Wednesday, 3/31/10, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

68 responses to “Wednesday, 3/31/10, Public Square

  1. Good morning!

    Another day to avoid against blowing away. The warm temps and sunshine make the wind more tolerable for me. It was a loooong winter.

    I only had to do one day this session, so I’ll be catching up today around the house and completing some errands.

    I have to go look at the ‘proof’ for the wedding rehearsal dinner. Time is moving quickly! Glad it’s our son being married as that greatly reduces my responsibilities!

    Iggy and I talked about how nice it would be to get together for lunch — communication sans keyboards. 🙂 Next Wednesday, April 7, works well for both of us. How about anyone else? Let me know, please!

  2. indypendent

    Check out the CNN website. Seems Fox News has ticked off LL Cool J over their promotion of Sarah Palin’s new Alaskan television show.

    Seems Fox News used a 2008 interview LL Cool J did with someone else and is using it to promote SP’s new show.

    When will Republicans learn they cannot just use and abuse anything or anyone they want just because they want to?

    Remember the numerous times during the McCain/Palin campaign some song was used and the artist(s) would have to go banging on their door the next day?

    • wicked

      Not only Cool J, but Toby Keith is a bit ticked off, too.

      Sarah isn’t getting off to a very good start, not when they have to dig up old interviews. Will they present those as her interviews?

  3. David B

    Sans keyboards?? Oh YES! The Apple iPad comes out Saturday!

  4. As Indy brought to our attention in a post above —

    Here is the advertisement Faux News is running to promote Sarah’s show this coming Thursday night —

    Cool J has complained on his Twitter that Fox News is falsely making it appear as though he sat down with Sarah Palin for her new special, Real American Stories, which airs Thursday Night. He tweeted, “Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palin’s Show. WOW.”

    So Faux News has to lie in order to attract viewers? Well, color me surprised. 😉

    • And this is how you behave when you’re the one who has behaved poorly but you’d like it to sound like you haven’t. They lie and then they (almost) slander.

      Fox News has announced that it will cut the LL Cool J footage from Sarah Palin’s program, saying in a statement that “[A]s it appears that Mr. Smith [Cool J’s real name] does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career.”

  5. tosmarttobegop

    I took mom to her appointment for a hearing test and the decision as to whether she would need a hearing aid.

    Medicare does not cover a hearing aid so the entire cost of nearly two thousand dollars comes out of her purse.

    Also the future tax on such medical devises, point of sell tax on those who need such devises.

    So in this issue of moral duty, how moral do they consider taxing the needed medical devise?

    Did dollar signs obscure their vision?

    Taxing a 80 years old woman on a fixed income and who insurance does not cover these expensive.

    Yet another shortcoming and shortsighted example of the end result of going from helping the people to simply needing to pass a bill so as to not appear to be inept.

    Way to go Democratically control Government!

    Politics as usual it would seem.

    • I know nothing about hearing-aids and insurance coverage, but wonder if what you describe is new, and a result of the recently passed law, or not. If a result of the new law, I’m shocked things are moving ahead so quickly!

    • Guess I’m asking for something in support of your statements. Hey, there’s a bunch of misinformation going around…

      • There is a tax on devices that doesn’t start right away, which medical device companies fought hard but lost. It is not supposed to be passed on to the end-user, but mostly to the buyer, which is generally hospitals. But in the case of hearing aides, the buyer will be the general public.

        As a vision-impaired person, I will tell you that you will get little sympathy for any hearing or vision impairment from any insurance company. After all, blindness and deafness aren’t life-threatening. And our government health systems are loosely based on coverages in the private sector. So…connect the dots.

        Of course, universal health care could have been designed to cover this sort of thing. Oh well…let’s not let the non-s0lution be the enemy of the actual solution. Or something like that.

    • Medicare not covering hearing aids isn’t new. In some (very few!) cases when the hearing loss is due to medical problems they are covered but not for the most part.

      With respect to the tax you mention, I found this —

      “Opponents of the health care reform legislation signed into law this week by President Barack Obama seized on a report about a new tax on medical device makers to criticize the plan.

      The tax, a 2.3 percent levy on sales of medical devices starting in 2013, would help fund the expansion of the nation’s health care system.

      “A tax on any business tends to be a pass through tax. If you tax them 2.5% on sales they will raise their prices by 2.5% or more to cover the costs of this tax. … If it were my company, I would treat it like a state sales tax and add a separate line item to each invoice and call it “Federal Sales Tax of Medical Equipment” and add the 2.3%.”

      http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2010/03/from_the_comments_tax_on_medic.html

    • tosmarttobegop

      Fnord it was mentioned yesterday but no the tax is not in effect yet.

      This is though an example of the future effects of the bill, sadly I was seeing the hints of where it was going.

      When the focus went from making meaningful changes to the betterment of the people to one of just any bill will do.

      I myself was shock when I found out that Medicare does not cover even the hearing aid.

      Loss of hearing is hardly a rare occurrence with the elderly.

      Shoot my wife is saying several times a month that I need a hearing aid at 52!

      LOL I just reply I am not hard of hearing I am ignoring you! Old joke in her family.

      • Just more proof that we need single payer universal coverage for all Americans! Ya know, like all other civilized nations already have.

        Let’s hope this new law is amended, and amended some more until Americans get what they deserve — health care.

      • Zippy

        What will happen is that the insurance companies will do everything they can to evade, distort and use muddy language in the law to their advantage. It’s basically the opposite of what the hysterics are saying: good ‘ol Republican privatization, but since the industry was already private, it’s simply instituting new rules in exchange for greater business.

        They will, naturally, seek to maximize their profits and if that has negative effects on those data points (what were the peasants call them? Ah, yes, “people”), then so be it.

        Even if this was the equivalent of the Civil Right Act of 1964 (and it’s not even close), change is not self-enforcing.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28rich.html

      • Zippy

        P.S. Not including the small expansion of Medicare yada yada yada.

        Medicare for all!

      • Zippy, great article by Frank Rich!

        Thanks for posting the link!

  6. On the subject of financial reform, the American Banker’s Association (ABA) has taken a completely different stand than they did in 2006, proving they are saying whatever it takes to continue to rip off consumers and protect their own interests in making a few a lot more wealthy.

    “The ABA in 2006 said that policymakers should separate safety-and-soundness and consumer protection — exactly the opposite of its position today.

    This 2006 memo illustrates the ABA’s real consistency — consistent opposition to meaningful reform.

    If there is a smoking gun in the battle over financial regulatory reform, the 2006 ABA memo is it.

    In the memo, the ABA also argued that: 1) the proposed guidance “overstates the risk” of so-called nontraditional mortgages; 2) the nontraditional mortgages were not “inherently riskier” than traditional mortgages; and 3) the nontraditional mortgages “simply present different types of risks that may be well-managed by prudent lenders.”

    So much for the ABA’s expertise on what increases the riskiness of banks.

    The ABA’s efforts to block rules over subprime mortgages contributed directly to the economic crisis. They also offer irrefutable proof that bank lobbyists will say anything to block meaningful reform.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/35163.html

    • Zippy

      Some conspiracies are true. I recently saw a documentary on late-night public access that put Michael Moore’s antics to shame. It’s as bad as we think, folks.

      New book I’m thinking about checking out is by Simon Johnson, a former IMF official:

      Simon Johnson: Bailed Out Banks Are Even Bigger, More Powerful Than They Were Before The Crisis

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-tv/simon-johnson-bailed-out_b_519015.html

      • Very true. Saw the same on an episode of Frontline, where some banks took the bailout money that the government offered and used it to buy other, struggling banks. Apparently they saw things differently than what we were being told. They saw that if you were too big to fail, the government would come in and bail you out completely. So they went out and bought banks that were ostensibly carrying a lot of bad debt to guarantee that if things went horribly wrong, they could get the full bailout treatment. If things didn’t go horribly wrong, the government would buy the bad debt that they had inherited in buying the smaller banks and take the problem off their hands. NO RISK. This has been the root of the problem from the beginning.

        Two things that you will never hear discussed in conjunction with regulatory reform:

        Both the WallStreet rating agencies and the Credit Scoring agencies should be moved from the private sector and recreated as government agencies, heavy regulated and answerable to the people of this country. They are the real power (and the real problem) in the credit crisis which continues to plague both citizen and business alike.

  7. tosmarttobegop

    ust more proof that we need single payer universal coverage for all Americans!

    I hear that even without a hearing aid!

  8. tosmarttobegop

    Need to run…. later

  9. David B

    Anyone see any point in attending to show support for the reforms:

    Tiahrt to hold town hall meeting, talk about tanker
    Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-Goddard) is hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the Air Force’s tanker competition and the new health care law. He says he’ll also talk about his plans to repeal the law.

    The meeting is open to the public. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex at 29th and Oliver.

    • indypendent

      If Tiarht gets in it will only be by the skin of his teeth.

      There are alot of Democrats and Independents who have changed party affiliation just for the pleasure to boot him out of his cushy $1 million plus budet Congressional office.

      Did you happen to see that news this morning in the Wichita Eagle? Tiarht’s office has had to increase their already bloated budget due to complaints against Obama.

      My only question is – why much taxpayers pay $1 million plus just to hear Tiarht say ‘NO’? Can’t we phone that in and save a bunch of money?

      • indypendent

        corr: much should be -must

      • Here’s that easy online site where any legal Kansas resident may register to vote, or change their party affiliation with a few simple clicks from your computer —

        http://www.kssos.org

        The Kansas primary is Aug. 3rd and is probably when the next Senator from Kansas will be elected so don’t miss the opportunity to be part of that decision!

  10. I can’t see any point for a few reasons.

    1. Tiahrt isn’t going to be re-elected;

    2. The health-care law isn’t going to be repealed;

    3. I look forward to these yahoos who have absolutely no ideas or solutions running on an effort to repeal this law. Talk about a losing strategy! They’re setting themselves up for failure and I think it’s a great pursuit of futility!

  11. Besides, who wants to be in the presence of such childish ill-behaved people? There are some ways of childhood — the wonder, the joy, the curiosity — I hope we never lose, but the petulant part, the hissy fits and obstinacy aren’t even attractive in children. In adults, it looks really bad!

  12. indypendent

    I wonder if Tiarht is going to explain to the crowd why he voted for CAFTA along with the majority of his other Republicans under George W. Bush. Do some research on CAFTA and you will see how the foreign countries got their feet into the government procurement bidding process – with the blessings of Tiarht and his buddies.

    Is Tiarht saying he was for foreign competition for those tankers before was against it?

    Kinda like Mitt Romney and that pesty mandatory health insurance he got into Massachusetts and now the same mandatory health insurance is wrong for Obama.

    These Republicans are a funny bunch – forgetful or just outright liars?

    • indypendent

      That CAFTA bill was rammed down Americans’ throat in 2005 by a vote of 217-215. The majority of Democrats voted NO.

      I thought Democrats were the only party that rammed legislation down our throat? LOL

      • It’s called something more pleasant when performed by Republicans. You know, kinda like Republican women never have an abortion, it’s a D & C or some ‘female problem.’

        They don’t have ideas or solutions but they’ve got a shit pot full of hypocrisy!

  13. indypendent

    As for the hearing aid not being covered by Medicare – my health insurance coverage does not cover anything like hearing aids or glasses. I don’t think it even covers a walker or crutches if I was to break a leg.

    But I’m so glad Medicare can afford to pay for all those little blue Viagra pills.

    At least we have our priorities straight – NOT.

  14. indypendent

    Well put – I’ll have to remember that ‘pot’ quote. LOL

  15. Judge: Gov’t Used Illegal Wiretap

    Big Brother has been taken down a size: A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the government’s warrantless wiretap of an Islamic charity in 2004 was illegal. The government was investigating the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in Ashland, Oregon as part of a larger terrorism probe. The Northern California District Court held that the government should be liable for any damages springing from the illegal wiretaps.

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/03/31/judge-government-liable-for-illegal-wiretap-of-islamic-charity/

    • indypendent

      I wonder how long will it take the Republicans to blame this on Obama?

      Let’s see – we have not heard from Liz Cheney for awhile. I wonder if she will be the one to run with this story about how those activist judges – encouraged by Obama – are making American unsafe from those terrorists.

      Or maybe her daddy will take this one. After all, he is out hawking that book and daddy needs a new pair of shoes.

    • Since the illegal wiretaps were in 2004, I imagine we won’t hear anything from the Republicans except how wrong this judge is — it was their hero bush the lesser and company who did the deed, so the judge must be wrong!

      Wonder who appointed the judge? Think I’ll see if google can tell me that.

  16. indypendent

    Oh, but you forget the golden rule of being a Republican – it does not matter who is at fault – it is always Obama’s fault….

  17. indypendent

    From HuffingtonPost:

    An update to the story about Fox News and the Sarah Palin television special they are promoting.

    Seems they also used Toby Keith in their promoting of this television special.

    Toby Keith has come out and said that he was never contacted by Fox News/Sarah Palin about this show and he does not know what interview they are using.

    Fox News gave LL Cool J a backhanded apology for using his name and then said something about him not wanting to participate in a show that will be an inspiration for others trying to overcome adversity. Then they said something about LL Cool J’s fledgling acting career.

    Oh no, they did not say that to LLCool J – did they?

    When will these people learn???

  18. indypendent

    This is changing the entire subject here – but doesn’t it warm your heart to know that Barbara Bush has been released from the hospital after a week of testing and readjustment of her medicine for Grave’s disease?

    I just wonder how many people who did not have the political connections/money to have the best health care had to suffer this past week?

    Our priorities in this country are just plain wrong!

    • Some people deserve greater privilege than others. They “earn” it, either through some kind of effort on their part or simply by virtue of their better character.

      I’m sure Barbara Bush is one of these who deserve greater privilege.

      /sarcasm

    • I had the same thoughts about how many people suffered, or died, when I heard she was able to be hospitalized for tests.

  19. David B

    LOL! You know that liberty Mutual ad on TV where people see others helping others, then go on to help someone…

    For some reason, it nearly brings a tear to my eye.

    Hahahah…

  20. tosmarttobegop

    Speaking of Todd Tiahrt and town hall meetings, I get a mailed notice from his office telling me of any town hall meetings in my town with him or a staff member.

    BUT I get them at least a week after the date of the town hall meeting!

    I guess since I took him to task about the Bush tax cuts and have sent his officer several e-mails.
    They remember my name at least to have the invite send the day after the meetings.

    • indypendent

      And for this level of incompetence Tiarht has to spend over a $1 million dollar office budget?

      The people sending out your invitation a week late must be the same people that send me form letters with different issues than I had asked my Congressman about.

      With competence like that, maybe they all wear loafers or shoes with velcro ties?

  21. tosmarttobegop

    The “Plausible deniability” dog can only hunt so long, Tony Perkins the head of the Family research council has put out a statement after the latest sex scandal with the GOP.

    Advising the members to no longer contribute to the GOP since it is obvious that they do not stand for or represent their values. Rather to give their money to a candidate they are sure does share their values and principles.

    • That’s going to make it really difficult for anyone new whose values aren’t known or proven or whatever the test is. How will the Republican National Party convince anyone to run in opposition to Democratic candidates who have a party and money behind them?

    • indypendent

      Hey, that really narrows done the number of possible candidates – doesn’t it?

      And those in Louisiana are just plumb out of luck – LOL.

    • You know what they say about great minds… 😉

  22. indypendent

    What gets me to laughing is how shocked everyone seemed to be when that GOP sex club scandal broke. Hey, after the past Republican sex scandals, they should all be used to it – shouldn’t they?

    • But, but, but sex is something that must be secret. At least with them! It’s always so damned kinky, or something they seemed ashamed of… I think sex for them is different than for the rest of the adults in the world. 😉

  23. tosmarttobegop

    No shock or surprise here indy I have been a Republican for over 34 years.

    Been associated with Fundies for longer then that.

    They both know where the kinkiest sex clubs are and how to tie a slip knot too!

    • indypendent

      What these people don’t get is – it is not just the sex that I find troublesome (because I really don’t care about anyone’s sex life – that is none of my business).

      But it is the hypocrisy of these people that I and others find troublesome.

      These are the people touting their family-values and they’re the Party of God.

      I don’t hear Democrats going around professing to be God’s favorite in these elections.

      I’ve often said the same thing about the Catholic Church’s problem with their child molesting priests.

      It is not the fact there were child molesting priests – it was how the Catholic Church handled those situations is why they were successfully sued and has had to pay out millions to victims.

      When will people learn to not try to cover up their crap?

      I’m referring to the first day this RNC sex club scandal broke – it was first reported that the guilty party was a non-staffer – then it turned out to be a staffer. Just tell the damm truth for once!

  24. Zippy

    In other news, Ben Bernacke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, has decided to state that which had been empirically obvious for years, long before the meltdown. Today on NPR’s Talk of the Nation :

    Coming Up Thursday, April 1: Why aren’t there more new jobs? That answer might just surprise you: Productivity. That’s right, fed chair Ben Bernanke suggests the people who have jobs might just be working too hard. The new normal in worker output, next Talk of the Nation.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5

    One fact I hope Bernanke touches on: worker “productivity” stat no longer has any connection whatsoever to actual worker output, i.e, producing anything. Paper wealth on the markets is sufficient.

    http://economics.about.com/od/termsbeginningwithl/g/labor_productivity.htm

    It’s simply a metric of worker activity.

    • Would surfing the net, blogging, etc. look like being actively engaged in work?

      I know there are many workers who carry the load of more than one employee, it seems they have to because there are always others who don’t carry their own load.

      Race, sex, political persuasion, social status, NOTHING, NO SINGLE TAG denotes who is carrying their load (and often more) and who isn’t! No matter how much some want it to.

      • indypendent

        Haven’t there always been those employees who are slackers? But I think what Bernacke is trying to say is that companies have downsized so much that they EXPECT their employees to do more work for the same pay.

        And then these same companies wonder why their employees feel no loyalty to their company?

      • You’re right, those employees will do what they must to keep that job until they find another. Employees who are valued will work extra hard to repay the confidence placed in their work. The employer who will have loyal employees will talk to them about the bottom line and usually they’ll also assure their employees that when ‘things’ improve they will enjoy increased rewards for their harder work during the downturns, then keep those promises.

  25. indypendent

    You’re right fnord – I think that was the way it was before the 80’s when Reagan got into office.

    Reagan started this trend that the corporation was almighty God and we all owed our lives to the corporation.

    There’s a good reason the 80’s are known as the decade of greed.