Anger and hatred at Palin rally in Johnston, PA October 19, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, race, racism, Sarah Palin, Uncategorized.
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The force of the Hillary Effect October 19, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, gender, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, Sarah Palin, sexism, Uncategorized.
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The Boston Globe; by Derrick Z. Jackson; October 18, 2008
THE BRADLEY EFFECT is fading into the Hillary Effect.
The former is the phenomenon that the polls overestimate how much white voters will support a black candidate. The latter was in full force Thursday at Barack Obama’s first rally of the homestretch of the presidential campaign. Huge numbers of women from New Hampshire and Massachusetts who breathed fire into Hillary Clinton’s campaign after Clinton was stunned in Iowa by Obama cheered jubilantly with the original Obama believers.
Until recently, polls indicated that a quarter of Clinton voters were so steamed over her elimination that they threatened to vote for Republican John McCain. A month ago, McCain had a slight lead in two polls in New Hampshire. Obama now leads by 10 percentage points in Real Clear Politics averaging of the last state polls. From listening to former Clinton voters, you know why.
“It took two to three weeks for it to all settle down,” said Sue Martin, 68, social studies textbook editor from Atkinson, N.H. She was a Clinton volunteer in the Salem office. “Back then, I thought he was way too young. But he’s grown a lot.”
“Up until the last month, I was going to write in Hillary,” said Janice Keene, a 58-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Londonderry. “I was quite disappointed. But our country needs change, especially the middle class.”
“I still feel Hillary was robbed,” said Geraldine Sanders, 68, of Candia, who assists Alzheimer’s patients at a residential treatment center. “You might say that, politically, I grew up with Hillary. She is a very strong woman. But my mother was a great Democrat and I can’t forget that.”
Whatever hope McCain had of peeling off white women voters is evaporating. According to Real Clear Politics averages, Obama is up 14 points in Pennsylvania and 8 points in New Mexico, states Clinton won. Obama is up 10 points in Michigan, where Clinton ran unopposed. Obama has small leads in Ohio, Florida, and Nevada, where Clinton won or ran virtually unopposed. President Bush won Ohio, Florida, Nevada, and New Mexico for the Republicans in 2004.
New Hampshire, while having only four electoral votes, is a final state McCain hopes to keep in play on Election Day. His running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, campaigned here this week. McCain clearly hoped that having a woman on the ticket would sway Clinton voters. But Clinton voters here said Palin is beyond the pale. In many cases her very selection accelerated their support of Obama.
Carol Kunz, a 42-year-old attorney from Manchester, said, “To compare the two women is insulting to women everywhere.”
Christine Hines, a 43-year-old homemaker from North Andover, said, “Palin’s right-wing politics curl my hair. How could any Hillary voter align herself with Palin?”
Carol Crowell of Haverhill, a 46-year-old executive editor in educational publishing, said, “My husband voted for Hillary too. But the idea that Hillary supporters would support someone the political polar opposite from Hillary on healthcare, education, and ending the war just because they’re women is crazy.”
The Hillary Effect is so much in play that Karen Fronterotta, a 50-year-old telecom sales representative from Kingston, N.H., is listed on the Obama campaign website as hosting a “Women for Truth and Change” party the Sunday before the election. She wants to get 30 women to pledge to get at least five of their friends to the polls for Obama. Sue Martin has switched from working for Clinton’s Salem office to working out of Obama’s Salem office.
“For me, it’s about changing the Supreme Court,” Martin said.
Lise Ragan, 56, joked about herself as “Jill the Publisher,” a play on McCain’s use of Joe the Plumber in the last debate. Ragan is an educational textbook publisher in Haverhill, Mass. She said the Palin ploy and the plumber play landed with a thud to her political ears. “You’re talking to the Hillary demographic here,” Ragan said. “I know that there might be tax repercussions in running a small business. But for me and most Hillary voters, the greater issue is the future of the planet.”
Equal Treatment for the Uninsured? Don’t Count on It. October 14, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Uncategorized, universal health care.
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Lack of Compensation Can Tempt Doctors to Tailor Their Care to a Patient’s Coverage
The Washington Post; by Manoj Jain; October 14, 2008
When I walked into the hospital room of a 19-year-old woman, a foul smell all but overwhelmed me. I called a nurse to assist me and saw her, too, catch her breath.
When we examined the young woman we found a chronic infection of her pelvis so painful that she resisted our slightest touch.
How long had she been living like this, I wanted to know. Through tears, my patient hesitantly began an explanation that told me as much about our diseased medical system as about her illness: She’d had diabetes since she was a child, she said. On her 18th birthday, she lost her insurance and had been able to afford insulin only occasionally. She worked two jobs, she said, but neither offered insurance. Uncontrolled, her diabetes had let the infection develop and fester.
As I left her room, I realized I’d already grown accustomed to the rank odor. That, I think, is what happens when we learn that 47 million people in the United States are uninsured. At first, we find it shocking. But over time, most of us learn to ignore it.
What’s in Your Wallet?
That experience sparked a conversation with a friend, a primary care physician who told me that about 20 percent of the patients he treats at the hospital are uninsured, and he is not compensated for treating them. (As physicians sometimes say, “No other professionals — lawyers, plumbers, accountants — provide uncompensated service to one-fifth of their clients.”)
Although the uninsured look like any other patients, it’s easy to spot them: Their charts have places for their address, emergency contact and insurance information; an empty insurance box is a telltale sign. Some doctors examine this sheet before examining the patient — a practice we refer to as a wallet biopsy.
The 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act declares that hospitals cannot refuse care to critically ill patients and that the physician on call must treat them. Internists with privileges at a hospital (like my friend) are usually part of the on-call rotation for the emergency room.
“I used to get angry every time the emergency room admitted an uninsured patient,” he said. “I would try to spend less time with them — 20 minutes instead of 30 — and try to get them out of the hospital quickly and hope they would not come to my clinic.”
It’s not uncommon for patients with no insurance or poor insurance to receive different treatment. A 2006 study of 25 primary care private practices in the Washington area showed that in nearly one in four encounters, physicians reported adjusting their clinical management based on a patient’s insurance status; nearly 90 percent of physicians admitted to making such adjustments. For patients with no insurance, alterations occurred 43 percent of the time; and for the privately insured, just 19 percent.
Some of these adjustments make little difference: Uninsured patients received more generic drugs and multiple drugs. A doctor might prescribe two generic pills for high blood pressure — an ACE inhibitor and a diuretic, which together would cost $20 for a given period — instead of a combined brand-name pill, which would cost $241.
The impact of other decisions is more worrying. A heart surgeon told me he operates on uninsured patients but schedules them for the end of the day; if other cases take longer than expected, the uninsured get bumped. Some gastroenterologists are quick to perform endoscopies or colonoscopies on insured patients; not so for the uninsured.
Some uninsured patients forgo tests or treatment. According to a 2003 study, participation in screening tests for breast cancer, prostate cancer or high cholesterol was 30 percentage points higher in some instances among people with insurance than among those without. Once the uninsured become eligible for Medicare, that gap shrinks.
Although the uninsured can be guaranteed care by coming to an emergency room, not all care is available there. Nor should it be. Estimates suggest that an ER visit is six times more expensive than a clinic visit.
Take the story I heard of an uninsured 31-year-old man who came to the emergency room complaining of pain in his groin. A CT scan revealed enlarged lymph nodes and what looked like a tumor above his left kidney. This was not the kind of problem that the ER would take care of; nor was the patient so ill that he required admission. So the ER doctor referred the patient to the urologist on call for a follow-up office visit.
The patient never went. A year and a half later, he showed up in the ER, with worse pain. The tumor had spread to his testicles, which were surgically removed a couple of months ago. A new urologist discovered that the patient had an endocrine tumor, which could have been managed with medication.
That patient’s experience is reflected in research. A 2007 study by the American Cancer Society showed that patients with no insurance have lower survival rates for breast and colorectal cancer than insured patients. Similarly, a 2004 report in Health Affairs showed that people ages 51 to 61 with diabetes, hypertension or heart disease had a mortality rate of 12.5 percent over eight years if they had insurance and 18.8 percent if they had no insurance.
There may be a few among the uninsured who prefer to buy $149.99 sneakers than health insurance. Far more common are stories of preexisting conditions that make insurance unaffordable or jobs that offer none. My primary care friend told me about a patient who had left a boil untreated until it needed surgical drainage and intravenous antibiotics. When asked why didn’t have insurance, the man said he had lost his job and was recently divorced. Stories like that helped my friend realize what injustices the uninsured face.
At the hospital, I avoid looking upfront at the patient’s insurance status. In my office, my receptionist asks uninsured patients to bring a deposit of $50 to $75 and offers a payment plan. Some surgeons expect a $500 down payment before an operation.
I do not discriminate at an individual level, but many doctors, including myself, discriminate more broadly by moving our clinics to wealthier parts of the city, for example. To compensate for the cost of treating uninsured patients (about 10 percent of my practice), I inflate my charges for all patients, thus increasing my income from commercial insurance. According to a Kaiser Commission report, uncompensated care for the uninsured cost $41 billion in 2004 , the majority of which was paid by the government.
In my city, Memphis, as in many other cities, doctors are applying their own makeshift bandages to our hemorrhaging system often in collaboration with faith-based institutions. One Memphis doctor — who is also a Methodist minister — founded the Church Health Center, which cares for more than 50,000 patients. The city’s Muslim community has a clinic alongside the mosque where my partner volunteers. At the Hindu temple clinic where my wife and I volunteer, I counsel patients on vaccines and infections.
And as that foul odor wafts through my consciousness, I advise them on how they should try to get health insurance.
The ultimate hockey mom, Sarah Palin, gets resoundly booed at NHL game in Philadelphia October 12, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Uncategorized.
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The McCain-Palin Mob October 11, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, race, racism, Sarah Palin, Uncategorized.
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Mavericks in Washington October 8, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, maverick, Sarah Palin, Uncategorized.
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Hillary Clinton correctly points out that we don’t need mavericks to lead the country at this point in time – we need actual adults:
Who You Callin’ a Maverick? October 7, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Uncategorized.
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The New York Times; by John Schwartz; October 4, 2008
There’s that word again: maverick. In Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican candidate, used it to describe herself and her running mate, Senator John McCain, no fewer than six times, at one point calling him “the consummate maverick.”
But to those who know the history of the word, applying it to Mr. McCain is a bit of a stretch — and to one Texas family in particular it is even a bit offensive.
“I’m just enraged that McCain calls himself a maverick,” said Terrellita Maverick, 82, a San Antonio native who proudly carries the name of a family that has been known for its progressive politics since the 1600s, when an early ancestor in Boston got into trouble with the law over his agitation for the rights of indentured servants.
In the 1800s, Samuel Augustus Maverick went to Texas and became known for not branding his cattle. He was more interested in keeping track of the land he owned than the livestock on it, Ms. Maverick said; unbranded cattle, then, were called “Maverick’s.” The name came to mean anyone who didn’t bear another’s brand.
Sam Maverick’s grandson, Fontaine Maury Maverick, was a two-term congressman and a mayor of San Antonio who lost his mayoral re-election bid when conservatives labeled him a Communist. He served in the Roosevelt administration on the Smaller War Plants Corporation and is best known for another coinage. He came up with the term “gobbledygook” in frustration at the convoluted language of bureaucrats.
This Maverick’s son, Maury Jr., was a firebrand civil libertarian and lawyer who defended draft resisters, atheists and others scorned by society. He served in the Texas Legislature during the McCarthy era and wrote fiery columns for The San Antonio Express-News. His final column, published on Feb. 2, 2003, just after he died at 82, was an attack on the coming war in Iraq.
Terrellita Maverick, sister of Maury Jr., is a member emeritus of the board of the San Antonio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.
Considering the family’s long history of association with liberalism and progressive ideals, it should come as no surprise that Ms. Maverick insists that John McCain, who has voted so often with his party, “is in no way a maverick, in uppercase or lowercase.”
“It’s just incredible — the nerve! — to suggest that he’s not part of that Republican herd. Every time we hear it, all my children and I and all my family shrink a little and say, ‘Oh, my God, he said it again.’ ”
“He’s a Republican,” she said. “He’s branded.”
Media Gives Palin a Pass October 7, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, media bias, Sarah Palin, sexism, Uncategorized.
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The Washington Post; by Richard Cohen; October 7, 2008
Reading William Kristol’s column in The New York Times, I discover that Sarah Palin and I have something in common. Kristol, who was once Dan Quayle’s chief of staff and therefore, shall we say, has a Mister Rogers approach to certain politicians, got Palin on the phone and reported Monday that she does not “have a very high opinion of the mainstream media.” This is where we are in agreement. On account of Palin, neither do I.
In the debate, she mischaracterized Barack Obama’s tax plan and his offer to meet with foreign adversaries. She found whole new powers for the vice president by misreading the Constitution, if she ever read it at all. She called one moment for the federal government to virtually disappear and a moment later lamented the lack of its oversight of the financial markets. She asserted that she “may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you (Biden) want to hear” because, apparently, the rules don’t apply to her on account of her being a soccer mom. Fer sure.
Not enough? OK. Palin also said that she “and others in the legislature” called for the state of Alaska to divest itself of investments in companies that do business with Sudan. But, as the indefatigable truth-hunter at The Washington Post found out, the divestiture effort was not led by Palin. In fact, her administration opposed the initiative and Palin herself only came around to it after the bill had died.
In spite of it all, much of the media saw a credible performance. I could quote the hosannas of some of my colleagues, but I spare them the infamy that will surely follow them to their graves. (The debate’s moderator, Gwen Ifill, used the occasion to catch up on some sleep.) Many of them judged Palin simply as a performer and inferred that this would go over well in homes with aboveground swimming pools.
A perfect example is The Wall Street Journal, a paper whose (conservative) editorial page has been absolutely fixated on a strict (Scalian) reading of the Constitution. Did it wonder what in the world Palin meant by the authority she found in the Constitution to increase the role of “the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate”? What? Oh, never mind. The Journal chivalrously never brought up the matter. Palin is excused from knowing the limits of the office she seeks.
In effect, columnists, bloggers, talk-show hosts and digital lamplighters everywhere have adopted the ethic of the political consultant: what works, works. It did not matter what Palin said. It only mattered how she said it — all those doggones, references to her working-class status (net worth in excess of $2 million), promiscuous use of the word “maverick,” repeated mentions of “greed and corruption on Wall Street” (Who? Be specific. Give examples. Didn’t anyone here go to school?) and, of course, that manic good cheer. Palin knows that the standard is not right or wrong, truth or lie, but the graph that ran under both debaters on CNN, measuring approval, disapproval or, maybe, the blood sugar levels of certain people in their focus group. Things have changed. Might used to make right. Now a wink does.
Since I began with the Times’ conservative columnist of the moment, I will end with its conservative columnist of years past — the estimable William Safire. Back in 1996, he called Hillary Clinton “a congenital liar.” It was a head-snapping characterization that, alas for Clinton, has defined her for the ages and which she stubbornly vindicates from time to time.
But what about Palin? Can you imagine the reaction of the press corps if Clinton had given the audience a hi-ya-sailor wink? Can you imagine the feverish blogging across the political spectrum if Clinton had claimed credit for stopping a bridge that, in fact, had set her heart aflutter? What if she showed she didn’t know squat about the Constitution, if she could not tell Katie Couric what newspapers or magazines she reads or if she claimed intimacy with foreign relations based on sighting Russia through binoculars?
Ah, but the scorn, approbation and ridicule that would have descended on Clinton — I can just imagine the Journal editorial — have been spared Palin. Much of the mainstream media, grading on a curve suitable for a parrot — “greed and corruption, greed and corruption, greed and corruption ” — gave her a passing grade or better. I agree with Palin. It’s the mainstream media that flunked.
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Bobby May, treasurer of the Buchanan County Republican Party in Virginia and also a member of John McCain’s Virginia leadership team, wrote a column about Barack Obama that was the epitome of race baiting. Some of the many comments intended to scare white voters in rural Virginia about Barack “Hussein” Obama include having the rapper Ludacris color the White House black, appoint Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to high positions in the administration, and change the national anthem to James Weldon Johnson’s, “Black National Anthem”. This goes along with the wider strategy of the McCain campaign to remind white voters that Obama is black and thus is scary and untrustworthy. Palin (aka Bush Jr) has already tried to tell voters that Obama hangs out with “un-American” people. Also, Fox News, conservative pundits, and Republican strategists have already tried to racialize the economic crisis by attacking the Democratic Party’s obsession of funding unqualified minority homeowners along with blaming those scary groups made up of black community organizers like ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Get ready for more race baiting by the McCain campaign and its Republican supporters and surrogates as they are in desperation time as they are trailing badly and on the wrong side of the issues with a month left to go. Don’t let this garbage work this time!
Analysis: Palin’s words carry racial tinge October 5, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, race, racism, Sarah Palin, Uncategorized.
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By Associated Press
Sunday, October 5, 2008
WASHINGTON – By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is “palling around with terrorists” and doesn’t see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign.
And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.
First, Palin’s attack shows that her energetic debate with rival Joe Biden may be just the beginning, not the end, of a sharpened role in the battle to win the presidency.
“Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,” Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colorado. A deliberate attempt to smear Obama, McCain’s ticket-mate echoed the line at three separate events Saturday.
“This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” she said. “We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism.”
Obama released his own loaded-word attack on McCain Sunday, calling the 72-year-old senator “erratic,” a hard-to-miss implication that his age could be a problem.
“Our financial system in turmoil,” an announcer says in Obama’s new ad. “And John McCain? Erratic in a crisis. Out of touch on the economy.”
But Palin’s reference questions Obama’s associations and thereby his character. And her context is inaccurate.
Her reference to Obama’s relationship with William Ayers, a member of the Vietnam-era Weather Underground, was exaggerated at best if not outright false. No evidence shows they were “pals” or even close when they worked on community boards years ago and Ayers hosted a political event for Obama early in his career.
Obama, who was a child when the Weathermen were planting bombs, has denounced Ayers’ radical views and actions.
With her criticism, Palin is taking on the running mate’s traditional role of attacker, said Rich Galen, a Republican strategist.
“There appears to be a newfound sense of confidence in Sarah Palin as a candidate, given her performance the other night,” Galen said. “I think that they are comfortable enough with her now that she’s got the standing with the electorate to take off after Obama.”
Second, Palin’s incendiary charge draws media and voter attention away from the worsening economy. It also comes after McCain supported a pork-laden Wall Street bailout plan in spite of conservative anger and his own misgivings.
“It’s a giant changing of the subject,” said Jenny Backus, a Democratic strategist. “The problem is the messenger. If you want to start throwing fire bombs, you don’t send out the fluffy bunny to do it. I think people don’t take Sarah Palin seriously.”
The larger purpose behind Palin’s broadside is to reintroduce the question of Obama’s associations. Millions of voters, many of them open to being swayed to one side or the other, are starting to pay attention to an election a month away.
For the McCain campaign, that makes Obama’s ties to Ayers as well as convicted felon Antoin “Tony” Rezko and the controversial minister Jeremiah Wright ripe for renewed criticism. And Palin brings a fresh voice to the argument.