Some of the News
That may be True

                        Baggage Controller Admits His Kid Has Been Helping

US Airlines Director of Baggage Control Elmer Wembly disclosed yesterday that he has been bringing to work his 12 year old boy, George. Mr. Wembly has been suspended pending investigation by the airline and Federal authorities. Apparently, the boy had at times been given control over the routing of airline baggage.

Wembly apologized to those who have lost baggage or had bags shipped to the wrong city. He said that George was quite mature and intelligent and should have known the different cities of Portland and that Warsaw Poland was not the same as Warsaw Indiana. Wembly added that he was supervising closely and was surprised that George wAS able route bags to New Delhi just for fun.



Proposed Health Insurance Regulation

"Obama's Health Care Bill Will Limit Insurance Rate Hikes"

Although a federal insurance rate board might be more effective, it seems to me to be the utmost in government interference in private company operations.  Given the present role of insurance in health care, providing competition through a public option would be preferable.

This problem demonstrates the foolishness of providing "insurance" against a basic human need. And if insurers can't use risk analysis or avoid pre-existing condition coverage, where's the "insurance"?




Sub-Rosa News


Some of the News
That may be True

                     "Small Plane Crashes Into Office Building In Austin"

Former Vice President Cheney demands enhanced interrogation of pilot  as a suspected terroist.                                  





At his town meeting in New Hampshire, President Obama criticized Republicans for voting against his proposal for a bipartisan committee to study deficit reduction ideas and make recommendations. He singled out 7 Republicans who had co-sponsored the measure and then voted against it, presumably because Obama was for it.

But I believe that 16 Republicans and 37 Democrats voted for the bill, leaving it 7 votes short of the new, foolish number of 60 votes needed to succeed. Questions: Where were the other 20 Democrats who failed to support their president? Where was that effective Majority Leader Harry Reid? Where was that powerful Chief of Staff,Rahm Emanuel?


Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is heavily criticized and under attack for her support of John McCain in his primary battle against an ultra conservative opponent. This is her base, tea partyites and other right wingers turning against her.

Don't they recognize loyalty? John McCain plucked her from obscurity, making her his VP nominee and opening new horizons for her. She is right to stick with the guy she came in with.

SarahPalin is smart, or has very smart advisers. Resigning from office, writing a book, and giving speeches has brought her more fame and a small fortune. For her, it was the right move at the right time.



Super Bowl Ads

"CBS has come under fire in recent weeks from various groups for allowing a conservative Christian group to air an anti-abortion ad, and for barring a commercial from a dating site for gay men as inappropriate for prime time."

CBS is just being consistent  -  anti-gay and anti-women




A nationally-known politician will be caught cheating on his wife

A celebrity will enter rehab.

The U.S. will not win the World Cup

Wall Street will prosper; Main Street won't

Israel and Palestine will not sign a peace treaty

A talk show host will publish a book

Michele Bachmann will say something incredibly stupid

Sarah Palin will say something (on the way to the bank)

TV will bring us "breaking news"

Sanctimonious Joe Lieberman will draw attention while undermining

Republicans will put defeat of Obama ahead of country

Democrats will mess up legislation with individual agendas

Some Democrats will fail to support Obama because of timidity or special interests

Obama will fail to put LBJ-like pressure on recalcitrant Democrats

Climate change legislation will not easily sail through Congress

Dick Cheney will emerge to issue undue criticism of Obama

Obama will give an superb speech; Repulicans will trash the speech

We will have Madness in March

The NBA season will eventually end





To help pay for health care reforms, the House voted for a surtax on very high incomes, such as those over $500,000. Sounds like a good idea, since affordable and a step toward fixing the huge inequality in US annual incomes. The Senate rejected this idea, opting instead to tax very expensive health care insurance plans.

As Bob Herbert of the NY Times, points out, the Senate plan hurts many in the middle class. This is supposed to produce savings of $150 billion over 10 years. Herbert notes "According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, less than 18 percent of the revenue will come from the tax itself. The rest of the $150 billion, more than 82 percent of it, will come from the income taxes paid by workers who have been given pay raises by employers who will have voluntarily handed over the money they saved by offering their employees less valuable health insurance plans." Lots of luck counting on this.

The main effort to combat the rising cost of health care is through the insurance companies. Squeeze the insurers and they'll squeeze costs out of medical providers. How has that worked so far? It's beside the point but health insurance is an anomaly; sort of insuring to pay for food.

We don't hear much about computerizing all health records, or other cost saving measures. Or sometimes the savings are supposed to come from patient decisions:      declining tests, selecting lower cost providers. But patients don't work this way. It's difficult to shop for doctors or hospitals. And when your doctor recommends a test,you don't disagree.

Making insurers compete (the public option, removing anti-trust exemption) would of course help the insurance purchaser. But more is needed, negotiated drug prices,
importation of drugs, pushing best medical practice, fostering hospital competition with less duplication, supporting clinics that and medical groups that compete with doctor services.  In many ways, try to wring the high prices,excessive costs, and high profits. out of the system.

Good health care is a right for every citizen. It behooves our government to take the actions necessary to meet this goal.



Looks as though we'll get a Senate bill, now that unprincipled Senator Nelson and perfidious Senator Lieberman have agreed  to let the Senate do its job and vote. No Republicans would do the right thing for our country. In fact, they complain about rushing this bill through although it has been an endless struggle all year.

The legislation has some reform but has been watered down at the behest of those most influenced by insurance company lobbyists. With 30-40 million new customers mandated to buy health insurance, and no public option, insurance company executives and the lobbyists are toasting each other with the finest champagne.

Also winning are the drug companies. No strong pricing pressure and no importation of reasonably priced drugs from other countries.

Our whole system is strange - and costly. It started innocently enough with employers providing health insurance as a benefit during World War II in order to get around pay restrictions. But this led to most health care availability being dependent on where you worked. Not acceptable.

But why should heath care be dependent on insurance at all?  A nation must provide for the health of its citizens. It's not like insuring against fire, or flood. Everyone has to receive health care. So it's like insuring against the need for food.
The systems resembles a layaway plan, paying in advance for a product with an insurance back--up.

So why should profit making insurance be inserted between a citizen and health care, or between a citizen and food? It's too late to eliminate the present system entirely but these insurance entities should at least be treated as utilities and regulated as such. Like water and electricity. We're moving a little bit in that direction,which is good, particularly in the absence of a  single payer system.

But as long as we have a filibuster, along with an obstructionist opposition, and no complete public campaign financing, all major reform or public interest legislation is in jeopardy.


There's more...

Lieberman Wins: Medicare Compromise On Chopping Block

Lieberman Wins: Medicare Compromise On Chopping Block

Removal of the chairmanship of Homeland Security is too mild a punishment for Joe Lieberman, sanctimonious master of perfidy. But do it. He has long been a lost cause. And is there no Republican who can see what is right and have the guts to do right? Shameful.


There's more...


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