The Spectacle Blog

Selective Confusion

By on 2.13.06 | 12:30PM

In light of the continued carpet bombing by the media and Democrats about the mass confusion surrounding the Medicare drug benefits, here's something to consider from a recent news report from CBS 6 Albany News.

"The demise of nursing homes is also being fueled by a growing preference among seniors for alternative care settings like adult day care, assisted-living facilities and home-based care."

There are 45 prescription drug plans available to seniors in my home state of New Jersey. By comparison there are 75 different types of alternative care settings for seniors with different types of services, different monthly payments, locations, etc. The average cost of long-term care is about $20 K a year, which is nearly ten times more than what most seniors with two or more chronic illnesses will spend on drugs.

So let me get this straight: Four million seniors and their families are too confused to choose drug plans but they are more than able to select from twice as many alternative care communities that involved ten times more money?

Maybe I am the one who is confused.

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Re: Shot Heard Round The World

By on 2.13.06 | 12:18PM

The press has just besieged Scott McClellan on the topic of Cheney's stay fire. Should the Vice President resign? Should criminal charges be filed? Isn't this too dangerous an activity for important persons to be doing?

These and other urgent questions occupy the conference. But the mask finally slips when one intrepid reporter suggests the trickle-up of shooting news from incident site to White House was reminiscent "of the levee story."

Oh, but did McClellan ever reject that insinuation. The press is rabid over the story's breaking in Corpus Christi courtesy of a private, not public, personage -- i.e., no splash for the national news. The White House communications bureaucracy might have a faulty pipeline -- one imagines it should be kept in the loop on matters such as these. But should the government PR machine dance to the media tune of instant access to instant news? Cheney accidentally kills a man -- news. Cheney accidentally shoots a man -- at what point is the public on a need-to-know basis?

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Murtha on McLaughlin

By on 2.13.06 | 12:15PM

Jack Murtha appeared on John McLaughlin's "One on One" program this weekend. (I've never seen it, but it's his "in-depth" interview show on PBS.) McLaughlin brought up my article on Murtha's lobbyist brother and Abscam past.

For starters, I can't figure out why McLaughlin's bringing this up. As far as I know, the article didn't make much of a splash. Thorough Google, Technorati, and Lexis Nexis searches turned up a negligible response. So either McLaughlin found the article in pre-show prep, or Murtha put him up to it so as to get a response on the record with a friendly interviewer. If it's the latter, he couldn't have found a better venue:

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Re: Shot Heard Round the World

By on 2.13.06 | 10:42AM

A friend writes to set me straight on driving and hunting in Texas:

"You don't know the half of it.

"As a frequent bird hunter in South Texas -- but never having had the privilege to be invited to the Armstrong Ranch -- I thought I'd give you a little background. A close friend from San Antonio has long had a hunting lease on the Galvan Ranch, on the Rio Grande west of Laredo. It's nasty country, often miserably cold in the winter and downright uninhabitable during the summer, with razor sharp prickly pear needles and invisible cactus spikes that can penetrate the thickest canvas denim or leather boots, mean and vile-smelling javelina and rattlesnakes as long as a man is tall and thigh wide. When it rains, the caliche can stop a four-wheel drive vehicle in its tracks. That said, it offers some of the best quail hunting in the world.

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Re: Shot Heard ‘Round the World

By on 2.13.06 | 9:31AM

Dave: I do indeed. But I"m a recovering lawyer. I know quite a few fellow-counsel I'd like to bag. Don't forget, I'm a very experienced hunter.

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Jack and George

By on 2.13.06 | 9:29AM

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the "Abramoff and Bush" photo isn't quite the smoking gun the left was hoping for and the press touted it to be. It's such a strain to spot Abramoff in the background that Time had to circle his tiny head. Which isn't to say there may be more out there. I'd be surprised if there weren't Jack and George grip-and-grin photos in existence. But if there are, the press probably doesn't have them: they're going to lead with their best shot, and at this point Abramoff looks like the goofy cousin who snuck into the family photo.

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Outsourcing the UN

By on 2.13.06 | 7:56AM

A report yesterday said that Kofi Annan was preparing to oursource and "privatize" many of the functions of the UN Secretariat. We expect to receive reports that the Gottis, Gambinos and Profaccis are all preparing bids. If one of the Families were to win the contract, there would be certain improvements in UN operations. Their practice is superior to the UN's in at least one respect: they hold employees responsible for job performance.

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