Tuesday, 4/8/14, Public Square

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44 Comments

by | April 8, 2014 · 6:00 am

44 responses to “Tuesday, 4/8/14, Public Square

  1. wicked

    Does anyone watch Castle? I’ve gotten behind this season, so we were watching an older episode last night, where Beckett (Kate) is talked into helping with a drug case and ends up being kidnapped by what turns out to be a huge organization that helps launder money sent to PACs, that’s integrated into the “lawful” PAC and super PAC donations. Perfectly legal, but the money can’t be traced. As I listened to Kate and her fellow NYPD detectives, I heard the name (phonetically pronounced) Cokeland, my ears picked up. Cokeland? Kochland? Kochland! I do love how liberal “Hollywood” manages to get in some punches more frequently these days. The explanation of distribution of money was speedy, but to anyone who might have been listening, it was exactly how contributors are easily hidden.

    • Those damn ‘liberals’ in Hollywood. We’ve all heard these Republicans demonize Hollywood, haven’t we?

      But yet these same folks still worship their Hollywood actor – Ronald Reagan.

  2. Is this the most desired product on the shelves at Sam’s Club?

    True capitalism and free trade is dead in America – IMHO

  3. Did you all see this today? I picked it up at Crooks and Liars, but I find it interesting that Kansas is one of the states lagging in health care. Big surprise. But… our rural hospitals are really struggling, partly due to reduce reimbursements for not expanding Medicaid, and partly because they have to suck up so many lost dollars from uninsured people. So what does Kansas do? Turns down the Medicaid expansion because of ideology. Never mind that we’re looking at massive hospital closures out here in the next ten years. Ideology uber alles. And these Kansas hillbillies out here will continue to vote repuke even as the repukes close their schools, their hospitals and let their roads go to hell, all the while letting big ag suck up all the remaining water.

    Jesus wept. The politicians are bad enough. The people who elect them are worse!

    “According to Gallup, the share of Americans who lack health insurance has fallen to the lowest level since before the Great Recession began.

    But the Urban Institute offers a fascinating finding: The rate of uninsured is now almost 50 percent higher in states that refused the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion (18.1 percent) than in those that embraced the policy (12.4 percent).

    This growing coverage gap isn’t entirely a result of the Medicaid expansion — the rate of uninsured dropped by four percentage points in expanding states and 1.5 points in states that refused the expansion. Rather, it reflects the fact that “red” and “blue” states have always had very different budget priorities — the latter, as a group, have long spent more on health care, education and anti-poverty programs, and Obamacare’s ACA expansion, which offers billions of federal dollars to states that take it, is now deepening that divide.”

    Wanna live longer and healthier? Move out of Kansas!

    • Mu hubby who is a political cynic — thinks if voting worked it would be illegal — said recently: “If they don’t stop they’re going to have no one but themselves to hurt. The rest of us will be moved away.” Yeah. This particular state legislature has gotten even his attention and he sees nothing positive. This is a man who easily ignores most politics. It finally got bad enough to get his attention. I haven’t seen him register to vote… 😦 YET.

      We have a state full of disenfranchised teachers and parents (mostly just the ones who can read) and Kansas would be a great place to launch a revolution.

      I was talking to my 18 year old granddaughter earlier this week. They’re all registering to vote! She said her government class at her high school did it together. Hopefully they’ll also go to the polls. I really like the way they think! The Kansas republicans are not going to be at all happy with the way these young adults think.

      • I explained to her, and asked her to share with her whole class, the complications of going away to college, mentioned the newest republican trick about not changing registrations between end of May and end of August in this election year. I suggested she take on the project of researching what the hoops to jump through may be for these new voters so they can be fully prepared to cast their first votes.

      • My son and your hubby would become fast friends. Even my son has been saying a lot of stuff lately that makes me have hope that he will start to vote – again.

        I wonder how many folks are like your hubby and my son?

        Are these the silent majority? Most of these folks that I know are hard working folks who have kids growing up in a world that is turning out to be very cold, very uncaring, very judgmental in all things religious and sexual orientation. And yet there are still no living wage jobs being created.

        John Boehner and his Buddies ran on the promise of creating jobs in 2010 midterm elections -didn’t they?

        WHY aren’t their GOP base demanding that they keep their promise?

  4. http://t.news.msn.com/us/congressman-apologizes-after-compromising-video-posted

    Yet again, another Republican ‘Christian Family Values’ morally superior Congressman gets caught on camera.

    And what does he do? He sheds the crocodile tears (I call those ‘Jimmy Swaggart tears’) as he plays his ‘forgiveness’ card given out freely to certain people who use their religion to make themselves appear superior.

    But, I did not have to chuckle a little bit when I read where this is the Congressman that invited that Duck Dynasty old dude to the State of the Union address.

    Birds of a feather flock together?

  5. Glad PP brought up the issue of health insurance coverage and the ACA.

    My daughter had health insurance through her job for both her and her husband because hubby was not eligible to get his health insurance through his job for first 90 days.

    Anyway – her husband got health insurance for both of them and since my daughter was pregnant, they decided to keep both health insurance coverages until after the baby was born – to have dual coverage and less out-of-pocket expenses for them to pay.

    My daughter called her benefits department last week and asked to disenroll from her company’s health insurance.

    She was told she could not disenroll until their open enrollment period (November) but she could ADD the baby.

    My daughter asked why because she had been told last fall that she could do this.

    The response was – we were grandfathered in with Obamacare – so we do not have to follow their rules.

    My daughter is so frustrated and upset. She is more mad because this benefits department employee flippantly said that there is no way you can drop this insurance.

    My daughter said to me – Oh Hell yes there is one way – quit their damn job!

    And that is exactly what my daughter wants to do – she wants to quit this job and find another one before she has to return from maternity leave.

    This is a major corporation we are talking about – both the employer and the health insurance company.

    I guess they think people will just sit and take whatever crappola they dish out – because employees have no choices anymore?

    My daughter is a teacher in a daycare/preschool – does her company really think she cannot find another job down the street – doing the same exact thing?

    So….rather than allowing her to drop her insurance (knowing that her husband has insurance for her and the new baby) – this corporation would rather see a good employee walk out the door?

    I guess that $185 premium every two weeks is more important than a good employee?

    And then these same folks wonder why their employees feel no loyalty to their employers??

    • First of all, I’m not positive that person understands the whole ‘grandfathering’ scenario, and I would question what she is saying about being able to cancel the insurance. So is there some way to get another opinion?

      If she does quit, I would secure the new job before quitting the old one, but other than that, I’m on her side in this decision.

      • She has a few more weeks to find another job – and in her field, there are always other daycare/preschool centers trying to lure you away.

        So, there are a few contacts she can look into and see what is available at this time.

        I just find it so frustrating that a corporation would choose the option to allow a valuable employee to just walk out the door – and all because of someone in the benefits department telling her she cannot – under any circumstances – disenroll in the insurance at this time.

        That just boggles my mind.

        But – hey – I am fighting a similar fight with Via Christi over a $25 copay from my well-woman annual checkup last fall. When I went in for this annual exam, their own receptionist told me my copay was waived since this is a well-woman annual exam.

        I tried to pay the $25 that day – Via Christi’s own receptionist refused to take my $25.

        So, their billing statement came and there was the charge for $25 copay. I called their billing office and explained what their own receptionist said to me that day and I was told “we billed this correctly and you owe this $25 copay”. (verbatim)

        I requested they send this back to their coding department and to look again at this since it was their OWN employee that told me no co-pay was due since this was my well-woman exam.

        A few days later – I got this nasty form letter informing that I did owe this $25 copay and no further appeals would be allowed.

        Okay – I even contacted BCBS about this and they told me the $25 copay was waived since it is a well-woman annual exam. But then BCBS told me that it was up to Via Christi to bill it correctly and there was nothing they could do about this situation.

        Ever feel like you’re in a revolving door? That is how I felt about this stupid $25 copay.

        Anyway – since I had about $800 in total amount due (due to all the numerous heart testing that was not really necessary because all my troubles were due to stress from a nasty-assed supervisor (but that is another story) – I requested a payment plan with Via Christi.

        This billing employee asked me what I was thinking and I replied – 6 months. She then responded – WE like to go with 3 months. To which I replied – NO, I prefer 6 months and you did ask me what I was thinking….so why give me a choice if you were not willing to give me what I would say?

        She reluctantly gave in and gave me 6 months to pay. I am on my last payment in a few weeks and I plan to pay the entire remaining balance due – but that last $25 copay will be in numerous checks with varying amounts so Via Christi will have to pay someone to process these checks one by one and to actually use their calculator to make sure I have paid the entire $25 owed to them.

        I already have a new doctor picked out – and he is one of the very few doctors around here that is NOT connected to Via Christi.

        So – exactly what has Via Christi accomplished by their stubbornness and unwillingness to even back up what their clinic employee told me in the first place that the $25 co-pay was waived and which she even refused to take that day?

        All this nonsense simply affirmed all my feelings towards Via Christi. I will NEVER darken their door again.

        Plus – every time I hear their damn commercials on television when they say ‘because your life matters’ – I just roll my eyes and say ‘ yeah, sure’.

        This is what is wrong with our health care system in America – the almighty dollar comes first. And the bigger the corporation (yes, I am referring to Via Christi) – the more greedy they seem to be – IMHO

      • My husband calls me Don Quixote (sp?) for fighting against the windmill.

        This may be true, but at least Via Christi will get the message that this is one person that does not like to just roll over and play dead when they snap their fingers.

        If this Catholic health care mafia wants to act like they are God and terrorize people over their health care bills – then they can just deal with my chosen method of payment.

        And I think making them have to process multiple checks in varying amounts will make them at least – for that moment – think about how this one patient finally got the last laugh on them.

        I’m thinking about 10 checks in all – maybe $2.74; $1.85; etc and then last check will be for exactly $1.00 – and I will have my memo field completed with the words ‘ Paid in Full’.

        We the People don’t have much power in this country of ours – but when I get pushed around by mean and greedy people – I tend to look for a legal way to make my feelings known .

        I did this exact same thing to another about 10 years ago. I had paid the entire balance owed and then 9 months later, this doctor billed me for a copay that they had missed. I had not been to the doctor since before the first billing statement. With the billing for this copay 9 months later was the written form letter of the threat of sending me to collections if this was not paid within 7 days.

        Oh Hell NO……..I may not be a wealthy person or someone with a lot of political power – but I do know how to make someone sit up and take notice if they do me wrong.

        And making that surgeon’s office employee process those multiple checks earned me a phone call from his office and an apology for being so cold and uncaring to one of his patients.

        If for nothing else, it gave me the satisfaction of at least making them think twice before they treat their other patients the way they treated me..

        Well, hopefully…

        There are so many windmills to fight……

      • When I was growing up, I had a neighbor who was the nicest man. He and his wife were community-minded – helped people and were hardworking middle class folks.

        This man rarely showed his temper – but he was having trouble with the woman in the city water department. Seems this woman did not like my neighbor – something about the church he attended or some other such nonsense crappola.

        He went down in person to pay his water bill and he paid it all in pennies. As he emptied out the jar of pennies, the woman protested and yelled that she could not – and would not – count all those pennies.

        The mayor came over during the ruckus and smiled at my neighbor and told the woman that she had to take those pennies because they were legal tender.

        Imagine the satisfaction my neighbor got while watching this woman count out all those pennies.

        It’s too bad we did not have camera/video capability cell phones back in those days – because that scene would have made a very funny YouTube video.

        From that day forward – the woman in the city water department treated my neighbor Grover with more respect.

  6. There is one certain way to get rid of all this health insurance nonsense – put in what we should have gotten in the first place – Medicare for all.

    It’s way past time to get our health insurance out of the hands of our employers.

    This would also solve the problem of Hobby Lobby and its so-called religious folks’ lawsuit about their religious freedom being threatened by mandating their health insurance for employees cover contraception.

    Medicare is one government program that is very popular – contrary to what these Republicans keep screaming.

  7. http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/michaelreagan-republicans/2014/04/03/id/563586/

    ——
    This is what the son of St. Ronnie Reagan has to say about the current GOP.

    • http://www.michaelereagan.com/ronald-reagan-was-the-tea-party/

      —–
      This is what that same son of Reagan said about the Tea Party and his father in 2010 (shortly after Tea Party emerged on the political scene)

    • I find this interesting – to say the least.

      Back in 2010 – when all things looked rosy for the Tea Party – Reagan’s son was all gaga over the Tea Party and how his father – Ronnie – would have been their leading cheerleader.

      But now in 2014 – when the Tea Party has been causing problems for the Grand Old Party – now the Tea Party would be challenging his father because good ol’ Ronnie was a Conservative that had the inclusion idealogy?

      What a crock of B.S.

      But – I do agree with Michael Reagan on one thing – these talk radio shock jocks are the biggest problems on the ‘right’ side of the political aisle.

      And GOP boys and girls – you deserve each and every one of those talk radio shock jocks. Republicans created this talk radio/Foxxies Henhouse monster – it’s about time you either learn to tame it or destroy it.

    • I would have to agree, I have been directing replies to every nut case Nazi-con who posts a comment on the stories on yahoo news. Been called everything but a RINO! Told to leave the party and become a sniveling liberal lapdog. We differ on the opinion of President Reagan but he also did things I did not like. But I agree that he would not last in the party as it has became. The current flow I see from comments and the national Cons is that of being bought and paid for by the rich and powerful whom either envy the Nazis or will make the same mistakes that the Industrialists did with Hilter.

      • President Reagan did have that gift of making people feel like he had their best interest at heart. But what bothered me about the man is that he did go along with the Iran Contra deal to sell weapons to our enemy Iran.

        Can you imagine the outrage if Obama did that very same thing today? He would be crucified upside down by these same Reagan worshippers today.

        IMHO – Reagan also did a very big disservice to our country in the way he handled the AIDS epidemic. If he would have come out in the very beginning and treated this like a health care crisis and not a social issue against homosexuality – our country would be a different place today.

        And if Reagan would have left those damn solar panels on the White House roofs and told the oil companies where to shove it…….our country would be a lot better off.

  8. Sorry some days I am having so much fun on Facebook answering and more or less poking holes in the Con crap I get that I run out of time! I ether have been pointing out the stupidity or actually adding to it. I have just today accused the President of actually being white and only pretending to be of a mixed race in order to get the off white vote! I have to get off now since I have not checked on mom recently. I am not sure why it is I use to not have that much of a problem changing my kids diapers but it makes me choke and fight the feeling changing hers. I know I know I keep being told I am a good son.

  9. http://news.msn.com/us/al-sharpton-report-of-his-fbi-cooperation-not-new
    ———
    Who is behind this Smoking Gun website that is referred to in this article?

    And why bring this issue out to the public now? Is it a feeble attempt to smear Rev. Sharpton’s reputation in the hopes that sheeple will only hear the part that Sharpton was talking with the mafia?

    If you’re going to tell the story -then tell the entire story. You know, the part of the story that will let everyone know exactly the purpose of the publication of this story in the first place?

    It seems Sharpton went to the FBI about the mafia threatening him and Sharpton cooperated with the FBI by taping their conversations.

    Bottom line – Sharpton was doing a good thing by trying to bring the mafia into the spotlight and have them caught by authorities.

    So, suddenly, this is now a bad thing?

    • http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-smoking-gun-is-on-fire/

      This is what I found when I Goggled ‘Smoking Gun’…but this is from February 2006.

      I did notice that another website called – FoxNation was running this story about Al Sharpton and the mafia.

      Wow – Rev Al must have been pissed in somebody’s Cheerios on the right side of the political aisle for this to make front page news.

      Maybe this is really an attempt to let the mafia know that Al Sharpton worked with the FBI back in the 1980’s?

      I can’t figure out these crazy schemes…

  10. http://news.msn.com/us/at-home-mothers-on-the-rise-new-research-shows
    ________

    One would think that with all these Evangelical Republicans that a lot of these stay-at-home mothers would be among their church group population. And by that I mean – white, well-to-do and married.

    But – it appears the immigrant women are more inclined to be stay-at-home mothers. Kinda blows that theory of US-born mothers and affluent being the majority of stay-at-home mothers – huh?

    Take a good look at the breakdown of these stay-at-home mothers.

    • As I was talking about yesterday – my generation had an entirely different type of world – we had family and grandparents nearby that helped with watching kids, etc.

      Is that also a thing of the past?

      I quit working full time when my first grandbaby was born – 8 years ago. I went to part time on weekends and watched the baby full time during the week.

      I made this choice because daycare costs were out of reach for my son and his wife – and with their daily bills – and trying to save up money to buy their first house.

      But – I would not trade those years for any amount of money. Those were precious years to me – a lot of memories.

      Then the grandson came along – I did the same thing with him until their mother quit her job and stayed home for awhile.

      But – my son and his wife still need two paychecks for them to even survive in the middle class. The health care premiums alone are sky high.

      But when the DIL decided to go back to work, I had just taken a full time job, so she put them into daycare. That was running them $270/week. That included a 3yr old full time and the 8yr old was before and after school. The summertime would have been another $90/week.

      Like my DIL said – why should she bother to work when she would have to pay out $360 a week.

      Good thing I decided to leave my ex-supervisor to her own nasty-assed mood and just quit my job.

      Because now I am back to watching the kids and I am going to watch my newest grandbaby (my daughter’s little baby girl) when she goes back to work.

      My daughter works in a daycare/preschool and she wants me to watch her baby because it would cost her $275/week ($550/2 weeks plus the $185 health insurance premium every 2 weeks. Again – it would not pay for her to work.

      She is not highly-paid for her job – and what daycare/preschool pays really well?

      So, I can see why mothers are caught in a dilemma as to whether to work or not. Some do not have a choice – they have to work.

      We are lucky that my husband and I are in the position that I can stay home and watch the grandkids. But there are friends and coworkers that have told me they would NEVER even consider quitting their jobs to watch their grandkids. And these people COULD make that choice financially. They have told me they do not want to make that choice.

      I was raised where family helps family – and if I have to eat hot dogs and baked beans instead of steak – then, so be it.

      For being a country that prides itself on being such a pro-life and pro-family country – are we really?

  11. https://www.reagan.com/t2/ReaganMail
    ——
    While surfing the Internet, I found this website where Conservatives (headed by Reagan’s son – Michael – is now selling email accounts to people.

    WTH….

    • It appears they are marketing this email service as an alternative to the all those email sites that are snooping on the privacy of Americans.

      Okay – I can understand that.

      But – if these other email sites can track you and your conversations – then can’t these Reagan people maintaining this new email site do the same damn thing?

      Just asking….

      Or, are we supposed to just assume that MIchael Reagan and his private investment buddies (of whom their names are not disclosed) will not use the information from your Reagan email account for their own purpose?

      • As I’ve freely shared before – I am a very big cynic.

        But one does have to wonder – what does this private investment group get out of this business venture? I suspect it is not just because they love St. Ronnie so much that they just want to provide email service for everyone in America.

        Besides – ever since the day I registered as a Republican, I have been deluged with unwanted mail from every damn Republican politician, the Kansas GOP, the RNC and their mommas…..

        Please….just leave me alone…

  12. I just listened to Michael Steele – former RNC Chairman – on the Chris Matthews MSNBC show talk about how the Lilly Ledbetter Act was nothing more than legislation providing a way to enforce the Equal Pay legislation that John F. Kennedy passed 51 years ago.

    Ms. Ledbetter was actually the one that brought that particular fact up in the discussion and said that it has been 51 years ago that JFK signed the equal pay law and yet we still have companies and employers not following that law of equal pay.

    Michael Steele actually said – and that is the problem – enforcing the law – so we do not need to change it.

    Steele also said that both Republicans and Democrats were both on the same side of the equal pay issue and should be working together to find a way to enforce the equal pay law that JFK signed 51 years ago.

    Let’s see Michael Steele – how about taking away all the government subsidies and sweet tax breaks these companies get from taxpayers until they can prove that they do pay equal pay?

    According to Michael Steele – the problem is not that companies do not pay equal pay – nobody is making them do it.

    WTF……

    Hey – Michael Steele – did you ever stop to think that maybe working women do no have an extra bag of cash to pay some lawyer to go after their employer to make him/her abide by the law that has been in effect for 51 years??

    Republicans…..can you imagine the outrage if the roles were reversed and the employees were not giving their employers equal work for their pay? Companies would sure have a hissy fit then – wouldn’t they?

    Besides – the executive order that Obama signed today was to not allow federal contractors to retaliate against employees that discussed their pay among the other workers.

    Seriously? And these are the companies that Michael Steele are trying to say just need to be told to enforce the equal pay that JFK signed into law 51 years ago?

    What alternative universe do these Republicans live in?

    • PS – Lilly Ledbetter also said it took her 9 years to even get the right to sue her employer – which is why the Lilly Ledbetter Act was needed.

      How can Michael Steele defend the Republicans’ stance on this issue?

      It is the employees fault that these employers are not paying equal pay?

      Sounds a lot like the Republicans’ theory of rape – it is always the woman’s fault.

    • I’ve come to appreciate Michael Steele. He is head and shoulders more sensible than the average republican.

      • That may be true – but he was still sitting there trying to say that nothing needs to be done about equal pay for women.

        To him – the only problem is that women are not taking their employers to court to prove they are being paid less.

        Who has money to pay for a lawyer?

        Like Lilly Ledbetter herself said – it took her 9 years and she still has not seen one dime of that lost money.

        Plus, Ms. Ledbetter made the argument that her retirement and her social security is affected by the lesser pay and that will never be recouped.

      • Remember I said head and shoulders above the average republican. That puts him knee high to a grasshopper when compared to someone who trusts and supports women.

  13. http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/foster-friess-obamacare-hitler-parody-105452.html

    ——-
    Have you heard or seen this latest Republican display of stupidity?

    I wonder which Republican yahoo is going to have to think hard to come up with an even more slimey and more outrageous remark or stunt to pull to get the ‘one-up’ on old man Foster?

    Let’s remember – this Foster Friess is the GOP sugar daddy donor backing Santorum in the 2012 presidential campaign and the one that proudly stated that back in his day – the women used an aspirin between their knees as effective birth control.

    Is this the level of intelligence we really want leading our country in the Grand Old Party?

    Every time I think one of these Neanderthals stoops to a new low of common decency – they prove me wrong.

    I really believe there is no bottom to the GOP cesspool of hatred one man – Barack Obama.

    what a lonely and pathetic life these poor Republicans must lead.

  14. On Sunday, the Kansas Legislature took advantage of the late hour and the exhaustion factor to keep the erasure of due process for new teachers and the elimination of tenure for experienced teachers in the K-12 Education Bill.

    Voters (parents, teachers, educators including University faculty, students) wake up. We the people must review the votes made by Representatives on probation (first term) and Representatives with tenure (secure seats). Unlike the teaching profession, recruitment in politics is intended to vacate a seat. Now is the time to run for office and restore good decision making. This is the only way to eradicate a very serious threat to democracy in Kansas.

    Dolores Furtado
    President
    League of Women Voters of Kansas
    Professor Emerita
    University of Kansas Medical School

  15. A GOP convention rule changed in 2012 to protect President Romney from a challenge by Ron Paul could end up preventing anyone from being nominated as their presidential candidate in 2016. This is good guys! They seem to have themselves in a tight spot of their own making!

    Dramatic, Little Known GOP Rule Change Takes Choice Of Presidential Candidate Away From Rank And File Republicans And Hands It To Party Elite
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2014/04/07/dramatic-little-known-gop-rule-change-takes-choice-of-presidential-candidate-away-from-rank-and-file-republicans-and-hands-it-to-party-elite/

    • Which could shut the door on Rand Paul. . .

      • And if it shuts the door on Rand Paul – will the younger generation (who seems to make up a large of Rand Paul’s base) be turned off and not vote?

        Since Rand Paul is not the usual GOP war mongerer – I think Tea Party and Evangelicals will still vote the Republican elite ticket – simply because it is the only GOP ticket in the circus…

        This will be interesting to watch

      • Yes, Indeed. We’ve all heard the screams about how they will pick their candidate! It won’t be who the media picks, no, no, THEY will pick their candidate. 🙂 Uh huh. And, the truth is, they’ll march in lockstep and vote for whoever has the “R” beside their name — it doesn’t matter how they got on the ticket.