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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm Incredible.

Sen Johnny Isaakson denounced the claim that the end of life counseling provision of health care reform amounts to euthanasia. The Johnny Isaakson denounced the claim that Sen Johnny Isaakson denounced the claim that the end of life counseling provision of health care reform amounts to euthanasia.

Politician lies, dog bites man.

But I'm incredible that the dishonest denial wasn't written in correct English. I can believe that senate staffers have no integrity but I thought they had a decent command of English grammar (one of the many reasons I have never tried to get a job in a Senate office, so I find it incredulous that they ghost write a senator saying

"I categorically oppose the House bill and find it incredulous that the White House and others would use my amendment as a scapegoat for their misguided policies,”

this is incredulous it strains credibility and lacks credulity.


Anonymous said...

August 18, 2009

Social Security: Time to Uncap FICA...
By Brad DeLong

For nearly thirty years--ever since the Republican congressional barons of 1982 begged Reagan to allow them to increase taxes and then figured out that a tax increase that would "save Social Security" was one that he would accept--the rest of the federal budget has ridden on the back of Social Security and its operating surplus. Those days are coming to an end, and it looks like the magnitude of the current crisis means that that end comes... now.

The Congressional Budget Office reports that the era of Social Security Trust Fund services is over:

[Congressional Budget Office -]

The smart thing to do would be for congress this fall to (a) uncap FICA--apply it to all of wage-and-salary income rather than just the bottom 90%--starting in 2012 and raise the retirement age to 70 in 2030, thus hitting those born in 1960 and later (i.e., me). And then revisit the system in a decade and see what shape it is in.

Adding-on some tax-preferred properly-incentivized individual accounts as an add-on, not a carve-out would be a good idea as well.

Anonymous said...

A self-styled liberal, would-be thought controller from Berkeley has decided that what is necessary is destroying Social Security. Imagine my surprise.

Anonymous said...

The Berkeley would-be thought controller of course takes a lead from Lawrence Summers who also wants to destroy Social Security. Will we be destroying Social Security before of after making sure there is no meaningful health care insurance reform? I really want to know.

Here are the supposed liberals who are more conservative than conservatives.

Sorry for the interruption, let us return now to warring in Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

August 18, 2009

Obama Defends Strategy in Afghanistan

PHOENIX — President Obama on Monday defended his decision to increase American involvement in Afghanistan, calling it a “a war of necessity” and warning an audience of military veterans that Al Qaeda was still plotting to attack the United States and would not easily be defeated....

[Thank you, President (Bush) Obama.]

Anonymous said...

August 19, 2009

U.S. Presses Pakistan on Taliban

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Obama administration officials, trying to capitalize on recent and rare military successes in Pakistan, have been delivering strong private messages to military and civilian leaders here to aggressively pursue the Taliban and other militants, including some with close ties to Al Qaeda.

In a series of high-level meetings and phone calls that began after reports that an American airstrike this month had killed Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, administration officials said they had been prodding the Pakistanis to keep up pressure on the militants.

The coordinated message to the Pakistanis stems in part from a desire not to waste what administration officials see as an important opportunity to exploit apparent disarray in the leadership of the Pakistani Taliban since the death of Mr. Mehsud, which was corroborated by a senior aide captured on Tuesday.

But it also reflects worry among senior American officials that the Pakistani military will now declare victory and go home — pulling back from its recent offensive in the Swat Valley, and avoiding a similar push into Waziristan, Mr. Mehsud’s power base.

“Suffice it to say that Pakistan is somewhere between a ‘clear’ and ‘hold’ when it comes to Swat and Waziristan,” a senior administration official said. “But the perception in the Pakistani military is that this is a surgical strike. They go and clear out Swat and Waziristan and then they can go back to fighting the Indians.” Neighboring India is Pakistan’s longtime rival.

Richard C. Holbrooke, President Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, on Tuesday personally delivered the message to push on, speaking to Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the Pakistani Army chief of staff, and Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Pakistan’s intelligence chief, during a visit to Islamabad, administration officials said....

[President Obama being more of a warrior than Presdient Bush, imagine that.]

Anonymous said...

August 19, 2009

Where cancer sufferers get only painkillers

GAZA CITY - Arafat Hamdona, 20, has been confined to the cancer unit of As-Shifa, Gaza’s primary hospital, since he was diagnosed with maxillary skin tumours in June 2008. Red lesions protrude from his face, his features are distorted and his eyes swollen shut.

In April, Arafat was permitted to travel to Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem where he received three series of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. He was scheduled to return for further treatment, but has not been granted permission by the Israeli authorities to leave Gaza.

“He is only given pain killers,” said Arafat’s father, Faraj Hamdona, explaining that that is all As-Shifa has to offer.

According to a July 2009 report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Jerusalem, Gaza doctors and nurses do not have the medical equipment to respond to the health needs of the 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip.

Medical equipment is often broken, lacking spare parts, or outdated.

WHO attributes the dismal state of Gaza’s healthcare system to the Israeli blockade of the territory, tightened in June 2007 after Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the West, seized control. The poor organization of maintenance services in Gaza compounds the problem, reports WHO.

Medical equipment sits idle

Some 500 tons of donations of medical equipment which flooded the Strip after Israel’s military offensive ended on 18 January sits idle in warehouses. Few donors consulted the health ministry or aid agencies working in Gaza to find out what provisions were needed. According to the health ministry, 20 percent of the donated medications had expired. WHO said much of the equipment sent was old and unusable due to a lack of spare parts.

WHO also said suppliers were unable to access medical equipment for repairs and maintenance and “since 2000, maintenance staff and clinical workers have not been able to leave the Strip for training in the use of medical devices”.

The Israeli Defence Ministry says it is not obliged to allow into Gaza anything other than basic humanitarian supplies necessary for survival, and is concerned certain medical technology could be used for other more sinister means. Gaza’s only other connection to the outside world is its border crossing with Egypt, which is closed most of the time.

The lack of proper medical care in Gaza can have dire consequences.

“The largest number of deaths due to the siege is among cancer patients,” Gaza deputy health minister Hassan Halifa said. “Radiotherapy for cancer patients is not available due to the lack of equipment, and chemotherapy is generally not available due to the lack of drugs.”

Lack of drugs, medical supplies

In July, 77 out of 480 essential drugs and 140 out of 700 essential medical supplies in Gaza’s health ministry were out of stock, according to WHO....

[Remember Gaza?]