Sunday, November 24, 2013
You've heard the notion that eating a lot of turkey makes a person sleepy because of the Tryptophan it contains, right?
Well, its wrong...
Here's Doctor Aaron Carroll explaining the whole thing...
Go eat turkey! Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Reflecting on Health Reform—The Presidential Health Care Curse: Why Do They Bother?
There is no statistical proof that doctors enjoy a better quality of life before death than the rest of us. But research indicates they are better planners. An often-cited study, published in 2003, of physicians who had been medical students at Johns Hopkins University found that they were more likely than the general public to have created advance directives, or living wills, which lay out specific plans for care if a patient is unable to make decisions. Of the 765 doctors studied, 64 percent had advanced directives, compared with about 47 percent for American adults over 40.
Read the full article here:
This morning, I gave attention to a speech President Kennedy gave on April 27th, 1961 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City to a meeting of the American Newspaper Publishers Association. The gist of the speech focuses on what President Kennedy felt the role of the press was in terms of covering his Administration. He had taken the oath of office on January 20th, 1961, so had served a fairly short time. To my knowledge, these remarks were his first extended comments directed toward the press.
Its an interesting speech Kennedy titled "President And The Press." Throughout the speech, care is taken to praise as highly important, valuable and necessary, the role of the press in our Country.
"Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed—and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian law-maker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment—the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution—not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants"—but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.
On many earlier occasions, I have said—and your newspapers have constantly said—that these are times that appeal to every citizen's sense of sacrifice and self-discipline. They call out to every citizen to weigh his rights and comforts against his obligations to the common good. I cannot now believe that those citizens who serve in the newspaper business consider themselves exempt from that appeal.
I have no intention of establishing a new Office of War Information to govern the flow of news. I am not suggesting any new forms of censorship or new types of security classifications. I have no easy answer to the dilemma that I have posed, and would not seek to impose it if I had one. But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all."
(H/T to Tim Farley/POTUS Sirius/XM Channel 124)
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Its a mess.
The whole thing is a god-damned mess.
A few thoughts:
1) No excuse for this. Many pro-ACA people were looking forward to a reasonably competent rollout on October 1st. The expectation wasn't perfection, but something usable that most people could access and find a reasonable experience awaiting them. Didn't happen. Now, a lot of people who were apprehensive about this idea in the first place are even less inclined to give it a chance. True, many don't really get a choice, but my God, does it look silly and amateurish. The White House knew this time was coming and fucked it up anyway. All that crap we listen to on a daily basis about how Government doesn't anything very well just got a whole lot stinkier.
2) Another thing this White House screwed up royally was in permitting Mr. Obama to repeat over and over again that "if you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance." I don't buy that no one thought about the small percent of consumers for whom this would not hold true. I think the White House realized it would perform poorly politically and just decided to procrastinate on dealing with it. Wrong move.Perhaps the White House did try to warn the POTUS and he ignored them. Who knows? Regardless, almost nothing of this sort improves by being ignored. Again, you look foolish at best and a liar at worst on this one.
3) Lest I give the loyal opposition a pass, I also don't believe that no one from the Republican party who realized this issue for the 5% individual market really gives a crap about them staying insured. No voices proposed any solutions, they were too busy voting on full repeal votes in the House or shaving bits and pieces of the law wherever they could. They were perfectly happy to let this crash and then raise holy hell, rather than exert pressure on the Administration months ago to avoid this. The blind squirrels found themselves a nut, finally after months of looking for them.
4) The media is also doing itself no favors with Obamacare. I know that the happy stories don't play nearly as well as the disaster stories do, but give me a break, would you? Many of the disaster stories have already been debunked, but again, perception is reality. More damage done.
5) Surely I'm not alone today in telling President Obama, the White House, both parties, etc. you are ALL at times simply pathetic. This sort of performance doesn't fly in the private sector and as the guardians of our Country, we deserve better than this. We really do. How much of this is political game playing and how much is incompetence, I can't say other that that I suspect there's plenty of both to go around.
I still support the ACA. More than a million Americans are on their way securing new health insurance as a result of the ACA and that is a good thing. It will improve, certainly. Some day, these frustrations will be behind us. But until then...
Please get your heads out of your asses, would you?
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Republicans and conservative media are really hammering the POTUS on the "promise" he made several times. We see a regular dose of people with cancellation letters telling their stories on Fox News. Gloom and doom are here, friends...
The White House has its work cut out for them. The need to figure out a way that they can permit this 5% of insured, the individual market as its known, to keep the coverage they most recently had? Its almost a certainty that additional subsidies would be needed to help pay for the continued coverages.
We'll find out pretty soon just how bad the GOP really wants these folks to keep their own insurance. If President Obama proposes an additional level of subsidies and the Republicans say no to the required money to fund it, the tables will turn quickly, won't they?
If the GOP says, no, we can't spend any more money on the ACA, that will take the White House of the hook.
Which is what I predict will happen over the next six weeks.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Why Obamacare’s Troubled Rollout Might Force the Cooperation Health Reform Needs
Monday, November 11, 2013
A summary from the publisher:
Ann Jones shines a much-needed light on the dead, wounded, mutilated, brain-damaged, drug-addicted, suicidal, homicidal casualties of our distant wars, taking us on a stunning journey from the devastating moment an American soldier is first wounded in rural Afghanistan to the return home. Beautifully written by an empathetic and critical reporter who knows the price of war.
Read a short, but powerful excerpt about a surgeon's first surgery on a soldier who had stepped on an IED in Afghanistan:
I never served.
I didn't want to serve when I was of age.
Now in my 50's looking back, I think the experience would have been far better than I thought it would at the time.
Every year, we honor those fellow citizens who have served in our country's military. The accolades and praise are highly deserved for many. To volunteer to do a job where you are directly involved in high risk, high danger tasks isn't for everyone. When the job description includes avoid the bad guys trying to kill you in places most of us can't find on a map, it becomes a thing like no other.
To all the front line soldiers, infantry, engineers, etc. who are in harm's way on a constant basis, huge thanks to you guys. I don't quite subscribe to the overused phrase "they're fighting for our freedom" but that's more of a political issue. These guys/gals follow orders, do really hard/dangerous stuff and too often pay a high price for doing so. PTSD is at epidemic levels, far too many vets are seeing shamefully hard times upon discharge, too many families are paying the price for their loved ones serving the country. The issue of military suicides is beyond shameful and our leaders need to spare no expense at making these folks whole again. Period.
I can't however, in good conscience, group the folks I've just described with everyone in the military. Those folks who work in safe environments, often stateside in support positions, don't warrant the same recognition that the front liners and risk takers deserve. I've never been able to portion out the same respect for a sax player in the Air Force band as I do a sniper taking point in Iraq. Big, big difference to me.
I support everyone who works for our military and appreciate what they do. I reserve special and higher respect for those who went to work on a daily basis with a real fear that they may not live to see the next one. Again, putting all politics aside, these guys/gals are pretty admirable folks.
To say everyone in the military is a hero on days like today, I think does a real dis-service to the real heroes in uniform. To make this distinction shouldn't make one less a Patriot, either. Just a realist.
Happy Veterans Day!
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post uses some easy to read graphs to illustrate the President's new health care program. A fresh look I haven't seen done as well any where else.
Friday, November 8, 2013
"The individual market -- which serves five percent of the population, and which is where the disruptions are happening -- is a horror show. It's a market where healthy people benefit from systematic discrimination against the sick, where young people benefit from systematic discrimination against the old, where men benefit from systematic discrimination against women, and where insurers benefit from systematic discrimination against the uninformed."
The article is very much worth your time...
Monday, November 4, 2013
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