Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Health-Care Circus in Beantown

While he's not the only villain in the General Court, Senate President Robert Don't-Call-Me-Bobby-Anymore Travaglini is the team coach. They have lost another big one, big time.

Now the impotent, indolent legislature is scrambling to try to save millions in federal Medicare funds by passing some, any health-care scheme. They should call the likely result health we-don't-care. Hundreds of thousands of uninsured Bay Staters were left out because Bobby's kids can stand up and act.

They have pissed off quite a few, voters, bloggers and everyone on top of the citizens they spit on again. If you'd like to get riled yourself (and you should), start with Left in Lowell, where Lynne calls for Travaglini's replacement with a real lawmaker.

Get references to all the disgusting details from Under the Golden Dome's collection.

While the thousands of citizens suffer and struggle, stumblebums under the gold leaf are not likely to quit in shame. They have been here before.

Consider the horse we here ride most often. Nearly four years ago, May 7th 2002, Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Thomas E. Connolly saw the clear conflict between the constitution and marriage laws here. Someone had to decide whether same-sex marriage would be legal. While he ruled against the Goodridge petition at that level, he stated that the legislature need to handle it...damned fast.

Bobby's kids scratched their bellies. What they did not do was act. It became clear that he and most of his Hill buddies wanted the court to decide and take any heat.

It was November 18th 2003 when the Supreme Judicial Court found the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. It gave the slugs in the garden on Beacon Street a stay of 180-days, six months, half a year, and like that "to permit the Legislature to take such action as it may deem appropriate in light of this opinion."

They basically ordered the General Court to act — finally, at long last. The best the legislators could come up with in that time was asking the Court if civil unions would be okay. No was the answer on February 4th 2004.

Then, rather than show some gumption, they stalled (after the fact of SSM) by trying a Constitutional Convention process. They chose the option that everyone hated, no marriage, but civil unions. By the time that measure came to its second and decisive vote, it was swamped and sank.

Meanwhile, thousands of same-sex couples married. Life went on. The chaos the bigots predicted never occurred.

Amusing sideline: The dumbest of the anti-gay groups still like to say that same-sex marriage is not legal in Massachusetts, because the General Court did not specifically authorize it with a law. They need to consider in a government such as a state's or the United States with separation of powers what happens through legislative inaction.

So, here we are one more time. There a dozens of such examples of our inert General Court. In case, you didn't notice, the legislators have not acted on the big issues since either.

This month, it was health care. At least they have fired up enough people that they may have to fix it soon.

What does it take to get these clowns to do their jobs?

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