Thursday, August 27, 2009
“I am a proud right wing terrorist,” he declared to cheers.
And Congressmen Herger's response?
“Amen, God bless you,” Herger said with a broad smile. “There is a great American.”
And people are giving me shit about comparing the right to Al Qaeda...
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Accidentally, but relentlessly, America has built a health-care system with incentives that inexorably generate terrible and perverse results. Incentives that emphasize health care over any other aspect of health and well-being. That emphasize treatment over prevention. That disguise true costs. That favor complexity, and discourage transparent competition based on price or quality. That result in a generational pyramid scheme rather than sustainable financing. And that—most important—remove consumers from our irreplaceable role as the ultimate ensurer of value.
If you are heading to a town hall meeting with your representative, read this first.
Friday, August 21, 2009
What is interesting, though, is the reminder of how bin Laden released a tape right before that election. I have to say that I think Al Qaeda is befuddled about what to do now that they don't have poster boy Bush to hold up as a recruiting tool anymore. A country that elected a man whose middle name is Hussein? Well, that's not any fun.
Back in 2004, I imagine a very assertive group of hirabis shitting themselves at the thought of a President Kerry. Sure, he could probably bore everyone to death with his fine impression of a human toothache but rile up the natives? No one could get multiple psychotics to strap explosives to their chests like W.
Hence the video...
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Congress Deadlocked Over How To Not Provide Health Care"Both parties understand that the current system is broken," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Monday. "But what we can't seem to agree upon is how to best keep it broken, while still ensuring that no elected official takes any political risk whatsoever. It’s a very complicated issue."
"Ultimately, though, it's our responsibility as lawmakers to put these differences aside and focus on refusing Americans the health care they deserve," Pelosi added.
No fucking shit.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I think there are my friends on Capital Hill who are sincerely trying to figure out a health care bill that works.
And how did they, in that spirit of bipartisanship, embrace him?
Grassley of Iowa:
In the House bill, there is counseling for end of life. You have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life, you should have done that 20 years before. Should not have a government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.
And Johnny boy released this statement.
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today denounced comments made by President Obama and his spokesman regarding Isakson’s alleged connection to language contained in the House health care bill on “end-of-life counseling.”
Isakson vehemently opposes the House and Senate health care bills and he played no role in drafting language added to the House bill by House Democrats calling for the government to incentivize doctors by offering them money to conduct “end-of-life counseling” with Medicare patients every five years. Isakson also strongly opposed the House bill language calling for doctors to follow a government-mandated list of topics to discuss with patients during the counseling sessions.
Odd considering that he had this to say just in an interview, about the end of life counseling, just moments before.
I have no idea. I understand -- and you have to check this out -- I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin's web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You're putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don't know how that got so mixed up.
Even more odd considering Isakson PUSHED FOR THE SAME THING IN THE SENATE!!
And people are telling me that the Democrats have no interest in bipartisanship? If anything, they are being too nice and conciliatory while conservatives know (i.e. what I have been saying since I fucking started this blog) that they have to play to the nutters of their party because....THAT'S WHAT THEIR WHOLE PARTY IS!!!!
So, please, the next time someone tells you that the Democrats are stubborn, immovable, play to the crazies in their base, and don't want compromise, show them this post. And tell them to come back with something that isn't direct from their ass.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Claire Macaskill, Democratic Senator from Missouri, was on this morning to ask about her raucous town hall meeting yesterday. She said a couple of things that I thought were pretty fucking great. When asked what she thought about the hecklers she said,
Well, this is what I signed up for. People that can't take this shouldn't run for office. It's democracy in its purest form and that isn't always pretty. We had a few bad moments when people were shouting over each other but all in all it was a good meeting.
It actually was a good meeting and she made some pretty good points that silenced the loud mouths right quick. When she asked for a show of hands as to who was on Medicare, several people raised them. Then she asked how many of those people wanted to get rid of Medicare because it was run by the government, I didn't see a single hand go up.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
"We are all afraid of Obama....Never!" cried the flat earthers and civil war re-enacters.
See what happens when you are a Republican (Bob Inglis, R-SC) and you try to get fervent psychotics to actually read the bill and dispute the policy?
Yeah, tell me again about the base.
Now, I wonder if there is a video similar to this one but instead has progressives/liberals booing a congressperson when asked to turn off their TV...
Monday, August 10, 2009
I watch this and it reminds me of a comment made over 40 years ago by my biggest hero
Christianity will go.. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first — rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.
So said John Lennon in 1966 and those Americans who have "values" showed how similar they are to...well...you know:) The melee that ensued afterwards resulted in a Niagara Falls like outpouring of hatred and bile that is quite similar to what we are seeing at these town hall meetings in the last couple of weeks. We sure have come a long way....not.
The ironic part is that when Americans for Prosperity compares Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler they should really look in the fucking mirror. THEY are the ones who will be the first people to starting burning books, censoring art, and preventing any kind of progress in an issue as serious as health care. They would sooner see this country burn, just like all those Beatles albums four decades ago, then have to admit that there are other ways to govern this country.
The very word "change" to them is a devil's word. It's no wonder they hate President Obama as much as they do as this was his central campaign theme. He might as well of run with the slogan "I'm a comin' to git ya" because that's essentially what they hear. And they react accordingly. Want some evidence?
Take a look at this
This is a protester who has proudly hung freshman Maryland Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil in effigy. Look at his boy scout knot! And winning smile. How proud his mom must be...The note around his neck says, "Congress Traitors The American" and then a word that looks like idol. Americans for prosperity sponsored this event and look what has happened.
I'm sure there will be commenters that will trot out examples of Bush being burned in effigy. Or some dorkwad protest from the G8. There are several points I would like to make, pre-rebuttal.
First, anyone that does that is just as wrong as these people. They should be deplored just like this ass hat to the left. Second, as I have stated many times, there just isn't the venom on the left like there is on the right. Nor are there the numbers. Or the organization. They just don't have the teeth or the will power to do stuff like this.
Third, I have yet to see any town hall meeting, left leaning, that had this happen.
Listen to the cheers and take your mind to...say...the Middle East somewhere. As an American, what would be the first thing you would think if you saw this in a madrassa in Saudi Arabia? It's a traitorous act if someone named Mohamed Fatah calls for the death of an American CEO named Sam Tinkerbell, taunting him by calling him Sam Infidel and cheering his assassination. It is patriotic when Bill O'Reilly as well as Rush Limbaugh call Dr. George Tiller "Doctor Killer" and cheer his assassination. The double standard of the right fucking slays me.
Reps. Brad Miller of North Carolina and Brian Baird of Washington, both Democrats, have both received death threats--Miller from a caller who was upset that he was not holding a public forum and Baird via fax a day after he described town hall demonstrators as "a lynch mob." I predict it's only going to get worse...especially if health care passes.
Because these people aren't interested in honest debate or dissent. They have found an outlet for their hyper irrationality and are going to roll with it until they get what they want.
A good ol' fashioned lynching...just like them old days, pappy! And the best part? The base and their supporters will spin it as a good thing for our country.
Note: Please disregard any connection between the fact that all of the protesters are white and our president is black. And any unpleasant connection between the image of lynchings and black people. There is no racism on the right...there is no racism on the right (pause for a gulp of the kool aid)...there is no racism on the right...
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Then one day, a man named Jakarra Hussein kills Sam Tinkerbell, is caught, and sent to prison. Is Mohammad guilty of sedition and/or domestic terrorism? Or at least conspiracy to kill?
Well, is he?
Saturday, August 08, 2009
The above comment was made by former Alaskan governor Sara Palin in regards to President Obama's health care plan. Here is one from a chain email which I'm sure that some of you have seen.
On Page 425 of Obama’s health care bill, the Federal Government will require EVERYONE who is on Social Security to undergo a counseling session every 5 years with the objective being that they will explain to them just how to end their own life earlier. Yes…They are going to push SUICIDE to cut medicare spending!!!
As I mentioned earlier in the week, one of the many bits of insanity that are coming out at these town hall meetings from the right (disseminated by their propaganda network) is that the Obama bill will force euthanasia. I'll put some videos up in the next day or two in which seemingly ordinary Americans are comparing Obama to Hitler.
Taking our shuttle back to earth, we can see that these claims are flat out wrong. From factcheck.org.
In truth, that section of the bill would require Medicare to pay for voluntary counseling sessions helping seniors to plan for end-of-life medical care, including designating a health care proxy, choosing a hospice and making decisions about life-sustaining treatment. It would not require doctors to counsel that their patients refuse medical intervention.
Page 425 does deal with counseling sessions for seniors, but it is far from recommending a "Logan’s Run" approach to Medicare spending. In fact, it requires Medicare to cover counseling sessions for seniors who want to consider their end-of-life choices – including whether they want to refuse or, conversely, require certain types of care. The claim that the bill would "push suicide" is a falsehood.
And here is page 425.
So, essentially, this offers each individual more choice and help...a word that must mean "the devil" in wing nut land.
H.R. 3200, page 425: Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning, if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following:
(A) An explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to.
(B) An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses.
(C) An explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.
(D) The provision by the practitioner of a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning … .
(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.
(F)(i) Subject to clause (ii), an explanation of orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar orders … .
Factcheck goes on to explain why yet another right wing lie is wrong.
Friday, August 07, 2009
Based on my over 5 years of experience working in the health care field, and being a certified Paramedic in the state of Illinois, here is how my plan would work. Notice there is no cutting and pasting here from wikipedia.
The bottom line is that medicare IS the best system we have going right now in this country. IMO there needs to be more of a balance between medicare,private insurance, and co-pay.
Health care is one of the only industries where the government does not get the best rate for things. The company I work for gets better rates from Medica and UHG than the government does. Congress passed a law some time ago (not sure when) that stipulates that medicare cannot negotiate the price of anything while insurance companies can. I would reverse that so medicare IS allowed to negotiate for prices like everybody else.
Therefore I favor a medicare-style plan that EVERYBODY is on...sort of a National HMO if you will. 2 ways to go about this, and I’m not sure which way is the best...one way is to have hospitalizations covered 100%. Really expensive things like transplants and prescription drugs would NOT be covered under this. Everybody would have the option to purchase supplemental private insurance from insurance companies to cover such things based on their own or their families needs. The other way is to have all catastrophic things covered and have the option to buy private insurance for basic hospitalization or whatever else you want you and your family to be covered for. US companies would drop medical insurance as a benefit and they would get to keep that money for their own bottom line. Increase payroll taxes to pay for the plan.
Regarding co-pay, it is at about 20% now...increase it to 30% over a period of time...say 10 years or so…don’t implement that change right away all at once. Yes that will be painful to some people but no matter which way you go in this, somebody is going to get hurt and/or pissed off under any new plan. You have the option to buy private insurance from private insurance companies to help you out with co-pays.
In terms of implementing any new plan, the free market will determine the next great health care plan. When it will be successful will be when there is a market demand for it, sooner rather than later I bet. Maybe it will be something along the lines of what I typed. Maybe it will be some socialists wet dream, I don't know for sure. Whatever it is will come about because somebody has found a way to work with the free market and will allow people in the free market to sell services for a profit and the market has found that it is cheap, efficient, and is preferable to the current system. People have to want it, not be guilt tripped into accepting it (which is what I read when liberals tend to start spouting off on the subject). In other words, it can't be forced.
The main problem I still have is that US politicians and US government bureaucrats will be running the plan and the service we will receive and the implementation of the plan will be absolutely horrible and corruption just may rear its ugly head just a little, ya think? I mean, look at the areas that the government controls now – the post office, Department of Motor Vehicles, VA hospitals, Public Education…areas like those are horribly mismanaged with bureaucracies, corruption, overhead and waste as far as the eye can see, not to mention a poorly motivated workforce who all know it is impossible for them to get fired.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
The Healthy Americans Act was put forth by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a "Blue Dog" Democrat. The bill relies on the private insurance market while imposing a series of regulations to squeeze savings from the private sector. It also requires individuals to buy coverage for themselves, the controversial "individual mandate." This is similar to how each of us goes about getting auto insurance.
The thing I like about this bill is that it puts the controls for health care back into the hands of the individual. It has often been said that if insurance companies didn't run the health industry, people would look at the costs of some things and say no. I also like the regulation in an industry that has basically done whatever they wanted to do with costs for the last thirty years.
My problem with this bill is no public option. There has to at least be a public option. And there is the simple fact that such a radical restructuring could cause more damage to an already fragile system. The president said his discussions with Wyden are similar to those with people who advocate a single payer system. In theory, those plans work. As President Obama said of the plan, though.
The problem is, we have evolved partly by accident into an employer-based system. A radical restructuring would meet significant political resistance. Families who are currently relatively satisfied with their insurance but are worried about rising costs ... would get real nervous about a wholesale change.
And speaking of the single payer system, the final bill floating around DC is the United States National Health Care Act. This bill is a single payer system, similar to Canada's health care system, that was put forth by John Conyers. Of the three bills that seek to overhaul health care in the United States, this is the one that is being taken the least seriously. Although, you wouldn't know it by listening to hyper paranoid voices on the right.
In fact, virtually all single payer advocacy groups have been screaming at the top of their lungs that they are being excluded from the process...other than a pity meeting with Max Bachus. The fact is that this bill is never going to pass because our country, despite what the flat earthers will have you believe, is center right. Private industry will never be shut out of the process. It's too integral to our economy and our future as a nation. This is very true when it comes to health care. I do agree that competition spurs innovation and with a single payer system, we would not have that.
And that's why out of all three bills, I favor HR3200 out of all three. Primarily, it offers the best of both worlds and addresses the issue of how to pay for all of this. Wyden's bill relies too heavily on the private sector and Conyers bill will, in all likelihood, break the bank. We need to strike a balance and that's what this bill does. And this balance allows for traps and pitfalls that are going to occur along the way where the other two really don't.
It certainly isn't perfect but it is a start. We need a start. Simply doing nothing is not going to cut it.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
The first bill , which we will talk about today, is the one introduced by Ted Kennedy in the Senate and is also making the rounds in the House with Rep Dingell. It is also known as HR 3200. The bill requires that all American have health insurance similar to how all Americans must have auto insurance. Here are some of the highlights of the bill.
- Eliminating the Medicare Part D “donut hole” to help seniors. Each year, Seniors are forced to pay their full drug costs, despite having Part D drug coverage. The legislation would provide them with immediate relief, cutting brand name drug costs in the donut hole by 50%, and ultimately eliminate the donut hole.
- Relieving the burden of uncompensated care for hospitals and health care providers. Detractors of the bill don't like to talk about this one. The fact is that we are already spending taxpayer money on people who can't afford health insurance. This bill would end that as everyone would be insured.
- No deficit spending. The cost of health care reform under the legislation is fully paid for: half through making the Medicare and Medicaid program more efficient by eliminating waste and half through a surtax on the income of the wealthiest individuals aka the top one percent.
- Help for small businesses. Under the legislation, small businesses with 25 employees or less and average wages of less than $40,000 qualify for tax credits of up to 50% of the costs of providing health insurance. Don't believe the bullshit lie of the right that government run health care will ruin small business. It won't. What will ruin it is these same small businesses having to pay increase after increase...year after year.
- The bill provides health insurance for almost every American and provides common sense limits on annual out-of-pocket costs at $10,000 per year, ensuring that no citizen will have to face financial ruin because of high health care costs.
The controversy stems from a proposal to pay physicians who counsel elderly or terminally ill patients about what medical interventions they would prefer near the end of life and how to prepare instructions such as living wills. Under the plan, Medicare would reimburse doctors for one session every five years to confer with a patient about his or her wishes and how to ensure those preferences are followed. The counseling sessions would be voluntary.
But on right-leaning radio programs, religious e-mail lists and Internet blogs, the proposal has been described as "guiding you in how to die," "an ORDER from the Government to end your life," promoting "death care" and, in the words of antiabortion leader Randall Terry, an attempt to "kill Granny."
What part of the word "voluntary" doesn't the right understand? I guess words only have meaning when they like the meaning.
The bill has gone through many changes and I'm sure it will continue to evolve. This is the plan that President Obama favors and stands the best chance of passing. But is it a good bill?
For the most part, yes. The core of this bill is to offer the public another option--an option that will compete with private insurers. I think this is a good thing because it puts the control back in the hands of the individual. If you are spending too much money on health insurance every month...something that will not likely change as virtually all insurance companies won't lower their prices...you now have a public option. If you don't like the public option and can afford to spend a little more money, you can keep your private insurance. No one is going to force you to do anything.
Another criticism of this bill is that it will drive insurance companies out of business. To those who say this, I say...take a look at the profits of Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble and tell me if they have been hurt by public libraries. People buy books and people check out books. People might by some extra insurance if they are worried (which, of course, they will be) about waiting in long lines.
No one really knows how the organic process of this is going to evolve. The right will have you believe that we will all be boiling alive in a pit of sewage. How the fuck do they know? What are the basing it on? I'm basing my optimism on the proven track record of Medicare. They are basing their ideas on....what exactly....their rage and fear?
I can safely say that I think that if this bill passes, there are going to be problems....PROBLEMS LIKE WE HAVE RIGHT NOW!! But they are going to be, at the very least, manageable because we, the people, are actually addressing them. Things might need to be changed (gasp!) as time goes on and the kinks are worked out.
At the end of the day, this bill could give us an increase in healthier Americans. Healthier Americans mean more innovation in the work place, more money to invest in the stock market and more money to spend in a sagging economy.
In other words, it's another example of President Obama attempting to save capitalism.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Talk to most conservatives these days about health care and, generally speaking, they will tell you two things about the three health care plans floating around Congress right now.
One, if the government takes over health care, there will be rationing. In other words, old people, WATCH OUT! When you are old and sick, the US Government is going to take you out back and shoot you like a wounded horse.
Two, you will no longer be able to choose your doctor. The government will be choosing them for you.
Both of these points are fucking hilarious when you consider that both of them happen constantly with private insurance RIGHT NOW! As I often do, I tend to look at big issues like health care from the standpoint of my own kitchen table. So, let's take a look at these two points shall we?
About a year ago, a friend of mine from volleyball keeled over while biking and died. He was only 48 years old. We found out later that he his arteries were blocked and had he heeded his doctor's warnings about his high cholesterol, he might've lived. I asked my doctor about what options there were for me to check my arteries, other than the standard cholesterol check, and he said there were a variety of things I could do.
He then informed me that because I was under the age of 55 ALL of them were not covered by insurance. In fact, a simple chest scan, which would say whether or not I had blocked arteries, was never covered even after 55. Why? It is always deemed unnecessary by the insurance companies. All of them think that the blood test is just fine. The exam takes all of five minutes.
I live in a suburb of Minneapolis. This suburb has a Park Nicollet clinic that has served our family well for 13 years. Two months ago it was announced that due to budget issues, the clinic would be closing and the doctors scattered around the metro area. The doctors we go to will now be farther away than doctors at another clinic in neighboring suburb. So do we stick to our old doctors and spend the extra time and gas in the car? Or do we go to the new ones? Sounds like we are being forced into a choice of doctors.
So, you see that the "fear-shit your pants" scenario that is being floated out there by the right is really a load of shit. They don't actually have any real solution to health care. They just want to foment anger and fear in a very vocal and ignorant group of Americans...Americans, I might add, that we are now seeing yelling at town hall meetings because they are believing the two lies above.
Certainly, the plans linked above are not perfect. But they do address a very serious problem and at least attempt to do something about them. Read them for yourselves and see what you think. I will be talking more about them throughout the course of this week. In the meantime, ask a conservative what his plan is for a country that spends 16 percent of its GDP on health care and can't insure 46 million of its citizens. When he or she is done griping about lawsuits and sucking the cock of the status quo, ask him or her why we rank 50th in the world on life expectancy? Or why Costa Rica and Dominca have better health care than we do?
Ask them how they can be pro life and allow a system which currently is at least partially responsible (and that's being generous) for 7 out of 1000 babies dying every year after live births and 28,000 babies dying before they turn 1. We hear a lot of talk about what is wrong with the bills in Congress but there aren't many of them (1 by my count) who offer any sort of solution.
Think about this statement from comments yesterday.
I don't WANT to delegate something as personal and important as my healthcare decisions to a faceless bureaucrat thousands of miles away.
Exactly how is that any different from what insurance companies are doing now?
Monday, August 03, 2009
According to the article, insurers and HMOs have spent over 40 million dollars on current members of Congress in the past 10 years. This, of course, pales in comparison to the half a billion dollars they spent lobbying (aka lying) about the perils of government run health care.
Their tactics appear to be working. Late last week, the "liberal media" spent two news cycles reporting that Obama's approval ratings were slipping and this fact was largely due to his drive to pass health care. Even one short month ago, most Americans favored a public option (72 percent). Now it is just higher than 50 percent. And why?
Because conservatives (and their anal lubricant providers) have once again successfully used fear and ignorance as a tactic while the Democrats have spent the last few weeks trying to pull open a door that says "Push." Sadly, as a result, some Americans have done the usual "change-bad, same-good" caveman reaction to yet another classic Goebbelsesque propaganda campaign.
So, as is my duty as a fourth rate blogger, for the next few days, we are going to take a look at health care and separate the facts from the manufactured (surprise, surprise) reality by my colleagues on the right side of the aisle. I think it is going to be fun:)
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Gates was acting like an ass. His behavior, however, was NOT illegal. Crowley hooked him up and stuck him with BS charges for the offense of "contempt of cop". I highly doubt racism was a factor in this - I believe it was a petty tyrant with hurt feelings ruining the guys day, simply because he could. I think I would have been arrested had I behaved as Gates did, because cops have an expectation of deference from the ones they "serve". The fault lays with the cop - he's supposed to be the professional.
I agree completely. And thank you, Kevin, for having the viewpoint that I thought most conservatives would have on this issue.