and Bob Bennett, represent <1>6% of the US population.

Some of the founding fathers even argued against a Senate body as it would violate majority rule.

The wealthy Senate club is an elitist anti-majoritarian institution. This came through clearly in last night’s health care reform debate.

The Utah GOP rightwingers, Hatch and Bennett, led the debate, denouncing the Dem. bill as a budget-busting, big government boondoggle. These two dour Mormons have no sense of humor; no visible Joie De Vivre.

The two Arizona rightwingers, John McCain and Jon Kyl, replicated the Utah Senators’ arguments. McCain also came off as slightly wacko.

I have not read the 2000+ page Senate bill; and few Senators have. The size of the bill is a product of lawyers on steroids. It is mostly incomprehensible legalize.

What is clear is that the bill attempts to deal with the immorality of 40 million + uninsured Americans. This total masks several different sub-groups. But you can slice and dice it all you want. 40 million uninsured is unacceptable.

The bill will have about 15 million moving into an expanded Medicaid. That will be difficult to do. The GOP rightwingers have it right. Medicaid is a health care Gulog or ghetto. It is sub-standard primary care.

If the bill leaves the Medicaid financing the same ( 50% paid by the states), moving 15 million uninsured into Medicaid will not happen.

Like our friend in Vermont, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I favor eliminating Medicaid and expanding Medicare (Medicare for all).

The cost shifting will come with moving $50 billion annually from Medicare. This is doable, without cutting elder care. There is $30-50 billion annual waste/fraud in Medicare.

There is also those Medicare preferred private plans that have infiltrated Medicare. Get rid of them.