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Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

Health-Care Nightmare “Waterloo” Reform

The German newsmagazine “Der Spiegel” has a lengthy article about the inadequacies of the US healthcare. Because it’s the the hard copy, I was thinking about summarizing it here or at least reproducing the compelling graph in the article. They just did me a favor and posted the whole thing in their international online edition.
An Ailing System

Will Health Care Be Obama’s Legacy or Waterloo?

Barack Obama wants to modernize the American health care system. But his ambitions come with a cost of around $1 trillion, a price tag that even some Democrats say is too high. Will he fail, as Clinton did before him?

Oh my! This is not going to end well.
Overhaul proposal would omit key Dem. provisions

After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits a requirement for businesses to offer coverage to their workers and lacks a government insurance option that President Obama favors, according to numerous officials.

Maybe we should just say adieu to healthcare reform
Health Policy Now Carved Out at a More Centrist Table

The fate of the health care overhaul largely rests on the shoulders of six senators who since June 17 have gathered — often twice a day, and for many hours at a stretch — in a conference room with burnt sienna walls, in the office of the Senate Finance Committee chairman, Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana.

Does Health Insurance Make You Fat?

A recent economics paper may give skeptics of President Barack Obama’s push for near-universal health care new ammunition. The argument? Health insurance makes you fat.


The entire 911 call and dispatch audio of Gates’ arrest are here (h/t Cinie)

Even after 911 tape released in Gates case, questions linger

The woman who placed the call never said anything about black men breaking into Professor Gates’s house. So how did it get into Sergeant Crowley’s report?

Questions on race aspect of Henry Louis Gates case show sublety(sic) of racism

The question remains: How exactly did the word “black” get into the police report?
Other Harvard professors have demonstrated how the memory can be reworked by experience.
Maybe the word just slipped in the same way suitcases became backpacks.

What should have happened in Gates confrontation?

Police experts say Gates probably overreacted. But Sergeant Crowley appeared to let the situation spiral out of control, they add.

Cambridge Officer, Gates Said to Meet at White House July 30

The three men are set to convene about 6 p.m. at the executive mansion, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting hadn’t been officially announced.

Robin Wells (aka Mrs Krugman) also chimes in:
Hard Truths and the Teachable Moment: The Gates-Crowley Saga (via Krugman Blog)


Low bar, long horizon for U.S.-China talks

China is bringing 150 senior officials, including nearly its whole Cabinet, to the United States this week for talks whose symbolic value is likely to trump concrete achievements.

The Strategic and Economic Dialogue on Monday and Tuesday may simply produce a broad outline on the way to deal with economic, security, diplomatic and environmental issues that divide the world’s two most important economies.

US, China have pointed questions in private

The United States and China are striking a conciliatory tone in their public comments during economic talks, although that hasn’t stopped China from posing some pointed questions behind closed doors about such issues as America’s soaring budget deficit.

Around The Nation

Why does this administration let Biden go out and give speeches without a babysitter? Sigh!
Clinton moves to calm Moscow over remarks by Biden

Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, yesterday sought to head off a spat with Russia after it was angered by comments by Joe Biden, US vicepresident,
The Kremlin had demanded clarification of remarks in which Mr Biden suggested Russia would be forced to improve relations with the US because its economy was “withering”.

GOP headache: The birther issue

When lawmakers return home for recess in August, they can expect to hear tough questions from constituents on the economy, health care and government spending.
But Republicans are preparing for something else: the birthers.

Seven indicted in N.C. court for terrorism

All are charged with conspiring to provide support to terrorists and conspiring to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad.

Bunning Quits, Makes 2010 Race Harder (Not Easier) for Democrats

Before today, it was an equation that looked pretty good for Democrats: an opponent they could paint as old, ineffective and distant from his own party. Come to our party, they might say in a commercial, where at least you won’t have him.

New Jersey: Teaching the World to Steal, in Perfect Harmony

[W]hile people are busy expressing shock at the discovery that New Jersey has a corruption problem, it seems the most striking aspect of this story has been largely ignored. There is a silver lining here. This enterprise required a great deal of cooperation between an extraordinarily diverse group of people. A merry band of walking stereotypes worked together, in perfect harmony, and remains together, united by their depravity.

Economy Watch

Is Goldman Sachs Evil? Or Just Too Good?

Inside Goldman Sachs, America’s most successful, cynical, envied, despised, and (in its view, anyway) misunderstood engine of capitalism.

Bernanke Feared a Second Great Depression

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Sunday said he engineered the central bank’s controversial actions over the past year because “I was not going to be the Federal Reserve chairman who presided over the second Great Depression.”

As Cash for Clunkers Starts, Dealers Hope to Clear Lots

After many months of agonizingly slow sales, automakers and dealers are anxiously counting on the cash-for-clunkers program, getting under way officially on July 27, to help clear their lots.

Opinion Columns & Editorials

A New Strategic and Economic Dialogue with China (By Hillary Clinton and Tim Geithner)

As we move toward recovery, we must take additional steps to lay the foundation for balanced and sustainable growth in the years to come. That will involve Americans rebuilding our savings, strengthening our financial system and investing in energy, education and health care to make our nation more productive and prosperous. For China it involves continuing financial sector reform and development. It also involves spurring domestic demand growth and making the Chinese economy less reliant on exports.

Clive Crook thinks Obama’s leadership or lack thereof is the biggest problem in the healthcare debate. Give it to him, he has a point.
Obama is failing on health reform (By Clive Crook)

This failure has three separate aspects. First, though politicians and commentators talk about the president’s plan, he does not have one. Learning the lessons of “Hillarycare” far too well, Mr Obama has set out broad goals for reform and some principles to guide the design, but no more. This self-imposed distance is bad both substantively and politically. It is substantively bad because left to its own devices an unguided, disputatious, difference-splitting Congress was bound to make a hash of it. And it is politically bad because the public understands this.

Paul Krugman takes an axe to the Blue Dogs Dems
An Incoherent Truth (By Paul Krugman)

Right now the fate of health care reform seems to rest in the hands of relatively conservative Democrats — mainly members of the Blue Dog Coalition, created in 1995. And you might be tempted to say that President Obama needs to give those Democrats what they want.
But he can’t — because the Blue Dogs aren’t making sense.

What is behind this particular “11-dimensional chess”?
Why Won’t Obama Talk to Israel? (By Aluf Benn, editor at large Haaretz)

This would seem counterproductive, given the importance the president has placed on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If Israel is part of the problem, it’s also part of the solution. Yet so far, neither the president nor any senior administration official has given a speech or an interview aimed at an Israeli audience, beyond brief statements made at diplomatic photo ops.

Roberto Micheletti, the former president of the Honduran Congress, who became president of Honduras upon the removal of Manuel Zelaya writes about the way forward for his country. Some of his facts are murky but…
The Path Forward for Honduras

One of America’s most loyal Latin American allies—Honduras—has been in the midst of a constitutional crisis that threatens its democracy. Sadly, key undisputed facts regarding the crisis have often been ignored by America’s leaders, at least during the earliest days of the crisis.

Around The World

The Iranian Opposition: Willing but How Able?

Within the next week, Iran will see the 40-day anniversary of the death of protest bystander Neda Agha-Soltan — an emotionally charged religious observance that is likely to draw widespread public mourning — and the scheduled presidential inauguration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The dates will be opportunities for opposition leaders to press their case. But are they organized enough to do it amid the official repression? And do they know exactly what they are aiming for?

The Taliban’s New Mastermind

If you thought Mullah Omar, the longtime head of the Taliban was bad, you should meet his no. 2. A look at the emerging power of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

Our Man in Afghanistan

Richard Holbrooke’s particular head-knocking skills may not be perfectly cast for the job of special representative to Afghanistan. On the other hand, who else has the right mixture of grandiosity and smarts to even try?

How do you say “goomah” in Chinese?
China’s concubine culture is back

A top anti-graft official recently acknowledged in public that 95% of the corrupt officials netted in Beijing’s crackdowns kept mistresses.

China’s millennia-old culture of men keeping concubines is back, with many communist party and government officials now keeping at least one “second wife” as a status symbol or to satisfy his sexual needs.

8 killed in $7-million Baghdad bank robbery

Gunmen killed eight security guards and made off with nearly $7 million early today during a bank robbery that police say is the work of insurgents attempting to finance their operations.

Netanyahu tells Obama envoy: Israel doing all it can for peace

The premier told Mitchell that Israel was doing all it could to advance the peace process with the Palestinians. Mitchell said that there are understandings that have been reached that could aid in advancing the process

‘Obama unlikely to present peace plan’

Rather, according to these officials, the administration is aiming to create a positive dynamic that will lead to the relaunching of a Palestinian-Israeli diplomatic process, but this time with more regional players on board.

Settlers completing 11 new outposts

Settlers planned to complete the construction of 11 outposts in the West Bank ahead of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s scheduled meeting with US envoy George Mitchell early Tuesday morning, in response to American pressure to freeze settlement activity.

From The World Of Science

Could rely more on your “gut feeling”?
Brain Power: In Battle, Hunches Prove to Be Valuable Assets

Everyone has hunches — about friends’ motives, about the stock market, about when to fold a hand of poker and when to hold it. But United States troops are now at the center of a large effort to understand how it is that in a life-or-death situation, some people’s brains can sense danger and act on it well before others’ do.

Is this fair to us?
Women are getting more beautiful

FOR the female half of the population, it may bring a satisfied smile. Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors.

Unappealing? Oh Noes!

Divorce and widowhood hurt health

Divorce and widowhood have a lingering, detrimental impact on health — even among those who remarry, U.S. researchers found.

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136 Responses

  1. I love Patch Adams. He thinks we should scrap this reform and go single payer, but I love what he says about that:

    In the short term, Adams called for the U.S. to install a so-called “single payer” public health system — not because it’s a good system in his opinion but because it would annoy Americans so much that they would force the government to make some meaningful changes in healthcare policy.

    “‘Single payer,’ by the way, is a wonderful way to pay for all people in the vulgar greedy system,” he said. “But it has nothing to do, really, with healthcare reform. We need to get single payer and be irritated by the cost of single payer to reform the way care is delivered.”


    • The fate of the health care overhaul largely rests on the shoulders of six senators who since June 17 have gathered — often twice a day, and for many hours at a stretch — in a conference room with burnt sienna walls, in the office of the Senate Finance Committee chairman, Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana.

    • Let’s face it, the post racial thingie just went belly up. Obama is more than likely is now facing a one term presidency, so he has NOTHING to loose, he should go for it; HR 676 Single Payer and be remembered as the President that got the country into Health Care with the other western countries.

      Just look at that grid, we spend 16% and have a crappier system! We have less beds, less doctors, and pay way more???? Don’t look now, but we have been robed and we are about to have our pockets emptied once again with this 1,000 + pages of HR 3200, which is filled with PORK and BULL.

      GO FOR IT…OBAMA…SUPPORT HR 676 Single Payer…76% of want a Public Option and it may lead to a re-election. Do the right thing, do right by the people, the little people that thought you would bring CHANGE!

  2. G-S Also known as Goldman-Sucks.

    When a huge company can manipulate the stock market — why on earth do the little folks WITHOUT the computer stock manipulation want to even play in the stock market??

    It is sort of like bidding on e-Bay when the other person is using that super duper software — or what ever.

    Oh — thanks for the stats showing that the US does not in fact have the “best” health care system in the world.

  3. Gates’ words are unintelligible, but his fury is unmistakable on the tape of Crowley radioing in

    Didn’t Mr Gates claim he never raised his voice?

    If the witness was unsure of the men’s race, how should Crowley have done anything different?

    • Gates said he had a bronchial infection so he couldn’t yell.

    • The rest of us will just continue to schlub along facing real problems with a handful of Mr. Salty’s and a twist-off cap Bud. burrp


      • The official White House beer should be Arrogant Bastard Ale.

        (it’s domestic too)

        • BTW, weather reports indicates that the El Portal area is cooling off a bit. If you had anything to do with that…my husband thanks you.

          We’re on our way tomorrow and really excited to see Yosemite and Napa Valley.

        • LOL, myiq.

          If they prefer red wine, they can stock “Il Bastardo.” It’s pretty good.

    • Yes, he was the little Ole Professor with the BIG MEANIE ROGUE COP, according to his version. Then the he went VERBAL POSTAL came out and it was ‘MAMA’ this, and ‘Woman’ that.

      Why is it that men use ‘women’, to launch verbal insults at others?

      • Because their claws come out when they’re feeling down and trying to boost their own appeal…oh nevermind, that’s what Obama said about Hillary.

        • It’s amazing how we are all supposed to worry about the instability of the female psyche due to our hormone fluctuations. How many men is it again that have offed themselves and their families during this recession and what was their excuse?

    • I think Gates is just realizing that he blew his ‘RACE RELATIONS EXPERT’ bit out the window with all his yelling and carrying on. AND YES MARTHA WE ALL KNOW WHO THE POLICEMAN MESSED WITH!

      Look at how many times Jesse Jackson has been arrested protesting and he never has GONE SKIPPY ( I heard that yesterday on the radio) on the police. Jesse has gone to other countries and come out with hostages without yelling.

      • I still don’t think Sgt. Crawley should have arrested him, but didn’t witness him following him and yelling and following the officer. Maybe there could be more instruction, on if you are told the police are leaving, another agency (police) is on their way, what do police officers do if the person continues to follow behind them yelling and doesn’t stop.

    • He shouldn’t have written that the caller told him 2 black men with back packs were breaking into a house in his police report, that’s how.
      Lucy Whalen and her attorney said that she saw two men, one who might be Hispanic, she wasn’t sure, who might live or work there since she saw two suitcases on the porch, and, that she never told Crowley the men she saw were black.

      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.”


      Did you hear yelling on the tape?

      • I like how last week Lucia Whalen was a race-profiler who should have seen a bunch of stuff and now she’s an unimpeachable source.

        Whatever she told the police dispatcher she was concerned enough to call 911. If Crowley didn’t know what race the men were he still would have encountered Gates and asked for his ID and Gates still would have flipped out.

        I really don’t see how this changes anything.

          • I didn’t hear any yelling on the tape.

          • SO MANY unanswered questions….when will we actually learn the facts as they occurred?

          • You can hear some thing, maybe a techie can help out, but the other two officers did and so did the neighbor that took the photo. I don’t think he should have been arrested, and frankly this whole mess is not going to help the problem of racial profiling.

            It also, didn’t help that Obama took Gates side. I have seen Chief’s of color that took complaints and didn’t have all the facts and said they would pull the tapes, look into it in detail and never once did they throw their men under the bus. I think this hurt Obama in his post racial campaign that he said he believed in and it has brought back the Rev. Wright issue back.

            If you look at the Racial Profiling Report, not one person behaved as Professor Gates and they were profiled and they did have racial comments directed at them. Another interesting thing is that Professor Gates never bothered with even reading the reports on the matter but now wants to make his experience the theme for it and in a documentary, which I think would only hurt not help. But then what do I know, I just worked on the issue and am a woman (BTW if you read the report women are in it, a point Donna Darko mentioned days ago…).

          • OOpsie, not awake yet, by men, I meant policemen and women. In other words, the Chief was never questioned and yes he was fair upon his findings and changes were made.

        • Whalen mentioned that a neighbor had pointed out the men on the porch to her, so I wonder if the police officer ended up speaking to the neighbor instead of Whalen (and just assumed he had spoken to the 911 caller).

          At times, I wonder how helpful all this second guessing and analysis without all the facts is. Many people had convinced themselves the caller had to be a r@C$st, and based on what she said, it was obvious she didn’t focus on race and gave the “gentlemen” the benefit of the doubt (saying stuff like they barged in through the door, but perhaps they were just having problems with their key).

          You know mistakes happen, everyone has a bad day (if Gates wasn’t feeling well, and had just flown home from China, perhaps the cops showing up after having to break down his front door pushed him over the edge). Perhaps all police are getting a little too quick to arrest people regardless of their race (there’s a nice youtube out there of grandma being tasered by a cop for mouthing off).

          Perhaps police still have problems with racial profiling, but perhaps this particular case doesn’t fall into that category. I think Gates got arrested not because he was African American, but because he was yelling insults at the cop in front of bystanders and fellow officers. He’s probably actually lucky they didn’t use a taser on him (not that they should have, but there seems to be a low threshold for taser use).

          • How do you know Gates was yelling insults? He says he didn’t, and that Crowley must have gotten the “your mama” line from an episode of Good Times. If Crowley lied in his CYA after the fact police report, what else might he have lied about?

            And, the difference between “two men who might live there and have suitcases on the porch,” is vastly different from “two black men with backpacks,” and Crowley knows that, I’m sure. So, why’d he write it that way?

          • At this point, based on the chit chat here I think there should be a grand jury hearing. That way everything comes out in the open and those that have not heard Professor Gates, say the officer should BEG him for forgiveness days later can have everything out in the open.

            It is bad enough Glen Beck is busy playing all of the videos of Gates, in what isn’t his finer moments in the late 90’s, but maybe we need to know all of this. I personally think it will hurt the issue of racial profiling and it will hurt race relations in general in the country.

          • Cinie,

            Do you believe that the three officers lied and the neighbor too?

          • WV,

            Listen to the tape. The caller didn’t say a thing about 2 black men or back packs: How did that get into Sgt Crowley’s report?
            Moreover, the woman says she never spoken to Crowley. What happened there?

            Did he make up parts of his report?

          • Okay, I don’t know for sure, and I admitted there’s limited benefit to all this analysis with out the facts. Based on the picture of Gates with his mouth wide open and the muffled sounds in the background of the recorded transmissions, along with the statements of those at the scene, it is my guess that he was upset, and upset people tend to raise their voices.

            Now, do I think he should have been arrested? No.

          • Moreover, the woman says she never spoken to Crowley.

            Whalen also says that Gates was screaming and that she doesn’t think the police acted inappropriately.

          • I was commenting on the yelling. However, caller said there was another lady there. Frankly, I think everyone is alarmed at the prospect of being called a racist and it is interesting that she now feels she needs a lawyer.

            I promise you, that from here on, when people call 911 and they are asked if the person is white, black, Hispanic, etc, they may well refuse and that may increase problems and increase the level of danger.

          • Myiq:

            The police report specifically states that the caller reported “two black males with backpacks”. Where did that come from? Certainly not from the caller.

          • I don’t know where he got it, but if you’re gonna believe her on one thing why not believe her on everything?

            The fact is she DID see two black men, so what exactly would be the point of him lying? She said “possibly Hispanic” and Gates is a light skinned black man. He is one of the two men she saw.

            Does the distinction between backpacks and suitcases make a big difference?

            “Nevermind, they had suitcases”

            If Crowley got every detail in the report exactly the same as Whalen says, what would he have done differently?

            He would still have gone to the door, still met Gates and still asked for his ID, and Gates would have still flipped out. Then Crowley would still have arrested him.

          • I myself think the arrest itself was marginally iffy, but not beyond the pale. Some think it was clearly an overstep.

            However, once this got blown up by Gates into a huge racial thing, we unfortunately lost any chance to have a “conversation on the proper powers of the police”. And that’s sad, because that’s the conversation that likely MOST needed to happen from this incident.

          • Myiq,

            You keep missing my point. I don’t know if it’s on purpose. I haven’t qualified the arrest one way or the other. It’s just clear that Sgt Crowley a couple of things that were untrue in the report. The article from tv NY Daily News I linked to speculates as to why. I haven’t accused the cop of anything other than erroneous “reporting”.

          • Whalen’s opinion about the arrest is just that, an opinion. Her version of the facts, that she did not report two black men (which is corroborated by the audio) and that she did not speak to Crowley at the scene are simple facts, not opinion. She may share Crowley’s opinion about the arrest, but she doesn’t confirm the facts he put in his police report.

        • Note the last line from the credo section on this site —
          I believe in privacy for citizens and the right to be left alone….their homes are sacrosanct and shouldn’t be searched without a warrant.

          • Even if a B&E has been reported, and the one person inside initially refuses to show ID, and grabs up to the phone to call that officer’s chief of police, screaming “Do you know who I am?”

            I suspect Skippie’s neighbors will not be so eager to call in B&E’s for him anymore, either, since everyone called them “racists.”

            Warrant THAT.

          • Police can enter a home if they have reason to believe a crime is in progress. That is not the same thing as a warrantless search. If Gates behavior was belligerent and suspicious from the time the officer came to the door, the officer was within his purview to follow him inside when he disappeared to go to the phone. At that point Crowley had no way of knowing what the hell the situation was.

          • IIRC, Gates didn’t “disappear” to go to the phone. He turned and went into the kitchen to get his wallet so he could show ID. He had entered through the back door and his stuff was still in the kitchen.

          • I think what brings me to think Crowley reallty thought he was talking to Whalem was the line in the police report,

            “I turned and looked in the direction of the voice and observed a white felmale, later identified as Lucia Whalen.”

            I’m not sure how this was determined who she was, but I at this point think that info was from the 911 call.

        • That’s because Crowley misidentified his witness. His police report is wrong on at least two facts: that Whalen identified two black males and that she spoke to him at the scene, Whalen denies both. People where questioning her behavior because of Crowley’s inaccurate report. Which leads to the next logical question: How many other facts did Crowley misremember?

          • I still keep wondering who the other person was that got Whalen to call in the first place. I also have to wonder if she talked to Crowley and since they could be heard on the 911 tape (IMO), it’s possible she felt she could identify herself as the person that called and didn’t give her name when talking to police. At that point though I have to wonder why that person wasn’t asked their name if they were in fact questioned by Crowley? It was Whalen that actually saw the suitcases, not the other person, (Whalen had to get closer to see them ) so whoever this other woman is (if this even happened) it may have looked like backpacks and they might have thought it was 2 black men and reported that to police. This makes some sense to me since Whalen said she would wait and Crowley I think believes that’s who he talked to. So far the tapes seem to bring more questions than answers..

    • I continue to be amazed and bewildered by how many people are willing to take bits and pieces of all the very contradictory information that has been released on this incident and pass judgment that is so certain, and unrelated to the actual issue.

      Crowley never should have arrested Gates. Crowley seems more motivated by being treated disrespectfully than any other possible factor. That’s the ONLY issue here.

      But, POTUS and Gates are going to make this a “teaching moment” against racial profiling. Talk about opportunists.

      I am well aware that being rude is not against the law. I just wonder why I’m supposed to have any respect for Gates when he chose to be disrespectful to a man who was there to make sure his self and property was not being damaged or stolen.

      Whalen needs to be invited to join them for an alcoholic beverage…’cause that’s where clearer minds can be found.

      • Given that Whalen said Skippie WAS screaming and that she didn’t disagree with his arrest, there may be a need for Skippie to apologize to several of his neighbors, who witnessed his behavior, and now view him differently.

      • As far as I’m concerned, unless Gates struck the officer then he should not have been arrested. So far, there has been no evidence whatsoever that this occurred. To the best of my knowledge, Gates didn’t even resist arrest. Crowley and the other officers, as well as the “witnesses” should have apologized for the false alarm and gone on their way.

  4. WTF?:

    Police arrested 19 people from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey and seized 150 birds in a house raid on an alleged bird-fighting operation. Most of the birds were saffron finches, which are small birds native to South America, and a few were canaries, officials said.

    Police said they made the arrests Sunday just as spectators had placed bets and were getting ready to watch the birds fight at a home in Shelton, just west of New Haven. Authorities say they seized $8,000 in alleged betting money.

    Authorities often deal with cock fighting, but police and animal experts said they had not heard of fighting involving finches and canaries before.

  5. “First, though politicians and commentators talk about the president’s plan, HE DOES NOT HAVE ONE. ”

    Thank you, Mr. Crook (that’s his name!), for finally saying it! I’ve been screaming this whenever I run into someone saying or writing “Obama’s plan”.

    During the primaries and general, he said “my plan”, “my plan”, “my plan”; then gets into office and informs us that he’s leaving the writing of health care reform to Congress.

    And the beat goes on…

  6. Stupid Harry and Louise on my tv.

  7. Glad you mentioned Afghanistan, today I remembered the other forgotten war

  8. Isn’t it grand how if you try hard enough you can create a study that shows coorelation and then argue causation?

    Poor people aren’t fat because they eat cheap processed food from cradle to grave. Nosiree. It’s because of public health care. Oh brother.

    I also enjoyed the study that says “hot” chicks have tons of kiddos, all female,of course. Geez Louise, those attractive chicks ought to be grateful to us productive plain janes since you need both genders to procreate and ensure the species survives and all(tongue firmly in cheek).

  9. PEJ News Coverage Index: July 20 – 26, 2009:
    “From Health Care to “Skip” Gates, Obama Makes Big News”



  10. Memeorandum appears to be non-functional this AM

  11. Two things here: can we please delete “a teachable moment” from the national vocabulary, like yesterday? What a condescending phrase. Sounds like we’re all third graders in need of (another) good talking to.

    As for health care, single payer variety – it’s dead as a doornail thanks to Barry’s complete lack of leadership skills (and good intentions).. This moment should be his Waterloo. The giant health care flop is exposing him for what he is: the Great Oz with the shiny curtain rudely yanked open.

    Oh, and Krugman: must’ve been some real potent Kool Aid the White House served up at that dinner. I’m completely disappointed in Krugman 2.0.

  12. Al Franken was ATTACKED at an airport recently.


  13. Robin Wells’ piece on Gates-gate is really good. Even better than I thought.

    If anyone here has done “Conflict Resolution”, s/he can give us his 2c on the matter.

    • I agree with Gates’ wife.

      But she believes too many people without sufficient information have already weighed in on the arrest. She declined to comment further.

      “Everybody who is not directly involved in this awful incident needs to step back. I just feel like too much is being said by people who weren’t involved,” Adams said.


    • I have, but when people are entrenched in their position and won’t see the other side it is difficult and frankly I think a grand jury hearing would be best as this is on everyone’s mind. Obama sure blew the post racial thing and he also blew his leadership by forgetting he was the Chief Law Enforcement Officer when he took sides with Gates, and that is why there are still many that don’t buy the beer thing.

      Glen Beck is having a field day with videos of Gates saying some not so nice things.

  14. GGGGGREAT news roundup – thank you!!

  15. I do not get why Robin Wells and all the others who are certain that Crowley is a bad cop and the true person at fault in Gates gate, insist that the trained cop must act more professionally in such a situation than someone who is supposedly a learned Harvard University professor in the field of race relations. That is itself a highly charged stereotype.

    • I’m so with you on this. For all the comments I’ve heard, and read, Gates make during his post-arrest interviews, how can anyone see this man as professional or dignified? What petty, nasty, childish things for a Harvard Professor to say.

      If he wanted me to believe he was a dignified man, calling the police officer names and acusing him of profiling (impossibility when responding to a call) was the wrong way to go about it.

  16. As for single payer, as much as I would like this dream to come true the bottom line is that the opposition to it in the congress is going to get hung up on the same petard that is hanging up what is happening now—Obama is not going there because the votes are not there and the votes are not there because of internal divisions in the Democratic party.

    What is so desperately missing to me in all of this is a real education of the American public about health care and particularly about the so called socialized programs of other countries. All that is tossed around by either side are vague generalities. I have seen three real pieces of info on this site that I think are important—the grid comparing health care at the top of today’s TC news round-up and the profile on health insurance profits and the salaries and bonuses paid to insurance CEO’s. The third was the clear and succinct post done by RD the other day on big pharma. And I have been really trying to figure out what is in the details. Has anyone read any of these bills?

    • Not me, but I watched a video of John Conyers making a speech yesterday……..when asked if HE had read the bill, he reponded:

      “Why should I read the bill if it has 1000 pages?”


      • HR 676 Single Payer is 23 pages long and has NO PORK or BULL in it! 😉

        • At the very, very least, can’t Obama demand congress product a UHC plan that is focused and void of any other topics? I think this is important enough.

  17. At the very least, DiGiovanni hopes to arrest a frightening trend: more than 50% of the buyers who have turned in leased GM vehicles in recent months have opted not to replace them. “It’s an astonishing figure,” he says.

    Cash for clunkers has worked very well in Italy over the past decade. Let’s hope it works in the US too.

    It also helped to reduce pollution.

  18. After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits a requirement for businesses to offer coverage to their workers and lacks a government insurance option that President Obama favors, according to numerous officials.

    WTF? Now he’s going to abandon the public option? Then what’s the point? Pathetic. Good thing we’ve got all both houses of Congress!

  19. William Shatner reads Palin’s Farewell speech on Conan O’Brian as a beat poet:


    • If Shatner reads Palin’s speech according to Huffpo it’s quite magical.

      If Palin does the same, its language makes little to no sense.

      Go figure-it’s HuffPo

  20. Gov. Deval Patrick stands by his comments on controversy

    Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday refused to apologize for calling the arrest of Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. “every black man’s nightmare,” saying he didn’t step out of line.

    “I’m not sure what I’m being asked to apologize for,” Patrick said.

    • It doesn’t matter, really. His hopenchange was bullshit, too, and he hasn’t delivered.

      His polls are tanking. Toast.

      (Although, I’d love to see him apologize)

  21. Gates tapes show confrontation, don’t answer question of blame

    With a man’s loud voice in the background, Crowley reported that “a gentleman who says he resides here’’ is being “uncooperative,’’ and, referring to other cruisers on the way to the scene, said to “keep the cars coming.’’ In a terse, matter-of-fact tone, he radioed that the man had identified himself as “a Henry Louis Gates.’’ Again, a man’s assertive voice is in the background of Crowley’s transmission. Then, as Crowley’s radio went silent, another officer calls for a wagon to take in the arrested scholar on charges of disorderly conduct.

    Brief snippets of a man’s voice can be heard in the background in three separate radio transmissions. What he says is difficult to make out, but he is speaking loudly and emphatically. At one point he appears to say, “I’m outraged.’’http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/07/28/gates_arrest_audio_indicates_race_was_not_factor_at_start/

  22. No single payer. No public option.
    What are they debating?

    What reform are we talking about here?

    • Reforming the stream of customers for the insurance companies, so as to make that supply pipeline constant and guaranteed? Sounds like it to me.

    • I will say it again, if Obama was the fighter of the people and put HR 676 Single Payer on the table and made it a reality he would seal his Presidency and many people there after would develop a positive opinion of him. Not to mention that it would be seem as his plan, and those very hopeful people would see that he actually came through and delivered.

      Thus far, the only people he has delivered for, are the POOR MILLIONAIRES via the Bail Out and they have their hands out for a second Stimulus Package. Most people haven’t seen any of the trickle down from the first and his support will soon begin to fade.

      When 76% of American wants a Public Option and President Obama doesn’t listen, well, he is charting his own course and it looks like he was not for the working class folks, it was just words.

      • But contrary to popular belief, Obama did not win the presidency based on small donors – but rather the Goldman-Sucks types.
        He’s already running for re-election now and will need a BIG bank roll from wealthy corporateers who oppose the public option.


    • The guys over at Hot Air are calling it “Fannie Med.”

      Pretty funny.

  23. Both times when healthcare reform failed in recent history, DEMOCRATS had comfortable majorities in both Houses of Congress. What does that tell us?

    • That they’re liars?

      That Edward Kennedy was head of the committee?

      • My question is when do they think they are going to have control of the Senate and Congress again and POTUS to get this through? Yup, they aren’t thinking that history is going to log them in as MISSING IN ACTION and they are not going to get a STAR for READING EITHER.

    • That it is impossible to gore a money cow in these United States. To have truly effective health-care reform, we would have to go up against some of the most profitable sectors of our economy–private insurers, Big Pharma, medical equipment suppliers, etc. And that would cause too much pain for Wall Street and the investor class. The Democrats appear to need the campaign donations from these sectors as much as Republicans do.

      So health-care reform is never going to happen unless people take to the streets to demand change–expecting Democrats to vote against powerful entrenched interests simply because it’s the right thing to do is a fool’s game.

      • To be fair, Big Pharma and medical equipment suppliers continue to make money under the national health. They just give kick backs to politicians to keep their clientele.

        It’s private insurers which become well nigh superfluous.

        Health Care continues-Private Insurance fades out.

        • Yes, well, you’re right that, of the industries I mentioned, private insurers are the most existentially threatened by any meaningful health care reform. But any serious attempts to control costs would also allow the government to bargain down the costs of prescription drug and avoid purchases of unneeded MRI machines and the like. So these industries have been fighting hard (and winning the battle it seems) to insure that any “reform” doesn’t affect their bottom line.

          As someone who is presently extremely grateful for the existence of MRI machines, pharmaceutical research, and the like, I don’t want to come down too hard on these industries. But both of these industries would probably become somewhat less profitable (albeit still quite sustainable) under any serious health care reform.

          • Living in a national health care paradise called Italy (According to SHV it’s number 2 after France) (and it’s the home of machine politics btw), I can assure you that Big Pharma and MRI machines made no losses but probably gained substantiallywith the national system.

            Paybacks from lobbyists start with the Ministry of Health, and work their way down the entire system to small local hospital administrators.

            However, even that way, it’s still far cheaper than a system based on private insurance.

          • I know just how wonderful your system is, and I’m green with envy. (although I’m being treated pretty darn well here in NYC right now, being one of the lucky ones with reasonable insurance). I’d heard that the U.S. spends more than any other country on prescriptions drugs, but I’m having the hardest time corroborating that as a fact–I do know that we spend on average twice as much for the same drugs as Canada does, because our government-run programs refuse to bargain down the costs of these drugs the way that other countries do. But I’m all for lots of money going to pharmaceutical research–I just think we need to develop a different funding model. And as to medical equipment, I did just now read that the U.S. has three times a many such machines per capita as the OECD average, so I still suspect that a more rational allocation of resources might lead to fewer purchases of such expensive equipment–at least that’s what several of my Manhattan doctors have told me (we have a helluva lot of MRI machines here in this city).

            So here’s to the Italian health care system–it works great and is still much less expensive than our screwed-up system.


      • Don’t forget what you said, when they appear at the microphones and in the media telling you Republicans are mean and icky.

        That may be true, but it’s not why reform didn’t happen.

  24. Is MAblue the same as Mablue2 or is that his wife?

    • It’s one and the same. I’m on my iPhone at the gym. (I’ll work out later, I frontloaded my break)

  25. I commented in a nest upthread, but want to expand on my thoughts:

    Another bad outcome over this is there will be no sane discussion over the powers of arresting officers.

    I myself think the arrest ITSELF was maybe marginally iffy, but not beyond the pale according to dept policy. Some think it was clearly an overstep, some think it was entirely and wholly justified.

    However, once this got blown up by Gates into a huge racial thing, we unfortunately lost any chance to have a “conversation on the proper powers of the police”, and to what degree “mouthing off and yelling” should be cause for detention. There are legitimate “keeping the public peace” arguments pro and con there, that have nothing to do with race..

    And that’s sad, because that’s the conversation that likely MOST needed to happen from this incident, but it won’t, because now it’s buried under a mountain of racial landmines.

    • Police have fired rubber bullets at protesters in a settlement in South Africa, who are demanding better living conditions.

    • I’m here to report that Real Clear Politics has an article from Jesse Jackson, in which he “volunteers” to lead that conversation.

      • I am OK with Jessie Jackson, when he comes out to our area he does good, and isn’t over the top and when he is wrong, he is big enough to say so. As far as I know he has never said anyone has ever had to beg him, like SKIP. Jesse also has Civil Rights creds, and has been there. I generally like Jesse.

        • I don’t want Jesse Jackson anywhere near that issue.

          • Why? You like Skip? What is wrong with Jesse?

          • I don’t see any videos of Jesse being used by the EXPLODING HEAD of Glen Beck, but he does have some of SKIPPY!

          • Believe me, you don’t want Jesse Jackson here. The whole thing is about to cool down.

          • I hope it does cool down, I hear that people out here are still pretty upset and saying they won’t vote for Obama again. I live in Obamaland, so that is pretty shocking to hear, and it appears they aren’t feeling the love either…via his lack of support for HR 676 Single Payer.

  26. ole jesse is good at that.lol

  27. We can have affordable, UHC . But we can’t have it AND insurance companies getting 30% of every dollar spent for the nothing they bring to the table

    So it’s one, or the other.

    Congress has chosen the companies.

  28. Stories like these make me want to take painkillers with cheap vodka:

    Blue Dog Democrats Reach Out To GOP “About Joining Forces To Slow” Health Care

    • If they are lining up to block HR 676 Single Payer, they will be DINO DOGs, Rabidly working against the WORKING PEOPLE! The majority of Americans aren’t millionaires, in fact they haven’t even been to college. Maybe they should just consider going over to the GOP and work with them on tearing apart MEDICARE (that is government run and the seniors will put of posters of them…MOST WANTED OUT OF OFFICE).

    • They’re against Obama’s FALSE health care reform. They wanna scrap this crappy bill and start over.

  29. Police: 8-Year-Old
    Gang-Raped by 4 Boys
    Girl’s Liberian family says she
    brought them shame

    Updated: Friday, 24 Jul 2009, 7:54 AM MDT
    Published : Wednesday, 22 Jul 2009, 4:33 PM MDT

    PHOENIX – Four boys between the ages of 9 and 14 are in police custody after they allegedly raped an 8-year-old girl.

    • Wow!

      What a horrible story. It takes your breath away.

      • Apparently rape was only outlawed in Liberia in 2006. Make me want to go and adopt the little girl. I don’t know if she will get an even brake at a good life, being stigmatized by the rapes. She should deserves an opportunity to live and thrive and to be educated. The latter may well be her ticket to Liberation and a good life.

  30. I signed up for morning briefing from Redstate and here is a list of folks they are targeting in addition to Blue Dogs on health care. Hopefully the “PROGRESSIVES” are on top of this. It appears they are going to lose the health care fight.

    We need to get them some tshirts that say “I elected Barack Obama and all I got was this lousy tshirt”

    Oh, here’s the list.

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