Friday-Sunday, February 25-27, 2005
White House and Republican leaders in Congress want to cut Medicaid aid to Individual states. Since governors have to explain themselves to their constituents more than the president does, they're going to have to explain where the money is going to come from.
Welcome new statewide income taxes. Welcome new Real Estate taxes. Welcome new gasoline taxes Welcome new sales tax.
Due to rising health care costs, governors around the country, not wanting to be labeled "tax and spender conservatives" are cutting services and eligibility to millions of people who need Medicaid the most.
"State officials, arriving Saturday for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association, immediately began work on a bipartisan strategy opposing Mr. Bush's plan to cut $60 billion - about 2 percent - from projected federal Medicaid spending over the next decade." -The New York Times, Sunday, February 27, 2005
Say good-bye to grandma and grandpa's prescription drug benefits. There's no more money for it. maybe they'll just "die" a little quicker (see story below).
The answer many governors came up with is to redesign the Medicaid system. Charging co-payments related to net worth is one idea being floated around, It's a good idea, but doesn't address the 600-pound gorilla sitting in the middle of the room.
Shouldn't we rescind the tax give-back to the richest one percent of Americans and help out our elderly, the poor and the sick?
Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, both Republicans, want to make Medicaid "market-based". They're going to give people a set sum of money to spend on health care. What they do with it is up to them.
Hmm... What should grandpa buy? Should he purchase his heart medicine or his thyroid medicine? Or better yet, they could opt-out of Medicaid and apply the money to their own, private health care.
The problem there is if they couldn't afford Medicaid what makes us think that they can afford private coverage? Is there anything that rises faster than the cost of private health care? All of this doesn't address the question of the really old and really poor. They will be allowed to fall through the cracks once again.
Remember this, almost 50 million people rely on Medicaid, Is this the best we can do for them?
administration is running one of the most sophisticated
grassroots lobbying strategies in history, and they are using federal employees
and taxpayer dollars to do it. Social Security employees should be spending
their time serving the needs of Social Security recipients, not advancing a
- Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), February 25, 2005 New York Times, in response to the appearance of the Social Security administration employees at town halls with Republican House members.
-Thanks to Robert Scardapane
More on Frank Lautenberg
A Letter to Eddie Konczal
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts about President Bush's proposals to privatize Social Security. Please be assured that I will oppose any attempts to gamble with Social Security money in risky investments.
Social Security has worked extremely well for nearly 70 years to reduce poverty among senior citizens. Without Social Security, half of all seniors would be living in poverty, while today only ten percent are. To risk this safety net on the vagaries of the stock market would be to jeopardize the very essence of the program – providing retirement security in good times and bad. Instead of guaranteed benefits based on an individual's work history and, in part, on need, benefits would vary greatly depending on an individual's investment skills and luck. Economic risks would be borne by individuals rather than shared across society.
While Social Security faces some challenges that should be addressed, the doomsday rhetoric we hear from some quarters is overblown. The current system, without any changes, is projected to be able to cover Social Security benefits for next forty years at the least. I support changes to the program to keep it running for our children and grandchildren, but we must not destroy Social Security under the guise of “saving” it.
Instead of promoting policies which give tax breaks to the wealthy, I support dedicating funds to strengthen and protect Social Security and Medicare; I did so when we enjoyed a surplus, and I still consider it a top priority. I will continue to work toward this goal.
Thank you for your comments.
Only the Good Die Young
The Congressional Budget Office expects Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 to create just $28 billion in savings during the decade after its passage, while its prescription drug benefit will add more than $400 billion in costs. Or is that 800 billion dollars in cost. You never know the truth with the Bushies.
So what is the answer to the Medicare crisis (yes, this one really is a crisis)? Let people die earlier. "If you take the assumption that you want to go where the money is, it's a reasonable place to look,"
-Dr. Gail R. Wilensky, former head of Medicare and Medicaid
Yeah, but what if I don't want to die early? This must be GW's newest Medicare/ Medicaid plan. "If you're young, live it up, but if you're old, hurry up and die."
Isn't this the party of "LIFE"? I guess it is, if you're in the womb or you can afford it.
Our Pal Putin
"Iran observes all the regulations on the prohibition of the spread of nuclear weapons,''
-Alexander Rumyantsev, Russian Atomic Energy Agency chief
Russia is going to sell nuclear fuel to Iran.
Here is what the White House had to say about it.
Again, the Bush administration is caught with their pants down and has nothing to say. After declaring Iran as one of the members of the "Axis of Evil," the Bushies "declined comment" (the New York Times, Sunday, February 27, 2005).
Is this a case of the president not caring or did they just not see this coming?
With all this chest-thumping, has GW Bush made us a paper tiger?
Either way, I'm sure GW, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney will do their best to find someone else to blame it on. Passing the buck at its best.
Doug Forrester and the Case of the Missing Family Values
(My Apologies to Scooby-Doo)
Doug Forrester's ads on TV and radio keep telling us he deserves to be the new governor of New Jersey because of his "Good family Values." He shows pictures of himself with his father and mother as a young boy while extolling his own virtues in a voice-over.
Without the sound on, you might not have known if it were Forrester or a documentary on a serial killer. I could see it now, "Mark was a quiet boy who loved his parents..."
What is Dougie trying to tell us in these ads?
Is Dougie intimating that of all the candidates for governor that HE is the only one with values?
Is Dougie telling you that only he, and those who vote for him have good family values?
Is Dougie intimating that only Republicans have good values?
I'd like Doug Forrester to tell us his definition of good family values so we can all follow his lead.
Ronald Reagan was divorced before he married Nancy. George W. Bush admitted to using marijuana, and some other stuff while he was a youth (at 38 years of age). Arnold Schwarzenegger groped unsuspecting women that he could fire at will on his movie sets while he was married to Maria and using steroids. Are these men of good values, Doug?
When President Bush said "America is coming home to good family values", I ask you, Doug Forrester, What about those of us that have always had good family values. We never had to come home to them because we never left!
When I flip the little handle on the voting machine for Jon Corzine, will I have lost my good values, Doug? Send me a note. I want to know.
Sean Hannity and the Keystone State's Rubber Stamp
Sean Hannity portrays his show as "news and information" attempting to fool his listeners into believing that he is a real newsman with objective views. On his show this past Thursday, Hannity had, as his guest Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), "G"lobal "W"arming Bush's greatest rubber stamp. Hannity, the "Objective One" kissed up Santorum by saying, "If there's anything I can do... if I can come to Philadelphia and help you in any way... any fundraising I can do for you, just let me know."
I guess your "objectivity" is a "subjective" thing, Sean.
The Right doesn't need Jeff Gannon and the Talon News Agency (owned by GOPUSA), they have Brit Hume and The Fox News Channel.
Senator Rick Santorum's (R-PA) wife is pregnant with their seventh child. When the Rght talks about the US as an "ownership society", they ought to realize that it's easier to be an "owner" when you're born an "owner".
I wonder if Rick and his wife could make it with seven children while making $43,000 per year. That's how much the average American family of four earns, according to the US Census Bureau (2000).
response to, "Gary C. Gerhardt, ESSI's vice
chairman and chief financial officer who made close to
$7.5 million from selling ESSI's
stock at the same time Uncle Billy (Bush)
sold his contributed at least $11,000 to George W.
Bush, Republican Candidates and the
Republican Party," Pat Thompson
"What a cheapskate. I contributed over (real amount withheld, but considerable) to the Democratic Party last year, (between Kerry's primary campaign, his presidential campaign, Rush Holt's Congressional campaign, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, attending Jon Bon Jovi's fundraiser for Kerry, seeing Elizabeth Edwards, Peggy Kerry, the Ohio Democratic Party, the Ohio recount, etc. etc.) and I didn't expect anything in return, like "make a war for me to profit on".
Oil Prices open at over $54 per barrel, the highest in 4 months.
I just thought you all should know.
Stupid Quotes of the Day
Social Security "will be bust in 10 years unless there are some changes."
Congressional Candidate George W. Bush, in an account published by the The Midland Reporter-Telegram in 1978
It's good to have a president that is consistent. That is, unless he is CONSISTENTLY WRONG. You would think that after his bold 1978 prediction about Social Security going bust by 1988, GW would have re-assessed his evaluation of the most successful plan the US government ever came up with something new. I guess it just fits in with his "I've never been wrong" stuff.
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