LETTER: McCaskill needs to step down, let a real progressive lead

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | 3:01 p.m. CDT; updated 5:19 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Funny, when I was voting for Claire McCaskill for governor and senator, I was pretty certain she called herself "progressive," "innovative" and "a Democrat." Yet, here she is yammering Republican tripe. Not even facts, but propaganda, about clean energy. Instead of diversifying our energy base and creating jobs, she's busy bobbing her head to the beat of a hyper-conservative fist.

You know what? Go home. Let someone with a spine sit in the seat I elected you to. Start looking at facts: Wind and solar create double the jobs of coal and oil. Missouri gets 85 percent of its energy from one source — coal. And clean air is kind of important to those of us with lungs. The "same old, same old" is running dry. Literally. We need and want and support clean energy and green jobs, because the coal and the gas are running out faster than your integrity.



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John Schultz July 21, 2009 | 8:00 p.m.

Did you also feel the same thing about Obama when you voted for him? How's that working for you when he continues to keep Gitmo open, continues to use the state secrets defense of the Bush Administration, and doesn't keep his transparency (such as having the text of bills to be signed available on the White House website for at least five days before signing) promises that he campaigned on?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 21, 2009 | 8:32 p.m.

As I mentioned to Gary Nolan, when I called into his show during the elections, I voted for Bob Barr in the primaries and I decided to vote for Joe Biden in the election, only after McCain picked a woman who could have been destined to be President.
Just as Councilmen Wade and Thornhill and Councilwomen Nauser have second thoughts about voting in that redundant cycling ordinance, many Obama voters feel that we were lied to and manipulated by the Dems.
As an "independent" I was swayed by my disdain for Palin.
Hopefully Obama will be a one term president. (Unless he becomes King or Dictator.)
But, what does this have to do with health care? The Republicans and the Libertarians don't think out of party lines or outside their little boxes either.
What ideas have you come up with lately, oh great Chairman of the Boone County Libertarian Party.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 21, 2009 | 9:31 p.m.

I haven't come up with many, but I've heard some I prefer over the Democrat plan. Some of the suggestions from Rep. Leutkemeyer's letter that was posted today are in that batch. Some are shorter-term than others (i.e. I don't think the federal government should be running Medicare/Medicaid, that should be at the state level if they choose since I can find no authorization for such programs in the Constitution).

Rep. Leutkemeyer calls for allowing small businesses to band together and get large group rates. I believe Jim Talent had the same idea when he was Senator, and I think that's a good idea. I would also allow any insurance plan to be sold in Missouri, not just those that meet the minimum (i.e. state-mandated) level of services. I believe I posted here a few days ago about the thousands of dollars difference in health insurance premiums between Kentucky and New Jersey (which mandates many more services). I would also be interested in somehow decoupling health insurance from employers so that people can "own" their insurance plans and not have to worry about losing that when they leave their job, but I'm not sure how that happens without the government outlawing such.

On an email list I'm on, someone from California had a quote for health insurance (Kaiser perhaps) for a 40 year-old man of $80 a month. Health insurance doesn't get much more affordable than that. I pay more than that to insure three vehicles. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, or free health insurance.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 21, 2009 | 10:13 p.m.

Thanks for sharing some alternative proposals.
While I too think the democrats are going to destroy our country, most other approaches still focus on the "insurance plan" approach to health care.
I believe that eliminating the "insurance connection" from the health care industry will actually free up health professionals to do their job to minimize human pain and suffering from illness and become true "healers," instead of entrepreneurs dependent on actuaries.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 22, 2009 | 12:18 a.m.

Related to your comment, one thing I think people forget about is charity car that those evil, greedy doctors perform. For instance, I was watching a recent Dave Ramsey Show episode on Hulu and one of the debt-free callers was a doctor from California who made regular mission trips overseas to perform medical care.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 22, 2009 | 12:22 a.m.

Dagnabbit, that should be charity care, of course.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 22, 2009 | 1:38 a.m.

In October of 2007, Patch Adams and the Gesundheit Board unveiled its campaign to raise $1 million dollars by the end of 2008 towards building a Teaching Center and Clinic on its land in West Virginia. The Center and Clinic will enable Gesundheit to see patients and teach health care design.

The Teaching Center will serve care practitioners from all over the world who want to work on ideas for change. The free clinic will serve one of the poorest areas in the U.S. and act as a global model for health care delivery. In 1989 Patch Adams wrote “I didn’t intend to create a model that would be THE answer to the problems in health care; but to model creative problem solving and to spark each medical facility to design their own ideal.”

"People Will Talk"
Using a script which is as sharp as a scalpel and which is derived from "Dr. Praetorious," a German play and a 1933 film by Curt Goetz, the scenarist-director is relating the story of a strange, handsome medico - a doctor who is not content to diagnose and cure but one who knows there is a vast difference between that concept and his duty which is "to make sick people well." It seems also that Dr. Praetorious, a most successful practitioner, who not only has his own clinic but teaches gynecology at the university, is the thorn in the side of Professor Elwell. That pedagogue, a stickler for correctness in practice, is conducting a personal investigation of Dr. Praetorius, whose methods, he feels, are unbecoming to the profession.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 22, 2009 | 6:22 a.m.

Regarding the letter that is prompting these comments, gee, I sense an old saying here:

"Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it."

(Report Comment)
eli gallagher July 22, 2009 | 7:10 p.m.

Funny, when I was writing this letter, I wasn't stating, anywhere, that I felt the Democratic party was wrong. I just don't approve of this woman parroting Republican talking points and ignoring research and the will of the people she was elected to represent.

We get 85% of Missouri's energy from coal. So what happens when there is a shortage of coal? Our prices skyrocket. At a time when our unemployment rate is over 9%. The concept that somehow oil and coal will just continue to be found is simply asinine. The supply is limited, and as use goes up, dwindling. Supplementing our energy supply, diversifying to different forms, will help us to be flexible and stable if and when problems arise, and to deny this is baffling.

As for other comments, I worked two years for an insurance company. I saw the way a loyal customer of decades became a liability as soon as our obligation to pay arose. I saw the way our legal team treated and discussed these people that we pretended to be pledged to, and it made me ill. Small local groups of employers can't compete with huge national companies, and if they can't compete they have no purpose.

Speaking of that insurance company, while there I was on a committee to research the possibility of creating a solar collection grid on the huge, huge, flat roof and selling excess energy to the county. In a short two years, we could have completely recouped the cost, reduced our bills to $0, and earned upwards of $200K a year back (including upkeep and repair), while providing Boone County a big jump start on our energy initiatives. They refused. The company was more concerned with short-term cost than long term benefits. They looked at their customers the same way.

Back to the initial discussion: I don't feel betrayed by the Democratic party, I feel those unwilling to walk the path they chose betray the trust of those who elected them. Unfortunately, at least on this issue, it seems our elected Senator is one of those people unwilling or unable to stand up to her obligations.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 22, 2009 | 8:23 p.m.

eli gallagher wrote:

"In a short two years, we could have completely recouped the cost, reduced our bills to $0, and earned upwards of $200K a year back (including upkeep and repair), while providing Boone County a big jump start on our energy initiatives."

Not a way in the world.

A PV system that produces $200,000 worth (at 9 cents/kwh) of electricity per year (plus the insurance companies usage, which I haven't included, and could double the size of the array) would be rated at about 200 KW, costing over $1 million installed at today's prices. It would take 5 years just to recoup the cost of the install.

Someone in your committee made a mistake somewhere. I'll show you my calculations if you like.


(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 23, 2009 | 9:00 a.m.

A note about coal and oil (petroleum). The United States has considerable in-ground reserves of coal. We are a coal exporter! The principal problems involving coal are mining it and the fact that some deposits are high in sulfur. I can show you a factory making building bricks near I-70 in Indiana which uses finely pulverized coal as fuel, with the coal brought by rail from Kentucky. Outside the factory door are deposits of coal that could easily be strip mined. The problem is the high sulfur content of that local coal.

Most folks understand that coal is often the fuel used to generate electric power, but considerable coal is also used to fire the rotary kilns producing cement.

By contrast, we import oil, although we still have domestic production. Some of the oil we import comes from places that are either politically unstable or potentially so.

(Report Comment)

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