Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Joshua has been taking the bus to his local Whole Foods in New York City every five days for the past two years. This week, he said he'll go elsewhere to fulfill his fresh vegetable and organic produce needs.
"I will never shop there again," vowed Joshua, a 45-year-old blogger, who asked that his last name not be published.
Like many of his fellow health food fanatics, Joshua said he will no longer patronize the store after learning about Whole Foods Market Inc.'s CEO John Mackey's views on health care reform, which were made public this week in an op-ed piece he wrote for The Wall Street Journal.
Michael Lent, another Whole Foods enthusiast in Long Beach, Calif., told ABCNews.com that he, too, will turn to other organic groceries for his weekly shopping list.
"I'm boycotting [Whole Foods] because all Americans need health care," said Lent, 33, who used to visit his local Whole Foods "several times a week."
"While Mackey is worried about health care and stimulus spending, he doesn't seem too worried about expensive wars and tax breaks for the wealthy and big businesses such as his own that contribute to the deficit," said Lent.
In his op-ed, "The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare," published Tuesday, Mackey criticized President Barack Obama's health care plan.
Mackey provided eight "reforms" he argued the U.S. can do to improve health care
without increasing the deficit. He suggested that tax forms be revised to "make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance."
Mackey also called for a move toward "less government control and more individual empowerment" instead of "a massive new health care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits."
He added that many of the country's health care problems are "self-inflicted" and are preventable through "proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices."
In the op-ed, Mackey outlines Whole Foods' employee health insurance policy. According to Mackey, Whole Foods pays 100 percent of the premiums for all employees who work 30 hours or more per week -- about 89 percent of his workforce.
Additionally, the company gives each employee $1,800 per year in "health-care dollars," says Mackey, that they can use at their own discretion for health and wellness expenses. This money can be put toward the $2,500 annual deductible that must be covered before Mackey says the company's "insurance plan kicks in."
Whole Foods Shoppers Weigh In
The op-ed piece, which begins with a Margaret Thatcher quote, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money," has left some Whole Foods loyalists enraged. Many say Mackey was out of line to opine against the liberal base that has made his fortune possible.
Christine Taylor, a 34-year-old New Jersey shopper, vowed never to step foot in another Whole Foods again.
"I will no longer be shopping at Whole Foods," Taylor told ABCNews.com. "I think a CEO should take care that if he speaks about politics, that his beliefs reflect at least the majority of his clients."
Countless Whole Foods shoppers have taken their gripes with Mackey's op-ed to the Internet, where people on the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are calling for a boycott of the store.
A commenter on the Whole Foods forum, identified only by his handle, "PracticePreach," wrote, "It is an absolute slap in the face to the millions of progressive-minded consumers that have made [Whole Foods] what it is today."
"You should know who butters your hearth-baked bread, John," wrote the commenter. "Last time I checked it wasn't the insurance industry conservatives who made you a millionaire a hundred times over.".....
The key takeaway comes at the end:
“In a free society, if people absolutely insist on not being covered, that’s ultimately going to be their choice.”
Had Specter done his job, he would already know about Section 401 of the House version of ObamaCare. King Banaian read it over a week ago and highlighted this particular portion in order to make clear that the bill does indeed impose individual mandates and assigns penalties for non-compliance:
In General- Subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new part:
Subpart a. tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage.
‘Subpart A–Tax on Individuals Without Acceptable Health Care Coverage
‘Sec. 59B. Tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage.
Sec. 59b. tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage.
‘(a) Tax Imposed- In the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of–
‘(1) the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over
‘(2) the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer.
‘(1) TAX LIMITED TO AVERAGE PREMIUM-
‘(A) IN GENERAL- The tax imposed under subsection (a) with respect to any taxpayer for any taxable year shall not exceed the applicable national average premium for such taxable year.
‘(B) APPLICABLE NATIONAL AVERAGE PREMIUM-
‘(i) IN GENERAL- For purposes of subparagraph (A), the ‘applicable national average premium’ means, with respect to any taxable year, the average premium (as determined by the Secretary, in coordination with the Health Choices Commissioner) for self-only coverage under a basic plan which is offered in a Health Insurance Exchange for the calendar year in which such taxable year begins.
‘(ii) FAILURE TO PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR MORE THAN ONE INDIVIDUAL- In the case of any taxpayer who fails to meet the requirements of subsection (e) with respect to more than one individual during the taxable year, clause (i) shall be applied by substituting ‘family coverage’ for ‘self-only coverage’.
2) PRORATION FOR PART YEAR FAILURES- The tax imposed under subsection (a) with respect to any taxpayer for any taxable year shall not exceed the amount which bears the same ratio to the amount of tax so imposed (determined without regard to this paragraph and after application of paragraph (1)) as–
‘(A) the aggregate periods during such taxable year for which such individual failed to meet the requirements of subsection (d), bears to
‘(B) the entire taxable year.
Why doesn’t Specter know about this part of ObamaCare? Shouldn’t he have educated himself on the particulars of the “reform” before attempting to defend it in town-hall meetings? More critically, would Specter
commit to opposing a bill that explicitly rejects his stated standard? If not, why not?
Thursday, August 13, 2009
By the way, global warming would produce more moisture and rainfall, like a greenhouse, which is something it seems the Aussi’s need. A book by a New Zealander should be studied well:
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
NITE OF AUG 10, 2009
FOXNEWS O'REILLY 3,814,000
FOXNEWS HANNITY 3,118,000
FOXNEWS BECK 2,417,000
FOXNEWS GRETA 2,388,000
FOXNEWS BAIER 1,988,000
FOXNEWS SHEP SMITH 1,833,000
MSNBC OLBERMANN 1,243,000
MSNBC MADDOW 1,082,000
CNNHN GRACE 875,000
CNN KATHY GRIFFIN 810,000
MSNBC HARDBALL 710,000
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Hypocrisy Flashback: ‘It Is Political Dissent That Created This Country and Sustained It and Improved It.’
With the Obama administration and their friends in the media denouncing the sometimes loud dissent that liberals are facing in town hall meetings on health care, it’s worth recalling how some of those same journalists denounced what they claimed was the Bush administration’s attempts to stifle dissent and celebrated the dissenters.
Back in 2006, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann attacked what he called President Bush’s “portable public chorus” (does President Obama have one of those?) For telling “those who dissent...[that] we are somehow un-American.” PBS’s Bill Moyers in 2003 found it “galling” to see “all those moralistic ideologues in Washington...attacking dissenters as un-American.”
In 2003, Olbermann saluted protests: “It is political dissent that created this country and sustained it and improved it.” But on Friday’s Countdown, Olbermann called the anti-Obama protests “societal sabotage,” determined that the grassroots groups are “fake” and insisted that “the protestors are not interested in hearing any voices other than their own.” (But the anti-Bush protesters were open-minded?)That same night, ABC called the protests “ugly,” while CBS termed them “nasty.” Also on Friday, former CNN reporter Bob Franken scolded the “organized intimidation” of “a crazed group of people,” whom he described as “partisan groups that whip up their fear-of-change ultra-conservative base.” MSNBC ran graphics on Monday about “unhinged” conservatives “scaring seniors” with their “health care hysteria.” Those don't doesn't sound like efforts to elevate dissent as a key element of a healthy democracy.
For those with short memories, here are a few examples of how liberal reporters talked about dissent during the Bush administration:
Co-host Harry Smith: "[Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan] talks about the failure of mainstream media to hold the Bush administration’s feet to the fire in the run-up to the war. Is that an allegation that feels to you like it has merit or not?"...
CBS anchor Katie Couric: "I think it’s one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism. And I think there was a sense of pressure from corporations who own where we work and from the government itself to really squash any kinds of dissent or any kind of questioning of it. I think it was extremely subtle but very, very effective. And I think Scott McClellan has a really good point."
— CBS’s The Early Show, May 28, 2008.
■ “Whatever you think of its policies, the current administration has been more secretive, more mistrustful of an inquisitive press, than any since the Nixon administration. It has treated freedom of information requests with contempt, asserted sweeping claims of executive privilege, even reclassified material that had been declassified. The administration has subsidized propaganda at home and abroad, refined the art of spin, discouraged dissent, and sought to limit traditional congressional oversight and court review.”
— New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller delivering the Hugo Young Memorial Lecture in London, as reported by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, November 29, 2007.
■ “When those who dissent are told time and time again — as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus — that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of that freedom, we are somehow un-American; when we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have ‘forgotten the lessons of 9/11;’ look into this empty space behind me and the bipartisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me this: Who has left this hole in the ground? We have not forgotten, Mr. President. You have. May this country forgive you.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on September 11, 2006, ending his Countdown with a commentary from the site of the World Trade Center.
■ “This has been a year in which dissent, especially taking an unpopular or minority political opinion, has been attacked by people like Mr. O'Reilly. In the last year, it has not been enough just to disagree with dissenters. Many of us have decided it is necessary to silence them. Which is really kind of ironic since it is political dissent that created this country and sustained it and improved it. But ask the Dixie Chicks about how well this year we Americans kept our pledge to be tolerant of dissent, our delight in disagreeing with your opinion but being willing to fight to the death to protect your right to express it. ”
– Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown, Sept. 29, 2003.
■ Peter Jennings: “Finally this evening, what it sometimes costs to be in the minority and say what you think publicly. There is nothing like a war to create tension between some of those who most fervently support it and those who do not. And as we’ve seen in the case of this war, when those who are opposed happen to be in show business, well, some other people want to make them pay....”
Actor Tim Robbins: “A chill wind is blowing in this nation.”
Jim Wooten: “In Washington this week, Robbins criticized the political climate in which his right to express his views has come under attack....All this has reminded some of the McCarthy era’s blacklists that barred those even accused of communist sympathies from working in films or on television.”
— ABC’s World News Tonight, April 16, 2003.
■ “Across the country, citizens have been coming out to voice their opposition, all calling for the same things. They want government accountability, they want environmental justice, and most of all, they’re calling for peace....While protesters like today are a statistical minority, in American history protests like this have been prescient indicators of the national mood. So the government may do well to listen to what’s said today.”
– ABC correspondent Chris Cuomo previewing an afternoon protest rally planned for Times Square, on a special five-hour Saturday edition of Good Morning America, March 22, 2003, three days after the war in Iraq began.
■ “I decided to put on my flag pin tonight...I put it on to take it back. The flag’s been hijacked and turned into a logo — the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism. On those Sunday morning talk shows, official chests appear adorned with the flag as if it is the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and during the State of the Union did you notice Bush and Cheney wearing the flag?...More galling than anything are all those moralistic ideologues in Washington sporting the flag in their lapels while writing books and running Web sites and publishing magazines attacking dissenters as un-American.”
— Bill Moyers on PBS’s Now, February 28, 2003.
■ “It’s an obscene comparison, and I’m not sure I like it, but there was a time, in South Africa, where people would put flaming tires around peoples’ necks if they dissented. And in some ways, the fear is that you’ll be necklaced here, you’ll have the flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it’s that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions and to continue to bore in on the tough questions so often. And again, I’m humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism.”
– Dan Rather on the BBC’s Newsnight program, May 16, 2002.
(Libertarian Republican h/t)
He stands his ground.