Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Random thoughts with Abe

For as much as we talk on our weekly show, we still don't cover all the newsworthy issues that interest us. So in lieu of having a 4 hour weekly podcast, we will, from time to time, post links and random thoughts about the world at large on this here website.


For this week, I (Abe) will go over some topics I found interesting. It will simply be called “random thoughts with Abe”. Enjoy.



Town hall meetings over health care are taking place all over the country, and boy are they contentious. Already, there have been many protests against the democratically-led plan for health care reform. I’m sure you’ve seen the images on television by now. Politicians, home for august recess, are getting an earful from their constituents. The interesting part in all of this is the claim made by many on the left who say the protests are artificial and staged. That a bunch of people go from town hall to town hall for the sole purpose of disrupting the event and creating the impression that there’s a groundswell of opposition to this health reform. And to counter this effort on the right, the democrats are now mobilizing to get some of their people in these town hall meetings to offset some of the rhetoric. Hopefully a brawl breaks out at one of these meetings.


And speaking of town hall meetings, this whole issue of a "death panel" is about as absurd a talking point as I've heard in some time. Nowhere in the proposed legislation (which I oppose, by the way) does it saying anything about there being a panel which determines who lives and who dies. I wouldn't personally oppose such a measure for old people, mind you (it fits right in with my “phase out” plan that is still in the works). But to have people running around spewing absolute lies won't help the cause. Or maybe it will.  


The unemployment rate has finally gone down, not up. First time in a long while that the unemployment rate has gone down. It went from 9.5 to 9.4 (very minimal shift). New unemployment claims have also gone down. Are we nearing the end of the recession or is it still inevitable that we hit 10% unemployment. It will be interesting to see how the next couple of months fare with these figures. I have a sneaking suspicion that the unemployment rate will go back down some more.


With schools starting up for the fall semester, the swine flu hysteria resumes. Is there more to it than we're led on? For such a highly feared virus – at least by the scientific community – it’s not getting a lot of respect by the general public. In fact, some even suggest that there are those out there who are stirring up the hysteria in order to profit off the medicine. I, as you probably have guessed, don’t share that delusional concern, but I do find this whole swine flu “pandemic” amusing. Probably won’t be funny in two years when 2 million people have died. But for now, I’m amused. 


New York is implementing a new program to solve the homeless problem. They are giving them homes They are buying them one way plane tickets to go elsewhere. Already, they spent $1 million for 550 homeless families to go bum elsewhere. Is this a great idea, or bad idea? On one hand, you are getting rid of the eyesore that is a homeless person. Finding suitable housing, after all, won’t be an issue with them. But on the other hand, is the problem of panhandlers really that bad to where you’re going to spend millions of dollars to get rid of them? And is this really solving anything? You’re basically dumping the problem elsewhere. It kind of reminds me of that episode of “the Simpsons” where the city of Springfield, strapped for cash, agrees to take in the garbage of nearby towns to generate some revenue. The town is eventually overrun with garbage. I wonder if the city of Detroit would be interested in taking in the nation’s homeless population. They already have a head start. 




And that is all for this week. As always, feel free to post comments and direct us to any pertinent links.






  1. But Abe, there HAS been a brawl break out! I saw a clip of it last night on Nightly News! I have found it for you guys, here.
    Beyond that sweet clip of the brawl, there is another great one, where McCaskill says "trust me" and the mob says "NO!!!!!" And she says, "You don't trust me?"... And that is where the clip ended last night. I hoped with all my heart that her response was "Well, if you don't trust me, then don't re-elect me, because when I was elected enough people in Missouri did trust me to elect me." That would have been amazing.

    What is very interesting is how calm all the members are staying when constituents are essentially yelling in their face! It blows my mind. Seriously though, watch the McCaskill clips.

    Also, I agree on the swine flu thing. I don't think I'll get vaccinated, because it probably wont be an issue. But then again, maybe I'll be part of the 2million who die.

    Har har.

  2. Yeah, I actually saw that clip. I was thinking more of a prison style melée, with shanks and stuff. This was more mellow and not as physical. There was this guy who brought his legally purchased gun to the presidential town hall meeting. was on Chris Matthews' MSNBC show. Another guy was there, also with a gun, but no license. He was arrested.

    "You don't trust me?" is rivaling "keep your goddamned government hands off my medicare!" for best quote from the last two weeks.

    Costa Rican president is reported to have the swine flu. First head of state. I wonder how much people will freak out if he were to die.

  3. Just a little bit of rebuttal, from the Bob half of the show...

    1. The town hall meetings have been terrific. Politicians mostly scared out of their minds, it would seem to me. Only a scared bunch of people would claim that any opposition is strictly manufactured, and not the result of the ruling class' failure to address their constituent's concerns.

    2. The death panel nonsense is just that, mostly. Essentially, such death panels exist already in the form of the rationing of care by insurance companies based on nothing more than financial concerns--something the "public option" would no doubt have to embrace, as well.

    3. Unemployment going down a tick is a fluke, a result of a bunch of people giving up. It will rise again, peak around 10.5, i'd say.

    4. The swine flu is manufactured hysteria. There will be a pandemic. I will not get the vaccine. An unusual number of vaccinated people will die from the swine flu.

    5. Change? Spare some change?