These are my links for August 1st through August 2nd:
- Obamacare Robs Medicare of $716 Billion to Fund Itself – Last week, a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report updated the amount of money Obamacare robs out of Medicare from $500 billion to a whopping $716 billion between 2013 and 2022.
According to the CBO, the payment cuts in Medicare include:
A $260 billion payment cut for hospital services.
A $39 billion payment cut for skilled nursing services.
A $17 billion payment cut for hospice services.
A $66 billion payment cut for home health services.
A $33 billion payment cut for all other services.
A $156 billion cut in payment rates in Medicare Advantage (MA); $156 billion is before considering interactions with other provisions. The House Ways and Means Committee was able to include interactions with other provisions, estimating the cuts to MA to be even higher, coming in at $308 billion.
$56 billion in cuts for disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments.* DSH payments go to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients.
$114 billion in other provisions pertaining to Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP* (does not include coverage-related provisions).
- Chick-fil-A not alone in touting religion alongside products– Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy is not the only business tycoon who refuses to hide his faith under a bushel — top executives from some of America’s biggest companies are born-again Christians who talk about their beliefs more often than their balance sheets.Major corporations like Tyson Foods, Interstate Batteries and Hobby Lobby were either founded or are now led by outspoken and deeply religious bosses. While some of the companies distinguish between their corporate identities and their leaders’ faith, others embrace it.—Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries, discusses his faith and salvation at length on the company’s website, even inviting people to write him for advice on prayer;—Tyson Foods, the Arkansas food processing giant, offers chaplains to counsel its employees on life issues like deaths or family emergencies;
—In-N-Out Burger, the popular California-based hamburger chain, prints “John 3:16” on the bottom of its cups;
- Chick-fil-A: Hundreds line up in support, don’t mind long wait– A line of hundreds of people formed outside a Northridge Chick-fil-A on Wednesday afternoon as crowds flocked to the restaurant on “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”Gwilym McGrew, who drove to the fast-food restarauant from Woodland Hills, said more than 100 cars were waiting along Tampa Avenue to pull into the parking lot. “A couple hundred” people had lined up on foot, he said, some drinking water distributed by employees.”It’s very calm madness,” McGrew said. “Everybody’s very orderly.”McGrew was one of many people who ventured to the restaurant to show support for Chick-fil-A, which drew criticism after chief executive Dan Cathy said in a recent interview he and his company were against gay marriage. The comments drew strong reactions as customers pledged to boycott the chain and some mayors proclaimed they would not allow Chick-fil-A to open within their cities.
In response, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” calling on people to eat at the restaurant to show support.
McGrew said he came to the restaurant to support Cathy’s religious beliefs, even though he said he himself is not religious.
“I’m not getting myself involved in the issue of gay marriage and all that, I’m not getting involved in a religious debate,” he said. “I’m getting involved in the government putting their thumb on a businessperson for his religious beliefs.”
- Boycott fail redux: Citizens, Santa unite for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day; Photos show huge success; Update: #OutOfChicken? –
- Chick-fil-A’s president shows dangers of corporate outspokenness– Sometimes politics intercede where you may not expect it. Corporations of all types have supported Planned Parenthood for years, presumably on the grounds that helping deliver inexpensive healthcare to underprivileged women was a good thing and one that fit in with corporate principles such as diversity and fairness. Then one morning they woke up to discover that their longtime beneficiary had become transformed into a gigantic political football. (Apologies to Franz Kafka.) The next thing they knew, they were on an anti-abortion organization’s boycott list.Corporate executives surrounded by yes men telling them how wise they are will probably continue to try sharing their wisdom on subjects well outside their core competencies. Sometimes they’ll tailor their words to what they think are their target markets. Sometimes, like Cathy, they’ll discover that there are bigger markets out there where customers may not care for what they have to say. We should defend to the death their right to speak, and also our own right to make them pay for it, or not, at the cash register.
- Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day brings out supporters, protesters– It used to be that taking a bite of a chicken sandwich just meant you were hungry. Now it has become a symbol of whether you stand for or against same-sex marriage, or – alternately – the right to express your personal views without fear of retaliation.At Chick-fil-A locations across the country, people voted with their wallets today, coming out to express support for the fast-food chain after CEO Dan Cathy said in an interview that he is a firm backer of traditional marriage.“I believe what the Bible says (about marriage),” Chauncy Fields told us after wolfing down a breakfast of chicken and biscuits. “So I came out here to support Chick-fil-A and the movement.”Chris Johnson sees a double standard. “He (Dan Cathy) said the exact same thing that President Obama said,” Johnson told Fox News — referring to the president’s past opposition to gay marriage – “And he gets negativity, and Obama gets positivity.”
At one Atlanta location, the restaurant was packed, while the line for the drive-thru looped twice around the building and out into the street.
- Wendy’s Sign Angers Liberals; Wendy’s Tweet Angers Conservatives– he sign, and its implied support of Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay marriage, was the work of Jim Furmen, who owns 86 Wendy’s franchises in North Carolina. When pictures of the signs were posted on Reddit and began circulating online, Wendy’s quickly took to Twitter to say the franchise owner did not represent the views of the entire company, saying “We proudly serve ALL customers” and adding that the signs had been taken down.Conservative bloggers and writers then took issue with the insinuation that Chick-fil-A did not serve all customers (even its critics haven’t made that charge), whereupon Wendy’s backtracked. “Not our intention at all,” Wendy’s said repeatedly to users that criticized them. “We’re simply saying that an independent franchisee posted the sign.”
- Rick Warren: Chick-fil-A’s owner told me they set a new world record in sales today – Not a word about today’s activities has been whispered on Chick-fil-A’s feed even though CFA has been trending on Twitter off and on all day. As noted in the earlier post, the suspicion is that the company’s lying low about what’s happening in order to extricate itself from the front line of the culture war, but I wonder if today’s outpouring will draw some sort of recognition tomorrow. If Dan Cathy’s willing to tout the numbers to Rick Warren, presumably an official acknowledgment and thank you is on the way.
- The Great Chick-fil-A War of 2012 – Ed goes on to point out the obvious: in a free country, any citizen has a right to protest or boycott a business, and any officeholder is free to express their personal support or opposition to the views of a company or its leaders. But once officials start using the power of the state to punish companies for expressing views they disagree with, well… that’s fundamentally anti-American, and sliding towards a fascist view of how society should operate. Your ability to run your business should not depend upon mayoral approval of your personal views
- Why August Will Determine Senate Control– August is usually a sleepy month in politics. Congress leaves Washington for its annual summer recess, and campaigning takes a back seat as voters, more concerned with their own vacations than with statewide elections, tune out. But that’s not the case this year. When the 113th Congress gavels into session in January, the party that controls the Senate will credit key primaries this month with handing them power.The stakes are high for Republicans. Four states with competitive races hold GOP primaries over the next four weeks. And while the tone of a primary campaign rarely dictates the outcome in the fall, the candidates who emerge from those primaries will either help or hinder their party’s chances to win the four seats necessary to take over the upper chamber.That makes the Republican primaries in Wisconsin, Missouri, Connecticut, and Arizona worth watching.
- Rep. Capps didn’t report rent income to IRS for a decade | The Daily Caller– In a possible congressional ethics violation, California Democratic Rep. Lois Capps rented a room in her personal home to one of her congressional staffers for years and did not report the income to the IRS —during that time, or for more than a decade — until 2012. Capps also withheld that information from the proper congressional authorities for five years — from 2001 until early 2006.The staffer in question was Jeremy Tittle, a “case worker” in Capps’ district office from late 2000 until late 2004. According to Federal Election Commission records, Tittle was also a staffer for Capps’ political campaigns from as early as 2001 to as late as 2004.
- Possible VP Rob Portman was ‘frustrated’ at Bush budget office– Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who served as former President George W. Bush’s budget director, sought this week to distance himself from his former boss by saying he was “frustrated” in the high-profile post.Pressed on his record with Bush, Portman — a leading GOP vice presidential contender — agreed to an exclusive interview with The Hill in his Senate office.
- Amazon joins Walmart in push for online sales tax– Congressmen in both parties want you to pay more taxes on your online purchases, and once again, big business is lobbying for bigger government, which would hurt Mom and Pop.Online sales taxes have been a battlefield for lobbying titans for years, pitting Walmart and the rest of the brick-and-mortar retail lobby against Amazon and other online retailers. But now Amazon has changed its business model and also its lobbying position, joining the rest of the retail giants in calling on Congress to aid states in collecting sales tax from online sales.Here’s the background:
- Destinations / Man sitting outside his front door in Northern India….by Trey Ratcliff – Man sitting outside his front door in Northern India….by Trey Ratcliff via @pinterest
- Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day Apparently a Big Hit – Flap’s Blog – Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day Apparently a Big Hit
- SD-27: Fran Pavley Leads Todd Zink in Fundraising – Flapsblog.org – SD-27: Fran Pavley Leads Todd Zink in Fundraising
- AD-66: Craig Huey is a Top California Republican Assembly Fundraiser – AD-66: Craig Huey is a Top California Republican Assembly Fundraiser
- Sen. Rubio introduces Olympic medal tax exemption bill – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – RT @briefingroom: Sen. Rubio introduces Olympic medal tax exemption bill
- Should You Tweet While on Vacation? – Locum Tenens Dentist – Should You Tweet While on Vacation?
- July Job Creation Index Slips – Flap’s Blog – July Job Creation Index Slips
- Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers – SFGate – Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers – SFGate
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Exraction: Why Use Grooved Forceps? – The Daily Exraction: Why Use Grooved Forceps?
- Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers – SFGate – Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers
- Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers– The number of state prison inmates available to perform crucial, labor-intensive tasks in battles against wildfires could soon drop dramatically, due to California’s shift of low-level offenders from state prisons to county jails.When wildfires ignite in California, some of the first crews on the scene are not state firefighters, but inmates who undergo training to handle such jobs as creating containment lines.There are more than 4,000 prisoners statewide trained for the work now, but prison officials said they expect that number to shrink by 1,500 by June as inmates are sent to county jails instead of prison.
- Ethics Committee: reprimand Rep. Laura Richardson– The House Ethics Committee says California Democratic Congresswoman Laura Richardson should be reprimanded for misusing her staff.The committee found she improperly compelled staff to perform campaign work and obstructed the internal investigation by altering or destroying evidence, failing to produce subpoenaed documents and attempting to influence testimony of witnesses.The committee announced Wednesday that Richardson agreed to admit to all seven counts against her. The committee recommended that the House adopt its report, and said doing so would serve as a reprimand. Richardson also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine, to be paid by Dec. 1.
- Villaraigosa says he’d like to be governor of California– As Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa prepares to take the gavel for the Democratic National Committee’s national convention in Charlotte this summer, Yahoo! News asked whether the termed-out mayor could be the nation’s first Latino president.Villaraigosa assured his interviewer that he has no interest in national office, but he does have another job in mind after 2013, when he will be forced from Getty House.”The job I’ve said to people I would like is I would like to be governor of the state of California,” he said.Villaraigosa spokesman Teddy Davis was not immediately available to comment on the mayor’s statement.
Villaraigosa opted not to run for the job when it was last open in 2010. Gavin Newsom briefly challenged Jerry Brown in the Democratic primary before dropping out of the race, eventually running for lieutenant governor.
- Giving a boost to the Latino vote– Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of SEIU International and widely regarded as one of the nation’s most influential Latino leaders, was back in his home state last week to give a California lift to the national “Todos a Votar (Let’s Vote)” campaign that aims to inspire 2 million more Latinos to vote this fall than voted in the 2008 presidential campaign.He thinks that goal is realistic, as do officials with eight largest Latino organizations in the nation that are coalescing behind the effort. If it is reached, the National Association of Latino Elected Officials estimates that the total Latino vote will rise by 26 percent and that nearly 1 of 11 voters in November will be Latinos.NALEO estimates that 3.9 million California Latinos will vote in the fall, or more than a quarter of this state’s electorate.
- Former Service Employees International Union leader indicted– Not long ago, Tyrone Freeman was a rising young star in the national labor movement, already the head of California’s biggest union local and a force in Democratic politics from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.Freeman’s quick climb up the ranks of the powerful Service Employees International Union burnished his reputation as an effective advocate for the disadvantaged, a man who helped improve the lot of about 190,000 workers paid about $9 an hour to provide in-home care for the infirm.On Tuesday, however, Freeman was indicted on federal charges of stealing from those workers to enrich himself, including by billing the union for costs from his Hawaii wedding.The 15-count indictment secured by the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles also alleges that Freeman violated tax laws and gave false information to a mortgage lender. If convicted on all counts, he could face maximum prison sentences in excess of 200 years.
- California State School Employees Party in Las Vegas – Urge California Voters to Increase Taxes – California State School Employees Party in Las Vegas – Urge California Voters to Increase Taxes
- The Morning Flap: August 1, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: August 1, 2012