Friday, October 14, 2011

Herman Cain and his regressive 9-9-9 tax plan

Herman Cain and his regressive 9-9-9 tax plan

POTUS wannabe Herman Cain seems to be gaining support among the GOP activists; and among those planning to vote in the caucuses/primaries.

As Gov. Perry’s numbers have declined, Cain’s have risen.

The tea partiers and evangelicals are shopping around; kicking the candidates' tires.
Bachmann is perceived as a non-winner in Nov. 2012.
Ron Paul has his libertarian army, a fervent group. But he will not get the GOP nomination.
Gingrich,Santorum, and Huntsman have not caught fire.

Mitt Romney leads the wannabes, but his Mormonism has again become an issue.
To a large percentage of the GOP activist base, his religion is a cult; not really a Christian theology.

That brings us to Cain.
He has the black minister’s evangelical persona.
He is a non-politician in a non-political age.
He is an unapologic capitalist.

He is also very conservative; extreme rightwing in his economic beliefs.

Focusing on his now famous, infamous 9-9-9 plan.
One humorist used Cain’s background as the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and suggested 9-9-9 meant a pizza at $9.99, and delivered in 9 minutes.

But going to his website, Cain’s real proposal is outlined for scruity.
It supposedly combines a fair tax, with a flat tax.
“Achieves the broadest possible tax base along with the lowest possible rate of 9%.
• It ends the Payroll Tax completely – a permanent holiday!
• Zero capital gains tax
• Ends the Death Tax.
• Eliminates double taxation of dividends
• Business Flat Tax – 9%
o Gross income less all investments, all purchases from other businesses and all dividends paid to shareholders.
o Empowerment Zones will offer additional deductions for payroll employed in the zone.
• Individual Flat Tax – 9%.
o Gross income less charitable deductions.
o Empowerment Zones will offer additional deductions for those living and/or working in the zone.
• National Sales Tax – 9%.
o This gets the Fair Tax off the sidelines and into the game.”

The very wealthy, the top 5% in income/wealth, will like the flat 9%.
That’s attractive, even with eliminating most of the deductions and credits that have been encrusted into the tax code, like barnacles on a ship.

The 9% sales tax is a user tax, a value added tax.
It's a regressive idea that will be passed straight through to consumers.

And these empowerment zones.
We have been there, done that; with very little success in the urban centers.

Rupert Murdoch, the Fox's Roger Ailes, and House GOP Rep. Darrell Issa need to take the USACoffee Party pledge.

Rupert Murdoch, the Fox's Roger Ailes, and House GOP Rep. Darrell Issa need to take the USACoffee Party pledge.

It's always good to keep tabs on the most rancid outbursts from the rightwing in our country.

The NY Post has vilified the Occupy Wall Street protesters...painting them as dirty,hippy Woodstock scum.
In today's Post, in a seeming objective press story, one reads:

"..Zuccotti Park smelled like an open sewer -- with people urinating and defecating in public.

And some couples have taken advantage of the free condoms distributed by organizers to do the nasty in full view of other protesters..."

I assume the "urinating and defecating" in Zuccotti Park is a Murdoch hyperbole..a common debating tactic to personally attack the protesters, while ignoring the issues they are protesting.

And just what does "doing the nasty.." mean?
I suppose it depends on where sex takes place, but with consenting adults,in proper settings, it's not nasty. It's a puritan joke to describe sex as nasty.

And in the same NY Post, the rancid rightwing lady, Andrea Peyser, laments the freeing of Amanda Knox, claiming both AK and Casey Anthony were too attractive to be considered murderers by the "liberal" press.
Shame, shame on you, Peyser...such a cheap, sleezy column.

And House GOP Rep. Darrell Issa is moving his investigations into the Attorney General's and WH offices.
Issa is a wealthy Joe McCarthy.
His goal is to ramp up the investigations to use in the 2012 elections.
The Fast and Furious issue certainly needs review.
But Issa's goal is to bring down Eric Holder, and in turn, Obama.

May I humbly suggest that the rightwing fear mongers, like Peyser,Murdoch, and the Fox's Roger Ailes join the CoffeePartyUSA; and take its' pledge of civility.

Ohio's Gov. John Kasich, and the state's GOP are in for the kill against two major progressives.

Ohio's Gov. John Kasich, and the state's GOP are in for the kill against two major progressives.

Ohio is an important state in Presidential politics; and in the mid-west battle between progressive and tea party politics.

The new governor,John Kasich, is a former House budget cmt. chair;Fox talkinghead; and a fervent rightwing bomb thrower.

Ohio also has two of the most effective,and long serving, progessives in the House: Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur.

Through very partisan re-districting machinations, Kucinich's and Kaptur's districts have been fused together.
Unless Kucinich or Kaptur decide to retire, they will be forced to primary each other.
The result will produce a loss of a good,effective progressive.

The Ohio GOP machine is also promoting Joe the Plumber to run against Kucinich or Kaptur in the new 10th district.

This same machine is actively working to suppress the Dem. vote in 2012 through voter id. laws;cutting the days allowed for early voting; and moving to disallow college students to vote in their Ohio college districts.

Politics ain't beanbag;not a Sunday school picnic.

We buy too much Chinese made stuff!!

We buy too much Chinese made stuff!!

Below is an interesting email I just received.
Whenever I go into Wal-mart, and have to return stuff, I tell the clerk to return it to China:


"Well over 50 yrs ago I knew a lady who would not buy Christmas gifts if they were
made in China. Her daughter will recognize her in the following.

Did y'all see Diane Sawyer's special report? They removed ALL items from a
typical, middle class family's home that were not made in the USA or CANADA.

There was hardly anything left besides the kitchen sink. Literally. During the
special they showed truckloads of items - USA and CANADIAN made - being brought in
to replace everything and talked about how to find these items and the difference in price etc..

It was interesting that Diane said if every American OR Canada spent just $64
more than normal on USA OR Canadian made items this year, it would create something
like 200,000 new jobs!




Are we Americans and Canadians as dumb as we appear --- or --- is it that we just do
not think. The Chinese, knowingly and intentionally, export inferior and even
toxic products and dangerous toys and goods to be sold in American and Canadians markets.

70% of Americans and Canadians believe that the trading privileges afforded to
the Chinese should be suspended.

Why do you need the government to suspend trading privileges?

Simply look on the bottom of every product you buy, and if it says 'Made in China '
or 'PRC' (and that now includes Hong Kong), simply choose another product, or none
at all. You will be amazed at how dependent you are on Chinese products, and
you will be equally amazed at what you can do without.

Who needs plastic eggs to celebrate Easter?
If you must have eggs, use real ones and benefit some Canadian or American
farmer. Easter is just an example. The point is do not wait for the government to
act. Just go ahead and assume control on your own.

THINK ABOUT THIS: If 200 million Americans and Canadians each refuse to buy just $20
of Chinese goods, that's a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our favor ... fast!!

Most of the people who have been reading about this matter are planning on
implementing this on sept. 1st and continue it until OCT. 1st. That is only
one month of trading losses, but it will hit the Chinese for 1/12th of the total,
or 8%, of their American and Canadian exports. Then they might have to ask
themselves if the benefits of their arrogance and lawlessness were worth it.

Remember, OCT. 1st to Nov 1st !!!!!!

Send this to everybody you know. Let's show them that we are Americans and
Canadians and NOBODY can take us for granted.

If we can't live without cheap Chinese goods for one month out of our lives, WE

Pass it on, America and Canada ...

Well instead of doing it for just 1 month why not try to do it all the time..."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gov. Chris Christie will announce his POTUS run decision by Monday. Is this a joke?

Gov. Chris Christie will announce his POTUS run decision by Monday. Is this a joke?

NJ Governor Chris Christie will announce by Monday whether he will become a GOP POTUS candidate.
His speech at the Reagan Library Tuesday nite is a hit on YouTube. Link 1
The rightwing NY Post has a second editorial urging him to run. Link 2.
Heavy hitters like Nancy Reagan, Henry Kissinger and G.W. Bush are pushing him to enter.
Hidden money men are behind the curtain, like David Koch, of Koch Industries.
Koch is the power behind many rightwing, libertarian crusades throughout the country.

This big mo for Christie seems to reflect GOP establishment discontent with the existing GOP lineup.
Perry’s Marboro macho image has been tarnished.
Romney is too moderate, too embedded in the NE Rockefeller money nexis.

And Herman Cain has shot up into the top 3, top tier of the announced candidates.
Is the country ready for his 9-9-9 plan of economic survival? His Chileization (sp?) of Social Security?

Christie would be a terrible candidate, and a weak one to boot.
The man failed his Dale Carnegie's “How to win friends and influence people” introductory course.
The State of New Jersey has a Snookie reputation.
He is Catholic. No Catholic has ever been nominated by the GOP.
He is mean spirited, and seems to lack empathy.
And he is very overweight..a bad image among the influencial millennials.

As a progressive liberal, I would not support Christie under any scenario.
I would even go so far as support a boycott of Koch Industries’ products. Link 3.
I get my paper goods at the local dollar store.

In addition to Christie, another,more important decision will come down Monday.

In addition to Christie, another,more important decision will come down Monday.

In addition to Christie, another,more important decision will come down Monday.
It will be the day that Amanda Knox is set free from prison in Perugia, Italy.

The appeal decision in the Knox case is expected to be announced late Monday, Italian time.

Knox will be allowed to speak, in her own defense, and she will speak in Italian ( a positive approach to the jury and judges).

And the reports are that the decision will come shortly after, later Monday.

The fact that the decision will come so quickly appears to be a positive sign for Knox..that the two judges and the jurers do not need to ponder the evidence, and the prosecutors case, in detail.

But who really knows for sure.

As I have followed this case, read details of the murder scene, and read a few books on the case, I believe it is clear that Knox is innocent.
This has been a trumped up, miscarriage of justice that has served the corrupt prosecutors’ office in Perugia.
In this appeal trial, the prosecution has vilified Knox in very negative, personal terms.
It is strong evidence that they feel the forensic evidence is now very weak.

Let us pray for Knox’s release, and when proper justice is served on Monday, welcome her home to the State of Washington.

After midnight negative affect Twitters are full of distress, fear, anger, guilt, and disgust. It's because of Christie.

After midnight negative affect Twitters are full of distress, fear, anger, guilt, and disgust. It's because of Christie.

A story today reports on a Cornell U. study of millions of Tweets,by millions, over a 3 year period.
The positive Tweets are in the early morning, and the negative affect tweets are after midnight.

These after midnight negatives are what I feel as the Chris Christie POTUS nonsense continues.

Christie will announce his decision by Monday.
You can feel the tension, from Trenton,NJ; through the Holland Tunnel (which he won’t financially support); to Murdoch’s NY Post Manhattan building; to the doorstep of the Koch Industries corp. hq.

To have Christie as a serious POTUS wannabe is a tragic commentary on the role of the uber-wealthy elite in the US, and the media-virtual conglomerates they control.

Christie’s persona has been imprinted by millions of views on Google’s YouTube. It is a pushy,confrontational, in-your-face local prosecutor’s persona. It is a hot style for the hot virtual community of millennials.

Murdoch’s NY Post is yelling “run,Christie, run.”
Uber-rich Mayor Bloomberg wants him to jump in.
Politicians like former NY Gov. George Pataki, Sen. D’Amato, etc. are urging him to enter.
Billionaire David Koch is pulling the strings in the Christie bloomlet.

We have reached a systemic crisis in our country.

Christie is a bull-in-a-china shop; a pushy, anti-intellectual; an inexperienced, former local prosecutor presiding over a corrupt state.

We are in trouble; and I fear for my country.
And after midnight, my tweets reek of distress, fear, anger, guilt and disgust.

Amanda Knox, Kafka's The Trial and Camus's The Rebel

Franz Kafka's The Trial is a metaphorical novel of a man caught in a bureaucratic maze of a totalitarian criminal justice system.

It's an old metaphore on bureaucracies, and how these impersonal, top-down organizations smother the human spirit.

Albert Camus's The Rebel is an existiential essay on what forces a man to revolt; to proclaim his humanity in the midst of total subservience to the state, or state bureaucracies.

As the appeal trial of Amanda Knox winds down by Monday, the Kafka and Camus writings bear reflection.

A young British student, Meredith Kercher, was murdered. That is a tragedy.

And an American attending college in Italy, Amanda Knox, was accused, and sentenced to 25 years for the murder.

In a surreal Kafka-like tale, Knox was accused of being a sex-obessed, drug-addled murderer.
The Peruiga prosecutor, Minini(?), is a character out of Kafka's bureaucractic nighmare.
He needed to find the killers, or killer, and he focused in on Knox and her boyfriend.

Under normal circumstances, Amanda Knox should have revolted, Camus-like, as she faced this ordeal.
Instead, the past 3 years in the Italian prison has shown her to be the opposite of the prosecutor's protrait of a femme fatale, a she-devil.

How many of us would have reacted in such a calm manner?

The appeal decision is expected Monday.
The odds seem to be more than 50% that Knox will be found not guilty; and allowed to return home to the State of Washington.

That would be a victory for the human spirit; and a defeat for the deary, dark bureaucracies that make up our lives.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rick Perry believes in the Rapture-religious and political. And if we don't believe in the Texas model, we will be left behind.

Rick Perry believes in the Rapture-religious and political. And if we don't believe in the Texas model, we will be left behind.

Gov. Rick Perry believes in the Rapture, political and religious.
The Texas economic/political model is our future, and those who don’t believe, or live in the Midwest/Northeast, will be left behind.

The Texas model has very low taxes (no income tax); minimalist private sector regulations; no labor unions in a right-to-work oasis; and a shredding of the traditional, and already fragile, safety net.

Obama ended his Midwest bus tour yesterday.
Few observers like his aesthetically-challenged Secret Service bus, that hugh monster left from the Matrix movie set.
But apparently a few people like his informal public meetings. On a personal level, he’s a likeable dude.
One who didn’t like this tour, Mitt Romney, labeled it a “magical misery tour.”

Obama’s leadership style is also being attacked from the left.
Drew Weston’s NYT op.ed. continues to get much buzz.
Weston is disappointed with Obama. To Weston, the Obama 2008 mantra of hope and change has transformed into a bus tour stressing the need for patience.

Lost in all this political chatter and blather is an understanding of the cosmic forces at work.

Recently, Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria debated Weston on Charlie Rose.
To Zakaria , our economic woes have little to do with a lack of Obama leadership; and a lot to do with the global international corporate economy.
Capital is mobile and labor is not.
The millions of US middle-class jobs lost to India, China etc. will not come back to the US.

Conservative analyst Micheal Barone makes the same argument. He argues that the old Midwest model is obsolete.
The Michigan model of big companies and big unions is not longer viable.

To Barone, it is the Texas model that is our future.
And we should all accept the future Texas Rapture; or we will be left behind.
This is the Texas model that has 10% of the total jobs at minimum wage; the Rick Perry model that produces jobs with the ringing futurist call “Would you like fries with that?”

If this is our future, I may buy a used bus and tour the beautiful neighboring state of Vermont, where a single-payer universal health payment system is the future.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The GOP POTUS New Hampshire debate. Be afraid, be really afraid.

The declared GOP POTUS candidates met for the first 2012 debate.

All of the gentlemen were well dressed and articulate.
Michelle Bachmann looked elegant and beautiful. She announced she is in the race.

Mitt was at the center podium. But the energy force from the others kept pulling him to the political right.

I watched the first half, mostly devoted to domestic issues.

The mantra on stage was right-wing populism. They all want to save us from Obama’s big government. All want to unleash what they believe is a shackled private sector. All want to privatize, or voucherize, the big entitlements- SS, and M & M. With the possible exception of Mitt, all of these candidates will throw the entitlements into the trash.

They all want to devolve tremendous power to the 50 states.
We fought a civil war over this issue.
Their states-rights position would have preserved the Southern Jim Crow apartheid system.

All of the candidates appeared to have signed Grover Norquist’s pledge to reduce the federal government to a size that it “could be drowned in a bathtub..”

None of these candidates believe health care is a right. All of them would vacate, or sign an appeal of Obamacare (ACA).
All of them would watch the 50 states slowly evolve their own health care policies, if they do it at all.

As a liberal-progressive, I am afraid…really afraid.
Eugene Robinson has a good column on Mitt and Tim Pawlenty:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mitt Romney declares for POTUS

Mitt Romney declares for POTUS

Mitt Romney declared for POTUS yesterday, using New Hampshire as the launging site.

In terms of executive experience, he is perhaps the most qualified of the GOP lineup.
Ron Paul is on the fringe.
Tim Pawlenty has the executive experience, but is devoid of charisma.
Herman Cain is not viable in the GOP primaries. He is articulate, as a good black American preacher.
And Bachmann and Palin are jokes. This is not said as sexist.
Gingrich is smart as a whip, but he scares the children.
Santorum? Who's he?

The economic reports issued this morning are not very good. The economy is still sluggish, and there is still the real danger of a double dip recession.
Like Japan, we could be dwelling in a decade-long big slog.

The economy is the issue, and Romney is the strongest GOP candidate to do battle on this issue.

Romneycare has not been a failure, and the recent NYT editorial outlining the successes of Romneycare is strong. Link 1.

Romney wants to repeal Obamacare, and leave it to the 50 states to experiment.
If so, he should be asked about the recent Vermont law, signed by the Dem. Gov., to move to a universal single-payer model. Link 2.

A cold-blooded killer, or is it Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Is Casey Anthony (CA) a cold-blooded killer, or a girl-child who has displayed symptoms of PTSD?

If CA was indeed sexually abused by her father and/or brother, she would have lived her life by suppressing the trauma, and concocting a different reality. Or at least, that can be one psychological symptom.

And if her daughter, Caylee, did drown, she would have suppressed that trauma, and created a spin of lies, an alternative reality.

I really doubt she was sexually abused by her father. Would she allow him to be alone with Caylee?
Her brother is another matter.
And who can believe anything this girl-child says?

I expect she will be found guilty, likely of aggravated manslaughter. And no death penalty.

If I was on the jury (and I never would have been allowed), and all the evidence pointed to a cold-blooded premediated murder, I would still demur on the penalties the State is asking.
I would argue that neither the death penalty, or life w/o parole are reasonable penalities.

The South Carolina jury gave Susan Smith a 30-yr. sentence, with possibility of parole.

There are already several grounds for vacating the jury decisions on appeal.

She was not “Mirandaized” early on. You can hate this girl-child, but she has protected Constitutional rights.

In the Universal room meeting, she faced a tirade by Detective Yuri Melich. It was very rough language. Melich also was later reprimanded for blogging on this case, and defense attorney Baez tried to raise this issue in Court.

By any reasonable measure, she was a suspect and should have been Mirandaized.
She was put in a police car “cage”, and questioned. She was a suspect, and could not have opened the cage from the inside.

Judge Perry has also made several decisions that stretch forensic evidence standards.
Hair banding has no scientific consensus on its’ validity; and has also never been allowed as evidence in Court.
Ditto air-samples.
Extra ditto on cadaver dogs testifying.

I cannot get my head around the “death smelling” Firebird car.
If CA is a cold-blooded murderer, she would have made plans on disposing of the body quickly.
If it was, in fact, a drowning with coverup, then having her dead daughter in the trunk would be part of an alternative reality, of keeping her daughter close to her.

PTSD will, no doubt, be used in the penalty phase, with it being used as the most important mitigating factor against the death penalty.

As I have watched some of the trial proceedings, it is clear that this girl-child should be in a metal facility, not prison.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our indispensable, but worthless, stuff

Our indispensable ,but worthless, stuff; Steve Jobs: 1984-type personal tracking; and Foxconn.
George Carlin declared that we have too much "stuff". The stuff takes over our house, and we have to buy a second house just to store our stuff.(

The WSJ, a strong marketing and free-enterprise paper, wrote about census data that shows that US consumers spend at least $1.2 trillion annually on worthless stuff.

Monologuist Mike Daisey recently had a show titled "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs".
Daisey humorously suggested that Jobs has no qualms about "killing"..killing small tech. stuff to make way for a newer,more technically advanced product.
It used to be called "Planned obsolescence "....replacing, and upgrading stuff to keep us buying.

Jobs has recently announced that Apple will release at least $11 billion of its cash stash of close to $70 billion to guarantee his products have parts inventory worldwide.

What Jobs has not talked about is why his IPhones are tracking our movements, making 1984 totalitarian control look like amateur snooping.

What Jobs does not talk about is Apple's,and other major electronic manufacturers', concentrating their manufacturing in the Twainese-owned China factory city called Foxconn .(

In this economic free-enterprise zone, almost 60% of our personal tech. stuff is manufactured by about 400,000 Chinese who have migrated from the rural land to the hugh factory complex.
These factory workers work very,very long hours,at very,very low pay.
Chinese management has to maintain constant suicide watches as the workers find the long hours intolerable.

But you all, don't bore me with chat about IPhone tracking, landfill environmental electronic hazards,Foxconn suicides, and worthless stuff. I don't care. What I do care about is getting all those apps. for my IPhone and future IPad.

Email to Donald Trump

“Mr. Trump, The Donald if I may.
I understand you answer your emails personally; and hope that is the case with mine.
I want to join your crusade;your Presidental campaign.
I will volunteer my services ,go anywhere, and even buy Trump chocolates at Macys. If I wore ties, I’d also buy some of your ties at Macys.

I like your idea of building a $100 million ballroom in the White House. It will be the grandest display of wealth,splendor,hubris and greed ever. It will make Jackie's remake of the WH look like children's play. I will even help to build the ballroom, lifting those bricks,plastering the walls.

A new Gallop poll has 43% of respondents saying they are not sure where you were born. I say that is fuddle duddle. Release your birth certificate, the long form. That will keep those unbelievers quiet.

And stay with your claim that Obama's birth place is still unknown, and don't be distracted just because he released his long form birth certificate this morning.
Is it forged?
And why isn't his father's name on the certificate?

Is it because Bill Ayers is his father?
Ayers can fake his age easily; and if Ayers is Obama's father, that would explain why he likely ghostwrote Obama's Dreams of My Father.

I will gladly be your investigator on these issues.
I will go to Hawaii (can I stay in your Trump Hotel on the islands?)
Where are your Trump hotels over there?
Do they have Trump labeled towels?
Can I bring one or two back?

I will go to Columbia U. and Harvard and demand to see Obama's admission records and school reports.
Your yelling that Obama never attended college, and never left Kenya before the age of 40, is resonating with the voters. Or at least with me.

I will personally investigate Obama's claim that he is the Messiah, and doesn't need a birth certificate.

I don't care what the conservative talkingheads are calling you.
They can say you are a "tornado of noise and hair...that you are a malignant unembarrassable self-love machine."

Again,that is all fuddle duddle.

I can't wait to hear what these talkingheads say when, as POTUS, you go in and take Iraq's,Iran's and Libya's oil.

I would,however, urge you to agree to have Oprah redo your hair.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity-Part 1

Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity-Part 1

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference"
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
GOP House Budget Chair Paul Ryan wants us to the take the road (path) less traveled.
His Path to Prosperity was released this week.
He gave the GOP radio address this morning, proclaiming gloom and doom if his path is not taken.
His plan is the opening salvo in what will be a contentious, bitter debate on the future of our “welfare” state.

And I say, bring it on.

The tax proposals should be put aside for now. But, in short, he is a supply-sider par excellance.
He makes Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand into flaming moderates. It is the ol’ horse and sparrow theory. If you feed the horse enough oats, some will fall to the ground to feed the sparrows.

He wants to cut the to personal tax rate to 25%; and ditto the corporate rate.

To Ryan, if you release the entrepreneurial spirit, jobs will be aplenty; a 1000 flowers will bloom.

But unlike Friedman, Ryan is not interested in these lower taxes bringing in more revenue. Instead, Ryan wants a small federal government, and to get there, he advocates cutting $7 trillion over 10 years.

Let’s get to the “entitlements” in Ryan’s path, beginning with Medicare.

Right now, Medicare is a rather efficient single-payer system. It is a defined-benefit program. And users pay about 25% of their medical costs. It needs cost controls; and evaluations of outcomes. But it is popular. All polls,among all age groups, show strong majority support for Medicare.

The young budget guru, number geek Ryan wants to make Medicare a defined-contribution system.

He wants to convert it from a single-payer to a for-profit insurance voucher system.
If his plan existed now, those reaching 65 would go into a private insurance menu (exchange) and choose coverage. The for-profit insurance provider would get a fed. voucher worth $8,000-10,000. There are about 48 million now on Medicare. A 10k voucher for each would give the for-profits 480 billion dollars (if my math is correct).

Assuming the 65 yr. could find an affordable policy.
Assuming the carrier could agree to take the patient.
Assuming there was some requirement to ignor preexisting conditions.
Then the 65 yr. old could enroll.
Once the voucher money is exhausted, the patient is on his(her) own.
Estimates suggest the patient could pay up to 65-70% out of pocket.
But the plan would satisfy Ryan’s,the Cato Institute’s, and the Heritage Foundation’s ideological requirements for patient choice.

The Ryan plan is ludicrous ,laughable, and lamentable.

Let’s get the debate on. And then let’s continue to walk down the path of existing Medicare, with cost controls.

NPR’s Need to Know had a good segment last night on Ryan’s Medicare and Medicaid path, complete with graphics.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Conservative Principles Conference in Des Moines brings out the potential POTUS GOP candidates. It is scary.

The Conservative Principles Conference in Des Moines brings out the potential POTUS GOP candidates. It is scary.

The Iowan Conservative Principles Conference in Des Moines winds up today.
I have watched some of the speeches on CSpan, and I am afraid for our country.
The GOP POTUS lineup are a weak group of radicals.

Newt Gingrich wants to " “defeat Gadhafi as rapidly as possible.I would do it by using Egyptian, Moroccan, Jordanian and Iraqi ground forces as advisers and as air controllers with the rebels using all of Western air power as decisively as possible. Once you get involved, I believe you get involved decisively, you win quickly, you minimize casualties, you get it over with.”

Newt makes the neo-conservative empire warriors resemble Mother Theresa.
How do you move the Egypitan army into Libya?
Newt will scare the children, as well as all us adults.

The mashioed John Bolton spoke, and his speech was scary. He is a neo-con warrior excelsior. As POTUS, all the major powers in the world would be put on a enemies list, including Russia and China. We would have troops in wars everywhere.

Miss.Governor Haley Barbour spoke, and he was boring. He seems to seriously believe he will do well in the GOP primaries.

Former Pa. Senator Rick Santorum spoke, and gave big portions of red meat to the cultural conservatives in Iowa. If he lost a Senate re-election bid in Pa., what would make him believe he can win the POTUS race?

Herman Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and black conservative, spoke. If he were to become POTUS (not likely), would pizza delivery trucks be able to drive up to the White House east portico every night?

And, of course, Michele Bachmann wowed the cultural conservatives. They like her, and she likely would do well in the Iowian caucuses where these cultural rightwingers dominant.
If Mike Huckabee and Palin dont't come in, the Iowian caucus may be Michele's to lose.

I continue to be amazed that the media give Bachmann serious attention as a POTUS candidate. There is something wrong with our political scene. We are in serious trouble as a nation if Michele becomes a serious candidate.

I have taken the coffeepartyusa pledge of civility, but Michele stretches my civility sensabilities to the limit. And I have no qualms in applying George Burns' quip of long ago, describing the then young singer John Davidson,"how can such an attractive face be attached to such an empty head?"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The world in 2100. I can't wait.

The world in 2100. I can't wait.
Michio Kaku has a stimulating op.ed. in today’s NY Post. It describes what the world will look like in a 100 years, 2100.
Now, some of the obvious events we would predict are not described.
Such as:
.the last battalion of US troops will withdraw from Afghan.
.the West’s Libyan “Operation Odyssey Dawn” will be winding down.
.Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann will be putting the finishing touches on their Presidential libraries.
.Glenn Beck will lament,and cry, over the fact that the world did not end in 2012; and that we are still functioning in 2100. He blames George Soros.
.many cable channels will still be showing reruns of “2 and ½ Men”. Hey, it brings in the ad. puhtaytuhs.
. Lindsay Lohan will be ending her community service and parole requirements.

Instead, Kaku predicts:
.the Internet will be in our contact lenses. To navigate the net, we would just blink.
Can you imagine this? In all the offices worldwide, all employees will no longer be hogtied to desktop computers;no longer ignoring human interaction. Instead, millions of bureaucratic trolls will wear contacts, and pretend to look at other humans. But, in reality, they will be using the net.
And if blinking will navigate the net, what happens to congential lyiers. Lyiers blink when lying.
They will crash the net as they spin their fictional tales.

.Computers,cell phones,clocks,watches, and MP3 players will disappear. Instead, there will be millions of chips,costing just one penny, everywhere.
Kaku writes that we will be able to command these chips with our brains…we will be able to move furniture, brew coffee, and bring to life anything with the chips and our brain waves.
The chips will be in everything. We know they have been put in new clothing, and have been used to track us wearing the clothes. Lohan’s necklace,borrowed of course, will be loaded with penny chips tracking her everywhere.

.”Cars will be driverless and will fly through the air”. I drive up and down the Northway from Albany to Saratoga Springs. And believe me, cars on this highway are already driverless and fly through the air.

.”spare parts” for our body organs will be instantly available. By 2100, I’ll need many, quite quickly.

.”the human life span will be extended”. All of us will have 30 year old bodies forever, as far as the contact lense can see. When I was 30 (not too long ago,methinks), I could walk from the upper 50ies to Greenwich Village in Manhattan. In 2100, I’ll still be able to do that, but I’ll have to dodge the penny chips everywhere.
And we’ll be able to groom “designer children”. Martin Sheen and Dina Lohan will proclaim it can’t come soon enough.

.Robots will be everywhere. And millions of blue- and white-collar jobs will no longer use humans.

.There will be a space elevator. Pushing the up button will move us on a long carbon fiber cable. But only the wealthy Donald Trumps will be able to use the elevator. This is a good argument for more equal distribution of wealth and income, so more of us can travel to Mars. Right now, The Donald could land on Mars, but he still wouldn’t get many primary votes for POTUS.

.And of course there are dangers. As the GOP House climate change deniers hold power, 2100 will see disasters only the robotic mind can now imagine. NYC will be “surrounded by seawalls” and Silicone Valley will become a dead zone.

Linked below is the Kaku op.ed., and it makes for exciting reading.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Many aspects of Japanese culture are condensed in the cosmological triad of Heaven, Earth, and Man."

"Many aspects of Japanese culture are condensed in the cosmological triad of Heaven, Earth, and Man."

The Japanese will recover, and their resilence in the face of this terrible tragedy will make their country and culture stronger than ever.

We are concerned that Japanese electronic parts will not be supplied to Best Buy. We worry that Apple's IPad may not have the parts and accessories supplied by Japan factories. We worry about paying more for gasoline to fill our SUV's. We wonder if Lohan will go to prison, wearing her diamond necklace. And Charlie Sheen's concert tour is sold out on Ticketmaster within 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, we can watch PBS's News Hour and BBC as a Japanese young father searches a long list of dead and missing, hoping not to see his wife's name. The wife was caught in the tsunami,grapped her two young children, got them to a safe house, and then was swept away in the tsunami landslide.

We watch as the Japanese fight to prevent the total meltdown in the nuclear reactors, as the squad of fighters go into the reactors, knowing that the radiation will kill them.

The Japanese know about nuclear dangers.
It may not be the appropriate time to discuss our dropping of two military atomic bombs on Japan, ending WW2.
But the Japanese live with that history.
Was it necessary for us to use those two bombs?
It's a question still being debated.
If we had agreed to have the Japanese keep their Emperor in place, which we eventually did, would the Japanese have surrended earlier.
When Truman was told that an invasion of the island could cost up to a million US soldier lives, was it accurate?
So many questions, and few real final answers.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Earthquakes,climate change,the Koch Brothers,and the House GOP majority of climate change deniers.

Earthquakes,climate change,the Koch Brothers,and the House GOP majority of climate change deniers.

Our condolences go out to the Japanese that suffered the onslaught of the very large earthquake, and subsequent tsunamies.

Nostrodomous predicted 20th-21st century proliferation of earthquakes..but what did he really know and predict?

We do know that climate change,ice melting,warming,and human gashouse emissions can trigger earthquakes. See link 1 below.

And the majority of House GOP no-nothings are gutting the EPA in budget cuts; and the majority are climate change deniers.
The irresponsible behavior of the GOP House conference is a threat to our future survival on this planet.

One of my favorite climate change activists is Bill McKibben. He writes well (see his most recent book The Eaarth); and he is very gloomy on our prospects to save the earth.

He is directly taking on the Koch brothers, and also the National Chamber of Commerce. The latter is a very rightwing lobbyiest representing the interests of, at most, two dozen very large corporations.

McKibben has started a new website, US Chamber doesn't speak for me).

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gingrich and Trump

Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump

Gingrich traveled to Georgia yesterday, his original political base.
He is exploring running for POTUS.
It's assumed he is going to go full throttle into the 2012 ocean.
The Wash. Post's Dan Balz has a good writeup on Gingrich.(

He has the network,and very likely could raise the money.
He is a Southern-based politico,and has the strong Southern GOP base to cultivate.
The question is whether his persona will sell elsewhere.
Our system has little tolerance,or appreciation, for intellectualism among our politicos.
He has 100 ideas each minute, and one or two may be worth considering.
He also,as Eugene Robinson wrote, will frighten the children.

Donald Trump also continues to tease us with the possibility of running. Responding to his well known germaphobia, he promises to shake every hand in Iowa. LOL.
Mike Huckabee, Obama and Natalie Portman

Huckabee may dive into the 2012 POTUS water.
On the other hand, he may not.
If he announces, he quickly loses $500,000-$1 million in income.
He has strong support among social conservatives, and likely would do well in the Southern primaries.
He is also a good communicator, with an “ol’ shucks” Southern persona.
He constantly attacks Obama, and went further than usual last week.
He borrowed Dinesh D’Souza’s thesis (in The Roots of Obama’s Rage) that the best way to understand Obama’s mindset is through his anti-colonial African heritage.
But Huck mistakenly stated that Obama grew up in Kenya, and is strongly influenced by his Mau Mau (anti-colonial) grandfather.
Neither is true.
The rightwing has grabbed D’Souza’s book, and is using it to put Obama into a narrow ideological box.. that Obama is not one of us; that he is foreign; and that he is an alien agent in control of our government.
It is so tiresome. I don’t know where Huck and the rightwing sees rage in Obama. To progressives, the POTUS lacks sufficient rage; is too smooth and nice; and as one suggests, it is a question of finding Waldo in Obama.

Huck also attacked the actress Natalie Portman, for being (at least now) a single pregnant mother-to-be.
Huck cleverly framed his argument in rightwing populist terms. Portman is wealthy, and will have no problem supporting her child.
But , as Huck proclaimed, millions of women are single, poor, and having children out-of-wedlock.
This is true.
But Huck becomes hypocritical when he allegedly opposes birth control ,sex education and other programs that help single women. He also supports federal de-funding of Planned Parenthood.

I predict Huck will NOT enter the 2012 race.

Happenings at the Chat N Chew

The Chat N Chew group had a good round of chatter in our recent gathering.
The Chat N Chew group met last night, and warmed up over steaming lattes.
And the conversation got even steamier.
When given the phrase "they love me", more than half the group said it was Charlie Sheen and the other half guessed it was Moammar Gadhafi. It was the latter.
The entire group agreed that both had to go, and go quickly. But where will Gadhafi find exile?
Gadhafi has ruled without a constitution, a parliment, or any political parties. His overthrow will need some post-Gadhafi political structuring.

Gadhafi's turmoil is allegedly raising gasoline prices domestically. The group's rightwingers,and libertarians, held their lattes' high as they cheered that gasoline prices will be the issue that will defeat Obama in 2012.
Liberals like myself agreed, although it is the oil speculators,the Wall Streeters, that are the hidden hand behind the gasoline rises.
If gas goes to $4 gallon, Obama will be Carter redux.
And the sad part is that this gas rise is not an environmental tax, and it will do nothing to move us to a post-petroleum world.

The group's libertarians are looking forward to the possible shutdown of the fed. government.
Us liberals see that as a disaster.
This scenario may be delayed for a least a couple of weeks.

The rightwingers,tea party activists all, want primaries against 3 (RINO) Senators, Maine's Snowne,Indiana's Luger, and Utah's Hatch.
Hatch is moving so far to the right, he might be excommunicated from the Mormon Church.

And, finally the group lowered the chat a notch, and all concurred that the Academy Awards show sucked. It took a 94-yr. old stroke victim, Kirk Douglas, to save it.

Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd

It was a packed SUNY-Albany Page Hall last night.SUNY-Albany’s writers institute founder,Pulitizer prize winner William Kennedy, attended.

The Albany Times Union’s Casey Seiler asked the audience to give it up for newspapers…which we all did.

He then introduced Maureen Dowd. She read two of her opinion columns, and then went directly to Q & A.

She was articulate, funny, and candid in her views of politicos.
Of all the Bushes, she admires G.W. (41) the most. It’s a positive feeling I don’t share, but then I haven’t met the man.
She at least twice mentioned Jerry Brown, whom she recently interviewed and opined about.
Her take on Brown is that he, along with Andrew Cuomo, offers a “middle” way between the traditional blue liberalism and the GOP scorched earth bomb throwers.

Again, I’m rather skeptical about Brown. Her column on Brown’s interview (linked above) conveyed the feeling that he was playing with her..using cryptic Buddhist,new-agey rhetoric. Brown was very elusive…like attempting to pin jello to the wall.

The DC scripe cognescenti, and the political class like Dowd, with most of them reading her first over morning coffee.

She writes well, and is now at the peak of her influence.

It was an enjoyable evening.

Addendum: she believes the repealing of Obamacare by the GOP House is really dumb. I concure

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The gang at the chat 'n chew really attacked me.

a little bit of this, and a little bit of that from the gang at the chat 'n chew

A little bit of this and a little bit of that from the gang that gathers at the chat 'n chew this week. This is a bummer Jan. in the NE, but the gang of rightwingers,leftwingers,libertarians and even one or two anarchists gathered to warm their souls over cappuccino frappes and hot discussion.

Nobody in the group really likes Newt Gingrich. He's too much of an intellectual rightwing elitist.
He appeared with George Step. on the Morning Show this Monday. He grinned like a Cheshire Cat when George asked about his POTUS interest. Newt said he will decide by the end of March.
Newt has so many ideas, but with one of 10 worthy of consideration.
He is smart as a whip (as they say), but his personal baggage will not sell to the GOP evangelical base.
The tea partiers at the chat believe he should just twitter away his days,increasing his twitter network, and flooding them with new ideas every 30 minutes.

I brought printouts of two recent articles. One by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi and the other by the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza. Both are linked below.
The rightwingers wanted to throw both into the cafe's fireplace.
The liberals, like myself, argued for the relevance of these articles.
The Rolling Stone's political writer Matt Taibbi has a venomous pen. He writes well and pulls no punches on his opinions..left wing all the way.
His latest article is a vivid description of John Boehner.
I am uncomfortable with his personal attacks on the man, and I would expect Boehner will file libel or defamation charges against Taibbi and the magazine. He is a public figure, and will not succeed in that legal effort.
Taibbi writes that Boehner is :
".. a lazy, double-talking shill for corporate interests. So how's he going to fare with the Tea Party?

John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades in Washington, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich.."

It certainly is colorful.
But getting beyond Taibbi's scurrilous personal attacks, the article is informative for political junkies.

The New Yorker article is more cerebral, describing Issa as a recovering crook and arsonist.

We also pivoted from politics and talked about Sunday's Golden Globe awards.
I caught some of the Golden Globe awards Sunday nite.
The ladies were dressed to the nines (as they say), and it was good to see some of the Hollywood elite appear.
Michael Douglas got a standup ovation. And kudos to his apparent successful battle with the big C.
Robert DiNero was funny and deserved his award.
Even Jane Fonda went to the podium.
Annette Benning won an award, and her hubby Warren Beatty was by her side. The rumors of their breakup over the alleged movement of their daughter to a transgender status seems to be overblown.
In Hollywood, dressing the opposite sex is considered de rigueur .
The real issue is that all these votes were from a total of 87 foreign correspondents..yes 87.
The Golden Globes are overhyped.
And Ricky Gervais is one sick puppy.

A little bit of this and a little bit of that.

A little bit of this and a little bit of that
Posted 3 days 2 hours ago by gecannonphd

1)The NY Post has a story this am that Hosni Mubarak is likely the richest man in the world...beating Gates and Buffet. It's all stuffed in Swiss secret accounts and real estate. We are talking perhaps $70 billion.
Power , for a short period of time, can provide a high. But hanging on for 30 years smacks of an addiction.
And the reason he has held on is that he is money greedy.
Fortune mag. has long speculated that Fidel Castro is also a billionaire.

2) The Super Bowl will always be with us, deep into the 22th century. It so drips with money, it's intoxicating.
I usually ignor pro football, although I watched some of the 3rd quarter.
The ads, at a million for 30 secs., appear to be less than funny.
Missed the half-time show, and the National Anthem, but I see there were some bad vibes.
I may start a blog site, Ending the Super Bowl (there may already be one),
Perhaps one idea to decrease the ferver for the violent game would be to have a half-time show where all the past NFL players who suffered concussions,and later brain damage, are brought out and lined up on the field.

3)I watched Bill O'Reilly's 12 minute interview with Obama. Obama converted mr. bill's bullying persona into a whimpering pool of jello.

4.It was all about Ronald Reagan's 100 birthday celebration. For several days, it was RR's world, and we just were allowed to live in it.
CSPAN had back to back book signings and interviews with Ron and Michael Reagan. Ron's was funny, and entertaining. He remained aloof from deep politics, and concentrated on the his father's light side, his youth, and all those swimmers he saved from drowning at Rock Lake in Ilinois.
Re the Alzheimer's controvesary, Ron explained that the early stages of the disease can start in the brain decades before the full-blown evidence is visible.

Michael got into politics, and attempted to make a case that RR"s legacy and conservative revolution still resonates. I don't agree.

Also as part of the RR celebration, Sarah Palin made another speech, for big bucks, in Cal. ,and I caught some of it. Most of the time, I have no idea what she is talking about. And her vocalisms and voice are grating.
To even suggest she could be POTUS, brings back to mind the line (perhaps from Mort Sahl), that we have gone from Tom Jefferson,George Washington,Adams etc. to Palin. Darwin was wrong.

Vermont and single-payer

My neighbor state Vermont, home of Ben and Jerrys and Bernie Sanders, is seriously moving to a single payer health system.

Obamacare is in trouble on many levels.
The legal challenges will reach the Supremes before the 2012 election; and, if the mandate remains in the law, the Court may strike it down.
The House GOP has already repealed the law.
The Senate GOP tried to do the same, but was temporarily defeated. McConnell and his GOP Conference will attack the bill in 100 different ways, mainly through the budget and regulatory process.
Politico also has a story today that some Senate Dem. moderates, up for reelection in 2012, may work with the Senate GOP to repeal, or change, the mandate part of the bill. See first link below.

It's important to keep in mind that a good slice of the public that opposes the bill oppose it because it does not have a public short, the bill gave too much away to the for-profit insurance corporations.

I've long felt that a single-payer system is the only model that will bring universal,affordable, and efficient health care to all Americans. It is the model,with variations, that is working in almost all advanced,post-industrialized nations.

And my neighbor Vermont may be the first state to actually achieve a single-payer model. The Gov. and Legislature had earlier paid for a consultant study on how to get there, and the outline for the plan was given to the Legislature on Monday.

Kudos to my neighbor.

The red/blue coalition and the Patriot Act

The RB coalition has bridged the gap,temporarily when the House voted down 3 elements of the dangerous Patriot Act.
Tea partiers and Dem. liberal civil-libertarians joined forces yesterday on NOT extending 3 dangerous parts of the Bush Patriot Act:
The 3 provisions that were set to expire were:
"... the "roving" wiretaps, the authority to surveil individuals with no connection to Terrorist groups (the "lone wolf" provision), and the power to obtain "any tangible items" (the "library records" power).."

The red/blue, left/right coalition voted them down because the procedual vote needed 2/3rds approval. So this victory is only temporary.

The library records intrusion had many examples, and the librarians fought back. A basic civil right is to be able to borrow books,and use the public libraries' resources, without fear of retribution from the State.

And our upstate new GOP Congressman Gibson voted with the RB coalition and here is his statement:

“The federal government’s foremost responsibility is the safety of its citizens. I have spent a lifetime defending our cherished way of life, and we must always remain vigilant in our mission to protect our freedoms. Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist networks remain an existential threat to the United States and all freedom-loving nations around the world. From my seat on the Armed Services Committee, I will work tirelessly to better organize to neutralize and defeat that threat.

“I have long been critical of the PATRIOT Act, because I believe that in the process of defending our liberties, we should not step on them. We must stay within the confines of the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights and the 4th Amendment. Going forward, the PATRIOT Act must be revised to ensure US citizens are protected by our constitutional rights. The Executive Branch must be checked, and I believe the provisions of this Act must fall within the jurisdiction of the FISA Court and the process for obtaining warrants should comply with the Constitution.

“I also strongly believe that our intelligence agencies and defense establishment could benefit from a reorganization to consolidate headquarters and streamline procedures to better ensure that information on potential threats is processed quickly, appropriately, and effectively. Doing more with less is a central mission of this Congress, and we are capable of a more effective national security at less cost.”

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The Donald for POTUS

This has to be in one of Nostradamus's verses: The Donald continues to seriously flirt with running for POTUS

Donald Trump has a big ego. Well, we knew that.
Obviously, this type of ego needs constant care and attention; and threatening to run for POTUS is one way to do that.
Appearing on CNN's Piers Morgan yesterday, The Donald proclaims his very serious interest in running. He ruminates that Palin can win some primaries, but not the election. Obama relishes the possibility of Palin as the GOP rival.
The Donald takes Romney more seriously, but doesn't believe he is resonating.
The Donald will appear, and me thinks, speak later today at the annual CPAC in DC. All the potential GOP POTUS wannabees will be seen and heard at this 11,000-strong gathering.
His secret advisor pushing him to run, and to appear at CPAC, is the nefarious consultant Roger Stone. Stone is known to all of us NYers as the advisor to Carl Paladino. Stone also claims to have brought down Eliot Spitzer. He was part of gestapo squad that invaded Miami in 2000, trying to stop the Gore-Bush recount.
For most of the year Stone lives under a rock. Once a year, a crowd gathers near his underground dwelling; he emerges; and if he sees his shadow, our electoral politics can expect at least 6 more months of dirty tricks.

The Donald has long ruminated on living in the White House. There was speculation that he married his second wife, Marla Maples, because she was a Georgia "peach" who could help him win votes in the South.

In his interview with Morgan, The Donald repeated his long held mantra that China is an enemy. As POTUS, he would begin a serious trade and tax war with this country.He could be a very dangerous POTUS.

He has some baggage. Married three times. His wealth is really unknown. He claims to be a multi-billionaire, but he has bankruptcies and lawsuits ongoing up the his strange head of hair.

Then, of course, there would be speculation on what The Donald would do with the White House. Would he convert it into a casino? a country club?
or demolish it, replacing it with a condo,hotel complex?

So many questions, and so few answers.

Trump says we will all know his position by June.