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    • What Would Chinese Democracy Look Like?
      A few months ago I read a couple of books by the Singaporean intellectual Kishore Mahbubani. In “Has China Already Won he discusses Taiwan. The one exceptional trigger for a war involving China is Taiwan. Most of the time, the Chinese leaders have a lot of policy flexibility. There are no strong domestic lobbies to worry about. But the one issue where the Ch […]
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Your Breakfast Read, Saturday Edition

Health Care Nightmare

Somebody please kill me now! I beg of thee.
Conrad says he won’t support the public option

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. presented his cooperative health care proposal here Thursday and told an audience of 100 that he would not vote for a government-run health care program.

McClatchy does an excellent job in this piece, although the whole picture is getting muddier by the day.
Who’s behind the attacks on a health care overhaul?

Much of the money and strategy behind the so-called grassroots groups organizing opposition to the Democrats’ health care plans comes from conservative political consultants, professional organizers and millionaires, some of whom hold financial stakes in the outcome.

If President Barack Obama and Congress extend health insurance coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for it, and limit insurers’ discretion on who they cover and what they charge, that could pinch these opponents.

The Brits have had enough of the Right-wing smears.
UK defends its healthcare

The US right has used the NHS as an example of the potential pitfalls facing President Barack Obama as he tries to push through a healthcare reform bill.

Some Republicans have ridiculed it as a bureaucratic and “Orwellian” system that often denies care to the elderly – with Sarah Palin, the former Republican presidential candidate, decrying it as “evil”.

But in Britain, where since 1948 all citizens have enjoyed free healthcare from birth to death, the attacks are widely seen as wrong and insulting.

U.K. Health System, Maligned in U.S., Draws Praise at Home

The rancorous U.S. health-care debate has hopped the Atlantic, with British politicians and citizens racing to defend the honor of the country’s National Health Service against perceived attacks from the Americans.

Obama Must Set ‘End Game’ for Health-Care Measure, Podesta Says

President Barack Obama must be more forceful in confronting health-care critics and take a clear position soon on crucial elements of the proposed legislation, said John Podesta, President Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff.

All Politics Is National

Oh I can help Newt here. 1) Is already happening. 2) I think she will get a gig on Fox News very soon. 3) I can see that happening. 4) Weeeell, I have a tough time seeing it, although she can deliver a speech. 6) That ain’t gonna happen. As gifted a retail politician as she is, Sarah Palin is simply not a “really, really hard” worker and by all objective accounts she lacks the discipline and prefers to wing it. 5) Ain’t gonna happen, see 6). I simply can’t see her seriously sinking her teeth in an issue, read 100s of documents about it, 1000s of pages. Life is way to easy if you can put up some thoughts on Facebook.
Newt Gingrich’s advice for a Sarah Palin comeback

1. Write a book.

2. Land a regular commentator slot on television.

3. Consider getting a condominium in New York or Washington.

4. Write and master three types of speeches.

5. Create some sort of national project or center.

6. Plan on working really, really hard.

The Big Dawg would be right if we only had a Democratic Congress with a super majority in both Houses. I’m afraid the current era will be filed under “What could have been”.
Bill Clinton: ‘New era of progressive politics’

Former President Bill Clinton told an audience of liberal online activists Thursday evening that the nation has “entered a new era of progressive politics” that could last for decades if Democrats can pass ambitious measures such as health care reform and climate change.

In a nearly hour-long keynote address to the fourth annual Netroots Nation convention in Pittsburgh, a gathering of roughly 1,500 progressive bloggers and activists, Clinton said the nation—and public opinion—has dramatically changed in the 16 years since he took office. But he noted that President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress needed the support of the online community to achieve their agenda.

Huh? Come on Bill! Don’t they have to give us something to support and not these watered-down bills they keep putting out?

This is not really a surprise, is it? You can’t punk all the suckers all the time.
Health Debate Fails to Ignite Obama’s Web

The grass-roots enthusiasm of the campaign has not carried over to efforts to overhaul the health care system.

Madam Secretary In Africa

Many have certainly missed the important groundwork Hillary Clinton did during her recent trip across Africa, especially because the dismal US media and many pundits are only interested in ridiculing or smearing whatever the Clintons do.
A stop-by-stop account of Clinton’s Africa trip

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton wraps up her whirlwind tour of Africa Friday, after logging 21,200 miles in 11 days. From massive oil-producing Nigeria to the tiny island-nation of Cape Verde, Secretary Clinton’s trip highlighted the many sides of the diverse continent. Her seven-country tour was as much about securing US interests in resource-heavy lands as it was about supporting African development.

Hillary Clinton Gets Her Message Out, the Hard Way

Despite Distractions, and Outbursts, Clinton’s Africa Trip Is Viewed as a Success

Photo Gallery: Hillary Clinton Visits Africa

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrapped up her 11-day tour of Africa with a brief stop in Cape Verde. The seven-nation trip was aimed at emphasizing the Obama administration’s interest in Africa, and Clinton pressed for good government and democratic reforms.

Around The Nation

What a sleaze bucket!
John Edwards is the Daddy

Who, you might ask, really cares at this point? Edwards is washed up politically, and most people assumed the 18-month-old girl is probably his kid.

But it seems to me that the man who put himself forth for last year’s Democratic presidential nomination — and who could have been vice president if Sen. John F. Kerry had won Ohio in 2004 — has now lied twice. First he denied the affair with his former campaign videographer. Then he acknowledged it in a “Nightline” interview but said the baby wasn’t his.

A lot of people believed in the guy and his “two Americas” message. Imagine the Democrats’ plight if he had won Iowa in 2008 instead of finishing second.

This is a good development. There’s nothing wrong with opposing the POTUS, but debasing the culture, inciting hatred should not be tolerated, at not sponsored.
Advertisers deserting Fox News’ Glenn Beck

In what is shaping up to be one of the more effective boycott campaigns in years, advertisers are abandoning the “Glenn Beck” show on Fox News following the host’s incendiary comments that President Barack Obama is a “racist” and has a “deep-seated hatred for white people.”

Economy Watch

How Goldman Sachs landed on top

While most of Wall Street melted down, Goldman Sachs only got stronger. Why?

There are some good signs but the worst is not completely over
Consumer Confidence in U.S. Declines on Job Losses, Inflation Is Contained

Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly fell in August as concern over jobs and wages grew.

These stories are not over yet?
Colonial BancGroup becomes biggest bank failure of 2009

Colonial BancGroup Inc. became the largest bank failure this year after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation seized the struggling Alabama-based lender Friday and sold it to BB&T Corp.

Is there a lesson here for us?
Millions, Billions, Trillions: Germany in the Era of Hyperinflation

During the hyperinflation in Germany of 1920s, the country’s currency, the mark, went crazy. The government of the Weimar Republic may have been able to clear its debts, but it came at the cost of the citizens’ savings. It’s an era that is still part of the national psyche today.

Op-ed Columns

US healthcare expenditure – the biggest waste of money in the world

America spends vastly more per head of population and as a percentage of GDP on healthcare than any other nation in the world (see accompanying bar chart), yet this fails to result in notably better life expectancy or quality of life for the US as a whole than other advanced nations that spend far less. Nor is this lack of value for money accounted for by the averaging down effect caused by the sizeable, uninsured minority that enjoys only sub-standard healthcare. American medicine, knowing that in the end it is the insurer that picks up the tab, has a tendency to apply the most extraordinary array of safety first, mainly unnecessary but hugely costly, tests and procedures to almost any condition. This enriches the medical profession and its support industries but is steadily bankrupting the nation and its corporations.

Healthcare paranoia is part of America’s culture war

“We want our country back,” is the refrain of many of the protesters who turn up to the rowdy town hall meetings that have become venues for “tea party” protests against the effort to impose “socialism”, “Nazism” or “big government liberalism” – take your pick – on America.

Some of the protesters, particularly the elderly, who already benefit from government largesse under Medicare, are worried about what will happen to their benefits. But by far the largest chunk know little about the proposed reforms and have no intention of rectifying their ignorance.

The US economy is still struggling

Is the worst over for the US economy? Some recent figures point that way, and much US economic commentary is growing cautiously optimistic. For the moment, though, the emphasis needs to stay on caution not optimism.

Certainly, the economy is levelling off: output is no longer in free-fall, and unemployment is no longer growing at post-war record rates. But it is unclear whether the bottom for output has quite been reached. Once it has, growth may be slow for some time. As for jobs, whatever happens, unemployment is likely to rise further before it falls back to more normal levels

The big question is “Will HE do it”. In this environment, I don’t even think the POTUS needs to be particularly courageous.
‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’: Retreating from a mistake

Momentum is building against the military policy. Obama should lead the charge.

Doctors shouldn’t shy from straight talk about death

WHEN key senators decided Thursday not to seek Medicare reimbursement for doctors who discuss end-of-life choices with their patients, it was a dispiriting defeat for political discourse in this country. A House bill would reimburse doctors for time spent advising patients on living wills and other options, but in the fevered imaginations of Sarah Palin and other diehard opponents of health reform this became a blueprint for a “death panel’’ that would pull the plug on ailing seniors. Unwilling to defend in raucous town halls a perfectly reasonable proposal to help Americans plan for their last days, senators are giving Palin an undeserved victory.

Around The World

Should we just get the Hell out of Afghanistan?
An Afghanistan Exit Strategy: Buying Off the Taliban?

By measure both of blood and of treasure, the war in Afghanistan is a costly business. To date, 782 U.S. troops have been killed there, and the conflict is costing Washington $4 billion a month. Is that a good investment? Some suggest it may be a lot more cost-effective to simply pay those currently earning their keep as gunmen for the Taliban to stay out of the fight.

Bomb Kills 4 Near NATO’s Afghan Headquarters

Five days before Afghanistan’s presidential election, a huge explosion rocked the diplomatic district of Kabul, the capital, Saturday morning, killing four civilians and wounding 91 other people, most of them on their way to work.

Clash Breaks Out Between Hamas, Splinter Group

Security forces and fighters of the ruling Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip battled for several hours Friday with gunmen from a splinter group advocating a strict form of Islamist law for the enclave.

Odds & Ends

Italian hotel mistakenly offers 1-cent weekend

You had to be quick, but what a deal.
A four-star hotel near Venice mistakenly offered the ultimate low-cost vacation — a romantic weekend in the Italian lagoon city for 1 euro cent.

Quiz:So you think you know alien movies?

Extraterrestrials are once again featured on the big screen with Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9.” Do you remember the aliens that have landed in theaters worldwide throughout the last several decades? Prove it. Test your knowledge of the films in which these otherworldly beings star.

Have a nice weekend!!!

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225 Responses

  1. Today is Italy’s August Bank Holiday (Ferragosto) traditionally spent at the beach.

    Ferragosto Viareggio 2005

    Anyway I wanted to post this bit of news from the BBC and the Guardian:
    Tories want end of bonus culture

    He told the Guardian that handing out big awards backed by state guarantees was “unacceptable”, even for banks that were not part-owned by the taxpayer.

    Such guarantees were meant to allow banks to rebuild balance sheets and aid lending, not reward bankers, he said.

    Mr Osborne also renewed his calls for a new financial regulatory system.

    “It is totally unacceptable for bank bonuses to be paid on the back of taxpayer guarantees,” he told the paper. “It must stop.”

    “These banks need to live in the real world, where the country’s in a deep recession, and where the taxpayer has spent billions of pounds, not just bailing out some failed banks, but also underpinning the rest of the banking system,” he continued.


    • UHHHH – Is that the quaint concept of logic?

      How old is that fool anyway? Logic is sooooo last century. Please tell the fool to stop showing his age. /snark

  2. Someone here encouraged us to read DailyHowler 8/14 – and it’s great!
    Specifically I learned that……
    >>>>>KRUGMAN (8/14/09): Sure enough, President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with

    Therefore, I conclude – the current opposition to health care reform can’t be connected to racism.

  3. >>>>Conrad said he would not vote for any health care reform that funded abortions, care for illegal immigrants or a plan that mandates end-of-life counseling.

    I thought all those had already been omitted.

  4. May you have a nice weekend too, mablue. 🙂

    Before I go back and explore the many stories and links, just wanted to put this in: I was looking for news about Cape Verde. 1) Hillary Clinton is there, and 2) so, it seems, is the hijacked-unhijacked freighter that then went missing in the English Canal!
    But look what I came up with, lol:

    “Cape Verdean Community welcomes President Obama to Martha’s Vineyard”

  5. Saturday, August 15, 2009; 7:21 AM

    YANGON, Myanmar — U.S. Sen. Jim Webb met with Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday, the first foreign official allowed to see her since the military junta sentenced her to 18 months of detention, witnesses said.
    Official sources said it was also “likely” that the regime would deport the American convicted along with Suu Kyi for violating the terms of her house arrest and hand him over to Webb.


  6. That ain’t gonna happen. As gifted a retail politician as she is, Sarah Palin is simply not a “really, really hard” worker and by all objective accounts she lacks the discipline and prefers to wing it. 5) Ain’t gonna happen, see 6). I simply can’t see her seriously sinking her teeth in an issue, read 100s of documents about it, 1000s of pages. Life is way to easy if you can put up some thoughts on Facebook.

    I think this is an unfair and inappropriate assessment of Sarah Palin, without citing any facts to back it up. Attack her politics if you like but calling her essentially a lazy, undisciplined, slacker fails to give her the credit she deserves for becoming a governor who was tremendously popular with her constituents, based no doubt on her performance in representing them, without the political connections so many others ride in on.

    • I’m going to have to agree with SOD. Sarah Palin may not be from Havard or some other intellectual institution famed for the brilliance of those they have set forth onto the world (Oh yes, that is sarcasm), but I can’t find a shred of evidence in anything that I have read that would indicate that she is/was lazy.

      Just because Alaska is almost at the top of the world doesn’t make the air so thin up there that the voting residents of the state are somehow lacking the intelligence necessary to make the decision of whom to vote for a beauty contest rather than a serious matter. For all intents and purposes the constituents voted for her and agreed with her prosecution of the State’s business, or she would not have been popular.

      It is also not Sarah Palin’s fault that the Columbia and Havard educated butt munch is a failure for seemingly the very reasons you cite that Palin is inadequate to the job. GEORGE BUSH was also a Havard man.

      The main reasons democrats are getting nowhere, is because they insist on believing that the rest of the voting public does not have the intellectual chops to make informed decisions. Republican does not equal evil or too-dumb-to-be-democrat.

      I’m sorry but this Palin shite angers me. What mistake has Palin made that is so much bigger than those made by democrats or any other politician.?

      • There are people who don’t like the nitty gritty stuff, who don’t don’t the patience for it or who are not cut for it, even among the “Columbia and Harvard educated”.

        • That may be so, but you have no evidence that she is such a person. Just because her conclusions may be different from yours does not mean she didn’t read it. We are all shaped by our experiences and our conclusions / understanding are largely based on that.

          • Why do you think all her strong supporters such as Bill Kristol (who created the Palin bandwagon) are suggesting she spends sometime doing her homework.

            This is starting to remind me of what I saw with Obama: There were always these people trying to tell me how brilliant he is and I kept saying “I don’t see it”.

          • I don’t see anyone arguing the “brilliance” of Sarah Palin. We’re addressing the characterization of her you chose. For some reason there is a strong disconnect between saying

            Sarah Palin is simply not a “really, really hard” worker and by all objective accounts she lacks the discipline and prefers to wing it.

            …and explaining it as “really meaning” she lacks depth on policy issues. One can attack her stated positions and clarity of understanding and explanation without attacking her character. However, specifics are in order such as Kat5’s description of her using the phrase “the creator” in discussion of abortion policy.

      • Lazy people do not run a successful commercial fishing business, complete with fish innards on their boots.

        As for her “mistake”–born female.

        • Oh please.

          That has nothing to do with working hard on the intricacies of policies.

          Btw, that “female” card is getting tiresome. You don’t want people to throw the race card each time something is said against Obama, do you?

          • Give me a break, please!!

            She is NOT lazy. The nerve to call a woman who has a fishing business with her husband (inside, when they were smoking the salmons, the heat was around 95 C (yes, celcius!)), lazy. Besides that, she ran the state, she was the mother of five, she kept fit. In fact, I am amazed at her energy.

            She certainly has the capacity to learn more on policy, that is, if the national media and phoney Harvard legacy grads let her.

            Democrats called Ford stupid, called Reagan stupid, called George H.W. out of touch, and George W. stupid (and I am NOT a fan of any of them. I am just catching up to the game.) You think they can think of something new and not play the same card.

            Funny, that the press doesn’t give a s–t about policy knowledge in the case of W. and makes cruel fun of Al Gore and Hillary Clinton for being nerds, but they are happy to savage Palin. Especially when you realize that whatever her faults, she is very authentic.

            There is her danger. She might not (at the moment) be a policy wonk, but she is authentic and a great retail politician. She needs gravitas. I am sure even if she doesn’t put all the work to it that you expect, she can reach the levels of both W. and Obama (both of them are BTW good at faking an answer when they know nothing.)

            It’s the same double standard again. The next woman president should be as knowledgable as Hillary, as unifying as mother Teresa, as folksy as Palin, and probably also know 5 languages and conduct herself very well in her manner and speech and temper …. (I am channeling Jane Austin). Yet, don’t be surprised if you get such a candidate, and ‘liberals’ and the press find either some trivial matter wrong with her, or find some know-nothing with a good baritone voice that gives them a ‘tingle’ in their leg.

    • With that I mean she’s not a policy wonk. She has never proven on be on top of ANY policy issue.

      I read a lot of really fair assessment of her and from Palin who mean well, on top of her public performance so far.

      • Sure, she may not be a policy wonk, although she may be on energy issues — she did have to go up against the big oil companies and so I can only make an assumption.
        Saying she’s not a policy wonk is a far cry from calling her lazy and undisciplined. That is the point I was making.

        • I based the last part from the report of people who worked with her.
          Btw people who know the Clintons very well and worked all say Bill is extremely brilliant but totally lacks discipline, unlike Hillary who’s smart but also extremely disciplined.

          I don’t mean “lazy” in the sense of someone who doesn’t want to lift the finger, but that she is not the type to get into the nitty gritty of issues. Some people just don’t like it or are totally unable to do it.

          Btw, I have a very good report on “knowledge of energy issues”. If I find it, I’ll email it to you.

        • from the report of people who worked with her.

          No doubt some of the people who have crawled out of the woodwork to malign her since the foray into nat’l politics. BTW, anyone can attack her on energy issue from a political perspective; however, her performance on behalf of her constituents is what I view as more important.

          • SoD,

            Why do you think even her most ardent supporters and boosters, male and female, have suggested she takes sometime to “seriously delve into National and international issues”.

            There’s no bigger Palin supporter than Bill Kristol (as I said he invented the Palin bandwagon), but even he made the same suggestion.

            Believe me, I didn’t consider the opinion of those whose only aim is to malign her.

            I agree w/ you on this:

            It’s not what they SAY anymore…It’s what the DO that is the key. That’s my personal measure. It may not be your cup o tea, but I’ll look at actions first from this point forward.

            That was my problem with Obama from the beginning. Even w/ Bush I wasn’t fooled.

          • and for the record, the only political “opinions” on Sarah’s abilities I care about at this point are Bill and Hillary’s. They have not insulted or demeaned Sarah at any juncture. That’s where I’m at. I”m taking their lead

          • MaBlue,

            Saying that she needs to brush up on nat’l policy issues (as Kristol did) is a far cry from calling her lazy and undisciplined. The former is good advice for anyone who seeks to move from a state to nat’l political office. The latter is a personal attack on her character.

      • In her own state she was very on top of the issues on hand. You don’t take on and beat the powers that be(THE OIL COMPANIES, INTRENCHED POLITICIANS OF ANY PARTY etc)by being a slacker and light weight intellectual. I believe you underestimate Sarah at your own risk.

      • The policy wonks are the ones who got us into the current mess. We need less “wonking” and more common sense.

    • Anyone who has worked a fishing boat on the frigid Alaskan seas is already about ‘really, really hard’ work, on top of running for office, successful governing, and raising children. Newt is a sexist, condescending idiot.

      • Bush was elected Gov of TX twice and POTUS twice.

        You think he’s a hard worker?

        AS I said, I mean on policy matters, which means the fact that he can mountain bike 100 miles doesn’t count.

        • Bush never HAD to work hard. The powers that be annointed him. Sarah on the other hand was never HANDED anything, she …gasp… worked to get where she is. I do not support her every policy but I do respect the fact that she HAS worked hard and made it where she is on her own. When you throw in the fact that she is female and has to overcome bias such as mablue throws out it is even more remarkable.

        • A man who made his fortune on his name and a woman who did well despite having naughty girlie parts. You’ll have to help us understand how the two are comparable.

        • Texas governors don’t do much, or “run” much, period. It’s the way our state is set up. Governor is almost a figurehead position. The Lt. Governor and even the Speaker of the House here out-rank the governor in real power.

          This is not the case in most states, including Alaska.

          • How often does the legislature in AK meet? This is a serious question because I don’t think they meet that often.

            I remember that Sarah Palin rarely went to Juneau.

          • One thing Rick Perry has done is transformed that quite a bit. He’s used appointment power and general power grabs to make himself the most powerful governor we’ve ever had.

            Of course, he’s been in office for 10 years but he has a much larger say over the state than governors have in the past. He needs to go. I’m urging a quiet crossover vote for Hutchison in the GOP primary. Otherwise, Good Hair will get 4 more years.

          • If I remember my Molly Ivins book Shrub correctly, the Commissioner of Railroads and Indian Affairs had more power.

        • One of the reasons Bush was elected Governor of Texas twice is that the Democrats in this state were and still are a miserable bunch of political weaklings, in many cases indistinguishable from Republicans. This is the party that nominated Tony Sanchez–a Bush Pioneer and megabanker–solely because he could finance his own campaign.

          Another reason for Bush’s election is that Texas is a weak-governor state. The Speaker of the House and Lt. Governor did all the heavy lifting for Shrub, and almost all of the light lifting. Rick Perry doesn’t have that kind of help, and the results have been gruesome.

          As for POTUS–no, he was not elected twice. He may have been elected once, in 2004, but in 2000 he was installed in the White House by the Bush family vassals on the Supreme Court.

          • but in 2000 he was installed in the White House by the Bush family vassals on the Supreme Court.

            Don’t forget the Press who savaged Gore and therefore made it close. And Donna B.’s inept management.

      • Exactly.

        Please point to the policy issues in Alaska she has never proven to be on top of.

        • Which policy does she have depth in?

        • energy, the environment… just because you do not agree with her doesn’t mean she has not shown depth.
          She also protected gay rights and nominated a pro-choice judge for supreme court because after looking at several candidates she decided that this woman was most qualified.

          • Slight correction: She didn’t nominate the pro choice judge, she appointed her. Both the choices nominated were pro choice, she could have sent them back as “unacceptable”, she didn’t.

      • MAblue2,

        Palin is a small business person and saying she is lazy is going on the attack on small business. Trust me, back peddle quick it is not a winning game, cuz small business is the little engine that makes the economy run. I don’t agree with her ‘Death Panels’ assessment but I am not going to call her lazy. I just spent a day with a two year old and was ready to bail. She ran her business with her husband, was in city council and looked after her kids. Lazy…hemmm…nah.

        Shhhh, don’t let the moms hear ya, cuz they will be all upset. Trust on this one.

    • I think that the people of Alaska were happy with Sarah Palin … until the print and broadcast media told them otherwise.
      Like when you were in elementary school, you had a friend nobody else liked so you dumped them and went with the majority.
      Before anybody takes offense, that is an editorial you.

  7. If it’s not a crime yet, one will be assigned for your activities: posting an Obama Joker poster

  8. Some, advertisers have left Glenn Beck. Notably Geico which is tied to Buffet. No surprise there.

    Undoubtedly he will have no trouble finding others given the popularity of his program. He buries his competition in his time slot. But that’s just stupid and crazy people I suppose.

    Personally I don’t like him much. That’s my right. I self censor my television with my dandy little remote control.

    If I could rid the air waves of those I don’t like, MSNBC would be without any one to put on the air. On the other hand I do watch Neil Cavuto, Shep Smith and Greta Van Susteren on FOX.

    I never applaud anyone trying to shut a voice up just because they don’t agree with what the voice is saying.

    Beck may well be over the top at times, but he’s no worse than the liberal voices of Olbermann, Maddow and Shultz.

    Oh and how about that Ed Shultz wishing for Cheney’s death? Think that’s almost as bad as calling Obama a racist? Think maybe his advertisers should leave?

    Or MIke Malloy for wishing that Beck would commit suicide on national television ? Mocking Beck’s family for having a history of suicide? If the all the voices spewing nonsense and lies were taken off the air-waves a great silence would reign over the land.

    And we would be free of the sound of politicians spewing their lies, distortion and plain old B.S. too!

    And what proof exactly is there that Sarah Palin is lazy? Your PDS is showing again, IMHO.

    • Nobody says Beck should be shut down, only there’s no one has to pay for his over the top craziness. Btw do you know how many companies had a boycott against Air America?

      Can ANYTHING be said against Palin without being classified under PDS? Have you ever had anything to say against any politician without having some “derangement syndrome”? This is getting ridiculous.

      • Unsubstantiated opinions can’t be said, e.g. she’s not a hard worker, without expecting some flack.

        Back up your statements or expect it to just be considered PDS.

      • mablue,

        It is what you are saying and how you are saying it that points to PDS. I enjoy your comments for the most part and agree with you usually. If you think Sarah is a slacker and lazy intellectually, give examples don’t just regurgitate the memes that are thrown out there. I respect your opinions but feel like you have lost it in regards to SP.

        • How many times am I going to say it?

          She hasn’t shown the command of ANY issue.

          I did not say that disqualifies her from running for office.

          • After all, Obama got elected, why not Sarah. It couldn’t be any worse.

          • mablue,

            A question to clarify this for me. Do you mean only national issues or even the issues she has addressed in Alaska?


            After BO-Bush I don’t think I will ever say it can’t be any worse. lol.

          • Leaving out Obama as an obvious industry shill, on what issues have certain vaunted Democratic politicians shown command?

            Say Nancy Pelosi? John Kerry? Gibberish Joe Biden?

            They’ve all talked about issues but have they shown command of them? Not one in the Clintonian sense. I do assume by command you mean real facts with formed opinions and not just the ability to spout conventional wisdom.

          • I think her grasp of energy politics in AK and what she accomplished there in redrafting payments and orchestrating a new pipeline agreement that favors the people of AK shows policy grasp.

            Sarah actually embraced and furthered the very socialist concept that the natural resources of the state belong to the people and if private enterprise is allowed to develop those resources for profit, then the people should benefit. Show me another politician who gets that.

          • native,

            I mean national and international issues.

            She’s no longer a Gov but remains a national player, which gives her the flexibility to jump on issues. But she has to show some depth, which she hasn’t.

          • You mean you exclude her actions and experience in Alaska?

            But count her facebook comments, when she is actually holding no public office?

          • Well, Palin accomplished something – “death panels”…AKA Living Wills are no longer in the health care bills.
            Although I support ALL adults having a Living Will – it’s not a biggie for health care bills and probably best that the distraction has been omitted.

          • She pwned ethics reform and energy policy in the state she was elected.

            You don’t have to agree with her to recognize that she accomplished her goals against opposition in both these areas.

            Let’s just not pretend that because you disagree with her that you can charecterize her as lazy.

          • Laurie


        • Just jumping in with my two cents! I’ve got to back-up Mablue2 here: if Sarah Palin jumped into the healthcare “debate” with nonsense disinformaton about death panels, I can only believe she hasn’t applied ANY rigorous discipline in getting the facts (or, she justs wants to further the lie for her party’s benefit).

          I had respect for SP, but that bit angered me tremendously, and my respect for her has dropped considerably.

          • She accomplished her objective and got the part of the bill that amounted to “death panels” struck. I’d say that’s pretty darn good.

            I disagree with her philosophically on the idea that private insurance doesn’t have its own set of death panels which are no better, otherwise I don’t see what she said as wrong.

          • No, it’s not “pretty darned good”! It’s “pretty darned dishonest” and makes me sick.

          • yeah, because no democrat would evah be hyperbolic to get what they want. No crying racist at every turn, or digging up bullshit old hits against the Clintons by the right wing and rolling them out for the 2008 primary.
            Your outrage is selective. This is politics and that measure didn’t belong in the bill.

          • My outrage is not selective: you falsely assume I don’t feel outrage about what was thrown out on both sides, and particularly against the Clintons. You don’t know anything about me, so you have no right to accuse me of “selective outrage”.

            And what Sarah Palin wrote on her Facebook page was nothing less than dumb; she’s going to be pilloried for this for years to come, and rightly so.

          • Btw, “death panels” or anything approaching that were NEVER EVER in the bill.

            I actually had to go and read the passage Betsy McCaughey lied about, again.

            Here’s the bill

            Go straight to p. 424 at 5 SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION.

            You can read until p.431.

            This is actually an old policy (from SS) that was just being improved. The physicians who take the time to counsel the families were supposed to be paid for that time.

            I read somewhere that the whole was actually costing money, ca $2.7 B, it wasn’t some cost cutting measure.

          • SoD,

            Sarah Palin quoted Section 1233.

            All that nonsense they got from Betsy McCaughey. She started with a completely mendacious piece on the stimulus but was so exposed that I thought she would disappear once for all.

            She just went back and re-loaded, this time to discover some hidden thinks in the HC bill, just like in 1993.

          • SoD;

            I sent you a question on your mail. Did you see it?

            Btw where is Sarah Palin getting the “death panel” from? Are these people just trying to force me to read all the 1000 pages?

          • Just a point, I think people are confusing the “death panels” comment with end of life counseling provisions struck. The “death panels” comment (right or wrong) was directed at the panel designated to decide coverage levels; the end of life counseling was the part that required seniors to discuss their “options” for end of life strategies with their docs every 6 months.

          • We can disagree with policy matters.

          • Again, I disagree with her characterization of them as “death panels.” But she’s trying to make a case about “rationing” care — wholly ignoring the fact that insurance companies have the same functioning “panels.”

          • I disagree with her strongly, and am glad that we are finally getting to criticize her on policy and politics.

            However, don’t forget that the matters of ‘living wills’ and end of life issues have always been contentious for democrats and republicans (Terry Schiavo, anyone?) My guess (and it’s only a guess) that democrats tried to quietly put it in, and GOP found something to jump on and get their base excited about.

            Sarah is just being a republican and a politician.

      • Yes, there is something to be said about Palin, not withstanding PDS. A couple of months ago she spoke at a anti- abortion rights forum where every other word that came out of her mouth was “the Creator”. That’s why I don’t care for her politically. Not because she’s stupid, slow, lazy, lacking policy or because Newt godd@mn Gingrich has a f@cking opinon about her because, frankly I really don’t give a sh!t about Newt god@mn Gingrich’s opinion about anything. Especially not about Sarah Palin.

    • Bravo Marge. I think Beck is a near nut case and I do not watch him but he is no worse than his counterparts on the left. I would like to see them all lose their sponsors at times. I actually heard Beck say of O’Reilly’s segment that he admires Bill Clinton—that he could not stand Bush 2. Amazing.

      I think Palin should get a condo in San Diego and run against Barbara Boxer.

      • Beck is a gasbag who likes to grandstand, but to give him credit, he DID rail against Bush a lot. He had big issues with FISA, with The Patriot Act, etc. He eviscerated Bush over TARP.

        Those who say he just carries water for the Republicans have mostly never watched him much. He’s actually closer to a libertarian than anything, not an R.

        He can be an ass, and goes over the top, but is not without his pertinent points. I don’t tune him in regularly, and sometimes change the channel if he’s being ridiculous, but I did watch him some when he was the only one on FOX beating up on Bush. Beck is a mixed bag, but he does cover some actual true stuff that no one else will.

        • People forget that he’s an entertainer like Rush, Savage and Hammity, of course he’s over the top. That’s what his viewers want.
          Media people aren’t dumb, they study what attracts viewers and air it.
          This is like argument about the Big Three automakers not building the small fuel efficient cars Americans wanted, except we didn’t. Big trucks and SUVs were selling, even Toyota, Nissan and Honda got in on the act. It was the huge spike in gas prices putting a pinch on lifestyles that woke people up, not the specter of oil depletion.

          • Beck is the Michael Moore of FOX. A big self-aggrandizer who goes for the drama in the most hyperbolic and attention-garnering way possible. Both pick and choose and slant and fudge the facts to fit their “expose”. But in the middle of the circus they create, both often have a legitimate point that no one else is speaking to.

            As long as you realize that they are attention-hogging, egotistical crusaders, with some actual true facts about real problems mixed in, you’re fine.

      • Oh damn Jangles,

        I think Palin should get a condo in San Diego and run against Barbara Boxer.

        that actually did make me laugh out loud. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

  9. Not sure about McClachky’s theory about conservatives’s reason to oppose healthcare. First of all, I doubt that a plan actually exists to provide insurance to more Americans, and to raise taxes on the rich. They would know it too – it’s just rhetoric to fool the base.
    I guess they are merely jockeying for political “I told you so”, come midterm elections.

    • Sounds right to me. Both parties elite want this bill because the insurance and pharm compaines want it . People are getting the parties bases, who do have differences, duke it out to help keep alive the an illusion we have a two party system in DC.

      Funny, but the Dem did squat for Bill’s heath care bill,
      except faintly agree with the GOP. Now I see them put themselves on the front line! I suggest it’s because of who is behind the current bill now .The very ones against Bill and Hill’s actual health care reform in ’93.

  10. I just do not get this whole idea and support for Doctors and “end of life counseling”. I think this is really wrong headed advice and I think dropping it is the right thing. I oppose it not so much because of the fear of undue influence etc but because this is not what Drs. are trained to do. Advance directives and living wills are not medical issues. They are legal issues that require legal counsel and appropriate legal documents. I am surprised that members of the medical profession would even think they are competent to advise patients in this area other than maybe to say—it is recommended that anyone 65 or over look at end of life issues that include financial and health care planning. You can get qualified counseling from an attorney, and/or a financial planner or from resources on line. I can not imagine a Dr. using a Dr. for his or her end of life planning.

    • You are absolutely correct, jangles. I have a living will, and it was drafted by my attorney. It’s the attorneys who are familiar with the laws–and each state’s laws are different. Here in Illinois, in order for your living will to be valid, your primary physician must be given a copy of the document. Certain things are allowed, and others are disallowed, by law, so having a doctor opine on these issues is moot.

      • As I understand it was to address the fact that many did not have the money nor the access to attorneys and frankly it is done in many states already. So, where was all the concern and why haven’t we heard about all the grannies being put to death? Cuz, that is not what Living Will/Health Directive do…plain as day, they actually protect you and give you, the patient more control. You could well, die, because you are not able to make decisions due to illness or accident and your designated advocate could make decisions to save your life.

        • The policy exist already. It was actually an improvement nad they physicians were to get paid for that time.

          I’ve posted the bill somewhere here, Just go tom pages 424 through 431.

          The PR battle was lost and Senators decided to take the short cut.

          Btw, are we going to also remove that provision from SS?

          • You know it is sad that seniors are being scared like this, when in fact, they don’t understand that it could well serve to save their lives. Having someone advocating for you when you are unable to is a live safer.

            I fell and my advocate turned up with me at the ER, informed them she was the designated person of authority and got me what I needed. I was busy throwing up, with blurred vision and feeling as though my head was going to explode ( I was in no condition to advocate on my behalf, I was in severe pain and unable to even stand). People don’t realize that accidents happen, illness happens, you don’t have to be at ‘The END OF LIFE’ to need one. BTW, the term ‘End of Life’ is so counterproductive to what the intent is.

            A good information tool ( in those senior commercials when they show seniors falling) is if the fellow could say, ‘I see Ann, your daughter is your Health Advocate, I will notify her to meet the ambulance at the hospital to assist with your care’. Now, I would sign up for that service, having had a fall, where I couldn’t get up, after I got out of the shower to answer the darn phone.

            MAblue2, I don’t think it would be good to remove it, from Social Security/Medicare, as they are being scared and I wouldn’t want some senior out there fending for themselves. I know, I have been left as the designated Advocate on four cases and the decisions I made were always in their best interest. It is sad to see people being scared and living in fear when the intent is the opposite.

        • It is very different from what docs and patients already do. Because the govt mandating that a conversation about end-of-life decisions MUST be had at set intervals is NOT the same thing as a patient or doctor initiating it of their own free will.

          If you can’t see that, I can’t help you.

    • I oppose it not so much because of the fear of undue influence etc but because this is not what Drs. are trained to do.

      Are you sure about that jangles?

      How about oncologists and others who treat terminally ill patients?

      • Also people trust their doctors more than lawyers. Doctors may be the ones to bring up the possible need for a will etc. They could then suggest their patients consult a lawyer to finalize their wishes. Most people and I include myself are not up to speed on end life issues. I would rather talk with my doctor first as I would be more comfortable with this. The doctor should get paid for his/her time in doing this.

      • An oncologist can certainly tell you what your medical options are and where you stand but I do not see them as estate planners—that is a waste of their time and outside the core of their training. I just know from my own experience in doing this work that it was legal expertise that was important, not medical knowledge. Like do you set up a revocable trust or irrevocable; living will or ???

        But you ask a good question so I am going to ask my doctors what they think of this.

        Can WMCB perhaps chime in on this.

        • If you want to do things like advance directives, which is basically picking and choosing what medical measures, if any, you want done under certain circumstances, then your doc is the one to talk to. Do you want feeding tubes? Do you want to go on a ventilator? Do you want a full cardiac code called if you arrest? What is “palliative care”? What exactly will and won’t be done for me if I sign this? Will I get an IV for fluids to keep me comfortable? Will I get pain relief? If I’m waiting to die from cancer because I’ve refused chemo, will I still get treated with antibiotics for, say, a UTI if I get one- for comfort’s sake? Those are all things a doc can help you with – explaining what the medical options are.

          But some of the stuff that was in that bill is NOT the purview of doctors. Things like choosing one or more family members to make decisions if you are incapacitated, how much power to give them, spelling out what constitutes “incapacitated”, medical powers of attorney, etc, are better discussed with a lawyer.

    • Why didn’t the call Hospice counseling? Everybody knows what that is. What a bunch of dimbulbs.

    • Well, I had the same thought. These are mostly legal issues that require a lawyer.

      Also, age 65 is rather arbitrary. Some people at 65 are going to live another 20 or 30 years. Many people do not make it to 65.

      There are a lot of more useful things that the government could be doing now to protect and help older people – such as enforcing regulations that already exist or putting in ones that are needed.

      For example, in California a person can have himself or herself declared a guardian for an elderly person without the person or their family even knowing. They then have control over finances and frequently take the person out of their home, put them in a facility and then take all of their money. It happens all the time.

  11. Mablue2-

    What proof or citations do you have for your statement that Sarah Palin is simply not a “really, really hard” worker?

    I give her credit for getting rid of that 1233 death panel stuff. She accomplished what no other conservative (Newt, Romney, Pawlenty, Jindal, McCain) could.

    You know, stereotyping people is intellectually the laziest thing. Now who is the lazy one?

  12. You know, I think Newt should mind his own damned business when it comes to Sarah. It’s soooooooo obvious he’s living in a “fairytale world of thinking i could be the next pres, hey Newt, it aint gonna happen darlin. Anyway, Speaking of brilliant folks check out what a dc airport agency is telling about some of our intelligent reps and aides we already have.

    A DC airport ticket agency offers some examples of ‘why’ our country is in trouble!

    1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman (Carol Shea-Porter) ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)

    2. I got a call from a Kansas Congressman’s (Moore) staffer (Howard Bauleke), who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, and then he interrupted me with, ”I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts .”
    Without trying to make him look stupid, I calmly explained, ”Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa ”
    his response — click.

    3. A senior Vermont Congressman (Bernie Sanders) called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando . He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried t o explain that’s not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state.

    He replied, ‘don’t lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!” (OMG)

    4. I got a call from a lawmaker’s wife (Landra Reid) who asked, ”Is it possible to see England from Canada?”
    I said, ”No.”
    She said, ”But they look so close on the map.” (OMG, again!)

    5. An aide for a cabinet member(Janet Napolitano) once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas . I pulled up the reservation and noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he=2 0said, ”I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time.” (Aghhhh)

    6. An Illinois Congresswoman (Jan Schakowsky) called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m., and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m.

    I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she couldn’t understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.

    7. A New York lawmaker, (Jerrold Nadler) called and asked, ”Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?” I said, ‘No, why do you ask?’
    he replied, ”Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I’m overweight. I think that’s very rude!”

    After putting him on hold for a minute, while I looked into it. (I was dying laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno, CA. is (FAT – Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on his luggage.

    8. A Senator John Kerry aide (Lindsay Ross) called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, ”Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?”

    9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman, Bobby Bright (D) fro m Ala who asked, ”How do I know which plane to get on?”

    I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, ”I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.”

    10. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) called and said, ”I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola , Florida. Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?”

    I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola , FL on a commuter plane.

    She said, ”Yeah, whatever, smarty!”

    11. Mary Landrieu (D) La. Senator called and had a question about the documents she needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded her that she needed a visa. ‘Oh, no I don’t. I’ve been to China many times and never had to have one of those.”

    I double checked and sure enough, her stay required a visa. When I told her this she said, ”Look, I’ve been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!”

    12. A New Jersey Congressman (John Adler) called to make reservations, ”I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York.”

    I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, ”Are you sure that’s the name of the town?”

    ‘Yes, what flights do you have?” replied the man.

    After some searching, I came back with, ”I’m sorry, sir, I’ve looked up every airport code in th e country and can’t find a rhino anywhere.”

    ”The man retorted, ”Oh, don’t be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!”

    So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, ”You don’t mean Buffalo, do you?”

    The reply? ”Whatever! I knew it was a big animal.”

    Now you know why the Government is in the shape that it’s in! Could anyone be this DUMB?


  13. A quote from one of the stories:

    Some of the protesters, particularly the elderly, who already benefit from government largesse under Medicare, are worried about what will happen to their benefits. But by far the largest chunk know little about the proposed reforms and have no intention of rectifying their ignorance.

    Two points:

    1. Are the elderly cat food eaters or rich and affluent? Democrats love to call them the former when they’re out of power, and the latter when they’re in power.

    2. I read my newspaper. Pertaining to Medicare, the Seattle Times use the word CUTS to describe what will happen. If I were 65+, I’d be shaking in my shoes at that very thought. Calling their concern “ignorance” is just plain nasty.

    3. Demonizing elderly does not help Democrats, and it certainly doesn’t do so in my eyes.

  14. Palin really is a hard worker. She’s very good at policy, too. She may not be quite the policy wonk Hillary is, but Hillary is exceptional when it comes to policy.

    With two little words posted on a facebook page, Palin managed to sum up what has been bothering people about health care. She has her finger on the pulse of America, she knows what people are feeling. For good reason, people don’t trust their government. It’s Obama and the Dems job to show people the system of checks and balances that will protect them from being left at the mercy of bureaucrats. I don’t know about anybody else, but I sure didn’t like congress diagnosing Terry Schiavo from the house floor. I don’t want to see that type of behavior in a universal health care plan either.

    • She hasn’t been in politics as long as Hillary either. Even quick learners often need some sort of learning curve.

      I chalk the snide remarks up to “concern” that Sarah Palin is a very viable opponent to the Dems. Once upon I time I would have cared, too bad they threw out my vote in 2008. Now I’m happily independant.

  15. I’m not trying to provoke a fight but I’m honestly confused. All this defense of Sarah Palin as smart and a really hard worker and no one mentions the fact that Palin quit her postition as Alaska ‘s governor with one and half years left to go.
    What else do we need to know?

    • You could start with the reason for doing it. Which made sense to me, but then again I took her speech at face value.

      If the speech wasn’t understood, that’s not her fault.

      • Compare Obama and Palin and it’s easy to see that he is smarter (or has better advisers) … but less trustworthy.

    • I call the early quit ambition. She wanted to strike while the iron was hot.

      She’s a lot of things. I don’t think “lazy” is one of them.

    • One word….



    • She was hounded. When was the last vice presidential nominee who lost harassed like she was? Name one.

      • Dan Quayle.

        • Quayle won

        • He did not get the venom that she has. I was the one of the ones flinging insults, so I know. He did get picked on pretty bad during the campaign, but after he lost? There were not dozens of endless front page editorials and talking heads still raking him over the coals six months later. There was the occasional joke when his name came up.

          I saw a Dem spokesperson yesterday practically frothing at the mouth yesterday, going on and on about Sarah, saying he expected to “see her soon on VH-1 dating Flavor Flav”

          Got it? The venom of “she’s a stupid slut cunt!!!” crap is not what was done to Quayle. No one, obliquely or otherwise, suggested that he was pretty much good for fucking and not much else. Because you don’t do that to men. But that is PRECISELY the tone that much of the Palin hatred takes.

          Men are bumbling buffoons if they are accused of being dumb, but you LAUGH at them, you don’t get furiously ANGRY that they have dared to be stupid in public.

      • How many lawsuits were filed against Quayle?

    • I need to know lots of things. You apparently need to know little as long as you have sippy cup talking points from the blogger boyz blogs to type in to comment fields.

      • {loud applause}

      • That’s offensive and unnecessary.

      • The truth is that Palin has bad policy positions and looks like a flake for quitting in the middle of her first term.
        If I repeat talking points from the blogger boyz, how come they called me a bitter, knitting racist b*tch all through the primaries?

        • That’s your opinion and you’re certainly entitled to it. It isn’t the opinion of others though and they are just as entitled to voice their opinion as you are allowed yours.

          Frankly, I LIKE that she vetoed a bill that discriminated against gays. I like that she was not so partisan that she would actually put a pro choice justice on the bench. I like that her funding priorities were low income health care and education when she went back to her state. You are certainly entitled to call those “bad policy” though if you like.

  16. This whole banking thing ticks me off – good article on Colonial, mablue.

    There are more of these banks in the pipeline. NONE of them should have been allowed to get in this state. The regulators are supposed to swoop in and close them BEFORE they reach a point of being that far underwater. They’ve been turning a blind eye to the accounting games and fraud for TWO FREAKING YEARS.

    They knew damn well that these banks didn’t have the assets to back up all their liabilities. And they have deliberately let it go on, and the losses get bigger and bigger. So now it’s on the taxpayers backs, since Colonial will pretty much WIPE OUT what’s left of the FDIC insurance fund.

    That means when the rest of the bad banks start going under (and they will), the FDIC has to go to the Treasury for more funds. MORE DEFICITS for us and our great grandchildren to pay off.

    They are stealing us blind, committing ACCOUNTING FRAUD that we end up holding the bag for, and all the “financial news” can talk about is how well the stock market is doing. We are all Bernie Madoff patsies now.

    • Elizabeth Warren has been everywhere talking about this issue. She says small and large banks did not use the bailout money to take care of their bad assets. She says it’s possible they’ll come back for another bailout.

  17. Hey, MA, this is kinda like Your BreakFast Read: Bleak Edition … can I expatriate now?

    oy,oy, oy

  18. This is a very smart move by a challenger. Democratic member of congress cancels town hall meeting, GOP challenger schedules same time/location and both sides get heard.


    • The Dems are going to lose big if they keep running away from their constituents, no matter HOW angry or “uninformed” those constituents are.

      I know I keep saying this, but I simply cannot believe the sheer political stupidity of many of the decisions they are making. It boggles the mind.

    • SORRY

      I did not realise that you posted this link and I posted it again a few minutes later.

      Great minds think alike?



  19. “Healthcare paranoia is part of America’s culture war”

    What we supporting or not supporting in regards to health care?? That’s one problem. I’d love to see Canada or France’s health care system in the US, but that’s not what is being proposed. I’d love to see universal single payer health care, but that’s not what is being proposed, either.

    What opponents of the plan are afraid of is being stuck waiting in line at a free clinic somewhere or being trapped on medicaid waiting for your appeal for care to go thru. Or left sitting for days in a VA hospital while the paperwork gets processed. That is what government care in the US often looks like for those who are left totally dependent on the Gov. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it often is, especially when the Gov is providing health care to the poor.

    When these realities are denied, people can feel the deception going on and they are even less likely to trust their government. Obama and the Dems need to communicate to people that there will be a system of checks and balances in place. People want the kind of care that congress receives, not the kind of care that they have often seen delivered to the poor.

    You cannot propose a vague plan, flip flop around, call critics names like “stupid” and “un-American” and than accuse people of being paranoid. This isn’t a culture war at all, Americans have a long history of not trusting their government and for good reason. Anyone trying to propose government run health care needs to address these concerns.

    • The newest meme and talking point is: “These idiots don’t even know what they are protesting, since there is no final bill yet – har har! What rubes – if they were smart like us, they’d wait until it was all ironed out before they opened their mouths.”

      Um…. but the Democrats have been out there pushing for support for the same “non-existent” bill. And they had every intention of pushing a “non-existent” bill through in TWO WEEKS, before Congress recessed, and would have done so if the People had not raised a stink.

      So for the Dems to be coming out now tut-tutting over the “rush to uninformed judgement” of the protestors is so transparently deceptive as to be laughable. Funny that a month ago they wanted that same “uninformed” plan pushed right through in a big hurry.

      Keep thinking and saying the people are stupid, Democrats. Keep it up. Keep bamboozling up there on your high horse. You are only digging a hole for yourself. Even uneducated hillbillies can smell a con job from a mile away. Sometimes especially them.

      • That’s a Brit who has been following the whole stuff going on.

        You have to acknowledge that there’s something strange going on in our country with UHC.

        The whole things starts in 1912.

        • Link? And why 1912?

          • thx!

          • ps-have you changed your icon? I get a different man on another browser.

          • Laurie:

            I’ve changed to Hank Paulson looking like Waldo.

            It’s strange that you have it already. I’m on my PC and I still have the old icon. I’ll see if I get the new gravatar on the Mac.

          • From your link-this gives me hope, it took Lyndon B. a YEAR, with all his undoubted skills, to get Medicare enacted.

            Lyndon B. Johnson did, but even with his legendary legislative skills and the overwhelming Democratic majorities in Congress after the 1964 elections, it took more than a year of hard, sometimes arm-bending persuasion to get Medicare enacted. It was a hard sell with conservative Democrats, not unlike the problem Obama faces now.

            That one major victory for government health insurance was an exception to the pattern of starting each attempt from scratch instead of evolving it from what had gone before. When Johnson signed the Medicare bill in 1965 and gave Truman card No. 1, he traveled to Independence, Mo., to share “this moment of triumph” with the president who had first proposed it 20 years before.

      • 54% now say passing nothing is beffer than passing the congressional plans. Great sales job they’re doing.


        From Glenn Reynolds, Hmm. So it’s like this:

        Obama: I’m going to turn healthcare upside down. Not sure how.

        People: I don’t think I’ll like this.

        Obama: Haters!

        • LOL! Perfect synopsis!

        • That 54 percent number will probably grow larger in the coming weeks. The important messages here are: a) better to pass nothing at all than another thousand-something page, largely unread jumble filled with negative consequences, of both the thinly veiled and unintended varieties; and b) THERE IS NO PLAN, certainly nothing coherent and explainable in simple terms by the likes of an FDR or LBJ. How long did it take for Medicare to be passed? How many pages did it take to outline the legislation? Is anyone even bothering to ask the latter questions?

          • well said. If they really want to pass some reform, they could. But if they want to pass a 900 billion bailout for insurance compaines and big pharma , and pass it off as reform , you need thousand-plus page bucket of bullshit. People cam smell bullshit , even if they can’t articulate it’s” nuances ” .

          • Don’t know about Medicare but the entire Canada Health Act was less than 20 pages long.

            And on that whole death panel BS. The problem with some government health systems is not that they pull the plug on Grandma. It’s that Grandma has a hell of a time getting plugged in in the first place. The only way to “control costs” is to restrict access to treatment, and the easiest people to deny treatment to are the oldsters. Don’t worry, it’s all very scientific.

            The source for most of the actual concerns being spoken of by Palin and others is an interview with Obama in the NYT back in April, 09.

            He spoke about the appropriateness of some treatments for the elderly, such as the knew his own Grandmother had replaced not too long before she died. He was very concerned about these costs and spoke of the government panel which would be set up to deal with cutting them.

            Not exactly a death panel, but close enough for guvmint work.

          • Ralph,

            The debate is not about what Obama may have said in an interview but about what is supposed to be IN the bill.

            For someone who has received so many accolades for his oratorical super skills, Obama has done a horrible sales job on this bill. Anytime he goes out there, he ends up saying something that could damage the bill.

            I observed during the primaries that Obama had a high tendency to commit verbal snafus when under pressure. The poor sales job he’s doing doesn’t really surprise me.

        • Replace “haters” with Racists and it’s more accurate.

    • but but but it worked for Bush on Iraq.

      I swear these guys are following the same failing Republican playbook that cost the GOP first the Congress and then the Presidency.


  20. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204409904574350400852801602.html

    a very good question. Just who is dumb?



  21. http://www.gilacourier.com/?p=3135

    Democrats are their own worst enemy. They do not need any help being stupid.



    • Dems really are they’re own worst enemy!

      Here’s a collection of Obama words on health care:

      Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller……….you just get into some very difficult moral issues” when considering whether “to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement ……….do you really need your kid’s tonsils out or whether it might make more sense just to change; maybe they have allergies…..

      Than he scratches his head and wonders why people are freaking out about rationed health care. Oh brother.

      • Any politician that refused to talk to the people who vote for her and then lets the opposition out play her is stupid.



      • Well, an important question is WHO DECIDES whether you take an aspirin or have surgery?

        Yes, sometimes surgery is not recommended. That is not the point.

  22. Heh

    Yeah I’m sure taking care of five children and running a friggin state doesn’t constitute “hard work”

    Way to be objective! You keep plugging along with maligning her though. I’m sure that when the GOP picks someone like Jindal orRomney, he’ll be infinitely better than her(LOL) in the WH when the idjit we have in there now loses as he seems inclined to do.

    • mablue2, on August 15th, 2009 at 8:54 am Said: Edit Comment

      Bush was elected Gov of TX twice and POTUS twice.

      You think he’s a hard worker?

      AS I said, I mean on policy matters, which means the fact that he can mountain bike 100 miles doesn’t count.

      • I’d comment but if you go above you can get all sorts of commentary and I was not aware that Bush juggled FIVE children while governor of Texas.

        At least read before spamming me with BS.

        • Sorry if I cut and paste my own comments. It’s just that I’ve responded to all those accusation and have brought some clarifications over and over again on this thread.

          I don’t mean “lazy” in the sense of someone who doesn’t want to lift the finger, but that she is not the type to get into the nitty gritty of issues. Some people just don’t like it or are totally unable to do it.

          • She got into the nitty gritty in both energy policy and ethics reform. She evidently has one upped a good portion of Congress by actually reading the bills that are sent to her and knowing the State Consitution she was sworn in to uphold.(She her opposition to the bill that would have discriminated against gays). There are many places I disagree with her but I would not charecterize her as lazy intellectually or otherwise.

            Furthermore considering she’s only been on the national scene for about a year I think it is unfair to compare her to someone who has been on the national scene for years(Of course, she’ll come up short against Clinton who has had over a decade to carefully explore policy issues and objectives.

            All in all I think you sell her short and I think it is short sighted to do so. If I have to see a Republican in office(and it is looking like we might) I’d much rather it be one who occasionally shows sense( see where she went back to her state and put money into health care and education or where she appointed a pro choice judge rather than grandstanded or where she struck down a bill that discriminated against gay couples) to someone batst!t crazy.

  23. I’m stuck in Spammy. I used some very bad language about sarah upthread, in describing the media’s attitude toward her.

    (Please note, my friend mablue, that I am not saying you hold those views AT ALL. I know better.)

    • I didn’t ask Spammy to take care of you.

      Lemme check.

      • It was under the Dan Quayle comments. If you think it’s too harsh and too bluntly explicit, then leave it in spam. I won’t be offended. 🙂

        Gotta run shortly, but wanted to say that I do understand where you are coming from in that Sarah is not a broad policy wonk on national issues. She was busy tending to Alaska, and focused on that. She did demonstrate a real acuity in issues affecting her state, though. Not the absolute smartest cookie on the block, but no stupider or lazier than 3/4 of the politicians on both sides, IMO.

        • Although you unjustly accuse me of obliquely calling Palin dumb, I don’t really have a problem with the comment.

          I just don’t know how to free comments from Spammy. I hope DK or anyone else who knows how that works will do it.

  24. http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/15/sestak-wipes-out-specter-at-netroots-nation-straw-poll/

    Good bye Arlen !!!!!!!!!!



    • Didn’t John Edwards consistently win the Nutroots Starw poll?

      • Not the only poll showing Arlen going down big time.



  25. http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/13/major-garrett-grills-gibbs-why-are-people-getting-unsolicited-e-mails-from-david-axelrod-about-health-care/

    Where did the e-mail addresses come from?



  26. http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=335143109362016

    This fits in with the e-mail address question.



    • IBD editorial?

      Didn’t these guys just made complete imbeciles out of themselves? They have ZERO credibility, even on what the weather looks like outside.

      • they are just reprinting the e-mail sent out by Axlerod..
        I try to listen to what both sides say so I can make a informed decisions. 1st rule of war know your enemy.



      • LOL! true

      • I reckon they have as much credibility as any of the fauxgressive creative class “cough” blogs these days. of course, it would be hard to go lower than zero.

  27. The uproar over the e-mails and health care and the name calling by democrats of voters is not helping the country. I have never felt such distrust of my government. I had presidents that I did not agree with and would never vote for but never one that I really felt would hurt the country. Every day the people of this country are hurting due to job loss , housing problems, and uncertainty and this government is making it worse but not putting out good bills or ideas. Todays congress is a sick joke owned and operated by corporations. The president knows very little about the American people and is unwilling to learn. He is in office for the bennies not the work. Both parties suck big time. I do not have answers just questions but if enough people ask maybe someone will come up with some good answers.



  28. For those who want me to document Sarah Palin’s lack of discipline and willingness to work “really, really hard”:

    May I give you her own resignation speech? Not only was it poorly written, she even got her historical facts about AK’s and US history wrong.

    How embarrassing is that?

    This is your big moment, the entire nation is watching, you come up with a poorly written speech and you gets facts about the State you are governing wrong. Did she just wing the speech?

    • Just saying…

      • That’s not my point. I wasn’t questioning her education.

        I she had taken the time to write her speech, go over some historical facts she brought up, she would have caught it.

        At a much level level, that’s what happens with comments here. When you re-read your own comment, you thinks to yourself how did I write so poorly?

      • So you are saying she needs a teleprompter to be taken seriously ? Cause that’s all Obama has going for him. He needs one if he asks his daughters how was school today . /snark

        I don’t think Palin’s the greatest thing since sliced moose…but I’m tired of the bar being so much higher for her than anyone else ( besides the Clinton’s of course)

        • She needs to take the time to properly write her speech, seek all the help she may need with that, and for heaven’s sake not get her facts wrong, especially when she’s talking about the history of the state she’s running and the history of the country.

          • look I agree, that’s the ideal of course. But Obama says there are 57 states and Selma got him born , four years before it happened,….then we have to hear in the media about how brilliant he is…lol!

          • Nice job debating a straw man.

          • Palin isn’t in power. The Democrats are.

            And, Palin is still politically young, so we’ll see what happens there.

            The Democrats had 16 years to ‘prepare’ for the second battle over healthcare and this is the best they could do?

          • Since I don’t take one word you say at face value, please point out each and every inaccuracy in her speech. At least provide a link where someone does it for you.

          • That said, I don’t expect Palin to become a wonk (it doesn’t seem to be what she wants to do)

          • Ralph

            For your own amusement, find what’s wrong in the following passage:

            We were purchased as a territory because a member of President Abe Lincoln’s cabinet, William Seward, providentially saw in this great land, vast riches, beauty, strategic placement on the globe, and opportunity.

            That is from Palin’s speech and it is painful.

          • I’m sorry but I can’t find anything wrong in this speech.

            From Wikipedia:
            William Henry Seward, Sr. (May 16, 1801 – October 10, 1872) was a Governor of New York, United States Senator and the United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson….
            On the night of Lincoln’s assassination, he survived an attempt on his life in the conspirators’ effort to decapitate the Union government. As Johnson’s Secretary of State, he engineered the purchase of Alaska from Russia in an act that was ridiculed at the time as “Seward’s Folly,” but which exemplified his character.

          • From another source:

            Seward had wanted to buy Alaska for a long time. Alaska is so large that the addition of this land would increase the size of the U.S. by nearly 20 percent. Russia had established a presence in Alaska in the early 18th century and offered to sell it to the United States during President James Buchanan’s administration. But the Civil War stalled negotiations. After the war, it was not easy for Seward to convince the Senate that Alaska would be an important addition to the United States. The Senate ratified the treaty that approved the purchase by just one vote.


            There is also a Seward’s day public holiday in Alaska.

          • Just to clarify things Seward had been interested in Alaska for a long time:
            Seward had wanted to buy Alaska for a long time. Alaska is so large that the addition of this land would increase the size of the U.S. by nearly 20 percent. Russia had established a presence in Alaska in the early 18th century and offered to sell it to the United States during President James Buchanan’s administration. But the Civil War stalled negotiations. After the war, it was not easy for Seward to convince the Senate that Alaska would be an important addition to the United States. The Senate ratified the treaty that approved the purchase by just one vote.


          • Seward had his eyes on British Columbia, that’s how he ended up securing the Alaska Purchase, but he didn’t secure it under Lincoln’s admin, he secured it under Johnson’s.

          • I know Wonk, but she didn’t say it was purchased under Lincoln’s administration. What she said was that Seward, who was also Lincoln’s SoS, saw immense opportunity, and strategic placement in Alaska.

          • Laurie, I understood she wasn’t saying it even before you pointed it out, but I think what this is a case of is Dems not believing Palin is capable of that much nuance.

          • There is nothing wrong with what she said. Alaska WAS purchased because Seward, who had previously a member of Lincoln’s cabinet, saw opportunity there.

            How the hell is that “painful”? Because she didn’t specify that at the time the purchase was made, Seward was no longer a cabinet member?

            Jesus H. Christ, i know of NO POLITICIAN who has been held to that kind of nit-picky standard, ever.

            Calling that some massive blunder is ridiculous. Unless, of course, you have already decided Sarah is stupid, and are desperately searching for something to prove your “point”.

          • Unless, of course, you have already decided Sarah is stupid, and are desperately searching for something to prove your “point”.

            Have I called her “stupid” once?

            You guys are really reminding me of Obots and it’s getting disturbing.

            Sarah Palin can do no wrong, she has no faults, any criticism of her is because she’s black a woman, there’s something great in everything she does, and so on…

          • I never thought Palin’s speech was as bad as the elites made it out to be. Palin has a Truwoman-esque appeal, and her “winging it” plays to that. I understood the points she was making. Unfortunately, I’m not the type of person she needs to communicate those points to, since I won’t ever agree with her politically on much as long as she tacks more to the right than to the center (and I fully expect her to tack more to the right).

          • I’ve criticized Palin here before. I got a lot of negative response at first, but I also got some positive response later on.

    • I don’t think Palin is that relevant anymore. She has left political office (probably for good) and she will be nothing more than a talking head making millions of dollars. I disagree with her politics but I don’t dislike her. I’m sort of apathetic and will defend her when she is attacked for stupid stuff like her fashion, winking, accent, etc. She earned her title as governor. It was a mistake for her to quit if she does in fact want to run for president someday. I don’t think she wants to though so her decision might’ve been a smart one in terms of getting back her personal and family life. I agree that she needs to do more than post comments on her facebook page to gain some credibility back. Her reputation is that she’s kind of an airhead (the same could be said about Obama but he’s the messiah and a male so he’s “thoughtful”). So if she actually ends up writing a book, moving to the East Coast, and changing her image to look more intellectual it might help her image.

      • So if she actually ends up writing a book, moving to the East Coast, and changing her image to look more intellectual it might help her image.

        I think this might ruin her appeal with the people who like her right now and wouldn’t convince her current critics.

        • I think anything is possible and she’s still young so she has time to tweak her image. I don’t think she should become a part of the East Coast elite nor do I think she would ever be accepted by the Washington elite. Writing a book will not ruin her appeal nor would taking on a more intellectual image that is more Hillary-like in terms of learning her stuff on issues such as health care, the economy, etc. The thing with Palin is that I think she has more in common with Obama than her haters or supporters alike would like to admit. I think both Palin and Obama just aren’t that interested in the actual governing and issues. They are both kind of like celebrities with no real substance on the issues. And I doubt either will ever learn to ever reach the level of being able to discuss policies the way Hillary and Bill do without having to read off a teleprompter.

        • Ooops, hit send too soon. I agree that she has time to tweak her image. I don’t think trying to have a more “intellectual” image going on will help her, though. It will backfire with the people who have already judged her idiot and it will piss off those who think she’s trying to be like the people they can’t stand. She could still keep her folksy style and brush up on a few core issues and be able to speak on them substantively without trying to do the intellectual thing. But, I don’t think that’s what she wants to do.

  29. http://www.puma08.com/2009/08/15/list-of-obamas-czars/

    This something we should know. I am going to bookmark it for future use.



    • that czars shit is so crazy and anit democratic …I believe the term started in the media years ago as a joke …but now it’s used very seriously!!!

      HELP US !!

  30. I want to bring up two items that I found last night and this morning. I need to do more investigating, but here they are.

    The stimulus package, already passed, as opposed to the proposed HC bills, allocates $1.1 billion for ‘comparative effectiveness’ studies in HC. The idea is to collect data to find out which treatments are most effective for outcome and cost. Sounds good. Question is, again, ‘Who decides?’ Will the doctors have to use a chart to say you have to take aspirin for serious back pain?, etc. This is one of the places probably getting a lot of money. http://www.ecri.org

    see: https://www.ecri.org/comparativeeffectiveness/Pages/default.aspx h/t to Anthony on Cinie’s blog.

    (I actually interviewed there at one time. Did not have a good feeling about the place.)

    OK. Next I see that Lockheed Martin funded the above org. WTH? Then I see that LM is hiring lots of people to collect patient data. http://www.lockheedmartinjobs.com/h1_hcare_pro.asp hmmmmm. LM gets a lot of gov’t $.

    Then I see the project they are hiring for is called ‘Emergency Prospective Review Program (EPRP)’. This is basically ER patient triaging by doctors over the phone – without seeing the patient. (Some horror stories out there, like the woman in Florida who lost her limbs due to undertreatment.) This was started by Kaiser in CA. I think they are the model.

    This story is one of the horror stories, but the page also provides links to general info on EPRP.


    I think this is the type of thing that is meant by ‘streamlining’ and ‘eliminating inefficiencies” that Obama talks about.

    In some cases this approach may be helpful in providing patient history. I don’t think it is always a horror story.

    But, I wonder, is the goal to use the comparative effectiveness data to declare treatment over the phone, from a chart, maybe, instead of having doctors practice the art of medicine? Yes, you can get some useful aggregate data on patients, but aren’t patients ultimately individuals? and shouldn’t the doctor treating them decide their treatment?

    p.s. ECRI org wants to create a national library of patient data.

    Anyway, that is some input for now, for people to consider. Thanks.

    • Fran I submitted a comment with an excerpt from an article in the Journal of American Med Assoc. (JAMA) written by Ezekiel Rahm. I might as well post it here too, since I found it disturbing. He has been a “Comparative Effectiveness” Academic all his life, and I really don’t like Academics deciding on cost savings. From what you say it looks like a big wad of money will be heading his way (and I hope it won’t be for the systematic changes he mentions.

      But careful review
      of all the studies on cost savings at the
      end of life suggests that this savings is
      likely to be small, 10% or less during the
      last 12 months of life.
      This does not mean that we cannot
      achieve huge medical savings near the
      end of life. Such savings would require
      Americans to drastically reduce their use
      of medical tests and technology over many
      months before death. And this, in turn,
      necessitates a radical transformation in
      American culture and values about the
      importance of youth and health toward
      the acceptance of death as a natural and
      inevitable part of life. The difficulty of
      getting more Americans to enroll in hos¬
      pice and use advance directives, which by
      comparison are relatively modest changes
      in values, should make us skeptical that
      Americans will rush to embrace these
      changes to realize tremendous medical cost
      savings. We can achieve savings only with
      more systematic changes in our health
      care system rather than by tinkering with
      care of the dying.


      • Laurie:

        Don’t you think it’s a little unfair to take a paragraph from the entire body of work of such an accomplished and prolific scholar?

        How about this here:

        Whose Right to Die?

        America should think again before pressing ahead with the legalization of physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia

        He has a gigantic body of work on these complicated issues and I think a paragraph on one paper doesn’t do him, anyone else or the matter at hand justice.

        • I quoted the whole conclusion. It was very similar to the paper from the NEJM entitled Managed-Care Plans and Cost Savings from Physician-Assisted Suicide.

          The reason he gives for America thinking again about euthanasia, is because it isn’t an effective cost cutter:

          Physician-assisted suicide is not likely to save substantial amounts of money in absolute or relative terms, either for particular institutions or for the nation as a whole

          This would be anathema in Catholic Italy, and I daresay to Palin too.


          • Laurie;

            You are undertaking an unachievable task, trying to pick up a sentence here and there from the body of work of one of the most accomplished scholars on a given field.

            Good luck.

        • “We can achieve savings only with more systematic changes in our health care system rather than by tinkering with care of the dying.”

          This from her quote is not inconsistent with what you just quoted.

  31. I have a long comment in Moderation for awhile. Can anyone check on it?

    I provided links for each point. Mistake? Too many links?

  32. It’s late afternoon on the east coast. Time for a new post for dinnertime.

  33. Ojackass is so funny. He cannot even get congress to rally around even a watered down public option? What a loser. It just baffles the mind. Someone help me out here, is a mandated bill without a public option, RomneyCare? How does it differ? thanks.

    • The fact it is watered down is the problem. If it were a robust option that anyone could see benefits out of paying for it then he’d have an easier time selling it.

      As it stands he plans on selling a good bulk of the country out to the insurance industry AND tax them to pay for a plan they can’t buy into.

  34. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ah3CTKEw4HQc

    senate seems to mired in quicksand.



  35. http://blogs.reuters.com/global/2009/08/13/who-is-funding-the-afghan-taliban-you-dont-want-to-know/

    Why are we spending blood and treasure there?



  36. New post up!!!

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