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October 22, 2019

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Americans are moving to both countries because it beats the buggery of America.

The theme of my Facebook ad stream these days is "retire abroad".

Frankly, Buttigieg's Medicare-for-all-who-want-it seems a lot more viable

This is (to coin a phrase) baloney.

A more polite rejoinder here.

Check out links provided therein.

Thanks.

fixed your link -- wj

A russell on every street corner.

I love russell. But what about the taco trucks?

I am not focused enough to address the health care topic adequately. But my understanding is that we spend a lot more per capita than other developed countries that actually have better outcomes by some measures. So I find it hard to believe that we can't have a better system without turning the billionaires into paupers. I have second-hand knowledge of the regulation of health insurance, and there are plenty of stories to be told about people who got a handle on how to turn the health care system into the goose that laid the golden egg. It doesn't *have* to be that way, as a couple of other developed countries with better systems than ours have shown. Well, that's a stretch. We don't actually have a "system," we have a series of interlocked cash cows and boondoggles.

Leaving aside also that p looks to me like he has a winning hand in 2020 on account of the fact that 47% of Americans are irredeemable traitorous assholes.

You'd probably have a solid case for 27%. You might even be able to make one for something in the 30s. But 47%? For that you'd have to classify that way anyone who voted for Trump out of ignorance (and you just know a fairly large segment of our voting population, on both sides, qualifies). Which seems like a stretch.

As Emma Goldman (might have) said, if your revolution has no taco trucks, I want no part in it.

Over the course of our history, there have been waves of progressive discontent that broke through a strangling conservative political dominance: Reconstruction; civil service reform, anti-trust, food and drug act, the 19th Amendment....but by far the standout was the New Deal. FDR and the New Deal Democrats briefly, all too briefly, broke through the fear, and ushered in a new and rather radical liberal polity.

The problem might be that it succeeded all too well, and those who got fat and happy as a result of the public policy revolution (white workers, white middle class) came to take it for granted, and turned to those who spoke to other fears....deep and dark ones.

Maybe one day they will wake up.

They have nothing to fear, but fear itself.

This is (to coin a phrase) baloney.

A more polite rejoinder here.

OK, I read it. Let me just say I find it unconvincing. Frankly, I don't see the problem with making Medicare an option for everyone, but letting them decide not to take it. It may be a dumb decision, that's a different discussion. But letting them have the possibility will substantially reduce the resistance to it. Do you doubt that? (Never mind how lacking in merit you consider that resistance to changing what they have to be.) That's really the critical question: can you reduce the resistance sufficiently to get something passed?

And, if Medicare is in fact better than what they have, pretty much everybody will end up there anyway. Gradually. Consider it the half a loaf that is better than no bread.

wrs

me: as a couple of other developed countries with better systems than ours have shown.

Meant to say "a couple of dozen other developed countries. Obviously a ballpark figure.

Meanwhile far from Washington
https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/SF-district-attorney-candidates-emphasize-14696436.php

One of the top two candidates for District Attorney in San Francisco is a career public defender. Who spent his life visiting his parents in prison. (They were Weather Underground members who got locked up when he was an infant.)

The Fox News stories, if he wins, just write themselves.

wj,

thanks for fixing the link.

Buttigeig's health care plan is deeply flawed.

But letting them have the possibility will substantially reduce the resistance to it.

This is wrongheaded political analysis. Opposition to health care reform is not driven by regular folks....it is driven by very powerful interests who are, to put it mildly, robbing the public blind.

more here.

I have no issue - zero - with the idea of a single payer system. And I have no issue with increasing taxes on billionaires.

As a point of reference, if you made $100k a year, it would take you 10,000 years to earn a billion dollars. 10,000 years ago the Holocene epoch was just beginning. It's not "a lot" of money, it's an ocean of money, an atmosphere of money. It's so much money that money becomes irrelevant. At that level money is just background noise.

My qualm with the plan to move to single payer in a time frame less than, say, 20 years, is that it will be a profoundly complicated task. Even if the execution is perfect, which it will not be, it will be profoundly disruptive.

It is extraordinarily hard to do large and complicated things because it is close to impossible to anticipate all of the effects of whatever it is you are doing in advance. You have to allow people and institutions space to absorb and adjust to change.

Planning and implementing big changes in complex systems is really hard. That can't be an excuse to do nothing, because that also tends to turn out badly. But you have to be careful not to outrun your headlights.

This is wrongheaded political analysis. Opposition to health care reform is not driven by regular folks....it is driven by very powerful interests who are, to put it mildly, robbing the public blind.

That's whose fighting the change. But if you insist that you are going to, as regular folks will see it, "take away the plan they have", you are putting a weapon in the hands of those fighting the change.

It's not that they won't fight any change at all, because of course they will. It's how easy/hard you make it for them to win the fight. And, from what I can see, an approach which doesn't appear to take something away will fare far better than on which does.

more here.

Obviously, the real point of constantly asking Warren about funding Medicare for All is to get her on the record saying that she plans to raise taxes.

alternately, to get to to explain how she'd fund M4A. it's kind of an important point.

i do still feel that this detailed policy stuff is missing the point of the job of President.

I would say that the job of President doesn't require knowing the answers to all the detailed policy stuff. But it does require having staff who do. And who can help you put it, at a high level, in terms voters** can understand.

Getting into details of what percentage taxes would rise for each income level is ridiculous. But acknowledging that some taxes somewhere must go up is only realistic. Just as arguing that the tax increase will be offset by pay increases due to companies saving on health care plans requires some acknowledgement that frequently companies will just pocket the additional profit -- unless the implementing legislation forces them to pass it along to their workers. (A detail that the candidates seem to ignore.)

** And thus Congressmen, who aren't notably brighter.

(A detail that the candidates seem to ignore.)

This is ignorant. Have you even bothered to read Sanders' plan?

it's kind of an important point.

For Republicans and deficit scolds, yes. For others, not so much.

There is a reason Warren called that question a Republican talking point. Because it is.

Planning and implementing big changes in complex systems is really hard.

That's the sausage making part. It can be done. The question is this: Is the proposed policy "outrunning the headlights"? Well, that's a DIFFERENT question. Let's not confuse the two. I say it should be done and it can be done.

SO WHY NOT DO IT?

Because it is.

asking that she demonstrates that her plan is feasible is no more a "Republican talking point" than "Can we afford this new car?" is.

if she wants my vote, she needs to show that she knows WTF she's talking about.

YMMV, clearly.

asking that she demonstrates that her plan is feasible is no more a "Republican talking point" than "Can we afford this new car?" is.

Yeah, sure. And next you'll be admonishing us that the federal budget is just like a family's checkbook.

No GOP talking point there!

We already "afford" the most expensive healthcare system in the world. Therefore, it is not a question of "affordability". It is a question of politics.

In the beancounter sense, M4A is a slam dunk. Politically it is a hard lift (cf wj).

So why, exactly, is this the question that is apparently so important to you?

It is a question that is, shall we say, of limited use.

Again: Read the Krugman piece.

No GOP talking point there!

pity the poor strawman.

So why, exactly, is this the question that is apparently so important to you?

i've already explained that.

Again: Read the Krugman piece.

i've read Krugman's pieces on her plan. he likes her plan in an aspirational sense, but doesn't endorse it (in part because it will never pass). that's pretty much where i am.

no "interference" here.

Nosirreee!

"that's pretty much where i am."

OK....so why all the angst about "affordability"? Under present conditions (Mitch) Buttigeig's plan has no chance either.

So there you go.

oh, crap...runaway italics. apologies.


OK....so why all the angst about "affordability"?

as i've said: i want to see if she knows what she's talking about, if her plan makes sense.

We already "afford" the most expensive healthcare system in the world. Therefore, it is not a question of "affordability". It is a question of politics.

This.

"Know"? Know? Some people acquire a great deal of expertise in a field as a result of deep and long study....they are "knowing".

People disagree about issues, well, they disagree on just about everything. Positions may be correct, or incorrect. Some policies may be judged to be better than others, for reasons...but "knowing"? Does Buttigeig or Biden "know" more about health care policy than Warren or Sanders? Really? Just how far into the epistemological weeds do you care to go here?

As I understand your position, you are asserting that M4A is politically unpossible. That may be so. But that is hardly the same as "not knowing" about health care policy.

We have a deeply dysfunctional system that is a major PinA for most and unavailable to tens of millions. It is a travesty. Band-aids won't do it. If somebody like Warren gets elected with a Dem senate and has to settle for whatever Sinema and Manchin can stomach, then so be it.

But we are far from that point. IMHO it is delusional to believe that your voters will get all excited about half measures. Aspirations play a big and important role in politics.

No time to read this now, but it looks interesting.

You'd probably have a solid case for 27%. You might even be able to make one for something in the 30s. But 47%?

Did you see this morning's NYTimes opinion poll from several of the important swing states? Among likely voters, Trump beats Warren or Sanders, loses to Biden. Those are popular vote results. Large EC win over Warren or Sanders, large EC loss to Biden.

We already "afford" the most expensive healthcare system in the world. Therefore, it is not a question of "affordability". It is a question of politics.

Granted, politics are a major factor. But "affordability" isn't really irrelevant. It's relevant because who is paying will change, at least under some approaches. It may be possible to mandate that money move from those currently paying to whoever will now pay. But you can just say "it will cost less" and wave away how the money flows. Because, if you fail to make that flow of cash happen, then whoever the new payer will be needs some other way to afford the money being now spent by them.

Did you see this morning's NYTimes opinion poll from several of the important swing states? Among likely voters, Trump beats Warren or Sanders, loses to Biden.

The NYT isn't something I'm signed up for. But from the preview, it doesn't appear to conflict with my view.

Aspirations play a big and important role in politics.

of course.

NYTimes opinion poll from several of the important swing states?

here's a fun pair of Trump v Warren results from today's Michigan polls.

NY Times/Siena   Warren 39, Trump 46 (Trump +7)
Emerson Warren 54, Trump 46 (Warren +8)

Those are popular vote results. Large EC win over Warren or Sanders, large EC loss to Biden.

I can see an outcome whereby Rump wins the EC with the worst-by-far popular-vote performance of anyone to do so, losing massively in many states while winning by very small margins in many others.

Woe to you, oh Earth and Sea.

It's relevant because who is paying will change, at least under some approaches.

If that is your one big criteria for assessing any public policy, then OK. But I would ask that you put that question at the top of your list regarding ANY policy...because that's what politics is about...who get what.

It may be possible to mandate that money move from those currently paying to whoever will now pay.

Again, that is a political question, not a policy question.

But you can just say "it will cost less" and wave away how the money flows.

Why not? We wave that concern away every time we pass the defense appropriations bill, or a GOP tax cut for the rich. How do these fiscal moves always get exempted from this big concern?

Because, if you fail to make that flow of cash happen, then whoever the new payer will be needs some other way to afford the money being now spent by them.

I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

But you can just say "it will cost less" and wave away how the money flows.

And you can't just waive away the essential fact that all of the other relatively rich nations on this planet deliver, as a matter of public policy, better health care for a great deal less cost.

If you could get on board with the principle, then we can argue about the specifics.

Large EC win over Warren or Sanders, large EC loss to Biden.

As I've said before, Warren would be my true choice, and if actually elected would (I think) be a genuinely transformational President of the US for the better, if enabled to be so by Congress

But if the polls above are actually correct (a big if, as [email protected] points out) then I guess I have to reluctantly concede that Biden might be a better nomination, unless one of the others is able to reverse this recognition/affection deficit bigly and fast.

And you can't just waive away the essential fact that all of the other relatively rich nations on this planet deliver, as a matter of public policy, better health care for a great deal less cost.

True, but it seems to me that there is an important distinction here. Those systems were put in place at a time when the cost and complexity of health care was vastly less, there were not huge financial interests in having a lot of this private, and many patients paid out of pocket.

It's much easier to go from that to a national system than it would be to do so in the US today. The political environment is just different.

I like the idea of single-payer, but given the political difficulties I'm not at all sure we should be trying to go down that road. After all, Obamacare only went into effect in 2014, and has been the target of Republican sabotage ever since, so we haven't really seen how well it can work.

"Can we afford it?" (who's "we"?) may be a limited way of considering the various healthcare plans on offer, but it is the way many, probably most, people think about it. You can make the argument that it's a stupid political reality, but I don't think you can make the argument that it's not the political reality.

If you could get on board with the principle, then we can argue about the specifics.

I'm on board with the principle that we need to get everybody covered by health insurance. I'm on board (in principle) with the government being the payor for much, perhaps all, of that expansion.

What I'm not on board with is the principle that the endpoint must be a single, government run, health care system. And definitely not with the idea that it is desirable (let alone feasible) to have that as the immediate next step. We may end up there. Or perhaps we find that a mixed system actually works better. But I don't see the necessity of getting there in one jump.

P.S. While we're talking principles, I'm definitely on board with changing the current Medicare system (and any future government-paid systems) so that it can use its market power to negotiate lower drug prices. Something that, as I understand it, it is currently prohibited by law from doing.

"Can we afford it?" (who's "we"?) may be a limited way of considering the various healthcare plans on offer, but it is the way many, probably most, people think about it. You can make the argument that it's a stupid political reality, but I don't think you can make the argument that it's not the political reality.

And, also as a matter of political reality, any proposal needs to include some specifics on "How exactly do we go about affording it?" Who pays more in taxes to cover the costs?

It's true that we routinely run a deficit. And that is, within limits, not a problem. But if you propose exceeding those limits, whether with the Trump tax cut or unfunded Medicare-for-all, you are going to end up in trouble. We can argue about exactly where the threshold is. (I'm not sure economists have a great handle on that either.) But that you are eventually reduced to the modern equivalent of debasing the currency is not really in doubt.

You need to be a subscriber to read the whole thing (I'm not):

https://www.thedailybeast.com/elizabeth-warrens-finally-got-a-plan-for-medicare-for-all-but-will-it-help-elect-trump?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

This is where you hit the murderous deregulatory, tax-cutting republican party.

You get elected first.

THEN you scare people with grand plans to provide healthcare to these children and the others.

I try not to be a member of the hyperventilationist left, and I agree with this.

Left v. further left can be really enervating!

The principle is the same wrt my allies to my near right. I see all the (very rational) appeals to "it's politically dead in the water" as small bore surrenders, and your assessment may well be correct....but

You fight the message with a better one.

Employer paid health care benefits are the same as a TAX.
That TAX is HUGE (basically a 100% marginal rate). Are you happy paying a 100% tax rate on a significant part of your income?
Tens of millions of our citizens have NO HEALTH CARE. THIS IS A MORAL ABOMINATION FOR THE RICHEST NATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
Do you want to fill out tons of paperwork and argue with insurance companies, OR DO YOU WANT COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE? PICK.

Change the narrative. Stop with the premature surrenders. If you are on board with the principle, then for cripes sake, be out and proud about it.

Maybe we win. Maybe we don't. But for 'eff's sake....FIGHT.

You want to criticize...then criticize the fascist right. They are the enemy, not Warren or Sanders.

What I see here is, "Well, universal covereage is a great idea, but we can't possibly do that now."

WTF?

I've said this more than once before here, but the key policy to put before the US electorate is not single payer but making healthcare insurance costs independent of health status. Because if you don't, many of the people who need it most can't afford it.

This is not at all unrealistic: it's how the various systems in Europe work, including ones which aren't single payer. It's what happens with employer-provided insurance in the US. It's normal and necessary.

It does mean that more money has to come from relatively well people, or else from taxation, to pay for the savings made by relatively sick people.

I like the idea of single-payer, but given the political difficulties I'm not at all sure we should be trying to go down that road.

If you like the idea, then you should always be pushing for us to go down that road. Always. My point is simple: We can do better, and if this is so, then why should we be be shy about trying to make it so?

You want examples? Civil Rights revolution of the 60's. Gay rights turnaround of the last 30 years.

Some minor ones....

"There's no way a B-level Hollywood actor can be elected president."
"There is no way a bankrupt racist reality TV con artist can be elected president."

The common wisdom is just that-common.

What bobbyp said.

And you argue for it based on our ability and our good will to make things better. Can do is a message for the future. Sí, se puede.

Employer paid health care benefits are the same as a TAX.
That TAX is HUGE (basically a 100% marginal rate).

I don't think I'd go quite as far as saying that it's "the same" as a tax. But certainly, if the government takes over providing health care, the amount will similar. The thing is, to make it something like "the same", you need to have a mechanism to take money for where it is currently paid (i.e. the employer) to where it will now be paid (i.e. the government).

You can do that by taxing the employers. The challenge being that different employers spend a different amounts on their (quite variable) healthcare plans.
Do you somehow capture how much they were spending (when? last year? average of last 5 years?) and tax them that amount? Is that fair to those who were spending a lot on good plans vs those who spent little on minimal or no plans?
Or do you tax all employers the same per employee? And what do you do to address those who lose their job because their employer's cheap-or-no plan was the most they could afford? (You are free to argue that it will be a very small number. Fine. Then it will be cheap and easy to address -- so do it already.)

Or you can do it via the individual income tax system. But if you want to make that viable, you need to make sure the individual taxpayers/employees actually see the money that their employer is no longer spending on a healthcare plan.

Which mechanism is better is open for discussion. Refusing to indicate which one you will try for, or claiming that nothing will be required? That's disingenuous at best.

Which mechanism is better is open for discussion.

True. But there is a time and a place. If you are ON BOARD with the principle, then the mechanism is secondary. Getting buried in that kind of minutiae is bad optics and bad politics. The politics is simple:

More coverage.
Less Cost.
Less hassle.
Like the guy in the 9/11 commercial said, "Let's go."

Early debates on Social Security's design centered on how the program's benefits should be funded."

LOL. Some things never change, but somehow, it got done.

Getting buried in that kind of minutiae is bad optics and bad politics.

i can't agree more.

which is why i wish they'd left things at the slogan level and not tried to write the actual bills (which the GOP is never asked to do, of course).

Generally, I'm okay with pushing for things that aren't popular or seem scary to lots of people if those things are good ideas. Right now I just want Rump out of office, so I'm a bit more risk averse than normal.

so I'm a bit more risk averse than normal.

Don't let a bit become a lot. hsh, 11-3-19, 9:16AM

You don' t get to make policy unless you win.

wrs
Gotta have priorities.

You don't get to make policy unless you win.

Well, sure. But you don't win when you defecate on your most loyal voters.

"You don't get to make policy unless you win."

Precisely.

Don't do a Mondale and speak the truth that you will raise taxes.

Don't do a Clinton or an Obama and threaten to medically insure human beings, especially the ones with pre-existing conditions.

That just gets some people right down in the fear glands, that sorta talk.

Don't do a Warren. Don't do a Sanders.

Lie to the American people like a .. like a .. Republican would. Cheat them. Steal from them.

Pollute with unlimited coal ash without producing a single additional coal mining job to produce the shit.

Throw in that they are on their own and they can fuck off, and in the fucking off, they can proclaim they are free by virtue of the fucking off.

Like Martin Luther King, they would throw their MAGA hats in the air and proclaim "Fucked at last! We are finally fucked at last!"

Or better, say, we're going to govern on behalf of the one percent.

The American people like that, because they feel like maybe one day they will win the lottery and then they too will be taxed like the one percent and fer gawd sakes that's unAmerican, if not Ukrainian, wait, that last would be OK.

It seems to work every time.

Be a Republican. Get elected.

It would help as well to prohibit some number of Republican white males from voting.

In getting elected.

One presumes if Hillary had promised to exempt Marty personally from paying any taxes for the rest of his life, he would have overlooked her corruption and her death by advanced carcinoma during the election.

Or maybe he would say, well, I can like Hillary's tax exemptions for me and at the same time think she should be removed from office for her corruption.

Hey, Sapient. Speaking of winning...how are the Dems doing in Virginia today?

Lie to the American people like a .. like a .. Republican would. Cheat them. Steal from them.

Is it lying to the American people to say to them: "I favor going to Medicare for all [assuming you do]. But it's not something that we are going to be able to implement immediately [since we aren't; unless you foresee something truly amazing in the Senate]. So here's what I think we can implement."? That sounds a lot less like lying than promising pie in the sky that you know you won't be able to deliver.

Those who believe that there is a plausible scenario where you would be able to deliver it, feel free to lay it out. Start with the Senate. How many seats might you reasonably flip? (I'll freely concede 4, while holding Alabama. If you can see a path to 10, let alone more, name names.)

Hey, Sapient. Speaking of winning...how are the Dems doing in Virginia today?

Tomorrow (EST) is election day. They're favored to do well! I did one canvassing to GOTV, and should have done more. Unfortunately, some things have been interfering with my usual activism, and although I will vote tomorrow, I will not be poll watching as I usually do.

Keep hope alive. If we can turn VA truly blue, that will surely help the cause tremendously, from voting rights to prison reform .... Thanks so much for asking!

To me, it's about acknowledging and working with the facts on the ground.

It's not lying, it's recognizing what people are able to imagine and accept, meeting them there, and then moving forward from there.

Medicare for all is a great idea, and there are numerous impediments to making it a reality, among them (a) some parties are gonna get paid less and are therefore going to be less than thrilled, and (b) a lot of people have reasonable insurance now, and won't want to give that up until they see how this new thing pans out. There are probably lots more.

The goals here are (a) enable people to go the doctor and (b) make it affordable to do so. Whatever achieves those goals is fine, single payer is one of the possible means, nothing more. The specific objective of M4A is less important IMO than winning elections so that the actual goal - affordable health care for everyone - can be met, through whatever means.

IMO

So, a little bit of consternation and frustration:

I had dinner tonight with good friends. They are Dems, but we don't see eye to eye on everything. They seemed Bernie curious in 2016, always complaining about The Emails, The Hawk. They were Medicare for All. They voted for Hillary, but were lukewarm. We see each other frequently, and Medicare for All has been a theme with then.

Well, who'd a knowed: tonight, they (one of them, at least) wonders why healthcare is even an issue! They are now on Medicare, and are surprised that they actually have to pay for stuff!

First, I think they're secretly skeptical of women (although they would deny that from now until forever). Second, maybe they have figured out that there are other healthcare options?

Anyway, as y'all can probably guess, it's hard enough for me to have friends, but I did mention that I thought they were in favor of Medicare for All. There was little acknowledgment of that.

I just get hugely frustrated with everybody. Honestly, I just wish we could elect people who want to make things better. Is it wrong to echo Obama, that better is good? And, yeah. I wish Obama was a little more with us now. Maybe he's right to stay away, considering that lots of people blame him for this backlash.

Just trying to stay sane enough to do what I can do.

I realize that my previous comment was somewhat incoherent. The point of the story is that these people (one of whom is a nurse) for whom "Medicare for All!" was one of their big issues, and why they liked Bernie, are now ... "Medicare for All? Why is Elizabeth Warren even saying this sh#t?"

So yeah. I am not a fervent "Medicare for All" believer. I agree that whatever combination of tricks gets us to people getting medical care is fine. But what's wrong with these people who make something their main issue, and then just pretend it never happened?

they (one of them, at least) wonders why healthcare is even an issue! They are now on Medicare, and are surprised that they actually have to pay for stuff!

Forgive me if I am slandering your friends. But this sounds to me entirely like what I see as the view of the GOP's elderly supporters in this regard. Essentially: I've got mine now, so who cares about those of you who aren't old enough yet?

I may be doing them a disservice. But I find the resemblance notable.

"They are now on Medicare, and are surprised that they actually have to pay for stuff!"

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.

They could inform themselves, but everyone likes a surprise ... or not.

Were they surprised that Medicare was a government program? And that black people get it too, like the Tea Party kanumbskulls apparently were unaware of, since Obamacare was a giveaway to THOSE people?

I just helped a friend of mine, a chef at Whole Foods, translate her health insurance booklet from WF into English (it's shitty insurance, barely affordable for what she gets paid, but better than nothing said the walrus to the oysters, as he ate them one by one).

Anyway, she wanted to know the following things (she's 46 and lives by the seat of her pants, but words hard and loves her job): Why do I need insurance anyway, if I'm not sick (as she stubbed out her Camel filtered)? And why am I expected to pay these co-pays and deductibles if I'm paying a biweekly premium?

Etc.

I care about her, but I can barely answer the questions without first inserting an anti-teeth-grinding device in my mouth.

I wanna say, ask Marty! He didn't get it either.

But who does? You might as well ask why don't we go up on the roof and jump off instead of putting up with these multiple trade offs and payment levels, arrows pointing everywhere on flow charts, that we suspect are there to somehow affect our behavior, but quite frankly most people don't have the time or inclination to figure out in their busy, butt-kicking workdays.

The mouse wants the cheese. Why the maze?

Most of the mice think they are just being fucked with, and they are right.

Then I looked up on the internet and learned the founder of Whole Foods said, "well, we can't have people going to the emergency room every time they have a hangnail", which translated, means (first, nothing, since that has never happened), "well, we can't have people running to the doctor every time they have a little chest pain or a suspicious looking mole, can we?", except of course he and and his family are exempted from this behavioral stipulation.

So, the rank and file Whole Foods workers let the chest pains, the suspicious mole and the fucking hangnail go until it's too late and they keel over on the Amazon warehouse floor, like a guy recently did, dead as a carp, while despite the second by second monitoring on the guy to make sure he's hopping to that next order that has to be prontoed NOW, for no particular reason except that some shareholder might get wind and sell their stock, THAT he lays there for 15 minutes before management notices and then they shoo away (Get back to work!) his fellow workers, not fellow union members, in case productivity might suffer for two minutes.

I like to think that he croaked while running with the most recent book I ordered in his hand. Gives me a warm feeling that he died in the harness and that my book still arrived in two days.

This must what my mother meant when she asked me as a kid on one of my lazy days, "Don't you want to get ahead, Johnny?"

I'm ahead, and that guy is dead. It rhymes. But there are plenty more still behind me, and damn, that feels good, else what would be the point of getting ahead.

It's stupid up and down and sideways.

But stupid in the unique American and predatory, but endearingly sentimental way.

She "words" hard too, when she isn't working hard.

Is it wrong to echo Obama, that better is good?

Right?

Obama was too cautious. Clinton, too hawkish and too establishment. Bernie, probably a crap executive.

This year, Biden, basically out of touch. Warren, too "socialist". Harris, too hard-ass prosecutor and too California on top of that. Butigieg, too middle of the road.

Time for a brief head check - they're all running against Trump.

Ham sandwich, everybody. Past-its-sell-by-date ham sandwich in a vending machine on the NJ Turnpike. Doesn't matter.

Trump out. That is the goal. Not because we're all still shedding our tiny snowflake tears from 2016, but because he is a horrible human being and an even worse POTUS.

Trump out. That is the goal. We can fine-tune later.

"Ham sandwich, everybody."

Yup.

Keep in mind though that the shit sandwiches in the opposition will indict whatever ham sandwich we manage to elect in spite of the former's every attempt to steal the election.

Fnck 'em. Bring it.

FIrst, ham sandwich. Any ham sandwich will do, the bar is very very very very very very low.

what if i don't eat swine? turkey? but Suzy doesn't eat meat - can we make it a tofurkey sandwich? but Billy doesn't like tofu! is there any bacon on it? asks Pat. bacon is just smoked swine! arrrg! Gretchen wants to know if can we have spaghetti? gluten! apples? too many pesticides!

GOP: sure, we'll eat this shit sandwich for another four years! suck it, libz!

the shit sandwiches in the opposition will indict whatever ham sandwich we manage to elect

Allow me to suggest that a ham sandwich isn't really the threshold. I'd say that I'd rather vote for a sh*t sandwich than Trump. Sure, I'd prefer something better. Far prefer. But IMHO, even a literal sh*t sandwich would be a significant step upwards.

Stay clear of the chicken sandwiches.

You might get stabbed.

https://juanitajean.com/

JDT, ref our earlier discussion on the number of hopelessly moronic voters, see this: https://juanitajean.com/the-base/

Sounds pretty close to my 25% estimate. Just sayin'.

I wonder if you could win the Electoral College with 27% of the popular vote?

Hans von Spakovsky and company are working on it.

Besides, if the entire Republican Party edifice and infrastructure are not taken down eternally along with trump, then elections are a waste of America's time and money.

I wonder if you could win the Electoral College with 27% of the popular vote?


We decided to find out. A candidate only needs to win the 11 states with the most electoral votes to hit 270. Assuming only two candidates (a big assumption; see below) and that one candidate won all of those states by just one vote, and then didn't win a single vote in any of the other states (or D.C.), how many votes would that candidate have to win? It depends on how you do the math. Either way, it's far less than half.

Initially when we did this story, we found that if you start with the biggest-electoral-vote states, the answer is 27 percent. However, we have an update: as Andrej Schoeke very nicely pointed out to us on Twitter, there's another way to do it (via CGP Grey) that requires even less of the popular vote: start with the smallest-electoral-vote states. Our math went through a few iterations on this but by our final math, in 2012 that could have meant winning the presidency with only around 23 percent of the popular vote.

I see Jacob Hacker has an editorial at NYT about Warren and health care....something, something, she's asking the right question, but I am unable to get past the pay wall.

Election day today: Vote early. Vote often.

We are fighting YET ANOTHER Tim Eyeman initiative to gut the state's taxing authority (and public transportation), and the never ending battle over "affirmative action".

Oops....referring to issues in State of Washington.

This is from 2016, but it looks like as of then the magic number(s) are either 23 or 27%, depending on whether you take a big-state or small-state approach.

The bigger question, to me, is at what level is the legitimacy of the POTUS compromised. Less than 45% of the popular vote? Less than 40%? 33%?

Trump won 46% of the popular vote in 2016, to Clinton's 48%. So, a close outcome, 2% difference. What happens if the difference is something like 10%? Or more?

As an aside, if you want a good laugh some time, go look up Trump's tweet stream from 2012, when he briefly believed Obama had beaten Romney in the electoral college, but not in the popular vote.

cleek beat me to it.

if Trump wins with 23%, i'll grab my pitchfork and meet y'all in DC

at what level is the legitimacy of the POTUS compromisedat what level is the legitimacy of the POTUS compromised

I'd say it isn't so much a hard number as a margin. If you're more than (my guess) 5% of the popular vote below the person you beat, you've got a legitimacy problem. But with a significant 3rd party candidate, you could win the EC with say 35% of the vote, but as long as the candidate from the other major party is below 40% you're probably OK. On the other hand, you could have 40% of the popular vote (i.e. 5% more) and have a serious problem if your opponent was above 45%.

I reserve the right to revise my 5% margin first cut. But I doubt it's off more than a percent or two.

In the event that someone wins the EC without getting the most overall votes, I think you have to take the square of the ratio of the top-two popular-vote receiving candidates, multiply it by the percentage of votes received by all other candidates, divide it by the cubed-root of voter turnout, drink a fifth of Jack Daniels, and flip a coin. Heads = legitimate. Tails = illegitimate.

can we still drink the Jack even if the math doesn't work out?

Of course. This is America!

so... where do our Trump-defenders stand on Trump taking Syrian oil fields by force in order to pay us back for the Iraq war?

Probably too ignorant to know just how miniscule those oil fields actually are. Which is to say that (surprise!) there's no way they pay us back, even if Trump could find someone dumb enough to run them for him.

Don't be so naive... there's always a quid pro quo!

so... where do our Trump-defenders stand on Trump taking Syrian oil fields by force in order to pay us back for the Iraq war?

Not many of those* come through here....I suspect they will find a way to justify this policy on the grounds that the USA has been "taken advantage of" by just about any foreign country you can name, and payback is perfectly OK. So what's the big deal?

Then they will say p is a despicable POS and they didn't vote for him anyway, so there, take that libz.

*but we know who you are! What did our esteemed conservative interlocutors have to say about the Kurds getting stabbed in the back? That will tell the tale.

there's no way they pay us back

that, and it's a blatant war crime to take them.

that, and it's a blatant war crime to take them.

Well yeah. But somehow I can't see a "Trump-defender" caring a fig about that. Just not an issue for them.

I do recall writing something about judgement and restraint (or the lack thereof) recently with regard to Rump. Also general awareness (or lack thereof) of boundaries and constraints. These are the "qualities" that contribute to his decision-making, be it in deciding how to deal with Ukrainian aid or how to handle another country's oil or renting his properties to foreign dignitaries or any number of other aspects of being president (or the real estate business - before or after being president).

IOKIFYAR (It's okay if you are Rump.) He's being persecuted in unprecedented fashion.

The last time someone won the presidency with less than 40% of the popular vote, civil war broke out.

But the issue wasn't whether Lincoln's election was legitimate. It was whether, under him, slavery would be abolished in the South.

Given that Lincoln wasn't on the ballot in most of the secessionist states, I think a case could be made that they regarded his very candidacy as illegitimate.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/as-shareholder-support-for-climate-change-action-grows-sec-votes-to-throttle-those-voices-2019-11-05

These ilk will be eliminated in the Civil War Lincoln didn’t finish.

Wonder how many Southern states will try to replicate that tactic next year? Could work....

Well, no. Trump's going to mostly win those states where they could try it anyway. Still, just because something's useless and unworkable doesn't mean these clowns won't try it.

Dems consolidate dictatorial one party power in Virginia tonight.

God bless America.

I think a case could be made that they regarded his very candidacy as illegitimate.

How'd that work out for them?

God bless America.

I'm breathing the cool fresh air of my new blue state!

Congrats and thanks for your activism, sapient.

Thanks, John! There is hope.

Me: taking oilfields is bad, dont understand how it constitutes a war crime not saying it diesnt just that I dont know why it would be.

Plunder of public or private property is a war crime.

Google is helpful.

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