I have been preparing an LTE about the health care law, and in the process have been engaged in an email dialogue with my U.S. congressman, the erstwhile Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, on the controversies about abortion allegedly being covered by the new law.
I asked Rep. Hoekstra to explain to me exactly what procedure a woman who desired a federally-funded abortion could go through to acquire one once the new law was fully in effect, and one of his written replies was this:
During the debate over health care reform, you may have heard of the estimate done in 2004 by the highly respected arm of the National Academy of Science, the Institute of Medicine, which established a frequently cited figure of 18,000 deaths each year caused by a lack of health insurance in the U.S. Among other places, I have heard Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) refer to this total often on television interviews.
Today, a new study has been posted by the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) that has re-examined the evidence and finds a new and shockingly higher figure: 45,000. The research is well-done and substantial. I am linking to the entire Health Care Now article because the whole piece deserves study. This is critical evidence that reveals just how damaging the health care status quo will be to the U.S. if reform is not passed.
Unfortunately, I don't have access to the entire original AJPH article itself which requires a membership fee. If anyone has this access and feels generous enough to post a link to the original article, I am sure we would all appreciate it.
U.S. Uninsured Study
...I swear to you that this is an actual, complete letter to the editor that appeared in my local newspaper yesterday.
Here I had been secretly complimenting myself on my insight into predicting who would be Hillary Clinton's likely running mate should she win the 2008 Democratic nomiination, and now this happens.
I had thought Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) would have been the next vice-president. Why?
- Hillary doesn't have it in her to pick anyone but a white man. She and her cautious aides will feel that asking America to select its first woman president is enough diversity to accept in one electoral gulp. No Richardson or Obama.
- Anyone from the Northeast is out. That's already solid Democratic territory; plus, being a NY senator, she will want to avoid a distinctly Northeast flavor to the ticket.
- Anyone from the South is out. The talent is thin, and, apologies to you 50-state strategy folks, but if the South can't elect a ticket with Gore or Edwards on it, they will not break that record for a Hillary Clinton even if she runs with the exhumed bones of Robert E. Lee. Jim Webb or Mark Warner would be interesting choices, but Virginia itself hasn't gone Democratic since 1964.
Kossacks are all for the 50-state strategy; are you ready, though, for the 435-district strategy?
Close readers of the left blogosphere are getting to know the notorious exploits of Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), my esteemed congressman.
Hoekstra speaks with the cocky arrogance of someone who feels he is in a safe district for him and any Republican. Indeed, defeating him would be a formidable task. But things may be changing. People here are starting to grumble about their increasingly embarrassing representative. Many recall that he promised to serve only six terms but is now serving his eighth. And, come 2008, he may face a genuinely challenging challenger.
Fred Johnson is running for the Democratic nomination to face Hoekstra in 2008. Johnson, an African-American, was in the Marine Corps for eight years and then went on to get his Ph.D. in history. He is now a respected college professor. Check out his bio and more at this site:
When the SCHIP bill fails to override the president's veto in a week or so, it will be because of people like my representative, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI).
Close political observers may recognize the name: he's the man who stood with then-Sen. Rick Santorum in a famous public declaration that weapons of mass destruction had indeed been found in Iraq. Or you may recall that he was the congressman most responsible for the early release of classified documents placed on the web, in the hope that readers would find some as yet undetected sign of those very same WMD; instead, the documents turned out to have valuable intelligence data.
I wrote to Hoekstra recently urging him to approve of the new SCHIP bill. Here is his reply. Note the crocodile tears over the plight of the poor:
Most of us are aware by now of the case of American citizen Jose Padilla, the treatment he received over the past few years while in both military and civilian custody, and the subsequent guilty verdict he recently received which may give him a life sentence but is now under appeal.
Regardless of how his trials eventually come out, it sometimes occurs to me: doesn't he have some kind of civil case he could make against the U.S. government for his horrific treatment? My uninformed guess would be that a multi-million dollar settlement would be very likely once all the facts are out. And I think it would be important to bring all the information out if only to prevent another such incident of what could well be defined as torture of a U.S. citizen by the federal government.
And is such a case in the works? I have't heard.
I would like to hear any legal opinions.
I’ve long thought that nothing could do more damage to any Republican presidential candidate than to give them one full hour to do nothing but appear on national primetime television uninterrupted and have them talk about the kind of changes they would like to make in our country. Perhaps they agree, since some candidates are squirming over the thought of a potentially freewheeling Youtube debate. And I’d like to think their nervousness is because of people like me, dreaming of how to put them on the spot.
The goal for progressives in such a debate should be to lure the candidates into breaking from the canned replies and making a response so preposterous that it does short or long term damage to their public images.
I have a little list of the questions I’d like to ask, some admittedly impertinent or snarky. But each one is very important to me and could provoke an embarrassing answer. Which would you choose? If you’d like to borrow one yourself and post it to Youtube, go ahead.
Last year, Stephen Colbert was notoriously denied the Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Perfomance in a Comedy or Variety Show by the winnner, worn-out hack songwriter, Barry Manilow! It was a crime and a disgrace for the godless Sodomites involved in the Emmy Award ceremony.
Today, the 2007 Emmy Award nominations were announced, and of course the natural leader to win, COLBERT, was nominated. Clearly the crowd favorite, Colbert may yet be denied his statuette by the unexpected nomination of longtime, now aging crooner Tony Bennett in the same category! As Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) would say, "NO!" And again I say, "NO!"
See the whole Emmy list here! And root for the man who made truthiness a national buzzword! The man who gave us the THREATDOWN! The man who dared to trade metaphors with Sean Penn! The man who.. well, you get the idea.
As of this writing, 72% of answers to MSNBC's poll on Don Imus suggest that the penalties so far are ENOUGH or TOO MUCH.
Do you agree?
I do NOT. Imus should go. What a sad, sad commentary on our times if this toad is allowed to continue his hateful remarks on a major communications network. Please take a moment and respond to MSNBC's poll. They need to hear from YOU. Oh, and consider recommending this post too, so others will participate. THANK YOU.
Say this much for the Bush Administration: they’ve been great for the publishing industry. During 2006, it seemed like not a week went by without a new book released detailing the foreign and domestic policy travails of Worst President Ever and his minions. Many of these titles were by the usual leftist suspects, but many are increasingly by "establishment" military and intelligence professionals feeling betrayed and befuddled by an executive branch gone wild.
We should remember that a lot of us never heard of Jon Tester until we read about him on this site in posts made by Markos. Kos was a great supporter of Tester and deserves his share of credit for Tester's victory. But it would be only fair for us to honor Tester by getting Kos in the barber chair and having him sport a flattop for awhile. What do you say?