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Dick Williams
Kansas City, Missouri
Muddling thru for 67 years
Interests: aviation, railroads, trucking, weather, naturism, cosmology, BLH - bleeding heart liberal
Recent Activity
Right again - Jim's always right except when he's wrong which isn't too often. Yes, Sharia law was never a threat to the state of Kansas. There are some Muslims of course but the chances of anybody introducing Sharia law are remote to non-existent. They've solved a problem that doesn't exist. Here's the Kansas City Star's editorial on nutiness in Kansas. I also like the Star's comment on the KS legislature condemning a UN resolution - another time killer to keep them off in the weeds and all for the sake of posturing. rjw/mkc
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I agree that there will be jobs offered since ex Secret Service and ex FBI are sought after. Financially they may well be making more money a year from now and will probably "survive" the embarrassment. If they were near retirement. I suspect some are being allowed to resign to preserve retirement benefits even if they're not old enough yet to collect - since they're law enforcement I believe they're eligible ahead of other Fed employees who already have a sweet deal with retirement at age 55. Lots of GIs, oil company execs and just ordinary men have engaged the services of local women when overseas so that fact alone isn't unusual for govt or private sector employees when on foreign shores. And prostitution is legal in that city - but no way should Secret Service and those connected with Presidential security be engaging prostitutes. They had a signal from their sups that it was ok and I'll guess past practice led them the think they'd get away with it. Heck the sups were probably leading the scouting party. Pretty sure the enterprising press will be checking other cities where the security teams have been set up. This group had to have been following a game plan and past practice. Names? Should they be named by the press? There may be some deterrent benefit - could give the next crew of agents pause if they recall the fallout on families. You're right the names mean nothing to the general public and not sure how or why they were released since there's no public record of this so far - no trial or court appearances. Probably never will be - it's all administrative action within the agency. Dumb and arrogant and disrespectful to their position. There will probably be hearings in Congress. Will be interesting if they call some of the agents to testify. That does become public record.
Toggle Commented Apr 22, 2012 on Ousted Secret Service supervisors at ShowMeBlog
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If Joe is on Mitt's side it's coming late and he's sending a mixed message since he's been trashing Romney for the past four months. It's a very luke warm endorsement and between the lines not much of an endorsement at all. Joe's been pretty hard on all the Republicans but still wants to be a player so he has to at least pretend to support Romney now that he's assured of being the nominee. The endorsement is more about Scarborourgh wanting to be in the game instead of being sidelined. The right wing loves to call Scarborouh a RINO - Republican in Name Only - which he disputes just about every morning. Like everything it's all about Joe. That would be a good name for the show "All About Joe".
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That is interesting -- only 30% of companies still have pension programs and the number is dropping day by day. Big breach of faith and contract with a major employer like an airline just says we're ending that benefit. The other factor is that fewer and fewer people stay with a company long enough to receive a pension even if the company still has a program. So company pensions are not coming back and more will bow to "competitive pressures" and just opt out when they have a chance such as in bankruptcy. 401ks are rebuilding some but everybody needs to recall 1987 and 2008 when stocks tanked and 401ks and IRA tanked along with the stock market.
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This is dangerous - anytime Jim Howard and Dick Williams start thinking something is in the bag -well look out. Long time till November. The issues of the moment can become such old news that they're discounted or the public grows weary of hearing them - and who knows what the landscape will be by election day. Yeah, the Republicans seem intent on nominating one of three people that will be a turn off to the 33% of the voters who can and do change their minds but way to soon to know how this plays out. So beware of Jim Howard's January optimism and pronouncements. A flawed field and the Republicans and the country deserve better The Tea Party deserves about what they've got. And they're not happy with the two guys who're posturing to become one of them.
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2012 on So much GOP crap… at ShowMeBlog
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I think he was caught in a sort of bad situation. Maybe candidates should not carry any cash on them. To stiff her would have appeared cold - to give her money would have seemed like showboating and also chintzy since he has enough money to change her life. Best would have been to refer her to staff - just say "Please speak with my staff in a few moments" and sort of kick the problem down the road. Any amount he gives out in cash is going to appear "light" coming from a multi-millionaire. So I'm not crazy about his solution but also sort of sympathetic to the ambush on camera. Wasn't like he said something stupid - he did what you'd do on a human level - tried to help and came off looking bad to some. It was ok with me - awkward moment. Guess he could have given her a Book of Mormon and cited a verse on self-reliance. That would not look good. Ah yes, from the Book of Mormon: “I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs.” Mosiah 24:14 Sort of snarky of me to bring Mormonism into it since I say the religion itself has some odd tenets and the founder was pretty sketchy but the Mormon people are hard working and have a lot of good personal qualities. Having a Mormon president would not worry me. I wouldn't vote for Romney but that has nothing to to with his religion. Harry Reid is a Mormon - how's that for different political views? And the Catholic church somehow encompasses Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich through conversion and in days gone by - Jim Howard.
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I do think there are some doctors who are not wealthy - at least early in their practice of if they choose to live in rural or small town areas or inner cities and have a big percentage of patients who are on those discounted pay skeds whether by Medicare, Blue Cross or other private insurers. Look at the staff in a doctor's office you're not paying just the doctor but everybody else in that office, and the office rent, utilities, malpractice and other professional insurance. Lots come out of the $125 office call fee you're charged which is then discounted before being paid by Medicare or insurance. Yeah it is a road to great wealth for many but I'd see how there can be doctors who are strapped. Many come out of med school with over 100K in student loans so a hefty payback is due on those. I wouldn't want the 24 on-call life they lead and I'd not do well with the responsibility of getting it "right" nearly every time. They don't always get it right of course but we have high expectations that they will. And we're quite willing to sue them for ten million bucks when we feel they've made a major mistake. The right uses the Canadian and UK health systems as scare tactic - often mentioning long wait for surgery. this is an article from a Canadian paper - no relation to US politics - and it does confirm in the city of Hamilton, Ontario that there is a long wait for procedures we'd consider essential and in need of being done ASAP. If you have cancer and need an MRI you don't expect a four month wait list here in the US - you want it this week or next and surgery right away. And hip replacement (up to 375 day wait) seems far down the line for someone in pain or unable to walk needing that procedure. Where the "right" gets it wrong is equating our Medicare or the new "Obamacare" with a government health system - there is no Medicare hospital - no Medicare clinics - all regular facilities with reimbursement by Medicare or private insurance. The VA system is a true "government run health system" here in the US but that service is limited to a small segment of the population. We're not even close to a government run system. From what i see Medicare drives a hard bargain with providers and in order to participate they do have to discount their charges significantly so in this country Medicare has the clout to keep medical costs in check. Another way of putting it -- those without Medicare or any insurance pay full fare since the insured patients are getting a bargain. Put another way still - providers have to inflate their list price (which few pay) so they can discount for Medicare - sort of a shell game. We do most of our "doctoring" at the Univ of Kansas Medical Center and the spread between what's billed and what's actually paid is very wide. Here's a recent bill for "Tissue exam by pathologist". KU billed it at $382. Medicare paid $24.89 and Blue Cross will pay an additional $10.50 for total of $35.41 on a $382 bill. Will that KU pathologist go broke? No, but he or she got about 9% of the amount billed for that tissue prep, analysis and report. Do you ever go online to check your Medicare billing? I see a note that we can - I haven's done it but will. We get the paper statements from CMS but will check out and take a look.
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2012 on Are we being told the truth by CNN? at ShowMeBlog
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Dick Williams added a favorite at ShowMeBlog
Jul 31, 2011
This will be on area where we disagree - usually we're in synch. I think it will slow down but not kill nuclear. In this country it produces 20% of our power with just 104 plants - that's a pretty good ratio of plants to megawatts. The new generation of plants have a lot more redundancy than the old ones and later designs are said to be passively safe - so there are significant design differences. For the most part we don't and should not build on fault lines. We do have two California reactors that are in such positions - the twin reactors at San Onofre near Camp Pendleton are just north of the San Onofre State Beach - which has a traditional nude use area on the south end of the beach. What's needed is a more efficient way to transmit or carry power over long distances so we didn't have to build plans near urban areas or near fault lines. And a repository for the spent fuel. The French handle that better - not good but better - by placing it spent fuel rods in casks not water. I don't believe they have a national repository either - nobody wants the stuff. There'll be a big selling job by the nuclear industry on how safe the new generation of reactors and plants will be - we'll see if they can get that message through. And in truth so far something is working even in the damaged Japanese plants - there has not been a major release of radiation - according to Ann Coulter what has been released so far is just enough to be good for us. That was a crock and she's being ridiculed for it. Pretty good article in today's KC Star about third and fourth generation plants:
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2011 on Nuclear Power is Dead at ShowMeBlog
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I'm on the road quite a bit and always try to find an NPR affiliate on the FM. More and more the upper part of the FM band is populated by another type of non-profit station - religious programming. I've suspected - never seen it mentioned - that the right is purposefully trying to grab and occupy frequencies in the public service band to deny them to NPR or local community based stations. Of course they raise their own money and have a right to claim that portion of the spectrum. There are some really good networks of public stations such as the High Plains Net in west TX, OK and KS, the Nebraska statewide net and similar one in SD. That saves programming costs since one studio serves multiple communities via translators or remote transmitters. That may be a partial solution but a community loses the local input when a wide area net is in place. I assume the vote will pass since NPR is a favorite "cause" on the right, Republicans have the majority and will vote as one. "We" elected them and they're doing what they said they would do. It's totally symbolic but they're much into symbolism. Myself I find NPR pretty middle of the road but I'm a leftie so when I like what I hear to me that's fair and balanced journalism. A bill to defund NPR will go to the Senate where the Dems will probably defeat the bill. More symbolism but sends the message they want to send and paves the way for a another attempt in two years if he Reps gain control of the Senate. Tend to agree - maybe they can raise funds to keep NPR intact privately - just as those religious broadcaster do - they get no government funds but they also don't maintain the cadre of reporters and bureaus that NPR does. If it weren't for the religious broadcasters then the Republicans would probably try to end the whole idea of a public service segment in the FM band - sell off those freqs to add more talk shows and country western stations. Those are badly needed in Texas - more C&W.
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2011 on Funding for NPR at ShowMeBlog
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Concur but I will watch the speech. Be nice if somebody would say "let's tone it down and act more like adults and less like a high school Pep Rally before the homecoming game. The reactions are so predictable we could just insert them mentally at appropriate places. I think I now dislike Mitch McConnell most of all. He barely won his seat but acts like he was elected in a landslide and is so sanctimonious. It's a hard fought race to be the most sanctimonious Republican in the US Senate since there's heavy competition but McConnell may take the prize.
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I watch Morning Joe regularly - I'm a fan of the show. You're right that Scarborough is full of himself but I do give him and the show a lot of credit for providing a sounding board and he's not afraid to book as many guests from the left as from the right. Many liberals are regulars and while Joe sometimes gets carried away in general they get to air their side - totally unlike Sean, Rush and Glenn who host totally one-sided shows. There's often an actual discussion on Morning Joe and he seems to genuinely like many of his Democratic guests. There's more give and take and Scarborough gives his own party Hell quite often and in particular the loudest voices and more shrill positions on the right. He and Rush are not on the same page and he shakes his head in wonder at Rush's more outrageous statements. Most on the right are cowed and afraid to say anything about Rush other than praise his name - so Scarbourough gets some credit for speaking plainly about Limbaugh. Now, about your gal Mika. I try to like her - I'd like to like her and I do somewhat. But to me the two of them, Joe and Mika, together doesn't work as a combination. On the shows where either of them of off the set I think things go much better. I just don't see that she adds much to the show and the banter between Joe and Mika for me is more distraction than anything. I'll guess MSNBC knows it and will spin her off someday to a show of her own or put her on assignment work. I'm wrong a lot so she's probably safe right where she is. They've struggled with the time slot right after Morning Joe and recently moved Dylan Ratigan to afternoons - he didn't add much to their lineup and they did well to end the experiment with Dylan following Morning Joe as quickly as they did. Morning Joe is about personality and politics alike and I think Joe likes having weak co-hosts but strong guests - at least that's the pattern he's followed for two years. He's talked about as Senate candidate from Florida but I'm not sure he'd pass muster with the Republican establishment and I think he's too lazy for a long campaign. He's off his own show a lot. Seems any excuse will do for him to be gone from the set. Sometimes he's on remotely from FL or DC but often they just cover and say "Joe's off today". I think he likes the bigger money and less work of television and radio versus the slings and arrows of running and holding office. We'll see. I still like him and he has a good memory for political history and his partisanship to me doesn't take him the route of hatred and loathing that seems to infect other conservatives. He can get along with those he disagrees with even though he does like to dominate a conversation. I wake up to Morning Joe most mornings - 0500 or 0530. When I was visiting our daughter in Portland OR the show came on at 0330 - they didn't delay is so his audience there was probably nil - well me but I wake up on KC time when I'm on the west coast. Sorry you can't see the whole show and see it regularly. The loudest and oddest stuff is what will make the You Tube clips - it's less one-sided in real time that portrayed by those snapshots. Joe doesn't seem to have found traction with Republicans - I don't hear many people advocating a larger role for him in politics. I use to think the show would signal his return to office but don't feel that way now. He's lazy, Republicans are too whacked for their own good and he's too honest about Republican shortcomings. Don't know where he ends up.
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2010 on morning Joe at ShowMeBlog
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I noticed the date and knew there'd be a comment on Show Me Blog - and there is and I'm glad. The Kennedy assassination was central to the life of anyone who was around in 1963. I'm 64 and I doubt that those younger than say 58 or 60 quite get it - understand what a lifelong and terible memory that afternoon holds for us. I've commented in previous years and this is nearing the 50th anniversary of the event. Today - this afternoon - is the 45th anniversary. I was in St. Joe Junior College - the student union building and looking through college catalogs. I was in my 2nd year of Junior College - we'd call it Community College now - looking for schools to transfer to the following year and was going over the catalogs. Before the internet we did all that with big thick catalogs. I heard and saw some student nurses in another part of the room gathered around a radio and heard one of them say "They've shot the President". Stunning words - I stayed there for a while then drove home in my 58 Ford Fairlane - chilly, gray, drizzly day. Got home and stayed glued to the TV for the next two days. My father came home from his work with the Highway Department in mid afternoon - that would never happen and nobody said much. I remember the chaos - the search through Dallas for Oswald - an officer shot and later the 2nd murder when Ruby shot Oswald. It was real time - not history - I recorded the TV audio on my Knight Kit open reel recorder - still have the tape but like Jim I'm not sure it's usable or that the tape won't break repeatedly if I try to listen to it. We know a lot more about Kennedy now - much of it not particularly favorable to him - but the aura and feeling that he was a President who could bring out the best in us was real. The challenge he put down of placing a man on the moon seemed outrageous and it was outrageous in 1961 but with Lyndon Johnson's skill in jawboning Congress and his persistence it happened. Thanks for reminding readers of the significance of this date. To a generatation and maybe especially for those of us who were in our teens and twenties in 1963 it's a singular and unforgettable date. I have to think about my own family's anniversary and birthday dates but November 22nd, 1963 is indelible - carved in stone. Even now when I see some "event" scheduled for this date I have a fleeting feeling that they should honor it and move the concert or the race or grand opening to another date. This one is taken. Dick in Kansas City
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2008 on November 22, 1963 at ShowMeBlog
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This campaign was successful and they've raised over 60k - more than enough to keep the steam generator pumping out the simulated flame for over a year. Some large contributions but lots of small ones also - got the job done in just a few days. The story of how quickly they raised the initial construction money is remarkable - 2.5 million dollars in 10 days in the 1920s. More so in fact than raising 65K this week and in that era it was a multitude of nickles and dimes and dollars that built the Memorial. A nice monument - one of Kansas City's centerpieces along with the nearby Union Station. Poll shows 80% favor keeping the flame lit and 16% said - no, not work 45K per year. Dick in KC Followup article on the Liberty Memorial fundraising: Cute Fourth of July - Dress a Hot Dog item: hit the SLIDESHOW link to see a ton of entries - pretty clever some of them.
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2008 on Save the Flame at ShowMeBlog
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Best schedule the doctor visit and the test. The anxiety itself can cause problems and knowing what's what can be a relief in itself. Uncertainity is usually worse that knowledge but a lot of us do the same thing - put off exams for fear of what they might reveal.
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2007 on Chest Pain at ShowMeBlog
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