Biblical References on Capitalism
The "Bankers' Cradle"
Our Refrigerator Door
Will Health-Care Law Beget Entrepreneurs?
By EMILY MALTBY and ANGUS LOTEN
May 8, 2013
Thousands of would-be entrepreneurs are itching to start their own businesses, but many are shackled to their current employer by health-care benefits they don't think they could otherwise afford. Economists call this phenomenon "job lock," or "entrepreneurship lock."
But the pressure some Americans feel to cling to a corporate job chiefly for the health insurance could, conceivably, ease in coming years. Under provisions of the health-care law, new-business owners will be able to get coverage through public marketplaces, or "exchanges," beginning in October, for policies that will take effect starting in January.
If the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, is implemented as intended, these exchanges could let entrepreneurs buy insurance at reasonable rates, regardless of their health histories. That's far from a sure bet, however, given evidence that premiums for some people—particularly the young and healthy—could rise under the law.
The Obama administration has touted a boost for entrepreneurship as one of the health-care law's key benefits. The Kauffman-RAND Institute for Entrepreneurship Public Policy in Santa Monica, Calif., says the law could increase the number of new U.S. businesses by as much as 33% over several years.
Hospital Prices No Longer Secret As New Data Reveals Bewildering System, Staggering Cost Differences
When a patient arrives at Bayonne Hospital Center in New Jersey requiring treatment for the respiratory ailment known as COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she faces an official price tag of $99,690.
Less than 30 miles away in the Bronx, N.Y., the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center charges only $7,044 for the same treatment, according to a massive federal database of national health care costs made public on Wednesday.
Americans have long become accustomed to bewilderment and anxiety when confronting health care bills. The new database underscores why, revealing the perplexing assortment of prices for medical care, with the details of bills seemingly untethered to any graspable principle.
Three New Facts About the Tea Party
April 29, 2013
The first large-scale political-science survey of Tea Party activists shows the movement isn't going anywhere—and the GOP had better brace itself.
For a movement that’s helped to reshape the Republican Party—and by extension, reshape American politics—we know shockingly little about the people who make up the Tea Party. While some in the GOP once hoped to co-opt the movement, it’s increasingly unclear which group—the Tea Party or establishment Republicans—is running the show. Politicians have largely relied on conjecture and assumption to determine the positions and priorities of Tea Party activists.
Until now. The results of the first political science survey of Tea Party activists show that the constituency isn’t going away any time soon—and Republicans hoping the activists will begin to moderate their stances should prepare for disappointment. Based out of the College of William and Mary, the report surveyed more than 11,000 members of FreedomWorks, one of the largest and most influential Tea Party groups. The political scientists also relied on a separate survey of registered voters through the YouGov firm to compare those who identified with the Tea Party movement to those Republicans who did not. (Disclosure: The political scientist leading the survey was my father, Ronald Rapoport, with whom I worked in writing this piece.)
Dollar Bills, Where They Move, And What It Shows About Idaho’s Ties To Other States
April 18, 2013
By Molly Messick
There’s a discussion we have from time to time in the Boise State Public Radio newsroom, about geography and how we cover the news. In many respects — politically, for example — Idaho has more in common with the Rocky Mountain States that lie to its east and south than it does with its neighbors to the west. On the other hand, a lot of transplants to the state come from Washington and California.
Bailed-Out Banks Used Billions Meant For Small Business Aid To Repay TARP Funds: Watchdog
WASHINGTON -- A government watchdog says that 137 community banks used $2.1 billion from a special fund aimed at boosting lending to small businesses to repay their bailouts from the financial crisis.
A report issued Tuesday by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program says the bailed-out community banks didn't step up their loans to small business nearly as much as other small banks that weren't rescued. Some banks that used the small-business lending fund to repay bailouts didn't increase lending at all, while others increased loans to small business by 25 cents for every $1 from the fund.
Congress created the small-business lending fund in 2010 to encourage banks with less than $10 billion in assets to expand their lending to small businesses. At a time of economic distress, the aim was to help small businesses get capital that had become difficult for them to obtain. The loan program charged the community banks lower interest rates if they used the money for loans to small businesses.
David Stockman, Ex-Reagan Budget Director: George W. Bush's Policies Bankrupt The Country
A former adviser of Ronald Reagan has some choice words for George W. Bush.
David Stockman, Reagan’s budget director from 1981 to 1985, slammed Bush and his former boss in an op-ed in The New York Times Sunday. Stockman argued in the piece that Reagan’s view on the deficit “created a template for the Republicans’ utter abandonment of the balanced-budget policies of Calvin Coolidge.”
“(Reagan’s deficit policies) allowed George W. Bush to dive into the deep end, bankrupting the nation through two misbegotten and unfinanced wars, a giant expansion of Medicare and a tax-cutting spree for the wealthy that turned K Street lobbyists into the de facto office of national tax policy,” Stockman wrote.
Stockman, also a former Republican congressman from Michigan, resigned from Reagan’s administration in 1985 in protest over deficit spending. Bush and Reagan aren’t Stockman’s only targets in the piece; he attacks lawmakers, Federal Reserve and Treasury officials and Wall Street for a combination of easy money and deficit expanding policies that he argues will lead to another Wall Street bubble explosion in the near future.
Losing my religion for equality,,,
by Jimmy Carter
Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.
25 January 2013
I HAVE been a practicing Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.
,,,The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Cheating Our Children
Published: March 28, 2013
,,, And why are we shortchanging the future so dramatically and inexcusably? Blame the deficit scolds, who weep crocodile tears over the supposed burden of debt on the next generation, but whose constant inveighing against the risks of government borrowing, by undercutting political support for public investment and job creation, has done far more to cheat our children than deficits ever did.
Fiscal policy is, indeed, a moral issue, and we should be ashamed of what we’re doing to the next generation’s economic prospects. But our sin involves investing too little, not borrowing too much — and the deficit scolds, for all their claims to have our children’s interests at heart, are actually the bad guys in this story.
21 graphs that show America’s
health-care prices are ludicrous
Posted by Ezra Klein on March 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm
Every year, the International Federation of Health Plans — a global insurance trade association that includes more than 100 insurers in 25 countries — releases survey data showing the prices that insurers are actually paying for different drugs, devices, and medical services in different countries. And every year, the data is shocking.
The IFHP just released the data for 2012. And yes, once again, the numbers are shocking.
This is the fundamental fact of American health care: We pay much, much more than other countries do for the exact same things. For a detailed explanation of why, see this article. But this post isn’t about the why. It’s about the prices, and the graphs.
Justin Welby Installed as 105th Archbishop of Canterbury
BY TREVOR GRUNDY | CANTERBURY, England
(RNS) Justin Welby, the 57-year old former oil executive who quit the world of high finance in 1992 to become a priest, was enthroned Thursday (March 21) as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the world’s 77 million Anglicans,,,
,,,Thursday’s ceremony marked the second major transfer of power this week, coming two days after Pope Francis was formally installed at the Vatican. The men sent greetings to each other.
The new archbishop smiled and occasionally laughed as he watched African Anglicans dance and sing. Another group from India read poetry and a Christian group from Burundi in central Africa blessed the new church leader. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the only woman to lead a national branch of the Anglican Communion, also attended.
Many in the British press speculated over the role of a woman, Archdeacon Sheila Watson, in formally installing Welby in the Canterbury throne. Cathedral spokesman Christopher Robinson said there’s no larger message to read into Watson’s role. “The Archdeacon of Canterbury has always fulfilled this part of the ceremony,” he said. “At this enthronement, the person involved simply happens to be a woman
Eye On Boise
Bedke: ‘Very, very significant property tax relief’ with Medicaid expansion, but no time to ‘vet’ this year'
Posted by Betsy March 22, 2013 5:35 p.m.
The House and Senate Health & Welfare committees heard rather stunning figures from state Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong and others this morning, including this one: A University of Idaho economist estimates that Idaho’s economy would get a $9.2 billion boost over the next 10 years if Idaho opted for Medicaid expansion this year. The state budget would save $649 million, county property taxpayers would save $478 million, and the new federal funds coming into the state would generate $614 million in new state tax revenues and economic activity. Subtract out program costs and the net savings to the state budget plus new revenues come to $699 million.
Published by Randy Stapilus, March 17, 2013
No one living in Idaho or in other states should be unaware how the cost of health care, and insurance for it, has ballooned in the last few decades, driving people into individual ruin and straining businesses and other organizations (and economic recovery). A brush with a hospital is flirtation with bankruptcy – and it has meant bankruptcy for many. That’s true even for the insured, who find their protections eroding each year. And the number of uninsured sits at about 16 percent of all people nationally, 18 percent in Idaho (21 percent among those 64 and younger). This is an enormous problem.
There is no one cause and no one answer. One tactic intended to help, one that makes use of a marketplace, is an insurance exchange: An organization allowing buyers of insurance to shop around, compare costs and benefits and get assistance, in a way they haven’t been able to. Such a plan was built into the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and in it states were given the option to set up exchanges.
That’s the background for House Bill 248, which would establish by the state of Idaho an exchange aimed at helping consumers of health insurance to locate and buy appropriate policies. Alternatively, the feds would establish one in Idaho. The bill passed 41-29, after more than seven hours of debate.
You might suppose that long debate, one of Idaho’s longest legislative debates in decades, would have centered on the problems and costs of health care and insurance. You would suppose wrong.
The bill’s stated “purpose and intent” begins, “It is the public policy of the state of Idaho to actively resist federal actions that would limit or override state sovereignty under the 10th amendment of the United States constitution. Through this legislation, the state of Idaho asserts its sovereignty %u2026”
Top 10 Conservative Myths!
Conservative Success is based on two things: You forgetting their sorry history, and swallowing down these whoppers!
The troubling things I learned when I re-reported Bob Woodward’s book on John Belushi.
By Tanner Colby|Posted Tuesday, March 12, 2013
A little more than a week ago, during an interview with Politico, Bob Woodward came forward to claim he’d been threatened in an email by a “senior White House official” for daring to reveal certain details about the negotiations over the budget sequester. The White House responded by releasing the email exchange Woodward was referring to, which turned out to be nothing more than a cordial exchange between the reporter and Obama’s economic adviser, Gene Sperling, who was clearly implying nothing more than that Woodward would “regret” taking a position that would soon be shown to be false.
A rather trivial scandal, but the incident did manage to raise important questions about Woodward’s behavior. Was he cynically trumping up the administration’s “threat,” or does he just not know how to read an email? Pretty soon, those questions tipped over into the standard Beltway discussion that transpires anytime Woodward does anything. How accurate is his reporting? Does he deserve his legendary status?
I believe I can offer some interesting answers to those questions. Thirty-one years ago, on March 5, 1982, Saturday Night Live and Animal House star John Belushi died of a drug overdose at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles—which, bear with me a moment, has more to do with the current coverage of the budget sequester than you might initially think.*
Census: Record 1 In 3 Counties Now Dying Off, Hit By Aging Population, Weakened Local Economies
By HOPE YEN 03/14/13
WASHINGTON — A record number of U.S. counties – more than 1 in 3 – are now dying off, hit by an aging population and weakened local economies that are spurring young adults to seek jobs and build families elsewhere.
New 2012 census estimates released Thursday highlight the population shifts as the U.S. encounters its most sluggish growth levels since the Great Depression.
The findings also reflect the increasing economic importance of foreign-born residents as the U.S. ponders an overhaul of a major 1965 federal immigration law. Without new immigrants, many metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and St. Louis would have posted flat or negative population growth in the last year.
"Immigrants are innovators, entrepreneurs, they're making things happen. They create jobs," said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, at an immigration conference in his state last week. Saying Michigan should be a top destination for legal immigrants to come and boost Detroit and other struggling areas, Snyder made a special appeal: "Please come here."
Read Time's article the "Bitter Pill" to get a fuller perspective on why your medical and insurance bills and so high.
Authoritarians at the Gate
"Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire." - Robert A. Heinlein
Dec 13, 2012
,,, In order to appreciate the implications of Hetherington and Weiler's findings, one must understand authoritarianism and authoritarians. So what are they?
Authoritarianism is a worldview: a core set of beliefs, personal ethics, personal value system and emotions. Psychologist Karen Stenner  describes authoritarianism this way:
In the end, then, authoritarianism is far more than a personal distaste for difference . . . It becomes a normative "worldview" about the social value of obedience and conformity (or freedom and difference), the prudent and just balance between group authority and individual autonomy (Duckitt, 1989), and the appropriate uses of (or limits on) that authority. This worldview induces both personal coercion of and bias against different others (racial and ethnic outgroups, political dissidents, moral "deviants") as well as political demands for authoritative constraints on their behavior. The latter will typically include legal discrimination against minorities and restrictions on immigration, limits on free speech and association, and the regulation of moral behavior, for example, via policies regarding school prayer, abortion, censorship, and homosexuality, and their punitive enforcement.And authoritarians:
Authoritarians prove to be relentlessly "sociotropic" boundary-maintainers, norm-enforcers, and cheerleaders for authority, whose classic defensive stances are activated by the experience or perception of threat to those boundaries, norms, and authorities. Those are the critical conditions to which authoritarians are eternally attentive. The perceived loss of those conditions—via disaffection with leaders, or divided public opinion—is the catalyst that activates these latent predispositions and provokes their increased manifestation in racial, political, and moral intolerance (and its corollary: punitiveness). This is the authoritarian’s classic "defensive arsenal," concerned with differentiating and defending "us", in conditions that appear to threaten "us", by excluding and discriminating against "them": racial and ethnic minorities, political dissidents, and moral "deviants." In conditions of normative threat, authoritarian fears are alleviated by defense of the collective "normative order": positive differentiation of the ingroup, devaluation of and discrimination against outgroups, obedience to authorities, conformity with rules and norms, and intolerance and punishment of those who fail to obey and conform.
Idaho's wages have stagnated for three decades. Here's why.
Idaho wages trail the rest of the country and one way out is to get more education.
Published: February 5, 2013
By Bill Roberts — email@example.com
For the past three decades, Idaho’s wages barely exceeded inflation. Getting into that pit took time; so will getting out.
In 1977, Idaho’s average wage was 88 percent of the national average.
Then, in the 1980s, the decline started. According to the Idaho Department of Labor, the state’s average fell to 76 percent of the national average by 2010.
Today, despite decades of economic development efforts, Idahoans’ wages regularly show up near — or at — the bottom of 50-state wage rankings.
Who Needs to Win to Win?
Can a party rule by capturing most of the country but less than half of the people? We might be about to find out.
By Jonathan Chait Published Feb 3, 2013
In the immediate aftermath of last November’s election, the Republican Party, snapped suddenly out of the self-delusion of imminent victory promulgated by the Karl Roves and Dick Morrises of their party, came face-to-face with grim reality: Most of America hated them. And the Americans who didn’t hate them were dying off at a disconcerting pace. Something, nearly everybody both inside and outside the party agreed, would have to be done to rehabilitate the party brand. These were the choices: change, or continue to lose.
Since the New Year, though, a third possibility has emerged. What if Republicans don’t compromise with public opinion, but also don’t lose?
A glimpse of such a future came slowly into view in the weeks following the election, when Republican legislators in Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio floated, with varying levels of commitment, a plan to rig the Electoral College. Each of those states voted for Obama, yet Republicans controlled each of their state governments. The plan would entail allocating the electoral vote in each state not in a lump sum to the candidate who gets more votes, but piecemeal, to the winner of each congressional district.
The GOP’s electoral vote problem —
and 4 ways to fix it
Posted by Chris Cillizza on February 4, 2013
In our Monday newspaper column, we detailed Republicans’ mounting problems with the electoral map. The math is daunting: Over the past six elections – from 1992-2012 — the Republican presidential nominee has averaged 210 electoral votes while the Democratic nominee has averaged 327 electoral votes. The last time a Republican nominee got more than 300 electoral votes was 1988.
Given that reality and the changing demographic nature of the country, it seems apparent that Republicans need to re-think their approach to the map in 2016 and beyond. We outlined four ideas on how to do that in our piece.
The NRA vs. America
How the country’s biggest gun-rights group thwarts regulation and helps put military-grade weapons in the hands of killers
By Tim Dickinson
January 31, 2013 10:00 AM ET
Eleven days after the massacre, Wayne LaPierre – a lifelong political operative who had steadied the National Rifle Association through many crises – stood before an American flag and soberly addressed the nation about firearms and student safety: "We believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America's schools, period," LaPierre said, carving out a "rare exception" for professional law enforcement. LaPierre even proposed making the mere mention of the word "guns" in schools a crime: "Such behavior in our schools should be prosecuted just as certainly as such behavior in our airports is prosecuted," LaPierre said.
This speech wasn't delivered in an alternate universe. The date was May 1st, 1999, at the NRA's national convention in Denver. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's rampage at Columbine High School in nearby Littleton, Colorado, had just killed 13 students and teachers, shocking the conscience of the nation.
Income Tax Could Be Eliminated By Many Republican-Controlled States
Posted: 01/13/2013 6:59 am EST
Thirty-seven of the 50 states now have single-party control of legislatures and governorships: 25 Republican, 12 Democratic. In those states, unlike Capitol Hill, partisan gridlock is not a big issue, making difficult projects such as tax reform easier.
In addition, new ideas look attractive in states that have suffered for years from high unemployment and tight revenue
"We have no choice but to make change," said Bob Rucho, a Republican state senator in solidly Republican North Carolina, who is leading a push in that state for major tax changes.
Rucho and other like-minded lawmakers have a plan to do away with all state individual and corporate income taxes. The plan would replace lost revenue with a new business license fee and a higher sales tax on goods and services not now taxed by the state, such as legal, accounting and spa services, and food.
In his inaugural address on Saturday, Republican North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory promised to work with business "as partners" to eliminate taxes and regulation that stifle growth.
The Militia Act of 1792, Passed May 8, 1792, providing federal standards for the organization of the Militia.
An ACT more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States.
I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act. And it shall at all time hereafter be the duty of every such Captain or Commanding Officer of a company, to enroll every such citizen as aforesaid, and also those who shall, from time to time, arrive at the age of 18 years, or being at the age of 18 years, and under the age of 45 years (except as before excepted) shall come to reside within his bounds; and shall without delay notify such citizen of the said enrollment, by the proper non-commissioned Officer of the company, by whom such notice may be proved. That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack. That the commissioned Officers shall severally be armed with a sword or hanger, and espontoon; and that from and after five years from the passing of this Act, all muskets from arming the militia as is herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound; and every citizen so enrolled, and providing himself with the arms, ammunition and accoutrements, required as aforesaid, shall hold the same exempted from all suits, distresses, executions or sales, for debt or for the payment of taxes.
Quality Counts 2013 Education Rankings Come In:
Maryland First, South Dakota Last
Posted: 01/10/2013 6:25 pm EST
The report card takes into account almost every possible metric imaginable in American education, from school finance to environment to grades to equity. It looks at "Chance for Success," an index that takes into account the connections between school and positive life outcomes, looking at toddlers, kids, and adults. In the "Chance for Success" ratings, America scored a C-plus -- about one point less than last year. Massachusetts topped the "Chance for Success" rankings for the sixth year in a row, netting an A-minus. Nevada and New Mexico came in dead last, each netting D's. "States perform best on indicators associated with opportunities to acquire a solid foundation for learning during the early years," Hightower wrote. "However, the measures that capture participation and performance in formal schooling remain the driving force behind state rankings."
Quality Counts also looks at "transitions and alignment," a category that examines "efforts to better coordinate between K-12 schooling and other segments of the education pipeline," according to EdWeek. For the first time ever this year, one state -- Georgia -- got a perfect score in this realm.
School finance, such as school spending and distribution of resources, is another key component of the report. The U.S. earned a C on average, with 24 states scoring between C-minus and C-plus. The duds in this category were Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, and Utah, which all got D's or lower.
Sen. Mike Crapo pleads guilty
to drunken driving charge
By SCOTT WONG | 1/4/13 11:04 AM EST
Sen. Mike Crapo pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge in Virginia on Friday, agreeing to have his license suspended for one year, take alcohol awareness classes and pay a $250 fine.
A 180-day jail sentence for the Idaho Republican has been suspended on the condition of good behavior.
Speaking to reporters, Crapo expressed contrition for his actions and apologized to his constituents. Reading a prepared statement, he said he had occasionally had alcoholic drinks in his Washington, D.C., apartment in recent months as a way to relieving stress, even though his religion, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, strictly prohibits alcohol consumption.
Crapo acknowledged that he had consumed vodka mixed with tonic water, but disputed reports that said he had taken vodka shots. And he said it was the first time he had gotten behind the wheel after drinking.
“It was a poor choice to use alcohol to relieve stress, and was at odds with my personally held and religious beliefs, ” Crapo said outside the Alexandria General District Court. “However, on the night of Saturday, Dec. 22, I made an even worse decision: to go out for a drive and get out of my apartment and try to wind down.”
Fridgedoor Archives from 2012 and before
Everyone has someplace special, like their refrigerator door, a bulletin board, or such, where they post those 'unique' items they encounter on the web or in the media from time to time. This is our 'refrigerator door' and these are our findings.