I've resurrected Elder News today for some short takes on what has caught my attention in the past week or so.
MORE CORPORATE SPENDING ON ELECTION CAMPAIGNS
If, as court watchers expect, the Supreme Court of the United States removes the few remaining spending restrictions on election advertising by corporations, unions and advocacy groups we can kiss away “of, by and for the people” - or what's left of it.
The court's decision, which is expected soon, concerns Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, regarding the 90-minute documentary, Hillary: The Movie, a scathing attack on then-presidential candidate Senator Clinton during the campaign of 2008. At question is whether it is political advertising, on which there are restrictions, or protected free speech. According to The New York Times,
“...if the court strikes down the restrictions on outside spending, some legal experts say, the remaining restrictions on direct contributions to campaigns would mean much less because it would be easy to support a campaign through an outside group.”
And it would give even more control of elections and government to corporations. You can read more details about the case and some commentary here.
HEALTH CARE REFORM
Time Goes By readers have worked hard over the past months to understand health care and to lobby our representatives in Washington to do the right thing. We lost out on single payer from day one. I doubt the public option in the House bill will survive. And most of the final bill will not go into effect until 2013 or 2014.
We have discussed our disappointment in these and other points in the House and Senate bills that will be merged this month, but I believe this bill is an important beginning: the principle of universal health care, with the passage of the final bill, becomes national policy. There will be many tweaks over the coming years and decades, but there is now no going back.
In his weekly address to the nation on Saturday, President Obama listed the changes in health coverage that go into effect this year – 2010. (There is probably some quibbling to be done, but he is generally correct.) In spite of my disappointment overall, I am impressed. These will help a lot of people.
Watch the video below. There is some self-serving blather at the top, then the health care list of immediate 2010 changes begins at about 2:30 minutes into the speech and concludes at about 5:15.
Since 1975, Lake Superior State University has issued its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. The title says all you need to know. The “winning” words and phrases this year are:
- friend, as a verb
- Teachable moment
- In these economic times
- Toxic assets
- Too big to fail
- Obama, as a prefix
I was disappointed that the phrase that most makes me want to tear off my ears is missing. I checked previous lists and it has never appeared. It was first used in abundance when we invaded Afghanistan in 2001, “surged” with the Iraq invasion of 2003 and, blessedly, faded from use about two years ago.
Now, unfortunately, it's back thanks to the underpants bomber and efforts to soften up the country for some sort of military engagement in Yemen. When I hear “boots on the ground” it makes my teeth hurt and I want to punch the perpetrator.
What's your “favorite” overused word or phrase?
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Madonna Dries Christensen: The Prince Dined at The Palace