Tag Archives: clarion ledger

Glad Humpty is Gone

So glad all the kings horses and all the kings men failed. Unlike the conservative writer who recently lamented the loss of pre-FDR America,* likening it to Humpty Dumpty, “broken beyond repair,” and deified it as the “system of government originally established to foster capitalism,” I do not long for Humpty. I do not long, Mr. Clueless Conservative, for pre-FDIC America replete with Hoovervilles. I am thankful for socialism which gave us a TVA, FHA, Social Security, and land grant colleges. You may see American socialism as a corruption of government but I, for one, am glad for the redistribution that gave us an Interstate Highway System. I am forever thankful for the redistribution embodied in the roads developed for rural mail delivery. The G.I. bill’s wealth redistribution was a godsend and blessed men with education from which the nation is still deriving returns. We need more of it, higher education subsidies; forward thinking nations do (see Germany). No, if the system before FDR was Humpty Dumpty then may he rest in peace. It is only from the safety of environments enhanced by socialism that some so blindly attack its interspersing. American conservatives are as great advocates of socialism as liberals or progressives.

* Socialism continues to corrupt government: Letter
Oliver B. Triplett III, Forest November 6, 2014 ~ CLARION LEDGER

Jameson Taylor: Demonizing now a common tactic | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

This from the birth-certificate-secret-Moslem-against-Obama crowd.  Demonization has been the bread and butter of the Tea-Party, cousins of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy(Jameson Taylor’s) people.  In fact his organization is only a front for the oligarchs.  Consider them the Mississippi branch of the Heritage Foundation, it the creation of the Koch brothers and Paul-shrink-the-electorate Weyrich.  Only in the twisted minds of the conservatives is inequality not tantanmount to bigotry. 

And of course those who oppose the insurance exchanges are protecting the oligarch-centric status quo.  Of course the corporate front groups like the Mississippi Public Policy Center would see Medicaid as a failure and long for a return to the days when doctors accepted chickens for check-ups. 

Chickens for check-ups

And you could never expect these so-called champions of the free-market to lobby for removal of the anti-trust exemption that the insurance industry has because they are fakes and aren’t interested in bettering the condition of the average American.  They are only here to confuse you and muddy the waters to protect the status quo.  You come to expect them to say things like “Never mind that the Bible also teaches we should pay our debts and that expanding government entitlement programs unjustly burdens future generations. “  But they can’t show you where in the bible Jesus dunned a paraplegic for his healing or turned the healed blind man’s bill over to collections subsequently driving him into bankruptcy.  So they have to forgive us, if they can find that concept in their bible, for thinking of them as merciless, even if they feel “demonized.” 

And when this crowd that feels demonized says “Medicaid patients have much higher mortality rates and much poorer health outcomes than people on private insurance.”  Did they ever stop to think that to the extent that that is true, if it is true at all, then the difference might have something to do with income-related environmental factors, i.e. the availability and costs of healthy food, and environmental pollution factors which give health conditions before treatment or diagnosis different starting points.

And then the disingenuous corporate flacks say “As hard as it is to believe, Medicaid patients even fare worse than the uninsured — many of whom are getting health care in some way, but paying out-of-pocket for it.”  If the uninsured are paying “out-of-pocket” we are dealing with quite a different group, from an income level, than those who qualify for Medicaid. So the question is who are you counting as uninsured?  And using the emergency room for primary care is not a serious comparison to having Medicaid. 

 

    The commentators arguing that Medicaid causes poor outcomes anticipate some objections by noting that the cited studies include some variables to address socioeconomic and cultural factors that
    can negatively influence the health of poorer Medicaid patients. Their interpretation of the results, then, must be that Medicaid patients have worse clinical outcomes than uninsured patients with the same socioeconomic and cultural characteristics, including, presumably, health-related behavior before and after a given procedure.

    If so, the problem must lie with the physicians and hospitals (many of them academic medical centers) providing care for Medicaid patients. Are these commentators assuming that poor, uninsured patients, who in principle may qualify for Medicaid, actually have the resources to pay doctors and hospitals more than Medicaid would and that providers therefore give these patients better care and attention, leading to better outcomes? Or is the assumption that only less technically proficient doctors and health care facilities accept Medicaid patients, and the associated lack of skill and resources results in poor clinical outcomes?

It is simply odd, to put it in non-demonizing terms, that these conservative think-tank guys have so much concern for the poor and uninsured now after a Democratic House, Senate, and President started supplying legislation to address pre-existing conditions and life-time caps and money to close the donut hole and money for additional primary care doctors.  And “The ACA authorizes money to increase the primary care workforce by training more doctors, nurses, nurse-practitioners and physician assistants. It includes more graduate medical education training positions, with priorities for primary care and general surgery, and more money for scholarships and loans for all health professionals. The law expands the number of patients seen at community health centers in areas with too few doctors and increases the number of staffers who work in the centers. It also expands nurse-managed clinics at nursing schools where nurses in training see patients who live in the area.”

But the truth is that Medicaid is working and so is Medicare despite efforts by the corporatists to degrade and destroy them at every term and install in their place a greater neo-feudal system.

 

Jameson Taylor: Demonizing now a common tactic | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Yokohama Y’all!!!, Big government Japanese expose hypocracy of small government Mississippians

Thank God for the Buddhist or whatever those Japanese are who are bringing (with government aid) the Yokohama Tire plant to Clay County, Mississippi with its 18% unemployment rate?  Sorry, Morris (Morris Thigpen, the head of the local Heritage Foundation clone, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy) that you guys didn’t get a chance to plan a Cato-attack a la the recent Mississippi Insurance Exchange assault or animate supposed “big-government” opposition similar to the anti-economic-growth-medical-infrastructure-strangling Medicaid-expansion opposition.  There are never any estimates of the number of jobs we’ll create by not expanding Medicaid or by not wooing the Japanese to build here with that (you-didn’t-build-that-alone) government assistance. Surely not expanding Medicaid will be as economically beneficial as not implementing Medicaid or Medicare would have been.  And just think how many more jobs we would have had in the south if the government hadn’t created the TVA, and there would not have been a “TVA official”* to “quickly summon” to answer “Japanese execs” questions about power for Yokohama.  Now if we can just allow some Buddhists, exercising Mississippi’s new religious freedom law, to pray at school assemblies and football games we can get really get things going economically.

*

*Clarion Ledger “Landing Clay County tire plant was no easy task” Apr. 27, 2013

 

If the Japanese execs had a question about power, for example, a TVA official was quickly summoned”

Nothing eery about voter ID | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Nothing eery about voter ID | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com.

All of a sudden I saw it. It had reappeared on the internet, a defense of Mississippi’s photo ID law from a reader in Alabama. It was time to take another one down and perform an autopsy.

Inside the guts of “Nothing eery about voter ID”

Nothing eery about voter ID

Autopsy of a Stimulus Slander (“Rest of Story?”, Really?”)

Marco Rubio in the Republican Response to President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address resurrected the Solyndra attack from last year’s Presidential election. Anticipating the resurrection of an attempt to attack the stimulus aka the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), I examine the guts of a letter-to-the-editor from December 2011, which are sure to be part of a RepubliZombie smorgasbord to come.

“Rest of Story” letter from 2011 (Critiqued)


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‘Rest of story’ on stimulus jobs | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Solyndra, a diversion by any other name would not be as sweet.

There it was again. A Republican, this time Marco Rubio in the Republican response to the President’s 2013 State of the Union Address, was using Solyndra as a reason to pull back from clean energy investment, sweet music to the Heritage-government-is-the-problem crowd.

“Instead of wasting more taxpayer money on so-called “clean energy” companies like Solyndra, let’s open up more federal lands for safe and responsible exploration,” comes the Rubio sugary-soaked gruel.
What makes this appeal so dangerous is that it echoes the ignorance of a base which believes, after years of saccharine-sounding sedation, that free markets actually exist, a base which thinks that the reason that Solyndra failed was that it was a terrible company and that governments shouldn’t and don’t favor and aid industries in their bid to be successful. What Rubio won’t say to his base because his well-heeled donors won’t allow it is ““the Chinese government poured $33 billion into its solar industry in 2010, allowing Chinese companies to produce solar panels at a fraction of the cost that American companies like Solyndra were paying.” That’s what the oil and gas industry doesn’t want the Fox viewers to know.

“As part of the conspiracy to monopolize the solar market and as part of the Export Plan, the China Development Bank, the Bank of China, and the Export-Import Bank of China loaned defendants over $17 billion at below-market rates,” according to the suit. “Through a scheme known as “extend and pretend” the co-conspirator banks roll over loans from year to year, rather than requiring payment when the loans are due. Suntech, which has nearly $1.6 billion in loans due this year, has banked on the ‘extend and pretend’ scheme, intending to roll over most of its loans until (at least) 2013.”

But the Republican base cheers every mention of Solyndra seeing it as an attack on the Obama Administration, never realizing that China is engaged in a real honest-to-goodness trade war with their country (America) and this honey-coated dung pile leaves the American taxpayer less able to afford the medical and educational infrastructure it needs to thrive and aides and abets the demise of the American middle class which allows comfortable-cat-bird-seat conservatives to cast many more American’s, who don’t have the ability to stash cash and profits offshore, as 47% er’s while concentrating wealth in the hands of those most connected with fossil fuels by diminishing alternative energy’s appeal and viability. The Chinese sympathizers (those who selectively see and complain about and attack the American government’s involvement in markets conveniently ignoring the same by the Chinese) those sympathizers who benefit most as they amass wealth, some while capping wells for which they held leases that didn’t bring sufficient “profit,” must think everytime the product of Heritage-Cato-Koch-brothers propaganda, some misguided, middle-class conservative or poor conservative even in places like Mississippi, utters the name Solyndra, they must think “how sweet it is” to have so many “conservatives” naively preserving our putrid, perfumed poop pyramid, smothered in un-needed subsidies stacked on booby-traps of Deep-Water-Horizon-Exxon-Valdez-Colonial-Pipeline(Greensboro North Carolina)-sized externalities. And they’ve convinced the public that green energy technology is too expensive all the while gushing concern about debt left to our children. Yeah, that’s the ticket!!!

Scrambled Religion for Breakfast?

Just watched Dr. Carson’s speech at the recent National Prayer Breakfast. Never knew he was a spokesman for FreedomWorks and the Heritage Foundation with all that talk about Health Savings Accounts(at 21:10 in the video). In his deified “free-enterprise” system (a system that has never existed when you considered how big players routinely combined to bar entry and restrict competition see McCarran–Ferguson Act) how many “85 year-olds” with “six diseases” are going to have anything in a HSA to pay medical bills? When you consider the crack about not having to worry about a “Dealth Panel” because you have an HSA that may be the idea behind the practice basically to make sure that survival of the economic fitness is given a chance to fully flower. Who needs any stinking end of life counseling? Just let the money run, end of conversation. Isn’t that so much more humane?
(Listen to Dr. Carson’s example about the diabetic “choosing” to go the clinic instead of the emergency room because of the amount of money he has in his HSA at about 21:40 in the video)

In this “free-enterprise” system who is the “we” who will put money into the HSA’s (would they be like a Goldman-Sachs account) of the indigent instead of some implied “Medicare-like bureaucracy” as you propose? What is amazing is how American-styled capitalism (it’s not the only type of capitalism that exists) how American-style capitalism has left us a nation where doctors who have Jesus as a role model (see video about 17:58), I don’t recall Jesus charging the paralytic for healing or the lepers filing bankruptcy because they couldn’t pay for their cure, are supporting a health system which is put to shame by the Buddhist in Japan :).

Lee Atwater’s dog whistle may kill Mississippi’s Insects

The silence of a significant portion of Mississippian Republicans illustrates how responsive they are to the smaller-government and free-market dog whistles. They should be howling at the obstruction of Medicaid expansion. Smaller government should be anathema to Mississippians when you consider the state’s median income ($$36,919 vs. $50,054 U.S.), and per capita income ($28,845 vs. $38,611 for the country), when you consider the number of people who supplement their income by joining the national guard, when you consider the state’s farm subsidies, when you consider the boon to ship building the government has been for Mississippi (Ingalls Shipbuilding is the state’s largest private employer). And then there is the irreconcilable differences between the call for free markets and all of the afore-mentioned government intervention. We won’t get into the godsend that the government programs Medicare and Social Security have been to Mississippi and how the “free market” god couldn’t have cared less no matter what it’s disciples claim. You began to understand how the dog whistle works when despite the reference to voters and some of their constituents as bugs (coming out of the woodwork to receive government subsidized healthcare) RepubliCons still get so much support from the poor in Mississippi many of whom count themselves as Republicans. You see Lee Atwater summed it up best: Make sure you’re “talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.” In light of the fact that not everyone who would get access to healthcare under Medicaid expansion is black, that Atwater dog whistle may prove deadly to some of the people responding to it.

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Republican Playing Voted ID Games(2)

Deciding whether to believe the Brennan Center study which “estimated 48,000 low-income Mississippians could have trouble obtaining government-issued photo identification” or an afterthought-study (no federal observers, eligible voter percentages) which suggests only 21,855 Mississippians total would need one?

Mind you, the afterthought was prepared by proponents who requested $395,000 for poll-tax (driver’s licenses aren’t free and Mississippi’s unexpired license requirement is tantamount to a recurring voting fee) ID litigation and requested none for related education and outreach.

A very conservative figure for a Mississippi education and outreach program would be $200,000. Georgia’s costs $840,000 and featured radio and TV public service announcements, direct mail, and packages to government agencies. And then there’s this post-Civil War purge element: “a person can obtain the free voter ID card at a clerk’s office by presenting the same material accepted to register to vote.”

This Haneyism, after Mr. Haney from television’s “Green Acres,” masks the fundamental change in Mississippi voting requirements. Proponent, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann knows full well that Mississippians didn’t need to present a birth certificate to register to vote before the disenfranchisement legislation, therefore this implied ease is most disingenuous. And where, Mr. Haney, is the money for the clerk’s office “to access birth records” and who will pay?

Registered voters have registration cards, and in signing a voter roll are affirming their identity, like swearing to tell the truth in a court of law (without showing a photo ID to the judge). Mississippi Republicans have in effect established the presumption of guilt in voting law and suggest cheating is rampant, when nearly every statewide official is, ahem, Republican.

Mississippi’s Photo ID

In reference to the Clarion Ledger opinion piece entitled “Republicans playing voter ID games”

I am responding to the following comment within the quotes (” “) on the piece

by Trenton Winford

” First, can you not simply reply to the actual post? This is ridiculous.

Second, I honestly do not care what Karl Rove does or does not do because he has no say in Mississippi policy. This is a Mississippi law. Period.

As for preventing something that is not a current problem, that is exactly what preventive medicine, health awareness campaigns, abstinence-plus sex ed, subsidies, etc. are. Do you have a problem with all of those, too? ”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Of course Mississippi RepubliCons would like to convince the unaware that they “honestly do not care what Karl Rove does or does not do because he has no say in Mississippi policy. This is a Mississippi law. Period.”

The initiative which became the Mississippi photo ID law and which a Mississippi state Senator (Joey Filligane) originally put into circulation is oddly, nearly identical to ALEC model legislation. The average Mississippian didn’t know that and probably thinks the law was some sort of home-grown phenomenon. Although this in itself is an indication of the disingenuous faux-innocence which is the Mississippi mask, considering the ubiquity of the proliferation of these laws in RepubliCon spheres nationwide. Some Mississippians will pretend not to know that this voter constriction has been part of the national RepubliCon game plan for some time. And Mississippi Republicans who aren’t aware that they are running plays from this playbook must belong to that know-nothing, Rip-Van-Winkle-Tea party.