Re: Tone Loco

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What scares me about the reasonable discussion is that I think the Democratic party did not quite deliver the goods for real in this bill -- I think a lot of people are going to be pretty annoyed when they find out how much of this won't be happening until 2014, four long years from now.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:04 AM
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A lot more people are going to be pretty annoyed when they realize that the cost control measures in this law are a joke, and the price of the insurance they will be required to buy keeps spiraling upward every year.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:11 AM
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That too. It's all related. After 2014 there will be some things that act to reduce the effective cost of insurance, but before then, almost nothing.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:14 AM
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1,2 -- That was happening anyway. The question is whether that discontent can be channeled towards improvement, or will get lost in bitterness and despair.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:16 AM
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Not much of a question.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:20 AM
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the cost control measures in this law are a joke

One of the callers started in, "I'm a libertararian," which had me rolling my eyes thinking, "Oh, here we go..." But he went on to make a good (and pithy!) point, something like, "Whether you take the money from my left pocket and call it a tax, or take it from my right pocket and call it a premium, you're doing nothing to control the cost."

(The answer from NPR's Julie Rovner was that it was a good point, and there needed to be more done in future legislation, and that what cost-control stuff is in the bill comes mostly through Medicare, with a vague hand-wavy hope that it would drive costs down generally.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:23 AM
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That was happening anyway.

Right, but in a trillion dollar bill, cost controls should have been prioritized over universal coverage*, since that is the number one reason that people who wanted insurance didn't have it. To use a health care analogy, we have a patient who is vomiting blood, and instead of addressing the internal bleeding, Congress just gave the patient a bunch of anti-emetics and then patted themselves on the back for curing him.

*that wasn't achieved


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:27 AM
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with a vague hand-wavy hope that it would drive costs down generally

It will drive down costs for the federal budget. But not so much for the vast majority of the country that isn't on Medicare. I probably need to step away from this thread before I start spitting venom. While I'm glad the Democrats can chalk up a legislative victory, this law remains a colossal, trillion-dollar exercise in missing the point.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:31 AM
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bunch of anti-emetics

Hey, the wik lists Cannabis as an antiemetic. Yay, Congress!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:31 AM
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The thing that bugs me on the media side of this is that I kept hearing "Voters are opposed to this legislation because they don't understand what is in it. (When asked about individual provisions, they all say they approve.) Once the bill passes, though, they will understand what is in it, and it will be hard to repeal."

So why will the voters be more immune to misinformation after the bill passes? Certain Republicans can use the same scary rhetoric. It is as if the media were planning on launching into a calm rational mode of discussion after the bill passed.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:05 PM
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Congress just gave the patient a bunch of anti-emetics and then patted themselves on the back for curing him

This is why my mental shorthand for the apo-strategy is "declining to paper over the contradictions."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:11 PM
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This morning the local NPR had a short piece on the innocent guy that Texas was about to execute, except they basically ignored the fact that he's most likely innocent. They mentioned that he has filed an appeal for a DNA test, since there was untested DNA from the scene of the crime.

But OMFG! This guy is most likely innocent! From the news clip, you would think some guy was about to get executed, and so he was grasping at straws.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:14 PM
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So why will the voters be more immune to misinformation after the bill passes? Certain Republicans can use the same scary rhetoric. It is as if the media were planning on launching into a calm rational mode of discussion after the bill passed.

Because it's easier to say "there will be death panels" if it isn't true than "there are death panels". At some point, the audience asks "Why haven't I seen anything about them actually existing on the TV?" and you lose everyone who doesn't believe in the black helicopters sent by the Trilateral Commission.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:19 PM
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The death panels don't come into effect until 2014.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:24 PM
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I don't need the government to tell me when my grandmother should die! I'll kill her when I decide the time is right, like the founding fathers intended.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:25 PM
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They'll take my ice floe out from under my grandmother's cold dead ass.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:28 PM
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10, 13: There's also the issue that, for the most part, the media will lose its precious narrative of conflict when the reform is finally implemented. And once that narrative goes, a) the media will have somewhat less interest in giving air time to over the top rhetoric, and b) the only other angle they can fruitfully explore is how it will actually affect people. Now, the picture is complicated by elections and the fact that most of the bill's positive effects won't be felt for some time, but the eventual disappearance (more or less) of a political win/lose dynamic gives breathing room for real analysis.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:40 PM
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the GOP can always send viral emails telling fictional stories of the nightmarish bureaucratic heartlessness of black-hooded death panels. it's not like the people who forward that shit wouldn't believe it.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:45 PM
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So why will the voters be more immune to misinformation after the bill passes?

They won't be. The new misinformation will be that any good parts of the bill were added because Republicans like Charles Grassley insisted on their inclusion. And Cokie Roberts and David Broder will nod in agreement.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:46 PM
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12: I remember a Frontline episode from way back where they interviewed a prosecutor who had put a man (later cleared by DNA) on death row. At the time of the interview the innocent man was still facing execution. The prosecutor absolutely stuck to his guns that the trial had been fair, the appeals exhausted, and the execution should go forward despite the exculpatory evidence. The reporter clearly couldn't believe what he was hearing and asked the same question over and over, getting the same answer. It was profoundly disturbing. I do not think such people can be reasoned with.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:50 PM
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13,17: Also, once you "win" with a safely centrist bill you start getting this kind of thing in the MSM (Wolf Blitzer via Digby a few days ago):

Well, you know, when people are asked, we did that poll CNN Opinion Research Poll, that said, "you like this health care bill or not like it", we just assumed, a lot of us, that the people who said they didn't like it didn't like it because it was too much interference, or too much taxes or whatever.

But if you take a closer look at people who didn't like it, about 12% of those people who said they didn't like it they didn't like it because they didn't think it went far enough. They wanted a single payer option, they wanted the so-called public option, they didn't like not from the right, they didn't like it because it wasn't left or liberal enough.

That's how you got 50% of the American people who said, "we don't like this plan." But only about 40 or 38% were the ones who said it was too much government interference.

Gosh, how could they ever have possibly even known beforehand that there was also resistance to the bill from that side?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:52 PM
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Jesus Christ. Now Politco is reporting a hazmat incident at Rep. Weiner's office. (No other details.) I realized this morning that the chances of Obama's being assassinated have just gone up.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:54 PM
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I feel like I heard this too, but only remember it in the vaguest terms. Was his argument that only the governor could stop an execution at that point?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:55 PM
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8: It will drive down costs for the federal budget. But not so much for the vast majority of the country that isn't on Medicare.

There's a weird unclarity in the way that people use and understand the term "cost controls," it's seemed to me. I've been unsure whether it's just a confusion on my part, but no, I don't think so.

The anti-HCR contingent has repeatedly spoken of the bill's -- now law's -- failure to control costs. Are we talking about governmental costs, or the cost of insurance plans for citizens?

As Apo notes, there may (or may not) be adequate broad cost controls for the federal government's new health care program; it's far from clear that there are adequate cost controls on the price of individual insurance plans.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:57 PM
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Weiner's my new hero, based on his public appearances, anyway.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:59 PM
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for the federal government's new health care program

What new health care program?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:10 PM
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I'm finding the death threats and acts of violence against congresspeople really weird. Why is the Republican base so flipped out? The bill itself is moderate. Health insurance isn't an issue close to the penis heart, like guns. The insurance companies weren't funding resistance this time. It is so easy to reach for race as an explanation, not just because of the periodic racist outbursts, but because otherwise none of this makes sense.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:12 PM
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27: Is it not because they're believing what they're told by trusted leaders of their party, on TV and radio?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:13 PM
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It's the inflammatory rhetoric that Limbaugh, Malkin, Palin, etc have been spouting. The base is flipped out because they've been screamed at for six months that THE NAZIS ARE COMING AND THEY'RE SOCIALIST IF HCR PASSES! So now they believe the Nazis are coming, and they're socialists, and consequently the base is deeply unglued.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:15 PM
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Not just Limbaugh, Malkin, Palin. Crazed extremists like Mitt Romney, John Boehner, every other Republican political leader you can think of under 70 years old, etc.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:17 PM
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27-29: And I think the crazy rhetoric comes from fear of the bill as a big political (rather than policy) victory for the Democrats. Regardless of the merits of the bill, that the Democrats can pass something huge with literally no Republican assistance has the potential for making the Republicans look marginal and insane, and so it's politically terrifying for them.

I don't actually think this is going to work for us in any useful or productive way, but I think it's what's driving the loony reaction.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:18 PM
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Yes, absolutely. They've whipped their base up into a frothing mess, and it's completely unconscionable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:19 PM
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Also, there's an intersection with the kill abortionists crowd here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:22 PM
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26: Yeah, sorry. I hesitated over that one for a minute or three. [insert vague hand-wavy gesture toward state level insurance exchanges in four years]

Oh, well. ? Apo, I'm trying as hard as I can not to be upset over this. Prohibitions against denial of coverage to those with pre-existing conditions means a great deal to me and many others. Mandated and guaranteed coverage, with no particular assurance that a policy might not cost an outrageous amount, is a serious problem. I hold out hope that ... something or other.

People who can't afford any plan can pay the relatively small penalty, and are back where we are now. As I've said a million times before, a bunch of people will start to hide income.

Yeah, I know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:24 PM
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31 & 32 are right, as KR said about Mitt, all they've got left is the pretense that it was accomplished in some tyrannical manner. And they "can't" pull back now even in the face of the consequences of that rhetoric; they've painted themselves (and the whole country) into a fricking corner.

Eric Cantor -- It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain," he said. He called out DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen and DNC Chair Tim Kaine by name as those who are "dangerously fanning the flames by suggesting that these incidents be used as a political weapon."

Roger Simon--"Violence is to be condemned, but so is the desecration of a great democracy."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:24 PM
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Whatever you think of the bill and/or the man, it's passage and the childish reaction plays into one of Obama's strengths, "Now that we passed it, they're already promising to repeal it. They're actually going to run on a platform of repeal this November," Obama said. "And my attitude is, 'Go for it.'"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:31 PM
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People who can't afford any plan can pay the relatively small penalty, and are back where we are now.

Well, no, they're better off because they can buy a community-rated plan when they need care.

I'm a little confused by people's concerns about cost. The health care system as a whole is screwed up, costs are going up unconscionably, something is going to have to change that before too long and this bill didn't do it. All true.

But on an individual level, once everything kicks in, as I understand it everyone's going to be able to buy community rated insurance, where their health status and history won't affect their cost. Prices shouldn't be unworkable for anyone until they're unworkable for everyone. I'm not seeing how individuals get screwed terribly hard by the mandate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:37 PM
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23: That's where he started, IIRC, but by the end of the interview he'd admitted that he would urge the governor against clemency if his opinion was sought. It was an astonishing example of the intersection of authoritarianism and indifference towards others.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:47 PM
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People who can't afford any plan can pay the relatively small penalty, and are back where we are now.

Except they can then still turn around and buy health insurance if they get very sick. (That wouldn't help with emergencies/accidents/etc., but it would help in a lot of cases.)

A Republican campaign centered on the repeal of health care reform seems to be the best possible outcome for Democrats in November. I'd love to see the Republicans keep it up, although I doubt they will. Even if health care reform isn't wildly popular (which I don't think it will be by then), that's a much easier conversation for Democrats that one that's focused on the economy/jobs/etc.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:48 PM
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Prices shouldn't be unworkable for anyone until they're unworkable for everyone.

If everybody makes the same amount of money.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:49 PM
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16 is awesome.com, by the way.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:50 PM
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But the underlying problem isn't that insurance companies are charging different amounts to different people. It's that the services and products they are covering are getting more expensive at ~10% per year, every year, regardless of what the insurance companies are doing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:53 PM
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40: but that's just an argument that the subsidies aren't generous enough, which everyone agrees, right?

I'm sure it's been given somewhere before and I just missed it, but (broadly) what would Emperor Apostropher's health care reform look like?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:53 PM
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Canada, essentially.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:55 PM
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But the underlying problem isn't that insurance companies are charging different amounts to different people.

Well, I'm not sure whether it's the "underlying" problem, but this was very much a problem. And one that the reform bill did a good job to fix.

There are of course plenty of other problems in our health care system, most of which the bill didn't do as good a job fixing.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:56 PM
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40, 42: At which point people for whom the subsidies are insufficient pay the mandate-tax, which isn't much, and buy health insurance when they get sick. This doesn't solve, or address, the cost control problem, but it also doesn't screw over individuals, and the cost control problem isn't any worse than it was last week.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:58 PM
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44 surprises me a little, since as far as I know Canada doesn't have insurance executive's heads on pikes in its town squares.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:58 PM
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executives'


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:59 PM
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44: Which part of the country would Emperor Apostropher force to speak French?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:00 PM
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46: that doesn't them in emergencies, of course, and you can run up some pretty big bills in a few days in the hospital (especially with surgeries, etc.).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:01 PM
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37: LB, the National Rate Authority whatsit was scrapped. There's no oversight over whether insurance rate hikes are unconscionably high.

Prices shouldn't be unworkable for anyone until they're unworkable for everyone

Not exactly. Community-rated plans still allow for rate adjustments based on age bracket: 20-somethings pay the same, 30-somethings pay the same, and so on. My cost went up this year, if you believe my health insurance broker, because I moved into the next age bracket. The fact that my rate went up so much -- 40% -- is a function of the fact that I'm also in a small business/self-employed plan. That discrepancy will be addressed in four years if all goes according to plan.

Anyway, prices can still quite possibly be unworkable for those of us in our elderly 40s even though they're workable for those in their 30s.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:03 PM
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49: Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Plus all military bases.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:04 PM
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Anyway, prices can still quite possibly be unworkable for those of us in our elderly 40s even though they're workable for those in their 30s.

THEN RUN!


Posted by: OPINIONATED LOGAN | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:06 PM
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LB, the National Rate Authority whatsit was scrapped. There's no oversight over whether insurance rate hikes are unconscionably high.

Yes there is -- the NRwhatever was a late-proposed add on, but there's other oversight. 80% of revenues have to go to medical care, so the problem's limited to actual increases in the cost of providing services, and rate hikes in the exchanges have to be approved, and policies sold through the exchanges are community-rated.

This does not solve, or even address, the fundamental problem Apo refers to, but it means that you, parsimon, regardless of what your pre-existing condition or employment status, can't be asked to pay significantly more for your insurance than I, employed and with no significant health history, am.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:08 PM
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46: At which point people for whom the subsidies are insufficient pay the mandate-tax, which isn't much, and buy health insurance when they get sick.

This is rather glib. Dude, those of us with pre-existing conditions are "sick" all the time: we have routine medical appointments and check-ups and blood tests several times per year. It's absurd to suppose that we will buy health insurance if we get "sick".


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:09 PM
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Further to 54: Whoops, I got snotty without reading the end of 49, and clearly you do know most of what I'm saying in 54.

But once everything kicks in, you're not going to pay more than anyone else of your age. If that becomes unworkable for you due to the increase in the cost of services, allowing the plan to raise its rates to something you can't pay with subsidies, your immediate tactic is to drop coverage, pay the tax, and pick it up again when you need care.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:11 PM
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Dude, those of us with pre-existing conditions are "sick" all the time: we have routine medical appointments and check-ups and blood tests several times per year. It's absurd to suppose that we will buy health insurance if we get "sick".

This reform may not help you, personally, all that much. But if it makes health insurance available that's (a) cheaper, considering everything than it would be for you without the reform, which it should given that your health status is no longer an issue, and (b) cheaper than the cost of the care you need on an ongoing basis, it's better than nothing. Is there some way I can't see that it makes you worse off?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:14 PM
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I'll take 54.last under advisement. I've been assuming that those with employer-provided insurance will still be having that insurance coverage partially, if not wholly, paid by the employer. And assuming further that the small business/self-employed person will not have his or her insurance cost offset by a comparable amount.

I need to understand more about this aspect of things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:17 PM
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I've been assuming that those with employer-provided insurance will still be having that insurance coverage partially, if not wholly, paid by the employer.

Sorry, I was doing the 'it doesn't matter who pays for it, wages and benefits are all the same thing' bit, which is probably not perfectly true.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:19 PM
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And come to think of it, of course, my employer still gets to pay with pre-tax dollars, and self-employed people don't. So scratch that bit.

But the amount the insurance company is charging for the plan should be the same.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:21 PM
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But the amount the insurance company is charging for the plan should be the same.

Is that true? I thought community rating only applied on the exchanges (which I think of as roughly the individual market, although I'm not 100% sure that's right). I didn't think there was anything that required insurers to offer the same rates to Boeing employees and they do to Microsoft employees, much less to offer the same rates they offer to employees of either of those companies to individuals purchasing insurance on the exchanges. "Everyone on the exchange gets charged the same amount" (with the caveat for age that Parsimon mentioned, and I think there's a few others) was the only rule I knew about.



Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:29 PM
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IIUC (and I probably don't) as a small business you will qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35% to help you pay for a health care plan, and starting in 2014 will be able to pool with other small businesses to buy healthcare on exchanges at bundled rates. Plus, community rating and no more pre-existing condition discrimination. So that sounds like a pretty good deal for you.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:40 PM
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Now the Reps are refusing to extend unemployment insurance before the recess, which means it would lapse a week from Monday.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:41 PM
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The "you" there was Parsimon.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:41 PM
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59 and 60 amount, to my mind, to: Yeah, it really does matter who's writing the check. The difference between the other-employed and the self-employed may remain significant, as it already is.

Brock raises a good question in 61; I believe the idea of the exchanges is that they'll provide a buyer pool with the same bargaining power as an employer (other-employed) pool. They were supposed to be the next best thing to a public option. I really do need to understand more how that's supposed to pan out ultimately.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:46 PM
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62: Thanks, I'll look into this. I have a bit of an unusual set-up with my health insurance.

I'd like to be clear that I'm not looking solely for what's in it for me: rather, I'm representative of many, many people.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:51 PM
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66.last: They support you in e-mail, right?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:52 PM
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I didn't think there was anything that required insurers to offer the same rates to Boeing employees and they do to Microsoft employees, much less to offer the same rates they offer to employees of either of those companies to individuals purchasing insurance on the exchanges. "Everyone on the exchange gets charged the same amount" (with the caveat for age that Parsimon mentioned, and I think there's a few others) was the only rule I knew about.

Well, there's the 80% medical loss ratio -- they can't charge more than 5/4 of what it costs to cover your group. So if the exchange population is more expensive to cover than an individual company is, they'll get charged more. At the size the exchanges should be, I can't see how they could be much more expensive than an employed group, but you're right that they don't have to be exactly the same.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:53 PM
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What are the overhead expenses are in single-payer countries? I'm sure it's better than 5/4, but by how much?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:55 PM
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Well, there's the 80% medical loss ratio -- they can't charge more than 5/4 of what it costs to cover your group.

This applies just to the exchanges, or to everyone?

Part of the origin of my question: I discovered that the reason health insurance at my current employer is so ludicrously high is that it's not a giant firm, and there are a handful of very-expensively chronically-sick people--sick enough and expensive enough to make rates meaningfully higher for the entire (again, not incredibly large) firm.

I'm pretty sure the reform bill does nothing to help with this situation, but I'd love to be corrected about that.

(I suppose it could conceivably be helpful if they just dropped our insurance coverage altogether once the exchanges are fully-operational, and gave us the difference in cash wages, although I'm not sure the decrease in insurance premiums would be enough to offset the loss of the tax break inherent in employer-paid insurance premiums (although it might be).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:07 PM
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One thing I do like about this bill is a part that doesn't kick in until 2018, when large employers can get out of the insurance buying business and just give their employees money to go to the exchanges. Getting away from employer-based health care is a pretty huge gain for both companies and the people who work for them.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:11 PM
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70: It takes a while, but eventually all employers are eligible to buy off the exchanges and that problem's solved. But I think that's not until 2017.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:11 PM
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Spikepwned. 2018 it is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:12 PM
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CAP, July 2009:

Health care costs are expected to grow 71 percent over the next decade, which will in turn drive premium increases for health insurance. Unless we take serious steps now to reform our health care system--in particular to reduce the rate of growth in health care costs--health insurance coverage will slip out of reach for even more individuals than the 52 million Americans who today are uninsured.

This analysis shows that without health reform, average family premiums will grow to more than $22,000 by 2019, up from $13,100 today. In some states with higher-than-average premiums, family premiums will exceed $25,000 in 10 years. Of course, a family's total health care costs will be even higher once co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses are calculated into the total.

Congressional Budget Office: "In other words, the CBO expects employer-sponsored health insurance costs under the PPACA to remain generally in-line with the status quo, at least in the near term. In the small group market of firms with 50 or fewer employees, the CBO estimates that the average premium from the Senate bill would range from an increase of 1% to a decrease of 2% in the year 2016 relative to what it would otherwise be under current law. In the large group market, the change in average premium would range from zero to 3% lower than it would be relative to current law."

So, instead of rising from $13150 to $18691 in six years, the new law might hold down the average premium increase to $18,150. Under the best case scenario.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:12 PM
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74: That's terrifying, of course, and it means that more has to be done in addition to this law. But what's the line: "If something can't possibly go on like this, it won't."

If the cost of premiums goes up to something that most people can't afford, even with all the subsidies and community rating and so forth, the insurance companies go out of business, and we figure out something else.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:28 PM
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|| Apologies if someone already linked this.|>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:28 PM
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We had to radically go after costs; we had to radically go after provider and insurer profits; we had to radically go for redistribution.

This bill is deflationary in that it will take money from consumption and move it to FIRE, in trillions.

The radical redistribution such that a family making 250k is only 10 percent better off than a family making 100k, and 500k is only 10 percent better off than someone making 250k will, umm, de-incent the most talented and fortunate from raping the commons.

I have a relative who bought his own SoA heart-lung machine, became the favored heart surgeon in the metro, and made ten million dollars in a decade. A monopoly? Other doctors had long waiting lists; people died.

Medicine should not work this way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:36 PM
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I didn't think there was anything that required insurers to offer the same rates to Boeing employees and they do to Microsoft employees

Fun fact: Microsoft is self-insured for most purposes, including health care.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:36 PM
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67: They support you in e-mail, right?

I find this strange. They don't have to support me in email. Even on this blog, they're right there. The people who have had cancer in the past (Ogged, SEK), the deaf people, the people with back problems. It doesn't take much to have had a pre-existing condition, though running a small business or being self-employed is probably an outlying state of affairs, since it's kind of dumb in our society.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:37 PM
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Apo: You know I'm with you on single-payer, but I'll admit I'm not sure why it would be better than regulated private insurers at reining in health care costs. Unless we're talking about moving away from paying for services and towards paying for outcomes, of course, but I don't know that anyone's yet come up with a workable scheme for that.


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:41 PM
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If the cost of premiums goes up to something that most people can't afford, even with all the subsidies and community rating and so forth, the insurance companies go out of business, and we figure out something else.

Like there aren't places like Bombay?

We can go centrifugal. That has been the direction for decades.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:41 PM
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Canada doesn't have insurance executive's heads on pikes in its town squares

Not anymore! We did away with most of those executives about 50 years ago.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:48 PM
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I understand the heads get all dried out and icky after a decade or two.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:49 PM
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80:Non-profit single payer can negotiate with extreme prejudice.

Oh, basically if you take end-of-life and extremely expensive elective or semi-elective out of the insurance pool; and tell providers they can make a decent living with a 50-hour week and aren't movie stars you can cut costs at least in half and provide everyone with cradle to 75 health and security.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:51 PM
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Lower costs will require more and less generously compensated health rpoviders, so probably not just MDs. Right now, I believe that the AMA sees compensation as a zero-sum game against insurance. With insurance cost-controlled and eventually delobbied, that may change, and doctors may back off of fee-for-service.

Pharma costs will require change at the FDA to allow compounds known to be safe but not known to be helpful, as proving efficacy sharply increases the cost of clinical trials. The other way for pharma costs to improve is for compounds now known to be useful for most people but very harmful to an identifiable subpopulation to become useful. It's technically possible, but seems regulatorily out of reach.

None of this helps anyone this year, but I think that this incremental reform lays groundwork for technocratic grinding to help with costs.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:51 PM
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Now the Reps are refusing to extend unemployment insurance before the recess, which means it would lapse a week from Monday.

I'm struggling to understand what the GOP's endgame is on all this blanket obstructionism (the one for public consumption, anyway). I mean, the only way it would make sense, beyond a crass political calculation that Congressional gridlock helps the anti-government opposition, is if they could use it to extract concessions in future Democratic legislation. But where's the leverage? There's no parliamentary logic to it whatsoever. The Dems bent over backwards on healthcare and didn't get a single Republican vote, and they're getting this obstructionism anyway. What Democrat is going to look at the Republicans' behaviour and think: "Wow, passing a watered down bill turned out shitty last time, maybe we should compromise again"?

Are the Republicans that far gone that they're willing to drop even the pretence of principled opposition to throw a tantrum? They're normally savvier than that, even when they're being insane.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:55 PM
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beyond a crass political calculation that Congressional gridlock helps the anti-government opposition

I'm confused. What more do you need?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:56 PM
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Are the Republicans that far gone that they're willing to drop even the pretence of principled opposition to throw a tantrum?

Yes.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:59 PM
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Can I just say how much I love "Tone Loco." I love saying that phrase. I think that will be my new "street" name.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 4:00 PM
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For a long time, the Republicans have made no distinction between principled opposition and tantrums. Glenn Beck is only picking up on something that was already out there.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 4:07 PM
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For a long time, the Republicans have made no distinction between principled opposition and tantrums

Tantrums? Is this what we tell Dr Tiller's family? They encountered a tantrum?

150 consecutive years of conservative violence.

But y'all know I think there is not enough violence in American politics.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 4:36 PM
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I'm confused. What more do you need?

What I mean is, normally when the Republicans do the obstructionism thing, they try to frame it in a way that allows them to come off as the good guys, or to extract some real legislative benefit. Here it's purely obstructionism for the sake of obstructionism. I can't see how they'll gain anything from it in legislation, or how it can come across as anything other than petulance at the expense of the country. Of course, I'm sure the media will find some way to put a positive spin on it, but it's going to be a tough sell.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 4:41 PM
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Non-profit single payer can negotiate with extreme prejudice.

Can, yes. Will? Medicare is banned from negotiating on drug prices.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 4:46 PM
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Frum has been un-personed by the AEI


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 5:49 PM
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94: Interesting.

"This will memorialize our conversation at lunch today." Memorialize? Doesn't that seem an odd statement?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:06 PM
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94: he's acquired the frumunda of apostasy!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:11 PM
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Well, Frum is an odd person.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:11 PM
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95: Lawyerly, but not weird if you're being lawyerly -- I do that all the time: "We had this conversation, and while I don't think we're going to disagree about the substance, I want a datestamped document with my version out there. If you disagree with me about what happened, now's your time to argue rather than six months from now when it turns out to be important."

In this context, I think Frum just wants to establish in writing that he was fired on this date.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:23 PM
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Memorialize? Doesn't that seem an odd statement?

Not really. (Pwnd by LB on preview.)

Do we know why this is happening? I admit I don't know Frum from Adam, really.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:26 PM
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normally when the Republicans do the obstructionism thing, they try to frame it in a way that allows them to come off as the good guys, or to extract some real legislative benefit.

What you're not seeing here is that the Republicans lost. The fuckers got beat. The real legislative benefit they were going for was obstruction. Had they won, they'd be in great shape for demonizing healthcare reform and, by extension, the Democrats and government etc.

As it is, what are they going to do? Campaign on repeal? Good luck with that. Not campaign on repeal? Another politically ugly alternative.

Maybe they can campaign on repeal of the mandate. It'd be a gutsy move - even David Broder might smell something fishy about that. But what the fuck, if they do that, then the Democrats should just agree and pass it - then apo, the Republicans and Democrats will all have achieved comity, and town squares across the nation will be festooned with the heads of health insurance executives.

I think you've internalized the idea of Democratic incompetence so thoroughly that you have a hard time accepting that the Republicans had a politically shrewd, disciplined approach - and just got beat.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:33 PM
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Well, they're denying it of course, but I'd be amazed if it wasn't to do with his recent comments on how the GOP's defeat on healthcare would be its "Waterloo" and that the Republican leadership brought it on themselves. See Bruce Bartlett, similarly un-personed a while back.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:34 PM
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99: This post of his. The first political blog post in ages (ever?) that apparently overwhelmed its site with traffic.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:34 PM
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IMX, that is.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:34 PM
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I don't exactly follow Frum, but I thought he was a team player. I think he may have said something recently about how the Republicans' strategy regarding health care reform was going to result not in their retaking Congress, but in a renewed faith in Democrats, so that this was a huge mistake. I think.

I honestly thought the AEI was a little more subtle than this in their agenda.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:35 PM
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pwned by Minivet, though I hadn't read that column.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:37 PM
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What you're not seeing here is that the Republicans lost. The fuckers got beat. The real legislative benefit they were going for was obstruction. Had they won, they'd be in great shape for demonizing healthcare reform and, by extension, the Democrats and government etc.

Not sure I get your point. I'm not talking about their opposition to the bill - I understand them wanting to stop that dead rather than extract concessions. I'm talking about the stuff since then - refusing to let the hearings go ahead, the unemployment extension, and so on.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:37 PM
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Do we know why this is happening?

Frum is a crazy fascist freak, but not quite crazy enough. The same thing happened to Bruce Bartlett a few years ago, and to George HW Bush some years before that.

"Axis of Evil" Frum is considerably crazier than Bartlett who, in turn, is a lot crazier than GHWB - but that's just the trajectory of the American conservative movement.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:37 PM
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I admit I don't know Frum from Adam, really.

Frum is a former speechwriter for GWB and a pundit who regularly appears on public radio for no apparent reason other than to show that monstrous rightist cunts are entitled to share their hateful ideology via allegedly liberal media. That's about all you need to know.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:38 PM
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I don't exactly follow Frum, but I thought he was a team player.

Yes and no. By which I mean he's a fairly down the line conservative at heart, but (at least since he left the Bush administration), he hasn't tried to align himself with either the GOP leadership or the Tea Party crowd. And more than most conservative pundits he actually acknowledged what the swing to the Democrats since 2006 meant about the public mood.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:44 PM
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Frum appears regularly on PRI's Marketplace and spouts stuff so silly I'm certain even he doesn't even believe it. But now the AEI has shed him for insufficient craziness. And check out what the editorial page of the WSJ said when denouncing his blog post:

"Mr. Frum now makes his living as the media's go-to basher of fellow Republicans, which is a stock Beltway role. But he's peddling bad revisionist history that would have been even worse politics,"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:47 PM
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Oh, and lest I come across as praising Frum, let me point out that one of his greatest hits (and this is post-administration) was arguing in a book that it was a good thing for Americans to live in constant fear of destitution in order for them to develop conservative cultural values. The guy is undoubtedly a rightist cunt. He's just more honest about what he believes than the vast majority of prominent Republicans.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:47 PM
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The last three paragraphs of the Frum piece linked in Ginger's 101 and Minivet's 102 call for a Republican refusal to continue enabling the right-wing talk radio hosts who have brought certain portions of the public to an activist frenzy.

This is actually Frum being reasonable and decent.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:47 PM
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111: Oh, wait, he's the inspiration for Holbo's longest post ever! I'd forgotten that was him. Here, if you've got an hour.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:48 PM
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I'm talking about the stuff since then - refusing to let the hearings go ahead, the unemployment extension, and so on.

Well, each case is different. On healthcare, they're in for a penny and thus in for a pound. Boehner took a brief stab at suggesting that the bill needed to be fixed rather than eliminated, but had to back away pretty immediately.

With the unemployment extension, that's pretty standard Republican politics. Those unemployed deadbeats need to get jobs. Nothing new there.

As for the cartoonish villainy that led to the cancellation of the hearings, well, that too has precedent. Terry Schiavo looked like a winning issue to those pricks, as did Newt Gingrich's shutdown of government, though I think both were ultimately damaging to them.

I'm torn on the impeachment of Bill Clinton - even in real-time, it polled badly, but a solid case could be made that their frothing rabidity on that issue helped them in the long run.

Really, this sort of lunacy is nothing new at all. The entirety of my adult life has been spent watching things that were formerly crazy become standard operating procedure.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:49 PM
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I've decided that watching the right have a complete meltdown makes the health care bill worthwhile.

Seriously, this is politics, and looking like a winner counts for a hell of a lot. Bring on immigration reform.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:49 PM
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113: Drat it, here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:50 PM
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I've never actually finished reading Holbo's Dark Satanic Millian liberalism post, because of its famous length. But I have decided he was too kind to Frum. Frum really believes capitalism is good because it breaks people's spirits.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:53 PM
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I've decided that watching the right have a complete meltdown makes the health care bill worthwhile.

Sort of. I think we could do without the Tea Party crowd. They're not a minor matter. Sorry to clutch pearls over them, but they're pretty fucked up.

I know what you mean, though. I just think we really need to make sure that the TP (hah!) crowd doesn't take too many political offices. I'd rather have to deal with the normal-ish Republicans.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:54 PM
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117: It's really lovely in its entirety. I've literally got it bookmarked because I love it so, and revisit it every now and then.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:57 PM
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That the hardcore ideologues have disavowed Frum says something about how far the Overton window has shifted, but shouldn't, per GY's 111, in any way suggest that he's somehow reasonable. He has plenty of blood on his hands, and it disgusts me that he's treated as someone whose opinion is worth hearing.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 6:58 PM
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I'ma throw a rock through the Overton Window.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 7:00 PM
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I heard on [ever so slightly breathy voice]Fresh Air [/ever so slightly breathy voice] that there was going to be a big "second amendment rally" in Washington DC April 19, which is either the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington or the Oklahoma city bombing depending upon how you would like to spin it.

This could be a moment when the far right shows its ugliest face.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 7:01 PM
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Bartlett on Frum via Oudemia.

Since, he is no longer affiliated with AEI, I feel free to say publicly something he told me in private a few months ago. He asked if I had noticed any comments by AEI "scholars" on the subject of health care reform. I said no and he said that was because they had been ordered not to speak to the media because they agreed with too much of what Obama was trying to do.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 7:07 PM
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120: I hear you. I've always considered Frum scum (another hah!) -- I take this really as more of a marker of how far gone the AEI is. Which surprises me just a tad. And worries me, frankly.

I'd sort of thought they all had the TP on their hands as an embarrassing or troublesome side issue. Apparently they're actually fully on board with, what, CPAC? Which had Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh as their lead speakers in the last two years.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 7:20 PM
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in Washington DC April 19, which is either the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington or the Oklahoma city bombing depending upon how you would like to spin it.

I'm pretty sure they're just celebrating Hawaiian Punch's birthday.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 7:22 PM
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Interesting Article on the early membership of Oswald Mosley's New Party 1931, before it turned fascist.

"Overall the New Party was mostly male, youthful, and drew recruits mainly from the middle and upper class."

"...were not from the working class and had very little understanding of class politics - their socialism was of the technocratic and ethical variety."

Lastly, the New Party expressed generational conflict. On a personal level many leading members had complicated and fraught relationships with parents and uncles..."

It isn't the Teabaggers that really worry me. It certainly isn't the Firebaggers either.

This is, I think, my main difference with KR and Alex etc about Weimar. They look at the top, amd I look in the cubicles and classrooms.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 7:37 PM
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Yggles

Is it crazy to imagine that in the future the Democrats, with younger constituents, will want to transfer some resources from old to young whereas the GOP with its older base will resist those moves?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 7:42 PM
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The Dark Satanic Millian liberalism post isn't really all that long, people.

I thought the name was familiar!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 7:47 PM
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128: It's absurdly long. It's a classic, but let's not pretend. Anyway, Frum is an ass.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 8:06 PM
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one of his greatest hits (and this is post-administration) was arguing in a book that it was a good thing for Americans to live in constant fear of destitution in order for them to develop conservative cultural values.

Indeed. Donner Party conservatism. Of course, something neither he nor Holbo mentioned was that the Donner Party ended up eating each other through ignoring advice from people who knew better and hugely overestimating their own chances of success. Like, eh, invading Iraq.

I guess we've got an opportunity to test the theory, anyway. Now he's lost his job, sorry, "job", will he become any more right-wing?

I've decided that watching the right have a complete meltdown makes the health care bill worthwhile.

As Patton didn't say: you're not here to heighten the contradictions, you're here to heighten the other guy's contradictions!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 6:36 AM
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I just read that Holbo post for the first time. I love it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 7:12 AM
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As Patton didn't say: you're not here to heighten the contradictions, you're here to heighten the other guy's contradictions

I think "heightening the contradictions" always had, or can have several components. Even the most radical, while "making things worse" knew to offer an opposing vision or ideology. Republicans offer a least two, social conservatism and Randism. I don't think Obama and the Democrats are doing this. "Technocrats can make the private sector more benevolent and efficient." is pretty weak tea.

And U think you can heighten the contradictions by making things better. FDR with the WPA and "I welcome their hate" put prevailing ideologies into question.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 7:27 AM
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Damn, I had read that, but years ago. Two things occurs to me in passing.

* Is Holbo actually arguing that Frum is at heart an Owenite, aiming to herd the masses into New Lanarks?

* Whatever became of Virginia Postrel?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 7:54 AM
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133: I think he's arguing that Frum does not actually believe in measures to correct the things that he may actually be irritated about in the culture.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 7:57 AM
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Even the most radical, while "making things worse" knew to offer an opposing vision or ideology. Republicans offer a least two, social conservatism and Randism. I don't think Obama and the Democrats are doing this.

"Say what you like about the tenets of social conservatism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 7:58 AM
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And U think you can heighten the contradictions by making things better. FDR with the WPA and "I welcome their hate" put prevailing ideologies into question.

Don't underestimate my reserves of hatred, bitterness, etc. Think disused salt mines near a handy deep fjord well away from urban centres.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 8:10 AM
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The example that he doesn't use, but that I would, is something about child-rearing practices. We can all say that our grandparents were made mighty tough and resilient by living through horrible situations, getting beaten or neglected, having to work or raise siblings as little children, learning to conform to rigid behavioral controls in school, speaking only when spoken to, and not complaining. Maybe we respect their patriotism or their faith in God as it seems to have grown out of terrible circumstances.

But it's not a good reason to beat and starve your kids, and I think Holbo is arguing that Frum wouldn't say it is, either. The real problem is that there are people who do think it's a perfectly good reason to beat your children, and people like Frum with their pointless wistfulness feed into what actually amounts to purposeful abuse of the weak or marginalized.

This seems to happen a lot, also, in resentment of LGBT people. There is a lot of tutting on the moderate right (and even not-so-right) about These Kids Today and how irritatingly free they are to express their sexuality or gender identity publicly, and that back in the day, we knew restraint and didn't go trumpeting it around everywhere. Most of the people who say these things wouldn't actively advocate systematic violence against queer people--what are we, monsters? And yet they somehow fail to recognize that the "restraint" expressed by queer folks back in the day might have been a product of the fear of systematic homophobic violence. Secondly, they fail to recognize that this violence (just like the suffering of the poor or of abused children, etc.) still goes on, but in a culture that more broadly recognizes violence, starvation, and poverty as bad things, a will to be unashamed of oneself is more possible, and actually, in its own way, heroic.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 8:11 AM
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Semi OT:

I have encountered an ad hominem tu quoque argument regarding current Tea Party violence, especially this Troxel character, and similar far left groups. You can imagine how it goes:

"Troxel is a domestic terrorist"

"Oh, yeah, but what about ANSWER, and ELF, and the G20 protestors. The Tea Party people aren't doing anything that those guys don't do."

I'm torn between several responses

1) Dude, the tu quoque fallacy is a fallacy for a reason.

2) You totally can't lump G20 protestors, who range from the nonviolent to people who commit stupid vandalism with someone who cuts the gas lines to someone's house.

3) Why don't you guys use the RCP as an example in this argument? They have to be the biggest loser assholes on the left.

I've been anticipating this argument for a while, and now that someone has actually made it, I can't put it down. Here's where I am right now: I think the Tea Party movement should be treated by law enforcement as a breeding ground for domestic terrorism, and if the investigations are handled properly, would welcome parallel treatment of left organizations.

Especially ANSWER and the RCP. Fucking Maoists.

I thought some of our Minneapolis commenters would have input here.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 8:25 AM
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2) You totally can't lump G20 protestors, who range from the nonviolent to people who commit stupid vandalism with someone who cuts the gas lines to someone's house.

This is my vote.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 8:33 AM
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With this:

I think the Tea Party movement should be treated by law enforcement as a breeding ground for domestic terrorism, and if the investigations are handled properly, would welcome parallel treatment of left organizations.

as an immediate corollary.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 8:33 AM
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Here's where I am right now: I think the Tea Party movement should be treated by law enforcement as a breeding ground for domestic terrorism, and if the investigations are handled properly, would welcome parallel treatment of left organizations.

I'm not sure what it means to treat something as a breeding ground for terrorism, but I don't think I'm in favor of it either way. How about we keep law enforcement investigating crimes and those people who we reasonably believe are planning future crimes? Which is probably all that you're saying, but your phrasing makes me twitchy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 8:43 AM
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but in a culture that more broadly recognizes violence, starvation, and poverty as bad things, a will to be unashamed of oneself is more possible, and actually, in its own way, heroic.

This is excellent, and could be translated into quite an effective counter to the action man ideology.

I don't think Obama and the Democrats are doing this.

Yes they are. It's called incrementalism. I don't actually believe it works very well but you'd be surprised how attractive it seems to be across a wide range of people.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 9:01 AM
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I think Congress should censure leading Republicans for irresponsible language.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 9:02 AM
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141:Repeat after me:"We are not like them, and using illiberal methods to oppose them will never make us like them."

Now if you think the particular liberal "rule" has some transcendental value in, of, and for itself exclusive of the consequences of fanatical adherence to the rule, then I guess we are talking religion and irrational foundations or something.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 9:03 AM
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Repeat after me

No.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 9:06 AM
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My less generous self like to see a real, live Reign of Terror for a few months, just to reacquaint those whiny fuckers with what tyranny *actually* looks like so they'd quit claiming it every time the marginal rate on capital gains goes up a percentage point.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 9:07 AM
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146:An occasional bloodbath worked for France.

145:So. Liberals don't believe they are better, and only the constant force of law keeps their dark sides under control? Hobbesians all?


Posted by: apo's Less Generous Self | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 9:30 AM
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147.2 is specious, but mostly I just don't think repeating after mcmanus is likely to end well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 9:32 AM
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So. Liberals don't believe they are better, and only the constant force of law keeps their dark sides under control?

more that one thing that makes liberals better is that we understand our own fallibility.

Not to mention that we understand that under the U.S. legal system, a precedent set by the "good guys" can later be used by the bad guys, and given the power relations in society this is likely to happen. Cops and intelligence agencies have been trying to use the "breeding ground for terrorism" argument against peace and civil rights groups for, like, forever. Most recently under Bush.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 11:30 AM
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148: 147.2 just looks specious on the surface.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 11:33 AM
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Cops and intelligence agencies have been trying to use the "breeding ground for terrorism" argument against peace and civil rights groups for, like, forever. Most recently under Bush.

Yeah, I should be more careful here. I tried to hedge things by putting in the "if the investigations are handled properly" qualifier, but that probably simply made my point vacuous.

I think what I really wanted to say was "Holy fuck, some guy cut someone's gas line because he thought they were a congressman, but really the address they got was from some no nothing who used google to get the address and then later justified his actions by saying 'Hey I majored in journalism at Liberty University, so I'm certain I got the address right.' A reasonable justice system should be able to come down hard on fuckers like this."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 11:47 AM
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Incitement to violence is a tough line to push up against too hard without real free speech impacts. That guy is close to the line, certainly, and maybe there's a way to prosecute him. But you don't want to draw the line of what you can't say because it's going to lead to violence broadly enough to get, say, McManus.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 11:52 AM
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But you don't want to draw the line of what you can't say because it's going to lead to violence broadly enough to get, say, McManus.

You're a more generous person than I am, LB.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 11:56 AM
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But you don't want to draw the line ... broadly enough to get, say, McManus.

Speak for yourself.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 11:58 AM
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Damn you, Josh!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 11:58 AM
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First they drew the line of what you can't say because it's going to lead to violence broadly enough to get the McManuses, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a McManus...


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:00 PM
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153, 154: You're being funny, but McManus really is a good example. A country where he couldn't talk the way he does without legal repercussions would be repressive. Heck, while I'm not coming up with quotes offhand I bet Natilio has said things that could be reasonably read as incitements to violence, in a general kind of sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:07 PM
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153, 154: Huh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:08 PM
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My inarticulate "huh" is pwned by LB.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:09 PM
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And LB was pwned by 156.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:10 PM
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Having spent many enjoyable years in various breeding grounds for domestic terrorism, I must come firmly down on the side of investigating and prosecuting acts, as opposed to words.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:11 PM
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You're being funny, but McManus really is a good example.


I'm glad it was obvious that 154 was in jest. As a procedural liberal in good standing, I can't endorse turning power of the state against mcmanus under color of law. No, I want police violence against him to remain strictly extrajudicial.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:12 PM
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I'm pretty sure the guy in question would face a hard time in a police station in Britain even if they didn't eventually press charges. I'm absolutely sure that Bob would be free to run his mouth on the internet without interference, even taking into account the distressing attacks on free speech by NuLab over the past years.

How does this work? Not sure, but I suspect the incitement laws are a lot tougher if you specify your target rather than just ranting abstractly.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:17 PM
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162:Thanks, knecht. In context 162 is profoundly funny.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:24 PM
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Regarding the Perriello thing, the apparent retaliation at a local GOP office is making news today. This shit's nutter-butters, no matter what side it's on.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:25 PM
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163: That's right -- I don't have a clear sense of the law, but the idiot who published the address is at least close to prosecutable under current law. But broadening that any more gets very overinclusive very fast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:27 PM
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165: 10-to-1 it's false-flag brick tossin'.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:28 PM
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167: My very first thought was, Ashley Todd?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:32 PM
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I'm also willing to wager that this is fake.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:35 PM
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||

Diners of Pittsburgh, what the hell is wrong with you?

"Why, for example, has pork belly been popping up more and more on local menus, despite the fact that chefs almost universally report having difficulty selling it?"

|>


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:35 PM
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168: I know I talk about myself altogether too much here, but may I show off my pertinent Halloween costume?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:36 PM
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Billmon is on topic.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:36 PM
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Diners of Pittsburgh

Speaking of which, where are Moby Hick and JRoth? Off not eating eating pork belly, I bet.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:39 PM
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169: the ball is leaving her threatening voicemails!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:39 PM
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Billmon is back on the tubes? Cool.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 12:59 PM
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Just for grins, what would people do with a Warren-Spitzer third party run in 2012?

The article, actually Elliott himself, mentions Ralph Nader. Could we possibly view Elizabeth Warren as the same mere ego-driven destructive force? And if not Warren, then why Nader?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 2:04 PM
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Just for grins, what would people do with a Warren-Spitzer third party run in 2012?

Probably grab the bong from whomever suggested it, take several vigorous hits and then be all, like, "whoa, what a crazy fucking idea."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 2:13 PM
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||

Under current procedural rules, can the guanocephalic party filibuster a treaty ratification?

|>


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 2:26 PM
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178: Not a question of procedure: the Constitution requires 2/3 of the Senate for treaty ratification.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 2:34 PM
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Then you're going to look a laughing stock to Putin.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 2:39 PM
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It's possible this could be done as an executive agreement, which is the case with most treaties these days. That wouldn't require Senate ratification at all. I would think that it likely could, given the subject matter, but the linked article says otherwise so I may be missing something.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 2:47 PM
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Yes, this seems a bit naïve from Hilary:

Mrs. Clinton said that she did not anticipate any trouble getting the agreement ratified by the Senate, noting that arms control agreements in the past have sailed through.
particularly given


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 2:50 PM
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Heck, while I'm not coming up with quotes offhand I bet Natilio has said things that could be reasonably read as incitements to violence, in a general kind of sense.

Unfogged is definitely a breeding ground.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 2:56 PM
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Stormcrow's been raptured!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:03 PM
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Quick, somebody get his pr0n file!


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:06 PM
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Someone call my wife and remind her to feed the cat.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:16 PM
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I don't remember the details, but I think a system has been worked out to bypass the 2/3 Senate rule for treaty ratifications and everyone's just gone along with it, even though it may not really truly be constitutional. Or something like that. I read an article once about it, which I obviously remember in great detail.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:18 PM
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Is Stormcrow not so subtly implying his wife is not Rapture-worthy? Better hope she's not a lurker!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:25 PM
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Also, (partially, as I don't have time to read it all right now) re-reading that Holbo piece makes me weep for the olde-timey blogosphere. And that was posted about six months before I began to read blogs.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:27 PM
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188: She's a Jewess, you anti-semite.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:29 PM
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187: Some article I read mentioned the need for them to get 8 Republican votes. And "Some article I read" knows its shit! It mentioned that Lugar was supportive (although he hedged, of course)--might turn into a showdown on exactly how fucking childish they are willing to go.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:33 PM
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And speaking of Republicans and Pennsylvania Jews, I suspect Arlen Specter has gone home every night this week and said, "Am I fucking smart, or what?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:37 PM
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helpy-chalk, I like your 151 much better than your 138.

Lord knows ANSWER and RCP are annoying to have a conversation with, and they can be dicks in coalitions (I speak only of ANSWER -- all I know of RCP is from the occasional bookstore and Scott McLemee Avakian joke), but they were six steps ahead of the rest of us in organizing against the Iraq invasion, and they're still getting bodies in the streets.

I'm a lame liberal sell-out these days, and have been for some time, but there was a time I wielded giant puppets with the best of them, and the cops didn't need any "welcome equal treatment" proposals from libs to send provocateurs into our convergence center.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:41 PM
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I thought some of our Minneapolis commenters would have input here.

Sorry, I've been working -- specifically, sending out rejection emails to interviewees. Not very anarchistical, I'm afraid.

Now I am informed that I have rehearsal in 10 minutes.

I guess my response to that "But the leftists are doing it too!" argument would be as follows:

1. Historically, the US government has invested several orders of magnitude more energy on persecuting dissidents on the left than it has dissidents on the right. This continues to this day.

2. That is despite the fact that right-wing dissidents are responsible for far more direct violence against both civilians and government officials.

3. This is also despite the fact that most of the violence perpetrated by left dissidents has been open and directly in response to provocations/violence by security forces. By contrast, much right dissident violence has taken the form of assassination, lynching, arson and similar premeditated, not-directly-provoked actions. Furthermore, most of the "violence" of the left has been non-lethal, and often not directed at human beings. As in McMegan's 2x4 post, rightists often draw a moral equivalency between leftists breaking a bank window and rightists killing people. That reasoning seems specious to me.

4. Also, most left dissident violence has been committed under the rubric of protecting workers' right to strike, minorities' right to exist and everyone's right to speak and assemble. Most right dissident violence has been committed under the rubric of punishing despised minorities and individuals. Of course, if you value punishment over freedom, this isn't an argument that will sway you.

5. Finally, most of the time I see that argument made, it is conflating left dissidents (be they anarchist, communist, Black Liberationist, etc.) with the goals and aims of the mainstream of liberal Democratic thought, simultaneously characterizing rightwing violence as perpetrated by people who are beyond the pale of mainstream conservative Republicanism. I think there is considerable evidence that this formulation should be reversed. Liberal Democrats are quick to condemn and prosecute violence on the far left. Conservative Republicans generally neglect to prosecute or condemn similar rightwing violence.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 3:59 PM
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Tea Partiers To Hold 'Conservative Woodstock' Event In Harry Reid's Hometown. In addition to Palin, other speakers include Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher, former Saturday Night Live actress Victoria Jackson, Andrew Breitbart and others.

Arlen Specter commented: "I'm like beyond genius."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 4:03 PM
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dicks in coalitions
And warm woolen mittens
These are a few of my favorite things


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 4:07 PM
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I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that particular use of 'Woodstock' to mean 'gathering'. So, they'll be, like, dancing naked and muddy and tripping, but conservative? Neat.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 4:14 PM
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197: wrong Woodstock.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 4:17 PM
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197: It will be like a hippy music festival, only without music or hippies.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 4:18 PM
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||
No more masturbating to Icelandic strip clubs. No, seriously, knock it off.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 4:26 PM
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Any idea what's up with the latest line of BS?


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 5:16 PM
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||

I spammed the Mortal Wombat thread, but here's my question again.

Does anybody know of a supermarket in the greater Boston or Brookline which is selling Passover/ Pesach Coke?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 5:53 PM
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201 - On the local level, it's that they couldn't come up with a way of writing the stunt amendment that puts Congressmen and Congressional staff to cover Congressional committee staffers without covering a huge swath of non-political employees. Widening focus slightly, it's a stunt amendment that Republicans offered to embarrass Democrats; the idea is that, unlike anyone else in the country, Congressional staffers who have health insurance through their employers won't be allowed to keep it but will instead have to use the exchanges. (Democrats accepted the Republican gambit, and good for them.) Widening focus more broadly, it's Fox News, and they'll say any bullshit they can think of to make Democrats look bad.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 6:18 PM
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200: On the other hand strip clubs in Texas may be getting a boost.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 6:35 PM
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More craziness:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville man says he and his 10-year-old daughter were victims of road rage Thursday afternoon, all because of a political bumper sticker on his car.

Mark Duren told News 2 the incident happened around 4:30p.m., while he was driving on Blair Boulevard, not far from Belmont University.

He said Harry Weisiger gave him the bird and rammed into his vehicle, after noticing an Obama-Biden sticker on his car bumper.

[...}

He then put his car in park to take care of the accident, but Weisiger started pushing the car using his SUV.

Duren said, "He pushed my car up towards the sidewalk, almost onto the sidewalk."

Nucking. Futs.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 7:37 PM
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