Monday, August 31, 2009
Barrett projects the idea that an "adult" would be in charge, not an ideologue pushing sales tax holidays.
Wrong. Not only are private schools misleading everyone on per student costs, but it would be one hell of a surprise to many when they find out how much the price of education would go up once vouchers are adopted state wide. The Washington Post has the shocking new revelations:
Private schools without religious affiliation spend almost twice as much per student as their public and Catholic counterparts and
more than double that of other Christian schools nationwide, according to a new study.
According to Education Department data, although it is not surprising that some private schools spend more per student than public and faith-based schools, just how much more has not previously been documented. "There are a lot of urban legends that drive the policy discussions," said Bruce D. Baker, a professor at Rutgers University and the author of the study. He said that private schools tend to be costlier than the commonly accepted figures in policy debates, especially conversations about school vouchers.
The secular (non-religious) private schools analyzed in the study spent $20,100 on each student in the 2007-08 school year vs. $10,100 in public schools. Nonparochial Catholic schools tended to spend roughly the same as public schools. (Parochial schools were not included in the study because their tax data are not publicly available and because their finances are so tied to those of the Catholic Church.) Members of two of the largest associations of Christian schools spent $7,100 -- several thousand dollars less per student than their public peers.
Per-student spending in the Washington region's public schools ranged from $10,400 to $19,300 that year, according to a Washington Area Boards of Education report. The gap between what students pay in tuition at private schools and what their education actually costs can be wide. Some of the area's top private schools spent thousands of dollars more per student than what they charged for tuition.
At Maret School, for example, high school tuition was $26,820 for the 2007-08 school year. That year, the school spent $32,359 per student. At Potomac School in McLean, the gap was even larger, with tuition at $25,890 and spending at $35,665. Potomac School Head Geoffrey Jones said the gap was a conscious decision to keep the school affordable for a wider range of families. The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington also spends more on its students than it charges ... The study's findings suggest that religious schools are the ones most likely to be accessible to students receiving school vouchers, which typically credit students far less than $10,000 per year for private schools.
The D.C. voucher program, for example, awards eligible students up to $7,500 toward the cost of private education. But average high school tuition last year at member schools of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington was $24,700. Tuition at Archbishop Carroll High School in the District, a parochial school run by the Archdiocese of Washington where many students receive vouchers, is $9,250 this year.
All of these schools offer financial aid, and students who receive vouchers to attend some of the more expensive private schools in the Washington area often receive additional assistance from the schools themselves. But Baker, the study's author, said that the gap between tuition and actual expenses raises questions about how much voucher programs can expand.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wow, we're living in a world where everybody ought to doe the right thing. I didn't know.
Deseret News: While all people should be treated with respect, gay and lesbian Utahns do not need legal protection against discrimination, Gov. Gary Herbert said. Herbert stopped short of condemning Salt Lake City's proposed anti-discrimination ordinance, but said a fair-housing and employment law for the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community would unnecessarily create a new "protected class." "Where do you stop? That's the problem going down that slippery road. Pretty soon we're going to have a special law for blue-eyed blondes," Herbert said.
Equality Utah saw the bills of its Common Ground Initiative, which would have provided fair housing, employment and hospital visitation rights to the state's gay community, die in legislative committees earlier this year ... at least one state lawmaker has said he would work to quash the ordinance should it be approved. "We've never done what they're asking," said Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, "nor have I seen any evidence that it needs to be done."
On Thursday, Herbert said he had not read the ordinance. Still, Herbert said he worried about the economic impact of creating a new "protected class." Business could be hurt if a new group of employees could stop their bosses from firing them, he said.
"That makes it difficult for employers to actually conduct their business," Herbert said, warning it would be a "significant problem within our business community.
"We don't have to have a rule for everybody to do the right thing. We ought to just do the right thing because it's the right thing to do and we don't have to have a law that punishes us if we don't."
Wisconsin State Journal: "January 12, 2006-State Rep. Mike Huebsch says One issue the state needs to address is health care, and one of the biggest problems is government involvement.“We promised ourselves more then we can afford,” he said. Medicare and Medicaid are great services, but the programs promise too many services and benefits, Huebsch said."
Feb. 3, 2007 AP: "President Bush warned ... programs like Medicare and Social Security (have to be) changed ... $70 billion in cuts to these programs ... White House budget director Rob Portman said that Bush's plan will result in a budget surplus in 2012. That's assuming strong growth in tax revenues (and) continued cuts to ... Medicare and the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled. President Bush proposes to curb payments to health care providers, such as hospitals."
Sorry, Unsourced: April 6, 2005 : "The Bush administration has told states that they cannot steer Medicare beneficiaries to any specific prescription drug plan, even if state officials find plans that would provide the best deals for elderly people with low-incomes.
The federal advisory commission, appointed by Tommy Thompson, said states should be allowed ... " But the Bush administration rejected that recommendation saying putting low-income people in a better low cost preferred plans would violate a persons freedom of choice and undermining competition among private insurers."
It appears fiscal Republican believe their "freedoms," the same argument you're hearing today, will be lost if American's are allowed the "freedom" to save money in low cost plans. Bottom line: It isn't about saving American's money, it's about "free market" profits. And they said it had nothing to do with ideology.
The Trojan Horse by Paul Krugman, 11/14/2003
"A Congressional conference is now trying to agree on prescription drug legislation ... That makes a prescription drug bill a perfect vehicle for smuggling in provisions that sound as if they have something to do with improving Medicare, yet are actually designed to undermine it.. another proposal (in the legislation) — to force Medicare to compete with private insurers — seems intended to undermine the whole system. This proposal goes under the name of "premium support." Medicare would no longer cover whatever medical costs an individual faced; instead, retirees would receive a lump sum to buy private insurance. (Those who opted to remain with the traditional system would have to pay extra premiums.)"
AP: Cecile Sangiamo liked her health insurance - until she needed to use it. The 72-year-old resident had been on the federally subsidized, privately run Medicare Advantage policy through WellCare Inc. for about three years when she started having pain that made it hard to walk. Her doctor's referral to an orthopedic specialist was denied by the insurer. Her out-of-pocket costs were higher than she was initially told. And when Sangiamo needed surgery, she said, WellCare offered some unexpected medical advice. "Take pills and use a walker."
Profits at the insurers offering Medicare Advantage have far outpaced expectations, and their expenses to treat clients have been far lower than projected. Advantage has been criticized as an example of a broken system that costs too much, confuses enrollees and suffers from a lack of oversight.
Government payouts for Advantage of $111 billion a year and, on average, 14 percent more per patient than traditional Medicare ... Participants have been denied visits to specialists, rehabilitation to help them walk again and countless other services they'd be entitled to under traditional Medicare. "Every decision is based on not what's right for the patient, but what's right for the bottom line," said Dr. Michael Sedrish, who coordinates HMO payments for Medisys Health Network, which runs three New York City hospitals.
In 2003, the government added lucrative subsidies for insurers, now totaling more than $15 billion a year.
Where were the objections from seniors back then? Why couldn't the Democrats get the same kind of angry reaction from seniors to the real threat to Medicare, at a time when the Repubicans were attempting to dismantle it?
Friday, August 28, 2009
It's also true the Republican agenda has been to demonize "we the people," the government, since Ronald Reagan made it part of his ideological platform in the 1980's. Show a conservative friend this video, which states in the most simplistic way, the truth behind the myths.
"With five different versions of a health care bill in Congress, Ray Suarez examines the effort to separate fact from fiction in the national debate over a reform plan."
Rep. Paul Ryan Town Halls Get Away with Throwing Protester out and Silencing Dissent. No Media Outrage
WISN: Police are on alert after a threat is made over a local town hall meeting on health care reform.
Jsonline: A member of Community for Change, a local group of former Obama campaign volunteers, complained that one of its members had been vilified for trying to get reform supporters to pack Ryan's town hall meetings.
Ryan said the group's plan to "overwhelm" the meetings -revealed in an e-mail that found its way into Ryan's hands and onto the Web - had threatened the notion of civil discourse. The group said it had only intended to have its volunteers ask questions at Ryan's meetings.
Officers said an Internet blogger made the threat over a Thursday meeting organized by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville. IBEW Local 430 is allegedly the target of an internet blogger who promised to disrupt the meeting by going after union members
Todaystmj4: A protester disrupted the meeting by grabbing a microphone and claiming health care would have had more funding if Congressman Ryan hadn’t voted for the war in Iraq.
As the protester shouted his question, Ryan asked a police officer to remove him. The man walked out with a police escort.
Journal Times: Kurt Kromm, a Kenosha resident who was with his 8-month-old granddaughter, Payton, took the day off from his job at Case in Racine to attend the event in Sturtevant. The event was "an embarrassing performance," Kromm said.
He didn't get to ask any questions. However, Ryan admonished him more than once for interrupting and talking over him and at least one member of the audience during the 45-minute session.
"These are just pro-Ryan rallies. Nothing substantive got discussed today. I was here because I was hoping we'd have a
substantive debate," said Kromm
The Same Ultra Conservative, Anti-Abortion Bishops Oppose Health Care Reform To Protect Private Market. That's Social Justice?
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has been lobbying for three decades for the federal government to provide universal health insurance, especially for the poor. Now ... a growing number of bishops are speaking out against it ... like Cardinal Justin Rigali, head of the bishops’ anti-abortion efforts, (who) concluded that Democrats’ efforts to carve out abortion coverage are so inadequate that lawmakers should block the entire effort. Others, echoing the popular alarms about “rationing,” contend that the proposals could put a premium on efficacy that could penalize the chronically ill. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver agreed, saying the proposal was “not only imprudent; it’s also dangerous.”Any of the arguments sound familiar? Remember this one:
The (big) debate over whether conscientious Catholics could vote for Mr. Obama despite his support for abortion rights, whether he should be invited to speak at Notre Dame, or whether Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, like Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., should present themselves for Communion.Pretty much sounds like the same conservative Bishop voices. But that's not the general consensus:
This really is the bottom line for the more "conservative" Bishops who appear so concerned about abortion:
As recently as July 17, a letter to Mr. Obama and Congress from Bishop William F. Murphy, chairman of the bishops’ domestic
justice, appeared eager to back the Democrats’ effort. “Health care is not just another issue for the Church or for a healthy society,” he wrote. “It is a fundamental issue of human life and dignity.”
Rev. Douglas Clark of Savannah, Ga., arguing that the country now rationed “health care on the basis of wealth.” Father Clark cited an encyclical last month from Pope Benedict XVI about the evils of global economic inequality. Catholic Charities and the Catholic Health Association endorsed the president’s plan without reservation.
“The Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care,” Bishop Nickless of Sioux City wrote, adding, “Any legislation that undermines the vitality of the private sector is suspect.”
Just another day in Beck's Bizarro World. If it wasn't so dangerous, this stuff could be the funniest thing on TV. His ratings reflect the audiences tendency to watch a train wreck.
This is all part of the GOP assassination agenda (search this blog for more). Do ya think Glenn might be suggesting anything in the clip below?
According to Think Progress: On Tuesday, Rex Rammell — a Republican candidate for governor in Idaho — joked to an audience that he’d like to hunt President Obama. The AP reports that it came up when conversation turned to Idaho’s “planned wolf hunt, for which hunters must purchase an $11.50 wolf tag.” Rammell remarked to an audience member that he’d like to purchase an Obama tag:
When an audience member shouted about “Obama tags,” Rammell responded, “The Obama tags? We’d buy some of those.”
AmericaBlog’s Joe Sudbay writes, “It’s not a joke. It’s not funny.
In Hannity's America, another "radical connection that keeps leading back to the President."
Michael Steele's management of the RNC if a fine example of Republican governance. In these desperate times, Steele and his party know no bounds when it comes to lying and fear mongering. Watch the big lie from Steele regarding no one in Congress spreading fear, then his own survey question to constituents:
"It has been suggested that the government could use voter registration to determine a persons political affiliation, prompting fears the GOP might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat imposed health care rationing system. Does this possibly concern you?"
Are you concerned? It's impossible to imagine anything more outrageous, but I'm sure they'll come up with something. Just a thought, what happens when we have a Republican president and Congress? Will they discriminate against Democrats?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
And it won't be pretty. MSNBC's Chris Matthews lays bare the issue of armed protesters with Politico's Jonathan Martin and the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut.
Steele debating Himself, He's for Medicare Then Against it Fr Sen. Tom Coburn says if you Need Health Care Help, Ask a Neighbour.
And finally a word from columnist Connie Schultz, of the Plain Dealer, wife of Sen. Sherrod Brown, about Coburn and the armed protesters showing up at town hall meetings.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
As a country, open and concealed carry laws have turned a page, starting a new chapter that reflects a third world vision of armed civilians and a cowering public, afraid to question our untrained gun toting authoritarians. What’s next, local war lords keeping the peace?
When I confronted a blogger about the inflammatory rhetoric and open admission that people might will be intimidated by those wearing loaded guns, he replied “I will accept that description.”
These individuals know what they're up to. They understand their power. They're attracted to power and dominance. It's there time.
But conservative David Frum recently wrote:
Nobody has been hurt so far. We can all hope that nobody will be. But firearms and politics never mix well. They mix especially badly with a third ingredient: the increasingly angry tone of incitement being heard from right-of-center broadcasters.This is the insane trajectory of American society. What we know as "normal" now, tens of thousands of gun deaths a year, will look like an episode of Teletubbies in retrospect.
The Nazi comparisons from Rush Limbaugh; broadcaster Mark Levin asserting that President Obama is "literally at war with the American people"; former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin claiming that the president was planning "death panels" to extirpate the aged and disabled; the charges that the president is a fascist, a socialist, a Marxist, an illegitimate Kenyan fraud, that he "harbors a deep resentment of America," that he feels a "deep-seated hatred of white people," that his government is preparing concentration camps, that it is operating snitch lines, that it is planning to wipe away American liberties": All this hysterical and provocative talk invites, incites, and prepares a prefabricated justification for violence.
And indeed some conservative broadcasters are lovingly anticipating just such an outcome.
David Sirota thinks that political events should be firearm-free like stadiums and schools. He has found a way to blame Republicans as threatening the rest of ‘us’ when legally wearing sidearms as they protest government policies. Well, that is what the Second Amendment is about isn’t it? The First Amendment refers to limitations upon Congress to establish certain types of laws and says that people have a right to peacefully assemble. Nothing about fear.Well then fear is okay? This was my response:
Conservatives had a fit, arrested and ejected liberals wearing political t-shirts at Bush rallies, but bringing guns to Obama rallies is just fine. Got it. You don’t feel a little hypocritical? Where were you protesting those ejections. No where because, hell, you’re a real American. Now that we’re past the t-shirt outrage, liberal gun advocates will certainly want to bring firearms to Republican events as well. One other thing; how free is your speech when you’re talking to an armed and loaded anti-government hot head like we’ve seen at recent town halls? I have a feeling the hot head will win everytime. So much for our First Amendment rights.
Now for a few observations from comments in quotes.
"I agree with Jill's caution ... we should be cautious around people with weapons."
What a way to have a debate, heated or otherwise.
"The police need to size up those who have weapons and use their best judgment as to the threat this person may be. We don't need more laws prohibiting firearms, we need a discerning public and police force to know threats when they see them and to take effective action to prevent harm."
What the hell kind of life is that?
"Sort of like how people protesting everything Bush did were speaking truth to power but those who don't agree with HR 3200 are angry dangerous mobs."
"T-shirts or guns--it's all the same"
"There is a difference between peacefully carrying a visible holstered gun and aggressively flaunting it. It's rather like the difference between the gay couples who marched to the State Capitol last Fall"
Yea, carry a loaded weapon, intimidating everyone else who doesn't, and gay couples in a parade somehow relate to each other. This whole open carry thread is enough of a warning to take cover, stay in your homes and give our streets up to the gun toting authoritarians who never grew up enough to put their toys down.
And finally, this frightening response from a gun crazy bully. You made my case fella.
"You would likely be afraid of the hothead even if he has nothing in his hands ... They can prevent your free speech any way they can get away with it as long as they don't pose a danger. And if you are afraid of a holstered weapon simply because a man has one then you are easily intimidated and you should spend more time around men who openly carry where permitted by law."
A little advice; spend some time around women. Another example of authoritarian conservative thuggery.
Monday, August 24, 2009
AP —The six principles by the Republican National Committee include protecting Medicare, prohibiting rationing of health care based on age and making sure government doesn't get between seniors and their doctors.None of the six principles relate to actual real world issues.
According to Steele, "Under the Democrats' plan, senior citizens will pay a steeper price and will have their treatment options reduced or rationed." The GOP principles also include preventing government from "interfering with end-of-life care discussions."Again, it's that crazy voluntary "death panel" counseling session about living wills being paid for by Medicare instead of a low income senior.
Are they trying to drive us all ass bat crazy. Here's a recent MSNBC look at the RNC's "bill o' rights" and Howard Dean's take on it.
SurveyUSA poll of 1,200 adults released on Thursday: In any health care proposal, how important do you feel it is to give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance?
58% Extremely important19% Quite important7% Not that important15% Not at all important
(Extremely + Quite = 77%)
Do you have a health plan, that is, are you covered by a private health insurance plan or by a government program such as Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare?
85% Yes13% No
Public Policy Polling, August 14-17 909 adults
Do you think the government should stay out of Medicare?
39% -- Yes (45% of those older than 65; 59% of self identified conservatives and 62% of McCain voters and self-identified Republicans) 46% -- No 15% -- Not Sure
Rasmussen Reports August 17-18, 2009
Just 34% of voters nationwide support the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats if the so-called “public option” is removed. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 57% oppose the plan if it doesn't include a government-run health insurance plan to compete with private insurers...
...suppose that the public option is dropped from the plan. Would you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the Congressional health care reform bill without a public option? 9% Strongly support 25% Somewhat support 30% Somewhat oppose 27% Strongly oppose 9% Not sure
Marist College Poll. Aug. 3-6, 2009
Do you think the current health care system in this country needs major changes, minor changes, or no changes at all?
Major Changes 65%Minor Changes 29%No Changes 6%
CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. July 31-Aug. 3, 2009
Do you think it is or is not necessary to make major structural changes in the nation's health care system in order to make sure that all Americans have health insurance?
Necessary -- 77% Not necessary -- 21% Unsure -- 1%
Time Poll conducted by Abt SRBI. July 27-28, 2009
How would you rate the health care system in the United States?
Excellent --11 %Good -- 28%Fair -- 26%Poor -- 22%
Would you favor or oppose a health care bill that provides for coverage for for almost all Americans, even if the government needs to subsidize health care for those who can’t afford it?
Favor 63%Oppose 31%Unsure 6%
Would you favor or oppose a health care bill that creates a national single-payer plan similar to Medicare for all, in which the government would provide health care insurance to all Americans?
Favor 49%Oppose 46%Unsure 5%
Would you favor or oppose a health care bill that creates a government-sponsored public health insurance option to compete with private health insurance plans?
Favor 56%Oppose 36%Unsure 8%
Sunday, August 23, 2009
In this perfect example, Joe Scarborough really did try to understand the steady and convincing debate offered up by Rep Anthony Weiner, but still didn't get it. Years of free market babble appears to have blocked the ability to grasp the idea that maybe insurance companies don't need to be involved in health care. As clear as Weiner was, removing capitalism's profit motive just does not compute.
WEINER: The problem that we have here is that we’re trying to…rig this system so that insurance companies continue to make healthy profits. Why? …Insurance companies take about $230 billion a year out of the system in profits and overhead. The real question is why we have a private plan?
SCARBOROUGH: Now you’re sounding like you want the government to take over. You say ‘why do we have insurance companies in the health care business because…we believe in free enterprise.
WEINER:...What is the value? What are they providing? … Forty percent of all Americans get their health care from a single-payer, government-funded, government-administered plan. Medicare…Department of Veteran’s Affairs…So they have a pretty good experience of a low overhead thing…I’m not here to advocate for the profits of insurance companies, I’m here to advocate for health care.
SCARBOROUGH:...Well, it sounds like you think there is no need for us to have private insurance….
WEINER: I’ve asked you three times: What is their value? What are they bring to the deal?
SCARBOROUGH: …I’m astounded by your question because your question is suggesting that there is no need to have a country that is run on free market principles. …
WEINER: But this isn’t a commodity, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: You think that health care is different….
WEINER: What are health insurance plans doing to produce health care? Just tell me.
SCABOROUGH: I don’t even understand the question, other than it’s you trying to make the point that we don’t need private industry involved in health care at all. You are advocating a complete takeover…
WEINER: When you say “takeover,” only as much as the federal government took over health care for seniors 44 years ago.
SCARBOROUGH: But you want to expand that for all Americans…
WEINER: …So they get a 4% overhead, they get efficient reimbursement, there’s no profits being taken by the insurance companies
SCARBOROUGH: Your position is what is scaring a lot of Americans…Those people who are showing up, who say the federal government wants to take over health care. Those people are scared of your position.
It's not okay for healthy down on their luck people to live on food stamps, use section 8 vouchers and be on welfare. They're wrong to be freeloading off those who are responsible enough to have jobs and bring in a paycheck. Freeloading in this case is bad.
People should be free to smoke anywhere they want to, and higher taxes only penalize the poor smoker.
Yet people who smoke and don't take care of themselves are making our health care costs rise to new heights. If we only got people to live healthier lives, and stop smoking, we could bring down costs.
How can they miss the contradictions?
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Just like health care reform protester complaints that government can't do anything right, brought about by a successful effort by anti-government Republicans who continue to blow things up, Priebus intends to use their mess against the Democratic candidates for governor. Take it away Barney...
With a name like Reince Priebus, was he sent here planet Priebus, to teach us how common sense and logic is simply a thing of the past? He's more than that. Besides being the Republican Party Chair of Wisconsin:
He's General Counsel of the Republican National Committee.
He's with the law firm Michael Best and Friedrich: recognized as the “Best Law Firm” in Wisconsin, according to readers of Corporate Report Wisconsin. More than 2,600 business leaders statewide cast their votes in this annual survey for the top businesses in Wisconsin. Priebus handles all aspects of corporate litigation, focusing on construction, including litigation arising from catastrophic underground propane and gas tank explosions; trust and estates; and government law.
Another words, he's a TRIAL LAWYER. Didn't you know, they're only bad if they defend citizens from corporate atrocities.
Believe it or not, Priebus is an Advisory Board Member, CareNet Crisis Pregnancy Center of Kenosha. God help them.
WPT's Here and Now, with Frederica Freyberg, couldn't find a more negative Debbie Downer for the highly successful "Cash for Clunkers" program ending this Monday.
Debra "Downer" Mitchell sees possible problems waiting in the wings after the program ends, like:
1. Buyers that are gone for good, or at least 5 or so years.
2. The possible "slump" that is on the way.
3. It will lead to a bad hangover for consumer confidence.
4. Even though people will see a 61% increase in fuel efficiency savings, up to $1000 a year, they might start driving more.
5. People might buy even more fuel efficient cars increasing driving time and pollution.
6. The poor salvage yard owners will be stocked up with parts and junk cars for recycling.
Velleco Advocates Armed Audiences around Presidential Town Halls. Still think these Guys aren't Crazy?
MSNBC's Chris Matthews probes the sick paranoid mind of John Velleco of Gun Owners of America. Velleco believes, absolutely, president Obama would be just fine in an auditorium filled with gun toting citizens. Even semi-automatic rifles. Velleco believes the majority of people think like him and are fine with concealed weapons at presidential town hall meetings. Do you think like John Velleco?
When Matthews states he would like to know there are no guns on a city subway or in a movie theatre; he wouldn't mind if a cop stops someone on a city street if they had a gun, Velleco urgently observes, "Sounds like you don't want to be free." What Velleco doesn't get is freedom to him is intimidation to everyone else who has to put up with those who might use their gun in a dispute, or if they feel "threaten" in the broadest terms.
Oddly, Velleco would not answer the easy question of whether he was a birther or not. Is "no" that hard to say?
When confronted, these liars and naysayers are coming up empty, incapable of point out a single fact to support their fear mongering line of BS.
But there's a positive twist and ending to this fear spreading appearence by McCaughey. Rachel Maddow has the good news. There is justice after all.
The Washington Independent:
Betsy McCaughey — an outspoken proponent of the myth that Democrats’ health care reform proposals will lead to the creation of “death panels,” as well as a former lieutenant governor of New York and adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute — has stepped down from her position as a director of Cantel Medical Corp., which bills itself as a “leading provider of infection prevention and control products in the healthcare market.”
McCaughey found herself the subject of widespread ridicule after an appearance on “The Daily Show” Thursday, during which host Jon Stewart aggressively challenged her positions on health care reform.
Who Needs the courts! Wisconsin Republican AG Van Hollen Declares Domestic Partner Law Unconstitutional.
Van Hollen, a Republican, said in a statement that the state Constitution prohibits same-sex couples from holding a legal status that is “substantially similar” to marriage and that he has concluded the registry does just that. “My decision isn’t based on a policy disagreement,” he said. “ As Attorney General, I prosecute and defend laws that I wouldn’t have voted for if I were a policymaker. That is what I believe the job entails.
THE BIG BUT...
"But I will not ignore the Constitution. My oath isn’t to the legislature or the governor. My duty is to the people of the State of Wisconsin and the highest expression of their will — the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin. When the people have spoken by amending our Constitution, I will abide by their command. When policymakers have ignored their words, I will
Instead of defending the small shred of rights allowed by the new law, which is not "substantially similar" to marriage, Van Hollen couldn't contain the bigot lurking inside his cool demeanor. Oh, did I mention, "Van Hollen has been mentioned as a potential GOP candidate for governor in 2010, though he has not said whether he will run."
Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, blasted Van Hollen’s decision ... Van Hollen was “shredding the Constitution for political purposes” and that the decision will “force the state taxpayers to fund outside attorneys to defend our Constitution and perform Van Hollen’s job.”JSonline:
"The attorney general's job is to represent the state and defend state law when there is a good-faith defense to be made," Doyle said in a statement. "His representation should not be based on whether he likes the state law."
Despite the fact that AG's have been known to decline cases representing the state they believe to be unconstitutional, Van Hollen is basing his decision on the prejudices of his right wing anti-gay supporters, a noble cause spear headed by Wisconsin Family Action. WFA is the states local homophobic gay basher, "marriage protectors," who are asking the state Supreme Court to overturn the law based on the fact that same sex couples are second class citizens.
Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action said, "The state's domestic partner registry is a direct attack on the will of the people and our constitution, as well as on the institution of marriage." The Supreme Court is also set to hear a challenge to the marriage amendment from Bill McConkey, a Door County resident whose daughter is gay, and who has argued that the amendment was improperly put to voters.
Wisconsin is the first state in the country to have enacted legal recognition of same-sex couples while also having a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions.
Under the guise of defending marriage, the secernate supremacists have never battled against heterosexual cohabitation, the 50 year old real threat to marriage. Funny isn't it. The sexual revolution brought media attention to the issue of cohabitation, a time I remember well, spearheaded by feminism and later bringing about no fault marriages. I guess none of this was enough to create bigoted groups like WFA, which coincidentally came about with the rise of the "gay agenda."
'Complete Opposite' of Van Hollen Statements During 2006 Campaign "The Legislature or the governing body of a political subdivision or local governmental unit is not precluded from authorizing or requiring that a right or benefit traditionally associated with marriage be extended to two or more unmarried individuals; for example, family health insurance benefits, certain probate rights, or the ability to file joint tax returns." -- JB Van Hollen, 11/29/05
Friday, August 21, 2009
Concealed Gun Guy uses Weapon to "de-escalate a confrontation" with Angry Homeowner. Down the Rabbit Hole...
I can see the bumper sticker now: Concealed Carry Solution to all Problems
Now that Republican politicians and AG's are encouraging open carry and concealed carry advocates to exercise their rights anywhere they damn well please, we're now seeing the end result of the supposed "self defense" illogic of it all. What might have been considered a heated exchange resulting in fist pounding and shoving, it is now being portrayed as a "threat." From Idahostatesman.com
Why would anyone pull a gun on an unarmed guy objecting to someone staking out their home? Here's where gun advocates are ultimately taking us as a society; pulling a gun is one way of "de-escalating" a confrontation. I kid you not. McAffee told a fellow Ron Paul supporter...:
An Idaho Republican Party leader who helped oust the state GOP chairman in 2008 faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after an altercation escalated while he photographed a home with a delinquent mortgage.
Challis McAffee, 33, was arrested after being accused of pointing a gun at the homeowner. McAffee works for a contractor hired by Wells Fargo & Co. to document the condition of homes where mortgages are past due or in foreclosure. McAffee, (is) a ... Ron Paul (backer) and an activist in this year's anti-big-government "Tea Party" protests.
Resident Robert Lutes called officers just before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to report McAffee had pointed a .357 Magnum handgun at him during a verbal confrontation. McAffee acknowledged he pointed the gun at Lutes ... "I'm unarmed, I'm an old man," Lutes, 51, (said) "I'm trying to find out why he's taking pictures of my house. I said, 'Knock on my door, let me know what you want.' Then, I think he's reaching for his business card and he pulls out a concealed weapon and I think he's going to blow my head off." Lutes said the gun was beneath a cloth on the floor of the
passenger side of McAffee's vehicle.
Lutes confronted McAffee, becoming increasingly hostile. When Lutes struck McAffee's Ford Escort with his hand, McAffee brandished the weapon to de-escalate the conflict. According to McAffee's friend, "Challis is one of the most mild-mannered, good-natured guys. The conversation wasn't going anywhere, the guy smacked the car window. At that point, he (McAffee) felt threatened enough, he picked up the firearm in front of the seat that he carries for protection. The nature of the job is, you're going to run into some unhappy people."Smacking a cars window is "threatening enough?" Are you getting a better picture now of what carry advocates mean by defending themselves in "threatening" situations? Oh, and how does the poor guy who hired this gun brandishing hot head feel now
Tony Schewmaker, the Wells Fargo contractor who hired McAffee ... objected to the $50,000 bond amount, saying the steep figure resulted from (the) Judges ... objections to the weapon. "Apparently, we can't use a gun in our own protection. You can have it to look pretty. But if somebody is attempting to attack you, you can't pull it out of the holster. That's what I'm gathering from this."
An unarmed guy, angry over someone taking pictures of his house, is the dangerous one here? If this is how gun carry advocates are thinking now about "defending" themselves, imagine their mindset ten years from now.
By the way, employers like BIG banks aren't real hot on gun resolution techniques:
Wells Fargo said it would investigate the incident. "Mr. McAffee's behavior is horrific and absolutely inexcusable," said Jason Menke, a spokesman for the bank. "Our policy is to ensure that our customers, including those in financial distress, are always treated respectfully and with dignity.
Meanwhile, Lutes ... said he may hire a lawyer to pursue a civil complaint against the bank, McAffee, and Schewmaker's company. "The contractor is liable, he (McAffee) is liable and Wells Fargo is liable," Lutes said. "He wouldn't have been there if it wouldn't have been for Wells Fargo strong-arming people."
Thursday, August 20, 2009
More than three out of every four Americans feel it is important to have a “choice” between a government-run health care insurance option and private coverage, according to a public opinion poll released on Thursday.
Families USA said Thursday that health insurance premiums rose by 95 percent, while median earnings rose less than 18 percent from 2000 to 2009.
Families USA says the average annual family health insurance premium nearly doubled to $13,000 in the last decade in Pennsylvania.
PolicySpeak is the principle that: If you just tell people the policy facts, they will reason to the right conclusion and support the policy wholeheartedly.
PolicySpeak is the principle behind the President's new Reality Check Website. To my knowledge, the Reality Check Website, has not had a reality check. That is, the administration has not hired a first-class cognitive psychologist to take subjects who have been convinced by right-wing myths and lies, have them read the Reality Check website, and see if the Reality Check website has changed their minds a couple of days or a week later. I have my doubts, but do the test.
As for language, the term "public option" is boring. Yes, it is public, and yes, it is an option, but it does not get to the moral and inspiring idea. Call it the American Plan, because that's what it really is.
The American Plan. Health care is a patriotic issue. It is what your countrymen are engaged in because Americans care about each other. The right wing understands this well. It's got conservative veterans at Town Hall meeting shouting things like, "I fought for this country in Vietnam, and I'm fight for it here." Progressives should be stressing the patriotic nature of having our nation guaranteeing care for our people.
A Health Care Emergency. We can't wait any longer. It's an emergency. We have to act now to end the suffering and death.
Doctor-Patient care. This is what the public plan is really about. Call it that. You have said it, buried in PolicySpeak. Use the slogan. Repeat it. Have every spokesperson repeat it.
Private Taxation. Insurance companies have the power to tax and they tax the public mightily. When 20% - 30% of payments do not go to health care, but to denying care and profiting from it, that constitutes a tax on the 96% of voters that have health care. But the tax does not go to benefit those who are taxed; it benefits managers and investors. And the people taxed have no representation. Is it time for progressive tea parties at insurance company offices?
Insurance companies are inefficient and wasteful. Insurance companies govern your lives. They have more power over you than even governments have. They make life and death decisions. And they are accountable only to profit, not to citizens.
The flaw in the Republican argument is their intentional discounting of the increasing number of the uninsured; people losing their jobs or are priced out of the market, a trend we're seeing nationwide. According to Gallup:
Wisconsin saw their uninsured citizens increase from 2008 to Jan. through June 2009 from 10.9 percent to 12.6 percent.
While I'm at it, Gallup had this interesting piece of the universal health care debate:
Gallup compared Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries that offer universal health coverage with countries that do not offer it and found that respondents in countries with universal coverage are somewhat more likely to express confidence in their national health systems and satisfaction with the availability of quality healthcare in their communities.
According to Business Week, the Senate Finance Committee is negotiating an eye popping deal with UnitedHealth, requiring you and me to pay a huge co-pay, one that could bankrupt us or make health care unaffordable. An incredible give-away demonstrating once again who the Senate is really representing.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann asked former Cigna executive Wendell Potter what effect it'll have on everyone.
Business Week wrote this:
"In late spring, the Finance Committee was assuming a 76% reimbursement rate on average, meaning consumers would be responsible for paying the remaining 24% of their medical bills, in addition to their insurance premiums ... UnitedHealth colleagues urged a more industry-friendly ratio. Subsequently the committee reduced the reimbursement figure to 65%, suggesting a 35% contribution by consumers—more in line with what the big insurer wants. The final figures are still being debated."
What I liked about this clip was the reporters attempts to get Robert Gibbs to show some emotion, a little sympathy and to convey that the White Houses position doesn't inspire a lot of confindence from those looking for reform.
Co-ops will fail, prices will continue to increase and Republicans will say "I told you so." Watered down reform will play into the Republicans hands. So what else is new.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
According to a recently released NBC poll, the top four lies about health care have a believability rating of about 50 percent, a disaster for the administration. Douglass defies logic and constant prodding from Schultz that Obama's message is not getting out. "First of all, it's a poll, a snapshot..." drones Douglass, as if that explains the public perception that old people will be facing death panels. Now that's losing the message war.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
White House "Robert Gibbs told reporters, "The preference is the public option." Preference and not Requirement?
The video clip here leaves supporters of health care reform breathless, while the these spineless politicians now appear surprised by the public reaction. You don't use words like "preference" and "not essential" if you truly believe in something. USA Today:
Robert Gibbs told reporters this morning."The preference is the public option." Gibbs denounced reports that the administration may drop its support for a publicly funded insurance option because of intense opposition. He attributed the reports to a media "overreaction" after the comment by Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that a public option is not "essential" to a health care plan.
Obama himself stoked commentary with his statement Saturday that "the public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform."
It doesn't matter whether or not the White House sent the wrong signals:
Democrats made their own position very clear: The public option is essential to any health care plan designed to cover all Americans.
Governor Jim Doyle just announced that he is not seeking reelection. I hate to say it, but Barrett has a golden moment now to challenge the Republican candidates, take whatever momentum his heroics may have afforded him, and take the lead before the first primary debate.
Opportunism? Even though some might make that claim, a simplistic characterization, they can't deny the fact that the media will be spending the next few months speculating endlessly on every potential gubernatorial candidate living or dead.
Rachel Maddow should make the decision easier with her tribute on MSNBC.
Milwauke Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was resting at home Monday after being released from a hospital, and his brother revealed that the mayor suffered extensive injuries as he was beaten when answering a woman's cries for help.
It will be some time before Barrett even considers whether he might be interested in running for governor ... Barrett has been mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for governor in 2010 after Gov. Jim Doyle's decision not to seek re-election to a third term. The mayor joked with Doyle that he was sorry for knocking the news of Doyle's plans off the front page of the newspapers.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Town Hall Protester: "How in the world can a private corporation...compete?" Health Care is about Insurance?
I led off the clip with this corporate minded protesters comment:
"How in the world can a private corporation, providing insurance, compete with the entity that doesn't have to worry about making a profit, doesn't have to pay local property taxes, they're not subject to local regulations...how can a company compete with that?"
I wish I were kidding with the above quote. My guess is people may actually think insurance companies have something to do with providing health care, even when they don't.
Or how about the guy who asks, "Do you actually think they're going to pull the plug on my 92 year old dad? That they're really going to have death panels?" (crowd shouts yes and grumbles in general agreement)
I also like this guys comment about a sign at the town hall:
"There's a woman here with a sign that really offended me when I saw it. I offends me she's relating President Obama to Hitler. The only name that's not on there is George W. Bush."
On the Ed Show, Republican strategist Karen Hanretty warns Obama is going to sell out the public option. I think she's right. How else can you explain a back room deal agreeing NOT to negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma.
They're all here: Grassley, Rush, Santorum and others. It should give you a good idea of how good the Republicans are at their scorched earth campaign. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow shows the hypocrisy of all of the above when it comes to flip flopping on the end of life "death panel" issue.
Republicans Rep. Petri actually believes what is "said" about other countries rationing care, not the reality. Showing a total lack of knowledge about end of life counseling, Petri somehow got the idea Medicare would be saving money on such advice, instead of actually paying out more money for the service. And instead of trying to cover everyone in the country, he's worried about the possibility that sometime in the future, the public option would begin paying for abortions.
Friday, August 14, 2009
"Senators Drop End-of-Life Provisions From Health Care Legislation"
Or this over a Chicago Tribune story:
"'Death Panels' dropped"
Even more unbelievable are the reasons given by someone we now know as crazy Charles.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said on Wednesday that end-of-life care, fast becoming a hot-button issue, will not be addressed in health care legislation emerging from the committee. In a prepared statement, Sen. Grassley said, “Maybe others can defend a bill like the Pelosi bill that leaves major issues open to interpretation, but I can’t.”
"We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly."Your interpretation is demented. It's not a controversial hot button issue but an absolutely insane "pull the plug on granny" fiction created by Bizarro World escapees.
The Tribune also writes, "For Democrats, the decision was an apparent acknowledgment that the provion has become a lighting rod for critics of the overhaul..."
As long as the Democrats continue to give in to the lying school yard bullies, a reason the Republicans are so extreme now, we allow them some shred of credibility over every phoney unhinged issue.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
(AP) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin refused to retreat from her debunked claim that a proposed health care overhaul would create "death panels," as the growing furor over end-of-life consultations forced a key group of senators to abandon the idea in their bill.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, one of six lawmakers negotiating on a Senate bill, said Thursday they had dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration "entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly."
In a Facebook posting titled "Concerning Death Panels," Palin argued Wednesday night that the elderly and ailing would be coerced into accepting minimal end-of-life care to reduce health care costs based on the Democratic bill in the House.
But there will be no "death panels" under the legislation being considered.
How can anyone come to the conclusion there will be death panels? Sick Minds.
In fact, the provision in the bill would allow Medicare to pay doctors for voluntary counseling sessions that address end-of-life issues. The conversations between doctor and patient would include living wills, making a close relative or a trusted friend your health care proxy, learning about hospice as an option for the terminally ill, and information about pain medications for people suffering chronic discomfort.
Matthews asked: "Do you want people who drive a car to have insurance?"
Phillips: "When you have health care, that's a choice that impacts yourself. Drivers insurance impacts other drivers you may have an accident with."
Matthews: "...aren't you putting the cost of your health care (in the emergency room) on somebody else's insurance, if your not insured?"
Phillips: "It's not necessarily someone else's insurance. It could impact our cost eventually. But I don't think its right though for government to be mandating health insurance, reaching into your accounts and doing that."
Matthews: "...we are forcing hospitals to foot the bill, and the hospitals put the cost onto the people who buy insurance, you know that."
Phillips: "They do put the cost on the people who buy insurance, but I don't want to see government reaching in and hitting our pocket books, and requiring them on the insurance front..."
Phillips had no come back for sky high premiums caused by the uninsured. This goes to the heart of soaring health care costs and complaints by town hall protesters. Phillips' position is to make all of us pay for those who don't have health insurance. He is playing on the idea that government is bad, which is directed at you and me because we are the government, and he doesn't want us to cover everyone while reducing costs in a large country wide pool.
He just doesn't believe in it!
Here's the conservative, industry backed ad from 60 Plus, designed to scare the elderly who actually have everything to gain from reform.
Here’s where the story shines a bright light on the hypocrisy of conservatives and Republican who are complaining about the Clunkers money going to gas guzzling cars.
AP: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has cited the Obama administration's best-seller list of mostly smaller, fuel-saving cars like the Ford Focus to describe the success of the Cash for Clunkers rebate program. But … some trucks and sport-utility vehicles that get less than 20 miles per gallon, like the Ford F-150 truck and one version of the Cadillac SRX Crossover, also are being purchased with the new government subsidies.
Both are bulky vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds when loaded that boast at least 248 horsepower.Did we hear any of these protesters, now Libertarians, complain about the unfunded tax depreciation of $17,500 on vehicles over 6,000 pounds for the business class? This was an unfunded Bush tax cut for Hummers and large SUV’s.
Now Clunkers is being criticized because a few people are using the $4,500 to pay for these same vehicles. That's up to $4,500 on a few Clunker cars compared to a business depreciation of $17,500 by god knows how many businesses.
Will the anti-government, anti-Clunker and anti-health care Neanderthals please make up your minds?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Mich. Rep. McCotter: Breast Feeding Baby Doll the Result of an UnAmerican Movie Version of G.I. Joe.
The real punch line comes from Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, who recently objected to the film version of G.I. Joe for abandoning the red, white and blue colored label and not fighting for freedom and liberty like the traditional TOY action figure. It was just a toy...
Rep. McCotter blames what happened to G.I. Joe for giving us the breast feeding baby. And he's serious.
Yet another concealed weapons permit holder and “legal” gun owner, George Sodini, with no prior criminal record, committed mass murder. On the evening of Aug. 4, Sodini attacked an aerobics class at the LA Fitness gym outside Pittsburgh where he used three handguns, two of which used high-capacity ammunition magazines that could hold up to 30 rounds, to gun down three women and wound nine others before killing himself.