Stu thank you for making this film and for being here. And Michelle, thank you for working on all aspects form post to present to get it out there.Firepups and firebaggers, as always--thank you!
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So want to have some fun on April 17th when you drop off your tax return at the Post Office? It seems there are going to be some tax protests at different locations around New York City to call out some people and corporations who manipulate the tax code[...]
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Now that the major players in the 2012 presidential sweepstakes are absolutely clear, we got our first small dose of post-Santorum national polling to kickoff the week.
Firm conclusions, meanwhile, are pretty hard to come by. Two pollsters kicked off the week by putting Barack Obama a few points behind Mitt Romney. Before the drape measuring begins, however, there are two critical caveats. Caveat #1: two other pollsters give the president the lead, and one by a not-insignificant margin. Caveat #2: both pollsters offering a Romney lead are pollsters that have been more bullish than the norm for the GOP this year.
First, the numbers shall flow. Then, the analysis will follow.
GOP (PRESIDENTIAL) PRIMARY POLLING (Yes...Really!)
NATIONAL (CNN/Opinion Research): Romney 57, Gingrich 19, Paul 18PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (CNN/Opinion Research): Obama d. Romney (52-43)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-45)
NATIONAL (Ipsos/Reuters): Obama d. Romney (47-43)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-44)
WISCONSIN (PPP for Daily Kos): Obama d. Romney (50-44)
AZ-02/AZ-08 (National Research-R): Jesse Kelly (R) 49, Ron Barber (D) 45; Barber 42, Martha McSally (R) 42A few thoughts, as always, await you after the jump.
NC-GOV--D (Tulchin Research-D): Bob Etheridge 32, Walter Dalton 22, Bill Faison 4
WI-GOV (PPP for Daily Kos): Gov. Scott Walker (R) 50, Tom Barrett (D) 45; Walker 50, Kathleen Falk (D) 43; Walker 51, Doug LaFollette (D) 40; Walker 50, Kathleen Vinehout (D) 38
WI-GOV--D (PPP for Daily Kos): Tom Barrett 38, Kathleen Falk 24, Doug LaFollette 9, Kathleen Vinehout 6
WI-LT GOV (PPP for Daily Kos): Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) 46, Mahlon Mitchell (D) 40
WI-SEN (PPP for Daily Kos): Tommy Thompson (R) 47, Tammy Baldwin (D) 45; Baldwin 46, Mark Neumann (R) 45; Baldwin 47, Jeff Fitzgerald (R) 40
We knew that this wasn’t going to be easy. The Republicans will continue to side with[...]
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So the only thing we have with which we can compare the Affordable Care Act shows that it works to lower the cost of insurance. Kind of a roundabout, convoluted way to provide health care, and nowhere near as cheap as single payer, but at least it does lessen the crushing financial burden of the crazy system we still have:
BOSTON, April 14 (UPI) -- Massachusetts residents who participate in the state's healthcare program are seeing their insurance premiums going down by 5 percent, officials say.
While healthcare insurance premiums have gone up in other states, those participating in the state's Health Connector Commonwealth Care program are enjoying a second year of reduced premium payments courtesy of the healthcare reform act signed into law by then Gov. Mitt Romney, Forbes.com reported.
President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act was patterned under Romney's program in Massachusetts and designed to lower the amount of "free riders," people who don't buy or can't afford healthcare insurance but cannot by law, be turned away at a hospital emergency room if they have a life-threatening illness, by mandating the purchase of healthcare insurance.
Let me point out that the definition of "life-threatening illness" is a narrow one, and varies from hospital to hospital. For instance, if you go to the emergency room with severe pain, they test you and it turns out you have cancer, they don't have to treat your cancer -- unless, for example, a tumor is blocking your lungs and you can't breathe. It doesn't mean they have to remove the tumor, but they might do a tracheotomy. And they only have to treat your life-threatening illness if they diagnose it. (You may have noticed they don't always order the most accurate tests if you don't have insurance.) And they don't really have to "treat" it - they have to stabilize it.
Most importantly, they will send in a social worker to see if they can get you covered under a special federal program for indigent care. This is worth a shot; don't give up. If you're penniless, they can probably help you. (I wasn't poor enough.)
When I made repeated visits to the ER with pancreatitis caused by gallstones, I was sent home -- even though the GI doctor kept telling me my condition was life-threatening. What I learned is that many conditions are only life-threatening if you have insurance that will pay to cover the treatment. And who can blame them when they're trying to keep their doors open? (What a strange, evil system we have.)
Currently, Massachusetts has the highest level of healthcare coverage in the country with more than 98 percent of its residents having healthcare insurance, but ranking as the 48th lowest state in the nation in healthcare expenditures.
The combined saving of last year and this year will save the state approximately $91 million with no benefit reductions or member co-pay increases, the report said.
In Florida, by the way, people who buy their own health insurance are getting rebates. I suspect the more people benefit from Obamacare, the more they're going to like it, because it is an improvement over the previous rape-and-pillage policies:
Floridians who buy health insurance without the help of an employer can expect estimated rebates of $143 to $949 in August because of the federal health care overhaul.
About 157,000 individuals and families qualify. In addition, an estimated $65 million in health insurance rebates are in line to be split among workers covered at 352,000 small businesses, the Sun Sentinel found by analyzing reports filed this month by 15 of the largest insurers in Florida.
Don't expect cash back if you get health coverage from an employer of more than 50 workers. Few of their insurers will owe rebates, and many companies are self-insured and not affected by the health law, insurance experts said.
"This is important for consumers," said Richard Polangin, health care policy coordinator with the advocacy organization Florida Public Interest Research Group. "They already pay extremely high prices for health insurance."
Why didn’t I think of this? I’m good at putting tubes into people and there’s big money in it…
Really… a feeding-tube diet?
Yes. Patients following the K-E (ketogenic enteral nutrition) diet wear a feeding tube in their nose for 10 days. The tube delivers 800 calories a day and promises the loss of 10 percent of the patient’s body weight or up to 20 pounds. While it’s new in the U.S., the technique has been used for years in Europe. And it’s effective, Dr. Oliver Di Pietro tells ABC News. “Within a few hours your hunger and appetite go away completely, so patients are actually not hungry at all for the whole 10 days.”
This made me flash back to a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode where Gypsy is talking to one of the brain guys–who are so advanced they carry their brains on trays. “Wouldn’t it be easier to keep your brains, like, inside your heads?”
Wouldn’t it be easier to put the ketogenic super shake, like, in your mouth and swallow it? Does having a tube shoved up your nose really kill your appetite? Maybe it has that effect on the people who have to look at you.
There’s no mystery in the science here. If you cut down to 800 calories a day you will lose weight. A tube in your nose will give you something to think about besides food, and the program is so expensive and wedding date so unforgiving that motivation takes care of itself.
The above illustration is not an accurate representation of the pre-wedding diet. It shows a male. There’s no way a guy is going to spend his last few weeks of bachelorhood starving with a tube up his nose. Unless he is afflicted with gastritis.
I’m opening a weight loss center. I’ll stick a small cork in one of your nostrils and give you a thermos of unflavored feeding tube formula– it tastes terrible. For tough cases, I’ll hit you over the head with a whiffle bat. If you stick with my program you are guaranteed to lose weight. I take personal checks, cash and change you find under the couch.
And think about the poor folks who have a nasogastric tube because there’s something really wrong with their stomach. Lots of them are tiny babies. Why aren’t the grown women just enjoying their wedding and counting their blessings? There’s worse things than being buxom.
"[T]he police backed down, and the standoff turned into a victory celebration, catered by [Ben] Cohen. Some activists boycotted the ice-cream party. 'One very loud Occupier walked up and down shouting about how Ben & Jerry's is owned by a corporation that is part of the problem,' he said. 'I understand his point of view. All I can say is: the line for ice cream did not get any shorter.' "
-- from Andrew Marantz's April 23 New Yorker "Talk of
the Town" report (only an abstract available free online)
Unfortunately high quality of soul is no guarantee of high quality of ice-cream manufacture, any more than high quality of ice-cream manufacture is a guarantee of high quality of soul. That said, the ice cream that Ben Cohen and Jerry Goldfield set out to make became as good as it was, and the company they ran -- whey they ran it -- was as good a capitalist citizen as it was, because the founders are pretty darned good people.
I was both tickled and touched to read this New Yorker "Talk of the Town" piece by Andrew Marantz, and thought you might enjoy reading this portion of it too.
Cohen, who is sixty-one, has a ruddy, clean-shaven face (Jerry is the one with the beard). He talks slowly, chuckles often, and wears comfortable shoes. Last October 12th, Cohen left his home, in Burlington, Vermont, and arrived at Zuccotti Park with a freezer full of ice cream, hoping to feed hungry protesters. But they had more pressing concerns: the police were threatening to force everyone from the park the following morning, and people were staying up, singing protest songs and preparing to be arrested. "It was amazing," Cohen said. "I kept texting Jerry to tell him what I was seeing." The next day, the police backed down, and the standoff turned into a victory celebration, catered by Cohen. Some activists boycotted the ice-cream party. "One very loud Occupier walked up and down shouting about how Ben & Jerry's is owned by a corporation that is part of the problem," he said. "I understand his point of view. All I can say is: the line for ice cream did not get any shorter."
Cohen continued to visit encampments across the country, bearing Chunky Monkey. In January, hoping to contribute something more solid to the movement, he founded the Business Affinity roup. The idea was to find one-per-centers for the ninety-nine per cent, including businesspeople "who might lend the movement some mainstream support and credibility -- but who probably would not go down to Zuccotti Park themselves." Many Occupiers were wary, so Cohen renamed his effort Occupy Money Group. "But that made it sound like we were the official fund-raising arm of the movement, which we are not," Cohen said. The name changed again, to Movement Resource Group. M.R.G. acts like a foundation, funding projects on the strength of written proposals. So far, M.R.G. has raised four hundred thousand dollars, and it has given small grants to a health-care conference in Montana and an Occupy radio station in Astoria. Several times a month, Cohen flies from Burlington to New York, and bikes to meetings with potential donors.
To celbrate President Obama's inauguration, Ben & Jerry's released a flavor called Yes Pecan! What about an Occupy-themed flavor? "It's come up," Cohen said. But he no longer has power within the company -- it was sold, over his objections, in 2000 -- and Unilever, the corporate parent, has been reluctant to endorse the movement. "My idea was to call it Choccupy, and it would be all vanilla with one big chunk of chocolate on top. You could just eat the chocolate and pretend you're part of the one per cent, or you could break it up and mix it with the rest of the ninety-nine per cent, and make chocolate chip."
In an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that will air tonight, Mitt Romney refuses to say whether he would sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a law that helps women hold accountable employers who discriminate in the pay practices based on gender. Asked about the law, Romney said he supports equal pay for women and has no plans to change the law, but wouldn’t say if he would have signed it, laying out the odd standard that he won’t weigh on “prior laws”:
DIANE SAWYER: I want to talk about a couple of issues relating to women. This 19 point difference between you and the president on women. Here are some specific questions. If you were president– you had been president– would you have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Law?
MITT ROMNEY: It’s certainly a piece of legislation I have no intend– intention of changing. I wasn’t there three years ago–
DIANE SAWYER: But would you have signed it?
MITT ROMNEY: –so I– I’m not going to go back and look at all the prior laws and say had I been there which ones would I have supported and signed, but I certainly support equal pay for women and– and have no intention of changing that law, don’t think there’s a reason to.
Previously, the Romney campaign said the presumed GOP nominee would not seek to change existing laws. That came after the campaign had said they weren’t sure where Romney stood on it.
Romney’s suggestion that he won’t revisit prior law when it comes to Lilly Ledbetter is unusual, especially considering that he’s had no problem saying that he would have vetoed and will work to repeal plenty of laws, such as the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.
After the 2011 T?hoku earthquake and tsunami, Stu Levy mobilized to volunteer his help, traveling with a group bringing food and gasoline to a shelter serving 1,000 people, where the volunteers put together a soup kitchen to feed the refugees their first[...]
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Ann Romney tells Diane Sawyer Seamus the dog thought the roof ride in the crate was awesome. [...]
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