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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NYC
Home country: USA
Current location: Durham, NC
Member since: Sat May 7, 2005, 11:13 PM
Number of posts: 28,464

Journal Archives

What is happening with gas prices? Check out the national map


I am amazed to see the high prices along the entire west coast.

Has there been pipeline disruption?

I was in DC on Wednesday to see Kathleen Turner in "Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins".
It was superb. Driving home to Chapel Hill, I filled up with $3.80/gal for premium--which was about $.32
LESS per gallon than I had paid earlier in the week in anticipation of the drive from NC to DC.

Am I missing something regarding oil distribution that's been in the news?

I was in DC last night--did NOT watch the debate--saw Molly Ivins

as channeled by Kathleen Turner in "Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins"

The play was FABULOUS. It is mostly sold out, but if you are in DC and can score a single
ticket: GO!

I took the metro back from the theatre (Arena Stage at Waterfront metro stop) to my
hotel near DuPont Circle. Walking up Connecticut Avenue, I passed restaurant/bar after
restaurant/bar and ALL the TV's were tuned to the debate. I decided when I got to
the hotel--about 9:45--that I was not going to ruin the feeling of a wonderful night
at the theatre with a gem of a journalist as portrayed by a marvelous actor by turning on the last
minutes of the debate.

This morning, I turned on Morning Joe. OMG. I began to discover how Mitt lied his way
through the debate--with some super-majority after poll claiming he had won--
and realized President Obama got stuck with the strategy of how to debate a liar.

Why wasn't he prepped for that? Or, is it a rope-a-dope strategy--letting Romney
think he's winning--with a plan to come back in a later round and knock Romney out?

As I was driving home from DC today, I thought I hope people are smart enough
to realize that an animal abusing, bullying, lying, flip flopper is not who we want
as President of the United States. I only hope people will remember to watch what
politicians do--not what they say--to figure out the character of a person.

Oh, and btw? Guess what was in a bureau drawer of my hotel room? The Book of Mormon!!!!
Not just a copy of the Bible (it was there, too). Has any one else seen a Book of Mormon
in a hotel room? Creeped me out. I almost swiped it!!!!

I'll go one better--full moon photo


Had my LTTE published re: single payer health care!

Last Sunday the Raleigh News Observer ran a BIG front page expose on the markup
charged by local non-profit hospitals for cancer drugs.

Large nonprofit hospitals in North Carolina are dramatically inflating prices on chemotherapy drugs at a time when they are cornering more of the market on cancer care, an investigation by The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer has found.

The newspapers found that hospitals routinely mark up prices on cancer drugs two to 10 times or more over cost. In some cases, the markup is far higher.

The total annual cost of cancer drugs for a single patient can easily top $100,000. Such costs have proved financially devastating to some and, according to national studies, have caused a significant number to put off needed treatments.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/09/22/2361661/nc-nonprofit-hospitals-make-big.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy

Here's my letter (although it was edited to eliminate my opening sentence: " So what?"

Look at single-payer

Your Sept. 23 front-page article “Hospitals make big money on cancer drug markups” is incomplete without comparison to the cost of cancer drug use in Canada, Great Britain, France and other countries where every citizen has access to health care. Until the American people wake up and demand a single-payer health care system that isn’t profit-driven, it’s a waste of time to even bother with writing articles like this.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/09/29/2375630/betty-whitehead-look-at-single.html#storylink=cpy

I was laughing by the time I finished reading the article. Hospitals HAVE to make profits to continue in operation--and they do it by 'marking up' wherever they can get away with it. Non-profits simply plow the profit back into the operation rather than distributing it to owners or shareholders. It's like the kitty-boop video: if profit from one activity is driven down, it will pop up in another place--and keep looking for a place to pop up. The only solution is to remove the profit motivation. I can't believe the journalists were so naive that they didn't know this. I was really astonished to see so few letters regarding the article.

The newspaper held the letters regarding the article until this Sunday to publish a group of them.


Most EXCELLENT graphic that I hope goes viral


Ava, so good to hear from you!

I've wondered about you--how you've been doing--and am happy for the opportunity to support your film!

See you at Sundance!!!!

Wedding etiquette poll

OK, maybe I'm an old fogey, but I thought I'd put this out there and see what people think.

Here's the situation: my niece is having a formal evening wedding in another state from where we live.
Hubby and my two adult sons and I are attending. I have previously cut off communication with the bride's mother (my brother's wife) over political and other issues. My brother and his wife are Repubs. I have not wanted to go to the wedding, but decided I would suck it up for 'family' sake. I have been asked by the bride to read a poem during the ceremony and agreed.
One of niece's brothers and his wife just had my brother's
first grandchild on July 16th--the new mother/father are attending WITH baby. I saw a fb post
last night where the bride indicated she was working on sit-down dinner seating assignments
and her brother (the new father) asked could new baby have a seat of his own--for car seat--
at the table and could they sit with his wife's family who are attending (also from another state)
and wouldn't that fill the table? Bride responded, "of course baby can have seat" but table seats
two more and she was thinking--but not decided--about putting great-aunt, uncle (me and hubby)
at the table, too. Well, I about fell off my chair. I can understand having the baby at the ceremony
and cocktail hour, but cannot for the life of me understand wanting to impose a 3 week old infant
on a formal sit down wedding dinner. I thought about it overnight and decided to write the bride
a fb message this a.m., diplomatically putting in my $.02 and expressing my reaction that I would
not be thrilled to find myself seated with a 3 week old infant at a formal sit down wedding dinner
and wondering whether anyone was going to suggest brother/wife get a sitter for baby during the dinner
so they could not be focused on baby care all evening?

So, lounge folks, what do you think?

Hi all! Thought I'd introduce myself. If you have questions about Nutrisystem...I'm an alum.

I've been around on DU for some years...but dropped off after the 08 election.
Recently, I've been participating a little more and just found this group today.

My weight problems started after surgical menopause when I was 43--and I'm now 61.
I had never had a weight problem prior to that--lost the pregnancy weight after
each son was born. I had tried Scarsdale, SlimFast, Atkins, South Beach, and
was just getting into Nutrisystem (NS) in 2007 when my house burned down.
The next couple years were so stressful, I gained back the 15 lbs I'd lost--and more--
until I was tipping the scales in the low 180's on a 5'3" frame.

In August 2010 I started NS again, and reached my goal weight of 138 on May 19, 2011.
I've been maintaining since then--going back to NS meal stats (calories/protein/fat/carbs)
whenever I gain more than a couple of lbs.

I joined a discussion group on the NS boards and found it extremely helpful in learning
how to work the NS system, pick up recipe tips for 'flexing' and maintenance. It was
also fun and I made friends with some people chatting on-line every day. Many of the folks
(99% women in a 50+ year old forum) credit participating in the forum with giving them
the motivation to stick with the program and get to their goal weight and learn how to change
their eating habits so they could maintain the weight loss.

That's the challenge: I'm sure most people here are familiar with the high recidivism
rate for those who lose weight only to gain it back. Changing eating habits for the rest
of our lives is the challenge.

If anyone has questions about NS, I'd be happy to try to answer them. I can tell you
that it works and it's easy in the weight loss mode. You do have to learn, along the way,
portion control and what constitutes an NS equivalent meal when cooking on your own
for maintenance. The NS website provides a lot of resources in that regard.

I look forward to getting to know everyone!

River Running Through Ollantaytambo, Peru


When It Comes to Corporate Tax Havens, Who Needs the Caymans---To Delaware, With Love

This article appearing in the Sunday Business Section of the NY Times is loaded with "I didn't know that" information.
Maybe I'm just clueless, but thought I'd share.

NOTHING about 1209 North Orange Street hints at the secrets inside.


But behind its doors is one of the most remarkable corporate collections in the world: 1209 North Orange, you see, is the legal address of no fewer than 285,000 separate businesses.


In these troubled economic times, when many states are desperate for tax dollars, Delaware stands out in sharp relief. The First State, land of DuPont, broiler chickens and, as it happens, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., increasingly resembles a freewheeling offshore haven, right on America’s shores. Officials in other states complain that Delaware’s cozy corporate setup robs their states of billions of tax dollars. Officials in the Cayman Islands, a favorite Caribbean haunt of secretive hedge funds, say Delaware is today playing faster and looser than the offshore jurisdictions that raise hackles in Washington.

And international bodies, most recently the World Bank, are increasingly pointing fingers at the state.


It is also a great place to reduce a tax bill. Delaware today regularly tops lists of domestic and foreign tax havens because it allows companies to lower their taxes in another state — for instance, the state in which they actually do business or have their headquarters — by shifting royalties and similar revenues to holding companies in Delaware, where they are not taxed. In tax circles, the arrangement is known as “the Delaware loophole.” Over the last decade, the Delaware loophole has enabled corporations to reduce the taxes paid to other states by an estimated $9.5 billion.

To read the entire article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/business/how-delaware-thrives-as-a-corporate-tax-haven.html?pagewanted=1&ref=business

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