Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



RIP Ben Bradlee

RIP Ben Bradlee
One of our nation's best.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GOP governor: Obamacare has made ‘real improvements in people’s lives’

ZOMG!  This guy better have someone watching his back!

Once in a great while, a politician will slip and accidentally tell the truth. Take Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), for example, who inadvertently praised the Affordable Care Act. “Repeal and replace” has been a Republican mantra for nearly as long as Obamacare has been in existence. Yet one of the GOP’s rumored 2016 front-runners isn’t playing along. 

 Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is expected to cruise to reelection this year and then seek the Republican nomination in 2016, recently told the Associated Press that repealing the Affordable Care is “not gonna happen.” “The opposition to it was really either political or ideological,” he said. “I don’t think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives.” You could almost hear Kasich’s national ambitions evaporating as the AP article made the rounds.

Remember the right wing hysterics from their bloggers from a year ago?

Right wing blogger:

"Think about what this ineptitude means in the bigger debate about Obamacare. The administration spent 3½ years and $698 million of taxpayers' money to develop this software. 

They've known since earlier this year that the system wasn't ready to support the rollout of the exchanges. Yet they proceeded anyway, apparently unconcerned about their faulty software costing Americans millions of hours of frustration and lost productivity. 

 These same bureaucrats continue to assume more and more control of our medical care. What does their incompetence say about how they will handle making life-or-death medical care decisions? Like a parasite taking over its host, Obamacare will commandeer almost 20% of our economy, crowding out private options. 

With 2014 fast approaching, what should we expect in its next phase?"

Ineptitude?  Yeah, right.  Here's what we got in the next phase:


And even Republican governors agree!

Funniest comment that was totally wrong:

"Always wonder about a program that is so wonderful the people who passed it don't want it, big business gets an extension because they don't want it, unions don't want it, healthy young people don't need it and they spend tens of millions trying to convince people how great it is and still few are signing up, so few they won't tell you how many." 

More on the A.C.A. (Obamacare)'s success:

"If you're a decent person, or someone who hasn't contracted a political bug, the most satisfying thing about the Affordable Care Act's enrollment total is the knowledge that it's improved many people's lives, and contributed to a sizable reduction in the uninsured population. But if you have a lot invested in the law's success, you're also relieved to have an answer to everyone trying to create the impression that Obamacare is a slow-rolling fiasco."


Obamacare Death Spiral Looks Unlikely, Study Finds

Ted Cruz's Worst Nightmare is Coming True:  Obamacare is Working!

3 Measures of Obamacare's Success

Obamacare a success? 10.3 million gained health coverage since last October 

Obamacare causes steep drop in uninsured — in deep red states

 "Gallup finds that three of the largest drops in the rate of the uninsured just happened to take place in states with the most hard-fought Senate races: Arkansas and Kentucky lead all other states in the sharpest reductions in their uninsured rate among adult residents since the healthcare law’s requirement to have insurance took effect at the beginning of the year. 
 Delaware, Washington, and Colorado round out the top five. All 10 states that report the largest declines in uninsured rates expanded Medicaid and established a state-based marketplace exchange or state-federal partnership. 

In Arkansas, the rate of uninsured dropped from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 12.4 percent now — a change of over 10 percentage points. In Kentucky, it dropped from 20.4 percent to 11.9 percent — a change of over eight percentage points. In Colorado, it dropped from 17 percent to 11 percent — a change of six percentage points."

The mid-terms?  As far as they concern Obamacare, they don't matter.  Obamacare succeeded against all hopes by the GOP that it wouldn't.  If the Republicans gain in seats in the US. Senate, so be it.  But the most important piece of legislation in Mr. Obama's presidency will not be affected by any gains in the Senate.  If anyone thinks the GOP will repeal a successful insurance program, they're dreaming.  It's not going to happen.  The GOP doesn't have the nads to repeal it.  

Everything the GOP predicted about the A.C.A. HAS NOT HAPPENED.  Everything the right wing pundits and bloggers wrote about it IS WRONG.

The A.C.A. will be the jewel in the crown of Mr. Obama's presidency, whether the U.S. Senate goes to the GOP or not in November.  It doesn't matter.  Mr. Obama's most important domestic program is here to stay, and it has succeeded in lowering the number of people in the United States who had no health insurance.

Meanwhile, here's a look back in recent history on how another president dealt with the outbreak of a deadly disease in the U.S. and a reminder of how many Americans actually died from it:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

P.S.A.s From The G.O.P.


h/t Democratic Underground

h/t D.U.

Here's some Stupid for lunch, brought to you by Americans who know diddly-squat about geography and who've listened to the ALL SCARY EBOLA ALL THE TIME! 

From Talking Points Memo:

Two Rwandan students who were supposed to begin classes Monday at a New Jersey elementary school are instead being held at home after parents expressed concern about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. 

 Philadelphia TV station WTXF reported that the school nurse at Howard Yocum Elementary School in Maple Shade, N.J. sent a letter to staff members informing them that the school planned to take the new students' temperature three times a day for 21 days as a precaution. But that letter began to circulate among concerned parents, according to WTXF, prompting the school district to post a public statement Saturday on its website. 

 "The Maple Shade School District takes the health of all students and staff very seriously," Superintendent Beth Norcia said in the statement. "As many of you are aware, we have students who have spent time in the eastern portion of Africa that were scheduled to start in our schools on Monday. This area of Africa has been unaffected by the Ebola virus. 

Despite the fact that the students are symptom-free and not from an affected area, the parents have elected to keep their children home past the 21 day waiting period." Twenty-one days is the longest known incubation period for the Ebola virus. But as WTXF pointed out, Rwanda is an east African country that lays 2,600 miles from the closest affected country in West Africa — that's about the same distance from Seattle, Washington to Philadelphia. 

 Norcia's statement said that the students would begin classes the week following the 21-day waiting period. It's unclear whether the students' parents volunteered to keep their children out of school or whether the school district suggested they do so, according to WTXF.

Monday, October 20, 2014

What You Won't Read on the Hysterical Right About Ebola


The shameful politicization of Ebola by the right continues with politicians blaming President Obama for their refusal to confirm his Surgeon General nominee, and the rightwing pundits and bloggers spooking themselves and their followers with predictions of certain death for millions of Americans. The reality, of course, is nowhere near their ridiculous Chicken Little squawkings.

Here is that reality from Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo:

Today's Very Good News on Ebola - That You Probably Haven't Heard

"...[As of] October 19th, the last day of the quarantine for the family members who were living with Duncan just before he was hospitalized. I don't know precisely when today public health authorities will end the quarantine or precisely how they will handle it. But as far as we know, according to news reports as recently as yesterday, none of the family members have shown any symptoms of the disease. So we can now say close to definitively that none of them contracted Ebola even though they were living with him in close quarters as he entered the infectious period. So what does this mean? Obviously it's good news for the family members. But it is also good news generally because of what it tells us - or rather confirms for us - about the disease we are dealing with. It is a horrific disease. But prior to the end stage when victims have profuse diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding with extremely high viral loads of the contagion, it is not that easy to transmit."


"... why did two nurses come down with it? It now seems that hospital staff were given contradictory and insufficient guidance on how to protect themselves, were not given access to the proper protective gear and much more. It was literally and figuratively a mess - a failure on the part of the hospital (which the two nurses will hopefully not pay too high a price for) but also a warning that your average US hospital was simply not prepared to deal with the mix of confusion, uncertainty and lack of familiarity with basic protocols that were virtually inevitable with the first 'walk-in' case of Ebola anywhere in the industrialized world. 

 Luckily, though, procedures in hospital settings can be tightened, changed - the contagiousness of Ebola 'in the wild', out in society in the early stages of the disease - can't be. This evidence tends to confirm that it does not move rapidly or that efficiently. The CDC has already created a rapid response team that will go to a hospital as soon as the presence of an Ebola patient is reasonably suspected, to make sure correct protocols are being followed. That clearly should have been thought of and put in place before. It wasn't. But now it has."

From Forbes:

"...the United States’ built-in defenses are stronger than this infection. Every Ebola patient on American soil – there are four – was infected either in Liberia or Sierra Leone or because they were treating Thomas Duncan, the Liberian patient in Dallas. Even though that nurse traveled on a plane, it’s entirely possible—and likely –that she did not infect a single person on that plane. Health officials still have plenty of opportunity to keep the virus from spreading here in the United States. And even if more people do come to the U.S. while infected with Ebola and develop symptoms here, it will still be their family members and the healthcare workers who care for them who will be at risk, not the population at large.

Despite the closure of schools in Ohio and Texas because students or staff members were on the plane with that nurse, despite the fact that people all over the country are suddenly becoming nervous about flying, your risk of catching Ebola is still far less than your risk of dying from the flu, which killed 53,667 Americans in 2010. In fact, if you’re not a healthcare worker treating an Ebola patient, it’s probably zero. The news that a potentially exposed health care worker who had gone on a cruise ship was, in fact, not infected should drive this fact home. 

 'This is not influenza or measles,' says Paul Offit, the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 'It’s not spread by the respiratory route. If you’re sitting next to someone on a plane, you’re not going to catch it. People should take note of the fact that Duncan’s family never got sick.' 

 How do we know that this virus can be corralled and controlled? Here’s a one-word answer: Nigeria."


Why do politicians, pundits and bloggers on the right continue to spread fear and misunderstanding about Ebola?  


If you're getting your information only from those sources, it is no wonder you're hiding under your bed.


Senator Ted Cruz (Bat-Shyte-Crazy-TX) intoned on one of the Sunday morning news shows: 

"CANDY CROWLEY: Do you think it would have helped … had there been a surgeon general in place to kind of calm what has become the fear of Ebola? 

 CRUZ: Look – look, of course we should have a surgeon general in place. And we don’t have one because President Obama, instead of nominating a health professional, he nominated someone who is an anti- gun activist. 

To hear the Texas Republican tell it, Dr. Vivek Murthy isn’t even a “health professional,” which is the exact opposite of reality. Outside of far-right politics, the facts are not in dispute.

Murthy is an attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. He’s also the founder of TrialNetworks, an Internet portal for clinical-trial operations that counts Merck and Biogen Idec as customers. 

Earlier, he helped start a rural community health program in Sringeri, India, and an HIV/AIDS youth education program in India and the United States. He went to Harvard for his undergraduate degree and Yale for medical and business degrees."

Dr. Murthy's anti-gun activity?  He would like pediatricians to be able to ask parents if they own guns and if they keep those guns safely locked away from toddlers and children so that they don't accidently shoot and kill their siblings or anyone else.  

That is the definition of "anti-gun activism" in Senator Cruz's mangled mind.  

Cruz is a miserable blight on American politics.