Wednesday Open Thread

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    before I fell asleep, which was primarily about a Christian Missionary who tried to convert an Amazon tribe, but they ended up converting him to atheism.

    But to me, the really interesting thing was the tribe itself - among other things they had no numbers/did not count, and had no verb tenses (past/future) because they lived only in the present.

    For example, I think they had a way of saying "a fish hook" but multiple hooks was "a few" or "a lot." Each family often had a whole bunch of kids, no one ever thought or said "I have 6 kids." Counting was a completely foreign concept to them.

    And no verb tenses. No "I will fish tomorrow." or "I found some great fruit yesterday."

    They lived their lives without ever making any plans, or thinking ahead.

    Granted, they're in the Amazon, so it's not like they had to plan ahead to stock up food for winter or anything.

    They just wake up and find food when they were hungry, chat with others, mess around with their kids, and pretty soon it was dark and they were tired so they went to sleep.

    And did the same thing the next day.

    Maybe the lack of needing to plan ahead is part of why they never found or learned the concept of counting?

    Anyway, truly fascinating.

    Do You Remember the Name (none / 0) (#3)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 02:11:43 PM EST
    They do have the annual flood that comes from melting snow in the Andes, not sure how that effects the Amazon beyond flooding, but it also shrink during the dry season which makes the normally docile piranhas into the movie like maniacs that will eat anything.  Same with most of the other river species when resources become low.


    Every year, over 250,000 km2 of Amazon floodplain forests are covered by water that overflows from rivers.

    This annual phenomenon forms the most extensive system of riverine flooded forests on Earth - a drastic revolution in the landscape that is vital for the efficient functioning of the Amazon River Basin.

    That is about the size of Wyoming.

    Anyways, as an accountant the concept of not counting is so insane, I can't even wrap my head around it.  I would really like to check out how people do it and how something that seems almost instinctual, isn't.


    It was the Piraha tribe, not sure about the (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 03:23:03 PM EST
    flooding, that is a good question. You'd think if they dealt with/depended on a yearly event, that they'd have figured out how to forecast it every year. You know, by counting moons or something.

    I think the guy tried to teach them how to count, because he was concerned that they were being cheated in trading with other tribes, but it was so foreign to them that after a number of months of trying they literally count not count to 10 or add 1 + 1 so he gave it up.


    Very fascinating... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 05:45:58 PM EST
    as well is the lack of a social hierarchy that is pretty common among hunter-gatherer societies.  The thought of one person having any authority over another is a totally foreign concept.

    Wild...O.G. Anarchists, if you will.  


    Since it's 5:00 (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by jbindc on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:01:48 PM EST
    (at least where I am), I am taking a little break from serious stuff (like work) and just cruising around the 'net.

    I was looking up information on this weekend's Marine Corps Marathon as the runners literally (used in the correct way) run in front of my apartment (we are almost at mile 3, so the runners are still fairly fresh and energetic).  We have gone out at 7:30 am the last three years and stood on the median to cheer people on.  It's great fun, and many people dress up for the occasion, there's a guy who juggles the entire 26 miles, one guy ran in a tux and barefoot last year, etc.  The folks who start the race are the wheelchair racers, which are so inspiring, and the folks who bring up the rear are amazing.  Everyone stays to cheer those who are the last to pass by (and it takes a while for 30,000 racers to run by, and it really gives me a kick in the pants to see people in worse shape than I am running a marathon.

    So, as I was looking on the official Marine Corps Marathon website, I pulled up a map of the route. Is there something that someone should have noticed about this map before posting it?  (For the record, I called over several co-workers, did not say anything, and they all burst out laughing as soon as they saw it).

    Or is it just me?  :)

    "Sometimes (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:14:39 PM EST
    a cigar is just a cigar."   Sigmund Freud

    That's pretty funny... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:26:54 PM EST
    I'm having a little giggle imagining someone saying, "look for me - I'll meet you at that restaurant right across from the part of the route that looks like a pen!s..."

    But that's because I sometimes have an inappropriate sense of humor...

    Your plan for the day still sounds like a lot of fun, and the people running have got to appreciate being cheered on.


    Looks like some stiff competition. (5.00 / 7) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:28:59 PM EST
    Ba-dum dum! (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:33:21 PM EST
    The Few. The Proud. The Marines. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 05:44:17 PM EST
    Where looking for a few good men is an obsession.

    Every Friday... (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:22:20 AM EST
    ...I got an email with a 'Fail' Gallery.



    Being a Texan... (none / 0) (#156)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:32:53 AM EST
    That is more truth than fail.  We have Ted Cruz after all.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#6)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:06:52 PM EST
    "Get you mind out of the gutter." (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:20:45 PM EST
    those are some oddballs, tho (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 05:19:01 PM EST
    like plantains.

    Ha - I've worked with enough Marines (none / 0) (#41)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:38:07 PM EST
    to believe that is no accident.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#45)
    by vml68 on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 10:01:23 PM EST
    I was shopping at an ethnic grocery store last week and came across some "C0ck soup". Made me giggle like a school girl!

    I saw that in my store the other day! (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:27:09 AM EST
    Was tempted to buy one just for the entertainment value, or as a possible gag gift the next time I needed one.

    Well, I still giggle every time ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 10:29:27 PM EST
    ... I see the 1963 James Bond film "Goldfinger," with its femme fatale Pussy Galore.

    Dame Judi Dench's M would never have put with that for a nanosecond.


    A few good men? n/t (none / 0) (#64)
    by caseyOR on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 09:30:45 AM EST
    A Texas Republican has finally had enough. (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 05:35:01 PM EST
    San Antonio Judge Carlos Key has announced his intent to seek re-election to his post in Bexar County Court of Law 11 -- only this time, he's running as a Democrat:

    "I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office, rather than disqualifies them. [...] That is why I am announcing that I am now running for re-election as a Democratic candidate for County Court of Law 11 in the 2014 elections. My principles have led me to the Democratic Party. I can only hope that more people of principle will follow me."

    Good for him. I hope so, too.

    The subject of his disgust... (none / 0) (#68)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:15:15 AM EST
    is Elisa Chan.  The woman is vile.  And now planning to run for TX Senate after resigning from City Counsel.


    If ever a woman deserved some name-calling, it is Elisa.  Moved right into the "C U Next Tuesday" club.


    Think of the children's cavities... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 06:36:14 PM EST
    27 hours cage time for peppermints...Detained 24 hours for Jolly Ranchers.

    Bloomberg and his mercs ain't f*cking around with this sugar crusade! No settlement is too large a price to pay to combat this menace.

    That is just (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:20:29 AM EST
    .....just.....too stupid for words.  And it's the taxpayers of New York who get to pay the court settlements, of course.
    Ridiculous.  Something needs to be done to rein in the NYC police.  Although, I guess it's fortunate that they didn't also taser or shoot these guys.  {sigh}

    The tasers come out... (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 12:35:36 PM EST
    when you're in possession of candy and a 20 oz soda;)

    Can't wait till Bloomy/Kelly are f8ckin' out...I just hope de Blasio/Bratton can change the police culture a little bit, but I'm probably pipe-dreaming.  The good bad old days when you could buy candy and/or drugs in peace are never coming back...ploice state is here to stay, most we can hope for is a kinder gentler police state.


    RIP, Noel Harrison (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Dadler on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 07:14:05 PM EST
    R.I.P. Mark Slate... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by unitron on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 08:54:03 PM EST
    ...sidekick of April Dancer.

    Most of my childhood is gone, now they're working on my adolescence.


    Was thinking the same thing... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:45:18 PM EST
    How could Rex Harrison's son have been 79? Sigh.

    Here's a photo of Noel and Carey as kids (none / 0) (#82)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:31:25 AM EST
    Carey shared this yesterday, don't think he'd mind spreading the love for his big bro.

    On the roof of their dad's villa in Portofino, Italy. Noel is on the left strumming his guitar. (link)


    Photo's from the very late 1940s (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:33:09 AM EST
    Or the early 1950s. Quite the gem either way.

    He sang "The Windmills of Your Mind," (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:29:00 PM EST
    the theme song for the original The Thomas Crown Affair. I've always liked that song, one of the better lyrics ever written, never knew until now who'd sung it.

    Harrison's fan site.


    My dad loved the movie (none / 0) (#85)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:40:31 AM EST
    And I remember being oddly captivated by that song. Thanks for the link, brings back 40+ year old memories. And good ones. Which, for this kid, are rare indeed. Peace.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 166 (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:09:28 AM EST
    He's on his third wife, and his fourth shrink. (link)

    Volume 165

    Volume 164

    Couldn't get my son to stop doing his math homework last night. He said he was having too much fun with it. He's a great student, and is in the highest level math class in his middle school (a high school-level Geometry class), but still...having fun with his math homework??? How long can this luck last?

    Have a lovely Thursday, my friends.

    Neither of my daughters were wired for (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:42:23 AM EST
    math, so math homework at our house was never fun...

    Math skills came to me kind of late - I had a Geometry teacher in high school who told me and my parents I should never be allowed to take another math class.  Algebra and Trig were never really a problem for me, so I think I just had a bad geometry teacher.

    Was talking to a co-worker, though, about how they are teaching math now - Common Core, baby! - and it just makes no sense at all.  An indication of how ridiculous it is?  Pinterest has a "Teaching Common Core Math" board with links to a bazillion ways to help your kid learn this way.

    With CC, it's not enough to know that 7 x 9 is 63 - kids have to explain why, draw pictures that illustrate it, and so on.  So, kids who know what we used to call "math facts" are being stymied by having to get to the answers this way.

    It's an abomination, as near as I can tell.


    I remembering doing... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:08:43 AM EST
    that (wrong) with a slide rule.  I got grandfathered in college because we only had to have Related Math to graduate High school.  I can't get through Algebra...but I think I paid for a wing trying to do it!  Took it 6 or 7 times.  After 8 weeks I was done.  There is no humor in math.  8-)

    No humor in math (none / 0) (#73)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:37:31 AM EST
    As a man married to a woman with a degree in applied mathematics, I can assure you that you are correct.

    This is a comment subject to several (none / 0) (#100)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 01:39:48 PM EST

    I lived with a Civil Engineer... (none / 0) (#190)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 11:06:05 PM EST
    back in the day.  I had to get him sloshed for merry times!  He was freaking funny.  And a lightweight.  Feared killing a brain cell.

    Those who can, ..., those who can't ..., (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 11:51:13 AM EST
    and those who are entirely useless at any useful human endeavor, make education (and government) policy.

    Yep, and the even sadder part... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 09:03:41 AM EST
    ...CC is, by itself, "better" than what came before, but it's still like choosing between being punched in the nose or the jaw. And we're lucky, his teacher is old school and just teaches in her time-tested manner. High expectations, but very fair and accommodating.

    I still can't figure out why we just can't have a world-class school in every neighborhood. Is this REALLY that hard to sell to the mass of the country who desperately want their children to have the best education possible? I don't think so. Again, a complete lack of imagination. And, of course, a healthy dose of good ol' American corruption.


    The old joke was (none / 0) (#63)
    by ragebot on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 09:04:56 AM EST
    I am against sex education because public schools have taken intrinsically interesting subjects like poetry and mathematics and made children hate them.  If public schools did the same thing to sex education we would be in big trouble.

    My undergrad degree was in mathematics.  I am sure some of the TL readers remember the movie "A Beautiful Mind".  Lots of folks who were math majors were in love with the discipline, I know I was.  But sad to say I also had a poor algebra teacher in the ninth grade so I understand  your point.

    Maybe not on topic about common core but to me the real issue is how to eliminate bad teachers.  Not just bad math teachers, but all bad teachers; even the bad sex education teachers.


    Bad teachers (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:36:15 AM EST
    I would suggest that, while inferior teachers exist in higher numbers than anyone would like, we are a society that places the value of money well above that of its human citizens. In supposedly the greatest nation on earth, there is no excuse -- not bad teachers, not money, nothing -- for not having a world class school in every neighborhood in this nation. But we're stupid, so it won't happen right now. We'd rather auction public education to the lowest metaphorical bidder.

    Well... (none / 0) (#79)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:14:31 AM EST
    ...they already teach it and people seem to love sex a whole lot, especially teenagers, doubt any 'bad' teachers are going to effect that.

    Honestly one of my most memorable teaching moments was the football coach, who was also the Health teacher, telling us about one of his star athletes.

    This kid apparently got so excited he went off before penetration, then of course got the girl pregnant.  And we got the 10 mins version of how that derailed the promising athlete.  Looking back I am sure the story was BS, but to this day I never have a leading up to sex moment without that story entering my head.  It might be luck or chance, but I have never had a close call because that damn coach's story was so engrained into my head.

    But overall that guy was not a good teacher, or rather I don't remember anything else about that class or that teacher.  Which isn't true of some of the more remarkable ones.  But I bet if you asked him and others if there was one thing to take away from that class it would be exactly what I took away.


    It Won't End, IMO (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:56:37 AM EST
    I love math, always have, it's how my brain is wired, and even in college I took hard math and did really well.  I used to look forward to homework because it was more like a puzzle/brainteaser with an end game, the correct answer.

    Plus of course math is the language of the cosmos, what is true here on Earth, is true throughout the the known universe.

    Now English, man oh man, I have struggled with it since I can remember and still do, I absolutely hate it.  And unlike math, what is true here in say Texas, isn't even in the same realm as what is true to 300 miles south in Mexico.

    I don't think people who get math have the ability to stop understanding it even if they wanted to and everyone likes doing what they good at.


    Don't get me started on English (none / 0) (#87)
    by ragebot on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:42:09 AM EST
    I was a student at University of South Florida when he was there and we had a class together



    Cop who viciously pepper-sprayed... (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:54:51 AM EST
    ...unarmed protesters sitting-in at UC Davis was, wait for it, AWARDED almost forty grand in workers comp money because of stress and anxiety from threats received after the incident. I believe this is about ten grand MORE than any of the victims of his assault received. What a country. Not only can you not protest passionately in this nation without fear of violent reprisal from police, but if you get injured unjustly your attacker could easily get more compensation than you do for the attack. While I don't condone threats of threatening gestures, by this logic if he'd killed one of those kids, then he would've received more and worse threats, and therefore would've been in lie for even HIGHER compensation.

    Philip Zimbardo's prison experiment (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:49:03 AM EST
    results verified again.

    This is NOT from The Onion (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:13:43 AM EST
    A friend of mine saw a woman (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by nycstray on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:41:51 AM EST
    out walking her pet chicken on leash recently . . . :)

    LOL! (none / 0) (#90)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 12:19:52 PM EST
    I love it!
    But having solved the problem of urban chickens crossing the road at night, has the company provided an answer yet for why the chickens crossed the road?

    Duh (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 12:33:40 PM EST
    To get to the other side of the road, naturally.

    They heard there was a great party over there.  :)


    There are many reasons (5.00 / 4) (#94)
    by Edger on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 01:03:13 PM EST
    Bill Gates: I have just released the new Chicken 2000, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Of course, you will have to purchase Microsoft Road.

    Gilligan: The traffic started getting rough; the chicken had to cross. If not for the plumage of its peerless tail, the chicken would be lost. The chicken would be lost!

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

    Stephen Jay Gould: It is possible that there is a sociobiological explanation for it, but we have been deluged in recent years with sociobiological stories despite the fact that we have little direct evidence about the genetics of behavior, and we do not know how to obtain it for the specific behaviors that figure most prominently in sociobiological speculation.

    Grandpa: In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

    H. R. Haldeman: I can't recall.

    Thomas Hardy: Some blessed hope, whereof it knew, and I was unaware.

    Werner Heisenberg: We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.
     Martin Luther King: It had a dream.

    Martin Luther King: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

    James Tiberius Kirk: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

    Who knew someone would put this much effort into answering the question, eh?

    Personally, I think either Grandpa or H.R. Haldeman may have nailed it? But James Clapper may have a better answer: "Something was bugging it?" ;-)


    Although, on reflection, (5.00 / 4) (#102)
    by Edger on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 01:49:20 PM EST
    if you asked obama why the chicken crossed the road, he might say might say that he was fulfilling a bipartisan urge, and that he was chicken of everybody?



    A thought for the day (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Edger on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 12:17:59 PM EST
    from Doris Day...
    The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that you'll grow out of it.
    ^ ^

    Black Thanksgiving Night? (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:15:26 PM EST
    This is getting beyond ridiculous...NJ mall directs all shopkeepers to be open at 8pm on Thanksgiving, and stay open for 26 hours straight.

    I don't know who is worse...Simon Malls or the Real Housewives of NJ who run from the Thanksgiving table to go shopping at Bath & Body Works.  Symptoms of a diseased culture.

    This already screwed up out Thanksgiving... (none / 0) (#107)
    by magster on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:21:29 PM EST
    plans. We are having TG meal in Cincinnati on Sunday before TG because my sister in law's family is going to the mall on TG evening.

    We are traveling to see them, and we don't get TG day with them because of this.


    My sympathies... (none / 0) (#110)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:44:35 PM EST
    my moms & sister do the normal Black Friday thing, and I bust their chops for that "traditional" crass consumerism...they ever try to pull a stunt like your sister-in-laws clan I'm disowning the lot of 'em.

    The problem is..... (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by magster on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:53:15 PM EST
    Black TG is when the best deals are, and my sister in law's family is paycheck to paycheck. They are very savvy consumers frankly and when they can get laptops for 75% off for their kids, who am I to judge.

    I just freaking hate it and a wonderful family holiday and its traditions are in jeopardy.


    Well, my sympathies to you (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 05:16:34 PM EST
    You might suggest to your SIL's family that they check out "Cyber Monday," the Monday after Thanksgiving, if they are computer savvy.  A whole lot of online stores participate in this.  The Zorba kids have gotten some really good deals on Cyber Monday.
    I would no more go to a mall on Black Friday or the evening of Thanksgiving than I would rip out a tooth with a pair of pliers and no pain killers.  But that's just me.     ;-)

    So I hear... (none / 0) (#114)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 03:11:57 PM EST
    that's when the deals are...I'm hardly rolling it, but no sale is worth that mess imo.  

    That's another thing...the pressure, real or imagined, the holidays put people of modest means under to give their kids all they are programmed to want.  The spirit of the season is so polluted.

    I remember when my old man refused to buy us a Nintendo for Christmas, making us pariahs amongst the kids in the neighborhood.  He said it was because it would rot our brains and keep us pent up in the house when we should be outside playing, but I'm sure cashish was part of it too...oh how I despised him for it then, and oh I love him all the more for it now.  He was so right...last thing we all need young and old is another screen to stare at instead of spending quality time with each other.


    Rockaway Mall? That's out in the boonies! (none / 0) (#117)
    by vml68 on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 04:18:24 PM EST
    If they want business, they should try a mall in a more densely populated part of NJ.

    I have yet to partake in Black Friday shopping thanks to my dislike of crowds and shopping. Every time I see the crowds on TV, I give thanks that I am nowhere near it!

    He said it was because it would rot our brains and keep us pent up in the house when we should be outside playing, but I'm sure cashish was part of it too...oh how I despised him for it then, and oh I love him all the more for it now.

    Your father was a wise man!


    One year (none / 0) (#115)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 03:42:53 PM EST
    a local mall decided to stay open until midnight on Christmas Eve.  People were there shopping, but there was so much outrage, they only did it for the one year.

    (And as a former Kmart assistant manager, I can tell you that just because the store closes at say 9 pm [as we did on Thanksgiving night - even 20 years ago], that doesn't mean we got to leave at 9 pm. There were still customers in the store, things had to be straightened up, and we had to make sure all the Black Friday ad signs were up.  I usually got out of there around 10 pm.  The fun part was having to be at work again at 4:30 a.m. the next day because the store opened at 5 am on BF.)

    You know what I do on Black Friday?  Eat, visit with folks, and watch a LOT of college football.  :)


    Reminds me of a story..... (none / 0) (#146)
    by robert72 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:33:04 AM EST
    My kids were brought up in northern BC, where stores were few so these sales non-existent. After I retired I moved to a southern medium sized city, and my son, who had a good job in the north still, came down to visit me for Christmas. We went to a relative's home for dinner on Christmas night, and on the way back to my house he saw people sitting on the sidewalk and went into a long dialogue about the poor homeless people on Christmas, and why wasn't something done about it until I broke into laughter. Of course, Canada has 'Boxing Day' sales the day after Christmas, and these people wanted to be first in line.

    Christmas decor in stores too 2 wks ago (none / 0) (#132)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 07:36:52 PM EST
    Christmas lights in the (none / 0) (#133)
    by sj on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 07:37:55 PM EST
    neighborhood, too.

    Too early to be up on the house (none / 0) (#149)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 06:33:13 AM EST
    (unless they are not lit, but rather put up just to do it when it's nice out)

    But, the stores get their Christmas merchandise starting in August (at Kmart, we got the Christmas trees at the end of July!).  Can't keep all that stuff in the store room or receiving for long, as it gets very crowded, so it has to go to the sales floor.

    I was a "Softlines" Manager (if you've ever been in Kmart, "Softlines" includes all the clothes in all departments, infant furniture, formula, etc., jewelry, and "domestics" (towels, rugs, curtains, etc.).  I would get Valentine's Day lingerie in right after Halloween!  So I can tell you that it went out on the floor the day after Christmas


    I plan on staying home (none / 0) (#137)
    by rdandrea on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 07:45:35 PM EST
    Call it self discipline.

    Aasif: You know that we can hear you, right? (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by magster on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:03:40 PM EST
    Jon Stewart correspondent's interview with racist election official gets official to resign his position...

    I saw it last night and couldn't believe my ears. If you haven't seen it, go to comedy central's website.

    Zorba, MO Blue, so sorry about the Cards. (1.00 / 1) (#66)
    by caseyOR on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 09:39:33 AM EST

    And I am sending you (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:12:04 AM EST
    a Bronx cheer.  Thphthph.
    No food for you when the Pirate Ship puts into port!

    Speaking of food... (none / 0) (#119)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 05:35:26 PM EST
    I'm eating some Trader Joe's Tzatziki dip after finding it at the new store up in Miami.  Delicious, thanx Zorba.  Trader Joe's has 360 stores in 30 states..  They got mobbed at the opening and were lined up around the block to go into a grocery store.  Good place, inexpensive and oh so hip.  

    I bet it's not (none / 0) (#122)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:00:23 PM EST
    as good as mine.  Not to brag, but.....    ;-)
    However, I'm glad that you have a Trader Joe's.  They have some really great stuff, and I like them a whole lot.
    PS  Tzatziki is not all that hard to make.  Let me know if you want a recipe.  Mine is not totally "traditional," but if I do say so myself (and as plenty of other people have told me), it's pretty d@mned good.

    Zorba I would love your recipe (none / 0) (#128)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:40:18 PM EST
    for tzatziki...thanx.  I just put my email info in fish camp preferences.  The sliced cukes look easy enough but I'm not sure how to handle the garlic.  That Trader Joe's is about 70 miles from me but I'll go there and to a Middle Eastern restaurant and grocery combo I found whenever I have to go up to the big evil Miami.

    big evil Miami. (none / 0) (#129)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:51:08 PM EST

    Sorry CG and your neck of the woods (none / 0) (#130)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:59:24 PM EST
    is lovely but I get nervous when semi lost around all those people.  We're just simple fisher folk down here.

    A few of us (none / 0) (#139)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:16:31 PM EST
    were considering leaving the evil city and running the small 13.1 Key Largo Bridge Run in a couple weeks but opted for the much bigger Ft Lauderdale Allstate half marathon the day after instead.

    Don't try to drive to Trader Joe's the morning of November 8.


    Check your email, fishcamp (none / 0) (#136)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 07:44:47 PM EST
    Recipe is sent.    ;-)

    Hmm....... (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 09:57:24 PM EST
    I'm having a hard time remembering when the last time the Cubs were in the World Series......How many years has it been?

    I just love it when the Cub fans root against the Cards...they always do sooooooo much better. Keep up the good work.



    St. Louis bounces back! (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:25:18 PM EST
    It was 1945. (none / 0) (#147)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 02:23:19 AM EST
    The Cubs lost to the Detroit Tigers in seven games. Because wartime restrictions on travel were still in place, the series used a 3-4 format rather than the traditional 2-3-2, with the first three games in Detroit. The Cubs won two in Motown to return to Chicago with a 2-1 advantage, only to drop three of four in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

    I was 7 years old and don't remember that... (none / 0) (#152)
    by fishcamp on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:11:57 AM EST
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 165 (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 01:05:37 PM EST

    Feliz humpday, mi amigas y amigos.

    The new Apple OSX Mavericks (none / 0) (#8)
    by fishcamp on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:16:29 PM EST
    that came out yesterday takes hours to download so I suggest you do it at night...all night.  It went fast on my solid state laptop but way longer on my iMac.  There's also an update for the new iPhone update that came out last week.  The torture never stops.

    I updated yesterday. Now WWF won't stay still. (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:21:59 PM EST
    No sympathy... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 05:54:56 PM EST
    from the quasi-luddite...y'all torture yourselves;)

    "The things you own end up owning you."

    - Chuck Palahniuk


    How is it? (none / 0) (#27)
    by nycstray on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 06:47:32 PM EST
    The free thingy makes me want to DL, but I usually wait on new a new OS until the bugs have been worked out . . .

    Spoke to an Apple store guy (none / 0) (#151)
    by fishcamp on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:10:06 AM EST
    yesterday on my Miami spree and he said the Apple website got slammed because of the free thingie.  Said they had to stay at the store until 2:00 am to update all their store computers.  New OS's usually have a patch fix update a week or so later after the geek world lets them know about problems.  Lots of other updates were available yesterday too.  iMovie, iPhoto, Pages, and more took all night again to DL.  Now that I'm up to date again I'm going fishing. Strange about the compulsion to keep updating whether you need that app or not.

    I have it DL and ready to go (none / 0) (#164)
    by nycstray on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:16:54 PM EST
    I think I'll spend Sunday doing football and computer updating :) Thanks for the heads up on the others, I'll do those also, so start DL tonight.

    I did it over night (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:36:38 PM EST
    Now I'm updating a bunch of apps that needed it. That takes a while too. The desktop Maps app is nice. Played with it just a little. And I like having iBooks on the desktop too. Not sure I will read this way much, but for occasional reading and organizing I will like it. I can see it would be great for students and textbooks - having the book open as you write a paper...if they still do that in school....

    I don't understand how to use the AirDrop in the finder...will have to look that up.


    Before someone says it... (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:41:05 PM EST
    I am pretty sure the Kindle already had a desktop app for a while now.

    Found out AirDrop does not let you drop (none / 0) (#44)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:58:58 PM EST
    to your mobile device, just to another Mac. Supposedly because of privacy concerns because of privacy risks. OK, guess I will not be using that feature....

    Will the individual mandate be delayed? (none / 0) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:20:44 PM EST
    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is working on legislation to effectively delay Obamacare's individual mandate for one year, his office told TPM on Wednesday. link

    I have decided (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 01:40:29 PM EST
    NOT to purchase a plan on the Exchange.  The Exchange plans have too thin of networks, so they don't really insure against true catastrophe.  I'm staying with my current plan which is outside of the Exchange, but where my insurance company has confirmed that they don't plan on reducing the coverage network soon.  This means I'm not subsidy eligible, but I don't have to deal with subsidy hell either.  

    I wonder how many others will come to this realization and do what I'm doing.  

    Either way, I believe the Exchange plans are going to ultimately fail.  If you take a true, unbiased look at them, they are about a step above Medicaid (because the doctor networks only include half the providers of traditional plans).  It's hard for me to believe that people will pay for that.  Instead they'll elect officials who are in favor of repeal.


    Be careful (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:10:33 PM EST
    what you wish for because if it fails on it's own we more likely will have a chance at single payer. If it is repealed, we are going to go back to the failed system we had before which is going to fail also but might take a lot longer to get to single payer.

    I think I'm with you, Teresa (none / 0) (#108)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:25:56 PM EST
    CareFirst Blue Cross told me that I could actually keep my existing plan (even though not compliant with the ACA) for another whole year before I absolutely had to purchase a new plan.  I think I will do this - I know the plan, my doctors take it, they haven't told me my rate will increase, and who knows?  Maybe in a year I will have a permanent job that offers insurance.

    This is probably the best move for me to see how all of this mess works out.


    Maybe so (none / 0) (#15)
    by ragebot on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:46:56 PM EST
    There are a few blurbs on the internet about this.  Claim is that the Democrat senators up for reelection will all support a delay.

    Jeanne Shaheen (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:57:06 PM EST
    Has asked for it too.

    In an open letter to President Obama, Shaheen says because of the problems affecting HealthCare.gov, the administration should push back the deadline and lift the penalty for those who are uninsured. The law currently stipulates that enrollment in the Obamacare insurance exchanges ends March 31, 2014, and that those who are uninsured after that point will be fined by the Internal Revenue Service.

    "As website glitches persist, we are losing valuable time to educate and enroll people in insurance plans," writes Shaheen. "I also fear that people that have tried, and failed, to enroll online may become frustrated and not return to the website to try again at a later date. ... Allowing extra time for consumers is critically important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with the website, survey their options and enroll."

    "If an individual is unable to purchase health insurance due to technical problems with enrollment, they should not be penalized because of lack of coverage."

    I don't see how any of it works without (none / 0) (#19)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 05:32:59 PM EST
    the mandate - the only people who will sign up are the people the insurance companies don't want - the sickest, most medically-complex patients; without an influx of young, healthy people, the whole thing fails.

    NBC News reporting that the president will impose the delay - up to 6 weeks.

    Details still developing.


    A short delay is for the best. (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 05:38:21 PM EST
    And I agree that this program won't work without the mandate.

    It'll still work.... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 06:47:59 PM EST
    for the insurance companies...and that's what matters.  Just raise the rates to cover the cost of the good stuff in the ACA (pre-existing conditions, kids till 26, etc.) and it's like reform never happened.  Gravy train keep on rollin'.

    As for the rest of us, the "affordable" in ACA is under no deadline to take effect...maybe next year (lol).  It's not like free market principles are in play here...no promises the rates go down if and when young adults can log on, that's just another theory yet to be proved.  Oxford/Aetna/Blue Cross ain't running no charity.


    lol, as long as they get their vig, 30% or so (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:35:19 PM EST
    off the top.  The Health protection racket.  No need for baseball bats or artillery.  Cash is all they need to keep Congress in line.

    Yes (none / 0) (#59)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:50:56 AM EST
    Americans will have an extra six weeks to buy health coverage before facing penalty.

    The Obama administration said Wednesday night that it will give Americans who buy health insurance through the new online marketplaces an extra six weeks to obtain coverage before they incur a penalty.

    The announcement means that those who buy coverage through the exchange will have until March 31 to sign up for a plan, according to an official with the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Administration officials said that the rejiggered deadline is unrelated to the many technical problems that have emerged with the Web site, HealthCare.gov, in its first three weeks. Instead, they said, it is designed to clear up a timing confusion about the 2010 law, which for the first time requires most Americans to buy health coverage or face a penalty.

    Under the law, health plans available through the new federal or state marketplaces will start Jan. 1, but the open enrollment period runs through the end of March. The law also says that people will be fined only if they do not have coverage for three months in a row. The question has been this: Do people need to be covered by March 31, or merely to have signed up by then, given that insurance policies have a brief lag before they take effect?

    The administration made clear Wednesday night that people who buy coverage at any point during the open enrollment period will not pay a penalty.

    Again we have Obama (none / 0) (#167)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:10:55 PM EST
    changing a law without Congress.

    Are we a Banana Republic or not??


    LOL (5.00 / 3) (#169)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:23:15 PM EST
    Giving people an extra six weeks to sign up for the exchanges makes us a banana republic.

    Oh, the inhumanity of it all!


    Yeah... (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 02:29:58 PM EST
    ...pretty sure a couple of lunatics you support shut down the government to try and accomplish the exact same thing.

    It doesn't get any more banana republic than throwing a tantrum and shutting down the government over legally passed legislation that was validated by the SCOTUS.

    But damn Jim, seriously, you need to take some pills or something, sane people understand that extending a grace period does not a banana republic make, not even close.


    Michael Skakel gets new trial (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 05:06:25 PM EST
    based on incompetency of counsel:  link

    I certainly don't remember (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by NYShooter on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 06:27:53 PM EST
    the details, but, I was living near Hartford at the time and I followed the trial somewhat. I remember thinking there was more than enough reasonable doubt for an acquittal, although I felt an out-in-out "not guilty" verdict would have been more appropriate.

    The other thing that bugged me was them trying him as an adult although he was just 15 at the time the crime took place.

    And, I'm not being cute when I say that the best evidence the prosecutors had was Skakel's chubby face and pot belly. If he had looked like a Kennedy he wouldn't have even been indicted, IMO, of course.


    Well there was that quintessential (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 07:35:31 PM EST
    Kennedy (Smith?) tried for rape in FL.  

    The only similarity (none / 0) (#35)
    by NYShooter on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:08:01 PM EST
    between the two cases was that the two defendants were related to the Kennedy family.

    Mickey Sherman is certainly not (none / 0) (#34)
    by Peter G on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:07:30 PM EST
    "incompetent," but even a fine lawyer can render "ineffective assistance of counsel" from time to time, which is what the judge found.  And that (not "incompetence") is the constitutional standard.  Hubie Santos, by the way, who won this motion for Skakel, was already one of very best lawyers in Connecticut when I was a young public defender there in 1976.  Great to see him still winning tough cases over 30 years later.

    Once again, Peter, I lean (none / 0) (#40)
    by NYShooter on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:37:33 PM EST
    on you for your interpretation of why the original judge agreed to try Skakel as an adult?
    My thinking at the time was that that ruling virtually clinched the verdict for the prosecution. The prejudicial effect of the prosecution having a full grown, not so attractive adult man in front of them, to try a case of the brutal murder of a lovely young girl, instead of a 15 year old peer, also a child, who may, or, may not, have committed this crime seemed incredibly unfair to me.

    Any thoughts?


    I believe (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:54:43 AM EST
    The judge at the time said that Skakel, if convicted in a Juvenile Court (which could have had jurisdiction), would not be able to place him in a juvenile facility upon a conviction and sentence, because they could not accept anyone over 18, and that juvenile facilities were designed for children and not 40 year old men. Basically, the regular adult court was a more appropriate venue to dispose of the case.

    NYT article: (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 12:37:42 AM EST

    But for this statement, might the court have reached a different result?


    "He told a bar association meeting that he intended to have a lot of fun at that trial."

    It still has to pass muster (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:44:21 AM EST
    From the Connecticut Supreme Court, which could reinstate the verdict and sentence.

    Isn't it pretty hard to prove "ineffective assistance"?  And isn't what the defense argued here based more on Sherman's trial strategy of not trying to connect the murder to Skakel's brother Tommy (which is not ineffective assistance)?


    scam, bam, thank you mam... (none / 0) (#33)
    by fishcamp on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:06:09 PM EST

    It's a shame we are having (none / 0) (#46)
    by fishcamp on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 10:07:47 PM EST
    such heinous problems with ACA while Medicare is working beautifully for people that qualify.  This is the first time I'm relatively glad to be old.  It was his platform in 2008,  adopted in 2010, and FUBAR in 2013.  Glad I don't have to face the choices...sorry some of you do.  The torture never stops.

    Not sure beautifully is the right word (none / 0) (#49)
    by ragebot on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 12:04:16 AM EST
    Lots of doctors and hospitals will not accept Medicare patients.  Lots of other restrictions on what type of care you can get, specifically along the lines of what is experimental and what is not.

    It isn't always that they won't accept the (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:34:24 AM EST
    patients, it's that they won't accept as paid-in-full what Medicare is willing to reimburse them.

    My mother's doctor billed her for the office visit at the time of service, she paid for it, the office submitted the Medicare forms and the reimbursement went directly to my mother instead of to the doctor.

    As for restrictions on certain kinds of treatment, how is Medicare different from any other insurance company in that regard?  

    I think fishcamp's comment was speaking more to the ease with which Medicare works: one insurance company, one central clearinghouse for claims, and for the majority of Medicare enrollees, the same premium for everyone - and for most people, it gets zapped right out of their Social Security check, so there aren't 50 million premium checks having to be processed every month.


    Yes thank you Anne (none / 0) (#121)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 05:52:42 PM EST
    that's exactly what I meant.  I realize now that it's fortunate  my doctors and two hospitals down here accept Medicare so there's no problem.  When everything works for me I seem to forget that it doesn't always work for everybody else.  Shallow thinking...gotta get over that one.

    I've watched my mother breeze in and out (none / 0) (#162)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:05:19 PM EST
    of hospitals since her serious medical problems began a few years ago.  Nothing breezy about the problems, but the issue of getting to care was made easy by Medicare.

    IMO, the transition from administering the handling of 50 million Medicare subscribers to handling everyone in the country would not be a quantum leap.  Paying for it is another story.


    Paying for it would be simple (none / 0) (#168)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:21:57 PM EST
    A federal sales tax, not a VAT, collected at the point of sale.

    You could exempt unprepared food and certain other items if you think "fairness" is an issue.


    Restrictons on type of care you get (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:58:57 AM EST
    specifically along the lines of what is experimental and what is not are actually worse for private insurance than on Medicare.

    Prior to going on Medicare, my doctors wanted me to participate in a clinical trial but the employee insurance I had would not cover any aspect of my cancer treatment if I chose to participate. My doctors appealed the decision several times but to no avail. If I participated in the trial, the insurance would not even pay for the standard and ordinary treatment. The trial would have picked up all the expenses for anything that was even slightly different.

    People who were on Medicare had no problem participating in the trial.



    The trial is one thing (none / 0) (#171)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:25:07 PM EST
    but every time my Doctor has changed my blood pressure medication my drug insurance kicks the new RX back demanding to know why I need something besides a generic...

    Of course there won't be any death panels under Obamacare.



    Oh dear gawd - get real (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by MO Blue on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 04:46:30 AM EST
    The insurance companies were demanding to know why anyone needed something besides a generic before Obamacare.

    If conservatives like you wanted something other than an insurance based system, why didn't you demand the Republicans provide it when they were in power. How about the year or so when the Republicans were in negotiations with the Democrats over this system. Don't recall you and your tea party friends demanding a single payer system. No rather than advocating for a single payer system, you and your friends made up myths about death panels.


    If conservatives like who??? (none / 0) (#204)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 12:52:39 PM EST
    Really Blue. I'll have to tell my friends that support for a single payer health care system, gay marriage, women's rights, etc.... is the NEW conservative position.


    Now the question,

    Are you paying any attention or do you just want to protect Your Dear Leader no matter what the cost???


    Are you kidding? Insurance companies (5.00 / 2) (#194)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 08:10:49 AM EST
    long, long ago figured out there was no money in it for them to cover non-generic drugs at the same rate as the generic ones, so they established formularies that slotted drugs into categories with different levels of co-pay - OR - they just flat-out did not include the non-generic drugs in their formularies, requiring people to pay full price for them if they wanted them.  Or putting doctors in the position of having to fight for the name-brand drugs and/or prove they were necessary.

    Now, the problem was - and still is - that generic drugs are NOT "the same as" their non-generic version, and the reason doctors would and do prescribe the non-generic version is because their patients need drugs that actually, you know, work.  Problem is that in a lot of plans, you automatically agree to the generics regardless of what you've been prescribed - as if, well, maybe the doctor doesn't know why he's prescribing Synthroid, so the insurance company, in its infinite wisdom, will save him from this costly - to them - mistake, and substitute a generic version.

    It's about the money, jim, it always has been - this is not about your health and well-being.


    One of my generic drugs, (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by fishcamp on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 08:51:12 AM EST
    forget which one, costs exactly the same as the real thing.  my pharmacist said many newly created generics cost the same and stay that way until a different drug company starts making that drug too.  I also have heard generic drugs are supposed to be the same as the real ones but never did believe that story.

    The insurance companies come (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by MO Blue on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 09:00:47 AM EST
    up with new ways of screwing you out of the coverage that you think you are buying.

    Now they are moving generics into higher tiers so that they do not have to pay any of the cost of the drug and it all comes out of your pocket.

    A generic that in 2012 cost me $5.00 was moved from tier 1 to tier 3 or 4. With that little slight of hand, the insurance company paid nothing and I had to pay $29.00 the entire cost of the drug. BTW, I have one of the higher cost Medicare Part D plans.  


    I was talking to a pharmacist (none / 0) (#198)
    by sj on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 02:27:38 PM EST
    about generic vs the real thing and how I didn't think that some of them were that effective, even in OTC drugs, and even comparing active and inert ingredients. He gave me the analogy of making a cake. That you can make a cake by dumping all the ingredients into a bowl, stirring and baking or you could follow a recipe which has a procedure. The two results would not be the same.

    My generic Lipitor (none / 0) (#199)
    by Zorba on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 04:08:15 PM EST
    for cholesterol control does not seem to work as well as the original.  It does keep my cholesterol level below 200, but just barely, whereas actual Lipitor kept the level 40 to 60 points below 200.  I have not changed my diet, I am very careful about what I eat, but still.  There it is.  It seems to work, just not as well.

    True enough (none / 0) (#206)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 01:00:11 PM EST
    They'll hold the price line until competition steps in.

    I understand that the active ingredients are the same but the non-active may be different.

    So you can have a problem with the non-active.

    My wife has one drug that she cannot use the generic on.

    Walmart's Allegra gives me an upset stomach.

    You pays your money and takes your chances.


    Of course they did all of the nasty things (none / 0) (#205)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 12:55:20 PM EST
    you cover.

    And they will expand it in the future. That's what bureaucracies do.

    Most folks can see the Death Panels coming.

    BTW - Why do you always try to act as if you are the only person in the world who know and understand very basic facts??


    the right wing talk radio (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by jondee on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 01:03:37 PM EST
    buzz phrase of the day is "Death Panels". Capital D, capital P.

    Most folks can see them coming.


    Sounds like a valid question (none / 0) (#188)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:09:44 PM EST
    "...why [do you] need something besides a generic...?"

    Of course the problem is that (none / 0) (#203)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 12:48:35 PM EST
    the OLD medicine is not working right and you are being denied the NEW medicine unless you buy it yourself or until approved..

    That is the actions of a Death Panel.


    Define "lots" (none / 0) (#54)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:55:41 AM EST
    Vague claims like these always send up a red flag - as they should, in this case.  The percentage of doctors accepting new Medicare patients is actually slightly higher than the number of doctors accepting new private insurance patients.

    Critics who want radical changes in Medicare, the public insurance program for the elderly and disabled, often allege that the program is heading for disaster because stingy payments from the government are causing a rising number of doctors to refuse to serve Medicare patients...

    The analysts looked at seven years of federal survey data and found that doctors are not fleeing Medicare in droves; in fact, the percentage of doctors accepting new Medicare patients actually rose to 90.7 percent in 2012 from 87.9 percent in 2005. They are not shunning Medicare patients for better-paying private patients, either; the percentage of doctors accepting new Medicare patients in recent years was slightly higher than the percentage accepting new privately insured patients...


    As far as experimental treatments, how many private plans do you know that cover these?


    And the hits just keep on coming (none / 0) (#48)
    by ragebot on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 12:01:29 AM EST
    Seems like while Obamacare gives the state exchanges the power to subsidize folks who buy insurance there is no language giving the federal govt the power to subsidize folks who buy insurance in the federal exchanges.  So far the DC Court has not granted a motion to dismiss or a PI.  15 Feb 2014 is the date to watch, but with expedited arguments it could come sooner.


    And (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 09:36:43 AM EST

    As technical failures bedevil the rollout of President Obama's health care law, evidence is emerging that one of the program's loftiest goals -- to encourage competition among insurers in an effort to keep costs low -- is falling short for many rural Americans.

    While competition is intense in many populous regions, rural areas and small towns have far fewer carriers offering plans in the law's online exchanges. Those places, many of them poor, are being asked to choose from some of the highest-priced plans in the 34 states where the federal government is running the health insurance marketplaces, a review by The New York Times has found.

    Of the roughly 2,500 counties served by the federal exchanges, more than half, or 58 percent, have plans offered by just one or two insurance carriers, according to an analysis by The Times of county-level data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. In about 530 counties, only a single insurer is participating.

    The analysis suggests that the ambitions of the Affordable Care Act to increase competition have unfolded unevenly, at least in the early going, and have not addressed many of the factors that contribute to high prices. Insurance companies are reluctant to enter challenging new markets, experts say, because medical costs are high, dominant insurers are difficult to unseat, and powerful hospital systems resist efforts to lower rates.

    "There's nothing in the structure of the Affordable Care Act which really deals with that problem," said John Holahan, a fellow at the Urban Institute, who noted that many factors determine costs in a given market. "I think that all else being equal, premiums will clearly be higher when there's not that competition."

    The Obama administration has said 95 percent of Americans live in areas where there are at least two insurers in the exchanges. But many experts say two might not be enough to create competition that would help lower prices.

    Two? The only downward cost pressure (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:07:05 PM EST
    of having only two competitors is the reduced price of the lunch when they get together to collude on pricing.

    Blatant Spam (none / 0) (#52)
    by unitron on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:34:04 AM EST
    No pretense at content whatsoever.

    Is it just me noticing more (none / 0) (#81)
    by sj on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:31:07 AM EST
    or have they really gotten bolder since J's been busy?

    I think more has slipped through... (none / 0) (#103)
    by unitron on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:01:47 PM EST
    ...but I don't know if that means more is coming in or just less is being caught on the way in.

    Working both sides... (none / 0) (#72)
    by Visteo1 on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:36:41 AM EST
    When my link (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by sj on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:40:07 AM EST
    or attribute buttons stop functioning for me I just "Preview" to reload the page. That hasn't failed me yet.

    "Love leaves a trail of sulfur" (none / 0) (#76)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:57:16 AM EST
    If you've never seen the satirically unrivaled, serial killer mock-doc, MAN BITES DOG, then you ain't seen nothin' yet.

    Here's the trailer (link).

    And I just found a free view of the whole movie. (link)

    This is dark, brilliant, incomparable sh*t. Enjoy.

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#88)
    by Peter G on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:50:49 AM EST

    SITE VIOLATOR - named "best" (none / 0) (#93)
    by sj on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 12:39:41 PM EST
    also hitting old threads.

    I emailed (none / 0) (#95)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 01:07:59 PM EST
    Jeralyn about him/her.
    At least this one's in French, not Turkish.  There's a change.

    Ah-HA! (none / 0) (#142)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:44:36 PM EST
    Like Uncle Louie Gohmert said, you just can't trust them brie-swillin', wine-eatin' surrender monkeys, not for one second, can ya?

    Please do not (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:14:09 PM EST
    ever mention Gohmert to me again, Donald.
    And I  mean it.  That man fell out of the stupid tree and hit every single branch on the way down.

    The funny thing is (none / 0) (#120)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 05:35:54 PM EST
    The spammers are hitting threads so old, that people aren't going to be reading them anyway, so if they are trying to sell something or scam someone, they are missing the target!

    Interesting Kos diary.... (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by magster on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:01:55 PM EST
    a few days ago that pointed out that the spammers are out for google optimization and not getting people to click to link or respond to spam.

    They are not (none / 0) (#125)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:06:29 PM EST
    thinking about this.  They most likely get paid (very poorly) for how many threads they hit on how many websites.  They're not looking at the dates on the threads.

    I wonder why it's TL (none / 0) (#134)
    by NYShooter on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 07:42:16 PM EST
    that they're hitting so often? I read a lot of sites similar to this one and none of them have this problem.

    Oh, there are other sites (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:10:06 PM EST
    that they hit a whole lot.
    But many of those sites also have moderators who patrol the sites when the site owner cannot.  Jeralyn doesn't have any moderators, and depends upon us to alert her.  I recommend that people not only reply to them as site violators, but also email Jeralyn whenever they are egregious.
    Spam filters are not really all that great, in my experience.

    There are (none / 0) (#140)
    by Edger on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:17:48 PM EST
    anti-spam "moderators" available. I use Mollom to filter content for and block a lot of spam on quite a few sites I've built and maintain.

    I should have said (none / 0) (#200)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 08:27:15 PM EST
    "good and very effective automated anti-spam 'moderators' available."

    There is no perfect technical solution and it's always a game of playing catchup to the spammers, but it can be reduced dramatically.

    July 2009: Mollom Blocks Its 100 Millionth Spam Message

    Unfortunately I don't think there is an existing Mollom plugin for Scoop. Yet...


    The prosecution.... (none / 0) (#97)
    by magster on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 01:28:47 PM EST
    has probably the best factual case scenario in the James Holmes' case to use a "public safety" exception to disregard what is otherwise had been a virtually unchallenged rule that once a defendant invokes the right to counsel, the interrogation has to stop.

    Very high stakes motion to suppress hearing going on right now. Jeralyn's absence of analysis kinda sucks right now.

    http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24370980/bomb-tech-devices-james-holmes-apartment-would-ha ve

    Derp. Forgot to use (none / 0) (#98)
    by magster on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 01:29:32 PM EST
    Link function. My apologies.

    It's no wonder your comments (none / 0) (#109)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:43:37 PM EST
    are disappeared!

    Thank you for calling... (none / 0) (#99)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 01:39:06 PM EST
    McResources, want EBT with that poverty wage?

    Subsidizing McDonalds 5 billion dollar yearly profits..not lovin' it.  

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:12:51 PM EST
    Wal-Mart does it so why can't McDonald's too?

    Next time... (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:48:06 PM EST
    you get into it with the tea-partiers on Facebook over food stamps, make sure you tell 'em to take it up with Ronald McDonald and the Waltons.  

    I had not (none / 0) (#113)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 03:04:29 PM EST
    thought of that. Good idea!

    FDA (none / 0) (#116)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 03:47:44 PM EST
    seeks tighter control on a whole class of prescription painkillers

    The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended tighter controls on how doctors prescribe the most commonly used narcotic painkillers.

    The move, which represents a major policy shift, follows a decade-long debate over whether the widely abused drugs, which contain the narcotic hydrocodone, should be controlled as tightly as more powerful painkillers such as OxyContin.

    The drugs at issue contain a combination of hydrocodone and an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen or aspirin and are sold either as generics or under brand names like Vicodin or Lortab. Doctors use the medications to treat pain from injuries, arthritis, dental extractions and other problems.

    The change would reduce the number of refills patients could get before going back to see their doctor. Patients would also be required to take a prescription to a pharmacy, rather than have a doctor call it in.

    Uh huh, uh huh (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:15:06 PM EST
    The FDA has already tightened the controls on narcotic painkillers so much that doctors have become much, much more reluctant to prescribe them, even for patients who have excruciating, on-going pain, and for those at the end of life who are suffering.
    And because the government is worried about those who may be abusing these drugs, they are making it harder and harder for those patients who legitimately, medically need these drugs, to get them.

    When my aunt was dying from cancer last year, she was prescribed morphine because she was in tremendous pain. However, it was being either withheld completely by my uncle or doled out in miserly fashion, because as he later admitted, he was afraid she would become an addict!

    My aunt subsequently called my mother on the phone to plead with her brother and get him to relent. Mom immediately drove down to San Diego with my sister, where she confronted her older brother about mistreating his dying wife. When he got defensive and noted his concerns about possible addiction, she said so what, and proceeded to chastise him for denying aid and comfort to the woman he loved in her final days.

    My sister later told me it was one of the most painful family scenes she's ever witnessed, and she wished was hadn't been there to see it. My uncle is very hardheaded and set in his ways, while my mother can prove herself equally unyielding if she feels she's in the right.

    It reached a point where my mother phoned her sister-in-law's doctor, who came over to the house in person to reassure my uncle that his wife's case was indeed terminal. In denial, he instead got angry and stormed off, yelling at my mother to "do whatever the hell you want."

    He returned to the house a short time later, tearfully apologized for his abusive behavior, and agreed to allow my aunt her morphine. She died one month later at home.

    I'm sharing this story because there are many people amongst us -- and we know who we are -- who neither work in regulatory agencies or law enforcement, but who nevertheless really need to purge themselves of some preconceived but ridiculously outdated notions about the use and misuse of narcotic medications.

    Further, each of us should educate ourselves about the issue of pain management therapies and regimens in the treatment of the chronically and terminally ill, in anticipation of the possible day when that could be one of us pleading for relief from our suffering. Otherwise, our old wives' tales about drugs will remain with us for the foreseeable future.



    I'm so sorry, Donald (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 07:43:10 PM EST
    Yes, this happens all too often.  I had to over-ride my mother, who did not want to allow the hospital to give my father morphine at the end of his life, when he was dying in pain, because she was so afraid of the whole "morphine" thing.  I basically bullied her and she did listen to me, mainly because I was her oldest, and she trusted me.  But still, it was unpleasant for me to bully her into what should not have been a difficult decision.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 3) (#141)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:32:00 PM EST
    Some much of this unnecessary grief could be avoided, if we didn't have individuals and organizations putting cockamamie notions in other people's heads, in the course of pursuing their own agendas.

    My mother and you should never have had to browbeat loved ones and disabuse them of misinformation and fallacy about drugs, pain management and end of life care. Such times are difficult enough as it is, without the extraneous drama. And you're right, these sorts of decisions should really be no-brainers -- and they would be, but for the decades' worth of exposure to propaganda emanating from the "War on Drugs."



    Correct Zorba... (none / 0) (#153)
    by fishcamp on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:39:08 AM EST
    after  the recent crackdown on pain pill mill joints here in south Florida doctors can now prescribe only 38 Vicodins.  After that, if you need more, you must add a pain management doctor to the list of specialists we need to keep on keepin' on.  I need a half Vicodin when going up to Miami just for the terror factor.

    Gonna have to make do... (none / 0) (#155)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:19:25 AM EST
    with that Tylenol w/ Codeine bullsh*t...don't the DEA/FDA understand that stuff is for kids?  Grown up pain requires grown-up painkillers like Percs and 'Dins.

    Oh well, there's always the street corner pharmacy to get what ya need...thank goodness.


    It seems (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by sj on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:33:07 PM EST
    like this could backfire on them ("them" being the coalition of the FDA and Big Pharma) big time. Preventing relief from severe and/or chronic pain has a strong possibility of even more states approving MM, imo. While I view that as a good thing, people shouldn't have to suffer so much to make it happen.

    The DEA Worked Wonders on Oxy (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:51:39 PM EST
    Now that the pill formula has changed and the junkies can't shoot it, they figured out real quick that heroin is better an cheaper.

    Idiots, all they ever accomplish is hassling people who legally have a need for the medication.

    "We're now seeing reports from across the country of large quantities of heroin appearing in rural and suburban areas," Dr. Theodore J. Cicero, vice chair of research at Washington University's department of psychiatry, told the Los Angeles Times. "Unable to use OxyContin easily, which was a very popular drug in rural and suburban areas, drug abusers who prefer snorting or IV drug administration now have shifted to more potent opioids if they can find them, or to heroin."

    But this seems to be the way the DEA operates, the solution invariably becomes worse than the original problem.  When will they figure out it is impossible to stop Americans from using drugs.


    ddnwmj (none / 0) (#148)
    by ddnwmj on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 03:02:01 AM EST
    so beautifully..nice

    Mesin Jahit

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#150)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 06:33:28 AM EST
    MSM finally waking up to Obamacare (none / 0) (#154)
    by Slado on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:10:49 AM EST
    All the things the media is now reporting were predicted by conservatives when this debacle was first proposed.

    You'll loose your health plan

    "If you have insurance, you can keep it".

    Not so much.

    Only the sick will sign up

    Doctors will drop patients

    When do dems admit this is a miserable failure?

    IMO, the rollout is a disaster (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:43:49 AM EST
    but the plan is good.  But then again I am poor enough for poverty levels and have no chance of getting insurance any other way.  What we carry at work is Assisted Plans rather than insurance.

    Everyone beotchs about Microsoft when they have a failure that they have to fix, Windows 8.1 for example, and they have some pretty good people working on theirs.


    Deb, the plan is a one (none / 0) (#172)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:40:25 PM EST
    plan covers all. That means if you are a 30 year old man you gotta have pregnancy coverage in your existing plan or it's cancelled...and the new plan does but...guess what...the price goes up.

    That is just unfair yet the Demos and Left is defending it.


    Well (5.00 / 3) (#174)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:58:19 PM EST
    You can say men are paying half the premium for pregnancies. Sounds fair. They are 50% responsible.

    You (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 02:10:02 PM EST
    would be doing the same with single payer which you purport to support. Right? Look the problem with this is it relies on the current insurance company business model. I see very few people discussing the ACTUAL problem and a lot of people screaming.

    IIRC... (none / 0) (#189)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:57:52 PM EST
    The pregnancy clause has been a part of the Insurance game since well before I had health coverage in the late 70's.  I remember arguing the point that I couldn't have children and I didn't think I should have to pay for that.


    Insurance...can't live without it or subject yourself to teaching/University hospitals.

    It is how they cover expenses of others.  Not unlike liability insurance for automobiles even if you have never had a wreck.


    Of please.... you know what the (none / 0) (#202)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 12:45:51 PM EST
    point is so why the dithering??

    ANYONE who bothered to think would know the costs would be more when everyone had the same coverage, people were added and we included preexisting conditions.

    But it appears that the Low Information Voter didn't bother to think.

    Sad. Now they're stuck.


    Conservative (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:24:17 PM EST
    policy a disaster? So you're finally agreeing with us? Welcome to the club.

    Well, it was originally (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:27:42 PM EST
    called RomneyCare, which may explain why some dems love it and some repubs hate it?

    It's all very upsidedownish anyway. In other industries it would be called what it is. False advertising. And could get people pushing it arrested.


    Right after ... (none / 0) (#161)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 11:54:11 AM EST
    ... the evidence actually shows what you're claiming it shows.

    I know it's hard not to have what (5.00 / 3) (#165)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:18:00 PM EST
    amounts to a knee-jerk rejection of anything Slado posts, and I will grant you that how he has chosen to "title" his links doesn't tell the whole story, but...

    It is absolutely true that people are being notified by their insurance companies that their current policies are being discontinued because they are not ACA-compliant, and are being told that if they want to stay with that company, they will need to reapply.

    And what they are finding is that the networks are thinner, participating providers are fewer, and if they want a premium that is equivalent to what they were paying before, it comes with higher deductibles and co-pays.

    That is happening all over the country - and for sure it is happening to CareFirst subscribers here in MD, because my son-in-law got just such a letter.

    It's probably also not correct to declare the ACA a failure, since no one has officially used any ACA-compliant plan yet, and it may be reasonable to expect those who need insurance the most to be the first in line to enroll, but the success of this new system is going to depend on there being more healthy people in the pool than sick ones - and so far, that's not how the numbers are skewing.

    And, if those who qualify for Medicaid via the exchange far outnumber those who don't, that's going to place an additional burden on the system that wasn't planned for.

    All of this, in my opinion, is not a function of a poorly-designed website, but of a private insurance platform that has and will continue to maintain barriers to affordable, accessible care.


    I agree ... (none / 0) (#166)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:56:50 PM EST
    ... with pretty much everything you've stated, although I'm not certain about what percentage of people are facing the thinner networks/higher premiums/deductibles issue.  Certainly this is true for those who had low quality and mini-med plans previously that are being phased out, but I guess it depends on the type of plan you had and what amount of subsidy (if any) they receive.  

    My own criticisms of the ACA align with your last statement - it's propping up an inefficient, private insurance system that is wasteful and unsustainable, and the ACA simply puts a bandaid on it.  I think it kicks the can down the road for a few years.  The question becomes whether the next health insurance crisis is blamed on the unsustainable private system or the ACA.

    That being said, my point was Slado's mischaracterization of his links, not to mention his claim that conservatives have been vindicated in their predictions.


    Thank you for pointing (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Slado on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 02:01:37 PM EST
    out I'm kinda right.   My title and conclusion are most definitely overstating the current situation because whether we like it or not ACA is probably not going anywhere.

    What i find amusing is that media 3 years later is now finally reporting what conservatives warned about for year.

    Also the idea that this policy or plan is going to pay for itself or bend the cost curve is laughable and always was.

    It is impossible to cover more people for less or the same money.   The peple that weren't covered were sick or couldn't afford insurance in the first place.   To cover them was always going to be an extra cost and quite frankly a cost worth paying.

    instead of figuring out a way to expand Medicare or Medicaid or create a new safety net the president pretended economic realities didn't exisit and mucked up medical insurance for the rest of us that already had it.

    Cost are going up, this program is going to get way more expensive and people aren't going to like it.    

    Maybe in 20 years we'll be able to rationalize away this current debacle because we'll get to a better place but it will be despite this terrible initiative instead of because of it.  


    Conservatives (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 02:24:40 PM EST
    have told a lot of lies about this plan. The fact of the matter is for all the yelling from conservatives about how Obama didn't read the plan apparently they did not either or neither one understands insurance.

    The fact of the matter is you are never going to be able to keep your plan if your company decides to switch plans. I don't remember conservatives stating that fact. That happens regardless of the ACA and it happens all the time.

    Conservatives squealing about the ACA had six years to do something about the problems with healthcare in this country. These problems are not new problems. They are existing problems. Conservatives have no solutions and the ACA is the solution that they had back in the 90's. Now they are saying sell insurance across state lines--that's a joke. If you live in GA are you going to go to WI to see the doctor? Of course not. The thing that annoys me is conservatives seemed to think that everything was fine with our healthcare system until the ACA came along. Newsflash: everybody was going to lose insurance eventually under the old system simply because of cost shifting.

    Healthcare was one of the reasons why I didn't support Obama back in the primaries in 2008. And the reason why he didn't do a public option was because the GOP was screaming that it everybody was going to end up on a public plan if he did that and they would not go along. Now do I think he should have cared what they said? No, I don't and they would not even go along with a trigger that would start a public option.

    This is why Hillary's plan was much better because she was going to let people buy into Medicare which would have cost a heck of a lot less.

    Let's face it: The for profit insurance model is something that cannot survive. For insurance companies to survive they are going to have to return to nonprofits and start acting like nonprofits.


    Sorry Yman (none / 0) (#176)
    by Slado on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 02:03:32 PM EST
    Conservatives are being vindicated, if for no other reason then the incompetence of this administration.

    You can keep saying that, Slado, but (5.00 / 4) (#180)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 02:38:06 PM EST
    you and other conservatives have been bashing legislation that started life as a Heritage Foundation/Bob Dole plan, not because it's too liberal, but because it is the signature legislation of someone you've deemed a liberal - Obama.  And he's not even in the same zip code as a liberal.

    The problem is that Obama is as conservative as his signature plan, but if it had been signed into law by President Romney, I suspect you'd be defending it.

    Meanwhile, many of us liberals have been opposed from Day One to this entire exercise that further entrenches private insurance into a system where it can continue to serve as a barrier to care.  

    So please, stop saying that "Obamacare" has vindicated conservatives; all it's done - at least as much as we can tell so far - is vindicate Democrats/liberals/progressives who believed that even if you had a nominal Democrat offer a Republican plan, it would still be a Republican plan, and it would just make whatever it was supposed to fix more broken.


    It's nice you believe that (none / 0) (#181)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 04:00:44 PM EST
    But conservatives have not been vindicated, which is why you haven't cited specific predictions and specific outcomes.  To the contrary, conservatives have lied about the ACA from day one, and the list of conservative ACA lies just keeps on growing.  Just to refresh your recollection, here are a list of just some of the conservative lies re: the ACA:

    1.  The health care law rations care, like systems in Canada and Great Britain.  False

    2. The health care law has "death panels.  Pants on Fire

    3.  Muslims are exempt from the health care law.  Pants on Fire

    4. The IRS is going to be "in charge" of "a huge national database" on health care that will include Americans' "personal, intimate, most close-to-the-vest-secrets."  Pants On Fire

    5. Congress is exempt from Obamacare.  False

    6. Under Obamacare, people who "have a doctor they've been seeing for the last 15 or 20 years, they won't be able to keep going to that doctor." Mostly False.

    7. The health care law is a "government takeover" of health care. Pants on Fire.

    8. "All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services." Pants on Fire.

    9. Under Obamacare, "75 percent of small businesses now say they are going to be forced to either fire workers or cut their hours." Pants on Fire.

    10. "At age 76 when you most need it, you are not eligible for cancer treatment" under the health law. Pants on Fire.

    11. The health care law includes "a 3.8% sales tax" on "all real estate transactions." Pants on Fire.

    12. "Obamacare is . . . the largest tax increase in the history of the world." Pants on Fire.

    13. A "hidden" provision in the health care law taxes sporting goods as medical devices. Pants on Fire.

    14. Obamacare will question your sex life. Pants on Fire.

    15. An Obamacare provision will allow "forced home inspections" by government agents. Pants on Fire.

    There's also one claim about the ACA (not a prediction) from Obama claiming credit (due to the ACA) for the lowest healthcare premium increases in 50 years.  That was also rated as false, although (arguably) Obama isn't a fellow conservative.

    Can only speak for those with CareFirst (none / 0) (#182)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 05:02:42 PM EST
    About 76,000 subscribers are losing their plans (as Anne described above) because they are being phased out.

    CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is being forced to cancel plans that currently cover 76,000 individuals in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., due to changes made by President Obama's health care law, the company told the Washington Examiner today.

    That represents more than 40 percent of the 177,000 individuals covered by CareFirst in those states.

    I don't know what's going on in other states, but with regards to CareFirst, I'm one of the folks losing my plan, which is actually a pretty good plan - it's only not compliant just because it is a high deductible plan, so it's not just "low quality" and "mini-med" plans that are affected.


    How high is your deductible? (none / 0) (#183)
    by nycstray on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 06:02:51 PM EST
    $10,000 (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by jbindc on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 07:20:19 AM EST
    Not my first choice, but last year I had the exact same plan with a $5000 deductible, and they raised my rates 25% or so. That's why I went with the higher deductible.

    Now I'll be back to a lower deductible with a higher price tag, so I guess they are getting me where they wanted me to begin with.


    Depends on whether you consider ... (none / 0) (#184)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:22:57 PM EST
    ... high deductible plans to be "low quality", but yeah - high-deductible plans (> $6,350/individual or > $12,700/family) are either being phased out or grandfathered in.

    No idea why the Carefirst plan is not being grandfathered (Carefirst doesn't say), but my response was that I wasn't sure about the claim that people are "finding is that the networks are thinner, participating providers are fewer, and if they want a premium that is equivalent to what they were paying before, it comes with higher deductibles and co-pays."  In the case of Carefirst, the deductibles will certainly be lower - no idea whether the premiums will be more or not under an exchange plan, which would also depend upon the applicant's income and how much of a subsidy they qualify for, if any.


    I think you have this exactly backwards: (5.00 / 3) (#186)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:46:26 PM EST
    rather than deductibles going down, they are going up:

    Adam Weldzius, a nurse practitioner, considers himself better informed than most when it comes to the inner workings of health insurance. But even he wasn't prepared for the pocketbook hit he'll face next year under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

    If the 33-year-old single father wants the same level of coverage next year as what he has now with the same insurer and the same network of doctors and hospitals, his monthly premium of $233 will more than double. If he wants to keep his monthly payments in check, the Carpentersville resident is looking at an annual deductible for himself and his 7-year-old daughter of $12,700, a more than threefold increase from $3,500 today.


    To promote the Oct. 1 debut of the exchanges, the online marketplaces where consumers can shop and buy insurance, Obama administration and Illinois officials touted the lower-than-expected monthly premiums that would make insurance more affordable for millions of Americans. But a Tribune analysis shows that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage.

    Those deductibles, which represent the out-of-pocket money consumers must spend on health care before most insurance benefits kick in, are higher than what many consumers expected or may be able to stomach, benefit experts said.

    By comparison, people who buy health insurance through their employer have an average individual deductible of just more than $1,100, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    Margaret Flowers:

    Insurance companies have a long history in the US of skirting regulations that interfere with profits. So, while insurers can't exclude sick people, they can avoid areas where there are sick people. For example, several of the large insurance companies are selling plans on only a small number of exchanges, preferring to sell plans mostly to businesses instead. And companies that sell plans on the exchanges are restricting their networks. They avoid hospitals that care for complicated patients and keep the number of doctors in their plans low, making it more likely that people will have to go out of network and pay more of the costs of care.

    And while companies can't charge more to people with health problems as individuals, they can charge up to three times more based on age and can charge more in geographic areas where the population has more health problems or the costs of care are higher. It is expected that if a company finds they can't make enough profit in a particular area, they can just pull their plans from that area. These are some of the most obvious ways that insurers will game the system. The largest insurance companies assisted with writing the law and then with the regulations that accompanied it, so we will see what other tactics they employ as time goes on.

    All of the above notwithstanding, does it make sense in any universe you're familiar with that insurance companies would cancel plans so they could offer better coverage for less money?


    Nope - not backwards (none / 0) (#187)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:26:38 PM EST
    JB was discussing his high-deductible plan with Carefirst.  He didn't mention how much the deductible was, but I think he previously said it was $10,000/year.  The maximum deductibles under the ACA are $6,350/individual or $12,700/family, unless a plan is grandfathered, so the deductible under any new plan will decrease.  I can't speak to whether premiums would be higher, networks would be thinner or providers would be fewer, although I guess it depends on individual circumstances.

    No idea about Weldzius's situation other than what's stated in the article.  it doesn't indicate whether he would qualify for a subsidy or what other plans would be available at what costs to him through the exchanges.  There are people who are getting better plans for less money (including lower deductibles) than their present plans:

    Bryan Tackett, 33, was amazed at the choice of policies on the Washington, D.C., exchange. A contractor at a government relations firm, Tackett has been paying just under $400 a month for a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan with "not terrible, not great" coverage and a $1,500 deductible. But he enrolled in a gold Kaiser Permanente plan on the exchange that has no deductible and "good" co-pays. It includes dental benefits and an annual eye exam -- all for about $270 a month.

    Another one.

    Butch Matthews is a 61-year-old former small business owner from Little Rock, Arkansas who used to wake up every morning at 4 A.M. to deliver canned beverages to retailers before retiring in 2010. A lifelong Republican, he was heavily skeptical of the Affordable Care Act when it first passed. "I did not think that Obamacare was going to be a good plan, I did not think that it was going to help me at all," he told ThinkProgress over the phone.

    But after doing a little research, Matthews eventually realized how much the law could help him. And on Tuesday, his local Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) provider confirmed that he would be able to buy a far better plan than his current policy while saving at least $13,000 per year through Arkansas' Obamacare marketplace.

    Former Fox News contributor Sally Kohn.

    I live in New York State -- which for several decades has had the highest individual insurance premiums in the nation.  For the past three years, since leaving a job at a non-profit organization and then exhausting my COBRA, I have relied on the individual insurance market to get coverage for myself, my partner and our daughter.

    Three years ago when I was shopping for insurance, there weren't that many options to choose from. And the plan I ended up with is expensive and, to put it bluntly, crappy


    There were literally 50 plans that were better than my current insurance -- both with lower premiums, lower out-of-pocket costs and better coverage. And there were ten plans with a higher premium than my current insurance, but with lower deductibles.

    Retired engineer in California gets much better coverage for $8,000/year less.

    All of the above notwithstanding, does it make sense in any universe you're familiar with that insurance companies would cancel plans so they could offer better coverage for less money?

    Not really.  But I can see a lot of circumstances under which people will be able to get better coverage for less money when purchasing it through an exchange, with or without a subsidy.  But i think it's hard to draw general conclusions based on a few, individual cases.


    Yman: Useful info (2.00 / 1) (#197)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 12:14:54 PM EST
    Your even-handed approach to anecdotal claims about ACA enrollment costs is appreciated.  It brings to mind the real, original meaning of "fair, balanced" before those words were besmirched by a certain ideology.  Thanks.

    "Besmirched by a certain ideology?" (3.67 / 3) (#208)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 01:05:23 PM EST
    What "certain ideology would that be?  The kind that supports single-payer?  The kind that supports the Tea Party?

    Do you lack the courage to come out from behind these kinds of coy, coded comments, or are they supposed to be part of your charm?

    Here's a question for you: what is the goal of the ACA?  What is the end-game here?  Is it for "everyone" to have insurance, or for everyone to have access to affordable care?

    Well, it can't be for everyone to have insurance, because it is estimated that some 30 million people will still be left out.  And it can't be for everyone to have affordable access to care, because we are seeing that for many people, the cost-sharing and premiums will make that difficult if not impossible.  

    So, if millions still won't have insurance, and many still won't be able to afford the actual care they need, how is the current state of the system vastly improved from the one it is supposed to be "reforming?"  If I have my current policy canceled, if the same coverage costs more either through another private plan or one obtained via the exchange, if the providers available to me under a new plan are more limited than what I had to choose from before, if I risk financial ruin in the event I receive care from a provider not in my network, how am I better off?  

    So, it seems "Affordable Care Act" was named by the same people who came up with "Healthy Forests Initiative" and the "Clear Skies Act."

    I think I and others have been careful in our comments to point out that there will be people helped by the ACA - and that is a good thing.  And since no one has a federal or state exchange-purchased plan that is in effect yet, we haven't been able to see the full effect of what obtaining and paying for care is like under these metallic plans.

    But those who have been researching the fine print, who have been able to explore the details of networks and caps and such, want people to know there may be some expensive pitfalls they need to be mindful of - and somehow that is seen by people like you as being unfair and biased.

    If you are as passionate about the issue of health care in this country as you claim to be, it should not be your mission to debunk and deride either the anecdotal reports or the hidden costs and finer points of these plans so as not to bruise the apparently tender feelings of our president, should it?  Shouldn't someone passionate about affordable, accessible health care want those who need it most to be as educated as possible, as savvy as possible, as cautious as possible for their own protection?

    Oh, right - your passion can be summed up as, "well, we may have all wanted something better, but we didn't get it, and now we just have to be patient, suck it up and make the best of it."



    Chirstine (none / 0) (#201)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 07:38:22 AM EST
    You might want to read up a bit more.

    It's just not problems with the website

    President Barack Obama has said it again and again: Obamacare is more than just a website. And he's right -- the Affordable Care Act's benefits aren't limited to healthcare.gov.

    Neither are its hangups.

    The range of issues and potential issues runs the gamut, from the truly glitchy -- the small and likely solvable -- to much more serious threats to the viability of the health exchanges at the heart of Obamacare.

    White House officials insist all will work once the website is up, running and easy to use. But the intensity of the national focus on the website has saved them from having to answer questions about other potentially damaging issues that have arisen either outside the virtual confines of healthcare.gov or in conjunction with troubled portal.

    Mostly, those problems are a matter of pocketbooks and politics.

    Consumers are suffering from sticker shock; a major cross-section of previously insured Americans are finding out that their plans are changing to conform with Obamacare even though the president promised they wouldn't; evidence of customer satisfaction is anecdotal; and there's still no guarantee that the young "invincibles," who must make up 20 percent to 30 percent of the pool to make the exchanges work, will actually enroll.


    And while subsidies are available to offset the costs to lower income people, individuals making more than $46,000 or a family of four bringing home $94,000, bear the full brunt of the new prices. The big reveal has shocked some consumers, especially the healthy ones who had relatively affordable insurance before and make too much money to get subsidized coverage next year.

    The White House has put out a report on premiums that found 60 percent of people getting coverage under Obamacare next year will pay premiums of less than $100 per month. That includes those who enroll in Medicaid - the health program for the poor -- and pay very little.

    The premiums came in "lower than expected," beating earlier government projections, which the administration welcomed. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're low.

    Some consumers who don't have insurance are just finding out now that the fine will pale in comparison to the hundreds of dollars a month they would have to pay to buy coverage and deductible thresholds in the thousands of dollars. And others are discovering that they make too much money to qualify for subsidies.

    Rah-rah, sis boom bah!


    I have also been checking out (none / 0) (#193)
    by jbindc on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 07:23:01 AM EST
    (From what I can glean) other plans that are being offered here in Arlington, VA.  Not many, and those couple that are, ar eabout the same price to what CareFirst is offering me.

    And no, I will not qualify for any subsidy or tax credit, so that doesn't even figure into any equation.