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With all the mess in Ukraine, why would NATO want to expand into Ukraine? So that next time some Cossacks get in fighting mood, we would need to go toe to toe with Russia? Take NATO off the table (but not the EU, which in case would take a LONG time to come to fruition.) And Ukraine can make Russian an official language in the oblasts that want it. Russia can pay in the form of cheap gas to Ukraine for Crimea.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118890/european-sanctions-russia-put-putin-dangerous-corner
@John Webster @swampwiz @Widldboy @LittleYerrySeinfeld Don't confuse my correcting of your understanding as being in favor of illegal immigration. Aside from the simple concept that the fair application of the law is an existential activity of the state (i.e., if there is a law, enforce the damn thing!), I am against the political question of immigration in general in a time of there not being enough work for everyone, be it at the low end (e.g., farm & construction workers, etc.) or high end (e.g., H1B computer programmers).
And even if there were an actual shortage of labor (at either end), the specific way that illegal immigration debases the capitalist-labor interface (i.e., by having the workers in fear for being caught, and without the regular proscriptions for workers' rights, etc.), as well as the way that legal guest worker programs debases (e.g., the H1B visa, which binds the worker to a specific employer in such a way that the employer has the power to deport the worker, etc.) would make me against most immigrant labor activity (I think that fields which employ individuals of truly extraordinary talents like entertainment, sports & modeling should not be restricted.)
And since I see the inevitable result of the economy as being a socialist redistributionist state, as someone (or whose heirs will be) who will be on the receiving end, I don't wish to have others dilute the distribution.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118602/deporting-all-undocumented-immigrants-would-cost-billions-immigration
@softunderbelly2 @swampwiz @Widldboy @LittleYerrySeinfeld How many times do I have to say this - ILLEGALS DO NOT GET FOOD STAMPS, WELFARE, ETC., ASIDE FROM EMERGENCY MEDICAID & SCHOOLING FOR THE KIDS!
However, you are correct about the distorting effects on the employment market - which is why I advocate throwing employers of illegals into jail.
@Widldboy @LittleYerrySeinfeld I think that the way it works with illegal workers is that yes, the boss pays the illegal in cash and therefore has no business expense deduction from that, so the boss ends up with that much of a higher income, which he pays at his own marginal rate, which would be higher than the rate paid by the illegal. So tax-wise, Uncle Sam comes out ahead.
@KRock @John Webster They are eligible for emergency Medicaid, which means they go to an emergency room (which is a lot more expensive than a regular office visit) to get treated. Oh, and they get public school education too.
@Sharon Knettell The murder rate is still lower than New Orleans, ironically a city whose main Latino nationality had been Honduran (all legal immigrants) for a long time (until Katrina, when the standard Mexican (many illegal) construction workers came in.
@RusselHeim $44/gal gasoline?
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118621/long-term-unemployed-are-not-finding-jobs-economy-recovers
I am an early middle-aged, "obsolete", "unemployable" American programmer that has gone over a decade without regular work. After going 0-14 on job interviews a few years into my unemployment journey, I asked my recruiter why I keep getting rejected, and was told that I'm looked upon as having "career hysteresis".
I think that the only solution to the long-term unemployed question is a USSR-style 100% employment guarantee from the state. Absent that, why don't we implement a moratorium on the job-busting H1B visa?
@DavidDebertin What if their "latest & greatest income documentation" shows them as below 100% poverty income and they have a jagaz of a governor like I do and aren't eligible for the Medicaid expansion?
2 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117994/obamacare-enrollment-data-2-million-inconsistencies-not-big-deal
I'd like for someone to comment on my particular situation.
Living in state with a jerk governor and no ACA Medicaid expansion, I am a single, no dependents, retired/unemployed with zero regular income, but for the last few years I have been doing a Roth IRA conversion to generate taxable income, such that (after the $3K capital loss carryover from big losses in real estate & stocks during the depths of the crisis a few years back) the taxable income is right at the point where the 10% tax bracket applies (i.e., I am taking full advantage of the 0% tax bracket.) The AGI (and as well the applicable MAGI for the purposes of the ACA) has always been a little bit lower (but more lower than 10%) than poverty income level for *that* year, and certainly lower than for the following year, which would be the applicable level used for the ACA (e.g., for coverage in 2014, the poverty level used is for 2013, whereas the latest income tax form would be 2012), so if the ACA bureaucrats looking at my case were to go strictly by the latest tax form, I would have less than 100% of poverty income, and therefore ineligible for the tax subsidy to buy coverage. Now sure, I could go ahead and front the full premium amount, and get it back after doing the tax form, but I would have to come up with that cash myself (a difficult & expensive thing to so) to essentially loan myself what the government should be giving me upfront itself! And then there is the issue of not getting the cost-sharing subsidy as such coverage would be for someone having less than 100% poverty income, while such subsidy only applies starting at 100% poverty income.
Of course, the existential problem with the tax subsidy is that it is based on the income for the coverage year, but that income won't be properly determined until after the year is finished! (Sure, this *shouldn't* be an issue as there is Medicaid, but as we all know, there are Republicans in red state statehouses who seem to enjoy killing people.) In my situation, I will ensure that I do a higher amount of Roth IRA conversion so that my AGI hits the magic 100% poverty level amount, but applicants must apply before the coverage year, there is no possible way for the applicant to even do such Roth IRA conversion activity beforehand to prove that this will happen (i.e., the conversion is applied as income in the year it happens.)
For this year, somehow I got qualified for coverage at 100% poverty, but not for the cost-sharing subsidy; this has always baffled me as I would think that whatever part of the computer program that approved me as having 100% poverty income for the tax credit should be the same part that would approve me for the cost-sharing subsidy. I am beginning to think that indeed, the computer program has *never* approved me with this income, but somehow this was overridden for me getting the tax subsidy, but not for the cost-sharing subsidy. I filed an appeal over this, and a representative of that office got me to try the system again, and it still hasn't approved me for the cost-sharing subsidy. (I am awaiting the appeal with a human being.)
Anyway, that's my story. I am obviously a "special case", but it seems like I am destined to perpetually "fall through the cracks". I guess I can't officially get my Congressman involved until I get rejected for my appeal.
I know about this. In the '90s, I quit a job to become a contractor, getting the COBRA coverage as I departed, but getting cancer a few months later. After the 18 months were done, my insurer offered to keep me insured for a net out-of-pocket cost that was 4X what it had been! Fortunately, I lived in Louisiana which had a peculiar, but ultimately rather effective public hospital system, and somehow I qualified for free coverage anytime I had to go in for a checkup (I think it was some kind of game the state was playing with the DHAP funds, which Senator Landrieu got continued as part of the "Louisiana Purchase" deal for voting for the ACA.) I remember trying to ask at the hospital what the cost would be for me to get the necessary tests, and no one would give me an answer, but since I was self-employed, I was considered unemployed, and eligible for free care.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117948/how-obamacare-affects-cobra-why-unemployed-widows-are-better
@johnwerneken I prefer a Soviet style comprehensive health coverage system, as only something of this size can mandate proper usage of medical care.
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117452/rising-health-care-costs-what-it-means-economy-obamacare
@CharlesRaymondChandler @WidldboyI think you deserve to get cancer ...
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117156/obamacares-most-destructive-legal-challenge-still-has-life
@Widldboy Well, a lot of these voters hate homos, little brown people, "Sharia law", etc., more than they value their own lives, so who knows ...
Talk about a death panel!
I have to admit - ever since I became unemployable and low income, I am much more amenable to higher taxes and the welfare state!
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117365/tax-day-2014-more-new-taxes-would-make-better-society
Actually everyone with an income below a certain amount must use the tax tables.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117356/poll-doing-taxes-not-complicated-most-americans
There is no need for the doughnut hole to stop folks from getting the subsidy. The law allows an applicant to propose *any* income that he wants, so long as it is not more than 10% less than whatever income the "best documented evidence" would indicate (e.g., latest tax form, latest paycheck, salary, SSI benefits, etc.) So this poor woman could have just proposed that her income be exactly 100% of poverty level for her situation, in which case she would have only had to pay less than 2% of that for the lowest cost Silver 94% plan (which has a total out-of-pocket ceiling of only $700/yr), perhaps even $0 if that lowest cost Silver plan is more than 2% of less than that poverty level than the 2nd lowest cost Silver plan (i.e., that is the benchmark for the subsidy.) And, if someone were to propose such an income, but end up not reaching that, the law states that there is to be no mandated tax liability for the subsidy having been given "in error".I am in a similar situation, and I just proposed the 100% of poverty level income and got the subsidy for that, which ends up paying for my premium in total. Of course, this could be viewed upon as being "dishonest". So what? I'd love to see a Republican politician try and make the case that someone should not lie, but instead go uninsured and die as a result.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117352/charlene-dill-death-obamacare-medicaid-expansion-would-save-lives
5 months, 2 weeks ago on How the Saints Can Afford Jairus Byrd and What it Means for Jimmy Graham
@JustinPetrone @WidldboyI've always thought that Sweden was tied into Latvia, while Finland is tied into Estonia (that makes sense since the Finnish & Estonian languages are very close, just about mutually intelligible).
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116970/estonia-lithuania-mistreat-ethnic-russians-nato-keeps-putin-out
@Widldboy In this day & age, the Baltics are not strategically important to Russia, since there is already St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad.
@Xenophon @beihaiYanukovich had just been elected and not a sitting president during the Orange Revolution of 2004 - so he could not send in the police.
I am from SE LA as well (but I ski a lot, so I know how cold, cold can get), and merely subfreezing is most certainly NOT bitter cold. And as well, I don't care how windy or wet it is, above freezing is even more certainly not bitter. Bitter cold is when even being in full clothing gear, just the exposed face loses enough heat so that one feels cold (and of course there is a high risk of frostbite.)
This may be stating the obvious, but wearing the correct and enough clothes is the key to staying warm in the cold. Most folks in NOLA don't have such warm clothing, and hence feel cold when it is in the 30's. NFL teams - even the tropical or near tropical ones like the Saints, Dolphins, etc. - know how to dress properly. And there is this grease that can be put on the skin that acts like a windbreaker, taking that aspect out. The mid 30's with no wind is nothing.
Another thing to realize is that most NFL fields have an underground heating system to guard against becoming "frozen tundra", and in the situation of no wind especially makes the air above the field (i.e., where the players are) a good bit warmer. You probably noticed for the Eagles game how a lot of Saints players had no thermal clothing outside of the jersey.
There is something to be said for players getting used to dealing with the cold & wet with respect to the ball. In this regard, you are correct that being a dome team in a near tropical climate, the Saints are at a disadvantage - but it should be noted that a lot of players grew up or went to college in cold places, so they know how to handle it (and as well any player encountering it once or twice while a pro.)
As for Robertson being a future great RB, I concur.
7 months, 1 week ago on Khiry Robinson Possible Saints Back of the Future?
@ForeignCharacterThe World Cup - like the Olympics - recognizes 1st, 2nd & 3rd place teams.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Upon further review: NFL third-place games used to be a thing
The Seattle game was "bitter cold"? The Philadelphia game was not all that cold either.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Khiry Robinson Possible Saints Back of the Future?
Hee hee. I've been on plenty of Colorado ski lifts with strangers who take the opportunity to light up. And now, plenty of folks get some shots of whiskey or other drinks and hit the slopes right after (yours truly included.)
8 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://www.governing.com/news/headlines/colorados-ski-resorts-and-mountain-towns-facing-pot-vacationers.html
@madeamj Get your federal legislators' offices involved - preferably one in the Democratic Party as the other jokers want your family to just die.
8 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://www.governing.com/news/state/sl-obamacare-makes-chip-critical.html
@dcmusicfreak @Kage Yojimbo Agreed. This is probably the only part of W's POTUS administration that I can say he succeeded at.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
I must admit; I have always considered W to be a dolt. After reading this article, I have to say that his foreign policy with regard to Russia was done pretty well, considering the times. Thank goodness his NSA Hadley was able to defuse the talk of a military response to the Georgian conflict, with W supporting him.
Of course Darth Cheney has been as dark as I have always suspected.
I am an early middle-aged, "obsolete","unemployable" American programmer. If the H1B visa were put on moratorium, I - and many folks like me - would be able to become employed again.
1 year, 1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227556
@Jemmy @swampwiz Jemmy, if I were you, I would find another physician. Yours is trying to scare you. The physician at my clinic was just changed to some guy that tried to tell me that Obamacare would be bad. I asked why - and he said, "trust me, it will be bad." Sure it might be bad for his income - but that means it will be good for us paying his income. Ironically this clinic is one of the community clinics that gets some funding from the federal government - with all the patients being uninsured, and who would have the most to gain from Obamacare.
1 year, 8 months ago on The 47% have no idea how much healthcare reform will cost them
How about doing to physicians what has been done to software engineers? Open up the floodgates of the H1B visa worker.
1 year, 9 months ago on Study: U.S. will need 52,000 more family docs by 2025
This is BS. Anyone in the 47% (i.e., no income tax liability) is pretty much covered under Obamacare Medicaid expansion. Any of those increased "costs" that the good doctor mentions (which aren't really costs, as they end up helping get health care costs to go down) simply get passed onto the payer - which is the government for those on Medicaid.
1 year, 9 months ago on The 47% have no idea how much healthcare reform will cost them