Check out http://scarylawyerguy.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-real-dc-scandal.html for some more reflection on the current scandals.posted @ Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 18:18
@Save our Republic: I hope you wake up from whatever nightmare you are in. I hope you don't strike out in violence in your night terrors.posted @ Friday, May 3, 2013 - 01:05
Lawyers are already the overwhelming majority in politics. We need to sprinkle in some scientists and engineers. People who can work with numbers, evaluate evidence, and credibly evaluate predictions of the future. Doctors (like Broun) don't seem to really be in touch with objective reality in many cases - not really scientists.posted @ Friday, May 3, 2013 - 00:06
Investments in energy conservation might have a higher payback than replacing the coal facility. I hope they are looking at the numbers to compare that.posted @ Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 20:59
"McDonald’s admitted at trial that its coffee is “not fit for consumption” when sold because it causes severe scalds if spilled or drunk;
McDonald’s admitted at trial that consumers are unaware of the extent of the risk of serious burns from spilled coffee served at McDonald’s then required temperature. McDonald’s did a survey of other coffee establishments in the area, and found that coffee at other places was between 30-40 degrees cooler.
Moreover, the Shriner’s Burn Institute in Cincinnati had published warnings to the franchise food industry that its members were unnecessarily causing serious scald burns by serving beverages above 130 degrees Fahrenheit."
"Despite these extensive injuries, she offered to settle with McDonald’s for $20,000. However, McDonald’s refused to settle for this small amount and, in fact, never offered more than $800."
"McDonald’s Operations Manual required the franchisee to hold its coffee at 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit;
Coffee at that temperature, if spilled, causes third-degree burns (the worst kind of burn) in three to seven seconds;"
"From 1982 to 1992, McDonald’s coffee burned more than 700 people, many receiving severe burns to the genital area, perineum, inner thighs, and buttocks"
McDonald's lost the case because they were shown to have a callous disregard for the safety of their customers, not changing their policy after hundreds of previous injuries. Their competition was not serving coffee at such dangerous temperatures. Should McDonald's reap the sales benefits of extremely hot coffee when in competition with more prudent vendors, and yet not be responsible for the negative externalities of their coffee? McDonald's could have settled for a more reasonable share of the medical bills incurred by this elderly lady (who was a passenger, not foolishly trying to drive and drink), but tried to avoid the expense by fighting the case. The business impact of losing the case was minimal to McDonalds, they are still in business but they had to change their dangerous practices.
If you get a chance, watch the documentary sometime.posted @ Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 21:09
[quote][b]melmarino[/b] - @Shalmaneser: Idiots abound. Remember the coffee case for McDonald's?
You should watch the documentary "Hot Coffee". The facts of the case are much different than what you seem to believe, given your dismissive citation of this case. My view of the case changed a lot after watching the documentary.
"She received third-degree burns over 16 percent of her body, necessitating hospitalization for eight days, whirlpool treatment for debridement of her wounds, skin grafting, scarring, and disability for more than two years."posted @ Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 14:33
@Eastville: Software engineers actually did a lot of work to fix the Y2K problems in advance and were mostly successful in doing so. There were still some problems that cropped up, but they had limited impact. Avoiding Y2K disruptions shows that occasionally people make intelligent choices. There was no fossil fuel industry opposition to Y2K software fixes.posted @ Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 15:53
this isnt whats made in a year, but for anyone that has saved 205k total in retirement in total...and that doesnt seem to be a lot to me. No way I could live at my current lvl of lifestyle with for 20ish to 30ish years on the interest from 205k.
The proposal in the new Obama budget has to do with not giving tax breaks to retirement investments that would produce more than 205 thousand in Income Per Year. I think they estimated that you would have to have 3 million in your account to produce that much income per year. This affects about 1 out of a thousand people. And they would just not be allowed to have higher balances excluded from their income taxes - not sure of the details but nothing more drastic than not getting the tax shelter. Like Mitt Romney who had about 18 million in his IRA because of weird stuff he did for his IRA contributions. In any case, this is just a proposal and I don't imagine the current Republicans passing any legislation like this.posted @ Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 16:19
I happened across this new article from someone very knowledgeable about telecommunications. http://tales-of-the-sausage-factory.wetmachine.com/the-best-10-ironies-a...
Among other things, the article notes that the same program also subsidizes rural landline phones for all rural customers.posted @ Monday, April 8, 2013 - 17:07
[quote][b]Familyman[/b] - Cutting social security bothers me. First off, the government did not put money into that pile. We the workers did and our employers. So how can they be taking anything away from something they never put anything into. There should not be any other social programs pulling from that pile either. It was for retirement, period. The only thing the government owes me is my social security. Because I contributed to it. They did not.
The money that has been paid into SS has gone into the trust fund, and future benefits will be paid from that trust fund along with the continuing stream of payroll taxes from workers. Social Security payments will need to be reduced (or in this case, the growth of benefits will be reduced by changing the way inflation is calculated) when the trust fund runs out - either that or increase the payroll tax rate. This is not taking away money that people have paid into SS - it is recognizing that SS should not pay out more for benefits than it has taken in via payroll taxes. As long as the trust fund is paid back from other tax revenue, no money has been "stolen" from the Social Security program to pay for all the other things like crop subsidies, aircraft carriers, etc.posted @ Friday, April 5, 2013 - 19:40
The national organization that supports rails-to-trails projects is at www.railstotrails.org , the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. They have a nice newsletter if you are a member, featuring the many beautiful rail trails around the country. Also the web site lets you look up the various trails if you want to plan a trip somewhere. They can help a lot with the technical and legal aspects of these projects. I was disappointed this article did not mention if the railroad right-of-way still actually exists, or if it has been chopped up and now is privately owned in many pieces. If it has been chopped up for private ownership, that will make it much harder to piece together a significant trail. These right-of-ways also have a lot of value for laying infrastructure like fiber optic cables for communication, and those can co-exist with recreational use of the trails while helping to fund trail creation and maintenance.
Typically many private residential owners object to developing these rail-trails adjacent to their backyards, but experience has shown that after the trails are developed it raises the property values and does not create any crime problems that the people were fearful of. The trails have great recreational value, and in some cases are a significant utilitiarian transportation improvement that can cut down on car usage while improving public health.posted @ Monday, April 1, 2013 - 20:07
The picture is not seen on the article about Obamacare when I look at it. The picture is no longer on the home page either, so I don't know what story it was associated with.
Here are some key quotes from the HuffPo article :
Whit Ayers, a leading Republican pollster, was more measured, but offered the same bottom line. "This law remains toxic among Republican primary voters," he told The Associated Press.
At the Tennessee Hospital Association, president Craig Becker has spent months trying to break through that barrier as he travels to civic and business groups across Tennessee. "It's really hard for some of them to separate something that has the name `Obamacare' on it from what's going to be best for the state," he said, explaining that personality driven politics are easier to understand than the complicated way that the U.S. pays for health care.
Obama's law mandated that states open Medicaid to everyone with household income up to 138 percent of the federal poverty rate – $15,420 a year for an individual or $31,812 for a family of four. The federal government would cover all costs of new Medicaid patients from 2014 to 2016 and pick up most of the price tag after that, requiring states to pay up to 10 percent. The existing Medicaid population would continue under the old formula. In its ruling on the law, the Supreme Court left the details alone, but declared that states could choose whether to expand.
The idea was instead of paying hospitals directly, states and Congress could spend that money on Medicaid and have those new beneficiaries – who now drive costs with preventable hospital admissions and expensive emergency room visits – use the primary care system. But the Supreme Court ruling creates a scenario where hospitals can lose existing revenue with getting the replacement cash Congress intended, all while still having to treat the uninsured patients who can't get coverage.
Very sad that these Republican governors will make many poor people die due to delayed or inadequate care just to further their political careers.posted @ Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 22:21
America is having a hard time of being governed because the Republican Party, being controlled by the extremely wealthy owners of large corporations, serves those wealthy interests, both by limiting regulation and enforcement and by providing tax breaks and subsidies. And those power groups have major influence over the Democratic Party also due to ballooning campaign costs. The government is the tool for the people to defend themselves against the acts of the wealthy and corporations. As Haas notes, most Americans are too busy with day-to-day responsibilities to research deeply into the issues. The media is owned by the money powers and does a weak job of presenting points of view that would limit the power of Mammon (greed). So many of the people heard in the media are being supported by these money powers to confuse the issues and hide truth - just like the tobacco companies did and now the fossil fuel industry; read http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/02/26/12236/news-outlets-unearth-mor...
Is it surprising that the wealthy have more political power than everyone else? And the class of the wealthy today are much much wealthier than they were 30 years ago, in both absolute and relative terms. Unfortunately, wealth does not totally correlate with wisdom or goodness, and particularly Wall Street wealth tends to correlate more with greed.posted @ Saturday, March 9, 2013 - 16:10
How can these religious organizations stand to touch filthy lucre at all? Paying employees results in money being spent on gambling, drugs, prostitution, pornography. UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!! UNCLEAN!!!posted @ Friday, February 15, 2013 - 13:40
Stockholders have no legal responsibility for corporate actions. Individual executives, board members, or other employees should be held responsible. I'd be happy to see Buffet prosecuted if there was any evidence that he knew his company was making fraudulent bond ratings (assuming that Buffet was on the board of directors of the rating agency). But there is no such evidence in this post or the Seattle editorial.posted @ Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 19:31
Tell you what- give this a read-through when you've got some time: http://www.authentichistory.com/1898-1913/2-progressivism/2-riis/index.html
That's what poverty looked like when we relied on private charities alone. I can't think of why things wouldn't return to that again, can you? [/quote]
Very interesting book at the link you give. I only looked around it a little bit, but I came across the following in the middle of Chapter XIV : [quote]
That ignorance plays its part, as well as poverty and bad hygienic surroundings, in the sacrifice of life is of course inevitable. They go usually hand in hand. A message came one day last spring summoning me to a Mott Street tenement in which lay a child dying from some unknown disease. With the "charity doctor" I found the patient on the top floor, stretched upon two chairs in a dreadfully stifling room. She was gasping in the agony of peritonitis that had already written its death-sentence on her wan and pinched face. The whole family, father,
mother, and four ragged children, sat around looking on with the stony resignation of helpless despair that had long since given up the fight against fate as useless. A glance around the wretched room left no doubt as to the cause of the child's condition. "Improper nourishment," said the doctor, which, translated to suit the place, meant starvation. The father's hands were crippled from lead poisoning. He had not been able to work for a year. A contagious disease of the eyes, too long neglected, had made the mother and one of the boys nearly blind. The children cried with hunger. They had not broken their fast that day, and it was then near noon. For months the family had subsisted on two dollars a week from the priest, and a few loaves and a piece of corned beef which the sisters sent them on Saturday. The doctor gave direction for the treatment of the child, knowing that it was possible only to alleviate its sufferings until death should end them, and left some money for food for the rest. [/quote]
@RightWingExtremist: So your advocated policy is to eliminate Social Security and let the many many elderly poor planners or otherwise unfortunate transition to cardboard boxes (if they are lucky to receive the kindness of strangers who have had recent appliance deliveries) on sidewalks. What is your position on removing the corpses? Wouldn't leaving the corpses be better as an object lesson of some sort?posted @ Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 18:56
@Anonymous Dude: I agree that SS is not a Ponzi scheme since Social Security itself is not that far out of balance and could pay at least 70% of currently promised benefits in a few decades even without any changes made now (according to recent estimates - subject to change in case of global nuclear war, plague, robots, etc). However, I think it is a political mistake for SS to be redistributing income by paying low income wage earners higher retirement income than their SS tax contributions have paid for. Let SS be a program that almost everyone can agree to, and any social leveling programs (like the EITC) can be voted for separately.
And @ErichForschler: Social Security is mandatory because otherwise through individual poor planning or vicissitudes of fate our sidewalks would be cluttered up with decrepit destitute elderly people.posted @ Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 16:35
[quote][b]Used2baFreeCountry[/b] - You almost never hear a liberal talk about personal freedom or individual liberty.[/quote]
You need to have your hearing checked - sexual orientation rights, abortion rights, contraception rights, freedom of speech, privacy rights, consumer rights, voting rights, non-discriminatory housing and employment rights - those are all personal freedoms and liberties that are spoken about and defended by many liberal groups.posted @ Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 19:17
The immediate real issue being ignored is unemployment. Consumer demand is stagnated, so businesses have little reason to invest other than in ways to reduce their labor costs. To get the unemployed back into productive activity, there are many government directed infrastructure projects that can be done to repair and improve. Getting those people employed will make real physical improvements rather than having them parked in futile unemployment, wasting their savings, their lives, and their increased demands on charity and welfare. Go ahead and cut wasteful government spending (which requires a majority to agree on "wasteful"), but as a whole country we are missing out on the potential productivity of the unemployed. Employing them via government spending might involve the redistribution of wealth but it should help the long term debt situation by getting the productivity back up. The upper income levels have become much more wealthy in the past few decades in both absolute and relative terms, and I think they would survive just fine - so many of them are involved in socially unproductive financial industry jobs anyway. They have been busy buying up political influence in greater and greater portions.posted @ Sunday, January 6, 2013 - 18:27
[quote][b]mcdawg[/b] - Everyone just wanted to know why this student, husband, son, and former marine, if I remember correctly, went ballistic![/quote]
Charles Whitman had a brain tumor (seen in autopsy). He had seen doctors and a psychiatrist several times in the year before the shooting. His suicide note said "I do not quite understand what it is that compels me to type this letter. Perhaps it is to leave some vague reason for the actions I have recently performed. I do not really understand myself these days. I am supposed to be an average reasonable and intelligent young man. However, lately (I cannot recall when it started) I have been a victim of many unusual and irrational thoughts. ....... I talked with a Doctor once for about two hours and tried to convey to him my fears that I felt come (sic) overwhelming violent impulses. After one visit, I never saw the Doctor again, and since then have been fighting my mental turmoil alone, and seemingly to no avail. ....... If my life insurance policy is valid please pay off my debts [...] donate the rest anonymously to a mental health foundation. Maybe research can prevent further tragedies of this type."
Sad story all around, killing his wife and mother and all the other people. The Wikipedia article about Charles Whitman is pretty good.posted @ Sunday, December 30, 2012 - 00:46
[quote][b]melmarino[/b] - @been grim: Go. Read.
Interesting reference, but that web page says there is more than one adult for every youth (under 18) in the AHA units. 1495 adults, 1340 children. 40% of households are employed, 40% on Social Security. Only 3% of the households on welfare (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)). Maybe all the families with 8 babies living on TANF are living in places other than the AHA - we don't know based on that AHA website alone.posted @ Sunday, December 30, 2012 - 00:27
Has the public ever benefited from this kind of deal? Maybe one or two percent of the time?posted @ Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - 00:32
Affleck was never any kind of serious possibility as a candidate, just a sparkly bit of gossip for the media to play with for a while. It isn't clear yet who the Democratic frontrunner will be for the special election in MA, probably to run against the Republican Senator Scott Brown who just lost last month against Elizabeth Warren. There is a special primary election first to pick the candidates for the final special election (in summertime I think). Then whoever wins that special election will have another regular election in 2014. Absurdly expensive; the latest Brown-Warren senate race in MA had almost 70 million dollars spent on the race.
From a November 2nd poll of about a thousand Minnesota likely voters, Senator Franken is doing pretty well approval-wise. I think he is doing a good job as a Senator. He is very knowledgeable about the issues, and has not been bought out by lobbyists.
"Q12 Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Al
Franken's job performance?
Approve .......................................................... 47%
Not sure .......................................................... 14%
Q13 Generally speaking, if there was an election for
the Senate today, would you vote for Democrat
Al Franken or his Republican opponent?
Al Franken ...................................................... 48%
Republican opponent ...................................... 42%
Not sure .......................................................... 10%
Don't forget that the Republican House majority is largely dependent on gerrymandering. The Democratic candidates received more votes.
Quoted from the following link : "more voters cast ballots for Democratic congressional candidates — over 59 million — than for Republican — just under 58 million."posted @ Monday, December 24, 2012 - 20:26
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Kolton Houston took his story nationally last weekend. read more
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity expects the 2014 football schedule to be released later this month at the Southeastern Conference spring meeting in Destin, Fla. The remaining SEC West opponent for Georgia is the big reveal. McGarity said he saw ?models? of the ?14 schedule in a meeting of conference athletic directors last week in Jacksonville, but that it?s still under review. He?s not worried about Georgia?s strength of schedule for the coming four-team playoff. read more