Arizona death panel? State Medicaid cuts poised to let some poor patients die. A law in Arizona that cuts Medicaid funding for certain transplant operations is likely to bring about the deaths of poor residents in need of such procedures.
Starting in October, a measure passed by the Republican-led state legislature began denying Medicaid funds for organ transplants such as bone-marrow, lung, heart and liver transplants, which can be very expensive and are often performed in life-threatening cases.
The New York Times reports that Arizona doctors deem it “a death sentence for some low-income patients, who have little chance of survival without transplants and lack the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to pay for them.”
I know from personal experience with friends, family and co-workers that liver and bone marrow transplants are not some sci-fi medical experimentation. They have become standard treatment. Taking these transplant options away is a death sentence. While Arizona legislators and Governor Gov Jan Brewer(R) deserve the verbal lashing they are getting, this institutionalized death panel business has been around for a while. Sarah Palin simultaneously lied and proved her ignorance of the issue when she claimed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provided for death panels. Death panels have been a fringe benefit of the oh so awesome private health insurance industry for years.
As far as pundits go Charles Blow is among the better ones even with his tendency to bend over backwards to be fair to conservatives and their motivations. In regards to Sarah Palin and the current political climate he doesn’t seem to get the dynamics at work – She Who Must Not Be Named
This is it. This is the last time I’m going to write the name Sarah Palin until she does something truly newsworthy, like declare herself a candidate for the presidency. Until then, I will no longer take part in the left’s obsessive-compulsive fascination with her, which is both unhealthy and counterproductive.
She’s the Zsa Zsa Gabor of American politics. She once did something noteworthy, but she’s now just famous for being famous.
Someone recently called Palin the Paris Hilton of politics – the paparazzi darling famous for simply being famous. I thought the comparison an injustice to M’s Hilton.
What Blow does not understand about the Palin as wing-nut rock star phenomenon is that moderate minded Americans cannot win the message war. If the media, pundits and big blog sites do not cover her they are accused of political bias, gender bias and thinking of themselves as too elite to cover Palin – the latest plastic roots hero of the right. If the same people cover Palin – and simply report what she said – as in the recent gaffe about North Korea being our allies, than the elites are out to get Palin. If Palin’s speeches on any aspect of public policy are scrutinized for truth, accuracy and feasibility, those doing the analysis are out to get her. Palin has not suffered from the rough and tumble of modern politics more than anyone else. Many Americans are too busy trying to keep their jobs or find a job or pay for junior’s dental work to shed tears over Palin’s latest whine about hurt feelings. Palin, a paid up member of the play the victim card conservative whiners club is stunned that people with real problems do not sympathize with someone who became a millionaire because of the right-wing cult of personality. Blow has simply chosen option one. Now he will be considered by some to be a liberal elite and misogynist against female conservatives. If he had chosen option two there would be consequences of equal severity. The later is a mistake moderate rationally minded Americans made for years – ignore the nutjobs like Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Bill O’Reilly, Michelle Malkin or Ann Coulter because no person of reasonable intelligence and temperament will take them seriously. Individually it is debatable they have all the earth-shaking influence they claim to have – taken as a group they create the mindless chatter, the alternate reality, the bizarro world that comprises the right-wing noise machine. That noise machine, as silly, shallow and devoid of integrity as it is manages to convince enough of that small fraction of fence sitters to squeeze out electoral victories of minuscule margins.
One of the allegedly last moderate Republicans joins her cohorts in holding DADT hostage – Collins And Brown Announce Support For Repeal, Day Two Of Hearings In 9 Minutes
Moments ago, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) in announcing that she would vote to proceed to the National Defense Authorization Act — the legislation that contains Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal — under an open amendment process. Collins added that she would vote for the legislation “once the tax issue is resolved.” Brown did not overtly attach any conditions to his vote, stating simply, “I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.”
Collins, McCain(R-AZ) and most of the Republican Senate caucus are willing to let gay members of the military die for their country – as long as they keep their sexuality a secret. But not will not rest until multimillionaires are relived of the specter of paying the same taxes they paid under Saint Ronnie.
He accused the Republicans of holding middle class tax cuts “hostage” to tax cuts for the wealthy. That’s a common Democratic line, but Menendez took the analogy a step further.
Asked if Democrats have a responsibility to move forward with a bill that can become law – in other words, a bill Republicans will support and not block– here’s what Menendez said:
“Do you allow yourself to be held hostage and get something done for the sake of getting something done, when in fact it might be perverse in its ultimate results? It’s almost like the question of do you negotiate with terrorists.”
John Cole gets the quote of the day in response –
Negotiating with Republicans is like negotiating with terrorists, although there is a slight difference. Usually, terrorists are more straight-forward with their demands. Republican demands shift with every day, and to demonstrate, here is Susan Collins.
Let’s all cross our fingers and hope Menendez does not apologize for telling the truth. I don’t have time to find and list all the incidents where conservatives straight up accused Democrats or anyone who disagreed with them of being terrorist sympathizers sans the “almost” qualifier, but here is one – Maddow uses Liz Cheney’s logic: Bush admin hired terrorist sympathizers
The ad, produced by Cheney’s conservative group Keep America Safe, suggests that lawyers who defend detainees accused of terrorism are lacking American values and specifically accuses seven lawyers hired by the Obama administration to serve in the justice department of sympathizing with terrorists.
In her show Friday night, Maddow followed that reasoning to its logical conclusion. Maddow gives three examples of lawyers who advocated for the rights of detainees before being hired by the Bush administration, including Pratik Shah, who argued in the defense of a Guantanamo prison detainee.
“So, did Bush and Cheney hire Pratik Shah to bring a terrorist sympathizer into the department of jihad — I mean justice?” she said.
The other two examples are Varda Hussain, who defended three Guantanamo detainees, and Trisha Anderson, who defended 13 Yemeni prisoners. Both were ultimately hired by the Bush administration. “I would love to ask Liz Cheney these questions in person,” Maddow said, adding that Cheney has refused interviews with the program.
Mitt Romney tries to show off his national security credentials and has a massive fail – Stop START
Nuclear treaty limits America’s options for missile defense. By Mitt Romney. It is not that Romney is only lying, distorting, telling half-truths and fundamentally failing to understand the new START treaty to argue against Democrats. He is also arguing against the Republican history of arms control, The Republican case for ratifying New START – By Henry A. Kissinger, George P. Shultz, James A. Baker III, Lawrence S. Eagleburger and Colin L. Powell. Shultz and Eagleburger in particular, were right-wingers before Sarah Palin figured out Russia was just across the Bering Straight.
As a result, we urge the Senate to ratify the New START treaty signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. It is a modest and appropriate continuation of the START I treaty that expired almost a year ago. It reduces the number of nuclear weapons that each side deploys while enabling the United States to maintain a strong nuclear deterrent and preserving the flexibility to deploy those forces as we see fit.
Some days it is like we’re back in the 60s or 70s and the right is hiding under their beds from the Red Menace – Scare Tactics
Treaty critics rely heavily on scare tactics to advance their causes. In times of polarity, conviction politics can override substance – especially when blocking action does not require a majority vote. So naysayers borrow scripts developed for the talking heads on Fox, on the assumption that if arguments unsupported by facts are repeated often enough, enough people – in this instance Senators – will believe them to be true.
Opponents of the New START agreement reprise classic Cold War arguments. As in the 1970s, they argue that the treaty makes America more vulnerable to attack and unable to be properly defended. Since the Soviet Union and the ABM Treaty are both dead, this line of argument takes some explaining, especially since New START permits the United States to maintain the strongest nuclear deterrent on the planet, secures additional billions to modernize the nuclear weapons complex, and allows as much of a build up of missile defenses as the administration, the Pentagon, and the Congress see fit to pursue.