you can’t save lives AND money

A federally appointed public health task force recommends turning *medical convention on its ear, yet no specialists were consulted.

The task force acknowledged that mammograms can save lives and fear their new guidelines may be misinterpreted. “We aren’t against screening women in their 40s, we just don’t think it should be routine,” Petitti said.

Such vague rationale belies trust, as does the task force’s argument that women need to be protected from a fear of contracting cancer:

A test can trigger unnecessary further tests, like biopsies, that can create extreme anxiety.

You know how women tend to worry themselves needlessly.

Of course, Dr. Berry noted, if the new guidelines are followed, billions of dollars will be saved.

“But the money was buying something of net negative value,” he said. “This decision is a no-brainer. The economy benefits, but women are the major beneficiaries.”

No, the biggest beneficiaries are the insurance companies and, potentially, the federal government.

Others fear insurance coverage of mammograms could be dropped based on the new recommendations.

“Certainly mammography does pick up things at [age] 45 that would have been much more serious in five years,” said Dr. Anne Wallace, director of the University of California-San Diego Moores Breast Cancer Program. “What worries me is if insurance companies won’t allow women who want early detection in this age group to be screened.”

*Note the institutional bias on display in The Times article.

a new low for cnn

Disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is on Larry King, quoting Rudyard Kipling, the Bible and every political cliche ever uttered. There’s no new news regarding his pending corruption trial, unless you count his wife’s appearance on a new D-Minus-List reality show. No wonder CNN’s ratings are in the crapper.

Larry cues a clip showing Blago’s hideous wife manufacturing tears as she discusses their incomparable martyrdom. Elderly ex-model/coke whore Janice Dickinson speaks on his behalf: “Elected two times by the people.” MTV whore Spencer Pratt chimes in: “This is who I would’ve voted for president of the United States.” Later, Spencer’s born-again Christian wife (and fellow MTV whore) prays for Blago’s vindication.

Watch, but only if you think your time has no value whatsoever.

and the brounie goes too …

Named after congressman Paul Broun, who compared Obama to Hitler, the Brounie is awarded to Georgia politicians who make an ass of themselves, by word or deed.

This week’s winner: DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones

Jones is allowing ego and political disappointment to disrupt the transfer of power to the Ellis administration. Given the great economic challenges awaiting Ellis and the taxpayers of DeKalb, Jones ought to be conferring with his successor several times a week and offering his full support and assistance. That isn’t exactly the case.

He’s also refused to endorse Jim Martin, who defeated him in a run-off for the U.S. Senate. Instead he’s worked to torpedo Martin’s chances against Republican Saxby Chambliss.

“Jim Martin did not want Obama to be president, but now he wants Obama to come down and help him get into the U.S. Senate,” said Jones. “He could not come to grips with voting for an African-American. … He voted for a man who had an affair and not an African-American who is married with two beautiful children.”

This is the same Jones who, facing a rape charge, acknowledged a consensual threesome.

the ghost of jefferson must intercede

Terry McAuliffe is apparently under the delusion that people find him likable.


Former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe signed papers Monday signaling a possible run for governor next year in Virginia. 

McAuliffe told The Associated Press he set up a campaign committee and will tour Virginia for the next 60 days before making his candidacy certain.

What’s next, Senator Begala? Secretary Carville? Ambassador (Dick) Morris?

random observations of the week that is

*Rahm Emanuel is a dick. That seems to be the consensus, and he represents the kind of attack dog partisanship I detest. That said, I wouldn’t read too much into his appointment as chief of staff. His job is to be the president’s gatekeeper. He won’t be the public face of the president, nor will he be instrumental in crafting policy. Maybe you need an asshole in that position. Still, I hope we don’t see an abundance of hacks in Obama’s administration.

*If Republicans weren’t so wed to narrow-minded ideologues Bush would’ve never been president. They could’ve nominated McCain in 2000, but he committed the cardinal sin of badmouthing narrow-minded fanatics like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. The base then lined up behind Bush, he fucks up, and now McCain takes the fall. In retrospect I wish Mitt Romney had won the nomination — he deserved to be humiliated.

*I hope Obama doesn’t appoint Robert Kennedy Jr. to head the EPA. He’s an activist, not a scientist, and he comes off as something of an alarmist. Plus, his voice annoys the hell out of me. Shouldn’t he have completed puberty by now?

*Sorry to see Gordon Smith lose his Oregon Senate seat. Smith was a reasonable Republican, moderate on issues such as gay rights. The GOP needs centrists, as much as they don’t want to acknowledge it.

*Unfortunately, Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachmann was re-elected. Now she’s praising Obama, though she hasn’t forgotten Joe the Opportunist.

*Rush Limbaugh called Obama a “Chicago thug” today. Welcome to exile, fat ass. (I read an interview with him recently in which he admitted to crying after his cat died. So I rescind the slur.)

buying their silence

Making peace with the Clintons would challenge any diplomat:

It’s hard to fathom why Obama should be mau-maued into paying off the debt that Hillary and Bill accrued attacking and undermining him, while mismanaging the campaign and their nearly quarter-billion-dollar war chest so horribly that one Hillaryland insider told The New Republic that it bordered on fraud.

tomorrrow’s spin today

The Private Intellectual gets inside the mind of churlish Hillary strategist Mark Penn:

To: Interested Parties
From: Mark Penn
Re: Obama’s 75% Ceiling

While we heartily congratulate Senator Obama’s campaign on their Wisconsin victory, the final results must be less than heartening to the Obama campaign.

1) Obama has a ceiling of 75% of Democratic primary support. Barack Obama has consistently won primaries and caucuses with only 75% or less of the vote. In addition to effectively disenfranchising the at least 25% of the Democratic electorate that is not voting for him, the Obama camp cannot be happy that their candidate hasn’t reached 90% of the vote in any contest since the U.S. Virgin Islands on February 9.

2) Obama fails to win key demographics. Once again, Obama has not broken into the key demographic of voters who have been on a casino junket in the last thirty days. He also failed to win voters who had never heard of him, Wiccans, members of more than one bowling league, mourning dove hunters, white voters with “strongly negative” views of African Americans, and Vatican II-rejecting Catholics. These groups will only become more significant as the primary campaign shifts to Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

(via Reihan)

The Pepsi Challenge

If I ever get the chance to ask a question in a presidential debate, it would be this:

Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi? (Charcoal or propane? Chinese food or Mexican? Dogs or cats? … )

Such inane queries would actually reveal plenty, as you can bet certain candidates (usually those leading in the polls) would demur, deflect, triangulate … whatever necessary to avoid offending a particular cola constituency, or, say, cashiers who work at Panda Express. They don’t think very much of the American voter (and perhaps they shouldn’t).


KingofthehillGov. Romney, I know you’re a family man, so I’m guessing you know your way around a BBQ grill. Do you prefer charcoal or propane?

Romneytron (insincere chuckle): Well you can’t go wrong with a piece of USDA prime American meat, raised and fed by American workers right here at home, and I will fight for those workers, because I used to lay off people just like them, so I know exactly what they’re going through. I know how to turn this economy around, just like I turned around the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. I promise you that if I’m elected we will have unlimited surpluses, lower taxes and we’ll spend all the money necessary to help ensure my re-election in 2012.

Sir, with all due respect you didn’t answer my question. We all have a preference. I’m a charcoal guy, how ’bout you?

Romneytron: I enjoy that rich charcoal flavor, particularly if the briquettes are made in America.

You prefer charcoal then?

Romneytron: Now I didn’t say that. I also enjoy clean-burning propane. Taste the meat, not the heat, right? (insincere chuckle)

So you’re a propane man?

Romneytron: That’s a complete mischaracterization of my position. Look, I’m an outsider. I want to change Washington. I want to bring America together. Golly, I love this country. And one of the things I love most is that we are a nation that accepts people whether they prefer grilling with charcoal or propane. You think radical Islam let’s people make those kind of choices? My position is clear.

But governor …

Romneytron: Jeepers aren’t we all tired of this kind of gotcha politics? (inexplicable applause) And let me say this: John McCain supports amnesty, America is the greatest country ever, Ronald Reagan, I saved the Olympics, amnesty, change, God and Reagan.