Monday, 1/24/11, Public Square

There is nothing patriotic about hating your government or pretending you can hate your government but love your country. — President William Jefferson Clinton (aka Bill Clinton)

54 Comments

Filed under The Public Square

54 responses to “Monday, 1/24/11, Public Square

  1. fragotwofortwo

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    I give you the happiness index by country,

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lif_hap_net-lifestyle-happiness-net

    • wicked

      Interesting. According to the source website, the data shown is from 2005, and a new “wave” will be conducted in 2010-2011. What I didn’t find out after a quick look was how the survey is actually conducted, although there were questionaires from past “waves” beginning in 1990.

      So my question is why is Denmark so happy? 🙂

    • indypendent

      Obama should be able to count on the Tea Party’s support in his cutting of the military spending – if this article is correct.

      I wonder which way the tea is going to flow if the Republicans balk at Obama’s attempt to cut military spending?

      This will be interesting to watch.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/23/tea-partybacked-lawmakers_n_812720.html

    • CapnAmerica

      Indy–
      You’re giving the T-baggers credit for being consistent.

      They aren’t. If a Republican cuts military spending . . . well, that has never happened since (maybe) Teddy Roosevelt. CONs know who is funding their motor yacht.

      Obama will get the same treatment Clinton did when he balanced the budget by cutting the military . . . “TERRORIST!”

  2. Treasury’s toxic asset funds gain 27 percent

    As part of the government’s deeply unpopular $700 billion bailout program, the funds were set up to remove illiquid securities from banks by matching private capital with taxpayer money and Treasury loans via funds run by private investment managers.

    Although furor over the bailout helped Republicans win control of the House of Representatives in the recent election, the government has been recouping taxpayers’ money.

    The eight toxic asset funds, run by asset managers such as BlackRock Inc, Invesco Ltd and Marathon Asset Management, are all profitable.

    Since the funds were established in 2009, they have used about $5.2 billion of Treasury’s equity investment to buy toxic assets. As of the end of 2010, the funds have gained $1.1 billion to about $6.3 billion, according to the data.

    The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the ultimate cost of the bank bailout, or the Troubled Asset Relief Program, will be as low as $25 billion.

    • CapnAmerica

      B-b-but . . . gov’t can’t do anything right.

      That’s what I heard of Fox News, so it must be true.

  3. indypendent

    Now what was I just saying yesterday about the arrogance of Republicans…..

    Please note the resolution to Mrs. Huckabee’s litte tangle with the court……..
    How many of average Americans would have received such the same deal? I suspect very few.

    One more thing to note – if the Huckabee’s proclaim to be such fine godly Christians – then why the argument as to who is right and who is wrong? There is the same idealogue divisive thing that I find so troubling with these so-called godly people. They always have to be right – even when there are witnesses saying something different.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/24/janet-huckabee-accident-video_n_812959.html

    • lol

      At least she didn’t ask the trooper if he knew who she was. 🙂

    • indypendent

      I suspect the trooper knew who she was. But it sure looks like the judge knew who she was – perhaps that is why she got this particular resolution to her little problem?

      Isn’t it ironic that those elitist-hating people are the ones who so enjoy being treated like elitists.

    • wicked

      If you didn’t read the comments underneath the article and video, go back and do so. One person said she must’ve been driving the semi, which was probably full of Bibles, so she was just doing God’s work. 😉 Another mentioned that God would now think twice about having her as His co-pilot.

      I never know what to expect with comments. Sometimes they’re hateful, and at other times they make me laugh. Luckily this one was the latter. 🙂

  4. fragotwofortwo

    fnord
    January 24, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I would take that article with a Hutchinson sized grain of salt .

    From the article: ” Since the funds were established in 2009, they have used about $5.2 billion of Treasury’s equity investment to buy toxic assets. As of the end of 2010, the funds have gained $1.1 billion to about $6.3 billion, according to the data.”

    Which is very nice but what about the other 695 billion dollars? This is from the same people that tell us there is no price inflation. The recession is over. Unemployment is under 10%. Speaking of unemployment, Mr. Boener where are the jobs?

  5. Zippy

    One final thought: Fear–fear of the unknown, fear of scary brown people, fear of everyone not like us, seems to drive the whole Tea Party machine. Well, that, and the usual greed machine playing to their worst instincts.

    Break the fear.

  6. itolduso

    Know your state laws

    Eavesdropping Laws Mean That Turning On an Audio Recorder Could Send You to Prison

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/us/23cnceavesdropping.html?_r=2

  7. Please take the time to watch, you will be inspired and awed by this man.

  8. Alan Grayson has his own ideas about what he thinks President Obama should say in the State of the Union address tomorrow night. What do you think of his suggestions?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-alan-grayson/will-he-say-this_b_813063.html

    • wicked

      I think there’d be a lot of people talking after the address was over. It would definitely garner some attention.

      I noticed a Twitter link for Grayson at the bottom. I’m now following him. I suppose it would help if I turned on my Tweet Deck though. LOL

  9. fragotwofortwo

    After the boomers die off do you think the country will drift a wee bit towards the left?

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-04-27-1Amillfaith27_ST_N.htm

    Most young adults today don’t pray, don’t worship and don’t read the Bible, a major survey by a Christian research firm shows.
    If the trends continue, “the Millennial generation will see churches closing as quickly as GM dealerships,” says Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources. In the group’s survey of 1,200 18- to 29-year-olds, 72% say they’re “really more spiritual than religious.”

    VIDEO: More Americans saying no to religion
    FAITH & REASON: Megachurch leader calls Gen Y ‘honest’ on faith
    Among the 65% who call themselves Christian, “many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only,” Rainer says. “Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith.”

    Key findings in the phone survey, conducted in August and released today:

    •65% rarely or never pray with others, and 38% almost never pray by themselves either.
    •65% rarely or never attend worship services.

    •67% don’t read the Bible or sacred texts.

    Many are unsure Jesus is the only path to heaven: Half say yes, half no.

    “We have dumbed down what it means to be part of the church so much that it means almost nothing, even to people who already say they are part of the church,” Rainer says.

    The findings, which document a steady drift away from church life, dovetail with a LifeWay survey of teenagers in 2007 who drop out of church and a study in February by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which compared the beliefs of Millennials with those of earlier generations of young people.

    • wicked

      We thought during the ’60s that religion would change. In fact, it appeared to be changing in the shadow of Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, and others. Even Wichita had George Gardner. On the other end of the spectrum, people were busier dropping acid than they were going to church. Yet those same people are now in the Jesus business. I expect the same can happen.

      My oldest told me this past weekend that her 9 y.o. daughter asked why they didn’t go to church. Apparently it came up while she was at a friend’s house. My daughter handled it well, simply telling her daughter that some people go to church, while others didn’t, and it didn’t mean you were good or bad, either way.

    • indypendent

      Maybe more younger people would attend church if these mega churches did not seem to make everything into the old argument of who is right and who is wrong.

      Religion is man-made – spiritual faith is not.

      Therein lies the problem. I know of alot of spiritual people who do not attend church and live far better Christian lives than the most santicfied, holified, glorified and churchified people sitting in their pew every Sunday.

      Perhaps the old saying – physician heal thyself – should also be directed towards these mean-spirited, narrow-minded preachers and televangelists.

      BTW – Whenever a bible thumper asks me if I want to go to Heaven – I ask him/her – are you going to be there? When they answer yes – I politely say, then no thank you. If I was next to you for an eternity – then that would definitely NOT be Heaven.

    • indypendent

      I would like to ask something about that survey about people praying less. How was the act of praying determine? Was it a formal prayer – a prayer only within a group – a prayer that religion deemed acceptable?

      I see prayer as anytime a person directs their thoughts outside of themselves. I consider meditation a form of prayer. I consider thinking positive thoughts for a sick friend a form of prayer.

      Prayer to me is not just praying to one god that maybe sitting on a gold throne somewhere. I see prayer as a willingness to forget about ourselves for one minute and to focus on someone else and their need. It is our desire to connect to another human being and to forget about our own selfish wants and desires.

      I must tell you this. Last week while surfing the satellite television for something to watch – I came across a show titled ‘Toddler and Tiaras’. Has anyone else seen this show?

      It is about these child beauty pageants. This show is something else – and we could go off on a tangent just talking about all that stuff.

      But last week as I watched a mother adn her 6-yr-old daughter prepare to leave to go to this beauty pageant – the mother actually prayed to Jesus to allow them to win the pageant.

      WTF…….somehow I don’t think Jesus would be wanting that 6-yr-old precious girl to be strutting around in those costumes, wearing all that make up and having that fake hair to make her look like some mini-me of a hooker.

      And then we wonder why MTV has the show ‘Skins’ on the air?

      I did notice alot of these kiddie pageants are popular in the southern Bible Belt states.

      things that make you go hmmmm…..

    • CapnAmerica

      Maybe they’re turned off by the “Christians” they see who so loudly proclaim it.

  10. ‘We will prevail,’ Emanuel says after court boots him off ballot

    Rahm Emanuel was thrown off the ballot for mayor of Chicago Monday by an appellate court panel, a stunning blow to the fund-raising leader in the race.

    An appellate panel ruled 2-1 that Emanuel did not meet the residency standard to run for mayor.

    http://www.suntimes.com/3469419-417/ballot-booted-court-emanuel-rahm.html

    • Wasn’t Brownback in Washington DC for many years? Does Kansas not have residency laws for those who run for office? Both men maintained homes, paid property taxes, voted back in their home districts but both lived in Washington DC. Brownback would be ONE example of many across the country.

    • indypendent

      I think the Illinois law is written kinda funky – that is why one news reporter said that it appeared the court went strictly by the letter of the law.

      I just thought that people who worked for the current administration were considered temporary residents of Washington, DC while they are serving the White House.
      Which if this was true, then Emmanuel’s permanent residence would be considered Illinois.

      I’m sure the Foxbots, Rushbots, talk radiobots are are all getting a good laugh from this.

      But we’ve all heard that old saying – he who laughs last, laughs best.

  11. indypendent

    I found this article on the Fox News web site.

    Why just think – Billy Graham – a well known evangelist Christian and the father to Franklin Grahm is now saying he should have steered clear of politics.

    I wonder what this will do to those who think otherwise? Do they dare call Billy Graham a RINO or CINO (Christian in name only)?

    I give Billy Graham credit for being honest. Also note the part where he said he would have spent more time with his family, studied more and preached less.

    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/01/24/billy-grahams-regret-i-would-have-steered-clear-of-politics/?test=latestnews

    • I’ve always felt that Billy Graham is a good man with a good spirit. Yes, render unto Caesar, and I admire him for realizing that and being a big enough man to talk about it. I feel many of our country’s problems are due to the ‘mixing’ of politics and religion.

    • wicked

      I never felt Billy Graham ever mixed his politics and religion. Yes, he helped many presidents, but I never had the feeling he told them what God might want them to do. I always felt he helped them pray. He knew that was his job, and some felt he had the ear of God, much like some think priests and the Pope have. None of that makes much sense to me.

      Franklin, on the other hand, is the opposite.

  12. I interrupt this discussion to bring you a tstb update.

    Visited with him and Mrs. tstb this afternoon at the rehab hospital. He’s doing very well physically, and is tentatively set to go home tomorrow. From talking with them, it appears that he’ll be doing outpatient therapy for a while. He wanted me to pass along his best wishes to everyone here.

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

  13. Minnesota Senator Al Franken was in Duluth Saturday to discuss why he opposes a repeal of the health care bill.

    http://www.wdio.com/article/stories/S1937942.shtml?cat=10349

  14. indypendent

    This is interesting……Rubio of Florida – a Tea Party favorite darling – is not joining the TP Caucus (for now)

    But please note that Rubio was invited by Mitch McConnell to accompany a group of elected officials to dine with Afghan president Karzai and Gen Patreus (sp?).

    Hmmmm…….Rubio has been mentioned as possible presidential candidate. I wonder if this long-arm distancing from the Tea Party is a calculated political move. Or does he just like being one of the boys that get to go on overseas trips at taxpayers’ expense?

    Time will tell…..

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/01/23/107268/rubio-a-tea-party-favorite-may.html

  15. Every other year, 4th and 8th graders are tested in reading and math, and some states produce far more top achievers than others. The Daily Beast ranks which states are acing, and which are failing.

    See where the kids did best on the tests!

    Kansas is No. 16!

    Texas is 35, Mississippi comes in dead last.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2546/1/?redirectURL=http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-01-23/states-with-smartest-kids-from-massachusetts-to-mississippi/?cid=hp:mainpromo7

    • wicked

      There appears to be more learning going on north of the Mason-Dixon. I’m proud that Kansas is in the top quarter. Not so proud when I checked out the top 20 tolerant states though. 😦 Same link, just click the little arrow near the top of the box.

  16. Has anyone here ever heard of ‘filial support’ law? We don’t have it here in Kansas but there are 21 states that do have some form of it on their books…
    http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/bulletin/interactive/filialpiety/index.html
    Idaho State Law
    32-1002. REcipricol duties of support
    It is the duty of the father, the mother and the child or children of any poor person who is unable to maintain himself or herself by work, to maintain such poor person to the extent of his or her ability. Whenever any person shall apply for aid to any county within this state under its indigent laws, and it sahll at any time appear to the county commissioners that said poor person has a father, mother, child or children who is able to maintain him or her, but fails so to do, it shall be the duty of the said commissioners to furnish all necessary aid and said commissioners may bring a civil suit against such father, mother, child or children to recover the amount so expended, in the name of the county. The promise of an adult child to pay for necessaries previously furnished to such parents is binding.

    • indypendent

      I was just told by a friend that when a baby is born to a couple who are not married, the child’s last name has to be the woman’s name – even if the father is willing to claim the baby is his child. Only when the couple gets married can the child’s last name be changed to the father’s.

      This friend told me this just yesterday and said that Kansas had recently changed the law.

      Now in the nursing home business – I do not think that the resident’s children can be held responsible to pay for their bills. The resident usually applies for Medicaid – so I’m sure if the adult children could be held responsible , then the need to apply for Medicaid would not be there.

      Unless that has changed????

    • indypendent

      FYI – that friend that was telling me about the baby’s name scenario had a niece that just went through the situation. The couple had plans to get married after the baby was born and the father still could not give the baby his last name because legally the couple were still single.

    • wicked

      indy, it must be fairly recent. Within the past 6 1/2 years, for sure. I’m not sure I think it’s the best idea. I can understand that some women might lie about the paternity of a child or not know and give a name of a man she thought was the father.

      There’s a father’s name on my birth certificate (original), but I was given my (birth)mother’s last name. I was also told by my birthmother that she’d made up the father’s name. 25 years later, I learn there was a young man with that name in the area where she lived and went to school…and it isn’t a common one. So did she lie? Or did she tell the truth?

      And Oprah thinks she has secrets. Ha!

    • itolduso

      In principle, a good idea. In practice, I dunno. The problem begins with the “to the extent of his or her ability”.

  17. indypendent

    Something from my hometown Illinois newspaper. I had not heard about this legislation. Wonder what will happen next. Just last week (or the week before) Illinois increased their income tax rates quite high and now this.

    http://www.pantagraph.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/article_09de9d88-281f-11e0-9d45-001cc4c03286.html

  18. Zippy

    This is both horribly shocking, yet strangely hopeful. Arizona State Senator Russell Pierce uses a Nazi dirtbag, then disavows him. I watched the video, expecting a hatchet job. The people who came up with it wisely saw that as unnecessary.

    Giving full credit for what is at least claimed to be an exclusive video (I didn’t check it out):
    http://imagine2050.newcomm.org/2011/01/16/russell_pearce_jt_ready/

    What happens when those who scream “Nazi!” the loudest are associating with, ya know, Nazis?

  19. Zippy

    P.S. Indypendent: Thanks for the good news from Illinois. I think people of good will can ultimately agree on sanity, if people actually have a say in it.

    And you nailed down the essence of it. Biting off more than they can chew.

    We’ll see what’s next.

  20. indypendent

    itolduso
    January 25, 2011 at 8:51 am
    In principle, a good idea. In practice, I dunno. The problem begins with the “to the extent of his or her ability”.

    =====
    The problem is not with the extent of his or her ability – the problem is that people do not want to be responsible for their family members’ bills when they see the government willing to pay everything for them.

    I know of several lawers and finance gurus that have made alot of money off well-to-do people who intentionally plan to whittle their assets down to nothing in plenty of time for Medicaid to kick in when that person needs nursing home care.

    that way – the kids get the money and/or property and the taxpayers get the bill for their parent(s)’ health care.

    Hey, what a deal!

    • itolduso

      Yeah, I agree. And I too know of several well to do folks that do the same. That was part of my answer that did not get posted, because not having my email in place. Look, it’s just different sides of the same coin, which is why i used the “extend of his or her ability to pay” Knowing government regulations, it is pretty certain that they would get it wrong, and a family without much ability to pay, would have to. I see nothing wrong with the family taking care of the family in the nursing home, if able. A better plan is for people to buy, for lack of the real term, old peoples insurance and basically prepay thier nursing home. By the same token, I am not sure it is right to stick one person with another’s bills. I agree somehow stopping the asset change of hands, yet I am not sure that one person should be held responsible for the bills of another (I am speaking of adults here), over which they have no control or ability to plan for.

    • indypendent

      I grew up in the time when taking welfare (Medicaid) was seen as the last resort. It was a matter of self pride back then.

      But I don’t remember the nursing home business being what it is today – corporatized and very costly.

      I think that is a factor in why more people have been placed in nursing homes – rather than being kept at home by family. The government will pay for their care and the family is free from any obligation.

      On the other side of the coin, I’ve known families that either take in their elderly parent(s) or go live with them in their house in order to keep their parent(s) out of the nursing home. But yet these family members get no help from the government. (Unless the parent(s) qualify for home health).

      I’ve watched as our society just seems to think – oh what the hell, let the government pay my way. It does not seem to bother people anymore.

      I see it in the way the government pays for subsidized housing, subsidized day care, subsidies for already profitable corporations, farm subsidies for profitable corporate farms, tax breaks for certain groups, taxpayer-funded investment money for certain corporations.

      And we have not even talked about the Medicaid and Medicare health care government payments.

      Without the government footing these health care bills – alot of doctors and hospitals would be shut down due to lack of cash flow.

      But what angers me the most about Republicans is this mantra of ‘everyone should be responsible for themselves’ – which I totally agree with that premise.

      But in the real world – alot of those same Republicans ranting about everyone taking care of themselves are right there in line taking the govenment’s help in paying their bills.

      Don’t be saying you’re self sufficient when you take the exact same government money that you profess to hate.

    • indypendent

      I also believe in the idealogy of if I am lucky enough to have more than I need, then I feel it is my duty as an American to help those who don’t have what they need.

      I’m just tired of those people who are currently gouging at the taxpayer government trough while they still cling to their own personal wealth. And then to make matters worse, these folks seem to be the godly ones who somehow equate patriotism to how much one can hate their government.

      We are only as strongest as our weakest link – hasn’t that always been true?

  21. indypendent

    BTW – the long-term care insurance does not always pay as much as one might think or need. There are very few nursing home residents with long-term care insurance. Depending on the nursing home, the majority is Medicaid and/or Medicare.

    The key to a profitable nursing home is to get as many private pay patients in the mix as you can. Medicare pays very well for nursing home patients – but there is a limit to the number of days allowed. And there are certain criteria that needs to be met to keep them on Medicare.

    Just as fnord recently learned, if a patient is doing too well, they will not qualify for certain rehab placement.

    So, where is the incentive to get the patient well as soon as possible? The longer they qualify for that highest Medicare payment, the better off the nursing home will be – moneywise.

    I’ve seen cases where the same patient will be hospitalized for a fall, they come into the nursing home after their hospital stay of generally a week or two (or the maximum Medicare allows), they get to the nursing home, they get better with therapy, then they fall again and are sent back to the hospital and the entire vicious cycle starts all over again. Hey, alot of Medicare money is being paid.

    But I’ve seen the same thing with Medicaid nursing home patients. Especially those with mental illness. These patients are sent into the hospital several times and with each visit – the taxpayers foot the bill. And generally if it is mental illness – the patients tend to be younger (in their 50’s) and are former druggies or alcholics. There are some veterans in that mix also.

    Nursing homes used to be for grandpa and grandma when they could no longer take care of themselves at home. But that is not the case anymore. I don’t think the general population has any clue as to what an average nursing home is really like.

    There are alot of patients who literally have no place to go and if their health qualifies them for nursing care – then they wind up in some nursing home.