Thursday Afternoon Open Thread

Your turn.

This is an Open Thread.

Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 200 meters at the World Track and Field Championships in Berlin:

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    Matthew Yglesias was two years old when (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:57:04 PM EST
    I graduated from High School.  

    He wasn't even born when I graduated from college (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:46:43 PM EST
    I guess it is no wonder he has no idea how to negotiate from a progressive position

    And I've been promoting him since (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:26:51 PM EST
    2002, confident even then that he (and Ezra) would become major journalists. They don't make me feel old at all. (Here's a picture of Matt, Ezra, Atrios, me and a few others when we gathered for drinks in Boston at the DNC in Boston in 2004.)

    As I wrote in response to an article criticizing Ezra a few years ago:

    Not to mention, Ezra is bright the way Matt Yglesias is bright -- these kids can romp from medicare to politics to foreign policy to economics to science and back again without missing a beat. I spent days with them and others their age at the Democratic convention in Boston in 2004 and I was just awed by their talent. They are the future. We are lucky to have them on our side.

    That they aren't on the same side as me all the time doesn't lessen my respect for either of them.


    Interesting. They were the future (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:39:00 PM EST
    and now they're the present -- and they seem flummoxed.  Perhaps it is a point that they are so young that they haven't really seen a liberal president with a majority and able to exercise his power.

    Lack of work/life experience (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:33:01 PM EST
    you see it all the time in the work place. They may be smart etc, but have never lived through the experiences that help in the decision making process . . .  they may know things in theory, not practice . . .

    I'm So Old (none / 0) (#68)
    by daring grace on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:26:51 PM EST
    the last 'liberal' president I knew was LBJ--and he left office when I was 13. So I don't hold that against them.

    Not old. Classic. (none / 0) (#72)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:51:31 PM EST
    You arrived on the scene just in time for the release of Thelonious Monk's great album, Monk Plays Duke Ellington (in itself, a classic).

    Ah, Thanks (none / 0) (#113)
    by daring grace on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:52:00 AM EST
    Love Mr. Monk.

    My former husband introduced him to me in the early 70's when he'd blast his (reel to reel!) tapes of TM  mornings when I was sleeping in.

    What a way to wake up and learn.


    I got to have Carter (none / 0) (#78)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:00:52 PM EST
    and Clinton :)  I was a teenager through Reagan....God help us all.  We were doomed to getting nuked by the Reds.  What a thought to have beaten into your head every single day.  This nation is really hurting though.  We have so many have nots it hurts to see it.  I want something better.  I look at my daughter and in this economy her options look pretty bleak, and for how long?  Even after college most of our   kids make spit.  Wall Street left the building with too many pensions to count and then got saved, but it isn't a good investment for us little people anymore after they wiped the floor with us.  I think I got to begin to feel a little bit happy when Clinton was President but I can't remember very well anymore because BushCo felt like it beat me to death, mostly I've got to experience a borderline sux.

    I finally got to visit Georgia O'Keefe's (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:09:28 PM EST
    home in Abiqui, NM.  She installed a bomb shelter.  Guide sd. O'Keefe was friends with some of the scientists at Los Alamos.  

    My husband was born there :) (none / 0) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:14:17 PM EST
    His father worked there....he's been fried from day one :)  I would have loved to have seen O'Keefe's house.  Other than the bomb shelter what else was interesting?

    Beautiful view, especially from her (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:16:26 PM EST
    studio and bedroom.  House was a mud wall hacienda which her friend rebuilt for her but kept the style.  Interior decor was quite minimalist.  Then we drove past Ghost Ranch a few miles up the road.  Quite beautiful.  She lived there and painted those rocks and formations.

    Sounds like you have been having wonderful (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:21:55 PM EST
    trips.  I always wanted an adobe.  My husband and I look at Earthships sometimes and dream about being old in New Mexico.  I miss being near New Mexico.  Vera used to go to Ojo Caliente twice a year to sit in the stinky water.  We used to go to Taos a lot too.

    I go for the opera in Santa Fe, a real treat. (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:24:22 PM EST
    Both the setting on the mesa and the performances and choice of operas to perform.  But this year, after many years talking about going to O'Keefe's house, we finally did it.

    I think they did well (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:50:26 PM EST
    tackling BushCo.  Other than Atrios though, I think that they need some age on them to understand some of the areas that people are really hurting in right now and why we fight and not concede.  I sometimes feel that they do not understand the importance of basic planks of the Democratic platform because they don't understand the suffering of Americans that went into adding this plank or that plank to the platform.  

    They backed Bush on Iraq (none / 0) (#84)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:17:22 PM EST
    as I recall.  

    Well, what Matt Yglesias (none / 0) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:33:23 PM EST
    understands about real war is about as much as he understands about suffering ill people in my opinion.

    And honestly (none / 0) (#96)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:40:20 PM EST
    I didn't know what the heck to think.  My gut did not want to put my husband on the bus but everyone was cheering so loudly.  I went to a protest before the soldiers left but I was very lost.  Stood on the outskirts, watched everyone...lost.

    Really? (none / 0) (#101)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:23:46 AM EST
    Ezra would've been 19.  Matt 23.  

    Agree with war on their word?

    (although Ezra started his blog in Feb 2003; Matthew 2002).  


    That's a high standard... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:30:49 PM EST
    considering the older crew in Congress with D's after their names don't understand the suffering of Americans who just want a square deal and ain't getting it.

    Of course certain wisdoms comes with age, but certain wisdoms fade with youth as well.  It all evens out:)    


    Hmmmm trying to think of some of (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:35:44 PM EST
    my wisdoms of youth I miss :)

    I Wouldn't Mind Revisiting (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by daring grace on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:55:11 AM EST
    believing I'm going to live forever.

    Not the dangerous risk taking part, just the lighter in step feeling of it all stretching out in front of me with a mirage of limitless possibility!


    And nothing hurt when I woke up every morning :) (none / 0) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 09:35:19 AM EST
    It looks like the COX inhibitor that they put my husband on is finally beginning to work.  He's still going in on Monday though for the blood workup results.  I was just talking to him though as he was dressing for work.  Told him this was going to have to be his last deployment, he's getting too old man.  He rolled his eyes.  On drugs he's back to living as close to forever again as he can get.

    I'm Peter Pan... (none / 0) (#98)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:51:39 PM EST
    I'm stalling on the old stuff myself:)

    Ridge (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by CST on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:57:21 PM EST
    coming out with a book on how Bushies tried to rig the homeland security threat levels to go up before elections.

    I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.

    Still waiting for the book about lowering gas prices right before an election.

    I thought he already said that (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:47:33 PM EST
    a couple of years ago. Didn't get around to writing it down until now?

    Said to have said (none / 0) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:05:50 PM EST
    is my recollection from back then.  Now he's saying it publicly.

    It's just like today (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:24:33 PM EST
    with the health care issue.

    We can B*tch & moan all we want about those dirty, rotten, lying Republicans, but it's the Democrats losing the fight more than the R's winning it.

    Security & terrorism were the biggest issues in 2004, and Bush owned it. All Kerry had to do was to make a statement like, "Elect me and I won't pussyfoot around with Bin Laden like Bush is doing; I'll find him and rip his heart out through his mouth with my bare hands if that's what it takes......and love every minute doing it!"

    Bingo; landslide.


    I read about this today (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:03:28 PM EST
    I kept telling myself they wouldn't do something like that....it was too heinous.  But they didn't bomb Fallujah to the ground either until the day after Bush had won reelection.  Then they utterly turned that place to dust.

    another sign (none / 0) (#9)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:04:03 PM EST
    Ridge is eyeing the nomination     imo

    What have the other signs been (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:05:18 PM EST
    He will never survive (none / 0) (#36)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:05:17 PM EST
    the duct tape episode.  In any case, writing a tell-all after you leave office is not what you do when you're intending to run.  It pisses everybody off-- the true believers who don't want to hear about it, and everybody else, who wonders why the hell you waited until it was over to blow the whistle.

    Remember the Sesame St (none / 0) (#70)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:39:30 PM EST
    color chart that was making the rounds?

    While many suspected the alerts were pol motivated, we really could have done without them. Heck, in my 'hood, we knew if there was an uptick in concern. Lot's o'cops on the subway platform and around the transformer (?) station, along with the water way and bridge.


    Job interviews for next summer (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:17:17 PM EST
    One call back and one "no thanks" letter.

    Early in the process. . .

    Good luck (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:19:14 PM EST
    Tough time to be in the job market for sure.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:21:34 PM EST
    And yup, my class is going to have some trouble.

    Good luck - let us know if you need references! (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:25:21 PM EST
    lord knows our opinions should count for something somewhere

    Start a blog until you land a job (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by magster on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:57:32 PM EST
    Your point of view is as consistently insightful as anything I read.

    heh, thanks (none / 0) (#90)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:26:48 PM EST
    I think that's exactly what I don't need!

    don't dismiss this idea out of hand. (none / 0) (#91)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:28:10 PM EST
    Think of the fun BTD could have linking to your posts and, . . .

    Cash for Clunkers (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:32:19 PM EST
    If the health care madness weren't going on at the same time, the media coverage of cash for clunkers would be the most infuriating thing I hear. Seems that someone has planted the meme that it is a horrible scandal that the government wasn't able to get checks out to dealers in the brief time the program has been in place. Obama took a call on this in his visit with Smerconish this afternoon, and dod a good job with it.

    Has anyone complaining ever tried billing the government for any kind of services? Or even waited to get a tax refund check? Did car dealers really think they would get the checks the very next week, or even in 3 weeks? They need to stop their whining and be glad they are selling cars.

    Well, politically it's something the President (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:35:23 PM EST
    needs to go smoothly. Mayors have lost elections because streets weren't plowed quickly enough.

    True (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:41:55 PM EST
    By the way, close to topic....I heard a blurb on XM today that said several ex-Bush administration employees took a few weeks or months after his term ended to help people in a town that got flooded. Did not hear which town. I'm guessing it is not New Orleans.

    Maybe Obama staffers will do their penance in car dealerships if cash for clunkers goes sour.


    lol (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:43:13 PM EST
    "The factory warranty is only a sliver of what's important in this barely used SUV!"

    No one will do more (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:31:47 AM EST
    to get you into this car TODAY!

    Shovel ready highway improvement (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:44:14 PM EST
    project happening this week in New Mexico.  Which is why we missed the turnoff.  Big TARP sign instead.

    Wonder how much we paid (none / 0) (#47)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:15:00 PM EST
    for the sign . . .

    Smart Bradning though (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:04:04 PM EST
    People see stuff like that and realize where their dollars are going and they see both the jobs and the infrastructure TARP has created.

    Good question. Quite large. Lots (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:17:11 PM EST
    of workers wearing vest emblazoned w/the name of the contracting company.

    Hey, someone got put to work (none / 0) (#108)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:33:03 AM EST
    making the sign too.

    You have to read about the problem (none / 0) (#39)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:06:41 PM EST
    which is that the program requires that the dealers provide the new cars immediately to the buyers and then file to see even whether the feds will approve the $4500 rebate.  Otherwise, be a dealer trying to get the bucks back -- and with a payroll to meet, and banks not being prone to letting dealers borrow to pay those and other bills when it depends upon the feds who didn't even hire enough staff to process the paperwork and also are rejecting some paperwork incorrectly, etc., etc.

    The program, frankly, is a poorly planned disaster.  Sound familiar?  (See: big bucks to big business to give execs big bonuses. . . .)


    I'd rather be in that position (none / 0) (#102)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:10:57 AM EST
    than be a dealer with a showroom void of customers, which is what they were 3 months ago. I'd be willing to bet that every dealer that participates in this sees a net gain eventually. I've dealt directly with billing the feds before, and yes, sometimes you (or the fed billing agent) get the paperwork wrong the first time and it takes longer than you want, but I always got my payment.  

    I guess we just won't do programs like this again if it turns out to have been a disaster for everyone.  I myself am glad to have a few thousand more inefficient cars off the road.


    Back home in Michigan (none / 0) (#104)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:19:53 AM EST
    a number of idled auto plants have been reopened, and the workers are back on the line, because of the new demand created by dealer inventories getting cleared out.

    This program is an unqualified good thing for getting the economy moving again.


    People... (none / 0) (#107)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:32:57 AM EST
    who can't afford a car might feel differently seeing cars with miles still on 'em being destroyed just to prop up a broken sector of our economy for another couple months and artificially reduce the supply of new and used cars.

    Imagine how cheap you could get a used car right now if they weren't destroying ones with gas left in the tank...or a new one if the supply wasn't being reduced via government subsidy.  They'd be practically giving them away, and it wouldn't cost the taxpayer a dime.


    But (none / 0) (#109)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:36:47 AM EST
    they are practically giving used cars away. Anyone that wants a low cost used car can find them, at least here in Florida.

    I look at cash for clunkers primarily from the standpoint of lowing CO2 emissions. I would have preferred just having the feds use the money to buy up the old polluting cars and destroy them themselves, but I understand wanting to give the auto dealers some help.


    We could accomplish reduced pollution... (none / 0) (#110)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:42:42 AM EST
    by simply setting higher standards on emissions on all new cars manufactured...planet earth can handle another decade of inefficient vehicles, letting them die natural deaths.  

    And those cheap used cars would be even cheaper, for people living check to check a couple hundred dollars is huge.


    My clients typically (none / 0) (#46)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:14:54 PM EST
    take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to send me a check.  I agree, they should quit their whining.

    But you don't have to have the feds (none / 0) (#61)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:40:50 PM EST
    decide whether or not the clients even have to pay you.  (I.e., whether or not the car qualifies for the rebate.)

    The rules on this (none / 0) (#86)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:20:39 PM EST
    ain't complicated.  There's annoying paperwork to be filled out that provides all the info they need to see if the deal qualifies.  I don't get a tax rebate, either, if my tax paperwork doesn't say I do, and that's a heck of a lot more complicated than these forms.

    The pro-choice movement (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:40:21 PM EST
    Snort. As if that fool woman (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:46:27 PM EST
    could think in linear fashion and connect the dots from intellectual point A to intellectual point B.

    I'm glad she can't (5.00 / 4) (#65)
    by MKS on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:51:29 PM EST
    Can you imagine how dangerous she would be if she could put 2 and 2 together?

    lol!~ That's too funny. (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:43:08 PM EST
    AP adds to its' sins. (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by lentinel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:57:38 PM EST
    The Associated Press does not use the phrase, "public option".
    It refers to what it calls the "government-run insurance option".

    It seems that they are jumping on the right-wing framing of the debate. Nice.

    Robot (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:52:02 PM EST
    the funniest thing about the premier of the Avatar trailer was the whining and consternation in our internal newsgroups that Cameron was a mean ole bully and threw his weight around to "steal" the name from that stupid Shamalan movie "avatar, the last airbender" which also has trailers up now.

    I said, children look, tomorrow I will bring in my Avatar T-shirt (with a date on it) that I got in 1995 when they were considering doing the film at Digital Domain.  they decided the technology was not "there" and it got shelved.

    kid say the darndest things.

    CHUD maven ... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:20:23 PM EST
    Devin Faraci has been attacking AVATAR since Comic-con.

    It even led to some AVATAR crew member to write him an open letter, defending the film.

    Most of it is explained by some on-going, probably mostly one-sided, feud Faraci has with Fox.

    And some think political bloggers are petty.  The movie bloggers are in a whole different league of pettiness.


    A fun PPP poll (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:53:29 PM EST
    While it's way too early for 2012, that doesn't stop people from studying the horse race and polling.

    There's a PPP poll out today that has some pretty surprising results:

    Our fifth monthly national survey matching up Barack Obama against some possible 2012 opponents comes to the same two primary conclusions as the other four:

    1. Obama leads all comers
    2. Mike Huckabee, at least at this early stage, is the strongest GOP candidate

    In this particular iteration of the poll, Huckabee comes the closest to Obama that he has yet, trailing just 47-44. That's tightened since the President led 48-42 a month ago.

    Huckabee also has the best overall favorability rating of the Republican quartet we tested, at 45/28

    47-44 is within the margin of error.

    I've always said Huck (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:36:00 PM EST
    was the GOPs best Pol, and that he would have had by far the best chance in 2008, I can't see him getting the nod in 2012 though- the GOP seems to be tying itself to a kind of fiscal asceticism, whereas Huck's record as a governor was one of a Compassionate Conservative who pumped money into infrastructure spending and the like, unless the stimulus comes to be seen as a succuess-- not by the public at large which seems reasonably likely-- but by the GOP base I can't see him escaping the primaries- though if Palin doesn't run, or bails early (as is her want) he could run the table in the evangelical heavy states while getting massacred in the Northeast and New West by a Romney.

    the PPP poll (none / 0) (#5)
    by mikeel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:59:36 PM EST
    They should start polling Pawlenty.  Tpaw might just be the GOP's best hope.

    But if it's Huckabee, there's plenty of material go after him with.


    Usain Bolt (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:00:36 PM EST
    simply amazing this afternoon.

    Thanks for posting the video (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:35:49 PM EST
    that is just unbelievable. He'll get it under 19 before he's done.

    Yeah, unbelievable. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Tony on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:10:30 PM EST
    The video of that is simply incredible.

    I was excited when (none / 0) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:02:44 PM EST
    I saw this:

    First on TVNewser: Tipsters inside Fox News tell us Glenn Beck's vacation this week from his Fox News show was not planned. We hear Beck was told to take this week off to let some of the heat surrounding him die down.

    course now its being denied.

    UPDATE: An aide to Beck (not Fox), Matt Hiltzik, e-mails with evidence that, contrary to what's apparently the company's spin, Beck isn't being punished, but is rather off on a planned vacation.

    Beck reportedly said (none / 0) (#74)
    by MKS on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:04:40 PM EST
    he was forced to take a vacation.

    So, I think Beck is trying to be a martyr--for ratings and attention....


    SUSA surveys the US on healthcare (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:28:06 PM EST
    crosstabs here.

    Strong support for the public option, and majority support for the outlines of the President's plan, once explained.

    "once explained." (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by lilburro on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:35:08 PM EST

    This shouldn't be so hard.


    Yeah, like (none / 0) (#75)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:33:03 PM EST
    how hard is this?

    Healthcare with Insurance Co profits.........$3000
    Healthcare without Insurance Co. profits...$7000

    "The rest of the world has figured this out,
    Why can't we?"


    Are you numbers backwards? (none / 0) (#81)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:09:51 PM EST
    It looks like you are saying that health care with insurance company profits if $4,000 more than without.

    Rats!! (none / 0) (#95)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:38:38 PM EST
    You got me......sorry
    You are so correct

    The point was..... (none / 0) (#97)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:42:59 PM EST
    I don't think the public is aware of this

    Just as I've said numerous times, and now they'e giving primers on it, the "public option."

    We really have to stop just calling the other side "stoooopid," and start educating them.

    Doesn't the White House have a P.R. Co. or Ad agency to get the message out.

    Look at what "Harry & Louise did?"


    Agreed with your point (none / 0) (#103)
    by MO Blue on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:17:13 AM EST
    For someone who ran a brilliant marketing campaign to become president, he is not doing a good job selling his health insurance package.

    The president, his spokespersons and the party do not have a consist message.  


    also (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by lilburro on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:37:00 PM EST
    interesting that the most hard core public option supporters are located in the South.

    Wow (none / 0) (#40)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:06:56 PM EST
    That ought to blow some GOP minds, wouldn't you think?

    Another union weighing in (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:17:30 PM EST
    Instead of real health care reform, a small group of conservative Democrats in the House and Senate are working with Republicans in a bid to tax the same health benefits union members made countless concessions for, while dropping the public option that would lower the skyrocketing health care costs that are keeping many working people up late at night.
    We have been promised that when push came to shove, the Blue Dogs would join their fellow Democrats and stand by working people.

    Push has come to shove. And from the way things now stand, union members feel deceived.

    Due to this, my union, the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA), has decided to suspend all financial and intangible campaign activity in support of every political candidate until real health care reform is passed.  FDL

    This is ... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:47:29 PM EST

    Are you paying ... a lot of attention? A little attention? Or not very much attention? ...to the debate over health care?

    "A lot of attention" gets 73%.


    Liberals paying comparatively less attention (none / 0) (#31)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:49:11 PM EST
    to conservatives.

    A function, I think (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:58:49 PM EST
    of the age ranges more than anything.  The 18-34 group just isn't as interested in health care as an issue, and folks like me can say "those darn kids!" all we like, but I bet the same would be true of any generation in history.  It's just not their overriding priority, which is why the Obama coalition starts off this debate with one hand tied behind its back.

    They're all out drinking beer (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:05:57 PM EST
    Unlike anybody I know. . .

    Hey now (none / 0) (#105)
    by CST on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:22:46 AM EST
    I had a rousing discussion about healthcare over a beer just yesterday.  Totally do-able.  Not to mention the facebook wars I've seen.  I think that's our problem more than not caring.  We just use the wrong venues to express opinions.  Why go to a town hall when you can post it for all your friends to see!

    Kennie McCaskill on releasing Libyan bomber (none / 0) (#18)
    by ricosuave on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:29:00 PM EST
    Just watching this guy (scottish justice secretary) get interviewed on CNN.  Wolf Blitzer is pretty lousy.  Perhaps I am swayed by the Scottish accent, but I think this guy is a class act.  He is clearly sticking to his bullet points, but he is taking full responsibility for his decision and seems to believe in his message of justice and compassion.  Wolf can't even seem to process anything other than "why aren't you making this guy suffer more."

    I can't imagine most americans being happy with anything other than leaving this guy in jail and languishing without medical treatment.  Except maybe torturing him in Guantanamo.

    Of course, they could have just given him medical treatment in the scottish jail and avoided all of this.  But do we really want the prison system to make decisions based on politics?

    Surely you jest! (2.00 / 0) (#55)
    by Radiowalla on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:28:17 PM EST
    I can't think why this murderer should be given the right to walk on his own two feet out of prison and home to cheering crowds.  

    Furthermore, the statements by Obama and the State Department were singularly lacking in strength and outrage.

    As far as I am concerned, the release of this man is completely unacceptable.  


    A Class Act? (none / 0) (#33)
    by dissenter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:56:14 PM EST
    As a graduate of Syracuse University and a person whose sister missed the flight because of a business meeting I am outraged by this guy. Outraged.

    Perhaps you might change your mind if you look at the pictures of the terrorist going home as a hero. He committed mass murder and spent like 11 days per person in jail.

    There was no justice for the victims. Zero. They were traded to a state sponsor of terrorism for oil.

    Moreover, I've never seen that kind of Scottish compassion for a home grown terrorist or an Irish bomber.

    Blood for oil. Pure and simple


    then you should visit a crime victims website (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:13:59 PM EST
    TalkLeft promotes the preservation of rights for those accused of crime -- and compassion for those convicted of crime when it deems it appropriate. The guy had cancer, he is dying, there is nothing wrong with letting him die outside of prison.

    Interestingly, unlike the American victims' families, many of the British victims' family members had no problem.

    Among those he spoke to were families of the British victims and relatives of the 11 Lockerbie residents who lost their lives when falling wreckage crashed on to the ground.

    Not all of them held the same view, but many of the British relatives were in agreement: al-Megrahi, they said, should not be in jail.

    The crime was in 1988. When was he jailed? Has he done 10 or 20 years? Enough, he's dying, let him go home. And let Susan Atkins die at home too. She's done 40 years.

    The law sentences people to punish them, provide deterrence to others and rehabilation. Vengence has no place in the equation.


    I would only put people in prison (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by MKS on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:48:23 PM EST
    for one reason: to protect society if no other way will work.  Not to punish, or deter (I don't think it does all that often), or rehabilitate.

    Actually, Mike Huckabee put it well: we lock up too many people we are mad at rather than scared of.

    Charlie Manson--stays in jail because he is an ongoing danger.  Susan Atkins is not.

    We are a very, very violent country.  Compare us to any other industrialized nation and we have much more violent crime and so many more people in jail.  


    No Jeralyn (none / 0) (#50)
    by dissenter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:19:02 PM EST
    He did 7 years by the time they got him extradited and tried. It averages out to 11.5 days per person he murdered. He blew up 270 people and I will make anyone a bet on this site that he is alive and walking around well into next year and probably the year after that. This is sham

    Also (none / 0) (#51)
    by dissenter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:22:46 PM EST
    His so called life sentence was a minimum of 27 years which is far better than he ever would have gotten in any US state.

    I usually agree with you on criminal stuff but not this one. Seven years for 270 lives is outrageous.


    There is no justice (none / 0) (#44)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:13:18 PM EST
    for the victims in any case, no matter what they did to him.  Although I admit I'm attracted to the idea suggested by one family member of the victims that he should be flown up to however many thousand feet the plane was at when the bomb exploded and pushed out the door without a parachute.

    And fwiw, I'm not aware of any homegrown Scottish terrorists or IRA bombers being held in Scotland.


    What I thought I heard (none / 0) (#41)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:09:47 PM EST
    him say earlier was that Scottish law mandates "compassionate release" when a prisoner is likely three months from death.

    I think he's a class act, too.


    case by case basis (2.00 / 0) (#43)
    by dissenter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:13:12 PM EST
    And when the terrorist is still alive years from now we will see what he says. That too happens a lot.

    Blood for Oil


    See if you're swayed by the stats (none / 0) (#42)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:10:54 PM EST
    such as hundreds of other similar petitions from prisoners there denied, so why this one?  Such as hundreds of others do die in Scottish prisons every year, so why not this guy?

    Yeh, McCaskill was smooth.  And Blitzer could have done better.  But I'm not swayed by either -- I just have to keep wondering, why this guy?  And the only answer that makes sense undermines McCaskill's self-righteousness.


    That too (none / 0) (#48)
    by dissenter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:15:41 PM EST
    He wanted to say f'ck you to America and demonstrate Scotland's independence. Read some of the UK blogs. A lot of this is a slap at America. It is disgusting.

    Gosh (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:23:39 PM EST
    not even possible he could be justified in feeling that way or anything.  How many Scotsmen died in the Iraq war, I wonder?

    This isn't about Iraq (2.00 / 0) (#56)
    by dissenter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:29:50 PM EST
    This is about 270 INNOCENT men, women and children who had nothing to do with Iraq, US foreign policy or any other political or war "crime". Also, may I remind you that Scotland, as part of the UK, voluntarily signed on for Iraq.

    They could have sat it out like the rest of the EU. They went there for oil too.


    The UK (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:32:34 PM EST
    didn't fake the intelligence that got us into Iraq, the US Government did.  I can easily see why someone might have a "get back at the USA" mentality.

    Regardless, I find it difficult to compete with your unparalleled mind-reading ability, not to mention your ability to predict medical outcomes, so I'll leave off the discussion at this point.  


    Actually, I recall reading (none / 0) (#62)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:45:10 PM EST
    an in-depth piece on that intelligence, which came to use from the Brits, and that it was fraudulent -- but that they had begun to disavow it or at least express caution about it, as Colin Powell knew, when he already was trumpeting it for Bush.

    It was a great piece in the New Yorker, and even before we went into Iraq, I think.  I recall using it a lot to argue against our invasion.  Was it wrong all this time?


    We may be talking (none / 0) (#73)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:58:29 PM EST
    about different pieces of intelligence.

    The crucial Iraq "uranium deal" (none / 0) (#88)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:22:36 PM EST
    intelligence trumped up by the Brits and used by Bush and Powell to claim there was need to go into Iraq to prevent nuclear war.  That's what I'm talking about.

    Which intelligence that got us into the war are you talking about?


    I was referring (none / 0) (#99)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:29:09 PM EST
    to the false intelligence about Saddam's WMD capabilities that the CIA fed Britain for inclusion in the so-called "dodgy dossier."  We also concealed from Britain our intelligence which confirmed that the Iraqi intelligence chief was being truthful when he told Britain there were no WMDs.

    I just think there's no question that the conduct of the Bush Administration drove a very unfortunate wedge between the people of two otherwise steadfast allies.


    Does anyone know about (none / 0) (#32)
    by MKS on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:51:23 PM EST
    the French health care system?  A cross between single payer and private insurance--in other words, what our public option might look like.

    Great Britain and Canada are not really analogous to what is being proposed here.

    A dkos diarist (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by Fabian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:05:03 PM EST
    has done a series about his experience in France with his young son's serious cancer and their health care system.   Jerome A Paris

    The one thing that I didn't catch on my first read through this is that Jerome is doubly covered - private insurance through his employer PLUS the basic coverage provided by the state.

    Now I haven't read to find out exactly how much that additional coverage costs, but I expect it is substantial.  And it is tied to his employer.


    Astonishing how good (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:39:39 PM EST
    his experience is.  A hybrid system that works....

    I found this detailed doc on many of the world's (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by vicndabx on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:11:34 PM EST
    healthcare systems here.  There is of course a certain amount of spin embedded, but the general overviews the doc provides was helpful.

    Interesting article by The Cato Institute (none / 0) (#118)
    by MKS on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:33:07 PM EST
    I do take with a grain of salt the Cato Institute's findings--they have a very conservative axe to grind.

    But even they admit the French system has a good overall result, largely without rationing or long waiting lists, and at a lower cost than the U.S.  So, there is by and large no rationing or waiting lists in France--according to a conservative critique.

    The French, according to this Cato Institute article, have trouble with costs.

    Ezra Klein is quoted as touting the French system as the model to emulate.

    I do note the Cato Institute bias:  Cuba has lower infant mortality rates because it allows more abortions--how do they know that abortions are done to avoid ill children?  

    And, the Cato Institute dismisses the surveys that show the French are very satisfied with their system by noting the French have greater egalitarian values than the U.S.; so, they like their system more because it is more equal, not necessarliy because it provides better care.  So, those French are valuing their system in part on how it helps their neighbors rather than exclusively on how it helps themselves.  

    How does the Cato Insitute know that?  Just a guess, showing a disdain (from their perspective) of French values of egalitarianism?  As opposed to the Cato Institute's values of individualism?  
    And, why is such a value system invalid?

    Thanks for the cite.  Very helpful.


    "public option" (none / 0) (#76)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:47:05 PM EST
    is a lousy term.

    "Free choice," or "Your choice," or something like that.

    The name is important; remember "Death tax?"

    btw (none / 0) (#111)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:48:03 AM EST
    if you have not seen the AVATAR trailer you should check it out.

    co-ops may not be all bad (none / 0) (#112)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:51:56 AM EST
    judging from the reaction from the Wall Street Journal:

    Health 'Co-ops' Are Government Care
    The Democrats' latest proposal bears no resemblance to the voluntary organizations that are known as cooperatives.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has listed three conditions it needs to meet.

    Mr. Schumer's conditions are a national structure, federal financing, and a ban on federal appointees who have ties to the insurance industry. This "co-op" would be federally controlled, federally funded, and federally staffed. Expressing his opposition to smaller organizations and his demand for a national "co-op," Mr. Schumer says, "It has to have clout; it has to be large." He adds, "There would at least be one national model that could go all over the country," which would require "a large infusion of federal dollars."

    Mr. Leavitt, former secretary of Health and Human Services (2005-2009) goes on to say:

    I'm quite familiar with real co-ops. As a teenager, I filled my family's tractor with fuel purchased at a farmer's co-op, which was organized by local people to solve a common problem. My family got its electricity from a rural electric co-op. I was later a director of an "insurance reciprocal," a form of a co-op. Co-ops are a part of American culture: people uniting to solve common problems. What the Democrats are proposing bears little resemblance to this.


    The crazy train... (none / 0) (#117)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 09:43:57 AM EST
    ...keeps rolling full steam ahead.  

    That letter she wrote to Wonkette and the subsequent response was the funniest thing I read all day yesterday.  

    Plus, it gives me a chance to post this.