Give ‘Em Hell, Henry!

He’s been a hero of mine for more than thirty years.  A short little guy who I’m pretty sure was bald in high school.  But over the years I’ve watched him fight.  He’s fought tirelessly for a cleaner environment, a safer world, and for all kinds of tools, programs and systems to help improve the health of Americans.

I’m speaking of course of Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), past and future Chairman, currently Ranking Minority Member (head Democrat) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) (Roll Call photo credit)

Energy and Commerce isn’t just any crummy old Committee.  Nope.  E&C has jurisdiction over a zillion things that touch our lives.  Energy (fossil fuels, wind, solar, alternatives), environmental issues (Clean water, clean air, pollution controls on cars and trucks), interstate commerce, the internets (Al Gore was on E&C when he really was instrumental in the start of what became the World Wide Web.  So he is actually the father of all blogs, too — thanks Al).  E&C is a seriously powerful committee.  And when I was a young professional, well, I was an Energy and Commerce Committee groupie.  More about that some other time.

Early on, Henry became my hero.  And not just because he is incredibly funny.  He’s also incredibly smart and quite crafty.  Isn’t it nice to know that sometimes heroes just keep on keepin’ on?  Henry?  Congressman Waxman?  Yup.  He’s like that.  He’s still my hero.  He doesn’t disappoint.

You see, today I read that he, along with Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee, released a treasure trove of information to help Americans sort stuff out for November’s election.  But it’s simple, clear, and easy to use.  That is especially helpful, don’t you think?  You’ve got to admit that all of these Medicare/Social Security/Vaginal issues are getting confusing.

But now, now thanks to Henry, now we can sort out just what the Ryan plan will mean closer to home.  Because they just released a compilation of what the Ryan Plan will mean in each and every congressional district in the United States.  These were put together by an assortment of independent, government and academic thinkers who have analyzed the Paul Ryan Medicare Changes to see what it will mean to you and me.  Yup, everybody can now see just exactly what GOP Candidate for Vice President Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan will mean to them and the people in their own little congressional districts.  As in right here at home.

The Paul Ryan Medicare Plan; How will it affect your district?

So go ahead.  Check it out.  Click on it.  It took me forever to figure out how to do that, too.  Humor me.  What would these changes mean in your district? In your life?

My thanks to Joan McCarter of for her post (


Filed under Campaigning, Criminal Activity, Health and Medicine, Hypocrisy, Law, Politics, Stupidity, Taxes, Voting

36 responses to “Give ‘Em Hell, Henry!

  1. wow… love this… but I now realize that you are way too smart for me… sigh…


  2. Reblogged this on FiftyFourandAHalf and commented:

    Henry Waxman announced his retirement today. I wish him well in retirement.
    But with his departure, the country loses a tireless advocate for public health and the environment.


  3. GOF

    I don’t follow the politics in your country (or anywhere else) very closely, but I think what Australia needs is a hero….a real statesman (or woman) to actually lead from the front. It’s a long time since we had someone who wasn’t just a puppet of the faceless unelected men (yep, still mostly men) running the political parties.
    I’m enjoying reading your political analyses in the other posts too.


    • Thanks, GOF. I worry about sending my foreign friends heading for the hills with my frequent political pieces. Glad to hear you’re not in that pack!

      I think that we all need some folks like Henry Waxman. People who stand up for what they believe in and do what they can to make it happen. There are far too many sheep in politics. Or in the U.S., there are far too many folks who are in government to “shrink government.” Oh dear.


  4. You went to a lot of trouble here. Thank you but I believe the medicare hatchets are not going to fall. Thinking people everywhere are watching the GOP commit to destroying this country. I just sent some green to help stomp on them!


    • Thanks, June. I hope not. If people really know what the GOP wants to do to Medicare the GOP will lose the House and not take the White House. But they have so very much money with which to spread their lies. So here’s hoping!


  5. You put up the best political porn!
    I think except for one or two instances, I’ve always liked Waxman’s work.


    • Nobody’s perfect. I disagree with some of Waxman’s positions on drugs, but, like you, I agree with him most of the time. And he is a most entertaining guy to watch! But political porn? Hmmmm. What will my husband think?!


  6. Moe

    Always liked Waxman too Elyse. (Did you ever hear Limbaugh make fun of Waxman’s looks? I love it when a morbidly obese college drop out feels superior to a modest hard working public servant.) Waxman is all about the business of governing – never saw a bit of ego there. He does’t posture in front of cameras. He just works away at his job. Love that!

    By the way, re Ryan – did you know that he was a co-sponsor with Rep Todd Aiken (‘legitimate rape’) on a harsh house anti abortion bill that used almost the same language? It was ‘forced rape’ – the word ‘rape’ was, I guess, altoogether too inclusive for these Christianists.


  7. That bald little super hero! And you, Elyse, You are a super hero, too–although boldness, not baldness is your super-power! You’re awesome. Information is power and I feel way more powerful now than I did ten minutes ago. 🙂


  8. John Erickson

    So what does the GOP plan do for us, out here in the wilderness where people aren’t really comfortable with “that MAN” in the White House?
    Well, pour yourself some vodka and orange juice. Then drop the juice, and the word “driver” from the drink’s name. 😉


    • I don’t think it benefits anybody except the insurance companies, actually. Nobody. As you so accurately and in such a humorously round-about way said!


  9. Thank for the info! Well written, too.


  10. I don’t think the Romney/Ryan ticket will get the vote to damage healthcare. It’s really mind boggling why people are against a national healthcare system or that medicare is threatened at every election. We need some everyday folks representing us who are in touch with the majority. Henry sounds like good folk to me, so I say give’em hell too.

    And thank you for sharing the map.


  11. I shared this on my Facebook page, which has been bombarded with confusing information on this subject. This is great and you’re right easy to understand!! No doubt he was bald in high school either, most likely mistaken for a teacher.


    • Thanks Tops — the idea really is to share this one. If I can figure out how to do it I am going to put it on my sidebar. (That is a big if however.)

      Poor Henry! I don’t always agree with him, but I have an incredible amount of respect for him!


  12. And it all goes downhill from here doesn’t it. Yet there are people who continue to chomp at the bit for November to arrive so they can pull that lever for the R&r ticket.

    What in the hell is wrong with this nation, what in the hell is wrong with these people.


    • Maybe if we could figure out what the hell is wrong with these people you and I too could have $100 million 401(k) plans! Let’s!

      More seriously, I think this map is helpful. I think every candidate on the DemocratIC (hate when they call it the DemocraT party) Party should use excerpts from this document whenever possible. If people read it, they might think for a change instead of deciding for whom to vote based on who they’d most like to have a beer with.

      Then again, I’d much rather have a beer with Obama than with that creep Romney. And Ryan? Well, I can only stand so much sanctimony.


      • I think the amazing part of the R&R ticket is Ryan collected survivor benefits to go to college now doesn’t want anyone else to benefit. Romney wants to point at Obama as having no ‘private’ experience but wants to put Ryan on the ticket and one breath away from the Presidency, who has never had a job in his f’ng life.

        I think he picked Ryan because he could use the Rolls Royce symbol.

        The hypocritical slime that drips from them is enough to make me ill. The maps though are great!!


        • Funny you should mention the Rs. There are a million huge Romney signs around here, and the R is actually three Rs (Red, White and Blue). My son thought it looks like folks watching, my husband thought it looks like the Alfred Hitchcock silhouette.

          I may have to steal your idea down the line. The Rolls Royce Candidate! That could be hilarious!

          And I love those maps — and the simple explanations that you can get from them. Every Democratic candidate should use them.


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