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Friday, October 15, 2004


One of the frustrating things about the uproar over the Mary Cheney lines from the final Presidential debate, to me, is that a discussion about what is basically a non-issue is obscuring what actually was said that might influence our safety and our daily lives.

There were three points (listed here in order of importance, not in chronological order) where I thought Kerry had serious flaws in his debate arguement:

1. Medical plan - the long list of "details" combined with hand gestures designed to hypnotize me like a cobra coming up out of a wicker basket made my head hurt and my stomach churn.

The fact is that my health-care plan, America, is very simple. It gives you the choice. I don't force you to do anything. It's not a government
plan. The government doesn't require you to do anything. You choose your doctor. You choose your plan. If you don't want to take the offer
of the plan that I want to put forward, you don't have do. You can keep
what you have today, keep a high deductible, keep high premiums, keep a high co-pay, keep low benefits. But I got a better plan. And I don't think a lot of people are going to want to keep what they have today.

Translation: You're dumber than Theresa thinks you are if you don't buy into this.

Here's what I do: We take over Medicaid children from the states so that every child in America is covered. And in exchange, if the states want to -- they're not forced to, they can choose to -- they cover individuals up to 300 percent of poverty. It's their choice.

I think they'll choose it, because it's a net plus of $5 billion to them.
We allow you -- if you choose to, you don't have to -- but we give you broader competition to allow you to buy into the same health care plan that senators and congressmen give themselves. If it's good enough for us, it's good enough for every American. I believe that your health care is just as important as any politician in Washington, D.C.
You want to buy into it, you can. We give you broader competition. That helps lower prices.

In addition to that, we're going to allow people 55 to 64 to buy into Medicare early. And most importantly, we give small business a 50 percent tax credit so that after we lower the costs of health care, they also get, whether they're self-employed or a small business, a lower cost to be able to cover their employees.

Now, what happens is when you begin to get people covered
like that -- for instance in diabetes, if you diagnose diabetes early, you could save $50 billion in the health care system of America by avoiding surgery and dialysis. It works. And I'm going to offer it to America.

Frankly, by the second sentence I was comatose (which I HOPE is covered under Kerry's "plan"). But, rereading it after the fact isn't much better. I sometimes wonder if my command of the English language is as good as I thought it was.

2. Social Security - President Bush didn't do a very good job on this one. Kerry did even worse.

And that's what we're going to do. We're going to protect Social
Security. I will not privatize it. I will not cut the benefits. And we're going to be fiscally responsible. And we will take care of Social Security.

Just like AlGore talking about some freaking "lock-box" no one with a half a brain cell still active believes that Social Security can be saved without some sort of major overhaul (unless they eat nine gin-soaked white raisins a day for "arthritis"). What the partial privitization does is insure there is SOMETHING remaining once I'm old enough to reap the rewards of the thousands of dollars I will have put into the system. I'm not 100% sold on the president's plan, but I have 0% confidence in the Congress and any President being able to keep benefits up, keep the retirement age down, and keep the program solvent.

3. Security - Retina/iris scans and thumb-print scans at the borders to identify terrorists?

The fact is that we now have people from the Middle East, allegedly, coming across the border.

And we're not doing what we ought to do in terms of the
technology. We have iris-identification technology. We have
thumbprint, fingerprint technology today. We can know who the people are, that they're really the people they say they are when the cross the border.

How many terrorists, recruited throughout the muslim world, would we have a retina/iris scan of? Even a good thumb-print scan for that matter?

Beyond that, in the very next breath he says:

We could speed it up. There are huge delays.

Speed is important? Let me get this straight, President Bush is failing because people are coming over willy-nilly, and one of Kerry's priorities is going to be speeding up the process to come into the country?

I'm not a big fan of the President's stand on the worker visa and some other issues, but Kerry offered me nothing in the way of a legitimate alternative.


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