Today's Note From a Madman
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Mark McClellan, the brother of White house Press Secretary Scott McClellan (no nepotism there) and the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told hospital administrators that he wants Medicare to adopt a concept called "pay-for-performance.'' The reasoning behind this is that he different organizations should be paid more or less depending on various factors.
One wonders what those factors are going to be. Are they going to involve patients' rights? Are the health care providers going to have to release private information, in much the same way that Kansas' Attorney General Phil Kline wants clinics to release patient information for intimidation purposes? Are the funds going to be doled out in relation to how many abortions a doctor or a health care facility provide?
Who is going to decide the "level of performance?"
"Some so-called pay-for-performance programs are a lose-lose proposition for patients and their physicians, with the only benefit accruing to health insurers. We believe that pay-for-performance programs done properly have the potential to improve patient care, but if done improperly can harm patients.''
-Dr. John Armstrong, Secretary of The American Medical Association
Just like most of the other programs the Bush Administration wants to implement, they are short on details and long on rhetoric.
proposal to fix
will benefit the financial
community. Any real effort to fix Medicare will involve some level of government
control prices of big
pharmaceutical companies, big healthcare and insurance.
The former will benefit
buddies. The latter will have the opposite effect.
When the head of General Motors calls for the government to do something about healthcare costs, as he did a couple of weeks ago, because he is increasingly unable to compete with foreign competitors with state sponsored healthcare...we begin to move inextricably toward a single payer government provided health care system.
Fix healthcare and Social Security will fall into place.
ENRON, THOSE BASTARDS. THEY SHOULD ALL DROP DEAD!
The tapes contain enough information that there is "sufficient public benefit to be garnered from further review''
-Economist Patrick Crowley, of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in regard to the 2800-plus hours of tapes proving that Enron ripped off the citizens of the Western United States
Of course, that was AFTER the FERC acquiesced to the Snohomish County, Wash., Public Utility District. They forced the FERC to transcribe the tapes showing how Enron traders ripped off their fellow Americans. It was $200,000 well spent.
These Enron employees ripped us off with MALICE
These Enron employees ripped us off with FORESIGHT
These Enron employees ripped us off with HUBRIS
In case you forget, Enron founder Kenneth (Kenny Boy) Lay, former CEO Jeffrey Skilling and chief accounting officer Richard Causey are to be tried next year on fraud and conspiracy charges. I say, "What's taking so long?"
The Enron-created power shortages and price increases forced rolling blackouts and financial hardships throughout the west coast. I wonder how many people died due to these power outages? How many people with heart conditions had to turn off their air conditioners in the intense California heat? How many "Grandma Millies" lost their life-savings just trying to stay cool or cook dinner? How many "Grandma Millies" had to choose between prescription drugs, food or the energy it took to run an air conditioner?
Jail-time isn't good enough for this crowd. If there was a good argument for the DEATH PENALTY, this is it.I can't wait to see GW pardon Kenny Boy as he leaves the White House in 2009.
MORE ON ENRON, KEN (Kenny Boy) LAY AND G.W. BUSH
G.W. Bush calls Ken lay "Kenny Boy."
Let's remember the relationship between George W. Bush, the members of his administration, his friends and Enron.Many of you might know this stuff. Many of you might not. So here it is. Much of it thanks to "The Lies of George W. Bush" by David Corn
What G.W. Bush Said, BEFORE the Enron Hit the Fan
"I first got to know Ken Lay (CEO of Enron) in 1994." -G.W. Bush
"(Ken Lay) was a supporter of (Governor) Ann Richards in my run against her in 1994." -G.W. Bush
And Now, The Truth
G.W. Bush and Enron were in business together in 1986 when Spectrum 7, 15 percent of which was owned by G.W. Bush and Enron, headed by Ken Lay, completed an Natural Gas deal in Martin County, Texas
Enron paid no income taxes in 4 of the past 5 years (through 2004).
G.W. Bush signed an energy deregulation bill that opened up large markets for Enron
Enron and Lay urged against price caps in California, even as California asked for those same caps
A Ken Lay memo said that even temporary price restrictions “will be detrimental to power markets and will discourage private investment.”
Texas Oil companies profits rose 400 to 600 percent in California
G.W. Bush called Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge on behalf of Enron
Enron Representatives met 6 times with Dick Cheney (6 times more than the Sierra Club) before and after the Bush Energy Plan was drafted
Enron met with the White House 18 more times in 2001 –White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales in a letter to Sen. Joseph Lieberman
Company executives dumped over $1 billion in stocks before the bottom fell out.
At the same time that Ken Lay was dumping stock, executives advised employees to buy more.
Enron manipulated energy prices in California that cost consumers billions of dollars and Governor Grey Davis his job.
Enron and Ken Lay were President Bush's most generous political patron.
In 1989, "Kenny Boy" spear-headed a drive for President George H.W. Bush to put his library in Houston, TX. That's when I probably spent a little more time with George W." -Ken Lay
Ken Lay worked closely with G.W. Bush at the 1992 RNC convention that nominated his George H.W. Bush. -The Houston Chronicle
"I was very close to George W. and had a lot of respect for him, had watched him over the years, particularly with reference to dealing with his father when his father was in the White House... and so, (I did) support him" -Ken Lay
Ken Lay was referred to by G.W. Bush as one of his "old friends" in a letter dated 1997.
“I don’t think anybody did more than you did to support George (W. Bush in his run for Texas Governor)” –George H.W. Bush at Rich Kinder’s (former Enron CEO) going away party in 1997
Total contributions to George W. Bush campaigns, inaugural ball and George H.W. Bush’s presidential library = $736,680 –Center for Responsive Politics
During the 2000 campaign, candidate Bush’s staff and parents flew on Enron’s corporate jet
Enron contributed over $1 million to the 2000 GOP National Convention
Political Contributions to the Texas Governor race in 1994:
Ken Lay and his wife to:
Gov. Ann Richards = $12,500
George W. Bush = $47,500
Gov. Ann Richards = $19,500
George W. Bush = $146,500
Other Bushies and Enron
G.W. Bush Chief Economic Advisor Lawrence Lindsey – Paid Enron Advisor
Trade Representative Robert Zoellick – paid Enron Advisor
Attorney General John Ashcroft – Received $57,000 in campaign contributions from Ken Lay and Enron – had to recuse himself from investigating Enron
Karl Rove recommends Ralph Reed, whom the Bush Campaign courted for support in the 2000 race to Enron – Ralph Reed won a $380,000 Public Relations contract
The lobby firm of Ed Gillespie, a top Bush campaign advisor and present day GOP head – paid more than $500,000
Various Representatives of Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas – paid $750,000 to work on an Enron-backed deregulation campaign
Thomas White, Bush’s appointed Secretary of the Army – Vice Chairman of Enron Energy Services when accounting irregularities occurred
Marc Racicot, Bush picked GOP Chairman – Lobbyist for Enron
James Baker, Bush and Saudi friend and attorney – Enron Consultant
Neil Bush, G.W. Bush’s brother – attempted to do business with Enron in Kuwait
Will The Real "Slim Greenspan" Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up
My Apologies to Marshall Mathers (Emimem)
A week ago, Alan Greenspan said he favors private accounts but did not agree with the President Bush's privatization plan. His reasons were that private accounts do not improve solvency and the transition costs are too large. Remarkably, this week Mr. Greenspan reiterated a bias toward private accounts but did not qualify his remarks. I wonder when will the real Greenspan stand up!
Mr. Greenspan claims that private accounts will make it harder for the government to spend recklessly. Really? Couldn't the government simply issue bonds thus continuing to spend money? In fact, Republicans since 1935 have made this ridiculous argument. Yet, they have opposed all attempts to create a lock box for social security and enforce a balanced budget. Indeed, they allowed the "pay as you go" (PAYGO) budget rules to expire in 2002.
Social Security private accounts are not the solution to our budget problem. Such accounts will merely destroy a critical system of shared social insurance. After listening to Republican rhetoric for the past several months, I can only conclude that they don't want to reform social security. Instead, they are ideologically determined to destroy it.
Stupid Quotes of the Day
The world was "speaking with one voice when it comes to making sure that democracy has a chance to flourish in Lebanon."
-GW Bush, March 2, 2005
And when the Syrians pull out of Lebanon, and the country that borders Israel is open to more terrorists and a civil war, where will the US troops be?
Right where they are now, protecting GW's friend's financial interests in Iraq.
I'd like to see "democracy flourish" right here in the USA.
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