Daily Archives: April 5, 2011
“His representative told me that they did not think it would hurt the middle class that much, and that the budget needed to be cut in any way necessary.
“He told me that Republicans are not paying attention to what the American people want, they are paying attention to the cuts that need to be made, no matter where those cuts come from. He said Republicans are carrying the momentum right now and they will continue to do because that is what the American public wants right now.”
…and that is taking Medicare private to insurance companies, or letting private corporations voucher it. We’ve seen how overpriced and poorly administered (from a Senior’s point of view) “Medicare Advantage” has turned out, why in hell would we put all of Medicare under the same Corporate boot?
But that’s just what the Republicans want to do… They say, of course, that those of us over 55 will have no changes in our Medicare plans. They forgot to add “yet.”
As Paul Krugmann put it:
What will happen to those Seniors who are exclusively dependent on Social Security when they can’t afford to purchase vouchers and are cut out of medical care. This is what the newly proposed Republican budget plan leaves us with.
As for Barack Obama, we are not sure if he will stand up to this concept or will cave in as he has so many times recently. There needs to be a spine in the Presidency, but we are passing more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy and, if we follow the Republican budget plan, we will increase the costs on the “middle class“… the class they want to eliminate.
E.J. Dionne, commenting on Obama’s response to this attack on Medicare, said this:
This will be Obama’s defining moment. Will he stand up for the principle that society takes care of those in need? Or will he cave in? I wish I had confidence in the answer.
Tom Harkin, who I am watching on the Senate floor right now, is pointing out that this is not a way of preserving Medicare, but is really a way of destroying the middle class standard of living and any safety net which we rely on for our ordinary way of life.
“The Republican assault on the middle class is breathtaking,” says Senator Harkin.
- Privatizing Medicare (krugman.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Ryan plan a good deal? Depends on age (msnbc.msn.com)
- Republican to call for sweeping US Medicare changes (reuters.com)
- Eliminating Medicare: How to make the traditional media get this one right (alternet.org)
- Even Republican voters don’t support GOP plan to eliminate Medicare (dailykos.com)
- GOP Budget point man unveils major budget cuts (sfgate.com)
- House GOP targets Medicare, Medicaid (cnn.com)
- Ethan Rome: New Republican Assault on Middle Class: Slash Medicaid, Hurt Seniors and Millions in Need (huffingtonpost.com)
Here in West Virginia we are seriously interested in reforming the coal mining industry – whether easing it out entirely or at least improving the pollution of the air and water due to mining practices – but the most important reform necessary is mine safety,
There have been many regulations passed over the years to improve mine safety including inspections, improved methods and both labor and management responsibilites. One year ago today, however, a company called Massey Energy and an inspection system that was basically ignored, was responsible for an explosion in the Upper Big Branch Mine, Montcoal, WV (about 30 miles south of Charleston.)
29 miners died.
Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, issued this statement:
“One year ago today, an explosion in the Upper Big Branch Mine took the lives of 29 miners in the worst mine disaster in 40 years. Mine safety and health took on new meaning as we witnessed the devastation and pain of the families, friends and communities of the miners who perished in that catastrophe.
“The anniversary of that tragedy brings us fresh resolve to see that an accident of this magnitude never happens again.
“Over the past year, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has been fulfilling the commitment President Obama made to honor those miners and their families by ensuring justice is served on their behalf and taking action so that an accident like this never happens again. As the anniversary of this tragedy so vividly reminds us, we in the mining community must continue to work tirelessly to ensure that miners go to work and return home safe and healthy to family and friends, every shift of every day.”
Upper Big Branch had a history of serious problems. In 2009, Massey Energy, was fined a total of $382,000 for “serious” unrepentant violations for lacking ventilation and proper equipment plans as well as failing to utilize its safety plan properly. The month before, authorities cited the mine for 57 safety infractions. Upper Big Branch received two citations the day before the explosion and in the last five years has been cited for 1,342 safety violations. The CEO of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship, has received criticism for his apparent disregard of safety. The Upper Big Branch Mine-South, where the explosion occurred, has been in operation since October 1994. Between 2000 and 2009, two fatalities occurred at this mine.
Yet mining went on as usual and an explosion occurred on April 5, 2010. It is not yet certain what the actual cause was, though a methane explosion, largely preventable by proper ventilation, is being closely examined. Federal regulators had ordered portions of the mine closed 60 times over the year preceding the explosion. In addition, the FBI has reportedly also launched a probe, investigating possible criminal wrongdoing at the mine, including criminal negligence and possible bribery of federal regulators.
- “Never again: Learning from Upper Big Branch” and related posts (blogs.wvgazette.com)
- Judges Leaning Toward Massey in Upper Big Branch Case (nytimes.com)
- “Massey Disaster: Will corporate officials be held accountable?” and related posts (blogs.wvgazette.com)
- West Virginia Mine Disaster: One Year Later, Safety Overhaul Stalled (huffingtonpost.com)
- W. Va. Mine Tragedy: ‘No Peace’ (abcnews.go.com)
- 1 year after blast, big changes for W.Va. mining (cbsnews.com)
- 29 killed in West Virginia mine to be remembered 1 year after blast (cnn.com)
- Feds: tougher laws needed to improve mine safety (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
This is a sure sign of the economic miasma the Middle Class remains in… The original Stooges were both a commentary on and an escape from the disaster of The Depression.
“There will be non-stop slapping, more in the tone of Dumb and Dumber than anything else we’ve done. Our goal is 85 minutes of laughs in a film that will be very respectful of who the Stooges were. It’s by far the riskiest project we’ve ever done, without question, but it is also the one closest to our hearts.”
– Peter Farrelly
- Sean Hayes: Larry Fine in ‘Three Stooges’! (justjared.buzznet.com)
- Sean Hayes cast as Larry in ‘The Three Stooges’ (insidemovies.ew.com)
- Sean Hayes Is Larry in THE THREE STOOGES (collider.com)
- Will Sasso resurfaces as a frontrunner for Farrelly’s THREE STOOGES (geektyrant.com)
- Will Sasso Is Curly in THE THREE STOOGES; Hank Azaria and James Marsden the Frontrunners to Play Moe and Larry (collider.com)
- Three Stooges Is Still Happening…But Who Will Star? (perezhilton.com)