an approach Improvising on tunes

In this approach we are less concerned with outlining the particular chords than with presenting a scale or mode that would sound the key area implied by the chords

The Public Option Lives On

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Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a critical day in the saga of the public option. Democrats Charles Schumer (New York) and Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia) are introducing an amendment to include the public option in the bill to be reported out by the Senate Finance Committee — the committee anointed by the White House as its favored vehicle for getting health care reform.

Before you read another word, call and email the Senate offices of Democrats Max Baucus (Montana), Tom Carper (Delaware), Robert Menendez (New Jersey), Kent Conrad (North Dakota), Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico), John Kerry (MA), Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas), Ron Wyden (Oregon), Debbie Stabenow (Michigan), Maria Cantwell (Washington), and Bill Nelson (Florida) — telling them you want them to vote in favor of the public option amendment. And get everyone you know in these states to do the same. Hell, you might as well phone and email Republican Olympia Snowe (Maine) and make the same pitch.

Background: Every dollar squeezed out of Big Pharma and Big Insurance is a dollar less that you’ll have to pay either in healthcare costs or in taxes to cover healthcare costs. The two most direct ways to squeeze future profits are allowing Medicare to use its huge bargaining leverage to negotiate lower drug prices, and creating a public insurance option to compete with private insurers and also use its bargaining clout to get lower prices and thereby push private insurers to offer lower rates.

But last January, the White House made a Faustian bargain with Big Pharma and Big Insurance, essentially scuttling both of these profit-squeezing mechanisms in return for these industries’ agreement not to oppose healthcare legislation with platoons of lobbyists and millions of dollars of TV ads, and Pharma’s willingness to cut drug prices by some $80 billion over the next ten years. The White House promised these industries they’d come out way ahead — getting tens of millions of new customers who’d be buying private health insurance policies and thereby paying for an almost endless supply of new drugs. Healthcare reform would be, in short, a bonanza.

Big Pharma and Big Insurance have so far delivered on their side of the deal. In fact, Big Pharma has shelled out $120 million in advertisements in favor of reform. Now the White House is delivering on its side.

Last Thursday, for example, the Senate Finance Committee rejected Ben Nelson’s amendment to require Big Pharma to give some $160 billion in discounts to Medicare — thereby reducing the bonanza Pharma would reap from the healthcare bill. Not surprisingly, all Republicans voted against the amendment. But it was defeated only because Dems Baucus, Carper, and Menendez voted with the Republicans.

Carper later explained to the New York Times why he voted with the Republicans. The amendment, he said, would “undermine our ability to pass” health care reform, because the White House had made a deal with Big Pharma by which the industry wouldn’t oppose healthcare reform — and White House officials had told him “a deal is a deal.” The Times described the vote as a “big victory” for the White House.

Schumer voted for the amendment. He said he was “not at the table” when the White House and Big Pharma made their deal so didn’t feel bound by it. But even if he had been at the table, he wouldn’t be bound. No member of the Senate is bound to a deal made between industry and the White House. Congress is a separate branch of government.

Big Pharma and big insurance hate the public insurance option even more than they hate big Medicare discounts. And although the President has sounded as if he would welcome it, political operatives in the White House have quietly reassured the industries that it won’t be included in the final bill. At most, the bill would allow the formation of non-profit “cooperatives” that wouldn’t have the scale or authority to squeeze the profits of private industry, or a “trigger” that would allow states to form public insurance options eventually if certain goals for cost savings and coverage weren’t met.

But the public option lives on, nonetheless. It’s still in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension bill. It still headlines the House bills, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s still committed to it. The latest Times/CBS poll shows 65 percent of the public in favor of it.

Now, Schumer and Rockefeller are introducing a public option amendment in the Senate Finance Committee. Carper, Menendez, Baucus, and other Dems on the Committee should vote for it, or be forced to pay a price if they don’t.


Written by improvisingtunes

October 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm

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Among the INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC that need to LEARN VIOLIN how serious than solitary instrumental music that is most suitable for this type of MUSICAL INSTRUMENT. To be able to PLAY THE VIOLIN properly take approximately one year. In principle, the same study violin with other musical instrument. Important issues that must be mastered is to PLAY A CHORD on the train open. Position must be able to properly hear a tone to PLAY CLEAN. first chord on the open POSITION CHORD. Then start learning to play the tone of all positions in the Mayor accompanied by understanding the elements that form a key mayor. if accompanied by ringing in the play not to read beam. This is to practice discipline in the tone can play along with the tone at will, this is very important to train sensitivity SCALE.This is steps beginning this tip is very good to try. Another opportunity we will study how the practice, along with key elements that make up the TONE.


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The “playing of jazz presupposes a certain skill with scales and chords. All scales should be practiced starting on the lowest note on the instrument contained in that scale. For instance, if the loweat note on the instrument is an and the A Major scale is being played, start on the note F# : if playing a C scale, start on the note G. Play the scales and chord as high as comfortably possible. The jazz player should always be prepared to draw on everything he knows, from any source, concerning scales and chords. He should commit to memory the many scales and chord exercises from such books as Arban, Klose, Hanon, Czerny, Simandl. The Universal Method, and other diverse sources. The jazz player should work diligenti toward the acquisition of equal skill and facility in all keys. In all exercises i should vary rhythm, meter, tempo and tessitura.


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All music is drama, and on the ability of the IMPROVISOR to handle dramatic devices rests a considerable portion of his succes as a jazz player. There is an infinite variety of ways to play a given phrase, a scale, one chord, or even one note. The performer is encouraged to be as adventurous as possible. No combination of scale patterns and dramatic devices should be considered too “far out”. The jazz player must work constantly to create and maintain interest using dramatic Read the rest of this entry »


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The term “Blues” means to most jazzmen a twelve measure structure of predeter mined form. This form usually contains these basic chords arranged in this order. This basic form is and has been used in one of its modirications by virtually every jazzman, rhythm, and blues player, rock and roll, and country music player since jazz began. Blues still comprises a large part of the modern jazz player’s repertoire. It is an absolute necessity that the jazz player be comfortable with the basic blues changes and its myriad variations