Meanwhile, an individual mandate would be implemented, forcing every American to purchase one of the options offered by their state's newly formed Health Help Agency (HHA). The HHA's will have a menu of private insurance plans, all of which must provide coverage equal to or better than the Blue Cross Blue Shield Standard Plan used by Congress. All plans will be community rated by the state, meaning an end to adverse selection and preexisting condition problems. The only acceptable variables for price will be geography, family size, and smoking status. Subsidies will be offered up to 400 percent of the poverty line, will full coverage provided to those below 100 percent. Employers will contribute through a set equation related to business size and yearly profits. There's quite a bit more, but that's the basic outline.
-The cost of equipping an infantry soldier tripled, from $7000 in 1999 to $24,000 today.
-The cost of Humvee's went from $32,000 in 2001 to a breathtaking $225,000 each today.
-The cost of training, feeding and housing Army recruits went from $75,000 per soldier in 2001 to $120,000 today. (The Army uses private contractors, largely Halliburton's Kellogg, Root & Brown, to provide most non-training services, such as food service and base maintenance.)
Clearly, he's not a fan of the blogosphere.
â€“ Commercial websites and personal blogs â€œwould be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000.â€
â€“ Internet service providers (ISPs) are already required to issue such reports, but under McCainâ€™s legislation, bloggers with comment sections may face â€œeven stiffer penaltiesâ€ than ISPs.
No link yet, but apparently MSNBC is reporting that Sen. Tim Johnson D-SD has had a stroke. Ironically, it seems he was very active on just that very issue while in office. Read more about Time to Pray: Democratic Senator Has Had a Stroke
South Africa bans canned "hunting" of predator cats, anyway.
The hunting of lions and other big cats bred in captivity purely to die at the barrel of a gun will be outlawed under legislation that comes into force next year, the government said Wednesday.
No, I'm not talking about Iraq. Though I might as well be. I've talking about the Left Behind video game, where believers gun down non-believers in the streets of Manhattan, only blocks from the WTC. In a Godly way, of course.
But you know what? The game sucks. (Now, I said I wasn't talking about Iraq!) San Francisco Chronicle: Read more about Violent Christianist video game is teh suck and isn't selling
And best of all, he's a real progressive. Bonilla is supposed to be some close Bush family friend, and I'm enjoying a little December gloating on top of all that we enjoyed last month. Read more about Congrats to Representative-Elect Rodriguez!
I nominate this as a new Zen koan, possibly to replace "what is the sound of one hand clapping" which has become somewhat of a cliche. Read more about Your Loud Obbs Thought for the Day
Following up on Shystee's post (check the picture!), one of the slow pleasures of the last year or so has been watching the eminently sane Josh Marshall become more Shrill, as he loses any deference to the insane authoritarians who are ruling us. Josh opines: Read more about Chaos Is The Plan vs. The Shia Are The Plan