Tag Archives: Medicare

Running Rod Has Got to Go

The past week or so has made it abundantly clear that “Running” Rod Blum has got to go.

First, Rod Blum voted to pass the House’s American Health Care Act.  It is bad enough that he voted for a bill which will lead to tens of millions of people in the United States being denied affordable health insurance.  It is even worse that he basically said he voted for the bill even though he disagreed with the process and the content.  Rod Blum is such a shill for Paul Ryan and Donald Trump that even when he knows a bill is bad for Iowans he will still vote for its passage.

Make no mistake, the AHCA is horrible for Iowa.  The AHCA slashes hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid in order to fund tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.  Rod Blum could care less about the approximately 680,000 people in Iowa that Medicaid serves. [1]

Furthermore, the cuts in Medicaid and the changes to our nation’s health care system proposed in the AHCA are just the first step in Paul Ryan’s master plan to gut our safety net.   Paul Ryan has is eyes on Medicare and Social Security as ways to pay for his vision of tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.  [2]  The game plan is to cut taxes to such a degree as to precipitate a budget crisis.  As the party of fiscal discipline the Republicans will demand “shared sacrifice,” which is right wing speak for screwing anyone no capable of paying membership fees at Mar a Lago, that will come in the form of draconian cuts to Medicare and Social Security.  Rod Blum has proven that he is little more than a toady for Paul Ryan so he has got to go.

Second, Rod Blum finally decided to hold some town hall meetings and it did not go so well for him.  Instead of actually answering people’s questions he regurgitated bland politician speak carefully calibrated to not say anything of importance.

Third, Rod Blum refuses to answer questions about why he is unwilling to answer questions from Iowans that he does not represent yet he is more than willing to accept money from organizations that are not in his district.  In a show of complete political farce Blum stormed out of an interview with KCRG’s Josh Scheinblum when asked that exact question. [3]  It was made even more farcical by the presence of school children brought to the interview by Blum as some sort of junior human shield.

Rod Blum has shown that he does not represent his district, he is a shill for his Republican boss from Janesville, and that he is incapable of answering questions about the way he conducts his political business without getting all huffy.

I do not know who will eventually run in opposition to Rod Blum in 2018, but short of the literal Prince of Darkness I am voting for the person.  Running Rod Blum has got to go.


  1. http://dhs.iowa.gov/sites/default/files/15-6_Improve_Health_Status.pdf
  2. https://thinkprogress.org/paul-ryans-next-move-is-an-attempt-to-privatize-medicare-a96eb9ac0a23
  3. http://www.kcrg.com/content/news/Blum-walks-out-of-exclusive-interview-with-TV9-421676713.html

Paul Ryan Wants to Make Medicare Look Like a Program He Hates

The pressure of having no legislative mandate, losing seats in both chambers of Congress and having a president-elect over two million votes behind his opponent do not make a mandate, and a caucus full of right wing radicals must be getting to Paul Ryan.  The wunderkind of the right wing is proposing to “fix” Medicare by making it similar to Obamacare.

Wait a second.  I thought that Paul Ryan and his free market flunkies hated Obamacare.  Well, they all liked it when it was Mitt Romney’s plan for health care in Massachusetts.  However, once a Democrat proposed something similar for the entire United States it was a bridge too far.  Cue the Tea Party to bring out signs like this:


So now Paul Ryan and his coterie of hate want to change Medicare from something that guarantees care into a handout for insurance companies.  They will tell you that the goal is let the free market work its miracle powers.  The free market and the baby Jesus serve the same function as the salve to make unworkable plans or fantastical stories possible.

Remember, Paul Ryan and his Tea Party totalitarians do not think Obamacare works.  They want to destroy Obamacare and Medicare at the same time.  In the process they want to replace Medicare with something that looks just like the system they feel is broken and needs to be replaced.  Talk about keeping your government hands off my Medicare.

Recycling in the Shadow of the Mouse

For ten days I called Orlando home.  Actually, I called a townhouse in one of those master planned gated communities south of Disney World home but who is arguing.

Nothing struck me as more odd than the lack of recycling.  Every day, except Wednesday, a pickup truck drove down the relatively densely populated street of townhomes and collected white kitchen bags full of trash from little bench receptacles on the front steps.  Everything went into the white bags and out to the trash.  Cans, bottles, paper…it did not matter because there was no option for recycling.

If you had more garbage than could fit into one of those tall kitchen bags then there were several community dumpsters available throughout the compound, but no place to take a six pack of empty beer bottles or an empty jar of tomato sauce or anything that was not really trash back home.

Apparently, there is no recycling in Windsor Hills where the townhouse was located.  This strikes me as totally ludicrous.  Sure, it seemed like a hotbed of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan so the tendency toward reactionary hatred of anything sort of “lefty” was probably guaranteed.  However, it would seem silly to pay tipping fees for garbage when recyclables were being thrown away every day.  Don’t even think about community composting.  That is just crazy hippie talk.

Over the course of my ten days this absence of recycling struck me as even more odd given a few things.  The townhouses were relatively dense, which is derided by a lot of non-progressives as some kind of European conspiracy to deprive people of ridiculous suburban mini-estates, and each only had a single car driveway.  The pool and other community features, watch out for that sharing talk because it sounds vaguely communist or socialist, were walking distance and people actually walked.  Heck, low speed neighborhood electric vehicles, we call them golf carts in the rest of the world, were an acceptable option for transit.  The landscaping was even watered with reclaimed water.

Why the hatred of diverting recyclables from the waste stream?  Silly.

Nonetheless, it was not the only oddity I encountered while on my vacation in Florida.  Don’t even get me started on the stories about early voting that I listened to for the entirety of my vacation.  You would think that in 2012 there would not be a full throated debate about the efforts to suppress the votes of poor and minority people across an entire state but Rick “I am just a fraud when it comes to government health care billing” Scott has managed to bring back the specter of Jim Crow like none other.  Way to go Florida, you have proven that 2000 was not an aberration in your voting history.  Rather, it is the theme of your voting history…all jacked up.

I can’t wait to see what tonight brings.