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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quote of the Day

From French President Sarkozy via Talking Points Memo

"Welcome to the club of states who don't turn their back on the sick and the poor," Sarkozy said, referring to the U.S. health care overhaul signed by President Barack Obama last week.  From the European perspective, he said, "when we look at the American debate on reforming health care, it's difficult to believe."

"The very fact that there should have been such a violent debate simply on the fact that the poorest of Americans should not be left out in the streets without a cent to look after them ... is something astonishing to us."

Then to hearty applause, he added: "If you come to France and something happens to you, you won't be asked for your credit card before you're rushed to the hospital."

Really?

“I hereby pledge to the people of my state to sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government.” -- Candice Miller (R-MI)

Really, Candy?  Just how stupid do you think we are in Michigan and elsewhere?  When President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 into law, just how did the federal government take over health care?  How is handing private insurance companies over 30 million new customers a government takeover?  How is putting my federal tax dollars into the pockets of for-profit private health insurance company executives and Wall Street stock owners a frigging federal takeover of health care?  How is guaranteeing that Americans will not have to worry about being unable to buy insurance from an insurance company because of pre-existing conditions a federal government takeover of health care?  How is guaranteeing that no one will lose their insurance when they get sick a federal government takeover of health care?

There was no and will not be any takeover of health care.  That seems to be why it was so easy for Mrs. Miller to sign the ultra-conservative Club for Growth pledge.  The damn thing is meaningless.  Mrs. Miller knows how to vote "No" with her party and knows full well that the Republican talking points used in the year long health insurance reform fight were utter bullshit.  I would also hope that she is smart enough to figure out that the rest of us are smart enough to figure out that she is just pandering to teabaggers and conservative Republicans.  Got that scary fundraising letter ready, yet?

BTW --  Doesn't it seem idiotic that we have just now given more than 30 million new customers to insurance companies that make money by NOT providing health care to its customers?  I resent that fact that the tax monies I am sending to Washington, D.C. to help bring health care to the poor will be funneled to for-profit businesses.  In my book, no one should financially profit from an act of Christian charity.  No one.  What's next?  For-profit soup kitchens, food banks, and thrift stores?

Someday, when we have a single-payer health care system when no one profits from "health insurance" --- that will be a freaking federal takeover.

Mental Health Break

This was enjoyable.  Watch as the dog "plays ball".  Hat tip:  Andrew Sullivan



Dog versus Deer

Henry Yanez



Democrat Henry Yanez is a career firefighter and paramedic serving the City of Sterling Heights.  Like me, he grew up with parents that experienced the Great Depression first-hand as children.  Like me, he was raised in a working class home with a stay-at-home mom.  Henry Yanez's father was an autoworker.  My father was a skilled tradesman that worked for a failed cement making company for 20 years before taking a job with an auto parts supplier.  Henry Yanez and I both care about our home State of Michigan.  We both chose to labor in a profession that serves the needs of our communities.  We both, I believe, are closer to understanding the needs of the average Michigander than the currently serving congresswoman.

I would like to meet Mr. Yanez.  Since any such meeting is quite unlikely, I will be content to send him my best wishes through this blog.  I am certain from the little that I have read about him that Michigan's 10th Congressional District would be well served if Henry Yanez is elected this November.

Henry Yanez is LinkedIn here and all Twitter(pated) here.  Campaign information about Henry Yanez may be found here courtesy of Democracy For America.  And, Mr. Yanez has a campaign website at HenryYanez.com and is accepting campaign donations through ActBlue here.

Michigan's 10th deserves a great Representative in Washington, D.C. and Henry Yanez deserves the opportunity to serve us.

On the Roads Again


The state that gave the nation the mass production genius of Henry Ford and the automobiles' numerous "Motors" companies has the second worst roads in the country.  According to a survey in the magazine Overdrive, Michigan ranks one spot behind Pennsylvania for the dubious honor of being second with the nation's worst roads.  Big surprise.  The level of commitment of the lawmakers in Lansing to improve Michigan's failing roads and infrastructure is as about as high as their commitment to lead Michiganders with their own personal sacrifice of legislators' wages and benefits.  For the good of Michigan --- they do nothing.  Michigan will fail to qualify for greater federal financial assistance for road repair and other improvement projects because Michigan lawmakers have failed the people of Michigan.

The Detroit News has a report, as well as, the Detroit Free Press.

Nearly three years ago, we made the trip from Port Huron to Ajijic, México by minivan.  The worst roads?  Yep.  They were in Michigan.  With the exception of a small stretch of road in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí, even the roads in México were better than those in Michigan.

And, just like with public education, it is simply idiotic to think that you can improve or maintain the best without spending some money.  Lawmakers cannot "cut" their way to better roads and students........

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cox Wrong on States' Rights

The Port Huron Times Herald's editorial from March 26th states plainly what's wrong with Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox's participation in the multi-State moronic movement to "repeal" the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  What is missing from the Times Herald editorial is the statement of fact that our very own Representative Candice Miller (R-10) voted against passage of the health insurance reform law.  And, the editorial also failed to inform the 10th Congressional District of the fact that Mrs. Miller has joined the teabaggers and the pandering politicians in their call for the Affordable Care Act's repeal.

Candice Miller (R-Harrison Township) has joined Attorney General Cox.  So, in the words of the editorial, Candice Miller is seeking reelection to Congress and her attempt to pander to conservative voters is as lamentable as it is obvious.......

Cox is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, and his attempt to pander to conservative voters is as lamentable as it is obvious. In effect, he means to advertise his political campaign with taxpayers picking up the tab.

Frivolous claims of state rights were wrong a half century ago, and they are equally wrong today.

Friday, March 26, 2010

What He/They Said!

This needs to be shared in its entirety.  From John Aravosis (AMERICAblog) and the Sacramento Bee -- Editorial: GOP's 'ongoing vitriol has given license to the threats. They own what's happening now.'

An Editorial excerpt:

Sunday's passage of health care reform was preceded by many weeks of venomous attacks and wild exaggerations, yet it all seems so tame now in comparison.

Since the vote, at least 10 House members have reported death threats, harassment or vandalism at district offices. More than 100 House Democrats were alarmed enough to meet privately Wednesday with the FBI and Capitol Police. Some requested and received extra security.

Such violence and threats of violence are not free speech and political protest. It is intimidation, it is criminal, and it has no place in a democracy like ours.

Republicans, of course, have condemned the violence and acts of bigotry that followed the bill's passage. Yet their ongoing vitriol has given license to the threats. They own what's happening now.

Cantor Lies

While attempting to deflect criticism of the Republican Party's bad behavior with their insane rhetoric about President Obama, the Democratic Majority, and the Patient Protection and Affordability Act of 2010, Republican Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that he too was a victim.  To obscure the fact that numerous Democratic lawmakers and their families have been threatened and numerous incidents of malicious destruction at offices and campaign headquarters have occurred, Mr. Cantor thought it appropriate to invent his own "attack" story.  Liar.  And, of course, Fox News ran with the lies............

Note the report of the "manhunt" that is underway to find the Cantor attacker(s)....... utter bullshit.



How do we move forward in Congress with such outrageous lies from lying leaders in the Republican Party?  How do we move forward when the Democratic Party has been so vilified?  How do we sit down and ever negotiate and govern in good faith with such bad actors and their ridiculous political actions?

Scott Brown IS Inappropriate

Yesterday, as part of the Democratic Party's victory lap after successfully passing a sweeping reform of health care insurance, President Obama addressed a gathering of Iowa citizens and praised the many life affirming provisions of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  President Obama also called out the Republican Party, the Party of NO, for their obstructionist tactics all through the year long legislative process.  The Republican Party's cynical call for the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 on the day after the law's passage merited the President's ridicule as he called for Republican lawmakers to "Go for it".

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) called President Obama's remark "inappropriate".  Really?  Really, Mr. Brown, why is it inappropriate for the President to identify an issue of importance and identify the actions of some as inconsequential and a happy distraction for Democrats in the 2010 and 2012 elections and call those Republicans and Republican teabaggers out for their stupidity?  Really, don't waste any money supporting the Party of No and any candidate silly enough to proclaim that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is unconstitutional.

What really is inappropriate, Senator Brown, is your national fundraising letter identifying Rachel Maddow, an MSNBC news program host, as your opponent in your re-election campaign.  Oh, yes, your stupid hateful letter doesn't directly make the claim that Rachel Maddow will be your opponent.  We know how those letters are written.  Half truths and innuendo have been the usual means to whip up a controversy, real or imagined.  Your letter does just that while smearing Rachel Maddow.

That is inappropriate.  And, really really creepy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Photo of the Day

La Primavera

This photograph was taken yesterday on the town plaza in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.  I love this town......

Monday, March 22, 2010

Unfinished Business



Just one or two items of Unfinished Business.

1.  Thank you, Bart Stupak.  Thank you for listening to the Nuns.

2.  Our friends at ActBlue have a fundraising page for Henry Yanez.  He is seeking the Michigan Democratic Party's nomination to run against Republican Candice Miller in the 10th Congressional District.  I'm hoping to see a website soon and more information about him.

Oh, and, by the by, Bart...... Who helped pay your rent at C Street?

Begin the Beguine


Back before my State retirement benefit not-quite-Cadillac health insurance plan began demanding that nearly all my prescriptions must be filled by an out-of-state company, I seemed to spend a lot of my time at the CVS Pharmacy next to the old Farmer Jack.  I liked doing business there.  The clerks, pharmacist assistants, and pharmacists were some of the nicest people in town.  One lady in particular will always stand out as someone to cherish and respect.  When years ago I complained about the raising of my prescription deductible from a paltry few bits to dollars she "corrected" me.  She was "nice" about it and she was right to let the then very young teacher know that I had very little to complain about.  I learned.

Over time, as a loyal customer, especially when searching for coupon bargains, I found myself in line at the pharmacist's checkout many times.  It was there where I saw the old old ladies and old old men pick up their prescriptions and shell out hundreds of dollars for them.  Sometimes medications were left behind to be picked up when more money was available.  I witnessed the tragic and the very sad.  When President Bush's Republican Majority rammed through the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit I was happy that the old folks would have more help with their health care costs.  The crazy "doughnut-hole" provision that still made senors pay full price for prescriptions for a weird few months or more after some other crazy provision was satisfied was still a problem.  President Bush's plan was good, but not perfect.

As soon as President Obama signs the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that doughnut dumbness ends.  And, unlike the Medicare Prescriptions Benefits Act that George W. Bush signed into law, the costs of this health care reform will be paid for and then some.  The deficit will actually be reduced.  The numbers have already been crunched and the Democratic Majority will deliver upon a promise made decades ago while saving the country some money.

Sadly, Candice Miller (R-MI) has already pledged to repeal the filling in of the Medicare doughnut-hole.  Mrs. Miller has taken a pledge, along with other lawmakers, politicians, and teabagger crazies to Repeal It.  So, Mrs. Miller seems to be sending out a big "screw you" to my aunts and uncles and cousins back in Port Huron and St. Clair County.  Continue paying those high prices for your medications.

Mrs. Miller has also pledged to repeal the law that stops insurance companies from canceling anyone's insurance when they get sick.

Mrs. Miller has pledged to repeal the law that allows a 26 year old to stay on his parents health insurance policy.

Candice Miller (R-10) wants to repeal the law that stops insurance companies from denying health insurance coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

Mrs. Miller wants the insurance companies to be able to cap the amount of money they will spend on you.  So, if you get sick or injured, die quickly according to Mrs. Miller, because the insurance companies should be able to cap their payments at some "life time" amount.  So, if you get sick or injured you may go bankrupt trying to stay alive.  And, you must constantly worry about paying for your bills........  The true death panel is the insurance company's cap on paying for your survival.  Hit the cap.......... go bankrupt.......... and........  Candice Miller seems to support this death panel........

Yes.  Representative Candice Miller (R-MI) seems to believe that her political party is more important than how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 0f 2010 will impact the lives of her constituents back in Michigan.  She also seems to believe that folks in the 10th Congressional District are stupid enough to believe that repeal of this law is even possible, given the popularity of many of the provisions in the bill and the fact that monies will be heading out to our community health centers to address the needs of the poor -- uninsured and under-insured.  And, furthermore, hanging your political future on an unlikely repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and continuing this asinine Republican Obstructionism --- just saying no to everything --- is certainly the best way to show the folks back home your true family values.

Yep.  Republican Party vs. family values...........................  I wouldn't be surprised if her re-election campaign fund-raising letters try to scare folks into sending her money to help her "fight to repeal" the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 0f 2010.

Hat tip:  Michigan Liberal

Miller Voted NO

Michigan's 10th Congressional District will not miss out on the improvements in their lives and health because of Representative Candice Miller's NO vote.  Fortunately, the Democratic Party has the courage to tackle the problems faced by everyday Americans.  These are some of the benefits that the Health Care Reform law will bring to Michigan's 10th Congressional District:

  • Improve coverage for 501,000 residents with health insurance.
  • Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 160,000 families and 13,700 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
  • Improve Medicare for 111,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.
  • Extend coverage to 27,000 uninsured residents.
  • Guarantee that 9,000 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
  • Protect 2,200 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
  • Allow 50,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans.
  • Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 3 community health centers.
  • Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $39 million annually

The good folks back home need to remember in November that Candice Miller (R-Harrison Township) does not have the interests of her constituents at heart.  She is a partisan Republican that ignores the needs of the poor and the sick.

Music Video Monday


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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Two Questions for Bart Stupak (R-MI)

I Have Two Questions for Bart Stupak (R-MI)?  And, maybe the good folks in Michigan's First Congressional District may also want to know the answers!


1.  Who was subsidizing your rent while you were living large at the C Street Church's love den dormitory?

2.  Why do you want to deny the following health care reform measures to the folks that sent you to Washington, D.C.?

In Rep. Stupak’s district, the health care reform bill will:

Improve coverage for 364,000 residents with health insurance.

Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 197,000 families and 17,900 small businesses to help them afford coverage.

Improve Medicare for 141,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.

Extend coverage to 44,000 uninsured residents.

Guarantee that 10,000 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.

Protect 1,100 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.

Allow 50,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans.

Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 41 community health centers.

Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $102 million annually.

Source:  March 2010 The Benefits of Health Care Reform In the 1st Congressional District of Michigan Committee on Energy and Commerce

Will Candice Miller (R-10) Vote No?

The Republicans in Congress are determined to stand in the way of health care reform not on any principals but solely out of sheer political vindictiveness.  They are a political party out of power and one that is being diminished in power by the actions of every Republican loon (Tancredo, Bachmann, Cheney, etc.) and their astroturfing wholly-owned Tea Party affiliates.  Candice Miller (R-MI) has been an unrepentant supporter of the Republican Party and has in the past embraced the tomfoolery of Michelle Bachmann's Hate Rally and Tom Delay.  Remember the grand admonishment Mrs. Miller received for her foul-mouthed role in the Nick Smith affair and the contested Medicare vote?  It is with much sadness that I predict a "no" vote when the 10th Congressional District's Representative in Congress is given the opportunity to support her political party over the needs of the people in Michigan's 10th Congressional District.


Mrs. Miller does not support her constituents.  She seems only concerned for her welfare now and what the party will reward her with in the future.  Mrs. Miller will no doubt stand in the way of these Health Care Reform benefits:
  • Improve coverage for 501,000 residents with health insurance.
  • Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 160,000 families and 13,700 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
  • Improve Medicare for 111,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.
  • Extend coverage to 27,000 uninsured residents.
  • Guarantee that 9,000 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
  • Protect 2,200 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
  • Allow 50,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans.
  • Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 3 community health centers.
  • Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $39 million annually.
These figures may be found in this document that details how the 10th Congressional District will be impacted by the new law.


For a look at other districts in the United States go here.


Hat tip: Blogging for Michigan

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Giggles



Ke$ha - Take if Off (Boys of BOSTON video parody)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hello, Patrick!



I was reminded today, as I clumsily skimmed through my blogs and news sources, that I once rejected the idea of having With Malice Toward None ---- by Lee Harris become a "bipolar blog".  Yes, I once promoted a bipolar web ring and wrote many posts about bipolar disorder.  Yet, I maintained an eclectic assortment of post topics.  In fact, I probably tend to be more political than health awareness advocate.

Three things made me think about bipolar disorder today.  First, we had the news report about Representative Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI).  He "went off on" the mainstream media on the floor of the House.  Mr. Kennedy is bipolar.  Second, I noticed that a favorite blog lists this blog as a bipolar blog.  That's okay.  Really.  And, third, this morning and most of the mornings this month I am reminded that I was demonstrably hypomanic during the first two weeks of February.  I created a large number of posts.  I was on fire.  Today, I'm only smoldering.

What happened?  This time I know.  Our doctor gave me some freebies of an anti-seizure medicine used by doctors as a mood-stabilizer for bipolar disorder patients.  It is a valproic acid based drug similar to Criam and the generic valproato de magnesio that I currently use.  Before coming to México I was prescribed Lamictal.  Lamictal is another anti-seizure drug that is used in the place of lithium -- the best known mood-stabilizer.  Valproic acid is much cheaper than Lamictal.  Anyway, I swapped out the free sample of Epival ER for my usual doses of the generic valproato de magnesio.  And, WOW!

Messing about with one's brain chemistry is not something anyone should ever do.  For those of us with bipolar disorder, maintaining the "right" brain chemistry is a daily chore.  Recognizing changes and appropriately responding is a talent not learned by many.  Now, add a wonky thyroid, capable of really fracking with one's brain chemistry and the difficulties increase.  Enough of the experiment.  I'm back on my usual doses of medications.  And, to tell the truth, I wish I were a little more hypomanic.........

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Double Standards

Growing up male, I often heard about and indeed experienced the conflicting standards and expectations for young woman and young men when it came to premarital sex.  Of course, the "party line" was that no one should have sexual relationships outside of marriage.  The wink wink nod nod for young men was actually "Please don't, but if you do wear a condom."  Indeed, if a woman has sex outside of marriage, she is a slut or a whore.  Men that violate the same societal taboo are congratulated and no stigma is attached to the act or actor.

For some crazy zany reason, the double standard exists in politics, too.  When the Republicans pass important game-changing legislation via the reconciliation process in the United States Senate it is perfectly okay to do so.  If the Democratic Party proposes to pass legislation using reconciliation in the Senate, somehow it is a bending of the rules or some sort of nuclear event.  The rules really don't change, but somehow the main stream media and all the conservative blowhards choose selective amnesia and stupidity over truth and historical FACTS.

Please note the nifty chart published yesterday and how, despite the lies about bipartisanship, it shows us an accurate history of the use of reconciliation.  And, please take a gander at this chart that I saw on the Rachel Maddow Show last night (and published on AMERICAblog today).  Look at how the nation's debt was increased by the two Bush tax cuts for the rich and how health care reform is projected to help lessen our debt.  And, notice, People, the tax cuts were passed using reconciliation.  I love a good graph.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's Good for the Goose

Imagine bargaining away wages and benefits when your employer forces you to and then having the same employer come back to you later demanding the wages you bargained be given up.  Imagine the problem with trust that is compounded by these actions.  How does one bargain in good faith with or believe in the words and actions of such an employer?  Meet the State of Michigan.  Promise maker and promise breaker.

Now, imagine the mindset of a Michigan legislator that claims it would be a terrible violation of trust to have promised folks wages and benefits and then expect them to give them up when the State of Michigan is in dire need.  Sadly, this view only applies to her and the other partisan lawmakers in Lansing that she serves with -- screw the other folks in Michigan.  So, the lawmakers in Lansing are willing to demand sacrifices from everyone but themselves.  Afterall,
"cutting off benefits for current lawmakers would be unfair.
"There were those who were elected that came into the system with the expectation of this being part of their total compensation," (Senator) Cassis (R-Novi) said. "This very clearly states what the expectations are (and) they know coming into this what their overall total compensation would be."
Tough cheese, eh?

The latest move by Lansing lawmakers was to attempt to legislate away the wage increase that had been bargained in good faith with 35,000 state employees.  Republican lawmakers insisted that state employees and their families give back more, even after having bargained away what they have earned.  It failed.  In a partisan action, members of Michigan's Senate failed to achieve the 2/3 majority vote needed to violate void the contract negotiated with state employees.

Unrepentant hypocrisy reigns in Lansing.  It seems that reelection and the maintenance of political power is the only thing that many lawmakers in Lansing care about.  Michigan is in real trouble.  And, the folks in Lansing have forgotten what it means to be a leader.

Watch this clip.  Senator Whitmer calls out the Senate for their stupid actions.  It is informative.  (Hat tip:  Blogging For Michigan)



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dishonest Editorial

The Detroit News Editorial Board needs some old blood.  I say old blood because apparently the young whippersnappers that are on the current board do not have the institutional knowledge required to make an honest assessment of the United States Senate's reconciliation process.  The editorial headline "Democrats Shouldn't Bend Rules to Pass Health Care" is misleading, if not, a lie.  It seems that the Detroit News has joined the many FOX News program hosts that have erroneously described the Senate's reconciliation process that is used to pass bills with a majority vote as rare and as some sort of "nuclear option".  It is neither.

I recommend that the good folks at the Detroit News stop carrying water for the Republican Party and actually report news in a fair and balanced manner.  Editorials are fine when the Detroit News decides to express an opinion, but the Detroit News is not entitled to its own set of facts.  Reconciliation has been used to pass many health care related bills in the past, including the expansion of medicare prescription benefits, COBRA, and SCHIP.  President Bush and the Republican controlled Congress used reconciliation to pass both of the huge tax cuts for the rich.  Do your homework.

The RULES will not be bent if and when reconciliation is used to pass health care reform.


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Monday, March 1, 2010

Still LMFAO



Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

LMAO

My apologies to Dr. Seuss (and Happy Birthday!)  Hat tip: The Daily What



The Dr. Seuss Rap - "Wubble Down"

Bearing False Witness

This is an appropriate title that describes many many Republicans and Christianists today.  They do not feel any shame in lying for their causes.  Here's a link to a site with a comic book about U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) -- FALSE WITNESS!  (Hat tip:  Joe.My.God.)

Music Video Monday


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