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February 02, 2016

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That's why winners like Huckabee get little from it..

Politically perhaps. On the grift side of the ledger....priceless.

Iowa means we never get away from the ethanol boondoggle. Hell of a way to make sausage.

Iowa isn't a very conservative state; it's a blue-leaning swing state with very conservative Republicans. But 2004 was the only time they even voted Republican for President since Reagan.

IIRC, Cruz has been consistent in saying that the ethanol subsidies had to end. The conventional wisdom was that this should cost him dearly in Iowa, but apparently not.

Matt, my sense was that Iowa Democrats were most conservative than most Democrats. I wouldn't dream of suggesting that they could be considered very conservative overall.

The fact that the majority of Iowans overall have gone Democratic in most elections doesn't change that. Considering how the Republicans' candidates look, you can be pretty darned conservative and still unwilling to vote for them.

This from a couple of years ago
language nsfw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLZZ6JD0g9Y

My assessment is that Iowa Republicans are mostly farmers who want the ethanol subsidy to remain, regardless of how little sense it makes.

They have, in short, elected to vote their self-interest over their ideology.

I've been berated before for failing to vote in my own best interests by (among others) tgirsch (now an infrequent commenter); this is one of those examples of why voting your self-interest is actually repugnant to me.

this is one of those examples of why voting your self-interest is actually repugnant to me.

I would agree that this is a repugnant example of self-interest voting, but not all self-interest voting is like that. It's not always a narrow self-interest that's at work.

If, say, you vote based on policy preferences that generally further the interests of the middle class over those of people who are already enormously powerful and wealthy (as opposed to voting for the government to give you X dollars per year, in spite of it not making any overall sense) I don't see that as being repugnant.

In some sense, all voting is matter of self-interest, depending on how broadly defined. For example, I want to live in a prosperous and peaceful country, and I vote accordingly.

It's more of an example of self-interest overriding ideology. The repugnance is understandable.

At our end of the political spectrum you see liberals sending their kids to private schools (in significant numbers), and rampant NIMBYism when it comes to zoning.

Just two examples.

It happens.

I think self-interest voting becomes particularly bad when you do it when it conflicts with your own ideology. Which ideology you demand that the rest of the country comply with.

I am OK with someone whose votes his self interest, if he embraces an ideology that fits with that. I may disagree with what he wants, but at least he is being consistent.

Is sending kids to private schools in my self interest or in the interest of my kids?

Maybe parse it as "in your family's self interest"? Rather than trying to distinguish between how something impacts you as an individual and how it impacts those related to you that you care about. (And choosing to spend money on private schools would suggest that you do care about your kids.)

Pretty much what wj said, here.

I'll take it a step further: when you vote your wallet in a way that conflicts with both your ideology and empirical evidence that what you're voting for is ineffective; when it's 100% personal greed in action, that there is repugnant.

My opinion.

Also my opinion as regards the ethanol subsidy, specifically. Why can't we get rid of this?

Probably there are more urgent things to be done, but undoing something stupid should have a certain priority, maybe.

But others probably disagree. There are almost certainly people who still think that the government should be surveilling anyone it cares to.

There are almost certainly people who still think that the government should be surveilling anyone it cares to.

Yes. Where is "surveillance" mentioned in the Constitution. Doesn't the 10th Amendment apply here? (just being a bit snarky)

Definitely a problem for those who cry "liberty" at the drop of a hat or under just about any other circumstance.

Is sending kids to private schools in my self interest or in the interest of my kids?

Just as everybody madly trying to save hurts the economy, everybody fleeing to private schools undermines public education and is a repugnant collective act of white supremacy.

Just my opinion.

Probably there are more urgent things to be done, but undoing something stupid should have a certain priority

Especially when the more urgent things are mostly not getting done either.

Probably there are more urgent things to be done, but undoing something stupid should have a certain priority

Especially when the more urgent things are mostly not getting done either.

In an ideal world, people would vote their self-interest, and the result would be the greatest good for the greatest number.

It looks like you can't get there from here.

people can't even vote their actual self-interest because humans are terrible at thinking past their own emotions and superficial biases.

when the singularity finally arrives and AI takes over human affairs, we're going to be very confused and angry for a while.

It sounds as if bobbyp and I are largely in agreement in re: surveillance.

The end times are near.

Where is "surveillance" mentioned in the Constitution.

Merriam Webster defines "surveillance" as "the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime."

I'm pretty sure that "surveillance" has always been used by governments (and ordinary persons). The limitations on surveillance (as, for example, intruding on "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects") is what we find in the Constitution. What those limitations (on government and on people) should be in the electronic age is what we're still working out.

"the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime."

That highlighted part is really not necessary, serving only to justify the action, not clarify its meaning.

But I would agree both with Sapient (on Constitutional interpretation grounds) and Slarti (on the extent and dangers of said snooping by the government).

I am very agreeable today. Now's your best chance to hit me up for a loan.

I agree with bobbyp.

The end times have arrived.

Not really. The end times arrive when Russell and Marty agree.

whew.

My thinking is that Alexander the Great was not a computerized flying toaster-oven. What do you think, Marty? What about you, russell?

Ah, now I understand the "ad absurdum" part of reductio ad absurdum

I'm just trying to hasten the apocalypse (for obvious reasons).

hsh, Do you have a cite for that?

(restoring equilibrium)

I am very agreeable today. Now's your best chance to hit me up for a loan.

Yeah, but I bet not interest-free.

The end times arrive when Russell and Marty agree.

If I'm not mistaken, Marty and I have found a number of points of agreement over the years.

Sometimes cats and dogs live together.

cleek: when the singularity finally arrives and AI takes over human affairs, we're going to be very confused and angry for a while.

I eagerly await season 5 of Person of Interest.

"Sometimes cats and dogs live together."

Man and dog live together too and the dogs get the worst of it.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/thomas-callen-shoots-dog-fawn-township

Didn't Santorum warn us about the man-on-dog thing.

Remember, guns don't kill people, Americans with guns kill dogs, people, and anything that moves.

and a lot that does not move too.

I think Russell and I agree on quite a few things. We pretty passionately disagree on some others. My cats and dog don't cuddle, but the dog does protect the old cat from the young upstart cat. They live together.

Just as everybody madly trying to save hurts the economy, everybody fleeing to private schools undermines public education and is a repugnant collective act of white supremacy.

That's an interesting way to look at it, I suppose. Is there a solution?

I guess, more broadly and not aimed at you bobbyp, from the perspective of the kids - who after all didn't have a say in being here - if (i) a private school is indisputably better for them educationally, and (ii) their parents can easily afford it, shouldn't it be almost required that parents send them to the private school (to overstate things, perhaps considerably)?

In a sort of "bests interests of the child" and "children are not their parents" sort of way?

when the singularity finally arrives and AI takes over human affairs, we're going to be very confused and angry for a while.

I'm thinking we won't know it. Maybe confused as to why suddenly everything is ok. But I am sure no one will care, unless the AI thinks Russia is the mother country.

The end times arrive when Russell and Marty agree.

russell is one of the more agreeable people I have met in my lifetime, of any stripe. Which is not to say that russell doesn't have opinions he feels strongly about; just that he's just about as reluctant to require people to toe his personal line of behavioral standards as anyone I've ever encountered.

I'm not sucking up, honest.

In the matter of dogs and cats: my kitten (well, adolescent cat) regularly lies in wait and ambushes my unsuspecting puggle, who is small but still at least 4x the cat's weight.

Later on, you might find them asleep in the same pet bed, smashed right up against each other.

I'm not sucking up, honest.

The check is in the mail...

:)

You guys are ruining the internets. Harrumph.

This makes me angry and I'm voting for Donald Trump.

</humor>

no ral, you are voting for Cruz. You just don't know he stole your vote.

Which is not to say that russell doesn't have opinions he feels strongly about; just that he's just about as reluctant to require people to toe his personal line of behavioral standards as anyone I've ever encountered.

What you're saying is, he's tolerant. A quality which is all to rare these days. Especially, as Ugh (sort-of) notes, on the Internet.

I think it's the ability of people writing on the Internet to be anonymous. It makes them feel safe is pouring out how they really feel. That is, they don't have to be polite to those around them (aka politically correct).

I wonder if that is behind the rising tide of folks denouncing "political correctness"? They are getting into the habit of being ill-mannered, and resent the places where they are still expected to be polite....

What you're saying is, he's tolerant.

I think what happened was that I used up my lifetime supply of 'telling other people what to do' tickets at a fairly early point in life.

After that, it was either learn to let other folks be, or just shut up altogether.

I often tell my wife that it's lucky we met in mid-life, because she would not have enjoyed my company quite as much had we met as younger people.

She doesn't dispute it.

That is, to my mind, the great thing about this blog. Pretty much everybody, while definitely opinionated, is tolerant of other views.

Well, the Count is at least pseudo-intolerant of some views. But not, that I can recall, intolerant of the other individuals here. ;-)

Count doesn't realm acknowledge the existence of other people here, outside the occasional reminder that he isn't referring to anyone here.

He does make Colorado seem like *there*.

the real lesson of Iowa is that third is the most important position a Republican can finish in. first is boring; second makes you a complete loser; but third makes you the clear winner and vindicates months and months of pundit wishes predictions.

for Democrats, third is death; and second and first are equal.

Well, this year first and second really were equal for the Democrats.

I was particularly taken by the news that at in least 8 precincts the vote was a real tie . . . and the result was reached by flipping a coin (or, in one case, drawing straws). Presumably it say something of deep significance that Clinton won 7 of the 8 coin tosses.

@wj: I'm not actually sure Iowa Democrats are more conservative than national Democrats.

One thing they are is whiter. And because white people have less motivation to be Democrats to begin with, the white people who are Democrats nevertheless are probably more ideologically liberal on average. However, by the same token, they'll be less sensitive to race and civil-rights issues.

Presumably it say something of deep significance that Clinton won 7 of the 8 coin tosses.

She can't help it if she's lucky. :)

As my father used to say: "It's better to be lucky than good. For skills may fade, but dumb luck goes on forever."

Not that he wasn't strongly in favor of being skilled. But I think his point had some merit.

If the old German proverb is true, it points at her marriage being unhappy: Lack of luck in gambling means luck in love (Pech im Spiel, Glück in der Liebe). ;-)

i'd settle for being lucky once : this coming Saturday night.

nudge nudge. wink wink.


when they pick the next Powerball #s

Fulfilling my role as provider of quotes (not from the Goon Show this time)... "fortune favors the prepared mind."

"The Lord helps those who help themselves."

(Which I suspect doesn't mean it in the same sense as helping your self to something....)

Bloodnok: And now the regimental oath. Open your wallets and say after me, "help yourself."

Neddy and Eccles: Help yourself.

Bloodnok: Thank you.

I think what happened was that I used up my lifetime supply of 'telling other people what to do' tickets at a fairly early point in life.

I am not sure I have used mine up, but I think I peaked around 2005 or so.

So, it's a broad peak. What's it to you?

"fortune favors the prepared mind."

An English former co-worker of mine used to say that fairly often. I was never sure if it was because he was quite a bit older than I was or because he was English. Now that I think of it, maybe it was both. Then again, it may have been neither.

She can't help it if she's lucky. :)

she has a great ground game.

"she has a great ground game."

Great defense

I prefer ground beef or ground lamb to ground game. But that's just me.

ugh,

By individually doing the "good" thing parents and children (in aggregate) wind up with a collective "bad" outcome that, to make it worse, exacerbates and reinforces underlying inequalities.

I have no easy answers.

I think the closest there is to a good answer is this. Before your kids start school, put a lot of effort into making the public schools in your area as good as possible. So that, when they are old enough to start, the public schools are good for them.

It's not perfect. It's certainly not easy in lots of places. But it's the closest you can get to doing what is right for your children while also doing what is right for society.

By individually doing the "good" thing parents and children (in aggregate) wind up with a collective "bad" outcome that, to make it worse, exacerbates and reinforces underlying inequalities.

It's basically a tragedy of the commons or prisoner's dilemma, yes. And it's a nasty one. If you're playing prisoner's dilemma and you know your partner is a defector ahead of time, it's hard to go ahead and work for the greater good when you know someone is counting on you doing so for their own benefit.

The main reason I despise Kasich with the vigor that I do is having watched him happily continue the venerable OH-R tradition of carefully rigging the school "game" to accelerate the abandonment of public schools in favor of redirecting limited public funding to mediocre, underperforming, for-profit charter schools. When you have the state DOE effectively in the business of acting as an agent for competitors with the local school districts, it's pretty hard to stay optimistic about the future of public education. I have a great deal of grim admiration for my friends and acquaintances in my undergrad cohort who've stuck it out as public school teachers.

Probably apocryphal, but when Napoleon was asked what characteristic he wanted in his generals, he said "they should be lucky".

Probably good for prezidentin' too.

It's basically a tragedy of the commons or prisoner's dilemma, yes.

Maybe a fallacy of composition, if even those parents who can afford private school are worse off by having to pay more for a school that is not sufficently better, to justify the cost, than public school would be if everyone sent their kids to public school (if that isn't too convoluted a way of putting it).

@wj
Lookin for some good ground bass?
Try
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGQq3HcOB0Y
about 1 minute in.
They even provide a score. Watch the bass line and you'll see.

I'm partial to ground road-kill bass.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/11964119/Twitter-had-the-best-response-to-a-lorry-shedding-a-load-of-fish-in-Scotland.html

Eat them within three days, else it's like relatives visiting.

I refer to no one here, but if the fish sticks, you know who you are.

as far as private schools, there are many people who are supportive of public schools, gladly pay property taxes for public schools, approve changes in their tax rate to pay for good public schools, and yet send their kids to private schools, for any of a variety of reasons.

possibly including the reality that the public schools in their area are, regrettably, not as good as the available private schools.

it's similar to the phenomenon of people who don't have kids at all, but who nonetheless support public schools.

there are many, many cases of people supporting public facilities and institutions that they, themselves, don't use, either because they have no need for them, or because they prefer for whatever reason to use other things.

so, there is some nuance here to be accounted for.

As a very marginal example of what russell points out, we kept all of our kids in the local Montessori school through kindergarten (at which point they graduate from that school), even though we pay very high property taxes, much of which go to our public schools, and we could just as easily, at no additional cost, put them on the bus at the corner, rather than paying thousands of after-tax dollars to keep them in Montessori.

We have friends from our kids' Montessori school who continued their kids' Montessori educations by sending them to schools quite a few miles away. One school goes through 8th grade and the other, I think, goes through high school.

I don't know for sure, but I'd guess confidently that they aren't people who vote down the local public-school budgets when they come up. They just really like the Montessori method. And it's not like we don't have good public schools.

While I recognize that many people who send their children to private school are fine with financially supporting the public school, this really doesn't talk to the problem.

There are quantifiable differences that are budget driven: class size, art and music cancelled, pay to play sports, lower teacher salaries, fewer, older supplies.. the list is actually pretty long.

The quantifiable differences are not necessarily the part that separates outcomes so dramatically. In simplest terms the private school child is in an environment where everyone they interact with has expressed an appreciation of the importance of their education. They are surrounded by other by other children with explicit support systems.

There are lots of children in public schools who have similar support at home, but the general population is much more varied in the clarity of that focus. The culture is substantially different and incredibly hard to fix and maintain.

The fine line between discipline and the needs of a child are much easier to manage in a setting where everyone involved has decided to commit to the process.

And, as more students are moved not only to private schools but to charter and satellite schools, the children left behind are less supported, have fewer peers that are culturally likely to succeed and are more challenged by their environment.

It is truly an all or nothing proposition, either everyone is dedicated to the proposition that public education provides the optimum opportunity for everyone to be successful, or the public school system will turn out the best of the rest.

One can get a solid education in the public schools today, but it takes a remarkable child and dedicated parents to overcome these obstacles. No amount of "I paid my taxes" makes up for the damage done by abandoning the other children to a failed system.

Well said, Marty.

One can get a solid education in the public schools today, but it takes a remarkable child and dedicated parents to overcome these obstacles.

That depends. In better off neighborhoods public schools can be very, very good.

The dividing lines are wealth, class, and race.

But again, well said.

No amount of "I paid my taxes" makes up for the damage done by abandoning the other children to a failed system.

Not to dispute the truth of your statement, but the question is, what can be done about it?

Oh, and BTW, Marty, you sound like a real commie with that comment. There's hope for you, yet! ;^)

In better off neighborhoods public schools can be very, very good.

You can consider these districts the step up from poorer ones, but I think of them as the compromise of parents who are wealthy enough to send their kids to private school but don't care that much.

I would like to believe it is the opposite, a dedication to public education, but my personal experience is that is not the case.

Very much a generalization. I do know parents who pay up for the neighborhood to get into the better public school, it is just not the majority of people in that neighborhood.

Oh, and BTW, Marty, you sound like a real commie with that comment.

Between schools, real universal healthcare(I supported Medicaid for all) and living wage Social Security I am practically Bernie Sanders.

I also have no real argument with Marty's 10:53.

I'm very sympathetic to folks who believe in public schools, are supportive of public schools, but who decide to send their kids to private schools because (a) they can find a way to afford it, and (b) the private schools are better.

Whether to make your kids bear the brunt of your personal principles as a tough call.

I agree that it does tend to emphasize and probably exacerbate class differences.

IMO the extraordinary differences in quality of public schools across the US is borderline disturbing. But I don't see a solution as long as schools are funded primarily from local resources.

Some places are wealthy, some are not. I understand that part of the deal with disparities in wealth is that folks with a lot of money can have nicer things than folks who don't, but it sucks that basic primary education falls into that basket of goods.

As an aside, my wife and her ex elected to send my step-son to private schools, even though the schools in my town are actually pretty good. I'm not sure he was all that well-served by it.

The facilities were lovely, the programs were very nice, but there was also a weird competitive snotty class vibe that he really didn't want any part of, and which he consequently was kind of excluded from.

To speak plainly, a lot of the kids he went to school with were entitled dicks, which is not what he is about, to his credit.

He had a sucky few years, I'm not sure he wouldn't have done better overall just going to the perfectly good local public school. It's what he would have preferred.

Between schools, real universal healthcare(I supported Medicaid for all) and living wage Social Security I am practically Bernie Sanders.

That's what I'm talking about!

When the singularity arrives...etc

As usual, xkcd pre-empted us:
http://www.xkcd.com/1626/

In better off neighborhoods public schools can be very, very good.

The dividing lines are wealth, class, and race.

I would, at the very least, include culture in that. (And not culture in the sense it is usually used today. Maybe sub-culture would be a better term.)

I grew up in a small farm town that was just starting to become a suburb. A tiny wealthy enclave on one edge, but mostly working class and the occasional small (tiny) business owner. Everybody went to the public schools, in part because there really wasn't an alternative around.

Still upwards of 98% of my high school class** was in college in the year after graduation. While a plurality may have been at the local junior college, we also had (out of ~250) a half dozen each at Cal Berkeley and Stanford, plus another dozen scattered around the Ivy League. Not to mention a bunch at UC Davis, this being a farming community after all.

It wasn't that there was really pressure to do so, any more than you would say that there is "pressure" to go to high school after 8th grade. It was simply what one did.


** The only exceptions, actually, were one boy who was definitely mentally retarded (or whatever today's term is), and ony guy who managed to get his girl friend pregnant mid-way thru his senior year. The culture of the time being what it was, he necessarily married her and got a job to support his new family.

but it sucks that basic primary PUBLIC education falls into that basket of goods.

suggested fix.

"suggested fix."

I think we should change how we measure the quality of education every three years and then give everyone a voucher to attend whatever school they can get to. We should then put all of the public school buildings into a REIT, with the proceeds going to increase the amount of the vouchers. We can then borrow money against the REIT income to gentrify the buildings and lease them as high end apartments raising the real estate values of all of the neighborhoods creating more REIT income. Thus creating a virtuous cycle that constantly keeps up with the rising price of private schools.

I think we should change how we measure the quality of education every three years

hahaha....don't we just about do that already? Education 'reform' has been a hot topic for as long as I can remember (since the 1960's). Because you know, it's all about the kids.

And relying for funding on the vagaries of the real estate market does not make much sense to me, sorta' like privatizing Social Security.

but miles, varyings, etc.

wealthy enough to send their kids to private school but don't care that much

I don't know that we're wealthy enough, but we have been up until and including now fortunate enough to have access to public schools (not always in advantaged areas, mind you) that have had leadership that was willing to listen to what we needed, and open to feedback on how they're doing and what we need from them.

If parents in ANY school district think that they can just drop their kids off and have the school do them, they need to think again.

Again: we're very fortunate enough to have had access to schools that are willing to listen. I wouldn't bet that they're all that way.

We are also the parents of a disabled kid, so we have been trained by circumstances to insist on everything we can possibly get from the school and teachers. She almost flunked 2nd grade because her teacher felt sorry for her and thought her (she didn't say this right out; just my impression) not smart enough to keep up with the other kids.

She was wrong. She's still a kind of work in progress, but she is a junior in college (by credit hours; only a sophomore by years in school) and pulling a very respectable GPA.

Our current school is, by the way, a school that serves an entire rural county whose total population is something like 20k. Fortunately kid #2 is quite able, although she sees herself as a hopeless misfit with no friends. I say she's basking in that; teenagers being angsty as they are. But her biggest problems in life are a) avoiding boredom, b) not running out of math classes before she runs out of HS, and c) how to keep her Dr. Who habit fed.

Again, coming from limited experience: my biggest surprise was that the school staff was more often pleased than not to find us to be interested and engaged parents.

Not interested enough to be really involved in the PTA, other than support roles. PTA makes US national politics look positively well-behaved.

"b) not running out of math classes before she runs out of HS"

I hate that. I moved from a large urban school district to a more rural one in tenth grade. They had no classes for my senior year. So I took three freshman elective classes, finished without enough credits to graduate and took the GED. 12 years, no grade less than a B. no diploma. I hate schools, forty years later.

Well, this story is not so dire as yours. She's taking calculus as a junior and Finite Math as a senior. She took geometry last year and was the only non-HS student in the class. Fortunately the HS and middle school are separated by maybe 25 feet, so not much of a problem.

I'm considering adding on a home-taught senior math seminar as an unofficial adjunct to her schooling, because she wants more. I'm not really the guy to complete her math education (I have already warned her that she's likely going to run out of life long before she could possibly run out of math to study) but I can move her well into areas needed as background for an engineering degree. Or even a physics degree (undergrad, of course).

PTA makes US national politics look positively well-behaved.

My wife's the treasurer for our elementary-school PTO. (We don't do the national PTA-organization thing in our district.) It's a challenge, with the various "personalities" involved.

Again: we're very fortunate enough to have had access to schools that are willing to listen. I wouldn't bet that they're all that way.

Our schools have been great so far, though my kids are all very well adjusted and extremely good students. The teachers seem to be impressed that we want to talk to them, even though our kids do well. I guess they mostly interact with the parents of the kids who have problems.

Another family we met though our kids' Montessori pre-school/kindergarten who live in a nearby district have had an entirely different experience. Their son has a peanut allergy as was treated like sh1t (because every parent wants a kid with a peanut allergy, and every kid wants to have one, just so they can inconvenience other people - or so just about everyone on their school's staff seemed to think by the way they acted). They're home-schooling now.

It's a mixed bag, even within a few miles.

So, their kid had a peanut allergy, what did they want the school to do about it? Keep an epi pen handy? Not sure how inconvenient that could be.

Let's put it this way - during a holiday celebration, the kid's teacher made (made!) a cake or a pie with nuts on it to give out to the class after being made fully aware that this kid had the allergy. That's the level of not giving a sh1t they had at that school.

My kids have been in the same class with kids with peanut allergies, and the class gets designated as peanut-free. You DO NOT bring anything with peanut-based ingredients into the room.

The first half of that is a travesty, as is the second.

Between schools, real universal healthcare(I supported Medicaid for all) and living wage Social Security I am practically Bernie Sanders.

Just another wrinkle on the medical care landscape here in the US.

Another friend of mine is now trying to crowd-source his way through a medical emergency.

In his case, he has insurance - he's a general contractor, with 20+ years of experience running his own shop - but he can't work while he's sick. Plus, there are a ton of bills that fall outside of his insurance coverage.

So, he's trying to crowd-source five figures to keep things together.

I can't tell you how much it disturbs me to see folks in middle age and beyond, who have worked for 30 or 40 years, having to do stuff like this to deal with medical events.

We spend, per capita, more or less twice what other developed countries do, on medical care and related expenses. We're on par as far as public money, and then we spend about that much again in private funds.

And folks have to crowd-source their way through if anything above and beyond the norm happens. And by "above and beyond the norm" I mean "anything expensive", because the stuff my friend is dealing with is not exotic or unusual, it's just big.

I don't care if a solution looks like single payer, public/private hybrid, whatever. People should be able to go to the doctor when they're sick, and a diagnosis of a significant illness should not equate to financial disaster.

We have the damned money, I know we do because we *already spend it*. More than anybody else.

WT freaking F.

My advice is don't get sick. Good luck to all.

In metro Atlanta, housing prices in the city of Decatur (adjacent to the east side of the city of Atlanta proper) are shooting up because of the number of people with school-age kids wanting to get there kids into City of Decatur schools. The DeKalb County school system that administers the unincorporated parts of the county is mostly a mess, but people with less means are getting priced out of affording Decatur rents/mortgages.

There are a few affluent neighborhoods in unincorporated DeKalb that have long resisted annexation to Atlanta (for reasons you might imagine) that are now considering it because City of Atlanta schools compare more favorably to the county system. Lots of complicated politics. Of course some of the folks in the wealthier areas try to send their kids to private schools, but there are only so many slots available at a place like The Paideia School (annual tuition $20-23K, but they do offer need-based financial aid).

Who was the teacher? Donald Trump?

Hey, sometimes you feel like a nut and dose who don't are politically correct little crybabies. Very weak, let me tell you.

I'll give youse something to be montesorry about.

What the American people are allergic to is peanut subsidies. What gives? The liberals say pay the these deadbeat farmers to grow the peanuts. Then, their very own kids break out in hives all of sudden because some busybody school nuoice with the social science blues suggested they might be allergic. So then, like chumps, we have to store the uneaten peanuts.

I'll give you nuts!

See, the problem here too is Obamacare, which I hate. You hoid nothin about allergies until dese out of work losers with preexisting conditions (What's their problem? Look at me! My doctor, one of many I keep on retainer, who I pay to talk, told me I'm healthy as a horse, and in fact I could eat a horse, but I spose I'm not allowed to do that, am I, because some pansy in the class is allergic to horsemeat.) started living the high life with health insurance.

Well, lemme tell you, I and my debate colleagues here agree on one thing, besides how good lookin I am, and dats that our first day as President, Obamacare goes into the dumper, the shredder. Finito. Done. Kaputnik!

As Paul Ryan, who I love, said, we're going to restore the doctor-patient relationship, especially for the poor. We're going to put it back where it was before this socialist declared himself President, which is to say, when they go the doctor when I'm President to have their so-called peanut allergies tested, the doctor's going to ask these losers if they can pay for the tests, and when they say no, the doctor will say, get the f*ck out of my office, this relationship is over!

That's the kind of doctor-patient relationship the Founders, what's their faces, George Jefferson, Ashley Madison, and Marilyn Monroe, intended

Then we'll half-way to making America great again, like it used to be, when collection agencies could make an honest living off the miserable backs of the sick and the poor.


PTA makes US national politics look positively well-behaved.

Yes indeed. If you want to see folks get red faced, go to a local union local(apologies for the redundancy), PTA, School Board, or zoning meeting. Water and sewer district meetings can also be highly entertaining.

The saw "all politics is local" is more than a mere truism. It's gospel.

See, THAT is a travesty, Russell.

And, we, as a country, as something that calls itself a society, are a disgrace.

Do you have the crowd-funding organization info for us if anyone here might want to contribute.

I guess what certain people mean by "incenting" patients to have skin in the game with deductibles, copayments and entire parts of medicine the insurance company won't pay for to make them savvy shoppers in the "medical marketplace" where the prices aren't posted, as in tip-shelf restaurants, is the patients need to be flayed and sell their hides to pay for the care they need.

I was reading the other week that an insurance "expert" said insurance companies' and the medical community's jobs are to discourage the chronically ill from seeking medical care, even when they have insurance, to protect their shareholders and their healthy premium payers from price increases.

Is there any other product in capitalism handled that way?

Say, a guy walks into a shoe store and says he needs a pair of shoes. Does the clerk say, geez I'm sorry but we don't sell shoes to those who NEED shoes. Now, if Imelda Marcos walked in and was going to purchase her 7135th pair of shoes, they'd be all over her, because she merely WANTS a pair shoes.

She doesn't need them. She's not even going to wear them.

That's who gets the shoes.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/all-the-terrible-things-hillary-clinton-has-done-in-one-big-list-2016-02-04?link=TDheadline_4

Still, compared to the psychopathic Republican war-loving, murderous $ssholes running against her, not including Bernie Sanders, who is unelectable because America has an allergy of a travesty of a mockery of an allergy to socialists, I expect to vote for her.

I hope she names Vince Foster as Vice President and Paul Ryan can sit next to his rotting corpse during four straight SOTU addresses and Ryan can smirk and say Foster reminds him of all the dead people enrolled in his Republican replacement plan for Obamacare.

The first half of that is a travesty, as is the second.

I was a little dumbfounded by the second part. I realize, though, that I overstated the case. They don't bring anything into the class that will be taken out of it's container in the class if it has peanut ingredients. They can bring stuff with peanut ingredients that they'll later open in the cafeteria, since there's a table for kids with peanut allergies and they won't be exposed to it.

If you think even that is too severe, you might not realize how bad these allergies can be.

That sounds a lot more reasonable.

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