This from Richard Dalton. I put it under politics because it makes you wonder if the Bush Administration made Medicare drugs stupid on purpose to make the government look bad--a popular theory about the two-cent stamp screwup.
You may recall I sent a polemic a few months back that showed some of the deficiencies and weaknesses of the Medicare Drug Plan(s), aka Medicare Part D.
No one can be unaware by this time, of the crazy choices seniors are being forced to make under the plan and how much turmoil this has caused. But an editorial in the Boston Globe by James Roosevelt Jr. points out the result of all this confusion.
Roosevelt says that a total of 11,6 million have enrolled since the plan started taking enrollments November 15, 2005. That sounds impressive until he adds that 10.6 million of those people were previously covered by Medicaid and were automatically enrolled (they were randomly assigned to plans which may or may not cover their drugs). Only one million non-Medicaid seniors have enrolled themselves in the last two months.
There are widespread reports of pharmacies being unable to fill crucial prescriptions because the insurers have been unable to reliably provide eligibility information. Other people have found that their medications are not covered by their plan's formulary--and each formulary is different. Worse, the plan can change the formulary any time it wants.
I doubt that anyone working for a sane employer has to make choices among 40-plus plans, but seniors have no choice unless they want to use a dart board for selection purposes. And then they still face uncertainty about each drug they need now and in the future, about deductibles, coverage gaps, and variable compensation rates.
Only the congress, the insurers, and the pharmaceutical companies could conspire to create a program that people over 65 desperately need, then make it incomprehensible and largely unusable.
Wall Street Journal: Not a Bad Time to Take Stock: Thoughts on the decline of the liberal media monopoly and the future of the GOP, by Peggy Noonan.
Peggy Noonan offers a veiled tribute to the arrival in Washington 25 years ago of Ronald Reagan. Reagan, of course, said under oath he supplied weapons to the terrorist nation of Iran --which weapons are, for all anyone in the United States knows, now being used to kill U.S. troops in Iraq. Reagan also sent money to a group of people the Congress viewed as terrorists in Latin America.
Noonan fails to note the appearance of a corporate monopoly (or oligopoly) of the means of mass communication in the United States. She is, of course, a paragon of virtue and a long-time barker and shill for what she characterizes as "traditional family values." She apparently takes a William Bennett "do as I say, not as I do" approach to the issue, given the way her social conservative brethren feel about single parenthood.
Single mother Noonan fails to note that it is the right-wing media oligopoly which is largely responsible for the Republican culture of corruption. The same concentration of the means of communication in the hands of a few conservatives also explains the failure of the corrupt party to adhere to what Ms. Noonan views as the "traditional" Republican values. Surely she cannot believe that today's GOP is, in any way, promoting limited government, a reduction in the size and power of government and government spending, and a healthy wariness of the military industrial complex.
After all, we were warned about said complex by one of Mother Noonan's Republican heroes, former five-star U.S. Army general and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Given her opposition to just about every policy proposed by George Bush and Dick Cheney one wonders when she will be identified as a "defeatist" by Messrs. Bush and/or Cheney and/or their henchpersons. One might also wonder why the Cheney-Bush enabling editorial page of The Wall Street Journal distributed her column.
- Republican California Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger continues the Republican culture of corruption by engaging in a blatant conflict of interest with public funds. His campaign workers are being partially paid with public funds (allegedly to perform governmental functions).
Los Angeles Times
January 15, 2006
Gov.'s Top Aides' Pay Bolstered by Donors
Schwarzenegger has paid at least four of his advisors substantially for their work on his campaigns. Critics fear conflicts of interest.
- Hyping Terror For Fun, Profit - And Power
- Controversial Words At Sharpton's MLK Event: Said Sen. Clinton, "When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation and you know what I'm talking about..."
- There are those who may take the position that a real Dem is running for the Senate seat currently held by one of Bush's cheerleaders (about Oct. 11, 2002 in the Rose Garden) and supporters (on Meet the Press during the November 2000 recount): Daily Kos:
Sen: Lieberman freaking out about Lamont
- Evidence of a Stolen Election by Paul Craig Roberts is a review of Mark Crispin Miller’s new book, Fooled Again (Basic Books), documenting the Republican theft of the 2004 presidential election.
- Daily Kos: Bush to criminalize protesters under Patriot Act as "disruptors" (another one the administration is trying to slip by us)
- USA TODAY : The congressman & the hedge fund
- Washington Post: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps
- Times of London: Google will fight Administration demand for search records
- The Guardian: Leaked memo reveals strategy to deny knowledge of centres. Rendition Flights: what No 10 knew and tried to cover up. Also: US university spying scandal prompts resignations, and why isn't this in American newspapers?
- Justice Department: Warrantless Wiretaps Legal. This is the scurrilous unsupported unprofessional misleading fraudulent dishonest and wasteful memorandum itself which calls into question the ability of the Department of Justice to hire qualified personnel who possess a modicum of integrity.
- BBC: Dead whale left outside embassy: Fin whale in Greenpeace protest outside Japanese embassy in Berlin
- Drudge report: Mobile phones not linked to brain cancer: new study
- BoingBoing: DoJ search requests: Google said no; Yahoo, AOL, MSN yes.
- Oh what I would give for a picture of Bush and Abramoff--me and a million other people. Said pictures are reported to exist, despite frantic White House efforts to destroy them.
- The Standard (China's Business Newspaper): Mystery firm linked to US lobbyist scandal. US government investigators probing Washington's explosive Congressional bribery scandal centered on disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff recently visited Hong Kong, according to a witness interviewed by the authorities. [The mystery firm being investigated was called Rose Garden Holdings. A suggestive name, no?
- Impeachment Watch
- Al Gore: Time for a special prosecutor