Tag Archives: current-events

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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Et tu, Federal Government?

Thus comes the cry from Mississippi’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. Claiming somehow that he expected approval for a plan he submitted to the Department of HHS without the Governor’s signature he ridiculously cries betrayal(A State’s Declaration Letter must be signed by the State’s Governor). Futhermore Mr. Chaney chose to ignore the fact that the Affordable Care Act “says that the exchanges have to be one-stop shops for both private insurance and Medicaid.”
How can Chaney get away with such blatant misinformation? He is basically running interference for big insurance companies while pretending to be for the average working Mississippian. He and other Mississippi RepubliCons talk of free-market approaches as a remedy for rising health care costs when they know full well that the health insurance industry has the McCarran–Ferguson Act and lack of regulation, which saddles Americans with billions of dollars a year in excess costs, in place to maintain the existing order and to harden the stratification and widen the wealth gap.

This is understandable in Mississippi, where some are not entitled to freedom from want of health care. Mississippians, owing to a basic fear of change and obeisance to crypto-fascist “leadership,” are destined to remain last in so many categories. When you consider farm subsidies and military installations and the boon to ship building provided by the federal government and, historically, earmarks, the Federal government to Mississippi is not betrayer, Mr. Chaney, but the love which dare not speak its name.

Oops! They said it again!

Mississippi State Senate Speaker Philip Gun admits he agrees with Tip O’Neill, “all politics is local.” Why else would Speaker Gunn lead the State House in avoding a plan that “would save the state millions in lease payments” and “make government more efficient?” Let the Speaker speak: “I represent the people of Clinton, and they sent me here to look out for their interests. We believe it’s in the best interests of my constituents for it to be in Clinton, for those jobs to stay in the area,” Speaker Gunn says. You read it correctly so you don’t need reading glasses. And forget the hearing aides because there is no rising din of discontent from the Mississippi Teabaggers. Don’t expect them to champion a plan that shows the state “would save almost $30 million dollars over 20 years” by purchasing the Landmark Center in the state capitol, Jackson, and relocating DOR and other agencies there. You see Republicans are only fiscal conservative when someone else benefits from government (Hurricane Sandy vs. Deep Water Horizon or Katrina). When conservatives say we are all on a diet, that we have a spending prorblem, watch carefully and you’ll see them double back to the kitchen and steal the $30 million cake.

Inaugural Dress Down?

It’s not surprising that the Obama’s don’t fit in Bridet Foley’s idea of what’s fair . With FLOTUS Michelle Obama selecting inaugural clothing you can’t “rule out a hundred-to-one-shot dark horse. Wu seized the honor in 2009 and soon after cannonballed into fame” ~ The Inauguration: What Should Michelle Obama Wear?
By Rosemary Feitelberg and Bobbi Queen
). If Mrs. Obama wanted Bridget Foley’s opinion, I am quite certain she would have asked for it.  But as things stand, the first lady probably cares about as much about what Bridget Foley thinks as I do about cowpaddies on any given range in Montana.  Thanks Bridget for caring enough to slam someone who has stressed the kind fashion accessibility and commercial boost that J Crew appreciates even if you don’t.

Pathways of Privilege

Being white and male gives you legacy advantages that you probably don’t realize you have, even in the age of Obama. John Kerry is obviously eminently qualified to be Secretary of State. It is the pathway to those qualifications, even in liberal Massachusetts, which played a role in his nomination. I might add that those pathways to qualifications have also greatly restricted African-American access to contributions to represenstation in the South (and to a lessor degree nationally when you take into account U.S. senators from Illinois and Massachuessetts) since the Redemption of the 19th century. Part of the foundation for this observation was the things like the following:

“After sustaining criticism from Republican Senators including John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-Ga., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Rice said in a letter to President Obama, “I am convinced now that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly– to you and our most pressing national interests and international priorities.”

Kerry, in contrast, began his confirmation process with a series of jokes to his colleagues. ”I don’t want this to affect your opening questions. But let me say I’ve never seen a more distinguished and better looking group of public officials in my life,” Kerry said to laughter. In a show of bipartisanship, McCain introduced “[his] friend Senator Kerry” along with introductions from Clinton and newly-elected Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.” “““`MSNBC

The presence of Secretary of State Clinton and Senator Warren and many other women, along with President Obama is evidence that the pathways are multiplying and opening. This is evidence of the liberal evolution of the nation. But you’ll have to drag the South into this bold new world, because that Republican Southern Strategy intersected with anti-labor pro-corporate strategy that continues to assist in hurtling American labor on a downward trajectory in a fashion that has made certain that there has not been one black U.S. Senator or U.S. Representaive or Governor in places like Mississippi, Alabama, or Louisiana (places with substiantial black populations) since the Redemption. It is in this world that photo ID is used as a new access restriction device. Restrict the number and economic groups of people who participate in the democratic process and you can determine the gender and race of the representatives and the democratic content of the policies (including how widely prosperity is dispersed)that the government produces.