Posts Tagged ‘reform’

Is Harry Reid Growing Some Cojones?


Late yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, announced he would be supporting a new Health Care Reform bill that has a modified public option included, citing strong public opinion in favor of such an option.  Additionally, he said he would consider using “reconciliation” in order to only require a 50% majority, rather than the usual 60%, to pass the bill.

This is a huge gamble for the Nevada Democrat, but one he is apparently willing to back with the rarely invoked “reconciliation” which would give the one-finger-salute to any attempt at bipartisanship.  Since the exact details of his proposal have yet to be released, and will be reviewed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, I won’t discuss the merits of it here …yet.  But, the bold move does deserve some examination.

Is Harry Reid getting “Mavricky” on us?  Suddenly grown a huge set of balls?  Or, just emboldened by the growing public opinion consensus?  I think the evidence points solidly towards the latter.  “Public Option” wasn’t even part of his vocabulary when the Health Care debate began in earnest several months ago.  Then, when President Obama stated that he would prefer a bill with the PO, Reid pretty much poo-pooed it, saying he doubted he could get it passed.  Then, when Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) suggested a PO back-up plan if certain thresholds were not met over the next 5-7 years, Reid said it was a “pretty darn good idea”.  In other worlds, he has waffled more on this subject than breakfast at IHOP!

Regardless of his motivation for the sudden discovery of backbone, Reid’s daring move deserves some applause.  While his bill may not ending up being a full-fledged PO that drives real competition in an overweight, out-of-shape Health Care system, it is a start in the right direction that will certainly drive the debate truly needed on this issue.  Most of all, though it took some time, it’s refreshing to see some of our elected officials seemingly inclined to heed to the will of the majority of the American people.

It remains to be seen if the Majority Leader can stick to his guns and get a bill done that will jive well with what the Pelosi-led House has proposed.  My suggestion to Senator Reid is to add some extra starch to his shirts in order to stand erect during the heated battle that is sure to follow, because I’m not sure if that is a faux Public Option in his pants pocket, or truly a new set of cojones.


New poll: Most L.A. voters support dispensaries


Medical marijuana poll: Most L.A. voters support dispensaries

Found this poll very interesting in light of today’s vow by the LA City Council to renew their attack on local dispensaries.  Once again, Government not coherent of the people’s will.

Yet, yesterday, the Feds made a step in the right direction when they said they will no longer raid MMD’s that are operating legally.
U.S. Mellows on Medical Marijuana

So, are you telling me that the Federal Government is more progressive than the Los Angeles City Council???   Hell, even the Governator and the Sac Pack are more in front of this issue than the Council-folk!

Wake up LA lawmakers and smell the vape, MMD’s are here to stay.  What you need to do, is make sure they do business in a “professional” manner (discussed at length in The Medical Marijuana Circus). Stop squabbling about your utopian pot-less world and realize that people are receiving incredible benefits from medi-jane. Your job is to make sure it is done right, while not restricting it’s legal and proper access. Your responsibility is to make sure it’s done responsibly. Or, you can continue down this broken path, lose expensive court battles like the one yesterday brought by the Green Oasis dispensary, and unnecessarily waste taxpayers dollars and resources. Unfortunately, history shows you to be very adept at being inept.

Sheriff Joe

October 13, 2009 2 comments

This was e-mailed to me today.  Not sure if I agree with all of his tactics, but you have to admire the results.

Sherrif Joe


You all remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona , who painted the jail cells pink and made the inmates wear pink prison garb.  Well . . .


Maricopa County was spending approximately $18 million a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors approved.

The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who would like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.

The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million. Teresa and I adopted a Weimaraner from a Maricopa County shelter two years ago. He was neutered, and current on all shots, in great health, and even had a microchip inserted the day we got him. Cost us $78..

The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.

I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs his jail system, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand.

He has a pretty good-sized hog farm, which provides meat, and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6-$8 for the Holidays, and plant it later. We have six trees in our yard from the Prison.

Yup, he was re-elected last year with 83% of the vote. Now he’s in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural, that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn’t doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought four new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He’s kind of a ‘Git-R Dun’ kind of Sheriff.


Sheriff Joe Arpaio (in Arizona ), who created the ‘Tent City Jail,’ has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.

He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails, took away their weights, and cut off all but ‘G’ movies.

He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.

Then He Started Chain Gangs For Women So He Wouldn’t Get Sued For Discrimination.

He took away cable TV Until he found out there was A Federal Court Order that Required Cable TV For Jails. So He Hooked Up The Cable TV Again Only Let In The Disney Channel And The Weather Channel.

When asked why the weather channel, He Replied ‘So They Will Know How Hot It’s Gonna Be While They Are Working

On My Chain Gangs.’

He Cut Off Coffee Since It Has Zero Nutritional Value.

When the inmates complained, he told them, ‘This Isn’t The Ritz-Carlton . . . If You Don’t Like It, Don’t Come Back.’

More On The Arizona Sheriff:

With Temperatures Being Even Hotter Than Usual In Phoenix (116 Degrees Just Set A New Record), the Associated Press Reports: About 2,000 Inmates Living In A Barbed-Wire-Surrounded Tent Encampment At The Maricopa County Jail Have Been Given Permission To Strip Down To Their Government-Issued Pink Boxer Shorts.

On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 Degrees Inside The Week Before.

Many Were Also Swathed In Wet, Pink Towels As Sweat Collected On Their Chests And Dripped Down To Their PINK SOCKS.

‘It Feels Like We Are In A Furnace,’ Said James Zanzot, An Inmate Who Has Lived In The TENTS for 1 year. ‘It’s Inhumane.’

Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: ‘It’s 120 Degrees In Iraq And Our Soldiers Are Living In Tents Too, And They Have To Wear Full Battle Gear, But They Didn’t Commit Any Crimes,So Shut Your Mouths!’

Way To Go, Sheriff!

Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes–not live in luxury until it’s time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things some citizens cannot afford to have for themselves.

If you agree, pass this on. If not, just delete it.

Why am I so stressed, Mr. President?

October 5, 2009 1 comment



Why am I so stressed?  I live a pretty stress free life, between all the pot I smoke and the number of times I wax the dolphin each day.  Throw in the fact that my favorite activities are golf, tennis, fishing, and laughing and playing with my kids (not necessarily in that order) and you’d think I wouldn’t have a real care in the world.  And, for the most part, I don’t.   Yet, for some odd reason, I am totally stressed out these days.

You don’t think it could be because the President that I actively helped elect last November apparently has no negotiating acumen whatsoever, and this little omission from his skills set is likely to produce a health care reform bill that will have all the teeth of my denture wearing grandmother?  Maybe it’s because I don’t know how I can afford to keep my wife and children insured when it is costing us 34% of our total income to pay the premiums.  Or, perhaps I just need to smoke and choke a bit more.  Let’s dive a little deeper into this morass.

Even I know that, when negotiating any type of deal, you must leave yourself some “wiggle room” to bargain with; and that you always start the process at a point of reference higher than you hope to finally settle at.  Apparently, Mr. Obama has forgotten this little elemental piece of Negotiating 101 doctrine.  Instead of starting with something like “Single Payor”, which would really create major reform and change for the health industry, and ending up with something like the “Public Option”, which would at the very least lower these out of control costs, he decided to start at the latter.  In effect, he is saying that the “Public Option” is the best he can hope for and will be willing to settle for something even less than that.

Unfortunately, what is now being bantered about within the bowels of Washington, D.C. is not reform at all.  It will hardly make a difference to most people struggling to make their premium payments; will not drive down costs, only slow their ascent; and, basically creates a status quo for the health insurance industry.  Two thirds of the citizens of this country are in favor of the “Public Option”, and more than half would welcome a “Single Payor” system.  But, the folks who supposedly represent us haven’t gotten that message, or just choose to ignore it.  I’m betting on the latter since the parasitic industry lobbyists running around the intestinal halls of Congress are on the tab for $14 million a day!

So, is our President really that dense, or lacking the backbone to stand up to the full-court press presented by the HMO gang.  I don’t think so … Obama is no George Bush – he actually possesses a brain and knows how to utilize it.  I also think there is more than just the starch in his shirt holding him upright.  Rather, I am convinced that the real reason he has started from such a totally weak bartering position is fear.  Fear of failure.

There is no doubt that the failure of the Clinton’s to get any healthcare bill passed during their tenure hangs over his head like a hole-ridden umbrella.  Politically, he feels he can’t afford to come away empty handed.  The funny thing is, that he could get any bill he really wanted passed, but it would compromise his myopic olive-branch pipe dream of bipartisanship.

Bipartisanship has never worked in American politics (outside of a few major crises like World War I or II) and never will.  The American voters gave the Democratic Party a pretty clear mandate last year, yet they somehow are failing to wield that mandate with any determination to get some real change going in an area that is quickly becoming this country’s next major crisis.

Fear is no place to begin any sort of negotiation.  It is a clear sign of weakness, and the folks sitting across the table from him can smell that debility like a pack of rabid Wolves.  Fear doesn’t beget change or reform.  Fear doesn’t move this country in new and enlightened directions.  Fear only will keep us in our current predicament.  Fear will assure that we remain the only western industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee quality, affordable (or even free) health coverage for all of its citizens.

At his first inauguration, President Franklin Roosevelt uttered the famous phrase, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”  What I fear is that my stress level doesn’t look to be coming down anytime soon.  Oh well, guess it’s time to go spark a doob and whittle the wood.