The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to everyone in western Illinois.
Here's wishing everyone a "Happy New Year". This obviously is the last Barnyard column for 2009.
The weatherman called for one to three inches of snow this past weekend for our area.
At the same time, I read this winter will be dryer and warmer than the average winter.
I was pleased to read that prediction and discomforted by the fact that a prediction of 1 to 3 inches is somewhat precarious in that someone forgot to tell "Mother Nature" what she was supposed to do.
It seems she had her mind made up to stall the system, as it moved thru our area, and dump a whole lot more snow on us than the weatherman allowed.
Some lay claim it was stalled out to allow time for "Santa" to finish his late deliveries. You don't believe in "Santa", you say. I suppose the next thing you'll say is you believe in "Global warming" caused by mankind, no new taxes from the new proposed health bill, and the basic honesty of our politicians.
Well, I might have agreed with those fantasy believers last week but that was before Cornelius Farkward showed up this weekend during the snowstorm, to "enlighten" me.
First thing he tells me is former Governor Rod Blagoviech doesn't look so guilty after all. By Cornelius' estimation the only thing the governor did, good or bad, to get him impeached, was to offer for sale, President Obama's former senate seat to now Senator Burris, too cheaply.
Senator Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, and supposedly staunch pro-lifer, gave the final deciding Democrat vote after he "secured favors for his home state". That's what it's ultimately all about: securing favors, and money, so you can be reelected.
Even a politician's stand on a moral issue like abortion can be compromised for the right deal. "What a sham this whole process has become," Cornelius boldly proclaims.
"It's all about money-from Rod Blagoveich right down to all the politicians in Washington, ie selling unborn babies lives for dollars and reelection goals".
To win 60 Democrat votes, the following, behind closed doors last minute give always, were performed for their states Democratic senators.
Connecticut-$100 million for the University of Connecticut Medical Center; Florida-Grandfather clause that exempts Florida residents from losing Medicare Advantage benefits. Cost: $3 billion to $5 billion; Louisiana-$300 million in medical subsidies; Massachusetts, Vermont - $500 million and $600 million, respectively, in higher Medicaid reimbursements; Michigan-exemption from the insurance fee for Michigan Blue Cross/Blue Shield; Michigan, Connecticut-higher reimbursements for certain of those states hospitals under Medicare; Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming-higher Medicare payments to "frontier" hospitals and doctors; Montana-Medicare coverage for individuals exposed to environmental health hazards in or around libby, an asbestos superfund site; Vermont-$20 million for community health-care centers; and Nebraska-exemption from the insurance fee for Nebraska Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Mutual of Omaha; and 100% federal payment for new Medicaid coverage, at a cost of $100 million.
So much for Obama's pre-election pledge of openness and no back room closed door deals.
In fact, Harry Reid, the senate majority leader, boldly stated, "I don't know if there is a Democrat senator that doesn't have something in this bill that was important to them". According to Reid-that's how politics works. One wonders what Illinois' two Democrat senators received, based on that statement.
"Adding insult to injury the 60 double dealing Democrat senators rejected an amendment that would have required the elected officials and staff in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government to get their insurance through the exchanges that are created in the health bill."
"Behind closed doors Senate Majority Leader Reid, the leadership and staff carved themselves out from having to live under the new health exchanges that this legislation would create and impose on the rest of the country.
This, by Cornelius estimation, "creates a double standard that's inexcusable". Somehow, it is supposed, this can all be blamed on Bush, as Obama is fond of doing.
Cornelius then sums up his argument that by the admission of the Senator Majority leader of the U.S. Senate deal making, such as Rod Blagoveich is accused of, is common place in Washington. Therefore he either must go scot free or sentence be passed on those politicians in Washington that voted for themselves their Christmas Eve Santa Claus package on getting reelected via the health bill vote.
Very interesting logic, I tells Cornelius. So you mind if'n I dwell on your statements and fact findings for the rest of this year and report back to you in 2010. In the meantime, I've got snow to shovel, year end trips to relatives, neighbors, and friends to visit, and corn/soybeans to sell.
Maybe that time commitment and faulty long tern memory provides a preoccupation that allows the politicians to perform their dirty tricks. We'll see come the next election-or so Cornelius says.
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya Later