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Barry Crimmins

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CrimQuips 9/26/03 Friday, September 26, 2003

Commentary by Barry Crimmins

http://www.barrycrimmins.com   "You can't make 15 gaffes a week and be president." --Sen. John Kerry (speaking of Gov. Howard Dean) ....Get serious, John. Bush makes at least 15 gaffes per speech and he holds the office.(albeit hostage, but still!)

The Wall Street Journal hosted a Democratic presidential debate Thursday. By comparison, the blues series on PBS is a perfect demographic fit . Wesley Clark looked like a general at yesterday's debate. He clung dearly to the back-lines while the others slugged it out at the front.

I'm willing to give Clark time to find his political legs but there is nothing wrong with examining what he has said and comparing it to what he's saying. And there is nothing wrong about having qualms about supporting anyone who ever thought Ronald Reagan was OK. What's absurd are the assaults by people such as those cranked up by twitchy Ann Coulter that question the decorated war hero's patriotism.

I actually heard Limbaugh imply that Clark's candidacy was that of a nut general intent on overthrowing our democratic government. Uh, Rush, General Clark is entering the race to democratically unseat the Nam-era deserter that currently occupies the White House despite the fact he lost the election. Clark and the rest of the Dems are trying to reverse a coup d'etat, not stage one.

Anyone who wants to attempt to tarnish Howard Dean as "ultra-left" really needs to be referred to my website. I'll show 'em left.

I love watching Dems slug it out. Substantive questions and challenges will only make the field stronger. If you want to listen to people say "ditto" all day, turn on Rush Limbaugh.

The response to Bush's speech before the UN General Assembly breathed new life into the word "tepid."

The UN headsets that translate speech into the various languages came in very handy because without them, W would have had to learn to lie in dozens of languages.

There are more people on the California ballot than there are people who bought anything that Bush said in that speech. Coming up on C-SPAN: George W Bush's address to the UN General Assembly, and then Hugh Hefner's keynote remarks to the Christian Coalition, followed by Rush Limbaugh's speech to the AFL-CIO. Ariel Sharon may soon decide to lay off the Palestinians and concentrate on Mel Gibson.

Senator Robert Byrd has been a Washington insider for decades and West Virginia has never lacked so much as one pork barrel during those years. However, in his final days of public service the aged Senator has distinguished himself in such a manner that has overshadowed all of his insider sins. His moral stand against W's war and his recent performance questioning the advocates of Bush's deepening quagmire, should have caught the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. It has been a pleasure to see an actual statesman stand up and tell crucial truth at a time when very few politicians have shown the courage to give voice to grave questions. And old Teddy Kennedy hasn't been far behind. They have both done this nation and the Senate proud.

Here's a few questions Arnold Schwarzenegger might be asked about his past: Did you even own any pants during your first twenty years in Hollywood? If so, did you ever wear them?

Arnold makes Bill Clinton look like Cotton Mather. *******

Today's extended riff.....

Here's an idea that would save Americans trillions of dollars, and more importantly, many, many lives. Quite simply, we must abandon any hopes for national health insurance.

You see, we don't need health insurance, we need health care. We need to divest health care of insurance racketeers. Run the bastards out of town, they have killed more of us than any terrorist ever will.

To employ the word "insurance" in this crucial context is to take a massive portion of our health care dollar and fritter it away without providing one sick person so much as one Kleenex tissue.

Each day more people discover they can no longer afford health insurance and/or the insurance they have is all but worthless. Soon only the ultra-wealthy will have any legitimate coverage at all. This means the insurance racket has priced itself out of health care. So good riddance to health insurance and hello national health CARE.

Health is a wonderful word. Why marry it to latter day pejorative like insurance?

Care is unconditional; insurance must be claimed. Sick and injured people aren't generally in a good position to stake out and hold claims. HMO's and other health care racketeers first line of defense is to reject all claims out-of-hand. That's all it takes to get rid of people too weak to take a stand. This is barbarism.

Health insurance policies are full of fine print that explain why they really needn't pay any claim. Of course no one can read the fine print because most health plans cut eye care a long time ago.

From the anecdotal evidence I have gathered over a lifetime of knowing human beings -- each one replete with the human propensity to fall prey to injury, illness and mortality -- I can say with some confidence that health insurance companies spend at least as much money developing reasons to deny claims as they do paying for actual health care. We all know people who have been put through inhumane ordeals by corporate bureaucrats. In fact, health insurance claims adjusters often privately refer to themselves as "claims deniers."

The insurance racket takes highly trained medical personnel and turns them into nothing more than claims adjustors and efficiency experts. Mind you, that so-called "efficiency" has nothing to do with health care and everything to do with the proverbial bottom line. As a result, that bottom line too often ends up located "six feet under."

For all intents and purposes, the health insurance racket sends sick and injured people to a casino rather than a hospital. Everything at that casino is rigged in the house's favor and the insurance racket is the house. Just as slot-machine suckers pay for the electricity that courses through the gigantic signs in Vegas, the dupes who pay health insurance premiums are footing the bill for the advertising hacks, public relations glad-handers and slithering lobbyists that work around the clock to sanitize the nefarious scam that is health insurance.

The casino comparison is somewhat unfair to the gaming industry. It employs one-armed bandits while the health care racket always uses two hands when frisking and robbing us.

Many "uninsured" people, harboring hopes of getting a health care plan, avoid doctors lest they be diagnosed with what the insurance racket labels as a "pre-existing condition" The more desperate your need for treatment, the more proof the criminals have that your claim is invalid. This has got to end.

Unguarded, the insurance cabal will label "human frailty" as a pre-existing condition and never have to approve another claim.

Health insurance is a big protection racket but when illness comes and smashes our windows, the protection disappears. Why not just make the racket disappear, instead?

America cannot afford health insurance; it cannot live without health care. So ask your favorite presidential candidate to support national health care, the humane and economic alternative to national health insurance.

*******

My ideal candidate would support national health care, not insurance and hold strong anti-quagmire views concerning Iraq. I shall continue to add to this idealistic platform as time goes by. If we don't demand the sky, we will never gain control of the earth. Let's provoke the candidates to compromise with the left on a few things -- that way the next Democratic president will be less likely to promote phony stuff like welfare reform because he or she will have to worry about viable criticism from beyond the milquetoasty center.

*******

When you think Blues, of course you think PBS. I can't seem to find my old "Howling Wolf -- Live at the Yacht Club" LP but perhaps it will now be reissued. If so, lets hope Martin Scorsese gets the top billing he deserves.

A lot of the CD's they are issuing in conjunction with the series are of music that's in the public domain. What the hell, the musicians didn't get any royalties the first time they recorded the tunes, why start now? (Seriously, I hope PBS is funneling all profits to any relatives they can find of the great artists they are hoping to ride to Nielson glory.

I'll leave you with this rare work-in-progress, left to me by an old bluesman great uncle of mine.

Pine Box Set Blues By Blind Typo Crimmins

My turbo Saab's fuel injection got jammed with too much grit I got home from the tennis club, but left my cardigan sweater back at it

And the mean old feds just shut my inside trading tipster on down now the fall pledge drive's on us Lawd I got no premium to be found.

plink, plink, plink, plink, plink, plink , plink , plink , plink , plink, plink , plink , plink ... Oh yeah

What ever will become of me? Them fleece pullovers ain't free No PBS phone's gonna ring today Can't make no pledge, what can I say?

I got the sanitized and wholesome Public Broadcasting Blues I got the Ken-Burnsing deep in my soul Public Broadcasting Blues PBS take credit for all good things: Mark Twain, jazz and baseball, too

plink, plink, plink, plink, plink, plink , plink , plink , plink , plink, plink , plink , plink ... Oh yeah

PBS want us to believe that it stand for Po Boy Sound I said, PBS want us to believe it stand for Po Boy Sound When we get down to the crossroads it's their tote bag we be carrying 'round

PBS let po artists suffer so they blues, they be real PBS let em starve and suffer 'til their blues can't be concealed When they die and go to public domain PBS make a special Pine Box Set deal

plink, plink, plink, plink, plink, plink , plink , plink , plink , plink, plink , plink , plink ... Oh yeah

Oh lawd, lawd, what's gonna happen to me? Them fleece pullovers sho' ain't free Pledge Driver waiting for my dough ain't never getting back to the show

PBS want us to believe it stand for Poor Boy Sound PBS want us to believe it stand for Poor Boy Sound But it really stand for white boys who done waited much too long to come 'round

plink, plink, plink, plink, plink, plink , plink , plink , plink , plink, plink , plink , plink ... Oh yeah  2003 Barry Crimmins

updated: 17 years ago