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Old 08-11-2009, 05:04 PM   #391
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So talking to people about living wills and DNR requests now equals "death panels".
What? That doesn't make sense to you?
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:29 PM   #392
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Well, now that you mention it . . .

I guess all these years when I've had people speak at the senior center about living wills, instead of "free information about living wills", I should have put "free information about death panels" on the flyers. People probably would have paid more attention that way.
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:12 PM   #393
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Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009
Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama's 'Deadly Doctor,' Strikes Back
By Michael Scherer / Washington

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the medical ethicist and oncologist who advises President Obama, does not own a television, and if you catch him in a typically energized moment, when his mind speeds even faster than his mouth, he is likely to blurt out something like, "I hate the Internet." So it took him several days in late July to discover he had been singled out by opponents of health-care reform as a "deadly doctor," who, according to an opinion column in the New York Post, wanted to limit medical care for "a grandmother with Parkinson's or a child with cerebral palsy."

"I couldn't believe this was happening to me," says Emanuel, who in addition to spending his career opposing euthanasia and working to increase the quality of care for dying patients is the brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. "It is incredible how much one's reputation can be besmirched and taken out of context."

It would only get worse. Within days, the Post article, with selective and misleading quotes from Emanuel's 200 or so published academic papers, went viral. Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann, a fierce opponent of Obama's reform plans, read large portions of it on the House floor. "Watch out if you are disabled!" she warned. Days later, in an online posting, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin attacked Emanuel's "Orwellian thinking," which she suggested would lead to a "downright evil" system that would employ a "death panel" to decide who gets lifesaving health care. By Aug. 10, hysteria had begun to take over in places. Mike Sola, whose son has cerebral palsy, turned up at a Michigan town-hall meeting to shout out concerns about what he regarded as Obama and Emanuel's plans to deny treatment to their family. Later, in an interview on Fox News, Sola held up the Post article. "Every American needs to read this," he declared.

By this point, Emanuel, who has a sister who suffers from cerebral palsy, had arrived in northern Italy, where he planned to spend a week on vacation, hiking in the Dolomites. Instead, he found himself calling the White House, offering to book a plane home to defend his name. "As an academic, what do you have? You have the quality of your work and the integrity with which you do it," he said by phone from the Italian Alps. "If it requires canceling a week's long vacation, what's the big deal?"

The attacks on Emanuel are a reminder that there is a narrow slice of Americans who not only don't trust government, but also have come to regard it as a dark conspirator in their lives. This peculiar brand of distrust helps create the conditions for fast-moving fear-mongering, especially on complex and emotionally charged topics like the life and death of the elderly and infirm. Prairie fires of that kind are hard to douse when the Administration's own plan for health care remains vague, weeks away from being ready for a public rollout. The health-care bill that recently passed the House does not contain, as some have suggested, any provisions that would deny treatment to the elderly, infirm or disabled like Sola's son. One provision allows doctors to be reimbursed for voluntary discussions of so-called living wills with patients, but does not in any way threaten to deny treatment to dying patients against their will. The legislation anticipates saving hundreds of billions of dollars by reforming the health-care system itself, a process that would try to increase the efficiency of medical care by better connecting payments to health outcomes and discouraging doctors from unnecessary tests and procedures. The Obama Administration hopes that many of these reforms will be made in the coming years by independent panels of scientists, who will be appointed by the President and overseen by Congress.

This is where the criticism of Emanuel enters the picture, since he is just the sort of scientist who might be appointed to one of those panels. For decades, Emanuel has studied the ethics of medical care, especially in situations where a scarcity of resources requires hard decisions to be made. His work sometimes deals with the hardest possible decisions, like how to choose who gets a single kidney if there are three patients in need, or the reasons that doctors order tests with little medical value. Emanuel's reputation ranks him among the top members of his field. He is published often in the best journals; he has been given multiple awards for work to improve end-of-life care. At the White House, he has taken a free-floating role at the Office of Management and Budget, advising on a wide range of health issues.

But in a country where trust is in short supply, Emanuel has become a proxy for all the worst fears of government efforts to rein in costs by denying care. "The fundamental danger is that the American people are being asked to delegate all these life-influencing decisions," explains Betsy McCaughey, the conservative scholar who wrote the New York Post attack on Emanuel. "There is a lack of transparency here."

In her Post article, McCaughey paints the worst possible image of Emanuel, quoting him, for instance, endorsing age discrimination for health-care distribution, without mentioning that he was only addressing extreme cases like organ donation, where there is an absolute scarcity of resources. She quotes him discussing the denial of care for people with dementia without revealing that Emanuel only mentioned dementia in a discussion of theoretical approaches, not an endorsement of a particular policy. She notes that he has criticized medical culture for trying to do everything for a patient, "regardless of the cost or effects on others," without making clear that he was not speaking of lifesaving care but of treatments with little demonstrated value. "No one who has read what I have done for 25 years would come to the conclusions that have been put out there," says Emanuel. "My quotes were just being taken out of context."

For Emanuel, the entire experience has been a painful education in the sometimes brutal ways of politics, something his brother has long endured and dolled out. "I guess I have a better appreciation for what Rahm had to go through for years and years," Emanuel says. But that appreciation does not solve the question raised by the controversy. There is universal understanding that the nation's fiscal course is doomed without major changes to health care, but whom will the American people trust to carry it out?

Emanuel, for his part, plans to continue his work, which is focused on finding the most equitable and ethical way for this reform to be carried out, even if he has opted against returning from the Italian Alps. "I am an Emanuel," he says. "We are pretty thick-skinned. I am not going to change my colors. I am not going to crawl under a rock."
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:59 AM   #394
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To sum up everything...

Sarah Palin = An uneducated idiot

Im sorry conservatives... but that really is the way it is.
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:45 PM   #395
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To sum up everything...

Sarah Palin = An uneducated idiot

Im sorry conservatives... but that really is the way it is.
Either that or unbelievably cynical and manipulative.
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:40 PM   #396
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To sum up everything...

Sarah Palin = An uneducated idiot

Im sorry conservatives... but that really is the way it is.
to sum up your posts in the past week
Quote:
Sarah Palin = An uneducated idiot

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

These uneducated republicans are really scaring me.

Shows the education level of some of the people afraid of government socialism...

to put it simply, most republicans are paranoid and uneducated.
Do you ever tire of labeling and insulting those with differing political views as "idiots," "stupid" or "uneducated"?

Well, beats actual debate or having to put forth the effort to defend your views I suppose.
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:13 PM   #397
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to sum up your posts in the past week

Do you ever tire of labeling and insulting those with differing political views as "idiots," "stupid" or "uneducated"?

Well, beats actual debate or having to put forth the effort to defend your views I suppose.
While I agree that putting labels on large, diverse groups of people is generally wrong, I can't help but wonder - do you think Sarah Palin is intelligent? If so, can you explain why, and give examples of times she exhibited her intelligence?
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:56 PM   #398
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Back to the health care debate... I was sent this today and thought it was brilliant.
Ed Stein was the cartoonist at the (dearly departed) Rocky Mountain News. He has his own website now, EdSteinInk.com, and his cartoons are as brilliant as ever. He always writes something brief to go with them, but today he dedicated his time and space to this column. It's spot-on.

The Speech I Want Obama To Give
By Ed Stein | August 12th, 2009
My fellow Americans, I’m speaking to you today from the Oval Office on a subject of great importance to all of us. The past few weeks have seen the debate over health care reform turn into an ugly, angry, divisive shouting match. Senators and Congressmen have been shouted down, insulted, even threatened at town hall meeting all across the country, meetings designed to help inform the people of this country about the complex issues confronting us. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the behavior of Americans who should know better. I call upon the American people to stop the shouting, to restrain your anger, and to engage instead in a respectful conversation. I ask my colleagues in the Republican Party, the television and radio commentators and others who have stoked the anger and encouraged the mob mentality that has taken over this debate to appeal for calm and for a restoration of a civil dialogue.
So much misinformation has been disseminated, so much fear has been spread, that it is difficult to even know where to begin. A final health care plan has not been submitted to me. The details of the plans working their way through Congress are still being negotiated. It is my hope that a bipartisan agreement can still be achieved for a comprehensive reform of America’s health care system. So let us not debate the details of a program which has yet to be made final.
The real debate is about what kind of country we want to live in. I ask all Americans, whatever your political leanings, whatever your profession, whatever your income, to ask yourself these fundamental questions. Do you want to live in a country where almost 50 million of your fellow Americans are without health insurance? Do you want to live in a country where 20,000 people a year die of preventable or curable illnesses because the don’t have access to adequate health care? Do you want to live in a country where 2 million people a year go bankrupt because of medical costs, where 1.5 million homes are foreclosed because people have run out of money paying for medical care, where if you lose your job you lose your health insurance, a country where you can be denied health insurance because you have a pre-existing medical condition? A country where a sudden illness can destroy your economic future, even if you have a job and health insurance?
If you find those conditions acceptable, then we need do nothing, because that’s the country you live in now. Alone in the industrialized world, America, the wealthiest nation on earth, is the only country which allows these things to happen. Our current system of health care is broken, fatally broken, and when I took the job as President, I made it my first priority to fix it. I do not, I cannot believe, that Americans want the status quo to continue.
Now ask yourselves another question. What do the shouting mobs who are drowning out the debate offer in place of what we are proposing? What do the angry opponents want, other than the status quo? Do they have a plan for solving the problems? They offer you nothing but opposition to fixing what is broken. Some for political reasons; they simply want to hand my administration a defeat. Some because they fear that any change will affect their corporate bottom line. Those who have accumulated fabulous wealth from a system that impoverishes millions want to keep the money flowing. Some oppose change because they are ideologically opposed to anything that government might propose. Some because they fear any change. No wonder they are shouting. They cannot offer you a genuine solution to our broken health care system, so they drown out the voices of hope and change instead.
My fellow Americans, we are better than this. We are a nation which has always found a way to solve our most vexing problems. Even when the issues were the most divisive, we have pulled together in the darkest of hours and forged solutions to the most difficult of issues. Today I call upon all Americans to lower our voices, to listen to each other, to speak calmly and respectfully, and to work together to build a health care system that will provide excellent, affordable medical care to every citizen of this great country.
Thank you, and may God bless America.
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:36 PM   #399
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Do you ever tire of labeling and insulting those with differing political views as "idiots," "stupid" or "uneducated"?
Do you honestly think it's the differing views that get Palin slapped with these labels? I know plenty of conservatives that use the same labels for her... the honest ones.
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Old 08-14-2009, 03:39 PM   #400
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If so, can you explain why, and give examples of times she exhibited her intelligence?


to be fair, she does read all of the newspapers.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:01 PM   #401
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to sum up your posts in the past week

Do you ever tire of labeling and insulting those with differing political views as "idiots," "stupid" or "uneducated"?

Well, beats actual debate or having to put forth the effort to defend your views I suppose.
if you read my posts, you will notice that I have argued many points and I will be happy to stand up and defend my views any day. This is my own opinion that the town hall mobs, sarah palin, and republicans screaming about socialism are idiots. Now not all republicans are idiots at all- but in my view the crazy ones are. Actually, I don think the term idiot is appropritate here- I think it is more severley uneducated about facts from opposing viewpoints. I will let you know that I watch fox news more than any other channel, I read conservative books more than liberal books, and I talk politics with more conservatives than liberals. Why? because I personally want to make sure that i see all sides of the issues. Sure I read plenty of liberal books and everything but for me, having my friends or family tell me their view isnt enough- I have to research it to get all the facts and perspectives.

Now back to the "mobs", the Sarah Palin death panel people, and the birthers- it is no exaggeration to say that they are uneducated on facts from other sides or just choose to ignore oppossing arguments. This is my view. If you want to debate a specific policy with me, I would be more than happy to, so dont say that I am simply using labels to replace discussion.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:55 PM   #402
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Having seen some of the TV footage, the sense I get is that these town hall protesters are not bad people. They're not particularly stupid either (though I wouldn't say they're geniuses either). They're just ordinary people who have really been misled.
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:38 PM   #403
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Having seen some of the TV footage, the sense I get is that these town hall protesters are not bad people. They're not particularly stupid either (though I wouldn't say they're geniuses either). They're just ordinary people who have really been misled.
I agree to a certain point... We already know some are plants. Some are I believe motivated by change of status quo, maybe not an outright racism that would be recognized by all, but a fear that a while male dominated society that they are comfortable with is slipping away. And then there are those like my uncle who would obviously benefit from Obama's healthcare for he's been dropped by everyone else, but has been poisoned by his wife who is an extremist that honestly believes Obama has an agenda to "steal the best healthcare in the world from us". The "best healthcare" system has ignored them for almost a decade.


*Both she and my Uncle have shit healthcare, both fairly young but have been given less than 5 years to live. Both lived hard lifestyles. My Uncle needs a new heart, and she needs a new everything. But she worships Glenn Beck, so will tow the line. She also thinks Obama is a Muslim that doesn't have a birth certificate.



Not outright hateful people, just really misguided. It honestly makes me sad.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:10 AM   #404
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I agree to a certain point... We already know some are plants.
Well the ones I heard were far too inarticulate to be reasonable plants!

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Some are I believe motivated by change of status quo, maybe not an outright racism that would be recognized by all, but a fear that a while male dominated society that they are comfortable with is slipping away.
I think you're right on the money here. A lot of this just an inarticulate thing that things are changing and no one knows how to stop it. The gays are coming out of the closet. Christianity doesn't seem to get the ol tip of the hat it used to (You ever notice how in the old movies, the hero wasn't a real religious man, but he'd give a tip of the hat to the Good Lord--that's mainly what these folks want--the tip of the hat), and though most wouldn't or perhaps couldn't put it into words, but a guy with a name like Obama (and yes the skin color) in the White House is just part of it.

A good number of radio and television personalities have figured out that there is bucket loads of money to be made exploiting that fear.

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And then there are those like my uncle who would obviously benefit from Obama's healthcare for he's been dropped by everyone else, but has been poisoned by his wife who is an extremist that honestly believes Obama has an agenda to "steal the best healthcare in the world from us". The "best healthcare" system has ignored them for almost a decade.


*Both she and my Uncle have shit healthcare, both fairly young but have been given less than 5 years to live. Both lived hard lifestyles. My Uncle needs a new heart, and she needs a new everything. But she worships Glenn Beck, so will tow the line. She also thinks Obama is a Muslim that doesn't have a birth certificate.



Not outright hateful people, just really misguided. It honestly makes me sad.
I'm sorry to hear about your Aunt and Uncle. I hope they get what they need.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:24 AM   #405
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Back to the health care debate... I was sent this today and thought it was brilliant.
Ed Stein was the cartoonist at the (dearly departed) Rocky Mountain News. He has his own website now, EdSteinInk.com, and his cartoons are as brilliant as ever. He always writes something brief to go with them, but today he dedicated his time and space to this column. It's spot-on.

The Speech I Want Obama To Give
By Ed Stein | August 12th, 2009
My fellow Americans, I’m speaking to you today from the Oval Office on a subject of great importance to all of us. The past few weeks have seen the debate over health care reform turn into an ugly, angry, divisive shouting match. Senators and Congressmen have been shouted down, insulted, even threatened at town hall meeting all across the country, meetings designed to help inform the people of this country about the complex issues confronting us. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the behavior of Americans who should know better. I call upon the American people to stop the shouting, to restrain your anger, and to engage instead in a respectful conversation. I ask my colleagues in the Republican Party, the television and radio commentators and others who have stoked the anger and encouraged the mob mentality that has taken over this debate to appeal for calm and for a restoration of a civil dialogue.
So much misinformation has been disseminated, so much fear has been spread, that it is difficult to even know where to begin. A final health care plan has not been submitted to me. The details of the plans working their way through Congress are still being negotiated. It is my hope that a bipartisan agreement can still be achieved for a comprehensive reform of America’s health care system. So let us not debate the details of a program which has yet to be made final.
The real debate is about what kind of country we want to live in. I ask all Americans, whatever your political leanings, whatever your profession, whatever your income, to ask yourself these fundamental questions. Do you want to live in a country where almost 50 million of your fellow Americans are without health insurance? Do you want to live in a country where 20,000 people a year die of preventable or curable illnesses because the don’t have access to adequate health care? Do you want to live in a country where 2 million people a year go bankrupt because of medical costs, where 1.5 million homes are foreclosed because people have run out of money paying for medical care, where if you lose your job you lose your health insurance, a country where you can be denied health insurance because you have a pre-existing medical condition? A country where a sudden illness can destroy your economic future, even if you have a job and health insurance?
If you find those conditions acceptable, then we need do nothing, because that’s the country you live in now. Alone in the industrialized world, America, the wealthiest nation on earth, is the only country which allows these things to happen. Our current system of health care is broken, fatally broken, and when I took the job as President, I made it my first priority to fix it. I do not, I cannot believe, that Americans want the status quo to continue.
Now ask yourselves another question. What do the shouting mobs who are drowning out the debate offer in place of what we are proposing? What do the angry opponents want, other than the status quo? Do they have a plan for solving the problems? They offer you nothing but opposition to fixing what is broken. Some for political reasons; they simply want to hand my administration a defeat. Some because they fear that any change will affect their corporate bottom line. Those who have accumulated fabulous wealth from a system that impoverishes millions want to keep the money flowing. Some oppose change because they are ideologically opposed to anything that government might propose. Some because they fear any change. No wonder they are shouting. They cannot offer you a genuine solution to our broken health care system, so they drown out the voices of hope and change instead.
My fellow Americans, we are better than this. We are a nation which has always found a way to solve our most vexing problems. Even when the issues were the most divisive, we have pulled together in the darkest of hours and forged solutions to the most difficult of issues. Today I call upon all Americans to lower our voices, to listen to each other, to speak calmly and respectfully, and to work together to build a health care system that will provide excellent, affordable medical care to every citizen of this great country.
Thank you, and may God bless America.
That would be an excellent speech.

Perhaps it's time Obama addresses the nation - or would that just fan the flames?
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