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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a significant proposed rule on December 12.  It requires various healthcare providers located in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage, to recognize legal same-sex marriages from other states for purposes of determining the legal representatives of their patients.

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Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 09:58 PM PDT

Ed Snowden Broke The Law

by Tailfish

First, let me get it out of the way that I support Ed Snowden, so you'll need to read a little further.

Ed Snowden broke the law.  Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows the FISA court to approve applications that require businesses to turn over business records.  The FISA court apparently read this authority as being broad enough to require telecom companies to turn over all "meta" information in their possession about all Americans' activities all the time.  So:  (1) Congress passed the law; (2) the Executive branch exercised its authority under the law; and (3) the Judicial branch approved the exercise of that authority.  All three branches of government agreed that this information gathering was legal, and Ed Snowden broke the law by revealing it.

More importantly, some commenters note, Ed Snowden did not reveal illegal conduct by the government, and thereby can't be considered a true "whistleblower."  Thus, if he revealed confidential information and is not a whistleblower, there is no excuse for him breaking the law.  

So what's the problem with this situation?  Let's see...

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Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 06:42 PM PDT

Close the 30-hour Loophole

by Tailfish

Beginning in January 2014, employers with over 50 full-time employees will need to offer health insurance or pay a fine.  But, this only applies to employees working 30 hours a week or more.  A disturbing trend is starting to form in which low-paid employees are having their hours reduced to 29 hours a week or less to allow the employer to avoid providing health insurance or paying the fine.    The 30-hour limit is a loophole that should be fixed.

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Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:56 AM PST

On White Sharks And Assault Weapons

by Tailfish

A photograph from a recent and tragic shark attack caught my eye.  Don't worry, it's not graphic.

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Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:26 PM PST

HIPAA HIPAA Hooray: Some New Rights

by Tailfish

The Final Rule for HIPAA was issued yesterday.  It was actually several final rules that were kind of rolled into one big final rule.  These rules confirm some new rights that people receiving healthcare must receive.  If you receive healthcare, the new rights are for you.

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Here I am in Ohio, seemingly ground zero for the election.  It's almost as if I need to add 15 minutes to every drive, to account for the time spent waiting for the motorcade to pass.

President Obama is currently leading in Ohio according to the most recent polls.  That's the reality.  But perception and reality are sometimes different.  Today (Sunday October 28), Ohioans are being exposed to more of the perception than the reality.  My thought is to use this to motivate like-minded people to get out and vote.

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I thought this was pretty cool.  As reported in several blogs, the latest JCPenney catalog contains a picture of a woman and her partner, wearing wedding rings, with their children and grandma.

Predictably, it's drawing protests and calls to action to complain at the individual store level.  It's been a while, but I think I'll buy something at JCP this weekend.

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Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 08:15 PM PDT

Gaza/Israel Ceasefire

by Tailfish

News sources are reporting that a ceasefire has been reached between Israel and Hamas.  

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Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 05:57 PM PDT

Unemployment and Ben Bernanke

by Tailfish

The somewhat gloomy testimony Ben Bernanke provided to the Senate Banking Committee caused the stock market to drop, and generally didn't inspire confidence.  However,

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Sat May 29, 2010 at 07:45 PM PDT

A Note About Advance Directives

by Tailfish

As a lawyer who does a lot of work for hospitals, I am often contacted to discuss sad situations in which hospital patients can't make decisions for themselves, and there is confusion or uncertainty regarding who can make decisions for them.  Had one of those calls today.

I wouldn't get any of these calls if these patients had signed advance directives.  If you haven't created these for yourself, you most certainly should.

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Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 08:21 PM PDT

Judge to Citizens: "Arm Yourselves"

by Tailfish

You may think this diary will be about guns, and it will be a little.  But it's mostly about the economy and the last 30 years, and a news story that is starting to get some national press.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 10:55 AM PST

An Inspiration

by Tailfish

For my first diary, rather than something political I thought I would write about something that inspires me.  Something that demonstrates that the "one person can make a difference" line that we hear all the time can in some circumstances be more than a platitude, and crystal clear in its accuracy.

Katie Spotz is a 22-year old woman from around my hometown.  As I write this, Katie is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, more than halfway between Dakar, Senegal and Georgetown, Guyana.

Katie is by herself, in a rowboat.

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