Thursday, March 31, 2005
Bug Man, Meet Windshield
Looks like Tom DeLay's outlived his usefulness to the GOP in general and to the Bush family in particular. Now, as Atrios notes, we can't let DeLay leave too soon because the Pugs will then have more than enough time to find and fund a replacement. We want him to stay in place, but damaged, right up until, oh, October of 2006, when he's forced to resign his seat after Ronnie Earle nails his ass to the wall. Speaking of Teddy Kennedy: He wasted no time calling DeLay on the BugMan's efforts to incite violence and nastiness:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on Thursday blamed Terri Schiavo's death on what he contended was a failed legal system and he raised the possibility of trying to impeach some of the federal judges in the case. "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior,'' said DeLay, R-Texas. But a leading Democratic senator said DeLay's comments were "irresponsible and reprehensible.'' Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said DeLay should make sure that people know he is not advocating violence against judges.Need I add that Scott McClellan, aka
But Kennedy said DeLay should watch his words, especially in light of the recent murder of a Georgia judge and the killing of a federal judge's husband and mother in Chicago. Kennedy noted that judges in the Schiavo case and their families have received threats. "This case has been heartbreaking and tragic enough,'' Kennedy said. "It is time for mourning and healing, not for more inflammatory rhetoric, and responsible national leaders should understand that and stop this exploitation.''This is perfect, and should serve to make DeLay shut his trap for the time being. (The last thing DeLay wants is Judge Greer's next of kin naming DeLay in a wrongful-death lawsuit.) Ordinarily I would love seeing DeLay dig his own grave with his mouth, but I don't want to see him digging Michael Schiavo's or Judge Greer's graves as well. And in the meantime, DeLay has now been irrevocably linked to incitement to violence.
Racists Trying Again To Take Over Sierra Club
The racist nutballs are at it again. Just got this urgent note from MoveOn.org:
Anti-immigrant groups are trying to force the Sierra Club to oppose immigration, sidetracking the Club from urgent environmental fights. Help defend this important ally: if you're a Sierra Club member, Vote No on the ballot question on immigration. Read below for instructions.
Dear MoveOn member,
Are you a Sierra Club member? The future of the Sierra Club is at stake.
Last year, Sierra Club members voted in record numbers to defeat a hostile takeover attempt by outside groups hoping to use the Club's democratic processes to push their own anti-immigration agenda.
Now, these groups have forced an anti-immigrant measure onto the 2005 Sierra Club ballot that would require the Club to advocate for new restrictions on immigration into the U.S.—a policy that will do nothing to protect the global environment but will cripple the Sierra Club at a time when all progressives need them to be powerfully focused on righting the environmental wrongs of the current administration.
Why are we getting involved? Groundswell Sierra, a network of Sierra Club members and former staff, asked us to tell the hundreds of thousands of Club members in the MoveOn community, many of whom are in the dark because by-laws keep Club staff from discussing this issue. It's such a serious threat to the progressive movement we felt we needed to pass it on.
If right-wing anti-immigrant groups succeed in their stealth drive to change the Club's agenda, it would drive a wedge between environmental groups and millions of Americans, including Latinos who have led the environmental justice movement and are an important part of the progressive community. It would be a serious setback for the larger progressive coalition, and make the Sierra Club, the largest grassroots environmental organization, much less effective in blocking President Bush's anti-environmental agenda.
These outside groups are also running stealth candidates for the board of directors without declaring their true anti-immigrant agenda. But a decisive defeat could end their efforts to take over the Sierra Club.
If you are a Sierra Club member, you'll receive your ballot in the mail any day now. Groundswell Sierra recommends:
Vote "No" on the ballot question on immigration.
Vote for only 5 of these 6 experienced Sierra Club candidates for
Anti-immigrant groups are trying to force the Sierra Club to oppose immigration, sidetracking the Club from urgent environmental fights. Help defend this important ally: if you're a Sierra Club member, Vote No on the ballot question on immigration. Read below for instructions.
Jim Catlin, Chuck McGrady, Barbara Frank, Jennifer Ferenstein, Joni Bosh, Jim Dougherty. Please vote for only 5 of these candidates—voting for all 6 will disqualify your ballot! You can vote online but must have your paper ballot in hand. For info on voting and a sample ballot, go to: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=677&t=1 Let us know you're voting, so we can track our impact. Click here: http://www.moveon.org/sierra/ Please pass this on to your Sierra Club member friends. Who's behind the attempt get the Sierra Club to oppose immigration? Some supporters are environmentalists who believe that ending immigration will reduce environmental damage (though world-renowned scientists Anne and Paul Ehrlich, who wrote the seminal book The Population Bomb, disagree and oppose this takeover). But much of the impetus comes from long time, extreme-right immigration opponents who've adopted a strategy of "greenwashing" their arguments to gain mainstream support for denying immigrants basic human rights like health care or education. Opponents of the anti-immigrant measure and board candidates include Robert Kennedy, Jr., former Environmental Protection Agency head Carol Browner, and every living current or former Sierra Club president. During last year's fight, the New York Times editorialized, "Adding such a toxic issue as immigration to the Sierra Club's agenda would simply divert the organization from its primary responsibility, which is to keep real environmental problems in the public consciousness."1
Robert Redford wrote, "Blaming immigrants will not solve any of our environmental problems. Refocusing the Sierra Club on stopping President Bush will... America needs the same Sierra Club that kept the Grand Canyon from being dammed and flooded, that helped create the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, that is working tirelessly to stop the Bush administration from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, back at full strength and on the front lines in the fight against Bush and his administration. It's a fight we won't win without the Club."2 The Sierra Club board has worked to educate Club members about this issue: you can read the organization's policy on the issue at http://www.groundswellsierra.org/migration011405.pdf, and read an argument against the current ballot proposal at http://www.groundswellsierra.org/immigration_nov2004.php. If you are a Sierra Club member, please take the time to vote on this important issue. Thank you, –Adam, Eli, Justin, and the MoveOn.org team Thursday, March 31st, 2005 Sources: 1. "Rumble at the Sierra Club," New York Times, March 17, 2004 http://www.groundswellsierra.org/nyt_rumble.php 2. "Redford's Plea for the Sierra Club," San Francisco Chronicle, April 17, 2004 http://www.groundswellsierra.org/sf_redford.php
The toothless WMD report
And now, heeeeere's Johnny!
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Get your 21 posters
Words Flipping Fail Me
The comments threads on Atrios' Eschaton blog are amazing. They attract a lot of trolls, but most of the commenters are thoughtful, intelligent people. And they provide little news tidbits, like this one:
Now I'm just dumbfounded. Every day another outrage is revealed. Tena I think I hit full saturation about the day before Easter, when our local (IIRC NBC) affiliate ran a story with the background image labeled "Defending Terri." The fing kicker was that it was a glamour photo done after her accident. Looked like one of those 5-year old beauty contestants. For my money, glamour photos of a vegetable are about as low as it's possible to go PR-wise. - Fielding Mellish | Email | Homepage | 03.30.05 - 7:08 pm | #Words fail me. If somebody were to suggest this to Jon Stewart as a possible Daily Show, he'd reject it as being in incredibly poor taste.
How to lose the moral high ground
Taking Out Tom DeLay
Got this in my e-mail:
Dear Phoenix Woman, We just announced a multiple-congressional district television ad buy to put Republican politicians on the hot-seat for defending Tom DeLay's corruption. HELP RUN THIS AD! But, within hours, it was reported that radical right groups are circling the wagons around Tom DeLay and trying to shore up support among Congressional Republicans with grassroots campaigns in similar districts as the ones we're targeting. This is a battle for public opinion and we need your help to win it. Help us run hard-hitting TV ads demanding that three targeted members of Congress -- Reps. Rob Simmons (CT), Tom Reynolds (NY), and Doc Hastings (WA) -- join our call for DeLay to resign. You support will also help us match DeLay's allies by expanding our ads to other districts around the country. Please make a donation for $50, $100, or more, today. https://secure.ga3.org/03/without_delay Let me tell you what I think is at stake. We know DeLay has to go. He's a walking scandal, an embarrassment to our democratic ideals, and he has dragged Congress into private matters to divert attention away from the ethics scandals swirling around him. But, as a colleague of mine said in the New York Times today, a fish rots from the head, and DeLay is certainly the symbol of all the money-rot in Congress. If he is allowed by Republicans to stay, it gives all the big money politicians and their lobbyist friends freedom to buy and sell policy at will. That's why we have to win this fight. The stakes are too high. Donate to help run these ads, and spread them to other districts. https://secure.ga3.org/03/without_delay It's a fight we can win. Cracks have already appeared in DeLay's conservative foundation. The Wall Street Journal editorialized on Monday against him. Last week the conservative San Diego Union-Tribune called for him to step down. Since launching this campaign, 20,000 Americans have signed our petition, and tens of thousands more have taken action through other organizations. Reps. Simmons, Hastings, and Reynolds need to hear from us. Make a donation and help run these ads. With your help, we'll strike a blow to the corrosive pay-to-play system worshipped by Tom DeLay. https://secure.ga3.org/03/without_delay Thanks, David Donnelly Public Campaign Action Fund P.S. If you'd prefer to send a check in the mail, send it to Public Campaign Action Fund, 1320 19th Street, NW, Suite M-1, Washington, DC 20036. Contributions to Public Campaign Action Fund are not tax-deductible.You know what to do.
Joe Scarborough And The Dead Women
Joe Scarborough just can't stop being associated with dead women. He made the mistake of inviting Dr. Ronald Cranford onto his show earlier this week to discuss the Terri Schiavo case. The good doctor promptly smacked the disgraced former congressman around like a red-headed stepchild. Go here for more on the good doctor, who is the head of the University of Minnesota's neurology department. (It's telling that the one local critic of his that the Strib scared up -- as a way of appeasing the conservabloggers and others busy mau-mau-ing the Strib for not reading like the Völkische Beobachter -- just happens to be the looney tune who runs the local equivalent of Operation Rescue.) As for Scarborough and the other dead woman in his life, here's a story for you all: At the same time in the summer of 2001 that the media was falsely trying and convicting Gary Condit over the disappearance of Chandra Levy, simply because Condit was one of her many boyfriends (and Josh Marshall, to his discredit, helped lead the charge -- a fact-free feeding frenzy that was only stopped by 9/11), Lori Klausutis, a young married staffer of Joe Scarborough, who was soon to leave Congress one step ahead of the scandal tsunami that was fast approaching -- was found dead in one of his Florida congressional offices. Lori's skull had suffered several severe blunt-force trauma injuries and fissures, including one that made a crack in her skull over seven inches long. Two of the traumas resulted in sizable hematomas, the largest being the size of a woman's fist. Now, remember this point: Hematomas cannot form once the heart stops beating and circulation is stopped. Why is this important? Because the coroner in the case, one Michael Berkland, ruled that Lori Klausutis had fainted due to a fatal heart attack while she was standing and then hit her head on the desk as she fell before hitting the ground. That only accounts for at most two of the head injuries -- and not for their severity. And if Lori was going to have a heart attack, why didn't she have it during one of the many 8k races in which she ran? It turns out that Michael Berkland had moved to Florida because he'd had his license pulled in Missouri for deliberately botching autopsies. Oh, and if her heart had stopped beating before she sustained the head injuries, how then did the hematomas form? Go read the following sites for more information: Denis Wright & Chris George "A Death in the Congressman's Office," American Politics Journal, Aug. 8, 2001 Various Klausutis links and info.
GOP Nazi Reference Watch
As you know, Republican bloggers have decided that nobody can compare anything that any Republican does to anything that Hitler or Stalin did. However, Republicans are themselves free to compare anyone they don't like to Nazis. Today's example comes to us from Jay Nordlinger of the National Review. He compares those of us who side with Terri Schiavo's husband -- which is around 70 to 80% of all Americans -- with Josef Menegle, infamous Nazi experimenter.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
The Gropenator's Ongoing Legal Troubles
If anyone wants to know why the Republicans have stopped talking about changing the Constitution so they can run Arnold Schwarzenegger for president in 2008, I suspect that this might be a factor:
Arnold Schwarzenegger has edged closer to facing a British libel trial after he failed to block a legal action brought by a reporter who alleged the actor-turned-politician sexually assaulted her. British television host Anna Richardson alleges she was libelled by the California governor and two of his campaign workers in a 2003 article over the assault claim. She says the article, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times, meant she "deliberately and dishonestly fabricated" allegations that the Hollywood star groped her breast during a 2000 interview in a London hotel.It doesn't help that the Gropenator's popularity is dropping thanks to his efforts to destroy California's public-employee pension system, which is one of the best in the nation. Hundreds of protesters now dog his every move.
Homegrown Terror That The National Media Ignores
Our inciting of folks overseas notwithstanding, we still have far more to fear from homegrown yahoos than guys named Akbar. Charles will remember the case featured on page one of this CQ article:
In 2003, for instance, a Texas man prosecutors say was a white supremacist and anti-government radical pleaded guilty to charges of possessing a weapon of mass destruction. Authorities had discovered enough sodium cyanide bombs to kill hundreds of people; machine guns and several hundred thousand rounds of ammunition; 60 pipe bombs; and remote-control explosive devices disguised as briefcases in a storage space he rented. The man, William J. Krar, was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison.
IOKSLAYAR: Invoking Hitler or Censoring People
You may recall my blogging about a third-string conservablogger who takes liberal bloggers to task for 1) comparing people to Hitler, and 2) advocating censorship. Well, here's an example of Republicans doing lots of #1, and here's an example of Republicans doing lots of #2. Remember: Whatever it is that you're doing -- It's OK, So Long As You're A Republican.
Mad Dog Government
Monday, March 28, 2005
Stop The Presses!
Thomas E. Mann from The New Republic was caught talking sense (almost):
What is a responsible opposition party to do in reaction to President Bush's campaign to reform Social Security? Sober commentators with moderate political views and a preference for civil talk across party lines have, in recent weeks, given a clear answer: Democrats should acknowledge that the solvency problem is real; offer a genuine alternative to the Bush policy; entertain the "sweetner" of personal accounts in order to achieve progressive benefit cuts; and, in the words of one Washington Post editorial-page writer, stop "braying over what must be left on the table or taken off." That is, Democrats shouldn't let the disconnect between Bush's call to save Social Security and his embrace of personal accounts stand in the way of good-faith bargaining that could ultimately assure the system's solvency. All of which sounds eminently reasonably—and is, if you understand game theory, exactly wrong.Screw game theory -- this is plain old common sense. As Digby has stated over and over again, but which the Lieberman wing of the Democratic party, so eager to get their faces on FOX News, just doesn't seem to understand: The Republicans have always wanted to destroy Social Security. Period. They're using the term "private accounts" to describe their plans for the same reason that the creationists now are calling their worldview "intelligent design": to fool the public as to their true motivations. The thing is that Mann, true to his TNR roots, only half-gets it. The only way that you can believe that Social Security is in crisis is if you believe the new, hyper-pessimistic figures released by the Social Security trustees (of which Bush buddy and Bush SecTreas John Snow is one), that state that economic growth over the next seventy-five years will be less than half what it was over the last seventy-five years. (Remember, the last seventy-five years include the Great Depression.) So to believe the trustees, you have to believe that America is going to be plunged into a deep depression for the next seventy-five years. If that happens, Social Security will be the least of our worries. Trust me on this.
Neo-Maoist Horowitz Is At It Again
This time he's sicking a buddy of his onto Juan Cole. Apparently Horowitz is desperate to do something to distract over the growing scandal of his use of bogus anecdotes to push for censoring and intimidating college professors under the Orwellian guise of a (Conservative) "Students' Bill of Rights". This scandal is helping to stop his censorship movement in its tracks.
Run Away! Run Away!
The "we don't pay attention to polls" administration is, in the face of across-the-board negative reaction from even most evangelicals, trying to run away from the Terri Schiavo case as fast as it possibly can.
As Dubya starts to see his numbers slide, This Week reported that the Bush administration are starting to distance themselves from Republicans on Capitol Hill, leaking that Bush didn't even want to return to Washington to sign the Schiavo bill last Sunday.But this is too little, too late:
In the spin wars, it's now clear that while the Democrats might have ran for cover last week, their storyline of the Republicans politicizing a family dispute in Florida has had traction in the polls.What's more, Bush is still trying to push the equally-unpopular plan to destroy Social Security. This has been a goal of his for decades, at least since 1978, when he claimed it would "go bust" in ten years. Remember, it was his pushing SS privatization in 2000 -- and he called it "privatization" back then; this was before the 2002 focus groups sent the Republicans into full-scale Orwellian un-personing of that word -- that caused Bush to go from a double-digit lead in Florida to losing the state to Gore so badly that it took all of Jeb's and Scalia's worst efforts to steal it back. (Thanks to Kevin Drum for the catch.)
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Sun Rises In East. Ralph Nader Does Something Asinine.
Courtesy of Hullaballoo, we find Ralph Nader being a liar, a moron, or quite possibly both:
Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith, author of the award winning book "Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America" call upon the Florida Courts, Governor Jeb Bush and concerned citizens to take any legal action available to let Terri Schiavo live. "A profound injustice is being inflicted on Terri Schiavo," Nader and Smith asserted today. "Worse, this slow death by dehydration is being imposed upon her under the color of law, in proceedings in which every benefit of the doubt-and there are many doubts in this case-has been given to her death, rather than her continued life." Among the many injustices in this case, Nader and Smith point to the following: The courts not only are refusing her tube feeding, but have ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. "This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, it has ordered her to be made dead," Nader and Smith assert.There's so much bullshit here I really don't know where to start. Someone send this link to Ralph: http://www.miami.edu/ethics2/schiavo/timeline.htm That way, he'll know that Terri had years and years and YEARS of therapy, but it didn't do any good because her cerebral cortex no longer exists: http://phoenixwoman.blogspot.com/2005/03/tale-of-two-scans.html But knowing Ralph, this won't make a dime's worth of difference with him.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
DeLay Hits The Hypocrisy Twofer!
We all know how Tom DeLay is such a staunch supporter of "tort reform". And we've all watched as DeLay rammed through a bill designed to appeal to the pro-life crowd (or at least the parents of Terri Schiavo), in the name of preserving life at any cost -- and his buddies in the pro-life community praise him to the skies:
Leaders of social conservatism commend DeLay's determination in pressing the Schiavo legislation and say it reflects a longtime but occasionally unrecognized commitment to issues favoring life. "He doesn't go around crowing about it," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who worked with DeLay to produce a bill. "I don't think others have spoken enough about the work that he has done."So this late-breaking story from the Los Angeles Times is a true hypocrisy twofer for Tom DeLay -- both on the "pro-life" and "tort reform" sides:
CANYON LAKE, Texas — A family tragedy unfolding in a Texas hospital during the fall of 1988 was a private ordeal -- without judges, emergency sessions of Congress or the raging debate outside Terri Schiavo's Florida hospice. The patient then was a 65-year-old drilling contractor, badly injured in a freak accident at his home. Among the family standing vigil at Brooke Army Medical Center was a grieving junior congressman -- U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas. More than 16 years ago, far from the political passions that have defined the Schiavo controversy, the DeLay family endured its own wrenching end-of-life crisis. The man in a coma, kept alive by intravenous lines and a ventilator, was DeLay's father, Charles Ray DeLay. Then, freshly re-elected to a third term in the House, DeLay waited all but helpless for the verdict of doctors. Today, as House Majority Leader, DeLay has teamed with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to champion political intervention the Schaivo case. He pushed emergency legislation through congress to shift the legal case from Florida state courts to the federal judiciary. And he is among the strongest advocates of keeping the woman, who doctors say has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, connected to her feeding tube. DeLay has denounced Schiavo's husband, as well as judges, for committing what he calls "an act of barbarism" in removing the tube. In 1988, however, there was no such fiery rhetoric as the congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die. "There was no point to even really talking about it," Maxine DeLay, the congressman's 81-year-old mother, recalled in an interview last week. "There was no way he (Charles) wanted to live like that. Tom knew, we all knew, his father wouldn't have wanted to live that way."DeLay's father had been severely injured in an accident involving a backyard tram that was intended to move people safely up and down the hillside on which his home was built. After his death, the family started suing people over it:
In 1990 the DeLays filed suit against Midcap Bearing Corporation of San Antonio and Lovejoy Inc. of Illinois, the distributor and maker of a coupling that they said failed and caused the tram to hurtle out of control down the steep bank. [...] The DeLay family litigation sought unspecified compensation for, among other things, the dead father's "physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and trauma," and the mother's grief, sorrow and loss of companionship. Their lawsuit also alleged violations of the Texas product liability law. The DeLay case moved slowly through the Texas judicial system, accumulating more than 500 pages of motions, affidavits and disclosures over nearly three years. Among the affidavits was one filed by the congressman, but family members said he had little direct involvement in the lawsuit, leaving that to his attorney brother, Randall. Rep. DeLay, who since has taken a leading role promoting congressional tort reform, wants to rein in trial lawyers to protect American business from what he calls "frivolous, parasitic lawsuits" that raise insurance premiums and "kill jobs." In September, he expressed something less than warm sentiment for attorneys when he took the floor of the House to condemn trial lawyers who, he said, "get fat off the pain (of plaintiffs and off) the hard work (of defendants)."Oh, and this is what really sends the Hypocrisy Meter into the red:
The case was resolved in 1993 with payment of an undisclosed sum of about $250,000, according to sources familiar with an out of court settlement. DeLay signed over his share of any proceeds to his mother, said DeLay aides. Three years later, DeLay cosponsored a bill specifically designed to override state laws on product liability such as the one cited in his family's lawsuit. The legislation provided sweeping exemptions for sellers of such products. The 1996 bill was rejected by President Clinton. In his veto message the president said he objected to the DeLay-backed measure because it "tilts against American families and would deprive them of the ability to recover fully when they are injured by a defective product."'
GOP Blogger: Kos Loves Censorship!
You and I know that's baloney, but a third-string Minnesota conservablogger pitched that line to the StarTribune:
During the 2004 election campaign Kos and some of his liberal blogger friends organized a boycott of the Sinclair advertisers over a Sinclair decision to run a John Kerry documentary that Kos and the left thought was unfair. Seems to me that this was a direct attack on freedom of the press, and a blatant attempt to control the media.Since when is fighting slander and lies "censorship"? Sinclair's ownership, despite the pleas from its employees and others, persisted in showing a thoroughly discredited anti-Kerry piece, wrongly presented as an unbiased "documentary", that was filled with lies and slanders. Kos and others fought to prevent this from happening. Write the Strib at email@example.com and tell them not to cave to conservatives. No matter how loudly they shout, their shouting doesn't make them right.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Words I Never Thought I'd Type
Namely, "Thank God for USA Today." Some of the best coverage of the Schiavo case has come from that paper. Today's article is a prime example thereof. As a commenter over at Eschaton said: I don't understand how they can charge the husband with abuse. The medical malpractice lawsuit against Terri Schiavo's physicians (for failure to diagnose the eating disorder that caused her collapse) would surely have uncovered abuse if there had been any indications of it, and the defendant physicians would have had every reason to present evidence of abuse, had there been any. And if the allegation is that the withdrawal of feeding tubes is abuse, that withdrawal is pursuant to court order. That's exactly it. The Schindlers only started the "abuse" allegations after 2000, which is about when they became the poster kids for the the pro-life industry. In prior legal actions, nothing of the sort was ever alleged, much less proven, against Michael Schiavo. (The timeline shows that it was in November of 2002, over ten years after Terri suffered the bulimia-induced heart attack, that the Schindlers first alleged in court that Michael Schiavo abused his wife.) If Michael really had done a tenth of what the Schindlers and/or their surrogates now say he did, the hospitals that faced the malpractice charges in 1992 would have used that against him, and won. This is precisely why the Schindlers keep losing in court: They keep on making claims they cannot prove. Period. Judge after judge, in both State and now Federal court, has told them so. But instead of giving up, they keep coming back with wilder and wilder statements, but still no proof. Worse yet, the newer statements often directly contradict things they have said in the past. For example, as recently as 2000, one of the Schindlers' lawyers actually admitted that Terri was in a PVS: Despite the row over money, Schiavo and the Schindlers agreed on one major point in the 2000 testimony: the extent of Terri's brain damage, according to additional court documents cited by The Miami Herald. In the documents, Pamela Campbell, then the Schindlers' lawyer, told the court that "we do not doubt that she's in a persistent vegetative state." Campbell could not be reached to confirm the statement. Now the parents are making bizarre and unfounded claims that she can talk, when anyone who looks at her CT scan can tell you that this is just plain impossible. That tells you how untrustworthy the Schindlers and their handlers have become.
Gimme Some Money!
I hope USA Today's offices are located in secure buildings, because the nutjobs will be hopping mad once they see this:
Some of the protesters gathered outside Woodside Hospice here have demonized Michael Schiavo, accusing him of everything from murder to adultery because he lives with a woman and has two toddlers, a daughter and a son, by her. It wasn't always this way, according to a USA TODAY review of voluminous records in the Probate Division of Pinellas County Circuit Court in nearby Clearwater. Those records show that Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers jointly supervised care for Terri after she collapsed. For the first 16 days and nights that she was hospitalized, Schiavo never left the hospital. Over the next few years, as she was moved from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility, to a nursing home, to Schiavo's home and finally back to a nursing home, Schiavo visited Terri daily.But -- but -- the nutjobs all say he neglected her!!! How can this be?!? They wouldn't be LYING to us now, would they?!
Once Terri was unable to help herself, Michael became a demanding advocate. John Pecarek, a court-appointed guardian for Terri, described her husband as "a nursing home administrator's nightmare," adding, "I believe that the ward (Terri) gets care and attention from the staff of Sabal Palms (nursing home) as a result of Mr. Schiavo's advocacy and defending on her behalf." Mary Schindler testified that, while her daughter was at one nursing home, her relationship with her son-in-law was "very good. We did everything together. Wherever he went, I went."Jay Wolfson, the guardian ad litem Jeb Bush appointed in 2003, agrees that Michael Schiavo did everything he could, pursued every therapeutic option his doctors could think of, to help Terri get better. But with so much of her brain destroyed, the years of therapy proved futile. So why did the Schindlers suddenly turn against Michael Schiavo? Why did the people who had invited him into their home for over two years and who he called "Mom" and "Dad" suddenly decide that they hated his guts? Here's a hint, and it has to do with the psychological habit called "projection". Projection occurs when you accuse other people of the very things you yourself do. For years now, the Schindlers and their surrogates in the pro-life movement have been claiming that Michael Schiavo wants Terri to die so he can have the money from her malpractice settlements. But it turns out that what really happened is that on Valentine's Day 1993, the Schindlers had gone to Michael Schiavo demanding he give them a chunk of the money:
On Valentine's Day that year, he [Michael Schiavo] testified, he was in his wife's nursing home room studying. He wanted to become a nurse so he could care for his wife himself. He had taken Terri to California for experimental treatment. A doctor there had placed a stimulator inside Terri's brain and those of other people in vegetative states to try to stimulate still-living but dormant cells. According to Schiavo's testimony, the Schindlers came into Terri's room in the nursing home, spoke to their daughter, then turned to him. "The first words out of my father-in-law's mouth was how much money he was going to get," Schiavo said. "I was, 'What do you mean?' 'Well, you owe me money.' " Schiavo said he told his in-laws that all the money had gone to his wife - a lie he said he told Bob Schindler "to shut him up because he was screaming."Actually, most of the money -- $700,000 -- did go to Terri's medical care fund. Michael got $300,000 for "loss of consortium", meaning loss of the companionship of his wife, who, it was becoming clearer and clearer, was never going to be fully aware ever again.
Schiavo said his father-in-law called him "a few choice words," then stormed out of the room. Schiavo said he started to follow him, but his mother-in-law stepped in front of him, saying, "This is my daughter, our daughter, and we deserve some of this money." Mary Schindler's account of that evening is far different. She testified that she and her husband found Schiavo studying. "We were talking about the money and about his money," she said. "That with his money and the money Terri got, now we could take her (for specialized care) or get some testing done. Do all this stuff. He said he was not going to do it." She said he threw his book and a table against the wall and told them they would never see their daughter again.Well, he either didn't say that or didn't mean it, because they've been able to visit Terri many, many times since then, as the videotapes show. And considering the lies they've been telling about him in the past few years, I tend to see his version of events as a hell of a lot more credible. Either way, one thing is clear: The Schindlers wanted money.
"On Feb. 14, 1993, this amicable relationship between the parties was severed," Greer wrote. "While the testimony differs on what may or may not have been promised to whom and by whom, it is clear to this court that such severance was predicated upon money and the fact that Mr. Schiavo was unwilling to equally divide his loss of consortium award with Mr. and Mrs. Schindler." Daniel Grieco, the attorney who handled Michael Schiavo's malpractice case, says his client never promised money to Bob Schindler. He also said Schindler never understood that he wasn't entitled to money under Florida law. Grieco says the money is at the root of the estrangement. "It was the precipitating factor," Grieco says. "That was the fracture. That was the basis of it."The irony? The $300,000 Michael got is long gone, and Terri's $700,000 trust fund is about to run out. So the Schindlers can't get any money from Michael, anyway. (That's OK -- as Glenn McGee of the New York Institute of Bioethics told Keith Olbermann the other day, their friends in the pro-life movement have been more than making up for that, especially where legal actions are involved.)
CNN Plays "Let's Pretend"
Check out the transcript of the March 24, 2005 CNN "American Morning" interview with Kate Adamson.
Adamson is a woman who, though her medical case was completely different than
Terri Schiavo's (for one thing, unlike Terri Schiavo, her cerebral cortex wasn't destroyed due to lack of oxygen), was falsely presented during the interview with CNN's Bill Hemmer as a woman whose medical case was exactly like Terri Schiavo's:
ADAMSON: Well, I had a huge catastrophic experience just like Terri. You're looking at a woman who has had years of rehab. And I think that's the key point, getting the patient into rehab early.
The catastrophic experience Adamson refers to was a massive stroke that left her paralyzed, a situation conducive to rehabilitation. But all the rehab in the world is not going to regenerate Terri Schiavo's dead brain tissue, a fact Adamson and Hemmer fail to mention. They also fail to mention the one part where Terri Schiavo's case actually is just like Kate Adamson's: that Michael Schiavo had given Terri years of rehab as well, just like Adamson had. And he got Terri into rehab early and kept her there for four years, until her doctors finally told him that there was no living brain tissue to rehab. But I digress. Oh, and guess what? Adamson also had a feeding tube removed, "just like" Terri!
HEMMER: At one point your feeding tube was removed. First of all, why was it taken out, Kate? ADAMSON: Well, Bill, let me just back up here, because it was removed eventually when I was in rehab. But in those early days of the 70 days in ICU, 69 of those I was listed critical on life support. The feeding tube had been inserted without complete anesthesia. So I felt everything and was unable to cry out or communicate. I had to endure the pain. And then that feeding tube was turned off for eight days. So I literally went through the starvation. I'm lying there. My whole body was screaming out, feed me; do not let me starve. I do not want to die. I was clinging to everything. My husband was beside the bed.Oh, no! Just like Terri Schiavo! She could feel it all! Her evil money-grubbing husband just sat there-- oh, wait a minute:
ADAMSON: Now, the feeding tube was turned off because of my medical condition. My digestive system had basically shut down.So the reason the feeding tube was turned off was to save her life. A little different, wouldn't you say? Not according to Adamson!
HEMMER: Do you believe Terri Schiavo can recover out of her condition if that feeding tube is reinserted? ADAMSON: ...let me ask you this, OK? If you were in that state and you're cut off from sunlight and you don't have any no human contact, no radio, no TV, no one to stroke your hair and say it's going to be OK and tell you things are going to get better and praise you for every little thing you do, do you think you could get better in that environment?"No human contact"? So all the hospices and hospitals Terri's been at have been staffed by robots? Plus, Michael Schiavo has been visiting Terri regularly for over fifteen years, as have her parents and siblings. Oh, and even after he finally heeded her doctors and gave up on therapy after four years, Michael Schiavo continued to sit by her bedside for another four years, until he was told that it was time to let her go. Why didn't Bill Hemmer bring this up? Why did he sit and uncritically swallow everything Adamson told him? Could it be that Hemmer was enabling Adamson because of her association with Beverly LaHaye's neo-conservative evangelical group? And why didn't Hemmer mention this affiliation -- an affiliation which would give Adamson a strong motive to fudge the facts? University of Minnesota neurologist Ronald Cranford, who is one of the eight doctors to have actually given a full medical examination of Terri Schiavo (as opposed to making quick bedside visits, or diagnosing-by-edited-videotape without looking at the CT scans), states that the religious beliefs of the people working with the Schindlers are warping their judgement:
Cranford says this is a perfect example of religious beliefs muddying medical waters. "Terri's not there. She's been like this for 15 years," he says. "There's no doubt about the diagnosis and all the pro-lifers and Christian bio-ethicists in the world aren't going to change that." Cranford and other neurologists say brain scans show massive damage to her cerebral hemisphere.By the way, I urge everyone to read Matt Conligliaro's analysis of the case. He notes that the Schindlers didn't start accusing Michael Schiavo of beating Terri up until 2002; Judge Greer rightly dismissed their accusations. (And the bone scans they used as "evidence" of their slanders mostly showed the stress that Terri's severe bulimia -- a 250-pound person as a teen, she starved herself to get down to 150 pounds and routinely vomited up her meals and drank dozens of glasses of iced tea a day in order to reach 110 pounds -- had put on her body. There's a reason that doctors hate crash diets: they deprive the body of essential nutrients and throw its chemical balance out of whack.)
Thursday, March 24, 2005
MSNBC's Shuster Reads The Schiavo Bill's Fine Print
Guess what? It really doesn't guarantee the Schindlers much of anything, besides allowing them to go to Federal court -- which is an option they've already exhausted. It does, of course, totally trash the idea of separation of powers, and the idea of judicial comity between the state and federal branches of government, not to mention the idea that Bills of Attainder are supposed to be unconstitutional. But it doesn't give the Schindlers what they think it does.
Liars, Morons, Or Both: Dave Weldon Editon
Atrios this morning catches Dave Weldon (R-Dishonest Doctor) citing Carla Iyer and William Hammesfahr as allegedly-reliable witnesses to Terri Schiavo's condition. Would that nurse Iyer be the same nurse Iyer whose claims were dismissed as "incredible" by the courts? Indeed it would. As for Hammesfahr, go to QuackWatch.org. Search for Hammesfahr by name (top right). Hammesfahr shows up repeatedly on that site. This is from the summary on him: The theoretical basis for Hammesfahr's vasodilation treatment for stroke clashes with current knowledge about stroke physiology. In fact, the prevailing current belief is that such treatments should worsen stroke outcome, not improve it. I believe that vasodilation treatment for stroke patients should be done only as part of an approved peer-reviewed protocol that includes informed consent about the treatment's experimental status and possible risks. Because of the potential risk, I doubt that an institutional review board would permit such a study unless animal studies can demonstrate that the treatment is safe and potentially useful. Click here to send letters to Florida Today. Click here to contact Dave Weldon. Send him this link, and this link, and most especially this link. Then dare him to comment. Oh, and CC Bill "Euthanasia for Anencephalic Infants" Frist while you're at it. Then contact the AMA's ethical-standards people and ask what needs to be done to get Weldon's and Frist's licenses pulled.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Jeb's New Rent-A-Doc
WILLIAM P. CHESHIRE specializes in TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA http://www.mayoclinic.org/trigem...a/ research.html Also, an adjunct professor at a Jesus Freak U, http://www.tiu.edu/ and a Fellow of a Jesus Freak “Center”, http://www.cbhd.org/Thanks to an Eschaton commenter whose URL I've lost and can't find!
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
They Lie About Everything: Schiavo Tapes Edition
First the scans, now the tapes. The tapes untouched by the selective editing of those who want to pretend that Terri Schiavo still has a functioning cerebral cortex. By now, we've all seen the short little video snippets that the Schindlers and Randall Terry want us to see. Here's what they don't want us to see. Thanks to Bob Somerby for going back to November of 2003 and the St. Petersburg Times for this choice tidbit on what the unedited Terri Schiavo tapes really show:
The single most dramatic moment occurred when William Hammesfahr, a Clearwater neurologist picked by the Schindlers, asked Schiavo to open her eyes. At first, her eyelids barely flutter. She slowly turns her head toward Hammesfahr, gradually opening her eyes. Then her eyebrows lift into an exaggerated arch - the kind of face a cartoonist might draw to show astonishment. A lay person could easily conclude that she somehow tapped into a latent reservoir of cognition, even if just for a second. Hammesfahr and her parents bubble with excitement. "Good job!" the doctor exults. "Good job, young lady!" But she never pulls it off again, or anything remotely like it. For nearly an hour, her parents and the doctor tell her to open her eyes, close her eyes, look this way, look that way - with little apparent response. Judge Greer counted. "By the court's count, (Hammesfahr) gave 105 commands to Terri Schiavo and, at his direction, Mrs. Schindler gave an additional six commands," Greer wrote. "He asked her 61 questions and Mrs. Schindler ... asked her an additional 11 questions. The court saw few actions that could be considered responsive to either those commands or those questions."Oh, and did I mention that Hammesfahr is not exactly respected by his peers? (Unless he counts quacks and crooks among them, that is.)
Monday, March 21, 2005
The GOP's Schiavo Talking Points
Courtesy of ABC News, this document may well be the most cynical thing I've ever seen.
Conyers: Democracy has died
While The Media Was Focusing On Other Things...
Massive protest marches occurred over the weekend to mark the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. But Bush's war is so popular! Quick, what's Scott Peterson up to?
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Hooray for Ginny!
Some of the Atriots are up watching the House nonsense over Terri Schiavo on C-Span. And guess what? Not all of the Republican Congresscritters are going to be voting lockstep for the asinine thing Hot Tub Tom DeLay has shoved in front of them:
Florida Republicans are NOT united on this. the Republican dominated State Senate refused to act on Friday, and now Ginny. posted this on the above thread, in case you missed it: Ginny Browne-Waite, a Florida Republican representing the Chamber of Commerce/Land Developer wing of the party, just tore into the wingnut talking points. This whole fiasco is gonna cause some divisions in the Thugs ranks over the role of the Radical Xtians and their role in dragging down the 06 electoral prospects of the R's. Goodie. Mrs. Ibrahim al-Jaafari | Email | Homepage | 03.20.05 - 11:52 pm | #Ginny is also on the side of the angels with regard to Social Security privatization -- though she tries to find some Bush-pleasing wiggle room on it. Ginny's also from Florida, where most of the residents support Michael Schiavo over the Schindlers and their new best friend, convicted felon Randall Terry. The OR people have managed to seriously piss off judges at every level of the state and local courts system, and all of the judges on the Federal bench know about the walking bucket of crap that is Randall Terry. Assuming that this bogus bill does pass the House, and that Bush gets woken up from his naptime to sign it, don't expect any of the judges in Florida's Middle District to be particularly eager to hear it. In fact, the odds are better than fifty-fifty that the first judge to get Michael Schiavo's motion to rule the law unconstitutional will agree with him and do just that -- which boots everything up to the appellate level, and from there to the Supremes, who have already twice refused to have anything to do with this case. And by the time it hits the Supreme Court, Terri will have drifted off peacefully, her body going where her brain went fifteen years ago.
A Tale Of Two Scans
I couldn't get Hello to work for me yesterday, but a kind friend, Maia Cowan of FailureIsImpossible.com, uploaded the following picture of two brain scans to her web site:
The Fundies' Plan To Destroy American Science: Attack The Schools First
Picking up where Charles left off, I felt I had to share this with you all:
Those who would replace science with religion include some wealthy people who can buy the patina of legitimacy that their ideas have lost within the realms of scientific debate. This ability to conduct an end-around w/r/t academia is one of the more frightening examples of the decline in civil society. (For more, please see this classic Atlantic Monthly article.)And for more of the same, here's an excerpt from a recent Washington Post article:
Propelled by a polished strategy crafted by activists on America's political right, a battle is intensifying across the nation over how students are taught about the origins of life. Policymakers in 19 states are weighing proposals that question the science of evolution. The proposals typically stop short of overturning evolution or introducing biblical accounts. Instead, they are calculated pleas to teach what advocates consider gaps in long-accepted Darwinian theory, with many relying on the idea of intelligent design, which posits the central role of a creator. The growing trend has alarmed scientists and educators who consider it a masked effort to replace science with theology. But 80 years after the Scopes "monkey" trial -- in which a Tennessee man was prosecuted for violating state law by teaching evolution -- it is the anti-evolutionary scientists and Christian activists who say they are the ones being persecuted, by a liberal establishment. They are acting now because they feel emboldened by the country's conservative currents and by President Bush, who angered many scientists and teachers by declaring that the jury is still out on evolution. Sharing strong convictions, deep pockets and impressive political credentials -- if not always the same goals -- the activists are building a sizable network. In Seattle, the nonprofit Discovery Institute spends more than $1 million a year for research, polls and media pieces supporting intelligent design. In Fort Lauderdale, Christian evangelist James Kennedy established a Creation Studies Institute. In Virginia, Liberty University is sponsoring the Creation Mega Conference with a Kentucky group called Answers in Genesis, which raised $9 million in 2003. At the state and local level, from South Carolina to California, these advocates are using lawsuits and school board debates to counter evolutionary theory. Alabama and Georgia legislators recently introduced bills to allow teachers to challenge evolutionary theory in the classroom. Ohio, Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio have approved new rules allowing that. And a school board member in a Tennessee county wants stickers pasted on textbooks that say evolution remains unproven. A prominent effort is underway in Kansas, where the state Board of Education intends to revise teaching standards. That would be progress, Southern Baptist minister Terry Fox said, because "most people in Kansas don't think we came from monkeys." The movement is "steadily growing," said Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which defends the teaching of evolution. "The energy level is new. The religious right has had an effect nationally. Now, by golly, they want to call in the chits."That's exactly why Randall Terry of Operation Rescue called on his followers to force Tom DeLay to call Congress out of recess to keep Terri Schiavo's body from being allowed to join her brain in death -- because Randall has a barbed-wire leash, in the form of the Republican Party's increasing dependence on the money and voter support generated by Southern and suburban white-flight Taliban-style churches -- wrapped around DeLay's scrotum.
Why Ahmed Chalabi deserves the Nobel Peace Prize
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Crackers shut down science films
Living And Dead: The MRIs And Terri Schiavo
Here's a March 17, 2005 CBS Evening News video link that has the pictures comparing a normal, living brain to Terri Schiavo's brain (the pics are at 1:26 through 1:29 in the 2:03 long video): March 17, 2005 CBS Evening News story The doctor's finger is pointing to a scan of a normal, healthy, living brain. The whitish-grey tissue is living brain matter, the dark outlines are cavities filled with spinal fluid. The other scan, the one the doctor is not pointing to, is that of Terri Schiavo's brain. As you can see, it's mostly not there anymore, and what is there is shriveled and dead. Everything else above the cerebellum, which controls heartbeat and breathing but not thought or feeling, is spinal fluid. Period. Later on, I'll try and post a still from the video showing the two MRIs side by side.
Friday, March 18, 2005
St. Patty's Day!
A little late, but what the hey: Help St. Patty (Wetterling, that is) after St. Patty's Day! Donate to her campaign -- she's already leading every likely Republican challenger by at least seven points (scroll down and look for the highlighted text) -- and keep Mark Dayton's seat in Democratic hands.
Afghanistan is one huge US jail
Wolfowitz knows nothing about banking, administration, or development...
So Much For My Vacation From Blogging!
This weekend is proving to be too important not to blog. Here's a very good timeline of the Terri Schiavo case from the University of Miami. It's obvious from reading the timeline that for the first four years after the heart attack that destroyed her brain, Michael Schiavo did anything and everything he could think of to try to bring her back. But his doctors finally let him know that she wasn't coming back, and he finally accepted this. Her parents never did, and thus became prey for the vultures of "Operation Rescue", who wanted to use Terri Schiavo's nonresponsive body as a vehicle for their own agenda. And guess what? The overwhelming feedback I'm seeing, on all but the most heavily "pro-life" message boards and blogs, is registering intense disgust for the idiotic actions of Randall Terry and his Congressional sock puppets DeLay and Frist. This ties in with Atrios' noting the results of two polls: One an internet poll, the other a recent ABC/WT poll cited at MyDD -- that showed that the "pro-life" side isn't getting quite the sympathy over the Schiavo case that they think they are getting. The Republicans thought this was going to be their new Elian and gay-marriage-ban rolled into one. Instead, it's going to be their new Social Security privatization: the third rail. And they're French-kissing that third rail with all their might. Please, please, Hot Tub Tom, keep harrassing a man and his brain-dead wife. Keep insisting that a corpse with a heartbeat be dragged into the well of the House. And Dr. Frist, please do continue to jeopardize your credibility, not to mention your professional standing, by making unprofessional and wrong remarks about Terri Schiavo's condition, remarks based solely on your alleged viewing of the carefully-edited videos made by the Schindlers and their well-funded allies -- who just happen to be the same ones providing money and voters to the Republican Party. And both of you, please continue to make your attacks on the institution and sanctity of marriage: You're doing more to hurt the legal rights of spouses than ten thousand gay and lesbian couples getting hitched by Justices of the Peace could dream of doing in ten thousand years. First, Social Security, then "Clear Skies" going down, then this. This is starting to feel like 1998. The Republicans thought they were sitting pretty and would have Clinton out of office within a few days. Instead, the nation turned on them. And the harder the Republicans attacked Clinton, the more the public rallied around him. If the Democrats had only bothered to actually go on the attack against Ken Starr and his Starr Chamber, they would have won back both Houses of Congress that year, then Gore would have won in 2000, and the Twin Towers (and our economy, and about 100,000 Iraqis and 1500-odd Americans) would still be around. I've heard about throwing anvils to drowning Republicans. But here, they're gleefully grabbing onto the anvils and riding them down to the bottom of the sea.
They Lie About Everything, Part Two
One of my e-mail listees is on various crazy right-wing lists. He's been providing us with stomach-churning samples of the lies and bullshit that the "right to lifers" are feeding their gullible followers about Terri Schiavo. Here's a taste:
http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?disc=149495;article=77960;title=APFN Cheryl Ford RN TERRI BEGAN TO CRY AND TRIED TO SAY "I WANT TO LIVE" Fri Mar 18, 2005 16:44 126.96.36.199 from Cheryl Ford RN - Fight4Terri@aol.com PRESS RELEASE: MARCH 18. 2005 2:00 PM EASTERN TIME ATTORNEY BARBARA WELLER TOLD TERRI THAT THEY WERE GOING TO REMOVE HER FEEDING TUBE , TERRI BEGAN TO CRY AND TRIED TO SAY "I WANT TO LIVE" ATTORNEY WELLER SAID SHE HAD A DIFFICULT TIME CALMING TERRI DOWN. WE NEED PEOPLE TO SURROUND HOSPICE IN PROTEST TO JUDGE GREER'S RULING STATING HE WILL OVER RIDE FEDERAL SUBPOENA AND WILL REMOVE TERRI'S FEEDING TUBE IMMEDIATELY. FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT COME TO FLORIDA...PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATORS. PLEASE DO NOT STOP YOUR CALLS. ACTION BY THE PEOPLE MUST TAKE PLACE TO SAVE TERRI FROM JUDICIAL HOMICIDE. JUDGE GREER IS WRONG AND IS NOT LISTENING TO CONGRESS.Gee, how come none of the scads of court-appointed doctors, nurses and other health professionals that have seen Terri Schiavo over the past decade and a half have seen behavior like this? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the speech centers of her brain don't exist any more? CBS News last night showed picture scans of a normal brain and Terri's brain. Terri's is all shriveled up and most of the cranial space is filled with fluid from her spinal column. Her cerebrum -- the part where thought occurs -- is GONE. Period. Weller and Ford know this full well. Yet they keep pretending that Terri is sentient. Why? Because they know it's a lot harder to drum up opposition to pulling out Terri's tubes if everyone knows she's been brain-dead for fifteen years already Weller and Ford are lying creeps and should be disbarred.
Is the drug war a cover for economic warfare?
I'm taking a few days off to recharge. Charles has the conn.
But before I go, I want to inform everyone, in light of how Tom DeLay and Catkiller Frist have ordered Michael Schiavo to drag his brain-dead wife Terri Schiavo's body to Capitol Hill, that it's time to get a Medical Power of Attorney set up.
Living Wills are nice, but they alone won't stop the Fundies.
Regular Powers of Attorney won't stop the Fundies.
Only a Medical Power of Attorney (available in all states but Louisiana) will do that.
Again, NOTE WELL: A regular PoA does not cover medical decisions. You must have a Medical PoA for that.
LawDepot.com shows you how the form is put together. Filling one out is free; to get the completed form, you must pay a nominal fee. When the form is printed, take it to your lawyer and/or a notary to have it gone over to make sure it fits the requirements for your state.
(On edit: I was going to pack it in for the weekend, but I couldn't leave without saying that I honestly had no idea that Charles had just posted something on this very same subject, right down to the title. Great minds think alike.)
Thursday, March 17, 2005
BBC/Palast: Bush Admin Had Planned Well Before 9/11 to Invade Iraq and Take Its Oil
Got this in my e-mail today:
SECRET U.S. PLANS FOR IRAQ'S OIL By Greg Palast Reporting for BBC Newsnight 17 March 2005 The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC's Newsnight has revealed. Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protestors claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered. In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists." "Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants. Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US. An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant Falah Aljibury says he took part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d'etat. Mr Aljibury himself told Newsnight that he interviewed potential successors to Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Bush administration.Go to http://www.GregPalast.com/opeconthemarch.html for more info.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
While Big Media Was Telling Us All About Scott Peterson and Robert Blake...
-- It was revealed that at least 26 Iraqi prisoners have died deaths that Army and Navy investigators either suspect or admit were homicides while in US custody (see also here for a list) -- The Republicans got a vote to drill in ANWR, where the oil won't reach us for at least ten years, allegedly in order to take care of the current energy crunch -- Oh, and Bush is raising taxes on the middle class. The only one of these stories that your co-workers will likely have heard about will be ANWR. And even then, they won't know that a) it'll be 2020 before any oil flows, and b) most if not all of it will be sold to Japan or China.
The reality of oil production
Japan a Nuclear Power and China the Top Economy
The Graham Amendment
It is the sense of the Senate that Congress should reject any Social Security plan that requires deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Homelessness in Britain
Graham Pulls A Fast One Bush RE: Social Security
Y'all know how BushCo has been pushing the bogus idea that the Democrats shouldn't reject Bush's plan until they come up with one of their own? And that they must work together with the Republicans to fashion a compromise plan to "fix" a program that isn't even sick? Guess what? According to Leilani on DU, who says she witnessed this on C-Span today:
Ha...it was beautiful. He crossed the aisle to join Kent Conrad, to work on Soc Sec. He proposed a budget amendment about the viability of the program, with the main provision, NO Benefit Cuts. Conrad approved & called for ALL Dems to join &vote AYE. Sen Boxer went to the floor & congragulated Graham & joined the discussion. Also gave the Dems a chance to say what a CHANGE this was..A Republican working with Dems. The vote was 100-0. The Republicans couldn't vote against it. I think Bush may order a fatwa against Lindsay Graham...the powers that be are not happy with him. Under LBN, Greenspan called for Benefit Cuts in Soc.Sec...now all the Republicans have voted against Benefit Cuts.Note how nicely Graham took the "but the Democrats are just yelling 'no' and not working with any Republicans on this!" bogosity and rendered it inoperative. Furthermore, he did it in such a way as to inoculate the Senate against having to consider any actual "compromise" plan that Bush would use to destroy Social Security. And consider this: to vote against any plan that would cut Social Security benefits is tantamount to opposing Bush's plans to privatize Social Security -- because even as Bush tells his Potemkin crowds that benefits won't be cut, he sends out his surrogates like Greenspan to insist that they must be cut. Greenspan may be willing to shill for Bush, but Graham and the other Republican officeholders would like to be able to win re-election. This is a not-so-subtle hint to Bush to back off on this issue, and to stay backed off on it.
No, DailyKos didn't blow up -- it's at 188.8.131.52
I thought his site had died, but found out otherwise tonight. His domain registrar, GoDaddy.com, has been having trouble with his domain today for some as-yet-unexplained reason. So type 184.108.40.206 into your browser for the next day or so, until Kos says otherwise.
This Is Unbelieveable
Frequent Eschaton commenter bkny posted this on Eschaton today:
richard cohen has a very good column this a.m. about cspan's 'fairness' doctrine carried to the extreme.I'd say something, but The Daily Show already has:
C-SPAN's Balance of the Absurd
C-SPAN's Balance of the Absurd
By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A23
You will not be seeing Deborah Lipstadt on C-SPAN. The Holocaust scholar at Emory University has a new book out ("History on Trial"), and an upcoming lecture of hers at Harvard was scheduled to be televised on the public affairs cable outlet. The book is about a libel case brought against her in Britain by David Irving, a Holocaust denier, trivializer and prevaricator who is, by solemn ruling of the very court that heard his lawsuit, "anti-Semitic and racist." No matter. C-SPAN wanted Irving to "balance" Lipstadt.
STEWART: Here's what puzzles me most, Rob. John Kerry's record in Vietnam is pretty much right there in the official records of the U.S. military, and haven't been disputed for 35 years? CORDDRY: That's right, Jon, and that's certainly the spin you'll be hearing coming from the Kerry campaign over the next few days. STEWART: Th-that's not a spin thing, that's a fact. That's established. CORDDRY: Exactly, Jon, and that established, incontrovertible fact is one side of the story. STEWART: But that should be--isn't that the end of the story? I mean, you've seen the records, haven't you? What's your opinion? CORDDRY: I'm sorry, my opinion? No, I don't have "o-pin-i-ons." I'm a reporter, Jon, and my job is to spend half the time repeating what one side says, and half the time repeating the other. Little thing called "objectivity"--might wanna look it up some day. STEWART: Doesn't objectivity mean objectively weighing the evidence, and calling out what's credible and what isn't? CORDDRY: Whoa-ho! Well, well, well--sounds like someone wants the media to act as a filter! [high-pitched, effeminate] "Ooh, this allegation is spurious! Upon investigation this claim lacks any basis in reality! Mmm, mmm, mmm." Listen buddy: not my job to stand between the people talking to me and the people listening to me.As it was with John O'Neil's Two-Lie Crew, so it is with discredited Holocaust deniers. And the mainstream press wonders why we jump down their throats all the time.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Washington Democrats: Doing the Exact Opposite of What They Should Be Doing
Josh Marshall wrote the following today, and it sums up the Democrats' biggest problems in a nutshell:
One of the Democrats' greatest problems -- far more insidious than many realize -- is their desire to gain the approval and approbation of establishment Washington and its A-list pundits. The habit or inclination is rooted in a political world that ceased to exist 20 or 30 years ago, and even then was wrong-headed. Republicans, on the other hand, have long seen the relationship as fundamentally antagonistic (if not necessarily unfriendly) and have acted accordingly. On balance, that's led to better press treatment because, though they are loathe to admit it, the mix of editors and pundits and talk show hosts respect the treatment. Democrats, from top to bottom, would do themselves no end of good if they simply acted on the assumption that the Washington establishment is not a constituency they are trying to appeal to or cultivate. That doesn't mean they should ignore the Washington press. Far from it. They should state their views and demand they be fairly covered. But they should not act on the ingrained assumption that these people are basically like-minded people of shared assumptions and beliefs who can be appealed to on that basis. All of that is another way of saying they should act like Republicans."Shorter Josh Marshall: Washington Democrats emulate Republican policies, but not Republican strategy, when they should be emulating Republican strategy, but not Republican policies.
Know Your House Committees
...at least the ones where the Debt Peonage Bill is currently residing -- namely, the House Judiciary Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. Let's see if we can keep this thing bottled up in committees! (Both the House Judiciary and Financial Services Committees!) Here's the House Judiciary Committee:
Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (Chair)(R) Wisconsin, 5th
James A. Leach IA, Richard H. Baker LA, Deborah Pryce OH, Spencer Bachus AL, Michael N. Castle DE, Peter T. King NY, Edward R. Royce CA, Frank D. Lucas OK, Robert W. Ney OH, Sue W. Kelly NY Vice Chairman, Ron Paul TX, Paul E. Gillmor OH, Jim Ryun KS, Steven C. LaTourette OH, Donald A. Manzullo IL, Walter B. Jones, Jr. NC, Judy Biggert IL, Christopher Shays CT, Vito Fossella NY, Gary G. Miller CA, Patrick J. Tiberi OH, Mark R. Kennedy MN, Tom Feeney FL, Jeb Hensarling TX, Scott Garrett NJ, Ginny Brown-Waite FL, J. Gresham Barrett SC, Katherine Harris FL, Rick Renzi AZ, Jim Gerlach PA, Stevan Pearce NM, Randy Neugebauer TX, Tom Price GA, Michael G. Fitzpatrick PA, Geoff Davis KY, Patrick T. McHenry NC,
Barney Frank MA, Paul E. Kanjorski PA, Maxine Waters CA, Carolyn B. Maloney NY, Luis V. Gutierrez IL, Nydia M. Velázquez NY, Melvin L. Watt NC, Gary L. Ackerman NY, Darlene Hooley OR, Julia Carson IN, Brad Sherman CA, Gregory W. Meeks NY, Barbara Lee CA, Dennis Moore KS, Michael E. Capuano MA, Harold E. Ford Jr. TN, Rubén Hinojosa TX, Joseph Crowley NY, Wm. Lacy Clay MO, Steve Israel NY, Carolyn McCarthy NY, Joe Baca CA, Jim Matheson UT, Stephen F. Lynch MA, Brad Miller NC, David Scott GA, Artur Davis AL, Al Green TX, Emanuel Cleaver MO, Melissa L. Bean IL, Debbie Wasserman Schultz FL, Gwen Moore WI, Bernard Sanders VT *
There you go -- names and contact links. You know what to do.
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