Posts Tagged ‘idiocracy’

If expanding the guest list to include Michelle Obama at graduation for high school students in the Kansas capital city means fewer seats for friends and family, some students and their parents would prefer the first lady not attend.

A furor over what the Topeka school district considers an honor has erupted after plans were announced for Obama to address a combined graduation ceremony for five area high schools next month an 8,000-seat arena. For some, it was the prospect of a tight limit on the number of seats allotted to each graduate.

For others, it was the notion that Obama’s speech, tied to the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education outlawing segregation in schools, would overshadow the student’s big day.

Read more here.

Already beset with a reputation for manipulating media and “fearing” coverage, the White House had a match tossed into its communications department Thursday when a local TV reporter aired an apparent claim that reporters routinely submit their questions in advance of the daily presidential press briefing.

By the time talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh picked up the story, Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney and some reporters in the White House press pool were denying the claim by Catherine Anaya of KPHO-TV in Phoenix, the local CBS affiliate.

Limbaugh declared “this is the kind of thing that upsets the soap opera narrative inside the Beltway.”

After airing clips of her broadcast and weighing her story against the denials, Limbaugh noted that Anaya seemed “star struck” by her visit and “didn’t sound capable of making something up, or inventing it.”

He characterized the reporter as “just ignorant enough to be trusted.”

“She either misunderstood what she saw or misunderstood what she was told,” Limbaugh said. “But, even when she was telling the story, ‘Oh, yeah, and sometimes the press secretary gets the questions in advance” – as if there’s nothing wrong with that, by the way – she didn’t sound like she thought anything wrong about that. She’s just fascinated at how it all works.”

The talk host predicted Anaya would soon be pressured to retract her story.

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Emanuel penned this at The New Republic:

Americans hate health insurance companies. They are easy targets for everyone to beat up on. When premiums go up, we blame insurance companies; we do not blame the underlying hospitals or physicians who charge high prices that drive up insurance costs. When people with cancer, heart attacks, or other diseases are denied insurance, we blame insurance companies; we do not blame the underlying voluntary insurance market that necessitates underwriting. When our wish for a new high-priced drug is denied, we blame insurance companies; we do not blame drug companies that set the price at over $100,000. Politicians can always elicit an applause by attacking the health insurance companies, reinforcing this bad-guy image of insurance companies.

This is not to say that insurance companies are angels, but they are also not the devil incarnate. A lot of what people consider to be their bad behavior is the inevitable result of the way the health care system is structured and how it incentivizes and forces certain behaviors.

The good news is you won’t have insurance companies to kick around much longer. The system is changing. As a result, insurance companies as they are now will be going away. Indeed, they are already evolving. For the next few years insurance companies will both continue to provide services to employers and, increasingly, compete against each other in the health insurance exchanges. In that role they will put together networks of physicians and hospitals and other services and set a premium. But because of health care reform, new actors will force insurance companies to evolve or become extinct…

…In January 2012 Jeffrey Liebman and I predicted in The New York Times the end of health insurance companies by 2020. We might have been a bit optimistic—or provocative. But it is certain they will end. Insurance companies will largely cease to be the middle man—taking premiums, paying providers, saying no to consumers, and making a profit—that we blame. Whether we will come to love them is another matter. That depends on how well they actually care for patients.

The NFL nearly had a super public relations crisis on its hands when Arizona tried to pass SB 1062, which would’ve let restaurants refuse to serve people based on sexual or religious preferences. The bill was vetoed at the last minute and the NFL didn’t have to look for other location options for Super Bowl XLIX.

Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald is happy about that. But not just because it keeps the Super Bowl in Arizona. He told Tom Pelissero of USA Today on Saturday that he doesn’t believe laws like that “have any place in our society.”

“I didn’t think there was any chance it was going to go through,” Fitzgerald said. “I had a strong feeling it would’ve been vetoed. It’s good that it was, obviously. With the Super Bowl coming or any (event) like that, I think it just doesn’t have any place in our society. I’m happy that it’s behind us now.”

Had the law passed, the NFL was in a precipitous position. The Super Bowl would’ve been less than a year away, but Phoenix simply wasn’t an acceptable location with that law in place. Particularly while preparing to welcome Michael Sam, likely to be the first openly-gay player in NFL history, into the league.

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