Archive for February, 2012
Mitt’s followers are really sick of the competition. The stakes are so high, time to come together on the inspiring Mitt banner. He’s nearly flawless. Better than that, he’s awesome. Also, he’s all that we have.
All the remaining candidates, including Romney, are flawed and would be nearly fatally so if they weren’t running against such a weak president.
Times have changed. A big government Republican is not what most of the GOP, or country, want, but that’s what is before them.
None of these guys are much likable. None are trustworthy in the ways of trimming the fat of the government.
Barack Obama isn’t trustworthy about cutting government but he is likable. We may not like him, but most of America still does or really wants to.
The argument that Mitt Romney is the only guy, the smartest guy, the electable guy gets wearying in the face of clear evidence that he’s imperfect and runs a kinda nasty campaign all while expecting kid-glove treatment by others. In addition, his core is so middle of the road, people don’t trust that he will do anything he says he will.
An independent, fiscally conservative friend in Michigan shared this with me after I asked who got their vote:
I did not vote. I was contemplating it on the way home and decided against it.
I had determined I would have to vote for Romney since Santorum still elicits no confidence from me. The thought of it disgusted me so much that I chose to not vote.
Primary voting has been rather suppressed everywhere. If it weren’t for the Democrats in Michigan, would turnout have been lower?
In a disastrous Obama administration, it’s difficult to fathom that people on the right are so completely disheartened.
Still, they feel about Mitt Romney the way they felt about Health Care Reform: He’s being rammed down their throats.
It makes people a little less forgiving when the Super McAwesome Candidate flubs a stupid question by a stupid reporter. Like Josh Trevino says, “The real problem with this Blunt/Romney thing is that it was eminently plausible as first reported.”
Also, Britt Hulme gets to the heart of it:
@ByronYork I thought Romney skipped past the question, to seize a chance to stick it to Santorum on contraception. Not a considered answer.
— Brit Hume (@Kimsfirst) March 1, 2012
It’s that eagerness to jam Santorum and the absolute insistence by Mitt’s followers that he’s the nicest and smartest and most electable guy in the field, left that makes folks dig in their heels. If Mitt were such a stellar candidate and seemed so nice and electable, people would forgive the foibles. The problem is that he doesn’t.
Obama is so awful that a GOP turnip would get most of the bases’ vote but it’s naive to believe that folks like my independent friend will make the effort to do so. They’ll just stay home because “they all suck”.
Will the not-Mitt crowd submit? Some might. I’m afraid this acrimonious primary will make it difficult for everyone to fall in line this time.
So, Tea Party Patriots co-leaders Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin weren’t so much “co” and fought over leadership. And then they spent $250,000 on the ridiculous Southern Republican Leadership Conference to host the debate which by all accounts was an unmitigated debacle.
What will come of the Tea Party?
Locally, Tea Parties are either getting involved on issue advocacy or remaking their state GOP or working on getting elected, etc. Nationally, I’m not sure the groups continue to have much purpose anymore–thus the acrimony.
It is long past time for Tea Party leaders (of whom?–the Tea Party movement was/is like an amoeba breaking apart and coming back together depending on need) to either go back to civilian life and make a difference by getting a job and getting involved civically locally or to have a concrete mission. There is already an over-abundance of political organizations who don’t do much good but do manage to fundraise a lot of money.
A couple years ago when the Houston Tea Party split up, the two leaders displayed some wisdom: they chose different missions and stayed friendly.
One, True The Vote, has been doing the tough job of cleaning up elections–cleaning up voter registration lists, validating registered voters, teaching people how to be poll watchers, etc. They had over 17,000 volunteers to help Governor Walker verify signatures on the recall ballot and managed to get it 92% finished by the absurd deadline.
The volunteers from all fifty states entered over 4.5 million pieces of data in only 32 days. In stark contrast to anything Democrat, the data is uploaded and completely transparent for all to see.
In short, they found Democrats being Democrats.
Unsurprisingly, the Democrats are displeased. They operate more happily when they can commit their fraud unchecked. Well, they’re being checked.
Democrats view the Scott Walker recall election as symbolic and worthy of all their resources. They figured they could push through the recall with no transparency.
Republicans need to see the urgency in Wisconsin, too. The Left must be pushed back. Please listen to Alan Vera, National Training Director of True the Vote, implore activists to get involved. [Text at link, too.]
Catherine Englebrecht, founder of True the Vote, has been sued, vilified, threatened, and continually harassed. Yet, she sees True the Vote’s most important work ahead and that keeps her motivated.
“If the government won’t do their job, we as citizens must do the job they won’t do,” she says of stopping voter fraud.
So, what should the Tea Party groups do? Find a mission like True the Vote. Find issus to advocate. Get or make a job and do it.
The next phase after awareness is action. Part of the reason for all the scuffling is one, a fight over resources and two, a lack of clear mission. The latter will clear up the former.
Learn more about True the Vote Summit here.
Who ever thought that the Boomers would kill the youth culture? They’ve managed to.
It’s all old-aged melodrama now. Reality doesn’t apply to Boomers. They will not get old.
Shhh…don’t tell them, but they’re old.
I don’t necessarily mind that people are reassessing their activity level and what it means to be old.
Still, the self-indulgence of these folks is grating. Perpetual adolescence by an entire generation is lame.
P.S. Where was Jack Nicholson?
Also, why the Grammy’s were better than the Oscars.
The story will be about bullying, though.
Jason D. Fodeman, M.D. internal medicine resident, writes an interesting post about the prescription drug crisis. He says:
The tragic death of Whitney Houston has once again shined the spotlight on the abuse of prescription drugs and the doctors who prescribe them. Legislators, experts and pundits are blaming physicians for liberally prescribing narcotics, but an honest debate must also examine how government policy has helped foster this crisis.
The abuse of prescription medications is not limited to Rodeo Drive and the Upper East Side. It is a national problem. From Crenshaw to Harlem, and practically everywhere in between, it plagues the practice of good medicine in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.
Inevitably, doctors with the power to prescribe these medications have found themselves at the center of the storm. Are physicians avaricious enablers looking to profit off the addiction of others or are they merely pawns desperately trying to stay afloat navigating the system legislators and regulators have established?
His answer is no, that’s it’s more complicated than that. I’m afraid physicians are being let of the hook. Please go read his whole post.
Chiropractors (and I am one) work with many pre and post-surgical patients suffering with back pain, joint problems, head aches, etc. The vast majority of patients use at least one medication. Most, many more. A scary number have used meds for non-medical reasons. They are not alone.
In the last couple years, easily over 50% of the patients are on some form of anti-depressant. Nearly 100% of patients who went to their MD’s first for some ache or pain are prescribed narcotics or muscle relaxants. No, that is not an exaggeration.
There is nothing quite so appalling as seeing a patient “not there” due to some psychotropic med or who is suffering drug withdrawals from trying to get off a narcotic for a relatively innocuous discomfort.
My feeling is that the medical profession, while harried and pressured by patients, just don’t see the harm in the medication. Most view it as an objective good and a benefit in the modern medical world. And while medications, and even narcotics, are indeed amazing advances, they are dangerous because they are so powerful and effective.
Very few docs watch their post-surgical or quasi-surgical (trying to not have patient go to surgery) patients closely. Many give huge prescriptions for narcotics instead of being circumspect and forcing the patient to come back for more meds if there’s trouble or prescribing something less pain-masking but easier to wean from.
A patient has to be very medication-wary themselves and press the doctor for alternatives.
Pain medication of the narcotic variety are psychologically as well as physically addictive. They remove the feeling of pain everywhere — body and mind. People don’t realize what pain they’re living with until it’s not there. Dangerous.
The solution to the problem of over-prescribing: doctors need to get into the mentality of least interventionist policy necessary. They also need to better monitor patients on psychotherapeutic and pain meds.
Most importantly, patients need to educate themselves. There’s this notion that narcotics or psychotropic meds are no big deal. Many friends and patients are shocked when I tell them something like this:
Caffeine –> Speed –> Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine (ADD medication) –> Crystal meth
Those are stimulants, just as an example. There’s a reason why kids are smashing Adderall and snorting it. It’s a rush and it is more powerful than regular old speed.
Here are the order for narcotics:
Codeine (e.g. Tylenol #3) –> Hydrocodone (e.g. Vicodin) –> Oxycodone (e.g. Percocet, Oxycontin)
Percocet and Oxycontin, well all of these drugs, but especially these last ones are highly sought after as street drugs for a reason. I watched a post-surgical friend go through withdrawals, have trouble sleeping, get the shakes, etc. As his friend, I knew that he wasn’t feeling pain from the surgery anymore. He had a great surgeon, who was paying attention, but was still a wee bit lax. So his wife and he talked and he agreed that he was wanting the medication because it felt good but that he wasn’t feeling pain so much. He was scared by this and so were we and so, his wife helped wean him. It was a tough week. And this was a guy who had needed the medication very badly. He recovered fine, but he had to gut it up for a few days.
Here are the order for muscle relaxants which are also addictive (did you know that? most don’t). Good site about meds generally:
Carisoprodol (Soma). This drug’s dosage is 350mg every eight hours as needed for muscle spasm. Soma is typically prescribed on a short-term basis and may be habit-forming, especially if used in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs that have a sedative effect.
Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril). This medication can be used on a longer-term basis and actually has a chemical structure related to some antidepressant medications, although it is not an antidepressant. Usually it is prescribed as 10mg every six hours as needed to relieve low back pain associated with muscle spasm, or it can also be prescribed as 10mg at night as needed to help with difficulty sleeping. Flexeril can impair mental and physical function, and may lead to urinary retention in males with large prostates.
Diazepam (Valium). Valium is usually limited to one to two weeks of use, and the typical dosage is 5-10mg every six hours as needed to relieve low back pain associated with muscle spasm. Because of its habit-forming potential, and because it changes sleep cycles and makes it very difficult to sleep after stopping the drug, Valium should not be used long term. Patients should also note that Valium is a depressant and can worsen depression associated with chronic pain.
Mind you, most patients with back pain alone are on multiple medications. After two meds, no doctor can predict the interaction.
Both patients and physicians are far too casual about their medication use. I haven’t even included anti-inflammatories or anti-depressants or anti-psychotics (over used now for depression and/or ADD off-label), or NSAIDs.
Did you know that the NUMBER TWO cause of death in the United States is prescribed medication poisoning?
“Deaths and hospitalizations associated with prescription drug misuse have reached epidemic proportions,” said the study’s lead author, Jeffrey H. Coben, MD, of the West Virginia University School of Medicine. “It is essential that health care providers, pharmacists, insurance providers, state and federal agencies, and the general public all work together to address this crisis. Prescription medications are just as powerful and dangerous as other notorious street drugs, and we need to ensure people are aware of these dangers and that treatment services are available for those with substance abuse problems.”
While Dr. Foderman is right to bring attention to this very important issue, I think he lets doctors and patients both off the hook.
Americans are far too pain-avoident these days. Unwilling to suffer even a tiny amount, patients are asking for and getting, or just being given, very powerful medications that have far worse consequences than the discomfort would itself.
This is a cultural problem as much as it is a medical one. Escaping from pain creates more pain.
Bonus: All the celebrities who have died from prescription med overdose. Add Whitney Houston who had Xanax, Valium, and alcohol in her system.
I get the West Virginian misery and the Rust Belt depression, but Florida? Are old people just cranky? Is it the swamps? Unemployment? Housing crisis? Sucky schools?
Maybe I answered my own question.
Gallup has the rest of the data on the states. The mid-west and west (all but Nevada–shocka!) are pretty happy.
I wonder if there’s any correlation with legalized prostitution and misery. Hey, just wondering!
Seems to me, that work and home stress is the key to lack of well-being, more than anything.
Who wins between California and Texas? Well, as a Texan who lived in California for three years, the answer to this question is clear.
Will Franklin has put together some fascinating infographics about how Republicans and Democrats feel about Texas and California. Go take a look. It’s not surprising, really, but to see it laid out is still disturbing.
Fascinating. There are two dominant models for governance in America today. The California model of high taxation, bloated government, forced unionization, enviro-luddite regulation, higher unemployment, and intense domestic out-migration of individuals and businesses, versus the Texas model of low taxes, streamlined government, right-to-work labor laws, balanced environmental regulation, abundant job creation, and robust domestic in-migration.
Despite having 12 million fewer people, Texas exports 56.8% more than California.
My conclusion? Democrats really, really don’t care about fiscal responsibility at all–not even a little bit. They must think there’s a magic money tree somewhere.
According to this recent poll, President Obama’s first term might be his last term based on his signature piece of legislation. Susan Page of USA Today reports:
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a clear majority of registered voters call the bill’s passage “a bad thing” and support its repeal if a Republican wins the White House in November. Two years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about its constitutionality next month — the president has failed to convince most Americans that it was the right thing to do.
“Mandating that you have to buy the insurance rubs me the wrong way altogether,” says Fred Harrison, 62, a horse trainer from York County, Pa., who was among those surveyed and supports repeal even though he likes some provisions of the law. “It should be my own choice.”
Well, this is predictable.
Some on the right fear that when Obamacare gets more entrenched, say around 2014, that people will like it more. I disagree. Here’s why:
1. People who are currently insured don’t have long doctor wait times, can get procedures covered if their doctor deems them necessary, etc. Under Obamacare, wait times, access, will get worse.
2. People who aren’t currently insured already get health care. I know this is shocking, but they do. Now, they’re going to have to buy insurance, sign up with paperwork, go through crap to get what they used to get by pay cash or turning up on a hospital’s doorstep.
3. Many people excited about Obamacare are excited in theory and have little to lose. That is, they are already richand can afford what they want no matter or they’re already poor and on the government dole.
The vast middle of America hates Obamcare and their fury will rise as the government tells them all the treatments, tests, medications, and doctors they can and cannot have.
Nationalized healthcare (and for all the blather otherwise, this is centrally controlled health care) is profoundly un-American. It goes against the grain of everything American.
Obamcare is anti-choice, anti-freedom, anti-responsibility, and pro-central command and control, pro-limits, and pro-bureaucracy.
It is a disaster.
Sticks and stones and all that. Oh civilized lefties. I’m copying it all for posterity:
Murdering, Lying, Thieving, Rat-F*** Republican Pieces of Sub-Amphibian Sh**…
…mendacious, death-loving, frothing, lamprey-mouthed, inhuman, abominable, atrocious, verminous, rapacious, sadistic, bullying, invasive, grasping, psychopathic, twisted, warped, animalistic, belly-crawling, mouth-breathing, illiterate, innumerate, know-nothing, imbecilic, sheep-raping, horror movie extras masturbating into wads of money while fantasizing about war collateral damage…(inhale)…puppy-torturing, vacuous, mindless, nihilistic, evil, diseased, soulless, morally bankrupt, greedy, insecure, envious, kleptomaniac charnel-house mascots stewing in universal hatred for all life…(inhale)…toxic, ugly, bestial, humorless, loveless, compassionless, demonic human-shaped ruins forever slouching toward Bethlehem in search of some fresh nightmare to wreak on the defenseless via other people’s money and heroism…(inhale)…Satanic monkey-shit-throwing, cowardly, chickenhawkish, parasitic, baby’s-candy-stealing, wife-beating, minority-purging, syphilitic Confederate poltergeists with erectile dysfunction…
…perverse, prurient, crocodile-eyed, necrophiliac mass-producers of human misery and gleeful destroyers of truth, justice, and the American way…sepulchre-hearted human deserts walking the Earth only to look for more victims…silly, stupid, ignorant bastards proud of every good thing they’ve never done, every person they’ve never been considerate toward, every fact they’ve never learned and will never acknowledge, and every virtue they will never possess or even attempt to comprehend…preternaturally drunken, bleary-eyed, zombie-like, empty vessels who wander aimlessly until given instruction by their masters…unthinking, unquestioning, unfeeling diabolus ex machina mockeries of the human condition, perpetually acting out a burlesque of the basest and least interesting psychological dysfunctions…
…face-chewing, self-devouring, medieval barbarian museum dioramas and depraved Nazi homunculi preserved in formaldehyde to frighten children…sick, ominous, loathsome, Nosferatu-impersonating Gollum-acolytes feasting on the flesh of our society while complaining about its taste…tax-evading, sommelier-abusing, election-buying, yacht-aficionado hemmorhoids flying flags of convenience and berating their six-year-old Chinese employees for requesting bathroom breaks…
Republicans, you vile, repulsive, scum. You’re not leading this country. You’re not contributing to this country. You’re not even part of this country. You are the maggot-ridden rot that arises in this country’s damaged flesh; you are the vultures constantly picking at us to see if we’re weak enough yet to become your next meal; you create problems where none would otherwise exist, just to further weaken America and quicken your own insatiable appetites; you are garbage, and you are traitors. And you are not welcome in this country anymore.
What I like is the nuance.
Barack Obama is Koch obsessed. It’s getting ridiculous. Here’s a one of Obama’s campaign manager’s blog posts:
In just about 24 hours, Mitt Romney is headed to a hotel ballroom to give a speech sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a front group founded and funded by the Koch brothers.
Those are the same Koch brothers whose business model is to make millions by jacking up prices at the pump, and who bankrolled Tea Party extremism, and committed $200 million to try to destroy President Obama before Election Day.
So in the hours before Romney courts two men obsessed with making Barack Obama a one-term president, let’s see how many of us can chip in to the Two-Term Fund.
Koch spokesman Philip Ellender, President, Government & Public Affairs, Koch Companies Public Sector, responds:
If the President’s campaign has some principled disagreement with the arguments we are making publicly about the staggering debt the President and previous administrations have imposed on the country, the regulations that are stifling business growth and innovation, the increasing intrusion of government into nearly every aspect of American life, we would be eager to hear them. But it is an abuse of the President’s position and does a disservice to our nation for the President and his campaign to criticize private citizens simply for the act of engaging in their constitutional right of free speech about important matters of public policy. The implication in that sort of attack is obvious: dare to criticize the President’s policies and you will be singled out and personally maligned by the President and his campaign in an effort to chill free speech and squelch dissent.
This is not the first time that the President and his Administration have engaged in this sort of disturbing behavior. As far back as August, 2010, Austan Goolsbee, then the President’s chief economic advisor, made public comments concerning Koch’s tax status and falsely stated that the company did not pay income tax, which triggered a federal investigation into Mr. Goolsbee’s conduct that potentially implicated federal law against improper disclosure of taxpayer information. Last June, your colleagues sent fundraising letters disparaging us as “plotting oil men” bent on “misleading people” with “disinformation” in order to “smear” the President’s record. Those accusations were baseless and were made at the very same time the president was publicly calling for a more “civil conversation” in the country.
It is understandable that the President and his campaign may be “tired of hearing” that many Americans would rather not see the president re-elected. However, the inference is that you would prefer that citizens who disagree with the President and his policies refrain from voicing their own viewpoint. Clearly, that’s not the way a free society should operate.
The humorous part of the Obama’s demonizing and personalizing their insult against the Koch foundation is that the company actually creates something of value for America.
What has Obama done for America? Ever?
Meanwhile, Obama is David Geffen’s foot soldier. I’m reading through Jason Mattera’s new book Hollywood Hypocrites. It’s absolutely appalling how the big money, tax stealing Hollywood types help guide Obama’s messaging and image. They control how politics is perceived and the Obama administration is obsessed with the few rich guys who have the courage of their convictions to stand up against his tyranny.
Obama wants no dissent.
Sorry, El Presidente, it’s not a dictatorship, yet.
Has a president, outside of Nixon, been so thin-skinned?