No foul play is suspected in what the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office called a “horrible family tragedy.”
Deputies: Pulaski Co. Man Accidentally Shoots And Kills Brother, Takes Own Life
Kody Thacker, 19, took his own life after accidentally shooting and killing his brother, Kyle, 24, with a shotgun, investigators said.
Deputies received a 911 call about two people who were shot at a home on Slate Branch Spur in the Slate Branch community before 10 Saturday morning.
Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:58 PM
Updated: Feb 23, 2013 11:43 PM
The two brothers and a third friend had spent the night at the house, deputies said.
Investigators believe Kyle was asleep on a living room recliner when Kody, who was on a nearby couch, picked up a 12-gauge shotgun which accidentally discharged and struck his older brother in the head. Kody became distraught and turned the gun on himself after realizing what had happened, deputies said.
A roommate of Kyle’s, Nathan Hoskins, told LEX 18 Kyle had just moved into their Lexington townhouse last week and that he went back to Pulaski County this weekend to bring back more belongings.
Hamas and other Palestinian groups have made 18 attempts in the past four months to kidnap Israeli soldiers to use as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian security prisoners, an Israeli general said Saturday.
Avi Mizrahi, outgoing commander of the IDF’s Central Command, said Hamas was behind most of the attempts.
The general, interviewed on Channel 2′s Meet the Press, was speaking amid a dramatic upsurge in violence surrounding Palestinian security prisoners, several of whom are hunger-striking.
Hamas leaders have repeatedly urged their followers to try to replicate the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, an IDF soldier who was grabbed in a raid into Israel from Gaza in 2006, held hostage by Hamas in the Strip for five years, and released in October 2006 in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian security prisoners, including arch-terrorists.
I believe the kidnapping terrorist bandits of Gaza would probably refer to this as Hamas Pride.
The American Family Association (AFA) attacked NFL player Tim Tebow for canceling an appearance at an anti-gay church, claiming that he “caved” to the “liberal media” and has lost his “street cred.” Readers, in turn, slammed the conservative group for its response.
It all started when news surfaced on Feb. 14 that Tebow was scheduled to speak in April at First Baptist Church of Dallas, a Texas megachurch led by senior pastor Robert Jeffress and known for anti-gay, anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic rhetoric. An uproar ensued, and Tebow announced on Feb. 21 that he had cancelled the appearance due to “new information” brought to his attention.
After the Jets player nixed the gig, the AFA took to its One News Now website and Twitter (with the hashtage #TebowCaves) to bash Tebow for ostensibly crumbling under media pressure, David Badash from The New Civil Rights Movement reports. But once readers began criticizing the AFA’s argument, the group allegedly took down the piece and refocused it.
Buried on the business page of mysanantonio.com this week, so brief you could easily have missed it, was the news that Clear Channel Media Holdings just reported losses for the last quarter of 2012 of $191 million, and $424 million for all of 2012.
Clear Channel has been in trouble for a long time for a variety of reasons, but one factor that contributed to their losses in 2012 was the death spiral of their golden boy radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Just shy of a year ago, Limbaugh launched a cruel 3 day attack on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, following her testimony before a Congressional panel regarding health care and birth control. His advertisers have been heading for the doors ever since, thanks in large part to groups like The Flush Rush Facebook community and #StopRush Twitter. Here are the current number of sponsors who have voluntarily removed their ads from Limbaugh’s show:
Inactive Victory: Week = 35 Month = 247 Total = 2484
Clear Channel has been firing radio employees all year in an effort to stanch the bleeding—to no avail. Limbaugh has a $400 million contract which expires in 2016. The question now is whether Clear Channel will tolerate this albatross around its neck for that long.
You can lend your voice to the StopRush movement in the following places:
I really need Lizards to weigh-in on this . .with all the creative accounting possible —I don’t know what to think.
It’s an indisputable fact: The budget deficit is getting smaller.
In fiscal year 2010, which was President Obama’s first full fiscal year in office, the budget deficit was $1.3 trillion. In fiscal year 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projects it will be $845 billion. That’s a 35 percent decrease in terms of dollars, and it’s even bigger—41 percent—if you’re tracking the deficit as a share of the GDP. The percentage drop is even bigger—roughly 50 percent—if you start from fiscal year 2009, which overlapped the final year of the Bush presidency and the first year of Obama’s.
People are so concerned about overreaching Federal Power and dwindling States Rights, but it seems the Federal Government is the only entity women can rely on to mete out justice.
A federal district court in Arizona made it official this week and entered a permanent injunction that blocks a law designed to strip Planned Parenthood clinics in the state of funds by banning Medicaid funding for non-abortion health care provided by doctors and clinics that also perform abortions. Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards praised the victory in a statement: “Yet another court has said it is unacceptable for politicians to dictate where women can go for their health care, returning to women the ability to choose the health centers they trust for lifesaving cancer screenings, breast health exams, and birth control. Politicians in Arizona and across the country should recognize that they have no business inserting themselves in a woman’s personal health care decisions.”
“This case has never been about Planned Parenthood—it is about the women who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for quality, affordable preventive care. Eliminating Planned Parenthood as an option among providers only hurts women and families,” she added.
The American Medical Association’s ethics code bars doctors from refusing to treat people based on race, gender and other criteria, but there are no specific policies for handling race-based requests from patients.
“In general, I don’t think honoring prejudicial preferences … is morally justifiable” for a health care organization,” said Dr. Susan Goold, a University of Michigan professor of internal medicine and public health. “That said, you can’t cure bigotry. … There may be times when grudgingly acceding to a patient’s strongly held preferences is morally OK.”
Those times could include patients who have been so traumatized — by rape or combat, for instance — that accommodating their care request would be preferable to forcing on them a caregiver whose mere presence might aggravate the situation, she said.
Tonya Battle, a veteran nurse at Flint’s Hurley Medical Center, filed the first complaint against the hospital and a nursing manager, claiming a note posted on an assignment clipboard read, “No African-American nurse to take care of baby.” She says the note was later removed but black nurses weren’t assigned to care for the baby for about a month because of their race.
That case is now a federal lawsuit. Hospital officials said they planned to make a statement about the matter Friday evening but offered no details.
Hurley President Melany Gavulic said in a statement that the swastika tattoo “created anger and outrage in our staff,” and supervisors raised safety concerns. Gavulic said the father was told that his request could not be granted.
Multiple email and phone messages left for Battle through her attorney were unreturned, and a listed number for her had been disconnected. But she told the Detroit Free Press she “didn’t even know how to react” when she learned of her employer’s actions following her interaction with the father.
She said she introduced herself to the man and he said, “I need to see your supervisor.” That supervisor, Battle said, told her that the father, who was white, didn’t want African-Americans to care for his child and had rolled up his sleeve to expose the swastika.
“I just was really dumbfounded,” Battle said. “I couldn’t believe that’s why he was so angry (and) that’s why he was requesting my (supervisory) nurse.”
Attorney Tom Pabst, who is representing nurse Carlotta Armstrong in a second lawsuit, said the hospital’s actions left the neonatal intensive care nurses “in a ball of confusion.”
“She said, ‘You know what really bothered me? I didn’t know what to do if the baby was choking or dying. Am I going to get fired if I go over there?’” Pabst said.
The remnants of the Tea Party have been pushing a national “Day of Resistance” rally today to hoot and holler about guns and their big anger; wingnuts from Breitbart down to local hate-talkers have been pushing relentlessly, but there’s already signs of a massive fail going on. Besides the possibility that the whole thing might be a “data-harvesting operation designed to vacuum up contact information and credit card numbers from unsuspecting and largely clueless conservative activists,” there are already signs that participants are going to number in the tens.
From the Facebook page of the “Western New York Day of Resistance Buffalo Rochester and Corning” we get this sad post:
I was very alone in Corning N.Y. today. I honestly thought more people cared about our 2nd Ammendment. My Father, who could not attend due to a doctors appointment, called and asked how is was going. I sent him a picture of just me standing there. I think he cried a little, I know I did.
From the Lenoir, North Carolina rally we get a video proclaiming “way past a hundred” which shows a handful of people very disinterestedly standing around, not in the square, with no signs, who look more like random slouchy passersby waiting for the free music to start than fired-up patriots.
Will update as day goes on.
—-Buns and weenies update, Illinois:
Hello everyone! Just wanted to let you guys know the caterer I had lined up, fell through. I can supply weenies and buns and condiments if someone is willing to bring a bbq and grill em?
—-Update: hilarious running comments: facebook.com
Wife and I drove 30 miles to St. Paul MN. Only a few people were there at 11:15 a.m. Depressing.
February 21, 2013 by CH
The point of this post was to show the converging of the world of “Game” or pickup artistry and outright white nationalism. My apologies to those who though I promoted outright bigotry. Also I wanted to read your comments and have a discussion on this phenomenon.
After the Vietnam War, the government of Vietnam instituted “reeducation camps“, which were prison camps holding hundreds of thousands of government and military partisans of the former South Vietnam regime. In these camps, psychological torture was often as bad as the physical torture endured by the prisoners. Indoctrination and forced confessions were the order of the day, and the humiliation of the prisoners was total, reaching zeniths of cruelty so abhorrent that many surrendered their identities and wept at the feet of their captors and praised them as gods.
In the former Soviet Union, the infamous Gulag labor camps had a system in place for the “re-education of class enemies“. Red China had such a system, as well, and rumors circulate that China continues the practice of reeducation “of undesirables” to this day.
Commies. Horrible people. Awful, genocidal ideology. Couldn’t happen here, in the land of the free and home of the brave, right?
Watch this video. See if you have the stomach to watch the whole thing without wincing with revulsion.
The vibrant buffoon in this video was hired by the USDA — the UNITED STATES Department of Agriculture — to speak at a “Cultural Transformation” training seminar, aka reeducation camp for white people. You don’t even have to read much between the lines to recognize that the target of his vile propaganda is white people, and in particular, white men. As a mouthpiece of USDA policy, his enemy is the government’s enemy, and that enemy is whites. Never forget that.
The USDA would like you to forget that, though, because as fast as these videos are going up on YouTube, they are being taken down.
Like Communist reeducation camps, the captive (yes, captive, or they lose their jobs) listeners in the audience are being humiliated by this piece of shit into participating in de facto forced confessionals of their imaginary sins, and indoctrination of their “privilege” and “oppression”. You can hear their humiliating subjugation in the way they nervously laugh at slander directed against them. This is the laughter of the bullied beta male trying to go along to get along, so as to avoid any beatings on the playground later.
Not all are feeling humiliated though. Some of that laughter is the cackle of victory, of triumph, of sweet sweet tribal vengeance. Affiliation matters, and the speaker is clear that not all in the audience are designated targets.
Yes, Virginia, it can happen here. It IS happening here. Everywhere. All around you, if you only have the eyes to see. And it is perpetrated by YOUR government, the government you fund and to whom you pay allegiance. YOUR government, YOUR country, is in the racket of utterly humiliating you and your kind. You have lost the loyalty of the very nation your ancestors built into a gleaming castle from nothing but dirt and vast emptiness.
God FUCK America.
The time for petty negotiation is over. Such tactics will only serve to further arouse the hunger of the diversity beast. Insurrection fueled by the illuminating hatred of a thousand suns is the path to progress. Be not afraid. Let the filth and the flotsam know how you feel. Stand up for what is right and true for once in your life, and when they fight back with futile gestures of passive aggressive snark, drive your sword deeper in their guts. To the hilt. And don’t stop until they’re on their knees begging forgiveness. At which point you finish them off.
It’s a long read, but HIGHLY worth it. Really goes in depth about why Health Care in America is such a mess. Here’s a few snippets:
When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanie’s father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.
Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.
Stephanie was then told by a billing clerk that the estimated cost of Sean’s visit — just to be examined for six days so a treatment plan could be devised — would be $48,900, due in advance. Stephanie got her mother to write her a check. “You do anything you can in a situation like that,” she says. The Recchis flew to Houston, leaving Stephanie’s mother to care for their two teenage children.
About a week later, Stephanie had to ask her mother for $35,000 more so Sean could begin the treatment the doctors had decided was urgent. His condition had worsened rapidly since he had arrived in Houston. He was “sweating and shaking with chills and pains,” Stephanie recalls. “He had a large mass in his chest that was … growing. He was panicked.”
Nonetheless, Sean was held for about 90 minutes in a reception area, she says, because the hospital could not confirm that the check had cleared. Sean was allowed to see the doctor only after he advanced MD Anderson $7,500 from his credit card. The hospital says there was nothing unusual about how Sean was kept waiting. According to MD Anderson communications manager Julie Penne, “Asking for advance payment for services is a common, if unfortunate, situation that confronts hospitals all over the United States.”
The total cost, in advance, for Sean to get his treatment plan and initial doses of chemotherapy was $83,900.
On the second page of the bill, the markups got bolder. Recchi was charged $13,702 for “1 RITUXIMAB INJ 660 MG.” That’s an injection of 660 mg of a cancer wonder drug called Rituxan. The average price paid by all hospitals for this dose is about $4,000, but MD Anderson probably gets a volume discount that would make its cost $3,000 to $3,500. That means the nonprofit cancer center’s paid-in-advance markup on Recchi’s lifesaving shot would be about 400%.
When I asked MD Anderson to comment on the charges on Recchi’s bill, the cancer center released a written statement that said in part, “The issues related to health care finance are complex for patients, health care providers, payers and government entities alike … MD Anderson’s clinical billing and collection practices are similar to those of other major hospitals and academic medical centers.”
The president of MD Anderson is paid like someone running a prosperous business. Ronald DePinho’s total compensation last year was $1,845,000. That does not count outside earnings derived from a much publicized waiver he received from the university that, according to the Houston Chronicle, allows him to maintain unspecified “financial ties with his three principal pharmaceutical companies.”
DePinho’s salary is nearly triple the $674,350 paid to William Powers Jr., the president of the entire University of Texas system, of which MD Anderson is a part. This pay structure is emblematic of American medical economics and is reflected on campuses across the U.S., where the president of a hospital or hospital system associated with a university — whether it’s Texas, Stanford, Duke or Yale — is invariably paid much more than the person in charge of the university.
The result is a uniquely American gold rush for those who provide everything from wonder drugs to canes to high-tech implants to CT scans to hospital bill-coding and collection services. In hundreds of small and midsize cities across the country — from Stamford, Conn., to Marlton, N.J., to Oklahoma City — the American health care market has transformed tax-exempt “nonprofit” hospitals into the towns’ most profitable businesses and largest employers, often presided over by the regions’ most richly compensated executives. And in our largest cities, the system offers lavish paychecks even to midlevel hospital managers, like the 14 administrators at New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center who are paid over $500,000 a year, including six who make over $1 million.
One night last summer at her home near Stamford, Conn., a 64-year-old former sales clerk whom I’ll call Janice S. felt chest pains. She was taken four miles by ambulance to the emergency room at Stamford Hospital, officially a nonprofit institution. After about three hours of tests and some brief encounters with a doctor, she was told she had indigestion and sent home. That was the good news.
The bad news was the bill: $995 for the ambulance ride, $3,000 for the doctors and $17,000 for the hospital — in sum, $21,000 for a false alarm.
Out of work for a year, Janice S. had no insurance. Among the hospital’s charges were three “TROPONIN I” tests for $199.50 each. According to a National Institutes of Health website, a troponin test “measures the levels of certain proteins in the blood” whose release from the heart is a strong indicator of a heart attack. Some labs like to have the test done at intervals, so the fact that Janice S. got three of them is not necessarily an issue. The price is the problem. Stamford Hospital spokesman Scott Orstad told me that the $199.50 figure for the troponin test was taken from what he called the hospital’s chargemaster. The chargemaster, I learned, is every hospital’s internal price list. Decades ago it was a document the size of a phone book; now it’s a massive computer file, thousands of items long, maintained by every hospital.
Stamford Hospital’s chargemaster assigns prices to everything, including Janice S.’s blood tests. It would seem to be an important document. However, I quickly found that although every hospital has a chargemaster, officials treat it as if it were an eccentric uncle living in the attic. Whenever I asked, they deflected all conversation away from it. They even argued that it is irrelevant. I soon found that they have good reason to hope that outsiders pay no attention to the chargemaster or the process that produces it. For there seems to be no process, no rationale, behind the core document that is the basis for hundreds of billions of dollars in health care bills.
Because she was 64, not 65, Janice S. was not on Medicare. But seeing what Medicare would have paid Stamford Hospital for the troponin test if she had been a year older shines a bright light on the role the chargemaster plays in our national medical crisis — and helps us understand the illegitimacy of that $199.50 charge.
It turns out that Medicare would have paid Stamford $13.94 for each troponin test
Insurers with the most leverage, because they have the most customers to offer a hospital that needs patients, will try to negotiate prices 30% to 50% above the Medicare rates rather than discounts off the sky-high chargemaster rates. But insurers are increasingly losing leverage because hospitals are consolidating by buying doctors’ practices and even rival hospitals. In that situation — in which the insurer needs the hospital more than the hospital needs the insurer — the pricing negotiation will be over discounts that work down from the chargemaster prices rather than up from what Medicare would pay. Getting a 50% or even 60% discount off the chargemaster price of an item that costs $13 and lists for $199.50 is still no bargain. “We hate to negotiate off of the chargemaster, but we have to do it a lot now,” says Edward Wardell, a lawyer for the giant health-insurance provider Aetna Inc.
That so few consumers seem to be aware of the chargemaster demonstrates how well the health care industry has steered the debate from why bills are so high to who should pay them.
According to a McKinsey study of the medical marketplace, a typical piece of equipment will pay for itself in one year if it carries out just 10 to 15 procedures a day. That’s a terrific return on capital equipment that has an expected life span of seven to 10 years. And it means that after a year, every scan ordered by a doctor in the Stamford Hospital emergency room would mean pure profit, less maintenance costs, for the hospital. Plus an extra fee for the doctor.
Another McKinsey report found that health care providers in the U.S. conduct far more CT tests per capita than those in any other country — 71% more than in Germany, for example, where the government-run health care system offers none of those incentives for overtesting. We also pay a lot more for each test, even when it’s Medicare doing the paying. Medicare reimburses hospitals and clinics an average of four times as much as Germany does for CT scans, according to the data gathered by McKinsey.
A closer look at hospital finance suggests two holes in that argument. First, while Sloan-Kettering does have an aggressive financial-assistance program (something Stamford Hospital lacks), at most hospitals it’s not a Saudi sheik but the almost poor — those who don’t qualify for Medicaid and don’t have insurance — who are most often asked to pay those exorbitant chargemaster prices. Second, there is the jaw-dropping difference between those list prices and the hospitals’ costs, which enables these ostensibly nonprofit institutions to produce high profits even after all the discounts. True, when the discounts to Medicare and private insurers are applied, hospitals end up being paid a lot less overall than what is itemized on the original bills. Stamford ends up receiving about 35% of what it bills, which is the yield for most hospitals. (Sloan-Kettering and MD Anderson, whose great brand names make them tough negotiators with insurance companies, get about 50%). However, no matter how steep the discounts, the chargemaster prices are so high and so devoid of any calculation related to cost that the result is uniquely American: thousands of nonprofit institutions have morphed into high-profit, high-profile businesses that have the best of both worlds. They have become entities akin to low-risk, must-have public utilities that nonetheless pay their operators as if they were high-risk entrepreneurs. As with the local electric company, customers must have the product and can’t go elsewhere to buy it. They are steered to a hospital by their insurance companies or doctors (whose practices may have a business alliance with the hospital or even be owned by it). Or they end up there because there isn’t any local competition. But unlike with the electric company, no regulator caps hospital profits.
So, what do these wealthy nonprofits do with all the profit? In a trend similar to what we’ve seen in nonprofit colleges and universities — where there has been an arms race of sorts to use rising tuition to construct buildings and add courses of study — the hospitals improve and expand facilities (despite the fact that the U.S. has more hospital beds than it can fill), buy more equipment, hire more people, offer more services, buy rival hospitals and then raise executive salaries because their operations have gotten so much larger. They keep the upward spiral going by marketing for more patients, raising prices and pushing harder to collect bill payments. Only with health care, the upward spiral is easier to sustain. Health care is seen as even more of a necessity than higher education. And unlike in higher education, in health care there is little price transparency — and far less competition in any given locale even if there were transparency. Besides, a hospital is typically one of the community’s larger employers if not the largest, so there is unlikely to be much local complaining about its burgeoning economic fortunes.
Getting a patient in and out of a hospital the same day seems like a logical way to cut costs. Outpatients don’t take up hospital rooms or require the expensive 24/7 observation and care that come with them. That’s why in the 1990s Medicare pushed payment formulas on hospitals that paid them for whatever ailment they were treating (with more added for documented complications), not according to the number of days the patient spent in a bed. Insurance companies also pushed incentives on hospitals to move patients out faster or not admit them for overnight stays in the first place. Meanwhile, the introduction of procedures like noninvasive laparoscopic surgery helped speed the shift from inpatient to outpatient.
By 2010, average days spent in the hospital per patient had declined significantly, while outpatient services had increased even more dramatically. However, the result was not the savings that reformers had envisioned. It was just the opposite.
Experts estimate that outpatient services are now packed with so much hidden profit that about two-thirds of the $750 billion annual U.S. overspending identified by the McKinsey research on health care comes in payments for outpatient services. That includes work done by physicians, laboratories and clinics (including diagnostic clinics for CT scans or blood tests) and same-day surgeries and other hospital treatments like cancer chemotherapy. According to a McKinsey survey, outpatient emergency-room care averages an operating profit margin of 15% and nonemergency outpatient care averages 35%. On the other hand, inpatient care has a margin of just 2%. Put simply, inpatient care at nonprofit hospitals is, in fact, almost nonprofit. Outpatient care is wildly profitable.
And these are only culled from the first three or so pages, once again I highly encourage you to go read the whole thing.