Monday Night Open Thread

A new season of Dancing With the Stars begins tonight. An odd assortment of "celebrities" -- seems really a "B list" this year. I wish they gave the co-host job to Melissa instead of Brooke. "24" is also on.

"Nurse Jackie" is back with its second season tonight on Showtime. Edie Falco (formerly of the Sopranos)is just great, as is the whole show.

10 states are going to sue to prevent implementation of the Health Care bill. Colorado will be one of them, according to our ultra-conservative Attorney General. Their primary objection (ostensibly): the provision requiring people to buy insurance: [More...]

a provision requiring most Americans to purchase insurance is an unconstitutional expansion of federal power. Congress has the right to control interstate commerce but can't force people to participate in commerce, he said.

What a waste of state resources.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Federal Judge Orders Release of Tortured Gitmo Detainee | Support Grows for the Democracy Restoration Act >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Ezra shows his hand (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:15:35 PM EST
    on the exchanges:

    The bill envisions the exchanges not just as markets for insurance, but as data-rich markets for insurance with regulators providing a skeptical barrier to entry and misbehavior. That, the authors hope, is how you'll get real competition among insurers.

    To help this along, the bill's first direction to the exchanges is that they must "implement procedures for the certification, recertification, and decertification." As that implies, the hope is that insurers who raise prices unnecessarily, or behave poorly, will be kicked out and only let back in when they forswear the offending behavior. There's no public option, but there is public oversight. A state with an ambitious exchange administrator could really do a lot with this provision.

    How could it possibly fail?!

    And a state with a bad (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:32:53 PM EST
    exchange administrator could really screw the citizenry. and who would ever be motivated to make the exchanges fail?

    I had exactly that in mind (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:38:09 PM EST
    as I read the excerpted passage.

    The Magic Exchanges are very HOPEY. But we know that subsidies and Medicaid are good things. And the mandate is cheap (perhaps too cheap, IMO, but given the lack of a public option, I'm not complaining too loudly).


    I'd say the states suing to (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:49:00 PM EST
    prevent the mandate are certainly not going to devote a lot of energy to setting up decent exchanges. And I hate the mandate with no public option too.

    All in all, I don't think it will take long before Medicare for all, at the very least, is put back on the table.


    That's (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 05:44:15 AM EST
    probably the only good thing I really see about this bill is that reform is still going to happen.

    the mandate might actually be too cheap (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:24:52 AM EST
    I mean even at its scaled in peak of 2 grand,  its still an even money proposition whether it will be better to pay the fine and buy insurance once you get sick- the pre-exisitng conditions thing is quite possibly the way in which the Private insurance industry gets brought to its knees.

    Agreed. Okay, no national health care (none / 0) (#10)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:38:59 PM EST
    but national oversight of compliance could have been accomplished, I think, by the Dems in Congress if they had better understood the bill's problems.

    Then again, maybe they did, and it is intentional -- I have not found a one of 'em yet capable of just clearly, concisely, and calmly assessing it, amid claims such as that it rivals the Civil Rights Bill of 1964!  (I presume that is the one of the many civil rights bills that they mean in citing "the" civil rights bill.  Then again. . . .)


    The state exchanges (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:42:14 PM EST
    were essential to get 60 votes in the Senate. The House bill had a national exchange.

    Now I'm really confused (none / 0) (#37)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:33:24 PM EST
    as that sounds like you're saying that there will not be state exchanges.  I presume that is not what you meant, or all these fool states would not be planning the new War Between the States.  then again you're andgarden, so you may be telling me that reconciliation will not go all that well.

    As for the scorecard stuff, that's so yesterday -- 60, 59, 58, whatever.  I am so weary of hearing that their job is such harrrd worrrk for Dem Senators.  Doesn't matter how many votes they have now, anyway, since Pelosi said that they will undertake no more major bills this biennium.  Fiddling while we burn.  


    Sorry (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:36:23 PM EST
    The Senate bill started with state, not national, exchanges. The reconciliation package doesn't change that. The House bill is dead, never to see the light of day again.

    Right (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:27:04 AM EST
    its actually one of several areas where the Baucus bill was superior to the Senate bill (it allowed regional exchanges for groupings of small states- not suprising considering the makeup of the finance comittee- the Mountain West and Great Plains are heavily represented).

    Do a lot? Like what? (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by lambert on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:56:32 PM EST
    Send a strongly worded letter?

    its all on the certifiers (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:11:57 AM EST
    while its certainly not a guaranteed solution, pretending like its a guareenteed failure is similarily dense-- if the exchanges are monitored as strictly as the Federal employee exchange then it has a could chance of some cost control and increased quality of coverage, if not then it will fail.

    Here's (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 05:48:01 AM EST
    what people don't understand: these exchanges are going to be but togehter by people like SOnny Perdue and the conservanuts down here in GA and they have NO interest in seeing this succeed. Then this plan will be touted as another "progressive" failure. This bill is bad in so many ways I can't even start to tell you.

    Funny no one made them sound that good (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:28:27 PM EST
    before, at least to me.

    Of course he does use words like 'envision' and 'author's hope' so I don't know how much of that regulatory goodness is enshrined int he law.


    Happy talk, authority arguments, and (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:30:39 PM EST
    teleological inference. That's what he's been on about for months.

    And if insurers are all acting the same (none / 0) (#7)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:36:42 PM EST
    as they seem to do, we could end up with an 'exchange' that has no insurers {grin}

    Depending on which state you live in. (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:03:54 PM EST
    Actual detail on how the bill will and won't work (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by lambert on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:55:33 PM EST
    From Health Care Now's Conference call tonight:

    • The insurers will control the initial appeals board for claim denials and there will be no federal standard

    • Insurers remain in full control of what they will offer and what specific treatments they will cover

    • There are huge loop holes in premium pricing. For example, for those who fail the wellness tests(say because they have diabetes) they can have their premiums doubled

    • Also, while they can not deny you for a pre-existing treatment, they can charge 4 times more for premiums for certain conditions

    • They can continue to rescind insurance for fraud and misrepresentation with little oversight

    Remember, to the health insurance companies, "fraud" is that hangnail you got in the third grade that you forgot to tell them about -- at least after you try to collect on your policy for your cancer treatment. Thanks, "progressives"!

    You know for a guy who was all about (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:14:00 AM EST
    getting small workable solutions at one point, its amazing how quickly you became a purist. I mean for godsakes you supported a gas tax holiday that would have saved people on average 30 dollars in a month but now a bill that extends medicaid to tens of millions isn't good enough.

    You (2.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 05:49:49 AM EST
    obviously have no experience with Medicaid if you think that's so great.

    Ha! (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Spamlet on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:52:28 PM EST
    Squeaky, I have enjoyed our back-channel route to civility. In the future, I will envision you playing music before insulting you again.

    Oh Great (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:57:52 PM EST
    Is there a rock-solid resolution... (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by EL seattle on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:03:05 AM EST
    ... to the state mandates matter of (new) health care funding in the final bill?

    Here in WA, the AG has joined the lawsuit parade, citing the unfunded mandate issue:


    "I'm concerned that the measure unconstitutionally requires all Washingtonians to purchase health insurance and places an extraordinary burden on our state budget by requiring Washington to expand its Medicaid eligibility standards in violation of our state's rights guaranteed under the10th amendment."

    The WA governor is on the other side of the lawsuit.  But she's expressed similar concerns.

    Last year:

    "As a governor, my concern is that if we try to cost-shift to the states we're not going to be in a position to pick up the tab," said Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington, also a Democrat.

    If there isn't a stable, transparent approach that gives some support to states on this matter, I think there will be a long term drag on public support for the new plan.

    I just saw the a clip from Glenn Beck tonight (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:09:22 AM EST
    he was outraged that Congressional dems walked arm in arm like the civil rights protestors- unfortunately the image he used included John Lewis so when he said that no one marching there would have had the courage to do the same for civil rights it just made things a little funny.

    Glen Beck (none / 0) (#106)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 06:47:18 AM EST
    has become a joke since the Eric Massa interview. Even my friends who watched him now don't.

    What a bunch of hypocrites! (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:02:49 AM EST
    Everyone of those states requires drivers to carrry auto liability insurance. It's a mandate. Yet somehow this is unconstitutional?

    Yes (none / 0) (#112)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:37:46 AM EST
    but this is a federal one not a state one. In the end I dont think it really matters because it seems most of the people around here think it's a joke of a case anyway.

    Only those who choose to drive. (none / 0) (#114)
    by sleepingdogs on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:53:51 AM EST
    Not everyone who chooses to breathe or have a pulse.  

    I was astonished to read that (4.50 / 2) (#11)
    by observed on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:42:08 PM EST
    Pelosi had to dragoon Obama into making speeches for the HCR bill in the last few days.
    It takes something away from my respect for his political acumen that he needed to be told to do so; however, it's clear that he is VERY good at this sort of sales talk.
    I hope he has learned something from these last few weeks. I thought all along that he could have sold just about any bill, including one with a PO.
    The lesson to learn is that President Community Organizer has got to be replaced by President Standard Bearer.

    Maybe next year Nancy can get him to go around saying "man is born in chains, but yearns to be free".

    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:43:24 PM EST
    He never made any effort to sell the public option. And expended Medicare would have been a slam dunk. I STILL don't understand why that wasn't in the reconciliation package (I would have gone for MEH to excited).

    Because Obama is the (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by observed on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:45:24 PM EST
    quintessential pol of BTD's aphorism.
    He saw no need to extend himself.

    Jeepers, Andgarden (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:57:46 PM EST
    those things weren't in either the Senate bill or the reconciliation bill because Obama squashed them and the Senate went along with it (Nancy didn't).

    And he squashed them, it's now crystal clear, because he had bargained them away to the insurance companies from the very get-go in return for their lukewarm opposition to the rest of the package.

    We've now gotten definitive confirmation from participants on the other side that that's what he promised.


    I did forget about that (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:02:38 PM EST
    never mind my 'didnt think they had the votes' post.

    It should have been evident from the start (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:03:18 PM EST
    that assistance from the healthcare industry was neither necessary nor, frankly, much desirable.

    Wasn't just assistance on the bill (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:06:28 PM EST
    it was campaign cash, or at least denying that campaign cash to the GOP.  Not suggesting there was a quid pro quo explicitly, but that was clearly the intent.

    Could be (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:12:30 PM EST
    Pretty pathetic, if so. That's really trading policy for pieces of silver.

    You seem surprised (none / 0) (#65)
    by Spamlet on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:47:14 PM EST
    Is it possible (none / 0) (#61)
    by Politalkix on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:34:43 PM EST
    that the pharmaceutical industry with its high value research and IP is being considered as a strategic industry of the 21st century by the administration?

    The policies of Presidents Reagan, GHWB, Clinton and GWB resulted in so many strategic industries moving out of the country. Are we never going to learn? Please read the following article from the NYT as an example.


    Entirely possible (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:19:01 PM EST
    I think that's a POS, but it's entirely possible he thinks it's true.

    Then the question arises, how come he didn't think of that while he was pasting the bejesus out of the pharm industry during the campaign?  Or maybe he did.

    There's always, always some excuse or other for why we dassn't do anything to rein in the abuses of one industry or another.  I'm not buying any of it anymore.


    I'll be honest (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:18:43 AM EST
    Pharma off-shoring and medicaid denial of service were the two reasons i've had a bit of a problem with using either Medicaid or Medicare as a model for single payer- call me crazy but I'm still holding out hope that this does what the GOP fears- breaks the industry to a degree and forces them to do the same thing they did with Medicare in the mid-1960s admit it wasn't a profitable sector and quit obstructing government partnership (people don't realize that the insurance industry opposed medicare up until they tried to provide a private for-porfit alternative such as "Golden 60" and failed miserably).

    AFAIK (none / 0) (#117)
    by Politalkix on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 07:42:41 PM EST
    "Pasting the bejesus out of the pharma industry during the campaign" applied to patent reform.
    I did not hear him say that he would wreck the pharmaceutical industry in this country so that it would have to offshore its R&D to survive.
    BHO and HRC did talk quite a bit about creating jobs in the education and health care sector during their primary campaigns.

    Actually, Obama promised ... (none / 0) (#118)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 08:30:56 AM EST
    ... to allow parallel trade (i.e. reimportation) of prescription drugs to lower costs.  Of course, ...

    ... that was just one more broken campaign promise.


    From what I read about (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:58:47 PM EST
    Emanuel and Axelrod this weekend, in the early days of the process they were convinced that there would never be the votes in the Senate for a PO. (At that point they were thinking 60, not reconciliation.) So they basically gave up on it without even trying, thinking it was a waste of energy.  I think they really sold their guy short. I think he could have sold the PO if he had tried.

    Rahm Emmanuel (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:00:37 PM EST
    Wish he would disappear, loathsome creature, imo.

    Put it this way for all of his (none / 0) (#95)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:20:00 AM EST
    "enforcer Rep" according to everything that's come out neither Stupak nor Kucinich decided to vote yes until Obama himself called them up.

    There weren't the votes for it (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:04:02 PM EST
    only because Obama lobbied behind the scenes against it on the basis of his private deal with the insurance companies.

    With the PO as widely popular among the voters as it was and remains, there very well could have been the votes for it, or at least a darn good shot at it.  And of course, there was always the reconcilation bill option.

    That's if they actually wanted a PO. I've now been convinced that the White House never did, ever.  It was a bargaining chip for insurance company campaign $$ and no more.


    I do think (none / 0) (#96)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:22:27 AM EST
    a decent argument could be made that by sidelining most of AHIPs members Obama was able to get something through- I mean what would have happened if the smaller firms had come out hard against Reform like they did in 1993 (clinton co-opted the Big 5 insurance companies by offering them a government-protected monopoly, Obama offered government-protected clients to all).

    His priority all along... (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by lambert on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:58:07 PM EST
    ... was bailing out the insurance companies. He didn't work at anything else because nothing else had any priority.

    I get so tired... (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Upstart Crow on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:09:10 PM EST
    of people saying that they hope Obama "learned" this or that from some experience.

    He's the g.d. president, for pity sake, not some dope-smoking high school student with motivational problems.


    Yeah, (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:17:52 PM EST
    There is a meme perpetuated around here that Obama is lazy, too. Go figure?

    Lazy? (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by Spamlet on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:14:40 PM EST
    Not at all.









    Otherwise you are not elected President of the United States, much less at the age of 47.

    But lazy?



    I think he didn't understand the (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:54:23 PM EST
    dynamics of the Congress needing the POTUS PR magic to back them up. Pelosi schooled him, which is good. They will be a good team if he is a quick study, which seems to be the case.

    What else they will be a good team for remains to be seen.


    Salo thinks Pelosi is a secret (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by observed on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:57:24 PM EST
    Marxist. If Obama started talking like a Marxist, he might be surprised how well people respond!
    Especially if he aimed it at the titans of finance.

    A Marxist in designer suits and huge pearls (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:00:25 PM EST
    She is certainly well disguised!

    I'm all for that plan though.


    Nah (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:01:47 PM EST
    There are plenty of mercedes marxists. One doesn't have to don rags to prove worthy.

    Astonishing accomplishments (none / 0) (#3)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:30:16 PM EST
    here today, driving up TL's popularity.  One commenter alone has more than 150 comments in the last 24 hours.

    Bean Counter, IMO (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:48:31 PM EST
    An activity of yours reserved for those who you consider your enemies.

    What a waste of time.  


    Silly, you are not my enemy. (1.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:40:25 PM EST
    Just boring, too.

    I only went to the comment count since that certain commenter made a point of claiming that I had commented too often -- which was good for a laugh, compared to his count.  But it was a useful reminder to go back to giving this site less time, in the limited time that some of us have, as noted by another commenter above, to wade through the chaff to get to the truly instructive stuff here.

    Some have been very helpful again in the last few days when there was something interesting again from the White House and Congress, and I thank those commenters and the TL bloggers for that.

    Now, with no more major work from the Dems for the year, I'll recede again to leave the site to the likes of you.  Enjoy.


    Yeah, andgarden is great-- (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by observed on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:43:00 PM EST
    and he does this for free!
    Between BTD and AG I was able to follow the procedular wrangling with some comprehension.

    Still, as the commenter at Frum's "Waterloo" post said, the bill got pushed through with "parliamentary maneuvers".
    Damn parliament... holding votes and stuff like that!


    I think they actually (none / 0) (#99)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:29:11 AM EST
    thought Deem and Pass was used, you when it actually passed on a normal vote.

    I'm putting my seeds in (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:58:39 PM EST
    my suitcase. I think I may take a month offline after the move and just garden/work/enjoy the new life :) Hopefully spring is on it's way to you so while you're receded, you can enjoy the finer things in life (like non-sh*tty weather!)

    So excited for you! (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:02:15 PM EST
    It must be pretty cool to actually be moving after all that planning. I will definitely look forward to hearing about your trip west, getting settled, etc.

    It will be very cool if I ever get my (none / 0) (#59)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:32:07 PM EST
    behind outta here, lol!~ Oy, 17 yrs in the same home. Finding all kinds o'stuff as I pack :p

    If ya hear they have closed the United terminal @ JFK on Thurs eve, that will prob be me ;) Here's hoping they have loose security on flying dogs . . .


    Sympathies (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:14:09 PM EST
    I moved out of the place I'd lived in for 30 years to go take care of my mother, then five years later, after she'd passed, sorted through, sold, threw away, gave away and moved 45 years of family life in a very large house.

    BTW, I took a lot of grief from friends for the large amount of stuff I took with me when I moved here, and as it's turned out, I wish I'd kept a lot of additional stuff because it's turned out I've needed it more than some of the things I did bring.

    No matter how much advance planning you do (and for various reasons I wasn't able to do much anyway), living in a new place and a new community always requires a different selection of "stuff" than you think it's going to.  Nothing makes me crazier than having to spend money buying again something I used to have but got rid of as too much hassle to bring along.  Grrrr.


    I've been calling mom (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by nycstray on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:02:42 AM EST
    My 23 qt caner is staying here with my CSA group as mom has one cluttering her kitchen (she no longer cans) Other things, I'm looking at cost and how often I use them and do I have options with what I'm taking. And since I haven't actually walked through my new place, calling mom to ask about if I should bring certain pieces of furniture. I've also decided, kitchen and sewing items rule over furniture, lol!~  I have bolts of fabric that I'm bringing over a long stainless topped kitchen piece. This place had no built in's, my new place does. Funny thing is, mom was asking if I had access to the back alley. She wants to bring my dad over and there are some steps out front that they would have trouble handling. She wants him to see my new place, but I may not have places to sit! The only upside to dad's wheelchair is, he'll have a place to sit, lol!~ At least I'll be able to serve up a good meal ;)

    My friends who know me well have supported taking more than most people would, like all my fabric and other things that keep me going. They would also take theirs. I'm sure others would be horrified ;) I did talk to the mover in advance and also booked my place and stuff larger than it is, so I have some wiggle room. There's no way I'm giving up my 5 sewing machines* ;) That said, I'm sure I'll do some kicking myself down the road {sigh}

    * one industrial w/table, one treadle, one 40's in cabinet and 2 freestanding.


    No, don't recede. (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:01:07 PM EST
    Many of us really enjoy your comments, so just ignore the cr@p, and be yourself!

    Thanks, but (4.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:21:12 PM EST
    re-entering the fray has become uncomfortable again -- not as scary as it got a while ago with that commenter who was sending warnings of disclosure on others, but still . . . it feels that way again here these last few days.  Low-level moderation makes the site what it is, but it also means others may have to low-level again, too, reading you all a lot for your helpful information and insights but commenting less -- and spending more time amid the springtime.  Of course, that's still months away for some of us, no matter the calendar.  So there still will be some snow shoveling to do, too.

    Plus, I now have a new puppy in the family!  SoI will be doing puppy-sitting, which will help to get me out for more walking to get away from the recent rise here in squawking. :-)


    Did I miss the announcement?! (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:28:56 PM EST
    New puppy in family?! Do tell {all ears!}

    Puppy! (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Spamlet on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:36:14 PM EST

    I tamed a feral kitten over the last few months, and he has become a total love bunny.

    As for the recent turmoil on this site, here's my take.

    Some of us are no longer registered Democrats, but we're still in the family. And recently we all had a big family fight.

    We disagree on whether the fight broke out at the birth of health care reform or at the funeral of health care reform, but a fight it was, and quite the donnybrook.

    Such brawls have the function of containing anxiety, and we all have every reason to be feeling more than a little of that.


    Actually, the squables increase (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:00:55 PM EST
    my anxiety level.  Just reading!

    Let the anxiety go (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:14:28 PM EST
    Opening Day is only 308 hours away (329 for the Pads)

    My brother tells me the Fish are looking (none / 0) (#89)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:32:53 AM EST

    Oh, in that case (none / 0) (#70)
    by Spamlet on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:03:56 PM EST
    have a drink. This is a wake. Or a birth. Whateverrrr.

    Oh, I am. New $16 bottle of Jameson's. (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:08:57 PM EST
    Oh yes (none / 0) (#74)
    by Spamlet on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:11:47 PM EST
    Had one of those myself once upon a time. And not so long ago. But not all at once, of course.

    Good luck with your puppy. (none / 0) (#83)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:19:26 PM EST
    I am getting a siamese mix as soon as I find the one I can get or like.  The shelters have a lot of males and I don't know how long they have been abandoned and not neutered (so don't want a lot of territorial markings.)  I'd like a young female and right now I have a possible female abandoned and very traumatized but has been fostered for a year and ready to move on.  So that always takes a lot of time. No walks outdoors tho'

    If you like siamese cats you should look (none / 0) (#100)
    by suzieg on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 03:57:58 AM EST
    up the many breed specific rescue organizations in your area which might have them for adoption. I now live in Austin and you can have a look at these cuties:  http://www.austinsiameserescue.org/



    Thank you. I am signed up with (none / 0) (#119)
    by hairspray on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 10:42:02 PM EST
    Pacific Siamese Rescue here in the Bay Area in California.  I have already filled out lots of forms since they don't give their cats to just anyone.  I am waiting.

    Yeah, (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:06:44 PM EST
    I understand your position; many long time good commenters have left the site because they couldn't take it anymore.

    But things change, that is one thing you can count on.


    The Rules are the Rules (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:53:28 PM EST
    Rules? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:57:43 PM EST
    Which rules are you speaking of? There are no rules that I know of that limit the number of daily comments from a regular commenter. New commenters, and chatterers are another story.

    Blog Owners can make any Rules they want (none / 0) (#33)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:04:47 PM EST
    about commenters.  And they can interpret any current rules about commenters in any way also.  And they can make new rules at a whim if they want to.

    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:56:18 PM EST
    Yep (none / 0) (#48)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:59:07 PM EST
    Earlier today I saw a comment (none / 0) (#41)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:45:51 PM EST
    that I think was yours, squeaky. But, I can't find it at the moment. It gave a calm and succinct description of exactly what it was that you all were so tired of. Maybe I made it up out of a phrase that you had put inside a comment, but a very bright light came on because of it. I would like to offer a sincere apology for the anti-administration contributions I made. I thought I was keeping comments mostly focused on policy and not people, but I know I surely took a dig often enough.

    All my life friends have come to me to vent their problems. There is a saturation point where if they repeat their plight one more time after having never even attempted to act on a solution, I will scream. Your comment, whichever one it was, made me think of those friends (many of whom, I had to cut loose).


    They were mostly re-runs, so (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by observed on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:54:40 PM EST
    it doesnt' count.

    I'm sure I will get pilloried for this, but (4.57 / 7) (#60)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:34:04 PM EST
    I might have to quibble with how much popularity has been increased; as you read through the last week's threads, you can see people getting more and more frustrated with the comments being made - admissions that he was deliberately throwing bombs into the threads to start trouble, admissions that it was fun to stir things up.  In all, and keeping in mind that he was not online here on Saturday, he has made over 500 comments in six days.

    I will be the first to admit that I have made the mistake of trying to correct the Captain's constant and deliberate  misinterpretations of what I and others were writing, and in doing so, I have gotten increasingly short-tempered and sarcastic.  I should have just skipped on by his comments, and not engaged AT ALL, and tried to do so only when he was directly responding to something I had written.  It didn't do any good. No matter what I wrote, how many times I explained, it, he refused to acknowledge and admit that I might know my own mind, and my own motives and agenda and feelings much better than he could ever hope to.

    And it's hard to ignore someone who is posting somewhere between 80 and 100 comments every day.  I know I am not the only one who has had that experience of late, not the only one frustrated with the juvenile tactics, and not the only one who has objected.

    I guess I will go back to ignoring him, as much as I can, but if he is going to keep posting at this rate, the more likely scenario is that I will be giving TL a pass for a while.  I may not be the only one who makes that choice, so it may be that the Captain will just be here talking to himself.  Won't that be fun?


    How Convoluted (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:57:10 PM EST
    I will be the first to admit that I have made the mistake of trying to correct the Captain's constant and deliberate  misinterpretations of what I and others were writing, and in doing so, I have gotten increasingly short-tempered and sarcastic.

    He was deliberately misinterpreting your short-tempered and sarcastic comments?

    Sounds to me like he was using sarcasm too.  


    I had no idea someone was posting (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:13:39 PM EST
    80 to 100 comments a day. I will impose a limit. That's blog-clogging. What do you all suggest as a limit?

    35, tops (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Spamlet on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:16:02 PM EST
    That would probably keep me (none / 0) (#86)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:38:43 PM EST
    from doing a C-SPAN-a-thon again.

    I think people can tell the difference (none / 0) (#107)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 07:51:54 AM EST
    between a live-blog and a blog-clog, and I would guess that, for good measure, either Jeralyn or BTD would expressly waive any comment restrictions in that situation.

    We've had some lively and active conversations here, with the comments coming fast and furious, but I would be willing to bet that even then, no one person was posting over 100 comments in an average 8-hour day - that's a comment every 5 minutes!

    More to the point, I suppose, is the admission (actually, it was more of a boast) that it was being done to get a rise out of people and cause trouble; even if it were only 10 comments a day, if making trouble is what someone's intent on doing, I think that's pretty much the definition of trolling, isn't it?


    As one who comments infrequently.......... (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by samsguy18 on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 08:24:57 AM EST
    However I visit daily.......If you impose a limit those individuals who may have valid and informed contributions on the suject matter discussed will also be limited. This is a balanced group for the most part.

    oops sorry (subject) (none / 0) (#110)
    by samsguy18 on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 08:26:29 AM EST
    In my view, it was not so much the quantity (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:21:57 AM EST
    but the quality of comments, and, perhaps more importantly, the nasty, impolite  and unproductive sparing.  The keyboard to keyboard combat was  needlessly argumentative with the sole goal seemingly of having the last word, as if that carries the day.  Maybe the best approach is for commenters to respond, where appropriate, and then move on.

    Well if you go less than 50 (none / 0) (#81)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:17:51 PM EST
    you might have killed half a dozen here today.

    2 cents (5.00 / 4) (#113)
    by CST on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:38:43 AM EST
    on this whole brouhaha.  I took the "dropping bombs" statement to be more about voicing frustration at an endless stream of certain types of comments that have been filling the threads, which pretty much always say the same thing, about how terrible the president is.

    There's only so many times you can read those comments before you want to go off.

    Also, lets not pretend this is a one-way street.  There have been plenty of personal attacks on anyone who has voiced support of something from this administration.  Let's not forget that's what sent other pretty great commenters packing (Steve M) long before this recent outburst.

    There is plenty of blame to go around, and everyone really just needs to chill out a bit.  But yes, when threads fill up with post after post after post saying pretty much the same thing for months, that can put others over the edge.  And that's exactly what was going on here before the latest dust-up.


    I think the Captain (none / 0) (#64)
    by Spamlet on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:46:00 PM EST
    may be a closet empath.

    If you will permit me a sweeping statement, we all understood that the fight over HCR was a proxy for the fight over the soul and the future of the Democratic Party.

    High stakes.

    Empaths take on the whole emotional import of such stakes, and they often don't know that they have done so. Then they reflexively push the buttons that need to be pushed, not because particular individuals need their buttons pushed but because the buttons are there, and because the system as a whole is crying out for change, any change.

    In fact, the same dynamic may produce the phenomenon of the need to pass a bill, any bill.

    If the captain is truly an empath, he will showing up any minute to tell me that I am full of sh!t.


    who? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:31:11 PM EST
    150 comments in a day? I've been offline all day.

    FWIW, and naming no names (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:08:39 PM EST
    because there have been several, there's been an absolutely mindboggling display of "chattering" going on in these threads over the last few days.  "No, I didn't," "Did so, too!," "No, I never!," "Yes, you did, nyah-nyah-nyah, nyah!"

    My skimming skills have gotten quite a workout. :-(


    Oh, *there* you are! (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:05:52 PM EST
    Man, I was sure wishing you were around when we were arguing about how a Speaker goes about counting votes. Sheesh.  What a time for you go go AWOL.

    I would guess "the Captain" (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:37:52 PM EST
    Capt Howdy.  I could be wrong though.  I'm certainly not going to try to count all his posts.

    Will these suits be settled quickly? (none / 0) (#14)
    by observed on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 08:43:57 PM EST
    That's the first question.
    Second, if they are not settled quickly, will the HCR bill still go into effect?
    What is the likelihood a federal judge will issue an injunction against the bill or some part of it?
    Given the number of Bush appointees, I'd think there is a non-zero possibility.

    I'm no legal scholar (none / 0) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:00:40 PM EST
    but every legal type I've heard discuss this, including Fox's own Andrew Napolitano, says the suits will be summarily tossed, and quickly, because the states do not have legal standing to object to the individual mandate.

    If that's right, it seems most likely to me that these guys are doing it as a grand-standing play to the voters in anticipation of running for governor or senator in the not too distant future.


    What's wrong with Ten (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by observed on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:02:55 PM EST
    Commandments lawsuits? Is the Bible out of fashion? Have they begun to take the name of the lord in vain in the formerly godly regions of the country?
    I think I need a beer and a prayer.

    Heh (none / 0) (#84)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:22:51 PM EST
    Well, I'm sure they'll find something.  But it does occur to me that maybe some of the more controversial parts of the program not going into effect until 2018, etc., could have the benefit of leaving time for the inevitable court cases to be resolved before then.

    I dunno.  As I say, my legal expertise is pretty near to zippo.  I can only repeat what I hear/read more knowledgeable people say.


    iPad (none / 0) (#56)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 10:22:04 PM EST
    But don't call it a netbook, a category Jobs went out of his way to trash as a crummy compromise. The iPad is the first embodiment of an entirely new category, one that Jobs hopes will write the obituary for the computing paradigm that Apple itself helped develop. If Jobs has his way, before long we may be using our laptops primarily as base stations for syncing our iPads.

    The fact is, the way we use computers is outmoded.

    I'll probably get one.

    I'm going to put one on my wish list (none / 0) (#80)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:16:23 PM EST
    and hope someone buys it for me. I stopped by the Apple store yesterday but they don't have any to show and won't before they launch April 3.

    LAT politics blog on whether Daschle's (none / 0) (#72)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:07:47 PM EST
    departure impacted Obama administration's effectiveness in passing HCR.  Not the content--the machinations.  LAT

    Interesting (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 11:32:30 PM EST
    I sure don't buy the idea that it was Daschle's absence that caused the White House to let Congress have control of the construction of the bill.  That was clearly a deliberate choice, and one I would think Daschle would have been wholly in favor of.

    The other point in the post is whether Daschle would have made a major difference in PR for the bill.  While there's no question Sebelius was no help at all, nor was Nancy-Anne DeParle or Linda Douglass, both of whom have been essentially AWOL during the whole thing, I honestly don't remember Daschle during his time as leader being that all-fired impressive a public advocate for Dem. ideas.  He was pleasant and non-abrasive, which was nice, but I remember thinking at the time that he was entirely ineffective as a spokesman/advocate.

    And then there's the issue of how he might have affected the policy choices themselves... yech.

    I suppose he might possibly have provided a counterweight to Rahmbo inside the White House, which might have made their messaging a little less incoherent, but who knows.


    I think the point the people interviewed (none / 0) (#88)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:15:22 AM EST
    were making is that he got along with his colleagues in Congress.  PPUS.  

    I just watched DVRd (none / 0) (#104)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 06:30:52 AM EST
    United States of Tara and Nurse Jackie.  Both series are fun.

    I'm watching 'The Lucky Ones' (none / 0) (#105)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 06:38:28 AM EST
    while I can get it in with Joshua asleep.  What a way to start the day today.  I liked the bar scene though and how ready to fight and protect each other that the soldiers immediately were.  I would say it was very accurate how they first come home.  When I leave with Joshua for surgery and we fly, we usually hit Atlanta at the same time that all the soldiers first arrive stateside and break up onto separate flights home.  You can feel that protective energy coming off them immediately when you stand next to them grouped together on the trains.

    I forgot Nurse Jackie was starting (none / 0) (#108)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 07:56:13 AM EST
    again, so I also forgot to DVR it; ended up watching it at midnight, but then fell asleep right after Eddie ended up in the bar having beers served by Jackie's husband.

    I am so hooked on Damages this season, I can't stand it...there's been a lot of "Six months earlier" and "two months later" kinds of scenes, and I usually end up watching it again from 11:00 - 12:00 so I can pick up on the clues I missed the first time around...


    Into the fire (none / 0) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:55:37 AM EST
    I hate this part the most.  My husband is now out processing, and he will do it quickly as far as turning combat gear in, not raising your hand along with everyone else when they ask a group if anyone is having problems with anything they experienced (huge joke in my book because they all come back different).  Either you can adjust or you can't, but they've all been in fight or flight mode 24/7 day after day after day.  Mine comes home with long laundry lists of things that he needs to do because they went undone in his absence.  He'll do great for about 30 days until he begins to appear manic compared to the rest of us and has run out of list.  Then there will be the meltdown that always comes for everyone when they have endured extreme stress.  I think this is the last go around I have in me with this stuff.  I could do this one more time when Obama got elected, one more time for our new President and the problems he has to deal with.  I don't think anybody has it in them to go into this fire more than a few times, and some will be broken forever just doing that.  The name of the game now is can you adjust to not living in a war zone and how fast can you do that.  He was debriefed in Qatar though, not Europe....not any warm fuzzy reassurances there for liberal Tracy.  I know who those people are and I know what they do.  I always sort of did know who he was working for.  Didn't mean to know too much, what I knew was bad enough, but walked in accidentally when he was reading some of his stuff before he deployed....letterheadings and such things.  All I can say is you guys have better not sent him home broken now or I'll have your arses in hand!