published Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

The Present

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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nucanuck said...

America's healthcare system is an abomination and an embarrassment. It took a courageous President to tackle something as controversial as healthcare,to try to find a fair way to cover all Americans.

Corporate interests,special interests,and plain old partisan politics have so distorted the effort that we are likely to get a bill that satisfies no one.

Our President has spent valuable political capital and weakened his ability to lead despite his noble intention.

What a shame!

December 16, 2009 at 1:10 a.m.
anniebelle said...

It's a shame when a country as great as ours cannot find the human decency to do what's right for the least among us. Instead we vote decade after decade to spend trillions on bombs and bullets and to hell with doing something constructive with our might. The GOP had no problem rubber stamping Bush's war crimes extravaganza from the "patriot" act (spying on fellow citizens, reminiscent of the McCarthy era) to calling people unpatriotic if they didn't believe in violating Geneva Conventions, or have some $1 Chinese trinket attached to our cars to "prove" WE SUPPORT THE TROOPS. I think the Bush/Cheney cabal knew that if they drained the treasury upon leaving office (i.e. almost 1 TRILLION they handed out, no strings attached, to their banking buddies) there would be no money left to help the average American -- and that's the GOP Platform.

December 16, 2009 at 4:12 a.m.
woody said...

Good morning. Those are two very powerful 'entries' before me, and to both I say "Amen."

However, it was pointed out to me a long time ago, expect nothing and that is likely what you will wind up with. On the other hand, expect little and whatever you wind up with will be a "Blessing."

Choose the homily you prefer.

Merry Christmas, Woody

December 16, 2009 at 6:03 a.m.
EaTn said...

It appears that the final health care reform bill in the wrapped present may just be a lump of coal supplied by the right with frosting spread on by the left; the pretty wrapping being provided by special interests and the ribbon by the President. Will this be what Americans were really hoping for under the tree this year?

December 16, 2009 at 6:18 a.m.
OllieH said...

I'm not as cynical about the final health care package as some of you seem to be, but the cartoon is dead on- at this point, lowering our expectations would be good advice.

Although it probably will not include the public option, or the Medicare buy-in, it still has (unless Joe Lieberman is against this, too) an exchange for the uninsured to acquire coverage (much like federal employees enjoy) and several new regulations on how the private insurance industry can conduct business.

I keep having to remind myself, if someone had asked me two years ago that if a law was proposed that prevented health insurers from dropping a client's coverage because of illness, that banned rejection of coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and limited out-of-pocket expenses, would I consider it worthy of passage?

My answer continues to be, not just yes, but HECK yes!

December 16, 2009 at 9:33 a.m.

anniebelle said: "It's a shame when a country as great as ours cannot find the human decency to do what's right for the least among us. Instead we vote decade after decade to spend trillions on bombs and bullets and to hell with doing something constructive with our might."

Right annie. So why did the Democrat Barney Frank and the Democrat Chris Dodd (who were the reason why Fanniemae and FreddieMac collapsed), the Liberal, Democratic Congress along with Democrat Hilary Clinton, Democrat Harry Reid, Democrat Nancy Peolosi, etc, etc, all vote to keep spending trillions of dollars and continue the war in Iraq/Afghanistan all these last few years and again, into this year? Maybe, the Repubs forced them?

The "least among us" are getting free health care. The middle-working classes are not. "Something constructive" done with our taxpaying dollars should be providing a climate for the creative development of jobs. Lots of jobs. Now that would be some 'change' to 'Hope' for.

You don't like those little "support our troops" signs made in China? Then you need to email Mr. Bill Clinton. I have a distinct memory-picture of him standing next to a Chinese Leader in the early nineties, smiling, just after he signed a Trade 'pact' with Communist Red China. Nice picture. Bad results for us.

December 16, 2009 at 9:40 a.m.
Oz said...

It will be a present because no one knows what's in the box. Like children.....they just want a present. It doesn't matter what it is until they spend a few minutes with it.

How many days will we have to return it? If we don't like it?

December 16, 2009 at 9:44 a.m.
Walden said...

To blame this "failure" on the Right (as some on this comment board are quick to do) is simply absurd. The left has a majority in both houses, and controls the white house. Your own party has decided that a government takeover of all facets of health insurance is not a winning solution (whether for rational reasons, political reasons, or both). So don't blame this on the right. Republicans have actually offered up far more solutions than the mainstream media and lefty blogs will admit. I suggest you look to places other than MSNBC, NBC, CBS, blah blah blah, for your news, and you may get a balanced view of reality. The biggest problem with this whole "reform movement" has been the way Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama have mismanaged the process. The whole "jam it down their throats before year end" approach has been cynical at best. It is all about delivering to BO a signature win in his first year of office. If the Dems had just slowed down and played fair with the Right, we would not be in this situation. As it is, it looks like BO is going to get something passed and be able to pump it up as some sort of success during his SOTU address, but it is really a big mess. In my humble opinion, the best thing to do at this point is to totally back off this thing, admit it's a disaster, and move to a new phase of sober, rational debate of the issues, and find a truly bipartisan solution that will work for all, and represent real improvement for our nation's healthcare issues. Whaddya bet this ain't gonna happen?

December 16, 2009 at 9:59 a.m.
aces25 said...

I ran across this blog by John Stossel. Some interesting stuff -

If "human decency to do what's right for the least among us" means bankrupting our future generations, further government involvement in personal decision-making, encouraging an attitude of reliance on government rather than self-reliance, or reducing the freedoms that made this country great, then I'll pass.

Just because the GOP screwed up doesn't mean the Democratic Party is now making everything right. The flaw is in the fundamental character of the majority of the politicians in office in every branch of government. Many of them have little to no idea of what it really means to protect and defend the Constitution. They are too busy trying to please those willing to open their fat wallets for their campaign fund. That is what this health care bill is all about.

December 16, 2009 at 10:12 a.m.
nativecitizen said...

Yeah, and make 12 million illegals, legal. Interesting, ain't it?

December 16, 2009 at 10:17 a.m.

How many millions of Americans are regretting thier vote now? Hope and Change sounded good before it was understood to mean we become France.

December 16, 2009 at 10:18 a.m.
EaTn said...

bookie- most are not regretting their vote now because most know where we would be had we voted the other choice. For a president to have turned a near-depression around in less than a year is brilliant. Most the others let talk radio and tv do their thinking and can't recognize this fact.

December 16, 2009 at 11:52 a.m.
nurseforjustice said...

And what is bad is that the DEMS will pass this thing along even tho the general public does not want it. The numbers as of today are 64% against the Healthcare Reform and 36% for it... and the against numbers keep rising.

December 16, 2009 at 12:02 p.m.
rolando said...

Yawn. Why bother?

December 16, 2009 at 1:09 p.m.
SBrauer said...

EaTn All that "Hope and change" is really "hope and Chains." That little "present" is going to be a bomb and will blow up in our faces. How can you stick our children, grandshildren, and great-grandchildren (in my case) with a debt like this? Don't say most are not regretting their vote. Have you bothered to look at the ratings our glorious leader (and I use the words VERY loosly) is receiving. The man's trying and damn near succeeding, to ruin our country. I'm not saying that McCain would have been a much better choice, but look where this turkey has taken us. He's taken a near depression and turned it into an absolute disaster. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

December 16, 2009 at 3:07 p.m.
anonymight said...

Government Healthcare: the gift that keeps on taking.

December 16, 2009 at 3:11 p.m.
moonpie said...

This package has been "re-gifted" to the point that it is now practically thoughtless.

A public option would have been bad for my business. On the otherhand, to implement these kinds of changes without a public option to prevent private insurance cost from spiraling higher and higher is going to be good for very few people.

In many ways, this reform is sounding more and more like it was written by the insurance industry. Cover more people, but don't curtail costs.... do what we've always done.... just raise the rates to protect profit margins.

In my estimation, the bottom line is American's don't have the courage to do what's right on this issue, yet.

Perhaps we're just getting the system we deserve.

December 16, 2009 at 3:27 p.m.
apanaccione said...

To all you people who voted for our socialist pres,

It is not a right to have health insurance. Nowhere in the constitution does it say that. The government is not your mother and father who take care of all your needs and wants. A government that is big enough to take care of you is also big enough to take away your rights. The government is supposed to protect our country and help create an atmosphere in which capitalism can thrive. Only then will our economy recover. The debt they are creating on both sides is obscene and most people have no real concept of how much it is and how hard it will be to get out of. Your so called savior in washington is hell bent on collapsing capitalism in favor of Socializm. This country needs to stop putting their hand out and start being responsible for themselves. The 40% tax I pay is rediculous. Stay out of my pocket and earn it yourself. Alan

December 16, 2009 at 4:13 p.m.

If voters are not regretting their vote then can someone please explain the President's consistent monthly drop in job approval?

December 16, 2009 at 4:25 p.m.
anonymight said...

This healthcare fiasco is a direct result of the "life is sacred" foolishness I hear from the right coupled with the bankrupt leftist political idea that everyone is entitled to what everyone else has. Its time for the center to own up to the fact that we don't really care if your grandma keels over. People die. They always have. Mortgaging our children's future won't change that absolute fact.

The cartoon should have an elderly lady, a housing project resident, a street urchin, and an insurance executive, all with guns drawn on a little child with a present in his hand.

December 16, 2009 at 4:33 p.m.
rolando said...

Well! It took the right a while to get rolling, but when they did...whew!

Good job, guys. BTW, my private health insurance just went up a full 35 percent, beginning 1 Jan. Am I dropping it and in favor of our new, improved National Health Service? In a pig's eye.

December 16, 2009 at 5:38 p.m.
Oz said...

To the right side of the board.......Did anyone see Col. Allen West, candidate for congress in Florida, on Hannity last night? We could use him in the third district. The left wouldn't know how to label us. I can't wait to see how they attack this guy.

December 16, 2009 at 9:48 p.m.
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