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Posted at 9:22 AM ET, 01/ 2/2011

Sunday Open Thread

By Greg Sargent

Many, many thanks to Jonathan Bernstein for his excellent and insightful work in this space last week. I hope you all had a great holiday, and I'll be back with the usual full-time blogging first thing tomorrow morning. What should we be focusing on?

By Greg Sargent  | January 2, 2011; 9:22 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Comments

Although there are many reasons that manufacturing jobs are leaving the U.S., there is one stated at the end of this video that is not all that shocking considering politics and unions.

http://apps.detnews.com/apps/multimedia/player/index.php?id=1189

Posted by: actuator | January 2, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

How about a laser like focus on how the Republicans choose their next candidate for President. Not so much who the candidate will be, but how that comes to pass. Did they learn anything from having to deal with 'Dingy Harry' for years to come when they could have defeated him easily, had they chosen practically anyone but whom they chose?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"What should we be focusing on?"

I think the big story this year, or war if you will, will be to manage the deficit on the backs of our lowly American workers. Social Security and state budgets, in particular forcing them to balance by cutting public employee benefits, will be in the cross hairs. As a side show we'll have the Republican presidential hopefuls to sort through, not looking forward to that, and lots of investigations.

And of course the debt ceiling will set the stage for a lot of spending cuts. The austerity decade?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Succinctly, here is the developing inside-the-Beltway storyline:

Boomers who dutifully paid into the national pension system are selfish slackers who hate their grandchildren and their country if they insist on receiving the benefits for which Washington made them pay extra for the last thirty years.

The whole point of the Reagan/Greenspan reform was to have boomers pay more up front to ensure their Social Security pensions would be paid for without burdening the next generation. Of course, Washington assumes the rest of the country is Short Attention Span Theater and won’t remember. The trick now is to guilt-trip boomers into acquiescing to their benefits being cut as though they caused the problem that thirty years of higher payroll taxes were designed to prevent."

http://scrutinyhooligans.us/2011/01/01/social-security-and-the-fairness-con/#more-18060

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Conclusion of the piece linked above:

"These moves, of course, are all about conservative ideological animus towards liberal social programs and unions. Arguing that today’s retirees are “living longer” (the well-off, anyway), conflating Social Security with Medicare/Medicaid, attacking public employee unions and all the rest is just spin and, as Dean Baker put it, “a sleazy case of scapegoating that is intended to divert people’s attention from the real villains in this economy, the Wall Street boys and the inept economic policymakers who took the economy to ruin and seem intent on leaving it there.”

And so it goes. The players are different, but the con game is the same. So is “the mark”: You, the little guy."

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The deficit is deliberate, remember? Won't be any social safety nets, public works programs, response to global warming, or any kind of endeavor not related to enriching the financial markets. All that is over. Space exploration, national parks, grants for higher education, forget it, gone.

There will be tax cuts for the wealthy though since that creates jobs. OK, it doesn't create jobs but the wealthy are semi-divine so we should pay homage to them anyway.

Hope you enjoyed that brief period of upward mobility, but it's over.

Hope you enjoyed those decades of greatnessm but they're over.

Now go max out those credit cards or you can expect to be black-bagged to a military tribunal as a terrorist. Consume or else.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 2, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Republicans must release an encyclical, explicating their theological doctrine of the infallibility of the rich, who were ordained by God to do his work. Lloyd Blankfein knows the money lenders in the temples create all that is America.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I used to belong to a public employee union as a federal employee, but that union could only lobby for, not negotiate salary and benefits, which are determined by congress. The greatest cost associated with most agencies is salaries and benefits. Over the years I watched what is called "grade creep" increase the pay of federal workers. An agency would review the duties of a class of employees, justify to OPM that the grade should be increased and their pay would go up. The increased pay grade of employees would influence a higher grade for managers. If an agency had a similar type of employee paid more than at another agency eventually someone would find out and seek to match that pay level. There is often a lot of fudging about the "increased complexity" of employee duties and the actual percentage of time spent doing them. I observed it happening in my agency and as a manager I saw employees at SSA being paid more to assist the public than similar employees at IRS who had to have greater knowledge of far more complex issues than those at SSA. I lobbied the union to push higher management to pursue higher grades and eventually it occured (no fudging was needed).

At many state and local levels public sector unions have accomplished a lot to increase compensation and pensions for their members, but the question of whether taxpayers are getting their money's worth is not just part of a "con game" when you consider the current costs of government. There are other con games going on behind the scenes and they include those being played by unions and managers for their own benefit and you, the little guy taxpayer, are indeed the mark.

Posted by: actuator | January 2, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

And apparently beggars can"t be choosers. The lucky ones are finding jobs and learning to adjust to earning less with fewer benefits. See how that works? All those "lazy" unemployed choose having a job, any job, over being unemployed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A new study of American workers displaced by the recession sheds light on the sacrifices a large number have made to find work. Many, it turns out, had to switch careers and significantly reduce their living standards.

“In many cases, these people are not very happy,” said Cliff Zukin, professor of public policy and political science at Rutgers University and one of the authors of the study. “They’re the winners who got new jobs, but they’re not really what they want, and not where they want to be.”

“Look, I am really happy to have a job — that’s the main thing,” said Sue Bires, 60,...........

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve switched careers, since I’m not exactly sure this is a career, but I’m definitely doing something different,” said Adam Kowal, 30,.................

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/01/business/economy/01hires.html?_r=1&hp

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile the financial caste is awarding bonuses that could close the deficits in 50 states. And the "conservatives"hasten to point out that it's "their money" and they've "earned it."

Earned it how, exactly? Producing what? Creating what? Curing what illnesses? Building what roads?

Nuts. They are parasites and should be treated with helminthicides like any others.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 2, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

It's the unions' fault for failing to explain to their members that tehey should expect nothing more than calories for their labor and be grateful. Let their wives and kids eat from garbage cans.

This is a business, not a charity. Gotta compete inna global marketplace. Supply an' demand. You need to take Econ 101.

Nuts. Torch these guys with gasoline.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 2, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"What should we be focusing on?"

How Obama is the great leader Reagan always aspired to be.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 2, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

On Fox this morning...

"The GOP's top House investigator [Darrell Issa] is putting the White House on notice that he's going to be aggressive in going after what he considers wasteful spending by the Obama administration...Issa is set to lead the House Oversight and Government Reform [committee] — and gain the chairman's subpoena power." AP

What a shock, more investigations! America demanded more investigations and America gets what it wants.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, on ABC...

"...Barack Obama's top economic adviser [Austan Goolsbee] says the administration wants to 'juice' the economy and get it going faster amid signs of a continuing recovery in the new year." AP

What an unfortunate turn of phrase, "juice the economy"? Really? What, has he been studying Sharron Angle's campaign tactics?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Back to Fox...

"The incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is promising a fight over the Obama administration's new approach on limiting greenhouse gas emissions...The administration says it'll act on its own to clamp down on power plant and oil refinery greenhouse emissions by developing new standards over the next year.

But Michigan Rep. Fred Upton tells "Fox News Sunday" that the GOP-led House won't "let this administration regulate what they've been unable to legislate." He says Republicans want to tackle the problem "in a reasonable way."

Tackle the problem, Republicans want to tackle the problem? No Fred. Get a clue: there is no problem...this guy has gone rogue. Off message Republicans, we know what happens to them. Fred, we hardly knew ye. Seee ya.

Need proof?

"Mr. Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, also a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots...in an opinion article on Politico, the two criticized Republican leaders for choosing Representative Fred Upton of Michigan to lead the Energy and Commerce Committee, saying the choice “indicated they are not serious about expanding the nation’s energy-producing capability” through expanded oil drilling and a relaxation of regulations on nuclear power and coal." NYT this morning

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"You lack subtlety, quarterback. You take anything I write and try to interpret it in the vilest possilble terms. I point out that the Bolsheviks leapt ahead centuries with the financial parasites out of the way and you try to play it to the audience as endorsement of Stalin's purges twenty years later. I note that the Chinese can get major public works accomplished without having to deal with brainless anti-spending people spouting Reagan one-liners and you play it to the audience as endorsement of the rape of Tibet.

Cao, you genius is 'effin awesome.  Your right, Lenin is cooler, he wasn't as good at overall killing like Stalin, just at slaughtering groups of people both he and you dont like. I'm sorry, are we using "liquidate" or "exterminate" for euphemisms now?  

I missed the Chinese environmental impact statement on the Three Gorges dam.  No problem with, right?  

Who here agrees with Cao that the US needs more dams?

Who here agrees with Cao that American Kulacks need the Soviet solution?

Cao, Ims and Bernie are Kulacks, what should be done with them? Ain't Kulacks parasites?  If not, why not?

Ims, Bernie, could you explain to us why you shouldn't be subjected to Soviet egg breaking?  Chairman Cao wants an omelet.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, favors overhauling tax laws..."The tax code is longer than the Bible, but without the happy ending," Camp has said."

Ok, ok Republicans, lighten up, we get it. The Bible and tax reform, it is all too obvious. If God didn't want the rich to get richer, God would not have made the rich richer. You are just doing God's work, just executing God's plan for America.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Chairman Cao obviously has no understanding of how corporate pay structure for executives is supposed to work. (Certainly not that it always does.)

Cao, they are (supposed to be) given bonuses based on business success and profitability passed on to stockholders. You know, the people who actually own the corporation, not the government or the taxpayers.

It is business that produces wealth, not government. It took a while but your (VN's) great enemy, the Chinese finally figured out that they could maintain a totalitarian government and use business to create wealth and power. Be afraid, be very afraid, because eventually, they'll own you along with most of the rest of the world.

Posted by: actuator | January 2, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

caothien9:
"The deficit is deliberate, remember? Won't be any social safety nets, public works programs, response to global warming, or any kind of endeavor not related to enriching the financial markets. All that is over. Space exploration, national parks, grants for higher education, forget it, gone."

---

Hyperbole much? The Creature (or is it shitheel) from the Tonkin Gulf.

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Focus on how much Boehner drinks.

Posted by: jw456 | January 2, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

McWing

The only one trying to liquidate little ole me, wealthy peasant and parasite that I am, seems to be you and maybe a few thousand other libertarians.

Now I must un-decorate my humble abode. Later...........

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

At many state and local levels public sector unions have accomplished a lot to increase compensation and pensions for their members, but the question of whether taxpayers are getting their money's worth is not just part of a "con game" when you consider the current costs of government. There are other con games going on behind the scenes and they include those being played by unions and managers for their own benefit and you, the little guy taxpayer, are indeed the mark.

Posted by: actuator | January 2, 2011 10:42 AM
-------

Shhhhhh. It's not the government or the public sector unions screwing the taxpayers donchaknow; it's those greedy b*stards on Wall Street. And Democrats are not responsible for any of the laws, rules and regulations, or lack of oversight or any other form of malfeasance in the country.

And those fiscal geniuses like caothien9 assure us that if we only had one-party government, it would be much easier to uncover corruption.

Here are some examples from the Midwest of tax dollars in action. Of course I know none of this goes on anywhere else:

-------

"Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium, which contracted with Iowa Workforce Development to offer job training in central Iowa, paid $1.8 million in federal money to three executives from July 2003 to December 2005, according to the state auditor's report released on March 31, 2006."

When poor people needed job training, these public employees (all Democrats) told them there was not enough funding.
It all went to exorbitant salaries for CIETC executives who spent their work days at the local casino.

------

"What happened? When did it happen? Who was involved?

"Those are among the questions the Iowa State Legislature's Government Oversight Committee will be trying to answer Monday when it reconvenes hearings on the growing scandal swirling around the Iowa Association of School Boards. Thus far, answers have been hard to come by, and officials fear more potential wrongdoing will be revealed in the coming days and weeks.

"'It’s like an onion. We keep peeling back layers, and every layer we peel has more questions with it.'

"The IASB is investigating why Kilcrease, whose contract established a $210,000 annual salary, was being paid what amounted to $367,000 per year. Three other association employees saw similar raises.

"Association credit card use also is under scrutiny. Kevin Schick, a consultant serving as chief financial officer, has been investigated for allegedly using an IASB credit card for airplane tickets to Bora Bora for a trip unrelated to business travel, officials said.

"'I think it’s unbelievable that the agency -- the school board association – whose responsibility it is to educate school boards about meeting practices, about finances, have violated so many of the things that they were supposed to be teaching school boards,' said Lensing, the oversight committee co-chair."

Trust government!

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"What should we be focusing on?"

The New York (F'n) Football Giants.

I swear, one more time, & I'll become a
g-d nancy soccer fan.

I will.

{{{mutter, raahhgicc frahhgic}}}

Posted by: tao9 | January 2, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back! Bernstein did a really good, thought-provoking job filling in.

As far as what to focus on, I think Imsinca sums it all up nicely. Social Security, anti-stimulus in the states (specifically Ohio and Wisconsin because of potentially dramatic political ramifications), and foreclosure fraud. Dana Goldstein has outstanding coverage of the education debate you might want to link to. I'm sure you'll manage to balance everything out nicely.

On a relatively hopeful note, it appears Darrell Issa is going to turn up Operation Sabotage Economic Recovery to eleven (no surprise there), but he's not going to go anywhere near impeachment, at least for now. He's going to pick his spot -- an "outrage" he can really try to claim forced his hand. That's good... I guess. It gives Dems time to make it more widely understood that the Tea Party is bullish on impeaching the president for the high crime of getting elected in the first place.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm convinced that this is likely to be a story, especially when the next round of Senate primaries approaches and everyone has to woo the Tea Party. If the economy stays this crappy, and POTUS' approval ratings drop to the low 40's, the TP is going to do its best to force the issue. They've gotten actual elected officials to go Birther or Birther-friendly. If Republicans can't stand up and say "the president was clearly born in America" it's very hard to believe they're going to pushback against idiotic calls for impeachment. Not to mention, the GOP presidential primary will drive the debate on the right, and impeachment seems bound to come up. What happens when some like Pawlenty finds themselves desperate for traction and decides to go there? "It should be on the table" or something similar.

There's a popular Wingnut book out called "Crimes Against Liberty." The title offers a good window into their thinking. He's committed crimes against their demented ideology... and to them this is going to constitute an impeachable offense. (End rant)

Posted by: michael_conrad | January 2, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

catothien9
"Let their wives and kids eat from garbage cans."

---

What they'd find in the garbage cans would likely be more suitable for human consumption than what passes for a normal meal in places like Vietnam. How's the sauteed rat, boiled snake, and fresh swamp grass on today's menu? Well, at least the people there seem to be happy with their lot. As cao says, they have in common with our antebellum slaves that they know their place. And with the money he earned in the despicable USofA, he can live in what passes for palatial luxury amidst the local rabble. Better to be a big fish in a fetid pond than a small fish in a capitalist sea. At least until Charlie comes and confiscates your property and hangs you in the pit.

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

How Obama is the great leader Reagan always aspired to be.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 2, 2011 11:02 AM

---

With such a low standard of greatness and a delusional take on history, you would make a good neighbor for caothien9.

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

What a shock, more investigations! America demanded more investigations and America gets what it wants.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 11:15 AM

-------

When is Stephen Colbert scheduled to appear?

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Nuts. Torch these guys with gasoline.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 2, 2011 10:59 AM

---

Can't do that anymore. They can now get married and serve openly in the military.

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

They should bring in the kids from South Park while they're at it.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

mike_c,

Indeed, either all that wacky TP drama; or (just maybe!) President Obama wins re-election in a competive but not too close a race.

Oh, and yes sir, it is you...sheesh & folks thought O'Donnell was a bit off.

Posted by: tao9 | January 2, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Ok, ok Republicans, lighten up, we get it. The Bible and tax reform, it is all too obvious. If God didn't want the rich to get richer, God would not have made the rich richer. You are just doing God's work, just executing God's plan for America.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 11:50 AM
----

The Dems aren't going to go all obstructionist on us in the new Congress are they?

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Michael_Conrad:
"Darrell Issa is going to turn up Operation Sabotage Economic Recovery to eleven (no surprise there)..."

---

Gee, don't you usually need an economic recovery before anyone can sabotage it?

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Ims,

Your projecting. Libertarians want to protect you from Cao.  Cao admires how the Soviets, Chinese, Vietnamese, Kmer and Cubans "took care" of business owners. Your acting like that Pulitzer prize winning NYT writer, Durante.  Yeah, Cao admires his deception, as did all progressives. His family was never billed for the bullet.  

Please, your a good, a deeply good person, reread Cao and what he advocates.  We're arguing on the margins, he advocates 5 year plans.  Your to decent a person to tolerate his "solutions."

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Heck no, capitulation R us, Capital must be served.

Will the Republicans beatify Aurthur Laffer this session?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"Please, you['re] a good, a deeply good person..."

unsubstantiated! falsifiable!

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

McWing

I have not advocated Cao's solutions, prescriptions, rhetoric or anything else. As a matter of fact we have disagreed more than we have agreed although he has a point occasionally, much the same as you or tao or skip has a point occasionally. You're the one who compared me to him, not me. I said the other day he's on his own, I'm much more hopeful and wistful about America's potential to re-establish a firm footing for it's citizens. I'm the head in the clouds type, remember.

And honestly, my impression of libertarians, at least the ones I've met here, is that they are much more interested in protecting themselves than anyone else. You're the one who called me a kulack and I'm the one projecting?

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Kulacks, as in business owner.  Cao's avowed enemy.  I've never, and I've met a lot of them, ever met a Libertarian who would harm anybody.  Generally they're to stoned;-). Sad that someone who calls themselves a Libertarian would protect themselves at your expense.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"I said the other day he's on his own, I'm much more hopeful and wistful about America's potential to re-establish a firm footing for it's citizens. I'm the head in the clouds type, remember."

I am curious lms...at what stage in our history was a "firm footing" established, and what is different today such that this "firm footing" no longer exists?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

All, thanks for the suggestions. How'd things go around here last week? I'm dying to get back to it.

Posted by: sargegreg | January 2, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The conservatives were mean.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said Sunday that he plans to stay at the helm of the national party another two years..."

Obama sure is confident. He is going to beat the Republicans even without DNC leadership. I guess he figures he'll one-up the Republicans who did fine in November with Steele running the RNC.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

On an earlier thread, I posted this graph of the number of Canadians who use the US for health care each year...

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/.a/6a00d83451c45669e20134881de8a2970c-550wi

It's a good primer on how the US med/insurance industries, their lobbyists and many aligned right wing media outlets have effectively propagandized a whole segment of American citizens into conceiving falsehoods.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 2, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

“Markets are there for capital formation and long-term investment, not for gaming.” says the SEC

Well, not really...

"An S&P report recently found that someone who invested $10,000 in the S&P 500 on Dec. 31, 1999, and left the money there until Dec. 1, 2010, would have just $8,209. An investor who was in the market only on the first day of every month over the same time — for example, buying at the close on Dec. 31 and selling at the close of the first trading day in January — would have $13,816.That's nearly 70 percent more than buying and holding the whole time." AP now

Republicans know people who play markets as the casino games they are, they are not looters, they earn their billions, yep, every penny. Of course, not everyone gets to play, in fact very few people get to play with your money. You have to have a way to get a seat at that table, a lot of someone else's money. Obviously, you'd never play with your own.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

Assuming the graph is accurate, why would anyone need to come to the US for emergency care?

And, just out of curiosity, any idea how many Canadians use drugs developed by US firms out of profits earned from US consumers?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

How does that analysis work out for the period 1995-2005? Or 1990-2000? Or any other 10 year period? Or how about 20 year periods?

Surely you are not stupid enough to believe that selectively analyzing a single ten year period, during which the largest decline in the history of the stock market took place, represents actual evidence that your caricature of the market is accurate.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"what is different today such that this "firm footing" no longer exists?"

Scott

All you have to do is review the stats re health care or rather lack of (it's grown to 59 million), home ownership or lack of (foreclosures and underwater mortgages), jobs or lack of (check the numbers on the over 50 crowd), retirement accounts etc. etc. The security of the average middle class American has taken a nose dive and it feels like we're walking on quick sand. We have thousands of customers, all smaller businesses than we are, that are literally treading water with weights on their ankles.

I've noticed over the last few weeks that the economic predictions for a better 2011 are becoming louder, but I'll believe it when I see it with my own lying eyes and fingers crossed that they're true.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I thought Bernstein was smart and insightful. Glad to hear you're still a glutton for punishment!

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 2, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Stupid? Can you prove it? I'd match wits with Sarah Palin any day, any topic (except the redneck lifestyle choice). By the way, "analyzing a single ten year period, during which the largest decline in the history of the stock market took place," you phrase that in the passive voice, that particular ten year period, as if there were no motive force, it just happened. Oh let me guess, supply and demand, that, what happened, was just the way the "free" markets work.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Scott asked: "why would anyone need to come to the US for emergency care?"

Immediate system capacity. Very ill newborns and critical cardiac cases the two most common instances (our system will be filled in that region and yours will have excess capacity).

Of course, we're missing a corresponding graph for Americans coming to Canada for treatment. That can happen for a reason such as above in unusual instances but the main reason for Americans coming up to Canada is that, if an American citizen is without insurance or adequate insurance and has to pay, our system is much cheaper.

"any idea how many Canadians use drugs developed by US firms out of profits earned from US consumers?"

No. But do you have any idea how many Americans use drugs which were researched and developed by Swiss or French or Dutch or Canadian companies whose operations are funded by consumers in those countries?

Posted by: bernielatham | January 2, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Haven't been around much so not sure if anyone noted the recent wikileaks revelation about Pfizer's behavior in Nigeria. First, they ran a deeply unethical drug trial on children, then they set up a smear/propaganda campaign against the Nigerian AG to pressure him to drop legal proceedings, then they paid a settlement. Guardian has a lot on this but here's a quick item.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hk7CSDvU6R-9TAyG6CjB8dJwNlJQ?docId=057ec44050d24f76ab5c8647f10391b9

Posted by: bernielatham | January 2, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

lms:

You didn't reveal what time period in our history was a "firm footing" time period. I would like to compare the relevant stats to see what exactly we had but are now missing. Did more people really own their own homes then? Were more people really getting more and better health care then than now? These are things I will look into, but I need to know what period was, for you, the halcyon days.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

And not to put too fine a point on it, the real story of that graph above re Canadians coming to the US for medical procedures is that *it almost never happens*, contrary to the claims made by med/pharma front groups or Limbaugh or FOX, Canadians are well-served by their system and have no urge or need to go south (other than as I've noted).

And, again, our life expectancy is higher and our child mortality lower, as just two measures.

The fundamental point here is propaganda. And, of course, how many of you have, for whatever set of reasons, been more than happy to gobble it up.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 2, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

scott

I didn't conflate a firm footing with halcyon but I guess if you want to do a little research, go back 10 - 12 years, pre NAFTA, pre 9/11. pre dismantling Glass/Stegal, pre Iraq and Afghanistan, pre the astronomical rise in the cost of health care and the little blue pill, pre granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances and using your house as an ATM machine to keep up, pre the jump in tuitions, take your pick.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

"Stupid? Can you prove it?"

Can I prove that you are not as stupid as your reliance on that particular statistic suggests? No, I can't. But I still don't think you are that stupid.

"you phrase that in the passive voice, that particular ten year period, as if there were no motive force, it just happened."

I'm not sure what "motive force" you are talking about. Are you referring to your motive force in selecting that particular period, or some motive force that made that period useful in making your point?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

"Stupid? Can you prove it?"

Can I prove that you are not as stupid as your reliance on that particular statistic suggests? No, I can't. But I still don't think you are that stupid.

"you phrase that in the passive voice, that particular ten year period, as if there were no motive force, it just happened."

I'm not sure what "motive force" you are talking about. Are you referring to your motive force in selecting that particular period, or some motive force that made that period useful in making your point?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, my brother, why is Barry and his Oliver Wendell Holmes of an AG trumping up rape charges against St. Julian?  Why do you continue to support a dictator like Barry, who not only falsely accuses, but will attempt to prosecute someone who, I bet, you think deserves to be offered sanctuary (and sent to Canada for health care)?  I don't get it?  And neither does Greenwald. Or his multitudinous sock puppets.

On a side note, where did the Premier of Newfoundland get his recent heart surgery done?  I forget.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Immediate system capacity."

I wonder why it is that Canada doesn't have the capacity to handle demand from Canada, but the US can handle not only its own capacity, but spillover from up north.

"But do you have any idea how many Americans use drugs which were researched and developed by Swiss or French or Dutch or Canadian companies whose operations are funded by consumers in those countries?"

If they are selling drugs in the US, then US consumers are funding their operations. Given that we do not have price controls on drugs here in the US, our consumers are hauling their own weight regardless of which country's firm is developing and manufacturing the drugs they use.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Here's one of the things I mentioned Scott, but you knew this already.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since 1999, health insurance premiums for families rose 131%, the report found, far more than the general rate of inflation, which increased 28% over the same period. Overall, health care in the United States is expected to cost $2.6 trillion this year, or 17% of the nation's economy, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

At the same time costs have gone up dramatically, the policies have grown less generous, and more likely to add deductibles to be paid by the policy holder:

The annual survey of more than 2,000 companies also found that 40% of small-business employees enrolled in individual health plans pay annual deductibles of $1,000 or more. That's almost twice the number who paid that much in 2007.

Unsurprisingly, employers will be passing along the most recent rises in premiums to their employees, as reported in the Washington Post's look at the Kaiser survey:

Forty percent of employers surveyed said they are likely to increase the amount their workers pay out of pocket for doctor visits. Almost as many said they are likely to raise annual deductibles and the amount workers pay for prescription drugs.

Read more: http://money.blogs.time.com/2009/09/16/health-insurance-premiums-up-131-in-last-ten-years/#ixzz19ufZUfAN

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

bernie:
"That can happen for a reason such as above in unusual instances but the main reason for Americans coming up to Canada is that, if an American citizen is without insurance or adequate insurance and has to pay, our system is much cheaper."

---

But not as cheap and universal as the "system" in Haiti, which typically uses chants, powder, and chickens developed locally.

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"Cao, they are (supposed to be) given bonuses based on business success and profitability passed on to stockholders. You know, the people who actually own the corporation, not the government or the taxpayers. Posted by: actuato"

And you are dumb enough to believe that?

Then why do those same CEO's get those same bonuses when they run those same companies into the ground?

Who pays those ridiculous bonuses? Why the company's investors. Of course those investors have no say in those salaries, because the companies compensation committee is entirely appointed by said executives, and paid to authorize those benefits.

Several attempts to reform that incestuous system died in Congress this year, and will always die in Congress becauseCOE's don't want to be paid for actual value produced, since they would mostly owe their investors more than their putative salary at the end of the year.

In fact, it is ONLY the Federal Government that can actually "MAKE" money, that is increase the amount of money in existence. The Stock Market is a very lossy system, where in money in minus fees, bonuses, expenses, and miscellaneous draws on the market equals money available to come out. The Stock market never created one penny worth of wealth for anybody, it just took the money that came in and redistributed it. For me to make a dollar in the market, somebody else, on average, probably had to lose two dollars.

And since GM passed out of the administration of Ed Cole, most large American Companies that are publicly traded have been run by their management primarily to hype the value of their stock options, and not to add value to the Company's capital. Even Lee Iacocca was more interested in restoring the value of Chrysler Stock than in making Chrysler a much better company. So all the big companies alternately buy out other companies to make it look like they are improving the company's vertical or horizontal integration, or selling the same companies to "Concentrate on core industries" but really to give their CEO's a talking point to use to run up the current value of stocks they want to dump.

The only wealth they ever try to make is their own, and we see the results in not so old GM plants being torn down all over the midwest.

Let's tax every penney earned in excess of 100 times the full time minimum wage at at least 50%, no exclusions, deferrals, reductions or exemptions. Then when some corporate raider concocts a half a billion dollar payout for himself trying to corner the major retail sales market at least the Government will have the money to alleviate the disaster that occurs when he fails and federated department Stores almost goes under paying off the loans he took out on Federated to corner that market.

Posted by: ceflynline | January 2, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I've noticed over the last few weeks that the economic predictions for a better 2011 are becoming louder, but I'll believe it when I see it with my own lying eyes and fingers crossed that they're true.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 2:34 PM

-------

See Michael_Conrad's post above. The economic recovery has already occurred. Firm footing has been established. All that remains is for the new Republican House to fire the torpedoes.

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

lms:

I was in the process of checking out home ownership stats (slightly higher ownership rate in 2009 than in 1995). But with regard to health care, the question I would have is this...did more people get more and better health care during your "firm-footing" days than now? Not sure how exactly to check it, but that is the relevant question.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"Haven't been around much so not sure if anyone noted the recent wikileaks revelation about Pfizer's behavior in Nigeria. First, they ran a deeply unethical drug trial on children, then they set up a smear/propaganda campaign against the Nigerian AG to pressure him to drop legal proceedings, then they paid a settlement. Guardian has a lot on this but here's a quick item."

Posted by: bernielatham | January 2, 2011 2:52 PM

-------

I'm eagerly awaiting a huge lottery payout from Nigeria. As soon as they cash the check I sent them for tax and expenses, they'll be wiring a princely sum directly into my bank account. By this time next month, I'll be lounging in some tropical paradise---if it hasn't already been hauled away by Mr. Peabody's coal train. And of course, there's always Viet Nam.

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline:

"For me to make a dollar in the market, somebody else, on average, probably had to lose two dollars."

Breathtaking economic ignorance.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

And now for something off the wall.

Since there are republicans who somehow forget that the Senate exists and intend to repeal HCR, it may be time for some really creative use of current rules on the filibuster.

Whenever some piece of idiocy comes out of the House, the Dems let it fester in committee as long as they can, but whenever it actually gets to the floor of the Senate some Dem immediately announces his intent to filibuster it. Harry Reid thereupon makes the proforma call for cloture, cloture fails, and the bill dies.

Majority filibuster of stupid legislation. Who woulda thunk it?

Posted by: ceflynline | January 2, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Majority filibuster of stupid legislation. Who woulda thunk it?

Posted by: ceflynline | January 2, 2011 4:23 PM
----

We've been seeing minority filibuster of stupid legislation ever since Obama was sworn in. Who woulda thunk it?

Posted by: Brigade | January 2, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"did more people get more and better health care during your "firm-footing" days than now?"

Scott, yes.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/01/health_since_1994.html

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@tao9

To be clear (your comment left me scratching my head) I didn't mean that POTUS was going to be impeached, but that the urge to do so was likely to become a big story on the right. 2011's "Death Panels" basically. Yes, it's crazy and vile, but where else are they going to go with this whole "Pres. Obama is destroying America!!!" thing?

As for re-election, I certainly hope so... but if the economy stays this bad (or close to it) it's not hard to see how a truly substantively awful Republican (like Romney -- not visibly kooky, but "moderate" only by comparison) wins.

Something like:

Obama/Biden retain NM, and superior organization keeps IA and CO blue
Romney/Rubio pick up IN (rather easily), VA, NC, and FL.

It all comes down to three devastated states in the Midwest (WI, MI, and OH) and one in the Cactus Corner (NV). I don't like those odds, especially in the Midwest.

Posted by: michael_conrad | January 2, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"We've been seeing minority filibuster of stupid legislation ever since Obama was sworn in. Who woulda thunk it?"

Anybody who voted against Barry. The rest, they're wallowing in a closed Gitmo, enjoying Single Payer and marveling at the rapidity of our complete withdrawl from the Middle East.

Oh, I forgot the superb statescraft. Ask Commandante Chavez, or his ambassador. Oops.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade

I never said "Economy Recovery Mission Accomplished!" and I think even you know that. (I've kind of been a broken record about the opposite, actually.) But GOPers are still sabotaging any efforts to get a robust recovery going with their economically insane fetishes. Blocking aid to states; fueling regressive taxes; going after UI; it's all crazy. And again -- it's undermining any hopes of recovery.

This is where you look for some Hayek or Peter Schiff to mindlessly quote from at length.

Posted by: michael_conrad | January 2, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"This is where you look for some Hayek or Peter Schiff to mindlessly quote from at length."

Yeah, versus your Krugman. Cause we all know there's only one way to skina cat. Heck, Keynesianism was a triumphal success in the late twenties and the entirety of the thirties. Why, it was so good, I think unemployment fell below 15% for several months in 1936. Heckuva job, Franklin

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"Scott, yes."

Well, let's see about that. Your article cites 3 measurable statistics: infant mortality, life expectancy at birth, and obesity.

Although the article laments the fact that the US infant mortality rate does not measure as favorably against the OECD average as it used to, it noticeably neglects to site absolute levels. I looked them up and it turns out that in the period cited, between 1994 and 2003, the infant mortality rate in the US dropped from 8.0 to 6.9. In fact, it fell in every year except between 2001 and 2002. And according to the CIA world Fact Book, it was down to 6.14 by 2009. So, unfortunately for your claim (but fortunately for the nation), according to this measure the nation is actually getting better, not worse, health care as time as gone on.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0779935.html

The other measure mentioned in your article was life expectancy at birth. Again, at look at the actual statistics shows that between 1994 and 2005, life expectancy increased by over 2 years.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005148.html

And by 2009 it was higher still. Like infant mortality, this statistic does not support your contention that people are getting less health care and/or less quality health care.

As for obesity, it is true that obesity rates have risen. But I don't see any obvious reason to think that obesity rates are indicative of the quality or amount of health care available. Rather, they seem more indicative of lifestyle choices. But regardless, your article cites obesity as an indicator of heart disease. So let's look at death rates due to heart disease to see if those have increased or decreased. As it turns out, between 1996 and 2006, the risk of death from cardiovascular disease in the US declined by 29.6%. The overall number of cardiovascular deaths dropped by over 12% in the same period.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/expert.q.a/07/07/heart.attack.age/index.html

Again, this does not support your contention that people in the US got more and better health care in the past than they do today.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"Again, this does not support your contention that people in the US got more and better health care in the past than they do today."

Yeah but Bush, Cheney and Rove. Check and mate, my friend.

As a side not, I'm pretty sure the U.S. determines infant mortality differently than most of Europe. I don't think they include premature births. If that's the case, I wonder how it would compare to European metrics?

"So let's look at death rates due to heart disease to see if those have increased or decreased. As it turns out, between 1996 and 2006, the risk of death from cardiovascular disease in the US declined by 29.6%. The overall number of cardiovascular deaths dropped by over 12% in the same period."

Statins baby. Sweet, sweet statins. The American company, Merck, I believe, first introduced mevacor in 1992. Hunh? An American company lowering the death rate from cardiovascular disease by almost 30%? Evil B@st@rds!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

My dear god Troll McWingnut. It's like you're all capable of one talking point and one only.

Easiest conceptual follow-up in history. What was unemployment two years before that? How about two years before that?

If a lower-number is a good thing, isn't 24 to 17 a pretty good jump? And what was the 37-38 spike (when he pulled back -- took his foot off the proverbial gas) all about? Was that just a glitch in your Forgotten Man matrix?

History (and economics) books don't read themselves.

Posted by: michael_conrad | January 2, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, risk of death from cardiovascular disease by almost 30% and cardiovasuclar deaths by 12%.

Sorry, I'm stupid and a product of the public school system. IQ of less than 80 to boot. Yikes, sux to be me. (But you all knew that already!)

Gee, I haven't seen a raging, spittle-flecked post in hours. Sure hope Cao comments soon.

Scott, QB? Whom do you think Cao will wish dead tonight? I'm going with the always safe bet, bankers. Financial parasites, he calls them.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

"As a side not, I'm pretty sure the U.S. determines infant mortality differently than most of Europe."

Yes, I meant to point that out. It found it interesting that Bernie cited very ill newborns as one of the main reasons for Canadians seeking care in the US, but he then goes on to brag about how much better their infant mortality rate is up in the Great White North. Hmmmm...

"An American company lowering the death rate from cardiovascular disease by almost 30%? Evil B@st@rds!"

Yes. And they even charged money for it. If only they had never invented it, our health care costs would be so much lower, not only from not having (being able) to buy their drug, but think of all the people who would have died that now have health care expenses into their later years.

Evil B@st@rds indeed.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Miguelito,

Actually, Hoover almost doubled per capital Federal expenditures between 1929 and 1932. He had Roosevelt beat in the pump-priming category. Roosevelt didn't even believe in Keynesianism, during the '32 campaign anyway. In fact, Roosevelt never did match Hoover in increased per capita federal expenditures. Did things get better of worse from 29 to 32? I forget? And no, 24 to 17% is not an indicator of Keynesian success. In fact, Roosevelt raised taxes in '37, but I'm sure that had nothing to do with it.

And your right, history and economic books don't read themselves. Ask Von Mis.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj16n2-2.html

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

The left talking points about life expectancy, etc., supposedly showing the inferiority of US health care have been thoroughly debunked, e.g., as TMW notes, differences in infant mortality definitions, lifestyle, etc. It's balderdash, pure and simple.

"If a lower-number is a good thing, isn't 24 to 17 a pretty good jump? And what was the 37-38 spike (when he pulled back -- took his foot off the proverbial gas) all about? Was that just a glitch in your Forgotten Man matrix? "

You are facile with standard talking points for someone who's so averse to them. These have been rehearsed here endless times by your unthinking and uneducated predecessors.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 2, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3, what the "infant mortality rate" does not reveal is now many previously hopeless premies are given state-of-the-art NICU treatment when they would have otherwise been categorized as stillborn. I'd much rather have a slightly higher rate because we tried to save as many as we can, than not even trying so as to gloat about better statistics than the U.S.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 2, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"Yes. And they even charged money for it. If only they had never invented it, our health care costs would be so much lower, not only from not having (being able) to buy their drug, but think of all the people who would have died that now have health care expenses into their later years.

Evil B@st@rds indeed."

Although they don't seem to realize it, this is actually just how the left's reasoning works.

It really hardly qualifies as thinking at all. I always imagine a little dialogue like:

"We spend too much on health care!"

"Then we should stop using so much."

"But we have to have all the health care we use, and more!"

"Then we must not be spending too much after all."

"You don't get it. We are consuming too little but paying too much!"

"But if we are paying for it, it must be worth it to us, hence not "too much.""

"No! We have to stop people from profiting from it. If no one was allowed to make money from it, everyone could have as much as they wanted."

"But then why would someone provide it to us? What, for free?"

"Because it is our right!"

"Oh."

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 2, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

We are all on his death list. It's just a matter of priorities. Of course, the list always tends to grow and eventually include its authors as well. It's just a short walk from Idyl in Vietnam to the Killing Fields.

This guy has self-hatred and self-destruction at heart, and I am very serious about that.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 2, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

" I point out that the Bolsheviks leapt ahead centuries with the financial parasites out of the way and you try to play it to the audience as endorsement of Stalin's purges twenty years later."

Yeah, Lenin used puppies and the magic word, "please". How many died in the collectivization? The intentional famine in Ukarine? Sick.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

That's why he got banned at The Fix.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 2, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I answered cao back on the prior thread as to his cry of unjust interpretation of his own words. The words need no interpretation.

He can't laud Soviet "development" and cite liquidation of the "banker caste" with favor and pretend not to own all the aspects and consequences of that reign of terror, nor attack America's system of government as inferior to the PRCs, without owning all the crimes against humanity that make it so wonderfully efficient.

He is also historically ignorant about it all. The claim that the Soviets advanced by "centuries" within a few years is complete nonsense, even disregarding the mass murder, slave labor, and oppression they used to "achieve" what they did achieve. He didn't even realize that Stalin was the man in charge of all that and accused me of transporting him "back" by decades.

I also wonder whether he could explain how there was a "banker caste" that had to be eliminated if pre-Soviet Russia was "centuries" in the past. Strange, how a medieval society could have been in the grip of "financialization."

I'm not one for expressing personal offense and points of personal privilege on blogs, but I do take personal offense at his cheery praise of the Chinese Communists. You can only shake your head in wonder, too, at the sight of such an environmentalist praising the most polluting government in the world, and he destroyer of the Three Gorges, for its efficiency.

Like all left-wing lunatics, his ideas are a mishmash of contradictions, grudges, hatreds, and manias. They make no sense.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 2, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"...without owning all the crimes against humanity that make it so wonderfully efficient."

Quite right. The characteristic that cao admires for making the planned development of Shanghai so "efficient" also made the atrocities of the Cultural Revolution equally efficient...and indeed possible.

But what I find even more notable than cao's obviously perverted value system is the fact that some people have lauded him as an interesting and positive addition to the board here. It is interesting to me that Bernie, who (until today apparently) couldn't stomach even the sight of my posts, thinks that a person who favors Soviet and Chinese authoritarianism to US republican democracy is a voice worth paying attention to.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

I'm struck by exactly the same thing. That's part of why I have made a point of drawing attention to his most outrageous statements and not letting him pass them off as less than they are. For several weeks, I never saw bernie or other lefties acknowledge him while he was praising Soviet development and calling for feeding bankers to the fish. And I wondered whether any would ever endorse his comments. (Well, 12bb was the early exception, but that lack of discernment doesn't surprise me.)

Then I saw bernie and Greg both warmly welcome him -- right after he had again called for the bankers to be eliminated. Quite amazing.

He doesn't even realize that, even accepting the idea that totalitarians have "achieved" things, it proves nothing except that people can do a lot with guns to their heads. And that's what he advocates. I'm not sure what to think about the fact that some of the regulars here welcome him as an ally. I know one conclusion that could be drawn, but it isn't a pretty one or one they would like.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 2, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

"is the fact that some people have lauded him as an interesting and positive addition to the board here. It is interesting to me that Bernie, who (until today apparently) couldn't stomach even the sight of my posts, thinks that a person who favors Soviet and Chinese authoritarianism to US republican democracy is a voice worth paying attention to."

They say Beria was a brilliant conversationalist, and a friend to die for. Literally.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

clawrence,

Was there something specific for which he was banned from the Fix? A specific comment or a series of abuses? Did he go by the same name?

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 2, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

If true, I wonder how bernie will spin it. If NRO and The Weekly Standard are official "Propaganda" dispensers, agreeing to an interview makes him a Propagandist himself, no? I realize that I do not have bernie's exact education, and am therefore stupider, but I've never seen him write anything good about Propaganda. And now his hero, when not busy persecuting St. Julian and slaughtering AFPAK civilians, is engaging in Propaganda.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/nro-new-revised-obama_525915.html

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

Forget about the interview...Obama has declared the US the "greatest nation on earth". Surely Bernie will have something to say about this grotesque and clearly false (lifespan at birth being, of course, the objective measure of "greatness") business about America's standing among nations.

Kind of puts Bernie in a tough spot. Either Obama is one of those idiotic and foolish rubes who actually believes that the US is indeed the greatest nation on earth, or he is just a political fraud, willing to say anything, even things that a person of his high intellect must know to be false, in order to maintain his political viability.

I wonder which tack he will take.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder which tack he will take."

I get the feeling he's an "ends justify the means" type of guy.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Scott

It's interesting our conversation began with my claim that the middle class has lost it's footing in recent years and you end up selecting infant mortality, heart disease and obesity to what, prove we're doing great. What about the 131% increase in premium cost, what about the growing number of uninsured, what about the 40%-50% loss in home value and all the other things I mentioned. You can't just willy nilly select a few interesting facts or statistics and decide it proves the working class (I forgot I was going to use this term this year) is actually upwardly mobile still. I have eyes.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Many, many thanks to Jonathan Bernstein for his excellent and insightful work in AN OUTLINE OF JOURNO-LIST WRITERS last week. I hope you all had a great holiday, and I'll be back with the usual full-time blogging first thing tomorrow morning.


WE STILL THINK ALL READERS ARE COMPLETE IDIOTS

AND WE CAN FOOL THEM WITH ANY SET OF HALF-TRUTHS TO SUPPORT THE LIBERAL AGENDA


WHO CARES IF WE COMPLETELY DISREGARD ALL STANDARDS OF COMMON DECENCY??

What should we be focusing on?

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 2, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Definitely ends justify the means . . . for the left.

But it will be combined with chiding you for failing to interpret O's statements in the context of his entire body of humble diplomatic work, in light of which everyone not not acting in bad faith knows it was not the same jingoistic, Cowboy-imperialistic rhetoric of Republicans. He means something totally different: as he said two years ago, he thinks we are the greatest just like all countries think they are the greatest.

Shame on you for distorting O's words. Bernie really doesn't have time for this unserious equivocating.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 2, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Liberals:


Obama did have a horrible year


It is correct, Obama started with a filibuster-proof majorities and ended with nothing but a terrible bill which is not working and which the nation is determined to de-fund.


Amazingly, most of the damage has been self-inflicted, caused directly by his arrogance


It is incredible how many mistakes Obama has made.


Obama has become the poster child for the "incompetent affirmative action guy" who is so stupid, he has to go.


What is worse, the guy doesn't appear to realize he can't handle the job.


Or perhaps Obama knows he can't handle it.


Anyway, Obama is too stupid to realize that he is hurting the economy and jobs - and he really doesn't care about the economy when he starts thinking about how he will get his agenda imposed on the proletariat.

The government has been hijacked and is clearly being run against the will of the people, for the first time in American history, pretty much unprecedented.

Amazing that the kindness of affirmative action has produced such arrogance which is causing so much damage to the economy and to the nation.


Now that Obama's mistakes have resulted in an election which limits the further damage Obama can do, the next task is for the country to take back the goverment.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 2, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The liberals spend BILLIONS of dollars and things are no better.


Who could have guessed this would have happened???


Obama said premiums would go down. They went up 20%


Who could have guessed this would have happened???


Obama spent Billions. Things got worse


Who could have guessed this would have happened???


Obamas stimulus 800 Billion, few jobs


Who could have guessed this would have happened???


The liberals still wont face reality.


Who could have guessed this would have happened???


Obama was supposed to be smart Turns out Obama is stupid, push ahead by affirmative action program after affirmative action program.


Who could have guessed????


What a social experiment


Take an idiot off the street and try to prove he could do the same as an old WHITE MAN.


What a stupid thing to try


Who could have guessed it wouldn't work???

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 2, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Wheels within wheels. Talk about Barry p3wning NRO and The Weekly Standard. Kudos, my good man, Kudos. Rest easy bernie, and do not go gentle into that good night.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/256161/my-secret-meeting-president-obama-rich-lowry

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"It's interesting our conversation began with my claim that the middle class has lost it's footing in recent years and you end up selecting infant mortality, heart disease and obesity to what, prove we're doing great."

That is a rather strange characterization of the evolution of the discussion. Especially the part about me "selecting" things.

If you think back, or even simply go back and read the posts, you will remember that, in response to my wondering what exactly is different today than in the days past that you wish to "re-establish", you said "All you have to do is review the stats re health care or rather lack of..." (among other things). This prompted me to pose the question:

"But with regard to health care, the question I would have is this...did more people get more and better health care during your "firm-footing" days than now?"

Your direct response to this was "Scott, yes" along with a link to an article which I assume was meant to provide evidence substantiating your assertion. It was this article...YOUR article, you should be reminded...that introduced infant mortality, life span at birth, and obesity as measures of American health care. I simply demonstrated that, if these are your measures, they show precisely the opposite of what you claim they show. If these are not your measures, then I have no idea why you linked to the article in the first place.

As for me trying to prove that we are doing great, well, no that wasn't my purpose. My purpose was simply to investigate whether your impressions that we have somehow moved backwards - less/worse health care, less home ownership - were a reflection of actual reality. In fact, they do not seem to be.

Again, I am happy to consider evidence that Americans in general are getting less or lower quality health care today than 15 or 20 years ago. But to be honest I think the proposition is absurd on its face, and certainly the things you have presented so far do not make the case you think they make.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 2, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1, he was also posting under the names Noacoler and GoldAndTanzanite (among others). He was banned, repeatedly, for bad behavior yet would come back with a new login name. He definitely has a temper and foul mouth. As you accurately noted, he "has self-hatred and self-destruction at heart." You can catch up, on the following thread, including Noacoler's insistence that he never, ever violates rules and everyone else is simply out to get him:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/senate/cook-rothenberg-move-mass-sena.html

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 2, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

You just cited Cato, like they have an accurate reading of history. Wow... you kind of just proved my point RE: Hayek.

Road to Serfdom was an original Wingnut Welfare operation (right-wing business interests looking for a broader intellectual underpinning for their narrow self-interest), and the Cato Institute is a modern day hub of the same. Or is Cato's funded by the same libertarian unicorn that is responsible for infrastructure? Case in point: Their... uh... work (if you want it to call it that) on climate and energy.

The 37-38 mistake was all about deficit obsession. Do you agree with this: deficit hawk advisers got the upper hand? Or is that not in the books available from the geniuses at Cato? And yes, FDR initially campaigned on balancing the budget -- but then the deficit stopped being the sum of all policy virtue.

Do you believe progressives see everything Hoover did as awful?
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/07/0082562

All of this has been covered at length in early 2009, when the whole bizarre "Stimulus is political, not Econ 101" right-wing delusion began.

Maybe you tuned these specifics out because they weren't based on the work of at least one Cherished Austria School Kook, or pushed by an Institute or "Cafe" named after one... or the Very Credible Expert Amity "English and Economics... Same Thing Really" Shales.

Your timeline reminds me of conservatives invoking JFK on marginal tax rates (which they've begun to do again lately). To them, going from the 90's to 70's wasn't the calibrated move of a Keynesian, it was a blanket endorsement of continuing to cut marginal tax rates in perpetuity. And the 36' UE numbers tell the whole ND story... and tax raises where for the hell of it and not consistent with badly misguided pivot to deficit reduction. It's a nice system of interlocking myths you have there. Must be an easy world to live in.

Did you know that climate change was dreamed up by the ominous Public Intellectual Industrial Complex to justify its own existence?!?! Thomas Sowell said so!

Posted by: michael_conrad | January 2, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Hi lms!

We aren't defined by home values, infant mortality, health care premium cost stats, et.al..

Those numbers are certainly not incidental; they are politically fungible to argue programmatic issues like y'all have been doing...but these are not the things that define the country.

Amongst all the hue and cry of 2010, there was actually GDP growth. Fortunately, the issue of the debt can no longer be avoided. And if, as I think very likely, NY, Cali, or Mich go down it will only concentrate the minds of even the most ardent teen-crush admirers of, uh, for one, Mr. Krugman.

We have an excellent opportunity to see, for example, what a Democrat Mr. Coumo will do here in my neighborhood. NYState is hemorrhaging its taxpayer base. The ONLY thing that kept NY from default in 2010 was the Fed stim. The public unions (Have you seen the outrage over the NYC snowstorm?) here are going to get whacked by the only guy that can do it, a Dem.

I was pleased to see Mr. Obama say what he said, and truth be told not as surprised as some.

He definitely grew--was forced to grow up, by events--more than I expected when confronted by the exigencies of foreign policy early in his presidency. The childishness of his campaign rhetoric melted via Predator. He holds his romantic view of mollifying Iran, but Iran itself will make that approach impossible.

Goolsbee was mush this morning. They are going to HAVE to trade (on the House side) big concessions on spending and debt for a softer GOP approach on HCR appeal.

I think Mr. Obama will be enjoined to grow as per the fisc, also.

If they don't the economy sputters along at the duece (2% growth) even with very low interest rates but 9-10% UI, plus creeping but tough inflation...and then Obama AND the Senate goes in 2012. If they start a true and overtly effective program on debt then the President wins in 2012, and may have a Dem Senate with a few less Dems.

The people always...slowly...save the country. Actually it was Al Gore, because the intratubes have allowed us to bypass perky Katie, and take, informationally weaponized, it straight to Albany & DC et.al..

Posted by: tao9 | January 2, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

appeal = repeal (typo above)

Posted by: tao9 | January 2, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Mike, thanks for saying the proper Liberal Things. DDAWD and cao would be proud.

"You just cited Cato, like they have an accurate reading of history. Wow... you kind of just proved my point RE: Hayek.

Dude, my mind's more blown than you'll ever know.

Road to Serfdom was an original Wingnut Welfare operation (right-wing business interests looking for a broader intellectual underpinning for their narrow self-interest), and the Cato Institute is a modern day hub of the same. Or is Cato's funded by the same libertarian unicorn that is responsible for infrastructure? Case in point: Their... uh... work (if you want it to call it that) on climate and energy."

Sorry. I know no shame. Seriously. I make Madoff look like a church deacon. How about this, every source I sight is illegitimate, 'kay? Plus, assume everything I write is a lie. You'll never, ever, have to worry about being wrong again, and the illusion will sustain itself. Whew, I helped you dodge a bullet. No thanks necessary.

"The 37-38 mistake was all about deficit obsession. Do you agree with this: deficit hawk advisers got the upper hand? Or is that not in the books available from the geniuses at Cato? And yes, FDR initially campaigned on balancing the budget -- but then the deficit stopped being the sum of all policy virtue."

I'm saying that all the Keynesianism used, by Hoover, which St. Roosevelt criticized, before embracing, not only provided no benefit, but actually worsened and prolonged the Depression. When the only jobs created rely on government money, and the spigot gets turned off, the jobs end. You are no better off than you were before. Plus, as Barro at pointed out (about whom teh Krugman called "the smartest man with the worst ideas" [good enough for me, though I can't remember is he said that before or after he worked for Enron. Oh well.]), when the government tries stimulation through borrowing, taxpayers tend to act as if their taxes are already raised to pay for the new spending. Also, any investment capital tends to go into government bonds, causing the cost of borrowing to increase as well as sucking up capital that could be used to create private employment. The wage freezes also kept employment higher than it otherwise would have. And it's nice to know you understand the St. Francis lied to get elected. I guess though, since he's on the left, it's cool.

"Did you know that climate change was dreamed up by the ominous Public Intellectual Industrial Complex to justify its own existence?!?! Thomas Sowell said so!"

Do you think the current theory of AGP is falsibiable? If so what would it take to prove it false. If not, Popper would like a word.

Look, Mike, my homie, the myth of the Depression continues, and keeps fueling the idiocacy of stimulus Dogma. It's a hard lesson to understand. You seem inordinately smart, so I hope, someday, you'll understand.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Life expectancy, infant mortality, diabetes, heart disease .. America lags most of the industrialized world. Yet the cost of medical care per capita is staggeringly higher than anywhere else, steeply

rising as benefits paid to clients steeply fall.

Infant mortality is one of the most shameful, so conservatives haul out pre-generated "explanations" from falsehood-mills to show that somehow it's "not as bad as all that." That other countries use "different metrics" and that "we're number one." Then they steeple fingers and make condescending noises about "inner city" mothers with drug habits.


Nuts. Market-based healthcare doesn't work, and it's failing more every year. Executive salaries in healthcare on the other hand compare to the economies of some entire small countries.

Go out and take a look at American teenagers. If you're old enough to remember the 1960s you may note that teenagers today don't look very healthy. That youthful glow and radiant skin is gone, they already look careworn and malnourished.

That might be because nobody except Asians who still make a fetish of fresh ingredients knows anything about nutrition anymore.

Here in Viet Nam there are signs everywhere giving information on nutrition, on the virtue of limiting familty size, on vaccinations and checkups. We used to have government-run ads like that onTV (hideous admittedly, but available), decades ago, long gone, because someone probably in the fast-food business protested that they might decrease consumption. Kids eating vegetables and fresh fruit might have less appetite for big macs and fries.

In many of those countries doing better than us, runnign healthcare for profit is actually illegal and companies that try it end up with executives in prison. And their clients live longer and live healthier, see a doctor more often (12 times a year in Japan, once a year inthe USA), and at about a third the cost.

Free market healthcare stinks.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 2, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Happy Belated New Year! I know, I'm always late.

@Troll: "Do you think the current theory of AGP is falsibiable? If so what would it take to prove it false."

AGW? Depends on how you describe the theory. If you describe the ability of certain gases to trap heat unrelated to other factors, then, sure, that's falsifiable. If you're talking about the predictions made by climate models, then, as a practical matter, they are not falsifiable within the time-frame that radical action is demanded to prevent their predictions from coming true.

Much like the time frame for preventing a corruption of the human race by random genetic miscegenation was so urgent for the eugencists (respected scientists, at the time, but also supported by popular media figures and politicians, a lot like . . . hey, wait a minute!) and legislation had to be passed, right away!

There are differences of course. In the end, I would think being energy independent and capable of managing our carbon dioxide output, by choice, would be a net positive, in and of itself, without trying to bully me into the first government mandated snake oil solution by sending the boys in sandwich boys predicting the imminent end of the world. But perhaps that's just me.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 2, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

NatGeo in "Nam. Amazing.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/largest-cave/peter-photography

Posted by: tao9 | January 2, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Cool, Cao's here!

Let the liquidation derby begin. Step right up and pick "the other" that cao wants eliminated.

Then, watch him and his enablers said call for mass murder with winks, nods and rationalizations about "having a sense of humor." Man, I tell ya, some of the funniest, and I mean funniest jokes out there are about mass murder.

I'm glad your here. Really.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

We aren't defined by home values, infant mortality, health care premium cost stats, et.al..

Those numbers are certainly not incidental; they are politically fungible to argue programmatic issues like y'all have been doing...but these are not the things that define the country.

==

What idiotic drivel.

And what does "define the country?" It's vast income disparity? Its libertarian psychopathology? Its bloated military? Its wrreckless habit of launching invastions?

A nation whose citizens are sickly isn't a good one.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 2, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

@cao: "Nuts. Market-based healthcare doesn't work, and it's failing more every year."

If it's failing more, than it clearly does work, simply at sub-optimal levels.

One could possibly make the argument that it's creating non-catastrophic insurance coverage that is failing (and, in fact, is a "market" solution that preempts actual market forces, via a direct customer-supplier relationship between doctor and patient) but . . . I'm pretty sure that ship has sailed.

I'm pretty sure $5 aspirins are not artifacts of the free market (just check the price of such medications where insurance companies are not involved) nor are bills where the insurance company "negotiates" 70% of the original price away representative of a non-distorted market place. If the government should have any role, it should be to prevent the sale of non-catastrophic health insurance. ;)

Failing that, a public option should have been in HCR. I'm not sure what the point of it, really, was without it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 2, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

AGW? Depends on how you describe the theory. If you describe the ability of certain gases to trap heat unrelated to other factors, then, sure, that's falsifiable. If you're talking about the predictions made by climate models, then, as a practical matter, they are not falsifiable within the time-frame that radical action is demanded to prevent their predictions from coming true.

==

So absorption spectra are a matter of opinion.

Christ what an idiot you are.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 2, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"We aren't defined by home values, infant mortality, health care premium cost stats, et.al.."

tao

I'm not saying we are "defined" by any of those things, but I am saying that the working class has suffered in the past decade especially because of falling or stagnate wages, high health care costs, and the other issues I mentioned above.

Scott took a couple of points from the article he knew he could refute and implied that the basis of the piece was wrong. It wasn't, less people have health care via insurance now than they did 10 years ago and the costs of health care are breaking the backs of employers, employees and individuals in the open market. Didn't you see unsatisfactory changes yourself last year? I happen to think we have decent health care in this country when you can get it.

I'm hopeful the economy is slowly turning around but I think we have a lot of grief to get through first and I'm not sure what it will look like on the other end. Most everyone commenting here seems to have jobs and be running in upper middle class circles, myself included, but it doesn't give you a bird's eye view of what it's like to be unemployed, lose your house or retirement, or have difficult health care decisions to negotiate or just plain old tragic consequences from the health care system we have now.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 2, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

@caothien: "So absorption spectra are a matter of opinion. Christ what an idiot you are."

Well, given that I pretty much said the opposite of that (or do you not understand what "falsifiable" means?), I'm not sure I'd be so quick to call other people idiots.

But, we've been down this road before.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 2, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

There are differences of course. In the end, I would think being energy independent and capable of managing our carbon dioxide output, by choice,

==

Energy independence base on petroleum fuels is not available to the USA at present levels of constmption and present efficiency. Even if we wipe out the ANWR and drill baby drill until the oceans are dead the USA doesn't sit on enough oil to meet its own needs. And along the way we will make much of the world too hot for huma habitation.

Energy inpdependence appeals to American conceit but as long as we use petroleum and coal as primary fuels, energy independence is just another stirring phrase to arouse the rabble.

We're systemically inefficient, habitation hundreds of miles from food production, for example.

That part about eugenics and sandwich boards was one of the most transparently dishoenst posts I've seen in quite a while. Global warming is happening and its the direct result of increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 2, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

"hat part about eugenics and sandwich boards was one of the most transparently dishoenst posts I've seen in quite a while."

Yeah, d@mn inconvenient that. Jerk. Gaia weeps for the slander against Sanger. And Ginsberg's "others"

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, my obvious intellectual deficiencies exposed once again.

Let's try that again. Gaia weeps for the slander against Sanger. And Ginsburgs' "...Populations we want to have too many of."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/magazine/12ginsburg-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=3

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

@cao: "And what does 'define the country?'?"

Dodge Vipers. Family Guy. Hamburgers cooked in butter. The original table-based Pong. Tennessee Whiskey. Frank Capra. William Faulkner. Kurtis Blow. The Jefferson Bible. Ghostbusters (because busting makes me feel good). The Apple IIe.

I could go on.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 2, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

lms,

If the turnaround is not via growth, and that would be GDP growth NOT artificially jacked by the govt. spending component, then the monetized stim/borrowing will devalue the currency to the point that even if employment ticks up a bit via MajicKeynesDust wage advances will be actual net-income losses. Remember 1977?

Plus, no one's going to lend us bupkus. Ask the Greeks, or the Sacramentoists.

Posted by: tao9 | January 2, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Gods!

And Ginsburgs' "... Populations we dont want to have too many of."

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 2, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"Infant mortality is one of the most shameful, so conservatives haul out pre-generated "explanations" from falsehood-mills to show that somehow it's "not as bad as all that." That other countries use "different metrics" and that "we're number one.""

Sure, it's just obfuscating to point out that, eg, the US counts live births that other countries don't count to begin with.

And isn't this the same guy who is always excoriating Americans and America for its culture of obesity? Oh yes, he moves right on to that again, asserting that market-based health care "doesn't work" and that unhealthy American diets prove this. The technical term for this is non sequitur.

"Go out and take a look at American teenagers. If you're old enough to remember the 1960s you may note that teenagers today don't look very healthy. That youthful glow and radiant skin is gone, they already look careworn and malnourished."

Unlike this poster, I don't have to go out to spy teenagers. I've had a teenager under close observation (i.e., living in my home) for several years now. He's healthy as a horse, and so are the vast majority of his friends and classmates. In fact, watching them does much to make me discount all the criticism of their generation. Oh, they often don't eat right, and their lives, their stresses, and their opportunities are in some ways a little different than when I grew up in the 60s and 70s, but they are actually doing great and give me hope for our country. They are healthy, hard working, polite, responsible, and a whole lot of other good things. For all that they can drive you nuts, they really have a lot on the ball. I really like these kids in this generation (well, if they'd cut down the video games, that would be nice).

"In many of those countries doing better than us, runnign healthcare for profit is actually illegal and companies that try it end up with executives in prison."

Well, there he goes again, Troll, answering your question on cue. I guess it's the health care profiteers and robber barons being rounded up tonight. Coincidentally, I was just reading an item about the large percentages of docs who say they expect to treat fewer patients and even leave practice as Obamacare descends to smother health care delivery.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 2, 2011 11:36 PM | Report abuse

No Kevin I read what you wrote though I skipped past the snide comparisons to miscegenation and eugenics. Shame on you for that.

The probability of the global waming model being true is on the level of the atomic theory being true, and if anything the model appears optimistic. It's happeninb, and it's happening fast.

Your argument is tantamount to saying that while we can prove the existence of pennies, the jury is still out on the existence of dollars. And then comparing belief in dollars to the genocide of aboriginals as a distraction. A truly vile argument.

The ironic part: anything America would do to address global warming would be good for the country even if your fanciful doubts about the model turned out to be well-founded. Conservation saves money. Fuel efficient cars hur petrostates. Alternative energy technologies create millions of new jobs.

The downside? Reduced shareholder value for a few oil compamies. Yeah you really have your priorities straight.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 2, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Addenda To Kevin's...

...New York (F'n) Football Giants! Pond hockey, the company Christmas Party, The Travers Stakes, 1000 Islands, F-111's, McSorley's, roofing your buddy's garage...

Posted by: tao9 | January 2, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

@cao: "Energy independence base on petroleum fuels is not available to the USA at present levels of constmption and present efficiency."

Agreed.

"We're systemically inefficient, habitation hundreds of miles from food production, for example."

Agreed.

"That part about eugenics and sandwich boards was one of the most transparently dishoenst posts I've seen in quite a while."

Then you don't get out much. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 2, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

"Failing that, a public option should have been in HCR. I'm not sure what the point of it, really, was without it."

To strangle the private insurance system and pave the way for full government takeover. This was not hidden from view.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 2, 2011 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Doh!

How could I have left out OIL RIGS?: Offshore, up in ANWAR hopefully, down the street in Lubbock, and rockin' the shale in the Dakotas!

Plus NatGas works right here in good ole UpState NY.

Lots and lots of 'em. Define the country!

Posted by: tao9 | January 2, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

It was a spectacular afternoon and evening on Mt. Hood. Simply perfect.

Let's see here, what did the cat drag...uh oh...oh, not a pretty sight.

Why do you people attack each other like this? Obama says we're all in this together and such.

Here is a less polemic, at least less personal point

"If the government should have any role, it should be to prevent the sale of non-catastrophic health insurance. ;) Failing that, a public option should have been in HCR. I'm not sure what the point of it, really, was without it.'

Heh, heh, well I'm sure. But I don't want to say the same thing over and over and over, day after every day. Just kidding. The point of the great health care industry cash waterfall act of 2009 was to flood more money onto the health care industry, you know, America's greatest industry, dwarfing all others...the people who create everything that matters, ok, I'll stop being coy, they, we, those of us who create and consume health care, WE create matter together. Heath care is wealth.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 2, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Do Sarah Palin's True Americans pour Pennzoil on their salad?

Don't be ridiculous. Salad is for elitist northeastern bluebloods who pronounce their Gs.

Crankcase oil goes just great on a steak.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 2, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

@cao: "No Kevin I read what you wrote though I skipped past the snide comparisons to miscegenation and eugenics. Shame on you for that."

Fair enough, although, given what I've read from you, I don't find your complaints particularly credible.

But, I suppose, what's good for the geese isn't always good for the gander. Not when it's your turn to play the gander, anyway.

"Your argument is tantamount to saying that while we can prove the existence of pennies, the jury is still out on the existence of dollars."

Well, that's just silly.

"A truly vile argument."

This from the guy who wants deny fresh water to people who disagree with him ideologically. Perhaps it's just me, but I find that ironic.

"Conservation saves money. Fuel efficient cars hur petrostates. Alternative energy technologies create millions of new jobs."

Agreed. I know you're just spoiling for a fight (again, I really thing adding meditation to your daily exercise regiment might help you work out all that extra aggression), but I'm not sure I'm the best guy for that.

"Yeah you really have your priorities straight."

And by "you", you mean that strawman you constructed over there, correct? ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 2, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Hayek, he was meshuganah...

"European nations begin seizing private pensions"

http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/print/content/view/print/353213

Posted by: tao9 | January 2, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

@cao: "Crankcase oil goes just great on a steak."

Indeed. Brings out the flavor. I looooovvvveee salad, BTW.

You live your life consumed by cliches and prejudice. It's sad, really. ;)

I frequently pronounce my Gs, btw. But not always.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Do Sarah Palin's True Americans pour Pennzoil on their salad?

Don't be ridiculous. Salad is for elitist northeastern bluebloods who pronounce their Gs.

Crankcase oil goes just great on a steak.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 3, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

But Tao, austerity is NOT a prescription for growth.

And so it begins, Lindsay Graham on MTP this morning:

GREGORY: Let me break a few of those things down because it’s important, the level of detail. Let me start with this. You talk about the budget. You talk about spending. How will you vote on the debt ceiling? Will you vote to raise it which is a vote that will come up in relatively short order?

GRAHAM: Well to not raise the debt ceiling could be a default of the United States on bond and treasury obligations. That would be very bad for the position of the United States in the world at large but this is an opportunity to make sure that government is changing its spending ways.

I will not vote for the debt ceiling increase until I see a plan in place that will deal with our long term debt obligations starting with Social Security, a real bipartisan effort to make sure that Social Security stays solvent, adjusting the age, looking at means tests for benefits. On the spending side I’m not going to vote for a debt ceiling increase unless we go back to 2008 spending levels, cutting discretionary spending…

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Shame on you, Kevin, for not endorsing outright murder of bankers!

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 3, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

qb,

"...give me hope for our country."

No alien life forms, ech...I mean teens in tao house anymore (Give Thanks and Praise to Our Lord). But I coach a couple score of them all spring and once a week year round.

I also anticipate great things for them and by them.

I gotta red-headed 2yr-old babe/powerplant GrndDtr next town over...but that would take more than the 3000 characters we get here @ PL.

Posted by: tao9 | January 3, 2011 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Privateers and their government backers have been seizing public and private pensions since pensions began. Why? Because that is where the money is.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 3, 2011 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Austerity for whom, lms?

You and me, or Austan friggin' Goolsbee?

Posted by: tao9 | January 3, 2011 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Anybody else see a similarity to Goolsbee's hilarious armageddon predictions vis a vis the debt ceiling, and Paulson and passing TARP in October 2008? That is going to be fun to watch!

But it's not Propaganda. Nope. Only satanic Conservatives would do that.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 3, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Austan wants to juice the economy.
Remember that semiotic annoyance, sustainability?
From now on again, it is only about the juice.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 3, 2011 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Hey, remember when Barry said he's regotiate NAFTA and Goolsbee went to Canada to tell them not to worry? And then, after the election, Barry said it'd been in place to long and shouldn't be touched, particularly with a bad economy. Remember?

Good times. Good times.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 3, 2011 12:25 AM | Report abuse

"You and me, or Austan friggin' Goolsbee?"

Well it sure won't be Goolsbee OR Graham. Some of these spending cuts may sound attractive right now, but they're not just talking government waste and inefficiency, I wish they were.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh don't get me started, I have to work tomorrow. Republicans are worse, but the Ds are catching up, if you just give'm a chance. night

Posted by: shrink2 | January 3, 2011 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, you have to understand my convictions in the context of my firm beleif that conservative positions will destroy America and the world, the former reduced to banana republic stature and the latter to follow with a mass extinction worse than an asteroid collision. I expect illiterates to deny global warming but I expect anyone capable of grasping an absorption spectrum to take it very seriously.

And as I've said, the consequences of acting are all good whether the model is true or not, and the consequences of not acting involve the loss of entire biological Classes. I know conservatives are indifferent to the fate of the natural kingdom and seem to reserve their compassion for extremely wealthy adults and fetuses but dammit I do care about animals and I regard peventabl extinction are morally intolerable, many orders of magnitude more offensive than abortion.

And also, here we go, conservative victories mean widespread suffering and grave planetary consequences they they must therefore be stopped at any cost. With species disappearing even now at asteroid-collision rates, I can't get too worked up over parsing the Constitution or the "moral hazard" of "redistribution," in fact I think that to even mention these in the face of peril as grave as what we face is psychotic.

I have a friend in Seattle whose ex-husband is quadruplegic and has cerebral palsy. Reduction in state provision of necessities (not "services") directly threatens his life. He cannot afford a full-time caregive anymore. And his peril is a direct consequence of providing tax cuts for people already obscenely wealthy.

The Scarlet Macaw, the most beautiful bird the world has ever produced, will be extinct in the wild in a few decades at most, a direct result of habitat destruction caused by the American fast-food industry.

I want such immorality stopped and compared to it the murder or the imprisonment of a few vilely unscrupulous people doesn't budge the meter for me.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 3, 2011 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes, he certainly cares about (lower) animals, to the point of physical assault (he's a homosapian-phobe). From the prior filibuster reform thread:

"I'm with you shrink on the animal cruelty thing. Walking home after class one day in college I ran into some freshman kid throwing rocks at a squirrel for the amusement of two girls who thought it was funny. Wouldn't have been long before he broke the squirrel's spine.

I had something of a blackout and next thing I knew I had the kid on the ground and his arm twisted back at an angle arms don't go. Don't think the girls were amused. I'd popped his throwing arm out of the socket.

I walked home a different way for the next few weeks and didn't wear the same jacket anymore.

Cruelty to animals? Better not."

Posted by: caothien9 | January 1, 2011 6:29 AM

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 3, 2011 12:59 AM | Report abuse

And why not means tests for Social Security? Why should people who don't need the money get it anyway?

Oh, because they've paid into the program and to not return their money is, to use that latest funny neologism, "redistributive." It's taking money from the people who've earned a lot of it and giving it to people who didn't earn as much, or, cue the punitivity, people who spent profligately, presumably on drugs.

Hmm. Funny how this logic only applies in the arena of social necessities .. don't hear anything bout the evil of redistribition when it comes to bailing out the banksters. Money going up the gradient, why, that's perfecty moral.

Nothing about the redistributive evil of taxing low-income people to keep defense contractors in Guldstreams creating weapons systems nobody needs and overcharging like mad for them.

As someone else said .. conservatives' ideal of government is one that does the least to help people. Caveat: unless they're already stinking rich.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 3, 2011 1:32 AM | Report abuse


How do you find good refinance rates? I like "123 Mortgage Refinance". They gave me the option of selecting various rates with different problems. I choose the lowest rate of 3.29% BTW Remember to call and verify the loan rate. Search online to find them.

Posted by: bethtarbell | January 3, 2011 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Best way to save is called collective buying!!! search online for "Printapons" every day a local business will be featured and prices will be discounted upto 90% off

Posted by: cristielewis | January 3, 2011 4:19 AM | Report abuse

"you have to understand my convictions in the context of my firm beleif that conservative positions will destroy America and the world,"

Well, now we understand. History does on occasion bring forth a "man" of your insight . . . a man beyond good and evil who must do what he must do. I bet you right good books, too.

"I know conservatives are indifferent ...."

You know many imprecations and talking points . . . little else.

"and I regard peventabl extinction are morally intolerable, many orders of magnitude more offensive than abortion."

Of course you do. Naturally.

"And also, here we go, conservative victories mean widespread suffering and grave planetary consequences they they must therefore be stopped at any cost."

Thus spoke Zarathustra. I think we can all see where you are going with this. But why explain yourself to these little people, these . . . weak untermenschen?

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 3, 2011 6:16 AM | Report abuse

caothien9:
"If you're old enough to remember the 1960s you may note that teenagers today don't look very healthy. That youthful glow and radiant skin is gone"

---

I still have mine.

Posted by: Brigade | January 3, 2011 6:34 AM | Report abuse

"And his peril is a direct consequence of providing tax cuts for people already obscenely wealthy."

You have an odd notion of "direct consequence." We could better say that his peril is a direct consequence of your failure to provide for his needs out of your own plentiful resources.

But then, maybe he was a bankster or insurance exec or doctor . . . or just a conservative . . . before his misfortunes, so that they are his just desserts and to the betterment of the planet anyway.

"The Scarlet Macaw, the most beautiful bird the world has ever produced, will be extinct in the wild in a few decades at most, a direct result of habitat destruction caused by the American fast-food industry.

I want such immorality stopped and compared to it the murder or the imprisonment of a few vilely unscrupulous people doesn't budge the meter for me."


But we should not put the most "extreme" interpretation on your words to discredit you. I am just waiting for you to say, am I understood?

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 3, 2011 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Scott said:
"I wonder why it is that Canada doesn't have the capacity to handle demand from Canada, but the US can handle not only its own capacity, but spillover from up north."

Of course you'd follow up in this manner. It allows you, again, to avoid being honest as regards the main point of the post which the graph so clearly demonstrates - that such events are very rare - which contradicts the propaganda falsehood pushed by the industry and forwarded by the various right wing voices which have propaganda as their function.

As regards the implication of your question (excess capacity equals better business models), that's not a claim you are going to make openly, is it? Idle factories and staffs, warehouses filled with supplies for months/years...etc. You understand all this well enough but you aren't honest about it's application here. You could have asked, "I wonder why the US system has this level of inefficiency?" which would get you to more interesting and honest questions about why the US systems is the least efficient of all western nations (higher costs plus failing outcomes).

And if you were actually honest in these sorts of conversations, you'd bring up or allude to the obvious factors of geography. Some 70% of Canadians reside within 50 miles of the US border. In a case where a seriously ill newborn needs help, the Canadian system will automatically search for Canadian resources, first in province then out of province. But often time considerations determine a flight of 75 miles south rather than 500 miles east. And will such geographic considerations apply for emergency cases in the US? Of course and an American will utilize our systems in such a case.

And you ignore the moral considerations of a medical system so functionally uncaring for its own less well off citizens that they have to emigrate for adequate medical help.

And you'll recall, maybe, Palin's admission that her family used the Canadian system.

****
It's taken me a few minutes to respond to you. And it was a waste of time because you refuse to be honest here. You want to do this conversation thing as a sort of game rather than as a means to sussing out the truth of things. So screw ya, Scott. I'll let others waste their time with you.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 3, 2011 6:48 AM | Report abuse

And you ignore the moral considerations of a medical system so functionally uncaring for its own less well off citizens that they have to emigrate for adequate medical help.

==

Color to the blind. Indifference to the well-being of anyone other than human fetuses and wealtjy adults is simply part of their DNA

Posted by: caothien9 | January 3, 2011 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Scott can speak for himself, but while he's been assigned to go screw himself, and I've taken the time to read bernie's screed, allow me to point out how utterly fallacious -- and dishonest -- it is.

As a simple matter of economics (if I may presume bernie still accepts a few of its widely accepted principles), the fact that the US health care system meets a portion of demand from Canada in no way implies "excess" supply or inefficiency in the US. Rather, bernie seems to be imagining a hypothetical world in which there is a US system sitting here with lots of idle capacity -- doctors and drug factories sitting idle and waiting for someone to call them up -- when some Canadians from just over the board come along to get care. That world is completely fictitious. In the real world, Canadian demand for services is just part of the demand to which the US system responds.

What is suggested by Scott's question is simply that the US system responds to higher demand beyond a point where Canada's stops responding, because Canada's supply is artificially suppressed, which suppression happens to be a fact. Bernie's counter-question is, on the other hand, based on pure fallacy.

If you conceive of it in standard economic terms, you could say the addition of Canadian customers/patients would move the demand curve for a given service or product to the right, resulting in an equilibrium price and quantity farther right and possibly farther up. That in no way suggests that the US system is inefficient or maintains "excess" health care capacity. Indeed, bernie's claim is sheer economic nonsense.

Shame you fail to deal honestly with these issues, bernie, while accusing others.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 3, 2011 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Shame on you, bernielatham, for not endorsing outright murder of insurance adjusters!

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 3, 2011 7:40 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "You want to do this conversation thing as a sort of game rather than as a means to sussing out the truth of things."

Now, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.

"So screw ya, Scott. I'll let others waste their time with you."

I thought you were blocking Scott.

:)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 7:42 AM | Report abuse

@cao: "Kevin, you have to understand my convictions in the context of my firm beleif that conservative positions will destroy America and the world"

Well, then, I suppose the ends justify the means. Although, sometimes the "means" we indulge in to hopefully achieve our justified ends are counter-productive to the presumed goal.

As I don't think liberalism will destroy America and the world, and certainly don't think conservatism will, we must, out of necessity, face issues certain ways.

"I know conservatives are indifferent to the fate of the natural kingdom and seem to reserve their compassion for extremely wealthy adults and fetuses but dammit I do care about animals and I regard peventabl extinction are morally intolerable"

Do I hear violins?

"As someone else said .. conservatives' ideal of government is one that does the least to help people. Caveat: unless they're already stinking rich."

Well, that certainly justifies a hostile and alienating strategy that, at best, does nothing and, more likely, militates against your own ostensible goals. But, if that's how you like to do it, more power to you.

"don't hear anything bout the evil of redistribition when it comes to bailing out the banksters."

Then you indulge in a certain selective deafness. Many conservatives (and even a few Republicans--very few) opposed TARP. But certainly there are plenty of folks on the right (and pretty much every Ayn Randian libertarian out there) opposed the bank bailout. I don't have any problem calling it wealth redistribution (tax payer dollars, from the earners to a favored class: that's textbook wealth redistribution) but, even more, it's the almost intentional creation of market distortions, solving a problem which started, in no small part, with government tinkering by--what else?--more government tinkering. Only this time, it was with billions of tax payer dollars.

BTW, I'm glad many of them have paid the money back. It means it wasn't a losing bet. Still, I complained at the time. If you ask my opinion of it now, it's still pretty negative (same with the auto bailout).

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

I'd like to see a lot of ongoing attention paid to efforts by Obama and Democrats in general to address economic problems, particularly unemployment.

I hope there will be a series of popular high profile initiatives with which the American people can "keep score," any failures of which Republicans will be held responsible.

I want to see the retrograde policies of incoming House Republicans held up to the light of day and mocked, not treated seriously, by grownups with brains.

And I want every millisecond of Issa's impending "investigations" and allegations of "corruption" (the man is crazy) mocked and exposed as the puerile expensive time-suck that they really are.

Bottom line: I want to see the Republicans mocked and exposed as a bunch of double-digit IQ uneducated idiots screwing up the country.

Posted by: paul65 | January 3, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Now the bullseye is on public workers. It is teachers, fireman, cops, sanitation workers, EPA staff, FBI agents and mail carriers who must be punished in the name of fiscal discipline. Now that we have added 850B to the debt for tax cuts for the Rich the Middle Class must pay for it. Private unions are nearly destroyed in this country and now the public unions are about to get savaged. Every impediment to the capitalists treating human beings as international, fungible labor is being removed. The race to the bottom accelerates. The Middle Class will suffer. The Poor will suffer. The Rich will prosper. The Rich are on the brink of winning the Class War once and for all. Public unions are one of the final obstacles.

Every American worker should be in a union. And we should have a National Union comprised of all unions linked under an umbrella. It is the only way for the American Middle Class to lay claim to what it deserves. It is the only way to protect the Poor. It is the only way to save the nation. Because the Rich won't do it and the Plutocrats won't either. They'll just find better opportunities elsewhere after they gouge the life out of America.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 3, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Boener and Issa are traitors.

Posted by: paul65 | January 3, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

@claw: "Shame on you, Kevin, for not endorsing outright murder of bankers!"

Or anybody that Cao thinks needs to be eliminated (by any means necessary!) for the "greater good". Whatever that is, after you start picking whole classes of people and justifying any treatment or tactics whatsoever to dispose of them.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"It allows you, again, to avoid being honest as regards the main point of the post which the graph so clearly demonstrates - that such events are very rare - which contradicts the propaganda falsehood pushed by the industry and forwarded by the various right wing voices which have propaganda as their function."

Well, given that the graph was nothing more than a visual (no actual numbers or analysis involved), I don't think it "demonstrates" anything.

"As regards the implication of your question (excess capacity equals better business models..."

That was not the implication. The Canadian system is not a "business model" at all.

"Of course and an American will utilize our systems in such a case."

Well, it would be interesting to see a comparison of the two.

"And you ignore the moral considerations..."

Well, to do this we would first have to agree that an universal, objective moral standard exists, something which you insistantly deny (despite your routine appeal to such a thing in your own self-righteous moral preening.) That is a contradiction in your thinking you seem amazingly unwilling to address. One might even say you are being, er, dishonest about it.

"So screw ya, Scott. I'll let others waste their time with you."

It is quite amazing how intolerant you are of anyone who dares to question your religious-like premises. Truly. I ask a question, and you say "Screw ya." You really do have an abnormal incapacity for introspection.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Issa is placing American troops in harms way by criticizing our Commander in Chief during a time of war.

He must answer for this treachery.

Posted by: paul65 | January 3, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Just two hours and 17 minutes left until Boehner cries like a whiny baby again....

Why are Republicans such total airport-bathroom-loving pansies?

Posted by: paul65 | January 3, 2011 8:10 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"Scott took a couple of points from the article he knew he could refute and implied that the basis of the piece was wrong."

I absolutely did not. The basis of the piece you linked to did not address the issue we were discussing, so I ignored it. Instead, under the assumption that there was something in the piece that you thought relevant to your claim, I extracted from it the only bits that could conceivably be seen to be relevant, and analyzed them in the context of our discussion. They do not support your contention that Americans were getting more or better health care in the past than today.

Again, as I said, I am open to seeing any evidence you have to support it, but nothing you've provided yet does so.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

You argue with sophists you get sophistry. But unlike the sophist, you won't get a Chamber of Commerce pay check.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 3, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Well, to do this we would first have to agree that an universal, objective moral standard exists

==

What a pathetically weak dodge that is

Posted by: caothien9 | January 3, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

"You argue with sophists you get sophistry. But unlike the sophist, you won't get a Chamber of Commerce pay check."

Actually conservative regulars here get a weekly check from Greg and WaPo for our efforts. They recognized a long time ago that we are the only thing that keeps PL humming along, since, left to your kind this would be a one-note, talking point echo chamber.

I assume you don't have a problem with this, since it is a perfect application of liberal theory of free speech.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 3, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

America is a country of vast wealth that spends close to a fifth of its annual expenditures on healthcare yet at the same time manages to leave over fifty million with essentially no access to it.

We don't need a universal objecvtive standard of morality to know that is completely abhorrent.

Scott, you are a vile person.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 3, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"I extracted from it the only bits that could conceivably be seen to be relevant, and analyzed them in the context of our discussion."

No you picked out what "you" deemed relevant to the question you asked and ignored the other points. Here's your question to me, followed by various points in the piece I linked to that "I" found relevant.

Question: "did more people get more and better health care during your "firm-footing" days than now?"

Answer from the "Unacceptable Status Quo":

Rising Costs:
Since 1994, the cost per person of American health care has more than doubled, with an annual growth rate regularly more than twice that of inflation.
Per-person health care expenditures in the United States have risen 6.5 percent per year since 2000, and 5.5 percent per year on average since 1994. In contrast, consumer inflation has averaged just 2.6 percent per year.
Premiums for employer-provided health care have doubled since 2000 (the earliest year the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey has on record). That year the average family premium was $6,800. By 2008, it had risen to $12,700. This premium growth eats away at wages and pressures firms to reduce coverage.
Accelerated growth in health care spending has translated into increased burdens on family budgets." According to the most recent data, an average of 13 million families (11 percent of American families) spent 10 percent or more on out-of-pocket health care expenses in 2000-01. That's up from 8 percent in 1996-97.

Vanishing Coverage: (We are by some accounts up to 59million without coverage now, this report is from 2007)
Despite surging expenditures, the number of Americans going without insurance has risen to 46 million, or 15 percent of the population in 2007, up from 38 million, or 14 percent, in 1999. Among people aged 18-65, the uninsurance rate increased to almost 20 percent in 2007, up from 17 percent in 1999. If the 1999 rate had stayed constant, 4.5 million more American adults would have health insurance today.

Outcomes: (The ones you didn't focus on)
To give just one example, in the typical U.S. state, 40 percent of people over 50 receive the recommended screenings and preventive care. In the top five states, that rate is 50 percent, and in the lowest performing states, that rate is 30 percent. Making the worst states perform as well as the best states in this and the other benchmarks Commonwealth identifies (by improving access to primary care and expanding investment in prevention) would help 70 million more adults get the preventive care they need, which will both save money and improve health.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/the_morning_plum_158.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 3, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"yet at the same time manages to leave over fifty million with essentially no access to it."

There is no evidence to support this silly claim.

"We don't need a universal objecvtive standard of morality to know that is completely abhorrent."

Actually, we do. How can one "know" something external to oneself unless there is an objective truth to that thing?

"Scott, you are a vile person."

Objectively speaking?

BTW, Bernie, if you are still reading...this is the kind of person who you think is a welcome addition to the board, while I am not worth time because I am "dishonest"? You have some seriously warped priorities, you know that?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I want to see the retrograde policies of incoming House Republicans held up to the light of day and mocked, not treated seriously, by grownups with brains.

And I want every millisecond of Issa's impending "investigations" and allegations of "corruption" (the man is crazy) mocked and exposed as the puerile expensive time-suck that they really are.

==

Not by this press.

Ever since Spiro Agnew started calling the press a bunch of "effete snobs" and accusations of liberal bias, however repeatedly shown to be false, have been circulated, the US press has deteriorated from its Fourth Estate roll to, at best, a referee roll for that sort of wrestling that's shown on television.

For eight years even the most eminent newspapers in America carried Bush White House press releases as straight news without a hint of comment at the routine falsehood; stenography, not reporting.

The signature political column of this very 'paper, Chris Cillizza's "The Fix," is openly and unapologetically adoring over Republicans, column after column of fawning lovingly over them and slanting every bit of news as bad for Democrats. With millimeter-deep analysis and writing that could come from a few dozen lines of Perl or Lua written by a tenth-grade script kiddy two hours out of a serious automobile accident.

And this is the *Washington Post*.

Yeah Greg does a great job but Dan Froomkin did a considerably better one,, indefatigably connecting yesterday's truth wth today's lies and for his efforts he was fired.

Republican chicanery won't be reported in terms of its irresponsibility and its dishonesty, no, we'll read about its effectiveness alone, what a good job they're doing of staying on message and tearing apart the country to get back in power through fear and hate because they sure can't do it by ideas and policy.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 3, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

There is no evidence to support this silly claim.

==

When all else fails, just lie.

People who have no health insurance and only the emergency room for basic care are not covered in any honest analysis.

You, sir, are a dishonest person. Bernie's right to shun you. Hell, you're proably one of those paid Repubican trolls..

Life is too short for that. PLONK.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 3, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

lms:

I ignored the rising costs section because they are irrelevant to whether or not people are getting more or less health care, or whether that care better or worse. To demonstrate this consider: Tuition costs for university have risen tremendously over the last 20 years. Are more or less people going to college today than 20 years ago? Hence, cost is not indicative of the number of people getting the service relative to times past.

Also, insurance coverage is not health care. So demonstrating that more people do not have coverage is not the same as demonstrating that fewer people are getting health care, or that the care they do get is worse.

Health outcomes are indeed relevant statistics, which is why I focused on the three specific outcomes talked about. However, a generic claim that health outcomes are not what they could be (or what you want them to be) is an entirely different issue from whether or not those outcomes have gotten better or worse over time. Which is why I ignored the last paragraph above.

Again, your contention that people are getting less health care, and worse quality health care today relative to 15 or 20 years ago is quite simply not supported by the data you provided.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

My 8:34 was to Scott.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"You, sir, are a dishonest person"

Think what you want, but any truly honest person will acknowledge that insurance and health care are two different things, and that the absence of the former does not indicate a complete absence of the latter.

BTW, I am curious about a few things:

1) Have you relinquished your American citizenship?

2) Do you work for an American company in Vietnam?

3) Are you on an expat package there?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Scott

"Also, insurance coverage is not health care. So demonstrating that more people do not have coverage is not the same as demonstrating that fewer people are getting health care, or that the care they do get is worse."

Of course it's the same unless you live in a world where lack of insurance coverage means you also have the means to pay your primary care physician. In the real world people without insurance give themselves stitches and forgo needed medical attention. And the real point of our "discussion" was whether the ground beneath the working class had shifted over the last decade, and if you don't see the health care issue and insurance as one of major seismic activity then you've got your eyes closed, IMO.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

@Scott: "'yet at the same time manages to leave over fifty million with essentially no access to it.' -- There is no evidence to support this silly claim."

The statistical evidence is, in fact, contrary. Almost all of those people have access to ER care, and others can get what care they can afford. Many of those people do not have access to expensive long-term care--but this is not the same as not having access to any healthcare whatsoever.

Additionally, anyone (and that's everyone) that has access to free basic vaccinations or the most basic antibiotics or indoor plumbing essentially has access to better healthcare (or at least a healthier environment) than the richest and most powerful fatcats and politicians of 100 years ago. Even those who via ignorance of availability, or ignorance of importance and effectives, do not get basic vaccinations benefit from the fact that most people are vaccinated against pernicious diseases, and thus don't end up infecting them.

So the debate also lacks some historical perspective.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: ""In the real world people without insurance give themselves stitches and forgo needed medical attention.""

Since 1986 (passed during the oppressive reign of Ronaldus Magnus), the EMTALA mandates that hospitals and ambulance services provide care to anyone needing emergency treatments regardless of citizenship, legal status, or ability to pay.

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

Thus, folks without health insurance do not have to give themselves stitches. As 50% of emergency room visits go uncompensated, clearly, they aren't staying at home and sewing their flesh wounds up with needle and thread (which is not a good idea, anyway, for anyone considering that as an alternative--sewing needles aren't sterilized (unless you do it) and thread is harder to undo than stitches. And no point, as all you have to do is visit your local ER. They will try to collect, but you have no legal obligation to pay.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The statistical evidence is, in fact, contrary. Almost all of those people have access to ER care, and others can get what care they can afford. Many of those people do not have access to expensive long-term care--but this is not the same as not having access to any healthcare whatsoever. Additionally, anyone (and that's everyone) that has access to free basic vaccinations or the most basic antibiotics or indoor plumbing essentially has access to better healthcare (or at least a healthier environment) than the richest and most powerful fatcats and politicians of 100 years ago. Even those who via ignorance of availability, or ignorance of importance and effectives, do not get basic vaccinations benefit from the fact that most people are vaccinated against pernicious diseases, and thus don't end up infecting them.

So the debate also lacks some historical perspective.
Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Seldom have I seen a more repulsive comment. Vaccinations and charity care are enough. Better than health care 100 years ago is adequate. Do you realize just how low you have sunk? And how stupid you have become? Because that's the kind of care your family will have when your job is cut for debt relief.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 3, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

Just because the homeless, destitute and illegals are able to get life-saving medical attention from the ER doesn't mean that people with jobs go to the ER when sick and get free health care, with or without insurance. I don't know which alternate universe you guys live in but in my universe, if you have a job, you pay or they will destroy your credit and hound you until you come up with the money. Vaccinations, really? And we were discussing the past 12-15 years, not 100 years.

It's so funny how conservatives accuse liberals of living in lala land.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

You and Scott need to get out more, I know several people who have given themselves stitches and even pulled their own teeth. Sad reality, but true.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"Of course it's the same..."

No, it isn't. People without insurance get health care all the time. Indeed, it is against the law to refuse care in many instances, as Kevin has pointed out.

"And the real point of our "discussion" was whether the ground beneath the working class had shifted over the last decade..."

I explicitly posed the question "Did people during a time with characteristics you would like to "re-establish" get more or better health care than people today." Your explicit response was "Yes". That was the issue we were discussing, and you have yet to present anything that substantiates your claim.

On your (now) broader point, clearly the economy is not doing as well today as it was 5 or 10 years ago, and so many people are less secure, or less financially well off than they were/felt in the past. But you seem to have the notion that the general condition of the country is deteriorating, specifically with regard to health, and that this deterioration is systemically caused. I don't think that notion is sustainable when looking at the evidence.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Scott, I hear next to the WaPo building, there is a great deli for pastrami on a Fourth Estate roll.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 3, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@limsinca: "You and Scott need to get out more, I know several people who have given themselves stitches and even pulled their own teeth. Sad reality, but true."

While I definitely need to get out more, my point still stands. You don't have to give yourself stitches (and it's a bad idea, unless you are a current or former medical professional). If you have a wound requiring stitches, in America, if you can get to the closest ER, you can get treated.

There's less available in regards to emergency dental care. Also, my dad (who is 76) has pulled several of his own teeth. So I know someone who has pulled their own teeth. Also, I know someone who stitched himself up (on more than one occasion), but he was a former green beret and I think that was just how he rolled. He liked to make a point of it.

But, yes, I should probably get out more.

@ScottC3: "But you seem to have the notion that the general condition of the country is deteriorating, specifically with regard to health, and that this deterioration is systemically caused. I don't think that notion is sustainable when looking at the evidence."

Well, some of it is circumstantial. Meaning that our criteria for judging the quality of healthcare in our country involves a lot more than statistics regarding infant mortality 50 years ago versus today. In a society that creates and nurtures Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian and Tila Tequila, where the Worldcom CEO could spend $20,000 on a garbage can while looting his company, etc., etc--then certainly we should be able to make sure that everybody gets adequate, inexpensive medical screenings!

Although, of course, to some extent, we're doing better (not worse) on this than we used to, that there so many exceptions seems, at a visceral level, unacceptable.

Then, if you've had experience with hospitals and insurance companies, it seems on a very personal level, for many of us, that the system is broken. Bills that should be paid aren't, things that should be covered aren't, and certain experiences with American doctors and nurses have, for me, been as bad as any of the horror stories I've heard about from the UK. My personal experience is that healthcare in America is, at best, very random in quality. Because it is populated with human beings, and human beings are fallible. When I'm being less charitable, I'd say that it kind of stinks.

At the same time, the expense of our healthcare system drives the market for new therapies, treatments, and diagnostic tools, and that has to be a net positive. In a cost-controlled (i.e., deficit reducing) healthcare system that provides near universal coverage, the initial outlay for tomorrow's MRI or CT scans or Avastin or gene therapies, etc., is not going to be covered. There's unlikely to be much of a market (especially if, as some here have suggested is a net good, private markets in healthcare are made illegal) for expensive new therapies.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: "Just because the homeless, destitute and illegals are able to get life-saving medical attention from the ER doesn't mean that people with jobs go to the ER when sick and get free health care"

No, if you're capable of paying, then you don't get free healthcare. Yes, that's a pain in the butt, and can be a Very Bad Thing. It's not the same as being unable to get healthcare.

"I don't know which alternate universe you guys live in"

Earth Prime. The one with the Golden Age Superman.

"but in my universe, if you have a job, you pay"

While this can suck when you're already in debt, it sorta makes sense. And is not the same as being unable to get emergency healthcare.

"Vaccinations, really?"

Yes, really. Unless you think they cause Autism.

"And we were discussing the past 12-15 years, not 100 years."

Okee-dokee. I just think a broader historical context is helpful. Even then, thanks to new therapies, certain survival rates for some diseases are better now than they were 15 years ago.

Insulin supplementation or replacement is better than it was 20 years ago. Certainly better than 40 years ago.

I dunno. I don't think the orders of magnitude better so many things are than they were 50 years ago, much less 100 years ago, is something that should be so casually dismissed. But, perhaps that's just me. And Gregg Easterbrook.

"It's so funny how conservatives accuse liberals of living in lala land."

I'm pretty sure I've never accused you of that. At least, not that I can recall. To be clear, I don't think you or any liberal here is living in lala land. Although I have accused Bernie of living in Canada. Does that count?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Seldom have I seen a more repulsive comment. Vaccinations and charity care are enough."

Really? That's what you think? Because I certainly don't.

"Better than health care 100 years ago is adequate."

Did I say that? No.

"Do you realize just how low you have sunk?"

Well, not low enough that I have to pretend people said stuff they didn't say in order to pat myself on the back for my moral superiority (and superior intelligence). With proper coaching, however, I'm sure I can get there. You have some spare time?

"And how stupid you have become?"

Well, no, I don't know, because I'm stupid. That sort of comes with the territory. You'd think a smart fellow like you would realize that.

"Because that's the kind of care your family will have when your job is cut for debt relief."

Well, I certainly wouldn't like that. At what point did I advocate cutting jobs for debt relief? Or, indeed, anything else you said?

When, in fact, you know I didn't say it, or you would have had to paraphrase me thusly: "Vaccinations and charity care are enough. Better than health care 100 years ago is adequate."

I didn't say and don't believe and would never suggest either of those things. It's fine if you prefer to debate with strawmen, but you should at least spend a little more time in energy in their construction. To make them at least a tad more credible. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

You are reading a very broad interpretation into EMTALA that doesn't actually exist in the real world. My oldest daughter hasn't had insurance since August 22, 2009. She suffers from asthma and cannot acquire insurance, except through the state pre-existing condition coverage program, which she has decided she cannot afford. I raised 5 very independent and personally responsible individuals and she will no longer accept our financial assistance at 31. She received and is paying two emergency room bills and still has several months to go before her bills are paid and maybe then she will consider the state insurance, although she says not. Under EMTALA they cannot turn people away from an assessment or treatment but once that assessment is made you still have to fill out "responsible party" paperwork and they send you a bill. Also, very often you don't get actual treatment other than stabilization, which is what happened to my niece once she got sick and her insurance was rescinded. Her last time through the ER, without insurance coverage, she was already stabilized by the time she got there thanks to paramedics and they essentially monitored her then sent her on her way, the bill came after she died and I paid it.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Hey Kevin:

Snark won't feed your family when you cheerlead yourself into getting fired because you are a drain on the public fisc. Like so many ex-liberals you think you solved all problem when you converted to Conservatism. And that's what it is for Conservatives today: a religion. You think an ideology will solve our problems just like the religious nuts think all the answers are in the Bible. But there is no scared text to guide us. There is no dogmatic solution to spit out answers. You can't eat ideology. We are on our own and fools like you who will even compromise science for ideology and the worst offenders. At least the Chamber Trolls get paid for being stupid. I hope your ideology keeps your family warm when you are unemployed and the U.S. welfare state has been dismantled by the Rich.

First, they come for the teachers ... You've been warned.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 3, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: "You are reading a very broad interpretation into EMTALA that doesn't actually exist"

No, I'm not. I have not suggested it covers extended care (I said the opposite) and will now say, explicitly it covers emergency care only. Not health screenings or anything else.

And, of course, they are going to want to pay somebody to pay the bill. The EMTALA is essentially an unfunded mandate and, whenever possible, they are going to want the bills to be paid. I've paid numerous emergency room bills, and am well aware of that.

I think you're reading more into what I'm saying than I am.

Everybody should have better healthcare. Healthcare should improve generally. The environment should foster innovation in healthcare and new treatments and diagnostics. How we do this is complicated and should be rationally debated. Not everybody will get everything they want, and no solution will be perfect, but clearly some will be better than others. This is my position.

I'll be interested in hearing how the above statements means that I am vile and stupid (not necessarily from you, lmsinca, but I expect others will help me find out). And should be deprived of fresh water, presumably until my painful and hysterical death due to dehydration, for holding such abhorrent opinions. ;)

I am sorry about your niece. You may have missed a bit of my previous post, but I have had numerous nightmare experiences at American hospitals. There should, indeed, be a better way.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"I raised 5 very independent and personally responsible individuals and she will no longer accept our financial assistance at 31."

Would she accept government assistance?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Kevin

Clearly, I haven't called you either vile or stupid, you're neither. I will admit it bothers me though when people conflate mandated ER life saving treatment with health care, as you may have noticed, Scott was all over that. You and I would probably agree on many compromise positions regarding numerous policies but since we're neither one of us in charge of anything policy-wise, I will just continue to argue for the more progressive position and rebut the over-simplified position and solutions to many of the very complicated problems facing the working class. I don't like to compromise until the bitter end.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"And that's what it is for Conservatives today: a religion."

The irony is palpable.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Scott

She wouldn't even dream of asking for government assistance. She is paying off school loans and working two part-time jobs, teaching at a community college and photo editing, and selling the occasional art piece. If she can't afford something she won't buy it, period. She also has no credit card debt or car payment. As I said, very independent. I do wish she would accept a little more help from us though.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"And that's what it is for Conservatives today: a religion."

"The irony is palpable."

Only in the Con Echo Chamber. And only because you are paid by your Corporate Overlords to pretend to believe false things. That makes you a liar in my book. And unworthy of attention. Bye.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 3, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"very independent"

I wonder where she gets THAT from?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 3, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"As I said, very independent."

Well, offer her my best wishes. Sincerely.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

What should you be focusing on? Really?

The same thing you (and Ezra) SHOULD have been focusing on since almost a year ago:
99ers. Stop blowing us off, we get enough of that from the POTUS and Congress. We are MILLIONS of (once) middle-class Americans relegated now to inconsistent and inaccurate reporting of our numbers and loss of any kind of quality of life we once knew. We're not kids. We are older, more experienced, veterans, caregivers, family-oriented human beings discarded along the road as so much rubbish and filth. We need powerful voices, advocacy in very strong, moral terms, Greg. Consistently delivered, intensely personal, and framed so that we are no longer over-looked and abandoned. We never did that to our country when we were proud citizens...why does the gov't do this to us now?
That's what you should be focusing on.

Posted by: kickoradell | January 3, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"Only in the Con Echo Chamber."

Is that what Plum Line is? Who would've thought...

"That makes you a liar in my book."

Isn't your book a work of fiction?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

kickoradell:

Thank you for that comment. I hope Greg listens. It was sad watching old Bernie Sanders exhorting the people of the country to get out and demonstrate. We all knew, Sanders probably did too, that he was p*ssing in the wind. The American Working Class will take its suffering in silence or even as misguided cheerleaders for it.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 3, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

kickoradell

It's disgraceful the situation many of the 99ers are in and I don't see any will in Congress to address it either. It needs a national movement and grassroots pressure to get anything seriously addressed around here anymore. Many of the people I work with at the senior complex (55 and older) are in untenable positions, lost jobs and benefits, but too young for SS and Medicare, and as many as 50-60 accepted applications per job. I'm worried that some will end up on the street this year, many are approaching the end of whatever funds or security they had. Good luck.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

BTW Scott, thanks.

And wbgonne, re independent, I can't imagine what you mean.

10:30 on a Monday, and I haven't gotten a lick of work done, later.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

kickoradell:

"We are older, more experienced, veterans, caregivers, family-oriented human beings discarded along the road as so much rubbish and filth."

Has your family really discarded you?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 3, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who responded to my (kickoradell) post earlier, on behalf of many MILLIONS of 99ers in America, I accept your kind thoughts and concerns and ask that you do two truly simple things:

1) Make a daily visit to Allnews247.com and see what remarkable and undaunted journalism/advocacy is about in this country. Pass along this word from me to all of your friends and neighbors, especially those unemployed and 99ers you know and whose world's have been torched by this apathy in Washington.

2) Promise us that when another 99er writes or speaks up and it DOES gets published - or if someone asks you what a 99er is - relay what you learn or KNOW has happened in America. Forward this work today to others (here) or what you see at Allnews247.com. I am not a shill for that site but I will tell you this: It is voice in which all who visit can hear over the roaring avalanche of money this nation supposedly doesn't have being given to a great many who not only can't/won't use it and adamantly denying that those who have none make sure it stays that way.

I am in your debt as I am with everyone else but I am not alone. Help us speak and be heard. Our thanks.

Posted by: kickoradell | January 3, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Friends, again: I apologize. The site is "All247news.com." Pass it along and our thanks.

Posted by: kickoradell | January 3, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: "Clearly, I haven't called you either vile or stupid,"

No, no, that was a shout out to cao! You've only called me "darlin'". ;) That was you, right?

"I don't like to compromise until the bitter end."

Now, that's my kind of woman. :)

"If she can't afford something she won't buy it, period. She also has no credit card debt or car payment. As I said, very independent. I do wish she would accept a little more help from us though."

But you have to respect her position. Frankly, I'm a "never ask for help, never turn it down if offered" type, myself. My dad has helped me out many times, and I've always been grateful, but I don't take it for granted.

I'd take government assistance, if available and I was legitimately eligible. I've collected unemployment on two different occasions. That's what it's there for.

Somehow, I don't think I'm going to ever have a problem with getting my kids to accept financial help. ;)

But, you never know.

I hope things turn out well for your daughter.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Snark"

I snipped that bit out because that's the only thing you said that seems to resemble anything I said. From there forward:

"when you cheerlead yourself into getting fired because you are a drain on the public fisc."

I'm not really cheerleading draconian cuts in public services, nor do I think cutting a wide swathe out of public employment is going to be particularly helpful for the deficit.

"Like so many ex-liberals you think you solved all problem when you converted to Conservatism."

And you can read minds! Except for the accuracy problems, I'm impressed.

"You think an ideology will solve our problems"

No, I don't.

"just like the religious nuts think all the answers are in the Bible."

Well, there, it depends how hard you look.

"You can't eat ideology."

Well, that entirely depends on how it's prepared. First, you must tenderize.

"We are on our own and fools like you who will even compromise science for ideology and the worst offenders."

Well, you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

"I hope your ideology keeps your family warm when you are unemployed and the U.S. welfare state has been dismantled by the Rich."

I'm not sure I'd count on the welfare state keeping me more warm, anyhow, but I'd probably go for blankets before ideology.

I'm not advocating that the U.S. welfare state be dismantled by the rich.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"But you have to respect her position."

Kevin, I mostly just think she's being stubborn but there's lots of residual lack of trust re the insurance industry and doctors in general she's still working through. Her cousin, who moved in here at 12, was really an older sister to her and greatly admired and loved by all. She has a great doctor who lets her chart her own course re her therapy and works with her on the money end and saves samples etc. for her. She still probably spends $200-$300 per month though and even if she had insurance at around $300 with the co-pays and medicine it would probably be another $100-$150, she gets the math and takes her chances. I do worry about her though.

What's really ironic is I was so unhappy with the HCR bill but supported it very selfishly because I thought, well, my daughter will be able to get insurance. Then she turns it down, sheesh, I compromised my principles and look where it got me.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: "Kevin, I mostly just think she's being stubborn"

That's cuz you're mom. Of course, she's just being stubborn.

"ut there's lots of residual lack of trust re the insurance industry and doctors in general she's still working through."

That's entirely justified. My boss (who has been wonderful to work for, and, hopefully, will remain so) was just diagnosed with glioblastoma, after having gone to the doctor for headaches and vision problems (and doing everything they advised) for over a year. Only when there was swelling of the brain and near death did anyone finally figure out what was wrong.

I'm praying for her. I hope anyone else who reads this will consider praying for her, too. She's 48, has an 8 year old daughter.

Anyway, it's probably best to have only a modest amount of trust for your doctor. And the occasional second opinion might not hurt.

"Then she turns it down, sheesh, I compromised my principles and look where it got me."

Stick to your guns, and be more stubborn! ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"Stick to your guns, and be more stubborn!"

Yeah, that's usually not a problem. :)

Best wishes to your boss. I hate hearing stories like that. I have a similar one with my youngest daughter but I'll save it for another time, and it did have a happy ending for the most part.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 3, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not advocating that the U.S. welfare state be dismantled by the rich."

Great. So stop supporting policies, politicians and a political party that does.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 3, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: "Best wishes to your boss. I hate hearing stories like that. I have a similar one with my youngest daughter but I'll save it for another time, and it did have a happy ending for the most part."

Good! I'm always glad to hear that there are happy endings. ;)

@wbgonne: "Great. So stop supporting policies, politicians and a political party that does."

I'll do my best. Not sure you're always going to like my decisions, but I'll try to be smart. That's hard work, you know.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 3, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

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