White house announced a 10-year, $634 billion reserve fund aimed at expanding healthcare coverage to Americans who cannot
afford the extortion rates that insurance companies are demanding. The $634 billion is just a down payment that will only
cover half of those that need healthcare. Obama plans on waiting until the economy turns before expanding the coverage to
include everyone who wants it.
President Obama plans on paying for this partly with
tax hikes on the wealthy as well as allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire and needless to say that this announcement
has angered Republicans, Drug manufacturers and Health insurance companies.
This past week Obama launched a healthcare summit which
included the Republicans, Health insurance companies, Drug companies and various healthcare advocacy groups and in my opinion
for the most part they will just make it more difficult.
President Obama’s proposal is to offer government
sponsored healthcare as an alternative to the private health insurances companies which will target the 49 million Americans
who have no health coverage at all. This plan could reduce premiums by 20 percent or more according to government officials.
And this is what the Republicans, Drug companies and Health insurances companies are upset with, lower income to their bottom
lines through completion. Cry me a river.
Nothing has been set in stone as to the direction in
which government sponsored health care will go, but the two models that Obama is looking at are Medicare and our current government
employee healthcare plans.
Obama is trying to appease both liberals who demand
Universal Healthcare and the Drug and Insurances companies who don’t want to lower their premiums because of competition.
Insurance and Drug companies have said that the competition could drive them out of business.
Demand a Free Market
Republicans shout out that the free market will keep
insurance and drug costs down, yet in the last ten years small business has seen their premiums increase by 133% and our own
government says that by 2012 more than 150 million Americans will no longer be able to afford healthcare. Yet Republicans
are a broken record with the pounding on their chest to let the “Free Market” do its job at keeping prices low.
The free market doesn’t work; it’s a joke,
a myth, total malarkey. Whenever a small business starts to make inroads in their market the big corporations buy them out
to stifle any competition. This is true in any industry you can think of.
But yet the GOP for the last twenty five years keeps
telling everyone that a free market creates competition which creates lower prices for American consumers. What a crock.
The GOP knows that if they keep ragging on the slogan
“Free Market” that a large segment of the voting public will always buy into their lie, and they are right. Americans
can see that everything around them always goes up in price and never down, but many still hold faith for a mythical free
Just look at how the drug companies and insurance companies
are already complaining that if the government provides an alternative to what they offer they would lose money because of
competition, and the GOP is standing by their side to echo their cries. For crying out loud, that is what the “Free
Market” was envisioned to do, create competition and lower prices not make everything more expensive and unattainable
for those that don’t have the sources to buy the higher priced “Free Market” products.
The GOP says that it’s not fair for the private
sector to have to compete with the public sector. I’ll tell what’s not fair, and that’s to create an illusion
that lower prices on healthcare or anything else for that matter will come about if we just let the “Free Market”
compete within its own industries to lower prices on their own. It hasn’t worked, prices for healthcare outpace inflation,
they have for many years now, why in the world do politicians in this case the GOP figure that if we continue to do the same
as we have done in the past that we will have a different outcome in the future.
An Example of
what a Free Market once looked like
When I was a much younger man gas stations use to have
Gas Wars, a gas war was where an independent dealer would stick a sign out in front of his station with a lower price than
his competition across the street, which led the competition to put out his own sign with an even lower price. Now the independent
dealers are no longer independent and for the most part gas stations are owned by various larger companies and the only wars
they now have is to see who can sell their products at the highest price. That was what a free market looked like, independent
dealers in all types of industry, but as their industries grew the free market got smaller and smaller with bigger and bigger
companies taking over the little guy.
Well, the free market for the most part is dead, and
our newly elected President was voted into office partly on change, and part of that change was health coverage for ALL Americans,
and if the GOP, Drug manufacturers and Health insurance companies wants to stand in the way as obstructionists, then the only
other option is to push them aside or roll right over them.
David Phillips is a Vietnam Era Veteran, a Democratic Party Activist, and David is also the Publisher
and Editor of the online political magazine YodasWorld.org
Washington (AFP) - The economy shed 651,000 jobs in February, pushing
the unemployment rate up to 8.1 percent, according to government data Friday highlighting the worst month for the labor market
The number of job losses was in line with most forecasts but underscored the dire state of the economy as companies reduce
their workforce to cope with the deepening slump.
The Labor Department also revised up its estimate for losses for the previous two months -- 655,000 in January from 598,000,
and 681,000 in December from 577,000. The figures showed December's losses as the worst on record since October 1949, officials
The jobless rate rose from 7.6 in January to 8.1 percent in February, the highest since December 1983.
Officials said 4.4 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007, with 2.6 million in the past
The goods-producing sector shed 276,000 jobs in February while services lost 375,000. Within the goods-producing sector,
manufacturing lost 168,000 jobs.
Among the few sectors showing modest job gains were education and government.
The number of persons who worked part-time for economic reasons in February -- sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time
workers -- rose by 787,000, reaching 8.6 million. This includes people who would like to work full time but were working part
time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs.
The jobs report underscores the challenges facing President Barack Obama's administration in stabilizing a teetering financial
system and pulling the shrinking economy out of a second year of recession.
Based on the most recent government estimate, the US economy contracted at an eye-popping 6.2 percent pace in the fourth
quarter of 2008, and some analysts say the downturn may be even worse in the first quarter of 2009.
Newt Gingrich Eyes 2012 Run Susan Davis reports on politics.
Newt Gingrich is keeping an eye towards 2012, the former speaker of
the House told reporters Thursday evening before a speaking engagement at Randolph Macon College.
Gingrich said he and his wife, Callista, “will look seriously and we’ll probably get our family totally engaged,
including our two grandchildren, probably in January 2011, and we’ll look seriously at whether or not we think it’s
necessary to do it,” he said, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.
“And if we think it’s necessary we’ll probably do it. And if it isn’t necessary we probably won’t
do it,” he said.
At the Feb. 28 annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., Gingrich garnered 10% in a straw poll
of potential 2012 candidates. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won—for the third straight year—with 20%,
followed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal with 14%, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin—both of which received
Even if he opts not to run, Gingrich intends to be very involved in the Republican Party’s soul-searching. “I
think it’s conceivable that by 2012 you could have a second Contract for America,” he said. Gingrich is credited
as the architect of 1994’s Contract with American that swept Republicans into power in Congress.
Dean Under Consideration for Surgeon General
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Howard Dean, a practicing physician before entering
politics, was under consideration by the Obama administration for the post of U.S. surgeon general, CNN reported Friday.
Dean, who recently wrapped up a four-year term as Democratic Party chairman, has been a supporter of health reform, and
has privately made clear that he is interested in the job, according to the cable network.
CNN said two White House officials noted that, while it is too early to compile a list of candidates for surgeon general,
they did not rule out Dean getting the job.
"I would not dismiss it," one of the White House officials said of the possibility that Dean will be selected.
CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta Thursday withdrew his name from consideration for the post to focus more on
his family and career as a surgeon.
The surgeon general leads the 6,000-member commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and is the top federal
government spokesman on matters of public health.
Colbert calls Hannity's praise for Rush 'obsequious crack-licking'
Obama Foreclosure Plan to Aid Refinancings If
you haven’t been able to refinance because you lack equity in your home, check out the plan. By
Kenneth R. Harney / The Nation’s Housing | Sunday, March 8,2009 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Real Estate
Key details have begun surfacing about
the extraordinary refinancing deals that President Obama’s foreclosure-prevention plan will offer an estimated 4 million
to 5 million U.S. homeowners.
Obama’s plan aims to help borrowers who are current on their loans, but can’t refinance into today’s
low rates because these homeowners have little or no equity in tbeir properties.
Homeowners generally need 20 percent equity to refinance into cheaper loans. However, many people bought homes with less
than 20 percent down during the housing boom.
Worse, declining property values mean that even those who did make 20 percent down payments often find they no longer meet
the 20 percent rule.
Now, you can still refinance in such cases if you pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). But it’s tough to get
PMI these days in some parts of the country. PMI firms are reluctant to write policies “declining” markets large
areas that the firms fear could face further home-price declines.
As a result, tens of thousands of Americans are finding that they can’t refinance. Even though mortgage rates are
currently running around 5 percent, these homeowners are stuck with 65 percent mortgage rates or worse.
But under Obama’s plan, government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will essentially waive the 20
percent rule on any mortgages they back.
In fact, they’ll even allow homeowners to be slightly “under water,” owing more on a home that its current
Rush Limbaugh the Non-Defacto Facto Leader of the GOP
A Few of the Republicans who've dared to criticize Rush only to beg for his forgiveness:
RNC Chairman Michael Steele:
Rush is not the head of the Republican Party. He's an "entertainer" whose show is "incendiary" and "ugly."
I'm Sorry Rush Rush "My intent was not to go after Rush - I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh..."
"I was maybe a little bit inarticulate... There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership."
"I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking..."
Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA):
"I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and
throw bricks. You don't have to try to do what's best for your people and your party. "
I'mSorry Rush “I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on
some of those comments and I just wanted to tell you, Rush, [...] that I regret those stupid comments.”
Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC):
"Anybody who wants [President Obama] to fail is an idiot, because it means we're all in trouble..."
I'm Sorry Rush Sanford’s Communications Director, said that "the governor was not referring
to anyone" in particular.
Who’s the Republican Party’s REAL Leader?
Limbaugh Rooting for Planet to Explode Could Help GOP, Radio Host Claims BOROWITZ
In remarks that seemed guaranteed to create controversy, conservative
radio host Rush Limbaugh said today that he was "rooting for the planet Earth to explode" because it would help the GOP retake
the White House.
Mr. Limbaugh elaborated on his planet explosion theory, explaining that if the world blows up in the next four years "it
will happen on Barack Obama's watch."
"Let's face it, the world exploding would be great for the GOP and Barack Obama knows it," he said. "That's why he
is doing everything in his power to keep the planet from blowing up."
While asserting that he had his fingers crossed that the planet would detonate sometime in the next four years, he said
that there were other scenarios he found equally appealing.
"If the population of the U.S. was suddenly afflicted with plagues, locusts and open sores, that would be fantastic for
the Republican Party," he said. "I'm rooting for all of those things to happen."
In an appearance on CNN, Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele seemed to distance himself somewhat from Mr.
Limbaugh's remarks, telling Wolf Blitzer, "Rush is a great entertainer who just wants to make people laugh, like Bobby Jindal."
Hedging a little, Mr. Steele insisted that despite perceived differences, he and Mr. Limbaugh are on the same page: "Rush
is rooting for me to fail, and I am in fact failing."
John McCain Twits on Twitter, Sort of...
Although seemingly every journalist and politician
now feels compelled to share their every thought and experience via the magic of Twitter, we never expected the trend would
reach John McCain.
Keep in mind, this is the same man who, during the campaign, admitted, "I don't e-mail, I've never
felt the particular need to e-mail," and whose aide once had to assure the public, "John McCain is aware of the Internet."
But it's true! McCain is getting with the times, and he not only has a Twitter page, but, supposedly, personally bangs out his own tweets, sort of.
"YEs!! I am twittering on my blackberry but not without a little help!" reads one unnecessarily enthusiastic
tweet from this morning, prompted by God knows what. Who knows how much help he gets — he definitely didn't figure out
Internet shorthands like "ICYMI" on his own. Give the man some credit, though; he's come a long, long way.
Stephan Colbert Challenges Michael Steele to a Rap Off...
U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
PHOENIX — The Mexican agents who moved in on a safe house full
of drug dealers last May were not prepared for the fire power that greeted them.
When the shooting was over, eight agents were dead. Among the guns the police recovered was an assault rifle traced back
across the border to a dingy gun store here called X-Caliber Guns.
Now, the owner, George Iknadosian, will go on trial on charges he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers,
knowing they would send them to a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa. The guns helped fuel the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.
Mexican authorities have long complained that American gun dealers are arming the cartels. This case is the most prominent
prosecution of an American gun dealer since the United States promised Mexico two years ago it would clamp down on the smuggling of weapons across the border. It also offers a rare glimpse of how weapons
delivered to American gun dealers are being moved into Mexico and wielded in horrific crimes.
Drug gangs seek out guns in the United States because the gun-control laws are far tougher in Mexico. Mexican civilians
must get approval from the military to buy guns and they cannot own large-caliber rifles or high-powered pistols, which are
considered military weapons.
The ease with which Mr. Iknadosian and two other men transported weapons to Mexico over a two-year period illustrates just
how difficult it is to stop the illicit trade, law enforcement officials here say.
new plan to legalize marijuana in California would create a $1 billion tokin' tax and thousands of green jobs. Now that's
a stimulus plan!
By Katharine Mieszkowski
Mar. 03, 2009 |
Can Californians help dig themselves out of their historic fiscal crisis by getting high? Tom Ammiano thinks so, and he isn't smoking a thing.
On Feb. 23, the California State Assembly member introduced legislation that would
regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana, and then tax it. By legalizing pot, the San Francisco lawmaker argues, the
state could reap huge new revenues. Currently pot is California's biggest cash crop, with annual sales reaching $14 billion.
Vegetables, the state's second hottest agricultural product, take in a mere $5.7 billion. And California's famous grapes?
A piddling $2.6 billion.
If passed, the Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act would give California control of pot in a manner similar to alcohol, while prohibiting
its purchase to citizens under age 21. The state's tax collectors estimate the measure would bring in about $1.3 billion in
new revenues a year.
Ammiano, a former schoolteacher and stand-up comedian, has been one of the most famous
activists and politicians in San Francisco for decades. In the late '70s, he jump-started the movement against the Briggs
Initiative, which would have banned gay teachers in California (he appeared as himself in the film "Milk"), served on the
San Francisco Board of Education, and later was president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Mourners pay tribute to radio legend Paul Harvey By Rupa Shenoy Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO (AP) -- The son of radio legend Paul Harvey used his father's
words for the eulogy Saturday at a public funeral service in Chicago, the city from which he launched his national news and
"A great tree has fallen," said Paul Harvey Jr., quoting his father's send-off for President Franklin Roosevelt. "An empty
place has opened up against the sky."
The broadcaster died Feb. 28 in Phoenix, where he had a winter home, less than year after the death of his wife of nearly
68 years, Lynne Harvey. He was 90.
Their son recalled the couple's long romance and his father's start on radio for the 200 mourners at the Fourth Presbyterian
Church on the city's Magnificent Mile. When his father first applied for a job on radio, he was given a broom and told to
sweep up, Harvey Jr. said.
The elder Harvey would have wanted to help mold reaction to the country's current difficulties, his son said.
Harvey's newsroom colleagues, ABC Radio Networks executives and Doug Limerick, one of two broadcasters chosen to fill Harvey's
time slots, attended the service.
"You can hear his father in his words," Chicago Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthal said of Harvey's son. "I think people
are starting to realize what we've lost."
"It was a dignified eulogy delivered in a 'rest of the story'-type style," said Bruce DuMont, founder and president of
the Museum of Broadcast Communications. "It exemplified the dignity of Paul Harvey."
Standing outside the church in overcast weather, Chicago resident and businessman Gregory Fischer said he felt compelled
to attend the service because he could remember listening to Harvey as a child.
Fischer said that as an adult, he's realized that he was listening to a broadcasting trailblazer.
"He was a part of Americana," he said. "It was like he was talking directly to you."
Harvey had been heard nationally since 1951, when he began his "News and Comment" for ABC Radio Networks. He was credited
with inventing or popularizing terms such as "skyjacker," "Reaganomics" and "guesstimate."
Staccato delivery, long pauses and phrases like "Stand by for news!" were Harvey's hallmarks.
In 2005, Harvey received the presidential Medal of Freedom. He also was an inductee in the Radio Hall of Fame, as was his
"Of all the classes of men, I dislike the most those who make their livings by talking - actors, clergymen, politicians,
pedagogues, and so on. .... It is almost impossible to imagine a talker who sticks to the facts. Carried away by the sound
of his own voice and the applause from the groundlings, he makes inevitably the jump from logic to mere rhetoric." - H.L.
"Sir" Edward Kennedy
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's announcement this week of an honorary
knighthood for Senator Edward M. Kennedy prompted some questions about the constitutionality of a member of Congress accepting
such an accolade.
But according to the senator’s office, the British government, and others Kennedy appears to be taking the necessary
steps to make it all above board. (For a fuller explanation, click here.)
The Constitution says that no person "shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office,
or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”
But there's also a federal law that allows a member of Congress to accept such a "decoration tendered in recognition of
active field service in time of combat operations or awarded for other outstanding or unusually meritorious performance, subject
to the approval of the employing agency of such employee.”
In Kennedy's case, the employing agency is the US Senate, and the body that approves gifts or decorations is the Senate
Ethics Committee. It operates with strict rules of confidentiality, and committee officials don’t comment on individual
Anthony Coley, a spokesman for Kennedy, said the senator has indeed taken the necessary steps with the Ethics Committee
to receive approval for the honorary knighthood.
And so, while Kennedy won't be called "Sir Edward" because only British subjects may use that title, it appears he’ll
have no obstacle to using the initials KBE after his name, signifying Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the
VARIOUS LATE NIGHT QUOTES
"Barack Obama bought a brand new swing set for his daughters, Malia and Sasha. It has a
slide and a rope ladder. It's great. It's much nicer than the one George Bush used." --Jimmy Fallon
"According to a new study, people are sleeping less because they're worried about the economy.
I think also it might have something to do with the fact they're sleeping under bridges." -- Craig Ferguson
"One in 10 Californians are now unemployed. Unfortunately, Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't one
of them." -- Craig Ferguson
"Was it nice outside today or not? Yeah! Sunny. I thought it was a very sunny day. I'm driving
to work today and I saw a foreclosure sign with an awning." -- David Letterman
"Beautiful day. It was so sunny, as a matter of fact, down on Wall Street, the stockbrokers
were applying sunscreen before they jumped." -- David Letterman
"But do you know anything about the Dow Jones, ladies and gentlemen? The Dow Jones average
went down to 6,000. Do you know what that means? Neither do I, but it's the first time in 12 years that the Dow has been
the same as Rush Limbaugh's cholesterol." -- David Letterman
"As you know now, Rush Limbaugh is the new face of the Republican Party, but they'll probably
go with a different body. I don't want to say Rush is fat but he is a red state." -- David Letterman
"Rush Limbaugh is the new face of the Republican Party, however. And he says that he can
defeat President Obama in a debate. I'm thinking maybe a competitive eating contest, but I don't know about a debate." --
"You guys know anything about this weasel, this rodent, Bernie Madoff? He decided what he
would do would be to swindle his friends. And so he did a pretty good job. He got them for $50 billion, and now his lovely
wife Ruth was able to get 69 million. And she wants to keep that. She and her husband say it's not fraud money, it's money
they saved on gas by fully inflating their tires." -- David Letterman
"Oh, big day in Washington, DC, today. Pretty boy Brad Pitt was down there talking to Congress.
Brad Pitt, of course, married to the original octomom." -- David Letterman
"Here's a cute story. You know the Obama kids? They got a swing set there on the White House
lawn. And here's the nice thing. This is what you like about Obama. He is a very conscientious guy. Thinks of everything,
because the swing set didn't cost the taxpayers anything. They built the swing set out of old pieces of Dick Cheney's guard
tower." -- David Letterman
This Week in God!!!
Rape Row Sparks Excommunications By Gary Duffy BBC News, Sao Paulo
A Brazilian archbishop says all those who helped a child rape victim
secure an abortion are to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
The girl, aged nine, who lives in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco, became pregnant with twins.
It is alleged that she had been sexually assaulted over a number of years by her stepfather.
The excommunication applies to the child's mother and the doctors involved in the procedure.
The pregnancy was terminated on Wednesday.
Abortion is only permitted in Brazil in cases of rape and where the mother's life is at risk and doctors say the girl's
case met both these conditions.
Police believe that the girl at the centre of the case had been sexually abused by her step-father since she was six years
The fact that she was pregnant with twins was only discovered after she was taken to hospital in Pernambuco complaining
of stomach pains.
Her stepfather was arrested last week, allegedly as he tried to escape to another region of the country.
He is also suspected of abusing the girl's physically handicapped older sister who is now 14.
The Catholic Church tried to intervene to prevent the abortion going ahead but the procedure was carried out on Wednesday.
Now a Church spokesman says all those involved, including the child's mother and the doctors, are to be excommunicated.
The Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, told Brazil's TV Globo that the law of God was above any human
He said the excommunication would not apply to the child because of her age, but would affect all those who ensured the
abortion was carried out.
However, doctors at the hospital said they had to take account of the welfare of the girl, and that she was so small that
her uterus did not have the ability to contain one child let alone two.
While the action of the Church in opposing an abortion for a young rape victim is not unprecedented, it has attracted criticism
from women's rights groups in Brazil.
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