So is our own Assemblyman, Sam Blakeslee, got his eye on running for State Senator? Casting an eye on his “base,” fixin’ for ta’ fire ‘em up, fixin’ fer a run?
According to an Oct 18 Tribune story by Bob Cuddy, Sam sent a memo to his fellow Republicans just dissing Governor Schwarzenegger all over the place, attacking several pieces of health care legislation that Sam thinks are really bad. Seems Sam thought it was reeeeelly, reeeelly awful to have a law that outlawed “gender discrimination in health care and prohibit health insurers from dropping clients who run up large bills within two years of signing up.” (Uh, wasn’t that a key issues in the federal “reform,” making sure insurance companies can’t dump people who cost them money? As for gender discrimination in health care? Sam’s FOR gender discrimination in health care and opposed to a bill that would eliminate that? Huh?)
Also on Blakeslee’s top 10 list of WORST legislation is recognizing out-of-state gay marriage [you know, complying with the Federal full faith and credit clause] and “declaring May 22 ‘Harvey Milk Day,” which Blakeslee said ‘champions (the) homosexual political agenda.”
So Sam’s four-square behind creating two classes of California citizens; those who have full civil rights and can marry and have those marriages done in another state be legit in this state, and those who almost have full civil rights, except their perfectly legal out-of-state marriage is bupkis. And, Awww Mah Gawd. Hide the children, it’s the dreaded “Homosexual political agenda.” (Does that differ from the standard, plain vanilla, white-bread, run-of-the-mill “Homosexual agenda?”) Yikes, sounds like Sam’s cranking up his Feed The Base It’s The Dreaded GAY! playbook.
Cuddy’s story also notes, “As the Republican leader in the Assembly, Blakeslee is one of the so-called Big Five who have significant input into how the state is run.” All you second-class citizens need to keep that in mind. Sam’s moving on up. He signed a blood oath to Grover Norquist and was willing to see this state go off a cliff rather than make some sensible tax compromises and for his party loyalty he was given a seat at the Big Boy table. (Senator Maldonado modestly compromised and was punished for his loyalty to the state as a whole and loyalty to the people of the state. In Grover Norquist Land, there is only one loyalty and it isn’t to the constitution or the people of the state; it is to the Republican Party.)
Thank You Doctor Foreman
In the Trib’s Oct 18 series on health care, “Can We Heal The System?” there’s a brief story on Dr. Larry Foreman, an emergency room physician from Arroyo Grande. Dr. Larry sensibly notes that even though we are supposedly “reforming health care,” what we really are doing is simply reforming health INSURANCE, which still doesn’t solve the problem.
“We can do it now, or we can do it later,” Foreman says of universal health care. The current system is destined to ‘implode,’ he says. ‘It’s not sustainable.’
“Demographics are not reassuring, he says,” to which I can only add, “I’ll say!”
“The ideal system, Foreman says, would provide ‘the best result with the least amount of money being spent,’ as opposed to the market deciding, which he believes is the way health care delivery works today.
“As to spending less money, many reforms are needed, including making sure pharmaceutical companies spend their research and development money on research and development and not on salaries and advertising.
“Foreman also stresses the need for preventive medicine.”
Indeed so, Dr. Foreman. We actually need a system that’s focused on coordinating patient care -- the so-called Mayo Clinic method – add in known “best practices” care and aggressive preventative care early on, and maybe we’d have a shot at actually improving our medical health. Plus, figuring out a way to get the American public to grow up and begin to take some responsibility for their own health.
Round ‘em UP, Head ‘em Out
That loud sucking sound you heard east of town was Cal Poly President,Warren Baker trying to ‘splain why he capitulated and forced a guest speaker (author and agribusiness critic) Michael Pollan to share his (formerly) solo podium with speakers from agribusiness so he wouldn’t lose Harris Beef Ranch Co’s promised donation to the university. Suss out on academic freedom or lose the big cow bucks, said Harris. And Baker said? Well, in the Tribune he had an “explanation” that went, Blah, Blah, Blah, our students need to be exposed to diverse viewpoints, Blah, Blah, Blah, “Alumni – or for that manner any special interest groups including donors – do not dictate classroom content and they do not dictate who will come to this campus and who won’t.” Blah, Blah, Blah. . . .
Well, that’s sure good news; no classroom content “dictation” BUT, apparently donors WILL dictate what kind of forum certain speakers will get when they do come to speak. Which means a solo speaker can get a solo podium BUT NOT if a wealthy donor demands that he be given a “panel” with “opposing views.”
Then he’ll get a panel or he’ll be given the bum’s rush.
Said Pollan, who is a journalism professor at UC Berkley, “. . . Wood’s threat constituted an attack on academic freedom, adding that bullying has no place at a university.”
You may laugh now.