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Member since: Sat Mar 27, 2004, 04:35 PM
Number of posts: 24,331

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So I went on a date last Sunday...

A veterinary tech who lives in a nearby city, but was born and raised in Mississippi. While we were having coffee, I made a comment about my fairly rural hometown, to the effect that all the young people either leave town or get knocked up.

She told me about some of her experiences in vet school, going into the poorest parts of MS to visit farms for training, and especially the sorry state of the Mississippi river delta. There, the teenage pregnancy rate is just about the highest it is anywhere in the country, especially among the black population; pretty much any girl who is there and can't get out either is pregnant or will be. Another friend of mine summed it up very well once: that in a small town, "there's nothing to do but each other." Combined with no education, no knowledge of safe sex, and no options in life, it's not a very pretty picture.

I point this out because I worry that too often we get distracted by the personal level it comes to talking about birth control and abortion. "My body," "Our bodies," yes, but that's not really the big picture. The big picture and the real problem isn't the informed, educated people who know how to make choices in their lives, and the motivation to do what they have to. It's about making sure that the young girl who's the daughter of a fisherman in the poorest part of America knows that she has options besides getting pregnant at 16 and being the wife of a kid who enlists in the Army or goes to work as a petty laborer. It's about making sure that another generation isn't raised in enforced poverty to repeat the cycle for their own children. It's about giving the next generation a world they want to live in, one better than their parents had, rather than one that they're forced into.

Republican Congressional candidate: Healthcare is costly because "People now don't die from cancer"

Via DailyKos elections roundup.

The healthcare reforms Collins said he would push would be tort reform and open up competition in insurance by allowing policies across state lines.

Collins also argued that modern healthcare is expensive for a reason.

"People now don't die from prostate cancer, breast cancer and some of the other things," Collins said. "The fact of the matter is, our healthcare today is so much better, we're living so much longer, because of innovations in drug development, surgical procedures, stents, implantable cardiac defibrillators, neural stimulators—they didn't exist 10 years ago. The increase in cost is not because doctors are making a lot more money. It's what you can get for healthcare, extending your life and curing diseases."

As Brown points out, prostate cancer kills almost 30,000 men a year (PDF) in the United States, while breast cancer kills nearly 40,000 women each year (PDF). I am absolutely dumbfounded, and I hope Hochul hammers Collins to pieces on this. I am troubled by one thing, though, which is that this quote originally appeared over a week ago, yet neither the Hochul campaign nor the DCCC seems to have picked up on it. Fortunately, there's still time to remedy that oversight.


Also on ThinkProgress.


To believe there's no real difference between the two parties, you must be either lying or clueless.

Sorry, but there's no other realistic way to put it. At a time in history when there's more distance between them than there has been in almost a century, and barely more than a decade after the "no difference" spiel gave us George W. Bush instead of Al Gore, it takes either idiocy or willful self-deception to pretend otherwise.

Let's go back and think about that one for a moment, shall we? Despite the heyday in 2000 of "they're all the same" thanks to Ralph Nader shilling for Bush, is anyone now really willing to claim that Al Gore--"An Inconvenient Truth" Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize Al Gore, the guy with a 6 page long Wikipedia article about his environmental activism--would have governed exactly the same as George W. Bush and Dick "Oil well" Cheney? The guys who passed an exemption for fracking into the Safe Drinking Water Act? The guys with a hardon for Iraq circa year 2000? The "Mushroom cloud over America" guys?

Can anyone say with a straight face that, well, they weren't the same THEN, but NOW--after a solid decade plus of increasing partisanship, division, and policy disagreements--NOW there's really no difference? Now we're right, even though before we were so completely and massively wrong that it helped derail the entire country, demolish the economy, and set the environment back maybe for decades?

To justify these claims, supporters are literally forced to make up conspiracy theories about Democrats' supposed secret plans to destroy Medicare, or to approve Keystone XL, or extend the war in Iraq, or to avoid repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. And as each one is proved in turn to be the completely fictional rantings of people strictly intent on bashing Democrats, they rapidly swing around to a new conspiracy theory and never, ever again acknowledge being massively and repeatedly wrong on every previous claim they've made.

And yet some people still have the brass to come here and push a dishonest narrative, built out of lies, half-truths, innuendos, and selective reasoning, and with no real-world reason or justification other than trying to repeat the debacle of 2000 and put another right-wing Republican into the White House.
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