Health Care Reform a Bad Joke, So Far

Remember those embarrassing, unfunny sketches when Bob Hope put on a wig and pretended to be a hippie? That's what the "health care advocates" looked like who testified before Congress last week and pretended to care. The Business Roundtable was there. The Chamber of Commerce was there. The insurance companies were there, naturallement. Gods help us and save us, the Heritage Foundation showed up, still wanting revenge for Hoover's defeat and Reagan's canonization, or whatever it is they do besides peeing in everyone's soup.

There was not a single witness asked to testify in favor of a single payer system,
although that seems to be what the majority of the American people-- including doctors and nurses-- want. The foxes who bought the hen house-- $512,042,660 it cost them in lobbying last year, and they own it goddamnit!-- voted in favor of fatter hens. Single payer advocates were treated as protesters, and removed from the chamber by police.
Bill Moyers' Journal has the best coverage of this I've seen, naming names and doing the math: there are thirty times more health care "administrators" than there are doctors and nurses in this country, for one instance. Drug and insurance companies profit from the current fragmentation, the fix is in so far as Congress is concerned, and the president is trying to do this without making the insurance companies mad.

Hemophilia, Comic Book Artists and Kitty Pryde

A sweet and simple fund-raiser idea: Douglas E. Sherwood of Oni Press asked a couple of dozen artists to draw his favorite X-Men character, Kitty Pryde, with the results to be auctioned on E-Bay as a fundraiser for the Oregon Hemophilia Treatment Center. I like the specificity of the idea, and that it offers something tangible-- an hour's diversion, a framed print, maybe a t-shirt-- to a relatively small pool of contributors.
Myself an O.G. X-Men reader, I'd outgrown the comic a decade before Kitty joined the team in 1980, though I came back for Grant Morrison's seven-volume run (still my favorite) and enjoyed Joss Whedon's take on the character. For me, it's all about Kitty and Lockheed, the most interesting pet/person relationship in comics. As a writer, it seems to me that Marvel is missing a bet by letting Kitty age with her readers, and not producing a series of adventures for the under twelves to be marketed to new readers, something like DC's Tiny Titans or Jeff Smith's Shazam. Call it "A Girl and Her Dragon", with the covers a parody of the "Boy and His Dog" motif. A million-dollar idea from a middle-aged man who wants to reboot Kamandi, Last Boy on Earth.