Kevin Drum from Mother Jones posted on his blog a call to boycott companies that advertise on Fox News. I’m glad to see that there is something that you and I can do to fight Fox News. Drum’s post contains a list of the top ten advertisers on Fox News.
I’ve been swamped in pessimism lately; pessimism that threatens to become cynicism. The problem is that I don’t want to be either a pessimist or a cynic, but I thought that all the evidence I was seeing or hearing about the world today suggested that pessimism was justified. Is it? Even if it is justified, would it be possible to somehow escape the clutches of pessimism?
I talked to my good friend Nick, the potter and bartender. He wisely pointed out that pessimism leads nowhere and produces nothing except despair. He helped me realize that even though intellectually I was wallowing in pessimism, I’m living as if I were an optimist – doing new things, seeking new challenges, always trying to develop my skills and educate myself.
Then, I stumbled across three things this morning.
First was Andrew Sullivan’s weekly long read in the New York magazine, “Trump’s First Year Has Been a Disaster. Here’s Why I Have Hope.” Sullivan points out that “so many . . . indicators in the world are remarkably good right now.”
In a similar vein, Kevin Drum, who blogs for Mother Jones, posted this morning: “I’m Just a Big Ol’ Optimist About the Future of America Under Donald Trump.” Kevin starts
I’ve been meaning to weigh in on the latest raft of pieces about the decline of American democracy, the decline of Western liberalism, the decline of globalism, and the decline of everything else in the era of Trump. In a nutshell, I’m far more optimistic than most of the people writing about this. Unfortunately, I haven’t really thought the whole thing through rigorously enough to make a little essay out of it.
Actually, you might consider that good news. However, I do want to lay down a few markers. Here they are:
Read both these articles for welcome counterbalance to the doom and gloom in much of today’s news. (Note that neither article is by a Trump or Republican loyalist.)
My other stumble this morning was on YouTube where I stumbled on The Artist Series, videos produced by The Art of Photography. They are each about fifteen minutes long and are interviews with outstanding photographers. I watched the one with Keith Carter. Carter talks about the death of his wife at the end of an illness. Her last words after looking out the window of their home from her death-bed were “What a Beautiful World This Is.”
After watching that video, how can one possibly remain a pessimist, much less a cynic?
I stole the title of this post from Kevin Drum who posted today [not today; I forgot to publish this on the day of Drum’s post] about theEssential Health Benefits (EHB) that the Republican health plan (ill-health plan would be a more apt term) would have taken away. Here is what he says about EHBs:
Essential Health Benefits. These are things which every health care plan is required to cover, and Obamacare spells out ten of them:
- Doctor visits
- Emergency room visits
- Hospital visits
- Prescription drugs
- Pediatric care
- Lab services
- Preventive care
- Maternity care
- Mental health care
- Rehabilitation services
The Republican health care bill is still having trouble getting enough votes to pass, so Paul Ryan is thinking about placating conservatives by repealing all of these EHBs. This means that a health insurer could literally sell you a policy that didn’t cover doctor visits, hospital visits, ER visits, your children’s health care, or prescription drugs—and still be perfectly legal.
What it means to me is that conservatives and Republicans do not want you to have any health care at all if you can’t afford it on your own. You can just die or go into bankruptcy. Who cares? You got cancer because you’re a bad person.
Check out Kevin’s blog. He is posting a storm about the farce that the Republicans are trying to foist upon us all. Hopefully, they will fail miserably [they did!!!], thus preserving the status quo that is far, far better than anything the Republicans have been able to come up with even though they’ve had at least eight years. More like 70 years if you go back to Harry Truman’s attempt to implement health care that was, of course, foiled by the Republicans.
Kevin Drum writes that the media is finally standing up to Donald Trump. I don’t disagree, but I noticed the words “lie” or “lying” never appeared in the quotes used by Drum. Drum himself describes “Trump’s tsunami of lying. . .”, but the media quotes use various euphemisms:
- misstatements and exaggerations
- stretched the facts
- falsehoods and exaggeration
- inaccuracies and overstatements
“Falsehoods” comes close but is still more passive than “lying”. I suppose the media prefer to use long words. “Lie” must be too short; it’s only three letters.
Drum concludes “the job of the press is to tell the truth. They should do it, regardless of whether it makes much difference or not.”
How can you argue with that?