Ramona Grigg

Ramona Grigg
Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA
September 17
Ramona's Voices
I'm a liberal woman from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, old enough to remember where I was when FDR died. My website, Ramona's Voices, was first published on the afternoon of Barack Obama's Inaugural after hearing his call to service. I include many voices much more eloquent than mine, because one voice isn't enough. Liberal-leaning with humor, except when the days are too dark and the enemy is too strong. Then it's war.


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MARCH 17, 2010 5:58PM

Integrity, you out there? Is Honesty with you? Gonna be Gone Long?

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Yesterday morning I heard Dick Armey tell Kiran Chetry and John Roberts three of the biggest, bald-faced lies I ever heard and when he was finished, I heard Kiran and John thank him for coming, and off he went, lies intact and embedded nicely, no questions asked.  This is what he said:

Lie #1:
"Nearly every important office in DC is occupied by someone with an aggressive dislike for our heritage, our freedom, our history and our constitution"

Kiran Chetney (to her credit):  "Do you really believe that?"

Lie #2:

"Absolutely.  I don't have a doubt about it.  I've lived with liberals all my life.  Liberals simply don't have appreciation and respect for America."

Lie #3:
 "Today if you are a Christian Scientist and you do not sign up for Medicare you lose your Social Security.  Nobody put that into law.  Where did that come from?  It came from their pure audacity and their need to be in charge.  So you take a person who, by religious conviction, has never attended a physician in his entire life and will never intend to do so, and you say you must sign up for this government program and if you don't you lose your life savings which you were forced to put into a bad program in the first place. Now are you telling me that's respect for our freedom?  That is an audacity of control."

The first two are flat out lies, the third is a blatant fudging of the truth, formulated and propagated by Freedom Works, the anti-government Tea Party headquarters.   Their leader monologued it long enough that either Kiran or John would have had plenty of time to step in--ala Maddow--and ask where the hell that was coming from.  But they didn't.  They smiled---rather uncomfortably, I'll give them that--and let the lie go on to live another day. 

 The truth is this:  Medicare rules have not changed since they were enacted in 1965.    Everyone on Social Security has to sign up for Medicare when they turn 65.  Armey is right about that.  But he would like us to believe this is something new and audacious.  It's suddenly "Obamacare".   It's not.  It's not new to Christian Scientists, either.  They know all about Medicare and offer clear guidelines on their website for applying for and using it.  The government-run program is accepted in most of their facilities.  Christian Scientists pay into and take advantage of Medicare just like almost everyone else.  Their people get old, too--and without Medicare (or government paid Cadillac plans) they would be up a creek--or out on an ice floe along with the rest of us.

Why is Dick Armey so opposed to important government programs like Social Security and Medicare?  Why is he making such a case for shutting them down when so many people in this country benefit from them?  Last year he even went so far as to attempt to sue the government for "forcing" him to accept Medicare.  In an article published in the the Washington Examiner, May 22, 2009, he said (emphasis mine),

"Medicare and Social Security trustees on May 12 painted a grim, but not surprising picture of the failing financial health of two entitlement programs.  Social Security will be insolvent by 2016, a year earlier than predicted just last year; Medicare by 2017, two years earlier than last year’s forecast.

So why are the Department of Health and Human Services and Social Security Administration fighting tooth and nail to prevent a handful of seniors – including yours truly – from opting out of Medicare Part A, the costly hospital insurance program?

Having some percentage of seniors pay for their own hospitalization coverage would seem like a gift to the cash-strapped Medicare program. From a financial standpoint, the more seniors who choose this option the better.

But the government will have no part of it. Why?  Perhaps because doing so could undermine the push for universal health care.

If the government allows us to exercise our legal right to pay privately for medical care, Washington also will have to allow other seniors to decide whether they want Part A coverage or private coverage. And this is the exact opposite of the direction the administration wants to go."
So, fine.  A handful of seniors want to pay their own darned way, thank you very much!  Why that is, nobody seems to know, when they've already paid into Social Security and Medicare, and when they're assured of a certain amount of paid coverage, but if Armey and his little army want to do it, I say--let 'em.

But shouldn't somebody let his straggling army know WHY they're fighting so hard against Medicare?  Do they know who their leader really is?  A former lobbyist for pharmaceutical companies.  A fine gent whose company, DLA Piper, raked in upwards of 6 million dollars from medical interests from 2005 to 2009.  An upstanding citizen whose company lobbies for a dizzying number of dubious interests not particularly keen on cozying up to the government or helping out the little guy.  That's who Dick Armey is.

Today I watched a video clip showing some of Dick Armey's fine, upstanding Tea Partiers harassing a man sitting on the ground.  The man has Parkinson's Disease, but is out there working hard for health care for everybody.  They had to bend down to get in his face.  One of the white-shirts threw dollar bills at him. Someone in the background shouted "Communist!"   He sat quietly throughout it all, not because he knows his place, but because he knows he's right.

I want that man on the ground to know how much I appreciate what he's doing.  I want him to know that the video of his harassment is going to go as viral as the video of the Tienanmen Square student facing down the tanks.

And I want him to know I found integrity and honesty.  They were sitting on the ground beside him.



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