Archive for August, 2009

Is that a gun in your pocket…?

What truly baffles the mind is the fact that she was able to get onto the landing strip with her “weapon“.

I use quotation marks as, against an airplane, she might as well have simply been throwing rocks.

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Beck is bad – Olbermann is brilliant

You mean entertainers like Beck and Olbermann are controversial on purpose? Who would have guessed?

‘course I don’t recall Olbermann having a problem with that movie about Bush getting assassinated — oh well.

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Arugula-eaters, worry not

Whole Foods still loves you, and they’re still a mass of gooey Leftists.

Today, on my way home from work, I stopped at the store to pick up some well-deserved barley-pop (they have a great selection) and ran into a friend of mine who works there.

Naturally, I had to stop and congratulate her on Whole Foods becoming the darlings of the Right Wing Conspiracy, with their CEO’s recent Op/Ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare“.

She said “I just KNEW you were going to come in and give me a hassle about that!” and laughed. She then proceeded to give me a copy of a letter they are issuing to any offended Lefty who comes by to bitch about Whole Foods falling off the Obamawagon.

Here are a few excerpts:

As you are probably aware, John Mackey wrote an Op/Ed piece that was published in the WSJ earlier this week … John’s intent was to express his personal opinions – not those of Whole Food Market team members or our company as a whole. Still, it’s very clear that John’s piece offended some of our customers, other members of the communities we serve, and some of our team members as well.

We offer you a sincere apology.

Whole Foods Market has no official position on the issue. That said, we have attempted to be part of the solution in health care reform for many years by providing innovative health care options to our team members. We believe that our high deductible medical insurance plan coupled with a company-funded HSA is an excellent way to empower team members to make their own health care choices.

John wanted to share our experience with others through his Op/Ed piece. He believes that the specific ideas he put forward would improve access and cost of health care for more people. Because our plan has held down overal costs (relative to other plans), WFM has been able to pay 100% of the premiums for our full-time team members — about 89% of our workforce…

WFM has a 30-year track record of caring about our customers, team members and communites. From local loan programs to salary caps, from donations to non-profits to funding the Whole Planet Foundation, our innovative programs are created and designed by team members who care about their fellow citizens…

In other words, we’re still the wacky, quirky, Lefty folks you buy your arugula from, so don’t stop shopping here. Just because WE solved the healthcare problem for OUR employees in no way means that we don’t support socialized medicine for the rest of you suckers. Unless you take ours away; that would be bad. We think.

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Discovered a hack today

in the version of WordPress I was using that apparently allowed folks to add themselves to my links list — so instead of writing a new bloviation, we had to do a little maintenance — and I decided what the heck, I’d update the theme.

Since tens of you visit each week, I thought I’d put in the effort to make it a little less gloomy than the old “Lemmings” theme, that and brown isn’t a very popular color of late, thanks to Barbara Box-o-rocks. Oh, sorry, SENATOR Box-o-rocks. Sorry, I forgot how hard you worked to “earn” that title by smearing Hershensohn so slimely. I’m sure that took the wind out of your sails and all.

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Against public option?

I just got asked yesterday on Twitter why I am against the so-called “public option” in the so-called “health care reform” proposals now pending in Congress.

Actually, I’m not against a “public option” — we already have one, and it’s called Medicaid — a program that ensures that the poorest and least insurable among us are covered in the health care system.

Seems to me that there are four simple things we can do to improve health care in this country:

1. Tort reform — limit punitive damages, and require arbitration before awarding people like John Edwards tens of millions of dollars paid by doctors and hospitals for malpractice insurance. The money freed up could easily amount to billions in savings to the current system, making insurance and services more affordable.

2. Create “assigned risk” pools, not unlike how car insurance works, to handle people with pre-existing conditions. We could even throw some money at subsidizing the programs, set up on the state level.

3. To cover those not already covered by Medicaid (some studies report that quite a few people who are currently “uninsured” don’t even realize that they qualify for Medicaid), up the income eligibility levels to allow more people who can’t afford private insurance to be covered. At the same time, expand Medicaid to cover wellness issues such as regular checkups, health education, smoking cessation and substance abuse treatment.

4. Once we’ve done the above, require everyone to have a basic basket of health insurance. This would spread the costs over those people who have “chosen” not to have health insurance because they are perhaps young and healthy, but could afford health insurance. We require all drivers to have liability insurance; we should do the same with health care, since more and more it’s being deemed an essential “right” (although I hate using that word), and at the very least is not refused to anyone at the emergency room. Free riders who are able to help pay should do just that.

Next, let’s see how we can make Medicaid and Medicare more efficient and effective before spreading these systems over the whole thing. Let’s keep the government from competing via subsidies to the “public option” against a system that 80% of it’s customers are happy with. Once we’ve accomplished the above four items, and we wait a couple years, we can guage the results and see what else we should do.

Creating a gigantic government bureaucracy to solve a problem that is only a problem for a minority of the populace, when it could be helped greatly by a combination of tweaking the way we do things and subsidizing our most needful citizens, makes a lot more sense to me than blowing up what we have and moving to the so-called “public option.”

Thoughts?

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