Daily Archives: July 7, 2010

Bobby Jindal Signs ‘Guns-In-Church’ Bill Into Law

Well, this blog is mainly about “sorting out the crazies”…so I have to report on “the crazies”.  Security or no security, we have had houses of worship for millenia and never had the need for “security” in a church, temple, mosque or other places off worship.  This, in my opinion is quite weird.

Huffington Post

If you’re like most Americans, there’s probably been a time in your life when you’ve been sitting in church, listening to a particularly ennui-inducing homily or enduring another warbly version of “Holy Holy Holy” and thought, “Man! I could really reach for some steel right now, squeeze off a few rounds, and let these fools know what the score is!” Well, in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal has recently signed into law a measure that would allow you to at least feel comforted by the presence of your gun in the house of the Lord. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law one of the more controversial bills from the recent legislative session, one allowing guns to be carried into houses of worship.[...]

[State Representative Henry] Burns’ [R-Haughton] bill would authorize persons who qualified to carry concealed weapons having passed the training and background checks to bring them to churches, mosques, synagogues or other houses of worship as part of a security force.

 I am only too sure that a law allowing mosque-goers to carry guns to service will not rile up Louisiana’s paranoiacs at all!

Some restrictions apply. The “head of the religious institution” would have to “announce verbally or in weekly newsletters or bulletins that there will be individuals armed on the property as members of the security force,” and those lucky individuals would have to receive “eight hours of tactical training each year.”

So, why is all of this necessary? Basically, Representative Burns is concerned about a possible “First Sunday scenario“:

Burns contended that religious institutions in crime-ridden or “declining neighborhoods” need the added protection to ward off thieves and muggers.

The Times-Picayune notes that the same law permitting houses of worship to gun up also allows them “hire off-duty police or security guards to protect congregants” which, on balance, would seem to be the saner option.

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Filed under Gun Control, Guns In Church

Matthews: Palin Can Win GOP Nomination

 

Who’s been passing “Tweety” the kool-aid?
 
Not only does Chris Matthews think Sarah Palin could run for president, but he thinks she could win the Republican nomination.

“An early knockout is the way she can win,” he said on “Morning Joe.” “The media will try to destroy her, of course, but if she goes early, wins early, I think she can win it before anyone can stop her.”

He envisioned her winning the Iowa Republican caucus, losing in New Hampshire, but winning in South Carolina, where her endorsement just helped push Nikki Haley to victory. Then it would be up to Michigan, where Palin has been pounding the pavement on her book tour.

Joe Scarborough, alluding to Palin’s influence over the latest stretch of Republican primaries, at least agreed that “Sarah Palin’s star is on the rise.”

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Filed under Joe Scarborough, Sarah Palin, Uncategorized

Unemployment Extension Standoff, Day 36: Blaming The Unemployed

So is this is how our  country treat the working class now?  

The GOP in congress should pay for this dearly at the mid-term elections.

Huffington Post

Why won’t Congress reauthorize unemployment benefits for people who’ve been out of work for longer than six months?

For the past several weeks, Republicans in the Senate, with an assist from Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson, filibustered bills to reauthorize the benefits due to concerns about adding the cost of the aid to the deficit. Beneath the deficit concerns, however, there’s something else: the suspicion that the long-term unemployed are a bunch of lazy drug addicts.

It’s not an opinion openly shared by most members of Congress, but a handful of senators and representatives from both parties have said this year that they suspect extended unemployment benefits actually discourage people from looking for work.

It started in March with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who said unemployment insurance “doesn’t create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.”

In May, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said extended benefits undermine the economic recovery because they “basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment.” And Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), after pushing party leaders to trim a domestic aid bill, said that in light of four months of job growth, “At some point you have to take a step back and look at the relative value of unemployment benefits versus people looking for jobs.”

Altmire said business owners in his district (he declined to say which ones) complained of hiring trouble because potential workers would rather stay on the dole. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the same thing when she neatly juxtaposed suspicion of the unemployed and deficit worries in a June comment off the Senate floor. Deficit hawks want the extended benefits, which until 36 days ago gave the unemployed an unprecedented 99 weeks of checks in some states, to be “paid for” instead of passed as emergency spending and adding the cost to the deficit.

Feinstein said that while extended benefits during times of recession have never been paid for, “unemployment insurance has never carried the heavy weight that it does right now, the cost that it does right now, so people are concerned. And there isn’t a lot of documentation on this. Last night for the first time I had somebody from a company tell me they’ve offered jobs to individuals and they said well, I want to not come back to work until my unemployment insurance runs out. So we need to start looking at these things. And we need to start paying for it.”

Continue reading…

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Filed under Unemployment, Unemployment Benefits, Unemployment Rate

Insurer revoked leukemia patient’s coverage because it claimed she underpaid her premium by a penny.

This is an outrage!  It’s becoming more apparent, thanks to Big Oil and Health Insurers that corporations are the enemy of American Citizens and the concept of democracy.

Think Progress

One of the worst abuses of the private health insurance industry is the practice of denying claims to pay for necessary care or revoking the coverage of policyholders for frivolous reasons. The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that a leukemia patient — a single mother of two teenage boys — had her coverage revoked after her penny-pinching insurance company, Discover Benefits, claimed that she had underpaid her premium:

La Rosa Carrington has more than enough to worry about. She’s a single mother with two teenage daughters, she’s fighting a type of leukemia that requires five days of chemo a month for four months, and she lost her job in May. So the last thing she needed was news that her health insurance benefits would be terminated because she hadn’t paid her premium in full. The shortfall? One penny. [...]

Under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, those who meet the eligibility requirements pay just 35 percent of the full COBRA premium. Because Carrington had not yet received a bill showing what her payment would be with the discount, she whipped out a calculator, figured out that she owed $165.15 a month and sent a check for that amount to Discovery Benefits.

But Discovery Benefits determined she owed $165.16, and last week, she received a letter from the company telling her she was short on her premium and her coverage could not be continued. The letter, however, did not tell her how much she owed. She called Discovery Benefits and was aghast when she heard the amount. “I said, ‘Are you kidding?’ How am I going to pay you a penny’”?

After Carrington threatened to go the media, Discover Benefits reviewed their records and determined that she had, in fact, paid the correct dollar amount for her premiums, and decided to reinstate her coverage. June Harryman, a supervisory benefits adviser for the federal Employee Benefits Security Administration regional office in Kansas City, told the paper that the practice of companies revoking coverage after customers allegedly underpaid their premiums by a penny is not uncommon. “We’ve seen it before,” she said. “It’s not the first, and it won’t be the last.”

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Filed under Uncategorized

Reid Re-Reposts Angle’s Old Website — Even After Threat Of Lawsuit

TPMDC

Harry Reid isn’t letting threats of a lawsuit stop him — he’ sticking with his Web campaign against “the real Sharron Angle.” After the Angle campaign sent the Reid camp a cease-and-desist letter last week demanding that they take down their reposting of Angle’s old campaign website, the Reid camp has now made just a few modifications and put it right back up.

After she won Nevada’s Republican Senate primary, Angle’s campaign took down most of its website, and later replaced it with a relaunched (and somewhat toned down) version. But the Reid campaign saved the old version, and put up a website called “The Real Sharron Angle,” reproducing the old content. Then on Friday, the Angle campaign sent them a cease-and-desist letter, alleging violation of copyrights for Reid having reposted Angle’s old campaign literature.

The Angle campaign also claimed that by leaving fill-in boxes for e-mail addresses intact, the Reid campaign was in a position to gain contact information of Angle’s supporters who were deceived into thinking this was actually her site. Angle spokesman Jerry Stacy said in a press release: “Make no mistake, the Reid campaign was forced to take this site down because they were breaking several laws and trying to deceive the voters.”

The Reid campaign did initially take down the site, seemingly obeying the cease-and-desist, and rerouted users to one of their other anti-Angle sites. But now they’re put it right back up, simply removing the sign-up fields, some formatting and other identifying marks. From the Reid campaign’s press release:

Out of an abundance of caution, the Reid campaign decided to temporarily remove the website in question while we investigated their allegations. Well, the phony legal threats and the feigned indignation are over – and we’re not going to let Sharron Angle retroactively censor Sharron Angle. The original website, including Angle in her own words on her dangerous and extreme agenda, has been re-launched at: http://www.TheRealSharronAngle.com.

Just to be clear to Sharron Angle and her handlers, it’s called free speech and it’s nearly absolute under the First Amendment. (We know, these “big Constitutional issues” are tough for you – like when you said separation of Church & State was “unconstitutional” exactly one week ago.)

“The question is: what will Sharron Angle do now to hide her extreme views on killing Social Security and eliminating the Department of Education from Nevada voters? Perhaps she’s checking to see if there are any Second Amendment remedies,” said Jon Summers, spokesman for the Reid campaign.

Here is the site: http://www.therealsharronangle.com/

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Filed under Harry Reid, Sharron Angle

Michael Steele Stays

He’s done it again.  The new teflon king of politics is indeed Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC.

TPMDC

As he’s often done during his tenure as chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele last week put the phone to his ear to save his embattled rear. On Friday, Steele arranged a raft of conference calls to explain his remarks that Afghanistan was a war of President Obama’s “choosing,” and tried to offer members now very used to his gaffe-prone tendencies context for the remarks.

“When the video broke Mike sent out a gargantuan amount of emails to members, to senators. He emailed by the pound,” an RNC member told TPM in an interview. Steele even called conservative columnist Bill Kristol who began the drumbeat that the chairman should go in hopes of setting him straight. (Steele’s friends complained that Kristol has not introduced himself to the chairman.)

Steele’s message boiled down to two key points: it was a clumsy comment; and let’s keep our eye on the prize. Steele allies backed that up with their own rounds of calls and emails to remind skeptical members the midterm elections are 120 days away and they must stay focused if they want to win back power in Washington.

“Of the two or three crises we’ve been through, this one has the least amount of steam to it,” another RNC member said this afternoon. “That L.A. nightclub thing seemed to have more oomph on it. We told him that it ‘was not your finest hour but we are only 120 days out.’”

It seemed to work: the intense lobbying effort apparently saved Steele’s job — again. By the end of today, the deadline for filing an RNC resolution calling for Steele to step down will have passed without anyone going down that road. The math makes it pretty clear Steele isn’t going anywhere unless he quits — and he won’t be quitting — so the Republicans lambasting him are doing little more than rendering him irrelevant. One member told the Associated Press that members are “working around him.”

Party leaders on Capitol Hill largely avoided asking for Steele’s resignation, taking a wait-and-see approach in hopes the whole mess would blow over during the holiday week when voters are generally more interested in barbecues than ballot boxes.

Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) dodged a question about Steele today in an Imus interview. Steele’s future at the national party is “not for me to decide,” Cantor said, adding that since the RNC elects their chairman, “[W]e’ll have to see.”

“Of course committee members aren’t too excited about it, most Republicans aren’t too excited about it, but it’s going to be okay,” an RNC member said. “He enjoys the broad support of the committee. We’ve got three things that concern us: big, fat, real, live elections in 120 days; raising more money than Dems; and winning.”

That RNC member, who was key to the effort that kept Steele in office this spring after a staffer was reimbursed for expenses at a bondage-themed Los Angeles nightclub, said if the RNC was suffering financially or losing elections “we’d have a much different conversation. But you can make mistakes when you’re winning.”

Not everyone has such a rosy take, and Steele’s enemies are keeping the story alive.

The Washington Times today reported that RNC officials are cutting $12.2 million from their budget for the election, money that would come out of a pot slated to help state parties and get-out-the-vote efforts.

An RNC member disputed those figures, saying the budget being slashed was “aspirational” and not set in stone. As an example, the member said that Steele fully funded the Illinois state party’s victory program “for the first time ever.”

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Filed under Michael Steele, Politics, RNC Chairman