Monday, September 30, 2013

Understand the health care act before slamming it

As Oct. 1 brings the nation to the first major step in implementing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, all manner of media are reporting, analyzing and generally trying to bring clarity to a murky and difficult topic. The difficulty of this topic arises from the unique nature of health economics and the egregiously wrong application of general economic and free market principles to the discussion of health care.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ted Cruz is a hypocrite

An open letter to Ted Cruz:

As you continue to reincarnate Joseph McCarthy, remember he emptied his own political chit basket by acting like you are acting now — offending good and decent and thoughtful people with lies, invective and utter lack of compassion and decency.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Learn more before bashing the health care act

As Oct. 1 brings the nation to the first major step in implementing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, all manner of media are reporting, analyzing and generally trying to bring clarity to a murky and difficult topic. The difficulty of this topic arises from the unique nature of health economics and the egregiously wrong application of general and free market principles to the discussion of health care.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Is Amarillo's purchase of a train station on the right track?

EuroStar trains poised to return to London from
Paris' Gard du Nord station.
The potential of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief is all over the news the last few days, with the attention in Amarillo triggered, in part, by the City Commission’s decision to spend $2.6 million to buy the old Santa Fe train station. Normally I would be doing back flips of joy over that kind of news. But this time I am a wary that this is another in a long line of the City Commission’s stupid and ill-conceived fiscal profligacy.

Who Pays Off rick Perry?

Rick Perry's trip and advertising expenses to poach jobs from other states is another one of this political offal's lies and deceptions. Perry is suckling at the tit of the big corporatist puppet masters and he is dancing to their tunes. Here is a link to show how Perry is in the thrall of corporate America and how he is not working for Texans.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The government isn't broken, it's the rush to privatize that's broken

Government bashers and privatization advocates need to think carefully about how and what they want to be run by public entities versus private corporations — and that’s putting it charitably.

Lax work by a private firm may well be the reason for at least 13 dead and as many wounded in the shooting rampage at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard Monday. Multiple news outlets are reporting that a private firm, USIS, is the target of several investigations, including a criminal probe, for its vetting of Aaron Alexis, the shooter. According to the Washington Post, “The company, which is under criminal investigation over whether it misled the government about the thoroughness of its background checks, said earlier this week that it had not handled Alexis’s (sic) case.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Does the reversal of Tom DeLay's corruption conviction reflect a corrupted court?

The Texas 3rd Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the money laundering conviction of former U. S. Rep. Tom DeLay, claiming the evidence against this morally challenged politico wasn’t sufficient.

But, in many of the news outlets which I have read, the reporting fails to mention that the chief justice J. Woodfin Jones dissented from the majority. As usual, the article in the Texas Tribune provides the most balanced account of the court’s ruling.

TeaParty Idiocy and the ACA

Isn’t it time for someone to be rational about the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare?

Right now, so-called “establishment Republicans are being bullied by the right-wing Tea Party extremists, who are seeking a resolution to defund the ACA in return for, in essence, not shutting down the government. And in that context, the right-wing media are spreading lies (really, can’t I call them for what they are?) as part of concerted disinformation campaign which seeks support for the Tea Party idiocy.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We Lost a Friend -- RIP Mr. Seewald

This post is a little overdue, but it’s taken me some time to wrap my head around the fact we’ve lost a
great friend. William Hughes Seewald died over the weekend, while my wife and I were out-of-town. I learned of his death Monday from, of all things, Facebook.

My wife and I had supper with him Sunday, Sept. 8, so learning of his death was shocking. The supper was a kind of “farewell” celebration that I would be taking down The Amarillo Independent news website and converting it to a blog site. We didn’t count on it as a farewell dinner to the man himself.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9-11

Some events sear a date into personal and collective memories.

Hurricanes Betsy and Camille striking New Orleans. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. And the terrorist attacks on the United States Sept. 11, 2001. While most focus today on the twin towers of New York’s world Trade Center, let’s not forget that another plane crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth went down in a rural Pennsylvania field, averting a second strike on Washington, D.C., thanks to the courage of United Airlines Flight 93’s passengers.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

As the Grocers Turn - an Amarillo Soap Opera

The Amarillo media is all-awash with the news that Albertsons is purchasing United supermarkets lock-stock-and-barrel. The commentary over at the corporate media center on Harrison Street is replete with Albertsons-bashing and lamentations. I’m surprised people haven’t flooded into the streets to rend and tear their garments while gnashing their teeth.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Globe-News misleads citizen on city tax issue

On Aug. 23, the Amarillo City Commission published a notice that commissioners contemplated raising property taxes 8 percent, with consideration of the required two votes coming at meetings Sept. 10 and Sept. 17.

Readers of the local shill for the city of Amarillo, a former newspaper that has become a click whore, found an editorial Sunday that was more incomprehensible and misguided than the usual drivel. As best I can tell, the main points the poorly written piece tried to convey were:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Nancy Tanner is best choice for Potter County Judge

A month ago, Amarillo’s previous mayor, Debra McCartt, announced she will run for the
Potter County Judge position that Arthur Ware is vacating. Ware, you’ll recall, suffered a stroke and has since struggled with communication and other issues, finally acknowledging last month he is no longer able to fulfill the duties of the office. It’s clear, however, that he didn’t struggle with stabbing people in the back because he fired long-time assistant Nancy Tanner after she announced she would seek election to Ware’s seat. This act of vengeance occurred before Ware publicly announced he would not seek re-election. But when Ware announced he wasn’t going to run again, he endorsed McCartt.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Potter Judge race heats up

It looks like we'll have a real race for Potter County Judge. Nancy Tanner has made it official and Debra McCartt, Amarillo's former mayor, has said she is running. Here's Tanner's letter.