Operation Gratitude Care Package Weekend!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Operation Gratitude May, 2011

Earlier this month.  There's another packing session today, 5/28 9-4 at the armory at Louise and Victory just west of Balboa!  Come on down!

As an added perk the Most Interesting Man in the World from the Dos Equis commercials showed up to pack boxes and cheer the volunteers on.  He had some useful tips for arm wrestling Fidel Castro in a  beer commercial: 1) never let Che Guevara get behind you and 2) wait 'til he's 85 years old.

You can take the drill sergeant out of Benning...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Some People Are Hard to Keep Down...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Mystery of Missing Twitter Time...

Just one week after the mysterious "crash" of Blogger, Twitter fell silent for nearly a day yesterday as users' streams all over the world simply disappeared into the cloud...

Questions are being asked around the world  all over the internet in the halls of Congress here about the real story behind the outage:

Was it a pre-emptive strike by Facebook to draw attention away from its corporate and money problems?

"SurferBoy1996 looking for SurferGirl..."

Was it Glenn Beck going Biblical on Andew Breitbart?
"Thou SHALT NOT have any other prophet 
before me..."

Was it NATO bombing the servers in Libya?
"Bloody hell!  I just lost all me Twitpics! 
Rum do, that...!"

Was it the sinister Chinese?
"That's what you get for not switching 
to Kylin OS, gweilo lo fa'an..."

Was it Official White House Troll and MoveOn House Husband Jesse Lee flexing his virtual muscles?

"Anytime someone says 'it's simple as black and 
white' you know it's a racist Republican slur on
this President..."

(note: there appears to be a problem with getting 
pictures of Jesse Lee, so we're posting two — TBL)

Or was it some other unnamed, malignant force dedicated to the principle that there is just no fun you can have that SOMEONE won't want to take away...

AMERICA DEMANDS ANSWERS!  And until we get them we'll — well, we'll just have to speculate wildly in 140 characters or less...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fuck You Very Much, Mr. Commander-in-Chief. Sir. (17)

Obama's silent war on veterans' health care continues... Remember, you can keep your doctor, and your health coverage... right up to the point the Feds decide you can't...

A political battle has begun as lawmakers scramble to save a military health insurance program that the Defense Department says is too generous to doctors and retirees.

The House Armed Services Committee is poised to do the Pentagon’s bidding and Committee chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., will propose Wednesday that Medicare-eligible military retirees be barred from enrolling in the U.S. Family Health Plan beginning Oct. 1, 2012. This move, requested by the Defense Department, would leave the Tricare insurance option open for active-duty families and for working-age retirees and their families, but prevent new patients from enrolling once they reach age 65. Medicare-eligible retirees already in the plan would not be forced to drop coverage.

While McKeon’s committee is expected to approve the Pentagon proposal, it is not clear what might happen when the Senate Armed Services Committee takes up the defense authorization bill in June, because a Republican committee member in that chamber is strongly opposed.

“The fact that we’re going from the highest-rated health care plan in the military system to something that could be dramatically worse — it concerns me,” said Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., whose state is covered by one of the six U.S. Family Health Plan programs.

More than 100,000 people are enrolled in the U.S. Family Health Plan, which is made up of six networks based in the Northeastern U.S., the mid-Atlantic region, the Puget Sound area of Washington state, southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. Eligibility is based on where veterans live.

There is no question about the quality of medical treatment in the networks. In fact, U.S. Family Health has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of in the U.S., with 91 percent approval. For defense officials, the issue is one of both equity and savings.

Robert Hale, the Defense Department comptroller, said May 4 that current law requires Medicare-eligible military retirees to enroll in Medicare Part B to receive military health care benefits after age 65, but retirees enrolled in the U.S. Family Health Plan are exempt.

“They are the only retirees using the military health benefits who do not have to enroll in Medicare when they become age-eligible,” Hale said at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s personnel panel.

Not only is this a good deal for retirees who can avoid the Medicare Part B premium — $96.40 a month for most — but doctors in the U.S. Family Health Plan also are paid at rates that exceed Medicare limits for treatment, Hale said. “We seek legislation that would permit us to reimburse those plans in the same manner as we do for most other hospitals serving military beneficiaries,” Hale said.

Stopping new enrollments in a year, but allowing those already enrolled to keep their U.S. Family Health Plan coverage, means the changes would be “very gradual” for doctors in the plan and would fully grandfather retirees already 65 or older, Hale said.

Defense officials are calling this “aging out,” rather than phasing out, Medicare-eligible retirees.

This change would save the Defense Department a lot of money, in part because the military puts money away now to pay for future health costs of retirees. Ending enrollment for older retirees into the U.S. Family Health Plan accounts for $3.2 billion of the $7.9 billion in health care savings over 10 years proposed by the Defense Department from its overhaul of the health care system.

Savings would begin in fiscal 2013, with a $739 million reduction in military health care costs, according to information provided to the Senate subcommittee by Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant defense secretary for health affairs.

However, ending enrollment for a popular health program has drawn complaints from people like Brown, who accuses the Defense Department of forcing retirees to abandon a good health plan and look for new doctors just as they reach old age.

“The proposed legislation, if enacted, would basically force future retired members of the military to disenroll from the program that apparently is the highest-rated health care plan in the military health system, into, quite frankly, a plan that is not as high rated,” Brown said.

In response, Woodson reiterated that the goal is to bring costs down. On average, the Defense Department is paying $19,000 a year in health costs for a Medicare-eligible retiree in the U.S. Family Health Plan, compared to $4,500 a year for other Medicare-eligible retirees. The difference results because under Tricare for Life, Tricare is second payer to Medicare, and doctors would be reimbursed at Medicare rates, he said.

“We need to change our business model to remain solvent and keep the benefit of health insurance solvent for the future,” Woodson said. “We cannot afford to pay these excessive amounts.”

Hale echoed those sentiments. “We believe that it is not appropriate to treat individuals differently just because they join a particular plan, nor is it appropriate to provide a few hospitals with special subsidies,” he said.

The Government giveth and the Government taketh away.  Blessed be the name of the Government.
(Source: Army Times)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The SCIENCE behind this year's tornado season...

                   A tragic confluence of factors...

Bachelor Household Tip of the Day!

If you're getting saltpeter deposits in your catbox, 
it's probably time to change the litter...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pawlenty Announces Candidacy...URGENT UPDATE!


List of Information, Implication and Insinuation

Three Beers Later!

    follow me on Twitter

    Blog Archive