Daily Archives: March 20, 2012

Ryan not backing down on Medicare overhaul

Though surveys showed that the public opposed a GOP proposal last year to privatize Medicare, the author of the plan, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., isn’t backing down. He released a new budget plan today that would require those who retire a decade from now to purchase either traditional Medicare or private insurance through a government-run exchange. “Forcing health plans to compete against each other is the best way to achieve high-quality coverage at the lowest cost,” Ryan wrote in a Wall Street Journal commentary. Critics noted that the GOP budget plan would cut taxes while reducing  health care and social safety net spending on the poor and middle classes.

Obama lagging with big donors

Though President Obama is a big lead on his Republican rivals in fundraising overall, he is “struggling to draw in big-dollar donations, with half as many people writing large checks to his campaign than at this point four years ago,” the Washington Post reported. The article added: “Obama lags behind Republican front-runner Mitt Romney in finding donors willing to give $2,000 or more — a surprising development for a sitting president, and one that could signal more worrisome financial problems heading into the general election.”

Few Kansans balk at buckling up

There was a time when many Kansans thought seat belts were for sissies. But a recent SurveyUSA poll, sponsored by KWCH, Channel 12, found 88 percent of Kansans surveyed claiming to use their seat belts all the time. Only 6 percent said they never buckle up, including 10 percent of men and 18- to 34-year-olds. As for the state’s wimpy $10 fine for not wearing a seat belt: 46 percent said it was too lenient, but 39 percent considered it about right.

KU wins social media, academic March Madness

The University of Kansas’ come-from-behind win Sunday kept its hopes alive for another NCAA men’s basketball championship. If the tournament were decided based on which school’s fans are most tuned in to social media, KU would have already won, the social media site Mashable.com reported. That determination was made by the communications agency Schwartz MSL and was based on a formula that combined followers of a school’s team on Facebook and Twitter, then divided that number by total student body population. KU scored a “Social Media Power Ranking” of 5.2 – based on 18,000 Twitter followers and 137,000 Facebook fans – just ahead of Duke University. KU would also win the national title if it were based on academics. The website Inside Higher Ed rated KU first for the classroom performance of its athletes.