John Dingell’s town hall meeting erupted in chaos, as the Journalese goes. Some guy pushed his son’s wheelchair up to the podium and extended a trembling finger at the 81-year-old congressman; he was so calm and reasoned, the police had to escort him out. But that wasn’t the worst of it:

“You may be dead in five years!” shouted Val Butsicaris, 60, of Taylor. “They may euthanize you!” She referred to concerns of government rationing of care for elderly people.

Where do these people get these ideas? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question. Click through and look at some of those pictures — the faces contorted with rage, etc. Weren’t these the same people who fretted not long ago about the lack of courtesy in American life? Yeah, I thought so. Not to mention the cognitive dissonance:

“The government wants to control my body, my health care decisions and the doctors I see,” said Christine Wofford, 56, of Canton, who distributed literature from the Liberty Council, a Lynchburg, Va., religious civil rights law firm.

Where have I heard those phrases before? And hey, Lynchburg — the San Francisco of the right wing. Or is that Colorado Springs?

Everybody’s angry these days. George Sodini, verrrry angry. Smart operators know angry is a cash machine. Here’s Sodini’s guru, “John White, who uses the professional name R. Don Steele,” a man who calls himself…

According to Steele’s Web site,, he is a marriage, family and child counselor in private practice since 1976 and an author since 1984. The site indicates he attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Penn State University and the University of Southern California before earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from California State University at Fullerton and a master’s degree in psychology from California State University at Northridge.

Steele offers blunt instructions to would-be Romeos:

“The all time DATE DESTROYER is being a NICE GUY. You must be a Man of Steel Balls,” Steele insists.

Isn’t that comforting? It’s always useful, when looking at Sodini and his ilk, to consider that the healthier ones go out and buy a Russian or Filipino bride.

Makes you want to euthanize yourself, doesn’t it? Let’s take a left turn into calmer waters. I forgot to blog this earlier, yet another NYT OMG-I-have-problems piece from Wednesday, about the New York foodie equivalent of roughing it:

Part of me loves to navigate the culinary wilderness of rental homes: the stale McCormick spices, the speckled enamel stockpots in which countless visitors have boiled their corn. Another part of me wants to make sure I can pull the cork from a bottle of wine and turn pork chops with a pair of tongs and whisk mayonnaise when I get there.

[Broad wink] Mayonnaise!

…That was my revelation this June: one needs only a cast-iron skillet to survive. I used it to scramble eggs in the morning, and make grilled cheese for my children at lunchtime, and cook bacon for spaghetti alla amatriciana, and crust up diced, boiled potatoes, and fry breaded pieces of tender Chatham cod. Not for an instant did I miss the All-Clad arsenal in my Brooklyn kitchen.

I love the bravery this woman shows, don’t you? Even in the face of stale McCormick spices, she finds a way to soldier on.

If it isn’t already abundantly clear, I got nothin’ today. I’m prepping for a meeting, calculating end-of-term grades and looking forward to the rest of August, which I intend to spend working on Fun Writing, as opposed to the non-fun kind. I can’t identify with Angry right now. Maybe you folks would like to discuss the films of John Hughes, which I liked, but not as much as I did his National Lampoon-era fiction (“My Penis,” “My Vagina,” et al) — he’s sort of the male Nora Ephron, for me. Although they all pretty much blur together, don’t they? “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” — that’s my favorite. “The Breakfast Club” doesn’t hold up, never saw “Sixteen Candles,” and “Home Alone” boiled down to the kid slapping his cheeks and making an O face. I’m reminded of a friend’s summation of Robin Williams: Stop me before I warm your heart again. But if you liked him, that’s fine. We all have our enthusiasms.

Off to organize papers. Woo.

Posted at 9:59 am in Current events |

110 responses to “Angry.”

  1. Jim said on August 7, 2009 at 10:14 am

    See, what did I tell you? Cast iron!! Enameled, if you can afford it, but an inexpensive cast-iron skillet, griddle and dutch oven will do just about everything and last forever.

    I never saw “The Breakfast Club” or “Sixteen Candles,” either. But “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and “Home Alone” (ONLY the first one) are two of my favorites. John Hughes had a talent for combining slapstick comedy with a heartwarming ending.

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  2. Dorothy said on August 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

    It ran through my mind that Sodini should have sought out a mail order bride as well. But who knows why nut cases do things or don’t do things? It’s all speculation at this point. A little too scary to think about, though, was whether I’d know anyone at that club. Turns out my brother-in-law’s nieces frequent it, but none of them were there that night.

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  3. brian stouder said on August 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Breakfast Club – sublime; Sixteen Candles – superb; Pretty in Pink – …..wait a minute! I’m a fan of Molly Ringwald!!

    edit – re “angry”; before Jeff or some other reasonable soul makes the (true enough) argument that there is genuine angst, as opposed to “astroturf” anger, I would move to stipulate that.

    I would shift that discussion to – what do we do when someone gets killed? What happens when the next Holocaust Museum shooter-type shows up, and takes out a member of congress, or an aide, or someone’s aunt?

    Or even – WHY are people quite so angry? Honest to God – I have had to walk away from otherwise (seemingly) reasonable people, when current events discussions begin, and the “n-word” gets dropped (and then repeated)

    just sayin’

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  4. Joe Kobiela said on August 7, 2009 at 10:29 am

    How Uncle buck got by-passed for Best Picture is beyond me.
    Pilot Joe

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  5. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I’ve never seen a schizophrenic who wasn’t absolutely certain of himself. These town hall protests are full of them.
    All I can tell you about Obama’s healthcare plan is what they told us during the campaign. The cost savings will be generated by forcing (via radio transmissions) white males to watch porn and jerk off to exhaustion, lowering their procreative capabilities, and thus reducing the demand for pectoral implants and buttocks reduction surgery in the coming decades. I thought it was a little extreme, until I heard Glen Beck. And then I thought, if it just pisses Mormons off, it’ll be a good thing.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on August 7, 2009 at 10:34 am

    If Planes, Trains and Automobiles were being marketed today it would be called a “bromance”. And I would never go see it, and I would miss a great movie. Enjoyed Breakfast Club and endured Home Alone but I don’t think I saw the others; I was already out of the demographic.

    Julie & Julia is getting mixed reviews, with everyone loving Meryl as Julia but annoyed at the Julie character. That was my reaction to the book–she would fit in well with all the East Coast foodie snobs we’ve been discussing all week. If anything, it sounds like they put in more Julia than is in the book, and that would be all for the best.

    We attended the Tin Caps game last night since the DH was involved in the All America City competition. The stadium is great; it’s just a shame they play baseball there. The fault is entirely my own ADD–they scored 10 runs in the first 3 innings and I was still bored. I did enjoy Jake the Wonder Dog and the spin-around-the-bat-game.

    Dorothy, I’ve been wondering all week how Mike’s Dad is doing.
    And Nancy, how is Kate handling Spriggy’s loss?

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  7. brian stouder said on August 7, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Julie – we went for tix and found out the game was sold out! So Chloe and Pam and I were at the commons area at the library for the fireworks show

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  8. Julie Robinson said on August 7, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Brian, how late did those go off? We didn’t stay, we were both exhausted. At 8:45 it was still in the top of the 4th.

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  9. ROgirl said on August 7, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Yeah, what is it with the anger? It’s a barely controlled impulse beneath the surface and turns people into spittle flecked attack dogs, or mass murderers if they’re REALLY angry. The instigators seem to be interested in creating faux outrage, while those who are acting on it are whipping themselves up into frenzied ecstasies of fantasy retribution against the oppressive evil that is the world around them.

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  10. Dorothy said on August 7, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Mike’s dad got moved to a nursing facility on Wednesday night. We found out last night that his girlfriend somehow was named as the contact person at the nursing home. Mike got that straightened out about two hours ago. And somehow the hospital did not include a copy of his Living Will along with all the other paperwork that went with him to the nursing home. We have our work cut out for ourselves, I’m tellin’ ya. His dad is about the same – not eating very much and sleeping most of the time. Thanks for asking.

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  11. James said on August 7, 2009 at 11:19 am


    Naw… Just crazy!

    Or as I said before…

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  12. LAMary said on August 7, 2009 at 11:23 am

    John Hughes never did it for me. I like National Lampoon Vacation, which he wrote, but that was early work.

    Responding to something JTMMO said in the comments of the previous post, I don’t think all those opponents to health care reform were planted. I think the fake scary information was planted. Just like we should read food labels, we should read the facts before going off on some tear about euthanasia. People in UK can see private doctors if they choose to. That guy from UK who didn’t like the NHS probably never did and never will, but most people there like it.
    I believe we should think of healthcare like we think about education. Private or public, your choice, but available to everyone.

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  13. Danny said on August 7, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Check this article regarding six people being arrested at a Russ Carnahan town hall (including a Post-Dispatch reporter).

    Loved the first comment at the bottom: I don’t know all the details, but it sounds like the police were acting stupidly.

    I’m not sure what to make of these contentious town hall meetings. It reminds me a little of the treatment that Bush got with the loonies from Code Pink and the like. It looks like some of the labor unions are preparing to be confrontational in return. Oh joy. Community effin’ organizers from both sides of the aisle run amok.

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  14. Jim said on August 7, 2009 at 11:36 am

    An anecdote from today’s Paul Krugman column in the NYT ( was very interesting:

    “There was a telling incident at a town hall held by Representative Gene Green, D-Tex. An activist turned to his fellow attendees and asked if they “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” Nearly all did. Then Representative Green asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Almost half raised their hands.”

    Continues to amaze me that so many who decry the evils of the federal government drive to these rallies in their car (full of federally-mandated safety and emission requirements), listening to their favorite talk-radio blowhard on a federally-regulated and licensed radio station, eating an Egg McMuffin made of federally-inspected meat and eggs. And they don’t see the irony of that.

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  15. Jen said on August 7, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Julie – My in-laws have gone to numerous Tincaps games this year, and enjoyed them. They tried to go last weekend and it was sold out! Pretty good for a stadium nobody wanted, I guess. We’re going to a game next weekend, and I’m looking forward to it. I don’t like baseball but I like the spectacle of sporting events, so it should be a lot of fun.

    I’m not a terribly big John Hughes fan, though I love “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Ferris Bueller” and “Uncle Buck.” Especially “Uncle Buck.” It’s on our DVR right now – I think I’ll convince my hubby to watch it this weekend. I really didn’t like “Pretty in Pink,” “Breakfast Club” or “16 Candles,” though, and I think they are TERRIBLY overrated, while gems like “Uncle Buck” are underrated.

    I’m just glad there’s somewhere on the Internet I can write that where everyone doesn’t think I’m a horrible, horrible person. 🙂

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  16. brian stouder said on August 7, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Julie – Pammy was in charge of the mission, and we left home at about 20 minutes after 9. Coulda’ listened to the game on 1380 and known when to go – but where’s the fun in that?

    So we arrived in the area, and they were in the top of the 7th inning, and Lansing was in the process of putting up a 4 run inning…or maybe it was 6 runs; all I recall is looking at the scorboard from Rally’s, as we ate a couple of Big Bufords, and glared at young fellers who cussed a lot.

    We returned to the library commons, and I’m thinking it was pushing 11 when the fireworks lit up the sky. But it was a really good show – and Chloe liked it. Grant opted not to come, and was only irritated that he “missed out” on Rally’s(!)

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  17. Danny said on August 7, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Mary, here is another Brit, MEP Daniel Hannan, who isn’t too keen on the British health care system.

    He is a right-winger and I believe he popped up prominently in the news for berating Gordon Brown for out of control stimulus spending a few months back. Here is an interesting video of Mr. Hannan describing why he believes the European and American stimulus packages are ill considered. His point is that we’ve had no effect on the recession (except for possibly making it longer and deeper) and that when we do come out, we will be saddled with enormous debt.

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  18. brian stouder said on August 7, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Danny – a question (or two):

    What ended the Great Depression (circa 1930’s America)? Did it end ‘naturally’ – ie – indendent of government action?

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  19. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    The enhanced cracker visibility isn’t about health care reform in the fucking least. It’s about serving the Democrats a failed presidency. It was about that during the Clinton administration, too. Frankly, I don’t give a fuck if Exxon trots the loonies out to stick their thumbs up their asses in public. We’ve already had ample evidence that the sole function of the Republican party is to keep the dumbasses juiced on hate so more fortunate white trash can pick their pockets. Keep trying, fuckheads.
    There will never be a failed presidency to match your goober messiah’s. Ever.

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  20. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Did I hear a Republican say enormous debt? Where the fuck were the people concerned about enormous debt when Cheney was dumping taxpayer money in his scumbag company? Or giving Ken Lay carte blanche to stick his tiny crank up California’s ass. Sheesh. Cognitive dissonance, folks. Being Republican is all about the forgetting.

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  21. Danny said on August 7, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Brian, to be honest, I’m not sure. It was a worse situation and the extent of my research is that I have read (and watched) “The Grapes of Wrath.” And it did my heart good to see that the Joad family could find a haven of rest at that camp operated by the government Resettlement Administration. But, beyond that. I dunno.

    With the current stimulus situation, I can’t tell that anything has happened in a positive sense. Can you? Sure, the banks have been given s’loads of taxpayer money and maybe that averted some sort of disaster, but here is one of the unfortunate effects of that. We have another artificial housing bubble where prices are being kept higher than they ought. Now that the banks have their (our) money, they are able to hold onto properties and not sell them at the prices that they should rightfully fetch. And note, the over-extended owners are still out of the houses, bankrupt and out of luck, so that hasn’t helped them. And now prospective new buyers (people who were wise and saved) are being dissuaded by artificially high prices and still hard to get loans.

    Last month, we put an offer on a piece of crap fixer-upper built in 1971. It had absolutely no upgrades since it was built. Probably needed 100k just to make it comfortable. So we, who have great credit, put in an offer that was almost 50k over the asking price of 275k, but we used an FHA loan so we could put only 3.5% down and save our money for upgrades. In the end, we lost out to a lower cash bid because all of a sudden the banks are allergic to loans. Gimme a break.

    Anyway, I’m skeptical of the stimulus spending, but to paraphrase Timothy Geitner, “Oh great, now everyone’s a friggin’ economist.”

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  22. Danny said on August 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Cooz, good God man, stop yer benighted mewling. You weren’t around for my disparaging of the Bush administration’s spending nor the manufactured “energy crisis” in California, but don’t let that stop you from manufacturing whatever fits your little fantasy argument. Being you is all about that.

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  23. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    I wasn’t mewling. I was shouting. Mewling is dismissing the fact that Medicare beats the shit out of what private insurers have to offer.
    I’ll repeat myself: Six hundred sixty a month, covers a pap smear and mammogram. No other tests or screenings, five thousand dollar deductible. Outright theft. Indefensible. And that’s a good plan.
    And your whackjobs are talking about killing my representative, who warned the previous administration about it’s endorsement of “creative mortgage instruments”.
    I tell you what. Maybe the government should emulate private insurers and cancel your Medicare should you need it.

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  24. Jim said on August 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Yeah, what is it with the anger?

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  25. Danny said on August 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Mewl­ing is dis­miss­ing the fact that Medicare beats the shit out of what pri­vate insur­ers have to offer.

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. [/obligatory Princess Bride reference].

    Being Skeptical != Mortal Enemy

    And why shouldn’t we be skeptical if congress-critters like Rep. John Conyers can’t be bothered to read the bill before they vote because it is a 1000 pages long?

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  26. Jim said on August 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    He married Monica. ‘Nuff said?

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  27. ROgirl said on August 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I am angry about the morons who want to prevent health insurance reform, but I don’t have the inclination to go to town hall meetings to engage in confrontations with the wingnuts. It’s that whole snarling, shout-everyone-down, irrational mob vibe that turns me off.

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  28. Jim said on August 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Gee, I wonder where conservatives learned such tactics?

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  29. Danny said on August 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I know, suddenly everyone has an allergy to vehement dissent. And no, I’m not sticking up for the weirdos who are making violent threats, so don’t go there.

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  30. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Gee, I dunno Jim. Did they visit the free speech zones and take notes? And quit trotting out the “Code Pink” bullshit talking points. It makes it too obvious you’re a talk radio dupe. They’re Naderites. Last I heard, they were agitprop for your little ball-ticklers.

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  31. LAMary said on August 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    There’s vehement dissent and there’s people who have been purposely misinformed to create strong emotional reaction. Look carefully at these groups trying to look like grassroots operations and you’ll find big healthcare companies, insurance companies and others who will not be able to shovel in profits if the system is changed. They’re creating fear and hatred.

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  32. Jim said on August 7, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Or maybe it’s years of seeing conservative speakers booed, hissed, heckled off the stage. Hit a conservative in the face with a pie and it’s funny. Heckle a liberal and the core of our democracy is threatened.

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  33. LAMary said on August 7, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Jim, or maybe not. Conservatives ran the country for the past ten years.
    Do you think saying that the Obama health plan will only help black people is “heckling” or that it will kill off elderly people is equivalent to a pie in the face? I think those are ugly lies designed to create fear. I hear those folks in the town hall meetings talking about those issues over and over.

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  34. Danny said on August 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Hey speaking of ugly liars, looks like is going to get into this as well. They’re asking for money to fund deployment of “skilled grassroots organizers.” [snort]

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  35. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    But hitting a conservative speaker in the face with a pie IS funny, Jim. Threatening to shoot one, however, would rightly entail a prompt investigation. A thorough one, followed by trial and life imprisonment.
    The core of our democracy is threatened when the coal industry funds groups to disrupt meetings between reps and their constituents. There is absolutely no moral relativist argument to make here, unless you’re falling back on the old “Money is Speech” dogma of the Republican Party.
    I will say this for your loathsome inbreds. They bring the funny with the crazy.

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  36. LAMary said on August 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    What ugly lie about healthcare reform is MoveOn pushing?

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  37. Jim said on August 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Mary, I agree with you in that the nonsense being promulgated out there is reprehensible. It absolutely is designed to create fear. But I do think that such tactics — despicable as they are — originated on the left more than the right: AIDS activists who claimed that Reagan only wanted gays to die, pro-abortion advocates who screamed that abortion opponents only wanted women to die in back alleys, animal rights folks throwing blood on fur wearers, etc.

    What’s sad is that honest, civil discourse and debate has devolved into a game of tactics and scoring points.

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  38. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    LA Mary: Lee Atwater was right. Ever since they’ve been deprived of their favorite nomenclature for blacks, they’ve had to twist themselves in knots to appear to have a semblance of a plan besides transparent larceny.

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  39. 4dbirds said on August 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Many years ago when our family had socialized medicine (military medicine) my daughter’s life was saved when her particulary deadly form of cancer was ‘cured’ by surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant. The care was first rate and affordable. Now we’ve moved on and we have employer provided health care (I retain my socialized medical care from the VA) and my daughter still receives first rate but slightly less affordable care. That is to say, the premiums, copays and coinsurances are more but managable.

    I would be content forever if nothing were to change. That can’t be because my daughter will eventually age out of our insurance and she will be in deep do do. You see the treatments that cured her also caused long lasting and permanent effects. Although not disabled and therefore not eligible for government care, learn disabilities caused by radiation mean she will probably never be able to hold down a job that will provide the quality health care she needs to live a healthy life. She has endrocrine problems that require constant medication. She has impaired vision from radiation induced cataracts. Her teeth will always need extra care due to the radiation. She is at increased risk of early osteoprosis and secondary cancers.

    So if the haters of health care reform get their way, I don’t know what people such as my daughter are going to do. Anger? Yes I have anger. I’d like to take every blue dog Democrat and wring their necks. I’m not angry at the Republicans, they are what they are. To think many of us donated to Democrats we didn’t particulary like just so we could have control of the House and Senate to get treated like this.

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  40. Christy S. said on August 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I’m amazed stuff like that NYT summer kitchen piece can get published. But then again, it’s being pubbed by other New Yorkers who probably find it “quaint.” Her attempt at transparency, which comes off as simple snobbery to this former Ohioan/current Californian, makes me weary. Next…

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  41. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Yes. The Republicans have spent millions elevating the national discourse.
    That is hewing pretty close to barking insane, Jim.

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  42. Scout said on August 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Surprise, surprise.

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  43. Julie Robinson said on August 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    4dbirds, your daughter’s situation should be on the national news. I know of a similar young woman with the same issues–childhood cancer cured but new healthcare problems as a result. Her family has been bankrupted financially and emotionally. How can this be in a so-called Christian country?

    Dorothy, I wonder if you have thought of bringing Mike’s Dad to a care facility near where you live? Maybe it’s way too soon for that kind of decision. I think it may not be too long before we have to face a similar issue–my Mom is too far away and there is no family left in the area. It may be a long haul for us too.

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  44. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Sorry for the blogwhoring, but I couldn’t figure out another way:
    My wife captioned the photo.

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  45. brian stouder said on August 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Cooz, either she’s pregnant, or he’s had one (thousand) too many pulled pork samichs

    (either way, that person is gonna be needin’ some o’ that-there healthcare stuff)

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  46. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Brian: That was the first thing I thought when I saw that picture. Well, second. The first thought was actually DAYUM!

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  47. LAMary said on August 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    “…despi­ca­ble as they are — orig­i­nated on the left more than the right: AIDS activists who claimed that Rea­gan only wanted gays to die…”

    Um, Reagan thought that AIDS was God’s punishment for being gay. His authorized biography, Dutch, says as much. Pat Buchanan stated it in writing while he was in the White House communicatons office.
    There’s a lot of attempts at revisionism going on with Reagan’s record on AIDS, but far too much documentation of his belief that gays deserved AIDS exists for the revisionism to go very far.

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  48. 4dbirds said on August 7, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Julie, That same child was hit by a car last summer. Again, because we are insured and have some resources she received excellent care. Her roommate, the wife of a taxi driver was also in there for an auto related trauma. She didn’t have insurance. My daughter was visited by a team of doctors that included; trauma, pediatric, neurology, endocrinology, osteo, plastics, infectious medicine, general surgery, our family doctor and the oncologists (just to be safe). My daughter received surgery to install internal hardward to help her bones heal along with muscle and skin grafts. Taxi driver’s wife was sent HOME with external stabilizers, pinned to her bones, a meager amount of dressings and a lot of prescriptions that hubby was worried he couldn’t pay for. Our daughter was sent to a rehab hospital.
    People who say the uninsured get the same kind of care as the insured in this country are insane or just ignorant.

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  49. Rana said on August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    (The link I posted at the end of yesterday’s post touches on a lot of these insurance-related anxieties.)

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  50. mark said on August 7, 2009 at 5:24 pm


    I’m sorry about your daughter’s struggles, and glad she has been able to get excellent care.

    I don’t know where you live, but most states have pooled coverage for the truly uninsurable (which it seems she is), both for those that can afford a premium and those that can’t. The trick is often to check into them early, before the coverage is needed, so that there is no gap when the time comes. Also, while I hope your daughter surprises everyone and finds great and lucrative employment, from what you describe, I wouldn’t assume that she doesn’t or won’t qualify for social security disability, which in turn would qualify for Medicare.

    Attorneys who handle that sort of thing do so, generally, for fees set by statute from any award given. You should be able to get advice for little or no charge.

    Is your angst, though, that she will have no medical care or something significantly less than she has had before? If it is the latter, then maybe you are open to the possibility that others feel a portion of that angst over the rather unclear changes being discussed concerning health care.

    Your example of your daughter and the taxi driver’s wife is a good one. Our president claims there are 47 million like TD wife, which I think is a wildly inflated number.. But, if it is true, how do we add 47 million more people to the ranks of the insured, while doing nothing to increase the number of doctors and other health care personnel, without causing anyone to receive less care than they currently get and for less money than we currently spend? It seems to me to be an impossibility, and people are not “haters” or “morons” for wanting to know how the system will absorb such a large increase without rationing of some sort and how we will pay for the changes.

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  51. Hexdecimal said on August 7, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Mark – Re: your response to 4dbirds: The way you phrase “how do we add 47 mil­lion more peo­ple to the ranks of the insured, while doing noth­ing to increase the num­ber of doc­tors and other health care per­son­nel” makes it sounds like they would all swarm a physician’s office or a hospital on day one. That’s silly.

    The 47 million uninsured already go to a hospital when they need to, and are treated until stabilized. It’s a federal law that the hospital must treat when the patient presents. Then, once stabilized, they are either shown the door, or a long term facility is found that will work with the State for it’s reimbursement. Who pays for this care done at the hospital when the person doesn’t have insurance. We do. All of us. Both in higher state taxes and higher costs from the hospital.

    To anyone: Can someone explain to me why we can’t just give Medicare and/or Medicaid access to everyone who wants it on a pay-what-you-can basis? Simply remove the age restriction. Or is this to easy?

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  52. LAMary said on August 7, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Mark, lots of uninsured people are already seeing doctors. They just don’t have a way of paying for it. Uninsured people come to the emergency room with colds and heartburn, things insured people see their doctors about. Emergency rooms MUST take care of them and what should have been a fifteen or fifty dollar co-pay is now a six hundred dollar ER visit. It’s the most expensive way to take care of people and that cost gets passed on to you, believe me. Just for maternity, postpartum and NICU care for uninsured patients, this hospital last year spent 90 million dollars. That all gets added on to what everything else costs and we’re all paying for it. Those 47 million uninsured still get some care, it’s just much more expensive and in some cases minimal.

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  53. mark said on August 7, 2009 at 6:06 pm


    No, it wouldn’t be day one. It would be day 7, and 83 and 276. But it takes years to train more doctors, nurses, etc.

    I’m well aware of how the emergency room gig works. But 4db gave an interesting example of the full potential difference in care. There are only so many current “doctor hours”. How do you move 47 million people from “underserved” to “properly served” without expanding the number of doctors and for less money?

    If you have a family of eight and you invite four hungry strangers in for dinner, you either need to cook more food or tell the eight regulars they will have to eat less tonight. Pretending that all 12 can eat just as much on the same amount of food that previously fed eight, and that the cost of the food will actually go down, is absurd.

    Edit: LAMary,

    Are you saying that you don’t think the 47 million are underserved, just receiving their care in an inefficient manner? That’s possible, but contrary to 4db’s conclusion that the uninsured get much inferior care (with which I tend to agree).

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  54. Hexdecimal said on August 7, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    You feed them just like my momma did… you add more cornflakes to the meatloaf and cut the potatoes into smaller cubes. Yes, we are eating bit less, but because it looks like more so we don’t notice it.

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  55. LAMary said on August 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    They are underserved, but they are seeing doctors. No prenatal care makes for more NICU babies. No mammograms makes for more mastectomies.
    I don’t think that insuring those 47 million people will cause some great rush of folks looking for gall bladder operations or whatever, but it will get people taken care of before things get drastic.

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  56. mark said on August 7, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    well, hex, that’s a more honest answer than the administration has given, in my opinion. But adding cornflakes to the meatloaf is still adding food to food. What do we add to meet the demand for health care? People with CPR training dressed up like doctors and nurses?

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  57. Danny said on August 7, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    What do we add to meet the demand for health care? Peo­ple with CPR train­ing dressed up like doc­tors and nurses?

    Brian, don’t get any ideas about taking a CPR course and then providing cheapo breast exams!

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  58. Julie Robinson said on August 7, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    I know I’ve said this before, so bear with the repitition. My sister works for the Women, Infant, Children program (WIC). Mothers and babies are plugged into the county health department, receive regular check ups and counseling, as well as vouchers for healthy foods. Most conservative estimates are that for every $1 spent, $4 are saved in future health costs, most of which would be paid by government agencies of one kind or the other.

    Hexdecimal’s solution sounds good to me. I don’t think any of the programs being discussed now go far enough to reform. But I’m just a good old bleeding heart liberal who takes it literally when I read the Bible and Jesus tells us to care for each other.

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  59. coozledad said on August 7, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Annnnnd…dipshit jumps in to the fray, dragging toilet paper on her shoes.

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  60. Rana said on August 7, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    What frustrates me about the way this is being framed is that it presents universal health care as something that is unreasonable and therefore undesirable, and therefore not worth making any effort at all. It’s like we’re presented with this challenge and just shrug and throw up our hands and whine that it’s toooo haaaaard, as if it’s some sort of iron-clad rule of nature that things must be this way, always and forever. It’s defeatist, and, I dare say, unAmerican.

    Yes, the issue of doctors is an important consideration. So start promoting programs that increase the numbers of doctors, and of clinical practitioners who can handle the basics like yearly check-ups and mammograms and flu shots. I mean, good gad, if they can train Indian villagers to give polio vaccinations and midwives in Uganda to handle AIDS medications and so on, it’s not unreasonable to expect that we, with more money and education, can figure out a way to make sure that parents don’t have to pay enormous sums to ensure that their kids get their vaccinations, or that one must be insured in order to afford insulin testing strips.

    And, yes, some of us may have to wait longer than we’re used to for basic care. Well, boo-hoo. Some of us haven’t seen a doctor in years because of the expense, or because the insurance companies are just waiting for the dreaded pre-existing condition to be diagnosed, or because the care needed isn’t covered. Most of the major expenses and concerns expressed by the uninsured and the underinsured are not that they couldn’t get treatment for an acute condition – that’s what emergency rooms are for – but that things like cancer or diabetes or mental illness or asthma or epilepsy (and on and on) that require regular visits to some sort of health care practitioner for monitoring and prescription renewals aren’t covered. And, again, most of these things are ones that don’t necessarily require active, immediate attention by an MD – but they do require periodic attention.

    Yeah, it’s hard and expensive and it’s going to be bumpy for a while – but, damnit, the alternative is to sentence vulnerable people to lives filled with pain and bankruptcy and grief, just because we’re too f*cking selfish to pay an extra $10 a week or to wait an extra month for a once-a-year appointment.

    I mean, hell. I don’t have words strong enough to express how angry this makes me.

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  61. Bill said on August 7, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    From Hexidecimal: Can some one explain to me why we can’t just give Medicare and/or Med icaid access to every one who wants it on a pay-what-you-can basis? Simply remove the age restric tion. Or is this to easy?

    I agree. This could solve and reduce the cost of ObamaCare.

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  62. 4dbirds said on August 7, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Mark, I have no doubt that many fine, decent Americans are against health care reform because they don’t want to lose what they have now. Trust me I get it. I only wish we could find a way to convince them that maybe what they have now isn’t really all that great. What we have is only as good as the job we currently have or if the company continues to offer it from year to year. I’ve experienced socialized medicine, god how I hate that term, from the military, VA and from receiving high risk maternity care in Germany. I have never nor my family members been denied a needed treatment including a breast reduction 23 years ago. I had to wait for that reduction for about six months because I came behind burn victims and babies with cleft palate but that was no biggie (ha ha).

    I agree with Hex, can’t we all just be put on Medicare?

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  63. Scout said on August 7, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    4dbirds: “I have no doubt that many fine, decent Amer­i­cans are against health care reform because they don’t want to lose what they have now. Trust me I get it. I only wish we could find a way to con­vince them that maybe what they have now isn’t really all that great.”

    But from what I understand, people will be free to keep what they have now if they so choose. That is what is so frustrating about the town hall kabuki. Between people moaning and wailing about losing what they already have when they won’t and senior citizens railing about socialized medicine (what do they think Medicare is?) there is a whole lotta (willfully?) misinformed stoopid going on.

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  64. nancy said on August 7, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Could this be an early trial balloon for a Palin/Bachmann ticket in 2012?


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  65. James Moehrke said on August 7, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I’d like to have what I had a year ago, when I had an employer who was contributing. The $1,400 a month that COBRA is taking is no picnic, I’ll tell you. And that’s cheaper than the employee contribution at my wife’s place…

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  66. Linda said on August 8, 2009 at 6:37 am

    I have no idea where you live, but check out this website outlining the various health care options for each state. Don’t know if there is anything new there, but there might be.

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  67. Dorothy said on August 8, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Julie that is indeed way down the road right now. But if his dad has any voice at ALL after (or if) he gets through these next 100 days, he would never agree to that. He’s a creature of habit and wants to be in his comfort zone. He was born in the house he lived in. He has an elderly girlfriend here who visits him everyday. We can’t discount the mental cruelty issue of dragging someone away from what he has known for 81 years. With the bladder cancer he has, we don’t think he’s going to live a whole lot longer. I think it would be selfish to remove him from the city he loves. To me that would just break his heart, and he has enough physical problems, we don’t need to add to that. This is an easy 3 hour drive for us so for now it’s not a big deal.

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  68. coozledad said on August 8, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Those dead eyes, that wispy mons pubis goatee, the flag.
    Sorry. Content blocked. I was referring to a photo of Eric Thompson, online gun dealer and enabler of three mass slaughters to date.

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  69. Danny said on August 8, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I don’t know if any of you have seen this commercial, but it’s short and really funny. Either the little brunette girl is quite an actress (beyond her years) or they did not tell her what was going to happen in this scene. She is so cute!

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  70. brian stouder said on August 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Sarah Palin’s outlandish statements aside, I thought this bit remark from the New York Daily News about defacto GOP chairman Rush Limbaugh was pretty funny:
    an excerpt:

    On his Web site, the suddenly sylph-like Limbaugh describes his diet as “based on actual food that you buy at the grocery store, a couple supplements that they provide you.” Limbaugh has professed ignorance as to how his diet works, despite numerous queries since he announced his weight loss plans in March.

    But of COURSE he doesn’t know the ‘supplements’ thingies work, or where come from; his damned housekeeper is the one who brings the baggies full of ‘suplements’ back from town!

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  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Mmmm, supplements — is there anything you can’t do?

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  72. beb said on August 8, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    As LAMary has already pointed out, the 47 million uninsured Americans already get medical treatment by visiting the ER when critically ill. Moving them into a health plan will take pressure off the ER staff, some of whom could be transferred to walk-in clinics. But equally, there are already a vast body of trained professionals who can treat people is only allowed it. There are Physican’s Assistants who are allowed to prescribe medications. They act under a doctor’s supervision. PA’s have less training than an MD so they could be pumped out of a school faster. Registered Nurses know a lot about diseases, can treat minor cases and direct the serious ones to MDs. For that matter, the Licensed Practical Nurse, a title driving out of most places by the RNs, could do that was well. LPN was a two year course, heavy on the practical training. As a two year course versus a four year RN course, you can create a lot more LPNs than you could RNs.

    As for why not Medicare, the answer seems to be a pre-existing pact with the insurance industry that Obamacare would not actually affect them. So there has not been any discussion about bargaining with Big Pharma over drug prices, or placing limits on the ratio of overhead to care, and weak commitment at best to a public option. I think in the end, ObamaCare will deserve to be shot down because it will be worthless.
    As for the “anger” at these town meetings, yes, this is all being stirred up by the Republican Party. And it is long since time to recognize that the Republican Party is not just lying about any Democrat president, but that the Republican Party is unAmerican, and anti-democratic. They are actively trying to destroy government in this country so that it can be repaired by autocratic, business controlled puppets. The Republican Party in they acts has become indistinguishable from Nazi. There’s I’ve said it. Danny’s head will explode in 5…..4…..3…..2….

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  73. coozledad said on August 8, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Don’t worry beb. They’ve already started eating their own. It’s already out of the Republican’s hands. Give it two or three more months and they’ll be factionalizing further. The largest common interest among them I would call the “Missed the heyday of the Klan, so I’ll have to settle for the Guitar Hero version” Party, followed by the “If that Palin was my daughter I wooden ever let her out of the trailer” party, with the “I catch chipmunks with my bare hands and what I can’t eat I smear on my shirt” party coming in a not too distant third.

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  74. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 8, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    So, are conservatives the benighted minority of willful ignoramuses, or a plethora verging on plurality segment of ‘Murricans who are poor, undereducated, and easily led?

    Likewise, are liberals the rightful majority of right-thinking, left-leaning thoughtful citizens, or the wise and insightful subgroup of planners and dreamers whose hopes for this country on the world stage are being subverted by an excess of democracy, not to say democratic spirit?

    The whole dispute has less to do with a small number of ill mannered, rudely behaved nutroots at “town halls” than it does with the growing unwillingness to keep writing blank checks to an administration that won’t even tell us what we’re signing the slip for, insouciantly adding that they don’t read their own bills (the legislative kind, i mean, though both meanings might apply here), so what’s our beef, again?

    The “whose parents are on Medicare” putdown is a clever discussion ender, implying that if you like some federal government (moon landings, national parks, defeating Hitler, treating Ma’s phlebitis) then you have no right to tell elected officials where you get off. And it can be readily searched-up on this blog alone than i’m quite in favor of a wider federal health care policy approach, given the percentage of Americans already on one form of single payer or another right now (including ER treatment in extremis for all, which is a policy, just a really inefficient and unfair way to treat illness).

    But i can make no sense of what we’re being told we must approve of nationally by the end of the next week/month/session, and am getting . . . um . . . angry at being told, or hearing my betters smirk to each other that if i’m against passage of this costly, tasteless, crustless meringue, then i hate apple pie, and probably ice cream as well, but it’s only because i mindlessly accept the lies of the cherry pie and black coffee lobby. Oh, please.

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  75. Rana said on August 8, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    No one’s making you wear that shoe, Jeff.

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  76. Danny said on August 8, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Nancy, a couple months ago or so, you cited Godwin’s law when I was talking about Margaret Sanger. You were imploring me not to go down that road, so to say.

    Since that time, I’ve been keeping a little informal mental tally and have noticed a bunch of the left-leaning folks around here indeed have gone down that road and some repeatedly, but with nary a word from anyone. Why is that?

    And though I’m not going to search for it right now, it’d be easy enough to set the record straight on who is invoking Hitler around here. JC did a few weeks back, Cooz several times (what a surprise), Alex I believe has and now we have beb. There’s probably more, but as I said, it’s just been an informal mental tally.

    Anyway, just a note. I’m off to the beach!

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  77. coozledad said on August 8, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Well, it’s been pointed out to me that the sisterdiving sheet-wearing neo secessionists are the Jews of liberal Fascism, but a man’s got to establish his bona fides if he wants a sinecure on a death panel. I’m hoping to fill the open slot for Florence, SC. We have a shitload of work to do there.

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  78. Linda said on August 8, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Of course people can honestly dissent without being called names. First, though, the Republicans need to be honest about their dissent–stop calling people killers of infants and old people, and of “nationalizing” health care, when in all honesty, that’s not what is being offered. Possibly, federal health care coverage will be open to people who want it, but not forced upon everybody. Republicans lost their pose as honest dissenters when they spread these lies.

    Obama is pushing for it fast, but it’s not like it hasn’t been on the table since the first Clinton plan got derailed. We have had a decade and a half to contemplate health care broadening and reform since, and the Republicans have decided to hold the wall steady against every type of program, except the boondoggle for big pharma during the Bush administration. Obama is pushing for now, so that it will happen sometime. Instead of floating scare stories, the Republican Party could contribute some useful give and take. I don’t see that happening. They are pushing for the status quo. Unless you count restrictions on insurance payouts–with no restrictions on insurance premiums.

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  79. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 8, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    “when they spread these lies” — that’s a handy catch-all for “stop saying the plan will impact anyone with insurance now.”

    What’s the plan, Kenneth?

    By the way, the lamest Republicans out there have asked for caps on malpractice litigation (on insurance payouts, not so much) and legislation that would allow greater use of MSAs. I’m not for MSAs myself for the usual elitist reasons, that are inconveniently true (people don’t make many rational decisions when it comes to health care management on a cost basis), but it’s an option. McCain’s econ guy, Doug Holtz-Eakin, proposed making health care plans at work taxable, an eminently rational plan that would help people behave as rational economic agents better than any MSA plan out there, and would also allow a revenue stream above the $5K rebate (that would protect most covered folks, given taxable income percentages) which would then go to pay for uninsured workers and an expansion of Medicaid.

    This was roundly derided . . . by the Obama team, which now looks to be considering it as a way to show cost coverage in the new budget. But saying the Republicans don’t/haven’t/won’t offer alternatives is the Axelrod playbook, not actual fact.

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  80. Jolene said on August 8, 2009 at 9:22 pm


    You might want to check out Steve Pearlstein’s WaPo column*. Very strong statement on who is contributing what from a normally very even-handed business writer (and Pulitzer Prize winner.)

    *Still typing on my phone. Perhaps someone else can provide the link.

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  81. Linda said on August 8, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Here’s the problem with the $5k rebate: that will cover “most people:” the income stream will cover healthy, young people with no pre-existing conditions. Insurers are still free to cherry-pick those customers, and make rates on all others so high that nobody will be able to buy individual health insurance.

    And calling the plan “the government takeover of insurance” IS a lie–there is nothing that would ban private health insurance. Painting end-of-life counseling as a plot is kill off old people is a lie, too. And Palin’s remarks–definite lies that cannot be dismissed as remarks from the fringe.

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  82. Linda said on August 8, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Jolene,, here’s your link.

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  83. brian stouder said on August 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Danny, I don’t like all the ‘nazi’ talk either – and the rightwing flying monkeys of the airwaves have been beating the hell out of that drum, by the by. (‘Oh yes’, they’ll say, Obama can give a speech, just like cult-of-personality totalitarians of the past; and Obama wants government to decide who will live and who will die, and Obama is taking over the American economy, and so on and so forth, ad nauseum)

    I will agree with you about the unsuitability of that term in this discussion, from any side; and I will say to you, point-blank, that in my experience (although not on this blog) real live mouth-breathing racism is at the root of MUCH of the opposition to the president.

    Calling such people ‘nazis’ is genuinely being too nice, since they can scoff and say “that’s ridiculous”, when in fact they simply cannot get over that some (insert racial epithet here) now sits in the goddamned White House!

    The horror! The horror!

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  84. mark said on August 8, 2009 at 11:12 pm


    Do you have a link for “the plan,” so we can tell for ourselves who is lying? I understand that it does ban any new private insurance plans. But it seems that the modus operandi for the “most transparent administration in history” is to keep things murky, call any criticism a lie, and shove the plan through after Congress has three or four hours to “read” it.

    Remember candidate Obama and the promise that all legislation would be on the internet for 5 days before a vote? Just part of “Change I can Fool You Into Believing In”

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  85. Linda said on August 8, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    I looked around, and this was about as good as I could find in comparing what has been put up. The trouble is, it shifts around every day with horsetrading. Let me know your link to the banning of new private insurance plans.

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  86. mark said on August 9, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Thank you, Linda. I’ll see what I can find. I, too, hve had difficulty finding anything that purports to be the current draft, perhaps because of frequent changes.

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  87. sisterlicious said on August 9, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Danny, get your facts straight before you go accusing me of having invoked Hitler, which is something I never do, ya friggin’ troll.

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  88. Danny said on August 9, 2009 at 10:01 am

    And who is sisterlicious? Alex fresh back from gender reassignment summer camp?

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  89. alex said on August 9, 2009 at 10:16 am

    It’s an alter ego I use. My computer seems to prefer defaulting to it now for some reason.

    Was surprised to see you slamming the birthers, Danny. I thought for sure you were one of them.

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  90. coozledad said on August 9, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I’ve been to enough Republican throwdowns to hear the holocaust denial and the “nigger this, nigger that, Jew this, Jew that”, to know these smarmy bastards are just moving the goalposts again. I’ll stop invoking Hitler when you lobby the LA Times to fire that legacy whore Jonah Goldberg for equating FDR with fascism. You cant have it both ways, schmucks. You’ve got Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh whipping that bunch of fuck bubbles into a murderous froth, and old Sarah just cant do no wrong by you. If she pulled a train with the Pittsburgh Steelers you’d hail it as a cerebral political move. Well now you’re so closely identified with that grifter trash there’s no place to move the goalposts. She’s all yours.
    Describe in a hundred words or less how pushing the idea of “Death Panels” and euthanasia programs isn’t chewing up Godwin’s law and spitting it in people’s faces. The Anti-Defamation League has weighed in on this, and they seem to think you’re offensive, lying creeps.
    I have to talk to the rednecks down here, not on a daily basis, but more often than I like. It’s one thing for you people to stoke this kind of shit when you enjoy some cultural isolation from the nastiest gun and knife show denizens, or you’re acquainted with the little facial ticks and tremors that identify you as one of the brood, but I live here with them, and frankly, the implicit violence in day to day interactions with your street fightin’ rubbish is pissing me off. And then to hear you cavil and whine about this as though it could have been averted by electing a drunken priapic gambler with a hard on for burning villages and a dime store mannequin with ovaries for a brain…
    curiously just brings me to a state of tranquility as I remember the words to that old-time Republican gospel tune: “Get over it. Get over it. God almighty, get over it.”
    And just in time to bear me out, old Newt’s out swinging his fourth tier history professor shingle in defense of Sarah. I guess when she does the Steelers it’ll be a celebration of the American virtues of athleticism and competition.

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  91. Danny said on August 9, 2009 at 10:43 am

    It’s an alter ego I use. My com­puter seems to pre­fer default­ing to it now for some reason.

    Hmm, good to see you, Alex. I was actually wondering where you’d been. I figured that with summer, lot’s of people go on vacation.

    Hey, note that when I mentioned you above, I did qualify because I wasn’t sure if I was remembering correctly. I just didn’t have time to search becasue we were heading to the beach.

    Was sur­prised to see you slam­ming the birthers, Danny. I thought for sure you were one of them.

    Yeah, they’re a bunch of crazies and there’s a bunch more of them running around these days getting public airplay. Seems like they just want to throw whatever they can against the wall and see if it sticks, trying to ruin the presidency.

    Other than being skeptical of the spending, I think President Obama is doing a pretty good job so far given what he was handed. Better than McCain would have done.

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  92. mark said on August 9, 2009 at 10:44 am


    I did find a link to the House Enrolled Act. When I figure out how to embed a link, I’ll do so. I found it on a committee website for the House of R.

    The issue I raised originates from some language on page 16, and I understand the concern a little better now (sort of) after reading some of the bill. Nothing appears to be simple, which 800 to 1000 pages might suggest. Not much point, though, in discussing page 16 until I figure out how to share it and the rest with you.

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  93. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 9, 2009 at 10:59 am

    “Banning” private insurance — hmm. The prob, Bob, is that the introduction of a government insurance plan will open up a door that will lead to widespread business walk-away from current coverage methods. And when pressed specifically on that, there’s the rhetoric (“no one will have to leave their plan if they like it”) and there’s the policy (“well, um, we will make sure to put some, uh, punitive measures to, well, discourage companies from doing that to their employees, and ummmmm — we’re committed to offering some sort of protection to working people and their choices”).

    Add in a mention in one early draft of not allowing new policies to be sold “unless grandfathered in” — (sorry, jc, i’m in a hurry with a puking kid) leaves one with a picture that seems to end up at a very intentional plan to get, fairly soon, to the end of private insurance and a federal single payer. Which, he nearly shouts, i’m actually for (with some significant qualifications, a different discussion), but you really can’t keep saying people are LYING when they compress that into “ending/banning private insurance.” Add in a number of video clips of folks like Barney Frank and Obama admin figures having said that’s where they want to go, and of course people think that’s what’s being slid, shuffled, and snuck under the door at the last minute.

    Added later — didn’t refresh, missed mark’s comment, and i hope he can find a link; it is remarkably hard to find the bill itself (as opposed to commentary/rhetoric about it), which is part of the problem. And i’m quite aware that the Heritage Foundation link i used contains ongoing debate on exactly how or if the bill would impact new/ongoing private insurance . . . that’s my point precisely: no one seems to be able to clarify on either side what this will actually do to current insurance if passed, which is a good reason for those content with current coverage to be concerned. I spent two years in West Virginia working on a panel for the state and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in the original CHIP implementation, and there just isn’t the same focus in this debate on the unininsured (the Congressional/policy side of the debate on the legislation itself, not the cable/pundit debate over townhall astroturfing). The uninsured should be Job#1, and the pivot the Obama Administration made to “health care insurance reform” from “health care reform” just reaffirms that they aren’t focused there.

    This is doable if you can find a way to reframe the policy planning on serving that population, already encompassed/circumscribed to some degree by CHIP, Medicaid, and ER public policy mandates, but not completely shaded in yet (undocumented/illegal immigrants are the other elephant in the ER waiting room). But if the only bill they want to try to pass is one that impacts everyone’s coverage and care, they will lose, and they should.

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  94. Danny said on August 9, 2009 at 11:39 am

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  95. Danny said on August 9, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Wanted to share a little beauty here. This beach in Del Mar is where we spend a lot of time in the summers. You might be able to make out a low, concrete seawall, just in back of the palm tree. That is the patio for the Posiedon restaurant. If you ever make it to San Diego, you gotta have dinner and drinks there. It’s all open and watching the sun set is amazing.

    At night, the restaurant next door to Poseidon (Jake’s) turns on flood lights from it’s roof to illuminate the beach and every once and a while you catch a glimpse of a volleyball popping into the air as folks play at night on the beach.

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  96. Rana said on August 9, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Mark – this might help:

    ETA: Or, if it’s not too long, just paste it in, and it will turn into a link automatically, which is what this one did.

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  97. Rana said on August 9, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Danny, that brings back memories. When I was in grad school, I rented a place in Del Mar about eight blocks south of that, back when it was still relatively inexpensive to do so. I miss the way the marine layer would roll in at night, leaving everything damp and smelling of the sea.

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  98. Jolene said on August 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm


    Obama has argued repeatedly, and I think he is right about this, that satisfaction with the current system is, if not psychologically then practically, irrelevant because the current system is unsustainable.

    Over the past decade or so, people with insurance have seen their premiums rise faster than wages or inflation, and deductibles and co-payments have increased. Employers are offloading costs and dropping insurance altogether. Without reform that constrains prices and guarantees eligibility, more and more people will be locked out of the insurance market altogether.

    I know this isn’t an answer to the “what is in the plan” question, but I’m not sure we can hope for a plan that gives us a detailed picture of what the world will look like twenty years from now.

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  99. Danny said on August 9, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    It’ll probably look like “Carousel” on Logan’s Run.

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  100. Danny said on August 9, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Here is a funny commentary regarding how San Diego did not make the list of top ten cities with which to vacation with children, but that Los Angeles and Singapore did. Some excerpts:

    The only way we could be more kid-friendly is if the Hotel Del Coronado was made of chocolate. Dr. Seuss used to live here, for goodness sake.


    Another city on the list: Singapore, where you can’t chew gum. You can get caned for being out-of-line in Singapore. What a great place for children, Singapore.

    And then there’s Istanbul, Turkey. That would be wonderful for kids, if their father is, say, James Bond or Indiana Jones.

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  101. coozledad said on August 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Gingrich Defends Palin On The Death Panel
    Appearing on This Week, former Speaker Newt Gingrich defended Palin on the “death panel” talk, even though George Stephanopoulos pointed out multiple times that the health care bill does not promote euthanasia. “You are asking us to trust turning power over to the government,” said Gingrich, “when there are clearly people in American who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards.”
    Including a pseudointellectual nasal douche with an inconvenient first wife dying of cancer, Newt?
    Blow me. And fuck Godwin’s law.

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  102. Danny said on August 9, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    What a fine lather you’ve worked yourself into, Cooz! Man, you’re about to blow a gasket a la Gasman and self-eject any day now.

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  103. coozledad said on August 9, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Keep your projections to yourself. Your puppyspankers are ripping at some pretty threadbare social fabric down here. And temperatures will be topping a hundred for a couple of days early this week.

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  104. coozledad said on August 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm


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  105. beb said on August 9, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I want to expand on my earlier post. When I said Republicans were Nazis I wasn’t referring to people who identify themselves as conservatives or people who identify with the Republican party, but to people who are in the actual party – the committee members, public spokesmen, the politicians, Republican “strategist” and party elders. These people are deliberately out their trying to destroy the Democratic party and create a one-party rule of Republicans.

    And in this case Goodwin’s law isn’t being invoked. There have been people showing up to disrupt these town hall meetings carrying signs with Nazi markings. The Republicans are the ones bring this crap up.

    One problem with talking about Obamacare is that Congress is still drafting the law instead of Obama presenting them with a plan for them to approve. In fact Obama has been painfully vague about what he considers to be an acceptable minimum plan. It’s hard to debate or defend a plan that technically doesn’t yet exist.

    As for the Public Option, that everyone seem to think that a hundred million people will opt for a Public Option seems to indicate just how bad current private insurance is.

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  106. mark said on August 9, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    It works, I think. thank you, Rana. So easy, a caveman did it.

    Be warned that it is a lot to download. and I pulled it from the first site I found with complete text (after Rana gave me the gift of linking), without looking at politics. Can’t verify that the text is completely current, either, but the first 20 pages looked the same as what i found last evening.

    Jolene, it is unreasonable to expect a bill to tell us exaactly what the world will look like twenty years after passage. It is not unreasonable to expect a bill to tell us exactly what the law will look like twenty days after passage. That is the test Obama is failing.

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  107. moe99 said on August 9, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    A week away at adult music camp and I want to go back.

    All I can tell you after my welcome hiatus and reviewing the week with fresh eyes, is that the rhetoric, particularly from the Republicans, is getting worse. And I fear that the right wing will resort to major violence to impose their will on the rest of society. Perhaps we, as Democrats, could do as that NYT woman whose husband had a midlife crisis, and just ignore them, saying, It’s not about me, it’s about you and I will wait til your spell of madness has left you and you return to the political dialogue a rational person. But I don’t think most of us have that sort of patience. However, it would be nice to ignore the uglies, wouldn’t it?

    And, Nancy, I am so sorry to hear of your puppy’s demise. After the huge welcome home my three gave me, it hurts to know that there is one waggy tail less in the world. My sincere regrets.

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  108. Jolene said on August 9, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Jolene, it is unrea­son­able to expect a bill to tell us exaactly what the world will look like twenty years after pas­sage. It is not unrea­son­able to expect a bill to tell us exactly what the law will look like twenty days after pas­sage. That is the test Obama is failing.

    It’s not cooked yet, Mark. But I agree that it’s problematic to be spending so much time talking about reform when the proposed reform hasn’t been specified. But Obama is trying, perhaps overly hard, to avoid the fate of Hillarycare–a plan that was presented as a fait accompli that no one in Congress had any stake in supporting. It’s a difficult enterprise to figure out how to give people a say and, at the same time, ask them to sign on to an as yet undefined program.

    But the observation that nothing that has been proposed resembles the scary predictions that some Republicans are making still stands.

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  109. brian stouder said on August 9, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Jolene, it is unrea­son­able to expect a bill to tell us exactly what the world will look like twenty years after pas­sage. It is not unrea­son­able to expect a bill to tell us exactly what the law will look like twenty days after pas­sage. That is the test Obama is failing.

    Mark, in a perfect vacuum, your point would be credible – but let’s think back a bit, shall we?

    When the administration of President Clinton expended huge political capital on HIS healthcare reform initiative, I very CLEARLY recall that one of the biggest – if not THE biggest complaints was that the administration had the AUDACITY (so to speak) or else the HUBRIS or the PRETENTIOUSNESS or the ARROGANCE to hammer out the whole damned thing “in secret”, and then roll it out as a complete thing, for Congress to vote on.

    I recall hearing then, from many pundits who seemed to have a pretty good point, that “this is NOT the way big things are done in America”; the thought was that Clinton should have let Congress become invested in the process – set the goals and the parameters, and let the legislators do what they do best – negotiate/horse-trade/nix/propose/cull and then deliver.

    I think the BIGGEST damned red herrings in this whole debate are the parallel canards about how there ain’t no plan/there’s a secret, malevolent plan/nobody can read the whole plan/everything is out of control and technically unexplainable!

    Anyone who’s ever bought a house knows that even simple transactions like that involve page after page after page of legalese. In the case of buying a house, a responsible person hires a lawyer and then proceeds judiciously, just as a responsible member of congress hires a trustworthy staff that can systematically comprehend the whole of every bill to be voted on, and then she votes.

    edit: I see Jolene her-own-self beat me to the response – AND she said what I wanted to say, more completely and in fewer words. Damn her liberal education!!

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  110. Brandon said on August 10, 2009 at 12:48 am

    The Breakfast Club probably holds up the best because of its emphasis on character and interaction. It would make a great play and would be fairly easy to stage. Most of the movie is set in the library, after all.

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