Why Are Planned Parenthood Offices Not In Low Income Areas?

I was reading Sara Rosenbaum‘s article,
Planned Parenthood, Community Health Centers, And Women’s Health: Getting The Facts Right, in which she made this statement.

For the millions of poor women who depend on Planned Parenthood clinics, this scenario would mean the loss of affordable and accessible contraceptive services and counseling, as well as breast and cervical cancer screenings and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The assertion that community health centers could step into a breach of this magnitude is simply wrong and displays a fundamental misunderstanding of how the health care system works.

What bothered me about her statement was that I recently looked up Planned Parenthood locations in the Cincinnati area and was surprised to find that not a single one was located in one of the six highest poverty communities. Since the Planned Parenthood facilities are not in the community they purport to serve, there are several hospitals that are at least as convenient to get to as the Planned Parenthood centers. If you have to get on a bus to see a health care professional then going to a hospital should logically be your first choice. From a policy perspective if our goal is better woman health care then the money going to Planned Parenthood would probably be better spent on improving community health centers which has the advantage of convenience or improving out-patient services at local hospitals which has the advantage of greater medical resources.

Never Ending Spaghetti Sauce

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The best use for garden tomatoes is the never ending spaghetti sauce. Saute an onion in a little bit of olive oil. When it gets soft add a couple cloves of garlic and saute for thirty seconds. Then add roughly chopped tomatoes to taste and some bay leaves. At this time of year I cook all of the tomatoes that I picked. Simmer for a long time to intensify the flavor. When you have the tomato flavor where you want it you can add some freshly cut basil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, freshly ground pepper, and salt to taste.

At this time of the year I cook up new batches every week and add the leftover sauce to the new batch. My plan is to freeze a portion if I get too much sauce.

Enjoy!

Is CNN’s Journalistic Integrity At Stake?

It is odd that Ms. Fiorina has not qualified for the main stage at the next Republican debate so I decided to investigate. Here is what CNN said.

“CNN published the criteria for the CNN-Reagan Library debate on May 20,” the spokesperson said. “It will encompass polling data from three weeks prior to the first debate and five weeks following. Federal Election Commission guidelines make it clear that these criteria cannot be changed after they have been published. We believe that our approach is a fair and effective way to deal with the highest number of candidates we have ever encountered.”

Assuming that the polling was occurring at regular intervals then 3/8 of the polls used in the average would be from before the first debate and 5/8 of the polls from after the debate. That sounds like a reasonable way to get a good sample of public sentiment. The problem for CNN as Ms. Flores pointed out in an article on medium.com is that CNN has 11 polls that meet their criteria and 9 are from before the debate and 2 from after the debate. Since CNN made the rules, it is a CNN integrity problem. So if you believe that news organizations like CNN should strive to be reasonable and balanced in presidential debates, CNN owns this problem if they do not get about 15 more polls in the next two weeks. This reminds me of the unforced error CNN’s Candy Crowley made by giving her opinion concerning “acts of terror”. Journalism and CNN took a big hit that night. It is a sign of insanity to keep making the same mistake and expect different results. I guess Fox News is the only fair and balanced news organization out there! 😉

How Do We Stop Crazy People From Using Guns In Hate Crimes?

I am curious what common sense gun laws is Ms. Clinton and the Whitehouse referring to that will stop a crazy person like Vester Flanagan(aka Bryce Williams) from committing a hate crime. Is she advocating increased background checks on black men or just gay, black men with anger management issues? Is she suggesting that every gun store have a psychologist on staff? Unlike the Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho, Mr. Flanagan probably seemed normal to his friends. Mr. Flanagan has said that he targeted these two young, white people because he thought they were racists. I am sorry. They just do not fit the stereotype. So how do you convince people exhibiting the same symptoms as Mr. Flanagan to put down the gun and seek counseling?

Was The Recent Downturn In The Stock Markets A Black Swan Event?

GSPCWhen the stock market blows through its lower Bollinger Band you have to wonder whether we have reached a point where statistics will be of limited use in predicting the future. As you can see from the chart blowing through the lower Bollinger Band is a pretty rare event. I find it amazing that this “unprecedented and unexpected” stock market drop was a reaction to economic problems in China. Since many pundits have been saying for several years that the China’s growth was slowing down, it is hard to say that the recent Chinese devaluation was unexpected event for an economy so dependent of exports. So what made this devaluation different than previous devaluations? Maybe this Yahoo Finance article gives us some insight into the confidence of our financial leaders to get us out of the next financial panic and why the Federal Reserve is so committed to raising interest rates in September. Can the Federal Reserve restore public trust with just one interest rate hike?

A recent working paper by the vice president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank finds that after six years of quantitative easing that swelled the Fed’s balance sheet to $4.5 trillion, “casual evidence suggests that QE has been ineffective in increasing inflation” and only seems to have boosted stock prices.

Complaints once in the realm of conspiracy theorists wearing tin foil hats are now being embraced by the Wall Street establishment. In a note to clients, Deutsche Bank analysts warned that “the fragility of this artificially manipulated financial system was exposed” and that “the only thing preventing another financial crisis has been extraordinary central bank liquidity and general interventions from the global authorities.”

Vegetarian Lasagna And An Old Recipe Book

Vegetarian LasagnaOne of my favorite summer time recipes is the lasagna recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure: 262 Recipes. I started making this dish in the 1980s and it is such a good leftover dish. Like most lasagnas this is a Saturday dish especially if you make the marinara sauce from scratch with recently picked tomatoes. The dish is pretty simple with most of the culinary emphasis placed on the spinach-ricotta mixture. That mixture consists of 1 onion sauteed lightly in a tablespoon of olive oil with a little garlic thrown in at the end. In a big bowel you combined this mixture with 3 beaten eggs, 2 pounds of Ricotta cheese, and a quarter of a pound your favorite hard Italian cheese, and a 1 1/2 pounds of chopped spinach. My cheese of choice was Parmigiano Reggiano and fortunately my local Meijer was trying to get rid of some old spinach so I picked my way though two 10 ounce packages for the 1 and 1/2 pounds. The final trick was to cook the lasgana noodles al dente. The noodles need to be firm enough that you can pick them up with tongs. I lathered the noodles lightly with butter to keep them from sticking while I put the dish together. There is no reason to overcook the pasta when it is going in the oven for another hour. With all of the ingredients ready I preheated the oven to 350°, put the baking dish on a baking pan, and started layering in a 9 x 13 baking dish. First came the noodles, then the ricotta mixture, 1/2 pound of shredded mozzarella, and finally the marinara sauce.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place the dish on a baking pan. In my old age I decided that messy dishes like lasagna require a baking pan to keep the oven clean. For old farts like me it is a good way to prevent marital strife. Place the dish in the oven for 40 minutes before removing the foil. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 10, 15, or 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes to set.  Drink a glass of wine, grab a piece of hot, garlic toast, or make a very green, crisp salad. Lasagna can be messy if you try to cut it too early. Serve and enjoy!

Birthright Citizenship Laws In Europe

With all of the talk by Mr. Trump about revoking birthright citizenship for illegal aliens I was curious how the folks in Europe handled birthright citizenship. Our birthright citizenship policy seems odd and counterproductive. The Library of Congress analyzed this question and found that most of the European policies are quite similar. If we can agree that birthright citizenship policies in the United States is a major stumbling block to immigration reform then a good first step would be to incorporate some of the European pragmatism into the United States immigration policies. Here is an excerpt about Germany’s birthright citizenship.

Germany

Germany bestows birthright citizenship only on the children of aliens who have lived long enough in Germany to petition for naturalization in their own right. A child born in Germany to parents who are aliens acquires German citizenship only if one parent has had his or her habitual abode in Germany for at least eight years and either has a permanent German residence permit that entitles him or her to reside in Germany or another European Union (EU) member country or has the citizenship of another EU member country.[3] Aliens who have had their habitual abode for eight years in Germany are entitled to petition for naturalization,[4] if no impediments exist.[5]

A foundling—that is, a child found on German soil whose parents are unknown—is deemed to be a German only for as long as it is not proven that he or she is an alien.[6] Under the generally prevailing principle of jus sanguinis, only a child born to a German parent is a German citizen, with the exception of long-term residents described above.

 

When Did The NSA Know About Ms. Clinton’s Private Email Server And What Did They Do About It?

When you listen to Christie and Paul go at on the national stage to debate the proper place for the NSA in the fight against terrorists you have to believe that the NSA is actively searching the internet for terrorists and security leaks and either the NSA or the CIA knew about the Clinton email server.  For those folks familiar with the Bourne Ultimatum movie you have to believe that alarms where going off in Langley since top secret information was passed via email in plain-text. As an old IT guy you have to believe that if our favorite spooks can pick “Blackbriar” out of a cell  phone call then they it should be really easy for the NSA or CIA to pick out top secret information from of un-encrypted email text. For foreign security agencies the idea that top secret information being transmitted via plain-text was either a godsend or a trap. If we assume that Ms. Clinton was the patsy then did the NSA or the CIA use her to transmit misinformation? Is this a case of the security agencies making lemonade from a bowl of lemons?

Things That Make Me Go Hmm… Ohio’s Medicaid costs $2 billion less than estimates

Since I had recently researched Ohio’s Medicaid costs in an effort to understand Cato’s critique of Governor Kasich’s budget growth, I was curious where The Columbus Dispatch article, Ohio’s Medicaid costs $2 billion less than estimates, got its numbers. I remembered that Medicaid was over-budget. So I went back and re-read the Budget Footnotes from the Legislative Services Commission for July 2015 and found this statement on page 18.

Medicaid, which comprises close to half of all GRF program expenditures, was $85.2 million above its fiscal year estimate, and FY 2015 GRF Medicaid expenditures were 9.5% above the FY 2014 amounts.

Since the Legislative Services Commission is the score keeper for the Ohio legislature, I wonder where the head of Ohio’s Medicaid got the $2 billion number.

Trump’s Missed Opportunity

A great leader takes a problem and turns it into an opportunity for success. With Rand Paul’s recent confrontation with Savannah Guthrie still fresh in every one’s mind this was the perfect opportunity for Mr. Trump to show that he is presidential. Megyn Kelly served up the perfect opportunity for Mr. Trump to show graciousness with the question and put his abrasive relationship with women to rest. It was a win-win opportunity for him. If Ms. Kelly continues to attack him he will elicit sympathy and probably improve on his unfavorable ratings. If Ms. Kelly acknowledges his graciousness in her follow up questions then he has probably proven to the media and the voters that he has the right stuff to argue the issues with Ms. Clinton.