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News – Health Care edition

First of all – READ Ezra. He’s totally correct….

What August Means for Health-Care Reform

August, after all, is not like any other month. It’s recess. Members of Congress return home. How those members vote when they return to Washington will depend on the reaction they get in their districts. If the town halls and poll numbers and editorial boards convince them that health-care reform is a winner, they’ll vote with the president. If not, not.

(and demonstrations?)

Reach of Subsidies Is Critical Issue for Health Plan

But Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, acknowledged that “there are some questions” about whether insurance would be affordable. “People who are making $50,000 or $60,000 a year and are spending $13,000 on health insurance may not get much of a subsidy,” said Mr. Wyden, a member of the Finance Committee. “Those people will ask, ‘How am I going to make this work for me and my family?’

The NY Times has a chart with a strangely limited number of example situations but, if you fall anywhere near these scenarios (I don’t) it might be helpful:  Impact of Health Care Measures

Pelosi Vows Passage of Health-Care Overhaul

“When I take this bill to the floor, it will win,” Pelosi (Calif.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This will happen.”

Ezra’s impressed:

Nancy Pelosi hasn’t lost many big votes. Nor has her primary lieutenant on health care, Henry Waxman. So when she says that “when I take this bill to the floor, it will win,” history suggests that she knows of what she speaks.
. . .
It’s easy to forget that this process is quite a bit closer to completion than health-care reform has ever been. Two committees in the House and one in the Senate have already voted out legislation. That’s never happened before. But if a bill actually passes the House, that will be a gamechanger. It will put tremendous pressure on the Senate.

What I can’t figure yet is, should WE be impressed? I pretty much agree with this line from Crooks and Liars, Mugsy’s Rap Sheet: A special place in hell for healthcare reform opponents but I can’t quite decide if ANY of the plans under discussion count as reform.

Health & Science

Swine flu could kill hundreds of thousands in U.S. if vaccine fails, CDC says

But the broad range of potential deaths highlights the unpredictability of flu viruses in general and this swine flu virus in particular because it hasn’t behaved the way researchers have expected.

The number of potential deaths is much higher than that usually seen in seasonal flu, which kills an estimated 36,000 Americans a year, and is even higher than the nation’s most recent pandemic.

Healthy fat link to bowel disease

A high intake of polyunsaturated fat in the diet, while good for the heart, may lead to inflammatory bowel disease, say researchers.


Single-Payer Advocates Must Seize This Openning

A bigger test could come this week, as the House Energy and Commerce Committee considers Congressman Anthony Weiner’s proposal to replace the convoluted public-private scheme that is outlined in the Obama/House leadership bill with the easily-understood and efficient single-payer plan contained in HR 676 that has been endorsed by 86 members of Congress.

Were the committee to endorse the Weiner amendment, single-payer would be on the table — as it should be.

127 Responses

  1. What I can’t figure yet is, should WE be impressed? I pretty much agree with this line from Crooks and Liars, “Mugsy’s Rap Sheet: A special place in hell for healthcare reform opponents“ but I can’t quite decide if ANY of the plans under discussion count as reform.

    Well put.

  2. Had a look at the various plans/scenarios. Not impressed.

    • They really don’t seem designed to impress anyone, outside of Washington, that is.

      • spending $13,000 on health insurance may not get much of a subsidy,”

        Yup, that is about what we pay for a family of three. OUCH! I think it just went up too. Apparently the new plan, per the story, may not allow access to other plans. So, if you have a PINTO insurance plan and an expensive PINTO at that, you may very well end up with that same PINTO at a higher cost. WHAT?!?

        Why are they keeping HR 676 Single Payer out/off the table of discussions, for me it seems like the most logical solution.

    • Exactly. My out-of-pocket, before receiving any reimbursement, would be just shy of my annual mortgage cost. Which do you think I’d be more interested in paying? Besides, if the program really isn’t going to begin until 2013, I’ll be eligible for Medicare.

      By the way, one of the items in the NYT graph shows eligibility for Medicaid at lower income levels. What they don’t tell you is that Medicaid eligibility varies by state. Here in Illinois, if you own a home, even if your income is low enough, you don’t qualify because the determination is based on assets, not just income.

      This whole “health care reform” is about insurance coverage, not obtaining health care.

  3. http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1912920-1,00.html

    Thought you might find this article interesting.



  4. Did you watch Bill Moyers last week? Very good take on why this isn’t reform.

    • Yup, egalia put it up and I say it there.

    • You bet it’s not reform… Like most everything the elite has put on Obama’s plate, it’s about making reform less likely.

      • The insurance industry is still running that Harry and Louise ad pushing this train wreck of a reform plan in my area:

        “The time has come! Back this plan!” Harry and Louise have had such a sincere change of heart, it seems, and now the insurance companies are all about the common good, really.

        Sorry Harry and Louise, but you were full of shit in the 90’s, and you’re full of shit now.

        • It cracks me up when I see TV ads for the “health care industry” where the bespeckled clip board toting government official is busy inserting themselves “between you and your Doctor” ! Horrors!!

          Exactly where do they think the insurance companies have been? ( Right up my hospital gown, that’s where.) Even if I agreed with such a notion that is put forward by these ads , isn’t perferable to be ” interfered ” with for low cost as opposed to paying though the nose for the privilege ?

        • I agree. And I resent the ‘the they finish each others sentences’…EAK! Stepford couple, don’t trust them!

  5. This has hit the headlines over here:

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.–Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk said yesterday it looks like Earth’s ice caps have melted a bit since he was last in orbit 12 years ago.

    Thirsk, who is two months into a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station, said he is mostly in awe when he peers out into the distance, particularly at the sliver of atmosphere wrapped around the planet.

    “It’s a very thin veil of atmosphere around the Earth that keeps us alive,” Thirsk said during an inflight news conference. “Most of the time when I look out the window I’m in awe. But there are some effects of the human destruction of the Earth as well …

    “I just have the feeling that the glaciers are melting, the snow capping the mountains is less than it was 12 years ago,” Thirsk said. “That saddens me a little bit.”


    • one excerpt:

      Of course, it’s dangerous to speak for other bloggers, but I think the calculus which many are operating under is that if you get a bill with some sort of public option, and some sort of subsidies, some lives will be saved. Something, in other words, is better than nothing. I also think that people need to believe. Many bloggers worked really really hard to elect Obama, to get a House and Senate majority, and the that it can’t deliver on something so fundamentally important as making sure every American has the health care they need is something they just don’t want to believe.

      and another:

      I’m not a single payor purist, though I think the fact single payer isn’t even on the table is a terrible indictment of the system—however, I’ll settle for a good public option, or even a non-sucky one. But I’m becoming convinced that any public option will either be too compromised, or non existent, and at that point, all that happens is you have slashes to Medicare and Medicaid, forced purchase of bad insurance, and through those purchases more money being pumped into the system.

      FORCED PURCHASE OF BAD INSURANCE! That is exactly what the current shit smells like.

  6. Foaming at-the-mouth Foxx is spewing about health care in the House now on c-span. She has a chart! Basically, govt health programs are bad because the costs go up over time. Brilliant!

  7. Wow, the Gates situation just got interesting. The 911 caller is not white, and she didn’t know the race of either person entering the house. So there was never a notion that the men were black up to the point where the policeman knocked on the door and was immediately yelled at for believing a white woman over a black man. Interesting.

    • The tapes may be release soon as per the news snippet just on the news.

      • Already released, I heard them. I haven’t found them on youtube yet though.

      • The caller is puerto rican and works in the neighborhood. She made it clear she could not see them clearly, only from the back. One of the men she really didn’t see much at all. When asked about race (white, black, or hispanic), she said she wasn’t sure, one might have been hispanic, but she wasn’t sure.

        She also described pretty well how they pushed their way in, and that they may live there since they had suit cases, but she wasn’t sure. She sounded very clear and calm and made perfect sense. She also mentioned that there was some elderly lady, possible neighbor, who was the first to notice all of this and brought it to her attention. But she only reported what she herself saw.

        There were also dispatch recordings released of conversations among police and the dispatch. They eventually got it through that race was not specified and that it may be a break in.

        And it was also clear in the dispatch tapes that the policeman on the scene from the first moment of contact reported that the person may live here but is being very uncooperative.

    • That’s one of the key reasons people need to just back up and start asking questions rather than passing judgment.

      I think the friendly mediation of the POTUS over a beer with these two people is absolute proof that Obama hasn’t a clue what he is doing. Stupid doesn’t come into better focus. Is POTUS going to mediate every misunderstanding between his friends and the people they irritate, or is this just a reason for a beer?

      If Gates suffers any reduction in admiration or respect from his students and fellow faculty, he did it to himself.

      • I personally think the ‘BEER’ thing is a mistake, because he smokes, and no the idea is that every thing is settled with alcohol just sends the wrong message. The police should ask for a formal lunch as it will undermine the ‘Don’t Drink’ campaign…Ah!

      • I think the friendly mediation of the POTUS over a beer with these two people is absolute proof that Obama hasn’t a clue what he is doing.

        I agree. Why do we even need health care reform? Just have the sick come by the White House for a beer! Lord

        If Gates suffers any reduction in admiration or respect from his students and fellow faculty, he did it to himself.

        And how…. If you had gonna play like you are Jackie Robinson , you have to do the being stoic while wronged number .. and he sure wasn’t. If he comes off as an ass in these tapes , it explains why the plans for his documentary about it all was suddenly shelved . lol!

        What an idjijt. I understand Gates was tired after travel and may not been at his best during the event. It’s the running to the media and the amazing show boating later I fault him for .

    • I am sick that the pres is creating a racism task force to teach the police about the “lessons of the Gates incident”….. once again with the inability to see anything not through the lense of race.
      When this meeting takes place with Gate and Crowel, it will be advertised as a discussion on race.
      Gates needs to apologize.

  8. I’m encouraging everyone to get in touch with Congress and back the Weiner amendment. If nothing else, it gives Medicare for All a place at the table:


  9. Tapes are released.

  10. And BTW, I am actually concerned about the cost of all this. NOT because I don’t want to pay for UHC (I do), but because I don’t see a damn thing here that prevents even MORE money being routed into insurance company profits, except this time the govt is going to aid and abet and force it.

    As long as that profit dynamic is not curbed, this thing is going WAY over budget over time, bank on it. We can afford to cover everyone, but we CANNOT afford to do it in this manner. Not without looking at restraining the profits of Big Insurance, which Hillary actually had the balls to talk about doing.

    But, pshaw. Everyone knows that as Obama said, we can make this puppy a cost-saver by cracking down HARD on all that nefarious TONSIL THEFT that is so rampant in the medical community.

    • Good point. If it’s the same people that have perpetrated the finance bailout boondoggle, then there’s a good chance it will be made worse and the insurance companies will be getting their own “bailout”. It’s not like I don’t trust them but… oh wait, that’s right, I don’t trust them. 🙂

    • This thing stinks like TARP did. The smell coming off it is familiar.

      “We are doing this for the little guy, the homeowner and small businesses!”

      Uh huh.

      • Just thought of a funny youtube video someone could do. Have Obama say a bunch of things he wants to do in a row, and after each one have some one node saying “Uh huh” in a slightly sarcastic way. Maybe with subtitles of what he really ended up doing. Both taken from campaign promisees as well as TOTUS speeches. That would be funny. Or sad actually. Sigh.

    • well said. We cannot have UHC and the insurance company’s 30% for nothing… in the same room, much less the same table. Unlike Congress , I vote for the insurance companies to walk the plank.

    • Members of Congress return home. How those members vote when they return to Washington will depend on the reaction they get in their districts. If the town halls and poll numbers and editorial boards convince them that health-care reform is a winner, they’ll vote with the president. If not, not.

      And if their constituents tell them they want health care reform but not necessarily what is being cooked up, which they don’t understand and which they are afraid might force them to buy very expensive insurance that they can’t afford?

      We already know that people want health care reform. We’ve known it for a long time. But that’s besides the point. The real question is do people want what they’re designing? And we’re nowhere near having an answer to that, because people are being kept in the dark about too many things.

  11. Not health care related, but my brother in law’s uncle Merce Cunningham died … for those of you that really liked Gene Kelly’s dance in singing in the rain … that was Uncle Merce’s doing .. anyway … here’s his obit. A lot of folks call him the world’s greatest choreographer.


    • Cool! That’s one of my favorite movie scenes, and stunning choreography. Sorry for your loss, though.

      We ought to do a weekend open thread sometime about interesting relatives and ancestors. My husband’s Italian grandfather was an avid early motorcycle racer, and brought motorcycles to New York and trained the very first motorcycle cops there in NYC.

      • Wow cool. Definite motorcycle fan here.

        Fun idea about interesting relatives. The more “eccentric” the relative/ancestor the better I say.

        • Who has a madame in their family? Madames are cool and colorful ancestors to have.

          • Definitely.

            I have one ancestor who was an engraver for the mint for many years, then was an engraver for the intelligence community. Shhhh.

          • I have a many times great grandfather who was thrown in to prison by the puritans in 1600’s CT for sexual perversity.

    • Wow, what a guy. Amazing career and very influential. Sorry for the loss and thanks for posting. I had heard of him from my choreographer brother, but didn’t know much.

    • I just saw the video and he had a very wonderful life. A life well lived and full of ART to boot. Bravo! My his work live on…

    • I just saw the video and he had a very wonderful life. A life well lived and full of ART to boot. Bravo! May his work live on…

  12. Hmmmm. The woman who phoned in the Gates’ “burglary” has a different account than the one Crowley filed in his police report. Very interesting…

    “Let me be clear: She never had a conversation with Sgt. Crowley at the scene,” Murphy said. “And she never said to any police officer or to anybody ‘two black men.’ She never used the word ‘black.’ Period.” …

    Calls to the Cambridge Police Department about the issue have not been returned. In the police report, filed by Crowley, he says he spoke with Whalen outside the home before he approached Gates’ house.

    “She went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch of Ware Street,” the report says. “She told me that her suspicions were aroused when she observed one of the men wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry.”

    911 caller in Gates’ arrest says she never referred to race

    • It may have been the neighbor who spoke with Crowley at the scene, and he may not have realized or verified at the time that this was not the one who called.

      • Neither one will be invited to the ‘male’ bonding ritual of having a ‘BEER’, yet the professor was heard yelling about the ‘woman’.

    • I do believe he spoke to someone/ people right before investigating, and I do believe it’s possible that one of them and not the other one identified their races. Could have been both women talking to him at once, etc. Someone else could have easily confirmed by sight that they were black after the 911 call already went through.

      Bottom line: they were black, so either she was a poor witness or she wasn’t. Doesn’t matter if he put that they were black in his report, because they are. He could be attributing the racial ID statement to wrong woman when the other one said it, etc. And if no one mentioned race, then there wouldn’t be a need to put it in the report. Cops fill out racial ID section in report.

      • Actually, the bottom line is that Crowley identified the wrong witness (if there was one) who told them s/he saw two black guys forcing the door. And considering the attention this case has received, it just makes it look like he didn’t have his facts straight.

        • Caller made it very clear she did not know the race. Doesn’t mean she or someone else didn’t know/ learn their races by the time police got there and spoke to people in person.

          • Crowley got at least one fact wrong, which puts his account into question. Ms. Whalen says she never identified race and did not speak to Crowley at the scene. Okay, that’s two facts wrong.

        • you are confused. There was another woman who did not call but originally noticed the break in. That is probably the woman who Crowley spoke to. So what? It is not like he went there to see if he could find a black man to harass. He answered a call, reported the person was very uncooperative and when the guy obstructed him doing his job he was arrested just like any white guy would have been.

      • Drudge_Report: AUDIO: Cop to Dispatch: ‘He Is Not Cooperative’… http://tinyurl.com/n75emu

        • Crickey. The audio reveals little (except that Crowley is told the witness is not a neighbor, “she doesn’t live there, she’s just a witness”). Gates isn’t even heard on the tape and yet the comments include folks saying that Gates is “hateful” and “foul.” This may have not started off as a racial incident but it sure seems have turned into one.

          • Really, ahs? White people’s behavior is never called “hateful” or “foul”? You’re using Obama’s logic that any criticisms of a black person are racist. You’re totally leaving behavior out of the equation.

          • cops will place under arrest anyone who is uncooperative. If Gates where white it would be the same. Crowley had to ask the questions he did or he was not doing his JOB.
            Next time your house is broken in to, I want you to make sure that you tell the police that if the person is black, not to offend them and don’t ask for ID or anything.

    • Uhmm. Interesting. On the 911 call the caller seemed very careful to qualify that she WAS NOT CERTAIN that it was a break in to the house. She pointed out that there were suitcases on the porch. The problem is that the nuance of the caller may not have been conveyed to the responding officer. Once again, we are far from having the important facts on the table. Too early to come to a conclusion or apportion out “blame” to either the Professor or the Officer. Why are people so quick to take one “side” or the “other” on this one???/

      • Regardless, the cop misidentified the witness. It shows that he is capable of making a mistake. Of course we are all capable of making mistakes, but it’s unfortunate for Crowley that he did so on a story that’s made it into the news. And considering that Gates had questioned the possibility of racial profiling, you’d think Crowley would have been more attentive to the details in his report.

        FWIW, I’ve never thought Crowley was guilty of racial profiling but I do think he overreacted in arresting Gates. The arrest seems retaliatory IMO. As I commented earlier, I think Crowley prides himself on being non-racist and was so insulted by Gates’ question that he lost it.

        And the reason I take a side is because I don’t think Americans should be arrested because they are rude to police in their own homes. I believe in free speech and feel very strongly that Prof. Gates’ opinion on racial profiling was punished with a wrongful arrest.

        • How do you know that? Based on what? Why is Crowley instantly lying about a witness saying they were black??

          She could be lying. Gates did mention her in his rants, and maybe she scared of the racist charge herself, as some people have been deducing online.

          None of us were there. We don’t know Crowley or the woman from a hole in the head.

          • Whatever, the tape shows that a caller didn’t say ” BLACK MEN, OMG! COPS, COME QUICK!” it also shows that the officer who received the call wasn’t “racist” in his talk with her. “Were they white, black or hispanic?” It also shows that the cops weren’t responding BECAUSE they were black.

          • True we don’t know Crowley or Whalen, but at this point we know their stories don’t match up.

          • kat,

            We have under 2 minutes of audio of an encounter that lasted much longer than that. It’s inconclusive at best.

            I’ve already said that I never thought Crowley was guilty of racial profiling. I do, however, understand why a black man would raise the question. And I also think that Crowley overreacted in the arrest. It was a bonehead move IMO.

            The comments at the audio link, IMO, are rather hateful with a racial undertone. There are really some ugly comments at that link. That’s what I meant about it turning into a racial issue. I wasn’t referring to Crowley.

          • AUDIO: 911 CALL to Cambridge police… http://tinyurl.com/l7roac

        • There is being rude and there is yelling . Really I don’t think it’s a right to yell at professionals while they are trying doing thier job. If I ranted at a doctor or nurse though out the visit , it would not surprize me if security was called and I was taken out of the office.

          • Not if you were in your own home. I would imagine the hypothetical doctor or nurse would either sedate you or leave, depending upon the medical circumstances.

          • Right, and it wasn’t just yelling. It was racist accusations and also being uncooperative with an officer, which is…plain stupid and dangerous.

          • It still seems that the full story is not yet available to support conclusions or an “apportionment of blame.” Police have both awesome responsibilities and fairly amazing powers granted to them. They are trained. Because their jobs are dangerous, they can use force up to and including deadly force. A sincere thanks to them when the fill society’s needs for enforcement. If yelling happened in your own home would not bring security guards to put you out. Police were there on a public mission of restoring order/peace. Any of us — including but not limited to the Professor — also should have reasonable expectation of good treatment and due consideration. Rudeness (if that is what happened) is not an infraction cops should use to handcuff and take any person to a jail cell. I don’t know if that is what happened. But if it begins to look more like a “retaliation or lost control” arrest, that will be bad for the police in general and Crowley in particular.

        • Of course, he’s capable of making a mistake. I would say the same of Gates. They’re human. Making mistakes is something all of us do at one time or another.

          • He didn’t get arrested because he was grumpy in his house. There was no racial profiling via the 911 call, police did not respond to investigate possible break in because they were black. Frankly, it wouldn’t matter if she said they were black, because they are and it would’ve been reality.

            Cops simply responded to a call. Try to get the facts from Gates and Gates flipped out. That’s suspicious. Gates finally showed ID, okay, but then he followed them outside screamng (in public) with racist accusations, threats, and personal attacks.

            I’m not even a cop and if someone was following me (in public) screaming at me, and threatening me, and accusing me of racism as they brought up my mother…someone or I might call the cops. Why do you think that is?

          • We don’t really know from that 9-11 call if Gates flipped out or if that portion has been framed by the same media who seemed to portray the 9-11 call as a call regarding 2 black men breaking in.

            I don’t really have enoughinfo to apportion blame and I don’t see how apportioning blame is going to change anything anyways at this juncture.

          • No, the 911 call shows that there wasn’t any “racial profiling”—caller did not mention race, call out to cops didn’t mention race. (besides possible hispanic, which they weren’t) It was just a routine possible break in call.

            Listen, Gates’ entire career and life is ALL about race and racism. He sees the world this way in a hyper conscious way. I think he sees police as an inherently racist white institution, no matter WHAT. Gates is obsessed with race. And I think he is a racist.

            Interesting thing about this video is that he mentions the “your mama” insult (that he did say to Crowley) and more: http://therealbarackobama.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/video-henry-gates-rant-in-1996-on-racist-white-institutions/

          • kat,

            The part of this story that you seem to be missing is that Crowley’s report states that the witness identified the race of the two men. That witness, Lucia Whalen, says she never identified race (which the audio you keep linking to seems to corroborate) nor did she speak to Crowley at the scene. This casts doubt on his police report because somehow “two black men” made its way into his police report and the witness he cited is saying it didn’t come from her.

          • I agree with gxm17. If the woman never said anything about two black men when calling 911 why is it in Crowley’s report? Now the other part I don’t understand was apparently there was another women that saw more than the women that called in. Did she speak with officers too and who is she?

          • transcript of part of the 911 call

            has anyone found transcripts of more of the call?

          • sorry last queston should have been, has anyone found trascripts of the radio broadcasts?

          • OFGS! Whalen did not mention race, the other woman at the scene did. What possible difference does it make anyway. They were black, but he didn’t know that until he got to the place. If he had was he supposed to not go?

          • For the umpteenth time: The reason it matters is that it appears to contradict Crowley’s police report which then brings into question whether Crowley has his facts straight. If one part of his police report is inaccurate then that opens the door to question whether other parts are.

            Baddawg00, I’m with ya. Who is this other woman? And if she’s a neighbor then why didn’t she recognize Gates? As I said earlier, very interesting…

          • Another interesting thing from what I’m seeing in the 911 call appears that Gates initally went in the front door. AFAIK he’s said he went in the back from interviews I’ve heard of Gates side of this.

    • EAK!

      According to the Congressional Budget Office, the “public options” described in the Democrats’ legislation might enroll 10 million people and will have virtually no effect on health care costs, which means the “public options” cannot, by themselves, have any effect on the number of uninsured. But the leaders of the “public option” movement haven’t told the public they have abandoned their original vision. It’s high time they did.

      WOW…with such betrayal we would be better off working on individual states, than putting our hopes in Pelosi, Reid and Obama. Of course they will claim that they haven’t read the legislation HR 3200, Pelosi has admitted as much already. I feel very, very let down, HR 676 Single Payer is really the only truth filled legislation and doesn’t hide such betrayals (HR 3200) behind 1,000 + pages.

      HR 676 Single Payer is only 23 pages and doesn’t have PORK or BULL.

      • I read something about the possibility that HR 3200 may essentially keep states from doing single payer (without actually explicitly stating that) and that Kucinich’s amendment doesn’t override that.

        • NOW that is shocking, they won’t help but are willing to get in the way of State’s Rights?!? (((shaking head))) These are Democrats, trying to pass HR 3200, why are they working against their core beliefs and doing things that I would think the lobbyists would be pushing for.

          Just doesn’t compute in my little brain, even after coffee…

          • Because these are not your parent’s Dems. It’s the new Dem party. Both the GOP and the new Dems want to be the cabana boy for the Upper Crust. Currently it’s the new Dems that are in the tent while the GOP pines away out in the sand.

          • In fact, Obama did call himself a New Democrat back in March.


            President Barack Obama firmly resists ideological labels, but at the end of a private meeting with a group of moderate Democrats on Tuesday afternoon, he offered a statement of solidarity.

            “I am a New Democrat,” he told the New Democrat Coalition, according to two sources at the White House session.

          • In other words, us old, bitter knitters need not apply.

          • new democrat is DLC. As opposed to Hillary who doesn’t bow to the DLC even if she is/was a member, Obama wants them to know he is on their side.

      • I still think a public option could work…..just not THIS public option. I think any option offered needs to allow everybody to be able to opt in if they like. The way it stands Congress seems to have little to no problem holding the upper middle class hostage to the insurance companies. It’s particularly egregious when they tell people they arte going to tax their health care to pay for the plan and not allow them to opt in.

    • TO gxm17 @ 3:41 PM

      So Whalen is saying she wasn’t there or that she spoke to a different officer? Or she waited and then spoke to no one? For what.

      911 call: Officer tells her to wait. She says she will.

  13. kat in your hat, on July 27th, 2009 at 2:45 pm Said:
    Whatever, the tape shows that a caller didn’t say ” BLACK MEN, OMG! COPS, COME QUICK!”

    Which is why it’s taken this long for the public to hear them . imo

    • MSM is piece of shit, they should have straightened this out sooner.

      • It works as a convenient cover story though if you want to bury conversation about health care. That much Obama and I agree on(not that he and I seem to agree about what constitutes reform.)

      • They have to figure out how things fit into their all important ” narrative ” . Plus sending up trial balloons and writing pay master approved scripts take time /snark

  14. I’d have more sympathy for Gates if he hadn’t tried to exploit the situation with a big media tour ( complete with talk of a documentary!! ) and seem to love every minute of said tour.

  15. Wonk The Vote, WMCB and Paper Doll, commentaries on logic, great stuff!

    New Topic: Gatesgate.

    Why are we giving the MSM the food fight the so desperately want?

    Black man, early forties here…I have been willing from the very beginning to accept Officer Crowley’s contention that race played no roll in his interaction with Professor Gates. It is unkowable for anyone other than Sergeant Crowley. Unless he give it away with a slur or an epithet how can you know. It isn’t worth speculating on.

    AND, even if the 911 call had been full of “Black, Black Black,” it probably doesn’t rise to the level of “profiling” because the two dudes in questions were in fact forcing the fromt door open.

    Why are we falling for all this BS anguishing over, “What does it mean, what does it mean?” The MSM focuses in on race and we all dance. Including the “Sucker-In-Chief.”

    What does it mean? Professor Gates was embarassed and ticked off for reasons we may never know and he pissed off a cop. The cop, in my view, played the trumpiest of trump cards, “You are under arrest.”

    You will never win a pissing contest with law enforcement. Race need not enter into it.

    The legacy of “profiling” is probably only relevant to the extent that it contributed to the Professor’s flare up. Trust me I know what it means to go from 0 to 60 in .005 seconds because of a perceived racial slight but on reflection it is quite possible that the “race” element was just a “misunderstanding.” As i said before, you CAN’T know what is in another man’s mind.

    I THINK, that the officer sholdhave walked away and left Professor Gates fuming in his own house. If he gets back in his squad car, we never hear about the incident. I am not saying what he did was stupid, I think walking away would have been smarter.

    Profiling has long been exposed and it gets talked about plenty, I don’t believe that is the legitimate “lesson” from this. The MSM wants us to bicker about it but I think we are being duped.

    What I think we should be talking about relates to everyone, not just minority men.

    What are the grounds for arrest. I think we should be having a national discussion about how much free speech do I actually have? Do I have to be committing or suspected of having committed a crime to be detained? Can a cop arrest me to get the last word in an argument? Is there such thing (constitutionally) as a law enforcement “time-out?”

    I didn’t like George Bush and Dick Cheney taking extra constitutional powers on themselves and i don’t like street cops doing it either.

    We are missing an opportunity to discuss as a free and open society what are my obligations to authority. Can I speak truth to power excpet when power has a car with flashy lights on top? Those are questions that I think are worth posing to pundits.

    As far as the racial blood letting goes, let’s tell the MSM to go to hell on this one.

    • Wise and sound advice, Ron. There is no way there is going to be sanity, or any kind of a “national conversation on race” that happens from the top down, in between sound bites and pontificating by breathless media and official spokespersons for the blackman/white man (women usually don’t even figure in the “conversation”.)

      I wrote this on a friend’s blog, but I’m going to share it here:

      I have a few words for our “post-racial” president who keeps sticking his foot in it and making himself look the fool:

      There is a whole cottage industry over race in this country, both blacks and whites, and when they say we need to “have a national conversation about race”, they mean they want us all lectured on how we all, black or white, are supposed to think and feel, and who what or when we are supposed to resent.

      A lecture is not a conversation, and their echo chamber is making things worse, not better.

      Let me tell them what a “conversation about race” looks like. Because first off, it doesn’t happen from some podium on a lecture circuit. It happens between real people, where we live and work side by side.

      It happened for me often when I worked night shift as a poorly paid nursing assistant at a nursing home, wiping butts all night long, along with a bunch of other mostly black or poor women. it happened while we talked about our kids, and our families, and our histories and our recipes and our crazy uncles. It happened when some mouthy old racist fart in room 214B decided he didn’t want a “n*gger” taking care of him, and I told him he could just lie there in his own shit, then, because that’s who was assigned.

      And we all laughed. And rolled our eyes, and talked about our grandparents, and how they hurt, and for me how wrong they were, and how they changed, and how the country changed.

      And if I was full of shit about something, these women told me so. And if I had no idea why a black person would think a certain thing, I asked, and they didn’t mind. And if I thought they were full of shit on something, I told them so.

      And we could do that, we could have that conversation, because we were all in the same boat, trying to make a dollar and put food on the table, and we had spent enough time wiping those old butts together to trust and respect each other. Nobody claimed a monopoly on absolute truth, or tried to guilt anybody else, or assumed we knew 100% how the world worked in terms of race, so we learned from each other.

      We weren’t afraid of each other. Nothing we said was going to be used or twisted to fit this or that preconceived agenda.

      THAT, Mr. President, and media bobbleheads, is a “conversation about race”, and it’s has been happening every day in this country for decades, between real people who have no political agenda, just their lives to share. And it’s done more good than all the lectures and sensitivity training and hogging of the topic by the “racism industry” ever will.

      So STFU, quit butting in, and let us talk to one another, why don’t ya.

      • Wow. The beats the sh*t out of W2’s “Reverend Wright Under the Bus – Best Speech On Race Evah” by a long shot!

        Every word you wrote rings true and I appreciate it very much. The back and forth over this incident has had me very discouraged be everyone seems os angry and dug in to their own position but your post gives me some solace.

        Maybe more people “get it” than I realized.

        • Thanks, Ron. Back atcha. And I guess I could add that it’s not going to be solved on the blogosphere, either. Because no matter how much I like and appreciate all you guys, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. We don’t live and see and share life together, we don’t look into each others faces when we say what we say, we don’t observe each other, know each others histories being lived before our eyes, so as to measure the truth of the person’s words.

          If we want to talk about race, it needs to be with people we KNOW, around our tables and our lunch counters and our school picnics. And the only thing these overblown public “conversations” do is make all of us afraid to do just that.

          • I believe that what you are talking about is happening. Here and there, little by little. There are folks that I can talk with honestly, black, white, liberal and conservative.

            As far as the blogosphere (Pumasphere for me, I can’t stomach most of the rest 🙂 ) is concerned, I hope that we are getting to know each other. Perhaps the anonymity fosters a different kind of honesty?

            I have been reading you for a while. I will read you when the next issue comes up. And the next, and so on. I am learning about you a little here a little there. Almost like if we knew each other.

            I know this, you PUMAs challenge my thinking and teach me things. Many, many, many of the knuckle heads I can look around and see…naw not so much.


          • Oh, I didn’t mean that we shouldn’t talk on the subject of race at all here. I know what you mean that there is a certain kind of honesty here that is maybe not as possible IRL, and that can be good, despite the passionate flame-throwers that often get going. I always appreciate talking with you, for instance.

            I think I just meant that the blogosphere as a whole jumping into these media circus conversations doesn’t help bring sanity much more than the TV media does.

      • I love what you just wrote, WMCB. Wish you could send it to PBO, in fact.

      • That’s how it worked for me. I will be forever grateful for the years I spent working with the black waiters of New Orleans. A friend and I were just talking about how we each cherish those years and the friendships and trust that were forged working and hanging around between events 12-16 hours a day with a bunch of wonderful old guys we would never have had the honour of knowing, but for the need to earn a living while going through school.

    • I don’t know what to say anymore about the Gates stuff. I think both sides have a story to tell, but the real issue has been buried by the MSM who has, very predictably, made the Obama atmospherics become the focus of the story.

      What I do know is this:

      The MSM is not looking out for me (O’Reilly), they are not keeping them honest (Anderson Cooper), and they are not the place for politics (MSNBC….more like the place for lunatics).

      • WTV and WMCB I think you both expressed what’s going on here very well and I’m sure most here can relate.

      • True, True and True.

        I used to trust Amy Goodman on Democracy now but I switch cable systems a while back and haven’t watch her for over a year. I always thought that she was the only journalist out there “trying” to get it right.

        Did she drink the Kool-Aid.

        • Man, if I could proof read worth a damn, I might be dagnerous! (That’s a joke…I know it’s actually dangerosu!) 🙂

        • Ron, it is guilty white liberalism which I find as racist as other forms.
          I had a friend say “we have to vote for Obama because we owe it to black people”. then I also had a relative explain to me that reverend Wright using his Christmas sermon to say “Hillary ain’t ever been called a N (you know the rest) was understandable and that the fact that he thought aids was a plot to kill black men was okay because after all look what happened to the Tuskegee airmen…. well it was useless to explain that they were actually racist, not me because I was not judging Obama and Wright by skin color. To think that they really believed that a Black Preacher with a PHD should be ignorant as if that was the best we were supposed to expect because of his color.

    • Great comment.

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