Thursday, 5/26/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

65 responses to “Thursday, 5/26/11, Public Square

  1. I think Americans are becoming more and more aware of the financial inequities in our country. Maybe some only hear the words ‘kill Medicare’ or something close, but others realize all the cuts the GOP wants to make at the federal level, and in many states too, take away from the majority of Americans (98% of us who aren’t the nation’s 2% wealthiest) so the benefits enjoyed by the very few can be extended. Yes, Ryan’s budget plan decimates Medicare but it does so much more to adversely affect everyone but the uber wealthy, and that’s what makes the entire plan deplorable.

    http://robertreich.org/post/5583016733

  2. The GOP will not meet with any success in their efforts to convince Americans they’re trying to save Medicare as long as they remain obstinate on raising taxes, specifically on those who can afford it easily and haven’t used the tax cuts they’ve been given for anything more than making themselves wealthier.

    The more light that is shined on Ryan’s budget plan the more people will realize what it actually does and who are its victims. It will show who the GOP protects and who they hurt. Let’s get to the meat of Ryan’s plan and make sure every voter knows ALL the details. Let’s expect and demand Ryan and the GOP do more than identify the problem. Let’s not allow them to emphasize the problem but not emphasize the details of his plan.

    Yes, we can save Medicare and we know it can be done in many ways, it doesn’t have to be those who can afford it the least who do all the saving! Ryan’s plan is the wrong way!

    The best way is Medicare for all Americans.

  3. I want to see a side-by-side comparison of the coverage Congress has available and that proposed in Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity.” I hear GOP congress critters saying what is in the Ryan budget plan is exactly what they enjoy. If what they say is true it should be easy to prove.

    Anyone believing them?

    I didn’t think so. Their record for telling the truth stinks.

  4. wicked

    I do believe I recognize some of those people in that lead ‘picture’ today.

  5. There are only 8 GOP Senators up for reelection in 2012 and most of them are in reliably ‘red’ states. It’s possible yesterday’s Senate vote on the House-passed budget (Ryan’s plan) won’t hurt them and maybe help them among their constituency. The same isn’t true among House members.

    Here’s the list of who is up for reelection in the 2012 Senate races:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_elections,_2012#Richard_Lugar_of_Indiana

  6. Supreme Court backs Arizona immigration law

    The law permits the state to take away the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal workers. It also requires employers to use an otherwise optional federal verification program, known as the E-Verify system, which collects data on workers from the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security.

    The ruling, by a 5-3 vote, comes off of oral arguments presented in December. Reporting on those arguments, Biskupic had noted that the court “appeared poised … to uphold” the law.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Obama administration had opposed the law.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/05/supreme-court-backs-arizona-immigration-law/1

    • Within the last months we heard much about the Arizona immigration law, and most of it had to do with what some saw as profiling. My question on the ruling is about whether this decision encompassed more than the subject of holding employers accountable?

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        From what you posted, fnord, it (SCOTUS decision) deals solely with the employer penalty provisions of the law, which I’ve always believed were permissible.

      • Freebird1971

        To me the employers are at the root of the illegal immigration problem Stop making it profitable to hire them and I believe you would see the number of illegals start to drop. IMO jail time for repeat offenders would be a good thng

    • indypendent

      I thought the federal E-Verify program for employers to check for illegal immigrants was mandatory.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        It’s been voluntary, indy, due to its (SS Administration’s) data base not being totally accurate. IIRC, the data base is about 94% accurate.

      • indypendent

        Okay – so then why not make it mandatory – or is that too easy of a question?

        Seriously – do you think either party really wants to crack down on these employers who knowingly employ illegals?

      • indypendent

        6176 – I just reread my first comment in my reply to you – I did not mean to be flippant with you – hope you understood that??

        But in the long-term care business, they are require to check the abuse database for any of their employees – so I just don’t understand why checking a federal database for illegals would be on a voluntary basis?

      • wicked

        I’ll say up front that I’m not in favor of anyone hiring illegal immigrants. Keyword there is ‘illegal,’ btw. A mandatory check would have to mean a check on all new employees, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, etc.. The question is if the system used for checking can handle it.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        No problem, indy. As to voluntary vs. mandatory, I was referring to federal legislation. The Arizona statute upheld by SCOTUS makes its use mandatory (in Arizona).

        wicked, there are serious questions whether the feds’ servers can handle the load as I recall; the obvious answer is to acquire newer, stouter servers, but seeing as how that takes money, and we (the U.S.) doesn’t have any… /sarcastic final clause.

      • indypendent

        If the question is about money to buy new servers and technology…..then I expect this database for verifying illegals will never be fully addressed.

        But I also believe that both parties do not want to push this punishing the employers tactic – there are too many donations coming into the campaign coffers for that kind of scrutiny – IMHO

  7. indypendent

    What a difference two years make. Think about this:

    Republicans successfully used the ‘death panels’ to kill Grandma tactic against health care reform pushed by Democrats.

    Now the tables have turned and the Republicans are now being accused of throwing Grandma off the cliff – they are not even waiting for those death panels to make the decision.

    Politics – geesh…..

    Sad fact is this – while we’re playing politics, Medicare will be facing a serious problem in the next 5-10 years with the Baby Boomers retiring. There is only so mucy money to go around. Just yesterday I saw on the WE site that three people in Wichita were indicted for Medicare fraud selling those motorized scooters. The entire haul was to the tune of $1.4 million (IIRC).

    Because of fraud like this – are our tax dollars really being spent for the better good of all the people in the Medicare program?

    I’ve worked in the long-term health care business for a long time – and believe me, take those 3 local people and multiply by thousands across the country – the amount of fraud and waste in the Medicare program is astonishing.

    • indypendent

      Here is link to that story about the 3 Wichitans facing Medicare fraud charges. I remembered incorrectly – the total haul from Medicare was $2.4 million.

      http://www.kansas.com/2011/05/25/1864668/three-wichitans-face-medicare.html

    • That’s an excellent suggestion for where to begin! I don’t think privatizing Medicare fixes that, do you?

      This is where I hope the conversation goes — to the solutions needed. Everyone knows the problems and we can’t allow anyone of any party to use fear of the problem to make changes. We deserve to see details of their solution and they should be accountable to the voters for the fixes they propose.

      • indypendent

        In order to have that conversation we need – we will need people who do not think the word ‘compromise’ is a four-letter word.

        That is why I am scared of these Far-Right Wing Republicans who think they can just come in and run over everyone else. That kind of governing has NEVER worked.

      • indypendent

        Privatizing Medicare will never work because the focus then will be on the profits rather than the health care for people.

        As I see it, the Republican Party has only one thing on their mind – money. And these are the folks that want to privatize everything.

        To my way of thinking – there are some things that should never be privatized and certain government programs are in that category.

        The fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans is this – where does the money actually go – towards the pockets of the few well-connected profiteers or to the people using the programs themselves?

  8. A Wisconsin judge on Thursday voided a controversial Republican-backed law restricting the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/26/us-unions-wisconsin-idUSTRE74P4PR20110526

    • indypendent

      Expect the whining and gnashing of Republican teeth as to how the entire country is going to hell in a handbasket due to unions.

      I find it rather telling that Republicans fought for the Wall Street bankers to get their bonuses after crashing the economy (because – as the Republicans put it – their bonus was a ‘contract’ and contracts should be honored) but yet these same folks do not want to honor the union workers ‘contract’ for collective bargaining.

      Why do the Wall Streeters deserve their contract to be honored when the public service workers do not deserve their contract to be honored by the states?

  9. indypendent

    Has anyone been following the Casey Anthony trial in Florida? Unbelievable….

    • It’s hard to read the news and not be confronted with it. It isn’t the kind of news I voluntarily read but I’ve heard more than I wanted to.

      • indypendent

        Listening to some of that makes me thankful I lead such a quiet and uneventful life. I cannot imagine if my family had to be confronted with this kind of stuff going on.

        It sounds like it is going to be another 3-ring-circus media trial.

  10. indypendent

    So, there is a debut of a documentary showing nothing but flattery of Sarah Palin due to hit Iowa.

    Hmm………what are your feelings about this? Does Sarah Palin have a chance at winning the GOP nomination for 2012.

    Or are you in the camp that I am? I thinking Sarah Palin will step into the GOP 2012 presidential field – the establishment GOP will all panic and shoo her out very quickly – of course, after they have used her cheerleading skills to bring in alot of money.

    Then Sarah Palin can play the victim card again and then maybe we’ll see the Tea Party tear away from the GOP once and for all and form their own party?

    But just how much power would a Tea Party have if they started with 18% of the population and some of them are very discouraged and upset with their so-called leaders?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/25/sarah-palin-documentary-s_n_867226.html

    • indypendent

      BTW – exactly which Tea Party will Sarah help lead out of the wilderness?

      The original tea party or the Tea Party Express which was financed and run by corporate money/former Congress Critters who were in office to create alot of the mess our country is currently facing.

    • I have no idea! I am amazed at the candidates running on the GOP ticket and astounded that intelligent people think any one of them is presidential in any way. Maybe I’m giving people more credit than deserved when I think they may be intelligent? So far I feel not even one tiny iota of anxiety because they have no one I feel any threat to President Obama winning reelection.

  11. “The State of Michigan spends annually somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per prisoner, yet we are struggling to provide schools with $7,000 per student.”

    School superintendent to Governor: Please make my school a prison

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      Well, he might have a chance if he/she houses and feeds the inmates (oops, students), staff, provides security, 24/7/365(6) for a “sentence” of at least 12 years, w/no time off for good behavior…

      I suspect there would (sadly) be many parents (really, just sperm donors, egg donors, and/or incubators, caretakers, etc.) that would be in favor of this.

      Sorry, my true self came shining through there.

      • wicked

        I hate to say it, but there were times during the years my four were growing up that the above “sentence” sounded divine. πŸ˜‰ And since today is the first day I have the g-kids during the week for the summer, it sounds even better. They’ll feel the same in a couple of weeks, once boredom sets in.

  12. WSClark

    Interesting tidbit from a MSNBC story I read – the fair, former Guv of Alaska is moving to Scottsdale. For those of you not familiar with cities in Alaska, the directions are: Drive to Anchorage, turn left and proceed 2,546 miles South (as the crow flies.) Scottsdale is on your right.

    There are no reports yet on the legality of eighteen foot privacy fences.

    • wicked

      Daughter just bought a house there, remember? I wondered at the time if she was hoping to get away from Mom.

      Will Sarah run for Guv of Arizona in the future? πŸ˜‰ Or maybe run for a half-term?

      • indypendent

        I was just going to make the same comment about reportedly Bristol’s new AZ house is just down the road from Sarah’s new house.

        Frankly, I do not care where any of the Palins live nor do I really care if he runs or not for president.

        The fact is – her supporters are loyal defenders. And as some analyst stated yesterday about the tell all book that just came out about Sarah – these folks will simply take that fact as validation that Sarah is indeed rubbing folks the wrong way and she is on the true road of inspiration and godliness – because, after all, there are people ‘out to get her’.

        But when the rubber hits the road – how many Sarah Palin supporters will it take to get her into the White House? IMHO – alot more than she has now.

  13. WSClark

    Have you been to Arizona? I have and I rather like it. I like the Southwest and Native/Hispanic/Frontier culture. I have a weak spot in my heart for Hispanic women (don’t tell Halle) and I really like sunshine.

    Having said that, I have to admit that those people are fuckin’ nuts.

    The SCOTUS recently ruled that the State of Arizona has the Constitutional right to yank the business license of a company that knowingly hired illegal immigrants. The law was signed by then-Guv Napolitano and the suit was brought by the Chamber of Commerce, among others.

    Their argument was………………………………………

    “enforcement of the immigation laws is for the federal government.”

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/05/26/6723332-supreme-court-backs-ariz-business-immigration-law

    ‘Tay, but aren’t you folks arguing just the opposite when it comes to SB 1070 – the “Show Me Your Papers” bill?

    Now, being a liberal long since past the age of learning (old dog syndrome) I know that I am over simplifying the issue, but why would the folks on the same side of the fence argue that the State can’t yank your business license but they can round up suspicious looking brown folk?

    Eh?

    Now, back to Arizona, the land of loonies and lovely ladies………………..

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      That basically was their argument; it failed, imho, because there was nothing about knowingly hiring illegal aliens resulting in the loss of a business license that has anything to do with enforcement of the immigration law. What it does is to put the onus on the demand side (employers) where it should be, and an area appropriately left to the states. The supply side (illegals) is the province of the federal government, not the states.

      Sorry, CoC, cannot have your cake and eat it too.

  14. “A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.”

    The Science of Self Delusion

    • I would love to hear Iggy talk about this…

      • indypendent

        I’m sure Iggy dealt with alot of stuff that I would have very little knowledge of how to deal with.

        But I have seen when people are so obsessed with religion, politics, racial issue or just the insatiable need to be right all the time that they lose perspective.

        And without perspective – isn’t life just a narrow view of what you want the world to be?

      • WSClark

        On the semi-serious side…………….. It is very, very hard to admit that you are wrong, especially for some people (me) and half of the population (me again) so I understand the mindset. For those that just received my e-mail, you know that it is even harder with an addictive personality.

        But!

        People can see a different side, over time. For me, I TRY to see different points of view, I TRY to understand the influences that led other people to draw the conclusions that they have. I TRY, but often fail.

        I draw the line at discrimination, of any kind. I don’t give a damn why someone why someone discriminates or holds bigoted POV, that is something I can never accept.

        Anyway, that is my $0.02.

    • wicked

      My ability to accept and be open to possibilities depends completely on what kind of mood I’m in.

  15. indypendent

    Don’t know how many of you have seen or heard of what Ed said about Laura Ingraham – but here is the article of her response to Ed’s apology.

    I am only posting this as an example of what happens when we allows ourselves to resort to name calling when we are talking poilitics.

    Too many times as we are debating politics – our emotions run high and the adrenaline gets pumping. While I do not condone what Ed said – I can understand how he would be capable of letting his mouth run before his brain shiftts into gear.

    But – look at what the story is now – it is about the name calling – nothing else. There are no facts or policies being debated here – it is all about the name calling.

    We need to get beyond this deeply divided two party crackshot rodeo and start trying to find some way to resolve some of our biggest problems.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/laura-ingraham-responds-ed-schultz_n_867353.html

    • indypendent

      P.S. – I sometimes wonder how much of this crackshot rodeo is being purposely driven for media ratings – on both sides?

      Am I off base in this thinking or am I just being my old cynical self again?

    • badbiker

      I don’t care who is what or how or when or whom or whatever. Somethings are just not appropriate and calling a female a “slut” just because she is on the other side of the fence falls into the inappropriate category.

      Schultz wasn’t much better than Rush “White House Dog” Limbaugh in that regard.

      • indypendent

        I agree Ed was wrong – I hope I did not send any mixed signals about that.

        But, I must confess, I am not a real big Ed fan so when I said that I can understand his mouth running – I meant just that – I suspect he has a running mouth problem……LOL

        A little bit of Ed goes a long, long way with me……

        But I must say – at least MSNBC held Ed’s feet to the fire. As for Rush and saying his White House dog comment – that actually raised Rush’s level of importance in his adoring audience’s eyer – IMHO

      • I read earlier this week that Rush has lost viewers — a bunch of them. I hope that’s true because I want to believe Americans won’t tolerate a diet of hate.

        I agree, Indy! I’m happy MSNBC and/or Ed is taking responsibility for this, that an apology was offered (remember you can’t do more than offer and the accepting part isn’t yours).

    • indypendent

      Does that tune sound anything like – Reagan proved deficits don’t matter??

      • Let’s just leave it at I don’t put any confidence in the opinion of dick cheney. bushco is responsible for much that we bear today so I can’t imagine what he thinks works makes even an iota of sense.

      • indypendent

        True – very true….

  16. indypendent

    Not sure if this was covered in our blog…..but just for fun, let’s just post it.

    I wonder how big of a deal would this Tiffany account be if the candidate was not Newt? Does the fact this is Newt Gingrich with his 3rd wife on his arm and all his personal marital history baggage attached to this story make it an important issue or is it just hype?

    I agree with Newt when he says that it is his money and he can spend it anyway he wishes to spend. But when one is running for president on the family values/fiscal conservative mantle – then anything like this Tiffany account to the tune of $500,000 is fair game – or is it?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/25/newt-gingrich-defiant-ove_n_867255.html

    • He’s nothing more than one of the clowns running as a GOP candidate for POTUS. It’s a crowd in that tiny car being driven into the center ring. I think this circus will be lots of fun! πŸ˜‰

    • indypendent

      BTW – If I was Newt, I would not even want to get into this fiasco because thet late-night comedians are skewering him as the King of the Bling. I just watched the news coverage about this story on MSNBC and they are calling the Gingrichs – the Blingrichs.

      This cannot end well…………especially with his candidacy sputtering…….

  17. More great news! πŸ˜‰

    Vermont governor signs single-payer health law

    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin on Thursday signed into law a bill establishing a single-payer health care plan for the state, making Vermont the first state to do so.

    Shumlin lauded the legislation as an “economic and fiscal imperative” — as well as a moral one.

    “This law recognizes an economic and fiscal imperative – that we must control the growth in health care costs that are putting families at economic risk and making it harder for small employers to do business,” he said in a Thursday statement. “We have a moral imperative to fix this problem, with 47,000 Vermonters uninsured and another 150,000 underinsured and worried about how to afford keeping their families healthy.”

    Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20066495-503544.html#ixzz1NUgQALBO

    • indypendent

      It boggles my mind that so many people have no idea that health care costs have not been brought down – and even with the health care reform – the costs will not go down because the basic theory of the same insurance system is in place.

      Where does it make any sense for my doctor to bill $500 for lab tests when he knows he will only be paid $100 for them? That has happened several times and it is not just one doctor – they all do it.

      I know every doctor hates insurance companies because it is a racket. And you either learn how to play the game or you lose big time.

      In what universe does this even make sense?

  18. indypendent

    Weren’t we just talking about Republicans are now calling earmarks – members requests – IIRC.

    I don’t know anything more about this issue than what I just found here at this link. But towards the end of the article is the key phrase – there is a billion dollar slush fund – so let’s watch the news and see what comes of this reported issue.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/republicans-defense-spending-earmarks-mckaskill_n_867769.html

  19. Just a note to other PPP “closet geeks”. Firefox 5 Beta is out for Windows, Linux, MacOS, and Android. I’ll be giving it a go over the holiday weekend.