Why Can’t Medicare/Medicaid Negotiate Prescription Drug Prices?

I’m not the brightest bulb in the lamp, but I’m not the dimmest either. So I’m going to ask the question that has been with me for a while.

If Medicare and Medicaid costs need to be contained AND prescription drug costs are a big part of that; why, in the name of all that is holy, is it federal law that Medicare and Medicaid cannot negotiate drug prices with big pharma?

Why is it that the rest of the advanced industrialized West spends less on drugs than the US does?

I Might Not Be Cheap, But I’m Easy…or Mitt Romney Thinks My Vote Could’ve Been Bought

The L.A. Times reports on a conference call that Mitt Romney had with top donors this afternoon. According to the article, Mr. Romney said that the reason that President Obama won is because the administration had given “gifts” to African Americans, Latinos, and young voters.

Well…I’m still waiting for my gift. And since Mr. Romney thinks that minority voters and youth voters can be bought, why didn’t he come up with a better pay-out? I might not be cheap, but I am easy. All I want is Shaquille O’Neal and an apartment on the Upper West Side. And I’m sure all the other minorities who are waiting for their gifts don’t have long lists either.

I get that losing is painful. Really, I get that. But to blame it on blacks, or Latinos, or young people who have somehow been “bought off” is non-sense. To say that the only reason that minority voters or young voters voted for President Obama is because they could be bought off is an insult. Insulting entire groups of people by saying that they are so weak and needy they could be bought off to vote a particular way is not going to endear the party that says those things to the electorate.

I have a price. Everybody has a price (even if few want to admit it). For most of us, our price has little to do with how we vote.

Somebody needs to tell Mitt Romney that.

How the South Lost the Battle (the Civil War) Yet Won the War (Everything Before and Since)

Have you heard? Texas wants to secede. But it’s not just Texas my friends, there seems to be a movement afoot for all of the old Confederacy to secede. Don’t believe it, then look at the Open Petitions page on the White House website. Yet it’s not just a movement in the old Confederacy, as you will see on the White House website. There are petitions from New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Oregon and even Alaska.

So maybe it’s time for something that is said in many backrooms but seldom in public…the Confederacy lost the Civil War, but it won every thing before it and has won everything after it.

Now…it’s not the fall of 1860 and we know that the old Confederacy is not going to rise again. At the same time, however, the causes of the Civil War remain. An entire section of the country is mad at the result of a presidential election.

Slavery is over, yet peonage existed from the end of Reconstruction until World War II and the misapplication of drug laws has resulted in the overrepresentation of minorities in jail/prison today.

The 14th and 15th Amendments were ratified. However, in present-day America, the Supreme Court is going to hear arguments challenging the validity of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Groups go around talking about “state’s rights” yet never say when there is a need for federal intervention.

So what did the South lose (other than slaves)? They won how slavery and the Civil War are seen through popular culture. They won how those of African descent were seen for almost a century after the Civil War.

And now, after the re-election of the first president of color, there’s a lot of talk in the old Confederacy about secession.

Just how far have we come?

“…the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” or Todd Akin Lost, But Not For the Reason You Think

I could talk about the fact that same-sex marriage actually survived when put to a public vote. I could talk about the funniest line I’ve heard in a while, “In Colorado, marijuana got 50,000 more votes than President Obama.” But I’ll leave that to others; it is my job to explain to you liberals that while last night was a win for basic biology, don’t gloat–because it could have gone the other way.

So let’s start with the fact: the trainwreck that is Todd Akin lost to Claire McCaskill by 16%. But he did not lost because of the infamous “legitimate rape” remark, so don’t let the 16% margin fool you. Here are some things you need to know about Tuesday’s election here in Missouri:

1. Missouri splits tickets more often than most states. In terms of Tuesday’s election, Mitt Romney won Missouri; but only by 10 points. (see #2)

2. Other than Lt. Governor, no Republican won state-wide office this year. So Todd Akin was going against a headwind no matter what.

3. Republican money didn’t come back to Todd Akin until it was too late. (and yes, it did come back) As opposed to Richard Mourdock, national Republicans withdrew money from Todd Akin. And if you contrast the results of the Indiana election and Missouri, while both Todd and Mr. Mourdock lost, Mr. Mourdock’s margin of loss was only 4.5 to 5.0%.

4. “legitimate rape” was NOT the most foot-up-his-a** comment Todd Akin made.

5. It came out that Todd Akin had been arrested at an anti-abortion protest. This, in-and-of-itself, is not that big of a problem; the problem comes in in the group he was arrested with.

This is just a small list to explain the reasons why Todd Akin lost. And the reason that I’m explaining it to you liberals is so you don’t misunderstand¬† what went on here in Missouri. Dominionist theology is still widely believed in many places in outstate Missouri, not to mention anywhere else. Just because the Dominionists lost this time, doesn’t mean that they won’t be back—they will.

So as I said in my last posts on Todd Akin (here, here, here, here), one must fight theology with theology. It’s time to get to work.

Welcome to New Orleans, East Coast Edition…or Why Aren’t We Talking to the Dutch?

My family was in Mississippi when Katrina hit.

My family was in Mississippi when Rita hit.

I was in New England last year as Hurricane Irene developed and made landfall.

And had things gone as planned, I would have been in New York City right now. So I can talk about these last few years of my life, and the people that I love, as being affected by hurricanes.

At some point, this country must stop being paralyzed by those who want to deny science and the reality of climate change. Too many of our fellow citizens live on the coasts for this situation to continue.

Why, in the name of all that is holy, aren’t more of our policymakers talking to the Dutch (and to a lesser extent, the Danes)?¬† Here’s a country that knows a little bit about having to negotiate with water; a country in which a substantial amount of its land had to be reclaimed from the sea. They might have something to offer those on this side of the pond who now realize that there needs to be a plan to deal with coastal cities and their relationship to water.

I see a lot of parallels between Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Yet I see some very stark differences. I doubt there will be books about Sandy like Jed Horne’s Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City. That’s because there is no way on this green earth that New York City is going to be allowed to get anywhere close to dying (not even Staten Island, where most of the dead have been). And while there has been some mean talk about those who didn’t evacuate, there will not be the wholesale condemnation of entire groups of people.

Well…time to see what the new news about Staten Island is.