Thursday, April 24, 2008


Photo Creative Commons

Where do we go from here?


John G. said...

Totally cool...when did you do this? Some guy from Oregon just released a study showing how universal healthcare could be accomplished at a fraction of today's cost and still cover everyone. The problem with any plan being proposed is we do not have the healthcare infrastructure to back it up and it leaves door to door salesman in control, doomed for failure before we even vote... Interesting- If you dig a tunnel through the center of the earth, climbed into a capsule and dropped through, you would reach the other side in 42(forty two) minutes before the capsule would reverse course back to the other side and repeat itself, it would continue to do this 4 ever...42?

Richard Yarnell said...

That "some guy" must be John Kitzhaber, former governor and, before that, Oregon Senate President who obtained waivers from the Feds which allowed Oregon to establish the Oregon Health Plan. He's got juice, as an Emergency Room physician and surgeon, knows whereof he speaks.

I've posted this URL before and suggest that you take a look at one of the most effective presentations relating to financing and delivering health care that you'll ever see.

What you want to watch first is the 44 minute lecture "...A call to action."

Richard Yarnell said...

Regarding travel through the center of the earth:

Assuming that molten magma in the center of the earth, size is still uncertain, but it's at least a couple of thousand miles in diameter and is responsible for our magnetic poles, there's the problem of friction. Without additional energy being added to the system, you'd never make it to the surface and would oscillate back and forth until you ended up in that hellish region in the middle.

Thought you might like to consider the hazards before you spend the money digging the hole. ;)

Richard Yarnell said...
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Richard Yarnell said...
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Richard Yarnell said...
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Richard Yarnell said...

The deleted posts were duplicates that spontaneously appeared. I think it happened when I tried to back out after posting. Sorry for the clutter.

John G. said...

Whoever said you did not have a sense of humour? I have no intention of digging a hole to anywhere...history channel...Thanx for the link.

John G. said...

Also, I do not believe there is molten magma at the center of the earth, considering the intense pressure and heat, my bet is on exotic superheated crystals. I also speculate light is not not escaping from dark matter rather reflecting in on itself similar to an implosion. As always I have no proof, just woke up and posted a thought...good night.

Cheryl said...

I thought the inner core was solid. It's surrounded by a molten outer core.

Richard Yarnell said...

That's true. The core is divided into two sections, the inner core and the outer core. The inner core, thought to be almost pure iron, is assumed to be solid while the outer core, a mixture of nickel and iron, is assumed to be molten.

However you divvy it up, it's inhospitably hot down there.


Cheryl said...

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest consumer price index. They're not even trying to be believable any more.

"On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI-U advanced 0.2 percent in April, following a 0.3 percent increase in March."

"The transportation index declined 0.7 percent in April, reflecting a 2.0 percent DECREASE in the index for gasoline."

"Gasoline prices ROSE 5.6 percent in April. Compared to a year ago, these prices were up 20.9 percent. Gasoline prices increase seasonally during the first five months of the year, with the largest increases occurring in March and April and decline seasonally for the remainder of the year."

Cheryl said...

The NY Times is reporting that some health insurance companies are reluctant to cover women who have had a Caesarean. Unless they get sterilized first.
How low can they go?

John G. said...

Interesting...reminds me of a recent article about the # of healthcare providers that shadow leaders of government due in part to the effect on the economy if they fall ill. yet a 6% drop in the stock market is insignificant compared to the effects of 48 million uninsured and possibly twice that underinsured on the economy (has anyone ever crunched them numbers?)...Oh well, It's like a driving new car, we can't possibly miss it if we have never drove one. Maybe after November our leaders will start to see what we've all been missing...thanx for the link.

John G. said...

Guess this site has been abandoned?
Kinda sad really...we were just warming up...If there is one thing I personally like about Obama other than his tenacity it is his attitude..."Well, if you want to talk about ?, I welcome the debate"
He is very presidential & can be very intimidating to our "enemies"
He gives off a unique air of confidence. A trait he shares with Bush...calm down christopher...He earned a new appreciation (in my opinion) with his recent "stumble?" about listening to his generals, it showed in a weird way he is not naive. Just wish one or both candidates would give us some idea what they intend to do with healthcare other than mandate profits for insurance companies...

Richard Yarnell said...

No, JG, not abandoned, just too much moving and getting ready to rae the house.

Obama, wrong guy at this time: wrong side of faith based; appalling decision on FISA; wrong on tax revenue - the list goes on.

But mostly, we've wasted a huge asset that is Hillary. His time should have been in 8 years!


Cheryl said...

It's been a busy summer, and I haven't had a lot to say.

Obama - the best option available. Great speeches. He is capable of inspiring action to improve the country, but I'm not holding my breath.

Since Obama doesn't have a chance in Alabama, I have been considering a write in for Edwards or Nader. The protest vote might do some good.

Richard Yarnell said...

Please, not Nader. He's become a wing nut. Edwards does have serious programs to offer and is a fine protest vote. If it were my vote, I'd probably pencil in Gore's name.


deb said...

Cheryl and JG...congrats on getting high speed. I miss high speed.

JG, I don't think that I got that e you refer to on "random musings".

Congrats on getting the house started Richard.

My focus has been on getting progressives elected to Congress.
Progressive Democrats of America

Encouraging support of HR 676
HealthCare Now (plenty of downloads to share at this site)

And promoting energy alternatives. I've become aquainted with the head of our 11 county electric co-op and been able to provide information that the co-op wasn't aware of. The top people of the co-op are invited to an annual 3 day energy seminar (at a resort) where they are told that alternatives just can't compete financially and "clean" coal and nuclear are the future at least for the next 25 years. But, I have been able to share what other companies/countries are doing in the alternative field. The company chairman is even getting Energy Daily in his inbox every day (thanks JG).

I (naturally) will vote Obama/Biden of the DCC Washington insider camp. But if we can get enough progressives in Congress we might be able to make some of the necessary changes to how our nation functions. Cities, counties and states have a lot of pull also.

Cheryl, you are probably right about Alabama, but if the black vote turnout is extremely high then I do believe that Obama has a chance even in Alabama. I'd think twice before throwing that vote away.

John G. said...

Ted Kennedy has never been one of my favorite people, then again, most of what we hear in Ga. is filtered. That speech last night at the DNC...WOW! Goosebumps, dude was awesome.He is now one of my favorite people, YES, he did. Mrs. Obama? Never really listened to her before then, Chic gets it! Yes she does. Other than that the convention is lacking pizazz. The convention is the last best chance for people to see how the administration will run...let's party!

deb said...

I've been watching the convention on C-Span. I just can't take the mainstream media because it is so irritating for the talking heads to tell me that what I heard wasn't "really" what was said.

My friend James sent me an e which explains my opinion fairly succinctly:

"I've been saying all along that having a Democratic POTUS is necessary, but having a veto-proof Progressive Congress is THE brass ring. That will be the only thing to reverse the mess we've been drawn into over the last 30 years.

The next job will be to keep them honest, lest we wind up in the same pendulum-swing mess we did the last time. K Street must be shut down and the Fairness Doctrine needs to be put back in place. Hate Radio must go. The Oil Mafia and the Bush CIA has to be shut down. The corrupted Pentagon needs to be swept clean. The military needs to be rebuilt. Our infrastructure needs attention. Banks are failing left, right and center. The Federal Reserve needs to be brought under government control and out of private hands.

And we've got Gustav on the way with the mess from Katrina still untouched.

In short, there's a mess everywhere we look and it will take a strong Progressive Congress WITH the megaphone to counter the screeching the right is going to put up. They're going to blame it all on us, you watch. The next four years, we'll have to be stronger and tougher than ever. If we thought the last eight were something, hide 'n' watch.

Heads up, shoulders back, keep walkin'. We ARE the better team."

Cheryl said...

How many hurricans are we going to have during the Republican convention?
Maybe someone is trying to tell them something.

Cheryl said...

No one has brought John Edwards up since the scandal. So I'll break the ice.
He's a just another politician, so I don't care all that much about his personal failings.

I am very disappointed in what he has done to populism. There are so few voices that at least talk about populist ideals. After his round of lying & trying to cover-up, it seems like no one wants to touch the populist label.

dan said...

Looks like I've been out of touch too long. I had to google "POTUS".

Patty and I attended a campaign event yesterday featuring Joe Biden. We listened to a his stump speech and got to shake his hand afterwords. He was articulate and passionate. I believe he's fully competent to step in as President if need be.

I spent a great deal of time and energy on the Aug. primary where we had some local office holders that made GWB look brillant and needed ousting. The results went well and the four got beat. I wish I could be as sucessful on a national level.

Obama wasn't my first choice but I'm on board and will work hard to get him elected. I believe the Palin/McCain ticket will get beat rather soundly. I know because I can practically see the White House from my front porch.

You're a great group. Hope you're all well!

Cheryl said...

Cool. It must be nice to live in a place where your vote counts. Biden is one of the better politicians.

I'm not so sure that they would like my slogan;

Obama/Biden -- WAY better than the other guys!

John G. said...

I think if your counting on McCain Palin to get beat rather soundly you are in for a grand awakening...especially considering the # of voting machines that are reported to be inaccurate & those are the one's being reported. Obama was gaining strength even in GA. then he again exercised bad judgment & picked Biden over Clinton & everyone knew it was personal. Hillary tries to preach unity yet her very demeanor changed. Biden is divisive as they come & voters have a hard time believing you can unify a nation when you cannot even genuinely unify your party...If you expect to help him win, he must understand as all American families do, the Healthcare industry is the root & answer to all our nations ills & no candidate is addressing the issue in a way most Americans can understand. We hear about the Iraq war, we hear about the economy, but the average Jane does not live in nor understand that world, healthcare is universal, and one issue everyone understands. Ben Franklin invented insurance so people would not lose everything they own in times of catastrophe, 200 plus years later you near about lose everything you own to have insurance & it is handing us one catastrophe after the other...
Moral of the story: Don't order your new carpeting yet...The best is yet to come & if Obama does not find a way to get Sen. Clinton back out front he will most certainly lose in Nov. bet on it.

Cheryl said...

A very good question:

What are the alternatives to a bailout?
What if the government were to take the $700 billion to $1.5 trillion set aside for the bailout and put that money into programs to help those hardest-hit by the meltdown and Americans in general?

Richard Yarnell said...

We're having that discussion on my college class list which is shot through with former WMF, US government economists and an even larger cohort of academic economists. We've been getting a steady diet of Jamie Galbraiths stuff before it's published. If you put it all together, we're getting an education. Still there are us holdouts who say we want equity for our contribution (Buffet gets his when he puts down $5 Billion); we don't want a repeat of the Homeland Security debacle which removed both congressional and judicial oversight) we want a sunset provision, and we want a lot more regulation of the kind that the Treasury Secretary actively worked to eliminate. In short, we want a return to much more conservative trading regulations.

Others of us want to see the money used to indirectly feed the banks through salaries for those people who are in danger of losing their homes (in reality only a small portion of the credit crunch - only about 3% of mortgage loans are in trouble. My personal opinion is that they should be renegotiation along more traditional lines in lieu of a bailout.) Put most of the $7-800 Billion into suspended public works (infrastructure repair, not new projects) that exist in every state and community. They are engineered and ready to go if/when funding is available. It might take a little longer for the recovery to take hold, but that wouldn't be a bad lesson for everyone.


Cheryl said...

I miss Molly Ivins.

"The House passed (by one vote) a bill to eliminate barriers between banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies. This sets up financial holding companies that can offer all three types of services simultaneously. The most obvious risk is that a blunder in the insurance or brokerage end of the business could bring down a bank, putting insured deposits at risk. The taxpayers, of course, then wind up with the tab, as we did with the savings-and-loan mess."

Molly Ivins / September 23, 1998
Thanks to Harry Edwards and the Austin Chronicle.

John G. said...

I have a stupid question...
I work & spend my days near a major middle Ga. election office, as a result I have an unusual view of our democracy at work & often times make observations in passing, here's one...
4 years ago we had early voting a week before the 2004 Presidential election & before long it was like WOW! That's a lot of people! They were people that you would normally expect to vote all things considered. They drove newer model Yukon’s & hummers, clean cut, dressed nice, middle class professionals, One could probably sum it all up by saying they were the typical American diverse middle class bunch going to vote. The 2008 early voting started 6 weeks out & it has been like HOLY SHIT! I will not waste a lot of time explaining the turnout & the diversity of the people, most who read this all ready know. But what they are saying as they stand in line & wait to vote is intriguing. The vast majority are voting for the first time because they want their presidential candidate to win at any cost, regardless if that vote finds its roots in hope or fear. Guess it is the times we live in…Here is my stupid question, 1 in 3 new voter’s request assistance with the voting machine’s, once they insert their card & successfully cast a vote for President they feel good, excited & empowered. They want their votes counted & then they want the quickest way out of the booth because they do not understand all that other crap on the ballot, they just leave it blank & log out. Jump back to the typical American diverse middle class bunch going to vote, their pissed off at congress which is dominated by Democrats & basically want any incumbent out, they know who they are & where to find them on the ballot. Some of these typical American diverse middle class bunch going to vote do not normally vote every election. Now for the stupid question…What are the chances all these new Voters that are motivating the typical American diverse middle class bunch who want to balance the vote, to go vote & then walking out after a vote for only President is cast are actually helping to cost democrats the majority in congress? Told you it was a stupid question…

Richard Yarnell said...

Not a stupid observation at all.

The people who are getting the word that we either need a 60 vote Senate are the party regulars, not the new voters. It's a defect in the system that preaches to the choir.

I don't know what the GOP is doing on that score in order to keep the advantage under 60 votes.


Cheryl said...

The Republicans have pretty much decided that McCain can't win. They are putting out ads for Congressional races saying vote for the Republican so the Democrats don't get both branches.

This morning I heard a McCain ad saying vote for me so that I can balance the Democratic Congress.

It's every man for himself.

Richard Yarnell said...

The ball's in our court - or, be careful what you wish for.

John G. said...

I have an overwhelming sense that the turbulence which lies ahead for our new President is not what he & the DNC have prepared for & will not even be of human orgin...not even close. I have not had this feeling since the few days before the top Ideas were posted on SSB. I have been wrong before, hopefully this is one of those times...Good luck & Good job all, it's been educational, fun & for once in my adult life I feel as if I were a part of something that changed things for the better.

deb said...

Hi Ya'll,

WOW, what an election cycle. I've poured my heart into the last 5 election cycles and this one finally paid off. But what a train wreck they will be inheriting:-(

Did you see Obama on Sixty Minutes last night? It feels soooo good to know that our next Prez is human and cares about the human condition!!!

Thoughts on the bailout: I remember that someone we blogged with at SSB said that the neocons wanted gov't so small that they could "drown it in a bathtub". I remember Dan talking about the US financial system as a "house of cards". Were the bubbles intentional? Does the bailout make sure that the "powers" that have created the current failed system (i.e., Ayn Rand followers) hand themselves a golden parachute to use until they can buy up our government again? Or, alternately, is the bailout a way of keeping Obama from having the money needed to create the green economy, provide healthcare for all, and invest in our infrastructure?

Interesting gizmo at

Right-Wing talk radio confessions.

I totally agree about this group. You all have been a good friends that have shown me my strengths and weaknesses, which enabled me to venture into the real world armed with a clearer understanding of how to do what I feel needs done. Thanks!

BTW, JG, I'll be in Atl. after Thanksgiving to get out the vote for Martin. I hope we will be able to get dems to the polls for the do-over election.

Election night a negative fog dissipated. I feel "lighter" and the air feels "purer".

deb said...

Oh, patting myself on the back a bit: Madison County election results. I live in a county that is mostly poor, white and thrives by listening to right-wing talk radio and O'Really. We did pretty good and garnered many many more Obama votes than was expected! Check out the voter turnout (I know it is better in OR, but this is very good for us)

We would have done better, but the NC voting machine didn't vote for POTUS if you checked the dem strait party ticket, you had to vote for the Prez separately. (Those repubs really are sneaky, and have a handle on human behavior)

John G. said...

I may be there as well as I believe my oldest will be at Emory, E me & if possible you may be able to meet the Fam if you have time.
Saxby is becoming a vocal advocate for the fair tax, That maybe to Martins advantage. Here is a question I have put on local chat boards that noone pro or con can answer about the fair tax, the only good thing about that is when I propose the question pro's quit calling me names & promptly change the subject. argument:
If a Fair tax is passed rich people & drug dealers will have to pay taxes just like everyone else, leveling the playing field for everyone while giving the government more money than they know what to do with.
Drug dealers do not get a prebate now & generally do not show an income greater than poverty level for obvious reasons, after the fair tax is passed they will get a monthly prebate check, is this FAIR?
If a rich person or drug dealer buy a $50,000 car they will generally pay cash & pay the tax in the process yet the middle class will undoubtedly finance the car & pay the tax as well, yet they will also pay interest on the fair tax as well as the principal on the loan. end of the day they are paying more. is this FAIR?
Obama looks tired since the election, can't we let him sneak off & get some rest before he takes office...keep him sharp?

President Elect Obama needs to focus on healthcare & all other issues will resolve themselves not to mention some GOP die hards will flip to his favor, although the curtains will be drawn when they do...

"Were the bubbles intentional? Does the bailout make sure that the "powers" that have created the current failed system (i.e., Ayn Rand followers) hand themselves a golden parachute to use until they can buy up our government again? Or, alternately, is the bailout a way of keeping Obama from having the money needed to create the green economy, provide healthcare for all, and invest in our infrastructure?"

Many down here believe the same thing & are still scratching their heads as to why Paulson has so much authority over the 700 billion & even more so why is he still there? The whole thing would have had more credibilty had he been replaced.

The 'Republican for a Reason" website does not work, They are their own worst enemy...

Take care all

Cheryl said...

I have a brilliant idea on my blog.

Fix the Deficit with Senate Confirmation Hearings

The Confirmation Hearings for Geitner & Daschle have highlighted a problem that is not mentioned very often. Rich people can get away with not paying taxes because the IRS does not have the funding to do thorough audits. When nominated for high government office, they suddenly remember the taxes they should have paid.

Unfortunately, an extra hundred thousand dollars here and there doesn't really make much of a dent in our deficit. So I had another thought.

Corporations are people. We could get billions of dollars in back taxes with the right nominations. I'll start the list;

Exxon - Energy Secretary
Microsoft - Commerce Secretary
Halliburton - Defense Secretary

John G. said...

That is too funny...

Cheryl said...

Hello world.
This is a test.