Monday, August 31, 2009

Vicki Kennedy

I don't know a lot about Vicki Kennedy - Ted's widow. I know she has two children. I know that she's a lawyer or was a lawyer before they married. I have heard she has expressed no desire to take over her husband's Senate seat. I saw her wipe away tears when I watched the funeral on TV and I had heard that she had met and greeted mourners outside the Kennedy library when they entered to view her husband's casket.

I can't imagine being this woman. She has been placed in an unimaginable situation - one that for many women is becoming the norm considering we are fighting two wars. I can't imagine losing the love of my life and I certainly can't imagine having to do so on such a public stage. The heartbreak must be enormous.

Then, I went to Time.com and viewed the below video of Mrs. Kennedy greeting the mourners outside the Kennedy library. I found it at once heartwrenching and admirable. You can't hear much, a few sorry for your loss and you can hear Mrs. Kennedy - the last of the Kennedy women to bury a husband quite so publicly - saying thank you. She shakes many hands and my heart just aches for her.

I didn't want you, my gentle readers, to miss any of it, so I'm posting both the embedded version of the video and the link to it.

God Bless



http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,36007005001_1919473,00.html

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Top of My Head: Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen doesn't stand up for Wisconsin Laws...

Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen doesn't stand up for Wisconsin Laws...

We need an Attorney General who will stand up for Wisconsin Laws. Van Hollen isn't the guy we should have. He needs to resign, be recalled or defeated in the next election.

God Bless

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Tea Time for the Traditionally Built

Tea Time for the Traditionally Built: The New No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is the latest book in the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I love this series and have ever since I read the first book when it came out years ago. This new book is no exception. The conversations between characters, the descriptions of Botswana bring you into the lives of Precious Ramotswe, her husband - Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni - and her assistant, Mma Makutsi. The book is a quick read and will draw you in until you feel like sitting down and having a cup of Red Bush Tea.
God Bless



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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wisconsin Attorney General

I said every day I would address the issue of Van Hollen and today is no exception. He should resign. He apparently doesn't want to defend our state's laws from an attack and he shouldn't be our Attorney General.

Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen doesn't stand up for Wisconsin Laws.

God Bless

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

WMAQ is going to make me rich!

When I was a kid, WMAQ radio station in Chicago held a contest where if they called you and you said, "WMAQ is going to make me rich!" you would win $1000. A mighty sum in those days and a huge sum to an 11 year old girl. For ages, I would answer the phone, "WMAQ is going to make me rich!" and for a brief moment - lasting until the caller asked for my mom or my dad - I would imagine winning the money.
My mother, on the other hand, would admonish me to no end about the proper way to answer a phone. She was - and still is - an Avon lady and the family phone was her business line. She worried that her Avon customers wouldn't know what to say to an 11 year old proclaiming a radio tagline. I think she sold her customers short. Most of the time I would receive chuckles before the caller would ask for my mom or dad. Strange, now that I think about it, even when I was a teenager, I never received as many phone calls as my parents did.
Once, I answered the phone with "WMAQ is going to make me rich" and I heard a man's voice tell me that he was from WMAQ, but I needed to get my parents. Turns out it was our neighbor, Mr. Wolf, and I wasn't rich, but I've never forgotten that thrill when I actually believed -- and yelled out that I had -- won.
Every once in a while, I'll stop and purchase a lottery ticket and I know that I have a million to one shot at winning the lottery. But for a brief moment of time, I'm back to being that 11 year old girl and WMAQ is going to make me rich. And, I think that's worth a buck.
God Bless

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Another Word on Ted Kennedy

This morning, as I am looking out at the rainy day before me, I paused to read an article about Ted Kennedy and his work for gay rights. He took the stance of equality for gays when it might have been political suicide to do so. Senator Kennedy seemed to know our struggles and our pain.

And, that lead me to remember what he said at Bobby Kennedy's funeral, "a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it; who saw suffering and tried to heal it; who saw war and tried to stop it." And, I think those words, those words that whenever I've heard them again, have brought tears to my eyes, would be best served to describe Ted Kennedy. And, I don't write this to take away anything from Bobby Kennedy's work, but Ted was the survivor who got to put his words into action.

I worry about the health care in this nation now. Because the one man who could work with Republicans is gone. All ready, with Kennedy ill and out of action, the health care debate has dissolved into a yelling match. I wonder, who is going to lead us now?

God Bless us, everyone. We are going to need the Lord's help in all of this.

PS. Think about that, Van Hollen, you're decision NOT to defend Wisconsin state law is a wrong one and for that, I ask that God has mercy on your soul.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Strong Like Bull -- And, I have the Numbers to Prove It

Around this time of year, my company conducts a health assessment. We fill out a form -- either online or hardcopy -- allow some travelling nurse to prick our finger and the company pays us $20.00. In a few weeks, we all receive a nice health assessment booklet from our insurance company. This is one of the reasons I believe that health insurance costs need to be shared by companies. My company, I'm sure, receives some sort of discount on their premimums by having their employees take the assessment. This is a good thing.

I support taking the test, even though on a yearly basis, since I turned 35 my doctor has been running the very same lap tests on me. Here's why: First, I like saving my company money -- no really. I'm serious. A company that can save money on health care costs can put more money in my pocket -- or at least in theory. Second, I know there's a lot of people in my company who probably don't visit the doctor on a regular basis and don't get regular checkups. This way, they have the numbers. The nurses explain what all of the numbers mean and, hopefully, co-workers with bad numbers can follow up with their doctors and head off serious issues. Finally, I happen to like the little booklet. I do. I keep last year's booklet and the new booklet will have the previous years' results and I can compare just how healthy I'm getting.

So, now for the numbers. If you know me, then you know I'm a big gal. And, being big doesn't bother me, except when someone assumes because I'm big, I'm somehow destroying the earth with my largeness. And, being big and beautiful -- as I am -- doesn't mean I'm not healthy.

My blood pressure was a little high today: 125/75. That's still normal, but my bp had been going down to the low 120's. I should note, that's the blood pressure I had when I was 21 and wearing a size 16.

My total cholesterol was 177 -- not as good as it has been, but still under that bad number of 200.

My HDL is 47 -- I've had it as high as 50, so it's lower than it's been, but still above 40 -- like it needs to be.

My LDL was slightly elevated at 112. I'll have to work on that.

Now, for the drum roll, my Triglycerides is 91 -- WAY BELOW the borderline high level. YES!

My glucose was 106 -- slightly high, but I had forgotten about the test and drank some apple juice before coming into work, so it wasn't a true fasting test.

So, I'm a big gal and I know I have friends and family that worry about my health. But, my heart test proved negative -- negative for issues, I do have one! My numbers are all where they are supposed to be, so it looks like -- if I keep this up -- I'll be around to see my grandchildren's children.

Hmmm, guess my step-children won't be happy. I won't die early enough to leave them any money. LOL!

God Bless

Oh, and keeping with my daily promise -- down with Van Hollen. He shouldn't be Wisconsin's Attorney General and I'm healthy enough to see him voted out of office. :-)

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Sadness

I awoke yesterday morning to the news that Edward Kennedy died of brain cancer. I am not ashamed to say that I sat down on my couch and cried. I felt as if the nation had lost a favorite uncle. I'm pretty sure all those Kennedy kids -- who are now Kennedy adults -- looked up to him, as they lost their own fathers. From his eulogy of his brother, Robert, to his endorsement of President Obama, Senator Kennedy spoke with power, passion and love of country. He seemed to gather us in his arms and let us know that all would be all right, much like a beloved uncle would.
What upset me so much this morning and as the day went on is the sad fact that Teddy Kennedy will never be able to tell America that we'll get through it -- whatever it may be -- again. That our troubles are a mere bump on the road to our grand future.
My heart goes out to the Kennedy family.
Then, when I thought my day could not get much worse, I come home, flip to CNN and find out that Dominick Dunne passed away. I loved his show on Court (not Tru) TV. I loved reading his articles in Vanity Fair. I would daydream of what I would discuss with him, if Mr. Dunne would come to dinner. I meant to write him a fan letter. I had just been thinking about it the other day, as a matter of fact. I will miss his commentary in Vanity Fair and TruTV won't be the same without presence.
My prayers are with his family.
God Bless

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Birthday -- Click Here

Today is Vicy's 40th birthday. I hate her because in the years I've known her, she still looks 33 and I look 41. Vicy doesn't want anything for her birthday except for people to go to this website and click on the Intel Will Donate 25 cents for you button.
I want Vicy to have a nice birthday.
So, click here: http://www.smallthingschallenge.com/. Give Vicy a nice birthday.
Happy Birthday, Vicy -- I hope it is a wonderful one -- and I clicked for you!

Oh, one last thing, down with J.B. Van Hollen. The man should not be our Attorney General if he doesn't want to defend our laws. I said I'd mention him every single day and I meant it.

God Bless

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen doesn't stand up for Wisconsin Laws...

But Fair Wisconsin does. (Read their announcement here) Everyday until the next election or someone who knows how to organize a recall against Van Hollen, I'm going to remind Wisconsin voters just how 1) he doesn't defend laws passed by our legistlature and 2) how that costs Wisconsin taxpayers $175.00 per hour to bring in an outside attorney. Apparently, Van Hollen only stands up for those constituents who are as small minded and backward as he is.
Let's all join together and make him a one-term attorney general. Let's send a message to future attorney generals that we want them to uphold our laws. Period.
In case you're wondering if I only want him to support laws I support, I support the Federal Justice Department's stance to support DOMA in court. I believe that's what attorney generals should do -- even if they disagree with the law.
Apparently, Republicans don't think that way. They think that somehow you have some made up right to only do your job as long as you agree with it -- the exception is you shouldn't have to do something unethical or illegal. Silly Republicans, running the government is an intellectual's job.
Defend the law, Van Hollen, or suffer the consequences and lose the next election.

God Bless

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wisconsin Family Council

The Wisconsin "Family" Council claims to be "Dedicated to strengthening and preserving marriage, family, life and liberty in Wisconsin". But, alas, it is a lie. A great, big lie. What they are for is shoving their backward, inconsiderate, conservative, and un-Christian views down all of our throats. They are not dedicated to preserving liberty in Wisconsin, they are dead set against it. They believe somehow that if someone with different views engages in liberty in Wisconsin, then their rights have somehow been violated.
These people are the enemy of liberty and justice for all not only in Wisconsin, but in America. These are the people who demand fairness for them. These are the people who point to misused Bible verses and claim righteousness, but then turn their backs on their family members. These are the people who hide among us, acting as if they have hearts, but underneath their phony facade is a heartless, cruel person.
But, I have a favor to ask of all Wisconsin residents -- and only Wisconsin residents -- to PLEASE, PLEASE take their survey.
You might wonder why and here's why: Let's show them just what kind of minority they truly are in this state and then maybe they'll move to some other state and leave us the HELL ALONE!
However; I digress. We should take pity upon them for we are good Christian people. We should get down on our knees every night and ask the Lord to show them the way. To beg for the Lord's forgiveness on their behalf to ask Him to have mercy on their hypocritical souls.
They should, also, get down on their knees and beg for God's mercy. That when it is their time to meet their maker, that He takes great pity upon them and allows them everlasting life and does not throw them into the fires of Hell.

God Bless

Don't forget to take their survey -- answer truthfully -- and, please, give them your information, so they know you're a real person. http://wifamilycouncil.org/Survey_09.htm Thanks!

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Recall Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen

Apparently, Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen doesn't understand just what his job is, nor does he understand what his duty to the citizens of Wisconsin is.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen doesn't want to defend the laws of this great state. He has decided that he isn't going to defend the domestic partnership law. He expects the state to pay for an outside attorney at $175.00 per hour. Isn't that why we pay him?!?

Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen doesn't stand up for Wisconsin Laws.

I want this man gone from office and if we don't recall him, then we have to vote for the other guy. Van Hollen stands for what is wrong with the Republican Party -- they have all completely lost their minds. Defend the law, you self-righteous jerk. If we don't recall you, I promise by all that is right and holy that you won't be our Attorney General after the 2010 election. It's time we take back our country from those who only seek to destroy it with placing their personal views higher than the good of our fellow men and women.

Who's with me?

God Bless

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Disappointed in Paul Ryan

I have to tell you that I am really disappointed in Congressman Paul Ryan. Now, I've never voted for Paul Ryan and since he voted the Republican line 95% of the time, I've spent a lot of time being disappointed in the Congressman from the first district in Wisconsin. But, he is from Janesville -- a very conservative town -- so I expected he probably wouldn't vote the way this constituent things he should. So, I've been disppointed in the way he votes, but not in him. Does that make sense?

Congressman Ryan has always provided answers as to why he's voted one way or another. I have always received a response from him, even if I didn't like it, and I've always received information from his office. Looking for a fact I couldn't find on my own, his office would lead me to the right government website or article or whatever and the fact would be produced on my computer screen.

Usually when I care about an issue, I write Feingold, Kohl and Ryan. I, generally, write them the same letter. And, Ryan answers every single time. Feingold and Kohl, not so much -- which disappoints me, but I give them a little leeway. Feingold and Kohl are responsible to the whole state, Ryan only has our little district.

However; I wrote the three of them my concerns on healthcare and I have received responses from both Feingold and Kohl (Kohl responded first) and NOTHING, NOTHING from Ryan. I can't believe it. Here is the most important issue facing the country and Ryan hasn't sent anything to me. Even when I asked him specific questions regarding his plan.

It is so unusual. I'm really hurt. :-( As silly as it sounds, I thought we had a little relationship going. I miss hearing from him.

God Bless

Quiet

I was reading one of my news magazines and I came across a small article that states bipartisanship doesn't work, which seems unreasonable to me. It has kept our country going for over 200 years, so I was a little confused. Until I read farther, the Republicans of now are not the Republicans of the past. Well, I could've told you that. Republicans over the last forty plus years have increasingly moved right, while liberals have barely ticked left. The now GOP is so right wing they don't even make left turns.
And, I can see this. It is the reason I have walked away, no make that ran away, from my GOP roots. It's crazy.
I blame Rush Limbaugh.
But, that's just me.
God Bless

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Domesticated Bliss

Yesterday, at around 1:30 PM, Cheryl and I, along with my parents and our good friend, Jerri and Preston, walked into the Racine County Courthouse and registered for domestic partnership. There's a five day waiting period, so next week, we have to go back and file the paperwork with the County Clerk's office. Some of our friends and family members read about this yesterday on our facebook pages. Some of our friends have asked what all this entails and I thought I should post a brief outline of our rights.
  • Inheritance and Survivor Protections
  • Family and Medical Leave
  • Medical, Hospital and Visitation Rights
  • Prevention of one Partner from testifying against another Partner
  • Transfer of real estate and car and boat titles are exempt from fees.

There are 43 state rights / protections granted to domestic partnerships, as opposed to the 200 protections offered by marriage.

Just thought I'd fill you in.

God Bless

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Monday, August 17, 2009

My Healthcare Plan

Let me come clean and tell you which plan was written by whom:
Plan A is the House Democratic Bill. Plan B is the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee's Bill. Plan C is a plan under discussion by a bipartisan group of six senators on the Finance Committee. Plan D is the House Republican proposal. All of these can be found here: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090813/NEWS/90813006/-1/NEWS04 It is the news site where I found them.
Now, I try to stay positive about all of the plans, but I have to say I'm highly disappointed in Plan D – the House Republican proposal. It pretty much leaves things as they are and that bothers me. I know Republicans don't want a government run plan. I know Republicans think that government interference is a bad thing and I can understand that. But, what I can't understand is how they can just continue to ignore the fact that the system is broken. 47 million American citizens have no health insurance. That is 13% of the population. It is a high enough number to swing an election. On top of that, those 47 million Americans leave the rest of us paying a much higher price. Hospitals, when they provide care and aren't reimbursed, have to make up the money loss somewhere and that means charging more for the care those of us who are insured receive. Which means the insurance companies pay more and the premiums go up and so on and so on. We all suffer.
Now, I'm not saying I'm extremely happy with any one of the four plans, but I think combining them might not be a bad idea.
First, the who is covered: the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill aims to cover 97% of Americans, as does the bipartisan, Finance Committee's plan. This is very important. The whole point is to get as many people covered as possible.
Second, the cost: I think the Senate plan at being only $650 million over ten years and covering 97% of the people is a little unrealistic. I think the $1 trillion mark sounds about right. This doesn't mean I think we should spend that much, but that it is a reasonable to believe the healthcare plan will cost that much over ten years.
Third, how's it paid for: Let's face it, a plan with this much coverage is going to cost us some dough. The Republican plan, which didn't even offer a proposed cost, states no new taxes. Boy, that sounds good. The plan implies that by reducing Medicare and Medicaid fraud, the plan would be paid for. Unfortunately, I don't have the numbers for the amount of money lost due to Medicare and Medicaid fraud, but I'm thinking it probably isn't enough to pay for any plan. Now, I would be interested in hearing or reading someone's idea on how it could. I wrote Paul Ryan regarding his plan and I still don't have an answer. (Which I'm very disappointed, he is usually right on the ball.)
I think a combination of all four plans might be the answer to how to pay for this. Raising taxes on singles who earn more than $280,000 a year seems reasonable to me. Most of the people I know don't come anywhere near that figure. Raising taxes on families that earn more than $350,000 isn't a bad idea either. The highest tax bracket in this country is 33%. We jump from 15% to 25%, but after 25%, the jumps are much smaller. Trust me, a single person earning $280,000 a year will be able to afford a two percent tax raise. I'm also for raising the taxes on other items, such as cigarettes or liquor, but I think I'm alone in that regard.
I'm not for cutting Medicare nor am I for cutting Medicaid. No cuts. The elderly have enough problems. No cuts, but rooting out fraud -- that's a good idea.
Further – charging companies a portion of the insurance costs the government pays is a terrific idea. I think that it is only fair. Companies benefit from their workers' hard work. More and more companies are expecting more from their employees – especially salary employees – without offering raises. Being penalize if they allow employees and employees' children to be on a government program is a good thing. Penalizing companies such as, oh, I don't know, Wal-Mart, could help pay a great deal toward the program.
I think the combination of rooting out Medicare and Medicaid fraud, a small tax raise on the wealthy and penalizing large companies for not providing affordable health insurance should be able to pay for the plan. I think not purchasing the F-22 from Lockheed, which has cost us the taxpayers over $351 million in overruns is an example of government waste we could cut and use to help pay for the plan.i
Fourth, the mandates: I know the government mandates a lot of different things and that's not always a good thing, but the only way any healthcare plan will work is if we all have insurance. The healthcare costs of those people who are uninsured are staggering. This is not to say that we all have to have fancy group coverage. The bare minimum should be catastrophe insurance, along with a pre-taxed Health Savings Plan. I know that some people say, well, rich people don't need health insurance, so they shouldn't be forced to carry it, but even a rich person could have their entire wealth wiped out by the cost of cancer treatments.
To support my argument further, let's consider this: everyone of us who has care insurance has coverage that includes uninsured and under-insured motorists. And, why do we do that? So, we can still be protected if someone that doesn't have insurance slams into our car. Hospitals will need the same protection. There are some people out there who can cover $3200 out of pocket expense for a cardio-test, but I'm not one of them. Had I had to pay for the test myself, I'd still be making payments. And, the hospital would still be waiting for their money, which is one of the reasons hospitals have to charge so much. If everyone is covered by health insurance, hospitals wouldn't to write off unpaid bills, thus reducing their overhead. Of course, I'm notoriously cheap and I probably wouldn't get the test. I would be the type of person who would take chances with her healthcare. In interest of full disclosure, in this case, I would be okay without the test. My heart is strong, like bull.
Fifth, how to choose the health insurance plan. I like the exchange idea, but I was just reading an articleii that in Massachusetts the exchange isn't working. That being noted, I think if the Massachusetts plan isn't working, we use it to take what does work and throw away what doesn't. I, also, like the idea that the exchange is state run, with Federal standards. Each state should know what its citizens need and is better prepared to make changes for what doesn't work more quickly than the Feds.
Sixth, for the benefits, I like the Democratic plan, so I just copied it verbatim: “A committee would recommend an "essential benefits package" including preventive services, mental health services, oral heath and vision for children; out-of pocket costs would be capped. The new benefit package would be the basic benefit package offered in the exchange and over time would become the minimum quality standard for employer plans. Insurers wouldn't be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.”iii
Finally, the government run plan, I like the idea of a government run plan to a point that competes with private insurers. I think private insurers deserve a little unfair competition. However; I think it should be limited to cover those who don't qualify for any other plan or subsidy. Let's not create a huge fiasco here. Also, I like the part in the Senate where the plan would “would pay doctors and hospitals based on what private insurers now pay.”iv
Okay, that's it. That's my plan in a nutshell. I think it works better and is better for all of us than the four plans.
This is a pretty long blog post, but I wanted to include as much as I could. I'm posting this as a PDF, as well, so you can print it out and share it. If you like my idea, please feel free to post it on your own blog – as long as you link back to mine. Further, send it to your representative and say you support it. I'm sending it to mine. We need to improve healthcare in this country, but none of those four plans mentioned are going to cut it. If you don't like what I've outlined, I'd love to hear why and I encourage you to come up with your own plan. I, also, encourage you to make sure you write your representative. Healthcare is too important to leave up to the politicians and lobbyists.
God Bless
iMother Jones September / October 2009, page 41
iihttp://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/08/obamas-insurance-plan-comes-right-wing-think-tank
iiihttp://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090813/NEWS/90813006/-1/NEWS04
ivibid

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Well, people, this is it. Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!!! After 13 1/2 years of being together that includes 8 years of being a married couple in the eyes of God, family and friends, Cheryl and I will be getting domesticated! I'm not sure what to call it. Anyway, domestic partnership here we come. At 1:30 tomorrow afternoon, we will be at the Courthouse with my parents and two of our friends - Jerri and Preston - and we'll be signing the papers.

Yep, after all this time together, Cheryl is finally going to domesticate me. I guess this means that I'll be housebroken! LOL!

Seriously, it reinforces our love and commitment to each other, it gives us some legal protections and it helps us to stand up and be counted in the number of domesticated gay relationships.

Now, I called the courthouse on Friday and it turns out that there is a five day waiting period, so we'll have to go back to register the paperwork. Five day waiting period? She's had 13 years to change her mind and she's still here, whats another five days?

God Bless

I was going to post a picture from our wedding day, but I can't find it and my scanner is no longer functioning, so here's a picture of us from a few years ago.



Isn't Cheryl the prettiest gal around?

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I am Blessed...

This morning in my email there was a notice that a subscriber to my blog has unsubscribed. This is always a sad thing for a blogger to lose a reader. Broke my heart a little to thing that someone in this big old world doesn't think I'm worth reading anymore. But, then I saw the reason, which was Content no longer relevant and I had to chuckle a little. The reader's email ended in au, which I think stands for Australia and considering all I've been writing about lately has been the health care debate in America, I can see his or her point.

Anyway, this set to me thinking about health care. I've seen some articles and comments on blogs where people are complaining about the protesters outside of the townhall meetings held by various members of the government and I think they're dead wrong. It's okay to protest. It's okay to disagree with our government. It's okay to disagree with each other. The very thought of making changes to our health care system scares the hell out of a lot of people. I don't blame them -- it scares the hell out of me, too. I can understand how someone doesn't want the status quo to change -- especially if they have company provided health care. There's a part of me that doesn't want change. It's a "I've got mine, the hell with you" attitude. And, I can understand it, because I feel that way, too. I have to be honest here. I don't want my health insurance benefits taxed. I don't think that's fair. I've come too far to have to pay taxes on something I've earned.
And, that has led me to thing about this...
In 1994, I earned - roughly - $16,000. I didn't have health care. I didn't see doctors for routine medical care. I was involved in a car accident that year where I hurt my back and bruised a kidney. It wasn't my fault. The other driver turned left in front of me and although I tried to avoid her, first by changing lanes when I thought she had stopped turning and then by slamming on my brakes, I slammed into the side of her Ford Escort in my Dodge Dakota Truck at 30 miles an hour. Up to that point in my life, it was the scariest thing to ever happen to me while I was behind the wheel of my truck.
I had no health care insurance. I supported myself and, despite doctor's orders to the contrary, I returned to work the following day. I didn't sue her and, since I felt I had to take care of myself and no one could help, I didn't even ride to the hospital in an ambulance -- like I should've. If my insurance agent, a man named Marty, hadn't told me I was covered, I wouldn't have gone to the hospital at all. I had so little money back then, I couldn't afford to fill the pain prescription I was given. Good thing I have a high tolerance for pain.
Now, I don't tell you all of this to have you feel sorry for me, because you shouldn't. My kidney healed and my back is strong. My truck managed to run for another seven years until the engine blew and it is fifteen years later and I make almost four times as much as I did that year. And, I have health insurance. If that same accident happened again today, I would ride to the hospital in an ambulance and, more importantly, I would listen to my doctor. I have disability insurance, both personal and via work, so I wouldn't worry about not being able to pay my bills.
And -- this is important -- I feel lucky. That's right, lucky. I've put in years of hard work and study to become the person I am today. I worked full time and went to school part time. I busted my butt to graduate and I work hard at my profession to be the best I can be. And, I'm lucky. I'm lucky because when it was too hard and I wanted to quit, Cheryl would drag me kicking and screaming to my homework. And, she did all the housework, so I could study. (Truth be told, she still does most of the housework.) And, when I would cry at night that this was just too hard and I wasn't smart enough or good enough to see it through, she would hold me and tell me I was. She was a big pain in my ass when I needed a swift kick to my ass and she was a soft shoulder on which to cry when I just needed a place to fall. And, I couldn't have gone from the living over a bar from paycheck to paycheck to owning a home and installing new kitchen and bathroom floors if I hadn't had her pushing me.
And, I know that I am blessed.
And, then I think, there's a lot of 28 year olds out there who don't have a Cheryl in their lives. For that matter, there are a lot of people who don't have anyone pushing and fighting for them. They just go to work and do the best they can do and they are who I used to be. They have just enough to get by and they can't see past next week, because they can't afford to dream. They clean our waste baskets, they ring us out at the grocery store, they wash our car and they bring us our dinner whenever we eat out. They're the 47 million Americans who can't afford health insurance. And, then I think how lucky I am that I never caught a disease I couldn't pay for. Never needed medicine where I would have to make a choice between the medicine or eating. (Once, when I was uninsured, my asthma medicine cost $75.00 for a one month supply. That was nearly a quarter of one of my paychecks and a huge chunk of take home pay. If I hadn't had Cheryl, I might've forgone the medicine.)
And, I think about those people and how lucky I am I'm not one of them - for by the Grace of God go I - and I realize, we do need to make some changes and we're all going to have to sacrifice a little for the good of everyone.
God Bess

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Plumber

Yesterday, we had a plumber come out to get my basement sink to drain again. It took two guys - Dan and Derek - ten minutes to open up the pipe enough to unplug the sink and, thus, allow me to use my kitchen sink again. Then, they sent a fiber optic camera down there to show me how much icky grease and crap is in my pipes and offer to charge me $850 to clean it out, which really pissed me off, because what the hell did I just pay you $285 to do? I thought it was to clean out the pipe. When I wouldn't go for the additional $850 job, they offered a $500 one. Really? I'm going to pay you a total of $785 for one clogged drain, right, that's not happening.
BTW, they didn't put back anything they moved out of their way. And, Derek's attitude was pretty crappy once I said I didn't want the additional work done.
Now, flash forward to this morning, Derek had the nerve to call me this morning - from a blocked id - to tell me that something was "wrong" with my credit card and he wanted the number again. So, I tell him, you're not calling from an office phone and I'm not giving you my card number. I don't even know that he's calling from the office, since it is a blocked id. I tell him, have someone from the office call me on Monday and I'll give them my number. Oh, no, he says, I need to run this today.
Really? Then, I tell him, call me from an unblocked number. I'm not giving my credit card number to you when you're calling from a blocked id. Well, he starts to argue and I tell him that I'll gladly call the office on Monday and straighten the whole thing out, he gets madder. So, I just hung up. I figure if they're really a legit business, they wouldn't call from blocked ids. Plus, they took an imprint of my credit card, so what could he possibly need?
Guess who'll be calling them on Monday? And, guess who will NEVER use that plumber again?
The nerve!

God Bless

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Last Post...

The last posting I made is a little misleading. I hadn't finished my thought process, nor did I finish writing the post, but I had scheduled it, so it posted this morning. Bad idea to schedule something I hadn't finished writing. I didn't want to take it down because someone all ready commented on it, so I'm leaving it up for now, but watch this space on Monday, because I will reveal my healthcare plan.

God Bless

My Opinion on the Healthcare Plans

Okay, I'm hoping all of my gentle readers have had a chance to read all four parts. And, since I'm writing this in advance, I'm hoping all of you have posted your opinions. I'd like to read them.
Here's the thing. I think we can all agree that the healthcare system in America needs work. I think we can all agree that everyone deserves some form of health insurance to cover them in their time of need. None of us want to end up paying more than we all ready are. We don't want to have our choices limited.
Now, I've read all four summaries and I think Plan A is the best choice, allow me to explain why.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Healthcare Plan D

Here's the second summary. The whole thing was written by the Associated Press, so I take no credit. I tried to actually find this on the Associated Press website, but I couldn't find it.

WHO'S COVERED: The House GOP's plan, in outline form for now, says it aims to make insurance affordable and accessible to all. There aren't estimates about how many additional people would be covered.

COST: Unknown.

HOW'S IT PAID FOR: No new taxes are proposed, but Republicans say they want to reduce Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS: No mandates.

REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYERS: No mandates; small business tax credits are offered. Employers are encouraged to move to "opt-out" rather than "opt-in" rules for offering health coverage.

SUBSIDIES: Tax credits are offered to "low- and modest-income" Americans. People who aren't covered through their employers but buy their own insurance are allowed to take a tax deduction. Low-income retirees younger than 65 (the eligibility age for Medicare) would be offered assistance.

BENEFIT PACKAGE: Insurers would have to allow children to stay on their parents' plan through age 25.

GOVERNMENT-RUN PLAN: No public plan.

HOW YOU CHOOSE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE: No new purchasing exchange or marketplace is proposed. Health savings accounts and flexible spending plans would be strengthened.

CHANGES TO MEDICAID: People eligible for Medicaid would be allowed to use the value of their benefit to purchase a private plan.

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Healthcare Plan C

Here's the third summary. The whole thing was written by the Associated Press, so I take no credit. I tried to actually find this on the Associated Press website, but I couldn't find it.

WHO'S COVERED: Around 97 percent of Americans. Illegal immigrants would not receive coverage.

COST: Around $1 trillion over 10 years.

HOW'S IT PAID FOR: Possible sources include cuts to Medicare and Medicaid; a tax as high as 35 percent on very high cost health insurance policies; a requirement for employers to pay into the Treasury for their employees who get their insurance through public programs or receive government subsidies to help pay premiums. Looking to raise $90 billion by taxing health insurance companies as much as 35 percent on policies valued at $25,000 or more.

REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS: Expected to include a requirement for individuals to get coverage.

REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYERS: In lieu of requiring employers to provide coverage, lawmakers are considering a "free rider" penalty based on how much the government ends up paying for workers' coverage.

SUBSIDIES: No higher than 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($66,150 for a family of four).

BENEFIT PACKAGE: The government doesn't mandate benefits but sets four benefit categories — ranging from coverage of around 65 percent of medical costs to about 90 percent — and insurers would be required to offer coverage in at least two categories. No denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

GOVERNMENT-RUN PLAN: Unlike the other proposals the Finance Committee's will likely be bipartisan. With Republicans opposed to a government-run plan, the committee is looking at a compromise that would instead create nonprofit member-owned co-ops to compete with private insurers.

HOW YOU CHOOSE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE: State-based exchanges.

CHANGES TO MEDICAID: Everyone at 100 percent of poverty would be eligible. Between 100 and 133 percent, states or individuals have the choice between coverage under Medicaid or a 100 percent subsidy in the exchange. The expansion would be delayed until 2013, a late change to save money — the start date had been 2011.

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Healthcare Plan B

Here's the second summary. The whole thing was written by the Associated Press, so I take no credit. I tried to actually find this on the Associated Press website, but I couldn't find it.

WHO'S COVERED: Aims to cover 97 percent of Americans.

COST: About $615 billion over 10 years, but it's only one piece of a larger Senate bill.

HOW IT'S PAID FOR: Another panel — the Senate Finance Committee — is responsible for figuring out how to cover costs.

REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS: Individuals will have to have insurance, enforced through tax penalty with hardship waivers.

REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYERS: Employers who don't offer coverage will pay a penalty of $750 a year for each full-time worker. Businesses with 25 or fewer workers are exempt.

SUBSIDIES: Available up to 400 percent poverty level, or $88,000 for a family of four.

BENEFITS PACKAGE: Health plans must offer a package of essential benefits recommended by a new Medical Advisory Council. No denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

GOVERNMENT-RUN PLAN: A robust new public plan to compete with private insurers. The plan would be run by the government but would pay doctors and hospitals based on what private insurers now pay.

HOW YOU CHOOSE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE: Individuals and small businesses could purchase insurance through state-based purchasing pools called American Health Benefit Gateways.

OTHER PROVISIONS: Creates a new voluntary insurance program that would provide a modest daily cash benefit to help disabled people stay in their own homes instead of going into nursing homes.

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Healthcare Plan A

Here's the first summary. The whole thing was written by the Associated Press, so I take no credit. I tried to actually find this on the Associated Press website, but I couldn't find it.

Plan A

WHO'S COVERED: Around 94 percent of non-elderly residents (those not covered by Medicare, which kicks in at age 65) would be covered — compared with 81 percent today. Nearly half the 17 million non-elderly residents who remain uninsured would be illegal immigrants.

COST: About $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

HOW IT'S PAID FOR: Revenue-raisers include $544 billion over the next decade from new income taxes on single people making more than $280,000 a year and couples making more than $350,000; $37 billion in business tax increases; about $500 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid; sizable penalties paid by individuals and employers who don't obtain coverage.

REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS: Individuals must have insurance, enforced through tax penalty with hardship waivers. The penalty is 2.5 percent of income.
REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYERS: Employers must provide insurance to their employees or pay a penalty of 8 percent of payroll. Companies with payroll under $250,000 annually are exempt. That level could rise to $500,000 under a deal between House leaders and fiscal conservatives.

Employers could apply for a two-year exemption from the mandate if they can prove the requirements would result in job losses that would negatively affect their communities.

SUBSIDIES: Individuals and families with annual income up to 400 percent of poverty level ($88,000 for a family of four) would get sliding-scale subsidies to help them buy coverage. The subsidies would begin in 2013.

HOW YOU CHOOSE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE: Through a new Health Insurance Exchange open to individuals and, initially, small employers; it could be expanded to large employers over time. States could opt to operate their own exchanges in place of the national exchange if they follow federal rules.

BENEFIT PACKAGE: A committee would recommend an "essential benefits package" including preventive services, mental health services, oral heath and vision for children; out-of pocket costs would be capped. The new benefit package would be the basic benefit package offered in the exchange and over time would become the minimum quality standard for employer plans. Insurers wouldn't be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

GOVERNMENT-RUN PLAN: A new public plan available through the insurance exchanges would be set up and run by the secretary of Health and Human Services. Democrats originally designed the plan to pay Medicare rates plus 5 percent to doctors, but under Wednesday's deal with the fiscal conservatives the HHS secretary would instead negotiate rates with providers.

CHANGES TO MEDICAID: The federal-state insurance program for the poor would be expanded starting in 2013 to cover all non-elderly individuals with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($14,404).

DRUGS: Grants 12 years of market protection to high-tech drugs used to combat cancer, Parkinson's and other deadly diseases.

I want to hear what you think.

God Bless

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Four Healthcare Plans...

Good morning, Gentle Readers,

Here's what I'm going to be doing today...

I will use the information I found from the Associated Press to Outline the four different plans. The only change I'm going to make is to change their names to A, B, C, D. There's no reason to choose a plan because the Democrats created it or to reject a plan because it is created by Republicans. What I want is for everyone who reads the plans, to comment on the one they like or comment on the ones you don't like. And, don't just say, that sucks. Be specific. I'd like to know which healthcare plan really resonants with my readers.

God Bless

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Healthcare Email From the White House...

I received an email from David Axelrod Senior Adviser to President Obama. He included 8 facts about the President's Healthcare Plan, as well as 8 myths. I am copying these 16 points, without any comment, into this blog. I want you to come to your own conclusions.

8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage
1. Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
2. Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
4. Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
5. Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
6. Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
7. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
8. Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.


8 common myths about health insurance reform

1. Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.
2. We can’t afford reform: It's the status quo we can't afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.
3. Reform would encourage "euthanasia": It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.
4. Vets' health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President's budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.
5. Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.
6. Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare "doughnut" hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.
7. You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.
8. No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts. Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose. Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.


Okay, come to your own conclusions. Watch this space tomorrow. I'm posting summaries of the four plans. I found them at the Associated Press. Read them all and come to your own conclusions. Before the end of the weekend, I'll post my opinions.

God Bless

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    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Illinois drivers in Wisconsin


    Message:

    My mother is always complaining about how IL drivers receive more traffic tickets in WI than they should. This upsets her because she thinks that WI cops are picking on IL drivers. Well, I'm here to  say that every single ticket issued is justified. Just this morning, a driver was on my back bumper-so close I couldn't see his headlights-at 70MPH. If I had hit my breaks, he would've hit me. Then  when traffic cleared,  he passed me. That's when I saw his plate. So, then I kept my eye on him and I should mention that he wasn't a young kid - he looked to be 50 or so. He tailgated in the  construction zone and took off speeding when construction ended. And, that's why IL drivers deserve tickets when they drive in WI. And, I know not all IL drivers are like this - some are worse.
    God Bless

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    CBS & Hulu

    This past February, I was off work while I recovered from knee surgery and while I had a lot of time on my hands, I was pretty much out of it because vicodin makes me loopy. While I was recovering, Cheryl was in Green Bay helping Kim with little Nicholas, so I was pretty much on my own. With all that time on my hands and no one with which I could talk, I watched a lot of TV and I found the site Hulu. I was able to watch various old TV shows, which is something I love to do. The best part was that Hulu offers very few commercials, so it brings back the good old days where one or two companies would sponsor a show.
    Flash forward to today: This morning, I was reading my Business Week and there's an article about Hulu and CBS. It seems that there is a debate as to how many commercials consumers are willing to watch during online content. According to the article, CBS conducts tests by aimming infrared beams into the eyes. Somehow, this can tell them when a watcher has stopped paying attention. CBS has taken this to mean that web viewers will tolerate the same number of commercials in online content as they have for TV.
    Now, I should add this before I go any farther, outside of my being out of commission for two weeks, I have rarely watched any online content. I prefer my content the old fashioned way -- in front of my TV set. I DVR nearly everything I watch and I skip the commercials. According to the article, only 4% of people would be willing to pay for commercial free content -- I'm one of those people.
    Having said all of that, I do like Hulu's concept of less is more. They charge twice as much for commercials (again, according to the article) and I like that. You can't fast forward through the ads, so you're stuck watching them. But, they stick with you. I had a much easier time remembering the ads on Hulu than I do watching television. I think Hulu has the right idea. Less ads means more impact.
    I think CBS with its more is more option is a little nuts. Plus, the last time I looked, Ghost Whisper wasn't offered online, nor was Criminal Minds. And, this sucked because I had managed to miss both of those shows in one week. And, the main reason I turn to online viewing is to watch a show I missed.
    Remember, people, less is more.
    God Bless

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    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Healthcare - Stop Now

    I know I'm about to sound like a raving, right-wing lunatic, but we have to stop Congress from making any changes to healthcare and we have to stop them right now. They have lost their collective minds. I was just reading in this week's Business Week how happy insurance companies are. They're going to come out winners, especially if there is no public option to the plan. According to the article, there are limits as to what the insurance companies will have to cover to take on 47 million new customers. And, since health insurance is going to be manatory, that's 47 million new paying customers who will have insurance policies that aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

    So, let's not rush into a bad marriage with the insurance companies. We don't need their fly-by-night plans with low coverage. We all ready have that -- the 47 million Americans have access to healthcare, just not health insurance. Any plan before Congress that doesn't make American Businesses a partner in this is not a plan this country needs.

    While I'm speaking of businesses, think about it -- Wal-Mart is supporting a government plan. Wonder why? Because it let's them off the hook for responsibility.

    Oh and according to the article the idea of taxing white collar workers' benefits is back -- again. I really resent that, because my dad has been a blue collar worker all his life and he made a lot more money than some white collar workers I know, including me.

    We need Congress to come up with something better. We don't need 1000 pages of crap. We have enough of that all ready.

    One last thing, what makes me truly different from a real raving, right-wing lunatic is I have a plan and I've written about it.

    God Bless

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    Monday, August 10, 2009

    Cars and Tips

    Let's discuss the cash for clunkers program. It is a resounding success, according to Business Week, the program helped sell 157,000 cars. I think that's just get. Now, it is all over the news that the program has been such a success that it is out of money. Congress is thinking about doing it again. I have two concerns with this. My first is that the program apparently didn't just allow sales of smaller cars go up. Apparently, the trade in couldn't get more than 14 or 18 mpg -- I'm not sure which, as I've seen both figures in print - AND the car purchased had to get more than 16mpg. 16mpg? Are they serious? That means those big, hulky gas guzzling SUVs and trucks were being sold. How is that am improvement?

    Here's my second concern: If we renew the cash for clunkers program, are we just going to artificially prop up the auto industry like the lowering of interest rates propped up the housing market? I worry what will happen to the economy with a piece of it being blown up again.

    I should disclose that I recently purchased a vehicle, but my Suzuki was still getting 24mpg and didn't qualify for the program even though she had 204,000 miles on her. The dealer offered me $100 for her. I donated her to kars 4 kids instead. I'm a little irked that the Suzuki didn't qualify for the program - I know, I could've lied about her gas mileage, but I'm not that kind of girl - but that people are allowed to purchase vehicles that don't get better gas mileage than a car I donated.

    So, my suggestion is that we continue the program for another billion, but every car sold must get at least 20mpg city and highway combined.

    Next, we're going from cars to waitressing, which I know is a very strange combination.

    The next time you sit down in a restaurant, I want you to consider this: That waitress works for $2.33 an hour. That's not a lot of money. On top of that, whether or not you tip her, she pays tax on 8% of your total bill. Further, depending on the restaurant's structure, she is giving a percentage of her tips to the bartender, the hostess and the bus boy.

    So, let's say a waitress works an hour and makes $100 in sales. Before she has tip one to count, she owes the government $8.00 in taxes. She only made $2.33 (which is minimum wage) and she owes 15% (not including social security and medicare and state taxes). If the tables in that hour don't tip her, she's just worked an hour of her life she can never get back and worse, she has to pay the government $8.35 for the privilege.

    I know what you're thinking, what's your point?

    My point is that before you leave that small tip, you stop for a moment and think about the service you've received. If you received good service, make sure you tip 15% of the entire bill -- not just the pre-tax amount -- because she's taxed on the entire bill. If you received excellent service, then you should leave a generous tip of at least 20%. And, if you run into a waitress who sucks, just don't stiff her -- you look cheap. Tip her 8%, to cover the tax and complain to the manager of the restaurant. My philosophy is this: I watch how many tables she has. If the waitress has less than four and I can see her yakking with her friends in the back and my service is bad, she gets a small tip and I complain, but if I can see she has a lot of tables and is keeping up the best she can, then I leave an extra generous tip and I make no complaint.

    Oh, and don't just complain, speak with a manager if you receive top-notch service, as well.

    I should note, I've NEVER been a waitress. I couldn't do it. Long hours on your feet, dealing with rude customers and making very little for your trouble - not my idea of a career, but someone has to do and those of us who don't should tip them well.

    God Bless

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    Sunday, August 09, 2009

    Palin on Healthcare Reform...

    Now, I'm not sure on how much of the Obama Healthcare plan I actually support. I am not even sure the government is on the right track on how to fix healthcare, but at least I'm not spouting lies on my Facebook page about it.

    According to
    CNN, Sarah Palin posted the following on her facebook page: "And who will suffer the most when they ration care?" she wrote. "The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

    But, what about the system we have right now, where 47million Americans have no access or cannot afford health insurance? Many of those 47 million Americans probably couldn't afford the proper care for a Down Syndrome baby. Some, when faced with that decision, might have aborted the child rather than have him. Which leads to the same euthanasia former Governor Palin claims the Obama Healthcare plan will cause.


    Admittedly, I don't know a lot about the great state of Alaska, but if they have a great healthcare system that was supported by former Governor Sarah Palin, I'd like to hear about it. Otherwise, just shut up. Attacking a system on grounds that outrageous and unsupportive is just crazy. If you can't offer constructive critism, then shut up. But, unfortunately, the Republican Party and their loonies -- such as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck -- haven't offered a constructive thought in more than twenty years.

    So, is it me or have all the intelligent Republicans just given up? I know they're out there. Those Republicans who admire Theodore Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln, where have those guys gone? Richard Nixon was a President who did a great deal for this country (yeah, but only if you exclude Watergate). The man was intelligent, but not this band of so-called Conservatives. They talk about energizing their base, but their base -- white, lower middle class or even poor, right wing, uneducated Christians -- is a shrinking group and if they continue this pandering, they're truly not going to be a great party. Someday, I'll be telling my grandsons about what a Republican was.

    At least, the history books will have pictures of Roosevelt and Lincoln.

    God Bless

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    Friday, August 07, 2009

    Me and Barbra Streisand

    Yesterday, I checked my email and there's one from Barbra Streisand. Turns out I'm on her mailing list and do I want to remain there. According to the email, this is the second time I've received this request. There are two things I find humorous about this. One is that I never received the first request -- not enless it went to my junk inbox and was deleted -- and two, I don't remember even joining the Barbra Streisand mailing list in the first place. It isn't something I would normally do. Not that I have anything against Barbra Streisand, but I - with just two exceptions - generally only sign up for mailing lists that are either political or technical. Now, I'm wondering if someone put me on her list. Wouldn't that be a kick in the rubber parts?
    But, if Babs wants to keep me on her mailing list, I guess it won't hurt.
    God Bless

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    Tuesday, August 04, 2009

    More Random Thoughts

    I was going to write an in depth post about the recession and the recovery, but today I'm just dragging. So, I have a couple more random thoughts to put out there.
    • Nothing in the whole wide world is cooler than answering my phone and hearing: "Hi, Nana!" Whether Danny or Alex is the voice, it is way cool. Singing "Blue Suede Shoes" while putting them on speaker is pretty cool, too. Both boys love to sing. Can't wait to see what little Nickie does when he gets the chance. It does mean that I don't get to speak with Kim much. Kim called and while we were talking, Danny came up and asked if she was talking to me, she told him yes and he said, "Well, I want to talk to Nana." And, that was that.
    • While I thinking of the recession and the recovery, I have to say that it has been good for those of us who didn't run out and purchase huge homes or more expensive cars than we could afford. Cheryl and I have spent more money in the past six months on various purchases than I believe we did in the six months prior -- excluding spending for Christmas. I'm not saying that we're going hog wild or anything, but we've been able to buy things that prior to the recession were out of reach. Our personal recession occurred last year when unplanned events wiped out our savings twice. I should add that we are both very blessed. We still haven't been able to afford a great vacation, but I think we should do well enough that if we play our cards right, we can go someplace next year.
    • That last paragraph been said, I'd like to say to those who are so worried about the future to lighten up a bit. We're going to bounce back, but if we listen to people like Susie Orman, no one would ever spend any money and, guess what -- the economy will NEVER bounce back. If you have a little extra and there's something you want or need, then go buy it. I'm not saying that if you're deep in debt, go deeper. I'm talking about people like Cheryl and me who have a little extra. We're choosing to put a little less into the savings account, which BTW only gets .5% interest, to purchase items that we've wanted or needed. We didn't rack up thousands in debt, so we can afford to stretch it out a little. Let's help the economy grow.
    • Did I mention it is only 10 more days until they install our new kitchen floor?
    • Crockpots are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

    God Bless

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    Monday, August 03, 2009

    Birthers? Can Obama Be President According to the Constitution? And, is Joe Biden anti-Christian?

    Headline One:

    Birthers? Can Obama Be President According to the Constitution?

    Have you heard the big fuss being made over just where President Obama was born? I thought this was all resolved during the elections, but I was WRONG wasn't I? Apparently, 28% or 50% (depending on which blogger you wish to believe) of Republicans believe that President Obama isn't a natural born American citizen and, therefore, not eligible to be President.

    But, I saw this blog post over at the Huffinginton Post written by Chris Kelly and I WISH I had thought of this! The man is brilliant and a bit of a smart aleck. So, check out his post.

    Headline Two:

    Is Joe Biden anti-Christian?

    Saw this over at Huffinginton Post, too. I cannot believe that there is really a "Christian" group who thinks for one iota of a second that saying "Jesus Christ" is hate speech. Now, I know that I try my darnedest to not take the Lord's name in vain and I know that sometimes I fail. I say silly things like son of a biscuit and Holy Crap. But, that's getting me off track.

    In reality, taking Jesus' name in vain isn't a sin. The Ten Commandments only says that you cannot take the Lord's name in vain and Jesus isn't God now is He? He is the Son of God, so taking His name in vain is not the samething as taking His Father's name in vain. Actually, since Jesus considered all of us His brothers and sisters, perhaps, we could take each other's names in vain. Like, the next time I get mad, I could yell JULIE MARIE! (like my father often did when I was a kid) instead of JESUS CHRIST and then I'd be off the hook for any sinning in that grey area of whether or not taking Jesus' name in vain is a sin, which I think it isn't, so it really doesn't matter and I just made you waste five minutes of your life you'll never get back.

    JULIE MARIE!!!

    Hmmm, kind of catchy, isn't it?

    God Bless

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    Random Thoughts

    This weekend, I had quite a few ideas for articles, but the time went so fast, I never had a chance to formulate them into coherent thoughts. Now, I'm a little sleepy and I have to get ready for work, so I was thinking of just a listing of random thoughts. Maybe, a little something to get the conversation started.

    • Teddy is the cutest and smartest kitten I have ever owned. He is an amazing creature and totally worth all of the allergy driven issues I'm having since we became his parents.
    • My car is really pretty and I know this because a lady at the bookmobile told me.
    • Paul Ryan's office must be getting more cards, letters, emails and phone calls than normal. I have called him once and sent an email on two different subjects and have not received a response on either. One issue -- Alternative Minimum Tax -- I've been waiting over a month for a response. It isn't like his office, so I'm making a guess that they must be really busy.
    • If I'm right and Paul Ryan's office is busy, that can only be a good thing. It means, I hope, that my fellow Americans are becoming more involved. Well, really, it means just my fellow southeastern Wisconsinites are becoming more involved.
    • Today is the day that gay Wisconsinites can register for domestic partnership. THANK YOU GOD and Governor Doyle! This whole gay marriage issue has really gotten a lot of people's tits in a wringer, as my mother would say, and for what? What has anyone who is against gay marriage gained by denying marriage to someone they don't even know? Oh, I know what they think they'll get, they think they'll get a slice of the that pie called Heaven. And, won't they be surprised when they don't. However; gays can and should take solace in the following..."Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matthew 5:11-12
    • There is nothing cuter than three cats watching a rainstorm.

    Well, gotta get ready for work.

    God Bless

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