Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hey HO!

Nickels conceded, and come January is gone. Now the task in Seattle is: "Which is worse, Mallahan or McGinn?"

Meanwhile, various sorts of "we can't possibly let a non-politician be Mayor" sorts are running abot crying out gloom'n'doom and trying to draft State Sen. Ed Murray as a write-in candidate, heaven forfend.

Ed, if by some remote chance you are reading this, our shared community specifically and the broader community generally, doesn't need a reprise of that debacle known as Portland Mayor Sam Adams.

Any personal flaws, fictional or otherwise, aside - the city is up to its eyeballs in debt, and the stall tactics are beginning to fail. The LGBT community doesn't need you in place to catch the blame, and share it with the community by association. You don't need the stinking dead albatross of the office of Mayor of Seattle strung about your neck and ending your political career.

Whoever is elected Mayor will be singing their political swan song from the moment they raise their right hand and are sworn in. They will be faced from that first moment forward with a city 60 million in debt, with a litigously dysfunctional street department (SDOT), a police department for eight years with a more political than policing agenda, seriously decrepit and mismanaged roads, and a Fire Department with facilities constructed to political standards.

Ed, you don't want to be Ground Zero when all that comes home to roost. Neither does anyone rational.

Let Mallahan have it - of the available choices, he seems most reality-oriented. And besides, he'll be lucky to make it through a single term. The next Mayor, after the last 8-16 years of increasingly clumsy mismanagement and cronyism (affordable in boom times), is in such deep stuff you'd be well-served to stand clear and pick up the pieces after.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Perhaps there is hope...

In quick notes, it appears Mayor Greg Nickels (President of the U.S. Mayors Assoc.) may, post-primary, soon no longer be a Mayor. Granted, both choices that survived the primary are substantially less than ideal, but neither can help being a better option than Nickels.

The bone-headed Seattle Bag Tax (a .20/unit tax on paper and plastic bags, using retailers as enforcement agents in exchange for a percentage of the take) has been decisively shot down by Seattle voters - perhaps because it was simply a dumb idea, or perhaps because it was a really dumb idea to thrust upon the public in the face of a recession hotting up....

Finally, Susan Hutchison outpolled Dow Constantine (37% vs 28%) rather decisively in the Primary for County Executive here in King County - I'm guessing with those numbers, she'll take the General Election, and with any luck at all, that will be followed by a healthy shake-up down at County Central - much-needed in the face of massive deficits and a tradition of spendthrift governance...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Now, why is Obama-Care bad again?

As regards the public option, the quote "All the competence of FEMA, all the compassion of the IRS" springs to mind.

Obama himself points out "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It's the Post Office that's always having problems."

I'm not confident that the government can do much beyond screwing things up even worse than they already are, and the co-ops are but a "stealth" public option plan.

As has been suggested elsewhere, allowing the purchase of health care insurance (thus driving competition) across state lines in conjunction with state level regulation seems the best bet, at this point.

And less likely to encourage the rising number of doctors (and health care organizations) to refuse all but direct payment - i.e., they refuse (due to slow-pays, under-pays, and administrative overhead) to accept insurance OR medicare OR medicaid, opting for a strict cash on the barrelhead approach.

This is not a bad thing, as when working with such a doctor I got more face time and a better quality of care than I have in some insurance driven practices, but it does create an economic barrier to medical care for many individuals.

Finally, if such an option (refusing all but direct payment) is barred, many doctors may simply shut their practices and retire (vastly reducing their expenses)...and not necessarily the desired result.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thoughts on ObamaCare

As such things go, we have things pretty good right now. The system is deeply imperfect, but remains better than the cluster* of the British NHS...or the Canadian version (How many Americans head north for "better health care" vs how many Canadians head south for better/timely/available healthcare?

Meanwhile, you have Canadian health care sorts advising against their path, and predicting its' near term collapse.

That, to me, indicates tweaking our system is probably a better solution than attempting wholesale reform....

Not unlike cooking some of the worlds *really good* dishes, the dish is edible precisely as long as you are nowhere near being in eyesight of the preparation. Politics are much the same - messy and disgusting in process, particularly if done in public.

I figure open government and public participation is worth the stench - and is certainly no worse than the last eight years with Code Pink and angry political participation from the other side of the spectrum. Frankly, by all appearances, it seems more polite than the Code Pink crowd...

Sauce for the goose, after all...

Monday, August 3, 2009

New poster turning up of Obama in Los Angeles, not particularly tasteful, but the panties on the Left seem to be in an unusually tight bunch.

Seems some folks (like, perchance, Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson) call the poster politically mean-spirited and dangerous. Meaner than the Left's treatment of Bush & Palin?

And since when is mocking a President "dangerous" - for the last eight years, it was hailed by many on the left as an act of nobility and patriotism. What's good for the goose, after all, is good for the gander.

After all, let us explore the charming banter in posters from the Left - for certainly, as they wrap themselves in self-righteous indignation, they could NEVER have sunk so low...

What, NEVER? Well...hardly ever...certainly not for more than eight years...and they'd certainly never stoop to sexist assaults in word and image on a woman just because she was conservative and running for office...

What, NEVER? Well, hardly ever...

The extremists on either side aren't pretty - but mere art and words are not dangerous, no matter how offensive. Vile, perhaps, but not dangerous. And in this case, not even particularly vile - guess the truth stings.