We have made up our minds

Obama/Biden will win Pennsylvania. The only thing anyone is clinging to there, and in North Carolina and Ohio and Florida and Minnesota and Michigan is the chance to get this right, now. There's a lot of us in small and large towns all over America. We are voting Obama/Biden, and pretty much Democratic straight down the ticket

Last week many Americans realized that they probably won't even be able to borrow money to send their kids to school. They might not keep their jobs. They may not find one for a long time. Mom and Pop are closing their stores, wondering what they are going to do. Winter is upon us and nothing pisses the people of Wisconsin or Minnesota or Pennsylvania off more than knowing that they have been thoughtful about how they are going to get through the winter, but the Party of Bush and McCain have been so greedy and thoughtless that we'll be having a very stern couple of years because of Republicans. It's not some punishment from God. It's the results of the Bush/McCain axis of incompetence. Eight years of lying and bad choices leave us in no mood to trust, or put our confidence in John McCain.

McCain spent an entire week flailing about in a confused and disconnected way, sounding and acting like a drunkard.  And he pulled the stupidest stunt of all, "suspending" his campaign to go back to Washington to fix the economic mess we are in. He didn't suspend his campaign really, he didn't really fix the mess, and he wants the American people to continue to pay upwards of ten billion dollars a month to "win" his war in Iraq while we let terrorists roam freely throughout the rest of the world.

So there's a trust issue and a focus issue along with the does this guy really get what is going on? Switching their votes from supporting the Republican Party just because it's something that they have always done, or making up their minds as Independents to vote Obama/Biden is not going to lead to public humiliation. It will mean that we have a serious team in The White House willing to work for us, so we can work and have a little something called hope for the future left over at the end of the month. Why waste time even listening to McCain at this point?

There's more...

John McCain is a liar

John McCain is a liar. His problem is so bad that evens when he pays the managers of his campaign to lie for him so he won't be soiled by his lying, he still gets caught lying. We are not talking about lies of convenience or small lies. We are talking about the lies of someone who is asking us to elect him as our Commander in Chief. John McCain is a liar. He cannot be our President. The proof of both his small and large lies is coming from multiple sources. We're not talking about playing politics. We're talking about lies.

John McCain cares about Republican financial opportunities. The job of Republicans has always been to make people struggle so hard they don't have the time to spend that much caring about more than jobs, family, security, health, food, housing, energy and their environment. That's just about everything all Americans care about. When Republicans realize they are being lied to, by a man who it has become clear is a habitual liar, they nor any other Americans should trust a liar of any party to be President.

I recall with great irony how the law of the land required that Bill Clinton be impeached for lying about something I couldn't really see as a great crime that effected all but a few Americans. But I guess that's politics. How do those people justify supporting a man who even before being elected is a well documented liar? About little things and big things.

Republicans take advantage of misfortune and the bad luck of others. But they don't see it as such. They take advantage of the fact that while Democrats truly believe it is the morally correct thing to do to help out a neighbor or a friend, I've never seen that as anything less than a calculation of how it will benefit "number one" and the like minded people who form the cohesion to the structure of the Republican mindset. I guess outright lying is now an acceptable part of being a Republican. As an American who knows full well what happens to Presidents who have to spend more time dealing with their lives than the well being of the country, how can a well documented liar be considered as a chose for President?

Profits need to be made off of someone. Someone has to have more money than someone else. It doesn't matter who you are or what you have overcome, we're all dogs going after the same bone. If I win, good for me. If you're too stupid to realize all I care about is winning, then you lose. That's what being a Republican means to me. Unless you insert the word victims. Even then, disasters like Katrina created a huge number of financial opportunities for Republicans. There is no coincidence that the last 8 years of deceptive leadership have coincided with incredibly out of control bad corporate behavior and failed policies that were kind of made up on the fly - exactly like a liar trying to create new lies or interpretations to get out of the first lie. Republicans are always about making money first and foremost, for themselves.That's a perfectly reasonable thing to do in a Democracy. But lying to make money and wield power? No way, no how.

If Bush/McCain had not strenuously pushed the Bush tax cuts, and actually separated their disgust with government from their contempt for those who actually depend on it for basic survival and the Rule of Law, they might actually have had a chance. But Bush lied because Cheney lied because it was about making profit and control corporate interests at the exclusion of actually caring about the residents in this country.

The problem is that even other Republicans have been badly cheated, lied to and sold a bill of goods that left them with nothing. Sure, there are a lot of Southerners and others who say they are voting for McCain to avoid having to have the discussion about why or how they could vote for a, you know, Democrat. But they will. Because John McCain has even lied about the size of crowds at his rallies.

John McCain is a liar. Best to practice tough love and call the problem what it is. John McCain lies when it is convenient. If he weren't saying that he can be counted on to be President, people would even dismiss his lies as little things everyone does. But John McCain is a liar about big things that matter greatly to millions of people in this country. Hate to sound like a sober adult or anything but anyone concerned about their money or their family's well being or the welfare of this country will recognize that. How much of a risk and bad idea is it to support a guy named John McCain who is starting out of the gate as a well documented liar? No American will benefit from that, and we all need to act in a united on this one. John McCain is a liar and cannot serve as Commander in Chief.

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Pass it Forward

Tonight we heard what was possibly the best speech at a Democratic Convention in history. How long has it been since a Democrat told the country this is who we are, this is what we believe, and this is what we will work to see become reality. Barack Obama made the Republicans own their past mistakes, poor leadership and desecration of the American Dream - while representing not only his and my American Dream, but the dreams and promise of generations to come.

Please pass on the text and video of Obama's speech to everyone. We have been called to service. Tonight was history being made. I saw and heard someone who I will be honored and proud to call my President. I saw great leaders and brilliant Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton pass the torch in a selfless and inspiring manner. I saw my people - the American people - realize they could feel that the long dark shadow of manipulation by fear and hatred and greed was indeed going to pass. I was called to service, as were were we all.

I watched my father struggling with cancer whose life is really in God's hands. He become very aniimated and peaceful and his deteriorating body did not prevent him from hearing the words of the promise of a better future.

He said he felt that he had a new reason to live some more, and a reason to believe his grandchildren will have the chance to live with the promise of the America he had fought for and has loved his whole live. He's in my hospital's special residence for people with liver cancer) and I'm watching him closely,
appreciating everything he says and feeling every emotion he is feeling.

He has lived the American dream and made sure his kids got everything he could provide them with, including teaching us the Democratic beliefs that Obama so honestly and strongly re-inforced tonight. He asked me to make sure we all knew that true leaders are born and they are tested. The authentic ones can't hide that fact, and what he felt tonight was his country's way of rewarding him for never giving up on his family or his hopes for their future.

In the late 1950's my Dad hired a young Black man and a middle aged woman from Puerto Rico - one of my Mom's childhood friends - and he payed a very steep price. He also hired a Korean War vet who no one would would hire because of wounds he had received. As an Argentian American whose biggest thrill in life was becoming an American citizen when he was born to first general Americans, he refused to hire anyone but people who he trusted to work hard and appreciate the opportunities he had been given. Neither they, nor their families, has ever let him down, nor anyone in my family. Quite a few were here tonight.

The business was successful, ultimately, but they worked hard many hours a day and many days a week. But in the State of New Jersey I remember as a teenager having a burning cross on my lawn and having my father come home one night with a gun shot wound after a robbery attempt where no money was stolen. Because my Dad fought back - he had the wages of people and their families who had become part of our family - the cowards fled and he survived. He went to our family doctor to get treated.

He survived my mom, She died when I was young in a car crash on the day JFK was assassinated. We kids were pressed against the TV and not informed for what seemed like a forever of worry. Both my grandfathers died within the same month and we were so copletely lost in grief.

So when he said to me tonight the promise of America is in good hands, and he considered those hands to be the Democratic Party and Barack Obama and Joe Biden, I just completely lost it. We set up the TV in his room and had more of our immediate and extended family in the ward that would ever be allowed under any law.

I'm a very pragmatic but principled person and I also passed up the chance to be a wealthy doctor to care for people I knew didn't usually get care.  Maybe I was not seeing with my head, but my heart and my observations of those people says that they were just as inspired and transformed to a new understanding of why I think we're all voting for Obama/Biden and the rest of the Democrats on our ballots.

Faced with a terminal illness, my Dad's request that we try to keep him healthy long enough to cast an absentee ballot made me prouder than I've ever been in my life on two accounts. I know my mom, who spent her too short life teaching English to immigrants from every part of the world out of the garage of our house- she was brilliant and compassionate beyond description - would have given anything to see this convention and surge of shared purpose and Democratic Unity it created.

So thanks, to all of you. I don't think I will be able to check in for a while, but don't ever give up. Next week the forces of greed and privilege and distortion will try to destroy this perfect week. Please, don't stop fighting for a second, from now until November.  

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Obama/Clinton in 2008 is happening already

This diary is meant to augment the interesting diaries of politicalslave. It also reflects several conversations that I have had, some baffling, with people from across the country who happened to be meeting in another country. The very least people want to see on a Democratic ticket is racial balance. It disarms some of the more scurrilous racist or race-inferred as a negative aspect foundations of the Republican campaign that has McCain as its front man. Gender balance would also be a huge plus for any ticket, but it's kind of creepy thinking of McCain having a woman on his ticket. Maybe that's just my dislike of McCain.

Obama/Clinton would be very wise. We'll see. When we're starting with Obama any VP choice will be additive. Clinton would be a very smart addition. Either emergence or symmetry results. That probably could be said of others, but I've worked a little with Obama and a huge amount of time with Hillary and I think they really are friends. I passionately support both of them.

More importantly, I get that they enjoy working together and would do so anyway. We're not talking about two kids who harbor grudges and act like kids who harbor grudges. Both candidates have long ago written off the things said or done during the primaries. It's a shame their supporters tend to get caught up in that. Two friends can have a nasty argument. It happens. They are both going around the country saying highly complimentary and supportive things about each other, and I don't ascribe that entirely topolitical exigency.   We are discussing two highly qualified and experienced leaders qualified to be President. Others may also fit into that list, but it is not like VP is a powerless, and meaningless job. I hope this country would not be willing to put up with that. Our problems are way too numerous and serious for that type of attitude.  I think Obama has no fear of being "upstaged' by anyone, especially Bill or Hillary Clinton.

I also have to ask those who seem to believe that Hillary somehow changes Obama's message how they feel about his stated and real choices to work with people across the aisle. Both Obama and Clinton have done so. Is there some relative equation that Clinton is less than any Republican Obama has worked with?

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Comprehensive Leadership: Obama Responds

[Update] President Bill Clinton spoke today at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico. Interesting article from the BBC. It would be a big understatement to say he was well-received. Don't think any American or anyone else in the hall believes the man is racist. He's talking about his foundation and how it has managed to get the cost of a year of HIV meds down to about $60 a year for children with AIDS. A webcast will soon be available. Here is the podcast. By the way, the US Congress got a resounding round of applause. Not as loud as the Big Dog

I thought I'd post both official responses that are being circulated here. Pretty hard to say that Obama doesn't understand the complexities of the issue, nor how to lead us with a National Strategy. It's all there. Quite different than the response phoned in by Senator McCain. I guess McCain doesn't believe in having well-thought out strategies, let alone a Plan B.  McCain loudly opposed providing care and support to our men and women in uniform, that was before he supported it. Oops, slipped my mind he said.  Obama strongly supported it. I don't have a short memory when it comes to people who don't care about Americans until it is politically expedient. Especially Republicans who vote against providing health care to working class and poor children. The media demands a horse race and a dog fight. Don't be fooled into believing you'll get something you won't by listening to John McCain. It really is that simple.

Obama Responds to CDC Numbers on HIV/AIDS

Senator Obama released the following statement on the Center for Disease Control's report about new cases of HIV/AIDS in the United States.

"We have now learned that 56,300 new HIV infections occurred in the United States in 2006, not 40,000 that had been previously cited. These new figures should bring new focus to our efforts to address AIDS and HIV here at home.

"As president, I am committed to developing a National AIDS Strategy to decrease new HIV infections and improve health outcomes for Americans living with HIV/AIDS. Across the nation, we also need to prevent the spread of HIV and get people into treatment by expanding access to testing and comprehensive education programs. This report also demonstrates the need for more timely data about HIV transmission so that we can effectively evaluate prevention efforts.

"Combating HIV/AIDS also demands closing the gaps in opportunity that exist in our society so that we can strengthen our public health. We must also overcome the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS – a stigma that is too often tied to homophobia. We need to encourage folks to get tested and accelerate HIV/AIDS research toward an effective cure because we have a moral obligation to join together to meet this challenge, and to do so with the urgency this epidemic demands."

Statement by John McCain on the CDC Report on HIV in America

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 3 Standard Newswire -- U.S. Senator John McCain today issued the following statement on the report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that there were more new HIV infections in the United States than previously estimated:

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday announced that in 2006 there were 56,300 new HIV infections in United States -- significantly higher than the previous estimate of 40,000 cases. More than a million Americans live with this devastating disease. As President, I will work closely with non-profit, government, and private sector stakeholders to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS. By focusing efforts on reducing drug costs through greater market competition, promoting prevention efforts, encouraging testing, targeting communities with high infection rates, strengthening research and reducing disparities through effective public outreach, we as a nation can make great progress in fighting HIV/AIDS."

HIV Cases in US could have been prevented

Sunday Aug 3.  A political firestorm and some actual mainstream media coverage about the 40% increase in the numbers of people with HIV in the United States as declared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Government officials sat on the data that demonstrated that prevention efforts were failing because of a lack of federal money to fund programs known to work, including using existing HIV treatments to reduce viral loads. Here is an excerpt from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It was released early, and scientists and policy makers are angry as hornets, not to mention that about 40,000 new cases of HIV in the United States could possibly have been prevented had we been given this information and the support to implement it last year. But these are just mostly American men and women, especially Latinos and Blacks and young men. The rate of HIV caused by used syringes has remained constant, surprisingly, so hapless patients in haphazardly run clinics and hospitals and injection drug users don't seem to merit an urgent response either. I'm not sure who exactly is left, but I'm sure they are struggling with their own set of burdens and don't have all that much  time or energy to focus on what is happening to other people. Mexico seems to have gotten the idea. Like I said, I just don't get what the US is thinking.

Since 2002, the CDC has launched new prevention initiatives that included expanding HIV prevention to individuals living with HIV, increasing HIV testing, and expanding the use of proven behavioral interventions in prevention programs for high-risk populations. Condoms are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV infection but frequently are not used. HIV counseling and testing has been found to reduce high-risk behavior by approximately 68% among individuals who find they are infected with HIV. Most behavioral interventions reduce risk behavior by 20% to more than 40%. Many of these interventions have been implemented in prevention programs across the country, but their reach must be considerably expanded to accelerate progress. An estimated one quarter of individuals living with HIV do not know it, and over a recent 1-year period only approximately 15% of MSM participated in individual-level and 8% in group-level interventions, among the most effective behavioral interventions available. A substantial reduction in HIV incidence will require wider implementation of the effectiveinterventions currently available and the development of additional interventions, such as antiretroviral chemoprophylaxis or a vaccine.

Estimation of HIV Incidence in the United States

JAMA. Aug 6 2008;300(5):520-529. H. Irene Hall, PhD; Ruiguang Song, PhD; Philip Rhodes, PhD; Joseph Prejean, PhD; Qian An, MS; Lisa M. Lee, PhD; John Karon, PhD; Ron Brookmeyer, PhD; Edward H. Kaplan, PhD; Matthew T. McKenna, MD; Robert S. Janssen, MD; for the HIV Incidence Surveillance Group

Author Affiliations: Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (Drs Hall, Song, Rhodes, Prejean, Lee, McKenna, and Janssen); The Ginn Group Inc, Peachtree City, Georgia (Ms An); Emergint Corporation, Louisville, Kentucky (Dr Karon); Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland (Dr Brookmeyer); and Yale School of Management, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, and Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science, New Haven, Connecticut (Dr Kaplan). Dr Janssen is now with Gilead Sciences Inc, Foster City, California.

Should we make an HIV test required for everyone applying for or renewing a driver's license or an identification card? We will someday make AIDS preventable, but not at the rate we are going. The CDC has just reported that there are a lot more people with HIV in the US than has previously been reported. Not people who have known for ten years that they had HIV, but new cases. In fact, the rate seems to be proportional to the reduction in base and supplemental funding to states to provide treatment to people with HIV.

I'm tired of debating why HIV is not 100% preventable now, but we should be at least ten years further on down that road than we are now. There shouldn't be new cases of HIV in this country. There should be science based, targeted prevention education programs that don't avoid talking about how our people (including people over 50) get HIV, and there should be accessible health care resources and support services to ensure all of us are able to prevent getting HIV. The recent report that 5% of the entire population of Blacks in DC have HIV should have sent shock waves throughout the country.  That's not to say there are not Whites or Latinos or Asians in DC with HIV, but 5% is a rate higher than some developing countries. We know that teaching kids just to abstain from sex has been a  failure (you don't have to be Black or live in DC for that to be true), and that people who have less equal access to routine medical care are many times more likely to die of diseases that get treated successfully in people with higher incomes and private insurance. As private insurance becomes even less affordable to more people, and Medicare Part D co-pays become more impossible, we just might even that number out. That would not be a good thing.

The number of new cases of HIV in the US has not gone down in the last ten years, and today we learned we weren't using the best formula to count the actual number of people who are HIV-infected. It's a lot higher than we thought.

Hopefully, with a new administration, federal grants to educate people how to prevent HIV (and other blood and/or sexually transmitted diseases) won't prohibit discussion of condoms or buying them with federal funds. They may some day even allow the purchase of clean syringes for a few bucks to prevent lifelong diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C costing billions of dollars to treat every year. Long term and chronic illness care is what costs the most money, why aren't we spending money to treat HIV disease earlier and prevent new cases?

Although pharmaceutical companies really charge way too much money for their products, their Patient Assistance Programs save millions of lives in the US every year. Drugs are actually not a large reason why health care costs just keep increasing. Not funding prevention programs and treatment programs for HIV, and chronic hepatitis, and other disease is. We should be able to depend on our government to provide the funds to allow for programs through which the cold hard truth about how to prevent HIV can actually be discussed.

Let's go easy on the AIDS is 100% preventable hyperbole. In the US, it still seems like contaminated needles and unprotected sex are fueling the explosive growth of HIV, and the risk of contracting HIV through vaginal/penile sex is a lot higher than anyone thought. Breaking News? Unlike to come from any US media outlet. Also, regardless of sexual orientation or whether you are the receptive partner in any type of sexual interaction, a pre-existing disease which you probably have no idea you have or just don't think is serious increases the risk of HIV transmission many times over.

Getting tested once for HIV doesn't protect you from any other STDs, or prevent you from contracting HIV in the future. That seems to be tripping even well informed people up. In 2007, 25 million people worldwide were living with HIV, over two million died from it. What you thought was true about transmission and prevention and treatment of viruses like HIV 5 years ago may already be dangerously out of date.

Making affordable treatments available to all HIV-infected individuals in the US is one of the best prevention techniques we have. It is far less likely that HIV will be transmitted if someone has a very low amount of measurable HIV in their blood. It doesn't mean they are cured or that they are incapable of transmitting HIV, but along with making condoms and clean syringes available to those who ask for them, and providing federal funding to states to be able to test people for HIV, it's an HIV prevention strategy that just might finally get our viral national viral load to undetectable.

Of course it requires that each of us take personal responsibility for our actions. But if a fraction of the money that gets spent every year on heart disease and diabetes and hypertension prevention or treatment were applied to HIV - and Hepatitis - with the same level of political will and support, we could actually prevent a lot of illness and death, and greatly reduce the cost of treating these diseases in their advanced stages. Every state has the option to prevent expensive future costs to their stressed budgets as well. Medicaid needs to be open to people at a much earlier stage of HIV disease. Otherwise, the disease becomes a very expensive disease to treat.

A Congress that has the federal government pay for effective prevention education and prevention and treatment related care would be very popular. It would also benefit the economy by keeping young workers healthy instead of becoming an expense during the years when they could be making their most significant contributions to the welfare of people of all ages in this country. In a country that takes pride in taking care of those who have contributed to make this country great, it doesn't follow that we wouldn't also want to do everything to keep our young men and women healthy. It's what I've believed made me a Democrat for my entire lifetime. I used to be able to point to Republican leaders who acted in ways that said they believed that as well. It's getting harder to point them out these days.  

There's more...

HIV Testing and Driver's Licenses

Should we make an HIV test required for everyone applying for or renewing a driver's license or an identification card?  We will someday make AIDS preventable, but not at the rate we are going. The CDC has just reported that there are a lot more people with HIV in the US than has previously been reported. Not people who have known for ten years that they had HIV, but new cases. In fact, the rate seems to be proportional to the reduction in base and supplemental funding to states to provide treatment to people with HIV.

I'm tired of debating why HIV is not 100% preventable now, but we should be at least ten years further on down that road than we are now. There shouldn't be new cases of HIV in this country. There should be science based, targeted prevention education programs that don't avoid talking about how our people (including people over 50) get HIV, and there should be accessible health care resources and support services to ensure all of us are able to prevent getting HIV. The recent report that 5% of the entire population of Blacks in DC have HIV should have sent shock waves throughout the country.  That's not to say there are not Whites or Latinos or Asians in DC with HIV, but 5% is a rate higher than some developing countries. We know that teaching kids just to abstain from sex has been a  failure (you don't have to be Black or live in DC for that to be true), and that people who have less equal access to routine medical care are many times more likely to die of diseases that get treated successfully in people with higher incomes and private insurance. As private insurance becomes even less affordable to more people, and Medicare Part D co-pays become more impossible, we just might even that number out. That would not be a good thing.

The number of new cases of HIV in the US has not gone down in the last ten years, and today we learned we weren't using the best formula to count the actual number of people who are HIV-infected. It's a lot higher than we thought.

Hopefully, with a new administration, federal grants to educate people how to prevent HIV (and other blood and/or sexually transmitted diseases) won't prohibit discussion of condoms or buying them with federal funds. They may some day even allow the purchase of clean syringes for a few bucks to prevent lifelong diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C costing billions of dollars to treat every year. Long term and chronic illness care is what costs the most money, why aren't we spending money to treat HIV disease earlier and prevent new cases?

Although pharmaceutical companies really charge way too much money for their products, their Patient Assistance Programs save millions of lives in the US every year. Drugs are actually not a large reason why health care costs just keep increasing. Not funding prevention programs and treatment programs for HIV, and chronic hepatitis, and other disease is. We should be able to depend on our government to provide the funds to allow for programs through which the cold hard truth about how to prevent HIV can actually be discussed.

Let's go easy on the AIDS is 100% preventable hyperbole. In the US, it still seems like contaminated needles and unprotected sex are fueling the explosive growth of HIV, and the risk of contracting HIV through vaginal/penile sex is a lot higher than anyone thought. Breaking News? Unlike to come from any US media outlet. Also, regardless of sexual orientation or whether you are the receptive partner in any type of sexual interaction, a pre-existing disease which you probably have no idea you have or just don't think is serious increases the risk of HIV transmission many times over.

Getting tested once for HIV doesn't protect you from any other STDs, or prevent you from contracting HIV in the future. That seems to be tripping even well informed people up. In 2007, 25 million people worldwide were living with HIV, over two million died from it. What you thought was true about transmission and prevention and treatment of viruses like HIV 5 years ago may already be dangerously out of date.

Making affordable treatments available to all HIV-infected individuals in the US is one of the best prevention techniques we have. It is far less likely that HIV will be transmitted if someone has a very low amount of measurable HIV in their blood. It doesn't mean they are cured or that they are incapable of transmitting HIV, but along with making condoms and clean syringes available to those who ask for them, and providing federal funding to states to be able to test people for HIV, it's an HIV prevention strategy that just might finally get our viral national viral load to undetectable.

Of course it requires that each of us take personal responsibility for our actions. But if a fraction of the money that gets spent every year on heart disease and diabetes and hypertension prevention or treatment were applied to HIV - and Hepatitis - with the same level of political will and support, we could actually prevent a lot of illness and death, and greatly reduce the cost of treating these diseases in their advanced stages. Every state has the option to prevent expensive future costs to their stressed budgets as well. Medicaid needs to be open to people at a much earlier stage of HIV disease. Otherwise, the disease becomes a very expensive disease to treat.

A Congress that has the federal government pay for effective prevention education and prevention and treatment related care would be very popular. It would also benefit the economy by keeping young workers healthy instead of becoming an expense during the years when they could be making their most significant contributions to the welfare of people of all ages in this country. In a country that takes pride in taking care of those who have contributed to make this country great, it doesn't follow that we wouldn't also want to do everything to keep our young men and women healthy. It's what I've believed made me a Democrat for my entire lifetime. I used to be able to point to Republican leaders who acted in ways that said they believed that as well. It's getting harder to point them out these days, especially on the domestic front.

There's more...

Credit Card Abusers? You, or them?

Can't we all just get together and stop the next wave of consumer abuse that we are going to get smacked upside the head by?  Deadline is August 4th. Non-millionaires and anyone with a credit card might have something to say. Most of the spam I get is from collection agencies sharing news about their meetings, conferences and strategies. I believe I could actually make millions. That, or stealing people's organs. What, really, is the difference. (By the way please mark yourself off as an organ donor!)

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PUMA and Bush's Medicare Veto Override

This is a press release directly from Senator Reid's office. I don't know what media you have been watching, but the MSM seems to be covering the "perception that Obama is weaker on foreign policy issues" in deference to a whole lot of news. I just saw another story about The New Yorker cover, Yankee fans booing both George Steinbrenner and members of the Boston Red Sox, and the hot weather coming. Not a word about who or what PUMA is. It's a drama card that could be played right around the Democratic Convention coverage time, and I won't care about it then either. But the MSM will play it. Will anyone really care about it then? Those who are getting caught up in the intrigue and suspense might want to read this press release that comes complete with a history of issues that tell us what Americans really care about, especially Democrats. Read it before the story about Madonna's brother's book takes over the news cycle.

Oh, and there is a God, or some version of a news cycle deity, if you will. The stories about dogs being given SSRIs to avoid a lifetime of chasing their own tails seems to have played itself out. I mean, do these people not know about the power of a hot dog to resolve most canine issues, at least temporarily?

This press release is why I'm a Democrat, and will always be a Democrat. I don't care about lockstep blog entries or dissenting posts. Free speech rights give us all the tools to say some really ridiculous and sometimes incredibly stupid and occasionally wise things. They also give groups of eight to 27 people the right to speak and issue press releases about things no one actually cares about except those 8 to 27 people and the pathetic journalist or pundit or programming manager trying to create content to sell advertising. I care that people are smart enough to realize that McCain and his Republican colleagues want to take us back to pre-Medicare days. We would not just lose any type of patchwork healthcare safety net.

Washington, DC--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after the U.S. Senate voted to overwhelmingly override President Bush's veto of the Medicare doctor's fix, thus reversing payment cuts for doctors and improving care for patients.  The House also overrode the President's veto earlier today.

"Congress today did its part to make sure the President's stubborn opposition to the millions of American seniors and veterans who rely on Medicare does not stand.  Refusing to respect the will of the American people or its elected representatives, the President vetoed a bipartisan bill passed overwhelmingly by both houses.  We wasted no time in reversing the President's carelessness and protecting our nation's doctors and the patients they treat - and this responsible and overdue Medicare fix is now law.

"It may have taken just one flourish of a pen to affix the name `Lyndon Baines Johnson' to the law that created Medicare in 1965.  But that one pen stroke created a program that has come to reflect a bedrock American principle: that all those seniors who have worked hard - and all those who need a helping hand - will find themselves embraced by the care of our compassionate nation.

"And though Medicare was created by a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President, that principle has always been anchored far too deep in our soil for the roots of partisanship to entangle.  When the program has been threatened, Democrats and Republicans have risen to the occasion to protect it.

"So it was last month, when the House of Representatives approved the `doctor's fix' by an overwhelming vote of 355-59.  So it was last week, when Senator Kennedy led a veto-proof majority of all Democrats and 18 Republicans voting yes.  So it was earlier today, when the House voted to override President Bush's veto, 383-41.  So it must be now, as we follow suit to reject the veto and place this legislation into law.

"On the July day in 1965 when President Johnson signed the original Medicare bill, he said this:

`Just think, because of this document - and the long years of struggle which so many have put into creating it - in this town, and a thousand other towns like it, there are men and women in pain who will now find ease.

`There are those, alone in suffering who will now hear the sound of some approaching footsteps coming to help.

`There are those fearing the terrible darkness of despairing poverty - despite their long years of labor and expectation - who will now look up to see the light of hope and realization.'

"Since the day President Johnson handed the very first Medicare card to President Truman, hundreds of millions of senior citizens and people with disabilities have received their own card.  Each new card issued strengthens our commitment to the health and well-being of our most vulnerable.  Now it is our turn to do our part - to renew the light of hope for those who need our help the most."


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McCain and Republican Senators are going down

In an article written by Robert Pear of The New York Times, one of the bills that will prevent even more people from being unable to get medical care was toyed with in a most obscene manner by Republicans deluded that drilling in the AWR will solve this country's problems. The last 7.5 years of Republican policies have not worked, and have bankrupted the country in many ways. Reid has promised he will bring the bill up again. He should hear from us. Notice that both Senators Clinton and Obama voted to get this bill passed. Senator McCain, who could have helped to ensure seniors, children and the chronically disabled access health care did not even vote.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fired off a barrage of criticism at Republican senators, particularly those running for election this fall. A typical broadside, disseminated in New Hampshire, said Senator John E. Sununu had "cast the deciding vote against legislation to prevent steep cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates to physicians."


The news release said Mr. Sununu's vote would "jeopardize seniors' access to doctors." Many doctors say they are reluctant to accept new Medicare patients because of the confusion and uncertainty about Medicare payments.


In nearly identical terms, Democrats attacked seven other Republican senators: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, John Cornyn of Texas, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.


A doctors' group in Texas abruptly rescinded its endorsement of Mr. Cornyn."The Texas Medical Association Political Action Committee is outraged that you made the decision to follow the direction of the Bush administration and voted to protect health insurance companies at the expense of America's seniors," Dr. Manuel Acosta, its chairman, wrote to Mr. Cornyn.

There's more...

Diaries

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