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Author: TriSec    Date: 04/02/2013 10:35:23

Good Morning.

Today is our 4,195th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing war, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 2,184
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,081

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 1, 438, 886, 325, 000 .00


Let's talk about health today. Even before the ACA, I was blessed with a state that had vast coverage. Things you have to fight for in other places, I took for granted here in this Commonwealth. Fortunately, until last year the only truly "expensive" or "unusual" treatment we had was our fertility troubles in the late '90s. But it's different for returning veterans. If they can't get a job in the civilian sector (and many still can't), then there is no job-provided commercial insurance. This leaves our veterans relying on an already overburdened VA system for routine healthcare, as well as the more severe war-related injuries.


Given that George Washington himself said "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.", this of course makes veteran's services one of the many targets of the sequester.


WASHINGTON The Army could lose a large chunk of its mental health force to furloughs starting next month, limiting access to care for soldiers dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues.

Although the Surgeon Generals office is looking at ways to exempt some personnel from the sequestration fallout, right now the plan is that our [Department of the Army] civilians who are employed with us will be impacted across the board, Col. Rebecca Porter, chief of behavioral health for the surgeon general, told defense reporters Tuesday at a breakfast roundtable.

More than half of the Armys 4,500 mental health professionals are civilian. Contractors are exempt from furloughs, but those civilians employed directly by the Army are subject to the cuts imposed by sequestration. About 251,000 Army civilians will have to take 22 days of unpaid leave from April 26 to Sept. 30.

Its not the quality of the care that we expect to be impacted but the availability and access to it in a timely manner, Porter said.

Thats something the Army already struggles with. Wait times for mental health providers have been a significant problem at installations across the service, leading the Army to double the number of mental health providers in the last five years and the service is still understaffed.



But that's just one aspect of care. In addition to limiting or reducing something as simple as access to care, the shortsightedness of our national leadership is causing harm in other ways. A big part of any medical facility is research and training, and this is no different for the VA. But with all their limited resources going to treatment, the VA is now having trouble identifying, tracking, and treating the more esoteric injuries of war.


The federal government is failing to keep pace with a torrent of ailments and issues generated by two wars for the more than 2 million Americans who served overseas since 9/11, according to a sweeping assessment by a panel of leading scientists.

The nearly 800-page study, completed over four years by the Institute of Medicine and released Tuesday, portrays a nation struggling to anticipate and understand consequences of a decade of war and grueling demands placed on its military and unprecedented kinds of wounds troops have suffered.

The Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs are trying to help, but "the response does not match the magnitude of the problems, and many readjustment needs are unmet or unknown," says the report by the institute, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

The nation waged war in Iraq and Afghanistan in unprecedented ways, the study found, using a limited-size, all-volunteer force; deploying troops repeatedly for up to 15 or 18 months at a time; allowing less than a year of rest between tours; and filling the military's ranks with historically high numbers of women, parents, National Guard troops and reservists.

"The urgency of addressing these issues is heightened by the sheer number of people affected, the rapid drawdown of personnel from Afghanistan and Iraq, and the long-term effects that many of the issues might have, not only on military personnel and veterans and their family but on the country as a whole," the study found.

The study was the result of 2008 federal legislation directing the Pentagon to learn more about the readjustment needs of returning troops.

"These are extraordinary challenges," said Dr. George Rutherford, who chaired the group that produced the report. "We are learning as we're going. I think the VA and (Defense Department) have really exerted extraordinary efforts to try and get it right ... but there are some areas that need to be improved."

To this day, almost nothing is known about long-term outcomes of signature, war-related problems such as mild traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal tendencies, the scientists found.


You probably heard that IAVA spent some time during the month of March cajoling congress to act on the current VA backlog. There is a website with some more information from "Storm the Hill 2013', but at this point it's starting to feel that all that can be done has been.

There's no political wherewithal to change the status quo right now....and perhaps unless and until more veterans make it to the ranks of Congress, nothing will move forward on this front.

62 comments (Latest Comment: 04/02/2013 21:12:56 by Mondobubba)
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Comment by trojanrabbit on 04/02/2013 12:52:50
Morning all.

Comment by wickedpam on 04/02/2013 12:52:55
Morning

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 12:52:56
Ah yes the sequester. Screwing up delivery of government services across the board. You see RWLMs these games you play have real world consequences.

Comment by BobR on 04/02/2013 13:07:35
The tyranny of the minority in this country is appalling, especially when you end up with results like this.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 13:21:32
Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 13:47:02
Spooky deathrays killed the blog?

Comment by BobR on 04/02/2013 13:48:25
Quote by Mondobubba:
Spooky deathrays killed the blog?

I was just digging my survival shelter and stocking it with canned goods and ammunition...

Comment by wickedpam on 04/02/2013 13:51:55
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Spooky deathrays killed the blog?

I was just digging my survival shelter and stocking it with canned goods and ammunition...



don't forget the beer

Comment by BobR on 04/02/2013 13:55:56
your daily Florida news report

Best part:
At that point, Wasden reportedly pulled her jeans down and said, “Kiss my butt.”

“That was something that none of us wanted to see,” the teen explained to police.


Comment by Raine on 04/02/2013 13:57:10
Gay marriage is like a dog eating its own vomit? Caller -- you are disgusting.

and she sounds like a teenager.

Comment by wickedpam on 04/02/2013 13:57:35
charming little bigot they got on the phone there

Comment by wickedpam on 04/02/2013 13:59:50
Quote by Raine:
Gay marriage is like a dog eating its own vomit? Caller -- you are disgusting.

and she sounds like a teenager.



I have no words that would discribe her without offend other groups

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 14:01:04
Quote by BobR:
your daily Florida news report

Best part:
At that point, Wasden reportedly pulled her jeans down and said, “Kiss my butt.”

“That was something that none of us wanted to see,” the teen explained to police.



We have a winner for floridaman.com! Raw Story, you had me at attacked with papaya.

Comment by Raine on 04/02/2013 14:07:41
Quote by wickedpam:
charming little bigot they got on the phone there
That was one of the most offensive things I've heard on this show -- and that includes RF Mary.


Comment by Raine on 04/02/2013 14:17:37
Another Georgia town passes mandatory Gun ownership law... Get this:

The town’s Police Chief, Heath Mitchell, told the AP that he hopes “having a gun would help residents take their protection into their own hands,” since the town has an understaffed police department and slow response time to 911 calls.
(snip)

The law exempts felons and the disabled, and anyone who objects to carrying a gun can refuse to participate with no penalty. Nelson’s city council claims that the requirement will preempt efforts by the government to “confiscate personal firearms,” something no one has proposed doing:



Comment by wickedpam on 04/02/2013 14:24:27
Quote by Raine:
Another Georgia town passes mandatory Gun ownership law... Get this:

The town’s Police Chief, Heath Mitchell, told the AP that he hopes “having a gun would help residents take their protection into their own hands,” since the town has an understaffed police department and slow response time to 911 calls.
(snip)

The law exempts felons and the disabled, and anyone who objects to carrying a gun can refuse to participate with no penalty. Nelson’s city council claims that the requirement will preempt efforts by the government to “confiscate personal firearms,” something no one has proposed doing:




but what gets me is that these are probably the same people who are mad at the government for "forcing" them buy health insurance

Comment by BobR on 04/02/2013 14:25:27




Comment by Raine on 04/02/2013 14:33:06
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:
Another Georgia town passes mandatory Gun ownership law... Get this:

The town’s Police Chief, Heath Mitchell, told the AP that he hopes “having a gun would help residents take their protection into their own hands,” since the town has an understaffed police department and slow response time to 911 calls.
(snip)

The law exempts felons and the disabled, and anyone who objects to carrying a gun can refuse to participate with no penalty. Nelson’s city council claims that the requirement will preempt efforts by the government to “confiscate personal firearms,” something no one has proposed doing:




but what gets me is that these are probably the same people who are mad at the government for "forcing" them buy health insurance


and when pointing out that hypocrisy we usually hear: State's rights...


Comment by Raine on 04/02/2013 14:35:41
Speaking of States rights... Could this be why we haven't seen much of Scoop yesterday and today?

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 14:39:45
Quote by Raine:
Speaking of States rights... Could this be why we haven't seen much of Scoop yesterday and today?



Could be that, or nah it's Scoop. He's just baked.

Comment by Raine on 04/02/2013 14:40:29
Quote by BobR:


I hope you are aware that you are responsible for having to listen to me sing this as an earworm all day.

You, Sir, have no one to blame but yourself.


Comment by Will in Chicago on 04/02/2013 14:45:31
Good morning, bloggers!!! I hope that everyone is doing well. Mondo, any word from your friend on her ex-husband?

TriSec, I think that sequestration ends soon. The Huffington Post is reporting on some effects of the sequestration.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 15:04:09
Fecal bacteria transplants.

Getting past the ew! factor, this is some cutting edge medicine here.

Best quote from a donor
Not my best work


Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 15:04:49
Quote by Will in Chicago:
Good morning, bloggers!!! I hope that everyone is doing well. Mondo, any word from your friend on her ex-husband?

TriSec, I think that sequestration ends soon. The Huffington Post is reporting on some effects of the sequestration.



Thanks for asking. He made it through the surgery yesterday. No word so far today.

Comment by Scoopster on 04/02/2013 15:16:34
Mornin' all!
Quote by Raine:
Speaking of States rights... Could this be why we haven't seen much of Scoop yesterday and today?

Nah I've just been outta state visiting the fam.. & I kinda self-imposed an internet blackout for the holiday. And my supply ran dry over a week ago and the wallet's a lil light so I haven't refilled.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 15:17:57
Comment by wickedpam on 04/02/2013 15:28:26
BTW I'll be out on Friday - Phase 2 (well really 3) in the process of getting crowns - Oral Surgery. Little nervous since the only other time I've had to have surgery is when I had my wisdom teeth out.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 15:39:05
Comment by livingonli on 04/02/2013 16:16:06
Good day, everyone. Trying to figure out who's more pathetic, Billy from Texas or Road Flare Mary since I apparently slept through that really hideous caller.

Comment by trojanrabbit on 04/02/2013 16:19:58
Given the cheap Chinese made shit that WalMart sells, maybe testing the merchandise isn't that bad of an idea.

So proud of my fellow Massholes.....

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 16:29:04
Quote by trojanrabbit:
Given the cheap Chinese made shit that WalMart sells, maybe testing the merchandise isn't that bad of an idea.

So proud of my fellow Massholes.....



WalMart pisses me off, but not that much.

I was forced to go there on Sunday since every other store was closed for Easter.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 16:44:50
Hip Hop goes gay marriage.

“A decade ago, you would not have seen this,” said Dr. Susan Weinstein, a professor of hip-hop studies at Louisiana State University hip-hop studies professor and author of “Feel These Words: Writing in the Lives of Urban Youth.”


Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 16:53:29
Comment by livingonli on 04/02/2013 17:05:19
The Koch Brothers have been poisoning public discourse for decades and hope they don't win their quest to apparently acquire the Tribune papers.

Comment by TriSec on 04/02/2013 17:09:40
Comrades.

Dear smoke detector manufacturers:

I"m really impressed that you figured out how to make them beep when the battery gets low. Now, can you add a light-sensor so that it only beeps while the sun is up?

(razza-frazza 2am sonofaBITCH!)


Comment by wickedpam on 04/02/2013 17:15:05
Quote by TriSec:
Comrades.

Dear smoke detector manufacturers:

I"m really impressed that you figured out how to make them beep when the battery gets low. Now, can you add a light-sensor so that it only beeps while the sun is up?

(razza-frazza 2am sonofaBITCH!)



they beep when spiders and dust get in them too - that would be why I pulled the batteries from mine. I need to put them back together though.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 18:11:34
Quote by TriSec:
Comrades.

Dear smoke detector manufacturers:

I"m really impressed that you figured out how to make them beep when the battery gets low. Now, can you add a light-sensor so that it only beeps while the sun is up?

(razza-frazza 2am sonofaBITCH!)



Your more modern home has those little devils wired right into the house grid. No need for batteries. Now the alarm system...

Comment by TriSec on 04/02/2013 18:37:43
It's PI at the store tonight. (Physical Inventory.)

I have tomorrow off from my day job...last year there were people still working at approaching 3am. I was put on the schedule tonight as "until it's done."

I was just thinking that it's been a very long time since I pulled an all-nighter.

Comment by livingonli on 04/02/2013 18:41:52
Don't talk to me about all-nighters. Although with my hours, I'm usually up for hours after I get home and it's almost sunrise by the time I go to bed.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 04/02/2013 18:47:48
The Huffington Post reports that the Center for Tax Justice has determined that Mitt Romney was wrong in his claims that 47 percent of Americans are freeloaders and moochers.

No Americans 'Getting A Free-Ride,' New Tax Study Finds
The Huffington Post | By Jillian Berman Posted: 04/02/2013 12:42 pm EDT | Updated: 04/02/2013 12:42 pm EDT

A new study further debunks the widely-held conservative notion that lower-income Americans pay little-to-no taxes while the rich shell out more than their fair share.

"We've found that no one group is getting a free-ride,” write the authors of the report from the left-leaning Center for Tax Justice.

CTJ looked at the effect of federal tax increases on the wealthy passed as part of the fiscal cliff dea at the beginning of the year. The increase was roundly decried by Republican leaders and some on the right who viewed the move, pushed by President Barack Obama, as a step toward socialism.

However, while the recent changes put federal income tax rates on a more progressive scale -- tax rates go up as income goes up -- many other taxes Americans are subjected to, like federal payroll taxes and state and local taxes are actually regressive, meaning they take a bigger share of income from the poor and middle class than from the rich, according to CTJ.


Comment by Raine on 04/02/2013 18:54:27
BAck from Home Despot and helping my neighbor with her little one and some yardwork!

Comment by TriSec on 04/02/2013 19:01:33
Quote by Raine:
BAck from Home Despot and helping my neighbor with her little one and some yardwork!


What, you don't have TrueValue or Ace down your way?



Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 19:02:18
Quote by TriSec:
It's PI at the store tonight. (Physical Inventory.)

I have tomorrow off from my day job...last year there were people still working at approaching 3am. I was put on the schedule tonight as "until it's done."

I was just thinking that it's been a very long time since I pulled an all-nighter.


Regis doesn't do that for ye Mighty Bean Empire??

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 19:12:39
Quote by TriSec:
Quote by Raine:
BAck from Home Despot and helping my neighbor with her little one and some yardwork!


What, you don't have TrueValue or Ace down your way?




What Tri said. I love my local Ace. It looks and smells like a hardware store. It is full of friendly guys with an encyclopedic knowledge of bolts and other items.

Comment by clintster on 04/02/2013 19:38:30
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by TriSec:
Quote by Raine:
BAck from Home Despot and helping my neighbor with her little one and some yardwork!


What, you don't have TrueValue or Ace down your way?




What Tri said. I love my local Ace. It looks and smells like a hardware store. It is full of friendly guys with an encyclopedic knowledge of bolts and other items.


In HD's favor, they do contribute to autism awareness causes.

http://parentcoachingforautism.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/blue-light.jpeg


Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 19:40:32
Quote by clintster:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by TriSec:
Quote by Raine:
BAck from Home Despot and helping my neighbor with her little one and some yardwork!


What, you don't have TrueValue or Ace down your way?




What Tri said. I love my local Ace. It looks and smells like a hardware store. It is full of friendly guys with an encyclopedic knowledge of bolts and other items.


In HD's favor, they do contribute to autism awareness causes.

http://parentcoachingforautism.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/blue-light.jpeg



Good to know. That does offset a lot of the other douche-y stuff they do.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 19:43:52
Clint, any deep meaning to the blue light bulb?

Comment by Raine on 04/02/2013 19:44:56
Quote by TriSec:
Quote by Raine:
BAck from Home Despot and helping my neighbor with her little one and some yardwork!


What, you don't have TrueValue or Ace down your way?

Hey now, I buy everything I can at our local hardware store. There ARE somethings that I can get at Home Despot that I can't get at our ACE or the local hardware store (which is very small, but I do support it. They know us there.)

-- our Ace, which is south of old town is pretty much stocked up for urban dwellers. No TrueValue here, unless I am willing to drive twice as far and in suburban traffic, so no thanks. The extra cost of gas and emissions isn't worth it.

You can't get a bag of manure/humus there... Plus I needed a leafblower/vaccum machine that I simply wasn't willing to pay 12 dollars more for.



Comment by Raine on 04/02/2013 19:46:44
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by TriSec:
Quote by Raine:
BAck from Home Despot and helping my neighbor with her little one and some yardwork!


What, you don't have TrueValue or Ace down your way?




What Tri said. I love my local Ace. It looks and smells like a hardware store. It is full of friendly guys with an encyclopedic knowledge of bolts and other items.
I can't believe you and Tri would question me on this.

I am very familiar with Ace.

How come Tri didn't finger scold you for shopping at the place that shall not be mentioned???

Tsk tsk on both of you.

Comment by Raine on 04/02/2013 19:47:41
Quote by clintster:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by TriSec:
Quote by Raine:
BAck from Home Despot and helping my neighbor with her little one and some yardwork!


What, you don't have TrueValue or Ace down your way?




What Tri said. I love my local Ace. It looks and smells like a hardware store. It is full of friendly guys with an encyclopedic knowledge of bolts and other items.


In HD's favor, they do contribute to autism awareness causes.

http://parentcoachingforautism.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/blue-light.jpeg
Thank you Clint, I needed a little back up from these store shamers...


Comment by clintster on 04/02/2013 19:51:07
Quote by Mondobubba:
Clint, any deep meaning to the blue light bulb?


Today is "Light it up Blue for Autism" day. Several organizations (HD being one of the commercial outlets) were selling blue lightbulbs with proceeds going towards autism research. If you have one, put it in a lamp, porch fixture, or something else visible from your street tonight to signal that you support those on the ASD spectrum.

April is also Autism Awareness Month, so I plan on leaving my blue bulb in my porch light throughout the month.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 20:04:38
Quote by clintster:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Clint, any deep meaning to the blue light bulb?


Today is "Light it up Blue for Autism" day. Several organizations (HD being one of the commercial outlets) were selling blue lightbulbs with proceeds going towards autism research. If you have one, put it in a lamp, porch fixture, or something else visible from your street tonight to signal that you support those on the ASD spectrum.

April is also Autism Awareness Month, so I plan on leaving my blue bulb in my porch light throughout the month.



Is blue the special color for autism awareness?

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 20:06:59
Speaking of awareness months, it is Distracted Driving Month. I think the phrasing! is wrong there. That implies that you want people to be distracted while they drive. What is should be is Anti-Distracted Driving Month. A small fail.

Comment by TriSec on 04/02/2013 20:08:12
I'm sure Mondo completed his ablutions after visiting Wal-Mart. Lord knows, last time I set foot in one, I needed to shower afterwards.

I will yield that Home Despot doesn't quite have that level of used-car-dealerishness all over it.



Comment by TriSec on 04/02/2013 20:09:25
Quote by Mondobubba:
Speaking of awareness months, it is Distracted Driving Month. I think the phrasing! is wrong there. That implies that you want people to be distracted while they drive. What is should be is Anti-Distracted Driving Month. A small fail.


*snort*

Reminds me of a place I used to work...the regional manager had a big binder on a shelf prominently marked "BUSINESS DISRUPTION MANUAL". We used to razz him over that every time we had a meeting in there.



Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 20:09:26
Quote by TriSec:
I'm sure Mondo completed his ablutions after visiting Wal-Mart. Lord knows, last time I set foot in one, I needed to shower afterwards.

I will yield that Home Despot doesn't quite have that level of used-car-dealerishness all over it.




I felt soo dirty! Comparing used car dealers to WalMart is unfair to used car dealers.

Comment by BobR on 04/02/2013 20:27:23
Quote by TriSec:
I'm sure Mondo completed his ablutions after visiting Wal-Mart. Lord knows, last time I set foot in one, I needed to shower afterwards.

I will yield that Home Despot doesn't quite have that level of used-car-dealerishness all over it.

Home Depot was covering "domestic partners" in their benefits before it was common to do so.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 20:51:45
Quote by BobR:
Quote by TriSec:
I'm sure Mondo completed his ablutions after visiting Wal-Mart. Lord knows, last time I set foot in one, I needed to shower afterwards.

I will yield that Home Despot doesn't quite have that level of used-car-dealerishness all over it.

Home Depot was covering "domestic partners" in their benefits before it was common to do so.



Let us for a moment discuss the carpet bombing nature of big box warehouse places have on local based stores, ie the way they obliterate them. We can also discuss what a massive Republican dick the CEO of Home Depot actually is; he spent a lot of time and energy working to get 43 re-elected. It is great that they are doing things for their employees like domestic partner benefits (something AOL was doing twenty years ago, btw, that doesn't mean same sex necessarily, it just mean shacking up) and supporting autism research. All fine and good. They still are hell to shop in.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 20:55:41
Again, I wouldn't have gone to Wal Mart if say Target or Publix had been open on Sundee. This kinda begs the question did Target and Publix provide a paid holiday on Sundee?

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 21:03:42
Quote by BobR:
Quote by TriSec:
I'm sure Mondo completed his ablutions after visiting Wal-Mart. Lord knows, last time I set foot in one, I needed to shower afterwards.

I will yield that Home Despot doesn't quite have that level of used-car-dealerishness all over it.

Home Depot was covering "domestic partners" in their benefits before it was common to do so.



Okay then I'm impressed by the benefits. They even provide health insurance to part time staff. They might be dicks politically, but they seem being doing right by their employees.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 21:05:00
Another social conservative trope bites the dust! Damn those science based types and their methodology!

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/02/2013 21:12:56