Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:
So who ran the discussions on the tax cut extensions?
– and –
– and –
Rob Rogers in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette:
… or maybe it was Boehner who decided the rich were worth more than the overall economy…
– and –
Jim Morin at the Miami Herald:
… or perhaps Obama just didn’t try.
As of this morning it seems that Obama is ready to deal with the Right… extend the Bush tax cuts for a couple of years in exchange for one year’s extension of Unemployment funding. The tax cut deal is tentative. It hasn’t gone through Congress yet (although McConnell is probably dribbling with laughter in his office), but it probably will.
When even Conservatives like Joe Scarborough sees and comments on the fact that Obama is moving directly to the Right…
which will not increase job creation much, but will add at least a trillion new bucks to the deficit…we know it’s a lot of money. And who is going to lend it to us? The Chinese? Are we going to listen to Obama’s financial team that extending tax cuts are going to get us out of recession?
And now we won’t be able to blame this crap on Bush anymore. Obama owns it and is most likely making himself a one-term President. And a lot of very unhappy Democrats like me will probably help him to become a one-termer. As Joe Scarborough just said: “At least they can’t call him a Socialist any more.”
I think it is up to Nancy Pelosi (certainly not Harry Reid) to try to hold this arrangement off… and, as I have said before, it would be better to have this whole arrangement with the Right flushed down the toilet and get NO tax cut extensions for ANYONE, than to do anything like what is coming out of the White House. (Steny Hoyer, however, will go along with it… miserable power seeker… and will undermine Pelosi.)
So now we have to pay for increased troops in Afghanistan where we are getting nowhere even faster than before, we have to suffer increasing rather than decreasing unemployment making our tax revenues even lower, and we can look forward to a GOP-controlled future… amazing with a Democratic White House and Senate… which will take us further from the America that was built by generations of progressive leaders from Roosevelt (FDR) through Johnson.
If the Tea Party takeover has taught us anything, it is that we need a new grass-roots progressive movement. And we have to push from the ground up. It’s going to take 30 years.
“We need to redouble our efforts to resolve this impasse — in the next few days — to give the American people the peace of mind that their taxes will not go up on January 1st,” Obama said. “It will require some compromise, but I’m confident that we can get it done.” The White House is pressing the GOP to allow an extension of unemployment benefits and the tax breaks in the stimulus bill in exchange for an extension of income tax rates. According to the Huffington Post, Obama will allow the cuts to expire if the GOP refuses. On that score, McConnell claimed there’s no impasse.
- Mitch McConnell Foresees Deal On Tax Cuts, Unemployment Benefits (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Republicans, Democrats Indicate Deal Likely on Tax Cuts, Unemployment Benefits (politicsdaily.com)
- Senate’s GOP leader says tax cuts will be extended (charlotte.news14.com)
- Mitch McConnell: Don’t’ Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Won’t Happen This Year, Tax Cuts Will Be Extended (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Senate’s GOP leader says tax cuts will be extended (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- McConnell optimistic on deals with Obama (msnbc.msn.com)
Right now they are voting on the Baucus Amendment, which is identical to the bill passed by the House last week. This extends tax cuts across the board up up to $250,000 per family income. If this fails they go to the Schumer Amendment which extends the Bush tax cuts up to $1,000,000.00.
I don’t believe either of these will pass, since the Republicans are holding out for complete extension of all Bush tax cuts… including those for the very wealthy which will cost our country over a trillion dollars this year. However, what will be seen in public is that the Democrats are trying to deal with the two problems of the economy and the deficit, while the Republicans are holding out to make the deficit much, much worse and to benefit the very wealth 1% at the top of our population.
It looks like we are getting a straight “NO” from Republicans (even Brown from Massachusetts and Collins from Maine who were hinted at to be crossovers.) I didn’t see on the Democrat side what Ben Nelson did, or if any other Dem went for the Republican side. It’s no surprise but fucking Lieberman just went with the Republicans (What a surprise!, says my wife.)
Vote on this one was 53 to 36… since, due to the filibuster it needs 60 votes, this one didn’t make it.
Now they are voting on whether to move forward with the Schumer Amendment with the million dollar break.
Schumer’s Amendment would extend unemployment for a year as well.Since it looks like all the Senators are on the floor now, this vote should go faster than the last. Looking at the floor I see that Democrats are talking to Democrats and republicans are talking to Republicans and no pleasant interaction is happening between parties. Our Senator Rockefeller has voted against this one, and I’m surprised. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but when even Ben nelson votes for it, I wonder why Rockefeller ties in with the right on this one. Lieberman voted No on this one as well.
Tom Harkin has voted No on this one… and, if so, there must be a reason. Durbin has voted No as well. Something tells me they want to go to the original drafting of the bill with no amendments. Or else they are trying to make sure nothing gets through and the Taxes are automatically restored on January 1st (which, as you know, would be my preference.)
Vote is 53 – 37 and the motion is not agreed to.
Now Mitch McConnell is giving a speech to insult Democrats for wasting time and claiming that there is BiPartisan demand to extend the tax cuts for everyone, including the wealthy, and he also claims that the public agrees (just not the 70% who have been polled.)
So now we’re going into open speeches by both sides. It begins with Mary landrieu (D – Louisiana) commenting on Mitch McConnell’s insults and questioning if he is not embarrassed by saying publicly that his main goal is to prevent Obama from being reelected in 2012.
God, it’s hard to watch this crap.
- Senate Showdown Over Tax Cuts (abcnews.go.com)
- Senate to Vote on Democratic Tax Cut Plans (abcnews.go.com)
- You: Senators Vie for Last Word on Tax Breaks as Expiration Nears (nytimes.com)
- Senate to vote on Democratic tax cut plans – The Associated Press (news.google.com)
- Senate Sets Votes on Two Proposals to Extend Tax Cuts – BusinessWeek (news.google.com)
- Senate Showdown Saturday: Tax Cut Votes on the Way – ABC News (news.google.com)
- Obama wins symbolic tax vote but battle rages (nationalpost.com)
- The relative ease of finger-pointing (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Saturday Showdown at the Senate: Weekend Tax Cut Votes on the Way (blogs.abcnews.com)
- US’s Schumer: Hopes Senate Tax-Cut Votes On Sat Clarify Debate (forexlive.com)
- Biden: Senate should extend middle class tax cuts (reuters.com)
- Saturday …The Senate will be in Session (ynative77.wordpress.com)
From The Hill: Collins says ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal must wait for tax cuts By Michael O’Brien
Here’s a piece of O’Brien’s article.
The next time someone tells you that Susan Collins is a “liberal” Republican, have them read this…
There’s more at TheHill.com:
- Scott Brown May Support Repeal of Military Gay Ban – But Not Not Yet. (blogs.wsj.com)
- Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins Have the Power to End “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Will They? (gayrights.change.org)
- GOP Sens. Threaten to Block Repeal (pinkbananaworld.com)
- ‘Don’t ask’ repeal loses momentum (politico.com)
- Senator Susan Collins Supports DADT Repeal- With Conditions (lezgetreal.com)
- “Don’t ask, don’t tell” probably not happening any time soon (salon.com)
“I’m just hoping that the president sticks to what he said in Iowa during the campaign, and throughout the campaign, that he was drawing the line at $250,000.”
– Tom Harken (D – Iowa)
However, don’t be surprised if Obama backs down and gives the Millionaires and Billionaires big tax cuts beyond $250,000.00 thinking the Republicans will give him unemployment assistance and a variety of expiring tax breaks for low-wage and middle-income workers as part of any deal.
- Heading off tax increases; resolution taking shape – Houston Chronicle (news.google.com)
- Tax cut, jobless aid take shape (philly.com)
- Tax Cuts Likely to Be Extended Temporarily (online.wsj.com)
- Deal Near, Senate Plans Vote on Dem Tax Cuts (foxnews.com)
- Weeked vote set for tax cuts (capitolhillblue.com)
Of courser, it beats spending money on Education…
Thanks to PZ Myers at Pharyngula:
Those Kentukyans just stuck us with Rand Paul, too. How they spend their tax money is their business. Hope to hell it’s not Federal Tax Money, because that means some of it is mine.
- KENTUCKY: Creation Museum To Build “Full-Scale Replica” Of Noah’s Ark (joemygod.blogspot.com)
- Sen. Mitch McConnell’s earmark power credited for revitalizing Louisville – Washington Post (news.google.com)
- Kentucky to Build Greatest Religious Amusement Park Ever [Religion] (gawker.com)
Don’t you see what they have caused? Here are the 10 Epic Failures of the Bush Tax Cuts (each one will lead you to an overall definitive view):
Well, I see why the wealthy are happy with the continuation, but that rules 99% of us out.
- Mike’s Blog Round Up (crooksandliars.com)
- White House Raising White Flag on Bush Tax Cuts? (crooksandliars.com)
- 10 Epic Failures of the Bush Tax Cuts (crooksandliars.com)
- Robert Reich: The Showdown on Tax Cuts for the Rich (huffingtonpost.com)
- “Bush tax cuts: Cutting through the noise” and related posts (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Democrats Actually Fighting Back Against Republican Hypocrisy On Health Care (alan.com)
- Joe Crowley Has a Little Fun at Republicans Expense (observer.com)
- Democrats Ask Anti-Health Care Reform GOPers To Forgo Their Own Coverage (huffingtonpost.com)
- Dem to repealers: Skip coverage (politico.com)
We often think there is a way to compromise…
– and –
… even with Mitch McConnell…
– and –
Jeff Stahler in the Columbus Dispatch:
… but do any of us really mean it?
– and –
So let’s not waste time on compromise, but get back to giving the voters what they want.
- Mitch McConnell: Defeating Obama In 2012 Crucial To GOP Agenda (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Palling Around With Monuments [This Thing Looks Like That Thing] (gawker.com)
- Last-minute plan: “Cartoons in Conflict” opening night (timeoutny.com)
And TaggLines clipped it from the Washington Post… Take a look:
Time for that “boy” in the White House….
…To go back to the fields of cotton (where old times ol’ are not forgotten). At least according to these two assholes. Funny, I don’t remember anyone calling for the moronic fratboy Bush to quit after he launched the first American war of aggression and became a serial war criminal. Oh, silly me. Bush is a white man.
Opinion | One and done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012
By Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell
This is a critical moment for the country. From the faltering economy to the burdensome deficit to our foreign policy struggles, America is suffering a widespread sense of crisis and anxiety about the future. Under these circumstances, Obama has the opportunity to seize the high ground and the imagination of the nation once again, and to galvanize the public for the hard decisions that must be made. The only way he can do so, though, is by putting national interests ahead of personal or political ones.
To that end, we believe Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012.
- Pretend Democrats Advise Obama Not To Run For Re-Election (huffingtonpost.com)
- Washington Post: Obama should not seek reelection in 2012 (anotherblackconservative.blogspot.com)
- Obama: One and Done? (outsidethebeltway.com)
I spent the weekend attending films at the American Conservation Film Festival and volunteering with Elly on the food area they called The Green Room (I deep-fried the dumplings and falafel that Elly put together and she was on the Saturday management team.) On the whole, given the twelve-or-so films I got to see over four days, I came out of the experience with a great deal of depression. I was especially upset, after seeing what I thought was a masterpiece of documentary filmmaking called Toxic Soup, that I was living in West Virginia that, along with Pennsylvania, Maryland and Kentucky, was one of the most polluted and dangerous states.
Once you realize the pollution in air and water from coal mining, chemical manufacturing, oil drilling and the group of major industries that relate to these, you realize that it is virtually uncleanable. And you watch the rise of sick children, adults with advanced emphesyma or inoperable brain tumors, people whose drinking water contains C8 and other poisons… and governments and courts that side with industry and ignore the suffering of working citizens. You can find out about the content (and upcoming scheduling around the country) of Toxic Soup by going to their web site, http://toxicsoupmovie.com, but let me warn you that you will feel depressed and unable to change what is happening to the world and yourself.
The biggest problem I came away from this (and a couple of other films) with was a view of Capitalism as seen by the Republicans who wiped the House and added to their Senate numbers in the last election: if you take away the regulations which we were just trying to put back, the guys who make all the money (and tons of it) don’t give a good goddamn about the rest of us. And they aren’t likely to.
I know we are about to have House Committees which will work against Global Warming… one way of doing this is to avoid regulating the corporations that are pumping crud into the sky and poisons into the water, and spend most of their time trying to keep Obama from getting reelected (you’ve heard Mitch McConnell, right?). For two years there will be little we can do, except expose the crap in blogs like this one (I don’t think the corporate-controlled networks will broadcast anything that will tell the truth to the middle and lower classes.) And then the next election will find politicians supported by these corporations who will ignore it all as well.
- US Government Calls Piracy “Unadulterated Theft” (escapistmagazine.com)
- Money , Politics, Religion (blogcritics.org)
- Toxic coal sludge pollutes Ky. town 10 years later (sfgate.com)
- The future starts today, more or less… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- McConnell’s Partisan Logic vs. Obama’s Bipartisan Pipe Dream (fdlaction.firedoglake.com)
- Mitch McConnell: Defeating Obama In 2012 Crucial To GOP Agenda (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Party of no Obama – McConnell insists on GOP president (politico.com)
- Asymmetric partisanship (washingtonmonthly.com)
- McConnell: Ousting Obama is “Only Way” (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- GOP asserts new strength, targets Obama programs (sfgate.com)
Sometime after Tuesday we’ll be reevaluating our Government and a new area of conflict will likely be established…
I am curious as to what the results of the Election 2010 will leave us with. It seems likely now that the Republicans will take control of the House, likely putting John Boehner (R-OH) into the Speaker’s chair. As to the Senate, the majority of pollsters have the Democrats keeping control by at least 1 seat… but there are odds that Harry Reid (D -NV) won’t be in one of them. This makes the Majority Leader position a “what if” situation… and it looks like Charles Schumer (D-NY) might get it.
As to Boehner, it is interesting that he is pushing candidates all over the place… the other day he supported Rich Iott, the Nazi Reenactor, in Ohio’s 9th District. TPM points out:
House Minority Leader John Boehner took on the conventional wisdom that it’s bad politics to associate with Nazi reenactors by campaigning recently with Ohio congressional candidate Rich Iott. That’s about the only public support Iott’s received from the GOP since his SS scandal broke.
Returning the favor, Iott, who’s running in Ohio’s 9th congressional district, now won’t say whether he’d support Boehner for Speaker.
Interesting. Does Iott know something we don’t? Roll Call, which first published Iott’s “iffy” stand on Boehner’s Speakership, doesn’t think it matters:
In the now close Senate race in Nevada, the Baltimore Sun doesn’t think it will be over on Tuesday:
In Nevada, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was battling “tea party” insurgent Sharron Angle, each side was bracing for a close finish that could extend the campaign — through lawsuits, a recount or both — well beyond Tuesday.
Looking at the Nevada Senate campaign, we’re seeing some really dirty playing on both sides. Perhaps you didn’t see this piece by Michael Kinsley in Politico a couple of days ago:
The Republicans have chosen to make a major issue out of the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lives in an apartment in the Ritz-Carlton condominiums in Washington DC. It is a one-bedroom apartment on the second floor. Reid also owns two properties in Nevada, his home state. But presumably his apartment in Washington is where he stays when he’s here. Reid’s opponent, Sharron Angle, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have built a huge imaginary narrative on this fragile base in which Reid “lives large” in DC, partying with supermodels, while his constituents suffer.
In my Politico column on Tuesday, I raised the question of where Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, who will become Majority Leader if the Republicans carry the day on November 2, lives when he’s in Washington. It turns out that he owns a three-bedroom house with a carriage house on Capitol Hill. Harry Reid’s apartment is worth $1,066,000 according to the real estate website zillow.com. Mitch McConnell’s house is worth $1,142,000. If Harry Reid is living large, Mitch McConnell is living larger. And the fact that Republicans apparently didn’t’ think about or didn’t bother to check out McConnell’s situation before piling on Reid shows how phony the whole “Harry Reid Lives at the Ritz” business really is.
She has struggled to explain a number of past positions, including calling for the phasing out of Social Security, discussion of “second amendment remedies” to deal with an out of control Congress, and coming out against extension of unemployment benefits. Mr. Reid is highly unpopular in his home state and his strategy has been clear from the start: To present Ms. Angle as an unacceptable alternative even to someone that many voters don’t like. (Keep in mind: Nevada voters have the option of voting for “none of the above,” which can only help Mr. Reid.)
Hmmm. It doesn’t look good for Reid. Then I read Jon Ralston’s piece this morning in the Las Vegas Sun:
Atmospherics are terrible for Reid, but he will hold on
Harry Reid or Sharron Angle is dead, last in an occasional series:
It just feels as if Reid is going to lose.
Forget the enthusiasm gap — that word is too mild. There is a passion gap in this race that is palpable. You don’t find many people shivering with excitement to vote for Reid. But the feverish animation of voters hot to oust Reid is unlike anything I have experienced in nearly 25 years of covering politics. And it seems to have been building since January, evidenced by Reid’s inability to move his highly elevated disapproval rating.
But I don’t think he will. Why?
First, let me be clear on this tradition of predictions. It is not a wish list but a walking out on a limb, so I can either crow afterward or eat same. I base them on data I am privy to and my gut. I have had much success in the past — look it up. But if ever there were a year for my lifetime batting average to take a hit, this is the one.
So take this for what it’s worth:
Harry Reid is the most resilient figure in Nevada political history. He should not even be here. He lost a U.S. Senate race in 1974, embarrassed himself in a mayoral race in 1975 and should have lost his re-election bid in 1998. But he found a way to win 12 years ago, and he will again Tuesday.
How? Let me count the ways:
Considering they were dealing with a moribund politician, and one who was sure to make their job more difficult during the year with his spontaneous effusions, Reid’s handlers have run one of the most spectacular campaigns in history at all levels: The turnout machine is formidable. The TV has been pitch perfect. The strategy — to peel moderate Republicans and independents who might not like their guy away from Angle — has worked.
And, perhaps equally important, Republicans managed to nominate the one person this year who could lose to Reid.
Angle is a natural retail campaigner in small political subdivisions. But that’s not what a Senate race is about. And her campaign never could find a comfortable way to reconcile her past, controversial statements — they tried massage, change and deny — and she made plenty more during the campaign (Sharia law here, Canada’s terrorist conduit, Latinos-in-ads amnesia).
In the end, if she loses, I believe the six weeks following the GOP nominee’s primary win — she had a double-digit lead in June polls — were pivotal. During that period, the Reid ad campaign defined her so starkly and turned enough people into Anglophobes to give him a chance.
One more thing: Republicans do not have the huge turnout advantage in early voting they should in a wave election — under 4 points. And all the data I have seen tell me that unless Reid loses independents by 15 points or so, he will hold on.
It’s possible none of this made any difference, that Reid has been dead all along and no amount of campaign brilliance or Angle exposure could resuscitate him. The hatred is palpable, the discontent bubbling over. But I think he finds a way to survive.
The result: Reid, 47 percent; Angle, 45 percent; rest, 4 percent; none of the above, 4 percent.
- Does Mitch McConnell really want Harry Reid to lose? (slate.com)
- Why Harry Reid Could Win (Alternate Media View) (themoderatevoice.com)
- Why Harry Reid’s Nevada Field Operation Is Losing (theawl.com)
- Last-ditch cry for ‘sanity’ before US gives mid-term verdict on Obama (independent.co.uk)
- Boehner to campaign with Nazi reenactor Iott in Ohio (thehill.com)
- Chutzpah Watch (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Political Points – Iott not to be in this picture (blogs.jta.org)
- Boehner just does not give a f*** | Michael Tomasky (guardian.co.uk)
- D’oh! (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Boehner promises a new Congress if GOP takes over (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Federal officials say suspicious packages were part of plot by Yemen’s al-Qaida group (nj.com)
- Suspicious devices on cargo jets trigger searches (msnbc.msn.com)
- Planes, Trucks Checked In NY, NJ As Part Of Terror Probe (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Bomb scare as ‘sinister’ packages found on planes bound for US (guardian.co.uk)
- Yemen estimates 400 al-Qaida militants in country (sfgate.com)
- Yemen’s rising radical star (msnbc.msn.com)
Yesterday I had the lowest number of visitors (and by that I mean serious visitors, not quick check-ins pushed by Alphainventions, Blogitti, Blogiche or Blogsurfer) to Under The LobsterScope that I have had in the last couple of years. The number of SPAM postings that I have to look at and make a decision over has increased markedly as well. I’ll admit that yesterday I was gone most of the day getting my new old car in Silver Spring, but it is usually the evening that gives me my biggest amount of real participation.
I am now midway through my 64th year and rapidly heading to 65… tired, retired and mired in medication for diabetes, ADD, Depression and a new set of indications which they are testing for. I have the Radio Show to prepare for each week and the housework I’m now committed to as my wife is the full-time employed person. And I’m so low on physical energy that working myself up over the incessant trash dumped everywhere by the extreme right wing is becoming exercise I no longer wish to partake in. Plus, with the advances from Sustainable Shepherdstown working locally, the idea of creating a life that would mean survival if the Conservatives finally destroy our economy and and social structure now takes up a major portion of time and will only grow in the future.
I am quite depressed about the current election season, as I think, no matter what we reveal as the honest truth, America is getting ready to pull off a suicide vote this year and just the thought of John Boehner undermining health care as Speaker of the House and Rand Paul eliminating public schools for our growing population of poor children and Mitch McConnell gleefully putting party ahead of country for the next four years until he is up for election again (not that I think Kentucky will ever wise up) makes me shiver. Politics has become a lost cause, and since this blog is about 75% politics, it is not effective enough to maintain.
I’ll be deciding what to do in the next day or so (my wife and I are celebrating 32 years of marriage this weekend and I’d rather think of her than saving the country today and tomorrow) and will probably come out on Monday with a final statement on what will happen with UTL. Meanwhile, let me know what you think… if you are out there.
- Rand Paul to Jack Conway in Caustic Kentucky Senate Debate: ‘Be a Man’ (politicsdaily.com)
- Depressing morning… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- John Boehner: The timebomb who could be Speaker (capitolhillblue.com)
I received this in the email:
My adult son Michael committed suicide in July, after three years fighting an addiction to prescription painkillers. This is a painful story, a personal story. It’s not easy for me to share.
But I decided to share my story for Jack Conway, because I want to prevent another family from having to suffer what my family went through.
In response, Mr. Paul directly insulted me, calling my story “creepy.”
My son’s life was not “creepy.” And my baby grandson sure isn’t “creepy.” Both are blessings, as his second child due in February will be also.
When Rand Paul attacks people who are suffering instead of offering solutions, it shows he doesn’t understand Kentucky.
And that’s why I’m asking you to help me defeat Rand Paul and elect Jack Conway — someone who has tackled drug abuse as Kentucky’s Attorney General and actually understands Kentucky families.
Watch the video I did for Jack Conway today, and share it with your friends:
Sometimes I hear people say Rand Paul just has a few wacky ideas, and he won’t really hurt anyone. Well, it hurts my family — and thousands of other families in Kentucky — when Rand Paul just dismisses life-or-death issues in our state.
It’s a shame Rand Paul reacted that way, but this issue is bigger than he is. Kentuckians deserve someone in the United States Senate who understands them and who will fight for them. I know Jack Conway is that person.
That’s why I’m asking for your help to beat Rand Paul and elect Jack Conway — start by watching the video of my story and sharing it with those you know.
Thank you for hearing me out, and thank you for supporting Jack Conway.
We’ve been hearing lots of things about Rand Paul’s attitude toward his potential citizenry if he is elected… and it is not pretty. Kentucky has a bad habit of inflicting unusually negative Senators and Representatives on the rest of us (Mitch McConnell and his public revelation that they will only vote NO to any Democratic proposed legislation). Mike Donta’s story is one of many.
- KY-Sen: Rand Paul attacks his own plan to raise Medicare deductibles (dailykos.com)
- KY-Sen: Big Dog to campaign for Conway (dailykos.com)
- Rand Paul vs. Pregnant women and newborns (dailykos.com)
- Rand Paul: Medicaid has turned into welfare (salon.com)
- Chris Matthews’ Bullying Interview with Jack Conway (crooksandliars.com)
- ABC Donates 16 Minutes to Obama; George Stephanopoulos Puffs: Does Pastor Make You Feel ‘Helpless?’ (newsbusters.org)
- Eric Alterman: Think Again: Forget the Question. The Answer is “Tax Cuts” (huffingtonpost.com)
- Obama rejects demands to extend Bush-era tax cuts (independent.co.uk)
“Anyone who says we need to be bipartisan should bear in mind that for the last several weeks Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader had been trying to stop reform with possibly the most dishonest argument ever made in the history of politics, which is the claim that having regulation of the banks actually bailing out the banks and that basically the argument boiled down to saying what we really need to do to deal with fires is abolish the fire department, because then people will know that they can’t let their buildings burn in the first place, right. It’s an incredible… so anyone who says bipartisan doesn’t include the Senate Minority Leader.”
– Paul Krugman on ABC this morning.
Response to the Senator accusing Canada of having “staggering” wait times from Canadian Surgeon and Hospital Executive Dr. David Zelt
Dr. David Zelt, chief of staff and vice-president, medical administration, at Kingston General Hospital, sent the following reply to McConnell:
I am writing with reference to remarks you made in an address this past week to the United States Senate.
As a surgeon and hospital executive in Canada, I am well aware of the debate now taking place in your country over the role of government in making medical services more widely available to the millions of your fellow U. S. citizens who are now without such vital protection.
The purpose of this letter is not to interfere in that debate, although I would be remiss if I did not declare that I am a proud participant in our public healthcare system in Canada and value its ability to guarantee quality and accessible care to all our citizens regardless of their financial circumstances. Is our system perfect? Definitely not. Are costs and ever-increasing demand a challenge? Definitely yes.
I am writing to you at this time to correct and update information that you provided to the U. S. Senate this week about Kingston General Hospital (KGH), where I am chief of staff and vice-president, medical administration. I am confident that you, as someone playing a major role in the current health-care debate in your country, would want to make your arguments based on material that is both correct and current.
You chose our hospital to provide “a glimpse of the effect that government-run health care has on everyday Canadians and the long waits they routinely endure for necessary care.”
At KGH we are proud of our reputation as a medium-size regional health science centre providing excellence in research, academic and patient care standards. I respectfully submit that the information you supplied to the U. S. Senate is not an accurate or fair “glimpse” of either our institution or our national health-care system.
For example, you state that at KGH wait times can be
“staggering.” This is simply not true. Our average and median wait times exceed provincial targets. Your researchers have taken data and interpreted it incorrectly, with the result that your information is inaccurate.
Your statement to the Senate: “Today, the average wait time for (hip replacement) surgery at KGH is about 196 days.” In fact, our actual average hip replacement wait time is 91 days — less than half of what you stated.
Your statement to the Senate: “What about knee replacements? Well, at Kingston General, the average wait time is 340 days, or almost a year from the moment that the doctor says you need a new knee.” In fact, our average wait time for knee replacements is 109 days.
Your statement to the Senate: “What about brain cancer? In Ontario the target wait time for brain cancer surgery is nearly three months; same for breast cancer and prostate cancer.” These are simply that, targets. In fact, at KGH our average overall wait times for surgical treatment of all forms of cancer is 31 days (16 days for breast cancer, 49 for prostate and eight for neurosurgical cancer).
Your statement to the Senate: “And for cardiac bypass surgery, patients in Ontario are told they may have to wait six months for a surgery that Americans can often get right away.” In fact, the median wait time for cardiac surgery in Ontario is 16 days (32 days at KGH).
In summary, Senator McConnell, in an effort to advance your position opposing public health care, you have maligned a very proud institution whose service to our community dates back some 170 years. The “glimpse” you have provided of our national healthcare system neglects to mention that at its very base is Canadians’ fundamental right to accessible and quality health care regardless of their financial circumstances.
In closing, Senator, I thank you for this opportunity to bring this information to your attention. We have an excellent data collection system at our hospital and I would invite you or a member of your staff to contact me or other officials of this institution for accurate and current information that would be helpful in keeping the American public correctly informed during your important and ongoing debate on health care.
And nowhere in his letter did Dr. Zelt point out what an asshole Mitch McConnell is!