Wednesday Open Thread

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Yet Another NSA Program: Mystic | March Madness! >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    The R's are not stupid (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:42:43 AM EST
    They knew it would work and it is.  And it's killing them.

    Are you kidding? (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:14:58 AM EST
    Most of the people around here surely are not into the "awesomeness of Obama"

    But you're full of continuous gloom and doom about the ACA much like the Republicans. Are there problems with the law? Certainly there are problems. There is also some good in the law too. What annoys me the most is people's failure to discuss the actual problem with Obamacare which is its dependence on the very flawed business model of the insurance companies. Have you noticed that the GOP can never somehow deal with the truth of this matter? They annoy me because they act like everything was perfect before Obamacare came along and it was not.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 308 (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:44:01 AM EST
    She reads palms and greases them at the same time. (link)

    v. 307
    v. 306

    Happy Thursday, peeps. Off to sign my son up for high school today. Can't believe he's this old already. But who can as parents?


    Prison Beat... (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:29:15 AM EST
    here's one you don't hear every day...the screws at Rikers may have killed this poor slob by cracking up in the heat in his cell to 100 degrees.

    So Sad (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:33:38 AM EST
    Putting bail at $2500 for a homeless person should be a crime.

    "Everybody's talkin' 'bout crime.... (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:36:17 AM EST
    but tell me, who are the criminals?"

    - Peter Tosh


    We have (none / 0) (#158)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:04:05 PM EST
    more people in prison than anywhere it seems.

    I can't remember who said it, but I read that someone said that either the US has more criminals than anyplace, or we have a truly fked up system.

    I guess I opt for the latter --- but...

    Considering that anyone smoking a toke of weed is a criminal...

    Well - those would seem to be the options.

    Maybe we qualify on both grounds.
    We're all criminals (including every single elected official) and we have a broken fked up racist elitist system.


    You read it right here on TL... (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:23:43 PM EST
    lentinel, where else? Our new best friend the Honorable Otis Wright.

    One of the big problems in MD is (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:32:00 PM EST
    with people who think they are enrolled but can't seem to get the provider to send them a bill to pay - and then the insurance company all of a sudden does communicate with them in order to cancel the insurance for lack of payment.

    That seems to me to be a ninth-circle-of-hell, Catch-22 kind of problem.

    Is that an Obama problem? An ACA problem?  I think the answer to that is "no" in both cases - but it is a problem and I don't think MD is the only place where it is happening.

    As long as we have it, I'd like it to work for as many people as possible; if it fails, I think we end up with something far worse, and no hope of ever getting a universal-type system.

    When will the kids ever learn... (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:12:36 PM EST
    in zero-tolerance world, honesty is the worst possible f8ckin' policy.

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    That's true I suppose (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by sj on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:13:06 PM EST
    jbs been posting virtually that same "analysis" concerning the Tea Party's demise bi-weekly for months.
    And how, pray tell, that does differ from the regurgitation that you do? Or that squeaky does? Or that MT does? Or that christine does (athough she reguritates Putin)? Or that Donald "I am more than an operative" does?

    Look, I'm not on the same page as jb. I don't reach the same conclusions that she does, but she is, in fact, providing the data that informs her conclusions. Which, frankly speaking, is much, much more than any you or any of her other critics do. With the possible exception of Ga6thDem.

    I enjoy Towanda's comments. (5.00 / 2) (#193)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:39:09 PM EST
    I have posted nothing in response to the "drunk" comment.

    Perhaps I should cease commenting on blogs. Pretty much a waste of time and emotion.

    This is me (5.00 / 2) (#204)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:18:47 AM EST
    First (4.00 / 3) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:57:24 AM EST
    Let's be honest, I suspect you motives.  Second - and this is the important part - I am NOT one of the very few.  This is a meme I expect comes from urban dwellers with higher than average incomes about this law. Let me clue you in.  I live in rural America where the average wage is minimum and around here damn near every house on the street is benefiting from the aca.  And the worst news for the aca haters is that the most virulent hater holdouts are swallowing hard and signing up.  

    And you know what now when I sit in a waiting room all I hear is 'this is the first time I have been to a doctor in years', 'I couldn't believe how cheap it was', 'my baby has never been to a doctor'.  The environment has changed.  You do not sit in that room and bad mouth Obamacare.

    I actually (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:06:04 AM EST
    have seen some of this too. A friend of mine who's husband is an absolute Obama hater signed up for insurance. They were able to have insurance for the first time in six years or more. Previously they could not afford it.

    Ok (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:22:56 AM EST
    Good for you, as I said.

    But right now you ARE one of the very few who are getting policies for $70 (plus a subsidy). That's great. Most people aren't getting that, and I know you know that.

    This is a meme I expect comes from urban dwellers with higher than average incomes about this law.

    Actually, I find that where I live it is exactly those people who LOVE this law.  Of course, most of them aren't actually subject to this law, since their "higher than average incomes" tend to come with things like employer-based insurance, so it's easy to love something if you aren't affected by it.  

    Unfortunately, that isn't my experience.  My plan was canceled (even though it was a good plan but just didn't cover maternity care, which I originally opted out of). So, instead I got to buy a plan that was about 10-15% higher than what I was paying, for a smaller network. And since I am an hourly employee who works on a project (temp) basis, where my income changes drastically year to year, it's kind of hard to budget for almost $300 / month (plus more, since I won't ever meet my deductible).

    So, I am generally happy that you are able to go to the doctor and get your meds.  But please don't think that those of us who aren't in love with this law feel that way just because of Obama, or because we hate poor people, or that we're big meanies, or that we aren't quite as enlightened as you, or whatever.  


    One of the eventual (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:43:51 AM EST
    statistics--and, more importantly, realities--will be the clear benefits side of the ledger.  Certainly, as humans, we all tend to evaluate many situations through our personal experience and how we are effected.  Of course.  As the numbers roll in and continue to roll up, it may be that you will come to re-look at the percentages of benefits.  

    Yes, I'm suggesting that your very personal experience may actually represent the minority/smaller outcome of the ACA.  I continue to support the utilitarian and broader outlook of focusing on the "greatest good for the greatest number."  


    Major problem IMO (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:58:26 AM EST
    Top Cancer Centers Off-Limits Under Obamacare

    Some of America's best cancer hospitals are off-limits to many of the people now signing up for coverage under the nation's new health care program.

    Doctors and administrators say they're concerned. So are some state insurance regulators. An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast.
    Those patients may not be able get the most advanced treatment, including clinical trials of new medications. Also, it's not easy for consumers to tell if top-level institutions are included in a plan.

    "The challenges of this are going to become evident ... as cancer cases start to arrive," said Norman Hubbard, executive vice president of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

    As a cancer survivor, this is a major concern to me. In MO, the #1 cancer center is not in the limited network offered by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The only other insurance company on the exchange in MO does include BJC in their higher cost PPOs. IOW too poor to afford the higher coverage, forget about getting the most advanced treatment.


    Again (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:08:09 AM EST
    this is more of an insurance problem that Obamacare failed to fix. Anybody who has a PPO or an HMO pretty much would have to go out of network to a major cancer center as unless you live in NY and can go to Sloane Kettering or Houston where MD Anderson is which is likely to be in the local networks.

    I think if you look into this a little bit, (5.00 / 3) (#101)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:28:38 AM EST
    you will find there are people for whom these facilities were in their "old" networks, who now must find somewhere else to obtain treatment, or risk enormous out-of-pocket costs.

    Insurance companies have been pretty clear about the narrowing of networks, and even what I would call red-lining, restricting access for those in urban and/or low-income areas where chronic conditions are putting more of a strain on profits.  Can you imagine not being able to see doctors or go to hospitals close to you, and be restricted to providers in areas that, if they are serviced by public transportation, require an investment of time and money that you might not be able to expend just to get there?

    Anyone with a lick of sense knew that all of these coverage mandates were going to result in insurance companies finding other ways to keep their bottom lines up where they want them to be.  And so it goes.

    You mentioned in a comment that no one has been talking about the futility of building a new system on the foundation of the old one.  I'm someone who has mentioned that on many occasions, from the beginning of the push to reform, and all I get from people like squeaky when I bring it up now is more sneering and manipulating of my comments.  Others have also brought this up, and they get the same treatment - because, don't you know, pointing these things out is all about hating Obama, and not at all about wanting a better system that makes access to affordable care a given for everyone.


    Since we're talking analysis (none / 0) (#188)
    by vicndabx on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:25:57 PM EST
    "We had narrow networks in the `90s. Health-care prices not only moderated, but actually there was one year where they fell," said Northwestern University professor David Dranove, who specializes in the health care industry. "Then we had the HMO backlash and we had broad networks [again], and health care prices went through the roof."

    But in any state, making every insurer accept every hospital, "is going to throttle competition," said Dranove, the Northwestern professor who specializes in the health industry. "And this is a healthcare reform that depends entirely on competition. So the people who are fighting for broad networks... are ultimately fighting for the demise of Obamacare


    Again, I ask people, how they envisioned this working under a Medicare for all/single payer option? You'd be able to go to any doctor you want?  All the docs and hospitals would just line up to accept cuts to their income?  That numerous doctors and hospitals wouldn't go out of business because they couldn't adequately staff?

    Why are people not going after providers of care w/the same zeal?  You are horribly misinformed going after insurers who are trying to work w/in the existing cost structures.  We don't have exorbitant Wall-Street type profits.  

    Whatever system you use you have to deal w/the costs at some point.

    Even as Spain and Greece gut their own costly health-care systems in an effort to control government spending, French President François Hollande is struggling to preserve his country's enviably generous benefits, which most citizens consider a right. Aware that any attempt to dramatically curtail perks would likely lead to massive protests, Hollande has taken a more modest approach to cost-cutting. France's health system now requires doctors to reduce the number of drugs they prescribe and to substitute generics for brand-name pharmaceuticals. The government says cuts in the cost of prescription medicines will save €530 million ($702.4 million) in 2013. Patients in other European nations have long used generics, but many French view no-name drugs with suspicion and demand the real thing.

    sound familiar?

    This whole debate looks to me like what happened w/manufacturing in this company.  We wanted it cheaper, to buy what we wanted when we wanted.  Didn't think about those jobs that would get off-shored to never return.  We are doomed to repeat those same mistakes if we don't learn from the past.


    Speak for yourself (none / 0) (#196)
    by sj on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:46:33 PM EST
    Didn't think about those jobs that would get off-shored to never return.  
    I thought about them. Didn't you?
    We are doomed to repeat those same mistakes if we don't learn from the past.
    Too bad the "we" you refer to can only refer to elected officials. Whose priorities, once elected, becomes the next election.

    I think you are operating under faulty (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:44:34 PM EST

    People here in MO were able to go to Siteman and other BJC facilities prior to the insurers deciding to narrow the networks this year on the exchange.  BJC facilities were in network for HMOs and PPOs policies here. I started treatment at Siteman under my HMO policy and I have been treated by Wash. U. (BJC) doctors for as long as I can remember.

    The reason this is getting so much attention is that eliminating the best cancer centers and the better children's hospitals from policies is new here and not something that was standard prior to implementation of Obama's insurance legislation.


    Might this change? I ask because (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:54:13 PM EST
    prior to the ACA, I would receive notice the physician group which included my physicians was no longer accessible via my HMO. Phone calls to group and HMO etc.  then the matter would be resolved and the physicians group would be included by Jan. 1.  $$ the physicians to receive for patient care agreed upon via negotiation.

    I do not seeing it changing this year (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:20:20 PM EST
    and I do not think it will change without a major push (not just lip service) by the administration and state insurance regulators. There are major reasons for the insurance industry to want this to become the new normal. This sums it up IMO:

    By not including a top cancer center, an insurer can cut costs. It may also shield itself from risk, delivering an implicit message to cancer survivors or people with a strong family history of the disease that they should look elsewhere.

    For now, the issue seems to be limited to the new insurance exchanges. But it could become a concern for Americans with job-based coverage too if employers turn to narrow networks.

    Bottom line, it become a way to avoid covering costly preexisting conditions at no extra costs.


    How so? (none / 0) (#189)
    by vicndabx on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:27:44 PM EST
    Bottom line, it become a way to avoid covering costly preexisting conditions at no extra costs.

    If you can get that same treatment somewhere else?


    Obviously you didn't read the article (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:36:47 PM EST
    before you decided to make that statement in defense of your industry.

    I did read the article (none / 0) (#199)
    by vicndabx on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:52:04 PM EST
    it said that some plans don't cover certain hospitals.  It did not say no hospitals were covered by no plan.

    Did you, or did you only see that which you wanted to see:

    The unique role of cancer centers is recognized under Medicare. Several are exempt from its hospital payment system, instituted to control costs.

    Several, not ALL.  How is that any different from a network?

    Do you know CMS Policy re: Clinical Trials?  That if CMS covers it, insurers who offer Medicare Choice policies must cover it also?

    Medicare regulations require Medicare+Choice (M+C) organizations to follow CMS's national coverage decisions.......M+C organizations therefore must cover these services regardless of whether they are available through in-network providers. M+C organizations may have reporting requirements when enrollees participate in clinical trials, in order to track and coordinate their members' care, but cannot require prior authorization or approval.

    and yes, I make no apologies for defending that which provides me w/my livelihood.  Particularly when those that attack it present a biased view of the facts.

    and you didn't answer my question.  I'll answer it for you - people can choose coverage that provides care at the facility they want.  It may not be the lowest cost plan, or may not be w/the insurer they want, but the options do exist.


    How is that different (none / 0) (#202)
    by sj on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:59:39 PM EST
    I'll answer it for you - people can choose coverage that provides care at the facility they want.  It may not be the lowest cost plan, or may not be w/the insurer they want, but the options do exist.
    from what others have been saying here? You make it sound like a mere detail. It probably is to some. But to someone who actually needs that care it is not a mere detail.
    It did not say no hospitals were covered by no plan.
    Yeah, and? That isn't the problem that has been expressed by anyone that I can recall.

    But your comment was very smooth. A very smooth move indeed. It almost sounds like a reasonable response and not an industry deflection.


    I would like to know more, MO (none / 0) (#89)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:02:31 AM EST
    That kind of limitation on access to life-saving cancer centers needs to be rectified.  I agree.

    This is a pretty good article (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:03:43 PM EST
    about the situation. It is IMO a balanced view of what is going on.

    Before President Barack Obama's health care law, a cancer diagnosis could make you uninsurable. Now, insurers can't turn away people with health problems or charge them more. Lifetime dollar limits on policies, once a financial trapdoor for cancer patients, are also banned.
    The new obstacles are more subtle.

    To keep premiums low, insurers have designed narrow networks of hospitals and doctors. The government-subsidized private plans on the exchanges typically offer less choice than Medicare or employer plans.

    By not including a top cancer center, an insurer can cut costs. It may also shield itself from risk, delivering an implicit message to cancer survivors or people with a strong family history of the disease that they should look elsewhere.

    For now, the issue seems to be limited to the new insurance exchanges. But it could become a concern for Americans with job-based coverage too if employers turn to narrow networks. link

    This is being recognized as a real problem and not just anti-ACA spin:

    The Obama administration says it has notified insurers that their networks will get closer scrutiny for next year in the 36 states served by the federal exchange. Cancer care will be a priority, it says.

    The narrow networks are also excluding some of the top children's hospital.

    Hopefully Obama will really follow up on these problems because they are real and impede people getting the best care available.


    In case my comment about (1.00 / 1) (#83)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:49:55 AM EST
    personal prisms and related views wasn't clear, it is intended to reply to jbindc, and her perspective about majority/minority experience with the ACA.

    What numbers are those? (none / 0) (#81)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:47:33 AM EST
    As the numbers roll in and continue to roll up, it may be that you will come to re-look at the percentages of benefits.  

    "Enrollment numbers"?  (which mean nothing until people have paid for their premium, as you very well know by now).

    "Numbers who actually get access to care"?

    I continue to support the utilitarian and broader outlook of focusing on the "greatest good for the greatest number."

    Got evidence for this?


    The start, jbindc (4.25 / 4) (#86)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:56:45 AM EST
    This early phase of the ACA--this start, this beginning--shows over 5 million enrolling to date (and that does not include the newly enrolled several million signed up for the Medicaid expansion.) As we all know, the enrollments are the precursor to care.  

    Those but-what-about and what-if questions that emerge from any large scale national, and even statewide program, will be analyzed as well.  For now, I would suggest that the "but-but-buts" as to the growing & obvious enrollment numbers are classic red-herrings.  We'll see, soon enough.


    Btw job (none / 0) (#95)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:17:17 AM EST
    Not sure if you know how this works but it is not 70 plus a subsidy.  The subsidy allowse me to pay 70

    Nice (none / 0) (#175)
    by sj on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:53:53 PM EST
    That's a very, very nice price Capt. What does your network look like?

    Really Anne (2.00 / 1) (#105)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:33:25 AM EST
    whats your interpretation of the intent of these long "not to worry, the Tea Party is waning in influence" posts?  

    Closing time for the Tea Party? (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:26:12 PM EST
    The Tea Party's Over

    2014 is shaping up as the year the Republican establishment is finding its footing. Of the 12 Republican senators on the ballot, six face primary competition, but only one looks seriously threatened: Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi. More significantly, only two House Republicans are facing credible competition from tea-party conservatives: Simpson and Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania--fewer than the number of conservative House Republicans facing competition from the establishment wing (Reps. Justin Amash, Walter Jones, and Kerry Bentivolio). With filing deadlines already passed in 23 states, it's hard to see that dynamic changing.

    Even the Club for Growth, one of the first outside groups to target Republican members of Congress, has been notably disciplined this year. Last February, the Club encouraged candidates to run against 10 squishy House Republicans, launching a PrimaryMyCongressman.com site featuring the so-called RINOs. Only one qualified challenger emerged. Their PAC is targeting just one Republican senator (Cochran, facing state Sen. Chris McDaniel) and one Republican congressman (Simpson). Meanwhile, they've joined forces with the party establishment in backing Senate candidates Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Dan Sullivan of Alaska. The endorsement of Sullivan is significant, since they backed Joe Miller's losing general-election campaign against Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2010. Miller's running again, but this time they're opposing him in the primary.

    Lots of Tea Party candidates are running, but few are winning:

    Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has declared open war on outside groups -- like the Senate Conservatives Fund -- who provide the financial backing for tea party challengers to sitting incumbents.  Tea party-aligned primary candidates have fizzled. In a recent NBC-Wall Street Journal national poll, just 23 percent of people had a positive image of the tea party while 41 percent had a negative impression -- the worst numbers for any individual or group tested other than Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    But Cilizza isn't ready to call the fight over just yet:

    Simply put: It's easy to write the "Tea Party is dead" story. But, according to a fascinating new project  out of the Brookings Institution that aims to study the 2014 primary season (more of this please!), the tea party remains relevant -- largely because it supplies the vast majority of candidates willing to take on sitting Republican incumbents at the federal level.

    And not for nothing, but analysts are starting to predict that the stars just might be lining up for a Republican takeover of the Senate, somewhat in part because the Tea Party crazies aren't suckig up the oxygen and air time ala Christine O'Donnell, Todd Aiken, and Sharon Angle.  Charlie Cook -just today:

    On Monday, we took a fresh look at the Senate landscape on the heels of Scott Brown's announcement that he will run in New Hampshire. The conclusion? Republicans have more reasons than perhaps at any previous point this election cycle to be bullish about winning back the majority.

    Today comes more evidence the tide is shifting in Republicans' favor. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report --a widely respected independent political handicapper -- moved a trio of Democratic-held seats from "Lean Democratic" to "Toss-up." In addition, Brown's entrance moved New Hampshire from "Likely Democratic" to "Lean Democratic," meaning it looks more likely to fall into Republican hands than before.


    With the new moves, eight Democratic seats now fall into Cook Report's "Toss-up," "Lean Republican" or "Likely Republican" categories: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota. Just two GOP seats fall into the corresponding Democratic categories: Georgia and Kentucky.

    Republicans need to net six seats for the majority. In addition to the eight ripest opportunities above, they also stand chances of picking up Colorado and New Hampshire -- chances that did not exit [sic] before Gardner and Brown entered the mix. There's also Iowa, a Democratic seat worth watching, even as the Republican field has struggled and Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley (D) has done well so far.

    A. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:39:22 PM EST
    A lot can happen in 7.5 months.  We are one up 5 mill signed up for the aca and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence around here that even the Muslim-Kenyan-Manchurian candidate crowd is slack jawed by the low cost of their new insurance.  However
    As long as there is a mouth breathing moron willing to scream about birth certificates and immegrunts in a town meeting the tea party will never be dead.

    Glad you're back (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by MKS on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:57:15 AM EST
    Off topic I suppose, but this is open thread, no?

    Your cabin sounds great.  Off the grid for an extended period of time.  It would give one time to read books--do people still do that?

     And I can imagine how the dogs would love to just roam free.


    They do (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:26:22 AM EST
    And I did.

    What the writer fails (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 10:20:31 PM EST
    to understand that the aim of the Tea Party is to make the Repubs more responsive and more conservative.

    So they don't have to win to accomplish many of their goals.


    I would (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:00:56 AM EST
    like to see a tea party on the left.
    A coffee party.

    ummm.... (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by sj on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:49:13 AM EST
    I would (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:00:56 AM MDT

    like to see a tea party on the left.
    A coffee party.

    ...would that be like a ...klatch?



    If we could just (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:10:42 AM EST
    Put together a "poor and disenfranchised" party we could vote every republican out of every level of government in Nov.  even in red states.

    I don't understand why the people with the money are not focusing like a laser of registering and educating these people.
    Here's an idea spend every penny we have on this.  Forget advertising.


    I just (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:27:57 AM EST
    wish that I could be assured that once the republicans were thrown out, they would be replaced by democrats who did not share the same ideology of those they deposed.

    Precisely (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:02:33 AM EST
    to turn the GOP into more of a radical fundamentalist party.

    And more radical (none / 0) (#30)
    by Yman on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:26:05 AM EST
    Good luck with that.

    I've always thought that a (none / 0) (#35)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:55:41 AM EST
    predominant aim of the Tea Party was to conjure the illusion that there existed in this country an "independent" faction on the hard-right who had nothing to do with the Bush travesty being voted in for eight years.

    How do you preserve and inject life into the agenda of the hard-right after Bush? Create a "new" party and talk as though what came before had nothing whatsoever to do with us and what we believe.


    jbindc: "And not for nothing, but analysts are starting to predict that the stars just might be lining up for a Republican takeover of the Senate, somewhat in part because the Tea Party crazies aren't suckig up the oxygen and air time ala Christine O'Donnell, Todd Aiken, and Sharon Angle."

    ... we might as well simply dispense with the election altogether and hand it to them. And for someone who's regularly claimed to be a Democrat, you sure seem to like waving the GOP's pom-poms a lot in these threads.

    As longtime San Antonio TV sportscaster Dan Cook once warned over-exuberant Spurs fans during the 1979 NBA Eastern Conference championship series when their team led the Washington Bullets by three games to one, "The opera ain't over 'til the fat lady sings." His warning proved prescient, because the Spurs went on to lose that series in seven.

    Suffice to say that a lot can happen between now and Election Day in November. You best remember that -- certainly better than you did in 2012, when you were busy rooting for a Mitt Romney presidency here at TL.



    There are, of course, other ways to look (5.00 / 6) (#32)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:45:11 AM EST
    at all of this, none of which require you to put pom-poms in jb's hands.

    One, there's a distinct possibility that the so-called analysts would prefer an election season that won't be the equivalent of a knock-out in the first round - it works much better for the media if there are actual contests, and one way to ensure that is to "analyze" them into reality.

    Two, I got the impression not that jb was cheerleading for the GOP, but showing that the demise of the Tea Party may not be good news for Democrats - that if the GOP can find its footing and successfully re-brand (I have my doubts they can, just because there are a lot of Republicans doing and saying some very stupid things), Democrats could get caught napping - to their detriment.  I mean, let's face it: Dems do have a tendency to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on occasion.

    Finally, you do yourself no favors joining the contingent that keeps wanting to paint jb as a Mitt Romney supporter.  For someone who presents himself as having such keen political instincts, it's somewhat surprising you can't tell the difference between support for a Republican candidate and identifying the biggest threats to the Democratic candidate. So, jb was wrong in terms of how much of a threat Romney turned out to be, but that doesn't make her a Romney supporter.  But maybe the flying debris from your manically-waving Democratic pom-poms obscured your vision.


    A more typical TL debate... (none / 0) (#42)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:58:34 AM EST
    pom pom

    Since the mid 1700's pompon has had the more common usage in the English language, other than a short stretch in the early 1900's and then again starting about 1995.


    Spelling (none / 0) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:06:08 AM EST
    Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961) gives the spelling as "pompon."

    The New Oxford American Dictionary (third edition, 2010) gives the spelling as "pom-pom."

    The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition, 2011) gives the spelling as "pompom" or "pompon."

    Webster's New World College Dictionary (fourth edition) gives the spelling as "pompom."

    And the debate rages on :) (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:07:17 AM EST
    FWIW (none / 0) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:29:07 AM EST
    pom-pom is the first choice of the dictionary on my computer with (also pompom or pompon ) as alternate choices.

    At least it is a civil debate with both sides providing facts to substantiate their spelling preferences.


    Teaching school in the early 80's (none / 0) (#59)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:38:51 AM EST
    I would get dumbfounded looks when mentioning pompons was more accurate. Of course they were ahead of their time, as by the mid 90's they were right and I was was wrong.

    It is the 'merican way (none / 0) (#60)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:42:33 AM EST
    After all pompons is French. ( ;o) - to be read as wink on smiley face)

    Freedompoms! (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:31:55 AM EST
    The question, from my point of view, (none / 0) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:21:41 PM EST
    is, which has died, the Establishment wing or the Tea Party wing of the Republican party.  Or, have both lived on in a new way--sort of a Grand Old Tea Party?   True, the power struggle may be running its course, and the Tea Party aggressiveness  may have served its purpose, but it seems that there is little ideologic difference, if there ever was any.  And, what differences there may be, they have been assimilated so as to be, in essence, one in the same.  The internecine party warfare appears to have resulted in a loss for some of the Tea Party's most extreme tactics, and win for the Establishment's control of the party structure--with an ability to depress the tea party gymnastics in exchange for adoption of its extremist views.  

    Exactly, KeysDan, exactly (none / 0) (#10)
    by christinep on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:54:50 PM EST
    The name "Tea Party" & its associated publicized costume-party-type protests may have run its course .... Yet, consider the apparent reality that the far-right notions of the TP group have infused the larger GOP.  Skeptical, anyone (jbindc?): Check out the positioning of the GOP, in general ... check out the party's growing and ever-rigidified ideology about almost any issue that crosses the landscape.

     Apart from the wishful thinking of some less radical conservative pundits, take a close look at the positions espoused by Republican candidates (even excluding Gohmert) and ponder how the top-polling potential 2016 candidates among Republican are Tea Party-favorites Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Whatever the name, whatever the title ... the last several years has witnessed the infusion of extreme conservative politics into the "center" of the full Republican party.


    Also (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 07:10:03 PM EST
    They are doing very well at the state level.  Red states are for the most part getting redder.   The stuff that still embarrasses national republicans is fully mainstream in most of the south.  The governor of Georgia is pushing the idea of repealing the law Reagan signed that mandates emergency rooms to treat dying people as a response to the closing of rural hospitals because of cost pressures.  Instead of simply taking the Medicaid expansion and making them paying customers.  If democrats don't find a way to register and motivate the vast group of untapped poor and disenfranchised the future is grim.

    I think our local tea candidate is getting (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:17:52 PM EST
    Into AL House.  He ran for House and lost, ran for Senate and lost, but he has name recognition now and signs EVERYWHERE.  He has a child the same age as Josh and drove a vehicle to Disney World for a school sanctioned trip last month.  I was picking Josh up while kids were getting out of school and starting to load for the trip.  Josh's therapy dog was with me in the backseat of our vehicle.  Teenagers hollering and frolicking all around and she's looking around for her boy when Barry parts the crowd of kids.  I couldn't believe it.  Delilah growled at him within the confines of the car, a therapy dog!  He got closer and her growl deepened.  Finally I had to explain to her that you can't physically threaten him, our only hope in a nation of laws is to vote him out.  I think he is in this cycle.  He's slimy as a slug too.

    Dogs (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:36:27 PM EST
    They always know

    Is Josh's therapy dog, Delilah, (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:57:04 PM EST
    the Standard Poodle you bought and trained for him?
    Because Standards are incredibly intuitive about what "their" people are feeling.  There were times, if I was the least bit nervous about someone walking by our house, or knocking on the door (not that it happened with every passerby, I'm not paranoid), even if I didn't think I was showing any reactions, my Standards would growl menacingly and bark fiercely (not just the regular "someone is there" bark) and there were occasions when I thought that he or she might just jump through the window screen after that person.  Not that they ever did that.   ;-)
    It's entirely possible that Delilah was reacting to your dislike of this guy.  They really do pick up on our feelings.

    Yes, to me the 'tea party' was just the name (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 09:57:18 PM EST
    put on mostly the same old crazies. The real questions is: what will they call themselves next?

    I do think the GOP will probably take back the Senate this time - the schedule of seats up is just too much against the Dems this time. The Dems could get it back in 2016 though, when the schedule is more favorable, and there is a national election. The two years int he meantime are lost anyway the way things are now.

    If it sounds like I have mostly given up...it is because I have...


    This is (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:53:19 AM EST
    more an example of the civil war with the GOP. And what is going to happen in November to people like McConnel who is hated by tea party members. Are they going to sit home?

    Tea party write in wins (none / 0) (#115)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:05:46 AM EST
    Saw this the other day, write in candidate Scott Wagner first time it happened. Story

    "Politicos and election officials are confirming Republican Scott Wagner's apparent victory in the 28th Senate as the first time a write-in candidate has won an election for state Senate in Pennsylvania."


    Had to end sometime (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:31:52 PM EST
    NASA Study Concludes When Civilization Will End, And It's Not Looking Good for Us

    I think we were discussing this the other day

    Analyzing five risk factors for societal collapse (population, climate, water, agriculture and energy), the report says that the sudden downfall of complicated societal structures can follow when these factors converge to form two important criteria. Motesharrei's report says that all societal collapses over the past 5,000 years have involved both "the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity" and "the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or "Commoners") [poor]." This "Elite" population restricts the flow of resources accessible to the "Masses", accumulating a surplus for themselves that is high enough to strain natural resources. Eventually this situation will inevitably result in the destruction of society.
    Elite power, the report suggests, will buffer "detrimental effects of the environmental collapse until much later than the
    Commoners," allowing the privileged to "continue 'business as usual' despite the impending catastrophe."
    This is what happened to Rome and the Mayans, according to the report.

    Damn (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:42:13 PM EST
    Your link (none / 0) (#6)
    by sj on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:47:29 PM EST
    kept looping back to this blog post. Here is a link that's all cleaned up. I think. "It" kept trying to loop back to this comment.

    Um (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:59:24 PM EST
    Yeah.  Cutting and pasting on this iPad thingie is like rubbing your stomach and patting your head.  While juggling

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling! (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 10:26:30 PM EST

    The Pistorious trial has been interesting. (none / 0) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:42:24 PM EST
    Today the prosecution says the first shot shattered her hip, the 2nd shot missed her but some fragments ricocheted into her back, and the 3rd and 4th shots hit her arm and head, though they can't tell the order these two final shots hit her. You'd think she'd have screamed or cried out at some point during this barrage. I am finding it harder and harder to believe OP did not know it was her behind that door.

    The accounts of a (none / 0) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:15:06 PM EST
    woman screaming has always made it impossible for me to believe OP's story.

    I just can't buy that she wouldn't scream when being shot several times.  


    Yes, me too. Hard to believe someone would (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 09:51:45 PM EST
    NOT cry out after being shot once in the hip - and the first cry should have told him it was not a burglar.  

    Given what I've heard and read thus far, ... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 10:40:38 PM EST
    ... I have to agree with you. But the defense has yet to present its case, and I reserve the right to change my mind if given a compelling reason to do so.

    Speaking for myself only, I think it's really too bad that someone in authority never made a real effort prior to this tragedy to encourage Oscar to seriously reconsider his obvious enchantment with firearms and gunplay, given the several earlier incidents and run-ins he had with law enforcement over this very issue, prior to the shooting of his girlfriend. At the very least, this was a readily avoidable incident.



    Immediately after firing a gun (none / 0) (#44)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:04:05 AM EST
    I'm not sure you can hear much of anything. Recognizing someone from an injured screaming voice is something well covered as difficult.

    I have a more basic problem with firing through the bathroom door when the bathroom has no entry to the home.

    OTOH without something solid as to motive where does it go?


    I'm not sure what I find (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 07:23:19 PM EST

    More disturbing

    what is happening in Russia or the fact that a growing herd of US conservatives are all but openly praising Putin for being a "real man"

    You are (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:34:21 AM EST
    referencing "social" conservatives.
    Ones that are fked up with the movement to ensure equal rights for homosexuals in this country.

    But - take a look at the likes of the conservatives in government:
    McCain for example.

    Plenty of blustery hot air on both sides of the aisle.

    Of course, imo, we and the Europeans have become economically interdependent on dealings with Russia - and so they are all scratching their heads trying to figure a way to "punish" Russia without losing any money in the process.


    I did not actually mean to (none / 0) (#45)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:04:21 AM EST
    The piece was about Franklin Graham but I am equally disturbed by the republican - and yes, some dems - singing Putins praises.  I was not only referring to his anti gay stuff.  I was actually mostly thinking about the Ukraine.  I think Putin is a very dangerous man.  All the more so because he astronomical approval in his country.  His loooooooong and fritening speeching to parliament the other day was greeted by thunderous applause and many standing ovations.

    What I meant to say was what is happening in Russia - the nationalism, the aggressive new impearialism and, yes the anti gay fever - scares the sh!t out of me.


    I could (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:26:04 AM EST
    agree with what you are saying, but so far, the actions of Russia regarding Crimea pale in comparison to the slaughter of the innocents we inflicted on Iraq - and Afghanistan - and even Pakistan.

    It even pales in contrast with our treatment of detainees and our ongoing drone program.

    This is not to whitewash Putin.
    But I cannot at this point demonize him either.

    His worst characteristics are nothing compared to the likes of Bush and Cheney - as yet untouched for their fiendish and criminal activities and the devastation they caused here and around the world.

    This is subjective of course, but Putin does not frighten me at the moment. And he was, I believe, instrumental in defusing a feverish move toward war with Syria.

    For me, there is some complexity here.

    His views on homosexuality are nuts.
    But they are not that far from a load of nut cases here - both in government and in a segment of the homemade religious community as per your link.

    Even as late as 2008, Obama was unwilling to publicly endorse efforts to legalize marriage among same sex couples - citing his "religious" upbringing.

    If our house were a little more in order, I would feel more comfortable in condemning leaders of other countries for actions that bear an uncomfortable likeness to our own.


    Very little argument (none / 0) (#98)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:25:19 AM EST
    From me on that.  I just cling to the old fashioned notion that when threats appear we rally around the CIC to the extent we can or at the very least refrain from political sniping as I and many dems did after 911.  I do worry about the implications of what is currently being directed at O while freely admitting he has done really dumb things.

    That's (none / 0) (#111)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:54:46 AM EST
    why I'm not concerned about the soaring popularity for Putin at this moment in his own country. When (perceived) threats appear we rally around the CIC.

    Or at least we are informed by pollsters that we do so - even if we are kicking and screaming in the streets protesting the actions of the CIC.

    I think we should learn something from the tendency you describe of refraining from criticism of the chief exec when that exec is leading us into a mindless war - sacrificing the lives of so many.

    We reaped the whirlwind.
    And it is still with us.


    I miss the old days, when we had a president (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:25:48 AM EST
    - not a Commander in Chief.

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by sj on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:36:12 PM EST
    Some people have forgotten that the President is the CiC of the Military. So unless you are in the military you don't even have a Commander in Chief.

    Not sure where that leaves us non-military folk.


    There is a very big difference (none / 0) (#126)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:38:26 AM EST
    In criticiIng a CIC for leading us into a mindless war and saying he wears "mom jeans" because he does not.

    I had (none / 0) (#157)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:59:11 PM EST
    not seen that "mom jeans" line before.

    I assume that is a term designating "wimp"?

    I don't know how I would classify Obama.

    He seems to come out from wherever it is he abides, utters a few scripted (or unscripted, as when he said that people who couldn't afford to buy mandated insurance are squandering their money on cellphones and cable instead) words.... then he disappears.

    I wouldn't call any chief exec a wimp - because it could stimulate them to prove otherwise and blow us all up in the process.

    I saw a documentary about Kennedy. It showed a chilling clip of him saying that he and the USSR might be on the brink of killing everyone and everything on the planet... but so be it. If pressed, he'd push the button.


    Obama is, relatively speaking, a relief from the horrific Bush era.
    I do wish he would distance himself from those malevolent cretans, but... business is business I suppose.

    Fortunately, he can come out and roar from time to time, but thankfully then he goes away and the press goes on to a new topic like Lady Gaga.


    Maybe I should just give up (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 07:26:00 PM EST
    So what? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 10:53:08 PM EST
    They are disappointed that Obama is no match for him and that Russian diplomats literally are tweeting insults making the situation.

    The point being is if your not going to do anything then don't say anything.  That is Obamas biggest fault.  The belief in his own power to read a TelePrompTer and change the world with his words.

    He talks big and then nothing happens.

    Just shut up already and speak with your actions instead of blathering on about the history books and the world community.


    Not really sure (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:06:51 PM EST
    How that became about Obama.

    But then (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:07:27 PM EST
    Isn't everything?

    Because he's the very firstest ever... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by unitron on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:07:17 AM EST
    President of the US to use a TelePrompTer or take any vacation days or...

    Talking (none / 0) (#33)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:52:57 AM EST
    big - on the environment or on Gitmo for example, and doing nothing or next to nothing has been the hallmark of this administration since day one.

    But the good words seem to have been enough for him to be reelected in contrast to the bad words uttered by McCain and then Romney.

    But - as far as actions or real leadership are concerned - all these last years have shown me is that while the verbiage may vary from the mouths of those designated as liberals or conservatives - the underlying ethos of both parties is pretty much the same. They are interested in holding their jobs - making a nice taste - bellowing from time to time to let people know that they're there - or that they're interested in running for even higher office...

    The only thing that gives me the faintest glimmer of optimism is that I think that there is  a sense that the public is fed up with the government giving us an evil empire du jour while ignoring the day-to-day hardships endured by the American people.


    The most (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:17:02 AM EST
    interesting thing to me is conservatives sound like George W. Bush. Apparently they learned nothing from Iraq and are wanting to repeat that mistake anywhere they can. Glad they are letting us know that they still embrace the Bush Doctrine when it comes to foreign policy.

    I don't think we should take military action (none / 0) (#43)
    by Slado on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:01:07 AM EST
    But I find the presidents actions confusing.

    He talks and talks and talks but then does nothing.   What's the point?

    Is it just the natural politicians need to feel relevant?  The urge to say something while knowing you're not actually going to do anything!

    The world is watching Obama to see what he does and for now the verdict is talks much, does little.


    Actually the world is watching Europe (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:04:36 AM EST
    but completely understand that you don't understand this.

    Bomb Bomb Bomb... (none / 0) (#84)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:50:26 AM EST
    What was that song..  a favorite of the GOP..

    Real men use bombs.


    Looks like normal Obama bashing and humor (none / 0) (#52)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:16:05 AM EST
    to me. Some enjoy a daily dose of negative Obama spin, to ease the pain of the overall mess he has created all over the world.

    Some of Obama's harshest critics are people who fled the former Soviet Union, like the Peoples Cube and they take the actions personally.

    The naivete is stunning to some, how Romney was ridiculed for saying Russia was a major problem, to Obama hoping sanctions etc against Russia wouldn't impact negotiations with Iran and Syria.


    For fans of political satire, the Cube (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:27:32 AM EST
    is a work of art.

    "Normal" (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:24:52 AM EST
    The sickest thing about that is it's pretty true.

    I remember when political differences stopped an the waters edge.   Back when we had white presidents.


    ACA - what grade do we give it? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:11:53 PM EST
    So even though we can't really trust what comes out of their mouth lets just say they get to 6 million "Enrollees".

    About 20% haven't paid so they really don't have insurance.

    Only 14% were previously uninsured.

    So after 4 years of planning and preparation and billions spent were going to net out insuring 672,000 people who previously didn't have insurance.

    What grade do you give that?

    I have excellent (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:18:19 PM EST
    Medical insurance for 70 bucks a month.  Let's assume there are not enough enrolled by next year that rates increase - and they already say there are enough that will not happen but let's say rates go up.  Mine could double and I would still have incredibly affordable insurance.



    Were you previously uninsured? (3.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Slado on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:06:48 AM EST
    Or did you decide to switch?

    I was not insured (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:20:42 AM EST
    I am 62yo with hight blood pressure and hight cholesterol - both well managed wi medication -there is no way in hell I could have afforded insurance.  When I left my last job in 2011 my Cobra was almost 400 bucks a month.  I could not afford to keep it.  One of my relatives - similar age but with heart problems that make insurance more necessary and an income to afford it was paying over 700 bucks a month for coverage.  His coverage is now less than 100.  And BTW he has not called Obama a Sand Ni@@er for months.

    Will you get a subsidy? (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:23:02 AM EST
    I will (3.67 / 3) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:25:30 AM EST
    Do you have a point?

    It stinks (none / 0) (#41)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:54:42 AM EST
    Our costs have about doubled from increased premium's and tripled deductibles, nobody subsidizes our cost, and each year its with some surprise that our accountant says despite thousands out of pocket in additions to premiums paid none of it meets the threshold for a tax deduction.

    Rx costs jumped around for a year or so, and those have settled down, no idea why, but we only take garden variety generics.

    ACA in general I don't think a solid answer can be given yet. Insurance works as I understand it in a quarterly fashion, Q1 data is collected, Q2 reviewed, Q3 changes proposed to regulators, Q4 new rates announced. Comments I've read suggest the sign up demographics so far will require much higher rates to support.


    The problems you describe are not new (5.00 / 5) (#62)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:09:33 AM EST
    They are the problems of the private insurance based system. Long before Obama was president, premiums went up annually even for most employee insurance policies while coverage deceased. Paying more for less has been around for decades.

    It was an annual not so funny joke even back in the 90s that non union folks got a negative raise each year since the raise in the insurance premium was always more than annual pay increase.

    Before Obama became president, people on the individual market were dropping health insurance because they could not afford it and many companies dropped coverage or were considering dropping coverage due to the expense.

    2007 information

    The percentage of people with health insurance through their employers -- traditionally the way most people get coverage -- is continuing to shrink, raising anxiety among workers and invigorating a debate about whether insurance should be tied to jobs.
    That's fueling concern among consumers such as Ruggiero who say the system isn't working and is poised to leave rising numbers of people -- particularly those with health problems -- struggling to get insurance:

    *The percentage of all employers offering health insurance in the past eight years peaked in 2000 at 69% and has fallen steadily since, hitting 60% this year, according to an annual survey of employers by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Among small firms of three to nine workers, the percentage offering insurance has dropped even more -- from 58% in 2001 to 45% this year.

    *From 2001 to 2005, the number of uninsured U.S. workers rose by 3.4 million. Almost 19 million workers -- 17% of all employees -- were uninsured in 2005, according to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

    The problem areas where Obama's health insurance legislation "stinks" are because the legislation is based on the private insurance industry. Those problem areas are not new. They have been in existence for decades.

    They will exist as long as the U.S. wants to support the private insurance industry and pharma more than it wants to provide real affordable health CARE to its citizens.

    BTW, please let me know when Republicans start supporting single payer health care.


    The "ACA" (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:56:11 AM EST
    The ACA brought a HUGE jump in premiums and deductibles for us, about $2,000 apiece for the two in our household. And next year, the insurance industry says the premiums will DOUBLE.  (See Anne's link.)

    We are "lucky" in that our decent plans that were serving us well (including surgeries with excellent doctors) were cancelled.  Because of that, we're exempt from the tax for not having insurance, so we're going without.  The one benefit of Obamacare for us is that we can sign up again when the now 3-year exemption we have is done, if the law hasn't been ditched by then.  October 2016 is the magic date.

    I am eligible for subsidies.  But the quasi-Medicaid Exchange plans offered here required driving 45 minutes to get to an in-network hospital.  NONE of my specialists were providers on the plans.  The narrow networks were a huge deal for me.  It would be money in the toilet to buy a plan where I have to pay for my decent doctors anyway.  No point in even bothering with the third rate doctors I was "allowed" to see on the Exchange plans.  I'd rather just be sick.

    Opting out is a decent solution for me.  I literally have $10,000 that I can spend on care before I even miss insurance.  My SO has another $10,000 in our "insurance" pool.

    And don't forget the fact that most cancer centers aren't providers on Exchange plans and they haven't even explored the other high end providers that aren't included...like the research hospitals that do transplants, etc...so that "well what if you really get sick" argument is moot.  If you really get sick, you pay out of pocket anyway.  Even the hospitals that accept the sub-grade Exchange plans have contracts with.... yes, the cancer centers that aren't providers on Exchange plans.  This is a lovely scam being run here.  Yes, the premiums are lower if you get subsidies, but still, don't get really sick or you are screwed to the high hills, and you're paying for the privilege of getting screwed.

    People in our area have the option of purchasing a plan outside of the Exchange that still has a decent provider list. But see paragraph 1.

    People who are saying how wonderful the premiums are.  Are you specialists on your plan?  Are your area hospitals on your plan?  Are the cancer centers that the area hospitals contract with on your plan?  Likely not, for at least some of those questions.

    Waiting for my downratings.  They are badges of honor!  They show that I truly got to you.


    What grade? (none / 0) (#113)
    by unitron on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:58:21 AM EST
    At this point an incomplete, as there is much more to be done, but at least it's a start, at least it's an attempt to do something, as opposed to the GOP plan, which Rep. Grayson laid out so eloquently.

    And it only mid march, hummmm (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:12:15 PM EST
    Young banker's suicide becomes twelfth in financial world this year


    If you enjoy listening to authors (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:55:07 AM EST
    read aloud their own work, you will probably enjoy the audio of E. L. Doctorow's most recent novel, "Andrew's Brain."  Although probably not if you are a Republican. Four discs.

    FOIA and Greg memo (none / 0) (#40)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:42:12 AM EST
    This is Sunshine week and this item turned up from Cause of action. Shortly after inauguration in 2009 Obama released several FOIA related memos that were lauded for transparency in government, then slipped the Greg memo under the door requiring all requests for "White house equities" to go through White House counsel.

    Rand Paul continues... (none / 0) (#63)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:10:10 AM EST
    his courtship of the left...gets a standing O at the Socialist Republic of Berkeley.

    Love him or hate him...when you're right you're right.  Granted, he might be as full of sh*t as Obama is in regards to domestic spying and privacy, but he gives good rhetoric on the issue.

    Get back to me when Rand Paul actually does (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:42:53 AM EST
    something (other than yip-yap) to change some of the problems he rails against.

    So far I have seen exactly no legislation proposed and lobbied for by Rand. on these issues.

    Let us not forget that this is a man who would have voted against the Voting Rights Act.


    Oops, my bad. Rand has his doubts about the Civil (none / 0) (#85)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:51:55 AM EST
    Rights Act of 1964. Although, it is not a stretch to think he would also lack enthusiasm for the Voting Rights Act.

    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#90)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:03:43 AM EST
    but both parties do alotta yip-yap...and to be fair, Rand isn't totally all-talk, he's trying to do some good things.  Going across the aisle with Sen. Booker to work on drug policy reform for example.  

    I'm all for harsh criticism of his extreme positions and wrong positions...but like I said, when you're right you're right.  Democrats would be wise to beat Rand to the punch on issues of government spying, foreign policy, drug policy, etc.  These are issues that are very important to dirty effin' hippies like me.

    PS...I've been thinking about ya, hope all is well as can be Cap.


    Here's (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:20:32 AM EST
    the problem I have with Rand Paul. He only believes in "freedom" for the "right people". So that's all good and fine if you're on his list of "worthy" people but it's worth a warm bucket of spit if you're one considered "worthy" by him.

    Fair point,,, (none / 0) (#104)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:33:14 AM EST
    I guess I'm just not used to recreational drug users being classified amongst "the right people" by anybody in Washington, it's so rare.  

    And in regards to domestic spying, it appears we are all the "right people".


    Understanding what draws (none / 0) (#167)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:33:05 PM EST
    But, kdog, think about what the Libertarian Paul is and wants.  Ga6th hits a homer here.

    When one talks "freedom" exclusively--and, I do mean "exclusively"--that statement and the signal is that those who have can keep (and get more) and those that do not have can have the "freedom" to keep not having.  There would be no leveling-the-playing field even attempted ... there would be no need for protection of and advancement of civil rights because everyone would be "free" to do what they want. In his definition of "freedom," we see writ large the directive to look out first, second, & last for yourself alone; and, with a paranoid defensiveness, abjure any responsibility for anyone or anything else.  The Libertarian motto of "Every man for himself."


    Every election... (5.00 / 3) (#173)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:52:08 PM EST
    is a lesser evil affair if you're voting for a D or an R...all I'm saying is Dems would be wise not to let Rand Paul get more less evil than them.  

    Address these civil liberties issues D's, continue to ignore them and a maniac like Rand Paul starts to look attractive.  


    He better start talking (none / 0) (#195)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:40:49 PM EST
    about taking apart this militarized, interventionist foreign policy monster we've built up over the last several decades, because as long as that continues to exist, the surveillance state will continue to be perceived as an unfortunate necessity by too many in this country.

    He's one of the few... (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:47:44 PM EST
    who is jondee.

    I have no desire to be an advocate for the scorched earth extremes of the libertarian policies, we've been down that road...but ya gotta give 'em passing marks on foreign policy, drug policy, civil liberties.  An inconvenient truth, if you will.


    I get it (none / 0) (#75)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:37:51 AM EST
    I sometimes find myself being lulled by his libertarian siren song.   Here's the problem.  He is a republican and if, god forbid, he ever became president his party and the other one would never EVER allow him to implement any of things we like and would wildly embrace all the ones we hate.

    You are (none / 0) (#97)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:22:38 AM EST
    correct and that is why I have my doubts that he would ever be nominated by the GOP at least in 2016 because the GOP base saw nothing and still sees nothing wrong with Iraq and would love to have a repeat. Most of what he says goes against the grain of the people that vote in the GOP primaries.

    I once agreed (none / 0) (#102)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:30:48 AM EST
    I am no longer sure.  He is a very smart pol.  Much more than his pop and is lucky enough to have inherited most of his followers.  

    I know (none / 0) (#153)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:53:47 PM EST
    what you're saying but I'm thinking his father was a better pol and could only get what 10% in the GOP primary against a candidate a lot of them did not care a lot for i.e. Mitt Romney. His father at least seemed authentic. Rand just seems like a clown.

    I'm not sure he's ready to take on a national campaign for President either and truly by the time they get through the GOP primary it turns even a moderate candidate like Romney into a crackpot.


    I just watched last years (none / 0) (#106)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:39:56 AM EST
    New Arnold movie Last Stand while I was on the stair master.
     I totally enjoyed it.  I like him way more as an actor than a governor.

    Fred Phelps is Dead (none / 0) (#128)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:53:15 AM EST
    He was a disbarred lawyer.  Who knew?

    I knew (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:04:06 PM EST
    His entire family are lawyers.  They are a law firm not a church.

    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by sj on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:54:44 PM EST
    I knew, too.

    He was (none / 0) (#141)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:20:09 PM EST
    a disbarred civil rights lawyer, which is all the crazier.

    OK (none / 0) (#161)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:10:27 PM EST
    Why do you believe that your premiums went up with ACA?

    It would appear to be that your argument is that the health care system was better off before ACA?

    Why has it failed you?

    I know why they went up (none / 0) (#169)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:37:03 PM EST
    As I have stated before. Besides the regular rate increase that comes yearly, I had to add maternity coverage to my plan - something I intentionally opted out of on my previous plan.  Add to that, we will know in a couple of months when the insurance companies announce their 2015 rates - how much more expensive the plans will be next year, and they are expected to soar for many people in many areas.  I may or may not be affected by HUGE increases, but as other aspects of this bill are rolled out (or, more likely, yet again delayed until after the 2016 election, such as how many small employers will drop their coverage when the employer mandate kicks in), there are going to be more costs and more people are going to have sticker shock.

    This law has failed many of us because it didn't have to be this way and we are stuck with it.  You want to paint me as someone who doesn't think anyone benefitted from this bill, but of course, I never, ever said that - some people did of course benefit. And I'm ok with that.

    But what you keep failing to acknowledge is that millions of people are not benefitting (i.e. 7-12 million people had their plans canceled, and then uncanceled, and many are left scrambling).  You benefitted with lower rates - that's great.  But you have such venom for anyone who dares bring up the fact that it isn't all roses and rainbows and unicorns, that you come off as an uncaring, unfeeling jerk - much like you accuse others of.  I don't know why you can't acknowledge that many people were hurt by this, but of in your mind, I guess, those people deserve it.


    Not Reasonable Answer, IMO (none / 0) (#179)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:59:01 PM EST
    Why did your rates go up under the ACA?

    Besides the regular rate increase that comes yearly, I had to add maternity coverage to my plan...

    My insurance had regular rate increases prior to ACA and it was close to $900/month. No prescription drugs, no dental and I am sure no other things.

    It did drop in the year before ACA to low $800s because of a law that forced insurers to pool independent subscribers..

    Now my plan is a little above $400. platinum, with prescription and dental. Under your logic my plan should have gone up too, so your opinion as to why your plan increased does not make sense.

    As far as insurance skyrocketing. we will see.

    Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration.

    The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP's prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015........

    After this story was published, the administration pointed to some independent analyses that have cast doubt on whether the current mix of enrollees will lead to premium hikes.

    do you think it has to do with politics, GOP politics?


    Here is what is ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by sj on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:40:49 PM EST
    You don't think her explanation is a reasonable answer. Well, guess what? Neither did she.

    However, she wasn't the one providing the answer. She was only relating it. And yet here you are blaming the messenger.

    It's terrific that you have a good rate for your plan and appear to be happy with the coverage. I mean that. But you live in a completely different state. What do your circumstances in New York have to do with hers in Virginia?

    Do you think it has to do with politics, GOP politics?  

    Personally I don't think so. I think it has to do with profits. For insurance companies.


    Insurance co Profits? (2.00 / 1) (#203)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 03:08:48 PM EST
    OK sj, let's get that critical thinking going that you pride yourself on.

    What is on the table is that the ACA is a failure and is going to get much worse presumably imploding at its apogee of worseness.

    jbindc's policy went up. s/he believes it went up because of added (unneeded) maternity coverage mandated by ACA, and the facts that rates go up annually.

    my policy went down by half, and my insurance coverage increased to include prescription drugs, and dental care, both of which were not on my policy prior to ACA.

    So how is ACA a failure and going to get worse? And how does the answer that insurance company profiteering is responsible?

    My insurance went down, as did insurance for many people I know. Pennsylvania, CA, NY, MN..  

    So if insurance company profits are to blame for jbindc's increase how do you square my decrease?

    Seems to me that the blanket statement insurance company profits is not a one size fits all answer.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 309 (none / 0) (#205)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:05:07 PM EST
    Obama and the Fed (none / 0) (#206)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:28:44 PM EST
    Friends of the wealthy

    But don't worry.  He's going to raise the minimum wage.

    As if that will help.