Monday, November 28, 2011

Elizabeth Warren on Health Care/Betty White Tribute/Robert Reich on the Economy

Here are three videos you won't want to miss.   Please don't skip them as two are informative and one is pure Betty White fun. 

Need

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My World

Some of you may have noticed that my name is not in your comment box very often these days.  I think an explanation is due you.

I found myself becoming further and further behind in my household chores as I was spending all day on the computer.  I decided that there has to be more to life than the digital world I was living in.  I felt like  a kid hooked on a video game.  

I started a project.  I am transferring all of my family VHS tapes to archival discs with the intent of giving them as Christmas presents.  My original plan was to make copies for my daughter, son, granddaughters, and ex son-in-law.  If you are counting you see that total is 6 discs (including one for me).  Most were of my granddaughters  when they were babies.   I discovered old videos (badly degraded, I might add) of movies I had taken of other family members so my list multiplied like a bunch of rabbits.

I had no way to duplicate the disc from 6 to 9 copies without dubbing each one individually.  Let me tell you, this is very time consuming if you want to edit as you record.  

Before I got very far in this project my computer suddenly crashed, never to be revived.   A good friend loaned me his old computer, but it was not powerful and kept giving me problems so I bit the bullet and ordered a new one.


My HP Pavilion arrived Friday and when I installed it I lost my phone service.  I use a captioned phone and it needs high speed Internet.  This is the third time I have had this happen and my friend tried valiantly to solve the problem  He was unable to get the dial tone back for me. 

I have been spending most of my time trying to re-install my software, etc.  My project is on hold until I am able to resolve many new issues.  My printer (also an HP ) and speakers are not compatible with the new Windows 7 PC and I have lost the cable for my scanner.  And so it goes.


My point is that this is taking waaay too much of my time.  Yesterday I spent 4 hours in a chat room trying to resolve the phone issue with tech support for my captioned phone.  They were unable to find the problem so I have a Cox cable technician coming this afternoon to repair the phone line.  This, of course, adds mightily to the cost of my computer; something I hadn't planned on.  Sigh!!!


I won't go into every test the nice gal from CapTel  (my phone) had me do, but I was plugging and unplugging cables into various jacks until I was exhausted.   I should have called for a service technician to come to my home at the beginning because that is where I am ending up anyhow.  


There is more to this saga, but why bore you with details when you probably have your own problems?


I do hope you have a wonderful feast day and don't make yourself sick 'pigging out.'  


HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Keith Olbermann on Mayor Bloomburg

Keith Olbermann on Bloomburg

Keith takes no prisoners.  The  powerful have tried stopping protests in the past, but with the Internet now linking everyone they have lost control.  Bullying police using violent tactics will just embolden the protesters.  

I saw one video clip showing the policemen using their batons  shoving the ends into the mid-section of female protesters.  It made me sick.  These are the tactics of a police state and not a country where the right to protest is embedded in our Constitution.

This is not the first time in our history where violence was used to stop a protest.  George Wallace's thugs turning the fire hoses on peaceful protesters during the Civil Rights Movement.  And then there was Kent State.   The bullies  never learn that these tactics don't work.

Ironically, the protesters are fighting for the rights and jobs of the very policemen who are using their riot gear against them. 

It is time for all of us to show solidarity with the people who are fighting for Democracy.  We must let our leaders know that we strenuously object to law enforcement using force. 

 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Socialized Medecine and a Birthday Wish

Happy Birthday, Mark.  I can't believe that my firstborn is 61 years old today.  That makes me older than Methuselah.  Have a wonderful day, son.  

 

Apparently I am going to have to fight this battle until I die.  But I promise to soldier on. 


It really baffles me as to why the Republicans never learn from history.   Facts be damned, they continue to push for old ideological solutions that have miserably failed in the past.  And based on faulty analysis they continue to thwart progress with old beliefs. They have never learned that when you are in a hole you should stop digging.

 


It just goes against the right-wing craw to admit that there are some things that government does better.  The one word, Socialism, drives them into a frenzy.   It seems that they think that if the government does something sensible we will all become Commies overnight.  

 

Yes, I will say it - Socialized medicine is the best way to go.  It insures that everyone is taken care of resulting in a healthier nation and it saves billions in cost.  Knowing that this will never happen until we have legislators that are not beholden to special interests and are not ideologically brain dead (not in my lifetime) I would be happy if we got Medicare for everyone.  The insurance companies would still get their billions in profit, as they do now, but people would stop dying because they can't afford to see a doctor or get a needed operation.

 

There is one fact that the Republicans don't want you to know.  Veterans get better health care than you do under their government socialized medicine.  And that galls the Republicans.  Now Romney is proposing  a voucher system for the VA.  Please give me a break.



I hope I am not infringing on any copyright laws by pasting Paul Krugman's entire article.  When I read it in this morning's New York Times I said a loud "Yes". Why don't the Republicans face the fact that when it comes to health care the government does it right? 

I can't say it as well so please read the article.


Vouchers for Veterans




American health care is remarkably diverse. In terms of how care is paid for and delivered, many of us effectively live in Canada, some live in Switzerland, some live in Britain, and some live in the unregulated market of conservative dreams. One result of this diversity is that we have plenty of home-grown evidence about what works and what doesn’t. 


Naturally, then, politicians — Republicans in particular — are determined to scrap what works and promote what doesn’t. And that brings me to Mitt Romney’s latest really bad idea, unveiled on Veterans Day: to partially privatize the Veterans Health Administration (V.H.A.). 


What Mr. Romney and everyone else should know is that the V.H.A. is a huge policy success story, which offers important lessons for future health reform. 


Many people still have an image of veterans’ health care based on the terrible state of the system two decades ago. Under the Clinton administration, however, the V.H.A. was overhauled, and achieved a remarkable combination of rising quality and successful cost control. Multiple surveys have found the V.H.A. providing better care than most Americans receive, even as the agency has held cost increases well below those facing Medicare and private insurers. Furthermore, the V.H.A. has led the way in cost-saving innovation, especially the use of electronic medical records. 


What’s behind this success? Crucially, the V.H.A. is an integrated system, which provides health care as well as paying for it. So it’s free from the perverse incentives created when doctors and hospitals profit from expensive tests and procedures, whether or not those procedures actually make medical sense. And because V.H.A. patients are in it for the long term, the agency has a stronger incentive to invest in prevention than private insurers, many of whose customers move on after a few years.


And yes, this is “socialized medicine” — although some private systems, like Kaiser Permanente, share many of the V.H.A.’s virtues. But it works — and suggests what it will take to solve the troubles of U.S. health care more broadly.
Yet Mr. Romney believes that giving veterans vouchers to spend on private insurance would somehow yield better results. Why?
Well, Republicans have a thing about vouchers. Earlier this year Representative Paul Ryan famously introduced a plan to convert Medicare into a voucher system; Mr. Romney’s Medicare proposal follows similar lines. The claim, always, is the one Mr. Romney made last week, that “private sector competition” would lower costs. 


But we have a lot of evidence about how private-sector competition in health insurance works, and it’s not favorable. The individual insurance market, which comes closest to the conservative ideal of free competition, has huge administrative costs and has no demonstrated ability to reduce other costs. Medicare Advantage, which allows Medicare beneficiaries to buy private insurance instead of having Medicare pay bills directly, has consistently had higher costs than the traditional program.
And the international evidence accords with U.S. experience. The most efficient health care systems are integrated systems like the V.H.A.; next best are single-payer systems like Medicare; the more privatized the system, the worse it performs. 


To be fair to Mr. Romney, he takes a somewhat softer line than others in his party, suggesting that the existing V.H.A. system would remain available and that traditional Medicare would remain an option. In practice, however, partial privatization would almost surely undermine the public side of these programs. For example, one problem with the V.H.A. is that its hospitals are spread too thinly across the nation; this problem would become worse if a substantial number of veterans were encouraged to opt out of the system. 


So what lies behind the Republican obsession with privatization and voucherization? Ideology, of course. It’s literally a fundamental article of faith in the G.O.P. that the private sector is always better than the government, and no amount of evidence can shake that credo. 


In fact, it’s hard to avoid the sense that Republicans are especially eager to dismantle government programs that act as living demonstrations that their ideology is wrong. Bloated military budgets don’t bother them much — Mr. Romney has pledged to reverse President Obama’s defense cuts, despite the fact that no such cuts have actually taken place. But successful programs like veterans’ health, Social Security and Medicare are in the crosshairs. 

Which brings me to a final thought: maybe all this amounts to a case for Rick Perry. Any Republican would, if elected president, set out to undermine precisely those government programs that work best. But Mr. Perry might not remember which programs he was supposed to destroy. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After posting this I checked my e-mail and found this entry from Rob Zerban, running for Congress in Wisconsin.  

He quoted Paul Krugman from another article.  It fits this post so I am adding it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Paul Krugman made a great point recently about politicians like Paul Ryan. Whether it is trickle down economics or Bush tax cuts, they think their theories are the same as facts.


[Paul Krugman said: "Criticism of policy proposals is not the same thing as an ad hominem attack. If I say Paul Ryan's mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries, that's ad hominem. If I say that his plan would hurt millions of people and that he's not being honest about the numbers, that's harsh, but it's not ad hominem."

What he is talking about is why we have such gridlock in Washington. We cannot reach any agreements by debating anymore because Republicans refuse to accept any facts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tax Facts to Prove the OWS Protestors Are on To Something

Sometimes a chart is easier to understand than all the words in the world.  I don't need to write a lengthy post on this subject, but in the event you think that the Occupiers of Wall Street are blowing in the wind, here is proof positive that the rich  are far from paying their fair share.

One thing that really sticks in my craw is hearing John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and the Republicans in Congree continue to spread the lie that the wealthy are the job creators.  If that is true, we should be flush with job opportunities.   Just what kind of jobs will they create with more wealth?  I guess the stock brokers will be happy and there might be a few opportunities there.  Anybody else have any ideas?  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Sarah


Happy Birthday, Sarah
Now You Are Fifteen



It makes me so very happy to realize that the beautiful baby I once held has grown into the lovely young lady that I see in this picture.  Our family was blessed when you joined us.  The nurse told your Mom that you were a beautiful baby and she was right.  She went on to explain that, while all babies are cute not all are beautiful.  I just watched a movie I made of your first days on earth and she was right. Most of all, you are beautiful inside where it counts.


I am so proud to be your grandmother,  Sweetheart.  You have so many talents and, best of all, you are so very nice.  I love you dearly.   May you have as many birthdays as I have enjoyed  and may they all be happy ones.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

How Did They Do This To Us?

I miss Bill Moyers and his Journal on PBS.   Although his excellent journalism can no longer be seen on TV, he is not gone.   Here is a 'must read' article I found on Truthout and it really explains how the rich got us in this bind.   I think you will find it most interesting.

Because I could never be as articulate as Bill Moyers I will not even include a quote from this article.  I think it should be read in it's entirety to understand how this great division of wealth came about.  The OWS protesters know in their gut that the system is out of whack.  How did this happen?   Moyers explains it very well.


http://www.truth-out.org/how-did-happen/1320278111 


Monday, October 31, 2011

Crazy Thoughts About Our Crazy World

Oh the insanity!   You may ask why I am slightly addled these days.  Could it be because of the news blurbs that cross my computer screen daily?   Some are so unbelievably stupid that it started me ruminating on why people think the way they do.  Common sense seems to have  no part of reasoning.  Critical thinking is woefully lacking in decision making.  And pragmatism has been replaced by ideology.

Some of the current stories in the news that confirm my worst fears about the direction the country is headed are:

  • The government is now contemplating spending more on nuclear weapons by constructing a new plutonium facility along a fault line and near an active volcano.

    The Republicans are introducing legislation that would take away each State's rights to regulate concealed weapons.  If Arizona says it's fine for any demented idiot to carry a hidden gun into a bar,  then all states have to abide by Arizona's imbecilic law.  Oh, the hypocrisy!!!!

    More prisons are being built to incarcerate minor felons for drug and alcohol abuse when it would be cheaper and more humane to sentence them to rehabilitation centers.  Prison is a breeding ground where minor felons become hardened criminals; later to be released on society.

    I am amazed at the craziness of a political party that will 'eat itself', and destroy the country in the process, to fire just one man named Obama.

    It disgusts me about the insanity of spending days, months, even years in studies on how to alter the name of a law, policy, or other government entity so that the meaning is obscure or changed.  Examples of current buzz words:  against abortion; becomes 'right to life' and for abortion becomes "right to choose'.  War becomes 'liberating a country.'   And then there's the most disgraceful one of all  'killing civilians' becomes 'collateral damage'.  You get the idea.  Mind altering phrases abound in our political system.    Of course it works because of the lack of critical thinking on the part of the public.   My point is that it leads to mass confusion and misguided governance.   A brainwashed electorate may be good for politicians, but it is definitely not good for the governed.

    Spending tax payer money on the military under the guise of creating jobs instead of creating jobs by spending that money on infrastructure, renewable energy, education, and the other many pressing needs in our country is just plain nuts.

    Allowing money in politics has corrupted our democratic system and our politicians.  (Well, that really wasn't very hard, was it?  Politicians are so gullible venal.)   Democracy  is collapsing.

    Religion belongs in the Church, Synagogue, Mosque, Ashram, Nature or your home and not in politics.   Separation of Church and State is no longer observed and by allowing it to creep into our political system we have perverted the framer's intent.  The idiocy of this is, that by  politicians introducing it into their speech and legislation they are in danger of opening the door for government to be able to interfere in their freedom of religion.  They never see beyond their noses, as the saying goes. Religion in politics is a two edged sword. 

     My favorite: Allowing the insurance companies to become obscenely wealthy at the expense of their policy holders when switching to a single payer system would give everyone affordable medical coverage and would save the government billions in tax payer dollars.   And all in the mislabeled  fake name of Socialism.  (See buzz words comment above).
     
    Then there's the deregulation of our financial system, unfair tax system, etc., etc, etc, ad nauseaum.

    Why do citizens subscribe to such lunacy?  Is it due to ideology, laziness, indifference, or sheer denial of facts? Maybe it's all of the above.  If someone can give me a valid reason for believing that any of the above actions are sensible I will listen.  Just don't tell me it's because you heard it on Fox, or from Rush, Sean, Bill O'R., Michelle or Rick.  That would mean you are incapable of thinking for yourself.

    By all measurable standards our country is rapidly falling behind the rest of the civilized world and we, the people, are aiding and abetting the decline.   Yes, I am very addled and getting more so as I see what used to be a great country sink into a third world nation.





    Sorry, I have to go now.  I just gave myself a massive headache.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Sins of Deregulation

It's too late to avert the financial catastrophe we find ourselves in, but to avoid a worse one in the near future we must regulate the banks and financial institutions.   Didn't we learn anything from the S & L crisis?  Apparently the Republicans in Congress learned nothing.  They not only do NOT want to re-instate the Glass Steagall Act, they want to further weaken the small regulations now in place.

The Occupy Wall Street would never have happened if the Republicans, starting with Ronald Reagan, had not chipped away at regulating the banks and other industries.   Yes, I am including President Clinton in with the Republicans on this disastrous path as it was on his watch that the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed.

I am really becoming angry at the stupidity of the Republican party.   They have been, and are now, bent on destroying what once was a productive and well run society.  They never learn - they keep on compounding the mistakes they made in the past.  History and facts teach them nothing.  They have repeated their mantra of "government being the problem and not the solution" so long they really believe it.   They are taking their party and the country down the tubes.  Idiots.

Am I mad?   You betcha'.  I'm mad as hell.  The economic disaster we are in is affecting my children in very real ways and you know what "she who has no name" said about mama bears.  I know that I should not lump a whole party into a label, but since the R's vote as a bloc it seems appropriate'


Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Federal Reserve

I am unable to physically join the OWC movement but I was reminded that there are still things I can do to show solidarity with the protesters.  One way is to furnish food or blankets for the protesters .  Blogging, Tweeting, and Facebooking are others.  Call your local protest group and ask what they need.  I will write a blog. 

I want to point out one other thing.  To discredit any uprising the opposition will create havoc and chaos (sometimes violently) and do it from within.  Thereby discrediting the peaceful aspect of the movement.  Beware of such news and be skeptical of it.

Before I posted on this subject knew I needed to inform myself.  One thing I discovered was just how little I knew about the Federal Reserve and how it works.

Alternet  had the following article by  Jake Blumgart on the subject.  I decided that I might not be the only one who is  uninformed about our central bank.  I am copying excerpts from the article.  It's rather 'wonky' but important to understand.   To read the entire article go here: 

http://www.alternet.org/story/152810/four_things_occupy_wall_street_should_know_about_the_federal_reserve?akid=7763.177389.hTX1gk&rd=1&t=12

 1. “Ending the Fed” is a Terrible Idea


First, a quick primer on what the Fed is and what it does. The Federal Reserve is America’s central bank, which means that it supervises the banking system and controls the supply of money.  The Fed has a dual mandate “to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.”  


There are many legitimate reasons to critique the Fed and how it fulfills its mandate. But the “End the Fed” movement isn’t interested in reform. As one popular Youtube occupier/ranter puts it, “this is all because our government prints too much money...that's fake money that they printed out of thin air...there’s not going to be a middle class in ten years, end the federal reserve...get corporations out of our politics!”  

(My comment:  He's an idiot and even I can see that we need the Federal Reserve.  We need to fix it and not abolish it.  He doesn't understand how it works.  I am trying to.)


  “The United States used to have a gold standard instead of discretionary monetary policy. That meant that the value of a dollar would ebb and flow with the discovery of gold mines. The problem with [this] kind of setup...is that you can't respond to economic shocks, and when depressions happen they're really severe.”  


2. The Gold Standard is an Awful Idea 



We left the gold standard in the 1930s because it greatly exacerbated the Great Depression. As deficits ballooned, people feared the dollar would be worthless and began exchanging their cash for gold, which the government had to provide under the rules of the gold standard. The nation’s dwindling gold supply became policymakers’ first concern—instead of, say, unemployment levels of over 20 percent—and they decided to balance the budget to restore confidence. Taxes were raised, spending slashed, and the depression grew even worse. The dollar wasn’t able to react to the needs of the economy: It could only be responsive to the whims of the gold supply. 



3. The Good and Bad of Modest Inflation


Ron Paul and those who think like him hope the gold standard would serve as a hedge against inflation, -- right now America is suffering from the opposite problem. The problem isn’t inflation, it’s unemployment, crushing debt and stagnant growth: issues that can be assuaged through monetary stimulus. 


 -- core inflation levels—the kind that exclude food and energy—are currently at record lows and have been for quite some time.  In fact, one of the easiest ways to achieve the Occupy movement’s goals of lower unemployment and household debt would be to use monetary stimulus to mildly increase this measure inflation.  


“The Fed can target higher rates of inflation which would be very effective in lowering the real interest rate and reducing people’s debt burden,” says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a progressive think tank.


American corporations are currently sitting on massive cash reserves. If the Fed announced a higher inflation target those horded assets would soon be worth less, thus incentivizing spending. -- mild inflation would ease the debt loads crushing many Americans.


 Household debt is currently 90 percent of GDP. As nominal wages and incomes rise, debt amounts would remain stable (and drop in real value), easing the path to solvency for many and freeing up money for spending, and growth.  


inflation is good for debtors and bad for creditors.
  

4. Don’t End the Fed, Make it Accountable to the Needs of the 99 Percent


The Federal Reserve needs an Occupy Wall Street-shaped wake up call. Instead of waving nonsensical “End the Fed” signs and aping the talking points of a reactionary Republican, occupiers should demand that the Fed be made more democratically accountable and that policymakers seriously execute its dual mandate to maintain stable prices and full employment.  


One significant step toward these goals would be the democratizing of the Fed’s Open Market Committee (OPM), which controls interest rates, the nation’s money supply—the monetary policy side of the institution. There are 12 seats on the OPM: one for the Fed chairman, one for the vice-chairman, and five for the other Fed governors selected by the president and approved by Congress. Then there is the president of the New York Fed and a rotating cast of four of the 11 other regional Federal Reserves. Regional fed presidents are appointed, in large part, by representatives of the banking industry who want to keep inflation low to preserve the value of the debt it holds. True to form, many of the mostreactionary voices on the OPM are regional Fed presidents.  (My take: It's like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.) 


Barney Frank is working on legislation to remove the regional Fed presidents from the OPM and replace them with presidential appointees who would be more democratically accountable.


Part of the reason the Fed has been so subdued in its pursuit of monetary stimulus is that the right has been so fierce in fighting against it. (Remember when Rick Perry called Bernanke’s policies “almost treasonous”?) It is long past time that the left started taking an interest in the Federal Reserve and pushing for monetary stimulus to ease unemployment and the debt burden. Ignore the siren song of Ron Paul and other “End the Fed” types. Occupy Wall Street should fight to ensure that the Federal Reserve works for the many, not the few.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After I posted this RonW commented on the ownership of the Federal Reserve.  This information took me to Fact Check on the Federal Reserve and this is what I found:

Federal Reserve Board: As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the U.S. Congress. It is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms. However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute. Also, the Federal Reserve must work within the framework of the overall objectives of economic and financial policy established by the government. Therefore, the Federal Reserve can be more accurately described as "independent within the government."
The twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, which were established by Congress as the operating arms of the nation’s central banking system, are organized much like private corporations–possibly leading to some confusion about "ownership." For example, the Reserve Banks issue shares of stock to member banks. However, owning Reserve Bank stock is quite different from owning stock in a private company. The Reserve Banks are not operated for profit, and ownership of a certain amount of stock is, by law, a condition of membership in the System. The stock may not be sold, traded, or pledged as security for a loan; dividends are, by law, 6 percent per year.

Listen to Representative DeFazio.  It's short and worth your time.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dead DoDo Bird - My PC

Life is never simple, is it?  That's especially true in this electronic age.  I just had my 5th computer crash with my old Gateway PC.  It died for good this time.  It has been back to the factory twice, had a new hard drive installed once and was restored with just doing a full restore once.   Each time I lost some, or all, of my records.  I am obviously either a very slow learner or a glutton for punishment.  Take your pick.   Each time I vowed to buy external storage and then put it off.  When I buy another computer I will add external storage to my purchase.  I may be slow, but I do learn eventually.

I do not have time to spend on the computer now.  If I have to reprogram a new machine with all of the things I consider essential to my computer viewing it will take days.

This came at a very bad time for me as I recently purchased a VHS/DVD recorder and I have stacks of old tapes to put on disks.  I found the learning curve to record on this frustrating machine to be very difficult.  I have spent one whole week ruining disk after disk thinking I was recording, only to find that I recorded a blank screen.  Much of my wasted time has been with Tech support and with tearing my old white hair out.
I have yet to record a disk on my own, but my guru came over last evening and managed to make the stupid machine work.  I plan on repeating the steps he used and get started with this project. I had hoped to make disks of old movies for my children and grandchildren for Christmas presents. It takes hours to record each disk so I may not accomplish the task at hand, but if I do I will not have any time to spend on the computer.  Incidentally, I will not be shopping for a new one soon.  

Meanwhile I am able to use my laptop and I will try to keep up with what is happening in the wide world as well as with your world.  Please forgive me if I do not comment often or write a post in a timely fashion.
If you hear a loud scream you will know that I am still having trouble recording.  Do not worry if you do not hear from me after that.    I will either have thrown the recorder out the window or someone will have shipped me off to the asylum where all of the Tea Party candidates running for the Republican nomination belong.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Health Care Reform Enemies

They're at it again.  The Republican party is spreading lies about Obama's health care reform and vow to repeal it.  States are suing to have parts of it repealed now and it's headed for the Supreme Court.  Before the liars undo the best legislation since Social Security I want everyone to take a deep breath and know the facts.  Once you know how it works, please contact your legislators and tell them that you do NOT want this act to be repealed or have the benefits chipped away piece by piece. 

It isn't perfect by a long shot, but it's a 'foot in the door' piece of legislation that will be improved on once people see how successfully it impacts on their lives.  The ultimate goal is to get the insurance industry out of health care.  That means that the powerful insurance industry (aided and abetted by 'big pharma' and the wealthy industrialists) is going to throw billions of dollars at those in Congress to get them to repeal it.  Since it will be the first step into moving into the 21st Century and joining all the other industrialized nations that have health care for all, we must fight them with all our might to keep what meager reforms we will have.  

If this act is undone it will take a generation to have it brought up again.  No politician will want to touch it.  Health care should be as much of a right as food.  Without either, people die.  

We need an American Fall to stop the ideologues from destroying Obama Care.  Otherwise, the bloated insurance and pharmaceutical industries will continue to raise prices way above and beyond the cost of living index and more people will be unable to afford it.  Without this act, the insurance creeps will continue to kick people off when they get sick; often after they have paid the premium for years.  Insurance greed will continue using pre-existing conditions to refuse to insure the sick and only take the healthy.  The only thing the insurance company exists for is to make as big a profit as possible for the shareholders.  Do you really want them to continue these outrageous practices? 


The following video simplifies the complex law of the health care reform act  and if you don't know what it entails I urge you to take the time to view it.

Thanks to Nancy for a tip on the video that became the focus of this post. 


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bad Pennies Always Return

I'm baaaack !  Thank you for waiting.  I had a wonderful visit and a needed time-out from TV and politics. It was a welcome hiatus and now I am ready to rant again.  

First, my visitor was my second cousin once removed (or something like that) and she was so helpful.  I had started painting my security screen door and she finished for me.  She also installed my new door latch.   There isn't enough time to tell you of all the many helpful things she did.  Lucky me; everyone should have visitors like that.

I am  including pictures of us the day she left.

Here's that wonderful Judy and yours truly.


Saying Goodbye
See what we did?

In case you missed it, here is the video of Lawrence O'Donnell and Michael Moore on the NYC Wall Street protest.   O'Donnell really blasts the politicians in Washington and Moore inspires us to take action.  For your edification it's great to watch, but takes 4 minutes 41 seconds to view. 



Friday, September 23, 2011

Judy Visits Again

I am waiting for the airport shuttle to bring Judy, my cousin's daughter, for another visit.  I may not even boot up the next four days so if my name doesn't appear anyplace you will know I am having a lovely time visiting with one of my favorite relatives.  We are not going to leave the house and I will probably enlarge like a balloon because we will also be doing a lot of eating and sipping wine.  

Unfortunately, the weather has not cooled here so all of our talking, eating and sipping will be done indoors.  It is supposed to reach the triple digits today.  Will it ever end?  The nights are cool so perhaps the end of the heat is in sight.  Please let it be so.  Sigh!

I will leave it to the rest of you to cover the news as I doubt that we will spoil Judy's visit by watching a news program.  After the execution of Troy Davis I don't want to see any more depressing news.  That was a very tragic event for Troy and his family and a shameful event for our country.  It was the height of injustice.  On that sad note I will leave you for a few days.   

I do apologize for not being more cheerful as I end this post.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Pinocchio Factor

After watching the first Republican debate I wisely skipped the second one.  My stomach just couldn't take it twice.  I think CNN only ran it to compete with MSNBC, the TV channel that ran the first debate.  I knew the re-run would just be a rehash of the lies told during the first debate.

However, those journalists that are forced to endure the crap did watch.  Glenn Kessler has been debunking the lies told. The Washington Post ran an article called  Fact Checker  written by Glennn Kessler.

I have copied excerpts from the article that show how incredibly dishonest and deceitful the whole bunch of 'wanna-be presidents' are.  So 'heeeeers Glennie.'

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“We know that President Obama stole over $500 billion out of Medicare to switch it over to Obamacare.”
— Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
“He cut Medicare by $500 billion. This, the Democrat president, the liberal, so to speak, cut Medicare — not Republicans, the Democrat.”

— Romney
 
Bachmann in particular loves to make this claim, but we have repeatedly explained why it just isn’t correct. 

Under Obama’s health-care law, Medicare spending continues to go up year after year. The law tries to identify ways to save money, and so the $500 billion figure comes from the difference over 10 years between anticipated Medicare spending (what is known as “the baseline”) and the changes the law makes to reduce spending. 

The savings actually are wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries. These spending reductions presumably would be a good thing, since virtually everyone agrees that Medicare spending is out of control. 

In fact, in the House Republican budget this year, lawmakers repealed the Obama health-care law but retained all but $10 billion of the nearly $500 billion in Medicare savings, suggesting the actual policies enacted to achieve these spending reductions were not that objectionable to GOP lawmakers. So it is misleading for Romney to say that Republicans did not make these cuts.

For a more detailed explanation, please see our longer examination of this subject in June, when we gave Bachmann two Pinocchios for making this claim at the first GOP debate.
“Let me say I helped balance the budget for four straight years, so this is not a theory”
— Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.)
 
Gingrich at least indicates there was a president — Bill Clinton — when the nation briefly began to run budget surpluses. And certainly the Republican Congress led by Gingrich prodded Clinton to move to the right and embrace such conservative notions as a balanced budget.
But the budget was balanced in part because of a gusher of tax revenues from Clinton’s 1993 deficit-reduction package, which raised taxes on the wealthy and which Gingrich vehemently opposed. The budget was also balanced because the Democratic White House and Republican Congress were in absolute legislative stalemate, so neither side could implement grand plans to increase spending or cut taxes.
Gingrich is wrong to suggest there were four years of balanced budgets when he was speaker. He left in January 1999; the budget ran a surplus in the fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. So he can at best claim two years.
During the surplus years, moreover, the gross debt (including bonds issued to Social Security and Medicare) rose by $400 billion. Gross debt is the figure that conservatives tend to use. During Gingrich’s time as speaker, the public debt was essentially flat and the gross debt rose $700 billion.
Obama “had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. It created zero jobs.”
— Perry
 
Perry is wrong. The stimulus created jobs. But there has not been a net gain in jobs because so many jobs were lost early in Obama’s presidency. Since the stimulus bill was signed, the number of overall jobs in the United has declined by about 1.9 million. 

Economists differ on the effectiveness of the stimulus, but most say it has at least some effect (ie, created at least some jobs.) A recent review of nine different studies on the stimulus bill found that six studies concluded the stimulus had “a significant, positive effect on employment and growth,” and three said the effect was “either quite small or impossible to detect.”
“I was one of the only people in Washington that said: Do not raise the debt ceiling. Don’t give the president of the United States another $2.4 trillion blank check. You’ve got to draw the line in the sand somewhere and say: No more out-of-control spending.”
— Bachmann
 
Ever hear of a “blank check” with a number attached to it? In any case, Congress has already committed to spend much of this money, under budgets passed in previous years. Lifting the debt ceiling merely means that the Treasury now has the authority to make good on bills that are coming due.
“We have cut taxes by $14 billion, 65 different pieces of legislation.”
— Perry
 
That’s one side of the ledger. We are not sure if Perry’s figure is correct but as Politifact Texas has documented, he has also raised taxes repeatedly, including on cigarettes, to make up revenue for cuts in local property taxes.
“What we saw with all of the $700 billion bailout is that the Federal Reserve opened its discount window and was making loans to private American businesses, and not only that, they were making loans to foreign governments. This cannot be.”
— Bachmann
 
Bachmann is significantly overstating the case. Bloomberg News, which filed the Freedom of Information Act request that resulted in the disclosure of the Fed loans to foreign banks (some of which had had some government ownership), noted: “The Monetary Control Act of 1980 says that a U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank that maintains reserves at a Fed bank may receive discount-window credit.” All of the loans were paid back, according to Fed officials.
“And I happen to think that what we were trying to do was to clearly send the message that we’re going to give moms and dads the opportunity to make that decision with parental opt-out. Parental rights are very important in the state of Texas. We do it on a long list of vaccines that are made.”
— Perry 
 
Perry skated close to the edge of the truth here as he tried to defend his controversial order to require the vaccine that is said to prevent cervical cancer. As Politifact Texas reported in 2010, Perry “ordered the Department of State Health Services to allow parents dissenting for philosophical or religious reasons from all immunizations — not just this one — to request a conscientious objection affidavit form.” 

Just 0.28 percent of students filed such forms, which must be updated every two years to remain viable — and not all private schools accept the form. So as many as 15 percent of girls did not have the possibility of opting out of the requirement to receive the vaccine if they wanted to continue in their schools. 

While Perry denied Bachmann’s charge that there was a connection between his order and a $5,000 campaign donation, Texas media reported that Perry’s chief of staff held a meeting on the vaccine plan on the same day the donation was received. Perry’s aides said the timing was a coincidence.
“This is the election that’s going to decide if we have socialized medicine in this country or not. This is it. Why? I just have to say this. It’s because President Obama embedded $105,464,000,000 in Obamacare in postdated checks to implement this bill.”
— Bachmann
 
It’s wrong to say the health-care law — which builds on the existing private system — will result in socialized medicine, but apparently some people will never be convinced.
But Bachmann’s assertion of $105 billion “embedded” in the health-care law is another bogus claim for which she has previously earned four Pinocchios. We looked closely at her assertion in March and concluded that her charge that this money was “hidden” does not have credibility. The money for these programs was clearly described and analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office before the legislation was voted into law. And since then, the Obama administration has issued a new release every time it spent some of the funds. 

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Read more on PostPolitics.com
GOP debate winners and losers
The Fix: Mitt the tortoise
Perry goes on the defesnive in GOP debate
By  |  12:34 AM ET, 09/13/2011

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Exaggerations and half-truths have always been a part of political posturing, but since the emergence of Fox TV and the Tea Party it seems to be mandatory to spread blatant and provable lies.  Could it be because the tea party bunch of no-nothings are so disgustingly gullible and ill informed that they can get away with it?  Nah!  No one could be that stupid.  Or could they?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Happy Birthday To My Granddaughter

 Happy Birthday Rachel

It has been a wonderful 18 years watching you grow into a lovely young lady.