Open Thread

In defence of Betsy McCaughey

Back a few days ago Jon Stewart did an interview with Betsy McCaughey. While Jon did a good job of entertaining, I don’t think he did a good job of debunking the issues. In fact, I think he may have missed the point.

In the first segment …

Betsy gets into the subject of what folds into the rating of doctors and she raises (a) a criteria to introduce living wills, and (b) the measurement of the follow-through on those directives. In effect, what Betsy is saying is that when your healthy you more likely to say “no – I don’t want to go onto a machine that goes beep beep beep” – and her punch line is that when your staring God in the face things can be different. Thing is both Betsy and Jon stuffed up here because neither party provided any grounded facts. I mean, seriously, I could imagine signing a living will in which I state categorically that if I suggest that I would vote for Sarah Palin then please shoot me – but what if the alternative on the ballot was Carl Rove in drag? This is Betsy’s truth – when you reach the moment of biting the bullet – Sarah or Carl – are you really ready to stand by the living will – and should your doctor be accountable to the federal government on your “Oh no not Sarah” death wish?

In the second segment …

Forgetting about the doctor insensitive thing for a moment – let’s just move on into the second segment we get to the 500 million dollars cut from Medicare. Now – I know Obama has said that this is just eliminating graft in the system – but at the end of the day if you take 500 billion away from the insurance companies – it’s just going to move back on to premiums. Go figure – I don’t need an accountant to do basic maths. As Betsy suggests – the way you adjust things is to play with edge conditions – such as denial of coverage (granny does not get her hip replacement).

In the third segment ..

One item resonated with me – and that was the question concerning the life expectancy in the USA versus the rest of the world. Jon raised the point that the USA is a 46 in the international ranking of life expectancy. Betsy put up what I though was a very salient piece of information – she responded by raising the point that when you remove violent crime and car accidents the USA is no. 1.

Things unfold in the third segment and this gets really interesting because the subject moves to what America wants to spend it’s money on. Disposable income comes into play. According to Betsy, Americans have spent a declining portion of their income of food and energy, a steady level in housing, and this differential has permitted an increased expenditure in healthcare. Betsy goes on to suggest that this is basically a shifting in spending priorities.

At the end of the day – it’s difficult to disagree with the lady.

UPDATE: 28 AUG 2009

Ok, for clarification, while I don’t agree with Betsy’s conclusions, I respect the fact that Betsy has gone digging, I respect that she has constructed a foundation for an argument, I respect the fact that she has identified weaknesses in the opposing argument. I respect the fact that she has been ready to go toe-to-toe based on a written word – and the thing is, you can’t say that about media or the Senate. Before we crucify Betsy McCaughey we have a obligation to listen, a responsibility to evaluate her arguments, and a moral imperative to debate the questions she raises (irrespective of our political or moral alignment).

173 replies on “In defence of Betsy McCaughey”

I’m not sure if you are supporting her arguments, or just pointing out that Stewart failed to do so. It’s actually quite easy to disagree with the lady.
With a living will, you can continue to make decisions about your health care as long as you are able to. The point of the living will is to record your decision for when you are no longer capable of making decisions. So you couldn’t change your mind anyway.
There is a huge amount of graft in the US health system. The result of this is that Granny probably isn’t getting her hip replacement now.
As to declining portion of income on food and housing, this is really an elitist argument. It is fine for those Americans with jobs, houses and health insurance. The whole point of the reform is that excludes a very large percent of the population. The levels of poverty in the US are disgraceful. The life expectancy is similar argument. Applies for those that have the resources, but many Americans go without basic health care and that seriously impacts on their quality of life.

Well Cat i have to disagree with your observations on this one.
I have followed the links in the story surrounding the videos and IMHO
Betsy McCaughey=Airhead & Charlottan
She is nothing more than a peddler of mis-information for the Repugs.
There is far too much information in the links to quote here which debunks her poison as well as describing how she was instrumental in the downfall of the Clinton Healthcare Bill.
Jon Stewart did not have to do anything to prove she is an airhead. She did it all of her own free will.
When she was asked to show in the bill where it stated what she was peddling she just could not.

This quote from Political Animal IMHO says it all.

DDay added, “This is how the conventional wisdom often gets set in Washington — an article that ‘the right people’ read builds among the chattering class and then is distilled out to the people, no matter its veracity. While zombies like McCaughey are still churning out the lies, there’s a whole new set — Rush, Drudge, Fox — of opinion leaders that get to set the agenda on these matters.”

Thing is both Betsy and Jon stuffed up here because neither party provided any grounded facts. I mean, seriously, I could imagine signing a living will in which I state categorically that if I suggest that I would vote for Sarah Palin then please shoot me – but what if the alternative on the ballot was Carl Rove in drag? This is Betsy’s truth – when you reach the moment of biting the bullet – Sarah or Carl – are you really ready to stand by the living will – and should your doctor be accountable to the federal government on your “Oh no not Sarah” death wish?

I treat the voluntary Euthanasia subject the same as i treat the womans rights re the pro life/pro abort subject. That it is the right of the individual and not mine to say what they are to do and i will respect their opinion either way. I certainly believe that it should not be left to a doctor alone to make the decision to pull the plug so to speak.
Especially when the person has slipped in to a coma or is clinically brain dead and only hanging on by life support.
One thing for sure is that it is a very difficult subject and i have been part of two family scenarios where there was no coming back and discussed the “pull the plug” with the doctors involved.

This kind of situation is discussed in one of the links. This is a transcript of a conversation between the Repug Senator who co-sponsored the Medicare 2007 end of life bill and Ezra Klein.

One of the foremost advocates of expanding Medicare end-of-life planning coverage is Johnny Isakson, a Republican Senator from Georgia. He co-sponsored 2007’s Medicare End-of-Life Planning Act and proposed an amendment similar to the House bill’s Section 1233 during the Senate HELP Committee’s mark-up of its health care bill.

I agree with Gaffhook on this issue. Jon Stewart debunked a lot of what she said, just by reading the bill. As someone who often has to interpret legislation, I was very impressed by Stewart’s ability to distill what was in the bill vs the bullshit Betsy propagates. She was clearly lying about the bill – attempting to look knowledgable by bringing it with her. I imagine she was quite surprised by Stewart’s understanding of what it actually said. And after that, it’s impossible to believe anything that came out of her mouth.

And Stewart was so effective, she was subjected to extensive public ridicule, and Betsy resigned from her position with a medical board within a couple of days. Game, set match Jon Stewart.

Talking about how to change attitudes in Washington.

Joe Sestak, Senate Candidate, Starts Taking On Democratic Leadership. Hoping to gain further ground in the nation’s most hotly-contested Democratic primary, Rep. Joe Sestak, (D-Penn.) has begun criticizing his own party’s leadership in Congress.

The one-time Navy admiral has, over the past week, increasingly expressed disapproval with Democrats in the Senate for their failure to ensure that a public option for insurance coverage end up in the final health care bill.

“I want to see every Democratic senator, I want to see [Majority Leader] Senator [Harry] Reid fighting for the public health care plan option, not just [Sen.] Arlen Specter, (D-Penn),” Sestak told the Huffington Post during an interview at the Netroots Nation convention earlier this month.

A few days later, in an interview with MSNBC, Sestak offered a similar refrain. “[Democratic] senators should be down there, being led by the Majority Leader, Senator Reid, fighting for public health care plan option,” he said, “because it’s good for the pocketbook, it’s good for the economy, and overall access for all is good for Americans.”

Things have been done the old way for a very long time. It doesn’t mean it can’t be changed.
continued on The Huffington Post

Righto Miss Cat – back to the Gelnail salon for you.
Have to agree with the others: Stewart nailed her (no pun intended :mrgreen: ) and she proved to be just another scaremomngering ignonant Palinite giving intelligent women in politics a bad name.

Yeah, Jen, the fact that she was all girly on TV with Jon Stewart, while uttering stupid lies, insulting Stewart’s and every viewer’s intelligence, really gave me the shits.

Ted Kennedy has passed away. It’s sad news. Yes, I know there’s Chappaquidic (spelling?) but he’s done some good things – pushed some worthy policies and causes.

I have just watched the three video interviews again.
Is she a good advert for Botox?

BAD ad for botox gaffers !
And for women generally – dipstick.
As for Catrina’s attempt at agent provocateur… not bad, but I’m not convinced. Bit like me saying really George Bush wasn’t so bad after all –
and fuck him.

Vale Edward Kennedy:

Riddled with Jimmy Dancer, he stepped up to the plate to bat for The Kid when Baz needed it most. What a trooper!
The burden of national expectation during Ted’s long tenure must have been crushing after what happened to Jack and Bobby.
Ted pushed hard for a “public option”. I don’t think the old patrician bastard would’ve minded a bit if President Obama leans on Congress bigtime to deliver the public option as The Lion Of The Senate’s legacy.

Cat, FYI:
The H R Nicholls Society Inc
PO Box 424, Collins Street West,
Vic 8007 🙂

Not that I want to sink the slipper into you while you’re on the ground, Cat. My days of Balmain Folk Dancing are long gone. Besides, it’s not really sport when blog colleagues have done such a sterling job already.
Lemme ‘av a decent butcher’s at the Betsy/Jon clip. Saw a snippet; Betsy was reflexively working the TV audience and Jon called her on it with a superb bit of mimicry. This time I’ll be listening for the former NY Lt. Governor’s substance 🙂

One feels compelled,, however to nominate Betsy Mc for:
“Most documentation tabled during the course of an interview”.

Ted will have left lots of memories and legacies and one , which Katilou mentioned, that is regretful.
However some of these current whimp Dems could take a leaf out of his book when it comes to Townhalls.

The spectacle at health care town hall meetings we are seeing today, where screaming people seek to dominate a political event ever cognizant of the cameras, remind me of those Romney people I saw that day in Boston.

But an old pro like Ted Kennedy who had been steeped in Boston politics passed down to him from the days when his maternal grandfather, Honey Fitz, was mayor, wasn’t going to allow the Romneyites to control the assembly.

Suddenly, the entire scene outside Faneuil Hall shifted when about a hundred burly men descended on the place engulfing the Romney supporters.

OT but important.,,,
paddy, if you are out there hope you are ok.
Sth Gippsland got hammered last night –
and btw, am thinking of taking the kiddies to the Prom soon for their annual This -Is- Nature-athon. ( A walk to Squeaky Beach and then the rest from the carparks ) so maybe we could meet up.
Hope all is well and the wind turbines didn’t fall over …lots of power to the grid though I’ll wager.

I know this is sentimental schlock, but Geez the Kennedy’s have had a sad time. Just proves money means JackShit when the time comes.
(although it’s obviously fun in the meantime.)

While Betsy McHeifer was trotting out her statistics i think Jon Stewart nailed it when he said “if the money is availabe” or some such words.
He makes a good point there as US 35 years ago the US was equal tops with Canada as a proportion of GDP at 7%.

In 2004 the US is a runaway winner at 15.3% and Canada was at 9.9%. If that trend continued they would be well and truly crying out for euthanasia or looking for a new country to invade and live.
This article was blogged by Paul Krugman in March 2008.

What this suggests is that a more integrated system wouldn’t just achieve a one-time saving, but also flatten the upward trend. Among other things, this would help the long-run fiscal picture. Moral: stop bashing Social Security, start demanding health care reform.

According to Wichipedia they are second now only to East Timor.

Current estimates put U.S. health care spending at approximately 15.3% of GDP, second only to East Timor (Timor-Leste) among all United Nations member nations.[2] The health share of GDP is expected to continue its historical upward trend, reaching 19.5 percent of GDP by 2017.[23][24] Of each dollar spent on health care in the United States 31% goes to hospital care, 21% goes to physician services, 10% to pharmaceuticals, 8% to nursing homes, 7% to administrative costs, and 23% to all other categories (diagnostic laboratory services, pharmacies, medical device manufacturers, etc.[8] Reports on the percentage of costs that go to profits varies from 25-30%.

I am not sure but i believe i read somewhere that Oz healthcare is at 6% of GDP.

“There must be some kinda way outta here
said a Joker to the thief….”

Aug 26:

Aug 25:

Viewed from the other side, this picture could Hopefully be captioned: “Dawn”.


Yeah, gaffy and Jen, bloody tragic family. The accursed Kennedys.

Have a listen to what Bobby said only minutes before his assassination. Sat in the theatre a quivering mess after this penultimate scene from “Bobby”.
What was most moving was the actual tribute poor and black Americans gave Bobby’s funeral train. They lined the tracks in massive numbers as it carried him home from CA to the East Coast.
Bobby’s prophetic speech, delivered just before he was shot, is overlain.

If you want to while away a bit of time, get some popcorn and strap yourself in and watch it all unfold. Have not listened yet but no doubt from previous news there will be a fewpollies with sphincter troubles.

Sibel Edmonds depositions;

Just over two weeks ago, FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was finally allowed to speak about much of what the Bush Administration spent years trying to keep her from discussing publicly on the record. Twice gagged by the Bush Dept. of Justice’s invocation of the so-called “State Secrets Privilege,” Edmonds has been attempting to tell her story, about the crimes she became aware of while working for the FBI, for years.</blockquote.

Senator Robert C. Byrd. More accurate profile of Bob Byrd than Wikipedia.

Robert C. Byrd, a Democratic Senator from West Virginia, is the longest-serving senator in U.S. history, and has cast over 18,000 votes in his nine terms in the Senate. He served as the Democratic leader of the Senate for 12 years in the 1970s and 1980s, and later as chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

In November 2008, Senator Byrd agreed to relinquish his chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee, as the country grappled with the gravest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Mr. Byrd’s Democratic colleagues increasingly feared that Mr. Byrd, in his 90s, was no longer up to the task of running the Senate’s most powerful committee on a daily basis.

continued in The NYTimes

Jen says: paddy, if you are out there hope you are ok.

Fine here Jen, but thanks for your concern.
The locals are so fearsome down this neck of the woods, that the trees are too scared to fall over for fear of been eaten by feral farmers. 🙂
They turn the turbines off when the wind speed goes over 95 Kph.
😆 They were turned off last night and I suspect they’re off again tonight.
The prom is lovely, but it might pay to wait till the weather gets a tad warmer. (Thermal underwear at the beach is positively “Un-Australian”.) :mrgreen:


Well, well, well .. I ask you – where is the loyalty?

Cat, on the splattered palette that is the human condition,
‘twould seem at first glance at this current thread that us mob are a fey and fickle lot; sniping, snarling harriers and harpies eager to spurn your reasoned defence of the formidable cultural warrior, Betsy Mc.

Appearances though, can be deceptive. None of us would enter Ticsterdom on a frequent or even daily basis if we didn’t reckon you were not only the bee’s knees but also the cat’s whiskers 🙂's+whiskers

For better or for worse we are your cyber family and what family doesn’t have varying perceptions from time to time? If blow-ins behaved venomously towards you we would shred them. Of course you know that…. but every once in a while it needs to be stated plainly. 🙂

Anyway……Ms. Mc’s comments on Jon’s show do play heavily on a national fear of death at the term of one’s natural life in the USA that approaches the obsessive and has been well charted in writings about cryonics.

What makes some folk want to cling to terrestrial life above all else as those they know and love around them grow old and die, even though the clingers be vegetative? Is the American way of death also not to compromised? Do State and Church and Heath & Allied own your death too? How do people die naturally in say Ireland or India or what was once the Lekota Nation where the human beings once greeted each other not with Billy Pilgrim’s “Hello, Goodbye”, not with “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our deaths”, but with a phrase that is simple, beautiful and life-affirming:

“today is a good day to die”

Catrina says: where is the loyalty?

Cannon to right of her,
Cannon to left of her,
Cannon behind her
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse & heroine fell,
She that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of her,
Catrina of the six hundred.

A victim of the callous left, with ne’er a ticster in sight
to tend her grevious wounds…..

Oh shame on ye fickle comrades. 👿 :mrgreen:

Don’t worry Cat.
I’m working on a thread In Defence of Anne Coulter 😉
(mind you, it will be short. )

paddy- glad all is well. Not thinking of the prom until things warm up a tad.
btw…waiting , waiting, …thread from paddy….

EC @ 20
Thanks for that link of Teddy singing. Loved it – what a character. And I remember being completely absorbed by the movie “Bobby”. Though it was not a bio pic, as I expected, I really felt I got a sense of who he was and what he meant to Americans.

Chris B @ 33 You’ve mentioned Robert Byrd a couple of times recently. I see Byrd as similar to Ted Kennedy – they’ve both got incredible stories of redemption. Both got better with age, though it’s perhaps not a great idea to continue as Senator when you’re senile. Anyhoo, Byrd spoke eloquently against the Iraq war, and won my respect then. He did it when there were too few voices of reason.
Byrd grew a real heart over the years. Teddy grew up and became an amazing warrior and leader. Despite their pasts, perhaps as a result of their pasts, they’ve both grown to be great men.

41 Katielou My information is only what I gather from the Internet now. He seems to be more from the Bluedog camp. Hopefully he will be replaced by a liberal. Good to see he was against the Iraq war.

Bloody hell, Jon Stewart is on holidays (go on, complain about that!), and I’ve just received an email that says:

William Bowe is now following you on Twitter!

OMG, I don’t even use Twitter! (well, I set up an account so no one could nick my nic)

gotta go….

” Polyquats says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
26 August, 2009 at 6:39 am”
So long in moderation? Don’t know why I bothered. Will now delete the feed.

57 Katielou Interesting theory. We’ll never know. With a bit of luck and good management we’ll return to those days, with Obama at the helm.

Polyquats at 1
On the subject of living wills, what I was pointing out (in the first segment) is that Betsy’s argument is not about the merits of a living will – instead she is focussing her concern on the framework supporting reporting, compliance, and remuneration for doctors and that the framework itself can be viewed as a instrument of coercion. What was not clear in the interview was substantive stuff e.g. financial penalties against a doctor for non-compliance with a living will, or if we are simply talking about financial penalties for non-reporting. For that I would need a copy of the legislation in front of me – simply because the reporting on the subject is so minimalist. In this respect Betsy was refreshing in that she was digging into real aspects of the proposed legislation (and that deserves credit irrespective of the conclusions and/or opinions she holds).

paddy at 62
Some interesting points in that article. Down towards the end Wilson mentions something that caught my eye …

The audience for network news and daily newspapers has shrunk; cable news and the internet have grown (though they’ve not stopped some people drifting away from news altogether). Prior shows that as more moderate “entertainment seekers” move away from news and political engagement, the remaining pool of politically engaged people tend to act and think in more partisan ways.

An the end of the day the healthcare debate (in its current incarnation) really is all about partisan positioning.

Why Doesn’t the SEC Know about the Doctrine of Implied Waiver?

In 1981, SEC Commissioner Bevis Longstreth gave a speech (pdf) to the 14th Annual Securities Regulations Seminar and then published those remarks in an SEC news release. The title was “Reliance on Advice of Counsel as a Defense to Securities laws Violations.” The take away from that speech?

At the outset I should stress that the “reliance defense,” as justifiable reliance on advice of counsel is sometimes referred to, is not really a defense at all, but simply some evidence tending to support a defense based on due care or good faith. [emphasis added]
Longstreth goes on to explain that the lawyer asserting this as a defense, if it is the same lawyer who gave the advice, must withdraw the representation, because the lawyer will have to submit to discovery. Yep, assert this, ahem, defense and lose some or all of your attorney client privilege.
This is not just true with the SEC, the IRS takes the same approach.

continued on Firedoglake

Kennedy’s Legacy Could Alter Health Care Debate.

Just five years after assuming his brother’s Senate seat at age 30, Edward M. Kennedy helped enact the Medicare and Medicaid programs, beginning a 40-plus year involvement with federal health care issues. Kennedy was so passionate about extending coverage to the uninsured and fortifying the social safety net, that he made then-candidate Barack Obama pledge to make health care a first-tier priority in return for his support — a promise the president fulfilled by staking much of his first-term agenda on an ambitious and controversial plan to retool the U.S. health care system.

Kennedy’s colleagues in Congress — including Obama’s campaign opponent, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain — have lamented the progressive warrior’s absence from the Senate during this year’s health care debate and speculated how his presence might have by now helped forged consensus on the broad contours of a plan.

“Had his own health allowed him to fully participate, we would be far closer to consensus today on a path to health care in America,” Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., said on Wednesday.

In the hours after Kennedy’s death, progressive interest groups wasted little time invoking his legacy, in an effort to rally Congress to enact a sweeping health plan when lawmakers return on Sept. 8.

Kennedy’s passing could yet alter the tenor of the debate, now mired in fierce partisan battles over how to pay for an overhaul and what role the government should play in a retooled health insurance market.

Fiscally conservative and centrist Democrats, particularly in the House, might be more inclined to take a tough vote on a health care bill containing a government-run insurance option and new taxes, if it is linked to the legacy of the late senator.

continued on CQ Politics


For clarification only – I have just added a note to the post. My motivation was to clarify the last line in the original post – but I fear that I may be just taking the subject a step further. But then again, if I am, it’s a good thing because I believe that Betsy McCaughey does not deserve a crucifixion.

I concur with your thoughts and after reading the link i guess that it fits in nicely with Catrinas thoughts at 358 on the previous thread.

I sincerely hope it turns out that way as he sure has had the Repug Retards expose their battle plans and i must admit “turning up at picket lines day after day” does become tiresome and boring to most people and there is always a noticeable drop off in numbers as time progresses.
I must admit i still have a residue streak of;
When do we want it?
We fuckin want it NOW!

When we see the likes of Airhead McCaughey on shows like Jon Stewart there has to be a positive undermining of the GOP strategy as all their poison is debunked.

Surely this little piece completely undermines the Airhed and PasPalins argument about the new death panel coverage.

In short, the House bill promises to provide the funds for Medicare to cover the same type of activities that United Healthcare pledges to its customers.

Conservative figures like Sarah Palin and Betsy McCaughey have argued that the financial incentives are such that, under the House bill, doctors would be encouraged to “pull the plug” on grandma. But what seems more evident is that instead of just private health care companies offering to cover end-of-life care service, House Democrats are insisting that Medicare do the same.

Officials with United Healthcare did not immediately return request for comment.

The Rude Pundit is worth another visit. This time he writes beautifully about Ted Kennedy, the man.

Re strategy on health care, I doubt that there has been too much deliberate strategy. No-one could have predicted that the crazies would have latched onto what had been an uncontroversial provision in the bill that was in part drafted by Republicans and distorted it into the whole ‘death panel’ fantasy. It is clear that the Democrats (and the Republicans!) were taken by surprise here. That is not to say that there are not moves and plans being made by Obama. But no battle plan survives contact with the enemy … especially an irrational enemy.

Why am I not surprised.
Nixon Dug Deep For Dirt On Ted Kennedy.

President Richard Nixon considered Ted Kennedy such a threat that he tried to catch Kennedy cheating on his wife, even ordering aides to recruit Secret Service agents to spill secrets on the senator’s behavior.

“Do you have anybody in the Secret Service that you can get to?” Nixon asked his aide John Ehrlichman in a stark series of Oval Office conversations about Kennedy before the 1972 election. “Yeah, yeah,” Ehrlichman replied.

“Plant one,” Nixon said. “Plant two guys on him. This could be very useful.”

The Huffington Post

Now I wonder how this does/doesn’t fit into Davids anti conspiracy stuff?

This is the bit I should have put in.
Nixon made clear that the Secret Service protection afforded Kennedy before the 1972 election would be rescinded after. Then, said the president, “If he gets shot, it’s too damn bad.” His aides disdainfully referred to Kennedy supporters as “super swinger jet set types.”
The Huffington Post

Judging by the sly remarks made by Sam Newman on the Footy Show on Thursday. He obviously watches Fox News and believes it.

Aug28: Cathcha twenty-two

Fri Aug 28:

The owners of “THE” symbol of consumerism are moving less units.
Po’ Americans will therefore experience a sudden upsurge in better general and dental health.

Aug 28: American Narcissist

it’s cool CB- I just can’t stand Sam Newman.

That nice Mr Nelson is having a go at Malcs…

“… the former medical practitioner feels the need to diagnose Malcolm Turnbull’s condition. Says Dr Nelson: “You need to look up narcissistic personality disorder. There’s about 5 per cent of the population who are born with narcissistic traits, and about 2 per cent have narcissism. He’s got narcissistic personality disorder.” :mrgreen:

91 Jen There are a lot like you Jen, you’re not on your own.
It was interesting to see the others jump on him when he started hinting about US politics. They wanted to kill that before it got started.

The GOP have also been encouraging Grandma to drop dead and fall off the planet for other reasons than health care. Grassleys Tax cuts introduced in 2001 encouraged young ones to pull grannys plug so to speak.

It was Grassley himself who devised the “Throw Mama From the Train” provision of the GOP’s 2001 tax cut. The estate-tax revision he championed will reduce the estate tax to zero next year. But when it expires at year’s end, the tax will jump back up to its previous level of 55 percent. Grassley’s exploding tax break has an entirely foreseeable, if unintended, consequence: it incentivizes ailing, elderly rich people to end their lives—paging Dr. Kevorkian—before midnight on Dec. 31, 2010. It also gives their children an incentive to sign DNR orders and switch off respirators in time for the deadline. This would be a great plot for a P. D. James novel if it weren’t an actual piece of legislation.

….and there should be a retrial which should overturn the verdict and give him compensation.
Once again the wrong bloke was locked up, it should have been the Imbecile.

An Iraqi journalist jailed after hurling his shoes at George Bush, the former US president, will be released in September.

Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s sentence was reduced for good behaviour, his lawyer said on Saturday.

Karim al-Shujairi, a defence attorney, said al-Zeidi will now be released on September 14, three months early.

It is well known that conspiracy theories abound over 9/11 and it is interesting, to say the least, reading some of the writings most of which are hearsay and in the end you believe what you want to believe.
Disregarding anything about the towers there is a very interesting video, which has only been released a few weeks ago, about what some persons (actual eye witnesses) saw as opposed to the official version put forward by the authorities.
It only deals with the pentagon “crash” and runs for about 80 minutes and i must say i found it very interesting, especially the cabbie and the quality of the other witnesses.
Was it a black flag? Who knows?

Be forewarned: Our findings are extraordinarily shocking and frightening. They are also deadly serious, and deserving of your immediate attention. This is not about a conspiracy theory or any theory at all. This is about independent, verifiable evidence which unfortunately happens to conclusively establish as a historical fact that the violence which took place in Arlington that day was not the result of a surprise attack by suicide hijackers, but rather a false flag “black operation” involving a carefully planned and skillfully executed deception.

The Oped article is here;

and link to the video here;
The video link is in red in the last para.

Well, I’ve watched hour upon hour of the memorial, funeral and associated news. This was one of my favourite anecdotes – this was retold at the memorial service….
“On the morning of the day before the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, Senator Ted Kennedy called the White House to inquire if it was appropriate to bring to the burial some earth from Arlington National Cemetery. The answer was essentially a shrug: Who knows? Unadvised, the senator carried a shopping bag onto the plane, filled with earth he had himself dug the afternoon before from the graves of his two murdered brothers. And at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, after waiting for the crowd and the cameras to disperse, he dropped to his hands and knees, and gently placed that earth on the grave of the murdered prime minister.

No spin, no photo op; a man unreasonably familiar with bidding farewell to slain heroes, a man in mourning, quietly making tangible a miserable connection.”

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