Daily archives: October 30th, 2009

Matteson Mayor Was Wrong to Fire Haney

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I read this in the Southtown Star:

Matteson village administrator Napoleon Haney was let go this week after just four months on the job.

Haney, who had a four-year, $120,000 per-year contract was hired in June.

“I don’t really know (why this happened),” Haney said Thursday. “I was called in, and the mayor informed me that my contract was terminated.”

Haney said there was a provision in his contract that he could be terminated without cause.

Haney, who moved his family from Reno, Nev., and bought a house in Matteson in late July, said he thought he was on the right track.

“I thought I was. I came from a large city. My goal was to bring added value to the community,” he said.

Mayor Andre Ashmore did not return messages left for him.

Read more here.

I knew Napoleon Haney, and I believe him when he says he had no idea this was coming. Napoleon Haney gives new meaning to the word “ethics.” The man is ethical to the core of his being. Did Ashmore have a problem with an Administrator with ethics?

Haney is creative, dynamic, innovative, thoughtful, intelligent…

I am completely flabbergasted with Mayor Andre Ashmore.

Matteson residents should give serious thought to electing someone else for mayor.

Yup. I said that.

Andre Ashmore has some explaining to do. Yes, I understand that he would not want to comment on a personnel matter. But this is a public matter. Matteson is losing real talent. Why would Matteson choose to jettison talent? We know Haney wasn’t fired for cause.

This smells of nasty politics, and nasty politics should never dictate policy.

If Mayor Ashmore appoints his wife as Village Administrator, we’ll know what this was really all about.

President Obama Remembers Ryan White: Ends HIV Entry Ban

Do you remember Ryan White? Do you remember this young man who died, publicly, of HIV-AIDS?

I think of him from time to time, this brilliant young man who was "done too soon," who endured years of hatred, years of insults — because he got sick.

I remember, years ago, picking my son up from school on a spring afternoon. I was listening to WLS in Chicago (never a good idea these days), and I heard a caller condemn Ryan White to the depths of Hell. The caller was convinced, and argued, that this young man got what he deserved, that if he himself hadn’t sinned in his lifetime, then God must have killed him because one of his ancestors must have sinned horribly.

Yes, that was the argument.

Today, President Obama remembered Ryan White in a big way.

From White House blog:

Today, President Obama signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009. It represents our ongoing commitment to ensuring access to needed HIV/AIDS care and treatment. The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) worked very closely with Congress on this bipartisan legislation, and the consensus document developed by the HIV/AIDS advocacy community was an important part of the process. We were so pleased that Jeanne White-Ginder, Ryan White’s mother, was here at the bill signing.

The Ryan White Program is the largest federal program specifically dedicated to providing HIV care and treatment. It funds heavily impacted metropolitan areas, states, and local community-based organizations to provide life-saving medical care, medications, and support services to more than half a million people each year: the uninsured and underinsured, racial and ethnic minorities, people of all ages.

The President also announced today the elimination of the HIV entry ban. Since 1987, HIV-positive travelers and immigrants have been banned from entering or traveling through the United States without a special waiver. In July 2008, Congress removed all legislative barriers to repealing the ban and paved the way for HHS to repeal the ban. A final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Monday, November 2nd and will take effect in early January 2010. That means that people who have HIV and are not U.S. citizens will be able to enter the U.S. starting in January next year. This is a major step in ending the stigma associated with HIV.

And the sad thing is, would Ryan White have died in 1990 — theoretically — if the Reagan Administration had given medical science the funding to find the cause of and fight AIDS instead of segregating it as a gay disease? Would an anonymous thug have come along and kicked over Ryan’s headstone if Reagan had been slightly more enlightened?

Yes, we still have to ask those questions. It could all happen again. We still have plenty of people in our society who are seemingly at war with science.

I’m starting to like this Obama as President of the United States.

However, this isn’t about President Obama.

This is about a young man who was gone too soon.

Peace, Ryan. We remember you still.

Ryan White

Barack Obama’s Facebook Feed, Courtesy Slate.com

This is just a section of President Obama’s Facebook feed, courtesy of our friends at Slate.

This is really very good. Go here, please, to see the whole feed.

gift The Central Intelligence Agency sent Ahmed Wali Karzai a gift.
money money money
camera The New York Times posted a video: "Swine flu vaccine running low."

ObamaBarack Obama

Don’t worry, there’s plenty to go around.

BoehnerJohn Boehner
Good, because I’m getting a shot today.
ObamaBarack Obama

Oh, look, we just ran out.

Note Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a note on Tom Ammiano’s Wall:

Sorry if I offended you, Tom. It was immature and
Unprofessional of me to write you a note with a hidden
Code buried in it. I hope you’ll
Kindly forgive me. It was a 
Mean stunt, and 
You deserve
Better. I hope we can
Agree to
Let this one 
Arnold. P.S.—You should really
Come over for dinner some time. Maria makes heavenly 

Again, go here, to see the whole feed.

Pelosi Outlines 14 Health Care Provisions to Take Place Immediately

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Thursday outlined fourteen health care reform provisions that would take place immediately, upon passage of the health insurance reform legislation currently making its way through Congress:

  1. BEGINS TO CLOSE THE MEDICARE PART D DONUT HOLE — Reduces the donut hole by $500 and institutes a 50% discount on brand-name drugs, effective January 1, 2010.
  2. IMMEDIATE HELP FOR THE UNINSURED UNTIL EXCHANGE IS AVAILABLE (INTERIM HIGH-RISK POOL) — Creates a temporary insurance program until the Exchange is available for individuals who have been uninsured for several months or have been denied a policy because of pre-existing conditions.
  3. BANS LIFETIME LIMITS ON COVERAGE—Prohibits health insurance companies from placing lifetime caps on coverage.
  4. ENDS RESCISSIONS—Prohibits insurers from nullifying or rescinding a patient’s policy when they file a claim for benefits, except in the case of fraud.
  5. EXTENDS COVERAGE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE UP TO 27TH BIRTHDAY THROUGH PARENTS’ INSURANCE— Requires health plans to allow young people through age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance policy, at the parents’ choice.
  6. ELIMINATES COST-SHARING FOR PREVENTIVE SERVICES IN MEDICARE—Eliminates co-payments for preventive services and exempts preventive services from deductibles under the Medicare program.
  7. IMPROVES HELP FOR LOW-INCOME MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES—Improves the low-income protection programs in Medicare to assure more individuals are able to access this vital help.
  8. PROVIDES NEW CONSUMER PROTECTIONS IN MEDICARE ADVANTAGE— Prohibits Medicare Advantage plans from charging enrollees higher cost-sharing for services in their private plan than what is charged in traditional Medicare.
  9. IMMEDIATE SUNSHINE ON PRICE GOUGING—Discourages excessive price increases by insurance companies through review and disclosure of insurance rate increases.
  10. CONTINUITY FOR DISPLACED WORKERS—Allows Americans to keep their COBRA coverage until the Exchange is in place and they can access affordable coverage.
  11. CREATES NEW, VOLUNTARY, PUBLIC LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE PROGRAM—Creates a long-term care insurance program to be financed by voluntary payroll deductions to provide benefits to adults who become functionally disabled.
  12. HELP FOR EARLY RETIREES—Creates a $10 billon fund to finance a temporary reinsurance program to help offset the costs of expensive health claims for employers that provide health benefits for retirees age 55-64.
  13. COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS—Increases funding for Community Health Centers to allow for a doubling of the number of patients seen by the centers over the next 5 years.
  14. INCREASING NUMBER OF PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS — Provides new investment in training programs to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals.

Source: Committee on Education and Labor