Monday, September 27, 2010

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension...It`s a Matter of Life & Breath/Death !


Heart for Transplant

( LtoR) Dr. Robbins ~ Dr. Hemnes ~ Dr. Wigger ~ Dr. DiSalvo
Vanderbilt`s Finest !

Shortness of Breath...Not Much Fun !
by Don Jones

This writer has said for sometime now, That I have Pulmonary Hypertension. I`ve learned recently that Vanderbilt Pulmonary is now, not sure of my diagnosis ! I visited Vandy Pulmonary September 23, 2010 My appointment was with Dr. Anna Hemnes, Pulmonary Specialist. I also saw my PH Nurse, Amy Mulican. After a long interview and going over the medicines I take. Dr. Hemnes arrived in my holding room. She sat down and we talked for a very lengthy time. The end results, was that she nor Dr. Ivan Robbins, Dr. Robbins is a specialist in Pulmonary Hypertension were sure that my diagnosis was/is correct ? Now, that might upset some, but I was delighted over her honesty and candor ! I have the option of going somewhere else, but, I really see no reason to leave Vanderbilt`s fine medical facility or those two wonderful Dr.`s Hemnes and Robbins ! Please be aware that, I`m a Vanderbilt Heart-Transplant 16 years post ! I`m a total success. I have written a letter of "Thank You" to Dr. Hemnes. I truly believe she is trying to find out what my problem is. I have informed her, how pleased I am with her care and treatment. I also informed her, if I was not too old, I would like Lung Transplant?
Alas, she informed me, I`m too old ! Would I have the Surgery ? In a Heartbeat(no pun intended)I also asked her not to give up on me, as I was not going to give up on myself or her ! This is a very sensitive matter. In her honesty and candor, (most would call it COPD and let it go at that) She chose to tell it, like it is, and for that I am most thankful. I once had a Pulmonary Dr. inform me that, we know a lot, but, we don`t know everything. I`m hoping that they have a monkey that they are trying out a new drug on and are having success with, I will volunteer to be their first human to try it on ! Life is a precious thing, I know that, and Vanderbilt is aware that. I`m not a hero, But Vanderbilt Medical Center and Hospital definitely are ! Vanderbilt is on the cutting edge of most medical treatments and new procedures, they develop them all of the time. Dr. Anna Hemnes, Pulmonary, is a great Dr. and human being. Dr. Ivan Robbins, Pulmonary is not only smart, but caring. Dr. Mark Wigger, Heart-Transplant Director and my Dr. is of the same cut. Dr. Thomas DiSalvo, Heart-Transplant is out of the same mold ! I`m not going to another facility unless Vanderbilt recommends it ! Why go somewhere else, when you`ve had the very best ? If I get a new diagnosis, I will pass it on to you. In the meantime, I am a mystery man !

Friday, September 24, 2010

They Call it Obama Care...I Love It !

Working Families Benefit from New Health Care Rules Effective Today
by Mike Hall, Sep 23, 2010

Government Health Care >

Today marks the six-month anniversary of the day President Obama signed the landmark health care reform law and also is the start date for several important provisions that will make quality health care more accessible and affordable for working families.

Starting today:

•Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage for children with pre-existing conditions (though some are trying to dodge the new rule);
•Insurance companies will not be allowed to drop people, from coverage when they become sick;
•Young people will be able to stay on their parents’ policy until 26 years of age;
•Insurance companies cannot put a lifetime cap on benefits;
•Consumers who join a new plan will be able to keep their own doctors;
•Preventive care must be covered; and
•Consumers will have expanded rights to appeal insurance company decisions.
Also, early retirees with high cost cases will have assistance from a new program that will allow plans to continue to provide benefits for 55 to 64 year olds. And rates for Medicare drug plans and Medicare Advantage will remain stable in 2011, compared with 15 percent increases this year.

Says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

Today we are one step closer to achieving quality, affordable health insurance for everyone in America. The legislation will help people who were previously uninsured and strengthen the protections offered to those who are already insured.

Speaking at a backyard health care gathering in Northern Virginia yesterday, Obama said:

All these things are designed not to have government more involved in health care. They’re designed to make sure that you have basic protections in your interactions with your insurance company; that you’re getting what you pay for; that you have some basic measures of protection in interacting with the health care system, which means that you’re not going to go bankrupt, you’re not going to lose your house if, heaven forbid, you end up having an accident, and you’re able to get the quality care that you need.

Over the next 10 years, the new law will cover 32 million uninsured Americans and reduce the federal budget deficit by $143 billion. Click Below to see how it has helped seniors already !

Click here> <

Editorial : I would have liked to see a National Medicare Health Care Program for all Americans, like the one, in place in Canada ! I did`nt get it ! This is better than what we had ! I believe that every ones insurance premium$ will be reduced by this program. Better stop listening to the Republicans !

Monday, September 20, 2010

Get Rid of the Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy !

Robert Reich : Former Secretary of Labor
September 19, 2010

The Defining Issue: Who Should Get the Tax Cut -- The Rich or Everyone Else?
Not a bad issue for Democrats to run on this fall, or in 2012.

Republicans are hell bent on demanding an extension of the Bush tax cut for their patrons at the top, or else they'll pull the plug on tax cuts for the middle class. This is a gift for the Democrats. But before this can be a defining election issue in the midterms, Democrats have to bring it to a vote. And they've got to do it in the next few weeks, not wait until a lame-duck session after Election Day. Plus, they have to stick together (Ben Nelson, are you hearing me? House blue-dogs, do you read me? Peter Orszag, will you get some sense?) Not only is this smart politics. It's smart economics. The rich spend a far smaller portion of their money than anyone else because, hey, they're rich. That means continuing the Bush tax cut for them wouldn't stimulate much demand or create many jobs. But it would blow a giant hole in the budget -- $36 billion next year, $700 billion over ten years. Millionaire households would get a windfall of $31 billion next year alone. And the Republican charge that restoring the Clinton tax rates for the rich would hurt the economy -- because it would reduce the "incentives" of the rich (including the richest small business owners) to create jobs -- is ludicrous.
Under Bill Clinton and his tax rates, the economy roared. It created 22 million jobs. By contrast, during George Bush's 8 years, commencing with his big 2001 tax cut, the economy created only 8 million jobs. And as the new Census data show, nothing trickled down. In fact, the middle class families did far worse after the Bush tax cut. Between 2001 and 2007 -- even before we were plunged into the Great Recession -- the median wage dropped. It's an issue that could also be used to expose the giant chasm that's opened between the rich and everyone else -- aided and abetted by Republican policies. As I've noted before, in the late 1970s, the top 1 percent got 9 percent of total national income. By 2007, the top 1 percent got almost a quarter of total national income. These figures don't even count in taxes. The $1.3 trillion Bush tax cut of 2001 was a huge windfall for people earning over $500,000 a year. They got about 40 percent of its benefits. The Bush tax cut of 2003 was even better for high rollers. Those with net incomes of about $1 million got an average tax cut of $90,000 a year. Yet taxes on the typical middle-income family dropped just $217. Many lower-income families, who still paid payroll taxes, got nothing back at all. And, again, nothing trickled down. As I've emphasized, the U.S. economy has suffered mightily from the middle class's lack of purchasing power, while most of the economic gains have gone to the top. (The crisis was masked for years by women moving into paid work, everyone working longer hours, and, more recently, the middle class going into deep debt -- but all those coping mechanisms are now exhausted.) The great challenge ahead is to widen the circle of prosperity so the middle class once again has the capacity to keep the economy going. In other words, this is the right issue. It's the right time. It allows Democrats to explain what the Bush tax cuts really did, why supply-side economics is bogus, and the economic challenge ahead. Even if Democrats feel they have to respond to the Republican charge that taxes shouldn't be raised on anyone when the employment rate is 9.6 percent, they have a powerful fallback: Extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone through 2011, then end them for the rich while making them permanent for the middle class.
Get it,
Democrats? Please don't blow it this time.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Social Security, Work Longer, Draw Less ! I Think Not !

New York Times Spotlights Perils for Older Workers if Retirement Age Increased
This week the New York Times ran a powerful portrait of life on the job for many older Americans, showing just how devastating a retirement age increase would be for millions of workers [ ] . Against a backdrop of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) pledging that a Republican-led Congress would increase the age to 70, the Times told the stories of several workers - an airline baggage handler, a nursing assistant, and a tire maker - including one who noted that at work, "dessert with lunch is ibuprofen." A recent study by the Center for Economic Policy Research found that one in three workers over age 58 works a physically demanding job [ ]. Older Workers have a chance to prevent this nightmare for older workers. Please click here to urge your elected officials to support two efforts in Congress to save Social Security for current and future retirees. The first is a resolution by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) to oppose an increase in the retirement age, and the second is a letter from Representative Grijalva to President Obama opposing any cuts in benefits or any form of privatization that would turn Social Security over to Wall Street.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Health Law Has New Benefits for Seniors, Young Adults

Recognizing the difficulty many young workers are having in affording their own insurance, the new health reform law will now allow those up to age 26 to stay on their parent's health insurance programs. For more information, check out "Please encourage your family and neighbors to learn more about these exciting new benefits," said Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling, who added that "for retirees the new law will help them better afford to fill a prescription, see a doctor, and obtain free life-saving tests and screenings for many diseases." Over one million seniors in the Medicare Part D "donut hole" coverage gap have already received $250 checks to offset this hardship. For more information on benefits for retirees, see Alliance fact sheets at Meanwhile, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) told the Cincinnati Enquirer this week that one of his goals if he were to become Speaker would be to deny the Obama administration the funding to implement the new health law's benefits. "They'll get not one dime from us. Not a dime." Boehner told the paper.
Editorial : Hey Senior`s, better Wake Up ! Hey That`s me ! It seems that good ole John Boehner (top right), does`nt care if you eat dog food ! As long as his fat cats on Wall-Street get your Social Security !

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fair Trade not Free Trade !

USW Pres. Gerard Gives Testimony Before U.S. House Committee

American workers expect government action on China’s currency manipulation
Washington, DC (Sept. 15, 2010) – Leo W. Gerard, International President(top left) of the United Steelworkers (USW), today testified on behalf of the AFL-CIO before a packed hearing of the Ways & Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on China’s exchange rate. The hearing was led by Chairman Sandy Levin (D-MI), who stated: “There is no real question that China’s deliberately undervalued exchange rate is unfair, contributes to global trade imbalances, and cost the U.S. jobs and economic growth, particularly in the manufacturing sector.” Gerard responded by saying, “The question now is do we have the will to act to level the playing field and provide the support and assistance that millions of American workers and their communities expect and deserve?” He said the American economy remains mired in a deep recession. “Unemployment, underemployment, wage stagnation, foreclosures all paint a grim picture of an economy still struggling to recover.” Describing the past decade of soaring annual trade deficits with China, the USW president said they started from $84 billion in 2001 and have reached $227 billion last year. This is clearly not the trade profile that the U.S. government predicted as the likely outcome of China’s WTO accession. But it is the result of concerted strategic interventions by the Chinese government over many years – and inaction by our own.” He declared, “These trade deficits are unsustainable and require immediate action. What we desire is a mutually respectful, functional and sustainable bilateral economic relationship.” Strongly asserting that the Chinese government’s practices amount to as much as a 40 percent subsidy for the products they export to the U.S., Gerard adds it in effect is “a tax on products we try to send there, while siphoning investment dollars vital to keeping the U.S. at the forefront of research and development.” In his testimony, Gerard revealed the drag on GDP growth that comes from the bilateral trade deficit has significantly broader economic implications. He said, “Preliminary estimates from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) points to as much as a $500 billion reduction in our nation’s federal budget deficit over the next six years from ending China’s currency manipulation.” He argued before the committee, “Lost manufacturing jobs lead to lost tax revenue and higher budget deficits that limit our ability to invest in our future. This puts substantial pressure on federal, state and local budgets resulting in layoffs of teachers, police and other emergency responders. It doesn’t have to be this way.” The USW president wrapped up his comments by forcefully saying, “American workers, communities and industry have every right to expect their government to take action. It is long overdue. Speaking directly to the full House Committee, Gerard emphatically said: “The time for talk is over. We can create jobs by enforcing our trade laws consistently and proactively. On behalf of the working families of this nation, I urge you to take action now.” Gerard advocated the legislation to stop China’s currency manipulation was the Ryan-Murphy Bill, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2010 (H.R. 2378).

The USW testimony submitted to the US House Ways & Means Committee is at:

Editorial : This writer has maintained for sometime now, that it`s TRADE, TRADE, TRADE !

Don`t Mess With Social Security

Do Not Cut Social Security...

Dear Readers,

I have just read and signed the petition: "Don't Cut Social Security"

Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in
signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a
difference. Please sign here link below or Click on title of this blog.

Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and
family to sign as well.

Thank you !

Don Jones = Underdog

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tennessee Hunting, An American Tradition ! Vote Yes !

Hunting in Tennessee, A Historical American Right ! /

On November 2, 2010 we will go to the polls to elect a new governor in Tennessee . On that same ballot will be the right to vote for an Amendment to the Tennessee Constitution allowing for the right of Tennesseans to hunt and fish. Even though we have been hunting and fishing in Tennessee as long as I have been alive, it is not a guaranteed right. With the amendment, it will make it much more difficult for anti hunting and fishing folks to challenge. In the last election for a Tennessee Governor, 1,900,000 votes were cast. In order to pass the amendment fifty (50%) plus one votes must be cast as a YES vote. If this election follows the pattern of the last election, we will need 950,001 votes. There are not enough registered voters who hunt and fish to pass this amendment by ourselves. Therefore, we need to make sure our spouses and our friends know to vote YES for the Amendment to the state constitution. I have talked to several folks about this and they have said "but we already have the right to hunt and fish". Yes we do but the animal rights folks (PETA) are very well funded and they are passionate about stopping hunting and fishing. If we stand by and do nothing, there very well may come a day when we no longer have these rights. Fourteen states have already passed an amendment to hunt and fish. Tennessee , Arkansas and South Carolina will vote for the amendment in November. Please, don't take your rights for granted. Send this email to everyone who believes we should have the right to hunt and fish.
If you want to know more about this issue, go to the Tennessee Wildlife Federation Web site at > < to get more information.

Editorial : Ever wonder how stuff like this gets on the ballot ? If PETA would use their energy`s in a productive way, it would be great. They do not. So Vote Yes ! and save an American/Tennessee Tradition.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Big Money to Oust an Honest Senator ?

September 8, 2010 Posted by Jim Hightower

If you look at the whole flock of 535 congress critters, it's hard not to giggleor break out in uncontrollable sobs at the thought that – oh my God! – this is the United States Congress. As Peggy Lee sang years ago: "Is that all there is ?" Well, no – within the manure pile, there are quite a few genuine gems, and one of the finest is a fellow who consistently stands for common sense and the common good. He's Russ Feingold, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. He's a Democrat – but really he's a populist maverick who has refused to go along to get along, even when that means going against his own party and against what the political consultants tell him is his own best interests. For example, he was the lone senate vote against the autocratic, liberty-busting Patriot Act in 2001. Feingold also had the stuff to vote against Obama's escalation of the misguided war in Afghanistan, and not only did he oppose the 2008 bailout of Wall Street banksters, but he also said "no" this year to Obama's Wall Street regulatory reforms, blasting them as too week and meek. So, this sensible senator is now targeted for defeat by the moneyed elites. They've found a multimillionaire corporate Republican (who made a fortune in plastic) to use confused Tea Party forces as a ramrod to oust Russ. The corporate contender attacks Social Security as "a giant Ponzi scheme," calls health care reform "the greatest assault on our freedom in my lifetime," and insists that the science of global climate change is "unproven." If this guy gets any dumber, we'd have to water him twice a day! But he's a rich corporate honcho, backed by the moneyed powers, so he could join the congressional manure pile – if We the People don't rally around one of our own. Connect with Russ Feingold at

"Feingold faces unexpectedly tough race," , July 6, 2010

"Filibusters for the Big Money ," The New York Times, July 12, 2010.

"Obama's Awkward Speech: Not Quite Peace and Nowhere Near Prosperity," , August 31, 31, 2010.

"In Wisconsin, An Incumbent Holds On Tight," The New York Times, September 1, 2010.0

Friday, September 03, 2010

Republicans Want Your Social Security Money !

Tell Congress: Don't Raise Retirement Age!

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) plans to introduce a resolution expressing the sense of Congress against raising the retirement age when Congress reconvenes this month. In a "Dear Colleague" letter sent to members of the House recently, Giffords said that an increase in the retirement age is simply a cut in benefits. Current cosponsors include: Reps. Travis Childers (D-MS), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) and Joe Courtney (D-CT). To ask your Member of Congress to co-sponsor the resolution, go to> < "For 75 years, Social Security has been a bedrock promise. Seniors have earned it with a lifetime of hard work and depend on it to live independently and with dignity in their retirement. That's why I unequivocally oppose proposals to cut Social Security benefits and balance the budget on the backs of seniors by raising the Social Security retirement age," Giffords wrote in her letter. Rep. Giffords listed several reasons for not raising the retirement age: the surplus within the Social Security trust fund is estimated to grow to more than $4 trillion by 2023; also, the normal retirement age, currently 66, was already increased by two months each year in 1983 until it reaches 67 in 2022. In addition, she wrote that raising the retirement age will place a greater burden on older, blue-collar workers in physically demanding occupations, like nurses, auto workers and teachers, who may not be able to continue to work in their jobs into their mid-to-late 60s; that the burden of raising the retirement age will fall most heavily on older workers with limited employment opportunities; and that life expectancy numbers are skewed in favor of men, higher income earners, and the more educated.


Republicans Want Your $$# Money !

Illinois Activists Protest Rep. Paul Ryan's "Road Map" for Social Security
Members of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, the Illinois Main Street Alliance, and Citizen Action/Illinois met outside of Chicago's Four Seasons Hotel on Wednesday to protest U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) endorsement of Illinois' 9th Congressional District candidate, Joel Pollack (R). Ryan is the architect of the controversial "Roadmap for America" plan, which would dismantle Social Security. In the 10th Congressional District, nominee Dan Seals (D) has also taken a swing at opponent Robert Dold (R) for encouraging supporters to read up on Ryan's Roadmap. For pictures of Wednesday's event, go to

______________________________________________________________ Doughnut Hole

New Health Care Benefits Kick in, Address Early Retirees and the Doughnut Hole
This week, The Washington Post reported that 2,000 groups have now been approved for early-retiree health care funds > < . One of the provisions of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Law is a $5 billion program to reimburse employers for health claims of early retirees (retired workers over 55 but too young to receive Medicare), encouraging employers to cover early retirees. Many companies and state governments involved in a lawsuit contesting the constitutionality of the health law applied successfully for the early retiree health care funds. The provision aims to curb the rapid decline of employers who offer health coverage to early retirees. Also this week, the Department of Health and Human Resources announced that the millionth $250 "doughnut hole" rebate check was mailed to a senior who falls in the Medicare doughnut hole. Many Alliance members across the country will receive partial relief this year, as a $250 one-time check is mailed to them - the first step to ultimately closing the doughnut hole in 2020. More on the closing of the doughnut hole here:

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Secretary Solis' Labor Day Address (2010)

We Finally have a Secretary of Labor !

Ever Wonder Why You are not Represented Properly ? It` s The Money for Lobbyists !

WALL STREET'S CONNECTED LOBBYISTS Tuesday, August 31, 2010 Posted by Jim Hightower

Old Congress critters never die, they just fade away. Into lobbying firms, that is.
Take former House speaker Dennis Hastert, former House majority leaders Dick Armey and Dick Gephardt, and former Senate leaders Bob Dole and Trent Lott. The names of these one-time legislative powerhouses aren't mentioned in the news anymore, so perhaps you would assume that they've retired back to the old home place, or even passed away. But, no – they're very much alive and still plying the legislative arts. Only they now do it for million-dollar paychecks as lobbyists for Wall Street financial giants and other corporate interests.
Hastert, Armey, Gephardt, Dole, and Lott are among a cadre of 73 former members of congress who've been working in recent months to weaken or kill new regulations to rein in the gouging and reckless gambling of the big financial firms.
They are not the only former public servants who're now using their insider knowledge and personal connections in Washington to serve the bankers. For example, at least 66 staffers for the House or Senate banking committees have moved from Capitol Hill to the K-Street lobbying corridor, and another 82 staffers for members of those committees also are now lobbyists for the finance industry. Adding even more firepower to this special-interest army of influence peddlers are 42 former officials from the treasury department. In an effort to slow down this shameless cashing-in on public service, the watchdog group, Public Citizen, contacted 47 current lawmakers who are retiring this year. The group asked them to pledge not to take a lobbying job for two years with any corporation that had lobbied them. Not a single one took the pledge. To see who the 47 are, and to get behind stricter lobbying rules, contact Public Citizen at link below ! Or the title of this article.
Editorial : Never give a Voter/Citizen and even break ! Just lobby and make millions. Now you know, why !

CEO`S Earn Big Salaries ~ This is Disgusting !

CEO$ Earn Big $alarie$ Amid Large Layoffs
By Vicki Needham - 09/01/10

The heads of firms that laid off the most workers during the recession earned nearly $12 million a year on average, 42 percent more than other chief executives at S&P 500 firms in 2009, according to a report released Wednesday.
CEO's of the 50 firms that laid off the most workers earned a combined $598 million in 2009, according to the 17th annual executive compensation survey produced by the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington think tank.
A majority of firms leading in layoffs -- 36 of the 50 or 72 percent -- announced layoffs during a time of positive earnings reports, the report said.
Two years into the recession, executive compensation is double the average pay in the 1990s and four times greater than the 1980s average, the report said. The 10 highest-paid CEO layoff leaders with firms that let people go between Nov. 1, 2008 and April 1, 2010 are: Fred Hassan, Schering-Plough, earned $49.7 million last year, $33 million after leaving the company when the firm merged with Merck. About 16,000 were laid off; Johnson & Johnson's William Weldon earned $25.6 million, laying off 8,900; Hewlett-Packard's Mark Hurd earned $24.2 million and laid off 6,400; Roger Iger, Walt Disney, earned $21.6 million, let go 3,400; Samuel Palmisano, IBM, $21.2 million, laid off 7,800; Randall Stephenson, AT&T, $20.2 million, laid off 12,300; Michael Duke, Wal-Mart, $19.2 million, 13,350; Alan Mulally, Ford, $17.9 million, laid off 4,700; Louis Chenevert, United Technologies, $17.9 million, laid off 13,290 and Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon, $17.5 million, laid off 21,308. Five of the 50 top layoff leaders were helped by the financial sector bailout in 2008. Of those, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault took home the most last year, $16.8 million, including a $5 million cash bonus. American Express has laid off 4,000 employees since receiving $3.39 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding. No Wall Street banks made the list but three banks -- Citigroup, Bank Of America and JP Morgan -- showed up on the study's list of the 50 firms that laid off the most employees last year.

Editorial : So let me see, If we were worried about our CEO`S...There is no need to worry ! They do well, even when they take tax-payers money and lay-off the workers...whew...Now that`s good news ! We would`nt want them going without ! These CEO`S should absolutely be ashamed ! How Dare Them ?