Thursday, January 06, 2011

We knew: (1) How unimaginably bad the New Era was going to be, and (2) how badly we could imagine how bad it would be


With moral support provided by the craven slugs of the Obama administration, the death-panel nonsense won't die.

by Ken

As the disaster of the coming election took shape, and that shape then became real, we knew two things about what was to come:

(1) It was going to be horrible, just horrible, unimaginably horrible.

(2) However horrible we imagined this unimaginably horrible time to be, there was no way we could imagine the reality of the horror.

Of course the ascendancy of the assorted life forms that make up the latest Republican coalition would be, and sure enough, they're performing as expected -- witness today's pathetic spectacle of their demented and dishonest pretense of fealty to the Constitution today. it wasn't just the fact of the hybrid Republican-Teabaggers' two years (minimum) in the sunlight. It was the certain knowledge that the shellacked Democrats would respond in exactly the wrong way.

Exactly the wrong way, with the usual mantra that what the party, which had committed ritual suicide by failing even to pretend to believe in anything, had to "move to the center" while dumping doody on us left-wingers -- you know, the ones who were right again, while all the faux-centrist Village-careerist lowlifes dug graves for themselves by being wrong about everything. That's the part that at the moment is really getting to me.

Is it any wonder, then, that some of us are doing our utmost to filter out the news oozing out of our nation's capital? For me the craven capitulation that hit hardest was the utterly indefensible and unnecessary capitulation to the loonies of the right-wing loons, the truly psychotic fomenters of the "death panels nonsense -- no fooling, these people should be in the "dangerous" wards of loony bins -- prompted by the simple provision to have Medicare cover end-time planning for citizens who wish to avail themselves of it.

Even USA Today gets it (though, naturally, with an "opposing view" provided!):
Our view on health care: Nonsense about 'death panels' springs back to life

Here we go again. A clumsy bit of rulemaking by the Obama administration has revived nutty talk about "death panels" — the inflammatory but thoroughly debunked notion purveyed last year by opponents of the new health reform law.

OPPOSING VIEW: On the road to rationing

The idea that the law promoted government-encouraged euthanasia was transparently false, but it went viral among terrified seniors. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed that almost a third of Americans 65 or older still believe— wrongly — that the government can pull the plug on them against their wishes.

At issue was an innocuous, bipartisan proposal for Medicare to pay doctors for their time if their patients wanted to discuss end-of-life issues, such as whether they wanted to be kept alive at all costs if there were no chance they'd ever leave the hospital. The fear-mongering was so effective that Democrats dropped the provision from the final bill, but late last year Medicare officials quietly revived it as a regulation.

Faced with more over-the-top reaction, the administration hastily withdrew the regulation.

By then, though, "death panel" hysteria had spread to an even more contentious aspect of medical decision-making: which drugs the government should certify as safe and effective, and therefore likely to be covered by insurers. When the Food and Drug Administration recently said it plans to withdraw approval of the drug Avastin for treating breast cancer because trials showed it to be ineffective or dangerous for most patients, Sen. David Vitter and Rep. Rodney Alexander, both Louisiana Republicans, likened FDA to a "death panel." Hardly. Does anyone believe that leaving such decisions to politicians driven by desperate patients and drug-company lobbyists would yield better results? . . .
Oh, there's more, but that's enough for me.

I suppose it would be unfair to focus on woefully unprincipled and corrupt Dems while passing over the Tiny Tent of Today's GOP, united by the ties that bind those morons, crackpots, cynical opportunists and thugs, and outright economic predators (or their hired stooges). So here's Paul Krugman blogging this evening:
The Conscience of a Liberal

January 6, 2011, 5:31 pm
The Repeal the Senior-Murdering Secret Muslim President Act

I wish I could work up some more outrage about the willingness of Republicans to simply ignore the CBO’s verdict that repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, aka Romneycare, would increase the budget deficit. But anyone who had been following the politics here, not just this year, but for the past 15 years at least knew this was coming.

The only lingering surprise I can muster is at the sheer tackiness of the bill’s title. The Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act? Really? Have they, at long last, no sense of shame?

No, Paul, no sense of shame. (By comparison, Senator McCarthy's minions were models of fraternal concern.) Say, are you new to these parts?

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