The Last Of The Millenniums

Just because it always has been, doesn't mean it always will be

Archive for the day “July 4, 2013”

Blog Running – ‘Will Delaying The Employer Mandate Deny Health Coverage To Workers’?


‘So what happens under the Treasury Department rule if the marketplaces have no way to determine whether a worker has been offered qualified coverage’?

‘Would the uninsured worker be able to get subsidized coverage’?

‘It would be cruel to make employees, most of whom work for low wages, wait another year to get health insurance because the administration is giving big employers a break on reporting’?

‘If the administration is going to give employers a break, it should not do so at the expense of millions of uninsured or underinsured workers who have been looking forward to having health insurance available to them on January 1, 2014’.

‘Yesterday, the Treasury issued a notice delaying for one year, until 2015, the requirement that employers of more than 50 full-time employees (3 percent of all employers) report on whether they offer health coverage to their employees’.

‘The Affordable Care Act requires that these employers pay penalties when they they do not offer qualified coverage or when their workers access coverage through the new health care exchanges’.

‘The Treasury’s notice does not change the legal requirement that employers provide coverage, but it effectively negates enforcement of that requirement’.

‘The notice, full of sympathy for employers (Remember that’s 3% of employers) who have to comply with the reporting requirements, totally ignores the implications for employees’.

‘Under the Affordable Care Act, workers who are offered acceptable coverage at work are not eligible to access health insurance through the new health insurance marketplaces (“exchanges”), which offer income-based subsidies to purchase health coverage’.

‘These workers must purchase the employer coverage or pay a fine’.

‘The Affordable Care Act’s only requirement for employers of 50 or more full-time workers is that they offer employers high-deductible plans, which require employees to pay a big chunk of their incomes for the coverage’.

‘If employers meet these skimpy provisions, they can avoid paying penalties and their workers are locked into the lousy coverage or required to pay a fine for the privilege of being uninsured’.

‘It is not clear how many employers will take this low-road route, but the history of the big low-wage employers – think Walmart and McDonald’s – is not encouraging’.

‘What matters now is that the White House treat employees with the same level of concern it has shown big business’.

‘To do that, the administration should make it clear that workers who state that they are not offered coverage by their employer, or that the coverage costs more than they can afford or has limited benefits, should be eligible to receive income-based subsidies in the new marketplaces’.

‘Simple justice, and the primary goal of the Affordable Care Act of guaranteeing affordable health coverage to all Americans, requires nothing less’.
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Space….The Final Frontier – ‘Effort To Name Moon Of Pluto ‘Vulcan’ Fails, Captain Kirk Not Pleased’


(CNN) – ‘It wasn’t the best day for Trekkers.
After a successful online campaign that propelled “Vulcan” – the most well-known planet from “Star Trek” – to the top of a poll to name two moons orbiting Pluto, fans found out on Tuesday that the moons would be named “Kerberos” and “Styx” (which placed second and third) instead’.

‘The SETI Institute explained that despite the popularity of “Vulcan” (in large part due to a Twitter campaign by “Trek’s” own William Shatner and endorsed by castmate Leonard Nimoy), the name was not new to the world of astronomy’.

“The (International Astronomical Union) gave serious consideration to this name, which happens to be shared by the Roman god of volcanoes,” SETI stated in a press release’.

“However, because that name has already been used in astronomy, and because the Roman god is not closely associated with Pluto, this proposal was rejected.” (IAU rules state that the moons must be named after characters from the underworld of Greek or Roman mythology.’)

‘The name was given to a hypothetical planet, which was believed to exist near Mercury, but that theory has since been discredited’.

‘Shatner made no bones about his displeasure with the decision on his Twitter feed’.

“I’m sad,” he tweeted. “So they name a moon Kerebus because there’s already a Cerebus asteroid but a mythological planet knocks out Vulcan?”
‘He went on, “Star Trek fans have had it rough. First JJ (Abrams) blows up Vulcan and now SETI finds a loophole to deny it from coming back!”
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One Man’s Trash….. – ‘Ted Nugent thinking about running for president’

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‘Conservative provocateur Ted Nugent is considering a presidential bid, Steve Hendrix reports in a Washington Post Magazine story this week’.

“Things are just so wrong in the country now,” Nugent said. “And I know that my answers would make things wonderful, unless you just refuse to produce, and then I’d recommend that you move to Canada. Or Illinois.”

‘He even has a slogan picked out: “Hi, I’m Ted Nugent. I have nine children from seven women, and I’m running for president.”
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What Congress Does – ‘Post Office ending Saturday delivery thanks to George W. Bush edict’

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I’ll be honest in that I will not notice when the Post Office stops delivering on Saturdays. I simply don’t use the mail. But regardless my using it or not, if Congress has ‘rigged’ the budgeting so that the Post Office has to fund their retirements up until 2100, then ALL departments should.

Start with the military. In one year, under the same restraints as the Post Office, the Department of Defense would have to fight wars only Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

‘The United States Postal Service has announced it will end Saturday home delivery of postal mail as of this August’.

‘The move is the latest cost cutting effort on the part of the USPS, following a cutback in post office hours over thepast year’.

‘But the postal budgetary issues are not due to revenue shortfalls or a lack of business’.

‘Instead, the cutbacks have been made in a desperate attempt to meet the requirements of the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act, a 2007 law passed by congress and signed into law by then-president George W. Bush’.

‘The law gave the post office ten years to come up with enough money to fund employee retirement plans for the next seventy-five years in advance, nearly all the way to the year 2100’.

‘The only way the USPS has been able to begin setting aside such revenue is to cut back on services and operations now’.

‘The post office has long been a break-even agency, adjusting prices as necessary to ensure that it doesn’t require any taxpayer money to operate, which explains why the cost of a stamp will periodically shift upward a few pennies’.

‘The PAEA law serves no purpose other than to bankrupt the post office now, forcing it to reduce itself to a mere fraction of what it once was, in the name of funding the hypothetical retirements of future employees who haven’t yet been born’.

‘The only entities set to benefit from the law are private delivery companies such as UPS and FedEx, which would gain any business that the post office loses as it cuts back on services’.

‘So why did Bush sign it into law in 2007’?

‘A look into the political contributions of both delivery companies may offer a clue’.

‘According to, in 2004 UPS donated five times as much money to Bush’s reelection campaign as it did to that of his opponent John Kerry’.

‘FedEx went to even more of an extreme, donating seven times as much money to Bush as it did to Kerry’.

‘The delivery companies helped fund Bush’s reelection, and three years later he enacted a law which dealt a body blow to their post office competition’.

‘Why would it benefit Americans to keep the post office around and fully functioning’?

‘Private delivery companies offer the advantage ofshipping a large package across the country overnight guaranteed’.

‘But the post office allows us to mail a letter for less than fifty cents, a task which UPS and FedEx charge about seven dollars for’.

‘If allowed to remain intact, the PAEA legislation will require the post office to continue shrinking its services until there’s little left of the post office, which could leave Americans in for sticker shock when they have to mail their rent check via UPS at a 1400% higher price than they’re accustomed to’.
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‘Texas Miscellany’ from Public Policy Polling

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-‘By a 54/21 margin Texas voters say that they support the Voting Rights Act, including 45/23 even with Republicans’.

‘Only 29% of voters say that they favor the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn parts of the VRA last week, with 45% opposed’.

-‘It’s going to be a while before Texas voters get on board with gay marriage- we find that only 34% of voters in the state support it to 57% who are opposed’.

‘When it comes to employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, only 14% of Texans think that should be an allowable practice compared to 75% who believe it should not. Even among Republicans just 21% believe that’s acceptable to 62% who think it is unacceptable’.

-Looking towards the 2016 Presidential race, Texas voters are a lot more enthusiastic about Ted Cruz than Rick Perry’.

‘27% of Republicans in the state say Cruz would be their top choice for the nomination to 15% for Jeb Bush, 11% for Rand Paul and Chris Christie, and 9% for Paul Ryan’.

‘Perry comes in 6th place at 7%, leading only Marco Rubio at 6%, Rick Santorum at 4%, and Bobby Jindal at 3%’.

‘While a plurality of Republican primary voters (42/39) want Cruz to run in 2016, an overwhelming majority (18/69) do not want Perry to’.

‘When it comes to general election match ups for President in the state Hillary Clinton leads Perry 48/44, but trails the other Republicans we tested by 3-9 points’.

‘She’s down 46/43 to Jeb Bush, 49/44 to Ted Cruz, and 47/38 to Chris Christie’.

-‘It’s a sign of how universal the support for expanded background checks for gun purchases is that even in Texas 72% of voters favor it with only 22% opposed’.

‘There’s strong bipartisan support with majorities of Democrats (89/8), independents (68/30), and Republicans (58/31) all overwhelmingly in favor of them’.
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