Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 09 2009 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: The Health Care Reform Debate And 'Coverage For The Rest Of Us'

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceSeptember 09 2009 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: The Health Care Reform Debate And 'Coverage For The Rest Of Us'... Even If It Means Pressing On Till 2013 The Pressure Must Continue

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In The News: THE DEATH TOLL IN THE WAR CONTINUES TO RISE - Four more Americans and a handful of Afghanis have been ambushed and killed outside of Kandahar Afghanistan even as the "NATO chief defends 'progress' as criticism mounts".

But there is SOME "good news" (if 'good news' is possible when people are dying in massive numbers).

Last week, a New York Times reporter, Stephen Farell and his Afghani interpreter were kidnapped when they tried to get up to the site of an airstrike in Kunduz Province that killed a large number of civilians salvaging fuel from a pair of stuck hijacked tank trucks... because the German fire controller had information that the site imagery showed "numerous black dots.. ...but without enough detail to confirm whether they were carrying weapons."" AKA 'civilians'.

British commandos raided the kidnappers, rescuing the reporter and causing the death of one commando. although it's sadly notable that
"...civilians, including women and children, were also killed in the firefight to free the journalists. That report could not be independently verified, and details of the operation itself were sketchy.

The Times also reports that Mr. Munadi, Farrell’s translator, was killed during the rescue operation. [In Full]

Lance Cpl Joshua Bernard - AP
Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard is tended to by fellow U.S. Marines in Afghanistan.
Photograph: Julie Jacobson/AP

War imagery, and the sanitization of it, designed for the easily 'shocked and awed' minds of a nation raised on BS war movies and video game 'violence' is still in the news. (...and speaking of 'sanitization', the above picture apparently violated PhotoBucket's TOS for it's graphic nature and had to be re-linked.)

The Pentagon's own (ostensibly independent) newspaper Stars and Stripes has completely backed Associated Press on their publication of a picture showing a dying US Marine... Quote:
As hard as it may be to view that picture, especially for the Marine’s family, it belongs in the public domain as a legitimate piece of visual history in a conflict that as of this writing has taken 562 American lives in combat, with no end in sight.

It honors his death, and those of all others, by showing what it means to give one’s life for one’s country. It is also a testament to courage and comradeship. Two fellow Marines can be seen risking their own lives to tend to their fallen buddy under fire.

Suppressing or withholding the photo would have ill served the open society that the dead Marine, Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland, Me., gave his life to serve so well so far from home.

Secretary Gates’ arguments should have been part of every responsible editor’s deliberation, but it was never Gates’ decision to make nor, and I say this with great disquietude, the Bernard family’s. A free press is messy, even painful as here, but as Jefferson counseled, it is essential to our form of government.
[In Full @ Stars and Stripes]
For more on the subject of the Pentagon's history of 'sanitazation', see Jamie McIntyre's "Echoes of Vietnam".
Echoes of Vietnam_090909 "Line of Departure"...

The Supreme Court returns to session and swears their new Justice Gloria Sotomeyer in. Their first order of business is a Right Wing hit movie... "Hillary: The Movie". A district court quashed it's release because it contained electioneering commercials within the time frame for "...a provision in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law banning the broadcast or cable transmission of “electioneering communications” paid for by corporations in the 30 days before a presidential primary and in the 60 days before the general election..". More at the New York Times.

The finance committee has come up with a plan. But most of it doesn't take effect till 2013, More from the Billings Montana Gazette:
Here's a quick look at the highlights of the framework of proposed reforms:

• Insurance reforms: Beginning in 2013, insurers could not reject people because of medical conditions or cancel policies in the individual market. The same rules for the small-group market would be phased in over five years, and after 2017 for the large group market.

• Coverage mandate: Americans would be required to have health insurance beginning in 2013, and pay fines if they don't.

• Tax credits: Starting in 2011, businesses with fewer than 25 employees and average wages below $40,000 would get a tax credit to help pay for insurance for their workers. Also, in 2013, low- and moderate-income individuals would get tax credits to help pay for insurance, which they'd be required to buy.

• Employer responsibility: Businesses would not be required to provide health insurance to employees. But those with more than 50 full-time workers that don't offer coverage would pay a fee for every worker who gets a tax credit to buy other insurance.

• Medicaid expansion: Medicaid, the state-federal program that pays medical bills for the poor, would be expanded in 2014 to cover people earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or $29,300 for a family of four.

• Health co-ops: The framework does not include the so-called "public option" or government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers. However, it would provide seed money to start nonprofit health cooperatives that could offer coverage to members in states or regions. [In Full]

MEANWHILE... Two different takes on the wallet of the American taxpayer... Will they BE ABLE TO pay 'fines' for their lack of heath coverage? From the San Jose Mercury-News: "Laboring on some grim data" which beats about a bush that SNAFU-ed .... (Situation Normal, for people who don't think at all ... and offbeat news, for the rest of us ...)sets aflame
September 06 2009
Forty Percent of Working-Age Californians Jobless: Study

It's been said that official unemployment numbers undercut the true unemployment numbers, with many dropping off the radar as their unemployment benefits expire, and with many taking jobs that "underemploy" them. Still, this study comes as a shock, saying that 2/5 of Californians of working age are out of work.

The report, "In the Midst of the Great Recession: The State of Working California 2009," by the California Budget Project, states that less than 3/5 of California's working age adults had jobs in July 2009.

That contrasts to the official unemployment rate, which says that California's jobless rate is 11.9%.

Other highlights (or lowlights) of the report...
[In Full at SNAFU-ed]

Samoa has been buying right hand drive cars from their former protector, the British for a long, long time, but as of yesterday, because left hand drive cars can be purchased much more inexpensively, they changed... But first, they banned alcohol for three days to prevent potential traffic mayhem. It worked... NO noticeable increase in accidents.

"Look for yourself. Do you see any burger, fries or bread here?" Malaysia's McCurry restaurant chain has won a suit filed by McDonalds over their use of "Mc". Years ago, where Da Buffalo roams, there use to be an organic, tofu serving restaurant called McDharma's... They weren't so lucky, a budget breaking suit caused them to retreat, reducing their moniker to "Dharma's".


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