Monday, December 8, 2014

Unintended Consequences (The "Oh. Rats!" Edition)


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"Let's Move!" But, um, like, where will we all go?
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Well, if I WERE personally going somewhere, I would NOT be going to the San Francisco, CA area - especially if I still had school-age kids.   Those people have been through so much, and now they're being over-run yet more unintended consequences of Michelle Obama's overhaul of school lunch programs nationwide.  
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"Say Hello to my little friend..."
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CBS News - San Francisco, CA, December 1, 2014:  Rats Part Of Growing Pains For Fresh Food Program At San Francisco Schools
.SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco Unified School District serves more fresh food and a greater number of meals to their students since switching food providers last year, but the fresh-food program has led to some infrastructure challenges of its own including one problem with four legs and a very bad reputation for carrying disease: rats.
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Students have enjoyed healthier breakfasts and lunches prepared and cooked locally by East Bay food provider, Revolution Foods. However, the success of the program — and the increase in fresh food on site – is highlighting a lack of refrigerators at schools as well as excess food waste, which may be factors in the increased presence of rodents at schools.


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Students have enjoyed healthier breakfasts and lunches!




.SFUSD has purchased new refrigerators for about 20 school sites since this past summer, but there’s still the need for more.  [MoosNote:  So food cost is up, waste produced is up, AND they have to buy more refrigerators in schools to store the stuff no one wants to eat?  That's a Win/Win/Win!!!  Just not sure for who(m) these major school lunch improvements benefit - it doesn't appear to be the children.  Perhaps the nice folks at General Electric?]
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“We have enough equipment to meet our current needs. Where we would like to see more equipment is actually as we grow our own food program. We’re hoping to increase the number of students who are eating meals at schools. In order to be able to do that, we need to grow our infrastructure,” said school district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe.

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One of the challenges related to feeding students is rodents. A San Francisco Examiner review of health inspection data shows many rodent issues began in 2013, the same time more fresh food was introduced into schools as part of the food lunch reform popularized by First Lady Michelle Obama. The results of lunch reform are now being criticized by opponents using the hashtag #ThankYouMichelleObama.

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"San Francisco, YOU have a pest-control problem..."

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“We have an ongoing challenge with pest management as do all the restaurants in the city,” she said.

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Blythe said the program has been most successful during breakfast.

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"This is where school lunches end up, just like your husband's promises"

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“That’s really important for kids to not come and sit in class hungry and have to wait for lunch. Our lunches are being served with several options a day and all of those options exceed the federal requirements for student nutrition programs,” she said.

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So, well-meaning education-centric bureaucrats find that the kids don't WANT the food (even though it's literally being 'given away') and the answer is to not change the program to give the kids more nutritious AND palatable food, but instead, to buy more refrigerators to store the stuff (the kids don't eat) and increase the number of trash collection times per week to keep the rat population down to all the excess 'waste'?  
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How can you argue with this logic?
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In summary, a Federally-sponsored program pushed down to the states by the wife of a President, seems to be driving up costs, taking funds AWAY from educating the children, reducing the number of kids actually EAT at these schools, creating a 'contraband market' for unhealthy foods, AND increasing the amount of trash being collected at schools because students don't want an Arugula salad, an orange wedge and a single, naked turkey frank rolling around listlessly on a tray (without ketchup).
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Fortunately for us most, of the rodents who are eating better than they 'used to' cannot vote in the 2016 elections.  CLARIFICATION:  They cannot vote outside of NY, NJ, IL, CA, and WI currently.  But keep a happy thought, as I'm sure there's another Executive Order coming shortly to grant them citizenship soon enough.  
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Get ready to swallow hard because when the Rats are running the show, you know, it's all about taking care of the other rats - regardless of species...




 
 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The ACA's Diminishing Return(ees)

"Any resemblance to Satan is purely coincidental and is not necessarily indicative of your expected health care experience"
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Yes, men, women, boys and girls, this upcoming Saturday, we'll have the rare opportunity to dip our collective toes into the ObamaCare 'Marketplace' once again!!!  And, if you know what's good for you, you'd better get BUSY doing it...  
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Just don't do it all at once and break the website again - got it?
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Monday, November 10, 2014, WashingtonTimes.com:  Obamacare may not have enough enrollees to stay solvent  - Fewer than 10 million projected; 13 million needed to stay solvent
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The administration on Monday said fewer than 10 million Americans will enroll in Obamacare’s health exchanges this go-around, well short of the 13 million target congressional scorekeepers deemed critical to its economics, suggesting another rocky rollout in the law’s second year of full operation.

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.Policy advisers at the Health & Human Services Department estimated that 9 million to 9.9 million people would enroll through the exchanges — or only a slight increase over the 8 million that the administration says were active at the end of the first enrollment period this April. The Congressional Budget Office, which is the government’s official scorekeeper, had predicted the law would need 13 million customers on the exchanges.
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The number of enrollees is key, because if too few take part in the exchanges, the pool of customers is too small, and it could skew the economics of Obamacare, forcing insurers to raise premiums and pushing even more people to forgo coverage, choosing to pay the tax penalty instead.
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.The second round of enrollment begins Saturday and ends Feb. 15, 2015. The administration has been reluctant to set a goal for itself this time.
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As quoted above,
"The Congressional Budget Office, which is the government’s official scorekeeper, had predicted the law would need 13 million customers on the exchanges."  Um, okay, I'll ask the logical question, "So if the plan is short by 3+ MILLION subscribers, what does this mean to the subscribers who ARE participating in ObamaCare?"  
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A couple of things might happen:
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  1. Premiums can be increased to raise the revenue necessary to manage the program  with its lowered participation rates
  2. Deductibles can be increased to raise the required revenue to keep the plan solvent
  3. More people will be forced into the program when Obama Administration-hosted exemptions expire at the end of 2014
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Add to this the article on Fiscal Times I saw the other day that 53% of currently enrolled subscribers (or, roughly 4.6 MILLION current subscribers) do not plan to re-enroll because it already costs too much...  
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Where are all the replacement subscribers going to be coming from?  [Note to self:  Check to see how many illegal aliens (oops, sorry, 'undocumented workers') who are currently in the U.S. and then let's watch the President very closely over the next 90 days].  
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If the 2015 enrollment numbers are going to be as bad as are forecast, I'm thinking the train illustration above is nicely positioned to illustrate the ObamaCare 2015 roll-out.  
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Luckily for US, the smiling man driving the Affordable Care enrollment train is Jolly Old St. Barack himself - and he'll do whatever he can do between now and January to make it FREE for everyone (provided that they are here illegally). 
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The question facing the incoming freshmen in the House and Senate is this,  "Will you be better than those your replaced in limiting / repealing the pain inflicted on America by the ACA?"  Please feel free to answer in the affirmative, or make plans to leave Washington now to avoid the 2016 rush out of DC.  
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Thank you.

 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Democrats Lost - Why?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz - The Public Face of the Democrat Party

Yeah, I know, the photo above is a cheap shot at the Titular Head of the DNC (because it looks just like her).  In my defense, I was looking for an image of Debbie Wasserman Schultz that would visualize the range of emotions she was feeling the day after last week's election results were released.  Was it a bad day for the Nation?  No.  But it was a very bad day for the Democrat Party.  

Not only did they lose, but they lost - BIG  
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You may be asking the question which I did last Wednesday morning, "So how big did the Democrats lose on Tuesday?"  Don't ask this question aloud as it's akin to asking an obviously pregnant woman, "Hey, how pregnant are you?"  

Two likely answers can be provided at this point from the woman (and yes, I've heard both so I learned NOT to ask the question any longer), "Buddy if you are pregnant, you ARE pregnant, regardless of 'how pregnant' you are.  There's no such thing as being 'almost pregnant'."

Or, the even worse response follows,  "Honey, I'm not pregnant, I'm just fat."   (I heard this response about 14 years ago when my four-year old son asked the lady behind us at the check-out line, "When are you going to have your baby?".  Luckily the woman was laughing after she told him that she was 'just fat'.  Then we shuffled our son out of the cashier line of the local Publix super market and signed him up for 'Education Camp' for the summer.)  

GET ON WITH IT MOOS, HOW BAD DID DEMOCRATS LOSE??? 

Well, I found the map which follows on the National Journal website under the title of "This Is What A Republican Takeover Looks Like".  

It is a map of the United States with RED indicating House Seats held, or won, by Republicans for the 114th House of Representatives.  The BLUE areas, of course, are those held, or won, by Democrats which will make up next year's House of Representatives.   

 
 
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Okay, a couple of housekeeping items from the above:

  1. Keep in mind that I wrote about the seats "Democrats lost", and that,
  2. I never said that Republicans won the 'lost' seats

There is a huge distinction to be made here between voting FOR someone, and AGAINST someone.  Fox News conducted an Exit Poll on the day of the election and asked a series of questions, one of which was this, "Do you feel the country is on the right or wrong track?"  

The answer, in percentages, to this question follow...




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65% of all respondents said that the country is on the 'Wrong Track'.  

Folks, if you told people that the airliner they were about to board has a 65% of crashing with a large amounts of fire, screaming, and large piles of twisted and broken metal prior to getting to its ultimate destination, there's an EXCELLENT chance that 'quite a few' people would be heading back to the terminal with their bags to wait for another (i.e.:  less doomed) flight.  

However, given the same scenario outlined above, apparently slightly less than a third of the seats on the 'Greater-than-50%-of-Aircraft-crashing-travelers' WOULD have people sitting in them sipping on their free Coca Cola and reading the latest 'Air Mall' Catalog.  Upon reflection, illustrates very nicely the mindset of the 30+% of the population which is your traditional Progressive Democrat Voter...   

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They don't care what's happening to THEM as long as they feel other people are being punished for something - Nana nana boo boo, so there...

 

The lesson which needs to be learned is that while the Republican Party had their 'wave election' (mostly as a result of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid's 'undertow' on Democrats), the American People didn't so much vote for Republicans, they, in most cases, they voted against the "Party In Power" in an attempt to decrease the chances of our USA airliner slamming head-first into the Earth at 622 MPH.  Voters voted to slow our Nation's rate of descent and now it's up to the Republican Party to figure out where the air brakes are.  

But here's the thing...

I didn't vote merely for a slowing of our descent, I voted for a NEW flight plan, and God help us (and the GOP in 2016) if the Republicans don't have one stashed away in their back pocket just like President Obama had his Health Care Plan (all 20+ Thousand Pages of it)  within a year after his election.
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In short, the 2014 Election Campaign for the Republican Party was like the Seinfeld episode pitching George and Jerry's TV show about 'Nothing'.  Republicans, for the most part, kept their mouths shut and let the Democrats flail about with the War on Women, Birth Control, and How Great the Economy Is.  Yeah, good luck with those winning strategies, Dems...  
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Boehnor and McConnell had better come up with some pro-active strategies other than merely opposing Obama.  Yes, we need a firewall to slow the decline of American greatness, but we also need new ideas in Washington to once and for all end the Great Recession of 2007/2008.  We need leadership we can believe in.
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We'll see if we have it soon enough.  


 

      

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Losing Patients (with Ebola-Like Symptoms)


A word of caution regarding the title of this post:  Today's post title includes use of a 'Homophone'.  If you are easily offended by several words which sound the same but are spelled differently, please read the following at your own risk.  - Thank you!

No, I am not losing 'patience' with people with Ebola-like symptoms, rather, the Department of Homeland Security apparently IS losing potential 'patients' with Ebola-like symptoms.  As with all things literary, the difference in the usage of the two homophones used in the prior sentence is HUGE 

(i.e.:  I may be losing 'patience' regarding the ineptitude of the CDC, Federal Government, and Homeland Security's handling of the whole 'Ebola-Thing', but I'm not the one who is losing PATIENTS who are flying into the US with Ebola-like symptoms.  When it comes to health care, it takes steady hand of highly skilled government professionals to lose the aforementioned patients...  But hay (another Homophone!), don't take my word for it, check out the following excerpt from folks at the Washington Post!)  




The Washington Post - Ashley Halsey III October 21, 9:30 PM
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Four passengers who flew into Dulles International Airport recently were taken to a local hospital after enhanced airport screening alarmed the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.

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The agency and the CDC provided no details on the hospital visits or whether the passengers were admitted to the hospital. Spokespeople for the two Northern Virginia hospitals closest to the airport said they did not receive the passengers.
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“We have no patients,” said Reston Hospital Center nursing supervisor Kim Wilfred.
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“I’m not aware of anything like that, and I would be aware,” said Tony Raker at Inova Fairfax Hospital.
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The CDC and DHS could not explain the discrepancy.
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A person familiar with the screening at Dulles said that a 13-year-old boy and his mother were taken to a hospital last Thursday after the CDC became concerned about their symptoms. The source, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity surrounding Ebola fears, said two other passengers also were taken to a hospital over the weekend. 
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The person was unable to name the hospital, and said that all four passengers apparently were released after further testing at the hospital.
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 "All four passengers were released after further testing at the hospital..."  
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This would be the hospital where no one knew they were taken two (yikes - yet another homophone!), right?  
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I'm not the brightest light on the Christmas Tree string of Merry Midgets, but didn't they just say that they didn't know which hospital these people were taken to?  And yet, even though they don't know where they went, they know for a fact that they have been released following 'further testing'?  
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For the record, I have no confidence that the Federal Government can put together a coherent plan to manage this crisis any better than they have any of endless wave of the other ones we've been through over the past six to eight years.  

This crisis won't make you poor (their's (homophone - sorry) always SNAP benefits at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/apply!), hurt your feelings (www.stopbullying.gov), or interject itself into your personal communications (www.nsa.gov) - this one will punch your clock following a week or two of unimaginable internal intestinal distress and conclude with obligatory period of 'bleeding out' through most major orifices of your body - through no fault of your own...  Simply because we wanted to be 'nice' and keep our airports open to everyone.
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Mr. Obama, Build Up Those Walls.
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It's getting weird out here.

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