Happy Birthday Howard!

Today is DNC Chair Howard Dean's Birthday.

Don't worry, we got him his present last week.

Long live the 50 state strategy!


The Best Healthcare Money Can Buy...

The Los Angeles city attorney's office filed false-imprisonment and dependent-care-endangerment charges against hospital giant Kaiser Permanente on Wednesday, the first criminal prosecution of a medical center accused of "dumping" patients on skid row.

The charges stem from an incident earlier this year when a 63-year-old patient from Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower hospital was videotaped as she left a taxi in gown and socks, and then wandered skid row streets.

In addition to the criminal charges, the city attorney filed a civil lawsuit against Kaiser, using a state law on unfair business practices that city prosecutors usually implement against unscrupulous slumlords to force them to clean up their buildings. The suit seeks a judge's order to forbid all Kaiser medical facilities from dumping homeless patients on skid row or impose financial sanctions if it violates the order.

Kaiser is one of 10 area hospitals under investigation by city prosecutors for allegedly discharging patients to the 50-block area of downtown that is known for missions and homeless encampments. City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo said Wednesday that the Kaiser case was a first step in holding hospitals accountable for dumping.

The rest and a video are here.


What's on the minds of America's Auto Manufacturers? National Healthcare - Not Tax Breaks

From MSNBC here is what WMC can learn from true business leaders:

Six months after their meeting was cancelled by a scheduling conflict, the leaders of America’s Big Three domestic automakers finally get to meet with President Bush at the White House Tuesday. And they will have plenty to talk about.

Chief among the topics of conversation will be the rising cost of health care, pensions, energy and commodities, like steel. The auto executives are also expected to discuss trade issues, such as the big advantage an artificially weak yen is giving Detroit’s Japanese rivals.

“They will probably talk about issues that are on the industry’s mind right now, like national health care and steel prices. But will there be tax relief for the industry? I don’t think so,” said George Magliano, director of automotive industry research for the Americas at Global Insight. “It’s really more of a meet and greet.”
One of the biggest problems the Big Three faces is the cost of health care for employees and retirees, which adds some $1,000 to the cost of every car they make. Automakers argue that they have already negotiated significant health care benefit reductions with their labor unions, and now it’s up to Washington to fix the broader national problem.

“The U.S. government doesn’t pick up health care costs for U.S. manufacturing, whereas many foreign governments do pay health care bills, and so relieve that cost,” said Alan Tonelson, a research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council, a Washington-based research organization that follows manufacturing. “So Bush will hear from the automakers how the U.S. health care system puts companies like theirs at a competitive disadvantage, but I don’t think they are going to be able to give him very clear advice on this. It’s a much broader problem.”

Paul Soglin on the Single Truth to Governing... "Pick up the garbage"

He explains it all here:

I have long argued that the critical compact between the office holder and
the voters is this simple:
Voters elect office holder
Office holder picks up the garbage
Proving competence triumphs, voters now give the office holder the green light to start experimenting and bring greater change.

I think this goes a long way to why Democratic Candidates won so handily last week. Republicans can not pick up the garbage (see: Iraq, New Orleans, etc).

How can a movement predicated on the fact that government is bad hope to make it work well? I look forward to another long majority for those who believe government can work in the best interest of the governed.

Rich White, Republican

Carrie Lynch has the goods here...

I am Macaca...

Great Op-Ed from the WaPo by S.R. Sidarth, the target of George Allen's remark:

The politics of division just don't work anymore. Nothing made me happier on election night than finding out the results from Dickenson County, where Allen and I had our encounter. Webb won there, in what I can only hope was a vote to deal the race card out of American politics once and for all.