by altara, Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 11:24:11 AM EDT
Unemployment Compensation Extension
A typical headline on the most recent vote: "Senate Rejects Jobless Benefits 58-38"
Doesn't exactly sound like a rejection. In headlines and in the text of news articles, reporters should emphasize what's really happening. Something like "Republicans Filibuster, Prevent Vote on Unemployment Compensation"
by altara, Sun Jun 13, 2010 at 04:39:16 PM EDT
The Semantics of Affairs
It's annoying that the media keep referring to the extramarital activities of people like Tiger Woods as "affairs". An example might be an actress who had "affairs" with 3 of her last 4 leading men. Or a husband who picked up a woman on a business trip.
In my view, an affair is " a romantic or passionate attachment" of some duration. Not a just a f___, or "quickie". Here's a recent example:
"Nikki Haley Denies Second Rumored Affair" responding to -
"South Carolina lobbyist Larry Marchant said Wednesday that he had a one-night stand with Haley during a 2008 trip to Salt Lake City for a conference on school choice."
Media: Even though a bit tricky, call it what it is!
Related is misuse of the word "mistress" A common definition is :"a woman other than his wife with whom a married man has a continuing sexual relationship, often with continuing financial support" A night with a cocktail waitress does not make her a mistress.
by altara, Mon May 31, 2010 at 10:49:57 AM EDT
Service Chiefs Seek to Delay Vote on Gays
"...the chiefs said they wanted Congress to delay voting on the issue until after Dec. 1, when the Pentagon is to complete a review of how the military should carry out the changes."
This is so disheartening. Harry Truman did not wait for a "study" or "review" when integrating the armed services in 1948. There clearly no need for a "study/review" in the case of gays in the military. They are already there, side by side, in their units. And in many, if not most, cases the orientation is already known. In the case of blacks, the segregation made it much more of a change
by altara, Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:54:28 AM EDT
MSNBC SUSPENDS DAVID SHUSTER
Since his contract is in its last year, I doubt if he'll be back on air. He is a competent, although bland, announcer, often substituting for others. I doubt if I will miss him.
However, I will miss one aspect of his performance. Whenever he was thanked, he responded "You're welcome". Ever notice that almost every time a TV guest is thanked for appearing, the response is " Thank you", or something like "Sure"? As I wrote years and years ago, the equivalent in other languages is still in use but Americans have forgotten how to say "You're welcome".
by altara, Sun Mar 28, 2010 at 10:40:08 AM EDT
HEALTH CARE REFORM
Unencumbered by any research or expertise, I offer a few thoughts on reform of our health care system. The landmark law just enacted does many good things but is mainly health insurance reform that does little to control the high cost of U.S health care.
To address costs, perhaps a place to start would be with education of doctors and other medical personnel. Don't know how but if we can curb the inflation in educational costs there will be less pressure on graduates to command high incomes.
All providers, including government, must negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices. And re-importation of drugs should be allowed.
Health insurers, hospitals and other large providers should be regulated like utilities. Limiting the percentage of premiums that can be used for expenses other than health care and preventing the duplication of facilities and costly medical equipment are two avenues to pursue.
We should be encouraging, perhaps subsidizing clinics and other institutions that provide efficient, effective care. Typically, these employ physicians on salary and use best practices to ensure highest quality at lowest cost. Some may provide medical services to members who pay an annual fee. We should replicate the model clinics over as much of the country as possible.
Provisions in the new law encourage an increase in primary care and efficient team practice with bonus payments for certain physicians and expansion of community health centers. A step in the right direction.
VA hospitals. Although others may differ, I understand that the VA provides very good care at relatively low cost. This could well be an available option. (To avoid overloading, some limitation may be needed- such as availability only to those living within 100 miles of a VA hospital).
At all times, those who have insurance or other approved coverage can go to whatever private care that is available, paying with own funds.
Give our people a number of choices: private insurance, VA, approved clinic membership, or Medicare for all. In the case of the VA and Medicare, we must be sure that the fees are high enough to ensure sustainability.
With the new law, we have finally recognized that our country deems health care a right for all. We'll have to continue to explore the best ways to bring our country to the top level of countries providing health care for their citizens.
by altara, Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:54:18 PM EDT
slightly related fake news -
Some of the News
That may be True
SCOTT BROWN JOINS WASHINGTON THINK TANK
Roger Andrews, president of the influential think tank American Values Institute, announced yesterday that it had hired new Senator Scott Brown as a part time analyst and commentator.
The Senator will have an office at the Institute and access to its extensive research team.
Andrews conceded that this was a departure from the Institute's policy of separation from political officeholders. However, the Institutes Board was so impressed by Brown's body of work and instant prominence that an exception was warranted.
Mr. Andrews closed the conference with the statement that the Institute was looking forward to a long and productive relationship with Senator Brown.
by altara, Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 10:35:59 AM EDT
ABORTION AND HEALTH CARE
"House Democratic leaders late Friday were exploring the possibility of a deal with abortion opponents that would clinch the final votes to pass major health care legislation, but they faced stiff resistance from lawmakers who support abortion rights." NY Times
I'm not objective on this issue, since I have always been a strong supporter of choice. If I were not pro-choice, my seven daughters would have browbeatened me into that position.
To me, abortion is part of health care. I oppose government intrusion into private rights by trying to ban it or impose barriers . Since is a legal medical procedure, it should be equally entitled to government funding.
Putting those views aside, I find it unconscionable to inject this issue into a measure to reform our health care system. Whether Bart Stupak and others are grandstanding or being fanatic, they are hurting the cause unnecessarily since there is only a convoluted argument of a risk of a government subsidy of abortion in this legislation. If they want to confront such a subsidy, let them attack the tax deduction for employer plans, a huge benefit of millions of dollars.
Every day, Americans lose health benefits, suffer financial ruin, get sicker, or die because of inadequate health care. To throw a roadblock into reform is hardly a pro-life action.
by altara, Thu Mar 18, 2010 at 11:27:50 AM EDT
Pak Nam Gi, North Korea Finance Chief, Reportedly Executed Over Failed Currency Reform
A lesson and warning for Wall Street and our government regulators, those geniuses and bureaucrats who failed us and ruined our economy.
by altara, Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 03:07:10 PM EDT
I hope that during yesterday's flight to Ohio with Dennis Kucinich, the President took Mr. Kucinich to the aircraft side door and suggested strongly that he vote for the bill.
by altara, Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 12:42:52 PM EDT
"During the trip, Mr. Obama also had the chance to twist the arm of Representative Dennis Kucinich, who voted against the House health care bill in November and who traveled to Ohio with the president."
I hope that during the flight to Ohio with Dennis Kucinich, the President took Mr. Kucinich to the aircraft side door and suggested strongly that he vote for the bill.