Friday, December 19, 2014

My 15 Minutes (5 really) of Fame at the Warhol


I did a screen test at the Warhol Museum.  He said "everyone has their 15 minutes of Fame."  The screen test was five minutes with no sound.  There is no point to the video.  Just like the countless others who have posted.  He did make a point with this image of Nixon which got him audited by the IRS but that is as close to offering a solution in his work as he got.

Warhol's art pokes fun at our culture and it's obsession with stuff.  He offered no solutions which is why I present the video below which does.




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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Census State Level Estimates Are Out for 2013 (Cross Post with Healthcare for All PA)

US and PA Uninsured The Census Bureau has come out with estimates from the American Community Survey of national and state level uninsured rates for 2013. County level estimates are due out in early 2015. Pennsylvania's rate has decreased from 12.0% in 2012 to 9.7% in 2013 (when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) came into effect in October of 2013). The state and national rates are now comparable to pre-recession levels in 2008. Below is a table with the rates for all states plus DC in 2013 in order of highest to lowest rates. Pennsylvania ranks 42nd, Vermont (which is backtracking on it's commitment to single payer) ranks 48th with a rate of 7.2%. As in previous estimates, Texas leads the nation with a rate of 22.1% but it is down from a high of 25.5% 2009. 


State Percent of Uninsured 2013 Margin of Error State Rank in Uninsured
UNITED STATES 14.5 0.1
TEXAS 22.1 0.2 1
NEVADA 20.7 0.6 2
FLORIDA 20.0 0.2 3
GEORGIA 18.8 0.3 4
NEW MEXICO 18.6 0.6 5
ALASKA 18.5 1.0 6
OKLAHOMA 17.7 0.3 7
CALIFORNIA 17.2 0.2 8
ARIZONA 17.1 0.4 9
MISSISSIPPI 17.1 0.5 10
LOUISIANA 16.6 0.4 11
MONTANA 16.5 0.8 12
IDAHO 16.2 0.8 13
ARKANSAS 16.0 0.5 14
SOUTH CAROLINA 15.8 0.4 15
NORTH CAROLINA 15.6 0.3 16
OREGON 14.7 0.4 17
KENTUCKY 14.3 0.3 18
COLORADO 14.1 0.3 19
INDIANA 14.0 0.3 20
UTAH 14.0 0.5 21
WASHINGTON 14.0 0.3 22
WEST VIRGINIA 14.0 0.5 23
TENNESSEE 13.9 0.3 24
ALABAMA 13.6 0.4 25
WYOMING 13.4 0.9 26
NEW JERSEY 13.2 0.2 27
MISSOURI 13.0 0.3 28
ILLINOIS 12.7 0.2 29
KANSAS 12.3 0.4 30
VIRGINIA 12.3 0.3 31
RHODE ISLAND 11.6 0.7 32
NEBRASKA 11.3 0.5 33
SOUTH DAKOTA 11.3 0.7 34
MAINE 11.2 0.5 35
MICHIGAN 11.0 0.2 36
OHIO 11.0 0.2 37
NEW HAMPSHIRE 10.7 0.5 38
NEW YORK 10.7 0.2 39
NORTH DAKOTA 10.4 0.8 40
MARYLAND 10.2 0.3 41
PENNSYLVANIA 9.7 0.2 42
CONNECTICUT 9.4 0.4 43
DELAWARE 9.1 0.7 44
WISCONSIN 9.1 0.2 45
MINNESOTA 8.2 0.3 46
IOWA 8.1 0.3 47
VERMONT 7.2 0.6 48
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 6.7 0.6 49
HAWAII 6.7 0.4 50
MASSACHUSETTS 3.7 0.2 51

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gruber Healthcare Hearing: "Are You Stupid?"

Lost in the coverage of the Senate torture report and the demonstrations on the deaths Mike Brown and Eric Garner (which are important stories for a change) was the congressional testimony of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber.  He was caught on tape saying that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare or ACA) had to be sold as a non-tax because of the "stupidity" of the American voter. 

When he appeared before a congressional committee he was asked directly "Are you stupid?"  He politely apologized for his comments but is there really any doubt that he meant it at the time.  He was recorded on several occasions saying it.  Was he referring to his perceived stupidity of the Tea Party voter or the Single Payer voter?  Maybe both.  Gruber did work with Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts

I have cited many surveys which indicate the both the Tea Party voter and the rest of the electorate are not as stupid as Gruber believes.  The polls have consistently suggested that the individual mandate was the least popular part of the ACA.  The other provisions, expanding Medicaid, banning the denial of coverage for preexisting conditions and subsidies for low incomes to buy insurance are popular among all Democrats, Independents and Republican voters.  Pretty consistently, if one adds those who support a better bill (i.e. Single Payer) to those who support the ACA, one has a majority.

Of course Republicans are not above relying on the perceived stupidity of the voter to get things passed too such as pushing the imaginary Iraq-Al Qaeda-9/11 connection to the US public to sell a disastrous invasion in 2003.

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