Wednesday Morning Open Thread

Your turn.

This is an Open Thread.

Also see Jon Walker's persuasive argument that no bill is better than the Senate bill (the House bill (even without a public option) is clearly superior to the Senate bill and arguably better than the status quo.)

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    John Conyers and the CPC: (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:10:39 AM EST
    Maxine Waters (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by lilburro on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:47:58 AM EST
    still a bad@ss.

    This is kind of (none / 0) (#2)
    by CST on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:22:48 AM EST
    the point I've been trying to make all week.

    What does it matter if you get 60 senator votes for something that will never pass the house?

    That's one place where the "liberals" in the party still have a lot of say, since they don't get filtered down into a few senators from big blue states...


    It will pass the House (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:23:35 AM EST
    because the liberals will roll over.

    I listened to an interview with Grayson (none / 0) (#5)
    by magster on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:34:20 AM EST
    yesterday on the radio.  He said the subsidies to families up to $88,000 per year will provide insurance to people who don't have it, thereby saving lives, and that ultimately that is what he has to base his vote on for now, and hope to improve the law in the future.  He also said it may be harder to start from scratch later as opposed to reforming something that already exists.

    I don't necessarily accept that, but I don't condemn that stance either.  The biggest problem has been taking reconciliation off the table.  All leverage lost.


    And so (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:42:03 AM EST
    the subsidies will always exist, always make insurance affordable, will never be gutted by....say....Republicans.

    That's some pie in the sky idealistic thinking on the part of this rep.

    Something I've found in this debate is that most people who are for the bills as they stand now, are for them based on what they wish they would do, rather than on what they would actually do....of course, this is the same rationale such people use in deciding to elect Obama.


    well (none / 0) (#12)
    by CST on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:44:34 AM EST
    to be fair - none of us know what they will "actually do" since we can't see the future.

    You may think you know, but you don't, you have an opinion.


    Personally, I really hope I'm wrong (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:47:40 AM EST
    IMO the best possible outcome is that we get Medicare Advantage for everyone. Expensive but not useless.

    Lets just say (none / 0) (#17)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:50:39 AM EST
    I trust that I've lived on this life for long enough that what I'm suspecting has come true in the past and will continue to do so.

    It's actually naive to think otherwise.


    All subsidies will do is put more cash (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:03:59 PM EST
    in the pockets of insurance companies without any guarantee that the coverage they provide will be worth it; seems like we will be in the same position we were in when we bailed out the banksters: giving away all this money with no accountability.

    What happens when the insurance companies decide they have to raise premiums?  Do the subsidies also rise, or does the government, which could be in the hands of Republicans, regretfully decide it cannot afford to accommodate those getting subsidized coverage, and require the individual to pick up the increase?  What then?

    Someone can let me know if I missed it, but will these insurance companies have to justify, in any way, the amount of the premiums they charge?  I know the states generally have some kind of public service commission - Maryland does - from which insurance companies and hospitals must get approval for rate increases; will that still be the case or is there going to be some other mechanism in place?

    It truly is a shame that the drumbeat of insurance = care continues to resound, but this is not surprising, since those who have tried to bring some truth to the conversation have been routinely and almost completely shut out.  It's impossible to take the position that one is advocating for the best interests of the people and at the same time actively work to silence those who do not believe insurance is the answer to the crisis in care.

    My fear is that whatever passes will bring brief hope to millions of people, but not the care they need, that if and when some people do get help, it will also be brief, as a change in power or the realization that costs are going up and it's unsupportable will result in the rug being pulled out from under them.

    I hear Grayson saying his concern is for helping the people, and I don't question that he wants them to get that help, but I don't see much evidence that Grayson has applied the critical thinking skills required to assess whether what is on the table will actually do that.

    As for fixing bad legislation, I am still waiting for Obama to task Congress to follow through on fixing the bad legislation he oh, so regretfully voted for in his brief and unremarkable Senate career.  Does anyone still think that's going to happen?  Me, neither.


    The question is whether that insurance (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:35:41 AM EST
    will be worth anything, and whether we have any guarantee that the subsidies will be renewed or extended.

    Olbermann special comment tonight (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by magster on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:39:20 AM EST
    Maybe he can save HCR with his magic words and outrage.

    Oh, can't wait (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:54:19 PM EST
    I'll be sure to tune in.....NEVER.

    hah (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:46:55 AM EST
    You know, the best hope may be for this national nonprofit administered (to some degree) by the OPM. If they can make it work, it could be interesting.

    I'm not hopeful.


    I must be the arsehole... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:33:23 AM EST
    I busted my eye socket as a kid playing baseball...I shoulda tried to turn my bad luck into a lottery ticket, coach told me to get on top of them grounders, then a rocket grounder hits a rock and blasts me in the eye...coach was responsible!

    Just rub a little dirt on it... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:43:08 AM EST
    ...and get back out there!  

    Softball is a inherently dangerous sport.  I know more people with broken bones, torn ligaments and whatnot from softball than football and basketball combined.  


    Amen... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:49:49 AM EST
    and the girl had been playing from age 7, got injured at 15...8 years of softball and never learned a proper slide?  I ain't buying it...me thinks moms is a gold-digger.

    Even if she didn't know how to slide the lawsuit is a joke.


    Surprised they're not suing... (none / 0) (#18)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:56:19 AM EST
    ...the shoemaker and whatever store they bought them at too.  Clearly, if the cleats stick in the ground, they must be faulty!  

    great gift idea (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:42:59 AM EST
    just got this from a friend:

    My friend Mary Alice Monroe gave me a chrysalis for the holidays and this morning a beautiful monarch butterfly emerged.  And on Ray's Mom's birthday, no less.  It's presently drying its wings in the orchid plant in our bedroom and it's so beautiful!  Since it's going to get cold tonight, we'll see if it will enjoy living indoors on a the Gatorade diet proscribed by Mary Alice.  I'm simply enchanted with it.

    Heh - great holiday card (none / 0) (#60)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:22:56 PM EST
    came in the mail today:

    "Forget the halls, let's deck the elves!"

    Made me think of congress.


    Stars & Stripes... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:46:35 AM EST
    exposes a Wal-Mart scam to rip soldiers on shipping...Merry Christmas from the Walton family.

    Now how is behavior such as this legal? (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:49:37 PM EST
    somebody tell me... could this be fraud? Or does this simply fall into the 'caveat emptor' black hole of business?

    Well (none / 0) (#38)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:01:57 PM EST
    Companies are entitled to charge a markup on stuff like shipping, as far as I know.  But it's far from inconceivable that there could be a class action lurking in there somewhere.

    I speak from experience here... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:03:18 PM EST
    you can charge whatever the hell you want for shipping & "handling"...it's common practice in some businesses to add a handling rip to shipping charges on invoices.  It's rampant.

    See Ticketmaster and eBay. (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:22:17 PM EST
    You read my mind. (none / 0) (#49)
    by coast on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:45:42 PM EST
    Ticketmaster is the one that first comes to mind.  Handling fee for tickets you print on your own computer.  That always has rubbed me the wrong way.

    Wanna really get rubbed the wrong way? (none / 0) (#56)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:14:29 PM EST
    Try reading your phone bill cover to cover...good lord!  

    tried and failed. (none / 0) (#95)
    by coast on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 07:18:27 PM EST
    My wife is now in charge of that lining up the phone carriers.  I got too angry.

    They tack it on (none / 0) (#41)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:04:32 PM EST
    once you've gone through the process of ordering, but before you do the final-final checkout.  I'm sure you can see the charges prior to pressing "submit" for final confirmation of purchase.  It's just by then, many people will either say, "oh what the heck" or won't notice.

    It's a good reason to pay especially close attention to that last page you see when ordering.

    Nothing illegal...just very "Walmart-y" (i.e. unethical).


    Nothing illegal (none / 0) (#42)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:04:51 PM EST
    about making business decisions that piss-off your customers.

    Not particularly smart about it either...


    Well said... (none / 0) (#43)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:09:06 PM EST
    you should see how many customers we got at my joint who ship everything freight collect or third party billing.  Anything but prepaid and add....they figured out the rip.

    I'd imagine we'd have lost them as customers alltogether if everybody else wasn't doing it too.  Like I said, rampant.


    I've spent way too much time on this, (none / 0) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:49:00 PM EST
    but here's some blog comments I foundd when I googled re: the Walmart issue:
    It's also been stated that [Walmart's shipping co's] FedEx and UPS don't ship to APOs, so USPS has to be used which may be out of the ordinary for many retailers with volume deals with the other two. If so, then Priority Mail is the usual vehicle and that would explain, exactly to the penny, the $10.35 charge.

    Star and Stripes should have written a better story but someone, it seems, had an agenda.

    Not that I'm a fan of Walmart, but shipping to APO addresses probably is much more expensive.

    a) They likely have a deeply discounted rate from UPS or Fedex. It probably does cost them only a few bucks to send a package somewhere using one of those carriers.

    b) Shipping a 10 lb package to an APO address via the USPS probably does cost 8 or 9 bucks.

    c) They probably have to fill out a customs form, which costs a buck or two.

    Somebody above did show the work - the flat rate USPS box is $10.35.

    I used to manage IT for an online retailer, including setting up and managing the shipping department. Sending a package UPS or Fedex is at least 10 times easier for a business - doing business with the postal service is a pain in the a$$, and you can't really get discounts like you can with the other carriers.

    Walmart.com probably gets about a huge discount off of the published ups and fedex rates.

    It's a simple fact - for walmart.com to ship something via ups to new york is going to be substantially cheaper (and easier) than shipping to an APO address via the postal service.`

    For sure... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:12:49 PM EST
    Our biggest mnfr's here get a killer volume discount from UPS off of the published freight quotes you get off their website, can't imagine what Wal-Mart gets...but if you order from them prepaid and add freight via UPS, I would seriously doubt they'rer passing along their discount.

    So if the above blog comment is true, maybe Stars & Stripes has it backwards...APO ship to's are the real cost of freight, the rest of us are getting ripped:)  Nice find bro.


    Not just soldiers (none / 0) (#39)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:03:09 PM EST
    Anyone shipping to an APO - friends, family, non-profits who are trying to direct ship gifts.

    APO's are also used by gov't workers overseas, and Peace Corps "volunteers" who earn a whoppin' 25 cents an hour.

    For the life of me, I don't know why anyone would shop at Walmart -- they've been a blight on this country as an employer for as long as they've been in existence.


    Gag me (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:55:00 PM EST
    Lieberman had to compromise too, says Gibbs.

    No examples forthcoming.

    Boy, they really don't know when (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:23:54 PM EST
    to shut their yaps, do they?

    Everybody is so happy right now :) (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:45:41 PM EST
    This makes it much better :)  I have a lot of yard cleanup today but I'll try to get some puppy photos up for you tomorrow.  They are finally beginning to totter around a little bit, cute as heck.  Aren't they always?

    mmmmmmmmmmmm! (none / 0) (#64)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:32:14 PM EST
    puppies!!!  :D

    Please! (none / 0) (#67)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:50:23 PM EST
    Must See Puppies!!!

    In the meantime here is a cute card for everyone.


    That is adorable (none / 0) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:29:41 PM EST
    Big concession-- (none / 0) (#37)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:58:59 PM EST
    Joe demanded that bean soup NOT be served every day. He had to give up on this demand.

    We have 100 Senators (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:43:31 PM EST
    and I just can't wait to see every single one of them get their butts smooched all over in the next four years.  On second thought, you can just lop off whatever progressive rises to the top of that cream.  Lop them off and throw them in the trash because somehow everbody counts on butt kissing day but a progressive.

    Thankfully the lake did not (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:39:27 PM EST
    raise much last night and we stayed pretty dry.  Hope the water level can come down soon now before we get a fresh storm.  I only have half of a backyard today :)  We lined our shoreline with wood.  Wonder what it's going to look like after everything recedes.  I was on my husband about putting our lakeside fire pit in too before he left and he did not get it done.  Just a pile of bricks by the shed.  Nobody remind him okay, that my nagging and griping was only going to provide another mess :)  Some neighbors put in very expensive brick seawalls last year when the lake was low.  I just got my internet back though....yippeee.  The storm fried the firewall.

    H1N1 Vaccine for Children RECALLED (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:02:42 PM EST
    No wonder we make sure big Pharma gets the big bucks and bonuses.

    Who is paying for the recall? (none / 0) (#54)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:12:12 PM EST
    The costs will almost assuredly be borne by the manufacturer (big pharma).

    Especially for a product that, while it is slightly below required specifications, is still perfectly sufficiently strong to do what it's supposed to do.

    Officials with the Food and Drug Administration, the CDC and the company all said they believe the strength of the recalled doses is still high enough to protect children against the virus. No potency problem has been detected in the same vaccine packaged in other types of syringes or vials, Lavenda said.

    Most of the recalled product has already (none / 0) (#59)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:20:59 PM EST
    been used. Shouldn't be too big a tab for them.

    Hm m m m (none / 0) (#61)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:30:31 PM EST
    maybe when they do these recalls on product already used, the people should show up :)

    Yep. Screw 'em. (none / 0) (#74)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:11:47 PM EST
    great (none / 0) (#9)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:42:05 AM EST
    How many are from CT? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:04:05 AM EST

    Conference? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Manuel on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:05:05 AM EST
    Is the Senate bill the fnal bill?  Isn't it likely to get altered in conference?  Is the House bill the minimun acceptable bill?  Is the vote on the post conference bill subject to filibuster?

    Ping Pong (none / 0) (#21)
    by waldenpond on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:19:35 AM EST
    The senate wants to ping pong the bill.... in other words send it directly back to the house with no conference.  The Senate is going for 60 votes to eliminate the possibility of a filibuster.  If they don't have 60 votes, they will continue to weaken the bill until Nelson (demanding Stupak language or refusing to vote), Snowe and Lieberman will vote for it.  To get those votes the subsidies will most likely need to be lowered and an attempt will probably be made against the Medicaid expansion.

    Doesn't the house get a say too? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Manuel on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:51:20 AM EST
    It seems like many in the house don't want to play ping pong.

    Cave (none / 0) (#28)
    by waldenpond on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:54:26 AM EST
    They probably should.  If this goes to conference and the House Democrats try to get anything, those like Nelson and Lieberman will want even more taken out as a 'how dare they' smack down.  The House will cave.

    From the article (none / 0) (#32)
    by CST on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:40:40 PM EST
    It's hard to argue with this:

    "anything that comes out of the Senate would be devoid of what was in the House bill, and so a conference is required. We're concerned about taxing health benefits, we're concerned about not having a public option that's defined"

    I'm concerned too.

    or this:

    "Bellantoni called Lieberman's announcement a "huge deal," and said it's amplifying calls among Democrats for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to essentially cut Lieberman off moving forward: "I think that a lot of people wanted to see Harry Reid give up on him a long time ago.""

    It's time to play hardball with Lieberman.  Threaten his Chairmanship, plain and simple.


    Sooo (none / 0) (#22)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:20:47 AM EST
    hattip to Corrente, or a commenter there, here's an interesting catch:

    The co-chair of the DNC Rules and Bylaws committee is also CEO of the "Tufts Health Plan".


    Hmmm, scratching head.

    Oh (none / 0) (#23)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:22:26 AM EST
    Here's a direct link to James Roosevelt's description, where he proudly tauts his CEO-ship AND his rules and bylaws cochairmanship.



    Pelosi to Senate (none / 0) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:34:35 AM EST
    "You go first."

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has privately told her politically vulnerable Democratic members that they will not vote on controversial bills in 2010 unless the Senate acts first.
    The Speaker recently assured her freshman lawmakers and other vulnerable members of her caucus that a vote on immigration reform is not looming despite a renewed push from the White House and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The House will not move on the issue until the upper chamber passes a bill, Pelosi told the members.

    But according to Democrats who have spoken to Pelosi, the Speaker has expanded that promise beyond immigration, informing Democratic lawmakers that the Senate will have to move first on a host of controversial issues before she brings them to the House floor.

    "The Speaker has told members in meetings that we've done our jobs," a Democratic leadership aide said. "And that next year the Senate's going to have to prove what it can accomplish before we go sticking our necks out any further." link

    They may have no choice (none / 0) (#27)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:51:50 AM EST
    Congress punts problems until 2010

    Trying to save Christmas, Congress is setting itself up for one wild Groundhog Day of budget woes come February.

    The House, anxious to go home, is to begin voting Wednesday on four year-end bills, most of which share one thing in common: a two-month punt on every tough issue, from managing the federal debt to helping the nation's growing ranks of long-term unemployed.

    Adding to the embarrassment is the fact that after a late night of phone calls Tuesday, Senate Democrats appear short of the votes needed to block the historic repeal of the estate tax Jan 1. A two-month extension of that levy on the wealthy was dropped therefore from the lead House measure, and given the record deficits facing the government, this is an extraordinary failure for the White House and Democrats.

    Going into Wednesday's House voting, the Pentagon's $626 billion budget will be the lead locomotive, pulling a train of two-month extensions affecting jobless benefits, Medicare payments to physicians, the federal highway program and even satellite television and the Patriot Act. A separate debt bill will follow to get the Treasury past any threat of default in January, but, again, the termination point is two months away: far short of the long-term $1.8 trillion increase needed to get the government through the next year and past the 2010 elections.

    It makes for a remarkable February, when President Barack Obama's 2011 budget is also due. And all this will be sandwiched between January's Senate debate on the Federal Reserve's management and what promises to be a painful March fight in the House over new war funding for Afghanistan.

    The convergence of so many issues could yet create its own, new dynamic -- and shake Washington into action. Obama's budget is expected to show a greater commitment to deficit reduction, and moderates hope the debt ceiling fight will be a turning point, forcing lawmakers to address long-term liabilities such as Social Security.

    Matched against that possibility will be liberal pressure for more emphasis on job creation, given continued double-digit unemployment. Before leaving, House Democrats will put down their marker: an estimated $75 billion investment in new infrastructure investments and public service jobs -- such as teachers and firemen -- threatened by state and local budget cuts.

    Nothing controversial, including (none / 0) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:25:36 PM EST
    DADT, DOMA, card check, etc.  After all, all these controversial issues needed to wait until we nailed health care insurance, right?

    Swiss: decision re extradition of Polanski (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:21:58 PM EST
    will not be announced until 2010.  LAT

    Some good news... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:50:17 PM EST
    The Shinnecock Nation is finally (finally!) getting their deserved federal recognition.  

    And you know what that means...Casino!  I just hope it includes table games & poker and not just stupid slots.  And the state doesn't make 'em build it way out in the sticks.

    Life for you is just one big Casino :) (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:58:43 PM EST
    Believe it or not... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:17:34 PM EST
    life is a gamble at Casino Earth for all of us...I just embrace the action:)

    Like your backyard flood...thats a bad beat.


    Hey, I'll not disagree with you (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:31:29 PM EST
    that it's risky out there :)  Someone told me the other day that they felt sorry for the worry my family has right now with my spouse in A-stan.  I have a pretty good idea where he is. And everything he consumes is double checked because we can't afford to have sick soldiers.  He got H1N1 vaccine before anybody else in the family because once again we can't afford to have sick soldiers.  He drives no place at all every single day and is surrounded by more firepower and people who can bench 200lbs than almost any of us can imagine.  The person who felt sorry for me was in much more danger pulling out of the driveway and pulling into McDonalds the other day than my husband was where he is :)  Last night I was in more danger.  And I drove over bridges yesterday that had no gap between bridge and water that had Alabama road crews observing at both ends :)  I wonder what they would have done if one end came detached and began washing away with between 5 to 8 cars on the bridge?  I didn't see Superman around anyplace either :)

    And you know what really sucks? (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:44:03 PM EST
    At the casino you can at least assume that 99.9% of the time you're getting a fair deal...err, not the Wall St. casino of course, just the roulette & blackjack casino:)

    Meanwhile, Casino Earth is a totally unfair deal...I'm thinking of little man Josh and my niece here...odds stacked against them from jumpstreet, having to beat the odds every damn day.  The game ain't even on the level.

    That creator of ours, who/whatever he/she/it may be, is a real sick sob...but I'll still take it.  As the old gamblers tale goes....

    • "What are you doing?  Don't you know this game is rigged?
    • "I know, but its the only game in town"

    When he was born (none / 0) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:36:38 PM EST
    I felt that way.  This is all part of who he is though.  Everything that has happened to him is part of him and his story and his life and he is a much better person already in this life than I will ever be.  His soul is grown and continues to flourish, mine is still stunted.

    Hey lawyers (none / 0) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:58:10 PM EST
    When my internet was down I read a diary at Orange about the mandates being unconstitutional and therefore lawsuits will abound if this legislation is passed.  I got very tired of trying to read the comments on my tiny phone.  What say TalkLeft readers and commenters on this?

    I sure hope... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:19:17 PM EST
    a court finds them unconstitutional...but don't ask me...by my view half the sh*t our government does is unconsitutional.

    Very unlikely (none / 0) (#65)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:39:33 PM EST
    there has been an ongoing debate among the conservative/libertarian law professors at the Volokh Conspiracy.  Consensus seems to be that the courts are very very unlikely to strike down the mandate (even though some people strongly believe they "should").

    Thanks Steve (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:20:42 PM EST
    I googled around but at this early stage of question asking, that hardly gets me good legal advice :)  It does stupify me how people can legally be blanket forced to purchase something that involves gouging.

    They aren't (none / 0) (#85)
    by CST on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:24:01 PM EST
    the only thing is, if you don't buy it, you pay higher taxes.

    That's different from forcing you to buy something.  I don't know whether or not that would be legal.

    Another thing of note, this is what they have been doing in MA, and it has not been challenged as far as I know.


    So if you don't buy now (none / 0) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:27:36 PM EST
    your fine is in taxes?

    yes (none / 0) (#90)
    by CST on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:32:57 PM EST
    the way it works here, you get a letter from your insurer (kind of like the one you get if you pay interest on student loans, and your W-2's) that shows proof of insurance (and not just any insurance, it has to meet certain coverage minimums).  If you don't fill that section out in your MA tax forms, you pay higher taxes.

    It functionally works like they raised taxes on everyone, and you get a "tax break" if you have health insurance.


    I'll never understand... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:43:37 PM EST
    how sh*t like that flies with the concept of "equality under the law".

    How is it not discrimnatory to mandate the purchase of "x" when groups "y" and "z" are charged different rates?  


    OMG this sucks (none / 0) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:41:44 PM EST
    So if you are working poor there will still be no insurance coverage for you.  What a joke!  This legislation gets more heinous by the minute.

    I kind of wonder (none / 0) (#94)
    by CST on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:51:21 PM EST
    what will happen to people in MA without insurance under this bill.  Will they have to pay higher state AND federal taxes?  Probably...

    Although the $ amount of the tax (in MA) varies different depending on how much you make.  The more you make, the higher the fine.  Some people without insurance don't have to pay a fine if they don't make enough, I believe that is true in the federal bill as well.

    As for the working poor, it totally depends on what's in the bill.  It depends on the subsidy level, what level of income qualifies for a subsidy, and what level of income qualifies for a mandate.


    Matsui signs with Angels: (none / 0) (#62)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:30:51 PM EST

    Yay! (none / 0) (#68)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:54:17 PM EST
    go Angels!

    And thanks for a baseball story.


    A refreshing change, no? (none / 0) (#70)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:03:27 PM EST
    More Obama Drama (none / 0) (#69)
    by samsguy18 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:02:14 PM EST
    Obama's now saying the USA will go bankrupt  if healthcare isn't passed.

    Link? (none / 0) (#71)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:03:50 PM EST
    abcnews.com (none / 0) (#73)
    by samsguy18 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:10:14 PM EST
    This guy is unbelievable. (none / 0) (#76)
    by vml68 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:23:07 PM EST
    Here is a quote from the article...

    The president laid out a dire scenario of what will happen if his health care reform effort fails.

     "If we don't pass it, here's the guarantee....your premiums will go up, your employers are going to load up more costs on you," he said. "Potentially they're going to drop your coverage, because they just can't afford an increase of 25 percent, 30 percent in terms of the costs of providing health care to employees each and every year. "

    The president said that the costs of Medicare and Medicaid are on an "unsustainable" trajectory and if there is no action taken to bring them down, "the federal government will go bankrupt."

    What will happen if his health care reform (none / 0) (#80)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:53:35 PM EST

    Your premiums will go up, your employers are going to load up more costs on you," he said. "Potentially they're going to drop your coverage, because they just can't afford an increase of 25 percent, 30 percent in terms of the costs of providing health care to employees each and every year. "

    This will be particularly true once the excise tax is imposed on insurance policies that provide good coverage.


    Too rich... (none / 0) (#81)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:57:20 PM EST
    so if it doesn't pass the govt. goes bankrupt, according to the pres.  If it passes, the government rolls on but we the people may go bankrupt in higher numbers, according to more trustworthy sources like TL commenters.

    And either way the insurance industry wins.


    Oh so what. (none / 0) (#77)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:27:57 PM EST
    Isn't CA already bankrupt with NY following close behind?

    Go bankrupt already... (none / 0) (#78)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:32:48 PM EST
    I'm tired of waiting for Uncle Sam to surrender the war on drugs, open the federal pens, cancel the occupations...whats not to like about a little bankruptcy?  

    I say we give it a shot.


    Of course this type of spending (none / 0) (#83)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:11:04 PM EST
    will not cause the US to go bankrupt.

    The House approved a $636 billion defense bill Wednesday that funds the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and provides a 3.4 percent pay hike for military personnel.
    The defense bill includes $128 billion for the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan but leaves for later budgeting for the troop surge in Afghanistan recently ordered by President Barack Obama. link

    This sort of spending never (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:25:52 PM EST
    causes us to go bankrupt.  It involves some sort of magicalness that I don't understand but just know.....this sort of spending can never bankrupt us and it only makes us better in the end.

    I see.......Obama Drama is a Good Thing (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:24:13 PM EST
    Howard Dean reality check is a temper tantrum Bad Thing. It's funny how Obama thinks he is powerful in some ways and is determined to appear powerless in others and it isn't funny how his supporters can't seem to distinguish the differences in any of that.  Can it be any more obvious that Obama never wanted a Public Option.  I literally believe he did not want one at this point. I would like to call Obama a bad name right now, but J doesn't like that :)

    Here's one (none / 0) (#72)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:09:00 PM EST
    Not sure if it's the one that introduced the comment, but it is one.

    Thank you ! (none / 0) (#75)
    by samsguy18 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:11:59 PM EST
    This is it.

    Walmart Shipping (none / 0) (#79)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:39:05 PM EST
    The commenter uses "probably" a lot to make his/her points. It "probably" costs more and "probably" this and that...Not highly persuasive. Especially when Stars & Stripes has a solid journalistic reputation. This "probably" commenter, is who?

    I ship packages APO and it's actually the cheapest way to go -- just takes longer. Nor have I ever discovered why people just loooove to bash the USPS, which I have always found enormously helpful and cost-effective (except for their hours).

    Just my two cents.

    The real Obama we never got to know (none / 0) (#82)
    by samsguy18 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:01:52 PM EST
    A reporter by the name of Todd Spivak wrote an interesting article titled "Barack Obama and Me "
    He's now at the Houston Press. He reported and communicated with Obama for years when he worked for a local paper in Chicago.