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"Hicky" actor backs up GOP version of events

The other day I suggested here that it was unfair to slam national Republicans over that casting call for "hicky blue collar" actors who ultimately appeared in that NRSC ad featuring regular guys bashing Obama and West Virginia Dem Senate candidate Joe Manchin.

The NRSC claimed no involvement in the use of the word "hicky." And now one of the actors, Damian Muziani, has told ABC's Top Line what happened, and he backs up this version of events:

Muziani also backed up the National Republican Senatorial Committee's assertion that they had nothing to do with the criteria for finding actors for the spot. The language asking for a "hicky" look was only in the "booking sheet," Muziani said, which was produced by an outside talent agency that was not directly hired by national Republicans.

"You have to be careful with the terminology because there's a casting call and then there's what's known as a booking sheet," he said. "A casting call is, 'We're looking for a certain type or we're looking for this.' And that casting call did not have the word 'hick' or 'hicky' in it. If I remember correctly, they were looking for people who represent an area of the country in, say, Pittsburgh, Ohio, West Virginia area. But it was very vague."

Now, some will dismiss this, arguing that the actor may have been taking care to avoid offending folks who might hire him later. But he's offering a very detailed version of events here -- the "hicky" language appeared in the booking sheet offered by a casting agency twice removed from the NRSC. I see no reason not to believe him.

To be clear, I think the original Politico story was legit and newsworthy, in the sense that it provided a fascinating glimpse into how "regular guy" ads like this come to be. And it's hard to fault Dems for leaping on the story -- Republicans would have done the same.

But it simply was not fair for media outlets or commentators to tar national Republicans or the NRSC with the use of the "hicky" language. News accounts that described an "NRSC casting call" and the like badly distorted what actually happened, and it's plainly absurd that this highly inaccurate representation dominated our political dialog for an entire day.

UPDATE, 4:13 p.m.: Also: The original Politico story specified that the NRSC was not responsible for the language.

By Greg Sargent  | October 11, 2010; 3:56 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

I see no reason not to believe him either (now, if he were running for President, I'd still want to see his original "vital records").

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 11, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter who came up with the idea, Greg.

What matters is that it was shot, produced, and aired, then pulled when everyone saw how ridiculous the ad was.

The entire issue is NOT about who came up with "hicky".

The entire issue is that the NRSC APPROVED of the hicky ad until the backlash forced them to take it down.

NRSC APPROVED OF THE AD!

Then they had to take it down.

And, frankly, that you wouldn't catch this line of critique and instead go on writing these stories trying to back up the NRSC is really disappointing and a little odd.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 11, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, you are refusing to focus on the facts here. The NRSC did NOT have anything whatsoever to do with the use of the "hicky" language, and that was EXACTLY what they got criticized for.

The NRSC was NOT criticized over the ad; they were criticized for use of the word "hicky." That they approved and then yanked the ad has nothing whatsover to do with those basic facts.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 11, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Is this *still* a story?

Really?

We're in deeper doo-doo than I thought...

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

It was always much ado about nothing.

A mere tempest in a Hiccup.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I hate to distract from the incredibly important hicky story. I really do! But anyways...

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/10/11/empire

In 1950, the United States was fifth among the leading industrialized nations with respect to female life expectancy at birth, surpassed only by Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands. The last available measure of female life expectancy had the United States ranked at forty-sixth in the world. As of September 23, 2010, the United States ranked forty-ninth for both male and female life expectancy combined.

USA! USA! USA!
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 11, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The NRSC goes to this firm because they are confident they understand their voters better than other firms.

This firms position is apparently that WV voters are a bunch of hicks in flannel shirts.

No matter how you want to white wash it the Republicans look like a bunch of elitists.

Sorry but that's the truth.

FACT. CASE CLOSED as numb nuts would put it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 11, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"The NRSC did NOT have anything whatsoever to do with the use of the "hicky" language, and that was EXACTLY what they got criticized for."

Whose fault is that? The idiots in the media!

"The NRSC was NOT criticized over the ad; they were criticized for use of the word "hicky.""

Well that's just ridiculous.

They should be criticized for the ad, obviously.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 11, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The democrats had nothing


When the public hears that Obama had a $700 Million to $87 Million UNFAIR ADVANTAGE IN 2008


And some of the credit cards may have been foreign - Obama will LOSE ALL CREDIBILITY WITH THE AMERICAN PUBLIC.


Everytime Obama does something like this, he loses people -


And they don't come back - they see Obama for who he really is - and that is it.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I agree with you that the media was to blame here. I don't really fault Dems for jumping on it, as I said.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 11, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Peter A. Diamond’s Nobel Prize in economics may weaken Senate Republican opposition to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor’s Federal Reserve Board nomination, improving his chances of joining the central bank.

Richard Shelby, the senior Republican on the Banking Committee, in July questioned Diamond’s qualifications on monetary policy, and at least one unidentified senator made a procedural move to send Diamond’s nomination back to the White House in August.

Diamond’s Nobel Prize, announced today, “makes it more difficult to oppose him on the grounds that he isn’t a sufficiently qualified economist,” said Tim Duy, a former U.S. Treasury Department economist who now directs the Oregon Economic Forum at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-11/diamond-s-nobel-prize-may-weaken-republican-opposition-to-fed-nomination.html

Understatement of the year?

Diamond’s Nobel Prize, announced today, "makes it more difficult to oppose him on the grounds that he isn’t a sufficiently qualified economist,"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 11, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Concentrate on the big issues instead of continuing to try and turn this pimple into a mountain. It was just short hand, to describe the sort of actor that should be cast, within the offices of those who had been tasked to create the ad.


We have two wars going on, millions of people are losing their homes, gays are being scapegoated; right wingers are pushing for to make women who have been impregnated by rapists to carry the embryos to term, and Republicans want to add four trillion dollars to the national debt, to pamper the fattest cats in the land,

so stop with all this obsessing over a mere pimple on the Arse Of The Elephant.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Ethan, I agree with you that the media was to blame here."

Thank you, yes, that much should be clear. And I wasn't including you in the "idiots of the media" comment.

But I do think that the REAL story here -- that the NRSC approved the ad despite the hackneyed stereotypes -- is not being covered adequately, and I think you could have made that point more forcefully.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 11, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

OT but good article about campaign finance and citizens united:

http://www.economist.com/node/17201957

"The best Congress money can buy?
For all the money sloshing around in American politics, you still cannot buy the results of elections"

"... the impact of Citizens United is in danger of being vastly exaggerated... Add to this the message from the White House that vengeful, deep-pocketed businesses and shadowy special interests are poised to buy the November elections, and you might well conclude that money is destroying American democracy.

"This is just not true.

"... Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution says that the Citizens United decision will no more determine the mid-terms than Mr Obama’s outspending of John McCain in 2008 swung the presidential race. That contest was determined by the fundamental politics (rejection of the Bush legacy, the charm of Mr Obama), as November’s will be (the jobless “recovery”, disappointment with Mr Obama). Bill Galston, also at Brookings, goes so far as to wonder whether the fuss about it might be a pre-emptive attempt to explain away a defeat."

Indeed.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"As of September 23, 2010, the United States ranked forty-ninth for both male and female life expectancy combined."

But, but, but... haven't you heard? We're exceptional. Maybe since we are on the road to being a service economy and not one that actually manufactures things, perhaps that more sedentary work force will give us even a lower ranking in the next 5-10 years. Look how many fat kids we have.

Posted by: filmnoia | October 11, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I see what you mean, that seems like a fair point. I kind of think the ad speaks for itself in that regard, and that's a separate question from the "NRSC hicky casting call" stuff, but point taken.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 11, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Indeed.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 4:39 PM |
================================

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAD6Obi7Cag

Your comments appear to be intelligent, sbj3. But it is difficult to reconcile them with your slavish enthusiasm for the GOBP.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on the influence of banks: "the banks, hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created, are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place."

Does this make you happy? Just because they're on your team? For now?
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 11, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@thunder: "In 1950, the United States was fifth among the leading industrialized nations with respect to female life expectancy at birth, surpassed only by Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands."

Before we passed HCR? How can that be?

Well, whatever, soon we should be #1 again. Right? Or do we have to wait for the "real" public option?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

If a political party had hired an ad agency that was targeting anyother minority group but this one, everyone would be out raged by the language, and yes, those who paid for it would be held accountable.
I am a WV native and can tell you from personal experiece that the general population of the US has some very negative sterotypes about people from my home state. Hicky, like many bigoted terms, may not seem that big a deal to you, but ask the people of WV. I was asked once as a child when traveling out of state if we really wore shoes. While in graduate school at a very good school someone who had know me for a year commented that I was fairly intelligent for someone from WV. I was the firt college graduate of my family and have two children who are medical doctors, and guess what, there are more like us than you would belive.

Posted by: tlusk58 | October 11, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg -

Before you do the upteenth story about what a whack job Angle and O'Donnell are, perhaps you can post an item about this member of the GOP who is running for Congress in Ohio who likes to play Nazi dress up-

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/goper-slams-cantor-for-disowning-him-over-nazi-reenactments.php

Posted by: filmnoia | October 11, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"I kind of think the ad speaks for itself in that regard, and that's a separate question from the "NRSC hicky casting call" stuff, but point taken."

Thanks. That's been my point for the last week! :)

NRSC has shown that they are fine with SHAMELESS stereotyping and that they have HORRIBLE judgment.

The other part of the story is that they showed the ad to Raese which is against FCC regulations.

If you put the pieces together it almost looks like the media purposefully got hung up on the "hicky" word while neglecting what was, in actuality, a potentially damaging story for the NRSC.

Granted, the story WAS damaging and it should be damaging, but if the media knew its a$$ from its elbow the story would have been covered differently.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 11, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@undertow: "Does this make you happy?"

No.

You might find this interesting. This article points out how some new blood might get their funding from different sources:

"An analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics shows that some of the highest-profile Tea Party-supported candidates have collected significant sums of money from individuals contributing $200 or less... These donors rarely account for more than 20 percent of a Senate candidate’s total fund-raising sums.

"... Sharron Angle... has raised more than $2.05 million through June 30 from individuals giving $200 or less... these funds accounted for 58 percent of her war chest.

"...Rand Paul... reported $1.6 million in contributions from small donors... This represents about 46 percent of his overall total.

"Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio has raised a staggering $4.6 million from individuals giving $200 or less -- or about 36 percent of his war chest."

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/10/tea-party-loving-republican-senate.html

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Greg

Joe Manchin is on television - in a commericial - trying to pin this on Raese - personally.


For Raese it is 3-times removed.


In addition, Joe Manchin understands "independent expenditures" - if he is on TV trying to FOOL the people of West Virginia on that point, is it not Joe Manchin who is TALKING DOWN TO WEST VIRGINIANS? AND JOE MANCHIN IS DOING IT PERSONALLY, NOT 3 TIMES REMOVED.

,

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, whatever, soon we should be #1 again. Right? Or do we have to wait for the "real" public option?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 4:57 PM
==============================

Is this a serious response? How long did it take you to write it?

Tell me what else might have happened in the U.S. regarding health care since 1950.

I'd like to help you GOBPers, because you have so few facts to make your case with.

Here's a chart of some companies that do nothing to advance the cause of health care in the United States beyond taking tolls.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=my&s=WLP&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=Unh%2Caet%2C+ci

USA! USA! USA!
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 11, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Before we passed HCR? How can that be?

Well, whatever, soon we should be #1 again. Right? Or do we have to wait for the "real" public option?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 4:57 PM
..................

It was 1950. You are smart enough to know what state most of the world was in back then. It was not that the USA was doing such an outstanding job; it was because Europe and Asia were still a complete post war mess, and South America was a Right Wing Dictators dominated basket case.

Much of the world has made joint strides since then, which has allowed them to surpass the USA in life expectancy standards.

However; I give you my OK to continue to brag about our great 1950's health care standards, now.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin
"Or do we have to wait for the "real" public option?"

Probably. Those nations, like Canada or Israel, which have some variant of a public option deliver medical treatment and insurance programs at lower costs than the US and get better outcomes.

But I think thunder's post is a poke at the cliched (and false) refrain that the US has the best medical system in the world. It simply isn't so.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 11, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Mike Tomasky particularly miffed at the Times piece on how Republicans are talking sweetly about good old Bill Clinton...

"Reading something like this from last Friday's Times is just a sick joke. Republicans expressing nostalgia for the moderate, reasonable Bill Clinton? Please. They set out to destroy Bill Clinton, and at the time they called him most of the things they're now calling Obama, except for Muslim, a term that didn't have a very high Q-rating then.

...Nearly every word out of these people's mouths is spoken for the purpose of immediate political advantage. They tried to kick Bill Clinton out of office. High-ranking people, like a sitting federal judge and a man who went on to become solicitor general, participated in schemes to spring an impeachment trap on him, and Republican lawmakers winked and went along and thundered about Clinton's morality. They made the Washington air thick with hatred.

But today, because it's to their advantage in this political moment to speak well of him...and part of the problem here, by the way, is journalism. The Times piece does not quote one single person calling out the bulls--- here. This kind of moral neutrality about matters with moral elements is a big, not-often discussed part of mainstream journalism's problem."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/oct/11/obama-administration-clinton

Posted by: bernielatham | October 11, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read all of these life expectancy links, but life expectancy is impacted by much more than the quality of healthcare. In the USA it is our *lifestyle* that is having a major impact on our life expectancy.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

Remind me again of who That Masked Moderate Democratic President was, that the Republicans impeached and held a trial on, but are now full of love for?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

@thunder: "Is this a serious response? How long did it take you to write it?"

14 seconds. You're just lucky I remember to notate the time.

"Tell me what else might have happened in the U.S. regarding health care since 1950."

Medicare?

@Liam: "However; I give you my OK to continue to brag about our great 1950's health care standards, now."

Nah. I've had to deal with the medical establishment often enough to conclude that government healthcare reform, or even a public option, is unlikely to actually make it much worse for the end user than it already is.

@bernie: "But I think thunder's post is a poke at the cliched (and false) refrain that the US has the best medical system in the world. It simply isn't so."

Well, I expect people's mileage may vary, but my experience with American healthcare has been that it's underwhelming at best. If it's the best in the world, then the rest of the world must really stink. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Very surprising that all those guns, which Americans own, have not pushed their life expectancy to the top of the charts. After all; people in all those other countries who do not each have a least one gun to spoon with, must be getting slaughtered in the millions each year. Surely that must have a significant impact on their national actuarial charts?!(Snark creature spotted in the bushes)

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio has raised a staggering $4.6 million from individuals giving $200 or less -- or about 36 percent of his war chest."

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/10/tea-party-loving-republican-senate.html

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 5:06 PM |
=================================

A staggering $4.6 million???

Knock me over with a feather!

$4.6 million is a tiny drop in the bucket of the money that's gone to funding Marco Rubio's campaign. Thanks to the five Supreme Court justices who believe in the principle "one dollar, one vote" you and I can't know who is giving Rubio money, or paying for attack ads in his service.

So again, I ask why you support this? What's in it for you, sbj3?
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 11, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Skip and SBJ - I'm reposting this from a prior thread, I thought you might be interested:

Myth: Marijuana Use is a Major Cause Of Highway Accidents. Like alcohol, marijuana impairs psychomotor function and decreases driving ability. If marijuana use increases, an increase in of traffic fatalities is inevitable.

Fact: There is no compelling evidence that marijuana contributes substantially to traffic accidents and fatalities. At some doses, marijuana affects perception and psychomotor performances- changes which could impair driving ability. However, in driving studies, marijuana produces little or no car-handling impairment- consistently less than produced by low moderate doses of alcohol and many legal medications. In contrast to alcohol, which tends to increase risky driving practices, marijuana tends to make subjects more cautious. Surveys of fatally injured drivers show that when THC is detected in the blood, alcohol is almost always detected as well. For some individuals, marijuana may play a role in bad driving. The overall rate of highway accidents appears not to be significantly affected by marijuana's widespread use in society.

•Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “Legalization: Panacea or Pandora’s Box”. New York. (1995):36.

•Swan, Neil. “A Look at Marijuana’s Harmful Effects.” NIDA Notes. 9.2 (1994): 14.

•Moskowitz, Herbert and Robert Petersen. Marijuana and Driving: A Review. Rockville: American Council for Drug Education, 1982. 7.

•Mann, Peggy. Marijuana Alert. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985. 265.


http://www.drugpolicy.org/marijuana/factsmyths/

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 11, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Skip and SBJ: Another link on the same subject.

http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_driving3.shtml

Abstract: This article concerns the effects of marijuana smoking on actual driving performance. It presents the major results of one laboratory and three on-road driving studies. The latter were conducted on a closed section of a primary highway, on a highway in the presence of other traffic and in urban traffic, respectively. This program of research has shown that marijuana produces only a moderate degree of driving impairment which is related to the consumed THC dose. The impairment manifests itself mainly in the ability to maintain a steady lateral position on the road, but its magnitude is not exceptional in comparison with changes produced by many medicinal drugs and alcohol. Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight into their performance and will compensate where they can (e.g., by increasing distance between vehicles or increasing effort). As a consequence, THC's adverse effects on driving performance appeared relatively small in the tests employed in this program.

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 11, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@PaciolisRevenge: I was quite clear (I thought?) that I felt marijuana alone did not impact driving ability to any significant degree. It is the combination of alcohol with marijuana that profoundly impacts driving ability.

BTW: Is there yet a reliable field test for marijuana intoxication?

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone read what the results to our healthcare system if the Republicans were successful in cutting off funding for HCR. Wouldn't one of the effects be that the federal high risk pools would collapse and throw all the high risk people out uninsured?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, but why do people assume that if marijuana is legalized, that impaired driving would be legal? Alcohol is legal, but driving drunk is not legal.

Just curious.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

in response to this for bernie:
=================
Those nations, like Canada or Israel, which have some variant of a public option deliver medical treatment and insurance programs at lower costs than the US and get better outcomes.
=======

I've seen no data to support this contention. I'd be interested in yours. Can I expect you to post links? thanks

Next, yes PR, that is an interesting bit right there. Let me look at it a bit but it might be some learned insight into my concerns about impaired drivers.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 11, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

@ifthethunderdontgetya: I am forced to assume that you did not read the opensecrets article to which I linked.

"Consider the following differences in amounts raised, on average, by Republican Senate candidates not part of this Tea Party bloc versus Republicans who are part of this subset:

* Insurance industry: 397 percent more to Republican Senate candidates who are not part of this Tea Party bloc
* Commercial banks: 272 percent more
* Oil and gas industry: 269 percent more
* Republican leadership PACs: 171 percent more
* Real estate industry: 158 percent more
* Securities and investment industry: 145 percent more
* Health professionals: 103 percent more

"And the same goes for some high-profile donors.

"The corporate PAC and individual employees of investment bank Goldman Sachs, for instance, have given about 224 percent more, on average, to Republican Senate candidates not part of this bloc -- $7,300 on average compared to $2,250.

"And the Bluegrass Committee, the leadership PAC of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), has given about twice as much, on average, to these candidates compared to the Tea Party-favored candidates -- an average contribution of about $7,100 compared to $3,450 to the Tea Party-fueled Senate candidates."

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/10/tea-party-loving-republican-senate.html

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues

The Republicans repeal of HCR would restore the Insurance Industry death panels, where they could once again refuse to cover anyone, at anytime.

Of course the truth is:
Republicans are lying about repealing Health Care Reform, because President Obama would veto any such bill.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans are lying about repealing Health Care Reform"

And quite a few Democrats, it would seem!

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

SBJ name all those Democrats that you claim are promising to repeal the HCR bill?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

SBJ - I don't know about the field sobriety test, but I doubt it.

And alcohol doesn't mix well with a lot of things.

You know what I think you shouldn't be allowed to take while driving? Chantix. I'm mostly kidding, but that drug can ellevate road rage into a Kraken-like mythical beast.

I was just providing this information because I really couldn't care less about the use of the word hicky. I wasn't trying to start anything, I just thought it was interesting.

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 11, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

For those interested in a summary view of how different countries' healthcare system compare to each other, see this graphic. It is excellent, but you have to spend a few minutes studying it to really understand the axes.

http://blogs.ngm.com/.a/6a00e0098226918833012876a6070f970c-800wi thanks

If you see a partial graph, you have to click on the link "enlarge" to see the whole thing. Then, you have to enlarge it with your browser (ctrl + in Firefox) to be able to read it.

The graph shows healthcare cost/yr, life expectancy, and frequency of accessing the system--all per country. The U.S. spends more than twice as much, for less than average life expectancy, and far less access to the healthcare system.

The graph is the time to review it. It was put out by National Geographic.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/happy_hour_roundup_106.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 11, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

@liam: "SBJ name all those Democrats that you claim are promising to repeal the HCR bill?"

Naw - why don't you just follow the news instead. M'kay? Luv ya!

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are lying about repealing Health Care Reform, because President Obama would veto any such bill.
----------------------------------
You're right about repeal. But what about the R's just starving it of funding. That is far more insidious.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues - Some of us were having a very interesting discussion on an earlier thread.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/scarborough_retracts_false_cla.html?wprss=plum-line

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 11, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

@sbj - You can refer to the CIA World Factbook for the expectancy figures. It is just one of the measures which show the US system inferior to many other nations however. Likely WHO has good data on other measures (I've seen them but don't recall where I found them).

Administrative costs for delivery in the US are about twice that of Canada (which doesn't count advertising cost which also fall to consumers).

Here's some data on spending... http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/spend.php

But again, I'll make the point that there is no example, from all these nations with some version of government managed healthcare/insurance where the consumers (the citizens) have moved to overthrow their system and return to a free-enterprise model. None. And there's absolutely no reason to imagine that US citizens wouldn't find such a system preferable as well. And the corporate crowd surely recognize this so have worked feverishly to prevent it. Once they've lost it, they've lost it for good because US citizens won't step back.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 11, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, but why do people assume that if marijuana is legalized, that impaired driving would be legal? Alcohol is legal, but driving drunk is not legal.

Just curious.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 5:36 PM
................

The only sober explanation must be that those who assumed that, must have been impaired when they formed such an opinion.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

From the looks of things, the "hicky" flap will not help or hurt anyone this election so it is useless to consider it further.

The real question is how is Obama gonna pull off a Clinton so he will not become another Carter. Is Obama enough of a political contortionist that he can go conservative enough to woo some of his lost Democrats back into the fold??

I think not but who knows at this point. I believe Clinton is a lot smarter than Obama.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 11, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@12Bar: "Excuse me, but why do people assume that if marijuana is legalized, that impaired driving would be legal? Alcohol is legal, but driving drunk is not legal."

They feel that there will be more of an illegal activity if something else is made legal, even though that activity remains illegal. And that is an argument for illegality: hammers should be illegal, because some people might beat somebody to death with one.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

They feel that there will be more of an illegal activity if something else is made legal, even though that activity remains illegal. And that is an argument for illegality: hammers should be illegal, because some people might beat somebody to death with one.
-----------------------------
I'm not directing this criticism at you, Kevin.

There is something inherently illogical in the premise that we don't want to legalize marijuana because it will increase its use. And making that argument because of legal alcohol, which we tried to prohibit, and repealed that prohibition, because it did not reduce use of alcohol.

There should be a fallacy that covers this. Using an argument FOR legalization (alcohol) to argue AGAINST legalization (marijuana).

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be no end to the surveys that indicate (probably stipulate from inception and source would be more accurate) that the US just plainly sucks across the board, at everything, a priori, a fortiori, and secula seculorem.

Greenwald L.O.V.E.S the stuff, as do the Greenwaldian Orcs. It's all out of a deep sense of patriotism, of course.

Something must be done, and since 1950 no less(!), but we do, and do, and still somehow suck.

It's a puzzlement.

Another puzzlement is how the rest of the world, including the Canuck and Israeli Nirvanas have populations that smoke like freakin' crazy, yet kick our health outcomes a$$es.

How do dey do dat?

Posted by: tao9 | October 11, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

@bernie: "@sbj - You can refer to the CIA World Factbook for the expectancy figures. It is just one of the measures which show the US system inferior to many other nations however... Administrative costs for delivery in the US are about twice that of Canada (which doesn't count advertising cost which also fall to consumers)... Here's some data on spending... http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/spend.php"

All very interesting but I think this was aimed at someone else? I have never argued that the US health system is the greatest in the world or that it was not the most expensive. My earlier point was merely that life expectancy alone is not a fair way to gauge the effectiveness of a health care system because life expectancy is impacted by lifestyle - we lead a very unhealthy lifestyle here in the US.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The "hicky" ad would've worked better if the Dueling Banjos theme song, from the great movie "Deliverance," had been playing in the background. That would've been an honest reflection of what Repubs REALLY think of the WVA voters.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | October 11, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

we lead a very unhealthy lifestyle here in the US.
-------------------------------
Good point. But, why is that every other western nation lives a healthier lifestyle? Could their healthier lifestyle be a function of their healthcare system encompasses better public health.

If you look at the National Geographic graph:

http://blogs.ngm.com/.a/6a00e0098226918833012876a6070f970c-800wi

you will be very surprised to see how MUCH more we pay than ALL other western countries.

We pay more than twice as much.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Another puzzlement is how the rest of the world, including the Canuck and Israeli Nirvanas have populations that smoke like freakin' crazy, yet kick our health outcomes a$$es.

How do dey do dat?

Posted by: tao9 | October 11, 2010 6:01 PM | Re

....................
Probably not having to live among Americans is the main reason for it. I kid, I kid, or do I?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

@sbj - It would perhaps make sense to discount the significance of this particular measure IF it stood unique and didn't match other criteria but that's not the case. It's not an outlier. One could surely alter this statistic through some set of policy initiatives (education, nutrition) but the system overall would still suffer poor comparison on a raft of other measures.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 11, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

@tao: "It's all out of a deep sense of patriotism, of course."

Gee, wow...

Targeting areas of public policy that need improvement and suggesting solutions. Imagine that.

He must be some kind of anti-Amurrican.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 11, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

you will be very surprised to see how MUCH more we pay than ALL other western countries.

We pay more than twice as much.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 6:08 PM

...................
We spend far too much on the elderly in the last year of life. No one with Medicare is allowed to die in their home beds anymore.
Some lines from an old country song come to mind:

Everyone wants to go to heaven,

But no one wants to die.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

@liam,

I hope you take the time to look at the National Geographic chart.

http://blogs.ngm.com/.a/6a00e0098226918833012876a6070f970c-800wi

Taking just three countries:

Japan spends $2600 pp/yr, live to 84 and access their healthcare system more than 12x/yr.

U.S. spends $7300 pp/yr, live to less than 80 and access their healthcare system less than 4x/yr.

Japan has a version of healthcare for all.

Then, there is Mexico. They spend less than $800 pp/hr, live to about 75 and hardly ever go to a doctor. That's what the U.S. healthcare system most closely resembles, except for the cost.

Mexico has a selfpay healthcare system.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"Once they've lost it, they've lost it for good because US citizens won't step back."

Bernie, you will never "get" us.

Powerful perswaders, quick'nd at the scent
Of that alluring fruit, urg'd me so keene.
About the mossie Trunk I wound me soon...

We do, however, "get" snakes.

Posted by: tao9 | October 11, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

A very good piece by Wilentz in the latest New Yorker on the cold war roots of the Tea Party/Beck paranoid extremisms. Here's just one graph (Skousen is one of Beck's key 'authorities')...

"Skousen was undeterred. In 1981, he produced “The 5,000 Year Leap,” a treatise that assembles selective quotations and groundless assertions to claim that the U.S. Constitution is rooted not in the Enlightenment but in the Bible, and that the framers believed in minimal central government. Either proposition would have astounded James Madison, often described as the guiding spirit behind the Constitution, who rejected state-established religions and, like Alexander Hamilton, proposed a central government so strong that it could veto state laws. “The 5,000 Year Leap” is not a fervid book. Instead, it is calmly, ingratiatingly misleading. Skousen quotes various eighteenth-century patriots on the evils of what Samuel Adams, in 1768, called “the Utopian schemes of leveling,” which Skousen equates with redistribution of wealth. But he does not mention the Founders’ endorsement of taxing the rich to support the general welfare. Thomas Jefferson, for example, wrote approvingly in 1811 of having federal taxes (then limited to tariffs) fall solely on the wealthy, which meant that “the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings."

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/18/101018fa_fact_wilentz?currentPage=all#ixzz125kFzb4C

Posted by: bernielatham | October 11, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie: "The system overall would still suffer poor comparison on a raft of other measures."

Yes ... I think we were all pretty much agreed that healthcare needed reform?

Posted by: sbj3 | October 11, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Targeting areas of public policy that need improvement and suggesting solutions. Imagine that."

Cut the carp, Ethan.

Greenwald's a scab-picker, he's not so good at solutions.

Why is the targeting/solution ALWAYS f'n public?

Perhaps that's exactly why we suck.

I'm not a target and would prefer not to be solved. Thanx anyway, and thanks for the fish.

Posted by: tao9 | October 11, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

U.S. spends $7300 pp/yr, live to less than 80 and access their healthcare system less than 4x/yr.

Japan has a version of healthcare for all.

Then, there is Mexico. They spend less than $800 pp/hr, live to about 75 and hardly ever go to a doctor. That's what the U.S. healthcare system most closely resembles, except for the cost.

Mexico has a selfpay healthcare system.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 6:21 PM
..............

As a retired senior citizen, I am often astonished at how drugged up so many elderly people are. So many of them get caught up in the frenetic cycle of constantly having checkups, and getting more and more prescriptions, that the never take time to actually live during their few remaining years.

I keep telling my fellow seniors: no cure has been found for growing old, and dying. They do not want to hear it. It is the elderly that drive up the sales of all those TV advertised drugs, where it instructs them to badger their doctors about the damn pills. Of course many of them do just that, and many Doctors just give them what they asked for. So we have arrived at a situation where the TV ads are actually doing the prescribing, and not the doctors. Dumbest damn system of how to prescribe medications that one could ever devise; but it invigorates the bottom line.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"Bernie, you will never "get" us...We do, however, "get" snakes."

I'm not a snake. I'm you.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 11, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Didn't say you were a snake.

And you are, of course, Bernie, therefore not tao.

I think.

Posted by: tao9 | October 11, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

@liam,

When I hear that most healthcare costs are incurred within a year of death, it strikes me that those are the sick people so that makes sense.

My second cousin had a brain tumor which took him after five years of rads, chemo, various surgeries, extensive nursing, etc. He was 24 when he died. Because of that five years (thanks, UCSF), he was able to go to college, have a girlfriend, drive a car and go to a few parties, just like any other ordinary kid. Was that not worth it? I don't know, but I don't think the answer is all that obvious.

If we pulled expensive healthcare from those actively dying, wouldn't the second year before death be the most expensive.

That's not to say there aren't some crazy things done that make little to no sense. I'm the health care representative for my 99 year old aunt, and I'll tell you it isn't always to obvious what is "worth it" and what isn't.

Re: pharma advertising. I was told that the U.S. is the only country that allows direct advertising to consumers. Maybe we should seriously review that policy.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 11, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

tao said:
"Didn't say you were a snake."

I am, in fact, rather more like a gazelle (retaining the cloven aspect as a safeguard re final outcomes).

Posted by: bernielatham | October 11, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

In 1950, the United States was fifth among the leading industrialized nations with respect to female life expectancy at birth, surpassed only by Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands. The last available measure of female life expectancy had the United States ranked at forty-sixth in the world. As of September 23, 2010, the United States ranked forty-ninth for both male and female life expectancy combined.

USA! USA! USA!
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 11, 2010 4:18 PM
----

This is obviously a very dangerous place. Don't let the plane door hit you in the butt on your way out of the country. May I recommend Sudan.

Posted by: Brigade | October 11, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

They didn't use the word "hicky." Wink-wink, nod-nod. Let's see the actual language in the casting call, or ask people who commission something like this what is said (or not for legal reasons) and what is implied.

Posted by: patr2 | October 12, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

"The NRSC did NOT have anything whatsoever to do with the use of the "hicky" language, and that was EXACTLY what they got criticized for."

Whose fault is that? The idiots in the media!

"The NRSC was NOT criticized over the ad; they were criticized for use of the word "hicky.""

Well that's just ridiculous.

They should be criticized for the ad, obviously.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 11, 2010 4:23 PM

====

Wow! The nerve of them to make an ad that has people in it who apparently say something or another. I'm glad you pointed this out, cause we don't get that sort of thing around here. You've raised my consciousness. You've woken me up. I'm going to send a check to Moveon right now, despite my many years as a religious Conservative and Republican.

Thank god for your persistence on this matter. At first I simply assumed you were a mindless partisan who had nothing to say. But after you repeated yourself a few times for some reason your non-sense began to make sense. I mean, the nerve of those Republicans to make an ad and.. whatever they were doing.

Posted by: robert17 | October 12, 2010 3:54 AM | Report abuse

MR. SARGENT MISSED THE ISSUE! THE INTERNET'S POLITICO INTENTIONALLY LIED IN ITS TITLE ABOUT THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE USE OF THE TERM "HICKY!"

It was NOT the NRSC that was made THE ISSUE in its "TITLE" of the term "hicky."

POLITICO said verbatim in the title of a column that the GOP candidate was responsible for the term which POLITICO KNOWS was NOT true. In short, POLITICO LIED to its readers!!

How long can POLITICO be "trusted" IF it continues to knowingly LIE to its readers?

As a former national political director on the "Hill," and a University Professor of the discipline, I have usually read POLITICO daily (just as I read the Washington Post daily).

BUT, IF POLITICO continues its intentional LIES to its readers, it can say goodbye to yours truly as one of its readers. There are TONS of other political presentations on the "net" that do not have to resort to lying.

POLITICO owes the W.Va. GOP candidate, Mr. Raese, an apology for lying about him in its title of its column. Then it owes an apology to those who read POLITICO. And, it owes the FIRING of the one who wrote those lies in the first place!

And, "POLITICO" calls itself a
"Professional" internet news organization?

The "Washington Post" is preferable.

Posted by: gglenc | October 12, 2010 4:06 AM | Report abuse

Why would West Virginia voters want someone who doesn't even live there to represent them. If the state is not good enough for this man and his family who needs them?
Goodbye and Good riddance to these NRSC political hired guns who ride into town seeking support to further their careers. WV needs representatives who will put WV first.

Posted by: vwallen@bellatlantic.net | October 12, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

If the hick fits, you must convict...the GOP of anti-white racism and hypocrisy.

Posted by: Garak | October 12, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

what about that casting call for obamas next town meeting...
guess he wants no surprises which means he can't face average Americans and answer their questions...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 12, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

This add is representative of everything about the gop, fakers following a script telling people things they know aren't true trying to get people who make less than a quarter million dollars a year to vote against their own best interests by voting for the gop. All smoke, mirrors and bull-@#$%, and that is the GOP.

Posted by: gr8fullted | October 12, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Hah! Isn't this rich? Now that it is the republicans on the receiving end of press coverage that spins a slanderous lie into a legit accusation, look who comes running to the rescue--the most visible member of the so-called liberal press, the Washington Post!

This is why the media is so distrusted in the first place. The slanderous crap against President Obama--the birther nonsense, his pathetically preposterous lies about his mythical associaltion with Bill Ayers and the riciculously false assetion that he is a secret Muslim all were given an air of legitimacy by a mainstream media that was more interested in conflict, ratings and profit than in the truth.

Now that it is the GOP on the receiving end of such questionable activity, OMG what an outrage! You will forgive me if I am unimpressed by their wounded cries of protest.

Posted by: jaxas70 | October 12, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

GOP turns to an actor... again!

Posted by: whocares666 | October 12, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

So the Republicans paid to hire an actor that looked hicky, but didn't use the word, so they are innocent. Hired an actor to pretend the Party of the Rich, By the Rich, and For the Rich is the common folks party.

Deceiving, lying, but innocent of using the word. Seriously WP, grow up and tell the truth.

Posted by: chucky-el | October 12, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

So the Republicans paid to hire an actor that looked hicky, but didn't use the word, so they are innocent. Hired an actor to pretend the Party of the Rich, By the Rich, and For the Rich is the common folks party.

Deceiving, lying, but innocent of using the word. Seriously WP, grow up and tell the truth.

Posted by: chucky-el | October 12, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

In the political (propaganda) ad did they mention the falling skies, and did they indicate that the constitution was hanging by a thread, give all manner of predictions of future calamity because an uppity negro was in the White House?

lol.

The models used in this is supposed to appeal to folks in a folksy way.

Strange, but dumb and folksy is what the GOP is all about! And sneaky criminals.

They demonize educated "progressives" as those that would ruin your lives forever.

Such rhetoric - such hayseeds.

Political Wisdom ? I think not. Think "propaganda" here.

Lazy, unwilling to change, you bet.

But hey, at least they don't still have slaves....or do they?

Well, I'd wager that slavery is still alive and well among folks named Cleatus, Bumpus, and Delmer.

Yeah, all special kinds of stupid, that resist actual knowledge and rely on folklore to pave their lives ways.

Edumucaayshun ?

They can take it or leave it. Just don't bring it within shotgun range of the hicks, sitting under the bridge, drinking whiskey, and waiting for the next hapless progressive to walk along and ruin their world. (Oh my!)

This is a joke of the most depressing kind, when in this day 2010, we all take our que's from backwater dolts.

It used to be that America was better than that. There was the models of Mark the Matchboy, and inspiring tales of success.

Not any more. We want the BACKWATER BOYS!!!!

Evidently they've managed to retain that stronghold on ignorance.

Posted by: pgibson1 | October 12, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

All the GOP's got is the wealthy and the redneck-hicks. One group greedy and the other stupid.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | October 12, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

All the GOP's got is the wealthy and the redneck-hicks. One group greedy and the other stupid.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | October 12, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

All the GOP's got is the wealthy and the redneck-hicks. One group greedy and the other stupid.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | October 12, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

=======
=======
More 'uglican lies. The word came from SOMEWHERE, and the guy who wrote it down didn't make it up himself. The RNC knows that only the stupid people are swing voters anymore, and it's doing what the Dems are themselves too stupid to do, and that's appeal to those swing voters.

Instead, we hold up pivot tables and spreadsheets with an 8-point font when we make our case, fail to bias our ad budget on stupid-people media like AM radio, and don't bother advertising at all unless it's close to the election.

The bad guys will win again, and AGAIN we'll be standing around wondering how it could have happened.

--faye kane, homeless idiot savant
Read more of my smartmouth opinions at http://tinyurl.com/fayescave

Posted by: Knee_Cheese_Zarathustra | October 12, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh you liberals are just soooooo much smarter than the rest of us average Americans.

So tell me something: why is Machin trashing Obama left and right and promising to get the federal government out of West Virginia affairs? And why are so many other dems campaigning on the right(like O'Malley in MD calling touting his spending cuts)? What happened to your big government paradise? Oh that's right, then there are those unsubstantiated claims about foreign money funding republican ads (where was the evidence for these bogus claims?).

What a joke!

You can make all the bigoted and ignorant comments about country folks and folks with less 'education' but Obama is rapidly transforming this country into another 'Greece.'

Posted by: BolonYokte | October 12, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

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