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Member since: Sat May 15, 2010, 03:48 PM
Number of posts: 7,571

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The Affordable Care Act was a great accomplishment, but it is NOT a sacred cow!

Anybody who is at all honest with himself or herself will acknowledge that, while certainly better than what preceded it, the ACA is FAR from ideal or perfect. Yes, more people are insured. That's a good thing. Yes, pre-existing conditions are covered. Ditto. But the very high deductibles and skyrocketing drug prices are, quite literally, killers for those who, like me, live with chronic conditions (Type II diabetes in my case) that require continuous medical supervision and maintenance in order to keep them under control.

Hillary has falsely claimed that Bernie Sanders will be putting the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid and S-CHIP at risk by pursuing single-payer. Look, if he tries and fails, all that means is that we are left with whatever is currently in place. But this notion that we cannot and should not even attempt to TRY to come up with better system amounts to despicable fear-mongering based on a despicable lie, all borne of desperation -- it is truly pathetic.

To those engaging in the various lines of attack on Sanders, all based on the common theme of what he will not possibly be able to achieve, and pointing to the Republican obstruction faced by President Obama in support of that assertion, I would pose this question: What, exactly, is the basis for your belief that Hillary, for whom GOP enmity is just as deep as that directed towards President Obama and is of much longer standing, will be any more able to push through her agenda? Let's face it: the Republican strategy of obstructing virtually everything this President has tried to do has been, with a few notable exceptions, wildly successful. Does anybody honestly think they will suddenly be inspired to reach across the aisle under a Hillary presidency?

For 35 years, the Democratic Party has watched -- no it has permitted -- this country drift further and further to the right. The relative midpoint on the political spectrum has shifted, and markedly so. Given that there seems to be no limit on how far right the GOP is willing to pull this country, then absent some serious pushback in the opposite direction -- something that simply cannot be accomplished when your starting point is at, or in some cases already over, the center line -- that rightward drift will continue.

It could well be that a President Sanders will find himself unable to accomplish many of the things he would like to do. Then again, it could be that the enthusiasm his campaign is generating could result in some rather long coattails that could potentially change the political outlook in Congress. I really don't see the possibility of significant coattails in a Hillary victory.

One thing of which I am absolutely certain: if voters do not begin to push hard at the polls for the kind of change most of them want and know we need, it is virtually assured that change will never come to pass!
Posted by markpkessinger | Fri Jan 29, 2016, 10:12 PM (5 replies)

NYT Editorial: Vindication for Planned Parenthood (and my comment posted to it)

Here is a comment I posted to the editorial (a link to and excerpt of the editorial follows after my comment):

[font size=3]Mark P. Kessinger[/font] New York, NY

It is certainly past time for politicians to back off their attacks on Planned Parenthood. But isn't it time also to ask why we continue to allow these scams involving videos that purport to show wrongdoing by some agency or official, videos produced by activists with a known agenda, to be perpetrated on the American public? Isn't it time to call out media outlets who run with these stories, at face value, without undertaking their own independent investigation of their veracity? And is it not time to demand accountability from politicians who opportunistically seize upon any video that surfaces, irrespective of its source and before knowing whether or not what is presented is accurate, in furtherance of a political agenda, wasting millions of taxpayers' dollars on pointless investigations that serve no public purpose, but merely provide a vehicle for political posturing?

The Planned Parenthood "baby parts" scam followed, play for play, the game plan that was used to falsely discredit ACORN and to slander Shirley Sherrod: (1) a person with a known, right-wing agenda comes forward with a selectively and misleadingly edited video; (2) one media outlet runs with it with no attempt to ascertain the truth of the story; and (3) Republican politicians immediately demand expensive investigations aimed not so much at discerning the truth of the video, but at smearing the person or organization targeted by the video. How many times must we go through this?

And here is the excerpt of the editorial itself:

[font size=5]Vindication for Planned Parenthood[/font]

One after the other, investigations of Planned Parenthood prompted by hidden-camera videos released last summer have found no evidence of wrongdoing. On Monday, a grand jury in Harris County, Tex., went a step further. Though it was convened to investigate Planned Parenthood, it indicted two members of the group that made the videos instead.

The Harris County prosecutor, Devon Anderson, a Republican who was asked by the lieutenant governor, a strident opponent of Planned Parenthood, to open the criminal investigation, said on Monday that the grand jurors had cleared Planned Parenthood of any misconduct.

Yet despite all the evidence, Texasí Republican governor, Greg Abbott, said on Monday that the state attorney generalís office and the State Health and Human Services Commission would continue investigating Planned Parenthood. This is a purely political campaign of intimidation and persecution meant to destroy an organization whose mission to serve womenís health care needs the governor abhors.

Fortunately, in the Harris County case, the jurors considered the facts. David Daleiden, the director of the Center for Medical Progress, which released the videos, and Sandra Merritt, an employee, were indicted on felony charges of tampering with governmental records, probably connected to their alleged use of fake driverís licenses to get into a Planned Parenthood office.

< . . . . >
Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Jan 27, 2016, 07:53 PM (4 replies)

Bernie responds to Chelsea . . . with far more grace and class than her scurrilous remarks deserved

Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Jan 13, 2016, 11:46 AM (32 replies)

An argument I wish the President had addressed last night

Just had a chance to watch the President's town hall on guns, which aired last night. All I can say is, if people watch this, and still think President Obama seeks to take away their guns, then they are believing that because they want to believe it, not because there is any rational basis whatsoever for that belief.

Personally, I wish the President had taken on the "protection" argument, although I understand why he didn't. One woman who questioned him recounted her story of having been raped in her home, and how she now wants a gun to protect herself. Here's the thing about that belief -- and this is a point the Australian comic, Jim Jeffries, makes so brilliantly in his Netflix special, "Bare" -- in order for a gun to be of any use for self-protection in such a circumstance, that gun would have to be both loaded, and be within reach of the person, AT ALL TIMES. I don't know anybody who carries a loaded gun with them 100% of the time, even as they go about the house. And if a person keeps a loaded gun lying around the house and readily accessible, then the risk that a child or someone else might get their hands on it rises exponentially, and that person has thus voided any claim to being a "responsible gun owner." It may be that the woman from the town hall who had been raped derives some sense of security from having a gun on hand, but as a practical matter, that sense of security is entirely illusory.
Posted by markpkessinger | Fri Jan 8, 2016, 03:04 PM (31 replies)

Posted this to FB today, in response to accusations that the President's tears were "an act"

Posted after a distant relative (among many other folks) made a comment that "He should get an Oscar for that performance." (The context was a post of mine in which I shared an exchange with another NY Times reader. That reader commented: "Can you imagine a JFK or FDR with tears streaming down their faces during a press conference?" My response: "Some of us find it refreshing to have a President unconstrained by the emotional dysfunctions of the privileged class of a bygone era!"

Okay, I have to say this -- and not everyone will like it, but I'm saying it nonetheless. In the seven years of President Obama's term in office,I have listened to conservatives' endless barrage of false accusations and ridiculous conspiracy theories concerning this President. Most of them have been barely worth the energy required to roll one's eyes. But nothing -- and I do mean NOTHING -- has disgusted me more than the comments I've seen in the past 24 hours suggesting that the emotion displayed in the President's speech yesterday about gun control was just an act. You don't have to agree with anything the President said in that speech. But there is a line of fundamental decency here folks, and when you deny this President, even if you disagree with his politics, the humanity of his own emotion on an issue he cares passionately about, you have crossed it. This is simply a vile accusation.

Here is a video of the President's speech yesterday. If anybody can listen to it and still level an accusation that the President was "acting," then it says a whole lot more about the person making the accusation than it does about the President. And frankly, regardless of whether or not you agree with the President, if the thought of those 21 5- and 6-year-olds at Sandy Hook, along with the dozens and dozens of others whose live have been cut short in mass shooting after mass shooting, doesn't evoke a strong emotional response within you, then you seriously need to check your own humanity, or lack thereof!

Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Jan 6, 2016, 03:42 PM (49 replies)
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