We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for August 24th, 2009

This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery
The proposed health reform plans rattling around Congress all ensure that the profits for corporations will increase and the misery for ordinary Americans will be compounded. READ THE WHOLE ITEM

By Chris Hedges

The proposed health reform plans rattling around Congress all ensure that the profits for corporations will increase and the misery for ordinary Americans will be compounded.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries



Obama Has Fewer Than Half of His Top Appointees In Place

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Obama Has Fewer Than Half of His Top Appointees In Place
WASHINGTON — As President Obama tries to turn around a summer of setbacks, he finds himself still playing without most of his own team. Seven…

Keli Goff: Why Gov. Paterson is Right: Race Will Cost Him His Job
What Paterson is experiencing is not racism but the reality check of a poor job performance review. What New Yorkers have a problem with is someone using racism as a shield for their own shortcomings.

Val Strange: Save Ferris!
As the revisionism of the Right continues full throttle, the Left should reflect on a maxim before school comes back to session: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

New Photo Shows Healthier Fidel Castro
HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) — A new photo of ailing Communist leader Fidel Castro surfaced on Sunday — the second in 10 days — revealing a…


Wallace crops VHA doc to falsely suggest Obama administration pressuring vets to end their lives

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Wallace crops VHA doc to falsely suggest Obama administration pressuring vets to end their lives

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace repeatedly cropped quotes from a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) document to falsely suggest that the Obama administration is pressuring veterans to end their lives prematurely and to accuse Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth of lying about it. In fact, contrary to Wallace’s false assertions, the document he referred to does not require doctors to direct veterans to what conservatives have labeled the “Death Book for Veterans.”

Wallace claims document directs VA doctors “to refer all veterans” to “Your Life, Your Choices”

From the August 23 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday:

 WALLACE: Secretary Duckworth, that’s just not true. The VHA put out a directive on July 2, 2009, and I want to put up two pages from that directive. The first one, Page 8. “Primary care practitioners are responsible for giving patients pertinent educational materials, e.g., refer patients to the ‘Your Life, Your Choices’ module.” And on Page 9, it says if they request more information, “patients may be directed to the exercises in ‘Your Life, Your Choices.’ “

So, as of July 2, 2009 — last month, more than a month ago — VA health practitioners were told to refer all veterans — not just end-of-life veterans, but all 24 million veterans — to this document, “Your Life, Your Choices.”

DUCKWORTH: Let me make a correction there, Chris. What our practitioners were told is to refer patients to any type of a tool. They can use Mr. [Jim] Towey’s [director of faith-based initiatives in the Bush administration] if they want to spend the $5 apiece. VA simply was not willing to buy his booklet at $5 per veteran at the time.

WALLACE: But how do you explain —

DUCKWORTH: This is a decision that was made by the previous administration.

WALLACE: It doesn’t say, “Give them access to anything.” I mean, in the specific VA booklet — it’s only about 15 pages long — it specifically refers to this booklet twice.

Wallace and Fox crop doc: actually directs patients to ” ‘Your Life, Your Choices’ … or other published resources”

Fox’s Page 8: Practitioners must give “patients pertinent educational materials (e.g., Refer patients to the ‘Your Life, Your Choices’ module…)”:

Actual Page 8: “Refer patients to the ‘Your Life, Your Choices’ module … or provide written material such as” VA’s advance directives doc. Page 8 of the July 2 release of a VHA Handbook titled “Advance Care Planning and Management of Advance Directives,” and signed by Acting Under Secretary for Heath Gerald M. Cross, states [emphasis added]:

Primary care practitioners are responsible for:

[…]

b. Giving patients pertinent educational materials (e.g., Refer patients to the “Your Life, Your Choices” module in MyHealtheVet at the web site http://www.myhealth.va.gov, or provide written material such as Appendix C).

Appendix C directs practitioners to a PDF of the VA’s “What You Should Know About Advance Directives” document, dated December 2006.

Fox’s Page 9: “Patients may be directed to the exercises in ‘Your Life, Your Choices'”:

Actual Page 9: “Patients may be directed to the exercises in ‘Your Life, Your Choices’ … or other published resources.” From the document [emphasis added]:

 VA must provide additional information about advance directives and/or assistance in completing forms for all patients who request this service. This assistance may be provided by social workers, or others who are appropriately trained, and must be available to patients in all clinical settings.

a. Content. Designated practitioners need to ensure that the patient understands the meaning of advance care planning and advance directives, including the information listed in subparagraphs 8b to 8f. For patients who already have an advance directive, practitioners also need to cover points in paragraph 8g and 8h. Possible clinical scenarios and treatment options need to be discussed with attention and sensitivity to the patient’s individual circumstances, needs, and culture. Patients may be directed to the exercises in “Your Life, Your Choices” (available on My HealtheVet at the web site http://www.myhealth.va.gov), or other published resources.

After Duckworth corrects Wallace, he again airs graphic, falsely suggests she is lying

From the August 23 edition of Fox News Sunday:

DUCKWORTH: Chris, it has not been reinstated. Let me make it clear: The only advanced directive that we have is dated February of 2007. And it actually encourages veterans to use any type of tool or checklist they would like to. There are many, many good ones out there. This “Your Life, Your Choice” [sic] is widely used out there, not just within VA. There are many others that are out there. And veterans are free to use whatever they would like to use. We just urge them to use them.

WALLACE: Let me — I mean, I just — I have a problem here. And often — too often on these shows, we just say, “One person said, and another person said.” Secretary Duckworth, I don’t know if we’re able in the control room to put up the full screen of the VHA directive, but I’d like you to put up the first full screen if you can.

In the VHA directive of July 2, 2009, it says the following on Page 8: “Primary care practitioners are responsible for giving patients pertinent educational materials, e.g., refer patients to the ‘Your Life, Your Choices’ module.” I mean, it’s just there in black and white on the VHA directive of July 2.

But VHA doc supports her statement that VHA “encourages veterans to use any type of tool or checklist they would like to.” From Pages 9 and 10 of the document, under the heading “Patient-Requested Additional Information About Advance Directives or Assistance in Completing Advance Directive Forms” [emphasis added]:

b. Forms. If requested, appropriately trained staff must assist the patient in completing:

(1) VA Form 10-0137. VA Form 10-0137 (revised December 2006) is a combined DPAHC (Part II) and living will (Part III). A Veteran who does not want to specify treatment preferences may still designate an HCA to make treatment decisions on their behalf. Additionally, a Veteran may specify treatment preferences without designating an HCA. VA Form 10-0137 is available electronically on the VA internet Forms website at http://www.va.gov/vaforms, the VA intranet Forms website at http://vaww.va.gov/vaforms, in iMedConsent™ (“Shared” category), and with a link on the National Center for Ethics in Health Care web site at http://vaww.ethics.va.gov, (This is an internal web site not available to the public.) and My HealtheVet at http://www.myhealth.va.gov. NOTE: VA recognizes State-authorized forms and DOD advance directives to the extent they are consistent with VA policy.

(a) To provide further information about their treatment goals, specific treatment preferences, etc., patients may attach one or more additional page(s), each of which must be initialed and dated, to VA Form 10-0137. This may consist of blank sheets on which patients write what they wish or pages from existing documents (e.g., worksheets from “Your Life, Your Choices” or other available sources. To ensure that the document filed in the patient’s record is complete, VA Form 10-0137and any supplemental pages must be scanned (or filed) together, to create a single document.

Transcript

From the August 23 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: If I may, Ms. Duckworth, because we have limited time here —

DUCKWORTH: Sure.

WALLACE: Why would a question — I can understand questions about if you’re in an irreversible coma, do you want us to pull the plug. But why — as I asked Mr. Towey — why would you even have a question in an end-of-life plan– counseling book about, “If you’re in a wheelchair, if you’re living in a nursing home, does that make life worth living?”

DUCKWORTH: Well, I know that before I was injured, I certainly let my husband know that, you know, being in a wheelchair was something that I feared and I was afraid for, but that I also wanted my life prolonged. This is a tool. This is a simple tool that was put into place, as I said, under Secretary [Jim] Nicholson. It was something that was used throughout — and let me make a correction. We’ve not used it since 2007, when under the Bush administration, we decided to go ahead and revise it.

This checklist is still under revision on a timetable according to a program that was actually decided on under the previous administration. Because I know that President Bush and Secretary Nicholson and Secretary [James] Peake all valued life. And that’s what we’re doing, is we’re revising it. It will be out in 2010. It’s not yet out. So Mr. Towey was not correct by saying —

WALLACE: Secretary Duckworth, that’s just not true. The VHA put out a directive on July 2, 2009, and I want to put up two pages from that directive. The first one, Page 8. “Primary care practitioners are responsible for giving patients pertinent educational materials, e.g., refer patients to the ‘Your Life, Your Choices’ module.” And on Page 9, it says if they request more information, “patients may be directed to the exercises in ‘Your Life, Your Choices.’ “

So, as of July 2, 2009 — last month, more than a month ago — VA health practitioners were told to refer all veterans — not just end-of-life veterans, but all 24 million veterans — to this document, “Your Life, Your Choices.”

DUCKWORTH: Let me make a correction there, Chris. What our practitioners were told is to refer patients to any type of a tool. They can use Mr. Towey’s if they want to spend the $5 apiece. VA simply was not willing to buy his booklet at $5 per veteran at the time.

WALLACE: But how do you explain —

DUCKWORTH: This is a decision that was made by the previous administration.

WALLACE: It doesn’t say, “Give them access to anything.” I mean, in the specific VA booklet — it’s only about 15 pages long — it specifically refers to this booklet twice.

DUCKWORTH: The only directive that is out there is actually left over from — I believe it was beginning of 2007, our advanced planning directive put into place, and it is actually very clear in saying that we need to provide veterans with information that they can make on how they want their care.

You know, this ultimately is about the care and health care for veterans, and we’re actually expanding benefits for veterans. We’re actually trying to get more priority aid veterans to sign up for VA benefits. We estimate it will be another 500,000 veterans coming in for benefits. We are expanding VA benefits to veterans. It is in our best interest to make sure that every veteran out there receives the care and access to the treatments and everything that he needs. Because after all, these are the men and women who fought for us and fought — and they deserve nothing less than the best care.

[…]

DUCKWORTH: Chris, it has not been reinstated. Let me make it clear: The only advanced directive that we have is dated February of 2007. And it actually encourages veterans to use any type of tool or checklist they would like to. There are many, many good ones out there. This “Your Life, Your Choice” [sic] is widely used out there, not just within VA. There are many others that are out there. And veterans are free to use whatever they would like to use. We just urge them to use them.

WALLACE: Let me — I mean, I just — I have a problem here. And often — too often on these shows, we just say, “One person said, and another person said.” Secretary Duckworth, I don’t know if we’re able in the control room to put up the full screen of the VHA directive, but I’d like you to put up the first full screen if you can.

In the VHA directive of July 2, 2009, it says the following on Page 8: “Primary care practitioners are responsible for giving patients pertinent educational materials, e.g., refer patients to the ‘Your Life, Your Choices’ module.” I mean, it’s just there in black and white on the VHA directive of July 2.

DUCKWORTH: Chris, I’m sorry. I can’t see that on a monitor in here. I will tell you that I know for a fact that the only directive signed by Secretary [Eric] Shinseki — I mean, signed by a VA secretary — was actually signed by Secretary Nicholson, and it’s dated February of 2007. What you’re looking at may not actually be a directive. So I — since I can’t see it — I’d be happy to come back and discuss it with you.


Armey Leaves Lobby Firm, Citing Negative Attention Brought by FreedomWorks

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Armey Leaves Lobby Firm, Citing Negative Attention Brought by FreedomWorks
Dick Armey, the former House Majority Leader, is leaving his job with top Washington lobbying firm DLA Piper, citing negative attention that the firm is receiving thanks to the role of Armey’s corporate-backed outfit, FreedomWorks, in turning out protesters to…





Reporters Who Know DeLay Best: Quadriplegic Tale Is New To Us
Two journalists who’ve covered Tom DeLay extensively over the years tell TPMmuckraker they’ve never heard of his story about protesters at a health care town hall in the 80s who “brought in quadriplegics on gurneys and dumped them on the…


Blogger’s real life

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Blogger’s real life


Quote of the Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Quote of the Day
“Nobody’s looking to make any news.”

— Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton, telling the press he had “specific instructions from the president… to relax” while on Martha’s Vineyard.

Will Democrats Go It Alone on Health Care?
“Senators from both parties are holding out hope for a bipartisan health care bill, but with a deal still elusive Democrats are eyeing an unpopular proposal to pass reform legislation under budget rules that would require the measure to get only 51 votes,” Roll Call reports.

Even Democrats on the Sunday morning talk shows “sounded wary of using the reconciliation process in order to pass a health reform bill.”

However, Bloomberg reports that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders are considering “alternatives” to a bipartisan health-care bill amid continuing opposition from Republicans.

The Hill: “Schumer’s comments suggest Democratic leaders are starting to look to an endgame on health reform, which has dominated the political debate for months. It also could provide a shot in the arm to liberals in the party who have been frustrated with efforts by the Senate and White House to win GOP support for the bill.”

Missing Kennedy
Two Republican Senators said that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) — who has been absent from the Senate for most of the year fighting brain cancer — was sorely missed during the health care debate. Both believe he could lead the way to a bipartisan bill.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on This Week: “No person in that institution is indispensable, but Ted Kennedy comes as close to being indispensable as any individual I’ve ever known in the Senate, because he had a unique way of sitting down with the parties at a table and making the right concessions, which really are the essence of successful negotiations. So it’s huge that he’s absent, not only because of my personal affection for him, but because I think that health care reform might be in a very different place today.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Meet the Press: “Well, Sen. Kennedy would, first thing he would have done, would have been call me and say, ‘Let’s work this out.’ And we would have worked it out so that the best of both worlds would work.”


As If Limbaugh and Beck Weren’t Bad Enough, the Granddaddy of Hate Radio Is Back on the Air

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

As If Limbaugh and Beck Weren’t Bad Enough, the Granddaddy of Hate Radio Is Back on the Air
Bob Grant taught a generation of conservative talkers how to channel white rage, until a listener boycott helped push him off the air. Now he’s back.

‘Superjuices’ Touted as Cures for Cancer, Swine Flu and the Recession — Are They Dangerous Scams?
Those expensive juices with exotic ingredients promise a healthy body and a fat income. But can they pull you through a recession and a health-care crisis?

How Our Health System Screws Over Women
To be sure, no group is doing well under our network of private insurers. But women fare particularly badly.


The Ones That Got Away

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

The Ones That Got Away
This week, Tom Delay pranced, gun nuts preened, and Bob Novak went to the big “Crossfire” set in the sky. And, of course, TPM readers shared their thoughts with the world. Reader-bloggers Garry Owen and dickday didn’t much care for…


Sponsored Topics: Sarah PalinTom DelayTrusted Platform ModuleAlaskaUnited States

Are Congressional Term Limits The Answer?
Look at where we are. We have a Democratic Congress which is refusing to enact the program of a Democratic President (who won a landslide victory running on that program). What gives? There are several different factors at play but…


Sponsored Topics: Term limitPresidentPoliticsUnited States CongressDemocrats


Interview with McJoan of the Daily Kos – Politics and Healthcare

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Interview with McJoan of the Daily Kos – Politics and Healthcare

We discuss the current healthcare debate. This is an excellent discussion with a premier liberal blogger Joan McCarter (McJoan), who has really been all over this healthcare debate.

click here for the audio.

Last week, the Democrats and specifically those who have pushed healthcare reform were on the defensive. I think that they were overwhelmed by the ferocity and viciousness of those who do not want reform. There was a lot of activity that happened at the end of last week with the progressive Democrats in that House clearly stating that they will not support any healthcare reform bill that does not have a “strong” public option. President Barack Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seemed to back away from the public option over the weekend.

click here for the audio.

The leadership in the Senate seems to be either confused or completely silent. Senator Max Baucus does not seem to reflect the mainstream Democratic Party. He seems to reflect the interests of big medical business. Senator Kent Conrad, also a major player in the health care debate, has come up with this idea of healthcare co-ops. I’ve talked about co-ops on this blog before. Although we do not know all the details of how a co-op would work, it doesn’t seem that co-ops would help drive down prices and truly increase competition as they been billed.

I asked Joan about a couple of broad goals of healthcare reform which would be to control costs and to cover 46 million Americans who are currently uninsured. Jon points out how these two goals are interrelated. If the 46 million Americans have health insurance than they can go for preventative care which should decrease emergency room visits and decrease costs. This is critically important and I appreciate Joan for making this point.

We also discussed the fact that a strong public option, really single-payer, would make business more competitive. Small business becomes more competitive both in their local markets and also abroad because they don’t have to worry about the burden of providing health care for their workers. That cost is shared by all Americans.

This is a great conversation. Really, I don’t miss interview with Joan McCarter from the Daily Kos. Enjoy!

click here for the audio.


Shimkus: Republican mantra to everything should be ?Just Say No!?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Shimkus: Republican mantra to everything should be ?Just Say No!?
Progress Illinois’ Josh Kalven reports that at an Illinois state fair this past week, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) fully embraced the GOP’s “party of no” obstructionist strategy. Shimkus stated that the Republican “chant for now until Election Day” should be “Just Say No!” “We’ve been saying no for a long time,” he noted. “When President […]

Progress Illinois’ Josh Kalven reports that at an Illinois state fair this past week, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) fully embraced the GOP’s “party of no” obstructionist strategy. Shimkus stated that the Republican “chant for now until Election Day” should be “Just Say No!” “We’ve been saying no for a long time,” he noted. “When President Obama was on the ballot, the Republican response was, ‘Just say no!‘” Watch it: