Nobody Exploits Trig But Me

Does the station logo come with the baby?Welcome back, Talibunny!

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

Good to know. And who is your insurer? With service like that, we’d be happy to sign up.

Statement on the Current Health Care Debate [Sarah Palin/Facebook]

John McCain, ‘American Hero’.

“Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.”

I’ve got a HealthNet benefits clerk in Mumbai who goes by the name Sally who she can call and say that to on my behalf.

“Human rights and human dignity” from an HMO/health insurance company?


This is pretty wacky, even by Palin standards.

based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society”

yes, it would be so much better if we put the scare quotes around health of the mother

@Dodgerblue: At least the Tallibunny isn’t suggesting ‘death panels shooting unworthy patients from helicopters’. (Why do I give these Beckian gun-toting townhall wingnuts ideas?)

@Jamie Sommers: I read the bill and it talks about the ‘entertainment value to society of tormenting a senior citizen’ but what I really like is the new law that says the president and his friends get first dibs to eat any retarded infants that have been put to death.

By the way, Palin writes very well when somebody does it for her.

“Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.”

This is absolutely true. Unfortunately, it is about as far removed from our current system of private health insurance as possible, given that in a privatized health care market the profit margins of health insurance providers are at the center of each and every health care decision.

The Obama proposal, of course, does not seek to determine how much a given individual is worth, but rather what treatments are effective and worth funding.

The one thing you can count on Republicans for is purposefully misrepresenting their opponents ideas in order to turn them into a ridiculous caricature that is easily dismissed.

This is a difficult subject, and we have to recognize it. The statistics are, that something like 70% of an average person’s total medicare costs, are expended in the last 6 or 3, whatever, months of their life. I don’t have the stats before me, but we spend more to keep people alive for the last 6 months of their lives, than we do in the prior 70 or 80 years.

But whats to be done? Obama raised the issue and it was a big mistake, he was just being honest, and being a policy wonk, to mention it at all, but because he raised it, it gave them this opening, he wants to kill your grandad.

I don’t know the answer. I’d have paid a million dollars to have had my dad around another year. If I had it.


It seems to me you do know the answer to that particular conundrum.

More and more it seems like the entire world is playing a joke on me, and you are all in on it. That seems entirely more reasonable than people actually believing this bullshit. I mean, death panels? Seriously? What’s next, fetus farms? Forced Sodomy Camps? Grandma on toast?

Unless I’ve completely misread the signs, Conservatives are in for a rude awakening come 2010, when the watered-down health care bill is a couple years in the past and Obama hasn’t eaten the pope’s liver. You can only lie for so long.

Oh, and if it is a massive punk on me, then fuck you guys, this isn’t funny.

ADD: Trig does look delicious, though. Such a pity I just became a vegetarian…

@Promnight: I love my grammy more than probably anyone, but oh how I wish my Alzheimers-ridden grandmother had died five years ago because she is at such a horrible level of loss of dignity and can only eat pureed baby food and can’t recognize anyone that she would want to kill herself if she were able to. If 15 years ago the elegant perfectly coiffed and well-made up Sinatra-loving, chainsmoking, martini-swilling, incredibly well-traveled, dispenser of stories of the grand old days of L.A. in the ’20s and ’30s grandma who I knew and remember lovingly had seen that she would be in a diaper with no makeup, her hair gone, with no memory of (1) anyone she loved, (2) any place she had visited, (3) any meal she had eaten, or (4) any song she sang, I am fully certain that she would have begged me to put a pillow over her face in 1994. And that’s not even considering how much my parents have spent on a nursing home to keep her at that level.

First sign of Alzheimers, I plan on taking three months’ worth of Ambien and never waking up. For my sake, for my loved ones’ sake, for society’s sake.

@Tommmcatt Floats:
Unless I’ve completely misread the signs, Conservatives are in for a rude awakening come 2010, when the watered-down health care bill is a couple years in the past and Obama hasn’t eaten the pope’s liver. You can only lie for so long.

BZZZT! Wrong answer: in 2010 Orly Taitz will have proof that Obama ate the Pope’s liver with fava beans and a fine Chanti… in fact, I’m working up the documentation right now to send to her. Anyone got a spare half dollar coin? I need to make an official looking seal for my notary, Mr. Tide With Bleach Alternative Jr.

@SanFranLefty: YES, absolutely, but you must admit, that the idea of leaving the decision of who should OD and who should be treated to a DMV clerk, is upsetting.

And you and I know that the only thing the plan does to address this is to try to encourage people to use medical directives, and noone could in honesty have a problem with this, though thats not true, because the people who rioted to try to keep Schiavo “alive” have this thing about noone but god decides when you die, but whatever, no rational person can cavil over encouraging medical directives.

@Tommmcatt Floats: I know one answer, easily derived if you apply one narrow decision making filter. It does not make economic sense, in the sense of greatest overall benefit to everyone, to spend enormous sums of money to ensure an 80 year old lives to 81.

But I am not comfortable with that purely economic analysis as being appropriate.

Even accepting that there must be some way to stop this inordinate spending on people who are dying anyway, the problem is crafting a way to do so, that is humane, that takes into account things beyond finances alone, the problem is creating a way to make the decisions that would be fair and appropriate in every case and which everyone agrees weighs all the moral and ethical variables.

Quite frankly, even though I would agree 1000% that there is a point where prolonging the inevitable is an unconscionable waste of money, on the other hand, I think solving the problem of who decides, in each individual case, on when that point is reached, is an insoluble problem.

As it is now, I actually beleive that social mores are evolving, there is greater awareness now, of the ethical dilemmas posed by a medical technology that can preserve life beyond the point where maybe, ethically, difficult call, it should not be preserved, given the cost. I think the evolving awareness of this issue is working to solve the problem, without legislation.

I have now been involved in the ends of a few lives. I watched my father die, his hand in mine, a few years ago. I had a coworker, in the office next to mine, who had to approve the removal of the feeding tube from his brain-dead 4 year old son, a year and a half ago.

I know this; informally, this issue is dealt with every day, and usually in a sane way. The fact is doctors and hospital staff don’t encourage last minute desperate measures on the elderly, they quietly and subtly discourage it.

My co-worker, whose boy choked on a grape, the hospital social workers and grief counselors, the whole week leading up to the removal of the feeding tube, it was all about “its over, now here is how to end it and deal with ending it.” Even so far as encouraging the boy’s 6 year old brother to write him a letter and give it to the dying boy on his last visit.

They could have kept that boy alive on a ventilator for years. It was never presented as an option, and everyone who knew them knew, and everyone at the hospital knew, and the hospital had a formal structure in place, to help families come to grips with the fact there was no point keeping someone in that situation on life support, and helping them to reach acceptance and through the process. And my co-workers experience tell me they do this all the time. They have formal procedures in place for the sole purpose of helping people decide to take loved ones off life support.

Now when my Dad died, it was a little different.

I did not know then, but I know now, that he’d been going through organ failure, dying, for a day or so. But then they called in the morning, said he’d had a cardiac arrest in the night, and we should come. Just the evening before, we had had a coherent conversation, and he looked just as he did when he entered the hospital, a week before, with pnuemonia.

He was peaceful and quiet when we got there. We were there for a while. The nurse, and we were on the “goner” ward, this was a nurse who specialized in dying, told us, “he can hear you, talk to him,” a nice fiction, allowing us to believe that our last words to him were heard.

After the whole family had gathered, the nurse came in, and attached a little bottle to the IV. I asked what it was, he was evasive.

30 minutes later, he just gradually stopped breathing.

I am sure that it was clinically correct to give him a little morphine at that time. I am also sure it was predictable that it would depress his respiration to the point he died. Peacefully, with his family gathered around him.

I don’t think I would want my loved ones to see me, un-anesthtized, going through the process of death, the last spasms.

@Promnight: You may be right, but the Granny Killer is being popularly credited to a provision in the bill that covers living wills — something the federal government has officially advocated for 20 years. (And in the current bill, it was a Republican amendment.)

And Serolf is right: Tommcatt’s error is presuming that Republicans are consistent in their lies. They’ll have long moved on to fresh fibs by next fall.

@Promnight: I’d rather have a DMV clerk decide than a fucking benefits processor in Gujarat or a rich CEO in Greenwich.

And at the end of the day – I or my family will decide when to pull the plug. That’s the easy decision.

It’s the intermediary decisions that apparently my HMO is more qualified to decide than my doctors.

/and the fucking Giants are choking to the Reds. The Reds!


Exactly – given the choice between a DMV clerk and somebody who will get a performance bonus based on how many “liabilities” they “removed” this quarter, I’d prefer the DMV clerk. Benign neglect is preferable to profit-motivated neglect.

I find it bizarre that 30% of the country doesn’t realize that corporate weasels are standing between them and their doctor. Do they think they have government healthcare now? Is that the problem?

But Palin’s bald language — “death panel” — blew me away. It’s jaw-dropping that she is treated like a “serious person.” McCain is to blame for pushing her to the front of the stage, but the Bush Administration gets most of the credit for the descent into madness. They got the ball rolling on the “evil liberals are traitors” meme and the GOP has never looked back.

@Tommmcatt Floats:

12+ years as a vegetarian here–welcome to the club!

@karen marie:

Did yah read the story about the old dumfuk at a town hall meeting that demanded the big soshallist gummitt “keep their dayumn hands off mah Medicare!!”

This is what we have to work with, folks.

I’m 100% in favor of single-payer, universal healthcare as a human right…

Then I remember that it’d also cover the 50%ish of AmeriKKKans who’re ignorant, hateful, sadistic, right-wing trash, and suddenly I don’t care so much.


See, Prom, that’s just it, every death is different. Unique, just like every birth. And because of that, I don’t think anyone will ever explicitly do anything to hasten it, much less set up some kind of legislative framework for doing so- it’s not that it isn’t practical to do so, and it’s not that in some cases it isn’t kind, or even loving- it’s that it is the one of the three most private things that you can do. For our own comfort, we shy away from it. The nurse that gave your father his last shot didn’t do it because it hastened the end, she did it simply because it was protocol. If she had to be the person that ended this particular story for your father, if it explicitly had to be her, and she knew that she was doing so, I don’t think she would have done it. To borrow a phrase, it would have been rude, somehow. It would have been like watching someone have sex, or barging into the room just as a stranger had a baby.

Nobody wants to be involved in another person’s mess.

In the end, these decisions come down to proximity and privacy. Those closest to us will make them, and, depending on the proximity, the “closeness” of that person, that decision will be as private as humanly possible. This is a true thing, and, for those of us that are fortunate enough to love and be loved, a comforting one.

So it may be an interesting intellectual exercise to talk of “the last 6 months” of someone’s life, and how much money we could save by omitting them, but in the final analysis, I don’t think humans have that in them. Let’s face it, if I were starving, I could eat my own foot, but do you really think I would? More to the point, if the two of us were starving, I could kill and eat you, but you know what? It may be practical- it may even be the smartest thing to do-but in the final analysis, it would just be too rude. If I survived, on some level I’d have to be the promnivore guy for the rest of my life, and that is just…wrong. Not morally wrong, necessarily, just wrong in a kind of “erection-in-class” way. A “white-shoes-after labor-day” way.

So when it comes, my epicurean friend, look for it to come in the best way possible- from a loved one. The government won’t send somebody to make the call- not because it is evil, and not because it doesn’t make sense.

It would just be too rude.

@Serolf Divad:

Mr Tide with Bleach Alternative, Jr., Esquire, I think. Orly seems to respect that particular honorific, don’t you think?


Hm. Both have the same outcome, do they not?

@Original Andrew: “keep their dayumn hands off mah Medicare!!”

That’s IT!

The only way to stop socialist medicine is to extend Medicare to everybody. That’ll show those guvmint jackboots.

@Original Andrew:

Quinoa, baby. Learn it, live it, love it, right?


Nojo, you are up too late. Go to bed, darling.

@Tommmcatt Floats: Not until I check the daily site stats in, um, three minutes.

Saying things like she did reminds me of, like, a Pavlovian method of politicking. Or something. I just woke up, am a little fuzzy. But it’s something like, they’re conditioning people in some grand experiment.

Person A is a Republican. Republicans believe X thing. So whatever Person A says about X thing, even if what she says is empirically true but false to X thing, it will be associated with X thing.

That’s scary.

@RomeGirl: To revive an old neocon meme…

We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

Didn’t work then, doesn’t work now. But doesn’t stop them from trying.

TJ for animal lovers…

Sadly the iconic Koala Sam has died from cysts related to Chlamydia. They plan to stuff and mount him in a bush fire related display.

Somehow, I think that’s wrong..

*And for the conspiracy theorist amongst us, Sam was actually burnt in a fuel reduction burn, not the actual fires that made the news.*


@moeman: No, they’ll be distributing contraceptive shots for wild horses from helicopters first.

@FlyingChainSaw: Fetal filling for the elite’s Wal-mart cookies? (Contains real girl scout’s foetuses!! )

I am a health insurance company’s cash cow. Because I’m sure I have all sorts of problems, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna go to see a docter who’s just gonna tell me what I already know: I need to quit smoking, quit drinking, quit eating cheese. Day’um, I should be a fukin’ Doctor!

And I have a great health insurance plan, but I wish I could give it to someone who really needs it.

Joking aside, I’m sure I’ll need it because of smoking, drinking and cheese-eating eventually, but in the meantime I think I’ve seen a doctor two times in the last 20 years, so they should be paying me.

@Pedonator: I had Camembert cheese the other day. It didn’t taste any different to full cream milk butter…. what’s the fuss about it?

Although I must confess I am a cheese ‘fraidy cat and won’t eat anything but Bega chedder cheese slice or NZ Mainland tasty Cheese.

@CheapBoy: What is the difference??


@Tommmcatt Floats:

Mr Tide with Bleach Alternative, Jr., Esquire, I think. Orly seems to respect that particular honorific, don’t you think?

Or better yet: Dr. Tide with Bleach Alternative, Jr. Esquire. He can be a lawyer and a dentist… just like Orly!!!!!

@karen marie: “Death panel”, “light switch tax” — they’ve studied the Big Lie technique and learned.

@CheapBoy: Yes and cured, tender human-flesh meats for their elite breakfasts! They can start the day the cannibal way, like the wanton diabolical elites they are!

@Pedonator: I wouldn’t go crazy over this stuff. The drink with dinner is fine, really recommended. Cheese if you’re reasonably active and you’re not sleeping on pigouts of the stuff shouldn’t be excluded.

@CheapBoy: Tasty Cheese! I made an edible al fredo with it – once.

“Hitler was a vegetarian!”

@Pedonator: Hey, you’re back!! You sound like Mr. SFL – he’s been to the doctor twice in the eight years we’ve been together. At least I’ve tried to get my money’s worth from the health insurance company.

@Dodgerblue: Dude, you’re up early for Left Coast time. I’ve been awake since 2 am and I guess I should have come and joined the Friday night/Saturday a.m. Stinque-up.

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