Pet Peeve...

As I have mentioned before, 88.1 is a real radio station. In fact, NPR's Week in Review is one of my favorite hour of information weekly.

Therefore, if you are enjoying your IPOD by listening to it through your car stereo, please select a station that is not a real radio station in this area.

When your red Saturn Coupe pulls up next to me on De Pere Street in Menasha, I do not want to listen to your IPOD. I want to listen to NPR. Remember, there are people outside of your car that are being broadcast to as well.

Kids these days...


Quote of the day: Sucking Edition

From the Shepherd Express:

The Republican campaign for attorney general has officially deteriorated to the third-grade level of “You suck!”—“I don’t suck!” The only thing left for the candidates to do is to toilet paper each other’s yards.


Republicans didn’t even bother to field a candidate against Democratic U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl. It’s starting to look as if the same is true in the attorney general’s race.

Dean Kaufert Chases Gays From the UW

Promising UW researcher leaving over domestic partner benefits
Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. - A promising University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher who has won millions of dollars in grants says he is leaving the school, citing its lack of health insurance benefits for his domestic partner.

Rob Carpick, associate professor of engineering, said he will depart for the University of Pennsylvania, which offers domestic partner benefits, at the end of the year. He's taking with him a research portfolio that has won $3.4 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, branches of the U.S. military and private companies since 2000.

"After six and one-half years of working very hard, I found it's problematic to work in an environment where you are not treated equally," Carpick, 37, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Fortunately there are other entities that are more enlightened than the state of Wisconsin on this issue and the University of Pennsylvania is one of them."

UW-Madison Provost Patrick Farrell said Wednesday that Carpick, the winner of prestigious teaching and research awards for young scholars, was among the university's top young researchers in nanotechnology, an area the school is trying to expand.
Rep. Dean Kaufert, R-Neenah, defended the Legislature's decision to reject Doyle's plan, citing the estimated $500,000 per year cost of the benefits at a time the state has budget problems. He said Carpick's departure was unfortunate but the next person may be able to secure as many grants.

"It's too bad that we may lose a good person here or there but I do not see a mass exodus from the University of Wisconsin over this one issue," said Kaufert, co-chairman of the Legislature's budget committee.

Six lesbian couples and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state last year in an attempt to obtain the benefits. That lawsuit is spending.

Carpick wrote to Kaufert last year trying to persuade lawmakers to adopt the benefits by noting that he generates the amount of money per year in grants the benefits would cost. He said he was angered by the Legislature's decision.

"It says, 'we don't want your kind here'," he wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Well, other places do want us and are willing to offer the respect and dignity, and so, with sadness, we're leaving."


Xoff is on a Roll

He has 2 great posts on Mark Green:

Green cuts and runs from Iraq caucus

Congressman Mark Green has cut and run from the Victory in Iraq Caucus he co-chairs in the House of Representatives.

Someone much more familiar with Green's House webpage than I says that the caucus used to be featured on his official House website. There was a link with an Iraqi flag with "Victory in Iraq" on it.

On his website today, there is literally no mention of his being the co-chair, or even being a member of the caucus.

And points out that when it comes to reducing crime in Milwaukee:

A statement released by Green's campaign, however, did not provide any details on how Green would tackle crime in the city, nor did it provide a measuring stick for success, such as a particular reduction in the murder rate or crime rate.

November Is the Time to Move Past the Paulus Era

Winnebago County Democratic Party:
November Is the Time to Move Past the Paulus Era

Oshkosh - In response to the announcement of final charges against former Winnebago County Republican District Attorney Joseph Paulus, Winnebago County Democratic Party Chair Jef Hall remarked: “November will be the perfect time to move past the Paulus era by electing a Democrat with no links to his corrupt office.”

“As the Department of Justice’s statement indicated, it was the former Winnebago County Republican Party Chair who provided nearly $50,000 in bribes to his Party’s District Attorney.” Hall continued.

Hall pointed out areas of the report indicating of the former Republican Chair’s conviction and probation for filing false tax information in the scandal.

“The Northwestern coverage also mentions the former Republican Party Chair admitted bribing his District Attorney many more times than the 20 cases the FBI investigated. This illegal activity included extortion and laundered campaign contributions by the two top Winnebago County Republicans at the time.” Hall continued.

“There is only one way I see to get past this shameful chapter in our county’s history. In November, the voters of Winnebago County need to resoundingly elect a Democrat with no connection with either Paulus’ corrupt office or party. We need a District Attorney with a broad resume outside of Paulus’ corrupt office, and outside of the Republican party.”

Hall concluded, “Joe Manske is that candidate. His experience in the Outagamie County prosecutor’s office as well as his years in private practice has prepared him for the job of District Attorney. His moral fiber and independence from the Winnebago County Republican DA scandals of the past make him the candidate we need in November.”

The Sub-Headline Says It All

Health Hazards:
How mounting medical costs are plunging more families into debilitating debt and why insurance doesn’t always keep them out of bankruptcy.

MSNBC has this report on the state of healthcare in America:

Health-care debts typically play a role in about half of the approximately 1.5 million bankruptcies filed in the United States each year, according to Harvard researchers Elizabeth Warren and David U. Himmelstein. And, like the Jacksons, 75 percent of those who declare medical bankruptcy have health insurance at the onset of the illness that ultimately helped to push them over the financial edge, according to the Harvard research.
Today, 46 million Americans are uninsured. And 53 percent of adults who were uninsured at any time during 2005 reported medical debt or bill problems, according to a Commonwealth Fund Health Insurance survey this spring. But medical debt is not limited to the uninsured. One-fifth of working-age adults, both insured and uninsured, currently have medical debt they're paying off over time; and three of five adults with medical bills or debt problems said they were insured at the time the debt was incurred, according to the Commonwealth survey.
The solution: universal health insurance, says Warren. "Bankruptcy is a Band-Aid. It doesn't solve the underlying problem." Himmelstein, her Harvard colleague, agrees. "It needs to be coverage that continues whether or not you're sick, whether or not you're working," he says. "If you're in an auto accident today and can't work for six months, how many Americans could actually withstand that as a disaster in their lives?" Too many Americans lack a safety cushion for expensive medical costs. "There are just so many people who live so on the edge that medical emergencies can just spin them over that edge," says Brett Williams, author of "Debt for Sale: A Social History of the Credit Trap." "They skimp on things that are ultimately cheaper, like screenings. Or diabetics will skimp on insulin. Then amputations end up being so much more expensive."

The elderly are particularly hard hit because they often lack a significant income at the same time that they need more medical care and more medication. "They've got high fixed expenses, and they don't have lots of income," says Skeel. Medicare provides prescription drug coverage-but with a huge gap called the "donut hole," which forces seniors to pay 100 percent of the costs of their drugs between $2,250 and $5,100 in purchases in a year.

Kathryn Lopez, 67, and her husband, Conrad, 68, spend at least $150 a month on prescriptions, though they pay $260 for Medicare with a supplement. The couple now owes $47,000—despite starting their retirement with $135,000 in savings. They're in the hole largely because of large co-pays and uncovered expenses for a series of surgeries, including an operation to remove Kathryn's esophagus because of cancer and to replace Conrad's hips. He works as a restaurant manager, and she runs a bed-and-breakfast out of their home in Canyon City, Colo., but their income isn't enough to pay their medical bills.
Often medical bankruptcies are the result of an illness or injury combined with the loss of a job. That's why even non-catastrophic medical problems often lead to catastrophic financial results. The median medical debt for the people in the Harvard survey: $11,000. One man in the study needed knee surgery. His insurance paid for it—but didn't cover his rehab, his drugs or his crutches. He wound up with $12,000 in out-of-pocket expenses—a problem "when you're making $40,000 and living pretty close to the edge," says Warren.

Of course, many people do not want to file for bankruptcy, even when faced with astronomical medical debts. "For every family that ends up with a medical bankruptcy, there are many more hanging on by their fingernails, selling the home, cashing out the pension, trying to make the payments for the medical care they received," says Warren. And while bankruptcy is designed to give people a fresh start, it's not much help when an expensive medical problem is ongoing. Warren recalls telling a couple whose hemophiliac child had contracted AIDS that they shouldn't file for bankruptcy until the child died.
Thomas Mason, 67, says he hasn't filed "because of the cost." Mason, who had a heart attack when he was 51, says it's tough to land a job with insurance at his age and with his health history. So he works full-time as an assistant manager for a small grocery chain that doesn't offer insurance. Meanwhile, he suffers from an enlarged heart and enlarged prostate and needs surgery on both legs for blockages and varicose veins. His wife, Brenda, 52, is a type II diabetic and can't work because her health is so poor. So they squeak by on his income of $25,000 to $27,000 a year—hardly enough to pay their $12,000 to $15,000 annual expenses for doctors' visits and medicine, including insulin. Of their $12,000 in debt, $9,000 is owed to doctors. "I never lived lavishly," he says. "The things in our apartment have either been given to us, or we get at garage sales or Goodwill or Salvation Army." Unfortunately, they may be able to get free clothes—but not free medical care.

Scot Ross is Right On Elections:

"We need elections that are fair and clean and Mark Green is standing in the way," said Ross. "No one is more concerned than I am about keeping someone who doesn't have the right to vote out of the ballot box. The only thing that concerns me more is any eligible voter being denied his or her Constitutional right to vote."

"With what a miserable failure Green and the Bush Administration have been, it's no wonder Mark Green's top priority is keeping people out of the voting booths," said Ross. "We've got skyrocketing gas prices, out-of-control health care costs and a mess in Iraq yet Mark Green's priorities are keeping people from voting and pleasing his extremist special interest pals."

Something Lieberman could learn from Republicans:

We expected to win, we didn’t win, so we’ll support the nominee,” Murkowski said after arriving at election headquarters to concede.


Bush: Iraq has nothing to do with 9/11

He seems to be losing it here - transcript:

BUSH: The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.
QUESTION: What did Iraq have to do with it?
BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?
QUESTION: The attack on the World Trade Center.
BUSH: Nothing. Except it’s part of — and nobody has suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a — Iraq — the lesson of September 11th is take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody’s ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq.

Winnebago County Dems Proudly Welcome Jessica Doyle

Winnebago County Dems Proudly Welcome Jessica Doyle
Annual Corn Roast Saturday, August 26th

The Winnebago County Democratic Party is proud to welcome Wisconsin’s First Lady Jessica Doyle as the honored guest at this weekend’s event.

“It is an honor to have Mrs. Doyle at our annual corn roast.” said Winnebago Dems Chair Jef Hall. “It shows the statewide interest there is in this fall’s elections here in Winnebago County.

“On the heals of recent visits by both of our Senators, Mrs. Doyle’s visit will continue to highlight the successes we have seen in Winnebago County”

The Annual Winnebago County Corn Roast is Saturday, August 26th from 1-5PM. Jessica Doyle
will be speaking at 2:00PM with other state and local candidates following.

The Corn Roast is at Winnebago County Park. It is located on the corner of Hwy 76 & Y, just south of 41 – across Hwy Y from the fairgrounds. The cost to attend is $5 and includes hot dogs, beverages and all the Allen corn you can eat! The public is welcome.