Saturday, April 19, 2014

ACA success saves lives; horrifies GOP

The success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now having brought 19 million Americans affordable health care, is a financial and literal lifesaver for those folks, but a bitter pill to swallow for the GOP, who five years ago bet the Republican franchise on its failure.
First the folks being helped

•8 million people have signed up for health coverage through the state and 
    federal marketplaces.
•3 million more have signed up for coverage through Medicaid.
•3 million now have coverage by staying on their parents’ plan.
•5 million people have signed up for ACA-compliant plans outside the

Four percent of all Americans are newly insured this year. Many of them are the young; healthy people whose good health will keep premiums down. The Congressional Budget office reports that by 2016 health insurance premiums will be 15% lower than previously expected. The population is responding favorably: 60% want the ACA to be kept in place or improved with a public option (Medicare for All) which proponents called for in the first place.

But sadly and tragically, GOP leaders, almost to a heartless man and woman, blindly ignore reality to stay faithful to their five year campaign to first, stop its passage, then defund it, now to gut it. Fifty-five votes in the House to do just that demonstrates to all with an open and fair mind the GOP's reckless disregard of their public trust. Twenty-four Republican governors have turned down federally paid expansion to Medicaid which locks out 4.8 million needy folk from coverage in one of the cruelest and cynical political posturings ever witnessed. Even the billionaire GOP candidate for Illinois governor says federally paid Medicaid expansion in Illinois was a bad idea. The hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans who've been given a new lease on a healthy and financially secure life would respectfully disagree.

The GOP House dead enders have done the math in their re-election campaigns and concluded there's no benefit to telling their cruel base the truth about the ACA. They'd rather keep feeding them lies and red meat scare stories to keep their fabulous career politician jobs. Alas, that is one moral sickness for which the ACA, health insurance and the finest doctors in the world cannot develop a cure.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Breen should resign from West Suburban Patriots...or withdraw from Illinois House District 48 race

A previous post revealed that GOP candidate for the Illinois House 48th District race, Pete Breen, is a member of a West Suburban Patriots, an extremist conservative organization based in DuPage County and affiliated with the national Tea Party dedicated to an anti government agenda. Inspired and funded by ultra conservative GOP billionaires such as the Koch Brothers and GOP political operatives such as former GOP House leader Dick Armey, Tea Party groups are corrected designated by normal folks as "AstroTurf" rather than "grass roots" since they're anything but a ground up organization working for progressive change. They spearheaded the economically and socially harmful government shutdown, and are ferocious in demonizing and delegitimizing the presidency of the first bi-racial president. Tea Party rallies after his incomprehensible (to them) election, featured the president caricatured as a monkey or an American incarnation of Hitler. Check out the blog link on their website for more of the excerpts listed below:

West Suburban Patriots
an independent Tea Party group in DuPage County, IL
Is It Time to Conquer the H-word Taboo Before It Conquers Us? (Revised)
•Posted by Jeff Glock on July 19, 2013 at 8:02pm
•View Blog
One wonders at the many similarities between President Obama’s head-long drive to a one-party State and the rise of the Third Reich. During Hitler’s regime, British writer C.S. Lewis made the observation, “How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different the saints.” This comes about not because tyrants study and learn from each other, but because that’s just what kind of people they are. For whatever reasons, a tyrant instinctively knows how to manipulate and control people.
“That is the miracle of our times: That you found me among so many millions. And that I found you is Germany’s fortune.”
Adolph Hitler, September 1936
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Barack Obama, February 2008
The phrase “working toward the Fuhrer” was first used in a February 21, 1934 speech by Werner Willikens, Germany’s State Secretary in the Ministry of Food. It refers to the phenomenon whereby the leader makes his wishes known, and then the administrative branch follows through without direct orders. This serves to fundamentally transform (sound familiar?) an entire society very quickly, while insulating the leader from responsibility for what goes wrong. It also partly explains how a person who spent a lot of time in cafes, napping, and watching movies could accomplish so much.
Similarly, President Obama is no workaholic. He loves to golf, go on extensive vacations, and host parties. And he has been on the road in campaign mode during his entire Presidency. So who is “working toward the President?” May I suggest the following: IRS, EPA, DHS, HHS, DOJ, DOD, NSA, DOE, NEA, union thugs, Occupy thugs, ACORN thugs, New Black Panther thugs, and just recently, the nation’s librarians and Obamacare Healthcare Exchange thugs.

This is reprehensible, hateful nonsense that tears at our fragile political and social fabric. It has no place in any decent organization, much less one ascribed to by a candidate for the Illinois House of Representatives. If the Peter Breen of Lombard, listed on their membership roster and congratulated as a new member, is the same Peter Breen of Lombard running to be our District 48 state representative, he should do the right thing: cancel his West Suburban Patriots' membership or withdraw from the Illinois House District 48 race.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Breen brings Tea Party Patriots to the Illinois 48th

Back on October 7, 2013, the West Suburban Patriots, an independent Tea Party organization serving DuPage County, welcomed new member Peter Breen of Lombard, IL. Unless there are two Peter Breens living in Lombard, its likely that new member was none other than the Peter Breen who is Vice President and Senior Counsel to the Thomas More Society, an ultraconservative religious organization masquerading as a defender of the secular First Amendment. Their mission is really to allow fanatical anti-abortion protesters to interfere with traumatized women entering abortion providers, keeping gays from achieving first class citizenship, allowing religious settings to desecrate the public square, and demonize the IRS simply for enforcing tax laws regarding religious exemptions.

A true multi-tasker, Breen also serves as Lombard Village Trustee, and just knocked off moderate Illinois 48th District state representative Sandy Pihos in the Primary to become GOP candidate for the Illinois House this November. Assuming West Suburban Patriot Peter Breen and candidate Peter Breen are one in the same, every non Tea Party resident in the Illinois 48th should be very afraid. This is a radical organization, created by wealthy GOP power brokers like former GOP House leader Dick Armey and the mega fossil fuel billionaire Koch Brothers, Charles and David, who funded a structure to attract anti government citizens horrified by the election of a bi-racial president in 2008, dedicated to making government work for the tens of millions currently locked out. Their public protests against any taxation, any government not related to national defense, and alleged usurpation of states rights degenerated into vicious anti-Obama caricatures of racism and Nazi references. Check out the West Suburban Patriot website link: to find this hate filled reference to President Obama channeling Adolph Hitler himself in a delusional screed claiming the president is trying to replicate the Third Reich here in the American Heartland.

Is It Time to Conquer the H (Hitler)-word Taboo Before It Conquers Us? (Revised)

•Posted by Jeff Glock on July 19, 2013 at 8:02pm
•View Blog

The West Suburban Patriots home page is filled with blatherings about guns, the tyranny of the IRS, the horror of providing affordable health care to the 42 million formerly shut out. For those faithful who have trouble reading, there are pictures of Tea Party hero and crazed talk show host Glenn Beck and even neighboring Illinois House District 42 representative Jeanne Ives, who had this to say at a Illinois Tea Party rally in St. Charles yesterday in their annual "trash the IRS on Tax Day" event: "In Illinois, it's time to be troublesome....I will continue to be troublesome, just as troublesome as possible in Springfield."

One Tea Party zealot in DuPage County is one too many. The Illinois 48th doesn't need another faux patriot preaching no taxes, no help to the needy, no rebuilding Illinois, no improved education; but yes to religious symbols in the public square, yes to further trauma to abortion seekers, yes to more guns, yes to keeping gays second class citizens and yes to the religion of civic selfishness. Peter Breen is peddling a foul tea for District 48 residents to imbibe. Don't swallow his toxic potion on November 4.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Music Pick: Kurt Elling

There's oodles of female jazz singers but few males heed the call to this most difficult of artistic skills. While most of the male greats are long gone, a recent one from the 1990's soldiers on: Kurt Elling (b. 1967). His rise to jazz stardom is truly improbable. Chicago born Elling was introduced early on to classical and religious singing by his father, a church music director. Elling majored in philosophy of religion before attending the University of Chicago Divinity School seeking a Masters before a planned career with the World Council of Churches. But he was so good at a newfound love of jazz he began gigging at Chi Town jazz clubs while studying and working as a bartender, mover, even a wedding singer to pay bills. Dropping out of the U of C one credit short of a Masters, Elling started recording and vaulted to the top of his class, winning 12 straight Downbeat Magazine critics polls as best male vocalist, in addition to 11 Grammy nominations (one win). Elling may have dumped the church for "devil's music" but the feature 'Nature Boy' from 2005 is heavenly and spiritual. 

Roskam ignores his own superbug to fight the Superbug

Let it not be said that my Congressman, Peter J. Roskam (IL-6th), does not work to improve the health of all Americans. Just check out his latest email to constituents.
The Fight Against Superbugs

Did you know that each year over two million Americans suffer antibiotic-resistant infections, or superbugs, which leads to 23,000 deaths per year? Unfortunately, the drugs to treat these infections aren’t being developed and we’re facing a public health crisis because of it. Congress needs to work together to fight the superbug threat. I recently introduced the DISARM Act – bipartisan legislation that would incentivize companies to develop lifesaving drugs. My bill also directs a multi-agency review that will identify and cut through red tape in the process to ensure we have the robust drug development necessary to combat this looming public health crisis.

While I'm gratified Congressman Roskam is working to increase drug company profits with wildly expensive new drugs, I'm more concerned over his 55 votes to not enact, to repeal or to gut the Affordable Care Act which is helping 42 million folks without health care get financial, health and lifesaving benefits. His email notes that the superbug leads to 23,000 deaths a year. But when it comes to saving the twice as many folks who needlessly die each year from lack of health insurance, Roskam votes 'NYET!'

That is because Roskam adheres to the GOP and Tea Party mantra that for the 42 million uninsured there is only one health care plan: DON'T GET SICK. Yet, in spite of Roskam's heartless five year campaign to derail relief to these folks, the ACA has been a spectacular success. How so? This year upwards of 12 million will gain health coverage under the ACA, increasing the percentage on non-elderly covered from 80% to 84%, rising to 89% in 2016. The Congressional Budget Office just lowered the 10 year cost estimate of the ACA by over a $100 billion due to its lowering the overall cost of health care as expected. Yet, the Roskam led House GOP is cheering on the 24 GOP governors refusing the federally paid Medicaid expansion to the 4.8 million uninsured in their heartless red states who earn too much for current Medicaid but are too poor to afford health insurance or qualify for health insurance subsidies. Some of those folks die every day while Roskam and his Tea Party Patriots turn away to play politics in what inevitably is a losing game.

There is a superbug we should all be concerned about, but it's not one cured by a $100 pill. It's the superbug of indifference and cruelty to the very people our congressmen are paid fabulous salary and benefits to help. The cure for this superbug is simple and doesn't cost a dime. It just requires a heart...and a soul. That is one cure Congressman Roskam needs to figure out how to swallow.

Monday, April 14, 2014

McCain lights match; pours gasoline on Ukraine fire

As Ukraine burns, the light in Senator John McCain's eye grows brighter, and he appeared almost gleeful bashing President Obama yesterday on Face The Nation over the President's failure to halt Russian pushback to the US inspired coup in that failed state. When asked what he'd do if he were Commander In Chief instead of presidential loser, the rejuvenated McCain said he'd surely arm the Ukraine thugs he encouraged to overthrow the duly elected Ukraine president, so they could fight back against any further Russian incursion. That's right, folks, the guy who dropped bombs on innocents 47 years ago in Vietnam and has spent his political career lamenting our loss in that criminal, failed war; and promoting war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran, is now out front in relishing a possible new military intervention.  And our sycophantic main stream media, lusting for ratings by promoting false and destructive controversies, gave the nation's pre-eminent warmonger a good ten minutes to pitch his bellicose, reckless nonsense. McCain also called for tougher sanctions, even though he admitted they would also hurt ordinary Americans who mostly want nothing to do with US militarism and interference in distant lands not vital to our national interests. Every time McCain pops up to spread his venom to an uncritical media, we should offer thanks he didn't get to command foreign policy and the military in 2008. Had that occurred we'd still be in Iraq, we wouldn't be leaving Afghanistan, we'd have likely bombed Syria and possibly Iran as well. As he shuttles from one neocon controlled media outlet to another, his Senate limousine should bear the following bumper sticker: CAUTION - PYROMANIAC ON BOARD