Letters to the Editor

Ranting, ratings

August 19, 2009


To the editor:

Why can’t people resist making something out of nothing to get in the news? Former Gov. Palin claims “death panels” will be created under the health care reform bill (HR3200). She’s referring to one provision in the lengthy bill to make this claim. By the way, HR3200 is exactly 1,018 pages long, and that provision is exactly 327 words long.

Heralds of doom on talk radio, Fox News and in town hall meetings have jumped on her “death panel” bit like a duck on a bug. Suddenly, people are screaming that this bill will somehow create a covert, sinister group of “grim reapers” who’ll pull the plug on Grandma, euthanize the sick and murder her child who has Down syndrome. Sean Hannity rolls out the catch-phrase Obamacide. Fair and balanced? No.

The ex-governor says the media is “making things up,” then she comes out with this whopper. The provision says Medicare would pay doctors for their voluntary counsel with patients to address end-of-life issues such as living wills and hospice care for the terminally ill patient, but says nothing about executioners. I know, because I’m actually reading HR 3200.

Worse yet, she’s been shown exactly what’s in that provision, yet she’s still telling her lie to keep “birthers” and other fanatics ranting and foaming at the mouth.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see a reasonable discourse regarding both points of view on health care reform? It would, but reason doesn’t get ratings. Ranting gets ratings, doesn’t it?


jaywalker 8 years, 7 months ago

Truth be told, I'm sick of both sides of this. There aren't going to be 'death panels', and there's no need to keep printing this same LTE. How many does this make now?

jafs 8 years, 7 months ago

The most likely reason they took the provision out was to stop it from derailing the whole effort.

In the current atmosphere, charges don't have to be true to be politically damaging.

BrianR 8 years, 7 months ago

macabebe (Anonymous) says… "Craven is ill-informed. The birther movement was started last year by Hillary supporters and continues to be perpetuated by Democrats. You won't find many birthers amongst Palin's supporters."

Congratulations, absolutely nothing in this post is true.

ksdivakat 8 years, 7 months ago

Yes Mr. Craven, wouldnt it be nice to sit down and actually talk about it? I dont see this happening as long as there is gradeschool name calling going on ie: Birthers. Which by the way, I have a pretty good idea, but could someone please tell me exactly what that means?

meggers 8 years, 7 months ago


The 'birthers' are the loonies that believe the president was not born in the US and is therefore, not the legitimate president. This, despite an authenticated birth certificate from Hawaii and birth announcements in Hawaii newspapers.

And before you jump on Steve for calling those folks, 'birthers', you should know that they actually call themselves that, as well. That's how utterly daft that particular lunatic fringe happens to be.

ksdivakat 8 years, 7 months ago

meggers, thanks for the info, but i wasnt gonna jump on anyone, I have just heard that phrase before and I thought it was a word coined for consevative pro-lifers...so there ya go! I was wayyy off base and thats why I thought I would ask. But I will say that the whole idea that he wasnt born here is tired and played out !

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

Republicans, Religion and the Triumph of Unreason How do they train themselves to be so impervious to reality?

by Johann Hari Something strange has happened in America in the nine months since Barack Obama was elected. It has best been summarised by the comedian Bill Maher: "The Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved to a mental hospital."

For the rest--


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

You don't have to be a "truther" to know two things-- 1) There are a lot of questions surrounding 9-11, both before and after, that have never been satisfactorily answered, and 2) In addition to rampant corruption, BushCo demonstrated such overwhelming incompetence that it dispels any notion that they planned or participated in the attacks, or we'd have known about it long ago.

puddleglum 8 years, 7 months ago

birthers, tea baggers, astroturfers....whats next?

tkeagleblog 8 years, 7 months ago

Why is it when it comes to blame for the situation in this county the blame always goes somewhere else?

Libs blame Bush

Demc’s blame conservatives

Conservatives blame who ever is not conservative

Rep’s blame it on Rush L.

And Rush blames the Libs, Demc’s, and Rep’s.

Am I close on this?

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

"Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all." --Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824. ME 16:73

Bruce Bertsch 8 years, 7 months ago

Sorry Nancy boy, the only provision removed was the one for pay. EOL has been LAW since 1990 under the GHW Bush administration. More dis-information from NBTY.

beatrice 8 years, 7 months ago

"What about the myriad of conspiracy theories on the far-left for that matter?"

Tom, I keep asking about this, but you never follow up. Outside of the ridiculous 9/11 nonsense, exactly what conspiracy theories are you talking about? I can name plenty of incompetence theories relating to Bush, but no conspiracy theories. Which ones do you keep going on about?

Jason Bailey 8 years, 7 months ago

"Death Panels" is a terrible and polarizing term for what will be done, but it has to happen. HMOs do something akin to this all the time - they decide what procedures/tests/etc will be done, at what cost, and to what degree. They already control healthcare in most situations today.

If the govt is going to dump millions upon millions of new patients into the market by giving them "free" healthcare, they have to ration. That's what is going to happen -- rationing of care. A panel of some sort will decide who gets the rationing vs. who will have to forgo. That will result in death for many or a decreased quality of life.

Call it what you will but there will be bureaucrats making decisions about our medical care.

Jason Bailey 8 years, 7 months ago

And what's up with the hijacking of the forum to talk about "birthers"?! Talk about a bunch of lemmings seeing a shiny object...

sinverguenza 8 years, 7 months ago

macabebe (Anonymous) says…

"You should look things up before accusing someone of posting untrue information. See the Wikipedia entry on Obama's birth controversy"

Note to all: Wikipedia is not a legitimate source for fact checking.

supertrampofkansas 8 years, 7 months ago

"Talk about a bunch of lemmings seeing a shiny object…"


Maybe moths to a flame dude?

I say let's hijack the thread to discuss appropriate analogies!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

"If the govt is going to dump millions upon millions of new patients into the market by giving them “free” healthcare, they have to ration. That's what is going to happen — rationing of care."

Pretty much every industrialized country in the world (except the US) provides healthcare (which is not "free" there, nor would it be here) to all their citizens, they do it for 60 cents on the dollar (or less) of what it costs us, and there is much less rationing in those countries than here, by virtue of the fact that everyone gets access to treatment.

BrianR 8 years, 7 months ago

macabebe (Groenhagen) says… "logicsound and BrianR:

"You should look things up before accusing someone of posting untrue information."

Where, Free Republic where you obviously go for 'the truth?" Your assertion is so untrue it is ludicrous it is unworthy of further discussion.

"See the Wikipedia entry on Obama's birth controversy."

Another lie. There is nothing on Wikipedia to back up your statement.

BrianR 8 years, 7 months ago

Twisting words again, Kevin? Pretending that Hillary supports 'invented' the Birther nonsense is wrong. I can go on Wikipedia right now and chage the entry to read that you started the birther movement, or that I did.

Is that the best you can do? Christ...

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