jump to navigation

Why are we so stubborn? A Case for Universal Healthcare February 11, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Politics, Society.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

In my last post, I talked about how it took Americans sixty years to abolish slavery after it was made illegal in Britain. It was the right thing to do, but why did it take so long and why did it require a Civil War? Obviously, the Civil War had so much to do with agriculture and the industrial conditions in what was still a relatively new system. Compared to European nations, America is still a baby.

And yet, or maybe because of this, it seems like Americans refuse to look at the way things are done in other countries and seem to find their policies deplorable. I am thinking mostly of universal healthcare. This issue seemed so divisive in the last election. And it seems like the our legislature is so wrapped up in big business lobbyists, there is no chance it would come from them. By becoming an federally elected government official, they are guaranteed healthcare for the rest of their lives. And yet all the people who elected them have to fend for themselves.

There is no reason in one of the richest, most sophisticated countries in the world should cause people to go bankrupt because they can not afford basic medical treatments. I am quite surprised that in all this economic stimulus package that is being discussed, there is no revisiting of bankruptcy laws. During the Bush Adminstration, there were some major changes to the laws that did not help the individuals.

President Obama has said all along that he wants to move toward digital medical records and is backing that up by ensuring it is written into these stimulus packages. I think that is the first step in centralizing our system. By requiring our medical institutions to communicate in a common system that allows them to pass patient data back and forth, we can move to a system where the patient is the most important factor. Until we can remove the money hungry health insurance companies out of the picture, we are not taking care of our people.

A Day of Celebration January 22, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Politics, Society.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

We take it for granted. “We” being white people. After 43 white male presidents, it is really difficult to understand the joy, pride, relief, elation, … words can not describe the feelings many African Americans must feel as President Barack Obama begins his Presidency. As a young, white male who was not around during the Civil Rights Movement, has always been aware of the systemic discrimination that occurred, but never directly affected by it, it is really hard to grasp what occurred on Tuesday.

A local radio station (Channel 955) personality, Kyra, wrote this note on her MySpace page. She read it aloud for the radio and I think you too will find it captures so many emotions. (It may take a minute or two to load depending on your Internet connection.)

LISTEN: PART 1

But I am proud too. I am proud that the day after we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 80th birthday, we are able to present a gift of evidence. Evidence of the fact that our country is moving past the background of person or the color of their skin. Barack Obama inspired a nation. Even with the dark hours of the last eight years, people are now excited. They are excited by the promise of a brighter future.

I, like many, found President Obama’s speech quite depressing. It was dark. But is was consistent. It was accurate to the pciture of our country. We are down and we need to dig deep. I look forward to seeing how we can continue the togetherness this election has brought us and seeing the progress we can make in the next four years. We have a long way to go and I hope we as a country are not putting unfair expectations on our President. He is just another one of us afterall – albeit an extremely bright and inspiring one.

Closed Eyes November 4, 2008

Posted by shwaldman in Politics, Society.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

I am watching the CNN reporting of the election and something just struck me very hard about the McCain and the Republican policies. They were talking to the analyst from the McCain viewing event and mentioned that as long as they were winning states, the results were being shown on the big boards. Once Obama started to win a couple of states, like Pennsylvania and Ohio, they stopped presenting the results to their audience. I think that is very telling. I am very happy we are moving into a new era. I hope the people who have bought into the McFear compaign and feared the coming change will come to embrace it and we can become a unified country again. The rest of the free world is celebrating, why aren’t we?

Seeing the Light! October 14, 2008

Posted by shwaldman in Politics.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

With the three weeks before the election, the polls indicate the Toss Up Votes have started to make their decisions…. This week it is Florida and Colorado. (Note: as of Wednesday, Florida shifted back to Toss Up)

Compare this to my previous post from just last Friday: The Tide is Turning

The Tide is Turning October 10, 2008

Posted by shwaldman in Politics, Society.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

With the economy looking more and more chaotic, McCain seems to be losing ground. Here is a chart from the web site Real Clear Politics. It is really a non-partisian site that pulls in stories from both sides. There is a lot of good information and opinions on display here. But the thing I like the best are all the poll data that are pulled together. These graphs are interactive on the site and you can really drill down to see the details.

Here is what the Poll Graph looked like last week:

20081003 Electoral College Votes

20081003 Electoral College Votes

and here is what is looks like today:

20081010 Electoral College Votes

20081010 Electoral College Votes

What I hope is that this major shift does not create any less sense of urgency. McCain and the Republican Party is now pulling out all the stops. Obama was raked over the coals during the Democratic Primaries. I really don’t see how these attack ads are going to work, but if nothing else, they will motivate Republican base and this is the scary part. Obama will not and should not attack back. I just hope the American people are finally ready to move ABOVE the nonsense. This election is important and everyone still needs to vote!!! We need a change NOW!

Tax Proposals Comparison October 8, 2008

Posted by shwaldman in Politics.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

When the debate happens, it is really not clear at all what they are proposing. This is why I love the web. I saw this graphic a while ago and am finally taking the time to post it. It came from the Washington Post site and references the Tax Policy Center, so don’t know the exact origins, but it certainly illustrates some important philosophical differences.

Do you get the sense from the debate their tax plans looked like this?

Do you get the sense from the debate their tax plans looked like this?

Maverick McCain Doesn’t Work Well with Others October 8, 2008

Posted by shwaldman in Politics, Society.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

It is one thing to be a maverick and do what YOU THINK are the best interests of the people. It is an entirely different thing to just be plain rude with whom you disagree. I blogged about his interest in the League of Democracies a while back (and he even mentioned it again last night) – I think this is just reiterates his lack of openiness and ability take input from people with different opinions (much like our current president).

Full Disclosure: They shake hands right prior Brokaw’s final closing (when he asked them to get out of his way of the tele-prompter). However, I honestly believe that one was “for the cameras.”

Do Polls Pick the President? August 20, 2008

Posted by shwaldman in Politics, Society.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Boy, I hope not. It is August 20th – less than three months until the election and McCain has managed a 12 point swing in the last month to go from 7 behind to 5 points ahead. It is interesting that during that time Obama tried to prove his ability to try to improve foriegn relations while McCain simply attacked Obama with ads about Obama’s leadership. McCain is a true politian and I am not saying Obama isn’t but I think he is at least trying to take the high road and play nice. Unfortunately, I think for all of us, that isn’t what pays off in Washington. I really hope I am wrong, but this does not look good for the country or the world for the next 4-8 years.

McCain’s Surge is Working Too.. the question is what is it doing to the future… how do you define “working.”