Dicky's Doodles &Scribbles

Cartoons,editorials and comment about current events and more.

Friday, June 26, 2009

CPR, Rick Scott, Spreading Lies, Fear and Misinformation On National Health Care Plans

The following is a report from the Think Progress Organization:

From Think Progress, Progress Report

Swiftboating Health Care Reform

Immediately following NBC's Meet the Press, the right-wing group Conservatives for Patients' Rights (CPR) aired a 30-minute paid advertisement titled "The End of Patients' Rights: The Human Consequences of Government Run Health Care." Hosted by former CNN reporter Gene Randall, the program featured "horror stories" aimed at chipping away public support for reforming the U.S. health care system. As Fox News explained, "the new infomercial, despite the 'paid programming' label in the upper-left hand corner of the screen, had the appearance of a '60 Minutes' special" -- without the credibility, of course. The disgraced former CEO of Columbia/HCA Healthcare and now chairman of CPR, Rick Scott, appeared multiple times in the program warning that health care reform would result in the rationing of care, long waiting lists, and diminished quality. CPR's ad was premised on the false notion that "certain nefarious Democrats want to import British and Canadian health care into the United States." But as Wonk Room health care blogger Igor Volsky has noted, "CPR conflates deficiencies of the foreign health care systems with American reform efforts, but fails to cite a single Democrat who would want to copy-and-paste the British or Canadian examples." CPR's infomercial "presents the Democrats' reforms not as they are, but as conservatives wish for them to be," and as such, spends time warning Americans about the so-called "horror stories" of foreign health care system on which they will never have to rely.

A HISTORY OF FRAUD: If CPR wants to appear credible, it is indeed strange that Scott is such a prominent feature of its campaign against health care reform. As Progressive Media documented in a video report on Scott's history Scott is "credited with transforming the American health care system into the profit above-all-else culture that is currently plaguing America." In his zealous attempt to turn his former company Columbia/HCA into the "McDonald's" of the health care industry, Scott's company "increased Medicare billings by exaggerating the seriousness of the illnesses they were treating," "granted doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA," and "gave doctors 'loans' that were never expected to be paid back, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies." The government pursued Scott's company in a seven-year fraud investigation that resulted in Columbia/HCA being fined $1.7 billion. While the fraud was illegal, the real horror stories came out of the abusive and negligent ways in which Columbia/HCA hospitals treated patients. ABC News reported in 1993 that nursing staffs were reduced in size to save costs, but resulted in newborns being "attended as infrequently as every three hours. Once, the only nurse caring for seven ill infants was so busy she failed to hear an alarm when a baby stopped breathing." In a hospital run by Columbia/HCA in California, employees protested "filthy conditions," while hospital staffers in Florida complained that "gloves come in only one size, and rip easily." Despite this, CPR's documentary touted Scott's background as CEO of Columbia/HCA saying, "under his leadership...Columbia had the lowest cost per patient of any category of hospital." Scott's tenure as head of Columbia/HCA is a prime example of what Americans can expect from their health care system in the future of so-called "free market" health care advocates win out.

SWIFTBOATING HEALTH CARE REFORM: To coordinate its attack on health care reform, CPR hired CRC Public Relations, the group "that masterminded the 'Swift Boat' attacks against 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry." CRC is reportedly using as a model the "'Harry and Louise' ads that helped torpedo health-care reform during the Clinton administration." As in the Swift Boat campaign, CPR's anti-reform campaign is well-financed and is misleading the public. Indeed, in March and April, the group spent $1.2 million on ads, with another $1 million spent in May alone. In all, the group has been seeded with millions from Scott's personal fortune. As for the group's apparent distaste for honest debate, their campaign is rife with warnings that health care reformers are determined to emulate the health care systems of Great Britain and Canada for use in the U.S. But as Volsky notes, "Most policy makers are looking for a 'uniquely American solution' that preserves the employer-sponsored system and creates a hybrid public-private partnership." The system would leave the "provision of health care...in private hands" and create a marketplace within which public and private insurers can compete on price while insuring the sickest patients. Fundamentally, however, CPR's fear mongering about single-payer health care systems is dishonest. As Jonathan Cohn explains in his book Sick, "The stories about Canada are wildly exaggerated. And the pinched access to services in Britain, at least, isn't a product of universal health care. It's a product of universal health care on the cheap." "The British spend just 7 percent of their national wealth on health care, less than half of what Americans spend. It's possible to spend more than that--and get more--while still spending less than the United States does. A perfect example is Japan. Relative to the United States, Japan spends about 60 percent as much of its wealth on health care. But the Japanese don't wait for medical services. ... Japan leads the world in the availability of technology such as CT scanners and MRI machines," Cohn writes. As Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein notes, despite there being wait times for non-essential care in Britain, the outcomes for care do not appear to be worse.

EMBRACED BY THE RIGHT WING: Klein recently remarked that Scott's high-profile defense of the health care status quo was akin to former President Bush "tasking Donald Rumsfeld with a comprehensive defense of his administration's legacy." Indeed, despite Scott's well-known history as a health care fraudster, the right wing appears to be wholeheartedly embracing him, his organization, and his message. In recent weeks, Scott has been hosted at an "influential weekly breakfast organized by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist." The right-wing National Review promoted CPR's ad campaign and interviewed Scott at length without ever noting his background. Fox News hosted Scott multiple times in recent months before they disclosed his controversial past. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) "invited Mr. Scott to meet with him on Tuesday because he liked what Mr. Scott had been saying." It's clear why the right has embraced Scott. While he's yet to use such language in his current attempt to scuttle reform, in 1993 he vowed to do "everything I can" to defeat Clinton's health care proposal. But while conservatives are getting on board with Scott, the Washington Post explains that, "for the moment," his campaign is relatively independent of "major insurers, hospitals and other health-care providers" because such stake holders have hopes of working with President Obama and the Congress to constructively "shap[e] the outcome of a final reform package." Indeed, a senior executive with the insurance industry organization that ran the "Harry and Louise" ads which helped stop former President Clinton's attempts at health care reform told the New York Times, "I just don't understand why he would be a messenger people would listen to. I don't think people are waiting to hear from him."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mark Sanford Takes A Powder

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford just revealed where he has been during his mysterious absence. He had been in the arms of his lover in Argentina! His office had covered him with a phony cover story but he ducked out on the responsibilities of his office and deceived everyone involved. Yet another moralizing hypocrite has been revealed.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

John McCain Urges Open U.S. Support For Iran Protests

Johm McCain during the last election campaign demonstrating his grasp of diplomacy!

Once again John McCain is demonstrating how fortunate it was that Obama won the election instead of him.
McCain's recent remarks urging open U.S. support for the demonstrators in Tehran are so wrong headed and is such a bad idea it is breathtaking. The U.S. would make a huge mistake to be directly involved in Iran. That would solidify the present government and undermine the opposition.
Iranians are very familiar with how the former Shah came into power and who propped up his brutal and repressive regime.
Of course most Americans would hope the current regime could be overthrown but the U.S. must not be seen to be involved or the effort is doomed.
McCain has often shown he has not learned the lessons of history.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Jon Voight Is Certifiably Looney Tunes!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Republican Party Sliding Further To The Right?

The Republican National Conference has passed and the Republicans made an extremely poor appearance. It was nearly laughable as they tried to come across as a serious political party but resembled more the Keystone Kops!
The whole Sarah Palin on again, off again, on again but don't let her speak thing was very impressive and should lay a solid foundation for this very confused and out of her league woman to launch her 2012 Presidential bid.
Newt Gingrich was also unimpressive. He seems more often than not to belie his reputation for his supposed smarts! His big applause getter was to proclaim how much better off the U.S. would be if the McCain-Palin ticket had won. Yes, let's imagine that for a second.
If McCain-Palin had of won Chrysler and GM would still have crashed, Wall Street would still have collapsed, credit and banking would have dried up, all of the jobs lost would still have been lost, and they would have done nothing but cluck cluck and say that the "free market" (which is an oxymoron) must be allowed to play out. It would be a much worse disaster.
And then there was Jon Voight and his disgusting speech. Texas Senator John Cornyn, another fine example of Republican brain power and empathy, referred to the Voight hate tirade as "...refreshing."
That was a good note to sound for the party that wants to be known as a more inclusive" party.
Yep, the Republicans are looking as if they are right on track. Or, more likely, on the "right wing" track!
On a side note; A Republican friend emailed me complaining about Obama and how he didn't want the government to own the auto makers and to be running the banks and financial houses.
I replied "As for the govenment owning everything, I don't want to see that either but I do want more oversight and regulatory enforcement of things such as banking, insurance, polluting industries,product safety and such things. Under Bush all of such oversight ceased and it was every corporation for itself and that is what put us where we are now.
It will take years to fix the things the Bush administration screwed up, and that's only as long as there is an administration with a will to do it."

Saturday, June 06, 2009

June 6, 1944

Thursday, June 04, 2009

GOP Softens Attack On Sotomayor, Still Trying To Score Points Against Obama

The recent remarks accusing Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a "racist" have been retracted and softened, somewhat, by Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, the leading lights of the Republican party.
The one main thing all of the Republicans keep bringing up is the now infamous quote from a speech given in a Berkeley law lecture in 2001.
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
This quote was taken wholly out of context and her speech belies the stupid accusation that she is a racist.
Also the quote has consistently been misrepresented. Now when it is brought up by her detractors they say she thinks a wise Latina woman would make a better decision than a white male. That is not what she said. She said "I would hope that..." not "I think that..." Her actual statement was not a definitive statement but an expression of aspiration. Perhaps it wasn't necessarily the best choice of words but the Republicans are grasping at the flimsiest of straws here.
Another strange argument came from South Carolina Republican Senator Lyndsey Graham. He said that when Obama voted against John Roberts Obama was not following the former standard that a President should be allowed to place his nominees onto the Supreme Court regardless of political orientation. Graham hinted he would not vote for Sotomayor because Obama did not vote for Roberts. Now that is another stupid statement! Graham seems to be saying that Supreme Court nominees must be "tit for tat!" That is the "Graham standard?"
The Constitution says the Senate must give "advice and consent" when considering court nominees. It does not say the Senate should be a rubber stamp for the President and it does not require that a Senator must explain their vote one way or another.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The New Chevy...Greenest Car On The Market!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Welsh Woman Sees Jesus In Marmite Jar

From time to time reports come in about people seeing the image of Jesus in odd places, such as on a tortilla, or on a power transformer hanging on a pole or other odd things.
Now a Welsh lady has said she sees Jesus in her marmite jar. I don't know what marmite is but I understand it is some sort of yeast extract.
Anyway, I saw the picture and I have decided it looks more like the Zig Zag man to me.

Monday, June 01, 2009

American Taliban Kills Dr. Tiller

Randall Terry

Dr. George Tiller was murdered in Wichita by a whacko who claimed to be "pro life!"
He was likely inspired by what could be called the "American Taliban," that is those extremists who wish to impose their views of religion and morality on all of America.
People like Randall Terry, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and the whole pantheon of the far right hate machine.