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Former insurance company executive and author of Deadly Spin Wendell Potter says Paul Ryan's plan would be a windfall for insurance companies:

The more health plan enrollees have to pay out of their own pockets, the less insurers have to pay for medical care. The money that insurers avoid paying out in claims goes straight to their bottom line—and into shareholders’ pockets. Insurers have been shifting more and more of the cost of care to their policyholders over the past several years by enticing—or pushing—them into plans with ever increasing deductibles. This trend is part of what Yale professor Jacob S. Hacker called “the personal responsibility crusade”—making people more responsible for the management and financing of the major economic risks they face—in his 2006 book, “The Great Risk Shift.”

David Frum takes a stab at telling us why a 62-year-old Republican would ponder Donald Trump for President:

So maybe you'll give him a try. Or somebody else. You need help. You need help from somebody who understands what it's like to be you: not poor, not black, not Mexican, but still hurting, still scared, still looking at a future suddenly a lot bleaker than you ever expected. Somebody. Anybody.

Linda Chavez thinks Donald Trump's trashing the Republican "brand" may guarantee Barack Obama's reelection whether the birther wheeler-dealer actually runs or not.

In Libya, Syria and Yemen, writes Patrick Cockburn, the police states suppressing Arab freedom are not going the way of Tunisia and Egypt, nor are they likely to. In Bahrain, the protesters have lost and Saudi-backed tyranny is terrorizing the mostly Shiite population.

David Ignatius calls use of armed drone in Libya "not a good idea":

My quick reaction, as a journalist who has chronicled the growing use of drones, is that this extension to the Libyan theater is a mistake. It brings a weapon that has become for many Muslims a symbol of the arrogance of U.S. power into a theater next door to the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, the most promising events in a generation. It projects American power in the most negative possible way.

The Miami Herald editorial board disses two proposed immigration laws as "harsh and harsher":

The problem with all such proposals is that they invite intrusive questioning of any person that any law enforcement officer may consider to be here illegally. Regardless of whether the bills ostensibly ban racial profiling, Hispanics, Haitians and anyone else deemed “different” are at risk. In South Florida, that would include not only tourists from Latin America and the Caribbean, but hundreds of thousands of legal residents. Not to mention anyone with a tan and an accent.

Charles Krauthammer calls Paul Ryan the de facto head of the Republican Party and says somebody should rustle up a posse to corral him into running in 2012 as the anti-Obama.

Paul Krugman:

[S]omething else struck me as I looked at Republican arguments against the board, which hinge on the notion that what we really need to do, as the House budget proposal put it, is to “make government health care programs more responsive to consumer choice.”

Here’s my question: How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as “consumers”? The relationship between patient and doctor used to be considered something special, almost sacred. Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car — and their only complaint is that it isn’t commercial enough.

Susan J. Douglas:

Many progressives have become exasperated by NPR’s timidity, on air and off, and its seeming over-capitulation to the right. But when verbal food fights are what pass for news on TV, we need to support NPR more than ever.

Naomi Klein:

Bolivia's climate summit has had moments of joy, levity and absurdity. Yet underneath it all, you can feel the emotion that provoked this gathering: rage against helplessness.

It's little wonder. Bolivia is in the midst of a dramatic political transformation, one that has nationalized key industries and elevated the voices of indigenous peoples as never before. But when it comes to Bolivia's most pressing, existential crisis--the fact that its glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, threatening the water supply in two major cities--Bolivians are powerless to do anything to change their fate on their own.

That's because the actions causing the melting are taking place not in Bolivia but on the highways and in the industrial zones of heavily industrialized countries.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Re: Krugman on politicians and reformers talk (5+ / 0-)

    Reminds me of this talk:

    •  Krugman is a wimp. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah, divineorder

      Medical costs skyrocketed because of pervasive fraud. The fraud patterns are fixed on mis- and maltreatment of chronic care conditions.

      Go back 50 years and the total cost for chronic care equals the cost for acute care. Then chronic care providers discovered join practices, phony referrals, and the joys of out-of-control bad medicine. The result is that we waste $1-trillion a year:

      Multiple-condition patients are run through an average of a dozen doctors a year. BEST PRACTICES standards are fought off, tooth and nail.

      The Checklist Manifesto is a powerful tool against phony-referral crime. Diagnose the patient's condition, then apply the appropriate check list for treatment.

      This is not rocket science.

      Failing to do so -- private/criminal sector, not public Tri-Care/VA/CHC -- is costing us $1-trillion a year. And the patients are way, way worse off. Tri-Care/VA/CHC treatments are less than half the cost of private/criminal care.

      These talking-head/pundit-class fuckers keep on blithering about health care, about Congress and Richistan tax policy, about unemployment -- where criminal acts are the poison in America's veins. For example, this typcial GOPer-whore, Paul Ryan, is trying to move more medical money over to his crooked backers with the damn voucher scheme.

      Krugman has to know the numbers. Call a crook a crook and have done with it.  

      Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

      by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 06:00:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  David Ignatiu-Ramus (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, GANJA, papicek
    "My quick reaction, as a journalist who has chronicled the growing use of drones, is that this extension to the Libyan theater is a mistake. It brings a weapon that has become for many Muslims a symbol of the arrogance of U.S. power into a theater next door to the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, the most promising events in a generation. It projects American power in the most negative possible way."

    That's predicated on the notion that Muslims are dumb animals who can't reason between a drone that's attacking them, and a drone that is being employed in their attack.

    David Ignatius reveals his latent bigotry and sense of superiority whether he intends to or not.

    Honk! If you're writing in Alan Grayson!

    by Detroit Mark on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 04:38:54 AM PDT

    •  Clearly a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" (3+ / 0-)

      They want to overthrow Gaddafi; but without some additional US support it likely won't happen soon--if at all.  

      Better this approach than boots on the ground.

    •  Erm, here's a link in support of David (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      and there are many more which show Pakistani's anger at  killings of civilians by drones . "Latent bigotry" ? Whatever.

      Curious, what in our experience in recent years gives   armchair commanders so much confidence that these drones in Libya will be "employed in their attack" when NATO has already killed rebels?

      BBC:

      Drone anger
      Anti-US protests over Koran burning - March 2011 Anti-US feeling across Pakistan has escalated in recent months

      US drone attacks have escalated in north-west Pakistan since President Barack Obama took office. But they are hugely unpopular with the Pakistani public. Many militants, some of them senior, have been killed in the raids, but hundreds of civilians have also died.

      The US does not routinely confirm it is conducting drone operations in Pakistan, but analysts say only American forces have the capacity to deploy such aircraft in the region.

      •  A one dimensional reader (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74

        might mistake that article to be about drones.

        Someone actually reading it for content can see that it is clearly about Parkistani anger over civilians being killed.

        Not about the technology that killed them.

        Ignatius, and now apparently you, make the case that the Pakistanis really don't mind so much being killed by bullets or bunker busting bombs.  It's just that those scary, unidentifed flying objects called drones were obviously sent by satan.

        (deep eye roll)

        Honk! If you're writing in Alan Grayson!

        by Detroit Mark on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:19:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rules of Engagement =EQ= 2rd Degree Murder (0+ / 0-)

          Not manslaughter.

          The specific intent to kill these bystanders (by the hundreds) is not formed prior to the attacks. There is no present malice directed at the bystanders.

          Our own system defines the most severe civil crimes as the normal pattern for operating these drones.

          Crimes by Americans ??? No one questions authority. No one files charges or asks for an enquiry. Why am I not surprised ?

          Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

          by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 06:12:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Nobel Peace Drones and a quality question (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades, aliasalias

          for those so enamored with the latest greatest technology that they totally miss the more important questions.
          Glenn:

          A U.S. drone attack in Pakistan killed 23 people this morning, and this is howThe New York Times described that event in its headline and first paragraph:
          ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An American drone attack killed 23 people in North Waziristan on Friday, Pakistani military officials said, a strike against militants that appeared to signify unyielding pressure by the United States on Pakistan’s military amid increasing public and private opposition to such strikes.

          When I saw that, I was going to ask how the NYT could possibly know that the people whose lives the U.S. just ended were "militants," but then I read further in the article and it said this:  "A government official in North Waziristan told Pakistani reporters that five children and four women were among the 23 who were killed."  So at least 9 of the 23 people we killed -- at least -- were presumably not "militants" at all, but rather innocent civilians (contrast how the NYT characterizes Libya’s attacks in its headlines: "Qaddafi Troops Fire Cluster Bombs Into Civilian Areas").

      •  we do, as a nation, seem utterly fascinated with (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Floande, GreenSooner, divineorder

        attempting to use military power (and the latest gee-whiz weaponry) to try to solve political problems.

        It never works. It's never worked since Vietnam.

        You think we'd have learned by now.

  •  Ryan 2012!! Bring it on. (18+ / 0-)

    Great idea Charles.

    I would love to see the debate between Cong. Ryan and President Obama.

    It would be really something to see Ryan have to defend destroying Medicare and Medicaid so billionaires can have more tax breaks in front of a tv audience close to a 100 million people.

    •  that was exactly my thought (6+ / 0-)

      Bring it on! Lets have the class warfare conversation. It is time and an awful lot of people previously neutral have figured out that they are under attack. And lets send  thank you notes to the t-bagger governors who overreached so vividly and reminded the public safety people folks that they are middle-class.

      fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

      by mollyd on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 04:49:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ryan won't run becuase (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle

      no one from the House has ever successfully won the Presidency. That's why Mike Pence decided to run for governor - he'll have a much better chance to run for President as a governor than a representative.

    •  I agree with you and with Krauthammer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity

      Leaving aside my desire to see him as the candidate because it would be a defining moment in the rejection of Republicanism, I think it's unfair that Republicans across the board are trying to draw intellectual legitimacy from Ryan while leaving him to languish in the House.  

      It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

      by Rich in PA on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:33:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Better Dead Than Red" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rontun, vets74

    Cheap campaign slogans becoming public policy.

    Medicare 2011 - Better Dead Than Red

    by dehrha02 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 04:43:31 AM PDT

    •  Propaganda short circuits the OODA Loop. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity

      Normally:

      1. Observe

      2. Orient

      3. Decide

      4. Act

      All of which takes time.... But not if an impulse choice is effected.

      This is the great strength of what the GOPer propagandists have achieved over the last 60 years. They have conditioned American voters to stop thinking -- to go on fantastic, easy to recite slogans.

      Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

      by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 06:20:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In Other News ... (0+ / 0-)

    The revolution is near. All the illusions will fall like a veil of tears once the Gang of Six announces Obama's plan to decimate the Middle Class, once and for all. You have been alerted. Be prepared.

    •  Gang of 6s and 8s are (5+ / 0-)

      overrated. People in congress have too huge of an ego to be led around by these small gangs. More importantly Obama has made his position clear on all of these issues and he started his re-election campaign by going after Ryan so in the real world there is no Obama plan to decimate middle class.

      •  The. Fix. Is. In. (0+ / 0-)

        Open your eyes. As for Obama's electioneering bullshit, who cares. Ryan's "plan" is just a straw man for Obama to make his sellout of the American People more palatable by comparison. Yes, My fellow Americans,  this is a shit sandwich we're going to make you eat, but it is SMALLER shit sandwich than the GOP is offering. More kabuki. Only the willfully blind don't see what is happening. Open your eyes.

        •  so your view is (5+ / 0-)
          Only the willfully blind don't see what is happening
          anyone who doesn't agree with your viewpoint is willfully blind?

          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 Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:06:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No need for name calling. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ratcityreprobate, moonpal

          I can see that there is no appetite in Democratic party to decimate middle class and nothing that has happened over past two years has changed my opinions. Besides, if Ryan's plan was a strawman and an extreme plan then why did almost every Republican congressman voted for it?

          •  First of all (0+ / 0-)

            I didn't call anyone names; I used colorful language. Second, in today's America a paean to "civility" is the refuge of a scoundrel; rhetoric, especially from an pseudonymous commenter like me is the least of our problems. As for the outcome of Obama Kabuki Part 973, I urge you to watch Blazing Saddles and pay close attention when Cleavon Little takes himself hostage.

            The revolution is at hand. There is no other way.

          •  why did the Repugs vote for it? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sherlyle, mightymouse, Olkate

            For the same reason they voted for the RSC budget. It's a pander to the ideological base. The Repugs know that the Ryan budget was DOA as soon as it was written.  It will never pass the Senate in a thousand years.  It's just theater. The Repugs can't pass a law saying "water is wet" unless the Dems agree to pass it.

            The Ryan plan simply follows standard Repug negotiating strategy---introduce an extreme crazy position that will never pass anyway, and allow the Dems to panic over it and give up half the farm to "prevent" the Big Scary Thing from happening that never would have happened anyway.

            They did it with the appropriations bill, they're doing it with the debt ceiling, and they'll do it with the budget.

            The Repugs will keep doing it as long as it keeps working.

        •  ya, and? what then? (0+ / 0-)

          I assume you're leaving the country.

          that's the only logical thing to do if your believe what you're saying.

          Thankfully, I made plans to leave 3 years ago. I;m taking as many with e as I can.

          That's neither here nor there, however. If all you want to d is shout "THE END IS NEAR" into the ether, what is the purpose of that? If one was to agree with you, still, so what? What is the purpose of it? Give up? Take up arms? Start hoarding? What?

          Making such pronouncements seems sort of lame. It's like some Jesus freak walking around with a sign that say....hey wait! You're not one of those May 21st-ers are you?

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe. h/t MeteorBlades

          by mdmslle on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:29:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Ain't Goin' Nowhere (0+ / 0-)

            This is MY country and I'll be damned if I help enable Obama and the Democrats as they enable the GOP as it destroys the American Middle Class and vilifies the Poor. Fool me once ...

            •  good for you. (0+ / 0-)

              i was born here too. i feel no compelling need to stay here.

              there were jews that escaped before kristllnacht. maybe, probably even your ancestors left an oligarchic and dead-end europe to come to the "new world" to where the opportunities were indeed greater (at the time). they were brave. they left THEIR country! because living a life of dignity and being able to provide for themselves had become nearly impossible since the ownership/ruler class made sure that the entire political and societal stack of cards was against them and every one like them. Sound familiar?  It was that bad there at the time. Why else leave everything you know and risk your life to get on a boat and cross the atlantic ocean?

              but best of luck to you here in america. there is always hope that in 50 -100 years the US will have transformed from where we are today to something more civilized, the way Europe transformed from where they were when your ancestors left to where they are today. It takes time. But I'm 43. I don't have 50 or 100 years. I'd like a dignified life now and I'd like to live out my remaining years in a dignified and sane society. So sue me.

              besides, as long as i'm a US citizen i can still vote and contribute money in elections. so there's no reason for me to be here to suffer the consequences of a trump or huckabee or palin presidency. at least not directly.

              sad thing is, the majority of folks can't get out. I wish I could take more with me. sadly, people are trying to escape this country. just sad.

              Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe. h/t MeteorBlades

              by mdmslle on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 06:21:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  The Gang of 6's plan will NEVER (3+ / 0-)

      pass the House.  Their plan is dead.  NOTHING is going to get done about the deficit in any concrete way except they may all agree on cutting the deficit by $4 trillion in 10 years and that is about it.

      Anything that happens on the deficit will happen after 2012.

      Markos Moulitsas: "Said it before, I'll say it again: Scott Walker is the best thing to happen to Dem activism since George W. Bush."

      by Drdemocrat on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:01:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed, the basic problem is that neither side can (0+ / 0-)

        pass anything without the approval of the other side. Stalemate.

        In that situation, the Repugs win by default, since what they WANT is for government to do nothing.

        But the Dems have the advantage, because the majority of the public, in poll after poll, supports our position on issues and not the Repug position.

        The Repug's default "win", therefore, is actually killing them.

        •  Please get out and use those polls (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moonpal, One Opinion

          to OUR advantage.

          People knowing about it is one thing.  Getting people to VOTE against it is another.

          OUR job is to get people to the polls.  Give Obama back the House and a few more Senators.  2012-2016 will be better if we do.

          •  the difficulty is that the Dems don't listen to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            the polls either.

            Poll after poll after poll shows that the majority of the public is far more liberal on most issues than EITHER political party is.

            Yet the Dems continue to vacillate, prevaricate, and surrender abjectly to the Repugs.

            It's no wonder many people view the Dems as not being on their side---all too often, they're NOT.

            If the Dems want people to vote for them, it might help if they actually supported people's positions on issues, at least once in a while.

            "The other side is even worse than we are!!!!" is simply not a workable strategy.

    •  sandwich boards anyone? nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, highacidity

      Honk! If you're writing in Alan Grayson!

      by Detroit Mark on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:22:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Basic Immorality of For-Profit Health Care (8+ / 0-)

    Krugman asks:

    Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car

    Slight difference there. Car buyers have a multitude of sources to find reviews of cars and of car makers and sellers. Many car buyers also deeply understand how cars work. Many consumers truly can become knowledgeable and able to decide between different car choices.

    Not so medical treatment. To become knowledgeable about your own health care choices is very difficult at best for a highly educated few but is all but impossible for most Americans. How are we to decide if a health care seller (doctors) is giving us the best product?

    We can't.

    Also, unlike the case with cars, you are generally fine making do with an old clunker of a car as you are with a new Lexus or Jaguar. Not so health care. Getting substandard care kills.

    It's immoral to dole out better health care to the rich and to the educated. We all deserve good care whether or not we can read medical journals to decide which treatments are best. We all deserve good care, rich and poor alike. We all deserve good care, smart and stupid alike. For profit care takes advantage of the weak and poor and people are dying as a result. This is an immoral state of affairs.

    Note: Please also see this excellent diary by pmc6 and  this one by Democrats Ramshield which also talk about for-profit health care.

    •  I disagree with Potter (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle, Floande

      Privatizing Medicare is NOT what the companies want.  Yes, the more people pay out of pocket, the less the company has to pay, and the companies certainly like that (which is why they cheered enthusiastically for ACA, and indeed helped write it). But privatizing Medicare won't help them.  Sure, the sick old folks will be paying in.  But the insurance companies will be paying far more OUT.  They'll lose overall.

      The insurance companies don't want all those expensive sick old people on their policies They want all the young healthy people who don't cost the companies much--and that is exactly what ACA gives them. And they want all the old sick people who cost a lot to care for to be paid for by government, not by private insurance--and that is exactly what Medicare gives them. The current two-tiered system is precisely what the insurance companies want--they get to take in lots and lots of money from the young healthy people, while the government gets to pay out lots and lots of money for the old sick people.

      The silly plans to remove government from health care are coming from the libertarian ideologues, not from the corporado apologists. It's not in the insurance industry's interests.

    •  but surely if we follow the (7+ / 0-)

      "health care as a consumer product" model it will bring down costs for the savvy buyer.  The competition for our health care dollars will be intense.  Soon we'll be seeing ads like this:

      "30 Day Special on Chemo - 20% off all treatments for the entire month of May"

      "Free Weekend in Sheboygan with all organ transplants"

      It'll be great, we just need to learn to search for those bargains, and don't be too embarrassed to use those coupons.

    •  It's called informational asymmetry (3+ / 0-)

      and it's one of the conditions that economists argue calls for governmental oversight of transactions lest those with the greater grasp or control of the information take advantage of those with lesser grasp or control.  

      So, please government, put your hands on my health care!

  •  So what is frum's stupid point again ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Meteor Blades

    rich, white peeps need their knight in shining armor ?

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

    by amk for obama on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 04:48:36 AM PDT

  •  MB missed the new disease: "Sarah Palin Fatigue" (9+ / 0-)
    "There are a number of reasons why her popularity isn't nearly what it once was," said Matt Larkin, president of Dittman Research & Communications.
    "A fair number of Alaskans just have Sarah Palin fatrigue"

    ----
    A new Alaska Poll released today shows 61% of Alaskans have a "very unfavorable" or "somewhat unfavorable" opinion of Palin

    USA Today

  •  Frum is absolutely right; GOPers are... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    desperately looking for anybody who might have some hope of beating Obama, anyone who will lead them. Nobody so far is looking like that person.

    Even Limbaugh has said they're going to have to run against Obama rather than for the GOP nominee; he sounded pretty unenthusiastic when he was asked about the current wounded, bizzaro herd of sheep they're put up so far.

    Chavez is wrong; Trump doesn't damage the Republican brand because he's NOT the Republican brand. Unless the incredibly unlikely happens and he DOES get the nomination. (He won't.)

  •  The Frum piece is excellent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle

    I'm reading The Guardian a lot these days since the NYT decided to try to charge me $200 per year to read their articles.  $30 per year like a magazine subscription, maybe.  $200 per year, no way.

  •  Guess who is the Time's 100 most influential (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, annieli, Meteor Blades

    peeps list ?

    Pakistan's ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha has made it to the list of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world along with dignitaries like United States President Barrack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    Pasha's profile on the magazine's website was written by former Central Intelligence Aagency director Michael Hayden, who described him as "a Pakistani patriot and American partner" trying to manage the difficult task of reconciling the two roles.

    http://www.rediff.com/...

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

    by amk for obama on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 04:57:33 AM PDT

  •  Trump knows what it's like to be "hurting" ? (9+ / 0-)

    Please, declaring bankruptcy four times just to screw over your creditors is not "hurting."

    Sleazy, yes. Hurting, no.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:00:57 AM PDT

    •  The Strange Thing About The Trump Saga (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites

      is that the people he screws over, his partners, creditors, suppliers and contractors are Republican business folks and they keep coming back for more of the same.  Unlike the Koch brothers who screw over the little guy, Trump screws over his own and yet he still has a lot of currency with Republicans and the rich.

      Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

      by ratcityreprobate on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:55:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suppose. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ratcityreprobate

        Though I'm sure a lot of small people -- small service providers, subcontractors, small investors and the like -- got screwed out of their money in his bankruptcy filings too.

        I guess when you have plenty, you expect to take a hit every once in awhile. It's not like the rich lost their life savings, so they just write it off on their taxes, and play the game all over again.

        Capitalism. You gotta love it.

        Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

        by Bush Bites on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 06:41:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dr. Strangelove is right! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, mdmslle, ratcityreprobate

    PLEASE get Paul Ryan to run on a Randian plan to eliminate medicare and social security.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:04:58 AM PDT

  •  the Bolivians are right to feel helpless (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Floande, aliasalias

    They (and indeed the entire "third world") are paying the costs for our wasteful and indolent lifestyles. And sadly, we as a society show no inclination whatsoever to actually make any effort at all to solve the problem. When Dubya somewhat undiplomatically remarked "The American lifestyle is non-negotiable", he was simply saying out loud what nearly all of us actually think. We are simply unwilling to give up our fat lazy indolent lifestyle, no matter the cost.

    And that is why, sadly, we will not ever do anything realistic to stop global warming until we are absolutely utterly forced to by extreme circumstances (when it will be too late).  

    Deep down inside, as a society, we simply do not want to.

    •  from that same great article (0+ / 0-)

      (emphasis mine)

      "In Copenhagen, leaders of endangered nations like Bolivia and Tuvalu argued passionately for the kind of deep emissions cuts that could avert catastrophe. They were politely told that the political will in the North just wasn't there. More than that, the United States made clear that it didn't need small countries like Bolivia to be part of a climate solution. It would negotiate a deal with other heavy emitters behind closed doors, and the rest of the world would be informed of the results and invited to sign on, which is precisely what happened with the Copenhagen Accord. When Bolivia and Ecuador refused to rubber-stamp the accord, the US government cut their climate aid by $3 million and $2.5 million, respectively. "It's not a free-rider process," explained US climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing. (Anyone wondering why activists from the global South reject the idea of "climate aid" and are instead demanding repayment of "climate debts" has their answer here.) Pershing's message was chilling: if you are poor, you don't have the right to prioritize your own survival."

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 04:00:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm trying to picture a presidential debate (5+ / 0-)

    between Obama--poised, knowledgable, serious, articulate--and Trump--boorish, smug, ridiculous and out of his depth on real issues.  With the multiple crises facing our ever-more-complex world, how could anyone consider this carnival barker to be a credible choice?

    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 Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:14:30 AM PDT

  •  Heard Douthat on Diane Rehm (0+ / 0-)

    And he was spouting Republican talking points unchallenged. To be fair, he also made some good points (~"It wasn't a failure to get the message of a growing economy out that hurt Dems in 2010, it was the 10% unemployment."~)

    Susan J. Douglas:

    Many progressives have become exasperated by NPR’s timidity, on air and off, and its seeming over-capitulation to the right. But when verbal food fights are what pass for news on TV, we need to support NPR more than ever.

    We need to stop the perceived center from moving right. To the extent that NPR enables this, it will lose enthusiasm from the left. At some point, there won't be enough David Frums to pick up the slack.

    Corollary to Clarke's Third Law: Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

    by krow10 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:34:58 AM PDT

  •  Krugman nails it and the point should (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, ratcityreprobate

    be hammered on until its tender enough to BBQ.

    "Patients are not consumers"!

    Only the morally devoid would think in those terms (conservatives).

    Baja Arizona Libre!

    by GANJA on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:40:52 AM PDT

  •  Ans: when care was a right, not a commodity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias
    Here’s my question: How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as “consumers”? The relationship between patient and doctor used to be considered something special, almost sacred. Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car — and their only complaint is that it isn’t commercial enough.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above "Nous sommes un groupuscule" join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "makes Beck U. and the Limbaugh Institute look like Romper Room"

    by annieli on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:42:22 AM PDT

    •  that was the most pernicious effect of ACA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      Until then, it had always been the Dem position that health care was a right, and that it was the duty of government to provide health care to every citizen, just like it provided police and fire protection.

      Then we decided to adopt the Republican viewpoint, and treat health care not as a right, but as a commodity no different than deodorant or breakfast cereal--"you have to BUY health care, and we'll be nice enough to help you buy it".

      It truly was the day the Dem Party ceased to be the Dem Party.

  •  I'm so very tired of arguments like this: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratcityreprobate, candideinnc
    Many progressives have become exasperated by NPR’s timidity, on air and off, and its seeming over-capitulation to the right. But when verbal food fights are what pass for news on TV, we need to support NPR more than ever.

    The general form: Yes, X sucks for progressives. But that makes it ever more important that progressives support X!

    When one finds oneself part of a political tendency that is constantly told--and repeatedly tells itself--things like this, it really is time to take a step back and rethink basic questions of strategy.

  •  FRUM is straight up racist (0+ / 0-)

    from his article

    But this Obama, he does not come from the America you know. He has this way of looking like he thinks he's better than you. And the way his wife spends money! Too much flash, too much bling. All on your dime

    that is some race-baiting bullshit.

    the message of the article to republicans- even though the stock market crash happened under Bush's watch, blame Obama because he and his wife are uppity

    •  Frum is trying to report the feelings among voters (0+ / 0-)

      He's not expressing his own opinions in that paragraph.

      He may be wrong about the way voters think.  But reporting straight-up racist sentiments does not make one a straight-up racist.

      •  I read it differntly (0+ / 0-)

        Frum is Justifying the racist sentiment- not reporting it.
        If he was reporting it, he would have talked to actual people and got actual opinions.

        •  Logic much? (0+ / 0-)

          If he spoke to no actual people, that's bad reporting, not racism.

          He's still making guesses about what the American people think, not reporting what he thinks.

          Most of us don't assume that the American people think just like we do.  Plenty of people on this site (me included, if you catch me in a rotten mood) think that most Americans are pretty racist. But that doesn't make us (or me) racist.

          Again, I'm not endorsing Frum's description of what's on the mind of American voters, let alone saying that Frum is a great sage or a decent reporter.  

          But I am saying that many Americans vote against Obama and/or the Democrats for racist reasons doesn't make one a racist.

          •  Erp.... (0+ / 0-)

            That final sentence needs editing:

            But I am saying that writing that many Americans vote against Obama and/or the Democrats for racist reasons doesn't make one a racist.
          •  You shouldn't criticize my logic (0+ / 0-)

            if you think making up a ficticious opinion- basically to justify a racist position, is in any context "reporting"

            •  But Frum _isn't_ justifying the position. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aliasalias

              The opening sentence of the piece is:

              How could anyone possibly support an obvious flim-flam man like Donald Trump?

              The quoted passage that we're arguing about is part of Frum's answer to the question.

              Frum calls Trump "an obvious flim-flam man." So he's clearly not justifying the position he describes. He's trying to explain the beliefs of people--unlike him--who support Trump.

              Again, I'm not endorsing Frum's views. To be honest, I think Frum is rather overrated as a political analyst (his been given far too much credit for having been booted out of the GOP fold for being willing to say a few obvious but uncomfortable truths about the GOP).  

              I'm not even saying that Frum isn't a racist.

              What I am saying is that someone is not necessarily a racist who proposes that s/he can explain political beliefs that s/he doesn't share partly in terms of the (only slightly covert) racism of those who hold those beliefs.

    •  Not sure it's Frum... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity

      I'll give Frum the benefit of the doubt - reading that paragraph, I got the sense that he was treading carefully through the race issue.  His 62 year old Republican hates Obama, but thinks it's not a race thing, because he's worked with black folks.  If that's not 'Some of my best friends are black', I don't know what is.

      Then he adds "But this Obama, he does not come from the America you know. He has this way of looking like he thinks he's better than you."  THAT is where the racism lies - not at the surface, but below it - Obama's just not 'one of us'

      I think the most damning thing about the whole column is that he accurately portrayed the average Republican voter as frightened and subconsciously racist, reacting out of hate and fear by cutting his own throat.

  •  NPR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratcityreprobate

    I wish that I could continue to support public broadcasting, but I cannot.  There was a time when NPR and PBS were able to act like they were independent entities who could give objective opinions about the issues of the day.  They no longer do that.  They aren't merely timid.  They have fully capitulated to the strong arming of political bullies on the right.  If you want to hear recipes on the air or the fascinating mating habits of the albatross, NPR is for you.  It wasn't their fault they have been emasculated, but they are emasculated and irrelevant.  I see no point in paying for the tripe.

  •  Pushing or over-pricing? (0+ / 0-)

    We are moving to a high deductible plan to replace the plan we lost when my wife lost her job.

    We simply can't afford the others.  

    I don't get angry at the insurers for that, though. I get really damned pissed off, however, at everybody who has helped to prop up an oligopolistic, government-protected, and secretive health care industry.  If health care cost what it should, insurance would be a much smaller issue.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 06:52:27 AM PDT

  •  Mr. Ignatius? (0+ / 0-)

    I believe the word you're looking for is "escalation". The military always has some new doctrine or tech it invests with a fascination amounting to a fetish. In the 60's it was special ops, now, it's video games drones, stealth aircraft and high-tech sniping.

    Since we've apparently decided not to insert ground forces (except for CIA covert operatives - another expression of Amerikan "arrogance and power" that's less than welcome throughout MENA), and stealth aircraft simply aren't needed, that leaves the drones.

    That's the only reason they're there. The drones themselves don't matter—this is the escalation phase of this misadventure. The "mission creep" part comes later.

    Nevertheless, it's all a continuation of policy toward the Arab world undertaken by the neocons anyway.


    So whatever happened to that "new beginning" of the Cairo speech? The world wonders.

    "The cure for bullshit is fieldwork."
    Robert H. Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Harvard University.

    by papicek on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 08:32:04 AM PDT

  •  To Frum: Yes, and Leona Helmsley's dead (0+ / 0-)
  •  Krugman: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CupofTea, highacidity, Meteor Blades

    "Here’s my question: How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as “consumers”?"

    How?  Capitalism commoditizes EVERYTHING it can.  

    Unless we throw off the "maximize shareholder value" shackles, one day you'll pay companies for air, water, the privilege of using the sidewalk, and if you want to see a tree, pay to get into the private tree museum.

    Soylent Green, ho!

  •  Paul Krugman is SPOT ON (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias

    I've been arguing that health care is not a commercial enterprise.  For those who argue for the free market, THAT's the reason WHY health care is GOING BROKE.  Because it is NOT a commercial enterprise and cannot exist within a traditional private market frame.

    The profit margin is sickness.  The more sick people, the more your profit.  So, according to free market economics, the solution is to produce more sick people and make more money.

    That is why health care needs to be shared cost by the nation as in Canada or Japan or England -- or EVER OTHER FRICKIN civilized country.

    Sorry for the all caps, but Krugman gets it.

    •  We had a button for this... (0+ / 0-)

      ...in the New American Movement (SDS offshoot) in the '70s: "Health Care for People, Not for Profit." Yes, we were socialists.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 03:53:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I tried to read the Frum article but only made it (0+ / 0-)

    about half way through it. Not because it was racist, because he said it wasn't, nor because it was factually challenged, dubious, whatever, or because he attempts very awkwardly to make the Obamas into the gross ugly disgustingly bourgeois elitists, exactly the type of people Frum really creams his jeans supporting, and wants to win, in reality. (It's so bizarre the way he bashes the qualities of the ruling elite if they are not on his side of the aisle but that's really what turns his crank in reality.) The article was so biased and false and self-serving and serving only a very narrow, very conservative view, that I simply couldn't even finish it. I tried to read it because, on talk shows sometimes, Frum seems to be articulate and thoughtful. But it's hard to escape how stuck he is in his ideology and how he is really doing all he can to try to strike back at any forces that seek to change positive changes in government and the problems this country and the world face. His world view and ideology are from a previous century and don't speak to what's happening now except in a very reactionary way. Frum is still on the outskirts of the way right wing wingnut faction of political punditry. And, he is still somewhat apart from them since he had his major break up with them a year or so ago, but, he is still one of them. And he always will be. That's more than evident in this article.

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