Tag Archives: Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer Impressed by Iowa Hicks and Their Book-learnin' : Debate Recap

ABC held yet another Republican debate at Drake University in Iowa Saturday.  Diane Sawyer moderated along with George Steph….. oh you know who he is, don’t make me spell the whole thing.  The GOP field is becoming smaller and it seems to make for a much more interesting debate process.  There was arguing, bickering and even a few jokes.  All the candidates seemed to appreciate the extra time less contenders in the field produced and they all took full advantage.

Cranky Uncle Newt showed up straight from the family Thanksgiving gathering where he spent the whole weekend cranking at cousin Jimmy for being a lazy, slacker, mama’s boy and fussing at Aunt Linda for being 40 years old and still single.  Newt has that air – he’s one of the most intelligent political candidates in modern history but he always sounds like he’s in a bad mood.  Personally I find it charming; some of my favorite relatives are cranky old people.  I don’t know how it washes with the rest of the electorate, however.  Also, there was the issue of Newt’s hair.  His typically well-groomed, silky white mane was looking extra helmet-y on Saturday.  It was strange and distracting for this blogger who is weirdly obsessed with presidential/political manes.  Is Newt auditioning for Galaxy Quest 2?

Newt’s hair aside, the Speaker’s Saurday debate performance was that of a man who know he is surging in the polls and understands the importance of winning in Iowa.  No doubt, Newt would kill Obama (metaphorically, liberals. Don’t get your chemical-free, dye-free panties in a bunch) in a debate, but do Americans want a Debater-in-Chief or something more? Time will tell.

I get tired of saying this about Romney, but he was quite polished, as usual.  Mitt Romney worked very hard to reassure voters that he is not the establishment candidate many conservatives are worried about.  He has a private sector record, didn’t you know?  Oh, yes…Romney worked in the private sector for 25 years.  Also, Romney was a private sector businessman for 25 years.  And don’t forget, for 25 years Mitt Romney worked in the private sector, that’s run privately, and not by government.  As always, Romney was clear and succinct and even got a few good-natured barbs in there.  He continues to lay out a platform for the general elections, should he receive the nomination.

Rick Perry seems much more relaxed in a debate setting where he is afforded more time to answer questions.  Perry is as solid on his positions as the day he announced, but the real question is this: Will Americans be more interested in his actual policy and political platform than his debate performances?

Ron Paul was there and so were many, many, many of his supporters – as usual.  Ron Paul wants to end the Fed.  He wants to end the Fed and American involvement in foreign issues of any kind, forever.  Of all the candidates I think Paul is the most consistent. He never backtracks and never changes his tune.  I may tire of hearing him talk about the Fed, but at least I know Ron Paul hates the Fed.  No one can lie or say otherwise.

Rick Santorum had a good night, but he continues to see less screen time than his opponents and have fewer questions directed toward him.  At this point Santorum is known as the ‘social conservative’ candidate and he seems comfortable with that.  Santorum had many good moments on Saturday night. One came when Diane Sawyer was becoming perturbed that none of the candidates would give a firm number on the amount of jobs they would create in their first term as President.  Santorum basically said its not the President’s job to make promises like that because the President can’t create jobs; private sector citizens create jobs and all the government can do is get out of their way.  I like that answer.  Government doesn’t create anything, Diane! Except red tape; they are good at that.

Michele Bachmann gave a very good performance Saturday as well.  Iowa is her home state and she certainly looks at home when she is campaigning there.  As a former tax lawyer and IRS employee, Bachmann has a very unique position.  She’s been on the inside of our tax code and she knows how devastating it is for working families.  She knows the dangers of Obamacare and Obama’s tax policies in general.  Bachmann is extremely intelligent.  Those Americans that live on the coasts may feel she is dumb because her A’s are flat and she talks like she’s from Iowa. I think those people should stop being such snobs.  Quit listening to her (very American) accent and listen to the content of her words.  Bachmann may have a very slim chance of winning this primary, but she seems more than qualified to be in this race.  Her experience as a midwestern girl on the inside of Washington makes her one of the more genuine candidates, in my opinion.  The Iowa primary will be very telling for Bachmann.  If she does not do well there, its likely her campaign ends.  Bachmann did manage to salute her tea party compatriot, Herman Cain.  As she said, its just not a debate anymore unless someone mentions 9-9-9.  I agree! I missed the Herminator.  I did not miss Jon Huntsman.

Sawyer and George (sorry, I just can’t type that whole name) did a satisfactory job moderating, although Sawyer was very condescending when she opened with a comment to Iowa voters telling them how IMPRESSED she was at how seriously they take their primary process.  Imagine that, Diane! A bunch of mid-west country hicks who don’t shop designer stores or have issues with trans-fats actually like to take part in the political process.  How cute!  Yes, Diane – Iowans vote.  They love to vote. They love America and they care about what happens here.  Shocking news to an East coast elitist, mainstream media diva, I know.

Thank You Sen. Thomas Carper, For Hearing The Voice Of The Children

Senator Thomas Carper (D)- Delaware

It is not too often that I can actually say I am proud of an elected Government Official. It is even more rare that I am able to say I am proud of a Democrat in office, much less a Democrat Senator.

Today, I am so proud of Senator Thomas Carper, a Democrat Senator from Delaware. He hears the voice of the children!

Tonight, there was an ABC News Exclusive Report with Diane Sawyer, on a report which will be released this Thursday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report is the findings of a two-year-long investigation of psychiatric medications being prescribed to foster children at an alarming rate.

In the article from ABC News:

The GAO’s report, based on a two-year-long investigation, looked at five states — Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas. Thousands of foster children were being prescribed psychiatric medications at doses higher than the maximum levels approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in these five states alone. And hundreds of foster children received five or more psychiatric drugs at the same time despite absolutely no evidence supporting the simultaneous use or safety of this number of psychiatric drugs taken together.

One of my dearest friends called me this morning to tell me about the Exclusive Report that would be airing tonight. As I sat watching it, I was hurled back in time to the summer of 2008.

On June 4, 2008, my oldest daughter and son came into our home. When we were going through the paperwork with the caseworker at the actual placement, we were handed a Ziploc bag of  prescriptions. My husband’s job during the process was to find out what each medication was for, because the caseworker had no clue. (This was the second of four caseworkers we would have with these two children in our 13 months before their adoption was finalized.)

We had never heard of the first medication the little girl was on, which was Respiridone (Brand Name: Resperdal). When my husband pulled up the information online, we were appalled to find out that the medication is an antipsychotic medication.

From U.S. National Library of Medicine:

Risperidone (Risperdal) is an antipsychotic medication used to treat mental illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autistic disorder. Ropinirole (Requip) is a dopamine agonist used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Restless Legs Syndrome. It is also used to treat episodes of mania (frenzied, abnormally excited, or irritated mood) or mixed episodes (symptoms of mania and depression that happen together) in adults and in teenagers and children 10 years of age and older with bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods). Risperidone is also used to treat behavior problems such as aggression, self-injury, and sudden mood changes in teenagers and children 5-16 years of age who have autism (a condition that causes repetitive behavior, difficulty interacting with others, and problems with communication). Risperidone is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Risperidone is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions) in adults and teenagers 13 years of age and older.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Risperidone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • a long list can be found at the link above, I will highlight the ones that are shocking
  • dreaming more than usual
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • breastmilk production
  • vision problems
  • muscle or joint pain
  • dry or discolored skin
  • difficulty urinatingSome side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section or the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately:
    • unusual movements of your face or body that you cannot control
    • faintness
    • seizures
    • slow movements or shuffling walk
    • difficulty breathing or swallowing
    • painful erection of the penis that lasts for hours

    Risperidone may cause children to gain more weight than expected and for boys and male adolescents to have an increase in the size of their breasts. Talk to your doctor about the risks of giving this medication to your child.

There is much more information about this drug at the link above, as well as a wealth of information in other articles and websites. My daughter had nothing medically wrong with her that would have precipitated a prescription for an anti-psychotic drug at all, much less one such as Risperdal! It would have been understandable if they had been diagnosed with attention deficit issues, because she showed classic signs of ADHD. However, according to this NY Times article:

But Risperdal is not approved for attention deficit problems, and its risks — which include substantial weight gain, metabolic disorders and muscular tics that can be permanent — are too profound to justify its use in treating such disorders, panel members said.

One thing to keep in mind: my daughter that came to us with a prescription for Risperdal was 6-years-old when she came to us! If you read the information, you will see that the youngest age even mentioned in the “recommendation” is 10-years-old, but in most cases, the youngest recommended age is 13-years-old!

This is such a problem, that in 2010, a Philadelphia lawyer filed a lawsuit on the behalf of 10 families whose children were prescribe Risperidal.

I have been trying to have something done about this problem of foster care children being prescribed medications needlessly for 3 1/2 years now! In my next article, I will tell you things that will blow your mind, in regards to how many people I have talked to and reported this problem to, and nothing has been done!

Thankfully, Senator Carper from Delaware was appalled when he read the the GAO report, stating:

“I was almost despondent to believe that the kids under the age of one, babies under the age of one were receiving this kind of medication.”

Finally, someone in Washington is taking notice of how broken the foster care system is!

Thank you, Senator Carper, for hearing the voice of the children!

Too Many Meds for Foster Kids?

ABC News Exclusive Report with Diane Sawyer, on a report which will be released this Thursday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report is the findings of a two-year-long investigation of psychiatric medications being prescribed to foster children at an alarming rate.

Fives states were involved in the investigation– Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas.


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Related Article: Thank You Sen. Thomas Carper, For Hearing The Voice Of The Children