Archive for November, 2013

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NOVEMBER MUSINGS

November 25, 2013

THE HOLIDAYS

Yesterday, I had yet another “I am my mother” feeling and I am sad.

I have debated and debated with myself and I just cannot do it.  I can’t rent a car, go to my storage site, struggle through locating all my Christmas décor…cart it all back in two trips and then begin the week-long process of transforming my house into my favorite time of year.

I hurt too much, I don’t have stents that work on my hands right now, and I am afraid that with the demands of BSCI project heating up…even if I could get this done, I would be living with it until after May 15.

And most who know me know what I feel about Christmas.  If you cannot wait to take your décor down until the Epiphany and the Magi arrive from the East, then in my mind you are suspect.   At worst, you become part of the St. Nicholas/Santa Claus crowd….not Christians celebrating the birth of Christ; at best, I am sorry you were never taught that the 12 days of Christmas does not end until Epiphany on January 6.  

In fact, I tend to be “up” Thanksgiving weekend; down by Dad’s birthday or at the latest Feb 1.  And this year I don’t think I can comply.

So, the logical solution is to leave it alone.  Go to Rochester for Thanksgiving.  Come back and switch out the Fall décor…and maybe when I am at the storage site, bring back a few things for the Holidays but skip the tree.  I know that is the SMART thing to do.  The question is can I discipline myself to do the SMART THING?

Truthfully, I am not liking this aging thing at all.  And finally, I understand how hard it was for my mother to make that decision the first time around.  Until now, I remembered only the sadness I felt when I went HOME for Christmas that first time she did not have a tree– only to find that Christmas was not there – at least not in physical décor.  The red candy dish, a few candles, holiday cards in a bowl, and a lot of Christmas cookies and fruitcake wwere not a celebration to me.  Too late, I am so sorry to admit that I had no idea how painful that decision was for her and why she made it.

And, for today at least, I am not keeping “Holiday Décor”on my to-do list….as I finally understand. I can only hope that, I too- like my mom-will learn that the joy really comes from being with family to celebrate a special time of the year.  

THE DEBATE BEGINS ON IRAN…

Or does it? 

Six months is a nano-second measured against almost forty years of NO INTERACTION, fear, and threat of war in the Mideast.

Only a fool or a politician hoping to use it as an issue to save a seat in Congress would question an interim agreement with Iran that COULD lead to a larger win for the world.

Had we allowed just six months of cool-down and inspections back in 2003, JUST THINK how many American lives would have been different…as we might have avoided so many deaths and so many, many, more physical and mental injuries. 

Have we really become a country where a single seat in Congress with its prestige, health benefits, salary, long term pension and constant ‘Moments of Fame” from the Press means so much more to those very few of us that become national political lifers that one would sacrifice yet another generation to keep your seat?

You naysayers and Netanyahu do not rule the world – thank goodness.  And to use North Korea as your ONLY defense of your position  is abominable.  Ask yourself this question:  If you had two sons who were following a path towards lawlessness and one killed someone, would you dis-own them both?  Or, would you work harder to save the other?

A BRIGHTER NOTE

Of course I knew Delaware was a favorite site for American corporations to file for incorporation.  But, silly me, I have never questioned why.  I simply assumed it must be less expensive.

This morning I learned how wrong I was to be so cynical.  In fact, 50% of publicly traded companies and several hundred thousand private firms are incorporated in Delaware because of its well-developed body of company law and the expertise of the judges.  Good to know.

And the Supreme Court of Cancery in Delaware that hears business cases is due for a new Chief Justice.

The two front-runner contenders are Carolyn Berger and Leo Strine.  Good, I thought – a woman.  Then I read a bit about Leo Strine-apparently a boy-legal wonder as he was only 29 when he became chief counsel to the Governor of Delaware.  He is neither pro-shareholders nor pro-management but  is sometime criticized for judicial decorum.  I had to chuckle when I read why – he “once described a business spat as a ‘drunken WASP-fest.’ ”   Hmmm.  A State Supreme Court Judge that does not seem to fear showing he is human.   This could be fun to watch unfold.

THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving time is always filled with so many questions for me.  When do I leave; how long can I stay; how can I help; what do I bring?  And this year, it seemed to get more complicated.  My sister-in-law is fresh out of rehab with a walker; it’s time for tradition to change again.

And then I laughed when I said AGAIN.  Really?  The last Thanksgiving I remember that was not at Gordon and Virginia’s was at my mom and dad’s…in the unfinished basement on 3rd Street, at the square oak table that had a million leaves so it could become a Threshing Crew table I think….a little scary as that basement was where the SPIDERS lived, after all, so you had to keep a watchful eye out all through the meal so that one of those ugly things did not sneak up on you! 

We had an old stove down there and the freezer was an old-ice cream shop style that became a place to stack serving bowls that did not fit on the table.  We washed dishes in the laundry tubs.   I was not too old; the last picture I have of that timeframe was me in jeans and an ugly striped t-shirt with a dish-cloth wrapped around by head – Aunt Jemima-style, but I thought it was fashionable for some unknown reason- a little David peering around an adult, no Lisa –but maybe she was in the highchair, a newborn or maybe not even born yet ….all ways to say a very LONG TIME AGO!  And then shortly thereafter, we started going to Gordon’s.

But when do I go to Rochester is always a concern.  This year, I was going on Monday afternoon and returning Friday so I could help.  Then it changed and Linda and Jeff are now hosting-a momentous shift to the next generation!  

Then I decided not to go at all as rental cars were all booked in downtown; and limited funds meant if I went, I would not even have bus money left in my bank account when I return.  I was cursing my “can you survive without a car” experiment and was about ready to call Virginia to tell her I would not make it this year. Then Lisa connected and saved the day.  She is indeed flying home; will pick me up on Wednesday early afternoon and we will head to Rochester. So all is well with the world, and I am giving thanks for Lisa – my oldest niece, who is always looking out for her OLD aunt!

I think I will be glad when this holiday is OVER and I can return to my own little world where I think of myself as one of the two “little” sisters – which in my mind means NOT in my 60s – maybe in my 30s at most  !  🙂

 

 

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November 24, 2013

Thank you, Jeremy Olson!

His column in the STRIB today focused on an important MN-based statistic that clearly shows that indeed, the healthcare issues have been blown out of proportion.

Of the 263,000 Minnesotans with private plans, an estimate 181,000 live in households that qualify for subsidies-so the quoted cost is irrelevant.  82,000 do not qualify.  Historical statistics show 2/3 of those do not keep a plan for more than a year -representing the pre-ACA turnover rate.  That reduces  the BIG number of 23,000 persons being impacted.

Yes that is concerning.  BUT in Minnesota, it is LESS THAN THOSE DEEMED UNINSURABLE PRIOR TO THE PASSING OF OBAMACARE.

 Most of us who have had individual plans for 20+ years surely know that coverage is often cancelled or rates rise unexpectedly. It happened to me.  I fell. I broke my back.  I was in physical therapy for almost 3 years.  My insurance was cancelled.  Between doctor bills, therapy bills and my new catastrophic insurance policy of over $1000 a month, AND no income for a significant period of time, I spent almost $250,000 of retirement savings.  

So yes, I know the problems of the self-insured.  And I know how fickle that “safety net” was; in fact, for the most part it was a MYTH and I was carrying a policy through one of the major insurance companies – not through a little-known company that preys on the unfortunate and vulnerable.

Ask yourself – which is a worse situation?  Fewer people are actually being impacted today with the start up of Obamacare than were impacted every single day prior to it – just because they had a pre-existing condition.  How mad did that make you?  How much posturing and pointing of fingers did you do then in behalf of all of those persons that were being taken advantage of?  Then look in the mirror and promise yourself you are going to shut up….unless your ranting is not because you care, but is motivated by politics!

 

 

 

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IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY…in spite of:

November 19, 2013

REVISITING THE NEW NORMAL

In 2009, I penned my first blog featuring the New Economy that emerged after the housing bubble led to the crash of 2008 shortly before Obama was elected President of the United States.  Six months later, I joined those that were advocating –not a return to what it was before the bubble burst- but a RESET.

As I look back over my postings, I see I have not wavered….but indeed, the world around me has.

This morning Paul Krugman’s column reminded us of that New Normal as he wrote about Larry Sommers position recently at the IMF:

The financial crisis that started the Great Recession is now far behind us…yet our economy remains depressed.

…we had a huge housing and debt bubble.  Yet even with this huge bubble boosting spending, the economy was only so so – the job market was ok but not great, and the boom was never powerful enough to produce significant inflationary pressure .

We have an economy whose normal condition is one of inadequate demand-of at least mild depression-and which only gets anywhere close to full employment when it is buoyed by bubbles.

Krugman speculated on the “why” – from slowing population growth to aging population to persistent trade deficits since the 1980sall leading to the economic realities of today.  It is what it is.  It will be what it is for a long time. It’s the new normal of 2008-9; but it’s become reality.

A sobering point of view or a wake up call?

 

GOOD FOR US…and Rhode Island, Vermont, Arkansas and Washington

The MN Council of Health Plans stood up; The Governor listened, and Minnesota continues on with what appears to be a successful implementation of MnSure – our plan for implementing the ACA.

Approximately 140,000 Minnesotans fall short of ACA requirements.    Most of those underinsured are carrying policies of 1 year duration with the highest out-of-pocket cost for those insured.  Many of those are policies that were  issued by the scamming insurance companies. 

So I was glad to see that the legitimate insurance companies that have been chosen for MnSure stood their ground, and Dayton listened. 

One more time, that makes me proud to be a Minnesotan. 

The Republicans started a spin and campaign; the Press saw an opportunity to improve ratings if they focused on it and our whole country became obsessed with whether Obama lied, was a bad manager,  or was out-of-touch. 

Some of us who have done the fact-checking know he is caught in the spin, as we have covered this in past ramblings since the issue exploded.  It feels like we are the minority but I believe the intent of the ACA was to help America elevate health standards to the level and standards set by our world allies…a fact not often discussed or shared with the complaining public.  Does it have problems?  Yes.  Has it been a rocky start-up? Yes.  Does this differ much from Social Security or Medicare? No.

I hear the naysayers and am reminded of the dinner table ranting of my father on payday in the late forties/fifties/early sixties.  The Government was stealing money from him.  Anyone who worked hard all his life (like Hap Kranz did J) would not live to collect Social Security.  They would die by the time they were 65.  And truth was – at the time, 65 was an accepted life expectancy. Nevertheless, Hap retired with no plan of “What next” but darn glad to see that social security check show up month after month after month until he died at the age of 87!

The ACA spin and continuing craziness signals to me that our patriotic friends on the right want to line up with second-tier countries as they fight with all their might to keep an inadequate system.  I am not sure why, but am beginning to explain it away as that alignment helps them preserve their superiority as they are compared to others in that tier.

As for the Press?  No words can describe my distain for the live news media who have clearly demonstrated “ratings” trump all.  Nevertheless, I am encouraged as slowly but surely, I hear more of them pulling back on their stance and attempting to re-position.  This gives me hope that in the end, sanity will prevail.

AND THEN THERE IS WALMART!

One cannot help but notice the Walmart attempts to foil the public recently….ad after ad saturate the airwaves as Walmart tries to “prove” they’re the best- priced around; ads of actor “employees” telling how much they love working at Walmart.  Not too much emphasis on child labor uses around the world to create knockoff products that can be sold for less, nor manipulating of price points to lower popular items while inflating others to compensate, nor of the policy of building where land is cheap and there is no infrastructure – causing increases in taxes – or in other words, government and citizen financial support!

And certainly no explanation for why the NATIONAL LABOR BOARD just found Walmart illegally disciplined and fired over 100 employees in a dozen states.

Although I expect there is some hyperbole on both sides, you gotta ask yourself why this latest TV campaign.  I’m casting my vote for a PR campaign aimed to stop the bleeding, as more and more real facts about their business practices are divulged.

 

And with that, I will save my ranting  about Brett Favre’s mental state for another day.  Suffice it to say – concussions in the games may have made it worse, but twenty years before all that physical abuse on the field, he was killing off brain cells fast with alcohol.  This I witnessed firsthand as his caretakers tried to get him up, dressed and to the event that was honoring him as Player of the Year…all so that he could stand on stage, a drunken mess, and accept the recognition.   So perhaps some of the blame for his mental issues today might just have been self-inflicted. 

 

 

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Postscript to “PRESS POSTURING” and “ONCE AGAIN”.

November 13, 2013

FINALLY, a discussion on Chris Hayes tonight talked about the REAL situation re Healthcare and whether the President “lied”.

Glad I was backed up in my position by at least three (3) experts and one member of the press in Chris.  I was feeling pretty lonely.  But indeed, most of the policies in question that have caused the fuss are all less than one year old and indeed, were issued – not before or   at the time of passage of the Healthcare Act, but in 2013!  One would assume that because this was a major reform to the health care insurance industry that they knew the rules by the beginning of 2013..they have had three years to read them.  They simply decided to ignore the law and trick the public..

One would think, then, that those being questioned would be the Insurance Companies who obviously were not truthful with their customers. Has anyone heard them explain exactly WHY they did this?  Has anyone asked the question?

So one more time…Obama did not lie.  What was in the law included grandfathered customers….as long as the Insurance companies followed the rules. 

At least I can head to bed knowing I was correct in my assessment-no matter how it is spun. .

 

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TUESDAY MORNING CLEANUP

November 12, 2013

I don’t like Christie’s political views but I do like his attitude for the most part so I was a little taken aback to read yesterday he took a position that Obama “lied” about healthcare.  Again, Obama did not lie.  The one year “bridge” insurance policies all are up in arms about were grandfathered out of the Affordable Health Care Act WITH THE CONDITION that issuing insurance companies would NOT ADD new policy holders.  Unfortunately, the corporate insurance world ignored the law and added new customers because, of course, they were not making enough profit as the audience  naturally dwindled…as existing customers became employed, qualified for Medicare,  were picked up on parents coverage because they were under 26, etc.  So, did the drafters of the law not see this coming is a valid point; they trusted the insurance companies to comply with the law.  And once again, the insurance world proved profits trump customers over the law and did what they wanted to do.  It was not a lie; Obama trusted the insurance companies and he and all those that voted to pass the Healthcare Act should not have done so.

Of course, I did not hear the actual statement made by Christie, so perhaps the “lied” was Press hyperbole; or perhaps with winning the second term as Governor, he now must shift gears as we’re “ONLY” two years from the Presidential election.

How sad it is that I am already hoping both Presidential “front-runners” fade to black.  Hillary had her chance; it’s time for new blood,   As for Christie…conservative, I’m not.  J 

We can only hope that our own example here in Minneapolis of taking a firm step into the 21st century by electing a young woman as Mayor supported by  a team with multi-cultural backgrounds to help us along the path to 2040, will become a model going forward nationally. 

Unfortunately, we have one big glitch.  The problems of the Republican Party national meltdown make the predictions for the future a bit hazy …except to know that they are already playing the blame game with their whining and cry of  “HE (that devil known as Obama) made me do it!”   

Oh yes, where were the Benghazi Headlines

And speaking of Republicans-what did they have to say  when they learned the main “witness” in Benghazi to the “mishandling of the situation by the US”  now revealed he was NOT EVEN THERE? 

One would be laughing at their stupidity if it were not so sad as Graham and McCain simply cannot acknowledge they did not have all the “facts” and were duped by a publicity-seeker, so they swore they would not back down!  The Angry Old Men will not give in so perhaps this will turn into a comedy as well, as they “stand their ground” and loudly protect a fame-seeker backed by a portion of the PRESS that did not do a good job of vetting the story!

Enough is Enough

And while I am on my soap box, we have the French and the Israelis posturing over first steps in over forty years to possibly move in right direction on Iran.

 Frankly, I dismiss the French….we continue to treat them like a world power when in my mind, the last time they were was when they supported the Colonies in the Revolutionary War.  Yes, a little exaggeration there, but come on, in the 20th century, they did not exactly cover themselves with glory.  And now they vote NO to a possible break-through in the mid-east that has been a tinderbox for 75 years!  

But the French aside, it is Netanyahu that I find hard to take.  Confession:  I have never liked him; I think he plays the martyr just a bit too much and over and over interjects his opinion as if he reins superior to all other international leaders. I’ve tried to talk myself into giving him a little leeway, but there is a part of me that says…he spent too much time in Massachusetts with Romney and enough is enough!

The WORLD is not ruled by Israel.  They cannot break every rule of peace and then point fingers at others.  They cry “persecution” every time they disagree.  Heretical as it may be, there are times I wish someone would point out that it was Christ, not Netanyahu, that walked on water.  He, like the rest of world leaders is just a human, with a right to his opinion, but certainly does not belong on a pedestal; sitting in judgment of other world leaders.

And then there is Christianity

Lest I get labeled anti-Semitic, I should make the point that although I believe God in general has a place in our government, I do not accept that any particular faith has a place.  Freedom of Religion to me means ALL religions – not just Christians like me, and I get rather irritated at our Right Wing political factions that wish to rule by Catholic Catechism.  They are welcome to their beliefs, but the Catholic Church is NOT synonymous with Christianity, and even within Catholic Church, they demonstrate daily they are merely human like the rest of us.

Certainly the Mpls/St. Paul Archdiocese is juggling evidence of that!  Finally, when issue after issue brought sexual misdeeds in the clergy to the forefront, MPR did a story on the facts, and Nienstedt now has pledged a PARTIAL LIST of predators and sex offenders will be released.    How caring of him!  Or is that just caring of his position of power?  Or maybe, quietly, he was reprimanded by the Pope.

Why remains to be seen but the fact remains that this “list” will not include offending priests that have left the Diocese, died, those removed from the priesthood, or priests accused of sexual misconduct with adults  signals to me all I need to know.  Nienstedt’s heart may be “heavy for the victims”….but he will continue to protect the institution over the flock as best he can.  Don’t expect a “cleansing of the temple” here.

And on a national level, we learned that Right Wing Republicans are not happy with the new Pope. I found that article in the STRIB very enlightening.  The issue centered around “church doctrine” NOT the teachings of Jesus as found in the Bible – recorded by those who witnesses His life.  That tells me a lot.

Finally, Sports Figures Idolization

Those who know me well know I am not a big football fan-although it holds my attention on occasion much more than baseball. 

First, I find it boring as they do more standing around and regrouping than they play – which is why 60 minutes gets stretched to 2.5 hours on a regular basis. Second, I have to question why we are so enthralled with a sport that pays players incredible amounts of money to put themselves in great physical danger.   And third, my personal experiences with several have shown me those held up as the great heros are OFTEN found lacking.  Oh yes, on occasion, I watch part of a game –partly because it is expected, partly because  of hometown pride-but generally, I am also reading a book at the same time so that I do not get too bored.

Add to that, my experience interacting with these guys at various Super Bowls in my incentive travel life, or the 1992 Super Bowl here, the Taste of NFL, or certainly the NFL Player of the Year Awards evenings  have shown me time after time that many of these guys are NO heroes! 

This latest stir-up about bullying is just one more thing to add to my list that reminds me I AM NOT THE CRAZY ONE.

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ONCE AGAIN….

November 9, 2013

 

Is our reliance on Twentieth Century knowledge and expertise raising its ugly head in the status of our economy?

 

It seems the gloomy forecasts for jobs growth simply are not meshing with reality.

 

Adjustments to the “New Jobs” figures from forecast to actual pushed August to 238,000 and September to 163,000.  Expectations for October for 120,000 new jobs due to impact of government shutdown for sixteen days and the no-budget actually came in at 204,000.

 

Meanwhile, all the skepticism, nay-saying and long faces did indeed influence job SEEKERS and those looking for a job dropped about one/tenth of a percent. 

 

Perhaps the best news buried at the end of a STRIB article this morning was that October increases were across low and high-paying sectors including manufacturing, health care, retail and professional services such as engineering and computer design, while 53,000 of the total increases came from the Hospitality Industry – signaling that use of restaurants and hotels is increasing – or in other words, people are spending a little.

 

I am sure as you read this you are asking how any of this makes sense – they must be mistaken – because surely, if that was all happening, you would have heard it on the news.  Trust me, no you would not have, as it does not fit the Press messaging spins.

 

As each month passes, I become more convinced that whether it is a Republican or a Democrat forecasting, measuring, commenting or planning a strategy, they are all applying OLD RULES…rules that served them well through the Twentieth Century….until they didn’t; and our economy collapsed.

 

Add to that the fact that politics like we have not seen of late has trumped this whole crisis from beginning to end.

 

Out of embarrassment and cover-up, as it all collapsed, the Repos blamed Obama loud and long…even though the collapse occurred on a Republican President’s watch before Obama was even elected or inaugurated.  

 

That is a fact, not a spin.  Summer/Fall of 2008 the President of the United States was George W. Bush, setting up a situation that would be comical if it were not such a tragedy; and makes a  statement of how easily public opinion is manipulated.

 

 But think about it…the Obama campaign, its messaging and its promises were based on what we now know to be a  MYTH.  We were not a healthy robust country heading out into the world ready to conquer all as the Republican SPIN led us to believe…we were tettering on the brink of disaster.  And yet, how often have you heard the Press say….Obama promised when he ran for President to do such and so…and so far he has failed.

 

I’m just saying…look in the mirror and ask yourself if you can remember:  What plans and promises did you have in place in the summer of 2008 and how many of them did not happen because of the impact of a government and economic meltdown you did not know was already happening?!!!

 

Add to that, politics – not the good of the people, nor the good of the country -has trumped this whole crisis from beginning to end.  The Republicans fell hard in 2008.  A war veteran and man respected by both political parties did not become President of the United States.  Add a little flavoring called “Obama is not a WHITE BABY BOOMER “.   A crumbling, outdated political party made a grave mistake and welcomed the Tea Party into their ranks…and the rest is history.  Unfortunately, we are all paying the price.

 

As the disaster rolls out, we learn those eight years from 2000-2008 pushed the Economic Bubble one step too far, all collapsed, and an ECONOMIC RESET was well underway.  We experienced the greatest downturn since 1929 and economists projected an 8-10 year recoveryNOT a quick bounce back in 2-3 years like we often experienced during the 1940-2000 “Boom”.

 

Sobering news and not what Obama’s campaign messaging had promised.  That’s a fact. 

 

And yet, it is five years later – well ahead of schedule.  The national debt has been cut in half; we are out of one war, almost exiting another; we are well ahead of rebuilding jobs, but not at the top yet; and we went through Healthcare Reform and are now beginning to implement it.

 

I believe had Obama actually been as dysfunctional and non-performing as the Republicans say he has been, the Republicans would not be in the mess they are in as a party.  Tradition says the party that elects a non-performing leader is the one that should be in disarray.   Ask yourself HONESTLY which party is crumbling?    The Republicans are collapsing in a mess because of their OWN internal problems; and like any cornered wild animal, they are in a panic and have only their dislike of Obama to unite them and hold on to.

 

Hubris?  Race?  Embarrassment?  Bad Decisions starting with Pallen as VP?  At this point, I really don’t care.  The damage they have done to themselves may be irreparable and so be it. I am much more concerned about what they have done to the rest of us.

 

CASE IN POINT:  The Republican Talking Points over Obamacare.

 

Am I the only one that noticed that as the Press interviews Republican after Republican on any issue, but certainly about the online registration problems with Healthcare and now insurance cancellation “crisis”, the comments NEVER VARY from one Republican to another….string them all together and it sounds like an old LP record with a scratch….repeating the last phrase of a lyric, over and over and over and over again.  That is not ‘opinion” folks, that is called brainwashing and control of members  and should be taken with a grain of salt.

 

As for the Insurance Cancellation Wave?  See my OCTOBER 21 BLOG entitled PRESS POSTURING.

 

Yesterday you may think, as did the Press, that there was an Obama “Gotcha”.  He apologized and took the blame for telling people that if they liked their insurance they could keep it. 

 

For all but 1% of the nation, that is absolutely true. 

 

He was able to promise it applied to that 1% as well, because he KNEW those short-term one year bridge policies had been grandfathered in to protect the buyer  and were not going to be impacted….AS LONG AS those insurance companies issuing them obeyed the rules.  NO NEW CUSTOMERS could be issued a policy.    Since the policies are one year policies, not automatically renewable, he should have been safe, right?  Well, he was wrong, because he trusted Insurance CORPORATIONS to adhere to the contract they had with the government.

 

Unfortunately, they did not.  When they could not keep enrollment UP to a level they were making their substantial profits, they continued to add NEW people.  Instead of a gradual phase-out, the insurance companies maintained that 1%  against the law.  And the rest is history.  Unsuspecting individuals have gotten a surprise as the policies are now being cancelled because the issuing insurance companies cannot maintain the profit.   It really has nothing to do with Obama not telling the truth.  He told the truth as the law was written.

 

And the Press went wild…not just on Talk News Channels but on main networks as well.  The lead headline on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams positioned that Obama “admitted” what he said was not true.

 

In fact, the fact that you could keep your existing policy was NOT an “Obama Lie” but the result of corporations issuing policies and disregarding the LAW.

 

So yesterday a gleeful Press proclaimed “GOTCHA” and Obama “apologized”.

 

 But I listened carefully.  He said as President, he took responsibility for the problem.  That is not the same as I made a mistake.  So for me, yesterday he, one more time, showed what a classy guy he was.  He chose not to publically point the finger at the insurance companies.  He took responsibility for believing that the insurance companies would adhere to the law.

 

Just as we are learning that what we believed about George W. Bush was inaccurate, and that in fact, he divorced himself from the Neo-Cons in his second term, I believe we will all eventually come to see a “truth”  that is different from the spin happening today on Obamacare.

 

…Just as I was encouraged to hear yesterday, that in the case of Benghazi, we are already learning that the FACTS the Republicans were using to declare needs for investigations into Obama/Clinton incompetence were based on a TOTAL FABRICATION!  LOL.

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NOVEMBER HAS BEEN A LONG MONTH….

November 8, 2013

And it is only a week old!    So many good birthday wishes from friends and family; an election that I think moved for the most part in the right direction; as of today, maybe I can stop the antibiotics I have been on and let my brain clear up; we kicked off a new project for a favorite client with their internal core team yesterday; I welcomed back the T-wolves and the Vikes even won a game. 

 All that mixed in with a few frowns as my injuries from the fall and sprawl on Washington Avenue a couple weeks ago were made worse with not one but TWO falls this week trying to negotiate the icy bridges across the river.  My new walking stick did not save me as it had not been “winterized” but at least it helped me get up from the bridge decks AFTER the falls; and of course, there is a big frown that my friend Meg did not get re-elected in her ward.

 News that our friend Beth is realizing her own long-time dreams and leaving Minneapolis  behind for a warmer climate was another sweet-and-salty moment.  I am happy for her, but thinking back on the thirty years since we first met also reminded me of so many others from that incubator of 17 that grew to 55 in just 12 months and launched us all along new pathways in our lives.  Many, of course, are still in my life; but several connections are infrequent, some have disappeared, and thoughts of Wayne and Sharon’s passing still make me sad.

All that and a weekend ahead to clean up major chaos on my desk, pay attention to some financial matters, and maybe even clean house and put away the Jack-o-lantern still smiling in my window!

“Youth, Diversity Win”…

…shouted the headlines on Wednesday as a new iteration of “Father Knows Best” was put to rest; Minneapolitans recognized MSP THRIVE 2040 and took significant steps to start the adjustments and prepare our metro area for the future.  I’m sure that is making more than a few “old, white boomers” anxious, but for me, it was a great affirmation of what I have been sharing in many a blog!

For MSP, a female mayor is not news; we have done it before successfully but this feels like we will be opening a new door as we move forward with Betsy Hodges.  And reflecting our diversity and 21st century thinking of the young was huge overall.  This week we all got a glimpse into our future and it is transformational.

MN Education – On the Move”…

…A big shout-out for improved education in Minnesota!

  • Almost 90% of school districts got go-aheads on referendums –the highest ever recorded since tracking started!
  • Fifty of fifty-seven districts approved operating levies
  • Twenty-three of twenty-six school districts approved capital bond levies

All that and $500 million in new education funding approved by the MN Legislature may be a sufficient “wave” to turn this Education Ship around!

If your district falls in the  10-12% of nay-sayers, if I were you, I’d move!

 

MSP Arts and Culture Program …

…headed by Robyne Robinson made me smile.  The international exposure to our regional arts community by placing art at the airport is good thinking and a worthy goal, but for me, it was a personal YES!  After years and years of airport after airport throughout the US and around the world, there is nothing I dread more than being in one.  So a plan to warm up the coldness with the warmth and emotion of art is a wonderful idea.

For me, this is another example that Creative Place-Making is becoming – not just an emerging idea – but a MOVEMENT!