Thursday Open Thread

I'll be offline for several hours. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

Update: Forgot to mention, for those disappointed Richie Sambora won't be playing the upcoming leg of the tour with Bon Jovi, Phil X is filling in. He subbed for Richie in 2011 for a few months and is great. Here's a video. Bon Jovi's brother Matthew tweets the TMZ story about a feud is way off. No one has yet explained the "personal issues" involved, other than Sambora is clearly not in rehab. In Calgary, Bon Jovi told the audience he didn't know Richie wouldn't be coming until he got a phone call at 3:30 pm that day. He'll be missed, but it's still well worth keeping your tickets and seeing the show.

Again, this is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Gotta repost... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 12:57:41 PM EST
    Perhaps the largest strike in the history of the fast food industry is happening right now, on the anniversary of the MLK assasination.  Workers fighting for a living wage and dignity...power to the people!

    Show your support anyway you can, but most of all don't cross the line!  

    Better than a strike would be (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by bocajeff on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 01:17:54 PM EST
    Why doesn't either Governor Cuomo or Mayor Bloomberg raise the minimum wage in NYC? Instead of going after large sodas they can actually make a real difference.

    Maybe if one of the high profile U.S. Senators, or former U.S. Senators took up the cause of the working poor, things would change. In other words, watch what they do and not what they say.


    Good question... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 01:24:21 PM EST
    Bloomberg has consistently opposed paid sick leave legislation and raising the min. wage....because he cares so much about the working poor and their health and well-being (lol).

    The latest state budget approved by Cuomo includes a raise of the state min. wage to 9 bucks by 2015...not sure if that is officially official yet, or can be compromised away.  Might be sufficient upstate, but 9 bucks is still a joke in NYC.

    The strikers want 15, which sounds about right for a NYC min. wage.


    Well, (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by bocajeff on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 01:41:06 PM EST
    that's the problem with minimum wage laws. $9 in upstate NY is different than in NYC. I'm in South Florida: What works in Belle Glade isn't going to work in Coral Gables. I believe this is really an issue that belongs to the State which is why I think Bloomberg, Cuomo, Shumer, Clinton (Gillenbrand), should have been championing it. But I guess it's easier to say your for the little guy than actually do something about it. NY is a blue state: Let it act like one.

    Modern Blue State... (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 01:49:12 PM EST
    that houses Wall St., post Bill Clinton radically changing the party...which means corporations first, and second.  Little guy gets a few extra bones compared to the modern red state, but that's about it.

    And in the case of NYC, lets not forget stop-n-frisk.  So Joe Burger Flipper gets stopped and frisked on the way to work, and maybe again on the way home.  Maybe he lives in a mold-infested NYCHA building to boot.  And if he needs a cigarette to deal with life stress, that'll cost an extra 8 bucks a pack.  Bloomberg, he really cares, but it'll cost ya;)  


    OK, I live in a small town in Missouri (none / 0) (#71)
    by mogal on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:43:10 PM EST
    I pay my house cleaner $10.00 a hour, $70 a week. She works the other five days in a nursing home as a cook for less money.  

    She is a loving kind woman who helps her family and "can just almost  make it" no car, no assets at all.  She is the working poor. (she raised a daughter who is an officer in the U. S. Army.   She is in her early 60's and  an African American.  I write this because i can't imagine how people live in New York City makiing less are able to exist.

    "The poor will be with us always." God gives us the opportunity to minister and be blessed serving the poor.


    Well, this is one of the reasons (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by NYShooter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:52:30 PM EST
     I'm proud to be a "New Yorker." Whenever I'm in an argument with people from low-tax states I point out people like the one you're writing about. Those low-tax states that they're so proud of don't only treat poor people like garbage, they also give them lousy schools, lousy health care, lousy environment, but plenty of guns.

    If your house keeper were in NY, you're right, the pay would make life difficult. But, the menu of services she'd be entitled to would greatly ameliorate those difficulties. The past few years I was quite active helping seniors apply for, and receive, a number of those benefits. I don't mind telling you I was quite moved by what was available. It may not seem like a whole lot to most of us, but when you've got nothing anything above nothing is the difference between life and death.

    So, they can go ahead and knock NY for the high taxes, but, if I was destitute, you can bet your cookies I'd rather be in NY than in any of the Red states.


    But...in the words of St Ambrose (none / 0) (#81)
    by DFLer on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:51:44 AM EST
    not charity for the poor, but JUSTICE!!!

    Amen! (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by mogal on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 01:20:21 PM EST
    The problem with leaving it all up to ... (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 03:45:10 PM EST
    ... the states is that while many states are collectively enlightened, there's a pretty decent handful which are not, by any reasonable stretch of the imagination.

    Texas, for example. Now, some may tout the "Texas Miracle," but if something immaculate did occur in the Texas economy, it was clearly at the expense of the working poor. Go down to the Rio Grande Valley sometime, away from the gated white winter communities in Brownsville and Harlingen, and see what you find.

    (Then cross over that border into the land of the Maquiladoras, that region immediately south of the international boundary where U.S. firms set up manufacturing zones in the aftermath of NAFTA's ratification to take advantage of the cheap labor which subsequently came flocking to them, and you'll find much worse.)

    Let's face facts and get real. We have very significant pockets of poverty in this country, which in some instances can rival those found in many Third World countries. Many -- but by no means all -- of the inhabitants are people of color. Not uncoincidentally, these places are often located in those areas where wealthy business interests have significant economic holdings nearby. In Texas. In Louisiana. In California. In Kentucky and West Virginia. On Indian reservations in Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, and North and South Dakota. And out here in Hawaii, on the island of Molokai and along the leeward coast of Oahu.

    I'm a consultant with nonprofit service organizations, and in the course of my work I've traveled to see impromptu villages in California's San Joaquin Valley and the Appalachia without electricity and running water, places which you won't find listed in the glossary of any road map. The residents of these hovels are the people who pick your fruits and vegetables, and who mine the coal with which you heat your homes. They're out of sight from our perspective, and thus out of mind.

    It's heartbreaking to bear witness to our own callous disregard, and I find it simply unconscionable that anyone who's a working man or working woman in our country -- documented citizen or undocumented immigrant, it doesn't matter -- should be consigned by the fates to live like this, especially if they have children. We're the wealthiest nation on the face of the earth, a few times over. Why are we tolerating such wretchedly abomniable conditions in our own country -- and worse still, always rationalizing away our inaction and unwillingness to honestly confront the problem?

    It really doesn't have to be this way. It's only so because the wealthiest amongst us are not paying their fair share, and they buy friends in city halls, statehouses and in our nation's Capitol to ensure that it remains thus. But when the wealthiest 20% of Americans collectively own 85% of all financial assets and net worth in these United States, and further own 91% of all publicly-traded shares of common stock held in America, but account for only 64% of all local, state and federal tax revenues collected across the country, there's obviously something seriously wrong and askew here.

    But whenever we've determined that it should be left it up to local control to remedy the problem, we've quite often ended up with something even worse, situations where the have-nots and the have-even-lesses are pitted against one another in a duel over First World USA's table scraps, and where the "out of sight, out of mind" are relentlessly intimidated and sometimes driven off at gunpoint and even killed by the very people whose sworn duty it otherwise was to provide for the public safety.

    (For a lucky few destitutes in cold-weather climates -- and I'm not making this up -- they're given one-way tickets by the local officials in your communities in the east and midwest, and sent out west to Southern California and Hawaii, where it's warmer and they won't freeze to death. Thus, with what passes for a compassionate act in some locales nowadays, a few wretchedly poor souls become someone else's problem and are no longer your concern. Like I said -- out of sight, out of mind. What a great country, eh?)

    John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" may have been fiction, but the travails of Tom Joad and his family are firmly grounded in the historical fact of just a few generations past. Those facts played out time and again during the 1930s, as over one million poor Americans migrated west, desperate to escape the putgatory that was the Dust Bowl for the promises of a better life in California.

    And let's please not kid ourselves, and lull ourselves accordingly into a false sense of security, by insisting that such things can never happen again, because that's what they said prior to the Great Recession. History can and often does repeat itself in various scenarios because more often than not, people are too busy living with their heads up their own arses and admiring the view, to bother to understand or even care what harm they're causing others in the course of pursuing their own narrow, selfish and shortsighted interests.

    Ultimately, as history has shown us ad nauseum, the federal government is the only entity with any real leverage to compel the rest of us to do the right thing by the least amongst us. And were we to truly learn from history, we would come to understand that the sins of the parents and grandparents can sometimes exact a horrible toll from their children and grandchildren.

    That's enough ranting for today. Aloha.


    I'd call it... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by unitron on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 04:25:13 PM EST
    ...a pretty indecent handful.

    I stand corrected. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:07:54 PM EST

    Rant on, Donald (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 04:33:11 PM EST
    Because you are correct.  We have families up here in Western Maryland who are living more than on the edge of poverty- they are absolutely there.  They work in fast food places and such, and make very little money.  

    Disagree, I think (none / 0) (#27)
    by bocajeff on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:31:48 PM EST
    Wages have nothing to do with other people's taxes. If you want a living wage then you simply pass a law that pays one and let the apples fall where they may. If you raise people's taxes then the revenue flows to the government who then gets to decide what to do with it (war, healthcare, cronyism).

    My bigger point is that the what happens with the poor in this country is disgusting and yet the Dems, the ones we are entrusted to take care of the underdog, simply don't. Granted, it's better than some conservatives but that's like being the skinniest sumo wrestler.


    I wasn't discussing taxes. (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:30:47 PM EST
    I simply pointed out the inequity between what the wealthiest 20% of Americans own / control and what they pay in taxes, so that people can understand that such inequities are presenting us with some false choices.

    We don't invest our government funds in the  building / rebuilding of infrastructure in poor or impoverished communities -- and now increasingly, in middle class communities -- not because we can't afford it, but rather because we've instead chosen to deliberately starve our government of the necessary revenue to pay for it, all in the supposed name of austerity. That's a false choice and in my opinion, a terribly foolish and shortsighted one.

    If we can't "afford" these necessary capital improvement projects as Republicans seem determined to believe, it's because 80% of Americans only own 15% of all financial assets and net worth in the country, and own only 9% of all publicly-traded shares of common stock, yet are currently responsible for providing our local, state and federal governments with 36% of all revenues collected.

    I'm sorry, but that's a terribly phuqued-up ratio that's in dire need of correction. The primary problem lies not in how the government chooses to spend money, but rather with the self-absorbed and well-to-do oligarchy that's wrapped its tentacles around governmental decision making processes, and selfishly seeks to deny others access to what's rightfully theirs.



    Oh, absolute bunk, Donald (none / 0) (#47)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:59:07 AM EST
    And here I mostly agreed with your longer comment above.
    We already send plenty of money to the government. It goes to wars and profiteering and interest on the debt and some (not all) poorly administered entitlement programs.
    You are attempting to blame REVENUE and not BUDGET but the US budget is greatly out of whack. Basically what you are doing is using class warfare rhetoric and telling the economically privileged that they should 'trust' the US government to spend their money wisely and in ways they would approve of. They don't do that for the middle class (that makes up by far the majority of voters and where most of the rest of the funding comes from)- what makes you think they'd suddenly start spending even more of the wealthy's money and any more socially responsibly? You know dang well we could pull in 300 billion of extra taxes next year and the vast majority of that money is going nowhere near poor people or infrastructure.

    But since your party would need CHANGED from the top down to repriortize these things, and you are nothing but an apologist for said party, I don't think you want to hear that.


    You want to help (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:32:26 PM EST
    Then shut down the borders.

    Labor is a commodity. Fewer workers...higher pay.


    Oh Jim... (none / 0) (#44)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:15:48 AM EST
    ...even the conservatives think the MW should be higher than $9/hr.

    But never mind all that, put it on border security.  While that won't help the cheap labor Big Business is truly addicted to, India, China, and just about every other 3rd world nation that supplies with the cheap labor we have become addicted to.  That falls squarely on Big Business, those fat cats you love to defend.  


    The problem with the minimum wage (none / 0) (#48)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:06:04 AM EST
    Is that localities compete with other localities, states with other states and countries with other countries for most business.

    Raise the cost of a worker in one place and you will inevitably lose some business to other localities/under the table workers/automation/whatever.

    It's not magic to understand that. What needs to be done is worker protections and minimum wage laws need to be set from the Federal level and backed with international trade treaties ( a real international workers union would be a GOOD thing) in ALL cases. And yes, it's probably best to either close the borders or make hiring people that have no legal right to work in the US (and thus present a readily made source of exploitable, cheap labor) more hazardous to a business's financial and criminal health.

    Here's what will happen in NYC if they get the 15 an hour they want: automation and fewer workers. And the only reason that the vast majority of businesses won't downright leave (but will instead get rid of as many workers as they can) is the size of the market. Unless this automation is outlawed this is what is going to happen.


    While I don't agree with your remedies (none / 0) (#52)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:22:54 PM EST
    I appreciate your common sense analysis of reality.

    Our bloated government is a direct result of too many well intended yet useless remedies and regulations.

    Take the current gun control debate.   We all know what the real solution is.  Outlaw guns.

    But we can't do that so we screw around with policies that don't do anything since we don't even enforce the laws we have.

    You'd be surprised to know that even this libertarian sees no recreational use for fire arms like an AK-47 but I also have no time for useless gun laws that don't go near far enough.


    If $9 in upstate NY is different than (none / 0) (#6)
    by me only on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:37:55 PM EST
    it is in NYC, wouldn't that mean it should be addressed by the city?  I doubt the state legislature really wants to get involved in setting a different rate in different parts of the state.

    Would it pass the Clara County muster?


    Oregon has the second highest state (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by caseyOR on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 03:09:49 PM EST
    minimum wage at $8.95/hr. Washington ranks first at $9.19/hr. Both states index their minimum wage to inflation. This means the minimum rises every year in tandem with inflation and does not require a new vote in the legislature every year.

    Still, and Yea! to Oregon for their higher MW and the indexing, someone working the traditional 40  hour work week will be grossing less than $19,000/year. That is not a living wage, not by a long stretch. And many MW workers do not get 40 hours. Employers have been known to make sure workers do not work enough hours to qualify for benefits like health insurance.

    We need to establish a living wage threshold, a wage floor that insures that people make enough to at least pay basic living expenses.


    How somewhat more civilized... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 03:46:51 PM EST
    still not a living wage, as you said, but it's something...and at least the state governments recognize the problem of 30 years of real wage decline.  I don't know what we do about low wage employers playing games with the hours to dodge mandatory benefits.

    Bloombucks over here still thinks we're serfs...or less than serfs, even a midieval fuedal lord wouldn't try to monitor a serfs personal diet and health habits;)


    Roger Ebert has died. (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by caseyOR on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:56:55 PM EST
    The long-time syndicated Chicago Sun-Times film critic was 70 years old. He had been battling cancer of the thyroid and salivary gland.

    Ebert, along with the late Gene Siskel brought movie criticism to the masses with their TV show At The Movies.They were knowledgable and entertaining. And they made the "thumbs up, thumbs down" concept of critique their own.

    For the last several years Ebert has been unable to speak due to a botched throat surgery to treat the cancer. He has been fed by a tube to his stomach.

    RIP, Roger.

    I'm very sorry to hear this (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by sj on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 03:06:05 PM EST
    I was reading just a couple of days ago that his cancer had returned; he posted that he was taking a "Leave of Presence". He was a lovely man with a generous and compassionate spirit.

    RIP, Roger, and peace to your family.


    Oh this makes me sad (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by lilburro on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 03:14:52 PM EST
    I was just reading his review of "Strangers On A Train" this morning.  When I wanted to know what someone thought about a movie I would start with "Roger Ebert" and the title of the film I was curious about (by the way, everyone should check out Mon Oncle D'Amerique, great movie, great review by him).  

    I will miss reading his writings and knowing he's out there watching movies and writing with his unique touch.  At least we have his archives.

    RIP Mr. Ebert


    Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert each had a ... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 03:57:44 PM EST
    ... unique ability to communicate intelligently to the masses without talking over the heads of the multitude, and in that regard, they helped make the cinematic arts accessible to more people with their television program.

    I honestly don't know how many times I sought out low-key and independent films which I otherwise would have most likely ignored, were it not for their "two thumbs-up." They were the guys who introduced me to the work of John Sayles.

    Bless you, Mr. Ebert, on your journey. Aloha.


    In reading the Sun-Times obit, I saw (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by caseyOR on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:53:54 PM EST
    this quote from Ebert's memoirs. It is simple, and in that simplicity profound. Roger describes how I hope I am living my life.

    "`Kindness' covers all of my political beliefs," he wrote, at the end of his memoirs. "No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."

    Imagine if we all lived by these words.


    And, as I was once taught... (none / 0) (#24)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:03:39 PM EST
    contributing joy and love begins with a sense, a realization of our own gratitude and thanksgiving.

    The Sun-Times editorial board has posted ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:37:20 PM EST
    ... a very eloquent tribute on its website, "We were all better for knowing Roger Ebert." And not surprisingly, his obituary is the paper's lead story this afternoon.

    oh Roger (none / 0) (#29)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:27:30 PM EST
    thanks for the memories, you gave love and were loved

    Chaz Ebert has left... (none / 0) (#75)
    by desertswine on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:22:37 PM EST
    an elequent statement on Roger's blog.

    "We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away. No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.


    Michael Kelly: Elegy to a Rubber Stamp. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:03:46 PM EST
    One decade ago today, Michael Kelly became the first American journalist to die in the Iraq War, having drowned when the Humvee in which he was riding overturned and rolled into a canal. But as Gawker's Tom Scocca recounts, while Kelly was doubtless well-liked by fellow journalists and a devoted family guy, it was but one of three sides shown by the man:

    "[T]he loving and loyal personal Kelly; the impish, incisive, and sometimes courageous observer; and the nasty, often petty polemicist, who wrote things for effect that he knew were untrue."

    It's a fascinating, if not necessarily flattering, remembrance of a man who raced to Iraq to seek glory in the coverage of battle, only to ultimately meet his fate in a most ignonimous fashion:

    "[B]y 2003, he was too pompous and self-satisfied to see any real trouble coming. He had retreated into the strange cartoon world of Washington politics and punditry, in which you are considered a hard-nosed realist if you believe that armed force solves problems, and a useless idealist if you believe armed force might create new problems. [...] Perhaps, like [Andrew] Sullivan, he would have changed his position on Iraq, had he lived to see our military might losing control, the easy liberation collapsing into hell, Saddam's torture prisons reopening with American torturers. What might he have written, if he'd had the chance to engage with the terrible truths of this past decade? What might a hundred thousand other people have done, if they'd lived too?"


    Exxon controls airspace over Arkansas spill (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by caseyOR on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:06:25 PM EST
    site. The FAA has declared the airspace over Mayflower, Arkansas a no-fly zone. Exxon, the company that owns the pipeline that flooded Mayflower with oil from the Canadian tar sands, decides who gets to fly over the site and who does not.

    News organizations are among those who are not allowed to fly over the spill.

    I guess this should come as no surprise, but, seriously, why would the FAA think that letting Exxon control access was good idea?

    To add insult to injury, because the pipeline was carrying the very thick diluted bitumen oil, which a 1980 law decided is not really oil, Exxon does not have to pay for the clean-up.

    A 1980 law ensures that diluted bitumen is not classified as oil, and companies transporting it in pipelines do not have to pay into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Other conventional crude producers pay 8 cents a barrel to ensure the fund has resources to help clean up some of the 54,000 barrels of pipeline oil that spilled 364 times last year.

    The Entire Area... (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:58:54 AM EST
    ...Has been in a Media Blackout.  The only images that came out were from citizens and they have be relocated.

    But fear not, Exxon says it's no big deal.  I bet BP is kicking itself for not blacking out the media.


    Another Senator (none / 0) (#18)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:19:49 PM EST
    comes out in favor of gay marriage. This time Bill Nelson (D-FL). I believe that's 51.

    I think we're going to need ... (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:40:00 PM EST
    ... a bigger bandwagon.

    Two more Senators (none / 0) (#40)
    by CoralGables on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:15:51 AM EST
    come out in favor of gay marriage this morning:

    Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
    Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

    That's 53


    The train is leaving (none / 0) (#49)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:32:31 AM EST
    They are running for the caboose.

    Attention pirate wannabes: (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:43:42 PM EST
    Just heard about this on NPR:

    fake pirates bamboozle journalists

    oculus, your link takes me a Newsweek (none / 0) (#23)
    by caseyOR on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:55:35 PM EST
    tumbler page. No sign of an NPR story about pirates.

    Here's the story. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:14:09 PM EST
    "Yo ho! Yo ho! A pirate's life for me!" (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:11:16 PM EST
    I was never fooled. Not for one second.

    All this and (none / 0) (#32)
    by Slado on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 10:19:39 PM EST
    Now they don't even want Obamacare?

    I told you so is now starting to loose its meaning when it comes to this disaster.

    Does anyone want this anymore who doesn't work in the Obama administration?

    I do (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 10:26:30 PM EST
    Wow, I do (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:22:06 AM EST
    My son was born with horrible health problems.  He was born a pre-existing condition.  I can never afford for ACA to be repealed, never.

    That Alone... (none / 0) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:00:50 AM EST
    ...puts me in the 'glad we did it' camp.

    Those of us who have sick children (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:36:37 AM EST
    Did get to experience some of the relief that ACA brings with it.  Negotiating for the full implementation to be so far out didn't do the legislation any opinion favors.  The rumors being passed around here are sad too.  With a Medicaid expansion my daughter and SIL stand to be able to be covered for a monthly price they can afford.  One of my daughters friends on Easter though said she would never sign up for "Obamacare" because they will require some kind of identification being applied to your body...and that that identifier would be the mark of the beast.  Very sad that so many older adults tell you something like that that you come to firmly believe it.  She is divorced with two small children and no job right now either.  She has moved back home with her family, but I'm certain that having healthcare coverage would change everything for her because she is 4 months pregnant and has only been examined at a clinic once and her family thinks that is good enough.  She has no OB right now.  It is scary living down here.

    My orginal comment would have been (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:38:20 AM EST
    better constructed if I had asked

    Is your daughter and SIL planning to get their insurance through the exchange or through Medicaid when ACA is implemented?

    Yes, I know that ACA will not be implemented until 2014. Yet some things are known prior to the implementation. Alabama and surrounding southern states have stated that they will not participate in the expansion. The income guidelines to qualify for the exchanges have been published. People in Alabama will not be able to participate in the expansion of Medicaid so the confusion still exists since you stated:

    With a Medicaid expansion my daughter and SIL stand to be able to be covered for a monthly price they can afford.

    How will the Medicaid expansion provide them with insurance if their state refuses to expand Medicaid?


    Is your daughter and SIL getting (none / 0) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 01:40:04 AM EST
    their insurance through the exchange or through Medicaid?

    I guess I'm a little confused since I thought your state refused to participate in the Medicaid expansion.

    Also, if your daughter's friend changes her mind, she would probably qualify for Medicaid for pregnant women and infants even now without the expansion of Medicaid.


    Until it must by law be enacted who knows (none / 0) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:10:04 AM EST
    At this time?  This is Alabama and the state legislature has been fairly nuts since full Republican takeover.  You know very well though that ACA has not been implemented for all.  As soon as it is and they have coverage I will let you know.  Right now they have NO insurance coverage at all, just like almost everyone who works in this state and who isn't a government employee of some kind.

    Not that tales of people actually getting insurance coverage will be greeted by most here.  But I don't talk about the realities for that reason.  I talk about them because the half truths and strawmen being celebrated only aid in the future suffering of others if certain entities are successful in killing the legislation.


    There are set income levels (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:07:45 AM EST
    that determine whether or not you qualify for Medicaid or can purchase insurance through the exchange. The income levels for the Medicaid expansion are below:

    The ACA expands Medicaid to a national floor of 138% of poverty ($15,415 for an individual; $26,344 for a family of three). The threshold is 133% FPL, but 5% of an individual's income is disregarded, effectively raising the limit to 138% FPL.

    In states like Alabama that have decided not to expand Medicaid, some of the poorest people will not be able to get insurance coverage at all under ACA.

    People eligible for public coverage are not eligible for premium assistance in exchanges. In states without expanded Medicaid coverage, people with incomes less than 100% of poverty will not be eligible for exchange subsidies, while those with incomes at or above poverty will be.

    Since ACA reduces the subsidies to hospitals treating the uninsured, really poor people in states that chose not to participate in the Medicaid expansion may wind up with less care not more.

    I hope your daughter and her family are able to get good affordable health care once ACA is implemented. While many of us do not think that ACA is good health care legislation, we are for the most part passionate advocates for everyone receiving good quality, affordable health care. I, for one, will be happy for every person who receives affordable health care through ACA and write constantly about the elements in ACA that hinder people getting affordable health care. If more people are hurt rather helped by the legislation, thereby inaccurately proving that the government should not be involved in health care, I will find it hard to view the legislation as any type of succes. YMMV.  

    Now back to your daughter's pregnant friend. Your daughter might want to point out that since Alabama is not accepting the Medicaid part of "Obamacare," she could use the existing good old Republican Alabama Medicaid system to get the health care she and her children need now without being subjected to any imagined risks from Obamacare.  



    As a permanent pre existing condition patient (none / 0) (#53)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:30:37 PM EST
    I am very sympathetic to your situation and don't blame you at all for your feelings.

    However I would say on the whole this bill is a giant boondoggle and hopefully if possibly fixed one of it's lasting effects will be smaller policies directed towards people in your and my situation.

    This one size fits all bill has too many other issues to garner my respect.  

    Many people are going to loose their healthcare because of it.  

    I can't quite square that with my needs.


    Punditry from the Daily Caller? (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by CoralGables on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:48:17 PM EST
    "I can't quite square that with my needs"

    What you need is a better form of newsfeed.


    Not to Point Out the Obvious... (none / 0) (#57)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:55:03 PM EST
    ...but the 'boondoggle' is almost all because of republican obstructionism.  It's rather sad that most of the defects of ACA, the one republicans are always pointing to, are the very ones they ensured.

    The D's originally wanted to expand Medicare for everyone.  Or something similar that would equate to universal coverage, but the republicans fought tooth and nail and now we got what the D's could vote past the R's, not what they wanted.  Yet the R's throw Obama's name on it as if they had nothing to do with watering it down.


    Tricare (none / 0) (#58)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:38:22 PM EST
    Is exempt from the Obamacare legislation....Your insurance is not going to change because of Obamacare.

    Here's a link to the law:  

    Lots of interpretations exist, but this is the best place to go for the facts.


    Tricare never had the pre-existing clause (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:28:10 PM EST
    Never had it because that is what kept many soldiers in and working hard to stay in, and it made the military very attractive for recruiters too, and soldiers cannot be sent into war if they are worried about their sick children or sick spouses and those children and spouses aren't receiving care.  My health is also important to the military in its ability to be able to easily deploy.

    What does Josh do though Teresa after he is no longer covered under his parents insurance?  Many military families were facing these horrors together.  If your child is so disabled that they will spend the rest of their lives on SSDI that somewhat helps I suppose, but Joshua is very intelligent and if you ask him right now if he is willing to spend his adult life sitting at home and doing nothing that sounds like a horror story to him.  He says he is working for NASA.  When we told him NASA might not be around when he is grown he said he was moving to Russia then if they had a space program.  He is 13 ;)  He is entitled to his dreams, and he has them.

    One of our friends in the disabled boat too, their daughter has Downs.  She would most likely transition to SSDI, but they face a different horror and so do we if life doesn't work out magically for Joshua.  We would like to set up trusts to protect our children in the event of our deaths, but if anyone has any significant savings SSDI won't help them or support them in any way to include medical coverage. So they are attempting to organize to find some way to fight this.  Our children will live long after we are dead and there are few existing protections for them and NOBODY who cares if they live a life of decency after we are gone.  There will be nobody who fights for them, they could be in the gutters and tough $hit.

    ACA does affect though Tricare's ability to defy a doctor's order like they did when Josh was four years old and he needed his first veptor surgery in order to even live.


    Check out "special needs" trust. (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:46:44 AM EST
    Oops, the link (none / 0) (#59)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:39:05 PM EST
    And if (none / 0) (#60)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:42:15 PM EST
    your son can't work, he'll be on Medicaid once he gets too old to be covered under your Tricare plan.

    His earnings will be too low.  If you qualify for Medicaid, the law won't allow you to get subsidies.

    For your son, nothing has changed.

    Medicaid is pretty awful for getting real care.  And it will be worse when more people are in it, because few doctors accept it.  


    I already addressed this in my comment above (2.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:31:36 PM EST
    Sorry my son doesn't want to just give up on himself and his dreams to make your ideology, Obama hate, and comments an easy sell. Shameful comments if you ask me.

    Oy (none / 0) (#65)
    by sj on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:50:20 PM EST
    the "Obama hate" response = knee jerk/hostile

    We are talking about disabled children (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:07:18 PM EST
    My son works so hard in school.  He is taking advanced English, advanced Science, and introduction to Algebra.  He is a straight A student.  His feet are so clubbed after three surgeries that one doctor wanted to amputate them, but we did not and he ran in two marathon runs for his grade school in 5th and 6th grade after he was told by a doctor that his feet should be amputated.  He raised around $1000 each year too in donations for his school.  If you guys want to debate whether these children deserve things or not based on dogging President Obama today, I suppose that is your business.  Go ahead and ding away on me.  Like dinging from people who could and would be that low life matters.  There are some forms of approval and the approval of some people that I would rather eat dirt than attempt to gain ever.

    Your son (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by sj on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:35:21 PM EST
    is completely awesome.  I expect amazing things from him that I may never know about.  By Teresa's "logic" Stephen Hawking would have been a low wage earner.  I consider her statement to be made in ignorance, but ignorance is curable and you were absolutely right to call her on it.

    The "Obama hate" response is still equal to knee jerk/hostile.  And you had to detour to get to it.


    She knew of what she was speaking (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:49:06 PM EST
    She didn't end up where she ended up by accident.  If people qualify for SSDI they also get Medicaid, but the moment they become meaningfully employed they lose all of those benefits and if they lose their job it takes months to get SSDI sorted out again.

    In Colorado, when Tricare refused Josh's surgery, I applied for help from Medicaid but because of how much my husband made then we were placed on a waiting list for benefits and the estimated wait was two years.  You also had to have your paperwork renewed every nine months while waiting or you fell off the waiting list.  A volunteer advocate took that chore on for me and she would keep track of the time between renewing.  Perhaps under the Medicaid expansion the wait for children being refused who have parents who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid can disappear.  I hope so.  ACA has plugged a few holes that disabled and sick people fall through.  Is it perfect? Obviously not, but I can't wish it away either.  And in order for Teresa to be able to "disqualify" what this family and Josh has lived she painted a picture trying to show how none of this would apply to Joshua.  She went to a lot of trouble to attempt to do it too.  Why all that trouble?  Because Josh is a real person, not some strawman, and ACA actually has benefitted him.

    Josh's goal is to be able to care for himself as we all do.  Under the old system that was probably going to be completely impossible.  With ACA it is a little more possible, and who knows where this all leads if we continue to fight.


    I remember this one scumbag online (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:10:00 PM EST
    who took the different track on dogging my child.  She did a writing about how my husband thought it was okay to kill Iraqi children in order to save his disabled child because while other people struggled with insurance issues he didn't have to as long as he was in the Army.  I've seen it all and experienced it all online.

    That's a big assumption (none / 0) (#64)
    by sj on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:48:22 PM EST
    His earnings will be too low.
     I have no idea what his earnings will be, but I think your expectations are too low.

    Anybody here have an iPad mini? If so, (none / 0) (#34)
    by caseyOR on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 10:35:10 PM EST
    what do you think of it? Do you wish you'd gotten the regular iPad instead? Is it easy to read books on the mini?

    Anything you can tell me would be appreciated.

    Happy with mine (none / 0) (#38)
    by brodie on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:53:02 AM EST
    Got it new $100 off reg price in Dec.  Good lightweight alternative when you travel a lot or are working out in the field as I do.

    I'm still learning what it can do as I'm not a computer person.  No flash player and the screen display is good but not quite the clarity of the latest regular iPads.

    Overall though a very good purchase.  I bought another for a friend.


    Sadly predictable (none / 0) (#35)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 11:27:41 PM EST
    Abdul circa 1865... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:08:51 AM EST
    Damn 13th Amendment killing all those slave trading jobs and associated tax revenues....sadly predictable.

    And Unless... (none / 0) (#43)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:08:50 AM EST
    ...he lives in Colorado, why does he care.

    Not like they aren't going to hire the same amount of people and pay the same kinds of tax and generate the same kind of revenues in another state.

    In Connecticut, the proposed gun control legislation has left the shelves empty.

    AAA the horse is dead, quit kicking it.  Here is a new horse to kick to death, Beretta is threatening to leave Maryland.  I saw good riddance.


    Cut the guy a break... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:16:46 AM EST
    I'm still bummed about all the lost jobs in the mining and refining of asbestos myself.  Heartless EPA bastards, I just can't get over it! Who the f&ck cares about mesothelioma, we need jobs jobs jobs! ;)

    You nailed it, kdog (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by NYShooter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:31:21 PM EST
    What happened to the horse & buggy dealers when automobiles came onto the scene? That's just evolution, progress, life.

    So, the question is, why do we worry so much about the Insurance business which would be a completely unnecessary business if we instituted what everybody knows is the right solution....... universal, single payer health care? Better known as "Medicare for All."

    Tragically, the reason we have this albatross to contend with is that the Insurance Companies have the money to buy our Representatives. Even though they are a completely useless entity, they have the power to "get their cut," much like the Mafia demands their cut when you want to do business in "their" territory.

    The other reason we keep this totally useless, obsolete, "vampire squid" that's strangling real health care is because Medicare for All would really work. Just like the present Medicare is a wonderfully efficient program, delivering more dollars towards actual quality health care than any "insurance" program does. But, the idea that "The Government" can't do anything right, a legacy from the Godfather of today's financial mess, R. Reagan, is so ingrained in our National psyche, and the cornerstone of the Republican's assault on America, that it has to be killed before people catch on that when it come to Health Care, The Government Works just fine.


    Not only is the horse dead... (none / 0) (#50)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:36:18 AM EST
    but it is decomposed.  That "story" is at least two months old and was met with a collective yawn when it first came out.

    Just for the heck of it, let's put a face to one of the "gub" humpers here.  

    Lovely guy.  


    "Why so unfriendly, Ms. Fleener?" lol (none / 0) (#51)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:44:50 AM EST
    Poignant pic, my good man.

    Even a libertarian like me (none / 0) (#54)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:34:33 PM EST
    Can't get my panties in too big a twist about this.

    There will always be 20 to 25 states that will cater to gun owners.   Sorry you have to move but I don't live in CA for a reason.

    It's still a free country.   Move to a state the will treat you better.  


    Well said... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:37:42 PM EST
    I don't know if the new regs will do any good in CO, NY, CT, etc...but there are far better examples of government over-reach.  

    Besides, it's government, you're not supposed to like it! ;)


    Well (none / 0) (#36)
    by sj on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 11:54:09 PM EST
    you know how those gubs are...

    Sooooo sad! (none / 0) (#61)
    by Yman on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:10:47 PM EST
    OTOH - no one's forcing anyone to leave Colorado.  

    The gub zealots are choosing to leave.


    OK (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by sj on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:51:54 PM EST
    is no one amused by the "gubs" save thee and me?

    Personally I was trying to figure out (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:07:52 PM EST
    what type of gubs zealots were leaving Colorado. Were they gubs zealots of this variety or did they belong to this group of gubs zealots?

    The exact type of gubs zealot would have to be identified prior to analyzing the impact of their exodus from Colorado. ;o)  


    Heh - now that I know ... (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Yman on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:45:52 PM EST
    ... what a "gub" actually is, I can honestly say I agree with the tired cliche the gub zealots keep trotting out ...

    ... gubs don't kill people.