Friday, November 30, 2007
What the contigency fee does is two fold: First it builds up the lawyer lottery. To win the lottery you have to play and the more you play the more likely you are to win. So the more the lawyer sues people the more likely he is to win the lottery. The lottery is the right combination of suffering and pain combined with activist judges and money happy juries that can result in out of control settlements. All you have to do is keep playing the lawyer lottery and you will get that big judgement. Then once you get that judgement you get 25% to 50% of all that money. Of course you can build up fear of paying out on the lottery and get insurace companies and corporations to just give you money to go away. Then you can take 25% to 50% of that also.
Secondly it takes money from those truly suffering. For example, I recently hear of a family that was rear ended on a free way. The individual responsible for the wreck sold cars for a living. The car had been loaned to him as part of his employment. A look at this mans record would have indicated a history of unsafe driving and therefore loaning cars to this person was unwise and put the car lot as part of the responsible party in the accident. So now this case is interesting to a lawyer because there are deep pockets and they can maintain a percentage of responsbility. This creates a lottery situation. Notice that if this persons record was clean then there was a much smaller chance a lawyer would take this case. so the lawyers begin pursuing the lottery. In response the insurance companies decide to avoid the potential pay off and settle for around 5 million in suffering and lost wages to the family and spouse of the wife killed in the car. The lawyer takes 1.5 million of this money. The family's suffering, medical bills and lost wages are calculated out at 5 million and the lawyer get 1.5 of it. for what? If the money is for those truly hurting, how does this much money go to a lawyer. Take a paralyzed person for example. I've heard lawyers talk about how this is the biggest lottery ticket. Because that person can sit in the courthouse and juries are going to feel awful on top of the incredible money they can ask for concerning long term medical costs. therefore if a paralyzed person needs 2 million to pay medical costs, how does a lawyer justify taking 600K to 1 million of that in contigency fees?
1. reduce the allowed amount to around 10%.
2. eliminate this as an option and force costs to be charged. I don't like this because then lawyers would be incented to delay the action to bill more time.
3. force the loser to pay for courts costs. again we have the issue of lawyers delaying action to increase billable time.
4. all lawyers go on the gov't as salaried employees or work for corporations as salaried employees and bonus them on how quickly justice is served.
Wikipedia list the strengths and weaknesses as
A contingency fee arrangement provides access to the courts for those who cannot afford to pay the attorneys fees and costs of civil litigation. Contingency fees also provide a powerful motivation to the attorney to work diligently on the client's case. In other types of litigation where clients pay the attorney by the hour for their time, it makes little economic difference to the attorney whether the client has a successful outcome to the litigation. Finally, because lawyers assume the financial risk of litigation, the number of speculative or unmeritorious cases may be reduced..
Contingency fees do not guarantee civil justice, or even access to the courts. Lawyers sometimes "cherry-pick" only the strongest claims which are most likely to succeed. Not all cases are immediately transparent. Some require extensive investigation before the chances of success can be properly assessed. Such cases might be turned away because even the initial assessment of their strength is costly and risky.
Monday, November 26, 2007
"We've lost our system of legal accountability, said N. Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, a consumer advocacy group. "Just having more doctors doesn't make patients safer. It remains to be seen who is coming to our state."
This argument is weak at best. What tort reform does do is limit the cost to society of an out of control system that has become the opposite of what it was intended for. Right now law suit after law suit is filed. It like playing the lottery. Their is little cost and eventually you will hit pay dirt. Just the threat of huge payoffs cause insurance companies and corporations to pay out on dubious claims just to avoid the risk of finding that dangerous combination of activist judge and crazy jury. By reducing, not eliminating, the amount a person can win in non economic costs to $250,000 per entity the state of Texas has significantly reduced the number of lawsuits being filed, decreased the health care insurance premiums by over 21% and increased the number of people acting as doctors in the State.
But lets look at an argument on the other side. An classic example is the Ford Pinto case. Here we learn that the automobile industry calculate the cost of lawsuits versus the cost of recall to decide if they want to recall a vehicle that they know is dangerous to drive. If we have tort reform then the automobile industry will reduce their number of recalls and maybe even safety controls and therefore hurt the safety of Americans.
However, what they didn't have in the seventies like they have in the 21st century is serious competition. If Ford begins to make a lot of unsafe cars then they are out of business. IF they are not already close to that already. The free market system and a free press will correct this problem. We don't need a bunch of lawyers getting rich off the pain and suffering of people before the market or company makes the required correction.
Lets look at another issue. Tobacco. Many of those opposed to Tort reform point to the work done on the Tobacco industry. Well this is ridiculous because anyone who honestly looks at this knows that the only thing that came of those lawsuits was a lot of money went into the lawyer pockets just so that Tobacco could avoid being sued by all the people that were actually made sick. So now the Lawyers are rich, Tobacco can continue poisoning people and where is real care for those suffering from lung cancer, Heart disease and the host of other diseases killing Americans.
I feel like one of this country's biggest problems is the money made on lawsuits. This kind of wealth movement for little to no real value is killing innovation and our health care systems.
Today I was thinking about how the left is looking for it's "Contract for America" and Reagan-esque ideas that would help champions it's causes and how they seem to be moving toward universal health care. I think Universal Health Care is the worst of ideas. The same people who brought you public restroom, the Post office, Medicare and Medicaid and the American/Mexican Border are now going to be in charge of your health care. On the other hand, I know a lot of people who work hard, are wonderful members of society but have no health care and desperately need it. So something truly does need to change. The primary issues that is killing access to health care for millions is the continual rise of cost of health care and health care insurance. The rise of health costs can be partly if not mostly attributed to rising health care provider insurance. Especially in pediatrics. A significant burden to insurance companies is the lawsuit factor. Not only is the number of lawsuits and the crazy pay outs that happen often driving the cost of health care and health care insurance out of reach for the lower middle class, it's also choking off important funding that companies could use to innovate and improve itself. So many potential companies fail to achieve their potential because of the risk of lawsuits.
I believe one important move to make health care available to 100% of our working members of society is to do something about Tort Reform.
Recently Texas enacted some of the toughest Tort reform rules a state has ever had.
In the following article and excerpt to follow, Texas has seen a 21.3% drop in health care insurance premiums. That has resulted in many more doctors moving to Texas and real savings for those using health care.
Four years after Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, doctors are responding as supporters predicted, arriving from all parts of the country to swell the ranks of specialists at Texas hospitals and bring professional health care to some long-underserved rural areas
For pain and suffering, so-called noneconomic damage, patients can sue a doctor and, in unusual cases, up to two health care institutions for no more than $250,000 each, under limits adopted by the Legislature. Plaintiffs can still recover economic losses, like the cost of continuing medical care or lost income, but the amount they can win was capped at $1.6 million in death cases.
The increase in doctors - double the rate of the population increase - has
raised the state's ranking in physicians per capita to 42nd in 2005 from 48th in 2001, according to the American Medical Association. It is most likely considerably higher now, according to the medical association, which takes two years to compile the standings. Still, the latest figures show Texas with 194 patient-care physicians per 100,000 population, far below the District of Columbia, which led the nation with 659.
Adding to the state's allure for doctors, Mr. Opelt said, was an average 21.3 percent drop in malpractice insurance premiums, not counting rebates for renewal.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I have to say I was very impressed with Mike Huckabee on Fox News with Chris Wallace this weekend. Chris Wallace brought out a lot of accusations that Mike faced as Governor of Arkansas and Mike handled himself as well, if not better, than Bill Clinton himself. When confronted by multiple accusations concerning his use of the Governorship to increase personal wealth, he give a very good explanation for each item. Here is the part that was impressive. After each explanation he explains how this is the way things are done in Arkansas and how this has given him the ability to run a very effective campaign and go the distance. It was so impressive to see someone getting beat up politically on national TV by professional journalist (politically bullies) and see him turn it into nothing but smoke and then twist it into this amazing positive about what a great person he is. This man can turn lead into political Gold. However, I don't think he has a chance at winning the nomination. He will do well in Iowa and probably not in a state as secular as New Hampshire. He is an ex-Baptist preacher. But come Super Tuesday, he is Toast. He does not have the money to do the kind of campaigning super Tuesday will require and he doesn't have the time to come up with the cash on hand. What he can do is make Rudy much more acceptable to the Christian Right as his running mate. We will see that? I think Rudy would be smart to consider it.
That brings up another important point. Super Tuesday gives many states more of a say in who is elected president and reduces the importance of Iowa and New Hampshire as one of the key decision points. that kind of thing would be good, just look at the results of John Kerry. That was a bad idea all the way around. What it also does is force the election to be more about how much money you have and less about who you are and what you are really saying day in and day out. Super Tuesday campaigning will be done on TV, not at the local eateries, state fairs, pancake breakfasts and Chili cook offs of Iowa and New Hampshire. I'm not convinced we have done ourselves a service with this Super Tuesday thing.
Recently Novak claimed that Hillary was claiming that she had bad dirt on Obama but wouldn't share it because she cared too much for the Democratic party to be so ugly. So Obama charged her with getting honest with the people and share it. They also claimed that this was just like an awful Republican trick. Of course the Hillary campaign responded with the claim that anyone who has any experience would recognize the finger prints of the GOP behind this scam and would just ignore it. I love this comment, the carefully worded slam against Obama's primary weakness, experience. Of course Obama was going after her primary weakness, She is just plain evil and does as much if not more evil than the Republicans. It's fun to watch the Democrats out hypocrite themselves while vacillating between self righteous talk, wounded victim and just plain evil innuendos.
Monday, November 19, 2007
At the top of the list as to people would NEVER vote for is Hillary Clinton at 50%. As of October 2007, over 50% of likely voters would never vote for Hillary. People would be more likely to vote for Dennis Kucinich than Hillary. Ron Paul does better than Hillary.
and Fox New Sunday with Chris Wallace.
If John Edwards attempt at nomination dies, then which way will those supporting John Edwards go. For the last several months we have seen Hillary's poll numbers rise. I think that has come mostly from those originally support Edwards and think Hillary is an acceptable alternative. However if he falls apart, like his getting booed this weekend, then I think the 12% to 21% polling that he gets
would then go to Obama. Notice in the national poll, there is 18% undecided. Undecided is interesting because that is a group of people not supporting Hillary. How much more do you need to know to decide whether to support Hillary. It think that is 18% hoping someone comes around that they can support besides Hillary. Add the 12% John is getting to the 18% undecided and then to Obama's 24% he is getting and that's 54%. Can he get all of that 12 and 18, probably not but all he needs is more than her 38%. I suspect if he begins to pull closer to her, we could see that 38% erode. Realize that Bill Clinton was originally elected by 43% of the electorate thanks to Ross Perot taking 20% of the vote. Right now Hillary is winning by splitting those voting against her between John and Obama. Can Obama turn that around. We will see.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
In a sign of the increasingly bitter feud between the leading Democratic presidential contenders, Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign Monday accused John Edwards of acting like President Bush and dividing Democrats.
On Saturday, Edwards, while campaigning in Iowa, criticized the Clinton camp for planting a question in the audience, saying the practice is "what George Bush does."
"George Bush goes to events that are staged, where people are screened, where they're only allowed to ask questions if the questions are favorable to George Bush and set up in his favor," the former senator from North Carolina said.
But it is Edwards who is acting more like the sitting Republican president, the Clinton camp says. "What George Bush does is attack Democrats and divide the country," Clinton campaign spokesman Mo Elleithee said Monday. "Sen. Edwards' campaign resembles that more and more every day."
Edwards comments came after the Grinnell College's "Scarlet and Black" newspaper reported a student's account of being pulled aside before a campaign stop in Newton, Iowa, and asked to pose a specific question.
1. When the barrista is male a woman will have to wait on average 20 seconds longer for her sugar laden, over priced, caffeine addicting cup of delicious heaven
2. When the Barrista is male or woman and the customer is male then they get their cup of heaven faster than all groups.
3. If the patron is below average in looks then they tend to wait longer also.
What does this mean. It means people are starving in Africa and we are worried about 20 seconds spent in line at over priced coffee shops.
Monday, November 12, 2007
This Guy, In LubbockTx, Where I went to College, set up wires at neck level, broken glass and nails on Bike Trails to protect the environment. Really, Bike Trails. This place is the Mecca of Bad farming practices and Feedlots that destroy top soil and poison the ogalla aquifer and he is fighting for environment by hurting the 18 people in Lubbock that ride bikes.
Wow, talk about misguided.
This lady was fired after expressing an opinion about water boarding and the good people at the daily Kos went after her. I'm very disappointed to see an news agency, damn Canadians!, cave to what amounts to book burning. Where is the all the understanding and tolerance gone from our liberal friends at the Daily Kos. It always amazes me how much intolerance is justified by a cry for tolerance. Give it up, there is no such thing as tolerance!!! Fight for freedom and justice, but tolerance can not be enforced. It just makes you intolerant. Tolerance is only a personal choice, not a lifestyle to be slammed into the faces of people.
Recently I heard a senator claim that the war should end because our soldiers have become targets in Iraq. Really, we have put soldier in harms way and people are trying to kill them. Isn't that sort of the point of being a soldier. Isn't that the damn job! Has a segment of our population become so emotionally invested in our failure in Iraq that the possibility of success has driven them completely insane.
I do want to say that the left is right about one thing. A solution can not happen purely by Military means. To eventually succeed we do need the Iraq gov't to become a fully functioning gov't. Of course our gov't is barely functioning right now and that's because someone might run a negative add and hurt their chances of election. There, their family, friends, work comrades and even themselves could be killed. Iraq can never become a fully functioning gov't with out military action. Iraq will never achieve it's potential if we cut and run. It's going to take 20 or 30 years, just like it did in Germany before they are a fully functioning Gov't and society. But it is worth it. It was worth it in Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Korea and a host of other countries we have freed from oppression and set on the path of Democracy, Freedom and economic prosperity.
So I've watched the McLaughlin Group, Meet the Press and This week all talk about it. Everyone looked at it and predicted it would come falling apart. It was done with the worst motivation (This one is probably true). Robertson doesn't have the influence he once did (yeah, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have influence). I find all the liberal leaning lefties delightfully talking about how the Right doesn't agree with it self because they are willing to support a person that doesn't believe all the things that a powerful block of voters believe in deeply. Of course there was little talk when strongly religious black gospel singers who are very outspoken against homosexuality sing at Barack Obama events. Watching the Chris Matthews show was almost embarrassing on how little they understood or maybe wanted to admit what is driving the Rudy run for President. He is the Republicans best chance at beating her, and I think he wouldn't be all that bad. I still like McCain. He is just one tough guy!
Here is the one thing That the marriage of Robertson and Rudy says. Sure we don't all have to agree on things like abortion and Gay civil unions but the one thing we can all agree on is... NO Hillary Clinton in the white house. Rudy offers the Republicans the first real chance at turning many democratic states into Republican states. If Rudy can carry New York and most of the standard Republican states. Then he is president. If Rudy can Carry New York and several of the middle of the road states like Ohio, Michigan, PA and the Northeast then he wins in a land slide. I don't think Hillary has any chance of turning traditional Republican states into Dem states. Her negatives are just too high. Obama has a shot at it.
This is why Rudy is leading the polls and Robertson endorses him. Not because Robertson just loves Rudy, but because Pat fears a much worse fate for the country, President Hilary.
P.s. Rudy is also probably one of the most likable people in the election besides Obama. Come on, that guy is almost too likable. I watched Obama for an hour on Meet the Press. Very nice guy, very likable. However, for someone giving Hillary a hard time on not being specific, he could have given her lessons in this interview.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions. Albert Einstein
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. Albert Einstein
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein
Love is a better teacher than duty. Albert Einstein
By all sane accounts the Surge has done an amazing job in quelling violence in Iraq. The civil war is at an end, the Sunni insurgency is over, Al Quaeda has no area in which it can operate in and this is what Pelosi said this week.
So they are creating a spending bill a quarter of what he is asking for and refusing to do anything else this year if he vetoes this one. Which we know he will do if she can even get this one passed. It would be one thing if this was a bill to build a museum for Woodstock but this about giving our troops the support they need to stay alive and fight a very tough war. Is this a time for political games man ship or a time for leadership.
"This war is the biggest ethical issue we're facing in our country. ... This is not working. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. We must reverse it," Pelosi said, adding that she planned to end Bush's believe that Congress is his "ATM" for Iraq.
Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Democrats face "unfortunate timing" because of the military progress being made in Iraq.
"While our troops are quelling violence and defeating terrorists in Baghdad and throughout Iraq, Democrats in Washington are trying to choke off funds for our troops in the field," he said.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
On Thursday, Lieberman waxed nostalgic over foreign policy giants Democrats like Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy, but said that after Vietnam, it took until the Clinton administration to regain an internationalist, interventionist attitude among Democrats. Just as soon as that attitude returned, it left again once the Bush administration took the reins in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, atmosphere. He said President Bush's call for the spread of democracy across the globe followed a campaign in which, as Lieberman described it, Bush was less interested in foreign policy than his Democratic opponent, Al Gore. Lieberman was Gore's running mate."The Bush administrations post-9/11 ideological conversion confronted Democrats with an awkward choice. Should we welcome the president's foreign policy flip-flop? Or should Democrats match it with a flip-flop of our own?" Lieberman said.
"I felt strongly that Democrats should embrace the basic framework that the president articulated for the War on Terror as our own — because it was our own. It was our legacy ... But that was not the choice most Democrats made. Instead, they flip-flopped," he said.
Lieberman said Democrats aren't being guided by principle, but partisanship.
"Even as evidence has mounted that General Petraeus' new counterinsurgency strategy is succeeding, Democrats have remained emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq, reluctant to acknowledge the progress we are now achieving, or even that that progress has enabled us to begin drawing down our troops there," he added.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Enough with the Robot crap!!! When you have a real robot that really does something useful, like dishes, sweeping, driving, mowing, cooking or just plain working on the house... give me a call.
Other than that, stop getting my damn hopes up. I'm sick of all the promise and none of the pay off. BTW, I don't want someone else driving my car, I LIKE driving!!!! unless it's a long trip! Then we should have trains that move around my car.
Can we say ridiculous. I realize that this is done with the best of intentions. OH MY GOD we have to protect our kids!!!!! They are being HUGGGEEEDDDDD, stop all this caring and human warmth. Someone might take advantage of all the friendliness.
Here is the deal. At some point our kids have to be put in difficult situation and develop the ability to say no for them selves. It is important that a woman or man learn to say "no, I don't want to be hugged by you" in a nice and meaningful way when the consequences are limited. At school, someone gets mad at you for a week. At work, your co-worker who later becomes your boss thinks you are a mean bitch and you never get another raise or promotion.
Yes, inappropriate PDA's should be stopped in almost all situations but can't we trust the judgement of our teachers to make the call. Why does it have to be all possible human contact. Can we just trust the judgement of our teachers to allow nice hugs to happen and when it is inappropriate or causing school disruptions when out of control, then just step in and put a stop to it. Do we really need a school system wide policy against all human contact because sometimes it becomes ridiculous or some disturbed person misuses the kindness of our youth.
One of the most important things that happens at public school over home schooled is putting our children in situations where they develop human interaction techniques and practices. They discover how to have and promote their healthy boundaries in this important social ritual. When we take away all human contact to protect them from this stuff, it's stealing vital learning opportunities that they need to make it in today's world.
This is not protecting our children, it's hurting them! Start trusting our teachers!!! Correct the situation when a teacher does not do the right thing!
The Republicans were going to block it and vote against it. Then in the middle of the vote, the Repubs reversed their vote and approved it. Why did they do that. Well they decided that instead of protecting the Dem's from their crazy, extremist, left wing nut jobs that have no real idea what it takes to deal with the world as it is, let them become successful. Let the American people see what they are really trying to do and what it would really mean to the world if these people truly did set policy.
One of my biggest problems with the attempts of Dennis and his ilk is that it is around hate and whipping up emotion. It is not a reasoned argument around what are the real options and what is the best option that keeps America safe and promotes freedom and democracy in the world. Dennis doesn't want to go to war with Iran. Well neither do I nor does any right thinking American or human being. But what options do we have. Do we sit back and let the most dangerous country in the most dangerous area of the world get the ability to kill millions if not billions. Where is a solution for that problem. Impeaching Cheney is a stupid waste of time and most of the Dem's knew it:
Here is what they had to say about his behavior
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has previously stated that she did not want the impeachment articles to come to a vote. High-ranking Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, who was himself impeached while a judge in Florida, said he was not happy with Kucinich's attempts to raise the matter on the floor in an attempt to circumvent the normal legislative process. Kucinich "is on a quest of his own. He sees flying saucers and he acts like one," Hastings said.
A description of what happened:
The resolution arose when Kucinich made a procedural maneuver to bring up his resolution for a vote, despite opposition from Democratic leaders. During the action, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, acting in accordance with Pelosi's wishes, moved to table the resolution, which would have effectively sent it into the Ether.
Republicans had originally decided to go along with Hoyer and kill the resolution, but halfway through voting GOP lawmakers en masse changed their "yes" votes to "nays." Bringing a vote on the impeachment resolution would put Democrats on record over impeachment, a move that Republicans figured could end up a political advantage in a year that has been marked by little progress from the Democratic-led Congress.
When Republicans succeeded on a 162-251 vote to allow the resolution to be debated, Hoyer then moved to send the resolution, which had not gone through traditional channels, to the Judiciary panel for consideration. That motion passed, but Conyers could decide to bury the legislation.