Robert P.'s blog

Thank you Kos - I'm Famous!

Thanks to an email from a friend, I learned that I am prominently featured in The New York Review of Books review of Crashing the Gates. No kidding! Okay, not prominent, but I'm mentioned!!!

At the center of this world, however, is Daily Kos, which because of its particular architecture, and the open spirit of its founder, has become an experiment in Web-style democracy...But anyone who joins Daily Kos—a free and painless process—is allowed to post "diaries"—really mini-essays—about particular topics at any time. As I write this, on a Monday morning in late February, there are dozens of new diaries posted within the last hour on such subjects as "The End of Medicaid Is Beginning" by chuckles1, or "Dangers Posed by IRS Secrecy" by redlami, or "Time for a Port Pivot" by AlphaLiberal.

Conservatives call blacks HOs and Ghetto Sluts

In perhaps one of the most immoral acts that I have ever heard, Al Franken just played a clip of Rush Limbaugh calling the Duke Lacrosse rape victim a Ho.

You can hear the clip here.

From Media Matters:

Limbaugh's made the comment about a recent incident in Durham, North Carolina, in which an exotic dancer was allegedly raped by three members of the Duke lacrosse team. The incident has invoked further controversy because the victim, an African-American, has alleged that her attackers used racial epithets. Prompted by another caller to apologize for his words, Limbaugh said that he had made the statement because he was "running on fumes today," and called it a "terrible slip of the tongue." But he then added that there are "some inconsistencies" in the case and rephrased his apology, telling the second caller, "I regret that you heard me say it."

Artesian Economics

We have long heard the benefits extolled of trickle-down economics, from no less than Hoover, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II - arguably four of the worst economic President's of all time. I'll give Reagan the cold war, but not that he fought it on the backs of workers while the wealthy got wealthier.

Trickle down economics posits that if all tax cuts are given to the wealthiest individuals and corporations, then they will spend that money investing in new jobs and increasing profits and wages for their workers. Thus, the bolus of money at the top will slowly trickle down to every American.

How to Turn a Republican

This started off as a comment.

When I argue politics with my Republican Dad, I focus on a position that he feels strongly about, which is Veterans care. He is a Vietnam vet and so I bash him over the head every time we talk about how Bush is slashing Veteran's benefits, refusing to give armor, paying mercs 100K to drive trucks full of "sailboat fuel", and anything else I can remember.

I never let him get the last word on these topics, I always leave him with a clear-cut image that Bush is against Veterans.

Then, I also tell him the latest Republican hypocrisy every time we meet. However, I think the thing that finally sunk the ship was this. He always says that Democrats are just as bad as Republicans, just as dirty, just as unethical, just as self-serving. I was in the car with him and we had the following conversation:

Good Practices Can Be Selfish

I was just browsing the UNC Health Care System employees CONNECTIONS - Special Transportation, Parking and Construction Issue. Yeah, I know.

UNC is in the midst of a Capital building boom that is just remarkable. My wife hates it, she grew up here and thinks there just isn't enough open space left. I agree to some extent, once again I think the hospitals and research buildings should be a minimum of 11 stories high with greenspace between stuffed with live oaks, magnolias, and lawn space.

Still, as a scientist, I know that UNC is expanding because its world-leading research is expanding. The two go hand in hand. Along with that expansion has come a change in travel, which I think is a good thing. UNC is moving all of its parking off campus, face it, you won't be able to park on campus in another 50 years. This leads to good and bad.

What an IDEA, stop punishing disabled children.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 - what a bold idea, what a great idea.

Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.

So, how has it done?

The End of Medicaid is Just Beginning

When the Republican led Senate and House passed the Budget Reconciliation Act of 2005, they did so without the support of one Democrat, and with a number of Republican defections. Why? The reason is simple, the budget gives more tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy while at the same time seriously putting in peril the very lives of millions of Americans. The Budget Reconciliation Act should go down in history as the Republican End of Medicaid Act. Hopefully, this destruction of Medicaid will play a major role in the 06 elections, but I’m not sure it will. Once again, the Republicans have been crafty. They have changed the rules on Medicaid in a way that will do serious harm to disabled children, the blind, the elderly, and the less fortunate in our society – but they have done so in a way that will not hurt them until AFTER the midterm election.

To help clarify this situation and what will be happening down the road, we at BlueNC have asked State Rep. Verla Insko to provide us some facts on the new Medicaid cuts and regulations. Rep. Insko has just filed to run for her sixth term in the 56th NC House district, representing most of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and one Orange County Precinct. Rep. Insko is eminently qualified to answer questions on potential Medicaid cuts, as she Vice-Chairs the Appropriations Committee; Chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse; is a member of the Health, Environment and Natural Resources Committee; and, serves on the Joint Legislative Oversight Committees on Education and Health, where she Chairs the Access Subcommittee of the House Select Committee on Health Care.


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