Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some political thoughts that have meandered in my mind

I had hinted yesterday that I might return to some political discussion today. I do think about what’s coming up in a couple of weeks, but I’ve already voted. There’s nothing I can do about my decisions, even if I wanted to. I don’t, and I’m finding it difficult to remain focused.

It might be good that I’m not following the campaigns quite as closely as I was. The more I learn about Barack Obama the more I worry about what potentially could happen to this nation I love. We will not be the same. I never have learned just what it is about the Democrat nominee that makes him qualified or able to lead the nation. He offers “hope” and “change.” Whoopee! He hasn’t told us how we’re going to reach those goals, except, according to published reports, spread the wealth. Just how has that concept worked in other nations around the world? I think it’s called something like “socialism.”

Democrat vice presidential candidate Joe Biden is warning us that if Obama is elected, we’ll be faced with a manufactured crisis from somewhere in the world within the first six months. I wonder what it is in Obama’s background that allows the thinking he will be able to do anything about it. Now let’s be fair. That test will come if John McClain is elected. It has come with every new president since JFK back in the sixties. Remember the Cuban missile crisis? Embassy bombings? Ship bombings? 9/11? The problem is how this year’s, or early next year’s, crisis will be handled.

I read an interesting article yesterday I saw on As Maine Goes, a popular forum for exchanging ideas on just about anything that affects us. A Democrat journalist gave one of the best explanations I’ve read about the press’s reporting of the current housing/financial crisis. Orson Scott Card writes that President Bush has been taking all the blame for the crisis, but in actuality, the problem began before his administration. Card says Bush tried several times to get an impending disaster corrected but was blocked by Democrats, two specifically. You can read Card’s column for yourself. It first appeared in the The Rhinoceros Times of Greensboro, North Carolina, and quoted in Meridian Magazine, and appeared in a post on AMG. The article is aimed at the press and not either political party.

A couple of referenda questions are heating up. In my humble opinion, the "Fed Up With Taxes" group seeking repeal of a new tax enacted by the Legislature last session to raise taxes has done a much superior job so far of getting its message across than the opponents. We’ve seen some lame press conferences by the “Vote No on 1” group which seems to me to be trying false scare tactics and outright misinformation. I guess they could argue that the 11-thousand Dirigo enrollees constitute “thousands,” but we’ve heard them use numbers as high as 50-thousand people who would lose their insurance. Simply not so. The funding of Dirigo would revert to the way it was before the new taxes. Dirigo has never even approached the results promised us more than five years ago.

The Legislature could, as it should, revisit Dirigo and see how it along with Maine’s insurance laws has caused the cost of health care in our state to become prohibitive and abolish Dirigo. The Legislature first “stuck it to us” with Dirigo and health laws that force Mainers to pay at least 50% more for insurance than nearby New Hampshire and prohibit us from shopping for health insurance elsewhere as we can do with automobile and home insurance. It then repeated the sticking with new taxes, including taxes on claims paid. I hope voters in Maine will return the favor to the Legislature and “stick it to them” with repeal of the tax.

The people seeking passage of a referendum for a new casino in Maine haven’t convinced me there’s anything good that can come from their project. Even they admit it is a flawed law. Several years ago, the summer before Maine’s first casino vote, Gator Wife and I were on one of our cross country automobile trips. We coincidentally, since we didn’t know casinos were anywhere but Nevada, happened upon several in other states. Being me, I casually mentioned to waitresses and other service folk that Maine was considering allowing them. The huge majority of those people told us to vote against casinos. They had not brought the prosperity or jobs promised. At first, they boomed, but soon the glamour wore off, the local people lost a lot of money, and jobs were eliminated. Let me reiterated that this extremely informal survey happened several years ago, but the short stories we heard were enough to keep us from supporting casinos in Maine.

These are some of the things I’ve thought about since I voted. The election is now less than two weeks away, and then we will be able to have some peace from all the advertising. I just hope that it won’t begin a disaster in America and Maine.


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