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caraher

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Member since: Mon Aug 9, 2004, 12:33 PM
Number of posts: 4,434

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Misinformation as murder: lies about the ACA

My wife and I know a former part-time school librarian (I'll call her "Polly") where we used to live in Indiana who is currently dying of cancer. And I do mean dying, because she is not being treated except by whatever unconventional remedy she chooses to pursue at a given moment.

Last night Polly posted on Facebook a link to a Fox News story about how Obamacare was making insurance unaffordable. The dimwit protagonist of their piece reported receiving a letter from his insurance company informing him of a nearly-threefold increase in the price of his insurance, and he moaned that this renders coverage completely unaffordable. Of course, unreported are the likelihood that his bare-bones coverage has been upgraded and, more importantly, that he would certainly be eligible for a substantial subsidy that would erase most, if not all, of that rate increase. Polly moaned that this development clearly puts desperately-needed coverage just that much further out of reach.

My wife and I then spend the next hour or so collectively trying to talk her down from the heights of Faux News hysteria. We urged her to visit healthcare.gov and check her eligibility for a subsidy. She retorted that another cancer patient had told her Obamacare coverage would be $30,000 a year. We forwarded grantcart's story of his experience of learning the true cost and benefits offered. She claimed to have visited healthcare.gov but declared it a "scam." She moaned that the government wants her dead because it's prohibitively expensive because of her pre-existing condition. We pointed her to the fact that the law explicitly bans both coverage denial and higher premiums for pre-existing conditions.

In the end, we could not get through. My wife was beside herself. I told her this just shows how powerful the psychological need to "belong" truly is. Rejecting "Obamacare" is, for the willfully misinformed, an act of identifying with a larger group that maintains itself, in part, by acknowledging only the peculiar alternate reality they've created for themselves. They recognize each other through their shared myths.

I'm hesitant to blame her, or even the ill-informed Tea Party herd, too much. But I will blame the people who make a living from promoting lies. They are the real "death panels." They are killing people by infecting them with irrational fear. They are killing people as I write, and in a few months I'll unfortunately be able to meet the challenge of naming one I know they've murdered.

AP Exclusive: GOP Donor's School Grade Changed

Fucking criminals: Indiana "reformers" move the goalposts to make charters look good by changing the formula when anointed schools failed to perform. Smartest thing Indiana voters ever did was get rid of the hopelessly corrupt Tony Bennett - sorry, Florida, he's your nightmare now!

Big donor's pet charter failed to score the promised "A" under the state's school grading system. In fact, Bennett went ballistic when he learned what Christel House received initially, a "2.9, or a 'C'," mainly because only a third of 9th grade students passed the algebra test. Bennett demanded the school get an "A" because he'd been describing them as the model of an "A" school all year long...


When requested a status update Sept. 14, his staff alerted him that the new school grade, a 3.50, was painfully close to an "A." Then-deputy chief of staff Marcie Brown wrote that the state might not be able to "legally" change the cutoff for an "A."

"We can revise the rule," Bennett responded.

Over the next week, his top staff worked arduously to get Christel House its "A." By Sept. 21, Christel House had jumped to a 3.75. Gubera resigned shortly afterward.


Be sure to read the emails and other documents themselves...

Bennett's marching orders
Bennett admits to, and denies, being a liar
Fudging of grades declared complete
Check out the tables where they are proud of making charters look better
Some details of how they massaged their formulas

Bear Run coal mine story in Indy Star

Looking to expand the state's lead in water pollution?

Indiana has the highest amount of toxic discharges to bodies of water among all states, according to a review of 2007 federal data by the policy group Environment America, the most recent such analysis. Indiana released 27 million pounds of toxic waste into its waterways that year -- 49 percent more than the next highest state and more than 11 percent of the nation's total.


You have to know your regulatory process is inadequate when West Virginia officials talk about how backward it is:

"You're behind the times in Indiana," said Deputy Director Lewis Halstead of the Division of Mining and Reclamation at West Virginia's Department of Environmental Protection.


See no evil...

Bruno Pigott, the assistant commissioner of IDEM's Office of Water Quality, said the state also might detect problems during its occasional tests of state water bodies. And, he said, coal mines are supposed to volunteer evidence of any additional pollutants to the state.

"If they don't know about something being discharged," Pigott acknowledged, "then they can't report something."


This is a disgrace. One thing I wonder, though, is what would happen if independent testing revealed a problem with one of the pollutants they're (deliberately) not testing for. Would that trigger a review of the permit?
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