Thursday, January 31, 2013

A thoughtful --- and intriguing --- essay on the US deficit and national debt

Are we on the road to disaster as Paul Ryan and his minions want us to believe?  Before you answer yes, read this:

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SEIU wants Gov. Corbett to climb --- however reluctantly --- on the Obamacare bandwagon

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...
English: President Barack Obama's signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 Hi Jim --

After surviving 33 repeal votes in Congress, a Supreme Court challenge and the presidential election, Obamacare is finally the law of the land. Barring any more delays or roadblocks, a whopping 28 million more Americans could gain affordable, secure healthcare by the end of President Obama's second term.

Unfortunately, too many Republican Governors are still putting their partisan agenda before the health of their citizens and dragging their feet on delivering the beneifts of the healthcare law -- and Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett is among their ranks.

Tell Governor Corbett to stop standing in the way of providing life-saving care to hard working Pennsylvania families by fully implementing the Affordable Care Act.

To work two or three jobs and still not be able to afford healthcare is not right. The law changes this, and ensures that working women and men won't have to rely on costly emergency room care or simply go without healthcare.

Send a message to Governor Corbett to deliver better healthcare for working families and fully implement the Affordable Care Act in Pennsylvania.

Right now, Governors need to decide if they will accept federal funds to deliver livesaving healthcare to working women and men who simply can't afford the care they need. Thanks to the law, Pennsylvania can cover more of our friends and neighbors and save Pennsylvania taxpayers billions by keeping them out of costly emergency rooms.

In spite of this, Governor Corbett remains undecided on whether or not he will agree to cover more Pennsylvanians and ensure our state has the necessary funding for other vital public services.

Turning down the expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania would leave 520,000 low-income Pennsylvanians without any kind of healthcare coverage. We can't let this happen!

Governor Corbett needs to know that Pennsylvanians support accepting federal funds and covering more people. It's not too late for him to do the right thing for the health of the PA and its residents -- so make sure he knows where you stand.

Tell Governor Corbett to stop standing in the way of life-saving care for Pennsylvania's working families.

In solidarity,

Norma Amsterdam, RN

P.S. Click to check our video where our nurses explain why the Affordable Care Act works for everyone.

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He almost skated by

(8876.3.A,B) Ice skates, Strauss Skates, Inc.,...
(8876.3.A,B) Ice skates, Strauss Skates, Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota, ca. 1925. On display at Minnesota's Greatest Generation exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This man was cited for driving while wearing ice skates.

Is this more or less dangerous than texting while behind the wheel?

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Where does the NCAA's Student Assistance Fund money really go?

English: National Collegiate Athletic Associat...
English: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) logo. Source: Converted by User:King of Hearts from :Image:National Collegiate Athletic Association logo.png using Inkscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This article suggests that a lot of it goes somewhere besides athletes' pockets:

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VTU Profs Accuse Uncle Sam of Wasting Billions on Duplicative Grants

They claim to have identified 167 pairs of grants that are essentially identical.

Here is their report in "Nature."

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A faculty strike in Canada

St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nov...
St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Classes are suspended at St. Francis Xavier University until further notice.

A cold time to be on a picket line.

Here's what the university has to say about negotiations:

vvThe University has stated from the outset that it is committed to reaching a negotiated agreement.
vvThe University has made a fair and reasonable offer, comparable to recent Atlantic and Canadian faculty settlements at other universities. 
vvThe University’s offer is made despite a series of funding cutbacks totaling 10% by the provincial government to post-secondary education, including a further cut of 3% this year. It is also made at a time when the University is facing a substantial deficit and limited projected revenue growth. 
vvThe AUT Executive four-year demand is approximately $8.2 million. The University’s offer is approximately $5.5 million, leaving a total monetary gap of approximately $2.7 million, the equivalent of 55 full-time positions across the University. 
vvThe AUT Executive four-year demand of appromately $8.2 million includes approximately $5.2 million in salary increases and $3.0 million in non-salary items. 

The University encourages the AUT Executive to share the complete details of the latest offer, allowing Members to express informed opinions and vote.

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