Ebola is new but how you protect yourself is not

Raleigh, NC—National nurses unions have slammed the Presbyterian hospital in Dallas, 1Texas for not teaching healthcare workers how to adequately protect themselves against the Ebola virus.  But, what the unions are saying is not necessarily right.  Here’s why.

Ebola is relatively new and certainly new to the United States, but the way you contract the virus is not something healthcare workers are unfamiliar with. 

The virus is transmitted via body fluid.  That means you not only have to come into contact with the patient, but you have to get the patient’s fluid on your person in order to get infected.

This is exactly like the AIDS virus that has plagued the United States for over thirty years.  And, healthcare workers have become quite good at protecting themselves from that virus.

If Ebola is spread the same way AIDS is spread then healthcare workers don’t need to be in-serviced in the virus to remain safe.

Most hospitals, per OSHA regulations and JCAHO, mandate that healthcare workers who have the propensity to come into contact with patient fluids have to be retrained every year in PPE (personal protective equipment).

New employees of hospitals are trained during their orientation process before they are allowed to work at the facility.

I’m not sure the Dallas hospital did everything right.  In fact, I’m sure there were things that could have been handled better.  But, the fact that nurses became contaminated as a result of a lack of training is a reach. 

If the nurses had followed policy and procedure, they would not have been contaminated.   Period.  It doesn’t matter the name of the virus, PPE is performed the same way, each and every time.

The bigger problem is a lack of common sense.  The second nurse who has now contracted the Ebola virus was on a plane just one day before she was admitted to the hospital.

Was she completely asymptomatic? I doubt we’ll ever know. But, there needs to be some due diligence in public safety.  In other words, she shouldn’t have been able to get on the plane in the first place.  

The United Nations released a statement yesterday, ahead of the latest healthcare worker contamination, that stated if the virus isn’t abated within the next 60 days the likelihood of it spreading all over the world is severe. 

If we’re going to stop international travelers at the airport before they enter the United States, then we damn sure need to police our domestic flights and high risk passengers.

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Walter Jones (R-NC-03) Needs to Stop Pandering Votes Off The Backs of Dead Soldiers

87Greenville, NC—Walter Jones, twenty year incumbent, in North Carolina’s third congressional district, tweeted yesterday saying he is opposed to the Pentagon’s “new” plan to let illegal aliens serve in the US military. 

Well, hot damn, let the balloons go.  On its face, it sounds good but hold on a second. Walter should know this isn’t a “new” plan.  The military has been letting undocumented residents server for a long while now.  In fact, he knows, but he’s banking you don’t.  Or, banking you don’t care which is even worse.

The military is changing it’s tune now that America has drawn down forces in Iraq and elsewhere. 

I’m more upset with Walter’s lassitude with voters in the third congressional district. Does he think we’re stupid? Does he think we can’t read?

Let’s not forget Walter hides behind letters to the families of dead soldiers, getting on camera as often as possible taunting his mea culpa, as a reason to vote him back into office, yet another term.  It may sound harsh to Walter fans, but it’s true and somebody’s got to say it. 

Walter alleges the Bush administration lied to him and the rest of Congress over the Iraqi war and WMDs, troop deployments and whatnot.  But, let’s take a look at something Walter hopes you’ve long forgotten.

On Oct 8th of 2002, Walter Jones voted to extend and make permanent the unprecedented and, as it turned out, unlimited power of the Bush administration to engage the conflicts that have cost over a trillion dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives.

Walter retaliates by saying that all of Congress voted for the Iraqi war.  That’s not actually true.  There were many votes that lead down that path, but on Oct 8, 2002—136 House members from both sides of the isle voted NO on Iraq and unlimited power.

Were those 136 House members given a Magic 8 Ball that they shook to get the right answer? No. They had the same information Walter had and made a different decision.

Maybe it’s time for the voters of the third congressional district to make a different decision.   Twenty years is too long to be in Congress and the institution was NEVER intended to be handed down from father to son, like a family business.  Jones has done both.

Hell, some people in the third still think that they’re voting for Jones, Sr.  Well, they’re not.  And, sadly, there are Democrats in the NC-03 who for some strange reason think Walter Jones is still a Democrat.  Well, he’s not.  –I would go on to say, he’s not a Republican either, he just plays one on TV as the need arises.  When he feels the urge to get on camera and throw “I’m so sorry for your loss” letters.

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With 36 days left until the general election, the Republicans have a 60% chance of taking back the Senate

Raleigh, NC 

Some political strategist are beginning to voice opinions about the United States Senate outlook. Overall, the Republicans have a 60% chance of taking back the Senate. 

Some things are starting to take shape in some areas of the country.

Obama’s approval rating is up one point, to 43%. The job creation index went down two points, it is now at 30%.

Interestingly, according to Gallup– the happiness index is up the 18 percent to a whopping 61% total.

The number of people who say they were stressed out is down 6%. 

86

Overall nationally,United States House races have Democrats  43% and the Republicans are at 44%.   Over in Kentucky,Alison Grimes having one hell of a time with Mitch McConnell.  McConnell Republicanis at 51%while Al Alison Grimes is having a hard time holding onto her 44%.

Down here in the Tar Heel state, Kay Hagan still maintains a lead over Tom Tillis. She is at 44% while Tillis is at 41%.  All the polls have them within the margin of error.

Featured Charts

2014 National House Race

2014 National House Race

43% Democrat

44% Republican

Updated 1 hour ago Obama Job Approval

Obama Job Approval

42% Approve

53% Disapprove

2014 Arkansas Senate: Cotton vs. Pryor

2014 Arkansas Senate: Cotton vs. Pryor

47% Tom Cotton

44% Mark Pryor

2014 Colorado Senate: Gardner vs. Udall

2014 Colorado Senate: Gardner vs. Udall

46% Cory Gardner

45% Mark Udall

2014 Georgia Senate: Perdue vs. Nunn

2014 Georgia Senate: Perdue vs. Nunn

46% David Perdue

42% Michelle Nunn

Updated 1 day ago 2014 Iowa Senate: Ernst vs. Braley

2014 Iowa Senate: Ernst vs. Braley

45% Joni Ernst

44% Bruce Braley

2014 Kansas Senate

2014 Kansas Senate

42% Pat Roberts

41% Greg Orman

2014 Kentucky Senate: McConnell vs. Grimes

2014 Kentucky Senate: McConnell vs. Grimes

51% Mitch McConnell

44% Alison Lundergan Grimes

Updated 1 day ago 2014 Louisiana Senate: Cassidy vs. Landrieu

2014 Louisiana Senate: Cassidy vs. Landrieu

49% Bill Cassidy

45% Mary Landrieu

2014 Michigan Senate: Land vs. Peters

2014 Michigan Senate: Land vs. Peters

45% Gary Peters

40% Terri Lynn Land

Updated 1 day ago 2014 North Carolina Senate: Tillis vs. Hagan

2014 North Carolina Senate: Tillis vs. Hagan

44% Kay Hagan

41% Thom Tillis

2014 Colorado Governor: Beauprez vs. Hickenlooper

2014 Colorado Governor: Beauprez vs. Hickenlooper

48% John Hickenlooper

47% Bob Beauprez

2014 Florida Governor: Scott vs. Crist

2014 Florida Governor: Scott vs. Crist

43% Rick Scott

40% Charlie Crist

2014 Illinois Governor: Rauner vs. Quinn

2014 Illinois Governor: Rauner vs. Quinn

47% Bruce Rauner

44% Pat Quinn

2014 Maine Governor: LePage vs. Michaud vs. Cutler

2014 Maine Governor: LePage vs. Michaud vs. Cutler

40% Mike Michaud

39% Paul LePage

2014 Michigan Governor: Snyder vs. Schauer

2014 Michigan Governor: Snyder vs. Schauer

46% Rick Snyder

43% Mark Schauer

2014 Wisconsin Governor: Walker vs. Burke

2014 Wisconsin Governor: Walker vs. Burke

48% Scott Walker

46% Mary Burk

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Let’s just stop quoting the Founding Fathers, okay?

For the last several years I have watched activist

on the left and the right who find it necessary to quote the founding fathers as the end all to a political argument.

After seven years, maybe we’ve just done it too much.

As much as we all respect the founding fathers–Madison, Jefferson, Washington and so forth– isn’t it just as important to understand their frame of mind in their own time.

Here’s my point, all of our founding fathers from the late 1700s to the early 1800s new absolutely nothing about the technology we have today. They knew nothing about, and frankly could not even imagine, our ability to harness the hydrogen atom and literally blow the world away.

When the founding fathers were talking about the right to bear arms, did it ever cross their mind that people would be walking around with semiautomatic weapons in their local Wal-Mart?

These were very smart men. Some of the most educated and indeed the wealthiest that our nation had to offer. But in the end they were limited in scope. 

The knew that.  That’s why they left us with ideology as well as a Constitutional foundation. 

Posted in Congress, Left v. Right, Tea Party | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Biggest Idea American’s Should Understand Before Election Day

Raleigh, NC—A friend of mine told me that he thought the reason politicians, in general, can’t get anything done is because once they’re elected the real movers and shakers in Congress sit them down and tell them the political facts of life.

To some extent, I agree with that.  I’m not a conspiracy theorist in thinking that there are groups of people who control the world.  But, I do think once politicians are elected, they are sat down and told how much all of their good ideas are worth in DC.

In fact, I know that to be the case.  A week after this November election, new members of Congress will be traveling to DC for a long, grueling and in depth orientation session. 

So, there is some validity that Americans are told things that aren’t necessarily true.  And, voters are told those things by people who either know or should know that the information they’re pumping out is misleading.

Here’s one of the biggest misconceptions I think you need to know before you vote in November.  The federal debt.

Most people believe that the federal government uses our taxpayer hard earned money to pay for things.  We’re somewhat taught that idea in accounting classes, by some economic people and even in the media.  Hell, we have politicians that tell us that all the time.  They pander that concept to win votes.

But, in a nutshell, that really isn’t true because the federal government makes it’s own money literally out of thin air.

There’s a difference between money we have in the bank (as private citizens) and money the government has available as a sovereign nation.

A sovereign nation creates it’s own money (as much as it wants and needs) at any given time.  It makes laws that only it can create and print money.   Then the government turns around and spends the money it creates. 

The only reason government money is worth anything at all is because once we get money that the government spends, a certain amount of that money comes back to them in the form of tax payments.  If we weren’t required to pay tax, the dollar bill would have a much different appeal.

Before you get the “deer in headlights” look, all I’m trying to get across is that government debt is not a bad thing and that the federal deficit isn’t as big of a deal as some politicians will have you believe.

When you wrap your head around that concept — do some research into MMT (Modern Monetary Theory).  And, when you see how it works in real life—your idea of how the government should spend money will change.

That new knowledge will undoubtedly influence your thinking process in who the best political candidates are.

But, also keep in mind the spending “thing” only works for the federal government—state governments can’t make their own money, just like you can’t make your own dollar bills.

I’m not just throwing the MMT concept out there.  I’ve actually talked to economists at various think tanks (most had their own agenda), politicians and eggheads in the pubic sector.  MMT is something you should know and something you’d be wise to wrap your head around. 

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North Carolina’s Political Full Court Press. Hagan, Tillis, Bernie Sanders and MMT

7Greenville, NC—I said in a congressional campaign strategy meeting a few months ago that politics in North Carolina is a contact sport.  And, I believe that.

But, it’s not just in NC, it’s all over the country.  If political campaigns are managed right, it should be a full court press.  The voters deserve to have their candidates challenged and held to a higher standard.

Jefferson once said that if Americans are given all the facts, they can never make a wrong decision.  The problem is that there are many self interest groups out there in medialand spending a lot of money to distort those facts..

Yesterday, a friend told me she was not going to watch the debate because all politicians will tell you anything they think you want to hear just so they can get elected.

To some extent, I agree.  But, it’s a little more complicated than that. 

Here’s a few things to consider before you watch the first debate between Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis

Several months ago, Paul Ryan was  asked, by an MMTer, (Modern Monetary Theory advocate)  why his budget tried to bring down the national debt at a rate that would significantly hurt the economy.  His answer was that people want to see the deficit come down.

But, here’s the problem: money doesn’t work like that anymore

3I’m certainly not in a position to school anyone on MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) but I do have conversations with people who know more theory than I: Mike Wright, Bruce Patrick and international monetary theorist Warren Mosler.  Mosler, by the way, is a former hedge fund manager—one of the most successful in the business. 

In a nutshell, since the Nixon administration, America has operated on a fiat currency—we’re not tied to a gold standard anymore.  That is a game changer.4

Taxes need to be low (and I would argue corporations should not be taxed at all).  And, although taxes serve about four absolute purposes, the key is that taxation, in and of itself, creates unemployment. 

But, here’s the rub: on the flip side, if corporations don’t pay tax then they need to reinvest that money into American jobs.  Why?  Because mv=pq.

The QTM starts with the identity MV ≡ PQ, where M = the money supply, V = the velocity of money, P = the price level, and Q = the quantity of output (Fisher’s version is broader and includes all transactions: T)     http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2011/07/two-theories-of-prices.html

The key here is “V”, the velocity of money.  The current one percent pay less tax than at any time in our taxation history.  But, they haven’t reinvested that cash into jobs, they have banked their savings, albeit in sometimes creative ways like offshore accounts. 

So, the final answer is this: if corporations want to not pay tax on sales and profits, they must be required to create jobs with that money.

Here’s some proof: remember that $300 tax incentive check you got from the government all those years ago?  Well, that economic stimulus was suppose to have created job growth through spending.  It didn’t quite do that as planned because many people paid off credit cards or banked the cash in saving accounts. 

Arguably, spending equates to job growth and banking your cash does not. 

Politically, the tea party and Republicans are right on tax.  Taxation does, indeed, hurt the economy.  Where they fail is by not legislating the one percent and corporations into spending their tax savings on job growth.

Now, before you ask me to turn-in my “tree hugging liberal Democrat” card, let me explain a little further.

A week or so ago, I had the pleasure to talk face-to-face with Sen. 2Bernie Sanders (I-Vt). Although Sanders isn’t an “official” MMTer, he does advocate federal spending on social programs. 

Many may think Sen. Sanders—a self reported socialist democrat—goes overboard on some spending issues, but I would argue that he does understand the need of the federal government to intervene with a monetary fiscal policy that creates a safety net for the least among us.

A safety net in housing,  the power to adequately feed the hungry, the medical care of our people and the ability to provide an exceptional education for our children should not be a problem for the richest and greatest country on earth if it’s approached logically.

That logical approach is founded in the understanding that government must spend and, in fact, deficit spending is needed to sustain and grow our economy.

Especially, since the United States can create out of thin air the money it needs for literally anything it might require or want.  Like it or not, Americans live on a fiat currency. 

6As former Fed Chairs Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernake  both said on many occasions, “the United States has the ability to pay any debt, at any time.”  Or, to create money at any point it sees fit.

If any MMTers read this, they will probably be outraged at my simplification of this monetary theory.  And, they should be angry, I’ve left out a lot of information and most all the important formulas.  I’ve also left out the Fed and their ability to create money. 

But, I’m addressing the theory here because it’s important to understand the difference between Sen. Kay Hagan and NC House Speaker Thom Tillis.

5Kay Hagan is a moderate.  She’s proven herself as a middle of the road, logical Democrat—who has looked for compromise between two extremes

Thom Tillis is much like Paul Ryan. Both know that the extremist far right positions on taxation and debt are contrary to real fiscal responsibility and overall will lead to our social, political and financial destruction if their policies are left intact.   Yes, the stakes are that high.  But, it seems Tillis is more concerned with his ability to fund his campaigns with special interest money.  Money he can only get if he proposes and adheres to the ultraconservative special interest ideology. 

It’s much better to have a moderate in Congress than to have 1extremists willing to shutdown the United States Government when they don’t get their way. 

Look into MMT, especially taxation and deficit spending.  Then, look into Kay Hagan’s voting record and ideology.  No politician is perfect, but Hagan’s moderate approach is closer to the truth than Tillis.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Election Cycles, Kay Hagan, MMT, NC GOP, NC Unemployment, NCDP, North Carolilna Politics, North Carolina Senate Race, politics, Tea Party Roots, The Economy, Thom Tillis, Warren Mosler, Washington DC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Setting Straight The Minimum Wage Debate (at least in eastern North Carolina)—Marshall Adame (D) v. Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R)

Forget the (R) and (D) after the name.  It’s what they believe that counts in eastern North Carolina.

Greenville, NC—I can’t speak for everyone else but I can attest to Marshall Adame supports a higher minimum wage for eastern North Carolinathe fact that in eastern North Carolina we have a lot of chain stores in our communities.

In and of itself, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  But, consider this: chain stores suck money out of the local economies by funneling profit back to the corporations so they can build more stores and make more money.

This creates a negative cash flow in local communities that makes it harder to sustain local economic growth.

Congress will get their cost of living increase to the tune of $2800 on January 1, 2015. 

Recently, 41 Senators (Republican) blocked a bill to increase the minimum wage.

In eastern North Carolina, Walter B. Jones, Jr.—a 20 year Walter B. Jones, Jr. incumbent, opposes a minimum wage increase.  Marshall Adame (D) running against Jones supports a federal minimum wage increase

Marshall AdameIf you live in eastern North Carolina and if your wage is the only way you have to pay your bills and get ahead in life; then it’s to your interest to vote for Marshall Adame for Congress.

Adame believes in term limits.  Most people in eastern North Carolina would agree that Congress shouldn’t be made into a career, let alone handed down from father to son like a family business.

Adame supports Israel and Israel’s right to defend itself.  Walter Jones flip-flops depending on who he’s talking with.  Jones has found favor with an anti-Israeli group.

Adame believes in sanctions against Iran and believes Iran should NOT become a nuclear power.  Jones voted against Iranian sanctions.

Adame, a born-again Christian who believes government should stay out of the Church—even if that means the Church must stay out of government. 

Adame believes in the 2nd Amendment.  He believes in the protection of that Amendment.  Adame is a retired Marine and United States Diplomatic appointee by the Bush Administration.  He served the Bush Administration under Condoleezza Rice

Adame has an economic plan to create small business incubators funded with venture capital throughout eastern North Carolina. 

It’s time to vote for someone who’s more worried about the 3rd district of North Carolina than he is about getting reelected two years from now. 

Marshall Adame Video

Marshall Adame has a NEW VISION for eastern North Carolina. 

click below to watch a short video of the history of the minimum wage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQE0ldkiKo0

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