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Feb 27: Healthcare Summit – is there a compromise?
Feb 24th, 2010 by Sam

What’s on my mind…

  • Healthcare  summit – is there a compromise?  should the party that represents only 41% of the country in the senate get to dictate what we get in the country?
  • Scott Brown – votes yes on the jobs bill (yea!), says he understands the IRS-hating nut(he said whaaat?), says the stimulus did not create one new job (same old Republican crap…)
  • Is the IRS-hating nut a Tea Partier?  A terrorist? Does it matter?
  • Health insurance premiums sky-rocketing (well, maybe everyone isn’t so happy with their current insurance…)
  • Seems that “we the people” want it both (well, every-which) way – no new taxes, don’t reduce my social programs, cut the deficit programs…

Audio

Evidence That Little Touches Do Mean So Much
Feb 23rd, 2010 by Sam

People who touch are more successful than those who don’t?  Hmmm, where do New Englanders fall on that continuum?

Brown, 4 others in GOP break ranks to advance jobs bill – The Boston Globe
Feb 23rd, 2010 by Sam

Brown, 4 others in GOP break ranks to advance jobs bill – The Boston Globe

What the bill does: 

The measure would extend the Social Security tax break to eligible employers through December and give an extra $1,000 per employee credit if the worker stays on the job for at least a year. The measure also includes an extension of popular highway programs. 

How it compares to other bills:

 The jobs bill is a scaled-back version of a $174 billion package the House approved in December. It is also significantly smaller than a Senate measure that had been floated by a bipartisan team of lawmakers.

 Well, that’s a hopeful start…  But, apparently he had permission to vote this way…  

Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas and chairman of the national Republican Senatorial Committee, said Brown did not upset the GOP leadership with his vote.

“This was a procedural vote. There was no sort of insistence by leadership that this was a place where we plant our flag or make our stand,’’ Cornyn said. 

  

Feb 20: Does walking away from a mortgage = ‘restructuring debt’?
Feb 19th, 2010 by Sam

On my mind….

  • Is it wrong for a corporation to ‘restructure’ (default) their debt?  They do it all the time.  If not, why can’t people walk away from their mortgages?
  • How Christian Were the Founders? – Texas, textbooks, religion, power, separation of church and state
  • Abstinence education – recent research sez that it works – the more abstinence is emphasized, the less likely kids are to report they had sex within two years of the education.  You suppose some kids aren’t reporting accurately?  You think some kids accurately report more than others?
  • Right-wing Tea Partiers – fact-based?  not so much.  getting bigger?  yep.  problem or distraction?  you tell me…

Plus…

Jeff Dorchen and his segment, Not to be rude, but…

Mp3

California Death Spiral
Feb 18th, 2010 by Sam

Krugman says:

California’s case shows that to do nothing to reform healthcare would be a disaster…  what would work?  End discrimination on the basis of medical history, keep healthy people in the risk pool by mandating they buy coverage, offer subsidies to lower-income American so they can afford coverage.

and

…some claim that health costs would fall dramatically if only insurance companies were allowed to sell policies across state lines. But California is already a huge market, with much more insurance competition than in other states; unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most. And competition hasn’t averted a death spiral. So why would creating a national market make things better?

More broadly, conservatives would have you believe that health insurance suffers from too much government interference. In fact, the real point of the push to allow interstate sales is that it would set off a race to the bottom, effectively eliminating state regulation. But California’s individual insurance market is already notable for its lack of regulation, certainly as compared with states like New York — yet the market is collapsing anyway.

Finally, there have been calls for minimalist health reform that would ban discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions and stop there. It’s a popular idea, but as every health economist knows, it’s also nonsense. For a ban on medical discrimination would lead to higher premiums for the healthy, and would, therefore, cause more and bigger death spirals.

Child Custody should be no-fault
Feb 18th, 2010 by Sam

Hear, hear. And default joint custody too.  Check it out here

Studies conducted in the past 20 years have shown that on all meaningful measures of success — social, economic, intellectual and psychological — most adult children from divorced families are no worse off than their peers whose parents remained married.

Researchers have found two explanations for this. Children who have to cope with their parents’ separation and post-divorce lives often grow resilient, self-reliant, adaptable and independent. And children benefit from escaping the high-conflict environment of a rocky marriage. After their parents’ separation, as conflicts fade, children recover.

Sustained family conflict can cause children to experience the kinds of problems that are usually attributed to divorce: low self-esteem, depression, high anxiety, difficulty forming relationships, delinquency and withdrawal from the world.

Payback Time – Party Gridlock in Washington Feeds Fear of a Debt Crisis – Series – NYTimes.com
Feb 18th, 2010 by Sam

Yet politicians’ failure to reduce deficits has long reflected voters’ opposition to the necessary steps. The poll also found that by a two-to-one ratio Americans oppose cutting health care and education; 51 percent oppose lower military spending.

via Payback Time – Party Gridlock in Washington Feeds Fear of a Debt Crisis – Series – NYTimes.com.

Do we need affirmative action for guys?
Feb 16th, 2010 by Sam

“…in The Atlantic, Don Peck reports that last November nearly a fifth of all men between 25 and 54 did not have jobs, the highest figure since the labor bureau began counting in 1948. We are either at or about to reach a historical marker: for the first time there will be more women in the work force than men.”  David Brooks, New York Times, February 15, 2010

Unhappy, angsty guys… Funny… I bet a lot of them are conservatives, so following their logic, my response should be “Not MY problem!!!”

Except, it is. And will be. Angsty guys cause problems. The only positive… China has more of them and there aren’t enough women around, so their problem is worse.

Right-wing tea partiers…. Ta da!
Feb 15th, 2010 by Sam

Do they seem thoughtful?  Do they check out the facts?  Have they done their homework?  Do the dots they are connecting even exist??

But their vision of the federal government is frequently at odds with the one that both parties have constructed. Tea Party gatherings are full of people who say they would do away with the Federal Reserve, the federal income tax and countless agencies, not to mention bailouts and stimulus packages. Nor is it unusual to hear calls to eliminate Social SecurityMedicare and Medicaid. A remarkable number say this despite having recently lost jobs or health coverage. Some of the prescriptions they are debating — secession, tax boycotts, states “nullifying” federal laws, forming citizen militias — are outside the mainstream, too.  New York Times, February 15, 2010

Feb 13: Darwin Day and the bottom line: genes that get passed on win
Feb 11th, 2010 by Sam

It’s Darwin Day!!!! hmmm, doesn’t do it for you, does it? Some old funny-looking guy with a beard… monkeys… church/state….

A little dry, isn’t it?

Well, let’s sex it up folks!!!! Evolution IS sexy… I mean, it’s all about passing on the genes baby, and we KNOW how that’s done, don’t we?? (wink, wink)

Joining us:

  • Dr. Kerim M. Munir, MD, MPH, DSc; Director Center for Autism and Related Disorders; Children’s Hospital; has been studying the early life of Charles Darwin for many years, combining his vast knowledge of children’s developmental psychology with his personal connection to Darwin – family members of his have attended the boarding school where Darwin spent his formative years and the seeds of his education were sown.  Dr. Munir will share his unique insights into the man who changed everything.
  • Don Leka; musician and recovering lawyer, shares his essay “Stop Picking on Darwin”

Podcast

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