Thursday, June 28, 2012

NOW they care about jobs....

Oh gawd! Election years can get on your very last nerve.

#1. I loathe the term "Obamacare". It is heal care reform, people and giving it a derogatory nickname is just another demonstration of disrespect for the president.

#2. If the Republicans have their panties in a knot, it must be a good ruling from the Supreme Court.
Learning that Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal block on such a major issue, I give kudos to him for not casting his vote in a partisan way. I have a new respect for him.

#3. What we have is a very watered down health care reform package.... the for-profit insurance companies are still running the show, and now they have some restrictions. They also have kids age 18-26 as new customers on their parents policies, regardless of if they are full time college students- so they get some of the healthiest new clients to add to their customer base.
(What are they complaining about? They have more customers, that equals revenue & *jobs*.)

#4. On a personal level, my college kid was able to get much needed dental care as a result.
I like that pre existing conditions denials have been eliminated. Insurance companies were cruising the gravy-- we only take healthy people, those who really need coverage.... no care for you!
In most cases waiting for health care often results in increased costs & severity.

#5. Positives of Health Care Reform

Here's a quick summary of the new health care protections:
Under the new law, health care insurers will no longer be able to do the following:
• Deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions: For children younger than age 19, health plans can no longer limit or deny coverage simply because the child has a pre-existing health condition. This provision does not mean that such coverage will be inexpensive, but at least coverage will be available.
• Impose lifetime limits or caps on health coverage

• Cancel a policy without proving fraud

• Deny health claims without giving you a chance to appeal the decision

• Free preventative health services: New health plans are now required to offer access to preventive services such as screenings, vaccinations and counseling at no charge, including nocopayment, co-insurance, or any deductible. Depending on your age, preventative services may include blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests; many cancer screenings; routine vaccinations; flu and pneumonia shots; and regular well-baby and well-child visits, from birth to age 21.

• Young adults can stay on parent’s plan until age 26. (If they don;t already have coverage through their own employer.) The new rule applies even if the child does not live at home or is married. They do not need to be ful time college students. 

• Choose a primary care doctor and pediatrician. You can also see an OB-GYN doctor without getting a referral from your primary care physician.

• Use the nearest emergency room without penalty.
-Source US News

In closing~
The Republicans have not given any care about jobs, or the unemployed (cut back length of benefits), they have fought like pitbulls to keep tax cuts for the rich.  So it's rich that their comments about health care reform, play the "jobs card". Read it & laugh-

House Speaker John Boehner

"The president's health care law is hurting our economy by driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire. Today's ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

"Today's decision makes one thing clear: Congress must act to repeal this misguided law. Obamacare has not only limited choices and increased health care costs for American families, it has made it harder for American businesses to hire."

Mitt(ens) Romney, presumptive Republican presidential nominee

"What the Court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States, and that is, I will act to repeal Obamacare. Let's make clear that we understand what the Court did and did not do. What the Court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it's good policy."
                    Ha! Romney has to use the derogatory term "Obamacare" not once, but 3 times. 

                                   The lockstep GOP already has their prescribed talking point :

"harder for American businesses to hire". 

Thursday music & Night Sky pics

I've seen all good people

Love their harmonies!
Check out these photos, compliments of Mr. Ramblings....

More stars than sky.... & the Milky Way

Friday, June 22, 2012

I Heart Oregon

Koosah Falls

Sahalie Falls

The churning roar of the McKenzie River

Yes! They are big splashy photos, it's true. 
We took our grad up to the Cascade Mountains for a little extended graduation 
celebration/retreat. We all needed some R & R, & some of that higher elevation fresh air. 
Ain't nature grand?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blunt Commencement Keynote Speech

"You might be screwed. Not just you (but) your whole generation — in some important respects — is getting screwed. “You are projected to be the first generation to face lower lifetime earnings than your parents.” 
Grads’ last lesson 

Speakers urge the UO Class of 2012 to rise above hard times

By Diane Dietz

he University of Oregon Class of 2012 is, alternatively, “blessed” and “screwed,” according to graduation speakers who cajoled about 3,500 of the 5,000-student class who participated
 in Monday’s commencement exercises at Matt Knight Arena.

 “You might be screwed,” said state legislator and keynote speaker Jefferson Smith, prompting a roar of laughter and applause to ring the basketball arena. “Not just you (but) your whole generation — in some important respects — is getting screwed. “You are projected to be the first generation to face lower lifetime earnings than your parents,” said Smith, a UO alumnus and Portland mayoral candidate. “Many of you are looking for jobs in what economists say, in the past five or six years, is the toughest job market since the Great Depression.

“Your generation faces the
 greatest wealth disparities since before World War II,” Smith added. “There are real questions about whether the systems of our democracy are in positions to solve our biggest problems and address the public interest.” But Smith suggested that the route to getting “unscrewed” is to redefine success beyond social mobility and material wealth.
“If we define our success by the station that we reach, we can’t win. But if we define success in the movements in which we participate, in what we stand for, in what we work toward, we can’t lose,” he said.
 (End quoted article)

It was refreshing to hear his painfully blunt assessment, where other speakers, tried to gloss it over, saying pay no attention to those naysayers during tough economic times. Keynore speaker Jefferson Smith did not put lipstick on the pig, or dance around the elephant in the room. To just come out & say it outright, was good medicine, I thought. Let's not pretend these are not troubled times. 

I sat in the arena for the Commencement ceremony, with my own perspective & reality check. 
The main wage earner, my husband will officially lose his job in the next few months. 
My Mortgage holder, GMAC just sent notice that they are filing for bankruptcy. 
My own low paying job is on a pay freeze for a year. So not even that . 10 cent an hour pay raise for the whole year!
Our son worked his way through college.

To put it in yet another reality check, look at these details:
• The University of Oregon just approved up a tuition hike:
$9,310 a year (for in-state undergraduates). 
$28,648 for out-of-state tuition. 

• In 1970 In-State tuition was $408 per year
$1,407 for out-of-state tuition

• Congress just doubled student loan interest rates 

So although this was a very happy celebration, there is both an underlying & overshadowing reality check of the times we are in. On one hand, College is a great place to be to ride out the economic downturn, on the other hand, they keep upping the ante of debt & cost to attend college, where grads start out deeper in debt, into murky waters of the current job world. 
In the department ceremony, post grad plans were announced, and about 1/3 had already landed jobs before graduation. But let's face it, the keynote speaker nailed it. 

Good advice....

Want a better world?
Need change?

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Big Day & Joyous Occasion!
Congratulations to my Son on his 
Graduation from the University of Oregon.

Minds move mountains

You are a wise & kind soul.
May you find a path in life
that brings you joy & serves to
help others & bring peace & justice into this world. 
Solidarity Forever!

I love that you are a red card holding IWW member~
Joining the likes of Mother Jones & Noam Chomsky.
A philosopher, historian & activist. 

You walk the walk & seem to have a solid foundation & 
a moral compass that helps chart a good direction. 
We are so proud of you & the person you have grown to be. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Venus, between the Earth & Sun

Life has been such a grind. The corporate grind. The homeowner grind. 
The commute grind. The political grind of  election year(s)- plural makes it an even bigger grind. 
The news is a grind if not outright depressing. So..........

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Failing failing.... & now bailing

Received official paperwork in the mail about my Mortgage lender GMAC going bankrupt.
They want to divide their lending wing into 2 parts, keep the profitable & default on the bad mortgages.
Who thinks the powers that be will let them wash their hands of it?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

& the elephant they rode in on

Oh the repugs allegedly have their knickers in a knot that President Obama made some comment about the private sector doing well with jobs. They were all over this like flies on dung.
"He's out of touch" they bellowed.

Come on! I could barely stand to watch the likes of Eric Cantor, smirking about how bad Obama is to have made such a comment,
because the job situation is so bad.
Here is the party that insisted & enacted the rule that 20 weeks of extended unemployment  be cut off, for those who can't find work.

Are you kidding me?

These smug SOB's  are the ones who brought us the tax cuts for the rich & have fought tooth & nail to keep tax cuts for the rich.  So let's just take a moment to reflect on that one aspect of those who imply they are in touch.

                                                                                    Alan Grayson wrote this overview:

"This week marks 11 years since the Bush tax breaks for the rich were enacted. President George W. Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act on June 7, 2001. 

Bush claimed (as right-wingers always do) that tax breaks for the rich would create jobs in the private sector. Well, they haven't. There were 110 million private sector jobs in America in 2001. There are 110 million private sector jobs in America today. Despite a population increase of more than 25 million, there are no more private sector jobs today than when the Bush tax breaks for the rich became law. 

In the past 11 years, the number of Americans living in poverty has increased from 33 million to 44 million. 
The number of Americans receiving food stamps has risen from 18 million to 46 million. 

But what could we expect? We didn't give tax breaks to the poor; we gave tax breaks to the rich. And for the rich, the past 11 years has been one long party. According to the Paris School of Economics, the top 1% in America saw their share of national income increase by more than 13% from 2001 to 2010. The top 1% saw their share of income increase by 20%. The top 0.01% saw their share of income explode by more than 37%, from 2.4% of all of the income in America to 3.3%. 

The Bush tax breaks for the rich have yielded the most unequal distribution of wealth in American history, more unequal even than that of 1929, just before the Great Depression. 

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, since 1979, income for the top 1% has increased by $700,000 a year, while income for the bottom 90% has declined by $900 a year. Between 1992 and 2007, income for the richest 400 Americans increased by 392%, as their taxes dropped by 37%. 

You see where this is going. The end-game of the Bush tax breaks for the rich is the end of the middle class in America. No jobs, no healthcare, no pensions, no home equity, no higher education. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. 

The Bush tax breaks are due to expire in a few months. We are at a fork in the road. 

No more tax breaks for the rich. No. No. No. No. "

In summary-- the GOP has done nothing to provide for jobs, and have been short sighted obstructionists, putting the sacrosanct Tax cuts for the rich above all else-- just recently, they voted to double the interest rates for college loans or "offered" to take the money from Health care costs to cover a lower student loan rate. 
Out of touch? Yes the GOP certainly is. 

They think they are offering a viable option - to choose one: Health care funding or reasonable student loan rates-- but certainly not both!

Their idea of jobs (right out of the mouth of Romney himself).... is natural resource extraction/extinction. 

Yes they would Frack, Clear Cut & Strip mine & Drill baby drill offshore oil wells,  all they can allow.... and it is not  "creating jobs" they care about, it's some fat cat making a buck. 

F@#k them & the elephant they rode in on!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Utility Thugs

"Pursuant to EWEB Policy & Procedures, customers may be charged a non-access fee. This is a notice to bring this policy to your attention. 
To avoid a $50 non-access fee, please provide safe direct access to the meter and give us a call @ XXX+XXXX. "

Came home from work to find a notice on the doorknob from the utility company.  

For 18 years they have read the meter w binocs from the back fence.

Suddenly there is an issue and a hefty potential fine?

We should not be required to leave our gate unlocked all the time because the utility company might someday come read the meter. 
If they need access, then they should make an appointment. 

We've not yet been fined, but informed of the policy & procedures & the non access fee. They want a call back response. Oh they'll get a response from me. WTF?
Anyone else ever get such a threat from their utility company?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tired of gas prices?

Average cost of gas in Oregon $4.25 & has been for many months.
Maybe the Amish are ahead of the game?

Beatles Tuesday

Crazy week compadres~ Enjoy some music. The word is as crazy as ever....
go sit with a tree & listen to the birds. Often they make more sense than us humans.

Sunday, June 3, 2012