Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday Mashup (11/4/11)

(Posting still flaky with probably no videos for a little while longer – working on it…)

  • I offer the following without comment; also, last week’s Area Votes in Congress writeup had only two votes (“Herculean” efforts by the U.S. House as per usual), including a vote to “make it harder for as many as 500,000 low- and middle-income individuals and families to qualify for Medicaid, taxpayer-subsidized private insurance, or Children's Health Insurance under the 2010 health law,” so aptly put by the Philadelphia Inquirer (Mikey the Beloved voted Yes, of course - as noted here, Repug U.S. House Rep Richard Hanna claims that President Obama supports this bill, but I could not verify that by use of that Google thingie...color me suspicious).

  • Next, I give you a lesson in Political/Media Double Standards 101 - first, the following (here)…
    (Repug presidential candidate Herman) Cain had the chance to take these old accusations about sexual harassment straight on, but that chance for him is gone now, in the wind, over a week when his version of things became as ridiculous as Bill Clinton telling us all that he did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.

    Herman Cain was never going to be a serious candidate for his party's presidential nomination, even against a field softer than Carvel ice cream.

    Now he's through.
    And for the response from "the usual suspects," I give you the following (here)…
    Following a report accusing Herman Cain of sexual harassment in the 1990s, media conservatives are claiming that such allegations are often "meaningless" or used as "a political tool." But studies show that victims often endure serious psychological and professional side effects as a result of the experience.
    And let’s not forget that this denial is coming from the same bunch who voiced a similar reaction to the sex scandal involving former U.S. House rep Mark Foley a few years ago (here), though the Clinton/Monica Whatsername business will be forever new in the eyes of both the Repugs and our bought-and-paid-for Beltway media (here).

  • Continuing with the “values” stuff, here is more…
    In a 396-9 vote, the House of Representatives reaffirmed "In God We Trust" as the nation's motto on Wednesday. The resolution's Republican sponsor said it would clear up any confusion President Obama created by once referring mistakenly to "E Pluribus Unum" — a Latin phrase meaning "out of many, one" — as our motto. ("In God We Trust" replaced "E Pluribus Unum" in 1956.) Obama mocked Congress for frittering away its day on such a symbolic gesture instead of focusing on creating jobs. Wednesday's debate only took 35 minutes — was it really a waste of time?
    Well, you can put me down for a “Yes” on that one, particularly since the measure was taken up to “clear up” the supposed confusion on the matter caused by Number 44.

    The main reason I’m bothering to say anything about this, though, is to point out the following (here)…
    Lawmakers voting against “In God We Trust” include Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA). Voting present were Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC).
    Amash, by the way, was the only Repug to vote No, though, as noted here, Ron Paul (a libertarian “kindred spirit” from what I can tell) would have voted No also because he didn’t think the Feds had the right to tell the states what to do here (I don’t think Paul “finds the nut” that often, but he deserves credit when he does).

    And by the way, I’m highlighting the other No votes to give them credit; I just want to make sure that’s understood (the Repugs’ non-jobs agenda staggers on).

  • Further, this post at The Hill tells us the following…
    Combining Express Scripts and Medco is an opportunity for two leading pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to apply private sector know-how to solve our country's biggest healthcare challenge: lowering the cost of healthcare while raising the quality.

    By joining complementary strengths, the proposed merger will benefit the nation's patients, employers and managed care plans, leading to safer and more affordable medicines for American families.
    And in case you were wondering, the post was written by the public affairs manager of Express Scripts (sorry, but put me down in the “this is a bad idea” column here).

    As noted here, Medco once locked out 500 employees in a labor dispute, and Express Scripts very nearly closed their facility in nearby Bensalem, PA for similar reasons (here). In addition, this tells us that the two strongly encourage prescribing generics over name-brand drugs, which is often wise for cost reasons particularly since so many drugs are “off patent” at this point (though this tells us of cases where plan subscribers needed the name brands, but were given the runaround by Medco when they tried to obtain the meds from their doctors).

    I just can’t see how the merger of Express Scripts and Medco will do anything except further remove the element of judgment by a degreed medical professional from an issue of patient care that will be performed instead by a more-or-less clerical functionary trying merely to fill a quota.

  • Finally (in local news), time is growing short until next Tuesday’s election in which Dems Gene Dolnick and Linda Palsky are running against the protégés of the odious Simon Campbell, Steve Kosmorsky and Chris Cridge, respectively (here is a recent letter from Dolnick in response to Campbell’s typically sleazy tactics, and here is a letter on behalf of Dolnick and Palsky…you know we’re getting close to November 8th because Campbell once again published the salaries of Pennsbury employees – wonder if it ever occurred to Simple Simon to use that money constructively on behalf of the district and the students instead of feeding his oversized ego? I know the answer, but I'm keen to ask anyway.)

    Oh, and Mikey The Beloved left a tape-recorded phone message at Le Manse Doomsy encouraging my vote for Kosmorsky – more ammunition to support Dolnick instead as far as I’m concerned.

    Also, Dem Lower Makefield supervisor candidate Ron Schmid wrote the following Guest Opinion (he and Ken Seda want the township to authorize liquor sales at restaurants…Lower Makefield is currently “dry,” which to me never really served as much of a deterrent to alcohol abuse – wish it did, though). In addition, this letter appeared on behalf of Independent supervisor candidate Ron Smith, who also rebutted more nonsense from Repug opponents “Dobby” Dobson and Jeff Benedetto here (OMIGOD, those Democrats are going to raise your taxes again – which the Repugs never do….riiiiiight). Finally, here is an endorsement of Dem Bucks County Commissioner candidates Det Ansinn and Diane Marseglia along with Repug Rob Loughery; it’s long past time for Charley (“I Have A Semi-Open Mind”) Martin to go.

    By this time next week, we’ll be living with next Tuesday’s result. Let’s do our part to make sure we’ve started the ball rolling to Democratic gains next year (including President Obama’s re-election) instead of stopping whatever momentum we’ve achieved dead in its tracks.
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