Saturday, June 20

Fox Caught Lying About "Exclusive" ABC Access to Obama

Yeah, how dare ABC have an exclusive report exactly like the exclusive Reports that Fox Previously had to the President, Vice President and First Lady during the Bush Administration.

Today Journalism in America is Dead

Uh huh - well Journalism at Fox has always been Stillborne.


Friday, June 19

Denying a Public Option Denies Life for #Eric De La Cruz and Others

Cases like this are why the Public Option matters.

Many people have addressed this including Celebrities such as Trent Reznor, Jane's Addiction, Actor Archie Kao, Skateboarder Tony Hawk but I think this real life example needs to be part of the current Health Care debate - this 27 year-old young man needs a Heart Transplant but can't get Private Insurance because of his Pre-Existing Condition and can't get the Public Option of Medicare because - it's not available to him.

By focusing Attention and polling energy and resources through sites like it might be possible to save this young man with donations before it's too late.

Eric De La Cruz is a young man with severe dilated cardiomyopathy. His health is failing and he needs a new heart as soon as possible. Because of unfortunate circumstances, he has faced tremendous obstacles in getting on the transplant list as a status 1a candidate. He has since had emergency bi-VAD surgery and is awaiting re-listing on the transplant list as soon as he recovers sufficently. Prayers are requested to help Eric get through the next stage of this saga as he remains in critical condition

But what about the next person?

In fact, what about the last person who went through this same type of high-profile Murder by Spreadsheet? What about Nataline Sarkisyan?

GLENDALE, Calif. - The family of a 17-year-old girl who died hours after her health insurer reversed a decision and said it would pay for a liver transplant plans to sue the company, their attorney said Friday.

Nataline Sarkisyan died Thursday at about 6 p.m. at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. She had been in a vegetative state for weeks, said her mother, Hilda.

Attorney Mark Geragos said he plans to ask the district attorney to press murder or manslaughter charges against Cigna HealthCare in the case. The insurer “maliciously killed her” because it did not want to bear the expense of her transplant and aftercare, Geragos said.

Then as now, the issue was "Cost".

While the Senate backs cowardly away from a Public Option, people are dying without coverage because Private Insurers are simply Too Damn Greedy to provide the coverage people are already paying for.

Fortune 500's List of Most Profitable Industries for 2008 (Profit as % of Revenues)

1Network and Other Communications Equipment28.8%
2Mining, Crude-Oil Production23.8%
4Medical Products and Equipment15.2%
5Oil and Gas Equipment, Services13.7%
6Commercial Banks 12.6%
9Insurance: Life, Health (stock)10.6%
10Household and Personal Products10.2%

3 out of the top 10 most profitable industries in the U.S. are directly linked to Health Care, and the way the profits are maintained is by taking in premiums then Denying Care to People Who Need It the Most.

How much More Money do these people need to make, and how many people will suffer and die needlessly in order to give it to them?

People Like Eric. People like Nataline.

People like me and my Wife who's been on Medicaid for the last few years since the IT industry collapse and Enron destroyed my Consulting Career in Sacramento and forced us to move and me to take an entry level job at about 1/5th my previous salary. A job with no Health Care.

Nearly a Year ago her knee gave out and she feel down a flight of stair causing a back injury, in addition to a compression fracture at her T-11 vertabre. It took six months just to get UCLA Medical center to even X-Ray her back, and we still haven't heard what they found.

They told us the T-!! fracture is inoperable, and that she's too young (early 50's) for a knee replacement that will probably wear out before she does so they just Won't DO IT.

The things we've personally seen with other people in the UCLA Emergency Room while trying to address her condition would make your hair stand on end.

The attitude in places such as that (and frankly in Washington) is that if you're poor - you simply don't deserve to live. It's like medical care is some kind of luxury, like a nice new Car or Flat screen TV. If you can't pay for it - YOU DON'T DESERVE IT.

Well FUCK THAT, we do deserve it. All of us.

We have to change, drastically change this attitude. If there's a "Right To Life", then there's A Right to LIVING free of preventable disease and pain. We need to focus the Fact like a LASER at Congress, particularly the Senate, as we remember what this means for people like Eric he continues through his struggle, what it would have ment for Nataline if life preserving care cuold not have been denied simply because it cut into the insurance companies Profit margin - and all the rest of us out here either under insured or not insured at all, who have to let small issues go under they become huge, dangerous and expensive for everyone else.

You can donate to Eric's Cause via Paypal by visiting

You can help the rest of us by Calling your Senator. NOW!


Update via Comments -

per Veronica's Tweet "A judge approved Eric's medicare on 5/21/09..."

But this was only because of the extraordinary attention drawn to his extreme case, and the efforts of his sister Veronica (who is a TV journalist), Trent Reznor, Dave Navarro/Jane's Addiction, other celebrities and a veritable Twitter Army. Who ultimately drew enough attention to his case to get Sen Harry Reid to intervene and get Eric an emergency hearing for his Soc Security Disability to be approved--you can't get Medicare without it. His initial applications had been denied, and his next hearing was a YEAR down the road, even though his Ejection Fraction was down to something like 15%. Which means his heart is barely functioning.

Confirmed by 13 Action News. - Happened while I was typing this up. Hopefully it's not too late for him as it was for Nataline.

That's one down - 41 Million to go!

Thursday, June 18

Anti-Letterman Crackpots Attack his Wife (Slut) and Son (Bastard)

Yeah, this is the way to stay classy people by countering Letterman's Bad joke, and ignoring his 2 Apologies with an attack on his wife as a "Slut" and his son as a "Bastard". Not to mention the rants to "Shutdown the Boarder for 20 years" and that "Socialism is Evil!" - which has exactly what to do with Letterman?

Now we know where all the "He's an Arab" people went after the Tea Party...

Wednesday, June 17

Sam Seder and the War on Jokes (and Letterman)

Sam Seder goes to interview people at the Anti-Letterman Rally (all 20 of them) and finds that Dave has a long history of making jokes about Pedophiles (aka Michael Jackson - as if ANYONE DIDN'T CRACK A MICHAEL JACKSON JOKE during his Trial!!) and when Sam questions her, she explodes and says - "Who trained you - ACORN??!!" Highly hilarious.

Dean Blows Away Winger Health Care Talking Points

Howard Dean knocks down each and every one of the Winger Talking Points parroted by Norah O'Donnel

Some of the issues he obliterates

* Is a public option a stalking horse for this government control?
* Doctors don't support this plan--then proceeds to read a quote that doesn't say doctors are against a public plan?

* Medicare and Medicaid waste money.

* Doctors don't like it because they only get 80% of what they would under private insurance plans.

* How do you stop employers from dropping employees from their coverage?

Crooks and Liars have more on this, but I have my own take I want to address.

Here's a dirty little secret that private health insurers, their lobbyists (like the AMA) and their various sycophants in congress (Republican and Democrat alike) don't want you to know.

The Cost of Private health Care is Breaking the Back of the Nation.

According to the UN Human Development Index, which tracks the quality and cost of Health Care across the entire World he U.S. is by far the most expensive Health Care system mostly because of the cost of the Private portion of the system. (Sorry for the gap, can't get rid of it)

HDI Rank Expenditure on health (% of GDP) Public Private Combined
12 United States 6.9 8.5 15.4
106 Occupied Palestinian Territories 7.8 5.2 13
164 Malawi 9.6 3.3 12.9
88 Lebanon 3.2 8.4 11.6
7 Switzerland 6.7 4.8 11.5
123 Sao Tome and Principe 9.9 1.6 11.5
150 Timor-Leste 8.8 2.4 11.2
22 Germany 8.2 2.4 10.6
10 France 8.2 2.3 10.5
15 Austria 7.8 2.5 10.3
1 Iceland 8.3 1.6 9.9
4 Canada 6.8 3 9.8
29 Portugal 7 2.8 9.8
86 Jordan 4.7 5.1 9.8
2 Norway 8.1 1.6 9.7
17 Belgium 6.9 2.8 9.7
3 Australia 6.5 3.1 9.6
38 Argentina 4.3 5.3 9.6
9 Netherlands 5.7 3.5 9.2
34 Malta 7 2.2 9.2
6 Sweden 7.7 1.4 9.1
70 Brazil 4.8 4 8.8
20 Italy 6.5 2.2 8.7
23 Israel 6.1 2.6 8.7
27 Slovenia 6.6 2.1 8.7
14 Denmark 7.1 1.5 8.6
121 South Africa 3.5 5.1 8.6
19 New Zealand 6.5 1.9 8.4
66 Bosnia and Herzegovina 4.1 4.2 8.3
46 Uruguay 3.6 4.6 8.2
110 Nicaragua 3.9 4.3 8.2
13 Spain 5.7 2.4 8.1
16 United Kingdom 7 1.1 8.1

As you can see Health Care in the U.S. takes a larger slice of GDP than it does in the Occupied Territories of Palestine and in Lebanon. So called "Socialized" medical systems from countries such as Canada, France, England and Germany , which we are always told to be afraid of increasing cost and lowering services are all between 30-50% less expensive than our system and all of the - all of them - rank higher in terms of the resulting quality of service as well as life expectancy of their citizens. (At 77.9 years, the U.S. Ranks 29th, Japan is first at 82.3)
The U.S. spends nearly TWICE AS MUCH of it's GDP as the U.K. on Health Care - in fact, the TOTAL COST of Health Care in England is less than the cost of our Private Health Care System AlONE! That's money being Bled out of our corporations and our national productivity, it's making the U.S. Less competitive and our workers less employable.

The U.S. also ranks in about 30th place, behind France, Canada, Norway and Sweden in Infant Morality. (Averaging 6 cases of mortality for every 1,000 Live births - Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Finland, Singapore, Slovenia and the Czech Republic all have half that number with only 3 cases, France and Germany average 4, Canada and England average 5) If we care about "Saving Babies" so much - why can't we keep ours alive even after they've been born?

The best version of a "Public Option" in my mind would be to simply allow people to buy into Medicare. Instead of paying premiums to Blue Cross, they could have their employer pay those premiums - at most likely a far lower pre-tax rate - directly to Medicare to allow themselves early access to that system before they reach the minimum age requirements.

Now Medicare isn't perfect, it still needs to have it's prescription drug program fixed to allow it to negotiate for the best price from providers, but it's far FAR cheaper and more efficient that any current private system, and it's exactly that competition that the big Insurers are afraid of, therefore we should be sure to give it to them and let the consumers choose.

Even if the Public Option were a "Stalking Horse" for government run Health Care - it would save us Hundreds of Billions compared to what we're paying Privates insurance Companies now.

While we're at it, we also need to ban the blocking of coverage for "Pre-Existing Conditions" and stop allowing bonuses to be paid for insurance corporation pencil pushers who deny legitimate claims. Only a doctor and their patient should be making the decision on what type of treatment is needed.

Lastly, we need to stop making the Emergency Room the very first stop for the uninsured. Basic preventive Care and screening for common issues should be available to everyone, anywhere, free of cost, because the primary way we'll save costs as well as improve outcomes is to catch a potential disease early before it becomes Critical.

Even if we don't provide full coverage to every citizen - we HAVE TO DO THIS - at a bare minimum.

Anything less is a failure.


Tuesday, June 16

GITMO Docs show Torture = I Make Up Stories

Rachel Discusses Most recent Document Dump from the CIA/Gitmo Files.

Dick Cheney:

I think, for example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was the number three man in al Qaeda, the man who planned the attacks of 9/11, provided us with a wealth of information.

Truth according to the latest set of released documents:

I make up stories,” Mohammed said, describing in broken English an interrogation probably administered by the CIA that concerned the location of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

“Where is he? I don’t know. Then he torture me,” Mohammed said. “Then I said, ‘Yes, he is in this area.’”

How do we know KSM lied while under torture? Where's Bin Laden Now?

You know who also lied? Dick Cheney and George W Bush.

FBI Interrogator Ali Soufan has repeatedly stated, under oath before Congress and in his Op Ed that harsh tactics did NOT produce actionable intelligence from these suspects. Now we see that the suspects themselves back up Soufan, not Cheney.

It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence.

Yet once the torture started, Zubaydah stopped talking to us.

Document released last week from the CSRT (Combat Status Review Tribunals) from GITMO also show that even on the number of persons tortured, Bush and Cheney have it wrong. It wasn't just KSM, Zubaydah and Al Nashiri, it was others as well.

Abu Zubaydah: "After months of suffering and torture, physically and mentally, they did not care about my injuries that they inflicted to my eye, to my stomach, to my bladder, and my left thigh and my reproductive organs. They didn't care that I almost died from these injuries. Doctors told me that I nearly died four times." "They say ‘this in your diary.' They say ‘see you want to make operation against America.' I say no, the idea is different. They say no, torturing, torturing. I say ‘okay, I do. I was decide to make operation.'"

• Al Nashiri: "[And, they used to] drown me in water."

• Muhammad: "This is what I understand he [CIA interrogator] told me: you are not American and you are not on American soil. So you cannot ask about the Constitution."

• Khan: "In the end, any classified information you have is through…agencies who physically and mentally tortured me."

They even admitted to Zubaydah that they knew he wasn't a high-ranking member of Al Qaeda, they knew he wasn't even a combatant yet they kept torturing him anyway.

"They told me sorry we discover that you are not number three, not a partner even not a fighter," Zubaydah said during is tribunal hearing.

Next Up, how will Liz Cheney spin this?