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The GOP goal is to kill healthcare reform outright; their strategists are saying as much. Not to kill single payer or a public option, but to kill the whole notion of reform. The legislators tasked with coming up with alternative plans  declared, this last week, that none were needed; Senator Inhofe muses out loud about how much his party might be helped if they can manage to stop reform outright.

I suppose it is worth pondering the how and the why of such things.  Do they earnestly believe that there's absolutely nothing that needs to be done about health care in this country?  Are they so transparently in the pockets of the lobbyists that they are willing make a bold stand on "everything is fine", when a mere look out the window says it's not?

It's puzzling that such a stance could even be remotely effective. Everybody in America seems to hate their insurance provider, at least everyone who has ever had to use it because they actually got sick. Everybody knows how bad getting actual healthcare has become in this country; everybody has stories of being screwed roundly by their insurance, or not being able to get insurance in the first place, or knows someone else who has had worse experiences.

And yet even in something with such widespread support, all you have to do to foul up the works is (1) invoke partisan pride, so that all the other conservatives or Republicans will simply oppose whatever-it-is out of reflex, and (2) make up a bunch of scary-sounding bullcrap, much of it provided by the insurance companies themselves, and hork it up on television via friendly hosts and anchors. (And again -- transparently. The very same scary-sounding phrases or made-up statistics make it into twenty or fifty or a hundred different political and pundit mouths in a single day, with not even an attempt to disguise the obvious commonality of the source.)

Consider it: this is all it takes to possibly stop something that has, what, 80 or 85% of the public behind it. And it's yet another example of how a single industry, spending not all that much money in the grand scheme of things, can very, very easily counter the collective will of the entire population. And how entrenched the notion is, among the majority of politicians, and pundits, and anchors, and political hangers-on, that that's not only fine but the way things should work.


It seems increasingly easy to understand why there's an culture of mistress-banging and airport-bathroom-handjob-seeking and prostitute-visiting, among our leaders. They truly believe themselves above normal morality or normal law by virtue of their positions. The same mind that can demand moral perfection in others, when it comes to sex, has absolutely no problem preaching those things to others while doing the exact opposite themselves, because they are different from others. There's no contradiction in their minds: they're powerful, so they're a special case. Arrests can be made by the dozen, in New Jersey, and it seems hardly noteworthy. Rush Limbaugh can be caught with illegal prescriptions, after years of railing against drug users, and it does not so much as put a scratch in his Four Hundred Million Dollar career. Rules exist for others; laws exist for others; morality exists for others; personal power or personal advantage is the only goal worth seeking.

After twenty years of the same fight on the same healthcare issues, one thing is transparently obvious, from the pronouncements of the supposed leaders of the opposition: whether or not anyone in America is truly needing of healthcare, from a practical, economic, moral, ethical, or any other standard simply does not enter the debate. I personally do not expect many of these politicians even have an awareness that other people might have medical needs different from their own, or not have insurance like their own insurance, or not be as connected or as well-off; that requires a level of awareness that few of them can even bother to credibly pretend at. The question among our supposed leaders and brilliant minds is only how can this debate be used to extract personal or career advantage for them. If we kill healthcare reform, who will "win" the politics of killing it? Who will have an easier time being elected, or find themselves on television more often?

There's no moral calculus at all, for people like Kristol, or Inhofe, or Gingrich, or other supposed leaders. None is pretended at: none is cowed to. There's no good or bad, there's no long term vs short term -- nothing. And it's among both Republican and Democrat, and it has become increasingly easy to see which are which. Gingrich can have his affairs, and you can't. Our leaders can visit their whores, but you're a dirty rotten sinner if you do. They can have healthcare, because that's just how things work, pal. You can't -- at least, not if there is personal, political advantage to them in preventing it.

It's not even corruption, because "corruption" implies they know they're doing something wrong. It's a complete amorality. This same group of people, this same party of high-minded No, this same party of constant scandal, constant national security blunders, constant deficits, constant manipulations is going to kill healthcare reform because it helps them get cash or influence; they will happily attempt an impeachment of a president for denying an affair while having and denying affairs by the dozens themselves; they're going to ditch the wife and their duties and fly to Argentina to get laid because it makes them happy, and that's all that matters. If it causes problems later, shed some tears and make it go away. (If you're Sarah Palin, pride of Republicanism, hell -- you don't even have to do your actual job. You can pull a Carrie Prejean, bail on all your duties and just wander off to give speeches to promote yourself, and if anyone has a problem with it it's because they don't understand how great you are.)


Republicans are still citing, with pride, how they blocked healthcare reform attempts in the Clinton years, an action which directly led to the runaway healthcare costs between then and now. In the Clinton years, 95 cents of every dollar paid in premiums was paid out again for medical care: now it's plummeted to 80 cents, the rest going to administration and profits. But they're proud of this result, and not defensive at all, because whether it be twenty years ago of twenty minutes ago, the whole debate hinges, for them, on what political advantage can be squeezed out of it at any given moment of time, and not on what effects their actions might actually have.

If it means your mother can't get her medicines, or means you can't see a doctor, or your injured child gets wheeled out of the hospital just as soon as they are stabilized, with absolutely no long term care whatsoever, they don't just not care: it doesn't enter their heads.

That is what is so striking about our governance: it is increasingly devoid of even the pretenses of public good. The notion that we should reform healthcare in this nation because it needs reforming is nearly a comical argument; the only relevant or even commonly debated question is who will gain or lose from a strictly political fight to achieve or block the effort. Regardless of popular opinion it can be absolutely assured that whether or not you believe American citizens deserve a more rational healthcare system is entirely dependent on which party you belong to.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Republicans' 10-Point Plan for Health Care (49+ / 0-)

    Here is the Republican 10-Point Plan for Health Care:

    1. 50 Million Uninsured in America
    1. Another 25 Million Underinsured
    1. Employer-Based Coverage Plummets Below 60%
    1. Employer Health Costs to Jump by 9% in 2010
    1. One in Five Americans Forced to Postpone Care
    1. 62% of U.S. Bankruptcies Involve Medical Bills
    1. Current Health Care Costs Already Fueling Job Losses
    1. 94% of Health Insurance Markets in U.S Now "Highly Concentrated"
    1. Dramatic Decline in Emergency Room Capacity
    1. Perpetuating Red State Health Care Failure

    Details and data on each here.

  •  Most Mysterious... (27+ / 0-)

    ...is what the hell the Blue Dogs are thinking.

    I understand the G.No.P. but Democrats?  They stink worse because of their "wolves in sheep's clothing" cowardice.

    Yes We DID!!!!!!! Now back to work!

    by InquisitiveRaven on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:04:22 AM PDT

  •  America's last stand (31+ / 0-)

    From the outside, the rest of the world is watching to see what the results may be.  It's inconceivable to many Canadians that Americans are still having this debate about healthcare at such a late date.  

    The fact that Republicans can still muddle things up and that a radical shift from the "free market disease industry" to a real healthcare system isn't even possible is sad and perplexing.

    I moved to Canada because I got married, but knowing healthcare in the US was basically beyond my reach makes me glad I was given this option in life.

    •  R.I.P U.S A. (9+ / 0-)

      Or if you prefer, "ripusa."

      Health care is a make or break issue and "Dear Mister President" had best be up to the task.

      A watered down, do nothing bill isn't near good enough. It's do or die.

      "Change" isn't just a campaign slogan or a mantra for homeless people on South Park episode #146.

      FOX is selling commercials? As if Bubba didn't have toned abs and an exceedingly large erection, there's infomercials now.

      by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:50:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely correct, a bad bill or even a good (6+ / 0-)

        bill delayed too far into the future, will give the government back to the Repugs.

        •  Let's legalize cannabis (6+ / 0-)

          At least we'll feel healthy.

          My snarkometer is hitting eleven and pegged today. My government is too stupid for mere words. Even sarcasm isn't working.

          Maybe "sacKism" will function until I coin another word.

          FOX is selling commercials? As if Bubba didn't have toned abs and an exceedingly large erection, there's infomercials now.

          by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:13:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No bill is better than a bad bill (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buckhorn okie

          My biggest worry is that something like the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill passes-- money is handed out but the system stays the same.

          There is a temptation, I think, to pass a bill that merely hands people money to buy private insurance.  This will only strengthen the insurance companies, allow them to buy even more lobbyists, and make it possible for them to charge even more.

          I disagree that passing no bill will be a victory for the Republicans. Republicans have no concept of the depth of this problem.  Americans are losing their healthcare right and left. Many Americans with healthcare are getting no benefit.  If nothing changes, businesses will continue to drop coverage and more Americans will give up their insurance voluntarily.

          When Americans give up their insurance voluntarily, the insurance companies will lose money.  When Americans give up insurance voluntarily they can't be "satisfied with their current insurance."

          Right now we have three solutions. Pass a public option that gives us a possibility of delivering decent healthcare to Americans.  Do nothing and watch the insurance industry collapse under the weight of its own greed.  Or, pass bandaid legislation that makes trivial improvements to our healthcare system while entrenching the current unsustainable system.  

          While I clearly prefer the first solution, we must be serious in our unwillingness to compromise.  An unwillingness to compromise means a willingness to accept no results for the time being.  Trust me, this is not 1993-- people won't forget about it for another 15 years.

          One man gathers what another man spills

          by John Chapman on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 05:58:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  What I don't understand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1

        is the reconciliation legislation that was passed at the very beginning of Obama's term.

        This legislation makes it so that only 51 votes are needed.  There are 7 blue dogs holding out....

        this means there are 51 Democrats and 2 Independents, for a total of 53 votes.

        Is Obama waiting until they've taken away everything that would make the legislation effective in really overhauling health insurance reform?  So that he can say it passed but has zero effect?

        Or is he giving these a-holes so much rope with which to hang themselves that in the end, he passes it with reconciliation and those who voted no are left hanging in the wind (metaphorically speaking of course).

        Do I look like a scab? No? Then quit picking on me!

        by heavysole on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:20:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama gave Congress until November (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          heavysole, Creosote, greenearth

          or he will use the reconciliation process.  I have written several times that it is better to do that than accept a bill that gets it wrong;  the Repubs are making it easier in the long run.  

          But the Repubs don't understand the long run.

          If not me, who? If not now, when?

          by ramara on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 12:05:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks, your response gives me hope (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenearth, ramara

            While the Republicans have turned into nothing but obstructionists, they still control the main stream media so their idiot talking points are spread far and wide; this worries me.

            It seems like Obama is taking a drubbing over everything he does, right down to wearing the wrong blue jeans.  It's so stupid it leaves me speechless.

            It's hard to believe they do this kind of thing when there are so many important things that must be done to get this country back on track.

            Do I look like a scab? No? Then quit picking on me!

            by heavysole on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 01:34:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It will be easier (0+ / 0-)

              to go for reconciliation because they couldn't agree on a bill than to veto a bill.  I think he would have a hard time dealing with that.  That's why I think the Repubs are actually making it easier to get a stronger bill passed than if they were cooperating.

              If not me, who? If not now, when?

              by ramara on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 02:40:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  7 blue dog democrats are in a committe (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, heavysole

          The 7 Blue Dogs are in the House Energy and Commerce Committee that was next to mark-up the bill - it's part of the legislative process.  Waxman the chair, has said he might let it go without going through his committee.  It's the legislative process that is being used to obstruct.

          Dems mull skipping Blue Dogs and bring healthcare to the floor (7/23)
          http://thehill.com/...

          mcjoan's diary covers health care in depth

          Blue Dogs Obstruction proves very lucrative
          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          Waxman getting tough on Blue Dogs? on 7/24
          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          Huffington Post
          Rahm negotiates with Blue Dogs on 7/24
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    •  The Republicans are irrelevant. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, greenearth, Nisi Prius

      The Dems have the votes, if they can get themselves organized.  If they can't they're worthless and we will have sealed our fate as a third-world country.
      But what I don't get is, don't any of these people even KNOW ANYONE who's getting fucked by the current system--friends, relatives, their own children?  Are they that insular?

  •  The root of the problem: money = "speech" (31+ / 0-)

    Not only does this notion stand as a permanent obstruction to political reform, but it feeds into the "we're above the law" mentality inside the Beltway by making incumbents so difficult to remove from office.

    The circle is completed by the need for candidates to be, above all, fund-raisers. This tilts the system in favor of the kind of glad-handing frat boys who reside on C Street.

    I'm beginning to think it makes more sense to auction off Senate and House seats on eBay and eliminate all the middlemen.

    "Some people meditate. I go watch baseball."--Keith Olbermann

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:05:37 AM PDT

    •  It would at least be more honest (12+ / 0-)

      than pretending to "promote the general welfare." I think that's part of the reason the rethugs demonized the word "welfare."

      Tax the effin' rich!

      "Jesus didn't come to take sides. He came to take over." -- Mark Pryor, DINO (Ark.)

      by cotterperson on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:12:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nature of the Senate is also an issue. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, greenearth, echatwa, Calouste

      The equal state representation in the Senate overcame a contentious small, weak vs. large, strong state issue to get the Constitution ratified. Small population states had a legitimate worry, just as any minority does in pure majority rule systems.

      That system was probably far too tilted in favor of the small states among the original thirteen. The tilt is worse now with the fifty. It is now turned almost insane with money equals speech rulings and practices. Money had an amplified "voice" when it is directed at a smaller and sometimes less sophisticated audience.

      Someone mentioned in another discussion here that most of the opposing Senators represented small populations in particular reference to Sen. Max Baucus. I have not done the hard numbers so I am just throwing this out as an exercise. Maybe someone still into that kind of digging and crunching will do a good diary on the result. Consider this:

      Assume 51% of the voters in the twenty-four largest population states demand of their Senators loyalty to an objective or view and get compliant representation. Add an assumed 49% in the other twenty-six states with lesser populations vote to support that objective or view and 51% get compliance with that opposite view in the Senate. The result is a 52-48 Senate with a view opposed by the majority in the large states and a slight minority in the small states.

      Question:

      What minority population in this exercise wags the majority? What is the numerical difference?

      Certainly, it is not so simple in practice. We do see this going on right now in a more muddied form in which small population state Senate members seem to be wagging the large dog of actual popular will.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:08:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The part relevant to healthcare (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote, greenearth, pelagicray

        is that small population states tend to have only one or two insurers statewide.  Easy to form the necessary alliances.

        If not me, who? If not now, when?

        by ramara on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 12:10:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Baucus comes from a rural state (0+ / 0-)

        The problem isn't just that they are small states, but when they are rural states like Baucus in Montana, they are more often Republican.  Baucus is a Democrat who is more conservative because of his constinuents or he wouldn't have been elected in the first place.  

        With the House it's even worse because they are elected by district which can be very concentrated and conservative or liberal.  At least a Senator represents the whole state and a liberal is more likely to carry big cities if needed in a state that has a conservative rural population.

        That's the case in Indiana where I'm from. Senator Evan Bayh is a Blue Dog Democrat.  Senator Luger is a Republican. I don't agree with everything Luger does, but I do see him have a lot of integrity and concern for the people of Indiana.  Bayh seems more politically motivated.

        Unfortuntately my Representative is Dan Burton (R).  I don't even want to talk about it!

        •  Note, I said (0+ / 0-)

          small population states, not small in area. Most of those are predominately rural. Most of the red states and those sending all Blue Dogs tend to lack major urban areas (emphasis on major and plural) and what urban center exists in the state is also suppressed by the rural emphasis.

          For example, Georgia has Atlanta. That city is a fairly significant urban center. Atlanta is a player in state politics. It does not dominate and the couple of secondary cites with Atlanta cannot dominate. Decades ago that rural domination was even codified in the County Unit System (Think Electoral College, plurality carries the political unit) to make sure there could be no mistake.

          Our Senate basis, just as the County Unit System worked in Georgia, ensures a minority population can thwart and even dominate large population states that usually have significant urban areas and views. That is the way our system was set to operate. The tension has always been in the system. It was probably a significant factor of the explosion that was our Civil War. I think perhaps we have a bit more now than in the nation's first decades partly due to the rapid pace of technological and cultural change since WW II.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 06:26:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •   and money is AMORAL (7+ / 0-)

      Hunter's theme is that amorality is able to dominate our culture.  You've tied together the two key components  money = amorality.

      If you have money you literally don't have to be moral.  If fact, everyone Hunter mentions seems to make more money by behaving immorally.

      I think one can literally confirm the date to the opening of the movie "Wall Street" with Michael Douglas as Gordon Gecko in 1987. (also known as Reagan's second term).  I'm not saying the movie did it, I'm saying the way audiences behaved at the movie confirmed it.

      In 1985 or 1986 there were enough people who would have resisted the greed is good philosophy.  Douglas himself was shocked that when the movie opened audiences didn't boo and hiss when Gordon Gecko stood up and proclaimed "Greed is good."  Instead audiences laughed and cheered.

    •  We need public financing for campaigns too (4+ / 0-)

      It's way past time to wean these fuckers off of the corporate teat.

      Public financing for campaigns; then our representatives will actually represent us, the people, not corporate campaign donors.

    •  Yes, I have been thinking (4+ / 0-)

      this might actually have a valid First Amendment argument, since we should all have free speech, not just in measured amounts, while equating money and speech clearly favors the speech of the few over the rest of us.

      The other piece is corporate person-hood.

      If not me, who? If not now, when?

      by ramara on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 12:07:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Hunter ! Righteous rant of the week ! (20+ / 0-)

    I think I'm a bit jealous ? Well..Well written !

    "All Animals are equal but some Animals are more equal than others"

    by ShrunkenHead on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:05:39 AM PDT

  •  I'm sick-- my insurance is covering everything. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, rhp, ozsea1

    I guess I'm not American suddenly?  

    •  Where were you really born ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie

      "All Animals are equal but some Animals are more equal than others"

      by ShrunkenHead on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:08:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  texas. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1

        although it seems to wanna be its own deal right now, sadly.  

        •  I hope you get some rain ! Those pictures of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shoeboy, buckhorn okie

          the suffering animals are just horrific

          "All Animals are equal but some Animals are more equal than others"

          by ShrunkenHead on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:30:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm in TX too (6+ / 0-)

          Better hope that your insurer, your employer, and your provider all stay exactly the same. If any one of them changes, you might find yourself relying on the worst public health care in the nation.

          I've watched several Houston businesses fold because of health care costs. It's typically been a life-altering event for the employees (lose home, cars, life savings)

          Rick Perry says that's how it should be. Bankruptcy, forclosure, divorce, reposession, eviction, they're all "personal responsibility" issues. That's just what Jesus would have said, I am sure.

          •  I'm in Texas too (8+ / 0-)

            It makes me want to gag every time I go into a conveniece store and see a jar with a little kids face on it that needs an operation but can't have it because she is uninsured or underinsured.  Third world country shit!

          •  1/4 of Texans uninsured? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, greenearth, thegrump

            Is it true that 1 in 4 Texans is uninsured?

            Obama is a tool; and I mean that in the nicest way.

            by hoipolloi on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:11:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yep. (6+ / 0-)

              According to this, we're number one in the nation for uninsured parents, children, and elderly. But we're not satisfied yet. Governor Rick Perry has worked hard to make sure that children are denied access to basic medical care, and have to wait in the emergency room when it's hard to breathe.

              Employer-based insurance is more expensive here, too.

              Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance are higher in Texas. In 2006, the average premium for private employer coverage in Texas was $4,530 for an individual and $12,780 for family coverage. That compares with the national average premium of $4,242 for individual private employer-sponsored coverage and $11,480 for family coverage. Despite a slight slowdown between 2005 and 2006, premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance coverage have increased an average of 11 percent per year since 2001.

              We also lead the nation in people who skip basic medical care because it's too expensive:

              - Doctor visits: Only 0.06 percent of Hawaii residents reported in 2007 not seeing a doctor because of cost, the lowest percentage in the nation. North Dakota followed with 0.07 percent. In last place was Texas at 0.2 percent. The U.S. average was 0.14 percent.

              But we DO like those federal healthcare dollars. Just not for actual medical care. We've got more businesses scamming medicaid dollars than anyone else, says the Houston Chronicle:

              ...The three Houston-area cases represent at least $35 million in false claims and those close to the investigation said that amount may triple after all their office records are reviewed.

              "The staggering dollar amounts of the fraud alleged ... should serve as an indicator to all of us that health care fraud poses a major threat to the soundness of the nation's economy," said FBI Assistant Special Agent in charge Russell Robinson in Houston.

              "Suffer the children unto me" - Jesus Christ
              "Children? Fuck 'em. What did they donate to my campaign?" - Governor Rick Perry (in action, if not words)

              •  Your comment makes it easy to see why Enron (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenearth, thegrump

                was so successful in TX.  However, it also did well influencing CA and OR power companies.   Recent history demonstrates that greed is good.

                •  My neighborhood tanked when enron (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Creosote, 3goldens, greenearth

                  went under. some blocks had almost half the houses for sale.

                  I work for an energy company. It's an unsexy business where margins are generally very small, and value is built over years, if not decades. A plant being built today will likely turn cash-positive about when the actuaries say I'll die - but, it's got a design lifetime of 30 years past that.

                  Anytime a company claims to create billions in new value without actually changing the basic economic realities of their industry, it's a huge red flag.

                  There is a big market for get-rich-quick schemes in Houston, and the more I learn, the more I see it's not a new trend.

              •  Why did people elect him then?? (0+ / 0-)

                If he could care less about the people he is supposed to represent. Voters are so dumb sometimes.

                •  God, Guns, and Gays. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Creosote

                  When he was selected, Enron was still learning how to defraud investors, the dot-com era was still dawning, and Bill Clinton was an unpopular lame duck. Nobody in Texas gave a damn about the governor anyway; even W appeared capable of doing the job.

                  When he was elected, America had just been attacked - which made yet another color of people look scary and expendable to Texans. There was simply no way Texas was going to vote for a democrat that year. The campaign was a filth-encrusted mud-slinger, with both candidates being vicious douchebags. The common joke was "so, which one is the rapist and which one is the child molester again?"

                  He was re-elected in '06, with only 38% of the vote - numbers that John McCain would have been ashamed of last year. Let me repeat: A republican, in Texas, hand-picked by President George W. Bush, got 38%.

                  His re-election was due to two independent candidates, Kinky Friedman and Carol Strayhorn. Had either one of them not been in the race, Rick Perry would be a distant bad memory, and millions of Texans would be better off for it.

                  The elections of '00, '04, and for us Texans, '06, should be a vivid lesson on why third parties are a fantasy, and huge disservice to voters. There is a "lesser of two evils", always.

                  •  Fail (0+ / 0-)

                    I suggest you become literate with other systems for counting votes -- ours is stuck in the Middle Ages somewhere.  Countries with IRV, approval voting, etc. typically don't have two corporate-owned, corporate-structured political parties.  Countries with plurality voting typically do.

                    Besides, to have to swear allegiance to one candidate at election time isn't just pointless but pathetic, as in "I feel sorry for all you pathetic little rubes who think you're actually changing anything".

                    Anyway, what do you do when both parties are owned by elite interests?  Sit back and enjoy plantation life?

          •  Yeah, they want rugged individualism for everyone (8+ / 0-)

            else while they have their hands on the levers to steer the goodies to themselves and cronies. It is a very un Christian "I got mine. Screw you!" at play.

            These people hate the very concept of "community" and citizenship, appearing to worship at the alter of robber barons and outlaws.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:12:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Then you are an exception to the rule n/t (11+ / 0-)

      It is becoming increasingly apparent that some people owe Pelosi an apology

      by GeeBee on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:10:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As am I and my spouse. (3+ / 0-)

        We both happen to be retirees from Texas state government. Gee, I wonder if that makes a difference? At least the pension isn't paid with Perry's teabags.

        •  so the exceptions (7+ / 0-)

          seem to be those that are lucky enough to have government sponsored healthcare?

          •  my healthcare isn't government funded. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenearth

            it in fact pays for more than any government plan i could find, which is why i'm with it.

            •  Give it sometime, without reform you will most (3+ / 0-)

              certainly will be in the same boat as us sometime in the coming future.I also used to have pretty excellent health care about sometime ago.

              This after all has been the trend, more limited care at an increased cost, and I can't help but notice that there is increased pressure in many of the states now to transfer more costs (premium increases,higher co-pays and deductibles, limiting some services,etc.)to the teachers and state employees now.These sectors are just running (as they often do in things) behind in change compared to most of the private sector.

              Trust us who know out here--once this cost-care spiral starts it never ends--less coverage and higher out of pocket costs are all that you can expect every year at renewal.

              It is becoming increasingly apparent that some people owe Pelosi an apology

              by GeeBee on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:34:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  please explain how... (0+ / 0-)

                there will be full coverage of all conditions and treatments for lower cost under any of the current reform plans on offer.  

                i have yet to understand how we will all have my healthcare plan for less than the 80 dollars per month i spend right now for it.

                •  ? (8+ / 0-)

                  I think most of us would be down on our knees, weeping with gratitude, if we could find comprehensive health care insurance for $80 per month. Would you mind sharing?

                  The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                  by sidnora on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:46:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  i thought that was on offer? (0+ / 0-)

                    i mean, that's sort of my larger point here.  isn't the goal of the health care reform to cover everything no matter how expensive for less money than is normal to spend right now?

                    aren't the current plans on offer going to provide my level of care for a cheap price?

                    aren't we all just months away from this level of care, at a discount, even?

                    •  hahahaha (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      housesella, sidnora, 3goldens

                      $80 the norm.  

                      I spent $1500 per month with a $500 deductible because I am rated.

                      I realize that you have health care you like today.  And apparently that is all that matters?  Screw the other 100 million of us?

                      "Never trust a rich man when he offers you a truce."

                      by KibbutzAmiad on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:32:20 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  No, that's the Reaganomics (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      housesella, sidnora, 3goldens, greenearth

                      argument that got us deinstitutionalization and the mentally ill homeless.

                      What saves money is cutting administrative costs and eliminating profits, both of which take up about 20% of private insurance costs.  Medicare pays 3% administrative costs.

                      We currently have rationing of care, done by insurance companies, who more often than even I would like to admit, make the profits by hiring the administrators to deny care recommended by doctors.

                      I had cancer a couple of years ago, and since I get Medicare due to a disability, and it is subsidized because my disability payments are low, I was able to make my medical decisions based on medical advice, not financial considerations.

                      A basic package should include preventive care, follow-up, mental health, dental, emergency care, pre and post-natal care, and medically recommended treatment when you are sick.  If everyone got this, I wouldn't mind some rationing of other care.  

                      A lot of money in Medicare and Medicaid could be saved by rethinking long-term care and moving to more home-based rehab care and a non-profit nursing home sector, under strict regulation.  

                      If not me, who? If not now, when?

                      by ramara on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 12:24:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  can you be more specific. (0+ / 0-)

                        mental health is usually not covered very well in any country, publically or privately.  how would this be changed?

                        what types of care are classified as preventive?  this is actually very important, because with gynecological care, for example, there are cheap preventives for cervical dysplasia, but they have bad side effects and longer aftercare.  the expensive preventive is many times more expensive, but has short aftercare and no side effects.  

                        which would american women get as a baseline?  the side effects-options that are cheap, or the extremely expensive option that has no side effects and a quicker healing time?

                        also, how much dental care would be 'minimum'?  one cleaning?  two?  four?  monthly? would braces be minimum?  teeth whitening?  

                        (fwiw, i am completely in favor of the government just cutting everyone a big fat check for dental care, because most people don't need it much, and when you do need it, you REALLY need it, and it would be simplest to just give everyone the money for dental care every year-- 2-3k per person would probably work pretty well.  maybe throw in an option to roll over money year to year if you only tended to spend 50-100/yr for a cleaning).  

                        this is the kind of stuff i am actually interested in when it comes to healthcare reform-- the difficult question of where to actually establish a minimum level of services to provide people.  

                        •  That is yet to be decided (0+ / 0-)

                          Obama talks about effectiveness-research guided parameters, and these would be implemented and decided by a board of doctors, and presumably exceptions could be determined by this board as well.  At this point, the debate is more general and more basic - are we going to have reform at all.  

                          I would still rather have my care decided by a board of doctors than an insurance company adjuster, wouldn't you?

                          If not me, who? If not now, when?

                          by ramara on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 07:27:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  what are YOUR RESPONSES? (0+ / 0-)

                            what do you think about the specific points i raised.  flailing about with 'oh some doctors will decide and their opinions will be optimal' is derailing.  

                            doctors determined that c-section rates of 30+ percent are acceptable.  that is monstrous.  

                            the dysplasia example i use because it is very simple and how individuals present which choice they'd make there and why affects how one would present one's case to a board of doctors in the future.  

                            incidentally, many clinics charge very little (such as a 75% discount on a 300 dollar procedure, for example) at present for the cheap options regarding dyplasia, in some cases giving away that preventive care, regardless of ability to pay.  they do not do so for the expensive option.  

                            and i can frankly state i have seen barely anyone talk about the problem with dental care in this country.  we could do a pilot program of showering people with dental care vouchers and our health statistics would vastly improve for extremely small sums (getting tooth pain dealt with early is VERY CHEAP, and it would be very worth it to just hand every american 2k for dental care annually).  the productivity savings alone would 'earn' the money back in a year.    

                          •  My mouth (0+ / 0-)

                            would be a good argument for that.  

                            I don't know why you are asking me for these very specific answers.  And you should read teacherken's diaries this week-end about assisting the dentists at the Wise County health fair in Virginia.  I'm on the side of single payer or as close to it as we can get, and am not really the person to argue with.

                            If not me, who? If not now, when?

                            by ramara on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:19:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  And all the bills (0+ / 0-)

                          provide for mental health parity.

                          If not me, who? If not now, when?

                          by ramara on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 07:29:24 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  what does that mean? (0+ / 0-)

                            most people i know without insurance (or without insurance covering mental health care) at present have these situations when pursuing mental health care:

                            --free or reduced-fee care (therapy) from a local/regionally funded mental health program.  sometimes prescriptions are free/cheap, sometimes they are not included.

                            --free meds, pay for the visits.  this also varies.  some doctors limit the person to one monthly visit-- others do 2-4 per month, but do a sliding-scale fee for each visit, or charge every other visit.  this is the most common situation for insuranceless people i know seeking mental health care.

                            --free visits, free meds.  this is least common and my experience is that doctors do this for a few patients that they personally know to be completely indigent.  

                            so under these new plans, what would change for those people in terms of 'mental health parity?'

                            those situations i've described above represent my friends and (past and present) co-workers without mental health insurance.  so i am pretty curious to understand what mental health parity would mean for them.  i have always been the researcher, the one who tries to find that program that pays for stuff when people need care or find the 'cool' doctors who give away a lot of care in their practices, so i really am interested in what these plans will mean for current insuranceless people who are managing to receive discounted or free mental health care.  

                          •  It means that (0+ / 0-)

                            insurers will have to cover mental health services as they do other medical services - not, for example, 17 sessions and then you are on your own, or as my BC/BS did in the 1970's, $500 per year for psychiatric treatment, which was ridiculous even then.  They also used to have a 200 day hospitalization lifetime limit.

                            My Medicare, by the way, pays for my mental health care with no problems, except that the doctor has to show it continues to be necessary.

                            If not me, who? If not now, when?

                            by ramara on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:10:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Still waiting to find out (0+ / 0-)

                      Which private insurer are you paying $80/mo for comprehensive coverage that you are happy with?

                      The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                      by sidnora on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 06:27:43 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Many of us spend far more than that (4+ / 0-)

                  try the range of $800.00 to $1500.00 and almost all of these plans have high co-pays,deductibles,and coverage exclusions.

                  $80.00? you say--well sounds like your just bragging, and if that is your situation it is not relevant to the majority of us who have to pay far more.

                  It is becoming increasingly apparent that some people owe Pelosi an apology

                  by GeeBee on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:47:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Are you a member of Congress? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  housesella, 3goldens, greenearth

                  If not perhaps you can share where you get such wonderful healthcare coverage for $80.00. I have searched and searched for such coverage for months and could not find anything that comes close.

          •  Isn't that interesting? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buckhorn okie, sidnora, greenearth

            Obviously, just random luck. (snark)

        •  Your pension is optional, to him. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buckhorn okie, 3goldens, greenearth

          When texas starts bouncing checks, who do you think is going to get the money, some trivial family, or his political buddies?

    •  Well then . . . (13+ / 0-)

      goodie for you.  Now, if you'd like to see others get what you have because it's good for them, it's good for America, and therefore good for you . . . then you belong here.
      If you meant, I got mine and I don't give two shits about you or the lazy brown masses, then I have to ask you, why are you here?

      "I shall never surrender or retreat." --Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis

      by badger1968 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:14:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  hmmmm (5+ / 0-)

      everything?  How lucky, but for how long?  If you are really sick, what is your lifetime limit?  Do you even have an idea?  They can stop at 1 or 3 or 5 million and that is the retail cost of your coverage, not what they actually pay, so a bout of cancer (curiable) a couple of chemos and ooops....no more private insurance...not to mention it sounds like your insurance would be employer based, so how long will you be able to be sick without losing your job, thus your insurance?

      The insurance company has made healthcare in our country a big Catch-22...

      •  so you think the current plans will cover all? (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Mister Gloom
        Hidden by:
        meldroc

        you think the current plans on offer will cover as much as my insurance does, for every single person within US territory?  for less money than is currently expended?

        if what's on offer is that everyone gets everything covered like me, then ok, i am all right with that.  costs will be insane, but i think we can all agree paying more taxes to be sure everyone can get any expensive treatment is a good thing.  

        but from what i understand, that is not on offer with any of the current health care reform plans.  

        •  Goals vs. plans in hands plus cost comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          housesella, greenearth

          Everyone genuinely seeking reform agrees with at least 3 goals: increase access to ~100%; improve quality of care; reduce costs. The bills in the House and the Senate HELP committee bills are designed to achieve these goals. Senate Finance has yet to release a draft but is on board with goals at least. This not to say that there are controversies about how best to achieve the goals and how well the proposed legislation gets there. But the bills we've seen so far are in my view a vast improvement over the status quo.

          Now, as to cost, many advocates of reform believe quality and access can be increased while in the long-term costs come down. How is that possible? Because we already spend 2x more than anybody else for worse coverage and quality. So, the money is in some large measure already there. In the short-run there will be increases to get the uninsured and underinsured on-boarded. But in the long-run we should be able to get much more for what we spend or the same for less.

          Obama is a tool; and I mean that in the nicest way.

          by hoipolloi on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:20:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You make no sense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth

          You have a magic health plan that no one can afford but you, an underemployed brown man. Really?

          You're either a clown or a shill.

    •  There will come a time (5+ / 0-)

      when your insurance (even if it is good in your present circumstance) will deny a refill of your prescription or paying for a visit to the doctor or you will not be able to see a specialist because the specialist does not accept patients with your type of insurance because that insurance company has a poor payment record.

      All of the above has happened to our family in the last year and we have "good insurance".

      ...just sayin'

    •  I had employer-based insurance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, Unique Material

      like that once.  Cost 50% of my salary but they never denied a claim, even when my husband had surgery.  Then I lost my job.  I "chose" to keep that insurance but they wouldn't let me.

    •  no, that's not the point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, smileycreek

      You are lucky, and it's great that the industry is working for you.  But there are so many people that don't have that good fortune.  Many of them have chronic illnesses--lupus, MS, lyme disease, alzheimer's, diabetes, cancer--and their insurers  try everything they can (often successfully) to keep from having to continue paying for their expensive care.  The hardest people to sell on this plan are the lucky ones (and that includes members of Congress) because the idea of losing what they have, which serves them well, doesn't seem like a good plan.  But it's important to take into account the whole country, rather than using one's own situation as an accurate barometer.

      I have a home that I own, having paid for it over 20 years with a decent mortgage.  I have a vacation home that I inherited.  I consider myself very lucky (and also American),  But it doesn't stop me from wanting to change the rules so that so many others who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness, or are being screwed in their mortgage arrangements can have a better situation.

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

      by SottoVoce on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:52:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you know what, though? (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        meldroc

        the OP swore up and down that everyone in america hated their insurance and had horrible experiences with it.  am i or am i not a freaking american or do i have to somehow create a bad situation with my current insurance to get 'real' americanness?

        i don't hate my insurance.  i understand it is not typical.  but i am a little frustrated at the idea that reform means not trying to model my situation but instead trying to start over from scratch, wiping out anything functioning in the current melange of systems.

        i got free psychiatric care (both the therapy and the meds) when i didn't even have insurance.  guess i totally have to hand in my american citizenship apparently?  since my experience is completely not worth seeking to model in ACTUAL health care reform?

        •  I personally think you're full of shit (7+ / 0-)

          Name the insurance provider who covers everything for eighty dollars a month.

          You're just making things up to put forth your point.

          Why?

          We need two lists: those we will work to elect and those we will defeat. If you're not progressive, you're not a Democrat.

          by moosely2006 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:04:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think so, too. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenearth, moosely2006

            I work for a major insurance company (I know, flame away, but its a paycheck and I can't find anything else) and even I can't get affordable coverage from them!

            The cost of the employee insurance plans they were offering were way too expensive for me. I had to drop my coverage with them 2 years ago.  

            The costs were enormous.  All the "plans" they offered included them not only taking ridiculous sums from every paycheck but also included high deductibles, coinsurance and out of pocket max.

            I had surgery 2 times in 14 months with 2 different insurance companies and I owe thousands of dollars to a whole array of providers.  

        •  where do you get this idea? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ferg, Bluedoc, greenearth, moosely2006

          trying to start over from scratch, wiping out anything functioning in the current melange of systems.

           Sounds suspiciously like a Republican talking point.  Here's what Obama says:

          “When I say ‘If you have your plan and you like it,… or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don't have to change plans,’” the president said after we asked him about this, “what I'm saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform.”

           I'm trying to understand why you're so angry.

          Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

          by SottoVoce on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:11:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  not angry at all. (0+ / 0-)

            but i would like to note that not everyone in america hates their insurance, and you can in fact like your insurance and still be ok with healthcare reform.  

            shocking, i know, but it can happen.  i just think the reforms should be regional (just giving out money by region and letting people work out reforms on the region/state level, because american populations do vary regionally, and that means different healthcare needs in different regions.)

            as far as i know, republicans don't want regionally based healthcare reform.  i don't actually know wtf they want, they think palin is a great idea.  

        •  Okay, now it makes sense. TROLL ALERT (5+ / 0-)

          shoeboy UID 21585

          14 comments in all this time - all today and all making a bullshit point.

          He/she recced one, count them one, person.

          No diaries.

          A DEEP COVER TROLL sitting on an account for years.

          Suddenly active. Spewing points like

          reform means not trying to model my situation but instead trying to start over from scratch, wiping out anything functioning in the current melange of systems.

          That looks like a "government health care is bad" argument to me - and that be what is called a slightly modified right wing talking point.

          Admins?

          We need two lists: those we will work to elect and those we will defeat. If you're not progressive, you're not a Democrat.

          by moosely2006 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:13:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Now I know you're full of it... (0+ / 0-)

          The free mental health care while uninsured just threw it completely out of the realm of the possible.

          •  no, it is something that happens regionally. (0+ / 0-)

            there are programs that provide this sort of thing in some regions of the US.  it is not national, and often not state-level, but you can find such things at the county level or city level.

            in this particular case it was a city-level program.  

  •  The Public Is Starting To See The Meaness Coming (23+ / 0-)

    out of the republican party.  When you have reps like Michelle Bachmann say that if more americans get healthcare my children will have to get in line, and you know how it is when you go to McDonalds.  When repug politicians are so heartless in their disregard of millions of americans without healthcare insurance the american public will have to see the repugs for what they are which is mean, uncaring, and just plain heartless.

  •  These people are interested in power. (8+ / 0-)

    Stopping something is a sign of power.  It's also safe. That's all there is to it.

    So, 'no' is the position of the coward and the indolent.  They cannot be moved and that is their delight.  Let them have it.  We'll just go around them.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:08:51 AM PDT

    •  I concur (4+ / 0-)

      The mistake is to think that the debate has anything at all to do with healthcare - it is about power.  Specifically, that the Republican Party places political success over every other consideration.  The so-called "debate" is only about doing their best to make their opponents fail, nothing more.

      Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth. -- Henrik Ibsen

      by mik on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:17:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They can do this because its an ideological thing (13+ / 0-)

    to them. Even though they can be uninsured, or be on Medicaid, or know people who've gone through a medical bankruptcy, conservative ideology trumps everything. It doesn't matter what their experiences are; their beliefs are different.

    That this has become so widespread among conservatives I blame on the "southernization" of the Republican party. This cognitive dissonance between experience and belief is fundamental to the southern white mindset. When we are astonished at the rank hypocrisy of their politicians, their invention of reality, their ignorance of "otherness," what we're really seeing is their basic psyche.

    If there will be a death of the Republican party, it's because this mindset is a human dinosaur. Every shred of societal evidence out there is running counter to their hyper-individualized narcissistic world. It's why they are so over the top with Obama's election; they can smell the end too.

  •  The Republican message discipline is back (6+ / 0-)

    as you point out, so can't we use that against them?  It beggars belief that they could all actually believe the same thing in such identical terms that they would use the same words.  Can we shine the light on the source of those words?

    •  This is why we need to clearly define (3+ / 0-)

      the public option. Slinkerwink got a good start on it in her diary

      And I would encourage our health-care reform leaders, Slinkerwink and nyceve and hunter and others to get their heads together and give us some bullet points to make our public option fight easier to convey.

      I loathe all things Republican, but one thing they do well is grab a message and hammer it home.

      Let's take a page from their book and crystallize our message...

      ...and use a sledgehammer to bring it home.

      We need two lists: those we will work to elect and those we will defeat. If you're not progressive, you're not a Democrat.

      by moosely2006 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:19:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow and spot on! n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluedoc, greenearth, moosely2006
  •  It promotes thinning the herd. (12+ / 0-)

    Much as they protest too much about climate change, they really see the writing on the wall, and if the earth's carrying capacity will be reduced, they want to be sure that we save only enough poor (and less rich) people to clean their houses.

    Republicans: Their only tool is a hammer, and every problem is a thumb.

    by Sue Hagmeier on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:11:31 AM PDT

  •  To grossly oversimplify.... (7+ / 0-)

    Part of the opposition is made up of those who don't have to worry about coverage, don't like government (even though they are supposedly a part of it and feed at the public teat), and/or are handsomely supported by the industry (cabal?) that is health care delivery in America. Another major and vocal part of the opposition is made up of mouth breathers who are against anything related to government because either God or Newt or Rush came to them in the night and told them it was bad.

    It may not be an oversimplification to say this is a classic good vs. evil morality play that we have going on right now.

    I wish I could be more optimistic than I currently am.

    •  There's another component (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhp, greenearth, moosely2006

      The republicans know that if Obama pulls this off, they're looking at long-term minority status much like they had post-FDR. This isn't an original thought on my part; I read within the last couple of years in a piece describing why the GOP knew that it had to kill Clinton's attempt at reform in the 90s.

      FDR made people's lives better. Healthcare reform will do the same thing now. The republicans aren't willing to let the past repeat itself.

  •  Well, not everyone (8+ / 0-)

    Everybody in America seems to hate their insurance provider,

    since we are Inhofe's and every other congresscritter's insurance provider and they know that there is no 800 number to any of us to ask permission to save their lives or cure them of clap.

  •  Insurance reform-- (9+ / 0-)

    it's insurance reform now, not healthcare reform.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:13:59 AM PDT

  •  The GOP abandoned the common good in 1981 (16+ / 0-)

    As bad as things were from 2001-08, there was little new attempted then that didn't derive back to 1981-88.  The W/Cheney era was the Reagan Era on steroids.

    This whole concept that bipartisanship is even conceivable in the present climate is absurd.  What part of "No" do the Dems not understand?  Other than Snowe and Collins, not a single other current Gooper in either house voted for the Stim even after multiple concessions were made to obtain "bipartisan" support.  Why would anyone expect a different result now?

    Evan Bayh is finally starting to see the light here:

    "I wouldn’t even have hesitated two, four years ago when the numbers were so close: It would have been absolutely yes on bipartisanship," said Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana.

    He said he still believed it was important, but added, "The Republicans are reduced to a core, so there aren’t that many pragmatists left to work things out."

    He still pines for "bipartisanship," however:

    Mr. Bayh said there was another powerful incentive for Democrats to try to work with Republicans on health care.

    "Those who have the power today won’t always have the power," he said. "You should remember that: People who abused the minority when they were in the majority discover the virtues of minority rights when they are in the minority."

    Exactly when did the GOP try to work w/ the Dems in 2001-08, Evan?  The Dems folded like a cheap suit on the IWR in 2002, but the GOP still ran ads linking Dems to Bin Laden, anyhow.  WJC practiced "bipartisanship" on a wide variety of issues from 1995-2000, yet the GOP impeached him anyhow.

    I'm an atty living in FL.  In 11-12/00, I had a front-row seat as to how the GOP works when push comes to shove.  They're acting no differently now.

    I'm tired of the Dems being the frog in the scorpion and the frog fable.  Leave scorpions like DeMint and Inhofe on the far bank and swim across yourselves this time, Dems.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:14:26 AM PDT

  •  both parties are guilty of placing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluedoc, trinityfly, greenearth, Tam in CA

    lobbyist in front of the populace.

  •  A "It's somebody else's fault" nation is a (4+ / 0-)

    Republican nation.

    Kill healthcare now.  Blame Democrat disarray and inability to govern later.

    Make absolutely, fundamentally sure that people hear that the reason things are messed up is because the wrong people are in charge.  Once Republicans are back in charge, label all opponents as "evil."

    Teachers weave straw into gold and squeeze coal into diamonds.

    by algebrateacher on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:17:28 AM PDT

  •  Excellent analysis Hunter...IMHO the Republican (6+ / 0-)

    party is exemplified by narcissists who truly don't CARE about meeting any needs except their own...and those needs usually do involve money, power and sex.

    Republicans collectively (and usually individually) appear more concerned with their "image" and moral posturing than with their own actions.  They are totally focused on Democrats and "libruls" as they look for any infraction of standards they impose on others but have no intention of imposing on themselves.

    Unfortunately they have gained control of the media and  had control of the government long enough to dismantle any regulations and laws that kept our Nation running smoothly.  Their "deregulation" and lowering taxes for themselves is somewhat like going under the hood of a car and randomly yanking the wiring loose after running out all the gas...then leaving the car for the next person and blaming them because it won't start.

    "As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever." -- Clarence Darrow

    by Bluedoc on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:19:03 AM PDT

  •  Too bad someone couldn't sponsor (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssmt, VetGrl, sidnora, Bluedoc, rlharry, greenearth

    a bill in Congress that takes away health care benenfits for the Congress and let's them find their own health care. They have theirs, so they aren't concerned about anyone elses'. Take theirs away. Too bad Obama can't revoke theirs through executive order until they come up with a plan for all Americans, themsleves included. Maybe some liberal House or Senate member would have the cajones to introduce a bill suspending all Congressional paid health care. Well, it's nice to dream.

  •  They are followers of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluedoc, greenearth

    Herbert Spencer all over again much like the opposition of the progressives.  Until people are willing to respond by Lamonting their Congresscritter/Senators instead of flipping parties every time they are angry, they'll get the same old system.

    The likely result if history is any guide is that there will be a defeat of reform followed by another R ascendancy because a lot of red state votes were solely on the basis of health reform.

    I'm sorry to be pessimistic but there are too many Spencerites on the Hill.

    "I can break Sean Hannity just by giving him a middle seat in coach."-Wanda Sykes 5/9/09

    by AZphilosopher on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:20:05 AM PDT

  •  Medicare Works! (9+ / 0-)

    Lower the eligibility so more people can use it. Taking something that works, making it better, and expanding it to serve more people is simple and easy to grasp.

    Thanks,
    Alan

  •  What the fuck happened to 51 votes??? (14+ / 0-)

    Kent Conrad doesn't have to vote for it.  8 other democrats don't have to vote for it.

    But at least bring it up for a vote.

  •  the really sad part is ... its not just repukes (7+ / 0-)

    "we need a 60 member majority", well, you got it.
    what else? what party is baucus in? is he a senator or a whore? there's a big difference. one works for the service of the people, and the other works for people who pay for his/her 'services'.

  •  This says it all. (6+ / 0-)

    That is what is so striking about our governance: it is increasingly devoid of even the pretenses of public good.

    "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

    by CKendall on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:22:36 AM PDT

  •  Key word "KILL" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluedoc, greenearth, moosely2006

    The more you kill the more for them the greedy....

  •  Health Insurance Reform (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluedoc, greenearth, moosely2006

    I believe is what we are after. If you need to further measure the soul of health insurance companies listen to This American Life tomorrow when today's show is archived. It is entitled Fine Print and it details how insurance companies use that to deny folks the insurance they thought they had.

    Don't forget.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:24:55 AM PDT

  •  The System Works, the System Called Reciprocity (4+ / 0-)

    Basic, oligarchic politics:

    Teachers weave straw into gold and squeeze coal into diamonds.

    by algebrateacher on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:25:23 AM PDT

  •  It's not just health care. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Bluedoc, greenearth, moosely2006, jck, vzfk3s

    The Versailles Villagers don't care about anything but their narcissistic selves at all.

  •  Of course not... (9+ / 0-)

    One thing Republicans do know is that they don't have to govern even adequately to hold or regain power; all they have to do is ensure that Democrats fail at governing to trigger a 'well, the other guys can't be worse' reaction among voters.  If one side promises nothing but flattering slogans and the other side promises relief that they can't or won't deliver, the hollow comfort of jingoism will win more often than not... hey, at least it's something that makes people feel marginally better.

    And how people feel is what it's all about-- no one does flattery and self-aggrandizement better than the GOP.  They section off their voters and validate them, feeding and exploiting their economic and cultural insecurities solely for the purposes of telling them that the liberals are wrong about personal effort and self-questioning and shared sacrifice, and that they've been right all along.  That's why Reagan's 'shining city on a hill' bit worked, not because we were at the time anywhere close to that image, but because he made people feel like they were instead of merely telling them that they could be.  It's all a funhouse mirror that makes everyone who believes it tall, thin, and strong instead of obese and lazy.

    However, I'm going to quibble a bit about the moral-argument point; Republicans have for years now been moving profit-seeking and protectionist quasi-capitalism into moral territory, and have convinced a sizable number of people that the system we have is indeed morally superior not because of how well it serves society, but how well it serves profitability.   It's not a real moral argument, but that's okay because the right isn't in the business of discussing real moral issues.

    "Conservative principles" are marketing props used by the Conservative Movement to achieve political power, not actual beliefs. -Glenn Greenwald

    by latts on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:26:37 AM PDT

  •  Mitch McConnell This Morning on CNN (7+ / 0-)

    Was just spewing the world's wierdest upchuck of lies and misdirection about our healthcare system. The man is a pure, inveterate liar.

    I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

    by bink on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:26:43 AM PDT

    •  and do those idiot msm shills for the Right ever (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, Abra Crabcakeya

      ever question the factual accuracy of their crap?  No.  No.  No.  There is absolutely no channel that  provides or refutes enough facts that can keep these liars at bay.  Even C-Span is doing a poor job.  The Rethugs are storming the place, showing up at a higher percentage than the Dems and their wimpy ass spokespeople, and fomenting the rage of the unenlightened masses.  I keep asking this question via e-mails and through their ridiculous new infactuation: Twitter.  I even called C-Span, to ask where HELL Brian Lamb disappeared to, and what has happened re. the right-wing spin, but only was able to leave a message that was never returned.  Do these Republicans even get to skew C-Span coverage?  I am beyond rage.

      I love my President! Who'da thought THAT was possible?

      by livjack on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:49:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I been talking about this since forever (5+ / 0-)

        The Republicans have gamed and perverted the system.

        They had a 30-year master plan (maybe longer) to take over the government and hold it. A large part of their master plan was to take over the ownership of the media. Backed by huge corporations (read "backed" as controlled), the major broadcast media outlets were bought by a handful of corporations.

        Right wing radio became shrill and strident, and liberal voices were placed in the least accessible parts of the band - and eventually canceled because of "poor ratings."  Local radio is pretty much dead in most of the country. Now, it's just audio feeds from major corporate outlets spewing into the local markeplaces. Not only is this horrific for informational purposes - but in the even of local disasters, there's no one at the helm to give warnings.

        The three major networks are completely corporate-owned, this made possible by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and by the FCC under the control of Bushco in the first years of this century.

        It only makes sense that 80-90% of the talking heads on TV spout right wing talking points if you take into account broadcast media ownership. They have turned our broadcast outlets into propaganda mouthpieces that spew the words ordered by the major corporations who own them.

        That's why today, the media are spreading the meme that Obama's plan is a failure, that people don't support it - and there are only a few broadcast voices that can counter it.

        They bought control of the media. They won that round.

        And until we re-regulate the broadcast media ownership laws, we're only going to hear what they want us to hear and see what they want us to see.

        So, once we get healthcare reform passed, we need to address this issue. Because without truly competing voices in our national broadcast media - every battle we fight will be fought steeply uphill - against a headwind.

        We need two lists: those we will work to elect and those we will defeat. If you're not progressive, you're not a Democrat.

        by moosely2006 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:39:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So when the Democrats were the (4+ / 0-)

    minority, why couldn't they stop Bush?  Cheney?  Tax-cuts for the rich?   You know blaming Republicans is a distraction from what's wrong.

    "YES WE CAN" doesn't mean he is going to. ~~Daily Show

    by dkmich on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:27:35 AM PDT

  •  for blue dogs, it's about taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smileycreek

    The Blue Dogs know that if the GOP says "They raised our taxes," that will defeat the Blue Dogs, and somebody's taxes have to be raised to pay for health reform.  Period.  The nuances (above 250K/year, etc) will be lost, the Blue Dogs fear, on an electorate bombarded by Limbaugh, Hannity etal plus the paid ads.  It's happened before -- 1994 and 2000 come to mind -- and that's what they fear.  Some courage would help, but where that will come from in this environment is beyond me.

  •  It's not really ideology with them (5+ / 0-)

    They SAY it is and all their talking points try to mislead listeners about "Big Government." But this is the party that feels entitled to tell you and me how, when, where, and with who we can have sex.

    Some may think it's about lobbyists and indeed there's so much corruption and money involved that no one wants to mention the obvious very much lest it open a whole can of whoopass worms. (and let's face it, it's on both sides of the aisle!)

    But the REAL reason the Republicans want to kill healthcare/health insurance reform is very VERY simple...and some of us remember this from back in the Clinton days.

    If Dems pass a viable, well-run health insurance reform bill and Americans no longer have to worry about their health bills or premiums then GUESS WHAT? Dems will clean up in election after election for decades.

    THAT is a Republican nightmare...it'd be like reliving the decades after social security rescued our great grandmothers and grandfathers.

    I wonder what would happen if someone had the balls to confront their talking heads with this scenario and ask them point blank what the future of the Repubican party would look like if the Dems passed a successful health reform bill...

  •  Proudly representing the wealthiest 2%... (11+ / 0-)

    ....at the detriment of the other 98%.

    It's like Feudalism has it's own political party.

    National Socialism is to Socialism, as counter clockwise is to clockwise

    by Carbon on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:31:50 AM PDT

  •  The System Doesn't Work . . . . (4+ / 0-)

    . . . when Republicans are working the system!

  •  Help spread the fight to Facebook! (6+ / 0-)

    Want to keep on fighting for health care reform? Well, you can spread it to facebook as well! Check my diary to see how this can be done :-) Major thanks to Max Gottlieb here at dkos.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

    by slinkerwink on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:34:31 AM PDT

  •  In my home state of Michigan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, greenearth, moosely2006

    Andy Dillon (D-Redford), the speaker of the House, has just proposed the The Dillon Prescription, which not only imposes a one-size-fits-all health care plan on all state employees--regardless of what they negotiated at the bargaining table--but also invites local units of government to substitute even lousier insurance if it saves them money.

    And get this: one of the selling points for the Dillon plan is capitalizing on private sector employees' jealousy over state employees' supposedly gold-plated plans.

    With Democrats like Dillon, who needs Republicans?

    "Some people meditate. I go watch baseball."--Keith Olbermann

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:37:24 AM PDT

    •  I'm in favor of what... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare

      ...he had stated earlier.  I didn't know about substituting the lousier plans.  But he proposed on the Paul W. Smith show basically using economies of scale of the government to lower costs (considering that even ex-Granholm official Tom Watkins has stated that the state Department of Education should be renamed the Department of Teacher Pensions and Healthcare unless costs get under control).

      The alternative is yet another slash in road funding, college funding (maybe we can lower spending to go from 3 Tier 1 universities to 2 after necessary budget cuts, wouldn't that be cool :) ), or another job killing tax raise (because the last one worked so well...oh wait, we received less money and had greater non-automotive jobs cuts relative to the surrounding states).

      "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

      by Mister Gloom on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:54:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's one way of looking at it (0+ / 0-)

      Another is that putting everyone in the same pool -- including about 75,000 public employees who don't "qualify" for health insurance because they work in positions which don't "rate" insurance coverage (Bus Drivers, part-time local Librarian assistants, school secretaries, part-time university faculty, etc.) makes it possible for all of those people to have insurance.

      Dillon's initial plan has been panned by MEA (full discloser: I used to be an MEA employee) because their cash cow MESSA may get "gored" if this is implemented.

      Or not.

      You see, in Michigan BCBSM is the defacto Insurance underwriter of over 80% of current Michigan Public Employees who are insured, including the MEA's MESSA division (MESSA is actually a VEBA, not an Insurance Company, which allows those employees to be treated for experience rating purposes as a handful of state area "super pools" of thousands of members instead of the hundreds of individual plans some with as few as a couple dozen members it would otherwise be). It has not been ruled out that MESSA/BCBSM could end up with exclusive franchise of this statewide megagroup of all public employees from UP bus assistant to U-M or MSU football coaches (the highest paid public employees in our state).

      Dillon's initial roll out was problematic - that I will admit, but with some minor fine-tuning a statewide group of all Public Employees could be a huge first step to a Statewide Single Payer.

      Single Payer and WPA 2.0...NOW!!!

      by Egalitare on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 04:48:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  what a fantastic (5+ / 0-)

    one-two punch of yesterday's and today's essays by Hunter.

    I fail to see how anyone capable of reading would not be convinced by his arguments. Oh, but then again it would also require a few minutes of thinking; of quiet contemplation. Rather than

    mistress-banging and airport-bathroom-handjob-seeking and prostitute-visiting

    A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot.

    by smallgal on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:37:47 AM PDT

  •  Sociopaths are charismatic. (4+ / 0-)

    They can always attract followers.

  •  You misunderstand them (11+ / 0-)

    They DO know healthcare is broken in the sense that the oldest, weakest, and poorest among us cannot get it at all, or at least cannot get it in sufficient quantity and quality.

    But they are corporatists and they see people like that as a drag on the economy's well being.  They would rather the weakest die.  "Survival of the fittest" really means something to them, beyond its modern connotation of climbing the career ladder:  to those against health care for all, it means the strong do not have to pay for the care of the weak.

    This is why hard-right Republicans do not care for health care reform.  They have it; they do not want everyone else to have it.  Hence Charlie Gibson's unbelievable question to Obama, about whether people should be worried that with everyone covered, they might have to "wait longer" at the doctor.

    They want the old, the weak, and the poor to go away.

    •  Medicare and Medicaid (0+ / 0-)

      They DO know healthcare is broken in the sense that the oldest, weakest, and poorest among us cannot get it at all, or at least cannot get it in sufficient quantity and quality.

      The oldest, sickest and poorest have Medicare or Medicaid. The trouble starts when you are under 65, above poverty level income and not so sick that you qualify for disability. This is NOT a debate about helping the poor. This is a debate about helping the middle and working class.

      •  Yeah, it is - because our definition of middle (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Faeya Wingmother

        and working class is wrong; many whom we include in the "middle class" are in fact one tiny teetering step from being poor - living paycheck to paycheck, etc. - and one crisis, be it a job lost or a health emergency, puts them over the edge into poverty, which usually renders them without health care.  (It's not very easy to get qualified for disability and Medicaid, and still hard to get any care once you do get qualified for it.)

        Believe me, if this same crowd could get Medicaid and Medicare shut down, they would do so today.  Right this very moment.  They do not like these programs at all, any more than they want a public option, or god forbid a true single-payer system like most other civilized western countries have.  They feel they should not have to pay for the care of others and that the weak and poor should fall through the cracks because that's the natural order of things.

        I have listened to too many of them make statements about having to wait too long at the doctor.  They do not care if you get yours as long as they get theirs, and if there's any notion that they might have to share, well.  You get the nutcases coming out of the woodwork.

  •  Gotta luv that McConnel (5+ / 0-)

    Goes on Meet the Press spewing vacuous lies and keeping a straight face.

    That takes balls. Since obviously it doesn't take a chin.

    Why does he hate America? Maybe his mother didn't hug him often enough when he was a toddler.

    FOX is selling commercials? As if Bubba didn't have toned abs and an exceedingly large erection, there's infomercials now.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:39:21 AM PDT

  •  Republicans Think There Will Be a Replay of 1994 (7+ / 0-)

    if only they can block healthcare reform. That's how out of it they are when it comes undertanding how bad things really are for U.S. citizens.
    I've got news for Republicans (and those spoiled, pampered Blue Dogs, too): it won't be like 1994. In 1994, we still had jobs in this country. We still had somewhat affordable insurance. States were balancing their budgets.
    The smell of desperation in the country is almost palpable now. If Republicans and Blue Dogs dared to stick their noses out of their plush surroundings, they'd understand why they'd better not count on a replay of 1994.

    •  Oh, they know everything you said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      The smell of desperation in the country is almost palpable now.

      They just don't freakin' care.

      They are the Titanic.

      And hopefully, we will be the iceberg.

      We need two lists: those we will work to elect and those we will defeat. If you're not progressive, you're not a Democrat.

      by moosely2006 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:47:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Greed (3+ / 0-)

    Greed and its parallel, the quest for power, have effectively merged, and are in the process of destroying a nation that once held at least the possibility of progressive egalitarianism.  No mas.  GOP/conservatism = USA-RIP.  It's all over but the shouting (and, of course, the shooting) if these crazy and effectively traitorous bastards -- Inhofe, DeMint, Cornyn, Coburn, Sessions, Kyl, McConnell, Chambliss, Ensign, Shelby, Grassley, Graham, McCain, et al. et al. -- should prevail.  

    I'm glad I'm not a youngster, that I'm an old fart: at least I don't have to look forward to living a miserable life in the bleak world being imposed by the greedy and the righteous, much less by the righteously greedy.

  •  They've got theirs; don't want taxes (3+ / 0-)

    It's simple to see what their motives are. They are representatives of the "I've got mine and I don't want to pay taxes to help anyone else get theirs" party.

    "I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jor-El to save the Planet Earth."

    by lesliet on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:47:43 AM PDT

    •  Their tune will change (0+ / 0-)

      when they get cancelled for being sick, or lose their job and have to buy a policy, or get really sick and hit the lifetime cap on benefits. Then, it'll be all about the unfairness of them getting screwed because they played by the rules, dammit!

      "All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason. -Abraham Lincoln

      by happy camper on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:41:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the transfiguration of the power elite (7+ / 0-)

    no longer satisfied merely with being the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, they are creating an aristocracy out of themselves, complete with a separate culture and a separate code of law.

    "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:49:30 AM PDT

  •  "They truly believe themselves above normal (5+ / 0-)

    morality and normal law" - you said the whole 100 yards , touchdown , yay team , beat Texas finally(Alabama never has, very embarrassing) by damn entire set of What It's All About right there , clear as a whistle to a birddog on a bright November morning. Nail on the head ; punch in the gut ; Alfie , that's what it's all about . The whole enchilada. The Meaning Of Sorrowful Human Life On Earth.Finally, a fish far bigger than enough to fry.

  •  What Good Are You? (7+ / 0-)

    This really does nicely encapsulate the pathologies of our political culture through the prism of the health care debate raging in DC.

    It's time to ask our party leaders "If you can't do something like this for the people who elected you, then what the hell good are you?" This isn't mandating Mississippi and Utah to marry gay couples, this is something that has broad popular support. If the right wing is going to get their way anyway and push us further and further along the path to neo-feudal corporatism no matter who we vote for, then why are we wasting our energy voting for you? Why are we wasting our money on donations?

    If the political culture is as broken as the narrative accompanying it in the press seems to hint at, then it may be a perfectly rational decision to let it get bad enough that someone who makes the plutocrats wish they could have people like Obama and Hillary back in charge.

    Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

    by Answer Guy on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:51:29 AM PDT

  •  Moral calculus (4+ / 0-)

    Republicans are still citing, with pride, how they blocked healthcare reform attempts in the Clinton years, an action which directly led to the runaway healthcare costs between then and now.

    Actually that should read:

    an action which led to the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of Americans between then and now.

  •  Well, here's another story for you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, moosely2006, Tam in CA

    of why people hate the current healthcare situation.

    Our next door neighbor "Luke" is retired and just got back from an entire month of caring for his son in southern California.

    Luke's son has lived with HIV for a long time. A month ago he started running high fevers for days on end.  103, 104 degrees.  Of course, he has no health insurance, so he walked into an emergency room -- twice -- and waited hours and hours to be seen.  Both times he was sent home without any real solutions.  Finally, after three weeks of high fevers he had a major seizure.  After he came around he was so disoriented and spacey he couldn't be left alone-- it was like Alzheimer's; he'd wander off and get lost.  So Luke spent an entire month with him until he fortunately got all of his mental faculties back.

    How many of us have a retired family member who could do this for us?

    It makes me furious that killing health care is some kind of game for these &^%$#@!'s.

    Remember: That which does not kill you only makes your insurance premiums go higher.

    by smileycreek on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:56:35 AM PDT

    •  The game (4+ / 0-)

      You're right, for these conservative "&^%$#@!'s" it IS a game, and their only goal is more: more money, more power, more influence, and more profits for their "&^%$#@!'s" corporate benefactors.  Treasonous bastards, they're ostensibly there to look after the wishes and well-being of their individual constituents and all they do is look after themselves, their power, and their corporate benefactors.

      Would that we common folk could find the means to indict, try, and imprison all the buggers that play their game instead of ours.

  •  Do as I say, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    not as I do.

    We all don't start with zero

    by BeeClone on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:57:13 AM PDT

  •  What you wrote Hunter, applies not just to Health (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sidnora, greenearth, maryabein

    Insurance, but to every public policy question.  I intend to memorize every word you wrote, if I can, because it is true, it is comprehensive, and it is the core of the problem.  Government by, for and of the oligarchy, has it always been so?

  •  When in France (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    Nicolas Sarkozy's office says he was rushed by helicopter to a military hospital Sunday after he felt unwell during a strenuous jog on a hot afternoon

    I don't need the helicopter but this annoying growing mole has me a mite concerned.

    Maybe I'll save my pennies for a few weeks and buy some "dry ice."

    FOX is selling commercials? As if Bubba didn't have toned abs and an exceedingly large erection, there's infomercials now.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 10:59:48 AM PDT

  •  They are LYING and PLAYING US FOR FOOLS. Repeat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    that again and again and again.  

    Or lose.

    No weasel words.  No 'niceties' of 'civil' discourse.  Do not say 'falsehoods', 'mendacity' or misleading.  These words are too big and too vague for the reptile brain.  Keep it clear and direct and in language 5 year olds can not misunderstand.

    They are lying.

    They are playing you (us) for fools.

    Again.

    Remember Iraq?  The 'fundamentals of the economy are sound'?  Wall Street can be trusted to regulate itself?

    They knew these - and the rest of the bill of goods they sold us - were false.  The said it anyway.  

    That is lying.

    They knew these things would cost us/you/the middle-class/everyone but the richest tens of thousands of dollars each and give us nothing.  Nothing... or worse. 6th re-deployment anyone?  Yet they told us it would make us millions, with great big, fat, fake smiles on their lying lips.

    That is playing us/you for fools.

    And they are doing it again on health care.

    Simple facts: we spend more than anyone in the world.  We get are the least and the worst of any modern country.  

    They say different?  They are lying and playing you for fools.

    They say [insert Repuke talking point}.  They are lying and playing you for fools.

    Again.

    Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

    Of course, this kind of blatant, simple message and repetition of same is counter every sophisticated instinct of most educated and progressive people.  Never mind that it works, or its true.  Or that many of the 20% of voters that Repukes and their corporate/theological/just plain rich masters count on swallow the lies won't respond to - and indeed are often only confused by, if not openly hostile to - sophisticated arguments and messaging.

    So we won't do it.

    And, at best, we will turn what should have been a certain victory into a nailbiter that took a Labor of Hercules.

    (Though from what I have seen, Obama gets this.  Look at how his language and tone since Spring 2008 has gotten simpler and folksier.  But, the quarterback is not the team and can not win the game alone.)

  •  and we keep reelecting them! (0+ / 0-)

    Whine all you want about election reform, we still keep electing and reelecting this trash.  So?...

    •  Uh, not so much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      Republicans hold fewer seats in either House than they have in a long time. They are down to a filluster-less minority in the Senate (in theory, that is). And they have more vulnerable Senate seats in 2010 than the Democrats (4 to 2, if I recall).

      They are also way down in party membership and party approval, though they may be recovering slightly.

      While it's true that all politics is local, it's also true that the national dislike of the GOP is having an effect on the local level. The trick now is to keep that dislike as high as possible.

      It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

      by DanK Is Back on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:33:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So what? (0+ / 0-)

        The blue attempt at "badge marketing" likes to transfer wealth upwards just as much as the red one.  The two-party "football game" system is a hot messy exercise in reducing everything to a yes/no question and killing whatever notion of bottom-up governance the US political system ever had.  The sponsors still own the stadium and you don't.

  •  I am afraid that our system of government has (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, greenearth, maryabein

    proven it is not up to the challenges of the modern era. It is incapable of solving complex issues such as climate change, health care reform, manging the threat from global terrorism without turning the country into a police state or rogue nation.

     Yes as your diary points out the GOP is without shame but I hold more scorn for the Dem's that still refuse to do the right thing here and push on. They are the bigger evil here because they are betraying their own people.

    "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" Aristotle

    by polticoscott on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:05:13 AM PDT

  •  No end to the stress - but, tiny shred of light? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, BethyNYC, Nisi Prius
    I feel like I have spent the last decade or more in an almost constant state of deep unhappiness over the state of the nation. We had the sheer affront of the Bush/Supreme Court coup. We had the horror of the administration. We had the sharp anxiety of the 04 and 08 elections. Then, when Obama finally won, we had a short period of euphoria and, speaking for myself, a mild sense of relief. But it has been followed by steadily building concern, disappointment and anger over the bailouts and this healthcare debate.

    The ONLY light I see right now is this: that the convergence of the blogosphere, the internet, and the crises facing the country is now making very clear, for all to see, the fact that our government has been largely bought and paid for, and that the citizenry is irrelevant. We've suspected it for a long time, but now it's coming more and more out into the open. It's not a happy confirmation, BUT, it is confirmation. Problems can never be solved until the facts of the problems are clear, understood and acknowledged.

    As the blogosphere goes, so, eventually goes the nation. The new question we need to begin to ponder quite seriously is, what are we going to do about this state of affairs? Can we develop some Ghandi-esque response to topple the corporateocracy?

  •  Frank Kratovil (D-MD) has written an op-ed (5+ / 0-)

    calling for "more time".

    Here was my response to the editor of the Baltimore Sun

    Sir:

    In Sunday's Sun, Frank Kratovil attempts to convince us that "more time" is necessary to get a health care bill passed in Congress.  Mr. Kratovil seems to ignore that it has been 18 years since the last time Congress seriously examined our health care system and in that time, the percentage of people who have health care from their employer has decreased not increased.  And FamiliesUSA (http://hc-dw.org/) has estimated that 20,000 people die each year in the US from lack of health care.

    Mr. Kratovil can take all the time he thinks he needs to fix our health care system.  Take another 3 months.  Let another few thousand people die.  I just hope that in his time while he is thinking about this problem, he'll attend a few funerals of the people who have been denied health care because of "pre-existing conditions" or who have lost their health care because their small business employer can no longer afford it or lost their health practitioner because she can no longer wait to get paid by fly-by-night HMO's.  I was a financial supporter of Mr. Kratovil in the last election and I'll wait too.  I'll wait to see which side of this issue he makes up his mind to support.  And if this health care bill fails because it stalls in Congress, Mr. Kratovil will bear this on his short Congressional record.

    Give every American a fair chance at the race of life - A. Lincoln and B. Obama

    by captainlaser on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:07:10 AM PDT

  •  Follow the Gop campaign money to see why (0+ / 0-)

    they need to kill reform.

    Gordon Gekko: The most valuable commodity I know of is information.

    by ccmask on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:07:37 AM PDT

  •  The system sucks.... (0+ / 0-)

    but we cannot give up the fight!

    Never confuse kindness and patience with stupidity and weakness!!

    by Joes Steven on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:14:06 AM PDT

  •  I had dinner with a health insurance agent last (5+ / 0-)

    night and he insisted that "America has the greatest healthcare in the world."  And, "200 million Americans have health insurance" and "there will always be people who can't afford healthcare, including Americans, and that's just the way it is."  And, the topper, "British and Canadian healthcare is the worst type of healthcare!  They choose your doctor.  They choose your medicine.  They refuse urgent care, so people come to America to have their health needs met!"  And, of course, "there is no way that Americans can afford socialized medicine and attempting to pay for healthcare with a public option will never work because the government can't do anything right."

    Needless to say, it was quite an uncomfortable and tense dinner, with me refusing to accept any of the above and insisting that it was all myths and obfuscation and that the majority of Americans had had it with for profit health insurance companies.

    Peace and LONG LIVE THE OBAMAS!

    •  Did he brag about his client relations? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little Lulu, greenearth, Egalitare

      I have a friend of the family who is also a health care agent.

      For years, all he's done is brag about how he took the clients to fancy golf courses and expensive dinners.  He loves going through the Zagat guide to talk about the top-rated resturants.

      His house is filled with spoiled children with every piece of crap marketed to them.  

      Healthcare?  My tushie!

      Truth creates money. Lies destroy it. - Suze Orman

      by smartcookienyc on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:19:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  BTW, both the insurance agent and his wife (4+ / 0-)

      are headed to 65 and Medicare and can't wait for it since they are both currently "uninsurable" because they both have had cancer!!!!  How hypocritical is this???

      •  "It's all the doctors ... too many tests..." (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth

        Is that the line he used with you?  

        I once tried to have a nice adult conversation with him (my college friend's husband) about healthcare.  He couldn't articulate a single sentence except to blame all the "excessive" procedures the doctors were doing.

        Like they send people for MRIs for the hell of it.

        Then, of course, the conversation went back to fancy with clients, "Did I tell you I had dinner at ... "

        Truth creates money. Lies destroy it. - Suze Orman

        by smartcookienyc on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:28:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He didn't use that argument, but when I pointed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth, Egalitare

          out that the people who were using Medicare had nothing bad to say about it, so the government must be doing that right, he said he doubted that and when I asked him if he would use his Medicare to get treatment, he said he had no intention of ever getting sick again!!!

  •  Not the free market. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein

    Our healthcare system is not based on a free market.

    It's based on corporatism, which not only is a distortion of what a free market is, but a terrible way to value human and community health.

    Truth creates money. Lies destroy it. - Suze Orman

    by smartcookienyc on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:17:06 AM PDT

  •  Change the Theme (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, rasfrome
    Make it about Re-Election.  Bring back the "Silent Majority" that wants health care.  Those against  reform are against the 'Silent Majority' and stand to loose their seats next election.  

    Hell, it worked for Nixon, Why won't it work for our side on this one.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:18:27 AM PDT

  •  Me, I blame Vince Lombari. (0+ / 0-)

    From beyond the grave, Vince 'Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing' Lombardi will do what a living George III, a living Jeff Davis, a living Hitler, a living Stalin could not do -- finish off the Republic.

    I hope the Knights of Columbus are satisfied.

    Oh, and Al Davis, too.

    "The country we carry in our hearts is waiting." Bruce Springsteen

    by Davis X Machina on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:18:35 AM PDT

    •  LombarDi... (0+ / 0-)

      ..and I can't type...

      "The country we carry in our hearts is waiting." Bruce Springsteen

      by Davis X Machina on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:20:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um, he was playing a GAME (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Faeya Wingmother

      This is not a game. This is our lives. This is our country. This is our people.

      Our Founders knew that "winner-take-all" is a dictatorship, be it a landed aristocracy or "the tyranny of the majority" (Hamilton's term), so they designed our system to make it absolutely impossible for winners to ever take all of anything.

      That is, until the corporatocracy emerged as a transnational, super-governmental force, and simply purchased our entire government-- and that of other countries too-- wholesale.

  •  it is the Democrats duty to prevent the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rasfrome

    Republicans from doing what they loudly and frequently proclaim their intentions to be.

    There is no stealth campaign here, and from the perspective of all those who are not die hard republicans their tactics appear to be incomprehensible.

    On GPS (Fareed Zakaria's sunday program) the anecdotal 'evidence' presented last week by Mitch McConell, supposed to be their leader, that he was against health care because a friend told a friend about a friend in Canada who was refused a certain treament because he was too old and couldn't afford to come to America to buy the treatment (he never said what the treatment was!!!) was stongly rejected as ridiculous by Canada's former Health Minister.

    The Republicans will do whatever they can to bring this government down, I prresume it would be the same if the boot was on the other foot.

    So let's just use our energy and fight back and not whine that they are being 'unfair'. All's fair in love and war, and this is WAR.

  •  gold forks for now! (0+ / 0-)

    Hunter I liked your piece yesterday a lot more.  I'm pretty sure everyone wants a rational system, except for pharm, insurance and legal industry profit protectors.  I lump them all together since the more complicated the system, the easier it is to skim and inflate their margins for all three.  Yesterday's post was perfect at showing how irrational the system is.

    I'd bet that even the majority of workers inside those industries would vote for a better system, i.e. better structure or regulations, whether private or public.

    With the support so widespread the R's should pay in 2010.  Problem is that the D's are not being crafty.  Rather than baking in some tort reform, for example, to gain support the left is steaming towards single payer.  These are both toxic political issues, and both are being used to the advantage by Fox and those dickhead Legislators you describe, as cover to protect those profits.  Take away that cover and blow them away.  Seems basic to me.  And then widespread will have some leverage in terms of lowering health costs.

    Personally I don't care if single payer or better private (Wyden) is the way we go.  I tend to think the feds won't outperform a well regulated private system, but given the 40% we're tossing out the window now why would I care what this first pass looks like.  I'd be happy to save 30% and have some D Senator in a red state keep a few of the golf junkets. I'm bleeding with 5 dependents and crap care.  Take advantage of the widespread support, but face facts that means getting off the high horse on tort reform = R talking point, and single payer or death strategies.  

    Lower costs now - or maybe sometime in the fall!  (that's my "el pueblo unido jamas sera vencido" chant if anyone wants to take it up)

    •  Do you actually know what tort reform DOES? (0+ / 0-)

      Iatrogenic disorders are pre-existing conditions that will disqualify you from cheap coverage just as assuredly as any congenital defect.  Tort reform just means victims of malpractice get to pay cash for their medical care for the rest of their lives.

  •  The Repugs continue to get away with their (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, The Creator

    slimy behavior, hypocritical statements, obstructionist ways, etc. because the media let's them.

    The media is as much to blame. They are co-dependents in this dysfunctional relationship.

    Uggh.

  •  Brilliantly Said - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Creator, Nashville fan

    That is what is so striking about our governance: it is increasingly devoid of even the pretenses of public good.

    And thus began our bitter downfall  ....

    I'm the person your mother warned you about.

    by Unique Material on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:26:50 AM PDT

  •  health care (0+ / 0-)

    the center right people still are living in a 1980 idealogy

    or perhaps 1964-

    they do not want to pay taxes for health care- especially for people of color, gays etc.

    there are many Democrats in many areas of the nation away from the coasts who feel this way- as well as 95% of the GOP.

    Reform could fail this time- but in the future demographics could easily change the dynamics- and that day is soon-if not now.

  •  The isolation of the GOP (7+ / 0-)

    An excellent diary, Hunter. It brings home the point that the GOP has isolated itself from mainstream America, going back to Reagan with his "eleventh commandment" and possibly even to Nixon when he crafted the "southern strategy."

    (I bring in the "eleventh commandment" because it stresses Reagan's belief in party unity over the need for an ongoing discussion about the country's problems and desires; with that single bromide, he solidified the GOP approach to governance as being all about power and power games.)

    Republicans got away with it for many years because:

    1. The country wasn't paying all that much attention. Nader's "tweedledum/tweedledee" crack did resonate; barely half the eligible voters show up even for a presidential election; and voter education has been - deliberately - neglected.
    1. The GOP played to the American myth that anyone can be rich, thereby getting the majority of the country, who are not rich, to vote against current interest in the expectation that it will be in their future interest.
    1. When all else fails (and even when it doesn't), the GOP plays the fear card, which, at its most basic, means fear of change. No matter how bad the status quo may be, at least it's familiar and people have worked out strategies to live with it (though that doesn't always work, obviously).

    This worked until Bush blew their cover by being too crude and also by being too incompetent. Then Obama came along and won by promising change AND by talking to Americans as though we were adults. The GOP has been in a panic ever since, because they know that they cannot use these same tactics to respond; their hope of success depends on Americans not seeing through their smoke screen.

    People in a panic often do things that are unintentionally revealing of their true thinking. That, I believe, is why they are being so blunt about their intentions regarding health care and Obama's overall plans. They panicked, and they blurted out the truth.

    There is, God alone knows why, an irreducible minimum percentage of the country, 25% or so, that will swallow the GOP bilge no matter how foul it gets. (The "koolaid" metaphor is passe; it tastes sweet, and the GOP's not bothering to sweeten it any more.) It will take several more election cycles to wash the bilge out of the mainstream national discourse, however.

    So man the hoses. It's ugly and it's going to get uglier.

    It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

    by DanK Is Back on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:28:45 AM PDT

  •  protest the REAL targets (3+ / 0-)

    Serious demonstrations, in their faces, with civil disobedience and property damage (property damage is NOT violence) at all identifiable facilities of the health insurance corporations. NOT healthcare provider facilities, but the very lairs of the corporate beancounters and executives themselves.

    The politicians are bought and paid for; they don't give a shit, but nationwide news of actions at the corporate offices would go viral real fast and bring the message home.  All kinds of folks would probably love to throw a rock through the window of a  corporate health insurance predator, if they knew where to find them.

    Make the bastards pay for armed guards 24/7 at their facilities, and let the people who work in them understand just who they are working for and the damage they do. "I'm just doing my job" is NOT an excuse, and the people who enable these predatory practices by working for them need to confront their part in these despicable business practices.

    Sic the outrage on the very folks who are perpetrating the outrages.

    Or you could write a stern letter...

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:36:34 AM PDT

  •  It's all about empathy (0+ / 0-)

    I personally do not expect many of these politicians even have an awareness that other people might have medical needs different from their own, or not have insurance like their own insurance, or not be as connected or as well-off; that requires a level of awareness that few of them can even bother to credibly pretend at.

    Any questions?

  •  There is most definitely a Republican plan! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Creator

    We've been suffering under it for many years. If you say you don't want reform, then your plan is the status quo!

    In fact, this is so evident that someone should write up a bullet-list version of the status quo as the "Republican Plan" and use it as an explicit base of comparison for the various reform plans.

    Greg Shenaut

  •  i'll keep this simple and straightforward... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Creator

    hunter has done us a great service. his analysis highlights the duality and polarity of this situation. that allows me to provide the mechanism producing it -- domination. what he's describing and we're all decrying is the manifestation and enhancement of ever-growing domination. now, domination can appear in many different guises, from political to economic, from coercion to seduction. these tropes are all now in play for us to observe, should we choose to see them at all. and these effects are all produced by a relatively small minority of people who dominate the rest of us, for what they perceive, often quite rightly, as their own particular advantage. and they will endeavor to continue to dominate us for that advantage until we stop them. this is called "the struggle for freedom by democracy", domination clearly excluding both freedom and democracy as lethal to its interests and existence.

    anyway, that's basically what's going on, and has been going on, for about the last 6,000 or so years, since the development of bladed weapons and organized mass slaughter initiated the domination project. we're seeing possibly the terminal stage of its evolution, and possibly our own.

    "A union is a way of getting things done together that you can't get done alone." Utah Phillips

    by poemworld on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:39:57 AM PDT

  •  TRUSTING INSURANCE COMPANIES IS SUICIDAL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson

    Should we want ours and our children's health and lives to be in the hands of Insurance Company Executives who receive millions/billions of dollars to make as humongous a profit as possible......or should we want our federal government to manage our health care in the same manner it has managed Medicare, Medicaid and the Veteran's Administration? And before anyone starts trashing the VA, let me remind them that quality of care has always been rated high at the VA. The problem has always been insufficient funds to provide timely care in quantity, not bad doctors/nurses.

    Should we want insurance companies to CONTINUE denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions? What are they supposed to do...just suffer and die because they've had the misfortune of getting sick and don't have the money to pay $100+ per aspirin or $10,000+ for a diagnostic test or $100,000+ for surgery or treatment?

    Should we want insurance companies to CONTINUE denying claims based on the fine print in contracts designed to trick people into believing they're paying for health care they won't receive?

    Should we want insurance companies to CONTINUE increasing premiums at rates that force millions of families to drop coverage, to declare bankruptcy, to close business, to move their jobs overseas and to inevitably cause a recession much worse than the one we experienced in the 1930s?

    IS THAT WHAT WE SHOULD WANT?

  •  The Republicans' biggest fear ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, Tam in CA, The Creator

    ... is that health care reform will work.  Hunter is quite correct about the Republican leaders' amorality - it is all about political power for them.  And the biggest threat to their power is when a program they oppose works.  Social Security and Medicare has been sticking in their craw for over seventy years for that very reason.

    •  Political power (0+ / 0-)

      so they can enrich themselves and friends at taxpayer expense.  The GOP is a crime syndicate.  The Congressional Dems are moving in that direction.

      Bunch of worthless fucking Christ-hating whores.

  •  if you are flat on your back you can't talk back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunvegan, The Creator

    rescission of benefits
    denial of coverage
    pre-existing conditions

    Republicans are walking the socio Path.

    by 88kathy on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:45:55 AM PDT

  •  A bunch of fucking sociopaths (0+ / 0-)

    who deserve a sociopath's gruesome fate.

    These people are fucking evil.  E-V-I-L.

  •  The problem is capitalism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, Nisi Prius, Faeya Wingmother

    and not necessarily our political system.

    The problem with our current system is that there are people that honestly believe in the "American Dream", and honestly believe that they have wealth and power through their own hard work and not through privilege. They also believe that people are poor because the poor don't work hard.  They also subscribe to a notion that people higher up in a corporate ladder deserve the wealth that comes with their position because they deserve their wealth.  They truly believe that lowly workers don't deserve more money, because if the lower classes only worked harder, they would get ahead.

    These people do not understand that the system they love is inherently flawed.  Nor do they understand, or want to believe, that they have their wealth not through any innate goodness or talent on their part, but out of circumstances, connections, and serendipity.

    This belief is a fundamental belief.  Americans truly believe in capitalism, and don't see the current failings - political corruption, under employment, poverty, health care problems, day care problems - as flaws of capitalism.  Until we can change this belief, the economic and political status quo will continue.

    •  You overreach. (0+ / 0-)

      The problem is that capitalists have corrupted the political system.  Prohibition of private political donations would kill about a trillion birds with one stone.

      It's crony capitalism we have that is killing this nation.  It's oligarchy.  Actual capitalism works just fine.  Go visit a fucking farmer's market if you need a reminder of that.

      •  Show me where I'm wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Faeya Wingmother

        Americans believe that a higher salary is indicative of higher worth and more work.  This is simply not true.  

        Capitalism depends on having a cheap supply of labor, which is best obtained through having a significant degree of unemployment.  Unemployment and underemployment are necessities in free market capitalism.  

        We don't have a system where the person who produces goods is the person who ultimately sells these goods a makes a profit.  People who own farms are not the only ones who work on these farms; they have a number of people who work on the farms, usually for a very small amount of money.  

        We have forgotten the lessons we learned at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.  We should be reading Dickens, Dreiser, and the works of the muckrackers.  The world has been here before, and ignored what we learned then.  

    •  It's rule by corporation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mon, Faeya Wingmother

      Capitalism is useful, if it is held in check by social forces (i.e. government, regulation, wealth distribution).

      Allowed to run amok, yes, it is a dictatorship.

      "One dollar one vote" is fundamentally anti-democratic.

      Each human has equal value in a democracy, as it should be.

      In capitalism, each human is valued by how much money they have, or don't.

      I wouldn't recommend running a business democratically, but I wouldn't recommend running a government by capitalism either. And yet, that's what we have had for the past 30 years.

      •  democracy in business is unstoppable (0+ / 0-)

        either through unions in business or as cooperative, credit unions or other forms of economic democratic organizations and organizing. business has recognized this for decades, which is why they have built so many privileges into law for themselves and so many disadvantages for unions, credit unions, cooperatives, etc. economic democracy is the most dangerous idea imaginable to the private tyrannies we call corporations.

        so, i disagree. i would most definitely recommend running a business democratically.

        "A union is a way of getting things done together that you can't get done alone." Utah Phillips

        by poemworld on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 12:47:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron

          Yeah, after I wrote that, I thought about Worker-Owned Co-Ops, credit unions, and such. They tend to get out-competed by authoritarian corporations, but, indeed, it is possible to run a business democratically. It's just really cumbersome.

          My point was actually more that running a government like a business means running it as a dictatorship, since traditional corporations are authoritarian entities.

          I am however very happy with worker-owned collectives and would be happy to see business become more democratic.

      •  That's my point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Faeya Wingmother

        We don't have social checks on capitalism anymore.  We have systematically destroyed them over the past 30 years.  

        Americans believe that capitalism and democracy go hand in hand, and that any kind of socialism (subsidized day care, subsidized health care, welfare)is bad.  Until we fix this basic problem, we cannot fix this nation.  

        We believe that anyone can "get ahead" with enough hard work.  This isn't true.  There are people who get lucky, but we have less social mobility than we did a generation ago.

        Americans believe that people are poor because the poor don't work hard enough, and fundamentally don't get that people can barely make ends meet when making double the minimum wage.

        Capitalism works when a society actually produces goods.  We don't produce much anymore.  80% of our economy is service based.  

        •  In the 1970's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mochajava13, Dirtandiron

          A union organizer I met some years ago, said that the problem with this country is that sometime in the 1970's we went from being a country that made things to a country that makes money. A nation of shell-game financiers-- all management, no actual production.

          •  I fear (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dirtandiron

            that is the cause of many of the problems in this nation, along with two other things: a strong sense of entitlement and a false belief that the US is the best nation in the world.

            We won't have an actual economic recovery until we create goods.  We won't have political reform until we stop our our belief that democracy must go with capitalism.  

            •  That's why I mentioned Singapore (0+ / 0-)

              Capitalism is very much compatible with dictatorship. The two go together very well, in fact.

              Money is amoral. It has no ethics, no moral responsibility. It is a tool not a goal. You can't structure a government based on it.

  •  What happened to the Luntz memo? This maybe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/...

    Luntz warns that "if the dynamic becomes ‘President Obama is on the side of reform and Republicans are against it,’ then the battle is lost and every word in this document is useless.’"

    This
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Monday, July 20, 2009; 5:31 PM

    Editor's Note: The following is a memo that Republican message man Alex Castellanos sent to fellow GOP strategists this month.

    To: GOP Health Care Advocates

    Re: GOP Health Care Strategy

    Fr: Alex Castellanos

    July 7, 2009

    GOP Health Care Talking Points

    ***************SNIP****************

       Their cause is reducing health care costs.

    To the public, reducing health care costs is health care reform.

       Quality: As Wes Anderson has noted, people are satisfied with the quality of their health care. Quality is not driving this debate.

       Access: While everyone favors increasing access, access is only seen as a problem because of cost. Access alone, unrelated to cost, is not driving this debate.

       Choice: Americans believe they have choice; so much so that it makes health care anarchic, confusing, and chaotic. Choice confusion, they tell us, allows the system to take advantage of them. Though more choice may be a solution, Americans do not perceive the lack of it as a problem. If anything, they perceive the abundance of choice as a problem. Choice is not driving this debate.

    Dear GOP&Conservatives If all you have to offer are Cliches and Hyperbole then STFU. Thanks XOXOXO

    by JML9999 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:51:06 AM PDT

  •  This approach only works (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mistlethrush

    in post-Reagan America.  The meme that government is the enemy is too deeply rooted to be solved in one year, or one Administration.  

    The question is, can the progressive wing of the Democratic Party hold it together long enough for that to happen?  Can we become a viable political force not only in Obama's time, but for decades down the road?  

    We'll need discipline, deep pockets, and a willingness to support leaders who occasionally disappoint us.  

    It is scarcely possible to conceive of the laws of motion if one looks at them from a tennis ball's point of view. (Brecht)

    by dotalbon on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:53:37 AM PDT

  •  Fascist populism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, Nisi Prius

    takes root and thrives in the absence of honest, class aware leftist populism.

    Politics abhors a vacuum.

    A vacuum is about we get, politics wise, from Powerful Dems these days.  

    In fact, Dems fall all over themselves to not engage class awareness, to not apply any moral  or political alternative to the fascist narrative.  

    If we're honest, we admit that powerful, Big-Boy Pants(tm) Dems make careers out of first enabling and then normalizing the very worst right-wing predations.  

    For a clear example, see Bushco's "war" on "terror", first enabled, than normalized by powerful Democrats.  Look at Obama's afpak.  Look at Obama's permanent detention without trial, and admit it: with these Dems, we all fascists now.

    See also the culmination of Reaganomics (not a course change, at all) in Obama's massive wealth transfers upwards embodied in the multi-trillion dollar financial sector handouts.

    Regarding Obama's healthcare "reform", what political steam was there when Dems go in already capitulating?  By making survival of the greedhead sector their first priority, Dems have gone into this thing with one hand tied behind their backs, and with no political case.

    It's hard to imagine that they could screw things up so badly.  But then, look at their post Bushco performance across the line, and it's hard to underestimate their loser status, and easy to lose hope.

    But let's pretend that the Dems are actually trying.  Dems needed to be willing to take on the insurance industry (aka the problem) instead of carrying water for it.  Half-measure "reform" that leaves the problems of waste, greed, distribution intact, IOW still leaves the people being screwed over and fascist values in place, isn't exactly a barn-burner, politically speaking.

    Political Geniuses like Bush, Rove, Limbaugh, and Cheney thrive only in the sucking political vacuum that comprises powerful, Big-Boy Pants(tm) Dem politics in the post Reagan era.

    It would be laughable, if it wasn't so epoch-shaping tragic.

    Talk of a third party is premature.  First, we'd need a second.

  •  We need the 50 Freedoms of Reform and FAST (0+ / 0-)

    smash them, bash them, nail them to the floor
    come on team!!

    5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform

    1. Freedom to choose what's in your plan
    1. Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs
    1. Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage
    1. Freedom to keep your existing plan
    1. Freedom to choose your doctors

    Fortune Magazine

    Republicans are walking the socio Path.

    by 88kathy on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 11:53:48 AM PDT

  •  The place to start: America is a brutal nation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunvegan, Nisi Prius, Mistlethrush

    that sends its citizens to poverty, denies them security, and is 'pro life' unless the person is actually born.  

    The Democratic party is as guilty as is the Republican party these days.  

    Where we start is to admit what America actually is, and then decide to forcefully change it (since elections don't seem to work), or, let it continue as is, and suffer ourselves, the fate that a cruel nation will bring us eventually.  

    America is about war, about cheating its own people, and it will continue this way until citizens rise up to change it.  

  •  Lawl! (0+ / 0-)

    It seems increasingly easy to understand why there's an culture of mistress-banging and airport-bathroom-handjob-seeking and prostitute-visiting, among our leaders.

    Beautiful. Brings the tawdry reality right up front where it needs to be.

  •  Medical Fund Raisers @ Gas Stations? (0+ / 0-)

    I didn't see it in New England but in the Midwest every gas station has one of these.


    If you can find some of these and photograph them please add them to the Medical Fund Raising Buckets group on Flickr.

    "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

    by Stranded Wind on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 12:26:20 PM PDT

  •  abusive personalities in power (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mistlethrush

    there is no recourse for political malfeasance at the moment but there should be

    start working on it:

    https://depravityscale.org/...

    depraved indifference

    http://definitions.uslegal.com/...

    To constitute depraved indifference, the defendant's conduct must be 'so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime. Depraved indifference focuses on the risk created by the defendant’s conduct, not the injuries actually resulting.

    http://definitions.uslegal.com/...

    Wanton is used in the context of negligence law to describe extreme carelessness or indifference to safety. Punitive damage cases typically involve "wanton and willful" misconduct evincing a reckless disregard for the rights of others.

    This isn't politics. It's the health care system breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses breaking America's economy. - Pres. Obama

    by anyname on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 12:37:23 PM PDT

  •  "when a mere look out the window says it's not" (0+ / 0-)

    Reminds me of the time when my 17 year old son had to make an appearance for a traffic ticket.  It was hurricane season and we were actually in the midst of a "hurricane".  Rain pouring down in sheets, almost no visibility, wind speed up and he had to travel quite a ways in an area that has many lakes and canals.  In an area that quickly floods.  I called the phone number provided on his citation and told them he would have to reschedule.  They said that since the city had not issued a hurricane warning they were still in session.

    To make a long story short my son did not leave the house and that storm became known locally as the "no name storm". Many people were caught in the worst of it on their commute home.

    All you had to do was look out the window.

    Bureaucracy.

  •  gop (0+ / 0-)

    like I've said before, the gop, for TORTURE, against healthcare for all Americans. They sicken me and depress me. Time for good Americans and our Democratic officials to take a stand. good vs evil, bottom line.

  •  They OPPOSE Public Good. That's a STATED (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terafnord

    principle of conservatism.

    Why why why does the moderate left CONSTANTLY insist that people do not believe what they say they believe?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 01:16:13 PM PDT

  •  "The Party of No" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terafnord

    is what we need to start calling them.

    Let them try to live down the fact that they failed with their own ideas, don't have any new ones, and basically would rather the ship goes down than compromise or help in any way.

    A few months ago, they were trying to claim that "no, we're not the party of no." But with their fight against any and all reform -- even common sense measures like MedPac to control costs -- they have CEMENTED themselves as do-nothings.

  •  The new Republican Icon (0+ / 0-)

    should be the Hippocritter.

    A Hippo with it's mouth wide open telling other people how to live while up to it's neck in scandal.

    And why can't I get an image from photobucket to post?

  •  Dear President Call a Special Session (0+ / 0-)

    until health care reform is passed.

  •  this diary was deep and on point (0+ / 0-)

    and I thank you

  •  $$ for refusing care (0+ / 0-)

    What's worse than the 20 percent going for overhead and profit is that part is used to figure out how to deny access for their paying customers to their product.

    What other business does that?

  •  Actually, GOP is Divided on HC Reform (0+ / 0-)

    It is true that the GOP is mostly united in trying to kill anything like the large-scale remodeling of the health-care system such as envisioned by Obama and much of the democratic party.

    But they're divided between two approaches to accomplishing this:

    1. There's a substantial faction claiming to be "for" health care reform, but envision only what amounts to a modest tinkering around the edges that leaves the current private insurance system untouched (e.g. John Kyl).  Their goal is to peel off enough of a coalition of "blue dog" democrats in the house and senate (including a few normally more progressive Senators who seem suspiciously captive of the insurance industry lobby), and eventually allow something to pass under the banner "reform" which they will gladly take partial credit for, along with credit for "stopping" the allegedly radical, cripplingly expensive government-run version (according to their version of things).
    1. There's another faction out to stop any "reform" bill associated with Obama outright, on ideological/political grounds.  They'd be happiest if no "reform" bill and hope to engineer a re-run of 1994 and the revival of GOP fortunes, (but perhaps as second-best the least they want to see is to force the weakest possible of empty Potemkin-villege type bills to pass and then be able to crow SEE - GOVERNMENT MEDDLING DOESN'T WORK! when that watery-thin oatmeal of a bill fails to accomplish much beyond some wasteful government spending, but meanwhile puts some extra money in the pockets of some of their allies.
  •  What else can we do? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm lucky enough to have Senators and a Representative who support reform, but what else can I do? Will emails to Blue Dogs for from someone outside their area do any good?

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  •  I concur, but I am disappointed. (0+ / 0-)

    As a FP-er, Hunter, I would assume you have a high credibility bar to meet. Where's the beef?

    Your column contains not a single link or other reasonably scroungable reference for a host of serious assertions regarding the GOP's long efforts to squash HCR. I happen to agree with you, but the real question is, what if I didn't?

    I've come to regard Dkos's FP-ers as a source of credible editorial and commentary; substantiation is everything.

    Otherwise, we are no better than the Right's propagandist mouthpieces.

    There ain't no redemption when you're stone cold sane; 'crazy' is just another point of view. - Sonia Dada -5.50 -4.51

    by ktward on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 03:53:55 PM PDT

  •  Where "Reform" went wrong (0+ / 0-)

    In the Clinton years, 95 cents of every dollar paid in premiums was paid out again for medical care: now it's plummeted to 80 cents, the rest going to administration and profits.

    The premise was that Big Health Insurance would be content with taking 5, maybe going up to 7 or 8 cents by this time on the dollar (because a 60% increase in profit margin on a ever rising gross revenue figure would normally be good enough...yes I know, a quaint thought.)

    Let's assume that this effort goes down in flames, and the status quo continues on. Is there some "trip wire" that Medical Loss Ratio reaches (75%? 67%?? 60%???) that has even the most "Randian" defender admitting that things have gotten out of hand, or is Hunter dead on and these guys are simply amoral when it comes to this particular money grab?

    All of that is to say this: Instead of cooking up some system to institutionalize Private Health Insurance permanently, Clinton should have simply bought Big Health Insurance out. It would have cost much less, and after the 3rd or 4th year, everyone would have forgotten that we now have "Socialized Medicine."

    Perhaps that's the lesson for Team Obama: no matter how obscene the price tag seems to Jane and John Unconnected right now, it will only get more expensive to buy these guys out later.

    Single Payer and WPA 2.0...NOW!!!

    by Egalitare on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 04:04:19 PM PDT

  •  What? Of course we have great healthcare (0+ / 0-)

    If you're rich, that is.

    It's sad how they try to kill this for purely political purposes.

    Proud Democrat. Proud American.

    by bluedonkey08 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 04:37:14 PM PDT

  •  It is the SHAMELESSNESS of Republicans and . . . (0+ / 0-)

    their enablers in the media that is truly breathtaking.

    The Republican Party is basically telling us all to F*c* off, and 50 % of America nods in agreement.

    And the media robotically repeats whatever
    bullsh!t they are fed, and suddenly as Michael Jackson prophesied "a lie becomes the truth".

    It is truly mind boggling.

  •  United We Stand (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP is proud of defeating health care in 1994 and will try to do it again with the same electoral results in 10 (taking back Congress). Dems have to prove they can govern. The Blue Dogs must be told to get in line or be bypassed by the whole Cong. Speaker Pelosi must keep the heat on the Dems. We must get some health bill to Obama by the end of this year. If we can't govern with the House and Senate margins we have now, how can the public trust us? We must stand united against GOP fear and demagoguery. Put the heat on the Blue Dog Dems. For more on Blue Dogs and their leader Mike Ross, read   this

  •  GOP + DINOS (0+ / 0-)

    It's not just the GOPers that are sticking the knife in our backs on this issue. Explain folks like Bauchus , Conrad, Difi  and many others. These people IMHO are even worse because they want to parade around as Dems. but when push comes to shove on an issue central to the base of the party , whose side are they on? They'll stand with the BIG $$ and defeat this and they won't even pay a price. That's why these creatures are shameless. They spent two yrs. giving a criminal regime everything it asked for , always crying it had to because it didn't have the votes to do anything. Now what's the excuse?

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 06:23:11 PM PDT

  •  A Canadian example (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kumaneko
    I live in a smaller "have-not" province, all my basic medical care is met by a 13% VAT on non-essential basics. I am confident that in a medical emergency I would receive top-notch immediate treatment. I have a choice of Family doctor (appt lead-time 2-3 days), walk-in clinics with no appt. etc. Nursing home care is part of the system at no extra cost. We also have employer-contributed Blue Cross that has $3.00 prescription co-pay (no limit), $300PA glasses/contacts, counselling, physio, orthotics, alternative medicine, semi-private hosp etc.,90% dental to 2,000 PA. 5,000 orthodontics, no "pre-exisiting condition" BS-illegal in Canada and other benefits. All immediate family coverage including children to age 25. Our cost is $32.00 a month. We do have problems with rural delivery and emergency care, our aging population is beginning to strain the system, costs are mounting, but the big political question is how to cope with the present universal access, not deny coverage. For the life of me I can't understand how Americans tolerate their system. You're being screwed out of a basic human right.
  •  "Rational" (0+ / 0-)

    is not a selling point for the Repubicans.  They deal in irrationality, and use its strange charm for the media and so many Americans to destroy and, more importantly, control.

    Visit www.350.org to stop climate change.

    by bogmanoc on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 09:54:21 PM PDT

  •  new (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP legislators are finally figuring out that if the Healthcare Reform is not passed, they will be held responsible for rising costs and the effect on the GDP.  This is one time in which doing nothing is unacceptable and unsustainable.
    To say that Insurance and Pharmaceuticals are hedging their own bets...offering "reductions" sound good, but it really won't significantly hurt their bottom line...so there is some hidden negotiations that no one is talking about.

    It is LOL funny to see their "scare" ads and each of you who want change need to call out those who pay for these misleading ads such as:  The government will stand between you and your physician.

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