Friday November 20th 2009
Townhall Friday! Anything Goes....
"Did the Mob Kill JFK" airs Sunday 11/22 8pm ET on The Discover Channel
Hour One: "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spends the hour with Thom discussing the issues and answering listener questions www.sanders.senate.gov
Breast cancer is such a politicized illness that it's like a tar-baby: touch it anywhere and you just get tangled up in it. Suffice it to say that it really should be up the woman to decide when she wants to be tested, and she should be pleased to know that no other illness receives as many dollars in research funding per death--helping to lead to a 95 percent cure rate if caught earlier, probably a better rate than almost any other cancer.
Anyways, one topic on Ron Reagan’s show on Wednesday was the question of whether Barack Obama should veto a health care bill if it includes the Stupak abortion amendment, which would restrict private insurers from covering abortion—and seems a contradiction of the Republican’s hands-off business stance. Beyond the hypocrisy, it seems illogical to include any Republican-backed amendment if it does bring any Republicans on board; perhaps we should assume that this amendment (and others that restrict reform) merely serves as a sop to the conservative sensitivities of Blue Dog Democrats.
In the end, what has this “bi-partisan” wrangling has wrought? One Republican vote, and that not even in support of reform, but to “continue” the “conversation.” Harry Reid, while he may be given credit for shepherding through a CBO-approved bill, he has not learned how to play the “game” (or Nancy Pelosi for that matter, considering the two votes to spare passage of the House bill). Or Obama, it must be confessed. LBJ knew how to play the game, managing to get his social agenda passed with the support of some conservative Southern Democrats—by horse-trading for votes. If conservative lawmakers wanted amendments or a “favor,” they could get it—but they had to vote for LBJ’s agenda, or else it was no deal. What we are seeing now seems nothing more than an effort to water down health care reform to the point where Democrats can make the quizzical claim that they did everything they could to appease the Republicans, that they took into account all their complaints and “suggestions,” and that in the end it the Republicans were never serious about reform. The problem, of course, is that the bill still contains all the elements the right wanted, but won’t vote for. Why keep those elements in then, and opt for an alternative, stronger bill? Well, there are still those pesky Blue Dogs who we’re not sure what they stand for that differentiates themselves from Republicans.
Keeping on the subject of health care, I checked an online insurance broker that provided a list of major (and minor) medical plans and their costs for individuals at a certain age. Your choices were either high premiums (over $1,000 a month) with “relatively” low co-pays, or low premiums ($100) with high co-pays—generally anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000 before the insurance company even considers paying a dime. It’s hard to see how low-income individuals (or families) can afford either option. Perhaps “indemnity” insurance isn’t that bad in comparison.
Also, a couple things I saw on CNN on Thursday: A report on a “charter school” in Arizona. I thought “charter schools” were supposed to provide an educational opportunity for the underprivileged—not for whites (and a few Asians) who want to avoid having to sit next to those “Mexicans” in public schools. Also, there was a discussion if the military was guilty of being “PC” in the Hassan case. It must be admitted that Hassan’s behavior at Walter Reed would have gotten him fired in a civilian environment. But you can’t just “fire” someone in the military; there has to be a judicial process demonstrating criminal acts or deliberate actions opposed to good order. And let’s be honest: In this country, we show no concern about the activities of hate groups or white supremacist groups—even after they have carried out racial “executions.” We know that white supremacists have infiltrated the military, and no doubt there has been suspicious communications; but we’d only become “aware” that anything was wrong after the fact, and then the act is at best labeled a “hate” crime, rather than an act of domestic terrorism. We must always take care in what the real agenda of the anti-PC activists is, moreover: to be allowed to express their racism publicly and without fear of contradiction.
Mark, you are sure right. Any questions I ask about the possible legitimacy of the new recommendations are instantly criticized. I sure understand why our emotions are tangled up around this issue, but I would like more tools and answers to reason this through. I distrust so much of mainstream medicine, anyway, and have avoided those tests but its due to irrational reasoning. What we need to know is whether or not these new recommendations are being made to reduce the cost of health care by sacrificing women's health or if the studies are implying something doctors aren't wanting to talk about.
Liberals AND Conservatives in both houses of Congress are calling for the resignation of Tim Geithner -
While we're at it, guys, Larry Summers is no bargain either, unless you're an executive at USG (the United Sachs of Goldmerica).
I'd personally feel lots better about Barack Obama (whose poll numbers continue to slide) if, upon his return from the Asia trip, he ditched these two apologists for the continuation of the "Wall Street as Casino" economy we've created, and did somethings to create JOBS for AMERICANS!
9th Circuit eviscerates "rational basis" for DOMA:
What with Sarah Palin out and about, it’s time for all Americans to think more seriously about her message, especially when it comes to the socialist menace. Palin began using the S word to refer to Obama back during the campaign, and in June she sadly told Sean Hannity that socialism is “where we are headed” under the new administration.
But the Palin’s warnings may have come too late, since the nation had meandered far down the pink path long before she raised the alarm. Socialism has already wormed its way into the national fabric, hastening its rot. In Maine, home of the simple, taciturn, penny pinching, shrewd yankee of yore, Sam Smith, a veteran blogger with an independent streak, has pulled together a chilling list of socialistic enterprises you may unwittingly be helping to support. If we’re really going to deep six socialism, here’s how Sam thinks we should start:
This is a must read article!!!
Thom, how is this article a jobs stimulus plan to help Americans?
Americans have the creativity to resolve the unemployment problem if we truly believed that we are all part of God's children.
For a democracy to move forward the few need to believe that they a responsibility to help the many.
Thom mentions the placement of solar panels for homes to create jobs and saves energy.
I also believe that that we mass transit in our country. Mass transportation would create numerous jobs for Americans.
Upgrading of our roads and bridges would also create jobs.
The problems are not where are the jobs; the problem is the will to create these jobs.
If Americans love Americans, they have the ingenuity to create these jobs with answers.
Link to GreenHawks, just mentioned on the show:
Anything goes Friday!
Here is another reason to leave Afghanistan.
Will Americans ever learn from history?
I am a thyroid cancer survivor. I am not a zealous breast cancer test advocate, but I do believe in early and regular screening. (Both my mother AND mother-in-law's breast cancers were detected early through mammogram screening.)
Cancer seems to be ubiquitous in contemporary life. My belief is that many of us have been poisoned by environmental pollutants and are, therefore, in more need of therapy. Yes, there may be corporate health care leeches taking advantage of this situation, but that, to me, doesn't negate the need for more screening.
Please forgive me if I sounded too dogmatic in my last post. I do think each woman needs to be informed and comfortable with her position on cancer screening. ( I am not as faithful to mammogram screening as I should be, probably because I go in for thyroid cancer screening periodically and I can psychically take just so much ...)
My father was a dentist and my mother a registered nurse, so perhaps I have more faith in medical arts because of it.
Health Reform? Some should return to "Reform School"...The late Wayne Morse pointed out "The problem with 'half a loaf' is that it kills the appetite for change."
Question: Perhaps I'm not looking hard enough, but after staying up all night Wed. night, going over the Senate plan, making comments and marking spots for later reference; I can't find HOW, in ANY way except negatively, this particular plan will affect small business. My landlord-a GREAT guy, wants to keep up on this as he owns the printing business underneath my apartment and can no longer afford to carry health insurance on his 2 employees. The ONLY thing I found was that if he DOESN'T begin carrying insurance, he will be penalized. Am I missing something?
And for the record-as a former healthcare professional of over 25yrs who "survived" the pre-existing condition SCAM 11yrs ago, (after a spinal injury), who lost everything and was "forced", (read: Priced out), to go on disability, and who has been a single-payer advocate for MANY years: THIS BILL *SUCKS*!! IMHO, in it's present form, I believe this "change" has the potential of making our healthcare system even more unaffordable, inaccessible, and rewarding the insurance industry with one of their biggest "stimulus packages" in history. It also may well force the quality of medical care in this Country to drop even farther down the scale than it is already.
Pay off the Taliban, buy out the poppy farmers, and provide Afghani's with another industry as Thom suggested; bring our boys home, and put some of that savings into building a DECENT Health Care system!!
Everyone have a Great weekend!!
Ft. Hood...named for a "traitor" ...Confederate General John Bell Hood...Didn't he pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the UNITED STATES against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC?
1) Yesterday Sen. Kent Conrad stated that countries like France, Germany and Japan have employer-based health care systems with not-for-profit insurance intermediaries. He thinks they are the best systems in the world. (Dylan Ratigan disagreed with him that these were NOT employer-based systems, but Conrad insisted they ARE.) (Approx. Min. 6:12 to end of video):
2) Conrad says the book Healing America, by T.R. Reid, is the guide he is using. Do you know anything about it and could you talk about it (if you haven’t already?)
The Great Eight
I need to share with you a dream I had. President Obama had sent his secret service staff to take me to Washington, D.C. I was taken to Camp David in the mountains of Maryland. The president said to me when we met that he had read some of my comments and he wants me to put together a team to share information with him in helping our world move forward, especially the United States. I could not leave Camp David until I had a list of names to be on my team.
I have many names for the list but I wanted to keep the team small enough to be a workable team. Here are the names for the team – Bishop Thomas Gumbleton (a peace activist cleric), Thom Hartmann, Paul Craig Roberts, Ray McGovern, Stephen Lendman, Rachel Maddow, Karen Kwiatkowski (a retired military officer), and Joan Walsh (writer and editor for Salon magazine). These eight are the core for my team.
I have four names to be called in as consultants – Doug Soderstrom, to offer inspirational words, Ed Schultz, to offer passionate pep talks on various subjects, Robert Reich, to share his economic information, and John Perkins, to keep us informed as to the United States’ predatory ways to take control over a country’s human and natural resources.
At the start of each meeting we would read the lyrics from John Lennon’s song, “Imagine.” Some words may be altered to meet current times but the central theme of his song will evident to all who read the words.
The date, time, and place were not set because my wife in her melodic voice asked me a question that awakened me from my dream, “Jerry, what time is it?”
What a lovely dream!
Lindsey Graham’s comments about Osama getting Miranda rights on some rubble out-crop in Pakistan are absurd. First of all, the Miranda ruling does not, ”give” any rights. What the Supreme Court in that case determined was that cops, once they have conducted a custodial arrest, must warn the person arrested that they have certain rights. Those rights include the right not to talk, (confess), the right to have a lawyer present before you talk, (confess), and if you give up the right not to talk, (CONFESS), what you say, (YOUR CONFESSION), will be used against you in court. Many times in my practice I have clients proudly tell me that their case was going to be easy because, “They didn’t read me my rights.” My question to them is usually, “So what did you tell them?” The answer is, usually, “Well nothing, they didn’t ask me anything.” So, nothing can be used against them in court. That is the remedy when Miranda is violated by the cops. What was said cannot be used against the defendant in criminal proceedings.
My concern with bringing these cases to the Federal Court is a little different. On MSNBC the other day I was listening to whore monger Elliot Spitzer interviewed about the evidence gathered by torture. It was his opinion that what would probably happen would be that the judge would consider the evidence, allow the jury to hear it but then instruct them that they should only give it the weight it deserves because it was coerced. The old weight versus admissibility argument relied on by the state to squeeze in heretofore inadmissible evidence. Tragically, Spitzer might well be correct. Judges will be loathe to exclude evidence in a case like this and if evidence gathered as a result of torture is admissible against these defendant’s based on an instruction from the judge that the jury must only give it the, “weight it deserves” pandora’s box will be opened for law enforcement to do exactly the same thing to you and me.
I was hoping that we could discuss the new recommendations for breast cancer screening again. Women who feel their lives were saved by early cancer screening are very angry about the new recommendations, but the problem is that no one is willing to ask the question, "Was I one of the people treated unnecessarily? How do I know that my cancer wouldn't have healed itself without the treatment? Or did my body heal it itself in spite of the toxic cancer treatments?" After going through the horrors of cancer treatment and surviving, no one would ever want to believe that this treatment was not necessary.
I do not blame women for not wanting to ask this question. I wouldn't want to ask that question either.
All of the comments made about this new study have been made about the actual detection of cancer, but it seems to me that this study is not indicting early detection but rather indicting toxic cancer treatments and their actual benefits. We are focusing on mammograms in our discussions when we should be having honest discussions about the true effectiveness of chemotherapy. The study proves that we need to take pharm profits from overzealous oncologists who may be guiding women to have aggressive treatment simply to pay for their lifestyle.
Am I wrongheaded here?
Basically the study