Tom Corbett and the suicide rate

Veterans Drivers License

I have to think there’s a connection:

More people are being shot down for welfare benefits in Pennsylvania than two years ago — a sign the state says points to an improving economy but advocates for the poor say stems from a change in state law that has muddied an already difficult process.

In February, the state turned down 75 percent of the applications for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, according to the state Department of Public Welfare.

The monthly rejection rate had been in the low 60 percent range until July 2012. That’s when the state began requiring people to apply for three jobs a week while their applications were under review.

Previously, the job search requirement was implemented after an applicant had been approved.

Advocates for the poor say the welfare rejection rate has climbed because county assistance offices aren’t telling people to look for jobs while they wait to hear whether they are approved.

They are so alarmed over the spike in rejections that they want the state to investigate. By comparison, the state rejects up to 49 percent of Medicaid and up to 40 percent of food stamp applicants every month.

“We’re continuing to be concerned about this,” said Richard Weishaupt, a senior attorney at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, who has been in contact with the welfare department on the matter. “And we continue to ask [the department] to collect more data and drill down to find out why the rate is so high.”

Alan Jennings, executive director of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, said he thinks the application change was created to get people off welfare — even if they need it.

“Almost every change in welfare has been designed to get people off the system,” he said. “But not in a way that’s intended to improve their lives. It’s just to get them off welfare.”

My friend Lyn worked for a local state rep’s office and I know this weighed heavily on her mind. She talked about all the desperate people who called the office, looking for some kind of help and nothing was available. It didn’t help with her drinking.

Eastern Delco voters

You have a Democratic candidate who claims to be pro-choice — and isn’t.

A former broadcast journalist, Rep. Margo Davidson was the first Democrat, first African American, and first woman to represent her district, a historically Republican chunk of Delaware County that includes parts of Upper Darby Township, East Landsdowne, Millbourne, and parts of Lansdowne and Yeadon. (This district borders Philadelphia.)

But since taking office, like Democrat Rep. Harry Readshaw near Pittsburgh, Davidson has often aligned with Republican interests. She voted, for example, for school vouchers and the state redistricting plan.

And despite recent campaign flyers touting her supposedly pro-choice bona fides, Davidson also voted for a bill that shut down abortion clinics in the state as well as for a law banning insurers from selling policies that cover abortion care through the state’s insurance exchange.

If Republicans win, Obama will cave

Champaign, IL residents join with Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, Social Security Works, Union Veterans Council - AFL-CIO, call on Rep. Rodney Davis to oppose the chained CPI benefit cut for veterans and Social Security beneficiaries

And you know it’s true. Which is why, even though I have little respect for the Democrats, it will not be anywhere near as awful as having the Republicans in the majority, and Obama giving away the store to them:

Democrats have something else to fear after the November midterms besides just an all Republican-controlled Congress: President Barack Obama.

With Obama’s political career winding down and poll numbers continuing to languish, his party brethren fret that their own president — forced to work with GOP majorities — would give away the store on key policy issues ranging from the budget to energy and trade. It’s a concern congressional Democrats have voiced every time Obama and Vice President Joe Biden tried to cut big fiscal deals with Republicans — and the panic is now more palpable with the growing prospect of a Senate GOP majority.

Washington’s current gridlock may seem destined to last forever, but divided government has produced strange bedfellows before. President George W. Bush switched teams on some key issues in his final two years after
Democrats took the House and Senate, becoming a cap-and-trade convert who bailed out Wall Street. President Bill Clinton partnered with the same Republicans who impeached him to overhaul welfare and balance the budget. And President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill found common
ground reforming the Tax Code and Social Security.

While tackling anything comprehensive with legislation sounds far-fetched before the next president is sworn in, that doesn’t mean there won’t be moments starting after November when Obama would be tempted to negotiate
with Republicans following four years of stalemate. After all, the GOP would have greater leverage. And with the White House on the line in 2016, Republicans will also want to prove they aren’t just against Obama but
actually capable of governing again.

“Clearly it’s a concern. It keeps me awake at night,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). “From his standpoint, better to advance the ball and maybe give away some stuff than leave nothing at all. From our standpoint, better to fight another day than give away core principles of contents and

Democrats on both ends of the Capitol were openly skeptical when asked about Republicans running the legislative agenda, particularly since any Senate GOP majority would still be well short of the 60-vote thresholds needed to overcome filibusters, much less the two-thirds majority to override Obama vetoes. For starters, House Republicans wouldn’t be flying solo anymore with oversight, meaning subpoena power and testy hearings on the IRS, EPA and Benghazi would be run by the likes of Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on Judiciary, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma on Environment and Public Works and John McCain of Arizona on Armed Services.

But it’s the prospect of what Obama might bargain on with Republicans that has Democrats really riled up.

“I’m not going to create nightmares where none exist right now. But certainly for the paranoid there’s plenty to fear, and maybe even just for the fearful there’s plenty to fear,” Blumenthal said, while adding that he
still had a “basic trust in [Obama’s] commitments and his instincts.”

*Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, one of the most endangered 2014 Democrats, has begun to warn voters back home that they may have more to fear than a GOP Senate. He’s also bluntly telling Alaska seniors that they will lose Social Security benefits, given Obama’s willingness to lower annual cost-of-living
adjustments as part of past attempts at a deficit deal.*

Shrooms help cancer patients

#art #album #artwork #reccord #cover #trip #trippy #vintage #woman #earth #clouds #space #univers #galaxy #stars #psy #psych #psychedelic #psychedelicart #hallucination #freeyourmind #music #prism #geometry #butterflyeffect
You don’t have to die to benefit from a transcendent experience, however:

Researchers believe psychedelic mushrooms may help alleviate psychological and spiritual distress for patients with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.

Survival rates for cancer patients have improved dramatically in recent years with improvements to diagnosis and treatment, but physicians sometimes struggle to address patients’ psychological needs.

recent study suggests psilocybin – the psychoactive drug in magic mushrooms – may help patients with the anxiety, depression, anger, social isolation, and hopelessness they may experience while undergoing cancer treatment.

The hallucinogen treatment, which iscurrently seeking additional participants, has been shown to induce a mystical or spiritual experience in patients and offers a unique therapeutic approach to reduce anxiety in terminal cancer patients, researchers said.

“Mystical or peak consciousness states in cancer patients have been associated with a number of benefits including improved psychological, spiritual, and existential well-being,” said study co-author Anthony Bossis, of the New York University College of Dentistry.

The researchers said some cancer patients develop a demoralization syndrome that’s similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, and they become immobilized by their fear of death.

“The whole point (of psilocybin treatment) is to dislodge them from that,” researcher Jeffrey Guss told The Atlantic. “What’s remarkable is that even though we don’t tell them what narratives to form, there is an enormous commonality. Patients will come to me and say, ‘I understand intuitively now that love is truly the most important force on the planet. I experienced a profound sense of peace that I never felt before and it has stayed with me. I know now that my consciousness is bigger than me.’”

The study describes one patient who experienced extreme fatigue, pain, and psychological distress from his cancer and biweekly chemotherapy treatments.

But he reported dramatic changes in his attitude, coping, and mood 18 weeks after psilocybin therapy, saying his “quality of life is dramatically improved.”

Another patient, a pre-med student, described his experience with the therapy.

“I was outside of my body, looking at myself,” the patient said. “My body was lying on a stretcher in front of a hospital. I felt an incredible anxiety — the same anxiety I had felt every day since my diagnosis. Then, like a switch went on, I went from being anxious to analyzing my anxiety from the outside. I realized that nothing was actually happening to me objectively. It was real because I let it become real. And, right when I had that thought, I saw a cloud of black smoke come out of my body and float away.”

Patients in the study underwent two therapeutic sessions – one in which they were given psilocybin and another in which they were given a placebo.

They received psychological preparation before the psilocybin dose, followed by a series of psychotherapeutic sessions.

“Patients who have benefited from psilocybin clinical research have reported less anxiety, improved quality of life, enhanced psychological and spiritual well-being, and a greater acceptance of the life-changes brought on by cancer,” Bossis said. “It is a welcome development that this promising and novel clinical research model utilizing psilocybin has begun to gain clinical and academic attention.”

Site Meter