by Thomas Keister
I'm still trying to get a handle on the events of the past couple of weeks with the Obama administration. First, there were news reports of plans being kicked around to make veterans use private insurance to pay for VA care, an absolute outrage. Then, take into consideration the shape some of the VA hospitals are in, throw in the private insurance idea, and it's an absolute outrage packaged in a slap to the face for anyone who has been wounded in Iraq, Afghanistan, or any war for that matter.
If that idea were to pass Congress, which I believe an unlikely miracle, how would one expect that to work? How would any member of the Armed Forces be able to carry private insurance. What company in their right mind would write health coverage for a man or woman getting ready to ship to a freakin' war zone? You bet none of them would, or the next thing, we'd see the government being hounded for an insurance bailout. President Obama needs to put this in a folder in his desk, the one for the ideas akin to holding a tiny parasol over your head when falling off a cliff, Looney Tunes-style.
Next up, there are the confusing signals being sent in the War on Drugs. On the campaign trail, Obama stated he wanted to see an end to the Drug Enforcement Administration raiding medicinal marijuana clubs in states that had approved the practice, and late last month, Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that "what was said on the campaign trail is now U.S. policy." Fair enough, and surprising, given our government's traditionally tunneled vision regarding pot. Seeing as how California has a legalization bill in the works in its state legislature, a potential $2 billion boost when facing a $42 billion deficit, why hasn't the Obama administration taken a hard look at what that could total to over all fifty states, as well as the savings on anti-marijuana campaigning and education, a long-proven failure? window.google_render_ad();
But at the same time, the growing problem of Mexican drug cartel violence spilling across the border into the United States demands immediate and decisive attention, but then again, I have been calling for more attention to the U.S.-Mexican border for years now, to no avail. Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano appears to want to make border security a focus, but Obama has not shown a lot of interest in militarizing the border with Mexico. Why not? It's not like much of anything the government has done over the last twenty years have made any kind of dent in the flow of illegal immigrants into the country, and the vast number of city, county, state, and federal agencies dotting that very same border, not only has our government failed to staunch the flow of drugs into the country, but now it is failing to protect people within its own borders from violence from another nation's criminals.
Not ignoring the inbox full of issues to address, these three, in order, need to be dismissed entirely, given more than a precursory glance, and immediately looked at. Looking forward, as our President has become fond of saying, requires as much.
by Thomas Keister