Friday, 7/8/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

59 responses to “Friday, 7/8/11, Public Square

  1. Freebird1971

    End of an era is coming. The final manned space mission is set to lift off today. For those of my generation we can remember when space flight was a national event,I recall sitting in school watching the lift offs on a small black and white tv and everyone cheering,I also recall the pride we as a nation felt, today space flight is taken for granted. As I said the end of an era is here,hate to see it end

  2. Do you who are registered Republicans receive polling calls that end as soon as your answer to their first question doesn’t match their agenda? Example of call last night, although this happens frequently:

    Caller: Do you trust President Obama to protect your right to own guns?

    Me: Yes.

    Caller: Thank you. (And then they hang up.)

    I always know there would have been additional questions if my first answer had indicated I would agree with their agenda. What I wonder about is if my one and only answer to the one and only question they posed to me is figured in to their poll.

    I do know I get many more telephone calls, much more campaign type mail since I’m a Republican again.

    • indypendent

      I’ve also received much more campaign type (junk) mail since I changed my party affiliation from Not Declared to Republican.

      That used to irk me so much when Todd Tiarht sent me countless junk mail and it was always postage paid by taxpayers. Uggh…

      • indypendent

        I still remember the times I wrote to Sam Brownback and Todd Tiarht about some issue and what I received was a form letter that covered all the Rush GOP talking points but never one answer to my original question.’

        That also irked me…..actually, beyond irked…..

      • Freebird1971

        That is one thing they could cut out of the budget,congressional perks, they need to sacrifice just like us common folk

  3. I read where Orin Hatch thinks the poor should do much more and the rich much less toward healing our sick economy. That should earn him votes from the deluded right.

    Let them eat cake!

  4. The GOP’s war on women looks like this —

  5. Freebird1971

    Assigning blame to one party or another is not placing the blame where it belongs. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of “We the People”

    • Well you could say the blame belongs on ‘we the people,’ or just women or any number of scenarios because we haven’t put a stop to this madness, but I see who is waging the war and it is the GOP. Ok, we need to work harder to make sure they lose the war they’ve waged — I’ll agree with you there.

      We do teach others how to treat us, so in that regard the women who don’t demand equality contribute to unjust treatment.

    • Remember the fall of 2010 when the GOP added around 70 House seats by promising to concentrate on jobs and the economy? Remember they picked up governor positions too. Take a look at what bills were introduced after they took office. How many were aimed at women’s reproductive rights? Most? If you don’t know the answer to that question, please study it. Please see what the GOP has accomplished at both the state and federal levels. It has absolutely nothing to do with jobs or the economy.

      • Freebird1971

        I was not referring to one topic in general I was talking about the absolute mess this country is in and it IS the fault of all of us,party doesn’t make a damn bit of difference we all are at fault and to think otherwise is dishonest.

  6. Yes, Pelosi handed Boehner the gavel but she remains a powerful woman of great resolve. Boehner has shown no abilities to be a match for this woman!

    Pelosi: Medicare, Social Security Benefit Cuts Are Line In The Sand On Debt Limit Bill

    • Freebird1971

      IMO nothing should be off the table

      • indypendent

        I agree 100% – nothing should be off the table. But I want to see budget cuts to Congressional pay and their costs of their staff before budget cuts to people without any means of income – such as the disabled, elderly and children.

        Freebird – I get where you’re coming from and you’re right – both parties are to blame. But when the system is flush with money – and then Supreme Court gives corporations the right to flood the system with even more money – corruption is what is going to happen.

        But the GOP professes to be the Party of God and morals – and when they come out with as much corruption and immorality, as if not more, then do they really have any credibility?

      • IMO, Medicare and Social Security should be off the table, but nothing else. I have many problems with the two programs as they have become, but to cut with a blunt instrument when a scapel is needed is worse than doing nothing.

      • indypendent

        I agree to a point 6176 – but when I see Medicare paying for a podiatrist office visit to simply write an order to trim toenails for a nursing home patient, and then some aide actually does the nail trimming – is that really wise spending?

        I work in the pharmacy business and I see alot of stuff the average person does not see when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid. The multiple hospital visits within a short period of time for the same patient. I just keep asking myself – is this really the best system?

      • indy,

        What that signifies (to me, at least) is how broken the entire medical care delivery system in the United States is. Medicare/Medicaid merely reflect the faults of the current system, and do not create them. The U.S. has focused on curative care in place of preventative care for much too long. It is little wonder that the medical insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid do the same, and in fact encourage the system’s continuation by the way reimbursement is made.

        It is the entire delivery/payment system that needs reform, not just trimming Medicare/Medicaid. Until the entire system is changed, we will be in for more of the same annually.

      • The solution? Single payer.

      • indypendent

        I think we all agree on the problem but maybe have differing ways of accomplishing a resolution.

        But I do understand there are new rules coming down the pike that will penalize hospitals for too numerous hospital visits for the same patient within a short time period.

        I wonder how many health care corporations are going to yelling the loudest?

        IMHO – health care system changed when it became corporatized.

      • I’ve heard it said that Medicare is outstripping inflation. No it is not. The cost of medical care is outstripping inflation. Why? Because we have essentially turned our health care over to private FOR PROFIT companies whose first obligation is to turn a profit, not to provide health care. In fact it is in their interest to deny health care at every point because it increases their bottom line.

        A single payer system would allow us to employ economy of scale much like Wal-Mart or any other large company. Like Wal-Mart, a single payer system could negotiate the best prices on care, drugs, etc. “Conservatives” are always trumpeting how much more astute they are in business than us wayward liberals so why can’t they see what is plainly before them? With a single payer system people would be more willing to seek out a doctor at the first sign that something is wrong rather than waiting until they can’t stand it any longer, that alone would save billions because as we all know the longer you ignore an illness the more expensive it becomes to treat it. Also more people would engage in preventive medicine leading to healthier lifestyles and a reduction in those things that negatively affect our health (like obesity and smoking). If you really want to get a handle on health care costs then you must take health care out of the hands of private corporations and create a single payer system that allows access to health care for all. Medicare for all if you will.

      • We have a choice. We can choose to pay for the services that we use, through sufficient levels of taxation, just like every other modern nation. Or we can go back to some sort of system resembling pre-1932 America, where a tiny fraction of populace controls almost all of the money (we’re heading that way already) and most American families have no access to health care.

        Who wants to live in pre-1932 America?

        All the news indicates the GOP does. They want to take America back and they’ve never specified exactly how far back.

  7. indypendent

    Interesting reading….I wonder when the GOP plans to propose their bill to ban Erectile Dysfunction drugs?

    Maybe the day that insurance will stop paying for these ED drugs like they stopped paying for birth control pills?

    Please note: these drugs a billion dollar industry – do you think anyone on the GOP is going to stop that kind of money being made?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/08/viagra-womens-health_n_892731.html

    • I’m always uncomfortable with the entire ED medication/womens reproductive health analogy, for to me this is not apples to apples. To my mind, ED drugs/other things like penile implants should be treated as totally elective, and not covered by any insurance (much like breast augmentation surgery). I think that vasectomies and tubal ligations should receive the same treatment as each other. Given my belief that the world is over-populated, contraceptives for both sexes should be covered. Medically necessary abortions should be covered, whether due to physical or emotional harm to the mother (and father, should a male begin to be able to bear a child). I’m uncomfortable with abortions solely for birth control, but also believe that as a male, I should have no say.

      Because of my personal definition of viability (over 50% of fetuses arriving at this stage are capable of survival outside the womb without extraordinary means such as artificial gestation in a NICU, just normal nutrition and care), post-viability abortions not medically necessary for the mother’s health should not be allowed. My viability point is, I believe, substantially later than 24 weeks, which seems to be the current definition.

      Back to my initial point: comparing female reproductive health and decisions to ED treatments is, to my mind, counterintuitive and self-defeating. Just my 2 cents.

      • indypendent

        When do ED drugs save the man’s life?

        Women’s health issues have always been treated like women in our society- like second class citizens.

        Let’s not forget those wise Founding Fathers never saw fit to include women in giving those voting rights – did they? In fact, women were treated as property for centuries – and yet still is being touted in the Evangelical’s submissive wife doctrine.

        Just my opinion.

        But why is it not fair to state that ED drugs are okay but birth control pills are not okay? That argument does resonate with alot of women.

      • I understand the argument, indy, I just think it is not the best one to make, especially in light of its apparent success {cough}.

        All I’m trying to say is that ED treatments are not life-saving, while there might be a medical condition involved underlying it (high blood pressure, chronic alcohol abuse, arthrosclerosis, etc.), there is no more medical reason to be served by paying for treatment of this specific condition or symptom than there is behind breast augmentation surgery, and the same should be treated as elective and not reimbursable. Contraception is a horse of a different color; I believe it should be covered without regard to whether ED treatments are or are not. Pregnancy can be life-threatening, as we all are aware (or should be). ED isn’t.

  8. Freebird1971

    Indy
    I posted this earlier,you are preaching to the choir on this one

    That is one thing they could cut out of the budget,congressional perks, they need to sacrifice just like us common folk

  9. Sorry, Freebird, fnord and indy have it right when it comes to the “social issues” and the party responsible. I understand quite well where their political bread is buttered, as do they, which results in the focus of the legislation introduced.

    In general, there are no innocent political parties insofar as the creation of the current mess. That is something upon which I believe we all agree. When it comes to the issues identified by fnord, the GOP is the heavy, while not being solely responsible to be sure.

    Citizens United may well be the one thing that brings about the class war about which I’ve been concerned since the 1970s. The pressure has been building since then, and has been accelerating over the past decade. The perceived disenfranchisement of the ordinary natural person created by that decision could well do it.

    • Freebird1971

      Guess we will have to agree to disagree,because I believe my point is just as valid as anyone’s’

      • I agree that we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I think we all have our opinions, which we believe to be valid, and who am I to say differently? We can agreeably disagree, and then do our best to help clean up the mess.

      • Freebird1971

        Cleaning up the mess is going to take all of us,no doubt about it

  10. Partisanship has contributed to playing politics rather than finding solutions and most every elected official of every ‘party’ does this. Why do they do this? To get reelected. That absolutely shows that voters are a big part of the problem. If voters didn’t demand toeing that party line they wouldn’t need to play political games and pander, their reelection would depend on the ability to govern, to take care of the business they were elected to conduct.

    • Freebird1971

      Had a history teacher in high school who told us repeatedly if you think the primary job of a politician is to serve you you will be disappointed in later life,the first job of any politician is to keep his job by any means necessary.

      • Well a little bird told me you didn’t go to high school last year so a warning that came from your history teacher says our problems aren’t very new.

      • indypendent

        Agree – that’s why I said what I did about people claim to want change until their side is in power and then all bets are off.

        It’s a vicioius cycle.

      • Freebird1971

        Dontcha be talking bout my age now! LOL

    • indypendent

      IMHO – the entire political system is corrupt. And the last thing we need is more money thrown on top of this never-ending fire.

      But when it comes to money – all bets are off. People say they want to clean up politics when their side is out of power. But once in power, these same folks see nothing wrong with their side’s actions.

      But the set up of the two party system is that the winning party has control but the minority party also has a say in the governing of the country. But when was the last time both parties actually worked together to get something done – other than to raise their own pay.

  11. indypendent

    One last comment about the GOP being the primary party with war on women.

    This party was in total control from 2000 to 2006 and not one single time did any one from the GOP ever attempt to overturn Roe v Wade. If they are so concerned about being pro-life, then why not do something when they had the chance?

    NOW these people are passing bills about abortion? This is why I think the GOP gets the rap about the War on Women.

    It’s a political war to simply make political points – because if they really cared about stopping abortions, they would have used their total power in all those 6 years.

    Come to think about it – the GOP was also the party that tried to redefine rape. The GOP was also the party that voted against Sen. Franken’s bill to penalize these contractors that tried to initimate their female employees from filing sexual harassment and/or rape charges against fellow co-workers.

    The GOP has always voted against equal pay for women.

    With all this politicking going on – can one really think GOP treat women like equals or do you think they might just wage a war against women?

  12. The Republicans would have us believe that countries that have universal healthcare are hell holes. The longest- running universal system began in 1912 in Norway. Yeah, what a hell hole. The list of countries includes:

    Norway
    New Zealand
    Japan
    Germany
    Belgium
    UK
    Kuwait
    Sweden
    Bahrain
    Brunei
    Canada
    Netherlands
    Austria
    UAE
    Finland
    Slovenia
    Denmark
    Luxembourg
    France
    Australia
    Ireland
    Italy
    Cyprus
    South Korea
    Iceland
    Hong Kong
    Singapore
    Switzerland
    Israel

    • indypendent

      That about says it all – doesn’t it?

      But when money is the Golden Idol one worships, this entire listing is just one big story ready to be spun into that ‘fair and balanced’ vortex – never to be heard of again.

    • I’m certainly not going to forget that the GOP controlled House passed the Ryan plan to end Medicare!

      • And we ALL need to remember that today’s tax rates — across the board — are lower than they’ve been for over 60 years!

        Do not let the GOP get by with scaring people by making it seem otherwise! Remember that 1/3 of the stimulus package was tax cuts.

  13. I’m in the crowd advancing this solution to the Republican threat to not raise the federal debt limit: pay no attention to them. If they want to give and compromise then meet them halfway, if not, forge ahead without them. Obama could evoke section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which says that public debt is inviolate, and go on as before. “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law…. shall not be questioned.”

    • After all — this is money Congress already spent! This is debt they incurred and promised to repay. Is the GOP going back on their word again? Kinda like when they said they would create jobs if elected. Where are the jobs, Boehner?

  14. “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection.”
    —Warren Buffett

  15. Al Franken tweeted: Here’s a #deficit tip: allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices would save $24 billion a year.”

  16. Rereading some of the above comments, I would suggest a whole group of folks who would like to return to pre-1932 America; stock market manipulators/swindlers/Ponzi scheme artists/insiders trading for their own benefit using information not known to others. You see, these activities are prohibited/proscribed by the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, both of which (especially the 1933 Act) strive to achieve through legislation and regulations promulgated thereunder a truer “free market” than otherwise existed. I know it may be hard to wrap your brain around this, but a true “free market” depends on both parties to a proposed transaction to have simultaneous equal access to the same quality and quantity of relevant information affecting the proposed transaction. That is, in major part, the goal of these (and subsequent) acts.
    As the “Roaring Twenties” amply demonstrated, one cannot count on the American version to allow that to happen, based as it was on the principle of caveat emptor. This was again recently demonstrated by the derivatives mess; if better disclosure regulations had been in place (and enforced), the bumps in the road would not have been as dramatic.

    • Freebird1971

      You hit the nail on the head. We don’t need more regulations we just need to enforce the ones we already have.

      • indypendent

        But when money is involved – one would not recognize their own mother while they were stepping over her to get that extra dime of profit.

        Greed was something that was once demonized and greedy people were ostracized.

        But in today’s society – Greedy people are idolized and worshipped.

      • No, we need more regulation to cut off further attempts to distort a “free market”, especially by those who do not want a true “free market”. One of the major factors underlying the entire derivatives mess was that the existing regulatory scheme did not cover these instruments, allowing much sleight of hand, not to mention outright fraud, in connection with the packaging, marketing and sale thereof. There were opportunities presented for such additional regulation, rejected by the Fed and the Bush Administration; not because existing statutes, rules and regulayions were sufficient, but because additional regulation was unwanted by those making the most money from the deals.

        It has become very clear that these securities were highly risky; computer models to evaluate risk seem to have been skewed in favor of the securities; and the rating agencies were not doing their job. A classic case of the ultra greedy taking full advantage of the lack of regulation over that market, something that the market itself could not correct in time to avoid the horrific losses as there was no inclination to make sure the prospective buyer had any access to information only available to the seller in the absence of any legal requirement forcing such disclosure.

  17. indypendent

    Have you heard the news that Betty Ford has died? She was 93 yrs old.

    As Andrea Mitchell was going through the many accomplishments of this fine lady, I was reminded that Betty Ford did speak out for the Equal Rights Amendment and she was pro-choice.

    My first thought was – isn’t it a shame that she was not the President?

    My second thought was – what Republican woman today could the same things be said about?

    The Grand Old Party has veered off the road way too Far Right and they need to wake up and smell the tea has become rancid.

    • Indy, you hit the nail on the head! I think both the Fords — Gerald and Betty — were old school Republicans and they did believe in people. Today, the GOP is nothing I recognize, and nothing the Fords would have endorsed. Republican women today can’t be paying any attention, or are woefully ignorant. There is no grand left in the GOP. I don’t know what acronym would be accurate but it wouldn’t be anything anyone would find good or kind.

  18. indypendent

    Who wants to live in pre-1932 America?

    All the news indicates the GOP does. They want to take America back and they’ve never specified exactly how far back
    —-

    Hey, as long as we go back far enough to make the women stop working, stay home and make those babies and have their master’s supper on the table when he walks through the door.

    And, oh, no vote for the little Mrs. And the daughters don’t need to know how to read or write, they need to be trained to be good submissive wives to their tomcatting husbands.

    Then we all go down to the church, sit in those pews and sing pretty songs (but no reading of the words if you’re of the female sex) and thank God (the Christian God) that we are able to serve our master here on earth. And maybe some day when the women meet their creator she can ask – where the hell did my master learn how to tomcat and who provided the damn cats?

    • Freebird1971

      I am a Christian but my God is nothing like the God you describe

      • indypendent

        I was not describing God – was I? I was describing those boasting Christians who use their religion to further their own narrow agenda.

        I was once in the Evangelical Christian movement – and believe me, these folks would love to go back to the days where women had no rights – but the so-called privilege to serve their master – the husband.

        I only inserted the ‘Christian God’ because these are also the folks that seem to not want to honor the Constitution and let everyone decide their own religion.

  19. I was born in Oklahoma, moved to Kansas at four years old, started school here when I was only four (if your fifth birthday was before January 1 you started school). I was, of course, a Republican from an early age. I didn’t change easily or quickly. The Republican Party is nothing anyone with any sense would support today.