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. 


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.'  


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.