STUMP » Articles » Diversion: Who Was Doctor Death Really Targeting With Death at Age 75 Goal? » 24 September 2014, 05:28

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Diversion: Who Was Doctor Death Really Targeting With Death at Age 75 Goal?  


24 September 2014, 05:28

I’ve been working on something actuarial regarding Zeke Emanuel’s Atlantic Piece Why I Hope to Die at 75.

While many have been concentrating on the putrid morality reflected, which has the whiff of ‘life unworthy of life’, and others have pointed out Zeke is trying to get his ‘death panels’ more politically acceptable, I have started to think that Zeke may be doing some other targeting in his own interests.

First, Dr. Emanuel is one of the Emanuel Brothers – his two other famous brothers being Ari and Rahm. Ari Emanuel, Hollywood Super Agent, had a character based on him in the HBO series Entourage. Rahm Emanuel is a Democratic politician who had worked in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, and is currently mayor of Chicago.

Given that Zeke is writing about his own (and, by that light, their) father’s debility in old age, one might see there could be family digs about his brothers’ shortcomings in helping with dad. Zeke and Rahm have traded barbs about Obamacare in the past, after all.

But I have a different take: maybe he was trying to be nice to his brother.

After all, public pensions are a huge problem for Chicago. Maybe Rahm is tempted to do a Daley and stick in office — Richard J. Daley was mayor of Chicago for 21 years and son Richard M. Daley was mayor for 22 years (had to stick it out to beat dad, didn’t ya).

If so, then Chicago pensions are a problem Rahm has absolutely got to deal with in a long-term way. If public pension retirees died at age 75, as opposed to ten years later (which is closer to the “real” life expectancy of retirees, as opposed to life expectancy from birth – but more on that in a later piece), a lot of the public pension problem would be solved.

Here everybody has been thinking about trying to convince retirees and judges to allow the cutting of the dollar value of monthly pension benefits, but here’s something sneakier: convince the people to die earlier. I’d have to do a calculation, but I imagine your retiree population dropping like flies ten years earlier than expected would really give pensions a boost.

We’ll know that Zeke has been trying to help his brother if the followup on this piece is why 70-year-olds should take up BASE jumping or to buy a motorcycle to tool around Chicago.

I also thought of another target: somebody liberals have been trying to push out of her lifetime position, and at the age of 81 has declared she’s not going anywhere for a long time: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice.

Speaking to a reporter with Elle Magazine, Ginsberg repeated her insistence that she has no intention of stepping down. More pointedly, she asked whether the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party truly believed Obama was capable of appointing a doctrinaire liberal like herself if she did.

“Who do you think President Obama could appoint at this very day, given the boundaries that we have?” Ginsberg asked rhetorically. “If I resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court.”

“[The Senate Republicans] took off the filibuster for lower federal court appointments, but it remains for this court,” she continued. “So anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided. As long as I can do the job full steam…. I think I’ll recognize when the time comes that I can’t any longer. But now I can.”

Ginsberg has served on the Supreme Court bench since 1993. She is only 81, and she may genuinely believe she can serve out a two-term Republican president. Like any sentient human, she likely takes exception to the desire on the left to shuffle her off the stage merely in order to make the best of the suboptimal conditions created by a president nearly 30 years her junior.

It is clear from her comments that not only is Ginsberg not leaving, she resents the effort to put her out to pasture. Who wouldn’t?

Watch out Ginsburg….Zeke may sic his death panels on you.

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