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Vacation, Day 1: My love-hate relationship with travelling

Oh how I wish the “Beam me up Scotty” technology of Star Trek was a reality.  I really do love going on vacation, but the “getting there” and “getting home” stuff can be quite annoying.  Our trip into San Francisco today was no exception.

The first leg of our trip, in the wee hours of the morning, was on the smallest plane ever.  I think it must double as the touring plane for the Keebler Elves.  I’m pretty short, yet I have a few lumps from bumping my head; and my size  0 daughter was complaining about claustrophobia.  My hubby, who is 6’4″ was none-too-happy either…and the air conditioning didn’t work.  To top it off, someone near our seats had the worst case of flatulence — so bad that I actually almost lost my coffee at one point.  Oh dear heavens.  Thank goodness it was a short flight.

The connecting flight was actually much better, comfort-wise, but it was five and a half hours long.  Yoinks! That’s a long time to be on a plane!  But we arrived safe and sound at San Fran Int’l Airport and so did our baggage.  (thank the gods for that small favor!).  The rental car ritual was uneventful and we were soon on our way…or were we?  Did I mention my husband has the worst case of road rage ever?  Not the shoot-em up kind, just the cursing, complaining, grunting, groaning, stressed-out, drive me to insanity kind – but only when we’re in new territory.  As a Capricorn, he does not do well with “new.”  He went around and around the airport about seven times, unable to figure out how to get on the highway, like in a scene from Groundhog day.  I finally convinced him to pull over and let me drive to the hotel.

With me at the wheel, we arrived at our hotel in a jiffy.  Ahhhh…no worries.  Now the relaxing part!  We were staying at a beautiful, historic (read: old) hotel with lovely ambiance and comfy rooms.  We checked in and piled into the elevator and pushed the button to our floor.  It began to move, up, up, up, up, … and then it stopped.  We waited for the doors to open, but they didn’t.  “Push the ‘open door’ button” we all said in unison.  Nothing.  Looking at each other, fearing the worst, we stood there in silence.  We were all thinking the same thing.  The unthinkable.  We were stuck, shoved like sardines, luggage in tow, in an *old* elevator, between floors.  Did I mention I have claustrophobia?  “Push the ‘open door’ button again” we all said again in unison.  Nothing…except the rising temperature in the elevator.  Trying not to soil my claustrophobic shorts, I said to my daughter who was nearest the buttons… (Ok, more like screamed) “Push the alarm!!!”  —- brrrrrrrrreeeeeaaat, went the alarm.  “Push it again!!! and hold it in!!”  brrrrrrrrreeeeeeeaaaaaatttttttttttt.”  Nothing.  “brrrrrrrrreeeeeaaat”…”brrrrrrrrreeeeeaaat”…”brrrrrrrrreeeeeaaat”…”brrrrrrrrreeeeeaaat”  Nothing.

Ok, so we didn’t die in the elevator because I’m writing this post.  Several minutes later the elevator began to move – back down to the lobby. The bellhop was waiting when the door opened chuckling, and asked us if we were having problems.  Uhhh, yeah.  See that puddle on the floor?

We unloaded and took the stairs.

It’s now 7pm and we’re heading for dinner at the number one vegan restaurant in the country.  What excitement awaits?  I can hardly guess.

Tomorrow – Yosemite!  I will hopefully have pics to post.

Got any vacation horror stories?

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Failure is a feature, not a bug

Obamacare


Ask someone why Obamacare is going down in flames and you’ll likely hear one of these answers:

It’s the Republican’s fault!

It’s the Blue Dog’s fault!

It’s the media’s fault!

I’ll tell you why Barack Obama’s health care reform “failed” – it was never supposed to succeed in the first place.  Let me clarify that:

BARACK OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP IN CONGRESS NEVER INTENDED TO ENACT REAL HEALTH CARE REFORM!!!

I’ve never been optimistic about health care reform. This whole thing has been Kabuki since the DNC/RBC meeting on 5/31/08 – the day democracy and the Democratic party went their separate ways.  Hillary’s proposal wasn’t a whole lot better than Obama’s but she really intended to get it passed.

The Obamacare plan has always been to enact something they can call “reform” without actually reforming shit.  If anything, Obamacare will make things worse and ensure that health insurance organizations continue to make outrageous profits for at least another decade.

If they really intended to reform health care then these numbers from The Daily Howler would be well-known to every American with a television:

Total health expenditures per capita, 2003

United States $5711

Australia $2886

Austria $2958

Belgium $3044

Canada $2998

Denmark $2743

Finland $2104

France $3048

Germany $2983

Iceland $3159

Ireland $2466

Italy $2314

Japan $2249

Luxembourg $4611

Netherlands $2909

Norway $3769

Sweden $2745

Switzerland $3847

United Kingdom $2317

That’s right, the United States spends approximately twice as much per capita as other industrialized nations for health care and doesn’t even cover everyone. Every American who lives in the real world knows our health care system is fucked up but that’s a vague analysis. When you put the numbers up like that you can really see how fucked up the system is.

So why haven’t the Democrats done that?

{{crickets}}

Perhaps we should ask what did the Democrats do instead? The first thing they did was take single-payer “off the table.” Single-payer is the closest thing to true “socialized medicine” that we’re likely to see in this country. It’s Medicare for everyone. Koresh knows we can’t allow that!

Now we are reduced to watching Congress argue for a clusterfuck plan that they call “public option” that isn’t public option. Do you know what is in that plan? Will you be better or worse off?

The plan doesn’t kick in until 2013, after the 2012 elections so Obama can claim a policy victory when he runs for reelection. By the time people figure out they have been screwed and tattooed it will be too late.

And somewhere down the road the Democrats will be trying to retake the White House running on a campaign to reform health care.


Don’t blame the Republicans or the Blue Dogs – put the blame where it belongs – on Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership.


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Morning News Stop…All Aboard!

newspaper

Well, I’m off on vacation in a few minutes…but before I go, here are a few news stories to start the conversation.

What have you found on your daily news scoop travels?

********************************************************

Napolitano to Unveil New Antiterror Plans

Save Swine Flu Drugs for Younger Patients, Study Urges

HEALTHCARE, HEALTHCARE and more HEALTHCARE

I wish I had time to stay and chat but the taxi is ready to roll.  Catch y’all later.  I’ll blog my vacation to San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Yosemite!