Monday, November 10, 2014

Election 2014: What is the TRUTH?


Another election has come and gone...with apathy
being the biggest winner, followed by the Republicans,
Fox News and all the K street lobbyists...

The "Biggest Loser" was not the former Olympic Athlete wearing
diaper shorts while running on the treadmill being yelled
at by Jillian Michaels to go vote after he finishes running
his 5 miles...but the biggest loser this political season, as

is the case in most elections...was the "truth".

The Republicans/Fox News/Lobbyists lie about everything...

---We care about women - that is why we
are insisting that doctors are registered with
hospitals before performing an abortion...

---We worry about Voter Fraud not voter suppression

---We want your healthcare to be between you and your
doctor..not you and the government..even though in
either case it is between you and the insurance company

---We have to secure the border...We want to reform
immigration as long as it doesn't lead to a short-term path for
them to vote.

---Higher Minimum Wage will cost people jobs not pay them
a living wage...Is McDonald's not going to have people
serving hamburgers???

---Global Warming -- if it exists -- can be solved by burning clean
coal...soon as we invent it...so why get people not used to
using it...when it is just around the corner.

Tea Party?
Birther Movement??
No gun control???

We should just forget having a national agenda and let
the 10 states that have normal people in them...vote for
a normal set of values and let everyone else live in Kansas!



Friday, April 5, 2013

The Privatization of Medicare and Medicaid Has Already Happened - Did Anyone Notice?



Universal Health Care was a "noble idea".

Whenever I start to think about politics as a noble profession,
I just remind myself that Michelle Bachmann gets re-elected
every two years and the only thing that stands to become
"Universally Healthy" since ObamaCare has been passed...
is "private insurance companies".

In spite of landmark legislation and a President's re-election,
what began as an earnest attempt by a compassionate Democratic
Party to make health care a "right" instead of a "privilege", has
fallen away faster than Mayor Bloomberg's ban on large size sugary
soft drinks.

While the Fiscal Cliff nearly took us over the edge, Gun Control
was leaving us more armed and dangerous and North Korea and
Syria has been giving us a lesson in good and evil...Medicare and
Medicaid --a very "noble public idea" has quietly and incrementally
become a private battle that is being lost to insurance companies
and Republican leadership.

Beginning in 2014...even though there will be no "Universal Health
Care"...there will "universal payments" made to private insurance
companies by every citizen, business, or by the government for
every man, woman and child in America. This makes as much
sense as asking what time you will get there... on a long trip to
nowhere.

But what is most alarming, is we are losing Medicare and Medicaid
as we know it, to exactly what Paul Ryan and his Republican brethren
were unable to win in the courts and at the ballot box...to turn
Medicare and Medicaid into nothing more than a "Privatized Voucher
Program".

After Republican governors from Texas, Louisiana and South Carolina,
who represent the largest percentage of uninsured people in the country,
and have absolutely no plan in place to change that statistic, decided to
pass on accepting an expansion of Medicaid that is 100% paid for by the
Federal government, the Administration was forced to "negotiate" with
Republican governors in more than 13 states, to not have a program
that a nation is paying into, with millions of people still not receiving
the benefits they deserve.

This is like negotiating with someone who is holding the winning lottery
ticket, but won't turn it in... unless you agree to pay the taxes on the
winnings too!

The Republican governors are insisting that the only way they will agree
to extend Medicaid coverage to poor Americans, is if the federal government
pays premiums directly to private insurance companies...instead of offering
the less expensive Medicaid insurance being provided directly by the
government itself.

These Insurance policies will be purchased from the new "Insurance
Exchanges", that are estimated by the CBO to cost the government
anywhere from 15% to 50% more than the government can provide
on its own...with governors asking for the right to waive restrictions
that forbid higher co-payments, deductibles, and maximum coverage.

So many poor people, people who earn a maximum of $15k a year will now
have access to health insurance...but won't use it, because all the costs
associated with their care will no longer be paid under the new program.

For many members of Congress who insist that more Americans pay their
fair share for government services, it is hard to understand why only 5%
of the employees at Popeye's fast food restaurant opted to buy health
insurance because their co-pay of $2.50 a week was a choice they couldn't
afford to make.

Instead of the original hope for Health Care becoming socialized and
civilized...we have Medicaid becoming privatized.

And the prognosis for Medicare, has the patient on the same operating
table. One third of all Medicare patients are currently on the "privatized" Medicare
Advantage Program. A popular program whereby the government is co-paying
premiums along with citizens to private insurance companies to provide
an upgraded Medicare Program to patients 65 or older.

This has resulted in more than 14 million Americans now on privatized
Medicare being co-paid by both the government and seniors.

We had reached the fork the road, with one direction being single payer
and universal health care and we didn't realize we had already chosen the
road that will lead to the complete privatization of "government healthcare".

Socialized and civilized...has lost to "
voucherized and privatized".

How can we call it The "Affordable Healthcare Act" when the very tenet of the
plan is to further privatize health care with higher premiums paid to private
insurance companies by the government and higher private fees paid to doctors
and hospitals for their services when accessed through these programs.

We may have passed ObamaCare, but we have failed to embrace its intent.

We will pay for our meat to be inspected, our children's toys to be tested and
for terrorism to be prevented, but if any of these things actually cause harm
...we don't want to pay for anyone's healthcare, to mend them back to health.

After such a hard fought and momentous battle to pass ObamaCare...we are
seemingly still on our own...and some of us... are more on our own than others.

All of us, except the insurance companies.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Next Time" - Things Bill Maher didn't say this week but wishes he did...


He didn't say: If Congress is going to confirm Mary Jo White
as the new head of the Security and Exchange Commission
(SEC), the Agency that failed to uncover Bernie Madoff and
the financial problems at Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers --
than we also need to bring  in her two top assistants, Larry
and Curly to be her right hand men.  Besides, the uncanny resemblance,
the name Mary Jo sounds suspiciously like Moe.


Anyway, after a highly prominent and stellar career in the US Attorney's
Office prosecuting terrorists, Ms. White left the Agency to
become the Lead Defense Council for many of the companies
that are currently under investigation by the SEC. (JP Morgan,
UBS). How ironic that she will be forced to recues herself from
so many high profile cases, just to prove that the SEC is no
longer a "Stooge" for Wall Street.

Bill Maher also didn't say: Snack companies have to stop naming their cakes
like characters from "50 Shades of Gray". No wonder Hostess went
bankrupt. What responsible mother today would allow their child to
buy a snack named "Ding Dong", "Devil Dog", "Ho Hos", "Zingers"
and a "Ring a Ding Ding". The new Pope just announced that buying
a 2 pak of "Twinkies" is the equivalent of supporting same sex
marriage.

Bill also didn't say: 5 Hour Energy and those like it, need to admit they are
nothing more than legalized drugs. These drinks get us so amped up,
that many of us are forced to take medical marijuana in order to bring
us back down. Whether it be the half of America that wants to be
in a hyperkinetic state of ADD, or the large group of people that
want to mellow on their couch and wonder if there are two kernels
of popcorn that look exactly alike...clearly, there are few Americans
that want to live in a state of conscious reality.

He didn't say: Somebody needs to tell Blackberry they are the Krispy
Kreme of mobile phones. We think we want you back...but we really
don't. We need the new "Z10" model about as much as we needed
"Z1 though 9".

He didn't say: We need to remind Congress that the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms was not based on Paper, Rock, Scissors. There
was a time when all three were considered equally dangerous. Who
would have thought that 75 years after the Agency was formed...you
can't smoke in public, carry an open container, but you can carry a
concealed weapon almost anywhere.

He didn't say: Actors on Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars
cannot be on the air at the same time, unless they are starring in a
Reality Show based on "The Hunger Games". These Celebrities careers
are so far behind them, they are even forbidden from being used in a
game of Kevin Bacon's "Six Degrees of Separation".


And finally, Bill Maher didn't say:...Air Traffic Controllers should be considered
more important to passengers than a free bag of peanuts.

With the "Sequester Cuts" closing 149 Air Traffic Control Towers
and the forced layoffs of TSA officers at security checkpoints, we
will now officially be waiting in line longer...in order to fly less
safe.

You know you have a problem when Rosetta Stone is selling "Airport
Complaining" as its very own language, and when Carnival Cruise
Lines prefers to send people home by Greyhound Bus, instead of by
plane, so as not to further worsen their customer experience.

The Airline Industry has taught the government that passengers
will tolerate taxes and fees that cost more than their plane ticket,
pay baggage and parking fees that are more than a hotel room, and
have a willingness to pay for everything from six inches of extra leg
room, a blanket, and even for toilet privileges...as long as you continue
to give them a free bag of peanuts.

In fact our government is run exactly like the airlines, it thinks like
Republicans but operates like Democrats. Not unlike the government,
70% of the airlines revenues comes from 20% of the people, who in
kind, receive almost 100% of all of the perks and benefits.

When the 20% fly, they receive the very Republican valet parking, a
private waiting lounge, a separate security gate, no fee for bags,
fully reclining seats, generous frequent flyer perks, and a gourmet
meal, while the other 80%, get a very Democratic...free bag of peanuts.

No matter what the government or the airlines debate about what to
take away next from the 80% of the rest of us, Pell Grants, Student
Loans, Veteran Benefits, Medicare, Social Security or the free instruction
card in the back of the seat in the event of a plane crash, the 20% will
still have more than 1 trillion dollars in tax deductions, the very best
health care, a good retirement plan, top educational schools, access to
a mortgage...and a first class seat on the aisle.

Regardless of whether you are in the 20% or the 80%, danger and public
safety affect all of the passengers... 100% of the time.

It is one thing when our government fails to inspect our meat properly, or
the lead in our children's toys, but when I fly, I don't think I deserve to fly
with less air traffic controllers, less TSA Security Officers, and now Muhammad
being allowed to carry Pocket Knives and Hockey Sticks back into the cabin,
while I still have to throw out my 3oz. bottle of moisturizing skin creme.

Does Greyhound give away free peanuts?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I know who is older, whiter and more insular than the Republican Party..




According to the Chairman of the RNC, Reince Priebus, the only people
that are "older, whiter and more insular" than the Republican Party
...is Hugh Hefner and the Leadership at the Vatican.

All three cling to the past, believing their problems are more style than
substance, in spite of the fact, their downward spiraling membership
and fractured organizations...is strong evidence to the contrary.

While Mr. Hefner was a man ahead of his time, eventually becoming
out of sync with the times, the Vatican and the Republican Party have
appeared to be frozen in time.

Scandal, Celibacy, Contraception, Abortion, Gay Rights, Same Sex
Marriage, and Women's Rights are issues that have been flashpoints
for both organizations, yet the recent "Conclaves" at CPAC and the
Church, don't lay out much hope or faith that any fundamental change
will be forthcoming anytime soon from either organization.

With 80% of the Nuns here in the United States now under the watchful
eye of the Archbishop from Seattle, to insure they are only promoting
Church Doctrine, and only 31% of voters identifying themselves as
Republicans, one might think that new Leadership would be elected to
point them in a new direction.

Yet both organizations cannot seem to break free from separating core
conservative values, from the interpretation of how those values are
relevant or reflective of our everyday lives.

And even though both organizations, lean heavily on the Lord for guidance
and revelation, it is now the Hispanics, they are both are looking at... to
lead them to the Promised Land.

Pope Francis will excite the 501 million Catholics in Latin America and
Marc Rubio will reach out to the 11 million immigrants that dream of
one day being proud Americans, but espousing old policies on new faces,
is a poor substitute for a true Religious or Political Awakening.

The Church under Pope Francis, does seem to poised to recommit itself
to helping those in need, in order to find its salvation, while the Republicans
still seem destined to help only those... that are in a position to help
someone else.

The Republican Party will be spending 10 million dollars on a campaign to
reach out to the very people, they will want to be taking away hundreds
of millions of dollars from...in order to  prioritize the reducing of the
deficit.

Paul Ryan says the Republican Budget is tantamount to not burdening our
children of tomorrow with the financial irresponsibility of today, but why is
it the best policy to burden the children of today with the financial
irresponsibility of those from yesterday.

Are children of today any less valuable than the children of tomorrow? Any
less deserving of a fair and balanced approach to share the responsibility
and the benefits of a bright and exciting future

Does it make sense to ask the children of today to sacrifice their education,
scholarships, food stamps and health care and social security...for the children
of the future, while not asking the wealthiest people in this country to sacrifice
their annual 1 trillion tax deductions to help pay down the debt?

What sacrifice will Mr. Ryan's be asking of his children, while asking 98 percent
of everyone else's children to share the burden?

Many Republican policies certainly win elections and seem easier to implement
when they are governing someone else's family...other than their own.

It is hard not to notice the number of Republican Leaders who were against
same sex marriage until they learned their own child was the one who wanted to
get married to someone of the same sex.

The Republicans have begun a listening tour to reach out to minorities and Latin
Americans so their Party can begin to look like America.

I hope the first thing they hear is: it is much more important to understand
how Americans feel, than trying to reflect how they look...and the best way to
understand how they feel...is to first ask a greater sacrifice of yourself, than
anything you may ask of others.

And if that be the case...than the Catholic Church and the Republican Party,
might have eve more in common in the coming years...then just the hope for
a large Hispanic following!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fun in the News: Bye Bye to Chavez, Justin Bieber's career and why they should not pick a Pope now


Justin Bieber in England this week, needs to decide whether or not
he will become the new "King of Pop", or the next Prince Harry. If
Prince Harry can foolishly boast of killing the Taliban, than Justin
should be able to successfully kill his own career.

JC Penny and Macy's need to stop fighting over Martha Stewart,
Martha says she hasn't felt this popular, since she taught fellow inmates 
how to make blueberry wine from raisins and maple syrup.

Newly embalmed for public viewing, Hugo Chavez will be starring
in a new Diet Pepsi commercial with Sofia Vegara entitled "Wherever
Hugo - I Go". Sofia will be forced to decide, to be "On the Go with Hugo",
or in heaven with her favorite soft drink.

The drama at the Russian Bolshoi Ballet is doing more to thaw relations
between Russia and The United States, than the night the "Who Shot JR"
episode, became the most watch television show in Russian history.
Mark Burnett has already licensed "Real Men Wear Tights" in more
than 37 countries.

If the Vatican really wants to change its image, it probably shouldn't be
locking 115 men in one room, with a chimney symbolizing the only key
to getting out!

Students need to stop whining about the use of Standardized Testing as
the main component for College Entrance Exams. Call me insensitive, but
I haven't noticed that many math and science geniuses, who could only
get into a community college, and was forced to major in Phys Ed, because
the test didn't understand the essence of who they are.

Also this week -- Mercury is in retrograde and will stay that way until March 17.  Justin Bieber and the Vatican should NOT make any decisions until then.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Abortion in Arkansas - If men could get pregnant would we even be having this conversation?


This week saw the celebration of "International Women's Day",
and what better way to honor how far women have come, than
on the very same day, Arkansas passing the most restrictive
abortion rights law in the country.

In response to the ban on abortions after 12 weeks of conception,
Liberals immediately vowed to oppose any law that helps people
of Arkansas, replicate themselves anymore than is absolutely
necessary.

Expect to see massive contraception handouts, free information
pamphlets on the morning after pill...and free seminars on how
to hold an aspirin between your knees while eating Tater Tots
from Dairy Queen.

When did the fight for freedom to believe as you choose,
become only a fight to believe as I do?!

Why does a debate on the fate of the unborn, have to be decided
in the courtroom, instead of in our hearts and mind?

How is it, that people work harder for the rights of a potential
unborn child, than they do for a woman once she is born?
Would we even be having this conversation if men were the ones
who got pregnant?

Today, here in the United States, even though more women attend
college and achieve higher grades than men...they are overwhelmingly
and disproportionately kept away from seats of power.

Only 20% of elected officials are women and an even smaller percentage
are CEO's, or sit on the Board of Directors of Fortune 1000 Companies.
In India, it is culturally acceptable to assault women as sport, in
Afghanistan to deny them an education, and in Saudi Arabia they are
still not allowed to drive.

Religious teachings has never been particularly kind to women. Ever
since Jesus picked all men as the Apostles...women knew it was going
to be an uphill battle to get a seat at the table.

And the fact that Muslim extremists are still touting virgins as door
prizes on the way to see Allah...certainly indicates there is still much
work to do before a celebration is in order.

But the real religious challenge for woman when it comes to abortion
is not an individual line of scripture or an interpretation of the Ten
Commandments, but the fact that in religion...as emblazoned in the
state motto of Arkansas "The People Rule", instead of the individual.
One Book...one set of rules...one set of rituals...and one set of beliefs!
The reason there are more than 1500 religions in the world is because
you cannot have 1500 opinions in one Religion.

So even though our country was founded on individual rights...religious
conservatives are challenged to think that people have an individual right
to decide how they feel, once the Church has put in Doctrine exactly what
they say one should believe.

There are fair, spirited and troubling arguments when life begins, that
neither faith nor science can answer with a true consensus of certainty.
And it is moments such as these, why this country was designed with
a church to guide us and not define us...and a government to protect
us, but whenever possible... never be the one to choose for us!

Some people argue about the intention of the "separation of church and
state" in America by our founding fathers, but the real separation, was
that our country was not set up as a theocracy.

As we have painfully been reminded all too often lately...our country, unlike
the church... was set up to disagree!

Divided factions, individual rights and equality for all... were very distant
cousins from religious organizations or the European governments that
were based on religion as their inherent right to rule.

Women may never win the argument for the "Right to Choose" in church
on Sunday...but here in the United States her body is her Temple and she
should be the Pope!

...and although a Woman still can't be elected Pope, we need to make sure
that whenever possible, the "smoke is blowing white" for all Women in all
areas...so International Women's Day ...can be a true celebration!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Beltway Confidential - Behind the Scenes of the Sequestration





Ever since the sequestration has gone into effect, the Fox News lead story
every day has been, "the economy is still alive". Similar to when Saturday
Night Live infamously reported every week that Spain's General Francisco
Franco was "still dead". Both organizations selectively reporting on what
happened as opposed to what was actually happening.

Breaking news by Fox is now: airport delays not caused by the sequester,
meat still being inspected, and lines are still only 4 hours long at the DMV...
some things will never change!

Unlike Elvis, no one ever questioned the General's permanent state of
rigor mortis, but the possibility that the sequester has killed the economy
and the poison hasn't taken its full effect yet, one would think is the far more
compelling story.

With the sequester calling for 44% of the $85 billion in cuts to be implemented
upon just 14% of the budget in a period of only 7 months, the independent CBO
reports and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke agrees, that up to 750,000 jobs will be
lost, GDP will be reduced sharply,...and the economy could be endanger of being
pushed back into a recession with such a harsh and abrupt halt placed upon the
economy.

Why was there no midnight call to VP Joe Biden this time? Why did Republican
Leadership leave town faster than Anthony Scalia can get rid of the Voting Rights
Act!

This is not an impasse...this is not a failed negotiation...this is how you win
Championship Fight.

Round One: Republicans threaten to shut down the government and default on
our bills if spending cuts are not guaranteed regardless of either Party's inability
to negotiate. Debt Ceiling is raised, the sequestration is born, and the Tea Party
hasn't felt this successful since Nathan convinced Aaron to build a Golden Calf
while waiting for Moses to come down from the Mountain.
Winner - Republicans...the sequester becomes the "rope a dope" of political
strategy!

Round Two: The Republicans lose an election and give up 620 billion dollars in
revenue increases on the top 2% income earners for 2.5 Trillion dollar in spending
cuts.
Winner - Democrats...Republicans agreeing to tax increases hurts more than Joe
Frazier being knocked down 6 times in 6 minutes against
George Forman.

Round Three: The sequester kicks in and the Republicans give up Zero dollars in
revenue increases for 1.2 Trillion dollars in spending cuts and haven't even touched
Social Security or Medicare yet! And most importantly, the Republicans for the first
and only time, get to cut the Military Budget, with complete cover by the Democrats
and the sequester...without having to cast a single vote!
Winner - Republicans...Tea Party doesn't care if you take a sledge hemmer to the
government, they want it as broken as possible!

Round Four: Before this round starts, the Democrats and their team are going to
have to change strategy to avoid a knockout and out box their opponent to victory.

The problem is the Republicans have put the Democrats into the corner by forcing
them to manage the sequester as best as possible and open themselves for blame
if they don't. If the Democrats use the pain of the sequester to force the Republicans
to the center of the ring, they could be knock downed by the very same pain that
is unfairly being forced upon the public.

If someone loses their job, it is not the forced sequester that is responsible...
but the inability of the President's team to manage the cuts more effectively.
Need more tools to manage the sequester and save jobs? House Republicans
will blame the President for not accepting their amendment to the sequester
for allowing the President to choose targeted cuts instead of the painful cuts
from among all of the Presidents favorite programs.
Winner - TBD...this will come down to whether the President's Left, is stronger
with the Bully Pulpit, vs. the Republicans Right, with radio and
television, influencing how the referee, mainstream media
ultimately reports the story.

Final Round: After four years of training, the President is more than prepared to
fight either toe to toe or with the "sweet science" that only an experienced fighter
can bring to the ring. The President will go for the knock out by bringing the Grand
Bargain back to the table...bigger and bolder than he first proposed with John
Boehner. He will bypass the Speaker of the House, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell,
and look to Republican Senators who secretly want to diminish the role of the Tea
Party before the upcoming Republican Primaries.

He will put enough in the ring to try to make this a battle between Senate
Republicans and Republicans in the House, instead of a fight between himself
and House Republicans.

The punch they won't see coming will be a significant closing of tax loopholes to
pay down the debt for a modest reduction in corporate tax rates to stimulate the
economy.

This combined, with offering means testing and agreeing to change the formula
for cost of living increases for Medicare, will put the Republicans in a defining
moment for who controls the future of their Party...which will strengthen the
Democrats in 2014, no matter if the Republicans agree or remain the party of
no to compromise!

The President would still have Social Security and raising the minimum age
requirements to receive benefits, for future negotiation fights, or if he needs
another devasting punch to call upon in a close call decision.
Winner - The American People...