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Member since: Mon Jan 30, 2006, 05:07 PM
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Force feeding: cruel at Guantanomo, but fine for our parents.

Something to remember if you ever have a loved one whose doctor or nursing home is recommending tube feeding. It's usually not to the patient's benefit.

Why is it done, even when it's not medically necessary? Because it saves time for the nursing staff and is reimbursed at a higher rate than hand-feeding.


THE practice of forced feeding has been highlighted by its use on hunger strikers in Guantánamo Bay and, more recently, in Israel, where a vigorous debate about the ethics of such a practice is taking place. But you don’t have to be in prison to have a feeding tube jammed up your nose. Millions of elderly Americans are fed through tubes despite a lack of substantial evidence pointing to any clinical benefit.

Tube feeding was developed to provide nutrition for patients — increasingly patients with dementia — who are unable to eat on their own. Most of them, especially as they approach the terminal end of the disease, develop difficulties in swallowing and frequently aspirate food or other stomach contents into their lungs, developing pneumonia.

Study after study, however, has shown that tube feeding doesn’t provide any benefit compared with feeding these patients by hand, which is more labor-intensive but much better for the patients. It doesn’t improve survival, reduce infections, reduce the incidence of aspiration pneumonia or improve patients’ nutritional status over those who are hand fed or even over patients not fed at all.

If anything, feeding tubes can be harmful. One study showed that patients with feeding tubes had a higher incidence of pressure ulcers in their backs from being immobilized and lying in bed. Feeding tubes also have frequent complications of their own like being dislodged or being clogged. (Feeding tubes are a necessary evil in some cases, such as after surgery or after a serious accident.)


You're wrong if you think that adding to the Rethug drumbeat against Obamacare

will bring us closer to single-payer.

It won't. It will just help to prove to millions of uninformed voters that Obama's major achievement was a disaster -- and will make them that much more likely to hand the Presidential reins over to the GOP.

And they won't be fixing the ACA by turning it into single-payer. Their plan is to dismantle it. And to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid and every other Great Society program.

The idea that selling insurance across states lines will fix all the problems is ludicrous, but it's all they have. They don't care if millions of previously uninsurable people lose their new insurance.

If the Rethugs get their way -- with your help -- the decades that Senator Ted Kennedy, the Clintons, and so many others struggled for universal healthcare will be for naught. And Colorado and every other state will be denied the chance they have right now to experiment with single-payer -- with the help of ACA money.

No, the ACA isn't perfect. Of course it has flaws, like every major new program. But if you help the Rethugs -- by exaggerating those flaws, and joining in with their chorus that the ACA is a failure -- you won't help the country move a single step closer to single-payer.

You'll help the GOP dismantle the only healthcare gains we've made in 50 years. And you'll help to hand over the Presidency to them, instead of to any Dem.

Paul Krugman: despite the opposition, Obamacare is "still a huge success story."

This is not to say we shouldn't do more. We can and should do more, and I support single-payer. But the ACA is working.


To the right’s dismay, scare tactics — remember death panels? — and spurious legal challenges failed to protect the nation from the scourge of guaranteed health coverage. Still, Obamacare’s opponents insisted that it would implode in a “death spiral” of low enrollment and rising costs.

But the law’s first two years of full implementation went remarkably well. The number of uninsured Americans dropped sharply, roughly in line with projections, while costs came in well below expectations. Opponents of reform could have reconsidered their position — but that hardly ever happens in modern politics. Instead, they doubled down on their forecasts of doom, and hyped every hint of bad news.

I mention all of this to give you some perspective on recent developments that mark a break in the string of positive surprises. Yes, Obamacare has hit a few rough patches lately. But they’re much less significant than a lot of the reporting, let alone the right-wing reaction, would have you believe. Health reform is still a huge success story.

Obamacare seeks to cover the uninsured through two channels. Lower-income Americans are covered via a federally-funded expansion of Medicaid, which was supposed to be nationwide but has been rejected in many Republican-controlled states. Everyone else has access to policies sold by private insurers who cannot discriminate based on medical history; these policies are supposed to be made affordable by subsidies that depend on your income.


Over 50% of the US population is female – more than half --

and yet the 43 people elected President don’t include a single woman.

No Jewish man has been President either. On the other hand, less than 4% of the US is Jewish, or has a Jewish background, whether s/he practices the religion or not.

Also, a Jewish man was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1916 – before women even had the federal vote (the Susan B. Anthony Amendment wasn’t passed till 1920.)

So, yes, if Bernie, a non-practicing Jewish man, becomes President it would be a milestone.

But Hillary becoming President would be a much, much bigger and more overdue milestone.

Trump Says He 'Would Certainly Implement' Muslim Database

Source: NBC News

NEWTON, Iowa — Donald Trump "would certainly implement" a database system tracking Muslims in the United States, the Republican front-runner told NBC News on Thursday night.

"I would certainly implement that. Absolutely," Trump said in Newton, Iowa, in between campaign town halls.

"There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases," he added. "We should have a lot of systems."
When asked whether Muslims are legally obligated to sign into the database, Trump responded, "They have to be — they have to be."

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/trump-says-he-would-certainly-implement-muslim-database-n466716

He also refused to explain how this was different from the Nazis requiring Jewish people to register. His only answer: "You tell me."

This goes farther than previous reports, which said that he was refusing to rule out such an action.

Next thing we'll know he'll be saying we should put them into camps.

Donald Trump's Spirit Animal is Tony Soprano.

It's not just the voice. It's the whole package.


That description is very reminiscent of another tribe with which one might be familiar if you watched “The Sopranos.” The swagger, the ostentatious show of wealth — and the threats.

But if you recall Henry Hill’s narration in “Goodfellas,” you might also see the rather ugly subtext to that up-from-the-working class identification:

“To us, those goody-good people who worked shitty jobs for bum paychecks and took the subway to work every day, and worried about their bills, were dead. I mean they were suckers. They had no balls. If we wanted something we just took it. If anyone complained twice they got hit so bad, believe me, they never complained again…”

That’s what Donald Trump’s candidacy really promises. Goodfellas only look out for themselves.


When Donald Trump’s longtime political adviser and attorney was asked by the Daily Beast Monday to comment on a potentially explosive story about his boss, he could have stonewalled or sweet-talked, bartered or begged, or attempted any of the other diversion tactics regularly employed by professional campaign strategists.

Instead, he opted for a more distinctively…Trumpian response.

“I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly,” Trump adviser Michael Cohen reportedly told a Daily Beast journalist, before unleashing a torrent of threats that read like rough-draft dialog in a low-rent gangster movie. “Because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”


Cohen’s outburst was, in fact, emblematic of the loyalists who have long populated The Donald’s inner circle. Trump’s key lieutenants tend to fit the same consumer profile as his discount luxury-brand targets: They are men with middle- and working-class roots; lacking in elite credentials; mesmerized by made-for-TV displays of lavish wealth. They are impressed with brashness and bored by subtlety. They are amused by dirty jokes and averse to irony. They are likely to buy a Trump-branded necktie sometime this year, and if they feel like splurging they’ll get the matching cufflinks, too.

Franklin Roosevelt, who was a great President in so many ways, made a terrible mistake

with his order for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2.

I hope we've learned at least two things from this. Even a great President like Roosevelt can make a grievous mistake. And mistreating our citizens in a frenzy of fear was wrong.

Then and now.


On this day in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring aliens from World War II-enemy countries–Italy, Germany and Japan–to register with the United States Department of Justice. Registered persons were then issued a Certificate of Identification for Aliens of Enemy Nationality. A follow-up to the Alien Registration Act of 1940, Proclamation No. 2537 facilitated the beginning of full-scale internment of Japanese Americans the following month.

While most Americans expected the U.S. to enter the war, presumably in Europe or the Philippines, the nation was shocked to hear of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In the wake of the bombing, the West Coast appeared particularly vulnerable to another Japanese military offensive. A large population of Japanese Americans inhabited the western states and American military analysts feared some would conduct acts of sabotage on west-coast defense and agricultural industries.


Ostensibly issued in the interest of national security, Proclamation No. 2537 permitted the arrest, detention and internment of enemy aliens who violated restricted areas, such as ports, water treatment plants or even areas prone to brush fires, for the duration of the war. A month later, a reluctant but resigned Roosevelt signed the War Department’s blanket Executive Order 9066, which authorized the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment camps.

Dog loving man adopts Rottweiler. Gets killed by the dog a few hours later.

What is infuriating about this story is that the dog was a stray and under Tennessee law the shelter had no obligation, after they fed and housed the dog for three days, to test it or even to give it a rabies vaccination. So they have no idea whether this "adoptable" dog was healthy, vaccinated, or had the personality to be a good adoption candidate.

The shelter people say their prayers go out to the family. They owe the family a lot more than that.


During the three days, the animals are fed and watered, but not examined or tested, Tedford said. If unclaimed, they are then put online for adoption. Vaccinations and spaying or neutering are arranged by the owner after adoption.

Adrienne Riggs said policies should be changed for Rabies Control, including evaluating the animals over a period of time.

“They don’t assess the dogs, they don’t vet them, they don’t evaluate them, they just adopt them out,” she said. “You just can’t put a dog that may be dangerous out with an unsuspecting family. That’s just wrong.”


“We’ve never had this happen before through our Rabies Control office,” she said. “We certainly hope it’s something that never happens again. Our prayers and thoughts certainly go out to the family.”

According to his ex-wife, Anthony Riggs was a good man who loved animals and was loved by them.

“He never hesitated to be with dogs,” Adrienne Riggs said. “Sometimes I thought he related to dogs better than to people.”

YES to REFUGEES: only Washington, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.

So far.

There's a map at the link showing the status of each state.

Twenty six states are trying to keep Syrian refugees out (including New England states Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire) and others remain uncommitted (including New York).


More than half the nation's governors -- 26 states -- say they oppose letting Syrian refugees into their states, although the final say on this contentious immigration issue will fall to the federal government.

States protesting the admission of refugees range from Alabama and Georgia, to Texas and Arizona, to Michigan and Illinois, to Maine and New Hampshire. Among these 26 states, all but one have Republican governors.

The announcements came after authorities revealed that at least one of the suspects believed to be involved in the Paris terrorist attacks entered Europe among the current wave of Syrian refugees. He had falsely identified himself as a Syrian named Ahmad al Muhammad and was allowed to enter Greece in early October.

Some leaders say they either oppose taking in any Syrian refugees being relocated as part of a national program or asked that they be particularly scrutinized as potential security threats.


PBS & Think Progress: No, the Governors cannot legally ban refugees from their states.

But we will need to fight Rethug efforts to pass new bills preventing federal dollars from helping to relocate refugees.


Under the Refugee Act of 1980, “President Obama has explicit statutory authorization to accept foreign refugees into the United States.”

In a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Rick Scott said “it is our understanding that the state does not have the authority to prevent the federal government from funding the relocation of these Syrian refugees to Florida even without state support.”

Instead, Scott said Congress ought “to take immediate and aggressive action to prevent President Obama and his administration from using any federal tax dollars to fund the relocation of up to 425 Syrian refugees” to Florida.


Presidential candidate Rand Paul also introduced a bill Monday that imposed an “immediate moratorium on visas for refugees.”

The U.S. plans to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next fiscal year. Some Democrats, including presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley said that number should increase to 65,000 Syrian refugees. Either way, state governors will have to yield to Obama’s plan.



The problem for Jindal, Abbott and the other governors opposed to admitting refugees, however, is that there is no lawful means that permits a state government to dictate immigration policy to the president in this way. As the Supreme Court explained in Hines v. Davidowitz, “the supremacy of the national power in the general field of foreign affairs, including power over immigration, naturalization and deportation, is made clear by the Constitution.” States do not get to overrule the federal government on matters such as this one.

Just in case there is any doubt, President Obama has explicit statutory authorization to accept foreign refugees into the United States. Under the Refugee Act of 1980, the president may admit refugees who face “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” into the United States, and the president’s power to do so is particularly robust if they determine that an “unforeseen emergency refugee situation” such as the Syrian refugee crisis exists.

This power to admit refugees fits within the scheme of “broad discretion exercised by immigration officials” that the Supreme Court recognized in its most recent major immigration case, Arizona v. United States. Indeed, in describing the executive branch’s broad authority to make discretionary calls regarding immigration matters, Arizona seemed to explicitly contemplate the circumstances that face President Obama today. The United States may wish to allow a foreign national to remain within its borders, the Court explained, because the individual’s home nation “may be mired in civil war, complicit in political persecution, or enduring conditions that create a real risk that the alien or his family will be harmed upon return.”

Moreover, the Court explained, America could suffer severe foreign policy consequences if the executive does not enjoy broad discretion over immigration matters. . . .


To be clear, states still retain the power to deny their own resources to the federal government, so they could potentially make settlement of refugees more difficult than it would be if the states cooperated. Nevertheless, an act of Congress — the Refugee Act of 1980 — has given Obama broad discretion to allow refugees to be admitted into the United States. The states of Texas, Louisiana and others must yield to that act.
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