Oh, Those Death Panels NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim April 16, 2008, as:
You would think that if Republicans wanted to totally mischaracterize a health care provision and demagogue it like nobody's business, they would at least pick something that the vast majority of them hadn't already voted for just a few years earlier. Because that's not just shameless, it's stupid.
Yes, that's right. Remember the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, the one that passed with the votes of 204 GOP House members and 42 GOP Senators? Anyone want to guess what it provided funding for? Did you say counseling for end-of-life issues and care
? Ding ding ding!!
Let's go to the bill text, shall we? "The covered services are: evaluating the beneficiary's need for pain and symptom management, including the individual's need for hospice care; counseling the beneficiary with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and advising the beneficiary regarding advanced care planning." The only difference between the 2003 provision and the infamous Section 1233 that threatens the very future and moral sanctity of the Republic is that the first applied only to terminally ill patients. Section 1233 would expand funding so that people could voluntarily receive counseling before they become terminally ill.
So either Republicans were for death panels in 2003 before turning against them now--or they're lying about end-of-life counseling in order to frighten the bejeezus out of their fellow citizens and defeat health reform by any means necessary. Which is it, Mr. Grassley ("Yea,"
Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), who both claimed end-of-life consultations could result in "government encouraged euthanasia," also voted for similar policy in 2003.
Making Painfull Decisions
FLASHBACK: GOPers Decrying Obama "Death Panels" Supported Intervention For Schiavo On a conference call with reporters this week, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas.) repeated what has become the most popular conservative canard about President Obama's health care agenda. The government, Cornyn ominously warned, would end up deciding the "cost and the value of one's life, rather than leaving those decisions in the hands of the family." A "firewall" needed to be put in place to prevent this from happening.
Four and a half years ago, the Texas Republican wasn't heeding any firewalls. He was one of the lead sponsors of unprecedented government intervention to keep the permanently brain-damaged Terri Schiavo alive.
"Congress has a right and a responsibility to investigate this case and explore possible means to protect the defenseless such as Terri Schiavo and others, including those in Texas who are in similar situations," Cornyn said at the time.
The Schiavo case became an embarrassment for the Republican Party and a crucial turning point in the 2006 election. Conservative lawmakers later acknowledged mistakes in their handling of the entire episode, but at the time they defended their actions by framing them as a desire to protect both life and due process.
Some of the same conservative figures taking potshots at Democrats for wanting to fund voluntary discussions about end-of-life decisions between doctors and their patients were leading the charge four years ago to contravene the decision by Schiavo's husband and guardian to remove the feeding tubes from his wife after she had spent 15 years in a vegetative state. LinkHere
Sarah Palin Claims Victory On Death Panels: "Gratified"Palin Was For "Death Panels" Before She Was Against Them
Sarah Palin crowed Friday over news that the Senate Finance Committee will leave end-of-life care out of its health care legislation.
"I join millions of Americans in expressing appreciation for the Senate Finance Committee's decision to remove the provision in the pending health care bill that authorizes end-of-life consultations (Section 1233 of HR 3200)," she wrote on her Facebook page. "It's gratifying that the voice of the people is getting through to Congress." LinkHere
For ‘Death Panels’ Before She Was Against Them? Palin Endorsed End Of Life Counseling As Governor
Healthcare Decisions Day in Alaska, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.
In recent weeks, right-wing groups have been pushing the myth that health care reform will somehow kill seniors. One of the most high profile voices pushing this lie has been Sarah Palin, who claimed President Obama will institute bureaucratic “death panels.” Today, again on her Facebook page, she continued the attack. Though some Republicans have rebuffed this absurd, inaccurate notion — like Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who called such talk “nuts” — others, like Newt Gingrich, have piled on to agree with Palin.
However, on April 16th 2008, then Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed some of the same end of life counseling she now decries as a form of euthanasia. In a proclamation announcing “Healthcare Decisions Day,” Palin urged public facilities to provide better information about advance directives, and made it clear that it is critical for seniors to be informed of such options:
WHEREAS, Healthcare Decisions Day
is designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions, related to end of life care and medical decision-making whenever patients are unable to speak for themselves and to encourage the specific use of advance directives to communicate these important healthcare decisions. [...]
WHEREAS, one of the principal goals of Healthcare Decisions Day is to encourage hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and hospices to participate in a statewide effort to provide clear and consistent information to the public about advance directives, as well as to encourage medical professionals and lawyers to volunteer their time and efforts to improve public knowledge and increase the number of Alaska’s citizens with advance directives. LinkHere
Republican Death Trip
“I am in this race because I don’t want to see us spend the next year re-fighting the Washington battles of the 1990s. I don’t want to pit Blue America against Red America; I want to lead a United States of America.” So declared Barack Obama in November 2007, making the case that Democrats should nominate him, rather than one of his rivals, because he could free the nation from the bitter partisanship of the past.
Some of us were skeptical. A couple of months after Mr. Obama gave that speech, I warned that his vision of a “different kind of politics” was a vain hope, that any Democrat who made it to the White House would face “an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false.”
So, how’s it going?
Sure enough, President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex.
This opposition cannot be appeased. Some pundits claim that Mr. Obama has polarized the country by following too liberal an agenda. But the truth is that the attacks on the president have no relationship to anything he is actually doing or proposing.
Right now, the charge that’s gaining the most traction is the claim that health care reform will create “death panels” (in Sarah Palin’s words) that will shuffle the elderly and others off to an early grave. It’s a complete fabrication, of course. The provision requiring that Medicare pay for voluntary end-of-life counseling was introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican — yes, Republican — of Georgia, who says that it’s “nuts” to claim that it has anything to do with euthanasia.
And not long ago, some of the most enthusiastic peddlers of the euthanasia smear, including Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, and Mrs. Palin herself, were all for “advance directives” for medical care in the event that you are incapacitated or comatose. That’s exactly what was being proposed — and has now, in the face of all the hysteria, been dropped from the bill.
Yet the smear continues to spread. And as the example of Mr. Gingrich shows, it’s not a fringe phenomenon: Senior G.O.P. figures, including so-called moderates, have endorsed the lie.
Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, is one of these supposed moderates. I’m not sure where his centrist reputation comes from — he did, after all, compare critics of the Bush tax cuts to Hitler. But in any case, his role in the health care debate has been flat-out despicable.
Last week, Mr. Grassley claimed that his colleague Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor wouldn’t have been treated properly in other countries because they prefer to “spend money on people who can contribute more to the economy.” This week, he told an audience that “you have every right to fear,” that we “should not have a government-run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.”
Again, that’s what a supposedly centrist Republican, a member of the Gang of Six trying to devise a bipartisan health plan, sounds like.
So much, then, for Mr. Obama’s dream of moving beyond divisive politics. The truth is that the factors that made politics so ugly in the Clinton years — the paranoia of a significant minority of Americans and the cynical willingness of leading Republicans to cater to that paranoia — are as strong as ever. In fact, the situation may be even worse than it was in the 1990s because the collapse of the Bush administration has left the G.O.P. with no real leaders other than Rush Limbaugh.
The question now is how Mr. Obama will deal with the death of his postpartisan dream.LinkHere
GOP Lobbyist Quits Law Firm Over Town Hall Disruptions
August 14, 2009
Armey resigns amid Freedom Works scrutiny
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) is resigning from DLA Piper law firm, Politico reports, because of criticism of his organization FreedomWorks and its role in town hall disruptions.
In an interview with POLITCO Armey said that he was concerned about the media scrutiny the health care protests were drawing to the firm he has been associated with since retiring from Congress.
"The firm is busy with its business, and shouldn't be asked to take time out from their work, to defend themselves of spurious allegations," Armey said. "No client of this firm is going to be free to mind its own business without harassment as long as I'm associated with it."
In April, ThinkProgress reported on how Armey used the "grassroots" FreedomWorks movement to support his corporate lobbying clients. LinkHere
You and what Armey?