Monthly Archives: October 2013

Sebelius deflects criticism on ObamaCare-tied cancellation notices | Fox News

To the American people

“You deserve better. I apologize. I’m accountable to you for fixing these problems”

Those were the remorseful words from our President for not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, right?

No, I don’t remember the President saying that. No, forgive me. Those were the words of Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius about computer glitches that have frustrated many Americans as they show their interest in affordable healthcare. What if, in this instance, in responding to the opponents of healthcare reform, the progressive part of the country did as Mitt Romney suggested in the title to his book and remembered No Apology is necessary when you’re doing the right thing. Conservatives held to this principle and didn’t apologize, even when what they did was the wrong thing like suggesting that Saddam and Bin Laden were somehow aligned and Saddam had WMD that he could give to terrorists. Not only didn’t the Bush administration apologize for misleading the country into an unnecessary war, none of the RepubliCons, who have attempted to block implementation of Obamacare at every turn and now are complaining that Americans don’t have access to the very thing to which they don’t want them to have access, none of these Crypto-fascists demanded any resignations related to the great, as Thomas Ricks described it, Fiasco, the Iraq War.

What, however, is ingenious is the RepubliCons’ ability to make a charge, as in the case of Shirley Sherrod, or a demand, like the individual mandate, and watch liberals, apparently acting out of some self-imagined superiority, go into overdrive to prove how compromising and pure, they are by forcing resignations or implementing proposals. Sometimes a little Bush-Cheney cowboy attitude may be good. It seems to be the only thing Teabaggers can recognize as American. Perhaps Liberals should meet them, the conservative, Teabagger fringe, half-way and speak a little of their lingo say to the RepubliCons: Sebelius ain’t going nowhere and we’re going to mend not end it, the Affordable Care Act.

And when you hear things like

“Some people like to drive a Ford, not a Ferrari,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said. “You’re taking away their choice.” 

Perhaps you should respond: Yes, Rep. Marsha “Michelle-Bachman-southern-edition” Blackburn, some people may like to drive vehicles that are “Unsafe at any speed” but that doesn’t mean that the government should encourage their production or use by giving anti-trust protection to their manufacturers.

Tell those Cyrpto-Fascists who’ve done everything within their power to protect the insurance equivalent of slum lords that America, via the Affordable Care Act, is getting rid of all that condemned property, junk insurance; we’re moving our people away from pre-existing condition barriers and lifetime caps and doughnut holes. And we need to remove the health insurance anti-trust exemption.

In the process of calling for Secretary Sebelius’ resignation comes “It’s throwing good money after bad. It’s time for her to resign — someone else to take charge,” from Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., top Republican on the Senate health panel. Funny, but I never heard him or the other Crypto-Fascists call for resignation after the American people were told that the Iraq war would pay for itself or that we would be greeted as liberators or the Iraq or Afghanistan wars weren’t included in the budget by these all-of-sudden-concerned-with-the-debt-no-bid-contract-giving Crypto-Fascists. Similarly there was no hue and cry when members of his party orchestrated a government shutdown that costs $24 billion in GDP. No, keeping Teabaggers in office is not, in Senator Alexander’s words, “throwing good money after bad.”

Yes, Secretary Sebelius, Americans do deserve better. So, please stay on the job. The Mississippi Yokohama employees deserve healthcare access as good as the Yokohama employees in Japan and the Affordable Care Act is a move in that direction with true out-in-the-open standards. Yes I said Japan, that country where southern governors go to get jobs for their citizens. Japan, where the average Japanese visits a doctor about 14.5 times per year-three times as often as the U.S. average, there is universal coverage, and they spend about 8% of GDP on healthcare, about half as much as the United States and they have a personal mandate with heavy government(Ministry of Health and Welfare) involvement in pricing.* Fortunately, we are taking steps to bend the costs curve because our government is no longer asleep at the wheel. Fortunately we are not yielding to those who did nothing when they had the chance, when they controlled both houses of congress and the presidency to reform healthcare in America. So, no, Dr. Ben “maybe-I-am-the-one-who-needs-brain-surgery” Carson, we are not going to some health savings account where someone can run out of money in the middle of treatment, you neo-feudalist-Heritage-Fund-Koch-Brother-flunky you who calls Obamacare which forces standards on insurance companies,slavery.

The crying over the cancellation of junk plans is reminiscent of domestic abuse cases. If a spouse is deserted by an abuser (like insurance companies changing substandard plans that could have been grandfathered and sending cancellation notices to customers) sometimes the spouse may not realize that that desertion probably just saved their life.

* “The Healing of America” by T.R. Reid.

Sebelius deflects criticism on ObamaCare-tied cancellation notices | Fox News

Obama administration knew millions could not keep their health insurance – Investigations

However, the law was written to make sure that people could keep their insurance, that is the insurance that they had when the law was passed. The reporters in this story, themselves say “The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. “ And how is a regulation written by the Department of Human Services considered to have “narrowed” the provisions when it says that “if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered?” How can that be anything but a clarification of the existing intent that what was in effect, without any changes, will be acceptable and if anything changes the policy is not legal?

Then there is the mention in the article of “normal turnover” in the individual market affecting people’s ability to keep their policy (meaning 40 to 67 percent of customers will not be able to keep their policy). What would the Affordable Care Act have to do with “normal turnover” in the individual market?” So let’s get this straight. If the President, in talking about the Affordable Care Act while being under attack from conservatives for orchestrating a government takeover of healthcare, offers assurance about there being no government effort to force people to buy from the government or to give up their junk healthcare plans, he should be held accountable for “normal turnover.” The effects of normal turnover means he lied?

For those who are really concerned about premiums and healthcare cost, the fact is Americans would pay less for healthcare if they had more government involvement and not that provided by overmatched state insurance secretaries like the one in Mississippi who couldn’t even attempt to establish an exchange without Heritage and Cato coming in to stop it with the assistance of a Governor who won’t expand Medicaid to assist the most vulnerable and who has no problem with the indigent care expense being passed along to customers through higher prices, ignoring the available federal aid. The Japanese pay a substantially smaller part of their GDP for health care (8%, about half as much as the US) and a large part of the reason is that they have a government body (the Ministry of Health and Welfare), which acts on behalf of the Japanese healthcare customer. And we, in America, can’t even get a repeal of the McCarran Ferguson Act (antitrust law, something the RepubliCons never propose) to provide  that supposedly beloved free-market benefit from competition because the big insurers like the banks run this place.

And then you have a flak, like Robert Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates (wonder if they get any insurance industry money), pointing a Jan-Brewer-finger-of-outrage at the administration because the insurance industry changed policies so that the policies couldn’t be grandfathered. So the President is to blame because he knew that the scumbags would do exactly what they did.

 

So when you see people complain about premiums rising and how they were better off before the Affordable Care Act, which makes available insurance which doesn’t discriminate or charge more based on pre-existing conditions, just remember that those premiums are brought to you by companies who have an anti-trust exemption. Remember that the pseudo defenders of free markets never brought you exchanges and never placed healthcare on their agenda the way they did privatization of Social Security(image the damage to seniors from the recent financial debacle) and sending the elderly into the private health care insurance market as an alternative to Medicare or place enough money in a health savings account to cover their care when they’re 75, like the great brain surgeon, Dr. Ben Carson advocates.

Obama administration knew millions could not keep their health insurance – Investigations

Sebelius says she doesn’t ‘work for’ those calling for her resignation | Fox News

It’s so good to see an Obama Administration official, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius, reminding the Teabaggers that they don’t run the administration.

It would serve the administration well to mention as often as possible, because these RepubliCons are not only collectively context challenged but amnesiacs, some with racist’s proclivities                                           

Conservative code(dog whistle)

 

, that the demand is hypocritical and outrage selective and actually just another tool in the service of of the effort to regain power.

Condeleezza Rice and President Bush didn’t get fired because the President didn’t read a PDB entitled “Bin Laden Determined.”

[President Bush] did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so.

And furthermore investigators

“have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States. DCI Tenet visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas, on August 17 and participated in the PDB briefings of the President between August 31 (after the President had returned to Washington) and September 10. But Tenet does not recall any discussions with the President of the domestic threat during this period.”

When it was determined that no one took any action on a report which said the FBI had information which “

indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York,”

prior to 9/11 that someone, can you say the Sebelius-should-resign types, would have demanded massive Bush Administration resignations.

Unlike the Clinton Administration’s response to a PDB in 1998 entitled, “Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks,” the Bush administration decided to remain on vacation, and Sinunu didn’t call “W” lazy and accountability-minded Republicans didn’t called for resignations or impeachment.

But fortunately there is a record of some members of congress defending the government’s efforts to provide medical access to American citizens and understand that you will sometimes have problems with implementation of a really good government program.

Perhaps Secretary Sebelius can borrow some sentiment and in some cases language from the Republicans who did:

REP. JOE BARTON (R-TX): “This is a huge undertaking and there are going to be glitches. My goal is the same as yours: Get rid of the glitches. The committee will work closely with yourself and Dr. Mark McClellan at CMS to get problems noticed and solved.” [Barton Statement via Archive.org, 2/15/2006

or

REP. TIM MURPHY (R-PA): “Any time something is new, there is going to be some glitches. All of us, when our children were new, well, we knew as parents we didn’t exactly know everything we were doing and we had a foul-up or two, but we persevered and our children turned out well. No matter what one does in life, when it is something new in learning the ropes of it, it is going to take a little adjustment.” [Murphy Floor Speech via Congressional Record, 4/6/2006]

Or


REP. MICHAEL BURGESS (R-TX): “We can’t undo the past, but certainly they can make the argument that we are having this hearing a month late and perhaps we are, but the reality is the prescription drug benefit is 40 years late and seniors who signed up for Medicare those first days back in 1965 when they were 65 years of age are now 106 years of age waiting for that prescription drug benefit, so I hope it doesn’t take us that long to get this right and I don’t believe that it will. And I do believe that fundamentally it is a good plan.” [“Medicare Part D: Implementation of the New Drug Benefit,” 3/1/2006]

Hold your position Secretary Sebelius. Remember that we had one guy in a previous administration who said that we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq, talk about being “in over your head,” and the RepubliCons didn’t call for his resignation. I just hope the administration doesn’t turn all weak-kneed the way it did in the Shirley Sherrod desertion, acting out a seemingly innate need to exemplify superiority by purging anyone that the conservative opposition says is bad or in some manner deficient. You were correct in reminding a group of people who have proven that they would shutdown the government in order to get their way that you don’t work for situational anarchists so bent on controlling the government that they would subject the American to continual misery to gain power.      

Sebelius says she doesn’t ‘work for’ those calling for her resignation | Fox News

GOP lawmakers threaten subpoena over ObamaCare rollout information | Fox News

If you think this fake outrage is really about how these people, who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act 46 times, wanted the health care web site to work properly, then you may be interested, in the words of a George Strait song, in some ocean front property in Arizona.

Their goal is to not see any progress in America under a Democratic administration, and that means health care or anything else. Notice how they didn’t bring you any health care bill when they controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency (2003-2005), but they have all these Dr.-Ben-Carson types selling snake oil as the cure now.

Who are these investigate-the-website people, who are now, supposedly, so intent on exploring problems related to a health care plan that they have been trying so furiously to destroy; are they not the same gang which when it controlled the Presidency tried to privatize Social Security (just imagine what would have happened to senior private investment under that scenario in the 2008 financial debacle) and voucherize Medicare under the Ryan Plan? Yeah, that’s the ticket, requiring 65 year olds to buy health insurance the way they could in the good ole days before Medicare.

Trying to repeal Obamacare 46 times! Who are these people who want to re-instate pre-existing conditions as barriers to acquiring health insurance, through this Obamacare defunding process? Who elected them? What benefit are these clowns to their constituents? How does it benefit the North County Regional Center in Darrell Issa’s district (the 49th Congressional District) to have insurance companies place lifetime caps on health insurance as they could before passage of the Affordable Care Act? The North County Regional Center in Vista Ca. is a facility shared by the Superior Court, Sheriff, Probation, District Attorney, Revenue and Recovery, and the Board of Supervisors. How is the North County Regional Center better served by having the doughnut hole for seniors go back to what it was before passage of the Affordable Care Act? Apparently Issa’s constituents aren’t against government; they don’t believe government is the problem. They don’t want to drown the government, Camp Pendleton, in a bathtub. How is Camp Pendleton, in Darrell Issa’s district, or the nation’s military as a whole, benefiting from having men and women in Mississippi not receive Medicaid or health insurance because they make $5,501 per year? Isn’t access to routine check-ups and preventative medicine in America part of military preparedness? Issa and the Tea Party crowd are telling the country, No! It isn’t. People can just go to the emergency room for all their medical needs.

You see the modern Republican Party identifies itself as a class. When they speak of class warfare they mean that people are attacking rich or in most of their cases the haves both of which, in the eyes of Republicans, are Republicans. That’s why you will hear Republican Party members say things like:

“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals,” “You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply.”

Or you hear them say things like this from Mississippi:

Now we are saying, you can have a job and still receive Medicaid [mind you the cutoff in Mississippi for Medicaid is $5,500]. So we have changed the whole dynamic. There is very little incentive for those 940,000 people on Medicaid to find a better job, or to go back to school, or to get [into] a workforce training program.”

This type of thinking, (we are superior and you are inferior, and the proof of your inferiority is exemplified by your need of the government), is what makes the trickle-down economic philosophy so appealing to them. It is the reason that the rich must be protected from those inferior people (takers) who depend upon the government even as they spare no expense in getting government jobs or programs. And for all their concern about the deficit and future generations being robbed by the poor they had no problem in costing the country $24 billion in GDP, because they feel superior, detached from it all. To them it was tough love for the inferior class, a class which could be made better, improved or transformed, by suffering.

For the naïve, this concern from Issa (net worth $450 million) and fellow plutocrats and plutocrat wannabees about the computer problems of the Affordable Care Act is another attempt at thwarting something that would “hurt” inferior people, like, you know, the stray animals or benefit the bugs in the woodwork. But if you really think that Issa, who is executing the plan made in 2009 to “put the brakes on Obama’s legislative platform” with all the Benghazi-IRS-Scandal-Fast-and-Furious monkey wrenches that he can through in the machinery really cares about the health care of the average American, we can talk about that ocean front property in Arizona, and as the song says we’ll through the Golden Gate Bridge in free.

 

GOP lawmakers threaten subpoena over ObamaCare rollout information | Fox News

Bryant orders 10 HMA hospitals back into Blue Cross network | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

I cannot sit back and allow Mississippians’ access to care to be threatened in violation of state law

What business does any public official have in trying to make certain that citizens have access to medical care? How can a business be compelled to provide a “product in a marketplace at the insistence” of government?
And don’t you remember how, in an effort to support the efficacy of markets in meeting the needs of Americans, RepubliCons said that:

“[t]here is no one who doesn’t have health care in America. No one. Now, they may end up going to the emergency room?”

So what’s all the fuss about insurance companies deciding not to do business with some hospitals because they “charge too much?” Isn’t this just the marketplace at work? Shouldn’t insurance companies be allowed to seek profit like all good capitalists? What’s with the dictatorial intervention? Weren’t the Teabaggers carrying signs of President Obama with Hitler mustaches drawn on his face because of his market interventions? What’s with the government intrusion embodied in the Mississippi Patient Protection Act of 1995?” What’s with the government telling businesses what they must provide? This situation makes a point emphatically. Specifically, the issue is that capitalism is a system devised by man and subject to modifications and variations necessary to serve the people. This democratic Republic, America, is served by capitalism. The Republic is not the servant of capitalism. This is a fact that the conservatives, indoctrinated within the last thirty years, must learn. The more sophisticated conservatives know this which is why they spend so much time lobbying to make laws (modifications and variations) which concentrate capital in relatively few hands while pretending that capitalism just happens to naturally support the trade deficits enhanced by this “service economy” that they have convinced the public is most desirable for America. This salesmanship of substandard economic conditions explains why many Americans’ desired to keep the insurance plans that they had before enactment of the Affordable Care Act, a situation that could be compared to domestic abuse. The form of capitalism practiced in this country is designed and modified by men; it is not some natural, organic formation sent to us by God. If our form of capitalism is so superior then why do we find ourselves begging other countries with much more socialism (government mandated health care) in their economies for jobs?

It is ironic how conservative governors from southern states who complain about government thwarting private markets and competition spend time and state resources pursuing Japanese investment in their states when according to author T.R. Reid in “The Healing of America, “[d]espite universal coverage and prodigious consumption, Japan spends a lot less for health care that most of the developed nations; with costs running at about 8 percent of GDP, it spends about half as much as the United States.” And get this Teabaggers, the Japanese require everyone to sign up. They call it a personal mandate. The irony is that so called conservatives are attacking personal responsibility and seeking investment from people (foreign capitalists?) who make certain that all of their citizens have health care while complaining about a “’woodwork effect,’ an allusion to people [American citizens] who currently quality for Medicaid but are not covered and will ‘come out of the woodwork’ to qualify because of new changes affecting people without insurance.” Just think about that for a moment. Here you have Americans alluded to as bugs, as insects who will come out of the “woodwork” to get what, crumbs? Actually CONservatives, [see Mitt Romney and Steel Dynamics] are very skilled at getting government to assist them while pretending that the resources that they get, they got all by themselves when they have really benefited for jobs programs, activities subsidized in one fashion or another by a government of the people. Their brilliance is in their ability to convince their constituents that they don’t need the government while channeling government to assist their constituents. You even have a private entity Blue Cross/Blue Shield complaining about constituent services: complaining that “the hospital management company [with whom the big insurer has a dispute] and its lobbyists have donated thousands of dollars in “political contributions” to the governor.”

The health care conversation is Mississippi doesn’t just smell of classism, it reeks of elitism. The political establishment is fighting to maintain health care access for one group of Mississippians while being willing to in the words of a local reporter who’s been covering the Mississippi health care struggle for the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Ms., Sam R. Hall , to ignore “the loss of DSH payments” which “would equal nearly $1.4 billion” [these are federal funds paid to the state to help cover indigent care in hospitals which are scheduled to go away] and not expand Medicaid. In the words of Mr. Hall

“[t]hat’s $400 million more than if every single eligible Mississippian allowed joined after expanding the Medicaid program, and we know that’s 100 percent will never join.”

Pew!!!! We can’t just be imagining that smell. The state of Mississippi while begging for jobs from a country with universal health care continues to refuse to assist Mississippians making more than $5,500 per year, the Medical cutoff, get health care while compelling a private insurer to provide health care access for Mississippians making considerable more than $5,500, Mississippians making enough to afford a BCBS policy.

Remarkable still is the protestations about big government involvement in Mississippi and assertions of state’s rights (in the antebellum southern spirit) even to the point where Senator Thad Cochran will now face a Teabagger opponent even as a “proportion of federal spending in Mississippi is directed toward large federal installations such as Camp Shelby, John C. Stennis Space Center, Meridian Naval Air Station, Columbus Air Force Base, and Keesler Air Force Base.” And there are also the private sector extensions of the military industrial complex like Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
To ignore Tip O’Neill’s maxim, “all politics is local,” is to abandon the field to the Teabaggers who are the servants, wittingly or unwittingly, of the neo-feudalists who are ordering society in a fashion that produces less social mobility. And access to health care, if you look at the rest of the industrialized world, is critical to that dream as it provides the foundation for productivity so that “you can build that,” that being whatever your dream is.

Bryant orders 10 HMA hospitals back into Blue Cross network | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Hosemann’s allies are the black middle and upper class in Mississippi

Hosemann [Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann] said Mississippi took precautions to make sure its voter ID law would survive scrutiny, offering free photos for the ID cards, free transportation to get the cards and free verification for birth certificates in Mississippi and 45 other states

Using what is by now the trademark RepubliCon tool, Delbert Hosemann and his fellow Council of Conservative Citizens have employed the divide and conquer voodoo to perfection in the 21st century extension of the Southern Strategy, the voter ID booby trap. The key is to make one group of people turn on another group with whom they should be economic allies. The devilry is the questions what is free and for whom is it free?

Connecting a current driver’s license (which, duh, is not free) to voting as Mississippi’s Weyrich-flavored constriction is an income hoop reminiscent of a poll tax, especially in a state in which the Non-Hispanic white households in Mississippi had the highest median household income ($45,583) and the median household income of blacks—$23,895—was just over half of that according to work from 2009 by the VCU Center on Society and Health. ,a state in which $5,501 is too much income to qualify for Medicaid. What is free in Mississippi, a state receiving the third most federal funding per tax dollar paid, is in the eye of the beholder or motor vehicle operator as the case may be.

But the voting pool contraction is predictable, considering how neo-feudalism is a derivative of a plantation-sympathetic society which many Mississippians cherish as part of their tradition embodied in the state flag. Class is very much the essence of neo-feudalism the same as it was at the base of anti-bellum southern life. No, that correlation is not a surprise but the black contribution to Mississippi’s status quo is perhaps an insidious indication of how deeply a primitive, pernicious style of capitalism, American to its core, has the potential to devour democracy. Strange bedfellows, the black middle and upper classes and the founders of Heritage, Cato, and ALEC like Paul Weyrich, lovers of elitism and stratification. 

No one, not even anyone in the Mississippi Civil Rights community or even in the Black legislative caucus in Mississippi seems to be willing to challenge Hosemann’s assertion about the poll he took to determine how many people had the type of photo ID necessary to vote in Mississippi. Hosemann’s assertions considering the way he came to help alter the cost estimates of the voter ID law from the initial $100,000 to the $1.5 million, even that figure is suspect (The state’s voter ID initiative stated that providing free IDs could cost up to $100,000, depending on how many people requested one.), his aiding and abetting this discrimination proves how right Faulkner was about the past. And I betcha the $1.5 million estimate didn’t account for this: “The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that the state will have to put cameras in all 82 county courthouses to monitor the distribution of the free voter IDs. The Legislature would have to set aside funds to buy these cameras; however, lawmakers did not approve funds for the cameras during the 2012 session.) No, Herr Hosemann’s belated interest in disparate impact is about as legitimate as a cotton gin owner who has his house on the scale. He needs a look-the-other-way complicity to make the presentation work. You have to give him credit for determining where he could count on getting this assistance, the black political class system in Mississippi, conveniently retiring.

A complacent, contented black middle and upper class is what makes the gentlemanly South’s-gonna-rise-again types like Hosemann so effective. It is black lethargy and acquiescence to a perceived black inferiority among lower income blacks that makes the closeted Council of Conservative Citizens members so effective in their efforts to suppress the vote. One has to begin to believe that many blacks are also neo-feudalists, harboring classist sentiments, enjoying a black cushion like Supreme Court Justice Thomas who having benefited from affirmative action even to point of accepting a position on the Supreme Court now thinks that “the others” are just plain ole inferior, in a sense, mirroring the perspective of blacks who owned slaves before the Civil War. Everything is fine just so long as I can get and maintain my economic advantage. Little do they realize that they, having forgotten the lessons of the past, may find themselves one day spending, paraphrasing the title from a recent film, more than just 12 years a slave because “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice every where.” The lessons of the past are telling everyone who stands idly, silently by and watches these erosions in voting rights that one day “they” will be coming for you.

Groups say Mississippi should take lesson from voting-law challenges | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

I believe Mississippi’s law is much different than North Carolina’s, and we will pass any constitutional challenge by anyone,” he [Ms. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann] said. “We are not going to be discriminatory against minorities in Mississippi … We are not our fathers’ fathers in Mississippi anymore.

Oh really, and what do you call the Jim Crow styled hoops created by Mississippi’s law.   Hosemann denies the photo ID law’s discriminatory effect despite the fact that people who have driver’s licenses are shielded from having to provide a birth certificate to get a “free” state-issued photo ID.  This actually produces two classes of citizens, one forced to produce some sort of documentation to obtain a birth certificate to vote.  Of course none of the media in Mississippi seems to have paid any attention to Hosemann’s attempts at deception by using Georgia’s law as a defense for Mississippi’s efforts and some of the media in Mississippi has even given cover to this nullification effort by the state which has “the sole remaining U.S. state flag which bears the Confederate battle flag’s saltire.”    

When news sources say “Voters overwhelmingly approved Voter ID in 2011 in a statewide referendum,” the common refrain from the press in Mississippi, no one ever compares the ID initiative that was passed, which made no reference to exclusions from obtaining “free” ID,to the exclusionary law the RepubliCon Mississippi Legislature enacted. The Mississippi voter disintegration law (registered Mississippians are suddenly ineligible to vote if their driver’s license is expired) also has, paraphrasing a line for the recent Lincoln film, clothed the Secretary of State in immense power. Peek-a-boo, what’s that hiding in the law?  Revealing the latent southern predilection for autocracy, the law says required material presented and verified for ID issuance could be “Such other acceptable evidence of verification of residence in the county as determined by the Secretary of State.” This means that, through an electorate’s atavistic reliance on a plantation-styled noblesse oblige, today’s Secretary of State can decide that a paystub is good enough to acquire a photo ID and the next SOS can decide that its not? Having Mississippi’s legislatively-created Fuhrer decide what is “acceptable evidence of verification” kind of reminds me of the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld. Only in Mississippi it may be “no vote for you.”  And if you are a married woman what exactly will the Fuhrer require you to produce, by way of documentation, to get one of those “free” IDs? 

 

WASHINGTON – Voting rights advocates say there’s a message for Mississippi in lawsuits the Justice Department has filed during the last two months to block voting-law changes in Texas and North Carolina.

The suits claim the changes, including new voter ID laws, would suppress the minority vote.

Mississippi is moving ahead with its own voter ID law, and voting rights advocates say the recent legal actions by the Justice Department should put the state on notice that it may be next.

“The battle in North Carolina, Texas, they’re not just state fights,” said William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP. “They are state battles that have national implications. If you don’t stop it here, it has the potential like a virus to spread across the country.”

But Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said his state’s voter ID law is on solid footing.

“I believe Mississippi’s law is much different than North Carolina’s, and we will pass any constitutional challenge by anyone,” he said. “We are not going to be discriminatory against minorities in Mississippi … We are not our fathers’ fathers in Mississippi anymore.”

Hosemann said Mississippi’s law should be in place by June.

Justice officials filed the recent lawsuits against Texas and North Carolina in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this summer in a case out of Shelby County, Ala.

Until that ruling, Mississippi and other states with a history of discrimination were required under Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act to get “pre-clearance” from the Justice Department or a federal court before making any change to their voting procedures.

The court ruled that Section 4 of the act, which consisted of the formula used to determine which states and other jurisdictions should be subject to Section 5, is outdated and therefore unconstitutional.

Justice officials were reviewing Mississippi’s voter ID law when the court issued its ruling. The law requires voters to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls. Before the ruling, Justice officials had rejected similar laws in other Southern states subject to Section 5.

(Page 2 of 2)

Voting rights advocates said they were alarmed by how quickly Mississippi and other states moved to implement their new voting laws after the court decision.

Mississippi “didn’t even stop to take a breath after the decision before rushing forward” on its voter ID law, said Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law.

Weiser said that makes her think states won’t be easily deterred, even in the face of legal challenges.

“It’s not clear to me how much those states currently are going to be slowed by the existence of lawsuits because they really did just thumb their nose at the Voting Rights Act,” she said. “That said, it certainly ought to have an impact.”

Hosemann said Mississippi took precautions to make sure its voter ID law would survive scrutiny, offering free photos for the ID cards, free transportation to get the cards and free verification for birth certificates in Mississippi and 45 other states.

The state also conducted a poll to determine who might not have IDs and how to target them.

“It’s very clear to us which people don’t have IDs, and we have devised a process to find each and every one of them and we intend to do that,” Hosemann said.

Hosemann said North Carolina’s election law is very different from the one Mississippi voters approved in 2011. In addition to a requirement that voters have a government-issued photo ID, North Carolina’s law also reduced the early-voting period and prohibited voter registration on Election Day, known as same-day registration.

Mississippi does not offer same-day registration or early voting, except for disabled people and seniors, Hosemann said.

Hosemann said he’s not surprised Attorney General Eric Holder filed the lawsuits against the changes in Texas and North Carolina.

“He’s been quite clear from the day the (Supreme Court) opinion came out that he intended to challenge every state,” Hosemann said. “I’m hopeful that our open hand to the Justice Department, our research and our regulations will deter an action against my state.”

The Mississippi NAACP has not said yet whether it would challenge the state law in court, but it has not ruled out legal action.

“The Mississippi voter ID law is just as oppressive as Texas’ and North Carolina’s voter ID laws,” said Carroll Rhodes, general counsel for the Mississippi NAACP. “The same actions being taken by affected voters and the Justice Department in those states should be explored in Mississippi.”

Edward Hailes, general counsel with the Advancement Project, said the national group would work with the Mississippi NAACP and others if there’s a challenge to the state’s law.

“North Carolina is ground zero for us, but other states are responding to the Shelby County decision by promulgating new laws, so we’re going to have to look at all of them depending on the resources we have,” he said.

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Groups say Mississippi should take lesson from voting-law challenges | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Study: Red states most impacted by shutdown

The real class warfare in this country isn’t rich vs. poor, it’s government employees vs. the taxpayers who pay their salaries

pukes Ann Coulter.

Ever notice how people like the conniving Crypto-fascists, Coulter is always able to selectively attack government of the people, a government where the people decide the compensation level for its employees and what public goods and services that government delivers, in a way that never questions or challenges the government benefits in conservative strong holes like Mississippi with its military job creations or Arkansas and Alabama which rank high in senior citizens per capita and their dependence on workers in the SSA or  small business owners from the Dakotas or  Alaska who are looking for funding processed by those government workers in the SBA.  Are the pseudo-anti-government propagandists like Coulter who make tons of money complaining that the “only heavy lifting they[government workers] do all week is picking up their paychecks” pointing at the VA workers providing services for Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming which rank high with the most veterans per capita?  No, but they’ll cunningly attack government department and government workers who work in agencies like the Department of Education knowing that their conveniently-ignorant audiences won’t make the connection with the FAFSA’s processed for people in Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina, or Louisiana states which “boasted the greatest number of FAFSA applications per capita during the third quarter of 2013.” Coulter and the other anti-government merchants count on the convenient ignorance of their audiences, an ignorance which conveniently includes a lack of knowledge about the role that the corporatists have played in the demise of pensions and good benefits for the working class in America making society as a whole poorer, the common good poorer, an ignorance which makes possible an attack on middle-class workers in the government who still have some semblance of the benefits which existed when organized labor was stronger in America, when the Mitt Romney types couldn’t attack so many Americans as being part of some negative 47 per cent class(there’s your class warfare).  I don’t recall the taxpayers voting to send their jobs overseas or to allow people like Mitt Romney to pay a lower tax rate or to allow people to stash money in the Cayman Island or Switzerland.  When Coulter and the Crypto-fascists complain about the compensation of government workers do they ever compare that compensation to the private sector and firms like General Dynamics, a major defense contractor that spent close to $11 million last year on lobbying.  General Dynamics just happens to have a land systems division which operates a facility that stands to benefit from the expenditure of $436 million on a weapon, a tank, that “the experts explicitly say is not needed.”  Nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money over the past two years has been devoted to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams.

“If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way,” Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, told The Associated Press

Coulter’s complaints about compensation to government employees is a diversion and a way to divide and conquer the middle-class internally (this strategy was also evident in the piece-meal approach by the Teabagger-controlled house with their piece-meal funding attached to the continuing funding resolution. The trick was to fund part of the government and rely on contentment among the funded portions to provide weight for the starvation of the parts the RepubliCons didn’t like.) The attack on the government is also a way to divert energy towards attacking the poor with the entitlement attacks. Coulter and the Crypto-fascists are actually channeling attention away from the compensation government pays to firms like security provider Blackwater (which charged $1,075 a day for senior managers, $945 a day for middle managers and $815 a day for operators when Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, who was the top U.S. commander in Baghdad overseeing more than 160,000 U.S. troops, was making about $493 a day) and multi-billion-dollar, no-bid contractor Halliburton formerly headed by then Vice-President Dick Cheney, in the so-called private sector. Coulter and the Crypto-fascists are very good at stirring dissension among everyday Americans, causing them to turn on each other while they channel government resources to their purses and stash their lucre off-shore and call everyone else the takers. 

 

Study: Red states most impacted by shutdown

Bryant trusts no part of health care overhaul | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

some low-level employees or volunteers with the exchange could unilaterally force the state to expand Medicaid, the longstanding federal-state health insurance program for the needy,

reads this article from the Clarion Ledger is Jackson, Mississippi.

This is being given as a reason for not supporting the Affordable Care Act in Mississippi:  “the navigators could unilaterally decide to sign people up for Medicaid, even if they earn too much money to qualify.” 

In the minds of some Mississippians the navigators, people who “are available to help people understand various levels of coverage available through an exchange” could sign people up for Medicaid, giving health care to someone who makes more than $5,500 per year, the income cutoff in Mississippi. You got that right.  In Mississippi some people believe that the navigators could expand Medicaid.  There seems to be a concerted effort by the neo-feudalists to constrict access to health care, in a state in which 1 in four adults lack health insurance including “one in three among adults 44 or younger.” In Mississippi “less than half the employers even offer insurance.”  The pretense that all is well and Mississippi should just not address the problem is indicative of the delusional southern mind that contributes to the state’s position nationally.  Talk about burying you head in the sand when it comes to health care. 

You see Mississippi is one of those places where officials rail against an agenda “controlled by Washington” when it comes to health care while lobbying to get more military institutions which are controlled by Washington.  Conservatives aren’t really against government.  They don’t really want smaller government.  They just want to be able to target the government expenditures toward the areas that they or their friends can derive the greatest benefit.  They have a preference for oligarchs and neo-feudalism where they channel the collective resources to themselves and their Heritage Fund protected masters and everyone can just go to them for “charity.”  

Bryant trusts no part of health care overhaul | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Government Shutdown Cost $24 Billion, According to Standard & Poor’s | TIME.com

Way to burn $24 billion!!!  This cremation was brought to you, recently furloughed, anxiety-filled workers, by people who complained of the uncertainty of the Affordable Care Act.  This destruction was brought to you by the gang that is willing to economically destroy their own voters.  This gang is willing to inflict pain on their constituents, people who in 2014 will probably vote for them again, because their constituents are people who are willing to believe that Obama is a secret Moslem who was born in Kenya, easily abused people who equate belief with fact.  The exploitative, Tea Party-driven Representatives and Senators who were willing to sacrifice $24 billion in GDP in a gamble to get the President and the the Democrat-controlled Senate to kill a law that Teabaggers say is killing the economy are not hurt by what Republican Senator Richard Burr called “[t]he dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.”  They will continue to receive access to excellent health care and $174,000 per year.  You have to wonder where will the Teabagger Representatives and Senators get their donations as they support policies which will deplete the resources of their voters whether furloughed workers or people who were hindered by the $24 billion GDP hit and the victims of off-shoring and outsourcing?  The answer is the same people who fund Heritage and Cato, the people who stand to gain the most from cheap labor and an eviscerated middle class, the people who stir antagonism for immigrants as a means of diverting attention from the off-shoring of profits and outsourcing of jobs.  You guessed it the RepubliCons who are longing for an opportunity to elect a President who can put another corporations-Scalia clone on the Supreme Court.  When you look at places like Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and other Red States where voters vote for people like Paul Ryan who propose to “slash spending for the poor”and “privatize Social Security and voucherize Medicare”  you have to know that you are dealing with people who Noam Scheiber might refer to as “aspirationally rational people too dense to grasp the big picture,” a big picture which clearly shows that they are the tools of their own destruction. 

Government Shutdown Cost $24 Billion, According to Standard & Poor’s | TIME.com