April 16, 2006

Sunday papers: Screw the people, screw the planet

Eileen McNamara tears at the Democrats in her Boston Globe column today:
The hapless Democrats, apparently mesmerized by rave reviews of the ["bogus 'universal' health insurance"] legislation in the clueless national press, got punked.
Democrats, as leery of being labeled "polarizing" as they are of being called "unpatriotic," have developed an irrational fear of rhetorical confrontation that is costing them credibility as well as elections. Voters are eager for bipartisan cooperation, not for blind cooption. They respect compromise, not capitulation. What the public witnessed last week in Massachusetts was Democratic complicity in a staged campaign event designed to promote the presidential ambitions of a Republican governor selling an unproven ability to work cooperatively with his ideological adversaries.
Romney vetoed portions of the bill, notably the requirement for employers to provide insurance or pay into a state fund, although the legislature is expected to override that veto. On the other hand, they may not want to jeopardize their standing in the "bipartisan problem-solving" club, even though it is Romney who is the outsider and the one jettisoning key aspects of the "agreement." Or maybe they know it's a sham bill, so they really don't care.

Meanwhile the Bush administration, with the cooperation of most Democrats in Congress, continues its attack on the poor, requiring Medicaid recipients to prove their U.S. citizenship starting July 1. It is meant to stop, As one compassionate conservative, Representative Charlie Norwood of Georgia, is quoted in the New York Times, the "theft of Medicaid benefits by illegal aliens." It is expected to save the government $220 million over five years. Annually, that's equivalent to the cost for seven minutes of the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations.

Of final note, a commentary in the Times by Jamie Lincoln Kitman describes the hucksterism that has embraced hybrid automobiles (as it has so much else that might have been "green" but is now manipulated into meaninglessness to cater to the fads of consumerism).

He points out that a hybrid is best for city driving, with lots of starts and stops, and that many conventional cars have much better mileage than hybrids on the highway. Most egregious are hybrid SUVs, in which the electric motor simply adds a little boost to help haul around the massive vehicle and contributes almost nothing to fuel efficiency. In short, most hybrid vehicles are not any better than conventional vehicles, yet the owner of a hybrid but still gas-guzzling SUV can claim tax incentives and use preferred traffic lanes and parking spots while the owner of a truly fuel-efficient, but not hybrid, car is denied any such privilege.

environment, environmentalism, anarchism, anarchosyndicalism, ecoanarchism