Discussing what's right till there's nothing left.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Avoid Executive Search Scams Like McKensie Scott

I hate to admit it but I fell for the scam. I'm posting this here because I still don't want anyone to know who I am and it isn't important anyway.

I was contacted by this fine gentleman from Atlanta a few years ago promising to shorten my job search and get my resume in front of decision makers in the "unpublished job market." His company, McKensie-Scott was supposedly a leader in executive search and placement.

They would create "professional" job seeker tools, resumes and cover letters, and a super search engine, and send them to just the right people for me. The fee was steep, over $6,000 but they said it was "almost" guaranteed to get me a better job within 6 weeks. And they'd put an account executive on the job to help me every step of the way.

I was eager to find a great high paying executive job and most of what they said made sense. For a good reason. If you use your own common sense you'd know you were already doing all you could to find a job.

The first hint of a problem was that their super search engine was just consolidating the same jobs from the same sites I'd already seen. In fact the same jobs were often listed many times in the search result. No big deal i fiured.

When the written materials came, it was more disconcerting. The resumes and cover letters had clearly been written from a template for another profession. So badly edited, some sentences weren't sentences at all and were a hybrid of text from the resume I sent them and the previous placeholder text. It looked like something a high school student did on their spare time. I edited the documents and sent them back. They took that as an approval and billed my the second half of their fee.

Next, they faxed my resume to businesses they felt matched my interests. or so they said. What they did instead was blast fax my resume to every fax number they'd ever recorded. One guy threatened to sue me for sending my resume to his private fax at his home. Two others let me know via email that they were sole proprietorships that had never hired a second employee and never planned to.

So my next step was to try and get some attention from McKensie-Scott. So I called my account executive and left a voicemail. Not hearing back for two days i also emailed and left another message. This was a person who was supposed to be managing my account and being available for any questions. He sent one reply apologizing claiming he was at a corporate meeting. Then I never heard from him again.

Realizing I'd been taken, I called their HQ and demanded my money back. They offered me $1,000 and blew me off.

My advice is simple. There is no way a legitimate executive search firm needs to charge you, the desperate job seeker a fee to find you a job. The hiring companies have the money and will pay for most placements, especially at the executive level.

You are capable of finding companies to contact unsolicited. If you do, they typically won't respond. You are capable of finding jobs on job sites. Three or four will cover all the real jobs and countless not so real ones. A little digging on LinkedIn and the web will reveal who the hiring managers are as well.

There are many executive search firms following the same model I fell for. I hang up on them now. They're truly bottom feeders. Once found out, they shut down and reopen under a new name.

Beware.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Angry gay activist behind WikiLeaks treachery

What the media leaves out: Army staffer who leaked thousands of documents to WikiLeaks website is homosexual activist - angry at ban on gays in military.


The US Army intelligence analyst who has been arrested for disclosing more than more than 90,000 intelligence reports and more than 150,000 diplomatic cables to the Wikileaks website is a homosexual activist enraged at the military's "anti-gay" policies.

The massive publication of top-secret documents has been called one of the greatest security breeches in US history and has reportedly endangered the lives of US personnel around the world.

US Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning at a "gay rights" event.


Bradley Manning, who is now awaiting court-marshal at a military stockade in Quantico, VA, was arrested last May for giving a classified video to the Wikileaks website, and later it became clear that he had given them thousands of other military documents. He is an open homosexual, and his anger at the military's rejection of homosexuality appears to be the major reason for his actions.

. . . And Manning in uniform


While in the Army, Manning has openly participated in gay rights marches, even publicly demonstrating against the military. In addition:

  • His Facebook page reportedly included a photo of him marching in a gay pride parade. His big interest was to "Repeal the Ban" on homosexuals serving openly in the military. He proclaimed his support for the National Center for Transgender Equality. He also talked about going to gay bars.
  • According to newspaper reports, he was prone to fits of rage. At one point Manning was demoted for assaulting an officer. He also wore custom dog tags labeling himself as "Humanist" (as his religious affiliation). And like many male homosexuals, Manning reportedly had a terrible relationship with his father, who had also been in the military and was divorced from his mother.
  • Manning was very upset over a breakup earlier this year with his homosexual lover, a student at Brandeis University who according to the New York Times described himself on his blog as a "drag queen."
  • The Montreal Gazette reported that "Manning could 'identify' with Iraqis and Afghans who he believed had suffered as a result of U.S. policies, especially because he himself was a "a member of a minority" treated unfairly by the military."

Manning said he spent 14-hour days copying the classified documents to send to the Wikileaks website.

As the Montreal Gazette reported,

Private Manning described how he downloaded the video and lip-synched to Lady Gaga as he copied hundreds of thousand of diplomatic cables.

"Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack," he boasted. But even as he professed a perhaps inflated sense of purpose, he called himself "emotionally fractured" and a "wreck" and said he was "self-medicating like crazy."

Not surprisingly, Manning has since been applauded on homosexual blogs and websites across the country.

General media blackout on Manning's "gay" issue

Except for a few newspaper accounts, the mainstream media in the US has completely ignored any "gay" aspect to this story, and especially his anti-military homosexual activism. To our knowledge, none of the major TV or cable network news programs have discussed it. (Though Glenn Beck did mention "he was jilted by a boyfriend or something." That's the same Glenn Beck that doesn't have a problem with homosexuality.)

For example, on Monday The Atlantic posted an article, "WikiLeaks: One Analyst, So Many Documents". It discusses Manning in some detail, but simply describes him as "a disaffected young man".

It's pretty strange, to say the least. One wonders what else the media refuse to report.

Army ignored its own policy

Ironically, a major issue with the Manning case is that the Army was ignoring its own policy on homosexuals serving openly.

Jonah Knox (a pseudonym used by a US Army analyst) points this out in a great article on the Accuracy in Media website this week:

Army regulation restricts leaders from determining (officially) if a soldier is a homosexual and therefore someone who should be discharged. For instance, AR 600-20, Paragraph 4-19, Subparagraph d(3) ("Noncredible information") details instances that are not considered grounds for Army leaders to open an inquiry to determine whether someone is a homosexual and therefore should be discharged. The Army regulation states that "noncredible information" includes, "The only information known is an associational activity, such as going to a gay bar, possessing or reading homosexual publications, associating with known homosexuals, or marching in a gay rights rally in civilian clothes."

In Manning's case, he had a Facebook page devoted to homosexual causes that included a photo of him marching in a gay pride parade. His associates said he went to gay bars and he talked openly about his homosexuality to others. Several have said that he was angry with the military because of the failure to repeal the homosexual exclusion policy. Incredibly, however, the Army may not have considered any of the credible evidence that he was a homosexual.

It is true that Army regulations on homosexuality create a lot of confusion. And that may be intentional based on current Department of Defense policy. The Center for Military Readiness (CMR) says this in its analysis of current Department of Defense policy.

In other words, had the Army been following the law (rather than the Clinton "Don't Ask" policy regulations), this would not have happened.

Incident reiterates reasons for excluding homosexuals from military

Most public health organizations (including the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health) have observed that homosexuals are far more susceptible to mental illness, alcoholism, drug abuse, and violence than the general population.

The inherent emotional weakness and moral instability of people involved in homosexual behaviors and its resulting possible damage to the military have been documented going back over 100 years.

For further reading: This week Dr. Scott Lively published a fascinating article which discusses this, "The Wikileaks 'Gay' Connection." We recommend it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Liberal Mass. state senator working with & raising money from Muslim coalition tied to pro-terrorism, jihad, anti-Semitism.

Massachusetts State Senator Jamie Eldridge, who is currently running for re-election, has been meeting with and is soliciting donations (and volunteer help) from a Muslim group with a long history of support of terrorism, jihad, and anti-Semitism. Its Massachusetts chapter is run by the well-known Muslim leader Tahir Ali, who has been working personally with Eldridge.

Ali's group currently calls itself the American Muslim Task Force. That umbrella group's membership list includes the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), both of which were named by the Justice Department in May 2007 as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorist finance case in U.S. history.

In 2000 Tahir Ali organized a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in Boston. Mrs. Clinton (then running for U.S. Senate in New York) subsequently gave the money back after it was revealed that Ali's group, then known as the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), had openly supported Hamas and had co-sponsored a New York rally where Jews were categorized as "pigs and monkeys." The group had also defended the Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzug, who took credit when Hamas sprayed machine gun fire into a crowded Jerusalem mall in 1995. Writers Dick Morris and Eileen McGann describe this on the Fox News website.

Sen. Jamie Eldridge is not exactly a moderate. He describes himself as a "progressive" and has been endorsed by the Marxist-oriented Democratic Socialists of America as well as Planned Parenthood, MassEquality, and NARAL. He was a co-sponsor of the Transgender Rights and Hate Crimes Bill. He is currently running for re-election against a Republican challenger.

Eldridge's recent meeting with the American Muslim Task Force took place on September 26 in Shrewsbury. Meeting organizer Tahir Ali has subsequently bragged about the event in various Muslim websites. The meeting was also noted by a Muslim-watch group in England.

Jihad and anti-Semitism

Researcher David Horowitz describes the activities of the American Muslim Alliance, Tahir Ali's previous group, on his website DiscoverTheNetworks.org:

AMA is an active member of the American Muslim Political Coordinating Council. It also is affiliated with Muslim groups -- such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council -- whose members have publicly supported Hamas and Hezbollah, or have been linked to the funding of terrorist activities. In 1998 AMA, along with CAIR and the American Muslim Council, sponsored a rally at Brooklyn College in New York City, where militant speakers advocated jihad and characterized Jews as "pigs and monkeys."

According to Steve Emerson, a well-known researcher specializing in militant Islamic organizations, the AMA's leaders "have sanctioned terrorism, published anti-Semitic statements, and repeatedly hosted conferences that were forums for denunciations of Jews and exhortions to wage jihad."

None of this seems to bother Jamie Eldridge, however.


Sen. Jamie Eldridge (in yellow shirt) at the Sept. 26 meeting of the
American Muslim Task Force in Shrewsbury, MA.


Tahir Ali posts his report of meeting with Eldridge


Tahir Ali wrote a report of his meeting with Sen. Eldridge, bragging about his success. Ali has posted the report (with photos) on the "Pakistan Link" website and also on ikhwanophobia.com, an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website. ("Ikhwan" means Muslim brothers.)

Ali's report has also been tracked on Muslim-watch websites in the United States and in Britain.

In his report of the meeting, Tahir Ali wrote:

Atif Harden couldn't have stressed the need to vote more; he declared, "Register to vote, never, never, never stop doing this. The beauty of this country and I can say that I can be the president of the United States."

Senator Eldridge said that he would love to see Muslim-Americans run for elections. "I'll help whoever wants to run."

The audience outlined the following pressing issues on their minds: Civil rights, Human rights, Profiling, Downward economy.

Dr. Mohammad Mushtaque, an attendee, was not too happy with the politicians (the likes of Gingrich and Palin) who in order to make campaign promises adopt scare tactics, and as they sow the seeds of hatred, extremists like the Florida Pastor get an excuse to disrespect or "threaten to burn" sacred scripts.

Senator Eldridge assured the community that as a "progressive Democrat", he shall stand by the American-Muslims . . .

One can see that Eldridge obviously has no problem with Ali or his organization. He obviously agrees with their outlook on America and appears to be eager to help the group achieve its goals.

Of course, Eldridge would never be so solicitous to a group of traditional-values, pro-family constituents.

Afterwards Eldridge sends letter to Tahir Ali soliciting donations & help

Even though Hillary Clinton was forced to give back her donations from Tahir Ali's radical group, Eldridge obviously feels he's above that. He clearly has no problem with Ali or his group's heinous, anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist background.

After the meeting, Eldridge sent the following letter to Tahir Ali soliciting donations and campaign help. Here is the letter in its entirety, which Ali proudly posted on the Web.

Dear Tahir,

I want to thank you and the American Muslim Task Force to inviting me to part of your organization's Town Hall forum on issues important to the Muslim-American community last night at India Kabob and Grill in Shrewsbury. I'm hoping you can pass on this message from me to all of the people who attended the forum last night, and the other members of the Task Force.

I really enjoyed the conversations with my fellow panelists and the audience on a wide range of concerns that were expressed, including civil rights, human rights, economic development, public education, and taxes.

I am very moved by the warm reception that I received, and was encouraged by the idea of creating a multi-cultural, multi-racial coalition to support the positions that I as a proud progressive Democrat are the foundation of my principles and beliefs. If I can be of any help in helping support the establishment of that coalition, please be in touch, and of course I hope to attend that meeting.

I did not mention during the Town Hall forum that I do have a re-election this year, and would be honored to have the support of the Muslim-American community. To that point, if anyone would like to volunteer on the campaign, they can contact Kelsey Smithwood, my Field Director, at Kelsey@JamieEldridge.com or 978-202-3071, or stop by my campaign office at 19 Main Street in downtown Hudson.

Further, if members would like to support me in another way, they can make a donation to my re-election campaign, as my Republican opponent does not share the same views that I do. To make a donation, members can go towww.JamieElridge.com to donate online, or send a donation to: the Jamie Eldridge Committee, P.O. Box 641, Acton, MA. Certainly if you or other leaders in the Muslim-American community would like to host a fundraiser for me, that would be extremely helpful, and would give me another opportunity to address the concerns of the Muslim American community in Massachusetts.

Once again, thank you so much for inviting me to attend the American Muslim Task Force last night, and I feel that I have many new friends and supporters from the excellent, thoughtful discussion.

Sincerely,

Jamie Eldridge
State Senator

Just the kind of guy we all want representing us in the State House.

Arrogant attitude by Eldridge regarding group's past

This week a MassResistance volunteer who lives in Eldridge's district called his campaign office, spoke to a staffer, described the suspect connections of the group Eldridge had met with, and asked if the Senator had any explanation. The staffer declined to discuss it -- other than to say the Senator's goal is simply to protect all his constituents' "civil rights" -- and said he'd get back to the person. He never did.

A reporter from a national news website went to Senator Eldridge's office at the State House last week and asked to interview him about the letter he sent to Tahir. Eldridge's staffer accused him of "coming with an agenda" and refused to speak to him.

Wimpy Republicans. George Thompson, Eldridge's Republican opponent in next Tuesday's general election, apparently was scared off from bringing up the issue. When contacted and asked if he wanted to make any public comment, he rather tersely declined, citing Eldridge's "First Amendment Rights."

Given the fact that Eldridge's district has a not insignificant Jewish population, one would think that a state senator running for re-election would be a little hesitant to get involved with a group with such horrible anti-Semitic baggage.

But Jamie Eldridge is an extremely arrogant "progressive" who holds his obsessive beliefs in "multiculturalism" beyond normal politics or any mainstream American sentiment. After all, this is Massachusetts.

And on election day he'll probably beat his hapless Republican challenger.

Ignored by Boston mainstream media

On Sunday, the Boston Globe did an article on the race between Eldridge and George Thompson. The article covered a lot of ground, but completely left out any mention of this. Nor has State House News, the Herald, or any other mainstream media outlet covered this. Hmmm. Why are we not surprised?

Sen. Jamie Eldridge (top row, center, in yellow shirt) posed for this picture at the Sept. 26 meeting.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Daycare Travesty Repeated Daily

I always found the concept of daycare repugnant. My mother was a stay at home saint, sacrificing career and increased wealth for the good of her children. She was always there for us, attending to our bumps and bruises, our triumphs and failures. Dad carried the wage earning load. He did fine.

When I was young, putting children in daycare was rare. Now it's a billion dollar industry and as commonplace as buying a new car.

So what goes on at daycare and how are today's children faring. I took a close look and what I found was troubling.

A female co-worker provided my first glimpse of some troubling trends. After giving birth she couldn't wait to get her son into daycare as quickly as 3 weeks after his birth. Then, when her next vacation came up, she continued to drop him off each day so she "could get more done". The idea left me cold. Now I know someone who works at daycare and says that is very common.

She says mothers routinely drop the kids off while they take a day off and go shopping. Likewise, when Dad shows up in plaid pants, a golf shirt and cap you know where he's headed. "If you need me call my cell, I'll be at the..."

Equally disturbing is the lack of warmth when picking children up at the end of the day. With the days workload still churning in their minds, it doesn't even occur to these people to ask the child how their day was or give them a hug. Nor do they inquire of the caregivers how the child did that day. They just lead them to the car and stick them in their seats with all the emotion of a delivery truck driver. That the revolving door of overstressed daycare workers means many different folks, many in training, watch the kids, seems to be of little concern.

Not all are like that. Some hire nannies to drop off and pick up the kids and watch them through the weekend as well. It's a wonder the kids even know who their parents are. One dad was repulsed when he realized his child was sucking on another's pacifier. The daycare workers kind of shrugged and thought "if he only knew what these kids pass around on a given day."

Then there's the illness deception trick. Since they know you shouldn't drop a child off with a fever, they stuff the little kids with Tylenol so as to avoid detection for a couple of hours until mom is safely at her desk. "What? Johnny has a fever? He was fine this morning!" But the daycare providers have seen the pattern enough to know the exact amount of time Tylenol holds off a fever. They ask the older kids "what color pill did mommy give you today? Was it pink?" Mom and Dad aren't fooling anyone. They're just hoping the call comes late enough that they can stall their way to the end of their workday.

Career women aren't quite as nurturing as they think sometimes. Nor as bright. One Ivy League professor type stopped to instruct a daycare worker how she wanted the child's clothes changed midway through the day so that the first half day's clothes could be preserved in case the child ever turned up missing or lost. The woman provided a plastic bag to deposit the clothing in. This isn't something that couldn't be handled at home? You don't routinely have such clothing articles around? What, do you do laundry every night?

Some stories are sadder. Like the premature boy who was sent off to daycare with an oxygen mask only 7 months after being born months premature. "It's OK to remove the mask when you change him," mother explained. But when the 20-something daycare worker tried that the boy began to turn blue. So they decided to leave it on. This is a daycare center, not a medical facility. What kind of parents drop a child off in that shape for the day at a totally unqualified facility?

Then there are the kids who show up with other suspicious conditions or injuries. It should be no surprise that some percentage of these kids aren't loved and suffer neglect.

There are truly hardship cases where professional daycare is needed. But in most cases daycare is the option for the upwardly mobile, those who value things and places over children. Could you do without a few things in order to spend time nurturing your own child? If you didn't want children, why'd you get married and have them?

My wife left her job when we had our first child and has been home for the birth and rearing of all 7. Has it been hard at times? Do we sacrifice some things? Sure. But isn't that what marriage and family are supposed to be about in the first place?

What kind of rude, self-centered drones are we thrusting on the world? Ones whose first memories are that their parents didn't love them enough to spend time raising them.

My mom passed away less than a year ago. her birthday was yesterday. Happy Birthday mom.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sorry Charlie, Not This Time.

Massachusetts has once again gone against the tide. This time, instead of firing the shot heard 'round the world, as in Revolutionary times, they backfired. In nominating Charlie Baker, a prototypical RINO, they have defied the national rightward trend and instead chosen as liberal a candidate as any Democrat.

But then, why wouldn't they? Republicans have no champions in the local media, save for talk radio. The Boston Globe is to the Massachusetts Democratic party what Pravda was for the Soviet Communists.

In an attempt to attenuate the criticism the Globe will heap on him, Baker selected as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor, Richard Tisei, author of the Massachusetts version of the "Bathroom Bill", aka "Transgender Rights and Hate Crimes" bill (H1728). This put Baker in the awkward position of trying to both embrace his openly gay running mate to gain the support of the pro-family delegates who supported pro-choice Scott Brown, and distance himself from the bill. So Baker put out some sort of statement that he would veto the bill his own running mate was sponsoring which begs the question, why did he pick him in the first place?

But then nothing ever makes much sense in the MassGOP. After all, this state elected Mitt Romney as governor and watched as he enacted both "gay marriage" and Romneycare which has driven health insurance costs through the roof, added to waiting lines at emergency rooms, includes an individual mandate, and was used as the model for Obamacare, opposition to which got Scott Brown elected Senator. Follow me?

There was a Tea Party in Boston a few weeks ago headlined by Sarah Palin. Charlie Baker was so far to the west, he was closer to Albany, NY than Boston. Which is a good metaphor for his ideology. There is no Tea Party candidate in Massachusetts, a historical irony if ever there was one.

So unlike the multitude of lemmings that will vote for Baker simply because he's not Deval Patrick, I'm sitting this one out. Some might say, hey, he's a fiscal conservative and that's better than what we have now. I don't buy it. Maybe pocketbook issues are important enough to some people but my feeling is that government that isn't moral will continue to rob you blind> Just changing the names of the special interests that get the handouts isn't reform. Government that doesn't recognize the right of each citizen to live and breathe and lhave a normal family is bad government.

The next they're going to tell us that we should vote for Mitt Romney for president because "he's not Barack Obama". We already played that game and lost. Romney may not be Barack Obama but he's pretty close to John McCain. And to use a worn out phrase from the last election, lipstick on a pig doesn't cut it.

No to Baker. no to Romney.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Change You Can Believe In? Take a Closer Look...

In the recent debate over healthcare and recess appointments, the Democrats were attacked for using tactics to get around legislative approvals and Republican filibusters. Their response? "Bush did it too." This got me to thinking. Has Obama really brought change to Washington as he promised? Or is he really just another lackey from the same school as Bush? Take a look at this chart. Maybe you have some additional comparisons to add. Feel free to comment.

Bush
Obama
Used reconciliation process to pass tax cuts opposed by Dems
Used reconciliation process to pass Healthcare reform opposed by GOP
Used recess appointments to bypass Judiciary Committee on John Bolton and Judges
Used recess appointments to bypass filibusters on NLRB and Treasury picks
Approved surge strategy for Iraq
Approved surge strategy for Afghanistan
Approved TARP to bail out banks
Approved bailout of auto industry and financial entities
Used strategy of UN pressure and sanctions on Iran
Using strategy of UN pressure and sanctions on Iran
Largely ignored North Korea
Largely ignoring North Korea
Appointed Gates Secretary of Defense
Retained Gates as Secretary of Defense
Added huge entitlement through Medicare Plan B
Added huge entitlement through healthcare reform
Expanded role of government in education through No Child Left Behind
Expanded role of government in education through student loan takeover
Refused to support border control
Refusing to support border control
Favored amnesty for illegal immigrants
Supports amnesty for illegal immigrants
Served while holding majority in both legislative houses
Serving with majority in both legislative houses

Monday, March 29, 2010

All Roads Lead to Tehran

While the Obama administration shrinks from its lofty rhetoric about dealing with Iran and instead tries to force peace in the Middle East through Israeli concessions, it has become clear that Iran is the key to peace, not Israel.

In Iraq, the lingering insurgency is mostly an Iran-backed terror campaign designed to influence the government and to weaken the US. For years it has been reported that the sophisticated IED's in use in Iraq are Iranian made. Further, Iranian money surely fuels the violence.

Likewise in Lebanon, instability comes from Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy set up to strike any foe anywhere but centered in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. Hezbollah not only keeps Lebanon as a terror state but launches raids against Israel, including the one that led to the Israeli-Lebanese War. The UN brokered cease fire demanded that Hezbollah disarm. They're still laughing at that one as they rearm under the distracted eyes of UN "peacekeepers".

In Gaza, Hamas, another Iranian proxy keeps the Palestinian conflict alive with continued violence either directed against Israeli patrols or civilian targets with their thousands of Iranian made rockets.

And as the US and NATO troops are well aware, there is an Iranian connection in Afghanistan as well. Iranian made weapons are being used by the Taliban and Al Qaeda to kill US and NATO troops, keeping Afghanistan from ever emerging from continuous violence.

Obama can lean on Israel all he wants. The nexus of violence in the Middle East isn't in Tel Aviv. It is in Tehran. And until Obama realizes that and acts against the increasing Iranian threat, there will be no peace.

This summer, as the troop buildup continues in Afghanistan and the troops have yet to depart Iraq, Obama will have Iran completely surrounded with over one hundred thousand troops on each side and two aircraft battle groups on Iran's front steps in the Persian Gulf. If ever there was a time to exert the might and power of the US, it will be at this time.

Peace will only come to the Middle East once the Ayatollahs and their forces are removed from Iranian life. It's up to Obama to act.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Healthcare Fantasy by Niki Tsongas

If you want to peek into the world of make believe that today's left wing Congressman lives in, then read the letter below from US Representative Nik Tsongas, Massachusetts 5th Congressional District. The first thing you will notice is it's a form letter that in no way addresses whatever concern the constituent had. You can't tell if she's writing to a supporter or detractor of the bill.

Thank you for being in touch with me about health care reform and for taking the time to share your personal interest in this issue. I know how strongly people feel about this subject, and I've heard compelling stories from people in support and opposed to the legislation we have been debating over the past year and a half. I want to take this opportunity to explain my vote on Sunday, March 21st, in favor of health care reform.

Next she talks about the great care her husband, late Senator Paul Tsongas got as a result of his government healthcare for life benefit. She never mentions that the bill she voted for doesn't have the same benefit for us peasants that the royalty reserves for itself.

I know firsthand how providing access to affordable health care isn't a political issue, but a deeply personal one for every family. My late husband Paul waged a long, courageous fight against cancer. During that time, our family had the benefit of excellent care from extraordinarily able and dedicated professionals. I understand the fear and helplessness so many feel when faced with an illness in their family. But I have also experienced the hope our health care system can offer and shudder to think what our experience might have been if our family had been uninsured. I ran for Congress over two years ago because I believe that every American deserves access to the same level of high quality care that my family received. On Sunday, we took a step toward making that a reality.

Now she goes into how important it was to "rein in exploding healthcare costs" but never mentions what provisions of the bill do that because there aren't any.

For the last year and a half, Congress has been debating the best way to reform our broken health care system. This effort was born out of the reality that if nothing is done to rein in exploding health care costs, increasing numbers of families will no longer be able to afford coverage, businesses will no longer be able to offer health insurance to their employees, and our unsustainable deficits and long-term debt will continue to grow. These realities will compromise our country's future competitiveness, and perhaps most importantly, our own health and well-being. This debate about how best to address problems with our health care system has also been echoed at town hall meetings, diners and coffee shops, and at kitchen tables across the country.

Next she talks about how she spoke with as many residents of her district as possible but again leaves out that her town hall meetings were closed and held during the evening commute so as few people as possible could attend. More likely she met with as many union leaders, insurance executives and Planned parenthood operators as she could.

I have made it a point to talk with as many Fifth District residents as possible and sought their input and views over the past 15 months. Through my Congress On Your Corner program which has taken me to every corner of our district, at town hall meetings, during meetings in each of my offices, and in regular visits to the communities that I represent, I have had literally thousands of conversations with those I represent on this subject.

Here she talks about people in her district being denied coverage because of preexisting conditions. Really? I though under the Massachusetts healthcare law, Romneycare, insurance companies couldn't deny coverage based on preexisting conditions. As well, all her constituents are required by law to have coverage.

I have heard from small business owners about how the cost of health care is preventing them from expanding their business and forcing them to seriously consider laying off workers just to make ends meet. I have talked with Fifth District residents who have been denied coverage based on a preexisting medical condition and the painful consequences of not having access to medical care as a result. I have met with seniors who cannot afford the prescription drugs that they need to stay healthy. I have met with doctors and nurses who would like nothing better than to be able to provide care to their patients based on their medical needs, not on what their insurance plan covers. I have heard from residents who simply want to keep the plan and doctor that they currently have. And, I heard from one of the district's major employers who said providing health care for all Americans is a moral necessity.

Because this health care reform legislation addresses these many problems and accomplishes many of the goals that I believe are essential to making our system of health care more affordable, accessible and sustainable, I voted to support it.

Again, none of these "facts" Tsongas presents below apply to Massachusetts.

I have heard from many of you who have been concerned about the rising cost of healthcare, and who have wanted to know how this bill addresses that issue. In fact, the bill takes several critical steps to address our system's out of control costs. First, by requiring insurance companies to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms, colonoscopies, and routine vaccinations. For example, if a senior chooses not to get a mammogram because she could not afford it, or because it was not covered in her insurance plan, she is at greater risk of developing breast cancer and letting that cancer grow, unchecked, requiring even more expensive and potentially less effective care later on. We can avoid these additional costs and this unnecessary suffering by providing access to preventive care.

Nothing in here about the review boards or about the cap on Medicare payments that force doctors to leave the program. And how will care be affected by the half a billion dollars in cuts to Medicare that the bill included as a phony way to appear deficit neutral?

The bill helps move towards a system in which we pay doctors for the quality of care they provide, rather than the number of tests and procedures they perform. It invests in electronic health records, which will avoid the cost of duplicative tests and treatments. And it makes use of comparative effectiveness research - which will help doctors ensure that patients get the best care possible.

Here Ms. Tsongas talks about how forcing healthy people to buy insurance will lower premiums for everyone. But in Massachusetts, where such a program is in effect, premiums rose faster than any other state.

It reduces the growing cost of health care premiums and co-pays by ensuring that health insurers cannot implement excessive rate increases, and requires them to spend at least 85% of premiums on providing consumers with additional benefits, rather than on profits and overhead costs. By permitting young Americans to stay on their parents plan until the age of 26, the bill will provide them with increased financial flexibility at a time in their lives when insurance is often difficult to afford or is not offered by their employers. This will also bring millions of healthy individuals into the system, which will place downward pressure on premiums.

Ever heard of Medicare plan B? What about Medicare Advantage, the program that closed the "donut hole" until it was abolished by this bill. Glad you brought up AARP. How much does AARP get for their insurance in reward for supporting Obamacare?

I have heard from many seniors who have been unable to afford their prescription medications, and who have been forced, as a result, to dip into their social security checks and their savings in order to afford those medications. Approximately 6 million seniors - 7,400 of whom live in the Fifth District - currently fall into the Medicare 'donut hole', the gap in which prescription drugs are not covered. This bill ensures those seniors will see that gap in coverage completely closed over time. In fact, seniors who fall into the donut hole this year will see a $250 check in the mail this September to help pay for their drug costs, which will provide temporary relief. Contrary to what some critics have claimed, the bill does not reduce Medicare benefits in any way; in fact, the improvements made to Medicare strengthen the program for today's seniors and future generations and are why the bill has garnered the support of the AARP.

Women are uniquely impacted by our broken health care system, and this bill enacts reforms that will have a tremendously positive effect on the lives of women all over our country. It prohibits the practice of 'gender rating', in which insurers can charge women many times more in premiums than their male counterparts, often for less comprehensive coverage. It prohibits discrimination based on so-called 'pre-existing conditions' such as a history of domestic violence or cesarean sections. And it prohibits insurers from denying maternity care to a woman who is already pregnant.

Small businesses across Massachusetts report that they cannot hire more workers or expand due to the requirement to purchase insurance and the costs that get passed onto them. nice try though.

Small businesses are not required to offer health insurance to their employees under this bill, but for those who do, they will have access to an Exchange where they can shop for plans that will be much less expensive than what is currently offered. This is because insurers will be forced to compete for their business in a transparent manner, and because they will be able to band together and use their collective purchasing power to get low-cost, high quality plans much like large employers have access to now. Small businesses will also be eligible for a tax credit to pay for 50% of the cost of premiums for their employees. This is not something that is currently available to small businesses in Massachusetts, and is an added benefit because of national health care reform.

Huh?

Many of you have asked about how this bill will benefit Massachusetts, given that the Commonwealth has already enacted reform of its own. In fact, the bill holds many benefits that will directly impact residents in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Many middle class families who do not currently qualify for subsidies through the Commonwealth Connector will qualify because of national reform. For example, a family of three making up to $73,240 a year will be eligible for subsidies that will make insurance more affordable for them. Insurers in Massachusetts will no longer be allowed to implement lifetime or annual caps on benefits, ensuring that all residents of the Commonwealth can count on their insurance no matter how sick they get or how seriously they need to see a doctor. This legislation invests in more primary care doctors and nurses, which ensures that there are more providers available to care for patients in our state. Small businesses in the Commonwealth who offer health insurance to their employees will be eligible for a tax credit to pay for the cost of that coverage. Many of the cost control mechanisms in this legislation had to be put in place at the national level in order to bring down costs down in our state. Finally, Massachusetts taxpayers will no longer have to pay for the emergency care that uninsured patients across the country currently receive.

98% of Massachusetts residents have health insurance. That is a higher percentage than the country will have AFTER enactment of this horrid bill.

While access to care is not a pervasive problem in Massachusetts, tens of millions of Americans do not have health care coverage they can afford and that number increases by 14,000 every day. The legislation takes significant steps towards covering all Americans, while enabling anyone happy with their current plan to keep it, facts which have earned it the endorsement of the American Medical Association, Alliance for Retired Americans, Consumers Union, Families USA, Massachusetts Medical Society, and many other leading health care provider and patient advocacy groups.

And here's the biggest lie. Just today, CBO admitted they missed the estimate of solvency for Social Security by six years and this year it will run at a deficit. They missed the original estimate of the cost of Medicare by a factor of 12. Closer to home, we had a project called the "Big Dig" that was estimated at $1.4B and came in at over $14 not counting the liability for shoddy work that has already killed people. The republicans had proposals for competition, for tort reform and other measures that focused on cost. The Democrats ignored them all.

Many of you have expressed concerns around taking on this effort because of its cost, and asked me how our nation can afford such an undertaking at a time when our deficit is at a historic high. One of the reasons I supported health care reform is because I believe that reform is critical to reducing our deficit, and necessary to ensure our nation's long term economic prosperity. Health care premiums are growing faster than wages, and health care costs are projected to eat up more and more of our nation's budget if we don't get them under control. If we do not enact reforms now, at this critical moment, our deficit problems will only get worse.

This phony estimate is only because the doctor fix was kept separate and when included sinks this bill into deficit. That is the same tacxtic Mr. Change You Can Believe In said Bush did to hide war costs by keeping them off budget.

I stated when health care reform was first being crafted that it should not add to our debt and deficit. Not only is this bill fully paid for, it cuts the federal deficit by more than $143 billion dollars over the course of the next 10 years, and reduces it by another $1.2 trillion in the decade that follows according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Additionally, more than 40 of the nation's leading economists - including three winners of the Nobel Prize - signed a letter urging the swift passage of comprehensive health reform to slow 'unsustainable' health care spending facing our country.

So Niki is unhappy that a public option for a complete government takeover of healthcare wasn't included and that there are restrictions on baby killing. Abortion is the only healthcare procedure where two otherwise healthy people go in, one is killed and the other comes out with an increased risk of breast cancer, infertility, internal bleeding, and lifelong depression. And to femi-nazis like Tsongas, that's healthcare.

As with any undertaking of this magnitude, the legislation is not perfect. I was disappointed that attempts to add a public option, which would have further lowered health care costs and increased competition, were unsuccessful. And, this legislation unfortunately contains hurdles that place unnecessary restrictions on a woman's reproductive rights.

But, overall, I strongly believe that this bill succeeds in expanding access to health care, takes many commonsense steps to rein in health care costs, and reflects so many of the concerns that my constituents have raised with our current health care system. It is for these reasons that I voted in support of this historic legislation.

What's the point of writing to this politician? She has a tin ear. All you get back is a Mother-Knows-Best form letter. thanks for nothing!

Please do not hesitate to contact my office in the future with questions or concerns. For more information on how health care reform impacts you, please visit my website at http://tsongas.house.gov and click on "health care" under the "issues" tab.

Sincerely,

Niki Tsongas

Member of Congress