Haven't been traveling for a while but am certainly getting in the mood what with the temperature never getting above 40 degrees. It has been COLD. Snow on the ground for the past 3-4 weeks. Unheard of here in Northern Nevada.
So what the hell is going on with the Congress? I can't really blame Obama. Maybe he could have done more, I don't know...but Congress will never get anything done until we end the influence of MONEY in the hands of lobbyists. And don't talk to me about "Freedom of Speech"in the context of lobbying. Speech is free only so long as there is no significant difference in the ability of citizens to deliver that speech in an effective manner. How can my freedom to speak compete with drug companies and insurance companies when the can spend MILLIONS of dollars to have their speech heard. I would be pressed to afford a ticket to D.C. and the soap box to stand on. Doesn't that, in effect, limit my ability to speak?????? According to CBS, the insurance companies have lobbied Congress to the tune of twice the amount spent by Obama and McCain combined in their presidential campaigns.
Still don't see the significance? This past Friday, stocks of insurance companies stood at a 52 week high. This from The Indianapolis Star:
Shares of the Indianapolis-based health insurance giant surged to a 52-week high Thursday as the prospects for a new government-run "public option" health plan faded amid intense Senate debate. WellPoint rivals Cigna and UnitedHealth Group also hit 52-week highs.
It’s a sign, more than one observer suggested, of victory for private health insurers, which strenuously fought the public option.
"Obviously, the market thinks WellPoint’s a winner," said Daniel Evans, chief executive of Clarian Health, an Indianapolis-based hospital system. "If the public option is no longer on the table, then WellPoint is a winner because it’s not threatened by a government competitor."
Come on, Congress. Throw me a frickin' bone!!