March Madness! Elite 8, Day 2

My picks: Connecticut +6 over Michigan State, Kentucky -2 over Michigan.

Open Thread.

< March Madness! Elite 8, Day 1 | Monday Open Thread >
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    Let Mr. Angel complete my betting bracket for (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Angel on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:01:25 PM EST
    me this year because I was traveling and couldn't get to it in time to turn it in.  Big mistake.  :)  

    ... a more useless D.C. press corps in my lifetime. Is it too much to ask that its members not frame their narratives as though they were calling the stretch run of the Breeder's Cup at Santa Anita, and instead operate from a place of, you know, actual facts and honest analysis?

    Chuck Todd, filling in today on NBC's Meet the Press Release for the equally obtuse David Gregory, ought to be ashamed of himself for the manner in which he conducted his interviews today with Chris Christie apologist Rudy Giuliani and New Jersey State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, who is co-chair of the select state legislative committee investigating the scandal-ridden Christie administration.

    But while the ingratiating Todd sounded like he apparently swallowed the just-released Mastro report hook, line and sinker, Weinberg was having none of it, and dismissed the report's Christie-resurrecting narrative for the self-serving bunk that it is.

    Todd has no business working for My Weekly Reader, let alone NBC News.

    Happily I missed that.... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:37:48 AM EST
    But I caught part of the 60 Minutes interview with Elon Musk, in which they felt compelled to say that he thinks it is important to have Teslas available for mass consumption because "he believes" man-influenced climate change is a threat to the world. At what point will they take out the "he believes" , and just state it as a fact?  It's like they equate it to him believing an invasion from Mars is imminent.

    Oh, that liberal media....


    Contrast that with the BBC today, ... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:41:12 PM EST
    ... which reported Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks on climate change:

    "Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Denial of the science is malpractice. There are those who say we can't afford to act. But waiting is truly unaffordable. The costs of inaction are catastrophic."

    Kerry was responding to a British reporter's question regarding the recently released UN report on the subject, which the BBC calls "the most comprehensive report to date of the impacts of climate change on the world."

    What's truly sad is that this important report has thus far merited but a glancing mention in the U.S. media. Meanwhile, the people who most desperately need enlightenment on the most pressing issue of our times have instead embraced and taken comfort in a rather ignorant, foolish and frankly embarrassing lecture on the subject delivered by the late pulp fiction writer Michael Crichton at Caltech (of all places!) eleven years ago.



    Just posted about this (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:46:22 PM EST
    In the previous thread.  It's unsettling to see normally reserved academics practically setting their hair on fire.

    I saw that. (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 03:48:28 PM EST
    I also took note of Jim's "Oh, poo!" response, which pretty much sums up the impasse we're facing in U.S. public opinion.

    But, I trust you weren't surprised (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:10:05 PM EST
    I have posted time and again, quoted top Military commanders over and over again, provided link after link after link, and then you can fill in the blanks as to what the Denier community's response was.

    If I quoted a General, they responded with, "oh, he just retired.......,lol"

    If I quoted an Admiral, their response, "sure, how else are they going to get that fat lobbying job?......lol"

    If I quoted a top security analyst, they answer with, "so, how come they couldn't predict Pearl Harbor?.......lol"

    It is my heartfelt belief that these deniers, and most of the Far Right & Tea Party associates are no more "American," as I define an American, than was Osama Bin Laden. This isn't a game show; this is what my children and grandchildren can look forward to. The people threatening the very lives of your family, and mine aren't clinically, mentally ill; they choose to be voluntarily ignorant, and choose a pat on the head by Rush Limbaugh over both our families' well being.

    Well, screw them, and the treasonous horse they rode in on.

    Oh, did I go too far?

    Too bad.


    Given that most of them of late ... (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 06:16:40 PM EST
    ... have been singing the praises of Vladimir Putin and rooting against our president in the Ukraine crisis, I'd offer that no, you didn't go too far.

    These wingbats are motivated by something far removed from that which one would normally associate with love and respect for the Red, White & Blue. And from my perspective, it's far more sinister. They represent yesterday's America, a 19th century world of white male privilege, oligarchy and supremacy. And for women, members of the LGBT and ADA communities, Native Americans / Alaskans / Hawaiians and other citizens of color, yesterday is certainly nothing to pine over and long for.



    American media coverage (none / 0) (#45)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 03:40:35 PM EST
    If you have been following us down the rabbit hole in the previous thread it's becomes clear why this is true.  News organizations know what their people want to hear and they are first and formost a for profit business.  As insane as the denial seems to the rational it represents a significant segment of the population.

    This study will be covered on MSNBC, I'm watching some of it as I type this, it will get a segment on CNN with equal weight and time given skeptics and it will be the source of many Al Gore jokes on FOX.


    The scientific community needs ... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:03:09 PM EST
    ... to become more media savvy, and start addressing the issue in terms that the average person can quickly understand and comprehend. Alas, I've seen quite a few academics instead tilt their noses upward in deriding and dismissing scientists / public advocates such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, as though they're somehow sullying the profession with their appearances on popular television shows.

    Thank heavens for comedians like Steven Colbert and Seth MacFarlane, who've played instrumental roles in the resurrection and promotion of the late Carl Sagan's landmark series "Cosmos." That sort of unabashed support can go a long way toward making science fashionable again amongst the younger generation. I fear most of our own generation is just about lost regarding the importance of science in our lives, due to 30-plus years of browbeating by the knuckle-draggers.



    Tyson/Nye (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:13:38 PM EST
    ... New Jersey State Sen. Loretta Weinberg continues to push back against the so-called "findings" of the Christie administration's internal review, while her counterpart, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, announced that the report's author, Randy Mastro, and attorneys from the firm Gibson Dunn have been subpoenaed to appear before the select legislative committee which has been investigating the political payback scandal. That committee is co-chaired by Wisniewski and Sen. Weinberg.

    17-yr. old male is shot and killed (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:47:40 PM EST
    In Queens. No suspect yet. But:

    The police said Mr. Bowlin (the victim) had been arrested 10 times, most recently in February on charges of criminal possession of a weapon. In the last two years, he has faced charges of weapons possession, robbery and tampering with evidence, the police said.

    Why is the NYPD providing the press with this victim's juvenile record?

    Public transportation. (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:48:56 AM EST
    To me, public transportation is a measure by which we can judge what our government really thinks about us plebes.

    In NYC, the subways are filthy and rat infested.

    We are on our own in deep caverns, with lots of people, and no police presence. At night, it is truly eerie.

    I recently was in London, and rode the underground.
    We were packed in like sardines in a can. And with low ceilings to boot.

    When I travel under these conditions, I am aware in the NYC of the Major zipping along in limos. And we are placed in filth and danger.

    In the case of the London tubes, I thought of that freaky ingrown never-ending royal family - doing nothing and living in the lap of luxury while the peasants toil and sweat and travel in cages.

    What revolution?

    Ah yes. Our money is going to protect us from the evil ones.

    Not much different from the protection racket of yesteryear.
    In fact, identical.

    It seems that the early sixties cemented the relationship between government and the Mob. And we are living the results of that alliance.

    Not for nuthin'... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 11:43:17 AM EST
    I'd much prefer being "on my own" in the subway with my fellow civilians than in a station/train filled with ticket & collar hungry cops.  We're "safer" without them, imo.

    I agree they are filthy and smelly though...too few garbage cans, emptied too infrequently, and riders who are total slobs.  That being said, we've got much more pressing infrastructre problems like gas lines and water mains and steam pipes falling apart creating very dangerous potential disasters.


    Anyone here have experience with the LA Metro? (none / 0) (#40)
    by magster on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:56:16 PM EST
    We are spending some time in Long Beach this summer, and see that the Blue Line takes us into downtown LA for only a dollar-fifty per ride. Is that too good to be true?

    Whenever I go to Pasadena, ... (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:59:20 PM EST
    ... I first take the Flyaway motorcoach from LAX to Union Station, and then catch the Gold Line to its terminus at the Sierra Madre Villa transit station. From there, my mother's house is about five blocks north.

    At $1.50 a trip, rail rapid transit is indeed a very good deal in the L.A. area, and the Blue Line is both a safe and reliable way to travel between Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles. And from downtown, you can catch other trains to almost anywhere in L.A. County.

    And if you're looking to avoid further hassle, I would also recommend that if possible, you might consider flying in and out of LGB-Long Beach Airport, in order to avoid the crowds and long lines at LAX. The airport has just finished an extensive renovation, and it's a beautiful mid-sized airport that's easy to navigate. You'll be out of there 15 minutes after you get off the plane. LGB serves as the primary west coast hub for JetBlue, and the airport is also served by Alaska Airlines (SkyWest) and American Airlines (U.S. Airways).



    sarcastic unnamed on is (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:09:33 PM EST
    Your go to source re LA.

    Happy (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:46:51 PM EST
    Cesar Chavez day

    Thank you. My purported (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 07:06:13 PM EST
    Christmas cactus is in full bloom.

    F*ck the... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 03:50:49 PM EST
    National Collegiate Indentured Servants Tournament...it's Opening Day!

    Ya know how I know it's Opening Day?  The Mutts are in the process of blowing a 9th inning lead and losing it in the 10th...yep, baseball is back baby, let the torture begin in earnest! ;)

    And the Cubs start the season with a loss. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:11:34 PM EST
    The Pirates win the game with a walk-off home run.

    Well, at least the Cubs are not raising my hopes only to shatter them later in the season. I do not think it possible for my expectations of the Cubs' season to get any lower.


    Aw, too bad, Casey (none / 0) (#62)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 06:34:47 PM EST
    OTOH, the Cards beat the Reds.     ;-)

    So we're saying both our teams... (none / 0) (#76)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:24:50 AM EST
    are in mid-season form;)

    Exactly, my friend, exactly. n/t (none / 0) (#77)
    by caseyOR on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:57:51 AM EST
    I was afraid to look (none / 0) (#97)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:08:10 AM EST
    Think of it this way...we are saving ourselves months of frustration by giving up now.

    Now saying (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:56:44 PM EST
    Everyone in my family is now covered (5.00 / 4) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:00:30 AM EST
    My daughter could still be on Tricare but she would receive much better access to doctors that actually care about her by going BCBS through the exchanges, and low and behold her policy through the exchanges costs 1/3 of what Tricare cost.

    It is such a mental/emotional relief though having all family members insured and having that access to GPs and dermatologists, etc....all those things you need but won't get out of an emergency room.


    Good deal (none / 0) (#80)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 01:58:44 PM EST
    Glad you're covered. Hope it lasts longterm, because that is what matters. And I know you're a good peep and your family deserves the best.

    But my experience last week put a dent in my optimism. My son has bronchitis, and I took him into the GP (disclaimer: GPs are all but worthless to anyone with a good internet connection and a modicum of smarts). Now, we ain't rich, we are lucky to be able to rent in the neighborhood we do, but we're alright, have good to "great" insurance, and still, taking the kid to the doc and being diagnosed and getting meds, it was almost $200 bucks out of pocket that day.

    This is on TOP of what we pay monthly. Hope all those doing much worse than us get a serious sliding scale, but, needless to say, I was not encouraged by my expenditures that day.


    Dadler, you need (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Zorba on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:28:35 PM EST
    A new GP if you think that yours is all but worthless.  Our family practitioner is not only up on a whole lot of the new findings, but what he is truly excellent at is knowing the best specialists, and when to recommend them.  We have never been disappointed in the specialists that he sends us to.  They have all been stellar.  He knows a lot, but he also knows when he doesn't know, and has an excellent sense of who does know.

    I am finding (none / 0) (#81)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:16:43 PM EST
    My insurance that I just got they seems to be better than what my relatives have thru work.  My nephew had a similar story to yours a couple of days ago but my own experience has been great.  Low company's, my mess are almost free, 2-4 bucks! and all "preventative" care is free.  Including a colonoscopy I just got.   I don't understand why that is.  
    When I signed up the cost was so low I didn't go for the minimum coverage but got " silver".  I wonder If that has nothing to do with it.

    Low (none / 0) (#82)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:17:28 PM EST
    Co pays

    Damn spell correct.


    Double damn (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:18:08 PM EST
    My MEDS are almost free

    Awesome (none / 0) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:45:32 PM EST
    I am watching the (none / 0) (#93)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:55:17 PM EST
    Replay of the last season of GoT in the run up to the season premier on Sunday.  I some how missed a lot of that season I guess.  Glad they are rerunning it.

    You and I would be bad for each other (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 09:04:23 PM EST
    So am I :)

    How about those white walker eyes?


    Well, (none / 0) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:11:29 PM EST
    we have good insurance through my husband's current employer but the insurance that his previous employer had was junk. Our part of the premium was like $440 a month and then it was a 70/30 plan and it would not even pay for son's precription. it acted more like one of those cheesy drug discount cards than actual prescription coverage. So yes, your insurance could very well be better than an employer plan.

    A free colonoscopy? (none / 0) (#88)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:51:30 PM EST
    Doesn't get better than that ... :)

    Well a colonoscopy (none / 0) (#89)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:54:43 PM EST
    Is bad enough but have you paid for one lately.   I have.   Because of my family I have had them insured and uninsured.  The last time I had one "insured" it still costs a few hundred bucks.

    While we are on the subject (none / 0) (#90)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 07:28:07 PM EST
    If you are 40 and have never had one, get one.  It may be unpleasant but what it prevents, I can tell you from the experience of family history, is way WAY more unpleasant.

    I have (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 12:16:32 PM EST
    to tell you though there is a glitch in that. When my husband had one, they found a polyp and removed it and we ended up having to pay for it because the code went from whatever to "treatment" which went against the deductible. I think it was 1K we had to pay out of pocket for it.

    Yes. (none / 0) (#100)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 01:15:20 PM EST
    Same thing happened to me, too, with a polyp removal.
    Although our health insurance is quite good, and we didn't have to pay nearly that much.  The colonoscopy itself was still covered, but the polyp removal fell under the co-pay and deductible.  But if it is just a screening and no treatment, then we owe nada.
    Routine mammograms are also free.  But, of course, if something is found, then the usual co-pays and deductibles accrue.  Although with mammograms, you would expect that, since, unlike colonoscopies, you don't get the treatment during the actual procedure.

    At the time (none / 0) (#101)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 01:45:01 PM EST
    we had a 3K deductible and 70/30 coinsurance. So it ended up being a costly proposition for us.

    We are lucky (none / 0) (#102)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:09:09 PM EST
    in that we have a 1K deductible and 80/20.  
    Not that the coverage is that cheap, even with the employer contribution.  And it seems to go up every year, especially the price of our meds.  Thankfully, we can afford it.

    Trust me (none / 0) (#103)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:15:13 PM EST
    If there is a polyp.you should be eager to pay for having it removed

    Wrong focus, IMO (none / 0) (#105)
    by sj on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:46:31 PM EST
    If there is a polyp.you should be eager to pay for having it removed
    Eager to have it removed? Absolutely.

    Eager to pay? I'm pretty sure that's why people have health insurance in the first place -- to cover those kinds of costs and so that medical bills don't bankrupt a household. I don't happen to have 1K disposable cash to pay out of pocket without planning for it months in advance. And most medical facilities demand payment immediately for services rendered.

    Found this interesting article, though, when I was researching costs. Really? More than $6K? I only had to do the co-pay. I have to say, the insurance I had while I was in MD was far superior to what I have in Colorado. My theory is all the medical facilities in the area. In Baltimore I had maybe six facilities within a couple of miles.


    Insurance only pays part (none / 0) (#106)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:58:07 PM EST
    Of your bill.  Surprise!
    My point is the SCREENING is free.  before Obamacare you had to pay for that TOO and it was about 2 grand.

    Like I said. I have paid for them insured and uninsured.


    Maybe for you (none / 0) (#107)
    by sj on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 03:13:11 PM EST
    My point is the SCREENING is free.  before Obamacare you had to pay for that TOO and it was about 2 grand.
    But not for me. I had mine before the ACA for the price of the co-pay. Which was $40 for a referred specialist.

    And in any case, whatever point you're making now (and I'll be honest, I'm not sure what it is) is unrelated to mine.

    This comment:

    Insurance only pays part...Of your bill.  Surprise!
    My point is the SCREENING is free.  before Obamacare you had to pay for that TOO and it was about 2 grand.
     Like I said. I have paid for them insured and uninsured.
    Does not expand on this one.
    If there is a polyp.you should be eager to pay for having it removed [emphasis mine]
    but instead goes in a completely different direction. Your SCREENING "point" is unrelated to your first comment, and therefore, is also unrelated to mine.

    My first comment was this (none / 0) (#108)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 03:23:11 PM EST
    " and all "preventative" care is free.  Including a colonoscopy I just got. "

    Yes if you have polyps you have to pay to have them removed.
    And personally I am happy to do that with or without insurance


    Btw (none / 0) (#109)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 03:32:30 PM EST
    I did have polyps ( hope that's not TMI) and I'm sure I will get a bill for them.   I have had them in every screening I have ever had including the first at 40 .  Which is why I have them and why I would have been long dead if I did not and why I am a bit evangelical about colonoscopys

    Also got some very nice photos of them I could post if anyone is interested


    Btw2 (none / 0) (#110)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 03:41:26 PM EST
    My polyp photos are currently on the fridge.  I named them Mo, Larry, Curly and Shemp.

    And yes, in fact, I do live alone.


    Really, (none / 0) (#111)
    by sj on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 04:13:12 PM EST
    wouldn't you rather just have pix of mermaid dresses on your fridge? :)

    If you say so (none / 0) (#116)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:22:31 PM EST
    let the fabulous wash over you

    Don't be afraid.  It's not the stooges.


    Thank you very much, Howdy (none / 0) (#112)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 04:44:08 PM EST
    But way TMI.   ;-)
    I had pics of mine, too, but I disposed of them.

    Well (none / 0) (#113)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:10:32 PM EST
    That's not really my point. My point is a lot of people thought that they were covered for this procedure and in reality are not. I never thought I was going to have to pay for it because I thought it was covered. I was really ticked off to find out that because the coding changed I was stuck with a big bill.

    Obama should have said that insurance will pay for colon cancer screening not colonscopies.


    Perhaps the billing dept. would code (none / 0) (#115)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:13:27 PM EST
    the screening and removal separately.

    In fact they do (none / 0) (#118)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:30:38 PM EST
    Defining terms (none / 0) (#117)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:29:06 PM EST
    Colonoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inner lining of your large intestine  (rectum and colon). He or she uses a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope to look at the colon. A colonoscopy helps find ulcers, colon polyps, tumors, and areas of inflammation or bleeding. During a colonoscopy, tissue samples can be collected (biopsy) and abnormal growths can be taken out. Colonoscopy can also be used as a screening test to check for cancer or precancerous growths in the colon or rectum (polyps).

    Colonoscopys are free


    How many people (none / 0) (#119)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:47:25 PM EST
    know that if you find polyps everything changes and you're going to get hit with a bill? You obviously knew because you've been doing them for quite a while. This was the first time my husband had one and I've been putting off one because of the cost.

    This did not make sense to me (none / 0) (#120)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:47:47 PM EST
    when is a screening not a screening

    A provision in the Affordable Care Act that waived patients' payments for colonoscopies is an example of how good intentions in the law can lead to a tangle of unforeseen consequences.

    Colonoscopies are on the ACA's list of screening procedures for which patients are not supposed to pay a cost share -- the deductible and copayment. The requirement took effect in September 2010 and applies to most members of health plans.

    This provision has been widely praised. At a time when rising deductibles can push the patient's cost share for a colonoscopy to well over $1,000, financial disincentives are removed for a procedure that clearly has been shown to save lives.

    However, insurance plans are still forcing colonoscopy patients to pay the cost share in many cases.

    Until recently, for example, many plans were charging patients whenever a polyp was found during the procedure. Patients would go in thinking they were getting a free screening and come out with a big bill when one or more polyps were found. Insurers would argue that finding and removing the polyp turned the screening into a therapeutic procedure, which is not supposed to be covered by the provision.

    In February, the Obama administration overruled that interpretation, holding that the patient doesn't have to pay a cost share when a polyp is found. "Polyp removal is an integral part of a colonoscopy," the Department of Labor stated.

    But this ruling did not stop insurers from finding new ways to impose a cost share. While many payers waive the cost share without quibbling, many others still make stipulations, says Amy Fasti, vice president of billing services at Physicians Endoscopy, an operator of endoscopy centers based in Jamison, Penn.

    "It feels like a game sometimes," Fasti says. When a cost share is imposed, billing staff has to appeal the denial and discuss the law with the recalcitrant payer. In many cases, she says, the appeal is successful, but it takes a lot of work.

    For example, when a polyp is found, insurers are now charging the patient for the next colonoscopy, arguing that the patient is no longer symptom-free and the colonoscopy has become a "diagnostic" or "surveillance" procedure.

    For instance, in a policy change that became effective October 1, United Healthcare states that when the patient has a polyp removed, "all future colonoscopies are considered diagnostic," and thus require a cost share. This has a major impact, because a polyp is removed in about 15-25% of colonoscopies, requiring the patient to go back for a follow-up usually in 2 to 5 years.

    The cost share for colonoscopies has been required in many other situations, as well, according to two different surveys of payers by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The situations include colonoscopies on patients with a family history of colon cancer and on patients reporting slight pains, as well as colonoscopies ordered after a positive result on a fecal occult blood test, billed with codes not accepted by a particular insurer or performed by out-of-network providers.

    More at the link


    Death panel. (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:52:12 PM EST
    That is the question of paying (none / 0) (#122)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:00:43 PM EST
    For polyp removal or not.

    Sadly the article makes perfect sense.  Insurance companies are scum.  But we knew that.


    Hospitals, Doctors Et al. (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:14:47 PM EST
    Non profit hospitals, make a pretty penny, event though they are "non-profit"

    The whole medical industrial complex is based on making as much money as possible. Not to give the insurance companies anything because they are clearly scum, but the costs that are both paying and refusing to pay are often extremely inflated.


    So basically, (none / 0) (#124)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:04:32 PM EST
    despite the February ruling by the administration, the insurance companies are still finding ways around this.
    Which is only to be expected when you are dealing with for-profit insurance companies.
    I cannot even blame them.  They have a fiduciary responsibility to their stockholders to reduce costs and maximize profits.  That's the way companies work.
    But that is also why I do not think that it was a great idea to leave our health care in the hands of insurance companies.
    Single-payer.  Universal health care.  Medicare for All.
    Call it what you will, this is what we need.
    And at the very least, there should have been an affordable, easily accessed, public option in the ACA.  Which was originally talked about, but which was jettisoned early on.

    But no argument here (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:09:45 PM EST
    About single payer

    Well (none / 0) (#126)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:08:39 PM EST
    According to that if you challenge it you can win.but it's on you.
    Clearly it's provider by provider.  In my case it never even came up.  And no mention was ever made about cost of the cost of removal.  I started thinking about that after I said I would probably be charged.  I remember being specifically being told it was cost free.  And no bill yet and it's been a couple of weeks.

    That's (none / 0) (#129)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 06:53:19 AM EST
    basically my experience and they are also it now sounds like going to be refusing to pay for future ones because of finding a polyp the first time. Yes, insurance companies are scum. I knew they would figure out a way to keep from paying. It's what they do.

    Wow (none / 0) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:08:33 PM EST
    I don't know how much your copay is or what prescription the doc gave you but my family doctor is very thoughtful about discussing how much the meds will cost me while he is writing out the prescription. He even tells me where I can get them for free because some pharmacies were doing this "Free" thing for while. Something like that I would probably cost me about 50 bucks or even less.

    Plus (none / 0) (#56)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:15:42 PM EST
    In reports today: (1) Total newly-insured as a result of the ACA estimated, via LA Times, to be 9.5 million people ... based upon the congregate of newly insured on the exchanges, Medicaid expansion numbers, & under-26-year olds now on parents' plans. (2) HHS' Secretary Sebelius announced that 80-90 percent of those newly-insured have paid their first month's premium already.  (3) WashPo poll now shows even split as to those supporting ACA (49%) vs those opposing (48%) ... in that poll, the Dems are noticeably strong in their support now, whereas the Repubs remain largely opposed.

    According to that site (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:19:37 PM EST
    The aggregate number is 13 to 16 million

    I saw that article (none / 0) (#72)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 07:31:37 AM EST
    and laughed at the shoddy play with statistics, since he's aggregating a lot of things here without providing much detail. The administration isn't even claiming these kinds of numbers, but this author apparently knows better?

    First, no one actually can tell how many people signed up via the Medicaid expansion are actually attributed to Obamacare vs. how many people just newly sign up (or, re-sign up).  Since they don't separate the "new" sign ups from the "re" sign ups - all are considered "new" plans - where did he get the confidence that this is all due to Obamacare?  

    Also - are under 26 year olds who have stayed on their parents' plans actually "newly insured"?  Can you be "newly insured" if you never lost coverage to begin with? (And yes, this one of the good benefits of the bill, but since prior to Obamacare even being signed into law, 34 states had already enacted laws that allowed policyholders to keep adult children on their plans, how is the author accounting for who is "newly insured" because of Obamacare and who would have been eligible anyway without it?)

    And even using Sebelius' comment about 80-85% of those people who have signed up through the exchanges paying their premium - that would be about 5 million people.  How many of them are truly "newly insured" vs. "have a new insurance plan because their old plan got canceled"?

    I'm curious as to why this author is more confident in his statement, than say, the Kaiser Family Foundation when it comes to statistics?

    This was the funniest article I read all day yesterday.


    That took (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 07:33:34 AM EST
    Way longer than I expected.

    Yes (none / 0) (#74)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 07:51:35 AM EST
    jbindc is mad at obamacare...  (mins the care, works too)

    Nope (none / 0) (#98)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 10:42:50 AM EST
    I just think it's hilarious that they got exactly the number they were shooting for (plus a "little extra") on the very day they needed it, when all along they couldn't give us numbers.

    Let's see how many of those people actually pay for a premium and how many of them continue to do so 6 months from now. And let's see how many of them actually get "care".

    The funny thing is the "7 million" number that's been thrown around - the CBO projected 7 million signups, the number the administration keeps touting.  However, what is getting lost in the noise (and the much more important number), is where the CBO projected that 13 million people, previously uninsured, would get coverage in 2014.  If that's true, then christine's happy clapping at the LA Times report (if those numbers can be believed) are going to be way short of that goal.

    The big health care news this morning - besides renewed troubles with HealthCare.gov - was a report from the L.A. Times that 9.5 million people had been newly insured under the health care law. The Times report came from several sources, including unpublished Rand Corp. data.

    If that holds up, that means the administration could miss a Congressional Budget Office target that's received less attention. The CBO and Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation in February projected that 13 million previously uninsured people would gain coverage in 2014.

    The large media focus in the first Obamacare enrollment period has been on whether the administration would hit CBO targets for exchange enrollment. The CBO has said it expects 6 million people to enroll through exchanges in 2014 - more than 6 million have signed up, so that target looks in reach if enough people pay their premiums.

    But about one-third of those exchange signups were previously uninsured people, according to the report findings. It also found about 4.5 million adults had newly enrolled in Medicaid; 9 million people, most who were previously insured, have signed up for individual plans off the exchanges; and fewer than 1 million people who had their coverage cancelled remain uninsured.

    Now, maybe all 7 million people that signed up are newly insured (but probably not).  But assuming they are, that means to hit the CBO's projection, 6 million more previously unisured people are going to have to purchase policies by the end of the year.  I guess it could happen, but it's not really likely.


    Hmmm (3.50 / 2) (#114)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:11:52 PM EST
    Clearly from your BAD experience with ACA, you appear to be mad at ObamaCare. OK, you were mad at ObamaCare and Obama long before the ACA was implemented.

    So you are probably so used to being mad that you do not even know it.

    Also, your efforts to prove that the ACA is a flop, covered up by fake numbers and moving goal posts, reveals your glee.

    The TL schadenfreude few, and their families seem to have bad luck with ACA..   Is that why they say visualize peace?  What you think is what you get?

    No surprise it's not working out for those who were sure ACA would be a bust.


    It is all made clear by the NYT (none / 0) (#125)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:06:07 PM EST
    article I linked to yesterday re "spite."

    Again, you are hilarious (none / 0) (#130)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:45:02 AM EST
    You accusing me of "moving the goalposts," when it's really been your crush - the Obama Administration that has been doing that.

    I know you have an aversion to things like facts, but maybe this will help you understand what "7 million" spin really is (and no, it isn't the number the CBO predicted to be newly covered with insurance).

    But that's not really what the CBO estimate says. CBO provided a calendar-year estimate, meaning that the equivalent of 6 million people would be enrolled for an entire year. So each of those 4 million or so people who signed up for coverage in the past few weeks would really only count as two-thirds a person, for calendar-year purposes. (That translates to 2.6 million people over a calendar year.) People who only were on an exchange health plan for a month, and then either stopped paying or got a job that provided health insurance, would count as 1/12 calendar year.

    Given that only about 1.2 million people signed up by Dec. 31, and thus in theory would have coverage for the whole year, you can see why CBO lowered its estimate. When all is said and done, the administration still may not meet CBO's revised estimate of 6 million people enrolled for the 2014 calendar year. Our very rough guess is that it will turn out to be 5.5 million people over the calendar year.

    And then, of course, there's this part, which keeps getting ignored:

    Separately, millions of people bypassed the exchanges and bought health plans directly from insurance companies, especially during the period when healthcare.gov was not working properly. (Blue Cross Blue Shield, for instance, sold 1.7 million Affordable Care Act-compliant  plans between Oct. 1 and March 1.) CBO has provided less detail on this market, on the assumption that these plans would not qualify for subsidies. For calendar year 2014, analysts estimated that approximately 8 million people would purchase plans through brokers, insurance agents or the companies themselves. If the Affordable Care Act had not been enacted, analysts said 10 million Americans would have purchased such plans, meaning the law is expected to reduce the total by 2 million people.

    Moving Goal Posts (none / 0) (#134)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 11:21:08 AM EST
    Also, your efforts to prove that the ACA is a flop, covered up by fake numbers and moving goal posts, reveals your glee.

    Excuse my poor writing I will clarify for you:

    You take great glee in pointing out that the numbers for ACA are fake, and the Democrats who are in charge are moving the goal posts regarding goals etc.

    IOW you are grinding your axe, with great delight.

    No wonder you had such problems with ACA, at least you are enjoying your victimhood.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:12:16 AM EST
    boo hoo for those 34 states but for thos of us who live in these states with crackpots like Nathan Deal we didn't have any of that. My son has insurance that he would not have otherwise.

    Just keep on laughing, jbindc (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 09:24:32 AM EST
    Keep on laughing.  Maybe the 7 million number today you will find "laughable" too ... it is better than crying :)  Meantime, I suppose that those millions of enrollees -- thanks to the ACA -- have real reason to smile, the smile one smiles from joy and sunshine.

    Have a very sunny, nice day.


    Check the link above christine (none / 0) (#131)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:45:57 AM EST
    Your "7 million" isn't nearly what you dream it is.

    Patience, jbindc (none / 0) (#133)
    by christinep on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:33:56 AM EST
    Clearly, the goal of 7 million -- that most of the bloviating Repubs together with the media said could not and would not be met -- was, in fact, met and more.  It is nice to applaud and laud a great goal!

    The good dream seems to be turning into a good reality for a lot of us.  (Yep, I know that for some longtime opponents/naysayers, that significant goal may seem to be a nightmare.)  


    Had the seasons first (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:56:36 AM EST
    Green onions today for lunch.  Teriyaki beef with green onions.

    I did my traditional spring happy dance (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:48:57 PM EST
    a couple weeks ago when the asparagus guy showed up at the farmer's market :) I'm sure the guy thinks I'm nuts at this point, lol!~

    Oh, happy dance away, nycstray (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Zorba on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:13:37 PM EST
    Meanwhile, it's snowing up here!  We haven't been able to get our potatoes in, or sow our lettuce seeds, both of which were in long before now last year.
    I am so sick of winter.
    Do you have a spare guest room?      ;-)

    Why yes I do! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:45:27 PM EST
    Come on out!! Beautiful day today . . .

    I'm hoping to get the last of my seeds down today before this week's rains come through. I've way over-planted so far this year, lol!~

    I feel for ya. I think I'll take this year's drought over this year's polar craptastic events.


    I currently have (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:09:15 PM EST
    A batch of seeds sprouting beautifully to be ready for launch.  I don't grow veggies.



    Best of luck on your crop :) (none / 0) (#19)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:35:19 PM EST
    Sprouting seeds are such a lovely thing . . .

    For you, Zorba (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Towanda on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:07:08 PM EST
    because I can relate:


    (Apologies that my computer is doing its every-once-in-a-while refusal to embed the TL way.)


    That is hilarious (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:20:37 PM EST
    Thanks for a  good laugh.

    And this is for both of you. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:35:55 AM EST
    Surf's up. Here's hoping that spring comes soon in your neck of the woods.

    Thought this was cool (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:23:25 PM EST
    Pick strawberries, and other things, standing up.   Rain gutter gardening.



    Shh...... ;-) (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:07:46 PM EST
    ...I am so hungry right now, and I have to wait a bit to eat some brunch. (But that sounds damn tasty.)

    Kentucky I love (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:03:05 PM EST
    The other game, meh, I feel stupid. My gut says MSU will cover, but I honestly haven't watched Connecticut enough at all. You got yer Gators in the Final Four already, though, congrats.

    Oddly enough (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:17:02 AM EST
    I started the weekend in 7th place in my pool with my brackets, figuring I couldn't catch up.  But it turns out that if Florida plays Wisconsin in the final game, and Florida wins, I could still win the whole darn thing.

    (Playing strictly "for fun", of course).


    Good job (none / 0) (#30)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:06:58 AM EST
    I'm way out of it. A couple people in my pool, who I know aren't really hoop fans, got really lucky with their blind squirrel picks.

    Good luck, bring home the trophy.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 317 (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:06:56 PM EST
    For retired heathens (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:39:48 PM EST
    Every day is sundy

    Final 4 Opening Lines Are Up (none / 0) (#15)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:09:17 PM EST
    Florida -7 vs Connecticut
    Kentucky -2½ vs Wisconsin

    Stanford women march on, beat Penn State (none / 0) (#16)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:08:38 PM EST
    Women's NCAA is fun, too, y'know.

    And How, Peter (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 12:38:16 AM EST
    I was working in Hartford, Ct. just after the era when the UConn Men's Team was, consistently,  fighting for, and winning, championships.

    And, it was also the time that the female Huskies started their reign as perennial candidates for #1.

    It was a wild time, and, the fans in Hartford made the transition from men's basketball to women's, seamlessly and appreciatively.  


    Yes, it is. (none / 0) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 03:45:47 PM EST
    We've long been big fans of NCAA women's volleyball. Women's sports can be just as exciting to watch as the men's counterpart, if people would only give it a chance to impress them. At UConn, the women's basketball team is just as admired and beloved as the men's team, both on campus and in the greater community, and both teams sell out every game.

    This past November, my nephew's high school boys basketball team in Pasadena, CA played an off-the-record exhibition game this past November against a women's team made up of former collegiate players from the Pac Ten and Big West conferences, as part of a local charity fundraiser challenge. They got their butts handed to them by the ladies, 65-46.

    Now granted, these women were probably seven to nine years older than the teenagers they played. They were certainly no shrinking violets, and their experience frankly showed on the court. The gals were quicker, they boxed the young guys out physically, challenged them on each shot and every rebound, and basically took it to them early and often. (They killed the boys repeatedly on the back door play, and the easy layups were sort of embarrassing to watch over and again.) The outcome was never really in doubt.

    But it was all for a good cause, because the proceeds went to a local community center in the San Gabriel Valley. And the boys actually took their defeat in stride, which indicated to me a much greater acceptance of the reality of women's athletics on the part of the younger generation than I would have otherwise thought. As my nephew admitted to me after the game without any hint of embarrassment, "They're really much better than we are."



    Time to move on. Padres 3. Dodgers 1. (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:25:42 PM EST
    According to the Dodgers radio guy (not Vince), the Dodgers are projected to go to the World Series this year.

    Just did my traditional downloading (none / 0) (#22)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:45:30 AM EST
    of the MLB.com ipad app, which I will check every day until the Cubs are mathematically eliminated, in oh, say about 6 weeks.

    Fear the Beard did not work (none / 0) (#23)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:48:28 AM EST
    That was a pretty dramatic collapse by Brian Wilson in relief.....

    Maybe he was jet-lagged. (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:43:20 AM EST
    The Beard's been nothing to be feared ... (none / 0) (#61)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 06:27:10 PM EST
    ... since the Giants' World Series triumph in 2010. Since his injury, he's been a shadow of his former intimidating self.

    Not to , god forbid, start a (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:28:41 AM EST
    Conversation about " the plane" but who was the genius who thought it would be a good idea to have device that is supposed to tell why the plane crashed crash with the plane to the bottom of the Indian Ocean?

    With all our wireless technology could this not be done wirelessly or at least eject or something?

    I was wondering the same thing (none / 0) (#32)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:29:11 AM EST
    re: the technology. And did I heard right, when the batteries die, the data is gone?

    No (none / 0) (#33)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:37:01 AM EST
    the data remains for quite sometime. Just the battery that delivers the pings is dead. The black (actually orange) box with the data intact of an Air France flight that crashed in the Atlantic in 2009 wasn't located for 2 years.

    Oh good. Thanks! (none / 0) (#35)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:09:00 AM EST
    Blind justice (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:34:09 AM EST
    A Delaware man convicted of raping his three-year-old daughter only faced probation after a state Superior Court judge ruled he "will not fare well" in prison.

    In her decision, Judge Jan Jurden suggested Robert H. Richards IV would benefit more from treatment. Richards, who was charged with fourth-degree rape in 2009, is an unemployed heir living off his trust fund. The light sentence has only became public as the result of a subsequent lawsuit filed by his ex-wife, which charges that he penetrated his daughter with his fingers while masturbating, and subsequently assaulted his son as well.

    Richards is the great grandson of du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont, a chemical baron.

    Or is that blond Justice?

    No words (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:00:33 AM EST
    I'm too disgusted

    Loved that the judge (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:43:05 AM EST
    Worries how he will "fare" in prison.  As opposed to poor and brown people who of course fare so well.  

    It is truly disgusting and disheartening


    He could have been housed in (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:19:56 AM EST
    protective custody, as opposed to in the general population.

    How about this (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:32:45 AM EST
    If there is a problem how about making the prison system safe and humane enough for rich white people?

    That's crazy talk (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:20:32 PM EST
    I know

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 318 (none / 0) (#31)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:17:02 AM EST
    Mom and Pop investors are what he lines his platinum birdcage with. (link)

    v. 317
    v. 316
    v. 315

    Happy Monday, peeps. Gotta get fingerprinted today in order to chaperone my son's school band trip in May. Everyone send me some good vibes, cuz I really hope my indecent exposure and check fraud convictions don't come up.


    Dem Senate primary in Hawaii (Donald?) (none / 0) (#52)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:52:57 PM EST
    'Noticed that most of the biggies appear to have endorsed Schatz, but that Hanabusa has garnered Emily's List endorsement along with some others.  'Have seen references to polling with differing results.  What is your take, Donald???  Is the polling driving the endorsements ... i.e., are the Obama and Reid endorsements something that was coming in any event or is the strategy to push momentum?  What gives?

    I'm probably not the best person ... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:42:07 PM EST
    ... to ask on this particular subject, because I have a very obvious conflict of interest in this instance. Sen. Brian Schatz has long been a personal friend of mine, dating back to the days when we were both working at the state legislature. I'm on record out here in support of his campaign, and I was a member of the Hawaii Democratic Party Central Committee who endorsed his selection by Gov. Neil Abercrombie as the late Sen. Inouye's successor back in December 2012.

    Suffice to say that I concluded back then that then-Lt. Gov. Schatz would be a better U.S. senator for Hawaii than Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, and that nothing has transpired in the 15 months since to make me regret my initial decision and change my mind.

    This is to take nothing away from Ms. Hanabusa, who's also been a fine public servant. I simply felt at the time that once Sen. Inouye departed the scene, we needed to go in another direction. I still feel that way, and from my perspective, so do many other Hawaii Democrats. We have no burning desire to re-create and re-live yesterday's agenda.

    I'm sorry that I can't be more specific than that, because any analysis I could offer on the subject would clearly have to be taken with a grain of salt by you and others here at TL, given that I clearly have a dog in this hunt. Please feel free to ask me again after the August primary.



    Thanks, Donald (none / 0) (#65)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 07:19:43 PM EST
    Yes, I have heard that Sen. Brian Schatz represents the new face of the Democratic party in Hawaii ... and a good face at that.

    Sen. Schatz is a good man. (none / 0) (#70)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:50:10 PM EST
    And further, at only 40 years of age, he has the capacity over the coming years to build some serious seniority in the U.S. Senate, which is a place where seniority counts for an awful lot, regardless of whether one approves of that arcane protocol or not.

    And for small states like Hawaii, that's something which Congresswoman Hanabusa, who's going to be 64 at the beginning of 2015, would never be able to garner in sufficient amounts before having to retire from public life herself.

    That's probably the most compelling reason why Gov. Abercrombie ultimately chose to ignore Sen. Inouye's purported "dying wish" and appoint Schatz to the seat, rather than Hanabusa or Esther Kia'aina, who's 56.

    I think it's a damned shame that it takes someone like the 76-year-old Abercrombie to remind the old Inouye crowd, the majority of whom are supporting Ms. Hanabusa, of the future benefits of Senate seniority for Hawaii.

    Okay, since I went there, I might as well finish it and tell the rest of the story. Never mind that there was no real love lost between the governor and Inouye's chief of staff Jennifer Sabas, a wannabe kingmaker who had talked Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman into taking on then-Congressman Abercrombie in the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary. (Abercrombie subsequently crushed Hanneman, 62-37%.)

    And speaking for myself only, I've long harbored some very serious doubts as to whether Sen. Inouye was ever really coherent enough on his last day to have dictated his supposed "final letter" to the governor mere hours before his death. His son Ken admitted to me personally three days later, when he met with the members of the State Central Committee, that his father had been fading in and out of consciousness that entire final weekend. (He died the following Monday afternoon, eastern standard time.)

    Personally, I believe that this letter was probably the warped handiwork of Ms. Sabas, a truly Machiavellian political operative who -- not surprisingly -- is presently running the Hanabusa campaign. And thus far, Sabas has refused to account to any of us as to how the D.C. media was leaked copies of that letter, some four hours prior to Gov. Abercrombie's receipt of it on the day of Inouye's passing.

    There, now you know all the dirt and bad blood behind this increasingly nasty primary race. And personal friendships aside, that's why I support Sen. Schatz.



    KUSC FM is playing brackets of two (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 07:13:06 PM EST
    composers against each other. Vote on line to help pick the champ.  For example, this morning Tschaifovsky wiped the floor w/Mahler.  

    I would agree about Tchaikovsky (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 07:42:46 PM EST
    But, I've been meaning to post since last night, when we returned from the Colorado symphony's performance of a very fulfilling, moving, thought provoking program. I had never heard 2 of the 3 works.

    The program opened with Stephen Hough's "Missa Mirabilis" -- a beautiful modern interpretation of the Mass in many ways (and, since I had just come from Sunday Mass and am accustomed to all manner of musical versions over the years, I almost left my chair from leaning over from wonder during the Gloria and Credo.) Next: An old favorite, of course, in Rachmaninoff's "Variations on a Theme by Paganini" (played by Stephen Hough.)  Finally: We were treated to Ralph Vaughn Williams' "Dona Nobis Pacem" ... and, I say "treated" because (not ever having heard this before) there was no way that I could have imagined the mix of war drums, the definitive abhorrence of war, the resultant death could instill such a resolution of peace and promise.  

    The totality left both my husband & I almost speechless ... and, as you might guess, that is unexpected in itself.  It was wonderful!


    J.S. Bach has a big lead over Vaughn-Williams. (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:03:23 PM EST
    As to Tchaikovsky v. Mahler, the radio announcer was astounded. He said, did T ever compose anything as profound as "Das Lied von der Erde"?; I don't think so.

    Bach should have the lead (a full "yes!) (none / 0) (#69)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:35:14 PM EST
    On the Tchaikovsky matter: An old friend of mine, a cellist, used to engage in periodic debate about the worth (or non-worth, depending upon the fad and vagaries of the time) of Tchaikovsky's music.  All those years ago, she took special pleasure in learning and performing what she was supposed to do, and then adding to her conductor or instructor "I still like Tchaikovsky."

    Like my friend, now residing in Santa Fe (and, after some years of living otherwise, having taken up her cello again), I say "Go Tchaikovsky."  Heck, even my little puppy is named after the Celeste in the Nutcracker :)
    But then, I really am back a few centuries ... and the vast meanderings of Mahler seem to elude me in the symphonies.


    Funny (none / 0) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 07:24:28 PM EST
    One of the most disturbing videos (none / 0) (#85)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:06:44 PM EST
    you will ever see

    ALBUQUERQUE, NM -- Outrage has ignited over a helmet-cam video of officers fatally confronting a homeless man at his primitive campsite in the foothills.  Video shows the man standing by his meager possessions, surrounded by rifle-toting officers who were citing him for illegally camping without government permission.  Officers ultimately tossed a concussion grenade in his face, sicced an attack dog on him, and shot him to death with a flurry of gunfire.

    What's almost as disturbing (none / 0) (#132)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:13:22 AM EST
    is that there's always a bunch of good Germans who come out of the woodwork to defend the cops when they do this kind of thing, as we saw after the Fullerton cops beat that homeless man to death.

    Obviously some serious study still needs to be done on this blood-in-the-water, feeding frenzy response that armed males in groups are so susceptible to.


    The problem, as I see it, (none / 0) (#135)
    by NYShooter on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 11:38:08 PM EST
    is the immediate, reflexive backlash you get whenever the idea that police officer's psychological profiles mirror that of anti social, violent criminals is suggested. The response is always the same: "Cops put their lives on the line every day for you and me. You can't condemn the whole group for the actions of a few rotten apples."

    My problem with that is, while not every cop engages in unprovoked beatings of suspects, every cop knows about it, has witnessed it, and, has done nothing about it.

    Basically, "the thin blue line," is as thick and impenetrable as any defensive fortress ever devised.    


    The problem is (none / 0) (#137)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 09:07:54 PM EST
    Police departments even in small towns like mine are now basically paramilitaryoperations.  they arrive with their brand new Kevlar vests and assault rifles to domestic disturbances.  They have all the plunder they need through confiscation laws and they now support themselves.  
    They are now basically an occupying force.  I have three in my family.  They are the three dumbest most racist a-holes in my family tree.  And that is saying a lot.  Ignorant fat dorks who were picked on in high school and never had a date and now are taking it out on the community at large.  It is a very serious national problem.

    Germans? (none / 0) (#136)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:50:28 AM EST
    I think you mean nazi's or fascists. It is wrong to suggest that Germans would get off on this kind of police violence.

    Really Jondee, that is not cool.


    Good Germans (none / 0) (#138)
    by jondee on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:23:34 AM EST
    is an expression that goes back to the thirties
    it originally connoted citizens who passively cooperated with fascism by shutting up and going along to get along.

    1930's (none / 0) (#139)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:33:04 PM EST
    It is 2014, maybe time to give up the stereotype, as the topic you commented on is an event that has happened recently.

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#95)
    by caseyOR on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 09:12:45 PM EST
    trying to fool us with March Madness talk.

    And in April (none / 0) (#96)
    by CoralGables on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 09:38:55 PM EST
    Not to mention there was no Michigan/Michigan State game. Maybe it's April Fools spam.

    Watching O talk about (none / 0) (#104)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:28:55 PM EST
    The minimum wage .  Chuck Odd is all like,"why isn't he talking about Obamacare?"

    Why should hr Chuck? Obama care is here.  It ain't going nowhere and it will take care of itself.  Good for O.  Talk about the minimum wage.

    Another nut with a gun (none / 0) (#123)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:03:48 PM EST
    Fort Hood

    Medi orgy ensues