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Gender: Female
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2003, 01:04 PM
Number of posts: 85,373

Journal Archives

An Obamacare scorecard: Part 2 The hits, misses, and mixed reviews


...While the president has been focusing on some early small victories—like the rebates some people are getting due to a provision in the law—at its core the Affordable Care Act is about insurance.

When it passed, it was about giving some 30 million of the 50 million people uninsured at the time, in 2010, a chance to get insurance—for some, to buy it with help from subsidies from the federal government, and for some others, getting it through Medicaid, via an extension of the existing federal/state program for the poor. A secondary goal was to get rid of some of the worst practices in the so-called individual market, which prevented sick people from obtaining coverage and well people from affording it. There was also talk that the law would slow down the rise in the cost of US medical care, though it arguably did not contain teeth strong enough to make that happen. Forces that could actually raise healthcare costs—like consolidation in the insurance and hospital markets—would have continued with or without Obamacare. It is within this context that the Affordable Care Act to date must be scored. In Part 1 we examined what parts of the original law have been implemented, what parts are on hold, and what parts are gone. In this, Part 2, we assess the law as it stands so far—its hits and its misses, as well as the parts that get mixed reviews....

...The next stage of Obamacare is the one that we should watch most carefully, as exchanges set up by the law start selling insurance policies to the unininsured and granting subsidies help people pay for them—the heart of the Affordable Care Act. If people get better insurance for the buck, and decide they can afford the coverage rather than pay the tax penalty, and sign up in droves—that’s a huge hit. But it’s a complicated machine to start up and operate, and reporters need to watch closely. There are bound to be misses and mixed results. Whether they will undermine the success of the law is a big unknown. Neither the Democrats, the Republicans, or the press has a crystal ball.

An Obamacare scorecard Part 1: What’s gone, what’s on hold, and what’s still in place



If Ever there was a litmus test for true democrats, it is Edward Snowden

Thanks to his bravery, I have shuffled a lot of trolls off into the Ignore Lists, where they may sit and jabber at each other.

Anyone who cannot recognize Snowden's enduring contribution to the US and the world is not worthy of one moment of my attention. It's the equivalent of bad-mouthing the Kennedys or MLK, Jr and the other civil rights martyrs. Or our Founding Fathers and Mothers.

Everyone is entitled to an opinon, but we all work with the same reality

And the facts are these:

The US GOVERNMENT is committing treason against its people and attacking the rest of the world with its spying.

These brave people quinnox listed exposed that, among others.

They are heroes of the People, the only LEGITIMATE source of government in a democracy (or any other government, for that matter).

(If you can't change the facts, just attack the messengers--or change the subject. But do it somewhere else, or you are going on my Ignore list!)

Even when that Teabagger is my Auntie?

She may be deluded and prejudiced, but she's family. With a dialog, we can find common ground, to the benefit of the family.

We have to bring the Teabaggers home, one by one. They are the abused, confused, lost sheep. We have to rescue them, just as we would any other cult victim: with love, support, and education.

Yours is the kind of party I wouldn't want to belong to

A party without any principles whatsoever beyond winning at all costs.

There's no "winning" without actually making change. If the only change you make is to "win" a beauty contest, that's not winning.

The GOP has goals. They are crazy, stupid, people-destroying goals, but they fervently believe in them.

I want a party that has smart, well-thought out, people-enhancing goals. And believe me when I say: Obamacare isn't cutting it.

I am more inclined to a new party: A Peoples' 99% Occupation Party

for three reasons:

1) It starts fresh without all the crap the GOP has heaped on the Democratic brand (and all the crap so-called Democrats have done to sully the name).

2) It permits people who were never Democrats and would never consider it, based on their prejudice or history, to reconsider their options and go for something other than the right-wing fundie Tea Party or the GOP Corporate brands.

3) A new party can be set up so that the message and the spokespeople are controlled by the grassroots, as opposed to any entrenched Establishment Elite.

On Edit:

The first reply to this post I cannot read, because I have that person on Ignore. If it's worth looking at, please advise...if it isn't, that's why he's on Ignore!

Weekend Economists Take a Chance and Call a Bluff July 26-28, 2013

As promised, we are exploring games of chance this Weekend: Poker, Bingo, Roulette, Financial Markets...Elections, etc.

Dogs Playing Poker
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dogs Playing Poker refers collectively to a series of sixteen oil paintings by C. M. Coolidge, commissioned in 1903 by Brown & Bigelow to advertise cigars. All the paintings in the series feature anthropomorphized dogs, but the nine in which dogs are seated around a card table have become derisively well known in the United States as examples of mainly working-class taste in home decoration. Critic Annette Ferrara describes Dogs Playing Poker as "indelibly burned into ... the American collective-schlock subconscious ... through incessant reproduction on all manner of pop ephemera."

Yes, Wikipedia has a listing for it....there's more detail there, too!

And then, there are the humans....

Playing Poker for a Living By: PokerListings.com http://www.pokerlistings.com/playing-poker-for-a-living-6732

Most people have no idea what it takes to play poker for a living.

Before deciding to choose this path, let me warn you of the disadvantages first. Poker has many benefits, but it also has many negative consequences that come with playing long hours. This guide will allow you to make the right decision by learning from someone who actually plays for a living.

Poker for a Living

The first thing you need to play any game for a living is patience. Playing every day, all day, can get extremely tiring. Staring at a computer screen for hours on end can literally drive you insane. In addition, your fortunes online are prone to wild swings. You will occasionally sit down at a table and not get any cards for hours. Be prepared to take the worst beats of your life along with huge runs that will make your bankroll soar.

Playing for a living requires extreme mental discipline and a steady game plan. It's a good idea to record how many hours you play each day and what your total profit for the day is. Do this for a month or two before you make the switch to becoming a full-time player. This will allow you to analyze your play and find out how much you make on average.

Drawbacks of Playing Poker for a Living

1. No set income: Some months you'll actually experience a loss in total earnings. You must be able to cope with this and still have the confidence you need to win. You'll encounter some horrible runs along the way so be prepared.

2. Exhaustion: You'll constantly be tired if you're playing all day. If you're playing really high limits, you may not have to play all day to make a living. The fact is that most of us will need to grind it out all day to pay rent and bills and buy food.

3. Reduced family time: Since you must make your money playing poker, you'll tend to spend less time with your family. When a good poker player encounters a bad run, he or she will grind it out until they prevail. This may call for some extremely long hours of play. Be prepared to play poker at any time. On losing months you'll need to spend even more time on the computer or at the casino.

Advantages of Playing Poker for a Living

There are many advantages that help balance out playing poker for a living. I love that you get to choose your own hours to work on any day you wish. You can take off as many days as you want and never be hassled to wake up at 8 a.m. - or, god forbid, earlier. You'll also be playing one of the most intriguing games in the world for money. Who could ask for more? It's a great lifestyle if you're a winning player.

The fact is, most people can't handle the swings that are unavoidable in full-time play. Every time you sit at the table you must change your personality and play with ice water in your veins. When you take a bad beat, you can't let it affect you. You must deal with the swings on a regular basis. You must also be a dedicated soul who will play even when the cards aren't going your way. You must be a very disciplined and winning poker player to play for a living.

I hope this article hasn't discouraged you if you have dreams of playing professionally. If you believe you can do it, you'll buy every book and read everything you can get your hands on to become a winning player.

See you at the tables.

Homily for the Weekend

Friends and Others of DU:

I am sorry that the news is this bad, that every update is worse than the last.

Our brother Hotler wins. "I have no hope, I see no future," is his summary phrase. He is right.

If there's a way out of this we will find it, if we look, and try, and believe. If there isn't, it was nice knowing you, and I hope we can keep it all going together into the great Unknown. This is a time when we are all going to need friends, real friends, to get by with a little help from our friends, until the present unpleasantness resolves, one way or the other.

If the unpleasantness were due to the needs of the impoverished, dispossessed and disenfranchised, that would be one thing. That would be easily fixable, and common decency would insist upon us fixing it. We know how to do that, we've done it before, and we have structures to facilitate it.

But THIS unpleasantness is due to the mentally ill: the people who have more than enough and are still not satisfied. They need to take MORE, and MORE, and even if they had it all, they STILL wouldn't be satisfied, until every "rival" for even a grain of sand on this planet is DEAD.

This is the crisis of our time. NEVER has Greed ever been this unleashed and rampant upon the globe. And it is global. If we in this nation cannot control our Greedy, why would we expect any OTHER nation to try? Ours started this...at least, in this country, although I expect they did it globally, even China, thanks to Nixon and the BFEE ( Bush Family Evil Empire).

And if we cannot control the GREEDY, relieve them of their booty, make reparations to their victims, and cure their mental illness, there will be shooting war, not just in the Middle East, not just in Africa, but EVERYWHERE.

Until the last greedy son-of-a-bitch is dead. And, it may come to that.

I seriously doubt that Hitler could have taken over, were it not for the rapacious war reparations forced upon Germany by the Allies of WWI, which destroyed Germany's economy and blighted at least one and probably 3 generations. I don't think the German national psyche was that warped, until the reparations and Hitler did his Fuhrer thing.

What can we do, when faced with an entire class of Hitlers, prodded into action by the rapacious of our time?

I don't know. But I think we will be finding out.

Here endeth the sermon.

Weekend Economists Ask: Is There a Doctor in the House? July 19-21, 2013

Let's face it. Our country is sick. Our global and local economies are sick. Our classes are sick of each other, racism is alive and well, and everyone's sick of the Government.

But perhaps the source of contagion is the banking cartel. The Need for Greed suggests that some very unbalanced, nay, CRAZY AS BEDBUGS people are messing it up for everyone. Is there a doctor in the house?

Meet Abraham Maslow

Abraham Harold Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization. Maslow was a psychology professor at Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research and Columbia University. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a "bag of symptoms."

Maslow's hierarchy of needs -- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An interpretation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation". Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans' innate curiosity. His theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, some of which focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. Maslow used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence needs to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through.

Maslow studied what he called exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglass rather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing that "the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy." Maslow studied the healthiest 1% of the college student population.

Maslow's theory was fully expressed in his 1954 book Motivation and Personality. While the hierarchy remains a very popular framework in sociology research and secondary and higher psychology instruction, it has largely been supplanted by attachment theory in graduate and clinical psychology and psychiatry.

And yet, I don't think Humanity has abandoned this pyramid.

Let's talk about it. And about everything else....
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