Schumer & Schiff – Shampoo Politicians

El Bandolero is a fan of CBS Sunday Morning. Hosted by Jane Pauley, it was previously hosted by Charles (“I’ll see you on the radio”) Osgood and often featured On the Road pieces by Charles Kuralt. Sunday morning TV also brings us the supposed news programs Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and This Week With George Stephanopoulos. Certain faces are staples on the three purported news shows, and what comes out of their mouths is all too predictable. As soon as the host introduces Chuck Schumer or Adam Schiff, there’s no need to watch further. They read the same script every Sunday morning, and every other time they show up in front of a camera. We recently discussed Republican sleazebag Ted Cruz. and these Democrats are cast from the same mold. It’s the one labeled, “Sleazebag Politician”. Sleazebag Cruz at least gives us some variety from one Sunday to the next. Sleazebags Schumer and Schiff, however, read the same script every time. Just fill in the blank with whatever was the week’s big Donald Trump news item, and then repeat “collusion”, “obstruction”, “suspicious”, and “inappropriate” three or four times, with the same smarmy grin from the previous performance. It wouldn’t matter if Trump single-handedly discovered a cure for cancer, much less brought a thousand new jobs to Detroit, they would get “collusion”, “obstruction”, “suspicious” and “inappropriate” in the same sentence at least twice, repeating in the next sentence. Let’s coin a term: Shampoo Politicians. Lather (with lies), rinse, repeat.

You might wonder why Bandolero has omitted Nancy Pelosi from this post. Does he believe she has redeeming qualities? Certainly not! But, while Schiff and Schumer are total schleazebags, Pelosi is more or less one part sleazebag and one part idiot, in more or less equal parts. She seems sometimes to actually believe what she says, in the way that an alzheimer’s victim may believe he’s on the street where his house is located or may believe today is his birthday. Stop! Bandolero is not suggesting that alzheimers victims are idiots. He is suggesting that when Pelosi speaks, sometimes she’s being a lying sleazebag like Schiff and Schumer, and sometimes she’s being an idiot, inasmuch as, to our knowledge, she has not been diagnosed with dementia.

One of these days, Bandolero will probably speak of Mr. Colbert and his TV show. Or, maybe not. Colbert goes well beyond sleazebag, purporting to justify poor taste as comedy and treasonous barbs as protected speech under the First Amendment. Bandolero only finds one reason to actually watch the show – anticipation of a pie in the face. Stop! Bandolero is not suggesting that any asshole, no matter how gaping, should be targeted for assault, battery or any other form of violence. He is suggesting that a properly prepared cream pie applied safely and judiciously without malice or undue force to Mr. Colbert’s face on camera would not be a waste of good pie.

Ted Cruz – Sleazebag

El Bandolero, as you all know, is a conservative among conservatives. But, we watched Ted Cruz on Face the Nation this morning, and could only stand up and shout, “You goddam sleazy fuckwad!” He was trying to defend the Senate health care bill, and made a big deal of saying that it’s unfair to saddle young people with the cost of other people’s pre-existing conditions. This simply, and most clearly, shows that the politicians in D.C. are still lying to us and still not doing anything constructive to actually fix the problems that permeate the health care industry.

Insurance, Mr. Cruz, is the means by which the risk and cost of something are spread over a big pool of participants, so that everybody can be covered when risk becomes reality for a few. When you allow insurers to segregate groups based on what each group’s anticipated medical cost is going to be, and then set each group’s premiums based on its anticipated cost, then the people who need insurance the most will be the people who can’t afford to have it. You aren’t fooling Bandolero with vague assertions that you’ll have some sort of credits or allowances so people with pre-existing conditions can still get the treatment they need.

Consider the logical end point of Mr. Cruz’s argument. Logically, why stop with creating subgroups (such as people with pre-existing conditions) of the big group? Why don’t you just say that each person’s premium should be based on his/her personal risk? Set their premium for this year based on what their medical expenses were the previous year. Now, that’s fair! You stay healthy, your premiums will be next to nothing. You get sick and become a burden on the system, you pay for it! Of course, that’s not “insurance”. The idea behind insurance would be, for example, to spread a person’s $10k of medical bills over a million people. When you start creating “high risk” groups to make them pay more so the larger population can pay less, you’re perverting the concept of insurance.

Of course, if what you’re really after are the voters in that very large group of young healthy people, well, you’re obviously going to be working on ways to show them how you reduced their premiums. Not enough sick people are going to suffer and die to affect the election. You goddam sleazebag!

Bandolero now finds it necessary to support the concept of single payer coverage. The fairest approach for EVERYBODY is to have EVERYBODY covered by ONE policy that covers EVERYTHING. That way, the cost of paying for EVERYONE’S health care is spread over the LARGEST possible number of people. Why is this fair to young people, you might ask? They may very well be paying more in premiums than what their own health care would cost if they had no insurance. Well, dumb-ass, it’s fair because down the road, when they turn 50 or 60 or 70 and suddenly find themselves diagnosed with leukemia or dementia or whatever, they will have the coverage to pay for it.

The challenge with single payer is the administration of it. Bandolero cannot imagine entrusting it to a government agency, whether at federal or state or even municipal level. Frankly, Bandolero often finds himself looking back fondly at what was, once upon a time, AT&T’s monopoly of the phone system. Bandolero suspects that a similar capitalistic health care insurance monopoly subject to appropriate government regulation may be the way to go. It may have been a monopoly, it may have had power to squelch competition, but everybody had a phone, we took them for granted, and we had the best phone system in the world. Aside: Remember TPC (The Phone Company) in that terrific movie, The President’s Analyst?

If you want to penalize certain groups of people and make them pay more because they are a higher risk, then penalize the people who create their own higher risk. For example, make smokers pay more. Make sky-divers pay more. Make people who consume alcohol pay more. Bandolero has no problem helping to pay for medical care for people who have cancer. Bandolero has a problem helping to pay for people who have cancer because they preferred cigarettes over health; or paying to set broken bones for people who get drunk and crash their cars. (Although, statistically, it’s the drunk person who’s more likely to walk away uninjured, leaving sober victims mangled or dead)

What Mr. Cruz hasn’t done is ANYTHING that addresses the ANTI-TRUST and PRICE-FIXING practices of the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry, and the medical provider industry. These are the NEW BIG 3 who conspire to make the big decisions that screw the health care consumer. Fifty years ago the BIG 3 consumer-screwers were Ford, General Motors and, um, who was #3, anyway? Chrysler? It wasn’t American Motors. We know what happened to American Motors. If Cruz, et al., are unwilling to go single payer, they’ll never get a handle on insurance premiums until they get a handle on the NEW BIG 3. This failure is primarily why Obamacare didn’t work. And it’s why your plan won’t work; aside from the fact that the needs of the citizens are not the focus of the politicians; their focus is on getting votes in next year’s elections.

No, Cruz and his ilk (by “his ilk” I mean virtually every elected politician in Washington, D.C.) are not making any good faith effort to fix health care. They are making every sleazy effort to create sound bites that appeal to the people whose votes they are focused on for the next election. YOU ARE A SLEAZEBAG, MR. CRUZ! You have an opportunity to convince us otherwise. We can only hope you will take advantage of that opportunity. But we’re not holding our breath.

Sen. McCain was also on the same show this morning. Good lord, he needs to retire, soon. We supported him back in his presidential bid, although we were already starting to see the signs then. The signs now are quite clear. He is far more dangerous than Donald Trump. But that’s a topic for another post.

Presidential Twitter-Head

On May 8 the President in one of his ill-advised tweets wrote “council” where the correct word would have been “counsel”. Although what he meant was clear, tweeters were quick to jump on his typo and use it as grounds for a barrage of snarky comments. The comments, for the most part, were illustrative of certainly no greater intellectual capacity than that illustrated by the President. They were generally illustrative of the attitude and mentality shown by those who desire to take any and every opportunity to trash the President. They were also typical of the stupidity exemplified by those who desire to take any and every opportunity to trash the President. Although he has achieved a number of accomplishments that benefit the country, these people will never admit such. Rather, they cast their description of such accomplishments (if they acknowledge them at all) in terms calculated to undermine them.

There’s no question the President ought not be tweeting in the first place. If the White House feels the need for a presence on Twitter, then tweets ought to be generated by a staff department that’s tasked for the purpose. It could logically come under the purview of the office of Press Secretary. He has not, however, demonstrated any greater facility for use of the English language than has the President. The best solution would be to delegate White House tweeting to Bandolero’s good friend, HarpShot. This fellow has a proven record of ability to write succinct missives.

El Bandolero continues to stand with El Presidente, but must, and will, always demand faithfulness to the principles that swept him into office. One of those principles is learning how to keep one’s foot out of one’s mouth. In furtherance of this principle, El Bandolero will be nominating HarpShot as official White House Tweeter, and expects this nomination to be approved forthwith.