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Health-care reform: the long view

I am so glad that's over. Except for, like, the reconciliation bill with the necessary fixes. I just couldn't think about health-care reform anymore after a certain point -- I think Congress lost me around the Christmas break. But the important fact is that this bill stands to help a lot of people who until now only had health care when they were actually bleeding or unconscious.

The conventional wisdom is that it will cost Democrats at the polls, but I bet it won't help the GOP much when most people realize that the legislation isn't going to affect them in any noticeable way. [The guy who really understands this stuff is Ezra Klein, who is going to explain it today in detail.]

As a fiscal raptor, I worry that it will bust the budget down the road, but then the budget was going to go bust down the road in any event, and why not get some level of universal health care in place before we get our fiscal house in order?

I have an aging Mom and step-dad and am glad that, back in 1965, there was a "government takeover" (as critics would call it) of health care for the elderly. They also rely on Social Security checks. In the long run, this benefits the younger generation, and frees me up to worry about my own immediate financial doom.

When you're staring at 50, you're also at the point in life when you know you're going to be a dray horse for the next decade and a half, and that when it's all over, you are very likely to have less net worth than when you started. That's how the colleges calculate it: They want half. Every dollar I make has an implicit lien against it.

Inevitably, the extension of health care will mean tax hikes on people like me. More worrisome to me is that the deficit will mean tax hikes, just to service the debt held by foreigners -- a direct gash below the water line of the U.S. economy. But I get an implicit 50-percent rebate on taxes paid to the government in the form of money the colleges can no longer tap me for.

The good news is that, as a worker in a dying industry, I have an excellent shot at becoming unemployed, which would solve both the tax and college issues. I've already begun taking a sledgehammer to certain parts of my house in an attempt to lower the tax assessment. I felt AWFUL about what I did this weekend to the porch. Also got splinters.

The real question is whether it makes financial sense to get deeply into self-destructive behaviors. Right now, that's just like a hobby for me, not something I do with a seriousness of purpose. I'm just trying to think pragmatically. They can't take from me what I don't have.

--

Howard Feinman in Newsweek makes a similar case about health care and the GOP: "They'll gain seats in the midterms for sure, but not necessarily as many as they are assuming. For one, the world is not going to end if and when the bill becomes law. In fact, nothing much at all will happen. That will be a relief to many, and no grist for the GOP."

Meanwhile, via email, I see that Michael Steele, head of the GOP, is making an argument that this is the end of representative government. That's his explicit message: "Today, America witnessed the first vote for the end of representative government. Congressional Democrats said no to the will of the American people and voted yes to President Obama's $2.5 trillion government run health care system." [Help me here: I'm trying to figure out how it can be that members of the House of Representatives, every one of whom was elected within the past 17 months, and every one of whom will face voters this fall, are not representative of the American people.]

Comparison of the day comes from Bill Kristol: "[P]residing over this three-ring circus of liberal incompetence was President Barack Obama, who stands in relation to the towering and tragic figure of Lyndon Johnson as Napoleon III did to the real Napoleon. Have we had in modern times a president who was so out of his depth?"

If Obama is Nap 3 and LBJ is Nap 1, what does that make Dubya?

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 22, 2010; 9:37 AM ET
 
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Comments

Mr. A, not THE PORCH!

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we all won't have to move to Canada after all. (tho I love Canada)

and yay for the nuns.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 22, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Let's all have a moment of silence for the porch.

Posted by: Sara54 | March 22, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it sounds worse than it is because the porch is so beloved. Maybe he dropped something heavy, gouged out a big splinter from one of the boards. Trim down a shim, a little wood glue, a tack here and there and it'll be good as new.

Right?

Posted by: LostInThought | March 22, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes you have to do the right things because they are the right things.

Even when it hurts.

Posted by: --dr-- | March 22, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Kind of puts March Madness in it's place, doesn't it?

Posted by: -dbG- | March 22, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I just keep running the financial Red Queen's Race. Once I'm dead, they can't take any more money from me.

I'm still trying to figure out what we got for all this laboring and moaning on the health care bill. Did we end up with:

Single payer coverage?
Universal coverage?
Open enrollment between plans?
Portable coverage between employers?
Defined levels of minimum coverage?
An end to arbitrary claim denials?

Just askin'...


Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Mudged:

kguy, some guy once said:

"Whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, the people, if well informed, may be relied on to set them to rights."

Our biggest challenge is to keep from being misinformed and demagogue'd. I think that we have been totally confused by our pathetically bad state of the press.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 9:57 AM

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodlers!

The ground continues to shake, but:

Three weeks ago, the fishing village of Illoca was totally destroyed bt the Tsunami that ravaged the Chilean south central coast and the archipelago of Juan Fernandez.

Today, a school for 150 primary students was inaugurated. This is not a temporary structure. The modular building built with Canadian technology is permanent and much better than what Illoca had before the catastrophe.

The modern, thermally insulated building contains class rooms, teacher’s lounge, computer room, internet connection. Kitchen, dinning room and sanitary facilities. A large, well equipped playground and a futbol field are part of the school.

The miracle of Illoca is financed by Levantate Chile (Rise Chile), founded a couple of weeks ago by Around the World Race yachtsman Felipe Cubillos. Together with a team of volunteers, they came to the devastated area to help repair fishing boats. He was joined by construction businessman Cristian Goldberg and they developed a plan to put the whole village on its feet.

Their appeal for funding was answered. Today, is the third day in which fishermen go out to sea. 400 more outboard motors are needed and since the stock in Chile is exhausted, someone is touring the U.S. buying motors to quickly ship them to where they are needed.

The Illoca villagers now live in 80 emergency dwellings and will be protected from the approaching rains.

Levantate Chile will build 56 schools that will serve 25,000 pupils.

This only one example of what is happening in the country as businesses and the well to do are pitching in not only with money and ideas, but with their own work and expertise in the field.

The overall philosophy is not just to rebuild, but rebuild better. This disaster is an opportunity. Another business group is in the process of creating The Fishing Cove Route, a project to build tourism facilities to make it easy for people to visit this wonderful part of the world.

Brag.

Posted by: Braguine | March 22, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I suppose sellers of expensive recreation and leisure aim at under-50s and over-60s, leaving the 50s to find cheap thrills.

The American genius for spending too much probably ensures that the new health care setup will be expensive, at least at first. I'm sure Europeans will be happy to give lessons in running a thrifty welfare state. Looks like the Dutch have already figured out how we can do better medicine, cheaper.

The US is probably the only developed country where much of the legally-resident population is outside of the normal insurance-based medical care system. There will be a lot of catch-up in terms of untreated medical problems and patient behavior and expectations.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 22, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

“[M]ost people realize that the legislation isn't going to affect them in any noticeable way.”

“Inevitably, the extension of health care will mean tax hikes on people like me.”

Mr. A, I’m confused (no great surprise there). Are you not like most people? Cuz that’s what’s implied by these two statements from the kit.

BTW, the waste in the medical system is mind-boggling. Two small examples are prescriptions written without first checking for possible interactions, and prescriptions written for a 30-day supply when the doctor and patient both know that the medication will be likely altered or dropped within a week or so.

In the first case there is software available at pharmacies to check for drug interactions, but pharmacists usually don’t like to get between doctor and patient. Patients can research the drugs themselves on the internet, but usually don’t do so until after the prescription has been filled and paid for. And of course, there’s always the possibility the patient finds out the hard way that two or more of his/her meds don’t mix. Regardless, the result is that a medication that never should have been prescribed in the first place is paid for by someone other than the doctor who made the error. And if you think that giving your doctors a full list of your meds will solve that problem, it won’t. Period. Think of it as institutionalized Russian Roulette. The gun’s at your head and we all pay for the waste.

In the second case, it is quite common for a doctor to prescribe a 30-day supply for something like sleep aids or pain relievers, but then change her/his mind regarding dosage level or drug of choice after only one or two weeks. A new 30-day prescription is then written and the cycle starts all over again. Someone’s paying for all those unused pills, and it isn’t the doctor.

Both of these are easily solvable and have the double benefit of improving care and cutting costs. For a lot of reasons, steps like these were not part of the recent discussions on Capitol Hill. I hope they get included soon.

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The Man is in a somber mood. His beloved Brackets are not doing well maybe?

Two words about the cost of college: Dean's List. Put undue pressure on the young lady, she will be grateful later.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update, a great story of recovery and community.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 22, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Brag,
Rebuilding better is the only way to go. I think Chile's able to think in terms of investments that'll pay off in terms of economic growth. In the US, I'm disturbed to see states wrecking infrastructure that took years to build--the University of California, for example.

Chile would seem a fairly good place for prefab housing, depending on labor costs. I haven't figured out why we still have hand-made houses in the US. Maybe cheap immigrant labor, combined with economies of scale available to larger developers. Any international housing economists in the Boodle?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 22, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

My parents were depression children. They were both born in the 1930s and carried the scars of early privation into adulthood where, wittingly or unwittingly, they were passed on to me.

This financial conservatism, combined with some ridiculously fortuitous timing, means I have been able to save a reasonable chunk of money. As a reward for this, my son need not suffer the shame of receiving significant financial aid from his institution of higher learning.

Further, as Joel points out, it means that I fully expect to be one of those who helps pull the wagon of fiduciary excess into the homestead of solvency. (You know, I made that metaphor up right on the spot. And people say writing is hard..)

Anyway, the point is, part of me can relate to those who resent being punished for being successful and personally responsible. So why am I not hanging out with Ron Paul? Why did I awake this morning with a song in my heart and a gleeful step because of the passage of health care reform?

Well, partly this is because I understand that these new laws are just as much about restructuring a dysfunctional system as they are about reallocation of wealth. Partly this is because I (or at least so I like to believe) am an altruistic person.

But a big part of my happiness is selfishness. A primary beneficiary of this new system lives in my house. The distance between my daughter and catastrophe just went way up. This makes me giddy.

And if I, who have some resources, am feeling so sloppy happy, how must people who live far closer to the edge feel?

All of which makes the harness seem a whole lot more comfortable.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 22, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Brag, your updates are invaluable, keep it up -- AND STAY SAFE!!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Joel makes a great point about the budget. Time to again take another run at the Reagan tax cuts for the ultra wealthy. This whole "costs too much" is a misdirection play on most of us. Wonder why we don't hear more calls for, OK, let's raise taxes or better yet, just restore the rates to where they were before that shot at our fiscal solvency that has dragged our country down the underfunded "rat hole."

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Ha ha ha. You fool. That's not a Porch: It's a Mercedes!

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | March 22, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Scc: its. The iPod changed that to it's on me, I swear.

Rd, on a personal note, I'm happy for you.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 22, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

dbg writes:
Maybe we all won't have to move to Canada after all. (tho I love Canada) and yay for the nuns.
***

I'm laughing about those stubborn nuns and Irish women in general, in light of their history in New England's mills:

Moran, "The Belles of New England," p. 108:

By this time, Irishwomen had staged several strikes and were much more aggressive than the Yankee women [There were three ethnic groups who worked in the miils in this historical order--Yankees, Irish, and Quebecois.] in demanding better working conditions. They refused to accept management policy that dictated that men get more pay because they were the family breadwinners. The women argued that the widows and deserted mothers among them had the same family responsibilities but were paid much less.

And when pay cuts were proposed for the Yankee women who preceded the Irish in the mills? (Moran, p. 30):

The women held mass rallies. They asked why the men in the mill, including the overseer and [Agent James F.] Curtis himself, were not taking a pay cut. They answered their own question: Management thought the only pay reductions that would succeed were those imposed on women.
***

Pay cuts weren't the only issue that riled and infuriated Yankee women. They created a sense of solidarity with men who worked in the mills, the men expressing the women's grievances at the ballot box over the issue of very long work days. [Moran provides a bit of history in this graf on page 37. Moran writes "may" and I'm wondering if another historian has any other information that would either contradict or support what Moran writes?]:

The workers responded to an indifferent legislature with political retribution. Although women did not have the vote, the men in the mills did, and they used it on the women's behalf to defeat a Lowell member of the legislature, William Schouler, because he did not adequately support the women's struggle for reduced hours. The women thanked the voters " for consigning William Schouler to the obscurity he so justly deserves." With his defeat at the polls, Schouler may have been the first American politician to experience the collective wrath of women.

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


Posted by: laloomis | March 22, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I am not opposed to the healthcare bill. What I want, and have not yet seen, is a tally of the extra-special deals cut to get it passed.

For example, does Nebraska still get everything paid by the Fed (i.e., you and me) in perpetuity? What other sort of specials and one-offs are in there? I can't find a write-up anywhere in real news sites.

I don't want to rescind the bill, but I want to know what we're dealing with.

And yes, I'm worried about the budget. I'm 45 and have contributed the maximum to Social Security most of my adult life. In return, they keep pushing back the age when I can retire. It's now 70. With deficit spending so high, and with no political will to address real fiscal issues, I don't feel too great about Social Security.

Punished again for being born just behind the baby boomers.

Posted by: k_auman | March 22, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Front page alert. Given the topic, hard to say if this will necessitate a retreat to the bunker or not.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Congrats, Yanks, on passing a health care bill. Frum, in the National Post, is refreshingly honest about the GOP's "no compromise" position and its consequences.

Light snow and frozen overnight drizzle here. Belay that early gardening, there.

Posted by: engelmann | March 22, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Ever since "supply-side economics" hit the front pages some 30 years ago, the Republicans have had this notion that tax cuts will more than pay for themselves and/or force the government to be more fiscally prudent. Bush 41 correctly termed it voodoo economics, and 8 years under Bush 43 just further illustrated that whoever is in power has their hand in the cookie jar and never mind the consequences. They harp on the current state of the deficit, not acknowledging that it was thier folly in not paying for the mid-east wars that largely brought this on in the first place.

Posted by: ebtnut | March 22, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

MsJS - I think Joel is saying that once people learn that the claims of death panels and outrageous government intrusion are, in fact, not true a lot of people will simmer down.

As for the latter point, Joel, like many white collar workers pushing 50 (such as me) are moving into their peak earning years. (One hopes...)

Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that as the inevitable financial crunch comes, a rational progressive tax will certainly include us more than those who are just starting out in the world of work.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 22, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

SCC: ...their folly..

Posted by: ebtnut | March 22, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Great article by Frum, e-mann. Here's the link if anybody else wants to read it:

http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/03/22/david-frum-obama-hands-republicans-their-waterloo.aspx

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

RD, just a point. You and Joel may be in your peak earning years, but many folks your age are getting crunched by job losses and, as we know, it is not that illegal or easy to prove that there is age discrimination going on. Try to get a job in this climate and the word back is dude, you're old.

(not suggesting that you aren't in your particular case, correct).

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

We were already in the hole to the tune of 1.3 trillion dollars on Jan. 20, 2009 and were headed for a '30's depression so, if taxes are raised, it can hardly be completely attributed to health care reform. This should have been addressed years ago--maybe in the last administration which actually had a huge surplus. If they had started it then instead of the tax cuts which went to the very wealthy (the have's and have-more's as GWB called them) or the two wars, one on trumped up intelligence, Obama and the Dems. would not have had to start from scratch. Flawed though it may be, we have been steadily dropping to the bottom of health care lists compared to other countries in the world. It was essential that we try to address these problems.

Posted by: eham31 | March 22, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

After the dust settles around this law like it has around the billions of other laws that came before it. After we've all moved on to the next political controversy that "threatens America" like all the others that have come and gone. After People start talking about united states healthcare as just another thing to take for granted like taxes, welfare, medicare and social security, I hope that we all remember one thing from this experience.

That being that the Republican party was willing to defend people who shouted Heil Hitler in townhall meetings, who spit on and screamed the N word at black congressmen and yelled the F word at gay congressmen, all for fear of losing votes. That no one in the Republican party was brave enough to stand up and say that what these people were saying was hateful, ugly and horrible. Instead the Republican leaders whispered quiet admonishments and loudly cited to the second amendment. As if having the right to say whatever you want somehow purges the hate from whatever you say, which it of course does not.

Laws come and go, but cowardice lasts forever, and in their fear of losing political power, the Republican leadership convinced thousands of people that it is patriotic to say hatefule things and act in beastly ways that said leaders wouldn't allow their children or families to. Shame on you.

Posted by: sky2fall | March 22, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Some good news from here, I guess (in such a round-about way, since the history of this PGA resort is mired in so much local controversy and a denial of the right to vote--a snippet of the controversy mentioned only briefly at article's end.)

Hey, at least the Mormon Church hasn't excommunicated Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black yet--or so he said recently at Trinity University.

I guess this money from Mariott to help the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund could mean that it's more likely Wells Fargo's Central Texas charitable contribution(s) can assist the San Antonio Food Bank (whose users may eventually include those Wells has laid off in San Antonio--if I'm not careful, I may be weaving the rope for my husband's own hanging...):

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/Son_of_JW_Marriott_founder_helps_unveil_luxury_resort_at_fundraiser.html

Excerpts:
He [J.W. Marriott Jr.] was in San Antonio to help open the 1,002-room luxury resort in style. That meant a $400-a-plate dinner, silent auction and country music extravaganza that filled the resort's largest ballroom.

The gala was held to raise money for organizations that assist wounded military servicemen and women: the Fisher House Foundation, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Officials said the event raised $902,300 for the organizations.
***

Of course, the talk in Texas this morning is not about the elites who can pay $400-a-plate for dinner, but about Sunday's march on the Mall in D.C. and the calls for immigration reform. Also, the Texas Tribune has a short article about whether it was a Texan or Californian who made the nasty shout-out to last night to Stupak.

The way I figure it, a year for major reforms to get through Congress under Obama's leadership. Will financial reform be next, then to be followed by immigration reform? And will the U.S. be able to leave Afghanistan on the timetable set up for withdrawal?

Posted by: laloomis | March 22, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I think one lesson ought to be that if you are in your peak earning years, Padouk, then you also be in your peak saving-money-for-retirement years, too. I think the problem with too many oeak earnerrs these days is that they are also peak spenders.

Which would be a fine argument except for the unpleasant fact that many people who DID have something put aside a few years ago lost quite a bit of equity, thank you, Wall Street and mortgage bankers.

At the bottom of the last boodle, jumper had a really mind-blowing link, which I want to repeat: http://www.alternet.org/media/106551 I don't know how I missed this two years ago, but I did. Some choice excerpts:

"We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and cliches. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection...."

"But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence...."

"Political leaders ...[only] need a story, a narrative. The reality of the narrative is irrelevant. It can be completely at odds with the facts. The consistency and emotional appeal of the story are paramount." [This is what bugged the hell out of me during our discussion of "narrative" a few weeks ago.]

more

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

2

more excerpts:

"In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we do not seek or want honesty. We ask to be indulged and entertained by clichs, stereotypes and mythic narratives that tell us we can be whomever we want to be, that we live in the greatest country on Earth, that we are endowed with superior moral and physical qualities and that our glorious future is preordained, either because of our attributes as Americans or because we are blessed by God or both."

"In our post-literate world, because ideas are inaccessible, there is a need for constant stimulus. News, political debate, theater, art and books are judged not on the power of their ideas but on their ability to entertain. Cultural products that force us to examine ourselves and our society are condemned as elitist and impenetrable. Hannah Arendt warned that the marketization of culture leads to its degradation... "Culture," she wrote, "is being destroyed in order to yield entertainment."

Now, to me, the breath-takingly killer line: "The change from a print-based to an image-based society has transformed our nation." [..and not for the better, IMHO.] He continues: Huge segments of our population, especially those who live in the embrace of the Christian right and the consumer culture, are completely unmoored from reality. They lack the capacity to search for truth and cope rationally with our mounting social and economic ills. They seek clarity, entertainment and order. They are willing to use force to impose this clarity on others, especially those who do not speak as they speak and think as they think. All the traditional tools of democracies, including dispassionate scientific and historical truth, facts, news and rational debate, are useless instruments in a world that lacks the capacity to use them."

"The core values of our open society, the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense indicate something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to understand historical facts, to separate truth from lies, to advocate for change and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways of being, that are morally and socially acceptable, are dying."


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, OK, I was kidding about the porch. The porch is intact. I did not take a sledgehammer to my house in any way shape or form. I did climb to the top of a tree and saw branches but that was appropriate behavior considering the condition of the tree.

Posted by: joelache | March 22, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

It's great that folks don't have to worry about their insurance being canceled for fraudulent reasons anymore, however, I have to admit I'm worried about the cost. Just read this morning that the U.S. is close to losing it's triple A bond rating due to no plan to deal with deficit. Apparently, Canada and Germany have no such problem with their deficits (in other words they are under control). Remarkably, they have universal health care. Germany actually has private and public health insurance. Competition! What a thought. As an independent, what I draw from all this is that we need someone, probably government, to provide competition to the private insurance market. The battle has just begun. Why should the young finance multimillion dollar pay packages for insurance executives?

Posted by: Fergie303 | March 22, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

RD_P: A word to those thinking they are moving into their peak earning years. The dynamics of the economy are not necessarily in your favor.

Unless you have an iron-clad platinum parachute written into your contract, I sincerely hope you're looking for ways to reinvent yourself if you're depending on your 50's to be your peak earning years.

The "reasonable to expect" part of your argument could be a really risky assumption for a lot of you.

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I am glad we will be able to keep my quickly emerging politician son on our health insurance until he is 26. I am extremely glad pre-existing conditions will be eliminated. And maybe the zillionaire health insurance leaders' pockets will be shrunk a bit. But I'm worried about all the rest, especially the increased tax part and continued bulging of our debt. The balloon is gonna burst one of these decades.

Posted by: Windy3 | March 22, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Where were all these folks when Bush enacted tax cuts to the wealthy that, according to even the most conservative groups, cost us $1.7 TRILLION? And didn't help 99% of the folks who were OK with it (as opposed to the huge percentage who will benefit from this healthcare bill).

Posted by: -TBG- | March 22, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh Mr. A, you are such a tease! Had me going there for a while.

*rechecking vital signs, all now normal*

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Good to know, Joel. The picture wasn't pretty.

Posted by: Windy3 | March 22, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Well said, RD, with russianthistle's caveat that not everyone who should be in their peak earning years finds themselves there. That's kind of Joel's tongue-in-cheek point, I think, about the benefits of self-destructive acts and the newspaper bidness. I also like sky2fall's reminder. I hope some people regret, and are haunted by, their reactions to ugly and inflammatory words.

Brag, thank you for the update. Please keep posting and be safe. It is absolutely heartening to hear of the progressive rebuilding happening so quickly. Good for Chile.

It is hard to say I'm proud of Congress for this ridiculously drawn-out process, but I am pleased they passed something, finally. I'm one of those pragmatists who'd rather have some health care than none, and who prefers not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Zackly, TBG.

We just had a no-advance-warning huge thunderclap right over top of our building that may have caused a great many gummint workers to require a change of underwear. Don, did you guys next door hear it? I thought maybe somebody over your way was testing the starting cannon out on the Anacostia.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh hey.. I love this! @ebertchicago says...

The Republicans named it "Obamacare." I like that name. Let's call it that for a long, long time.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 22, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I want to mention that locally they have turned off our street lights and removed all the garbage cans in our adjacent parks to help the local government budget deficit. Local streets are getting bumpier. A forecast of what's to come nationally? At least we won't be contributing to light pollution.

Posted by: Windy3 | March 22, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

As dumbed down Americans, the dems actually think it’s over! They don't realize that the fight is just beginning and what they have done has just added gas to the fire that is destroying their party, currently controlled by Soros and other U.S. enemies.

Their latest tricks and BRIBES have awaken more and more honest Americans, who are heeding Thomas Jefferson's words -- "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."

Honest Americans will not be silent! Their fight to end tyranny and restore FREEDOM has just begun.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, everyone now safe and dry?

Windy, we have lots of trash cans in our neighborhood parks. If a few were to vanish suddenly, I'd understand.

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, you DID remember to lock up the bunker's tinfoil supply, right?

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The Dow is up, the Nasdaq is up, the S&P 500 is up.

Wall Street likes healthcare reform!

Posted by: -TBG- | March 22, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Joel Achenbach writes that Obamacare "isn't going to affect Americans in any noticeable way." Why then are we spending trillions on something that is not going to affect us in "any noticeable way"?!

The truth is, however, that Obamacare will destroy thousands of businesses, millions of jobs, our economy, our freedoms and our country.

Caterpillar said Obamacare would cost them more than 100 million the first year alone! To continue operating in spite of those additional costs? They will be forced to let people go or take their operations overseas.

Other businesses can anticipate the same problems. And as the remaining companies in the U.S. are barely making it, many will have to close or move to FREER countries.

As a result, millions of people are going to be left not only without insurance but without jobs. And the few lucky enough to have a job will become poor after paying for everyone else.

That’s what happens in every commie country, as the country Obama and his comrades are trying to create in the U.S. with “help-the-poor” scams like Obamacare.

With "reform" like that, who needs health care?

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I wasn't really worried about the porch but I'm glad to know that it's okay.

I've been thinking about Mr. T's cousin Katie, who died of a kidney infection almost five years ago. Being without insurance, she waited too long to go to the doctor, and then the infection overwhelmed her body. Not even the care at University Memorial in Chapel Hill, one of the best hospitals in the Southeast, was enough to save her. She was 51.

I hope and pray that the system will now be engineered to stop unnecessary deaths like hers.

Posted by: slyness | March 22, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh hey... Merck is up, Novartis is up, Pfizer is up..

Big Pharma investors like healthcare reform!

Posted by: -TBG- | March 22, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

As for 'Waterloo', it's early to say, but Frum may be right. Obama looks more like he's playing the part of the Duke of Wellington with Pelosi as Marshal Blucher. But perhaps I'm letting my imagination run too much again.

Posted by: qgaliana | March 22, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

MsJS--I really don't mind the loss of the garbage cans except when doggie duty calls for a bag and a scoop and no place to discard the evidence. It's NOT fun to carry the used bag on the walk. But one must sacrifice! (or simply whistle, look the other way, and move on...which is SO annoying and unpatriotic)

Hey, a new invention maybe for an attractive pooper scooper bag.

Posted by: Windy3 | March 22, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Unitedhealth Group is up, Wellpoint is up, Aetna is up, CIGNA is up!

Investors love healthcare reform!

Posted by: -TBG- | March 22, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

All right, I've had enough of this crap. Comrades, please dispatch a squad of KGB agents to Antonio Sosa's house and send that true-blue patriot to the gulag where he belongs, please.

And while we're at it, I forgot to announce the next meeting of the Comintern Spring Fling dinner dance will be next Thursday. Remember, no jackboots allowed on the dance floor.

I regret to announce that the contest for a new motto for the Democratic Party is not doing as well as we'd like. "Death to the Running Dogs of Imperialism," which was suggested by the Massachusetts Politburo, has only gotten 4.7 percent of the votes. Yes, I know it is horribly trite, but its seems to have worked for our Chines comrades. "Free Britney Spears!" seems to be leading, with 19 percent. C'mon, People, we can do better than this.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

You are right, Fergie303. The battle has just begun. Up to this point, Obama and the Democrats have LOST and Republican have WON.

"Winning" a la Hugo Chavez lost Democrats the trust of the American people. "Winning" a la Hugo Chavez only added to the stench previously generated by the Obamacare scam.

The stench of the lies, manipulation, intimidation, coercion, bribery, corruption, and backroom deals to force us to swallow the Obamacare SCAM -- which would destroy our health care, our economy, our freedoms and our country -- has forever tainted the Democratic Party and demonstrated the degree of corruption, bribery and fraud we can expect from Obama and his comrades.

More and more Americans understand there's no longer a Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has been replaced by the Progressive (Marxist) party, controlled by U.S. enemies like George Soros and bent on destroying America using the tactics of their mentor Saul Alinsky.

That's why Obama and the Democrats LOST. Honest Americans are more fired up than ever and ready to fight tyranny until FREEDOM is restored.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

--have awaken more and more

Normally I don't correct anyone but myself, but talk about a dumbed down American!

Posted by: -dbG- | March 22, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

But TBG, aren't Wall Street, Big Pharma and Investors all Satan? If they like healthcare reform it must be Evil.

I wonder if Wall Street is just pleased that Congress was focusing on something other than financial regulation & reform.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Agree with you, Slyness. So sorry about your relative. Preventative healthcare will also be one of the big winners of this bill for everyone.

BTW, I'm off this week! Going to a big wedding and family reunion that isn't for a funeral for a change!

Posted by: Windy3 | March 22, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It was a dark and stormy night; three teabaggers sat around the campfire. One said, "Antonio, tell us a conspiracy story!" The second one said, "OK, but first let me pour some gas on this fire." There came a tremendous fireball and a sound like "Whoomp!"

It was a dark and stormy night.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 22, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge madness at work.

Posted by: Windy3 | March 22, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I am keenly aware that the fact that more mature workers typically make more money also makes them more vulnerable. Any worker in his or her 50s who thinks it is possible to glide on through to retirement in this economy is delusional. Hence my "One hopes" caveat.

But this is part of what I think Joel means by being a dray horse. (A new term for me.) It means not slacking up (unless, as Joel suggests, this is one's financial strategy.) It means working hard, and reinventing oneself, and doing all those difficult things that allow one to fulfill the financial potential that late-middle age offers.

And then being willing to accept that some of the fruits of this effort may will be applied to something more than just one's own personal wealth.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 22, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, it COMPLETELY slipped my mind: you football folks will be pleased to know that next season's Super Bowl, XXXXV (or maybe it's VL, I guess), will be played in Saul Alinsky Stadium in Miamiagrad.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, thank you for reminding us that all those BRIBED by Obama at our expense are very pleased to be able to further steal from us thanks to the Obamacare scam!

Obama's countless backroom deals (at our expense) included his secret deal with the pharmaceutical lobby through which Big Pharma can keep drug prices high in exchange for helping Obama enslave us with Obamacare.

"The memo... says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada — and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.” http://www.floppingaces.net/2009/08/14/obama-pharma-make-secret-deal/

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Just once I'd like to see someone like Antonio give a well thought out argument for his views rather than a regurgitation of the talking points from Faux, Rush, the Tea Party and all the right wing blogs. Of course this won't happen because 'well thought out argument' isn't part of their skill set.

Thanks for the update Brag. Very heartening to hear about and sad to think that Haiti can't do the same.

Joel, you shouldn't joke about porch damage, it's not funny! ;-)

Raining again here which will be very hard on those who are still cleaning up from last week's floods.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 22, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, all we are getting from Obama and his comrades is a Marxist SCAM, that will destroy our health care, our businesses, our jobs, our economy and our country.

Obamacare has NOTHING to do with improving anything. It is only a progressive (Marxist) SCAM.

As per the 2007 book “Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win,” written by Robert Creamer, a CONVICTED FELON and Obama’s ACORN associate, the main objective of Obamacare is only to increase the power of "progressives" (Marxists) through the “democratization of wealth” (socialism/Marxim) as per the teachings of Saul Alinsky.

Creamer wrote in his 2007 book:

* “We must create a national consensus that the health care system is in crisis.”
* “Our messaging program over the next two years should focus heavily on reducing the credibility of the health insurance industry....”
* “We need not agree in advance on the components of a plan, but we must foster a process that can ultimately yield consensus.”

As per those guidelines, Obama and his comrades planned to demonize the insurance industry and to agree to ANYTHING to get their scam approved. They don't care about the "components of the plan." All they want is CONTROL over our health care and our lives.

They want complete power as that of the Marxist thugs who are destroying Latin America. They plan to increase their power through the “democratization of wealth” (socialism/Marxism).
http://the-classic-liberal.com/progressive-agenda-for-structural-change-stand-up-straight/

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Wrong, badsneakers! Those of us who have suffered from the cancer of “socialism of the XXI century” (Marxism) in Latin America don't need FOX, Rush or anyone to understand that Obama is infecting the U.S. with the same cancer through "help-the-poor" SCAMS like Obamacare.

Obama’s presidential campaign and the campaigns of Chavez, Morales, Correa, and the rest of the Marxist thugs who are destroying Latin America were very similar. Even the slogans – CHANGE and YES WE CAN -- were the same.

But Obama seems to be outdoing Chavez in the speed at which he’s destroying the country.

Imitating Hugo Chavez, Obama wants to nationalize everything, including our health care system! "Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama!" Chavez cheered on Venezuelan TV. He added that he and Cuba's Fidel Castro would now have to work harder just to keep up.
http://www.hacer.org/report/2009/06/us-obamas-red-chorus-investors-business.html

Fortunately, as we can see now, most Americans have NOT been dumbed down! Most Americans are NOT sheeple! Most Americans are ready to defend their FREEDOM and the freedom of their children and grandchildren from the abomination of Obama's criminal scams and socialism/Marxism

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

There isn't enough tin foil in the world to keep the crazy rays out of his head.

Posted by: rashomon | March 22, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Of course, let me stress that I am also *very* aware that one can still do everything right and still end up out of work as an older worker. It has happened to many people I know. But I also believe that, in general, as a group, those workers who are looking at retiring in the 2020s are going to end up paying more taxes because that's where the money is. I just think it is a financial inevitability. So one can either indulge in a primal scream or embrace the responsibility.

Not that the two things are mutually exclusive.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 22, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Comrade Mudge, I mislaid my Comintern Spring Fling diktat. I promise no jackboots, but I have these really cute tall leather ones, and I promise the spike heels won't hurt the dance floor, so can I wear them? Please? Also, I hope it is in a better neighborhood this time. Last year on the way in someone saw my red scarf and thought I was a gang member. He pulled his concealed weapon and I had to raise my fist and shout "Power to the People!" before he'd let me by - he thought I was from the electic company. Or could I just skip the red scarf this year? I have a nice paisley print that would look divine with the boots; if you squint it kinda looks like little sickles and crescents.

I see you didn't mention my slogan entry: Capitalist Lackeys Unite! It's a Good Thing! Surely Martha has some votes. After all, she went to prison and everything.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clearing that up for me, AS. I was under the impression that insurance companies didn't need to demonized by anybody other than anyone that has ever had to deal with one.

Bonus Triple Word Points for sneaking 'sheeple' into a rant. That plus the random capitalization gives you 30,000 wingnut points.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I know, Antonio. Those "help-the-poor" scams really piss me off, too. I mean, they're poor, right? So eff 'em. CqP, I'd ask you to please quote some Jesus at this guy, but I have zero hope it would do any good.

Must be the steroids.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different, and perhaps just a little more rational than the 12:55, certainly more tasty.

Pure Maple Syrup - it is good for you! OK the study was funded by Maple syrup producers but still, why question science that encourages good syrup.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/uori-upr031810.php

Posted by: dmd3 | March 22, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

RD...I hadn't heard of dray horse either. Good one, Joel.

I'm for sure a dray horse...it's the only way. But what's the alternative? I'm way too young to even think of slowing down. Too boring! And that's why staying healthy is even more important. Which means preventative care checkups. Which usually means health insurance.

Posted by: Windy3 | March 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Bunker is open!

I may have to open the bar before 5, however.

Is anyone reading our visitor's comments? The bit about literate thinkers vs visual image people certainly comes to mind.

Posted by: slyness | March 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

--Most Americans are NOT sheeple!

Oddly enough, this makes the most sense of anything you've written.

Quite a footprint you've left on the i'net there, Antonio.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 22, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, god, I just love it when you wear those tall jackboots, IM. They're just so...so...Natasha.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

*wondering if a nice light soave would go with pancakes a la MsJS for lunch or if I should just go with the tried-and-true brunch mimossa*

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

FYI, Comrade Boodlers, "Dray Sheeple" is NOT, repeat, NOT available as a Boodle handle.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, be nice to Mr. Sosa. He's just telling a story that he finds comforting. I have heard many such stories all across the political spectrum as a way to interpret the world.

But here's the thing that's nice about our system. It isn't about who can tell the scariest stories. It is about who we elect.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 22, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Tony, Tony, Tony... take a few seconds of rest and wipe the spittle from your monitor. It's not healthy working a froth like that. We wouldn't want you to blow a heart gasket before Obamacare kicks in in 2014.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

AS, I believe yesterday's Doonesbury is quite effective at poking a ginormous hole in your "logic."
http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dailydose/index.html?uc_full_date=20100321

Posted by: Raysmom | March 22, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Have I mentioned that show trials are my specialty?

Posted by: engelmann | March 22, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I am off today, and have CNN on in the background, heard one Florida citizen complaining that this legislation has been rammed down their throats, without his/their knowledge or input. Forgive me if I am wrong about this but didn't your nation spend two years in pre-election debating and then voting on leaders who promised health care reform.

Yes, I know you can answer that.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 22, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

E-mann, I want your 1:16 recorded in the logbook for comment of the day.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Going to work out.

Being a 50s technology worker means reinventing myself every few years, keeping my pita certs up yearly and being willing to change industries now and again. I'm fortunate in the opportunities I've been given. I'm also happy to pick up the cart for others.

Reform is a good thing for hospitals. In the Delaware valley, many are going bankrupt. The only ones who aren't down 8 percent or more are those which had a nearby competitor fail. Explanations include people putting off non-critical procedures, lack of insurance, the economy in general. Those failing often have very old technology, a barrier to being bought by a hospital in better shape because it'll take millions to bring them up to speed. 32 million more people with insurance means hospitals are happy today.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 22, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

dmd, it's really amazing how none of the media, print, cable TV shows, etc., have completely failed to cover this health-care thing. And also that nobody got to vote on it. I'm just as shocked as you are.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The problem is, people like Antonio make it impossible to really get to facts.

As posted earlier, I'm trying to find what's really in the bill. The papers I've read (NYTimes, WashPost, WSJ) all have an overview of the healthcare provisions. I want to know what else was attached to the bill.

I overheard something on NPR, that I hope I didn't hear correctly, that attached to the healthcare bill is a redesign of college grants and funding. Is that right?

Seriously, where can I find out?

(I suspect you regulars think I'm a front-page troll, but I'm not. I've read the kit since day 1. Don't comment because, well, I'm on the west coast and the boodle is usually full of inside jokes, etc. before I even wake up.)

Posted by: k_auman | March 22, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The going to work out comment was about hitting the gym here at work but I believe it's true about healthcare too.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 22, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Me, I can photoshop any member of the politburo out of an official picture in seconds.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Teabaggers and others on the right have suddenly discovered Jefferson and love to quote him at every opportunity, but it's always the same few lines- the one about the blood of tyrants especially. Here are a few Jeffersonisms they perhaps haven't heard.
********

Bodily decay is gloomy in prospect, but of all human contemplations the most abhorrent is body without mind.

Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

He who knows best knows how little he knows

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

-Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: kguy1 | March 22, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Here you are, k_auman:

http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/1738-Health-Care-Reconciliation-Bill-Summary

Part I—Investing in Students and Families

Section 2101. Federal Pell Grants. Amends the Higher Education Act to include mandatory funding for the Pell Grant. This provides additional mandatory funding to augment funds appropriated to increase the federal maximum Pell Grant award by the change in the Consumer Price Index. The mandatory component of the funding is determined by inflating the previous year’s total and subtracting the maximum award provided for in the appropriations act for the previous year or $4860, whichever is greater. Beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year, the maximum Pell award will be at the 2017-2018 level.

Section 2102. Student Financial Assistance. This section provides $13.5 billion in mandatory appropriations to the Federal Pell Grant program.

Section 2103. College Access Challenge Grant Program. This section amends section 786 of the Higher Education Act by authorizing and appropriating $150 million for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for the College Access Challenge Grant program created under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. Provides that the allotment for each State under this section for a fiscal year shall not be an amount that is less than 1.0 percent of the total amount appropriated for a fiscal year.

Section 2104. Investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions. This section amends section 371(b) of the Higher Education Act by extending funding for programs under this section created under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 for programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and minority-serving institutions through 2019, including programs that help low-income students attain degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics by the following annual amounts: $100 million to Hispanic Serving Institutions, $85 million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, $15 million to Predominantly Black Institutions, $30 million to Tribal Colleges and Universities, $15 million to Alaska, Hawaiian Native Institutions, $5 million to Asian American and Pacific Islander Institutions, and $5 million to Native American non-tribal serving institutions.

more

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Well said, dbG. I too am fortunate to be working in the healthcare arena. But staying currrent with technology and getting necessary credentials to remain competitive is crucial.

AS does get points for using the term "sheeple." Wonder who coined it?

Posted by: Windy3 | March 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, it is that crazy liberal media bias that kept it a secret I think :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | March 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

2

Part II—Student Loan Reform

Section 2201. Termination of Federal Family Education Loan Appropriations. This section terminates the authority to make or insure any additional loans in the Federal Family Education Loan program after June 30, 2010.

Section 2202. Termination of Federal loan Insurance Program. This section is a conforming amendment with regard to the termination of the FFEL program, limiting Federal insurance to those loans in the Federal Family Education Loan program for loans first disbursed prior to July 1, 2010.

Section 2203. Termination of Applicable Interest Rates. This section makes a conforming amendment with regard to the termination of the FFEL program limiting interest rate applicability to Stafford, Consolidation, and PLUS loans to those loans made before July 1, 2010.

Section 2204. Termination of Federal payments to Reduce Student Interest Costs. This section makes a conforming amendment with regard to the termination of the FFEL program by limiting subsidy payments to lenders for those loans for which the first disbursement is made before July 1, 2010.

Section 2205. Termination of FFEL PLUS Loans. This section makes a conforming change with regard to the termination of the FFEL program for federal PLUS loans by prohibiting further FFEL origination of loans after July 1, 2010.

Section 2206. Federal Consolidation Loans. This section makes conforming changes with regard to the termination of the FFEL program for federal consolidation loans. This section also provides that, for a 1 year period, borrowers who have loans under both the Direct Lending program and the FFEL program, or who have loans under either program as well as loans that have been sold to the Secretary, may consolidate such loans under the Direct Lending program regardless of whether such borrowers have entered repayment on such loans.

Section 2207. Termination of Unsubsidized Stafford loans for Middle-Income Borrowers. This section makes conforming changes with regard to the termination of the FFEL program for Unsubsidized Stafford loans by prohibiting further FFEL origination of loans after July 1, 2010.

Section 2208. Termination of Special Allowances. This section makes conforming changes with regard to the termination of the FFEL program by limiting special allowance payments to lenders under the FFEL program to loans first disbursed before July 1, 2010.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

k_aumann - trolls ask rethorical questions, they don't request information. I think most people here can tell the difference, and someone will eventually fix you up with a link. Happy west coast decloaking and welcome :-)

Posted by: qgaliana | March 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

3

Section 2209. Origination of Direct Loans at Institutions Outside the United States. This section provides for the origination of federal Direct Loans at institutions located outside of the United States, through a financial institution designated by the Secretary.

Section 2210. Conforming amendments. This section makes conforming technical changes with regard to the termination of the FFEL program for Department of Education agreements with Direct Lending institutions.

Section 2211. Terms and Conditions of Loans. This section makes conforming technical changes with regard to the termination of the FFEL program to clarify the terms and conditions of Direct Loans.

Section 2212. Contracts. This section directs the Secretary to award contracts for servicing federal Direct Loans to eligible non-profit servicers. In addition, this section provides that for the first 100,000 borrower loan accounts, the Secretary shall establish a separate pricing tier. Specifies that the Secretary is to allocate the loan accounts of 100,000 borrowers to each eligible non-profit servicer. The section also permits the Secretary to reallocate, increase, reduce or terminate an eligible non-profit servicer’s allocation based on the performance of such servicer. In addition, this section appropriates mandatory funds to the Secretary to be obligated for administrative costs of servicing contracts with eligible non-profit servicers. This section also requires the Secretary to provide technical assistance to institutions of higher education participating or seeking to participate in the Direct Lending program. This section appropriates $50 million for fiscal year 2010 to pay for this technical assistance. Additionally, this section authorizes the Secretary to provide payments to loan servicers for retaining jobs at location in the United States where such servicers were operating on January 1, 2010. This section appropriates $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 and 2011 for such purpose.

Section 2213. Agreements with State-Owned Banks. This section amends Part D of Title IV to direct the Secretary to enter into an agreement with an eligible lender for the purpose of providing Federal loan insurance on student loans made by state-owned banks.

Section 2214. Income-Based Repayment. The section amends the Income-Based Repayment program to cap student loan payments for new borrowers after July 1, 2014 to 10% of adjusted income, from 15% percent, and to forgive remaining balances after 20 years of repayment, from 25 years.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Howdy, k_auman. You're clearly not a troll; for one thing, you're coherent. As is my wont I'm unable to help you with your substantive question, but I'm sure someone around here can. I'm glad you were brought to comment! Don't worry about the whole inside joke thing. For one, plenty of Left Coasters (and points farther west) chime in during the evening and wee hours. For two, you may as well join in because we're all just making it up as we go along.

Except for the show trials.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

K_auman, that's a good question. The bill is longer than a Harry Potter book, but it shuld be online at www.congress.gov.

Thanks to both the Freedom of Information Act and the Internet (props to Al Gore for urging the government invest in it), both state and federal governments post bills they're voting on or have voted on on their websites.

Here's the pleasure reading for you:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:H.R.4872:


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Windy3,
It was either Ron Paul or Skittles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKkZ3hkDF4w

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to register my labrador retriever, vanguard of the Canadian invasion of the USA, in englemann's show trial, please.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 22, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Just remember, legalese isn't easy reading. A lot of people who are more familiar with spoken American English than the fully formal Standard English, including standard punctuation rules easily misread legalese because they're not used to that level of careful, abstract reading nor the legal terminology.

Politicans don't always get the terms right either, which is why they have staff to fact-check stuff. The entire Congress, though, has been educated on healthcare law for nearly a year now.

(I once was in a law office during the dark years of my career.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, yellojkt. That's hilarious. :-)

Posted by: Windy3 | March 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, all that stuff I posted has this pre-fix on it, k_auman:

Title II – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Subtitle A – Education

Section 2001. Short Title; References. Provides that this subtitle may be cited as the “SAFRA Act,” and that, except as otherwise provided, whenever an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

dbG...just don't forget your supply of doggie bags. :-)

Posted by: Windy3 | March 22, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Welcome, k_auman. If you have any question about the insider jokes, just ask. Mudge will be delighted to explain. He's the shop steward, you understand, and responsible for keeping us in line. Somewhere around here we have a link to the Achenblog glossary; I never can find it, but somebody will post it for you.

Yes, I read about the student loan reforms in Slate, I believe it was, this morning. Interesting, and just as good an idean as health care reform, from what I see.

Posted by: slyness | March 22, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to help out with the show trials, but it looks like I'm going to be too busy organizing the Health Police who will force Americans to use their new socialized medicine. Everybody has to do their bit if we're going to destroy democracy in an orderly fashion.

Posted by: rashomon | March 22, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Of course, there is always the Wikipedia entry:

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

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

That reminds me of one of my favourite jokes from childhood. What's the difference between a war horse and a cart horse? Well, the war horse darts into the fray.

Posted by: Yoki | March 22, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Resistance Starts Now!

We have many ways to resist Government Oppression.

Buy catastrophic care coverage and use first class hospitals outside the US. Options for medicine and insurance abroad will be expanding rapidly as a result of this law.

Stop subsidizing the Government's takeover and price controls. Choose only doctors who refuse to serve medicaid patients. Your patronage at full rates subsidizes the Government takeover at artificially low rates.

If you own a business, hire as few employees as possible. That will limit your tax exposure as an employer.

Invest your money outside the US. The current Government Regime has no respect for private enterprise or the rights of individuals to contract with one another. Diversify your exposure to the resulting sinking US economy and currency.

Stop donating money to healthcare system chartities. They are being taken over by the Government. Let the Government pay.

Until we regain our right to choose from a full menu of insurance products from no coverage to catastrophic coverage to full coverage, all based on our own medical risk profile, we should make life as difficult as possible for the current Regime.


Posted by: jfv123 | March 22, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, Yoki.

Don't be fooled, Wilbrod. Legalese and legislative language have very little in common. Legislation is, by and large, written by people who are not lawyers. They hope to sound like lawyers by writing incomprehensible and complex clauses, often not attached to sentences. This deeply murky prose is interpreted, by and large, by lawyers who then, if we are unlucky, recast it into legalese. The best lawyers then translate legalese into something resembling (in the U.S.'s case) English. I'm told one can use this skill to earn big money, but I have my doubts.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Resistance Starts Now!

We have many ways to resist Government Oppression.

Buy catastrophic care coverage and use first class hospitals outside the US. Options for medicine and insurance abroad will be expanding rapidly as a result of this law.

Stop subsidizing the Government's takeover and price controls. Choose only doctors who refuse to serve medicaid patients. Your patronage at full rates subsidizes the Government takeover at artificially low rates.

If you own a business, hire as few employees as possible. That will limit your tax exposure as an employer.

Invest your money outside the US. The current Government Regime has no respect for private enterprise or the rights of individuals to contract with one another. Diversify your exposure to the resulting sinking US economy and currency.

Stop donating money to healthcare system chartities. They are being taken over by the Government. Let the Government pay.

Until we regain our right to choose from a full menu of insurance products from no coverage to catastrophic coverage to full coverage, all based on our own medical risk profile, we should make life as difficult as possible for the current Regime.


Posted by: jfv123 | March 22, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

*Hearting* kguy for his 1:32. Okay, okay. Shakespeare can wait. Gotta read Jefferson! After all those other books on my nightstand. Especially two more Ngugi wa Thiong'o. But, before the Eddas in the original Icelandic. I promise.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 22, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh, be nice to Mr. Sosa. He's just telling a story that he finds comforting. I have heard many such stories all across the political spectrum as a way to interpret the world.

But here's the thing that's nice about our system. It isn't about who can tell the scariest stories. It is about who we elect.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 22, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Show trials, thankee e-mann, also invokes for me prancing doggies and even the sheep dog trials of my youth...which leads to sheepie, which makes me think of scrapie, which is a very bad thing for sheep (their Mad Cow disease), which makes me think o scrapple, which is the national dish of PA....

I am very interested in the health care details, as in when can I out myself for an on-the-books check up for my pre-existing condition.

(Hey Antonio Sosa: I will benefit very soon, concerning the insurance company cherry-picking technique of only insure healthy people; the end of the life time cap will be good for my son. I don't think that life will end as we know it; a little more communitarism does not Communism make. Think Amish barn-raising rather than gulag make-work camps.)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. If I understand jfv123, true patriots will now save the country by refusing to patronize U.S. businesses; refusing to participate in its economic expansion or developent; refusing to use U.S. banks or invest in U.S. products, businesses or institutions;and cut off healthcare to the children, old people, disabled and needy among us - folks whose income may already have been slashed by the first three steps to restoring democracy.

It sounds like an interesting experiment. It seems to me, though, that these steps would all be easier if these true patriots simply move out of the U.S. entirely. That way they won't be tempted to expand their own businesses as the economy improves, engage in U.S. commerce, invest in U.S. institutions, or see those pesky poor people who might benefit from U.S. resources.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama's going to sign the bill tomorrow in a big to-do on the South Lawn (weather permitting).

And here's that silly Ezra Klein trying to explain it all in terms anyone except A. Sosa and jfv123 can understand. (Klein's probably lying, of course. You know how the media are.) http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/03/how_big_is_the_bill_really.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh. Ghost in the machine. My comment is showing up twice separated in time.

Dang. Another rip in the spacetime continuum.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 22, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhhhh, Yoki, you *are* a hoot!

And, welcome k_auman!

And, I think jfv123 has been indeed drinking the Kool-Aid. In fact, that double post sounds a lot like the Comintel rag that got stuck under my jackboot. My knees and back would let me wear stilletoes back then.

Those what protest too much are the ones on the inside (e.g., Roy Cohn (a homophobe supreme, yet one himself) dying from AIDS). The louder the decibels, the stronger the link.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 22, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Show trials? Show trials? I have lots of suggestions. Let's see, there's that new one- Minute to Win it, and that TMZ sludge, and of course Beck and those other clowns on Fox, and Survivor, and Biggest Loser, and that Trump thing, and.. well, that'll do to start. Draw up the indictments and I'll sign 'em.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

RD, yello, all you sci-fi guys - what's that twelve-dollar word (or phrase) y'all use for the whole rip-in-the-continuum type time thingie? I think it is from Vonnegut.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Flatulance?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The chrono-synclastic infundibulum? From The Sirens of Titan -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sirens_of_Titan

Or ""I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all..."

Or becoming "unstuck in time" ? (Slaughterhouse Five)

Posted by: seasea1 | March 22, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Way, way, way, way back in 1962. Madeleine L'Engle used the term "Tesseract" in "A Wrinkle in Time" for a time/space fold.

I recall Vonnegut using the term "Timequake" in one of his books. but Yello would doubtless know best.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 22, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"Timequake" also comes to mind.
(the title of one of his later novels)

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

that's it, seasea! The chrono-synclastic infundibulum! I thought I'd never forget it, but of course I did. Perhaps it will stick if I pretend it is legalese. Thank you!

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of SciFi, but really pretty much OT, I must make mention of the upcoming "Predators" sequel due out this summer. It's directed by the improbably named Nimrod Antal (it's his real name, he's of Hungarian ancestry) who made a film I liked quite a bit called "Kontroll" back in 2003 and has since been picked up by Hollywood to do suspense and horror stuff. According to the online trailer, the film takes us to another planet where the alien predators have imported a double handful of earth's baddest killers to serve as adversaries for their hunt. And these awesome human baddies are led by...Ahnold? Sly? Rock? nope, wait for it- Adrien Brody and Topher Grace! Gosh, I can hardly wait.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 22, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Glad you de-lurked, k_aumann. I hope you find the Submit button early and often.

Was it Boehner who said (screamed) that the IRS was going to have to hire 17,000 new employees just to enforce the health-insurance requirement? My first thought is that the number HAS to be wrong. My second, of course, is how crazy is it to complain about job creation.

I know, I know... smaller government. So hire contractors; that's how the Republicans reduce the government workforce, isn't it? Don't pay salary and benefits, pay a company twice that amount and claim you've "reduced the government payroll!"

Posted by: -TBG- | March 22, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I've got no problem be enlightened by AntonioSosa's worldview, I just wish he'd get some new material:
- - - -

The dumbed down are obviously unable to understand that Obama's scams like Obamacare have as their main objective “the American descent into Marxism,” which “is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple…” http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-american_capitalism-0

Fortunately, most Americans have NOT been dumbed down! Most Americans are NOT sheeple! Most Americans are ready to defend their FREEDOM and the freedom of their children and grandchildren from Obama's scams and socialism/Marxism.
-----

Posted by: AntonioSosa | December 8, 2009 2:54 PM
- - - -
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2009/12/good_news_in_the_health-care_d.html

Posted by: bobsewell | March 22, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Nice catch, Bob.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Kay-guy-uno.

Agreed. I have been quoting Jefferson for EXACTLY that same reason, but mostly about ignorance, freedom and education. So many millions of Dollars and so many man-years have been wasted on total fairy tales.

The truth be told, as with any program or approach, health care has gotten to the point where enough of the citizenry noticed (as in Jefferson's words) and they took long and painful and mildly successful action.

Of course, these defenders of freedom as they Republicans are have taken up state offices and plan to attack the health care legislation in the courts. Oddly, the grounds of the challenge may be that the program is expected to increase our social security payments because the bill will cause an increase in our pay and associated increases in the tax being owed.

It is totally delusional.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I coulda sworn I'd seen k_auman post before, but welcome!

And is anyone familiar with the term "Poe" in the context of the Internet? I think we have one in our midst...

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Antonio Sosa should be eliminated from the Medicare program for about 3 years by the Thistle rule. I am sure that he is fine with that.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

TBG, my reaction was the same as yours - more jobs! Although I bet they just have to update the computer program that scans the forms. One of the local Republican Congressmen was jabbering about people being sent to jail for not having health insurance, which of course is a complete fabrication, but he used to be in law enforcement...

Posted by: seasea1 | March 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Can o' corn, BobS.

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I like the "victim of a series of accidents", but I can never keep it straight - I get it mixed up with the Lemony Snicket books, which I have not read. Or I'm afraid I am.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 22, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Think that Stephen Strasburg could throw a can o' corn about 96 mph.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Joel, had to laugh at the idea of you as a dray horse, straw hat on your head, buckets fore and aft (ahem), pounding the miles out at a steady gait, regardless of the load(s) back there.

I see that for myself, too, and that stick-borne carrot always *just* out of reach.

I thought of the Porch, too, and that you were reducing it to plank, to be walked later. Plus, you can save on heating bills by burning the wood (hopefully the stain won't make you woozy).

Brag, thanks for the updates.

As I'd mentioned last night, I think the Health Care fights are far from over. The Reformers pulled ahead over the last two minutes of the half, but there are a lot of implementation details to iron out, plus the inevitable challenges in the courts, state leigislatures, and possibly even in the executive branch later in this decade.

I still think it may be premature to pull the "Mission Accomplished" banners back out quite yet. Hopefully, this Administration will remember that they need to keep their eye on the ball, and that it ain't over until it's over.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | March 22, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Ok, carpie, as opposed to sheepie: looks like I wait until 2014 to declare my pre-exisiting condition: so, let's hope I say well enough. Thank goodness for NIH visits and a cousin who shares samples with me for the occasional self-medication. But, from this document posted at Ezra Klein's blog, these six-month out provisions look very good:

ENDS RESCISSIONS—Bans health plans from dropping people from coverage when they get sick.  Effective 
6 months after enactment. 
 
6.  NO DISCRIMINATON AGAINST CHILDREN WITH PRE‐EXISTING CONDITIONS—Prohibits health plans from 
denying coverage to children with pre‐existing conditions.  Effective 6 months after enactment.  (Beginning 
in 2014, this prohibition would apply to all persons.) 
 
7. BANS LIFETIME LIMITS ON COVERAGE—Prohibits health plans from placing lifetime caps on coverage.  
Effective 6 months after enactment.    
 
8. BANS RESTRICTIVE ANNUAL LIMITS ON COVERAGE—Tightly restricts new plans’ use of annual limits to 
ensure access to needed care.  These tight restrictions will be defined by HHS.  Effective 6 months after 
enactment.  (Beginning in 2014, the use of any annual limits would be prohibited for all plans.) 

Link to PDF on immediate benefits:
http://docs.house.gov/energycommerce/IMMEDIATE_PROVISIONS.pdf

Klein's piece (includes a link to a timeline of plan rollout)
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/03/what_does_the_health-care_refo.html
 

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

RD, sorry for the misunderstanding. Not meant as anything more than a corollary position.

I have to say that I absolutely enjoy folks who take the very dimwitted view that our forefathers didn't consider a government as a vehicle for a better life for all of its citizens.

Looks like Antonio should go over to France and make his case there, since they continue to move to the left. The shrill folks from the tea party movement seem to want to pose this as socialism as in totalitarianism rather than for social good and well being.

After a year of obstructionist behavior on the Hill, the Republicans have almost succeeded in maintaining the financial status quo... our world filled with commercial banks sitting on trillions of dollars of credit default swaps in their financial accounts.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, bobsewell, for keeping track of my posts and repeating them. Let me repeat them as it seems the very dumbed down still don't undertstand them:

"The dumbed down are obviously unable to understand that Obama's scams like Obamacare have as their main objective “the American descent into Marxism,” which “is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple…” http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-american_capitalism-0

"Fortunately, most Americans have NOT been dumbed down! Most Americans are NOT sheeple! Most Americans are ready to defend their FREEDOM and the freedom of their children and grandchildren from Obama's scams and socialism/Marxism.

You forgot to include another that refers to you and others like you:

"The only people who support the Marxist Obamacare SCAM are Obama's comrades and ACORN operatives and those who have been dumbed down by a substandard and politicized education as per the warnings of Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6KUDv1wzraWhwlBt1

Have you listened to Yuri Bezmenov? He explains what happened to you and others like you.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The intro graf to Milbank's chat: "Good afternoon, communists, socialists, fascists, baby killers, liars and the rest of you. I am pleased to report that our long national nightmare -- the legislative birth of health care reform -- is over. Let's talk." http://live.washingtonpost.com/dana-milbank-03222010.html

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

russianthistle, thank you for reminding us why we must be forever grateful to Republicans.

By forcing a Marxist SCAM down our throats, Democrats demonstrated that they are either U.S. hating Marxist like Obama or corrupt politicians open to manipulation, intimidation, coercion and bribery.

Republicans, on the other hand, refused to be manipulated, coerced and BRIBED at our expense. They had the courage and integrity to try to defend Americans from the Marxist Obamacare SCAM!

Republicans said NO to the manipulations and BRIBES of Obama and his comrades. They had the courage and integrity to say NO:

NO to Marxist scams like Obamacare and cap and trade
NO to higher deficits that are destroying the future of our children and grandchildren
NO to government takeovers
NO to siding with terrorists and helping them at the expense of American people
NO to having the corrupt United Nations deciding what the U.S. should and should not do
NO to Saul Alinsky's culture of lies, manipulation, intimidation, coercion, bribery, fraud, corruption and death
NO to trampling on the U.S. Constitution
NO to imitating the strategies of the Marxist thugs who are destroying Latin America
NO to all of Obama's scams that are destroying America
YES to REAL reform to improve health care
YES to fiscal and personal responsibility
YES to governments of laws rather than of men
YES to defending Americans from terrorists and other U.S. enemies
YES to respecting the U.S. Constitution
YES to energy independence
YES to freedom, including freedom OF religion (not FROM religion)
YES to patriotism
YES to prosperity

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

How tiresome.

Posted by: Yoki | March 22, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Yuri Bezmenov? Isn't he that comedian who's now doing two shows every night down in Branson, along with Any Williams? Yeah, I used to like his stuff. "What a country!" Hahahahaha. Yep, a classic.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Geez, AS, your spittle almost came out of my computer screen on that one.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 22, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Cannot tell you how tickled I am to hear about your postulations regarding Executive Office scams perpetrated on the American Public, AS.

Some suggest that it would have been very helpful to consider such things back in November.

2000.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | March 22, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I am hosting tea time/coffee break right now. See the new garden shed in the back? Well, take a look at what Mudge has created for us. You WOULD THINK this houses tools, but you WOULD BE WRONG. Decorated by the Martha Stewart (but Nicer) of the south, this get away features five French iron bistro sets, set and waiting for y'll. In the right corner is a samovar of brewed Constant Comment; on the right is an espresso machine serving up yer cappichinos, yer machio-attos, yer foma-whippochinos, etc.

Yoki is in the back setting up the trays of savories and sweet. MsJS sent FIVE, count 'em FIVE kinds of Holiday cookies. Since the weather here is dreary, let's have winter fare one last time.

Dibs on the Swedish meatballs; now, if only TBG made dolmas...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Badsneakers,
Unfortunatelly, Haiti does not have the infrastructure and permanent institutions to deal with disasters. Also, education and qualified people are in short supply.

What is happening in Chile is that the wealthy have suddenly acquired a social concience. Private enterprise and charities are racing the government with emergency relief.

By having less to chew, private projects can dedicate themselves simultaneusly to emergency relief and reconstruction.

The damage is so huge (imagine California in ruins)that EVERYONE has to participate. The only advertizing that works now in Chile is buy this and such percentage will be donated.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | March 22, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes, Republicans respecting the constitution--Run away, run away, activist judges at work!

Antonio, do you ever get tired of yourself?

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Brag -- keep your reports from the other down under coming. What a concept? Rather like an Amish (read Chilean) barn building: acting like a COMMUNITY.

The commie threat is very old. Even if we moved a twee-bit toward socialism we fall very short of the Red (Menace) Dream.

And Antonio, guess you have been lucky so far in the health care world offered us by the moral trolls on Wall Street/Big Med. I fear Big Med more than this new program.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

CqP, best wishes, as always. There are several of us here who depend upon maintaining a pretty healthy mental and physical state for our primary line of defense.

On a serious non-troll comment, I think that Bernie Sanders' amendment to bring us public clinics will go a long way to create a quality regular standard for inexpensive maintenance programs for us all.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

CqP, I think that we all should have our own roads. I want my own road. I also have to say that the weakest of our people are those who consider the government as YOU, and not WE. The poor Antonios of the world have to get used to be in a minority. Hopefully, we can make his life a tad better, even as he fights against it with his withering attacks for Truth, Justice and The American Way.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

AS, where was your concern for the "trampling of the Constitution" when the Patriot Act was being rammed down our throats? Where was your concern about deficits when huge tax cuts, unfunded Medicare drug coverage, and an Iraq war were undertaken? Does your mantra of "personal responsibiity" extend to a responsibility to look out for the weakest among us? If there's a "scam" out there, it is the one the Republicans are perpetrating, convincing those whose wages and benefits have been systematically eroded that it's the fault of government, not of corporations focusing on their quarterly earnings.

*Donning a rain poncho, Gallagher-style*

Posted by: Raysmom | March 22, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RT; I have lupus. Comes and goes. My case is very mild. But, lupus can be a wolf, as in a very bad companion at times.

Hey, I outed myself in the blog; guess the big med people could troll around and find me and say HAHA. However, this whole situation emboldens me. That, and I found out that three cousins with the serious immune defect they struggle with -- and that my son has -- made video appeals to the MN delegation, include Michelle Bachman. They are the face of health reform. And, by the way, they all work full time and pay taxes. And, to be alive, need about 50K per year of immune/gamma globulin infusions to live. Talk about a death panel situation....they only reason they still have cobbled-together health coverage is that MN allows you to work full time AND have access to Minnesota Medicaid; you know, insurance for POOR PEOPLE. In another state, they would have to quite work to get health coverage. How CRAZY is that?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Antonio, is your middle initial by any chance S.? Because it just seems to fit in there right between the A and the S, ya know?

Posted by: kguy1 | March 22, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Stupid people are so boring. Sigh. Peel me another grape.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

CqP... it IS crazy. Just like Romney who established a very aggressive program in MASS before being against a program for the nation (and it appears against what he did in Mass.).

AND, good for the nuns.

ALSO, loans Raysmom a bigger poncho and some goggles.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Joel Achenbach, you did not have to worry about your aging mom and step-dad before. Now you do have to worry. Obamacare will force them to receive death counseling when they turn 65 and will leave them in the hands of death panels, staffed by ACORN types, to decide whether they live or die.

Obama and his comrades denied the death panels, but the ruling death panel had already been funded in the stimulus bill!

"It can be found in SECTION 9201 of the Stimulus bill. It sets up a 15 member Comparative Effectiveness Board, modeled after the UK's "NICE" board. Obama has appointed the members of this board and one of the members is DR. EZEKIEL IMMANUEL. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2314606/posts

In socialist doublespeak, Obama and his comrades may call Obama’s death panels "life panels,” but lies do not change Obama's pro-abortion and pro-infanticide (late-term abortion) stand, nor the aberrant stands of Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel and Science Czar John Holdren.

Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel, rightfully called "Doctor Death," would make Dr. Kervorkian proud.

Dr. Emanuel has said that "Medical care should not be given to those who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens."

As per Dr. Emanuel, your mother suffering from Alzheimer’s or your child diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome SHOULD NOT receive medical care. http://freedomedium.com/2009/07/barack-obama-appoints-doctor-death-as-health-care-czar/

And Obama's "Science Czar" John Holdren has called for population-control policies such as forced abortions, mass sterilizations, and mandatory population controls. http://www.prisonplanet.com/john-holdren-obamas-science-czar-forced-abortions-and-mass-sterilization-needed-to-save-the-planet.html

Lies do not change the FACT that we are broke and Obamacare will further destroy our economy, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Lies do not change the FACT that Obamacare is another scam to enslave us.


Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

CQP, what a lovely setting!

In addition I've brewed up some hot tea (for the drearier climes) and some fresh-brewed iced tea (for those who want something springier).

The aforementioned (aFIVEmentioned?) cookies are:
1) big soft ginger cookies
2) oatmeal craisin cookies
3) ladywafers (a sort of Pepperidge Farm Milano wafer cookie dipped in dark chocolate)
4) orange cookies
5) lemon bars

Sort of a salute to winter/dreary/cold with a look toward spring.

Anyone got napkins?

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dear, CqP, my sympathy to you and your family members. You are so right!

Hey, Mudgie, we're closer to Medicare now, when we can make AS pay for our health care!!!! Wanna personally deliver the bill to him? (I'll stand behind you, but I'll bring my cane -- the one with the spike).

Posted by: -ftb- | March 22, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Antonio Sosa, I know John Holdren. I used to work for him. You are so wrong on this. My goodness, continue if this gives you the strength to go on.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Oohhh, goodie -- a tea party (or is that a Tea Party????). Shall we bring copies of the Constitution?

Posted by: -ftb- | March 22, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

In a very perverse sort of way, I'm beginning to enjoy this guy, kinda like scratching impetigo. Death panels.

In a way, I suppose it's a good object lesson to run into people like this once in a while.

Although how he managed to work one hand loose from the restraints to type on a keyboard I'll never know. Lax security, that's what it is. And he's clearly not swallowing all the meds. Comes from watching too many episodes of "House."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

MUDGE -- thunder and zig zags in CP-land, north of you by say seven crow miles. What a day!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"Repeating ignorant opinions ad nauseum does not make them true."

--Raysmom

Thanks for the tea MsJS.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 22, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey, hey, don't lump me in with these limp-wristed, cheese-eating surrender monkeys. I voted for Bush twice (although I kinda forget why), and refuse to use my health insurance just on general principle.

In these parts, I qualify as a John Bircher!

Posted by: bobsewell | March 22, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious and pathetic at the same time.

Posted by: Yoki | March 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

MsJS -- the lovely and talented and generous Missus Mudgies decorated the garden cottage. (In the rear are cunning little bike storage cubbies, for me and Kb and bikingTim and others). Mudge built it with his blue-palmed boating hands and she had the idea for a tea house retreat.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Sosa, you don't HAVE any grandchildren. And you never will.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey k_auman, don't worry about the time zones. The sun never sets on the Achenblog, and all that. Welcome (from Mountain Daylight Time)

Posted by: engelmann | March 22, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Surrender (Dorothy) monkeys! Oh Bob, now you are scaring me with the winged creatures who serve the WWW. Stop it or you cannot have tea or espresso or hot chocolate.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I ought to write a Tea Party Health Care Reform Act. I suppose the statement of purpose would state that there is no right to health care, and that the federal government will not spend taxpayer dollars to provide health care, except for the military and veterans.

More relevantly, the New Yorker has reactions from some staff writers. Toobin, the lawyer, confirms my impression that the great abortion commotion was about nothing (Fox to the contrary). Atul Gawande was on hand in the House gallery with his fourteen-year-old son.
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/03/watching-the-health-care-vote.html

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 22, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

For K-aufman:

We serve fake food.

Mudge is in charge as in we are motley union of sorts: think the rude mechanicals from WmShakespeare's Midsummers Night Dream.

Cassandra is our beloved pastor; she invokes a blessing upon rising.

Engleman, WB, Mudge, DNGirl -- well, the poem makers. Original stuff. Good and amazing and done on the fly.

This leads to pome slap downs when we share poems.

We talk about

knitting
theater youth
marching band
motor torque
boats (messing about; repairing)
flowers
CURLING, CURLING, CURLING
HOCKEY
Football, 'Merican style....

We pretend that the Canouks among us will invade us with politeness, poutine, and policies (health care type)....

What else will help him come inside the big old red striped tent of jokes?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

And yet, strangely, bobsewell, you write literately and avoid the use of All Caps. You even have a sense of humour. What's wrong with you?

Posted by: Yoki | March 22, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I added a lil bit to the kit, fyi...

Posted by: joelache | March 22, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

BobS, democracies allow us to vote without harassment. You get to choose.

I, for one, am looking forward to my 'death panel' interview, even though it's several years hence. I've already decided what to wear, but I'm still up in the air on what to serve. Guess it'll depend in part on the timing of the interview. Some things are better at certain times of the day, non?

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Oooh, a tea party! I'm bringing cheese straws. They qualify as savory, having cayenne in them.

Been fighting with my brother the MBA on Facebook about health care. He doesn't have a clue, and my father and grandfather are spinning in their graves that he is a registered Republican.

My pastor posted this, which is a good summary:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1914020220100319?rpc=60

Posted by: slyness | March 22, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Joel Achenbach, you did not have to worry about your aging mom and step-dad before. Now you do have to worry. Obamacare will force them to receive death counseling when they turn 65 and will leave them in the hands of death panels, staffed by ACORN types, to decide whether they live or die.

Obama and his comrades denied the death panels, but the ruling death panel had already been funded in the stimulus bill!

"It can be found in SECTION 9201 of the Stimulus bill. It sets up a 15 member Comparative Effectiveness Board, modeled after the UK's "NICE" board. Obama has appointed the members of this board and one of the members is DR. EZEKIEL IMMANUEL. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2314606/posts

In socialist doublespeak, Obama and his comrades may call Obama’s death panels "life panels,” but lies do not change Obama's pro-abortion and pro-infanticide (late-term abortion) stand, nor the aberrant stands of Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel and Science Czar John Holdren.

Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel, rightfully called "Doctor Death," would make Dr. Kervorkian proud.

Dr. Emanuel has said that "Medical care should not be given to those who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens."

As per Dr. Emanuel, your mother suffering from Alzheimer’s or your child diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome SHOULD NOT receive medical care. http://freedomedium.com/2009/07/barack-obama-appoints-doctor-death-as-health-care-czar/

And Obama's "Science Czar" John Holdren has called for population-control policies such as forced abortions, mass sterilizations, and mandatory population controls. http://www.prisonplanet.com/john-holdren-obamas-science-czar-forced-abortions-and-mass-sterilization-needed-to-save-the-planet.html

Lies do not change the FACT that we are broke and Obamacare will further destroy our economy, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Lies do not change the FACT that Obamacare is another scam to enslave us.


Posted by: AntonioSosa
________________________________________

OMG he actually said "death panels"...

Posted by: PeterPamZ | March 22, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

None of these horrified anti-communists eschews driving on the Commie-inspired, tax-funded Interstate Highway System. I say, that grape was delicious. Peel me another!

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If Obama is Nap 3 and LBJ is Nap 1, what does that make Dubya?

A. Nero sans love of music.
B. Caligula sans love of horses.
C. Emperor of Lilliput sans stature.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 22, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Death panels, how is it remotely possible to think that would be considered much less implemented. Do people make statements like that because they have never paused and actually considered what people are telling them, research it, apply common sense. Talk about sheeple.

Cool and rainy here Tea Party sounds nice, I will bring our secret Canadian maxist strategy :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | March 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Antonio... are you just trying to sound like a dope or are you the real deal?

Take two of these and call me in the morning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV5rHm0Qi_s

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, before you visit your friendly neighborhood Death Panel, it might be wise to consult our CqP for fashonista tips for dressing appropriately before the Grim Reaper. Basic black? Something a little festive (to show insouciance)? A non-nonsense business suit? Casual? Something girly and flirty? I have no idea, you see. All I know is the situation is fraught -- fraught I tell you! -- with pearl. Or peril. Or both.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Joel asks, perspicaciously: "If Obama is Nap 3 and LBJ is Nap 1, what does that make Dubya?"

Turd-Nap.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Are we good for a game of wingnut bingo? We just need some gamesheets handily marked with 'death panel', 'obamination', 'communist', 'czar', etc...

Antonio, you write like you have worked for the information ministry of one of those left wing dictatorships.

Posted by: qgaliana | March 22, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

So, to all my Canukistani Boodler friends -- what's it like living in a Marxist country? I think I'm frenvious suddenly.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 22, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

You mean, there won't be a death-panel interview after all?

After I put so much thought into what to wear and serve?

*sigh*

I think Dubya would have made a better Nap 2 if he had actually lived in Austria during his theoretical reign (like the original).

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Sick of "death panels." It's also know as "complimentary and voluntary estate planning," which is thousands less than we charge here at my office for the same service. So you should really be thinking of the thousands you WON'T have to pay to create your living will and parts of your estate plan.

Aussi, je n'aime pas le caps lock from uninformed people.

Posted by: Sara54 | March 22, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

And CqP, don't forget to add Swedish to the list! Jag vill så gärna ha detta lilla språk på listan. Or is that language entirely too Marxist? Or Leif-Ericssonist?

Posted by: -ftb- | March 22, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I vote for C.

Is the tea party like the one in Alice in Wonderland? Because that's more my style, although it looks awfully messy.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 22, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Stupid Palin for coining the term "death panels."

Posted by: Sara54 | March 22, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Sara! So glad to hear that young people were paying attention to this, and seem to understand the issue better than older folks (at least anecdotally, in my experience). One of the articles I read over the weekend noted that most of the Tea Party protesters appeared to be white and over 50. That says so much.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 22, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

PeterPamZ owes me a new laptop, unless he can figure out how to get the spewed afternoon coffee cleaned off of it.

Raysmom... your 3:25 deserves a standing ovation. BRAVO!!!!!!

Posted by: -TBG- | March 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Naw, Sara P never had an original thought in her life. The "death panel" foolishness started with a woman named Betsy McCaughey. Jon Stewart dissected her one night on the DShow just for the he!! of it.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-20-2009/betsy-mccaughey-pt--1

Posted by: kguy1 | March 22, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, kguy. I'll go check it out. John Stewart is always delightful. :)

Posted by: Sara54 | March 22, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, ftb, I'm pretty sure my kids will be disappointed to learn that under our socialized, rationed health-care system the Government *still* hasn't implemented a decently-funded, properly constituted death panel. What is the world coming to, when a single-payer tax-funded federal system provides for preventive health care to old people, poor people, unemployed people, single mothers and their children, even unattractive people? People with pre-existing conditions? I mean, it just isn't fair to all us decent, upstanding citizens who know exactly what all those others should have done to avoid such a fate.

Posted by: Yoki | March 22, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I've been dealing with the death panel for years. It is blue, and features a cross. They said, even if I did have cerebrospinal fluid dripping from my ears for weeks from a concussion, it was long ago and they shan't pay for looking into it. (my head, that is)

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Tune: Fernando


Do you hear THEM come Antonio?
I remember long ago another fateful day like this
back in twenty-ten Antonio
You were babbling to yourself and quickly typing off your screeds
I could hear death panels forming
So the MARXISTS could give health care for each persons needs

There was fluoride in the water they say
To make us GAY, Antonio
The death panels came for you and me
For LIBERTY, Antonio
Though we hoped Obamacare would LOSE
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Antonio

Now we're old and grey Antonio
And still we wait for the death panels, all with fear
Can you hear them come Antonio?
Though its been ten years you know they will be coming any year
I can see it in your eyes
How proud you were to fight for all we hold dear

There WAS fluoride in the water they say
To make us gay, Antonio
The death panels came for you and me
For LIBERTY, Antonio
Though we hoped Obamacare would lose
There's NO regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Antonio

Posted by: engelmann | March 22, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"If Obama is Nap 3 and LBJ is Nap 1, what does that make Dubya?"

A WetNap?

Thank you, thank you -- I'll be here all week. Tip your servers.

-Snarky Squirrel, who is anxiously awaiting the next rant from Antonio Sosa

Posted by: 7900rmc | March 22, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

qgaliana,
If I can get A(s)S to say 'birth certificate', I win Wingnut Bingo.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know about the state health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals, in which lack of participation will lead to fines?

(Such a punitive mentality we have in this country. I swear some legislators are happier to call a tax a "fine.")

Knowing my state, they will turn it all over to the company with the pre-existing death panels. You know the one. It's blue...

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant, engelmann.

Posted by: Yoki | March 22, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Antonio Sosa
Keyser Söze

Sniff, sniff, anybody else getting a whiff of conspiracy? I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 22, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"If Obama is Nap 3 and LBJ is Nap 1, what does that make Dubya?"

According to Maureen Dowd, The Dauphin.

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/31/opinion/liberties-when-the-boy-king-ruled.html

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | March 22, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Very nice, e-mann. (Now I have to go ride a bus home with that tune in my head. *sigh*)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 22, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Antonio Sosa caught corking his bat?

Posted by: -TBG- | March 22, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

On a side note, it was fascinating at times to watch the coverage on CNN yesterday (in between sports). The oddest thing was seeing the anti-abortion democrats call a press conference to say they were now supporting the bill because they had gotten the president to promise an executive order on the subject. You would _never_ see this in a parliamentary system. The conversation with a PM would have been limited to "Vote the party line or you're fired and good luck getting reelected as an independent. Elections are in 6 weeks if we lose the vote". Anyways, it looks like a long way from a totalitarian system.

Yello, I would recommend you avoid any of the key phrases lest you hand victory to a rival :-)

Posted by: qgaliana | March 22, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Englemann, you win today's prize!

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

jkt--I have thought for a long time that the A(s)S's of the world have to be on the payroll. OR, just maybe he is a really smart dog.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMdWPxHiub0

Posted by: russianthistle | March 22, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Englemann -- rocketing *HEARTS* to you!!!!!!! That was even more than merely brilliant. It was monstrously brilliant!

And, like Mudge, the tune cootie has taken root.

Yoki, you are dangerous -- you know that, eh?

BTW, yours and my hockey teams are playing musical playoff chairs with each other still. One of them is going to the post-season and lose in the first round, and one of them isn't. Well, you know what I mean.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 22, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

e-mann,
How dare you sully ABBA with wingnutty lyrics so brilliantly!

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think AS has to worry about being enslaved by health care reform. He's already a slave of his own fear and paranoia.

It's interesting that he's quoting a former KGB agent (Bezemov), and a Russian ultra-nationalist (Stanislav Mishin) who absolutely loathes the West in general, and the U.S. in particular.

Posted by: rashomon | March 22, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

With gnome-paid health care
No death panels, just vets' offic--
Ulp. Where's my Door Three?

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

On the internet no one knows you are sixteen.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol would not know "depth" if he drowned in it.

Posted by: rjoff | March 22, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

No sick germy kids
snotting up clean service dogs:
now that's good health news.

-Wilbrodog-


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The WSJ has a fairly clean summary of the health care bill. Not so great criticism, though.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704117304575137370275522704.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

The federal poverty level is just over 10K for a single person, by the way as of 2009. Maximum of 3% of income for 133% of poverty level would be 399 dollars a year.

So 400% of poverty level for a single person would be a bit over 40K a year. Cap would be at 3,800 dollars a year or 316 dollars a month.

Family of 4 at that scale (88K) would be capped at 8,360 dollars a year, or nearly 700 a month (likely less).

Well, it needs to be better, but the pre-existing condition clause is huge, huge. This protects people who need reform the most.

I'm not sure what the bill stipulated as a minimum level of regulated coverage, though. That would seem to be the big catch. Prescription drug coverage? Any kind of coverage that could be excluded (even if people with pre-existing conditions are accepted)?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

CollegeQuaParkian1, you know John Holdren and you don't know what he has written?!! Learn what Holdren has written and you'll see how scary it is to have such an individual as one of Obama's czars.

Some may have thought Hitler was a "nice" person. But that did not change the fact that he had evil ideas. Holdren's ideas, which he has written about, are as disgusting as Hitler's. Here are some of his suggestions:

• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation's drinking water or in food;
• Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
• People who "contribute to social deterioration" (i.e. undesirables) "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility" -- in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
• A transnational "Planetary Regime" should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans' lives -- using an armed international police force.

Impossible, you say? That must be an exaggeration or a hoax. No one in their right mind would say such things.

Well, I hate to break the news to you, but it is no hoax, no exaggeration. John Holdren really did say those things and there are photographs, scans, and transcriptions of pages in the book Ecoscience, co-authored in 1977 by John Holdren and his close colleagues Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich. http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm a broken record today: for profit yesterday, for profit today, for profit tomorrow.

As for your dread of college costs, there are many excellent public colleges that won't break you.............or did you raise your kids to believe that private is better? A fool and his money..........

Posted by: rusty3 | March 22, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Well if it is stated on www.zombietime.com is must be true!

Posted by: dmd3 | March 22, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your insults, dear dumbed down bloggers! Coming from Obama’s ACORN operatives or lemmings, any insults are welcome and further demonstrate that Obamacare is part of the Orwellian future that Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov warned us about. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6KUDv1wzraWhwlBt1

The dumbed down are obviously unable to understand that Obamacare will further contribute to “the American descent into Marxism,” which “is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple…” http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-american_capitalism-0

Fortunately, as we can see now, most Americans have not been dumbed down and they will do whatever necessary to defend themselves, their children and grandchildren from the abomination of Obamacare.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I confess, ftb, that I'm kinda rooting for your team in that battle. Mine doesn't really deserve a berth, and yours does (barely). I'll support my boys to the end of their run, but I won't be heartbroken if they take the position they've earned.

Posted by: Yoki | March 22, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Thank you AS, finally got a Hitler reference from you, been waiting all day for that one.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 22, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the death panels that Obama and his comrades denied, as I indicated, the ruling death panel "can be found in SECTION 9201 of the Stimulus bill and seems to be led by Dr. Death himself, DR. EZEKIEL IMMANUEL. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2314606/posts

Another death panel will be the “Independent Medicare Advisory Board” (IMAB ).

Subsection 3403 concerns the regulatory power of the IMAB to "reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending." The IMAB will be the ultimate arbiter of the cost, quality and quantity of health care to be made available to the American people, in other words, another death panel.

Enjoy the REAL death panels with Obamacare!

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

If Obama is Nap 3 and LBJ is Nap 1, what does that make Dubya? I believe that would make Dubya Charles X. Try this: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1852/18th-brumaire/index.htm.

Posted by: ALofaso | March 22, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I am holding out for the 2012 reference, come on AS you know you believe.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 22, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Sosa either doesn't understand the difference between description and prescription or, more likely, doesn't care.

From a "Catholic Times" article quoted on the very page he links to:

"The Ehrlichs said they had been "shocked" at what they called the "serious misrepresentation" of their and Holdren's views.

"We were not then, never have been, and are not now 'advocates' of the Draconian measures for population limitation described -- but not recommended -- in the book's 60-plus small-type pages cataloging the full spectrum of population policies that, at the time, had either been tried in some country or analyzed by some commentator."

"Describing "Ecoscience" as a "textbook," they said its descriptions can be "misrepresented as endorsement."

The Ehrlich's call it "misrepresentation." The more accurate term is "lies," and Sosa is just spreading them.

Posted by: rashomon | March 22, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Paul Ehrlich has any political influence?

Public colleges are tending to privatize. University of Virginia and University of Michigan are pretty far down that road, and others are increasing their out-of-state student populations (who pay the full cost of their education, or at least come closer to it) so you might see the strange spectacle of the University of Virginia recruiting students from North Carolina, while UNC-Chapel Hill tries to grab Virginians. It's a game of taking in each other's laundry.

When I finished high school, I was surprised to find that, unlike in places like California, Texas, and much of the Midwest, there seemed to be a big social stigma attached to attending a public university in Pennsylvania. Public schools were for the kids of steelworkers, coal miners, and shirt makers.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 22, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Which strawman said that Hitler was a "nice" person? I'll need a quote on that.

And frankly, A(s)S is making me yearn for the cogent commentary of the Lone Mule.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

You are welcome, badsneakers. I made the reference to Hitler because Holdren's ideas of how to control people are very similar to Hitler's. Read the book Ecoscience, co-authored in 1977 by John Holdren and his close colleagues Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, and you'll see the scary similarities.

Regarding Obama, I would not compare him with Hitler. I think he is almost identical to the Marxist thugs who are destroying Latin America. That's why many who are familiar with those thugs say that Obama is "Hugo Chavez on steroids." http://www.napavalleyregister.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_637e9a52-33e0-11df-a6c2-001cc4c03286.html?mode=comments

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I hear ya, Yoki. My Pistons are in the toilette, communing (ooohhh is that a "communistic" word?) with the Lions. The Tigers show promise, but my beloved Red Wings? Well, maybe it's just as well if they lose the spot to you guys. It'll give them more time to heal. Of course, Nick Lidström is turning 40 this Spring (an age, btw, I would *love* to get back), so he's not gonna be around for many more years. Some of the others are aging (like, in their *gulp* 30s). At least we've got some good young players, but this year has really been crappy for them.

dmd, does knitting have post-season playoffs?

*sigh*

Off to nuke something for dinner. Don't feel like actually making anything. Tomorrow, though. Perhaps.

AS, if you're so unhappy here, you might wish to move to another country. If they'll have you. Most of the other countries in the world, do have some form of socialized medicine, though, so they're out. Hey, how about Zimbabwe? You'd fit in fine.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 22, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Hitler? Did he say Hitler?

Bingo!

Posted by: MsJS | March 22, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Golly, with all those citations urging me to read crank websites, I feel the vapors coming on! Such fine, golden, silky smooth citations from crank websites they are! I had best just rest my silly empty head in the presence of such... manly vigor and um cutting wit.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Antonio, you do realize, don't you, that just about everyone here in this blog thinks you're a raving lunatic? I mention this because you seem to have no self-awareness whatsoever about how your comments are being received. We aren't mocking you mercilessly because we are Marxist thugs; we are mocking you mercilessly because you are a certifiable wack job.

Just thought I'd clear that up in case there was any confusion about it.

Using the online comments section of the Napa Valley Register as a source was a really cute touch, though. I mean, what could be more convincing than that? It's where I always go for my informed commentary on the news of the day.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 22, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Curmudgeon5! As I indicated before, coming Obama’s ACORN operatives or lemmings, any insults are welcome and further demonstrate that Obamacare is part of the Orwellian future that Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov warned us about.
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6KUDv1wzraWhwlBt1

I have to admit that you are a very funny (loony?) lemming who actually believes he knows "what everyone here in this blog thinks." :)

Keep up the insults, dear lemmings!


Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

What a surprise: the guy who shouted "Baby killer" at Bart Stupak was a Congressman from... wait for it, wait for it...oh, I can't hardly wait to tease this out some more! ...yes, friends. It has five letters and starts with a T. No, not "Twitt," but nice guess.

"Randy Neugebauer says he called out 'baby-killer' as Stupak spoke on House floor

Updated 3:35 p.m. 3/22/10
By Paul Kane

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.) acknowledged Monday that he yelled out "baby killer" toward Democrats during debate over a Republican abortion amendment in the final minutes of consideration of health-care legislation.

"The backbench Republican from west Texas said he has apologized to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who was urging the House to vote down the amendment when Neugebauer made his outburst.

"Neugebauer said Monday that the debate brought out too much passion in his disagreement with the deal Stupak struck with Obama and congressional leaders over abortion provisions in the legislation.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/03/stupak-called-baby-killer-on-h.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 22, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess we need a poll then. I vote for "raving lunatic."

Posted by: rashomon | March 22, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually I am a Marxist, Curmudgeon. My favorite quotes:

"A child of five would understand this. Send somebody to fetch me a child of five."

"Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men; the other 999 follow women."

"All people are born alike-- except Republicans and Democrats."

Alas, the noble great died before the internet, so I shall update those quotes slightly for the occasion.

"From the moment I picked up your blog until I surfed off, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it."

"I find the internet very educating. Everytime somebody starts trolling, I go in the other room and read a book."

And this is Wilbrodog's favorite:

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read."

And in conclusion to all this Marxism talk; this is my favorite Marxist quote:

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. This wasn't it."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

To be clear, I wasn't voting in support of the raving lunatic; I was voting for that as an accurate description.

Posted by: rashomon | March 22, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Mudge. I forgot to update my thoughts into the scanner. This chip has been driving me crazy with how it itches and I haven't had the health insurance to fix it.

Does that mean I lose my bunker pass?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Raving lunatic it is.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

rashomon, the rationalizations of progressives (Marxists) to justify Holdren's deviant stands are ridiculous by understanding.

They don't want Americans to know what Holdren and his ilk (including Obama) spouse, for example:

“If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” (pp. 837-838). Moreover, if the United States government refuses to take proper measures, they authorize the United Nations to take compelling force."

The excerpt is from Holdren's book, Ecoscience, which he co-authored, and which also espoused a World Government that would have global authority, including population control, and advocated for a global Redistribution of Wealth.
http://www.redstate.com/snarkandboobs/2010/03/16/stupak-amendment-exposes-obamacares-dirty-little-secret-eugenics/

It looks like Holdren's dream is coming to fruition, in part, via Obamacare and a Redistribution of Health.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 22, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Antonio. That's why Comrade Obama has made me commisar in charge of the People's Lemming Humor Collective. We ACORN operatives take our duty very seriously, and the use of humor and wise-assery is a useful tool to cloud the minds and mislead the dumbed down of the Western World, as prescribed in Marx's lesser known work, "Das Punchlinen: A Dialectic Examination of Petit-Bourgeois Toilet Humor in the Peasant's Uprising in the Saar Valley, 1832-5." You ought to read it: it's riveting, like so much of Comrade Marx's work.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 22, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I long for a day when citing PrisonPlanet is as good as citing the Bible. Then, we shall all be Free!

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

And to think my mom told me my wise ass comments wouldn't get me anywhere in life.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 22, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute. "Redistribution of health"?? I thought we were doing redistribution of WEALTH. G--d-- typos!!

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 22, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm also a Marxist, why I once shot an elephant in my pajamas...

I vote for 'raving lunatic' also.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 22, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

There have been many comparisons of Obama to LBJ over the past weeks. However, LBJ didn't deal with a 24/7 news cycle and I don't think most politicians have mastered that reality yet. In time, LBJ might have done so; I can picture him with a remote in one hand and a Blackberry in another with his desk phone on speaker.

Posted by: librarydiva | March 22, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Not me. I'm doing a write-in. Stupid ignorant puppet of the shouters.

Posted by: Yoki | March 22, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

BTW, your imploring me to believe Holdren's statements is unnecessary. I refuse to swallow an interpretation fed to me only by Prison Planet. In fact I usually read the whole thing and then decide. Perhaps you should go find someone who actually believes those statements, and argue with them. I would tell you if it's such a freakin' issue with you, buy a copy and read all of it. However, if it's nuanced in the slightest, I doubt your credentials to ascertain that, given your general raving. I supposed I could read it and if the man is serious, I could write Obama a letter telling him to dump the creep. Your work is cut out for you. You are just shouting because you are a lazy reader. That's right, lazy. By god I go to the university library when I have to. Why don't you? You kids today refuse to get off your butts and read the difficult material. Punk.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 22, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach's looking at 50???? Now that really depresses me. Means I'm old too.

Posted by: B2O2 | March 22, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Um, Sneaks? What was an elephant doing in your pajamas?

*snort*

Posted by: -ftb- | March 22, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"Comparison of the day comes from Bill Kristol."

I'd say the LBJ comparison of the day came from Newt Gingrich.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/20/AR2010032003349.html?sid=ST2010032001699

'Former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich said Obama and the Democrats will regret their decision to push for comprehensive reform. Calling the bill “the most radical social experiment . . . in modern times,” Gingrich said: “They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years” with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s.'

What Gingrich fails to note is that the election of Obama marked the point when the short (medium?)-term pain of passing Civil Rights became a long-term gain. Obama not only overpowered the Southern GOP with wins in other states, he even won Florida and North Carolina.

LBJ's visionary decision will only get better for Democrats from here on in, with white voters on course to become a minority in America. And the best of it is, it was done out of genuine principle by people who knew it would probably break their careers.

Gingrich disagrees. He thinks reforming healthcare is a bad move .... just like giving blacks the vote.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Gawd, I love the Boodle. We're too too funny and strong. I'm looking at you, dmd and Jumper.

Posted by: Yoki | March 22, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Me, I'm just sitting back and enjoying the whole thing. Eating strawberries and cream and basking in the light of health care as a basic human right.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | March 22, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Psst!

Don't spill the beans. "Humor is reason gone mad."

Komrade Marx also hated tyranny and he influenced MARX Twain who wrote "Against the force of laughter nothing can stand."

Yes. Marxists worked on the H-bomb-- the HUMOR bomb. Everytime you hear a comic talk about bombing, be very afraid.

And you know... MARX Twain was a member of the Order of Acorns. Here's the real proof!
http://www.libraries.wvu.edu/exhibits/twain/burke/index.htm

Who can forget MARX Twain's wise political parable of "The Blue Jay" in which a single acorn tricked a smart bird, and then by the dozens and dozens, the more the bird tried to get to the bottom of things, the more of an utter fool he became.
See, he got so focused on one thing that he didn't take a break to think about something else. Everybody else who wasn't, soon saw why he was a fool, but he couldn't because he had this big problem to think out. A classic.
http://www.classicauthors.net/twain/trampabroad/trampabroad2.html



Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

This Dan Balz article over the weekend
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/20/AR2010032003349.html
was striking to me in that the Republican minority at the time of Social Security and Medicare was so small:
"Although there was opposition to those measures -- conservative opponents called Medicare socialized medicine -- in the end they passed with overwhelming, bipartisan majorities.

The House approved the Medicare bill on a vote of 313 to 115, including 65 Republicans -- nearly half the GOP caucus at the time. The Senate approved the measure by 68 to 21, including 13 of the 27 Republicans.

Social Security passed the House in 1935 by 372 to 77. On that vote, 77 Republicans joined the majority and 18 Republicans opposed it. In the Senate, the vote was 77 to 6, with five of 19 Republicans in opposition."

Balz was writing about the lack of bipartisanship for this bill. Clearly, the answer is to have fewer Republicans.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 22, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what will happen in November, or what the short-term political ramifications of all this will be. But in the long term, this is a catastrophic defeat for America's Republicans, a wound in the party's side that will fester for decades.

No country that has moved healthcare in the public direction has ever gone back. In all 30-odd developed countries with public healthcare, there is not one significant political movement asking to go back to a private system.

In all of Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, there's no mainstream conservative party that advocates re-privatising health-care. Even among conservative voters, to do that would be political suicide.

These countries' conservative parties are always at pains to reassure voters they love the public system as much as the left does. In Britain, where an election looms, Tory leader David Cameron just promised to "ring-fence" the National Health Service from his proposed budget cuts. You see the same thing with the GOP protesting its love for the one piece of socialised medicine in the States, Medicare.

In all of history, including US history, there has never been a public health reform that didn't become hugely popular.

Throughout the developed world, "US-style healthcare" is a slur that politicians use to scare voters about their opponents' policies.
Americans will also come to remember the bad old days with horror, and to ask how anyone could have possibly opposed reform. The answer will be obvious - the influence of the insurance industry. Some day, that will even be taught in US high-school history classes.

As for the Republicans, their only option will be to do what they do with Medicare today -- pretend they were for it all along and hope no-one remembers the truth.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I tend to agree.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I have a felling my old buddy Pop Socket would get along great with Antonio.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Except in Texas, bourassa1.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 22, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

It was Sammy Sosa of the corked bat, Antonio is of the corked skull.

At any rate, as we say in the Internationale, le Peuple vaincra.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

El Pueblo vincera!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I've been thinking the *very* same thing this evening.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | March 22, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

SCC vEncera. @!**

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

AS, how's the weather in San Antiono today?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | March 22, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

"If Obama is Nap 3 and LBJ is Nap 1, what does that make Dubya?"

Easy. Marshal Petain.

Posted by: simpleton1 | March 22, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

My Spanish is pretty rusty, and my link to Babelfish is down. Does "el pueblo vincera" mean "the house wins," shriek?

Antonio, you still out there? I must say, for a raving lunatic you seem reasonably cheerful and pleasantly discursive. Would you mind responding to a few questions?

First, I'm curious as to why, after your first post or two here, you continued to post stuff in the face of overwhelming ridicule. Clearly, this was a hostile environment; yet, it didn't seem to bother you much. So what was the point of continuing to post your political views? It should be apparent you weren't going to convert anybody here, nor were you even going to get a civil response. So why? Simple amusement? Are we like the San Diego Zoo to you, where you can wander about and look at the wild creatures running free in their native environment? Boredom? What?

Second, you must have some self-awareness that your views are in a very distinct and very small minority against the spectrum of political opinion in this country. How do you feel about that? How does it feel to be in a minority of oh, maybe five percent of the public? (This is a completely serious question.)

Third, what happened to you in El Salvador? I'm guessing you don't live there right now, and also guessing you live here. Why not go back to El Salvador and fight the good fight against your perceived political opponents?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 22, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Some days it is just fun to read the comment section in the local right-wing newspaper. The big topic today was a six-pack of dim bulbs getting arrested for selling drugs, mostly pot. The normal gaggle of Tea Party faithful were outdoing themselves. Seems the problem was the moonbat liberals being soft on crime. Or, the moonbat liberals and crooked cops wasting our money by arresting harmless drug dealers. All that money being spent by the moonbat liberals putting people in prison was just killing us. What we needed was to lock people up for good at the same time that we legalized drugs. Problem was, those druggie moonbat liberals would ruin the state if they did that. I wish I was joking. That discussion was, in effect, a great synopsis of the Tea Party.

Posted by: steveboyington | March 22, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

"Except in Texas, bourassa1."

I knew someone was going to say that.

Did you hear Boehner complaining that the Democrats were betraying Jeffersonian principles?

I think Thomas Jefferson might be more upset about the Republicans who are planning to expunge him from schoolkids' textbooks for being too liberal or agnostic or whatever.

They did ask for more Jefferson Davis, though. A Founding Father of THEIR nation.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, this has been a delightful afternoon and evening! I have greatly enjoyed the wit and wisdom of those who posted.

I hope you are right, bourassa1. Didn't the Aussies repeal reform and then enact it again? As you say, it's popular everywhere.

Posted by: slyness | March 22, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

When I am not sure how to take a development, I often ask myself: what would conservapedia do?

Posted by: steveboyington | March 22, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Ok enough humouring...

Antonio I'm calling you out. My Spanish speaking ancestors actually did flee a dictatorship. A right wing one. The kind where you take your loved ones in prison their meal every day and pray that they don't say "No esta", meaning they shot him overnight to make space for some other poor sod who happened to be ratted out by someone who didn't like him.

Your pathetic attempts to link current day American politics to these sorts of dictatorships with your crank links are at best just that: pathetic. At worst they are fear mongering and hatred of the sort routinely used by the propaganda machines of the government systems you claim to fear, but that with every word you write, further associate yourself with.

Posted by: qgaliana | March 22, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Comrad Mudgski, I believe it means the People will prevail. Great South American slogan of the 70s. Back when we believed.

(When there is no typo in the word vencera that is.)

Communistically yours and make the Rich pay.

I should have kept those flyers from En lutte!/In Struggle!, my favourite Trotskyist outfit. Cripes, they were they were so funny without knowing it.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Originally in Italian , SD?

Posted by: qgaliana | March 22, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

El pueblo vencera (in Spanish). I thought you were quoting the Internationale or something.

I have this strange urge to listen to Billi Bragg now.

Posted by: qgaliana | March 22, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

El pueblo vencera (in Spanish). I thought you were quoting the Internationale or something.

I have this strange urge to listen to Billy Bragg now.

Posted by: qgaliana | March 22, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

SCC - sorry for the double post - late at work must remember to hit refresh :-(

Posted by: qgaliana | March 22, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tea and cookies, y'all.

Howdy snarky squirrel and steveboyington. Also welcome to bourassa; and B202, we of Joel's age are all young together.

I enjoyed being reminded why I, too, am a Marxist. Without the cigar.

The whole process reminds me of Will Rogers: "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer."

As an attorney I'm pretty unhapppy about these death panels. As Sara says, existing firms now charge a lot of money for advice the gummint will give away for free. Should I ever desire to go into estate planning this will drastically curtail my income.

Engelmann, that was a tour de force. A fine job. It is possible that our humor-challenged friends may adopt it as an anthem. This would certainly add some entertainment to the discussion for everyone else.

I vote "raving lunatic", though it was a close call with the other description, "certifiable wack job". Really, I could go either way. Those were good questions, Mudge.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Between you, me and bourassa it's getting mightily latin here qgaliana...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Howdy back atcha, Ivansmom. I must remember to check in here more often but I always have trouble finding it unless it has a front-page link. Of course, on those days, it's a boodle filled with delightfully insightful commenters like our own Crazy AS.

bc, why do you think Crazy AS is from San Antonio?

Meanwhile, is it possible to actually have NEGATIVE points on an NCAA bracket? Because unless my math is off, I think I do. "KANSAS" [shaking fist in air]

-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | March 22, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

In other patriotic news, I completed our census form. We will soon be official. Now all we need is to file our taxes and we will be wholly responsible citizens.

There was so much more room than I needed on the census form, I felt like I should include the rabbit. After all, she lives in the house. I thought better of it, though, as I didn't want to confuse anyone.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Go Brackets!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Bookmark, snarky squirrel, bookmark. Otherwise I'd never get here.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I've got a dog heavier than three of the inhabitants of the house Ivansmom and yet it's not a registered voter yet. The other dog's been around 13 and a half years yet doesn't show up either in official stats. The 12 years old cat we don't care.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

One word of warning:

"Compared with average earnings in each
of the two countries, physicians in Australia earn 2.2 times the average
salary rate, while U.S. physicians earn 5.4 times the average salary."

The US will never achieve the savings achieved in other countries, no matter what system it implements, for the simple reason that American doctors all expect millionaires' salaries.

I'm reminded of an occasion when the Canadian Medical Association invited the Health Minister to address them. They were all whining about govt's failure to fix the "physician shortage", saying that France had twice as many doctors per patient. The minister drily responded that French doctors were paid half as much as Canadian doctors.

Well, Canadian doctors are paid half as much as American doctors.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, I put up a long answer to Slyness about Australian healthcare, but it was "held by the blog owner", so this (later) comment about doctors' pay that appears above must seem a bit of a nonsequitur.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Is Snarky Squirell our Wacky Weasel? Or do we have more than one crazy rodent?

And, the little overbite can charm in Rocky the Squirrel- or Barrington Bunny- or Hazel the Guinea Pig- or Stuart Little-way (pick your fave rodent).

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

bourassa, there is a length limit on posts - don't take it personally. I think it's around 500 words, but I could be wrong, as I've never come close to hitting it.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 22, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The so called "blog owner" is referred to as the Comment Bot. It's a very dumb beast but it objects to long posts (mudge would know the exact word count that gets through).

Both dogs are snoring, I can't barely hear myself think. And the aroma, ewwwww.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 22, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it is 500 words, seasea. On the nose. 499 wil fly.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 22, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

El Salvador: el pueblo vencerá. War documentary, presumably leftist, 1980.

"The people will overcome", roughly. "Win" and "community" sound too wimpy. A slogan to bash Ayn Rand with.

Minor League Baseball players were foraging at Walmart tonight, distinguishable by looking pretty spiffy and having wearing proper baseball caps.

Oak catkins and rain have stained the freshly-bleached driveway a soft shade of yellow.

Back to the kit, Joel's query about GW Bush's Napoleon Number brings to mind Portland (Ore.) Opera's production of Offenbach's "La Belle Hélène" from early 2001. The original made a bit of fun of then-reigning Napoleon III. The Portland production mocked the freshly-inaugurated younger Bush, something the audience didn't much like. The production ended with a can-can (evidently just as the original had) accompanied by newspaper headlines screaming the outbreak of war.

I don't know whether Hoffman suspected that Napoleon III's dictatorship would go down in flames. It certainly seems possible.

Less seriously, a scene showing women adoring the dead Adonis was moved to something like Woodlawn Cemetery with suitably glamorous ladies in sunglasses laying flowers at a huge poster of Brad Pitt, not dressed as Portland native Tyler Durden.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 22, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I should get a job predicting the weather, just kidding.

Last Monday I said to someone complaining about the constant rain that it would clear up tomorrow. She said really. I said yes, trust me. Besides I know these things, I'm a water sign. Four days of gloryfull weather.

Today I was out reading the paper, doing the crossword puzzle and drinking a margarita. Asked for my check and the bartender said only one? I said I wanted to get to the library before the storm hit. He said it already passed by. I said that was the first shift, there will be another in about fifteen minutes. I'll stop in for number two on the way home though. He looked at me strangely like well I don't really know.

Return some books and videos, and get some more to borrow, look up some stuff online, look out the window and see the second shift had passed by.

Walk into Alero and order a margarita, and the bartender is looking at me strangely, only a different kind of strangely...

Later he asked me about it, How I arrived just after one down pour passed through then left before the next only to return after it too had passed.

I said "One word: RADAR."

Thing is though, I predicted the timing of that second storm passing through before I left my apartment. It started just after I arrived at the Library and stopped just as I was ready to leave.

Now if only I could do the same with lotto.

Posted by: omni3 | March 22, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Words, not characters and/or spaces, Mudge? How...technologically limiting.

Can you redo the post, bourassa? Maybe as two posts? I'd love to see what you have to say about the Australian experience.

Yup, physician pay will have to be adjusted. Personally, I don't have a problem with that. We also need to change the incentives so that more become internists and general practitioners, instead of specialists. That's really needed so that doctors can be persuaded to work in rural areas, as well as in cities.

Posted by: slyness | March 22, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Omni, I'd call you a rain god, but then I remember that HHGTTG shtick about the lorry driver who was indeed a rain god and didn't realize it-- he just knew that it was pissing all the time.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't see a reason why "raving lunatic" and "certifiable wack job" can't be applied together. I'll vote for both.

AS, did you fall down and smack your little head on the pavement?

qgaliana, clap, clap, clap!

I thought this was really interesting.
http://www.frumforum.com/waterloo

Posted by: -dbG- | March 22, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I've had a splendid day with our new posters and pet wingnut. However, this is it for me, sheeple. If I'm to avoid luggage under my eyes tomorrow I must hie me to bed. Buenos gnocchis, y'all, fondue and vaya con queso.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Oop. I wrote "Hoffman" where "Offenbach" was intended. A case of Tales of Hoffman being maybe too popular for its own good.

Apart from the coarse staging of La Belle Hélène, the music impressed me. Light, from an age of soggy ponderosity.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 22, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I thought the way the Census handles kids at college was a little confusing. First they say to not count such kids. Then they have a box to check if you do so anyway.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 22, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks guys, I put in an excerpt from a journal article and it put me over. I'll just cut it and link to it, and anyone can go there to get the actual facts, which I'll summarise.

Thanks, slyness, I had no idea about this issue, that the Republicans claimed Australia re-privatised. So I went and looked some. I'm afraid my answer is a bit long-winded.

http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/reprint/10/3/129.pdf
LESSONS FROM DOWN UNDER

"A widespread impression of Australia’s health care system is that it
changes every fifteen minutes. This impression derives from Australia’s politically turbulent 1970s..."
______________________

Australia's main left wing party is Labour. On the conservative right is the Liberal party (if any Teabaggers are reading, Liberal means different things outside the US).

Labour got into power in 1972 after decades of trying. A public health system was their main platform. They built Medibank, a wholly socialised NHS-style system with no fees for any care, paid for out of income tax.

The Liberals formed a coalition with the Country party and beat Labour in 1976. But during the campaign, they promised not to touch Medibank.

They broke this promise, but tried to disguise it by calling the new iterations Medibank II and Medibank III.

The changes they made amounted mostly to adding a copayment for doctor services, and later extending subsidised benefits to people who chose to opt out of Medibank and buy private insurance. Finally in 1981 they tried to impose charges for hospital stays, on everyone except pensioners and welfare recipients, for hospital stays, though they offered to subsidise the insurance that would cover this.

The public was by now hopping mad about all these changes, and in the 1983 election - fought almost entirely on healthcare - Labour came back to power on a promise to put back their fully socialised system.

This they did, though they called it Medicare, to distinguish it from the unpopular Medibank III. It was the Medibank I in all but name.

So it remains today, financed partly by a 1.5% income tax, the Medicare Levy. Rich people who don't buy private insurance pay an additional 1%. Labour was knocked out of power for a decade - they're back now - but the right never dared tamper with socialised medicine again.

Australia currently has the fifth-highest life expectancy in the world, the US being 42nd. They spend 9.1% of GDP on health, compared to 16.3% in the US.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

BOURASSA! Thankee. Just read your post aloud to CPBoy, who is 17. Permit a tiny brag of relief. He turned on BBC to listen to their take on our reform. WITHOUT ASSIGNED BY A TEACHER.

Oh my! He is drawn to a range of news sources.

Now, to balance this small victory: tube socks remain a clutter-fluster in the house. As me me -- flustered -- and he? Not so much.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

But even at its most rightwing, Medibank III was still far to the left of Obama's reforms.

The copayment for a doctor visit (to discourage doctor-botherers) hit a maximum of Aus$20. The rest was always paid for by the Govt, out of general funds and the levy. Not insured by the govt - paid for by the govt.

All private plans were govt-subsidised even for rich people. The poor, the Aussie equivalent of America's 40 million, never paid a penny for any healthcare under any of these govts. In fact they didn't even pay the levy.

As for today's Australian Medicare, it's actual socialism - but strictly confined to the field of healthcare in an otherwise capitalist economy. Just like Britain. Just like France, the country with world's best healthcare.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and needless to say, even when the conservatives did repeal bits of the care, they never repealed any of the levy.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

dbG,
That is the same Frum article that engelmann mentioned earlier today. Somebody needs to speak truth to out-of-power.

I had a high school friend on my IRL Facebook page refer me to an article on Zombietime, clearly the premiere source for wingnut rants.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Haha it's the American take on the reform that fascinates me, CP.

The British reaction is pretty predictable. Everyone in Britain thinks the US health system is completely insane.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Good for you, qgaliana. I was so surprised AntonioSusa came back to respond to comments that I felt bad for having ridiculed his posts. But you're right. When it comes down to it, there's nothing redeeming about this drivel of comparing a popularly elected President and Congress passing a health care bill with real Marxists.

Posted by: engelmann | March 22, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

What confused me about the Census was that it asked a question in past tense about a date in the future - How many people resided at this place on April 1 - leading me to wonder if we were supposed to wait to fill it out. But it said to fill it out today. I finally looked at their FAQ on their website and it says to fill it out and mail it back right away.

This is an interesting article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/22/AR2010032203225.html?hpid=news-col-blog

Jon Stewart had Gary Locke (Sec of Commerce, former governor of WA) on last week. Not the most hilarious bit I've seen either of them do, but kind of funny in spots:
http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/03/video_gary_locke_on_the_daily.php

I like the full employment idea.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 22, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, B. Do you have some of the cowboy-sheep rancher libertarian indie flavor in your country? I am from the plains and mountain west. I understand some of the LIVE FREE OR DIE attitude here. But, tis false really, and an artifact of modern times. Sorta like driving SUVs in city and suburban settings. Very faux cowboy. But sells the cars nearly as well as the eye-candy riding shot gun approach.

The true west story was deeply based on communal efforts. You would starve or freeze without the kindness of neighbors.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

My nationality is kind of torn between Canadian and British so I'm kind of torn between yes and no on the question of rugged individualism, in that order.

However as a 20-odd I spent some time around the Four Corners region, and can testify to the powerful de-regulating effect of the air or sky or whatever it is out there. I felt like Jesse James when I was out there, in fact my respect for the law was about zero. Not that I hated it or went out of my way to break it, it just never entered my consideration. Being out there didn't make me mean or anything, but it tends to de-domesticate you, I found.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I think it's clear that rural life tends to push people to the right and urban life tends to push them to the left.

But then - especially in the case of health care - it's harder for rural people to get their hands on all these government services.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

You said it better than I did. Now, turning over the lap top to guitar boy. He will play along to reggae selections on Pandora, segue to Parliament Funk, and then land of a new group that I like called Slightly Stoopid: ZepLike. Cover here.

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

The sound track of my life is very good these days.

GNite. Take care swing shift, Rainy and Daiwanian.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 22, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Not necessarily.

Rural Minnesotans often vote Democratic-Farm Labor party (DFL: part of the national Democratic party), because they do care about farm and labor issues key to their economy.

The Southwest on the other hand (except for California) gets its money from oil and mining--- which means a lot of wealth in the hands of a few who don't want to play environmentally nice if it costs them.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 22, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Not that I'm a cynic, but farmers always vote for the guy who offers the biggest subsidy.

I'm off too, cheers.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 22, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

this is about the evolution of a song, and can be expected 'round this time of the day. just to stay on kit, i'm glad that something approaching health care reform passed one vote. i'd gladly pay additional tax in an attempt to keep er's from continuing to be the source of primary care for millions of Americans. they deserve coverage, even if some of us that are better off foot the bill. now, back to the music. west la fadeaway is one of those catchy tunes that would never make it on radio, but since it is in a, makes for a great jam. if you're so inclined, check out the rollout version in '82 to the more refined version in '83.

http://www.dead.net/features/march-22-march-28-2010

classic transformation from just a tune to an experience. ymmv. it was enough to make me pick up my axe and pretend i was playing to a crowd. i'm easily amused.

Posted by: -jack- | March 22, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

CQP, therein lies the problem... even the hardiest individualists have a history of helping their neighbour (except old man Tanner up on the mountain but everyone knows to stay away from his place).

The issue are the dangerous buffoons who make a point of selling their myth that because you can't see who the government helps in your name, it must be going to some layabout parasite whose secret agenda is to undermine the nation by doing nothing. Spreading fear of the unknown other makes for easy political points but is grossly irresponsible.

Posted by: qgaliana | March 22, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Jack - You might enjoy an Atlantic article titled 'Management Secrets of the Greateful Dead.'
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/03/management-secrets-of-the-grateful-dead/7918/
I thought of the A-blog when I got to the following: "In the late 1980s, Rebecca G. Adams, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who studies friendships formed across distances, noticed deep bonds between Deadheads. The bonds seemed to belie the idea, then popular among leading social thinkers, that communities based on common interest, whose members do not live near each other, lack emotional and moral depth—that Deadheads might belong to what sociologists call a “lifestyle enclave,” but couldn’t possibly form meaningful relationships....Today, everybody is intensely interested in understanding how communities form across distances, because that’s what happens online."

Posted by: km2bar | March 22, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Settling places like Wyoming (and especially Utah) was highly collaborative, with the exception of local conflicts like the sheep/cattle wars. A dry wash in the Bighorn Basin named Deadline Draw is a reminder of that time. As in cross that line, and you're dead.

Wyoming is a very spread-out neighborhood, with residents willing to drive hours for things like basketball games.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 22, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Could Wyomingites be a bit like Deadheads?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 22, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Gotta run. Big day tomorrow at one of the new death panels. I'm expecting to spend a long day denying health care to class enemies.

Posted by: rashomon | March 23, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Hi everybody. Greetings from Hawaii, which (incidentally) has had government-supplied socialized health care for a while now.

No astronomy tonight, most likely. We have a solid gray roof of clouds over us, and the satellite data indicate that there's lots more of it blowing across us.

I got some bad news yesterday. A grad school friend, with whom I'd lost contact in the last few years, took his own life about a week and a half ago. A couple days before the news, I was saying something snarky about him. I'm thinking now of the tradition of not speaking ill of the dead. I think perhaps the most important reason not to do so is to consider how little we know about people that we imagine we understand completely.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 23, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

SCC, like my margarita bartender would know what an SCC is. RADAR is actually four words.

Just watched 'The Bridge on the River Kwai'. Saw this as a kid. The only thing I actually remembered was the bridge blowing up. Like I said, I was just a kid.

It is strange watching old movies I've seen as a kid and they are so different than remembered.

Speaking of govment chores. I did my census Saturday. I got the short form. Something like eight pages that didn't apply.

Also did taxes Sunday. I looked it over twice. Everything looks right. Somethings not right: Fed: 4K; State: 1K.

I'ma gonna buy me that lotto ticket today.

Next up on the movie queue is Borderline, with Fred MacMurray, a movie I know I haven't seen before.

Good night al

Posted by: omni3 | March 23, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Hi, Tim. Very jarring news.

Posted by: bobsewell | March 23, 2010 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Let me note that although squirrels are, in fact, rodents, weasels are not. Weasels are carnivores o the mustellidae (sp?). Wacky Weasels may eat Snarky Squirrels, but they would not visit the same dentist.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 23, 2010 3:41 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about your friend, Tim.

Hello, k_auman. Don’t give time zones a thought. I never do. I don’t even know what time zone I’m in. It doesn't have a name.

Love that The Bridge on the River Kwai whistling march/tune.

The US would probably sell more hardware to Taiwan to make an ever so slight a dent in your deficit......

Posted by: rainforest1 | March 23, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

The Colonel Bogey March, I think that would be! (Pucker your lips...)

Posted by: bobsewell | March 23, 2010 4:03 AM | Report abuse

You're right, bob. I stand corrected.

Posted by: rainforest1 | March 23, 2010 4:36 AM | Report abuse

If you would like to see why there is no astronomy happening here on Mauna Kea tonight, check out the University of Hawaii telescope's all-sky camera: http://uh22data2.ifa.hawaii.edu/public/allsky/latestimage.php

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 23, 2010 5:49 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, SciTim! Sorry that you're having cloud issues. I thought Hawaii was in a drought because of the El Nino that's drenched the Southeast the last six months? Oh well...

Hi Cassandra! I hope you stay warm today. Yesterday I walked with just a fleece jacket, today it's back to the winter heavy coat.

Much to do today, so I must get crackin'. In anticipation of MsJS' warm muffins, I'm leaving ham biscuits on the ready room table to tide us over.

As enjoyable as yesterday was, I'll be okay if things are a little quieter here today. Thanks, bourassa, for the info on the Aussie experience. I argued at the top of my lungs and fingertips with my Republican brother on Facebook yesterday, I hope we can move on today. Especially since I'm going tomorrow to take care of his kids while he's in for some shoulder surgery.

Posted by: slyness | March 23, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodlers!

Very busy today with earthquake relief since oh dark thirty.

Here is a video on the school we (Desafio Levantemos Chile, Challenge Let's Raise Chile) built and was opened yesterday. It's in Spanish but you'll get the visuals.


http://www.desafiolevantemoschile.cl/category/las-escuelas/

A sister organization built 80 emergency shelters for the villagers. While our volunteers in the field repaired a number of fishing boats. Three weeks ago this was a place were not a single house survived.

At the moment, we are in a desperate race against approaching winter. Our next school (for 800 pupils)will be built in the city of Constitucion, which was also devastated.

This morning got an email from one of our members describing the desperate situation in other fishing villages. We need to raise more money.

At least we got one village on its feet. The job ahead is huge.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | March 23, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Brag,
I love your updates and I am pleased to hear of so much good work being done.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

SciTim, I'm sorry to hear about the bad news, my condolences to you and his family. You're quite right, it's very rare that we ever really get to know people.

*wondering-where-all-this-work-suddenly-appeared-from Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Slyness, haven't checked the outside, but if the temps in here are any reflection of the outside, I would say it's pretty chilly.

I'm moving very slowly. Yesterday's technique wasn't quite as painful as the first one. My eyes were crossed after the procedure though. And as the day moved forward, so did the pain, but hoping all will taper off, and good times are ahead.

Kguy. I don't doubt that Jefferson did not find any redeeming quality in Christianity. Isn't he the one that wanted to rewrite the Bible and take out certain things?

Have any of you seen the video where the man with Parkinson's disease attended one of the health care rallies against health care and the people threw money at him, and said he was looking for a handout? It was awful. They told him he was looking for a handout, so one man begin to throw money at him. The man was sitting on the curb. The money thrown at him hitting the ground. I didn't hear a verbal exchange, but it was awful to watch.

BC - Bush put out the banner before the war in Iraq was even in the middle phase, even at the beginning. Obama is going to sign the bill today, correct? So bring me up to date on the difference here. I don't understand. The bill has become law, correct? We're still in Iraq, right?

Oh, Bob, somehow I knew you voted for Bush, and all that twice.

Mudge, I think your post concerning the people and stupidity about certain things, answers a lot of questions, but raises some too. True Christianity does not oppose truth, at its core. True Christianity is based on Truth. The problem always comes in when people, whether Christians or non-Christians,make themselves the God of truth. We have one God, His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. That's truth. Acceptance of that Truth is not embraced by all. As to the Truth of things in this world, Christians are suppose to embrace those truths, but not at the price of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. In other words, if the car is red, the car is red. There's nothing in my religion that tells me to oppose that truth; however, if someone saying having a red car will make me a good person or is the way to Heaven and that God requires me to have a red car for that purpose, I don't think so. And I know this is a simplistic example, but I don't think certain truths are to be set aside because a non-believer spouts them; however if that non-believer adds to that truth athiest belief, all bets are off.

And I guess the bottom line for me is loving one another. Oh, if we could do that, what a world!

I've talked too much, time to go. I hope all have a good day, a lovely day, a beautiful day, and one with much love.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 23, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

And RD, not only your daughter, but millions of daughters. As in this one, too.

And I like the idea of facing problems in the future by dealing with them today. We all know the problem of people(I'm one!) without insurance is a burden to the system because it puts dramatic stress on that system. Addressing the problems now is the way to go. This is what needed to be done some time ago, but put off for much too long.

If the poor people (myself included in this rank) of this country would stop going to the store, what would all those that claim their hatred of these folks do? If every poor person stayed home for a couple of days, think about the outcome. A week? A month?

How would "you" want to be treated is a good way to know the way.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 23, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

But Jefferson also said Christianity contained the best ethical system the world has seen. I will return with the quote.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"a system of morals is presented to us which, if filled up in the style and spirit of the rich fragments he left us, would be the most perfect and sublime that has ever been taught by man. " Jefferson

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I think bc was talking about the inevitable state-level challenges (maybe a dozen are already in the works). The 'mission accomplished' banner came back to bite everyone associated with it in the butt, and has become something of a kiss of death. Besides, I don't think anyone wants to emulate Dub.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 23, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Is Nebraska still getting everything for free forever? What about Louisiana? They cut some special vote deal too. Every time a vote comes up, it's a new round of shakedowns.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Depressing to hear all the talk of suing to keep Obamacare from being implemented and work to repeal it. T-Paw has "respectfully requested" our Attorney Gen. "examine the legality" but she is a separately elected constitutional officer, and a dem, so I'm sure she'll read it and respectfully decline.

Brag-thanks for your updates, riveting reading.

Later gators.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 23, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

yello-the Senate is supposed to strip Nebraska of that sweetheart deal. My understanding is that Louisiana is still in, but only because the whole state meets some disaster qualification from Katrina. Presumably that is not permanent.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 23, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

yello: I think the Nebraska give-away got dropped, but the "Louisiana Purchase" survived. The acutal language does not mention the state but, in typical Congress-speak, is written in such a way that the only state that qualifies is Louisiana.

Posted by: ebtnut | March 23, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Well said, Cassandra.

Brag, thank you for your update. I am struck and impressed by your own involvement in this news, and the modest and matter-of-fact way you present it. You've not yet been in the country a year, yet you're clearly taking an active role in the rebuilding. That's what we small-town Midwestern types praise as true civic involvement and public service. Good for you. As you work to rebuild Chile, and to report on it, please stay safe.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 23, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes, yello...but so what? So there was a special deal for effing Nebraska. So what? Louisiana managed to cut some backroom deal? I just don't give a rat's ass. 32 million people just got health care. I simply do not care about some freaking side deal.

This thing took all kinds of arm-twisting and deal-making and compromising, and yes, it is flawed as all hell. And given all that, it is STILL better than what existed before, AND it is still better for the admin. to have won this thing, flawed as it is, rather than to have suffered a humiliating loss to a gang of ignorant cutthroat twits like the hardcore GOP lunatics.

So yes, there was a deal to get Nebraska. So what? One has to look at the big picture. And this is hardball, the hardest of hardball. It is naive to think it is anything else, and once it is a done deal, as it will be in two hours, it is pointless to continue to whine about the sausage-making that went into it.

It was a major win, without one single Republican vote. So if there's any finger-pointing, blame and tsk-tsking to go around, it ought to be at the GOP, not at some deal they made with Nebraska.

I don't like a lot of the side deals they made either. I especially don't like the kow-towing to Stupak and the anti-abortion crowd. I don't like the failure to get the public option in. But I recognize that there were simply no votes there to win with those two points in the bill.

Politics, among other things, is about learning how to count. They got to 219. I don't much care how they got there.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Well said, Cassandra.

Brag, thanks for the update. I am struck and impressed by your personal involvement in the relief efforts, and your modest and low-key presentation. You've not yet been in the country a year yet you're actively helping in rebuilding and relief. Folks hereabouts praise that as true civic commitment and public service. Please keep working and reporting, and stay safe.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 23, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I may wind up with a shadow post; the first didn't show up for a long time. If so, my apologies.

Mudge, I understand your point about the unimportance of side deals as opposed to the importance of the final legislation. In a very technical sense, the difference between the Nebraska and Louisiana deals was one of law. The Louisiana deal is not a benefit to one specific state only. One could very plausibly argue that the Nebraska deal, which explicitly benefited one state at the direct expense of the other states, was unconstitutional. Many people were prepared to make this argument vigorously. Had the final bill passed as a result of a vote predicated on the Nebraska deal, it might have been vulnerable to constitutional challenge. So while the idea of side deals is relatively unimportant, that particular deal might have sunk the passed bill. Purely as a political exercise it was a bad deal and I'm glad they reneged, so the bill doesn't depend on it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 23, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The following this morning from the Texas Tribune (extremely informative article concerning the actions individual states might take, along with several scenarios about why individual states may or may not band together to oppose the health care reform bill):

http://www.texastribune.org/blogs/post/2010/mar/22/tribblog-abbott-explains-health-care-lawsuit/

Posted by: laloomis | March 23, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Short of illegality of course, right 'Mudge? I mean, Blagojevich-level stupidity...

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Oh Gawd, LiT, abso-frigging-lutely to your 9:01 post.

Cassandra, I really liked your reference to folks who make themselves the god of truth in your 8:19. Amazing that I used to be paid rather well to do just that. Makes me cringe a bit now just to think about it and how much of a habit it became. Still working to undo so much of that.

Brag, many thanks for the continued updates. Yes, so many villages still need help, but there is an internal energy and focus in Chile I am rapidly coming to admire.

SciTim, we only know so much about others. We only know so much about ourselves, for that matter. The seemingly complex dualities of our existence sometimes mask our simple brilliance.

I'm off to find something frivolous to do. That and another cuppa joe.

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think those special deals are going to be the basis of some of the challenges to the law. While it may be signed into law in a few hours, it's not the end of the contest, and anyone who pulls over at the nearest Stuckey's for a quick bite is going to see the other drivers go on past at lightening speed.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 23, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Houston Chronicle's take on a legal challenge to the health care bill by various states:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6925551.html


Posted by: laloomis | March 23, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Finally some clearer information on why corn syrup is different:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322121115.htm

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Snuke, my only defense about Blago is I never voted for him.

LiT, I loved your 9:01 and Cassandra your 8:19. Thank you both.

SciTim, my condolences on the news of your old school friend. The seeming complexity of our existence can sometimes cloud our innate brilliance and vitality.

Mudge, politics is about knowing how to count. But, as anyone from TWC and Ill-In-Oys can attest, it's also about the art of the deal. I hope to someday be smart enough about the latter to get a multi-million clause written into some legislation that applies only to moi.

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

My posts are showing up only after a several minute delay. Sorry for some redundant info contained therein.

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, your point about the possible constitutional problem with the Nebraska deal is taken. I don't even know what the Nebraska deal *was,* and -- except for your valid point about it possibly being a bill-breaker -- I don't care. My point was, as you say about the unimportance of side deals, in general.

What we now face is a lot of smoke and mirrors and noise from the GOP about repeal and lawsuits, and by and large, it is all crapola and political theater.

First, the GOP doesn't have the option of quietly rolling over and accepting the inevitable. So they are simply obligated to make noise -- but that doesn't mean it is "real" or has any chance of succeeding.

Second, and *much* more important, all this sturm-un-drang we're about to receive is a major cash cow and fundraising opportunity for the GOP. So a lot of what you're about to see is simply cheerleading for their side, and fundraising. And while it is quite important for their side it isn't, as the lawyers like to say, "dispositive." They claim they are going to go for repeal? So. Effing. What.
What I hate to see, what I truly despise, is seeing a bunch of Democrats and liberals suddenly cowering because the Big Bad GOP is angry and is threatening to sue. Have some damn backbone, for once. Oh, oh, the Bad Man is going to sue us! C'mon, grow some you-know-whats.

We have been through all this before, people. The governors of Mississippi and Alabama stood in the school house doors and defied the federal government to come in and tell them what to do. They sued and fought and scrapped six ways from Sunday. And they lost.

So there's going to be a fight over this? Bring it on.

The simple fact of the matter is, an individual state cannot "set aside" some federal law. They know that. It is kabuki theater, just on a national scale.

So don't be misled by all the posturing and noise-making that's about to occur, becasue that's all it is.

People are always bemoaning how short the public's attention span is. Well, in this case, that is actually a good thing. Things will look very different in November, and a good bit of this will be forgotten. As it should be.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

'Morning everybody. Cassandra, you always speak truth so don't worry about long posts. Mudge, I agree with everything you said. Brag - what Imom said!

Rainy morning here. "S" is still taking detours to get to work due to last week's flooding, looks like that won't change soon. I have decided to treat myself to some new clothes. Of course every time I decide this, when I go shopping I never see anything I like :-)

Posted by: badsneakers | March 23, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Jumper and Cassandra,

I may have mentioned in the past and I had a long conversation with some very interesting folks last night and (recently others) that have focused my opinion about the most recent national disagreement. When I was in the minority, I worked with Eugene McCarthy and was referred to by members of both mainstream parties as "unAmerican." Now, as a supporter of Obama and whatever health care legislation that those elected by a majority of Americans, I am again being called "unAmerican."

We indeed live in interesting times. Americans have changed. How much is debatable, but there has been change. What is true about the grassroots discontent is that it is made up of some true believers and a lot of hate groups or rogue folks with hate, anger, and violence in their souls.

The recovery of the Republican party will come when they can adopt a "love thy neighbor" approach to coexisting. They can return when they even appear to be able to govern all the people and not the mishmash of single issue zealots and those who have been driven to fear.
(cont.)

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

(cont.)

In my days, I have worked on a number of civil rights cases as I have mentioned and it has really hurt me to see the behavior of Hillary's campaign; then McCain's unapologetic efforts; and finally, this teabag embarrassment. I very much agreed with Rep. Clyburn's comments about the weekend demonstrations.

The hate is the most palpable aspect of the events. Hate is so unchristian and so unethical in the halls of Congress. We hear all this fake history about what "their" America is all about. We see them ignore the very history that they all should have remembered.

What we saw with the sweeping victories of Obama and Democrats was a plea to take back our government from the very wealthy; the corporations; and the single issues. The victory by Obama was haled by the rest of the free world as the American voter yanking control back and ruling on the one man one vote principle.

All what we saw this weekend was an attempt by 55% of America and their representatives to do right for the vast majority of the American citizenry. Health care is a right of human existence. Being ill does not equate to being a slothful citizen who just watches TV and eats tons of junk food and uses illicit drugs. Being ill is fairly random. In this country, health care has been on a slippery slope heading for the select few. The issue of health care threatened small businesses and is the primary cause of bankruptcy in our country (80% of which starts with folks with health insurance). How angry do you have to be to miss understanding this point?

That's the question.

(cont.)

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

(cont.)

Back to my discussions... I actually had an interesting conversation after I was told by someone with whom I have a nice relationship that America would cease to be great because of this along with all sorts of other things. My message was that, though I don't know the future, I suspect that this is just the beginning of fixing America. In his rant, he had also said that unemployment will continue to hold in there and that it was Obama's fault. I pointed out that American entrepreneurial effort does not only come from the uber-wealthy (his clients) and often starts from within the lower socio-economic groups who look to work their way to the top and, for them, this legislation provides help.

As Krugman and many other economists have ably pointed out, the Reagan tax adjustments and the rest of the "trickle-down" legislation on both the State, Local and Federal bases, have caused the greatest wealth transfer our nation has ever experienced. Combine that with massive off-shoring during the Bush years and then monetary repatriation vehicles provided by the Bush administration and the Republican Congress and so much of our wealth has ended up in the hands of the very very few.

All this when it is so fashionable for folks to become libertarians--trumpeting that we should keep government "out of our lives." Talk about the real wolves in sheeps' clothing!

So should all these folks picture the White House as a large group of Socialists and ACORN types? (whatever that is) AND get so afraid?

The simple answer is that I think that they know just enough to be dangerous for their own well being. I do know that they don't know their a$$ from a hole in the ground as far as economics is concerned. Nor do they understand the best place for a populace to put money if they want to grow the economy. BUT, most of all, if you try to live your life with hate in your heart, even as you say that you live your life in Jesus' memory, you are a fool.

(cont.)

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

And here's one of the dumbest headlines the Post has offered up: "With legislation passed, November is now." Um. no, I don't think so. November is eight months away.

Idiots.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

(cont.)

I don't hate my friends who now consider me, AGAIN, Unamerican. I don't think that it is helpful to show our President as Hitler and discuss Ovens, etc. in the course of our national governing process. As I taught an Austrian friend last night, who just couldn't express in words how he felt about the dangerous displays and racist tendencies... I said you have to learn the phrase: "They got nothing."

The Republicans "got nothing" for this nation of any use. If they had it, they lost the chance with this awful behavior.

Why did David From state that this, which was supposed to be Obama's Waterloo is now really starting to turn into the Republican party Waterloo? Well, clearly, it is because they are championing the cause of being against the average Joe. They are against the will of the people. This is so rogue, it is amazing. If I don't get my way, I think I might just shoot you. What do we have this weekend? We have the Republicans cheering on and even fomenting this behavior.

All this, while quoting the American who pretty much started the now destroyed free or inexpensive education system of these United States. These guys have the intellectual arguments that carry the moral equivalence of squirting cheese whiz straight into your mouth from the can.

What is this mass of angry folks for? Mom, apple pie and cheese whiz from the can? I don't know. At this stage, they have several demagogues who can push their pols around and the party is fleeing to the fringes. McCain is trying to raise money from the froth of the situation, but the jury is still out if he will survive his own primary challenge. When you saddle up anger and irrational behavior, you never know where it will all end.

For my friends, I think that it is all about caring for them as Cassandra suggests. We have to wear the "big boy pants" and take care of the country. We are the ones who must be responsible. If we do it with respect and charity to those in need (as Brag has demonstrated), all the better. AND, we have to remember that we are a nation of over 300 million individual cases. We have to stop punishing the less well off. I think that we start by getting the penal system off the backs of the poor and the unfortunate.

Next, we also have to get manufacturing back in the USA. Until then, I don't see unemployment breaking. I think that what we see, though it may sag, as the current set point reality. This is where we have gone. America, through preference and by tariff must start to buy American.

To me, all this angst about health care was about the change in America to support the average person in our country. We cannot become a land of victims. We have to continue to be a land of opportunity. We have to be a land where we make things and, to do that, we have to be smart.

I'm with the smart people.

Why did it take so long to get here (in decades)?

"There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong."

--H. L. Mencken

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

One other point, about learning how to count votes. 32 million people just got a major gift from the Dems. How do you think those people are going to vote in November?

Do you think any of them are going to be raving GOP supporters? Do you think any of them will want their side deals repealed? How many are going to think John Boehner is the salt of the earth?

The answer is: four.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, they can't set aside a federal law, but they can challenge it and have someone else set it aside for them. Or gut the thing. And if you sit there with your thumb up your butt while you see that behemoth barrelling down on you, you're going to get run over. Flattened. At a minimum, all the wind knocked out of you.

Responding poorly to a challenge will get you a tick in the loss column. When it comes to today's Supremes, you show up prepared, with all your t's crossed and all your i's dotted. Even with 'right' on your side, you still might not win.

The deer in the headlights doesn't know that's an on-coming car.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 23, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Two other points....I live in an area where most people do not have insurance through their employers. They may be happy about the health care legislation, and while they may be single-issue voters, many don't see health care as that issue. Maybe they will come November, but I kinda doubt it.

The other point...I still love ya madly (I know. Less madly would be better.)

Posted by: LostInThought | March 23, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

So, if I remain enamored of the works of Groucho and his brothers, does that make me a Marxist?

And, I still *heart* you, Weed.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 23, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

What did former CDC director Bill Foege recently say about health care when he spoke at Southwester University? Lots. Some of what he had to say:

The focus of health care should be on the prevention of disease: the prevention of those habits and lifestyle choices that make us sick and the encourgaement of those habits and choices that promote health. Foege named several examples: blood pressure control, diabetes control, smoking control. The greed of those who manufacture tobacco products creates addiction, a story Foege knows well. He recounted that he was so involved with smoking that he used to smoke in the shower, a habit that he could manage only because he was so very addicted and, at 6'7", so very tall.

The emphasis in health care has been on quality, cost and access (interesting given Nick Kristof's most recent column was headlined, "Access, access, access"), when it should be on quality, cost, and output, Foege said. The emphasis should be on outcomes. Britain had reached an immunization rate of 90 percent; doctors were given financial incentives and the rate rose to 95 percent. The vaccine to prevent cancer of the cervix should be administered to boys as well as girls, with the aim of vaccination directed squarely at the virus, not the disease.

Every congressperson should live in poverty for a month so he or she can develop a sense of empathy by experiencing the conditions. Foege had plenty to say about global poverty. "We in the room benefit from poverty. The poor subsidize us because we live rich."
***

Our local paper ran an itneresting letter from a Republican woman who vigorously applauded Michelle Obama's campaign to prevent childhood obesity. As the Republican woman pointed out in her closing graf, Michelle Obama will not only have to take on Big Food, but also Big Pharma and Big Entertainment. It'll be interesting to see how well the First Lady does in the latter two categories.


Posted by: laloomis | March 23, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"The answer is: four."

Mudge.I'm laughing out loud. Can't help it, and don't even know who the four are, but's it's funny.

LiT, considering all that President Obama and the party went through to make health care a reality as in this bill, I doubt seriously if they're in the dark about the challenges facing this. It's been a battle from the beginning. Hatred doesn't die, it usually puts on a new face or dress or whatever the circumstances dictate.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 23, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Of course they can challenge it, LiT. So what? Who said anything about sitting by passively with anyone's thumb up their butt? You're already in defeatest mode. And you already see a behemoth barreling down on you. So you're already scared to death and shaking in your (quite handsome) boots.

Who said anything about responding poorly? *I* sure as hell didn't. Why do you assume the response will be poor? I sure don't.
The GOP has already got you intimidated and beaten, and the fight hasn't even started yet. You're already assume you're gonna get creamed. At this point, it doesn't matter if you're even right or wrong -- because your usefulness to the Good Guys is already gone. At this point, if that's your attitude, that the Dems are going to be crushed by a behemoth, you're no good to our side. Your bad attitude and fear and defeatism are nothing but downers. If this was a real team, I'd simply have to bench you.

"Even with 'right' on your side, you still might not win." True. Is that your battle-cry? Is that how you hope to inspire the troops to keep fighting the good fight? Should one give up and roll over, just because one might lose?

How can you even talk this way, right after a major victory? 219 to 212. LiT, the Good Guys just won. And here you're in full retreat.

Please. We gotta find some way to get your head turned around.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Not sure why you singled me out, tumbleweed. Cause I'm in the front row? In case you didn't know it, I can't say I recall a single time I've ever disagreed with you. I'm the sort who takes it for granted my appreciation and admiration for others are recognized. I should work on making it more clear. That goes for all the regulars here, too.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

LiT: "They may be happy about the health care legislation, and while they may be single-issue voters, many don't see health care as that issue."

The health care issue may have some play in the November elections, but for most of the country, the issue will be jobs and the economy.

Posted by: laloomis | March 23, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Anybody got a bead on water aerobic(sp)? That's next on the agenda. I cannot see me in a swimsuit. All the folks would leave the water running and screaming. Perhaps I can find one that covers everything loosely, and flows to the knees. Just maybe the crowd that's doing this won't even pay attention, since they're kinda in the same boat. I doubt seriously if young people are doing this.

Any advice would be welcomed. I can't swim a lick.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 23, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra,

My Austrian economist friend made a very salient point that America can hide its poverty very well. I believe that this may be Loomis' point from her reference, as well. Our national poorness is infiltrating through the bedrock of our society and our infrastructure, as well, just like NG.

While Brag is working in Chile to restore a semblance of normalcy to the communities struck by the ravages of the earthquake, the USA has had a major bridge collapse because of the wear and tear of the traffic.

We are getting poorer in so many ways.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm not afraid. I'm not retreating. And no, I don't assume I'm going to get creamed. I'm pragmatic. I more a 'bringing a gun to a knife fight' kind of person. My post was in response to your so-what posts. My response to 'So what' is don't get drunk and bask in glory while the other team re-arms itself. Plan. Prepare. Rally the troops. Get out a stick and draw your battle lines in the dirt. Don't forget to take terrain into consideration. But don't sit around saying so what to the other side's battle cry.

Time to make the doughtnuts. Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 23, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

One other point for general consideration: remember back during the campaign, the GOP was blathering on and on about how nobody likes to vote for an "angry" candidates, such as all the Dems who were angry about George Bush and Iraq? So let's suppose they were right. And what did people say about Obama? That he wasn't angry, that he was too calm and collected. So let's suppose the GOP was basically correct: people don't like to vote for angry, raving candidates. So who is going to be angry and raving in November? Who is going to be foaming at the mouth about the health care disaster and the takeover of tghe government by commie pinkos?

If the premise is that the American people won't vote for an angry candidate, then the Dems ought to be in pretty good shape.

If the tactic that keeping a calm, cool head is the correct behavior, then which side has the advantage? Which side has the lunatics and ravers? Have we seen any evidence yet that raving lunatics do well at the ballot box? Have we *ever* seen that?

No.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, years ago after back surgery I did water aerobics for a while. Most of the participants were 'older' women and believe me, none looked like Ms. America in a swim suit, so I wouldn't worry about that at all. Exercise in the water is very beneficial because the buoyancy allows more movement with less pain. I think it would be perfect for you. Of course I am not a medical person, so just my opinion.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 23, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Mudge said, "the GOP was blathering on and on [in 2008] about how nobody likes to vote for an 'angry' candidates".

That was then. This is now.

I think being able to channel the voters' anger and rage to your side will be key in November. This is already starting to occur in the Ill-In-Oys Senate race.

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Great rant, rt. A future classic.

Bob Herbert has a good call for civility:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/23/opinion/23herbert.html

Money quotes:

"The G.O.P. poisons the political atmosphere and then has the gall to complain about an absence of bipartisanship."

"A party that promotes ignorance (“Just say no to global warming”) and
provides a safe house for bigotry cannot serve the best interests of
our country."

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Not all water aerobics classes are the same, Cassandra. Beware those that call themselves classes but use flotation devices (such as the long skinny tubes) and where you jump around in the water a great deal.) Avoid those that become primarily social outlets--since many who come will want to stand around and talk instead of exercise.

Choose one in which you are working muscle groups using resistance and where you get at least a good 30- to 45-minute workout at each session--and I do mean a good workout. Choose a class with an exceptionaly good leader. Expect to be sore for the first week or so. Stay with it a month before expecting results and do it three or four times a week. Then you should see firmer muscles, a feeling of being more toned, and hopefully shed a pound or two. If you like it, stay with it, by all means. When the weather is cooler, you may want to alternate with a walking regimen or a more gently gym class, possibly one for seniors.

Posted by: laloomis | March 23, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

yello, Bob Herbert calling for civility? The man who rants for a living (tiresomely, as far as I'm concerned), calling those he disagrees with every printable name in the book, wants civility?

*cleaning coffee off the computer screen and keyboard*

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

President Obama is indeed signing a bill today. However, as I think I stated (and LiT & others have reiterated) there are many avenues for a Conservative anti-Obama/Dem coalition to pursue to undermine the legislation and effective enactment of it.

They have lots of supporters and re$ource$ (hello, Fox News, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, teabag-, er, tea partiers, etc.) and lots of experience at waging political, economic/business, and social sieges, and are very good at long term planning of such things.

It's fine to have a drink and do a happy dance today, but I don't think for one second that the GOP isn't going to do anything they can to continue to leverage and expand all of that sound and fury and money we've seen rise up since last summer into political momentum to take away the Dem majorites in the House and Senate, and build momentum squarely for the White House in '12.

I'd say that the GOP followed such a game plan in the '90s, culminating with the 2000 Elections...

My point - again - yes, this battle may have gone well so far, but there's much more fight to come if the Dems intend to make this Health Care legislation actually work, and to keep majorites in Congress and the White House in '12.

I suspect that many people relaxed and celebrated after the '08 elections thinking Obama and the Dems were in charge and that everything was going to be all right. And the GOP took advantage of that guard being down, started chipping away - away went the everything-proof majority in the Senate, and Health Care legislation was nearly lost but for a last-minute-skin-of-the-teeth save.

I'm pretty sure that the GOP thinks the fight's on - I'd say best to rise up and meet it and play to *win* rather than go into a Prevent Defense. Celebrating, relaxing and resting on laurels is exactly what they want.

I don't underestimate the GOP, or take what's going on there lightly. Hmm, didn't I just see Northern Iowa beat #1 seed Kansas this past weekend?

Geez, Cassandra, look what we started...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | March 23, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

jkt, I have a hard time reading the political leanings of the boodle... you included, mostly because of the grace with which you discuss these matters. I think that the beginning of the end on the "debate" came with the Blair House meeting where it became clear that the Republicans had nothing.

It was up the President to pronounce the Republican position in their absence. It seemed over and over that it was the Dems who brought the "gun to a "knife fight," as LiT said, as their gun happened to be conciliation, facts and solutions.

This is remarkable in that the White House left its most aggressive solutions at home, even facing the fact that about as many left leaning or pro-aggressive solution folks (there are some Repulicans who support it) would support single payer as there are Republicans (by % of population).

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I can sum up a lot with "get out the vote in November." I agree that Dems are bad at strategy. Not always. Who would have foreseen the imported "riot of the suits" that stopped vote counting in Florida in '00? For that matter, who is now looking out to see that voting machine counts are better controlled or verified than the past?

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

bc, much of what we have watched over the past month has been to finagle this thing to a majority vote. Your point is well taken.

I do think that, as I said yesterday, the most important component of this bill will be Bernie Sanders' contribution of the public clinics for primary care on billing by need basis.

I think that it is the entree to the govt subsidized system (Swiss/not for profit) into which we may evolve. There is no straight line to that, but I think that it is flying under the radar, for the moment as the Republicans start to look for a late inning rally.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

AND, being an entrepreneur by trade and a democratic socialist by thought, I think that it is beyond high humor that the only folks that the right hasn't called socialist are ....

the socialists.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I am related to an older lady who was overweight, physically in bad shape (severe hernia, bad hip, hard to walk), and absolutely didn't want to get in a bathing suit. She was persuaded into water aerobics and discovered she felt a lot better. She had to start very slowly, but the water took her weight so she could get her body moving without a lot of pain for the first time in years. Also, most of the class was in her shoes and nobody cared about the bathing suit thing. For her, it was well worth the time and courage to try.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 23, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Actually, there are significant, mandated requirement for preventive care (including tracking and reporting) that came out early in january.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 23, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

dbG... good point. There are a load of positives for the Medicare population along those lines. 100% compensation was a great idea. The message is for wellness for our seniors and not billing for the docs. I think, as you say, that is the goal for America out of the legislation. The purpose of most of the items is to manage to get our population into a care system and make it easier for them to seek and receive treatment.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

rt,
When I figure out my political leanings I'll let you know. I did vote for Bush. Once.

Obama ran slightly to the right of Clinton in the primaries and her health care plan was much more ambitious. Except for the public option, he seems to have gotten everything he was trying for without looking like he was trying to hard. The tactic of letting it roll through committee proved to be frustrating but the right one.

The loss of Kennedy's seat was the big unpredictable log in the gears that could have been avoided with a little more haste, but the Obama team recovered well and turned a potential debacle into a huge victory.

Personally, I don't think the package went far enough since we seem to only get one chance at this a generation.

To use a basketball metaphor, the Democrats are up twenty points with a minute to play and the Republicans are flagrantly fouling just to stay on the free throw line. It's trash points time, but you have to avoid the buzzer beater. MD vs MSU comes to mind.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

MsJS,
I think you are thinking of some other screamer on the NYT Op/Ed page. Bob Herbert is The Voice Of Reason. Perhaps stultifyingly so.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

bc,

It is worth noting that the kings of the earmarks, the Republicans, have announced that they are taking the election season off from the most favorite of their practices.

When they do this, it makes me think that Michael Steele should call his national congressional drive "The How Stupid are You!?" Tour. As we all know, when they have even the slightest chance, they cover legislation with earmarks like so much Republican BBQ sauce, even when they have no intention of voting FOR the legislation.

They want to maintain that "BIG CHECK" photo opportunity.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

jkt, I am reminded of the old saying, "Don't hit a man who is down ....

kick him, it's easier."

Posted by: russianthistle | March 23, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I believe the program was open to any state whose capital is named after a Civil War President, and which has a unicameral state legislature.

It's hardly Nebraska's fault that no other states chose to qualify.

Posted by: bobsewell | March 23, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Well, he just signed it. It's law. Woo-Hoo!!!

Posted by: -ftb- | March 23, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"He signed you, Bill! Now you're a Law!"

"Oh Yeah!!!!"

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Well yello, you and I are just going to have to disagree on that one.

To me Mr. Herbert's name-calling got too predictable. And when he jumps into an issue he knows zilch about and starts firing off accusations, well that about does it for me.

He has his followers, and lucky him he's still widely read and hugely popular. I'm just one of those liberals who is no longer interested in his op/ed style.

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra,

please don't worry about looks in a water aerobics class. I have been doing w.a. for years, and the age range of our small group is between 40 and 80+. What is more important than looks is to come with a good mood. Yes, it is social. But all the talking is done during warm-up and stops when the serious exercise begins, mostly because we don't have enough breath to do both. It is wonderful to move without pain and you may get an endorphins-high as an extra reward. It's fun and also happens to be good for you.

Posted by: gmbka | March 23, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra,

please don't worry about looks in a water aerobics class. I have been doing w.a. for years, and the age range of our small group is between 40 and 80+. What is more important than looks is to come with a good mood. Yes, it is social. But all the talking is done during warm-up and stops when the serious exercise begins, mostly because we don't have enough breath to do both. It is wonderful to move without pain and you may get an endorphins-high as an extra reward. It's fun and also happens to be good for you.

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

let me see if if i understand: the house VOTED on a piece of legislation that was largely written in the senate and VOTED on and passed by the senate. and the republicans call this tyranny and the end of freedom. what do they call an election decided by the supreme court in full denial of the popular vote? i guess that was perfect democracy in action.

the republicans have been against every 'reform' that benefitted ordinary people in my lifetime, and even before that. they can all take two running jumps...

my sense is that we saw and heard the essence of the republican thought process mouthed for them by the tea-baggers who felt it necessary to use the N-word against congressman lewis as he walked from his office to the capitol for the VOTE. if the republicans had their way (trent lott, anyone remember), mr. lewis would never have been a congressman in the first place.

Posted by: butlerguy | March 23, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, my sister-in-law is in her 70s and loves water aerobics. She has had ankle, other foot bones, and back operations, and always goes back to the water for help in getting her body in shape.

Posted by: nellie4 | March 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Also, many bathing suits are now made with skirts or overdresses for the more zaftig.

I have a bathing suit that looks better than the minidresses I could buy for the same price. You'll be fine.

Shower warm before and after if you chill easily.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I think you murricans have misplaced something.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Host+draws+firebrand+Coulter/2713913/story.html

It makes an annoying screeching sound.
Could someone be sent up here to pick it up? Thank you.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 23, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* Sorry, shriek. Just put her out on the curb. Trash pickup is every Wednesday morning.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd suggest polar bear bait, Shriek, but that would be unethical...

To the bears, I mean.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Coulter said she was expecting a fruit basket. Does anyone have any tomatoes?

Posted by: nellie4 | March 23, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

SD, I hope she forgot her passport and won't be let back over the border.

Cassandra, when I read your point about what would happen if poor people stopped buying things, my first thought was, what would happen if they VOTED?!?

Posted by: seasea1 | March 23, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Ann Coulter's not misplaced, she's misbegotten.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 23, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein's take on the legal challenges:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/03/is_there_a_legal_case_against.html?hpid=topnews

I heart Ezra Klein, even though he's young enough to be my son. Actually, he's younger than my son. I finally wiki'd him, and he's 25.

I didn't realize the individual mandate was a Heritage Foundation idea...

Posted by: seasea1 | March 23, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, that Science Daily story on high-fructose corn syrup vs. sucrose is weird and scary. No wonder Pepsi and Dr Pepper recently ran a retro promotion, selling cans of sugar soda pop.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322121115.htm

In the health care department, Florida's policy will be Massive Resistance. I suppose it's consistent with the state's historic policy of encouraging economically unproductive people to move somewhere else. Marco Rubio's running ads about saving our precious freedom.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/florida-republicans-look-to-dismantle-health-care-overhaul/1081951

The NY Times has a story on the Democratic congressman from Tallahassee and Panama City who voted for the bill on Sunday.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 23, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll trade you Ann Coulter for Justin Bieber. Nah, on the other hand, just keep her. I can avoid squealing twelve year old girls for the rest of my life.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Ezra's only 25? Impossible by today's standards. I think Capt. Fitzroy of the Beagle (who had Darwin as a passenger) was about 24 when they left England.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure Ontario has restrictions on hazardous waste in the regular trash pickup.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 23, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

It's not only Ezra who has a piece on the legality of Obamacare.
"Adam Winkler is a constitutional law professor at UCLA." And obviously not a great admirer of the "fair umpires" on the Supreme Courts.

"Health-care opponents’ arguments against the law are without merit. But that doesn’t mean those arguments won’t be successful in the Supreme Court." ouch


http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-03-23/how-to-kill-health-care-in-court/?cid=hp:mainpromo3

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Bob Herbert also bores Alex Balk at the Awl.

http://www.theawl.com/2010/03/the-problem-we-all-live-with

Opening sentences:

"Bob Herbert usually bores the hell out of me, even though I generally agree with what he has to say. There's a certain kind of writing about social injustice that makes social injustice seem like the most soporific subject in the world (see also: anything I write about social injustice)."

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Does Antonio know about this latest assault by jackbooted police thugs and activist judges on our precious freedoms?

http://www.alternet.org/sex/146064/loud_sex_enough_for_cops_to_search_your_home%2C_court_rules

Posted by: kguy1 | March 23, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

My first thought when I read the story on HFCS was well, let's go back to table sugar and let the corn be used for ethanol! Win-win for everybody! I agree with Ivansmom about not wanting to consume it and will have to check labels more closely. In mayo? Jeez.

Posted by: slyness | March 23, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Is Snarky Squirell our Wacky Weasel? Or do we have more than one crazy rodent?
. . .
Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1

* * *
Just for the record, I am not, nor have I ever been, a Wacky Weasel. I am the original Snarky Squirrel, a long-time occasional boodler, who tends to forget to check the Kit because she can never find it (thanks, Ivansmom, for the bookmarking idea!).

yello, I agree with Alex Balk (not about Bob Herbert so much as I don't really care enough about BH one way or another to have an opinion) but about social justice. The very words make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up: they always seem imbued with such a sense of self-righteousness when spoken by a certain class of person.

Meanwhile, I'm very happy about our country's lurch toward Marxism this morning. But, wait, where's our little Antonio S.? I hope the actual signing of the bill didn't cause him to take to his bed with the vapors or flee to some non-socialist utopia... Antonio, we hardly knew ye.


-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | March 23, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

This was an amusing look at Ann Coulter's Canadian problems.

http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/03/23/kelly-mcparland-the-suffering-of-ann-coulter.aspx

Posted by: bobsewell | March 23, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Yoki!!! I am convinced you just made the Weingarten chat, in the form of a Liz reference, to whit:

"Austin, Tex.: Any idea on when your chat will get the new chatting software used for the Celebritology chats? I'm tired of hitting the refresh button.

washingtonpost.com: Possibly as soon as next month's chat. There will be, as you can imagine, some training required for himself.

Gene Weingarten: Of this I am terrified."

Himself! She called Gene "himself"! O joy!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Well I guess that's where we part company, SS, cause after Glenn Beck's comments on "social Justice" I've taken to answering the phone, "Hello, Kurosawaguy's House of Social Justice, how may we redress your grievances?"

Posted by: kguy1 | March 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Funny stuff, Ann Coulter. She publicises a private email from the university just to make a big deal about this? The truth is her routine could easily fall afoul of hate speech laws if she's not careful.

Basically it's criminal here to publicly spread falsehoods that can incite hatred. It works something like a group slander law. In most practical usage, you have to be an epic d-bag to get charged under this law, although being highly visible jerk may still draw the ocasional complaint without charges.

In case any of you get your hopes up, we wouldn't incarcerate her we'd probably just deport her. Sorry.

BTW, great essay weed.

Posted by: qgaliana | March 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned, the best feature of the health reform bill is that Rush promised to leave the country if it passed.

Posted by: KBoom | March 23, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I was grateful for that comment. Until I read it, I had no idea why anyone preferred the new chat format. Call me old-fashioned, but I *like* text to be left-justified. I vastly prefer it to being freed from the tyranny of the "refresh" button.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Ann does have a habit of using homophobic slurs in reference to Democratic politicians that have proven themselves to be very not-gay (not that there is anything not-wrong about that), so the concerns would seem to be genuine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfXyriOqb7Y

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

And if you can avoid the burning red glare of her pupils, this is my most popular photo of Ms. Coulter:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/4113994349/

I did not have the courage to get close enough to actually speak to her since the brimstone from her fingertips has been known to scald.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Sigh.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWuX2s7h55A

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

?? What comment was that, Raysmom?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a lawyer, yello, but derogatory remarks about individuals probably don't come under hate speech (although a slur could net you a fine from the telecom authority if you were on the air). More likely it would come up when repeatedly claiming things like "Liberals hate America and want to destroy it".

Vary group and object of hate as you like, you'd better be able to prove it is a reasonable statement in front of the judge, when someone takes enough offence to file a complaint. It's very unusual for people to actually get charged, but a lot of cable pundits wallow in rhetoric that would make me nervous too if I was the school rector.

Posted by: qgaliana | March 23, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The comment on Gene's chat about the new chat software, Mudge. Sorry to confuse.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I plan to send the following email to Ken Cuccinelli (VA Attorney General):

"Mr. Cuccinelli, I want you to know that I do not support the lawsuit against the federal government regarding the health care legislation recently signed by the President. I believe it is a moral imperative for this country to ensure that every citizen has the ability to obtain health care without the possibility of it making that citizen financially destitute.

I'm not thrilled about mandating everyone to purchase insurance, although I understand that it's the necessary counterweight to the requirement that insurers not turn away anyone due to a pre-existing condition. I'm sure that you, too, understand this. Therefore, I must conclude that your opposition to this law has nothing to do with the insurance mandate and everything to do with the fact that, at your core, you disagree that this is a moral imperative.

I just want you to know that I am among those who resent that even one dime of my tax money is being used to perpetuate this lawsuit."

Mayhaps other Virginia boodlers would like to do the same?

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

yello: That's not brimstone on Ann's fingertips. It's her breakfast oatmeal.

Jumper: The folks in the video could petition as 'conscientious objectors.' I'm sure between now and 2014 some provision will be made for those who really really really don't want any form of medical care should they get hit by a car driven by an uninsured motorist.

Posted by: MsJS | March 23, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Raysmom. The only thing that I would change is the salutation. Rather than "Mr. Cuccinelli" or the even more formal "Mr. Attorney General," I would prefer the familiar "Listen up, Bonehead!"

Posted by: kguy1 | March 23, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to take credit for that (it certainly jumped out at me when I was reading the chat) but Liz is a Kelly, after all. She's entitled to use an Irish-ism with no influence from me.

Posted by: Yoki | March 23, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

New kit

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 23, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

My wife is even more baffled than I am about all this nonsensical fuss about how the government has no right to force anyone to buy insurance. If these morons would stop two seconds, they would suddenly realize that virtually EVERY state government *requires* you to buy insurance -- if you want to drive a car. The exact mechanism and the amounts vary from state to state, of course -- but the right of a given state to require you to buy insurance is simply uncontestable.

If one is unable to buy conventional auto insurance, then high-risk/poor risk drivers can buy it (albeit at horrible prices) from things like the Maryland Fund (in Maryland); don't know what other states have).

Similarly, one is very often *required* to buy various kinds of insurance, such as homeowners insurance, floodplain insurance etc. Now, which of these may or may not be mandated by a government rather than an industry, I can't say.

So let us dispense with this nonsense about the government can't force you to buy insurance, because they can, and do. So it is simply of question of which circumstance, and how much, etc.

I have no problem *requiring* the purchase of health insurance, on the theory that any given person might suddenly fall victim to some sort of catastrophic illness or injury requiring hundreds of thousands (millions) of taxpayer dollars to treat. If there was some sort of provision whereby libertarians could "opt out" of being pulled out of wrecked vehicles by EMTs and then treated in hospitals for massive injuries, then I might just favor such herd-thinning methods. But there isn't, so I don't.

Maybe they could be issued a variation of a "DNR" order they'd wear like dog-tags: "In the event I am struck by lightning, please leave me twitching and smoldering by the curb; do not take me to a hospital for Obamacare."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 23, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Tee hee... you Mudged yourself.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

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