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Archive for January, 2010

What's done, is done

What's done, is done



I’d like to kick this off by offering my sincere congratulations to Scott Brown for his smart and hard fought victory.  He deserves it.  He did things right.  He took the pulse of the people of Massachusetts, he did some blood tests, he took some x-rays, he looked in their eyes and he made them stick out their tongue and checked their tonsils.  He did the things you have to do to show due diligence in gaining the trust of a person before they are going to put their faith in your hands and allow you to suggest a treatment. Then he simply wrote a prescription, vote for Scott Brown – and just like that, noses were held and the magic elixir was swallowed. For all of you doctors out there, take this as a lesson in just how far the trust earned by a good bed side manner can take you.

Scott Brown was also wise enough to use the playbook that Big Pharma has been winning with for years, a playbook that helped him make the elixir he had planned to prescribe all along look familiar and inviting. It also didn’t hurt to have an ace up his sleeve by virtue of an attractive, vibrant and fun-loving family to make commercials that would connect with our desires on a very personal level.  You know the ones I’m talking about, like those anti-depressant commercials that show Miss-happy-go-lucky skipping through a field of flowers, all laughs and smiles. The ones that make you think, yes I’m depressed, I need to have that wonder drug so I can be all laughs and smiles too. I mean come on, who wouldn’t be somewhat touched by a fun snowball fight with dad and the thought of a chance to throw a big, fat snowball at Washington amidst the turmoil brought to life by past administrations that still spins all around us?  Who wouldn’t be just a little taken in by a masterful connection made to every day Americans using nothing more than the prop of a high mileage pickup truck?  But just like those proposed miracles of medicine, after we swallow and our life doesn’t become all laughs and smiles, we will find ourselves scurrying to find the insert that came in the box, only now do we want to read the fine print.
So now that it’s been swallowed, let’s finally take a look at the insert, shall we? 
Using this prescription may have unintended and dire consequences.  Make sure to take with plenty of patience for the status-quo because after it is imbibed, this particular course of treatment cannot be changed or altered until at least November 2010, but the effects will most likely continue until at least November 2012.  Use extreme caution when mixing with hope for change, as an interaction called partisan gridlock will most likely occur. While happiness and prosperity are advertised as possible outcomes of consumption, we make no claim that these things will actually come to pass and we bear no responsibility for the results you may actually experience.  This prescription is intended to serve as a vehicle to voice impatience and frustration with the slow wheels of government in trying to fix long rooted problems like unemployment, health care and economic stagnation and in no way is it meant to reflect the true and noble aspirations of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the greater American community at large.  If you find yourself experiencing any of these side effects, feel free to call us at 1-900-2HELL-WITHCHANGE.  You will be charged $2.99 a minute for your call and all proceeds will go directly to blocking needed reform at every possible turn.
I hope for all our sakes that Scott Brown turns out to be a phenomenal legislator that brings about new and great things, but I find myself leery when the crux of his campaign was to be the 41st vote against something, not for something to bring about the change that America so resoundingly voted yes to just over a year ago.  I also hope that Scott Brown stays true to his word of not being beholden to anybody except the people, including the Republican caucus, and makes real change his first priority, even if it comes from the other side of the aisle, because I have a feeling that before all is said and done, he too will be tasting the sharp blade of American impatience when the rain doesn’t stop for a few weeks or months.
I must say though, that after taking a little time to reflect on this outcome, one thing that refills me with hope again is that Barack Obama has always shown, with nary a detour, that in the face of defeat he is a phoenix. When he lost in New Hampshire? It was welcome to Yes We Can!  The insurmountable Reverend Wright? Let’s have that talk about race!  Hope is just words? Let’s fill stadiums with it!  And now I can’t wait to see him once again take a good long look at the big picture and pack yet another perfect bag of supplies for the hard, arduous climb he faces once again. But, I can honestly say that I have absolutely no doubt that he will again prove worthy of the faith we placed in him as our elected President by reaching the top of the mountain once more.

Sometimes, the direction born from adversity is the road we were always meant to travel in the first place. I think this may prove to be one of those times … and I for one can’t wait to see it unfold and help as best as I can along the way!

I think tomorrow’s history will prove today to be a good day for change after all.
The Lion of the SenateTo the good people of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
What an honor.  If you are a resident of Massachusetts, or have been one during the last half century, you are part of one of the greatest legacies that American politics has ever known.  On Tuesday, January 19th, you will get the chance to define that legacy with the power of your vote.
For almost 47 years the Lion of the Senate prowled the halls of power making your voice, our voice, heard.  He was a selfless servant of the people, an unyielding warrior fighting for the American ideals that define our nation, and while he was a stalwart Democrat and Liberal, you would often find him reaching across the partisan aisle to move the wheels of history forward.  He was at the forefront on fault-line issues like racial inequality and women’s rights.  He always stood tall for average Americans and made sure our voice was never silenced.  Until his last breath, he never stopped his relentless pursuit of what would be a fitting crowning jewel to a lifetime spent in service of others, health care for each and every American, regardless of our station in life. The world shed tears of respect and admiration as they watched the great Lion roar on in his final days, defying his doctor’s constant reminders that the strain born from his brand of battle could prove fatal, but like any great crusader of the people, his needs were always second to ours.  He touched us all in so many ways that we don’t even realize.  It is this grand legacy that now rests squarely in your hands.
The fact that the Lion did not get to witness the dawning of the new day that he dreamed of for decades, to see health care reform finally become a reality, pulls at the heart strings of any patriot, no matter what side of the issue you find yourself on.  It is in our genetic makeup to want to see dreams fulfilled, it is the spark that lights the fire of the American Dream. 
On Tuesday, the fate of much more than the political will of the state of Massachusetts is at stake.  On Tuesday you will likely be deciding the fate of health care in America, your health care, my health care and the health care of everyone that you love.  On Tuesday you will either bring the train of progress to a grinding halt, or you will be the ones that finally give the conductor a long awaited whistle, signaling him to give the “all aboard” for this mighty train to leave the station at long last. 
Martha Coakley is a fine and capable woman, and I’m sure she will do her level best to do right by you.  I’m also sure that Scott Brown is a fine and capable man that will do his level best to do what he believes to be right by you, but lets not kid ourselves, this election is about something much bigger than both of them put together. Precedent shows us that the chances that either one of these committed individuals will be remembered forever is slim at best.  But, reforming a broken health care system that is on a trajectory to bankrupt our nation and rob so many hard working Americans of their dignity, hope and will to continue WILL live on, making this YOUR chance to be remembered forever.
For 47 years you chose the indefatigable Senator Ted Kennedy to be your voice.  Now, he is roaring one more time from beyond for you to take up his greatest cause.  You know you can hear the roar, now you just have to answer the Lion’s call one last time and vote for Martha Coakley on Tuesday.  Ted Kennedy used his life to serve you, it will only take moments of your life to repay that debt in full.  You will also be writing a wondrous new chapter in the history of tomorrow’s America, and for that, the rest of us will be forever in your debt too.
So get out there and vote for Martha Coakley on Tuesday, January 19th … and hear the Lion roar … one last time.