Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tully: It's Time For Carson To Retire

After heaping lots of praise on what a great public servant U.S. Rep. Julia Carson has been for Indianapolis, Star political columnist Matt Tully comes back down to earth and concludes it is time for her to retire. He writes in his column today:

This latest episode -- Carson quietly and belatedly taking a leave of absence to have an infection treated -- is another in a long line of troubling developments. A Capitol Hill newspaper recently wrote of Carson needing help just to cast votes. She often appears lost at public events. Even supporters will tell you privately that the spectacle has become depressing.

It is time for Carson to retire.

The city's streets are in need. Its social services are hurting. Crime is up. With Democrats running the U.S. House for the first time in 12 years, Indianapolis needs the benefit of a majority-party representative who can bring home every possible penny -- and then a few more.

It's time for a change.

Those who know Carson say she worries retirement will leave her lonely and forgotten. She needn't worry. The many people she has helped over the years will always remember her.

A part of Tully's column with which I do not agree is his apology for criticizing her in a column earlier this year. "In a fit of anger in February, I wrote that Carson was an embarrassment to the city," he writes. "I've regretted that column ever since. There's nothing embarrassing about a woman who built a career by focusing on people who are so often forgotten." No, Matt, you were right on when you called her an embarrassment. In a moment when our city was feeling pride over the Super Bowl win over the Chicago Bears, Carson brought shame to our city. She stood up in the House of Representatives and praised the victory as proof there is more than drive-by shootings in Indianapolis. We can't attribute the statement to a failing mind because her staff assures us she's as mentally alert as she's ever been. So we must attribute her statement to poor judgment. Right?

On the subject of her latest bout with her health problems, the Star's Maureen Groppe now reports that she has left Methodist Hospital and has been moved to a rehabilitation facility to get her walking. Now, she didn't get this information from Carson's staff. Instead, she got it from former U.S. Rep. Andy Jacobs, who is well known for exaggerating all things Julia to make her appear to be something she's not. “She’s improving,” Jacobs said. “We’re not talking really about something systemic.” Groppe was later able to confirm this from Carson's staff after Jacobs took upon himself to do their job. "Carson spokesman Chad Chitwood confirmed the move to the rehabilitation center and said he had no additional information on Carson’s condition to release."

Groppe reminds us Carson's absence will leave our voters unrepresented on major issues coming before Congress in the coming weeks. "Bills on tap in the House for the rest of the week include one aimed at assisting economically distressed and underdeveloped areas and a bill to help some struggling homeowners who have had to pay taxes on mortgage debt forgiven through foreclosure, sale or restructuring.Congress is in a crunch to finish some major bills before adjourning for the year," she writes. "They include the annual spending bills, a major energy package, trade agreements, a rewrite of patent laws and renewals of the No Child Left Behind education bill and farm programs."

Meanwhile, Mike Bowman has taken the occasion of Julia's latest absence from work to start up a new blog, Where is Julia. You can read his take on Carson's health problems and what it means to the 7th District voters here. Bowman assisted Carson's 2006 GOP opponent, Eric Dickerson in his campaign against her last year. He saw a lot of her during the campaign and became aware of just how much her health has declined in recent years.


Mike Bowman said...

Thanks for the link. Even Mr. Wilson is invited post his thoughts over there.


Anonymous said...

I never know which voice in his head, that Tully is listening to.

None of the voices is very industrious.

Nice tribute to Julia, tho. God knows why he's sucking up now. Didn't her get the memo? Once you oppose the Center gulag, they go for the jugular. No amount of public mea cupla can forgive the original sin.

Sir Hailstone said...

Perhaps Mr. Ryerson wanted Matt to pucker up so Julia's 2008 campaign committee will buy ads in 2008.

[/cynical mode]

Anonymous said...

Julia's committee has never bought Star ads, to my knowledge.

Ryearson, A/K/a Mr. Mary Mills, has the backbone of jello. Nice earring, tho. (I tried to check which side it was on...but I digress...)

This was pure Tully, at his best/worst. A pitiful columnist...who rarely breaks a sweat. He'd much rather pontificate at his computer ten minutes before deadline.

His column today invites the question: was that you, Matt, or your evil twin Skippy, at the televised Ch. 13 Dist. 7 roundtable last year, at which Miss Carson went over the deep end and wagged on about a little girl?

I ask only because many saw it, but not one single journalist sitting there, nor Robin Winston, who looked dumbfounded, could utter a word, or a question, about her mental health, although they'd all just witnessed a pretty full meltdown.

Ed Ziegner would've been ashamed.

Steve said...

Someone just suggested to me that we not call for Julia to step down. Our district is currently unrepresented by someone who does not have our best interests at heart, went the argument. "Having nobody sitting in that seat is better than having Julia sitting in that seat," he said. "Of course, having Julia in that seat come election time might be good for the other side. Here's to Julia's health."
Interesting logic...

Wilson46201 said...

Mike Bowman was also active in the failed Horning campaign against Julia in 2004. Bowman advertised debates featuring Congresswoman Julia Carson even though she hadn't agreed to appear. Kinda shady...

Gary R. Welsh said...

Carson's number one fan doing what Julia taught him so well to do. Level a personal smear campaign against anyone who speaks ill of Julia. Thanks for reminding us, Wilson, why independent-thinking folks in this town have come to despise the Carson crowd so much.

Wilson46201 said...

Hey - that's where I first met Bowman in a political context doing something rather shoddy and shady. Ask Ruth Holladay who interviewed Congresslady Carson on the cellphone where Julia was taking a bunch of kids to the State Fair.

Later Bowman publicised an LGBT fundraiser Ms. Carson was attending while making cracks that he was sure she would show up there.

None of that criticism of Mike Bowman is personal or slanderous but purely political. The point is that Mike Bowman has long opposed Julia Carson - his new website is just another way for Republicans to attack her. Isn't AdvanceIndiana good enough for the official GOP Julia-smear site anymore?

Sir Hailstone said...

Game. Set. Match.

Good one Mr. Welsh.

Wilson46201 said...

Also note that the Republicans here do not discuss her votes - she is one of the more progressive members of Congress. She has cast over 5000 votes since 1997. She was never a part of Bush's RubberStamp Congress.

Instead, the attackers discuss her hair, her gait, her appearance. Local Republicans worry about her clothes, not ideas or votes. She's no fashion model but the voters choose her repeatedly for her demonstrated abilities and populist votes.

Wilson46201 said...

Your Republican leader George W Bush just vetoed the popular S-CHIP bill to provide health insurance for more children. Why won't AdvanceIndiana discuss that? Carson voted for the children - Burton, Buyer and Pence opposed it.

Sir Hailstone said...

Puh-leeze! That S-CHIP was nothing more than a backdoor to nationalized health care.

That would have provided socialized health care to those up to age 23 - well into adulthood!

Next will be lowering Medicare to age 24 and voila! Socialized medicine.

Wilson46201 said...

In the right-wing battle against "socialized healthcare" children are the casualties. Sad...

Anonymous said...

Gosh - and out of the kindness of my heart I invited you over to my blog Wilson.

Anonymous said...

Wilson, every battle has its casualties. If the Dems were so concerned about "the children", why would they not put forward ledgislation that would be approved. In short, a specific bill for specific needs, not the backdoor to national healthcare.

Anonymous said...

I don't care which door it enters--nationalized healthcare is coming, guys. Get ready for it. Docs, hospitals and insurance companies have had long enough to eff up the system. They've succeeded in spades.

Bush is just firing up the base with this veto. It will be overridden. Why?

Well, the argument goes:

We can find #4.5 billion a week for a war we should never have entered, that we entered under false pretenses...and we can't find a tenth of that for national health care for children?

Go ahead and defend the Bush veto. Knock yourself out.

It's fun to watch these neocons self-destruct. Supposedly on the mantle of fiscal conservatism. At the same time they fund a stupid war and line their friends' pockets.

Julia's lack of attendance IS a problem. She's right more than not, but to exercise OUR vote, she's got to be there.

It's not like her health is a new issue.

I can just see it now, if the election last year had come out differently, and Rep. Dickerson were out ill.

Wilson: "He can't serve so he should go! We need our voice there!"

Or some other lame deflection.

Consistency in the name of good government, thy name is NOT Wilson.

Anonymous said...

I make more than enough to live comfortably with my modest lifestyle, and I do NOT want my health care to be socialized. Give it to the poor people who need it. Under that plan I would have qualified for it and I don't even want it. Especially if I have to pay for it, I would prefer it go to the people who really need it.

Mr. Wilson, I would suggest you spend more time defending Ms. Carson than being on the attack. When someone says something negative and your retort is to change the subject, it makes it look like you're pointing at bad behavior to justify what's going on in your own camp (i.e. it makes you look guilty.)

Anonymous said...

how can the Repubs justify denying health care to children? Then they cant figure out why their vote is declining.....someone tell them

Anonymous said...

Central Indiana needs a congress person who shows up for work, has influence and persuasion skills to successfully represent our interests, and votes.

Does this describe Julia?

Anonymous said...

Tully has the backbone of a jelly fish.

Comes out strongly against Julia after the election.

Comes out against the Lucas Oil Stadium bill after it passed.

Comes out against the expansion of gambling at horse tracks after it passes.

See a sad pattern?

Anonymous said...

I have 3 of my own children to take care of and I do so by making many sacrifices. Why in the world should I subsidize the laziness of other parents who have children they cannot provide even the most basic needs for? I will have to admit- the Ds were smart in starting with children to push their socialized medicine plan. Who can argue against helping poor little kids? Genius. Believe me it won't stop there though. To all of you bleeding hearts- you will regret your pity when you have to go on a waiting list to have lifesaving surgery. There is a reason the USSR is no longer in existence.

Anonymous said...

8:38: a home run. You nailed it.

8:43: if only. Your recitation of govt.-provided medicine in other nations is sadly lacking, untrue and not borne by facts. Govt. health care in other industrialized nations is not perfect, but the delivery mechanism is vastly superior to ours. And, in almost every case, the respective nation's life expectancy surpasses ours, because cradle-to-grave health care becomes preventive, too, and therefore a better diagnostic tool.

I, too, abhor govt. solutions if the private sector can fix it better. But take it from me, as a frequernt flier in our health care system: it is hopelessly, miserably broken. The fault is everywhere: insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, really doesn't matter any more. I have adequate insurance and a simple broken limb last spring set me back $6,500. I pay about $2400 a year for that insurance through my employer. Now, tell me it's OK in the private sector. I'll wait.

(By the way, I just discovered that the same insurance in 2008 will cost me over $3,000, and my deductible went up, so out-of-pocket and co-pays will cost more. This is happening all over America--in short, it's become catostrophic care, not preventive care. I literally cannot afford to get sick.)

Canadians, for example, take care of all--even visitors. And their national budget is in far better shape than ours. Ditto life expectancy.

Julia has the world's best insurance, thanks to us. She's using it now. I wish her well, but her useful time in Congress has long passed.

God bless her, and God help all of us who don't have insurance that good, or, worse--ANY insurance. I'm not the smartest person in the world, but I have this figured out: her insurance beats the hell out of my insurance, or no insurance. And all of us are entitled, in the greatest nation on earth, to basic health. It isn't in the Constitution, granted--but common decency demands it.

And if George Bush cna find the money for a war he started to fuel his testosterone-driven ego, then he can damned well find the money for CHIP.

And whether you like it nor not--govt. insurance is coming.

Anonymous said...

9:00- You raise some good points; however, I never claimed that our current system was perfect. YOUR recitation of govt.-provided medicine in other nations is sadly lacking, untrue and not borne by facts. Even a quick Google search will tell you that socialized healthcare systems are far from perfect. The wait times for even the simplest of procedures are long and many people cannot even find a doctor to take care of them. If you are so inclined, I invite you to read about the following case and then tell me how patients in good old Canada are faring:

Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General) [2005] 1 S.C.R. 791

Sir Hailstone said...

"And, in almost every case, the respective nation's life expectancy surpasses ours"

Got a source for that?

From my friends who live in countries that have socialized medicine - Canada and the UK - They all tell me - IT SUCKS!

You know what the best example of what United States government run healthcare will be? The VA!

You know how to cut healthcare costs? how about getting these ambulance chasing slip-and-fall lawyers like John "The Silky Pony" Edwards under control and then we can discuss healthcare reform. It's not about healthcare. It's about lawsuit prevention. Hence why many OB/GYN's have left the field.

Sir Hailstone said...

"Canadians ... national budget is in far better shape than ours"

So are their taxes. Petrol is over $4.00 per gallon, income, local, GST (their sales tax) is double or more what it is here. GST alone is as I recall 17 1/2% in Ontario.

The "sin" taxes are anywhere from double to quadruple what they are here.

Sure you can balance a budget based upon exorbitant taxes.

Wilson46201 said...

“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Anonymous said...

Wilson46201 said...
Mike Bowman was also active in the failed Horning campaign against Julia in 2004. Bowman advertised debates featuring Congresswoman Julia Carson even though she hadn't agreed to appear. Kinda shady...

He also says

Wilson46201 said...
“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I guess that makes Wilson a small minded person.

Anonymous said...

9:00, life expectancy is a poor barometer of health care. If we subjected the rest of the world to our diet and lifestyle most of them would be dead before they saw grandchildren. Same thing with infant mortality rates. In many countries the baby has to be delivered and live for a week before it would even count under their statistics. In the US a baby can be born before the third trimester and at least have a chance (no chance whatsoever in 90% of the rest of the world.)

Our system is screwed up, but we still have people driving down from Canada to get health care because they're tired of waiting. And the reason why your broken limb was so costly is because our system is already socialized, and the hospital has to do something to make up for all the money they are hemorrhaging out of the ER for the walk-ins who get treated but don't pay. Yes, even if you walk in with a broken finger and say you have no money and can't pay for it they are still required under law to treat your finger (so I guess it's already socialized).

If I'm on a waiting list for an MRI, or if I'm so old that I don't qualify for an X-Ray anymore, I don't want it to be like Canada where I have to go to a black-market doctor's office just to get treatment. In Canada it was illegal until recently for a Dr. to own his own practice, how fascist is that? Is that what we're headed for?

Anonymous said...

Where do you all get this stuff?

Jason, by all reasonably-accepted standards, life expectancy is one of the most-reliable forms of juding health care and lifestyles in controlled population groups. It has been a statistically-driven and accepted form of measurement for five decades, by public health groups worldwide.

The authors of this study, for
instance, weigh in on wait times for medical procedures in Canada:

Cohort groups with similar illnesses and required procedures are difficult to find for such studies. If, for isntance, you are waiting for that MRI for unusual bowel trouble, and also have horrid asthma, under some study control groups, you'd be double-listed. Under good control standards, your origin of test ordering would be solely considered.

See the difficulty?

And in a majority, but not all, of the responsble studies done on Canada, for instance, wait-times for critical procedures did not increase when socialized medicine took over, and longevity increased.

There are anecdotal stories on both sides: Americans going to Canada, and vice versa, and complaints from both sides, too.

Talk to the medical academicians. They have no dog in the hnt: they train medical professionals. World-wide, they'll tell you, ikn a resouding voice, our system has the best procedures available and among the worst delivery methods, due to these insurance/hospital snafus.

It's a sad waste of resources, and government, with its patchwork of 50 states' insurance regulatory agencies, is not the vehicle to make these companies do better.

We're to blame, too, with a sedantary lifestyle and losuy diet.

But the system doesnt discriminate between the in-shape jogger and the obese grandma who need that MRI.

It's a mess and it simply cannot be fixed with conventional remedies. Taxes will increase, yes, unless we make smarter choices about expenditures in government. Like I'm holding my breath.