These are my links for November 18th through November 21st:
- Parties brace for ‘super’ fallout – Now, both parties are quickly trying to figure out how to turn the committee’s embarrassing failure into a political win for their side.
The Democratic message: We stood up to Republicans looking to gut Social Security, slash Medicare and permanently extend the Bush-era tax cuts for high income Americans.
The Republican counterattack: Democrats wanted little more than tax increases and refused to consider changes to deficit-driving health care entitlements. Both sides are positioning themselves as the party that compromised and sought a middle-ground.
But will this political posturing work for a Congress that had a 9 percent approval rating in one recent poll? Or will it just back fire with voters? Many lawmakers are worried about what the supercommittee has wrought for both sides.
- Lawmakers already taking aim at auto-cuts – Failure by Congress’ debt-cutting supercommittee to recommend $1.2 trillion in savings by Wednesday is supposed to automatically trigger spending cuts in the same amount to accomplish that job.
But the same legislators who concocted that budgetary booby trap just four months ago could end up spending the 2012 election year and beyond battling over defusing it.
Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., say they are writing legislation to prevent what they say would be devastating cuts to the military. House Republicans are exploring a similar move. Democrats maintain they won’t let domestic programs be the sole source of savings.
- Deficit Deal Fell Apart After Seeming Agreement – Called away from dinner tables, the Jets-Patriots game on television and, in one case, a soccer team party, several Democratic members of the special Congressional committee on deficit reduction raced to the office of Senator Patty Murray for a hasty 8:30 meeting to discuss the outlines of a potential agreement. Crucially, it appeared to have the backing of at least one Republican on the 12-member panel even though it included a tax increase.
As the members spoke, they began to see the outlines of a deal, tentatively agreeing on tax rates, revenues, spending cuts and changes to Social Security and Medicare, according to interviews with members of the committee and their aides.
- Supercommittee blame everywhere – A full-scale blame game erupted into public view Sunday after nearly three months of secretive negotiations on the supercommittee that failed to resolve an impasse to cut at least $1.2 trillion in deficits over the next decade.
Fanning out across the Sunday talk shows just hours before the supercommittee’s deadline, Republicans insisted that Democrats wanted to institute a $1 trillion tax hike, while Democrats argued that the GOP wanted to gut popular entitlements and protect the rich. And both sides insisted they were willing to compromise when the other refused to move off their partisan positions.
- Where in the world is Obama? – The president was in Hawaii while the supercommittee hit stall speed. What is new about this? Very little.
Throughout his term, President Obama has avoided leading on the issue of fiscal responsibility. He walked away from his own commission, the one led by former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, when he found its report filled with inconvenient choices.
Now in a week when leadership is needed to push this critical committee to do something big and bring the nation’s fiscal house back into order, the president once again disappears. It causes one to wonder, why?
- Obama has work cut out for him in order to win Michigan in 2012 – President Barack Obama says he saved Michigan’s auto industry, but that isn’t helping his 2012 re-election bid in Macomb and Oakland counties, where Republican front-runner Mitt Romney’s strength helps give him a 5-point lead in the state a year before the election, a Free Press poll shows.
There’s time for the president to woo voters, but without the two key suburban Detroit counties, it would be difficult for Obama to win Michigan, a state whose voters have backed Democratic candidates in the last five presidential elections.
In a head-to-head matchup statewide, Romney tops Obama 46%-41% in the poll.
In Macomb, where Obama received 53% of the vote in 2008, the president trails Romney, 68%-20%. Even controlling for a high margin of error because of a small sample size in the county, Obama trails Romney in Macomb by at least 20 percentage points.
- Methamphetamine Use Linked to Schizophrenia – Heavy methamphetamine use may be associated with an increased risk for schizophrenia, new research suggests.
A large cohort study of California inpatients without a history of psychiatric disorders found that those with methamphetamine-related conditions were 9 times more likely to have a subsequent schizophrenia diagnosis than non–drug users, and an almost 1.5- to 3-fold diagnosis risk compared with heavy users of cocaine and opioids, but not cannabis.
“This provides the first world-wide evidence for a long-standing debate that suggests that methamphetamines may facilitate the development of schizophrenia in a small subset of users,” lead author Russell C. Callaghan, PhD, research scientist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Canada, told Medscape Medical News.
“Methamphetamine users often present to clinical and emergency department settings with psychosis. And our findings suggest that these people need to be monitored closely for an attenuation of their psychotic symptoms. Also, given the side effects with antipsychotic medications, I think we really need to prescribe those treatments judiciously,” said Dr. Callaghan.
He added that the study findings do not apply to patients who take lower and controlled doses of amphetamines for medical purposes, such as for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
- How I ended up leaving Poynter JIMROMENESKO.COM – “How did this go off the rails?” Poynter’s attorney asked me during a Nov. 12 phone conversation about my threat to file a cease and desist order against the institute for using my name on their website after being taken off the payroll.
Read it all
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-20 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-20 #tcot #catcot
- Capitol Alert: Think Long coalition to propose California tax overhaul – California Think Long Tax Increase = Think STUPID and will fail at polls. Think Long = bipartisan #FAIL
- Rep. Elton Gallegly: Our Friends in Israel Deserve Better | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Rep. Elton Gallegly: Our Friends in Israel Deserve Better #tcot #catcot
- foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – With LA Roadrunner’s Alice, Nancy, Tara, Mary after 13 Miles (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- Off soon to Venice Beach with the LA Roadrunner’s & … on Twitpic – Off soon to Venice Beach with the LA Roadrunner’s & LA Marathon Training. Today = 13 miles and then Ronnie’s Diner
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-19 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-19 #tcot #catcot
- U.S. Facing What Some Call a Dental Crisis – Roughly half of all Americans don’t have dental insurance, and PBS NewsHour correspondent Betty Ann Bowser is calling it a dental crisis. She states in the report that:
The federal government has identified more than 4,500 areas of this country, like Grundy, Va., where there are not enough dentists. It says nearly 10,000 new providers are needed to meet the need.
The state of dentistry today is at a point where many are calling for change, and soon.
- Video: Millions of Americans Face Life Without Dental Care – The lack of access to dental care is a problem that affects millions of Americans. Health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser reports.
- Is General Dentistry Dead? – Correct. The ADA has been, and still is against a mid-level provider. Feeling that the patient deserves treatment by a dentist.
The push for a mid-level has come from a combination of legislators being pushed by “patient advocacy groups” (then again one can ask them the question if they’ve ever actually asked the folks their apparently advocating for if THEY want to be treated by a “second tier” provider or a dentist – answer – they haven’t). Groups such a Kellog and Pew who tend to fund many of these studies when looked at closely, aren’t exactly the most impartial of groups (remember who with a research paper one of the 1st things yu should do is not look at the results, but look at who is funding the research in the 1st place to see if from the start the potential for bias exists).
Additionally on the legislative front, if you ever have the chance to talk with one of your elected officials about this (and I would encourage you to, since they like to listen) is that what dentistry needs to do is not get into the whole “access to care” issue, but the UTILIZATION of care discussion. Access to care in theory would provide access to 100% of people. However, the reality is that even with *cough*free*cough* care the UTILIZATION rate is at best about 60%. The reality is that unless your talking a military style system where going to the dentist is mandatory, there is a very significant portion of the populaton that will not seek out dental care (unless its an EXTREME emergency situation) no matter what. There is plenty of dentists available to handle to demands of the populatin with its current utilizaton rates. Trying to develop a system for 100% access will just end up wasting dollars on that significant population that won’t seek care. If those dollars are directed at existing providers to make the reimbursement rates FAIR, that will have a much greater impact on access. The bottomline is that the overhead for a mid level won’t be any less than that for a dentist, and if a midlevel is getting the same rates for a procedure as a dentist is (and one would sumise that would be the case since in the medical world a nurse practitioner gets the same reimbursement for suturing up a laceration as an MD/DO does) then they’ll have te same problems meeting overhead as a dentist would. The key is that dentistry, when talking about this issue needs to stick to the objective data, which can be tough when the opposing side tends to have mor emtoional “data” than objective data
- The Afternoon Flap: November 18, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: November 18, 2011 #tcot #catcot