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January 16, 2020

Comments

Nine out of 10 senators will tell you that they have not read the transcript of the proceedings of the House. And the 10th senator who says he has is lying.

Reading things is what staff are for.

"However, many of the 80% who qualify for the Obamacare subsidies seem to be satisfied, as they keep coming back for more."

They keep coming back for more because having catastrophic health insurance is better than none. Even for those subsidized it could, I didn't say doesn't because it never could, achieve the purported goals without a long term subsidy. So the insurance that gets subsidized is 6k deductible, So there is no insurance that working poor people can use because, oh yeah, it costs them more than the rate for uninsured people. Jesus, how long are we going to discuss this ridiculous piece of shit before "better than nothing" quits being good enough. You want single payer? Be prepared for "its better than nothing" medicine.

And yes, intelligently means tested, based on income, access to Medicare is the right answer. But then I have been saying that since these discussions began in 2008. Any plan that doesn't have an option for everyone is stupid. Making every option the same is also not a good plan.

Reading things is what staff are for.

In the normal course of legislative business, perhaps. But when sitting in judgement? No.

"Jesus, how long are we going to discuss this ridiculous piece of shit before "better than nothing" quits being good enough."

When piece of shit "nothing" bankruptcy is no longer considered by conservatives to be the go-to option for Americans without insurance, including the pre-existing pre-born, who need to get a job, or sue Mike Pence for child support.

Or until Jesus returns with the loaves and the catheters.

It's all moot anyway. The Federalist Society wants Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare declared unconstitutional and the only thing standing in front of that murderous train are Ruth Bader Ginsberg's pre-existing but as yet not fatal conditions, which radical religious conservatives pray will take her to the morgue.

"And yes, intelligently means tested, based on income, access to Medicare is the right answer."

The Supreme Court conservative majority, at the behest of the 1%, will strike that down because they will consider it religious discrimination based on the prosperity gospel and their very own high individual means and income.

And yes, intelligently means tested, based on income, access to Medicare is the right answer.

OK, fine. Let's do that.

Is it on offer?

And yes, intelligently means tested, based on income, access to Medicare is the right answer.

That is what the Medicaid expansion does. Now you wish to move that eligibility line a bit higher above the poverty level....OK by me.

You might be "fucked" under the current ACA structure, but millions are better off, or at least millions who are not under the fucking control of batshit crazy Republicans aided by a partisan Supreme Court.

Oh, and by the way, you would be just as "fucked" if the ACA was repealed.

But it's all about you, right?

Jeezus Fucking Christ.

Is it on offer?

A rhetorical question, no doubt.

Yeah, because when I argue a point it's all about me, but YOu can look at the bigger picture. Thank God for,thank goodness for you good people.

The article in fact cited several reasons why the "Trojan Horse" hypothesis regarding the ACA was total horseshit. NONE OF WHICH YOU BOTHERED TO ADDRESS.

No, the article is light on facts, high on assertions. It starts with the Trojan Horse theory putting forth a bunch of arguments, not facts, then switches to the mandate. I didn't go through every link exhaustively, but the article doesn't provide facts that debunk the theory.

We presume, as with Marty's experience, bc, that you were part of the roughly 20% of the Obamacare population who did not qualify for the subsidies and couldn't qualify for Medicaid because of your accumulated assets.

If you mean I have more than $1,500 in assets aside from my home and car and thus don't qualify for Medicaid, then yes. And I typically make more than the cut off for subsidies.

So, yes, that sucks.

But that's a problem of America, not Obamacare, that those who have the goods must pay through the nose for health insurance, if they are not employed.

A Republican conservative would tell you to get a job.

I have a job. I am self-employed. And I don't follow your argument about the problem with "America." My problem is an ACA problem, not a problem with America per se. If I worked for the government, a union employer or a large corporation, I would have coverage much cheaper than what the exchange offers me. Why is that? It's not based on income unless you are buying on the exchange.

The ACA structurally encourages everyone paying full boat to get on a group plan where the cost isn't as "personal" as it is when you are buying on the exchange without a subsidy. How is that not a step towards single payer?

Before ACA, I could control costs and buy a catastrophic plan, stay healthy, and fund my HSA. But ACA doesn't allow those plans anymore.

However, many of the 80% who qualify for the Obamacare subsidies seem to be satisfied, as they keep coming back for more.

And right there is the proof of a step towards universal coverage. Get the masses dependent on the subsidies. We are, IMHO, a large step closer to single payer.

When do you qualify for Medicare? Soon, I hope.

53. Nope.

Good luck and good health to you.

Thanks.

Listen, I'm in favor of taking care of children, the elderly, and the weakest among us. But some of the uncovered before outside of those categories were uncovered by choice, not by the cost of insurance.

Proof, bobbyp? I guess I could go back into Covered California and try to screenshot it. But that is a huge PITA because I checked last year and it will make me update.

wj: yes, it is always speculative to opine about the motives of others.From a purely structural perspective, putting millions on subsidized healthcare is a step towards universal healthcare. Just sayin'.

Before ACA, I could control costs and buy a catastrophic plan, stay healthy, and fund my HSA.

Hahah. I like the "stay healthy" part.

It's hilarious that people are talking (again) about the possibility of influencing policy when we're turning into a Russian satellite country.

Or maybe not so hilarious. Maybe tragic.

Before ACA, I could control costs and buy a catastrophic plan, stay healthy, and fund my HSA.

Personally, the only way I, as a self-employed person, could get insurance at all, pre-ACA, was to invent (pretty much out of whole cloth) a "group" -- pre-existing condition. Once I did that, of course, I could get insurance -- because groups didn't evenhave to ask about such things. At a reasonable rate, even. Didn't matter that it was a tiny group. Or that everybody in it had one or another pre-existing condition. In fact, at a far lower rate than any of us could have gotten individual health insurance even absent the pre-existing conditions.

In short, the old way had serious flaws . . . unless you figured out how to game the system. Now, there's a new system. I'd bet fairly large amounts of money that it can be gamed as well -- just a different set of loopholes to find and work thru. Which is a pain, but not really that different.

Now, there's a new system.

The thing about the new system is that it was a base line that could have been improved. Legislatures improve legislation every single year - that's what they do. Instead, our lovely Republicans were hell bent on destroying a workable plan, when they could have helped fix it.

I love ObWi, obviously, and love everyone here. But it's so frustrating to pretend that these policy arguments are approached in good faith. Republicans are nihilistic traitors. There's no hope until we wipe them out of our political system. I'm pessimistic, but have a vague thread of hope.

It would be great if the bcs and Martys around here would admit the corruption. But of course they won't.

Stay healthy bc! Or not!

Stay healthy bc! Or not!

Oh, and Bless your heart!

sapient:

How is my part of the discussion not in good faith? And you compound it with "bless your heart?" Really?

I say a pox on both the houses to some degree. Wiping out the Republicans? That passes for a good faith argument?

You appear to love only those who agree with your world view.

You laugh at my "stay healthy." I find your laughter amusing myself. Yes, I believe in personal responsibility while at the same time recognizing that health is also luck, genetics and other things beyond our control. So I support rational health care coverage. I also try to stay healthy and do my part and wish everyone did the same. So shoot me.

Will you "admit the corruption" of the Democrats too? The lies of Schiff, the baseless FISA applications to support spying on a campaign, etc.? There is more than enough to go around, IMHO. But I have the feeling that unless I abase myself completely and denounce my conservative neighbors I will still be found wanting and not "in good faith."

Stop drinking the Kool-aid and realize that there are people of good will on all sides of the political spectrum, regardless of what you read or hear. Binary thinking gets us nowhere.

You have a lot of questions, bc, but not many answers.

Yes, I believe in personal responsibility while at the same time recognizing that health is also luck, genetics and other things beyond our control.

Don't we all! Insurance isn't for the "personal responsibility" part (although, since we are all human, we sometimes have bad habits - obviously not you, St. bc! Hahahaha!)

The lies of Schiff

Which are those? Are you talking about his ill-advised parody? Hahaha!

Stop drinking the Kool-aid

Hahaha!

and realize that there are people of good will on all sides of the political spectrum

No, I'm over that, thanks.

realize that there are people of good will on all sides of the political spectrum

No doubt.

And all of the good will residing deep in the hearts of our conservative friends is worth approximately one warm bucket of spit at the moment.

Want to demonstrate your good will? Replace the leadership of your party.

Until then, I see no basis for dialog.

The lies of Schiff, the baseless FISA applications to support spying on a campaign, etc.?

Pull the other one.

realize that there are people of good will on all sides of the political spectrum

If by "political spectrum" you mean left/right ideological outlook, sure. But much as it pains me to say so, the amount of good will in evidence among Republican politicians and ideologues these days is minimal.

You can have a "good faith" disagreement about whether what Trump did merits impeachment and ejection from office. But overwhelmingly, that isn't what we are seeing. Instead we are seeing name calling, flat out lies about what was said or done, etc. Not exaggerations or different perspectives on events (although we see those, too), but straight out contrary to objective reality statements.

Conversation is nice, but flipping the Senate is better.

Do whatever you can. If "whatever you can" is spending five bucks, then spend five bucks.

The (R) party is an utter disgrace and deserves to be ground to dust.

Don't you know how noxious fine particles can be? ;-)

Sow their fields with salt.

I'm fine with people having different points of view. I'm fine with people advocating for their own best interest. I accept and embrace the idea that nobody gets everything they want, and that discussion negotiation and compromise is the way to make things actually work.

All of that is fine with me.

The constituency and policies of the (R) party at this point represent a minority of the country. The (R)'s in the Senate represent a minority of the population of the country. The POTUS lost the popular vote.

The (R)'s rightfully deserve a voice and a place at the table, and they rightfully deserve not one thing more. They rightfully deserve to lose more than they win in any point of public policy or law.

They will, apparently, burn the whole damned place down before they will accept any of that.

This is not a position that has a long shelf life. It is not a position or an approach that is sustainable. So, it will end at some point.

The question is what the process of that happening looks like, and what will be left when it does happen. See also nous' comment in this thread at 12:58.

I'm personally coming to the position that chatting about policy preferences is exactly as valuable as discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Because while we're all chatting away and exchanging points of view, the (R)'s are destroying the institutions that make it possible for us all to function together as a nation.

Change your leadership, and then we can chat. Because until you change your leadership, there is no point in discussion.

You didn't vote for those guys? Well, they're speaking for you. You can actually do something about replacing them. I can't. So it's on you.

Marty and bc, if the cost of your medical insurance becomes too onerous, you can do whatever everybody else I know who works for themselves and has unexpected medical costs does.

GoFundMe.

Insurance for the gig economy. There's even an app for it.

Uber for health care. It's the American way.

Marty and bc, if the cost of your medical insurance becomes too onerous, you can do whatever everybody else I know who works for themselves and has unexpected medical costs does.

Their party held the reins of government absolutely for two years and did nothing. Yet they continue to support Republicans and blame Democrats. They are not serious people on that subject or any other.

this Senate trial is eye-opening.

the Dems are piling evidence ever-skyward. the GOP is pretending not to see it.

it's always been obvious that the Senate GOP would vote to acquit. but i expected they'd marshal some kind of too-clever defense, because they couldn't be dumb willfully ignorant as the House GOP showed itself to be. the Senate is supposed to be the more ... respectable?... of the chambers. but no, they're at least as dumb as the House GOP, but older and sleepier.

Schiff and the rest of the House managers are burying the GOP in facts. and the Senate GOP is sleeping comfortably at the bottom of the pile.

i can see it dawning on people, from relatives to op-ed writers in major newspapers, how fragile our system is, how the whole thing is based on unwritten norms and expectations.

"how can he get away with this?"
"they can't stop it?"
"aren't they supposed to...?"

nope.

we're at the limit of what our system of government can do, and it's obvious that the system is insufficient to handle the moment.

i don't have any hope that the GOP will pay any price for this in November, either.

the baseless FISA applications to support spying on a campaign

The 'spying on a campaign' bit is pretty well baloney, but it is absolutely true that the FBI pursues baseless FISA applications, - as liberal bloggers are only too happy to point out (and as the FBI is occasionally forced to admit):
https://www.emptywheel.net/2020/01/23/fisc-reveals-doj-has-withdrawn-probable-cause-assertion-for-two-of-carter-page-applications/

The investigation into associations between the Trump campaign and representatives of the Russian government did not begin with Carter Page, and did not begin with the Steele dossier.

They began when George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign aide, got drunk with an Australian diplomat and bragged about the dirt that the Russians had on Clinton.

Two of the four FISA warrants authorizing wiretaps of Page were found to be invalid. Two others, including the first, were not.

The FBI should have stopped wiretapping Page after the first warrant expired. They did not. Bad FBI, no cookie for you.

Next freaking topic.

how the whole thing is based on unwritten norms and expectations.

The system is based on respect for the truth. That's what's missing in the Republican party. Their voters aren't interested in the truth.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/state-of-the-union/is-trump-offering-west-bank-to-bibi-in-his-deal-of-the-century/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTbl6OzH3W0

"Their voters aren't interested in the truth."

It's much worse than that.

And what is coming is what nous wrote, alright, but there will be nothing academic about it.

i don't have any hope that the GOP will pay any price for this in November, either.

Me neither, I'm afraid.

And despite bc's seemingly reasonable Binary thinking gets us nowhere., it is noticeable that, on ObWi itself, when there was a Dem POTUS in the White House he and his administration got plenty of criticism here, whereas with Trump in the White House (despite some insults directed at him personally by Marty) it is noticeable that bc and Marty are happy to drink the Kool-Aid and repeat baseless R talking points like the good little apparatchiks we see on Fox. If our own tiny petrie dish is anything to go by, Republican understanding of and respect for the US constitution has gone the way of the Dodo.

they've mistaken their party for the country.

they've mistaken their party for the country.

The new Confederacy.

I'd like to know what baseless talking points I'm repeating please.

The repeated baseless talking points here are beyond counting. Including the constant drumbeat that people like me dont think for ourselves.

There is certainly no Constitutional crisis here, unless we remove a sitting President because the left lost their minds. Jesus. Why are we discussing Carter Page, Russian Mueller crap dudnt even make it through the House. They had to Trump up a new charge just to get an impeachment. Talk about Koolaid.

Why are we discussing Carter Page

bc brought it up.

They had to Trump up a new charge just to get an impeachment.

Haha, good one!

Trump held back money from the Ukraine to coerce them into publicly announcing an investigation in Joe Biden.

You either think that happened, or you didn't. If you think it happened, you either think it matters, or you don't.

Baseless talking points:

There is certainly no Constitutional crisis here

There is a Constitutional crisis when the Executive branch has no checks from the other two branches of government, and can ignore the law. The independent GAO has found that Trump violated the law. Who's stopping him? Who's stopping him from violating the emoluments clause? Why are the Courts failing to expedite the appellate process relating the the Constitutional violations that are before them?

unless we remove a sitting President because the left lost their minds

A large number of witnesses have testified to Trump's misconduct. "The left" hasn't lost their minds.

Why are we discussing Carter Page, Russian Mueller crap dudnt even make it through the House.

What? Nonsensical, but assuming you're ignoring the fact that Mueller didn't indict Trump because of the OLC policy disallowing it, but refused to say that Trump was exonerated, well, yes, a baseless talking point.

They had to Trump up a new charge just to get an impeachment.

Repeated baseless talking point. See notes regarding the GAO and the parade of witnesses.

Talk about Koolaid

Projecting?

What russell said.

The (R)'s in the Senate represent a minority of the population of the country.

Actually, it's worse than that. A majority of Republican voters think the Senate should look at evidence and hear first hand from witnesses. And yet the Republicans in the Senate apparently have no intention of representing that view.

Trump held back money from the Ukraine to coerce them into publicly announcing an investigation in Joe Biden.

You either think that happened, or you didn't. If you think it happened, you either think it matters, or you don't.

It really can't be said more fairly or more accurately than this. A footnote would be that the money he held back was authorised by Congress, so his action was unlawful as many of his aides apparently saw, and as the GAO report recently found.

Your president is a crook and a liar, a chiseller and a cheat, who puts his own interests above those of his country. This impeachment is dealing with only one egregious example, for which there is a tremendous amount of proof. You don't have to like or agree with "the left", or the Democrats, or any of their policies, but to wilfully blind yourself to the truth of this is as perfect example of drinking the Kool-Aid as can be found since Jonestown.

By the way, since we were talking about the deficiencies of Obamacare (again), why don't bc or Marty address the fact that Republicans did nothing when they could have done something?

Republicans have no legislative agenda other than cleek's law. And looting the Treasury.

This is definitely how we want our diplomats treated. Well, maybe Republicans do.

The thing about Marty ilk is that he accepts the cyanide-laced chalice of the chosen conservative republican sugar beverage, even pouring samples of it around here for our desultory sipping, but at the last second, as everyone else, including republican children, drinks, he pours his helping down his pant leg and then makes for the gate where the getaway car labeled "I don't like trump either and wish he was gone" is idling.

The conservative movement has that eventuality covered too with their gunmen ready outside the compound and at the airports, bus stations, inside the Uber dispatching algorithms (the car circles the compound and the sneaky petes are hustled inside to finish their helping of the death nectar) and all other points of egress.

Kill and butcher and slaughter the entire nationalist, populist conservative movement round the globe.

Fuck elections.

They are being stolen by republicans as we speak from cyrillic keyboards.

Fuck off.

All republicans are going to go through some things.

It is what it is.

It hadda be done.

The language of thug vermin conservative subhumans everywhere around the globe.

"I don't like trump either and wish he was gone"

Not to pick on Marty, but by his own statements, he doesn't like Trump, wishes he was gone, but is willing to eat that particular shit sandwich in exchange for tax cuts, business friendly policies, and conservative judges.

Which is, I think, a not-uncommon point of view among American conservatives.

Unfortunately, that means we all have to eat the same shit sandwich.

I'm tired of eating that shit sandwich, and I'm tired of hearing all the reasons that I need to suck it up and eat it anyway.

If you want to eat shit, eat shit on your own time. I've had my fill.

I have no particular animus toward conservatives, I have conservative friends and family, conservative co-workers, yadda yadda yadda. I wish them all good health and happiness. I just want them to quit making a mess of American public life.

The time has come to crush the (R) party, raze it to the damned ground, and salt the earth where it once stood. They have surrendered any claim to being good faith actors.

Liars, cheats, and scoundrels, all of them. A pack of corrupt mendacious bastards. The decent ones can't abandon ship fast enough.

Conservatives need to clean their house. People like me can't make that happen, they need to do it, for themselves.

Clean your damned house.

“We have all the material; they don’t have the material.”

We, meaning the Shite House, Trump, Marty, and bc.

Co-conspirators.

Those is in the Shite House and Trump will be executed like the Rosenbergs.

The others, and all of their fellow travelers, under the beds, will have their lives and careers ruined like so many of the victims of the McCarthy Inquisition.

Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Republican Party that aligned itself with Vladimir Putin and other foreign powers to subvert American elections and the precious fluids of the American way of life?

It's about fucking time.

No, I have no shame.

I want savage vengeance.

So, let me get this straight. If Obama witheld documents, ignored subpoenas, ordered Sid Blumenthal to shut the fuck up, and told Trey Gowdy to go pound sand with his ridiculous Benghazi "investigation" it would have been perfectly OK?

I'm just a bit confused here about the ground rules.

Perhaps we should try to revive the Whigs. Founded in opposition to populist President (and Trump hero) Andrew Jackson. Featured people like Daniel Webster. Whigs (Northern ones at least) were less supportive of slavery than northern Democrats, albeit less opposed than the new Republican Party was then.

Might be worth a thought.

and told Trey Gowdy to go pound sand with his ridiculous Benghazi "investigation" it would have been perfectly OK?

would it help if he then said that people injured in the attack just had "headaches" ?

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/22/opinions/trump-headaches-injuries-iran-strike-hertling/index.html

Which is, I think, a not-uncommon point of view among American conservatives.

90%, as always.

they can rot.

I'm just a bit confused here about the ground rules.

It's OK If You're A Republican.

otherwise, STFU

A large number of witnesses have testified. Some have testified to his conduct, characterizing as misconduct. None of them testified to him committing a crime, nor did any of them testify to conduct that is dangerous to the security of the country.

Like all three years of investigations, every hyped and out of context line has been treated in talking points as a smoking gun. There's nothing there. It is why they had to throw in obstruction of Congress as a ludicrous second charge.

So I can complain about Trump, and I do, but the people using there position to dangerously effect an election are the Democrats.

Yall dont even read what is written here, Koolaid wasnt projection it was a response. But the people here mindlessly cutting and pasting and repeating talking points are not Republicans.

None of them testified to him committing a crime, nor did any of them testify to conduct that is dangerous to the security of the country.

you should try paying attention to things outside the bubble.

Marty's comments would have more substance and be less incoherent if he just kept pasting "Nyah nyah ny' nyah nyah" into the comment box over and over again.

you should try paying attention to things outside the bubble.

Such as the hearings themselves. But why argue with this guy? It's futile. It's depressing.

A large number of witnesses have testified. Some have testified to his conduct, characterizing as misconduct. None of them testified to him committing a crime, nor did any of them testify to conduct that is dangerous to the security of the country.

Of course, there is the detail that any witnesses who might be able to testify to his conduct were told not to testify. And many ignored subpoenas to do so. Likewise subpoenas for documents which might show what he did were ignored.

It's a bit rich to complain about the lack of evidence, when requests/demands for evidence were rejected. Indeed, that is one of the articles of impeachment.

It's like complaining "but he hasn't been charged with a crime" when the DoJ rules that he cannot be charged with commission of a (Federal) crime while in office. That, after all, is why Mueller didn't indict him. Taking having it both ways to a whole new level.

There's nothing there.

LOL...well there never is. The Reconstruction Republicans did not go after A. Johnson because he fired Stanton (pretty much a nothingburger in the pantheon of crime), but because he was sabotaging Reconstruction. Congress did not move toward impeaching Nixon because of some small and petty political burglary, but for trying to cover it up and taking the position that the President is pretty much an elected dictator. Clinton was impeached and tried for a minor offense that had nothing to do with his responsibilities as President. It was pure politics by lunatic Republicans who never accepted his legitimacy. Pure and ugly partisanship.

Trump has clearly seriously abused his office in a number of ways, and Ukrainegate is just the last in a whole slew of them.

The GOP is trodding a very dangerous path. They have pretty much defined "high crimes and misdemeanors" out of existence. They are essentially supporting a president that claims a right to nearly untrammeled executive power. If you are fine with that, then well OK.

Just remember, what goes around comes around and revenge served cold is a very tasty dish.

So carry on motherfuckers. You'll not hear any bleating from me begging GOP Senators to find their morals or their conscience. There will only be the cold fury of knowing that sometime, somewhere, it will be our turn.

None of them testified to him committing a crime

No, grasshopper. The testimony is clear.

HE ABUSED THE POWER OF HIS OFFICE FOR PERSONAL GAIN.

End of story.

There's nothing there.

OK, thanks for chiming in.

There is no point in you and I discussing any of this any further.

Have a nice day.

None of them testified to him committing a crime

is this that nonsense about how "high crimes and misdemeanors" really means actual statutory crimes?

because that's just pure nonsense. it has never meant that: not when before it was written, not when it was written, and not now. and Republicans, as recently as 1998, knew it.

In any case, the scholarly consensus - and that of such non-scholars as Lindsey Graham, ca. 1998 - is that impeachment does not require evidence of a statutory crime. The presidency is a sufficiently powerful office that behavior which would not be criminal in an ordinary citizen is impeachable in a President.

nor did any of them testify to conduct that is dangerous to the security of the country.

Oh no?

Several of the witnesses made it clear that withholding the aid when Ukraine was actively fighting Russia was dangerous to national security. Is it a good idea to let Russia expand?

Stop, Marty. Everything you say is Fox lies and idiocy.

No bernard, everything yall say is cnn bs, over and over. There were no witnesses that said it was dangerous, one said it could be dangerous. The truth is many foreign policy negotiations entail some danger. It's all over lown bs because the foreign service got their feelings hurt.

Stop acting like this is anything except a political sideshow.

here were no witnesses that said it was dangerous

“Over 13,000 Ukrainians had been killed in the war, one or two a week. More Ukrainians would undoubtedly die without the U.S. assistance.”
-- Amb. Taylor

for fuck's sake. educate yourself.

for fuck's sake. educate yourself.

For fuck's sake, we've had a dozen years of evidence that Marty is ineducable. He doesn't come to be educated, he comes to throw poo, which despite a dozen years of evidence to the contrary, he apparently thinks is going to educate us.

Or maybe he comes on the "because it feels so good when I stop" principle. It's hard to understand it otherwise.

This is when, ordinarily, I might be inclined to dig up and present factual information to rebut claims like Marty's.

But I'm with Janie, it's not worth it.

FWIW, this is the part that says, to me, not worth my time:

because the foreign service got their feelings hurt

It's a cheap, pissant comment.

And speaking of hurt feelings, the media thinks that at this juncture of our history one of the most important things to report on is another episode of "Susan Collins, Pearl-Clutcher Extraordinaire."

And of course Susan Collins herself apparently thinks that one of the most important things to note about the events going on around her is her own hurt fee-fees.

Whoever invented that "fuck your feelings" taunt, it sure does come in handy.

Misdirection used to work well for Susan. Hopefully those days are over.

Marty, out of interest, how do you account for the Republicans like Frum and (if I remember correctly) Republicans for Integrity? Are they the left losing their minds? p.s.I knew you didn't bring up Kool-aid, but it seemed the perfect analogy for what so many of you Rs are doing with regard to Trump.

Speaking of Susan Collins, if folks want to do something consequential about this freaking mess, go spend some money to help flip the damned Senate.

The (D)'s need to win net 4 seats to gain control, 3 if there's a (D) VPOTUS. Doug Jones (D) AL is at risk, because AL, so let's say 5 to be safe.

There are six (R) Senators who are up for re-election in states where the (D)'s have a chance to flip it. Five will get it done, six will tie a bow on it.

Click through and you'll be able to target all six of those at-risk (R) seats in one go.

If all you have is $5, send $5. If you $1,000, send $1,000.

If you have a few pennies left over, throw them at Amy McGrath. She's challenging McConnell in KY. Most likely she will lose, but make the Turtle work for it.

Throw them out.

i suppose i do get all the willfully-ignorant wingnuttery i need just watching Congress.

i believe i'll turn on the Ignore.

And speaking of hurt feelings

Call me simple minded, but there would seem to be a bit of a difference between having one's feeling hurt because people have backed you into a corner where you may not get reelected, and having one's feelings hurt because one of your coworkers has had to be evacuated from her post due to grave risk of injury (or death) at the hands of those working with (or perhaps for) the head of your government.

And note that that wasn't a bunch of liberal whimps saying that the Ambassador was at severe risk. That was Trump's State Department itself.

The problem with the Kool-Aid analogy is that republicans and conservatives order it this way: "I'll have the Cyanide and Koolaid ... up. And, hold the Koolaid.

But they down it in one gulp and keep walking around, bumping into the furniture and goosing the beauty queens, like bug-eyed Zombies, with no apparent hangover the next day.

I'm afraid someone is watering the cyanide because it's not doing the job the Founders intended.

Use the concentrate.

The truth is many foreign policy negotiations entail some danger.

LOL...this coming from somebody who claims to be a 'realist'.

a. It was not a negotiation.
b. It was extortion.
c. It had nothing to do with foreign policy.

No 'truth' for you today, sir!

Call me simple minded...

Um, maybe you just need to tune your snark/irony meter?

;-)

You cant dig it up, because it doesnt exist. What Amb Taylor said was great. But they got the assistance. So? A

The one that's the most bogus for me is the whole blackmail thing. Presidents have enormous latitude in negotiating foreign policy. All negotiations include some quid pr quo and all Presidents use their office to get reelected.

I could look up examples but Obama admitted to it on an open mic. No one chased down every potential source to see what he was promising because, that's what Presidents do.

All the wailing and gnashing of teeth in Washington is political theater to impact the next election. It seems to have worked.

Democrats are a cult.

all Presidents use their office to get reelected

They do things that they believe will gain them votes. They do NOT use the government to dig up dirt on (or coerce others to invent dirt on) their political opponents.

Impeachment is a political process by which a super-majority of the senate can evict the president. If a president were to appoint only incompetent family members to his/her cabinet and if those incompetents functioned incompetently, the House would likely report out articles of impeachment and the senate would likely convict and the American public would likely support all of the above, all without any provable crime, no bribery, no actual corruption, just serial, gross stupidity.

So, the arguments back and forth on what the limits are on valid grounds for impeachment don't move my needle in the slightest.

I'm one who believes that keeping the Ukraine independent is in our best national security interests and doing so involves military aid. I cannot interpret DT's call with the Ukrainian president as anything other than a veiled QPQ. For me, that's enough to pull the trigger. I've said so here and elsewhere prior to today.

I'm repeating myself because the ideas that Trump needs to be removed and the Dems are out of their minds are not mutually exclusive.

Of course they do wj, although I wouldnt be overly upset if Trump got removed, it is purely a political calculation by the Dems to go through this. Blatantly using their offices to try to win an election. It is indisputable abuse of their offices.

You cant dig it up, because it doesnt exist.

Sorry, the fish are not biting today.

It seems to have worked.

Splendid!

Enjoy your evening.

I'm repeating myself because the ideas that Trump needs to be removed and the Dems are out of their minds are not mutually exclusive.

LOL. Not mocking your comment, just laughing because it's true and funny.

Thanks McK.

It is indisputable abuse of their offices.

Those bastards!!

It is indisputable abuse of their offices.

Those bastards!

LOL

I'm repeating myself because the ideas that Trump needs to be removed and the Dems are out of their minds are not mutually exclusive.

LOL. Not mocking your comment, just laughing because it's true and funny.

Same here.

So we can add McKinney to Frum and Republicans for Integrity etc. But unfortunately, those who are drinking the Kool-aid outnumber them.

Presidents have enormous latitude in negotiating foreign policy.

I draw the line at a president employing his vast powers to "negotiate" (snicker) a deal solely for his own personal political benefit.

Maybe you don't.

That's OK.

Just stop the feeble attempt to characterize it as something else, because it is not.

By the way, I wanted to say something yesterday about the notion of "stay healthy."

Two of the most capable, vital, energetic, fit people I know have cancer. One of them has been treated for two kinds of cancer in the past five years and is now in hospice. When he first got sick he had just recently qualified for the Boston Marathon at age 60-plus.

The other is (or was) still mountain biking vigorously at age 68. Now he has an 18-inch incision in his leg after the removal of a tumor, and very uncertain prospects for recurrence or spread.

These are people who did everything they could to "stay healthy." They ate well, exercised, didn't smoke (or drink much if at all), enjoyed their work and their social lives.

That's not to mention all the people I know who have died of cancer despite their efforts to "stay healthy." Or the people I know with disabilities that are going to have them living under a bridge, or dead, if the Rs have their vicious way.

Because we all know that if bad luck strikes, you must have deserved it somehow, so fuck you.

Soon we'll be putting the infirm on ice floes and sending them out to sea to die out of sight. Though we'd better hurry, lest there be no ice floes left. I suppose in that case we can just stick people into cages with would-be immigrants.

I think bc's point needs to be considered carefully.

As I understand it, he would like to be able to buy a high-deductible policy, to cover catastrophic situations, and put some of the savings into an HSA. Obamacare, apparently, does not allow this.

OK. I get that this makes him unhappy. But it does not mean that "Obamacare was, IMHO, designed to fail the self-employed and small business owner," for a couple of reasons.

First, and most important, our previous "system" actually prevented lots of people from becoming self-employed, or becoming small business owners. That high-deductible option is pretty risky, and pretty expensive, or maybe unavailable, to someone with pre-existing conditions. And maybe some of these people preferred a more conventional policy. So at least some of the people bc mentions as being "failed" were greatly benefitted.

Second, like may critics of Obamacare, bc overlooks a very important point. When you buy a policy you are getting more than a health care policy. You are also getting the right to continue being covered at a reasonable premium, whatever happens.

This option is enormously valuable. It is part of what you pay for under Obamacare. I don't know what the renewal provisions of bc's pre-ACA policy were, but I'd encourage him to take a look before singing its praises.

byomtov -- yes indeed.

I was self-employed from about 1987 to 2013. I had exactly the kind of catastrophic coverage that bc was talking about, with a $15K deductible and very cheap premiums. I was lucky never to have to dig very deeply into my savings; the only time was when I had knee surgery and paid for it out of my own pocket. It was a calculated risk, and I was lucky enough that it worked out okay.

It's hard to generalize, because before the ACA every state had its own rules. But in Maine when I first moved here, if you tried to change your coverage, or were booted, a potential new insurer could refuse to cover pre-existing conditions. (IIRC there was a time frame after which they had to cover them, maybe six months. But meanwhile, people with expensive ailments or chronic conditions were SOL.)

A few years later the state pushed through the requirement that if you had "played the game" (as my roommate the insurance commissioner called it) by maintaining coverage right along, insurers could not refuse to cover you if you switched companies. IOW, you got "the right to continue being covered at a reasonable premium."

Maine continues to try to ensure that this enormously valuable option remains in force no matter what the Feds do.

he would like to be able to buy a high-deductible policy, to cover catastrophic situations, and put some of the savings into an HSA. Obamacare, apparently, does not allow this.

I'm sure that worked well for him. Presumably, he had the surplus income to put into an HSA, and was reasonably healthy.

A lot of people are not in that position, for either or both reasons.

I don't really much care what specific program we choose to deal with the cost of health care in this country. Single payer, private insurance with strong regulation, pay for doctor visits with chickens.

I do not give one flying you know what. I don't.

What I do care about is that whatever approach we take, be something that (a) makes it possible for everyone to go to the doctor when they are sick and for basic preventive care, and (b) manages the potentially large costs of illness for people who don't have good luck medically so that they aren't bankrupted by it.

(a) and (b). Whatever makes that happen, *for everybody*, is fine with me.

Catastrophic coverage plus HSA probably doesn't meet both of those requirements, *for everybody*. Which is to say, it's great for folks who are basically healthy and have surplus $$$ to put in their HSA, but sucks for folks who don't have both of those advantages.

The ACA is not a great program for people who are self-employed, don't otherwise qualify for some group policy or other, and make too much money to qualify for subsidies. I completely understand why those people think it sucks.

So, let's fix it so that the particular needs of those people are addressed in some way.

Throwing the whole fucking thing out because a relatively small number of people are not well served is not really a good answer.

All of this, of course, assumes that things working reasonably well *for everybody* is desirable. Not everyone works under that assumption. For folks who don't work under that assumption, I say bugger off. My inclinations are communitarian, contrary to bizarre misanthropes like Margaret Thatcher I actually believe that there is such a thing as society.

I recognize, affirm, and consider myself bound by the idea that we bear some basic responsibility for each other's welfare. I will by god make no apology for that, not here or anywhere, not now or ever.

You are free to see things however you wish. I recognize and acknowledge other points of view, but I'm sick of watching people freaking suffer for no good reason. So if your "point of view" doesn't have a credible solution that works *for everybody*, then we have no basis for discussion. I am simply not interested.

Catastrophic insurance and HSAs don't work *for everybody*. Come up with something that is *actually better, for everybody* than what is available now, and I'm all ears.

Proposals that are *better for you* but which *take stuff away from other people* do not attract my interest. Speaking purely personally. I'm sure other folks here will be happy to discuss them with you, I will not.

byomtov,

As usual, you provide a level headed and sensible take on things. Yes, bc has sour grapes because he is unable to procure a cheapo catastrophic health care policy and call it "health care". And because of his individual situation and proclivities, he demands that the ACA be destroyed root and branch.

Seems kind of a stretch to me.

But here's the deal. If we let all the bc's of the world opt out, then the rest of us have to pick up the tab. And when bc's sham policy doesn't pay out? Well, we get to pick up that tab too. And if you have a pre-existing condition? Well, too bad for you! We get to pick up that tab as well.

Because it is the paramount mission of public heath care policy to ensure that folks like bc and marty get cheapo health care, the rest of us be damned.

Somebody in a group plan through their employer is paying about 12K/yr for health care. They have monthly premiums, deductibles, and the employer's contribution (part of the wage).

But the "self-employed" deserve a special break?

Really?

like religious schools, the bc's and marty's of the world want a special exemption, because they don't want to pay up like everybody else does who is in a similar tax bracket.

They "want to take the chance" that they will remain healthy. And if that does not come to pass? Well, somebody else's problem.

This is an issue that can be solved within the ACA framework. But that is not good enough for them.

So I see it as simply a case of special pleading.

Glad to hear from you.

bobby

wrs

bobbyp too!

You can add to the special exemption list the special snowflakes who are now trying to overturn Maine's new vaccination law.

The right to shoot up schools and churches, the right to infect other people with measles, the right to health care that other people can't afford...what a crew.

When summoned into a thug conservative Republican Party official's presence, always carry a weapon and stand ready to use that weapon with deadly force in self-defense, just as you would if confronted by a rapist or a mass murderer.

Take him out. He's going to go through some things.

https://digbysblog.net/2020/01/pompeo-goes-full-trump/

The good news is Pompeo is, apparently, not going to run for the Senate in Kansas this year. If he ran, he might well win. If he doesn't, there's a good chance the Republicans will nominate Kobach, and see him lose to a Democrat. Good riddance.

Are these unhatched free-range chickens you are counting?

Republican vermin in the State of Kansas are rigging the election as we speak.

All the (certified organic) eggs may not hatch. But more eggs still give you better prospects than fewer eggs.

It's like hoping that people who might beat Roy Moore in the primary (e.g. Sessions) don't run. Senator Jones might lose anyway. But against Moore, he might win again.

people who claim that the ACA was 'designed' to be the stalking horse for universal health care have to explain this....without Joe fucking Leiberman's vote, the ACA does not pass.

bobbyp, you have to understand that nobody can work up a good conspiracy theory if you persist on injecting facts and reality into the discussion.

Maybe there is no need to salt their fields, (R)'s may just die off.

So be it.

If you think that's all just more lefty garbage, check the source and the author.

The stalking horse for universal healthcare is the fact that so many Americans are shut out of the private health insurance market for one reason or another.

The stalking horse for the runaway Pentagon budget since the Cold War is conservatives' working overtime to conjure up new threats to replace the specter of international communism, while of course cozying up to Russian plutocratic thugs.

The stalking horse for the Interstate highway system was the automobile.

The stalking horse for more stringent FAA regulation is Boeing purposefully fucking up to enhance their bottom line.

The stalking horses for my visceral hatred for the contemporary conservative movement are the jackasses leading that movement.

The stalking horse for civil rights legislation and Brown versus Board of Education were southern racist filth and their northern brethren such as William F. Buckley standing athwart history and shouting "Stop!"

Conservatives don't like be stalked?

Then stop what you are doing.

Russell's cite reminds me that Churchill didn't say what others claim he said and is all the more reason for someone to provide a companion volume to Bartlett's Familiar Quotations entitled Bartlett's Familiar Misquotations, which will be a heavier tome than the original.

A third and even longer volume could be entitled "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations by Donald Trump That He Said He Didn't Say But That He In Fact Did Say More Than Once".

Marty could write the introduction and then add an Afterword entitled "What I Meant Was" denying that he said what he said in the introduction.

I recognize, affirm, and consider myself bound by the idea that we bear some basic responsibility for each other's welfare. I will by god make no apology for that, not here or anywhere, not now or ever.

1. The real spirit of ObWi, IMHO.

2. WWJD (if you are the sort who cares)? This.

3. The recipe for a better world.

4. So self-evidently right and good, that anybody who disagrees with it is suspect by definition, and (if you are the sort who believes in that kind of thing) an agent of the Evil One.

5. Seriously, WTF has happened to us that this is even arguable?

6. Sowing their fields with salt is beginning to look more and more adviseable....

I’m not happy with the Cold War cheerleading that has been a big part of the anti- Trump movement from the beginning. Trump is an obviously corrupt man and his actions in the Ukraine show a man using foreign policy to gather dirt on a political opponent but I would rather people stick to Trump’s corruption and not make it about how we must intervene in the Ukraine because it is necessary for our national security. That is a separate debate.

https://original.antiwar.com/daniel_lazare/2020/01/23/adam-schiffs-very-scary-warmongering-speech/

Sowing their fields with salt is beginning to look more and more adviseable....

As russell's cite notes, the reactionaries are not only dying off, but their younger partisans are abandoning ship at increasing rates. And not coming back. Pushing policies which hurt people will tend to have that kind of effect on them -- eventually, if not sooner.

Also, isn't trashing part of the environment, just because it's someone else's, a bad idea? ;-)

Seriously, the main question, IMHO, is how to hold down the damage (and reverse it where possible) while nature takes its course.

Bartlett's Familiar Misquotations is a great idea. An initial contribution:

Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.

Robert Kennedy

From here. And probably a thousand other places.

Not quite a misquotation, because I guess Bobby really did say it, and Ted quoted it in his eulogy for Bobby, and JFK used it in a speech, etc. etc.

But the scholar/nerd in me wants credit given where credit is due:

THE SERPENT. ...When you and Adam talk, I hear you say 'Why?' Always 'Why?' You see things; and you say 'Why:?' But I dream things that never were, and I say 'Why not?'

-- From Man and Superman, by GBS

Churchill and Shaw may be among the most quoted *and* misquoted people in history. E.g., this one, where they are quoted (and/or misquoted) together.

As that latter link will show, and as I have learned dabbling in genealogical research, there is hardly any such thing as a fact.

Safer to stick to math.


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