“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
___________________________________________________
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
___________________________________________________
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let no man put asunder...

Oops, nevermind.

Rove: Champion of "traditional" divorce

Move Your Money

Obviously there isn't a bus around that the Big Bank whores in Washington won't throw the American tax payer under. If you do any business with JP Morgan/Chase, Citibank, Bank of America or Wells Fargo I challenge you to move to another bank that isn't a bankrupt ward of the state. We have a rewards card with one of these and will discontinue it's use. Please share this with your friends and family. We the People will do what Washington wouldn't.

Move Your Money: A New Year's Resolution

Friday, December 25, 2009

Greed is God

A philosophical schism has occured in our nation. Many Christians, also happen to be Republicans. In recent years, Republican dogma has been dominated by men like Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, and Sean Hannity. The basis of their thoughts, or the Limbaugh doctrine (as I will call it) can be found largely in the works of writer Ayn Rand. Rand suggests there are certain individuals in our society, who because of their independant spirit, hard working attitude, and vision, are more valuable than others. Many in our society, for numerous reasons, find Rand's notion of individuality to be appealing. This group, mostly Republican, imagine they are the men Rand speaks of, when in fact this is usually (as in almost always) not the case, as these men are neither harder working nor do they have greater vision than any other average individual. The type of man Rand referred to in her books is rare indeed, while the Limbaugh Doctrine would have us believe these types of men are plentiful. In fact, according to the Limbaugh Doctrine one need only be a business owner or other non-government employee to be one of these uber-men. Such teaching satifies a basic flaw in human nature, which is, the desire to believe one's self to be superior to most other men.

As the Limbaugh Doctrine gained popularity, the need to compromise such self centered thinking with the selfless philosophy found in the bible became necessary for many Christians. Thus the rise of the Evangelical movement, and the Prosperity Doctrine.

Prosperity Doctrine is an attempt to compromise the selflessness of biblical doctrine with the selfish "man love" philosophy propounded by the Limbaugh Doctrine. Greedy and giving at the same time. This battle of opposing philosophical ideas has created a great schism in our society as an entire political movement has arisen around this hybrid, Greed is God, movement. We now have a huge portion of our society dominated by men who believe concurrently that they are superior to others because of their hard working and visionary personalities, and secondly they are superior because of their moral selflessnes.

Any attempt to point out that adherants to the Limbaugh Doctrine are no harder working or morally superior than the average man is greeted with scoffing and disdainful suggestions of weakness. The question is, I suppose, if God exists, can one combine the idea of selfishness with the selfless doctrine taught in the New Testement. The combo Limbaugh/Prosperity doctrine seems to suggest that for many, just such a combination is not only possible, but rapidly gaining in popularity.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Amarillo A-hole of the Week, Eddie McMurray


Eddie McMurray, popping up with weedlike predictability, has done it again. In today's Globe News Letter Eddie takes aim at overpaid government employees. According to Eddie, a school adminstrator managing dozens of employees, accountable to hundreds of parents, knowledgeable of reams of bereauracratic regulations, and responsible for millions in tax funds, shouldn't earn as much as the average mid-level insurance salesman. As for retirement money, in Eddie's world, government employees that have spent decades paying into retirement funds, shouldn't have even a slight raise, despite the ever rising costs of food, medical care, and other necessities. In Eddie's world, working for anything other than a "for profit" business, renders your existance of lesser quality and importance.


You see Eddie is worth much more than any policeman, teacher, judge, or soldier. He works at and perhaps even owns the local francise of Bolner's Fiesta Products. We all know the gigantic contributions to society that Bolner's makes every day. The contributions of a teacher that influences the lives of hundreds of kids over the years, or a policeman that provides public safety, or a soldier that protects our national interests all pale in comparisons to the important work done by men like Eddie McMurray at Bolner's Fiesta Products.


Eddie has other opinions that sprout on a near monthly basis. For example read his tacky treatise on "Limousine Liberals" from February of 2005. While Dubyah was diligently blowing trillions of dollars finding WMDs in Iraq, Eddie was concerned about Clinton riding in a limousine five years earlier.


Or how about this racist rant in response to a Leonard Pitt's column that dared to suggest Rush Limbaugh has partisan tendencies.


Or this Teabagger tirade that spews venom on any government program that dares to help the elderly or needy, but makes no mention of the trillions spent on the war in Iraq, or the other trillions in tax cuts given to the wealthiest 1% of Americans during Dubyah's reign of idiocy.


I could go on. Like that bit of crabgrass that cannot be excised from your flowerbed, McMurray appears again and again with predictably hateful opinions aimed at any and all that dare to exist outside of his "for profit" morally superior universe. So, he has earned, with all congruent honors, this weeks title of Amarillo A-hole of the week.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Falling Sky Alert: Full Squawk Needed


Health Care Reform is on its way... Chicken Little Commandos... Curious Texan... Celtic Texan, and recent Chicken Little Lieutenant... Liberal Masterbator... report for full squawk...the sky is falling...the sky is falling...the sky is falling.

Seriously though...the victory isn't all I hoped, but we must ...and I mean must ...remain united if we hope to move forward. I will not stop supporting the people I believe in, just because I didn't get exactly what I felt was needed. To do so would be to grant tacit support to the opposition. If we're going to be the big umbrella party, we have to learn to accept compromise. Otherwise, we're just like the lockstep monsters on the Right.

Recant Amarillo

Is it time to bring back the Recant Amarillo map. Seems like devilish goings on these days. My self righteous zeal is percolating... lets condemn some sinners.

Friday, December 18, 2009

URGENT! Consumer Reports: Senate health bill has sneaky medical underwriting



This is also why I sent the following letter to Kay Bailey Hutchison's office:

December 18, 2009

James Christoferson Deputy Chief of Staff - Hutchison 284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Christoferson:

Earlier this week, I sent an e-mail to Ms Hutchison through your Web site. The next day, I got a “Dear Friend” e-mail — obviously from you mailbot.

My message to Ms Hutchison was that she represented the right wing of the Republican Party and was a captive of those lobbyists who bribed her. Further, I told her I wished, in the theological sense, she be damned to Hell for her political record.

As an Episcopalian, Ms Hutchison should know the magnitude of that wish. As I am an Episcopalian, I know the significance of that wish and did not make the statement lightly. The Episcopalians I know in Amarillo are far kinder and far more compassionate than Ms Hutchison. They understand that the Jesus we follow as part of a Triune God would disapprove of the coddling of the moneyed and corporate classes so obviously being done by your boss. Jesus would want people in power to take care of the least of us. None of the GOP cronies are doing that. Clearly, it is ludicrous to refer to me as “Dear Friend.”

I recognize Ms. Hutchison has millions of constituents and some may bother to contact Ms Hutchison’s office. But a one-size fits all response sent back under the illusion that we all agree with her politics fails to realize that Texas is becoming a purple state. Even worse, the “Dear Friend” letter is loaded with more bullshit than you’d ever find in the Texas Panhandle and you know how much cattle we have here. The response is a cud-like regurgitation of the talking points from the GOP masters that Ms Hutchison, Mr. Cornyn and Mr. Thornberry repeat interminably. They are following the “Big Lie” theory of propaganda: Keep repeating something long enough and it becomes perceived as truth. Do you know who last successfully used this technique to take over a country?

Ms. Hutchison’s claim that her proposals are fiscally responsible and the right approach to a market-based health care system shows an ignorance of basic health care economics. I would think someone who could get through the University of Texas Law School might have the intelligence to understand the basics of supply and demand theory — unless, of course, she got a pass and it’s her staff feeding her information. It’s clear that neither Ms Hutchison nor any of the Republicans spouting this kind of drivel know anything about supply and demand in health care.

The call for national medical malpractice reform is also a cipher. Texas implemented medical malpractice reform and it’s not yet clear that it has help make things better. The fact is that a national medical so-called reform would protect incompetent doctors and place the public at risk. As long as the National Practitioner Database is exempt from the public disclosures and other peer review and medical credentialing are protected from disclosure, so-called malpractice reform is useless.

To close her letter with the bashing of “bureaucrats” and “government” is so beyond being crassly disingenuous that it is a flat-out lie. Yes, I am calling Ms. Hutchison, your boss, a liar — to your face and to her face. Why? Who is that government? She is. She has been on the public payroll a long time and now is employed by me, but she really doesn’t work for me because I’ve not made a big enough campaign contribution to get her attention. The Republicans ran the government for eight years while the Democrats have held their majority for less than a year. The first stimulus package was at the behest of Bush and the GOP. Don’t tell me it’s anyone else’s fault but her and her cronies.

If the GOP part of the Texas delegation continues to blindly goose-step behind George W. Bush, who I hope at least you have noticed, is no longer president, they will find themselves loosing out more and more. By the way, is Ms Hutchison aware of that fact? The public isn’t as stupid as Ms Hutchison thinks they are and will realize Ms Hutchison can only be bought for so long.

You and your health staff might do well to look at history. P:L. 89-749 did more to control costs and rationalize health care than any other legislation ever passed in this country. I may not agree with some of the things in the health reform measure before the Senate now. In fact, I think it is so watered down that I agree with Dr. Howard Dean that it should be killed and started over. I also agree with Sen. Franken, who said we have a right to our opinions, but not our own facts.

I am writing this letter as a personal one, as a constituent. And you’ll notice that throughout I’ve not referred to Ms. Hutchison as a senator because she isn’t my senator. I have no senators from Texas representing my interests in Babylon-on-the-Potomac just as I have no representative from Texas-13 representing me in the house. In fact, most of the people elected to the Senate aren’t worthy of being called senators. They, like Ms Hutchison, are career politicians only interested in aggrandizing themselves and their cronies.

I hope this takes care of the illusion that Ms Hutchison has broad support in the Panhandle.

Very truly yours,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful.

I am thankful I have a job in a time of tremendous economic uncertainty.

I am thankful for my family, who are the only reason I put up with the b.s. I put up with (see above).

I am thankful there is cold food in my refrigerator, clean water flowing from the faucets and warm air blowing from the vents.

I am thankful McCain/Palin did not win last year (that goes twice for Miss Alaska).

I am thankful that America, despite it's many deep flaws, is still greatest country on earth.

I hope this day finds you with family and friends and reflections on the things in life that really matter.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Smoke and Mirrors Economics Part: 3658

Average incomes have been declining for the last 30 years. Let me sum up the economic boolsheet we were fed that turned out to be smoke:

1. Rising tide lifts all boats
2. Decreasing taxes on the top 1% brings in more tax revenue
3. Trickle down?
4. Moral Hazard will keep CEO's and corporation in line, no need for regulatory enforcement.

Quick summation here:

60's-70's:
pensions are a staple of retirement, health care inexpensive, and growing wages even in recession. Couples begin to realize in late 70's that two incomes are necessary.

80's:
Raygun elected, rethugs control senate.
Union busting and 'personal responsibility' for healthcare and retirement through 401k's and IRA's become mainstream.
Minimum wage stripped from inflation indexing.
Corps let go of pensions, and begin to underfund existing programs.
Bankruptcy or private equity takeover deals allows corps to steal your pension.
Massive healthcare corps go public and begin to merge.

90's: Wall Street gets lesser scrutiny, derivatives and other exotics become more available, hedge funds gain in popularity.
RIGHT TO WORK laws pass every state.
LTCM fails, and S&L's that fail give us a warning.
Massive inflows to Wall Street from people's IRA, etc.
Glass-Steagall repealed.
Healthcare costs and medicare fraud skyrockets.
Pension underfunding becomes pronounced.

Late 1990's-early 2000's: First "jobless" recovery after recession.
Commodities Futures Modernization Act passes
Faced with shrinking wages, higher costs of living, newer tech costs, and a housing bubble, people assume that real estate will continue up and tap their home/atm.
Wages are shrinking, more money is funneled to the top through default swaps which grow to $500 trillion in 2007.

2008:
The bottom falls out.

Just interesting to look back. . . .

-Prodigal Son

Friday, October 30, 2009

Defense of Entitlement

Can I just start out by saying, I hate that Gods-damn Joe Lieberman piece of shit?

Ya know, the whole "entitlement" phrase regarding universal healthcare is a lazy catch all for the right. A poll tested, FAUX news talking point deliberately designed to invoke a gut reaction of, "Hey, he/she ain't pullin' their weight, unlike me!"

It's dishonest. It's typical of the Frank Luntzification of the Greed Oil Pollution party, which dumbs down our national discussions. Remember that cadillac driving welfare queen Ronald Raygun talked about? Never existed. Same with the f***ing death panels boolsheet.

Same thing again, and again, and again. . .

This healthcare discussion seems insane to me. "We should be responsible for our own healthcare choices!" screams the right, while accepting Medicare assistance.

Really? Mentally challenged individuals should be able to sort out the maze of PPO, PPP, supplemental, catastrophic, etc?

Shit! I can barely figure that stuff out, and who has the 100 hours necessary to get a basic cursory knowledge of our crappy overpriced health insurance industrial complex?

Or,"It was that 4 year-old child's parents fault they were not successful enough to have insurance when she got leukemia. They must have a character flaws! Or lazy!"

Let me expand on what I said in the comments a couple of posts below:
Are we entitled to police? firemen? Entitled to national defense? Entitled to credentialed doctors? How about good roads? Safe food supply? Safe drinking water? Safe (Hmmmm) drugs? All of these are supported by the taxpayers together for the betterment of each other.

At one time we were not "entitled" to free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion.

Let's ask the REAL question here . . .

How many people should die because of no healthcare a year? How many people every year should lose everything because of cancer? Give me a number that would be acceptable to you righties;
100?
10,000?
100,000?
A million?

Huh? Tell me righties, how many dead and/or financially devastated FELLOW AMERICANS are acceptable to you?

I hear all the time that this country was founded on the tenets of Christianity (It wasn't), well, how many people would Jesus approve for recission?

Did Jesus give a s**t about deficits or helping the poor and sick? Did he cheer on wars paid for by off the book funds or ask us to look out for each other?

I pity your non-humanity righties, and damn you to hell for your short sightedness. I guess I am going to have to accept that you will hate us "San Francisco liberals", and "Socialists" as we fight for affordable healthcare coverage so you don't lose it all.

F**k you very much.

-Prodigal Son

Monday, October 26, 2009

Time To get All FDR and Sh*t!

PTS'ers. . .

The past 5 months, I have called the white house comment line every Monday morning with a simple, but polite message.

" My name is . . . and I live in . . . I am out of work. No savings to speak of. One accident or illness with my kids or spouse would destroy everything that is left.

I would like to ask the President to support medicare for all, and let us buy into an existing program OR a public option EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY with no 'trigger' or 'opt-out' malarky."

Now? A new message:

"I would like to say that I am a supporter and contributor to President Obama. My message is this: if no simple, AFFORDABLE, IMMEDAITE, public option is signed into law . . . NO money, NO time, NO vote from me for Obama in 2012."

I know it is drastic, but I am not f***ing around here. There are lives at stake, futures being destroyed everyday. And I f***ing mean it. No immediate affordable public option, and President Olympia Snowe can freeze her Maine ass off. . .

Won't you join me?

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

-Prodigal Son

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Sick Around the World" Documentary Screening, 10/28/09

Free, and open to the public, a screening of the PBS FRONTLINE documentary Sick Around the World, sponsored by the West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) Democrats .

"In Sick Around the World, FRONTLINE teams up with veteran Washington Post foreign correspondent T.R. Reid to find out how five other capitalist democracies - - the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland - - deliver health care, and what the United States might learn from their successes and their failures."

Time: 6:00 p.m.
Day, Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Location: WTAMU Campus, Jack B. Kelley (JBK) Student Center, Legends Club
Map: Building #2 - http://www.wtamu.edu/about/campus_map.aspx

For more information, please contact 806-584-1801.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Repent Amarillo wants to stifle Avenue 10 -- again

video

Oh, OK . . . I'll just tell the bank

(Unemployed men vying for jobs at the American Legion Employment Bureau in Los Angeles during the Great Depression.)


Or is it 2009? (25,000 Detroiters converged on Cobo Hall to get one of the 5,000 applications for federal aid to people in poverty.)
________________________

Hear the good news? The recession is over! Everything's looking UP! Or so says, bazzillionaire Larry Summers, (now pulling down a taxpayer-funded six digit income.)


(Part of the daily lineup outside the State Employment Service Office. Memphis, Tennessee. June 1938. Photographer: Dorothea Lange.)

BE HAPPY! Your future job is just around the corn . . .uhh . . . next year or two. Don't worry! After all, employment is a lagging indicator, so I guess I can just tell my mortgage holder and credit cards that payment might be lagging . . .

Look at this unemployment chart from calculated risk blog: Look like improvement to you?



Look, you have a job. You worked hard to get to the spot you are in. You are not seeing anything about this stuff on the TeeVee. Yeah, it's bad out there but people should have planned better . . . LOOK! OVER THERE! Letterman was banging a staffer!

It's time for an adult conversation in this country about the economy. I know it is not uplifting, but we need to face up to the fact that millions of people are losing it all, and are sliding rapidly backwards from the middle class lifestyle they once had, and their spending losses made permanent. Fact is, if you have a job you are going to be OK. Those of us out in the rain? A long hard slog. A lost decade.

The kids getting out of school are getting decimated. NYTimes Bob Herbert.
"Only 65 of every 100 men aged 20 through 24 years old were working on any given day in the first six months of this year. In the age group 25 through 34 years old, traditionally a prime age range for getting married and starting a family, just 81 of 100 men were employed."

_______________________

Myself? Been EIGHT difficult months.

3 months salary in savings. a small severance. GONE. At age 41 I have had to borrow money from my 401k (about 10 years worth of saving and investing with huge penalties), and borrow money from my parents to survive, and I AM LUCKY. Unemployment insurance income represents 9% of what I was making. Do a little math in your head if you had to subsist on 9% of what you are making.

Been busy too. . .

Plan A: Get another gig like I had. Over 150 applications sent regardless of openings. Financial Firms STILL firing business development folks. Career path: GONE

Plan B: acquire existing tax business. SBA needed seller to self finance 30% for a loan. Seller threw up all sorts of requirements. Me and partner had to back away.

Plan C: Start a tax firm from scratch. Partner too reluctant, worried in this economy.

Plan D: Get anything with a paycheck, in or out of sector experience. 300+ applications sent, overqualified, not hiring, job freezes, posted job had internal fill (required to post, not a real opening) A few interviews. Mostly nothing.

Plan E: PLAN F**KING E? Seriously? Going back to school to get the credits I need to sit for the CPA exam. Been at it 1 month already. Old Dogs can learn new CRM systems. LOL

What about income? How long can the family survive on this austerity level? As long as we can. I don't have a date. My wife and I have stopped talking about the future. About kids' college. Kindermusik. Paying off the car early. Future vacations. That ladder rung where we were looks awfully far up . . .
________________________

Last point. A friend in the industry I have known and respected for 10 years called me last week. We used to call him "Mr. Clean", and he was. He was the most ethical guy I know. He did so many hard luck cases, we used to tease him. He told me that he was let go 2 months ago, and asked what was out there. He sighed and broke down.

You see, his wife is disabled. A car wreck. He has three kids. He lives in upper state NY just outside Manhattan. He is going to lie on a mortgage app, get a HELOC on his house, pull all of his equity out and let the bank take it. Integrity be damned.

That was his best option. Parents are dead. He can't afford health care for his wife without an employer plan, Safety net? You kidding?
_________________________

So please congress. . . by all means . . . take your time on health reform. Take your time funding potential job creation. Just wait until the non-existent free market turns things around by itself, so you don't piss off your corporate owners.

After all . . . no one will see us on the TeeVee or Meet The Press . . .

-Prodigal Son

Friday, September 25, 2009

Media Bias Redux

As those of you who follow this blog will recall, a few days ago we had a discussion about media bias in the comments section.

I just posted below and on The Amarillo Independent Web site a story about John Hicks no longer being chief executive at Baptist St. Anthony's Health System.

When I referred to media bias and how different media outlets handle the actual information, this is a perfect example. I normally don't paste in totally a story from the Amarillo Globe-News, but I have known them to change their content on their Web site. Here is how they handled the story:

John Hicks, the only person to serve as chief executive of Baptist St. Anthony's Health System since its 1996 formation, announced today he will leave the hospital. A news release from BSA didn't give a reason for his departure.
"We are fortunate to have a strong and experienced senior leadership team at BSA, along with quality physicians and nursing staff, so we anticipate a smooth transition with no impact at all on patient care," board Chairman Bob Schneider said in a statement.
Bob Williams, a longtime vice president for BSA and High Plains Baptist Hospital, will assume the role of interim CEO.
-- Staff writer David Pittman

The fact is that Hicks did not "announce today he will leave the hospital."

The opening paragraphs of the story and the Indy reflect the tone of what happened and of the news release.

I can't think of a better illustrates than this of how when different media handle a story with their own bias you get an entirely different perspective on what happened.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New England Journal of Medice holds health reform roundtable

New England Journal of Medice holds health reform roundtable

Posted using ShareThis

The Republican Base

Hey righties! Here is an experiment you can include in the new "Jesus Approved" science textbook for Texas!

Glen Beck is f***ing crazy. He describes himself as a rodeo clown, which is a disgusting insult to real rodeo clowns who actually face down charging bulls.

Glenndie just cries on his teevee show.

But last night was too weird for even his bizarre sociopathic performance art.

No sh*t, he boils a frog alive on his show trying to make a point about . . . I dunno.




How much does this jackhole make again? And this is on a "news" network?

Just sayin' . . .

-Prodigal Son

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What should medical center be?


Last week we wrote about how the board and top management of Baptist St. Anthony’s Health System did not take salary cuts while the hospital laid off some 50 workers.
We have since heard that the hospital also approached doctors who take emergency call, sending a letter to them asking them to take a 20 percent pay cut. We are working on obtaining a copy of that letter.
Earlier this week, we also broke a story with ProNews 7 about how the Amarillo Area Foundation rejected Mayor Debra McCartt’s attempt to get the Harrington Regional Medical Center and AAF together to try to settle their differences.
About the only things that BSA and Northwest Texas Healthcare System agree on are that smoking is bad for you and they don’t want to be part of the HRMCI.
Last year, BSA launched a multipronged war against Northwest. The hospital rattled a saber by recruiting the highly regarded emergency physician group, placing a helicopter in Guymon, Okla., and making noises about seeking designation as a trauma center. BSA also spent thousands of dollars to build a new neonatal intensive care unit
No one openly made a case that Northwest was below par in either emergency care or neonatal intensive care. And it’s because they couldn’t.
Both of those services are well known in the region, not just Amarillo, to be excellent. Neonatal ICU was supported by Texas Tech University’s medical school.
The decision to launch this competition was irrational at best and mendacious at worst. And BSA is a nonprofit institution that gets tax breaks for being a responsible corporate member of the community.
The fact that Northwest is a for-profit isn’t a reason for the hammer-and-tongs competition. In fact, it’s the wrong thing to do.
McCartt did the right thing by trying to bring these two organizations to the table with a mediator. It brings to mind a wonderful quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin in the play and movie “1776”: “There is no idea so dangerous it can’t be talked about.”
Clearly something is amiss.
I can’t tell you what is wrong. If someone could, I’d love to know what it is. For a city that places such a premium on getting along, these breaches are a mystery.
As I understand the history of the medical center, those forward-looking folks 40 years ago wanted the medical center to be modeled after Texas Medical Center in Houston. But the big city’s medical center is structured in a quite different way from Amarillo’s. First, none of the hospitals has a seat on the TMC board. In addition, the TMC runs the infrastructure: the common laundry, maintenance of the roads, lawns and the common utility system that provides steam and air conditioning.
The heavyweights at the table in Houston, without a seat at the board, at least don’t have that sandbox in which to fight, were they inclined to fight at all.
The list of institutions that are part of TMC reads like a Who’s Who in medical care. Who hasn’t heard of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, which is part of the University of Texas? Or, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Memorial Hermann or the Methodist Hospital?
People can accuse me of being a lot of things, but unrealistic isn’t one of them. What Amarillo has isn’t what Houston has. But it had the potential to emulate the model.
Hindsight is 20-20, of course.
I don’t think it’s too late to regroup and try again.
Texas Tech is doing its part by buttressing its services and academic medicine capabilities.
But the lack of leadership, the vacuum of a vision that is embraced by the entire medical community and the region, is evident.
Who will step up and openly ask the key question for Amarillo? Although a friend posed this to me, I’ll put it in the open: What is a medical center?
And, I’ll add my question. What vision does Amarillo have for a medical center and who is to lead the way toward that vision?
Now, who will step up and answer these questions?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"SiCKO" Film Screening in Canyon, TX, Tuesday, 9/22/09, 7pm!

You're Invited
to a
FREE Public Screening
of
Michael Moore's
Urgent, U.S. Healthcare System Documentary, "SiCKO"
(http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/about/synopsis/)

When: Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Where: West Texas A&M University Campus, Jack B. Kelley (JBK) Student Center Legends Club, (JBK is building 2 on this map: http://www.wtamu.edu/about/campus_map.aspx)
Sponsored by: The WTAMU Democrats
Contact: lcaidalphabravo@yahoo.com

"This one is likely to strike home with anyone, left or right, who has had serious illness in the family."
-- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

C-U there! Tell your friends!

Sincerely,

Lisa Caid
lcaidalphabravo@yahoo.com

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's called Faux News for a reason

Talk about Fox New and ethics? Look at the producer in the green shirt.




video

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's not what I wanted but I'll take it.

The Senate Finance Committee released their Health Care Bill today. We have to start somewhere.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another AGN drivel editorial

I can’t believe how poorly understood the health care issue is — or perhaps how so committed to the Republican-conservative viewpoint and agenda that a newspaper would want to spread disinformation. But the editorial in the Sept. 15 Amarillo Globe-News (http://www.amarillo.com/stories/091509/opi_opin1.shtml) did just that.

Here are some specific problems.

“He (President Barack Obama) needs to go all the way - by inviting Republicans into the White House, and to consult with them personally with their ideas on how to improve the system.”

Iowa’s Sen. Charles Grassley, the blowhard GOP hit man on health care, was part of meetings at the White House last May. The visit was not only well documented in the media it was also posted on Grassley’s own Web site. Here is the interchange between Grassley and a reporter:

QUESTION: Thank you, Senator. Will you talk to us about your White House visit last week,

please?

GRASSLEY: Yes. I can tell you a lot about it. I won't quote any other person present. There was four of us there. No staff. The president, the vice president, Senator Baucus, and me. We went more of our time talking about health care reform, more about process than

substance.

The president made very clear to me that he wants a bipartisan proposal -- I mean, a bipartisan product. And I think he best indicated that by saying that he did rather that a bipartisan one and get part of what he wants than getting all that he wants -- all of what he wants with a partisan vote.

And there was just good change, good atmosphere. The president is very disarming. You feel very much at home. You know, so anything else you want to know, ask me.


The editorial goes on to tout Rep. Mac Thornberry’s column in the Globe-News and suggest Mac has the right answer: tort reform. The editorial said, “One idea for improving the system, said Thornberry, is to set up ‘health courts’ in which doctors and hospitals are ‘judged by their peers.’”

Mac’s suggestion isn’t original. In fact, it will protect screw-up doctors more than ever. New Mexico has this system and, believe it or not, it’s administered by the New Mexico Medical Society. Not many patients win at this level and if they go to court after that, they have and even poorer chance of prevailing.

And none of this addresses that the tort reform in Texas hasn’t lowered costs; that good studies have shown that the effect of tort reform-defensive medicine accounts for less than 1 percent of the total GDP devoted to health care.

But I have a suggestion: If the medical community wants national tort reform, here’s what the public should get in return – (1) All the information in the National Practitioners Data Bank becomes public record; (2) All complaints filed with every state medical board becomes public record, as do all of the adjudication process, including testimony and exhibits. Let’s treat it like a real court case; (3) All hospital (no exemptions for private, government, military, or any hospital) peer review records become public (including morbidly and mortality committee information); and, (4) Hospitals will be required to compute and post case-mix adjusted morbity and mortality rates for all attending physicians on staff.

That’s change I can believe in.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Damn Liars

When will they start telling the truth?

Posted Sept. 9 - 9:55 p.m. - I can’t help but wonder about Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr., M.D., R-La., who gave the lame Republican response to President Obama’s speech on health care. Like every other Republican, he condemned “government-run health care.” Just like our own Mac Thornberry, he parroted the GOP talking points like a good little junior congressman, just as he was told to do by Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and others.

“The president had a chance tonight to take government-run health care off the table,” he said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t do it.”

But if Boustany is so against “government-run health care,” where would he be if he examined how he got educated and trained? First, he got his bachelor’s from either Louisiana State University in New Orleans or the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, La., according to different sources. He got his medical degree from Louisiana State University Medical School in 1982, according to his own Web site. Oops. That’s government-run health care.

According to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners Web site, which doesn’t show where he did residency and fellowship training, he has no complaints filed against him although Politico reported he was a defendant in an unspecified number of malpractice suits. However, the Web site gives little other information about him, such as verifying whether he is board certified.

He spent some time in Rochester, NY, according to Wikipedia, but that doesn’t indicate what he did there. But, he worked at Charity Hospital of Louisiana. Funny thing about Charity: It’s owned by the State of Louisiana and was for many years the primary teaching hospital for LSU medical school. Oops. That’s government-run health care.

The president said he will start to call out the opposition to health care reform for their lies. Obama did so when he referred to the Whacko-in-Chief Republican Sarah Palin and her “death panel” trash talk. She did so again today in the Wall Street Journal, which now lacks credibility with Rupert Murdoch at the helm.

So I join the president and it starts here and starts now.

If Boustany finds public, i.e., government-run health care, such an anathema, let him turn in his public college and med school degrees.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Kudos

I should give kudos when kudos are due.

Jon Mark Beilue: Country's ingorance is scary sometimes

Holy F**K! Enough!

Be warned . . . I ain't holding back here . . .

Have you had enough yet? We busted our asses getting democratic majorities in the senate and house, AND the white house.

Is it me, or have the grassroots become expendable? We must give up OUR position on single payer and the public option to make a few MINORITY PARTY hairy-eyed republican anarchists in the senate and David f**king Broder comfy cozy? And then the rethugs shit on whatever pops up anyway. Rahm Emmanual's response to us so far has been, "Unhappy? Go somewhere else then!"

Republicans have been absolutely batshit insane since Feb 20th. Rather than discourage the fringe haters, they have whipped them into a frenzy, only for the purpose of torpedoing Obama. Reasonable repubs? WTF are they? I don't read any reasonable repub LTE's in the paper. Just the haters.

It's Obama Derangement Syndrome. . . only veeeeeery deranged for real.

Well . . . it has been seven months. Obama has had an enormous pile of steaming disaster handed to him by the MASTER of f**king everything up and then running out the back door, but the first big initiative is health care.

We need medicare for all. We need the public option, and it is useless to try to talk to someone frothing at the mouth, and calling you traitor! Socialist! Nazi! Dixie Chicks lover! (Sorry . . . flashback to 2003 there . . .)

Thanks to Liberalator for bringing up calling the white house.

I am changing my message, and it is this, "Mr. President, no affordable public option or medicare for all, no money or vote from me in 2012. PERIOD!"

Care to join me? 202-456-1414

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

NOW, President Obama!

In conversation with my son awhile back, he put me on to something I should have been doing for months but hadn’t thought of. It’s something all of us must be doing, and encouraging their friends, relatives and co-workers to do.

He said every Monday morning he calls (and now I also) the White House comment line and politely but firmly tells the answerer that candidate Obama said he would work to pass Universal Health Care, Single Payer and get us out of Iraq. He (and I) tells the answerer that we have already compromised from Single Payer to Public Option, and can’t see that he is laying his presidency on line for either. My son (and I) says “please tell the president that NOW is the time to draw the line in the sand, and rise or fall with the bill to make Health Care Universal with the Public Option."

Start calling today. The White House number is 1-202-456-1414. Ask to leave a comment. Be prepared to wait five or ten minutes for your turn, and then politely but firmly DEMAND THE PUBLIC OPTION (or single payer, your choice) and anything else you want to add. I also go to www.Whitehouse.gov , click on “CONTACT us” in the upper right hand corner and pass on the same message – every week! It is easy, is not intimidating, costs nothing but a little time, and is vital.

The president needs to hear from millions that there is no option but the Public Option – add your name to that list of progressives/liberals that is speaking out.

Telephone: 1-202-456-1414, ask to leave a comment
www.Whitehouse.gov, click on “CONTACT us

LIBERALATOR

Monday, August 31, 2009

Journamalism! WOO!

Proving that the rich and connected part of America is immune to unemployment and economic downturns, meet your sparkly, newest, 27 year-old TODAY show correspondent . . . Jenna Bush Hager!

Qualifications? She has "White House experience", LOL.

Oh, yeah. . . she has ghost-written two books, and is a reading coordinator at an elementary school, so naturally she will be reporting on, wait for it . . .

Education.

My fav quote from the fruit of Dubya's loins, "It wasn't something I'd always dreamed to do," she said. "But I think one of the most important things in life is to be open-minded and to be open-minded for change."

Shorter; It's so AWESOME to be handed a surprise f**king job offer on a famous Teevee show out of the blue without any experience whatsoevah! Totally!

More from Gawker:

"Jim Bell, Today's executive producer is already giving quotes about how he's not using it as political grease for a future shot at trying to Frost/Nixon old Daddy Dubya. Watch that D:

"Bell said Hager won't be covering politics. He said he didn't consider the job as a down payment for a future interview with her father, who has been living quietly in Texas since leaving office earlier this year. Attacks on NBC News by conservatives for the liberal bent of MSNBC also had nothing to do with it, he said. "I hope to focus on what I'm passionate about because I think I'd do them best job on them - education, urban education, women and children's issues and literacy," Hager said."


MMM, HMMMM, riggghhhhht. . .

Look, I am gonna go out on a limb, and say that Jenna is probably a nice person (never met), and I know that legacy hires always trump competency and experience (Liz Cheney, anyone?), but seriously, she has only been a teacher for a couple of years.

What is her cred regarding education? Or Journalistic digging? Or . . . anything relating to the average American's struggles with paying for crushing school loans for example?

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Audacity of Business as Usual

So much for all that hope and change and shit:

Bernanke to Be Nominated for Second Term as Fed Chief

Exactly how bad do you have to screw up these days to be held accountable for anything?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Depression Continued

This morning, I wanted to go into some more detail about what is happening now, and what to expect in this economy. Stuff that must be fixed before any real recovery can happen.

BTW . . . you won't see this reported on the Jon and Kate networks. LOOK OVER THERE! Sarah Palin also said something crazy again!!!

Real Estate: sobering numbers to consider here;
13% of homeowners are behind or in default, and notice from the chart that over half are fixed prime rate loans. People who used to have middle class jobs, and good credit. This is now a Prime foreclosure crises.


Mortgage modification has failed. There I said it. Chase has my mortgage, and when I applied for the Presidents "Home Afforable Modification Program", Chase lost my paperwork 3X, and then tried to stick me in a lower interest rate ARM . . . with them collecting a massive fee. I told them to go to hell. Peter Goodman had a great article about this in the Financial Times

"But for the loans in question, servicing fees range as high as 2%-3%. In some cases, Chase, or Washington Mutual previously, modified interest rates on the loans down to 3%, while keeping the servicing fee flat. This essentially strips cash flow from the mortgage note holders and diverts it to the servicer, a tactic that doesn’t sit well with owners of the impacted bonds."

Get it? You get your mortgage rate lowered to 3%, but it's an ARM, and the bank takes 2-3% in fees. IOW, you are not paying down your mortgage that much.

SOLUTION 1: Without giving judges in bankruptcy court the option to reduce payments for a period, we will still be in free fall.

SOLUTION 2: Have the government use FNMA to refi anyone who is 1 month delinquent, in foreclosure, or unemployed. You get a 40 year fixed at 3%, no points. When things improve, the gov can sell these mortgages to the banks, or keep it.

Tomorrow I want to discuss unemployment.

In the meantime . . . has anyone else experienced boolsheeet with their bank regarding their mortgage or modification?

-Prodigal Son

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Winding Down the USA

This country is in a depression.

Just because it does not look like the 30’s does not mean it is any less significant for those suffering. As of this week, I have been without a professional gig for six months now. Unemployment insurance has run out.

AND THERE ARE MILLIONS OF YOUR FELLOW AMERICANS LIKE ME. 6.4 million.

Wish I could be upbeat, but things are hard-core. The tax firm acquisition did not happen due to various seller-related issues, (it may happen with a different firm down the road, my partner and I are looking now), I am down to my last few thousand in the bank, although I still have not tapped my 401k yet. Still making house/car payments, but I gotta have some fresh income starting yesterday, or I am gonna have to start peeling off some retirement funds, withholding plus penalty or no.

I have not been sitting around waiting for something to happen. My family has cut back till it hurts. Thank goodness for local grandparents who can pay for the little fun stuff. Pop sure can't right now.

I have sucked it up and am waiting tables at a steak joint at nights now. I made $50 last Saturday, LOL. That's what I use to make in an HOUR. 41 years+ old, and back to college kid wages with a family and a mortgage.

I have applied to over 250+ jobs, interviewed for 3. Wanna know what ELSE keeps me up at night? At what point do I become 'damaged goods'? Ya know, "This guy has not found a job in 'X' months, must be something there . . . let's take a pass". Tell me it does not happen every day.

The crazy thing is that the career path I was on is dead. Every week I get a call from a former peer asking about what is out there. Nada. My headhunter says more hiring freezes and more layoffs coming. The financial sector is hemorrhaging jobs like crazy even now. Except at the top. Except the f*ckers who caused this economic cardiac arrest.

I have a buddy whose daughter has a chronic lung condition, laid off three months ago, and who had to choose between his house in Richmond or COBRA payments for his kiddo last month. He is living in a three bedroom apt now with his wife and 2 kids.

45 years old.

Can you imagine? Seem real yet? Ask yourself, “If my income was wiped out for six-twelve months, how would we get by?”

My kids are healthy, my wife and I are healthy, so we have the only important thing anyway. House and Car, etc. are just stuff.

But . . . can anyone here define “Middle Class”? Seriously, WTF does that mean anymore?

As a financial guy, I did the following to offset any tough period. . .

3 months salary in bank . . . CHECK
Controlled little debt . . . CHECK
Used cars, keep after paid off . . . CHECK
Did not buy more house than I can afford . . . CHECK
Life Ins . . . CHECK
Will/Medical power of attorney, etc . . . CHECK

And it was still not enough . . .

Last question: IF YOU CALL YOURSELF CHRISTIAN, WOULDN'T IT BE THE CHRISTIAN THING TO HAVE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE? To, ya know, have one less thing on your neighbors mind while he tries to survive financially?

Tomorrow I want to talk about what our economy looks like and what that means, but for now;

Reach out to your buddy without a gig, buy him/her a beer. Joke about better times, do not talk about your upcoming vacation to the Caymans.

-Prodigal Son

Friday, August 14, 2009

Have the Whackos Won?

Well, the wackos have won a partial victory, led by Wacko-In-Chief Sarah Palin.

By grabbing onto the propagandist rhetoric of the worst kind, Palin undercut one of the better provisions in HR 3200, calling end-of-life counseling "death panels."

The proposed legislation was nothing of the sort, of course. It was a provision that allowed the reimbursement of counseling for terminally ill patients. The measure would've opened options for hospice care, either at home or in an inpatient facility, and other opportunities for enhancing the quality of life near the end of life. It also would have paid for counseling and some legal help in preparing for the end-of-life.

Instead, Palin and other right-wing extremists used the same fear-mongering tactics that stampeded this nation into Iraq — Vietnam with sand— and the Patriot Act, which gave Dick Cheney an extension on your phone and a tap into your Internet.

Palin was aided and abetted by a group known as "Patriot@FaxDC.com," which is blast faxing members of Congress and spewing its stupidity at newspapers. This outfit is a huge offshoot of the Tea Party movement that started last spring.

Take a gander at the e-mail The Amarillo Independent got today:

Alert: Part of the controversial Obamacare proposal pending in Congress that discusses "end-of-life" counseling and medical procedures that could be rationed based on the age of the patient and other factors was written by suicide advocates who argue openly for the "right" to death, according to reports.

The sources for the Obamacare provisions have been documented on a blog for Family Research Council Action and discussed by prominent pro-life columnist Jill Stanek.

"Come again that promotion of euthanasia isn't part of Section 1233?" Stanek wrote in her new explanation of the dangers of Obamacare. " Kudos to FRC's The Cloakroom …for drawing attention to the fact that the two authors of Section 1233 are major proponents of euthanasia and assisted suicide."

The authors include an Oregon congressman who has argued for assisted suicide before federal courts and an organization that openly boasts it helps "thousands of clients each year by ... guiding their search for a peaceful, humane death...."

FRC Action reports on its website the group "has been getting some heat" for its criticism of the plan.

"Today comes (a) smoking gun … with the group Compassion & Choices coming out defending the questionable rationing portions of the bill and admitting THEY ACTUALLY WROTE THE LANGUAGE!" FRC Action said.

Can you believe this stuff? There is not one documentable name for the source of these allegations. There is a regurgitation of garbage published by the right-wing Family Research Council, the folks who want to censor your television watching, but not one reliable source.

My column in the Aug. 13 issue talked about propaganda and public relations.

I support Pres. Barak Obama's agenda strongly but I wish he had been more calculating in the way he had introduced health care reform and more aggressive in the way he defends it now.

One problem at hand is that the vocal minority has taken charge of the conversation. The other problem is that the attack on health care reform is concurrent with an attack on the elected officials of the federal government.

As a progressive, I think we need insurance and health care reform tied together. And as a compassionate human being I don't believe all government workers are bad. But, as I look at the members of Congress and their behavior and their self-serving activity that has turned them into a “ruling class” I share the anger with the right-wing wackos.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Well said!

Pass it on! The perfect answer to "guvment cain't do nothin!"

"click here"

The Liberalator

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Misleading, As Usual

The Amarillo Globe Republican ran an AP story this morning headlined "Both sides mislead issues in debate on health care." The only problem is that all four claims (government encouraged euthanasia; government funded abortions; having to change doctors; and health care rationing) are all right wing lies that were disputed in the facts presented in the very same article. Oh well, what else can you expect from that rag.
(Sorry no link - article was not on Amarillo.com)

Liberalator

Friday, July 24, 2009

enola gay, should have stayed at home yesterday

Some of our commenters have asked why we are not posting more frequently. I can only speak for myself, but I hope to address the question for myself.

One of our commenters (I hesitate to call him a "troll" at this point, though I won't promise to never call him such again) has brought Ayn Rand into the comments.

I'll have to admit that, at this point, I'm far more interested in discussing Atlas Shrugged than I am in discussing politics.

And I'm okay with that.

I am-- at bottom-- a lit and history geek. I'd much rather discuss and teach the history of ideas than fight for a momentary political win. The Bush era laid our differences on the table, and made half of Americans enemies with the other half. And that is the context in which our bloggery-- Ivory Dome's as well as PTS's-- began.

Let me not be over-charitable: I am vastly annoyed by the fact that large segments of the USA bitch constantly about their health insurance, but refuse to consider another option. I am frightened by the unwillingness of the citizenry to take even baby steps toward fixing our environmental problems.

But I have begun to accept that these things are facts of life-- facts which may well lead us to our collective grave-- but facts nonetheless.

Make no mistake: I do not, at this point, blame Bush. He squandered what was perhaps our last opportunity to fix things, but hypothetical future historians could argue that the Clinton administration (of which Al Gore was an influential member) understood some of the dangers we face to a greater degree, and did no more. And the problems from which we now reap the whirlwind began long before W.

President Obama, I believe, is a good man who might be a great President in another age, but who has been cursed with ours. Unless he is able to vastly exceed my expectations (in fairness and in hope, he has done so before), he cannot succeed. It is all too little, and far too late.

Ultimately, the only thing that civilizations leave behind is their art. And that's really all I'm interested in discussing at this point. Curious Texan was right to bring up Ayn Rand. She perhaps brings some context, some understanding of how we arrived at the end of our world. At the beginning of this post, and here at the end, I'm posting the establishment view (from the Ayn Rand Institute) of her writings.

Discuss among yourselves, if you want to. I, as the sibling of a disabled person, might focus on Rand's demonization of altruism. You might focus elsewhere. Discuss if you care to. Better yet, go spend some time with your families.

spacedark



Thursday, July 09, 2009

My Job, Your Bonus

Wow, apologies for the light summer posting. . .

Thank the Gods of Kobol we have the best media on the planet here in the good 'ol USA, so that our greatest King of all time can receive the worship and adoration He deserved!!!!

Seriously, Michael Jackson was a great entertainer and artist. Like the best ones, his tortured life somehow birthed incredible art.

A funny story . . . when I was a morning DJ at a radio station in Kearney, NE in 1987, we were giving away MJ concert tickets. My show was the highest rated during that time because of those tix, not my talent, LOL

Did you watch the service? I don't know what grossed me out the most . . . a funeral at the staples center, people screaming like after getting tix like the beatles were back from the dead and together, or the red carpet for pictures before the service. (h/t/ americablog. )

It's not like our economy is on the brink or anything. Or North Korea firing off missles, or that our national security structure was under cyber attack . . . .

LOOK OVER THERE! SARAH PALIN IS DOING SOMETHING!
_______________________________

I wanted to talk for a second about what might be an interesting bit of data . . . an ex-employee of my old firm released the names and dollar amounts for top exec bonus' for 2008. He/She was plenty pissed.

Know something interesting? The amount paid out to the the top dogs in bonus' is just about the same amount as the payroll of all employees terminated.

You see . . . gotta keep the gravy train rolling at the top when overall firm revenues are down.

How many other companies are the same? How many cuts were made in exec bonuses rather than staffing? Not many.

Hard to know with private companies. Public corps maybe . . .

-Prodigal Son
_______________________________

Finally a quick list . . . spending you cut out when out of work and busted . . .

Entropy is still ALL POWERFUL!

-Doctor visits (except kids)
-Dentist visits (sorry kids, brush, brush!)
-Zoo and other family memberships
-Utilities awareness, NUFF SAID!
-Family vacation
-Church tithes
-Baby sitting
-Charitable giving
-Yearly high pressure house wash
-New kids crocs (other shoes in posession are fine for now)
-Cable TV
-Annual flowers for yard beds
-Healthier, but more expensive food
-Name brand frakkin' anything!
-Latest cool toy
-Eating out
-Wife's laptop repair (screen went out)
-Mower maintenance
-Dry cleaning
-Car oil changes
-Watering the lawn
-Watch band broken
-Extravagant date nights for me and wifey

Ya know, you really can live without a lot of stuff. This new reality is something I will continue, as well as a lot of Americans. I have some debt like the car, and credit cards I will pay off ASAP. Then, the service economy can fend for itself. I have even reconsidered our retirement strategy and kiddos' college, etc.

To hell with the Joneses. Turns out they worked for Goldman Sachs

-PS

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tea Party Protest Should Focus on Local Govts

The Amarillo Tea Party will host a rally July 4 to protest high taxes. The last Tea Parties turned into anti-Obama-anti-federal government rallies as much as a complaint against taxes.

And while the Tea Party’s manifesto calls for limited government, limited spending and lower taxes at all levels of government, taking to the streets, even peacefully, isn’t the way to deal with lowering local taxes. The way to lower the burden of government in Potter and Randall counties is to look at two areas.

First, citizens must pay more attention to the costs of local government, especially salaries. The Amarillo Independent did a story some months ago about city salaries and the amounts the staffers are paid is staggering. Of course, questioning those salaries leads to a huge effort in bureaucratic justification, with claims that to get “good” people to work here means paying higher salaries. Then, they’ll trot out all kinds of little studies of comparable salaries from other jurisdictions — studies that are paid for by the city’s consultant and not reviewed independently by an objective observer. C’mon, we know how this game is played.

But the second, and more insidious, form of taxation and tax increases has to do with the Potter-Randall Appraisal District. With caps on tax rates, the only way PRAD can generate the income for the governments it serves is to inflate the values of properties. PRAD doesn’t question how much those governmental entities need. One of the dirty secrets is that the jurisdictions tell PRAD how much they need, PRAD adds up the bill and then sticks it to property owners.

And it does so with outrageous impunity. In a down market, these arrogant bureaucrats inflate the appraisal of homes by knowingly faulty statistical methods. Even worse, the protest board backs the bureaucrats. Homeowners don’t have a chance because these senile old beasts are buddy-buddy with the staffers and have their minds made up before the hearing even begins.

If the Amarillo Tea Party people want to mount a protest, they may have more of an impact if they packet and protest at local government offices and at PRAD at 5701 Hollywood Road.

Coleman Concedes .... (finally!)


In settlement, Republicans cede all future rights to "Sore-Loserman" bumper stickers.

spacedark

Tom Schieffer

YOU ARE INVITED TO A RECEPTION

FOR TOM !


WEDNESDAY NIGHT - JULY 1, 2009, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Ambassador Hotel - Ballroom

WHO IS TOM?



Tom Schieffer – Democratic Candidate for Governor


· Lifelong Democrat – Only Current Candidate for Governor

· Former 3-Term Texas St. Rep. From Ft. Worth

· Former Owner of the Texas Rangers Baseball Team

· Former Ambassador to Australia and to Japan

· Brother of Bob Schieffer



Hosts

Abel Bosquez, Robert & Carol Forrester, Selden Hale, Roberta Hicks, Jim & Theresa Otto,

Gina & Dr. Howard Podolsky, Jim & Sylvia Perkins, William H. Seewald, Claudia Stravato

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Iran, what can you do?

One small thing:

I have been told that twitter users should set your location to Tehran and your time zone to GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location/timezone searches. The more people at this location, the more of a logjam it creates for forces trying to shut Iranians' access to the internet down. Cut & paste & please pass it on.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the flyswat heard round the world




I've said before that I like PETA-- although I don't subscribe to their ethic-- because, unlike too much of the far left for the last quarter-century, they have a sense of humor. Twisted, maybe, but so is mine. Also, they have the ability to drive Amarilloans up a tree, which is never a bad thing.

But, um, seriously?

I mean, he told the fly "Get out of here." The fly's choice not to listen led to its demise, right? I mean, if the President told me to "Get out of here," I think I would do so.

Hopefully, future flies, especially North Korean flies will think twice before they ignore President Obama's polite but strongly worded ultimatums.

spacedark

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pigs Fly: My letter to Rep. Thornberry

The Honorable Mac Thornberry
Member of Congress,13th District of Texas

Dear Congressman Thornberry,

Thank you, Congressman Thornberry, for your vote against HR2346, the Supplemental Appropriation for FY2009 that continues funding of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

I applaud your courageous stand and welcome you to the majority of Americans who oppose these wars. It must not have been easy to change your position from supporting war for six years to realizing that we must disengage from these wars and get our troops home. You have rightly utilized Congress' power of the purse to press for ending the wars.

I look forward to your further leadership, along with Representatives Kucinich and Woolsey, in seeking an end to the disastrous war of choice in Iraq and the quagmire of Afghanistan. Let me know how Question War Amarillo can assist you - especially in countering those unreasonable but inevitable claims that those like you and I who advocate not funding war don't "support the troops".

With regards,

Richard Todd
Organizer, Question War Amarillo

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Healthy Economy

OK . . . conservative talking points in quotations . . .

1. "There is plenty of healthcare competition already"- Really? Every job I have had has had one choice . . . the companies pre-selected health company. There was no other choice unless you consider none an option. Cobra? $1600/month.

2. "You don't want some beau-ro-crat overriding your doctor!"- Really? As opposed to the person at Blue Cross telling you your bypass surgery is not medically necessary?

3. "We need health savings accounts!"- Can you save up enough to pay for a heart transplant? (The costs for the surgery and first year of care are estimated to be about $350,000. The medical tests and medications after the first year cost about $27,000 per year.)

4. "Guvment run health care is not as efficient as the private sector!"- America was last on the list of six 1st world countries on quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives according to the commonwealth fund.

Like most people, I do not mind paying for something good, but what exactly are we getting for our $$ with private insurers?

Let's run the numbers down . . . let's say you have to pay $600/month for healthcare. 40% is profit and admin costs to Kaiser Perm or $240.

Take that 40% out and you are paying $360/month.

_______________________________

Here is my 4 step plan for fixing the entire USA healthcare system.

1. Buy out every publicly-traded health care company: Cost? $70 billion. Wanna stay as a rich man's value-added ins company a la' AXA europe.? Go right ahead.

2. Single payer is the way: In 2006, per-capita spending for health care in the U.S. was $6,714, in Canada for example, $3,678. That's just $306 a month. I was paying $700/month at my last gig. Roll it out in 8 quadrants starting somewhere small like the Dakotas to test.

3. A two-fer: No more pharmaceutical company ads. They spend more on marketing than on research. Stop it, and keep your previous marketing budget as profit.

Also, now we can negotiate with the drug companies on price.

4. Malpractice insurance through the gov.-Stop your bitching Docs, gonna cost you a third of what you are paying now.
______________________________

Problems . . .

Healthcare company employees: This one is tough. . . there will be a lot of laid off people. What to do? Hire some for the new USA Healthcare, we need a solution for the rest.

Patient record security

What kind of tech CRM tool will be used?

How do Docs get paid?
_____________________________

What are the dems doing to help? See below . . . . . . . . . .



-Prodigal Son

Friday, June 12, 2009

enough is enough




Good lord, didn't the poor Ukrainians have enough to cope with over the years with the Soviets and Chernobyl and all of that?

Now they have to deal with Les Simpson's patronizing "help"?

spacedark