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3001  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Wireless networks = public networks on: May 15, 2010, 09:23:28 AM
There is no question they did this purposely.  This is all the new corporate crime going on.  And no one is looking, no one is doing anything about it.  They pay people to snoop like this  They have been doing this to Katherine and I for years and we can't stop it.  Everything is wireless or wireless capable now.  You get this stuff sold to you as though it is some sort of upgrade.  "Oh we will throw this in there too...."

They often hire ex cons to do this.  MSFT does it all the time. They have departments that do this. This is by and away how the entertainment industry gets their material - by watching others and stealing it.

Until the gov. gets serious and enforces laws and puts people away - this kind of stuff will continue to grow.

****TECHNOLOGY MAY 14, 2010, 7:54 P.M. ET Google Says It Mistakenly Collected Data on Web Usage By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO
Google Inc. said an internal investigation has discovered that the roving vans the company uses to create its online mapping services were mistakenly collecting data about websites people were visiting over wireless networks.

The Internet giant said it would stop collecting Wi-Fi data from its StreetView vans, which workers drive to capture street images and to locate Wi-Fi networks. The company said it would dispose of the data it had accidentally collected.

Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research for Google, wrote in a blog post that the company uncovered the mistake while responding to a German data-protection agency's request for it to audit the Wi-Fi data, amid mounting concerns that Google's practices violated users' privacy.

The camera of a German Google Street View car looms over the car next to the Google logo at the Google stand at the CeBIT Technology Fair on March 3, 2010 in Hannover, Germany.
Journal Community
Vote: From an end to online sales of Nexus One to privacy concerns over StreetView's WiFi surveys, will the setbacks hurt Google's momentum? Google had previously said it was collecting the location of Wi-Fi hot spots from its StreetView vehicles, but not the information being transmitted over those networks by users.

"It's now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) Wi-Fi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products," wrote Mr. Eustace. "We are profoundly sorry for this error and are determined to learn all the lessons we can from our mistake."

Google said it has been collecting and keeping the data since around 2007. At that time, the team building the software to gather the location of Wi-Fi hot spots mistakenly included some experimental software that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast Wi-Fi data.

"It is another example of the how the company hasn't effectively grappled with the massive amount of information it collects," said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.

Experience WSJ professional Editors' Deep Dive: Google, Others Struggle With PrivacyTR DAILY
Privacy Can Exist With Innovation, Symposium Speakers SayDow Jones News Service
Facebook Bolsters D.C. PresenceComputerworld (Australia)
Privacy groups target Google Street ViewAccess thousands of business sources not available on the free web. Learn More Due to the mistake, Google could have collected information about which websites people were accessing, from online videos they were watching to emails they were sending.

But Google would only have collected data if the website and the Wi-Fi connection weren't secured. Many major websites that carry personal information, such as financial-services sites, are encrypted so no data from such services were collected, a Google spokesman said. Mr. Eustace wrote that Google only had "fragments" of data, since its cars were on the move.

Google uses the Wi-Fi data to improve its location-based services. By having a database of Wi-Fi hot spots, Google can identify a mobile user's approximate location based on cell towers and Wi-Fi access points that are visible to their device. A Google spokesman said the company would continue to offer those products.

The disclosure comes as Google's collection of Wi-Fi data—along with other real-life imagery it uses in its mapping services—have come under intense scrutiny from some privacy advocates, specifically in Europe. In April, Google moved to defend the service and what it collects in a lengthy blog post in which it said it did not collect or store payload data.

Write to Jessica E. Vascellaro at jessica.vascellaro@wsj.com

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved****

3002  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 14, 2010, 11:13:57 AM
Doug, Agreed by far Latinos make up the largest proportion of illegals.
But my point is not just on principal.
IMO opinion it is quite the contrary.  It is political.
IF we keep making this about Mexcans and other Southern Americans coming here and not about ALL illegals those opposed to doing anything about it, primarily Latinos and their liberal buddies will continue to keep making this about "race".  It isn't as you know but they can continue to rile up the Hispanics who have the nerve to walk accorss th border illegally and than lecture us about rights, humane treament, dignity and all the rest of the crap while they take advantage of the political correct crowd whose ONLY concern is more Demcocrat voters.  Could you imagine the Bama crowd if these people voted for Republicans??

It is all about politics.
3003  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris:repubs look poised to retake Congress on: May 14, 2010, 11:08:07 AM
By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann 05.12.2010 Behind the scenes, the chances of a GOP takeover of the US Senate increased in the past two weeks with key developments in pivotal states.

Already, Republican candidates are ahead in eight states now represented by Democrats: Delaware, North Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, Arkansas and Nevada. And, in California, Senator Barbara Boxer is polling in the low 40s just barely ahead of her Republican challengers.

But nine seats won’t give us control since Biden would break the tie for the Democrats. We need ten.


Enter Washington State where a large field of Republican candidates have failed to dent the lead of three term incumbent Senator Patty Murray. But now it appears that Dino Rossi, the former Republican candidate for Governor, is likely to get into the race. Rossi, in fact, won the election for governor in Washington only to have it stolen from him by 200 votes after multiple recounts. Rossi trails Murray by only 48-46 even though he has yet to announce his candidacy. The vital tenth seat may well be Washington.

Or will it be Wisconsin where Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold is seeking re-election. Feingold is so far left that he wouldn’t find any district this side of Havana safe. And he has now drawn two top tier Republican opponents: Beer mogul Richard Leinenkugel and conservative activist Ron Johnson. Feingold scores below 50% of the vote in trial matchups, a sure indication of vulnerability.

Leinenkugel has good credentials for a race having served as state Commerce Secretary albeit in the current Democratic Administration of Governor Doyle. Johnson brings a compelling speaking style and solid conservative credentials — and a boatload of dough — to the race. Feingold won’t sleep well tonight.

And bear in mind New York where three good candidates — David Malpass, Joe DioGuardia, and Bruce Blakeman — are vying to take on vulnerable appointed incumbent Kristen Gillibrand. Read our book, 2010: Take Back America: A Battle Plan, to see how weak Gillibrand is.

And Connecticut where Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has slipped to 52% of the vote against Republican challenger Rob Simmons (he leads by 52-38). Blumenthal runs stronger against Linda McMahon of wrestling fame (he beats her, according to Rasmussen, by 55-35). If Simmons wins the primary, he has a good chance of knocking off Blumenthal.

So among Washington, Wisconsin, New York, and Connecticut, we are looking increasingly likely to find a tenth Republican victory.

3004  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why can't the dumb Cans stop making this about Latinos??? on: May 14, 2010, 09:43:21 AM
Will there ever by outrage from the mainstream media?

I still say Republicans can blunt the racial thing by clearly pointing out that we will not tolerate illegal immigration from any country not just the Mexicans and the southern border.

When Hannity had it pointed out to him from Juan Williams (whom I like) that there are 50,000 illegal Irish in NYC he ignored the comment.  Well what does anyone expect then when he is silent over this yet screaming talking points that are clearly geared towards Latinos?Huh

My question is why is there and why do we tolerate 50K illegal Irish in NYC?  Why is this not as outrageous as the Latinos coming here illegally?  What is the difference?  Illegal is illegal.  Juan Williams has a point.
3005  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: May 10, 2010, 12:23:44 PM
After the entire context of the joke was made more clear I didn't find it to be big deal actually.  It didn't instill a desire in me to strap a bomb on my person and walk into a Federal building and take out as many people as possible. 
 wink grin
3006  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / pbs documentary on American Jews on: May 10, 2010, 12:18:47 PM
I am not sure what thread this would go under.  It could be immigration (legal and Jewish), anti semitism (to a small extent), Israel, etc.

I saw one episode last night of a three part documentary of Jews in America.  For those with an interest one get see the broadcast schedule here. 

http://www.pbs.org/jewishamericans/about/watch.html
3007  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jews: looking for another One. on: May 10, 2010, 11:17:30 AM
The polls don't follow through and ask that if Jews would consider voting for someone else would they consider a Republican.  It is a big leap to expect "someone" else to be from another party.  I doubt most liberal  Jews would even dream of this.  I wonder if the Kagan nomination is a bone for the Jews to placate them.

****Poll: Obama has Lost Almost Half of his US Jewish Support
 
by Gil Ronen
Follow Israel news on  and .


United States President Barack Obama has lost nearly half of his support among American Jews, a poll by the McLaughlin Group has shown.

The US Jews polled were asked whether they would: (a) vote to re-elect Obama, or (b) consider voting for someone else. 42% said they would vote for Obama and 46%, a plurality, preferred the second answer. 12% said they did not know or refused to answer.   

In the Presidential elections of 2008, 78% of Jewish voters, or close to 8 out of 10, chose Obama. The McLaughlin poll held nearly 18 months later, in April 2010, appears to show that support down to around 4 out of 10. 

The poll showed that key voter segments including Orthodox/Hassidic voters, Conservative voters, voters who have friends and family in Israel and those who have been to Israel, are all more likely to consider voting for someone other than Obama.

Among Orthodox/Hassidic voters, 69% marked 'someone else' vs. 17% who marked 're-elect.' Among Conservative-affiliated voters the proportion was 50% to 38%. Among Reform Jews, a slim majority of 52% still supported Obama while 36% indicated they would consider someone else. Among Jews with family in Israel and those who had been to Israel, about 50% said they would consider someone else, while 41%-42% supported Obama.

Fifty percent of the Jewish voters polled said they approved of the job Obama is doing handling US relations with Israel. Thirty-nine percent said they disapproved. “This rating is not good for a group of voters who are 59% Democratic to only 16% Republican,” the poll's analysis noted.

A majority of 52% said they disapproved of the idea of the Obama Administration supporting a plan to recognize a Palestinian state within two years. 62% said that if given a state, “the Palestinians would continue their campaign of terror to destroy Israel.” Only 19% thought they would live peacefully with Israel.     

As Obama loses support among members of the influential Jewish voter bloc, possible Republican candidate Sarah Palin seems to be doing her best to woo them to her****
3008  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 10, 2010, 09:27:33 AM
OK.  Lets stop illegal immigration at all our borders including NYC, Canada and everywhere else.
Then we stop hiring illegals.
Then we stop allowing illegals to utilize public services except for emergencies.
WE change the thing where you are born here from illegal parents you are an automatic citizen.

Viola  - problem reduced by probably 90%.

Simple.

The real problem is we have cowards for politicans.
3009  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Who works for who? on: May 08, 2010, 11:32:05 AM
Here in NJ is huge fight between Governor Christie and teachers unions.  I have many patients who are teachers, ex teachers, even a close family memeber who is one.
What Christie is asking of the teachers is clearly NOT unreasonable.  He requests they put of their *annual* 4 to 5 % pay raise (does anyone know of any private sector job that has that?), and contribute 1.5% towards their health care.  The grand total is around $1500 per year.  Teachers union wages are $730/year.
This in the state with the highest porperty taxes in the nation.

Yet the power of the teachers union and how they literally control politicians is on display to amaze all.  They run ads the Christie is ruining education, harming our children and the teachers even have brainwashed out students into going out and marching for them.

I even had a retired teacher tell me she can't stand Christie and how "he is going after teachers". 

I simply don't get this.  They are outraged?  With all their benefits, pensions, health care, reasonably good salaries for a job of 9 months a year and a milliion days off?
It is not like they are facing huge pay cuts.  They think they are entitled to 4-5 % pay raises in economies with 10% unempolyment?

Quite the opposite.  The outrage is not with them.  Can Christie break this?  I sure hope so.  Thank God we have a governor who stands up to this crap. Yet he is sinking in the polls I've heard.  Well they say 1/3 of Jersey residents are on some form of dole.  I guess it is no wonder why teachers forget who works for who.   It is time they be reminded. 

****By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann 05.6.2010 A perfect storm is brewing for the nation’s schools and the teachers’ unions that have them in a stranglehold. Voter anger at the socialist, big government solutions of the Obama Administration and its Democratic lookalikes in state capitals throughout the country is about to combine with massive education funding shortfalls brought on by the unions’ waste of taxpayer money.


These forces will combine in November, 2010 to force gigantic changes in school financing and governance, leading to the prospect of genuine school choice for the poor and middle class as the rich have always had.

Just as a Republican landslide in November will engulf and extinguish Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, so it will sweep away the party’s power at the state level. State houses in at least ten states are likely to change parties and dozens of legislative chambers will see Republican majorities, many for the first time in decades. The teachers union will be swept from power along with its Democratic allies.

Just as this earthquake is making its way through state capitals, governors will be casting about for ways to meet revenue shortfalls without tax hikes. Top on their list will be the elimination of layers of bureaucracy and of privileges enjoyed by the teacher unions. As a result more and more of the education budget will be spent in the classroom and vastly more will be channeled into education choice programs.

The number of charter schools will likely grow exponentially and programs for vouchers, scholarships, and tax credits for private and parochial schools will be passed in state after state. Given a chance to provide good education for $7,000 per student in alternative schools rather than pay $10,000 per student in dysfunctional public schools, government officials will move rapidly to expand school choice.

To learn more about this coming revolution in education, GO HERE NOW.

Now is the time for every parent and taxpayer to get involved and to push for seismic shifts in education funding and policy. Perfect storms like this don’t come along every year and not even in every lifetime.****





3010  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 08, 2010, 11:14:59 AM
"'Machete,'"

And of course it will be up for some kind of an award.  Probably not oscar but some film festival award which are mostly PACs for pushing liberal agendas.

"As you know, illegal Americans are being forced out of our country at an alarming rate," says the contractor. "For the good of both our people, the senator must die."

*Real* Americans should boycott everyone associated with this movie.
3011  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: May 08, 2010, 11:05:45 AM
It seems most Blacks will never listen to Whites so if there are more Blacks in the "other" party maybe more will reconsider and we can break the Dem stranglehold on minorities.  It doesn't seem this can happen overnight.
3012  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / For Republicans: great news on: May 05, 2010, 05:32:29 PM
I was looking for this guy but could not find him till now.  I heard him speak on cable and he wowed me:   Allen West in Florida.


****Among the many reverberations of President Obama’s election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials.

 
Barbara P. Fernandez for The New York Times
Allen West, running in Florida, says the notion of racism in the Tea Party movement has been made up by the news media.

Princella Smith, in Arkansas, says she disagrees with President Obama but is proud of the country for electing him.
The House has not had a black Republican since 2003, when J. C. Watts of Oklahoma left after eight years.

But now black Republicans are running across the country — from a largely white swath of beach communities in Florida to the suburbs of Phoenix, where an African-American candidate has raised more money than all but two of his nine (white) Republican competitors in the primary.

Party officials and the candidates themselves acknowledge that they still have uphill fights in both the primaries and the general elections, but they say that black Republicans are running with a confidence they have never had before. They credit the marriage of two factors: dissatisfaction with the Obama administration, and the proof, as provided by Mr. Obama, that blacks can get elected.

“I ran in 2008 and raised half a million dollars, and the state party didn’t support me and the national party didn’t support me,” said Allen West, who is running for Congress in Florida and is one of roughly five black candidates the party believes could win. “But we came back and we’re running and things are looking great.”

But interviews with many of the candidates suggest that they felt empowered by Mr. Obama’s election, that it made them realize that what had once seemed impossible — for a black candidate to win election with substantial white support — was not.

“There is no denying that one of the things that came out of the election of Obama was that you have a lot of African-Americans running in both parties now,” said Vernon Parker, who is running for an open seat in Arizona’s Third District. His competition in the Aug. 24 primary includes the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, Ben Quayle.

Princella Smith, who is running for an open seat in Arkansas, said she viewed the president’s victory through both the lens of history and partisan politics. “Aside from the fact that I disagree fundamentally with all his views, I am proud of my nation for proving that we have the ability to do something like that,” Ms. Smith said.

State and national party officials say that this year’s cast of black Republicans is far more experienced than the more fringy players of yore, and include elected officials, former military personnel and candidates who have run before.

Mr. Parker is the mayor of Paradise Valley, Ariz. Ryan Frazier is a councilman in Aurora, Colo., one of four at-large members who represent the whole city. And Tim Scott is the only black Republican elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives since Reconstruction.

“These are not just people pulled out of the hole,” said Timothy F. Johnson, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a black conservative group. That is “the nice thing about being on this side of history,” he said.

He added that the candidates might be helped by the presence of Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee who is black and ran for the Senate himself in 2006.

“Party affiliation is not a barrier to inspiration,” Mr. Steele said in an e-mail message. “Certainly, the president’s election was and remains an inspiration to many.”

But Democrats and other political experts express skepticism about black Republicans’ chances in November. “In 1994 and 2000, there were 24 black G.O.P. nominees,” said Donna Brazile, a Democratic political strategist who ran Al Gore’s presidential campaign and who is black. “And you didn’t see many of them win their elections.”

Tavis Smiley, a prominent black talk show host who has repeatedly criticized Republicans for not doing more to court black voters, said, “It’s worth remembering that the last time it was declared the ‘Year of the Black Republican,’ it fizzled out.”

In many ways, this subset of Republicans is latching on to the basic themes propelling most of their party’s campaigns this year — the call for smaller government, less spending and stronger national security — rather than building platforms around social conservatism.

“Things have evolved,” said Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, who is heavily involved in recruiting Republican candidates. “I think partly the level of hostility to Obama, Pelosi and Reid makes a lot of people pragmatically more open to a coalition from the standpoint of being a long-term majority party.”

Many of the candidates are trying to align themselves with the Tea Partiers, insisting that the racial dynamics of that movement have been overblown. Videos taken at some Tea Party rallies show some participants holding up signs with racially inflammatory language.

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 25 percent of self-identified Tea Party supporters think that the Obama administration favors blacks over whites, compared with 11 percent of the general public.

The black candidates interviewed overwhelmingly called the racist narrative a news media fiction. “I have been to these rallies, and there are hot dogs and banjos,” said Mr. West, the candidate in Florida, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army. “There is no violence or racism there.”

There is also some evidence that black voters rally around specific conservative causes. A case in point was a 2008 ballot initiative in California outlawing same-sex marriage that passed in large part because of support from black voters in Southern California.

Still, black Republicans face a double hurdle: black Democrats who are disinclined to back them in a general election, and incongruity with white Republicans, who sometimes do not welcome the blacks whom party officials claim to covet as new members.

This spring, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell of Virginia was roundly attacked for not mentioning slavery in his Confederate History Month proclamation, which he later said was a “major omission.” Black candidates said these types of gaffes posed problems in drawing African-Americans to their party, but also underscored their need to be there.

“I think what the governor failed to do was to recognize the pain and the emotion that was really sparked by the institution of slavery,” said Mr. Frazier of Colorado. “As a Republican, I think I have a responsibility to continue to work within my party to avoid those types of barriers. The key for the Republican Party is to engage every community on the issues they care about and not act as if they don’t exist.”****

3013  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: May 04, 2010, 11:29:08 AM
From Department of the Interior.  Notice "response" plan.  Stand up comedy must be part of the response.  I am glad to note Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson were so entertained.

Also good to see our government "on top of it from day one":

http://www.mms.gov/regcompliance/MOU/PDFs/MOU-MMSUSGS-OilDischargeMOAMay232007.pdf
3014  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 03, 2010, 09:48:19 AM
Crafty,
The link you posted shows what enforcing the law could accomplish.

If done on a national level our problems would be partially solved.  The other half of the equation is not allowing people in the US to knowingly hire illegals - not just those coming accorss the borders, but those in all states whether it be in NYC or Indianapolis, Indiana.  Whether they be Israeli, Irish, Chinese, etc.  WE have to put as stop to the argument that this is about Mexicans.

We must ammend the law that people born here are automatic citizens even if both parents are illegal (or if not one of them is a citizen). If one or both are here legally but not citizens I don't know what we should do but if both are illegal why can't we use common sense? Think of the benefit.  You could put yourself up for hire to Shakira types and offer your hand in marriage and have their baby for a fee.  If they want their baby to be a US citizen they would have to do it with you, not the Chicanos.

Personally I don't want Shakira types speaking for me or my country.  We are dumbed down enough.
3015  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 01, 2010, 09:53:13 AM
Humping chairs, the floor, gyrating hips across a stage and claiming one wrote stolen songs certainly qualifies her to discuss immigration issues.  Yet she obviously brings in ratings with her looks so FOX and all the rest give her a platform.

Meantime her record sales go up, she pretends she is such a good heart and the rest of us are suckers and stuck being lectured to by the likes of her.

Well for the record, my opinion is shut the hell up and if you don't like our laws you are free to return to beloved Columbia.

Use your free speech and I will use mine.
3016  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: May 01, 2010, 09:38:35 AM
Hopefully she saved the dress (or night gown or panties):

OBAMA CHEATING SCANDAL: SHOCKING NEW REPORTS
 

Photo by: splash news online Reports out of Washington, DC:  PRESIDENT OBAMA has been caught in a shocking cheating scandal after being caught in a Washington, DC Hotel with a former campaign aide.

And now, a hush-hush security video that shows everything could topple both Obama's presidency and marriage to Michelle!

A confidential investigation has learned that Obama first became close to gorgeous 35 year-old VERA BAKER in 2004 when she worked tirelessly to get him elected to the US Senate, raising millions in campaign contributions.

While Baker has insisted in the past that "nothing happened" between them, reports reveal that top anti-Obama operatives are offering more than $1 million to witnesses to reveal what they know about the alleged hush-hush affair.

Among those being offered money is a limo driver who says that he took Vera to a secret hotel rendezvous where the President was staying.

On the condition of anonymity, the limo driver said he took Baker "from a friend's home in the DC area to the Hotel George where I learned later that Obama would be spending the night."

The driver recalled that he "waited in the lobby while she went to change her outfit. 

"But to the best of my knowledge she did not have a room at the hotel and she was not staying there so I thought that it was a bit odd."

The driver said he then picked up Obama at the airport and drove both he and Baker to various locations while he was campaigning for funds.  Vera accompanied him to each meeting.

"About 10:30 PM, I drove them to the hotel and they went in together!"

"My services for the evening were done - and there was no indication she was going to leave the hotel that night."

Analyzing the reports, a top DC insider said the driver's account had been independently corroborated by investigators who believe the couple spent the night together at the hotel.

On-site hotel surveillance video camera footage may provide indisputable evidence.

"Investigators are attempting to obtain a tape from the hotel (that) shows Vera and Barack together," the DC insider confided. 

"If the tape surfaces, it will explode the scandal."
3017  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 30, 2010, 02:21:53 PM
Seeing Shakira giving advise to America about Arizona's immigration law is a double insult to me.  First she is another one singing and claiming lyrics on a couple of songs that were in my veiw stolen from Katherine.  I guess one could say she didn't know they were stolen but she surely knows she didn't write them.  Yea right.  She comes off the boat, can barely speak English when she gets here and suddenly she wirtes hit lyrics IN ENGLISH!

That said I don't know why they put her on all the talk shows telling us about humanitarism and all.  "I don't know anything about the Constitution" she says with the accent but goes on to tell us about how the law hurts children and all the rest.  I don't know why the Latin community would necessarily want her as a spokesperson.  It would like me wanting Madanno or Streisand going over to other counties telling them what to do on my behalf.

As alluded to in David Hansons piece, one could ask why she doesn't go back to Columbia and give them all the advice they can handle.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100430/D9FDA9JG0.html
3018  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 28, 2010, 06:36:11 PM
Doug,
legal and illegal issue are IMHO co-mingled all the time.  This isn't just me doing it.

How many times have you heard this or its equivalent, "I am not against immigration, and indeed support higher levels of 'legal' immigration. I am simply not for illegal immigration".  Every time a talking head starts to open his mouth about the illegal problem he/she feels they are oblgated to play the political correct card so as to not offend anyone and point this or its equivalent out.  We are all so trained to be terrifed of the "bigot label" we can't even discuss the reality of the scope of the problem at hand.  (Ironically we have our President saying he wants all the Black, Latino, and women votes and yet no one calls him on this racist comment.  I don't know why?  Does this not say it all? But that is another story.)

If these are inseparable issues as you and Crafty point out then why everytime the TV personalities discuss the illegal situation they have to bring up the legal immigration issues. 

We're protecting our country from an invasion.  I think increasing levels of legal immigration is NOT part of the answer.  And yes just my opinion.  Unless of course there are millions of world class geniuses who want to emigrate here.  Or, if we have determined our present legal residents/citizens are so hopeless that we need the help of those from other countries who appear ready and willing to work far harder in order to keep this country afloat.

3019  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 28, 2010, 10:38:09 AM
Europe may have a declining population but I don't think this is true about immigration to Europe.
All we hear is that we are turning into Europe with staggering entitlements and debt.
Our Western culture appears to have been turned into a giant Ponzi scheme which will at some point collapse like all Ponzi schemes do.
I just came out of Dunkin Donuts.  Every empolyee in there appears to be Mexican, Guatamalen, Honduran or from somewhere south of our border.  Of course I don't know if they are legal or not.  Dunkin Donuts for sure doesn't know, does not ask, maybe by law can't even ask.  The only ones benefiting from this is Dunkin Donuts.  How does this help the average citizen?  Because I have a person who can hand me a cup of coffee and bagel?  Because Americans youth or seniors are too lazy or expect their entitlements they refuse to work in a Dunkin Donuts?

We can't keep having people coming here in droves in numbers akin to the population of New York State every ten years.  For goodness sakes there are what 40 million people in California.  And look at the state. 

I say we stop this mess and leave the levels of legal immigration where they are and stop allowing employers to look the other way, stop the old thing where if you are born here you are automatically a citizen even if both parents are illegal (for Godsake this is crazy),
and start making sure everyone has some form of ID verifying they are here legally.  Yes these IDs can be forged and there will be fraudulant obtaining of them but this is a start.

The country is bankrupt and getting worse.  Even the phoney one admits it now with his debt  commision.  "We need to get the debt down now.  It can't wait".  Well no kidding!  And coming from the guy who by himself quadrupled it.  The gaul, the nerve the chuztpah of this guy!!  And the mainstream media doesn't even call him on it. 

The laugh is on the legal hardworking tax paying citizens of this country.
3020  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2009 green cards issued on: April 27, 2010, 02:10:51 PM
Doug and Crafty,
I hear your points of view and from what I read many do feel the same way.  It is one thing if we bring in Werner Von Braun or someone like the ex CEO of Avanex (I can't recall his name).  It is another if they are doctors, IT professionals (thousands in NJ), and quite another still if they are uneducated low wage.

Yes, I don't mind bringing geniuses into the US.  Otherwise I don't think more is helpful. 

In general, I am not for increasing legal immigration numbers.  I think it is crazy.  Suppose we double the numbers to 2 million.  In ten years another 20 million people?  We already have over 300 million.  Why is expanding out population without endless resources, space, but endless entitlements good.  To continue a ponzi scheme wherein we bring in more people to work and pay for those on the dole? 

*****APThe Department of Homeland Security has just reported that during 2009, they issued 1,130,818 new Green Cards to foreign nationals, allowing them to work legally in this country. That number represents the fourth highest number of cards issued in one year.

750,000 of the new Green Cards were given to the families of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

The top four recipient nations are as follows:

-Mexico…164,920
-China…receiving 64,238
-Philippines…60,029
-India…57,304*****
 
3021  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 26, 2010, 07:02:24 PM
"I think everyone is qualifying or tempering their being against illegals by"


I didn't literally mean everyone such as Doug or Crafty.  I typed this on the fly this AM but I meant many of the talking pundits on cable.

"Bright, hard working, educated people who want to become Americans are a big net plus for America."

In Liberty and Tyranny I believe by Levin's research illegals use 30% more in services than they provide.
I would be the first to admit it must be difficult to measure this. I am not sure if this applies to legals.

As for the educated immigrants they may be a net plus.  But how many is a good thing?  I guess the answer is the market could decide.  Health care is a special case in point. 

I mentioned before how some Indians are saying life is better for doctors in India now than here.  One Indian told me "they keep coming here" but more recently updated it with two that he knows who came here to learn medicine and did not like practice here and then went back to India.

I guess one could argue that it is good for say Indians to come and open or maintain old motels (I've heard one third of all motels in the South are Indian operated.)

When the market no longer can sustain more motels I guess they will stop coming.  Is that good for America?  Maybe.  No one is stopping those born here from getting into the motel business.

I don't think most Mexicans who come here are very educated.  Yet some work hard.  Does that qualify?  Just wondering out loud.

Do we require one has an advanced degree?  How about High school?  How about they are coming here to get an advanced degree?

How do we define the criteria besides just saying not criminals?

 
3022  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 26, 2010, 04:32:46 PM
"I am for legal immigration and I don't think it is an excuse"

Do we really need to raise the limits on how many immigrants are legal?

Don't we have enough now?

I think everyone is qualifying or tempering their being against illegals by saying "I think we should raise the number of legal immigrants allowed on a yearly basis as though they have to protect against being called a bigot or biased in some way. 

Or like saying I am not bigoted and love to have more people from everywhere around the globe move here just do it "legally'.

Well I am not bigoted so now that I did my duty saying that I still think we have enough people coming here legally without having to raise any limits. 

We didn't have doles a hundred years ago.  People came here and only got what they worked for not also what they qualify for.

Enough already.
3023  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 24, 2010, 12:05:42 PM
I notice a lot of conservatives playing it safe and extolling how they are for raising the "legal" immigration levels as an excuse to say they are against illegal immigration.  I don't know why.  I am not for more legal or illegal immigration period.  In any case my or the majority of most citizens wishes are going to be ignored as again those who pay taxes have less rights than everyone else.

****Rasmussen Poll Says 70% of Arizona Residents Support Illegal Immigration Bill
Thursday, April 22, 2010, 11:18 AM EDT - posted on NumbersUSA

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
A new Rasmussen poll reveals that 70% of likely voters in Arizona support the new illegal immigration bill passed by the State Legislature. Only 23% oppose the bill. If signed into law, the bill would make it a crime to be in the state of Arizona illegally.

A majority of Arizona likely voters (53%), however, did express concern about if the bill will cause racial profiling. Forty-six percent expressed no concern.

The poll also asked likely voters how immigration will impact their decision at the polls, and 83% of Arizona residents said a candidate's position on immigration issues is important. Seventy-three percent of respondents also said that it's more important that Congress secure the border than offer an amnesty for the nation's 12 million illegal aliens.

The majority of Republicans, Independents and Democrats all support the bill. Although, Democrats were more concerned than the other two groups on potential civil rights violations the bill may have.

The bill awaits signature by Gov. Jan Brewer, but reports show signs that the Governor will sign the bill into law.****

3024  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lets have a toast in China to the One on: April 22, 2010, 03:58:36 PM
And why wouldn't they want to celebrate and offer a toast to the one who wants to give it all away to our competitors and enemies?   
We are so screwed (at least half the country is).

****Party animal? Obama nightclub opens next week in China
By: Nikki Schwab and Tara Palmeri
Washington Examiner
04/21/10 6:00 PM EDT
 
Screen shot of the Obama club's logo. Don't they know the administration is known for its bare arms and not legs?
While his poll numbers in the states aren't what they used to be, some Chinese entrepreneurs must be hoping the "Obama brand" holds strong internationally.

A nightclub named after the American president, the Obama Entertainment Club, opens Monday in Shanghai, China. Details about how exactly the club is Obama-themed still are scarce, though promotional materials found by the blog Shanghaiist tout that the club "will bring international glamour, excitement and refined luxury to the Shanghai entertainment scene."****

3025  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glen Beck on: April 20, 2010, 10:14:51 AM
Nothing.  And for people who want to tune in that is their privilege.

What I am concerned about is our political system and the encroachment of government.

If I want to pray I'll go to temple.

There is just something goofy about Beck.

I don't know.

I certainly agree with much of his politics but he just is hard for me to stomach for more than ten minutes.

I prefer Sarah P. more but she just seems a bit short on something too, I don't know.
3026  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glen Beck on: April 20, 2010, 09:56:59 AM
On the way to the office today I turn on Beck radio and the first thing I hear is him discussing how shortly after his staff comes in in the morning they have a prayer session.

I am not kidding.

He sounds like he is giving us the spiritual stuff from alcoholics anonymous twelve step program.

He really sounds like a cult leader.

It is creepy.

And I appreciate the religious right and feel Jews have more in common with them than liberal Jews would think but I don't want the tea party to be hyjacked by Christian conservatives.   Their voice should be heard but they don't control an entire political party as for me.

I sincerely hope I don't offend my Christian friends here.
3027  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: April 19, 2010, 12:01:46 PM
Never Again Should We Be Silent

By Ed Koch

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Obama's abysmal attitude toward the State of Israel and his humiliating treatment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is shocking. In the Washington Post on March 24th, Jackson Diehl wrote, "Obama has added more poison to a U.S.-Israeli relationship that already was at its lowest point in two decades. Tuesday night the White House refused to allow non-official photographers record the president's meeting with Netanyahu; no statement was issued afterward. Netanyahu is being treated as if he were an unsavory Third World dictator, needed for strategic reasons but conspicuously held at arms length. That is something the rest of the world will be quick to notice and respond to."

I have not heard or read statements criticizing the president by New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand or many other supporters of Israel for his blatantly hostile attitude toward Israel and his discourtesy displayed at the White House. President Obama orchestrated the hostile statements of Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, voiced by Biden in Israel and by Clinton in a 43-minute telephone call to Bibi Netanyahu, and then invited the latter to the White House to further berate him. He then left Prime Minister Netanyahu to have dinner at the White House with his family, conveying he would only be available to meet again if Netanyahu had further information — read concessions — to impart.

It is unimaginable that the President would treat any of our NATO allies, large or small, in such a degrading fashion. That there are policy differences between the U.S. and the Netanyahu government is no excuse. Allies often disagree, but remain respectful.

In portraying Israel as the cause of the lack of progress in the peace process, President Obama ignores the numerous offers and concessions that Israel has made over the years for the sake of peace, and the Palestinians' repeated rejections of those offers. Not only have Israel's peace proposals, which include ceding virtually the entire West Bank and parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, been rejected, but each Israeli concession has been met with even greater demands, no reciprocity, and frequently horrific violence directed at Israeli civilians. Thus, Prime Minister Netanyahu's agreement to suspend construction on the West Bank — a move heralded by Secretary of State Clinton as unprecedented by an Israeli government — has now led to a demand that Israel also halt all construction in East Jerusalem, which is part of Israel's capital. Meanwhile, Palestinians are upping the ante, with violent protests in Jerusalem and elsewhere. And the Obama administration's request that our Arab allies make some conciliatory gesture towards Israel has fallen on deaf ears.

Prior American presidents, beginning with Truman who recognized the State of Israel in 1948, have valued Israel as a close ally and have often come to its rescue. For example, it was Richard Nixon during the 1973 war, who resupplied Israel with arms, making it possible for it to snatch victory from a potentially devastating defeat at the hands of a coalition of Arab countries including Egypt and Syria.

President George W. Bush made it a point of protecting Israel at the United Nations and the Security Council wielding the U.S. veto against the unfair actions and sanctions that Arab countries sought to impose to cripple and, if possible, destroy, the one Jewish nation in the world. Now, in my opinion, based on the actions and statements by President Obama and members of his administration, there is grave doubt among supporters of Israel that President Obama can be counted on to do what presidents before him did — protect our ally, Israel. The Arabs can lose countless wars and still come back because of their numbers. If Israel were to lose one, it would cease to exist.

To its credit, Congress, according to the Daily News, has acted differently towards Prime Minister Netanyahu than President Obama. Reporter Richard Sisk wrote on March 24th, "Congress put on a rare show of bipartisanship for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday — a sharp contrast to his chilly reception at the White House. 'We in Congress stand by Israel,' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told a beaming Netanyahu, who has refused to budge on White House and State Department demands to freeze settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank."

But Congress does not make foreign policy. It can prevent military arms from going to Israel, but cannot send them. Congress has no role in determining U.S. policy at the U.N. Security Council. The President of the United States determines our foreign policy — nearly unilaterally — under our Constitution. So those Congressional bipartisan wishes of support, while welcome, will not protect Israel in these areas, only the President can do that. Based on his actions to date, I have serious doubts.

In the 1930s, the Jewish community and its leadership, with few exceptions, were silent when their coreligionists were being attacked, hunted down, incarcerated and slaughtered. Ultimately 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. The feeling in the U.S. apparently was that Jews who criticized our country's actions and inactions that endangered the lives of other Jews would be considered disloyal, unpatriotic and displaying dual loyalty, so many Jews stayed mute. Never again should we allow that to occur. We have every right to be concerned about the fate of the only Jewish nation in the world, which if it had existed during the 1930s and thereafter, would have given sanctuary to any Jew escaping the Nazi holocaust and taken whatever military action it could to save Jews not yet in the clutches of the Nazis. We who have learned the lessons of silence, Jews and Christians alike, must speak up now before it is too late.

So I ask again, where are our Senators, Schumer and Gillibrand? And, where are the voices, not only of the 31 members of the House and 14 Senators who are Jewish, but the Christian members of the House and Senate who support the State of Israel? Where are the peoples' voices? Remember the words of Pastor Niemoller, so familiar that I will not recite them, except for the last line, "Then they came for me, and by that time, there was no one left to speak up."

Supporters of Israel who gave their votes to candidate Obama — 78 percent of the Jewish community did — believing he would provide the same support as John McCain, this is the time to speak out and tell the President of your disappointment in him. It seems to me particularly appropriate to do so on the eve of the Passover. It is one thing to disagree with certain policies of the Israeli government. It is quite another to treat Israel and its prime minister as pariahs, which only emboldens Israel's enemies and makes the prospect of peace even more remote.


3028  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New age preacher? on: April 19, 2010, 10:27:22 AM
Crafty,

I don't know about Beck.  While agree with much of what he says when it comes to politics and encroaching government et al. I have a hard time listening to him for more than ten minutes.  He is really starting to sound like a televangilist.  Today on the way to work he starts talking about some woman whose father died on Easter and she thought it was a blessing that that is when he died and then goes on talking about not to let name calling bother one and it sounds so religious and preacher like.

I think he is going off the wall and his success is going to his his head.  I have to say he sounds a bit nuts giving the left some fodder.

Even Hannity who has this car salesman quality about him is much preferable to me.  Beck sound like a cult leader like Jim Jones or something.

I much prefer Marc Levin or even Savage.
3029  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: April 18, 2010, 09:04:17 AM
"If Republicans can win 25%  of Jewish"

Agreed and I hope so.  I remember one of my uncles who I thought was a die hard Democrat suprising me when he came out at a family gathering as voraciously anti-Clinton. 

My uncle a WW2 vet, on the only allied ship that was sunk during D day would describe how he just couldn't get over the fact that a person like Clinton could be commander-in-chief.

I don't know what he thinks about Obama per se, but I could guess what he thought about the "Obama go around the World apologizing for America tour".
3030  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton, ever the BS artist. on: April 17, 2010, 09:41:03 AM
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100416/D9F4EPUO0.html

Does anyone remember the vehement anti-government rhetoric of the "flower" children of Clinton's generation of the 60's?

How about Bama's friend Ayers who planned to bomb the Pentagon?  Why doesn't Clinton mention this in the same sentence as he mentions Tim McVey and the Tea Party.

How about the shooting of student protestors at Kent State that became the Alamo of the left back then; the same left who rionically are *in control* of government.

Now these same people who were so opposed to government back then are suddenly telling us how good government is for us.

Strange how they change their tune once they are in charge.  No?

I don't fear the right paramilitaries.  I fear another Kent state where our own leftist government starts shooting us, robbing us, threatening us, and controlling every aspect of our lives.
3031  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: April 17, 2010, 09:30:35 AM
Well no President in my lifetime has done more to hurt the image of Israel then the present guy.

Yes I remember a few anti semitic remarks from the likes of James Baker etc. He certainly is an anti-semite.

 But it was never like this where the US policy gives the world an even greater opportunity to pour its disdain and dislike for the Jews of Israel.

There is simply no getting around it.

Israel is facing the threat of extermination now more than ever and Bama has done all he can to put the blame of lack of peace in the Middle East squarely on the Israelis.

Are you or anyone saying the Jews brought this on themselves because of some housing starts in some disputed lands??

Well that is what the Phoney one is saying.

3032  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Never on: April 16, 2010, 12:02:03 PM
Doug I don't know if you saw my post on the Israel thread on this topic a few days ago.  In heavily Jewish populated Palm Beach County Florida's Congressional district where Wexler secretly and very queitly pulled out and resigned after it was made public he didn't even live there and was using a fraudulent front address the Jews were happy to re-elect by *large* margins another liberal Democrat.

So the answer to your question, "But I wonder how many of those among the 46 percent would consider voting for an actual Republican", is very few.

The liberal Jews will not change their minds to vote Republican.  Only a few would. Most will NEVER vote for a Republican- ever! They will simply not vote.  It won't surpirse me if they start to puch for Hillary redux.


*****  Some Jews are finally wisening up
« Reply #797 on: April 14, 2010, 09:35:45 AM » 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unfortunately, it seems more based on seniors concern about their health care benefits but not the socialist agenda or the 'one's' throwing Netenyahu under the bus (the latter which I must say is astounding to me).

When push comes to shove though most Jews will still vote the Dem party line.  Look at "Toojay country" in Fla. wherein a demcorat won by huge margins in Wexler's old fraudulent seat.  For God's sake Wexler didn't even live in the community he was representing.  He was using a front address.  And what do my fellow Jews do.  Vote the next in line liberal crat right back in.  Again to liberal Jews, Republicans are worse then Nazis.  I had one Jewish patient complain to me the other day that Fox news was on the cable TV in the office waiting room.  I didn't know it was on.  I come in through the back door and never had any input to what station is on.  Another patient must have put it on I guess.  I share the office with another group.  He used the opportunity to go after Bush, state that the health care bill was needed etc. If we didn't go into Iraq we would have plenty of cash to pay for health care etc etc.

I avoided confrontation and rarely discuss politics with patients.  Occasionally pts do bring up topics I agree with and only then will say I do agree.  We are surely a divided country - it seems to be getting worse not better.

****Obama struggling with Jews, but not on Israel
By Ron Kampeas · April 12, 2010

Photos  1 out of 1
Other Media
This question, in the American Jewish Committee's new survey, asked: "Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration's handling of the Iran nuclear issue?" (AJC) Related LinksSenate letter urging tensions tamp-down gets 76 signatures WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A new survey shows President Obama struggling with American Jews -- but not on Israel-related matters.

The American Jewish Committee poll of U.S. Jews found that Obama's approval rating is at 57 percent, with 38 percent disapproving. That's down from the stratospheric 79 percent approval rating among Jews that Obama enjoyed about a year ago, in May 2009. The AJC poll was conducted March 2-23 and surveyed 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents selected from a consumer mail panel.

Obama's advantage among Jews versus the rest of the population appears to be eroding. The latest Gallup polling shows Obama with a national approval rating of 48, nine points below Jewish polling. Last May, general polling earned him 63 percent approval, 16 points below Jewish polling.

Despite the drop -- and weeks of tensions with the Netanyahu government -- Obama still polls solidly on foreign policy, with a steady majority backing his handling of U.S.-Israel relations, according to the AJC poll.

It is on domestic issues that the president appears to be facing more unhappiness.

Jewish voters are statistically split on how Obama has handled health care reform, with 50 percent approving and 48 disapproving. On the economy he fares slightly better. Jewish voters who favor his policies stand at 55 percent, while 42 percent disapprove.

The last AJC poll on the views of American Jews, released last September, did not address domestic issues, so there's no measure to assess any change in support on the specific issues of health and the economy. Indeed, this is the first poll in at least 10 years in which the AJC has attempted to assess views on the economy and health care. However, Jewish voters in solid majorities describe themselves as Democrats and as liberal to moderate in their views, and traditionally list the economy and health care as their two top concerns in the voting booth.

Matt Brooks, who directs the Republican Jewish Coalition, said the relatively low score on domestic issues underscored what he said was a steady decline in Democratic support among Jewish voters.

"This indicates a serious erosion of support," he said. "It's a huge drop. There's no silver lining" for Democrats.

Ira Forman, the director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, countered that the poll did not account for Jewish voters who might be disappointed with

Obama from a more liberal perspective -- for instance, over his dropping from the reform bill of the so-called public option, which would have allowed for government-run health care.

Additionally, much of the AJC polling took place before Obama's come-from-behind victory on March 21, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed health care reform, Forman said. Since then, Democrats have said they see a turnaround in the president's political fortunes. "The narrative was the president was in the tank," Forman said. "This was when it was thought his initiative was dead."

Obama fares strongly with Jews on homeland security, with 62 percent approving and 33 percent disapproving -- a sign that Republican attempts to cast Obama as weak on protecting the nation have had little impact in the Jewish community.

He also scores 55 percent approval on how he handles U.S.-Israel relations, which is virtually unchanged since last September, when his handling of the relationship scored 54 percent approval. At that juncture, the tensions between Washington and Jerusalem were kept at a low bubble and were confined to U.S. insistence on a total freeze of Israeli settlement, and the Netanyahu administration's reluctance to concede.

The latest questions, however, coincided almost exactly with the period when U.S. officials accused the Netanyahu government of "insulting" the United States by announcing a new building start in eastern Jerusalem while Vice President Joe Biden was visiting, and when the president refused to make public gestures of friendship during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's subsequent visit to Washington.

A question on Obama's handling of Iran's nuclear capability showed a statistical dead heat on the approval side between last September -- 49 percent -- and now, at 47 percent. However, disapproval ratings rose moderately, apparently borrowing from the "uncertain" column: Back in September 35 percent disapproved; now 42 percent give a thumbs down.

The marks compared favorably, however, with Bush administration figures. Bush scored 33 percent approval ratings on Iran in 2006, the most recent year that AJC asked the question.

Support for U.S. and Israeli attacks on Iran to keep it from making a nuclear bomb appeared to drop slightly. Asked about a U.S. strike, 53 percent said they would support one, and 42 percent were opposed, as opposed to 56 percent and 36 percent last September. On an Israeli strike, 62 percent supported and 33 percent opposed, as opposed to 66 and 28 percent in September.

The only other question in the most recent survey directly addressing Obama's foreign policy also showed strong support for the president: 62 percent of respondents agreed with Obama's decision to deploy an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. This contrasts with the consistently negative Jewish assessments of Bush's handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, except in the period immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Approval of Obama's foreign policies contrasts with increasing uneasiness in the Jewish establishment with the administration’s approach. Several influential pro-Israel organizations have spent months, to little avail, pleading with the administration to confine its disagreements to back rooms.

A handful of prominent Jewish backers of candidate Obama also appear to have had second thoughts. Most pointedly, in a New York Daily News column Monday, Ed Koch, the former New York City mayor and a supporter of Obama during the 2008 general election, said he was "weeping" because the president had "abandoned" Israel.

And Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), perhaps the most influential member of the Senate's Jewish caucus, on Sunday pointedly avoided answering a question on ABC's "This Week" about whether he agreed with a Netanyahu confidante who said Obama was a "strategic disaster" for Israel.
Brooks predicted a tide of defections. "You'll have a number of candidates" in areas with a strong Jewish presence "asking him not to campaign for them," he said.

David Harris, AJC's executive director, cautioned that low approval ratings did not necessarily translate into electoral losses.

Brooks said that he would advise GOP candidates to hammer Democrats hard on foreign policy, particularly in tight races in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Florida, where Jewish voters trended less liberal than on the coasts. "If Republican candidates are smart, they will make Democratic candidates in these races answerable to whether they support Obama's policies of pressuring Israel," the head of the Republican Jewish Coalition said.

Jewish Democrats are already preparing a response strategy of arguing that the relationship remains close on defense cooperation and other matters, despite heightened rhetoric on settlement differences.

Harris suggested that the polling showed that the American Jewish public would prefer to imagine a closeness rather than deal with tensions. Obama and Netanyahu scored similar solid majorities -- 55 percent and 57 percent, respectively -- on how they handled the relationship.

American Jews "don't want to be forced to choose," Harris said. "They would rather say a blessing on both your houses than a pox on both your houses."

According to the survey, 64 percent of Jews think Israel should, as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians, be willing to remove at least some of the settlements in the West Bank. But 61 percent rejected the idea that Israel should be willing to "compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli jurisdiction."

The poll had a margin of error of plus/minus 3 percentage points. Interviews were conducted by the firm Synovate, formerly Market Facts.****

 
3033  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: April 15, 2010, 01:03:44 PM
Well there is a lot of fear amongst doctors of "going out of business" and having to lay people off.  I am surprised at what I am hearing.  Of course not all areas of the country are like the NYC metropolitan area which has had plenty of doctors.

A cardiologist today told of taking a pay cut from his group and of another one being let go.

I am a bit surpirsed in view of how much they have made for years.

As for me I have gotten nothing for years and expect nothing.  I am not holding my breath for "saving primary care".

In fact the plan as I see it is simply to replace us with nurses though few are coming out and saying that now till after as many elections as they can put this off for.

All I can say for certain if seniors want to bitch about the cost of their medicines prior to W's part D plan that went into effect, and then complain still about thier Rx costs that fall into the "donut holes", then just wait till Bama and his ideological policy makers (who are drooling at the thought of getting control, power and making plenty of dough) get done with them.

The "greatest" generation that now expects to sit back and let us pay may be the biggest bunch of crab apples pretty soon.

Then comes the "boomers" getting into the Medicare slots (which I guess I am one) and need I say more?



3034  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Some Jews are finally wisening up on: April 14, 2010, 11:35:45 AM
Unfortunately, it seems more based on seniors concern about their health care benefits but not the socialist agenda or the 'one's' throwing Netenyahu under the bus (the latter which I must say is astounding to me).

When push comes to shove though most Jews will still vote the Dem party line.  Look at "Toojay country" in Fla. wherein a demcorat won by huge margins in Wexler's old fraudulent seat.  For God's sake Wexler didn't even live in the community he was representing.  He was using a front address.  And what do my fellow Jews do.  Vote the next in line liberal crat right back in.  Again to liberal Jews, Republicans are worse then Nazis.  I had one Jewish patient complain to me the other day that Fox news was on the cable TV in the office waiting room.  I didn't know it was on.  I come in through the back door and never had any input to what station is on.  Another patient must have put it on I guess.  I share the office with another group.  He used the opportunity to go after Bush, state that the health care bill was needed etc. If we didn't go into Iraq we would have plenty of cash to pay for health care etc etc.

I avoided confrontation and rarely discuss politics with patients.  Occasionally pts do bring up topics I agree with and only then will say I do agree.  We are surely a divided country - it seems to be getting worse not better.

****Obama struggling with Jews, but not on Israel
By Ron Kampeas · April 12, 2010

Photos  1 out of 1
Other Media
This question, in the American Jewish Committee's new survey, asked: "Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration's handling of the Iran nuclear issue?" (AJC) Related LinksSenate letter urging tensions tamp-down gets 76 signatures WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A new survey shows President Obama struggling with American Jews -- but not on Israel-related matters.

The American Jewish Committee poll of U.S. Jews found that Obama's approval rating is at 57 percent, with 38 percent disapproving. That's down from the stratospheric 79 percent approval rating among Jews that Obama enjoyed about a year ago, in May 2009. The AJC poll was conducted March 2-23 and surveyed 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents selected from a consumer mail panel.

Obama's advantage among Jews versus the rest of the population appears to be eroding. The latest Gallup polling shows Obama with a national approval rating of 48, nine points below Jewish polling. Last May, general polling earned him 63 percent approval, 16 points below Jewish polling.

Despite the drop -- and weeks of tensions with the Netanyahu government -- Obama still polls solidly on foreign policy, with a steady majority backing his handling of U.S.-Israel relations, according to the AJC poll.

It is on domestic issues that the president appears to be facing more unhappiness.

Jewish voters are statistically split on how Obama has handled health care reform, with 50 percent approving and 48 disapproving. On the economy he fares slightly better. Jewish voters who favor his policies stand at 55 percent, while 42 percent disapprove.

The last AJC poll on the views of American Jews, released last September, did not address domestic issues, so there's no measure to assess any change in support on the specific issues of health and the economy. Indeed, this is the first poll in at least 10 years in which the AJC has attempted to assess views on the economy and health care. However, Jewish voters in solid majorities describe themselves as Democrats and as liberal to moderate in their views, and traditionally list the economy and health care as their two top concerns in the voting booth.

Matt Brooks, who directs the Republican Jewish Coalition, said the relatively low score on domestic issues underscored what he said was a steady decline in Democratic support among Jewish voters.

"This indicates a serious erosion of support," he said. "It's a huge drop. There's no silver lining" for Democrats.

Ira Forman, the director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, countered that the poll did not account for Jewish voters who might be disappointed with

Obama from a more liberal perspective -- for instance, over his dropping from the reform bill of the so-called public option, which would have allowed for government-run health care.

Additionally, much of the AJC polling took place before Obama's come-from-behind victory on March 21, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed health care reform, Forman said. Since then, Democrats have said they see a turnaround in the president's political fortunes. "The narrative was the president was in the tank," Forman said. "This was when it was thought his initiative was dead."

Obama fares strongly with Jews on homeland security, with 62 percent approving and 33 percent disapproving -- a sign that Republican attempts to cast Obama as weak on protecting the nation have had little impact in the Jewish community.

He also scores 55 percent approval on how he handles U.S.-Israel relations, which is virtually unchanged since last September, when his handling of the relationship scored 54 percent approval. At that juncture, the tensions between Washington and Jerusalem were kept at a low bubble and were confined to U.S. insistence on a total freeze of Israeli settlement, and the Netanyahu administration's reluctance to concede.

The latest questions, however, coincided almost exactly with the period when U.S. officials accused the Netanyahu government of "insulting" the United States by announcing a new building start in eastern Jerusalem while Vice President Joe Biden was visiting, and when the president refused to make public gestures of friendship during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's subsequent visit to Washington.

A question on Obama's handling of Iran's nuclear capability showed a statistical dead heat on the approval side between last September -- 49 percent -- and now, at 47 percent. However, disapproval ratings rose moderately, apparently borrowing from the "uncertain" column: Back in September 35 percent disapproved; now 42 percent give a thumbs down.

The marks compared favorably, however, with Bush administration figures. Bush scored 33 percent approval ratings on Iran in 2006, the most recent year that AJC asked the question.

Support for U.S. and Israeli attacks on Iran to keep it from making a nuclear bomb appeared to drop slightly. Asked about a U.S. strike, 53 percent said they would support one, and 42 percent were opposed, as opposed to 56 percent and 36 percent last September. On an Israeli strike, 62 percent supported and 33 percent opposed, as opposed to 66 and 28 percent in September.

The only other question in the most recent survey directly addressing Obama's foreign policy also showed strong support for the president: 62 percent of respondents agreed with Obama's decision to deploy an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. This contrasts with the consistently negative Jewish assessments of Bush's handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, except in the period immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Approval of Obama's foreign policies contrasts with increasing uneasiness in the Jewish establishment with the administration’s approach. Several influential pro-Israel organizations have spent months, to little avail, pleading with the administration to confine its disagreements to back rooms.

A handful of prominent Jewish backers of candidate Obama also appear to have had second thoughts. Most pointedly, in a New York Daily News column Monday, Ed Koch, the former New York City mayor and a supporter of Obama during the 2008 general election, said he was "weeping" because the president had "abandoned" Israel.

And Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), perhaps the most influential member of the Senate's Jewish caucus, on Sunday pointedly avoided answering a question on ABC's "This Week" about whether he agreed with a Netanyahu confidante who said Obama was a "strategic disaster" for Israel.
Brooks predicted a tide of defections. "You'll have a number of candidates" in areas with a strong Jewish presence "asking him not to campaign for them," he said.

David Harris, AJC's executive director, cautioned that low approval ratings did not necessarily translate into electoral losses.

Brooks said that he would advise GOP candidates to hammer Democrats hard on foreign policy, particularly in tight races in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Florida, where Jewish voters trended less liberal than on the coasts. "If Republican candidates are smart, they will make Democratic candidates in these races answerable to whether they support Obama's policies of pressuring Israel," the head of the Republican Jewish Coalition said.

Jewish Democrats are already preparing a response strategy of arguing that the relationship remains close on defense cooperation and other matters, despite heightened rhetoric on settlement differences.

Harris suggested that the polling showed that the American Jewish public would prefer to imagine a closeness rather than deal with tensions. Obama and Netanyahu scored similar solid majorities -- 55 percent and 57 percent, respectively -- on how they handled the relationship.

American Jews "don't want to be forced to choose," Harris said. "They would rather say a blessing on both your houses than a pox on both your houses."

According to the survey, 64 percent of Jews think Israel should, as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians, be willing to remove at least some of the settlements in the West Bank. But 61 percent rejected the idea that Israel should be willing to "compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli jurisdiction."

The poll had a margin of error of plus/minus 3 percentage points. Interviews were conducted by the firm Synovate, formerly Market Facts.****

3035  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: April 14, 2010, 11:08:35 AM
Agreed.
Doug, or other Court followers,
Couldn't it be worse with the replacement?
Obviously the One wants activist judges who interpret the constitution in a way then benefits transfer of power to the "oppressed".

I mean phone one is in office less than two years and he already is appointing two justices.  Ginsberg may die soon so there is likely a third.  Thank God they were all liberal to start with!



3036  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: April 14, 2010, 11:02:40 AM
I forgot to note that the doctor "shortage" will be also addresed by having nurse practitioners and physician assistants do what we do.

In a way, if control of health care goes the way the elites want this may not be unreasonable.  Indeed we won't need doctors at all except to do the most complex tasks or the very sickest intensive care. Every aspect of medical care will be cook book and anyone can follow down the path of computer programs that spit out what to do in any given moment.

There will be all sorts of statician studies "proving" that care will be just as good, that "outcomes" for large populations will be the same.

As a primary care physician I am used to being devalued.  So I am neither shocked or even care at this point.

It would be like replacing trained experienced police officers with auxillary police, or attorneys with paralegals and giving them cook books to follow.

Then pointing out how violent crime is not up, just as many traffick tickets are given out and that civil legal situation is just as dandy as before.



3037  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / sugar daddys for single moms on: April 13, 2010, 07:40:51 PM
Guess who - taxpayers
This is a great summary of drudge today of the mess the Phoney One has planned for us - already understood by posters here but is a nice summary one can send to non believers:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
 America Becomes a Two-Class Society
by Phyllis Schlafly
Income tax day, April 15, 2010, now divides Americans into two almost equal classes: those who pay for the services provided by government and the freeloaders. The percentage of Americans who will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009 has risen to 47 percent.

That isn't the worst of it. The bottom 40 percent not only pay no income tax, but the government sends them cash or benefits financed by the taxes dutifully paid by those who do pay income tax.

The outright cash handouts include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which can amount to as much as $5,657 a year to low-income families. Other financial benefits can include child tax credits, welfare, food stamps, WIC (Women, Infants, Children), housing subsidies, unemployment benefits, Medicaid, S-CHIP and other programs.

This is both a massive transfer of wealth and a soak-the-rich racket. The top 10 percent pay 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has become the congressional leader in explaining details of the recently passed Health Control Law. He says that, based on Congressional Budget Office figures, taxes to pay for Obamacare will have to skyrocket to an 88 percent income tax rate within 30 years.

Although all wage-earners help fund their own Social Security and Medicare benefits, only federal income taxpayers pay the costs of running the federal government, and are responsible for paying off our $12.8 trillion national debt and for bailing out Social Security, Medicare, and Fannie and Freddie when they collapse.

Even the recently passed Health Control Law contains financial subsidies to unmarried couples that are denied to married couples. This rewards the unmarried women who were the second largest demographic constituency that voted for Barack Obama for president in 2008.

When Obama told Joe the Plumber he wanted to "spread the wealth around," Obama wasn't kidding. That's exactly what he is now doing: taking money from taxpayers and spreading it around to non-taxpayers.

Nor was Obama kidding when, on the eve of his election, he threatened, "We are going to fundamentally transform the United States of America." Converting the earnings of American workers into handouts for those who voted for Obama in 2008 is certainly a fundamental transformation.

Obama's promise not to raise taxes on middle-Americans is already down the drain. Obama brought former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker out of obscurity to serve as chairman of an Economic Recovery Advisory Board and announce that we need to raise taxes.

Volcker was blunt in predicting that the new tax increase will be a Value-Added Tax (VAT). That's the tax European socialists love because its rates can be hidden and frequently raised, while producing rivers of revenue for the bureaucrats.

Volcker claimed that a VAT is "not a toxic idea." It really is -- Charles Krauthammer called it "the ultimate cash cow" because it transfers so much money from individuals to the government.

Having already co-opted the executive and legislative branches of government for his fundamental transformation, Obama now wants to use the judiciary, too. The retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens gives him this opportunity.

On Jan. 18, 2001m on Public Radio WBEZ-FM, Chicago, Obama complained that the Earl Warren Court "wasn't that radical" because "it didn't break free from the essential constraints placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. ... The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and serve more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society."

Calling for the Supreme Court to participate in the "redistribution of wealth" is shockingly revolutionary. Any judicial nominee who agrees with Obama's theory should be rejected.

Obama's game plan to "fundamentally transform" America is based on both Saul Alinsky's modus operandi for community organizing and on the Cloward-Piven spending strategy. Saul Alinsky was a famous Chicago radical, and Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were less-well-known Columbia University sociologists.

The goal of all three of these agitators was the overthrow of the private enterprise system. The Alinsky strategy is to use community organizing and mass demonstrations by those he labeled the "Have Nots," and the Cloward-Piven strategy is to overload the bureaucracy with enormous demands for entitlements, thereby causing a financial crisis.

Obama used Alinsky methods by taxpayer financing of ACORN and subprime mortgages. Obama used Cloward-Piven methods by massive deficit spending for entitlements for more and more millions of people.

Fortunately, hardworking, taxpaying Americans are beginning to understand how they are being ripped off and rushed into bankruptcy. The one way to save ourselves and our country is to elect a Congress in November pledged to stop the spending.
 
3038  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: April 13, 2010, 10:00:15 AM
The new doctors will come from overseas.  As is already the case in NJ.
I was shocked when an *Indian* colleague of mine complained about the doctor competition in NJ by saying the "damn Indians, they just keep coming".  I don't balme them if they want a better life here.  But when does it end or even slow?

By SUZANNE SATALINE And SHIRLEY S. WANG
 
Getty Images
 
First-year resident Dr. Rachel Seay, third from left, circumcises a newborn in George Washington University Hospital's delivery wing on March 12.
The new federal health-care law has raised the stakes for hospitals and schools already scrambling to train more doctors.

Experts warn there won't be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000.

The greatest demand will be for primary-care physicians. These general practitioners, internists, family physicians and pediatricians will have a larger role under the new law, coordinating care for each patient.

The U.S. has 352,908 primary-care doctors now, and the college association estimates that 45,000 more will be needed by 2020. But the number of medical-school students entering family medicine fell more than a quarter between 2002 and 2007.

Related Video
Medical Training in Second Life (04/12/10)Getting Doctors, Hospitals to Use Electronic Medical Records (01/26/09)Faces of Health Care: A Doctor is in the House (12/22/09)A shortage of primary-care and other physicians could mean more-limited access to health care and longer wait times for patients.

Proponents of the new health-care law say it does attempt to address the physician shortage. The law offers sweeteners to encourage more people to enter medical professions, and a 10% Medicare pay boost for primary-care doctors.

Meanwhile, a number of new medical schools have opened around the country recently. As of last October, four new medical schools enrolled a total of about 190 students, and 12 medical schools raised the enrollment of first-year students by a total of 150 slots, according to the AAMC. Some 18,000 students entered U.S. medical schools in the fall of 2009, the AAMC says.

But medical colleges and hospitals warn that these efforts will hit a big bottleneck: There is a shortage of medical resident positions. The residency is the minimum three-year period when medical-school graduates train in hospitals and clinics.

There are about 110,000 resident positions in the U.S., according to the AAMC. Teaching hospitals rely heavily on Medicare funding to pay for these slots. In 1997, Congress imposed a cap on funding for medical residencies, which hospitals say has increasingly hurt their ability to expand the number of positions.

Medicare pays $9.1 billion a year to teaching hospitals, which goes toward resident salaries and direct teaching costs, as well as the higher operating costs associated with teaching hospitals, which tend to see the sickest and most costly patients.

Doctors' groups and medical schools had hoped that the new health-care law, passed in March, would increase the number of funded residency slots, but such a provision didn't make it into the final bill.

"It will probably take 10 years to even make a dent into the number of doctors that we need out there," said Atul Grover, the AAMC's chief advocacy officer.

While doctors trained in other countries could theoretically help the primary-care shortage, they hit the same bottleneck with resident slots, because they must still complete a U.S. residency in order to get a license to practice medicine independently in the U.S. In the 2010 class of residents, some 13% of slots are filled by non-U.S. citizens who completed medical school outside the U.S.

One provision in the law attempts to address residencies. Since some residency slots go unfilled each year, the law will pool the funding for unused slots and redistribute it to other institutions, with the majority of these slots going to primary-care or general-surgery residencies. The slot redistribution, in effect, will create additional residencies, because previously unfilled positions will now be used, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

From the Archive
Opinion: How to Fix the Doctor Shortage (01/04/10)Health Blog: Would Adding Residency Slots Solve the Primary-Care Shortage? (11/27/09)Opinion: The Coming Shortage of Doctors (11/06/09)Health Blog: Obama: 'Severe Shortage' of Primary Care Doctors (08/11/09)Some efforts by educators are focused on boosting the number of primary-care doctors. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences anticipates the state will need 350 more primary-care doctors in the next five years. So it raised its class size by 24 students last year, beyond the 150 previous annual admissions.

In addition, the university opened a satellite medical campus in Fayetteville to give six third-year students additional clinical-training opportunities, said Richard Wheeler, executive associate dean for academic affairs. The school asks students to commit to entering rural medicine, and the school has 73 people in the program.

Journal Communitydiscuss“ As a specialist physician I will suggest that until primary care physicians can earn 70-80% of what most specialists make without killing themselves, there will be no incentive for the best and the brightest to go into primary care. ”
—Michael Brennan "We've tried to make sure the attitude of students going into primary care has changed," said Dr. Wheeler. "To make sure primary care is a respected specialty to go into."

Montefiore Medical Center, the university hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, has 1,220 residency slots. Since the 1970s, Montefiore has encouraged residents to work a few days a week in community clinics in New York's Bronx borough, where about 64 Montefiore residents a year care for pregnant women, deliver children and provide vaccines. There has been a slight increase in the number of residents who ask to join the program, said Peter Selwyn, chairman of Montefiore's department of family and social medicine.

One is Justin Sanders, a 2007 graduate of the University of Vermont College of Medicine who is a second-year resident at Montefiore. In recent weeks, he has been caring for children he helped deliver. He said more doctors are needed in his area, but acknowledged that "primary-care residencies are not in the sexier end. A lot of these [specialty] fields are a lot sexier to students with high debt burdens."

 Write to Suzanne Sataline at suzanne.sataline@wsj.com and Shirley S. Wang at shirley.wang@wsj.com

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
3039  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: April 12, 2010, 05:19:14 PM
I guess this could go under spending, education or another topic.
Yet since we are talking about NJ there is a titanic fight between newly elected Gov. Christie and teachers unions.
I keep seeing commercials telling us how Christie is hurting our children by trying to cap pay increases for teachers and asking them to contribute into their own pensions.

http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2010100411013

Private unions and unions of public officials are in my opinion not the same.

No one is against teachers per se but teachers in NJ are some of the highest paid in the country, our porperty taxes ARE the highest in the country.

If I recall the unions in California destroyed Schwarzenegger.  Christie seems to be winning here.

3040  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / G.Will: retirement on: April 12, 2010, 11:43:11 AM
Perhaps this could go under the way forward for conservative, etc:

***Jewish World Review April 11, 2010

Only a brave few acknowledge an entitlement crisis

By George Will

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A puzzle from Philosophy 101: If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? A puzzle from the prairie: If an earthquake occurs in Illinois and no one notices, is it really a seismic event?

Gov. Pat Quinn called it a "political earthquake" when the state's legislature recently voted — by margins of 92 to 17 in the House and 48 to 6 in the Senate — to reform pensions for state employees. There is now a cap on the amount of earnings that can be used as the basis for calculating benefits. In some states, employees game the system by "spiking" their last year's earnings by accumulating vast amounts of overtime pay.

An even more important change — a harbinger of America's future — is that most new Illinois state government employees must work until age 67 to be eligible for full retirement benefits. Those already on the state payroll can still retire at 55 with full benefits.

The 1935 Social Security Act established 65 as the age of eligibility for payouts. But welfare state politics quickly becomes a bidding war, enriching the menu of benefits, so Congress in 1956 entitled women to collect benefits at 62 and in 1961 extended the entitlement to men. Today, nearly half of Social Security recipients choose to begin getting benefits at 62. This is a grotesque perversion of a program that was never intended to subsidize retirees for a third to a half of their adult lives.

It also reflects the decadent dependence that the welfare state encourages: Because of the displacement of responsibility from the individual to government, 48 percent of workers over 55 have total savings and investments of less than $50,000.

Because most states' pension plans compute their present values — and minimize required current contributions — by assuming an unrealistic 8 percent annual return on investments, the cumulative funding gap of state pensions already may be $3 trillion and certainly is rising. For example, Wednesday's New York Times contained this attention-seizing bulletin: "An independent analysis of California's three big pension funds has found a hidden shortfall of more than half a trillion dollars, several times the amount reported by the funds and more than six times the value of the state's outstanding bonds." It is not news that California is America's home-grown Greece, but the condition of the three funds, which serve 2.6 million current and retired public employees, is going to exacerbate the state's decline by requiring significantly higher taxpayer contributions.

 A recent debate on "Fox News Sunday" illustrated the differences between the few politicians who are, and the many who are not, willing to face facts. Marco Rubio, the former speaker of Florida's House of Representatives who is challenging Gov. Charles Crist for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, made news by stating the obvious.

Asked how the nation might address the projected $17.5 trillion in unfunded Social Security liabilities, Rubio said that we should consider two changes for people 10 or more years from retirement. One would raise the retirement age. The other would alter the calculation of benefits: Indexing them to inflation rather than wage increases would substantially reduce the system's unfunded liabilities.

Neither idea startles any serious person. But Crist, with the reflex of the unreflective, rejected both and said that he would fix Social Security by eliminating "waste" and "fraud," of which there is little. The system's problems are the result not of incompetent administration but of improvident promises made by Congress.

Synthetic indignation being the first refuge of political featherweights, Crist's campaign announced that he believes Rubio's suggestions are "cruel, unusual and unfair to seniors living on a fixed income." They are indeed unusual, because flinching from the facts of the coming entitlements crisis is the default position of all but a responsible few, such as Wisconsin's Rep. Paul Ryan, who has endorsed Rubio. What is ultimately cruel is Crist's unserious pretense that America faces only palatable choices and that improvident promises can be fully funded with money currently lost to waste and fraud.

By the time the baby boomers have retired in 2030, the median age of the American population will be close to that of today's population of Florida, the retirees' haven that is Heaven's antechamber. The 38-year-old Rubio's responsible answer to a serious question gives the nation a glimpse of a rarity — a brave approach to the welfare state's inevitable politics of gerontocracy.***

3041  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: April 10, 2010, 09:35:41 PM
Katherine always had a dream to be a singer.  She went to Nashville in 1989.  I met her in '92.
She met some important people in the business.  She even sat next to Willie Nelson who showed her how to eat lobster.

They suggested she open for Alabama but from what she tells me she may have gotten nervous.  She told them she didn't have the songs.  They said, don't worry we can get you the songs.   She now states she didn't know they meant steal them.

In any case she didn't sleep with one or two people and they got mad.

I don't know all the details as I was not there.  They knew she could write lyrics.  She should one songwriter her songs and he thought they were good.  But she told me years ago that he then asked her why she was showing him her songs.  He warned her, never show anyone your songs.  Not even your mamma.  They will be stolen in a heartbeat.

We later learned he wasn't kidding.  She believes they didn't rob her then because they liked her.  In retrospect she recalls one of the men who liked her bringing her roses and she spurned him.  Her mother who is a definite psycopath encouraged her not to speak to him.  She can only guess that she pissed him off and that is why they have kept after her since.

We believe the reason that songwriters (the real ones don't get paid ) is that there is a whole network of middle men who appear controlled by someone or a few people who will not "let anyone" in the business without their ok.
They appear to contol who gets on radio and the circuit.

As one guy who has a recording studio, Paul Harlyn in Celebration Fla. (aka Paul Biddles) said, the music business is kind of "clicky", if they like you they let you in.  If they don't you may as well pack up your bags and go home.
He moved to Celebration from Jersey City NJ for the purpose of hooking up with (and probably scamming) Katherine it is my belief.

She recorded three songs in his home studio.  Since then the people robbing us have been trying to get them out of, or rearranged in the CRO.  We believe they were set to be taken and sold to Shania Twain.  Twain tells the story that she and her hsuband Mutt Lange were in a hotel and were writing songs and suddenly they realized they had all these "hits" and both just suddenly got so excited and "this was what they were waiting for". that was before she was famous and after her first album which was a total bomb.

Now if that doesn't sound ridiculous?  You don't sit and write songs and *suddenly realize* you have all these hits and exclaim this is what we were waiting for!  More like, the people who robbed Katherine showed up at the hotel with her stuff and showed Twain and Lange the goods who immediately saw its' potential and realized those were the potential hits they were waiting for and then proceeded to cut some sort of deal with the music lyrics thieves.  Well I can tell you don't think Shania Twain is smart.  She ain't.

As far as the melodies of her songs I don't know where they come from.  Perhaps Lange really did come up with those.  I don't know.
3042  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: April 10, 2010, 09:30:24 AM
True.
And there are those who believe it is simply a matter of time the Israelis get "wiped out".

Certainly this President has helped rally world opinion against them.

Yet I see everyday liberal American Jews defending this President everyday.  Why?  Because he is a Democrat.  No other reason.  If he were a Republican they would be screaming about his anti-semitism.
3043  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: April 09, 2010, 01:28:18 PM
SkinnyDevil,
That is what I believe.  The lyrics were taken out of our house.
It is a long long story.  I have been posting for years on this board and the previous message board  Crafty and I were on.  Unfortunately this has been ongoing for years and the people who are orchestrating this are master criminals who must have been in the music theft business (or in their families) for decades.
As for Copyright my wife just noticed Copyrights missing out of the house and noticed that registrations that are in the Copyright Office have probably been switched.  The people robbing us have been planning this for several years and may have recently succeeded on getting a half dozen songs (Katherine is not sure how many but this is her estimate).  She wrote a few thousand songs so she has difficulty keeping track.

My wife registered multiple song lyrics under one registration title page (it varied but could be as many as 25 songs under one registration.  The only thing that gets documented when registered is the title register page.  IT will list that there are 25 songs but not the actual lyrics.  The lyrics behind the total registration go into storage which has recently been moved over to Maryland.  To have the proof of lyrics found one would have to request the CO pull the registartion in storage.  There were numerous steps along the way and multiple people in the chain of custody so to speak.  Anyone along the way could be bribed and apparantly do get bribed.
There is virtually no chance the materials could be pulled, and viola, we would get evidence implication Toby Keith or anyone else at that level.  It never happens.  The crooks always seem to find a way to get the right stuff to disappear and get switched so another song is in the place of the one with the evidence.  That is why it is so hard to catch anyone.  The music and I am sure the whole entertainment business, as well as the book business is corrupt with intellectual property theft.  Law enforcement is not interested and most people like us either don't even realized they were robbed or can't even sy how it is done so no one in law enforcement bothers.

The music industry and the middle men thieves appear to control what goes on at Copyright.  Remember, no one is really watching what goes on in at the CR Office.

Indeed there are literally only a small number of people in the whole world who really know what goes on there. And legally they have final say on what and how documents get processed.

For example, we had one document pulled to have it brought to the main office and get a certified copy which definitely had evidence of a song that was done by some big name in the industry.  Of course the copy we got did not have in it the right information.  And the rest of our documentation was stolen from our house prior.  It appeared the registration coming over from storage was taking longer than usual.  We inquired why.

Well we were told that on the way from storage to the CRO the "truck" broke down and was in the repair shop - with those materials in it.  Well gee what a coincidence.
How much does it cost to bribe a truck driver to bring a truck into a repair shop.  Who is going to even question this but us?  How can anyone prove this wasn't anything more than a coincidence?  Try telling law enforcement this.  Even if they were willing to believe it they won't do a thing.
So there you have it. 


As an aside Shania Twain is coming out with a reality show to portray her efforts to make a comeback???  But I don't understand.  She is the great singer songwriter?

She is this great creative musical talent with no less than a quarter of a billion dollars to her name.  Yet she needs to show her efforts on a reality show?

The truth is it ain't Mutt Lange or her who came up with lyrics (I admit I don't know about the melodies).

The truth is she is not a creative talent.  She couldn't write a song lyric to save her life.  It is all a scam.  They either have some of Katherine's lyrics or are awaiting to get the evidence on more and will show her pretending she writes the songs.

Why else?  She is so great, she has so much money and so many connections she can't simply write songs and come out with them?

The excuse will be that without Mutt her talent is diminished.  They were only good as they were when together.  Toby Keith uses the same excuse, "my little song writing buddy" as he points to the silent side kick next to him in his band as a way of explaining why he couldn't write till he was in his late thirties.  That explains why he suddenly became a genius.

http://www.fox23.com/entertainment/story/Twain-lands-reality-TV-show/2yD0DqtqA0aCyAt5iOD74A.cspx
3044  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NYT-why not celebrate on: April 09, 2010, 11:26:40 AM
Well I guess that the "recovery" is based all on funny/monopoly money - that's why.
Why be glum about a 20 trillion debt???

***Why So Glum? Numbers Point to a Recovery
By FLOYD NORRIS
Published: April 8, 2010
 That is what usually happens after particularly sharp recessions, so it is surprising that many commentators, whether economists or politicians, seem to doubt that such a thing could possibly be happening.

Usually you can depend on the White House to view the economy with the most rose-tinted glasses available. But it was not until last week, after a strong employment report, that President Obama started to sound a little optimistic.

“The tough measures that we took — measures that were necessary even though sometimes they were unpopular — have broken this slide and are helping us to climb out of this recession,” he said in a speech at a factory making battery components in North Carolina.

Note, however, that he seemed to believe the country remained in recession. It is virtually certain that is not accurate, as least as will be determined by the arbiters of recession at the National Bureau of Economic Research. “The recession is over,” one of those arbiters, Jeffrey Frankel of Harvard, wrote this week.

But the White House is unwilling to make that claim.

Why is good news being received with such doubt? Why is “new normal” the currently popular economic phrase, signifying that growth will be subpar for an extended period, and that the old normal is no longer something to be expected?

It is possible, of course, that I am wrong and the prevalent pessimism is correct. Many economic indicators, including Thursday’s retail sales report, are looking up, but that does not prove the recovery will be self-sustaining. There are issues relating to over-indebted consumers and local governments. The housing collapse will have an impact for some time.

But there are, I think, a number of reasons for the glum outlook that are unrelated to the actual economic data.

First, the last two recoveries, after the downturns of 1990-91 and 2001, were in fact very slow to pick up any momentum. It is easy to forget that those recessions were also remarkably shallow. If you are under 45, you probably don’t have much recollection of the last strong recovery, after the recession that ended in late 1982.

Add to that the fact that the vast majority of the seers did not see this recession coming. Remember Ben Bernanke assuring us the subprime problem was “contained”? In mid-2008, after the recession had been under way for six months, the Fed thought there would be no recession, and the most pessimistic member of its Open Market Committee thought the unemployment rate could climb to 6.1 percent by late 2009. It actually went over 10 percent.

In January of this year — after the recession had probably been over for at least a few months — the most optimistic member of the committee expected the unemployment rate to fall to 8.6 percent by late this year. The consensus was for a rate no lower than 9.5 percent.

Having been embarrassed by missing impending disaster, there is an understandable hesitation to appear foolishly optimistic again.

But even without that factor, it is normal for recessions to make people pessimistic. “Go back and read what people were saying in 1982 or 1975,” said Robert Barbera, the chief economist of ITG. “Nobody was saying, ‘Deep recession, big recovery.’ It is quite normal to expect an abnormally weak recovery. It is also normal for that expectation to be wrong.”

But if that is normal, one factor that brings optimism to some forecasts is absent this time. Both Republicans and Democrats have good reasons to be negative. Republicans are loath to give President Obama credit for anything, and no doubt grate when he points to his administration’s stimulus program as a cause of the good economic news, as he did in North Carolina.

Democrats would love to give the president credit. But much of the Democratic Party wants another stimulus bill to be passed, notwithstanding worries about budget deficits. Chances for that are not enhanced by the perception the economy is getting better.

The employment report for March, released a week ago, was a milestone that has been little noted. The household survey, from which the unemployment rate is calculated, showed a gain during the first quarter of this year of 1.1 million jobs, the best performance since the spring of 2005.

True, the more widely reported numbers from the survey of employers are not as good. But those numbers are subject to heavy revision as better data becomes available. At the turning points for employment after the last two downturns, those numbers turned out to be far better than was reported at the time.

Employment is a lagging indicator. Employers can be slow to cut back when business turns down, and slow to rehire when it picks up. It stands to reason that when employers cut back sharply — as happened in this cycle — they will have to rehire faster than if they had been slow to fire, as was true in the two previous downturns.

I looked back at the recoveries after seven recessions from 1950 through 1982 and found that, on average, such a strong three-month performance of the household survey, defined as a gain of at least 0.8 percent in the total number of existing jobs, came seven months after the recession had ended, with a range of two to 13 months.

If the 2007-9 recession ended in August, as the index of coincident indicators would seem to indicate, the lag this time will have been seven months.

The lag was 28 months after the 1990-91 recession ended, and an amazing 42 months after the 2001 downturn concluded. Those really did deserve the title of “jobless recovery.” But they were very different from what appears to be unfolding now.

The stock market’s recent performance may be sending a similar message. Prices have been rising, but there is not much volume. Why? A lot of money managers are fully invested, but many investors remain fearful and are not putting cash into mutual funds. To judge from anecdotal evidence, some of the buying now is short-covering by hedge funds that expected the economy to be much weaker than it is, and thought corporate earnings reports would devastate investors. Instead, they are hearing from companies that business is stronger than expected.

Some Americans are in deep trouble, to be sure, and the days of paying for second homes by refinancing the mortgage on the first will not return soon. But many Americans — both individuals and businesses — who cut back sharply when fear was at a peak a year ago are now finding that they overreacted. The businesses need to hire to meet demand, some of it coming from individuals who are less fearful now of losing their own jobs.

In 1982, Democrats scoffed at a surging stock market and thought a severe recession would last for a very long time. They were confident that the economy would doom Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984. All they had to do was make clear they offered a stark alternative to the failing policies of the incumbent.***

3045  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: April 09, 2010, 10:51:10 AM
"or go down like the Carthaginians.........."

Perhaps a slightly different comparison is go down like the 300 Spartans.

And the Phoney Jew hating Obama is the local herder who led the Persians to the pass behind them that led to their fall and deaths.

What I can't believe is all these liberal Jews who still work for and support the One.  What did any Jew expect this guy would do - who sat in Wright's pews for a quarter century?
3046  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / All part of the plan on: April 09, 2010, 10:43:07 AM
Crafty,

That is terrible.
I sympathize.
There is no doubt this is due to the health care bill.
The insurers are going to have to come up with money somewhere to pay for all the new people with medical conditions and the rest.
They started jacking up the rates this past year in anticipation of the health care bill.

My rates up 21%.  I am sure they will skyrocket even more now.

An MBA administrator I work with who works closely with some of the big insurers in NJ said that the health care companies aniticipated the health care bill passing and would have been in total disaray if it *didn't* pass.

The  health care policy makers and ALL the politicians behind the bill including of course Bama *know* this will happen.  They know rates will skyrocket, they know people will be screaming for government to step in, they will be out their populist hay out of the insurers "ripping us off" and eventually will slowly but surely have government step in and take control and dictate the rationing of health care to all of us.  He/they are lying to us when they pretend otherwise.  Talk radio is correct on calling them on this and the disingenious jerks who publish in the NEJM who claim that those who opposed the bill were doing so on "baseless" or bogus "claims" are boldfaced ideologues - no less no more.  Now if I send in a letter to the NEJM editor calling them on this the journal will simply not publish my letter.

Thus they forced down the throats of 90% of the US population their will forcing us to pay for the 10% who will get the free benefits.  And yes the benefits will be free.

Do not think for one second they don't KNOW this.  Of course they do.

And getting back to your question as to whether Medicare can be replaced by anything else - I don't know the answer and I have not seen anyone even consider this or entertain that idea - though it is a good one.

Unfortunately, as you can see by my post of the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE article which is the medical version of the NYT, the policy people behind the wheels and gears of health care policy want to *expand* and not do away with Medicare/caid.  They want to expand it to all Americans with *them at the helm*.

I keep thinking I must cancel my subscription to the NEJM but I keep talking myself out of it because they are the premier journal in the US and I do like to read their occasional important medical publications.  That said I can tell you without quivication that most doctors are outraged by their politics and that journal does NOT speak to most of our views on the health care debate.  The journal stifles any real disagreement or letters of correspondence that hold opposing views to their liberal clones that get their articles and opinions published as though it is gospel and make it appear they speak for us.

3047  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is Dick Morris right? on: April 08, 2010, 04:14:44 PM
« 2010: TAKE BACK AMERICA — A BATTLE PLANDEM STRATEGISTS HAVE IT WRONG
By Dick Morris 04.7.2010 Stanley Greenberg and James Carville claim that the Republican Party has peaked too soon. Incredibly, Greenberg says “when we look back on this, we’re going to say Massachusetts is when 1994 happened.” Stan’s only claim to expertise in the 1994 elections, of course, is that he’s the guy who blew it for the Democrats. Right after that, President Clinton fired both of the flawed consultants and never brought them back again.

Now,their latest pitch is that the highpoint of the GOP advance was the Scott Brown election and that, from here on, things will “improve slightly” for the Democrats.

Once again, Carville and Greenberg are totally misreading the public mood. Each time the Republican activists battle, they become stronger. Their cyber and grass roots grow deeper. The negatives that attach to so-called “moderate” Democratic incumbents increase. And each time Obama, Reid and Pelosi defy public opinion and use their majorities to ram through unpopular legislation, frustration and anger rises.

Were Obama’s ambitions to slacken, perhaps a cooling off might eventuate. But soon the socialist financial takeover bill will come on the agenda, followed by amnesty for illegal immigrants, cap and trade, and card check unionization. Each bill will trigger its own mobilization of public opposition and add to the swelling coalition of opposition to Obama and his radical agenda.

And, all the while, the deficit will increase, interest rates will rise, and unemployment will remain high.

Meanwhile, the political process will generate more and more strong Republican challengers. We have yet to see if former Governor Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin or Dino Rossi of Washington State will emerge to challenge Senators Feingold and Murray. Better House candidates will decide to capitalize on the momentum and will jump into the race and Republican donors will come out of hiding, their efforts catalyzed by the growing optimism about GOP chances.

Presaging the Republican sweep that looms ahead, is the shift in the party ratings on various issues. Rasmussen has the Republicans ahead by 49-37 on the economy and 53-37 on health care. His likely voter poll shows GOP leads on every major issue area: national security (49-37), Iraq (47-39), Education (43-30), Immigration (47-34), Social Security (48-36), and Taxes (52-34).

When Republicans are winning issues like education, healthy care, and social security – normally solidly Democratic issues – a sweep of unimaginable proportions is in the offing.

Will the rise in economic growth and job creation – if they continue — offset the Republican gains? Not very likely. Remember Bill Clinton’s 1994 experience. Even though the recession had officially ended in the quarter before he took office and he proudly pointed to five million new jobs that had been created during the first two years of his presidency, Clinton got no bounce from the jobs issue or the economy. Even in the election of 1996, the economy was only marginally a source of strength for the Democratic president. It wasn’t until impeachment that the job growth that had been ongoing since he took office began to work heavily in his favor with the public. The hangover from a recession, certainly from one a violent as this, lasts a long time. A very long time.

And all this assumes that things will, indeed, improve. Worries about inflation loom large and concerns that higher taxes and interest rates will trigger a new downturn also abound. As long as the deficit is as high as it is, there is no solid foundation for a sustained period of economic growth.

Finally, Obama is now responsible for health care in America. When premiums rise, it will be his fault. When coverage is denied, it will be on his watch. When Medicare cuts kick in, it will be Obama who gets the blame.

Carville’s last book touted “forty more years of Democrats.” Now he dreams of a loss of “only” 25 seats in the House and “six or seven” Senators. But these are pipe dreams. Republicans will gain more than fifty House seats and at least ten in the Senate, enough to take control in both Houses. That’s reality.



3048  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "The War Isn’t Over" on: April 08, 2010, 01:40:15 PM
From the New England Journal of liberalism, woops I mean Medicine.  Notice PhDs are getting this political piece published in the NEJM that purports to be non partisan.
Look at this line carefully:

***On the political front, Republicans unanimously opposed the final bill in both the House and the Senate. They have expressed outrage at the Democratic leadership’s decision to “ram through” reform using budget reconciliation to modify the Senate-passed bill sufficiently to make it acceptable to the House. The outrage is baseless***

Oh really,  the outrage is "baseless".  Says who?  These policy liberals are the ones who are going to decide all health care in this nation.  Make no mistake about it.  They are drooling at the prospect of getting the power to say yes or no to our health care.  I wonder what they make.  FOX news should do some research on these people and their financial interests.  Notice they all seem to fall behind the scenes.  Yet they are making policy the Dems are shoving down our throats - I know this claim is "baseless".  Where is the journalism that should be looking into these progressives?

****from the publishers of
the New England
Journal of Medicine
The War Isn’t Over
Posted by NEJM • March 24th, 2010 • Printer-friendly
Henry J. Aaron, Ph.D., and Robert D. Reischauer, Ph.D.

Health care reform advocates will and should celebrate their history-making legislative success. For many, the past year has been all health care all the time. Celebration should be limited, however. Major challenges lie ahead, and hard work remains to be done. Opponents will continue, and probably intensify, their opposition. They have promised legal challenges and are likely to seek repeal of all or part of the legislation. Moreover, formidable implementation hurdles must be surmounted if health care reform is to achieve its goals.

On the political front, Republicans unanimously opposed the final bill in both the House and the Senate. They have expressed outrage at the Democratic leadership’s decision to “ram through” reform using budget reconciliation to modify the Senate-passed bill sufficiently to make it acceptable to the House. The outrage is baseless, but the fury is real and will poison future debate.

The first political testing ground will be the November 2010 midterm elections. Republicans have pledged to make the substance of the reform and the procedures used to enact it central to these elections. The Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress are likely to be reduced, probably by even more than is usual for an off-year election. With 2010 gains under their belts, opponents will almost certainly continue and intensify attacks on the reform legislation during the 2012 presidential and congressional campaigns; they may well regain control of the Senate — 21 Democrats and 2 independents who vote with them, but only 10 Republicans, will be up for reelection — and could win the White House.

The reform legislation’s implementation schedule gives these political possibilities particular salience. Although many provisions of the bill will take effect immediately or soon after enactment, implementation of the big-ticket items is deferred. The individual and employer mandates, the subsidies to make insurance affordable, the Medicaid expansion, and major insurance-market reforms will all start in 2014. And the tax on high-cost insurance plans goes into effect in 2018. Given the intensity of Republicans’ opposition to the substance and manner of passage of this reform, if the GOP regains the presidency and control of Congress in 2012, implementation could be substantially delayed or the law could be significantly modified or even repealed before its major elements have been implemented.

Making the legislation a success requires not only that it survive but also that it be effectively implemented. Although the bill runs to more than 2000 pages, much remains to be decided. The legislation tasks federal or state officials with writing regulations, making appointments, and giving precise meaning to many terms. Many of these actions will provoke controversy. Performing them will take staff, money, and time. Given the current federal deficit and beleaguered state treasuries, needed staff and funding will be hard to come by.

Even with adequate resources, implementing health care reform will be complex and difficult. Much of this challenge is inherent in the complicated and diverse ways in which health care is delivered and paid for in the United States. Part of the challenge arises from the likelihood that as implementation proceeds, unforeseen challenges will emerge.

To get some flavor of what lies ahead, consider the following. The law provides for income-based credits payable by the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to insurers on behalf of households that apply for coverage through state-managed health insurance exchanges. IRS filing units (whether individuals, couples, or families) are not always the same as the units covered by a health insurance policy. Eligibility for health insurance subsidies should be based on current income, but the IRS has income information only for past years. Mechanisms for exchanging income information between the IRS and the state insurance exchanges will need to be developed, as will ways of handling subsidies when definitions of a family unit vary and when family composition or income changes significantly between the time that taxes are filed and the time when insurance subsidies are to be delivered.

Other issues arise because the legislation asks state officials, some of whom oppose the reform, to play a large part in its implementation. The bill calls on each state to set up its own health insurance exchange and permits the exchanges to operate under widely varying rules. For example, states may establish separate exchanges for individuals and for small groups and may create a basic plan for individuals and families with incomes between 133 and 200% of the federal poverty level. Insurers need not offer the same plans in the exchanges as they do outside them. Averting insurance-company competition that is based on risk selection will require aggressive state oversight, which some states may be unwilling or unable to provide.

These responsibilities will be terra incognita for many state administrators. Even when goodwill prevails, administrators will find implementation very difficult. However, the experience of the Commonwealth Connector, the exchange though which Massachusetts residents without employer-provided insurance obtain affordable coverage, offers encouragement that these difficulties can be overcome.

Furthermore, parts of the reform are bound not to work as expected. For example, the legislation calls for extending Medicaid to everyone with an income below 133% of the federal poverty level. Medicaid rolls in some states will expand by 50% or more. It is unclear whether these states will be able to find enough providers who are willing to accept the anticipated payment rates to serve this expanded population, even as the demand from better-paying patients for services is growing. If they don’t, will they raise provider payment rates, curtail Medicaid benefits (as states are legally authorized to do), or simply let patients fail to find doctors who are willing to provide them with care?

To further complicate matters, some families may be able to buy insurance in several distinct ways, depending on their income, family composition, and state policy. Different family members may be eligible under Medicaid, under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), through the exchanges with subsidies, through the exchanges without subsidies, or through a yet-to-be-created state basic health insurance plan. If employers offer plans that meet federal standards and cost households no more than stipulated fractions of the worker’s income, employees will not be eligible for insurance through exchanges, but if employment-based insurance does not meet federal standards or is too costly, employees will have the option of buying insurance through the exchanges — with or without subsidies, depending on income. Small changes in income can push some, but not all, family members from one form of coverage to another — for example, from Medicaid or CHIP to the basic plan to the exchanges. Negotiating this maze will be a challenge for many health care seekers, particularly low- and moderate-income families. Providing ample counseling will be essential. These and myriad other implementation difficulties will fuel continued political controversy.

Passage of health care reform legislation is a cause for celebration. But supporters must not relax. They should prepare to meet the serious challenges that remain. If those challenges are not recognized and surmounted, health care reform could go the way of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988. That bill, enacted with almost self-congratulatory enthusiasm, provoked vociferous resistance from some observers and was repealed 16 months later. If supporters of the current reform meet the remaining challenges, its course could instead resemble that of the Medicare drug bill, which was widely regarded as a case study in efficient and effective implementation.

Far from having ended, the war to make health care reform an enduring success has just begun. Winning that war will require administrative determination and imagination and as much political resolve as was needed to pass the legislation.

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org.

Source Information

From the Brookings Institution (H.J.A.) and the Urban Institute (R.D.R.) — both in Washington, DC.

This article (10.1056/NEJMp1003394) was published on March 24, 2010, at NEJM.org.

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Read this article at NEJM.org
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 © 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society  Entries (RSS)  Comments (RSS) ****
3049  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: April 07, 2010, 02:55:01 PM
I don't know.  It is 93 degrees in NJ in early April.  This has never happened that I know of.
3050  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / My take on: April 07, 2010, 10:43:19 AM
Rarick,
I agree with you.
But doctors are far from organized and a large heterogenous group of different specialties, ages, men vs women, ethinic groups, foreign born vs American born, and philosophies.

There are many articles in the med journals making "calls to action".   Like, "we doctors must take action now or we never will, etc, etc, yadda, yadda, etc".
"We are the buyers in health care not the patients(since we are the ones ordering tests, etc)".  Blah blah blah blah blah.

I can go on ad nauseum.   Usually a few people will write letters to the editor in response to these articles some agreeing some the other way.  The medical organizations have different stances too.  The American College of Physicians has already accepted for *many* years now the fait accompli (sp?) of government takeover of health care and sucks up to the government agreeing to nearly every concept they come up with in hopes we can salvage at least a minimal say in what happens.  For example if we can at least get some tort reform.  Or some payment reform to salvage primary care from the ruins it is in.  Of course the Feds take payments away from specialists to give us a few bones fragmenting the medical community more.  The Cardiologists who for all intents and purposes have done everything they can to soak the  system for every dime have attempted to sue the Feds for payment cuts.  Of course that didn't work.  I have no sympathy for what one primary doc rightly called the "priviledged class" when referring to cardiologists.

Of course the dishonest Phoney One  goes around claiming that illegals are not covered now suggesting no one need worry about that.  Of course he fails to say that all their American born children are.  And what a joke this will turn out to be the true minute they grant amnesty cloaked as some sort of program that requires them to pay fines, learn some English, pay back taxes etc.

There is NO escaping the conclusion that any rational person can come to that the policy makers that come up with these gov. health care plans and the politicians that push for them including the great liar in chief, do not know the sytem WILL go broke when millions more are added onto the rolls requiring the government to step in and save it from itself with single payer.  (Keeping these people out of ERs won't do it.  In fact I predict it will just make costs go up even more.)

THE REAL TRUTH IS THAT THIS IS THE STRATEGY.

Pelosi/Bela Lugosi has already basically said as much when she claims this bill is just the start.  "Kicking in the door" and more bills to fix the system towards their ultimate goal.  Bama has said as much too.

I am sure that Bama told this to Kusinich on that air force one plane ride.  He must have told him not to worry.  That the present bill is the only one politically viable enough to get passed, but not to worry as it is only the start of a process to get "our" ultimate goal passed which is single payer government run rationed care where everyone is treated exactly like everyone else. 

I am sure he told him he agrees with Kusinich in principle and probably promised him that they will together succeed but it takes time.  "Pretend to be one of them if you want to change them".

There is no question we will have debt skyrocket as a result.  Don't think for even a second, or a pause that all this talk of bundling payments, research into cost effective care, getting rid of the middle men insurers, single payer, preventative care, etc, will be enough.  It problably will help but as soon as millions more are on the rolls for free to them - the game is up.  Look at Massachussets. Romney is the poster boy for this.

 
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