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Archive for June 28th, 2009

‘LRC’: In Defense of Auto-Eroticism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

‘LRC’: In Defense of Auto-Eroticism

Left, Right & Center

On this week’s “Left, Right & Center” it’s lots of sex, a little health care and even less Michael Jackson. Is sexual repression a uniquely Republican problem? Discuss.

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William Fisher: A Hobbesian Choice for Obama?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

William Fisher: A Hobbesian Choice for Obama?
If Obama opts for “indefinite detention” a large slice of his base constituency will go ballistic. So, if he were a cynic, his political calculus might be: “Where can they go?” John McCain?

Jacob M. Appel: The Coming Ethical Crisis: Oxygen Rationing
One of the questions that will face our society when a future pandemic proves more deadly is how our public health authorities ought to allocate ventilators.

Republican John Boehner: ‘Where Are The Jobs?’ From The Stimulus
WASHINGTON — Republicans concerned about the Obama administration’s big spending on economic stimulus, energy and health care are asking, “Where are the jobs?” “The president…

Most Americans Want Sotomayor On Court
A sizable majority of Americans want the Senate to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and most call her “about right” ideologically, according to a…


Forbes ‘ Karlgaard alleges funereal message in Obama’s black tie — which wasn’t black

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Forbes ‘ Karlgaard alleges funereal message in Obama’s black tie — which wasn’t black

On the June 27 edition of Forbes on Fox, host David Asman introduced a segment about “saving lives versus saving money,” and then aired a clip of President Obama stating during the June 24 ABC health care forum, “At least we can let doctors know and your mom know, that you know what, maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.” Later in the segment, Forbes publisher Rich Karlgaard claimed of Obama’s remarks: “[W]hat he’s indicating is that government health care involves rationing. It’s kind of funny that he let it slip out. It was kind of funny he signaled it by wearing a black tie, the color of funerals. There’s going to be more funerals for old people going ahead.” However, as the full context of the remarks Asman aired make clear, Obama, who was not wearing a black tie at the event, was specifically referring to medical procedures that are “not making anybody’s mom better” and “additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care.”

From the ABC special, with the portion of Obama’s remarks that Asman aired in bold:

[W]hat we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that’s not making anybody’s mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what? Maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.

And those kinds of decisions between doctors and patients, and making sure that our incentives are not preventing those good decision, and that — that doctors and hospitals all are aligned for patient care, that’s something we can achieve.

Contrary to Karlgaard’s claim that Obama “w[ore] a black tie, the color of funerals,” the tie Obama wore during the ABC forum was not black:

obamatie

From the June 27 edition of Fox News’ Forbes on Fox:

DAVID ASMAN: But first, saving lives versus saving money. To the most controversial statement President Obama’s ever made about national health care. Take a listen.

OBAMA : At least we can let doctors know and your mom know, that you know what, maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.

ASMAN: Now, is the president saying he wants government-run health care to make that call? Hi, everybody, I’m David Asman. Welcome to Forbes on Fox. Let’s go “In Focus” with Steve Forbes — by the way, don’t miss his great new book about making great leaders, Power, Ambition, Glory. also here, Rich Karlgaard, Elizabeth MacDonald, Neil Weinberg, along with John Rutledge and Quentin Hardy. Steve, let’s start with you.

FORBES: Hey, money is always going to triumph lives. We’ve seen that in socialized medicine in other countries. In Britain, for example, if you’re above a certain age, you need kidney dialysis, you’re not going to get it. They always put — in Holland, they have euthanasia. And in this country, they’re all going to point out, well, in of the last three months, you spend most of the money — or in the last six months, why not just take that painkiller and be done with it, and look at all the money we’ll save? So, yes, money will — and with government, unlike business sector, in government, money will trump over lives.

ASMAN: So, E-Mac, was the president saying that government will call the shots?

MacDONALD: I don’t think right in that quote, but he better not be saying that. But you know, I personally have seen, you know, doctors with their interns scribbling on clipboards trying out, test-driving new medical equipment on the indigent poor who don’t have the families there to tell them to stop — resuscitative machines, all sorts of things. And, you know, we know that fee-for-service has driven surgery rates up higher because they get paid on the amount of surgeries you do.

I agree with Steve, though. You know, Tom Daschle talking about a health care, you know, a health federal reserve. What are they going to set, health inflation targets? The issue is, David, do you want bureaucrats deciding the rules here and who gets to spend the money, who gets to be the beneficiaries of the money? And it could get politicized.

ASMAN: Rich Karlgaard, is the president saying that government will be calling the shots here?

KARLGAARD: Well, what he’s indicating is that government health care involves rationing. It’s kind of funny that he let it slip out. It was kind of funny he signaled it by wearing a black tie, the color of funerals. There’s going to be more funerals for old people going ahead.

The thing that worries me most is whenever the government gets involved, you know, it apportions things by political favors. I mean, that’s the Chicago way. So we’re going to see certain political groups getting more health-care favors than others.

From ABC’s June 24 Primetime Questions for the President: Prescription for America:

SAWYER: And we have with us a couple of people who really represent the opposite ends on this spectrum too. I want to talk, if I can, to Jane Sturm. Your mother, Hazel – Hazel Homer —

JANE STURM: Yes.

SAWYER: — 100 years old and she wanted —

STURM: She’s 105 now, over 105. But at 100, the doctor had said to her, I can’t do anything more unless you have a pacemaker. I said, go for it. She said, go for it. But the arrhythmia specialist said, no, it’s too old. Her doctor said, I’m going to make an appointment, because a picture is worth a thousand words. And when the other arrhythmia specialist saw her, saw her joy of life and so on, he said, I’m going for it.

So that was over five years ago. My question to you is, outside the medical criteria for prolonging life for somebody elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, quality of life? Or is it just a medical cutoff at a certain age?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, I want to meet your mom, and I want to find out what she’s eating. But, look, the first thing for all of us to understand is that we actually have some — some choices to make about how we want to deal with our own end-of-life care. And that’s one of the things I think that we can all promote, and this is not a big government program. This is something that each of us individually can do, is to draft and sign a living will so that we’re very clear with our doctors about how we want to approach the end of life.

I don’t think that we can make judgments based on peoples’ spirit. That would be a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that say that we are going to provide good, quality care for all people.

GIBSON: But the money may not have been there for her pacemaker or for your grandmother’s hip replacement.

OBAMA: Well, and — and that’s absolutely true. And end-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we’re going to have to make. I don’t want bureaucracies making those decisions, but understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another. If they’re not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they’re being made by private insurers.

We don’t always make those decisions explicitly. We often make those decisions by just letting people run out of money or making the deductibles so high or the out-of-pocket expenses so onerous that they just can’t afford the care. And all we’re suggesting — and we’re not going to solve every difficult problem in terms of end-of-life care. A lot of that is going to have to be we as a culture and as a society starting to make better decisions within our own families and for ourselves.

But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that’s not making anybody’s mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what? Maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.

And those kinds of decisions between doctors and patients, and making sure that our incentives are not preventing those good decisions, and that — that doctors and hospitals all are aligned for patient care, that’s something we can achieve. We’re not going to solve every single one of these very difficult decisions at end of life, and ultimately that’s going to be between physicians and patients. But we can make real progress on this front if we work a little bit harder.


Sanford Learned Of Emails Hours Before Confession

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Sanford Learned Of Emails Hours Before Confession
We hate to kick a guy when he’s down. But as we get a clearer picture of exactly how the events surrounding Mark Sanford’s admission of an extra-marital affair went down, it’s seeming more and more likely that the randy…

Report: Obama Admin Drafts Memo To Detain Terror Suspects Indefinitely
The latest installment in the Obama administration’s tendency to mimic the Bushies on war on terror tactics: The Washington Post and Pro Publica report: The Obama administration, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close Guantanamo, has…

Sanford: King David Didn’t Resign, So Why Should I?
digg_url = ‘http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/sanford_king_david_didnt_resign_so_i_wont_either.php’; reddit_url = ‘http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/sanford_king_david_didnt_resign_so_i_wont_either.php’; reddit_title = ‘Sanford: King David Didn’t Resign, So Why Should I?’; Mark Sanford has been holding a televised cabinet meeting this afternoon. And the South Carolina governor started out by using an interesting…






The Tattlesnake – Sanford Scandal Lays Bare American Inequality Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – Sanford Scandal Lays Bare American Inequality Edition
There’s Justice for the Mark Sanford’s and Then There’s Justice for the Rest of Us “The vices of the rich and great are mistaken for error; and those of the poor and lowly, for crimes.” – Lady Marguerite Blessington The Tattlesnake isn’t quite as forgiving as was Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown June 26. Alter said […]


Settlements: The Myth of Natural Growth PLUS Video Showing Palestinians Are Lost Tribe Of Israel

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Settlements: The Myth of Natural Growth PLUS Video Showing Palestinians Are Lost Tribe Of Israel
Moshe Yaroni is doing the best writing I’ve seen lately on President Obama’s call for a settlement freeze. In this piece in Jewcy, Dr. Yaroni debunks the whole natural increase myth (the argument that a settlement freeze will prevent settler…


Sponsored Topics: Barack ObamaIsraelUnited StatesHuman settlementMiddle East

Meet the ‘settlers’ lawyer’ – Elliott Abrams
Elliott Abrams has an oped in today’s Wall Street Journal trying to defend Ariel Sharon’s legacy, and evidently further ruin the Bush administration’s. In his article, “Hillary Is Wrong About the Settlements,” he attempts to show that there was a…


Sponsored Topics: Elliott AbramsAriel SharonWall Street JournalMiddle EastBush administration


Steele: I ?just need to learn how to shut up and listen.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Steele: I ?just need to learn how to shut up and listen.?
RNC chairman Michael Steele attended a town hall forum at the Detroit Athletic Club yesterday, an event “meant to establish a dialogue with Republicans in urban centers.” Steele was largely silent on recent GOP scandals and made fewer controversial or silly comments than he has in the past, telling the audience, “My mama told […]

steeleredbluee RNC chairman Michael Steele attended a town hall forum at the Detroit Athletic Club yesterday, an event “meant to establish a dialogue with Republicans in urban centers.” Steele was largely silent on recent GOP scandals and made fewer controversial or silly comments than he has in the past, telling the audience, “My mama told me when I was a little boy: ‘You just need to learn how to shut up and listen.’” A sampling of what he heard at the forum, according to the Detroit News:

Marie Kaigler-Reese, a Ph.D student at Michigan State University, said that is not enough. She said the party takes African Americans like herself and trots them out to show they care about blacks but does nothing to address matters like corruption in Detroit’s City Hall.

(Republicans) “are out of touch,” she said, noting her son has become so disenfranchised with the party he has become a Democrat and is running for office in Ohio. “Michael Jackson is dead. God rest his soul. I am not going to be the Michael Jackson of the Republican Party. You will not use me until I am dead.

Claire McCaskill Tweets That Clean Energy Bill Will ?Unfairly Punish? Missouri
Last night, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which will establish the first national standards for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and global warming pollution. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) responded on Twitter this morning, saying that the legislation’s cap on carbon pollution would “unfairly punish” Missouri’s families and businesses: Missouri gets […]

Last night, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which will establish the first national standards for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and global warming pollution. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) responded on Twitter this morning, saying that the legislation’s cap on carbon pollution would “unfairly punish” Missouri’s families and businesses:

Claire McCaskill tweets on cap and trade

Missouri gets 85 percent of its electricity from coal and is home to the world’s largest coal company, Peabody Energy. Peabody has spent neatly $10 million lobbying against climate legislation since 2008. In reality, the cap-and-trade system the House passed fully protects states now dependent on coal, with multi-billion-dollar programs for advanced coal technology. “My focus in the shaping of the bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee was to keep electricity rates affordable and to enable utilities to continue using coal,” coal-district Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) explained during yesterday’s debate. “Both of these goals have been achieved.”

In his weekly video address, President Barack Obama congratulated “the House for passing this bill, and urged “the Senate to take this opportunity to come together and meet our obligations – to our constituents, to our children, to God’s creation, and to future generations.” He also asked senators like McCaskill not to be “prisoners of the past“:

Now my call to every Senator, as well as to every American, is this: We cannot be afraid of the future. And we must not be prisoners of the past. Don’t believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth. It’s just not true.

Watch it:


Health-Care Activists Are Targeting Democrats Who Are Usually Allies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Health-Care Activists Are Targeting Democrats Who Are Usually Allies
In the high-stakes battle over health care, a growing cadre of liberal activists is aiming its sharpest firepower against Democratic senators who they accuse of being insufficiently committed to the cause.

Homeland Security, Pentagon Clash on Military’s Role at Mexico Border
A proposal to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to counter drug trafficking has triggered a bureaucratic standoff between the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security over the military’s role in domestic affairs, according to officials in both departments.

The Sunday Take: Parties Try Again to Fix the Primary Process
There is no end to the complaints about the way the two political parties select their presidential nominees. As the litany goes, the process begins too early, gives undue influence to a handful of small, unrepresentative states and has encouraged a disorderly leapfrogging by other states that has…

Most Americans Want Sotomayor on Supreme Court, Poll Indicates
A sizable majority of Americans want the Senate to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and most call her “about right” ideologically, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.



How Obama is Changing the Press Conference

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 28th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

How Obama is Changing the Press Conference
John Dickerson, Slate

Germany Has Misread Islam
Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times

Pessimism Rising Despite Obama’s Popularity
Bill Schneider, Nat’l Jrnl

Shouldn’t ‘Realism’ Mandate Regime Change in Iran?