Skip to main content


In September 2011, Quality Software Solutions Inc (QSSI) was awarded a contract under which it was tasked with erecting the federal data services hub that will serve as the foundation for the federal health insurance exchanges part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). QSSI at this time was a private company. In September, 2012, QSSI was purchased by a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group.

Political contributions from a company are not made for 'good looks' of the candidate. They have a purpose to shape public policy decisions, as stated in the "2012 Political Contributions & Related Activity Report" of UnitedforHealthPAC, which is the PAC associated with UnitedHealth Group.

Now let's look at the breakout of contributions of UnitedforHealthPAC 2012 related to US federal contributions: Senate, House and Party Committees. 58% Republican and 42% Democratic. Thus the majority of the funds went to Republicans.

Just a reminder to Republicans- one of your big contributors is the owner of the company building the ACA exchanges.

Discuss

Definition of 'Eat Your Own Dog Food'

A colloquialism that describes a company using its own products or services for its internal operations. The term is believed to have originated with Microsoft in the 1980s. While it was originally used in reference to software companies using their own internally-generated tools for software development, its usage has spread to other areas as well. Often shortened simply to "dog food."

A General Explanation  'Eat Your Own Dog Food'

The basic premise behind "eating your own dog food" is that if a firm expects paying customers to use its products or services, it should expect no less from its own employees. Not using its own products for internal operations may imply that a company does not believe its products are best-of-breed despite its public proclamation of the fact, and that it has more confidence in a rival's offerings. This could not only have a negative impact on employee morale, but can also potentially turn into a public-relations debacle.

ObamaCare's 'Eat own dog food' - From PL 111-148 - Mar23, 2010 page 65 Sec. 1312. Consumer Choice.
...
    "(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE. -
        (i) Requirement ....the only health plans that the Federal Government  may make available to Members of Congress or Congressional Staff shall be health plans that are -
                (I) created under this act (or an amendment to this act)
                (II) offered through an Exchange established under this act (or an amendment made by this act)"

What does this mean?

 Members of Congress and Staff previously could obtain health coverage thru Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, which was restricted to federal employees and retirees. Under this section of the law they can only obtain health benefits from an Exchange and have the same coverage and benefits as the 'common man' in his dealings thru the Exchange. It is strongly suspected that the bill drafters took the attitude 'You are going to get the same benefits as the common man, so fix what needs to fixed in this bill in the future'. This is a good example of "Eat your own dog food"

Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan

Federal employees (and retirees) under the Office of Personnel Management run Federal Employees Health Benefit  plan are offered a large number of industry plans. The insurance plans cost does not depend on age, sex, etc. A insurance plan costs the same if you are 25 years old, or 75 years old. Similarly no difference of male vs female for single coverage, and all pre-conditions are covered. All pay the same price for the selected insurance just as under the Affordable Health Care Plan (aka ObamaCare). The plans have a mix of benefits with corresponding costs. The federal government via the Office of personnel management pays about 70% of the costs, with the user paying the rest. This plan was the only plan offered by the Federal Government, and included Members of Congress and Congressional Staffs which received the same costs benefit as federal employees. Republican congressional members never seemed to complain about the younger employee paying the same amount as the older employee as they are complain about the Affordable plan now!  Or similarly about the lack of gender costs.

I always felt that the Congressional  Republican effort against ObamaCare was partially related to Congress having to get coverage thru State Exchanges with no mention of getting a federal subsidy of the cost.

Notice the Law is 'silent' on the possibility of  federal cost subsidy.

There seems to be plan afoot to pay probably 70% of the selected Affordable plan costs for members of Congress and Staffs as was done previously. The ObamaCare law is "silent" about a federal subsidy for Members of Congress. I will just point out this is roughly revenue neutral, and does not involve changing the Obamacare Law.

But expect all kinds  of Yellow Journalism related! It seems to have already started.

I am waiting for ..

A Republican effort based on all their public comments about lack of age and sex cost discrimination to pass a well thought out revision to ObamaCare. But they never complained about the lack of these under the previous health plan they were under.

Discuss

On Friday, June 14th at 2:30pm there was a classified briefing for all US Senators, on information related to the NSA/Snowden incident. The briefers included the Dir. of National Intelligence (Lt. Gen (RET) Clapper) and Dir. of NSA (Gen Alexander). It has been reported that only 47 US Senators attended the briefing(and 53 did not). My attempts to find a list has not been successfully. If anyone has the list please reply with the list.

Since I could not find a list, I am starting to develop a list. I wrote to both Ohio Senators the following e-mail: 'Please reply YES or NO on whether you attended the Friday, June 14th at 2:30pm classified briefing for all US Senators, by Dir. of National Intelligence (Lt. Gen (RET) Clapper) and Dir. of NSA (Gen Alexander)'. As of this moment, no reply. When I get a reply I will enter the reply in this diary. I suggest all write a similar e-mail to your two senators, and enter the replies (if any!).

Discuss

Ohio is a very much a gun friendly state. But yet it has an interesting and complex gun magazine law which most Ohio gun owners seem not to realize (or if they do, they expect an uneducated county deputy sheriff not to know or apply the law!).

Here is the law:

    Ohio Revised Code (RC) 2923.11(E) states:
"Automatic firearm" also means any semi-automatic firearm designed or specially adapted to fire more than thirty-one cartridges without reloading, other than a firearm chambering only .22 calibre short, long, or long-rifle cartridges.

However that subsection must be read in pari materia with RC 2923.11(K)(1) and (6), which state:
"Dangerous ordnance" means any of the following * * *:
Any automatic or sawed-off firearm * * *[and]
Any combination of parts that is intended by the owner for use in converting any firearm or other device into a dangerous ordnance.

RC 2923.17 states
"(A) No person shall knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any dangerous ordnance." [and]
 "(D) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of unlawful possession of dangerous ordnance, a felony of the fifth degree"

In Ohio, if  you have a magazine that carries 30+ rounds and a semi-automatic firearm which accepts it such as a Bushmaster,  you're looking for trouble with a felony of the fifth degree. Similarly a Glock handgun with a Glock 33 round magazine is looking for trouble also.

Takeaways:
•    Restrictions on the capacity of magazines can be made.
•    In Ohio, the "art will be" to get legislatures to decrease the maximum cartridges from thirty one to hopefully a lot smaller number
•    Holding law enforcement responsible and accountable is required..not the good old boy concept.

The following magazine restrictions within the US are believed true:
Restrictions of more than a 10 round capacity:
•    Cook County, IL
•    All of CA,
•    All of HI,
•    All of MA,
•    All of NY
Restrictions of more than a 15 round capacity.
•    New Jersey
Restrictions of more than a 20 round capacity.
•    Maryland

Discuss

Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:48 AM PST

Legal Automatic Weapons in the US

by jsugrue

NRA seniors have been quoted as saying that you cannot own a automatic weapon in the US and similarly that the  public is confusing semi-auto (1 trigger pull, one bullet) and a automatic (one trigger pull, many bullets). So let's quickly discuss legal automatic weapons within the US.

The National Firearms Act states that any fully automatic weapons constructed before 1986 in the US is legal to be owned by a civilian possessing a Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Class 2 permit. A Class 2 permit requires a secured facility, local police check, photographs, fingerprintsetc including ATF review and approval, and a annual special occupational tax of $1,000 or $500, if eligible for a reduced rate.

When you have a ATF Class 2 you can own a automatic weapon, such as a machine gun built before 1986. Practically all these automatic weapons are at shooting ranges, and are available to be rented to fire them.  Some people get their "kicks" from firing these guns. For example, the GE M134D Minigun which fires at 3000 to 4000 of 30 cal rounds per minute.

YouTube

In the time of this video roughly 750 rounds were fired. The ammo cost was at least $300.

While these guns are legal, I wonder what productive purpose they serve? But this is America, and if someone  wants to get "their jollies" by firing a Mini Gun, I am very glad that the National Firearms Act requires this gun be rented from a ATR Class 2 facility, while it also shows the power of the gun lobby.

The National Firearms Act does show that there is possibilities for some forms of gun control which will pass the Supreme Court and the second amendment. The "art" in the near future will be to make a gun control act which will have some REAL CONTROL.

Discuss

On Friday, Dec 21, the NRA Wayne LaPierre 's  issued a bombshell in a press conference by declaring that the NRA was supporting armed guards in schools. The NRA announced they were having Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman, and served various senior  roles in the Bush  Administration ( 2001-2005)  to head the NRA’s effort to install armed guards in schools. Hutchinson later stated that other gun control  wouldn’t make a difference ,and seemingly implied the NRA would fight any other gun control.
David Keene, NRA president, was on Face the Nation on  Sunday, Dec 23, 2012., and he stated that he was in Israel last week and the Israelis  had armed guards at every school because of an incident in the 1970's. He then went on to say this is the example of why the NRA demanded the federal  government should supply armed guards in every US school and arming the teachers. And that no other changes in guns laws are required.
Let's check Keene's basic premises for accuracy, I believe what is below is true( but I did not have a lot of time to really  check):

Continue Reading

Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:52 AM PST

Support You Local Policeman

by jsugrue

Imagine it is winter and you are a policeman. You pull over a car for suspicion of a very serious crime, and the person in the car is wearing a heavy coat. He gets out of the car. You act cautiously and unbuckle your gun as you start the 45 feet walk towards him. He suddenly reaches in his coat and

YouTube

Specifications for a GLOCK 23 from GLOCK: Multi purpose .40, Compact dimensions for open and concealed carry, minimum weight despite large magazine capacity in .40 caliber.

How would you like to be the policeman facing this with probably a pistol with a standard 12 round magazine?

I suggest you support a ban on gun magazine greater than probably 6 bullets.

Discuss

I live in Ohio. The Republican legislature previously  passed concealed carry of guns, and just the other day they passed a law allowing carrying guns in the statehouse parking garage. But guns are not allowed by civilians in state facilities. Since the Republican legislatures seem to feel that concealed carry will give citizens protection and they are citizens, we should give all citizens the ability to have guns, open or concealed carry in the legislature facilities. To  not do so would imply the legislatures are hypocrites. Thus I am going to write "letter to the editor" to various Ohio papers requesting that the law be changes to allow of the carrying of guns in the legislature facilities.  Since the legislatures would have the ability for concealed carry, there would be no need for security personnel in state facilities and this would be a great savings of tax moneys, which the Republican legislatures must support, or they would be hypocrites since they always want to save tax money.

Please query you state legislature on the carrying of guns in the state facility. If they do not allow and are not progressive, please do similar to above in your state. Let's get the Governors and legislatures "concerned".

Discuss

Many historians consider the first modern assault rifle the WW 2 German Sturmgewehr 44 placed in service in late 1943. It used a lighter cartridge that infantry rifles of that time used and used a gas-operated action, with both semi-automatic and fully automatic firing modes. The USSR recognized the need for a similar weapon and produced the AK-47 in 1949 which was  developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. The US M-16 history is very complicated, with many problems on its initial entry in Vietnam. It took till 1968 for the  M16 to achieved widespread acceptance by U.S. troops in Vietnam. The various M-16 models have semi-automatic, burst and fully automatic modes. The M16 cartridge is lighter than the previous M-1 & M-14 cartridge, but has a higher muzzle velocity. It fires the 0.223 caliber ( 5.56×45mm) cartridge and can produce massive wounding effects when the bullet impacts at high velocity and yaws in tissue leading to fragmentation and rapid transfer of energy.

Continue Reading

Please sign (and have your friends sign)  a White House Petition (the URL is below)  to cause changes in gun control by allowing citizen  possession of guns in Congressional and Supreme Count facilities, which under present law has severe penalties . The petition is in the  spirit of Jonathan Swift's "A MODEST PROPOSAL" in which Swift  suggests that the Irish eat their own children .

Continue Reading

Present Law: Carrying guns on federal properties are subject to penalties under 18 USC § 930 - POSSESSION OF FIREARMS AND DANGEROUS WEAPONS IN FEDERAL FACILITIES WHICH STATES:  (a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

Now since Congress by their actions seem to feel that existing laws on gun control are acceptable, Congress needs to change the law and USC to allow guns to be carried on Congressional properties. To not do so would mean they are hypocrites.

Please copy this article and send to your local Representative and Senator, and remind them to not be hypocrites, and change the law and USC to allow for guns on Congressional properties.

The House name is available by: http://www.house.gov/...
The Senate name is available by: http://www.senate.gov/...

Discuss

Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:25 AM PST

Repeal 2nd Amendment and replace it

by jsugrue

I wonder how the people of New Town with the Sandy Hook Elementary school feel about gun control? And the people of a long list of other municipalities under similar circumstances? While we again morn the dead, we need to hopefully start an action to change a eighteenth century vision of life and technology  in the second amendment and move forward to a twenty-first vision of life and technology while keeping a modern vision of American principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.

RSS

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site