If you're in the retail business, it's all about packaging. If you're in wholesale, it's about volume. If you're Congressman Anthony Weiner, it's about the double game of liberal packaging without the throw weight to justify the image.
I managed to get through the last few days without much information on Weiner's Tweets. etc. As I exited the corporate media's fantasy land a few days ago, I saw a clip of Weiner with a shit eating grin on his face. He was trying to act like an “adult” (i.e., a pol like Cheney who lies without blinking).
Weiner asked that people not make more out if his situation than was actually there. I thought he's lying as I left the virtual world for some pressing business. Upon my return, I saw just enough to let me know that the congressman was the subject of the much discussed underwear shot heard round the world.
What difference does it make? None, really. It's just another distraction in the nonstop series of distractions fueled by corporate media in an attempt to keep us from the more vital issues. Why are there only four million more jobs today than there were in 2000? How are citizens supposed to stay healthy, even alive, when the cost of health care is through the roof? Is there any reason for those 80,000 United States troops in Afghanistan or the 700 overseas US military installations?
Anthony Weiner and the Public Option
As much as I hate to admit it, L'Affaire Weiner explains a key event in our decline and fall as a civilized nation. During the run up to the health care "reform" vote, the eminently rational notion of a public option for health care was put forward. The idea was to have the Federal government provide an efficient health insurance alternative to make health care affordable to those who were not among the 60% covered through the self-paying plans of medium to large business and government entities. If you're not part of that 60%, you have to buy direct from health care insurance companies. The costs for a variety of premiums and deductibles can be as high as $25,000.
Congressman Weiner led a block of liberal representatives who demanded a viable public option, one that was available to a broad cross section of the public. This would have provided significant relief with substantial cuts in premiums without the private insurance gorging. This was so important that Weiner, as spokesman for the group, stated that the sixty or so would vote no on President Obama's plan, a gift to the insurance carriers.
Of course, Obama's plan didn't include a real public option.
All but one of the public option group voted in favor of the Obama plan. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was the sole exception. Kucinich held out until the bitter end then capitulated to President Obama.(Note*)
Those who buy their insurance direct, and to a somewhat lesser degree, those who get health insurance through their employers, are experiencing record cost increases. That makes perfect sense given the lack of real competition. The administration can create all the "insurance exchanges" it wants (nothing more than a web page menu system). The people will continue to pay through the nose.
Weiner acted as though he could make history with his sixty or so defenders of the people. In reality, he could only talk about it. Had he done more, they'd have talked about him.
A Weiner in Hand
Weiner's indiscretions are not unique among elected officials. There are all sorts of strange goings on in the stalls of the rest stops of power. And that's a good thing for any member of The Money Party who wants ultimate influence over their bought and paid for representative. The donors hear about the personal indiscretions of the elected and just file them away. When a big vote comes along, they can assure compliance beyond what even contributions can buy. They just remind any temporary friend of the people about "the pictures" or other evidence that's on hand and the cooperation flows.
There are a few politicians who are so stupid they don't need to be bribed. There is a much larger group where money does the trick. But if you want to really own an elected official, put your money on those with massively embarrassing flaws. Get them elected again and again. When it comes time for them to deliver on the tough votes, they will have no choice. It works every time.
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