Tuesday, 6/18/13, Public Square



by | June 18, 2013 · 6:00 am

43 responses to “Tuesday, 6/18/13, Public Square

  1. This is interesting. Of course, I thought of Iggy and knew he too would have found it interesting. It’s not long, but I’ll admit to going on to read some comments so it became a bit longer for me. 🙂

    Are Conservatives More Likely Than Liberals to Avoid Cognitive Dissonance?

    • What is ‘cognitive dissonance’?

      (from the link): People tend to seek consistency in their beliefs and perceptions. So what happens when one of our beliefs conflicts with another previously held belief? The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the feeling of discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.

      There are many, many subjects I tend to have conflicting thoughts about. I like looking at both sides, I enjoy a devil’s advocate in a discussion and if conversations remain civil I never feel any discomfort in disagreeing on opinions and beliefs — even when it’s ME I can’t agree with. Incivility does make me uncomfortable.

      I don’t know whether I ‘believe’ in horoscopes, but like many subjects I find astrology interesting. I’m a Libra and I do weigh and measure as the scales representing my “sign” indicates. I sure don’t know whether the astrological sign I was born under has anything to do with my joy in looking for new information and seeking what is true and verifiable. I seek facts like a hungry person seeks food. Even after becoming convinced I like to hear ‘the other side of the story.’ Sometimes my original conclusion is fortified and other times new information causes me to question, reexamine and change my conclusions. Maybe I’m just a recalcitrant maverick unable to take firm stance and leave behind the wondering if there was info I didn’t hear or know to include. Maybe I’m too stupid to understand? I drag my heels on committing to a belief easily. Does all this simply make me wishy-washy? If I were a politician would I be called a flip-flopper?

  2. Nothing we don’t already know but spelled out nicely —

    (from the link): The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. As a result, administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars, most of which is waste.

    Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $400 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.

    Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would no longer face financial barriers to care such as co-pays and deductibles, and would regain free choice of doctor and hospital. Doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.

    Single-Payer National Health Insurance

    • As long as the current ‘wasted money’ is going into for-profit hands – we will continue to the be the country that pays the most for our health care.

      And for majority of the time – we get the least results for all that money.

  3. A question — if they find Hoffa, then what? Maybe they’ll find Amelia Earhart first. How much do the searches cost? Are these searches privately financed? What other pressing questions aren’t answered? Ya know, the kinds of answers that benefit us going forward.

    • Finding Hoffa’s body might provide closure for the case – but will it change things?

      I suspect there have been people that know (or knew) where Hoffa finally ended up – but with this much time gone by, why bother?

      As for the financing – if the Hoffa case is a still open poiice case – then, I guess the taxpayers are footing this bill.

      Personally, I would like to know what happened to Amelia Earhart – but even with that knowledge, will it change my world?

      Probably not..

  4. Great wisdom from Robert Reich —

    I’m debating Alan Simpson again today. He’s a former conservative Republican senator from Wyoming who almost became minority leader, a fiscal hawk, and over 6 foot 5 inches tall. We see eye-to-eye on nothing, even when we’re sitting down. But despite all this, we’re good friends. Alan remains obsessed with the federal budget deficit and I’m sure will talk about little else. I’ll counter that it’s not the problem: The deficit is down to 4 percent of GDP and on the way to being 2 percent by the end of the decade (it was 5 percent in 1992 when I headed Bill Clinton’s economic transition team). In fact, the nation’s continued austerity (the huge budget cut of the sequester) is holding back jobs and wages, and hurting the bottom 90 percent of Americans. I expect we’ll disagree sharply, and debate vigorously, as we’ve done before. But we’ll listen carefully to each other, and keep our minds open to the possibility one of us is wrong, if not on the overall argument then perhaps on some details. We won’t resort to cheap shots or joke at the other’s expense. We’ll argue respectfully and civilly. To me, that’s what’s sorely lacking in America today. We don’t need to agree. We just need to be respectful and civil in our disagreements.

  5. I don’t know how I feel about this. When reading through the article, some day care center worker is planning to wear it to amuse her kids.

    Some other woman was making them for cancer-stricken kids who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.

    I must confess, when I first saw this picture – I had to look twice.

    My kids grew up with the Cabbage Patch dolls. We tease our 32-yr-old son about how he would drag his little Cabbage Patch doll through all kinds of stuff – even the mud puddles on a rainy day.

    But – would I put one of these wigs on my own grandbabies? Probably not – except for Halloween and play time, perhaps?


  6. Seven farm bill fights to watch

    House members will need to resolve a slew of fights over amendments to approve a five-year $939 billion farm bill by Thursday.

    Here are some of the biggest battles to expect.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/agriculture/306049-seven-farm-bill-fights-to-watch#ixzz2WaS863Tq

  7. I just found this on HuffingtonPost blog. Seems our Kansas SOS Kris Kobach had a few visitors recently.

    In reading this article, it does state these protesters were on his stoop – and it appears they are on his front yard.

    Okay – that is wrong – IMHO.

    But, if these protesters keep themselves on the public property sidewalk – then what law have they broken?

    I remember all those Pro-Life protesters constant harassment and protesting at Dr. George Tiller’s residence – and not one single Kansas Republican spoke up and said that was wrong.

    But – for Kobach to threaten to use the Second Amendment to resolve the problem – is that really the way this dude wants to play this?


    • BTW – isn’t this Sunflower group the same people that protested the mayor in Wichita a few years back?

      I don’t remember the details of this……does anyone else know what I am talking about?

    • If I had my wish we wouldn’t ever hear about Kobach again. Now that SCOTUS has handed him his ass (even if he isn’t smart enough to know it) do you think his stupidity will be in demand? I honestly can’t remember any of his ideas that weren’t thrown out in court. But republicans do like wasting time and money in the most outlandish ways. It’s not their money but taxpayer money they’re wasting so that probably makes it all okay.

  8. Another study I find interesting! I’ think I’ll go over to PBS and take that test (even tho I’m far from being ‘young’).

    (from the link): “Conservatives value group loyalty more than liberals,” Zell told PsyPost. “We assumed that this desire for loyalty might lead conservatives to see themselves as more representative members of the Republican Party than would be reflected by their attitudes on specific issues. Thus, conservative young adults might want to see themselves as typical or true Republicans, when their attitudes suggest that they are really only slightly conservative or even independent.”

    The three-part study, which included 713 participants, compared young Americans’ self-reported political orientation to a 12-item objective measure of political orientation. The political orientation test was developed by the Pew Research Center and can be taken at PBS.org.

    Zell and Bernstein found most people’s self-reported political orientation did not entirely reflect their actual political positions. In particular, self-reported “Liberal Democrats” overestimated their liberalism, while self-reported “Independents,” “Moderate Republicans,” “Average Republicans,” and “Conservative Republicans” tended to underestimate their liberalism.

    Study finds young Republicans are more liberal than they think

  9. When I saw this…..I had to shake my head. Then I remembered that I posted something yesterday about just how dumber can Republicans get..

    I don’t think we have seen the bottom of their ‘How Dumb Can I Get” hole.


    • But just the males…

      This particular idiot is from Texas. Is there a training camp republicans attend to learn how to sound more stupid than the next? Is it in Texas?

      Republicans do such a fine, exemplary job of making themselves sound like idiots. What’s that wise saying about not interrupting when your opponent is destroying himself.

    • Jindal has no lower opinion of liberals than I have of him and his. He and his think ‘liberalism’ (as defined by them) is a mistake that must be corrected, while I hope whatever republicans want to be called is also corrected sooner rather than later.

      Does that mean we’re in gridlock where no one is likely going to change their opinion? Well, color me shocked. Shocked, I tell ya. 🙂

      Wonder if Jindal remembers there are fewer people who agree with him than there are that agree with me?

    • Remember how often we predicted the republicans would see their challenges as not being ‘conservative’ enough and double down on those so-called principles they call ‘conservative’? Where does this get them? Nominating a candidate who doesn’t appeal widely. Then, somehow the Party Leaders manage to get their choice on the ballot in place of the one primary voters wanted. Wonder how many times that will repeat itself? Is there ever going to be an election where the majority of primary voters actually get their candidate on the ballot for the general election or will they continue to fall in line behind the candidate they’re told is electable?

      • 2016 seems the year (and I’m not trying to be funny).

      • If they really were to get the candidate of their choice on the general election ballot — the one who is absolutely ‘conservative’ enough, do you think that kind of candidate would have a chance of being elected? And, if they did lose with their chosen candidate would they learn any lesson about their unpopular policies?

      • We are still electing presidents with the electoral college votes, right? Ginning up enthusiasm in red states doesn’t have the desired effect on those electoral college votes.

      • I’m of the opinion that voters will hold their noses to vote for someone they agree with sometimes rather than vote for the person they disagree with almost always.

        I know some people stay home and don’t vote, but I think most voters go and cast the vote they may call ‘the best of two bad choices.’ There is no way in the world I would cast a vote for a candidate who thinks women can’t be trusted to make their own health decisions, who thinks women don’t deserve equal pay for equal work, who is A-ok with voter suppression efforts, who doesn’t recognize that America is a country of immigrants and we’re stronger when we’re welcoming to immigrants, who thinks Christianity is a superior religion to others and doesn’t offer due respect to each person’s right to choose for themselves, who supports skewing our entire tax structure to favor the wealthy, who sees merit in reducing all safety nets for our most vulnerable citizens, who supports wars of choice. I certainly won’t vote for a person who believes in trickle-down economics which have been proven faulty over and over or a person who doesn’t promote equality for all citizens. I could go on, but I think you understand that no republican who supports the current republican policies will ever get my vote. Their policies stink! I certainly don’t want to see that person nominate any federal judges.

        I believe republicans feel exactly as I do about their candidates and policies. They would not vote for any Democratic candidate.

        I don’t fool myself that republicans are going to vote for democrats. You’ll never hear me say “soandso has low approval ratings and the polls show lowering popularity” so that means people will vote for the opponent. No, they won’t. I used to believe in undecided voters, I don’t any longer.

        Thus the gridlock. Currently the republicans can’t elect someone at the national level because their numbers are too concentrated in the red states that don’t add up to victory in the electoral college. Unless something gives, sides are chosen and we’re all stuck.

        2012 electoral college results:
        Obama 332
        Romney 206
        Study the states that were close. Even if all of them had gone to Romney, he would have lost. Republicans can’t win by simply hoping democrats lose. They have to have acceptable solutions and ideas and policies.

  10. Speaking of republicans wasting taxpayers time and money, they’re currently debating yet another bill to restrict abortion. A bill that will go nowhere and they know that in advance. So it becomes even more obvious to all Americans that they’re putting on a crazy and costly show to appease their ‘base.’ Everyone also knows a couple more facts:

    1. If overturning Roe v Wade had been their goal it would have happened when they had majorities. They have no intention of actually taking this fresh red meat away and plan to wave it around in front of their base often. Is their base really that stupid?

    2. Another thing we know. Even if the republican base is stupid enough to fall for their silly attempts at futility, their base is too small to elect anyone at the national level. They’re doing nothing to make themselves look more attractive to any other voters. In fact, quite the opposite — they’re making fools of themselves in public.

    Everyone outside their rabid base sees they’re taking another public opportunity to turn away the female voter.

  11. IF the Far Right Conservative Republicans do manage to get their Messiah nominated for 2016 – I predict those long lines we saw in 2012 will be even longer…

    Especially if the illegal immigration bill does not pass – due to these same Far Right Wingers stomping their feet…

  12. 7 out of 10 people hate their job?

    Am I surprised – NO.

    Am I saddened by this polling – YES.

    But I can fully understand why the average worker hates their job – especially if you work for a corporate monopoly giant who thinks the best way to treat their employees is like a warm body – that can be replaced by another warm body that happens to be walking by and willing to work for less pay.

    Is this Reagan’s economic chickens coming home to roost?

    The 80’s – Decade of Greed..


  13. Addressing the header: I cannot find any change in the Sales Tax exemptions made by the 2013 Legislature. Maybe I misunderstand.
    Exemptions from Sales Tax should be reviewed closely, however. Many of these made sense (if at all) decades ago when adopted; not so much any more. We all are aware of one class of sales needing to be exempt: unprocessed food. That’s not quite the term I want, but an example would be raw chicken exempt; fried chicken from the Deli, no.
    N.B. Reading the statute containing the list of exemptions is a cure for insomnia. 🙂

    • My home state of Illinois has not taxed grocery food for years.

      I am not sure if they separate the Deli fried chicken from the raw chicken or not.

      But if they don’t – then why should fast food be taxed? Isn’t that basically the same sales as Deli fried chicken from the grocery store?

    • I’m pretty sure the meme isn’t worded accurately. I even looked at it and knew that was probably the case, posted it anyway and went on my way. I shouldn’t have done that. I’ll try harder.

      • That’s OK, fnord. I challenged this on FB on the same basis, and was informed that the figure was a combination of exemptions, deductions, and reduced rates. No clear “proof” was supplied.
        Sales tax exemptions in this state are a mess. There appears to be no rhyme nor reason behind some, other than to favor a particular group or industry.

  14. The democrats who voted for HR 1797 are:
    Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
    Daniel Lipinski (Il-3) **
    Jim Matheson (UT-4)
    Mike McIntyre (NC-7) **
    Colin Peterson (MN-7) **
    Nick Rahall (WV-3) **
    ** Democratic cosponsors of the bill

    The republicans that voted against the bill are:
    Paul Broun (GA-10)
    Charles Dent (PA-15)
    Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)
    Richard Hanna (NY-22)
    Jon Runyan (NJ-3)
    Rob Woodall (GA-7)

    While the bill has forced members of the House to record a vote on abortion, it has very little chance of becoming law. The Senate, which is controlled by democrats, is unlikely to take up the bill, and the White House said President Barack Obama would veto it if it reached his desk.

    20-Week Abortion Ban Passes House

  15. Coming this Winter (younger says around Christmas).