Simon Cowell & Death Panel Subtleties – The Best Of Taranto

I got so tired of telling my wife about the many and varied ways Britain's National Health Service can kill you that I decided to just post examples here and let her read for herself…

Great Moments in Socialized Medicine
"X Factor judge Simon Cowell showed his more generous side [yesterday] when he gave £100,000 [about $160,000] to help save the life of a cancer-stricken youngster," reports London's Daily Mail:

The pop Svengali donated the money for 18-month-old Sophie Atay–from Birtley, Gateshead–to fly to the US for pioneering treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York.

He acted after learning the youngster's family launched a last-ditch appeal for £500,000 to pay for the treatment last week after they were told Sophie was suffering from a rare form of neuroblastoma and needed treatment within days.

Alexandra Burke, last year's X Factor winner, broke the news to Sophie's mum Karine, 33, on the telephone today that Simon had now dipped into his own pocket to top up the total to the necessary amount.

Wait, we're confused! Why does a little English girl have to come all the way to the U.S. to get medical care, and why does this Cowell fellow have to pay for it? We thought Britain had free medical care!

But wait, another Daily Mail story reports on what happens to older people who get cancer in Britain:

Alarming research is showing that elderly cancer patients are missing out on the breakthroughs in chemotherapy and surgery that have dramatically improved the outcome of younger patients.

In fact, up to 15,000 elderly people with cancer in the UK are dying prematurely every year when compared to the rest of Europe and the U.S., according to a report published by the North West Cancer Intelligence Service (NWCIS) which compiles cancer statistics. . . .

A major concern is that the NHS Cancer Plan, introduced in 2000 to improve cancer survival in the UK, has a cut-off point at 70. This results in hospitals having less interest in the elderly. "Yet half of all those diagnosed with cancer are over 70," says Dr Tony Moran, NWCIS research director. "It's an area that has been grossly neglected. . . ."

Yet according to former Enron adviser Paul Krugman, "In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We've all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false."


I can't get liberal jackasses (apologies for the redundancy) to read Taranto, but we know some do read what I post here, so here's another dose of reality…

Two Papers in One!
Virginia is one of two states that elect statewide officials a year after presidential elections, and in the governor's race, Republican Bob McDonnell looks to win big over Democrat Creigh Deeds. (We're not sure whether Creigh rhymes with "gay" or "brie.") The Washington Post, Northern Virginia's biggest paper despite being published out of state, endorsed Deeds, in part citing McDonnell's views on social issues:

We worry that Mr. McDonnell's Virginia would be one where abortion rights would be curtailed; where homosexuals would be treated as second-class citizens; where information about birth control would be hidden; and where the line between church and state could get awfully porous. That is a prescription for yesterday's Virginia, not tomorrow's.

The Post also endorses the Democrat for state attorney general, in part because the Republican, Kenneth Cuccinelli, is "a provocative hard-liner":

Given his sometimes bizarre and incendiary ideas, we worry that Mr. Cuccinelli would drive qualified and nonpartisan lawyers away, transform the attorney general's office into a staging ground for his pet peeves and causes, and make it an object of ridicule in a state where it has enjoyed a long run of respect.

What the Post doesn't tell you is the name of the attorney general under which the office "enjoyed a long run of respect" between January 2006 and February of this year: Bob McDonnell.

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About tedwest

A longtime veteran of comedy and political forums, I decided that I needed a more restful venue because... well... I finally hate everybody. Except my wife that is... and my ex-wife.. and... no, that's about it. I lead about as simple a life as one can, preferring activities that include anything that doesn't involve going out and seeing YOU! And I particularly enjoy what I call "Get the Bitch" movies on Lifetime. You know the ones where the intended victim finally does something so incredibly stupid that she forfeits her right to live, and from that moment on you're rooting for the stalker. Of course, it rarely works out the way you want, but when it does, the feeling you get is... well, there's nothing else like it, other than, maybe, eating chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and I'm proudly anti-wildlife, both foreign and domestic, and anti-environment - especially foreign environments. I think Howard Stern put it best when he said, "If fifty percent of the population died tomorrow, I can live with that." And I feel the same about the other fifty percent, so together, we've pretty much got it all covered.
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