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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.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

09-03-2022 - The President's Speech, 'America Afloat,' Delays, Student Loan Forgiveness and Medicare Part C

 

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Tomorrow is Labor Day.  Enjoy your day off, if you are getting one.  Many of the advantages Americans enjoy today were made possible by the work of the labor union movement, including health insurance, retirement plans, Social Security, Workmens' Compensation laws, Unemployment insurance, Safer working conditions, sufficient wages to support a family, and a dispute resolution process through the National Labor Relations Board.  The only blemish on their history is labor's opposition to immigration.  All in all, it's a day to celebrate a lot that organized labor has accomplished.

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The President's Speech

President Biden’s speech on September 1 went right to the point, accusing MAGA Republicans (as distinguished from others of that Party) of attacking democracy in our country in the name of ‘patriotism.’  His frequent references to the ‘soul of America’ reminded me of Jon Meacham’s 2018 book, ‘The Soul of America.’  Meacham wrote that progress ultimately comes out of such conflicts as we are now enduring regarding the nature of our democracy when finally our memories heed the chords sounded by the ‘better angels of our nature, referred to by Abraham Lincoln in his First Inaugural address, spoken on the eve of the Civil War.  

(My poem, ‘America Afloat,’ included as part of each blog posting of Jackspotpourri.com, briefly makes the same points that the President addressed on September 1 in front of historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  See the blog's July 30, 2022 posting for more information on the poem.)

It was unfortunate that the President’s speech, while carried on the cable news networks, was not carried by the regular broadcast networks, Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC, which preferred to cater to America’s penchant for something other than reality.

Beyond the objections to the President's speech expected from a Republican Party that refuses to look at itself in a mirror are the threats of violence, including assassination, which it prompted by white supremacists, as documented by Yahoo news. The DOJ knows who these people are and clearly, they go far beyond the protection offered by the First Amendment. It is possible that we do not have time to wait for those 'better angels' mentioned by Professor Meacham, Lincoln, and the President, to be heard. 

Is it time for the nation to accept a reduction of our traditional freedoms in order to preserve our democracy?  The people making these threats must be arrested and charged before they act on their words. Things are THAT serious today. Charlottesville was a whisper and January 6 was a warning not to be ignored. 

Abraham Lincoln suspended the right to a writ of habeas corpus in battling a similar threat to the Union presented in 1861, which ultimately did not protect his life from it. There are many 'John Wilkes Booths' hiding under MAGA caps. 

Read the Yahoo news article by visiting https://news.yahoo.com/biden-speech-denouncing-trump-maga-ideology-sparks-threats-calls-for-violence-003139767.html or by simply CLICKING HERE.

JL

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America Afloat 

 

 


(A poem that is always worth repeating in these blog postings. To learn more, visit this blog's posting of July 30, 2022, accessible from the Archives off to the right.)       JL

 

 

 


America Afloat 

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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Why Not to Watch Fox - Truth Day

While watching the 6 p.m. news on television a few evenings ago, reporting on the additional evidence discovered at Mar-a-Lago of the possible criminal actions on the part of the DFP (Defeated Former President) and his attorneys, I decided to see what Fox News was reporting and compare it to what was being reported on NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN and MSNBC, 

I found them very busy covering anything else, and when having no alternative but to report what the president of the United States was doing and saying, they managed to do it in a manner unfavorable to him.  Their only reference to the purloined documents the DFP had taken to Mar-a-Lago was brief:  a sarcastic criticism of the FBI and a questioning of the validity of the evidence the investigators found and their methods in securing it.

What FBI Found
In response to this, Democrats quickly pointed out that what the FBI did sounds like pretty standard routine for any law enforcement agency.  They found evidence in a room, laid it out on a rug there on the floor to help identify the location where it was found and took pictures that might be usable later in court. I am sure the evidence was then filed away properly by the FBI, possibly after checking the documents for fingerprints. A word of free advice to the DFP and his lawyers and supporters: 'Keep your mouths shut. Your excuses seem to further incriminate all of you.’  That goes for the purveyors of lies on Fox as well.  The First Amendment’s protection only goes so far.

The day that Fox goes out of business, as it will when its many followers wake up to its dishonesty, only made possible by that First Amendment, and stop watching it, should be declared a national holiday.  It might be called ‘Truth Day.

JL

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Delay - Stall - Postpone

The last two postings of this blog pointed out that the objective of the DFP’s legal strategies, including his request for a Special Master to be appointed, is just to delay the day of ultimate reckoning, giving the Democrats less time before the November elections to use any Republican’s endorsement by him, association with him, or even their failure to denounce his ‘big lie’ as a strong campaign issue.  Lacking any realistic response to the DOJ’s actions, the only tactic his attorneys can resort to is delay.  Next will come the bone spurs which were so useful to the DFP during the Vietnam War, or is the DFP saving them for when he is finally called to testify?

JL

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Student Loan Forgiveness - I Criticize Democrats Too!

Available statistics, which are confusing and very difficult to interpret, seem to indicate that perhaps 61% of student loans remain outstanding in some form or other.  That means that 39% of these loans have been paid back, or in some instances considered as ‘paid back’ after a significant number of years of regular payments.  Regardless, the image it presents is one of a benefit for as much as $20,000 for some of those who haven’t been able to pay off their loans, and a contrary image as a bunch of suckers for those who sacrificed to make their payments   This gives the Republicans a significant voting target at which to aim in criticizing President Biden’s Student Loan forgiveness proposal.  And as you can see, they are doing precisely that at the same time as their other talking points are evaporating!  They don't have much else going for them these days.

As I have already said, the idea is a good one, needing a bit more 'tweaking,' but its timing is horrible, typical of many faulty Democratic political strategies.  It forces Democrats to use their resources to respond to a weapon they handed to their opponents at the wrong point in time, just prior to an election.

JL

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Medicare Advantage Plans - Not Always Best Choice

Seniors who select a Medicare Part C ‘Medicare Advantage Plan’ may end up with a ‘Medicare Disadvantage’ plan.  If they want to be treated at one of the major teaching hospitals in New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, or even Rochester, Minnesota, (where the Mayo Clinic is based), their Medicare Advantage plan may say ‘No, You must use the hospitals that the plan includes.’  

These choices may be more restrictive in HMO plans than in PPO plans, but a cancer patient who wants to go to NYC's Sloan-Kettering or Houston's M.D. Anderson, the two best cancer hospitals in the country, might still be limited to using nearby institutions, many of which are excellent, but not quite ‘top-tier.’  

In my opinion, If your finances allow it, stick with Medicare Parts A and B, and purchase a separate private Medicare Supplement Plan and a separate Part D prescription drug plan.

 JL

 

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