Monthly Archives: September 2009

Race Captures Media Coverage – Pew Research Center

Race Captures Media Coverage – Pew Research Center.

This is exactly what I was talking about the other day.  We’re being setup by the financial and banking industries to frame the discussion of reform in terms of a race war rather than finance.

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Filed under economy, Politics

Whatever Happened to Private Mortgage Insurance? [PMI]

How many of you have paid PMI when you bought your first (or second, or third) house?  Remember this?  It is the insurance you pay if you don’t have a big enough down payment and it protects the lender in case you default.

Whatever happened to that money?  There have to be hundreds of billions of dollars of PMI premiums collected over the decades.  Where has it been going?

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Filed under economy, Politics

Next up: A Race War Instead of Banking Reform

The health care debate is over.  The money has spoken.  The people have spoken.  The population has been counted and counted and counted. The calculus has been done. The lawmakers know where their electorate stands.  They know that 77% of voters want a public option and nearly 50% want Medicare for all, and they know how many votes all those health insurance campaign contributions can buy them.  The door is closed to the people on this debate now.  It rests in the hands of the power brokers and the deal makers.  All we can do is hope.

The next thing we should do is a ground-up, constitutional amendment based overhaul of campaign finance strictly and severely limiting the role of corporate money of any sort in the political process.  But the next thing we are going to do is fail to reform banking and finance.

They’ve already called their play.  Here it is.

  1. Bankers have just been banking all along.  They haven’t done anything wrong.
  2. They were forced to make bad loans (they weren’t) by “the Clinton’s” (it was Bush I) to eliminate redlining (discriminating against African Americans and Hispanics).
  3. Obama paid off the banks to hide this fact and to keep them quiet and because he’s a “n word” (a word you’ll hear more before this Christmas than you’ve heard in the last 20 years)
  4. What we really need to do is get rid of welfare,  affirmative action, extra police presence in high crime neighborhoods, desegregation and especially busing
  5. The last thing we should do is ruin the American banking industry, that keeps Americans first in blah blah blah, instead of fixing the real problem which is, of course, all ‘dem (n word)
  6. Obama is effectively neutralized because A) he desperately doesn’t want to get into the race war B) the nuts can discount anything he says because he has a “conflict of interest”.

The networks are already geared up on both sides.  Is it a coincidence that the debate has just recently switched to racism?  I don’t like Joe Wilson anymore than anyone, but it’s a stretch to say that his outburst was race related.  Really, the seething against the Obama’s is not really any more pronounced, although it is better organized, than the seething was against the Clintons.  Is it a surprise that Rush Limbaugh blatantly called a school bus incident a symptom of “Obama’s (ie. a n-word) America”?

We’re heading into a full fledged race war, the flames of which will be fanned by the usual suspects on the right, executed on the ground by the same ad agencies and PR firms that have done so well at the health care war, and paid for by Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citibank, Credit Suisse, etc.

And we’re already behind.  We need to start our planning RIGHT NOW.


Filed under economy, Politics

UnitedHealth $7 billion more than Medicare to pay less than 10% of Medicare’s bills.

In 2007 UnitedHealth Group made a net profit of $4.65 billion on revenues of $75.43 billion.  6.2%, which sounds reasonable and fair.  That’s NET profit of course.  UnitedHealth Group also paid $2.6 billion in income tax.  Now, they don’t have a choice in this last bit, but the fact remains that a government run alternative would save the profit and the income tax UHG takes out of the healthcare system and which amounts to 9.8% of the insurance premiums they collect.

But that’s just the beginning. I’m not here to make a case that the government should run businesses solely because it doesn’t have a profit motive.  We have good reason to believe that in lots of cases that’s a bad idea.

United Health’s 2007 Cost of Goods Sold (their actual insurance payouts) were $56.2 billion or, 74.5% of their $75.43 billion of revenues.  We know that of the remaining $25.5% is $7.3 billion in tax and profit.  Now, as it turns out, UH wrote off $796 million in depreciation and amortization which the government also does in its own way, which left it with $10.583 billion in operating expenses, or 14% of gross revenue.  This 14% is where the REAL pain is.

A large portion of this goes to doing their damndest to not insure people who might need insurance and to cut them off from insurance in the instance that they ever do.  So, this really is the heart of our healthcare issue, which is that insurance companies make money by NOT paying for healthcare costs people pay them to pay for.  But the heart of the problem isn’t the only problem.

The other problem with the 14% (and actually, lets go ahead and make it the whole 25.5% again) is that the comparable cost for the combined Medicare and Medicaid program is… are you ready?  2.6%.  That’s right.  Medicare and Medicaid expect to pay out $709 billion of medical payments covering healthcare for 95 million Americans (about 1 in 3) with administrative overhead of $18.6 billion.  Actually, a lot of this 2.6% covers fraud and abuse prevention and loss accounts, quality improvement programs, research, and grants to states for various things.  The actual program administration costs are one half of one percent.  That’s right.  0.5%

Another way to look at it is that if Medicare had a similar cost structure to United Healthcare, it would spend $180 billion on administration and profit to provide services to all those people instead of the $18 billion it actually spends.  Or, if UnitedHealth were as efficient as Medicare, its overhead would be less than $2 billion.


United Health Group 2007 Financial Statements.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Performance Budget for FY 2009.

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Filed under economy, health care, healthcare, Politics

Liberals Head Into the Weeds on Right Wing Angst About Obama Speech

So, of course I can understand why liberals are incensed that after being called traitors, and unpatriotic, and being told to move to other countries, and beaten up sometimes, for even questioning the wisdom of a war that turned out to ultimately be a scam and a debacle based on deliberate lies that cost over a trillion dollars (and counting) and four thousand young Americans lives (and counting) and got us NOTHING, that conservatives would have the balls, yes the fucking balls, to suggest that even listening to the first legitimately elected President of the United States of America in a decade talk about anything at all, let alone the value of an education, could be anything but a blessing for their children…

And I have to admit that I am so incensed that I’m more than happy to let them know that I think they are pathetic substitutes for human beings, that they are so clearly the unwashed, uneducated, bible thumping, illiterate, shoeless, toothless, rusted pickup truck driving, unskilled laboring, snuff chewing, warm Miller beer drinking, sibling screwing, greasy haired, wife-beating, dirt floor shack living, car on blocks in the side yard having, faded plastic Mary in a bathtub in the front yard having, hair lipped, brown-shirt wearing, gay bashing, better to have an abortion with a wire hanger than a surgeon believing, underarm stinking, crotch crab infested, swamp-assed, bastard, worthless, piece of shit mother-fuckers that those of us who actually graduated 9th grade always knew they were…. where was I?

Oh ya.  The difference between being a liberal and a conservative is that while I find them despicable in all the above ways and more, I fully support their right, if their fetid little maggot infested minds lead them to want to, to have their children wait somewhere else while the rest of the kids benefit from a wholesome message about the value of an education from the President of the United States of America, the greatest nation on Earth.

Would that when we have an issue with our kids being arm-twisted to say that America is a nation “under God” which it MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT since THERE IS NO GOD EVEN THOUGH THEY INSIST THERE IS, that they would be as generous as we, and look out for our rights as individuals as much as we look out for theirs.

Filthy, buck-toothed, rat-faced, acrid, bug infested, little creep bastards.

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Filed under Politics

We need 6,000 more Congress Critters

When the Founding Fathers designed the House of Representatives in the Constitution they sought to ensure that there would be no more than one representative for every 30,000 people AND NO LESS THAN one representative for every 50,000 people.

Each representative today has over 600,000 constituents and this inestimably cheats the citizenry of their fair say in Congress.

Remember that the Senate represents states as a whole. The House is to represent communities and neighborhoods. At 600,000 constituents per representative, neighborhood concerns are almost entirely lost and Representatives are left to only focus on the big, national issues of the day… those that the Senate is already designed to master.

At 600,000 constituents representatives must campaign via expensive, mass media which shifts their attention from voters to fund raising and campaign contributors… Most of whom come from OUTSIDE their districts and demand representation that actually harms the representative’s voters.

The people’s voice has been stolen and we need it back. We need our other 5,500 representatives.

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Filed under Politics

Caveat emptor this

Let the buyer beware is wise advice in a world known to have dishonest businessmen.

As a government policy it is immoral. We have a right and an obligation to shut down predatory businesses when we find them and no choice but to use caution knowing that we’ll never find them all.

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Filed under Politics