During a light afternoon rain shower, according to the New York Times: "The nation said final farewell on Saturday to Edward M. Kennedy, who used his privileged life to give consistent, passionate voice to the underprivileged for nearly a half-century as a United States senator from Massachusetts. He was the only one of four fabled Kennedy brothers to reach late adulthood, and he was remembered for making the most of it."
Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Our final look at how our government can help us in north San Luis Obispo county via the House Resolution (HR 3200) also titled "America’s Affordable Health Choices Act."Affordable is the keyword. It would provide significant benefits in the 22nd Congressional District represented by Congressman Kevin McCarthy. The district spans north San Luis Obispo county across to most of Kern county.
Up to 12,200 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees;
10,200 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D;
1,300 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $48 million in uncompensated care each year and
107,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Here's the second summary of HR 3200 benefits for those of us fortunate to live on the Central Coast inside the blue line of the 24th Congressional District.668,099 (est.) of your neighbors are represented by Congressman Elton Gallegly in this district, spanning from north Santa Barbara county (Lompoc) to Ventura and some of L.A. counties. Benefits for you:
Up to 15,000 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees;How do we pay for this? The cost of health care reform under the legislation is fully paid for: half through making the Medicare and Medicaid program more efficient and half through a surtax on the income of the wealthiest individuals.
10,000 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D;
1,000 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs;
Health care providers would receive payment for $48 million in uncompensated care each year and
64,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
That's 2.2% or 6,620 households and here's hoping these high net-worth people will decide the right thing to do is to "pay it forward."
Next: what the facts are in northern San Luis Obispo and the 22nd Congressional District. Sphere: Related Content
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Some staffers on the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce have been burning the midnight oil to get the facts straight for the Central Coast on HR 3200, also known as "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009."
I'll post what the picture looks like for our other two districts in the next two days. You're welcome!Up to 15,700 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees;4,100 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D;350 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs;Health care providers would get payment for $50 million in uncompensated care each year and148,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
Probably had to happen. Call it out-of-the-box thinking or just a desperate move to grab tv time on the networks. The L.A. Times has the details.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Those people protesting the "Obamacare" health insurance reform probably understand one thing. The private insurers such as UnitedHealth make money by denying treatment. Simple as that.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Show this YouTube clip to all of your friends. Then show it to any "tea-bag protesters" you also might know or be, ahem, related to.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Some central coast conservatives question where Lois Capps is in the health care reform debate. Lemme show you:
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Now I can stop holding my breath because the Lompoc City Council has named one of its own to fill the empty Mayor's office. On a 3-1 vote, they selected five-term councilman Mike Siminski for the post.
Siminski made it clear during the replacement process that he would not run for mayor in 2010.
The runner-up by (80 votes) in the last mayoral election, John Linn, said he'd continue to seek the city's highest elective office next year.
The tally for mayor last election shows 61.78% of the voters wanted someone other than Dick DeWees for the office. DeWees garnered 38.03% of the vote.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
From time to time, Dave Congalton invites me to be a guest on his afternoon talk show on AM 920, KVEC. He invited me this week to provide counterpoint to the volatile town hall meetings across the country this month.
The topic: how does using inappropriate language in a public forum affect the discussion of how to reform our current expensive health care system?
This also gives me the moment to introduce replays of my radio call-in comments and later, my own produced podcast episodes, right here!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
What do you think of local AM radio? Is there a "hometown" host you listen to? Is there a philosophical spin to the type of talk you prefer? How important is it that listeners can call in? Do facts really matter?
According to published program schedules, with few exceptions*, the central coast has four or fewer hours each weekday anchored by informative, local listener call-in talk show programming. Total: little more than 20 afternoon hours a week.
Today's talk shows consist of a personality relating his/her own conservative or liberal philosophy. They may or may not take calls. You already know which is more often heard on local radio. Our stations in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria cannot seem to find a way to have a local talk show host for more than four afternoon hours a day.
Santa Barbara has even less--one weekday hour a day--on 1490AM KIST, "The Nick and Paul Show." Ventura county has it four times better with a four-hour local morning show on 1520AM, KVTA.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Lately in the broadcast and cable news channels, there is all this "birther" controversy challenging President Obama's birth status and therefore his eligibility to be qualified to hold the highest office in the land. Was Barack Obama born in the USA?
Is the president's birth certificate authentic? All questions about it have been proven false and it's been totally debunked as early as October, 2008, in the Chicago Tribune.
In any event, every US citizen knows the "birth" qualification for the office: “No Person except a natural born citizen, or a Citizen of the United States … shall be eligible to the Office of President.” Acts of Congress in 1790 and 1795 clarify that “the children of citizens of the United States … shall be considered as natural born citizens.”
All Americans are assumed to know the basics of their government and how it works. My question: could you pass the test for US Citizenship?
Go ahead, take the test. You'll be glad you did!
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
The passing of our Lompoc mayor, Dick Dewees, late last Thursday came as a shock to me. He was 61 and had recent heart problems. I met him at a Lompoc Rotary meeting when he was a guest speaker.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Since we looked (last January) at the California and central coast banks on the receiving end of taxpayer bailout money, the list has expanded to 75 institutions.
Is your bank on this list? You might like to "work with them" on a new car loan or home down payment, knowing they have the money to lend.
Atascadero: Santa Lucia Bancorp, $4 million
Ojai: Ojai Community Bank, $2.1 million
Paso Robles: Heritage Oaks Bancorp, $21 million
San Luis Obispo: Mission Community Bancorp, $5.1 million
Santa Barbara: Pacific Capital Bancorp, $180.6 million
Simi Valley: Bank of America, NA, Mortgage servicer, $804.4 million
Simi Valley: Countrywide Home Loan Servicing, $5.2 billion
Thousand Oaks: California Oaks State Bank, $3.3 million
The total bailout committed to California-based institutions is $33.7 billion, which is 5.9% of the total bailout so far committed.
In January we counted five central coast banks accepting federal help.
Now, two California banks which accepted bailout money last December and January, have already returned it to the taxpayers.
Bank of Marin Bancorp got their $28 million bailout check last December, 2008; they returned it March 31, 2009. First ULB Corp received $4.9 million on January 23 and refunded it to the US Treasury April 22 of this year.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Friday, January 02, 2009
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Happy New Year's Day! And an even happier new year for some bankers on the central coast.
Curious to know which central coast banks are getting federal "bailout" money? Here's a list, courtesy ProPublica.org:
>> Santa Lucia Bancorp, Atascadero: $4 million.
>> Pacific Capital Bank Santa Barbara, operating First Bank of San Luis Obispo: $188 million.
>> Community West Bancshares, Goleta: $15.6 million.
>> California Oaks State Bank, Thousand Oaks: $3.3 million.
>> Mission Community Bancorp, San Luis Obispo: $5.1 million.
Source material also from: US Department of the Treasury; Bloomberg; Dow Jones; and the companies.