Author Topic: Politics  (Read 224029 times)

ˇKeith!

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Re: US Politics (and Transition)
« Reply #1410 on: August 19, 2009, 05:08:15 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYlZiWK2Iy8&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2009%2F08%2F19%2Fbarney-frank-confronts-wo_n_262682.html&feature=player_embedded#t=77

Thank you Barney for showing some spine.
pure awesome
**applause**
Really?
90% of our politicians here lack any sort of spine - when things get hairy they retreat to better groomed landscapes, Barney just went ahead and shaved a bitch.
Which is the other easy way out.
Not for someone who's livelyhood depends on people liking him. (in theory)

Well, to be honest Frank wasn't taking much of a risk in his particular district.  He knew the majority of the crawd sided with him.  But still it was nice to see someone stand up to them.

Look at it this way--he just invoked Godwin's Law on her.

Shaved a bitch??

yeah... that's why I added the "in theory" bit

metaphorically speaking of course.

ˇKeith!

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Re: US Politics (and Transition)
« Reply #1411 on: August 19, 2009, 05:09:25 PM »
I'm always here to bring things back down to basics and what's really important.
Sorry, that position has already been filled.

pixote

can ya find me the time m_r_turnage said something similar about alexarch?

FroHam X

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Re: US Politics (and Transition)
« Reply #1412 on: August 19, 2009, 05:09:55 PM »
I'm always here to bring things back down to basics and what's really important.
Sorry, that position has already been filled.

pixote

Bringing things down to basics is much different from bringing them back to reality.
"We didn't clean the hamster's cage, the hamster's cage cleaned us!"

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pixote

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Re: US Politics (and Transition)
« Reply #1413 on: August 19, 2009, 05:17:40 PM »
Stop selling smirnoff short!

spixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

FroHam X

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Re: US Politics (and Transition)
« Reply #1414 on: August 19, 2009, 05:18:26 PM »
Stop selling smirnoff short!

spixote

I'm not. He serves a very special purpose.
"We didn't clean the hamster's cage, the hamster's cage cleaned us!"

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Colleen

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Re: US Politics (and Transition)
« Reply #1415 on: August 19, 2009, 05:33:59 PM »
Too bad she is that stupid considering she's pretty attractive.
More insightful analysis, FroHam.  ;)

I'm always here to bring things back down to basics and what's really important.

Hey, I thought the same thing :)  Something tells me that she doesn't play on my team though.

FroHam X

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Re: US Politics (and Transition)
« Reply #1416 on: August 19, 2009, 07:16:10 PM »
Too bad she is that stupid considering she's pretty attractive.
More insightful analysis, FroHam.  ;)

I'm always here to bring things back down to basics and what's really important.

Hey, I thought the same thing :)  Something tells me that she doesn't play on my team though.

You cement yourself in my heart more and more every day.
"We didn't clean the hamster's cage, the hamster's cage cleaned us!"

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smirnoff

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Re: US Politics (and Transition)
« Reply #1417 on: August 19, 2009, 07:20:56 PM »
Stop selling smirnoff short!

spixote

I'm not. He serves a very special purpose.

Thanks for not putting special in quotations. ;)

smirnoff

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Re: US Politics (and Transition)
« Reply #1418 on: August 19, 2009, 10:17:42 PM »
Here's a compelling (if standoffish) argument in favour of the public health care option. It tackles a lot of the issues that seem to be sticking points for those undecided or opposed. A 5-10 minute read.

Link to the original
Quote
What is the American Dream?

As I understand it, the American Dream is based on opportunity. We all have the opportunity through hard work, some ingenuity, and perhaps a bit of luck, to break out far ahead of our fellow Americans. To live a fulfilled life, without concern for money and all the essentials that come with it, like food, water, clothing and shelter. A truly capitalistic definition if there ever was one.

And even if you would like to disagree with my basic premise of what the American Dream entails, certainly we can all agree that the American Dream isn’t about living on the precipice of disaster at all times. That would be a nightmare.

But that’s exactly how a large and ever-growing swath of the American population lives. And it’s not from their own doing either. For tens of millions of Americans, one illness, and one denial of coverage equals economic disaster. And guess what? For every one of those disasters the entire economy suffers. A house goes into foreclosure, bringing every house on that street down in value. High ticket items like cars, appliances, computers, aren’t even a consideration for these families, which means less of those items are sold, which equates into job losses for the companies that produce such things. And that medical care required to deal with that catastrophic illness? That goes unpaid due to a bankruptcy, which means you and I pay for it anyway in underlying costs. It's why a Tylenol costs $50 at the hospital.

For any American that finds the idea of a public option for health care to be distasteful, consider this: You already pay for every person who is currently not insured (1 in every 6) or is under-insured (an indeterminate number). You already pay for every person who is bankrupted by health system as it exists now. You already pay for every person (and that includes illegal aliens) that can’t pay their health care bill.

Without the public option, health care reform amounts to a huge bonanza of new customers for the current crop of for-profit insurers. Notice the “for-profit” part of that sentence. It is in the interest of your health insurer to prevent you from getting the health care you need because that's how they profit over and above the actuary tables that were once the basic premise of insurance. Why would we want to reward the companies that have bankrupted so many Americans by denying them the health care they paid for?

The arguments against a public option are without merit. Show me one good argument that has been presented against the public option. Death panels? A total lie. Why make something up out of whole cloth if you have a good argument?

How about abortion coverage? A lie. Everyone knows that a bill covering abortion wouldn't pass, so it's not going to be in there. Besides isn’t that a women's health issue? Shouldn’t that be between the doctor and the woman? I mean how can it be argued, on the one hand, that a public option will interfere with the relationship between a patient and a doctor, while on the other hand it's argued that the government should disallow payment on a procedure recommended by a woman’s doctor? If you want NO interference between that doctor/patient relationship, then technically there should be NO exclusions other than purely elective surgery. But remember, not all abortions are elective, and we shouldn't allow any insurance company, private or otherwise, to determine whether a particular abortion is elective thank you very much.

Paying for illegal aliens? We already pay for them!

Government takeover of your health? No. Even a single payer option, which is what medicare is, doesn’t take over a patient’s health. At most a public option offers a government run health INSURANCE program. In other words, it’s just another option.

But then the naysayers argue that the public option will put the private insurers out of business, because somehow everyone will want to jump ship from their insurance company to enter into the public option.

Why would people want to do that? I mean, if the insurance you have is so great, then why on earth would you want to jump into a government run insurance program which is supposed to be so bad for you/us? This defies logic. Is the argument against a public option because it’s bad? Or is it because it will be better than what we currently have and thus destroy our already existing quasi-capitalistic health care system? Please pick one.

It’s too expensive? Too expensive for whom? I don’t know about you, but I pay $14,500 a year in insurance premiums, and two years ago I was denied coverage on a "pre-existing" condition--a condition that cost me $15,000 for a one hour procedure, despite religiously paying my premiums. In this particular case, I was able to deal with the unexpected cost. But what if it cost me $150,000 or more? At some point, a denial breaks me. And I currently PAY a substantial monthly amount for insurance! What exactly am I being insured against?

Too expensive for America? We can’t possibly sustain our current system, so we’re going to just tweak it, leaving our premiums in the hands of companies who’s only interest is their own profits? How much are our premiums going to go up when the government tells insurance companies that they can no longer exclude preexisting conditions? You don’t think your premiums are going to increase substantially absent any real independent not-for-profit competition? Come on.

Breaking the state restrictions currently on health insurers, and allowing them to supply coverage on a national scale? Personally, I don’t think this is such a horrible thing, so long as there is a public option too. Otherwise we risk crushing competition even more by creating large monopolies that will do everything to prop up just enough competition to prevent antitrust lawsuits. Give us a public option, and allow the private insurers to operate nationally. That would make an even playing field, right? Let’s see who wins.

Health care companies like big pharma and insurance companies give large amounts of money to Senators in small states (both Republican and Democratic). Do you know why they do that? Because a Senator in a small state wields just as much voting power as one from a large one. Because these Senators are in less populous states, raising campaign money is far more difficult for them than say a Senator in New York or California. This means the “Blue Dog” Democrats who operate in small rural states are bought and paid for, and that’s why it's difficult for the Dems to come up with 60 votes. Not because it’s good for you, me, and your neighbor as Americans. But because it keeps those Senators in office.

These insurance and pharma companies also give large sums of money to Senators in charge of certain committees, like the Senate Finance Committee for instance (where the current Senate version of the health care bill sits). That's because committees are where potential bills go to die, and paying off Committee chairs only helps the cause. The term “blood money” comes to mind here, and I mean that literally and on a grand scale.

So please stop believing the lies and the false arguments. Start thinking beyond the rhetoric, and understand that a government run health insurance option has already been popular for decades now. It's called Medicare. Understand that there are many examples of systems that work far better than ours and which involve government. Nothing being proposed is new or untested elsewhere in the industrialized and capitalistic world.

The only way to push health insurers into competing is by providing some actual competition. And the only way to do that is to have a public option. If a public option turns into a single payer government run health insurance system ten to twenty years from now, then clearly, the public option proved to be the better one, and we can all continue to strive for the American Dream, whatever that is.

Tell me, why would anyone be afraid of that?

Enjoy,

Mixerman

smirnoff

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Re: US Politics (and Transition)
« Reply #1419 on: August 19, 2009, 10:33:14 PM »
I'm not well informed enough on the issue to really say one way or the other. I've read articles against the bill that too me seem just as convincing.

Such as:
Quote from: Peter Schiff @ europac.net
Prescription for Disaster
   
The health care bill unveiled this week by the House of Representatives (with the full support of the Obama administration) is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever drafted. If passed, it will reduce the quality and increase the cost of health care in America. But more importantly, it will severely undermine our already weak economy. To burden a country currently in the throes of a violent recession with such a bureaucratic albatross clearly illustrates the scarcity of economic intelligence in Washington.

In the first place, specifically taxing the rich to pay for health care for the uninsured is the wrong way to think about tax policy and is an unconstitutional redistribution of wealth. While the government has the constitutional power to tax to “promote the general welfare,” it does not have the right to tax one group for the sole and specific benefit of another. If the government wishes to finance national health insurance, the burden of paying for it should fall on every American. If that were the case, perhaps Congress would think twice before passing such a monstrosity.

In the second place, the bill is just plain bad economics. For an administration that claims to want to create jobs, this bill is one of the biggest job-killers yet devised. By increasing the marginal income tax rate on high earners (an extra 5.4% on incomes above 1 million), it reduces the incentives for small business owners to expand their companies. When you combine this tax hike with the higher taxes that will kick in once the Bush tax-cuts expire, and add in the higher income taxes being imposed by several states, many business owners might simply choose not to put in the extra effort necessary to expand their businesses. Or, given the diminishing returns on their labor, they may choose to enjoy more leisure. More leisure for employers means fewer jobs for employees.

More directly, mandating insurance coverage for employees increases the cost of hiring workers. Under the terms of the bill, small businesses that do not provide insurance will be required to pay a tax as high as 8% of their payroll. Since most small businesses currently could not afford to grant 8% across-the-board pay hikes, they will have to offset these costs by reducing wages. However, for employees working at the minimum wage, the only way for employers to offset the costs would be through layoffs.

The uninsured self-employed, or those working as independent contractors, will be forced to buy insurance or pay a tax equal to 2.5% of annual income. Either choice will divert resources from more productive uses into an already out-of-control health care bureaucracy.

Sadly, the bill does nothing to restrain or alter the dynamics that have caused health care costs to spiral ever higher. In fact, the bill will intensify these pressures.

The simplest (but by no means fullest) explanation of why health care costs so much is that demand exceeds supply. Demand is a function of how much people are prepared to pay. Insuring more people will drive demand for health care services even higher. (To truly get a handle on out-of-control health care costs, we need more people paying for routine medical care out of pocket, and tort reform for medical malpractice. See my previous commentary.)

As costs continue to soar, expect additional tax hikes to fund the added expense. As these additional taxes further encumber a weak economy, the diminished tax base will yield lower total tax revenues – despite higher rates. As the politicians attempt to pass ever higher increases to make up for revenue shortfalls, a vicious cycle toward insolvency will ensue.

The worst part of the whole fiasco is trying to imagine the bureaucracy necessary to administer this plan. My guess is that the government provider will mis-price its policies on the low side, pushing employers to dump private sector insurance for the taxpayer-subsidized alternative. Such a system will further distort health care pricing and, ultimately, make a bad situation intolerable.

The enormity, complexity, and expense of this bill could well pull the rug out from what many of my cheerleading colleagues believe to be the beginning of an economic recovery. The way I see it, the economy is walking dead anyway, and this measure is the equivalent of a stake through the heart. But even if we manage to escape the grave this time, Congress is working on a few other ideas that will surely keep us buried.