Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Usually I eschew the dramatic and seek a more reasoned approach to any discussion. The passions of any theme will almost always lead away from a rational discussion... but this story is emblematic of the lunacy of our current health care "system", which really has no resemblance to a system at all. And as the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats scream to "slow down" health care reform, this story is even more poignant.
Usually with the White Sox mathematically eliminated I would be rifling through my bottom drawer for the old Bears shirts and hats, especially with a promising new QB and an honest chance to achieve something in Soldier Field this year. But I cannot turn away from the Sox just yet. Spoiling the Tigers in the final week would be a moral victory, especially if they were eliminated from the post-season now after leading the division from the very first day. The reasons this week matters:
Friday, September 25, 2009
Conrad, a consistent opponent of the public option, wanted liberals to know "government-run programs" aren't necessary to lower costs and expand access. He explained that he'd finished reading T.R. Reid's "The Healing of America" over the weekend, and learned Germany, Japan, Switzerland, France, and Belgium are doing just fine. "[A]ll of them contain costs, have universal coverage, have very high quality care and yet are not government-run systems."
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
First of all, I'm going to take a couple Democratic sites to task. Think Progress dramatically summarized the exchange thusly: " Churchill told Cantor that her relative was dying of stomach tumors and needs an operation as soon as possible." Um, no. Ms. Churchill never said anyone was "dying." Similarly, over at Dissenting Justice, the headline reads "Eric Cantor says cancer patient should get help from "government program" or "charity."" Um, no again. Ms. Churchill never said anyone had "cancer." [emphasis mine].
The latest report of the ACORN "scandal" reveals that a worker who was a subject of the "sting" operation had contacted police within 2 days of the incident. Regardless, this worker, Juan Carlos Vera, was fired. Several news outlets including Fox news have reported this update.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I have to admit that as a biologist (of sorts), there is something romantic about having one of the founders of your field hailed as an outlaw. Can geography or physics or calculus make such a boast? We're like the bad-asses of academia.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Current health care system: 46% (Dem 20%, Repub 79%)President Obama’s proposed system: 37%(Don’t know): 16%
If you read one thing today, read Glenn Greenwald's take on the ACORN videos.
ACORN received $53 million in federal funds over fifteen years, about $3.5 million per year. If all the letters in the King James Bible represented federal funding, ACORN would be a “comma” somewhere in the Book of Maccabees. It means less than nothing. Heck, Dick Cheney has more than that in his sofa cushions that he likely stole via KBR Halliburton.
Community organizers do perform useful services for some folks: help with health care access, voter registration, day-care programs, landlord disputes, opening bank accounts, etc. If the wealthy have a problem they can just call the concierge. Nobody is excusing malfeasance, but let's keep it in perspective.
1)ACORN fired the staffers immediately and took corrective actions, which is more than Blackwater did when they took Billions (with a B) of your tax dollars and killed civilians in your name.
2)ACORN immediately lost all funding for their entire organization despite no laws being broken; the “investigation” was not conducted by law enforcement and did not follow proper rules of evidence.
3)ACORN has not been allowed to plead their case, which should be allowed even in the most egregious of cases– even Jeffrey Dahmer had a trial– yet ACORN is punished into non-existence within 72 hours due to the antics of 6 employees. A lot of good it did having their lawyer in White House!
Greenwald notes that:
Meanwhile, not millions, not billions, but trillions of dollars of public funds have been, in the last year alone, transferred to or otherwise used for the benefit of Wall Street. Billions of dollars in American taxpayer money vanished into thin air, eaten by private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, led by Halliburton subsidiary KBR. All of those corporate interests employ armies of lobbyists and bottomless donor activities that ensure they dominate our legislative and regulatory processes, and to be extra certain, the revolving door between industry and government is more prolific than ever, with key corporate officials constantly ending up occupying the government positions with the most influence over those industries.
Exactly as one would expect, the prime beneficiaries of all of that pillaging continue to grow. The banks that almost brought the world economy to collapse but then received massive public largesse because they were "too big to fail" are now bigger than ever... Everything involving the government turns out well for these "behemoths" because they own and control the U.S. Government.
So with this massive pillaging of America's economic security and the control of American government by its richest and most powerful factions growing by the day, to whom is America's intense economic anxiety being directed? To a non-profit group that devotes itself to providing minute benefits to people who live under America's poverty line, and which is so powerless in Washington that virtually the entire U.S. Senate just voted to cut off its funding at the first sign of real controversy -- could anyone imagine that happening to a key player in the banking or defense industry?
But if you watch Fox News, the coverage has been all-ACORN, all the time. The best part of the Greenwald piece is the UPDATE where he notes that we are now hearing:
...demands for a "Special Prosecutor" into Obama's so-called "relationship with ACORN" from the very same circles that vehemently objected to investigations into torture, illegal government spying, politicized prosecutions, military contractor theft, Lewis Libby's obstruction of justice, and virtually every other instance of Bush-era criminality. Those, of course, are the very same people who, before that, demanded endless inquiries into Whitewater and Vince Foster's "murder." There's nothing more valuable than petty, dramatic "scandals" to distract attention from what is actually taking place.
And a big heads up: The next meme will be “all the Medicare fraud”– it was trotted out on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox show tonight. I can hardly wait: Birthers, Deathers, Czar-ers, Teabaggers, ACORN-ers… and now Frauders.
The noise machine doesn’t have an off button.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Yawn. I suppose I could bang out a few hundred words about how Beck doesn't deserve the attention, it only feeds the beast, TIME has lost all respect... yada, yada, yada. But I'm not. Beck's an asshole, plain and simple, but there will always be Glenn Becks and Ann Coulters and Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys and it's never going to change. Why? Because people for the most part are not much smarter than rocks and there is a need to have something, someone stoke some emotion-- any emotion-- into our boring work-a-day lives. These clowns do it.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
The ever-accelerating corporatization of health care is producing a seismic shift in the way that doctors look at universal health care. Doctors are experiencing an extreme and relatively sudden loss of control at the hands of insurers and hospital networks, while being snowed under by paperwork and bureaucratic battles with insurance companies over authorizations and payments.
Physicians also were asked who should be responsible for providing access to health care. Nearly all (86%) believed it is the responsibility of society through government to ensure access to good medical care for all, regardless of ability to pay. Only 41% held that the private insurance industry should continue to play a major role in medical care financing and delivery.