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Are my taxes going up?

Have I mentioned that I'm suddenly obsessed with money? Does this happen when you're in your 50th year? Is it a hormonal change? I find that when other people are talking my mind begins to wander, and I begin picturing...my Schwab account...my 401k...my mortgage interest deduction...

In any case, yesterday I kvetched about my taxes probably going up at some point on account of this health-care reform. You understand I wasn't arguing against the bill. I just assume that it will cost a lot of money, and that the projected savings won't fully materialize. I assume that the net cost of broader coverage and more visits to doctors will be higher than the savings from fewer emergency room visits and more preventive care (because you can't offer preventive care only to the people who actually are destined to get a serious disease -- does that make sense?). That means, eventually, some kind of tax hike and probably not just a tax hike on the richest of the rich.

But a friend who closely follows fiscal policy tells me by email that I've got it wrong:

You may not actually get hit by any of this. I'm sure you have a good health plan at the Post but the new Cadillac tax will apply only to something like the most generous 7 percent of plans in the US. The very good plan most Members of Congress have, for example, is nowhere near valuable enough to be hit with the tax. Check out the Joint Tax Committee website (report JCX-17-10). Also, the Cadillac tax will be levied against insurers and so most people think employers will simply modify Cadillac plans to avoid all or most of the impact of the tax...

Re taxes going up for people over 250k, that's really now mainly a debate about income tax rates, and I would guess you're safe there, at least for quite awhile. Tackling the deficit is going to be way harder than the health bill, and the GOP will block any significant tax increase. The Fiscal Commission might recommend tax increases when it reports at the end of this year, but those recs will most likely be DOA.

Finally, I take your pt about the health bill's costs, but the bill is projected to reduce deficits, not increase them. If that turns out not to be true and someone suggests raising taxes to compensate, again, that will require Congress to pass an increase, and there is NOTHING harder to do than get Congress to raise taxes.

So my message to you is RELAX. All Americans fear their taxes are going up. Polls show people believe their taxes have gone up even after their taxes have actually gone down. As Burke wrote, "To tax and to please is no more given to man than to love and be wise." But your taxes probably aren't going up anytime soon...

Fine. But at some point it's madness to spend money you don't have. You have to cut benefits or raise taxes. Tough decision, sure, but you have to make the call eventually. Unfunded mandates can't stay unfunded and mandated forever, can they?

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 23, 2010; 2:38 PM ET
 
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Next: The Curse O' Les Boulez

Comments

Oh, yeah, you can gripe about
"taxes" but the lowly unwashed are hit instead by "penalties!" A much harsher way of putting it! It's the class system, that's what it is! Help! I'm being repressed!

Seriously, the contortions Congress went through to avoid the word "tax" will lead to making pseudo-criminals out of some who will have a hard time making payments.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

... you're in your 50th year Joel??? ... you don't look a day over 40. That being said, the taxman is after all of us. Up here, as of July, they are going to merge GST and PST so some things will get a bit more expensive, including gas and haircuts (ARGH). There's no end to it.

Posted by: MissToronto | March 23, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

We should save some money when we stop starting wars, no? Maybe some medical costs will decrease because of that too.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Here you go, Jumper-

ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN: Order, eh -- who does he think he is?
ARTHUR: I am your king!
WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings.
WOMAN: Well, 'ow did you become king then?
ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake,
[angels sing]
her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur
from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
[singing stops]
That is why I am your king!
DENNIS: Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power
derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical
aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power
just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just
because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd
put me away!
ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!
DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!
HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!
ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you here that, did you here that,
eh? That's what I'm on about -- did you see him repressing me,
you saw it didn't you?

(And if you don't know whence this cometh, your cultural education has been seriously lacking.)

Posted by: kguy1 | March 23, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Aw, c'mon, stop complaining about taxes. How else are we dedimacated public servants nursing at the gummint teat supposed to get paid? Where's *our* COLA raise? If we don't beat the money out of you taxpayers, how am I ever gonna get my Cancun vacation?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Your COLA is in the vending machine right next to the Orange Crush, Mudge. You want it raised, drink it standing on a chair.

And we taxpayers have nixed your Cancun vacation in favor of a more patriotic domestic location. You may choose from the following:
1) a foreclosed condo in Scottsdale
2) any of a number of abandoned homes in Detroit
3) a slightly flooded ground-floor apartment near Fargo

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Are my taxes going up?
Am I going to die?

Bears, woods; Popes, Catholicism;

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

That's exactly what I was quoting from, kguy!

Too bad you don't get big executive stock swaps, Joel. There's zero tax on them.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

If I had to pay more tax, that would mean that I was making income, which at this point would be good. One can tire of making do and genteel poverty. Not likely in this market at my age.

Unfortunately, KBoom, the Rush clip I saw only said he would go to Costa Rica for health care if the bill passed. On the export of Coulter, Rush and taxes, all I can say is "Share and Enjoy!"
(if you are not a Hitchiker's Guide fan, Wiki has an explanation here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrases_from_The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Share_and_Enjoy

Posted by: km2bar | March 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Is "watery tart" or "moistened bint" available as a boodle handle? If not, I'll settle for "dead parrot".

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

kguy, loved your 3:30. Makes me think I should quote a movie in my email to Cuccinelli:

"...just goes to prove that you are the leading [glass bowl] in the state."

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Mr. A, if you keep blaming things on your 50th year, your heart might get to stressed to get you through it.

Like yello said, "Bears, woods." No use worrying about it.

Everybody sing along!
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1xuvd_bobby-mcferrin-don-t-worry-be-happy_music

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Mr. A is well aware that there are certain of us on the Boodle who are chortling like mad over his Turning Fifty Anxiety Syndrome.

Buck up, Joel: Old age ain't for wimps.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. ~Mark Twain

Posted by: kguy1 | March 23, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I got my seed order in (Spring!) but it's snowing wet stuff (blah!). Mixed messages.

Don't worry, we'll make sure Ms. Coulter will get back home without a stake piercing her small heart.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 23, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Mighty generous of you, Shriek. We are all aquiver awaiting her return to Lower Ontario.

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Never mind the micro surgery, shriek. Just do the best you can with a large stake and a mallet.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

We are? She can go to Antarctica and stay there for all *I* care. Even with climate change, it's still warmer than her heart.

Posted by: slyness | March 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

She has a heart?

Posted by: -ftb- | March 23, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I am back from work and have this to say about Ontario toxic waste - we ship it all to Michigan!

Posted by: dmd3 | March 23, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I put some seeds in the ground yesterday, and today I moved my tomato and lettuce seedlings to the little greenhouse to make room to start more seeds inside. I love spring - all the possibility of a beautiful garden awaits. Some plants outside that I couldn't tell were weeds or something I planted have developed pretty purple flowers - yay! Pretty weeds, at least.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 23, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no, dmd! Michigan has so many problems, not the least of which are the Lions. Don't give them more! Pleeeeeeeeeeze.

Besides, it's my home state. And even if I've lived outside of it longer than I've lived in it, it's still my home state. I beg you not to sully it any more than it already is.

And speaking of taxes (we were, weren't we?), I just got my package back from my accountant. Ah, well. Not as bad as I expected, but now I have to find the bux to pay it, including the four quarters.

But, then, if'n ya want yer freedoms, ya gotta pay them taxes.

Finally, Joel, like Mudge said -- 50 is so young, it's laughable. Invite us to your party, we'll liven up the place, eh? I'll even decoriously decorate my cane (kinda redundant, that, but never mind).

Posted by: -ftb- | March 23, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, let's have a party! I'll put streamers on my chair for the celebration.

ftb: Sorry you had to hear it like this. I mean, I thought everyone knew about the declassified documents from the late 1950s designating Michigan as an international toxic repository. Ill-In-Oys has tried for a while to get several of its politicians designated as toxic waste so's we could ship them across the lake, but the courts have been slow about setting dates for the hearings.

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Folks, thanks for posting info on the bill.

I love the opencongress.org site, although it's a lot to plow through.

Posted by: k_auman | March 23, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

MsJS (and dmd) ...

*snort*

Posted by: -ftb- | March 23, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Joel said: "At some point...you have to cut benefits or raise taxes."

That point should come when the current depression is over. I think Obama knows that raising taxes during a depression is not wise. I also think when times get good we ought to restore tax levels to sane levels.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Don't you hate it when you have something really good to write, but decide to finish completely backboodling first? Well.. y'all are saved from whatever I was going to say.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 23, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, very much like the classic choice:

FISH or
CUT bait.

Let me pay taxes, even more if need be. I want some health care. While we are at this, howsabout some

roads
bridges
schools


and even some guns to go with that butta.

That is all. Word.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 23, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

seasea1

I think some poor people assume their votes don't count, but their dollar does. I'm not advocating that the poor not vote, but it just might cause a riot. They've been ignored for so long.

Thanks, everyone for the advice on the water thingy. I'm really looking forward to it. After this, I'm going to learn how to swim. I've wanted to do that my whole life, but something has always come up.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 23, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Speak it sista TBG. I hear ya.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 23, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

TBG yesterday I sent an email out for a very specific purpose, I had something important to say, but first I digressed to 2 lesser points I wanted to make, by the time I got to the "important" point, I had forgotten what I wanted to say. Even better I then deleted the email instead of sending it, unintentionally. I am the scarecrow! :-0

Posted by: dmd3 | March 23, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I should add it was only later that I realized I had deleted the message, I really did think I sent it.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 23, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Snort acknowledged, ftb.

TBG, whatever it was I hope it had bears in it.

Cassandra, everyone has power. They just have to realize it. Most don't.

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you will love the water and feel like a tadpole in the best of ways.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 23, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

kguy1: you missed the funniest part of the skit (the best 4 minutes in the history of cinema, by my take). The opening line.

"Pardon me, old woman!"
"Man."
"Oh, sorry. What castle is that?"
"I'm 37."

Posted by: steveboyington | March 23, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the fact that there is ALWAYS a reason to put off doing the right thing. We can't cut benefits or raise taxes because we are in a recession. But, before, we couldn't cut benefits or raise taxes because we'd put a brake on the economy... and cause a recession. Face it. To 95% of people, there never is going to be a time to get our fiscal house in order. Ever. Those 95% will complain the whole way and pray for a miracle of asteroid-strike proportions to make the tough decisions go away. Example: what if an asteroid killed only all the people we owed money to....? See, there is a solution with no pain. Well, except for the creditors.

Posted by: steveboyington | March 23, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

You are right Joel and your friend is partially wrong. Someone has to pay for this. While taxes may not go up the costs will be passed on somewhere. Either the Government goes more into debt or insurance companies will raise insurance rates to cover those they would not have covered already. It will have a similar effect to that of Medicare: raising total costs in order to lower costs for a specific segment of society.

Posted by: BradG | March 23, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, Joel has crept up to a solid #2 position, two games behind Roxanne Roberts, in the bracket challenge. Jen Cheney is tied for fifth. The closest actual sports person is Steinberg, tied for ninth. Cilizza's in 11th.

I'd love to hear the watercooler banter going on there.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 23, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm feeling good about my chances re: Rox because she swallowed the poison pill that is Kansas. I have Kansas in the Final Four but not the Final Two. The guy I'm worried about, actually, is Steinberg, who had a rough go of it in rounds One and Two but has all four of his Final Four still in the hunt. I had Villanova and Kansas. That's four automatic losses for me in the rounds of 16 and 8. If Steinberg passes me in roundsd 16, 8 and 4, which is quite plausible, I can't catch him since we both have Kentucky over Syracuse in the final. I emailed Steinberg on this and he said, "You've obviously spent more time thinking about this than I have."

Posted by: joelache | March 23, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I think I want to buy a credit default swap as a bet against my own bracket.

A bracket default swap, I think that's called.

Posted by: joelache | March 23, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

My ears hurt so from all the Obamacare moaning that I had planned to immerse myself in mindless entertainment tonight. But Idol is now dead to me-Miley Cyrus is the celebrity mentor this week. Shark jumping complete.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 23, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Snort frosti, this said by the person who had to watch a Hanna Montana marathon with her child in a cruel form of mother/daughter bonding.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 23, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

My tiny slice of the health care debate is prehospital care, as you folks know. The efficiencies that can be gained by redesign in that portion of care are significant. What happens now is that people call 911 for an ambulance when they have no other options, or don't know that they have other options. Ambulances take people to emergency departments, which provide the most expensive care available.

The number of actual medical emergencies handled by the current system is low, maybe 5 to 10 percent of calls. The unnecessary calls clog the system, burn out paramedics and EMT's, and cost many times more than effective service should.

Obviously, the health care system should be designed so that people can quickly access the care they need before problems become acute. Urgent care clinics, with expanded hours, make great sense and will save money.

Posted by: slyness | March 23, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Bracket default swaps?! Oh, yeah, give that man a bonus!

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the BOOO. I was writing the post after BradG and Mr. T interrupted me.

Posted by: slyness | March 23, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Will someone clarify for me a question I have. What provision is in the healthcare law for the unemployed who cannot buy the required insurance and who also cannot afford to pay a fine?

Posted by: Manon1 | March 23, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

They become Soylent Green, manon. Problem?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 23, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I think there is an income limit - ie, if you don't have any income, you won't have to have health insurance or be fined. Or you might qualify for Medicaid. CNN went through an example, using the form that Massachusetts uses. This doesn't start till 2014. CNN also showed some Republican claiming the IRS would need thousands more agents...more jobs!

Posted by: seasea1 | March 23, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

No problem for me...I have Medicare. But, my son has been layed off for about a year.
He has worked at odd jobs (he is very resourseful) during that time, but has not earned enough to buy health insurance.

Posted by: Manon1 | March 23, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Manon... this is from a WaPo chat today...


Q. Unemployed
After being downsized two years ago, I have been unable to find employment since. My age is a factor. Will I be required to pay an insurance firm monthly premiums even though I have no income, and am depleting my savings?


A. Alec MacGillis writes:

You will be required to buy insurance starting in 2014 and you will receive subsidies based on your income to help you do so. If you're income is very low, you will be paying a very low share of your income for your premiums. (You may even qualify for Medicaid, which is being expanded up to everyone at 133 percent of the poverty level, or about $29,000 for a family.) BUT...if you truly cannot afford to buy insurance even with the subsidies, you will be granted a 'hardship exemption.'

http://live.washingtonpost.com/health-cares-impact.html#question-8

Posted by: -TBG- | March 23, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

*Snort*

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

And this from factcheck.org which mentions the hardship exemption:
http://www.factcheck.org/2010/01/enforcing-the-individual-mandate/

Posted by: seasea1 | March 23, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Which ties in to the role of the Death Panels.

And when you are 30 you get sent to Carousel. But Farrah Fawcett will give you a free face lift.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I'll be checking my palm regularly from now on.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks seasea and TBG. I knew I could get the answer here.

Posted by: Manon1 | March 23, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Your palm, Yoki? I thought you had an iPhone.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 23, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

No! I have a 4-year-old pay-as-you-go Razr. So sad.

You kids these days

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

And I therefore deserve to die.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, we all deserve to die, Yoki. I was thinking of your super-cool titanium MacBook.

As long as the Razr can call me when you want to talk, or when you're ready to be picked up at the airport, it sounds great to me!

Posted by: -TBG- | March 23, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh ya, my super-cool titanium-alloy MacBook redeems me. And the razr works fine for that. Late April to pick me up?

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Love it!!!!

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/783830--ann-coulter-speech-cancelled-after-thousands-protest

Posted by: dmd3 | March 23, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Don't play with me like that, Yoki. Late April would be great... are you really coming?

Posted by: -TBG- | March 23, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

dmd, hooray for the people of Ottawa!

Posted by: badsneakers | March 23, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I think so. I miss you and you all too much.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

As much as I despise the glib lies of Ann Coulter, she has a right to be heard and ridiculed, particularly if some campus student events committee was stupid enough to hire her. These sort of protests only serve to feed the persecution complexes of her wingnut followers. And we don't really need to encourage that kind of paranoia. It thrives just fine without fertilizing it.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

But don't those that oppose have the right to voice their opinion? Note the people who brought her here were funded in part by US organizations. She was voted off the island :-).

Posted by: dmd3 | March 23, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Globe article mentions the US organizations, as for Ezra Levant - I have nothing nice to say.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/coulter-cries-mistreatment-in-canada/article1509793/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheGlobeAndMail-Front+%28The+Globe+and+Mail+-+Latest+News%29&utm_content=Google+International

Posted by: dmd3 | March 23, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I got a good giggle at your Solent Green comment.

Posted by: Manon1 | March 23, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I think, yello, that you need to recognize the difference in our sister-cultures. As Americans, you value free speech.
We do too, but more, the collective. (I'm *such* a communist!) You have life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We have peace, order and good government.

And we mean it.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

How come Monica Hesse, WaPo's resident LUG, gets to use the the Dick Van ---- word when I can't?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/22/AR2010032203598.html

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Yoki,
I used to listen to similar arguments from a Syrian coworker who used to explain that his culture emphasized stability over freedom, in his opinion for the better. Sorry, but I'm a free speech absolutist. Prior restraint, particularly in the political arena, is usually a counter-productive practice. I say give Coulter all the rope she wants and wait for her to cross the line.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Agree to disagree.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Clare Booth Luce might not have appreciated that the Policy Institute named for her couldn't find a slightly better conservative woman speaker than Ann Coulter.

Still, I prefer ridicule to threats.

On the side, there must be articulate, smart policy-wonk conservative public speakers out there. But where?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 23, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Though comparing Canadians and Syrians is, just, not on.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I mean you can't take anyone seriously that says things like this:

“There are only two things gay men can’t do. Number one, get married to each other. Number two, throw a baseball without looking like a girl.”

Tough talk from a woman with an Adam's apple. She clearly needs to go to more O's games. Her act is so over the top that many suspect that she is a performance artist on the caliber of Stephen Colbert.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

How so? If they both suppress free speech, it's just a matter of degree, not kind.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Dotc, have read reports that the 'crowd' of protestors was highly over inflated, and perhaps a convenient excuse to cancel the event. Also read some of the protestors were from the cross town university (my Alma mater) that does not surprise me.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 23, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't take her seriously. I'm with Weingarten on this one. She's a Performance Artist who is taking the mick out of Tea-People. At least, I hope so. I still don't think we need to indulge her.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, there is that whole "rule of law" thing.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Of course two gay men/women are more than welcome to get married in Canada.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 23, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

All across the country, "notwithstanding" clauses be darned.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

DotC,
That is a market where the bad has driven out the good. The loss of Buckley and Safire has left the field open to demagogues like Hannity and Beck, both, like Coulter, best selling 'writers' whose books use typography tricks worse than the most brazen high school term paper to pad out deranged monologues to hardback length.

George Will lost his edge years ago. Kristol and Krauthammer are well-spoken but their intellectual dishonesty is appalling. Brooks is viewed with suspicion for even cashing an NYT check. Andrew Sullivan has been driven out as a pariah for thinking for himself. Michael Gerson and Marc Thiessen, both on the WaPo payroll, are mercenary water carriers for interests so shadowy that the Bavarian Illuminati find them scary.

The conservative movement is morally bankrupt as otherwise intelligent people race in front of pitchfork wielding mobs just to stoke the rage for their own purposes. If there were genuine principled opposition to the current political agenda, I'd be willing to pay attention, but as the thundering herd has run off the know-nothing cliff, I have been left behind as one lonely bewildered RINO.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

This is what drives me crazy about Coulter and Limbaugh, et al:
"Speaking to CTV’s Power Play Tuesday, Ms. Coulter suggested there’s a double standard at work in Canada because left-wing provocateur Michael Moore doesn’t receive the same kind of forewarnings.

“Does Michael Moore get a letter reminding him to be civil and threatening him with criminal prosecution?” Ms. Coulter said."

Michael Moore doesn't heap ridicule on the powerless. He doesn't make racist or homophobic statements. There is a vast difference in what he does. Yes, I agree with him most of the time, but he is not mean. He has a heart of gold, while those two have no hearts at all, I'm convinced. I saw Michael Moore on a couple of shows over the weekend - his Congressman is Bart Stupak. Moore had nice things to say about him, even though he was completely opposed to Stupak's abortion/health care stance.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 23, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I have never been tempted to vote for a Republican, and could legitimately be described as a DFL "party hack" or "party activist" but it pains me to see the GOP diminished so. When a country attempts to function with just two political parties it seems helpful for both to be viable and sane.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 23, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't like calling those panels panels. We live in a crazy country. It'll be three mad-scientist types in lab coats and thick glasses, chortling evilly as they push their "thumbs down" buttons on human life. Strictly by the numbers. Yet even as they hit the floor, the victims will still be minding their 'p's and 'q's and calling those madmen a "panel." Squad, consortium, a murder of crows? Nope. "Panel" it is.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Yoki,
The pillars of my personal political philosophy are individual freedom, rule of law, and respect for property rights. These are the principles that to one degree or another separate modern Western (in it's broadest pan-cultural sense) civilization from the theocracies, banana republics, and klepto-cabals that are still too prevalent in the world.

What keeps me from being a delusional Randian is that I'm also a firm believer in a social contract where taking care of society's less fortunate is not only compassionate but wise policy. People invested in society don't chip away at it. The domestic disenfranchised, either politically or economically, are far more dangerous than any foreign enemy. Universal education and health-care as well as minimum standards of living aren't just Kumbaya altruism, they are net benefit to all.

So that is where I stand. And clearly Canada is infinitely further along the road to enlightenment than most Middle-Eastern societies where misogyny and totalitarianism are enshrined. Perhaps even further along than our Benighted States, even if I quibble about the wisdom of letting people cry 'Wolf!' in crowded theaters.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Er, after reading the Kit, I am strongly tempted to say, "Who needs money when you've got your Health?"

Or something like that.

Bracket default swaps are fine with me, but no fair parsing it up and getting into bracket tranches, OK? My bracket that had Kansas beating WVa in the final is getting fitted for a toe-tag and the trip to the incinerator. Now, the other one I have with Syracuse beating Kentucky, that one's still got some hope...(Notre Dame and MD - "Just a flesh wound!" Oy.)

bc

Posted by: -bc- | March 23, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

You could teach a master class in sophistry by studying the rhetorical tricks that Coulter and her ilk employ as easily as breathing.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you could. And the terror, there, is that the ignorant lap it up in lieu of thinking critically for themselves about all things politic.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Death Squad just sounds so Central-American-junta that the Minuteman types will never cotton to it. Death Circle or Death Group sounds so much cozier and friendly. Like a book club or a quilting bee.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I give up. What is a "LUG"?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 23, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

kguy, I always chuckle at that MP scene, but your parenthetical really got me.

Posted by: omni3 | March 23, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Lesbian Urban Guerrilla?

Posted by: seasea1 | March 24, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

The boy who was at the signing ceremony had quite a day:
http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/archives/199177.asp

Posted by: seasea1 | March 24, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

The Python scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAaWvVFERVA

"Lovely filth down here!"

Posted by: rashomon | March 24, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Old woman!

Posted by: Yoki | March 24, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Man.

Posted by: rashomon | March 24, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Help! Help!

Posted by: Yoki | March 24, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Lesbian Until Graduation.

I don't know where yello gets these things.

Maybe from listening to Lesbian Folk Music all the time, maybe

Posted by: omni3 | March 24, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Imagine Republicans start making sense and talking truth. Speak only to their true moral convictions, and not to their core support. Sure they'd lose some of the extreme right wing base, but imagine how many right of center and moderates would flock to their side. Maybe then we could have a more representative and sensible government.

I mean some in the Senate voted for it before they voted against it. Tea Party pressure maybe. Hypocrisy

Maybe an amendment to limit terms. If it's good enough for Clinton it's good enough for Obama, and it's certainly good enough for congress. (Oh, and thank spaggetti it was good enough to limit 40 and 43)

Yeah, I know, what dream world do I think I'm living in.

Um, the one I wanna wake up in...

And it just dawned on me: the answer is 42, right?

Had so much going just right.

Posted by: omni3 | March 24, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

I've got hiccups and insomnia, and I'm not sharing. so there

Posted by: omni3 | March 24, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Good column here about the Tea Party disrespect over the weekend:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/23/AR2010032304018.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: seasea1 | March 24, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

You can press me hard, or hard press me, but I'm convinced that Janis has the best cover of

"Me and Bobby McGee" a song written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster

You tube here (don't watch, it's choppy, just listen):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FMhnl0__Vo

wiki info here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_and_Bobby_McGee

Lyrics for Wilbrod (SDH):

http://www.bluesforpeace.com/lyrics/bobby-mcgee.htm

Posted by: omni3 | March 24, 2010 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Hi seasea, thanks for the Milloy link. I like Milloy

Posted by: omni3 | March 24, 2010 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Something like forty have cover this song

From Melissa Etheridge to LeeAnn Rimes and Dolly Parton

Pink to Jennifer Love Hewitt and Tori Amos

Janis rules them all


OK some guys covered it too. But it just seems like such a gals love song so...

Posted by: omni3 | March 24, 2010 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Hiya! It's much too early (especially for me), but I just wanted to check my email before I left for the airport. And then I just wanted to check the Boodle. Now what?

Oh, yeah. The airport.

Cya later.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 24, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Sorry. I like the original the best.

http://www.vidoemo.com/yvideo.php?i=Vzhaa2tLcWuRpZmdfUnc&the-essential-kris-kristofferson-me-and-bobby-mcgee=

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Hi Cassandra! Still cool here, but the temperature is supposed to rise into the mid 70's this afternoon. How do I dress for it? Layers, I suppose...

For those of you who are my Facebook friends and were subjected to my furious argument with my brother on Monday, I apologize. The poor guy has NO clue about health care, just none.

'Tis the busy day, so I'd best get moving.

Cassandra, I hope you enjoy the water therapy! I think you'll also enjoy learning to swim.

Posted by: slyness | March 24, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=LUG

Linux Users Group

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

slyness,
You should see the arguments among my wife's friends. One coworker of hers posted a picture of her husband and toddler on the Capitol Lawn with a sign in the kid's hand saying "Don't spend my money on this bill."

She then requested that people WHO disagreed with her not post responses out of respect for her opinion. Uh, what was she doing on Facebook then?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning, friends. Slyness, I'm getting dressed, hoping to move out the door. Going to take it real slow today. Schedule doesn't change, but will not move as fast.

And I think I will enjoy the water. And hopefully learn how to swim too. It's still slightly chilly here too, but the weather person is promising a beautiful, warmer, day.

Everyone here, have a wonderful day. Enjoy the sunshine if you're blessed to have it, and if not, enjoy the thought.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 24, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Kris(5) may have recorded it before Janis(8), but he wasn't the first.

Posted by: omni3 | March 24, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Our run of nice weather is going to be interrupted by snow and temps in the teens tonight, high of 25-30 tomorrow, then spring is supposed to resume. Prime weather for leaving jackets and gloves behind then needing them, or schlepping them about and not needing them.

Here in Our Fair County several groups, partisan and non, are organizing to show support for Obamacare. Will be interesting to see how this shakes out in the Governor's race. Both GOP candidates want the AG to challenge the law-my guess is that's not going to appeal to the Independents and Greens that both parties must attract to win.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 24, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Why is this terribly disquieting news so entirely unsurprising?

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/34907.html

And why am I not holding my breath waiting for the demagogues to decry such tactics?

*SIGHHHHHHHHHHHH*

I'm not going to mention a certain potential reality TV show.

I am, however, going to side with yello -- the answer to horrible speech is better speech, not preventing speech. *letting-my-First-Amendment-flag-fly Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 24, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: Raysmom | March 24, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

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