14
Jun
14

6.14.14 … greedy seniors … really?

Medicare, seniors:  My siblings and I have spent a great deal of time in the last 3 weeks making sure my mom gets the full benefits under her Medicare, AARP Supplemental policy and paid for contractual benefits from her continuous care facility. It is exhausting and challenging.  One slip up and she can be denied benefits that are worth thousands of dollars.  And this is wrong.  And now we have a people who have a misperception that these seniors are greedy?

Whatever image you may have of America’s seniors and of people on Medicare, the reality is that when more of us baby boomers are “seniors,” most will have very modest means and will be dependent on their families and public programs such as Medicare and Social Security for their retirement security.

via The Truth About Those ‘Greedy’ Seniors – Washington Wire – WSJ.

Remark by Obama Complicates Military Sexual Assault Trials:  Another from my backlog, but you have to wonder why Obama keeps getting criticized for muddying issues …

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

Published: July 13, 2013

WASHINGTON — When President Obama proclaimed that those who commit sexual assault in the military should be “prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged,” it had an effect he did not intend: muddying legal cases across the country.

President Obama at a meeting on sexual assault in the military in May. Judges and defense lawyers have said his remark on the issue has tainted prosecutions.

In at least a dozen sexual assault cases since the president’s remarks at the White House in May, judges and defense lawyers have said that Mr. Obama’s words as commander in chief amounted to “unlawful command influence,” tainting trials as a result. Military law experts said that those cases were only the beginning and that the president’s remarks were certain to complicate almost all prosecutions for sexual assault.

“Unlawful command influence” refers to actions of commanders that could be interpreted by jurors as an attempt to influence a court-martial, in effect ordering a specific outcome. Mr. Obama, as commander in chief of the armed forces, is considered the most powerful person to wield such influence.

The president’s remarks might have seemed innocuous to civilians, but military law experts say defense lawyers will seize on the president’s call for an automatic dishonorable discharge, the most severe discharge available in a court-martial, arguing that his words will affect their cases.

via Remark by Obama Complicates Military Sexual Assault Trials – NYTimes.com.

 

The Decline of North Carolina – NYTimes.com:  This is an article worth revisiting.  It is from July 2013.  I fear we have moved even farther  to dismantle our good reputation.  We have always been “conservative”  so the issue is really the extremism of the tea party and the religious right, not the traditional conservatism.  The Republican Party needs to refocus and redirect.  It needs to once again be a “beacon of farsightedness.”

North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness. In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build.

via The Decline of North Carolina – NYTimes.com.

Abortion Provision Among Practicing Obstetrician–Gynecologists:  I have several friends with whom I debate many social issues.  One thing that concerns me about abortion is that quality doctors are completely hands off.

Objective

To estimate prevalence and correlates of abortion provision among practicing obstetrician–gynecologists in the United States.

Methods

We conducted a national probability sample mail survey of 1,800 practicing obstetrician–gynecologists. Key variables included whether respondents ever encountered patients seeking abortion in their practice, and whether they provided abortion services. Correlates of providing abortion included physician demographic characteristics, religious affiliation, religiosity, and the religious affiliation of the facility in which a physician primarily practices.

Results

Among practicing obstetrician–gynecologists, 97% encountered patients seeking abortions, while 14% performed them. Young female physicians were the most likely to provide abortions (18.6% vs. 10.6%, adjusted OR = 2.54, 95% CI = 1.57–4.08), as were those in the Northeast or West, those in highly urban zip codes, and those who identify as Jewish. Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, non–Evangelical Protestants, and physicians with high religious motivation were less likely to provide abortions.

Conclusion

The proportion of U.S. obstetrician–gynecologists who provide abortion may be lower than estimated in previous research. Access to abortion remains limited by the willingness of physicians to provide abortion services, particularly in rural communities and in the South and Midwest.

via Abortion Provision Among Practicing Obstetrician–Gynecologists.

Other resources: US National Library of Medicine , National Institutes of Health

Congressman Responds Like Real Human Person Would After Getting An Absurd Letter From His Co-Workers:  This is another old one from my backlog, but again, it is worthy of thought.  Definitely a teachable moment.

When some anonymous congressmen sent around a draft letter addressed to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) to see if they could get some co-signers to protest the immigration reform bill, a high school teacher decided to make it a teachable moment. Said teacher, now-Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), unleashed his markup pen on the letter to grade the accuracy of the work. This write-up avoids most of the partisanship we see these days and goes straight for the fact-checking.

via Congressman Responds Like Real Human Person Would After Getting An Absurd Letter From His Co-Workers.

Detroit, Bankruptcy,  Pension Protections, NYTimes.com:  This is from a while back, but I think it is worthy of cataloging.  I have friends this week in Detroit for the PC(USA) General Assembly.  i am interested to hear their perceptions of this dying city.

In a ruling that could reverberate far beyond Detroit, a federal judge held on Tuesday that this battered city could formally enter bankruptcy and asserted that Detroit’s obligation to pay pensions in full was not untouchable.

 Protesters outside the courthouse in Detroit. “This once proud and prosperous city cannot pay its debt,” Judge Steven W. Rhodes said.

The judge, Steven W. Rhodes, dealt a major blow to the widely held belief that state laws preserve public pensions, and his ruling is likely to resonate in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and many other American cities where the rising cost of pensions has been crowding out spending for public schools, police departments and other services.

The judge made it clear that public employee pensions were not protected in a federal Chapter 9 bankruptcy, even though the Michigan Constitution expressly protects them. “Pension benefits are a contractual right and are not entitled to any heightened protection in a municipal bankruptcy,” he said.

via Detroit Ruling on Bankruptcy Lifts Pension Protections – NYTimes.com.

 

 


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