Monday, October 21, 2013

This & That

I SEE BETTER THAN I HEAR – The president is scheduled to address the nation today from the Rose Garden.    His purpose…to address the trials and tribulations of the health care roll out. 
We are told that he will term the current difficulties experienced by those trying to access the program as “unacceptable.”  Indeed!  We expect that he will give us assurances that everything possible is being done to correct the “glitches” in the system.  We expect that he will enlighten us on all the benefits that millions of Americans are already experiencing as a result of this important piece of legislation.  “Keep calm and carry on” will be his message…no doubt delivered in front of a backdrop of middle class individuals and small business owners; all nodding their heads in agreement with the president’s message.  Stagecraft 101!
Unfortunately the reports that we are hearing do not paint the same rosy picture.  There are reports that the website was never beta tested.  There are reports that over 5,000,000 lines of code need to be re-written; a process that will take months to complete.  There are reports that the contractor in charge of developing the website was fired by the Canadian government before being hired by the US.  There are reports that he patch work repair job being done today will only make a long term fix take even longer and that the project is now 100% over budget.
Are any of these reports true?  We don’t know!  We don’t know because the government isn’t talking.  We find the government’s silence a damning affirmation that all is not going as well as the president would have us believe.
With all due respect Mr. President…enough!   Actions speak louder than words.  Get the thing fixed! 
Or take the political hit and delay the roll out until the program is ready for prime time.
BOUGHT AND PAID FOR – If you follow politics you are no doubt familiar with the term “influence peddling.”  Money is donated with the unspoken understanding that certain votes on certain issues will go a certain way.  Wink, wink…nod, nod!  That’s Washington politics.
But did you know that our elected officials can legally use monies contributed to their so called “Leadership PACs” for personal gain?
In a segment aired last night, “60 Minutes” unveils how lawmakers are funding their lifestyles through the legal use of campaign funds.  That’s right…it’s legal.  Apparently there is a loophole in the campaign finance reform legislation that allows lawmakers to set up “Leadership PACs” and use the monies deposited for their personal gratification.  Meetings at 5 star international resorts, golf outings at the country’s most elite and expensive clubs even hiring family members, qualified or not, to staff positions.  All legal…all paid for out of campaign donations.
Senator David Vitter, best known for engaging the services of a prostitute, has sponsored legislation to close this unseemly loophole.  Surprisingly, he cannot seem to find one co-sponsor among his self righteous colleagues.  Not one!
This report gives us a much better understanding why guys like Ted Cruz are willing to withstand withering criticism over their support of extremely unpopular issues. 
It’s not their ideology that they are clinging to…it’s their lifestyle.                  

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