How long does Obama have?

Everyone seems to be asking themselves how long Obama has before the American people start getting -- as Andrew Sullivan puts it -- pissy. Nate Silver looks at polling data and guesses that it will be a year and a half. Blumenthal is skeptical, but not very specific. HankP agrees with Nate.

I'd like to approach the question not from current poll data but from historical analogy. The other harsh recession since the great depression was the 1981-82 slump, when Reagan was in power. Like Reagan, Obama is a President with a pretty strong connection to the American people, so the comparison is apt that way. Let's look at the unemployment rate since that seems to be the measure that's most connected to popular anxiety, even if it is a trailing indicator for the economy.

Unemployment started going up in July 1981 and peaked in December 1982. Reagan's popularity bottomed around 45% in January of 1983, so it never really cratered. It was above 50% until October 1982. That seems to confirm Nate Silver's guess: about a year and a half, maybe a little less. I would just add two things: Reagan's recession began during his term. He was quite effective in blaming it on Carter, but the timing surely didn't help him. Obama's recession is more closely identified with his predecessor because it was already a year old when he stood on the Capitol steps to take the oath. Also, I would note how fast Reagan's popularity rebounded as the economy improved. Even though the unemployment rate was still above 10% half way through 1983, the economy was showing signs of recovery, so his approval rating was steaming back up to 60% by the fall of that year. Which is to say, if we start getting a visible recovery by Spring 2010, Obama's numbers may not fall below 50% at all.

--

I've taken the pledge: no more troll-feeding. Clean since 3/4/09.


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Congresspeople lose their nerve. Details at 10. -nt-

(#156923)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

lose, you cannot lose, what you never had nt

(#156937)

.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Even less newsworthy, then. -nt-

(#156940)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

see subject of the diary [hand to chin, a gentle stroke] hmmmm

(#156941)

and now you understand

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Yep. Someone has to lead; Congress ain't gonna do it. -nt-

(#156950)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I await with bated breath, as the critical issue is addressed nt

(#156954)

.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Wish I knew what you were on

(#156955)

about. : )

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Obama is not Jesus. Jesus could actually build a cabinet.

(#156958)

From Fark via Instapundit

The

Left finally comes to terms that Obama is not Jesus. Jesus could actually build a cabinet.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Um

(#157036)
HankP's picture

I think you and Instapundit should get an idea of what fark is about before you start quoting it. Hint: political discussion of any kind isn't it's strong point.

I blame it all on the Internet

Re: fark

(#157114)

Don't you think it should be deleted from our blogroll? Back when I wa working on a revamp of that (remember? Before you lobbied for my recall?) i was going to give it the boot. Too much crap/signal content. And in this instance I literally mean crap.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Maybe we should introduce him to /b on 4chan

(#157044)

waitwait.... that might be where he came from.

Deleted

(#157047)


*Delete*

Yes, True, But....Still a Pretty Funny Line, That...

(#157041)

...Jesus at least could build a cabinet.

(funny on a number of different levels & whatever the source, Funny is an absolute good, n'est pa?)

Traveller

That's the point

(#157052)
HankP's picture

fark.com is all about funny one liners and snark. The level of political understanding is a mix of democratic underground and little green footballs on acid. Quoting it can be funny, but to imply it actually means something about the real world is insane.

I blame it all on the Internet

How is the staffing of senior positions over at Treasury

(#157053)

coming along? The effort is best described as FUBAR.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

how often has questioning the source been used before

(#157037)

but I will run with quote for a variety of reasons.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

When did variety

(#157042)

come to mean one?

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Hank, Blaise and yourself

(#157046)

would make three

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

I am very glad that Republicans are coming to grips

(#156964)

with the idea that Obama is not Jesus.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I'm happy that you recognize he is struggling building a

(#156990)

cabinet.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

There is no link. Or if there is, it's a negative one.

(#156894)

Most people get that when they are in hard times, it's a bad idea to immediately go out and max out all of your credit cards. Obama either doesn't understand that, or doesn't care about the long-term effects of enormous deficits.

This has nothing to do with tiiming, and everything to do with the Obama administration's explicit strategy to exploit the financial crisis. Ultimately people will realize that; I think they are starting to already.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

There's a difference between macroeconomics and microeconomics

(#156902)

One of them is the paradox of thrift. It's good for a family to save instead of spend. But if everyone saves at once (our current situation) demand collapses. Then government has to step in and be the buyer of last resort until things normalize again (the stimulus.) Thus what is good behavior for the individual is not what is good behavior for government.

This has been a consensus view in economics for decades.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

I get that part, but it is not what I am talking about.

(#156931)

I am addressing the parts of the stimulus package where the government isn't buying anything. That includes virtually every entitlement. Even liberals admit that less than half of the bill actually injects money into the economy. So call it macro, micro, or whatever - it's still spending on social programs that we cannot afford right now, and provides no stimulus to the economy. Which was my point.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

If the money is spent...

(#156943)

... it goes into the economy. Now, some of it (the tax cuts say) might wind up paying down debt, or sitting in a bank account, which is less than optimal. The parts that you probably object to (say, extending unemployment) are actually the most effective. Because people who are unemployed are usually dead broke and they're going to spend all the money they get, and the people they spend it on will spend more of theirs, etc. This is the 'multiplier effect' you might have heard about.

Yes, we want the stimulus to have a long-run stimulative effect, but the short-term stimulative effect is not dependent on the former. The critics of the stimulus, yourself included, seem to believe it does.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

It goes into the economy?

(#156994)

But how deep into the economy does it go? Money spent on research and development goes very deep...triggering several layers of related spending to support the goals of that R&D spending. Money spent to install a new factory gadget also triggers large ancillary spending as well as hopeful profits.

Getting money into unemployed hands does buy food and pay a couple of bills, but it has very little multiplicative effects on the economy. Yes, the food stamps should be sent out by the feds or governors, but it is little help to the economy and provides no hope of a pull out. Incremental food production is managed with nearly zero increased demand on the production and processing system. For that matter, the ability to pay a utility bill does not trigger much action either as the utility assets have already been built.

What we need is tax policy to encourage building and creative actions. The healthcare policy changes O speaks of are efficiency issues within our borders..not helpful at the moment...better to talk of those things down the road. His energy policy is great because it transfers spending from foreign purchases to domestic. O's education gambit is positive, but should we really expect to get a ROI from every joker who goes to college...pleeeease. Again, the education policy is not very multiplicative in the short run...say 5 years.

He ought to put every egg into the alt energy and stem cell/biotech basket. That's where we'll find the jobs and the money multipliers.

I mostly disagree

(#157004)

You need a wide menu of options so that you stimulate wide areas of the economy. It does little good to have every biologist employed and everyone else unemployed.

And while it might be nice for a factory owner to retool his factory, the question becomes how to get the money to him. We're in a demand slump... that's not a time when manufacturers are looking to increase capacity. How do you incentivize him? Tax credits? The danger then is that most of the money is going to businesses that would have upgraded anyway, and just serves to beef up their balance sheet.

Most economists I've read, left and right, think unemployment gives some of the best bang for the buck. Infrastructure is thought of highly too. Research is a little dicey because while government has done some research projects really well (Manhattan Project) it's flubbed a lot fairly badly (Carter's synthfuels).

I do think alt energy is a good investment though, and there was a lot of that in the stimulus.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Tax credits

(#157023)

Yes, the O plan does have an effort for alt energy. BTW, the largest share goes towards tax credits for alt energy generating manufacturers.

I'll agree that the biotech industry won't help Detroit, but it is a real and sustainable sector that will have serious paybacks over the short, mid and long hauls.

If you want to get the American economy kick started, you're going to have to hope that O has some serious balls and goes toe to toe with the Chinese and demand that they appreciate the yuan to 4:1 within 3 years under threat that we will impose similar tariffs directed at Chinese imports to enact the identical effect if they balk. If he does that, I'll kiss his pimply back side.

I have never objected to extending unemployment.

(#156959)

People who lost their jobs as a result of the economy need the help of people who haven't - yet, anyway - and I completely support those expenditures. (Though I don't buy the way the money is only available to the states that permanently change their unemployment benefits laws to suit Obama. I think that stinks, and shows he cares more about social policy than he does about the actual people who are unemployed in those states.)

No, I'm talking more about the broad-brush stuff like nationalized health care, cradle to grave edumacation, a huge new energy tax, and other elements of the "stimulus" bill that either provide no stimulus at all, or will actively hurt the economy by hurting consumers - e.g., the energy use tax.

There are many articles detailing these elements of the bill around for the Googling; few dispute that way over half of the bill doe3sn't represent any form of spending that will benefit the economy. Also, I recall something about the CBO projecting shrinkage of the economy years down the road due to the deficits Obama plans to run up . . .

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

where does the money come from?

(#156944)

and what is the velocity of what is spent?

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Useless rich people who are pocketing bailout money anyhow? -nt-

(#156951)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I would make an excellent pincushion or pinata - your choice

(#156980)

Just tell me where to sign up for membership in this group. I can already do the "useless" part with distinction, and promise to work hard on getting really good at the rest. A chance is all I ask.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Wow, now does it make a difference what the government buys?

(#156906)

That is, can the government misspend, er misbuy.

Second and unrelated, when the economy normalizes should the government stop. That is, eliminate programs that it began in order to stimulate the economy.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Targeted & Timely Timmy.

(#156925)

What was the other one? Also we're all still waiting for alternative suggestions.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Second paragraph, Second sentence begining with

(#156936)

That is,

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Ha. A Neo-Hooverite

(#156898)
HankP's picture

how'd that work out last time it was tried?

I blame it all on the Internet

Whenever that phrase is used

(#156907)

did government spending increase (dramatically) or decline over his duration as president.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Cmon

(#156897)

Most people get that when they are in hard times, it's a bad idea to immediately go out and max out all of your credit cards

That's because most people don't have incomes so huge that they can single-handedly drive demand in a lagging economy. Not to mention that most people are concerned with their own finances first, and only collaterally with the overall state of the economy. Luckily, the federal government is unlike Joe the Checking Account Balancer in both respects.

Correct,

(#156908)

but if government is ultimately going to cover your expenditure, why not?

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

I corrected some code

(#156882)

That was throwing the whole page off.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Wags, I've tried, many times, to get Timmy to quit doing that

(#156884)

but old habits die hard, it seems. Everyone else here seems to have no problem with generating href tags.

Next time he does it, I want him bounced for a week.

Chill out

(#156892)

It's drupal's fault for accepting and collapsing on bad input, not Timmy's fault for being ignorant of markup like 99% of the world.

You chill out. Only an idiot blames his tools.

(#157002)

I used to have a coder under me, name o' Nate. Now in those days, we had a BASIC compiler which did have some problems, and Nate would overhear us talking about how to ram our code into 32K of working memory.

Nate would get compiler errors, normal errors anyone who gets who uses bad syntax or suchlike. Every beginning programmer goes through a phase where he's baffled by the compiler output, but Nate just never caught on.

We played a lot of table tennis at that shop, and I had an old paddle with the rubber goody missing from one side. I took a Sharpie and wrote RTFM on the wood.

When Nate would come into my office, as he always did, with some sort of routine "compiler" problem, I'd brandish the paddle and wave it at him.

These days, of course, we're modern and lucky. We can issue commands to rendering engines on other people's boxes through our own input here. Everyone has to contend with this problem, it's a sore point with every web developer, supporting a bunch of different browsers. To that end, the web developer works to create simple, reliable systems amenable to any browser.

Timmy's been making messes here for quite a while. Aside from his tendentious posting style, I would expect him, after all the many thousands of posts he throws up, to have mastered the quote and link. I have provided examples of complex diaries with concrete examples. Anyone else would have mastered the quote and html tags.

Want to post here? Every single post anyone has ever written has a nice link at the bottom of the box which reads More information about formatting options in which all this is covered. It strikes me as terribly amusing that despite his prolific postings, Timmy, unique among all the other posters on Forvm, cannot master the simplest of markups, these two tags.

Timmy's not a web developer

(#157014)

Would you get mad at one of your users if Nate's programs spat out garbage depending on their input?

The user input on this website isn't even html -- it's some hybrid of bbcode and a subset of html. Drupal promises to turn that into something that makes sense. It doesn't.

Only an idiot blames users for broken software, whether it results in buffer overflow, sql injection, or mangled web pages.

Are you defending his wrecking of the site for others?

(#157017)

Do let's get that clear, before we go any farther along here. This site is rendered in HTML, as is every web page.

Does anyone else have this problem? No. Has it been brought to his attention, in a constructive manner? Yes. Has he gone back to repeat this behaviour over and over? Yes. Has he gone back, after others have fixed his errors, to reconstitute the same error? Yes.

Don't give me dumb examples about what Nate would have done. Nate turned into a fine coder, with enough time. I've known him for decades. He did have issues with self-reliance. Nate did need to read the effing manual, and he did. But Timmy's another story entirely, he busts things that have already been fixed, and repeats his mistakes.

Now I'll tell you another little story. I had a coder, really good one, too. We had three stages of code: development, test and production. If we needed to fix something in production, we would do the fix in dev, rush it through test and put it in production. But this guy kept fooling around in the production code. Did it one too many times and we fired him.

Drupal has absolutely nothing to do with this. This is what we write ourselves. The BBCode is merely a convenience. We aren't merely users, banging away like chimps on data entry fields. Inside the Diary and Reply text areas, we are responsible for what we write, and that includes tags.

Buffer overflow my hairy white ass. This isn't a buffer overflow issue, it's a blatant attempt to defend the indefensible.

Way to miss the point

(#157021)

Don't give me dumb examples about what Nate would have done. Nate turned into a fine coder, with enough time. I've known him for decades. He did have issues with self-reliance. Nate did need to read the effing manual, and he did. But Timmy's another story entirely, he busts things that have already been fixed, and repeats his mistakes.

Timmy's not analogous to Nate -- he's analogous to a user of what Nate was writing. Great that Nate went on to become a fine coder, but apparently Drupal's developers forgot to check their inputs.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Actually yes:
http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atheforvm.org+bold+tag
http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atheforvm.org+italic
http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atheforvm.org+unclosed+tag

The part about him going back and getting it wrong again after Hank fixed it has been pointed out in this same thread to have been a misunderstanding:
http://theforvm.org/diary/wagster/how-long-does-obama-have#comment-156895

Now I'll tell you another little story.

Why do you keep writing stories that have nothing to do with the thread?

Drupal has absolutely nothing to do with this. This is what we write ourselves. The BBCode is merely a convenience. We aren't merely users, banging away like chimps on data entry fields. Inside the Diary and Reply text areas, we are responsible for what we write, and that includes tags.

Buffer overflow my hairy white ass. This isn't a buffer overflow issue, it's a blatant attempt to defend the indefensible.

Here you're completely wrong and ignorant of the fact that what's happening is exactly the same as buffer overflow and sql injection -- mindless copying of user-provided input without checking it first.

Let's talk about Running a Sheltered Workshop.

(#157026)

Timmy is not a user. Anyone who presses Reply stops being a user and starts becoming a participant. Clearly, you're not a careful programmer, much less an analyst, or you'd know the difference. Yes, anyone can drop a tag. That's why we have the Preview button.

This wasn't a misunderstanding. That's far too charitable a reading of what he's doing here. What's happening here is perfectly obvious: this place is becoming a Sheltered Workshop for invidious trolling and inane, gnomic trifles. Nobody dares say anything about it.

Why do I even bother thinking Forvm could be more than it is? I'll tell you what's wrong and ignorant: it's putting up with crap, letting this place become a dumping ground. We ran off StatusQuoBuster for dropping his bird poop diaries without bothering to comment on them. Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints.

Timmy is a participant of the community; a user of the software.

(#157034)

Clearly you are not a programmer who works on heterogeneous systems interacting over a network. If you're not an amateur, obviously you treat anything received from the network as suspect.

That Timmy's comment is malformed is his fault. That there is no isolation, causing the rest of the page to be malformed, is _that_ developer's fault. That developer being whoever wrote the software that takes Timmy's comment and splices it into the site template -- ie, the Drupal people.

You're joking. If this is the Urinary Olympics, all I do is SOA

(#157038)

and artificial intelligence. I routinely kill and rewrite software which doesn't behave itself on an SOA bus.

Don't insult my intelligence, Username: it's every poster's responsibility to ensure the content he provides is conformal to Drupal's abilities. I freely admit Drupal might have its limitations. To that end I have provided concrete examples of what may be safely done. It's precisely because I write to standards that I promulgate them here: providing concrete examples for others. I do not see you doing so, nor others. You will therefore keep a civil tongue in your head about what I send and receive on networks, since those concrete examples are hosted on my own website.

Now I'll tell you what I think is really going on here. We're condescending, running a Sheltered Workshop. Everyone else knows how to have a good tussle, most of us get along famously. I respect my opponents around here, though it may not always appear that way, and when it doesn't, I'm man enough, and they're men enough, to make things right at a personal level.

There is one notable exception, well, two, and one of them is in the penalty box right now. I'm not calling down the wrath of heaven and the mods on anyone, I'm saying we shouldn't have to tolerate busted diaries, because one person consistently submits malformed diaries and comments. It affects everyone, and it needs to stop. If I hadn't provided concrete examples, you might have a point about Drupal. Drupal is good software, if you operate within its limitations, and the submitter is responsible for what he submits.

I do insult your intelligence

(#157057)

when you come here saying "you're not a careful programmer" yet you don't care how careful Drupal's programmers are, but insist on Timmy being careful in how he uses it.

It's commendable that you've tried to teach others about the forms of markup that Drupal accepts, but you don't promulgate standards here -- that would require _rejecting_ non-compliant inputs, which the site clearly does not. I won't "keep a civil tongue," for while your approach of asking others to please submit only valid markup may be nice, it's ineffective and ultimately counter-productive.

Your last two paragraphs are off topic. You may find Timmy's diaries and comments to be deleterious to the site, and I may agree, but the syntax errors of his submissions have nothing to do with it.

Who are you protecting?

(#157061)

Thought that body onload was pretty slick, dincha? We have a rule here:

Do not try to hack your way around an established policy or try to mess with the site's configuration or settings (this one will get you banned immediately and permanently).

That was a script kiddie trick. I hope the mods see fit to make sure you don't do that again, as per our little rules.

And may I add in passing, your programming mad skilzz don't give you any leg up on me, or give you some insight into what Drupal's coders should or shouldn't do. I've been writing to sockets.h since you were in diapers: did you really think I wouldn't retrieve the raw HTML? I was part of Blackdown, the first port of Java to Linux. If you were my coder, I'd make you write a use-case for User Posts to Forvm, and if I didn't like it, I'd fire your ass. I'd pay special attention to your Exceptions section and your description of User Writes Post in Text Control.

I can't insist on anything. I'm not even a mod here. This much I do know, you're from the school of thinking, wherein all users must be treated like morons, which explains why every .ASP coder I have ever known is a moron. The rest of the world thinks users have responsibilities and rights. This explains why Microsoft has never properly implemented chmod or access control lists on their operating systems. I smell your cheezy little Windows box from over here, because I read your Windows-think.

Valid markup being what it is, maybe you should try to think through why you'd insert a body onload

Any sentence containing a but is like the goddamn not operator. So don't butter me up about what's commendable. And don't you play little games about rejecting invalid input: part of the charm of this site is how much is possible, provided people play by the rules.

As for counterproductive, maybe you can learn to write in a real programming language and give up on that javascript junk. Yes, I recommend a quick trip to eclipse.org for you, as well as a quick download of the Google Web Toolkit, where javascript is the result of compilation and not your own crappy little hacks.

Protecting?

(#157106)

I'm not protecting anyone, I'm just attacking your misguided temper tantrums.

BlaiseP, it's interesting how one can always tell you're frustrated about being wrong, because you always start replying with stories or supposed experience that you think will establish you as an authority on the topic. When you really get backed into a corner, you try to fire the commenter. It's silly, it's transparent, and it doesn't work. It's also funny how you assume the limits of my experience from the limits of a simple redirect test. And I love it that you end your comment with "learn to write in a real PL" and then you mention mediocre systems like java, eclipse, and GWT.

This much I do know, you're from the school of thinking, wherein all users must be treated like morons

Actually, no, you missed the point again. Users must be treated as adversaries. This is why Unix has process memory protection; this his why Unix has file system access control.

Valid markup being what it is, maybe you should try to think through why you'd insert a body onload

Well, exactly. It's invalid and should be rejected -- first by Drupal, and if not, then by the browser.

part of the charm of this site is how much is possible, provided people play by the rules.

Sure, but getting one's markup correct isn't a rule, otherwise Tomsyl and others would have been booted a long time ago. Timmy wasn't trying to break the site, he just made a mistake. The site runs very well, but unfortunately it has to contend with a permissive CMS and permissive browsers, which will lead to misformatted pages sometimes. I don't blame Timmy and I don't blame Hank. That you get so worked up about it is your problem.

That's complete BS. Tell you what, next time the Wonder Dog

(#157118)

screws up this site, I'll have the mods send you an email with the relevant diary or comment. Then you can use Timmy's login to wade in and wipe the drool off his chin.

Sound good? You and Timmy work this out via email, I'm sure Hank will facilitate the xfer of email addys. Oh, and copy me on Username's email, I'll send the effed-up URLs your way, so you can help this poor benighted soul continue to blether like a jimsonweed-crazed goat on Forvm.

And anyone else havin' troubles with your HTML formatting? Don't bother previewing or otherwise vetting your own code. Don't consult my guides, that's far too much trouble. Send it all to Username, who will gladly fix up your comments. And you are writing code every time you comment, despite this being a text box.

Even better, Username, with your mad programmin' skillzz, you sit your big ass down and write up a really good parser in yacc. It's not like you don't have the talent, and obviously you have the time, so get to work. HankP could use your Mad Skillzz like Ret Naw.

You're only upset because it's Timmy who messed up

(#157122)

I've provided links showing many other instances of people making similar mistakes here. Are Tomsyl and Harley drooling idiots as well? Is Eiland a poor benighted soul?

Also, why would you use yacc to parse fragments of xhtml? And my ass is not big.

As the worthy Elagabalus notes below

(#157138)

Everyone who's going to get it, has already gotten it.

By reflection, the only reason you're sticking up for Timmy is because it's Timmy. You be the clue to the clueless, I'm all done with it. And just about done with Forvm. The trouble of posting here isn't worth the steam off a barrel of rancid piss while people run this little Sheltered Workshop. And if you had your druthers, there'd be no more embedded video either.

And just about done with Forvm

(#157563)

an old tune but a good tune

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

a point of reference, the upsetment as to do with mere presence

(#157131)

nt

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Oh for f's sake!!

(#157121)

Did everybody get it who's goin' to get it? Good! Then let's move on!

I had discovered a great secret. That everyone loves themselves more than they love anybody else. And if I wanted them to love me, I better be like THEM!... Ken Nordine

just a therapy session and once Blaise’s inner conflict is

(#157125)

resolved, there will be a group hug.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

drool, chin, no it just goes right down to the floor

(#157119)

with respects to goats, I prefer a really good BBQ with a nice dry rub.

as always, I'm here to help

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Who are you protecting?

(#157076)

The integrity of the Forvm is the correct reply.

But imploring the mods to end your give and take was pretty slick but your exit comment targeted not the comment but the individual.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

"who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints".

(#157030)

that one phrase is a very apt description of the role that you demand to play. well done but it is a rather ugly portrait.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

I don't care what you write. When you bust a diary, I do.

(#157040)

You're consistently submitting malformed diaries and comments, and appear completely oblivious to that fact. Sit down, Timmy, better yet, run along and read what I have so generously provided in the way of working examples.

Do you like the new sig

(#157043)

just a constant reminder

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

wow, you played table tennis whereas I play ping pong

(#157011)

I just prefer href and the quote tags and usually in that order, although I have been known to flip the tags. they work nicely on my browser in either situation.

I did enjoy your story. Reminds me of a brigader general (retired) and some linear programing on interest rates using the simplex method. I won't bore you with the details but the general was extremely helpful in identifying the appropriate economic drivers through the use of T and F statistics. trial and error eliminated most of the autocorrelation.

We played gin and drank bourbon.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

You have been known to reverse 'em, eh?

(#157013)

They don't really work nicely in any browser, Timmy. Any browser. Please attempt, for others' sake, to confine yourself to the possibilities of what I've elucidated. Enormous href blocks are generally considered unreadable.

As for the little story, may I wave the RTFM paddle at you, as well. You do know what RTFM means, don't you?

There are number of things I might suggest you do with the

(#157029)

paddle but if waving is what you do best, feel free to wave as long as you want.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

True

(#156895)
HankP's picture

but when I edit out chunks of his diary that cause formatting problems on multiple browsers and he keeps reinserting the stuff because it looks OK on his browser, that's not Drupal.

I blame it all on the Internet

well that was a cut and paste

(#156904)

as most of the videos are. Additionally, it worked on my browser, which is my only measure with respect to posting a video. Now maybe if you had noted the problem instead of just carving it out, well things would have been different.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

I did

(#156912)
HankP's picture

I put in a line specifically stating that it was screwing up the formatting, to which you continually replied "It works for me." Next time just take my word for it, I'm too lazy to edit stuff unless I really have to.

I blame it all on the Internet

hobbesist, a ruling

(#156890)

to simply quote or to quote and provide a link, I'm open to either scenario.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

This isn't a question of moderation, but of civility.

(#156998)

You've consistently created problems on this site with your hamhanded posting style. I've given you concrete examples of how to manage this, though nobody else has ever needed them.

I'm open to the scenario of you exhibiting some common sense and good manners. Now, here's what you do in future. Here's an exhibit, and I'll put the raw code up for you to see.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

And here's the raw text. This is how you ought to be quoting.

i'd say about 40 more years?

(#156866)

seems to keep a healthy lifestyle.

What's he going to do

(#156867)

with himself for 32 years?

Oopsies.

(#156845)

Not significant in the overall scheme of things, but still funny in its own way:

Obama Catches Grief for His Own Earmark in Spending Bill

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Remember when "signing statements" were evil, well no more

(#156767)

Two days after criticizing his predecessor for issuing guidelines on how to put legislation into practice, President Barack Obama issued such a directive himself.

Out of public view Wednesday, Obama signed a $410 billion spending bill that includes billions for items known as earmarks, the targeted spending that lawmakers direct to projects in their districts. Obama promised during the presidential campaign to curb such spending.

He also issued a "signing statement" in which he objected to provisions of the bill that he said the Justice Department had advised "raise constitutional concerns." Among them are provisions that Obama said would "unduly interfere" with his authority in the foreign affairs arena by directing him how to proceed, or not to, in negotiations and discussions with international organizations and foreign governments.

[ my emphasis]

I applaud the O's effort to protect the executive branch from the congressional critters.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

The issue isn't signing statements

(#156893)

It's what the signing statements claim. It's not very controversial to say that Article II gives the President the sole authority to represent the US in dealings with foreign nations, independent of Congress. Do you disagree with this?

Bush's signing statements were to the effect of "Article II means any law dealing with wartime conduct is inapplicable to the President." This is what liberals were riled up about.

Let me know when Obama writes a signing statement like that.

watch the video below in order to understand the noise

(#156903)

BTA, I have no problem with the O's signing statement, per se, as I noted in my original comment.

I applaud the O's effort to protect the executive branch from the congressional critters.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

The accumulation of power, it all depends

(#156888)

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Wow. That seems pretty unequivocal.

(#156933)

Let's wait patiently for some Obamafans' explanations of what he actually meant.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Well this is just plain ugly

(#156740)

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Link Timmy

(#156743)

Or don't even bother posting it.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Better yet:

(#156759)

Don't bother reading it. Tried & true method for avoiding gratuitous pot-stirring nonsense.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

From Past Experience. . .

(#156784)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .I suspect that the countermeasure to this story--as coordinated by Jennifer Palmieri and her charming necklace made from Matthew Yglesias' testicles--will be a lot of lefty bloggers screaming "CHICKENHAWKS!!!" loudly enough to rattle windows in Beijing.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Now that wasn't so hard, was it? -nt-

(#156782)

.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

Bub, just google,

(#156750)

it isn't that hard

No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.

The groups also cited an increase in "third-party collections" estimated in the 2010 budget proposal -- something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.

Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under "consideration."

"A final decision hasn't been made yet," he said.

Currently, veterans' private insurance is charged only when they receive health care from the VA for medical issues that are not related to service injuries, like getting the flu.

Charging for service-related injuries would violate "a sacred trust," Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis said. Davis said the move would risk private health care for veterans and their families by potentially maxing out benefits paying for costly war injury treatments.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Bub, just post the link

(#156766)

it isn't that hard.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Just following the methods often used by others. nt

(#156769)

.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

I wouldn't worry about Obama

(#156696)

His bills keep getting passed, if you haven't noticed, and there's no sign of that stopping anytime soon. What worries me is whether his agenda is good for the country. Since I'm a liberal, I don't have a problem with most of the specifics, but two things loom very large: the bank bailouts, which are being handled with a shocking lack of transparency, and his budget projections, which seem extremely optimistic if not Pollyannaish. I don't think policies which have, as their aim, a continuation of staggering levels of consumer debt, banks that are "too big to fail", and sky-high deficits, will be in America's best interest in the long run. Now maybe those aren't Obama's aims, but so far there is little evidence to the contrary.

The other day I heard that ignorance and apathy are sweeping the country. I didn't know that, but I don't really care.

Overestimating the real impact of the Big O

(#156671)

Even if you don't take into account the state of the American economy and other generic nastiness around the world, the idea that any new leader can come and 'change' things upside down is a bit misstated in any reasonably modern, democratic nation.

The core point in Obama getting elected is not that America will become pinko in three weeks flat, or that Gitmo will be shut down or any other prophesied grand vision. The core point is that his election brings back to America the one value that is outstandingly American -- to inspire people to dream and also go about realizing it -- a quality that America has slowly forgotten in the last ten years or so.

Big O becoming the prez is a realization of the power of the little man on the street (yes, the so-called grassroots) and outrageous fact that a black man (and quite a young one at that) could become the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. History is big on symbolism and it rarely gets bigger and better than those two points.

Due to his lack of experience and the circumstances I don't think you will see the real O unless he gets a second term. Till then it is going to be a case of fighting fires with your fingers and legs tied. I don't have much sympathies for him, but I don't really say think a lot can be done in the current circumstances.

I would, though, hope that the some of the Dems have something more to say than "hey, the Republicans don't have anything better to offer" when it is pointed out that the Big O is not delivering as expected. The Bush days are over, get used to it. Your guy is in the hot seat now, there is bound to be heat :)

Meanwhile, looks like Pakistan is increasingly starting to be paradise that the Islamists are going to claim as their own. Irony being that while everyone's been looking at Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan using the flypaper (or any other favourite theory) approach, they come and claim parts of the 'strongest ally' in the great War on Terror.

Card-carrying member of the Lurkus Maximus party.

Dow's up 300!

(#156565)

So. Forever.

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

Oops. How long is "forever" in the Big O lexicon?

(#156736)

--

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Yes, Citi generated a quarterly profit but will it stop

(#156588)

the following conversations?


Maher said he regrets Obama’s choice of Geithner, because, he said, the treasury secretary “sounds like he’s [expletive] in his pants.”

“Do you think he inspires confidence, or you more in the pants thing?” Halperin asked Coulter.

“No, I agree with Bill 100 percent on this,” she said.

“We’ve reached consensus here,” Halperin declared. “You both think Tim Geithner’s doing a bad job. If you were Tim Geithner, and heard that Bill Maher and Ann Coulter both thought you were doing a bad job, would you say, 'Oh good’ or ‘That’s a bad thing’?”

And on that, there was one more point of agreement: Both Maher and Coulter said that a Cabinet secretary wouldn’t want their support.


"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Oh, Timmy

(#156624)

You've found backup from....Coulter and Maher.

Heh.

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

If Coulter and Maher know how shitty

(#156635)

the bank recovery plan is, I'm surprised that you have been left out of the loop.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Possibly

(#156649)

On the other hand, I still recall the posting rules regarding profanity, perhaps the one rule agreed upon by all. By all. By all.

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

similar to the "screw you"

(#156698)

only the letter "s" is followed by something else.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

'Screw' is not one of Carlin's 7 words

(#156704)

Usually we would ignore this, but seeing as how you've recently been informally warned recently, and this does seem to be a purposeful violation...

Step back from the edge, Timmy. Don't swear. Be nice. Is that too much to ask?

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

not at all nt

(#156705)

.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Just a reminder

(#156715)
HankP's picture

this isn't done out of propriety, but because a lot of people access this site from work and they'll get blocked if we don't obfuscate words like that.

I blame it all on the Internet

from now on I'll obfuscate

(#156741)

fubar would have been a better description of the plan

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Thank you NT

(#156708)

...

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

I think Timmy's trying to squeeze out a point

(#156685)

or perhaps just give the mods a hard time? Whichever, he seems to like the s-word lately.

The other day I heard that ignorance and apathy are sweeping the country. I didn't know that, but I don't really care.

Make up your mind.

(#156580)

Is it Obama's market, or not? Most people in the bidness seem to think it is. But if you think a 300 point uptick is some sign of a trend - whoo boy.

Think of the Dow as a bowling ball someone threw into the Grand Canyon. When it hits the bottom down there somewhere it will have loads of kinetic energy, so it will bounce all over the place, smashing things as it does - mirrors, windows, Hummel shepherd boys, stuff like that. Sometimes the bouncy direction will be up instead of sideways. But it's still really heavy, so it tends to stay down. Which it will throughout The Man's first term at least.

That will be $50, please.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

I prefer to think

(#156632)

this is an indication of Wall St. getting back to regular bidness after working thro the angst of discovering that Obama didn't turn out to be the easy mark they were perhaps expecting/hoping he would be.

YVMV.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

That's Sorta My Point, tomsyl

(#156625)

The idea that the market belongs to anyone, the Prez included, is pretty dim stuff.

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

Hey man, blame it on Cramer.

(#156653)

But seems to me that both this President and the last one have said from time to time that if we don't agree to do "x" immediately, the market will tank. And when they or their minions say that, they own it.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

a different tune, where is the harmony? nt

(#156636)

.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

He's already over

(#156549)

This administration is a dead man partying.

That prediction

(#156572)

is worth the same as the prediction Obama couldn't win. Remember that?

This place is my vacation.

Actually, no, I don't.

(#156581)

The take always was that there was no way a Dem could lose in '08. Polls consistently supported that, and I never seriously doubted the outcome. Putting up a character like McCain in opposition just made it easier for the Dems, but I never saw any Republican winning that race.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

I do

(#156583)

The primary wars were long and bloody and one of the recurring memes was that Obama couldn't win in November. The Hillary dead enders were telling everyone that Obama couldn't win FL or MI because of how the primaries were handled.

How quickly some of us forget.

"And now you run in search of the Jedi. They are all dead, save one. And one broken Jedi cannot stop the darkness that is to come." -Darth Sion

I wasn't referring to the primaries

(#156585)

which I had no reason to give a hoot about, not being a Dem. My point is simply that a Dem was destined to win in '08. If the Dems wanted to fight over whether it was Obama, Clinton, Kucinich, the ghost of Howard Dean or whomever, that was their problem. So what Hillary fans may have been saying is insignificant to me, just Zappa's dynamo hum in the background.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Frank Zappa and the Mothers were at the best place around

(#156587)

Fair enuff

"And now you run in search of the Jedi. They are all dead, save one. And one broken Jedi cannot stop the darkness that is to come." -Darth Sion

49 days...

(#156567)

Me, I'm giving him to his 60th day and then I'm calling for impeachment!

Not really.

Heh.

(#156564)

Really? There's nothing more familiar at this point than Obama-phobes underestimating both the man's appeal and his staying power. Keep it coming!

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

the democrats are done

(#156566)

We're turning the corner in Iraq. Permanent Republican majority. Hillary's got this primary wrapped up. John McCain has this in the bag. You stupid hippies.

Don't forget the Bradley Effect

(#156568)

though everyone else seems to have. I wonder if we'll hear about it in 2012?

The other day I heard that ignorance and apathy are sweeping the country. I didn't know that, but I don't really care.

If bad economic times

(#156553)

...and an ambitious agenda were deathknells, FDR wouldn't have won 1936 by a landslide. Still, as long as it's a good party...

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

apparently the MSM coverage was lack luster, notwithstanding

(#156543)

Warren Buffett on recent events

BUFFETT: ...And, Joe, it--if you're in a war, and we really are on an economic war, there's a obligation to the majority to behave in ways that don't go around inflaming the minority. If on December 8th when--maybe it's December 7th, when Roosevelt convened Congress to have a vote on the war, he didn't say, `I'm throwing in about 10 of my pet projects ... [snip] ...

JOE: Yeah, but you might--might not have fixed...

BUFFETT: But I say...

JOE: You might not--you might not have fixed global warming the day after--the day after D-Day, Warren.

BUFFETT: Absolutely. And I think that the--I think that the Republicans have an obligation to regard this as an economic war and to realize you need one leader and, in general, support of that. But I think that the--I think that the Democrats--and I voted for Obama and I strongly support him, and I think he's the right guy--but I think they should not use this--when they're calling for unity on a question this important, they should not use it to roll the Republicans all.

JOE: Hm.

BUFFETT: I think--I think a lot of things should be--job one is to win the war, job--the economic war, job two is to win the economic war, and job three. And you can't expect people to unite behind you if you're trying to jam a whole bunch of things down their throat. So I would--I would absolutely say for the--for the interim, till we get this one solved, I would not be pushing a lot of things that are--you know are contentious, and I also--I also would do no finger-pointing whatsoever. I would--you know, I would not say, you know, `George'--`the previous administration got us into this.' Forget it. I mean, you know, the Navy made a mistake at Pearl Harbor and had too many ships there. But the idea that we'd spend our time after that, you know, pointing fingers at the Navy, we needed the Navy. So I would--I would--I would--no finger-pointing, no vengeance, none of that stuff. Just look forward. ..[snip] ...

BUFFETT: Well, I was going to mention to Joe that you've heard this comment recently from some Democrats recently that a `crisis is a terrible thing to waste.'

BECKY: Yeah.

BUFFETT: Now, just rephrase that and since it's, in my view, it's an economic war, and--I don't think anybody on December 7th would have said a `war is a terrible thing to waste, and therefore we're going to try and ram through a whole bunch of things and--but we expect to--expect the other party to unite behind us on the--on the big problem.' It's just a mistake, I think, when you've got one overriding objective, to try and muddle it up with a bunch of other things.

the trend line a has been JFK, FDR, Lincoln, Reagan, "Hope and Change to business as usual"

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

The country needs strong leadership

(#156552)

and a steady hand.

The current GOP is incapable of either.

The people know it and this will allow Obama the time he needs. Only time will tell if he can deliver, but in all honesty what's the alternative?

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Right now, none.

(#156582)

But great risks could translate into great rewards or a firing squad, depending on how they are played. And I think this whole business about "taking advantage of a crisis" should never have been discussed in public. It's the mark of an amateur to show your hand like that.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

the comment must have had a certain quality to it nt

(#156556)

.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Who are Joe & Becky?

(#156548)

Buffett I know.

Roosevelt had already 'thrown in his pet projects' long before Dec. 7

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Change without anger?

(#156525)

I'm not really interested in Obama's popularity at the polls - Bush had historically low numbers and an opposition dominated congress, and he still managed to do much as he pleased.

Why assume that an angry American public will be a hindrance to Obama? I don't think he will be able to implement significant Change without that anger.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Why?

(#156546)

The fearful dolts in the Democratic congress will start to get trigger-shy.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

two fears

(#156550)

Fear of losing an election might make one trigger shy. Fear of being strung up on a lamp post might have more positive results.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Many people don't think the recession really began until

(#156517)

the first big brokerage house/bank failures were intimated - maybe September '08 or so. And Reagan did not even attempt to spend money at anything remotely approaching the rate at which Obama wants to do it, nor were we looking at colossal deficits.

Traders are already calling this the Obama Bear Market, due apparently to the way it writhes up and down with everything his admin does or doesn't do. Overall, I'd say that there have been far more negative market reactions then positive ones to Obama Admin speeches etc.

I also think it was stupid for rahm Emanuel and Hillary Clinton to get caught on the record with their sttements about expoloiting a crisis for political ends. I think people ultimately figure out politicians are doing that to them, but why openly admit it?

Anyway, I'll give the guy three to six maore months max before he falls below 50%. Bets?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

"Nor were we looking at colossal deficits?"

(#156547)

Uh, yes we were, not as bad as todays, but the trajectory was very bad. So bad that Reagan had to raise taxes. (And not being as ideologically rigid as his fanboys, he did.)

I think people ultimately figure out politicians are doing that to them, but why openly admit it?

When government uses a crisis to do things you agree with, they are being resourceful. When they use it to do things you disagree with, they are being opportunist. When Bush used 9/11 to push his agenda, the roles were completely reversed, weren't they? The hand-wringing was on the flip side, the "we should want him to succeed" chorus was on the flip side. So I see that as a non-issue.

I'll gladly take a bet. Shall we go by the first September gallup poll?

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

There's no comparison with 9/11.

(#156584)

Back then, changes to the govt's security apparatus were at least nominally justified by the need for greater security after attacks on the homeland. Economic steps like "shop more!"{ and "fly more!" were short-term, and appeared to be aimed at potential shocks to the economy resultion from a form of societal PTSD. To the extent the Bush Admin went beyond what that required, they did it on the q.t.; no one was stupid enough to publicly say "let's pass a bunch of unrelated laws and regulations while people are in a crisis mindset."

What we are seeing now has no parallel. The Obama Admin is spending mountains of money trying to plug holes in the economy, while at the same time trying to pass an even taller mountain of legislation spending even more money that we didn't have in the first place. And publicly admitting that they are using the economic situation the country's in to ram all this stuff through.

Bottom line, Wags: do you think we should be funding pet social programs via a deficit that will be 4 times the Bush deficit this year, and grow at $900 billion to $1 trillion per year? I can't think of anything worth that type of long term destructive effect on the economy. Whatever happened to "we can't afford it"? Is there now nothing the Admin won't do, regardless of what it costs?

Anyway, the bet is on. You pick stakes.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Your response proves my point

(#156620)

My recollection is that Bush used 9/11 as a pretense for everything. Tax cuts to get the economy going again. Sneaking in a lot of law enforcement wish list items into the Patriot Act. Enlarging executive authority in all spheres. You were in favor of that stuff, so you didn't see it as opportunism. I did.

As to Obama's spending... this is what the American people voted for. Name one thing Obama's got in his budget that was not spelled out in his campaign. It was all covered. He won the election, Tomsyl.

As for the deficit, I've been a hawk for a long time. Now is not the time to address it. If would be economically foolish to cut back on spending at a time when demand is falling off a cliff. If in 2 years time the economy is healthy and Obama is still on a high-deficit trajectory, then I will complain. But I don't expect him to announce more revenue enhancements now, years before they would be passed. That would be politically foolish.

Let's keep the stakes low and easy to deliver... how about a $15 gift certificate to Amazon.com? That way we can subsidize the Forvm while you pay me off. I'm betting that Obama will be at 50% or more approval rating in the first gallup poll of September 2009.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Only if you buy the "He won! We win! Dems rule!" view

(#156652)

and are prepared to defend the destruction of the US economy to the 45% of the people who did not vote for Barack Obama.

Trying to recast this as a bout between a Bush supporter and an Obamafan doesn't wash and here's why:

-I was not in favor of Bush secretly doing things to advance his agenda. In fact, I didn't know about them; perhaps that's why they were considered secret.

-Bush didn't propose bankrupting the country to advance his agenda.

-The stuff Bush supposedly did to assassinate our civil liberties etc. can easily be undone by the stroke of Obama's pen. If OTOH Obama does not restrict or revoke security measures instituted by Bush, that will tell us that either they make sense even to Dems, or that the new guy likes spying on us just as much as the old guy did.

Here's the flip side of the coin:

-Obama is proceeding to spend trillions of dollars we don't have on social programs that are opene-ended and non-terminable. Whatever you call them, greater medicare benefits, longer unemployment payments or loosened welfare eligibility requirements become entitlements the moment they are passed into law. Government never, ever shrinks, particularly at the Federal level. Obama claimed he was going to go through the budget with a fine-toothed comb, cutting everything that was unnecessary or that we can't afford. Name one program he's cut, or even said he plans to scrutinize.

-Some people are trying to justify the enormous spending spree by claiming that Obama is just following through on his campaign promises. When did he priomise to run trillion dollar annual deficits to fund his social programs and new entitlements? I sure don't remember hearing that during the campaign. Also, there are many campaign promises he's already broken - no lobbyists, vetoing earmarks, transparency, posting bills online before they are passed, going through the budget line by line before presenting it to Congress, etc. etc. etc. What's so sacred about nationalized health care, expanded entitlements, and union payoffs?

The answer to that question brings us full circle and underscores the cynicism and opportunism inherent in the "never waste a good crisis" statements from the Administration. Also, when a crisis is seen as an opportunity to pass enormously expensive social programs that the electorate might not otherwise stand still for, and to do that on a very expedited basis, then there suddenly is a concomitant motive for the President to exaggerate the size and depth of the crisis so that he can do even more of the same.

Bottom line, Wags: what's the effin' hurry with health care and other social engineering and new entitlements stuff, none of which remotely applies to economic relief? Why now, when we're still trying to digest $2 trillion plus in bailouts? Is the Administration afraid of the conclusions people will reach about the affordability of Obama's pet projects if given the time? I believe that is the case, based in part on what sneaky people like Emanuel have let slip. And that belief taints the credibility of the President when it comes to supposedly honest words on the nature of the economic issues we face. Not a good time to be seen using a national disaster to political advantage.

And we're on re the bet.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Good, it's official then...

(#156688)

Bush didn't propose bankrupting the country to advance his agenda.

Nope, he just went ahead and did it. The Iraq war and irresponsible tax cuts for the rich doubled the public debt from 5 trillion to 10 trillion. If Obama does the same thing, I'll condemn him, but 50 days into his terms is a little early for that. I don't think he's going to do the same thing Bush did... put it all on the credit card.

The stuff Bush supposedly did to assassinate our civil liberties etc. can easily be undone by the stroke of Obama's pen.

No. This stuff becomes part of the political culture. We were assured that when Clinton was impeached it wouldn't cheapen this recourse... it did. We talked about Bush getting impeached, some people are talking about Obama being impeached (already) and we will talk about it for the next 50 years. Politics isn't just written rule... it's culture.

Whatever you call them, greater medicare benefits, longer unemployment payments or loosened welfare eligibility requirements become entitlements the moment they are passed into law.

You're right about medicare benefits, but unemployment has been extended temporarily in the past, and then has lapsed. It's a routine thing in recessions.

what's the effin' hurry with health care and other social engineering and new entitlements stuff, none of which remotely applies to economic relief?

Republicans are trying to slow it down for the same reason that Democrats want to hurry it up. The first 100 days are the moment of greatest leverage for a President. He never gets his honeymoon back. Most of the domestic impact of Reagan, Johnson, and FDR were in this timeframe.

I call opportunism on you guys. You're trying to squelch the agenda this guy was elected on. Fine, if you disagree with it. Just make arguments on the merits rather than "oh, no! not so quickly!" Because you're not really interested in having more time to consider it carefully... you're interested in killing the agenda.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Bottom line?

(#156667)

New paradigm, you guys had your chance and blew it - big time.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

So you're going to blow it right back, but even bigger?

(#156681)

Nice, smart; very much proving "the adults are in control now" meme that was bandied about here a few months ago, eh? What are the adults in control of, Sparti? Bankruptcy court? Even that won't help.

So many broken campaign promises in so little time. No wonder all you and Hank can say is "We won - hahahahah!!!" Not much else to say, apparently, when faced with what Obama said during the campaign versus what he's done since taking office. How about this: "Yeah, he sucks, but it's a Dem kind of suck"? Or maybe "You think Bush stank up the joint? Well, just watch this . . ."

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

So many broken campaign promises in so little time?

(#156729)

Make your case. I'm happy with the progress on earmarks so far, especially given that earmarks are a sideshow in the context of the economic meltdown bequeathed to us by your man Bush and the GOP. What else you got that isn't already showing marked improvement over the previous paradigm?

Obama is no Clinton and I doubt there will be a successful Republican revolution in 2010. Who would lead it, Rush? Gingrich? So you are not going to be able to nickle and dime this guy to death over trivia.

Hunker down and focus on re-building the party and coming up with substantial criticisms and workable alternate policies would be my advice. Or you could follow El Rushbo et al over the cliff looming in 2010.

I feel your pain.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Rebuilding what party? Not my problem.

(#156734)

Obama is my president as much as yours, for the next four years and maybe eight. So when he doen't do stuff he said he would do, and the "change you need" stuff that bedazzled his fans turns out to be smoke and mirrors, I get to point it out, just like you got to dump on Bush for eight years because you voted for chumps like Kerry and Edwards, not to mention Al Gore.

So get used to it.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

I'm getting used to it

(#156738)

and me likee very much thanks.

You wanna eliminate earmarks last week already? or do you want to get serious and play with the big boys?

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

this is unhelpful

(#156744)

"get serious and play with the big boys" sounds stupid whether it comes from kierk, bernard, eiland, or you. Not that tomsyl helps with "because you voted for chumps like Kerry and Edwards, not to mention Al Gore" or "get used to it."

What is this, Spiteful Internet Tough Guy Day?

Well

(#156749)

when Tomsyl goes off on a rant #156652 there's no stopping him except with a judicious amount of cold water. I will admit that a bucketful all at once may not be as subtle as playing him with a hose, but my aim is to shock him out of it rather than torture him.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

You can't complain about small fry broken promises

(#156692)

When you're advocating that he break the big promises... health, energy, education, a fairer tax code... the ones he talked about in every speech he gave.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

"Small fry broken promises"?? Whoo boy.

(#156716)

I think we are on different frequencies, Wags, if you think a promise to keep us informed about what our govt is doing with our money is small fry. Or to purge lobbyists from the government. Or otherwise to stop conducting insided the Beltway business as usual. If that stuff is small fry, then the whole change meme was just another PR stunt.

I'm not advocating that Obama break any promise, just that he set his priorities according to what's good for the country, and right now, by his own admission and that of his cabinet, that means silving the financial crisi first, not adding to it by ramping up the deficit by a $trillion a year. There's plenty of time left in his first term to get to the rest of his agenda (minus, apparently, the "small fry" stuff he never intended to honor). And I think know you well enough to know you know that, too.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Tomsyl...

(#156722)

You're losing perspective. Since the 2007 reform bill, which Obama co-authored, earmarks are no longer anonymous. That's a huge change. Today Obama announced more reforms. Public hearings in advance; announcement on the sponsoring congressman's website. But that's not enough for you! Congress has to stop doing business and reopen LAST YEAR'S budget to get out earmarks. Really? If this crisis is so important, should Congress really be toiling on expenses that amount to 1%?

Lobbyists. No President ever has had such a strict policy on not hiring lobbyist. People are making an excellent case at this stage that it's too strict.

Transparency. Can you remember an administration that put out a site like this, which will itemize spending on the stimulus package?

I say small fry because you guys are just picking out details. Like the one lobbyist he gave a waiver to, or some info that isn't on any particular site. You're not giving a balanced view.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Whoo boy.

(#156730)

Earmarks in the stimulus package and the Omnipork bill are what I'm talking about - who saida anything about last year's budget? And go look up the Big O's campaign speeches to see his promises to wipe out earmarks. Like I said, he said but didn't do. You can minimize the significance of that all you like, but your guy trumpeted it as most significant when he was running for office.

I've been blasting Congresscreeps over earmarks for years withour regard to party, and liberals always say it's just chump change. Actually, it's a form of legalized theft, symptomatic of a spouils system mindset. If the pols won't give it up now, then either the President is lying about how grave the economic situation is, or he anda they don't care about stealing a billion here and eight billion there. Afater all, it's just money, right? And it's not even theirs, so why shsould they care. when they know people will say "it's only x% of the budget"? Vigorish, baksheesh, graft, cost of doiing business, whatever - just don't pretend it's legit.

Your "transparency" link doesn't work, but if it's to recovery.gov, don't bother fixing it. That site has become a huge inside joke for its complete lack of useful or timely info. The "stimulus" bill was rammed through without ever being published there - another broken promise - and without the supposedly required five days to let us read it - still another BP. Itemizing how the moolah is spent (assuming that happens) seems pretty insignificant when the promised transparency was absent w/r/t the passaage of the spending bill itself. And we all know why that was, don't wwe? There was no rush, but there were tons of things in the bill that had absolutely nothing to do with economic recovery. There is no way anyone can dispute that.

Wagster, do you honestly want me to list the lobbyists Obama has let into his administration, and compare their number and significance with Bush? Please dont' try to trivialize this one; deal with it directly instead. If you truly think it is one guy, you need to do some serious backgrounding.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

You're spending too much time here

(#156747)

And not enough time at news sites.

There were no earmarks in the stimulus package. That's right. None. And the Omnibus bill Obama signed today is the one that wasn't passed last year. The first Obama budget bill has barely started working through system. Congress is just cleaning up last year's business, which is why they shouldn't get hung up on it.

By the way, I'm not sure you understand... cutting an earmark does not save a penny. If the money is not apportioned by a Congressman in an earmark, then it is apportioned by a bureaucrat. Yes, there have been abuses, but much earmark spending is perfectly fine. Frankly, you're fetishizing the issue. The process needs reform, the most important part of which (transparency) has already happened; I don't know how you get to calling earmarks theft. The Human Genome Project, by the way, was an earmark and a terrific investment of public money.

Finally, Tomsyl, Obama has only issued a couple of waivers on his Presidential directive regarding hiring lobbyists. People from David Brooks on the right to HuffPost on the left have criticized it as actually being TOO strict and cheating the government of expertise.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Seems like you are probably right

(#156756)

but not for the reasons you've given. And particularly when I'm met with evasions like the claim there are no earmarks in the stimulus bill. Maybe you're the one who needs to get out more; try reading Finding The Pork In The Obama Stimulus Bill" from the February 11, 2009 issue of US News & World Report:

When President Obama signed the landmark $787 billion stimulus package, he proudly declared that he did not allow any members of Congress to insert wasteful, last-minute earmarks in their bills to benefit special interests in their states and districts. Dubbed "pork barrel" spending, these earmarks are notorious in Washington, perhaps the most infamous example being the $385 million "Bridge to Nowhere" for Alaska inserted into a 2005 transportation bill by the now-disgraced Sen. Ted Stevens.

But with or without earmarks -- and despite what Obama said -- special-interest spending has found its way into the stimulus in massive doses, budget watchers contend. "We were told this was going to be a massive infrastructure spending program," says Veronique De Rugy, a senior research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center. She argues that the bill is overflowing not with needed infrastructure spending, but with hundreds of billions in pork.

. . .Where you might find the pork is in the so-called discretionary spending portion of the bill, which amount to $308 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Of that money, $48 billion goes to the Department of Transportation for various rail and road projects to repair and expand infrastructure. That leaves about $260 billion of discretionary spending that goes to various federal agencies, as well as to state and local governments. How much of that amount helps special interests instead of the economy as a whole? That depends, of course, on what you consider a special interest. But decide for yourself. Here is a list of some of the most controversial individual pieces of discretionary spending that might have the pleasant taste of pork.

Etc.

OK, stupid me, talking about earmarks from Congressmen when it's about pork intrinsic to Obama's own bill. I'll shut up after such a basic mistake as presuming that spending might affect the economy. Except to note that my fetishes are between me and the fetishee, which you only wish was you.

One parting shot: $8 billion for a maglev train between Disneyland and Las Vegas. Now comes the part where you try to debunk this, I quote Harry Reid's office proving that's where billions will go, etc. Then you tell me to get out more.

Unless your two is in base twenty, you are so wrong on lobbyists worming their way into the Obama admin that I will publish a diary on it this weekend, so suggest you build up your resistance to germs of ideas in this area between now and then.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Sure, there's pork that isn't earmarks

(#156823)

And earmarks that aren't pork.

By all means, do link to Harry Reid. What I know is that there is $8BN for high-speed rail, and excellent investment, and that the Secretary of Transportation will apportion it. The bill does not mention specific projects.

I'm looking forward to your diary.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

high-speed rail what is the ROI?

(#156830)

what points are to be connected?
there is only one corridor which may be profitable and it is east of the Ohio River.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Question on earmarks

(#156739)

Are you under the impression that they add to departmental totals authorized in the spending bills, or are they a way of "earmarking" portions of those funds to specific projects favored by the local Congress-critter? In other words, do you think we would actually save any money by eliminating earmarks or is it likely that the money would simply be spent on some other priority determined by the respective government department?

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Of course not. But are you of the impression that money

(#156757)

cannot be saved if departmental allocations are limited to what is truly needed, and special set-asides for special interests are identified so they can be eleiminated? Or that there is some law precluding that? Or that that is not the gist of what Obama promised to do during the campaign? (See Username's link w/r/t the last point - it has direct quotes from Obama during the campaign on that exact point.)

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

So basically

(#156772)

according to you Obama should concentrate a significant amount of his time on reducing or eliminating what isn't 'truly needed' from the Federal Budget. Who gets to decide what is and isn't 'truly needed' in the context of the need for stimulus spending? You? Some ad hoc committee of concerned Republicans? Rush Limbaugh? No doubt also requiring he burn some bridges with Congress by taking a principled stand on the issue and refusing to sign much needed bills if they contain any spending that isn't 'truly needed'. All this in the midst of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression and all in the service of what exactly? Eliminating what amounts to perhaps 1% of Federal spending? Not gonna happen, bigger fish to fry and the Obama administration has already done more to curtail earmark spending than the previous administration and their enablers in Congress ever did.

Tell you what. When the Republican caucus signs off on giving up their 40% cut I'll know that Republicans other than the crazy old guy from AZ and a few irate individuals commenting on blogs are serious about the issue. Until then, patience grasshopper. Keep your powder dry for something consequential.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

I thought the President got to decide what should be cut from

(#156778)

the budget, Sparti. That's what he said, right? IOf course, who am I to demand he match words with actions - just some peon who's not even of the same party. I'll tell myself to shut up to spare you and Hank the need for putting me in my place.

You honestly think non-stimulus related spending amounts to only 1% of any bill pending or passed since Obama took office? How thick are those rose-colored glasses?

What exactly has the Obama Admin done to curtail earmark spending, and what earmark spending has been curtained as a result? Specifics please, since you made a declarative statement.

I have no control over the Republican ca-ca, nor did I ever claim to, nor have I ever claimed they were not part of the problem. The problem this president was goin g to eradicate, remember? Shame on me for acting as if that were something other than campaign pettifoggery.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Line item veto

(#156786)

Look it up.

2%, 2 and a half, 3?

No, shame on you for not understanding that the President has to prioritize and he has to compromise with Congress if he ever hopes to get anything done. Particularly given the current difficulties dumped in his lap by the previous occupant. In that context, earmarks are pretty much meaningless. Which probably explains why your choice to replace the previous occupant (did I mention he was a Republican, who you voted for 2ce) is so hot about the subject.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

You believe that the percentage of the Obama "stimulus"

(#156816)

package that is not an economic stimulus by any reasonable interpretation of that term is 3% or less? We are on two completely different wavelengths.

Sooner or later you'll either lose the fixation over who I did or didn't vote for, or realize how pathetic it is in response to a criticism of the man who happens to be president of the entire country, not just of the people who voted for him.

Unless, of course, you believe that only the people who voted for Obama should pay for his social programs, suffer his tax increases ond so forth. That I will seriously consider . . .

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

an excellent question, a senator wants to take highway funds

(#156742)

allocated to his/her state and spend in on a project which will benefit his/her friends. there is no increase in spending, per se, but what is spent is waisted. I believe a famous bridge is often mentioned in this type of scenario.

I believe, although I wouldn't bet my life on it, that other earmarks increase the overall budget.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Facts not in evidence

(#156745)

except for those members of one caucus who have been convicted, are under indictment or investigation for the practice.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

I blame the O

(#156751)

because if he had lived up to his promises on earmarks we would have found out.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Transparency isn't a small fry promise

(#156694)

We need to know where the money is going, period, end of story. Nothing is higher priority than that, and I believe that is tomsyl's main beef.

The other day I heard that ignorance and apathy are sweeping the country. I didn't know that, but I don't really care.

I don't think it measures up

(#156706)

With universal health care. And already we have had improvements in transparency. Do you remember knowing who asked for earmarks? Nope, because it wasn't revealed. Now you can find out if you like.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Sprongg!

(#156718)

=====

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

First, you are wrong on earmarks.

(#156717)

Knowing whose they are has absolutely nothing to do with Obama. Easily confirmed with a little research.

Second, do you honestly equate a promise to veto earmarks with merely knowing whose they are? Sheesh. At least admit where the guy's broken promises instead of trying to talk around them. This isn't you, man.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Wrong...

(#156723)

Obama co-authored the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 that made it mandatory to disclose earmarks.

As to your second point, Obama can't veto earmarks. (A line-item veto bill was passed and found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. There are now attempts to circumvent that.) He can veto whole bills. But then Congress would have to spend time renegotiating it. There are more important things to do. Yes, it's trivial.

(And by the way, when did he promise to veto ALL earmarks? I must have been asleep that day.)

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Halfway trhough their first term running Congress, Dems

(#156733)

were actually bragging about what earmarks they'd slipped into various bills. That is easily confirmed; I can find a link if you like. I don't see why peole believe identifying who slipped what into a bill is significant, or will help eliminate earmarks. These people have absolutely no shame when it comes to misappropriateing taxpayer funds for special interest projects, and they don't give a sh!t who knows about it; in fact, many of them trumpeet the news themselves in their home districts. And why would any of them care aabout what people outside their disctricts think?

Eliminating earmarks means vetoing bills that contain earmarks, or at least purging the bills using that threat. Make Congress aggregate all of its earmarks into one grand porker of a bill for all to see. That would be the kind of change people were promised.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

promise to veto earmarks

(#156725)

that was McCain.

Tomsyl is not intentionally misleading you though -- likely just caught in an error coming from several news organizations and broadcasters like ABC:

http://mediamatters.org/items/200903050003

Well, I remember a campaign promise by Obama to eliminate

(#156732)

them. As I read through your link, I realized I may have misremembered, based on what seems to me to have been carefully crafted language giving the impression Obama was going to eliminate earmarks without actually saying that. Thanks for the clarification.

What do you think he actually promised to do? Eliminating ones he thinks are "wasteful" seems pretty vague to me.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

he didn't promise much

(#156746)

don't you remember that whenever McCain brought it up his answer was generally about missing the forest for the trees?

It looks like you are right and I didn't listen closely enough

(#156768)

to the campaign rhetoric. But no matter in the long run, as he seems focused on it now.

To me earmarks are really significant only as a barometer of what Congress is thinking. And they clearly think that whatever the economic crisis around us, they can keep doing business as usual, and that we are either too dumb or powerless to do anything about it. Are we?

Since it's just you and me chatting, is there any truth to the rumor that AIG handled Congress's pensions? If so, that could blow things out of the water.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Oh please

(#156660)
HankP's picture

- Nothing secret about it, just read the papers.

- Bush didn't propose, he actually did it. $5 trillion added to the national debt. Even if Obama spends as much as you say he will (and you're hardly an objective observer) he has several years to catch up to Bush. Bush also wasn't facing the most serious economic problems since the Great Depression.

- Obama should reverse what Bush did, but that doesn't excuse Bush from doing it in the first place.

- You lost. Get over it. Obama made clear that he wanted to reform the medical care system , and he still has a majority supporting him. Oh, BTW, government does occasionally shrink, like it did under the last two Democratic Presidents

- Once again, most of the deficit is due to the lousy job Bush and the Republicans did on managing the economy (even before the current crisis) and the crisis itself. Even as far back as September, did you really think this mess was going to get cleaned up for free? Really?

This is just whining about the fact that Republicans screwed things up real good, and you're going to have to accept a Democratic way of handling things now. Some concern oh, say about six years ago may have made a difference (but probably wouldn't). This is just a lesson in thinking real hard before pulling the lever for a Republican again.

I blame it all on the Internet

Translated: "We won; now we get to bankrupt the country!"

(#156680)

More bugling triumphalism, without a single sublstantive response to anything I've said. When does "Bush sucked the big one!!" get past its use-by date as an excuse for new eff-ups and fecklessness? Deep into The Big O's second term? Never?

How about a link on the five trillion dollar deficit while you are at it?

"If Obama spends as much aas *I* say he will"? How about reading your man's own budget and making some reasonable projections from it? I thought you were among the libs here who kept saying the adults supposedly were in charge now. Most adults I know can and do balance their checkbooks. Don't you?

Hank, is the money there for extravagant social programs, or not? If it is, where is it? Are you sticking with the Admin's ridiculous prediction of 9% annualized GDP growth in Q4 '09 measured from '08? If not, your man wants to spend trillions we don't have on programs that can wait until the economic meltdown is at least on the way towards being fixed. You know, *that* meltdown, the one he has proclaimed could be The End Of The World Asw We Know It. Is it real, or is it just a convenient crisis?

Where are the following: earmark vetoes, transparency, time to review bills before they are passed, a ban on lobbyists, and/or a line-by-line review of the federal budget before it is passed? Can you say "typical BS campaign promises"? Could it be that those promises simply don't have constituencies who will complain, unlike card-check and embryonic stem cell research?

C'mon, Hank, how about putting up something besides "Republicans suck and whine"? If your position has any merit at all, you ought to be able to demonstrate it. If not, why bother to reply? You're just making my case for me.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Sputter sputter pop

(#156682)
HankP's picture

here's the link to the debt figure, not exact to the day because the history search function at the site isn't working for me.

I understand that you want the record of the Bush admin to go down the memory hole, but I'm afraid it's the context that's needed to understand the current crisis. Plus it's fun to drive up liquor sales in your neighborhood. You guys own him, he's yours, so you may as well get used to it.

Historically, the worse the recession the stronger the recovery. I have no idea if the OMB or admin figures are correct, and if you think that swing is too big remember that the Bush OMB was predicting 3.5% growth in GDP for 2009 as recently as June of last year (pdf, see pg. 10) and a FY 2008 deficit of $410 billion (same source, pg. 8). So yes, big as they are those numbers can change fast.

I do get a kick out of the word "extravagant", has that been used for the past few years? If you look at how much the US spends on health care, there are huge savings to be had if the system is reformed. The same goes for energy programs, especially when oil prices start going back up (which they will in a recovery). You may be opposed to it, but Obama's going to try to get that through too. There will be transition costs, but it's the smart thing to do for the long term.

I know the Republicans want to call this guy a failure after 50 days in office, I remember the tactics from the Clinton administration. How'd that work out?

I blame it all on the Internet

Hoisted on your own petard, Hank

(#156781)

The budget figures you linked to show the deficit grew at about $500 billion/year under Bush except in FY 2007-08, presumably due to the raise in the statutory debt ceiling that was snuck into TARP I. The Obama budget by its own admission will increase the deficit by $900 billion/year *IF* GDP grows at an annualized 9% by the end of this year; if not, make that $one trillion/year. Explain the equivalence between the two; show your work.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

What part of stimulus don't you understand? nt

(#156792)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

What part of a $900 billion to $1 trillion deficit don't you get

(#156814)

The numbers are in your own link. Your question is nonsensical. Unless you are claiaming that the stimulus will wipe out the difference. Are you? If so, please show your work.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Elimination of accounting gimmicks

(#156787)

that kept much spending off the books under Bush. In other words transparency, just no pleasing some people.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

$500 billion vs. $900 billion. Parse that.

(#156813)

--

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

A tidbit for you on deficit spending, Hank.

(#156737)

Link. So much to spend, so little time. Stroke of the pen, law of the land - cool.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

This is really shameless

(#156758)
HankP's picture

the guys been in office less than two months. You do realize it takes a while for any changes he wants to make to start affecting the system, correct? Also, did you even read the article?

The huge deterioration in the government's finances is due to the recession, which has cut into tax revenues, and the large amounts of money being spent from the $700 billion financial rescue plan that Congress passed in October.

Neither of which are problems caused by Obama. You're running around here screaming that he's screwing things up, he inherited this mess and is just starting to address it. For an issue this large, he's actually moving pretty quick. However, it's clear that unless he snaps his fingers and fixes it instantly, it's just not good enough for you. Perhaps you should review what the previous administration (which was in office less than two months ago) did to try and fix this problem.

Any adult looking at this realizes it's going to take 6 - 12 months for any changes from the new administration to start filtering into the economy even under ideal conditions. So hold off on your "He hasn't fixed it yet!!!!!!" for a few months, OK?

I blame it all on the Internet

Are you intentionally misinterpeting what I said?

(#156770)

No one expects quick economic fixes, and I've made no criticism at all about how the Obama Administration is attempting to deal with the current crisis. Acting like that's my complaint is a distortion.

What I've clearly been saying is that if we take the Admin's view of the magnitude and depth of the economic crisis facing us, which I certainly do, it manifestly is not the time to undertake hugely expensive deficit spending to fund programs that can be dealt with in a year's time. That is particularly true if the economy is going to turn around to the degree of a 9 point change in GDP. Which I don't believe, but which the Administration is predicting, yet which no one here seems willing to sign onto.

(Oh, and pssst, on that $700 billion rescue plan: there was ~$360 billion left to spend when Obama took office. Sorry to prick your balloon.)

So how about dealing with the logic (or illogic, if that's your view) of that instead of distorting my position into what you wish I said, so you could dismiss it as partisan whining?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Ah, it's the "Bush sucked more than my guy" theme again.

(#156735)

OK, if that's the standard, Hank, you win by a nose.

"Vote Obama - Slightly Better Than Bush!"

Your claim that there are huge savings in the governmentization fo healthcare is just wind at this point. When has the government saved anyone anything in any area? And by the time we find out that service is substantially worse ata a higher cost, the program will of course be set in stone.

"Transition costs" on energy? Is that what they are calling it these days? Can you offerr the slightest evidence that wind and solar can take over a significant portion of our energy needs that are now provided by oil, coal and natural gas? I'm tal;king facts, not hopes and dreams, Hank. A pie chart would be helpful. Show the role of nucular if you dare.

Will you at least admit that cap and trad is a very thinky veiled energy tax? Do you honestly believe that will not be passed on directly to consumers? Or that as a flat tax, it hurts lower wage earners disproportionately? Are you familiar with the analyses performed by enivironmental groups, most of whome are against C&T?

I'll deal with your budge claims separately. You still haven't said whether you believe Obama's claims that the economy will improve by 9% GDP grownth by the end of this year. That's a big part of his supposed deficit controls, as I presume you know. I don't know of any economist, liberal or conservative, that thinks that is likely, or even possible. Do you?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

"When has the government saved anyone anything in any area?"

(#156755)

When is conservative thought going to grow up beyond these simplistic, un-revisable, and unsuppported platitudes?

Denigration of government has at certain times been a point of strength in the US.

Its current incarnation is a cancer on our society.

Do you mean the government will cure cancer?

(#156771)

Or just that I should pretend that it is there to solve our problems? I don't believe that, so why should I say it? Because the economy is bad? Should the President have told us that the economy will get worse before it gets better? I think he has more influence than I do w/r/t the public discourse etc.

Or am I being partisan? At a time where the White House actually is lowering itself to the level of arguing with a right wing radio talk show host?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

"...arguing with a right wing radio talk show host..."

(#156886)

roflmao.

There's no argument.

It's known as lowering themselves to his level.

(#156896)

Also know as "dancing the Limbaugh." And exactly what he wanted, showing Limbaugh easily outsmarted the entire Obama Admin from that Dilbert press secretary on up. And got millions of dollars worth of publicity for his show at no charge thanks to the government.

Can you think of any other President petty enough to engage in an argument with a talk show host? Unbelievable.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

It's not a zero sum game

(#156899)

between Obama and Limbaugh at least. Limbaugh obviously wins with big ratings. Obama wins by being seen as the alternative to a figure with about a 10-20% approval rating nationwide. Everyone's happy but the mainstream GOP, who can't run away from Limbaugh but can't embrace him either.

Ditto.

(#156901)

Ha. Get it?

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/12/drew-friedman-draws.html

I'm very happy with the way the situation is turning out. And there was no argument. None at all. In fact, no fireworks, huffing, puffing, or histrionics. Just good political game playing.

I'm pretty sure you see this as well, Tomsyl.

I'm not really disagreeing with you, pranky.

(#156914)

My original remark on this was just an aside, nor at all my main point. And I see the strategy behind the Dem Party playing pin the tail on the Donkey w/r/t El Flushbo and his "I hope Obama fails" comment. Steel is an idiot for apologizing, and Limbaugh did what he did for self-aggrandizement, not to helpt the Repubs. CPAC looks like a bunch of hillbilly reactionaries, and that whole side is milling around in confusion. So the strategy is working.

I just think it could have been pulled off without the White House sullying itself by getting involved in a mudfight with a demagogue radio "personality". But really, it's not my fight.

PS I am now certain that the White House Press Secretary is in fact Dilbert.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Bwahah.

(#156918)

Man, there is not, nor was there ever a 'mudfight' between the white house and limbaugh.

The white house is just smartly (and quietly) playing politics, as they should. All the white house did was calmly assert that limbaugh is the head of the GOP. That's it. No fight. I really don't understand how you can see it as a fight of any kind.

Engaging in this context = fighting.

(#156920)

And having Dilbert talk it up before the national press is hardly doing anything "quietly".

My point once more: Presidents and their spokespeople should not lower themselves to responding to statements by talk show hosts. Let Obama's mouthpieces do that - there certainly are enough of them. The strategy is just as effctively executed through them, and the White House doesn't look petty.

Over and out.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

I guess if you want to redefine

(#156922)

"fighting" I can't stop you.

Um yes, the government spending you despise did cure cancers

(#156794)

All that money we spent on HIV/AIDS? More than the whole of NASA spending? Turns out AIDS research gave us a completely new view of the immune system and its related cancers, especially childhood leukemia.

Childhood leukemia is almost never a killer anymore. So yeah, here's the stiff arm and the beatdown, government spending has cured several cancers already and stands on the brink of curing many more.

Too many rhetorical question, dude.

Straw man arguments.

(#156798)

What "gover5nment spending I despise"? All I've said is that I want the ability to chose my own health care plan for me and my family instead of being reduced to the lowest common denominator like has been done in England and Canada. If you have a problem with that, so be it, but spare me the off-point self-righteous preachery.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

I believe your rhetoric gave out at Cure for Cancer.

(#156809)

The USA spent billions on HIV/AIDS and kids don't die of childhood leukemia now. There's what Private Industry didn't do, because it lacked the coordination.

Running a big private lab means the chemists chase the profitable cures. Never mind that any number of existing cures and preventions exist for a given condition, we must have another one for heartburn and gas. Coz it sells. Patent running out on an existing drug? Twist the molecule a bit, we can patent the isomer.

Look, I know health care from the money end of things, both coming and going. This is what I do. Straw man, my ass. These are real people, millions of them, uninsured, who for a few pennies could be treated for minor and entirely curable conditions. We don't treat them, because people like you are arguing about how you Want A Choice. Well these people don't have a choice, and you're willing to deny them that treatment because it might cost you a few pennies for some amoxicillin for some poor child's ear infection. You call my arguments straw men? I'll make this personal. I donate a lot of money for health care in the third world, and it's pointless working on poverty health care in this country, where I see the same goddamn problems. And why can't I do anything? Because every time someone tries to open up a public health clinic, such as I've opened in goddamn Kabul Afghanistan, I get more heat coming down from regulators and Free Market Types.

Now you tell me why it's cheaper and easier to open a public health clinic in Kabul Afghanistan, in the middle of a war zone, than Elgin IL.

Reread the post and reply you jumped in on.

(#156811)

The cancer bit was a play on Catchy's words, which had nothing whatsoever to do with the disease:

Its current incarnation is a cancer on our society.

As would have been apparent had you looked before you leaped.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

"Do you mean the government will cure cancer?"

(#156818)

Now that's what you said.

Reread until you get it.

(#156825)

Like I said, a play on words. Even you have been guilty of humor from time to time.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Have it your way. I was just Answering Questions.

(#156828)

As for all that Anecdotal Hoo-Hah, wait until you see the inside of a Blue Cross / Blue Shield franchise. It's a life-changing experience, oh yes. I think everyone should be trotted through a private insurance firm. I predict, within days, every CEO of every private health insurance company would be dangling from a lamp post.

Did I miss the announcement

(#156802)

from the Obama administration that we are about to get a health care system just like the ones in England and Canada?

By the way. I'm pretty sure the Welsh, the Scots and those living in N. Ireland get the same health care system the English do.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

I don't think you're being partisan

(#156776)

I just think you have an a priori axiom stuck in your cranium.

Naturally you've seen data on healthcare in other countries, you've heard of how the French do their system. It's an obvious counter-example to your simplistic platitude, yet the platitude remains.

It's not that you should say things you don't believe because the economy is bad. It's that a poor economy shows how little we can afford these ridiculous libertarian axioms right now. When is conservatism going to grow up?

Why doesn't a poor economy show how little we can afford

(#156783)

extravagant new programs? The country hasn't collapsed into anarchy without them, suggesting we can wait till the economy turns around before loading it up with another few trillion in debt. I get that you think that's simplistic and naive; I just don't get why.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

the economy

(#156791)

is already saddled with the problem of a hugely inefficient and poorly performing health care system, taking it out of the private sector might actually do the economy a huge favor in the long run.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

The key is "might" and "the long run"

(#156799)

Neither apply to the disastrous economy we are now in. And the possibility of savings in the long run by nationalizing health care has absolutely nothing to do with economic stimulus. It is an example of "neveer waste a good crisis", which is what started me on this rant in the first place.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Why?

(#156790)

Because healthcare is an albatross on our GDP and makes it more expensive to hire workers.

"I get that you think that's simplistic and naive; I just don't get why."

It's because there's empirical research on the issue, yet many conservatives approach this issue and others with a stock set of simplistic libertarian platitudes.

Is the French government saving their people $ on their healthcare? Last I checked they payed 1/2 per person in comparison to the US.

But of course they can't be paying less for comparable healthcare, because everywhere and always, gov = waste.

The burden is on you to prove it's equivalent

(#156800)

not on me to show it's not. You are the one claiming we can get the same thing for half the price. That's not true even in the private sector, but you ask me to believe the government can do it. I don't think it's unreasonable for me to expect something resembling proof from you; instead of providing it, you dismiss my position as "simplistic libertarian platipuses." How about indulging me and presenting something substantive instead of telling me waht a neanderthal I am? i already know that.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

tomsyl, I suppose I should do my homework

(#156753)

and try to find some links to support this, but...

The notion that somehow markets will make health care more efficient is nonsense. Health care is not like buying a car or a refrigerator: people don't make choices based on economics or market principles when their kid has a ruptured appendix or their father's having a stroke.

Just look at the American health care "system", although it doesn't really deserve the title. We spend more per capita, and have worse outcomes than virtually any other Western democracy. That market efficiency conservatives get wet about isn't their.

Not to say that a government run system will be ideal, or cheap. There will be stupid hoops to jump through, too much paperwork to do, and a lot of people's noises are going to get put out of joint. And taxes are going to have to go up to pay for it, even if we do end up spending less per capita than we are now. (If it makes you feel better, think of it as sending a premium check to Uncle Sam instead of Blue Cross.)

But the system we have now is too stupid, too inefficient, and too ineffective to go on. I'm glad to see President Obama spending some political capital to get this moving.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Some short responses, more in the nature of impressions:

(#156764)

-people from all over the world come to the US for treatment when faced with potentially grave medical problems. No one goes to England, France or Canada for that.

-There are more CAT/PET/NMR scanners in the LA area than there are in England and Canada combined.

-I know the Canadian system. It sucks. Yet it's held up by fans of socialized medicine as some sort of paragon. Likewise England, yet everyone in England except employees of their National Health system admit that it sucks.

-Govt. takeover of something this vast is a one-way street. Once seized, it will never be returned, no matter how badly the govt. is effing it up. You know that as well as I do.

-What do you mean by "efficiency" in the context of health care? Degraded but cheaper? Lowest common denominator? Or just as good as it is now, but with controlled costs? If you mean the latter, explain to me how the government will achieve it and I will back you all the way. I want maximum available care for my family when they have what I think is an emergency. I'm willing to pay for it; I do that now, and I also pay for my employees' access to a system they have no complaints about. I have zero faith in the government's ability to lower the cost of that care without seriously compromising it; thus my challenge to show other instances where the govt. has done that. Which no one can do, apparently.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Impressions in response:

(#156775)

1) We do gee-whiz stuff better than almost everybody else. Just remember the first face transplant, the latest in "wow" surgery, was pioneered in France. First heart transplant? Done in South Africa. We don't do so hot at chronic disease management, though. And if you don't have insurance, you get nothing.

2) There is no correlation with an increased number of imaging devices and improved outcomes for patients. Quite the opposite, in fact.

3) In what way does the Canadian system suck?

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Just one example about the Canadian system:

(#156788)

My sister-in-law was troubled with general malaise and flu-like symptoms for at least two years, probably longer. She saw a slew of Canadian doctors over that time because it was affecting her ability to do her work. She got every diagnosis in the book except the correct one.

Recently my wife started to experience similar symptoms. Within a week she's been diagnosed with a gluten allergy. She passed that on to her sister, who changed her diet, and that was the end of the problem from the Canadian side; there wasn't even a trip to the US for a MRI required.

I am not buying your indictment of scanners, by the way; they helped diagnose a potentially grave problem in my son, one that I have no confidence whatsoever that a Canadian doctor, or even an American one, would have had a clue about from an x-ray.

The fact that you seem to think scanners are extraneous suggests again that the quality of care here will go backwards under the Obama plan. First it will be "scanners are overused", then "there's no need for expensive new diagnostic techniques", and finally "throw granny under the bus - we need the bed." If that's what you're willing to settle for, there should be a class of care available for people who think scanners are excessively used etc. I don't care so long as the care I get for my family isn't compromised. But I have zero confidence in the government's willingness and ability to stay away from my situation.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

I never said scanners were "extraneous":

(#156806)

I order CT scans all the time, and MRI scans occasionally. They are an invaluable tool, but I've seen first-hand instances of unnecessary studies being ordered, and the medical literature backs me up on that. And it's not just a cost issue: the radiation from a CT scan is not inconsequential, and we don't know what the effect on cancer rates will be 20 or 30 years out.

As for your sister-in-law, I'm sorry she was misdiagnosed initially, but that misdiagnosis was not a function of her living in Canada. I see missed diagnoses all the time, and in my ten years of practice, I've missed my share of diagnoses, too. No practitioner is omniscient.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

I'm not doubting that scans are overprescribed

(#156819)

and often more to prevent malpractice claims than because of any therapeutic value. But my point is that they are available here whenever they are needed; not so in Canada. waiting times are notoriously long due to the limited number available; even a study Hank whipped out to disprove something or another showed that.

do you believe the credentials of a typical canadian doctor are equivalent to a typical American doctor? I don't, though I have no study to prove it. I do know there is no medical school of any significance in Canada, versus dozens here.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Joseph Martin

(#156875)

Joseph Martin, until last year dean of Harvard School of Medicine, had previously been dean in McGill, Montreal. Born in Alberta where he also got his MD.

I don't suppose you know of the McMaster School of Medicine. Its significance is that it is the only medical school in North America where the Problem-based learning (PBL) approach is used.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem-based_learning

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

"there is no medical school of any significance in Canada"

(#156872)
mmghosh's picture

Oops.
Double oops.

For comparative healthcare statistics

http://www.who.int/whosis/en/index.html

You are completely right about the excellence of US centres of excellence. However, as has been pointed out by others here, much of primary modern medical innovation, especially medical engineering innovation came out of Europe - endoscopes, CT scanners (developed by the Beatles e.g.), joint replacement, fracture fixation etc.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Nothing new.

(#156900)

Your first link is not a medical school. I know all about McGill; with all due respect to any graduates that may be reading this, it is not remotely the equivalent of the medical schools at Harvard, Columbia, Duke, Rice, Johns Hopkins, the University of Chicago, the UC system, the UT system, or a dozen others I could name. Nor is your first link the equivalent of the first twenty or so hospitals offering internships in this country. Whether that is a product of the non-socialized healthcare system here is debateable, but the huge number of foreign students who come here to attend graduate sschools in every discipline, including medicine, is not.

I'm not trying to be triumphalist or jingoistic here, manish; I just think this is something that we risk the loss of if we move towards socialized medicine. I base that fear on the fact that countries with socialized medical systems do very little cutting edge research in the medical field.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Cutting edge research comes directly from socialised medicine

(#157005)
mmghosh's picture

almost always, even (and especially more so) from the USA. Let me explain why this is so.

Medical treatments are validated by processes such as clinical trials. For statistical validation, clinical trials have to be performed on large cohorts of patients, and patients who agree to having those trials. In the vast majority of situations these trials are validated by performing them on people who are in some form of managed healthcare situation, because that is where the numbers are. So that, for example, in the US, the Veterans system, or the US Army (in situations such as burns and trauma management), other systems that provide managed car, the huge American University Medical Schools generate n enormous amount of statistical data. Also, NIH and other funding that drives research is disproportionately allocated to this component of healthcare.

The small socialised medical systems in Scandinavia provide a hugely disproportionate amount of statistical data that the rest of the world uses - disproportionate to the size of population and the level of spend, that is. This is largely because of meticulous controlled processes of data collection that is provided by a socialised system.

As for epidemiological study of disease and the results of treatment, that is almost entirely a function of State-based healthcare - something from which we all, who use private health care, benefit.

The US has a very good system of state-based healthcare, for the people who use it - from the statistical point of view, which is something I know from my work. Obviously I have no experience of its workings directly, so I can't comment on the nature or the quality of service provided, but from a statistical point of view there is no doubt that the clinical care that is offered is of the highest quality.

As for the University of Toronto, and the Hospital for Sick Children (of which it is a component), I'm not sure from where you get your information. It is certainly one of the major destinations for training in paediatric specialists in North America. Training is not just about training medical students, but also about training of residents. As for all the centres in the USA that you mentioned, I agree on the excellence of those (and others). I'm not very clear whether all those places are part of the private healthcare system in the USA. The UCLA hospitals for example, IIRC, get a very large component of state and charitable funding.

So, yes, private health care is very good for those who can afford it. Over here, for example, it is often the only choice for over 80% of the population who have no other option, as we have only rudiments of a public healthcare system. But to provide this treatment, we use the data derived from state-based health systems from abroad.
l

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Epidemiological and other data from studies is one part

(#157018)

of the picture; another is research, often hugely expensive, into new drugs, diagnostic equipment, implants etc. That work is done largely by private industry with profit as an incentive. No drug company is going to sink millions into a new drug in order to sell it in Canada at artificially low prices.

I don't want to argue about the Canadian institution you praise, and about which I know very little. My point is not that there aren't fine medical schools and teaching hospitals in other countries; it is that the great majority of them are here. And I see a clear link between that and our open-ended sytem, with all its faults and excesses. If I'm right and that innovation is destroyed by nationalization, cost controls, bureaucrats mandating treatments, etc etc, it will be too late to undo the damage.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

tomsyl, this is where you are both right and wrong.

(#157066)
mmghosh's picture

The right part


research, often hugely expensive, into new drugs, diagnostic equipment, implants etc. That work is done largely by private industry with profit as an incentive.

The wrong part

That private healthcare is a part of

research, often hugely expensive, into new drugs, diagnostic equipment, implants
etc. Private healthcare industry largely depends on the public healthcare system to validate its results.

To see how this works, lets start with diagnostic equipment. What private healthcare does - partly - is to purchase large quantities of some diagnostic equipment which offsets, to some extent, the costs of the company making the diagnostic equipment. However, the appropriate use of the diagnostic equipment is not helped by private healthcare, typically because (1) the capacity utilisation of the equipment is less than optimal (because of fewer patients) and (2) the investigations performed are done because of the need to recoup costs, rather than for medical need. So, in most cases, the appropriate definitions of where such diagnostics equipment should be used, when is it clinically relevant, when it provides superior results etc all tend to await the large publicly-funded trials.

As for new drugs or implants, believe me, if you think you or your kids should be the 1st subjects of phase IV trials of these via a private health care network, before the results of large public sector trials become public, then you would be either foolish or naive. Most private sector players tend to wait for the early public sector results to be published before allowing prescription of these to their patients in large numbers.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Let's take your drug tests as an example.

(#157137)

Of course there is no money to be made by marketing an untested drug, even if the FDA were to allow it. The drug trials ar part of the expense, often enormous but often exaggerated, in getting approval to go to market.

It is when the new drug hits the market that the pharmaceutical company begins to rake in the lucre. The cost per pill generally is several times the cost of manufacture, the difference being (allegedly) the amortization of the R&D costs, including all of those public health trials you refer to. Government control of the price to end users and their HMOs would destroy the incentive to develop new drugs if it reached the point where no profit could be realized. That seems pretty basic and irrefutable to me.

Some people simplistically point to Canadian drug prices as if they prove something. That is a tiny market as compared to the US, to the point where most drug companies would simply abandon it if the US government tried to force them to sell drugs in the US for the same price they sold them for in Canada.

I know that Big Pharma is widely considered evil, that they make huge profits, and that they probably wildly exaggerate the cost of bringing a new drug to market. But I have zero confidence in the ability of the government to set drug prices at a level that saves money yet allows a reasonable profit margin. The government itself never needs to account for anything it does in terms of a bottom line; the ideas of running a private company efficiently, amortizing development costs, and showing a profit to investors are entirely foreign to them.

These are not the kind of people I want in charge of the level of care available to my family; nor is there any logical reason to believe those people who claim that letting the government run health care will reduce costs without reducing quality.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Anecdotal hoo-hah. Canada's citizens live longer.

(#156795)

They get more health care. As for all those MRIs in LA? That's because everyone's in competition for paying patients. It's the same reason every two-bit podunk hospital has an open heart surgical theater: cleaning the arteries of a fat, steak-eatin' cig-smokin' no-exercisin' SOB middle manager with a good insurance policy.

Ain't no money in treating poor kids for earaches, probably the main reason people turn up in emergency rooms. If we only provided free clinics where these tiny little cases could be dealt with as they appear, we wouldn't have all these GOMERs in the system.

Don't know what a GOMER is? Get Outta My Emergency Room. Long ago, I did a little system for a private ambulance company. They made more money on the Cuneo to Cook run than anything else, transporting sick people from private to public health care.

EDIT: And guess who paid for the Cuneo to Cook run? Cuneo Hospital of course. Legally, they couldn't turn them out, so instead of admitting them, they transported the indigent to Cook County. Cheaper that way.

Hoo-hah all you like

(#156797)

Just don't try to claim Canada has a good health care system when I know first hand that's not true. And so do the fat, stinkin', cigarette-smokin' Canadians who have to come to the US for diagnostics and treatment because there is none up available to them up there. If you were right, none of them would ever leave the Frozen North. But they do, in droves. Maybe they are going to Cuneo County.

Do you think longetivity is the only measure of health care quality?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Simple debunking

(#156803)
HankP's picture

LINK

A 2002 Health Affairs paper examined hospitals near the border, as well as national surveys to tease out how many Canadians actually visit the U.S. to receive elective procedures.

In terms of hospitals along the border offering advanced treatments or special diagnostic technology (i.e. CT scans and MRIs), about 640 Canadians were seen, along with 270 for procedures like cataract surgery. They compare this to about 375,000 and 44,000 similar procedures in the region of Quebec alone during the same period. If you divide the total number of Canadians seeking those treatments in the US, divided by the number in Quebec alone that's about 0.09%. Not even a tenth of a percent.

But the most striking stats come from the Canadian National Population Health Survey (NPHS). From the article:

Only 90 of 18,000 respondents to the 1996 Canadian NPHS indicated that they had received care in the United States during the previous twelve months, and only twenty had indicated that they had gone to the United States expressly for the purpose of getting that care.

I'm sorry for your relatives but to imply that all Canadians get lousy health care is not supported by the facts. There's also the small matter of the US paying 5% of GDP per year more than Canada. I think that indicates that there are some significant cost savings to be made.

I blame it all on the Internet

Perhaps, but not in the way you intend.

(#156807)

From the study your link is based on:

An interesting feature of OECD countries is that while some countries report significant waiting, others do not. Waiting times are a serious health policy issue in the 12 countries involved in this project (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). Waiting times are not recorded administratively in a second group of countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United States) but are anecdotally (informally) reported to be low.

This paper contains a comparative analysis of these two groups of countries and addresses what factors may explain the absence of waiting times in the second group. It suggests that there is a clear negative association between waiting times and capacity, either measured in terms of number of beds or number of practising physicians. Analogously, a higher level of health spending is also systematically associated with lower waiting times, all other things equal.

Among the group of countries with waiting times, it is the availability of doctors that has the most significant negative association with waiting times.

And so forth. If the goal is to claim Canadian health care is equivalent to the US, your linked pundit fails. As well she should, because it's not.

I don't understand why people keep trying to claim Canadian health care is as good as that in the US. It is not, folks - give up already. If you want to argue that everyone should compromise in the name of universal health care, or that I should accept less for my so others can get more, fine, go for it; just stop pretending that socialized systems offer the same quality of care that ours does. It's a fundamentally dishonest argument, particularly so because those gullible enough to believe it won't realize how false it is until it's too late to go back to elements of the system wwe have now.

And thanks but no need to sympathize with my in-laws. Like many from Quebec, they are rabidly jingoistic about their country vs. the US, and it kills them to admit their health care system sucks in comparison to ours.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Unbelievable

(#156824)
HankP's picture

Waiting times are not recorded administratively in a second group of countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United States) but are anecdotally (informally) reported to be low.

So we don't keep records but we're better than Canada. Uh huh.

You also missed the bigger point - Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, and Switzerland all have universal health coverage and spend at least 3% of GDP less per year than the US. So your argument that "socialized medicine" won't or can't work is refuted.

I blame it all on the Internet

The studies don't lie, tomsyl.

(#156821)

Here's another:

We spend more, we get less quality.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

This really, truly is all about me.

(#156829)

I've said as much, more than once: I don't want to have to compromise on teh health care available to my family as part of a government plan to socialize, nationalize or otheer-ize healthcare. Period. If that makes me an old selfish meany, I have to say I don't give a shoot.

I have none of the problems your survey reports as averages for people using the US health care system. My relatives are at or beyond the averages shown for the Canadian health care system. Therefore, I have better health care than they do. I don't see a credible argument against that being raised by anyone here. The claim that I should get less for what I pay so that people who don't pay (and for whom I am paying) should get more is a fundamentally different argument. I'll let you guess my views on that.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

actually the health insurance system

(#156862)

It's actually the health insurance system that is socialized in Canada.

If, under some reformed system in the US, you wish to provide your family with better health care, you will no doubt be able to do so. There will always be doctors (and insurance companies) out there willing to take your money.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

It's the "no doubt" part I worry about, Mickey.

(#156869)

Private medical insurance is illegal in your country, right?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

no

(#156874)

Some 65% of Canadians have some form of supplementary private health insurance; many of them receive it through their employers.

That's from the wikipedia on 'Health care in Canada.' Note that laws in Canada change from province to province.

As for your concerns about a guarantee that any changes in the system will not lead to a reduction in quality of care, I suggest you visit your insurance agent. If you have the money, they will guarantee anything you want short of eternal life.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Micky, There's a Difference Between Supplementing

(#156876)

Provincial health insurance and being allowed to have medical practices that aren't a part of the government health care plan. I seem to recall an incredible squawk here in the True North Strong and Free when the Tories talked about the latter. In face, the protest that resulted kind of bears out out Tomysyl's fears, since most of the rhetoric against it was because people didn't want folks to be able to pay more for better quality health care than was available through the provincial health insurance plans. So I'm kind of with Tomysyl on not wanting a system where not dragging everyone down to the same level is considered a monstrous injustice.

We had it whipped into us over our Sunday blubber

(#157035)

They don't call it socialized for nothing. You have to understand that the dour Canadian does not shy away from the bracing moral demands and meagre comforts of shared misery.

We had it whipped into us over our Sunday blubber.

As Americans, I don't think you have much to worry about. Those in charge have already ruled out the possibility of a Canadian style system, I believe. I suppose it was inevitable what with the national character an all. A poll I read of a while back has stuck in mind. Not only do a large majority of Americans consider themselves to earn an 'above average' income, but most also believe that one day they will find themselves in the very top category of the wealthy. This is bordering on the delusional, of course, but it is also a source of a strength, and certainly, as long as it continues, a bulwark against socialism.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Blaise is right:

(#156839)

The phalanx of billing clerks your doctor has to employ, the mountains of paperwork, different for each insurance company, the arbitrary treatment decisions forced on docs by idiot insurers... all of that costs you money and reduces the quality of care you and yours received.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Well, as you know, that billing code BS comes from the governmen

(#156841)

I have not the slightest objection to reducing healthcare costs - why would I? I pay for mine and several others'. If you can convince me that the government can do that without reducing quality and choice, I'm with you all the way. (Didn't I already say that?) But so far no one has come close to making that point, least of all Obama himself.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

It's not the billing codes:

(#156848)

It's the different paperwork every insurer requires, it's having to re-file denied claims that were done right the first time.

I don't think you can be convinced on this one, and I guess that's OK. If all the studies out there aren't going to convince you, I don't think anything will.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Here's why I'm hugely skeptical, JKC:

(#156870)

Right now I get to pick the doctor, hospital, specialist or whatever I want to go to or have see my son if I think there might be something wrong with him. I know I'm getting ripped off by the local HMO for the privilege; there are other, much cheaper (up to 60% less) plans available if I'm willing to go to Kaiser instead of any doctor in the state. I'm not. Nor are the people my company hires, even when they have to pay part of the toll themselves to add extra people beyond what we pay for.

Notice how some liberals here quickly turned this discussion from "let's make the system more efficient" to "why won't tomsyl give up some of the coverage he now has so that others can get more?" Now do you see why I'm really distrustful of letting the government start down that one-way street?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

That's a fair question:

(#157045)

Look, let's assume that we get a single-payer system, and all practicing providers in the US are required to participate. By default, you get to go see anybody you want. If you think your primary care doc will be limited in how much he can make referrals, well, that's a fair question: that needs to be worked out by the politicians.

I for one don't think anyone should settle for less care, and I don't see anyone here with any medical expertise calling for that. We may need to ask some tough questions about end-of-life care, but those questions need to be asked anyway, regardless of who's paying for health care.

Let me ask you: is it perceived loss of physician choice that's your biggest fear about single-payer health care?

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Yes, that and that physician's ability to do what he/she thinks

(#157142)

needs to be done in terms of diagnostics without being overruled by a bureaucrat whose knowledge of medicine is limited to watching reruns of House. I realize that to a degree there already are HMO hacks trying to interfere with doctors' intents and desires to do what is best for their patients, but doctors seem to be quite adept at gaming that system and getting what they want done anyway.

Bottom line: if someone can show that costs can be cut significantly without compromising the current level of care available (which significantly exceeds that in Canada based on my own first-person observations and on complaints from actual Canadians who have no reason to diss their own system) then I'm all for it. But really, how credible is the argument that our government can do this? When has the government ever been cost-effective? Things like cost, profit and other bottom-line issues are not just irrelevant, they are incomprehensible to bureaucrats in an organization based entirely on deficit spending.

Some will say "give Obama a chance and let's see what he can do." Sorry, no. The government never lets go of something it's grabbed hold of, and bureaucracies are tenaciously self-perpetuating. Obviously, the nationalization of health care will dramatically shrink, if not eliminate, the private HMOs; they cannot magically spring back into existence even if the government admits defeat in it's nationalization efforts. No, this is a one-way street, regardless of how unsatisfactory the outcome is.

Sticking with a flawed, expensive system that delivers the care I (and again, the people emplyed by my company) feel is needed makes sense when the alternative is the same government that brings us the IRS, airport security checkpoints, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the TVA, the snail darter, immigration reform, TARP I, the SEC's prosecution of Martha Stewart while Madoff and Stanford roamed the prairies, and all the other fun stuff the Feds do with such gay abandon using our money by the pantload.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Urban myth. That mandated care affects clinical outcomes

(#157203)
mmghosh's picture

has not (yet) been shown to be the case, statistically.

The point to prove here is: have clinical outcomes been adversely affected because a diagnostic procedure has been refused by a mandated care provider? That would lay the care provider open to legal penalties.

Just because a doctor asks for a diagnostic test does not automatically make that the standard for care.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I don't feel like being the test case.

(#157286)

Lots of people don't seem to grasp just how simple this really is, so I'll say it again: I am satisfied with the level of care I get now, both in terms of professionalism and outcome. I am not satisfied with the price, which I think is inflated due to bureaucracies which are in large part the responsibilities of the government, and to opportunism and price-gouging by HMOs.

I simply do not see the government as capable of solving the cost issue without compromising the level of care. More specifically, based on forty years of observing the Federal government at work, I have no reason whatsoever to believe it is capable of doing that. Nor do the "you can't prove the government will screw it up" or "studies in other countries have shown that nationalized health care is actually better than it appears to be" arguments impress me at all.

I use a flawed system that is still functional; I am not willing to trade it for one that is not. This is too important of an area to give an undeserving government the benefit of the doubt.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Blah blah blah

(#157202)
HankP's picture

more anti-government BS playing on fears. It doesn't matter that we have by far the most expensive health care system in the world, it doesn't matter that we're the only industrial democracy without universal coverage, all that matters is that you're trying to scare people into thinking the government's going to take away their health care. It reminds me of the arguments about Social Security made in the 1930s - none of which came true.

I blame it all on the Internet

You're barking up the wrong tree, Fido.

(#157285)

Read the thread before the old knee-jerk liberalism kicks in, Hank, tough as that may be. If you did that, you'd see I was simply responding to this specific question by JKC:

Let me ask you: is it perceived loss of physician choice that's your biggest fear about single-payer health care?

How you twisted that into the accusation that I am trying to scare someone who isn't part of the conversation about something JKC didn't ask is beyond me. Arf!

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

What's the problem with Kaiser?

(#156873)
mmghosh's picture

It is supposed to be excellent.


Objective: To compare the costs and performance of the NHS with those of an integrated system for financing and delivery health services (Kaiser Permanente) in California.
Methods: The adjusted costs of the two systems and their performance were compared with respect to inputs, use, access to services, responsiveness, and limited quality indicators.
Results: The per capita costs of the two systems, adjusted for differences in benefits, special activities, population characteristics, and the cost environment, were similar to within 10%. Some aspects of performance differed. In particular, Kaiser members experience more comprehensive and convenient primary care services and much more rapid access to specialist services and hospital admissions. Age adjusted rates of use of acute hospital services in Kaiser were one third of those in the NHS.
Conclusions: The widely held beliefs that the NHS is efficient and that poor performance in certain areas is largely explained by underinvestment are not supported by this analysis. Kaiser achieved better performance at roughly the same cost as the NHS because of integration throughout the system, efficient management of hospital use, the benefits of competition, and greater investment in information technology.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1071220

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Not if you defend malpractice cases (which I don't).

(#156915)

a large number of medical mal claims originate from treatment at Kaiser. And IRRC they were involved in a major hoo-hah in California some years ago over mandatory arbitration claises hidden in their patient care contracts, leading to litigation that broke ground in invalidating certain types of mandatory arbitration in Cal law.

But I think the bigger picture is simply about choice. If you are faced with a seriopus medical problem, you aske around and get recommendations from family and friends. In my experience, that recommendation never has been a doctor at Kaiser; even if it was, there likely would be other options not affiliated with Kaiser.

So ultimately it's about choice; when we give employees the opportunity to decide, most of them pick the HMO that lets them decide, even though that means 50% higher premiums for added dependents that we don't cover. That's what the debate about socializing medicine in this country will always be about. The people in favor of broadening coverage to all think those who pay, bothe for themselves and others, should have their choices resstricted so more of those at the bottom can participate. Look at the dialogue here for examples of this thinking.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Statistically, if that was correct, then Kaiser should be out

(#157006)
mmghosh's picture

of business, from the volume of malpractice suits.

I do get your point about people choosing expensive health care when they have a choice. Its the same over here. Obviously doctors who provide such care encourage this attitude, especially if its the same doctor providing the care in both systems. And going to see a doctor in a beautifully maintained setting is always pleasanter, no doubt. I would suggest you look at the Scandinavian system, where the doctors only provide care within the state-based system.

The point is whether the patients are actually getting a better deal, medically speaking. And here, statistics say that, in the majority of cases, they are getting, at best, equivalent care. The standards of care in University teaching hospitals in the USA are extremely high - they have to be - there are a large number of federally mandated clinical and technical standards to maintain. Of course, I emphasise I'm speaking from the healthcare economics and statistics point of view, not from the point of view of someone like JKC who actually provides the care.

For an aspect of medical care that is almost wholly in the private sector look at cosmetic plastic surgery. It is private practice, non-insurance based, unregulated to a large extent, with little scientific content or validation of processes. The discipline has been plagued by treatment scandals, malpractice suits, non-validated care to an extent that would not be tolerated in any branch of medicine.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I have problems with the implication doctors are getting rich

(#157015)

by playing the system. I don't see that, particularly when their charges are controlled by HMOs abd the ability and willingness of patients to cover a copayment. I know a couple of doctors well enough to be familiar with the economics of their offices, and there's just note enough there for them to be netting more than in the mow hundred thousand range. Even Obama doesn't consier that rich. The story probably is different in the elective surgery area and for those specializing in diseases of the rich, but that's a small percentage of the whole.

Kaiser pays less than private medical practice, leading to the presumption that better doctors don't work there. I don't make that assumption myself, but people aren't always strictly logical when it comes to picking doctors for their kids.

As far as the economics of Kaiser's practice, I'm certainly not in a position to assess the number of medical malpractice cases brought per thousand patients treated, or any other useful quantitative figure. And as a lawyer who largely defends individuals and corporations, I certainly don't think the fact that a claim has been made means that it has any merit. But when a particular institution gets sued over and over again, certain conclusions could be drawn.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Expensive doctors are not necessarily better.

(#157065)
mmghosh's picture

Would you apply the same logic across the board - i.e. more expensive = better?

More expensive lawyers = technically better lawyers? More expensive financial consultants = technically better financial consultants?

You wouldn't, so why would you do it in this case?

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Not my point. Better lawyers = private practice;

(#157144)

less so = public defenders. A huge overgeneralization that does not take into account zeal, goals other than money, etc., but there is a definite pecking order in most professions for many people based on salaries available. and if a large, prestigious hospital pays fofty percent more than Kaiser, it will attract more grads from prestigious medical schools anad internships. Simple and obvious, I think.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Kaiser Permanente Lawyers

(#157010)
mmghosh's picture

Guess I was wrong. A law firm dedicated to managing Kaiser malpractice. Having said that, 2 million as a medical malpractice award doesn't sound huge.


Kaiser Permanente Medical Malpractice

Why You Need Experienced Legal Representation If You Are a Kaiser Permanente HMO Member

BREAKING NEWS: ONE OF THE LARGEST ARBITRATION AWARDS EVER RETURNED AGAINST KAISER: NEGLIGENT CARE RESULTS IN $2 MILLION DOLLAR ARBITRATION AWARD

If you are a Kaiser Permanente HMO member, you may not be aware that your legal options are limited if you are the victim of medical malpractice. Kaiser Permanente includes provisions in all of their group health insurance policies prohibiting you from filing a lawsuit in court and limiting your remedy for medical malpractice to arbitration. Statistics show that individuals who represent themselves in these proceedings lose 75% of the time! If you are a Kaiser Permanente HMO member and have suffered a personal injury as the result of negligence or carelessness by one of your medical providers, you need a law firm that understands the Kaiser Permanente system and which has a history of successfully representing Kaiser Permanente HMO members in Kaiser Permanente arbitration proceedings.

At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, in San Francisco, California, we have successfully represented Kaiser Permanente HMO members throughout the state since 1978.

I learn something new here every day. More - http://www.kopple-wolf.com/lawyer-attorney-1151541.html

In fact, statistics show that Kaiser Malpractice victims who go in front of the arbitration panel lose more than 85% of the time! We are proud to say that our statistics are the reverse. Actually, as of the beginning of 2006 Nicholas C. Rowley have never lost a Kaiser Arbitration case. We attribute our success to our dedicated aggressive case handling, they way we put our hearts into our cases and care for our clients, and also that we offer clients a service not found very often: Nicholas C. Rowley, has an extensive medical background having worked as a combat paramedic in the military for three years and who actually started his legal career as a defense attorney for Kaiser. Mr. Rowley has intimate knowledge of the workings of Kaiser and its arbitration system and has successfully handled Kaiser Cases involving obstetrics, brain damage, paralysis, wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, gynecology, oncology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, pediatrics, infectious diseases and cardiology. Whether the injury was caused by a delay in diagnosis, a failed procedure or an operative complication, Nicholas C. Rowley have the experience to successfully obtain the justice you need and deserve.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I've Had Ontario Health Insurance,

(#156838)

Job-based health insurance in the U.S., and the free health care of the U.S. military. And I honestly can't see much daylight between the three. Both the Canadian system and American were somewhat better for sports medicine stuff than the Marine Corps, but then that's because in the military I usually never got past the stage of the BAS giving me ibuprofin.

Which kind of leaves me in a position of not really caring who does what with health care. The difference has been pretty negligible.

Although I'd kind of like to see some sort of extension of Medicaid, if for no other reason than to rob Canadians of their national identity. (Seriously, what sort of a country takes, "We're morally superior because *our* government health care isn't means tested!" and makes it their national identity?)

What you Don't Get is how much more you pay for what you get.

(#156832)

The current scheme is a massive money tree for those with the political savvy to run a Healthco. They spend more money on lobbyists than everyone else combined. Best value for money of any investment ever made in the history of the world.

Forget the health care stats. Just look at the Healthco earnings, if you can. Lots of them are private, you won't have access to 'em. Trust me, it's made tens of thousands of people rich as Croesus screwing the insured out of benefits.

Why do you think I don't get that?

(#156840)

I pay the cost of health care for myself, my family and about fifteen employees; at work it's our biggest expense after salaries and rent. It goes up a steady 12-15% per year regardless of anything else. I have no doubt we are being royally ripped off, and I'm all for reforms that will reduce costs *while maintaining quality and choice.** You think I should trust the government to do that. I tghink it would be specious to do so; the government is no more likely to run health care efficiently and in a user-fiendly matter than it is to run, say, a car dealership or a DMV.

If you want to trust in Uncle Sam to solve your health care problems, fine; there are plenty of people in DC counting on the gullible. None of them have an agenda, of course; they just want to help you. Forever.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

jeebus, tomsyl, look around you.

(#156846)

The private sector hasn't exactly been covering itself in glory lately. You really think the federal government is gonna be more corrupt than, say, HealthSouth?

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

I don't even have to click on your link.

(#156916)

I know all about scrushy because liberals here are always complaining about how one of their guys got framed for pal-ing around with him.

Does the Enron case justify the government nationalizing the oil industry? Same question w/r/t Arthur Anderson and CPAs. Etc.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

So just to summarize

(#156844)

You are willing to pay more and more for less and less, while acknowledging that you are being ripped off - all to ensure that those who can't pay get nothing. Because if they did get something that would be socialism?

Go figure.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

No reply merited.

(#156851)

Oh, wait - OK, I despise the poor and envy everyone who makes a penny more than I do. My family's health care coverage is more important than your family's health care coverage, at least to me. I'm clearly going to hell sooner rather than later - see you there.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

well if they are lobbying, it is because that is where the money

(#156835)

is

if we shut down the public funds, the lobbyists would go out of business

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

Anecdote does not equal Data

(#156812)

We don't know what waiting times in the US are because they're not reported.

And since there's a looming physician shortage, you can expect wait times to increase here, too.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

We in the USA have people lying dead for hours in ERs in the USA

(#156817)

But hey, it's sorta like that old joke.

Board member of the local hospital pays a visit, the hospital administrator is showing the elderly grande dame around. They come into a room to find an old man vigorously masturbating. She's terribly shocked.

"Oh, this patient has a prostate condition which requires him to masturbate several times a day."

The old lady is somewhat mollified. They enter the next room to find an orderly fellating an man.

"This is simply outrageous!"

"But this man has a terrible prostate condition, same as the other fellow has. But this guy has insurance."

Good one.

(#156820)

--

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Another variation

(#156858)
aireachail's picture

from a site I can't navigate away from without a huge smile...

Bert Busch and Health Care

Good stuff. Enjoy.

More to the point, loads of US oldsters head North of the Border

(#156805)

to get their prescriptions filled.

Why is that on point?

(#156808)

I presume you understand the reasons for the disparity in prescription drug prices between Canada and the US. Do you also get the difference between drug prescriptions and diagnostic tests?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Haha. You answer your own question, Tomsyl.

(#156810)

Let's hear you tell us about why there's this Disparity. Diagnostic tests cost pennies, they're huge money makers for hospitals and doctors. There's about a 1000% markup on both.

"Diagnostic tests cost pennies"?

(#156822)

How do you figure that, when an MRI machine costs upwards of a quarter million dollars, not counting the special facilities required to house and operate it? You know about amortization and depreciation, right?

I know health care includes some huge ripoffs, and I have no objection to the government trying to eleiminate them; I just don't trust the government to stop there. And look at this thread - some people are already asking why I won't agree to give up some of the quality of care available to my family so others can improve theirs. You see where this is going? I sure do.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Yes, the test itself is little more than the tech's time

(#156827)

and the cost of power. The machine is a fixed asset, so's the software and computers. All can be leased. Haha, if there's one thing I DO know about, it's depreciation of a fixed asset.

You just don't trust the government, which would serve all the people. You do seem to trust the system you do have, which by your own admission rips off the insured like highway robbery. Your argument is in flames. I see where this is going: your argument is burned to the waterline and you're trying to say you put the fire out.

This country needed public health care after WW2 and Truman tried to get it through. Ronald Reagan, paid shill for the AMA, made an LP record saying it would ruin health care and turn us all into socialists. Every industrialized country in the world has better health care stats than the USA, all so a handful of people in the lifeboat, which is a pretty leaky lifeboat by the way, can say they want to preserve this botch of a system.

Your tortured metaphors and mindreading aside,

(#156836)

my position is as simple as I myself am: I don't want to compromise the health care available to my family. Period. I don't trust the government to make health care decisions for my family or for me. Nor do I trust you, Hank, or any other liberal here; the only person whose words I take seriously on this point are JKC's because he has the background. The system in place rips everyone off, but gives me the care I want for my family. If you want to compromise in that area, be my guest - I promise not to make the decision for you because I don't believe everyone should be forced to live down to a lowest common denominator level in this or anything else. Nothing you've said has convinced me that wouldn't happen, and lots that others have said confirms that it will.

(B/t/w, now I know not to ask you to do my taxes either. How does a hospital recoup the cost of a MRI machine if it does not charge for its use beyond the cost of the electricity to operate it? If you were running a cab company, would you canculate fares based solely on gas plus driver's salary, or would you include depreciation of the vehicle in there somewhere?)

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

weird

(#156850)

i understand you want to protect your family. but to argue that against the facts in defense of a system that is ripping you off and likely not giving you as good care as you you think is like stockholm syndrome at this point.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Weird that5 neither you nor anyone else will guarantee

(#156854)

that the health care available to my family won't be compromised if the government takes over the system, yet none of you seem to see why that's unacceptable to me.

"Likely not giving me as good care as I think"? I need that translated, and maybe someone to explain how the care isn't as good as it appears but still would be good if the government were running things.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

I will guarantee that you will have to purchase

(#156857)

private health insurance, if the guv takes over.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

I have news for you

(#156856)
HankP's picture

there's no guarantee that the health care available to your family won't be compromised if the system is left the way it is, as people keep finding out.

I blame it all on the Internet

So let's take it away now to avoid the risk of losing it in the

(#156917)

future? Is that what passes for liberal logic these days?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

when Time mentioned McCain's plan, they forgot

(#156860)

the corresponding tax credit. it was probably just an oversight.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

But its not Socialism

(#156852)

:)

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

The Canadian and British systems suck?

(#156773)

compared to what? not having access to any health care at all or paying way over the odds for the limited care you do receive?

I don't think so.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Compared to what I now have. Which was clear from my post.

(#156774)

If I'm supposed to give that up so someone gets something for free that they have to pay for now, then that is what I would call a lowest common denominator system. And you would call it that, too, if you were being honest.

And yes, the Canadian system sucks, unless you are measuring it against a third world country. If that's what someone really wants, the border is well marked on most maps.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

First, you're already paying for uninsured people's healthcare

(#156780)

E.g. hospitals make sure paying customers eventually pick up a significant fraction of the tab for unpaid ER visits.

Second, ER trips are obviously a horrible form of healthcare for 50 million American citizens. Are you willing to make any compromises in the healthcare you now have if it benefits your fellow citizens? Or are you actually an adherent of BG's philosophy (which some people had a good name for but now I can't recall)?

I am willing to pay for my family to get the best health care

(#156785)

available. Please explain why I should compromise that, or why I am somehow an Uncle Scrooge because I want the best for them. Or why people who don't pay for health care should get exactly the same care as those that do pay for both themselves and for the people who don't pay. Even Congress thinks some people (i.e., them) should get better care than others.

I know I am already paying for uninsured people's health care. I haven't complained about that here, so why is it relevant?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Honest Question

(#156880)

I know nothing about the ins and outs of health care beyond my own firsthand experiences, and I've not read much about the details of any specific plan to provide socialized insurance or health care. But I don't understand how the government providing a baseline form of insurance-- say expanding Medicare/Medicaid to cover all citizens who want it-- would necessitate you giving up the specifics of any plan you desire.

Why wouldn't the US be able to adopt a plan that would allow you to buy supplemental insurance privately? What you're arguing against just doesn't make sense to me. I can imagine a theoretical plan for socialized medicine that would outlaw private insurance-- but I don't see why the US would have to or want to adopt such a plan.

Assuming we were able to create baseline protection while allowing private supplemental insurance, I assume based on your arguments here that you'd be in favor of it (or at least unopposed)?

I have no problem with your basic concept, assuming costs

(#156919)

aren't outrageous. But I believe any plan should be means-tested. Free health care to those who supposedly cannot afford it is a form of welfare; taxpayers (an increasingly rare breed these days) pay for people who don't, so that should be limited to people who can't, not people who don't want to.

Here is my basic view, based on the vehemence that some here (not you) support the "universal health care for all!" theme: If they believe health care is a basic right, they have no business meddling in how I get mine. But some of the more clear-thinking and honest liberals here have already asked whether I would be willing to give up some portion of what I have access to now so that others could get health care. The answer to that is a flat "no." But the fact that questions like that are being asked illustrates my concern.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

Possibly

(#156965)

I'd be in favor of some basic coverage for everyone, regardless of income, with a specific eye towards preventative medicine. The coverage should be good enough that it can stand in place of the most basic employer provided insurance. From there, people or employers could buy expanded coverage privately. Employers won't have to bend over to private insurers anymore, and my guess is that any tax increase absorbed by small businesses to cover the program would be more than offset by those savings.

Sort of like social security is now towards retirement. Nothing extravagant, but you won't be in serious trouble if the worst should happen. Social security doesn't mean you don't set aside extra money for your retirement if you can, or that the government is interfering with your right to plan your retirement.

"taxpayers (an increasingly rare breed these days)"

(#156930)

eh, i don't buy it.

everyone pays taxes, even if they are paying sales taxes, vice taxes, fees, property taxes, payroll taxes, etc.

i rent - and i'm pretty sure that supplying the money that goes to pay paying my landlord's property taxes.

this whole "only the wealthy pay taxes" line is a red herring.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

I'm talking about FIT, of course, which funds the fed govt.

(#156942)

which wants to spend skillions on new social programs using the money they get from taxing the shrinking number ov people who pay FIT. Thought that was obvious; anyway, there it is.

Your rent undouibtedly is funding your landlord's purchase of equity in the building you rent. (And renters are getting completly screwed under any version of the "mortgage relief" legislation that's being bandied about in Washington, imo.) But how does that conceivably constitute a tax?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

let's see

(#156948)

if my landlord pays 1000 a month for his mortgage and 300 in property taxes and charges me 1500, he will have to declare 200 in income, pay 50 for porety mgmgt and pay lets say 50 of that in federal income taxes and pocket 100.

now while its him paying the 50 in FIT, its my money he's paying it from.

anyways, i can understand why you would arugue with that admittedly squishy line of reasoning.

but lets say some high level exec at widget co makes 1.5 million. h'es one of you unlucky few taxpayers left, presumably. that salary he's getting ultimately derives from the (quite legal and beneficial) exploitation of labor etc and its ultimately coming from sales of wgets to everyone, even the lucky non tax paying folks.

it's all factored in there is the short way of explaining it (in terms of FIT) -- and as far as the rest, i'll wager most folks pay quite a sizeable percentage of their earnings in taxes, so i wouldn't just paint them as freeloaders in the system.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

I double-checked my original comment to confirm that you

(#156956)

mischaracterized it. I did not call people who don't pay for their own health care "freeloaders." My point was, and remains, that if I am paying for their health care through the FIT I pay (and that they don't pay) and paying for my own health care, too, neither they nor the government (nor you, for that matter) should have any say whatsoever on the healthcare I get. If that means I get significantly better care they do, it also means they have the same choice I make every month when I pay my HMO premium instead of spending the money on something else.

All of this nonsense about how I should be willing to accept a lower standard of care so that the have-nots can have is completely unacceptable to me. If that makes me a Scrooge, ask me if I give a sh!t.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

uh

(#156961)

where is anyone suggesting a lower level of care for you?

also - while you did not use the exact term freeloader, saying:

Free health care to those who supposedly cannot afford it is a form of welfare; taxpayers (an increasingly rare breed these days) pay for people who don't, so that should be limited to people who can't, not people who don't want to.

is painting everyone who pays "no FIT" (again, debatable) and yet would like some kind of access to helath care as undeserving, correct?

i know plenty of pepol who work hard as hell, don't make enought money to pay FIT (directly at least), and yet should be gettiong taken care of.

this also leaves out children and folks who can't work from teh discussion.

but whatever. i think by your language you are getting quite worked up over this. i understand.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

I suggest you read the whole thread.

(#156975)

You will see suggestions, and even outright statements, that I should give up some degree of quality of care so that others have greater access to the health care system. I'm not so much worked up about it as simply saying I refuse to do that.

On your other point, all I have suggested is means testing. You have no objection to that, right? Yet the "free health care for everyone" folks, including Obama, don't seem to think that ability to pay for your own health care is of the slightest relevance.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

ha too many comments

(#156981)

can you point me to a particular comment that says that? just as a time saver for me, not that i doubt it. if you don't care to comb thru the comments either, no worries.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Here's one from Post No. 156780:

(#156986)

Are you willing to make any compromises in the healthcare you now have if it benefits your fellow citizens? Or are you actually an adherent of BG's philosophy (which some people had a good name for but now I can't recall)?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

thx

(#156989)

but that's from catchy.... any serious comments or policy proposals?

i keed, i keed.

srsly, thx for the pointer to the comment.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

depreciation

(#156952)

i believe your landlord could use a good accountant.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

how would that be relevant?

(#156966)

nt

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Myth.

(#156779)

Look at some studies, like the one quoted here:

Dr. Marcia Angell, a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School, writes in the Oct. 21 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) that Canada’s health expenditures are half those in the United States - US$3,326 per person versus US$6,697. Yet, in sharp contrast to the U.S., Canada’s health system guarantees essential medical care to all of the country’s residents.

In addition, Angell says, since the full implementation of medicare in 1972, Canada’s medical outcomes have surpassed those of the U.S. “The life expectancy of Americans is now 2.5 years shorter than that of Canadians,” she writes. “Infant mortality rates are higher in the U.S., as is preventable mortality (death before the age of 75 from diseases that are amenable to treatment).”

Or this:

Background: Differences in medical care in the United States compared with Canada, including greater reliance on private funding and for-profit delivery, as well as markedly higher expenditures, may result in different health outcomes.

Objectives: To systematically review studies comparing health outcomes in the United States and Canada among patients treated for similar underlying medical conditions.

Methods: We identified studies comparing health outcomes of patients in Canada and the United States by searching multiple bibliographic databases and resources. We masked study results before determining study eligibility. We abstracted study characteristics, including methodological quality and generalizability.

Results: We identified 38 studies comparing populations of patients in Canada and the United States. Studies addressed diverse problems, including cancer, coronary artery disease, chronic medical illnesses and surgical procedures. Of 10 studies that included extensive statistical adjustment and enrolled broad populations, 5 favoured Canada, 2 favoured the United States, and 3 showed equivalent or mixed results. Of 28 studies that failed one of these criteria, 9 favoured Canada, 3 favoured the United States, and 16 showed equivalent or mixed results. Overall, results for mortality favoured Canada (relative risk 0.95, 95% confidence interval 0.92-0.98, p= 0.002) but were very heterogeneous, and we failed to find convincing explanations for this heterogeneity. The only condition in which results consistently favoured one country was end-stage renal disease, in which Canadian patients fared better.

Interpretation: Available studies suggest that health outcomes may be superior in patients cared for in Canada versus the United States, but differences are not consistent.

Canadian Health Care only sucks if you define "sucks" as meaning "universal, efficient compared to the US, with better outcomes."

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

I'll read both, but am already not buying your point

(#156796)

based on the statement in your first quote that the metric was whether health care was universally available. Nor do I think longetivity is necessarily a measure of health care quality. How many people travel to Canada for the quality of their health care? Surely you know how common it is for Canadians to come here to get access to diagnostics and medical skills unavailable or in extremely short supply up there.

Anyway, I'll read both your links, and maybe get my sister-in-law's impression of them, too.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

you keep saying

(#156847)

that people come here for better care -- and in the past and event today that may be true but the trend is reversing.

for procedures that are common and well understood -- i.e. 99.9% of what the typical preson would have to undergo -- ther trend has been the opposite: to health tourism, where people go to where they can get the same care for a fraction of what it would cost here.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

I think you are talking about elective surgery

(#156855)

which is entirely unrelated to what I'm referring to.

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you.—Abraham Simpson

fair enough, but

(#156859)

what are you referring to?

what procedures are available in the US that are not available, say, in europe?

in fact a lot of medical tourism originates in countries with wait lists for elective surgery. but it doesn't seem tha the US is a big destination for this tourism.

i'm meandering here and not really trying to make any point except that i think you are a bit US-centric in your view and don't understand that excellent medical technology exists outside our borders.

my sister is going in for testing on something related to her gall bladder. -- in spain, where she lives.

i was just telling my mom, based on what i have seen, if something like that were to come up for me, i'd almost rather be in spain to take care of it. i've seen enough of the healthcare system here to know that the patient is not the priority here -- it's what's in his wallet that counts.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Why would you have to give it up?

(#156777)

Public/private partnership works best don't you think, Obama certainly seems to think so?

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

I've always run with the heatwave which hit France

(#156765)

and the related failure.

"Perhaps we also ought to run off people who abuse our toleration of differing viewpoints."

to be fair

(#156623)

Bush won reelection after doing all that stuff. It's not opportunism any longer when people ask for more.