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Member since: Wed Nov 5, 2014, 11:56 AM
Number of posts: 2,067

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Congressional productivity - Would you be in favor of a single term limit for all congresspeople?

I realize the 2 year House terms would probably need to be adjusted upwards given the learning/ramp-up period for a new congresspeople, so I'm thinking something like 3 year terms for representatives, 6 years for senators.

After one term (as either), they are ineligible to serve in either chamber again. 75% of the country is over 18, I don't think we'd have a shortage of people eligible to serve just because we eliminated the permanent political elite.

Their egotistical need for re-election (and the changes to their behaviors/voting patterns that come from that need) disappears. Sure they'll still lie/promise anything to get elected (not sure how we would ever fix that), but once in, you can pretty much trust that they're going to vote their conscience because future votes/campaign dollars are no longer at play. Promises of future cushy jobs, etc. would still be an issue but that's another topic.

Yes, we would lose some good long-term legislators. But I think what we gain by being able to in a very short time move on unproductive/obstructionist legislators would fair outweigh the few quality legislators that we would be losing with such a setup.

The one negative I see (have heard this before, can't claim I had this insight) is that the non-politicians (advisors, consultants, etc.) would be more powerful than ever, as those would be the only people with long-term experience on how the system works.

To Shine A Light On Salary Gaps, Obama Wants Companies To Disclose Pay Data

Source: NPR

The Obama administration is proposing a new rule to address unequal pay practices by requiring companies with more than 100 employees to submit salary data by race, gender and ethnicity.

The announcement comes seven years after President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act his first piece of legislation as president which makes it easier for women to challenge discriminatory pay in court.

In repeating the call for equal pay, the White House noted that the median wage of full-time female workers in America is 79 percent of a man's median earnings. That's a slight bump up from the 77-cents-on-the-dollar statistic, based on older numbers, that the White House has often alluded to before.

The comparison of median earnings is sometimes criticized as a crude metric for the gender pay gap. Economists have found that if you control for a host of factors, the pay gap is smaller but persistent. The gap varies widely based on a woman's age and her race. It also shifts depending which industry you look at.

Read more: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/29/464856100/to-shine-a-light-on-salary-gaps-obama-wants-companies-to-disclose-pay-data

I'm not sure what to think of this. Much that I've read (even on liberal blogs) seems to say that the $.77 statistic is a political bumper sticker, and that even the people that use it know it isn't true but repeat it often anyway because it's so powerful.

I want to see a mechanism to see that discrimination is detected and punished, but as the husband of someone who works in HR, I do feel sorry for yet another reporting requirement for employers. I know my husband's company is still trying to figure out how they're going to get all the data they're now required to report for the ACA; this is not going to be welcome news for him and the rest of his HR team.

Not to mention that the government, while it gleefully applies very strict privacy laws (such as HIPAA) on private entities, has not shown itself to be capable of complying with its own rules. This is highly sensitive data on tens of millions of individuals that is now going to have to be (somehow) safely transmitted to and stored by the government. I'm more than a little skeptical.

Academy's puzzling approach to racially diversifying award nominees...

Their gut reaction to increase the racial diversity of award nominees is to increase the racial diversity of the Academy members/voters themselves.

Is that not openly admitting that the Academy assumes its voters, both persons of color and white, are going to mostly vote for nominees of their own race?

And if that's indeed the truth behind how most Academy voters vote, then why are any of us, of any race, supporting this bigoted organization?

Should 90 year old women be patted down just to "be fair"?

There was a lively thread a couple days ago about criticism of Islam and Islamaphobia. It got me thinking about something I saw a few years ago going through O'Hare on way east for a wedding: A woman, who appeared to be at least 90 years old, sitting in a chair on the other side of the metal director, being patted down.

The TSA website mentions "expedited screening through risk-based intelligence-driven security" for individuals 75 and older. When your read further, all that means is that those individuals may keep their shoes and a light jacket on during screening. Other than that, they are screened exactly the same way, including being no less likely to be randomly selected for a pat-down than someone who fits the profile of nearly every successful or unsuccessful plane hijacker of the last 40 years. Namely: a 20-40 year old male.

Namely: me.

I was not randomly screened that day, and to this day have not been.

My heart (which goes on nothing but my personal opinion) tells me it's unfair to single someone out based on their age, gender, or race. But my head, which can do math, tells me it's insanity for us, just to "be fair", to slow down our security processes and inconvenience someone who is 1) probably in the last years of their lives and 2) is of an age and gender of exactly 0 plane hijackers ever.

...while I am let through everytime presumably because, since I do fit the profile, they're too cowardly to actually check me for fear of profiling accusations.

Is the purpose of screening to prevent potential incidents, or to create the illusion of prevention while making sure not to offend?

It appears to me that we ultimately, ironically, tragically, and to our own potential demise, end up screening the people that every historical statistic tells us are the least likely to commit the act we're trying to prevent, and (for fear of offending) refuse to screen the people that every historical statistic tells us are the most likely to commit the act we're trying to prevent.

50 years from now, after (I fear) many more incidents of terrorism, are our descendants going to think fondly of us for refusing to offend, or are they going to think we were insane for refusing to acknowledge what was right in front of us?

"Medicare for All" - Do your homework people...

Response to another post, posting as an OP for discussion's sake:

As first a lurker and then an occasional poster, I've seen "Medicare for All" being bandied on DU for years. It's a bumper sticker slogan that people hear and love to repeat, especially well-meaning people that have never taken even a moment to look into the math of Medicare.

My sister is an RN at a not-for-profit brain-injury rehabilitation facility providing about 300 jobs. In a good year, they may end up in the black $50,000 to cover raises, new equipment, new positions, etc. NO ONE within 100 miles provides the specialized type of care they provide.

Their allowable cost-per-day (as calculated by Medicaid) is somewhere around $850. While her organization still takes a bath on Medicaid (considering there are other healthcare costs that Medicaid doesn't consider reimbursable PLUS Medicaid runs, at a minimum, a year behind on cost calculations), they get a handful of patients per year with commercial insurance that make up the difference.

Medicare on the other hand pays them $350 a day for the exact same care, an amount that would shut the program down within A YEAR if all their patients were reimbursed by Medicare.

When I hear "Medicare for All", what I'm really hearing is "I want 90% of the small not-for-profit healthcare providers in this country to go out of business."

But the "Medicare for All" bumper-sticker defenders don't even know this or care, because they've never taken the time to even look.


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