Should Congress Trust the Bush Admin AGAIN?

The current rush for the Bush Administration to have Congress pass such significant and consequential economic legislation brings back lurid, six year old memories. It seems like just yesterday when Bush asked Congress to hastily pass the Joint Resolution to invade Iraq based on you-have-to-trust-us-on-this-one assurances.

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Obama Stands Up to Democratic Party

Like many of you I have been watching the RNC and following the news coverage of the latest and greatest from the Sarah Palin fiasco.

It seems that one of the major themes coming out of the McCain campaign and the Republican Party is that, unlike John McCain and Sarah Palin, Obama has never stood up to his party.  Listening to the Stephanie Miller Show on Air America this morning I heard some Republican operative make that claim and then challenge Stephanie to come up with some way where Obama had taken on his own party.

I know that Republicans are not really looking for a serious response or interested in an honest dialogue on the topic but Obama actually has taken on his party in perhaps the most dramatic way of any candidate in recent memory.

Follow me below the fold for what should be the talking point response to this charge.

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1 in 3 Females Raped in the Military, and Apparrently the Pentagon Doesn't Think It's a Problem

No one knows exactly how many female veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been sexually assaulted while on duty. That's because it is estimated that half of all sexual assaults go unreported.

As it is, 15% of female veterans have screened positive for Military Sexual Trauma. At a jaw-dropping estimate of 1 in 3, the rate of sexual assault victims in the military is twice that of the civilian population, an eerie echo of the doubled rate of suicide among veterans compared to civilians.

I've already expressed outrage at the avoidable factors threatening our troops that don't come from battling with the enemy, factors like electrocution in showers to exposure to contaminated water. But imagine if the biggest threat you've encountered came from a fellow military member, someone living in close quarters with you, someone you worked with, ate with, and interacted with on a daily basis.

And imagine if the agency responsible for caring for your well-being refused to address this issue.

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Hidden Casualties of War

Last week, I shared a tragic story of a veteran who committed suicide less than three hours after being assessed as a "low risk" patient, and was released from VA care. The carelessness of his assessment was largely due to a standardized questionnaire that was used to identify high risk patients. This is a serious oversight, especially when you consider the statistic that by the end of the day, 18 veterans will have taken their own lives.

Since these troops make it home from Iraq, Afghanistan or other battlefields alive, they are not counted as casualties of war. In 2007, 6,256 veterans committed suicide. That's about two thousand more than the number of troops who died in Iraq since the beginning of the war. And yet, these deaths are not counted among the war casualties.

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An Ounce Of Prevention, No Longer an Option

Last week Dr. Benjamin Brewer, who writes "The Doctor's Office" column for the Wall Street Journal, put a face on a disturbing trend in U.S. health care. A lack of insurance and high health care costs are forcing many Americans to miss out on preventive care: people are skipping check-ups, discontinuing medication, even refusing annual screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies.

For example, a patient of Dr. Brewer's had quit smoking in order to afford gas for his 40-mile commute to work. Unfortunately, he still developed pneumonia. The patient refused to let an ER doctor admit him, in fear of the costs, and he decided not to fill an antibiotic prescription, because his insurance had a $50 drug co-pay, which he said he simply couldn't afford.

You probably know what happened next.

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