Consumer-Driven Healthcare Diva’s

Cross posted from The Progressive Pulse.

It's been clear for a long time that the two-tiered American healthcare system rations care. People who have insurance get medical care…often very good medical care. People who are uninsured…don't.

Now it's time to add a third tier…vanity patients with cash in hand. These pampered prima donna's may be the canary's in the coal mine of the American healthcare system. The New York Times had an excellent article this week which focused on the practice of Dermatology. Many modern day Dermatology practices are divided into two groups: Cosmetic Dermatology (Botox, tattoo removal, hair transplants, etc) vs. Medical Dermatology (skin cancers, psoriasis, skin manifestations of systemic disease, etc).

257,000 New Registered Voters in NC - 240,000 are NOT Republicans

That's all. That's all I had to say. Let that sink in. There are 257,000 new registered voters in this state since January and only 17,000 of them registered as Republicans.

Wow. Warms the cockles of your heart, doesn't it?

Here's the article from the Asheville Citizen-Times.

After dark

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of lie, contemplation,mediation ... tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman voice spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.

By Jean Arp via The Sun

Elizabeth Dole's Residency Problem

Is Elizabeth Hanford Dole a qualified registered voter with a permanent residence in North Carolina or is Elizabeth Dole's permanent primary residence at the Watergate in our nation's capital?

The Watergate is much more than the name of a famous hotel where an even more famous burglary took place in the early 70’s.

"Watergate is a cooperative apartment complex located in North West Washington, D.C.. The complex includes three apartment buildings (East, West & South), two office buildings, a hotel, and a shopping mall.

The Watergate has been described as a “city within a city.” Most apartments are extravagant and have a price tag to match with many two-bedroom units going for well over $2 million. Winston and Winston Real Estate have several listings at 700 New Hampshire Avenue NW offering virtual tours. There are even a few listed that are down the hall from some of the Watergate’s most famous residents, Bob and Elizabeth Hanford Dole.

The Doles have been residents of The Watergate since their marriage in 1975. Bob Dole has owned apartment #112 – a first-floor, one-bedroom since before the Republicans burglarized the Watergate Hotel in 1972.

More than a quarter century later, the Doles found themselves neighbors with Monica Lewinsky and her mother during the famous blow job and blue dress scandal. After the Lewinsky duo vacated their apartment, the Doles purchased it to enlarge their living quarters.

The rest of the story......

Shuler, Foxx and Coble: Seducing young smokers is no big deal. It's good for the economy!

The US House passed a bill yesterday opening the door a crack for the FDA to get involved in regulating cigarettes. At issue are additives in cigarettes that are designed to make smoking more appealing to young people. Binker pulls out this amazing section of the bill, and does us the favor of translating it, too.

DCCC Taking a Loooooong Time to Announce the winner of National Day of Action

For those of us who worked on the ground to help Larry Kissell bring in as many volunteers as possible in order to reach out to as many voters as possible, this wait to see if Larry Kissell won the DCCC's National Day of Action challenge is agonizing. Here's a bit of background on the competition and more can be found here.

Pax Americana Geriatrica

Just as the arrival of peak oil will drive a fundamental realignment of investment priorities around energy, the arrival of the age wave will soon trigger an even more massive restructuring of our nation's investments. The days of flushing our wealth on Liddy Dole-type military excess will come to a screeching halt one of these years, if not in my lifetime, soon thereafter. As the article below suggests, that won't likely diminish our military power: other super-power countries will be facing even starker spending choices as their populations age faster than ours. Some interesting reading.

Presidential race tightens in NC

Via TPM, via PPP:

Another poll shows a very close race in North Carolina, a state that hasn't voted Democratic since 1976 -- suggesting yet again that Barack Obama could be on the cusp of dramatically expanding the map for Dems.

The new numbers from Public Policy Polling (D): McCain 47%, Obama 44%, and Barr 3%, with a ±3.4% margin of error. Four weeks ago, it was McCain 45%, Obama 41%, and Barr 5%.

The Great Republican Governors Association McCrory Money Laundering Machine

The Republican Governors Association wasted no time setting up an Independent Expenditure Committee called the RGA NC 2008 PAC to receive and spend unlimited amounts of money from individuals to run ads for Pat McCrory in the wake of court rulings and subsequent recent changes to North Carolina election law. A Statement of Organization was filed 5/19/08 and the PAC already has $387,380 on hand from out of state donors ready to spend in support of McCrory

Corporate funds are prohibited for independent expenditures but, according to IRS records, the Republican Governors Association 527 Political Committee received $135,000 from North Carolina corporations in the first half of 2008.


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