Some Hat Tips and an Open Thread


I’ll be spending most of the day on Sunday flying back to the United States after a couple of eye-opening weeks in Asia.
But a hat tip to the 99-year old Michael DeBakey who just passed away and who did change the world with his pioneering work on heart transplants and bypass operations. I had the honor of meeting him about 24 years ago.
And while I did not agree with his politics, I did admire Tony Snow for the way in which he managed his personal and family obligations during his battle with colon cancer. Snow and many others helped this White House irresponsibly spin itself out of accountability for its actions at home and abroad.
Snow’s death should be a reminder not of just how brave he was in managing his health challenge — but of how many others in the nation who don’t rank in the headlines are brave and deserve our respect and support for managing family health crises, job fragility, the return of maimed veterans or the death of soldiers caught in the war in Iraq, and so on.
Be back in touch on Sunday evening.
— Steve Clemons


9 comments on “Some Hat Tips and an Open Thread

  1. Kathleen says:

    Tony Snow, from his previous T.V. career, would have to have been a member of SAG and AFTRA, which provides excellent health insurance


  2. Tahoe Editor says:

    I thought he left the WH so he could make the big bucks in his remaining days and leave his family a big nest egg. No doubt insurance was part of the compensation.


  3. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    Can anyone explain to me how Snow got insurance after the left the WH? Did Murdoch foot the bill?


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Truth is, Steve, most of us would be bankrupted and long dead if we had to “fight” the same health battles Snow or Cheney have “fought” with their free ride insurance, paid for with our dime.


  5. RabbleRouser says:

    Why isn’t anyone talking about McCain’s assault on the family
    member of a Vietnam-era MIA, in the hall outside of his D.C.
    Senate office?
    It was witnessed by about 12 people and they filed a Senate
    ethics complaint against McCain.
    Here’s the video of one of the witnesses testifying, plus some
    more info that I received about the allegations against McCain:
    John McCain assaulted Jeannette Jenkins, cousin of an American
    missing in South Vietnam since May of 1965, by backhanding
    her against the wall. He then threatened a wheelchair-bound
    mother by raising his left arm as if to strike her before coming to
    his senses. He then pushed her wheelchair out of the way and
    abruptly continued down the hall.
    The two speakers are Eleanor Apodaca, sister of a Vietnam War
    MIA, and Carol Hrdlicka, wife of a USAF pilot shot down in 1965.
    Photos demonstrate that Hrdlicka’s husband was held in
    CAPTIVITY, yet he never returned after the war. She details her
    long experience with John McCain’s betrayal of trust.
    To view McCain’s rude and antagonistic attack against Delores
    Alfond, Chairperson of the National Alliance of Families for the
    Return of America’s Missing, at the Senate Select Committee for
    POW/MIA Affairs in November 1992 please see the YouTube link


  6. Carroll says:

    And then there’s this. Serously…how are we going to get rid of this kind of congress?
    “And the Nobel Prize for Best Swiss Bank Accounts Goes To…
    From ABC News: “Two U.S. lawmakers are pushing for a Nobel Peace Prize to go to a politician accused of taking bribes, abusing human rights, and profiting from widespread and sometimes violent election fraud.”
    Yes, esteemed Congressmen Darrell Issa of California and Charlie Melancon of Louisiana think Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev should be honored for “reaffirming the worth and advancing the rights of the human person.”
    That’s especially curious given, as ABC noted, that the U.S. Justice Department has “long alleged . . . that Nazarbayev and his deputies accepted nearly $80 million in kickbacks from foreign companies in exchange for access to Kazakhstan’s vast oilfields. Nazarbayev’s total worth is not known, but his adviser, daughter and son-in-law are billionaires, Forbes magazine reported in March.”
    Someone should call our esteemed Congressmen Darrell Issa of California and Charlie Melancon and ask for which of the below reasons they are promoting Nazarbayev for the Nobel Peace Prize and what they get in return.
    A former minister in the Nazarbayev government, Zamanbek K. Nurkadilov, said that President Nazarbayev ought to answer allegations that Kazakh officials had accepted millions of US dollars in bribes from an intermediary for U.S. oil firms in the 1990s. [16]
    He is also said to have benefitted financially from his “special relations” with Kazakh-Israeli billionaire Alexander Mashkevich, who, as of 2004, was believed to control as much as one-fourth of Kazakhstan’s economy.[19][20][21]
    In a speech given on 15 December 2006 marking the 15th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence Nazarbayev criticized actions taken by the Iranian government, saying Iran had become a center of growing insecurity in Asia by engaging in international terrorism, fundamentalism
    Transparency International ranked Kazakhstan 124th in its list of countries by corruption in 2004 with a score of 2.2 (on a scale of 0-10 with 0 indicating a “highly corrupt” state).[17]. Nazarbayev himself has been called one of “ultimate oligarchs”
    On May 18, 2007, the Parliament of Kazakhstan approved a constitutional amendment which would allow Nazarbayev to seek re-election as many times as he wishes. This amendment applies specifically and only to Nazarbayev: the original constitution’s proscribed maximum of two presidential terms will still apply to all future presidents of Kazakhstan.[10]


  7. Carroll says:

    It’s disgusting how all the talking heads praise the other cable pop stars for their courage in fighting cancer but you never hear a talking head pay any attention to the millions out here that are fighting and dying of cancer and other illnesses, some without even health insurance.
    There was a young girl with cancer I was helping to raise money for two years ago that was caught uninsured in between leaving one job and assuming a new job. Not a drop of insurance, her parents and family bankrupted themselves trying to keep her alive. Her sister donated her bone marrow, the doctors donated their services to reduce cost. But anyway she is dead now. Because she had no insurance and wasn’t wealthy she didn’t go to a doctor about her symptoms until it had progressed too far.
    America, the richest country in the world…what is it good for.


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