Category Archives: Politics

‘He’d better be a white male.’ SERIOUSLY?!

Michael Avenatti. Photo credit: vpickering, Occupy Lafayette Park via photopin (license)

I went to Facebook this morning looking for a topic idea to write a personal column for my day job, as a weekly newspaper editor in west Tennessee. Instead, I got all personally liberal’d up about some topics I saw there. Some of my thoughts are too partisan to have a proper place in the newspaper I edit because I don’t think it would be fair for me to dominate the discussion with my personal views in a newspaper that I don’t own — although I desperately wish other opinionated locals would write THEIR partisan opinions, from both ends of the spectrum.

So here I go, putting the onus on my precious-and-few blog readers to soak up more of my proudly liberal thoughts today. You peeps rock.

Ahem. Here goes.

I had to respond to this story, wherein Michael Avenatti says the 2020 Democratic candidate for president better be a white male, if Dems are to have a prayer of winning. (Avenatti is an American attorney, entrepreneur and, apparently, a Dems’ demigod.)

Here’s my gut reaction

I don’t know whether to say, “Oh, for fuck’s sake” at this nimrod’s frankly utilitarian misogyny or to say “He’s probably correct” just because I fear it’s going to be a close race and difficult enough to win without making the haters clutch their pearls over promotion of feminism and racial equality.

I *want* a woman in the office. Ideally, a woman of color, compassion and wisdom. That would be GLORIOUS. But I will take any frigging Democrat we can put in the Oval Office to unseat Donald Trump, who is dangerously stupid.

I think we are going to learn a lot about where we need to turn our efforts for the next presidential election, based on the volume and direction of votes we see on Nov. 6 this year.

MY QUESTION OF THE DAY: Who is YOUR 2020 Democratic presidential pick? And why do you think this person has a prayer of winning against an incumbent, even one as impenetrably malicious and idiotic as Trump?

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Filed under Feminism, Politics

What decent people do

I remember when I was in college. I wasn’t super experienced sexually but I really, really liked this very charming blonde boy I had just started dating. And I liked to drink because it tasted good and was fun.

We had been out bar hopping, and then we ended up parked somewhere, making out. I had drunk too much and was not in good control of myself. I would get into the making out, then kind of “wake up” and decide this was really inappropriate for the short time I’d known him. I’d stop him, and then in a little while we’d be making out again. At some point, he just stopped altogether and said he was really confused by my yes-no-yes-no … did I want to have sex with him or not? Through my booze fog, I decided that I did not.

And you know what? He was a good guy about it. He didn’t get mad or yell or try to force me or even shame me. He said okay and took me home to my dorm, and he went back to his for the night. We took it a little slower, ended up with a happy sex life and continued dating throughout college, and we got married. The marriage only lasted about four years, but he was a decent man, despite our differences.

The morning after that make-out incident with him, I realized that I’d put myself in a really vulnerable position by having so much alcohol I was verging on being black-out drunk. It took me a while to clean up my act in that regard and to drink in moderation, if at all. But he didn’t take advantage of me.

Not every man or boy will sexually assault someone if given the chance.

Not every man is a Brett Kavanaugh. Or a Donald Trump.

I’m thankful they are not the norm, but I’m wondering where are the decent men who have higher standards for themselves and others. Why aren’t they speaking up and taking action? Why am I hearing mostly women’s voices (and not every woman, at that)?

In a broader sense than just discussing sexual misconduct, I’m fearful for my country, my fellow women, minorities, immigrants, the poor and the middle class under the current U.S. executive, judicial and legislative leadership. I’m yearning to hear from the DECENT Americans that as a whole we are good people who can show restraint, good judgment, tolerance, generosity and kindness. And not just words … I need to see votes, concrete action and active opposition to the assholization of America.

I’m hoping — fiercely — that I will feel renewed faith in my fellow Americans from the Nov. 6 election results. For the first time in my life, I’m voting a straight Democratic ticket instead of judging individual candidates on their merits, because to do anything else would be to endorse the dark path our country is on. We don’t need any more arrogant and greedy sociopaths in office, and we don’t need people who will compromise their values (assuming they have such). Nor do we need any more weak go-along-to-get-along politicians.

We need you to help make that happen. YOU need you to help make that happen.


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Filed under Awareness, Politics

A Common Gal Looks at ObamaCare, Part 7: Limits on Losing Coverage

A Common Gal Looks at ObamaCareI’m reading up on The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka “ObamaCare”). That includes the act itself, amendments passed shortly afterward, and the recent Supreme Court ruling. It’s a lot of pages (906, 55, and 193 respectively), but I want to understand it. I’m documenting my read-through here. I am not a lawyer or a healthcare professional, just a common college-educated person. These are my thoughts, not advice to you. Read the act yourself like the free person you are. ;o).

No-No’s on Rescinding Coverage

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has protections against the insurer yanking away coverage for no good reason. This is called “prohibition on rescissions.”[1] But there are limits. Your coverage CAN be rescinded if you:

  • Use fraud, and/or
  • Intentionally misrepresent material facts as prohibited by the plan or coverage. (Why do they use blah-blah language like this? What’s the difference in “plan” and “coverage”? Meh.)

They also have to give you prior notice. (I didn’t see any details yet about how MUCH prior notice, however.)

Notice that is ONLY talking about coverage being “rescinded[2]” (terminating the contract for insurance coverage from the beginning, as if the policy had never been issued) – it doesn’t mention cancelling your policy going forward from a certain date, or just failing to renew coverage. (Slippery dudes, aren’t these legislators.)

The way I’m reading “rescission” (the act of rescinding), it refers to the insurance company playing “take-back”: You get your premiums refunded, but you have to give back what benefits you got under the policy, as in anything the policy paid during that coverage period to your doctor, hospital, etc. Yikes.

No-No’s on Cancelling Coverage

Rescinding your coverage isn’t the only way your insurance company can give you the kiss-off: It can also cancel or fail to renew your coverage for certain reasons. For details on this, the PPACA points to two specific sections of ye olde Public Health Service Act: Section 2702(c) and Section 2742(b).  I wavered over a momentary impulse to tear at my hair at the thought of undergoing the tortuous (to me) process of looking something up in that gigantic act again, but I found a different and delightfully authoritative source without having to go bald in fits and snatches. The Internet is my SAVIOR sometimes.

Instead of locating those original texts, I cheated and read summaries in the Federal Register, which said, “These provisions generally provide that a health insurance issuer in the group and individual markets cannot cancel, or fail to renew, coverage for an individual or a group for any reason other than those enumerated in the statute.”

The Register then was nice enough to summarize those reasons, so here you go.

Why your insurer CAN cancel your butt (or fail to renew your policy covering said butt):

  • Nonpayment of premiums
  • Fraud or intentional misrepresentation of material fact
  • Withdrawal of a product or withdrawal of an issuer from the market (I assume this means their company no longer offers that kind of insurance … or the company itself withdraws from the market. You agree?)
  • Movement of an individual or an employer outside the service area
  • Cessation of association membership (applies to bona fide association coverage only)

For overachievers: You don’t have to hit all of these; one is enough.

Bona Fide Associations

That last one threw me for a loop. (The word “bona fide” always makes me giggle and think of Jethro Bodine trying to sound fancy about ciphering and such.) So I looked it up, with the help of our recurring guest, that good ol’ attention whore, the Public Health Service Act.[3] Basically, it just means groups that are formed for legit reasons, not solely to glom onto some insurance coverage. See details below if you want the fancy lawyer talk.

When you’re talking about a state’s health insurance coverage, a bona fide association has to meet all six of these criteria:

  • Has been actively in existence for at least five years;
  • Has been formed and maintained in good faith for purposes other than obtaining insurance (emphasis mine)
  • Does not condition membership in the association on any health status-related factor relating to an individual (including an employee of an employer or a dependent of an employee);
  • Makes health insurance coverage offered through the association available to all members regardless of any health status-related factor relating to such members (or individuals eligible for coverage through a member);
  • Does not make health insurance coverage offered through the association available other than in connection with a member of the association; and
  • Meets such additional requirements as may be imposed under State law.

I’m going to go soothe my brain with a well-earned diet Coke now.

Other Posts on ObamaCare:

  • Part 1: Intro
  • Part 2: Types of coverage, no discrimination
  • Part 3: Exchanges and what they do
  • Part 4: Your cost limits and adjustments
  • Part 5: Deductibles and preventive care
  • Part 6: Four levels of coverage

Footnotes! We Have Footnotes!

[1] Section 2712.

[2] I don’t usually cite Wikipedia because, well – ew – but it can contain some good general information. This discussion of “rescission” (the act of rescinding) aligns with other definitions I read online and is much easier to read than most:

[3] See Title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act, SEC. 2791. [42 U.S.C. 300gg–91] Definitions, (d)(3). You can find it here:


Filed under Healthcare, Politics