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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2654

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tesla has done well. Their management certainly knows how to "optimize" the system. One might question, however, whether customers who can afford a $100,000 Tesla should receive $7,500 from the Feds and up to $4,000 from the State. One might also question the long term potential of a company that actually loses money on it's product, but makes more from the sale of carbon credits to other car manufacturers (which raises the price of much cheaper vehicles). It's a great looking car, but I wonder if their run is sustainable. I wouldn't be a buyer of their stock.

As for the economy, by any measure it is an incredibly weak"recovery despite the fact that we have added $7 trillion in debt and a further $2 trillion to the Fed balance sheet. It's akin to paying for a top end Tesla and receiving a low end Nissan Leaf. How many of us would simply shrug and say "Well, it's a little slower than hoped for, but at least it's moving".
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2670

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
"Well, it's a little slower than hoped for, but at least it's moving".

Isn't it better to be moving slowly in the right direction rather than rapidly in the wrong direction -- as happened before and during 2008?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5219

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About those free phones. It seems clear that the righties who have ranted about this and blamed it on Obama have paid attention to either Fox news or Senator Coburn's attacks, if not the original posting by GOP operatives. Has anyone actually taken the time (I know, it is long--sometimes the narrative doesn't fit in a text message or Twitter feed) to check the facts? Ranting about the FCC and the Obama appointees without any knowledge is par for the course. From the FCC site, on the subject:

Quote:
Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. In 2005, Lifeline discounts were made available to qualifying low-income consumers on pre-paid wireless service plans in addition to traditional landline service. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund.

The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands. Consumers with proper proof of eligibility may be qualified to enroll. To participate in the program, consumers must have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in a qualifying state, federal or Tribal assistance program.

To participate in the program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in one of the following assistance programs:
•Medicaid;
•Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP);
•Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
•Federal Public House Assistance (Section Cool;
•Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
•Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF);
•National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program;
•Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance;
•Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF);
•Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR);
•Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met); or
•State assistance programs (if applicable).

Federal rules prohibit eligible low-income consumers from receiving more than one Lifeline discount per household. An eligible consumer may receive a discount on either a wireline or wireless service, but not both. A consumer whose household currently is receiving more than one Lifeline service must select a single Lifeline provider and contact the other provider to de-enroll from their program. Consumers violating this rule may also be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.

The Lifeline program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). USAC is responsible for data collection and maintenance, support calculation, and disbursement for the low-income program. USAC’s website provides information regarding administrative aspects of the low-income program, as well as program requirements.

On January 31, 2012, the Commission adopted comprehensive reform and modernization of the Lifeline program. As a universal service program that fulfills Congress’s mandate to ensure the availability of communications to all Americans, Lifeline for the past 25 years has helped tens of millions of low-income Americans afford basic phone service. Access to telephone service is essential for finding a job, connecting with family, or getting help in an emergency, and the percentage of low-income households with phone service has increased from 80% in 1985, when Lifeline began, to nearly 92% last year.

Highlights of FCC’s Lifeline reforms :

Changes to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse, saving up to $2 billion over 3 years
•Setting a savings target of $200 million for 2012, and putting the Commission in a position to adopt an appropriate budget for the program in early 2013 after review of a six-month report and one-year report on the effects of the Order.
•Creation of a National Lifeline Accountability Database to prevent multiple carriers from receiving support for the same subscriber. The database will build on FCC efforts in 2011 that eliminated nearly 270,000 duplicate subscriptions in 12 states following review of over 3.6 million subscriber records, saving $33 million.
•Creation of eligibility databases from governmental data sources, enabling fully automated verification of consumers’ initial and ongoing Lifeline eligibility. This would reduce the potential for fraud while cutting red tape for consumers and providers. A database based on the three most common federal benefit programs through which consumers qualify for Lifeline will be created no later than the end of 2013.
•Establishing a one-per-household rule applicable to all providers in the program, defining household as an “economic unit” so that separate low-income families living at the same address can get connected.
•Establishing clear goals and metrics to measure program performance and effectiveness.
•Phasing out support for services such as Toll Limitation – subsidies to carriers for blocking or restricting long-distance service—and ending Link Up – subsidies to carriers for initial connection charges. Link Up will continue in Tribal lands.
•Reducing burdens on carriers by establishing a uniform, interim flat rate of reimbursement, allowing carriers to obtain a subscriber’s signature electronically, and streamlining enrollment through uniform, nationwide eligibility criteria.

Modernizing Lifeline
•Adopting an express goal for the program of ensuring availability of broadband for all low-income Americans.
•Establish a Broadband Adoption Pilot Program using up to $25 million in savings from other reforms to test and determine how Lifeline can best be used to increase broadband adoption among Lifeline-eligible consumers. Starting this year, the program will solicit applications from broadband providers and will select a number of projects to fund. Lifeline will help reduce the monthly cost of broadband service, but applicants will be expected to help address other challenges to broadband adoption, including the cost of devices and digital literacy.
•Proposes increasing digital literacy training at libraries and schools. A Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on using savings from other Universal Service Fund reforms to increase digital literacy training at libraries and schools, a key step in increasing broadband adoption.
•Build on FCC efforts to close the broadband adoption gap and address digital literacy, including the Connect-to-Compete initiative, which enlists government, non-profit, and private sector leaders to address broadband adoption barriers through digital literacy training and low-cost broadband availability.
•Allow Lifeline support for bundled services plans combining voice and broadband or packages including optional calling features.


Nothing to see here, no hatred of the poor, move on.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2654

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In summary then, following an outcry from ranting righties motivated only by a hatred of the poor, the FCC in January this year announced it would attempt to save $2 billion over 3 years solely by eliminating "waste, fraud and abuse". So, about one third of the current program cost is waste, fraud and abuse. Nothing to see here though........just a hill of beans.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5219

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funnier and funnier. The spin cycle is so furious that no facts get in. Let’s start with the source of popularization of the term and the Video—the Drudge Report, in September 2012. Timed perhaps as an attack leading into the election? No, seeking to cut waste—but not in the military—is our only mission. The story goes back to 2009, and was thoroughly debunked here: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/the-obama-phone/

Thanks to Citizens United, it is very difficult to find the originator of the video. I believe in free speech, but I also believe that should be willing to stand behind your opinions and videos, not leak them to Drudge and hide.

So here’s mrgybe’s version of the right wing meme:

Quote:
The control structure and regulations are already in place administered by the FCC. President Obama appointed all the current Commissioners of the FCC. You concede the FCC is not doing it's job. Your solution.........add more regulation that will not be properly enforced. Brilliant.
To be sure, he put words in Pueno’s mouth—but he is, no surprise, wrong.

Some inconvenient facts:

Quote:
Is the Obama Phone Obama's doing?
No. The universal service requirement dates back at least to the Communications Act of 1934. The Lifeline program specifically was started in 1984 under President Reagan and was expanded in 1996 under President Clinton to allow qualifying households to choose to apply the benefit to either a landline or a cell phone. So no, it's not an Obama handout.
Shockingly, despite the bipartisan origins of the service, the idea of an "Obama Phone" for the undeserving has existed for a long time. A couple email forwards, debunked by Snopes.com, were circulating in October 2009 and described poor people shamelessly showing off their free phones:

Is this video racist?
Let's start by saying it's racial. The Obama Phone video belongs to a genre popular on conservative blogs in which poor people, usually black, confirm conservatives' worst 47-percent fears by saying they can get something for nothing because Obama's in office. The message is, "Here's what Obama's supporters really look like."
The standout in the category is "Obama money": Back in October 2009, big lines formed formed for Detroit housing assistance applications after the city underestimated how many people would show up to apply. The scene was chaotic, and local TV reported there were rumors that $3,000 checks would be handed out.


Is there abuse in the program? Probably, but it is misleading to blame it on either Obama or the recipients—there are 1700 firms out their flogging their own programs under the Life Line system, and much of the abuse has been tracked back to them.

But the FCC not doing its job? Please, they adopted regulations in January 2012—well before the attack ads and Drudge and Fox efforts to bash Obama with this story, Pressure to reform the program came from Democrats as well as Republicans, and without the endless—and dishonest—cycle of attack ads from the right, would be seen as a bipartisan success story.

Fact checking from a fairly conservative source: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/obama-phone-facts-still-a-hang-up-in-washington-90606_Page2.html

This is probably the most interesting account I’ve seen, sparing neither Clinton nor Obama:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/philosophicalfragments/2012/09/28/the-shady-ethics-of-the-obama-phon/

So, all this furor, featuring black faces in a video posted by non-racial, impartial sources, over $2 billion. No such attention to no-bid contracts in Virginia, eh?
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reinerehlers



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
Posts: 982

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually you know what's funnier? The amount of time you invest in copying and pasting, writing your long winded, wordy responses to everything always summarizing that it is the right, conservatives, religious nuts fault basically "blah blah blah". Do you have a job? If so and you do this on someone else's clock you deserved to be fired. If not, get one or a hobby / sport. Are you actually so delusionally to think your posts make a bit of difference to whatever cause you've chose to rant about? Why not roll up your sleeves and do something proactive instead of just crying about it. Make a real difference in your immediate surrounds. It is rewarding you know, to actually help people. But what you are doing is such a waste of mental and physical energy and really the only outcome is division amongst people rather then helping anything. Here's a suggestion: make a list of ten or more things, situations, or people you could help, then pick just one and actually take action and do something. Just DO SOMETHING !!!!!!!other than this..... What a waste!!!!!!
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1347

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a petty kind of vindictiveness in this last post of yours reinerehers.

Could it be because Mac called your bluff in that other thread, to which you declined to answer?
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reinerehlers



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
Posts: 982

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vindictive how?
Is there anything false in that statement?
Called bluff to what? It was just more of the same old same old as mentioned above. Ineffective actionless rants with zero change to anything. I guess as ineffective as pointing it out on my part. I'm sure it falls on deaf ears and now back to more of the same.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1347

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Is there anything false in that statement?

Quote. ...'Why not roll up your sleeves and do something proactive .... Make a real difference in your immediate surrounds. It is rewarding you know, to actually help people.'

As he has made clear, he helps disadvantaged children by working part time in school. I assume he is not doing so for the money!
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reinerehlers



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
Posts: 982

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And that is an awesome thing, but the invested time spent here is such a waste. The mental dialogue that must go along with all of it can not be healthy either, and others are most definitely guilty of the same. So pointless, and a shame for some obviously intelligent people to squander away their lives engaged in fruitless, petty devisive disputes.
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