OK, Ready to Lose What Little We Had Now?? A Story About CRUMBS…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  Not terribly inspired by politics and in the wake of the election, ready to break every radio in the house so my mother can’t listen to “talk radio” anymore.

Heartbreaking results in New Mexico CD-2. Harry Teague was not my first choice to run for the seat 2 years ago, but he beat Steve Pearce.  Pearce never showed up, voted against the health needs of returning vets from Iraq, and when he did show up, his meetings weren’t exactly town halls…more like a select few.  Teague, to his credit, was back all the time, held many, many meetings with constituents, and even helped get something done for a family that had been neglected for years…an honor that had been overlooked. Meanwhile, there was talk about how Pearce had turned his back on vets who wanted to question him about his record.  I had kept a list of his votes on vet issues and the VoteVets.org literature AGAINST Pearce was a mirror of the info I had compiled. (VoteVets.org is a bipartisan group, by the way.)

Well, in this heavily retired military area along with a HUGE active military presence including White Sands, Pearce won. Which makes you wonder….WTF??

I could understand a little more if a new person were running on the GOP side. But, the same piece of crap who scorned the district for 4 years and the vets who live here???

Meanwhile, at the state level, Nate Cote, whom I first helped get elected 4 years ago, was defeated by a piece of crap named Ricky Little who put out so many lies about Cote that the latter had to have fliers printed up and wrapped around a campaign doorknob hanger in an attempt to save his reputation.  Nate did many wonderful things for the district, including helping out the Animal Shelter, which desperately needed help.  The man was a vet, too…but he got no respect.  Little won…a guy who thinks mammograms shouldn’t be paid for by insurance or some such.

Now, we hear this ridiculous BULLSHIT out of the Republicans whining about how “partisan” Obama  was (while all they did was stonewall everything, even their own Heritage Foundation health plan that grew up into Romney Care). And we have to hear their plans to AGGRESSIVELY derail funding, etc. with long range plans to repeal it all, even the good parts, I imagine, so that we can all buy insurance across state lines (that will do SQUAT), blah blah blah. These people are VICIOUS. And, they are BAAAAAAAAAAAACK!

To top it off, we have Susana Martinezn as governor-elect who wants to repeal the legal use of medical marijuana because there are SOOO many great Big Pharma drugs to ingest (which, according to a nurse I know, aren’t as effective as pot).   And, what the hell, let those mining operations off the hook  by getting rid of the waste pit rules….And if we’re really lucky, Martinez will be a clone of Chris Christie in my home state of New Jersey and destroy the teaching profession in favor of chums running charter schools with my taxpayer money and doing the school voucher thing!  YAY!  AND, let’s not forget, she’s NOT pro-choice, to top things off! Her money came from a big developer in Colorado and that guy Perry in Texas who funded the Swiftboat campaign against John Kerry.  Nice bunch of friends she has.  She has NO legislative experience, so we’ll have to ferret exactly who will be pulling her strings. Lots of money came in from Houston, too, so we can only imagine what happens.

Sort of interesting that she didn’t carry the Hispanic vote…

I went to the doctor today, a wonderful woman whom I’ve gone to for 10 years. She is retiring in June, 2011. A couple of years ago she sold out when her sister, also a physician became ill and ultimately passed away.  She is now an employee of a large group.  She is still in her office, but her own staff is gone and there is a revolving door of personnel. Remember, this is the BEST health care system in the world…My Canadian acquaintance here for the winter snickers.

Today, my doc commented on some of the good things in the health care law and the Republican plans to destroy who knows what.  Then she did something highly unusual. She told me that people were STUPID and that as far as she was concerned, she hoped they felt the effects as things like being able to keep an unemployed 20-something on their parents insurance disappeared, just as they came into effect.  Of course, we’ll have to wait to see what happens to the pre-existing condition hell that has been lifted as well as that requirement that health care businesses have to use 85% of their cash to actually reimburse the people they insure.   In the dentist’s office the other day, I heard Millie tell a patient that she would put his claim through but if he was terminated, he shouldn’t be surprised if the company asked for the money back.  I mean, you have the policy,  you use it,  you’re covered for care, the procedure is over,  then you lose your job and they take the money back?  Heck, that sounds like a total scam, doesn’t it?  Like taking a body out of a grave.  But, that’s what has been going on with breast cancer surgeries, so I guess we’re used to being abused here in the United States and won’t mind if the Republicans gut any good things that may be in the health care law.

I know there are many people who were hell bent on voting ALL incumbents out, no matter who they were or what they had done, even if some of it was good.  I hope they are happy now. The moment I hear any whining from ex-Democrats who voted Republican this year and who suddenly become upset that the Republicans are  in, I will tell you what we all heard back when Obama was elected….I TOLD YOU SO!!  I’m no longer a registered Democrat, but I’m not about to sit back and NOT vote against a creepy Republican at this point…and the reality is,  they are SUPREMELY creepy and vile,  so bad that as much as I detest the present state of the Democratic Party, I just can’t bring myself to let a Republican in without a fight.

I don’t like Obama, never will…have been pissesd as hell with the Democratic Party since the primaries, etc. etc.   Like my doctor, I’m mad that a public option never got a chance.  However, I am NOT a masochist!  If I had a choice between a bastard like Steve Pearce vs. a Harry Teague, I HAD to vote for Teague to try to save myself from Pearce.

My philosophy at this point centers on the word CRUMBS.  Both parties are full of CRUMBS.  But, occasionally, the Democrats will give a FEW crumbs, while we can be damned sure that the Republicans won’t give the little guy ANY crumbs.

So, there you go.

Oh, but wait!  Obama is going to meet with the GOP to work out a bipartisan agenda!!  I can’t wait!  I’m SURE everything will be OK…NOT!

***

P.S.  It was close but a Library Bond issue passed…Eureka!

First Rumblings About Retirement Savings Plan in the State of the Union Address Tonight?

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I won’t be watching the SOTU address tonight…sort of got out of the habit during the Bush years because I found him unbearable to watch and these days, the same thing applies to Obama…

A few days ago on an NPR report on the possible content of the SOTU speech I heard a passing reference to something about “retirement.” Having just completed two posts on the subject of IRAs and the talk about “encouraging workers” to sign up for a new savings program, my interest was piqued.

The New York Times also offered a preview of the speech and lo and behold!  there was a similar reference…in the first paragraph and later on (my bolding).

Obama to Offer Aid for Families in State of the Union Address

Published: January 24, 2010

WASHINGTON — President Obama will propose in his State of the Union address a package of modest initiatives intended to help middle-class families, including tax credits for child care, caps on some student loan payments and a requirement that companies let workers save automatically for retirement, senior administration officials said Sunday.

snip

Another of the president’s proposals, a cap on federal loan payments for recent college graduates at 10 percent of income above a basic living allowance, would cost taxpayers roughly $1 billion. The expanded financing to help families care for elderly relatives would cost $102.5 million — a pittance in a federal budget where programs are often measured in tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars. And the automatic paycheck deduction program would simply be a way to encourage workers to save, and would include tax credits to help companies with administrative costs.

Might one of those companies be AIG?   See the previous posts on the matter, links below.

Now, of course, the reporter follows up this paragraph immediately with this (which sort of sounds like a bit of editorializing, no?):

Such programs are, notably, much less far-reaching than Mr. Obama’s expansive first-year agenda of passing an economic recovery package, bailing out the auto industry, overhauling the health care system, passing energy legislation and imposing tough new restrictions on banks. That agenda has left him vulnerable to criticism that he is using the government to remake every aspect of American society.

Well, it remains to be seen whether this “encouragement” will be “much less far-reaching” than the New York Times writer assumes.

As I mused in the last post I did on the subject, the idea may be a good one in theory, BUT…the devil is in the details. And those details involve how much money is involved and which companies will be getting all those tax credits.  It seems to me that we might be looking at lots of nice credits being passed around as well as lots of fees that will cut into the amount of money that actually gets saved.    Sort of like Medicare Part D wound up…companies charging a bundle so we can have the honor of a prescription “plan” that often winds up charging about the same than what someone paid with a discount card and no premiums before Big Pharma got involved!

I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this in the future, unless it’s stuck in another bill somewhere where the sun don’t shine…

RELATED POSTS

The Next Shoe to Drop: IRA Grab Being Set Up NOW–Heads Up! (UPDATE 1X) January 14, 2010

More on the Possible IRA Grab–What the Vision Is and Who’s Behind It January 19, 2010

// //

More on the Possible IRA Grab–What the Vision Is and Who’s Behind It

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

A few days ago I posted information about a possible IRA grab (See my previous post, The Next Shoe to Drop: IRA Grab Being Set Up NOW–Heads Up! (UPDATE 1X).

Rumors have been flying around about this sort of thing since last year but there may be some movement now.  And since it seems to be a “bipartisan” affair, at least so far, it still may transpire no matter who is controlling the action in Congress.

The information I’ve found is by no means comprehensive, but it does offer a start at figuring out who’s behind this.  The actual idea may not actually be a bad one, but the devil is in the details, of course!  And who actually gets control of handling those details is another thing to watch out for!

The background…

In March 2009, a group called “Retirement USA” launched efforts to create a “universal, secure and adequate retirement for all Americans.”

Here’s a section of the “Preamble to the Principles for a New System”:

Underlying the principles we are putting forward today are the following shared beliefs:

  • Social Security is the cornerstone of American retirement security. The current economic crisis and the resulting decline in individual retirement savings, combined with the continuing disappearance of defined benefit pension plans, are powerful reminders of the importance of Social Security. Social Security must be preserved and strengthened.
  • Defined benefit pension plans remain the soundest vehicles for building and safeguarding retirement income security. We must make every effort to stabilize these plans and encourage employers to offer and maintain them.
  • We must strengthen worker protections for 401(k) and other defined contribution plans, which help millions of Americans build retirement savings.

While we remain committed to preserving and improving those current pension and 401(k) plans that are providing adequate and secure benefits for workers, we cannot ignore the fact that the current system – regardless of how many changes are made – will remain inaccessible, inadequate and/or insecure for millions of workers. Therefore, we must begin a dialogue now about the type of retirement system we need for the future.

We are not here today to endorse any particular system, but to offer the following set of principles as guideposts against which all proposals should be evaluated.

The Preamble includes a link to a page entitled Making the Case for a New System” which breaks down the data showing the need for another retirement stream/tier to augment the cornerstone proved by Social Security.

Retirement USA also states:

  • Retirement USA has developed 12 Principles for a New Retirement System, which provide a framework for a system in which employers, workers, and the government would share the responsibility for the retirement security for all American workers.
  • Retirement USA has issued a call for the submission of “visionary” proposals for a future private retirement income program. Selected proposals were presented at a Re-Envisioning Retirement Security conference in Washington, D.C. on October 21, 2009.

So far so good, as far as intentions go.

So who is actually part of this group?  As listed in the March 9, 2009 launch press release, “experts from the Economic Policy Institute, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the Pension Rights Center, and the Service Employees International Union launched Retirement USA. (A contributor to the TIAA-CREF policy brief below also mentions the AFL-CIO as one of the convening parties.)

A list of the speakers at the launch and an audio of the press conference are available at the above link.  I know that when I see SEIU involvement these days, my attention is aroused…

The Pension Rights Center maintains the Retirement USA site.  If you visit The PRC site itself, you’ll find a policy brief from December 2009 that was issued by the TIAA-CREF Institute entitled “Perspectives on Retirement Reform for the 21st Century.”  Five experts proved individual essays on the issue after the Exectutive Summary (my highlighting):

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This Policy Brief provides essays from five experts in retirement research and policy analysis
offering their perspectives on worthwhile reforms to the U.S. retirement system. The authors
agree that retirement system reforms are needed to ensure that future generations of American
workers have a high likelihood of an adequate and secure retirement income. In particular, the
consensus view is that the current system tends to place too much responsibility and risk on
households for generating and managing retirement resources. Various reforms are suggested
that would encourage retirement income adequacy while providing more efficient risk
management and a more equitable distribution of retirement risk burdens.

I recommend scanning these essays, and particularly the one pn pages 7-8 by Alice H. Munnell entitledBigger and Better: Redesigning Our Retirement System in the Wake of the Financial Collapse.”

***

Now, who is the Republican joining Democratic Senators Jeff Bingaman and Herb Kohl to push this idea?

Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia used to be a pro-choice Republican until he went the usual route to being anti.  See his bio here.

More recently, remember the flap when voluntary end-of-life planning counseling sessions were proposed as a Medicare benefit and the far right talkers and Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich got hysterical about “death panels”?

Isakson was a co-sponsor of this amendment and in an interview with Ezra Klein in the Washington Post (8/10/2009), Isakson explained his interest in this area and had some strong opinions about Palin et al. Here’s an excerpt from “Is the Government Going to Euthanize your Grandmother? An Interview With Sen. Johnny Isakson:

How did this become a question of euthanasia?

I have no idea. I understand — and you have to check this out — I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin’s web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You’re putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don’t know how that got so mixed up.

You’re saying that this is not a question of government. It’s for individuals.

It empowers you to be able to make decisions at a difficult time rather than having the government making them for you.

The policy here as I understand it is that Medicare would cover a counseling session with your doctor on end-of-life options.

Correct. And it’s a voluntary deal.

It seems to me we’re having trouble conducting an adult conversation about death. We pay a lot of money not to face these questions. We prefer to experience the health-care system as something that just saves you, and if it doesn’t, something has gone wrong.

Over the last three-and-a-half decades, this legislation has been passed state-by-state, in part because of the tort issue and in part because of many other things. It’s important for an individual to make those determinations while they’re of sound mind and body rather than no one making those decisions at all. But this discussion has been going on for three decades.

And the only change we’d see is that individuals would have a counseling session with their doctor?

Uh-huh. When they become eligible for Medicare.

Are there other costs? Parts of it I’m missing?

No. The problem you got is that there’s so much swirling around about health care and people are taking bits and pieces out of this. This was thoroughly debated in the Senate committee. It’s voluntary. Every state in America has an end of life directive or durable power of attorney provision. For the peace of mind of your children and your spouse as well as the comfort of knowing the government won’t make these decisions, it’s a very popular thing. Just not everybody’s aware of it.

What got you interested in this subject?

I’ve seen the pain and suffering in families with a loved one with a traumatic brain injury or a crippling degenerative disease become incapacitated and be kept alive under very difficult circumstances when if they’d have had the chance to make the decision themself they’d have given another directive and I’ve seen the damage financially that’s been done to families and if there’s a way to prevent that by you giving advance directives it’s both for the sanity of the family and what savings the family has it’s the right decision, certainly more than turning it to the government or a trial lawyer.

Still sounds perfectly sane to me.  I’ve already set up my own directives as part of my will.  (By the way, even Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), who had said that the health care reform told seniors to “drop dead,” rejected the Palin/Beck/Gingrich stuff as “scare tactics.”)

So, we’ve at least got a seemingly sane Republican (at least on this issue) in the mix along with a couple of entrenched Democrats or whatever they are these days.

HOWEVER….there’s no guarantee that  this idea of creating another piece of the retirement income stream for Americans will be hunky-dory!  To me, it has the eerie feel of Medicare Part D, which was supposed to help with drug costs but is basically a shell game with Big Pharma and insurance companies coming out ahead all the way (and I speak from experience on this one…that donut hole comes awful fast!)  This time around Big Insurance, including AIG are in the mix.  Not to mention AARP, a little insurance center of its own.

So, we’ll have to watch to see how all this develops…if it develops.

***


A Look at the Surreal Health Care Debate…Dr. Weil, A Tea Party Guy, Newt Gingrich and One Unholy Media Stew

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

“A Look at the Surreal Healthcare Debate” …well, not by me, but one offered up by Thursday (9/10)  night’s group of cable ghouls that I happened to see over the span of a few short minutes.

For some unknown reason I turned on CNN and caught a bit of Larry King.  Dr. Andrew Weil was on, blasting the same-old, same-old of the current health care “reform” efforts.  While the challenges are correctly recognized, the solutions are within the same model we have now. Weil is usually quite sanguine, but Thursday night in his own quiet way, he seemed pretty frustrated over the structure of our non-system. He predicts that whatever is done will fail, because costs won’t come down.  He thinks that high-tech stuff is way overused and he especially is irate over the drug advertising on TV.  We are the only country that allows this and it makes the physician more prone to dishing out the drugs when a patient comes in with a request rather than time spent on real discussion with the patient.  He wants that advertising stopped now!  He likens our ties to Big Pharma as being like the role of Wall Street in our lives.

He stated that places like Germany, Australia, and Norway are places where health care seems to satisfy people (Germany and Australia are part public and part private), but they, too, face the same problems of rising costs.  He mentioned that in Germany and other places, however, people seem to be willing to learn to “take care of themselves,”– they can take care of their own rashes and colds without running to the doctor, he said.

Basically, it seems Weil wants a system where doctors really take the time to know their patients and use modern medicine as well as tried and true remedies and new alternative approaches. He hope kids who are being exposed to new ideas will pass them to their parents. He figures we’ll see a different sort of  person coming into the system to be doctors if the approach to medicine changes, people who will have a real committment to healing  and dealing with patients differently if the attitude about health care changes. He sees some movement among some doctors toward this now. The system currently is all about insurance payments, not medicine, and a fear of liability suits, hence the overuse of reapeated/overkill diagnostic tests.  He strongly believes in preventative medicine, in getting people to understand how they can help themselves in terms of diet and stress management so they stay healthier longer.

He also pointed out that while we hear about eating more fruits and vegetables, they seem to be the most expensive foods, as industry is pushing cheap, processed stuff  full of things that are government subsidized to keep them cheap…all the sugar– corn syrups, fructose, etc.– and oils…which is diametrically opposed to what the message to eat better is saying.

Part of the show involved an interview with the guy leading the “Tea Party Express.”  This guy was revolting to me.  King asked if there was anything in the current reform bills that this guy approved of.  NO.  Well, King asked about the move to end the “pre-existing condition” stranglehold.  NO, was again the answer.  King then posed a hypothetical question…If you wife had a health problem and couldn’t get insurance, would that change his mind?

Well, this BOZO said NO, because he was SURE in the free market there would be someone to write a policy for her!  I guess it was that idiot Roland Martin (?) who actually said the correct thing, that there would be no one there to write a policy for her, that could be easily affordable.  On this I totally agree…this guy, who is leading an awful lot of lemmings these days, has no clue.  Heck, if you’re on disability you pay DOUBLE what the normal Medicare supplement costs!   (I know this from personal experience.) Has this guy ever applied for a policy in the open market with a serious precondition?  The waiting times to be covered, if it’s even allowed, are daunting and the premiums are sky high!  And, not all companies offer the same options. So, yeah, MAYBE she could get a policy, but if she could, it wouldn’t be cheap OR offer immediate coverage in most cases. He’d have to look long and hard. Very hard…

His glibness really bugged me.  It annoys me that that people like him are uninformed or so wedded to their own ideology and are leading lots of people who are also uninformed.  The folks who follow the leaders are often too busy to keep informed or really don’t have the capacity to understand a lot of what’s going on, and are so vulnerable to being fooled and ultimately lead toward their own destruction.  This guy sounded like a Republican or Libertarian, but the key point was he was so rigid. Had the compassion of a a robot…Frankly, I saw the two sides of the same coin (Obama/Organized “Opposition” leader  = same crap) and the pied piper mentality that has befallen this country. The  often-misquoted Janus myth really doesn’t describe this situation, but the visual seems to help create the mood…

Janus

Janus

That’s not to say some Tea Party folks aren’t well-informed…many are and many are Independents or ticked-off Democrats who are along for the ride for other reasons than Republican reasons.  But, I’m so uneasy about hooking into people who are so against any change at all.  I wish there were people without long-term agendas doing the leading…and when I say “long-term agendas” I mean the Republican agenda which would love to ditch the security net as quickly as possible or take back ANY restraints on the health industry/insurers.  The leader of the Tea Party Express, along with Glenn Beck fall into this category.

After this little segment of insanity, I then caught a bit of Greta van Susteren who was chatting with Newt Gingrich.  Greta seems to have come completely on board with the FOX stance of complete negativity.  There she sat with old Newt who had the GALL to say that we need more “scientific reasearch” along with the standard GOP stuff about taxes, more freedom to sell policies across state lines, etc., which do squat to really reform much of anything.   Let’s see…didn’t Bush CUT research funds to the bone????

Well, yes, he did without much upset from Republicans, who were also busy doing the cliffhanger bit on paying doctors who participated in Medicare. Dr. Weil mentioned how far back we’ve been set back by this and even referred to the “religious” groups (and Bush) who howled about stem cell research. For Weil to get into that hornet’s nest was pretty surprising, but, as I said before, Weil seemed pretty pissed off in a quiet way.  Weil is grateful that there’s been some restoration of funding for research, but I don’t think he’ll be looking to Newt and the Republicans to come in and do MORE when they retake the government.  Would you??

So there you go…Greta sits there and doesn’t challenge old Newt. I’ve noticed that she NEVER puts anything into context…that lawyer’s brain of hers is permanently atrophied, it seems.  I used to have some hope that she could put together SOMETHING informative, but she’s gone downhill and spends way too much time on missing children cases…

And, so,  people like Newt say things that are LUDICROUS and the Tea Party Express guy with the stick up his ass (looks like a blond, ex-army guy or something, with a strange look in his eyes) leads the way to…WHERE?

Which is why I prefer to watch “You Are What You Eat” on BBC America…at least it provides some visual shock value in terms of the junk people consume, some discussion about the effects on health, and some inspiration that things can actually CHANGE, one unhealthy person at  a time…

More Good News for Women: Synthetic, Prescription HRT Shrinks the Brain

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Here’s some cheery news to end the week with.  The story will only be available until April 12, 2009 for some reason; I guess this is going to have to go down the memory hole.

We all know that hormone replacement therapy’s relationship to the rise of cancer rates (and the fall since women have stopped taking them en masse), but have you heard about this??

HRT Shrinks the Brain

But research shows it does not damage cerebral blood vessels in older women

URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_73726.html (*this news item will not be available after 04/12/2009)

HealthDay Logo

HealthDayMonday, January 12, 2009

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) — Two studies looking at the same group of women found that while hormone therapy is linked with brain shrinkage, it does not seem to be associated with early signs of cerebrovascular disease.

This suggests that hormone therapy’s effect on brain volume, not its effect on the brain lesions that indicate “silent strokes,” is the mechanism by which hormones increase the risk for dementia in women over 65.

“These are a nice companion to cognitive studies reported earlier. This is now neuroradiological evidence that, together, suggest that the effect [of hormones] may be more degeneration than vascular,” said Miriam Weber, an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and of neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

These papers, both published in the Jan. 13 issue of Neurology, are the latest in a parade of analyses resulting from the hormone therapy arm of the landmark, government-sponsored Women’s Health Initiative study.

Previous results included an increased risk of stroke and cerebrovascular disease in women over 65 taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Another offshoot of the WHI, the WHI Memory Study, found an increased risk of dementia and memory problems in this group of women.

Both papers set out to understand the mechanisms behind this increased risk for dementia in women taking conjugated equine estrogens (either estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestin).

(MORE)

Great news, huh?  First, the continuing misogyny and disrespect from the Obama crowd, now we get the news that Big Pharma and the docs have helped shrink a lot of female brains!

I never trusted or wanted to use the stuff, so I’m OK on this one.  But you have to wonder, what’s coming down the pike next for women…

Oh, by the way, as reported by American Association for Health Freedom :

The conclusion once again was that “these findings don’t impact the current recommendations which are to use hormone therapy for treatment of menopausal symptoms for the shortest time at the lowest possible dose.”

Cancer, increased risk of stroke and cerebrovascular disease, shrinking brains and demention…NOPE, just move along, nothing to worry about here…”shortest time at the lowest possible dose” certainly is reassuring, isn’t it?



The Past Week: November 30-December 6, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Freepers “Heart” GG; Obama & Chester Arthur; Healthcare “Reform”; Montana-Yes, MONTANA-Legalizes Assisted-Suicide; Greens Pic)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I’m going to start the roundup today with an announcement of MAJOR IMPORTANCE!  Actually, two…

1) Thanks to WordPress, we now have SNOW falling at IA through the holiday season! I got brave and took them up on their suggestion to check out “Extras” and went for the snow!  It doesn’t really accumulate on the mountain masthead, but that’s OK.  At least we’ve got snow down here in southern NM for the holidays! Sometimes we get a dusting here at about 4500 ft.  with a spectacular blanket on the peaks, which are over 8000 ft. high…but, alas,  it doesn’t last very long when we see it on the driveway here. The sun melts it very quickly. So, I’ll be happy with the “computer-generated” snow for now. THANKS, WORDPRESS!!

2) A member of our illustrious team has finally gotten the recognition she deserves. Hats off  to Grail Guardian on her much-deserved recognition over at…Free Republic!  Yup, her dictionary of English-Obamese (see link below) was picked up by someone there in full and got a huge bunch of hits in Freeperland.  I don’t know if she’s thrilled by the honor, but, hey…there aren’t many “progressive” sites these days that would want her!! LOL!!  By the way, we’d like to thank all the visitors who suggested “additions” to the dictionary. I don’t know if Grail plans to publish a second edition, but maybe we can persuade her on that score?

Now, on to the roundup…

***

On the subject of the lawsuit filed re: Obama’s eligibility to be President…

CaffineQueen had a very interesting slant on the subject this week in a post entitled This is NOT the first time this country has faced this issue.

CQ writes:

Like many people I thought this case of the “certificate gate” or whatever was unique and the first time we as a country had faced this particular challenge. Wrong!

Over the course of our history this issue has come up before. (Yet no one has done anything about creating a method for preventing it.)

I’m not talking about Roger Calero, the candidate from the Socialist Workers Party, who has been on the ballot in the previous two elections in spite of the fact that it is well known that he was born in Nicaragua and is not even a citizen but a permanent resident alien and therefore ineligible. (He has a green card) That is a different story. Though one can’t help but wonder why would he run knowing he is ineligible and why would his party put him on the ballot knowing this? (Shouldn’t there be some recourse against this as it is fraud of the highest degree?)

I’m referring to President #21, Chester Arthur, who apparently became President when one of his ardent supporters shot and killed President Garfield making Arthur, then Vice President, the President.

Apparently there was some question as to whether or not he met the “natural born” qualification and it was a very similar argument to the one the Supreme Court Justices are hearing in a conference today. Eerily similar in many ways.

(MORE)

Head on over to read the whole piece.  It’s really fascinating!

***

Health issues are back on the frontburner these days, and it looks like we’re heading down the wrong road already.  Over at Not Your Sweetie there’ a must read post which details how the insurance companies are going to be directing “reform.”  The same thing happened with Medicare Part D; Big Pharma was in charge then.  As I recall, Ted Kennedy was going to “fix” all this when the Democrats took the Senate back.   Well, that didn’t go anywhere, of course…and now it seems Ted is embracing what he railed against before:

“There’s a spirit of optimism about our work to ensure quality, affordable health care for all Americans — and today’s announcement adds to that optimism,” said Kennedy spokesman Anthony Coley. “The insurance industry has advanced serious proposals that deserve serious analysis and consideration.”

Having  just forked over $700 for inhalers thanks to the donut hole, I had a few choice words on the subject which I’m posting here:

Teddy Kennedy bloviated about saving Medicare Part D when the Dems took over Congress, then …crickets! Because it would be “too hard,” all those companies already being set up with their crummy marketing and all…
I’ve ranted about Medicare Part D before at IA, but I will rant again now…It is just an exercise in pushing papers around so that the companies remain “whole” and we foot the bill for the honor of supporting THEM! Meanwhile, it’s donut hole bigtime if you need an inhaler…

Recently I found out that about a month or so ago, you couldn’t try to avoid the donut hole anymore by purchasing cheap prescriptions at places like Kmart or Walmart! Nope, we are now FORCED to have all prescriptions processed through Part D so more of us can get into the donut hole! Who snuck that in?? Must have been the Democrats!!!!!!!

PS–monthly premiums are almost DOUBLING this year on my “cheap” plan…for the honor of getting a “discount” that is equivalent to the card I had BEFORE Medicare Part D.

It’s a TOTAL RIP OFF!

PS–If they stick Caroline Kennedy into Clinton’s vacated seat to muster public “empathy” for any shitty bill coming out of Teddy et al’s plotting, I will throw up!! Gosh, I hope the lack of a super-majority can convince enough Republicans to block this crap! But I wouldn’t bet on it, considering how they all gave us Part D!!!! (a pox on Olympia Snowe, who had the swing vote on that…remember how the GOP held the vote open and was coercing members to vote for it??)

Sorry for the salty language, but Medicare Part D is one of my pet peeves…the original way the bill was put together by Bushco, the lack of action by the Democrats after they took over in 2006, and now, the apparent willingness to do business just like the Republicans, by handing over legislating to big companies.

Meanwhile, there’s a new twist about the public relations onslaught that’s gearing up.  I’ll be writing more on the subject next week…stay tuned.

By the way, Ted…any plans for No Child Left Behind? Isn’t that another one of the issues you’ve “crusaded” about??

***

Just in case all this healthcare reform doesn’t work out for all of us, we can at least rest assured that we have another out.

Montana, of all places, has become the 3rd state to declare “assisted suicide” legal…

Montana third state to legalize assisted suicide

Ruling states that terminally ill can self-administer drugs to end own life

HELENA, Mont. – A Montana judge has issued a ruling saying residents of the state have the right to doctor-assisted suicide.

The ruling issued late Friday by state District Court Judge Dorothy McCarter makes Montana the third state in which doctor-assisted suicide is legal.

The judge said Saturday she ruled in a lawsuit filed by a terminally ill Billings man, four physicians and a nonprofit patients rights group, Compassion & Choices.

MORE

Montana?

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This week in the garden: Harvesting collards this week.  I cut it into small pieces, steam it, and add it to pasta with lots of  olive oil. Yummy! The broccoli heads are about the size of 50 cent pieces now and I’m going to start picking arugula tomorrow! I still have way too much mustard for two people, but we’ll soldier on! I may have to freeze some.  Some of the peppers in pots are still growing little peppers and I’ve almost got at least one fig about to be harvested. Here’s a pic from a few days ago of the mustard (foreground) and the collards (background).

2008_1130backyardafternoon0008

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THIS WEEK’S POSTS

*With a contribution from kenosha Marge

**By Grail Guardian

Will Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State Be Undermined by the Appointment of a Middle East Envoy? See What MESH Thinks…

The Scanner–Politics 12/5/08 (Obama…Vagus Nerve “Elevation” Superstar?; Obama-Clinton Contemplate a Jump (see awesome video!); Hands Like Butter; “Conscience”; Politically-Motivated Abortion “Science” Blasted by Johns Hopkins Researchers

*Martinis with Michelle, 2nd Round: Ladies,There IS a Different Way to Join the Post-Modern Feminist Party!~~

Martinis with Michelle–A Times (UK) Writer Jumps the Shark as Palin Helps Block a Senate Super-Majority

The Other Side of the Mountain

**How To Communicate with an Obot: The **OFFICIAL** English to Obamese Dictionary

The Past Week: November 23-29, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Dogs; Obamabilia and “Mt. Crapmore”; Jobs; Black Politics; CNN Delivers In-Depth Report on Our Best Hope to Save Us from “First Lady Fashion Fumbles”)

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