Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Woes of Keith

It is a curious thing.  Someone in MSNBC HR wrote up a rule.  It basically said...if you fell into some significant category, then you couldn't donate to a political candidate unless you ran to the boss and asked for permission.  Naturally, this meant that you had to admit your political feelings and convince the boss that this wouldn't hurt the company if it ever got out in public news.

So this week, Keith Olbermann was suspended (without pay) for a period of unknown length.  Most folks suspect he'll be gone for about a week, and return.  There are some suspecting that MSNBC has a reason now that they could terminate Keith, and it's time to reflect upon some change to rebuild and get back some better numbers.  The other side of this is that Keith makes a fair amount of money, and the incoming profits aren't enough to sustain his required salary....so it'd make sense to dump him.

How many journalists from ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News donate to political candidates? It would be a curious statistitc to know.  I'm guessing seventy-five percent of the folks who make over $200k a year do it.

There's a rule over at CNBC (the finance channel folks) that if you recommend a stock....you have to admit if you own the stock or not.  So you see a little graphic pop up on the screen and know right away that the guy is being honest while he's also pepping you to buy a stock.

I suspect it's time to make all TV journalists....including the Today Show crowd on NBC....to have a similar graphic.  A journalist ought to be independent.  But this graphic should require if he donated money in the past two years to candidate....even if it was the state agricultural commissioner or the county probate judge.  The odds of this happening?  It's a funny thing....if Fox News started the practice, then the other networks would eventually be forced into the corner and do the same thing.

I'm thinking that Keith Olbermann is sitting there on the back porch of the house....with a Pabst in his hand and wondering where he went wrong.  Here he gave the money to these guys who were losers....and he gets suspended from MSNBC?  It just doesn't make sense.  Then he thinks about the future.  Would he have to go and apply for work at Fox News?  Would Bill O'Reilly accept him?  Would he have to shake hands with Beck?  Would he have to do a positive spin segment with Karl Rove?  Life.....is so unfair.

Health Care

As a federal employee....the "open season" is upon me.  This is where you can swap or change your insurance packages... particularly health care.  I spent twenty minutes at work today....gazing over the numbers.  It's fascinating to see how every single offering....almost thirty different policies....have gone up a minimum of five percent in one year.  One of them....went up 55 percent (they did modify their package drastically and lessen the deductibles, so you wouldn't want to be too harsh on them).

My policy from the past nine months?  They went up around twelve percent.

How much did I use this year?  I visited the doctor once....paying my $10, and the policy covered $480 roughly (the doctor had tried to get them to pay $750).  You have to remember....this was for a 30-minute session for mostly freezing off skin tags.  It was something that a trained nurse could have done and a total waste for a real doctor to be wasting his time on....and charging that much money.  So the $8000 that they took from me and my government organization....kinda went into a black hole (as far as I was concerned).

I don't want to sound negative, but frankly, there's something corrupted about this whole mess....if you ask me.

Sitting in the doctor's waiting room for that one visit....in those 1966 dining room chairs which he offered for his customers....I came to this moment of pondering.  Somehow, this whole thing has become a commercialized mess.  What we need....is a Wal-Mart in every town....offering some Chinese guy named Wan who has twelve pills and a cheap view of medicine.  Yes, competition.

If every single one of these health insurance packages and medical units had to really compete....they'd all get to be fairly reasonable and cheap.  We already play this game with computers made in Mexico, Maytag washers made in Mexico, and spend vacations in some one-star retreat in Costa Rica.

I realize this Wan character and his twelve pills might be a hard episode to accept, but frankly....it's probably the best solution around.  The alternate plan?  2,700 pages of text written by a bunch of dimwits in Washington....that makes life a bit more complicated.  Face it....Wan is the answer.