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Happy Hour Roundup

* Just so you grasp the stakes of the Nevada Senate race: The fates of Obama, Harry Reid and the Dem agenda are all inextricably intertwined.

* And the Reid-Angle showdown is going to get a lot more ferocious: Mark Halperin reports that "both sides are privately quite concerned about losing."

* For some reason, Dana Milbank can't seem to get Governor Jan Brewer's office to substantiate her claims of all those gristly beheadings in lawless, illegal-immigrant-besieged Arizona.

* Gallup: Fifty percent oppose Obama's lawsuit against the Arizona immigration law, 38 percent strongly, underscoring what a political risk the lawsuit poses for the administration.

* Gay rights advocates wonder if the Pentagon survey of troop attitudes towards repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell is deliberately gamed to provoke opposition to repeal.

* Also key in the above link: Jake Tapper notes that the Pentagon survey asks troops how they would react if DADT is repealed -- although Obama has vowed that it will be repealed.

* Benen says Republicans deserve credit for opening up their meeting with lobbyists to the public via livestreaming.

* Reasons for optimism about efforts to contain the Gulf spill?

* Interesting: MoveOn is pressuring Dem candidates to pledge to work to overturn Citizens United and to support public financing.

* Will demographic trends ensure that the much-ballyhooed emerging Democratic majority really just might emerge one of these days?

* And GOP Rep Bob Inglis says what must not be said: The 'Cuda traffics in the "lowest" form of "demagoguery." Eh, who cares -- what really matters is that her endorsements are really coveted!

What else is happening?

UPDATE, 6:07 p.m; And I almost forgot: Congratulations to my friend Mike Tomasky on the birth of Margot Julianna Kerr Tomasky! Tomasky points out that her birthday, July 6th. is George W. Bush's birthday. What a huge coincidence: It's mine, also.

UPDATE, Sunday, 9:07 a.m.: All, no roundup again today -- have stuff to do and need a break. Please let me know what I'm missing, and I'll be back first thing tomorrow with Morning Plum.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 9, 2010; 5:48 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Comments

Greg,

Inglis lost because of his TARP vote. I find his comments hilarious insofar as he has apparantly discoved them only AFTER he lost. So, either he's unbelievably naive about this alleged rampant racism surrounding him that he did not notice..., until last month, which makes him stupid. Or, he knew about it and covered it up which makes him complicit (as well as a liar). So, how much credibility does he have with you? If he has any, why? If he has none, why refer to it and give it legitmacy?

Also, when are you going to explain to your readers what kind of obligation you and/or the WAPO are under to print pro Reid / Anti Angle stories? Do we have a right to know what it is? If not why not?

Or, can we at least be informed that there is a deal or quid pro quo?

Did the Daschle race get this kind of WAPO coverage starting 6 months prior to the election? If not, why the difference other that some sort of deal?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Troll McWingnut: So it's "pro-Reid" to post Sharron Angle's comments verbatim, with audio so that the full context can be divined?

Thanks for clarifying that for us.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 9, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Just so there's no misunderstanding, I fully support Sharron's comments. I'm a self avowed knuckle dragging wingnut.

And no, directly quoting Sharron is not pro Reid. But multiple hits per day in seeming coordination with other WaPo commentators begs the question. Are we allowed to know if there is a deal/policy about Reid mentions? If not why not? Are we allowed to know the details of said deal? If not why not?

Thanks formanswereing.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

That's "Thanks for answering". My bad.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Troll: If there is a single post on this blog about something Sharron Angle said that doesn't constitute real news in your eyes, then by all means point it out.

We can debate it from there.

And also please note that Angle's ad attacking Reid was posted on this site this morning.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 9, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Happy BDay Greg!!!

Posted by: soapm | July 9, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

DUDE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREG!!!!!!!!! :)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 9, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Let's try it one more time. Is there a deal / quid pro quo with Senator Reid or the Democratic party to frequently mention the campaign? Are your editors ordering you to post frequent stories on that campaign? If yes, what are the details?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, all!

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 9, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"Reasons for optimism about efforts to contain the Gulf spill?"

Well, this must explain Obama's mysterious statement during the Oval Office address that, paraphrasing here, "By next week BP will be capturing 90% of the oil." A few weeks late but let's all hope it works. Fingers crossed.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 9, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Talking McNugget:

I too see a conspiracy! Do you too think the Obama agenda caused the spill? It's the NWO and their plans to deplete all the oil for permanent algae growth!

Posted by: Papagnello | July 9, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Papagnello,

I'm not normally a vocal conspiracy nut, though due to my rightwingedness I'm probably considered more of a conspirator! Cheney you magnificant B*****d! I read your book!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

As an aside Papagnello,

Don't come crying to me when you discover Soylent Green is people.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

@tmwn: Reid is the majority leader so and he is in deep doo doo, even against Angle from rightwingnutistan, which says alot about how bad Reid's chances are. But when picking between the barely mediocre and the certifiably nutty, I pick mediocre.

In terms of coverage, a candidate that wants to eliminate social security and medicare as we know it, eliminate the dept of ed, epa, does not believe in any exceptions to anti-abortion laws, used to belong to a right wing separatist group, etc., that race is going to get more coverage, just like Rand "private businesses should be allowed to discriminate" Paul attracts more attention than Robin Carnahan in MO.

There was a lot of coverage of the Daschle campaign because of the hardball tactics from Thune and the repubs used in that race. There weren't blogs then so its hard to do an apples to apples comparison, but I was aware of the race details from more than 1000 miles away.

Posted by: srw3 | July 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

McNugget:

I read Make Room! Make Room! One of the most honest titles in all literature.

"Sleep faster, I need the pillow!"

Posted by: Papagnello | July 9, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

srw3,

I thinks Greg's refusal to directly answer the questions pretty much proves that there is some sort of deal. What kind of deal, and whether it's between Greg and Reid (I'm guessing no) or between WAPO and Reid with Greg being one of the water carriers we may have to wait to know or we may never know.

As far as the Dascle race, there was very little coverage 6, 5, 4, and 3 months out. It was like the Coakly campaign in that there was little or no coverage until right before the election. Or the Foley campaign for that matter.

Does it bother others here that there is some sort of deal? If not, why not?

I think I'm less upset about the deal as I am about not being allowed to know about it. I'm a fan of so called "yellow-journalism" now known as advocacy journalism. I think it's appropriate to know biases, positions, deals etc. That way we can factor it in rather than guess.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Pagnello,

Was Soylent Green a book? And was that the title? I am on my way to get it then.

I firmly believe that no one, and I mean absolutely no one did post apocalypse better the Mr. Heston. Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, Soylent Green (though technically not post apocalypse, thought close enough) and then the remake of Planet of the Apes. Come on!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Greg! I love your blog and read it regularly. BTW, our local congressperson, Tim Bishop in Long Island CD 1, is a good guy, thoughtful & well-educated, someone who listens and isn't, like most congresscritters seem to be, an actor. So far, he's survived a couple Republican challenges in this historically Republican district. Nixon's grandson is his Repub. opponent this time. I respect Bishop because he changed his position on the Iraq war, he's pro-immigration reform, pro-health reform, and may be open to pushing us to change (the losing) course in Afghanistan.

Posted by: nancycadet | July 9, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

MoveOn should add an effort asking senate candidates to pledge votes for significant rule changes on cloture and holds. More productive than campaign finance rules in the short-term.

Posted by: converse | July 9, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Troll, Greg doesn't need any deal he's a willing opp dump tool for the Reid campaign. Unfortunately for him all he's got is bread crumbs and none of his tidbits have any impact. Hyper-scrutinizing of Angle's language isn't going to improve job climate in NV and that's the only thing that can save Reid. How many people in NV read this blog? And most of the stuff he posts on here are just things that have already been in the NV press anyway.

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

@tmwn:I thinks Greg's refusal to directly answer the questions pretty much proves that there is some sort of deal.

I think it proves that your question is not worth answering, much like birther and truther claims are mostly ignored now.

Don't you think that Angle an Paul are exceptional (in the unique sense, not the really good sense) for the reasons I mentioned above?

Doesn't that merit more coverage? Even during the primary Angle got lots of attention because of her rightwingnutistan views.

Foley and Daschle didn't have such out there opponents so that means less coverage, but both races did get a lot of national coverage. Angle is new on the state and national scene, unlike Daschle's and Foley's opponents. There are lots of reasons for the differences in coverage, besides the lack of blogs back then.

I think that the idea that Fox on 15th is somehow shilling for Reid or any Dem is laughable on its face. Kaplan ed's money losing subsidiary was enthusiastic about Bush and his disastrous policies. They were big Iraq invasion proponents, endorsed Bush (and his 2 wars and his tax cuts and his medicare d, and his faux cowboy persona) twice, has most of Bush's speechwriting staff on the editorial page along with Will, Krauthammer, Parker, Amity Shlaes?, Diehl, etc. The list of beltway conservative conventional wisdom providers is long and disheartening. Why do you assume there is some devious radical plot to highlight Reid's race? The more attention it gets, the more national right wing nuts are drawn to donate to her campaign. Angle is a certified right wing nut case running for national office against a sitting majority leader. Its news...

Posted by: srw3 | July 9, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Srw3,

I'm pretty sure you could have fit at least 3 more "rightwing nut"s in there along with a "reichwing"' just for good measure. If the questions were so stupid though, why bother engaging me at all?

I'll put you down as a Not Bothered

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

Happy (late) Birthday, Greg!

@TMW: I don't see any sort of conspiracy behind Greg's coverage of the Angle/Reid race. It's an important race and, let's face it, Angle is a nutter who makes good copy.

Greg covers politics from the left - and I've seen just as much coverage of the race at other left-leaning sites. Are you suggesting that TPM or Daily Kos or Huffington Post have also struck deals with Reid?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 9, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

"...both sides are privately quite concerned about losing."

I'm not sure how it could be considered news that Reid would be worried about losing. Up until a short while ago, there's not a political strategist in the country who thought he'd still in Congress after this election. The fact that Angle thinks SHE might lose is a testament to the reversal of fortunes.

I'm sure it will be ANY DAY NOW that we'll see the media coverage of Reid's comeback. Right?

Also, regarding Steven Benen saying Republicans should be given credit for opening up those meetings...I'm a bit surprised he's that naive. I wonder if he'll express his disappointment when turns it into nothing more than a televised bash-fest of Obama's policies and Wall Street bankers "explaining" how GOP ideas are what's really needed.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 9, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

McWingnut --

Make Room Make Room is the title. Enjoy it if you get it, it's straight-up 60's Playboy he-man sci-fi, though I keep my copy on the bookshelf more as a vintage eccentricity and I get the giggles out of those nutty covers where the hero totes a half-nude damsel-in-distress in one arm and the bazooka in the other.

Seriously, this NV race is the great show-down between DLC and the Tea Party. It would be suspicious if there were not regular mention of the race and Media Matters would start citing evidence that the Post was suppressing left-side coverage.

Posted by: Papagnello | July 9, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

And if the Post has a liberal quota to fulfill, that's not a conspiracy, that's just BAU for all rags, regardless their true colors.

Posted by: Papagnello | July 9, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

BBQ,

It may be kabuki, but I bet the Democrats in Congress conduct at least one performance before November.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

How come no one but me has bit on the Inglis interview? What does his TARP vote portend for this "anti-incumbant" narrative were constantly being fed?

And so there's no mystery, I happen to think the defeat the Democrats will experience this fall will reveal and anti-Democrat wave rather than anti-incumbant.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

"And so there's no mystery, I happen to think the defeat the Democrats will experience this fall will reveal and anti-Democrat wave rather than anti-incumbant."

Gee....didn't see that coming at all. /snark

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 9, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

i lurk every day -- lots of info here from Greg and the comments.

i never comment because others do it better than i could.

i logged in to say "Happy Birthday" to Greg and "Thank You" to the people who comment.

Posted by: jeeze56 | July 9, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat,

I was trying to be precise about what i thought of the media narrative (insert comments about how i'm not precise but dull, or a dullard here).

My question is, if TARP votes are a big deal in Rethuglican elections, will they be an issue for Democrats in the fall? What about for non-blue dogs but Democrats in either marginally +Democratic districts or incumbant Democrats running in +Rethuglican districts?

Just curious.

Also, feel free to assume I made a hilarious comment/reference to quantum mechanics and dead cats.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg, Happy Belated Birthday, what was it some kind of well kept secret or something until after the fact? Anyway, glad you took a couple of days off.

McWing, I'm sure you must be looking forward to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on the Mall. I'm sure you're right about Inglis too, just sour grapes for losing. No chance there's a tiny grain of truth to his words, he's not a true conservative since he voted for Bush's TARP.

"It's worth emphasizing just how grotesque is Beck's attempt to co-opt a landmark anniversary of the civil rights movement. Beck has been anything but shy about his intentions. On May 26, he told his radio audience, "We will reclaim the civil rights moment. We are on the right side of history."

"Beck has repeatedly, respectfully, and recently played audio of men like Ezra Taft Benson, a Mormon apostle who thought the civil rights movement was a dastardly communist plot. Benson also wrote the foreward to a book of race hate whose cover illustration featured the severed, bloody head of an African American. Beck's favorite author and biggest influence, meanwhile, is W. Cleon Skousen. The author of four of the ten books on Beck's 9.12 Project required-reading list, Skousen embodied the Birchite view captured in the title of a September 1965 cover story in the John Birch Society Bulletin, "Fully Expose the 'Civil Rights' Fraud, and You Will Break the Back of the Communist Conspiracy!"

http://www.alternet.org/media/147475/glenn_beck%27s_disturbing_plans_to_co-opt_mlk%27s_%27i_have_a_dream%27_speech/?page=1

Posted by: lmsinca | July 9, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

All, thanks for the birthday best wishes. Really appreciate it, and as always, I really appreciate your commenting. Makes the site for me.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 9, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca,

"McWing, I'm sure you must be looking forward to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on the Mall. I'm sure you're right about Inglis too, just sour grapes for losing. No chance there's a tiny grain of truth to his words, he's not a true conservative since he voted for Bush's TARP."

I guess I'm missing the Beck reference. Was it supposed to be, as the kids say, some sort of "burn"? Though I have nothing against him personally, I find his television show a little "professional wrestling" and very "Countdowny" and I avoid it as a result. I will admit to listening to his radio show occasionally. He and Pat Gray, a former Houston talk show host, can get pretty funny when they're "riffing". So maybe I'm guilty after all!

In regards to Inglis, I'm leaning towards the "Sour Grapes" argument. Were/are there racists in the South Carolina Republican party? I'd be naive to think no. Did he have a problem with them when they voted for him? Like I said to Greg, along with the questions that "shall not be asked or answered" he's either Naive to the point of embicility or he's a liar and racist facilitator. I suppose that if a Grand Klegal can be the Senate Majority leader, and a black victim of white violence be labeled an "Uncle Tom" by a leader of the NAACP, than soon to be former Rep. Inglis can have some credibility... for someone.

And you know my opinion about "Death Panels" and Obamacare: an inconvenient fact that made Obamacare marginally harder to pass. Plus, I'll admit, I'm a sucker for lefty Outrageous! Outrage!!!!!11!!1!!!eleventy!!!!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Interesting exchange between Chris Hayes and David Roberts last night on the RM show. It's so strange how the conservatives don't seem to actually like bills that save Americans money but they sure like the spending parts. Reminds me of the HCR bill, they all want to cover folks with pre-existing conditions but have no clear idea of how to pay for it.

HAYES: This is—this is infuriating for a million reasons but let‘s just—to increase the frustration, the CBO has now released its report on the Kerry/Lieberman bill, right, which shows it reduces the deficit by $19 billion, which seems to me like the kind of thing that maybe amidst this deficit hysteria we could get some, you know, conservative Democrats and Republicans behind.
ROBERTS: You might think. This is one of the great untold stories of the whole—of the whole climate fight, is that the bill—you can think of the bill as having two parts, there‘s all the energy stuff, which is bipartisan. Everybody loves it. It gives incentives to nuclear, to wind and solar, to electric cars. All that stuff spending. That‘s the spending side, which, of course, everyone in Washington loves to do.And then the other half is the price on carbon, which raises the revenue to pay for all that spending.

HAYES: Right.

ROBERTS: And so, what you‘re seeing in D.C. is, everybody loves the spending half and everybody‘s scared to death of the other half, where you raise revenue.
So, you know, I—Chris, I don‘t want to be cynical about the sincerity of the deficit hawks in the Senate but—

HAYES: Oh, never, never.

ROBERTS: -- but it‘s peculiar that the ones that are the loudest about their deficit concern are the very ones lining up behind the most expensive, unpaid-for energy bill that you can imagine.

h/t Digby

Posted by: lmsinca | July 9, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca,

It's probably because we do not really believe CBO numbers.

I know, I know, wingers will site CBO data when convenient but come on, the CBO is gamed more than the Thai lottery!

Does anybody here really think that the Obamacare numbers the CBO excreted were legit? Anybody willing to bet the house on them?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

And another reason why us mouthbreathers don't trust the CBO is because it's middle name is Hussein. (and I really am a mouthbreather. deviated septum dontchya know)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

"And you know my opinion about "Death Panels" and Obamacare: an inconvenient fact that made Obamacare marginally harder to pass."

McWing, if that were the end of the story I wouldn't mind so much, but the "lie" lives on as they're wont to do. You linked to a poll I believe earlier that proposed approximately 50+ percent of the electorate believe Obama is a socialist. Lies, slurs and character assassinations spread like CA brush fires in October, but the truth is a slow ember when deprived of oxygen.

Regarding CBO, true, they're always touted as truth when coincidental with one's own policy. I suppose the alternative is just throw a bunch of numbers out and see what sticks. You do see the point though of the big spending Republicans right? The more things change and all that.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 9, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca,

I'm not pursposefully trying to annoy you but "death panels" will exist under Obamacare. As a result I do not consider it a lie. I also found the name and it's introduction by The 'Cuda to be brilliant but, alas, inneffective.

I did not link to the Carville poll vis a vis Barry McStrawmanSlayer's Socialists numbers but do giggle about them with the rest of you. Look, I'm not trying to dredge up painful memories but if the left didn't intentionally try (and succeed eventually) to delegitimize Bush with the constant harping on stolen elections in 2000 and Diebold cheating in 2004 then I'll eat my rather hip cowboy hat. You personally may not have contributed to that meme but the left in general sure embraced it and flogged it for all it's worth. I also bet they raised a hell of a lot of campaign money on that. I wonder if the two are related? Hmmmmmm?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 9, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not pursposefully trying to annoy you but "death panels" will exist under Obamacare. As a result I do not consider it a lie. I also found the name and it's introduction by The 'Cuda to be brilliant but, alas, inneffective."

I'm not easily annoyed, but as characterized by the Palin cult it is most certainly a lie. We obviously disagree but I wouldn't worry too much, I'm 99.9% positive the wealthy will still be able to both have and afford the best medical treatment money can buy. Medical decisions are made all the time based on outcomes vs. other factors between doctors and patients. It's sort of silly to object to paying for end of life counseling when we all face ummmm end of life. Unfortunately, the insurance companies do not always agree now and they probably won't always agree later. It's the nature of the free market system, too bad Obama preserved it for you.

And honestly, I think Bush was quite capable of de-legitimizing his own sweet self with WMD, torture, job losses, the housing bubble, tanking the stock market, tax cuts for the rich and famous, etc. etc. The fact that he served 8 full years as President sort of refutes the influence of the left. Most of us fought against policy, at least the DFH's I know, rather than wasting our time with the legitimacy or lack thereof with the election process.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 9, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

"Tanking the stock market" is a new one on me. I'm not understanding Bush's motivation for that.

I do not disagree that the rich will get the best health care they can afford. They always have and always will. I do not resent the rich, nor the access and liberty their wealth provides them.

It seems obvious that Obamacare is designed to crash the health care system we have. Think about it, we're forcing insurance companies to cover all comers- regardless of their condition and for the same price as everybody else -with a defined set of benefits without limit and in perpetuity while strictly regulating their (giggle) profitability. Despite the utter contemptibility of the Individual Mandate, there has been no real "teeth" applied to it and if there is not the threat of jail we'll face the "free rider" scenario, among myriad other things not the least of which is millions more people trying to gain access to less doctors (I'm sure that'll do wonders, the interminable wait that is, for the sickest among us). This complete, universally acknowledged disaster starts in 2014. I'm guessing by, let's say, mid 2014 it collapses and Barry McStrawmanSlayer, the scourge of Strawmen Armies every where will have to sadly acknowledge the failure of "for profit" health care, blame Bush and establish the United States Health Service, the single largest employer in the world, surpassing even the current 1 and 2largest employers, the British Health Service and Indian Railways, combined.

I'm fascinated by those on the left who claim they do not see this. Heck, maybe they don't. Maybe there is some anger clouding their judgement. Anger at how a segment of the population see's this intentional destruction of the current health care system to be replaced with all the efficiency of the post office and the customer service of the DMV for what it is, instead of embracing their inner Churchill and admiring how great the Nazi's provided health care to their (preferred) citizens.

Count me as an enemy of the people.

The good news for me though is that I'm a scrounger. Look me up when you get to the FEMA camp. I'll more than likely be able to get you cigarettes and home-made alcohol.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Reid to Ralson tonight on F2F: "You can't try to change the subject", "there's someone talking in your ear", "calm down John", "you're not giving the Nevada people enough credit", "you're not listening" twice. Some of Ralston's question's render Reid speechless, then Reid dodges question on whether he will debate Angle. He also supports AZ lawsuit. What a disaster. No wonder he doesn't do interviews and is scared to debate Angle! Hilarious! http://www.mynews3.com/category.php?id=5392&n=5035

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 10, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry McWing, I'm not doing quid pro quo for Reid, just making sure everyone knows what they're getting if they vote for Angle. Vucanovich is endorsing her but appears to have a "few" reservations. Meanwhile, several Nevada city Republican mayors will be campaigning for Reid.

"Vucanovich explained that her concerns don't just stem from Angle's conservative views, but rather from her uncompromising style of legislating. The characterization appears to grow out of a reputation Angle developed among her colleagues during the years she served in the Nevada state legislature from 1999 to 2005.

"In the building we used to have a joke called 41 to Angle," Democratic assemblywoman Sheila Leslie recently told the New York Times. "She took great pride in voting 'no' for everything. We have some very conservative people in the assembly, but she was the only one voting 'no' on a technical cleanup bill. The lobbyists didn't talk to her, the legislators wouldn't talk to her, because when you vote no on everything no one wants to deal with you."

Polling data from the state's GOP primary held in early June revealed Angle backers to be an extremely loyal bunch. But it seems the rigid ideology that won the Senate hopeful that support may also have thwarted her ability to sell her candidacy to a wider swath of voters."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/09/sharron-angle-faces-tough_n_629327.html

Posted by: lmsinca | July 10, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

"Tanking the stock market" is a new one on me. I'm not understanding Bush's motivation for that."

Well he obviously didn't do it on purpose. Economic policy of the last 30 years culminated in Sept. of 2008 on Bush's watch. It's been an incredible slide from middle class to working class for most of us.

I see you're angry about HCR and I've been debating this for over a year now so I'm not going to debate all of your points. I'm in the camp that wishes we had a universal system for everyone, so there's no point really arguing about it. I accepted what we received as a first step and we'll see where it goes from here. My daughter will hopefully be able to get health insurance for the first time in a year sometime next month from the high risk pool out here in CA so it's difficult for me to be too personally negative.

Out for the night, have a good one all!!!

Manana

Posted by: lmsinca | July 10, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca,

""In the building we used to have a joke called 41 to Angle," Democratic assemblywoman Sheila Leslie recently told the New York Times. "She took great pride in voting 'no' for everything. We have some very conservative people in the assembly, but she was the only one voting 'no' on a technical cleanup bill. The lobbyists didn't talk to her, the legislators wouldn't talk to her, because when you vote no on everything no one wants to deal with you.""

In all sincerity this sounds like a feature, not a bug. Hasn't the disgusting porkfest that was Senator Byrd taught us anything? Shouldn't we admire someone who even lobbyists won't talk to? Name the legislator on the left with that much integrity. As Greg pointed out today, even the "pure" lefty fantasy lover Fiengold is courting the "Tea Baggers".

The other thing I find hilarious is the leftist defense of Reid. Reid is, without question, the most excoriated Senate Majority leader this country's ever seen. Look on Kos, FireDogLake, Huffpo, Open Left or even the braintrust of the commentors at the WAPO for their assesment of Reid. Not only has he been bad for the Democrats, according to the liberal wing, but counterproductive. All you get by dumping him is Angle, one vote, sure, but at least you could split the literal billions of dollars of pork the hated Reid would no longer be able to waste in Nevada. That alone should be worth it.

Your going to tell me, after all the caterwalling about corporations and Democrat corporatists and K street and Jack Abrahamoff that a woman who has to much integrity to meet with those said demon lobbyists is beneath your contempt? Wow.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Hasta Imsinca,

Maybe it was the $500 Billion Bush fortune that was removed from the Money Markets on 9/11/2008 that cratered the system!

Godspeed to your daughter.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Quickly, I'm glad I don't live in NV, as I'm no fan of Reid or Angle. I have my own problems here in CA Brown vs. Whitman, uggghhh. But seriously, since when does legislating mean doing absolutely nothing and getting paid for it. And Thanks.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 10, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca,

I just don't understand how we've come to associate successful legislating as passing laws. Right now, we cannot even figure out what kind of effect a new law or regulation will have on current laws and regulations.

I would find it refreshing if a legislature gaveled itself into session spent the entire time repealing laws and regulations. Do you think that any state would not benefit from that activity? And, we'd have the benefit of them not spending any new money.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Killing bad bills is something. Accomplishment isn't just passing bills. If we hadn't passed any bills the last 10 years other than the budget we'd be no worse off than we are now and probably better off.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 10, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Truthteller12,

I guess we are working off the same Talking Points!

I'm listening to Reid. My God. What are the odds of Greg linking to that disaster!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn:It seems obvious that Obamacare is designed to crash the health care system we have.

That may be the result of HCR but that is not its purpose. Social insurance that doesn't discriminate against pre-existing conditions, no bogus rescission, insurance exchanges to allow people compare insurance easily, etc. are all both popular and necessary to provide a basic level of health care for the vast majority of people along with medicare and medicaid. If private insurance can't provide that in a responsible and cost effective way, then why have them in the system?

Somehow, there are private insurers in those leftist hell holes of Germany, France, and many other countries in Europe. Are you saying that US insurers can't adapt as well as their european counterparts?

Somehow the rest of the industrialized democracies are able to deliver fairly close levels of medical outcomes on 20-50% less than what we spend and also essentially cover the entire the population. Isn't that the direction in terms of cost and outcomes (if not delivery system or administrative system) the way US health care has to go? Otherwise, health care spending will crush all other federal spending and bankrupt individuals.

BTW, its true that I am not bothered. You didn't address what possible motive that the editors at kaplan ed's money losing subsidiary have for holding a torch for Reid and dems in general, when their editor and a majority of the editorial staff are (sadly) just right of John Birch. A lot of their reporters are more interested in attending the good parties than questioning what is happening in the capital.

And I will try to respect your tender sensibilities and avoid colorful names for the southern rump opposition party. I like rightwingnutistan because I think I made that one up! There has to be some way to indicate how far off the very deep (right) end the GOP is located compared to republicans from the 80s, 70s, 60's. Just look at the party platforms from that era. Even today's dems are not as bent on driving the country towards Moscow as Eisenhower and Nixon were!!!!!!!

And since I got you, do your libertarian political leanings extend to reproductive choice, radical drug law reform, an end to military adventurism all over the world, etc?

Posted by: srw3 | July 10, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh and Greg, Greetings and felicitations on your trip around the calendar. I hate the fact that you are younger me (at least by your pic.) ;-) Happy belated birthday.

Posted by: srw3 | July 10, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Troll, I know brilliant minds think alike right! I also love it how Reid tells Ralston not to interrupt in the last segment. Also did you see Angle's blasting of Obama's visit in this release?: http://sharronangle.com/press-releases/2010-07-09/obama-takes-more-time-oil-spill-clean-harry-reid%E2%80%99s-mess

I especially love the line about Obama "talking down" to Nevadans. Greg should like to both of these Plums in the morning but I wont hold my breadth.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 10, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

srw3,

I'll address these out of order. "do your libertarian political leanings extend to reproductive choice, radical drug law reform, an end to military adventurism all over the world, etc?" I am pro-choice but, for me, it's philosophically inconsistent. I cannot fathom how, if life does not start at conception, you can determine where exactly it does start. OTH, abortion should be left as an option for those preganant, to choose. I also feel comfortable in American voters ability to decide if and when it's appropriate. Unlike the Supremen Court. I used to favor drug legalization, and at time still do. I struggle with it though because the ravages of addiction to amphetamines and opiates is truley a destructive force and I'm no longer convinced in the wherewithall of our society, or any society, to withstand the onslaught. As far as military adventurism, it's a necessary evil. If we want any sort of economy, and no economy ever existed for long with out it, trade is paramount. The reason we have such reliable trade is because of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Military. We'd probably argue about which wars are appropriate and the extent of our involvement, but unless we want to pay a vig to every tin-pot dictator in this world, we're going to need a strong military. Ron Paul can kiss my arse.

"Social insurance that doesn't discriminate against pre-existing conditions, no bogus rescission, insurance exchanges to allow people compare insurance easily, etc. are all both popular and necessary to provide a basic level of health care for the vast majority of people along with medicare and medicaid. If private insurance can't provide that in a responsible and cost effective way, then why have them in the system?" I'll not waste your time. I do not believe health care is a right and therefore do not think the government is responsible for providing it. As a side note, insurance is a gaurentee to replace a loss, initiated prior to it's loss. Paying for health care for someone already ill is not insurance. That system will no longer exist after 2014, and it doesn't sound like you disagree, though for different reasons.

I care not that our health care costs more that the rest of the Industrialized world. We get the best care, and have the best survival rates when treated. Whatever we do, CBO numbers be damned, we are going to pay a lot more for health care. What's wrong with that? Times and priorities change. I really see nothing wrong with having to spend more of my income on health care.

I do not think that the European model is an example you want to emulate seeing as they are all on the verge of collapse. Even the lauded Sweden is desperatly trying to reform its health care system to reduce costs, and they kill people off regularly!

The real reason Europe has brouht in an alien and hostile workforce that refuses to assimilate is not because their were not enough European workers, it's becuase there were not enough Europeans!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

srw3,

To finish, there are not enough Europeans to keep their schlerotic, bloated buracracies afloat.

Unless we repeal this disaster, all political arguements going forward will revolve around how much better a particular party can run the health care system, and how much more money they'll spend doing it. At some point, and we've gone way past it, you run out of other peoples money.

Was it Franklin that said we've got a good Repbulic here, for as long as we can keep it? And I alway attribute to Menkhen, though I don't think it's his "American get the government they vote for... and they get it good and hard."

Truthteller12, I saw the ads. The crowd here thought it was an unfair attack on Barry McStrawmanSlayer. I snorted soda on my computer when I read that one.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

srw3,

"BTW, its true that I am not bothered. You didn't address what possible motive that the editors at kaplan ed's money losing subsidiary have for holding a torch for Reid and dems in general, when their editor and a majority of the editorial staff are (sadly) just right of John Birch. A lot of their reporters are more interested in attending the good parties than questioning what is happening in the capital."

I forgot about the above. I'm just not that familiar with the story. If they're not upfront about it, than I think it's a problem. I don't mind advocacy journalism, hell, most of it is anywhere, but I think we're owed the whole backstory as well. You want to write a million stories about what a great guy Barry McStrawmanSlayer is? Knock yourself out. I'd even let you host a debate between Barry and somebody willing to debate him. I just think you should mention, ya know, beforehand, that you're writing a book about him.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Whew!

All that work and I killed the thread. I bet I even took out the internet. Or at least the node. I feel like the Omega Man.

You Maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you all to hell!

Ok, I know that was from Planet of the Apes. I couldn't think of any juicy quotes from the Omega Man

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

You should be fined for not having insurance because if you have an emergency and go to the emergency room, then you do not have the money for the bill, it gets charged to everyone else. Get medical insurance for your entire family at the best price from http://bit.ly/chE6zp By contributing to the pool and doing your part, overall costs come down. Its like stores that have to charge more because of all the theft. People go to the hospital and then not pay, it gets charged to everyone else.

Posted by: henryjose09 | July 10, 2010 3:53 AM | Report abuse

We can always be certain that any GOP politician speaking the truth about Palin is out of office.

Posted by: rhallnj | July 10, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Mark Haines, not exactly a "socialist", shreds one of the Republican talking points (lies) that has spread as truth. I'm beginning to wonder if there aren't more than a few conservatives out there that are getting tired of the right wing radicals. We'll see.

"Conservative lawmakers and pundits have been claiming that the Obama administration is refusing to waive the Jones Act out of deference to the will of labor unions. Earlier this month, McClatchy demolished this meme, but that hasn’t stopped the drumbeat, with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) going so far as to say that aid from 17 countries has been rejected because of the Jones Act. Yesterday, on CNBC, Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute repeated the talking point, but he ran into a host who had done his homework. CNBC’s Mark Haines noted that 68 different offers of foreign cleanup help have been accepted, and then challenged Bader to cite examples of the Jones Act causing a problem:"

HAINES: How many rejections under the Jones Act?

BADER: I don’t know how many.

HAINES: Excuse me, Senator McCarthy, you can’t tell us how many there are? I want the facts, give us hard facts, give us evidence, not innuendo, not baseless accusations, okay? It’s offensive to intelligence. The fact is sir, you have told us there are examples of rejections and you can not name a single one.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/09/cnbc-jones-act/

Posted by: lmsinca | July 10, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Happy b'day, Greg.

Posted by: amkeew | July 10, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Thx lms for TP link. Mcclutchy did kick that meme to the tarsh can and yet rethugs are brazenly still lying about it.

Good of Haines to call that liar out.

Posted by: amkeew | July 10, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@Imsinca: Ouch! He referred to him as Senator McCarthy? That's going to leave a mark.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 10, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

lms - That vid at TP is eminently enjoyable. The one dutch example that rethug quoted was also debunked by haines in the follow up piece. Never heard of this haines guy before. Is he that good often ?

Posted by: amkeew | July 10, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

amk, we watch CNBC occasionally and he's basically a typical free market guy but not so prone to parrot the right wing mantra as say Maria Bartiromo. He has a low tolerance for bs would be my assessment from the little I've seen. I wish more "journalists" would ask better questions, if that's what he is, it's a difficult distinction to make anymore.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 10, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

SCat, it's pretty hard to miss that McCarthyism is alive and well in the GOP, but nice to hear a mainstream, as opposed to "lamestream" guy call it what it is. I think most Republicans feel CNBC is a safe haven but obviously it's not necessarily true.

Have a nice Saturday all.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 10, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

lms - I'll give him credit at least for this one. Wish more teevee journos were that forthcoming.

Posted by: amkeew | July 10, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn: shouldn't we admire someone who even lobbyists won't talk to? Name the legislator on the left with that much integrity. As Greg pointed out today, even the "pure" lefty fantasy lover Fiengold is courting the "Tea Baggers".

Having a rep go to a legislature and be against everything that either party advocates is just an obstructionist, so no I don't see that as a virtue. Where are her positive solutions? Where is her ability to work with others? there is a balance between ideological purity and compromise to get some things done. if a bill has >50% of what you want you have to be willing to bargain in good faith and then support the compromise. She reminds me of the senate rethuglicans who bargained a lot of the best parts of HCR away and still voted against the final bill.

Feingold like any pol has his plusses and minuses and I do think that the + outweigh the -. He is not a god and he is totally wrong to join a filibuster against his own leadership. He can vote no on the substance, but voting agianst cloture is just stupid. Everything the tea baggers espouse isn't right wing garbage, just 95% of it. I agree with them that govt does overreach on some things, particularly individual rights to privacy. But I don't believe the black helicopters are on their way, that the dirty brown people are stealing the country's wealth through over generous welfare payments, or that obama is a socialist, nazi, muslim, fascist which is their main message. There is a large undercurrent of racism in the crowd, which is 99.9% white BTW, and the birther undercurrent, which is just plain crazy.

Posted by: srw3 | July 10, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn:We get the best care, and have the best survival rates when treated.

What do you mean we white man? When treated , is the operative phrase. the 20-30 million with no access to affordable health care (as opposed to trauma treatment) don't get to benefit from the best health care money can buy. the US has orders of magnitude more medical bankruptcies than any other industrialized democracy, 45+ million are uninsured and millions more underinsured, at least 1/2 of the uninsured are not eligible for medicaid because they are above the poverty level. Even with their bloated bureaucracies, their health systems STILL COST LESS AND COVER MORE PEOPLE. Fortunately, access to basic health care is considered a basic human right in most of the industrialized world, so you are in the distinct minority on that.

Its no mystery that no modern industrial democracy would trade their health care for the US system, including canada which has an up close and personal look at both universal and survival of the richest health care systems.

Posted by: srw3 | July 10, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama's lawsuit against that white-supremacist law in Arizona is the right thing to do, regardless of so-called "political risks." Remember that phrase about a "people that values it's privileges over it's principles soon loose both"?

Milbank's article was dead on: it's all about Brewer's method of winning at any cost, hubris, fearmongering, appealing to people's prejudices, etcetera. If she succeeds in "winning," it will be an illegitimate, dirty win; and, she will suffer the consequences.

Posted by: dozas | July 10, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Srw3,

I guess I do not get the whole "white man"' thing. I thought it wasn't pc to guess someones race by how the sound, write etc? That being said, I guess I'm as lily white as they come and can trace my ancestry all the way back to the corner drunk. What I wrote earlier is that the delightful European model is bankrupt. It's unsustainable, even for countries that don't have to spend money (or a negligible amount) on their military

Ultimatly though, I'm not a proponent of the concept of the "right to health care" which proudly puts me outside of the mainstream. And by the way, have you seen the mainstream lately? Why anybody would want to be a part of that I'll never know.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Starting point for a compromise on immigration:  Learning English is the price of citizenship.

That might fly as a rebuttal to the amnesty-phobic:  "Amnesty?  No way!  They've gotta learn English first!!!"

And it's kinda subversive in a way.  Making citizenship applicants learn English will increase their value to themselves and to everybody.  It'll contribute to the economy like all those "productivity gains" that so jazzed Alan Greenspan. And it'll increase the political clout of population groups that have lots of new citizens.

Posted by: jzap | July 10, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

jzap, funny you should mention immigration reform, Sarah and Bill were just discussing that the other night. She cracks me up. I haven't watched Bill since my father passed away almost four years ago (Dad's fav,) maybe I'll have to start tuning in.

"So you'd expect two years later, on a sympathetic network FOX News, on a subject Republicans have reduced to a check list of boilerplate talking points that Palin would be both in her element and comfortable with the subject. Unfortunately for her that turned out not to be the case at all. In the end even Bill O'Reilly looked a bit taken aback by her evasiveness and non-answers, like when a teacher gives you that "Did you even study for this test?" look.

And it's evident in their respective body language: O'Reilly quizzical, raised eyebrows, prompting her answers at times; Palin hesitant, clasping her hands together, biting her lips, as if afraid she'll make a slip-up and start parroting George Bush or pre-2010 John McCain on immigration reform."

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/node/38286

Posted by: lmsinca | July 10, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"But McCain looks to me these days like someone who bears an unacknowledged weight. If I had to guess, I'd say that weight is his shame over a barely competent presidential campaign and his awful choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. "

http://www.slate.com/id/2259936/

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 10, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

lms:  I couldn't imagine watching that clown for either entertainment or information.  Thanks for shouldering that burden for our benefit!

s-cat:  I can dig it.  All that flip-flopping and what'd it buy him?  Nothing.  In fact, it diminished him.  Exposed him for the twerp he really is.

Oh, the cognitive dissonance that must come from trying to pretend that choosing Miss Airhead Bimbo was a patriotic thing to do!

Posted by: jzap | July 10, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

BTW, here's some good news heading into Nov. for CA. Keep your fingers crossed but it looks good for prop.25, finally.

Prop. 25: Majority Vote for State Budget

"This measure to eliminate the super-majority requirement of a two-thirds vote in the state legislature to pass a budget has super-majority support among voters. Among California voters, 65 percent support the measure while only 20 percent oppose it, and only 15 percent are undecided. It even has majority support among Republican voters, 58-25. While it’s still early, Prop. 25 looks likely to pass in November.

The two-thirds requirement to pass a budget, along with the two-thirds requirement to pass tax increases, has caused nearly endless gridlock in Sacramento, perennially late budgets and unpopular horse trading to get the last few votes. It has created huge dysfunction in the state government, and it looks like the voters have finally had enough. For non-California readers, think about how extremely dysfunctional the US Senate is with its 60-vote super-majority requirement to end a filibuster.

Prop. 25 will restore a simple majority vote to pass the budget but leave in place the two-thirds requirement for tax increases."

h/t Jon Walker

Posted by: lmsinca | July 10, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Can America's right wing get any stupider?

The answer, same as it ever was: Of course.

http://largegreenbird.blogspot.com/2010/07/monkeys.html

~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 10, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

@ifthethunderdontgetya: That has got to be a joke. Someone is totally playing them. (Although, beware if you hit the link to the original source of the article.....lots of racist comments about Obama, muslims, and monkeys).

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 10, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

lms:  This is the first I've heard of P25.  Sounds like a great idea to me.  Thanks for the heads-up.

AIUI, CA had the top-rated educational system in the USA until P13 passed.  Now it's nearly in the toilet.

Yes, the annual CA Budget fiascoes have been embarrassing debacles.  An interesting side effect of one of them was to give LtGov Abe Maldonado enough leverage to get P8 on the ballot, which passed and will give us party-blind primaries.  (Dunno yet how I feel about that; it'll be interesting to see how it works out.)

Posted by: jzap | July 10, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Oops... WRT Abe Maldonado, I said P8; I meant P14, the CA Open Primary Measure.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/09/MN0V1DNDMQ.DTL

Posted by: jzap | July 10, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

jzap, I voted against prop 14 after doing as much research as there was on the subject, but we'll see how it turns out. And I agree re Prop. 13, and it's such a shame, I'll never forget when all the music and art programs disappeared off the face of the map in the elementary schools. My kids all made it though and went through CA college system as well. My youngest couldn't find anything here for grad school though and is off to CO School of Mines next month for her Masters in Geology.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 10, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@ifthethunderdontgetya: That has got to be a joke.
==============================

Sadly, No!

http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/32329.html

Jim Hoft really is that stupid.

P.S. I'm happy to see S,N! taking back their project of mocking Hoft, as MediaMatters has been horning in on their turf.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007090015
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 10, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

"Jim Hoft really is that stupid. "

Oh, I have no doubt HE believes it. I just think someone floated the story as a joke to see if any idiot would bite. Lo and behold....someone did!

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 10, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya,

You broke the lid wide open on this one. I'm hearing talk, when the noise from the black helicopters doesn't drown it out, that Barry's training set up a research farm in Colorado to teach sheep to cook. I sh*t you not.

God help us all.

The People's Daily defines credibility for us wingnuts!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

The People's Daily defines credibility for us wingnuts!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 7:04 PM |
====================

If only this were true...wingnuts would then be relying on a source more credible than Drudge or Limbaugh.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 10, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Quote from Frank Zappa:

"Politics is a valid concept, but what we do is not really politics...  it's a popularity contest.  It has nothing to do with politics.  What it is, is mass merchandising."

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

Ya know, I was just rapping with Jimmy at the last Birch meeting and we both complained about the dearth of good communist country dailies!

I think he oughta start using a really credible source like DU or Kos.

I know it's early in the season but:
Merry Fitzmas everybody!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 10, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to trust anyone these days, we've all become so cynical, but let's hope this thing works. The old cap is off and they're working on getting the new one on. Below is from the oildrum.

Update: The cap was removed at 12:37 pm CDT today.

"The weather is finally good for a few day, and BP has received the go-ahead from the administration on changing the containment cap to a different type of cap that should allow BP to seal the well. With the new cap, while the well will continue to discharge hydrocarbons, all of the oil and gas will be collected, once adequate collection capability is on line. With the new system in place, it should be possible to accurately measure the amount of oil and gas escaping for the first time.

According to BP, installing the new cap is expected to take five to eight days. During part of that time, the the flow of hydrocarbons is expected to increase."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 10, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

All, no roundup again today. Really need to recharge...back first thing tomorrow AM with Morning Plum though...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 11, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Greg, enjoy your time off, we'll keep the lights on.

I don't know if anyone else caught some of this but I found it interesting. Romney's op-ed in the WaPo re the Start treaty caught a lot of flack from the blogs and politicians right and left, but apparently no comment in the MSM. Odd, since he's a potential 2012 Presidential candidate. His research skills leave a lot to be desired and he seems to have adopted the most right wing foreign policy agenda out there.

Romney said:

"Russia will retain more than 10,000 nuclear warheads that are categorized as tactical because they are mounted on missiles that cannot reach the United States. But surely they can reach our allies, nations that depend on us for a nuclear umbrella."


This sounds terrifying. And it would be -- if it were true. But Russia does not have 10,000 tactical nuclear missiles that can reach our allies. They don't have even 1,000. At most, Russia has a few hundred sea-based, nuclear-armed, cruise missiles. We are not even sure if these are operational. They may be rusting in Russian storage sites.

Why doesn't Russia have more missiles that can hit our allies? Because Ronald Reagan eliminated them in a negotiated treaty with the Soviet Union in 1987. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty verifiably destroyed a whole class of missiles (those between about 300 and 3400 miles in range) that once threatened nuclear war in Europe. The Soviet Union destroyed approximately 1750 missiles, and the U.S. destroyed 846.

Then, in 1991, President George H. W. Bush unilaterally withdrew all U.S. ground-launched tactical nuclear missiles and tactical weapons on surface ships. Gorbachev responded in kind a week later by announcing a 60 percent reduction in the Soviet tactical arsenal.

Today, even if you throw in all of Russia's 540 long-range missiles, and its possible 856 air-launched cruise missiles (all limited by the new treaty), Russia still does not have more than 1700 offensive missiles in its entire inventory."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-cirincione/romneys-worst-foreign-pol_b_641359.html

Posted by: lmsinca | July 11, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I think a better name for Ayn Rand's non-looters would be "hoarders" and the looters have become "losers".

"The riches of the wealthiest North Americans grew by double digits in 2009, primarily from interest their money earned when it was invested in the stock market and elsewhere, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group.

Millionaires in the U.S. and Canada saw their wealth increase 15 percent in 2009, to a total of 4.6 trillion dollars, the report found."

"Their fortune is a stark contrast to the lives of more than 15 million people in the U.S. who are unemployed and searching for work, and the eight million more who are just getting by with a part-time job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than two million more people were working prior to the recession but have now dropped out of the labour force.

Apart from the newly unemployed, about 39 million people in the U.S. are chronically poor and do not have enough food to eat, according to the U.S. Census and U.S. Department of Agriculture."

http://www.alternet.org/economy/147492/wealthy_are_cashing_in_huge%2C_while_workers%27_salaries_keep_shrinking/?page=1

Posted by: lmsinca | July 11, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn:I guess I do not get the whole "white man"' thing. I thought it wasn't pc to guess someones race by how the sound, write etc?

Its a line out of a famous song...

Lone ranger said to Tonto....

The Lone Ranger and Tonto
Were riding down the Navajo Trail
When a band of Indians found em
Proceeded to surround em and
The Lone Ranger turned kinda pale

Tonto, our lives are in danger
We got to get away if we can
Tonto just looked at Lone Ranger
What you mean, we, white man

(CHORUS)
Tell me what you mean

Log on to kill this message.

(We, white man)
Tell me what you mean (we)
Tell me what you mean
(We, white man)
Tell me what you mean (we)

You in heap big trouble
But it don`t involve me, white man
No, it don`t involve me
It do not involve me, white man
It do not involve me

The Lone Ranger said, Tonto
Why talk about the shade of my hide
After all we been through
It would make me mighty blue
If you don`t remain by my side

We`ll steal away said the Ranger
Grab an Injun by the hand
Tonto said, turn me loose, stranger
What you mean, we, white man

(CHORUS)

You in heap big trouble
But it don`t involve me, white man
No, it don`t involve me
It don`t involve me, white man
No, it don`t involve me

The Lone Ranger cried, Tonto
Stick with me and I`ll double your pay
We can do a switch about
You give me your pony, Scout
And ride Silver, hi-ho away

But hurry up said the masked man
To get away, we`re gonna have to race
Tonto took Silver and laughed
And said what you mean, we, paleface

Tell me what you mean
(We, paleface)
Tell me what you mean (we)
Tell me what you mean
(We, paleface)
Tell me what you mean (we)

You in heap big trouble
But it don`t involve me, paleface
No, it don`t involve me
It don`t involve me, paleface
No, it don`t involve me

It don`t involve me, paleface
It don`t involve me
(Hi ho, Silver away)
What you talking bout, we, paleface
What you talking bout, we

(That`s your problem, paleface)
What you talking bout, we, paleface
What you talking bout, we

It don`t involve me, paleface
It don`t involve me
It don`t involve me, paleface
It don`t involve me........

Well lets say that European systems are still cheaper and they are not failing on the same unsustainable trajectory as we are, ie we are failing faster and again, at least as their systems fail, they still COVER VIRTUALLY EVERYONE, SOMETHING WE DON
T DO WHILE SPENDING WAY MORE. You never answered the question, why no advanced industrial democracy would choose the US system over their own system?

Posted by: srw3 | July 11, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Srw3,

Heck of an answer; their going bankrupt slower! Paging Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the UK, Germany is not going to pick up the red "panic" phone.

As far as their citizens liking their respective health care programs, let's ask Voltaire: they live in the best of all possible worlds! If you have nothing else to compare it too, then you have no frame of reference. I understand that all those medical clinics in China and India treating Europeans for bypass and joint replacements do not in fact exist. Whew! The meme still exist!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 11, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

And I wouldn't choose the American system. I'd opt for one not horrifically distorted by the government.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 11, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"I understand that all those medical clinics in China and India treating Europeans for bypass and joint replacements do not in fact exist."

And according to one study reported on CNN, as many as 6 million Americans travel abroad for healthcare, as well. I think you're setting up a bit of a strawman with your argument as one could find problems with ANY system if you looked. I don't believe the question is "which system is perfect?"; I think the question is "which system treats the most patients most effectively?".

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 11, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Not to insult Slick Willie, but I would like to know what the definition of "effective" is.

And you're right, millions of Americans travel abroad for medical treatment. They're not travelling to Europe's medical Shangri-la though. Hmmmm? That's wierd.

And since I mentioned in an earlier post that I would prefer a system that was less horriifically influenced by government, we all know that in "riechwingnutistan" (see what I did there!) LESS obviously means NO government, ala The Road Warrior because there is no middle ground when Barry is out pontificating. Somalia here we come!

And as President 'Oh how I yearn for the Carter Years' Barry would say: "Strawman Slayer powers... Activate!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 11, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"They're not travelling to Europe's medical Shangri-la though"

Once again....I don't recall referring to any European system as "Shangri-La" - but regardless - you're not entirely correct.

There are quite large "health tourist" markets in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, and Hungary. Why isn't France on the list even though they seem to continually be cited as the best system in the world? Easy - their system is resident-based.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 11, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"LESS obviously means NO government, ala The Road Warrior because there is no middle ground when Barry is out pontificating."

Seriously? You're joking, right? From the side that has rattled on and on about "death panels" and "government takeovers" and "secession" and "marxist, socialist, fascist commies" for the last two yrs? You have the audacity to accuse Obama of hyperbole?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 11, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

McNut, I like your style. It's been a long long time since we've seen a real live wingnut troll make a decent argument, with facts and specifics and that kind of stuff. Hope you stick around.

You might like to go to Thailand for your prostate surgery and respiratory infections or whatever. Their HC system hasn't been "horrifically distorted" by government intervention. Not sure how the cost of air travel figures in to deductability, though.

Posted by: TomBlue | July 11, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Stephanie Schriock of Emily's List has a response to Palin's Mama Grizzlies video. Most mothers would prefer to see their children and grandchildren healthy, educated, and pursuing careers as opposed to fighting endless wars and succumbing to regressive reproductive rights.

"Where Palin and I see the world differently, though, is the faith and respect for women's judgment that I have. Apparently, she hopes that a sentimental video full of images of herself will be enough to make women rise up and support the team of backwards-looking, radical Republican women running this cycle -- from Michele Bachmann, who called the president an extortionist, to Carly Fiorina, who laid off almost 30,000 workers and says job creation will not be her responsibility as a Senator, to Sharron Angle, who wants adolescent victims of rape and incest to "make lemonade out of lemons."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-schriock/women-voters-will-choose_b_641379.html

Posted by: lmsinca | July 11, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The BlueTexan has something to say about the religious right and the unemployed. Where are the Good Samaritans? There's more at the link.

"Finally, there’s the GOP Lt. Governor of South Carolina, Andre Bauer, who brags about “standing up for God” on his website but said this of the poor.

"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better."

BT: "Now I’m not suggesting that we should extend unemployment benefits because my priest says so. There’s plenty of purely secular justifications and it’s sound economic policy.

But it’s really galling to see these Republicans prance around waving crosses and bibles and “standing up for Jesus” while demonizing the poor in the most un-Christian ways imaginable and legislating like a bunch of pagans.

How do they keep getting away with it?"

http://firedoglake.com/2010/07/11/with-nearly-10-of-the-country-unemployed-where-are-the-republican-good-samaritans/

Posted by: lmsinca | July 11, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"How do they keep getting away with it?"

I just finished reading "The Family" which gives some really scary insight into modern day fundamentalism. In their view Jesus = free-market capitalism and any government help to the poor doesn't belong in that equation. The only thing the poor require is the word of God.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 11, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

SCat, that's on my reading list. Now I'll move it up to the top. I'm fascinated with fundamentalism for some perverse reason, just trying to understand I guess.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 11, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

TomBlue and SCat,

I think Barry McStrawmanSlayer is particularly adept at defeating the modern day scourge of Strawmen arguments. He's no slouch with hyperbole a la "and the oceans will recede" or some such nonsense at the Barackopolis in Denver.

I mentioened the LESS does not equal NO argument as well as The Road Warrior because the lefts new meme is that us knucklegragging "reichwingers" think ALL government is bad. And Somalia is
Somehow our
Dream state. I was just saving you guys the time.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 11, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Republican good samaritans? 'Tis an oxymoron; it's not in their DNA. As for most "religions," why they are just another way--in this case for folks calling themselves a minister, a rabbi, a preacher, a priest, a cleric--to make a living. The churches that are the most successful have a good sales pitch; those that don't are currently in foreclosure: just like any other business.

Posted by: dozas | July 11, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"the lefts new meme is that us knucklegragging "reichwingers" think ALL government is bad. And Somalia is
Somehow our
Dream state."

Meh. I don't believe that. I think most of you are more interested in a plutocracy than you are some sort of libertarian utopia. You want/need the government to maintain the status quo: power in the hands of the wealthy and the corporations.

Authoritarianism is a feature not a bug for the right. It's why evangelicals/fundamentalists fit right in. Submit, submit, submit....whether it's to Limbaugh, Dobson, or Palin. Dissension is not allowed.....just ask David Frum, Bob Bennett, Charlie Crist, or Christopher Buckley.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 11, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Okay everybody, looks like Obama won't be fighting for jobs, just unemployment benefits and maybe some small business tax cuts. Benen quotes Axlerod today and a few others like Atrios calling for a fight for jobs.

"And that was all Axelrod was prepared to endorse — extended unemployment employments (Axelrod said it’s something we “ought” to do, as opposed to “must”), and extended tax cuts for small businesses. Axelrod acknowledged that there’s “some argument” for additional short-term stimulus, but it wasn’t an argument he was necessarily prepared to endorse."

http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/07/11/obama-must-push-for-jobs-creation-not-deficit-reduction/

Posted by: lmsinca | July 11, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Okay everybody, looks like Obama won't be fighting for jobs, just unemployment benefits and maybe some small business tax cuts."

Pppffffttttttt. Way to rally the base for the election. {rolls eyes}

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 11, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat,

"Meh. I don't believe that. I think most of you are more interested in a plutocracy than you are some sort of libertarian utopia. You want/need the government to maintain the status quo: power in the hands of the wealthy and the corporations."

It would shock me to find out that most of "us" are plutocrats rather than simpleton indviduals. I'm not a defender of corporations, nor naysayer. I think we would both agree that a lot of elected politicians seem to like corporations, and the regulatory and tax code has and will continue to allow for a lot of mischief. However, I enjoy being "pandered" to occasionally and find some politicians useful until they're not. Ask the soon to be former Senator Bennet or Reprasentative Inglis. You can't fall in love with these people, just like you can't fall in love with a wrench. You should replace them when they break, or, ideally right before they break. Power corrupts and all that. I'm for Liberty, particularly economic liberty, not necessariy a Facist state where an Oligarchial mixture of government and business run things. Buckley (the good one, William F.) said he'd rather be governed by the first 300 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard. I'll add to that undesirable leadership list the Managment of GE, Google, Abound Solar and Cornerstone Technologies.

"Authoritarianism is a feature not a bug for the right. It's why evangelicals/fundamentalists fit right in. Submit, submit, submit....whether it's to Limbaugh, Dobson, or Palin."

As far as I know, none of the above are going to force me into a business relationship with a for profit corporation. And C. Buckley is an embarrasment to anybody on the right. Come on, it'd be like me saying, I don't know, Lyndon Larouche is representative of the Progressive wing of the Democratic party. I don't know if that fits, I just though it was something that would be annoying.

"Dissension is not allowed.....just ask David Frum, Bob Bennett, Charlie Crist, or Christopher Buckley."

Ya know, I was just asking Joe Leiberman and Zell Miller about dissension being embraced by the Democratic Party, and how much I admired the party's tolerance.


Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 11, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"As far as I know, none of the above are going to force me into a business relationship with a for profit corporation."

Don't be silly.....we're all being forced into business relationships with corporations of someone else's choosing. No bid contracts ring a bell? What about the privatization of SS? Investment bankers are just salivating at the thought.

For the most part, I will agree with your other sentiments about corporations, but until real campaign finance reform happens this country will continue to slide down the path towards a plutocracy.

"I don't know if that fits, I just though it was something that would be annoying."

It worked. ;)

"Ya know, I was just asking Joe Leiberman and Zell Miller about dissension being embraced by the Democratic Party"

You were doing so well until that closer. Terrible, terrible examples. Name any Republican who actively campaigned AGAINST McCain (or any other Repub candidate for office) who is still accepted by the party. Just one. Lieberman didn't even lose his chairmanship for pete's sake. As far as Zell is considered, well.....he's just the nutty old uncle who thinks he didn't get as much as he deserved in Grandma's will.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 11, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

McNut,
I get your bitterness about being forced into a business relationship by the government. A lot of us thought it would be better to have the system there and available, and you wouldn't have to "sign up" until you needed it and wanted it. Unfortunately, your side put the kibosh on that idea. With single payer, you couldn't be forced to participate, ya know? You would have been free to go pay out-of-pocket to any old quack any time you wanted. Only people who wanted the good system would use it.

The difference is, Lieberman has his Senate seat and his chairmanship and all the privileges of being a Democrat without the name. Zell has voluntarily found more comfort being with Republicans and working for Republican causes, and more power to him. That's quite a difference from poor, poor Frum et al.

Posted by: TomBlue | July 11, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

That faux deficit hawk John Kyl with Chris Wallace this morning:

"But today on Fox News Sunday, Kyl threw his concerns about the deficit out the window when discussing tax cuts. Kyl said Congress should not allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, but when host Chris Wallace asked, “How are you going to pay the $678 billion to keep Bush tax cuts for the wealthy?” Kyl wouldn’t answer. And in fact, he went so far as to say tax cuts should never have to be paid for:

WALLACE: We’re running out of time, so how are you going to pay $678 billion just on the tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year?

KYL: You should never raise taxes in order to cut taxes. Surely congress has the authority and it would be right, if we decide we want to cut taxes to spur the economy, not to have to raise taxes in order to offset those costs. You do need to offset the cost of increased spending. And that’s what republicans object to. But you should never have to offset cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans."

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/11/kyl-tax-cuts/

Posted by: lmsinca | July 11, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut: "As far as their citizens liking their respective health care programs, let's ask Voltaire: they live in the best of all possible worlds! If you have nothing else to compare it too, then you have no frame of reference."

But we do have frames of reference because we have medical data. Just go get T.R. Reid's book "The Healing Of America" where he looks at how our economic peer nations do health care. They get overall the same or better results than we do while spending 2/3rds or even half as much as we do--and they cover everyone. And that's by using just about any metric you care to name: total life expectancy, life expectancy after age 60, quality of life-adjusted years. For 5-year survival rates for various ailments in English-speaking countries alone, just check out the chart at http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/06/17/business/17leonhardt.graf01.ready.html.

I'm a big fan of free markets. I don't want government where it's not needed. But I'm not going to pretend markets are the best or only solution to every problem. (For instance, we have salary caps in professional sports because a free market does not keep prices (salaries) down while improving quality; instead, they bid up prices). There's plenty of evidence that we don't consume health care like other ordinary goods, so if you want to live in a society where people don't die just because they can't get insurance and families don't go bankrupt just because someone got sick, then government intervention is a necessity.

Posted by: dasimon | July 11, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat,

"Don't be silly.....we're all being forced into business relationships with corporations of someone else's choosing. No bid contracts ring a bell? What about the privatization of SS? Investment bankers are just salivating at the thought." As far as I know, up unitl now, American Citizens are/were not forced to buy anything simply because they were citizens. If you can think of one, I'd like to know. Even the privatization of the Ponzi scheme known as SS did not, as the final plan (and was filibustered, damn this broken Congress) made clear, you could keep your money with the government, have them spend it on other things and then when it was time to collect, tell you there was no more money left and your benefits were going to be reduced and your retirement age risen. Whew, dodged a bullet with that one.


"until real campaign finance reform happens this country will continue to slide down the path towards a plutocracy." A question, why do corporations donate to politicians and lobby the government? I'm guessing that it's to influence regulations and tax codes that favor them (a corporation or industry) and punishes their competitors. I have absolutely no faith in the concept of Campaign Finance Reform (snicker) being able to keep out "corporate" money any more than I think it will benefit an incumbant's challenger. Corps have been allowed to donate money for a long time, have we never had a legitimate election? I mean before Rethuglicans and Diebold rigged the system to create the permanant Rethuglican majority we're enjoying now. Take away Congress's ability to manipulate the tax code and limit governments ability to regulate and maybe there would not be a need to try and influence the government (corporate influence that is).

Ok, I understand you think my Lieberman / Miller comment stunk, though I thought it was good. Parties have internecene battles all the time, or was Bill Halter and Joe Sestak an illusion. I happen to think the best way to influence any politician is to primary them. Your complaining about the KKK, I mean the TeaBaggers, but can you doubt their influence in the Rethuglican Party? What if Ned Lamont had won in Conneticut? What kind of repurcussions might that have had? Destroying the "clubbiness" of the Senate is a good thing, no?

And Charlie Christ? Really? Come-on, two weeks before he was gonna get his A** kicked in a primary he was swearing allegiance to the Reichwing. Charlie Christ's own ambition may end up destroying him. Ditto for Specter. Hell, he had a better Democratic voting record than half your caucus even before he switched. And it was your party that defeated him, by the way (depriving us Rethuglican Losers of the pleasure I might add), talk about your Civil Wars. And I would have added that freakaziod crease obsessed drooler David Brooks. Didya run out of room?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 11, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

dasimon,

"I'm a big fan of free markets. I don't want government where it's not needed. But I'm not going to pretend markets are the best or only solution to every problem. (For instance, we have salary caps in professional sports because a free market does not keep prices (salaries) down while improving quality; instead, they bid up prices). There's plenty of evidence that we don't consume health care like other ordinary goods, so if you want to live in a society where people don't die just because they can't get insurance and families don't go bankrupt just because someone got sick, then government intervention is a necessity."

Look, I'm not gonna go all Alinsky on ya and refuse to give any validation to your arguement. I don't think I said that markets are the best solution, just that I think they're better than any of the other one's I've heard about. Sure, the government has a great track record of doing things even remotely efficiently. Sure, the only time I ever feel like I'm being treated as a full fledged member of society is when I go to the DMV or the Post Office. The European system can work, if your population continues to grow (so the burden of carrying for someone who made terrible life decicions, something like 97% of all Scots either smoke and/or drink to much, can be enjoyed but others who made better life decisions) and you have a Sugardaddy somewhere providing you military protection and keeping the seaway open so you can engage in all that evil globalization. And hell, create idiotic regulations to keep foreign products out to protect your industry because after all, you got yours. Sure, that's a way to do it, along with permanent double-digit unemployment, an imported non-citizen work force that despises you and your way of life and the pleasure of knowing that if Sugardaddy so much as hiccups the whole thing comes crashing down.

That being said, it is one way to do it. It may, in some eyes, even be a better way of doing it. But I do not think it's the best way, just like I don't think it's the best way here.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

TomBlue,

The fact of the matter is the health care debate is now moot as your side won, and we all face this impending disaster together. That being said, I'm never adverse to flogging a dead horse, so here goes.

"Unfortunately, your side put the kibosh on that idea. With single payer, you couldn't be forced to participate, ya know? You would have been free to go pay out-of-pocket to any old quack any time you wanted. Only people who wanted the good system would use it." From early January to like, May, you had a 59 seat majority in the Senate. Then, from May to that blessed day in February when Senator Brown was finally seated, the Democratic Caucus had 60 votes. As far as I can remember, that's what's called the proverbial filibuster proof majority. Anything could go. You could have gone to Single payer and forced all to eat orange jello daily and us Rethuglicans couldn't have done a thing to stop it. If you're somehow required by Democratic Pary bylaws to tout the "Rethuglicans ruined Nirvana for us" meme, then if asked at my FEMA camp interrogation and re-education I'll tell them you love the grape kool-aid. But please do not, in the privacy of your own mind, pretend that what limited your goal of health care ecstasy was Republicans.

"A lot of us thought it would be better to have the system there and available, and you wouldn't have to "sign up" until you needed it and wanted it. " "Only people who wanted the good system would use it." In all honesty, I do not see how a system like this gets paid for except by confiscatory tax rates. Short of that you need a mandate with teeth. Otherwise the free riders (the rational economic choice in this instance) would quickly bankrupt it. Imagine if you didn't need to get car insurance until after the theft or accident.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 11, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

McNut,

You make some good points, with respect to the 60 vote majority. The Dem problem is that your side is way too good at playing the message game. The Dems are pikers in that department. No doubt about that. You guys say booga! booga! and half our guys run and hide under the table. So there's that.

I'm not optimistic about how this Frankenstein of a health care reform is going to work, so on that we can probably agree. With respect to single payer, I'm not sure the result would have been any more "confiscatory" than what we have now as we speak, but as you say, it's a moot point. We got what we got. See, you don't need a mandate if everyone has access when they need it. You need the mandate only when you stay with a competitive system and regulate rescission and refusal of coverage out of the system. There's no such thing as "free riders" when you have single payer. Ah well.

It's not precisely the same thing as mandatory car insurance, but no-fault insurance might be closer to the reality. Of course, people don't have to have a car so there's a little more in the way of free choice there.


Posted by: TomBlue | July 11, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut: "The European system can work, if your population continues to grow (so the burden of carrying for someone who made terrible life decicions, something like 97% of all Scots either smoke and/or drink to much, can be enjoyed but others who made better life decisions) and you have a Sugardaddy somewhere providing you military protection and keeping the seaway open so you can engage in all that evil globalization. And hell, create idiotic regulations to keep foreign products out to protect your industry because after all, you got yours. Sure, that's a way to do it, along with permanent double-digit unemployment, an imported non-citizen work force that despises you and your way of life and the pleasure of knowing that if Sugardaddy so much as hiccups the whole thing comes crashing down."

The problem with these critiques is that they have nothing to do with how our peer nations--which are not just Europe, by the way, but also Canada, Japan, and Taiwan--actually provide health care. The issue is not how they generate revenues, or whether they get some benefits from lower military expenditures. The issue is what they get for what they spend on health care. And the fact is that they get in general as good results as we do, sometimes better, while spending far far less. Those results are independent of what they or we spend on the military, etc. (and are all the more impressive if so many of them are making poor lifestyle decisions).

By the way, the DMV and my local post office operate pretty darn well. And if government couldn't do anything right, you'd think our economic peers would be doing a far worse job with health care. But they don't; we do, at least for what we spend.

Posted by: dasimon | July 12, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/the_morning_plum_49.html

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

dasimon said:
"By the way, the DMV and my local post office operate pretty darn well. And if government couldn't do anything right, you'd think our economic peers would be doing a far worse job with health care. But they don't; we do, at least for what we spend."

That is the case. By many significant measures, the US system provides inferior outcomes at much greater cost.

As I've noted before, citizens in these other nations who enjoy government involvement in healthcare/insurance (including the ones dasimon notes plus Australia, Israel etc) have zero interest in dismantling their "oppressive" systems. Political parties do not promote such a move because they understand there is no constituency for it.

One can and ought to consider this outcome as an instance of "customer satisfaction". Or one could, and ought to, consider it as an outcome of the free-market in ideas and policies - they've tried it, they like it, they wish to keep it, thank you very much. Or one could consider it, and ought to, as a myriad of pilot-projects which have universally brought about a "we like this better!" conclusion by the participants.

And I have yet to see an American conservative ideologue seriously deal with the positive responses in ALL other western nations to their non-American-style systems. But, how can they?

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

Greg,
Your morning post isn't showing up on your front page. I had to post your link in order to reach it. And it's got some good stuff in there! Discouraging, infuriating, maddening, but good.

Posted by: TomBlue | July 12, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Greg,
Your morning post isn't showing up on your front page. I had to post your link in order to reach it. And it's got some good stuff in there! Discouraging, infuriating, maddening, but good.

Posted by: TomBlue | July 12, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn: Literary allusions aside, Canadians know exactly what US style, the best health care money can buy, health care looks like and there are not hordes of them plugging our public health clinics. Sure some wealthy canadians come to the US for pay as you go procedures, but it is more like lightening striking and not a flood moving across the border. The rich everywhere will pay extra or go do medical tourism because they can afford it. Wealthy US patients also go to mexico for lasik, india for hearth surgery, thailand for cosmetic surgery. Those people don't even make up .1% of the tip of the iceberg of health care spending. As for European vs US health care costs, I would rather walk slowly toward the cliff than speed headlong over the cliff. Easier to change direction and/or stop than flooring all the way to the edge (US policy.)

Posted by: srw3 | July 12, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham: "One can and ought to consider this outcome as an instance of 'customer satisfaction'. Or one could, and ought to, consider it as an outcome of the free-market in ideas and policies - they've tried it, they like it, they wish to keep it, thank you very much. Or one could consider it, and ought to, as a myriad of pilot-projects which have universally brought about a 'we like this better!' conclusion by the participants."

But as you pointed out, we don't need to use satisfaction with one's own system to evaluate whether that system is effective or not. We do have data. We can discuss what data is relevant, and data doesn't solve all questions about how money is best spent (since "best" is a subjective notion), but we don't have to rely solely on participant feelings. As T.R. Reid points out, every system has its horror stories, but that doesn't mean that some systems don't do better than others on fairly objective measures.

Posted by: dasimon | July 12, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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