Daily Archives: December 4, 2009

Bernie asks: “Where Was The Fed?”

That’s the subjec of this week’s Bernie Sanders Unfiltered. Watch and enjoy:

Cartoon(s) of the Week… we’ve got 2 original thinkers here.

John Sherffius, Boulder Daily Camera:

Progress and History… Republicans always carry it too far…

– and –

Walt Handelsman in Newsday:

Because fast food has made us great!

Aetna Forcing 600,000-Plus To Lose Coverage In Effort To Raise Profits

Here’s a bit of disturbing news out of my old home state as I watch Senator Dodd debating for the Democrats. One of the big insurers shows how they are ready to put profits ahead of people:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

Health insurance giant Aetna is planning to force up to 650,000 clients to drop their coverage next year as it seeks to raise additional revenue to meet profit expectations.

In a third-quarter earnings conference call in late October, officials at Aetna announced that in an effort to improve on a less-than-anticipated profit margin in 2009, they would be raising prices on their consumers in 2010. The insurance giant predicted that the company would subsequently lose between 300,000 and 350,000 members next year from its national account as well as another 300,000 from smaller group accounts.

“The pricing we put in place for 2009 turned out to not really be what we needed to achieve the results and margins that we had historically been delivering,” said chairman and CEO Ron Williams. “We view 2010 as a repositioning year, a year that does not fully reflect the earnings potential of our business.

Aetna actually made a profit in 2009 but not at levels that it anticipated.

  blog it

Watching the Senate Debate Health Care

It’s fascinating to watch two groups of thinking individuals switching back and forth at half hour intervals debating the Health Care Bill. When I did debate in prep school, the structure was somewhat different. Oh, we switched back and forth to argue our points, but we had to LISTEN to the other side so that the commenting that went back and forth was accurate and meaningful… we tried to convince the other side of our points based on tackling the items that they raised in the argument.

Debate in the Senate is a much different matter. Neither side listens to the other. What they do is make their statements, then wait while the other side makes their statements, then repeat the procedure over and over. I have no way of knowing if they have heard each other.

One exception is Sheldon Whitehouse, the Democratic Senator from RI who is trying to get an amendment in place which is, oddly enough, structured like a previous bill’s amendment by Republican (NH) Senator Judd Gregg. The fact that the two sides don’t come together on this… primarily because the Republican strategy, which was outlined two days ago by the same Senator Judd, is to disagree with EVERYTHING the Democrats bring up as a stalling measure.

Whitehouse is now on commenting directly on what is happening and I’m cheering him on from my living room.

It’s Puppy Mill Action Week…

We are in the Humane Society’s third annual Puppy Mill Action Week and here in West Virginia, where there are no Puppy Mill Regulation Laws (nor are there any in our neighbors, Virginia and Maryland… although our other neighbor, Pennsylvania, does regulate dog raising), I’m starting to get the word out.

Take a look at this:

The Humane Society estimates that there are approximately 10,000 puppy mills currently operating around the country. Many sell directly to the public, especially through the internet, disguised as small farm breeders.

One thing YOU can do is to encourage your local pet shop to join the Puppy Friendly Pet Store Initiative… you can get information on it here at the Humane Society’s web site.

Nestle and Byron (my doggies… one that we bought from a legitimate Connecticut breeder and the other that we rescued from a West Virginia shelter) and I hope you will get involved in this effort.