Ring Around the Pollsters
By R. D. Flavin

Ring around the pollsters,
auto-dialing oldsters,
arthritis, bursitis,
they often fall down,
...and some can't get back up.

     Last Saturday, October 6, 2012, “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium” debate between Comedy Central's host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and FOX News political commentator, Bill “Papa-Jerk” O'Reilly, took place on the campus of George Washington University in Washington D.C.  While met with warm reviews from most critics, I was personally annoyed by O'Reilly's insistence that health claims for arthritis have increased under Pres. Obama with an implication of fraudulence owed to slack health-care requirements and a “mind-set” of entitlement with an allegation that 20% of Americans purposefully “gin the system.”  I suppose opportunism is a better slander than whack conspiracy theories involving fluoridated water and harmful chemicals in our plastics (i.e. BPA), but not by much.  Stewart's rejoinders to most of Papa-Jerk's statements were both comedic and erudite, yet with O'Reilly's “explosion of disability” and “plague of arthritis” comments, he answered with “We're getting older...”  A “Boomers and Bedpans” crisis has long been predicted, it's beginning now, and can only increase in the years to come.  Both debaters agreed the American health care system needs improvement, though they differed on 'how' it could and should be corrected.

     To say that Democrats champion the “People,” while Republicans support “Big Business” is a sloppy sophism, ...as the Republicans have done a couple of positive things for the American people (citation needed).  Continuing from that collapsed vein, the Left has been described as encouraging more government and the Right has often been accused of being comfortably nestled in the deep pockets of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.  And, then there's Sen. Joe Lieberman (IN/D-CT)...  Anywhat, we respect Pres. Roosevelt's implementation of Social Security in 1935, Pres. Johnson's bold 1965 advancement of Medicaid and Medicare, Pres. Clinton's failed health care plan of 1993 (parts of which were utilized in Gov. Romney's Massachusetts Health Care Insurance Reform Law, named as RomneyCare and MassHealth; St. 2006, c.58), the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's tireless efforts at national health care reform, which culminated with Pres. Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and its amendment, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872), now popularly known as “ObamaCare.”  While it could be claimed that Democrats stand for social programs and “universal health care,” the truth is that some of us are going to take a seat while discussion and debate ensue.  It's an osteoarthritis thing, which my MassHealth coverage isn't doing much about at the present time...

     Stewart and O'Reilly reflected some current opinions from our ongoing American Uncivil War, endorsing public and private sector solutions to health care.  One exchange from “The Rumble” that I dearly appreciated was Stewart's response to O'Reilly's charge that “the government that governs least, governs best.”  The reply of “the government that governs best, ...governs best” seemed righteously optimistic.  Still, cool alone won't cut it.

     ObamaCare is law, challenges have been denied by the U.S. Supreme Court, but much like a woman's right to an abortion, Republicans uniformly seek to overturn some Supreme Court rulings.  I was embarrassed when our Chief Justices had to make time to deny ridiculous accusations that Pres. Obama is not a natural born American and has the right to be president, but as most Republicans suffer from Poopy Diaper Syndrome (PDS), many neo-Reds (var. Tea-Bagger Republicans) still subscribe to incredible conspiracy theories of forged birth certificates and a secret Muslim religious allegiance.  Similarly, the answer most Republicans give at the question of ObamaCare is ...repeal it.  This ain't the Milquetoast mistake of Prohibition!  It's about health care.  Our health care.

     Before proceeding, I must be emphatic with my guess that Pres. Obama will win his bid for reelection.  My (somewhat justified) fear is that Congress will continue to rabidly pursue it's “Auntie” approach to America's problems (e.g. anti-Democrat, anti-Obama, anti-woman’s rights, 'anti-' this and that).  I hope it's not Jimmy Carter all over again, but ...it is what it is.   My eyes are most patriotic (red, white, and blue), but I need glasses and MassHealth discontinued coverage a few years ago.  They say if you don't have your health...   Well, folks say a lot of things!  Some are true and some aren't.

     We acknowledge that mathematics is the only exact science (with astronomy being termed kindred).  I've previously opined that there's probably no more or less a percentage of villains about, it's just we've gotten better at statistics.  I mean, is it really true that more serial killers were brought to justice under Pres. Clinton than at any other previous historical period?  It's not the numbers (software), but rather the human (wetware) contribution.  [Note: Nope, not doing the quantum observer influences the observed model here!]  We are proud that science is self-correcting, and despite mistakes and fraud occurring, they are eventually revealed, and we advance.  Our increased reliance on polls and polling makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth, as the pollsters aren't scientists, the “polls” are often automated telephone calls, and today many folks have forsaken their land-lines, use cell and smart-phones, web-based Skype, and other alternatives.  Besides, there's Caller ID and ...in disregard of the National Do Not Call Registry, phone crap gets through.  Oh, it's a police charity, the schools, it's election time, and (cough) having to choose between saving an overseas child for $17 a month versus rescuing a local small dog for $19 a month.  A lot of folks, young, middle-aged, and old don't answer their phones when unknown callers auto-dial.  There could be science here, but it's more a common sense recognition.

     Greed might yet be considered to be a national pastime (yeah, I'm looking at the New York Yankees), however, reflecting upon tomorrow and tomorrow's tomorrow and all of us still on the same playing field, even viral hemorrhagic fevers back off when their hosts are significantly weakened.  America doesn't need a "Honey Boo Boo" Congress, but the shovel is in the hands of the Republicans.  We're better than bugs and germs...  And, changing Soxs happens, every now and then.

     The creepy-popular “Think of the children” fallacy should be inclusive (minus the creepy) of the elderly, disabled, and disenfranchised.  Puppies?  How about people?  The ring around pollsters who report that America's values should be privatized and outsourced (really, say it ain't so - our prisons and military?) needs a wake-up call and an ideological scrubbing.  My Mom used Wisk® to remove those stubborn collar stains for me.  Later, wives and girlfriends told me to wash my own shirts.  I can only hope a coming Dawn® puts an end to hurtful bipartisanship in government and our wash works out.  Think of America – we're together contractually and …because we choose to be.

Always needing more quarters for the dryer,
Rick

Return to