hard core con imagesIn the current Congress, Senate Republicans are using the filibuster “at a record-setting pace.” Last year, “there were a record 112 cloture votes. In the first two months of 2010, the number already exceeds 40,” and “with 10 months left to run in the 111th Congress, Republicans have turned to the filibuster or threatened its use at a pace that willmore than triple the old record.”  Since Democrats mostly represent larger states, and Republicans mostly represent smaller states, population-wise, even a 50-50 vote in the Senate is already heavily skewed to give disproportionate power to small-state Republicans.  But that's not enough - they want the representatives of about a quarter of Americans to have the power to advance or kill any legislation.  And to do it purely and simply to politically destroy President Obama by thwarting any of his legislative goals.  This is raw, naked, gutter Republican power politics, and it's not good for America.

In Strange News...As cyber bullying against climate scientists  increases, climate change denier Marc Morano adds, “Kick them while they’re down.” “They deserve to be publicly flogged.”  Apparently, Morano's call for cyberbulling of climate scientists is working.  Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has a 19-page document of "extremely foul, nasty, abusive" e-mails he's received just since November.


Leta A. Dally (not verified) 12 years 48 weeks ago

It is almost impossible to believe the heartlessness of the Republican Party. I am 61 and been looking for a full-time job for three years - I was laid off just as the Great Recession began because the company I worked for engaged in corporate greed, aka bigger is better, and got bit in the behind when the market and banks crashed. But the situation of all of us who were laid off is the same - many of us older and now without jobs. No one is enforcing The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and we are jobless and left out. We are expected to work longer to retire but can't find jobs to work at. What are we suppose to do?

SalmonNationWoman (not verified) 12 years 48 weeks ago

I have a few comments about the lies and misinformation regarding health care, but then I'm probably preaching to the choir.

First off, it's a complete misnomer to use the term "health care". It's disease management and it's for profit. Noboy should make profit off the suffering of others, but that's the underlying strategy of Disaster Capitalism (see Naomi Klein's book of the same title for more info)

I hold degrees Doctor of Chiropractic and Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine. My father is a retired surgeon, my mother a retired masters degreed nurse, so I've gotten the politics and seen the perks from both sides of the coin.

Today's guest doctor, an orthopedist from Atlanta, and his attitudes aren't that uncommon in the profession. Somewhere along the line, doctors of this ilk forget their oath of "Primum Non Nocere" and impart their own brand of predjudice, sexism and ageism on patients. They're bought and sold by big pharma, medical equipment manufacturers and insurance providers (despite their claims to be at odds with the latter).

It was my misfortune to personally experience just how many of this type actually exist when I torn an ACL (knee ligament) in 2005. I was demeaned and demoralized by a half dozen surgeons. I firmly believe there was deliberate and willful discrimination to cause suffering, loss of income and limit fair trade by preventing from practicing my professions. By the time I found a resepctful and compassionate surgeon, it was 15 months after the initial injury and I had injured other ligaments, tendons and muscle as well suffered nerve damage.

ACL reconstruction is a relatively simple outpatient procedure that's heavily dependent on quality, comprehensive rehab therapies to have a successful outcome. Physical therapists and PT assistants are another lot that lack compassion and competency on a large scale.

Long story short, I wound up a week in the hospital with a blood clot that was totally preventable, suffering the permanent effects of adverse medication reactions and unable to practice full-time or outside my own home where I can control exposure to the many allergens, gluten and chemicals that I now react to.

50,000 people die each year from complications of pneumonia or sepsis following inpatient procedures. The primary cause is poor sanitation and hygeine practices of the hospital staff. This is above and beyond the nearly 200,000 that die or are permanently disabled by so-called iatrogenic causes. Hospitals are death traps, great insurance or not.

I've personally ammended my advanced directive with a clause that states I'm not to be hospitalized overnight for any reason, even under full knowledge that no doing so might threaten my life. This may sound drastic to many of you but I'd rather take my chances than risk another nightmare that now causes me recurring night terrors.

I hear a lot about European or Canadian systems. I have friends from GB and CA that were shocked to learn that when an American needs a kidney transplant and the insurance company denies the procedure or only partially covers the costs, the family and friends are forced to hold fund-raisers, sell off their homes, cars, other assets and go irreversibly in debt to save their loved one.

I lived in Australia and was covered under their Medicare scheme. I've never received better care or felt more secure in my life. The doctors there weren't nearly as high-tech but they were far better, more compassionate doctors and rendered far better outcomes for me and my husband.

The system is not meant to optimize the best possible outcome or quality fo life for patients. Everything revolves around feeding the egoccentric doctors, administrators and insurance companies coffers so their quality of life attains the best possible outcome above and beyond their wildest expectations.

By no means do we have the best disease care system, simply because we are overflowing with expensive technologies. Medical doctors either forget their skills or they're not being trained to use them anymore. They can't diagnose a straight-forward case of anything without running expremely expensive diagnostics. Far too many tests have higher than necessary margin of error for false positives and conversely, false negatives.

The biggest downside to running all these tests is far too offen they're then used by the insurance companies against the patient. They use this backdoor info to fabricate "pre-exisitng conditions", raise the insured's risk to a higher than necessary tier of assignment so they can charge even higher premiums and/or exclude more comprehensive coverage.

Doctors don't rely at all on the most reliable tools available to them; their ears. They fail to get thorough patient history, history of the current complaint, family history or take the time to listen to all related symptoms and signs. They think they're infallible to the point of resisting pre-procedural checklists that could prevent many of those 200,000 "mistakes" every year. They even fail to have their support staff perform these tasks or follow up.

It will take more than a public option to provide all Americans with quality health care.

We need free education for all. That means chiropractic, Chinese Medicine, naturopathy, massage therapy and all other nationally recognised, licensed CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) practices.

We need to include all nationally recognised and licensed disciplines in a Medicare for all, non-profit system.

We need to require that all graduates of any of these programs provide care for a minimum of 2 years in an underserved area so all Americans get care.

We need to put an end to such drastic pay disparity between the specialities. Not that specialists shouldn't earn a higher salary juist not so obscenely.

We need to highly regulate and convert the malpractice industry to a non-profit system, not expand failed tort reform. For that matter, we probalby would be better off that all insurance be non-profit or returned to mutual benefit companies.

We need to get over the term "socialized" as misused for anything.

We need to realize human beings are our best and most valuable resource and treat them as such.

Thanks for reading my post.

SalmonNationWoman (not verified) 12 years 48 weeks ago

please excues the typos of my previous post but I think you'll still understand it.

SalmonNationWoman (not verified) 12 years 48 weeks ago

My boyfriend has been unemployed for 17 months. He seeks out job posting every day. Spends hours customizing resumes to suit the head hunters and HR people and still no job. He's 55, well-educated and OVER-QUALIFIED.

But here in Silicon Valley, he's not alone. I'm dumbfounded by this statistic I keep hearing that people over 50 only have a 3% unemployment rate. The unemployment rate for over 50's here is 37% (as quoted a few months back in San Jose Mercury). Over 40's fare only slightly better at 35%.

Justin was relieved and saddened to receive news today that he's been accepted to a program for teacher certification. Relieved that it is a step in the right direction (we think) and saddened that this is the viable offer in 17 months. But he can't earn money as a math and science teacher for at least 2 years and then at a 1/5th of his former earning power.

Meanwhile, they gave his job of 6 years to an H1-B visa engineer 1/2 his age from overseas that works even longer hours for less than 1/2 the pay.

That's the trend everywhere in the valley; hire much younger workers for a lot less money and work them to death, even on holidays.

Again please excuse typos. i'm using an ancient laptop with a cracked case that's cantankerous at best.

Anthony F (not verified) 12 years 48 weeks ago

The Bill that Jim Bunning made his stand against was ALREADY in existence 2 MONTHS BEFORE Congress passed Paygo. It was introduced on January 1st and dealt with extensions on Medicare payments to physicians, federal road construction, COBRA for unemployed, and unemployed benefits.

These were also EMERGENCY extensions and as "emergency" items they were EXEMPT from PAYGO (a new law passed by Congress to not borrow any money).

So, Bunning, who in the past has supported Bush's multiple tax cuts for the rich, which cost US $1.3+ trillion(passed by reconciliation), supported dumping taxpayer money into Pharma and Insurance companies through Medicare Part D, costing us $600 billion, and has previously supported extensions for the unemployment.

This man supported $2 TRILLION in unfunded BUSH bills, but steps on the unemployed families over $6.8 billion in emergency funds.

He demands PAYGO for a bill that is almost entirely exempt from PAYGO.

Even if it wasn't exempt, the bill was originated 2 months before PAYGO passed and only required 60 Senate votes to override PAYGO.

99 Senators were wiling to override paygo instead of sending the bill back to the House of Reps and costing valuable time.

The only item that may not have been "emergency" according to open congress is the medicare payments to doctors.

Now because of Bunnings amendment, they have to conference with the House and Vote again which will take how long?

Anthony F (not verified) 12 years 48 weeks ago

"On December 18, 2008, the Lexington Herald Leader reported that Sen. Bunning's non-profit foundation, the Jim Bunning Foundation, has given less than 25 percent of its proceeds to charity. The charity has taken in $504,000 since 1996, according to Senate and tax records; during that period, Senator Bunning was paid $180,000 in salary by the foundation while working a reported one hour per week. Bunning Foundation board members include his wife Mary, and Cincinnati tire dealer Bob Sumerel. In 2008, records indicate that Bunning attended 10 baseball shows around the country and signed autographs, generating $61,631 in income for the charity.[38] "The whole thing is very troubling," said Melanie Slone, Executive Director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington."

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