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Happy Hour Roundup

* Another angle on the Obama lawsuit against Arizona: It's a shot across the bow of other states considering doing the same.

* Shocker of the day: Lindsey Graham, formerly seen as the best hope for bipartisan cooperation on immigration reform, has now come out against the lawsuit against Arizona, after previously denouncing the Arizona law as unconstitutional.

* Kate Pickert says Obama is doing a recess appointment of Medicare honcho Don Berwick in order to avoid a messy confirmation hearing that would reflect badly on health reform.

* Uh oh: Senator John Barrasso says Berwick will "change the American health care system into the British health care system." Does this mean Britain is the new France?

* Who says Obama got rolled? Netanyahu insists he offered up some "concrete" possibilities for concessions in his private talk with Obama.

* Stephen Stromberg notes yet another (counterintuitive) obstacle Republicans have at their disposal for preventing an energy bill from passing this year.

* The news that the Congressional Budget Office found that the Dem energy bill will reduce the deficit will of course Immediately quiet criticism of the measure from self-described deficit hawks.

* Obama formally requests a reinstatement of the drilling ban.

* David Vitter had a really tough run-in with the Louisiana press today when reporters demanded answers about the aide who recently resigned over 2008 assault charges.

* When Vitter emails Republican supporters saying Obama is out to steal "our" country, who does he mean by "our," anyway?

* And Digby, mixing the clubbiness references a bit, says Joe Scarborough is protected by "Village Omerta."

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 7, 2010; 6:17 PM ET
Categories:  Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Health reform , Immigration , Political media , Senate Republicans  
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Comments

Barrasso is probably still all charged up from his dress-up reenactment of the Battle of Bunker Hill on the 4th.

Or something.

Wacko.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 7, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Shocker?? I can't be the only one that's no longer shocked by anything the rethuglicans and their ilk do or say in efforts to remove the black man from their white house.

Posted by: converse | July 7, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"Netanyahu insists he offered up some 'concrete' possibilities for concessions ..."

Must be looking to purchase some building materials for that Big Fence of his.

Posted by: jzap | July 7, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Why are we blaming republicans for Berwick? I would love hearings. Can't you all admit that it is/was the Dems that are scared of what he'll say? Why are they running away from his potential public testimony? I think it should be mandatory viewing. Gavel to gavel. Help me here, what is the fear?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Troll, gosh, you had me at "death panels."

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 7, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

troll,

will you tell us how outraged you were when bush/cheney did recess appointments?

i've been trying to get an answer from rightwing republicans to this question, but just can't seem to get one to bite. how about you?

do you think obama has 'taken away your freedoms and liberties'? if so, which ones, exactly?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Just reading up a bit on the backstory to the MSNBC-Kos-JoeNBC story.

"You [Kos] have a long history of spreading lies suggesting I am a murderer."

Sounds an awful lot like projection.

Posted by: jzap | July 7, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Other Tweet news:

"In the latest case of new media (or oversharing) gone wrong, CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs Octavia Nasr is leaving the company following the controversy caused by her tweet in praise of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah

"Mediaite has the internal memo, which says “we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised.”

"Nasr tweeted this weekend: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah… One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/breaking-cnns-octavia-nasr-leaving-network-after-controversial-tweet/

Posted by: sbj3 | July 7, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Kos has an update on MSNBC trying to get him to not go public with his story...

http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/7/7/882438/-MSNBC-only-bans-Scarborough-critics

"MSNBC tried to talk me out of going public with this, between Griffin and another exec. ..."

Posted by: jzap | July 7, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I love recess appointments. Voinivich crying after Bolton testified was hilarious. But The Moustache testified! What are you afraid of here?

As far as death panels does anybody doubt rationing will occur under Obamacare? Or should I say, a different kind of rationing? I mean Barry told Granny to take the red pill on national television for crying out loud.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

troll,

c'mon, answer my question. also, please provide a link for this gem:

'I mean Barry told Granny to take the red pill on national television for crying out loud. '

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Sorry if I didn't answer your question. I do not care about recess appointments. I save my outrage for other things.

As far as death panels and Barry, I do not have a link handy but it was at a townhall in the WH, on ABC I think, when some woman asked about her 95 year old mother who just got a new pacemaker after a bunch of DR.'s refused to do it because of her age. She found one willing to perform the surgery becuase the woman had a lot of spirit or something like that. The upshot from Barry was rather hilarious and rambling (he was off prompter after all) and he mentioned that subjective assesment shouldn't be relied on and then dove into a bizzare Matrix reference about red and blue pills for pain rather than a Knee replacement. It was clear to me at least that expense for granny was going to overide any consideration where treatment was concerned.

This was after the Townhalls were he railed against the Tonsil Vultures and Big Amputation.

He never did another HC townhall after that one though. Have I jogged your memory?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Q: "When Vitter emails Republican supporters saying Obama is out to steal 'our' country, who does he mean by "our," anyway?"

A: Oddly enough, he does in fact have a mouse in his pocket.

Posted by: CalD | July 7, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Sez here ...

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/huffington-post-buys-pollster/

... that HuffPo is buying poll aggregator Pollster.COM. No, it's not a polling firm (like R2K), it's more like FiveThirtyEight.

Posted by: jzap | July 7, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

no, you certainly haven't -- talk about a rambling anecdote.

your anecdotal evidence, even on it's face, is unconvincing. but i don't even grant your 'recollection' of it if you can't provide an actual link.

the question i'd like you to answer is this: do you think obama has 'taken away your freedoms and liberties'? if so, which ones, exactly?

i mean, you've already regurgitated ridiculous the death panel and teleprompter rightwing talking points. let's just how out of the mainstream you are.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Graham did not shocked me, he disappointed me and most of the Americans! Instead of working on solutions like a normal man who cares for his country he start acting like the rest of the loonies from the Republican party! Shame on him for that!

Posted by: wachnick | July 7, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh ya, that was classic when he told that lady on ABC that a panel of experts might decide her mother would be better off taking a pain killer rather than have the life saving pacemaker put in. I remember that vividly. Is anyone surprised Obama would appoint a rationing proponent to CMS? That's the whole point.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

teller,

can you provide a link to support your claim?

why is it that the overwhelming majority of rightwingers and republicans here either don't provide links or link to sources that do *not* back up their claims?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

teller,

also, i haven't been able to get a rightwing republican to answer this question:

the question i'd like you to answer is this: do you think obama has 'taken away your freedoms and liberties'? if so, which ones, exactly?

will you answer it, please?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom,

I do not know what I said that extolled Barry's liberty snatching proclivities but I'll bite.

I think being forced to buy a product because I am an American citizen is a loss of liberty. I also think that perpetuating massive government spending with borrowed and fiat money that will lead to value robbing inflation and confiscatory taxation a loss of liberty as well.

Sorry about not linking the ABC townhall, I haven't found a link to the video. Believe it or not.

Why the bugaboo about my crazy rightwing rants on the loss of liberty and/or freedoms under Barry? I don't think I've mentioned it. Maybe your addressing another of us knuckledraggers.

I have to go out for a while but I'll be back. Feel free to post your questions to me. We'll call it Wednesday's "Ask a wingnut"!

By the way I left an awesome post on the Idiot Joe thread if Greg will allow it to pass.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I also think that perpetuating massive government spending with borrowed and fiat money that will lead to value robbing inflation and confiscatory taxation a loss of liberty as well.
...
Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 8:40 PM
===============================

So you are outraged at the $12 trillion in debt that Reagan and Cheney have left us?
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 7, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

that will lead to value robbing inflation

Right, that is why long term (10 yr) interest rates are at <3%.

You must be a member of the invisible inflation and bond vigilantes.

If and when interest rates rise, we will still have time to deal with any deficit that exists at that future time...

Posted by: srw3 | July 7, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

troll,

as i said in numerous comments -- they're right there for you to read -- i've been asking various rightwingers and republicans this question.

you'll note that i also mentioned that, since you repeated the death panel and teleprompter talking points, i thought it was at least likely that you'd buy into the 'obama stole my freedoms and liberties' line as well. thanks for confirming that.

i second thunder's question. i'm sure you railed against reagan/bush/bush/cheney massive spending, just like you railed against them when they did recess appointments, right?

as to your first point, would you not buy insurance? you're perfectly free not to, it will just mean you'll pay more in taxes. what about social security and medicare -- are those examples of the government stealing your freedoms and liberties? if not, why not?

please do find a link to the townhall because i'd love to check it against your earlier retelling of it. you'd think that, if it was such a blatant admission of wanting to kill off grandma, it's be all over the intertoobz.

why isn't it?


Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

To all the trolls complaining about the recess appt of Berwick, it makes perfect sense that Obama didn't want to have a nominee have a hearing without the guarantee of an up or down vote. REpublicans would love to have the hearing and then leave him in limbo while they take turns hitting him with virtual brickbats while blocking a vote for his confirmation. No one else should be Dawn Johnsoned.

Posted by: srw3 | July 7, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya,

Yes, I am outraged at the debt left by Reagan. I don't get the Cheney name drop, but I know he, along with Rove, are lefty boogeyman. Short of the existential threat that the Revolutionary War, Civil War and WWII imposed, I cannot think of a reason for deficit spending. I've said before that I am not a Keynesian. I can see the arguement, it has it's merits, I just do not see it as the most efficient solution.

Inflation, I think, is coming. Were printing more money that were even borrowing. It's like the worst of both worlds. Generally the exponential increase in fiat money has led to inflation. I cannot think of an example where it did not.


Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

So am I perfectly free to run red lights as long as I'm willing to pay the fine? I'm I free to murder? As long as I don't get caught or if I'm willing to go to jail for it?

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom, do you hate freedom?

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

teller,

what's your point? and why haven't you provided a link to support your earlier claim?

also, will you answer my questions about obama stealing freedoms and liberties?

the reason i ask is because i think it goes to your general credibility.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I actually do remember that town hall question and answer. I don't remember the exact words but I understood the point very well. And no, it wasn't about rationing unless you live in a fantasy world where there is no cancer, old age, or fate worse than death.

At some point in our lives or the lives of loved ones we all face a tough decision, do we go forward with a treatment just because we can or do we make a more reasoned decision to live our remaining days with grace and less burden. It's never an easy decision but needs to be made considering all the options available and weighing the possibilities.

Death panels is a catchy phrase to instill fear and obfuscate actual life experiences and decisions. Only a child or cruel adult would interpret these decisions in those terms.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 7, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom,

Lets take these in order: "i thought it was at least likely that you'd buy into the 'obama stole my freedoms and liberties' line as well. thanks for confirming that." You're welcome. I am a knuckledragging wingnut at your service.

"i second thunder's question. i'm sure you railed against reagan/bush/bush/cheney massive spending, just like you railed against them when they did recess appointments, right?" I have railed against deficit spending absent an existential threat. I'll have the transcript of every conversation I've ever had on the subject forwarded to you ASAP. As far as recess appointments go, I do not care. The law allows for it, go ahead. I guess I was trying to point out that I do not think it was just the rethuglicans opposing what'shisname, but that Democrats did not have enough votes to get him confirmed. It goes along with my theory that Dem's prefer to run away from the healthcare fiasco rather than embrace it. But getting back to recess appointments, I, in a sick way, appreciate political manuevering as well as the delicious irony of a President and party that, just 18 months ago railed against it. Who doesn't appreciate Chutzpa(sp?)

"as to your first point, would you not buy insurance? you're perfectly free not to, it will just mean you'll pay more in taxes. what about social security and medicare -- are those examples of the government stealing your freedoms and liberties? if not, why not?" Great questions. I think that the failure to pay the taxation penalty would result in my eventual incarceration, therefore depriving me of literal liberty. I do not want to be forced to buy insurance because I am a American Citizen. As far as SS and Medicare are concerned, yes, I think those programs do deprive me of economic liberty by taking money I have earned. I do not believe that either program will exist when it's time for me to retire. SS is already in default and will be kept alive, at least in the interim by increasing the retirement age and reducing benefits. The money that was paid into is already spent on other things, never to be paid back. If that isn't criminal, I don't know what is.

I'm too lazy and lacking in skills to find the ABC healthcare townhall. I don't blame you needing verification.


Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The point is if you don't by health insurance under Obamacare you'll be a criminal. It will be illegal not to buy it.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

LMS: You feel that 5.4 quake near Indio?

Posted by: jzap | July 7, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Arizona gov. cancels border meeting after boycott

Gov. Jan Brewer has called off a September border conference in Phoenix due to Mexican governors' objections to Arizona's tough new immigration enforcement law, though some officials are discussing holding the annual gathering elsewhere.

It was Arizona's turn to host the 28th annual U.S.-Mexico Border Governors Conference for four U.S. governors and six from Mexico. But Brewer said Wednesday the meeting was canceled because the Mexican governors planned to boycott it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/07/AR2010070703988.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 7, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Veterans Affairs to Ease Claim Process for Disability

The government is preparing to issue new rules that will make it substantially easier for veterans who have been found to have post-traumatic stress disorder to receive disability benefits for the illness, a change that could affect hundreds of thousands of veterans from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam.

[...]

Under the new rule, which applies to veterans of all wars, the department will grant compensation to those with P.T.S.D. if they can simply show that they served in a war zone and in a job consistent with the events that they say caused their conditions. They would not have to prove, for instance, that they came under fire, served in a front-line unit or saw a friend killed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/us/08vets.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 7, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Transocean Exploits Offshore Status

Transocean is the world’s largest offshore drilling company, but until its Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April, few Americans outside the energy business had heard of it. It is well known, however, in a number of other countries — for testing local laws and regulations.

Human rights advocates have called for an investigation into Transocean’s recent dealings in Myanmar. [...]

Transocean has disclosed in Securities and Exchange Commission filings that its drilling equipment was shipped by a forwarder through Iran and that until last year it held a stake in a company that did business in Syria. [...]

In Norway, Transocean is the subject of a criminal investigation into possible tax fraud. [...]

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/business/global/08ocean.html

Sounds like a great buncha guys eh? Unfrakingreal.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 7, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

troll,

thanks for acknowledging that, along with hcr, you also believe social security and medicare (and, i presume, medicaid?) are examples of gov't stealing your liberties and freedoms.

you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but those beliefs place you far outside of the mainstream. i further presume that you'd end all these programs if you could, correct?

are there any other freedoms and liberties obama has stolen from you, or just those? you see, as teller has insightfully guessed, i hate freedom and need to tell my dear leader if we've missed anything.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca,

Thanks for your comments. For you I drop the schtick. You say: "At some point in our lives or the lives of loved ones we all face a tough decision, do we go forward with a treatment just because we can or do we make a more reasoned decision to live our remaining days with grace and less burden. It's never an easy decision but needs to be made considering all the options available and weighing the possibilities."

What I resent is having that decision put in the hands of an American version of the NICE commission. I want the opportunity to decide how much healthcare my dollar can buy. Ultimately, if I do not think of health care as a right, that seems the most equitable way to dispense it.

I think death panels will be formalized in the near future unless Obamacare is repealed. I understand the resentment over the phraseology as it made the passage of Obamacare marginally more difficult.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

@teller: 'The point is if you don't by health insurance under Obamacare you'll be a criminal. It will be illegal not to buy it. '

that's wrong. you will not be a criminal. you will pay more in taxes. see the difference?

i note that you are still unwilling and unable to provide a link backing up your claims about obama. that's certainly not surprising.

you also haven't answered my question about whether you believe obama has stolen your 'freedoms and liberties.' why not?

also, why did you ask if i hate freedom?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse


Here is the link for you. I suppose now you'll want me to point out the exact paragraph so you don't have to read the whole thing. I've done enough of your work for you already.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/HealthCare/story?id=7920012&page=1

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom,

Again, taking them in order: "(and, i presume, medicaid?) are examples of gov't stealing your liberties and freedoms." Yes.

You also state: "you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but those beliefs place you far outside of the mainstream. i further presume that you'd end all these programs if you could, correct?" Yes, but I would phase them out. I'm not so heartless as to leave those that we infantalized hanging with nothing. As far as being out of the mainstream, it seems to me that the bipartisan talk of raising the retirement age as well as reducing benefits will have the defacto effect of phasing out those programs. That kind of talk seems to bring me back into the mainstream!

Finally: "are there any other freedoms and liberties obama has stolen from you, or just those? you see, as teller has insightfully guessed, i hate freedom and need to tell my dear leader if we've missed anything." Many of the freedoms being "stolen" from me are really the erosion of those liberties started in other administrations. I do not single out Barry so much as identify him as one that has rapidly increased their erosion.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link Truthteller12! What time do we get our rightwing talking points tomorrow? If it's at eight I have an appointment.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

@teller: 'The point is if you don't by health insurance under Obamacare you'll be a criminal. It will be illegal not to buy it. '

that's wrong. you will not be a criminal. you will pay more in taxes. see the difference?

Well, I think fine would be a more accurate term but if you want to call it a tax, would I be a criminal if I refused to pay the tax/fine? What if I don't want to pay a fine for just living without a government approved insurance product?

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

does anyone believe the insurance companies aren't rationing care right now. from thinkprogress: a single mother with two kids and leukemia was dropped by her company for allegedly underpaying by 1 cent:

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/07/insurer-revokes-over-penny/

also, olbermann quoted republican paul ryan of wisconsisn saying:

'rationing happens today. the question is who will do it? The government? Or you, your doctor and your family? '

ezra klein also reported it:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/02/rep_paul_ryan_rationing_happen.html

you and your doctors will have far more control than the government. right now the insurance companies have total control, aside from a few embarrassing cases that get media attention like the woman above.

will there be budget concerns. yes, there always will be, just as there are with social security and medicare/medicaid. but there are now and you have no say in deciding them.

government may not be perfect, but citizens can have far more influence over government policies than we can over corporate practices like those of the insurance companies.

i'd support ditching the mandate and making medicare available to everyone.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

@troll: 'I do not single out Barry so much as identify him as one that has rapidly increased their erosion. '

again, care to list them for our edification?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@teller

uh, ya i'd like you to point out where the quote is. just as i wanted you to do so with the other 4000+ word plus transcript you linked to.

it's pretty basic.

last, i'll repeat my questions to troll about social security and medicare/medicaid -- do you also think they are examples of the government stealing you freedoms and liberties and, if so, why don't you refuse to pay them as you would health insurance?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

@troll: 'Yes, but I would phase them out. I'm not so heartless as to leave those that we infantalized hanging with nothing'

i think that quote speaks for itself as to how far out of the mainstream you are.

are you hearing that at many campaign rallies in in republican commercials?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom,

I never said rationing doesn't exist, right now I am rationed by how much I can or am willing to pay. Since I do not believe that health care is a right, then cost is as rational a manner of distribution that I can think of. To paraphrase Churchhill, Paying for health care is the worst kind of distribution system there is, except when you compare it all the other distribution systems. As I have said before, there is more than one way to distribute something, in this case health care, I just happen to think cost is a more efficient and equitable way.

I do not know if you were addressing the insurance company rationing versus government rationing arguement to me specifically or not. I will say that I cannot think of a thing the government has taken over that performed better after that takeover than before. I just implicitly trust the profit motive more than the power motive. Yeah, that's about as subjective a statement as they come, but the heart wants what it wants.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom, Didn't Obama raise the CAFE standards? So whatever he raised them by, that is going to limit the types of cars that can be manufactured and therefore purchased by me. So that's another example for you. You might laugh and think oh how silly he is worried about not being able to drive a big gas guzzler. But the point is that this is something I could do before which I will no longer be able to do. Nearly every time a law is passed something that was previously allowed or legal becomes illegal or disallowed. That's what politicians do. They pass laws that criminalize more and more types of behavior that they want to eliminate. That's why troll astutely points out that it is a long slow process of erosion over time. It's like a chisel chipping away at our liberties little by little. That's why most people like yourself don't notice it happening in front of your eyes. Because it's just a little sacrifice of freedom that you are willing to tolerate. That's why I asked you if you hate freedom. I don't really think you do, I just think you don't understand it and/or are willing to sacrifice it for more security such as in health care security for the poor.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom,

"i think that quote speaks for itself as to how far out of the mainstream you are.

are you hearing that at many campaign rallies in in republican commercials?"

Unfortunately no, I'd like to so that the Overton window will move rightward. On the otherhand, I'd rather get more Republicans elected to further if not completely hamstring the current administration. Yes, I'm out of the mainstream. At least the Rethuglicans are not even hinting at repeal of those insidious programs, so I won't be disapointed when they inevitably do not repeal them. I have my doubts whether they really want to repeal Obamacare. If the mandates are considered constitutional by the Supreme Court, than I do not trust any party to control congress. I cannot see Republicans or Democrats giving up the ability to wield unlimited power.

I still think that the suggestions for keeping SS and Medicare alive are in fact proposals for the phasing out of those programs. We need to accept the fact that the money that was entrusted to the government is gone and will never be repaid. There is no SS or Medicare surplus to draw from, just IOU's that will not be repaid. Raising the retirement age and cutting benefits will have the same effect, over time, of my idea of phasing out the programs. Admittedly, I do not know everyone, but those I know, that are under 50, do not currently believe that those programs will exist when they turn 65, or 70 or 75.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

teller,

please keep your sanctimonious lectures about what i don't see and understand to yourself. yes, we have laws. and yes, they curtail your freedom. for example, if you sell people poisonous baby food, you at least have a chance of going to jail if you get caught.

it how we maintain society. i'd suggest relocating to somilia if you'd prefer to live in a place without laws.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut, I disagree that health care rationing is currently happening unless we want to use the term "rationing" for everything else we purchase. I could just as easily say gasoline rationing is happening already since people only buy as much as they are willing and able to buy. Same for clothes shoes you name it. What it really is is supply demand price discovery taking place. But liberals don't go around saying the profit motive needs to be removed from most other industries because the private sector is "rationing" goods and services in those areas.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

jzap, yes we definitely felt it here, not a big one though. My son lives closer and lost a bit of glassware and it was the first one of consequence for my grandson. He loved it though, but he's already a daredevil at four. My son already has answered a million questions and looked up all sorts of info on the internet for him.

McWing, sometimes a shared sacrifice for the greater good does wonders for the soul. And if you hated the insurance companies and their rationing as much as I do you'd know that as a society we're getting a better deal this way. The status quo was unsustainable and I didn't happen to catch all the great ideas from the right. Funny when we hear them talk about repealing HCR they want to keep the most popular part, insuring those with pre-existing conditions. Of course, they haven't figured out a way to pay for that, the most expensive form of insurance.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 7, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

troll,

we seem to have two fundamental differences that drive our disagreement here: a) i have more faith in citizens' ability to influence government than to influence corporations driven by profit over anything else and you appear to hold the opposite view; and b) i believe health *is* a right while you maintain that it is a *privilege*.

with regards to the first, your side has done a good job making the case that corporations are more efficient and effective than government. i disagree, but, after all, you have the corporations willing to spend loads of money to back your side on this.

regarding the second disagreement, i'd say the popularity of social security and medicare/medicaid show the vast majority agrees with me.

i'm under fifty and everyone i know who i've talked to about it does not share the pessimism you and your circle have.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom wrote: yes, we have laws. and yes, they curtail your freedom.

So if laws curtail freedom and Obama signs more laws then he is curtailing it further, is he not?

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

@teller: 'I disagree that health care rationing is currently happening'

then what do you think happened with the woman who was kicked off of her insurance because the company claimed she underpaid by a penny?

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/07/insurer-revokes-over-penny/

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

@teller: 'So if laws curtail freedom and Obama signs more laws then he is curtailing it further, is he not? '

wow.

uh, ya. sure. just like every other politician, ever.

so, when will you be leaving us for somalia?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca,

"sometimes a shared sacrifice for the greater good does wonders for the soul. And if you hated the insurance companies and their rationing as much as I do you'd know that as a society we're getting a better deal this way. The status quo was unsustainable and I didn't happen to catch all the great ideas from the right. Funny when we hear them talk about repealing HCR they want to keep the most popular part, insuring those with pre-existing conditions. Of course, they haven't figured out a way to pay for that, the most expensive form of insurance."

Since deciding what should be a shared sacrifice is ultimately a subjective exercise the only equitable way to decide it is through elections and I recognize that my side lost. That does not mean that I have to agree with what others decide is a worthy shared sacrifice and am not precluded from legally trying to change that through elections, the courts, whatever. I happen to trust our government less that insurance companies and my own ability to pay for, in this case, health care. I agree that the status quo is unsustainable as will be Obamacare and I continue to be disapointed in the Republicans refusal to publicly acknowledge that these government programs are Ponzi schemes that will inevitably collapse. I'm trying, through the Republicans, to incrementally dismantle these things. And I agree that Republicans will be sorely tempted to not fully repeal this disaster. I will keep fighting for full repeal before the inevitable economic collapse.

Ryan did come up with some rather interesting proposals that were dismissed immediatly by the Democrats and the media. I, naively for these parts, have more faith in market based approaches versus the inevitable government takeover. Like I said, incrementalism isn't just for the left anymore.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom, so if you think Obama is taking away our freedoms then I'm just agreeing with you. That's no reason to get mad and tell me to move to Somalia. But it's funny, you're not the first liberal who's told me to move there.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

McWing, yes, I guess that's what elections are for. Considering that we will still have a market based approach to HC with some new rules plus mandates to off set the rules I have a difficult time understanding all the objections. Anyway, I would have definitely preferred a different route and will continue my fight as well for a medicare buy in and drug re-importation. I don't think HCR will be done for many years but I'm glad to know a few million more will finally have access. Actually, I find this bill to be incremental in the extreme.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 7, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

teller,

as would have been clear to most people, the original context o my question had to do with obama supposedly stealing your freedoms and liberties in an unprecedented way.

your sophistic use of the juvenile equation of doing what politicians are elected to do with stealing freedoms and liberties shows what level of discourse you want to engage in.

fine.

you seem to think you are uniquely qualified to spot the assaults on our liberties the rest of us are just brainwashed to see.

i'd suggest spending less time lecturing the rest of us about what we don't see and don't understand and spending more time on improving your own perception and understanding.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Berwick Q&A, {6/2009}:

Q: Critics of CER have said that it
will lead to the rationing of healthcare.
A: We can make a sensible social
decision and say, “Well, at this
point, to have access to a particular
additional benefit [new drug or
medical intervention] is so expensive
that our taxpayers have better
use for those funds.” We make those
decisions all the time. The decision
is not whether or not we will ration
care — the decision is whether we
will ration with our eyes open. And
right now, we are doing it blindly.
http://www.biotechnologyhealthcare.com/journal/fulltext/6/2/BH0602035.pdf

Those that decry (and overstate by several orders of magnitude) private sector capitation, rescission, et.al. will be astonished at the imcompetence, heartlessness, confusion, and bureaucratic rigidity combined with the coercive power of govt. injunction and ensuing penalties.

Enlightened, my eye.

Dr. Berwick is presently on the record as the greatest proponent in the US of the British NHS. That is why Pres. Obama is employing the recess process.

Posted by: tao9 | July 7, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom, do you think a guy with "wingnut" in his self given name is going to care if you point out that he's not mainstream? Do we need to check with the mainstream inside-the-box police before having an opinion? Of course we are out of the mainstream. Comment thread people are by definition out of the mainstream. Mainstream people are watching MTV or American Idol or God knows what other trash they are rotting their minds with. The mainstream is definitely not where I want to be and wouldn't take pride in being part of. MLK, Thomas Paine, Gandhi, not in the mainstream. I'd rather be on the cutting edge.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: 'I would have definitely preferred a different route and will continue my fight as well for a medicare buy in and drug re-importation. I don't think HCR will be done for many years but I'm glad to know a few million more will finally have access. Actually, I find this bill to be incremental in the extreme.'

well said.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 7, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the Cheney name drop, but I know he, along with Rove, are lefty boogeyman.
...
Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 11:09 PM
===================================

"Reagan proved deficits don't matter."
-Dick Cheney

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A26402-2004Jun8?language=printer

You are ignorant, trolly. And your google fu is weak.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 7, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom,

You state: "we seem to have two fundamental differences that drive our disagreement here: a) i have more faith in citizens' ability to influence government than to influence corporations driven by profit over anything else... "

Along with: "with regards to the first, your side has done a good job making the case that corporations are more efficient and effective than government. i disagree, but, after all, you have the corporations willing to spend loads of money to back your side on this."

Just to be clear, I think that most corporations are more efficient and effective than government precisely because of "profit over anything else" that makes corporations predictable and generally accountable when profits are not achieved. Government's motives I think tend to be more self-serving. What I mean is that government's institutional motivation is expansion and the accumulation of more power, for the sake of power. I believe the founding fathers recognized that and purposefully limited it's size and scope to avoid the inevitable corruption that comes with larger government. At a certain size, and I cannot tell you at what size, just that I think we're there, a citizens ability to influence government significantly decreases, just like how, at a certain size, a shareholder's ability to influence a corporation is so dilute that it is, in effect, non-existant.


Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 7, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

"Those that decry (and overstate by several orders of magnitude) private sector capitation, rescission, et.al. will be astonished at the imcompetence, heartlessness, confusion, and bureaucratic rigidity combined with the coercive power of govt. injunction and ensuing penalties."

Tao, you must live a sheltered and magical life. For those of us in the real world being denied access to affordable health care it's no exaggeration and the ensuing heart ache can be life changing. It seems to me also that the government has done a pretty good job with medicare, most people who have it don't seem to want to trade it in for something different. Don't get between a senior and their medicare.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 7, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom, Your original question: do you think obama has 'taken away your freedoms and liberties'? if so, which ones, exactly?

I see nothing about supposedly unprecedented way there in the question. Your question had no context. It was random out of left field question to anyone who would answer. I haven't written here that Obama has stolen freedom in an unprecedented way. You simply asked if Obama has taken away freedom and I said yes. You then acknowledged that he has in fact done so and told me to move to Somalia if I don't like it. Not all politicians curtail freedom. There are a few good ones. Ones that want to repeal laws rather than pass more. We need to shrink the statute book not expand it. And one last thing. You desperately wanted someone to answer your question all day. So don't tell me not to lecture you after I finally answered the question you asked all day and got no reply to. You asked for it dude.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 7, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

if...ya,

Your Econ chi is out of cycle and suffering putrefaction due to non-centering.

There's this debt/GDP data-point that makes 2004 look like streets paved with gold compared to the performance of the 2006-2010 Dem Congress deficit spending and the last 18 months of Mr. Obama buying zero real/growth results with borrowed money.

Posted by: tao9 | July 7, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya,

I stand in awe of your ability to find a Cheney quote. Well done my good man!

That proves that Cheney is just as ignorant of my opinion on deficit spending when we are not faced with an existential threat. As well as that he is a lefty boogeyman.

In all seriousness though I suppose you're infering the Darth Cheney really ran the show and that Bush was a drooling embicile barely able to sign his name where he's told to. I prefer to hold the ultimate decision makers accountable. Are they advised by others? Yes. Is the decision to sign a bill that increases the deficit somebody else's? No.

To counter that perhaps I should name drop ACORN.

There, were even. Or do I need a quote from ACORN as well? Let me know, I shudder at being accused of weak "google-fu"

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 8, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca,

You state: "Tao, you must live a sheltered and magical life. For those of us in the real world being denied access to affordable health care it's no exaggeration and the ensuing heart ache can be life changing". I am sorry if you're in a situation you described. I do not think the governments track record on mercy is something to put a lot of faith in however. Medicare is the largest claim denier out there. I don't think that bodes well for the future.

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=18523

You also state: "It seems to me also that the government has done a pretty good job with medicare, most people who have it don't seem to want to trade it in for something different. Don't get between a senior and their medicare."

I'm sure many people are happy with Medicare. That doesn't necessarily make it a good program or even a sustainable program.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 8, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: tao9 | July 7, 2010 11:55 PM

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 8, 2010 12:00 AM
====================================

Wingnuts in denial.

$12 Trillion of GOBP debt. Brought about by tax cuts cuts for plutocrats, an asset bubble caused by deregulation, and a risky adventure in Afghanistan completely undermined by a disastrous and unnecessary invasion of Iraq.

And yet you wingnuts crib your lying points from dropouts like Limbaugh and Beck.

Weak.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 8, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

lms,

Won't contest the senior satisfaction with Medicare. That said, it is precisely the program that is the most direly fiscally unsustainable. The ARRA expansion is basically Medicare with a doubled population, w/ a substantial percentage of prospective new beneficiaries who have NOT even paid into the program via wage deductions.

Rationing and the appropriation of middle class assets via huge tax hikes is the only way possible going forward on this economy killing path. What happens when everyone runs out of money?

BTW, I went w/out HC completely for four years in my early-forties, as an independent contractor, while paying out of pocket for dependents. No charmed life in Taoville...yet ;>).

Niters, 1Love (i still miss tena)

Posted by: tao9 | July 8, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

@teller,

i hope you're just being deliberately obtuse for the effect you imagine it has. otherwise...

i know you hate to provide evidence to back up your claims, but could you please tell us the names of the 'good' politicians who don't pass or endorse existing laws?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 8, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

McWing, I know the statistic for medicare denials, around 6%-7%. The difference though is comparing apples to oranges. Medicare takes all comers while private insurance plans are able to pick and choose the healthiest. Funding of medicare is also a simple fix although I know you won't like it, LOL.

Enough for tonight, have a good one all.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 8, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

troll,

i think it's safe to assume you and i disagree on many things. still, i appreciate your thoughtful and serious (leaving aside the schtick) discussion.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 8, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya,

I do not think that a higher tax rate would have resulted in people earning more cash that could then be taxed. I suspect that many who benefited from the tax cuts would have received some other form of non-monetary income to avoid the taxes. The result would have been the same then, the government would not have the revenue and still would have spent money it did not have.

The asset bubble was caused, I think, by two or three things. One was a very loose monetary policy that created a moral hazard, that's a form of government influence, not deregulation. Second, I think (though I have no proof other than the result)banks, lenders, investment firms had an understanding with Fannie and Freddie that all MBS would be gaurenteed by the government, therefore there was not risk, at least for the lenders. That's not the fault of deregulation, it's the fault of government policy. Finally, I think the federal policy of encouraging subprime lending and rewarding the directors of Fannie and Freddie for collecting and/or backstopping them and then bundling them with other loans in MBS also contributed to the problems we have now.

I do think the lack of effective oversight of Fannie and Freddie by all administrations amounted to a deregulation of those entities. So I guess you're right, deregulating government owned entities is often disastrous.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 8, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom, I'm still waiting for you to debunk the claims I made about Obama's statements at the ABC town hall that you hadn't heard of until today and required a link to be posted of so you could inform yourself about. Now you say I don't back up my claims. You just fell off the turnip truck and didn't even know that Obama had done a health care town hall on ABC where he made pro-rationing statements. Now you have another question about who the good politicians are. Why should I tell you? Are you going to support them if I tell you who they are? Are you going to donate? Or are you just going to vote Democrat regardless?

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 8, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom,

Ok, now i'm dropping the schtick for you and Imsinca. I'm gonna lose my wingnut cred. Just don't tell anyone else.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 8, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom the turnip truck comment was a little harsh. Then I saw your compliment to troll and felt bad. We can be hi brow if you like. But most of these comment threads are low brow so you know I play along. But I as well appreciate the intellectual curiosity of those on the other side which I can tell you possess.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 8, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

The asset bubble was caused, I think, by two or three things. One was a very loose monetary policy that created a moral hazard, that's a form of government influence, not deregulation. Second, I think (though I have no proof other than the result)banks, lenders, investment firms had an understanding with Fannie and Freddie that all MBS would be gaurenteed by the government, therefore there was not risk, at least for the lenders. That's not the fault of deregulation, it's the fault of government policy. Finally, I think the federal policy of encouraging subprime lending and rewarding the directors of Fannie and Freddie for collecting and/or backstopping them and then bundling them with other loans in MBS also contributed to the problems we have now.

I do think the lack of effective oversight of Fannie and Freddie by all administrations amounted to a deregulation of those entities. So I guess you're right, deregulating government owned entities is often disastrous.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 8, 2010 12:32 AM
==============================

What you just posted shows that you know absolutely nothing about what happened in the last decade in the financial markets here in the U.S.

As long as we're being all friendly here tonight, would you mind sharing how you got your impressions?
~


Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 8, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya,

Ya got me. I don't have a link for the low interest rate the Fed put out post 9-11.

I also said that I cannot prove that the government agreed to bail out the banking sector prior to the fact that government bailed out the banking sector. Guilty as charged.

And I'm just too damn lazy to find a link about all the money Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick made buying subprime loans other than the fact that Fannie and Freddie bought a boatload of subprime loans.

I also can't find a link that shows that Fannie and Freddie were not properly regulated. Unless you accept as proof the fact that we taxpayers are on the hook for potentially trillions in bad loans.

But I do like the friendly atmosphere. And darnit, you're all becoming less two-dimensional and more three-dimensional all the time. What's wrong with me?


Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 8, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Troll, isn't it interesting how they demand a link anytime they are confronted with a position that hasn't occurred to them before? As if they would buy anything we linked to rather than attack the validity of it.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 8, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

@ tao9: Dr. Berwick is presently on the record as the greatest proponent in the US of the British NHS. That is why Pres. Obama is employing the recess process.

This is a total misstatement of Berwick's views. He did say some nice things about NHS but he also criticized aspects of it. He has not stated any desire to try to impose a NHS style health care system on the US.

Despite all you have heard, Brits wouldn't trade NHS for US for profit health care. In fact, not one advanced industrialized nation would choose the US system over their own. And lets not forget that despite lots of anecdotes, NHS provides HEALTH CARE FOR EVERYONE ON WHAT WE PAY FOR MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND TRICARE/VA. Britain's health care outcomes are not significantly different from ours. If we had a british style system and spent 30-40% more than Britain does (still less than our current expenditures to leave 40 million + uninsured and many more underinsured) I am sure that most of the deficiencies of the NHS could be taken care of. Not that anyone is actually suggesting this. It would make too much sense...


Obama didn't want to subject another high profile nominee Like Berwick to go through a tough confirmation hearing and then have the repubs refuse to grant cloture so that her nomination could come to the floor. In the meantime, the Faux News/talk radio/wingnut crowd get several months to use him as a punching bag. While he is a nominee he can't respond. No one deserves to be Dawn Johnsoned by rightwingnutistan partisans.

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Posted by: lam888 | July 8, 2010 3:26 AM | Report abuse

You guys should stop complaining cuz one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed give it a try u guys are too hard on democrats they went to college and we voted for most of these people.so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. as for obama people are just tryin to make it look like america made a mistake he has done things to help us and we had a full 8 years of a terrible president and i will be so as happy as ever when a obama fixes bush's mistakes. You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price from http://bit.ly/cn4pjL obama has to put up with the wo0rld judging his every move and trying to fix the mess we are in we are lucky anyone wants to be our president. STOP COMPLAINING AND GIVE HIM A BREAK. i wanna see one of yall do what he sas done. some people are just so ignorant.


Posted by: fishercruz07 | July 8, 2010 4:33 AM | Report abuse

On recess appointments...Reagan made some 250 plus. Hardly a criminal act.

TMcWN said: I'm sure many people are happy with Medicare. That doesn't necessarily make it a good program or even a sustainable program."

What can "good" mean as you frame it? It seems there can be only a couple of sensible measures to apply...consumer satisfaction and health outcomes. "People like it" measures the first and there are many metrics for the second which find the US system failing badly.

Conservatives in the US who argue against reforming the prior medical insurance/delivery system here seldom, if ever, really tackle either the abnormally high (compared to all other western industrialized nations) cost per service nor the matter of customer satisfaction in all those other nations. Let's take the last one, the customer satisfaction matter.

In the case of Canada, Britain, Israel, France, New Zealand, Australia etc etc where some arrangement of government-managed insurance and delivery system has been in place for decades, there is no constituency for reversal of their programs towards what the US has had.

That is, NO political party runs on a platform position stating "we will get rid of our oppressive healthcare system and replace it with a US style system". As parties running for office/power tend to move towards (or at least promise they will) vote-winning policy positions, the absence of such in all these other countries presents American conservatives with a real problem.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 8, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/the_morning_plum_47.html


...and I hope you're enjoying your trip, Bernie

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 8, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Dear TrollMcwingnut,

You seem to be laboring under the delusion that Obama is the reason that Berwick isn't getting a hearing. The reason is that the Republican party, the real wingnuts, have refused to even consider him. If they allowed hearings to occur, then they would have to agree to eventually giving him a vote. The only way they can stop him is to refuse to even initiate the process.

Posted by: dkmjr | July 8, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

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