Hunger Can Be a Positive Motivator

boy spoon— If you’re a cynical Republican bastard and someone else is doing the starving. Yes, those spoiled brats living beneath the povery line have had it too good for too long. “Enough,” says one of the bright lights in the New Order Right Wing world of family values and compassion. “Enough.”

Really, have they no shame? There is Rep. Davis, proudly wearing her cult-of-Jesus badge around her neck as she casually dismisses kids’ basic need for food as some sort of frivolous luxury. I think this is where the phrase callous bitch comes in handy.

Via HuffPo I found this story off the wires:

New government figures show that almost 700,000 children went hungry in the United States at some point in 2007, up more than 50 percent from the year before to mark the highest point since 1998

Thinkprogress points to a report that specifically highlights the fact that one in five Missouri kids currently lives with hunger. One in five. Until she has personally cooked each of them a big, juicy burger with all the trimmings and served it up with a hug and an apology, I think Rep David (R-Sadist) should take her ridiculous fear of a summer food program for kids who are going hungry and stuff it.

Update: Watertiger over at firedoglake of course picked up on this before I did, and had the appropriate hissy fit, too.

(Image from this cheerful little hub of alternative takes on life, the universe and everything)

Healthcare Reform? Not Likely with That Crowd

Just skimming Obama’s speech to the AMA, and this ‘graph stood out:

[efforts at comprehensive reform that covers everyone and brings down costs have largely failed. ] Part of the reason is because the different groups involved – physicians, insurance companies, businesses, workers, and others – simply couldn’t agree on the need for reform or what shape it would take.

No, part of the problem is that those are largely *not* the stakeholders here. Physicians? Sure. But insurance companies? They only have a “stake” here because we’ve let them. There are all sorts of scenarios that cut them out. They’re only at the table because we’ve allowed them to sit there and rake it in. They. Contribute. Nothing. Companies? Why are they relevant? Only because they’ve been forced to pick up the tab for your health care in return for getting discounts with the insurance industry and tax cuts; but in a rational world surely your health care and your employment would be entirely unrelated. Likewise, workers? What, in Obama’s world only workers are really allowed to get sick and obtain health care? So, their spouses and children are forced to rely on their employment for care? What about those who don’t work — either because they can’t (maybe they’re too sick — natch!), they’re students, they’re unemployed — whatever, they still citizens deserving of health care. Others? So, actual, you know, patients, potential patients, people who want preventitive care, they’re all reduced to “others”? Seems like a very shaky foundation upon which to base your reforms.

The AMA should be ashamed of themselves for opposing health care reform. Thankfully, they only represent a small minority of doctors, but they’re incredibly influential in DC and are in an incestuous relationship with the insurance industry that feeds them. The AMA is not the player to whom Obama should look for advice on reform. Sadly, they will most likely help him shift away from a sensible model that actually addresses the issue to one that merely window-dresses the issue. And we’ll all be the poorer — and sicker — for it.

His and Her Matching Hardship

lars, covered bridges 2009Lisa, Covered Bridges 2009

It was that time of year again: Covered Bridges Half Marathon from beautiful Woodstock to equally beautiful Quechee, Vermont. It’s one of two “local” half-marathons that we’ve done for a couple of years now, and it’s that weird combination of breathtaking scenery, good company and intense pain and suffering that makes you question your sanity. Why not just drive out and look at the scenery, but bag the running part? But that’d be little or no fun.

Hadn’t trained at all for this thing — two long runs a couple of weeks before was about it, so didn’t have high expectations. But felt good the morning of the race and conditions started out perfect, so I gave it a shot at my perennial goal of breaking 1:30. It turned hot and humid half way thru, though, so like most others in the 7 minute mile crowd I had to concede defeat… 1:32:15 (net time) was still a PB, so can’t complain. Of course, I also couldn’t walk for a few days — all good things come at a price.

Lisa as always enjoyed the run at her pace and didn’t feel quite as beat up by the end of it. More power to her. All results are here, for those who care.