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Bill USA

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Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,916

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

North Carolina Voters Confront GOP (Corporate Friend) Congressman For Trying To Repeal Obamacare


In Washington, D.C., Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) issues countless press releases boasting about his votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, insisting that his constituents in North Carolina are clamoring for relief from the law. But during a town hall in Swannanoa on Wednesday, voters confronted the five-term Congressman with an entirely different sentiment: they demanded to know why Republicans would take away the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions without offering any credible other alternative for reforming the health care system. One grieving mother, who spoke to reporters before the event, said that her son was denied insurance because of a pre-existing health condition and eventually died of colon cancer.

These comments forced McHenry — who had repeatedly advocated for “full repeal” of Obamcare — to admit that he does support some of its most popular provisions:

(Skip) Edwards and his wife, both 63, had health insurance until he lost his job during the recession and the East Asheville couple found themselves in financial trouble despite staying relatively healthy.

Both had pre-existing conditions and were denied insurance, making them eligible for a state plan called Inclusive Health.

“It cost us $1,300 bucks a month — extremely expensive,” Edwards said. “It taps us out every month. But at our age and health, we’ve got to have it.”

McHenry, 37, has repeatedly voted against the Affordable Care Act, choosing to either defund, repeal or delay it. In defending his position, he said he did agree with some aspects of the act, including ending discrimination against pre-existing conditions and extending the age a children can stay on their parents’ health insurance.

Edwards and others wondered why McHenry would vote against a plan they feel is better than nothing at all. He said he would not vote for something he feels is bad policy.


Protesters in Chicago Take on ALEC's 'Forty Years of Corporate Greed'


Community activists, labor groups, and other progressives are making noise outside a downtown Chicago hotel on Thursday in order to draw attention to the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council's (or ALEC)—derisively known as the rightwing's regressive "law factory"—being held inside.

The anti-ALEC rally—led by groups that included StandUp! Chicago, the Center for Media & Democracy, ColorOfChange, the Chicago Federation of Labor, and others—was taking place outside the Palmer House Hotel with a call to put an end to the powerful lobbyist group.

Described as the engine of the corporate "retrograde agenda" by CMD's Mary Bottari, the laws proposed by ALEC members include "bills to roll back wages, worker rights, access to paid sick leave, and even renewable energy standards."

CMD's Brendan Fischer, who has studied the group extensively, called their operations a collusion between corporate interests and rightwing lawmakers.

ALEC is celebrating its 40th anniversary of operation this year, but the meeting in Chicago—though designed to be more secretive than ones in the past—will follow the same playbook in which "lobbyists from U.S. and foreign corporations will vote as equals alongside state legislators to adopt ALEC "model" bills, which then will be distributed nationwide with little or no disclosure of their ALEC roots."


Pelosi: GOP "anti-government ideologues" to blame for partisanship


Americans have historically low views of Congress, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says Republicans have fueled that disgust for political reasons and Democrats can win elections by highlighting GOP obstructionism.

"Nothing deters voting more than confusion, 'a pox on both your houses,' and that confusion is one of the successes of the Republican Party, to make it look equivalent in terms of who is holding up jobs. It's not equivalent, and we have to make that clear to the American people," Pelosi said Tuesday at a meeting with the USA TODAY editorial board.

Heading in to confrontations with Republicans this fall on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, funding the government, and raising the debt ceiling, Pelosi said congressional Democrats and President Obama are positioning the party as the bipartisan, cooperative alternative to what she described as the "anti-government ideologues" in the Republican Party.

"One thing that is amazing that I don't have an answer for people for is, why is it there can't be a bipartisan jobs bill passed that is significant?" she said. "One (reason) is, they don't want this president to have any successes."

Military hospitals shrinking services to meet spending cuts


Because of staff furloughs, patients are asked to practice more patience in getting health care needs met.

Patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and other premier military hospitals are being sent to private doctors and having surgery and other treatment delayed because of furloughs to medical personnel, according to interviews and internal documents.

"Please show (patients) the utmost understanding and care while we are asking them to accept longer wait times and in some cases, curtailed or limited services," Rear Adm. Alton Stocks, hospital commander, told staff in a July 12 message.

A "colleagues" memo issued in recent days says inpatient beds are in "critically short supply" because of furloughs of civilian staff triggered by federal spending cuts known as sequestration.

The memo encourages "dispositions/discharges as soon as possible." Hospital spokesperson Sandy Dean explained this direction, saying, "We are are encouraging health care providers to be more efficient when handling their paperwork instead of writing discharge orders later in the day ... no patient has been or will be discharged before it is medically appropriate."

When Doctors set their (own) pay - Our view - USA Today

(emphases my own)


Is it any shock that AMA committee has often significantly overvalued medical procedures by specialists?

Some of the most important players in setting the rates that Medicare and private insurers pay doctors are — surprise — doctors themselves. And — no surprise — certain procedures end up costing more than they should.

Here's how the system works: A little-known committee run by the American Medical Association, the trade association for doctors, analyzes thousands of procedures that doctors perform and recommends "relative values" to Medicare. More often than not, Medicare accepts the AMA data for its own complex process of setting doctor reimbursement rates.

In some ways, this make sense. Who knows more about the complexities of medical procedures than the people who actually perform them? The AMA's Relative Value Update Committee volunteers for the job and spends huge amounts of time in numbingly detailed discussions about how to value what doctors do.

But the committee is also a flawed operation that operates in semisecret. The panel gathers its raw data by surveying doctors about the time and intensity of the procedures they perform — helpfully reminding physicians that the survey can help set their pay. Is it any shock that the committee has often significantly overvalued procedures by the cardiologists, ophthalmologists and other medical specialists who make up most of its 31 members?

In 2010, for example, The Wall Street Journal reported that the committee was under fire from medical experts for overstating the time it took to place a cardiac stent in a patient's artery or perform carpal tunnel surgery on someone's wrist.

... there is more worth reading in the complete editorial

Sen Reid: "That's a clown question, bro."

... give 'em hell Harry!!

I tried to click on this post over on Video & Multimedia but every time click on this post it tells me to create new account! (Repugnant hacking??) so I'll recommend this post over here on GRs and hope that I'll give it some more exposure at the same time.

... Alright Harry!!


36 Senators Introduce Bill Prohibiting Virtually Any New Law Helping Workers - ThinkProgress


More than three-quarters of the Senate Republican caucus signed onto legislation introduced Wednesday by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rand Paul (R-KY) that could render it virtually impossible for Congress to enact any legislation intended to improve working conditions or otherwise regulate the workplace. Had their bill been in effect during the Twentieth Century, for example, there would likely be no nationwide minimum wage, no national ban on workplace discrimination, no national labor law and no overtime in most industries.

Like many Tea Party proposals to neuter the federal government, Coburn and Paul’s bill is marketed as an effort to bring America back in line with a long-ago discarded vision of the Constitution. It’s named the “Enumerated Powers Act of 2013,” a reference to the provisions of the Constitution outlining Congress’ specific powers, and it claims to require all federal legislation to “’contain a concise explanation of the specific authority in the Constitution’ that is the basis for its enactment.”

The key provision in this bill, however, would revive a discredited interpretation of the Constitution that America abandoned nearly eight decades ago. Although the text of the bill is not yet available online, a press release from Coburn’s office explains that it

“(p)rohibits the use of the Commerce Clause, except for ‘the regulation of the buying and selling of goods or services, or the transporting for those purposes, across boundaries with foreign nations, across State lines, or with Indian tribes.’”

To translate this language a bit, in the late 19th Century, the Supreme Court embraced an unusually narrow interpretation of the Constitution’s provision enabling Congress to “regulate commerce . . . among the several states.” Under this narrow reading, which lasted less than half a century, the justices said that they would only permit federal laws that regulated the transport of goods for sale or a sale itself. Manufacturing, mining, production and agriculture were all held to be beyond federal regulation. This theory was the basis for several decisions striking down basic labor protections, including a 1918 decision declaring a child labor law unconstitutional.

here is the list of cosponsors:

Senators Ayotte (R-NH),
Barrasso (R-WY),
Blunt (R-MO),
Boozman (R-AR),
Burr (R-NC),
Chambliss (R-GA),
Coats (R-IN),
Corker (R-TN),
Cornyn (R-TX),
Crapo (R-ID),
Cruz (R-TX),
Enzi (R-WY),
Fischer (R-NE),
Flake (R-AZ),
Graham (R-SC),
Grassley (R-IA),
Hatch (R-UT),
Heller (R-NV),
Inhofe (R-OK),
Isakson (R-GA),
Johnson (R-WI),
Lee (R-UT),
McCain (R-AZ),
McConnell (R-KY),
Moran (R-KS),
Risch (R-ID),
Roberts (R-KS),
Rubio (R-FL),
Scott (R-SC),
Sessions (R-AL),
Thune (R-SD),
Toomey (R-PA),
Vitter (R-LA),
and Wicker (R-MS).

I'm not sure where I should ask this but here goes: I often get a situation where I open a post and

nothing happens and the computer does not respond to anything I do. Then I get a msg saying "a script is running slowly which is slowing down your browser" (or something like that). It gives me the option to 'kill' the script, which I always do. This usually works, but not infrequently this will crash IE. This seems to be a bit less of a problem with Opera.

Has anyone else experienced this? Got any suggestions (Uh...please be tasteful).

National Science Foundation cancels political-science grant cycle


2 August 2013

US Senator Tom Coburn (Republican, Oklahoma) helped to insert language in a law that restricts federal political science research funding.

US political scientists are usually busy in early August, polishing proposals for grants from the US National Science Foundation (NSF). But not this year.

Less than one month before an annual mid-August application deadline, the funding agency has scrapped new political-science funding for the rest of 2013. The NSF declines to explain its reasons for eliminating the grant call, one of two that typically take place each year. But leaders in the field are blaming Congress, which on 21 March passed a bill requiring that NSF-funded political-science research benefit either national security or economic interests.


The NSF’s decision removes one of the main financial lifelines for political-science research. “This is somewhere between devastating and crippling,” says Henry Farrell, a political scientist at George Washington University in Washington DC and an author of the Monkey Cage, a widely read political-science blog. But Farrell blames the political climate rather than the funding agency for the cut. “The NSF is in an extremely awkward situation,” he says.

The GOP came up with a new twist on Book Burning during the latest showdown (i.e. shakedown of our democracy) to avoid a Government shutdown. To avoid shutting down the Government the Democrats had to approve threatening researchers from engaging in research that would focus on the GOP's favorite method of obstruction: filibustering everything (another approach is the endless stream of nonsensical amendments - each of which require discussion and a vote). This way you just "burn" the books (i.e. scientific research) before they are written!

Tom Coburn Amendment Limiting National Science Foundation Research Funding Passes Senate


A measure limiting National Science Foundation funding for political science research projects passed the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, quietly dealing a blow to the government agency.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) submitted a series of amendments to the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, the Senate bill to keep the government running past March 27. One of those amendments would prohibit the NSF from funding political science research unless a project is certified as "promoting national security or the economic interests of the United States."

"Studies of presidential executive power and Americans' attitudes toward the Senate filibuster hold little promise to save an American's life from a threatening condition or to advance America's competitiveness in the world," Coburn wrote in a letter to NSF director Subra Suresh last week explaining his proposal.

Coburn's NSF amendment was approved by the Senate during a voice vote on Wednesday afternoon.

July a white-hot month for car sales USA Today (print edition headline)

... there will be more gnashing of teeth and rending of garments in Republican Lounges (lead by Sen. Shelby) today. Consumers are showing up to buy cars at an annual clip of 16 million units. Ben Bernanke: 12pts, Republicans: 9 (they have managed to slow the recovery by about two years and 4 million jobs, ya gotta give the degenerate fascists credit for that, after all - especially in the next elections). Oh well, the best laid plans of men ... and anti-Patriot Politicians ... oft go awry (thank God... and Ben Bernanke).


The auto industry got off to a powerful start to the second half of the year in July, with a 14% sales increase due to strong demand for pickups and small, fuel-efficient cars.

Now the test is to see whether it can be maintained.

General Motors occupied the top spot on overall sales, with a 16.3% increase over the same month a year earlier. But in a surprise, Toyota rode a 17.3% increase to take the second spot in cars sold, usually occupied by Ford, which had an 11.3% boost. Toyota was ahead by only 314 vehicles out of 193,394 it sold during the month.

Honda was in fourth place with a 20.9% increase, and Chrysler Group came next with a 11.1% rise, Autodata reported Thursday.
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