Anna Fristrom Anderson Cooper's sexuality isn't news (or newsworthy), but the fact that he has chosen to publicly discuss his private life is. If he can advance public discussion/tolerance about equality issues by "coming out," then more power to him.
Anna Fristrom Cont'd: Part of the reason why govt regulations are driving up the cost of healthcare is that govt interference is in direct conflict with the very business model upon which insurers operate. Left alone, would market forces drive down costs? I'm not sure. However, I do know that if insurers are not allowed to make profits based on leveraged risk they're going to have to find other ways to do so.
Anna Fristrom A fundamental problem I have with the ACA (and the health care debate generally) is that it avoids a pivotal question: should we approach health care from a risk management perspective? As things stand, we are trying to provide a public service through an insurance scheme--with disastrous results. Forbidding providers to consider factors like pre-existing conditions destroys the very concept of risk management. Which is it going to be?
Anna Fristrom I don't so much as view taxation as a moral issue as much as I view it as an element of a social contract. We all benefit from infrastructure, security, education, courts, etc. created with and funded by our tax dollars as part of a mutual exchange among citizens. That being said, government overreach in taxation and bloated social programs do more harm than good. The real issue isn't whether taxation is moral; it's how to balance personal property rights and social obligation.
Anna Fristrom ... and just like any other investment, one has to consider the costs and benefits of incurring debt to fund that investment. Frankly, it is WAY to easy for students to agree to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to fund the pursuit of degrees which may bring significant financial returns. Students need to consider whether going into that kind of debt is a smart decision.
Anna Fristrom I'm skeptical about the idea that money buys votes (see comment below); however, I am sure that it buys influence, which makes me far more concerned with what will happen post-election than pre.
Anna Fristrom Before we start throwing money at the problem, we need to examine exactly why tuition costs are skyrocketing. True, public and private universities are working with fewer government funds than they were several years ago, but that doesn't explain why the costs of attending a private university can easily exceed $40k each year. Universities know that parents or lending agencies will foot the bill, so they have little incentive to reduce costs.
Anna Fristrom The Obama campaign staff knows that blaming the poor economy on the European fiscal/sovereign debt crisis is going to be a hard sell, so they're taking an approach they think voters can connect with. It's entirely predictable, and probably their only option. Most voters don't care about what's happening with the global economy, don't understand it, or both. What's left to work with are Romney's wealth and lingering anger from the Bush years.
Anna Fristrom My guess is that this measure will go the way of other misguided attempts to outlaw "things that good, upstanding citizens don't like" - cops won't enforce it, courts won't enforce it, and/or Middleborough residents will get fed up and insist on its removal.
Anna Fristrom At the very least the nature of the "clients'" illness raises an issue of capacity. I'm disturbed by the fact that Harris (in the FAQ section of her site) borrows the phrase "If you can not [sic] trust someone with their reproductive choices, how can you trust them with a child?" from the pro-choice movement - after all, didn't she start this project because she doesn't trust addicts to raise children?
Anna Fristrom Ron Paul has consistently said that he does not believe that third party movements are effective vehicles for change in this country, and he has resolved to change the system from w/in the Republican party. If Sen. Paul takes over his father's role as leader of the Paul movement, it's likely that he will use the same strategy. As you point out, he needs "clout," or the support of the Republican establishment, to take the movement forward.
Anna Fristrom Sure, but employee choice has no bearing on whether Catholic or other religious institutions have special, exempt status which allows them to avoid following secular laws regarding the provision of healthcare benefits.
Anna Fristrom In short, yes, it does. An organization which provides health care/insurance benefits for its employees does so (knowingly) subject to the laws and regulations governing those benefits. Cost/benefit analysis comes with the territory.
Anna Fristrom If you want to make the argument that BC isn't special and thus shouldn't be exempt from regular co-pays, fine. However, it IS a fundamental component of women's healthcare, and if the Church is going to hire non-Catholic employees the govt can require it to follow the same rules as everyone else.
Anna Fristrom Though many of us have switched to online consumption of "the paper," physically printed newspapers are still an important source of information for those who either do not have access to or have chosen not to embrace digital media.
Anna Fristrom With regard to your third point, I agree, and it's a shame. Ron Paul's campaign has completely overshadowed Johnson's. That being said, Johnson has been making the rounds on the Daily show and morning news programs, so perhaps he'll gain a bit of traction in the coming months.
Anna Fristrom Perhaps; however, under our free speech laws those interests would still have the option of running issue based ads or parallel campaigns supporting particular candidates. You might get the money out of campaigns, but you wouldn't remove it from the political process.
Anna Fristrom Instead of trying to reform our two-party system from the inside out, both Pauls have chosen to work from within that system. You're right, this endorsement makes Sen. Paul look like a team player while allowing him to promote Libertarian policies, AND he gets to stay in the "R" column.