Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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The Supreme Court Ruling On Obamacare Hurts Repubs In A Way That They Hadn’t Considered

I’ve said before that I’m not too enamoured of Hillary Clinton. She voted for the Iraq war and she’s not the most sympathetic of characters. Plus, she’s got a lot of baggage.

I’m actually willing to be convinced that Bush is more liberal than his brother and that Rand Paul is not a total nincompoop. Now, I didn’t say that I was convinced, only that I’m open-minded enough to at least consider them. Hey, I considered voting for McCain in 2008 until he turned ultra-conservative at the last minute.

But here’s the problem:

For all you open-minded Liberals who would consider voting for a Repub this time around, there’s something you’re forgetting-Healthcare. If the Repubs get the Whitehouse and the Congress, there is an excellent chance that they will at least attempt to repeal or severely weaken the ACA. This is a serious problem, folks.

So, bearing that in mind, remember. If you do come across a moderate Repub and think he might be a good fit, I don’t care what he or she says. One way or another, they will attempt to repeal the ACA if for no other reason than to get elected to a second term. Mark my words. Every one of them has already thrown down the gauntlet. That toothpaste won’t go back in that tube. They hate it and will kill it if they can.

So, if you’re like me and not a Hillary fan, we’ve got to get to work boosting someone else from the Democratic party. Failing that, we’ve got to make sure that Hillary wins, even if we have to hold our noses while doing so.

We just don’t have a choice folks.

An Incredible Week in History-And Politics

A week that started with mourning over 9 people killed by pure, unadulterated racist thought and ignorance that ends with the upholding, again, of the ACA (Obamacare to the uninformed), the right to fairness in housing and among other things, the rights of gays to marry. This was amazing to say the least.

But there was one other thing that not all may have seen or heard. Last night, June 26th, President Obama gave a eulogy for The Rev. Clementa Pinkney at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, who was gunned down over a week ago.

Now, folks, I don’t care who you are, but you need to do yourself a favor and listen to this speech. It is 40 minutes long, but it ends in a most fascinating way. It ends with Barack Obama leading the congregation in the sweetest, most extemporaneous sounding rendition of Amazing Grace I’ve ever heard. Now I say that it sounds extemporaneous because I’m not so naive as to think that presidents utter a single word that isn’t written for them and scrutinized over and over before those words are spoken, but this was so pure, so sweet, so courageous and so apparently heart-felt, that I’m willing to consider that possibility that he decided to do it on the spot.

The authenticity we find in this guy is incomprehensible. If you listen to it, he’s off-key, misses some notes, at times he’s hesitant to be the loudest voice, hoping others will fill in the gaps…nothing like the polished and perfected sound-bitey things that spill from the lips of most presidents, including Obama. In 59 years of my life, I have liked and disliked lots of presidents. Not one has ever made me cry. This one did.

YOU CAN SEE THIS EULOGY HERE It is broken down into segments.

Now, those who know me know that religious sentimentality is not my cup of meat. What was so striking here was the conveyance of human kindness and thoughtfulness from him to those mourners. It was obvious that Obama chose this moment to use his high office to take a shot at being a black preacher, allowing and, in some cases encouraging the “yes sirs” and “um hm” and other utterances from the congregation so typical of those churches. It was one of the most moving speeches I’ve ever heard from Obama, and he sets the bar pretty high for speeches.

What struck me afterward was a bit of melancholy though. How, after having heard the love and emotion that he allowed himself to show us last night, the vulnerability that he displayed in that church, the willingness to drop his presidential facade that abandon himself to his speech and that song, how, how, can anyone consider replacing him with Hillary Clinton?

I know that I’m giving you whiplash here, and for that I’m sorry. But that’s what came over me last night as he ended his speech. We, as Liberals, have shown the world that we’re willing to take a chance on someone who displays intelligence, understanding of complex issues, and the ability to speak from his soul. We’ve shown that we have the courage to elect a leader who started in a humble place, the often ridiculed “community organizer”. We’ve shown that we have the courage to elect a man whose name was considered too foreign and Muslim-sounding to be electable, and, after 6.5 years, we’ve been proven prescient in having done so. We were right about this guy folks. He really is a Great President, and will go down in history for having had the courage to pass health care, kill Osama bin Laden and the other hundreds of things he’s done, sometimes at huge political risk.

But now that we’ve been to the mountaintop, now that we’ve seen that there are better people out there than run-of-the-mill political automatons, now that we’ve seen that we can do better, how can we now consider replacing this brilliant guy with Hillary?

We stepped out of a shiny, new Tesla to get to this party. Are we going to leave in a used Oldsmobile?

Male Birth Control

I’ve been reading about a program, recently ended, in Colorado whereas women were given easy, inexpensive access to IUDs (intra-uterine devices) for birth control. This program is apparently ending due to some moral (they claim it’s a fiscal issue. I don’t buy it), crisis on the part of Colorado legislators, who don’t think that their august body should insinuate itself into a woman’s reproductive choices, in spite of the fact that it has caused teenage pregnancy in that state to drop by at least 40% and abortion by at least 35%, among women under 20 years old. Yes. Abortions are down 35% in the last 4 years in Colorado, simply by giving women incentives to use birth control. If Repubs were true to their word, and really wanted to stop abortion, they’d be handing these things out like balloon animals at a kids birthday party.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today…

I’m writing about the fact that legislators, in Colorado and elsewhere, get to decide what is good or bad birth control, but only for women. I’m curious as to why vasectomies are not as much of a concern for those in authority with the power to control these things through legislation.

I’m curious why men are left to their own devices regarding whether or not they want to impregnate women, but female birth control is a constant subject of debate, including whether companies can be forced to offer insurance that covers it, as in the Hobby Lobby case. Apparently, women need legislative help to lead them along the primrose path to virtue. Or some bullshit like that…

It seems that if we think it sinful and unbecoming a woman to use a temporary device which can allow her to have sex without fear of pregnancy, we might consider the same attitude toward vasectomies, wouldn’t you think? And, yes, vasectomies are, in fact, covered by most health insurance, which was not, apparently, a big concern for Hobby Lobby. Hmm.

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that this is further evidence of the conservative war on women, but it appears to be a least a bit of a punch in the gut, no?

References:

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/04/30/3653043/colorado-iud-funding/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/12/how-colorados-teen-birthrate-dropped-40-in-four-years/

Republicans were right…Nah, I’m just kidding.

I was going to write today about all the recent events about which Republicans have been wrong. Rather than write what will likely be a very, very long post, I will break it down into many smaller ones. Here goes the first in a series:

Unemployment rate on Barack Obama’s first month as President: 8.2% in February 2009
Before the end of his first year in office it has risen to: 10% by October 2009

Date that Obamacare was signed into law: March 12, 2010
Unemployment rate on that date: 9.9%

Date that John Boehner (and virtually every other Repub) started calling Obamacare a “jobkiller”: Jan 7th, 2011
Unemployment rate on that date: 9.1%
Unemployment rate today:6.1%

Amount of time that Obamacare has been the law: 4.3 years
Decrease in unemployment rate in that time:3.0%, or nearly one-third

Total amount of jobs that have been “killed” by Obamacare: None. 4.5 million jobs have been added since Obamacare signed into law.

Hey, I’m jus’ sayin’

More to come…

Reading Lessons for the Fox News Crowd.

From Foxnews.com this morning:
“ObamaCare could lead to loss of nearly 2.3 million US jobs, report says”.
“The long-term effect of ObamaCare on the U.S. economy was rewritten Tuesday with the Congressional Budget Office issuing a revised projection that nearly 2.5 million workers could opt out of full-time jobs over the next 10 years — allowing employers to wipe 2.3 million full-time jobs off the books.”
Here is the link to the article

Well, as usual, Fox “News” is hoping that their short-attention-span readers don’t go any further than the first paragraph for their proof that the ACA is a failure. But, since I’m sure Fox “News” doesn’t want to be accused of bias, they waited until the second paragraph to include a little ditty about what the CDC report actually says:

“Budget experts say that because ObamaCare offers an insurance alternative to employer provided coverage, many Americans who hold full-time jobs may decide to work part-time — or not at all — and get their coverage from the exchanges.” This is an exact and direct contradiction to their headline. Jobs won’t be lost, they will be given up voluntarily by those who were only working for health insurance benefits!

So, Fox “News” hooks its readers to the headline and the first paragraph, both of which are abjectly false, then covers their butts by including the truth in the second paragraph, well past the point that most of their readers have gone on to read the sports scores.

The CDC report did, in fact say that those workers who felt tied to their jobs in order to receive health insurance could now retire or leave their jobs voluntarily because they could buy insurance on the ACA Exchange. That is the exact opposite of employers wiping “2.3 million full-time jobs off the books”. What it does mean is that 2.3 million workers will likely give up their jobs since they don’t need them for health insurance any more, thereby creating 2.3 million NEW JOB vacancies!

Can you imagine Fox actually having a headline saying Obamacare Creates New Jobs!

Sarah Palin and Obamacare

So here’s the story…

My ACA coverage will commence on Jan 1, 2014. It was a pain in the ass to sign up, but the net result is amazing.

The pain in the ass includes having to delete the original account I set up. That was because I made a mistake in the information I entered about my wife. When I tried to correct it, the Obamacare gremlins that were already built into the system took over and, two months later, it was still not corrected. So, rather than continue to wait, I just deleted my original account and started over. That entire process, (deleting the old account and re-submitting a completely new application from scratch) took all of about 45 minutes. Really.

Then, immediately after hitting the submit button, I was approved and was presented with a list of the programs I qualified for. That took another few hours for me to decide which program I liked. Then, after clicking the “enroll” button, I was covered.

Now, what you may not have noticed was that, conspicuous by its absence was any kind of qualifying. I didn’t have to get a medical exam. I didn’t have to answer any medical questions (other than about smoking). I didn’t have to wonder and hope if I’d be able to receive coverage at all, like I’ve always done whenever I’ve had to buy insurance.

Yes folks, I hit “enroll” and I was covered.

My deductible went from $6,000 to $1,200. My premium is now less than ONE-HALF of what it was before.

All of us who believe that government can help us do those things that we can’t do for ourselves are grateful that Barack Obama used up so much political capital (and risked his re-election) for something that so directly and dramatically has an effect on us and our personal welfare.

I defy anyone reading this to tell me the last time they can remember any President (much less a Repub) ever doing anything that took so much personal courage and had such a direct and profound effect on the people he was hired to govern. The only thing Cowboy Bush ever did that effected us as directly was to send 4000 of the Americans who hired him to die to avenge his daddy, and oversee the loss of trillions of dollars in wealth when the economy collapsed.

What an amazing contrast between those two guys. One was patted on the back for starting wars and ignoring hurricanes. The other is vilified for helping to make his own people healthier and less likely to file bankruptcy over health issues.

Most Presidents make big decisions that have little immediate effect on those of us who voted for them. This guy, Barack Obama, really did make some very costly (for him) decisions that will benefit us for generations.

The not fully mentally developed ex-half-term governor/quitter of Alaska, Sarah Palin, once mockingly asked, referring to Barack Obama in the 2012 re-election campaign, “How’s that hopey changey thing workin’ out for ya”?

Sarah sweetie, I’ll write this slowly because I know you can’t read fast…

Damned well, thank you very much. Damned well.

Like I’ve Been Saying From the Beginning…

I rarely post for the simple expedient of linking to someone elses work, but I just can’t help this one.

Like I’ve said in the past, Repubs just love to be against anything that Barack Obama does, says, or thinks, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t know a good deal when they see it…

And it also doesn’t mean that they’re not stunningly, blindingly hypocritical and do the exact things that they tell their constituency not to do…

Repubs are screaming about how the ACA is bankrupting this country, and they only quiet down long enough to actually sign up for it.

Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul must like Obamacare now

Oh, and don’t let them tell you that the ACA is the law. The only law is that you must have insurance. You can get it anywhere you like, but they used the ACA because it really, truly, does save money. Just ask these three Repub Senators!

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