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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired for two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

08-07-2022 - An Election Paradox, Dr. Fauci Criticized, Medicare Advantage Plans and Wolves

   

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Two Things are Clear from the Results of the Primary Elections that Took Place Last Week  

In Kansas, no less!

First, when women are motivated to vote, as they are by the Supreme Court’s taking away of the right to abortion, they do so in enormous numbers.  This happened in heavily Republican Kansas where a constitutional amendment that would ban abortions was soundly defeated. (59% against it, 41% for it.)

Secondly, the Republican Party is still in the hands of those who support the defeated former president and believe his lies. Most of those Republicans who did not fall for his lies were defeated in primary elections by candidates who supposedly believe them, or in any event, convinced the voters that they do.  Even in Kansas, despite the referendum to ban abortion on the same ballot being defeated, the Republicans nominated a candidate for governor, Derek Schmidt, who believes the lies of the defeated former president. This is a paradox that will have to be resolved on November 8.

Some Democratic candidates are pleased by this because it means that they will not be running against a reasonable, perhaps conciliatory Republican, making the voters’ choice more difficult, instead of one who is standing fast with the defeated former president’s lies, an easier target for Democrats.  There are flaws in this strategy.

On November 8, there very well might be, as shown by the turnout in the Kansas abortion referendum vote, an enormous number of pro-choice women’s votes, cast throughout the nation for Democrats.  But this will happen ONLY if their Republican opponents can be clearly identified as approving the repeal of Roe vs. Wade and for the restriction of abortions

It is essential that every Democratic candidate for any office whatsoever repeatedly demand that their Republican opponent clearly state his position on this issue, and not be permitted to equivocate or sit on a fence regarding abortion.  Only then will the enormous power of the pro-choice women’s vote come into play. 

I would hope that Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Schumer are frequently on the phone personally with all candidates making this point strongly.  Unless they devote their energies to this, the women's vote might not materialize and a potent weapon would be defused. 

Even if women turn out in great numbers throughout the country, motivated by the abortion issue, that alone might not guarantee enough votes to maintain, or even increase the Democratic majorities in Congress. They can contribute mightily to that result, but along with them must be the voting power of persons of color, whose interests the Republican Party has ignored since the 1870s. Issues such as voting rights protection, gerrymandering, childcare benefits, schools, health insurance and equal opportunity must be addressed in order to mobilize these voters.

In 2020, South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn brought these votes to Joe Biden, giving him both the Democratic nomination and the presidency.  In 2022 and in 2024, more Jim Clyburns will be needed.  The pro-choice votes of women might not be enough.

JL

 

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Right Wing Mud Slingers Attack Dr. Fauci

Let’s not get carried await by right-wing media digging up Dr. Anthony Fauci’s speculation thirty-nine years ago that AIDS could be transmitted by close personal contact other than sexually.  When he wrote this, he even specified that such a possibility should be approached with caution.

Scientists often speculate but go on further to prove or disprove theories. Dr. Fauci’s speculation was never proven and scientific evidence since then has proven it to be inaccurate.  It is really a far reach by right-wingers, including Floriduh’s governor, to latch on to Dr. Fauci’s 1983 speculation to disparage the work he went on to do at the government’s Communicable Disease Center in regard to the spread of other diseases, including the Coronavirus. But they never have anything constructive to say, ever!

It is certainly no reason to shun his support of Covid 19 vaccinations which the right-wing is attempting to do.  People tend to believe what they want to believe, despite solid evidence to the contrary.  Such evidence shows that vaccination, while not necessarily providing permanent immunity to infection, does afford some protection and also significantly lessens the severity of those infections that do occur.  That has been proven.  Get vaccinated, even if you believe Floriduh’s governor who, for political reasons, won’t indicate whether or not he has been vaccinated and opposes Covid19 vaccination for children. (Forty-nine states accepted Federal aid for such vaccinations.  Guess which one didn’t.)

JL

 

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Wolves Deserve Your Help, but ...

I receive many dozens of emails every day, asking for donations to the campaigns of Democratic candidates throughout the country. I get them because I have contributed to several candidates (Demings, Fried, O’Rourke, for example) and having done that, my name gets added to the mailing lists of other candidates. I don’t object to this because such contributions must be solicited to financially support candidates who will further the cause of preserving democracy in our country. The ‘other guys’ have greater sources of money, sometimes from ‘dark' sources.  If you can afford to donate, please do. 

Help me, but only after Nov. 8

What I do object to are solicitations for organizations that have nothing to do with the election less than three months away. A particular one asks to support an organization backing legislation to preserve the nation’s diminishing wolf population. Ecologically, that may be a good cause, but right now, it should take a back seat to financing candidates who can keep human wolves, intent on chewing up our democracy, out of office.

JL

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Medicare Advantage Plans Pushed on TV 

If you watch TV, you certainly have seen red, white and blue advertisements for Medicare Advantage plans. Here is a brief description of what they are, quoting from government (Health and Human Services Administration) publications:

‘A Medicare Advantage Plan, (like an HMO or PPO) is another Medicare health plan choice you may have as part of Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are offered by private companies approved by Medicare.

If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, the plan will provide all of your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. Most include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care every month to the companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans. These companies must follow rules set by Medicare. However, each Medicare Advantage Plan can charge different out-of-pocket costs and have different rules for how you get services (like whether you need a referral to see a specialist or if you have to go to only doctors, facilities, or suppliers that belong to the plan for non‑emergency or non-urgent care). These rules can change each year.’

Medicare Advantage plans can save you a lot of money, especially if you also have purchased private Medicare Supplement insurance (not an official part of Medicare) to fill the gaps traditional Medicare Parts A and B leave unpaid, along with paying for a separate prescription plan (Part D) on your own. 

The biggest trade-off you make when choosing a money-saving Medicare Advantage Plan is that you lose the ability to make certain choices in regard to your medical care and leave it to the Plan to make such decisions for you.  These plans do this to a greater extent in HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) and to a lesser extent in a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), which might cost somewhat more.

                                                     Namath Pitching Part C


Retired quarterback Joe Namath and actor William Shatner often appear in TV commercials for Medicare Advantage plans.  Frankly, I doubt if either of them have signed up for a Part C plan and get their medical care through it, putting their medical care on the line. If I had to venture a guess, I would suspect that both are covered by traditional Medicare Parts A and B only, and are wealthy enough to fill its payment gaps and pay for prescriptions out of pocket.

More information on these Part C plans and the TV advertisements for them may be found in an informative article in a Hudson Valley (NY) newspaper published last November.  You can find it at https://www.recordonline.com/story/opinion/2021/11/05/steve-israel-celebrities-pitching-medicare-plans/6297275001/ or by CLICKING HERE.

JL

 

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America Afloat  

(A poem always worth repeating in blog postings. To learn more, visit this blog’s posting of July 30, 2022.)

Jack Lippman


 



The greatness of America

Is that it does survive

Attacks upon democracy

Whose flame it keeps alive.

 

The laws that blossom from the words

The Founding Fathers wrote

Still serve us well today to keep

America afloat.

 

This doesn’t happen by itself,

We cannot wish it true,

The bottom line, my friends, is that

It all depends on you.

 

 JL

 

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                         That’s Not Enough!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

08-3-2022 - What's That Smell, Prosecuting You Know Who, Sanity in Kansas and Top Loading Washers

 

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Something’s Rotten in the State of
Denmark, oops, I mean Floriduh

Go back to the July 30 posting on this blog, the one describing how a Floriduh State Senate seat was stolen by Republican thieves.  It seems that the Orlando Sentinel is investigating the possible connection between such political skullduggery, Florida Power and Light and an Alabama consulting firm which specializes in such dirty tricks.  South Florida SunSentinel Sunday columnist Fred Grimm takes a look at this from a historical perspective.  Check it out by Clicking Here  or just copy and paste this on your browser line.                                     

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/fl-op-com-fpl-john-gorrie-tudor-ice-20220729-h7zulald7ngk3k2gncyxcnnjvy-story.html

JL

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Sanity in Kansas

Yesterday, Kansans went to the polls in unprecedented numbers for a mid-term primary election because the ballot also contained a referendum supporting a change in their laws that would get rid of legal abortions in that State, something anti-abortion politicians thought they could slip through, avoiding having it on the ballot in November.  

They were wrong.  Kansans voted by a 60% to 40% margin not to support a change in their existing laws that permit abortion.  This result confused Republican candidates nationwide, awed by the enormous voter turnout, who now fear losing votes if they support abortion restrictions or losing other votes if they fail to support them.

Shakespeare would have commented on this, as he did in Hamlet, reporting that they were 'hoist by their own petard.'  

JL

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The Way to Prosecute the Defeated Former President

The other evening on his MSNBC program, the Beat, Ari Melber pointed out that while it might be difficult to prosecute and convict the defeated former president for committing one or two individual crimes, it would be easier to put all of them together, and there were many, as one massive, connected effort to carry out a coup which would leave him in office, negating the election of Joe Biden. A conviction for that one big crime might be easier.

His prompting a mob to try to stop the Constitutionally-mandated transfer of the presidency to President-elect Joe Biden on January 6, 2021 was the culmination of his many other failed efforts to remain in office, including pressure on state legislatures to submit alternate electors, searches for non-existent votes, specious challenges to vote counting procedures, telling the Vice President to throw the election into the House where an arcane Constitutional ‘one vote per state’ procedure might be attempted and other questionable acts to further his aim.

Melber pointed out that all of these attempts to remain in office in the event of his defeat were tactics planned even before the election and constituted a single overall strategy upon which his attempted coup would be was based, if he lost the election (which his campaign’s experts told him was likely).

Melber also urged that it was essential to prosecute the defeated former president or else the January 6 insurrection was likely to be repeated in the future and was just a ‘training exercise.

Interestingly  enough, three days earlier, I had posted the following on this very blog that you now are reading.  I won’t claim that Ari got the idea for his beautifully documented program from me, or that he even follows this blog.  Let’s just leave it at concluding that great minds think alike.  Here is what I wrote on July 26:

‘The prosecution must make the point that one or two such incidents might be acceptable as just ‘planning’ on the part of the defendant. The enormous number of them, however, all confirmed by reliable witnesses, should be taken together by a jury as going beyond being mere ‘planning.’  Considering their great number, they should be taken to amount to a planned 'grand strategy,' the culmination of which on January 6, 2021, he cannot separate himself from, and convict him.’

January 6 Rioters

Okay, Melber called it a coup.’  I called it a grand strategy.’  Both words describe the many seditious acts of the defeated former president all lumped together.  He should seriously consider pleading guilty and cut a deal for twenty years of house arrest at Mar-a-Lago, with visitors limited only to family and friends, if he has any.  That choice would be highly preferable to his serving hard time in a real penitentiary.

I had earlier predicted that the Department of Justice would ultimately decide not to proceed with charges against the defeated former president, primarily because of the risk of losing in court and that the Attorney General, nevertheless, in announcing that decision, would point out that they were only acting in that manner to avoid the domestic violence that any verdict would precipitate.

But as the evidence mounts, I have changed my mind. I now agree with Melber that it is essential that he be prosecuted, not doing so amounting to a victory for anti-democratic forces which would further encourage them.

JL

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Consumer Warning

If you are in the market for a top loading washing machine, stay away from Samsung products.  In addition to a recall of some sold up until 2016 due to a dangerous manufacturing defect, there have been rust problems which they will do nothing about.  Mine is in that category.  All I can say about the quality of their washing machines is that Samsung makes excellent TV sets.  We are fortunate that they do not manufacture automobiles.

JL

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America Afloat  (always worth repeating in blog postings)

 Jack Lippman

The greatness of America

Is that it does survive

Attacks upon democracy

Whose flame it keeps alive.

The laws that blossom from the words

The Founding Fathers wrote

Still serve us well today to keep

America afloat. 

This doesn’t happen by itself,

We cannot wish it true,

The bottom line, my friends, is that

It all depends on you.

 JL

 

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