cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Our southern neighbor is moving briskly on the re-development scene. That community brought in Mark Fitzgerald as its Village Manager several years ago. Not that he is the sole responsible party, but he did bring a reputation of having a solid skill set in helping communities find the way to renewed vitality.
The concept of squeezing a balloon has been applied to the health care industry and the attempts periodically to rein in spending in this area of our economy. Squeeze the balloon and watch as the air eliminated in one area moves to another area.
Medicare cutbacks in the amounts reimbursed to doctors for cancer chemo drugs administered in their offices resulted in the increased use of those therapies ostensibly to keep the practice incomes the same or improved. The fear at the time these cuts were announced was that the number of physicians administering these treatments would decrease and that didn’t occur. Neither did the cost savings occur.
This simply demonstrates that market forces react in predictable ways and that we seem to ignore that predictability to our detriment in one way or another.
The Blame Game…
There always needs to be an enemy that can be targeted if our politicians’ actions can be used as examples. BP is, of course, a very convenient villain given the disaster that is upon us in the Gulf. There was another culpable party involved but it has, so far, skated free and clear of the tar balls. That party was, of course, our federal government that had the responsibility for inspections of the rigs.
While our government has used BP as the culprit, it has also managed to divert attention from its own shortcomings, at least until now. The mismanagement of this entire issue has finally become apparent…even to the press, and that suggests the mismanagement must be truly monumental.
The White House has finally admitted that it doesn’t know how we’ll get this cleaned up, but that it does know that we will. To this point, we would have been believers in the mantra that prevailed that our government was doing everything it could and BP was the laggard in all this. We would’ve been believers had we not become such cynics as to be non-believers in every instance until proven otherwise.
Our government has lost any moral high ground from which it may’ve benefited; and that will take many years to be forgotten. That is deserved for our government has used obfuscation so artfully for so long as to have forced us to become cynics and to question whatever we were told. Our political class has pooped in its own nest and we are very, very tired of the odor emanating from
Given BP’s status as the enemy du jour, the question of its ability to survive has to be considered. It has committed $20 Billion to the slush fund that President Obama publicly demanded to show he was tough and that he knew whose butt to kick. BP then went further and announced that it was committing $100 Million to assist the workers that had been displaced from oil rig shutdowns and loss of fisheries and tourism.
National economies may also be threatened depending upon the loss of economically-necessary oil flows and the related jobs.
A Bully Pulpit…
The presidency has rightfully been referred to as the “bully pulpit” since the occupant of that office is able to command high attention by his or her positions, actions and statements.
We seem to have created a new derivation of that old term. We seem to have placed a bully in the pulpit. The current president is more concerned with his image than he is with the effects his conduct in office are having in the real world…the world outside the Beltway.
He has bullied the Congress. He has bullied the health care world. He has bullied the insurance industry. He has bullied Wall Street. He has bullied the auto makers. And through this bullying, he has bullied the voters; even the voters who supported him because they are feeling, or will feel, the adverse impact of his other bullying.
In short, he bullies anyone that disagrees with him; and he follows the edict of Rahm Emanuel because no crisis has been overlooked as the tool for another round of bullying.
Chicago-style politics is sure a joy, isn’t it?