Friday, 12/04/09, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

43 responses to “Friday, 12/04/09, Public Square

  1. Puppies — great choice! 🙂

    Jason Watkins, District 105 Rep, resigns! It’s like being given a gift! I live in his district, he should never have been elected to a public office. He is rude, ill spoken, a dullard, outside a family business the only jobs he’s ever held are selling real estate and this elected office gig he is quitting. He tells constituents what they want to hear and votes opposite what he said. In other words, no matter who replaces him s/he can’t be worse and we have a chance of someone with an actual working brain.

    • lilacluvr

      I saw this guy on the television news last night (if his name had not been printed on the screen below, I would have not known him) and I was getting a load of wash ready and didn’t have time to stop and listen to the newscast.

      Why did he resign?

    • Yesterday, I think. Here’s the article from this morning’s local paper:

      Makes me ‘tickled pink’! 🙂

      • lilacluvr

        $17,789 for a typical 90-day assignment sounds pretty good to most people I know. I wonder do these Republicans even know that some people work longer to just make $17,789? Some people live on that salary for the entire year.

        Besides, did he not know what the job paid when he campaigned for the job?

        And why didn’t his wife pitch in to help with the family’s business? After all, if they are truly good, patriotic Kansans – then wouldn’t they want to do what it took to help their beloved Kansans?

        Sounds to me like something else is going on – not just about the money.

        And about those kids – he knew he had those kids when he campaigned for the job. He just NOW decides his family comes first?


      • lilac, I suspect more here than meets the eye as well.

  2. I haven’t had a puppy in years and years. My last dogs have been rescue dogs fully grown. But sometimes my Ginger girl who the vet estimates is around 8 – 9 years old can act like a puppy. 🙂

  3. David B

    The Healthcare for Kansans Rally will be Saturday morning, 21st & Amidon, 10 am to 12 pm (Noon). The information is now publicly available at ForwardKansas:

  4. lilacluvr

    My husband and I had to put down our Dalmatian last February. She was 13 yrs old and we got her when she was a puppy. We have not even been in the mindset to get another puppy/dog until recently.

    My husband and I both look on the Humane Society’s website daily and there are some cute ones there.

    Kasey (our Dalmatian) was a purebred and she was a great dog. Wish I knew now what the puppy would be like when older – LOL. Kasey had me so spoiled as being so good of a dog that if I got one that caused problems – I don’t know what I would do with it.

    Kasey was the type of dog that if you wanted to run and play with her, she was all for it. But if you had stuff to do and wanted her to stay put, then she simply laid down by the sofa (on her dog bed) and took a nap until you woke her up again.

    During the first few years we had her, I was working full time and the kids were in school. When I picked up my purse, Kasey instantly went into the carrier because we wanted her out of mischief while we were not home. Kasey even got to the point where she would close the door behind her waiting for me to latch it!

    Now, she was a great dog! When I stopped working full time, Kasey was out of the carrier for good and she was so good with the baby grand-daughter that arrived. Kasey was a protector of the baby and she seemed to sense what was going on.

    I really miss her but, who knows, maybe there is another Kasey in our future? Only time will tell.

    But that Humane Society’s website is a nice place to visit when you need to smile. Some of those dogs are so cute!

    • I think the dog parents (that’s what you the owners are!) make a good dog. You were the pack leader, Kasey loved you and responded to your loving guidance. You would make another great dog whether you begin with a puppy or not.

      I loved hearing about Kasey! Sorry (belatedly) for your great loss.

      • lilacluvr

        Our son got a purebred Basset Hound when he was in high school. His name is Farley and he is a handful! Farley lived in the same house with Kasey and yet Farley seemed to be forever the Peter Pan – you know, he never grew up.

        To this day, Farley still acts likes a puppy! He is 10 yrs old and lives with my son and his family in the country.

        Farley is a charmer, that’s true, but he is still such a handful. I’m wondering if it is because he is male?

        Do female and male dogs have different personality traits or is it just all dogs have different personalities (like people)?

        Farley can do some of the stupidest things but yet when he gives you that cute basset hound eyes look – you seem to forget what he just did (at least for the moment).

      • Farley is a Basset Hound. That’s all I need to know.

      • Your Farley reminds me of the book titled, “Marley & Me.” All about a very naughty dog who offers up some of the most valuable life lessons.

        Check this out —

        OK, point taken! The dog’s humans don’t always determine the dog’s behaviors.

  5. Our economy shed the fewest jobs since 2007. How will the haters twist this into something they can scream about and blame President Obama for?

    We all understand that our economy sucks, but we should recognize that in only ten months the current administration has saved America from the deepest recession ever experienced. This one was only just better than The Great Depression which was going to be repeated if we hadn’t gotten rid of bush the lesser just in time!

    Forward steps, even small ones, should be cause for celebration and thanks.

    • Is this a small step forward, or has the point been reached where there aren’t that many more people left to lose jobs?

      Alternatively, or in conjunction with the above, what are the job creation numbers for the same period?

      You asked, fnord; just responding to your question. 🙂

      • I always appreciate your questions! They offer an opportunity to think, discuss, and get outside the box the ‘news’ offers. 🙂

    • Great questions, as always. I don’t have those answers, do you? I have heard rumblings that unless more money gets moving we’re headed to a new recession. I wonder who determines (and how) the beginning of a new recession? When did the determination the old one had ended come down?


    Like it or not, cost control is a very necessary component of any reform. The GOP knows this, I believe, but spurs opposition to any attempt to reform by portraying the attempts to control costs as an attack on the elderly. This is playing very well with many of my clients.

    The question I sometimes pose, namely what kind of care can be expected by them when Medicare cannot afford it, thereby raising the amount they will be forced to pay or totally do without, is greeted either by stony silence; ridicule; or a deer in the headlights look. Denial just isn’t a river in Egypt.

    • lilacluvr

      Where is the sympathy and outrage when my private health insurance cuts back on their benefits? I don’t see any Medicare recipients crying for me.

      Like when my health care plan reduced the maximum life time benefit from $2 million to $500,000 – where was all the outrage from Republicans?

      And isn’t reducing $1 million and a half dollars of coverage considered cutting benefits?

      • Exactly, lilac; exactly. However, the cut you experienced was private enterprise, to the benefit of the insurance company and (likely) its stockholders; not one that has “the Government” involved, in all its perceived evilness, and likely did not adversely affect the bloc of likely voters, namely Medicare beneficiaries.

        The cost control being proposed, as I understand it, isn’t so much a reduction in benefits in a strict definition of the term, so much as it is a reduction in reimbursement rates for some things, and a shift to encouraging specific, tailored treatments through targeting reimbursement rates and policies towards them.

        Rationality dictates a review of how much is expended in “end of life” care, which in my observation, results in much money being expended for little benefit. This sounds harsh, so I’ll try to explain my point a bit.

        Is it better to expend hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of a patient during his or her lifetime for prevention and alleviation of a condition which otherwise would prove terminal, or treatment of the same condition after the patient is of advanced age and is, in fact, in a terminal state, gaining perhaps a few weeks or months of existence, but not altering the eventual outcome? The latter is the situation that most frequently occurs now, with the former treated as the “red headed step-child” of medical practice and insurance reimbursement. Yes, to change this will require a major shift in attitude, but this must occur, imho, for there to be any effective reform in the longer term.

      • I agree totally, 6176! And I fear that badly-needed national discussion about the costs of end of life care was set back with the idiocy of the so-called death panels made up by Sarah Palin.

    • Was the lifetime benefit cap reduction accompanied by a premium increase? That’s what we got. 😦

      • So did we, a few years ago. The explanation was that such was the only way to avoid a double-digit percentage premium increase to retain the higher cap. Likely true, but hard to take.

      • lilacluvr

        No, and boy was I surprised! I hear rumors that the company is changing health insurance carriers for 2010. I just hope we don’t go from bad to worse.

  7. We are all being screwed left and right. The insurance companies, hospital corporations, hospital supply companies, pharmaceutical companies and doctors associations are all behind the scenes right now divvying up the loot that Congress is getting ready to hand out. I know this for a FACT.

    This is not the way healthcare reform should be done. They will put some spin on it to make it look like they did the best they could, but they are, for the most part and in the majority, NOT working in the best interests of the American people here. You would be shocked and disgusted to hear the sorts of negotiations that are going on behind the scenes so that all these special interests can get their cut of the action.

    I am disgusted with it. We are screwed coming and going.

  8. The only solution to our health care woes is true single payer coverage like all other civilized nations offer their citizens.

    Even without greater insider knowledge we can see how sadly the ‘reforms’ proposed fail us.

    Does anyone think making some kind of change will make true beneficial changes easier down the line? Not me. Those who currently oppose will just have more to point out as failures if another attempt is made.

    • I think Germany doesn’t do a true “single payer” model, but it has a system worth examining and adapting.

    • I agree, fnord, with what you posit in the final paragraph of your post. That’s been the foundation of my respectful opposition to what Congress has been considering.

      It takes Congress working with the Executive to enact any reform, so I’m not surprised by what’s been going on as this has developed. Reelection and all that,you know.

    • We’ll never get single-payer as long as the people who are negotiating the changes are private insurance, private hospital, private industry, and doctors associations.

      They are unhappy with the proposed Medicare reimbursements and are working to get them increased and keep them that way (doctors and hospitals).

      They are unhappy with current amendments that try to force them to make sure a patient is on the mend before they discharge them, and the high penalties that are being discussed for not doing so, and are trying to beat those things back (hospital corporations).

      And they are worried about tax-exempt status for hospitals, nursing homes and so forth that are owned by churches and non-profits. Hmmmm. Maybe they should be. Just imagine the tax benefits of changing the law so that all hospitals have to pay tax if they make a profit regardless of who owns them.

      Maybe they would be “disincentivized” to make a profit???

  9. lilacluvr

    Didn’t Richard Nixon push for single payer? Or am I just remembering my history incorrectly?

  10. The Votemaster writes today about the obstacles Reid faces in getting all 60 votes needed, a list of a few of the demands made by individual Senators — none of which would be acceptable to other Senators.

    Maybe the worst that can happen isn’t that we don’t get health-care reform, but that we get stupid health-care reform. I know what failure it will be for the Democratic Party, but I’m sick of Americans being given the stupidity of partisanship instead of actual benefits of being citizens of our great country.

  11. lilacluvr

    My opinion is that certain things in life should not be simply driven by bottom line profit and health care is one of those things.

    I can only tell you factually about the nursing home industry since my husband and I have been involved in that business for 32 years. When we first started, most nursing homes were county owned or privately owned facilities. We then saw the advent of corporations getting into the game.

    My husband worked for a wonderful corporation during the 80’s and this company did do right by the nursing home patients and their families. But as more and more corporations got into the nursing home game – that is when the ‘bad apples’ started showing up. These are the corporations that bill Medicare and Medicaid for that ready cash and then dole it back to the nursing home to pay the bills. But the corporation took their cut off the top immediately and it was up to the administrator of the nursing home to make the money they got from the corporate office to spread over all the daily bills and to make sure the patients were housed, fed and taken care of medically.

    That is why my husband stopped being the administrator in 1999. He got tired of the red tape of Medicare, the never ending greed of the corporation and trying to maintain the patients’ health and well being.

    My husband is now with Presbyterian Manors (a church sponsored company) and the emphasis is more on the patients rather than the bottom line profit.

    And to me that is the difference – the focus is on the patients and not money.

    Also – I’ve known several nursing homes that have been sold multiple times because it was good for the corporations. Maybe so, but was it good for the patients and their families?

    The last corporate owned nursing home my husband was the administrator (and the year he finally quit as corporate management) – it was sold one day, the next day it was sold again! That year my husband got 3 different W-2’s and he never left the chair!

    And the eventual winning corporate owner turned out to be the worst of the bunch – they took all the cash from Medicare/Medicaid and gave very little money back to run the place. The electricity and phones were constantly being threatened to be turned off and the food service company demanded COD payments when they delivered the food.

    But that corporation sure had some terrific management excursions to Disney World and Hawaii for their top CEO and his gang.

    Isnt that ironic there was money for their trips but none to buy food on credit for the patients?

    And that is when my husband told them to go f__ themselves.

    (Pardon the language).


    See photo in link. It has been alleged by some that the individual depicted is (former) KU head football coach Mark Mangino.

    • Could be him! Although we’re a nation of obesity.

      I hope this ends. I haven’t approved of the way any of it was handled. Perkins has not enamored himself, and I wasn’t a fan before this latest.

      • As you may be aware, Mr. Mangino resigned last night after arriving at a settlement on the remaining amount due under his contract.

        In a tepid defense of Mr. Perkins, there have been media stories suggesting a class-action suit by former players being brought against KUAC if Mr. Mangino was not terminated. I do not like the way this was handled, either, but think some of the way it all went down was occasioned by a Lawrence Journal World reporter being advised of the meeting of players with the AD which he was going to report. This forced the AD to make the unsatisfactory statement to the press which alerted us to the investigation, and the rest was history.