In 2008, you voted for change with Barak Obama(click TN on the map). You didn’t get what was promised in the easy campaign slogan. Instead you’ve gotten the shaft: high unemployment and bigger government.
Somebody during the 2008 presidential campaigns asked: “Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?” It wasn’t Obama who asked that question but I believe the answer is a fairly clear, “No.” We are not better off, quite a bit worse off, and it looks to be getting worse than worse. After doing everything it could to grow the deficit to grow government, putting more than double the Bush years unemployment rate out of work, the government is going to shrink the deficit by spending for Unions and Teachers by cutting back on food stamps. It was such a success, they want to repeat it to fund another initiative.
Is this the change you voted for? How about some real change in your own backyard, Nashville? If you’re tired of being handed the same old promises, election year after election year for decades, why do you keep punishing yourselves? Continue reading
According to this poll, any Republican can beat Jim Cooper.
The article does talk about some drawbacks, one of which is the poll is coming from the Hartline camp, whom I come have as close to endorsing as anybody, in spite of Huckabee not because of him. However, Cooper has done nothing but the same in the intervening months.
It’s always the quiet ones, eh? They try to keep quiet and not draw attention to what they’re doing in the shadows, while being rode roughshod by the likes of Pelosi, not to mention buying into the whole “common good” myth.
And for those of you too lazy to click through to the poll findings, the key findings are:
- Voters in the 5th District are actively seeking an alternative to Jim Cooper.
- Cooper can’t even manage a majority of the vote against a virtually-unknown Republican.
- The more voters learn about Jim Cooper, the less they like him.
Considering this is Cooper’s second gig, one does wonder where he’ll crop up next. Likely nowhere if he and the rest of the Democratic majority Congress continue with their threats of a lame duck session.
While many are concentrating and working actively on some critical campaigns, we often overlook some chances of making a real change because it’s never been done before. TN-05 has been Democrat held since 1875 (much as I hate to link to Wikipedia). That’s a goal worth attaining, wouldn’t you think?
Updated and bumped: I’ve been informed that there is another candidate for TN-05 whose name is David Hall. Please follow the link made from his name and check him out.
In spite of its passage over the protests of the majority of Americans, the health care debate rages on in the states. The number of states challenging the legislation as unConstitutional now number 18. Tennessee isn’t one of them. In spite of Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen’s objections, Tennessee’s Attorney General Bob Cooper is questioning the constitutionality of the Health Freedom Act instead.
Cooper wrote in a legal opinion released Tuesday that the proposed “Health Freedom Act” sponsored by Republican Rep. Mike Bell of Riceville would likely be pre-empted by federal law, and that a requirement for the attorney general to mount a legal defense for the measure could violate separation of powers provisions in the state constitution.
His official opinion is here.
While not brothers, though I admit I haven’t looked very hard for a familial connection between our AG Cooper and our Representative Cooper, there are connections. For instance, the law firm for which the Attorney General once worked was among Representative Cooper’s highest donors coming in just under Caterpillar by $250. Another little tidbit is they’re both adjunct professors at Vanderbilt which was covered here for Rep. Cooper.
The Attorney General is also a native of Chattanooga, TN which is where Representative Jim Cooper first entered politics at the national level, TN district 04. Attorney General Cooper’s father was also a State Supreme Court Justice. Given Rep. Cooper’s positions on issues, a state attorney general with a working relationship connection to said representative as well as a same last name, one has to question just who is in charge of the state of Tennessee. Representative Cooper also has a brother whose claim to fame is this: Tax Informants Are On The Loose. Perhaps we should be changing the name of the state to Cooper rather than Tennessee.
Other states are hiring attorneys to fight the healthcare legislation. Should Tennessee follow suit by hiring an outside attorney?
Given Representative Cooper’s support for the legislation in spite of his Governor’s and Tennesseans’ objections and the Attorney General’s possibly questionable connections to said representative our choices look bleak. Meanwhile, said representative’s brother is advocating a tax informant program that smacks of communist regimes that rewards said informants.
“They” do say all politics are local.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey who is campaigning for Governor to replace Bredesen had this to say about the AG’s position:
Because the attorney general is appointed by the state Supreme Court, not the legislature or governor, Ramsey agreed that lawmakers cannot force Cooper to change his mind. But Ramsey said he hoped to find a lawyer who would represent the state free of charge if Cooper does not change his mind.
“That’s the reason that I’m passing this resolution, to make a statement that the General Assembly — both the House and the Senate when this passes both — wants (Cooper) to do that,” he said. “If he refuses to do that, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
November is just seven months away. We can work for regime change in Tennessee as much as at the national level. We need new blood rather than entrenched politicians at all levels of government. Tennessee deserves better than this. Perhaps, TN-05 is ready for a Republican representative for the district considering there hasn’t been one since 1875.
Here is a list of Republican candidates for TN-05:
Michael Barbuto (No website)
Brendan Finucane Jr. (No website)
Robert Schwartz (No website)
Al Strauss (No website)
If you live in other districts in Tennessee and would like to know about Republican candidates in your area you can look them up from this link: http://www.politics1.com/tn.htm.
Over the next few weeks/months the plan is to highlight each of those candidates in separate articles. Mr. Miranda is the first and only one to date who answered questions I submitted to be included in the write up. It’s a nice set of questions to have answered but, if necessary, I’ll work without them. In the process of writing this post, the title for those articles is all wrong considering there are twelve candidates versus the five previously thought.
Incidentally, I voted for Kumar in ’08 though knowledge of him was sketchy. Desperation to rid the district of Cooper can lead one to commit such actions on faith rather than actual knowledge. That is NOT an endorsement. As I research these candidates, I’m looking for whom I will endorse as much as any of you Republican Tennessean readers. This election, one is hopeful that we will be better informed and better armed to make better choices.
Surely we can do better than a career politician like Jim Cooper who moved from one district in Tennessee to another, making claims of being a Blue Dog (conservative) Democrat while voting in legislation entailing massive spending, massive tax hikes, and massive deficits.
What’s more he voted for a bill of which he had little to no knowledge of its content. Nor did anyone else except for the authors.
How’s that hope and change working out for you? If you’ve had enough, please consider making a real change in Tennessee instead of voting in the same or similar players, ad infinitum.
Eh, not so much. This is Cooper.
Nevertheless, the Nashville Democrat planned to vote in favor of the $1.1 trillion package.
“My vote is not an endorsement of all the provisions of the bill because I find much of the bill to be deeply flawed,” Cooper said in a written statement issued during Saturday night’s debate. The bill passed in the House late Saturday night.
“There is little chance that (the House bill) will become law due to the long legislative process.”
His reasoning seems to be it won’t pass the Senate or a “passing of the buck.” He also stated he was voting for it “to advance the cause of health care reform by forcing the Senate to act.”
What if he is wrong?
What he voted for was this:
… who has not had health insurance coverage
or coverage under an employment-based health plan
for at least the 6-month period immediately preceding the date of the individual’s application for high-risk pool coverage under this section.(pg 18, HR 3962)
So, what is said in public is not backed up in the bill they support. How many people with cancer can wait 6 months for treatment? In spite of the rhetoric and sob stories, Congress isn’t going to do anymore for the people than the insurance companies will do.
“Without passage of this House bill, the Senate could delay reform indefinitely. That would be the worst possible outcome because our current health care system is not sustainable,” he said.
Did you know there’s a matching funds requirement?
(2) MATCHING FUND REQUIREMENT.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subparagraph
(B), no grant may be awarded to a State unless the State demonstrates the seriousness of its effort by matching at least percent of the grant amount through non-Federal resources, which may be a combination of State, local, private dollars from insurers, providers, and other private organizations.(pg 75, HR 3962)
The federal government will raise taxes to pay for this and the states will be forced to play along. Why is it that every time the federal government decides to interfere with something, it means hardship for the respective states? How is your state placed in this economic downturn? Will you be able to afford all the new taxes?
And, yes, Cooper voted for this:
Never mind individual circumstances that might preclude buying a $15,000 dollar policy which is the cheapest one can buy. Never mind the waiting periods for pre-existing conditions. Never mind the cuts to Medicare into which retirees and future retires have poured billions of dollars over decades. Never mind that a 5 year jail sentence is a death sentence to some. Never mind that with that death sentence it means someone will die for someone else’s sense of entitlement. Please, just never mind all the negatives. Just look over here at the cherries. Cherries come with pits and we’re expected to swallow the pits with the fruit… and like it even if it kills us.
And the excuse, as always, is: “To move it forward.” How many times have we heard that from both sides of the aisle? Does anything get moved forward other than bigger government, more intrusion into our private lives, and more authority over our individual labors toward the American Dream?
Oh, and did I tell you he’s the lone Tennessee vote? I’m sure I must have.
I have no understanding of what it means to be a Blue Dog Democrat if Jim Cooper is supposed to be a prime example. I suppose what it used to mean is no longer what it means. Perhaps, we need a new term for them: BDINO (Blue Dog In Name Only).
Oh and speaking of Blue Dog Democrats, remember that Owens fellow in NY23 who was supposed to be more conservative than Scozzafava, whom she endorsed over a real conservative candidate? He broke four campaign promises within an hour of being sworn in.
Perhaps we should call them what they really are: Liars. There’s no such creature as a Blue Dog Democrat. They’re myths just like their campaign promises.
To say all politicians lie is to admit to apathy and helplessness. When are we going to expect more of the people we pay to represent us? We do not pay them to cater to the Nancy Pelosi’s of Congress. We do not pay them to serve their own self-interest over the interests of the people for whom they work.
Now that I’ve rambled in the NY23 territory let’s get back to Cooper. Did I tell you that Cooper was the lone vote from Tennessee? I was wrong. I suppose two out of seven isn’t bad.
It is small comfort to have only the hope that it is indeed D.O.A. in the Senate as is being claimed. Cooper’s own words imply that is the hope when he says it’s “to advance the cause of healthcare”, which is the equivalent of saying, “The dog ate my homework.”
Hope is cold comfort if you’re one of the ones who may end up sitting in a jail cell because Congress is full of cowards.
Next Sunday is my 51st birthday. I won’t be here on that day so I’m “celebrating” a bit early. For the first time in my life I’m scared of my government. That’s a first I never wanted to experience.
In every life there is always some uncertainty and insecurities. We can get angry at some of them or we can be depressed or run a gamut of emotions over turmoil.
Jaded says that race relations have not been this bad in decades. Obama was supposed to be a post-racial president. He was also supposed to be a bi-partisan president. In fact, he promised to be a lot of post- somethings. Instead, he went in the opposite direction. Who could have seen that coming? (A lot of people who were deemed racists for saying so.)
It’s not racial tensions that have me frightened. Racial tensions ebb and tide and there’s a limit to how much rage can be spewed before it dissipates, although it could get bloody before that limit is reached. We’ve been bloody before and while worrying it does not bring me to full terror.
It’s the whole monstrosity of government.There’s a segment of the country gnashing their teeth at the Republicans, insulting them with the “Party of No” nom de plume and insulting the people who oppose this complete takeover of the country that signals the death of our Constitution.
Some want that death, yet seem to have little understanding that it is the only thing standing between the government and our civil rights. Given the numbers who want it they may well achieve their goals and that is what scares me.
The federal government is made up of three parts and it seems two of those parts are in collusion to effect that change. The “Party of No”, in times past a part of the collusion, at others standing against it, has withdrawn and shed light on what happens in the shadows. It’s not pretty and I had not realized that we were so far gone until they did step back.
The other side wants its cover back so they can continue to work in the shadows and resort to bullying to get it. We’re called hate-mongers by people who hate us and what we stand for. If we dare question their premise or their statements, we’re accused of questioning their patriotism. I used to question their patriotism but not anymore. It’s just their patriotism is for something that isn’t this country in its original inception but for their own conception of what this country should be.
No, it’s the government that has me scared. Laws are permanent things. Once enacted they’re rarely repealed. That is why there is the hot and heavy debate over the health care bill. Some of us have actually read it and know more about what is in it than the Congress that purportedly wrote it.
In just the health care bill alone there are mechanisms of control that will be permanent and subdue (if not completely kill them) our civil rights under the Constitution. And there is other legislation coming down the pike that will cement those controls in place. For anyone who has read any part of these upcoming bills, they realize that it is more about control and very little about the thing they’re promising to fix. And they’ll lie and lie and lie, ad infinitum to achieve their goal which is power and control.
To show you what I mean here’s a small list of indignities (their so-called myths):
SEC. 152. PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE.
22 (a) IN GENERAL.—Except as otherwise explicitly per
mitted by this Act and by subsequent regulations consistent with this Act, all health care and related services (including insurance coverage and public health activities) covered by this Act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services.
In addition, in the early pages of the bill, pg 170, HR3200, it specifies that any nonresident alien is exempt from individual taxes.
What that says to me is that illegal aliens will be provided for under the health care bill. Now, that’s to be expected considering what who wants it. The issue is: Why Do They Have to Lie About it?
The pols say abortion isn’t covered in the bill but neglect to mention that it’s in there by definition pgs. 769-770, HR3200.
The health care bill provides for government sharing of your personal data, including bank records, between departments that have absolutely nothing to do with health care, pg 735, HR3200.
I’ll stop there otherwise I’ll be here for the next week outlining that bill. However, the pols say these things aren’t in there and, yet, here they are. When that doesn’t work, they say the bill hasn’t been written, yet. So, they lie. Why do they have to lie if it’s such a good deal?
Even if you’re willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because you support Obama or one or another member of Congress, remember what I said: Laws are typically permanent things.
I’m not just scared of my government. I’m terrified.
Crossposted to Redstate.
I am not nor have I ever been a friend or admirer of, now the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. I hope before his death he came to know the Lord.
But I find the liberal Democrats, with the drive-by media’s help, use of his passing as a way to shove socialized healthcare down our throats very unseemly. In fact, it’s downright morbid and I’m sure many other Americans think so too. Kennedy has barely been dead a day and the libs have already turned him into a political prop. Disgusting.
And Chris Matthews anointing President Obama “the last Kennedy brother“? Get off the president’s leg and just get a room already.
The Dems are on the verge of another Paul Wellstone moment and they don’t even know it. My hope is that they have that shameful moment so the American people can finally see them for what they are and sweep them into the dustbin of History, as they truly deserve.
Last Saturday, New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote quite an incendiary op-ed about people who oppose Barack Obama’s health care proposals and about Republicans in general. I have pasted an excerpt of the last half of his column below–oh, and I must warn you that it really blows (pun intended).
“Not only are anti-reformists showing up, they’re terrorizing legislators with their tomfoolery when they do. Blinded by fear and passion, armed with misinformation and misplaced anger, they descend on these meetings and hoot and holler in an attempt to shut down the debate rather than add to it.
I must say that this says more about them than it does about any forthcoming legislation. Belligerence is the currency of the intellectually bankrupt.
Trapped in their vacuum of ideas, too many Republicans continue to display an astounding ability to believe utter nonsense, even when faced with facts that contradict it.
A Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll released last Friday found that 28 percent of Republicans don’t believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States and another 30 percent are still “not sure.” That’s nearly 6 out of 10 Republicans refusing to accept a basic truth. Then again, this shouldn’t surprise me. According to a Gallup poll released last summer, 6 in 10 Republicans also said they thought that humans were created, in their present form, 10,000 years ago.
Let’s face it: This is no party of Einsteins. Really, it isn’t. A Pew poll last month found that only 6 percent of scientists said that they were Republicans.
Democrats should be leading this discussion. Instead, they’re losing control of it. That’s unfortunate because the debate is too important to be hijacked by hooligans.”
OK–first of all, I have absolutely no idea what the “birthers” (quoted from a Daily Kos poll no less), or people’s belief in regard to when the earth was created, has to do with the health care debate–those are total red herrings meant to change the subject or to say “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”. (Oh, and just so Mr. Blow knows, a Rasumussen poll taken in 2007 reported that 35% of Democrats–or one in three Democrats–believed that George Bush helped plan the 9/11 attacks, or were 9/11 “truthers“, but I digress). Second of all, if you notice, Mr. Blow offers absolutely no evidence or arguments in favor of Obamacare–all he does is waste bandwidth by insulting the people who are against it (which, by the way, makes me believe that he can‘t defend it). And finally, someone needs to inform Mr. Blow that name-calling, not belligerence, is “the currency of the intellectually bankrupt”. Let’s see–Mr. Blow refers people who oppose Obamacare as “hooligans”, has implied that they are terrorists with his whole “terrorizing legislators” bit, and has also implied that they are stupid with his “This is no party of Einsteins” quote (and liberals wonder why people tag them as east-coast elitists). Seriously Mr. Blow, using name-calling as a debate tactic is simply pathetic and it absolutely reeks of desperation. Dude, how old are you–eight?! Why don’t you just call these people “stupid doody-heads” and get it over with?
Now, sad to say, Charles Blow’s name-calling and insults are not the exception to how the Democrats have been attempting to sell Obamacare to the American people–they seem to be the rule. If you’re not on board with Obamacare, then Democrats will not hesitate to ridicule you and shout you down, instead of first trying, say–I don’t know– reason or logic in an attempt to persuade people to their point of view. For instance, you have Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling people “astroturfers” who attend town halls, and implying that they are Nazis by claiming that “they wear Swastikas” (the video is below). Actually, someone needs to inform Mrs. Pelosi that David Axelrod got his start in politics by astroturfing and that the Democrats are currently engaging in astroturfing, but I digress. Furthermore, Mrs. Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer both wrote a column two days ago where they claim that anyone who opposes Obamacare is “un-American“. Classy, huh?
[By the way, Jonah Goldberg recently wrote a hilarious column where he points out the ridiculousness of Nancy Pelosi’s statement by saying the following–
“Now this is a pas de trois of dishonesty, slander, and idiocy. Not only is Pelosi lying when she says protesters are bringing swastikas to these town halls, not only is she suggesting that American citizens are Nazis for having the effrontery to get in the way of Obamacare, but she’s also saying that the alleged swastikas are obvious proof that these protests are manufactured by slick P.R. gurus.
How does that work? What public-relations genius says: “Okay, we need these protests to seem like an authentic backlash of real Americans. Make sure everyone has enough Nazi paraphernalia!”]
Oh, and who could forget Barbara “Ma’am” Boxer calling protestors at the town halls “astroturfers“, because they are “too well dressed“? Our own LoriZ wrote an excellent diary detailing this (and it contains the embed of the video of Barbara Boxer), but I feel the need to paste one of the more hilarious quotes below–
“Unlike Cindy Sheehan and her Code Pink cohorts, normal citizens actually attempt to look nice when, you know, going out in public. Even worse, we Right-Wing nutty nut women gasp shave our legs .. while showering no less.. AND wear bras. Sometimes we even comb our hair and put on make-up to look purty. It’s our Stockholm Syndrome, of course. We can’t help objectifying ourselves, obviously.”
And finally, there’s that infamous video, courtesy of the DNC, calling town hall protestors “The Angry Mob” and implying that they are all radicals and “birthers” (like the one crazy woman in the video waving around a birth certificate).
Hey, where‘s the love? I thought that being a community organizer was cool. Oh, but silly me. I guess it‘s only cool to organize the community and protest if you are an ACORN member threatening banks. I guess if you are protesting against The One, you are no longer a “community organizer“–you are a “hooligan“ or a member of an “angry mob” and you must be stopped.
But hey, this pattern of name-calling seems to be what liberals perpetually resort to whenever they feel that The One is playing defense. Remember when Democrats were trying to sell the American people on that monstrosity they had the nerve to call a stimulus bill? Well, when some American’s weren’t buying it and held tea parties in protest, the MSM had the unmitigated gall to refer to them as “tea baggers” ( a disgusting oral sex reference). I have embedded below a video of MSNBC’s David Shuster going off on a disgusting rant where he refers to his fellow Americans, exercising their First Amendment rights, as “tea baggers”–then he goes off on a repulsive tirade where he makes a string of vulgar, not-so-clever oral sex references. I’m seriously surprised that Shuster didn’t get fired for this behavior (oh, who am I kidding, it‘s MSNBC–I‘m not really surprised at all), but I digress.
OK–so, now that we are on the subject of “radicals”, “hooligans” and members of an “angry mob” (“Oh my!”), why don’t we take a look at some videos of some liberals protesting or dissenting, and you can tell me who the real “hooligans” are.
Remember back during the Republican National Convention when John McCain’s acceptance speech was interrupted by a bunch of “hooligans” who were “hooting and hollering” (see embed below–H/T George Claghorn–read his excellent diary)? Do any of you remember any Republicans interrupting Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention by “hooting and hollering”? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? That’s what I thought.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of “radicals”, what about the video below of members of The New Black Panther Party engaging in clear-cut voter intimidation? By the way, Obama’s Department of Justice dropped the charges against these hooligans after the DoJ had already won. Ed Morrisey of Hot Air
has the story (even the US Commission on Civil Rights was furious).
Just a thought, but do any of you really think that Obama’s DoJ would have dropped the charges against two Bubbas in Mississippi dressed in overalls and carrying baseball bats outside of a voting precinct (instead of wearing jackboots and carrying nightsticks)? I highly doubt it (and rightfully so I might add).
Furthermore, while we’re on the subject of an “angry mob”, do any of you remember when Code Pink members, dressed up like transvestites at Mardi Gras (not that there’s anything wrong with that if you are a transvestite at Mardi Gras–there’s a time and a place for everything), interrupted General David Petraeus’ confirmation hearing by screaming like banshees? These people could definitely teach the people attending health care town halls a thing or two.
And finally, there’s this recent video of SEIU union thugs attacking an African-American conservative for exercising his freedom of speech by passing out flags that said “Don’t tread on me”. The video also shows these “hooligans” “hooting and hollering” and then slapping the woman holding the camera in the face (H/T Caleb Howe).
OK–so now, who are the “hooligans” and “radicals” (as so many Democrats like to call town hall protesters) really? Last time I checked, none of the town hall protestors were intimidating voters, interrupting national political conventions or congressional hearings, physically attacking liberal protestors, or were threatening the father of a handicapped child (H/T Erick Brockway who wrote a post about Obama supporters threatening a man whose adult child has cerebral palsy). In other words, unlike most liberal protestors, these town hall protestors aren’t engaging in disruptive behavior–they are simply engaging in democracy. Furthermore, if their congressmen are feeling “terrorized” by listening to their constituents complaints, then they should either grow a pair or find another line of work.
Now, I would like you to kindly permit me to go off on a tangent here and tell everyone reading this the story about my own healthcare crisis. To be honest with you all, I am quite loathe to discuss my illness with strangers over the internet, but I feel like doing so could possibly shed so much light on this debate, that I’m willing to bite the bullet and do it anyway–so here goes.
Around two years ago, a month into my first rotation as a medical student, I stared experiencing severe back pain. I went to an orthopedist and was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease (even though my MRI only showed a minor herniation and a few bulging discs). However, over the last two years, the pain in my back began to get progressively worse and I developed a slight tremor in my hands that would come and go. Over the last six months, I started to develop frequent muscle spasms in my back and had to have multiple spinal epidurals just so that I could make it through my rotations, drag myself over the finish line and graduate (I’ve had a total of nine epidurals in the last two years). Then, this summer, I started to develop a plethora of neurological symptoms (as well as unusually severe back pain) such as and tingling in my hands, feet, and face, weakness in my arms and legs, problems with dropping things, pain in my legs and arms with activity, severe pain when flexing my neck, muscle atrophy in my hands, shortness of breath, and increased heart rate just to name a few (my hands are tingling as I type this). I thought that I either had multiple scerosis or possibly Guillain Barre’–which is an autoimmune disease where your body produces antibodies to the myelin (which helps nerve impulses travel faster) in your peripheral nerves. It can be caused by GI or respiratory infections or vaccines (and I had multiple vaccines before I started my rotations and two bad infections at the end of my rotations before graduation). Guillain Barre’ causes similar symptoms to MS and both are demyelinating diseases, except that Guillian Barre’ affects the peripheral nervous system whereas MS affects the central nervous system (which consists of the brain and spinal cord).
Anyway, I made an appointment with a neurologist that I had done a rotation with and told him that I thought that I might have developed Guillian Barre’ from the infections that I had picked up before graduation, and that my degenerative disc disease had worsened causing severe pain in my back. Well, he then told me that he thought that I had been misdiagnosed with degenerative disc disease, and that for the past two years, I had actually been suffering from a chronic form of Guillain Barre’ called chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy that had been causing my back pain and tremors–and that it probably became more acute and started causing neurological symptoms when I got those two infections at the end of my fourth year (walking pneumonia and Campylobacter food poisoning to be specific). And, in order to make sure that I was properly diagnosed, my neurologist ran a plethora of tests in order to be sure that I had Guillain Barre’, and to rule out other illness that had similar presentations. Now, don’t cry for me Argentina–I have finally been put on the right medications (medications for neuropathic pain due to damaged nerves instead of just opioids to control pain) and I am already in way less pain and have more energy than I used to. Furthermore, I am starting IV immunoglobulin therapy next week that will help to get rid of the antibodies to the myelin on my nerves, and my condition should drastically improve. I had planned to take my medical boards this summer, but I had to cancel them; however, it looks like I will now be able to take them this fall.
OK, enough of the neurology class–now back to the fun stuff.
Now, I will begin this section by explaining why I’m so apprehensive about Obamacare. Yes, John Stossel’s report about the horrors of Canadian and British healthcare, as well as Daniel Hannan’s interview on Glenn Beck’s show (H/T Steve Foley) backing up Stossel’s findings, gave me pause (see both embeds below).
Stossel‘s report, particularly, sent chills up my spine, because I didn‘t have to wait a total of six days to see my neurologist and get an MRI–much less six months, which is how long John Stossel reported the Brits have to wait to see a neurologist or get an MRI. If I had to wait six months to see a neurologist, and then six more months to get an MRI, I would have wound up severely debilitated–where as now, I will probably recover almost fully and be able to participate in the 2010 match and start my residency next year.
Furthermore, Steven Crowder’s anecdotal piece on Canadian healthcare should make anyone shudder (embed is below). It’s beyond scary that people in Canada have to first get a family doctor in order to get a simple blood test–and that you had to wait 2-3 years to get a family doctor (or pay $900). When my neurologist ordered a blood test for me (in order to rule out lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes-a common cause of peripheral neuropathy), I didn’t have to wait two days–much less two years!
[Oh, and speaking of Canadian health care, if any of you want to see Paul Krugman get pwned–then watch the video in this link from The Political Class. In the video, Krugman asks the Canadians at a conference that he’s speaking at to raise their hands if they are dissatisfied with their national health care system, and just about all of them in the room raise their hands. Hilarious!]
However, what bothers me the most about the Obama health care plan is not due to any secret messages that I have received from Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh via my toaster (because you know all conservatives receive secret messages from Beck and Limbaugh from our toasters)–it’s things that I’ve heard from Obama supporters, and from Obama himself. For instance, here is Barney Frank admitting that he wants to use the public option to eventually get a single payer system which is what they have in Canada and Great Britain. And, here is Eugene Robinson, a self-proclaimed “true believer” saying the following—
“The unvarnished truth is that services are ultimately going to have to be curtailed regardless of what happens with reform. We perform more expensive tests, questionable surgeries and high-tech diagnostic scans than we can afford. We spend unsustainable amounts of money on patients during the final year of life.
Yes, it’s true that doctors order some questionable procedures defensively, to keep from getting sued. But it’s a cop-out to blame the doctors or the tort lawyers. We’re the ones who demand these tests, scans and surgeries. And why not? If a technology exist that can prolong life or improve its quality, even for a few weeks or months, why shouldn’t we want it?”
[Oh, and here is Tom Daschle, Obama’s original choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services before his tax evasion scandal came to light, also claiming that we run too many unnecessary tests.]
And then, there is Slate’s Mickey Kaus (a self-admitted supporter of Obama’s health care legislation) who in his recent column titled, “Obama as Health Care Salesman: He Sucks!”, wrote the following about Obama‘s health care presentation.–
“Later on he tells people that they are foolish to prefer brand name drugs to generic drugs, and to want multiple medical tests. “If you only need one test, why do you want five tests?” Stop clinging to your tests! You’re worse than those people in Pennsylvania.”
And finally, you have Barack Obama, himself, saying the following in a town meeting to a woman named Jane Sturm who, told Obama about her elderly mother who had surgery to put in a pace-maker in order to correct an arrythmia (H/T Ed Morrisey of Hot Air).–
“Loading up on additional tests and additional drugs isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller”. (See embed below).
OK–first of all, I feel the need to inform Mr. Obama and his supporters that the reason my disease was finally diagnosed was because of all of those pesky tests. Doctors are not gods you know and they don’t use “the force”–they rule out differential diagnoses, and center in on one diagnoses, using concrete evidence. For instance, first, my neurologist ordered an MRI of my spine to rule out any MS lesions, or a herniated disc that could be causing a pinched nerve and thus compression neuropathy. Then, he ordered a blood test to rule out any other diseases that present with symptoms similar to the ones that I was presenting with (RA, lupus, etc.). Next, he ordered an MRI of my brain to rule out MS once and for all (it is possible with MS to have brain lesions but not spinal cord lesions). And finally, my neurologist ordered an EMG nerve conduction study, which demonstrated bilateral ulnar tunnel syndrome (decreased firing of both of my ulnar nerves) , and that finding (along with the bilateral loss of my biceps reflexes on physical exam) helped him to finally center on Guillain Barre’ as my diagnoses (Guillain Barre’ usually presents with bilateral nerve demyelination and weakness, whereas MS is more sporadic). Oh, and you know what? I’m glad that my doctor ran a bunch of tests on me so that he could be 100% sure that he correctly was diagnosing me, so that I wouldn’t have to spend another two years being treated for the wrong disease–and most importantly, so that I could finally get the right treatment for the disease that I actually had instead of winding up debilitated and disabled (and maybe even dying an early death in my fifties).
Second of all, as far as “preferring brand name drugs to generic drugs” goes, most of the drugs that I take for chronic Guillain Barre’ (otherwise known as chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy) don’t come in generic form (Lyrica, Skelaxin, and Celebrex–I take this drug because NSAIDS, like ibuprophen, give me peptic ulcer disease). Should I take a less effective drug that’s not indicated as a treatment for my illness simply because it comes in generic form? Oh, and not to mention, my IV immunoglobulin treatment is going to cost a total of $30.000 over six months. If any of you think that the federal government would be willing to shell out that kind of money in order to keep me a productive member of the work force (instead of just telling me to get on disability and take a pain pill), then I have a blind bird dog and some underwater real-estate to sell you, but I digress.
And finally, I don’t want anyone who thinks that pain pills are a treatment for arrythmias, and that asthma is treated with a “breathalyzer”, anywhere near my health care (you don’t have to go to medical school to know that sounds ridiculous). Oh, and I don’t want the same people who wrote the porkulus (i.e., congress) anywhere near my health care either.
Oh, and on a side note, for the last two years I have, literally, taken pain pills every night when I got home from my rotations and I’m here to tell you that IT SUCKS!!! (Yes I’m shouting–write it down, take a picture, sue me, I don’t care.) For the last two years, I have felt like I have been going through life in a fog–and now, thanks to my neurologist running all of those bothersome, expensive tests, the fog has finally been lifted. Therefore, I feel more strongly than ever that no one should have to live their life medicated on pain pills, just to get through the day, so that the federal government can save a few bucks by not running necessary, diagnostic tests.
Now, I realize that there are millions of uninsured people out there, but as the video embedded below demonstrates, the majority of them could either qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, (both of which, according to the WSJ, will be drastically cut to help pay for Obamacare), or SCHIPS–and either choose not to apply or are unaware that it’s an option–or willfully refuse to buy insurance, because they’d rather spend their money on other things.
Raise your hands if any of you want to have your tax dollars go to pay for health insurance for the guy (in the above video) who refuses to buy any so that he can continue to spend $300.00 a month on protein bars and vitamins? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? That’s what I thought.
Now, out of the forty seven million who are uninsured, there is a small percentage of people with pre-existing conditions who are too old to get a cheap health insurance plan, can’t afford an expensive plan but aren’t poor enough for Medicaid, and are too young to qualify for Medicare–so they are left uninsured and could go bankrupt if they are in an accident or develop any sort of major illness. These people have worked hard and played by the rules, and they don’t deserve to lose everything that they have worked for their entire life because of one illness–and as conservatives, we would be wise not to ignore their plight. However, when I happened to catch Greta Van Susteren’s interview with Rush Limbaugh, Rush seemed to offer a quite logical solution to this problem (and everyone here knows that I am no ditto head). Rush stated that if congress had earmarked $29 billion dollars in the trillion dollar stimulus bill for health insurance, it would have been enough money to provide insurance to cover all of these people who honestly want to buy health insurance, but can’t afford it do to old age or a pre-existing condition and don’t qualify for any social programs (they are around 12-15 million out of the 47 million people uninsured). So I ask you–why in the world didn’t we just do that instead of earmarking the money to study the marsh mouse or pig odor? Just a thought.
So, in conclusion, after the experiences that I have had as a patient with a neurological disorder (as well as a medical student/ future doctor), Obama and his supporters are going to have to forgive me if I seem like a bitter person clinging to my tests. They make think that I’m a well-dressed, un-American, tea bagging, Nazi hooligan who is part of an angry mob–and that’s OK. But hey, at least I’m not a sucker. In other words, I’ll be dammed if I’m going to let some snake oil salesman (who can’t even sell his own plan without insulting cops and family docs) and his cronies talk me into radically changing one sixth of our economy–when even he can’t tell us what‘s in the bill at his own press conference. Furthermore, I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some government bureaucrat tell me or my doctor how many tests he or she can run, what surgeries I can have, or what drugs I can take. You see, I think that my health–nay my quality of life–is worth fighting for. I don’t just want to exist or survive–I want to suck the marrow out life and live life to the fullest. I want to soar. Therefore, you can expect to see me “hooting and hollering” at every town hall that I get the chance to attend. In fact, I say that we all take a page out of Bill Pullman’s speech in “Independence Day” (yeah, I know that it’s over the top, but hey, it rocks) –particularly the part when he says “We will be united in our common interests. We will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight.” Remember, they want us to “go quietly into the night”. I say–HELL NO!! Let’s be “hooligans” and put up a good fight. Let’s not vanish without a fight. Let’s rock people–our very lives depend on it.
This diary is cross-posted on The Minority Report.
I remember back in the 80s the griping about government waste, such as $2,000 for a toilet seat, $500 for a hammer, and so on. Obviously, since that was the Reagan era, the Democrats have resolved to do government waste better (via Drudge ):
SPENDING SCARED: WHITE HOUSE PUTS OFF RELEASE OF BUDGET UPDATE…
RECOVERY.GOV // AWARDED: $2,531,600 FOR ‘HAM, WATER ADDED, COOKED, FROZEN, SLICED, 2-LB’…
RECOVERY.GOV // AWARDED: $1,191,200 FOR ‘2 POUND FROZEN HAM SLICED’…
RECOVERY.GOV // AWARDED: $351,807 FOR ‘REPLACE AND UPGRADE THE DUMBWAITER’…
RECOVERY.GOV // AWARDED: $1,562,568 FOR ‘MOZZARELLA CHEESE’…
RECOVERY.GOV // AWARDED: $5,708,260 FOR ‘PROCESS CHEESE’…
RECOVERY.GOV // AWARDED: $16,784,272 FOR ‘CANNED PORK’…
RECOVERY.GOV // AWARDED: $1,444,100 FOR ‘REPAIR DOOR BLDG 5112’…
I don’t believe there is much left to be said, is there?
Note: I’m still super busy probably for the rest of this week so enjoy the reading list.