etumukutenyak: (Default)
By Meteor Blades:

Of the 17 Afghan dead, however, we know next to nothing. Their names have not gained wide circulation. Just like the names of other civilians killed in Afghanistan, the latest "collateral damage" in this endless, useless war would remain nameless in most of our media. But they all had names. And we should not be shy about saying them aloud:

• Akhtar Mohamed (son of Murrad Ali)
• Esmatullah, age 16 (son of Mohamed Wazir)
• Essa Mohamed (son of Mohamed Hussain)
• Faizullah, age 9 (son of Mohamed Wazir)
• Farida (daughter of Mohamed Wazir)
• Khudaydad (son of Mohamed Juma)
• Masooma (daughter of Mohamed Wazir)
• Mohamed Dawood (son of Abdullah)
• Nabia (daughter of Mohamed Wazir)
• Nazar Mohamed
• Nazia (daughter of Dost Mohamed)
• Palwasha (daughter of Mohamed Wazir)
• Payendo
• Robeena
• Shatarina (daughter of Sultan Mohamed)
• Zahra (daughter of Abdul Hamid)

Only Wednesday did the military add a 17th victim to the 16 previously reported. There has been no statement regarding why, and no name has been made available.
etumukutenyak: (Default)
"One final word. And with all due respect, Mr. Chairman and Senator McCain, it is true that, as Chairman, I am not in charge of troops. But I have commanded three ships, a carrier battle group and two fleets. And I was most recently a Service Chief myself. For more than 40 years I have made decisions that affected and even risked the lives of young men and women."

OUCH! McCain never made flag rank, despite his father and grandfather both ascending to exalted status, and it's got to hurt that Admiral Mullen can pull it on him. :-D
etumukutenyak: (Default)
Stupid headline tricks
by David Waldman
Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:30:04 AM PDT


House may try to pass Senate health-care bill without voting on it

The Hill:

Dems move closer to passing Senate bill without actual vote

These two headlines are going to be difficult to explain when the House holds its vote. How do they plan on reconciling the fact that they're reporting on an actual vote, expected to take place later this week, when they've already reported that there won't be one?

The answer, of course, is that there will be a vote, and the headlines are misleading and inflammatory.

Meanwhile, confusion (willful and otherwise) fans the flames of panic on both the left and the right, the right insisting that self-executing rules (not counting the 200+ Republicans used) are, "the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War. It would be 100 times worse than Watergate," and the left worrying that the procedure creates constitutional problems.

But both sides make a single fundamental error, which I'll illustrate with Jack Balkin's example, that leads to all the rest:

Ezra Klein reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi hopes to avoid asking House Democrats to vote directly on the Senate health care reform bill; instead, she will incorporate the bill by reference in the House reconciliation bill, which will then be sent to the Senate [....]

Whether or not it provides plausible deniability, is it consistent with the Constitution? Stanford Law Professor (and former judge) Michael McConnell doesn't think so. The argument is simple: To satisfy Article I, section 7's requirement of bicameralism and presentment, both houses must pass the same bill for the President to sign. If they pass different bills, no law is created, even if the President signs both.

The first flawed premise in Balkin's opening is that he believes the Senate health care reform bill will be incorporated by reference in the House reconciliation bill. It will not. Instead, the rule governing consideration of the reconciliation bill will incorporate a motion to agree to the Senate bill (actually a Senate-amended House bill). Agreeing to such a motion is perfectly routine and perfectly legitimate. The House will be presented with the opportunity to vote up or down on a measure incorporating that motion, and by adopting it will in turn adopt a procedure for agreeing to exactly the same text as the Senate passed, which will be triggered by the House's recording of a vote in favor of passage of the reconciliation bill. At no point does the House amend or otherwise alter the text of H.R. 3590 as amended by the Senate. The requirements of the Constitution are satisfied.

Mark Levin, complaining from the right, asks incredulously:

They're going to present a rule issued by [Rep. Louise Slaughter's] committee, with her as chairman, that says that the House already adopted the Senate bill, when we know it didn't?

He'd be right to be incredulous if his premise were correct. It isn't. The rule will not say that the House already adopted the Senate bill. It will say that the House, by adoption of the rule, agrees that it will manifest its assent to the Senate bill with its vote on reconciliation bill.

Can it do that? Yes it can. The House, under its constitutional prerogative stemming from Art. I, Sec. 5, determines its own rules of proceeding. All the Constitution requires of it is that approval of bills be signaled by a recording of the yeas and nays in its Journal, and that the same text be agreed to by both houses of Congress. By agreement under the rule, the House will indeed signal its agreement by the yeas and nays to the language of the Senate bill, but it will do so with its vote on the reconciliation bill.

But isn't that odd? A bit. Could the House signal its agreement to the Senate bill with its vote on a bill establishing National Unicorn Day? Yes it could, so long as the procedure is agreed to by a majority of the House beforehand, the yeas and nays are recorded on the Journal, and the text of the Senate bill itself remains unchanged in the action.

And that's exactly what happens here.

It's no different in that sense than when the Senate agrees by unanimous consent to a House-passed bill. Or when the House takes up a motion to agree to the Senate version of a bill, as opposed to bringing the bill itself to the floor and voting on that. The House determines for itself, through its own rules, whether it will accept a Senate bill by calling it to the floor and voting on it directly, or instead by agreeing to a motion to agree to the Senate version. In one case, the vote is on a pending bill. In the other, the vote is on a procedural motion. But either will do, thanks to Art. I, Sec. 5, and the idea that that would suddenly be constitutionally suspect endangers probably 50% or more of the entire body of federal law.

Republicans Continue Fight on Process
by mcjoan
Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:56:05 AM PDT

In the House, Republicans are going to do their damnedest to derail the health insurance reform bill by trying to force a vote on whether Pelosi can use a self-executing rule.

“If passed by the House, the resolution would prohibit Speaker Pelosi from implementing the ‘Slaughter Solution,’ the scheme by which Democratic leaders are seeking to ‘deem’ the Senate bill as passed without an actual vote in the House,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for the Republican leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio.

That's the "scheme" that Republicans used dozens of times when they had control of the House, of course. Over on the other side of the Hill, Senate Republicans are still whining about reconciliation, and even have enlisted Bobo to the cause. I'll let Ezra do the debunking since he did it so well.

But none of Brooks's evidence is true. Literally none of it. The budget reconciliation process was used six times between 1980 and 1989. It was used four times between 1990 and 1999. It was used five times between 2000 and 2009. And it has been used zero times since 2010. Peak reconciliation use, in other words, was in the '80s, not the Aughts. The data aren't hard to find. They were published on Brooks's own op-ed page.

Nor has reconciliation been limited to bills with "significant bipartisan support." To use Brooks's example of the tax cuts, the 2003 tax cuts passed the Senate 50-50, with Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote. Two Democrats joined with the Republicans in that effort. Georgia's Zell Miller, who would endorse George W. Bush in 2004 and effectively leave the Democratic Party, and Nebraska's Ben Nelson. So I'd say that's one Democrat. One Democrat alongside 49 Republicans. That's not significant bipartisan support....

To recap, Brooks argued that reconciliation is being used more frequently, and that past reconciliation bills, like Bush's tax cuts and prescription drug benefit, were significantly bipartisan. Reconciliation is, in fact, being used less frequently, past reconciliation bills like the tax cuts were not significantly bipartisan by any stretch of the imagination, and the prescription drug benefit did not go through reconciliation. Brooks isn't wrong in the sense that "I disagree with him." He's wrong in the sense that the column requires a correction.

David Brooks? Correction? Yeah, that'll happen. Since the GOP's case against the use of reconciliation is so weak that they have to rely on Bobo to lie about it for them, they need an ace in the hole to derail this, and to that end they only hope to bury it in amendments [sub req.]:

Senior Republican leadership aides were reluctant to divulge the number of amendments Senators are prepared to file. But given that reconciliation rules prevent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) from limiting amendments to such a bill, the GOP is looking to upend the Democrats’ health care agenda by proposing an unspecified number of changes.

By BarbinMD
Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:00:45 AM PDT

There really isn't anything that the Party of No will support:
A group of Republicans this afternoon will meet with reporters to protest the Democrats’ plans to eliminate tens of billions of dollars in government subsidies to private companies that lend to students. The Democrats’ bill would have students borrow directly from the U.S. Treasury, which makes sense to supporters because it’s the Treasury that currently assumes all the risk for those loans anyway — a boon to private companies that assume no risk. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that eliminating the private middleman will save $67 billion over the next decade, most of which will go toward expanding college scholarships to low-income students.
etumukutenyak: (Default)
Fun and games on Capitol Hill:

House Republicans say they cannot block a Democratic maneuver that would allow Members to avoid a separate vote on the Senate health care bill.

“There is nothing that can prevent it,” said Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the Rules Committee. “It’s something they can clearly do if they have the votes."

Source here

"When Republicans were in the minority, they railed against self-executing rules as being anti-deliberative because they undermined and perverted the work of committees and also prevented the House from having a separate debate and vote on the majority's preferred changes....

When Republicans took power in 1995, they soon lost their aversion to self-executing rules and proceeded to set new records under Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). There were 38 and 52 self-executing rules in the 104th and 105th Congresses (1995-1998), making up 25 percent and 35 percent of all rules, respectively. Under Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) there were 40, 42 and 30 self-executing rules in the 106th, 107th and 108th Congresses (22 percent, 37 percent and 22 percent, respectively). Thus far in the 109th Congress, self-executing rules make up about 16 percent of all rules.

On April 26, [2006] the Rules Committee served up the mother of all self-executing rules for the lobby/ethics reform bill. The committee hit the trifecta with not one, not two, but three self-executing provisions in the same special rule. The first trigger was a double whammy: “In lieu of the amendments recommended by the Committees on the Judiciary, Rules, and Government Reform now printed in the bill, the amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of the Rules Committee Print dated April 21, 2006, modified by the amendment printed in part A of the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution, shall be considered as adopted in the House and the Committee of the Whole.”

And which Republican was chairing the Rules Committee in April, 2006? Why, David Dreier, of course."

Source here
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
From [ profile] nick_kaufman:
"I see no reason why a government-run healthcare insurance plan would put private plans out of business. Public libraries didn't kill the bookstore business. State colleges didn't put an end to private ones. Free public elementary and high schools didn't run expensive private schools out of business. People like choices, and as long as people want choices, there will be choices. That's the nature of capitalism, to identify a need and provide the service or product that fills it."

From Yahoo!News (now "expired"):
"AUSTIN, Texas – Just nine people accounted for nearly 2,700 of the emergency room visits in the Austin area during the past six years at a cost of $3 million to taxpayers and others, according to a report. The patients went to hospital emergency rooms 2,678 times from 2003 through 2008, said the report from the nonprofit Integrated Care Collaboration, a group of health care providers who care for low-income and uninsured patients.

"What we're really trying to do is find out who's using our emergency rooms ... and find solutions," said Ann Kitchen, executive director of the group, which presented the report last week to the Travis County Healthcare District board.

The average emergency room visit costs $1,000. Hospitals and taxpayers paid the bill through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, Kitchen said.

Eight of the nine patients have drug abuse problems, seven were diagnosed with mental health issues and three were homeless. Five are women whose average age is 40, and four are men whose average age is 50, the report said, the Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday.

"It's a pretty significant issue," said Dr. Christopher Ziebell, chief of the emergency department at University Medical Center at Brackenridge, which has the busiest ERs in the area.

Solutions include referring some frequent users to mental health programs or primary care doctors for future care, Ziebell said. "They have a variety of complaints," he said. With mental illness, "a lot of anxiety manifests as chest pain."

Another news article:

Million-Dollar Headache: Victor Valley Hospitals Spend Millions on Uninsured Patients
Posted on: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 12:01 CDT

By Tracie Troha, Daily Press, Victorville, Calif.

Jun. 6--Hospitals in the Victor Valley spend on average $4 to $6 million a year treating uninsured patients, including illegal immigrants, with the burden of this cost eventually falling to taxpayers.

How much of this expense can be attributed to illegal immigrants is unknown, primarily because hospitals do not track legal status, according to hospital administrators. The bills are often absorbed by the hospitals, taxpayers and private insuranceholders through higher premiums.

"The number of uninsured we treat, we anticipate that and plan for that on the financial side," said Randy Bevilacqua, spokesman for St. Mary Medical Center. "It's a burden we all share."

Desert Valley Hospital currently treats the highest number of uninsured patients. Of the 30,457 patients treated in the emergency room in 2005, 23 percent were uninsured, according to the latest figures from the Office of Statewide Health and Planning Development.

In this same year, Desert Valley Hospital spent more than $4 million, or nearly 6 percent of its operating expenses, on uninsured patients, said hospital Chairman Dr. Prem Reddy.

"I don't know why we see the most uninsured patients," said Leuis Leon, hospital administrator. "It probably just has to do with our location. Our location is key to the (ambulance) system. We see the most number of ambulances a month, so by default we have the most number uninsured."

Leon said the Desert Valley Hospital emergency room keeps its doors open for ambulances longer than the other local hospitals.

The nonprofit Victor Valley Community Hospital treated the second highest number of uninsured patients last year, according to OSHPD. Of the 28,858 patients treated in the Victor Valley emergency room, 18 percent were uninsured.

"This 18 percent has remained steady for the past three years," said Ray Marien, hospital spokesman.

Victor Valley Community Hospital has spent around $3 million a year, or about 7 percent of its operating expenses, on uninsured patients, according to OSHPD.

The total cost for treating the uninsured at the nonprofit St. Mary Medical Center is about $6 million a year, said Bevilacqua. Of the 50,535 patients treated in the St. Mary emergency room in 2005, 15 percent were uninsured, according to OSHPD.

"Taking care of those who don't have insurance is part of our obligation," Bevilacqua said. "All of us end up paying for those who can't. The impact of the uninsured on health care is enormous, and it falls on all of us."

Both St. Mary Medical Center and Victor Valley Community Hospital try to recoup the money through the hospitals' foundations, which host fundraisers and charity events throughout the year. They also have financial aid programs in place to help patients make their payments.

The program at St. Mary assists around 100 patients a month who cannot afford treatment, according to Bevilacqua.

"We try to be as frugal and efficient as we possibly can. The profit in health care is very small," Bevilacqua said. "This is the same for all hospitals, not just us. We have to be careful."


Agreement to cover more uninsured; no cost to taxpayers
Don Wilkinson, Associate Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. — According to the 2008 "Cover Missouri" report by the Missouri Foundation for health, more than 720,000 Missourians are living without health insurance, placing a considerable burden on Missouri's hospitals and emergency rooms. As the recession deepens and the number of unemployed and uninsured grows, the results could put more stress on the system.
However, a landmark agreement between the state and the Missouri Hospital Association could provide quality health care to nearly 35,000 additional parents – at no cost to the taxpayers – thereby reducing the burden on the health delivery system.

"Ensuring that our workforce has access to quality, affordable health care is vital for turning our economy in the right direction," said Gov. Jay Nixon, who was in Joplin March 17 on a statewide tour of medical facilities promoting the agreement, and listening to the medical providers working in the trenches.

According to the agreement, the MHA will voluntarily contribute an additional $52.5 million per year to provide health care to parents in Missouri; these dollars will come from the funds Missouri hospitals receive currently for providing uncompensated care to uninsured patients."

From the same article:
"When asked what he thought about the level of service that was being provided not just in Joplin but across the state, Nixon said that health care in Missouri was not a political position, but a value.

"People here expect high quality health care and they are getting it. Secondarily, this is a time when we need to make some progress forward so that more people are covered under health insurance. Otherwise with the increased numbers of people without insurance, the increased challenges of unemployment, we are going to have excellent facilities such as this being overrun by people that have neither private insurance or coverage by Medicaid."


"Based on studies conducted before the 2005 health care cuts, Missouri families were paying between $110 and $291 more a year in premiums because of the cost of providing care for the uninsured. Estimates made before the 2005 cuts predicted that in 2010, Missourians would be paying an additional $225 to $609 per year to provide care for the uninsured."

Page 222 of _Money-Driven Medicine_ by Maggie Mahar describes what happened when Oregon made health care cuts:

Kitzhaber offers a casebook example of irrational rationing: "In February of 2003, in order to save money, the Oregon legislature discontinued prescription drug coverage for a certain category of patients on its Medicaid program.
As a consequence of this decision, Douglas Schmidt, a man in his mid-30s suffering from a seizure disorder, was no longer able to afford to purchase the medication which controlled his seizures. He subsequently went into a sustained grand mal seizure and ended up with severe brain damage and on a ventilator in a Portland hospital. He remained in the hospital for several months and then was transferred to a long-term care facility where he finally died in November 2003 when life-support was withdrawn. Now, the cost of his anti-seizure medication was $14 a day, Kitzhaber points out.The cost of his care in the intensive care unit was over $7,500 a day, and that cost was billed back to the state Medicaid program. So the legislature did not save any money by its decision."

And a different state, West Virginia:
"In 1986, Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which has proven to be an inefficient form of universal health care. This landmark legislation mandated that emergency rooms throughout the nation that receive government support may not turn away a patient who seeks necessary medical treatment. As a result, we have millions of Americans who seek their "primary" medical care in ERs. The cost of treating these uninsured patients are written off by the hospitals as "uncompensated care."

However, as the truism goes, nothing in life is "free," and certainly no exception exists in the health care delivery system. All of the doctors, nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists and other health care providers who work in these facilities must, and will, be paid for the vital services they provide.

The cost of treating the uninsured is merely passed on or shifted from the "non-payers" to the "payers" in order to support the system. This current crude form of universal health care - which focuses on crisis and emergency treatment (at a significantly higher cost than services rendered for primary and preventive care) - ultimately shifts billions of dollars in "hidden costs" to the final cost of obtaining health care insurance for those Americans who are insured."

From Congressman Sullivan of Oklahoma:

"The price of treating the indigent at hospital emergency rooms is astounding compared to the cost of care found in a primary care setting. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority recently found that the cost of a claim for asthma treatment in the a primary care setting was $34.12 per claim, while the average cost for the same asthma treatment in the emergency room setting was $61.20 per claim."

From Aetna:


The U.S. Census Bureau places the number of uninsured people in the U.S. at 45.7 million in 2007, down slightly from 2006 but still unacceptably high.1 Who are they? Eight in 10 uninsured live in families with at least one worker; most uninsured workers are self-employed or work for small firms that don’t offer benefits; 66 percent of the uninsured come from low-income families (below 200 percent of the federal poverty level), but a surprising 9.1 million earn $75,000 or more. The uninsured span the age spectrum, but young adults have the highest uninsured rate (28 percent of 18-24 year olds and 25.7 percent of 25-34 year olds); 78 percent of the uninsured are U.S. citizens; non-citizens have high uninsured rates due to employment in low-wage jobs. Minorities have been hit hard by the problem – 7.4 million blacks or 19.5 percent, and 14.8 million Hispanics or 32.1 percent are uninsured.

(1) U.S. Census Bureau, Income, “Poverty and Health insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007,” August 2008.

Aetna goes on to say:

Q: Don’t the uninsured already receive free or discounted health care?
A: No, uninsured patients typically do not receive services at discounted rates. In fact, most are likely to go without care at all or be treated in high-cost emergency room settings. According to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (August 2008), one-quarter of uninsured adults “go without needed care due to cost each year.” Because they do not receive early treatment and regular preventive care, the uninsured are more likely to be hospitalized and die from preventable causes. When those without coverage do receive treatment, expenses are significantly higher than those of their insured counterparts due to group discounts negotiated by employer-sponsored insurance plans. According to Health Affairs, bills that cannot be paid – the uninsured will receive about $56 billion in uncompensated care in 2008 – are passed on to taxpayers through government programs that will finance 75 percent of the cost, or to the privately insured through higher rates. In short, America covers the uninsured in the least effective, most expensive manner possible.

Q: Doesn’t an individual coverage requirement place a financial burden on the poor?
A: A properly designed individual coverage requirement would encourage personal responsibility by recognizing that those who can afford health coverage should purchase it, and by acknowledging that government should help pay for those who truly cannot afford it. To be workable, subsidies from low-income individuals should be paid for through a broad-based funding mechanism. If this happens, the poor would benefit by enjoying the same access as everyone else to health care innovations available through a competitive, private marketplace that is not encumbered with regulation.

From South Carolina (an SCPHCA document):

It is important to note that while FQHCs receive federal funds to help subsidize the cost of providing health care services to uninsured and underinsured patients, the current level of federal funding has not kept pace with the increasing uninsured population served by state health centers (see Exhibit 1). Furthermore, the state legislature has not yet committed to providing a source of recurring funds to alleviate this financial burden. After Alabama and Kentucky, which received no state level funding for FQHCs in 2008, South Carolina ranks last among the Southeastern states receiving state appropriations for health centers.

Between 2000 and 2003, a study of a health center in SC determined that Medicaid patients with diabetes treated by the FQHC cost the state $400 less per patient when compared to those treated by private family physicians. Cost savings were driven by fewer Emergency Room (ER) visits and hospitalizations, as well as lower costs for specialists, lab, and other services .

Compounding the ability of people living in our state to effectively manage their health are various barriers to accessing health care services. The majority of the state of South Carolina is rural and 40% of the population is considered to be “low-income”, meaning they earn annual incomes that are less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)—less than $34,340 for a family of three in 2007 . An insufficient public transportation infrastructure results in an inability to access health care providers and many people simply can’t afford to go to the doctor. Language barriers also prevent individuals from accessing health care services in their communities. A lack of health insurance, as well as inadequate health insurance coverage further inhibits people from accessing health care. In addition, a statewide shortage of health care professionals, as well as strict federal policies regarding Medicaid eligibility have resulted in barriers to accessing health care services in South Carolina and an overall increase in the state’s uninsured population, respectively.

South Carolina spent more than $265 million on avoidable ER visits in 2006; visits for Ambulatory Sensitive Care (i.e., non-emergency) that could have been better provided at an FQHC . Enhanced access to primary care services through health centers will not only decrease inappropriate use of ER services for non-emergent care and make limited ER resources available for truly urgent situations, but it has also been proven to be cost-effective—the cost of treating one FQHC patient for one year costs less than just one ER visit . The SCPHCA and its member health centers believe in providing the appropriate care at the appropriate time in the appropriate setting.
etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
How is it that the media outside the US is paying more attention to this stuff? Can we not spend some time debunking the idiot rumors and lies being spread around?
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
Joe the Plumber, the guy who's supposedly going to lose money if Obama is elected, is not registered to vote, via Making Light.
etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
At rallies today, McCain was forced to call Obama a decent family man
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
It should come as no surprise that McCain voted against some of the same issues; however, he voted for the Child Safety Lock Amendment and he voted for the Firearm Confiscation Prohibition Amendment. He voted against making background checks required for purchases at gun shows and against prohibiting guns without locks being sold.

Oddly enough, back in 2005, McCain voted against making an alternative energy plan for the USA. He voted for putting up the border fences, and he voted for making English the national language. He voted against putting time limits on troop deployments, which would have given combat troops a certain amount of time "at home" for rest, recuperation, readiness and recovery. This particular one was sponsored by Senator James Webb, a fellow Academy graduate and Marine Corps officer in Viet Nam. He voted for blocking the funding of abortion providers.

He voted pretty much in line with the rest of the Republican Party. So much for being a "maverick", which -- by the way -- the Maverick family detests. They don't like McCain and hate the way he uses their name.
etumukutenyak: (Default)
Let's look at Senator Obama's voting record, with respect to guns and such. There's the Child Safety Lock Amendment, and the Firearm Confiscation Prohibition Amendment, both of which he voted for. He did vote against the protection of firearms manufacturers, but some of this protection language was already included in the Child Safety Lock Amendment; firearms manufacturers who had valid customers with appropriate gun safes, etc, were protected from civil suits. He did not vote on the last gun bill, which prevents people from using funding for public health to do "anti-gun" activities.

That's hardly a radical anti-gun position he's demonstrating. Sounds to me like he's for people having guns, as long as they maintain them responsibly with safes or locks, and he's for people having their guns with them in times of crisis.
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
On another blog, someone mentioned that Barack Obama is on the Board of Directors for the Joyce Foundation, and implied that this was an anti-gun group. Joyce is a public health interest foundation, focusing on issues of poverty and violence, trying to address them from a public interest stand, by funding research and efforts to reform the system. One of those aspects is the issue of illegal guns, children with access to guns, and so on. This hardly sounds like a radical anti-gun group.

People who don't understand that the Second Amendment affects Federal policy but not State or Municipal policy are just never going to get the point.

I knew it!

Sep. 16th, 2008 10:04 pm
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
Caribou Barbie didn't even field dress her own moose, and could not help her father when he was doing it:
"As he was butchering it, he asked me to hold the moose eyeballs because he was going to bring them into the classroom that morning (for a lesson), and I just couldn't do it," Palin told the Daily News last year. "He was really sympathetic."

From Alaska Daily News
etumukutenyak: (Default)
Richard Mueller, as posted by [ profile] christymarx in this fabulous bit of writing on the differences between the Republican and the Democratic nominees. Go. Read. Ponder. Spread the word!
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
Looking at the proposed tax plans of the two candidates, McCain and Obama, the graph clearly displays the trend.

To summarize: McCain's plan would reduce taxes primarily for the richest people, with the least savings for folks under $20,000/year. McCain = reduce taxes for the rich. In contrast, Obama's plan increases taxes for the richest, and reduces taxes for everyone under $225,000 per year, with the greatest reduction in the under $20,000/year group. Obama = reduce taxes for 95% of the American population.
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
From today's New York Times online (here)
"When Ms. Palin had to cut her first state budget, she avoided the legion of frustrated legislators and mayors. Instead, she huddled with her budget director and her husband, Todd, an oil field worker who is not a state employee, and vetoed millions of dollars of legislative projects."

"Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials."

"In Wasilla, a builder said he complained to Mayor Palin when the city attorney put a stop-work order on his housing project. She responded, he said, by engineering the attorney’s firing."

"Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy. The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records."

"The mayor quickly fired the town’s museum director, John Cooper. Later, she sent an aide to the museum to talk to the three remaining employees. “He told us they only wanted two,” recalled Esther West, one of the three, “and we had to pick who was going to be laid off.” The three quit as one.

Ms. Palin cited budget difficulties for the museum cuts. Mr. Cooper thought differently, saying the museum had become a microcosm of class and cultural conflicts in town. “It represented that the town was becoming more progressive, and they didn’t want that,” he said. "

"And she used city money to buy a white Suburban for the mayor’s use — employees sarcastically called it the mayor-mobile."

"The new mayor also tended carefully to her evangelical base. She appointed a pastor to the town planning board. And she began to eye the library. For years, social conservatives had pressed the library director to remove books they considered immoral. “People would bring books back censored,” recalled former Mayor John Stein, Ms. Palin’s predecessor. “Pages would get marked up or torn out.”

Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship. But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.

“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”

Following election to the position of state governor: "As she assembled her cabinet and made other state appointments, those with insider credentials were now on the outs. But a new pattern became clear. She surrounded herself with people she has known since grade school and members of her church. [...] The Wasilla High School yearbook archive now doubles as a veritable directory of state government. "

"While Ms. Palin took office promising a more open government, her administration has battled to keep information secret. Her inner circle discussed the benefit of using private e-mail addresses. An assistant told her it appeared that such e-mail messages sent to a private address on a “personal device” like a Blackberry “would be confidential and not subject to subpoena.” "

" During the last legislative session, some lawmakers became so frustrated with her absences that they took to wearing “Where’s Sarah?” pins.

Many politicians say they most often learn of her initiatives — and vetoes — from news releases, including her decision to veto $237 million from last year’s budget.

Mayors across the state, from the larger cities to tiny municipalities along the southeastern fiords, are even more frustrated. Often, their letters go unanswered and their pleas ignored, records and interviews show."

"At an Alaska Municipal League gathering in Juneau in January, mayors across the political spectrum swapped stories of the governor’s remoteness. How many of you, someone asked, have tried to meet with her? Every hand went up, recalled Mayor Fred Shields of Haines Borough. And how many met with her? Just a few hands rose. Ms. Palin soon walked in, delivered a few remarks and left for an anti-abortion rally."

"Dan Fagan, a prominent conservative radio host and longtime friend of Ms. Palin, urged his listeners to vote for her in 2006. But when he took her to task for raising taxes on oil companies, he said, he found himself branded a “hater.” "

" At a recent lunch gathering, an official with the Wasilla Chamber of Commerce asked its members to refer all calls from reporters to the governor’s office. Diane Woodruff, a city councilwoman, shook her head.

“I was thinking, I don’t remember giving up my First Amendment rights,” Ms. Woodruff said. “Just because you’re not going gaga over Sarah doesn’t mean you can’t speak your mind.” "
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
Critical Reminder:

It was not even 90 years ago when our grandmothers gained the right to vote. Read this post and remember when it was so critical that women were tortured just for asking about suffrage.

A Message for all women



This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920
that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed
nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking
for the vote.

(Lucy Burns)
And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.
Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing
went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of
'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above
her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping
for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her
head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate,
Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.
Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging,
beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917,
when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his
guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because
they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right
to vote.
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their
food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks
until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because-
-why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work?
Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new
movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle
these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling
booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the
actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote.
Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.
Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history,
saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk
about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought
kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said.
'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use,
my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just
younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The
right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history,
social studies and government teachers would include the movie in
their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere
else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing,
but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think
a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so
hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

History is being made.
etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
The 26-page list, including vetoes. Pay close attention to the items that got post-veto funding; in other words, despite being "vetoed", they still got funded. The Governor approved this for what looks like FY08.

Interesting that several fire/rescue sites got no funding, yet a christian ministry and a few hunting/fishing clubs did.

(thanks to fubarpolitics for the reference.)


etumukutenyak: (Default)

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