Acaciah - Queen to a King

HR 676 - Single Payer is ON THE TABLE!

Today, Monday July 20, the silence in the House of Representatives around single payer and H.R. 676 will end. Rep. Anthony Weiner, (D-NY09), who has already rankled Republicans and Blue Dogs with his no-nonsense statements before the House Energy and Commerce hearing on H.R. 3200, will move to amend the current bill. His proposal is essentially to replace H.R. 3200 with H.R. 676—single payer Medicare for All.

This exciting and potentially monumental move needs our support. We pushed Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s amendment to victory last Friday, and we can do it for Representative Weiner, too.

The full committee and its five subcommittees are spending the next three days debating the bill and performing their markups. This is the time to act, and Representative Weiner is making his move.

Call or fax the committee members and tell them you want them to support Representative Weiner’s proposal. Listen to his blunt analysis in Friday’s session of what real healthcare reform is made of, and you’ll get some good ideas of what to say when you call or fax. It’s a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners approach to the legislative process almost never heard on the House floor.

Energy and Commerce Committee Phone: (202) 225-2927, Fax: (202) 225-2525
Henry A. Waxman, CA, Chair Phone: (202) 225-3976, Fax: (202) 225-4099
John D. Dingell, MI Phone: (202) 225-4071, Fax: (202) 226-0371
Edward J. Markey, MA Phone: (202) 225-2836, Fax: (202) 226-0092
Rick Boucher, VA Phone: (202) 225-3861, Fax: (202) 225-0442
Frank Pallone, Jr., NJ Phone: (202) 225-4671, Fax: (202) 225-9665
Bart Gordon, TN Phone: (202) 225-4231, Fax: (202) 225-6887
Bobby L. Rush, IL Phone: (202) 225-4372, Fax: (202) 226-0333
Anna G. Eshoo, CA Phone: (202) 225-8104, Fax: (202) 225-8890
Bart Stupak, MI Phone: (202) 225-4735, Fax: (202) 225-4744
Eliot L. Engel, NY Phone: (202) 225-2464, Fax: (202) 225-5513
Gene Green, TX Phone: (202) 225-1688, Fax: (202) 225-9903
Diana DeGette, CO Phone: (202) 225-4431, Fax: (202) 225-5657
Lois Capps, CA Phone: (202) 225-3601, Fax: (202) 225-5632
Mike Doyle, PA Phone: (202) 225-2135, Fax: (202) 225-3084
Jane Harman, CA Phone: (202) 225-8220, Fax: (202) 226-7290
Jan Schakowsky, IL Phone: (202) 225-2111, Fax: (202) 226-6890
Charles A. Gonzalez, TX Phone: (202) 225-3236, Fax: (202) 225-1915
Jay Inslee, WA Phone: (202) 225-6311, Fax: (202) 226-1606
Tammy Baldwin, WI Phone: (202) 225-2906, Fax: (202) 225-6942
Mike Ross, AR Phone: (202) 225-3772, Fax: (202) 225-1314
Anthony D. Weiner, NY Phone: (202) 225-6616, Fax: (202) 226-0218
Jim Matheson, UT Phone: (202) 225-3011, Fax: (202) 225-5638
G.K. Butterfield, NC Phone: (202) 225-3101, Fax: (202) 225-3354
Charlie Melancon, LA Phone: (202) 225-4031, Fax: (202) 226-3944
John Barrow, GA Phone: (202) 225-2823, Fax: (202) 225-3377
Baron P. Hill, IN Phone: (202) 225-5315, Fax: (202) 226-6866
Doris O. Matsui, CA Phone: (202) 225-7163, Fax: (202) 225-0566
Donna M. Christensen, VI Phone: (202) 225-1790, Fax: (202) 225-5517
Kathy Castor, FL Phone: (202) 225-3376, Fax: (202) 225-5652
John P. Sarbanes, MD Phone: (202) 225-4016, Fax: (202) 225-9219
Christopher S. Murphy, CT Phone: (202) 225-4476, Fax: (202) 225-5933
Zachary T. Space, OH Phone: (202) 225-6265, Fax: (202) 225-3394
Jerry McNerney, CA Phone: (202) 225-1947, Fax: (202) 225-4060
Betty Sutton, OH Phone: (202) 225-3401, Fax: (202) 225-2266
Bruce L. Braley, IA Phone: (202) 225-2911, Fax: (202) 225-6666
Peter Welch, VT Phone: (202) 225-4115, Fax: (202) 225-6790

And if you still think the notion of a gov't bureaucrat between you and your doctor is scary, let me share an eye-opening youtube vid with you:

Acaciah - Queen to a King

Health Care Debate

Yes, Gentle Readers, I am still batting for Team Obama via the healthcare debate. I sent emails regarding the public option to my senators and my local representative. As of yet, only my faithful representative has replied. She's a moderate Republican, or what I'd call moderate for our area. I actually like her in spite of this - she holds regular open houses and answers email promptly. I think she actually cares about her constituents. Her answer to my first email, which basically asked, "do you support the public option" was "No, and here's why." It was very much along the lines of most Republican criticism - it will ration health care like it does in the UK (Hey Brits on the f-list, is this true?), it will underpay doctors and drug companies, etc. One thing she mentioned was interesting to me, and I mention it in my reply below, cut to spare f-list. Collapse )
b-day Anakin

No-Knead Bread

The Master Recipe: Boule

(Artisan Free-Form Loaf)
Makes 4 1-pound loaves

Ingredients:
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)
1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel

The artisan free-form loaf called the French boule is the basic model for all the no-knead recipes. The round shape (boule in French means “ball”) is the easiest to master. You’ll learn how wet the dough needs to be (wet, but not so wet that the finished loaf won’t retain its form) and how to shape a loaf without kneading. And you’ll discover a truly revolutionary approach to baking: Take some dough from the fridge, shape it, leave it to rest, then let it bake while you’re preparing the rest of the meal.
Keep your dough wet — wetter doughs favor the development of sourdough character during storage. You should become familiar with the following recipe before going through any of the others.

Mixing and Storing the Dough
1. Heat the water to just a little warmer than body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl or, preferably, in a resealable, lidded container (not airtight — use container with gasket or lift a corner). Don’t worry about getting it all to dissolve.
3. Mix in the flour by gently scooping it up, then leveling the top of the measuring cup with a knife; don’t pat down. Mix with a wooden spoon, a high-capacity food processor with dough attachment, or a heavy-duty stand mixer with dough hook, until uniformly moist. If hand-mixing becomes too difficult, use very wet hands to press it together. Don’t knead! This step is done in a matter of minutes, and yields a wet dough loose enough to conform to the container.
4. Cover loosely. Do not use screw-topped jars, which could explode from trapped gases. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flatten on top), approximately two hours, depending on temperature. Longer rising times, up to about five hours, will not harm the result. You can use a portion of the dough any time after this period. Refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and easier to work with than room-temperature dough. We recommend refrigerating the dough at least three hours before shaping a loaf. And relax! You don’t need to monitor doubling or tripling of volume as in traditional recipes.
5. Prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent the loaf from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven.
Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour, then cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-sized) piece with a serrated knife. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won’t stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on four “sides,” rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go, until the bottom is a collection of four bunched ends. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it doesn’t need to be incorporated. The bottom of the loaf will flatten out during resting and baking.
6. Place the ball on the pizza peel. Let it rest uncovered for about 40 minutes. Depending on the dough’s age, you may see little rise during this period; more rising will occur during baking.
7. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on another shelf.
8. Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour, which will allow the slashing, serrated knife to pass without sticking. Slash a 1⁄4-inch-deep cross, scallop or tick-tack-toe pattern into the top. (This helps the bread expand during baking.)
9. With a forward jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto the baking stone. Quickly but carefully pour about a cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is browned and firm to the touch. With wet dough, there’s little risk of drying out the interior, despite the dark crust. When you remove the loaf from the oven, it will audibly crackle, or “sing,” when initially exposed to room temperature air. Allow to cool completely, preferably on a wire rack, for best flavor, texture and slicing. The perfect crust may initially soften, but will firm up again when cooled.
10. Refrigerate the remaining dough in your lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next two weeks: You’ll find that even one day’s storage improves the flavor and texture of your bread. This maturation continues over the two-week period. Cut off and shape loaves as you need them. The dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in an airtight container and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator prior to baking day.

The longer this dough sets the better it tastes!
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Acaciah - Queen to a King

WMG: Star Wars Edition

The TV Tropes' Wild Mass Guess on Star Wars is just...endlessly amusing to me. Of course, my fave theories concern the Jedi and the Force. Are the Light and Dark Sides BS? Are the films just stuff R2 has cobbled together? Are the events of the GFFA happening right now, as this original trailer suggested back in '77?

I could spend far too much time reading and debating this stuff.
Acaciah - Queen to a King

Running, VoiP and other miscellany

Well, gentle readers, I have bronchitis, so I'm not running this week. Not running till coach gives me a green light. I'll see her on Tues, so we'll see what she says. Speaking of running, my friend katbeseroc is running for Team in Training, which raises money for Leukemia and Lymphoma. Her fundraising page is here, and if you've got some do-gooder urges and some change, why don't you make a donation? I did, and I'm sure I'll be doing my own run for L&L soon enough. I'll be the chick with a Vader charm strapped to her Sauconys. What? we all know Vader's a motivational individual!

Speaking of the Dark Side, I'm trying to decide whether to renew Skype or pick a different VoiP client. Anyone have a service they love?

Well, must get ready to take my Gramma shopping. She doesn't drive anymore, but she's otherwise awesome and now that Grandpa's gone, I'm determined to enjoy as much time with her as possible. Which reminds me, I must pelt you with a mini-gramma story:

For my birthday a couple months ago, I got a raspberry elegance cake from our local bakery. It was delicious and I gave a lot of it away so I wouldn't undo my runs, so Gramma got a good hunk of the cake. A day or two after the party she calls me and says, "Acaciah, I can't get my microwave to work."

The hubby and I head over, and he's checking it out while I talk to her. Bear in mind the microwave in question is almost as old as I am. I don't remember her buying it. Truly, this is a depression-era behavior, right? It still works, we're not chucking it...

So the hubby concludes, the microwave is indeed dead. "Gramma," I say, "Do you want me to take you out to lunch? Did you get something to eat?"

"Oh I'm fine," she assured me. "I ate a piece of your birthday cake for lunch!"

...

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what you get to do when you hit 91. Eat birthday cake for lunch if you feel like it. LOL.
Lotus

HR 676

This is a letter I'm sending to all my Congressional Representatives, about HR 676, a bill designed to create a single-payer health care system. When you cut through the crap, or you deal with insurance as much as I have through the years, you realize that insurance companies profit by denying people health care coverage. My son has a disability. I don't blog on it often, and it's noneofyourdamnbusiness what it is, thankyouverymuch. However, I have dealt with private, for profit insurance for its treatment, and I've dealt with non-profit, and let me tell you: ALL health care ought to be like the non-profit was. The non-profit place was only interested in my son's well-being, and what course of treatment would suit him best. Please note, I'm also not saying that it's wrong to make money, but you ought not make it by denying people necessary care. We took him to the non-profit after we couldn't get insurance and the doctor's office to play nicely together. Apparently the insurance company (a LARGE, nationally well-known insurance company too, I might add - we have excellent coverage) promised to pay the doctor and didn't, quite often. Said treatment was more than we could afford out of pocket - and isn't that what insurance is supposed to be for?) That scenario happens more often than you healthy people would think. Anyway, this is one of the many, many reasons I support single-payer health care, and I urge you all to write your Congressional members - House and Senate - to rally support for this much-needed reform. People are losing their jobs, and losing their health care. COBRA often takes up a person's entire unemployment check - it's not really viable for many families to buy indefinitely, unless they want to eat into their savings.

Dear Senator ________,

I am writing to urge you to support HR 676, which will create a single-payer health care system and guarantee healthcare for all US citizens. Today, one in six Americans has NO health care at all - no insurance. Tens of millions of others are underinsured and do not seek care or treatment unless it is a dire emergency. This in turn, drives up the cost of healthcare - those with insurance are paying higher premiums to cover those patients whose accounts have gone into collection, or who sought ER treatment because they couldn't be turned down there, when preventative medicine would have been much more cost effective to begin with.

If we as a nation are truly committed to "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" we must institute a single-payer health care system. No one who has lost their health can effectively exercise their liberties or pursue happiness - at -best - and at worst, they may lose their lives. Please, Senator - vote for HR 676. Don't listen to the lobbyists. Listen to your people. Thank you for your time and consideration,

Yours,

(Acaciah)