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IdleRich
13-08-2009, 02:39 PM
Can someone tell me what's going on with this? What precisely is Obama trying to push through and why are people (obviously the insurance companies have a vested interest but everyone I mean) so vehemently opposed? And is he gonna be successful in having it made law?
Also, what's with all the attacks on the NHS? And how is it possible that political adverts are reporting demonstrable and blatant lies, can't they be held to account for this?

Sick Boy
13-08-2009, 02:47 PM
A lot of the backlash is just mental ideologically tenacious rednecks. As long as someone convinces them it's another devious example of "big government" and is propelling the United States towards "socialism" they'll start yelling and forming organizations. I love how opponents even got a Canadian to appear in one of their smear ads to basically say "I hate my health care system." Of course, she is the only person in Canada who hates our health care system - it is otherwise an institution of virtually unanimous national pride.

Or that one person who at a town-hall conference stood up and cried, "Keep your god damn government hands off my Medicare!"... a program that is currently run by the government. Hilarious.

IdleRich
13-08-2009, 02:53 PM
From Sarah Palin's blog:


The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down's Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society", whether they are worthy of healthcare. Such a system is downright evil.
Hard to disagree with anything in that I think.

vimothy
13-08-2009, 02:55 PM
Christina Romer: The Economic Case for Health Care Reform (http://fora.tv/2009/06/08/Christina_Romer_The_Economic_Case_for_Health_Care_ Reform)

Health Care Realities, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/opinion/31krugman.html?_r=1)

vimothy
13-08-2009, 03:00 PM
For the truly bored / boring:

The Economic Case for Health Care Reform (http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/CEA_Health_Care_Report.pdf) -- government white paper

Sick Boy
13-08-2009, 03:08 PM
Is that Palin statement even true? I don't get what she means.
It's weird how in America politicians can and often concoct or back the most ridiculous and blatant lies in order to polarize idiots.

vimothy
13-08-2009, 03:13 PM
The "death panel" reference is based on a (possibly deliberate) Chinese whispers style misunderstanding of something Obama said a few days ago, which... ah fuggit. Generic Palin idiocy however you slice it.

Mr. Tea
13-08-2009, 04:02 PM
What you baby-murder-supporting Nazicrats don't understand is that, as a married, white American woman in her 40s, it's SP's God-given right to have as many disabled babies as she likes.

IdleRich
13-08-2009, 04:18 PM
"Is that Palin statement even true?"
Well it's true in that "her" America is one in which that doesn't happen. The implication that that is what will happen under B Hussein Obama's socialist regime is, however, utter bollocks.

Sick Boy
13-08-2009, 04:32 PM
Well it's true in that "her" America is one in which that doesn't happen. The implication that that is what will happen under B Hussein Obama's socialist regime is, however, utter bollocks.

Yeah see? You really don't see this very much in Canada, and I get the feeling you don't see it much in other countries either. For instance, if that whole "birther" thing happened in Canada it would get on the news MAYBE for a day. In America you have Republicans edging around making comments on it, because outright calling them the bunch of lunatics that they are would be alienating the voting base.

Mr. Tea
13-08-2009, 05:25 PM
"Birthers" sound like some kind of demented cult from a dystopian sci-fi novel.

Which is probably more or less accurate.

empty mirror
13-08-2009, 06:49 PM
all this stuff just brings out the cold-war anti-pinko sentiment that post-boomers assumed was buried. truly weird. the old men screaming at these town hall meetings are so out of touch and deluded.

padraig (u.s.)
13-08-2009, 06:51 PM
What precisely is Obama trying to push through and why are people (obviously the insurance companies have a vested interest but everyone I mean) so vehemently opposed?

no one is exactly sure what he/the Dems who are with him are trying to push thru, which is part of the problem. there are like 5 or 6 different committees in the Senate "studying" various health bill proposals. what they say in public is contradictory & sometimes incoherent, tho partially this owes to the party being divided on a lot of key points, & tbf Obama himself has been nothing less than eloquent every time he's spoken on it. of course, talking is what he does best. I dunno if he has the LBJ-style juice to threaten/cajole/wheedle to straight up force a bill thru.

I think a lot of the unbridled anger you see pouring out has little or nothing to do w/health care reform itself, at least not the nitty gritty policy points. it has everything to do w/what health care reform symbolizes, & more with the fear that a big segment of white America feels about well, the decline of white America. if you look at the complaints people bring up, aside from the "this country will become Russia" nonsense, it's stuff like illegal immigrants, whether or not Federal tax dollars will fund abortions. it's also very visceral - I get the feeling that the things that really make people afraid & angry are too big/abstract for them to address & that health care reform is largely a forum, an easy target, for them to lash out at. I also think it's a huge mistake, & a bit messed up, to lump them all in as "mental rednecks".

right now I reckon conservative pundits - the Beck/Limbaugh/Hannity etc line - & the insurance lobbies are kinda riding a tiger by whipping up all this mob sentiment. it could spin out of their control real quick, which is considerably more worrying than people shouting at elected officials in "town meetings".


And is he gonna be successful in having it made law?

I'd like to think so but I'm pretty dubious. the Democrats always find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory & this seems like no exception. what I suspect will happen is that a watered down bill, one that has been picked over by the vultures from the insurance industry & various other interest groups, will eventually be passed. it will be largely ineffective & we'll wind up doing this all over again in 5 or 10 years, but from an even worse position than we're in now. if this sounds familiar it's b/c that's how we handle a lot of things in the U.S.

padraig (u.s.)
13-08-2009, 06:59 PM
the old men screaming at these town hall meetings are so out of touch and deluded.

are they? I mean, in one sense, clearly. the world is passing them by, which is where a great deal of the anger comes from, I think.

but OTOH this clearly taps into a deep-seated well of volatile feelings that has, again, little to do w/health care reform itself. sure, the feelings are being whipped up into a frenzy by agitators but there was something there to begin with. one could call it last-gasp, the last big hurrah for "this is our America" (the irony of the exclusivity of that statement not withstanding), it certainly smacks of desperation, but I dunno, these dudes still have a lot of swing. these aren't fringe feelings, put it that way, tho they certainly attract fringe elements as well.

crackerjack
13-08-2009, 07:01 PM
"Birthers" sound like some kind of demented cult from a dystopian sci-fi novel.

Which is probably more or less accurate.

I saw a reference to "deathers' in the same context yesterday. Who or what are they?

Sick Boy
13-08-2009, 07:08 PM
I saw a reference to "deathers' in the same context yesterday. Who or what are they?

Birthers are a group of racist nutjobs in America who are suspicious that Barack Obama wasn't actually born in the United States and continue to demand proof that he was even after it has been quite conclusively offered up numerous times.

crackerjack
13-08-2009, 07:15 PM
Birthers are a group of racist nutjobs in America who are suspicious that Barack Obama wasn't actually born in the United States and continue to demand proof that he was even after it has been quite conclusively offered up numerous times.

LOL, yeah, I knows that innit. It's deathers I'm asking about.

Sick Boy
13-08-2009, 07:34 PM
LOL, yeah, I knows that innit. It's deathers I'm asking about.

Oh, sorry, I misunderstood. Perhaps deathers are people who believe that Barack Obama is immortal and intends to change the constitution and stay in office for eternity. It wouldn't surprise me.

padraig (u.s.)
13-08-2009, 08:26 PM
Birthers are a group of racist nutjobs

yes these dudes OTOH can all be lumped in as racist nutjobs. nothing like this would ever ever happen to a white president. as it happens John McCain was born, ironically enough, in the Panama Canal Zone back when that was a U.S. territory so his claim to having been born in the U.S. is if anything more tenuous. somehow I don't think McCain would have been subject to birthers if he'd won the election.

padraig (u.s.)
13-08-2009, 08:35 PM
I saw a reference to "deathers' in the same context yesterday. Who or what are they?

people who believe there will be "death panels", presumably made up of gay communist Muslim bureaucrats, who decide who can & cannot receive life-saving treatment.

I heard some dude talking about this the other day on the radio & he was going on & on about how, under a health care system like the UK's, Stephen Hawking would've been put to death by one of these panels. the interviewer then point out that Hawking had, in fact, been a British subject for his entire life & no one had yet put him to death.

Mr. Tea
13-08-2009, 11:32 PM
people who believe there will be "death panels", presumably made up of gay communist Muslim bureaucrats, who decide who can & cannot receive life-saving treatment.

Whereas under the current system, it is those favoured by God - with lots of money - who receive life-saving treatment. Exactly as specified in the Bahble.



I heard some dude talking about this the other day on the radio & he was going on & on about how, under a health care system like the UK's, Stephen Hawking would've been put to death by one of these panels. the interviewer then point out that Hawking had, in fact, been a British subject for his entire life & no one had yet put him to death.

Tee hee! Hoisted, petard etc.

crackerjack
14-08-2009, 08:33 AM
people who believe there will be "death panels", presumably made up of gay communist Muslim bureaucrats, who decide who can & cannot receive life-saving treatment.

I heard some dude talking about this the other day on the radio & he was going on & on about how, under a health care system like the UK's, Stephen Hawking would've been put to death by one of these panels. the interviewer then point out that Hawking had, in fact, been a British subject for his entire life & no one had yet put him to death.

Yeah, that'll be it, those people who want to kill Sarah Palin's children for kicks.

The Hawking business has received quite a lot of UK coverage. As has our old friend Dan Hannan (http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/08/13/daniel-hannan-national-disgrace/).

The Tories have denounced him, Cameron has pledged his NHS support.

Gordon Brown has tweeted:o

slightly crooked
14-08-2009, 02:00 PM
I love this bit from Hannan:

"I just say, as an elected representative myself, no politician can disregard his constituents' opinion" (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,538690,00.html)

So that's why you're appearing on talk shows in a foreign country coming out with a slanderously skewed portrait of a public service that is about as loved as any public institution is ever likely to be amongst your own constituents, is it?

IdleRich
14-08-2009, 05:09 PM
"no one is exactly sure what he/the Dems who are with him are trying to push thru"
Ah, ok, I'm glad about this, I thought I was being thick for not knowing it but if it's not just me then I'm pleased to hear it.

padraig (u.s.)
14-08-2009, 05:49 PM
Ah, ok, I'm glad about this, I thought I was being thick for not knowing it but if it's not just me then I'm pleased to hear it.

oh don't worry I don't even think they're quite sure what bill they want to pass. with the exception of maybe Obama himself. the biggest point is whether or not the govt will offer some kind of public health care insurance option, which the insurance industry is vehemently against.

the "death panels" bit is, as I understand it, a distortion of something about advisory panels or just advice for elderly people on planning for the end of their lives. as in financial planning tho, not euthanasia. it's a serious problem for elderly people if their savings run out, they're pretty much at the mercy of their kids financial ability to support them & medical costs can pile up really quickly.

mms
16-08-2009, 03:41 PM
the amount of wild hatred created thru wild claims on fox news is really turning the heat up in the states, from here in the uk it's really worrying - it just looks like you've got good hopeful people struggling thru the recession, with obama trying to make a good job of it then absolute fucking nutjobs fired up by Rupert Murdoch and the insane extremely spurious nonsense coming out of the madmen on fox news. It seems an impossible situation thats out of control from here that might end up in a tragedy for the country.
Also Daniel Hannan - the most punchable man in Britain?
whats this new word they're using too - a socialised health care system?
Madness

wish i had a hammer for each of these cunts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35eRxxZ-Ar0

nomadthethird
16-08-2009, 07:21 PM
oh don't worry I don't even think they're quite sure what bill they want to pass. with the exception of maybe Obama himself. the biggest point is whether or not the govt will offer some kind of public health care insurance option, which the insurance industry is vehemently against.

the "death panels" bit is, as I understand it, a distortion of something about advisory panels or just advice for elderly people on planning for the end of their lives. as in financial planning tho, not euthanasia. it's a serious problem for elderly people if their savings run out, they're pretty much at the mercy of their kids financial ability to support them & medical costs can pile up really quickly.

I just read something on MSNBC last night that said some industry (I think it was the insurance industry, but it could be pharmaceutical) is giving Obama $150 million to promote his bill.

I actually like Obama's idea, it makes sense--nationalize the system by letting everyone who doesn't have health care now have access to the same plan congress has, but allow private insurance companies to remain in business and allow people who already have insurance to keep theirs if they'd prefer it. This way, the government will be essentially competing with private companies, and the government will likely win or at least drive down costs considerably, as fewer people go to the ER for basic treatment and then ditch the bill (this was one reason costs of treatment have risen steadily for years--hospitals had to make up for the losses by redistributing costs to paying/insured patients, which sent premiums sky high).

Obama's earlier campaign plan to incentivize and basically force (through tax breaks and tax hikes) companies to offer their employees health insurance seemed smart, too. I'm not sure if that figures into the bill somehow but I hope it does.

I cannot believe the shit I've heard older people saying about all this, mms--that they're going to take away medicare (a gov program) for one. I knew it must be a Fox News con job.

Edit: Obviously, we're still going to need massive industry reforms, but this is a good start.

nomadthethird
16-08-2009, 07:33 PM
I love how opponents even got a Canadian to appear in one of their smear ads to basically say "I hate my health care system." Of course, she is the only person in Canada who hates our health care system - it is otherwise an institution of virtually unanimous national pride.

Yeah, the single payer system is nice. The only downside to "socialized" medicine--since no system is perfect--is that there are longer waiting lists for critical surgeries and usually fewer surgeons to provide them, since often surgeons don't make as much money so fewer people want to spend 15 years in school to become one. But there are always trade-offs. I would prefer this to a system where more than half of a country's citizens can't get treatment unless they're willing to go bankrupt to get it, though, so that's not really an argument against nationalizing. Plus, Obama's plan doesn't preclude private industry, it just sort of sends in the government to cap prices.


Or that one person who at a town-hall conference stood up and cried, "Keep your god damn government hands off my Medicare!"... a program that is currently run by the government. Hilarious.

Exactly, it's fucking mindblowingly stupid. Plus, we already have a country where, because health insurance premiums are out of control, more and more people qualify for medicaid every day. I mean, since I have medical bills that exceed a certain amount of money per month, I'm on it, and, it's awesome, it pays for *everything*, I have no co-pays for my medications anymore, nothing. If the new system is anything like medicaid, everyone's going to be happy with it (except doctors who make a lot less unless they defraud the system).

Mr. Tea
16-08-2009, 07:35 PM
Sorry to go slightly off topic, but hearing these Tory pricks going on about how America "shouldn't make Britain's mistake" by founding its own NHS or something comparable is just unbelievable. Well, it's actually all too believable, of course. Hopefully it'll backfire as the public realise that this doesn't exactly give the party a ringing endorsement as future custodians of the service after the next election. I mean, twelve years of Labour has not been unambiguously great for the NHS, but they do at least understand that it costs money to run and that this is hugely important to the wellbeing of the country.

I've not been keeping too close an eye on developments stateside but it goes without saying anything that widens access to primary healthcare is an enormous step forward.

padraig (u.s.)
16-08-2009, 07:48 PM
I just read something on MSNBC last night that said some industry (I think it was the insurance industry, but it could be pharmaceutical) is giving Obama $150 million to promote his bill.

I've no idea about this, could well be true, tho keep in mind lobbyists & the people they represent often play both sides of the fence. I'd like to see who, specifically, was giving him $. can you link to the article? either way he & his team have certainly put a lot of effort into reaching out to Insurance, Pharma, etc. as well as the AMA & other doctors' groups. they def learned from Clinton's failure to get health care reform thru in the 90s. I'd like to know what that "support" costs - the real issue isn't whether or not a bill will pass, but what Obama/his backers will have to give up to get it through. if it doesn't include some kind of public option then the whole thing was pretty much a waste of time.

the problem lots of people - esp. the insurance industry & free market hardliners - have w/the public (govt) option is that they say private companies won't be able to compete w/the govt, to the detriment of consumers. that's not my argument - personally I'd also much prefer a country where health care is more like the UK or Canada - just one that gets brought up constantly. there are other issues of varying importance as well; whether business will be forced to provide insurance for their employees, how & how much hospitals & doctors will be paid....


If the new system is anything like medicaid, everyone's going to be happy with it

...& of course the BIG question - how we'll pay for it, which is the only big point I've yet to see Obama or anyone else outline, at least clearly. it's always some mix of tax hikes on the wealthy (great, do it), predicted improvements in efficiency from digitizing records & so on (great if it works out but no one's sure how much $ that will actually save), and then...??? that's not quite an argument against so much as a kind of bite your lip concern, seeing as the alternative, maintaining the status quo, is even worse.

I maintain that a great deal of the anger spilling out has everything to do with anything but health care reform. there's no doubt that Fox, Limbaugh, etc. are whipping up the mob but they wouldn't be having such an easy time doing so if there wasn't such a raw nerve for them to tap into. I dunno - chalking it all up to a "Fox con job" seems to me to be again, a mistake.

nomadthethird
16-08-2009, 07:50 PM
What I think is funny is that if you wanted to talk about the things that could be downsides to nationalized health insurance or health care, you could already look at medicaid or another country and point to legitimate problems that really do exist--sometimes things do get bogged down in bureaucracy and such, doctors in private practice have a hard time meeting overheads when they only see patients on gov benefits, doctors can't pay back student loans in the hundreds of thousands if they don't get paid a certain amount (mostly relevant in the US), certain decisions about care could end up in the hands of politicians instead of citizens (look at what already happened with stem cell research...), the profit incentive private companies have does make the wheels move quickly, etc.

These are perhaps real issues we could address that are cause for some amount of mild concern. But instead, Fox News and its increasingly shrill and hysterical republican minions prefer to lower themselves to Glenn Beck making montages of Nazi rallies talking about how science in the hands of the government equals mass murder. What that says about their constituency is just...terrifying.

nomadthethird
16-08-2009, 07:54 PM
I've no idea about this, could well be true, tho keep in mind lobbyists & the people they represent often play both sides of the fence. I'd like to see who, specifically, was giving him $. can you link to the article? either way he & his team have certainly put a lot of effort into reaching out to Insurance, Pharma, etc. as well as the AMA & other doctors' groups. they def learned from Clinton's failure to get health care reform thru in the 90s. I'd like to know what that "support" costs - the real issue isn't whether or not a bill will pass, but what Obama/his backers will have to give up to get it through. if it doesn't include some kind of public option then the whole thing was pretty much a waste of time.

the problem lots of people - esp. the insurance industry & free market hardliners - have w/the public (govt) option is that they say private companies won't be able to compete w/the govt, to the detriment of consumers. that's not my argument, just one that gets brought up constantly. there are other issues of varying importance as well; whether business will be forced to provide insurance for their employees, how & how much hospitals & doctors will be paid. & of course the BIG one - how we'll pay for it, which is the only big point I've yet to see Obama or anyone else outline, at least clearly.

I maintain that a great deal of the anger spilling out has everything to do with anything but health care reform. there's no doubt that Fox, Limbaugh, etc. are whipping up the mob but they wouldn't be having such an easy time doing so if there wasn't such a raw nerve for them to tap into. I dunno - chalking it all up to a "Fox con job" seems to me to be again, a mistake.

Here's the link (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32340524/ns/politics/), looks like it was big pharma. Given that it's big p and not the insurance industry, I'm not surprised--150m is nothing to them, it's like piss in the rain.

You're right about Limbaugh and others being responsible, too, I just think it's crazy that Fox News still has such a hold on peoples' imaginations after they were basically made to look like utter fools after Obama won.

I think Obama will probably cut military spending by a ton, quiet like.

padraig (u.s.)
16-08-2009, 08:06 PM
yeah that's not surprising about pharma - they're in a much better position than insurance, much less to lose. whatever bill does or doesn't pass we'll still be stuck with GlaxoSmithKline & Pfizer & so on, for better & worse. really cannot see the insurance industry backing him at all.

what I meant about pundits isn't just that it's more than Fox News - I mean they are tapping into anger that extends way behind their punditry. a lot of it is irrational, of course, but it exists nonetheless even w/o the Limbaughs & Becks. those dudes provide a focal point but it's a symptom not a cause thing I think.

also I dunno what world you're living where Obama significantly cuts military spending. spending more smartly certainly, less pork barrel Cold War era projects, but, the Army just expanded by 22,000, the war in Afghanistan is going to be a serious & expanding commitment until at least 2012, etc. and even if he did want to cut spending I dunno if he has the juice - look at the enormous fight he had to win in Congress just to get them not to fund 7 more F-22s (a plane even its backers admit is obsolete).

nomadthethird
16-08-2009, 08:13 PM
also I dunno what world you're living where Obama significantly cuts military spending. spending more smartly certainly, less pork barrel Cold War era projects, but, the Army just expanded by 22,000, the war in Afghanistan is going to be a serious & expanding commitment until at least 2012, etc. and even if he did want to cut spending I dunno if he has the juice - look at the enormous fight he had to win in Congress just to get them not to fund 7 more F-22s (a plane even its backers admit is obsolete).

Well, I could just be hoping that's where he'd take the money from, but if I were him that's where I'd take it from. Immediately. Why expand the "war" in Afghanistan? Stupid. Just a waste of time and money. Hopefully they're still not planning on going into Iraq and rebuilding its entire infastructure, I really hope not.

Also, I know there have always been those nutsos in this country, but I do wonder if there wasn't such a big media presence backing them and whipping up the frenzy all of the time whether they'd finally-- idk-- read a newspaper that's not written by hacks or something. Or think for a minute. I just don't understand those people.

padraig (u.s.)
16-08-2009, 08:40 PM
Why expand the "war" in Afghanistan? Stupid. Just a waste of time and money.

& yet, we're doing it. the last 2 months have been the bloodiest - U.S. casualties wise - of the entire war, there's a big offensive (USMC in the lead) in Helmand Valley, etc. there's no way it's going to scale down until the 2012 election at the earliest, Obama has committed too much (maybe to avoid looking soft after half-pulling out of Iraq, that's politics for ya).

re: "nutsos" - I dunno, I don't want to rehash this argument again, but I don't think these people are crazy. full of fears (some rational, some not), certainly. desperate in some cases or at least they feel desperate. I think the Limbaughs etc. def act as a goad, to sharpen & direct those fears & that anger. health care does touch really basic & strong issues for people - life & death really, the most basic issues of all - but I really think it's also just a convenient target for people to vent their feelings over issues that are too big and/or abstract for them to deal with directly.

also, liberals etc. tend to stick to NYT/MSNBC/etc. - sure, the tone is more refined, better educated, generally more "progressive", etc. but it's not like the Beck/Limbaugh audience has a monopoly on viewing the world thru blinders.

nomadthethird
16-08-2009, 08:50 PM
& yet, we're doing it. the last 2 months have been the bloodiest - U.S. casualties wise - of the entire war, there's a big offensive (USMC in the lead) in Helmand Valley, etc. there's no way it's going to scale down until the 2012 election at the earliest, Obama has committed too much (maybe to avoid looking soft after half-pulling out of Iraq, that's politics for ya).

re: "nutsos" - I dunno, I don't want to rehash this argument again, but I don't think these people are crazy. full of fears (some rational, some not), certainly. desperate in some cases or at least they feel desperate. I think the Limbaughs etc. def act as a goad, to sharpen & direct those fears & that anger. health care does touch really basic & strong issues for people - life & death really, the most basic issues of all - but I really think it's also just a convenient target for people to vent their feelings over issues that are too big and/or abstract for them to deal with directly.

also, liberals etc. tend to stick to NYT/MSNBC/etc. - sure, the tone is more refined, better educated, generally more "progressive", etc. but it's not like the Beck/Limbaugh audience has a monopoly on viewing the world thru blinders.

I think 'Fox News' republicans--mostly employed middle class whites with college degrees who worship Regan--are sort of just politically under the sway of ideology that I find repulsive.

At a certain point, it's extremely condescending to make excuses for people, although it's always appropriate to have some compassion. I grew up in a very backwards area, full of all of these attitudes. Nobody had any money, nobody had anything. But at a certain point, you have to start thinking about the world and wondering what might actually work, question authority, and stop letting fear control you. I don't blame anybody personally--mostly I blame the educational system for not doing its job and the media for exploiting ignorance.

Also, MSNBC isn't something I read because it's "good" or not hacky, I read it because there's a ticker on Windows vista and the headlines come up on my desktop. It's just AP newswire items that are reposted, for the most part.

nomadthethird
16-08-2009, 10:24 PM
Re where the hysteria might be coming from...

I just saw this comment on a blog and it makes sense:


noen said
August 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm
I don’t believe that this is really about healthcare. Ok, let me qualify that. I think that all the sturm und drang (See? I’m all philosophical ‘n shit now) is not really about healthcare or fears of too much government. It’s about white privilege. I believe that the people who are protesting this see their privilege declining and they don’t like it one bit. That’s why they say things like “I want my country back”. They want their privileged status back because they see it slipping away.

padraig (u.s.)
16-08-2009, 10:47 PM
mostly employed middle class whites with college degrees who worship Reagan

this is a different - tho related, & probably overlapping - demographic from what I had in mind. most of the educated middle & upper-class conservatives I've known had some combination of loathing, contempt & grudging respect for Limbaugh/Beck etc & the same thing, minus the respect, for their fanbases. it's not - I really don't want to stereotype - just rural, working-class people or whatever, I've worked construction in rural & urban settings with plenty of dudes who listen to NPR in their pickups on the way to work. I just think a lot of people are some combination of afraid & angry right now, & that health care happens to be a convenient platform for some people to vent all that, while insurance lobbyists/(educated, middle-class) conservative activists/pundits lap it up & try to keep the anger harnessed. middle-class people w/college degrees tend to have more avenues open to them to express their frustration, that's all, plus having a decent job tends to dull the keen edge of that anger.

admittedly a lot of this is just my own speculation, intuition, but it's a solid feeling I get both from what I see/read in the media & from what I hear talking to people at school, work, around town & so on. & certainly, again, the conservative media is greatly exacerbating the problem by putting out a lot of disingenuous, or outright false, information & by whipping hysteria.

I'm not accusing you personally or anyone else of sticking only to MSNBC or only to Fox News (or what those 2 represent). I'm just saying that most people - including myself, of course, tho I try to be conscious of it - tend to read things that reinforce, not challenge, their views.

padraig (u.s.)
16-08-2009, 10:51 PM
I just saw this comment on a blog and it makes sense:

that's exactly what I've been saying/trying to say for the last 3 pages. tho I guess I was dancing around it a bit, I should have been clearer & just said "white privilege", decline thereof. that's what I mean by history passing them by, by desperation. it was the same deal poor whites - far too poor to own slaves - in the antebellum South, in every segment of American history where poor whites have been played off against blacks, or others, for labor. middle-class, educated white people (tbc, I am obviously in this bracket) have a buffer against the decline of white privilege which working-class & poor whites do not.

scottdisco
17-08-2009, 08:44 AM
http://media.miamiherald.com/smedia/2009/08/12/17/428-jm081309_COLOR_Doctors_Insurance_Health_Reform.sta ndalone.prod_affiliate.56.jpg

N and P bang OTM re privilege etc.

Hannan is, truly, a cunt who is beyond contempt. from a UK-pov, i gather his Sunday Telegraph mates allowed him some column inches yesterday to 'apologise' (i.e. wheedle and do damage-control, possibly ordered by trendy, caring Dave). the piece of shit should not be given the time of day.

cock.

vimothy
17-08-2009, 11:25 AM
Worthy piece in the New Yorker from a researcher at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice: The Cost Conundrum (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all), by Atul Gawande. The TDI finds no connection between cost and quality of US health care.

vimothy
17-08-2009, 04:26 PM
& yet, we're doing it.

And Gates is planning to increase Army troop levels by 22k (http://tachesdhuile.blogspot.com/2009/08/army-end-strength-increase-really-is.html) over the next two years, funded via a kind of backdoor arrangement (diverting supplemental funds originally intended for vehicle purchases), but certainly not suggestive of a reduction in defence spending in the near-term.

nomadthethird
17-08-2009, 07:20 PM
Worthy piece in the New Yorker from a researcher at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice: The Cost Conundrum (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all), by Atul Gawande. The TDI finds no connection between cost and quality of US health care.

This is exactly what doctors have been saying for years and no one has been listening. The cost keeps getting higher because costs get redistributed when people come in to see doctors, get procedures or treatment, then ignore the bill and eventually discharge the debt in bankruptcy. Somebody has to end up footing that bill, so it usually ends up being redistributed among insured patients. So now you have people being billed $500 for "clean sheets" and shit, when really what they're being billed for is someone else's pacemaker or week in the hospital. The effect of this is that insurance premiums steadily rise, so that employers can't afford to extend benefits to their employees, thus making the problem even worse, and the cycle continues.

If the gov had stepped in years ago and extended benefits (or at least forced businesses to extend benefits to their employees), costs wouldn't have risen exponentially like this. Now we're left fixing the mess that allowing private industry to run amok has left strewn all over health care. Sound familiar?

Edit: If I'm reading it correctly, this article isn't saying what you're sort of implying that it's saying. There may be local anomalies where some expensive treatment centers that use newer technologies don't have better metrics (which doesn't exactly correlate to better "care" anyway--unless you watch a lot of TV and saving lives is as easy as putting the defib on someone), and sure tons of money is wasted all over the place on unnecessary fun machines. But there's a difference between medicare spending and cost of care/treatment, as it were. This article conflates these two things.

nomadthethird
17-08-2009, 07:21 PM
And Gates is planning to increase Army troop levels by 22k (http://tachesdhuile.blogspot.com/2009/08/army-end-strength-increase-really-is.html) over the next two years, funded via a kind of backdoor arrangement (diverting supplemental funds originally intended for vehicle purchases), but certainly not suggestive of a reduction in defence spending in the near-term.

Aye aye aye what a bunch of morons.

nomadthethird
17-08-2009, 07:55 PM
Ok, this is a good example of why "preventative care" isn't as easy as it sounds, practically speaking:


They received one-fifth to two-thirds more gallbladder operations, knee replacements, breast biopsies, and bladder scopes. They also received two to three times as many pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, cardiac-bypass operations, carotid endarterectomies, and coronary-artery stents. And Medicare paid for five times as many home-nurse visits. The primary cause of McAllen’s extreme costs was, very simply, the across-the-board overuse of medicine.

All of those are technically preventative measures against more serious injuries or diseases or death. People say that we need to increase preventative measures, and sure, we do, but that's not cheap either. If the U.S. is actually in the middle-range for heart disease, this is probably why--because it sure ain't our diets or our lifestyles.

padraig (u.s.)
17-08-2009, 08:18 PM
And Gates is planning to increase Army troop levels by 22k (http://tachesdhuile.blogspot.com/2009/08/army-end-strength-increase-really-is.html) over the next two years, funded via a kind of backdoor arrangement (diverting supplemental funds originally intended for vehicle purchases)


Aye aye aye what a bunch of morons.

now, hold on a minute there. it's essentially just the Army shifting funds from vehicle programs to recruiting/equipping/etc soldiers. & the main reason for it is to alleviate the strain on soldiers, to increase the time at home between tours in Afghan/Iraq from 12 to 15 months. we've also been using/relying on reserves as essentially active duty soldiers far too much for far too long. it may or may not be dumb - I'm not qualified to say - but that has to do more w/how effective a measure it will be.

keep in mind as well that the amt of $ we're talking, roughly $700 million, is like a drop in the bucket of the U.S. defense budget. the kind of cuts you're envisioning funding health care would be in the many, many billions. & Gates has, anyway, been one of the fiercest critics of unnecessary funding voted on by Congress (which is really where you want to direct your ire).

*also - just read thru that article you linked Vim, good look. really interesting. I dunno if he's right or not but I really enjoy reading what I guess you might call the "ethical doctor's" view.

crackerjack
17-08-2009, 10:42 PM
http://obamaisliterallyhitler.tumblr.com/

nomadthethird
17-08-2009, 11:27 PM
roffle@obama=hitler

I'm not big on tactical justifications, although I'm sure there are trillions of them...war is war is war there will always be another justification some old man will come up with for why we need to go kill people somewhere...(i'm sure this Gates dude is not the focal point of the trouble but that wasn't my point)

jtg
18-08-2009, 12:50 AM
Hannan is, truly, a cunt who is beyond contempt. from a UK-pov, i gather his Sunday Telegraph mates allowed him some column inches yesterday to 'apologise' (i.e. wheedle and do damage-control, possibly ordered by trendy, caring Dave). the piece of shit should not be given the time of day.

As far as I'm aware, he hasn't apologised -- on his Telegraph blog a few days ago he reaffirmed and clarified his position. In any case, why on earth should he apologise? I really don't understand this attitude that no one can criticise the NHS under any circumstances, or (quelle horreur!) suggest that other health care systems are better. The idea that it's beyond criticism, that it's perfect, or the best system in the world, is just tribalist nonsense. Hannan's position isn't evil or even unreasonable, it's just different from yours.

If you want a statement that really does deserve a hostile reaction, how about David Milliband on Radio 4 recently, saying that terrorism under certain circumstances is justifiable? I'm not sure if the Guardian has made the same sort of fuss about that one.

padraig (u.s.)
18-08-2009, 01:15 AM
I'm not big on tactical justifications, although I'm sure there are trillions of them...war is war is war there will always be another justification some old man will come up with for why we need to go kill people somewhere...(i'm sure this Gates dude is not the focal point of the trouble but that wasn't my point)

there's already a war going on, it will continue to go on whether or not the Army expands, as long as it is (which is, as always, a policy decision, made by politicians, not the military) we might as well do it properly & take care of the people who are actually stuck fighting it.

also while I'm def not a fan of this particular war - mostly for practical reasons - lumping everything together into "war is war is war" is nonsense.

scottdisco
18-08-2009, 07:43 AM
As far as I'm aware, he hasn't apologised -- on his Telegraph blog a few days ago he reaffirmed and clarified his position. In any case, why on earth should he apologise? I really don't understand this attitude that no one can criticise the NHS under any circumstances, or (quelle horreur!) suggest that other health care systems are better. The idea that it's beyond criticism, that it's perfect, or the best system in the world, is just tribalist nonsense. Hannan's position isn't evil or even unreasonable, it's just different from yours.

ah sorry. a mate told me he'd done so in the print edition but i didn't actually bother to check.
(i have read Hannan quite a lot in their print edition FWIW. anyway.)
to answer your question 'why should he apologise?', you're right, he shouldn't have to. they're his views. i am grateful to him for his clarity. and i didn't want anyone to infer that's what i was implying, that he should apologise. (though i note his boss David Cameron has been doing, how shall we say, damage control on this issue since it became a bigger media storm; i find that instructive.)

of course, my post did not say (or even imply) the NHS is perfect, beyond criticism or the best system in the world. (and i would - obviously - agree that holding to those sorts of rigid positions is tribalist.)

what gets my goat about Hannan is this original TV appearance in the States more than anything.
he gave succour - unintentionally or otherwise because of his own partisanship - to opponents of what is, at least, a worthy attempt to try and improve the situation in the USA (that's not arguably his fault that he gave succour, what's that Tony Judt quote about not being able to control who agrees with your opinions even if you find those agreeing with you personally unpalatable, but, on the other hand, he would know his views get a sympathetic hearing on FOX).

however, given the Institute of Medicine reported that more than 18,000 Americans die every year because they are unable to afford medical insurance (and i would like to think Hannan is aware of some of the stats of the horrific gaps in the US health system; he should read up before a major TV interview anyway), Hannan's pouring cold water on the concept of increasing access to a basic safety net sort of system is really pretty dumb IMO.

he could've gone on FOX and held a few nuanced positions, perhaps a bit of the old 'on the one hand but also', perhaps not been quite as critical given that he would know how an attack on socialised medicine would play wrt the target audience, and he should have been aware of the importance of this issue in the USA, for the well-being of millions of Americans, etc etc. (although, of course, to be true to himself - a laudable trait - he told his views honestly.)

so no, he just went on and slagged off the highly imperfect NHS, which is, admittedly, superior to how primary health care is provided (or otherwise) across the board in the USA. pretty screwy, if you ask me.

crackerjack
18-08-2009, 08:44 AM
As far as I'm aware, he hasn't apologised -- on his Telegraph blog a few days ago he reaffirmed and clarified his position. In any case, why on earth should he apologise? I really don't understand this attitude that no one can criticise the NHS under any circumstances, or (quelle horreur!) suggest that other health care systems are better. The idea that it's beyond criticism, that it's perfect, or the best system in the world, is just tribalist nonsense.

He's not simply saying the NHS isn't the world's best (it pretty obviously isn't), he's touring a country with the worst in the developed world and telling them they should stick with what they've got. American healthcare isn't just tomayto to our tomarto, it's a moral abomination which leaves millions of people completely uncovered and millions more severely under-insured.

Hannan's a dangerous ideologue who'd would like something similar introduced here. Evil? If I was bankrupted from ongoing medical problems, yeah, i'd probably call him that.

nomadthethird
18-08-2009, 07:48 PM
there's already a war going on, it will continue to go on whether or not the Army expands, as long as it is (which is, as always, a policy decision, made by politicians, not the military) we might as well do it properly & take care of the people who are actually stuck fighting it.

also while I'm def not a fan of this particular war - mostly for practical reasons - lumping everything together into "war is war is war" is nonsense.

Speaking of "tribalist nonsense" I'm not a fan of war, period.

Ego-maniacal, nationalistically sanctioned bloodsport isn't going to right any sort of wrongs in the world, and I'm convinced it's the purview of schoolboys with romantic notions who haven't grown up enough to realize that war creates more problems than it solves and who would do better to go kick a ball around or get laid to feel that sense of glorious "win" than to continue the march toward immortality through Hissstorryyy. It's high time the rest of us didn't have to continue suffering because of the testosterone poisoning of a few.

This is one of those places where Zhao is right, transcending the "Ego" makes a whole lot of sense. It'd be nice if humans evolved past being barely literate apes without a glimmer of moral sense whatsoever who only live to protect their own interest and pass on their selfish genes. I don't really expect things to change, though. Not holding my breath.

nomadthethird
18-08-2009, 07:49 PM
He's not simply saying the NHS isn't the world's best (it pretty obviously isn't), he's touring a country with the worst in the developed world and telling them they should stick with what they've got. American healthcare isn't just tomayto to our tomarto, it's a moral abomination which leaves millions of people completely uncovered and millions more severely under-insured.

Hannan's a dangerous ideologue who'd would like something similar introduced here. Evil? If I was bankrupted from ongoing medical problems, yeah, i'd probably call him that.

To be fair to him, Fox probably conned him into being a guest somehow. He may have had no idea how his words were going to be twisted or framed. They've done this sort of thing before and they'll do it again.

Not that I've seen the footage mind you...

crackerjack
18-08-2009, 08:43 PM
Nah, he's an 80s throwback to the more-Thatcherite-than-thou days of privatising everything that moves, direct descendant of the classical liberals who thought the potato famine was good for Ireland.

He's also a chronic self-publicist, whose moment of youtube glory (http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=9044&highlight=flamed) came when he circulated an irrelevant speech to the press himself. He's just giddy on the applause and he knows America is where this stuff plays best, now the Tories have gone cuddly.

padraig (u.s.)
18-08-2009, 09:38 PM
I'm not a fan of war, period.

you know the relevant Trotsky quote (whether or not he actually said it), I'm sure. clearly, there are things that motivate people to fight. somehow I doubt it can all be chalked up to misplaced adolescent hormones, but hey. you can be convinced of whatever you want - more power to you - but I don't think the hombres armados could, frankly, give two shits. the vast majority of soldiers aren't "fans" of war either, btw. in fact, they're usually a hell of a lot warier about it than the politicians, if only b/c they're the ones who'll actually catch the sharp end & they know the real cost.

back OT, the public option - the whole goddamn point in the first place - looks to be off the table. instead we're getting some wishy-washy business about co-ops (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32437468/ns/politics-white_house) which are then supposed to compete with private insurance giants. good luck with that. they also won't, yunno, provide insurance to the 50 million odd Americans who don't have it. I guess I'd be disappointed if I hadn't been expecting some ineffectual nonsense like this from the start. here's to another round of this in 2018.

oh &, ironically enough, it looks as if the lasting effect of the whole "death panels" business will be to keep anything about end of life counseling out of the legislation. which will only hurt - you guessed it - the very same seniors who were supposed to be euthanized by the imaginary death panels in the first place. but I guess that's the price you have to pay if you don't want the Sun Belt to turn into the Gulag Archipelago for grandmas.

nomadthethird
19-08-2009, 03:14 AM
you know the relevant Trotsky quote (whether or not he actually said it), I'm sure. clearly, there are things that motivate people to fight. somehow I doubt it can all be chalked up to misplaced adolescent hormones, but hey. you can be convinced of whatever you want - more power to you - but I don't think the hombres armados could, frankly, give two shits. the vast majority of soldiers aren't "fans" of war either, btw. in fact, they're usually a hell of a lot warier about it than the politicians, if only b/c they're the ones who'll actually catch the sharp end & they know the real cost.

If only it were just adolescents...men usually find a way to valorize their egotism, and turn it into something big and important and twist it into the moral option, no matter what. And nobody said anything about soldiers being bad or uniquely responsible, either. (anti-war is not anti-solider, thanks for the reminder tho) War, especially these days, is declared by people who don't have a dog in the fight except as investors and I refuse to pretend it's anything more glorious than protecting self-interest on an extremely meta-level.

I frankly don't give two shits about what the hombres armados think or do.


back OT, the public option - the whole goddamn point in the first place - looks to be off the table. instead we're getting some wishy-washy business about co-ops (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32437468/ns/politics-white_house) which are then supposed to compete with private insurance giants. good luck with that. they also won't, yunno, provide insurance to the 50 million odd Americans who don't have it. I guess I'd be disappointed if I hadn't been expecting some ineffectual nonsense like this from the start. here's to another round of this in 2018.

oh &, ironically enough, it looks as if the lasting effect of the whole "death panels" business will be to keep anything about end of life counseling out of the legislation. which will only hurt - you guessed it - the very same seniors who were supposed to be euthanized by the imaginary death panels in the first place. but I guess that's the price you have to pay if you don't want the Sun Belt to turn into the Gulag Archipelago for grandmas.

WTF, I shouldn't have let myself get excited about this for even a second. I knew those fucking idiots would win the way the always do, by convincing everyone the terrorists and the Stalinists were going to take over if we didn't keep our hands off. Why are the democrats always so spineless? This is obviously (at least partially) about them not wanting to lose their seats and their control of the white house and congress.


Under a proposal by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., consumer-owned nonprofit cooperatives would sell insurance in competition with private industry, not unlike the way electric and agriculture co-ops operate.

Does anybody know how electric/agriculture co-ops operate?

jtg
19-08-2009, 03:38 AM
what gets my goat about Hannan is this original TV appearance in the States more than anything.
he gave succour - unintentionally or otherwise because of his own partisanship - to opponents of what is, at least, a worthy attempt to try and improve the situation in the USA

He's not simply saying the NHS isn't the world's best (it pretty obviously isn't), he's touring a country with the worst in the developed world and telling them they should stick with what they've got.
The reason Hannan went on the program is that he thinks that the current reforms won't help them at all. Just because someone criticises a proposed solution for a problem doesn't mean they think there isn't a problem, or that the problem doesn't need solving. He didn't say they should 'stick with what they've got' -- he just advised them against copying the NHS.


American healthcare isn't just tomayto to our tomarto, it's a moral abomination which leaves millions of people completely uncovered and millions more severely under-insured.

Hannan's a dangerous ideologue who'd would like something similar introduced here. Evil? If I was bankrupted from ongoing medical problems, yeah, i'd probably call him that.

Hannan doesn't want anything like the American system introduced over here, never said he did. As for American health care being the worst in the world ever, as many Brits seem happy to describe it, it's not quite that simple. The number of uninsured people is terrible, as we all know, but for those who pay, the health care is better than over here (look at waiting times, cancer survival rates). To Americans, stories of NICE denying breast cancer treatment, &c., on cost grounds are scary, because it doesn't happen over there.

jtg
19-08-2009, 03:46 AM
back OT, the public option - the whole goddamn point in the first place - looks to be off the table. instead we're getting some wishy-washy business about co-ops (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32437468/ns/politics-white_house) which are then supposed to compete with private insurance giants. good luck with that. they also won't, yunno, provide insurance to the 50 million odd Americans who don't have it. I guess I'd be disappointed if I hadn't been expecting some ineffectual nonsense like this from the start. here's to another round of this in 2018.
So what on Earth is the point of it? The bill is over 1000 pages long, creates dozens of new govt agencies, spends billions of dollars and doesn't cover the other 50m people? The money would probably be better spent just paying the 50m people's premiums for a decade, or something.

nomadthethird
19-08-2009, 04:22 AM
The number of uninsured people is terrible, as we all know, but for those who pay, the health care is better than over here (look at waiting times, cancer survival rates). To Americans, stories of NICE denying breast cancer treatment, &c., on cost grounds are scary, because it doesn't happen over there.

Hannan seems like an utter douche, but this seems like a reasonable point, and I've been wondering why the repugs didn't take the high road and tell stories more like this one. Talking about real stories instead of using what amounted to basically threats and intimidation might have been enough to get the mob frothing at the mouth. For example, I read a story in the BBC's website some months ago about how many arthritis sufferers in the UK were being denied a certain arthritis drug because of its cost, even though it was proven to be more effective than the older alternative in clinical trials. This sort of thing is an example of exactly what rightist ideologues in the U.S. would point to as a moral disaster (oh noes, the gov is making decisions about what people can't have instead of an insurance company!) only a degree or two from the Soviet gulag.

But you do have to understand that if you're white and rich in this country, basically anything is in your reach medically, any state-of-the-art treatment--you're certainly not going to be denied an arthritis medication because it's newer and therefore more expensive. Doctors are going to throw it at you and give you 15 pens from the salesman (actually they finally banned direct-to-consumer sales gifts from pharmaceutical companies late last year, but...) Why would a middle class white guy with a family to support and good privately-held health benefits want the system to change, especially if it would cost him in taxes (that other American boogeyman)? Again, these are the same guys who listen to Rush Limbaugh telling them that "it's now straight white men who are the most oppressed group in the U.S." and they believe it. They've slowly watched their privilege slipping away (ever so slowly, not quickly enough) for the past century, and it terrifies them to realize that in the future, they will no longer be in control of everything. In their minds, losing their white-male privilege, all of these basic rights that they felt were their sole entitlements, is literally tantamount to being oppressed. (God gave Adam dominion, after all, etc.)

So you see these "white male pride"-type political groups resurging, a new wave of "lad" culture, even as Whitey gasps his last, as the boundaries between "races" become even more transparently non-existent, as the U.S. becomes a minority-majority country, as women take over colleges and outperform men in school and at work, immigrants continue to pour in from the four corners, etc. The more I read about this, the more convinced I am that it's as much about heteronormativity and traditional "family values" as it is fiscal conservatism.

So I'm predicting an extreme bout of identity crisis for American white men in the near future, complete with obnoxious NYT styles and op-ed pieces, the likes of which will make the media fixation on "metrosexuals" of yesteryear look like child's play.

crackerjack
19-08-2009, 07:03 PM
The reason Hannan went on the program is that he thinks that the current reforms won't help them at all. Just because someone criticises a proposed solution for a problem doesn't mean they think there isn't a problem, or that the problem doesn't need solving. He didn't say they should 'stick with what they've got' -- he just advised them against copying the NHS.

So was he arguing against the US' current system, saying how it could be improved and how 40m uninsured in the wealthiest country on earth is an offence against decency? Or was he just saying "OMFG, NHS is like Stalin" (as it appeared in the clips, but which could of course have been edited)?


Hannan doesn't want anything like the American system introduced over here, never said he did. As for American health care being the worst in the world ever, as many Brits seem happy to describe it, it's not quite that simple. The number of uninsured people is terrible, as we all know, but for those who pay, the health care is better than over here (look at waiting times, cancer survival rates).

Contrary to what you say "many Brits seem happy to describe", I've never once heard anyone deny that the US system provides incredible care for those who can afford it. As you might expect, at double the cost of the NHS. It's the numbers uninsured, and the numbers underinsured, that make it such a disgrace.

Mr. Tea
19-08-2009, 07:20 PM
And it's not as if there's no private health care in the UK, either. If you want to avoid NHS waiting lists and understaffed hospitals, you can go private, if you have the cash. So it's hardly as if the NHS is your only option, and it's hardly as if Obama is trying to (let along capable of, if he wanted to) abolish private health insurance in the US. Though from some of the demented rhetoric that's been spewed about the proposed reforms, you'd think this is exactly what's going to happen.

scottdisco
19-08-2009, 07:20 PM
i watched the full Hannan FOX clip (full AFAIK; it was introduced, he spoke for a few, was endtroduced, and blah blah) and he was slagging off the NHS.
end of.

i personally am not getting into anything re a basic system having worst rates about treating cancer than, say, Japan, and i am personally not discussing the Obama health reforms (apologies, as i know that is the central point of this thread): i am getting into Hannan.

he has no idea.

as an aside (aside for me, as i have no interest in discussing US healthcare on this thread; i came on to slag off a Tory in my typically rude style, which i admit is a bit bloody cheeky), the standard of care and the standard of research ideas in some US hospitals is absolutely outstanding; it really does leave me in awe. i used to live in Chicago and know all about, for example, what goes on at Northwestern.
however, as Nomad and Padraig would rightly remind us, the lack of insurance for a great many Americans is disquieting, to say the least.

needless to say, the last paragraph from Cracker and the last post from Nom are having it and from the Hannan pov there really is nothing more to say, nothing at all.

Mr. Tea
19-08-2009, 07:33 PM
The more I read about this, the more convinced I am that it's as much about heteronormativity and traditional "family values" as it is fiscal conservatism.


Yup, that's right, it's that pesky heteronormativity that's at the root of this whole terrible situation.

crackerjack
19-08-2009, 07:51 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS-tyOQjFVA&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eliberalconspiracy%2Eorg%2F 2009%2F08%2F19%2Fwatch%2Dcharlie%2Dbrooker%2Don%2D dan%2Dhannan%2F&feature=player_embedded

swears
19-08-2009, 10:01 PM
Yup, that's right, it's that pesky heteronormativity that's at the root of this whole terrible situation.

Well, it's part of it isn't it? Those "fiscal conservatives" weren't too bothered about zillions in taxes being spent on large, unpredictable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, when a black president who is perceived as being liberal and cosmopolitan wants to implement health care reform, they're up in arms. Clinton was a fiscal conservative compared to Bush II, and they hated his guts almost as bad as they hate Obama.

Mr. Tea
19-08-2009, 11:22 PM
OK, sure, but I think I'd just categorise that whole political mindset as Generic Right-Wing Arseholery. I'm sure a lot of them aren't too keen on Mexican food or the films of Woody Allen either, doesn't mean it has a whole lot to do with opposition to the health care bill.

nomadthethird
20-08-2009, 12:10 AM
Yup, that's right, it's that pesky heteronormativity that's at the root of this whole terrible situation.

It's not "at the root" of this specific instance of one bill failing to be passed, of course--and that's not really what I said, if you actually read it. But heteronormativity and wounded white Euro male entitlement is a huge part of why the far right is resurging now all over the world, and particularly in the U.S. where there's really no governmental check-balance against the ideology of the "free market", which is about protecting the interests of power. The U.K. has it own charming little contingent of these people from what I've read, as well.

nomadthethird
20-08-2009, 12:16 AM
OK, sure, but I think I'd just categorise that whole political mindset as Generic Right-Wing Arseholery. I'm sure a lot of them aren't too keen on Mexican food or the films of Woody Allen either, doesn't mean it has a whole lot to do with opposition to the health care bill.

Right. You might have actually see these assholes in action to believe it. I probably wouldn't believe it till I saw it with my own eyes. The way they frame this issue, quite literally, has very little to do with the practical issues surrounding health care--numbers, metrics, what works, what's best for the most people, etc. They succeeded in shouting down the public option by making loud hysterical slogans like "not in MY country", "what have they done to OUR country?", "no death panels!", and basically indicating that what they are going to miss most is their own position at the helm of American prosperity and power. It's super disturbing.

Look up Rush Limbaugh on youtube if you don't believe me.

nomadthethird
20-08-2009, 12:24 AM
See also: Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity

scottdisco
20-08-2009, 01:18 AM
if you want to see an exercise in conflation par excellence, here is the original Dan Hannan interview (on YouTube) given on FOX news with the interviewer Sean Hannity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiSPRkq28iU

did Hannan say what you think he said from precisely 3 minutes in?

apparently so.

to be fair, his smirk at the end re the PM crack is very nice.

vimothy
20-08-2009, 10:48 AM
As you might expect, at double the cost of the NHS. It's the numbers uninsured, and the numbers underinsured, that make it such a disgrace.

Problem being, that at current rates of growth in costs, US healthcare spending is unsustainable -- that's a problem that will have to be solved, regardless of what side of the political divide you sit on. The necesssity of US healthcare reform is unrelated to the fact that it is being proposed by a democrat president, or oppposed by republican opposition figures.

crackerjack
20-08-2009, 12:20 PM
Problem being, that at current rates of growth in costs, US healthcare spending is unsustainable -- that's a problem that will have to be solved, regardless of what side of the political divide you sit on. The necesssity of US healthcare reform is unrelated to the fact that it is being proposed by a democrat president, or oppposed by republican opposition figures.

This much is true, and is another reason why the general screechiness of the right throughout this debate (in which DH was an eager participant) is so contemptible. (Though something similar, but in reverse, probably applies here and would likely be met with our own version of same screeching).

scottdisco
20-08-2009, 12:51 PM
This much is true, and is another reason why the general screechiness of the right throughout this debate (in which DH was an eager participant) is so contemptible. (Though something similar, but in reverse, probably applies here and would likely be met with our own version of same screeching).

indeed. i think i've done enough screeching on this thread for everybody here and the US right.. ...Vim, as ever, OTM

swears
20-08-2009, 02:03 PM
You have to admire the audacity of the right. Here's what's actually happening. The US is the only major industrialised country that does not provide regular healthcare to all its citizens. Instead, they are required to provide for themselves – and 50 million people can't afford the insurance. As a result, 18,000 US citizens die every year needlessly, because they can't access the care they require. That's equivalent to six 9/11s, every year, year on year. Yet the Republicans have accused the Democrats who are trying to stop all this death by extending healthcare of being "killers" – and they have successfully managed to put them on the defensive.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-republicans-religion-and-the-triumph-of-unreason-1773994.html

vimothy
20-08-2009, 03:37 PM
Trends in US consumption:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Et4TQ-a0gGU/Sow7zg93NhI/AAAAAAAACao/kPSH6RtZvso/s1600/consumption_share_chart.PNG

Mr. Tea
20-08-2009, 06:24 PM
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-republicans-religion-and-the-triumph-of-unreason-1773994.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00234/palin_234820s.jpg

Caption competition time, I think. Bonus points for a reference to Obama.

nomadthethird
20-08-2009, 06:54 PM
How do they train themselves to be so impervious to reality? It begins, I suspect, with religion. They are taught from a young age that it is good to have "faith" – which is, by definition, a belief without any evidence to back it up. You don't have "faith" that Australia exists, or that fire burns: you have evidence. You only need "faith" to believe the untrue or unprovable. Indeed, they are taught that faith is the highest aspiration and most noble cause. Is it any surprise this then percolates into their political views? Faith-based thinking spreads and contaminates the rational.

The fucking fundies are successfully bringing this country further into ruin, it's getting worse everyday, and it annoys me to no end when people start apologizing for them and saying "they're not all bad", blah blah blah, etc. etc. "The new athiests are big meanies." No, the NAs have been predicting this for years. They've been trying to point out to the few remaining normal people that these loonies would only become increasingly delusional and powerful.

But I suppose, if you want power, that's what you have to be willing to do. Delude people.

nomadthethird
20-08-2009, 07:37 PM
Barney Frank (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYlZiWK2Iy8&feature=player_embedded) tells one of them off.

padraig (u.s.)
20-08-2009, 07:45 PM
So what on Earth is the point of it? The bill is over 1000 pages long, creates dozens of new govt agencies, spends billions of dollars and doesn't cover the other 50m people? The money would probably be better spent just paying the 50m people's premiums for a decade, or something.

well what's supposed to happen, AFAIU, is that it will become mandatory to have insurance. if you cannot pay, you will be subsidized (where the $ to come from, no one knows). if you can afford health insurance & choose not to get it, you'll be fined. all employers will also be required to provide insurance, w/similar subsidies & fines as needed. a huge problem is getting insurance companies to take people w/"pre-existing conditions" at rates that aren't prohibitively high, as is often the case now. this is one of several things a govt option would have taken care of.

that's what's supposed to happen, in some form. if it will...how effective it'll be, who knows.

people said some other interesting things but unfortunately I don't have the time to get into them right now.

padraig (u.s.)
20-08-2009, 07:56 PM
quickly tho


Problem being, that at current rates of growth in costs, US healthcare spending is unsustainable -- that's a problem that will have to be solved, regardless of what side of the political divide you sit on. The necesssity of US healthcare reform is unrelated to the fact that it is being proposed by a democrat president, or oppposed by republican opposition figures.

objectively, of course, this is true. but who's making the proposals makes all the difference in whether or not the problem gets solved. unfortunately.

I would not be surprised if the long-term Repub strategy - that is, the cagier ones, not the Beck/Limbaugh demographic & idiots like Tom Coburn - is to shoot this down & then ride in w/their own proposals.

hucks
20-08-2009, 10:32 PM
Barney Frank (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYlZiWK2Iy8&feature=player_embedded) tells one of them off.

Ha ha, nice one.

As ever, a great deal of common sense, not to mention class and grace, shown in the comments below.

padraig (u.s.)
20-08-2009, 11:24 PM
yeah Barney Frank has massive, massive stones. admittedly he can afford it a bit more as he's one of those dudes who's been in office forever & ever w/o facing a serious reelection fight. plus if you're already a gay, super-liberal Jew how are you going to make the kinds of people who compare Obama to Hitler hate you more than they already do? I guess he could marry Hugo Chavez.

nomadthethird
21-08-2009, 01:21 AM
I guess he could marry Hugo Chavez.

Haha, marry Hugo Chavez with a transmale minister officiating, then have a televised orgy with Bill and Hil, Nancy Pelosi, ACORN volunteers, and the former heads of Frannie and Freddie to celebrate.

I'd never seen much of Frank till I randomly caught some episodes of Bill Maher's show where he was a guest. I was pleasantly surprised to see a working politician speaking so boldly and plainly about the problems and challenges posed by his own office. He didn't back down on the key issues or make vague references to the need for "bi-partisan iniatives" like Obama does. I was rather impressed.

Edit: Have you heard of the Larouche people?? I hadn't until just recently. Apparently the girl with the hitler pic was one. OMFG.

nomadthethird
21-08-2009, 01:49 AM
Views of Lyndon LaRouche (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Views_of_Lyndon_LaRouche). How someone gets from the SDS to this is hard to imagine.

padraig (u.s.)
21-08-2009, 02:15 AM
that makes perfect sense. yeah I've run into the LaRouche people before, plenty of times. they are very, very crazy. like, Scientologist crazy. crazier, even. you'd always see them around on campuses & at various lefty demos & events, handing out their esoteric literature & haranguing people with their endlessly complicated conspiracy theories. it's a cult, essentially. LaRouche himself is a rather bizarre & shady figure, ex-Trotskyist if I recall. yeah, if you ever have a couple hours to kill & you feel you haven't meet your yearly quota for jaw-droppingly strange craziness, read up on the LaRouchites. I will say this for them tho - when you get everyone from Birch Society people to the ACLU to denounce you as a mildly dangerous cult that's an accomplishment.

this picture from their wiki is hilarious, as well:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/LaRouche_supporters.jpg

padraig (u.s.)
21-08-2009, 02:31 AM
Views of Lyndon LaRouche (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Views_of_Lyndon_LaRouche). How someone gets from the SDS to this is hard to imagine.

if you ever have some time to kill & you feel like you haven't met your yearly quote of jaw-droppingly strange craziness, spend a couple of hours reading about the LaRouchites. it's all there; made-up history, LaRouchian weird forms of anti-Semitism & homophobia, a rather inexplicable fixation on the British royal family who he believes are hellbent on world domination. oh yes, it's all there.

Mr. Tea
21-08-2009, 08:53 AM
this picture from their wiki is hilarious, as well:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/LaRouche_supporters.jpg

Superb. I can only counter with:

http://www.magicspatula.com/blog/wp-content/plugins/hot-linked-image-cacher/upload/z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/f/f/get_a_brain_morans.jpg

Sorry, I'll leave you to the discussion now.

crackerjack
21-08-2009, 09:15 AM
Edit: Have you heard of the Larouche people?? I hadn't until just recently. Apparently the girl with the hitler pic was one. OMFG.

Larouche is a legend among those of us who take an interest in 24-carat wackjobs. He's like Jim Jones without the death cult (yet). Does he still believe Good Queen Bess is the leader of a secret cabal that runs the world?

nomadthethird
21-08-2009, 07:24 PM
Larouche is a legend among those of us who take an interest in 24-carat wackjobs. He's like Jim Jones without the death cult (yet). Does he still believe Good Queen Bess is the leader of a secret cabal that runs the world?

Funny the absurd verbal/conceptual contortions people will twist themselves into in an effort to barely encode their anti-semitism. How the British come to stand in for the Twelve Money-Lending Heebs in a Smoke Filled Room is beyond me.

(I suppose the British involvement in forming an Isreali state has something to do with it? Just a stab in the dark...LaRouche seems to think the conspiracy is transhistorical. He'd like those guys who blame the Masons, I think. Or the lizards from space.)

droid
26-08-2009, 10:48 AM
This (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112054274) is fucking unbelievable.

http://media.npr.org/assets/news/2009/08/20/gun1.jpg?t=1250773708&s=2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqPSV0ZQL1Q

swears
26-08-2009, 01:33 PM
I know, Chevy Chase always seemed like such a laid back guy.

craner
26-08-2009, 04:44 PM
LaRouche is a paranoid crypto-fascist.

crackerjack
26-08-2009, 07:22 PM
LaRouche is a paranoid crypto-fascist.

but he has his bad points too

nomadthethird
26-08-2009, 07:43 PM
This (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112054274) is fucking unbelievable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqPSV0ZQL1Q

That's a good article, droid. Only problem is, many Americans feel exactly as the author does... it's just that our media is so disproportionately powerful and owned by these interests (like the gun lobby and its defenders), we really have no fighting chance of returning to reasoned debate and abandoning pure spectacle. Or that's how it often feels...

scottdisco
29-08-2009, 11:17 AM
oh look it's Daniel Hannan again, this time unnecessarily praising Enoch Powell.

what a surprise! (http://timesonline.typepad.com/oliver_kamm/2009/08/hannan-and-powell-yes-it-is-a-scandal.html)

padraig (u.s.)
04-09-2009, 03:20 PM
oh FFS

Some Parents Oppose Obama School Speech (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/04/us/04school.html)


President Obama’s plan to deliver a speech to public school students on Tuesday has set off a revolt among conservative parents, who have accused the president of trying to indoctrinate their children with socialist ideas (italics mine)

of course even if he was a "socialist"...


“This isn’t a policy speech,” said Sandra Abrevaya, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education. “It’s designed to encourage kids to stay in school.

of course we all know staying in school is the #1 policy of Marxism.

padraig (u.s.)
09-09-2009, 02:30 PM
everyone's going to watch Obama's big speech tonight then? 8 PM Eastern, which I guess makes it like 1 in the morning London time, so maybe not. but tape it or DVR it or whatever if you're at all interested in this whole thing - could be the make or break moment (break, more likely).

polystyle desu
09-09-2009, 03:40 PM
'break' as in no 'public option' ?

crackerjack
09-09-2009, 04:01 PM
'break' as in no 'public option' ?

i'm a bit lost with it all now - seems the public option is all but dead, but commentators are still saying the deal he probably will get is something more than Roosevelt, Truman, LBJ etc ever managed. So what will he come out with?

polystyle desu
09-09-2009, 04:11 PM
There WILL be a deal,
it appears there are Dems who do NOT want the public option included.
Looks like as big a test of the Dem's 'unity' behind their Prez as it is a 'test' for Obama himself :slanted:

He's just one guy , trying to ride the thing into being.
The polled public still supports a health plan, but 'devil's' in der details ...

But this is it -health plan for the country or not .

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/health/policy/09assess.html?hp

and ...http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/us/politics/10obama.html?hp

crackerjack
10-09-2009, 10:48 AM
so how was it for you? public option described as "only a means to an end" - code for dead in the water. but sounds like a good speech and that Rep Rep who called him a liar made his party look stupid by bringing a taste of the 'town hall' shitslinging into the President's face.

14% bump in support for Obama plans in new poll.

polystyle desu
10-09-2009, 02:34 PM
Morning Crackerjack , if you are asking me -and I was in Studio during the speech -
it appears the Prez stood up and had his say.
I think he will get a plan.
And as one without health insurance , I feel better knowing he is in the White House aiming - at least aiming -for something that can include everyone.
Of course the bog he has to deal with is amazing , backward and filled with Insurance and other ' special interests ' that had gotten their way since forever ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/us/politics/10assess.html?hp

In the backward dept. , let's place Joe , from South Carolina : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/us/politics/11Wilson.html?hp

Just reading various citizens responses to the speech gives one an idea of just how many issues are involved and what matters for who
http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/how-the-people-saw-it/?hp

crackerjack
10-09-2009, 02:46 PM
In the backward dept. , let's place Joe , from South Carolina : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/us/politics/11Wilson.html?hp

Hey, he's just a regular guy having his say, being picked on by those liberal elites for telling the troof! Free Joe the Legislator!

polystyle desu
10-09-2009, 03:01 PM
South Carolina has been on a roll of late.
I can call my Dad and joke him about this poor white guy ,
yes - another 'Joe' ...

vimothy
11-09-2009, 02:34 PM
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2490/3907223778_5912661963.jpg

Improved Health Insurance Reform Flowchart (http://www.donkeylicious.com/2009/09/improved-health-insurance-reform.html)

scottdisco
12-09-2009, 06:09 PM
watched it in full repeated on one of our news channels two days ago.

good speech.

some of my favourite bits where when POTUS outlined what were clearly the more kite-flying, progressive aspects of his proposals and loads of the GOP just sat there stony-faced as Dems riotously applauded.

well it made me laugh :D

nomadthethird
15-09-2009, 03:29 PM
Nonprofits not included in bill (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/health/policy/14nonprofit.html?em) to their chagrin.

polystyle desu
16-09-2009, 05:34 AM
Author takes his frozen shoulder around the world ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/15/health/15book.html?em

scottdisco
16-09-2009, 12:03 PM
the WaPo guy that Polystyle quotes above from the NYT made a video for PBS last year travelling around various countries, similar to his article really, except a broader over-view, not addressing the specific shoulder problem, some very interesting vids

here (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/)

polystyle desu
16-09-2009, 01:35 PM
Thought the article on his book made some interesting points about whose system does what ...

crackerjack
27-09-2009, 02:40 PM
blackwashing (http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/09/26/watch-colbert-blackwashing-obamas-critics/)

mixed_biscuits
06-10-2009, 08:06 PM
Interesting statistic:


In the 1970s the modal individual in the USA without health insurance was a 23 year old, unmarried male. Today, it is a 35 year old married person with two children.

Source: Elizabeth Warren, Professor of Law, Harvard (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A)

polystyle desu
17-10-2009, 05:03 PM
Now , the Dems are onto something -strip Insurance Co's of their Anti Trust exemption ...
> http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/us/politics/18address.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

The frustrated Dems http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/us/politics/18liberal.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

polystyle desu
23-10-2009, 06:00 PM
After the fight and fever's -and there's plenty of swine flu to go around ,
some form of public option may actually be coming in the Senate
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/health/policy/23health.html?hp

Reid's a tool, but there are other's in the boat now too.
So it's gone around, and comes around again

scottdisco
23-10-2009, 06:27 PM
After the fight and fever's -and there's plenty of swine flu to go around ,
some form of public option may actually be coming in the Senate
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/health/policy/23health.html?hp

Reid's a tool, but there are other's in the boat now too.
So it's gone around, and comes around again

cheers, a very interesting look at the politics and jockeying going on, big up the public option drivers is all i can say!

Landrieu, Louisiana, a bit of a tool, i mean her state is the 49th most deprived in the union, FFS

Gavin
23-10-2009, 07:27 PM
Now , the Dems are onto something -strip Insurance Co's of their Anti Trust exemption ...
> http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/us/politics/18address.html?partner=rss&emc=rss


Think this is just a threat to make the insurance companies back off and work with reform... The insurance companies have been really inept lately though, I'm actually thinking there might be some kind of public option included, as watered-down as it inevitably will be. Still not cut and dry though.

Just in time for the country to be reduced to debt peons of Goldman Sachs.

polystyle desu
25-10-2009, 09:41 PM
They are pretty close ... possibly this coming week;
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/health/policy/26talkshows.html?hp

padraig (u.s.)
08-11-2009, 04:02 PM
so, the House finally passes a bill by the barest of margins (220-215), despite the Dems overwhelming majority in the house (258-177). 39 Dems vote against, 1 Republican for (a Vietnamese-American ex-Jesuit seminarian who reps a heavily black & traditionally Democratic district of NOLA). Pelosi made a deal with the devil (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/health/policy/08scene.html?_r=1&ref=us) - from her own party, given that the GOP was still categorically against - to get it through; an amendment barring any insurance plan subsidized by the govt from covering abortions. which, in the finest Congress tradition, will screw the women who are in the most dire need of help paying for abortion while leaving the affluent (& well-insured) relatively untouched.

also, b/c bicameral legislation is such an awkward business this isn't really much of a victory, even a hollow one. now the Senate has to pass its own bill. then a joint House-Senate committee will get together and attempt to reconcile any differences in the two bills. then the resulting cobbled-together bill would have to be passed, again, by the House & the Senate.

I would not be surprised at all if GOP rearguard tactics, combined with Democratic ineptitude, manage to delay this until next year's midterms. at which point it would likely become dead in the water once the Dems lose their big majorities, which is almost an inevitability.

nomadthethird
08-11-2009, 06:14 PM
so, the House finally passes a bill by the barest of margins (220-215), despite the Dems overwhelming majority in the house (258-177). 39 Dems vote against, 1 Republican for (a Vietnamese-American ex-Jesuit seminarian who reps a heavily black & traditionally Democratic district of NOLA). Pelosi made a deal with the devil (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/health/policy/08scene.html?_r=1&ref=us) - from her own party, given that the GOP was still categorically against - to get it through; an amendment barring any insurance plan subsidized by the govt from covering abortions. which, in the finest Congress tradition, will screw the women who are in the most dire need of help paying for abortion while leaving the affluent (& well-insured) relatively untouched.

also, b/c bicameral legislation is such an awkward business this isn't really much of a victory, even a hollow one. now the Senate has to pass its own bill. then a joint House-Senate committee will get together and attempt to reconcile any differences in the two bills. then the resulting cobbled-together bill would have to be passed, again, by the House & the Senate.

I would not be surprised at all if GOP rearguard tactics, combined with Democratic ineptitude, manage to delay this until next year's midterms. at which point it would likely become dead in the water once the Dems lose their big majorities, which is almost an inevitability.

You know what? As pissed as I am that it couldn't get through with the abortion coverage on deck, I think this won't affect practice as much as some people think it will. (I'd have to read the bill more in depth to be sure, but...)

The legal sitch was similar in the 1950s too before Roe v. Wade. Abortion was technically illegal in many states unless it was going to be performed to save the good health of the woman. Well, what ended up happening was doctors interpreted the law very very generously in favor of the woman, so that "good health" basically meant "if she wants it, she gets it." Also, Planned Parenthood already doles out free abortions. So I mean that's there as a second-line.

Do you really think the dems are going to lose in the midterms? I don't know, I think that's what Rush Limbaugh wants but I don't see it happening. I think the teabaggers are a small enough minority. It's just the media gives them way too much play, so they seem more powerful than they really are.

polystyle desu
08-11-2009, 07:18 PM
Brown baggin'
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/opinion/08rich.html?_r=1&hp

nomadthethird
08-11-2009, 07:27 PM
Brown baggin'
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/opinion/08rich.html?_r=1&hp

It was so strange to watch this whole scandal go down... my brother actually worked for Dede Scozzafava, the female representative who was supposed to run on the repug ticket instead of Doug Hoffman, but whom the party ran out on a rail because she's basically an evil socialist liberal who believes in gay marriage and abortion rights, etc etc. She's good friends with my grandfather, who was a local politican for years in upstate New York.

Anyway, my brother lives in Albany now and some of his friends work in the senate or congressional building. He said one friend in particular was there when the heads of the party from Washington told Dede she had to bow out, and then their camera people asked her really rude questions while she cried and they snapped photos of this. After all of this, they had the nerve to turn to Dede's staff and say, "well, the Hoffman campaign needs help, if you'd like to come back to Washington with us!"
!! !!

Really bizarre to see people you know make headlines in such a messy way.

polystyle desu
08-11-2009, 08:12 PM
Agreed.
Albany and NYC politics always have oddball *hit going on.
Dede's story def one of them.
Bloomberg almost didn't make it in this (third ) time !

padraig (u.s.)
08-11-2009, 11:41 PM
I think this won't affect practice as much as some people think it will.

I don't think it will either. the point is the many compromises health care reform advocates have been forced to make. Nancy Pelosi is about as firm as it gets w/r/t support for reproductive rights - I'm sure this really sticks in her craw, however big a smile she puts on in public. the larger point is that the people trying to push reform are not operating from a position of great strength, not strong enough to put a bill through w/o having to resort to making concessions and allowing in these kinds of odious amendments.


Do you really think the dems are going to lose in the midterms?

yes. it doesn't have anything, or at least not much, to do w/tea party nuts, FreedomWorks or Rush Limbaugh. the President's party nearly always loses seats in the midterms. that's what voters do - they turn whoever's in power out of power. further, the economy hasn't really improved since the Big O took office - it may have gotten worse (i.e., unemployment over 10%) and it doesn't like it will improve in any meaningful way in the next year. the question isn't whether the Democrats will lose seats in the midterms, but how many seats they will lose. I think it's likely they'll retain majorities in both houses, albeit much slimmer ones. the problem is that they're barely getting a bill through with the overwhelming majorities they have now. as well, the GOP is much more united in opposition than the Democrats are in support.

scottdisco
09-11-2009, 12:10 AM
the perfect is the enemy of the good.

vimothy
09-11-2009, 12:26 PM
Krugman's most recent NYT column (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/opinion/09krugman.html) is worth reading.

polystyle desu
09-11-2009, 01:45 PM
It is indeed Vimothy.
The mad, unemployed and uncovered can and will blame whose in front of them ( in the Gov. ), or who on TV or their neighbor tells them to be mad at.
I doubt we want to see this 'rump' party thing happen in any city we live in !

padraig (u.s.)
09-11-2009, 06:03 PM
the perfect is the enemy of the good.

who's talking about perfect? just something that isn't simultaneously neutered and filled with pandering amendments. we've already had funding for abstinence-only education, some nonsense about being able to carry guns into national parks (which I'm fine with - I'm not big on gun control - but it obv has nothing to do with health care), now this extra clampdown on abortion funding. the bill the House voted on isn't bad, tbf; it prohibits denial of coverage based on preexisting conditions & limits ways in which premiums can be varied, has both an individual & employer mandate (w/sliding scale tax penalties who don't get insurance), has a quasi-public option in the form of an insurance exchange (this is where "neutered" comes in), etc. it also does some other nice things, like increasing Medicaid payments to primary care physicians. OTOH, it's unclear whether the Senate bill will have all that stuff - esp. the public option and employer mandate, what the final bill will look like or, again, if we'll get a bill at all. or who/how such a bill will be paid for - O really screwed himself/us when he promised not to raise taxes, at all.

in re: right-wing paranoia consuming the GOP, that's not a new story. the more intellectual/pragmatic side of the GOP (i.e. McCain, David Brooks, Natl Review - Buckley must be spinning in his grave these days, etc.) has been trying to ride that tiger for 20+ years and it's finally turned around and bit them in the ass. they have only themselves to blame for Limbaugh, Beck, etc. all those unholy alliances with Ralph Reed & James Dobson & that ilk. it's domestic blowback.

scottdisco
09-11-2009, 07:30 PM
i wasn't addressing anyone on thread tbf, or implying anything specific about anyone, more a generic punt. tbh it would make more sense if i'd put it in another thread i bet :cool:

padraig (u.s.)
09-11-2009, 07:48 PM
no, I think it's an absolutely valid point, in this specific situation & in general. but esp. in American politics. it's more just how exasperating the entire thing is/has been. mainly b/c I remain convinced that even after all this maneuvering the end product will be extremely disappointing. of course I hope to be happily surprised.

Voltaire is a great one for the aphorisms though, isn't he?

crackerjack
12-11-2009, 01:13 PM
and this thread can have it too (http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/11/12/daily-show-exposes-fox-news-fake-footage/)

blackpixie
14-11-2009, 09:08 PM
I don't think it will either. the point is the many compromises health care reform advocates have been forced to make. Nancy Pelosi is about as firm as it gets w/r/t support for reproductive rights - I'm sure this really sticks in her craw, however big a smile she puts on in public. the larger point is that the people trying to push reform are not operating from a position of great strength, not strong enough to put a bill through w/o having to resort to making concessions and allowing in these kinds of odious amendments.

I usually try very hard to avoid the politics thread as most of you might as well be speaking german.. but padraig you seem to know what you are talking about here and i am wondering if you can shed light on why, with the left being the majority in house and senate, why the left must make so many concessions to their proposed health reform. And it hasn't even gone through the senate yet...

Is it blue dog democrats? Is it private interests having massive influences in washington?
I read a post on smart politics (http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics/2009/11/all_about_the_39_democrats_vot.php) which found that most of the democrats who voted No on the bill represent constituencies who voted for mccain in large majorities in 2008, obviously indicating that they represent a fair amount of conservatives. So could it be that this is just realpolitik and that these "democrats" are really only concerned about 2010?

Mr. Tea
14-11-2009, 09:42 PM
why, with the left being the majority in house and senate, why the left must make so many concessions to their proposed health reform.

The US has a 'left' now?!

(OK, a slightly trite point - obviously it has plenty of politicians to the left of, say, Palin or Bolton - but it doesn't really have a significant bloc that would be recognised as 'left' in most other democracies, does it?)

padraig (u.s.)
14-11-2009, 11:03 PM
i am wondering if you can shed light on why, with the left being the majority in house and senate, why the left must make so many concessions to their proposed health reform. And it hasn't even gone through the senate yet...

as Mr. Tea alludes to, there isn't really a "left" in mainstream American politics, at least not in the European social democratic sense; liberal is a better word to describe it. there is the Progressive Caucus, but that's only ~1/5th of the House (as far as "left" the Senate has Bernie Sanders and, well...). the biggest problem is that the Democrats are badly divided amongst themselves in a way the GOP really isn't. again, the concessions made to get the bill through the house were to moderate/conservative Dems, not to Republicans who were never, never going to vote for the bill anyway. Pelosi had to make the concessions b/c she simply didn't have the votes; even w/them it was obv. a very near-run thing.

the Senate is even worse. I'm not an expert, but the way I understand Pelosi as Speaker has a lot more control over what happens than Reid does as Senate Majority Leader. the Dems need a supermajority of 60 to avoid a filibuster. 60 is exactly the # they have (58 + 2 Independents, Sanders & the essentially Republican Joe Lieberman). since it's very unlikely that they'll get more than 1 or 2 GOP votes, if any, the more liberal Dems will be forced to make concessions to people like Ben Nelson. as to whether it's a real ideology issue or the eternal worry about re-election, I suspect a mixture of both but tending towards the latter. really I've no idea though. the real battles will be over what concessions are made, both in terms of what gets into the bill and what crazy amendments the liberals are forced to choke down.

on a general note, private interests have massive influence on pretty much everything in Washington. esp. if one is slightly expansive in the definition of "private interests".

polystyle desu
15-11-2009, 02:34 PM
Hey, the lobbyists give you the words ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/arts/music/15ligh.html?_r=1&hpw

blackpixie
18-11-2009, 09:17 AM
Hey, the lobbyists give you the words ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/arts/music/15ligh.html?_r=1&hpw

i dont see anything about lobbyists or healthcare, just an ugly picture of that drummer from nirvana.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/health/policy/18senate.html?hp

FTA


Given what is riding on the vote, party leaders have been busy talking to holdouts, negotiating deals in an effort to get them on board as wavering lawmakers exert their leverage at a critical moment. In response to demands from Mr. Nelson, for instance, the leaders appear willing to drop plans to use the bill to strip health insurance companies of their antitrust exemption.

I doubt he will really get in the way, as there are ways around guys like this, but wow he argues that the public option will put private insurers out of business and then goes on to demand THAT?

polystyle desu
18-11-2009, 03:01 PM
Oops, sorry blackpixie -that was heath care for Vultures.
Here's the proper article for making sausage out of the bill -http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/us/politics/15health.html?scp=2&sq=Health%20care%20lobbyists%20words&st=Search

LoraHup
04-12-2009, 06:35 AM
Well there were not so many good presidents in the USA... and with Obama, i have my doubts tbh... i mean whenever hes on the news its because he did a joke somewhere or bought something for his wife or gave a party in the white house.. i mean really.. what is he doing?

sufi
04-12-2009, 08:37 PM
sorry lora
i was vaguely intrigued by yr AI posting on topic non-sequiturs,
& i think you could probably pass the dissnsus turing test for that reason but that's enough byebye bot

vimothy
07-12-2009, 10:56 AM
Are you saying Lora is a computer programme? But we're in love!

polystyle desu
24-12-2009, 03:17 PM
For LoraHup ...
http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/the-senate-majority-leaders-oh-no-vote/?hp

synapticat
25-01-2010, 04:01 PM
My philosophy and science studies blog for those who are interested.

www.synapticat.blogspot.com

polystyle desu
25-01-2010, 04:06 PM
Wow, one can remember when this was not only a good idea -it was going to come together in a good way ...
By now , what is it really ? what a mess Dems.

Sectionfive
20-03-2010, 06:15 PM
Will it pass tomorrow ?
Surely Obama is sure of them numbers if its going ahead.

rumble
20-03-2010, 06:40 PM
Looks like it will go through, but I still want to see a vote on the public option.

Bernie Sanders backed down on it under pressure, but the corrupt Dems who are against the public option should still be forced to show their colors.

There's really no reason not to allow a vote on a public option amendment, except that it would expose the politicians that are in the pocket of the health industry and conflict with the crooked deals that Obama made with the industry behind closed doors. The excuse before was that they needed 60 votes, but now if they only need 51, so why not pass the public option?

polystyle desu
21-03-2010, 07:18 PM
My guess it will pass around midnight tonight,
looks like Stupak has written his own amendment - order re: abortion language and it appears that's the issue it all comes down too ...

Would love to see the public option' included , and one would have thought it would have been, but jeez look at the complex BS that's gone on ...
The US Gov. and it's functions - like law, IGO's and all the dysfunctional bureaucracies, need to be reformed, revamped and brought into this century -screaming , no doubt .
But anyway ... it's taken what ? 100 years to get this passed ?

polystyle desu
22-03-2010, 04:01 AM
Within minutes of the vote,
Dem Tom Harkin heard mentioning the public option may have new life now that this has passed.
A Southern Republican shouted " Baby killer" at Stupak while he spoke in support of the bill -
and he's one of the most pro life guys in Gov. , had previously been holding thing up ...

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/live-blogging-the-house-vote/?hp

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/health/policy/22health.html?hp

polystyle desu
24-03-2010, 03:31 PM
- begins to be addressed in this bill, adjustments surely to come - from both sides of the aisle ?
The Rupublicans sure are pissed.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/business/24leonhardt.html?hp

crackerjack
24-03-2010, 04:44 PM
The Rupublicans sure are pissed.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/business/24leonhardt.html?hp

So when was the last time a major Dem initiative like this got passed? Don't just mean budgets, or too much for education and not enough for defnece or something, but a seismic piece of Dem-led legislation that, however imerfect, has the power to shape the politicval culutre. All the way back to LBJ?

craner
24-03-2010, 05:35 PM
Anyone read that book Race of a Lifetime? I did, it's great!

It made me like Obama, if only because he decided to run against all odds on the basis that the US presidancy shouldn't be secured by the borderline mentally-ill.

Also makes you feel sad about the vulgarisation of McCain.

padraig (u.s.)
25-03-2010, 03:44 AM
All the way back to LBJ?

well, Clinton had the Brady Bill, though I guess that's not quite as sweeping. perhaps more applicably, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (raised taxes on the wealthy & corporations & cut taxes on low-income brackets, among other things) which passed w/o a single GOP vote in the Senate or House (sound familiar?). not really, the same thing tho. There was also the epic showdown w/Newt & Co. in '95 over the budget, tho they got him back later by twisting his arm into signing in welfare reform.

Jimmy Carter had the Camp David Accords, & that's about it.

so as far as game-changing, society-altering legislation, yeah, back to LBJ. though it could be said that not very many Presidents, Dem or GOP, put through legislation of that order. & I don't know if this bill will fall into that category either; we'll see in 5 or 10 years.


Also makes you feel sad about the vulgarisation of McCain.

tis true, but the man himself had rather a large hand in that vulgarization. so not too sad. I will say, I appreciated (& still appreciate) his absolutely unwavering stance on torture - this crushing of wax statue Mitt Romney on the subject of waterboarding (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjPotBYZ6q8) was a particularly fine moment.

crackerjack
25-03-2010, 06:31 PM
every day in every way (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/25/violence-congress-health-reform-republican-obama) the GOP grows a little more cancerous

vimothy
26-03-2010, 06:03 PM
You are not fucking wrong crackerjack: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/25/AR2010032502336.html

scottdisco
26-03-2010, 06:49 PM
nice one Vim and Cracker re GOP lunacy. and big love to P as ever for clear-eyed approach.

from Vim's link, hope i don't sound tinfoil hat on one small point, but


The ouster also came one day after a harsh Wall Street Journal editorial ripped the former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, saying he "now makes his living as the media's go-to basher of fellow Republicans" and accusing him of "peddling bad revisionist history."

i've read the WSJ a lot down the years (though i can't recall doing so post-Murdoch ownership), and usually found the editorials a sober source of opinion (even when i didn't agree w them, which was probably more often than not). however, the above sounds way off-base from them; i can't help but think it wouldn't have said such nakedly partisan bollocks in the pre-Murdoch days.

[disclaimer: i have no idea as to editorial intrusions from the owner there these days, etc, so could be talking paranoid nonsense. i dunno.]