My YouTube Podcasting Has Erupted

This is the first of the podcasts I’ve been cutting over the past few days.

It’s a lot of fun to switch gears as a broadcaster into new mediums.

Though it’s become clear to me that the fun part of doing the recordings is getting addictive versus the boring part of doing the editing.

These are going to get a bit … wild … in coming updates.

If you’re catching me here then consider linking up with me over on the YT as well.

Urban Institute Overviews The Public Option

Ezra Klein of The Washington Post has called this the “best overview of the public option” he has read so far, and I concur:

Getting to a Public Option that Contains Costs: Negotiations, Opt-Outs and Triggers

The debate over a public option has essentially become a debate over the size and role of government in the health care system. The central argument, as we see it, should be one of fiscal conservatism—that a public option should play a role in addressing the very serious problem of health care cost containment. The current debate between the left and the right on this issue is obscuring the fact that consolidation in both the insurance and provider markets is propelling a higher rate of growth in health care costs. The consolidation of power, particularly in provider markets, makes it extremely difficult for insurers to negotiate rates for their services and contributes to rapid growth in health care costs. A strong public option is one that ties provider rates in some way to Medicare rates (though set at likely higher levels), and that is open to any individual or firm regardless of firm size. It would thus provide countervailing power to providers and help control cost growth.

We argue that a strong version is necessary because there is little else in health reform that can be counted on to contribute significantly to cost containment in the short term. Capping tax-exempt employer contributions to health insurance has great support among many analysts (including us), but it faces considerable political opposition. Proposals such as comparative effectiveness research, new payment approaches, medical homes and accountable care organizations, all offer promise but could take years to provide savings. Thus, the use of a strong public option to reduce government subsidy costs and as a cost containment device should be an essential part of the health reform debate.

We recognize that there is opposition to a strong public option. Both the House and Senate proposals are considering relatively weak versions to make the public option more acceptable. Both proposals would have the public option negotiate rates with physicians and hospitals. We see two problems with this. One is that negotiating rates is not simple and it raises difficult implementation issues; for example, with whom would the government negotiate? Further, negotiations are most likely to be unsuccessful with providers who have substantial market power. Since this is at the heart of the cost problem, a strategy of negotiations seems unlikely to be effective, as has been affirmed by cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.

The Senate has proposed a public option with an opt-out provision. This has the advantage of recognizing regional diversity in political philosophy by allowing states to pass legislation to keep it from being offered in their states. A disadvantage of this proposal is that it would exclude many who would potentially benefit from a public option. The states likely to opt out are likely to be those with high shares of low-income people and many uninsured.

The other alternative is to establish a strong public option but not implement it unless a triggering event occurred. The goal would be to allow the private insurance system to prove that it can control costs with a new set of insurance rules and state exchanges. The triggering events could be the level of premiums exceeding a certain percentage of family incomes or the growth in health care spending exceeding certain benchmarks. Since the public option would only be triggered because of excessive costs, however measured, we assume that a relatively strong version of a public option would come into play.

We recognize that taking a strong public option off the table may be necessary to enact reform legislation. But this will mean, at a minimum, higher government subsidy costs by not permitting a payer with substantial market power to bring cost containment pressure on the system. The outcome is likely to be that costs will continue to spiral upward. In effect, the nation would be relying on the range of promising pilot approaches to cost containment that would take some time to be successful. If they are not, we may be left with increasingly regulatory approaches, such as rate setting or utilization controls that apply to all payers. This would mean much more government involvement than giving people a choice of a low-cost public option that would be required to compete with private insurers.

(Read entire paper in PDF)

Republican Obstructionism in Health Care Reform

I see these God-forsaken ads running on my blog about how people are supposed to “Stop Obama-care Now!” and I would like to metaphorically spit on this nonsense once and for all. Anyone attaching the misnomer of “socialized medicine” or using the phrase “Obama-care” at this stage has already labeled themselves as part of the partisan agenda weakening this country from within everyday.

I contend that if we witnessed these same bills moving through Congress proposed by Republicans instead of Democrats that many of the same harsh opponents of reform would flip-flop their stance entirely. Almost anyone questioned on their position in the media or otherwise states that they think there should be “some kind” of reform.

I am left to think that a vast majority of the resistance to the passage of these measures is simply playing politics on behalf of Republicans, in that if President Obama passes a successful humanitarian bill that enhances the lives of so many American families the political consequences to their party will be too severe to manage.

At least the televised and media punditry are motivated by this end, if noting else.

This Party of No” mentality is dangerous to us all. If anyone has a valid objection or concern by all means they should make themselves known. But when a person simply stands on the legs of right wing talking points and shaky numbers I tend to think they would be a strong advocate for “McCain-care” if the universe where all flipped upside down.

Rusty Humphries is a Fascist

Rusty Humphries is a disturbed individual. He sought to express to his audience today that for the first time since his wife passed away, a year ago, he felt as if tears would well up into his eyes. What caused him this moment of anguish and misery equal to the loss of a loved one? The images of recently released Guantanamo Bay terror suspects, referred to as “Uighurs,” to Bermuda.

One more radio pundit has lost his mind in the age of a return to American justice and the US Constitution being enacted under President Barack Obama. The partisan hate and ignorance of the fundamental values of American Democracy is disturbing and leads to only one conclusion: Rusty Humphries supports totalitarian-fascist policies for the U.S.

RUSTBUCKET: “These guys [Uighurs] had every intention of doing terrorist acts on China.”

One has to prove this in a court of law if you intend to detain any person. Innocent until proven guilty is a fundamental difference between American and Fascist Ideals.

RUSTBUCKET: “China has made it clear they will execute and make example of all terrorists.”

This is true. They are also a nation guilty of endless human rights atrocities. It is clear to me that this particular radio-jockey is a pro-fascist and anti-democratic pundit.

This is the U.S., not China.

Those who lose their country seek to protect the U.S. Constitution.

Those who love fascism seek to defend torture and detainment without trial.

His hatred for President Obama and all things American is so great, and so vastly partisan, that he continues to jeopardize and threaten the nation with his dangerous and unconstitutional rhetoric.

Judge Andrew Napolitano & Alan Colmes

Shayana Kadidal of the Center for Constitutional Rights

From WorldFocusOnline:

On Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a strong defense of his decision to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, an issue that has become increasingly political in recent weeks. On Wednesday, Congress had denied Obamas request for $80 million to close the detention facility.


In the speech, Obama largely repudiated the Bush administration policy on dealing with terror suspects — and declared again, in no uncertain terms, we do not torture.


Shayana Kadidal, a senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights who has represented a number of Guantanamo detainees, joins Martin Savidge to discuss how the president made his case, the next step and potential pitfalls of the Obama plan.

There Will Be No Radio Fairness Doctrine

PresidentBillClintonMay282003Disk2074Former President Bill Clinton can now be added to the list of big name Democrats that have eluded to or outright mentioned the Fairness Doctrine in radio-media.

I will boldly speak out turn and say now that there shall not a return to the arcane legislation of the Fairness Doctrine where an opposing opinion must be made time for after any political opinion is expressed.

Though John Kerry, Bill Clinton and other figures speak of a need for media regulation I think the issue was already addressed by President Obama when he requested that conservatives stray away from partisanship like that of The Radio Comedian Rush Limbaugh.

This is the clear stance of this administration that partisanship is any form is counter productive in politics. The partisanship found on FOX Network airwaves and conservative-talk radio was challenged thusly by the Executive Branch. I see no moves from this office toward this matter beyond what we have already witnessed.

This issue simply doesn’t rate high enough on the presidential ‘to do list.’ The outcries from the far right wing that this inane legislation from days gone by are paranoid delusions created to fabricate the image of ’persecuted’ conservatives.

The right to Freedom of Speech has always challenged Americans in terms of what they will accept in terms of their politics and their news media. Those like myself who have educated themselves on some aspects of modern media know about the Radio Fair and Equal Rule.

In the Fair and Equal Rule a political campaign that receives airtime must have due consideration and / or equal airtime.

I foresee no threat to the talk radio medium spreading further into FM, satellite and internet formats.

Though I also would not predict any ‘explosions’ of talk radio, but rather just a gradual integration. The Politic-Talk Medium will always remain, no matter what paranoid conservative pundits say.

Brown Racism and Gay Bigotry are The New Norm

Seeing as how American Society has decided that racism against blacks is anathema there leaves little room for modern racists and bigots in which to move.

Clear evidence of this is the fact that most anyone who reads this knows what racial slur I refer to the “N-Word” but no such complete verbal bans exist within any other racial slurs or forms of hate speech.

More evidence of the intolerance in American Society would be found in classrooms, schoolyards and off-record public gatherings. Time and time again I find my strongest divide with my peers is that of bigotry and racism. Even in some who no doubt assume themselves to be ‘free’ of cultural hate.

Brown Racism seems most strongly found in the older generations of racists. Very possibly the remnants of the Anti-Civil Rights Movement. I imagine many of these individuals have much of the same prejudices against all minorities and they are seemingly focusing their hate toward illegal immigrants from Mexico. Using the political stance of border reform as a guise for their radical and often completely absurd notions regarding Mexican-Americans. These are clear examples of American Racism.

Gay Bigotry seems most strongly found in the young generations of bigots. Not in any way unique from any group that hates another for a belief except that this belief is not a religion but rather a concept that sexuality is unbound between genders. Philosophical considerations are not made, for or against, and openly expressed prejudices go unchallenged as any non-heterosexual person is declared a ‘pervert,’ ‘immoral,’ ‘abnormal,’ ‘evil,’ or ‘flawed.’ In my perception this is the most commonly found example of American Bigotry.

The implications are simple. These forms of thought are purely destructive to American Society. Allowing the fears of the past to dictate our future will only lead to failure.

Miss California and the Question of Gay-Marriage

prejeanCarrie Prejean (Miss California):I think it‘s great that we live in a country where you can chose same-sex marriage or [gay-marriage]. .. In my country, and in my house, marriage is between a man a woman,

I see these words as fair and respectful statements to make, in such a position. In her country, her state and her house she views marriage as an exclusive right for heterosexuals. Unfortunately, the state laws of California currently reflect her point of view over my own. Just as she said herself, I also believe the true beauty of American democracy is the right to chose. The right to chose to repeal the ban on gay-marriage in my case. This battle is yet to fought.

Another vital element of this American Beauty lies in the fundamental Freedom of Speech found not exclusive to this single event, by any means. It can be found all around us.

In the media-aftermath, Perez Hilton (a pageant judge) revealed that he desired a more educated response.

perez-hilton

Perez Hilton:What she should have said is: .. ‘We live in a country where the states decide on some laws and the federal government decide on other laws.’”

Hilton is most likely unaware that recent statistics on civic education in America are at all time lows. I doubt he intended it to be so, but the question was asking for civics knowledge in a time when such an item is a precious commodity.

———————————————————————–

Carrie Prejean Interview From Alan.com

Talkin’ Alan Colmes & Radio Broadcasting

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know nobody cares about Alan and his radio show. If you remember he got a lot of press and did an appearance on Colbert after leaving the syndicated cable TV show Hannity & Colmes which holds the record for the longest running seasons of any cable news broadcast.

12 years some of us watched Sean and Alan (they are friends in real life to debunk that whole myth) duel it out on our televisions.

12 years of seeing an intelligent and thought-out man make his sound point; then be shouted down, cut off or done the finger by the people running the show behind the live feed.

No, I’m not board operator. I had a Public Access television program briefly as a youth and am not technology illiterate. I talked with my operators frequently. I am a host by nature, I can’t help it. Would you like me to design an interview for you? Pick a figure I’d know in politics.

I know only part of what it means to have a “reputation” in the public and we only did a rare few open-lines on a few shows, but that was more than enough of a taste what real broadcasting must be like.

My voice is extremely recognizable so I don’t call in much to shows on the radio. This writer’s pseudonym “Lightborn” I blog with is actually all over my bank records and college transcripts. I am like most these days where a monkey with an internet connection could find out everything about me through social networking sites and all that noise.

I’m not really into anything but thought-provoking discussion on the internet or radio. But I’ll dance if the steps are not too complicated.

Being a subject of public scorn, or praise, on a large scale is not an experience I personally enjoyed.

I’d go out to get something at the store and:

“Hey! You’re that guy from the TV!”

At first it was flattering but not for long. Soon it became an equal share of “fag boy” and “love your show” which took a toll on me. Seeing as how I wasn’t getting paid and no other people existed other than board operators who wanted to re-vamp the program, I left. (Funny note: They still play the old tapes sometimes. I am going down there and ripping them out of the recorders! So embarrassing!)

What most fail to recognize about any person you, and I, happen to toss around the name of in media / government discussions are real people with real feelings.

I recently said to mild shock of some that if I personally met Rush Limbaugh I would sit down and just love to talk broadcasting with him. It’s true. The same is true of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and many others.

Putting me converse them with the things they all say on air, while it would be entertaining, is actually not a good idea. I have no honest way to tell you or any operator that I wouldn’t swear every other word and say “radical” things rather than sound arguments. The “historical” perspectives and “social sentiments” are like stabs into the heart of a man who defies all these classic political definitions. (Cry me a river, I know.)

That’s the beauty & glory of this wonderful thing we call “blog.” I can just take a second to look at what they said instead of going to ape-town. Then it’s up here if anyone gives a hoot. I try to put out links to all sorts of media and not just my kind of media.

Back to Alan:

Alan Colmes has, in my opinion, the best talk radio show on Fox News Talk. Hands down.

He lets through callers at a higher rate than any other national host I am aware of. Of all opinions, and levels of insanity.

He doesn’t brag about the fact that he has been doing radio since the Vietnam-era and protested that war way back then. Before we could prove that it was started on a lie.

Like he protested the Iraq War. Another war predicated on a lie.

On the radio every night when you weren’t listening. (I podcast him mainly.)

He doesn’t brag about the fact that he was part of the same comedy scene that gave of George Carlin The Great, and many others. (Comedy and radio broadcasting has always been intertwined in American broadcasting.) Yes, he was a comedian first. Now he’s a talk show host with that weird ‘cheesy’ kind of humor.

Alan Colmes refuses to accept the mantle of the “Anti-Limbaugh.”

He beats Rush out in terms of just the raw amount of time working in radio specifically; if we engage in this whole Limbaugh-ism that the longer you talk into the radio the better a broadcaster you become. Yet still he won’t take on this title most likely because he views it as ‘silly’ just as I do to aim any part of what you do just to feed into another’s design. So to speak.

Yet as his liberal critics always say about him:

“He is a total liberal push-over.”

Is simply untrue. He tries to conduct himself in very certain fashion and sometimes … well … on the air he just has had enough Republican-garbage for one night and lets it be known. We all know conservative daily talking-points are nonsense but sometime has got to say it aloud.

Those who still hate him should know his show brings in guest-hosts, full panels and little features like Radio Graffiti where everyone calls in and gets one sentence only.

Lastly, he has read the names of every single causality in the Iraq War right up to this very moment in time. The same is true for the entire American-Vietnamese Conflict. You show me one broadcaster in America with that kind of obvious record of bipartisan media and experience using formats like AM Talk Radio the way they were meant to used. For the people.

Possibly the best hire FOX has ever made, or will ever make. As you can tell I’m a fan. There’s a chatstream community and I only ever speak with the staff via email if your thinking I work for them or something. I am one of many “contributors” to the show. We influence it greatly and often with simple suggestions..

Nope, not employed by any media agency. No real life plans around that.

The popular term to best understand about Eric Lightborn is:

political-junkie

(March 17th 2009)

What’s the Difference Between a Liberal and a Conservative?

We hear this question often in our lives, if we are a political person ourselves.

I recently heard a response to this question that I disagree with but I still believe desires to be heard. I am afraid I cannot offer it as anything but anecdote.

Response: “Think in terms of kind and unkind.”

While this sentiment starts to address the huge gap between these ideologies it only touches the most bare and stereotypical edges of the matter.

It is hard to identify one single clear ‘line in the sand’ on this issue to illustrate and thus it becomes a little troublesome to answer simply.

The truth of the matter is more that historically both liberals and conservatives morph and relocate themselves throughout the political spectrum in all nations. Only certain key values and standards define each group and it is easier to grab one specific location and timeframe than to just say all liberals or conservatives are so.

Modern American liberals are clearly defined against modern American conservatives in terms of their views of separation of church and state.

Modern American liberals are clearly defined against modern American conservatives in terms of their views of the use of military budgets and international policies.

These kind of statements are the only real response to this question and it is obviously verbose to try to answer this question with what sounds like reading a textbook at someone.

It is said sometimes that these groups are defined by the members they attract. I believe this only partly defines the ideology and the group. The common views and desires are the true backbone of every movement.

Some claim the liberal movements to attract the more ‘fringe’ elements of society while conservative attracts a more ‘common’ element of society.

That may have been true in days past but in our world, right now, the conservative movement has attracted the truly fringe elements of our society in the past national campaign and to this day on talk radio and certain websites. Unquestionable willful destruction of non-partisan debate is expressly un-American.

I think my answer to this question is more like an answer one might get from Yoda or some wandering mystic.

“Ask me again when you know which one you are.”

I think if someone is even asking they are just fresh into politics and all political types, even myself, must claw backwards into our memories to a time when we were apolitical and remember that nobody comes out of the womb with a position on taxation rates.

We form all these things we call ‘opinions’ as we go. So cut a break to people who were spacing out on their nation when we needed them the most because we still need them now that they are paying attention.

UPDATE:

I think I was wrong here. The best way to understand what a liberal is and what a conservative is in this day and age is exactly what was said in the first response here: think in terms of kind and unkind.

Attorney General Eric Holder on Race

[Related link]

I have never presumed to have any more means by which to judge of others but by their actions and their words, just like any other man. For my part I take a rather wide surveillance of the modern American media and open-outlets of public opinion that is simply an attempt to balance my own politics and avoid misinformation.
In the process of this I have long known what Holder said so frankly to the American public yesterday to be a simple fact of American life. The greatest of comedians help us laugh about the differences between us and the greatest of dividers desire us to hate each other for the same differences.
I always attempt to speak within my own experience as often as possible and I am doing just that when I say I have personally encountered racism in my life in the form of Neo-Nazi groups approaching me. I am blonde hair and blue eyes so these misguided individuals saw me as a ‘good catch’ when was an adolescent. I am disgusted every time I hear people speak the perspective that we have conjured the race issue or that America has all-but completely balanced racial tensions.

In a free society there is no other compromise than to allow the pro-segregation or groups like these Neo-Nazis to exist in so far as The Freedom of Speech allows, but not many Americans today understand that it means to look one these individuals right in eye and tell him you don’t agree with the prejudiced statements they made.

I have never said that racism is isolated to white racism and the reality of racism in all the colors is present. Personally I do not try to keep some grand tally of how much racism is in each group at any given time, due to fact that all racism is founded in same place of ignorance and hate.

Even in risking my life to disagree with real life racists in rare instances I would still call myself a coward as Holder suggests. I have very little to speak on outside of my own comfort zone regarding race and politics.

I certainly am prone to the overreaction and quick accusations of racial motives but in my case it is at times just previous experiences shading my perception. This was foremost in my mind as I first saw this now political hot-potato New York Post cartoon of a gunned down chimp associated with authoring the stimulus.

Racism?

Racism?

I still see this image as racially influenced and designed to degrade Black Americans, not Congress or the Speaker of the House. As the cartoonist has since implied.

Eric Lightborn