Thursday Night Open Thread

Guess who is on American Idol night? He will also be on "Katie" tomorrow. And in 32 days, he'll be in Denver. I've got really good seats.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Legal justification and secret law (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:25:47 AM EST
    ...the White House is still bobbing and weaving on whether to share with Congress the legal opinions and memorandums governing targeted killing, which include the legal justification for killing U.S. citizens without trial.

    The Obama administration is wrong to withhold these documents from Congress and the American people. I say this as a former White House chief of staff who understands the instinct to keep sensitive information secret and out of public view. It is beyond dispute that some information must be closely held to protect national security and to engage in effective diplomacy, and that unauthorized disclosure can be extraordinarily harmful. But protecting technical means, human sources, operational details and intelligence methods cannot be an excuse for creating secret law to guide our institutions.

    That's the centrist (or pragmatic progressive or whatever the hell he calls himself).John Podesta.

    ...People from every point on the political spectrum want this information released for whatever reasons and it should be released. Just proclaiming that you're not as bad as Dick Cheney isn't really enough.  link

    Sunday is... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:40:44 AM EST
    ...the glorious drinking day aka Saint Patrick's Day.

    Here is probably the only Irish song I know, good thing it's awesome.
    I'm Shipping Up To Boston

    Great Irish Bands:
    Feedback, aka The Hype, aka U2
    The Cranberries
    Thin Lizzy.

    I know, but it's all I got, plus I am German and I don't know any German songs beyond 99 Luftballons.

    Two more of the Emerald Isle's... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:30:45 AM EST
    greatest musicians...Van Morrison and Rory Gallagher.

    Even a Kraut like you is a Mick on Sunday...drink up laddy!


    Green As Grass... (none / 0) (#54)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:36:04 PM EST
    ...one day a year.

    Thought of another, Sinéad O'Connor is who the queen of awesome covers.

    I actually fancy myself Scottish most of the time.


    Don't forget... (none / 0) (#55)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:44:11 PM EST
    Sinéad's good friend, Shane MacGowan and The Pogues.

    The Pogues... (none / 0) (#59)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:51:52 PM EST
    a shameful ommision.

    Where's oculus to show the Irish Tenors some love? ;)


    Maybe oculus (none / 0) (#71)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:34:38 PM EST
    secretly listens to The Irish Rovers

    If your St.Paddy's Day celebration will (none / 0) (#77)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:05:24 PM EST
    include imbibing the traditional Irish liquids, this particular Irish-American advises that you skip the green beer. Seriously, green beer is the St. Paddy's Day version of yellow snow. It will make you sick, and your teeth turn an unattractive green color.

    My preferred indulgence is a nice Irish Whisky. I was raised Catholic, so Jameson's is my choice of irish. You can drink it straight, but I find that on the rocks adds a bit of water that enhances the taste.

    For vegetarians and those who just do not like corned beef, colcannon is a simple and tasty dish from the Emerald Isle. It is basically mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage or kale. I like to add scallions to mine. Fry up the leftovers into potato cakes the next day.


    And if anyone want a good Irish beer ... (none / 0) (#98)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:27:28 PM EST
    ... but are not fond of the dark and heavy Guinness Stout, this longtime bartender recommends Harp. It's a nice, smooth and tasty lager that goes down easy.

    As far as Jameson's whiskey is concerned, I love mine in a traditional Irish coffee.


    I Had the Green Beer (none / 0) (#146)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:00:22 AM EST
    Unfortunately, I went to a place that had their parking lot roped off.  So to get non-green liquids it meant going into the bar that jam packed.  I stuck with green beer and port-potties.

    Not a fan of the green beer either, but not that opposed to it.  Are Irish Car Bombs ethnically insensitive, because once I parked my car I had several at my local 'Irish' pub.

    Use to drink Black and Tans at the Irish festival In Milwaukee, but here in Texas, that think beer doesn't bode well with the heat.


    Thick Beer... (none / 0) (#147)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:01:48 AM EST
    ..is what I meant to type.

    Black and Tans (none / 0) (#148)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:11:22 AM EST
    Also offensive, to some.

    How about The Chieftains? (none / 0) (#96)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:08:20 PM EST
    They've long been renowned as one of the premier (and most popular) traditional Irish bands. If you've seen the films The Last of the Mohicans and Michael Collins and the PBS documentary Long Journey Home, then you've heard their work on the soundtracks.

    In honor of St. Patrick's Day weekend, here's an impromptu sampling of The Chieftains' work with the following recording artists:

    Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone. Aloha, and enjoy.

    Donald (none / 0) (#2)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 09:32:09 PM EST
    a little tourney basketball craziness for you tonight in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

    Charlotte vs Richmond

    Trailing by 3 points, Charlotte took 11 free throws in the last 4.7 seconds.

    That was horrible (none / 0) (#29)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:32:42 AM EST
    It's too late to matter but that crew should be suspended for the rest of the year and maybe even next year.

    What a cluster you know what.


    Terrible. Just a horrible series of calls. (none / 0) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:37:47 PM EST
    The official who made the opening bad call was right only in a technical sense, in that a dead-ball personal foul in that particular situation is by rule a technical.

    But that said, the player from UNC-Charlotte definitely committed the initial dead-ball foul when he used his arm to hook his Richmond opponent in the paint in an obvious attempt to box that opponent out while positioning himself for a prospective rebound -- and the aforementioned official is standing right there, staring at both players the entire time.

    Since he chose to let the first foul go on Charlotte, he should never have called the second on Richmond. It all went very quickly south from there.

    While it doesn't happen nearly as often as countless frustrated fans over the generations would have otherwise liked to believe, in this instance the officials' compounding errors during the final 4.7 seconds of the game were definitely the difference between one team winning and the other losing.

    That entire officiating team should be suspended by the A-10 conference for that end-time meltdown, which gave Charlotte a series of wholly undue benefits that cost Richmond the game.

    And it could've only gotten worse for those officials, had the 49ers not lost to St. Louis today, and had somehow go on to win the conference tournament in an upset -- which you know during this one-and-done time of year is always a possibility.

    Over in the WAC, No. 1 seed Louisiana Tech (25-6, 16-2) and No. 2 Denver (22-9, 16-2) were both upset in their opening round games yesterday, falling successively and in rather shocking fashion to the two absolutely worst teams in the conference, No. 9 UT-San Antonio (10-21, 3-15) and No. 7 Texas State (12-21, 3-15), respectively.

    Suddenly, the season's over for both of them just like that, save for probable NIT invitations -- and by Saturday night, No. 3 seed New Mexico State will probably be thanking them profusely for the unexpected pratfalls.


    Case in point: Maryland 83, Duke 74. (none / 0) (#111)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 01:56:01 AM EST
    Of course, according to Joe Lunardi and ESPNWorld, Duke's claim to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA is still safe.

    So, never mind that the Blue Devils not only failed to win the ACC regular-season title, but have now been summarily bounced from the conference tournament in the first round. They'll get the cushy seed and get to play close to home so all their fans can drive to the game, while ACC champion Miami will probably be sent packing out west in the same regional as Gonzaga.

    Why even bother to have conferences anymore, when a first-place finish clearly means very little or nothing anymore to NCAA selection committees and sports pundits?


    Joe Lunardi and ESPNWorld have ... (none / 0) (#135)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:33:59 AM EST
    ... suddenly found a new religion, flavor of the week, what have you -- Louisville, which after an admittedly impressive comeback win over Syracuse last night for the Big East tournament title became the new "It Girl," and was elevated by them as the new likely overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney.

    Duke is, like, so yesterday, being summarily and unceremoniously dropped to the second tier last night, in the face of all the criticism Lunardi was receiving for clinging so tightly to the Blue Devils despite their ACC tourney washout and second loss to Maryland.


    I think this is a result of there (none / 0) (#136)
    by Slado on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:50:58 AM EST
    being no real #1.

    There is a solid case for and against most of the top 8 or so teams for why they should be a #1 vs. a #2.

    I think moving Lousiville up is a bit much but I can't get my gander up either way becuase it's not going to make much of a difference.

    Someone is going to get hot in the tournament and they can win it all from as low as a #4 seed so what does it reallly matter.

    Yes a team might get a bit of an advantage from playing close to home but no court in the NCAA is a real home court advantage.    Real home court advantage come from the routine and familiarity of playing at home.

    A lot of that is taken away when you play in the tournament since you don't have a student section and your still traveling for practices, meals and living in hotels.

    Every team in with a #4 seed and up will control their own destiny.   Once you get into the sweet sixteen is become more about how you're playing and who your matched up against.   Even an overall #1 seed can pull a bad matchup in terms of playing style.


    Why should they? (none / 0) (#3)
    by nycstray on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 11:23:58 PM EST
    Perhaps they are planning a family expansion . . .

    BTW, after my 'hood got gentrified, studios/small 1bedrooms started at .5 mil. My rent 2 doors down was $586 :D It's NYC baby!

    Site violator. (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:37:09 AM EST
    Kind of seems like (none / 0) (#37)
    by sj on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:47:25 AM EST
    an understatement, doesn't it?

    What's Crazy... (none / 0) (#47)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:42:23 AM EST
    ...is each one is a link.

    Kudos for these famous former (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:18:30 AM EST


    Wow, Morgenthau is still around? (none / 0) (#6)
    by unitron on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:08:15 AM EST
    This seems as good a place as any to mention a new article in The Atlantic, How Americans Lost the Right to Counsel, 50 Years After 'Gideon', about the inadequacies of the public defender system.

    A little Mongolian - Oriental fusion music (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:38:53 AM EST
    good for them (none / 0) (#9)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:35:47 AM EST
    not being a Marxist I don't have a problem with this except perhaps a bit of envy.

    No double standard? (2.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:31:00 AM EST
    The whole Obama election strategy was based on the assumption that being too rich is bad.

    Is it only republicans that can be too rich or is there a cap on how rich you can be?

    This is not a snarky question.   Romney was raked over the coals for his wealth and taxes but there are scores of examples of democrats living wealthy lifestyles and not paying taxes.

    Am I wrong to think there is a double standard on this?


    Nice try, but incorrect, Slafo (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:07:18 PM EST
    The "whole election strategy" for Dems this past year was NOT based on opposing those who have $$$ in and of itself.  
    It was directly stated--loud & clear--that the policy issue to be decided dealt with "paying one's fair share" ... The issue was personalized by Warren Buffet's well-known statement that his secretary should not be paying more in income tax than he does.  Additionally:  President Obama & former President Clinton publicly stated that they  themselves should pay more because they made more.

    Of course, since you are no dummy, you knew that, Slado.  So, you must be just funnin' everyone here.  Mayhaps, the "double standard" lies with you?


    Oops, my typing fingers missed a key. Sorry. (none / 0) (#52)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:08:25 PM EST
    You're right... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:45:44 AM EST
    Chelsea's husband is in the same line of work as Mitt Romney...the grifting business.

    The message shouldn't be that rich is bad, it should be that getting rich by grifting is bad.  Regardless of party or politics.


    Please Slado... (none / 0) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:29:48 AM EST
    ...find me one quote from Obama in regards to 'being rich is bad'.

    I think you are confusing the wanting the rich to pay their fare share with being against the rich.  And Romney, come one, even republicans went after him for hiding income in Caribbean via shell companies and his refusal to turn over tax returns.

    Me personally, I would love to beak the filthy rich in half and distribute all that wealth to all of us with a heavier share going to the poor.  Teddy Roosevelt style; but that isn't Obama, he's basically protected WS, never really supported OWS, and has never came out against the wealthy more than wanting to raise their taxes and even that, he wasn't serious enough to not extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone.


    We should probably stop... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:39:24 AM EST
    callin' it taxes.  We pay taxes...wealthy grifters pay protection, and they're getting a huge r.o.i.

    I don't know what you're asking (none / 0) (#38)
    by sj on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:52:09 AM EST
    Are you asking about the liberal perspective (as interpreted by, for example, me) or are you asking Obama's strategy in your second paragraph?  

    Because I can't speak to Obama's election strategy.  That belongs to him.


    Yes, you're wrong (none / 0) (#53)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:17:39 PM EST
    The whole Obama election strategy was based on the assumption that being too rich is bad.

    It was based on the rich paying slightly more (aka "a fair share") in taxes.  Wealthy candidates (ala Romney) aren't "raked over the coals" for being rich.  They're criticized for taking public policy positions that benefit themselves and the wealthy and for being out-of-touch, when appropriate.  Not to mention when they dismiss 47% of the population, the vast majority of whom are the elderly, the unemployed and the working poor.


    I'm just saying that all rich people (none / 0) (#68)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:20:53 PM EST
    Take the same advantage as Romney of the tax system.

    All rich people, dem and republican.

    It just looks worse when you're mega rich like Romney.

    If im honest with myself Romney probably was too rich to run for office.

    Just seems like you have to try real hard to not see the hypocrisy of our elected officials and their cozy relationship with big money on both sides of the aisle.

    It bothers me that no politician seems to lose money anymore working in Washington.  They seem to always parlay work in Washington into an expansion of their portfolio.

    I think libs miss the reality that more government is crowding out the opportunity for the rest of us to make money and only those in the government buisness and big business seem to be benefitting from all the fed money that's going around these days.

    The rich get richer, especially when they have freinds on Wall a street or K Street.


    Not "hypocrisy" (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:44:07 PM EST
    Take the same advantage as Romney of the tax system.

    All rich people, dem and republican.


    Just seems like you have to try real hard to not see the hypocrisy of our elected officials and their cozy relationship with big money on both sides of the aisle.

    Of course they do, but taking advantage of the tax system while at the same time advocating changes to the system that require the wealthy to pay a (slightly) larger portion of their income in taxes - or, at least pay a share of their income that is closer to what a middle class W-2 earner pays - is not "hypocrisy".

    Blaming government spending for "crowding out the opportunity for the rest of us to make money" is simply a variation on the conservative meme of "blame the government!" for virtually everything.


    Not so (none / 0) (#82)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:41:02 PM EST
    Let me try to be clearer.  I'm all for government helping people I just think our government does a terrible job of executing.

    We send more and more money to Washington and get less and less for it.

    The issue that bugs me the most is the crony capitalism that I see as the inevitable result of expanding government.

    Look at Obamacare.  More taxes, more debt, more collusion between big insurance and government officials and what do we get for it?

    In my view not enough to justify the multitudes of problems it creates, namely more expensive insurance, more expensive care and people losing the insurance they already have.

    I think most of us would agree that the government is going to execute this very poorly and the only winners will be the insurance companies and lobbying firms that made sure to make good deals with their buddies in Washington.

    I see this happening all over Washington.

    I wish we could just pay more in taxes to get better results but I don't trust either party anymore to do anything fairly.   They seem to only make deals that benefit a few certain companies or constituencies at the expense of everyone else.


    Obamacare is terrible, ... (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:16:40 PM EST
    ... but not because the government does a terrible job executing.  In fact, just the opposite.  If, rather than the ACA, we had Medicare for all, the system would be faaaaaaar more efficient and the costs substantially lower.  The administrative costs of a government system like Medicare are a fraction of the private health insurance system that we had before Obamacare - and we're still stuck with.

    Sorry, your libertarian "government is the problem - just make it smaller" is merely the corollary to the conservative "we just need to cut taxes" panacea.


    There we agree to disagree (none / 0) (#94)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:59:36 PM EST
    I've lived in England and my wife worked for an English hospital.

    Government systems are not better, cheaper yes, but not better.

    Maybe we'd do a better job but that's a big maybe.

    We're ill agree with you is our system sucks because we have neither private nor public healthcare but an unholy inefficient combination of both.

    What I see happening eventually is a two tier system.  Public government hospitals and private hospitals for the elite.

    See out school system for examples of the eventual consequences and political battles of the future.  


    England isn't Medicare (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:12:14 PM EST
    Your wife's anecdotal experience aside, private systems aren't better - far more expensive, yes, but not better.  You may get surgery here faster than in some other countries, but that's only if you can afford it.  The US is 15th in overall attainment and 37th in overall performance, despite the fact that we spend faaar more than other countries on healthcare.

    I agree that we're headed toward a two-tier system at present, but we've been headed there for years before Obamacare - and it's precisely because of the insistence of some to maintain an ungodly expensive (and inefficient) private system who's costs keep skyrocketing at rates far higher than inflation.

    As far as the two-tiered school system, most public schools are doing just fine.  The answer is not (as conservatives always want to do) to eliminate public schools or healthcare in favor of a private system which, by definition, results in "tiered" services - the more money you have, the better quality you can buy.  That's fine for cars, not for education or healthcare.


    Straw man (none / 0) (#105)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:48:24 PM EST
    Conservatives don't want to get rid of public schools.  I mean really?

    I will admit they wouldn't be sad to see teachers unions go and the department of Education as well.


    Of course they do (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:53:37 PM EST
    It's not just about attacking teacher unions and the DOE - they want to take scarce resources away from public schools to fund and promote private/religious schools.  Private/religious charter schools, school "vouchers", etc.  Poorer pay and benefits for public school teachers, less resources, money transferred to private/religious schools.  All for "the kids".

    Of course, they don't want to be seen as directly attacking popular institutions such as public schools and teachers, so they attack them indirectly.  But every once in a while they can't help themselves:

    Like most other conservatives and libertarians, we see vouchers as a major step toward the complete privatization of schooling. In fact, after careful study, we have come to the conclusion that they are the only way to dismantle the current socialist regime."

    Dick Devos at the Heritage Foundation:

    ... Vouchers zero in on the government school monopoly's most vulnerable point: the distinction between government financing and government delivery of service. People who accept the notion that schooling is an entitlement will nevertheless vote to allow private schools to compete with one another for public funds. That fact gives us the tool we need to undercut the organizing ability of teachers' unions, and hence their power as a special-interest group.

    ...Because we know how the government schools perpetuate themselves, we can design a plan to dismantle them."

    And so we've got a wonderful issue that can work for Americans. But to the extent that it is appropriated or viewed as only a conservative idea it will risk not getting a clear and a fair hearing in the court of public opinion. So we do need to be cautious about that.

    We need to be cautious about talking too much about these activities. Many of the activities and the political work that needs to go on will go on at the grass roots. It will go on quietly and it will go on in the form that often politics is done - one person at a time, speaking to another person in privacy. And so these issues will not be, maybe, as visible or as noteworthy, but they will set a framework within states for the possibility of action on education reform issues."

    BTW - You ignored the primary point of the post - the US healthcare system is not better than England's - even at

    I can send links that says it is (none / 0) (#112)
    by Slado on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:55:04 AM EST
    And I have first hand knowledge of both systems.

    I'd rather have the rare cancer I've got in this system.

    Agree to disagree.


    Since you'll want one (none / 0) (#114)
    by Slado on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:12:34 AM EST

    The goal is to keep people alive.  Not make sure everyone get ok care.

    Difference between our politics I guess.


    Really? THAT'S your evidence? (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:45:25 AM EST
    That link was amusing:

    1.  An opinion piece,
    2.  written by Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels), a conservative/libertarian writer for the Manhattan Institute (among others),
    3.  which doesn't even support your premise - that the NHS (and govt. healthcare systems in general) doesn't perform as well as the private, US system.

    Let's leave aside the fact that Dalrymple's piece is not a study, but an opinion piece.  Let's also leave aside that Dalrymple is pushing a conservative/libertarian agenda by picking through an actual study for bits of information that support his agenda.  Let's look at the actual study he cites:

    Dalrymple pulls out only 5 types of illnesses in which the NHS was ranked lower - cervical, breast, colon cancer, hemorrhagic stroke and ischemic stroke.  From this, you conclude that the NHS is not as good as the US system because "the goal is to keep people alive".  Really?  Does that goal apply to just these 5 illnesses, or does it apply to all illnesses?  Because if the goal applies to all illnesses, we should be looking at the overall survival rate, rather than just cherry-picking areas in which the NHS has a lower survival rate than the US.  (Hint - guess which system produced an overall higher survival rate).

    If you look at the actual study itself, you'll see several important facts that Dalrymple somehow forgot to mention:

    1)  Of 18 areas of performance, the NHS performed well in 13 and badly in 5.  It was ranked the best in 7 areas and the worst in 2 (cancer survival and measles immunization).  However, the authors noted that this result was not a fair comparison, given that the NHS rates cover the entire population of the country, whereas many other countries only include specific geographic regions.  They specifically note that the US cancer survival rate is "artefactually increased by the systematic exclusion of poor people and African Americans from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Register.  Moreover, outcomes have been improving rapidly since the implementation of the National Cancer Plan.  In the other area in which the NHS was ranked last (measles immunization) the authors note that this was affected by an immunization scare in the wake of a false paper (Wakefield) re: risks posed by MMR vaccines.

    IOW - Cancer survival rates are skewed lower in Britain because they count all their cancer patients, unlike many other countries (including the US).

    1.  Several of the countries cited by Dalrymple which outperform NHS in some illneses (France, Sweden, etc.) also have government healthcare systems.

    2.  The authors of the study cited by Dalrymple conclude:

    The results reported here do not support complacency about the current performance of the healthcare system in the UK.  They show that, like all systems, it has its strengths and weaknesses.  they do, however, cast serious doubt on any claim that there is widespread support for radical reform.  Improvements are needed, but continuation and expansion of the measures already set in motion - more of the same - seems to be a better formula rather than totally rebuilding a system that, by international standards, already works remarkably well.

    4)  I would love to see any study that ranks the NHS lower than the private, US healthcare system, irrespective of the fact that the US spends @ 250% of what the NHS spends per patient.  I can cite several major studies that have concluded just the opposite, in fact, including the one cited in Dalrymple's opinion piece.

    But to be clear, I'm interested in actual studies, rather than conservative/libertarian opinion pieces which cherrypick a few bits of data from a study.


    We're talking past eachother on this one (none / 0) (#125)
    by Slado on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:17:58 PM EST
    I have a very singular view of what I want out of my health system.

    I need a system because of my history that provides lots of choice for someone with good insurance and very expert care in very specific areas.  Namely the treating of rare cances.   At that we are very good but it sure costs a lot and to be honest is not available to everyone.

    There is no doubt in my mind that if I was in the NHS, or Canada I'd be dead.    However to your point I have no doubt that if I was otherwise unhealthy (poor preventative care) and didn't have really good insurance I'd be probably be dead as well.

    Without going into to much detail i was told by more than one doctor back in 1997 that I was terminal.   I had to continue to search until I found a doctor with an expertise in my peculiar form of cancer and in addition willing to take the risk to treat and operate on me.    

    I'm probably not a good person to base ones opinion on the state of US healthcare .

    So as I think about it I must admit you have a point and I need to not get so wrapped up in my personal story.

    So if we agree that our system is in need of help in terms of access and expense do we both agree that Obamacare does nothing to solve it?  I believe we do but remind me.

    As to your question here is a study showing NHS ranks below US in terms of cancer and hospital mortality but the US is only the best in terms of cancer.

    To open up another debate I will also state that you can't single out our system by itself without taking in some other factors...

    Population - we are much larger in terms of population and have a much more diverse culture then these other countries.

    Society - We are fat, reckless and frankly don't take very good care of ourselves.

    Access - we do a piss poor job of getting people care when it would be more helpful instead of waiting until the last minute.   This is a failure of not only the health system but our government.

    Again thanks for opening my eyes a bit on this one.   I look forward to you doing the same.


    Keep looking (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:59:55 PM EST
    That's the same Commonwealth study cited by Dalrymple (it was actually two publications).  The same study that noted the UK and US cancer rates were skewed because the UK data (unlike many other countries) includes all cancer cases while the US data omits data from AAs and the poor (i.e. "Cancer survival rates in the U.S. are artefactually increased by the systematic exclusion of poor people and African Americans from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results register.").  See page 3.  But if you ignore the apples-to-oranges comparison of cancer rates, it's true that the survival rates for 3 types of cancer (cervival, breast colorectal) were better (excluding all those AAs and poor sure helps) and better than NHS in mortality rates for 3 other illnesses (AMI, hemorraghic stroke and ischemic stroke), but was ranked lower than NHS in virtually every other category.  NHS, OTOH, has been ranked consistently higher overall (including survival rates other than the 5 conditions above) than the US.

    As far as your own personal experience with healthcare, that's great that you were able to find a doctor that helped you but it's not how you design a healthcare system.  Moreover, while you may believe that you would have died in Canada or England, that's complete and utter speculation.

    In general, however, the US system works well for some specific conditions, provided you can afford the costs which are several times higher than NHS and other countries with government systems.  I can understand why some people - as well as drug companies, medical devise companies and doctors - would prefer this type of system.  For those looking to design a system which benefits all - rather than just the wealthy - and does so in a sustainable way, the private, inefficient US system is not the answer.


    You asked for a link (none / 0) (#132)
    by Slado on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 07:16:26 PM EST
    All studies have theirmdetractors.

    The US has better technology but that does not garuntee overall better care.  Seeing NHS hospitals up close Ive seen how they do not have all the latest gizmos etc but that does not mean they dont provide good care in most cases.

    Interested in your comments on the other factors.


    No, I didn't (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:15:05 PM EST
    I asked for a study supporting your premise - that NHS wasn't as good as the US system - or, conversely, that the US system was better overall - not merely at treating 6 specific illnesses.  This study ranks the US system higher for a few illnesses, but not overall.

    It's not about "detractors" - the authors of the study themselves acknowledge the cancer data is skewed toward higher rates in Britain and lower rates in the US because the US omits cancer data from the poor and AAs, whereas the British data does not.

    Not sure what "other factors" you mean.

    Population? - We have more people but the data is in terms of percentages.  Yes, our culture is more diverse than England, but I'm not sure why that would make us more succeptable to illness.

    Society - Yes, we're fat and "reckless", but so are many people.  No idea how we compare in terms of smoking.  I'd need to see data about how we compare to England and how this affects illness rates, whether this is controlled in the comparative studies, etc.

    Access - The US system is horrible, and a big function of this is cost.  People avoid going to the doctor and getting medications in the US system because the costs are so high.  In the Commonwealth study, fully one-third of American adults "went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill prescriptions because of costs".  In England, this was 6% - less than one-fifth the US.  Not sure how you're trying to blame this on the government, but I can't say I'm surprised.


    BTW - Re "other factors" (none / 0) (#134)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:41:37 PM EST
    While the Commonwealth study doesn't specifically discuss those variables, it does mention some that are related to overall health and the amount of healthcare services used in the US (see page 11 of the summary):

    These and other studies have found, contrary to often-cited explanations, the U.S. has a relatively young population, average or below-average rates of chronic conditions, and comparatively few doctor visits and hospitalizations compared with other industrialized countries.

    It then went on to compare the cost of drugs - an easy factor to compare given uniformity between countries.  The US had the highest drug utilization, prices and spending.  New Zealanders spent 29% of what the US spent, despite the fact that they consumed the second-highest amount of drugs.  They just used much less expensive drugs.


    One mans opinion (none / 0) (#113)
    by Slado on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:58:38 AM EST
    It's not the stated policy of the Republican Party nor mine.

    There are crazies on the left to.


    Not "one man" (none / 0) (#115)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 07:18:12 AM EST
    Did you look at the links?  It's two - the President of the Heartland Institute and the biggest sponsor of the school voucher movement - giving speeches at conservative gatherings with leaders of dozens of other major, conservative groups, discussing the eventual goal of complete privatization, stating it is shared by most other conservatives and libertarians, and the need to be circumspect about their goal.  Of course it's not their "stated policy" - they're not complete idiots who will attack popular institutions openly.  All you have to do is listen to what they say when they think they're amongst themselves.

    BTW - Dismissing it as just "one man's opinion" - after citing your own, personal experience to attack the BHS - was pretty funny.


    All I know is (none / 0) (#116)
    by Slado on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 07:53:04 AM EST
    Always have to be carefule when you start out like that.

    In my State of Indiana the largest part of our state budget is Education and we've actually increased spending on Education while balancing our budget.   Our last governor and current governor are conservatives.

    Now have we also instituted some conservative principles while doing so?  Yes, bu we are note trying to secretly shut down public schools.

    Most conservatives want to improve public schools because for most conservatives this is an essential part of government and what it is for.    Like police, firefighters and road builders.

    Honestly I'd never even thought about shutting down public schools as a serious political strategy and I'm pretty conservative and run in conservative circles.

    I can assure you it's not on the top of our list when we hold our secret meetings.   Thanks for educating me that there is a fringe movement out there that is bigger then I initially thought but I still maintain that it is not a central view of the conservative movement,    

    Do we want to give more control to the states vs Feds?  Yes.   Do we see vouchers as a legitimate tool to increase competition and overall performance?  Yes.   Do we think teachers unions hurt progress and students?  Yes.    But we want to change these things to improve public schools, not close them down.

    At least most of us.


    Maintain whatever you want (none / 0) (#119)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:23:57 AM EST
    ... and who said anything about "secret meetings".  the meetings I cited weren't "secret" - they just weren't open to the general publio.

    As for what you want, when did you start speaking for "most" conservatives?  I thought that "one man's opinion" wasn't representative of the movement - just a few "crazies"?  (BTW - Your movement in Indiana was funded by DeVos - one of those "crazies" - go figure).  Is your opinion more representative of conservatives/libertarians, or should we listen to the opinions of leaders of major conservative groups and organizations directly involved in the push for school vouchers?  BTW - I can give you many more links to several other, major conservative/libertarian groups (ALEC, homeschool groups, etc.) who are less circumspect about their objective of privatizing schools.


    Well I must admit you have a point (none / 0) (#120)
    by Slado on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:23:49 AM EST
    This link shows that the close public school argument is much more prevalent then I thought.

    I guess since I don't share this view I somehow managed to be unaware of how popular it is.

    I still maintain it is not mainstream but it is obviously not just a few wackos either.

    I am sympathetic to the cause of this opinion, public schools are terribly inefficient and on the whole are failing our children, I just don't see it as a realistic solution.   Schools are a public institution and we are much better off trying to apply conservative principals to fix them rather then shutting them down.

    See policies of Michelle Rhee for examples of what we need to do and how much inertia there is in the system to meaningful change.

    Thanks for the heads up.


    The government running the hospitals... (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by unitron on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:21:20 PM EST
    ...and the government being the single payer are not necessarily exactly always the same thing.

    BTW - Re: England (none / 0) (#103)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:22:35 PM EST
    Not such a bad system compared to the US (see the summary chart on page 9).

    Beats the US in all 5 categories (Quality Care, Access, Efficiency, Equity, and Long, Healthy, Productive Lives) plus 5 of 6 subcategories (losing only in "Patient-centered Care").  This, at an average annual cost of $2,992 per person, versus $7,290 per person in the US.

    Take it over a private system any day of the week and twice on Sunday.


    I have (none / 0) (#128)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:19:00 PM EST
    a friend who is a rock ribbed conservative and still is for the most part. He moved to Canada and has nothing but downright praise for the system in British Columbia. So a lot of the stuff that you get down here on their system could be considered downright propaganda.

    No one here is proposing a British style health care system where the government owns all the hospitals.

    And the studies that have been done have our health care system as actually being worse than the British one.


    It pays (none / 0) (#90)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:17:59 PM EST
    The government Obama wants (none / 0) (#84)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:48:41 PM EST
    Can't be funded by just the rich.

    The government he wants means we're all going to pay more and it's already started when he cut the payroll tax.

    That one cut all of our paychecks and there will be more of that if we keep letting both parties get away with growing government.

    Republicans are just as crazy.  They act like we can afford our Goliath military we when can't and then screen bloody murder, along with the president, when the pentagon is forced to deal with a small cut.


    Well then, I guess it's a good ... (none / 0) (#87)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:10:09 PM EST
    The government Obama wants Can't be funded by just the rich.

    ... thing no one said it could.

    The government he wants means we're all going to pay more and it's already started when he cut the payroll tax.

    You mean when the temporary payroll tax holiday that he advocated (and signed) expired?



    Yes. (none / 0) (#88)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:15:53 PM EST
    What's your point.  Is it not a tax hike?

    Wait till Obamacer kicks in.  That's when the real fun starts.


    No it wasn't a tax hike (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:20:35 PM EST
    My point (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:27:36 PM EST
    ... is that, if you want to start fear-mongering about tax hikes, the non-extension of a temporary tax cut is a poor choice.

    It IS a "tax hike"??? (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:45:34 PM EST
    If your boss tells you he's going to cut your pay for a couple of years, and now its reverting to its prior, normal level, did you just get a "pay hike"?

    I'm starting to like you so (none / 0) (#97)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:12:57 PM EST
    Lets not quarrel over words.

    Obama signed a deal that resulted in almost all Americans paying more in 2013 then they did in 2012.

    Call it what you want.  

    My point is that in order to fund the budgets both parties put out this week (both a joke) we are all going to pay more taxes in the years to come.

    There aren't enough rich people to tax, entitlement benefits to cut and loopholes to close.

    Can we agree on that?

    Assuming we can the only real solution is to cut everything by a set percentage, raise everyone's taxes a set percentage or do both.

    Nobody likes that but its fiscal reality.

    I favor cutting everything but that's fools gold.  So is pretending we have no problems and crying foul every time someone talks about entitlements.

    So what's going to happen is we won't cut anything, well keep raising taxes on everyone and we'll all get used to little or no growth and inflation.


    Slado... you are starting to (none / 0) (#106)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:12:25 PM EST
    understand why I don't respond to Yman.



    The reason you don't respond, Jim ... (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:39:00 PM EST
    ... is because you are incapable of responding to facts and data with anything other than opinion pieces from wingnuts.

    But if that's all ya got ...


    Can (none / 0) (#130)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:22:56 PM EST
    you tell me why conservatives do not like Obamacare? Because if you remember this came out of a conservative think tank. Of course, once Obama embraced it, they changed their mind on it but no less than Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich and many others at one time were proponents of the EXACT same program.

    It would be nice if we could actually have a political discussion on this subject but it seems impossible. What the GOP currently wants is nothing to happen it seems to me and an honest libertarian argument to me against Obamacare would be the mandates and an argument against the government mandating you to buys a product from a PRIVATE entity such as an insurance company.


    Oh, and to,your point Yman (none / 0) (#69)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:24:03 PM EST
    He was a terrible candidate and the 47% remark was inexcusable and that sort of sentiment was too easy to see and doomed him from the start.

    Only Obama's problems kept it as close as it was.   Clinton would have beat Romney by 20 points.


    Slado (none / 0) (#72)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:38:13 PM EST
    What's the Norquist Pledge, and the GOP's scorched-earth Libertarian wing but ongoing "47% remark" that Romney only made the mistake of stating explicitly and outloud?

    His remark was idiotic. (none / 0) (#86)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:59:10 PM EST
    And not the issue.

    If more people are "taking " it is because our economy and society is leaving them behind.  They are not getting the opportunities to succeed.

    Again I see that as the result of a growing relationship between big business and government crowding them out.  

    I think that is what progressives and liberals are missing.   It'd be great if a larger government meant more opportunity for everyone but I don't think it works that way,   The relationships between Washington and Wall Street are just to cozy.  

    A more pure form of capitalism would force Washington to focus on what it is supposed to be doing, providing a safety net and being a referee for business, not partner.

    The expanding wealth of our elected officials during their time in government and especially after they leave elected office is proof to me that we have a serious problem.


    Well, the challenges to Citizens United (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:12:19 PM EST
    and the push for publicly financed elections certainly havn't come from the Right in this country..

    As a matter of fact, the legal point man for Citizens United said recently that the only people interested in the details of where the money comes from are "left wing nuts"..

    The government-business-Wall St symbiotic relationship could conceivably come down like a house of cards, if the major linchpins of the arrangement, ie, money=speech and corporate personhood were undermined.

    Of course, for any of that to happen would require that a couple of the planted conservative stooges on the Supreme Court would have to croak.  


    I don't think thats enough (none / 0) (#126)
    by Slado on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:25:19 PM EST
    There are some very specific rules in congress that would help this much more then campaign finance (althought that is part of it).

    Insider trading in Congress.

    Relationship between lobbyists and Washington.

    K Street is a huge problem and until that is addressed things will not get better.  

    As i've said before power corrupts and the left is missing a big issue not focusing on he fact that this is bipartisan result of an ever growing government.    

    As Uncle Ben says..."With great power comes great responsibility".


    It's way over-simplistic (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:40:52 PM EST
    to claim that corruption and lack of true democracy is simply the inevitable result of the size of government..

    It's like blaming everything on a lack of Christian values.



    I agree w/you that it is very rare that (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 05:54:02 PM EST
    Congress persons and top federal appointees don't become quite wealthy while in office. This should not happen. I don't agree the cause is the expansion of the federal government.

    I'd offer that Romney's "47%" was ... (none / 0) (#99)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:38:46 PM EST
    ... less a remark than a full-fledged screed, which offered something in it to offend practically everybody.

    And further, I think there was a decent chance that he might have survived that major gaffe politically, had he just owned up to it as what it was, which was pandering to the ignorance and fears of the wealthiest 1% he was soliciting for funds that evening.

    Instead, his campaign's initial flippant responses in defense of that screed only compounded its damaging public effect, as the media smelled blood and turned on him. And that's what ultimately doomed his candidacy.


    Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 2007 speech: (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:50:34 AM EST
    Women are naturally unfit for political office. Both the natural order and facts show us that the political being par excellence is male; the scripture shows us that woman has always been the helper of man who thinks and does, but nothing more.

    Not true (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:31:18 AM EST
    This is an urban legend.  Telem, the Argentian version of AP, has no record of this quote, even though it supposedly orginated in their news service.

    Here's the original "quote" (in Spanish):

    "Buenos Aires, 4 de junio (Télam) - El arzobispo de Buenos Aires, cardenal Jorge Bergoglio, afirmó que "las mujeres son naturalmente ineptas para ejercer cargos políticos", refiriéndose a la candidatura presidencial de la Senadora Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. "El orden natural y los hechos nos enseñan que el hombre es el ser político por excelencia; las Escrituras nos demuestran que la mujer siempre es el apoyo del hombre pensador y hacedor, pero nada más que eso".

    This quote was apparently put out by a commenter named Bumper Crop on "Yahoo Answers" for the purpose of smearing the Cardinal and to make it appear that he was attacking Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

    The more pressing questions are about his alleged complacency during the junta in the 1970s.


    I'd also like to learn more about ... (none / 0) (#66)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:07:52 PM EST
    ... what the former Fr. Jorge Bergoglio was doing in his role as a Jesuit priest during the period of the so-called "Dirty War" (1976-83) in which upwards of 30,000 Argentinians were either killed outright, or became known as "Los Desaparecidos" ("The Disappeared Ones") and probably also lost their lives.

    But before we get far ahead of ourselves and but into accusations about the new pope which might not be true, we should perhaps consider what Adolfo Perez Esquivel, awarded the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to expose the Argentine military junta's crimes against humanity, had to say about Fr. Begoglio and the junta during a recent radio interview:

    "Perhaps [Father Bergoglio] didn't have the courage of other priests, but he never collaborated with the dictatorship. Bergoglio was no accomplice of the dictatorship. He can't be accused of that."

    there were people who actively helped the junta, people who actively resisted the junta, and people who did neither, like Bergoglio.

    So he should have been... (none / 0) (#104)
    by unitron on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:26:06 PM EST
    ...Pope Niemöller the First?

    Senor Perez Esquivel's statement is important (none / 0) (#73)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:39:16 PM EST
    I suspect that the particular question about the Church (and, more specifically, the Jesuits') role may not be answerable to anyone's satisfaction, at this point.  

    Somewhere in my memory, I remember the turmoil within the upper ranks of the Church about "liberation theology."  Admittedly, I payed more attention to aspects of college than to that give & take...with it's significant question about when forms of violence would be justified by clergy. Looking back, now, the institutional resolution (coming from the Vatican at the time)looks to be more in line with theology than condoning the use of arms.  It probably is complicated.

    In a broader sense;  When should religion intervene in the state...only when corrupt, how corrupt, where is the line, etc. etc.?  Kinda reminds one of the still simmering controversy involving Pope Pius XII...how much could the Church do during WWII; in addition to shielding victims and would-be victims with sanctuary/escape, what should or could have been done? OTOH, I know that my present day concerns about the actions of some Bishops in the U.S. in matters of privacy & sexuality stem from my belief that they shouldn't be preaching politics from the pulpit (and seemingly aligning themselves with political factions); and, I have voiced that position from time to time in conversation with my Monsigneur and previous Bishop.  Yet, in matters of war and dictatorships....  

    When is intervention appropriate on an institutional level?  From what is reported so far, there is reason to believe that as the Jesuit leader in Argentina, Bergoglio intervened on a personal level for the two Jesuits who were later released, apparently as a result of his importuning the Junta commander directly. I accept that explanation...for a number of reasons.  For others, wouldn't come down to expectations.  Even then, would some consider a leader of the Roman Catholic Church guilty until proven innocent OR innocent until proven guilty?


    Argo-style to intercede on behalf of the two imprisoned priests. He assumed the identity of a different "regular" priest and got inside the prison, or something like that...

    I once had a pet rabbit... (none / 0) (#108)
    by desertswine on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:42:49 PM EST
    named Bumper Crop.

    Guess this kind of thinking will quash (none / 0) (#15)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:40:59 AM EST
    those pesky women who've been making more noise lately, huh?

    Especially those impertinent and downright sacrilegious nuns...kinda makes me wonder what the "Nuns on the Bus" - think about this - especially since their mission seems to be very much in line with what the new Pope's interests are.  Granted, they don't hold political office - but heck, they aren't even allowed to be more than nuns.

    Perhaps they would be seen less as upstart and impertinent and more as dedicated servants of God, but honestly, how can women, especially Catholic women, accept this position?

    And I guess my immediate response to someone who thinks women are unfit for political office is to opine that, golly, men have done such a stellar job ruling the world - what with all this peace and prosperity and justice and fairness - who could disagree?


    Then again there are people (none / 0) (#56)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:11:59 PM EST
    that take the religion seriously:

    I'm not Christian of any type and I think the whole religion is nothing but a bunch of made up hooey.

    But while I'd be pretty peeved if any daughter I was to have couldn't grow up to pursue the career of her choice, I'd not lose an ounce of sleep over her not being able to be a Priest or a Pope. It's only a problem for people who don't believe in Catholicism but claim to somehow still be Catholic. Personally I think they should go over to Angelicism or found their own religion entirely.


    Slay, you too... (none / 0) (#95)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 06:35:22 PM EST
    will be asked to step over to the Purgatory and Limbo line for further questioning...

    lol; he talks like an... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:44:21 AM EST
    Can't wait to hear his views on (none / 0) (#21)
    by observed on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:11:23 AM EST
    gay rights.

    You should really (none / 0) (#30)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:34:25 AM EST
    Google a quote like this  to make sure it's not an Internet rumor when it is so obviously over the top.

    How could he have ever said that?

    You should issue a retraction on this one.


    You are completely right. And I was wrong. (5.00 / 3) (#129)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:19:37 PM EST
    Mea culpa.

    The quote came to me from a listserv I subscribe to, as from the Argentinean AP. To be honest, it did not seem a stretch to me at all, given past statements from the Church. But you are completely correct that I should have checked it out first, and it was indeed a hoax. Learned my lesson!

    Apologies to Pope Francis too.


    That was nicely done (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by sj on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 03:39:25 PM EST
    Dr. Molly.  No equivocation.  Just "you are right and I was wrong".  Most of us, self included, sometimes find that hard to do.

    But then again, some of us insist we're right no matter how much information is given to the contrary.


    It happens (none / 0) (#138)
    by jbindc on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 01:14:48 PM EST
    There's a lot of stuff out there to weed through!

    No sweat (none / 0) (#142)
    by Slado on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:59:01 PM EST
    I have been just as guilty and this week alone have conceded to Yman twice that he had a point.

    No use posting if you don't do so with an open mind.

    It's why I love TL so much.  I have strong views and like to be challenged and learn something every once and a while.


    Good find, Dr. Molly. (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:38:57 AM EST
    Where was (none / 0) (#44)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:29:52 AM EST
    it found?

    "Air quote." (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:28:59 AM EST
    SITE VIOLATOR: lythuht (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:21:11 AM EST

    I should say so! (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:44:30 PM EST
    (Sigh!) But you gotta admit, if one must violate the site, then one should do it in style -- and this guy went at it with gusto and verve. No one-sentence drive-by from him!

    hey now... (none / 0) (#58)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:50:07 PM EST
    That's Nguyen Linh from Hoi dap luat doanh nghiep to you!  He/she/bot of many websites!

    Wacky winghut (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:32:21 AM EST
    statement of the day coming from facebook: The GOP needs a West/Carson ticket. Now, I'm assuming that is Allen West ROTFLMAO but I don't know who Carson is but I'm assuming he's as bad as West.

    Okay. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:38:29 AM EST
    I researched and apparently it's Ben Carson.

    What the GOP needs... is a clue. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:46:01 AM EST
    This is no country for old men.

    Ben Carson is a gifted neurosurgeon (none / 0) (#19)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:49:43 AM EST
    who had done remarkable work mainly with babies and children; he's local, so he already has a pretty high profile here in the Baltimore area.

    Because of the work he does, he's asked to speak a lot by any number of organizations - people seem to want to know more about this rather soft-spoken man with the gifted hands.  He didn't come from privilege, and there were times when his life could have gone in a completely different direction, and people want to hear about that.

    Sometime fairly recently, he's become more political, and while I accept that he has every right to say whatever he wants, I've been pretty disappointed to discover where he fits on the political spectrum.

    I think Ben Carson is a brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon who is having his moment of outspokenness, but I don't see him leaving that gift behind for any kind of career in politics.

    I could be wrong, of course, but I think, at this point, floating his name is a search for sanity more than anything else.


    I really (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:16:54 AM EST
    see this as more of move of desperation on the part of the GOP than anything else. But in reality, I seriously doubt that the GOP is ready to nominate an African American to head up at ticket at this juncture in time.

    At least Carson has something going for him because Allen West has absolutely nothing. He sounds like he has just escaped from a mental institution.


    Allen West wanted to be Joe McCarthy (none / 0) (#64)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:52:41 PM EST
    and the people weren't buying it. I'm still waiting for him to name the "79..80..about 85" practicing communists in the House of Representatives.

    So the replies (none / 0) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:19:19 AM EST
    to this suggest are that they need a new party not an Allen West ticket. Kind of confirms my belief that elderly segregationists rule in the GOP.

    Rob Portman (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:49:31 AM EST
    Becomes the first Republican senator to publicly support gay marriage after his son comes out.

    "It's a change of heart from the position of a father," Portman, of Terrace Park, told three Ohio reporters on Thursday during a 45-minute interview in his office. "I think we should be allowing gay couples the joy and stability of marriage."


    "I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and bad, the government shouldn't deny them the opportunity to get married," Portman writes in the op-ed. "This isn't how I've always felt."

    Asked whether he would support overturning Ohio's state ban on same-sex marriage if it comes up in a voter referendum, Portman said yes.

    "I'm going to be supportive of Ohioans having the opportunity to marry," he said. "I would not plan to take a leadership role in this, but people will know my position."

    ... 1978 prophecy, in which he predicted that public attitudes about LGBT people would gradually but markedly change for the better, once more gay persons came out of the closet and showed us that in reality, they are our parents, our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, and our neighbors and friends.

    Isn't that true...? (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:55:12 PM EST
    About many people on many different issues?

    It's easier to understand something that you or someone you love is affected by it, especially if you have been against it all along.


    Probably true for many, ... (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:06:09 PM EST
    ... if not most, people.

    OTOH - I have more respect for someone who does the right thing generally, rather than when it begins to affect themselves or their loved ones personally.


    Conservatives rarely have moral awakenings (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:24:49 PM EST
    about these kinds of issues unless it affects them directly. And that comports with my definition of conservatives: people who don't really care about anyone outside their small circle of family and friends, and wouldn't dare lift a finger to help a stranger if it means using the tax code to do it.

    It is not just conservatives, or at least (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:48:24 PM EST
    not just Republicans. Steny Hoyer was opposed to marriage equality, voted for DOMA. And only changed his tune when his daughter came out on 2003.

    So, yeah, I'll take Portman's pro-marrriage equality vote, just like I'll take Hoyer's, but don't expect me to shower him with praise. I'll reserve the praise for those who know that other people's children are just as important as their own, who think of these civil rights as something to which all are entitled, not just those who sit at their dinner table on Sundays.


    Hoyer is such a... (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by shoephone on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:34:39 AM EST
    ...well, never mind. I don't want to ruin breakfast.

    Or (none / 0) (#79)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:23:10 PM EST
    We could ignore the fact that he's late to the party and just celeberate that he showed up at all.

    He only "showed up" because (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:28:06 PM EST
    his son came out. His son is the one who showed courage. Rob Portman is acting on self-interest here. Nothing to applaud, IMO.

    Whatever (none / 0) (#85)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:53:59 PM EST
    He also didn't have to say anything.

    Yes, actually he DID have to (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by shoephone on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:34:55 AM EST
    because he's a politician, and one who has previously made public declarations that he did not support gay marriage. There is no way that THAT politician's son coming out as gay wasn't going to get reported in the press very shortly. See, that's the way it is in public life--the media pays attention to what you say and do. And if your son comes out as gay and you refuse to say you've changed your position on gay marriage (even though you likely would, because otherwise you may end up estranged from your son, and that would bring even more media scrutiny) you'd be labeled a lying hypocrite. And then the media attention would just go on and on.

    It's really stunning that you think Portman deserves congratulations for acting in his family's--and his own--self-interest.


    Yglesias on Portman: (none / 0) (#122)
    by shoephone on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:32:47 AM EST
    Rob Portman and the Politics of Narcissism.

    But if Portman can turn around on one issue once he realizes how it touches his family personally, shouldn't he take some time to think about how he might feel about other issues that don't happen to touch him personally? Obviously the answers to complicated public policy questions don't just directly fall out of the emotion of compassion. But what Portman is telling us here is that on this one issue, his previous position was driven by a lack of compassion and empathy. Once he looked at the issue through his son's eyes, he realized he was wrong. Shouldn't that lead to some broader soul-searching? Is it just a coincidence that his son is gay, and also gay rights is the one issue on which a lack of empathy was leading him astray? That, it seems to me, would be a pretty remarkable coincidence. The great challenge for a senator isn't to go to Washington and represent the problems of his own family. It's to try to obtain the intellectual and moral perspective necessary to represent the problems of the people who don't have direct access to the corridors of power.

    No, he really did NOT have to (none / 0) (#137)
    by jbindc on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 01:14:11 PM EST
    What he could have said was something like:

    "While I love my son, and want him to be happy, my feelings and religious beliefs on the issue of marriage is that it should remain between a man and a woman."


    You mean just like Boehner did today? (none / 0) (#141)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 07:22:25 PM EST
    "I believe that marriage is the union of one man, one woman," Boehner repeated. "It's what I grew up with, it's what I believe, it's what my church teaches me."

    "And I can't imagine that position would ever change."

    Well, Boehner the Bonehead doesn't have a son. He does, however, have two daughters... and I hope for their sakes that, if either one of them is gay, they have lots of support elsewhere, because their father is a homophobic drunken a$$hole.

    But, hey, maybe you're right. Portman easily could have pulled a Boehner.

    Pun intended.


    Your pun would be funnier (2.00 / 1) (#143)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:36:09 AM EST
    If Boehner actually pronounced his name like boner.

    You are so freaking humorless it's pathetic (1.00 / 1) (#151)
    by shoephone on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 08:16:15 PM EST
    Actually, "insufferable" is the better word to describe you. Maybe you'd be happier over at Red State, or Drudge?

    FTR: Every liberal I know pronounces it "boner". And only a conservative would get bent out of shape about it.

    Pun intended!


    This liberal pronounces it "Bay-ner," (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:39:37 AM EST
    which is how he pronounces it.  

    I kind of prefer to have my own last name pronounced correctly, too, and when I feel like it's being deliberately mispronounced, I tend to regard the speaker as a jerk, and don't feel obligated to listen to anything he or she has to say.

    I don't know, to each his own, I guess, but for me, I think the use of "Boner" for "Boehner" and referring to Tea Partiers as "teabaggers," and, in general, making pejorative nicknames for people one dislikes, just reduces the level of discourse to schoolyard level, and the credibility of whatever opinions or arguments one is making go with it.

    I can't say that I don't ever think these kinds of things, but I've just never found that saying them out loud added much to any conversation, other than the giggles.


    I compare it to (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 06:09:28 PM EST
    Conservatives always making sure to include the presidents middle name when discussing him.

    Implications obvious and just as childish.

    When someone does it they are purposely letting you know that they are only interested in being snarky.


    When it comes to Boehner (none / 0) (#155)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 06:28:20 PM EST
    I don't think it's possible to take him seriously.

    Whatever. The scolds are all out today.


    No, it isn't possible to take him (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:11:13 AM EST
    seriously - but what's his name got to do with it?  And why make the joke about his name when the real joke is that this is the kind of person his party sees fit to be Speaker of the House?

    Call me a scold if that makes you feel better; all I was attempting to do was speak as a liberal who doesn't refer to Boehner as Boner, and explain why.


    You are much more a true liberal (none / 0) (#157)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:35:04 AM EST
    Than a faux "liberal" who shows just as much intolerance for those that disagree with them as FOX News viewers do for the left.

    Yes, every "liberal" (none / 0) (#152)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:17:30 AM EST
    Funny how there are many who call themselves liberal because they consider themselves "worldly","smarter","better educated" and "more open" than those who do not describe themselves as such, and yet they really are not all that and a bag of chips.

    Rachel Maddow, a highly educated, and supposedly smart woman, also used to refer to "teabaggers" - another old joke that is on par with 7th grade boys making fart noises with their armpits. This is what "liberals" consider witty?

    Just because some "liberals" use the term, doesn't mean they are very smart or even remotely funny.

    And, yes we know - anyone who doesn't agree with the "liberal" worldview (as opposed to the ACTUAL liberal world view) should read Red State and has an opinion that is not worth the dirt on your shoe.  

    As for your childish name - calling, well, not only does it actually prove my point, but sticks and stones and all that....


    Crossing that thin line between love and hate... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:59:57 AM EST
    as the Persuaders once said.

    For those (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:13:02 AM EST
    of us that had the burning question in our mind last year as to why Romney did not pick Portman, this is probably the reason.

    Dick Cheney had a gay daughter (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:22:35 AM EST
    att he time he was picked, and they still love Cheney in the party.

    He also supports gay rights (none / 0) (#26)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:25:18 AM EST
    But he's the devil so it isn't worth remembering.

    Hitler loved children (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:05:17 AM EST
    Cheney's stand on gay rights is purely a product of his hypocrisy. Oh my kid is gay? Then I don't support treating gay people like sh*t. He is one of the single most wretched Americans this nation could possibly produce: a liar, a cheat, and a malevolent piece of feces with war profiteering blood all over his hands. The day he dies should be a day of national celebraton. It will be a good day for everyone. Cheney is one of the guys who helped destroy my brother with his sociopathy and raw stupidity. If he were in front of me, I'd probably have secret service guys breaking my arms.

    To quote John Sayles' great film, MATEWAN: "I wouldn't piss on him if his heart was on fire." I only wish no one had operated on his heart.


    Cheney (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:07:06 AM EST
    Is not a fire-breathing evangelical Christian (at least publicly).

    I already have champagne chilling (none / 0) (#65)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:54:09 PM EST
    especially for that eventful day.

    According to a reporting, (none / 0) (#42)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:15:18 AM EST
    Senator Portman came to his decision after consulting clergy and friends, including Dick Cheney.  Portman also took the message of the Bible of love and compassion as well as the Golden Rule, noting that "in a way, this strengthens the institution of marriage", and hoped that his son could have the benefits of marriage that he and his wife have enjoyed for so many years.

     While it seems that Senator Portman needs to continue his "evolution" not only in considering a leadership role in DOMA and Ohio, including his concern that religious institutions should not be forced to perform or recognize marriages they don't like.  And, he can skip the "compassion" part of the Bible's message in his thinking.

    Never-the-less, Portman is to be congratulated and also contrasted with the likes of a Phyllis Schafly who has a similar family situation and continues to urge the GOP to oppose same sex marriage.  And, the position of Dick Cheney on this matter was discussed on TL on previous occasions, noting his comments made during the vice presidential debate with Lieberman in 2000. In the post-debate discussion Bill Kristol's head exploded, but Cheney did maintain his personal position.


    Why? (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:23:24 AM EST
    While it seems that Senator Portman needs to continue his "evolution" not only in considering a leadership role in DOMA and Ohio, including his concern that religious institutions should not be forced to perform or recognize marriages they don't like.

    All he said is that he doesn't want to take the lead on this.  I see no problem with this.

    And is there a problem with religious institutions being forced to perform or recognize marriages they don't like?


    The referenced link, (none / 0) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:41:38 AM EST
    reports that "if Ohio voters were to reconsider the gay marriage ban they adopted in 2004, Portman said he might support it depending on the wording....."..religious institutions shouldn't be forced to perform weddings or recognize marriage they don't condone."  

    It seems, from his statement, that he has a way to go on the gay marriage ban repeal, starting with (as you note) the non-issue and canard of opponents that religious institutions will be forced to do something they do not want to do.   Portman should understand that the issue is one in the legal sense--a civil contract created by the states which establishes certain duties and confers certain benefits.  It is not holy matrimony, for that, couples need to go to their favorite clergyperson.   And, "consider support," while not leadership, does seem to be a position in need of evolution.  


    Fair enough (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:01:47 AM EST
    I misread your comment.



    Maybe (none / 0) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:26:41 AM EST
    Romney did not want a repeat of Cheney and having to explain why he thought his very own VP's son should be denied rights. Of course, there's the chance that  no one would have asked him like IIRC no one asked George W. Bush.

    And, another one (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:09:19 AM EST
    This time from the Rick Santorum camp.

    The mega-donor Foster Friess is best known as the moneyman behind Rick Santorum's socially conservative presidential campaign, the self-described born-again Christian takes a far more moderate position than his candidate on gay issues -- because, he said, of a personal connection, his gay brother-in-law.

    "When you talk about the party, that's the problem because there isn't any unified message," Friess said of the Republican Party's position on gay issues Thursday in an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday. "You've got people who are gay-bashers, who forget that these are human beings that need love just like all of us need love. We have to be sensitive to that."

    As with many conservatives who profess a level of support for gay rights, Friess first focused on the international scene for his attention.

    "I've said before, the number one thing that we have to work on is protecting the gay community from sharia law. Now, in the United States, it's probably not a big issue right now, but my brother-in-law is gay and his partner and I would like them to be able to travel any place in the world without them risking harm," Friess said. "In Iran, they basically hang them or behead them. So, my number one issue is: How do we support them and rally behind the gay community to make sure it's safe for them, just, to live?"

    What is Wrong with the TSA ? (none / 0) (#60)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:02:44 PM EST
    If there is one rule I think most of us could get behind it was the no knives rule.  It makes sense and isn't really much of a hassle.

    On April 25th, knives under 2.36" long and .5" wide are OK, so is some sports equipment like hockey sticks and pool cues.

    I can't even keep a straight face writing this it's so GD stoooopid.

    Money Quote:
    TSA Spokesman David Castleveter acknowledged that the agency's main responsibility is to prevent catastrophe. But he told The Wall Street Journal, "We don't believe a terrorist would have any success bringing down an airplane with a small pocketknife."

    Seems like I remember several that were taken down in grandiose style with smaller knives aka box cutters.  

    Why were they banned in the first place and if this is the criteria and they aren't a threat, can I keep my shoes on and not quarrel with some idiot about the size of my quart bag.

    Does this mean the airport restaurants will finally stop serving entrees with plastic-wear.  That would actually be pretty cool, so I will say no.

    Of all the rules that need changing, this is one I kinda liked, or rather did not mind, right behind no guns or dynamite.

    I don't mind the new rules... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:20:25 PM EST
    on small knives being allowed...since they fortified the cockpit doors the days of taking a plane down with one are over, especially with passengers now being hip to the hijack the plane to use it as a missile tactic.  These are the little toy swiss army knives and key chain knives...not Crocodile Dundee knives.

    You're abosultely right it makes no sense to allow knives and still make us do the take off the shoes and too much shampoo song and dance.  I think they should lighten up all around and put the sequester cuts to good use in that area, instead of increasing customs wait times 200%.


    Argo (none / 0) (#63)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:44:24 PM EST
    This week has been super slow and my normal coherts have not been around.  I must have rented like 10 movies.  Yes, actually went to Blockbuster and rented.

    Argo which I ordered was awesome, the thing I can't get past is how a movie was made about the Iranian hostage situation and was basically A-political.  And while I knew the outcome, I was on edge the entire movie, really good.

    The Perks of Being a wallflower was pretty close.

    The new James Bond was not good.

    Safety Not Guaranteed, was a really lucky Independent find.

    Seven Psychopaths was surprising good.

    I am movied out.  Can not wait for the weekend to start, it's one of those extremely rare weekends in Houston in which the weather is perfect.  Not too hot, high of 70, low of 50, clear blue skys, and the Rodeo is in town with a St Patty Day chaser.

    I loved "Argo." (none / 0) (#100)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:49:47 PM EST
    But I really liked "Skyfall," and absolutely loathed "Seven Psychopaths." To each his own, I guess.

    One of my themes lately is the unholy (none / 0) (#117)
    by Slado on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 07:57:42 AM EST
    Union of big government and Wall Street.


    This is coming our way if we continue down our debt spiral in Washington and in lots of states across the country.

    So many think we can spend out way out of this.   Who is going to win in the long run?   The money lenders.   Not the people all this spending is supposed to help.

    One of my themes lately is the unholy (none / 0) (#118)
    by Slado on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 07:58:11 AM EST
    Union of big government and Wall Street.


    This is coming our way if we continue down our debt spiral in Washington and in lots of states across the country.

    So many think we can spend out way out of this.   Who is going to win in the long run?   The money lenders.   Not the people all this spending is supposed to help.

    Some new insights into LBJ (none / 0) (#144)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:55:31 AM EST
    He wanted to fly to Chicago in 1968, show up at the convention, and announce his candidacy for president, new tapes reveal.

    The 1968 convention, held in Chicago, was a complete shambles.

    Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters clashed with Mayor Richard Daley's police, determined to force the party to reject Johnson's Vietnam war strategy.

    As they taunted the police with cries of "The whole world is watching!" one man in particular was watching very closely.

    Lyndon Baines Johnson was at his ranch in Texas, having announced five months earlier that he wouldn't seek a second term.

    The president was appalled at the violence and although many of his staff sided with the students, and told the president the police were responsible for "disgusting abuse of police power," Johnson picked up the phone, ordered the dictabelt machine to start recording and congratulated Mayor Daley for his handling of the protest.

    The president feared the convention delegates were about to reject his war policy and his chosen successor, Hubert Humphrey.

    So he placed a series of calls to his staff at the convention to outline an astonishing plan. He planned to leave Texas and fly into Chicago.

    He would then enter the convention and announce he was putting his name forward as a candidate for a second term.

    It would have transformed the 1968 election. His advisers were sworn to secrecy and even Lady Bird did not know what her husband was considering.

    Also on the tapes:

    By the time of the election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks - or, as he put it, that Nixon was guilty of treason and had "blood on his hands".

    If LBJ had evidence of Nixon's treason, then why (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 03:02:33 PM EST
    the hell didn't he make that evidence public? That LBJ kept it to himself is infuriating. Talk about an obstruction of justice.

    It's all explained (none / 0) (#150)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:01:17 PM EST
    in the many articles about this story on-line. I read it in the NYT, but, it's all over. I'm sure if you just type into Google: "Johnson/Nixon/treason" you'll get all the hits you could ask for.

    oh, and BTW, I'm not exaggerating about "treason," as that's what Johnson's advisors believed it was.


    Great Link (none / 0) (#145)
    by Slado on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:37:14 AM EST
    Fascinating stuff