Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
ROBERT PAGAN SAYS HE HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG
SSA CHICAGO REGION COMMISSIONER JAMES MARTIN SAYS HE'S DOING NOTHING WRONG
Now at last comes a decision that begins to peel away the veneer of legitimacy from the corrupt hiring practices of the Social Security Administration. Nepotism and cronyism have insinuated themselves into every aspect of Federal Hiring. My complaints to Congress go without action as what is endemic is viewed as right. See my prior posting at: http://dennis1950.blogspot.com/2009/04/hiring.html
MSPB Agrees with NTEU Position on Veteran’s Standing to Challenge FCIP
Washington, D.C.—The continuing battle by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) to end agency misuse of the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) has taken another step forward with a favorable procedural ruling by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).
As sought by NTEU, the board reversed a decision by an administrative judge, ruling that a 30 percent disabled veteran has legal standing to challenge the use of the FCIP by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
NTEU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this case, Weed v. SSA, arguing successfully that the plaintiff was injured by SSA’s use of a hiring strategy that effectively prevented him from even applying for an open position, and thus denied him his veteran’s preference rights. The MSPB sent the case back to the judge to allow for factual development on the question of the legality of the FCIP.
“This decision parallels NTEU’s recent win on jurisdictional issues in our pending lawsuit challenging Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations implementing the FCIP,” said NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley. Last month, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed OPM’s jurisdictional and procedural objections to the NTEU suit filed in January 2007, allowing the union’s direct challenge to the FCIP to go forward.
“The MSPB decision should send a further signal to OPM that the legality of the FCIP is in serious question,” Kelley said.
The FCIP is a special-focus hiring program originally intended to provide formally-structured, two-year training and development internships for agencies to use as a strategic hiring tool. Instead, and because OPM placed few restrictions on the program, it has been used by a number of agencies to fill a wide range of positions—which, after a two-year ‘internship,’ are converted without competition to permanent competitive service status.
In addition to bypassing veteran’s preference rights, one of its most serious impacts is to reduce promotional opportunities for present members of the federal workforce. “The way agencies are misusing the FCIP,” President Kelley said, “all too often blocks the advancement path of employees who have proven themselves ready for promotion. It is a clear distortion of the program’s intent.”
The FCIP has been eagerly embraced by such agencies as the Internal Revenue Service, which is using it to hire key enforcement personnel including Revenue Officers and Revenue Agents; U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which has used it for some years as its sole means of hiring new CBP Officers; and SSA, which in fiscal 2008 used the FCIP for 62 percent of its new hires.
NTEU argues that such misuse of the FCIP undercuts key merit system principles, including the requirement for “fair and open competition” for jobs as a way to ensure equal opportunity.
In the Weed case, SSA advertised the availability of four positions—for which the plaintiff was qualified—on a state university web site accessible only to students and alumni; Weed was neither. All of the positions were filled using the FCIP. Weed, supported by NTEU’s brief arguing that the FCIP is not a valid exception to competitive hiring procedures, said the posting made it impossible for him, and similarly-situated veterans, to learn of the vacancies.
“The MSPB decision now allows Mr. Weed to get to the heart of the problem—that the ways agencies use the FCIP can all but eliminate fair and open competition from the applicant process and does real harm to veterans and others who would like to be fairly considered for open positions in the federal government,” President Kelley said.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Mr. Charles Daumbacher of Dubuque Iowa read my letter to the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, also titled "Medicare Thugs" in this blog. His thoughtful and intelligent response, sent to me in the U. S. Mail is: "I would very much like to see things from your point of view; but no matter how hard I try; I just can't get my head that far up my ass." This is typical of the type of person I saw at the congressional town hall standing in the back. Alas, arguing with this "intellectual" would be like arguing with the bathroom toilet. He could have written an insightful response, but to do so he would have had to have some insight. There are better advocates against health care, who I respect very much and who can state their valid concerns. The media right, though, has incited this kind of mindless rage as a tool to kill health care for all. This ugly response is apparently from an uninformed person carrying water for the corporate medical and drug interests who do not want to fall off the gravy train. I would bet that Mr. Daumbacher has nothing in common with these captains of commerce, but he is doing their bidding nonetheless. I am sure Mr. Daumbacher feels no obligation to those who needlessly die or become disabled from lack of access to medical care. He is not alone. There are thousands of "Ditto Heads" in his club.
Friday, August 14, 2009
If the Health Care issue never arouse, you wouldn't be arguing with mom. And you know what really ticks her off more than anything...abortion. 67 million kids have been murdered since the mid sixties in the US alone. Now that's an issue we should be debating. Death has already happened. Without a National Health care plan, we're assuming many will be lost. Are people dying or suffering now any more than they did in the past? There has never been a national health care plan.
It all comes down to an extended life issue, whether it's health care or the abortion issue, the economy we're all fighting for an extended life for ourselves and our loved ones and those we know that suffer. If the National Health care plan passes, does that guarantee that you'll live longer than you will without it, or anyone live longer. How do you know how long people will live, with or without health care, do you have ESPN. Many people with good health care die every day, I see it at the hosp. So how many more will live longer than they would anyway without health care. AM not saying that health care isn't necessary, it is. But so is family, exercise, working, trusting God, etc.
Do you seriously think that Conservatives and Christians want people to die? Just because they don't believe the health care plan pushed by Obama agrees with their interest. That's sad if you do. I don't want people to die or suffer, even though I'm not excited about a national health care plan.
We need to stop angering each other over any issue, debate and discussion o.k., but not hate. I certainly don't hate you or am I angry about what you say or do. I can certainly tell in your emails that you seem to hate people for not agreeing with you. What happened to democracy, what happen to love.
You want to be able to disagree vehemently with many, but get mad and attack the ones that disagree with you.
We all need to step back and put love first.
Love ya Bro.
Cheap Tactic calling me a "hater". (editorial comment)
I love ya but I have to tell you and mom that you are wrong. I don't even think it is so much the health care issue as it is the national debt. I believe that decent people want others to be able to get medical care, but they worry about the country going broke. We bailed the bankers for three times the 10 year cost of this reform cited (erroneously I think) by the worst case scenario of the critics. They don't cite the anticipated cost increases if nothing is done, which far exceed the reform model with its cost containment measures.
If 22,000 unnecessary deaths a year doesn't affect your thinking about things how can you defend being pro-life? Shouldn't we all be fired up about that? The infant mortality rate would be much higher if not for Federal Medicaid and WIC, both of which would be called "socialism" by these same critics (as would Medicare). I haven't heard the same critics calling for an end to these programs, which they should if they were logically consistent, but they know nobody would listen to them then.
Babies of uninsured mothers are at higher risk of infant mortality. Even after controlling for important explanatory factors like age, income, and health and
pregnancy history, babies born to low-income uninsured mothers are 60 percent more
likely to die in the first month after birth.
The U.S. has a higher infant mortality rate than all other developed countries. source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_United_States
How Does Being Uninsured Harm Individuals and Families?
* Studies estimate that the number of excess deaths among uninsured adults age 25-64 is in the range of 22,000 a year. This mortality figure is more than the number of deaths from diabetes (17,500) within the same age group.8
* Lack of insurance compromises the health of the uninsured because they receive less preventive care, they are diagnosed at more advanced disease stages, and once diagnosed, tend to receive less therapeutic care and have higher mortality rates than insured individuals.9
* Controlling for age, race, sex, and income, uninsured cancer patients are 1.6 times more likely than insured patients to die within five years of diagnosis. 10
* The high cost of health care can damage the overall economic well-being of families. One in three low-income parents without coverage report medical bills have a major financial impact on their families.11
* On average, the uninsured are 9 to 10 times more likely to forgo medical care because of cost and twice as likely to have medical debt. 9
* The uninsured are increasingly paying “up front” -- before services will be rendered. When they are unable to pay the full medical bill in cash at the time of service, they can be turned away except in life-threatening circumstances.12
* Access to an emergency room for uninsured patients does not qualify as access to coordinated care. While physicians are required to stabilize patients in an emergency, they are not required to treat the condition comprehensively. 13
* Over the last decade, disparities between the uninsured and insured widened in access to a usual source of care, annual check-ups, and preventive care, and are the greatest in disparities and our growing.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Your site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck) sounds very hateful, resentful and condemning, oh, and demeaning to me. Because I don't hold the same ideals that you do, doesn't mean I'm less a person or should be condemned.
There has never been a national health plan, why now? Is it cheaper, less strings, more ability, more science, why? Should everyone pay for all the needs of others; personal needs, cars, housing, food, etc.
Jesus said, "a willing heart". He didn't say you have to. All through the bible it talks about choice. Adam and Eve had a choice, Noah had a choice, Moses, David and even Jesus had a choice. God may not have agreed with their choices, but He can them a choice. Sounds like you're condemning people for not believing in what you think is right. What if others consider your thoughts on health care injustice, should God condemn them?
Throughout America's and the world history many people(s) didn't have a national health care plan and people survived. I didn't have it for years, until I got the right job. I wasn't telling others to pay for a plan for me. Why the need for a national plan now...cheaper, better science, a richer country, more diseases, people dying earlier? God tells us to care about the windows, orphans, poor and those placed in jails unjustly. But He still gives us as choice to do it and a choice to choose the people to help.
Don't let this debate destroy your love of family or country. There's so much more to do.
There seems to be more than the health care issue that frightens you. What are you afraid of? Are you lacking faith? Are you so worried that your wife or your kids might end up caring for a cripple that you've lost your Faith in God. God is in charge, not us. Even if the health care plan passes and I suspect it will, many may still die, Then what? Will you blame me, mom, or others. God cares for His people no matter what their circumstances, the difference between them and most of us is, they have a trusting faith in God and we, as Jesus often said, " are of little faith".
Faith is believing that God not only cares, but will do what He says. I don't know what He has in store for us. We're considering visiting either Ethiopia (sponsor a child there), Philippines, or Israel and Jordan. But what if we go and something happens to one of us. We only know this, that God loves us and cares for us, and will watch over us. We may just sell everything and become missionaries.
The most important thing is to place our trust in God and our salvation in His son's work on the cross. God loves this country with all it's faults, including yours and mine. Each one of us are called for a particular duty or duties, but the most important is to demonstrate Gods love to as many as we can and take His word to the world. From there, His spirit will guide us.
God said that He will judge and we must leave it up to Him. We simply need to do what He asks us to and if trying to convince others of the need for the health care plan is what you were called to do, then do it. But if He's called me to something else, then I must do that.
Trust God first and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matt 6:33)
Hate is wanting to let people die. I don't condemn you for not wanting "Obama's Plan" with the proviso that you know what the plan is. I watch the town meetings on Faux New's, CNN, and others all day. Those people shouting down everyone else look like a collection of local town bullies. I think their conduct is indefensible. I know that when I was a protester I would have been drug out and beaten for acting that way, so maybe it is a better world now, even if you can't hear the non right wing side.
God will judge you and I. I have always listened to evangelical's call down hellfire on everyone else, so maybe they need to hear the same for the evil of killing uninsured people. It is as simple as that. I watched it for 34 years. I know you are a loving and caring brother, but your allies are telling lies and distorting the facts by calling this socialism. There is no plan for the government to be a single payor, or to own the hospitals and clinics. There is no mandate to pay for abortion. There is no plan to kill people when they get too old. The truth is that the distortion artists are carrying water for the people and corporations that want to bleed us and treat health care like a product to market - can't afford it - go out and die. I ask you again, what is Christian about that? I keep asking and no one gives me an answer.
Yes I am mad about what I am seeing with the orchestrated bullying tactics of the TEA Party and others. I think it is a righteous anger. My children's future hangs on the line. I can pay my daughter's health care insurance premiums only so long, and then I have to let her go into the darkness of this country's ignorance, perhaps at the cost of her life. Same is true for you and your children. It doesn't have to be government run, but I know that there is no sincerity on the other side to do a thing for the uninsured, the under-insured, or for us. When they kill Obama's initiative, which he is more than willing to compromise on, they they will bleed us and run us into national bankruptcy. Doing nothing as I tried to show is the surest way to national bankruptcy. I love my country and I am sick and tired of the arrogance of right wingers in thinking that they are the only one's that love their country. You just said it about me now!
I have great faith in God. I believe he can do righteousness in this world in a real sense with us as his instruments. Faith without works is dead because God calls us to work for his good. I am doing what I believe God wants me to do. God didn't say fight against health care. God directs us to see that the poor and needy are cared for. A willing heart would try to get that done, either in your way or in mine. Mom said to me that this should be done by charity and free will giving, but which of us or any collection of us as churches could bear the burden of one members short illness and the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would cost? Government exists to do good and to do the things that are too big for individuals or small groups to do. Government exists to make laws that bring justice. That is why our country passed Medicare in the sixties with the same sort of misguided opposition that we see now. Ask yourself, what would mom do without it? Would you be worried if she didn't have it or would you say "well, nothing to worry about because I have faith". That would be making faith a rationale for injustice and death. God doesn't want to you be oblivious because you have faith. At least I don't think he does. Why go to Ethiopia if you can just say God will take care of it. No, we must be Gods instruments for good in this world. For you it means volunteering and going to Ethiopia, for me it means volunteering at the food pantry, community garden, church, and working real hard to get everyone access to the care God wants all his ill children to have. You don't think God doesn't want the sick to be healed do you? If he does want healing, wouldn't he want it done by those with hands that can do it? I love my country enough to believe that it can do better. Carl Shurz said: “I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’”
Friday, August 7, 2009
Have you noticed that all of the shouters seem to be oldsters well over sixty five. They are on Medicare! They are recipients of government run health care, and there they are shouting down people trying to extend some (but by no means all) of the benefits they themselves get from the government to their children and grandchildren. Talk about gall! These recipient terrorists are sparking a generational war. The last I heard, Medicare is going to be broke in 2017. I guess I will advise the young ones to shout at their Congresspersons to let it die. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Let's throw them out into the current American health care system that they think is so good for everyone but them. Let's see if they can get coverage. I'll bet that a lot of them couldn't at any price. That would put them where a lot of the rest of us are.
It is shameful to see these old government Social Insurance Beneficiaries shouting to deprive others of what they themselves have. Are they so pampered that they can advocate for illness, disease, and death from lack of health care access for their own children and grandchildren. As a parent and grandparent, I believe I should help to make life better for my younger relatives. I and my wife have sacrificed to be a help for them because buying a home, and raising a child is no easy matter. Apparently some oldsters are so self absorbed that basic health care for their own means nothing.