Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Attacking Children

Olbermann And Maddow On The Right's Jihad On 12 Year-Old Boy

The above video was four days ago, about the stalking of the Frost family, and the importance of S-CHIP.

The below video shows the interview of the parents of twelve year-old Graeme Frost Monday night on Countdown by Keith Olbermann.

Video from Crooks and Liars.
(YouTube added Tuesday afternoon once it posted up. Smaller video links removed; they remain available at C&L.)
Photographs from MSNBC.

Olberman Interview with the parents of Graeme Frost

Graeme unconscious in his ICU bed, full body shot, tubes everywhere.

Closeup of left face of Graeme unconscious in his ICU bed, left eye swollen shot, deep bloody laceration over the eye, a tube down his throat (intubated) to help him breath), spinal collar in place, tubes everywhere.

White SUV in impound lot, badly crumpled on left side passenger panel with significant intrusion into the passenger compartment. The roof is displaced into the air. A

Closeup of White SUV badly crumpled left side passenger panel and broken window intruding into the passenger compartment. The roof is crumpled. Black handprints are below the broken window.

Empty car seat still in situ with roof, side panel, and window frame intruding.

Graeme with eyes half shut, in monitored hospital bed, multiple IVs, looking pretty out of it.

This is who they attack. Children.

They are cowards who attack children.

First they were too afraid to go to war like men and women do when there is a war. Instead they made excuses and stayed behind, whimpering. Afterwards, they drank beer at keggers, typed insults on blogs, said "ditto" over talk radio and called those who went "phony soldiers" and mocked the service they gave our country.

Now they stalk and attack children. These are the righteous heroes of the Republicans.

The Republicans are spending $1 Trillion dollars a year fighting two wars and breaking into rubble men, women and machines, the finest military the world has ever seen.

That's one Trillion with a "T" in current yearly dollars, mostly borrowed from China coming due immediately after the 2008 Olympics when China goes into the Great Chinese Depression and demands its money back.

(We're going to go into a great depression consequently. One in three to four people will be out of work. This is the gift of George W. Bush. William Jefferson Clinton left us an economy free of debt. In seven years, we have become the largest debtor nation the world has ever known, almost all of which has gone directly into the pockets of the richest 1-2%, a looting not seen in recorded history. Our grand-children will still be paying the bill.)

This $1 Trillion per year in current war costs, does NOT include future costs, such as VA surgery for legs and arms blown off, eyes gouged out, brains damaged, rehabilitation, and the estimated 50% of combat veterans who will have PTSD to some degree.

But spend $6 Billion bucks on America's children for health care?

Hell no.

So they attack a 12 year-old boy, stalk his family, post death threats, and say he should have died in the crash which almost killed him. S-CHIP made rehab possible for Graeme. Rehabilitative care is amazingly, tremendously, extraordinarily expensive. Enormously. I went through prolonged rehab after my emergency neurosurgery. And then again after my car accident. Three to four days a week for months and months and months. I had to learn how to use my arm and hand again.

My neurosurgery rehab took years. Years. It is painful, heartbreaking, agonizing work, where success is measured in weeks to months, and in fractional percentages of improvement paid for in deep pain. It costs a freaking fortune, and the people who take you through it are worth every goddamn penny. Takes years to train a PT just to start work, and then a full decade before they're truly good.

I have a 30% permanent disability in my right arm which my medical team now believes we can get a further 10% overall improvement on, as they've developed a new understanding of my injury. You know why we're not? Insurance. My worker's comp case is closed and to open it is next to freaking impossible my lawyers tell me. And a number of years ago my health insurance cut my physical therapy visits from 60 per year to $1,500 bucks per year, which means about 10 visits. Not enough to matter, plus, if I use them up, then I don't have them if I get hurt as I did two years ago when I broke both wrists biking.

Without S-CHIP insurance, this kid would be in a wheelchair for life. The Republicans wish he were dead. That way they wouldn't have to confront face-to-face the children their plan -- which is to not have a plan -- would leave maimed and dying.

TRULY, THIS IS WHAT THERE IS TO GET. Just like in Iraq with the stolen explosives and the dying U.S. soldiers. Just like the fetuses they worship but won't adopt once born or give health care to, the Republicans claim to worship life, but won't DO ANYTHING to pay for it, keep it going, or care for actual living human beings, once they're alive. All they want to do is order folks around, make sure they're not having sex, steal all the money, and keep them damn colored people the hell away.

This is why they went crazy over Graeme Frost. He makes lies of everything they stand for. His life embarrasses the Republicans. He's a Lucky Ducky.


Graeme Frost is a distraction. Don't take your eye off the ball.

The ball is getting S-CHIP passed in the House Thursday with a veto-proof majority.

They're losing in public opinion. We need to keep turning up the heat.

They've damn near lost Independent Voters. Forget the 27%. We're never getting those sub-humans (and I don't really want them.) Independent voters swing elections, and the Republicans are losing the Independents with every inane move they make.

Even the Catholics are running ads supporting S-CHIP:

Daily Kos (DemFromCT)
Not all the pressure is from the usual sources. From a press release yesterday:
Ad Campaign Criticizes Pro-Life Members of Congress for Voting against Children's Health Insurance

Washington, DC- Catholics United will launch a radio advertising campaign targeting ten members of Congress whose opposition to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) have compromised their pro-life voting records.

The ads, which feature a mother urging her Congressional Representative to support SCHIP, will primarily air on Christian and talk radio stations from Monday Oct. 15 to Wednesday, Oct. 17 as Congress approaches a critical Oct. 18 vote to override President Bush's veto of bipartisan SCHIP legislation.

"Building a true culture of life requires public policies that promote the welfare of the most vulnerable," said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. "At the heart of the Christian faith is a deep and abiding concern for the need of others. Pro-life Christians who serve in Congress should honor this commitment by supporting health care for poor children."

The following members of Congress have voted against SCHIP, which provides high-quality health coverage to more than six million children whose families would otherwise be unable to afford insurance. Radio ads will air on local radio stations in their congressional districts.

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida

Rep. Joseph Knollenberg, Michigan

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan,

Rep. Tim Walberg, Michigan

Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio

Rep. Gene Taylor, Mississippi

Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Minnesota

Rep. Sam Graves, Missouri

Rep. Thelma Drake, Virginia

Rep. John Peterson, Pennsylvania

The script for the radio commercial reads: "I'm the mother of three children, and I'm pro-life. I believe that protecting the lives our children must be our nation's number one moral priority. That's why I'm concerned that Congressman X says he's pro-life but votes against health care for poor children. That's not pro-life. That's not pro-family. Tell Congressman X to vote for health care for children. Call him today at XXXX, that's XXXXX."

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities USA, and the Catholic Health Association have all urged Congress and President Bush to support SCHIP.
Everything from basic dental care and dental sealants (less that 50% of US children have them) is off under Republicanism. Also basic health care, simple, basic preventive children's health care... also off by half under Bush's merry minions.
Daily Kos (DemFromCT)

Children Receive Inadequate Health Care - And SCHIP Can Help

At least in urban areas, they do.
Children in the United States are getting less than 50% of health-care in the area of prevention than they should have been getting. In fact, they are getting worse care in comparison with the adults in the country. This is the finding of a new study performed by Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute.

The research team was led Dr. Rita Mangione-Smith, who is a researcher at Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. The findings are published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
There's enormous smoke, heat, and even fire here -- and lots of sick kids.

But we don't get an all-out war with the Right every day. Not over $6 Billion dollars. Especially not when 70% of American's are in favor of the bill and win or lose, we're going to beat them over the head with their vote all the way to the polls a year from now.

What is really going on?


As Markos points out, S-CHIP is designed to help the middle-class. When Roosevelt provided programs for the middle of the country, as did LBJ, for generations of Americans the Democratic Party was the protector of the middle class.

The Republicans can't let that happen again.

It's fine if we're liberal demons who protect hippies, n**gers and wetbacks, drug addicts, hookers and welfare queens, but they'll be godDAMNED if we're getting credit for doing any thing for good solid Americans living in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire or Iowa.

S-CHIP -- Health insurance for middle-class children, is a deep strategic threat to Republican framing of the Democratic Party, which is why George Bush is going to the mattresses.
Guardian (Christopher Hayes)

Personal destruction
The ugly reason why American conservatives are picking on a 12-year-old kid.

It was back in 1993, as the Clintons prepared to roll out their new universal healthcare plan, that Bill Kristol wrote a memo to fellow conservatives and Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill warning them that their goal must be to "kill," not amend, the Clinton plan. "Healthcare," Kristol wrote, "is not, in fact, just another Democratic initiative ... . It will revive the reputation of the ... Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests."

This is really the issue: from the New Deal through the Great Society, the Democrats dominated American politics by being first and foremost the stewards of social-democratic middle-class entitlements. In the wake of the Civil Rights Act, white southerners in particular and white middle-class voters in general, began to associate the Democrats with pursuing the interests of Others - minorities, homosexuals, welfare queens. Conservative political dominance in the post-Reagan era has rested on two pillars: preserving, at a rhetorical level, the conception of the Democrats as being beholden to "special interests" (who don't look like you) and, at the policy level, making sure Democrats never have an opportunity to pass legislation that would belie that claim.

That's the real reason this episode has unleashed such a fit of viciousness from the right. At some deep level conservatives recognize just how politically dangerous S-Chip is for their cause. Support for the program's expansion is running around 70% in polls, and Americans of both parties consistently rank healthcare as the most pressing domestic issue. But conservatives are simply way outside the mainstream of American opinion on this issue. Conservatives are of the belief that, in short, families like the Frosts should suck it up: work harder, sell their house to pay for medical bills, or just not get into car accidents in the first place. Stop whining.
We need this bill.

It matters to a lot of children and their families. That's called compassion, called taking care of people, and politically, called tactics. And because as Christopher Hayes drives home, it makes the Democratic Party the party who provides for the middle class. That's called being on the right side of the issue for the right reasons, gaining a long-term advantage, and politically called a profound strategic advantage.

Even if we lose, we win in the sense we will beat them bloody with this electorally. Eventually this bill will pass. Universal health care is going to happen.

I don't want to lose. Just look at those damn photos.

Here's how to take action:
Daily Kos (edgery)

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, millions of Americans will call their Representatives and urge them to overturn the Bush veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP, pronounced S-CHIP).


Please call 1-800-828-0498 and ask to speak with your Representative.

Not sure who to call: Click here to look up the name of your Representative.

What should you say?

  • I strongly urge you to vote to override President Bush's veto of health care for 10 million American kids.
  • Every child in America needs and deserves health care.
  • As a voter, I believe that America's children should be the top priority of my elected leaders.
  • Please vote to override the President's veto of SCHIP (pronounced S-CHIP)!

Those opposed to the program are blatantly ignoring the will of the American public – 70% of whom support this legislation – not to mention strong bipartisan support in Congress.

The Bush Administration is spreading false rumors to distract people from the truth: SCHIP is an urgently needed program for families who are unable to find an affordable alternative.

Millions of children and their parents are counting on Congress to stand strong on Thursday's vote for kids' health. Let's show that we're with them every step of the way. - Julie Eisman, Families USA e-Advocacy Coordinator

4 Bush Dogs

Originally, 8 Democrats in the House voted against the final SCHIP bill. We're down to only four who have not yet renounced their votes. If one of these is your Congresscritter or if you live in a neighboring district or within the state, it is even more critical that you call:

  • Bob Etheridge (NC-02) -- 202/225-4531, fax 202/225-5662
  • Jim Marshall (GA-08) -- 202/225-6531, fax 202/225-3013
  • Mike McIntrye (NC-07) -- 202/225-2731, fax 202/225-5773
  • Gene Taylor (MS-04) -- 202/225-5772, fax 202/225-7074

Update [2007-10-15 22:44:36 by edgery]: The calls are working. Rep. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina has now announced he will vote to override the veto. Go here to read his statement announcing his change of heart. 5 down, 3 to go.

Republican Hold-Outs

Sure, it's often harder to get some Republicans to do the right thing but the satisfaction factor is HUGE. Here are some who need special attention:

RepresentativeST-Dist DC Phone DC Fax
Robert AderholtAL-04202/225-4876202/225-5587
Rodney AlexanderLA-05202/225-8490202/225-5639
Michele BachmannMN-06202/225-2331202/225-6475
Roscoe BartlettMD-06202/225-2721202/225-2193
Judy BiggertIL-13202/225-3515202/225-9420
Brian BilbrayCA-50202/225-0508202/225-2558
Gus BilirakisFL-09202/225-5755202/225-4085
John BoozmanAR-03202/225-4301202/225-5713
Ginny Brown-WaiteFL-05202/225 -1002N/A
Steve ChabotOH-01202/225-2216202/225-3012
Barbara CubinWY-AL202/225-2311202/225-3057
John DoolittleCA-04202/225-2511202/225-5444
Thelma DrakeVA-02202/225-4215202/225-4218
Tom LathamIA-04202/225-5476202/225-3301
Thaddeus McCotterMI-11202/225-8171202/225-2667
Marilyn MusgraveCO-04202/225-4676202/225-5870
John PetersonPA-05202/225-5121202/225-5796
Thomas ReynoldsNY-26202/225-5265202/225-5910
Peter RoskamIL-06202/225-4561202/225-1166
Bill SaliID-01202/225-6611202/225-3029
Jim SaxtonNJ-03202/225-4765202/225-0778
Tim WalbergMI-07202/225-6276202/225-6281
Greg WaldenOR-02202/225-6730202/225-5774
Jerry WellerIL-11202/225-3635202/225-3521


Families USA State Reports: Families USA has issued state reports for each of the 50 states, estimating how much new funding each state could receive and the effect this new money could have on the state's economy, measured in increased business activity, wages, and jobs.

There are some great numbers here, particularly if you are calling a Representative you believe is inclined to support BushCo over his/her constituents. For example, if you are calling Thelma Drake (VA-02), you might want to point out the following facts:

  • In Virginia, there are 171,642 uninsured children, and approximately two-thirds of them are currently eligible for either FAMIS or FAMIS Plus.
  • SCHIP reauthorization could bring Virginia approximately $824.7 million in new federal funding for children’s health coverage over the next five years.
  • This $824.7 million equals $354.6 million in increased business activity, $125.8 million in increased wages, and 3,775 additional jobs for Virginia.
  • Without federal support, Virginia will not be able even continue to cover the children who are already enrolled in SCHIP, much less cover more uninsured children.
Center for Budget and Policy Priorities White Paper on The Administration's Dubious Claims About The Emerging Children's Health Insurance Legislation: Myth and Reality, July 2007: This paper was written before the final version passed both the House and the Senate, but the myths perpetrated by BushCo are the same. Here are just two excellent examples of the charges by the Administration with well-researched responses:
Claim: It would advance a "Washington-run, government-owned" health plan designed to pave the way for a single-payer system.
Reality: SCHIP and Medicaid are not single-payer systems, and most SCHIP (and Medicaid) beneficiaries receive coverage through private managed care plans with which their state SCHIP and Medicaid programs contract.

Claim: The bill would primarily shift already-insured people "with good incomes" from private to government coverage.
Reality: The legislation being developed on Capitol Hill is targeted at low-income children who otherwise would be uninsured

There are many many resources if you want to get good and wonky on this issue. A great starting place is the Families USA Medicaid & SCHIP Action Center page on their website.

For the next two days, however, put your wonky side to one side; just call your Congresscritter now and tell him or her in no uncertain terms, OVERRIDE THE VETO ON S-CHIP!

[Note for those who think calling isn't worth it: Mike McIntyre was considered a write-off until the calls started; now he's voting to override.

Every time you say it's not worth calling because he/she/it won't vote the way I want anyway, you lose. That's right: You Lose. Not they win, you lose before you even try. So, don't be a loser; literally millions of children are depending on us to turn this damn ship of state around for them. And it's a measly 5 minutes tops of your time.

Thank you for your time.

Please... Make the call.