Letting Off Steam

My fellow Americans, I don’t care how much you despise Obama’s being black, everything is not his fault. (And he’s half white, remember?) If you listen to conservatives you’d never know it, but, let me repeat: everything is not Obama’s fault. Let’s take a few examples, starting with scary diseases.

If it bleeds, it leads.

That motto is news business’ golden rule. All Ebola, all the time. Top of the news for weeks. This disease has been around for years, mainly in Africa. It’s not airborne, not that easy to catch. We have four cases here, brave, dedicated health care workers who have taken care of someone who had it, here or in Africa. You pretty much have to absorb a symptomatic person’s bodily liquids to get it. And it’s mainly in Texas, right? Here’s our chance to give Texas back to Mexico. I’ve been saying we should do that for years. I’d swap it for Baja in a minute.

When’s the last time you saw news coverage of Enterovirus D68? We’re currently having a nationwide outbreak of that. As of mid-October, we had 900 confirmed cases in 46 states. You’d think we could pay attention to that. You’d think politicians could ask, “what’s the most effective way to deal with this?” Instead, they ask, “how can we blame Obama and drum up fear to help our re-election campaign?”

The CDC, our national agency in charge of epidemics, is operating with $600 million less in its budget than it had in 2010. And a Surgeon General would be handy to have right now, wouldn’t you think? But the person Obama nominated a year ago still hasn’t been acted upon, because do-nothing Congress plans to leave key positions vacant, cut funding, and then blame Obama if government response isn’t instantaneous.

My fellow Americans, some services are best delivered by government. Hamstring those services and you hamstring society. Look at the attempt to privatize water in New York in the 1800s, for an historical example. There was a disaster. Look at our current privatization of prisons. We’re supposed to rehabilitate people, but if you’re a private entity and you need X number of people behind bars to make money… Hence, we now have more people in prison than any other country.

NIH has a vaccine center, developed a possible prototype Ebola vaccine years ago. Private industry had no interest in developing it, because NO PROFIT COULD BE MADE. Only now, under pressure, are big pharma companies finally working on the Ebola vaccine.

I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.          —Will Rogers

My fellow Democrats, you’re a bunch of wimps. You not only don’t support our President, you act like he has Ebola. I know what will happen once he’s out of office. All kinds of pundits will “discover” that Obama’s been a good president after all.

He’s cut the deficit more than in half. He saved the economy. Stimulus funds worked wonders, though no one hears about it. Unemployment is lower than it’s been in years. He passed Wall Street reform, to keep those criminals from doing that to us again. He reversed Bush torture policies. Maybe his biggest achievement, the ACA (aka Obamacare) has been working beautifully, driving costs down. My Colorado HMO has taken in over 60,000 new members because of the ACA, hard-working people who have been putting off cancer treatment or pacemaker replacement because they couldn’t afford it: in the U.S. of A., ordinary citizens unable to treat life-threatening conditions until Obamacare. It’s enough to make you weep.

In 1902, Teddy Roosevelt threatened owners with nationalizing their mines to force them to negotiate with miners, who worked long hours for low wages in unsafe conditions. Private enterprise puts profits first. If you want decent wages and working conditions, government must mediate to make that happen. If you want health care and education, government must make that happen or good health care and education will only be available to the rich. As we speak, worker rights are being eroded: jobs taken overseas or turned into contract positions, ALL FOR PROFIT MARGINS.

Oh, and you who whine about Obama’s golf games: as of this month, Obama had taken a total of 125 vacation days. At this same point in his presidency, George W. Bush had taken 407 vacation days.

Finally, Will Rogers again, our grand American humorist. He was talking about the crash of 1929, but you could easily apply this to the crash of 2008:

Sure must be a great consolation to the poor people who lost their stock in the late crash to know that it has fallen in the hands of Mr. Rockefeller, who will take care of it and see it has a good home and never be allowed to wander around unprotected again. There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war, or famine, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it.

Only in our case, we have helped arrange for all the money to go to a dozen or so banks, corporations and billionaires, instead of just one—there’s “redistribution of wealth” for you.

Progress, huh?



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4 Responses to Letting Off Steam


  2. jana clark says:


  3. Bob Jaeger says:

    Hurray Pat! This should be read on the floor in Congress and published in newspapers everywhere. I urge you to send it to the Post and any other outlet you can think of. I’d help.

  4. winnie barrett says:


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