Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bush Vows to Veto SCHIP Funding

Bush opposes $35 Billion for healthy American children but requests $190 Billion in additional funding for the Iraq War

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Your Tax Dollars at Work

The Raw Story
"The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air," Tony Perry reports in Monday's edition of the
LA Times. "The four L-shaped buildings, constructed in the late 1960s, are part of the amphibious base at Coronado and serve as barracks for Seabees." More ...

A tip of the hat to Google Earth for uncovering this 45 year-old blunder.

How often should you see your doctor?

Whitecoat Underground
No woo today. The Archives of Internal Medicine, the same journal that brought you yesterday’s acupuncture article, also had a study of the cost of annual exams by your primary care doctor. It turns out it’s expensive. But expensive for whom? It has never been determined how often “everyone” should see their doctor. It seems obvious that sicker people should go more often, and healthy people less often. But it would be essentially impossible to design a good study to answer this question. More ....

Friday, September 14, 2007

Move America Forward is as fake as Bush's Military Record

The pro-war organization Move America Forward is a sleaze machine run by Russo Marsh & Rogers, a GOP consultation firm that made its bones using political gutter tactics camouflaged under an explosion of patriotic icons. This organization has ties to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group that attacked John Kerry's documented military record.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sometimes, when I am particularly depressed, I ascribe our behavior to stupidity—the stupidity of our leadership, the stupidity of our culture. Thirty years ago we suffered military defeat—fighting an unwinnable war against a country about which we knew nothing and in which we had no vital interests at stake. Vietnam was bad enough, but to repeat the same experiment thirty years later in Iraq is a strong argument for a case of national stupidity.

Arthur Schlesinger Jr., The New York Review

Tennessee Congressperson Blackburn

After hearing Tennessee Congressperson Blackburn speak for a second time, I must say that I've heard more intelligent commentary spoken by a Tickle-Me Elmo doll.

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. John Stewart Mill

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq's civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves. Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the "War on Terror" to Halliburton and Blackwater. After a powerful tsunami devastates the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts. New Orleans's residents, still scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened. More ...

In a few short years, the complex [disaster capitalism] has already expanded its market reach from fighting terrorism to international peacekeeping, to municipal policing, to responding to increasingly frequent natural disasters. The ultimate goal for the corporations at the centre of the complex is to bring the model of for-profit government, which advances so rapidly in extraordinary circumstances, into the ordinary functioning of the state - in effect, to privatise the government.
Excerpt from Shock Doctrine
Guardian Unlimited
The Shock Doctrine
by Naomi Klein

Childrens' Dental Health Protected

American Dental Association
The House and Senate have passed versions of legislation reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, but both met with disapproval from the White House, which objects to expanding the program. House and Senate conferees will meet this month to iron out differences. Whether the president follows through on his veto threat remains to be seen. Our grassroots advocacy team, responding to a series of ADA action alerts, was instrumental in ensuring that important dental provisions remained in the respective bills. Not only were our efforts successful, but several members of Congress spoke during the debates about the need for dental care for SCHIP-eligible children. The most important provision in the House version is a federal dental guarantee for eligible children. Most states currently offer a dental benefit, but it's not required under federal law. The Senate bill is more complicated. While it doesn’t include the dental guarantee provision, the Senate did include $200 million in grants for states to improve SCHIP dental programs.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last month surprised enrollees, patient advocates and state government officials with new, tougher guidelines on how states may use SCHIP funds to pay for health (and dental) benefits for children in families with incomes greater than 250% of the federal poverty level. The new guidelines are part of the Bush Administration's efforts to refocus SCHIP on lower-income people. Some state officials believe the new regulation sets unattainable requirements and would force at least 12 states to modify plans to revoke coverage and in the process lower the amount of federal dollars those states receive. We’re reviewing this new regulation to determine its full impact. This development also could affect SCHIP legislation currently under consideration in Congress.

Copyright © 2007 American Dental Association. Reproduction or republication strictly prohibited without prior written permission.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We Remember

Our single-minded focus after 9-11 should have been to bring the al quiada terrorists and osama bin laden to righteous American justice. What did Duyba do to avenge the thousands of American dead? He facilitated the transfer of billions in taxpayer dollars to his corporate friends in Halliburton, KBR, and Blackwater Security. Impeach Bush Now!

Monday, September 03, 2007

International Red Cross: War Crimes at Abu Ghraib

History Will Not Absolve Us
The Village Voice Aug 28, 2007
If and when there's the equivalent of an international Nuremberg trial for the American perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Guantánamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the CIA's secret prisons, there will be mounds of evidence available from documented international reports by human-rights organizations, including an arm of the European parliament...
[A] former CIA officer: "When you cross over that line of darkness, it's hard to come back. You lose your soul. You can do your best to justify it, but . . . you can't go back to that dark a place without it changing you."
If we, the people, are ultimately condemned by a world court for our complicity and silence in these war crimes, we can always try to echo those Germans who claimed not to know what Hitler and his enforcers were doing. But in Nazi Germany, people had no way of insisting on finding out what happened to their disappeared neighbors. Full report ...
* Abu Ghraib painting by Fransisco Botero (more in series)

The only way for us to avoid complicity in this "crime against humanity" is to force our government to launch a full and complete investigation into the abuses of human rights carried out by the Bush/Cheney/Gonzales triumvirate. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil," cautioned Edmund Burke, "is that good men do nothing."