Friday Morning News and Open Thread

In the news this morning:

  • New Study Shows 88% of Criminologists Believe Death Penalty is Not a Deterrent to Murder. The study, by Univ. of Colorado Sociology Professor Michael Radelet, is published in the Northwestern University School of Law’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.

“The deterrent effect of a punishment is really an effect of two things — severity and certainty — and it turns out that certainty is a more effective deterrent than severity,” Radelet said. “In Colorado, if we wanted to reduce the homicide rate, we would spend our money solving some of the 14,000 homicides that we know of that haven’t been solved. Anything we can do to increase the certainty of apprehension is a much better deterrent than taking people we already know will die in prison and spending millions to determine the date and cause of death.”

Huffpo has more on the study.

  • NYTimes to Obama: Get busy on immigration reform. You owe it to the Hispanics and Latinos who voted for you.
    It boils down to a simple question: If you accept legalization for the undocumented as desirable and inevitable, then why continue to put them through hell?

    As they wait for a legalization bill, they are suffering under unjust laws, corrupt policing and a detention and deportation system that routinely suppresses their rights. American citizens who are Hispanic, and are all too frequently victims of racially-driven sweeps, are also suffering. Mr. Obama and his Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, must do much more to curb those excesses.

  • Another sign of non-transparency from Obama: His Justice Department is fighting a Freedom of Information Act request in federal court, trying to keep CREW from obtaining FBI reports and summaries of Dick Cheney's statement to the FBI over the Valerie Plame Leak. The Judge held a hearing yesterday and was very unhappy with the Government's position. He's going to review the statement himself to see if there's any reason not to release the requested documents. The Government gave this ridiculous reason: They don't want the statements "to become fodder for Cheney's political enemies or late-night commentary on "The Daily Show."

  • As for the clueless Washington Post today, it has a column by Paul Wolfowitz and another by Charles Krauthammer criticizing Obama, and Dan Froomkin is nowhere to be found. The Post has just thrown its credibility in the toilet. Maybe they're about to merge with the Washington Times, which just picked up the Weekly Standard. Billionaire Phil Anschutz, owner of the Washington Times, can afford to be partisan. The Washington Post can barely afford to exist at all, let alone lose not only its reputation but a good share of readers who are seriously angry over Froomkim's dismissal.
  • Question of the day: Is anyone considering a pre-palm over an iPhone 3GS? AT&T rejected my request for an early upgrade. They said my bill, which is $101 a month, is under $100 a month before taxes. But, they did get back to me in 2 days like they promised. So, I can pay $399 now (for the 32 MG -- I like to take video) or wait till December and pay $299.

If you have other news to talk about, or want to talk about these stories, here's an open thread to do so. BTD was working yesterday and I'm not sure if he's freed up enough to blog yet. I've got some motions to write and clients to visit at the jail, but I'll be checking in here throughout the day.

Thanks to those of you who sent in birthday donations to TalkLeft this week, I'll be e-mailing out thank-yous over the weekend.

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  • Display: Sort:
    There Will NEVER Be Another Walter (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by tokin librul on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:34:19 AM EST

    Never again will corporate management to bestow, or allow there to fall, so much power in the "press" on one guy.

    Kronkite essentially drove Johnson from office when he reported during and after Tet that the US m ission there was doomed to failure.

    The Bosses will NEVER let that happen again...

    Never on a network... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:42:50 AM EST
    I agree..our only hope is youtube.

    Well, (none / 0) (#42)
    by bocajeff on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:12:23 AM EST
    Should one unelected person hold that much sway over an entire country? What if that person was Rush Limbaugh?

    Because of advances in communication it could never happen quite the same way.


    One unelected person (none / 0) (#111)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:52:19 PM EST
    that can only happen with a nation of sheep.

    What is this, Germany in the thirties?


    Johnson (none / 0) (#110)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:49:56 PM EST
    drove himself from office by going along with the cold war jihadist fervor that thought that by tilting at wind mills on the other side of the planet we were somehow preventing the whole world from going commie. According to those who were close to him at the time, Johnson bought the whole fanatical domino theory nonsense (see: WOT), hook-line-and-sinker.

    I am off to (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by eric on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:47:18 AM EST
    travel up to Duluth, Minnesota for Grandma's Marathon this afternoon.  My wife is running it, not me :)

    In other news from Duluth, a jury has awarded a woman to pay $1.92 million for downloading songs from the internet using file-sharing software.  That is $80,000 per song X 24 songs.  What a joke.

    I really think that punitive measures like this one, and the fact that this verdict is so eye-poppingly out of step with anybody's conception of what these songs might be worth, is only going to increase the ill will toward the record industry that has accrued over the last decade

    Indeed.  What are the odds that Scalia, et al. will reduce this award for the same reasons that they have reduced punitive damage awards against, say, Exxon?

    Heard that download story... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:19:56 AM EST
    on the news this morning...1.92, that jury must be smokin' crack.

    I've always been against any limitations or caps on civil suits, as I felt the importance of access to the courts for the individual to fight corporations and such when they are harmed was too great to f*ck with...might have to rethink that one.  Too many people and entities are confusing the justice system with the lottery.


    Well, (none / 0) (#15)
    by eric on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:29:52 AM EST
    the award is based upon the insane copyright law that allows, and even requires, such high damages when the infringement is "willful".

    They'll never see the money, anyway.  The defendant doesn't have much.  BTW, if she would have purchased these songs, they would have been $.99.


    Copyright law... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:42:14 AM EST
    so their hands were tied in a sense...Thanks E.  

    If I was on the jury, I might have had to side with the defendant, even though the record industry is technically in the right...just because of the bad law.  Bad law really puts juries between a rock and a hard place.

    Not trying to defend illegal downloading, but the penalty must be brought in line with reality.


    I'll never understand this (none / 0) (#30)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:53:26 AM EST
    Napster and the other web sites that provided this service seem to have gotten away with making the average person think it was just fine to make use of the web site, while the music industry goes after the little guy. The web sites stole the music and encouraged people to enjoy their give-aways. Much of this was done by kids in a day when computers didn't have a CD-R drive and those computers with the downloads are well beyond their life-span.

    The music industry did go after Napster (none / 0) (#50)
    by DFLer on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:22:05 AM EST
    In one class action suit by song-writers, they collected a BIG chunk of change that they distributed among the participants.

    As a result of this and similar pressures, RIAA and others at least moved Napster to a pay-for download model. They were a little late and slow confronting the new technology and allowing a pay-for-download scheme.

    The fines against the woman in Duluth are nutz, about $8,000.00 a song. I suppose the idea is to scare folks into actually paying for music.

    Last time I checked, song-writers and musicians weren't allowed to pull away from the gas pump without paying.


    Napster had GL insurance (none / 0) (#93)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 12:16:19 PM EST
    They weren't pulling money of of their own pockets. You think Homeowners/Tenants/Umbrella insurance is covering these losses for people? Those who are insured, that is.

    Word from the man is... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:06:51 AM EST
    the multi-billions in treasury bonds that were almost smuggled into Switzerland are counterfeit...I can't help but think it very telling that it took the feds over a week to come out and say it...makes me think they thought they could quite possibly be real, which is a very sorry state of affairs in and of itself.

    Don't forget (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:08:09 AM EST
    It was the feds who lost a pallet of cash (what was it?  $9B?) that was sent by plane to Iraq and Paul Wolfowitz had no idea where it went....

    To BTD: please don't (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:10:07 AM EST
    forget us re Pres. Clinton's bloggers mtg.  Thanks.

    Dan Froomkin (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:38:09 AM EST
    speaks out

    Mainstream-media political journalism is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant, but not because of the Internet, or even Comedy Central. The threat comes from inside. It comes from journalists being afraid to do what journalists were put on this green earth to do.

    What is it about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert that makes them so refreshing and attractive to a wide variety of viewers (including those so-important younger ones)? I would argue that, more than anything else, it is that they enthusiastically call bull$hit.

    Calling bull$hit, of course, used to be central to journalism as well as to comedy. And we happen to be in a period in our history in which the substance in question is running particularly deep. The relentless spinning is enough to make anyone dizzy, and some of our most important political battles are about competing views of reality more than they are about policy choices. Calling bull$hit has never been more vital to our democracy.

    It also resonates with readers and viewers a lot more than passionless stenography. I'm convinced that my enthusiasm for calling bull$hit is the main reason for the considerable success of my White House Briefing column, which has turned into a significant traffic-driver for The Washington Post's Web site.

    I'm not sure why calling bull$hit has gone out of vogue in so many newsrooms -- why, in fact, it's so often consciously avoided. There are lots of possible reasons. There's the increased corporate stultification of our industry, to the point where rocking the boat is seen as threatening rather than invigorating. There's the intense pressure to maintain access to insider sources, even as those sources become ridiculously unrevealing and oversensitive. There's the fear of being labeled partisan if one's bull$hit-calling isn't meted out in precisely equal increments along the political spectrum.

    The return of Democrats to political power and relevancy gives us the opportunity to call bull$hit in a more bipartisan manner, which is certainly healthy. But there are different kinds of bull$hit. Republican political leaders these past six years have built up a massive, unprecedented credibility deficit, such that even their most straightforward assertions invite close bull$hit inspection. By contrast, Democratic bull$hit tends to center more around hypocrisy and political cowardice. Trying to find equivalency between the two would still be a mistake - and could lead to catty, inside-baseball gotcha journalism rather than genuine bull$hit-calling.

    If mainstream-media political journalists don't start calling bull$hit more often, then we do risk losing our primacy -- if not to the comedians then to the bloggers.

    Ah (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:42:00 AM EST
    Just noticed this was from 2006.  Amazing how prescient he was back then....

    last day of work today! (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by CST on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:37:04 AM EST
    then a much needed break before I start the new job.

    Hope the weather gets nicer.

    Death Penalty is not a deterrent (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Adrienne Dunn on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:43:26 AM EST
    Sadly, this is not new news.  I represent several Texas death row inmates on writ of habeas corpus.  Not one of my clients ever thought what they were doing would lead to the death penalty.  Like many death row inmates, many of my clients are mentally and psycholgically disadvantaged (so, it makes sense that they do not know the requirements for capital murder).  However, even most citizens and potential jurors have no idea what types of crimes qualify for the death peanlty.  During jury selection, many potential jurors admit to believing that a premediated murder qualifies for the death penalty.  However, in Texas, this is incorrect.  Lawyers describe capital murder as "murder plus" meaning murder plus something else.  In most cases, the something else is a separate crime (robbery, sexual assault).  In some cases, the something else means the status of the victim (police officer, child under 6, muliple victims).  The premediation of the murder is not an element of capital murder.  So my point is this, if the average citizen does not even know what capital murder is, how can we ever assume the punishment for that unknown crime will deter mentally and psychologically disadvantaged people from committing the future acts of that crime?  

    So, I guess we've given up on (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:57:33 AM EST
    the basic tenet that - regardless of the penalty involved - it's wrong to kill people.  That killing isn't wrong because there is a penalty, but because, in and of itself, it's just wrong.

    I mean, if someone needs more of a reason than that - like the death penalty - the fact that we're already dealing with people who have no essential internal mechanism that will keep them from killing people, the chances are slim that even the death penalty would make much of a difference.

    I've never understoond the death-penalty-as-deterrent approach - have never, to my recollection, ever heard someone say, "well, I was going to kill him, and then I remembered about the death penalty, so I decided to just beat him up real good."


    by your reasoning... (none / 0) (#102)
    by diogenes on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 04:14:16 PM EST
    Criminals never commit crimes assuming that they will go to jail; there is some often some sort of grandiose denial here.  Does jail not work either?
    Also maybe killers don't think that the death penalty will happen because very few murderers are actually executed and it takes twenty years to do it if it happens.

    My guess is that most (none / 0) (#104)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 05:05:02 PM EST
    don't think they are going to get caught, and their desire to make sure someone else is dead clouds their ability to reason out the consequences.

    Kiss Health Care Reform (none / 0) (#1)
    by kmblue on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:32:41 AM EST
    goodbye.  No public option in the Democratic draft document.  
    Think our Prez will step up?  I don't.

    Without (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by eric on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:26:49 AM EST
    the "public option", what is there to reform?  I thought the point was to offer access to health care to those who otherwise don't have it.  You know, unemployed people, employed people without health care benefits, children, students, and generally anyone who falls through the giant cracks in the system.

    Congress seems to be so worried about costs and efficiency and electronic medical records etc. blah blah.  Fix that separately or not at all - I DON'T EVEN CARE.  Is it a problem?  Sure.  People pay too much.  I pay too much to have my wife on my plan at work.  Her old plan was pathetic and expensive.

    But this problem PALES in comparison to the problem that MILLIONS of people have in this country:  They don't have ANY health care options.

    We need to give them one.  (And guess what, giving the left-out access to health care might even bring the rest of the costs down, too, because they with be part of the system in ways other than visits to the emergency room.)


    the painful irony is (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:33:25 AM EST
    that the fact that a public option would have the effect of driving down costs is the reason the insurance companies are going to fight tooth and nail to stop it.

    Obama, democrats.  its time to put up or shut up.
    actually to put up or stfu.

    I agree about providing health care to those without it but the health care those of us who do supposedly "have it" is in danger of complete collapse.  we are all at risk.


    Yeah - I saw this and wanted to weep: (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:08:54 AM EST
    From Ezra Klein:

    A Senate source just passed me the latest outline of the Senate Finance Committee's health reform proposal. This is the post-CBO revision. Apparently, after the committee staff received the scores, they dug deep and quickly developed this proposal to circulate among members and then send back to CBO. It was presented earlier today at a closed-door meeting.

    Sources say that it's a major scale-back of the outline they had before. Specifically, subsidies have dropped from 400 percent of the poverty line to 300 percent. Medicaid eligibility has been tightened to 133 percent of poverty for children and pregnant women and 100 percent of poverty for parents and childless adults. The plans being offered in the exchange have seen their actuarial values sharply lowered.

    Beyond the changes, this is also the clearest look we've had at the specific policies being considered. There's a fairly strong individual mandate, albeit with exemptions for those beneath the poverty line, those who would have to spend more than 15 percent of income for a plan, and undocumented workers. There are a variety of options for an employer mandate, or the absence of one. Sen. Kent Conrad's co-op idea is up for discussion. There's no public plan mentioned anywhere in the document.

    Incidentally, I apologize for the size, and formatting, of the file: There's not an electronic version floating around, so this had to be scanned in. You can download it here.

    This is just sad.


    Forgot to add another (none / 0) (#12)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:12:41 AM EST
    link to the reform proposal.

    over the last few days (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:35:31 AM EST
    I have had my own close encounter with our modern now-a-go-go capitalist health care system.  I am confused what exactly "socialist medicine" alarmists think they are protecting.
    I injured myself over a week ago and I dont get an appt with an ortho guy until next week.  they still dont know what is exactly I did.  I have been on crutches and off work and in pain.  I could share some of the horror stories if you like but I suggest you dont get me started.

    its as simple as this.  if the democrats dont include some form of public option with 60 votes in the senate (Franken is supposed to be in today) then I am done with them.  they deserve to lose both houses of congress and they will.  


    Where did you see that? (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:49:05 AM EST
    The news about Franke, I mean?  The Star-Tribune has nothing on it right now....

    So sorry you hurt yourself and have been in pain.  That really $ucks.


    the Secretary of state (none / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:52:19 AM EST
    was on cable last night saying the decision would likely come today and that he was ready to make it so.
    it was also speculated that the decision of the court could include some legal instruction for the governor to sign.  if he wants to or not.

    just reporting what I hear.


    about the injury (none / 0) (#33)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:59:24 AM EST
    a week ago yesterday I stepped off a curb and heard an awful crunchy squishy snap in my lower leg and pain that felt like I stepped into a bear trap.

    we still dont know what it is.  we do know that it is not a blood clot which was the scariest possibility for me.  I have and ortho appt. on monday.  hopefully I will find out then.  but the stupidity and incompetence of the medical system through this  has been stunning.

    just one short story.  there are two competing health care gangs in this area.  I currently, supposedly, have a "primary care" doc in one of them but I was unable to see that person.  she was away.  and they told me I could not see another doctor unless I change my "primary care" person.  rather than argue with the idiot on the phone (I know that not true since I was injured) I said hell with it and called the doctor from the other gang that I was seeing before.  so now I am being treated by two different "primary care" people from two rival gangs.  I am not sure how they settle that.  a knife fight maybe.


    seriously (none / 0) (#35)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:03:08 AM EST
    that was flip and the subject is deadly serious.  let me say I think both doctors involved are good people and good doctors.  and the people screwing everything else up are probably mostly well meaning people who are underpaid and hopelessly overworked.
    the system is broken.

    I think it's really bad (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:06:58 AM EST
    When you are in serious pain and they can't see you for a week or so - isn't that the complaint about "socialized" medicine?  Really?  It's worse than what we have now?

    I've learned that if I want to get a regular appointment at a doctor, whether it's a GP or gyn, the trick is to say you're having a problem - then it may not be 6 weeks.

    But unfortunately, that wouldn't help with your out-of-network provider, who may end up saving money in the long run, because you will get the problem taken care of, instead of aggravating it and making it worse.


    Emergency Walk-in Clinics are all over (none / 0) (#41)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:12:22 AM EST
    the country. They exist for the must see a doctor now patients who don't feel the ER is the right place, or their insurance has a huge co-pay for use of an ER.

    The only time a person needs to suffer through waiting is when they are set on seeing a specific doctor who is by appointment only.


    don't inject logic into this conversation (none / 0) (#44)
    by bocajeff on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:15:12 AM EST
    yeah (none / 0) (#45)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:16:18 AM EST
    here its called "convenient care".  funny since it is neither.  I went to convenient care the next day.
    I saw a doctor that was probably about 15 and looked like she had not slept in at least 36 hours.
    she gave me a prescription for muscle relaxers (completely useless in my case) and told me to see my primary care doctor as soon as possible.

    see earlier comment for what happened then.


    by the way (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:18:51 AM EST
    what would you suggest I do to avoid "suffering through waiting".

    the appointment with the ortho was made the morning I saw convenient care.  it was exactly 10 days away.
    what I did do was go to the other medical gang in town and got an appointment that was only 7 days away.  and I called and got on a call list in case there is a cancellation.

    any other helpful suggestions?


    have you gone to the E.R.? (none / 0) (#49)
    by bocajeff on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:21:15 AM EST
    medical marijuana might help in the meantime.

    no (none / 0) (#51)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:23:33 AM EST
    I went to "convenient care".  which, at least here, is more or less the same place and people.

    and yeah.  pain is not a problem. I would just like to know what the hell is wrong with me.


    In my experience... (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:49:46 AM EST
    ...if your PCP's office has more than one Dr, you can see one of them and they can bill the charges under the practice and not the specific Dr.    

    You'll sit forever at the ER if you aren't bleeding, in acute pain or without broken bones--unless you call an ambulance.  If you can't wait until Monday, you'd be better off camping out in the PCP's office and hoping they take pity and squeeze you in (that's worked for me many a time).  


    yeah (none / 0) (#62)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:55:12 AM EST
    the business about not letting me see another doctor was just stupidity of the person answering the phone and unfortunately quite typical.
    I was just at that moment not in the mood to deal with it.
    fortunately I am not in that much pain.  it only hurts when I try to use it.

    Walk-in clinics (none / 0) (#107)
    by sj on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:31:43 PM EST
    I see a fair number of them here in Baltimore.  In Denver, however, I haven't seen one in years.  As far as I know, it's the emergency room instead.  (And my artist brother was uninsured.  We looked for a walk-in clinic)

    There's a big fancy one... (none / 0) (#113)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:03:44 PM EST
    ...down on Broadway right around the Mayan.  I've seen a couple of others around as well, but no, they're not all that common.  Denver Health and University are still the go-to places for indigent care.  

    It is pretty hard to compare quiet, sleepy little ole Denver to the big bad city that is Balmer though.  



    Very true (none / 0) (#114)
    by sj on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 11:09:08 AM EST
    They are too different.  I actually grew up in Fort Collins, which is like the anti Baltimore.  Love 'em both, though.

    But I still can't picture a walk-in clinic on Broadway.  We ended up going to the ER of whatever it is they were calling Denver General.

    Here in MD, there are like 4 major hospitals in a 4 mile radius from my house, not to mention all the sattelite offices for practicing physicians, not to mention walk-in clinics.  When I signed up for my [VERY expensive] health insurance benefits [through my employer] I chose a PCP with privileges at JH.  Much better than anything available to me in Denver -- which was just as expensive.  Of course that was 2 years ago.  Who knows how much the costs have gone up in that time.


    It's a good thing... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:16:36 AM EST
    it ain't that hard to get around the permission slip system to get some painkillers to hold you over, eh Capt?  The street-corner pharmacist has saved me a lot of pain waiting for a patient slot at the dental school to open up.

    Feel better man, hope it ain't serious.


    Franken (none / 0) (#69)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:28:11 AM EST

    Rumors are flying that the Minnesota Supreme Court will announce a highly anticipated decision today in the contested Senate race between Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman.

    Politics in Minnesota, a state politics blog reported late Wednesday that a decision was likely today, citing anonymous sources tied to both campaigns.

    The report has sparked a flurry of speculation, but spokesmen for the respective campaigns--as well as their attorneys--said they have no indication a decision is imminent.


    That story (none / 0) (#78)
    by eric on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:42:56 AM EST
    was from yesterday and alas, there was no decision.  The Minnesota Supreme Court does usually issue its opinions on Thursdays, but not this time.

    The latest update is that the opinion is being edited and will issue next week.



    Capitalist health care system (none / 0) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:52:29 AM EST
    is a very costly system that only works for people who don't really need medical care.

    You should hear the stories of people who are fighting to survive cancer who have to spend what little energy they have fighting with their insurance companies to get the treatment that their doctors want them to have.

    One lady I know has an extremely life threatening form of cancer. The chemo her doctor is giving her is actually shrinking the tumor but her insurance company refuses to pay for it and wants her to go on a chem drug that has only a 25% of working for her. Her story is only one of many that I hear on a regular basis.

    Hope you get the treatment you need soon and are back to feeling great.



    btw (none / 0) (#34)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:00:05 AM EST
    I have insurance that is about as good as it gets.

    Whatever became of all (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:12:41 AM EST
    That campaign rhetoric about the taxpapers having a medical plan comparable to what our Congress has?

    Key word is (none / 0) (#97)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 01:18:43 PM EST

    Speaking of words (none / 0) (#100)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 01:57:08 PM EST
    has anyone heard "affordable" lately? I don't recall reading it yesterday about making sure insurance companies cover pre-existing. Just that they would be "forced" to cover people with them.

    The recently unemployed have (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 04:57:49 PM EST
    ACCESS to insurance coverage through COBRA. ACCESS and the ability to pay are not the same thing. It is my understanding that COBRA is over a  $1,000 per month.  An extra $1,000 per month is not something that most unemployed people have to spend on insurance.

    Stimulus helps with COBRA (none / 0) (#105)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 05:29:45 PM EST
    I can't remember the percentage, but it was a decent chunk. But like with all things, you had a certain time frame to enroll and it only lasts so long. A single person could prob afford it if they were getting max UE bennies (and not living in NYC!), bit harder for a family. But again, it was a pretty decent, so some families could prob hang on for a bit if they had savings.  

    It depends... (none / 0) (#112)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:50:29 PM EST
    ...with COBRA, the ex-employee is required to pick-up the employer's former contribution.  So, the exact amount varies.  And COBRA only applies to ERISA qualified groups (large employer groups).  

    For small employer groups, most states have continuation (pretty much the same as COBRA with differning coverage periods) plus an option to convert to an individual policy after the expiration of the continued coverage.  

    Any way you slice it, it sure isn't "affordable"--that's for darn sure.  Even with the stimulus money, it's still a hardship on most people.  I know it was for me when I got laid-off.

    It does, however, provide some value in that it counts as creditable coverage, so that if it does take awhile to find a new job/coverage, you can't be locked out for pre-existing conditions in most cases.


    Seems what we will wind up with (none / 0) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:35:37 AM EST
    is an extremely costly give away to the insurance companies.

    Good job Dems. A good example of how some so called reforms are worse than no action.

    A government by the corporations and for the corporations. People? What people?


    I swear to god (none / 0) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:41:02 AM EST
    if they do that I will work to elect republicans in 10

    Please don't do that.... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:44:06 AM EST
    work to elect the third name on the ballot, if there is a third name...or just vote against incumbents.

    sorry (none / 0) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:50:14 AM EST
    third party candidates will only in most cases get republicans elected anyway.  

    Im done.  finished.  if the stupid gutless spinless demomcrats cant pass a health care bill with the white house the house and 60 votes in the senate they do not deserve to be allowed to govern and should be driven deeper into the wilderness than the republicans are currently.

    I have been patient.  I would say more patient than most posters here have been.  I have made excuses and cut slack.  first we have the definition of being "thrown a bone" with that insulting gay benefits charade and now health care is going down. thats it.  

    Im done.


    I've been done a long time... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:52:11 AM EST
    because of the Dems pitiful drug war record...but I'd never turn to the even darker side...you can be done without resorting to that my friend.

    You may get your chance (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:54:03 AM EST
    The Dems are going to muck this up, big time.

    President Obama's campaign for health care reform by this fall, once considered highly likely to succeed, suddenly appears in real jeopardy.

    Top White House advisers, especially Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, are still privately predicting massive changes to the health care system in 2009. But for the first time, Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the administration are expressing frank worries about stronger-than-expected opposition from moderate Democrats and worse-than-expected estimates for how much the plan could cost.

    Business groups, which had embraced the idea of reform and have been meeting quietly with Democrats for months in an effort to shape the legislation, now talk of spending millions of dollars to oppose the latest proposals out of Capitol Hill. And Democrats themselves are not united, with leading party figures making contradictory declarations about how far they should go to overhaul the system when deficits are soaring and prospects for an economic recovery remain cloudy.

    And top Democratic officials tell POLITICO they are increasingly pessimistic about getting any more Republican votes than they did on the stimulus package, with some aides referring to the idea of a bipartisan bill as "fools' gold" -- an unattainable waste of time.

    If it were a good plan, I would be (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:24:02 AM EST
    more upset about reform possibly not getting done, but from what I have seen - see my comment with the link to the Draft Proposal that Ezra Klein got a copy of - I am coming to the conclusion that the "reform" being proposed is so bad that it ought to be allowed to die - or maybe ought to be killed, because whatever passes is likely to be it for a long, long time.

    This is music to my ears today (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:34:34 AM EST
    suddenly appears in real jeopardy.

    because of this:

    There's a fairly strong individual mandate

    and no public option, FAIL would be a success for us I believe. I don't want to hear a word about mandates if they are going to give us Republicare.


    agreed (none / 0) (#72)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:36:47 AM EST
    Just got an email from Leahy on PO (none / 0) (#81)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:53:13 AM EST
    here's a link to the petition for what it's worth.

    Schumer and Durbin are also signed on. Guess it's time to work the phones and see if there are some spines willing to hold out for us.


    done (none / 0) (#84)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:11:53 AM EST
    and forwarded.  fwiw

    I don't know if you have reason to (none / 0) (#101)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 02:19:21 PM EST
    be concerned, but when I clicked on the link you provided in your comment, under the banner marked "Sign This Petition," it said "G--- S---- already participated in this campaign on 06/19/2009.  Click here to take action as another user."

    Just thought you might want to know.


    Thanks! (none / 0) (#106)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 05:37:20 PM EST
    yeah, I realized after I posted that I did that. Not too concerned, but I did smack myself upside the head for 'posting while p!ssed about HCR'. {sigh}

    Yep (none / 0) (#99)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 01:23:02 PM EST
    No change would be better than adopting an insurance give away program that be more harmful than what we have now.

    I would rather it fail... (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by sj on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:32:04 PM EST
    ...then have [what is shaping up to be] a travesty pass.

    The rush to have something... anything... by this Fall makes no sense to me unless it's an attempt to force something down our throat that we wouldn't swallow otherwise.

    And this caught my eye:

    Business groups, which had embraced the idea of reform and have been meeting quietly with Democrats for months in an effort to shape the legislation, now talk of spending millions of dollars to oppose the latest proposals out of Capitol Hill.

    Which business groups would that be?  Would that be the insurance companies?  Because if so, it was pretty obvious that the place to defend themselves was at their very large seat at the table.  

    Step 1:  Water down any proposal that would affect their bottom line and thereby start to lose public support.  

    Step 2:  Actively oppose it and get no public backlash because the watered down proposals brought relief to no one.

    Voile!  Status quo maintained.  But no one could have anticipated...


    unacceptable (none / 0) (#75)
    by CST on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:39:13 AM EST
    If they can't get 51 votes for healthcare (with a public option) they we have 59 senators - what the hell is the point of having 59 senators?????

    exactly (none / 0) (#77)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:42:23 AM EST
    pitchfork time

    I heard a caller on Ed Shultz (none / 0) (#88)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:45:10 AM EST
    push for everyone that has health insurance now to just drop it. Starve the beast. The insurance companies are using our money to influence Congress, and not to pay our claims. The only way to have any influence on the discussion is to just cut them off.

    Of course such a strategy would not work unless millions of people did it at once. I think I am ready for such drastic action.


    I always thought Schultz was sort (5.00 / 0) (#89)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:49:59 AM EST
    of a knob but he seems to be the only one taking the right approach. afaiac.

    Now thats a good idea.... (none / 0) (#90)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:51:13 AM EST
    I'd sign up and I don't even know where I stand on this whole thing...I just like the people power.

    I only seek emergency care anyway...you gotta pay me to go see a general practitioner.


    Works fine... (none / 0) (#95)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 12:18:57 PM EST
    ...if you don't have an acute need for it.  I won't be giving up mine because I'd rather not end up in the poorhouse and/or deceased.  

    Don't blame ya man... (none / 0) (#98)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 01:19:45 PM EST
    Though there are enough of us without an acute need to make it hurt...but do we have a fraction of the courage of our Iranian brothers and sisters, that is the question.

    Then I hope it does not pass. (none / 0) (#87)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:41:43 AM EST
    It is worse than doing nothing at all.

    It is unseasonally hot (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:11:36 AM EST
    at the beach....gee, I wonder why.  We've all been SPF50 but somehow managed to get mildly burned yesterday.  Going home today a day early.  It's just too hot.

    awwww (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jen M on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:20:17 AM EST
    next time:  Mountains! Forests with trees! White water rafting! Horsies!

    I'll trade with ya... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:42:00 AM EST
    You're on the rednech riviera right Tracy?  

    NY has felt like London for weeks on end...I want summer to arrive in the worst way.

    Todays forecast...more rain...time to spawn some gills.


    I am on the Redneck Riviera (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:58:39 AM EST
    Panama City right now.  I think the whole breakfasting tourist crowd I'm sitting with would gladly take a day of rain off your hands if it would cool things down a bit here.  We were going to take the kids to the Shipwreck Island water park today but everyone ended up with mild burns yesterday and we are heat sapped.  Probably borderline for having issues from it, so home we go.

    Feel better... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:13:45 AM EST
    and I hope the kids ain't too disappointed about Shipwreck Island.

    Sun's out. . .for now (none / 0) (#53)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:30:55 AM EST
    Just peeped through the clouds... (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:53:09 AM EST
    by me...hope it lasts, weatherman says otherwise.

    More rain? (none / 0) (#63)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:56:30 AM EST
    Oh man, they'll never get the US Open going at this rate.  What the heck am I going to do all day--work?  Geez.



    That's the brightside for me.... (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:41:07 AM EST
    I'll be driving by Bethpage after work...picking up Moms to take her to Kennedy for her big trip to Ireland....I'm counting on the rain to keep you golf weirdos away so the traffic will be manageable:)

    Ah yes... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:08:21 AM EST
    Always look on the bright side of life.  Where is Moms going in Ireland?  

    Speaking of teh Long Island, did you happen to catch this on the Daily Show the other night?  


    I didn't catch that Daily Show... (none / 0) (#85)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:16:14 AM EST
    but I've heard the talk...I'll check it out later when I have sound capabilities...I'm sure its a laugher.

    All the money the island kicks upstate, they'll never let us go without a literal fight...better chance of kdogonia seceeding from the union.  But I like the idea, f*ck NY State and their petty tyrannies....bigger ain't better.

    Moms is just hitting Dublin, and then London...taking my niece as a graduation present.  Wish I was joining them, to be sure.


    Being stuck inside my little... (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 12:14:15 PM EST
    ...two hour travel window, I'd love to go anywhere!  Especially somewhere cool like Dublin and London.  That's a nice graduation present.  

    Looks like they're playing golf at BP, so you might not miss the knuckleheads.  

    I will admit to getting a chuckle out of that DS video.  They did a good job of picking the most stereotypical bunch to interview.  


    I told moms... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 12:18:00 PM EST
    I will be very upset if there is any inheritance left for us kids...I want her to get enjoyment out of every one of her pennies....sun god knows she has earned it.

    I never knew (none / 0) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:11:47 AM EST
    Michael Radelet had left the University of Florida. Boulder got a gem when he moved there. He not only would assist any student at the University of Florida while I was there, he also was willing to help with advice on my Masters Thesis while I was a student at the University of Miami.

    A nice comment (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:48:16 AM EST
    and be prepared, ye former students all: vast numbers of profs in academe are moving around and will be doing so more in coming years of even more budget cuts at public universities (after a decade of more of declining support even before this economic debacle).  

    The private schools are buying up profs en masse -- and, of course, especially the best ones like yours, as you note here.  The cost to the publics will be severe, not only for students now but also for taxpayers in five to seven years, when the publics will have to rebuild faculties.  And new profs always can bargain for better pay and perks.  


    To help start the day (none / 0) (#18)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:37:35 AM EST
    on a less serious note, how can anyone not get a giggle out of Portland's Bunny Lady. Although she obviously needs professional help, one of the terms of her probation was she couldn't go within 100 yards of a rabbit...and failed miserably getting arrested again after a hotel employee reported a room full of bunnies.

    the tenth Amendment (none / 0) (#25)
    by joze46 on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:50:53 AM EST
    The Supreme Court, its structure, needs to be debated.

    Evidence is not always fixed; with new science continual development is on going though not specifically defined,evidence, in the Constitution, yet is the primary core of any prosecution intrinsic part of due process. Don't you think? Especially with this bell curve stuff now with DNA.

    My daughter is going to school for forensic science so my interest is also pointing in that direction. Please understand that as a simple Joe six pack that I am with the Internet power and capability sends my "thinking wide open"

    Here certainly our highest court kicks the stuff back down to the people in a vicious cycle to change the law. A cycle that could go on forever. And, is currently in motion. But...

    Here is our failure in the Justice System, worse the interpretations of the Constitution with a partisan slant seems inevitable, if anyone should be wire taped during a case these Justices should be, for those friends of the families could tend to lean to prevent criminal charges placed on favorite politicians that choose them.

    This system is the chosen type that has screwed America these past decades. It has all the properties of the Congressional legal living ear mark system as illegal as can be yet flourished among the well connected politicians and corporate leaders. For me the Supreme Court should have developed an opinion about that ear mark stuff along time ago. But no, let corruption proliferate to let them the Congress condemn who ever needs to be. But only does condemnation at election time.

    What jumps out at me are the tenth Amendment and the way I read it, powers not delegated by the Constitution jumps right to the citizen or no to the people a person...

    Amendment X
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    How many times have I watched Western movies on cable for decades and evidence appear to have been a fraud? Yet at the eleventh hour, or after conviction the hero is able to untangle the fraud to show evidence of innocence.

    The Supreme Court in the 2000 screwed the America and the World by halting the voting in Florida helping Jeb Bush give his brother George the presidency.

    Our Supreme Court Justice has revealed it self into a reeling confusing turn of events that has proliferated torture debate, War, economic business failure, and moved corruption into the main theme of governance via the Republican Party that is far from real Conservatism obviously distilled trillions in tax dollars to secret money deal though out the Bush years. . . Ladies and Gentleman this Supreme Court brought us here to where we are now, Dysfunctional. Black robes instead of black turbins is were we are at.

    Waiting for the time to choose a new Supreme Court Justice is over it is time to impeach those that have violated the public trust and this validates it...For me this court has taken the public option out of the Constitution...let alone health care...No it not the Congress it is who is behind those black robes.  

    The Ayatollah ain't blinking.... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:55:55 AM EST
    will the freedom fighters?  Link

    I hope not.

    I hope they take a page from Ghandi to limit the bloodshed, but it is there call....some militia thug busts in my house I don't know if I can turn the other cheek.  May the forces of freedom prevail with as little bloodshed as possible.

    Info from Iranians... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:35:58 AM EST
    via the WSJ...."The Fear is Gone".

    Powerful, powerful stuff...


    this is such a wonderful thing to see (none / 0) (#56)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:41:01 AM EST
    but I have been afraid to get to invested in it.
    the Tiananmen square was just to painful.
    and its starting to feel the same.

    Does Anyone Know ... Gun Laws in (none / 0) (#96)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 12:22:43 PM EST

    It doesn't appear that individuals are armed.


    On the DNA / SC thing (none / 0) (#38)
    by Lil on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:07:28 AM EST
    Apparantly we will have GWB's legacy kicking us around for years to come. How many 5-4 decisions will we need to endure?

    Well, (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by bocajeff on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:19:30 AM EST
    the three states could just pass the law and then this would be all over. I think that's where the energy needs to be focused. SCOTUS didn't say DNA laws were unconstitutional, just that there wasn't an automatic right...

    Mass, Oklahoma and Alaska.


    Court strikes down (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:49:40 AM EST
    Opinon here

    Random drug testing for all public school employees.

    kdog - this one's for you.

    for me too (none / 0) (#61)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:53:23 AM EST
    celebrate the small victories



    Thanks jb... (none / 0) (#64)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:56:30 AM EST
    Nice ruling...good for the North Carolina kids too...I've partied with quite a few fine educators.  And I suspect a few of my favorite teachers from my school days did too.  

    Ahem (none / 0) (#65)
    by Sweet Sue on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:05:34 AM EST
    the WSJ...."The Fear is Gone".
    Powerful, powerful stuff...

    And when the fear is gone, the people are free.

    Feel better soon, Cap Howdy.

    thanks (none / 0) (#66)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:09:48 AM EST
    lets hope so

    Confession or coercion? (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:10:18 AM EST

    DETROIT - Hours after police plucked him out of a suburban alley, Vincent Smothers dropped a bombshell confession: "I don't have a profession," he told an investigator. "I kill people for money."

    Then, police say, he laid out details of how each of eight hired hits happened. He stalked his victims before shooting them at close range. He killed some while talking on his cell phone and fired on others even when they appeared to be lying lifeless on the ground.

    Even in Detroit, which had more than 300 slayings last year, Smothers' case is notable: Rarely is one person charged in so many deaths. On Friday, his lawyers planned to ask a judge to have the confessions thrown out, arguing he was worn down while in custody. Police deny it.

    "He'd been accused of doing so many, he just wanted to get it over (with)," said Detective Sgt. Ken Ducker of the Michigan State Police.

    Police say the work paid $60,000 over two years, although Smothers did one job for as little as $50. All but one of his victims were involved in drugs. The exception was a police officer's wife.

    Hey MileHI... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:16:43 AM EST
    see this Denver story?

    Poor guy, sounds like a smart businessman to me...bankroll a grow-op and sell more Chinese food:)

    Is my buddy kidneystones around?  Is it morally acceptable to do business with this guy?...no evidence of murder, rape, or terror that I can see...and he employs people in the community, which is big in this economy...or he did employ before the men with guns came.  

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#74)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:38:12 AM EST
    ...I saw that on the news last night.  It been going on for some time.  I guess his close ties to W didn't do him much good.

    I'm sure your buddy kidneystones will tell you that because he is Chinese, he's heavily involved with human trafficing and that's how he gets his workers or some such unfounded nonsense.  


    I wonder if any of G Dub 's... (none / 0) (#80)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:48:11 AM EST
    beloved Alabama Kush strain was in that order:)

    Bad timing for a bust...guy just missed his pardon.


    What the media missed (none / 0) (#86)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:26:39 AM EST
    about the restaurant owner's pot arrest -- it was arranged and it's the result of a plea deal. He got an unsecured bond and an Information rather than an Indictment was filed. It's a plea agreement. He is agreeing to plead guilty to the money laundering and forfeiture in advance, to avoid more serious charges. That's the reason there is a voluntary surrender and a personal recognizance bond. He's probably cooperated as well. This investigation has been going on for a long time.

    Thanks J... (none / 0) (#91)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:54:04 AM EST
    cooperator eh?  Hold that praise.

    Look at this way (none / 0) (#108)
    by sj on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:31:53 PM EST
    If they prevent a debacle from passing they be hailed as heroes.  

    Of course, that would be by the activists and not by the Village.