1.11.2008

Another Democratic Victory in New Hampshire?

from the NYTimes:

The four Democratic candidates last night drew about 270,000 votes among them, while the larger G.O.P. field drew about 210,000, or about 60,000 more votes for the Democrats than the Republicans. Maybe this sounds like a small difference to some, but given that fewer than 700,000 New Hampshirites voted in the last general election for president, a 60,000-vote differential in that small state is quite significant.

And even this relative measure fails to capture what a historic night it was for Democrats in New Hampshire.

In the three decades since 1980, there have been four primary years when both the G.O.P. and the Democratic nominations were contested – 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008. In all three of the previous elections, there were more votes cast in the Republican primaries than in the Democratic primaries. The G.O.P. margin was almost 40,000 votes in 1988 and almost 80,000 votes in 2000. So to see more votes cast in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary last night than in the state’s Republican one — not to mention 60,000 more votes — is almost as historic as seeing a one-two finish by a woman and an African-American.

Las Vegas - Worker's Paradise?

In case you were wondering why there is so much to-do about the Las Vegas Culinary Workers endorsement, the NYTimes cover it here:

My sister was a waitress back east, with two kids and no insurance,? said D. Taylor, a leader of the culinary union. ?She came out here and not only earned a living wage, but got a good health care package for her family."

At the Culinary Training Academy, people learn how to cook, how to make beds, how to speak the language and understand American civics. They also learn how to made a vodka martini and how to cook a white wine reduction sauce ? courtesy of Sterling Burpee, the charismatic chef lured away from one of the Strip?s newest casinos, Wynn Las Vegas. There?s a private chartered school on site, a day care center, and a classroom that processed 25 percent of the new citizens in Nevada last year. It's a sort of Ellis Island for the new service economy.
...
The culinary union long ago made its peace with most of the casinos. And now the casinos work with the union to train all the bartenders, cooks and porters they need to keep the illusion machine running in palaces without daylight or clocks.

1.10.2008

1.08.2008

Tomah Journal on VA Clinics

Even more fundamental is whether privatization, and the inevitable profit/loss calculations that come with it, is in the best interests of veterans or taxpayers. Treating veterans is an inherently unprofitable enterprise. Nearly all wounded veterans have complex medical traumas that far exceed their ability to pay. VA hospitals and clinics don’t exist to turn a profit; they exist to provide the best medical care possible for those who risked their lives in defense of their country. Their treatment is a public, not a private, function.

Quad Graphics Goes Green

Here.

Quad/Graphics, the hemisphere's largest privately held commercial printer, has registered all 10 of its core U.S. printing plants for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The accomplishment puts Quad/Graphics on target to be the first printer of its kind to have all its major manufacturing sites designated as green buildings.

Tomah Journal Nails Healthcare

Opponents of policies designed to achieve universal health care coverage inevitably raise the bogeyman of “socialized medicine.” They peddle stories of patients in Canada, Western Europe or Japan who are denied critical care by government-run systems, even as these countries produce better health care outcomes (life expectancy, infant mortality rates, etc.) than the United States.

Well, here’s news: The United States is hardly innocent when it comes to denying life-saving care.

Researchers from the American Cancer Society discovered that uninsured cancer patients are nearly twice as likely to die within five years as those with private coverage. Thirty-five percent of uninsured cancer victims died within five years, compared to 23 percent of privately insured patients.
...
Much of the health care debate is technical and complicated, but the moral issue is not -- it all comes down to whether everyone should have access to quality health care regardless of ability to pay. In the United States, millions don’t get the health care they need because of a privately delivered system that lets them fall through the cracks. To those who oppose plans for universal coverage, the question is simple: Do you even care?
(emphasis mine)

Read it all here.

Here is the MSNBC coverage of the cancer numbers:

Uninsured cancer patients are nearly twice as likely to die within five years as those with private coverage, according to the first national study of its kind and one that sheds light on troubling health care obstacles.
...
The new research is being published in Cancer, the cancer society’s medical journal. In an accompanying editorial, the society’s president repeated the organization’s call for action to fix holes in the health care safety net.

“The truth is that our national reluctance to face these facts is condemning thousands of people to die from cancer each year,” Dr. Elmer Huerta wrote.
...
They found those who were uninsured were 1.6 times more likely to die in five years than those with private insurance.

More specifically, 35 percent of uninsured patients had died at the end of five years, compared with 23 percent of privately insured patients.

Online Travel Booking Companies Do Not Pay Full Tax Responsibility...

Here is the full story...

The city of Madison is suing Expedia, Priceline.com and four other online hotel booking companies to make them start paying city hotel room taxes. The industry maintains it's not subject to the tax.

Ald. Zach Brandon, 7th District, began pushing for recovery of the room taxes nearly two years ago.

Online companies collect and pay taxes on bulk-rate, wholesale room rates, but not the higher rates they charge customers, Brandon has said.

Ron Paul: Where's the Love?

How many people want a refund now?

The New Republic has an article on Ron Paul's racist (or race-baiting) past. In it the analyze the newsletters that he funded and put his name on. They included:

Paul's newsletters have carried different titles over the years--Ron Paul's Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report--but they generally seem to have been published on a monthly basis since at least 1978. (Paul, an OB-GYN and former U.S. Air Force surgeon, was first elected to Congress in 1976.) During some periods, the newsletters were published by the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education, a nonprofit Paul founded in 1976; at other times, they were published by Ron Paul & Associates, a now-defunct entity in which Paul owned a minority stake, according to his campaign spokesman. The Freedom Report claimed to have over 100,000 readers in 1984. At one point, Ron Paul & Associates also put out a monthly publication called The Ron Paul Investment Letter.
...
But, whoever actually wrote them, the newsletters I saw all had one thing in common: They were published under a banner containing Paul's name, and the articles (except for one special edition of a newsletter that contained the byline of another writer) seem designed to create the impression that they were written by him--and reflected his views. What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing--but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.
...
Paul's alliance with neo-Confederates helps explain the views his newsletters have long espoused on race. Take, for instance, a special issue of the Ron Paul Political Report, published in June 1992, dedicated to explaining the Los Angeles riots of that year. "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began," read one typical passage. According to the newsletter, the looting was a natural byproduct of government indulging the black community with "'civil rights,' quotas, mandated hiring preferences, set-asides for government contracts, gerrymandered voting districts, black bureaucracies, black mayors, black curricula in schools, black tv shows, black tv anchors, hate crime laws, and public humiliation for anyone who dares question the black agenda."


You can read the article here. Select quotes from the newsletters are here (with links to the actual content).

Buried in the story is this gem, something we should be proud of:

Finding the pre-1999 newsletters was no easy task, but I was able to track many of them down at the libraries of the University of Kansas and the Wisconsin Historical Society.

1.07.2008

A Can't Miss - The ABC's of the Right Wing

The Brew City Brawler has a great post on the GOP A to Z.

Read it all!

What's Up with WOSH Lately?

I need to confess to something. I'm not proud, but if I find myself in my car over lunch, I listen to Rush Limbaugh.

I do it as opposition research, I promise.

Locally, WOSH 1490 is the station that plays the show. Has anyone else noticed their problems with production? Almost every commercial is played over another on. They seem to be playing two newscasts at the same time, dead air and one time they even played 10 minutes of Dennis Miller out of nowhere.

WOSH is a Cumulus station. According to their website:
Including all pending acquisitions announced through March 31, 2005, we will own and operate a total of 310 stations in 61 U.S. markets upon FCC approval and consummation of all of our pending acquisitions.
Therefore they are no small puppy.

What's the deal. Is it the only way they can make sure the breaks are less listenable than Rush?