Archive for the last word

The NC GOP Mayor Takes His Medicaid Expansion Cause On the Road


Mayor on the march!

Remember how cool and progressively impressive we found the small town Mayor Adam O'Neal (living compassionate conservative, at least he was) who was going to the mat for rural hospitals and the expansion of Medicaid to all states?

Here's the link if you need to catch up, we've been cheering him along at the Carnival for a while now - he is walking the walk, literally.

Earlier this week, fellow fan of the good mayor, Lawrence O'Donnell, scored the big interview … the end of the mayor's first -- of fifteen days-- on the road to the Capitol. He's hoofing it to Washington D.C. to talk Medicaid expansion into his state.

And hospital closings that are already handing out death sentences in his county.

Yes!! That guy, the one Rachel Maddow has been giving props to as well, the sane voice in the wilderness … after they indeed closed the rural hospital he opposed the tampering with, there was some snap(!) in his disappointment.

Sure enough, that Southern dissatisfaction turned into action, and the conservative Carolinian mayor should arrive within the beltway by the end of July. They covered 17 miles yesterday, which hikers will be impressed with - never mind pundits. Enjoy Lawrence's exclusive.

Then the punch in the gut that comes with a well-reported story. It turned personal. The closure of that rural hospital in Belhaven North Carolina had claimed a life. A 48 year-old woman, mother of three small children, was over an hour in an ambulance following a heart attack and expired in transit.

The GOP Regressive Right pinch-purses have their first trophy, if they care to display her. She won't see you try to deny any complicity, but let us hope her family, friends and the media are loud enough to make it ring clear.

It is not right. It is not just. It has nothing to do with compassion. This is not the country we would still send our sons and daughters to risk death to defend, any longer.

priority fail gop fail

The right bitched and moaned about waiting times in Socialist Canada and, even worse, the United Kingdom during early Obamacare Hysteria, remember that? Oh no, waiting lines and wait times would be inconvenient.

This woman wasn't inconvenienced. She didn't wait a little too long in the Urgent Care waiting room overflow area because there's a bad bug in the circle of small towns it serves. She died, unnecessarily, in the arms of some pitiable First Responders and local volunteer medics, likely friends or 'friends of'. Who feel like hell today.

I had my latest ambulance ride from a friend's place last Friday, and was startled at the difference in times I hadn't really had to think about in years. And because I had just written the other story about a small rural hospital that takes care of my own heart and other organs on a pretty regular basis.

Seeing that footage, with the exhausted but determined mayor having to publicly process the news that the first victim was identified, the first heroine down and will be buried by her family soon, in this heat … it was so close to home for so many of us.

That lady should be going home to her children after a stint got put in and her husband freaked out and told her to take better care of herself and her Mom held her close and thanked a God she usually doesn't believe in that her only daughter was all right because they had gotten her to the doctors in time. This time.


Too many of us understand this tragedy. Moms Against Guns and MADD and the sensible sisterhood of mothers and aunts and grandmas who get this stuff had better align right along with this quirky mayor.

People are dying because of GOP obstructionism and budget ethics. Even Doonesbury can't do this shite justice.


Tracy Morgan v Walmart's Lowest Prices, Gua-ran-teed



What part of a Thirty Rock comedic star and outspoken liberal voice suing a big-box chain not beloved of the Left for unsafe business practices is not fascinating?

Lawrence O'Donnell agreed, giving a generous amount of time to the news item that may have a lot to do with actual traffic deaths if this cause gets some tread and some traction. Video below.

Tracy Morgan is about to find out how much the life of a close friend of his is worth in the eyes of modern American law.

The underpinnings of the situation are tragic, not comedic. Tracy Morgan had finished a late night set out of town, and was headed back home with friends and staff when a Walmart truck driver, who had been up for longer than 24 hours, completely committed vehicular homicide.

The driver, who assuredly will take the moral weight of this to his grave, hadn't had a Bud with his late-night meal, or was even thought to have had a record of poor driving choices, never mind the kind of poor judgment that killed and maimed others on the roads he knew so well.

From Lamestream Librul' Rag the Wall Street Journal:

The lawsuit alleges Wal-Mart should have known the driver's hours were in violation of federal laws aimed at preventing fatigue because the driver, Kevin Roper, commuted 700 miles from his home in Georgia to Delaware to start work.

"As a result of Mr. Roper's fatigue, he fell asleep behind the wheel of his truck while he was driving, failed to slow down for traffic ahead, and resultantly collided with the limo," the suit said.

Lawrence O'Donnell, recently back behind the anchor desk at The Last Word on MSNBC following his own lengthy recuperation from a taxi-cab crash in Cuba, brought in safety advocate Ed Slattery, a truly informative guest, to expertly speak on the topic, along with Emma Fitzsimmons of the N.Y. Times to discuss further.

Apart from our ragged rail system, big trucks are carrying most of the heavy lift of getting our crap to ourselves, and you know exactly how much crap we think we need to get through your average American day. I already have more items on my bed than in my first dorm room and it's 6:15 a.m.

It's astonishing to think that circa 4,000 American (or tourist, pretty soon they are going to start delivering High Risk Alert Travel warnings for visiting any part of the United States for a variety of violent death scenarios) lives are at risk because of industry greed and improper regulation of the good companies and workers that are out there hauling us our Stuff every day.



Samson and De-Liar, Chris Christie Must Be Sweating Bullets



So we are now up to three major scandales in the Chris Christie saga of defeat.

The reporting here on Bridgegate, SandyGate here and the most recent jump into the muck - Pulaski Skyway-Port AuthorityGate is worth a catch up on, but it was summarized well by New Jersey expert and Up on MSNBC host, Steve Kornacki.

It looks like it is David Samson's turn to start talking. He is definitely back in the nooz, and knee deep in subpoenas and the lofty calibre o' attorneys New Jersey and New York usually reserve for advisor capacity on Law and Order.

Have a gander. The discussion also includes some time with New York Times reporter and Christie expert Kate Zernike and Georgetown Law Prof. Paul Butler.

Grin wide with us, you know you want to.

Poster art courtesy our friend Mel Neuhaus, @acehanna54

Poster art courtesy our friend Mel Neuhaus, @acehanna54  Click to enlarge.


Kornacki was on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell to discuss, as well as to deliver a mighty fine summary on Thursday night. The weekend gave him extra time to get facts.


When there are District Attorney's on hand brandishing the Martin Act that Eliot Spitzer famously used to hammer Wall Street, Trenton must be getting a very nervous gastric-bypassed stomach.

Shouldn't one listen to the kind of heavy-hitter advisers an organization as 1%er wealthy and obscenely powerful as the Port Authority hires to advise against fraud?


And such a shame, the timing … The Big Boy Christie had a 'successful' trip to New Hamshire on his "What?!? MOI???!?" Tour.  [Knew those Live Free or Die phuquers next door were up to something, we can feel their Idjit Antics here in Vermont.]

No listening for The Christie.  He simply bulldozes on, while a massive brick wall is being built under and around him - hope he has his Humpty Dumpty uniform at the cleaners.


Phone logs are now revealing Christie aide calls to the Port Authority with frequency and timing that bodes well for a Securities Fraud indictment.

This is when new-agey prayer comes in handy. Let's get Humpty Dumpty down off that wall of hubris, Trenton is about to Fall. And let there not be a 'buffer zone'.



"Gun advocates think they know how any scenario involving guns will play out. They don't."


cliff schecter on last word guns gun advocates

In one of the following letters, the author refers to "gun advocates." I prefer the terms gun fondlers, gun zealots, and gun fetishists, but what do I know, right? She makes a great point, as do the others in today's Los Angles Times letters to the editor.

Take a look at these and at the video below, because our voices matter:

Near the end of your article on the Las Vegas shootings, you mention Joseph Robert Wilcox, who pulled out a concealed weapon and confronted Jerad Miller at the Wal-Mart.

As I read this part of the article, I wondered what gun advocates who promote the fallacy that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun would say about that. Wilcox may have believed this idea and might have wanted to be a hero, but now he is dead after having been shot by a bad guy.

Gun advocates think they know how any scenario involving guns will play out. They don't.

Unfortunately, this part of the story will not even be part of the conversation. It is to our country's detriment that it won't be.

Nancy Zaman, Los Angeles


The politicians' angry cries against the release of five Guantanamo Bay detainees are loud. What of the American terrorists who routinely slaughter children, police officers and innocent civilians?

Those politicians refuse to defy their sponsor, the National Rifle Assn., and show little care for American lives.

Ruth Palanker, Los Angeles


Isn't it about time that we just stand up to the defenders of an amendment written more than 200 years ago and say it just doesn't apply anymore? Isn't it time for the cowards in Washington to quit protecting the NRA and start protecting the rest of us?

It's time we closed the gun shops and the gun shows and started restricting and shutting down the manufacturers of these weapons.

And yes, it is a mental health issue. It's about the absolute insanity of the people who think that owning a gun somehow makes you more of an American.

Collect the guns and get these nuts off the street before more of our children die.

Lee Cohen, Glendale

Now take a look at our own Cliff Schecter making the case against violence on The Last Word. As always, he knocked it out of the park: