A Congressional Wish List

The 2014 general election is over. I assume that all of the candidates got votes of some sort, and one of them got more than the others. It doesn’t matter who beat who; what matters is that it’s over. Now it’s time to buckle down and do some work,


Here’s a kitten to get us started.

No matter who you are or what you believe, one thing is very clear. We have allowed our country to stray from the path. We’re in the woods and following wills-o-the-wisp isn’t going to get us anywhere. We need to sit down and have a serious discussion about where we are, how we got here, and how we get back to someplace we want to be. There’s no Blair Witch in these woods; the only danger we’re in is from our own stupid, so let’s just work on that, shall we?

The first stage in any discussion, debate, or negotiation is for all parties to know what they want and what they’ll settle for, so here’s my wish list for the 113th US Congress.

Fix the Affordable Healthcare Act

Honestly, I don’t care if Obamacare is “repealed, root and branch,” or not. I just know it’s broken and needs to be fixed. Provisions that should have been included were not, and there was some dumbass shit added that should be removed. Here’s my short list.

The individual mandate needs to go. I’m all for offering a tax deduction to help those who can’t afford basic insurance, but penalizing those who don’t want it is stupid. It’s also stupid to penalize those who can afford better than basic.

While we’re on the subject of basic insurance, let’s all try to agree that basic healthcare does not include any elective treatments. No boob jobs, no boner pills, and no birth control that isn’t related to the immediate health of the mother. You can buy a rider for that if you want to, but it should not be required basic service.

If we’re going to throw a big bag of money into the industry by public fiat, we have to limit who can grab the bag and how much they can grab. This shit where a single hospital stay can net a patient 30 different bills from 20 different “companies” has got to stop. There should be one bill for one procedure, and it should be fully discussed with the relevant parties before anyone starts sharpening a scalpel.

By that same token, drug companies should not be allowed to advertise prescription medication on television. If you think there’s something wrong with you, by all means, see a doctor, but there is no point at which it is okay for a drug company to convince you to harangue your doctor into prescribing their medication.

Repeal the USA Patriot Act

Seriously. Just dump that shit.

We don't know what we were thinking.

We don’t know what we were thinking.

Dissolve the Department of Homeland Security

And return the component bureaus to their original homes. INS (or whatever they’re calling it now) should be part of State. Customs should be part of Commerce. The Coast Guard is a goddamned part of our military and should be part of the DoD like the rest of our military. We don’t need a Department of Violating Every Idea On Which Our Nation Was Founded, and creating it was a bad idea in the first place. Lets dump it.

Reinstate Glass-Steagall

Or something like it. Whether Fannie Mae and the Community Reinvestment Act contributed to the crash of 2007 is open to debate. What isn’t is that it never would have happened if Glass-Steagall (the law that separated banking institutions from less reliable investment entities) hadn’t been repealed in 1996. As long as people who treat other people’s lives as a commodity are allowed access to our savings, our savings will be at risk of another catastrophe.

Enforce our Anti-Trust Laws

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (and again and again until someone finally listens) “Too big to fail is too big to exist!” There are too many industries dominated by too few companies. The thing is, they are all essential industries. Telecommunications, food production, fuel and energy production, name a national industry. Now name more than five companies in that industry. that needs to be fixed.

End “Free Trade” that isn’t Fair Trade

We have a trade deficit. More money leaves our country than comes in. Shouldn’t we seek some sort of balance?

And finally,

Fix Immigration

No, that doesn’t mean provide amnesty for the million or so illegal immigrants currently living in our country. Since 1985, we’ve done nothing but make it easier to be an illegal while making it more difficult and harrowing for people to immigrate legally. We need to end the by-region immigration quotas and replace it with a first-come policy. I also think favored-professions should go, because who the hell are we to bleed a developing nation of their best and brightest?

And we need to make the punishments for employing illegal immigrants more severe. Get caught employing undocumented labor and you shouldn’t have to pay a small fine, you should have to pay the difference between what you paid the immigrant(s) and what you would pay a legal resident. then you should submit to regular inspections to show that you learned your lesson. Because breaking the law has consequences, and one of those consequences is that you have to prove you can be trusted not to do it again.

That’s my list. You have to register to leave a comment. I’ll keep an eye out for new registrations. E-mail me at bhainley(“at” symbol)casualnotice(period)com or message me on Facebook for expedited registration.

Casual Friday–Prequels?

Yep.  Dougie is going to see Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith. The poster behind him is a clip from the banner ad for “Et-Cetera”, an amazing slice-of-life comic I was reading at the time. Sadly, as often happens with webcomics, the author of “Et-Cetera” just stopped updating one day, and it was gone.