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A Suggestion for Tea Partiers:

Instead of yellin' and shoutin', how about pressing your Representative for the following commitment: you will not vote for any final health care bill until its been published on-line and available to the public for debate (and for you to read!) for at least one month. I'd love to see a Congressman try to explain to his constituents why having time for public debate is a bad idea.

gerbilsbite:
You know, if the Tea Baggers currently trying to do their damnedest to end meaningful constitutent - representative contact were to themselves try reading H.R. 3200 only while driving to and from rallies opposing it, I'm sure they'd have time to both locate and highlight the parts they think will lead to Obamacare Octogenarian Assassination Squads, new abortion clinics in every county, and the destruction of American liberty as we know it. Then, when shouting "read the bill! read the bill!" or making asinine comments about how this is a sign that Obama is actually a neo-fascistic communist, they'd actually have a section they could point to in support of their chants.

I'd love to see a Tea Bagger try to explain to his congressman where exactly he missed the part calling for re-education camps and forced euthanasia.

I guess we're both just dreamers, David.
8.7.2009 2:48pm
A Law Dawg:
Gerbils,

All those things are in the bill. Just read it!
8.7.2009 2:50pm
fnook (mail):
you will not vote for any final health care bill until its been published on-line and available to the public for debate (and for you to read!) for at least one month. I'd love to see a Congressman try to explain to his constituents why having time for public debate is a bad idea.

Ha ha. You're a laugh a minute these days David, though I've yet to hear a single congress person claim there's no need for "public debate" on this issue. Hell, the more genuine debate there is the more likely it is my ailing grandmother will come to realize our sitting president is not, in fact, trying to kill her. Plus, do you really think the vicious anger we're seeing from the Beck loving far right really has to do, first and foremost, with health care?
8.7.2009 2:52pm
gerbilsbite:
Actually, what I really want to see is a change of format when town halls turn like this: make 'em into Lincoln-Douglas debates. Have the representative call for a "champion" to speak for the unruly mob (surely there's some overweight, middle-aged, red-faced, hypertensive participant that the mannerless masses could unite behind), and actually go toe-to-toe. There's no chance in hell of a Congresswoman being able to talk over 200 protesters, especially with dozens more banging on doors and windows trying to disrupt the meeting. So even the odds, and give the mob a reason to quiet down by giving them a singular voice to speak for them.

Call them out. There's no need for the city to be sacked when Hector and Achilles can settle things one-on-one.
8.7.2009 2:53pm
Houston Lawyer:
Those showing up opposing the bill generally know more about it than the congressmen supporting the bill. Obama and Pelosi have made it clear that the bill is too important for the members to read and understand. If the congressmen aren't going to read it, why should the constituents?
8.7.2009 2:53pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
I think that there is a real problem here - with 1,000 page bills that no one understands, except maybe the staffers writing them, and at least the Democrats expected to vote for whatever sausage finally appears, without understanding such. This is extraordinarily complex and affects maybe 1/6 of our economy.

I don't think it unreasonable to expect that our Representatives understand what they are voting for, at least, before voting for it. And, even better, given the breadth of what is supposed to be accomplished here, I also think that they should be able to explain it to their constituents. And, if it is too complex to understand or explain, then they probably should vote against it, since it is also almost guaranteed to be too complex to work like it is expected to.
8.7.2009 2:53pm
gerbilsbite:
@A Law Dog: LOL!

win.
8.7.2009 2:54pm
fnook (mail):
Obama and Pelosi have made it clear that the bill is too important for the members to read and understand.

Source please.
8.7.2009 2:54pm
davidbernstein (mail):
You're a laugh a minute these days David, though I've yet to hear a single congress person claim there's no need for "public debate" on this issue.
Of course not, they just act that way. But if you're right, they won't have any problem with the one-month pledge.
8.7.2009 2:55pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Actually, what I really want to see is a change of format when town halls turn like this: make 'em into Lincoln-Douglas debates. Have the representative call for a "champion" to speak for the unruly mob (surely there's some overweight, middle-aged, red-faced, hypertensive participant that the mannerless masses could unite behind), and actually go toe-to-toe. There's no chance in hell of a Congresswoman being able to talk over 200 protesters, especially with dozens more banging on doors and windows trying to disrupt the meeting. So even the odds, and give the mob a reason to quiet down by giving them a singular voice to speak for them.
The basic concept isn't all that bad, and I understand your preference to stack the deck in favor of passage of whatever bill finally emerges for a vote. But if you are going to do this right, you need to give both sides a chance to come up with a spokesman whom they are comfortable with. That "overweight, middle-aged, red-faced, hypertensive participant" is unlikely to be as well prepped as the staffer who would be debating him. Better to find someone who spent as much time trying to understand the legislation and its effects and can express himself or herself, than to go for the loaded deck and great photo-op.
8.7.2009 2:58pm
fnook (mail):
But if you're right, they won't have any problem with the one-month pledge.

Please. Your one month pledge is not a serious proposal. Why now? The Congress is far from perfect but it's flaws apply equally to both parties.
8.7.2009 2:58pm
ArthurKirkland:
Would more information elevate the debate? Most of the people screaming "socialism" at these town hall meetings couldn't define the term with pistols at their temples, let alone engage in worthwhile debate of the details of health care reform. I find it difficult to believe they have read or understood the proposals to which they vehemently object. I support transparency, but why we need more transparency for health care reform than was proposed in connection with other important issues is not apparent. I ascribe most of the opposition to entrenched financial interests that benefit from the current clustermuck, bare-knuckles partisanship from people losing their grip on relevancy, and . . . actually, that's about it.
8.7.2009 2:59pm
Richard Nieporent (mail):
Ha ha. You're a laugh a minute these days David, though I've yet to hear a single congress person claim there's no need for "public debate" on this issue.

Then why were the Obama administration and the Democratic leadership pushing to pass the bill before the August recess?
8.7.2009 3:00pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
You're a laugh a minute these days David, though I've yet to hear a single congress person claim there's no need for "public debate" on this issue.
Let me also add that there seem to be a lot of (esp. Democratic) members of Congress right now who are actively avoiding any sort of open debate on this issue right now. We have seen them actively avoiding such, whether it is by pretending to have open debates after allowing in only supporters, or ducking out side doors, or even just not having any open debates whatsoever.
8.7.2009 3:00pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
The AARP and the Members of Congress want these "town halls" to be one-way discussions; they want to give information, not get it.

I guarantee you, if just one Congressman were willing to stand up and take any and all questions, and in answering them display a real knowledge of the details of the bill (which few if any of them have actually read), the crowd would listen to them.

What frustrates the people pushing this garbage through is that the people protesting are not merely willing to accept their bland assurances that this bill won't ration care, allow funding for abortions, restrict private options, cut Medicare reimbursement rates, etc., etc., etc. Just because President Obama says it does not make it so.
8.7.2009 3:03pm
gerbilsbite:
@Bruce Hayden:

I completely agree: this is too complex and important not to have a good understanding of. But the immensity of a real reform effort is, by its very scope, going to create an incredibly complex bill. If the bill were simple enough to read and understand in twenty minutes, it wouldn't be reform (unless the whole bill were simply removing the words "over 65" from the Medicare statute--that would actually be fairly simple).

Perhaps the Republican members of Congress braying that they need more time with it ought to see about maybe hiring assistants of some sort, who could focus on legislative matters. In fact, Congress really ought to provide all its members with funds to hire just those sorts of assistants! They could call them "assistants who work on legislative stuff" (I'm sorry--I'm not good with naming things! That's how I ended up posting as "gerbilsbite," after all) Then those assistants could read the bill in a matter of hours (or over the course of a few days, if they read slowly), have it marked up (again, complete with bright neon highlighter on those parts calling for killing elderly Republicans in their hospital beds and mandating abortions for all), and hand it back to their bosses, noting clearly which passages are the most important to really delve into.

Hey, if every Congressman had someone on staff capable of doing that, they might be done really quickly, and with so many sets of eyes they'd be sure to catch any horrific provisions (like requiring every colonoscopy be done by local Roto-Rooter franchisees). And then, instead of telling their constituents about the terrible (yet abstract) things that will come from health care reform (like the government putting old people to death, as Rep. Virginia Foxx put it), they could actually point to something specific, tangible, and amendable.
8.7.2009 3:03pm
JK:
This reminds me a lot of all the commerce clause arguments I've been hearing lately. I'm very sympathetic to these ideas (broad limits on federal power, making bills available to the public for reasonable periods), but throwing them out in the context of a single bill that you oppose on the substance does more to harm to those legitimate ideas than create a reasonable basis to oppose health care reform.

Health care reform is a complex enough issue without mixing it up with all these peripheral issues.
8.7.2009 3:06pm
gerbilsbite:
@ Bruce Hayden 2:58pm

You mean the people organizing angry, shouting mobs over this issue aren't going to actually have anyone there who understands the bill in-depth enough to debate a Congressman they're all certain hasn't read the bill (judging by their chants)?
8.7.2009 3:06pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Would more information elevate the debate? Most of the people screaming "socialism" at these town hall meetings couldn't define the term with pistols at their temples, let alone engage in worthwhile debate of the details of health care reform. I find it difficult to believe they have read or understood the proposals to which they vehemently object. I support transparency, but why we need more transparency for health care reform than was proposed in connection with other important issues is not apparent. I ascribe most of the opposition to entrenched financial interests that benefit from the current clustermuck, bare-knuckles partisanship from people losing their grip on relevancy, and . . . actually, that's about it.
And do you? Who does? Which proposal?

We probably should have had more transparency all along. And that is part of the problem. An $800 billion pork bill was passed with almost no debate by calling it a "stimulus" bill - and which has apparently not worked as advertised (since it was never really designed for that in the first place). Then there was the budget bill with 8,000 earmarks, followed by the Tax and Bribe (aka Cap and Trade) bill that again flew through the House with no time to even read the bill before it was voted upon. All that was bad, and getting worse, but after all, it was only about money, to be borrowed presumably from the Chinese.

It was bad enough then, but this bill could actually affect the health and lives of a lot of the people in this country. Ramming it through with no effective disclosure, debate, or transparency seems even worse, due to its real potential to deprive many of those involved of health care choices and alternatives that they likely would have had otherwise.
8.7.2009 3:06pm
MAM:
Yep, there is a very scientific term for these...ahem... informed citizens: kooks with a nice serving of racial hostility.
8.7.2009 3:07pm
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
All I ask regarding health care "reform":

1. Everyone gets a month to read the bill, so that our Congressmen can explain to the American people what exactly will change regarding their personal health-care.

2. Those same Congressmen, along with their extended families once removed, should be irrevocably enrolled in the same public plan, for a period of no less than 20 years -- the length time it will take for the next generation to mature, when they grow up to find out that they must pay for the thing, with no recourse available to them.

3. Economists who go on record as supporting the plan, should have their professional judgment considered mud in the eventuality of its putative failure. Particularly, there should be exacting reasons to ever install them in an influential government position.

That's not too much to ask, to save lives?, is it?
8.7.2009 3:08pm
A Law Dawg:
ike requiring every colonoscopy be done by local Roto-Rooter franchisees


Now you're just engaging in misrepresentation. Everybody knows that was part of the "buy local" provision in the stimulus package which won't go into effect until 2010 when the voters are paying attention.
8.7.2009 3:08pm
Federal Dog:
How about pressing your Representative for the following commitment: you will not vote for any final health care bill until you've read it and are competently versed in its contents.

And what's with leftists and sex attacks against any dissenters from their political orthodoxies ("teabaggers")? Even here, in this thread, there are multiple attacks based on gay sex that are unwarranted and counterproductive.
8.7.2009 3:09pm
fnook (mail):
Let me also add that there seem to be a lot of (esp. Democratic) members of Congress right now who are actively avoiding any sort of open debate on this issue right now. We have seen them actively avoiding such, whether it is by pretending to have open debates after allowing in only supporters, or ducking out side doors, or even just not having any open debates whatsoever.

Sources?

Part of the problem is there is no one bill to debate, there's like 5-6 different bills from different committees. But as for the general need for health insurance reform, I see no one important retreating from that debate.
8.7.2009 3:09pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
You mean the people organizing angry, shouting mobs over this issue aren't going to actually have anyone there who understands the bill in-depth enough to debate a Congressman they're all certain hasn't read the bill (judging by their chants)?
First, you presuppose that these protests are being actively organized. I know that those on the left like to believe this. But most indications are to the contrary, that the organization involved is mostly just letting people know when and where there is a good opportunity to protest.

Besides, the original proposal seemed to be to pick the most incompetent looking protester from the audience, and then let him make a fool of himself when he didn't understand the proposed legislation as well as the staffer prepped before hand to debate him.
8.7.2009 3:10pm
Oren:

I'd love to see a Congressman try to explain to his constituents why having time for public debate is a bad idea.

What the hell does the reading the minutea of the bill have to do with the public debate over it? We all know what the bill does and what it's about -- it's not like anyone is going to change their opinion of it after reading the precise manner in which reimbursement rates for medicare providers in rural areas will be computed.

Or are you actually claiming that your final opinion of the bill really will be influenced by those details -- e.g. that there is any way of doing the small stuff that will lead to your approval? If not, then your call is fundamentally dishonest -- it presupposes you are willing to engage in a debate about the precise terms of the bill when, in fact, I suspect that you are opposed to the bill in principle and would not support it no matter how the details are thrashed out.
8.7.2009 3:13pm
u. saldin (mail):
the organization involved is mostly just letting people know when and where there is a good opportunity to protest

Ahahahahahaha. I have a bridge for sale in NY, it's absolutely gorgeous, I'll give you a great price...
8.7.2009 3:14pm
Bart (mail):
David:

Instead of yellin' and shoutin', how about pressing your Representative for the following commitment: you will not vote for any final health care bill until its been published on-line and available to the public for debate (and for you to read!) for at least one month. I'd love to see a Congressman try to explain to his constituents why having time for public debate is a bad idea.

Take a gander at the Youtube videos of these Townhall meetings. Questions about whether the Congress critter read the bill are standard fare. The standard Congress critter response is that they are in the process of reading the bill.

The really interesting and scary development is how the Obama gangster government (an unfortunately accurate term) is now sending SEIU thugs to Obamacare town hall meetings to exclude, intimidate and in at least two incidents assault Tea Party protestors.

While his thugs were attempting to silence the protestors, Obama was at a Virginia fundraiser yesterday arguing that he did not mind cleaning up the health care mess, but the folks that caused it (i.e. the protestors) should not be allowed to talk about Obamacare. The citizenry should not be allowed to talk about Obamacare?!?

This is the same thuggery Obama pulled during the AIG bonus controversy. After approving the AIG bonuses, Obama pulled a 180 and condemned AIG and the bonuses. Over the next couple days after Obama's condemnation, ACORN and SEIU thugs started protesting outside the homes of AIG executives and intimidating their families. Obama then held a meeting with the bank CEOs and told them that: "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks." A President of the United States threatening business as if he were a Mafia button man telling the local liquor store why he needed to purchase protection?!?

To my mind, this latest act of gangster government is the final straw. I cannot recall a single instance of a prior administration repeatedly deploying thugs to intimidate political opponents. These people have to go.
8.7.2009 3:16pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Part of the problem is there is no one bill to debate, there's like 5-6 different bills from different committees. But as for the general need for health insurance reform, I see no one important retreating from that debate.
And, yet, there was disappointment that one of them, never mind which one, was passed before the August recess.

Most of the debate has been over HR 3200, which was introduced by Resp. Dingell, Rangel, Waxman, Miller, Stark, Pallone, and Andrews - who together represent much of the power structure (other than the Speaker and Majority Leader) in the House. Given the sponsors of this bill, I would suggest that whatever legislation finally hits the House floor for a vote will be dependent upon and relate closely to this bill.
8.7.2009 3:16pm
Oren:

Ramming it through with no effective disclosure, debate, or transparency seems even worse, due to its real potential to deprive many of those involved of health care choices and alternatives that they likely would have had otherwise.

Again, it's quite clear what the various committee bills do, even if we don't need to get into subparagraph (I)(12)(g)(ii) regarding the removal of members of the board regulating insurer compliance in case of felony conviction.

We should have (and do have) a debate on the big picture, which has been going on rather loudly. Talking about reading the bill is mindless at best, dishonest at worst.
8.7.2009 3:17pm
fnook (mail):
And what's with leftists and sex attacks against any dissenters from their political orthodoxies ("teabaggers")?

Federal Dog: you may have missed it, but the primary activity going on at the "Tea Parties" consisted of protesters throwing around tea bags in protest of the recovery act and what have you. They referred to their own parties as tea bag parties, obviously without realizing the sexual connotations of the term. Now they must live with the ridicule that comes their way from sarcastic leftists like me an my ilk. Also, there's nothing inherently gay about teabagging.
8.7.2009 3:17pm
Guest12345:
gerbilsbite:

You mean the people organizing angry, shouting mobs over this issue aren't going to actually have anyone there who understands the bill in-depth enough to debate a Congressman they're all certain hasn't read the bill (judging by their chants)?


You're missing a critial aspect of what DB suggested: that the bill be in a finished form and made available for public discourse for a month before being voted on. Any point made during debate that puts a congressman in a hard place will be responded to with a simple "it's an evolving bill and isn't in its final form."
8.7.2009 3:17pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Let me correct my last post:
And, yet, there was disappointment that one of them, never mind which one, was NOT passed before the August recess.
8.7.2009 3:18pm
OhioGuy:
Let me also add that there seem to be a lot of (esp. Democratic) members of Congress right now who are actively avoiding any sort of open debate on this issue right now.

This is the approach being taken by a number of the so-called "Blue Dog" Democratic congressmen. For example, Zack Space and Charlie Wilson, both of whom represent conservative districts in Ohio, are refusing to meet with constituents over the August recess so that they do not have to discuss either the health care bill or "cap and trade."

It's a shame they do not seem to understand the meaning of the word "Representatives." Well, here's a news flash for the so-called Blue Dogs: you are in Washington to represent the people of your districts. At a minimum, you should be willing to seek input from your constituents, and update them on important legislation. If you are not willing to do that, then you should start returning your paychecks to the taxpayers.
8.7.2009 3:19pm
fnook (mail):
Bart: I cannot recall a single instance of a prior administration repeatedly deploying thugs to intimidate political opponents. These people have to go.

You can't be serious, right? If so, you're obviously not thinking hard enough.
8.7.2009 3:20pm
Federal Dog:
"Federal Dog: you may have missed it, but the primary activity going on at the "Tea Parties" consisted of protesters throwing around tea bags"

Yeah, I definitely missed all that alleged bag throwing. In fact, I never saw it even once.

The slur has nothing to do with your fiction. It is a specifically sexual attack referring to fellatio.
8.7.2009 3:21pm
mogden (mail):
Why should reform be so complicated?

Just make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate based on medical history, and illegal for employers to give medical insurance as a benefit. Add a subsidy for poor people. Case closed, it can fit on one page.
8.7.2009 3:22pm
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):

Oren said:

Or are you actually claiming that your final opinion of the bill really will be influenced by those details -- e.g. that there is any way of doing the small stuff that will lead to your approval? If not, then your call is fundamentally dishonest -- it presupposes you are willing to engage in a debate about the precise terms of the bill when, in fact, I suspect that you are opposed to the bill in principle and would not support it no matter how the details are thrashed out.

Of course many here would be opposed. But others, like whit for example, who are on the fence and who might be swayed one way or the other by a careful analysis of the bill's details, should enjoy some extra time to digest it. Aren't you supposed to be all about the strictures of the democratic process? You guys want loose voter ID laws so that ACORN can fulfill its idealistic mission of allowing all Americans a vote, but to ask for a full reading of massively important legislation is now dishonesty personified? Please.
8.7.2009 3:22pm
mcbain:

Yep, there is a very scientific term for these...ahem... informed citizens: kooks with a nice serving of racial hostility.


and there we go
8.7.2009 3:26pm
Brett Marston:

Ramming it through with no effective disclosure, debate, or transparency seems even worse,

I love this argument. Apparently, six days of televised markups of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where there was vigorous debate on all of these issues, is not "transparent."

If you want transparency, don't excuse the behavior of angry folks who are self-consciously trying to disrupt the traditional forum of congressional constituent meetings.

This week, both Donna Edwards and Steve Kagen managed to have town hall meetings where critics showed up and were heard, nobody was hung in effigy, and nobody tried to shut down the meeting with chanting or hooting and hollering. Supporting their efforts seems like a better bid for transparency than providing cover for the Don Jerors of the world.
8.7.2009 3:29pm
Alexia:
Wow! The White House team has effectively organized to shout down rational discussion, it seems.

@Saldin: Keep saying it over and over and soon people will believe it? Name the organization paying for this stuff. I organized a tea party, and I'd like to be reimbursed for the next one.

Hey Warren Buffet owns one of the largest insurance companies in the country - surely he'll pitch in to help fight government takeover because it will destroy his bottom line, right?

OTOH, SEIU and ACORN are absolutely tied to corporate and government money. And the violence didn't begin until they showed up.

I'll fight you until I'm dead, komrade. Keep your hands off my healthcare and out of my wallet, too.

We the people are the only authentic protestors in the game
8.7.2009 3:31pm
fnook (mail):
Federal Dog, I was a bit wrong about the origins of the tea bags. According to a cbs news article, the Tea Party protesters sent tea bags to elected representatives:


The tea party protest has been met with derision from many on the left, in part because of some unfortunate terminology - the protesters have become known as "teabaggers" thanks to their practice of sending tea bags to elected representatives - and in part because the movement is perhaps less organic than organizers might want the public to think.


So there you have it. The "slur" is based on fact, not fiction, and frankly I don't see it as a sexual attack. I just happen to think the Tea Party protests are childish, incoherent and idiotic.
8.7.2009 3:31pm
gerbilsbite:
@ Bruce Hayden 3:10pm -

You misunderstand my proposal: I don't want a staffer to debate a random person (what the hell would be the point of that?). I don't quite follow how you got that from what I wrote, but whatever. The proposal is for the Member of Congress to ask the mob if they have someone they would like to speak for them. And given that each of these mobs have been filled with people shouting that the rep needs to "read the bill," and claiming that specific and horrific provisions are included in it, I have to assume at least some of them are confident enough in their knowledge of the subject to take on a non-expert Congressman whom they think hasn't even read the proposals.

And I believe you're wrong to say that these are spontaneous or unorganized demonstrations. In Florida, for example, the Hillsborough GOP sent the schedule and talking points to their entire mailing list. In Wisconsin, at Steve Kagan's town hall, a GOP campaign staffer and party leader directly lied to the audience and to reporters about her party affiliation, Freedom's Watch has been distributing a strategy guide designed to help demonstrators disrupt the meetings, and talk radio hosts around the country have been urging listeners to attend and disrupt these meetings. Just because they don't show up in the same bus doesn't mean they weren't corralled. These are about as organic and spontaneous as the Tax Day Tea Parties promoted, sponsored, and hosted by Fox News. I know you on the right like to pretend that "spontaneous" and "grassroots" just mean "we didn't get paid anything to go," but it's not quite the same.
8.7.2009 3:34pm
MCM (mail):
[Teabagging] is a specifically sexual attack referring to fellatio.


You have been badly misled. Probably good that I correct this now before some very unfortunate incident.
8.7.2009 3:36pm
gerbilsbite:
@ Alexia:

The White House team has effectively organized to shout down rational discussion, it seems.


You don't watch a lot of news, do you? Apparently not if you think it's the WHITE HOUSE that's "organized to shout down discussion."

See, e.g.
8.7.2009 3:38pm
John Moore (www):
I think everyone is missing the point.

The protests are a symptom of a rapidly growing yet still inchoate anger among the common folk against the elite now in power and the way that elite is rapidly changing and threatening to change their lives.

It isn't just about ObamaCare - if the representatives were holding "town halls" about a stimulus bill or cap and trade, the same people would be there with the same anger.

This is a response to this arrogant elite, which has a huge blind spot towards the views, aspirations and fears of the ordinary American. These folks, viewed as Washington and Wall Street insiders - not necessarily on the left - are the ultimate targets.

What sets these people off?

A so-called stimulus bill that everyone can see is laden with pork rather than needed economic stimulus, and the lies about it proclaimed by the Democrats and the press.

The plan to very rapidly and irrevocably change our entire health care system, while its features are lied about by the Democrats and the press.

The upcoming cap-and-trade bill, which folks know will simply enrich big corporations and Democrat favorite constituents (and, of course, always the Iowa farmer), while putting the EPA in charge of your toaster, your refrigerator, your car and everything else. People are still upset with the lowtwo-flush toilets foisted on all by the unresponsive elite.

I don't know where this is going, but it's going to get ugly. People are really, and rightfully, angry and fearful.
8.7.2009 3:38pm
PC:
Instead of yellin' and shoutin'

You may have to drop the "u" in that if this guy gets his wish.
8.7.2009 3:39pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Well, many of us think that you're childish, incoherent, and idiotic, fnook. Where does that get us?

You can deride all you want, but there are exceedingly legitimate reasons to oppose all of the bills pending in Congress on health care "reform." The Congressmen don't actually want to try to go out in their townhalls and explain the substance of the bills and debate them, so they're keeping anybody who may disagree with them out of the process. Your only response is to insult people trying to petition their government for a redress of their grievances, and force their own representatives to do some serious thinking about the actualities of what this bill will do (rather than just the politics of it), and call them insulting names.

Can you tell me the top 5 things that ObamaCare will do, and how it will pay for them, and what impact it will have on the average American? Can you point to the specifics in the bill to support such a list?
8.7.2009 3:40pm
wfjag:

1. Everyone gets a month to read the bill, so that our Congressmen can explain to the American people what exactly will change regarding their personal health-care.


Democratic Leader Laughs at Idea That House Members Would Actually Read Health-Care Bill Before Voting On It, Wednesday, July 08, 2009, By Monica Gabriel and Marie Magleby www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=50677

Today is August 7, 2009. The report by CBS, and other news outlets was July 8, 2009. I'd say that members of Congress have already had a month to read the bills -- and, if Senators and Representatives only read the bills pending in their own Chambers, they'd only have 2 proposed bills to read. Let's see, members of Congress only work Tuesday to Thursday. That gives them 4-weekends even when they are in session.

Any bets on how many have actually read any of the draft health care bills? Any bets on how many are following the suggestion of the House Majority Party Leader?
8.7.2009 3:41pm
PC:
The proposal is for the Member of Congress to ask the mob if they have someone they would like to speak for them.

I'm sure the congresscritter could find someone in the audience that is just a normal, concerned mom, totally unaffiliated with any political party.
8.7.2009 3:42pm
martinned (mail) (www):

Why should reform be so complicated?

Just make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate based on medical history, and illegal for employers to give medical insurance as a benefit. Add a subsidy for poor people. Case closed, it can fit on one page.

That's how it would be done in many other countries. My personal theory is that it has to do with having a presidential or parliamentary system. If parliament can fire the government, it's easier to delegate decision making power to them.
8.7.2009 3:43pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
For that matter, can anybody, anybody at all insulting the "teabaggers," provide a single good reason that Congress shouldn't take just one month, after final mark-up of the bill, to consider whether to pass it or not, to give the American public plenty of time to express their opinions about it, before final passage?
8.7.2009 3:43pm
Patent Lawyer (mail):
gerbilsbite-

That's a great idea, and I think it should be done on the national level. Instead of yet another press conference or "Town Hall" featuring Obama in front of a fawning, hand-picked media audience taking up a free hour or two of primetime broadcast, he could do a Lincoln-Douglas style debate against one of the more eloquent Republican opponents (i.e., not McCain). That would be much more interesting.
8.7.2009 3:45pm
Oren:

Aren't you supposed to be all about the strictures of the democratic process?

Which has nothing to do with the minute details of the bill and everything to do with the big picture.

Stop pretending like the details of the bill make one whit of difference to your support. That's a bald-faced lie -- you will oppose it (as is your right) no matter what the details are.

Claiming to want a debate on the principles of the bill while shouting about implementation details is silly.
8.7.2009 3:46pm
Crust (mail):

[Y]ou will not vote for any final health care bill until its been published on-line and available to the public for debate (and for you to read!) for at least one month.
I would love to see such a provision for all bills. You would need some sort of escape hatch for truly urgent business (if Canada attacks, Congress shouldn't have to wait a month before declaring war) but this could be handled by allowing an exception of immediate passage if a super-majority -- say 2/3 -- votes for it. Also you would need to structure it carefully so that it can't be used as a tool for endless obstruction of Congressional business either.
8.7.2009 3:46pm
tarheel79:
We are talking about a proposal that would reorganize about one-sixth of the economy. Surely proponents of the legislation could spend a little time explaining it to their constituents.

Or they could duck them. http://bit.ly/EEdJv

Yeah, that's the ticket.
8.7.2009 3:47pm
MAM:
Moore,

Puleeze!! It is called sour grapes -- the inability to come to terms that your side lost the election and there is a price for losing in a democracy. The losing side is also scared shitless that if these programs are put in place, let alone the economy improves, they may be out of power for a generation.

Why is Obama getting volumes of more death threats than Bush -- a President who lead us to war under dubious concerns and was at the helm of the greatest economic meltdown sense the Great Depression?
8.7.2009 3:47pm
Bart (mail):
fnook:

BD: I cannot recall a single instance of a prior administration repeatedly deploying thugs to intimidate political opponents. These people have to go.

You can't be serious, right? If so, you're obviously not thinking hard enough.

I can understand why folks are reluctant to believe their government is capable of the kind of thuggery more usually practiced in Iran and Venezuela. Unfortunately, this is happening in the United States in 2008.

Here some links concerning the SEIU assault on Kenneth Gladney at the St Louis townhall yesterday:

Video clip of the assault. The vantage point is from behind the SEIU thugs, so the victim is out of direct sight. However, the bystanders start screaming at the SEIU guys after they threw the victim into the street.

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch story on the arrests of the SEIU thugs and a reporter.

Letter from the victim's attorney to the St Louis Tea Party website.

From the Ybor City/Tampa townhall meeting:

Video of the SEIU assault on a Tea Party protestor just outside the conference room filled with union members. Look to the left of the entrance. The video is jumbled from a cell phone.

A video clip of the assault victim outside.

This is your gangster government at work.
8.7.2009 3:47pm
Paul A'Barge (mail):
Just in case anyone misses it, the Tea Bagger comment by gerbilsbite is clearly a profane insult.

gerbilsbite, these people don't call themselves "tea baggers". They call themselves "tea partiers" and we all know what a tea bagger refers to.

If you can't win an argument without 4th grade level profanity, perhaps you should stick to playing with Legos instead of reading blogs.
8.7.2009 3:52pm
gerbilsbite:
@ John Moore:

"Irrevocable"?

The health reform is a statutory measure, not some newly discovered Constitutional right (and even if it were Constitutional, the 21st Amendment shows that truly odious and invasive laws can be dealt with).

If the new system creates even the worst worst-case scenario (at least among reality-based scenarios: I really don't know what to do if forced abortions and government-mandated euthanasia of the elderly), what about it is so permanent that it would prevent the system from, say, being privatized down the road, or shrunken to make room for increased private insurance carrier participation? How come this is seen as some cementing of our path to Socialism instead of a regulatory reform and creation of a new (albeit large) statutory program, like the now-eliminated Post Office Department?
8.7.2009 3:54pm
PLR:
I'd love to see a Congressman try to explain to his constituents why having time for public debate is a bad idea.
I don't see why a rational person would think such an explanation is difficult.
8.7.2009 3:55pm
A Law Dawg:
Gerbils,

I think means "de facto irrevocable".
8.7.2009 3:56pm
A Law Dawg:

I'd love to see a Congressman try to explain to his constituents why having time for public debate is a bad idea.
I don't see why a rational person would think such an explanation is difficult.


I'm interested to hear this explanation.
8.7.2009 3:57pm
Patent Lawyer (mail):
MAM-

Funny, that logic never stopped Dems from protesting during Republican administrations. Dissent (against Republicans) is the highest form of patriotism; dissent (against Democrats) is also treason.
8.7.2009 3:57pm
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
Did you even read my post, Oren? (Hint: I didn't say that my mind would be changed.)

My, my, how thick the charges of "fundamental dishonesty" fly around here these days. I hadn't realized it was in the Conspirators to be so stealthily mendacious in their rhetoric.
8.7.2009 3:57pm
PC:
The protests are a symptom of a rapidly growing yet still inchoate anger among the common folk against the elite now in power and the way that elite is rapidly changing and threatening to change their lives.

Indeed!

"Planned to do this in the summer but figure to stick around to see the election outcome. This particular one got so much attention and I was just curious. Not like I give a flying fcuk who won, since this exit plan was already planned. Good luck to Obama! He will be successful. The liberal media LOVES him. Amerika has chosen The Black Man. Good! In light of this I got ideas outside of Obama's plans for the economy and such. Here it is: Every black man should get a young white girl hoe to hone up on. Kinda a reverse indentured servitude thing." -- George Sodoni
8.7.2009 3:59pm
santa monica (mail) (www):

Cato,
All I ask regarding health care "reform":

2. Those same Congressmen, along with their extended families once removed, should be irrevocably enrolled in the same public plan, for a period of no less than 20 years -- the length time it will take for the next generation to mature, when they grow up to find out that they must pay for the thing, with no recourse available to them.



Well, it seems like you want the Congress to be held to a higher standard. As I understand it, the proposed legislation will say that you can pick Plan X OR you can stay with your current plan if you are satisfied with it. I don't think any rep. or senator would have any problem with that applying to him or her. (Of course, I do agree that 99.9999999% would keep their current superior, better-than-I'll-ever-have, health insurance.) But as long as I, or David B, or you, or anyone else, has that same right to stay with our current plan, then the congress is in fact having the plan applied to them.

Or did I misunderstand your point? Are you suggesting that congress be forced into one particular (govt??) plan, and then you and I, and David B, etc., all be forced into that same plan? So that (again) Congress be held to the exact same standard as everyone else? Is it possible that you are arguing that Congress should be forced into one particular plan, while all others be given more freedom of choice in their medical/insurance decisions? I can't think of a good reason to support that approach, unless you favor punishing politicians for their voting. (Which may not be a bad idea. I like the idea of a congressman who votes to reduce my civil liberties to have to live in a literal glass house, so we all can see him moving around inside. Or a congresswoman who votes against environmental protections to have to move, and to live in the middle of that particular environmental threat. (The above are of course pipe dreams . . . we don't force people to do that in America. But it certainly would lead to different voting patterns, on both sides of the aisle.))

But back to the main point of DB's post. Since (although??) I am a confirmed liberal, I don't have any problem with some people having better insurance than whatever is passed by this coming legislation--this could be obtained through employment, by buying supplemental insurance, etc.. But I do want everyone (or almost everyone) covered by at least a basic policy.

As to David's clearly valid point: I totally support having the bill on-line, for all to read, before the vote. Is a one-month period reasonable? I see arguments on both sides, given this particular topic's importance and complexity. But I think just about all of us can support calling for the bill to be made public for at least some period of time. Of all of Obama's broken/changed pre-election promises, this is one that really pains me, since the cost of complying seems so low, and the positive precedental effects potentially so high. Am I surprised? Sadly, no. Am I disappointed? Of course. Business as usual. [sigh]
8.7.2009 4:00pm
gerbilsbite:
@ Pat HMW:

You can deride all you want, but there are exceedingly legitimate reasons to oppose all of the bills pending in Congress on health care "reform." The Congressmen don't actually want to try to go out in their townhalls and explain the substance of the bills and debate them, so they're keeping anybody who may disagree with them out of the process.
One truth, followed by some real B.S.

Yes, there are PLENTY of reasons to oppose all of the reform bills currently pending (on both sides, in fact). But when a Congressman schedules a town hall dedicated to that subject, and goes to that town hall, and is in the most literal of senses mobbed by shouting opponents uninterested in listening to answers to their concerns or even in letting the Congressman speak, you can call that a lot of things. But if you call that "keeping [the protesters] out of the process" you're nuts: they're choosing to use the process to berate instead of explain, to shout instead of discuss, and to demonstrate a complete and utter lack of common manners.

And please also consider which party seems to be making an effort to actually solicit citizen involvement, and which party is sending out talking points and tips for disrupting meetings.

You want to know what these mob scenes really look like? Imagine a Republican town hall where more than half the audience was made up of members of Code Pink. Is that really the standard health reform opponents want to hold themselves up to in this debate?
8.7.2009 4:00pm
gerbilsbite:
@ Patent Lawyer 3:57pm -

What stopped us was that all of his events were closed to the public and only pre-screened partisans were allowed in, and demonstrators were confined to "free speech zones" save for the one or two Code Pink members that might manage to shout just long enough to be arrested. Can you honestly name any events during the Bush years that are comparable to the donnybrooks we saw yesterday in Tampa and St. Louis?
8.7.2009 4:02pm
MAM:
Do you mean dissent or the death threats. They have every right to dissent, but it would be nice have an argument articulated rather than disrupting actual townhall meetings so that no one can actually discuss what's going on. The interesting part is that a large number of these "informed voters" don't want the government messing with their government healthcare. I wonder who whispered that idiocy in their ears.

Why is Obama getting 400 times more death threats than Bush?
8.7.2009 4:03pm
Oren:

If you can't win an argument without 4th grade level profanity, perhaps you should stick to playing with Legos instead of reading blogs.

And if you can't deal with colorful language, the internet is definitely not for you.

It is incredibly self-centered to think that the entire world ought to abide by your particular determinations of what constitutes acceptable language.
8.7.2009 4:04pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Oren, you're really being disingenuous in your argument about the "details" of the bill. Some of the details are damn important. Nobody's seriously demanding the details of the exact mechanism for setting, for example, the reimburesment rates for hangnail extractions. The details we want to see are much bigger details than that. Who decides what procedures will be covered, and what the reimbursement rates will be? What's the appellate process when the government agency refuses advance approval for the procedure which your doctor says is necessary? What taxes will be imposed to pay for this? How much will it cost, to the nearest $100 billion or so? What incentives and disincentives will there be to maintain private insurance? Will some of the anti-competitive restrictions on current insurance be removed (for example, to allow an insurance company to sell policies across state lines, or to allow small businesses to join together to purchase group health for all of their collective employees)?

Those are the details we want, and it's hardly too much to ask.
8.7.2009 4:04pm
Guesty (mail):
Why is anyone equivocating suppressing dissent and dismissing the town-hall protestors? They are not contributing to the debate--they are just disrupting a public event. From the Tampa event, its clear that things can quickly escalate and get rough, if not outright violent.

Though I generally hate resorting to the "but Bush did X" line of arugment, has everyone forgotten that Bush basically screened everyone who went to his townhalls?
8.7.2009 4:05pm
Oren:

Did you even read my post, Oren? (Hint: I didn't say that my mind would be changed.)

Your theoretical fence-sitter whose mind will be changed by arcane details strikes me as fanciful. No such person exists.
8.7.2009 4:06pm
tarheel79:
gerbilsbite,

From what I've seen of the news coverage, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story linked to above, the town halls didn't become violent until the Obama folks solicited the AFL-CIO and SEIU to police, er, monitor them.

Welcome to Chicago ...
8.7.2009 4:06pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Oren, re: colorful language. So are you saying I can go around insulting Code Pink women as communists and what not, and if they can't handle it, that's their problem, and I don't have to abide by their particular determinations of what constitutes acceptable language?

You're currently on the side of people criticizing American citizens for protesting planned government actions, and for doing so in supposedly uncivil ways. If fnook wants to have any credibility to complain about that, he needs to first exercise civility himself.
8.7.2009 4:06pm
Steve H (mail):

For that matter, can anybody, anybody at all insulting the "teabaggers," provide a single good reason that Congress shouldn't take just one month, after final mark-up of the bill, to consider whether to pass it or not, to give the American public plenty of time to express their opinions about it, before final passage?


1. There's already been public debate about the contours and elements of health care reform for months, years, and even decades, and one more month is not going to accomplish anything.

2. Another month just gives the well-financed health insurance and medical lobbies time to exert even more undue pressure on our elected representatives who are dependent on lobbyist funding for their re-elections.

3. One more month gives the Republicans more time to come up with more lies (this bill will euthanize Grandma), and the media more time to present those lies as serious issues for debate. ("Does Obama want to kill your granny? We hear from both sides after these messages.")

4. Another month means that many more thousands of people who will lose their health coverage and therefore be faced with financial ruin, plus the millions of others who will continue to live in fear that if they lose or quit their jobs, they lose their coverage.
8.7.2009 4:08pm
Guesty (mail):
PatHMV,

Yes, you can go around calling Code Pink communists, though I'm not sure what you'd hope to accomplish. They are exactly as credible and insightful as the tea partiers/baggers/drinkers.
8.7.2009 4:10pm
PC:
btw, does anyone think the behavior of the teabaggers is "loud and tumultuous?"
8.7.2009 4:10pm
Oren:

Oren, re: colorful language. So are you saying I can go around insulting Code Pink women as communists and what not, and if they can't handle it, that's their problem, and I don't have to abide by their particular determinations of what constitutes acceptable language?

Yes, you absolutely can.


You're currently on the side of people criticizing American citizens for protesting planned government actions, and for doing so in supposedly uncivil ways. If fnook wants to have any credibility to complain about that, he needs to first exercise civility himself.

I'm not on that side, I'm just on the side that thinks that DB's misplaced outrage at not reading the details of 1200 page bill where he knows (and already disagrees with) the substantive content is, well, silly. "Read the bill" is nonsense when we all already know what the bill does.

I have no problem with the teabagger protests as a fact, even as much as I find their arguments unconvincing.
8.7.2009 4:11pm
PLR:
I'd love to see a Congressman try to explain to his constituents why having time for public debate is a bad idea.

I don't see why a rational person would think such an explanation is difficult.

I'm interested to hear this explanation.

Public debate is only useful to the extent the public wishes to engage in debate. If no actual debate will ensue, there is no reason to wait for one.

You know, like the Patriot Act. A bunch of people in high rises were murdered while the constable slept, so obviously we needed it.
8.7.2009 4:12pm
Patent Lawyer (mail):
Steve H, translated and much shorter:

One more month and we'll lose.

That's what the rush is all about; I have yet to hear any other legitimate explanation.
8.7.2009 4:13pm
ShelbyC:

You have been badly misled. Probably good that I correct this now before some very unfortunate incident.


You're either being naive or dishonest. And it's not precisley felatio.
8.7.2009 4:13pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Well, it seems like you want the Congress to be held to a higher standard. As I understand it, the proposed legislation will say that you can pick Plan X OR you can stay with your current plan if you are satisfied with it.
And that is part of the problem. Despite what the President said, at least HR 3200 appears to move everyone w/i 5 years out of their existing policies. And, even if it doesn't do so precisely, it is likely to have that effect, given that policies can no longer be changed (without them conforming to one of the small number of authorized plans).

Keep in mind that most companies tend to switch policies yearly, even when they stay with the same insurance companies. Co-pays, co-insurance, limits, etc. may go up or down slightly. Some things may be added, and others deleted. And this would apparently no longer be allowed. Same to a lesser extent with private policies.
8.7.2009 4:13pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Ok, Oren, what does the bill do? Omit all the "irrelevant" details, and tell me what the bill does.
8.7.2009 4:15pm
Kenvee:

Call them out. There's no need for the city to be sacked when Hector and Achilles can settle things one-on-one.


You know Hector and Achilles both died and Troy was still sacked, right? Good analogy.
8.7.2009 4:15pm
Hannibal Lector:
I get it: gerbilsbite = kneebiter. Clever spoof. I'm surprised no one caught onto it.
8.7.2009 4:16pm
Patent Lawyer (mail):
@gerbilsbite-

No, there weren't protests at Bush town halls, but these weren't protests at Obama town halls either. These were protests of Congresscritters, which have never had the sort of "free speech zone" screening you're talking about. However, there was significant violence outside the 2004 and 2008 RNC conventions, for starters.
8.7.2009 4:17pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
One more month and we'll lose.
Yes, that is the first part of it, and the second is that Pelosi, et al. are consciously sacrificing most of the Democrat's 1st and 2nd term Representatives to pass all these bills. She knows that if trends continue, the Republicans are liable to not only retake the House in 2010, but do so with the same sort of numbers that the Democrats have there now. Most of the Democrats sitting in districts that went for Bush in 2004 and esp. McCain in 2008 who vote for these bills are toast in the next election.
8.7.2009 4:17pm
fnook (mail):
PatHMW: You're currently on the side of people criticizing American citizens for protesting planned government actions, and for doing so in supposedly uncivil ways. If fnook wants to have any credibility to complain about that, he needs to first exercise civility himself.

With all due respect Pat, my comments here have not been particularly uncivil. Re-read my posts and see if you agree. I reacted strongly at first because I'm pissed off that my sick grandmother thinks Barack Obama is trying to end her life prematurely. Where do you think she got that idea? As for the teabagger comments, I'd advise you to lighten up a bit.
8.7.2009 4:18pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
I'm not on that side, I'm just on the side that thinks that DB's misplaced outrage at not reading the details of 1200 page bill where he knows (and already disagrees with) the substantive content is
Actually, I don't know the content of the final bill. For all I know, there will be dozens of last-minute changes (not like it hasn't happened before), some of them perhaps via House-Senate conference reconciliation.
8.7.2009 4:18pm
Rotunda:
I'm asking my representatives to take The Plege:


My Pledge to My Constituents on National Health Insurance

1. I will not vote to expand the bankrupt Medicare program unless and until it is first placed on a sound actuarial basis.

2. I will not vote for any national health insurance legislation that includes a public plan unless I am prepared to enroll myself and my family in the public plan. If a national health insurance bill with a public plan passes the Senate with my vote in support, then I pledge to enroll myself and my family in that public plan
8.7.2009 4:21pm
Vosburger (mail):
pressing your following at having
on-line Representative shoutin', published and
of final one his for
health until the debate (and
of for at public bad
to for idea. explain the
Healthcare
8.7.2009 4:22pm
Steve H (mail):

What's the appellate process when the government agency refuses advance approval for the procedure which your doctor says is necessary?


This took me about five minutes to find on Thomas.com:

For Qualified Health Benefits Plans:

Sec. 132. Requiring fair grievance and appeals mechanisms.
(a) In General- A QHBP offering entity shall provide for timely grievance and appeals mechanisms that the Commissioner shall establish.
(b) Internal Claims and Appeals Process- Under a qualified health benefits plan the QHBP offering entity shall provide an internal claims and appeals process that initially incorporates the claims and appeals procedures (including urgent claims) set forth at section 2560.503-1 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, as published on November 21, 2000 (65 Fed. Reg. 70246) and shall update such process in accordance with any standards that the Commissioner may establish.
(c) External Review Process-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Commissioner shall establish an external review process (including procedures for expedited reviews of urgent claims) that provides for an impartial, independent, and de novo review of denied claims under this division.
(2) REQUIRING FAIR GRIEVANCE AND APPEALS MECHANISMS- A determination made, with respect to a qualified health benefits plan offered by a QHBP offering entity, under the external review process established under this subsection shall be binding on the plan and the entity.
(d) Construction- Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the availability of judicial review under State law for adverse decisions under subsection (b) or (c), subject to section 151.


For Health Insurance Exchanges:

(4) OVERSIGHT AND ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES- The Commissioner shall establish processes, in coordination with State insurance regulators, to oversee, monitor, and enforce applicable requirements of this title with respect to QHBP offering entities offering Exchange-participating health benefits plans and such plans, including the marketing of such plans. Such processes shall include the following:
(A) GRIEVANCE AND COMPLAINT MECHANISMS- The Commissioner shall establish, in coordination with State insurance regulators, a process under which Exchange-eligible individuals and employers may file complaints concerning violations of such standards.
(B) ENFORCEMENT- In carrying out authorities under this division relating to the Health Insurance Exchange, the Commissioner may impose one or more of the intermediate sanctions described in section 142(c).

For the Public Health Insurance Option:

(2) ENSURING A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD- Consistent with this subtitle, the public health insurance option shall comply with requirements that are applicable under this title to an Exchange-participating health benefits plan, including requirements related to benefits, benefit levels, provider networks, notices, consumer protections, and cost sharing.
8.7.2009 4:23pm
MAM:
I'm taking a pledge:

1.I will not go to war on flimsy and possibly concocted intelligence.

2.I will not call those who disagree unpatriotic.

3.I will not unlawfully spy on American citizens.

I wish these protestors were as cynical about the war as they are about healthcare legislation. But they are the same people who still think Saddam had WMDs and, with a straight face, question whether Obama was born in the USA.
8.7.2009 4:28pm
DangerMouse:
I reacted strongly at first because I'm pissed off that my sick grandmother thinks Barack Obama is trying to end her life prematurely. Where do you think she got that idea?

Gee, maybe it was because instead of treating whatever ails her, Obama would just tell her to take a pain pill?
8.7.2009 4:29pm
gerbilsbite:
Bruce Hayden,

Despite what the President said, at least HR 3200 appears to move everyone w/i 5 years out of their existing policies.


Same challenge I issued to the teabaggers above: show us the language. The only 5 year requirement I saw in HR 3200 in my cursory read was a provision requiring that private insurers cease certain practices within 5 years, not that they cease doing business. Can you point to what it is you think means everyone loses their policies (or are you saying that any new regulation inherently changes the policies it covers, so technically the "old" policy will have to be replaced with a "new" policy that complies with the regulation? In which case, how is that different from any other regulatory statute in existence)?

Yes, that is the first part of it, and the second is that Pelosi, et al. are consciously sacrificing most of the Democrat's 1st and 2nd term Representatives to pass all these bills. She knows that if trends continue, the Republicans are liable to not only retake the House in 2010, but do so with the same sort of numbers that the Democrats have there now.
Laughable partisan political preening aside, perhaps there's something to the fact that 247,000 people who were gainfully employed (many with employer-based insurance benefits covering themselves and their families) lost their jobs in July alone? Starting a national reform program sooner rather than later probably won't do much for those individuals and their families, but the future batches of lucky duckies who'll get pink slips in the months ahead might want to know that they aren't going to be unable to care for their health. This is a long-running crisis, and it kills well over a thousand Americans a day through a lack of health care (which, to my simple ear, sounds a hell of a lot like rationing), and taking a month off in the midst of it is a disservice to everyone involved.
8.7.2009 4:29pm
Oren:

Actually, I don't know the content of the final bill. For all I know, there will be dozens of last-minute changes (not like it hasn't happened before), some of them perhaps via House-Senate conference reconciliation.

Sorry, by content I mean "broad contours" -- the substantive stuff.
8.7.2009 4:31pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
fnook, use of the term "teabagger" is exceedingly insulting to all involved. You're in good company, of course. Speaker Pelosi tried to claim that these meetings are being disrupted by people wearing "swastikas."

So how about you "lighten up" and stop criticizing the Americans protesting at these meetings?

And your sick grandmother probably got that idea because the bill will require seniors to report on their end-of-life plans every 5 years. Is it a good idea for old folks to do that? Sure. Should the government mandate it? Hell no!

Here's the text:

5 ''Advance Care Planning Consultation
6 ''(hhh)(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the
7 term 'advance care planning consultation' means a con
8 sultation between the individual and a practitioner de
9 scribed in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning,
10 if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has
11 not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such
12 consultation shall include the following:

* * *

4 ''(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the
5 continuum of end-of-life services and supports avail
6 able, including palliative care and hospice, and bene
7 fits for such services and supports that are available
8 under this title.

From one of the bills.

Euthanize grandma? No. Require her to deal with all these end of life issues whether the wants to or not? It would appear that way. It's possible that that language merely authorizes payment for such consultations, but does not prescribe them. To tell, we'd have to look not just at the "details" of this 1200 page monstrosity, but all the existing monstrosities to which it refers.
8.7.2009 4:31pm
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):

Oren said:
Your theoretical fence-sitter whose mind will be changed by arcane details strikes me as fanciful. No such person exists.

I realize now that the adjective "theoretical" can often be confused with "concrete", as in, I gave a concrete example of such a person whose mind wasn't made up -- to wit, whit. From here, and here:

i'm actually open to the idea of nationalized health care, fwiw. but at least in my experience, if you have good insurance in the US, our system is AWESOME.
[...]
again, i have no "side' in this fight. i'm still digesting data. but i think it's a reasonable conclusion that when you eliminate or seriously reduce the profit incentive, you severely reduce innovation. i don't care if you are talking widgets, medicine, or anything else.

So now, keeping in mind what you said here,

When defining a class of people and deciding what rights they should have, I'm going to decide based on the most worthy subset of that class, not the least. It therefore behooves you to define you classes narrowly (as opposed to making no definition at all, in which case the class is "everyone").

how do your statements in this thread accord with your previous articulated principles?

Remember, it doesn't matter how disingenuous I may putatively be, it only matters that there are some well-meaning and ignorant persons who have the right to understand the legislation that is being voted upon. In your language, "worthy" individuals.
8.7.2009 4:32pm
Steve H (mail):

Steve H, translated and much shorter:

One more month and we'll lose.



Well, I think my first point, that yet another month won't achieve anything positive, is pretty important.

But yes, I am concerned that another month increases the chances of health coverage reform losing. The Congressional system is itself biased toward inaction. Plus, given the importance of campaign contributions to representatives and senators, the system is biased in favor of concentrated wealth, which exists more on the side of the health insurers than on the individuals who need help.

But most importantly, passing the bill is important because there are actual people out there. People who can't get insurance because they have lost their jobs. People who will lose their insurance because they will lose their jobs. People who have insurance but will be denied coverage because they forgot to disclose acne medicine they took ten years ago. People who would love to leave their jobs and go on their own but can't because they will lose their insurance.

I know that this doesn't matter to so-called libertarians, but there are real people out there with real needs. If a one-month delay means an additional month, and maybe a lot longer, of leaving these peopel in need, then it is a bad thing.
8.7.2009 4:33pm
gerbilsbite:
DangerMouse:

My mom has advanced lung cancer. Blue Cross/Blue Shield's advice to her was to wait a few weeks instead of starting treatment immediately. If she were only old enough for Medicare, she'd have been in chemo two weeks earlier than she was (and, in cancer, that can make a hell of a difference). While she was waiting for BC/BS to approve her tests and treatments, know what they told her to do for the searing agony caused by the tumor that had eaten through her spine?

They told her to take a pain pill.
8.7.2009 4:33pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Oh, is that the new requirement, Oren, that the public only has the right to know and debate "the substantive stuff"? Are you sure that the "substantive stuff" never changes in committee at the last minute?

Once again, since this is so well known, please tell us the "broad contours" of this particular bill. You make it sound so easy!
8.7.2009 4:34pm
gerbilsbite:
8.7.2009 4:35pm
DangerMouse:
gerbil,

Well, then they agree with Obama.
8.7.2009 4:36pm
PC:
You're in good company, of course. Speaker Pelosi tried to claim that these meetings are being disrupted by people wearing "swastikas."

Actually she said "carrying swastikas," which is a blatant lie...oh wait, what's this?
8.7.2009 4:37pm
Steve H (mail):

Require her to deal with all these end of life issues whether the wants to or not? It would appear that way.


What provision of the bill (available online) makes it appear that the bill would "require" anyone to deal with end of life issues?
8.7.2009 4:37pm
conlaw2 (mail):
There's no need for the city to be sacked when Hector and Achilles can settle things one-on-one

I think you meant paris and menelaus no?
8.7.2009 4:39pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Steve H: Numbers? Analysis of how and why this particular bill will help all those people without hurting a whole lot more?

Propose a bill to allow eliminate the employer tax deduction for health insurance and provide a refundable tax credit of $3,000 per individual in a family for the purchase of health insurance, and we could get almost all those folks on insurance tomorrow, without nationalizing the entire health system.

Heck, I'll even support a one-time only mandate that insurance companies can't deny coverage based on preexisting conditions to anybody for 6 months from the date the checks go out, to give everybody who hasn't been able to afford insurance a chance to buy in.
8.7.2009 4:39pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Wait, gerbil, so the "swastikas" involved had the circle/slash thing? That's not how Pelosi portrayed it. That's not the impression given by one Member of Congress who claimed these were like "Brown Shirts" protesting. And a guy with his right arm in the air is not giving the "Hitler salute." That's all you've got?
8.7.2009 4:41pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Steve, I quoted the text and provided a link to the bill. The quoted text is around page 424 of the pdf to which I linked. As I said, perhaps that merely authorizes paying for such consultations. You go look up the existing law being changed and let me know. It's apparently an unimportant detail, though, according to Oren.
8.7.2009 4:42pm
DangerMouse:
What amazes me is that libs are so thin-skinned. You'd have thought that after comparing Bush to Hitler for years, they'd understand that perhaps they'd take similar hits once a Dem became president. But no, one person with a slash through a swastika is enough to call every right-leaning person in the country a Nazi, I suppose.

So much for "dissent is the highest form of patriotism." Now, we're all racists, nazis, and "political terrorists" (whatever that means), teabaggers, etc. Typical name calling from the left just doesn't matter anymore, though. The effectiveness of those tactics have long passed.

I have to wonder if this means that the libs just can't hack it anymore. If Obamacare goes down, I wonder if Obama will be able to ride out the rest of his presidency while maintaining his sanity. The libs nearly lost their marbles this week merely because of a joker poster of Obama. It may be that actual defeat of legislation, notwithstanding their veto-proof majorities, will break whatever remains of their fragile hold on reality.
8.7.2009 4:46pm
gerbilsbite:
PatMVH: if you prefer (the lead-in photo was from the Tax Day Tea Party in Denver--where the Pelosi event was held(my mistake)).
8.7.2009 4:47pm
gerbilsbite:
DangerMouse: the difference is there was no 24-hour news channel or major political party actively encouraging left-wing kooks to compare Bush to Hitler.

Unlike now.
8.7.2009 4:48pm
SeaLawyer:


Your theoretical fence-sitter whose mind will be changed by arcane details strikes me as fanciful. No such person exists.


I am a fence-sitter on health care reform.
8.7.2009 4:50pm
gerbilsbite:
PatHMV: let's assume that it isn't just authorizing the payment for those consultations by Medicare. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that it mandates that Medicare recipients receive a required consultation on the virtues of living wills every five years (or more often if health circumstances dictate such).

How exactly does that rise to the level necessary to justify mob rule?

Say what you want about leftist kooks under Bush, but at least they had an illegal war based on lies in which hundreds of thousands of people were needlessly killed to protest. Are you saying that the same outrageous behavior is justified based on a physician's consult?
8.7.2009 4:51pm
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
Please, anyone, give me a good reason why any sort of "reform" will absolutely be better than the status quo.

For example, why not just work up a universal mandate, handing over the reins to me, for only about a $100 million dollars in salary a year? You don't even need insurance companies, shut 'em down, I'll make it work somehow. According to my dog Fido, this plan is both PROVEN to 1)lower costs and 2) cover all the population.

By golly, I think I've come around to health-care reform.
8.7.2009 4:52pm
Steve H (mail):

Steve, I quoted the text and provided a link to the bill. The quoted text is around page 424 of the pdf to which I linked. As I said, perhaps that merely authorizes paying for such consultations. You go look up the existing law being changed and let me know. It's apparently an unimportant detail, though, according to Oren.


No. You're the one who made an affirmative assertion about what the bill would do -- it "would appear" that the bill requires grandma to deal with end of life issues whether she wants to or not.

I'm simply asking what this "appearance" is based on.
8.7.2009 4:58pm
DangerMouse:
DangerMouse: the difference is there was no 24-hour news channel or major political party actively encouraging left-wing kooks to compare Bush to Hitler.

Unlike now.


LOL. Ok, apparently you've never heard of MSNBC. But regardless, if that's your excuse it's pathetic. So because some news channel is critical of your Messiah and your veto-proof majority, dissent is no longer patriotic, community organizing is no longer a noble profession, criticism of government is bad, etc?

Did I call libs thin-skinned? Perhaps I should say you have NO skin at all.
8.7.2009 4:58pm
Uninterested Observer (mail):
So much disinformation from opponents of reform.... Pat @ 4:31 you are entirely incorrect. The section you quote is merely a definitional provision explaining that the plan will pay for counseling once every five years (and I believe more frequently if major changes). No one - I repeat, no one - is required, forced, or mandated to receive counseling every five years. If someone wants to do so, however, the insurance will pay for it once every five years.
8.7.2009 5:00pm
Brian K (mail):
When bush got is into a pointless war, where you all of you republicans demanding that not he, but his wife and children, enlist in the army to fight?

Oh wait, I forgot that republicans don't apply the rules to themselves.

we see the same thing when comparing democrat and republican protests. the former was met with widespread outrage while the latter is not only accepting but encouraged by the same people who so readily denounced democrats protesting.

we see the same thing over the use of "teabagger". where are all of the republicans demanding that the people who call obama a fascist apologize? where was the groundswell of opposition when republicans were calling democrats "terrorists"? as usual, the same people that denounced it when democrats did it are the ones who are doing it now.
8.7.2009 5:02pm
gerbilsbite:
Cato the Elder:

Obviously not "any sort of 'reform'" will be better, but it's going to take a whole lot of screwing up to make a system that's worse than 47,000,000 with no insurance at all, resulting in 22,000 annual deaths due to a lack of health insurance (Cite.), all while we spend far more than any other country on health costs.

I don't know that someone could accidentally stumble into creating a more destructive, more rationed, less protective system than the one we currently have--seems like the sort of thing they'd have to really work at.
8.7.2009 5:02pm
dr:

Steve, I quoted the text and provided a link to the bill. The quoted text is around page 424 of the pdf to which I linked. As I said, perhaps that merely authorizes paying for such consultations. You go look up the existing law being changed and let me know. It's apparently an unimportant detail, though, according to Oren.


Pat, Obama has said that the proposal would authorize payment for this conversation, not require this conversation. The section you quote appears to authorize the discussion, but like others before me, I see no indication that it requires the discussion.


And your sick grandmother probably got that idea because the bill will require seniors to report on their end-of-life plans every 5 years. Is it a good idea for old folks to do that? Sure. Should the government mandate it? Hell no!


Well we agree on that. Is there any reason, other than bad faith, why you assumed that it's required? And do you honestly believe this -- this clause, here, as written -- is the reason that old folks are hearing scary stories about forced euthanasia? Do you think it's a legitimate interpretation of the text you cited, or do you think it's an intentional misrepresentation?

I know where I stand, anyway.
8.7.2009 5:05pm
gerbilsbite:
DangerMouse:

When exactly did MSNBC sponsor national anti-administration rallies? When did MSNBC hosts talk about poisoning government officials and book guests to discuss the necessity for "another 9/11"?

You guys are trying to create a monstrous thing, and the cavalier attitude you're displaying about mobs that, in several instances, have already led to violence ought to be explanation enough for why we're worried.
8.7.2009 5:06pm
Federal Dog:


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=teabagging
8.7.2009 5:06pm
PC:
Federal Dog learned how to use the internets!

I have a suggestion for Tea Party Members: Less Nazis, moar lolcats.
8.7.2009 5:09pm
A Law Dawg:
Obviously not "any sort of 'reform'" will be better, but it's going to take a whole lot of screwing up to make a system that's worse.


Such a feat can be accomplished only by one force: the Federal Government.
8.7.2009 5:12pm
Steve H (mail):

Please, anyone, give me a good reason why any sort of "reform" will absolutely be better than the status quo.


Because the status quo sucks. The status quo is based in large part upon a free market approach, even though there is no evidence whatsoever that a free market approach is effective at ensuring that everyone have access to affordable health care.

More specifically (and this is just one reason), I think this reform will be better than the status quo because it will expand access to health care coverage.

Section 202 of H.R. 3200 states that "all individuals are eligible to obtain coverage through enrollment in an Exchange-participating health benefits plan offered through the Health Insurance Exchange unless such individuals are enrolled in another qualified health benefits plan or other acceptable coverage."

The status quo does not have a law making all individuals eligible for health insurance. In fact, many individuals are, as a practical matter, ineligible for health insurance.

Since I think the country would be a much better place if more individuals were eligible for health insurance, and this law makes more individuals eligible for health insurance, I think this law will be better than the status quo.
8.7.2009 5:14pm
DangerMouse:
gerbil,

Cavalier attitude to mobs? You mean the SEIU thugs and Obama allies who were arrested yesterday? Yes, the left has engaged in violence. Perhaps if they had a thicker skin towards DISSENT BEING PATRIOTIC, they wouln't be so violent.
8.7.2009 5:25pm
Seattle Law Student:
In 1994 Newt Gingrich and the new Republican majority enacted their contract with (on) America. They passed hundreds of bills in the first weeks without so much as debate, much less time for people to read them. I hope that those of you out there who are so passionate about the legislators reading the health care bills were equally incensed with Newt and the class of '94 (instead of for example being overjoyed at the new Republican leadership). If you weren't, then the 'H' word comes to mind...
8.7.2009 5:33pm
gerbilsbite:
DangerMouse:

Of course not: I mean the perfectly peaceful, non-confrontation, passive crowd of civic leaders and community volunteers that were being mercilessly brutalized by union thugs whilst calmly minding their own business at a local political event.
8.7.2009 5:43pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
No, Steve. Your compatriot Oren here says these details are unimportant, and nobody really needs to read them. I have now read the bill, and all I see is language that appears in some shape or form to require physicians to have those discussions every 5 years. I'm not going to go look up the specific provisions of existing law referred to immediately beforehand to determine whether the President is telling the truth or not.

You folks keep saying nobody really needs to read the bill, then you demand that I read not just the bill but also the existing law it references, or else simply take your word (while you acknowledge that you haven't looked it up, either) on faith that it doesn't do what it seems to say it does.

Steve H, thank you for your last comment. It clarifies things. You're for this government-run plan, because you don't think the free market works for health care. Ok. That's honest. I disagree, but it's honest. You want socialized medicine.
8.7.2009 5:44pm
dr:

I have now read the bill, and all I see is language that appears in some shape or form to require physicians to have those discussions every 5 years.


Can you point us to that language? Because the language you quoted here only appears to authorize payment for such a visit.
8.7.2009 5:52pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
Steve H,

1.There's already been public debate about the contours and elements of health care reform for months, years, and even decades, and one more month is not going to accomplish anything.

2.Another month just gives the well-financed health insurance and medical lobbies time to exert even more undue pressure on our elected representatives who are dependent on lobbyist funding for their re-elections.

So you're saying that (1) everything that can be said on this subject as already been said dozens of times, so that more time will do no one any good; and (2) even a slight delay will allow the opponents of the bill to poison the minds of the legislators against it, so that we need to move immediately.

Forgive me for observing that there's a small disconnect in there somewhere. If you want to argue that the whole thing has been hashed out ad nauseum, such that no one is now in a position to change anyone else's mind, fine; but it does give the reader a bit of whiplash to see you then argue that it's imperative to act immediately, lest legislators have their minds changed by lobbyists.

Meh. I say wait, and make the whole bill publicly available, and, if possible, make sure that everyone who votes on the thing has some clue what's in it. I really cannot see a downside to this, apart from the obvious discomfort of someone whose job entails reading this legislation in its entirety.
8.7.2009 5:52pm
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
Tea partiers have already been doing that, from the outset. Any politician looking out at the crowd will see many signs, and among them are some saying Read the Bills, or words to that effect. That refers not just to a proposal that congressmen read the bills, but also that they be posted online long enough for the rest of us to comment.

Of coursek, if you try to pin one down on that, the usual response is, "Read the bills? That's what I have staffers (and lobbyists) for."
8.7.2009 5:53pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Obviously not "any sort of 'reform'" will be better, but it's going to take a whole lot of screwing up to make a system that's worse than 47,000,000 with no insurance at all, resulting in 22,000 annual deaths due to a lack of health insurance (Cite.), all while we spend far more than any other country on health costs.
So, you want the rest of us to reduce the coverage that we already have in order to pay for illegal aliens, 20 something males who would rather spend their money on partying, etc. What your "study" fails to take into account is the number of deaths that would be caused by the reduction in medical care for those who do have coverage.

Or, are you just assuming that that covering all the new people will be free?

If the issue is the uninsured, then, fine, address that. But then be up front about the make up of that 47 million figure, and address each segment individually. If the issue is really the hard core uninsured who cannot get insurance, then, fine, expand Medicaid, if necessary. But many of them are already eligible. In any case, that can be done fairly economically (compared to everything else).
8.7.2009 6:05pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
The problem as I see it, with the proposals, is that it isn't clear exactly what the goal is.

Is it the hard core uninsured? Then maybe expanding Medicaid is the way to go.

Is it private health insurance? If so, then what are the problems, why are they problems, and how does this solve them?

Is it the cost of health care? If so, then why isn't malpractice insurance included in the proposed solution? And how does this reduce costs?
8.7.2009 6:11pm
gerbilsbite:
PatHMV:

Wait, gerbil, so the "swastikas" involved had the circle/slash thing? That's not how Pelosi portrayed it.


Why would there be swastikas involved at all, either pro or con, unless someone was implying that at least one party in the debate was emulating the Nazis.

Why do you think that's any better than a sign with Obama (or Bush, for that matter) wearing a Nazi armband or a Hitler moustache? Either way, aren't you calling your opponent a Nazi (and, implicitly, someone who much be totally and unconditionally defeated and never negotiated with)?
8.7.2009 6:12pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
dr... where does it say payment in the section I cited? Where does it say "authorize payment"?
8.7.2009 6:20pm
Steve H (mail):

No, Steve. Your compatriot Oren here says these details are unimportant, and nobody really needs to read them. I have now read the bill, and all I see is language that appears in some shape or form to require physicians to have those discussions every 5 years. I'm not going to go look up the specific provisions of existing law referred to immediately beforehand to determine whether the President is telling the truth or not.

You folks keep saying nobody really needs to read the bill, then you demand that I read not just the bill but also the existing law it references, or else simply take your word (while you acknowledge that you haven't looked it up, either) on faith that it doesn't do what it seems to say it does

Pat, have you read your own posts? You were the one saying "it appears that the bill requires X." You are repeating it in this post.

Then fine, if you are talking about how something actually "appears" to you -- not "I heard that the bill requires X" -- then you should not have any problem pointing out which part of the bill lends itself to that appearance.

If, in fact, you have not seen anything in the bill that actually lends itself to that appearance, then you probably shouldn't make statements about how the bill appears.

I have to say, though, that your problem with this provision shows the fallacy in the whole "read the bill" argument. The fact is that "reading the bill" doesn't really tell you what's in the bill, because a lot of the bill is "Section 198x of Title 42 is hereby amended to read ..."

It makes much more sense to have someone you trust read the bill, figure out the links to Section 198x, and let them tell you what's in there.



Steve H, thank you for your last comment. It clarifies things. You're for this government-run plan, because you don't think the free market works for health care. Ok. That's honest. I disagree, but it's honest. You want socialized medicine.

C'mon, you act like this is a matter of debate. Unless I am mistaken, there is no evidence whatsoever that the free market has ever been successful -- at any time, in any place -- at making sure that everyone has access to affordable health care.

Which is not surprising. Even if the assumptions and principles of free market economic theory apply to obtaining medical care, which is highly doubtful, the free market is not supposed to make sure that everyone gets a particular good or service. The market is just supposed to allocate goods and services most efficiently among those that can afford them. Just like the free market doesn't get everyone HDTVs, it also doesn't get everyone access to health care.

On the other hand, we have irrefutable evidence that government involvement does expand access to quality health care. There are a whole lot of rich Western countries with more government involvement than the US. They do this in various ways, including providing the treatment itself (UK) or tightly controlling and subsidizing the private health insurance market (Germany, France). But no matter how they do it, they end up with better and wider access to quality care for a shitload less money.

So, yes, I want socialized medicine, in the sense of government taking steps to either provide it to people (like the VA), paying private entities to provide it (like Medicare), or helping people to pay private insurers for coverage (subsidies).

I, quite honestly, cannot imagine how anyone who actually cares about other people could not support one of these options.
8.7.2009 6:21pm
Steve H (mail):

The problem as I see it, with the proposals, is that it isn't clear exactly what the goal is.

Is it the hard core uninsured? Then maybe expanding Medicaid is the way to go.

Is it private health insurance? If so, then what are the problems, why are they problems, and how does this solve them?

Both of these are among the goals. Which is why the bill (i) expands Medicaid and subsidies to help people afford insurance, (ii) puts limits on private insurers' ability to reject applicants and/or deny treatment.

Is it the cost of health care?

The cost of health care is also a goal, but the so-called "moderates" are opposing provisions designed to do that.


If so, then why isn't malpractice insurance included in the proposed solution?

Because the recent rise in medical costs has little, if anything, to do with malpractice insurance or claims.
?
8.7.2009 6:26pm
dr:
Well no, you're right. It doesn't in the section you cited. I haven't read the bill, you have. So based on what you've cited, and with the clarification you just pointed out, my new understanding is that the bill takes a short detour around page 400 simply to describe what a discussion between a doctor and a patient might look like, for whatever it's worth.

Is that your understanding? Because you've indicated that this meeting is mandated in this bill. You've read the whole thing, and it appears to you that citizens will be forced to have this conversation with their doctors at least once every five years.

I'm merely asking where you got that impression? Is it in the bill, which you've read, and I haven't? Obama says that the clause would merely authorize payment for such a discussion, and frankly that seems like the more reasonable expectation. A mandate for such a discussion sounds extreme, and unlikely. But you're saying that that is, in fact, what the language of the bill seems to point toward.

So I'm asking: What language in the bill made you think that?
8.7.2009 6:28pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
gerbil, ok. So you're saying that the Speaker was accusing the protesters of violating Godwin's law, not of being Nazis themselves. Good. I do oppose folks accusing political opponents of being Nazis. I therefore await your and Speaker Pelosi's condemnation of Democratic Congressman Richard Baird, for accusing those opposed to the health care plan of coming very close to Brown Shirt tactics.

Personally, I don't think that's what she meant. I remember wishing very much that she would condemn all the Bushhitler people, who often protested in her district, but I can never remember a single instance of her doing so.
8.7.2009 6:30pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
I don't claim to have read the whole bill, dr. I've read that portion of it. If it's merely authorizing payment, why is it so detailed about all the things which must be discussed?

It may well only authorize payment (of course, it may be that it also limits payment for other treatments UNLESS such a consultation is done) of such consultations. I don't know. The average citizen can't know, just from reading the bill. You read through the bill, and suddenly for no apparent reason, it's talking about visiting your doctor every 5 years for an "end of life" consultation. Why shouldn't people be suspicious of that? You keep insisting that it really does only authorize payment, but you admit that you haven't yourself read the bill or the related statutes, so you don't actually know.

The proper response to such concerns is what the President seems to have started to do, before he decided to have his staff demonize the protesters... explain what's going on. Let Congressman Baird say: "No, now hold on, let me explain. See, here's section XYZ of the Medicare law that that provision talks about. It's just the section on what procedures the government is allowed to pay for. Here's the language, you can see for yourself that when you look at all of it, it doesn't require that you have that consultation. But it's a good idea for you to have it, and if we didn't stick this in here, then some bureaucrat might decide not to pay for it, down the road."

But I haven't seen any of the people complaining about the "Brown shirt" protesters try to do that. The proper response of a government official to disinformation (if it is that) is to give the proper information. Period. Demonizing people who are scared of a bill that their own Congressman haven't read, and they certainly can't easily read and understand, is both wrong and stupid.
8.7.2009 6:38pm
Blue:
Hint to Democrats-

It's not a mob. It's a majority.
8.7.2009 6:38pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
Steve H,

I have to say, though, that your problem with this provision shows the fallacy in the whole "read the bill" argument. The fact is that "reading the bill" doesn't really tell you what's in the bill, because a lot of the bill is "Section 198x of Title 42 is hereby amended to read ..."

It makes much more sense to have someone you trust read the bill, figure out the links to Section 198x, and let them tell you what's in there.

Right. Because it always makes "much more sense" for a staffer to do your job, as opposed to your doing it yourself. I begin to believe that staffers' and Members of Congress' pay scales should be upturned. It is all too obvious who is expected to do the actual work.

Steve, can we assume that at least one actual legislator has in fact read Section 198x of Title 42 and knows what the amendment will do, or are we to guess that all the drafting is delegated, and all the voting is literally clueless?
8.7.2009 6:42pm
Richard Johnston (mail):


The proper response to such concerns is what the President seems to have started to do, before he decided to have his staff demonize the protesters... explain what's going on. Let Congressman Baird say: "No, now hold on, let me explain. See, here's section XYZ of the Medicare law that that provision talks about. It's just the section on what procedures the government is allowed to pay for. Here's the language, you can see for yourself that when you look at all of it, it doesn't require that you have that consultation. But it's a good idea for you to have it, and if we didn't stick this in here, then some bureaucrat might decide not to pay for it, down the road."



OK let me try. The language you quoted amends 42 USC section 1395x, which is a list of definitions of terms used in the Social Security Act. Now if you read just a bit further in HB 3200 you find: "Section 1862(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395y(a)) is amended...." Section 1395y is a list of exclusions; i.e. a list of what Social Security does not pay for. What does HB 3200 add to Section 1395y? A new section (P): "(iii) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph: ''(P) in the case of advance care planning consultations (as defined in section
8 1861(hhh)(1)), which are performed more frequently than is covered under such section....'' That's in the very same section -- section 1233 of HB 3200 -- that you quoted from in the first place. So all this does is cover -- not require -- advance care consultations, but not more often than every five years. So now you know. So I assume you will not be among those claiming HB 3200 requires end-of-life consultations or, worse, euthanasia of seniors?
8.7.2009 6:50pm
PC:
euthanasia of seniors?

I've never understood this argument. Everyone knows you can ruin an entire batch of soylent green with just one gamy senior.
8.7.2009 6:55pm
Steve H (mail):

Right. Because it always makes "much more sense" for a staffer to do your job, as opposed to your doing it yourself. I begin to believe that staffers' and Members of Congress' pay scales should be upturned. It is all too obvious who is expected to do the actual work.


My point is that it's *not* the representative's job to spend hours and hours reading all of these "Section 198X is amended to read" provisions.

Rather, it's the representative's job to know what he or she is voting for. A more efficient way of obtaining such knowledge is to pay someone else to do the actual reading.
8.7.2009 7:03pm
dr:

Why shouldn't people be suspicious of that? You keep insisting that it really does only authorize payment, but you admit that you haven't yourself read the bill or the related statutes, so you don't actually know.


I do indeed admit that I haven't myself read the bill. Wouldn't do much good -- I'm not a lawyer and not really adept at slogging through legalese. Which is why I do not, in fact, insist that it really does only authorize payment.

I am merely asking, repeatedly, why you say, repeatedly, that the bill requires these meetings, because common sense suggests to me that the alternative explanation is much more likely, especially given that the president is on record insisting that these meetings are funded, but not mandated. And now Richard Johnston has confirmed this common-sense explanation.

I'm trying to be polite and all, but I'll be plain. I think the "Obama wants to euthanize your grandma" argument is a deliberate misrepresentation of the bill designed to scare old people. And I think you're one of the people engaging in that misrepresentation. Though not very well.
8.7.2009 7:04pm
dr:
By the way, Pat, I'm sorry to have suggested that you claimed to have read the bill and concluded from that reading that it requires physicians to have end-of-life discussions with their patients. I may have been misinterpreting this comment:


I have now read the bill, and all I see is language that appears in some shape or form to require physicians to have those discussions every 5 years.
8.7.2009 7:08pm
Steve H (mail):
Michelle, do you think President Bush (or, really, any president before him) read every bill he signed -- or allowed to become law through lapse of time -- during his eight years as President?

If not, does it upset you? Do you think that failing to read every bill constitutes a failure to do his job?
8.7.2009 7:20pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
Steve H,

My point is that it's *not* the representative's job to spend hours and hours reading all of these "Section 198X is amended to read" provisions.

Rather, it's the representative's job to know what he or she is voting for. A more efficient way of obtaining such knowledge is to pay someone else to do the actual reading.

Why is it more "efficient" to have someone else do your reading for you, as opposed to doing it personally? I would have thought that maximum "efficiency" would entail the people ostensibly drafting and deliberating on legislation reading the actual text they were voting on.

I am afraid that none of us have had the opportunity to vote for (or against) the people who actually have read this bill. No doubt it's "efficient" to hand off the actual reading (and drafting, and implementation) to people who can't be voted out of office; I'm still not particularly keen on it.
8.7.2009 7:23pm
Lib (mail):

PatMVH: if you prefer (the lead-in photo was from the Tax Day Tea Party in Denver—where the Pelosi event was held(my mistake)).

Perhaps just an innocent accident. The kid had probably been reading DailyKos during the last Bush administration and thought that it was proper and expected to refer to the President of the United States as a non-human primate rather than by his proper title or name. He probably realized that "Chimp" had been reserved by DailyKos as the preferred way to refer to President Bush, so he just picked another primate name since we now had a different President.

Sort of like naming all your Dell Linux servers after fresh water fish or something like that and occasionally picking an unfortunate name.

I would think DailyKos would relish the fact that the opposition had adopted their nicknaming strategy for the POTUS rather than be critical of it. After all, imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery.

Goose, meet gander.
8.7.2009 7:25pm
PC:
Why is it more "efficient" to have someone else do your reading for you, as opposed to doing it personally? I would have thought that maximum "efficiency" would entail the people ostensibly drafting and deliberating on legislation reading the actual text they were voting on.

Haven't done management much?
8.7.2009 7:28pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
Steve H,

Michelle, do you think President Bush (or, really, any president before him) read every bill he signed -- or allowed to become law through lapse of time -- during his eight years as President?

If not, does it upset you? Do you think that failing to read every bill constitutes a failure to do his job?

Well, yes, I do think that failing to read legislation you enact is dereliction of duty. And that that's true whether you're signing it or merely voting in favor of it.

That said, there are distinctions to be made. Don't you think so? I think that bills whose generally-agreed-upon costs are in 11-12 figures might reasonably require a little scrutiny; I'm not willing to cut the same slack to someone who votes in favor of such a plan as I'd do if s/he had voted $100K for someone else's beloved Museum of Crayfish or whatever.
8.7.2009 7:37pm
Lib (mail):
I believe it is disingenuous to claim that the proposed bill(s?) will result in "euthanasia for grandma" because they provide for end of life counseling.

However consistency is important. It seems to me that anyone who is against legalizing doctor assisted suicide because they fear that social pressure will "force" grandma to partake of doctor assisted suicide should be equally concerned about this portion of the bill. It's not hard to imagine that the pressure in these sessions could be quite strong to sign a advanced healthcare directive that requested withholding of care in extreme cases.

It seems that consistency would require fearing both or neither. (For the record, I'm comfortable with both).
8.7.2009 7:39pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Haven't done management much?
But what we are faced with here is that the Representatives don't read it either, and trust their leadership to have read it, which they haven't done either, since they are depending on their staffers to do so, since they were the ones who wrote it in the first place.

And that is how 8,000+ earmarks get slipped into the last budge bill, and all sorts of junk slipped into the "stimulus" bill last winter.

In any case, all up and down the line, there is a natural tendency to give self-serving interpretations of such a bill. If, for example, someone were being pressed hard to vote one way or the other on such a bill by their leadership, they would likely tend to slant their testimony at least a little, and maybe even a lot, in the direction they are being pushed, and esp. if they don't think they will be caught. Just the path of least resistance.

So, while it may be more efficient the fewer people read legislation and understand it, that doesn't make it better, and, indeed, almost invariably makes it far worse.
8.7.2009 7:45pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
PC,

Haven't done management much?

Indeed not.

But as a CA citizen, I've read every word of the legislation I've been obliged to vote on for the past quarter century, and I really do prefer my own reading to anyone's executive summary.

Do bear in mind that there are many more of the managed than of the managers, OK? There really are people for whom it is not natural to call upon a peon to do one's homework for one. It seems to me a terrible idea for the knowledge (and indeed the drafting) of the details of a plan to be in the hands of unelected and ill-paid servants, while those actually approving and implementing it have only the haziest idea of what's in there.
8.7.2009 7:48pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
ArthurKirkland:

Would more information elevate the debate? Most of the people screaming "socialism" at these town hall meetings couldn't define the term with pistols at their temples, let alone engage in worthwhile debate of the details of health care reform.

Elitist. They know enough about socialism to keep the government out of their Medicaire.
8.7.2009 8:01pm
11-B/2O.B4:
As a libertarian who votes against both major parties at every opportunity, I find the specter of congresspeople fleeing their constituency both hilarious and heartening. My thoughts on the HCR bill aside, the more the officeholders live in fear of the people they represent, the better. Ideally, I'd like the mere suggestion of heading out to recess to hold town hall meetings to cause mass pants-wetting on the floor of the House.

The people are your boss. They pay you, you represent their interest. Pay the hell attention.


To the OP, any representative who thinks he can fairly represent his constituents without reading the laws he is passing on them is a cheat and a thief. My rep is coming back, and if he sets foot in my county, he'll hear about it. I just cashed my check from LargeInsuranceCo (GOP committee, so I'm good to go.
8.7.2009 8:07pm
PC:
Bruce, But what we are faced with here is that the Representatives don't read it either, and trust their leadership to have read it, which they haven't done either, since they are depending on their staffers to do so, since they were the ones who wrote it in the first place.

If it's true that reps don't have staffers of their own to read the legislation I agree that's a problem. I expect a congressmen to have competent domain experts to advise them on legislation. When I vote for someone I don't expect that person to be an expert in every piece of legislation that comes across his desk, I expect that person to have the good judgment to hire the people to advise him.

Michelle, But as a CA citizen, I've read every word of the legislation I've been obliged to vote on for the past quarter century, and I really do prefer my own reading to anyone's executive summary.

iirc from the time I spent in CA, ballot initiatives were much less complex than federal legislation. They are also less numerous. Kudos for being informed, but I don't think the positions are comparable.

Do bear in mind that there are many more of the managed than of the managers, OK? There really are people for whom it is not natural to call upon a peon to do one's homework for one. It seems to me a terrible idea for the knowledge (and indeed the drafting) of the details of a plan to be in the hands of unelected and ill-paid servants, while those actually approving and implementing it have only the haziest idea of what's in there.

I've been on both sides of "peon"/management chain of command in my industry, so I'm quite familiar with the dynamics. In any organization of sufficient size or need for specialization you have to rely on the experience of others. Again, when I vote for someone I vote based on that person's judgment. I don't expect that person to micromanage every detail. That way lies madness.
8.7.2009 8:11pm
Fub:
PC wrote at 8.7.2009 6:55pm:
I've never understood this argument. Everyone knows you can ruin an entire batch of soylent green with just one gamy senior.
I am a gamy senior, you insensitive clod!
8.7.2009 8:14pm
PC:
I am a gamy senior, you insensitive clod!

Thanks for the heads up. I'll alert Obama's Death Board about your condition.
8.7.2009 8:24pm
John Moore (www):
MAM


Moore,

Puleeze!! It is called sour grapes -- the inability to come to terms that your side lost the election and there is a price for losing in a democracy. The losing side is also scared shitless that if these programs are put in place, let alone the economy improves, they may be out of power for a generation.


Tell that to the many Democrats that are attending these events. Obama is behaving far more radically than his campaign - hence many people who voted for him feel lied to. He and the democrat controlled congress are spending like drunken sailors on bills loaded with pork. And, they are continuing to lie and lie and lie and lie.

A lot of people are not as dumb as these "elites" think they are, and when those who have the power to radically change their living conditions are doing all of this, and lying about it, of course they get upset.

This isn't sour grapes. This is the democrats being far more radical than their campaign, and spending huge deficits when they promised to cure the Bush democrats.

And you think this is sour grapes?


Why is Obama getting 400 times more death threats than Bush?

Your point?





Why is Obama getting volumes of more death threats than Bush -- a President who lead us to war under dubious concerns and was at the helm of the greatest economic meltdown sense the Great Depression
8.7.2009 8:24pm
John Moore (www):
Seattle Law Student:

In 1994 Newt Gingrich and the new Republican majority enacted their contract with (on) America. They passed hundreds of bills in the first weeks without so much as debate, much less time for people to read them. I hope that those of you out there who are so passionate about the legislators reading the health care bills were equally incensed with Newt and the class of '94 (instead of for example being overjoyed at the new Republican leadership). If you weren't, then the 'H' word comes to mind..


Your comparison is misleading. Clinton, the Democrat, was president. The Republicans did not have the majorities the Democrats have today. The changes were not nearly as radical as we are seeing now.

No comparison whatsoever.
8.7.2009 8:26pm
Derrick (mail):
This isn't sour grapes. This is the democrats being far more radical than their campaign, and spending huge deficits when they promised to cure the Bush democrats.


Just the fact that you can write that last part without a hint of sarcasm shows that your opinion is worthless.
8.7.2009 8:36pm
Pundit:
MAM: You're funny. Your post calls for Obama's impeachment, no?
8.7.2009 8:53pm
pot meet kettle (mail):
hahahahahaha.

obama is going to kill trig! like the nazis! and the eugenicists!


The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
8.7.2009 9:29pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Having firmly established that the best example of hyperbole out there is the "kill grandma," can anybody document who actually said it, and how often it's been repeated? Or did somebody ask a rather legitimate question (look how hard it was to find one person to actually read not just the bill but the statutes it amends -- and I still haven't been provided with actual quotations from those statutes) about what that section meant, and then a couple of people overreacted (as tends to happen on the internet; I'm told I need to lighten up regarding such things).
8.7.2009 9:39pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
And are you people seriously advocating that it's perfectly acceptable, and no cause for concern at all, that a bill which is going to overhaul a huge segment of our economy and affect the daily lives of each and every one of us is so incomprehensible that no Congressman can reasonably be expected to have read it before voting on it?
8.7.2009 9:41pm
PC:
Having firmly established that the best example of hyperbole out there is the "kill grandma," can anybody document who actually said it, and how often it's been repeated?

The former VP candidate for the Republican party just wrote about Obama's "death panel." Is that close enough or should I look further than a few hours ago?
8.7.2009 9:44pm
GaryC (mail):
gerbilsbite:

Obviously not "any sort of 'reform'" will be better, but it's going to take a whole lot of screwing up to make a system that's worse than 47,000,000 with no insurance at all, resulting in 22,000 annual deaths due to a lack of health insurance (Cite.), all while we spend far more than any other country on health costs.

This is a fascinating pair of statistics. They imply that the annual death rate for persons without health care insurance is 1 in 2,140. Was this Methuselah's secret?
8.7.2009 9:58pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
pat:

your sick grandmother probably got that idea because the bill will require seniors to report on their end-of-life plans every 5 years


No, it doesn't. Although lots of people, including GOP leaders, are pushing that baloney (in various forms). What a surprise to find that the same people who lied repeatedly during the Bush years are still lying.

factcheck.org covered this matter in detail. As someone else said today: "Republicans Propagating Falsehoods in Attacks on Health-Care Reform."

It's a sick joke to pretend that what's needed now is more time to read the bill(s). Lies aren't being told because people need more time to read the bill. Lies are being told because certain people are liars.

You read through the bill, and suddenly for no apparent reason, it's talking about visiting your doctor every 5 years for an "end of life" consultation. Why shouldn't people be suspicious of that?


Because the visit is voluntary, and because the facts are readily available. Via places like factcheck. I see that Richard Johnston also pointed out what the bill actually says.

More on the GOP spreading this lie is here. Jewish groups are not happy with Limbaugh's Hitler comparison.

Having firmly established that the best example of hyperbole out there is the "kill grandma," can anybody document who actually said it,


Read the statements from Boehner and other GOP leaders, as documented by factcheck.

and how often it's been repeated?


If you want to see lots of examples of the lie being propagated, try this google. Or this one.

And as PC said, Palin's statement is another good example.

============
lib:

I believe it is disingenuous to claim that the proposed bill(s?) will result in "euthanasia for grandma" because they provide for end of life counseling.


Not just that. It's also disingenuous to claim that the bills "provide for end of life counseling," if by "provide" you mean 'make mandatory.' They only "provide" it in the sense that if you want it, the government will pay for it.

It's not hard to imagine that the pressure in these sessions could be quite strong to sign a advanced healthcare directive that requested withholding of care in extreme cases.


Who would "imagine" that? Only a paternalistic elite who have very little faith in the ability of Americans to make wise decisions for themselves. Because participating in such "sessions" is voluntary, and choosing to sign any kind of healthcare directive is also voluntary.

As factcheck said: "…consultations like this are treatment-neutral. Comparing this to forced euthanasia is like saying that a bill making retirement planning easier would force Americans to quit their jobs."

Who's more pathetic, the GOP leaders who are dishonest enough to sell these lies, or the GOP followers who are ignorant enough to buy them? Hard to say.

And it's helpful to notice that the GOP is promoting ignorance on two levels. It's promoting ignorance about the bill, and it's promoting the idea that ignorance about end-of-life options is a good thing.
8.7.2009 10:02pm
pot meet kettle (mail):

The former VP candidate for the Republican party just wrote about Obama's "death panel." Is that close enough or should I look further than a few hours ago?


This is a poor example of "kill grandma", because palin is actually pushing the scare of "kill grandkid".
8.7.2009 10:46pm
Lib (mail):
jukeboxgrad:
Only a paternalistic elite who have very little faith in the ability of Americans to make wise decisions for themselves.
As I disclosed, I'm not opposed to the counseling sessions, but certainly I would expect that some practitioners would have a "bias" for, or against, hospice only care. I think people can make up their own minds and if they can't, that's their problem. That's why I also support permitting physician assisted suicide. I'm not an elitist at all -- you make your decision, I'll make mine (including what type of health insurance I want -- even if it doesn't match Washington's paternalistic view of what I "need"). Just don't expect me to pay for your decision.
8.8.2009 12:10am
Leo Marvin (mail):
pot meet kettle,

This is a poor example of "kill grandma", because palin is actually pushing the scare of "kill grandkid".

Actually, the way I read it, Palin is pushing the "kill grandkid" scare and the "kill grandma" scare. I wonder if that's what Republicans mean by their "big tent."
8.8.2009 12:15am
Ken Arromdee:
This is a fascinating pair of statistics. They imply that the annual death rate for persons without health care insurance is 1 in 2,140. Was this Methuselah's secret?

The 47 million includes a huge number of illegal aliens. Perhaps they die outside the country?
8.8.2009 1:43am
John Skookum (mail):
Steve H: "My point is that it's *not* the representative's job to spend hours and hours reading all of these "Section 198X is amended to read" provisions. "

Well, what the hell else IS his job? Running for re-election? They only work three days a week, surely they can take it home with them.

These clowns are supposed to among be the elite, our best and brightest. Most of them are lawyers. You damn right I think that the $160k or so I pay them each year covers reading every word of every bill they vote on. If they can't do that then maybe they shouldn't pass so God damn many bills.
8.8.2009 1:47am
pot meet kettle (mail):

I wonder if that's what Republicans mean by their "big tent."


I guess she wants to reclaim it after the reinterpretation of the term by Santorum, Ensign, Pickering et al.
8.8.2009 1:55am
pot meet kettle (mail):
Obviously I meant Sanford, not Santorum, in my previous mail.
8.8.2009 2:36am
Oren:


Your theoretical fence-sitter whose mind will be changed by arcane details strikes me as fanciful. No such person exists.

I am a fence-sitter on health care reform.

And will you be convinced when you learn exactly what formula will be used to increase Medicare reimbursement to teaching hospitals for the added costs associated with training new doctors? Or the precise geographical definition of what counts as an 'urban' hospital? Or the criteria for determining

Like I said, it strains credulity to think that fence sitters will be swayed by 1200 pages of the most inane implementation details. I can't read their minds, maybe they will, but I seriously doubt it.

IOW, from what I've seen, opinions towards the health care reform are going to mostly be a product of ideology, not judgments on the particular implementation.
8.8.2009 2:46am
Oren:
Grr, cut off my last sentence (it's 3AM, time to sign off). The incomplete sentence should read "criteria for determining personal income for the purposes of tax penalties/rebates."
8.8.2009 2:47am
Oren:

You damn right I think that the $160k or so I pay them each year covers reading every word of every bill they vote on.

You might think that, but their employment contract pretty clearly lacks any such provision. Maybe we should move to amend it?
8.8.2009 2:51am
Angus:
You damn right I think that the $160k or so I pay them each year covers reading every word of every bill they vote on.
Should CEO's be obligated to personally process every sale their company makes? It's called "delegation".
8.8.2009 7:22am
Federal Dog:
"It's called "delegation".

The voters did not "delegate" legislative powers to unelected staffers. If legislators do not want to be bothered personally informing themselves of the contents of legislation that they nonetheless enact into law, they must "get out of the way" and let others who will do that vital work clean up the mess they have created.
8.8.2009 7:48am
pot meet kettle (mail):
DB, why one month? Why not run the independent state experiment you proposed earlier which will allow us to stall for years? Surely, Obama hasn't had you beaten down so much as to settle for one month when years of stalling could be had?
8.8.2009 8:29am
Owen H. (mail):
You know, I liked the Conspiracy a lot better when it was just the commenters that were virulently partisan, and not the resident bloggers. At least the commenters were honest about it.
8.8.2009 8:53am
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
Owen H.,

If that were so, why would you bother with such a fundamentally dishonest dialogue? I mean, do you read RedState or the NRO? Given such a commentariat and such lacking Conspirators, how could they possibly add value enough to read? I suggest we traipse over to the far more open, sensible, reasonable, and elevated Opinio Juris and Obsidian Wings.
8.8.2009 11:00am
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
Oren said:

Like I said, it strains credulity to think that fence sitters will be swayed by 1200 pages of the most inane implementation details. I can't read their minds, maybe they will, but I seriously doubt it.

Again, remember what you said previously.

Also, it doesn't matter that the fence sitters won't be personally swayed by reading those details, as long as they are by someone else's hand. For example, the piercing analysis of Jim Manzi, a blogger over at The American Scene, of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, I believe was instrumental to coalescing a firm conservative opposition to the legislation. In that analysis, he showed that it would do little to halt CO_2 emissions, notwithstanding the enormous cost of the bill with all its implied deficits. Knowing the specific details of that bill intimately was immensely helpful to this effort. I don't trust the Republicans in Congress to do this, because 1) I trust Manzi's word over that any legislative staff report, and 2) they face enormous pressures, per the nature of their job, to do something, and would tend to diminish particularities that shouldn't necessarily be diminished. I don't expect organs of the federal government to call attention to "inanities" that might just "trouble" them, while impacting the rest of us enormously. I leave that to the political bloggers.
8.8.2009 11:30am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
pat:

look how hard it was to find one person to actually read not just the bill but the statutes it amends -- and I still haven't been provided with actual quotations from those statutes


If you're actually interested in understanding the bill, you don't need to be "provided with actual quotations." You can find them on your own. In your comment here, you cited from HR 3200 (pdf). And just a few lines before the text you cited, HR 3200 says this: "Section 1861 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x) is amended" (see p. 424 in Adobe Reader). Yesterday you had time to post 17 comments in this thread, propagating falsehoods. But did you have time to take a look at Section 1861? I guess not. This tends to create the impression that you're interested in propagating falsehoods, and not particularly interested in understanding HR 3200.

Yesterday, hours before you whined about your alleged right to be "provided with actual quotations," Richard Johnston had already explained the relationship between HR 3200 and the Social Security Act. And last night, 21 minutes after you whined about your alleged right to be "provided with actual quotations," I cited the factcheck article which provides links to HR 3200 and to the Social Security Act, and which explains how to find and comprehend the "actual quotations." Since then we haven't heard from you.

Since you had time yesterday for 17 comments, as late as 9:41 pm, hopefully today you'll have time for one comment where you take responsibility for propagating falsehoods.

And if you're really this inept at reading a statute, then one month or a thousand months is not going to be enough to remedy your impairment. As Oren has pointed out, the problem is not that you haven't had enough time to read the bill's details. The problem is that the GOP opposes the bill ideologically, and is willing to fight the bill by saying it says things that it doesn't say. But I guess this is a pretty good inadvertent endorsement. If the GOP can't fight the bill without making things up, that suggests they can't actually find anything in the actual bill that's actually bad.

=================
cato:

why would you bother with such a fundamentally dishonest dialogue?


When the GOP shows off its affinity for fundamentally dishonest dialogue, it discredits itself, and thereby provides an inadvertent public service. I'm glad to support this process.

it doesn't matter that the fence sitters won't be personally swayed by reading those details, as long as they are by someone else's hand


English translation: ignorant GOP followers will happily swallow lies (i.e., fabricated "details") fed to them by dishonest GOP leaders.
8.8.2009 11:54am
Duracomm (mail):
Have any of the healthcare reform advocates ever considered the possible hazards and unintended consequences of passing a monstrously large bill, that nobody really understands, without allowing time for a thorough review of every part of it?

Its not like we don't have plenty examples of the problems poorly thought out legislation can cause.

The End of Vintage Kids' Books?
The legislation, which passed with strong bipartisan support, was a reaction to lead's being discovered on and in thousands of imported toys, mostly from China, in 2007. It restricts lead content in products designed for children age 12 and younger to 600 parts per million by weight; the threshold drops to 300 parts per million in August of this year. Items as varied as bikes and jewelry are affected.

So are books such as "Madeleine," "Goodnight Moon" and "Corduroy."
8.8.2009 1:02pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
without allowing time for a thorough review


English translation: without allowing more time for the GOP to make things up.

The misinformation in this thread demonstrates that more time isn't the issue. The issue is people making things up. More time just means more time for making things up. People who make things up aren't interested in "a thorough review," and they're not interested in an honest discussion about the issues. They're interested in fooling people who are easily fooled.
8.8.2009 1:26pm
Oren:

For example, the piercing analysis of Jim Manzi, a blogger over at The American Scene, of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, I believe was instrumental to coalescing a firm conservative opposition to the legislation.

LOL. Seriously? What, absent that analysis conservatives would have voted for it?

Who do you think you are fooling?
8.8.2009 2:07pm
Duracomm (mail):
Juke,

I provided a clear example of the dangers of rushing through legislation without appropriate review and consideration of potential unintended consequences.

You choose to ignore the risk and replied
English translation: without allowing more time for the GOP to make things up.
1. If the legislation is so convoluted and confusing it provides space for the GOP to "make up things about it" is a sign that the legislation should not be passed until it is more streamlined and understandable.

2. The unseemly rush to get something passed combined with the palpable panic of the proponents of the current bloated bill should make people more concerned about what unintended consequences are buried in the bill.

3. If proponents of injecting more government into the healthcare system are sincere about their reform attempts they would be at the forefront of spending great effort reviewing the legislation with a fine toot comb.
8.8.2009 2:37pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):
First, we get this:

English translation: ignorant GOP followers will happily swallow lies (i.e., fabricated "details") fed to them by dishonest GOP leaders.

and then we get this:

without allowing time for a thorough review


English translation: without allowing more time for the GOP to make things up.



So, you attack ignorance, and then you attack for asking for the time to cure the ignorance.

I'm sure that some (from both sides) would use the time to keep spewing the same lies and make up some new ones, but I'm also sure that some (again, from both sides) would take the time to try and cure their ignorance.
8.8.2009 3:04pm
An:

The minute any poster uses the phrase "Tea Bagger", I immediately pass by their comment. This is a rude insult and demonstrates that the poster is not even remotely interested in civil discussion.
8.8.2009 3:21pm
An:

"Representatives don't read it either..."


Of course not. They are not voting for the specifics in the bill. They're not really concerned with the bill's specifics. They are voting for government control of the health care system.

Our Representative did not start with a discussion about the weaknesses of our health care system, and what we can do to shore up these weakness while maintaining the strengths. No, they started with their preferred solution: centralized control.
8.8.2009 3:27pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dura:

If the legislation is so convoluted and confusing it provides space for the GOP to "make up things about it" is a sign that the legislation should not be passed until it is more streamlined and understandable.


The GOP isn't making things up because the legislation is "convoluted and confusing." The GOP is making things up because the GOP makes things up. People who make things up are going to continue making things up whether or not the facts leave them "space" to do so.

The bill is already sufficiently "understandable" that there is no excuse for the bogus claims made by Boehner et al. Making the bill more "understandable" is not going to magically transform liars into non-liars.

spending great effort reviewing the legislation with a fine toot comb


People who make things up have demonstrated that they're not truly interested in "reviewing the legislation." They're interested in making things up. Therefore serious people don't take them seriously.

==================
mosley:

So, you attack ignorance, and then you attack for asking for the time to cure the ignorance.


People who make things up have shown they are not motivated by a desire to "cure the ignorance." They are motivated by a desire to promote ignorance by making things up. So serious people realize they are not "asking for the time to cure the ignorance." They are asking for more time to make things up.

And what's missing here is any expression by you, dura et al that it's wrong for Boehner et al to be making things up. Which is another indication that your talk about "time to cure the ignorance" is not to be taken seriously.
8.8.2009 5:23pm
Federal Dog:
"Why would there be swastikas involved at all, either pro or con"

Because people are opposed to national socialism?
8.8.2009 6:28pm
gerbilsbite:
Federal Dog:

Who's supporting national socialism here? We're talking about a non-profit health insurance program that ISN'T universal, ISN'T single-payer, and has less ability to negotiate drug prices than Wal-Mart. If that's enough for you to think that swastikas and comparisons to Hitler are justified in the debate, you have a terrible sense of proportion and a real misunderstanding of the most horrible chapter of human history.
8.8.2009 6:52pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
national socialism


The GOP apparently sees no need for Jewish votes. Nice job adding to what's discussed here: "Jewish Groups Assail Nazi Comparisons Made by Conservatives in Health Care Debate."
8.8.2009 6:52pm
Federal Dog:
gerbilsbite:

I am answering your question. Some people may be concerned about national socialism based on sudden and sweeping government interference with the finance industry, the automobile industry, and now the way people may permissibly secure attention for their medical needs. This all happened in a matter of a few months, and the pattern of nationalization may well not stop with the medical industry.

My original point was, of course, that Pelosi was being (typically) dishonest by actively concealing the fact that the few and isolated swastika signs seen at recent townhalls and protests express pointed opposition to national socialism: People were not trying to rally anyone to the national socialist cause. Quite the contrary.
8.8.2009 7:07pm
pot meet kettle (mail):

Because people are opposed to national socialism?


Say what you will about national socialism, dude, at least it's an ethos.
8.8.2009 7:35pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
federal:

Some people may be concerned about national socialism


Some people may be interested in demonstrating historical ignorance, along with a willingness to offend actual people who experienced actual suffering under actual Nazism.

the few and isolated swastika signs


The Nazi references we're hearing are not "few and isolated."
8.8.2009 7:56pm
Lolly:

For some of us, this is about freedom - freedom from a government intent on taking our assets and giving us back the measure they determine appropriate. Soft tyranny - but tyranny nonetheless.

We can figure out a way to improve the weaknesses of our healthcare system without turning it over to the government.

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." --Thomas Jefferson
8.8.2009 9:18pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
Federal Dog,

People were not trying to rally anyone to the national socialist cause. Quite the contrary.

In other words, they weren't defending National Socialism, they were accusing Obama of it? Yeah, we got that. It was obvious. Just like it was obvious to anyone not doing rhetorical somersaults that that's exactly what Pelosi was criticizing. Yet you claim:

My original point was, of course, that Pelosi was being (typically) dishonest by actively concealing the fact that the few and isolated swastika signs seen at recent townhalls and protests express pointed opposition to national socialism:

Please show evidence she concealed anything, because the obvious meaning of her comment was that, as you admitted, the protesters were using Nazi symbols to smear Obama. And not that further proof is necessary, but the context confirms that's what she meant. She mentioned the Nazi symbols in the same breath as, and implicitly as an example of, right wing "Astroturfing," a term that refers to orchestrated dissemination of talking points. Which right wing talking point could she have had in mind: "Tea partiers are Nazis" or "Barack Obama is a Nazi"?
8.8.2009 10:16pm
gerbilsbite:
Federal Dog:

Do you believe there is any difference between "socialism" and "national socialism"? What do you believe the differences are, if any?
8.8.2009 10:52pm
Duracomm (mail):
Juke,

You are free to ignore the potential for disastrous unintended consequences resulting from panicked attempts to ram through bloated, unstudied, unproven, risky healthcare legislation.

You are free to ignore recent examples of highly negative unintended consequences resulting from legislation that was not evaluated throughly .

Those of us in the reality based community prefer not to.
8.9.2009 2:00am
Chimaxx (mail):
Duracomm:

Juke,

You are free to ignore the potential for disastrous unintended consequences resulting from panicked attempts to ram through bloated, unstudied, unproven, risky healthcare legislation.

You are free to ignore recent examples of highly negative unintended consequences resulting from legislation that was not evaluated throughly .

Those of us in the reality based community prefer not to.


Which part of the "reality-based" community is that, the part that ignores the fact that the scary unintended consequences you provide and example of ("The End of Vintage Kids' Books?" already has in the works a simple, focused correction (Nebraska Rep Jeff Fortenberry's "HR 1692: To amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act to exempt ordinary books from the lead limit...")

It is legislation. If some unintended consequence pops up, or if the executive agency overseeing implementation of the legislation or some court interprets a passage differently than Congress intended, there is nothing preventing the next Congress from passing legislation to modify it. Our laws are not engraved in stone tablets once passed, never to be modified, revisited or repealed--not even this one.
8.9.2009 4:31am
Federal Dog:
"Federal Dog:

Do you believe there is any difference between "socialism" and "national socialism"? What do you believe the differences are, if any?"


Who cares? It's not as though that's somehow relevant to this thread or to any discussion of the health care protests. Take your concerns with with the people holding the signs.
8.9.2009 8:03am
Sarcastro (www):
Indeed. This thread has nothing to do with the heckler's veto. Indeed, the way you can tell is Bernstein talked about "yellin' and shoutin'" and not once about health.
8.9.2009 9:38am
Duracomm (mail):
Chimaxx,

You said

Which part of the "reality-based" community is that, the part that ignores the fact that the scary unintended consequences you provide and example of ("The End of Vintage Kids' Books?" already has in the works a simple, focused correction (Nebraska Rep Jeff Fortenberry's "HR 1692: To amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act to exempt ordinary books from the lead limit...")

It is legislation. If some unintended consequence pops up, or if the executive agency overseeing implementation of the legislation or some court interprets a passage differently than Congress intended, there is nothing preventing the next Congress from passing legislation to modify it. Our laws are not engraved in stone tablets once passed, never to be modified, revisited or repealed--not even this one.
You asked what part of the reality based community ignores what you called a simple focused correction. The answer is

1. The part of the reality based community that understands that introducing a bill is not the same as passing it. If you go to

THOMASIn the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, legislative information from the Library of Congress

You would find that the bill you mention was introduced in March, and has gone nowhere since then. It has seventeen cosponsors which indicates there is not exactly a groundswell of congressional effort to get the bill passed.

2. The part of the reality based community that realizes legislative and regulatory changes take time. They understand that once damage happens it can't be undone.

All of the children's books CSPIA sent to the dumpster are in the landfill and that can't be undone.

Negative unintended consequences of more government involvement in healthcare are going to be in the form of human suffering and death. And that can't be undone either.

3. The part of the reality based community that understands that it will be impossible to fix all of the negative unintended consequences resulting from a rushed bill.

The bill you said would fix the problems with the CSPIA applies only to books and does nothing to fix the multitude of other problems the CSPIA created.

The original "reform" bill (CPSIA) was passed, the damage was done, and a new bill to fix one tiny part of the problems the "reform" bill caused is going nowhere.

There is a lesson here regarding rushed, jammed through federal legislation.

Negative unintended consequences caused by more government intervention in the healthcare system have a very real chance of killing people and causing immense human suffering.

The reality based community understands this and demands that the bill be thoroughly evaluated and thought through.

The hope and change contingent that wants to quickly ram through a bill does not.
8.9.2009 12:23pm
gerbilsbite:
Federal Dog:

When you go from this:

Some people may be concerned about national socialism based on sudden and sweeping government interference with the finance industry, the automobile industry, and now the way people may permissibly secure attention for their medical needs. This all happened in a matter of a few months, and the pattern of nationalization may well not stop with the medical industry.

My original point was, of course, that Pelosi was being (typically) dishonest by actively concealing the fact that the few and isolated swastika signs seen at recent townhalls and protests express pointed opposition to national socialism

to this:

Who cares? It's not as though that's somehow relevant to this thread or to any discussion of the health care protests.
in the span of a single question, you look like a mindless ideologue with no internal consistency and no intellectual honesty, not to mention like someone who thinks calling Democrats "Nazis" is A-OK. You're also lying about Pelosi (par for the course).

Way to represent your side.
8.9.2009 1:45pm
Federal Dog:
Gerbil:

Where did you get the idea that I was one of the people holding one of those signs at a protest? I simply explained obvious reasons why people might be holding them. If you want to rabidly attack those people, identify them and do so. I was not one of them.

Your ad hominem attacks against someone who has nothing to do with those signs establish that you're just another griefer on this site. You cannot find any instance where I called anyone, including Obama, a Nazi.

Foam away.
8.9.2009 2:19pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
Federal Dog:

Where did you get the idea that I was one of the people holding one of those signs at a protest? I simply explained obvious reasons why people might be holding them.

... presumably referring to your earlier comment:

Some people may be concerned about national socialism based on sudden and sweeping government interference with the finance industry, the automobile industry, and now the way people may permissibly secure attention for their medical needs. This all happened in a matter of a few months, and the pattern of nationalization may well not stop with the medical industry.

Sorry, but that sounds more like apophasis than explanation.
8.9.2009 4:19pm
Federal Dog:
You misunderstand apophasis.
8.9.2009 4:53pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
Trust me, I understand it. I meant in effect, not literally, which is why I said, "sounds like."
8.9.2009 5:23pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):

And what's missing here is any expression by you, dura et al that it's wrong for Boehner et al to be making things up. Which is another indication that your talk about "time to cure the ignorance" is not to be taken seriously.



My apologies. I do think its wrong to make things up to scare people into a reaction against this, or any, legislation. I didn't realize I had to make this statement to be allowed to express my desire to cure my own ignorance, and to give others the time to cure theirs. Because even if the current favorite health care bill of the Democratic Reps. and Senators (see, I didn't leave off the ic, aren't you impressed?) is the one that passes, it won't be the same as it is now. It will be changed before it is passed. Why can't we let everyone have a chance to read the bill that will be voted on? Or should we just believe what the congress critters in favor of the bill say, and dismiss as liars all those congress critters opposed?
8.9.2009 5:52pm
Federal Dog:
If you could could somehow mistake an explanation for apophasis, I will not bother to mention how impaired your interpretation is. ;)
8.9.2009 6:18pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
Federal Dog, please tell me how this apophasis

I'm not saying they should be "concerned about national socialism based on sudden and sweeping government interference with the finance industry, the automobile industry, and now the way people may permissibly secure attention for their medical needs. This all happened in a matter of a few months, and the pattern of nationalization may well not stop with the medical industry."

isn't a common sense reading of

"Some people may be concerned about national socialism based on sudden and sweeping government interference with the finance industry, the automobile industry, and now the way people may permissibly secure attention for their medical needs. This all happened in a matter of a few months, and the pattern of nationalization may well not stop with the medical industry."
8.9.2009 6:56pm
Federal Dog:
That reading is completely unsupported by either facts or logic. You're projecting your own partisan desires to try to make the post say something it plainly doesn't say.

Perhaps if you stop twisting the hell out of other people's words, communication might be possible. I said what I meant: The most likely explanation for those signs is that people oppose National Socialism.
8.9.2009 7:12pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
Federal Dog:

I said what I meant: The most likely explanation for those signs is that people oppose National Socialism.

That's not saying a lot. Pretty much everyone opposes National Socialism. It also implies the protesters associated National Socialism with something related to the health care forums they brought the signs to. You conjectured what that might be, and you did so with enough apparent sympathy* for their hypothetical complaints to imply you find the nexus between Obama's programs and National Socialism defensible, whether or not you think the label is descriptively accurate.

Please tell me which part of that twists your words, or is unsupported by facts or logic.


* "sudden and sweeping government interference," "the way people may permissibly secure [medical] attention," "pattern of nationalization"
8.9.2009 9:04pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
federal:

Where did you get the idea that I was one of the people holding one of those signs at a protest? I simply explained obvious reasons why people might be holding them.


Where did you get the idea that you're talking to people who are easily fooled?

Certain folks in the GOP are calling Obama a Nazi. Your comment here looks like a defense of those folks. If person A calls Obama a Nazi, and person B then defends person A for calling Obama a Nazi, is it then fair to say that person B called Obama a Nazi? Maybe not, but any alleged difference between person A's view (regarding Obama's alleged Nazi-ness) and person B's view is probably not too big. And you would have no trouble understanding this concept if I had, say, talked about how "some people" knocked down American skyscrapers because they were "concerned" about "sweeping" American "interference" in Mideast affairs, and their concern that this "pattern … may well not stop." That's the language of an apologist. And only a fool would be impressed if I tried to get away with saying "I simply explained obvious reasons why people" might want to knock down American skyscrapers.

You took a position, and are now trying to avoid taking responsibility for that position. As others have pointed out, your sophistry is transparent. But please keep up the good work. You have a long track record of transparent sophistry, so there's no point stopping now.

============
dura:

You are free to ignore the potential for disastrous unintended consequences resulting from panicked attempts to ram through bloated, unstudied, unproven, risky healthcare legislation.


You are free to ignore the disastrous unintended consequences resulting from sticking with the status quo. Like people dying because they're uninsured. And those consequences are real, not potential.

And the GOP is not objecting to health care reform because it's (allegedly) "bloated, unstudied, unproven, risky." They are objecting to health care reform because they are ideologically opposed to health care reform. That's because they like some of the "consequences" of the current system, like obscene profits for drug and insurance companies.

If the GOP is in favor of health care reform that is not (allegedly) "bloated, unstudied, unproven, risky" then they should have given us such reform when they were in charge. But they didn't. Why? Because they are ideologically opposed to health care reform. Period. Which means that either we're going to get health care reform from Democrats, or we're not going to get it at all. The GOP had their chance, and they demonstrated what they are really inclined to do: nothing.

============
mosley:

see, I didn't leave off the ic, aren't you impressed?


You must think I'm easily impressed.

my desire to cure my own ignorance, and to give others the time to cure theirs


The people who are lying about the bill have a problem that is not going to be cured by the passage of time.

should we just believe what the congress critters in favor of the bill say, and dismiss as liars all those congress critters opposed


We should indeed "dismiss as liars" the GOP leaders who are lying about the bill. Likewise for VC commenters who propagate falsehoods and then disappear when challenged.
8.10.2009 2:04am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Apparently Jukeboxgrad only cares about some Nazi references. When a Congressman calls his own constituents Nazis, Jukeboxgrad doesn't feel the need to mention it, even though he keeps repeating the same Democratic talking points about Limbaugh. It's fair to conclude, therefore, that he thinks it's okay for Democrats to do this. He also was mysteriously silent about Paul Krugman calling opponents of socialized medicine racists.
8.10.2009 3:44am
Federal Dog:
Leo:

You are not a lawyer, are you? It is not only possible to envisage a position that you do not espouse, but to argue whatever conceivable facts and logic might support that position -- again without espousing it.

In fact, to effectively function as counsel, it is essential to be able to foresee an opposing viewpoint clearly, and to anticipate what facts and logic will be stated to support that viewpoint, just so you can defend your own side against it.

You are posting on a site that is run by and attracts attorneys. Please keep that in mind.
8.10.2009 7:35am
Leo Marvin (mail):
Federal Dog:

You are not a lawyer, are you?

It wouldn't be the first time a BigLaw partnership let an imposter into the ranks. Maybe you can convince California to give me back 20 years of Bar dues.

I suspect even an imposter would know about that "look at it from both sides" thing. He'd probably also consider, when told that what he wrote came off as something very different, that he may not have made himself clear. Or, if he does happen to sympathize with the other side, that his biases may have snuck through.
8.10.2009 2:07pm
Federal Dog:
"He'd probably also consider, when told that what he wrote came off as something very different, that he may not have made himself clear."

Why do you think I posted an explanation correcting any misinterpretation?

Do you think it's possible that you just plain misread something?
8.10.2009 3:24pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
Federal Dog,

Why do you think I posted an explanation correcting any misinterpretation?

To borrow a phrase you lawyer-types use, that "assumes facts not in evidence."

Do you think it's possible that you just plain misread something?

That's always possible, and I'd rather learn something and be right tomorrow than cling to my ignorance. Which is why I asked you repeatedly to explain how I was mistaken. Instead you accused me (incorrectly) of using words I didn't understand and of not being a lawyer.

I'd still welcome an explanation, so let me help:

1. Do you believe there's been a "sudden and sweeping government interference with the finance industry, the automobile industry, and now the way people may permissibly secure attention for their medical needs[, that t]his all happened in a matter of a few months, and the pattern of nationalization may well not stop with the medical industry"?

2. Do you oppose President Obama's health care proposals?

3. Do you sympathize with the objectives of the health care town hall protesters?

Your comments have created the strong impression the answers are "yes," "yes" and "yes." If the answers are indeed "yes" and you don't understand why it would take more than "No I'm not" to rebut the presumption you're an apologist for the protesters, you might want to revisit the difference between disinterested devil's advocacy and just plain advocacy. If, on the other hand, one or more of the answers is "no," then saying so directly and explaining your actual position might be a more effective way to correct any misunderstandings than continuing to attack the messenger would.
8.10.2009 8:29pm
pot meet kettle (mail):
Still eagerly awaiting DB's post on Sarah Palin's proclamation about Obama's death panel. Surely, if there is even an inkling of truth in it, DB will feel the need to amplify on such an important topic, I am sure. And if it is a blatant falsehood, the sound of crickets chirping surely does nothing for DB's credibility?
8.10.2009 9:45pm
pot meet kettle (mail):

Pretty much everyone opposes National Socialism.


This is clearly a lie since you sport a toothbrush mustache and a brown shirt, and follow this guy.
8.10.2009 9:47pm
pot meet kettle (mail):

He also was mysteriously silent about Paul Krugman calling opponents of socialized medicine racists.


he said some of them were motivated by racism. i realize the republicans are the big tent party and all that, but surely, somewhere, in this deeply, vastly, popular party, there must be a racist or two hidden?
8.10.2009 9:48pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

Apparently Jukeboxgrad only cares about some Nazi references.


Apparently nieporent likes to make things up.

When a Congressman calls his own constituents Nazis, Jukeboxgrad doesn't feel the need to mention it


Foxman/ADL also didn't "feel the need to mention it." And their reasons may have been similar to mine. The first reason I didn't mention it is that I didn't know what Baird said until you mentioned it. But another reason not to mention it is that Baird's prominence in his party is miniscule compared to Limbaugh's prominence in the GOP. How many people ever heard of Baird? How many people ever heard of Limbaugh?

How many people heard Baird's statement directly, the instant he said it? How many people heard Limbaugh's statement directly, the instant he said it? The answers, respectively, are one (Baird was being interviewed by a reporter) and millions.

even though he keeps repeating the same Democratic talking points about Limbaugh


Is Foxman/ADL known for "repeating … Democratic talking points?" I had no idea. Because all I said is what they said.

It's fair to conclude, therefore, that he thinks it's okay for Democrats to do this.


It's fair to conclude that you're a pathetic hack who likes to make things up. I don't approve of what Baird said, and you never had a reason to assume or suggest otherwise.

He also was mysteriously silent about Paul Krugman calling opponents of socialized medicine racists.


Most humans, including you and me, spend most of our days being "mysteriously silent" about all sorts of things. I notice you've been "mysteriously silent" about the typhoons in Taiwan. I have to confess that I've been "mysteriously silent" about the Jackson autopsy.

Where and when did I have an obligation to make a comment about the Krugman column you're talking about? Did I participate in a thread that discussed his column? I didn't. Why is it 'mysterious' that I've said nothing about a column that's never been mentioned (until now) in any thread where I've posted comments?

Just like I hadn't heard about Baird's comment until you mentioned it, I also hadn't read Krugman's column until you mentioned it. I had to do some googling to figure out you're talking about his column here. And although I've now read the column a few times, I still can't find the part where he says that "opponents of socialized medicine [are] racists." I see him saying that the "town hall mobs" probably reflect something the GOP has been doing for a long time: "appealing to the racial fears of working-class whites."

I agree with that statement. What's your point? That there aren't many working-class whites? That there aren't many working-class whites who have racial fears? That the GOP doesn't have a track record of trying to appeal to those fears?

===============
federal:

Why do you think I posted an explanation correcting any misinterpretation?


You posted an "explanation" where you condemned the various GOP voices (like Limbaugh) who have been making Nazi comparisons? Really? That "explanation" apparently appears only in the special unredacted version of this thread, which I can't access. Maybe you can send me a link.
8.11.2009 1:55am
Federal Dog:
Leo, two things:

If believing that you are not a lawyer counts as an "attack," you are being excessively delicate.

Second, as already stated, my personal opinion was completely irrelavant to the question I originally answered. The poster was asking about people at the protests, and I was not at the protests.

You seem to be demanding a detailed explanation of my personal opinion, in addition to that original exchange that I had with another poster. As stated, it is irrelevant, except apparently to you, for reasons that are unclear. Only you and one other poster, who is an established griefer here even in the middle of the night for some strange, sad reason, seem to care intensely.
8.11.2009 8:07am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
federal:

You seem to be demanding a detailed explanation of my personal opinion


Not exactly. Just wondering where we can find your comment where you condemned the various GOP voices (like Limbaugh) who have been making Nazi comparisons.

an established griefer


If I am managing to create grief for people like you who routinely make shit up, then the keystrokes are worth it.

even in the middle of the night


Are you familiar with the concept of time zones, or are you a flat-earther? People travel, and when it's the middle of the night for you it's high noon for someone else. As if it matters. What difference does it make what time it is? You bringing it up is a nice demonstration of how desperate you are to change the subject.

seem to care intensely


If you mean care intensely about people like you who poison public discourse by propagating falsehoods, then I'm guilty as charged. Maybe someday you'll explain what it is that makes you care intensely enough to put so much energy into creating fiction.
8.11.2009 12:21pm
pot meet kettle (mail):

one other poster, who is an established griefer here even in the middle of the night for some strange, sad reason


Always be vigilant. That's when we Nazis are out to pick up old people, drive between the sourdoughs and the chechakos, and push them off floes off Sarah Palin's Alaskan coast. And it's all on taxpayer money!
8.11.2009 1:18pm
pot meet kettle (mail):

who is an established griefer here even in the middle of the night for some strange, sad reason,


Why such classist scorn and contemptuous pity for those who have to be awake for the night shift, dawg?
8.11.2009 1:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
between the sourdoughs and the chechakos


The authoritative rendition, by a "master thespian," is here. "Boldly reciting what no man has recited before" (link).

those who have to be awake for the night shift


Darn it, you had to out me. Classist that I am, I wanted him to think I was a jet-setter, and now he knows that I'm just the overnight desk clerk at this ratshit motel in Podunk.
8.11.2009 1:55pm
pot meet kettle (mail):

The most likely explanation for those signs is that people oppose National Socialism.


f-dawg, it is indeed brave and bold of these people to come out strongly against national socialism in these times. and since they are reasonable people and are certainly not making a mockery of both the current debate, and of the holocaust, by using terms such as nazis or "obama's brownshirts", it must only mean that their principled opposition to national socialism is unrelated to the health care debate. my concern then is about all the other important issues that they do not even mention: can i then assume that they do not at all care about the chinese suppression of the tibetans, or the palestinian homicides of israelis, or clinton's appeasement of the north koreans? or can nothing be assumed about their positions on these other things because their principled opposition to nazis is not unrelated to a characterization of obama and the democrats?
8.11.2009 2:08pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
Federal Dog:

If believing that you are not a lawyer counts as an "attack," you are being excessively delicate.

In some quarters, suggesting I'm not a lawyer might even be a compliment, but you happened to do it condescendingly ("You are posting on a site that is run by and attracts attorneys. Please keep that in mind.")

Just because I point that out doesn't mean you hurt my feelings. It means it's worth pointing out that you patronized me twice in one thread, and that's twice more than you substantively addressed the questions about your defense of Tea partiers' use of Nazi symbols. (Note: I no longer say "apparent defense" since you've settled any questions I had about your intentions by your persistent evasion and obfuscation.)

Second, as already stated, my personal opinion was completely irrelavant to the question I originally answered. The poster was asking about people at the protests, and I was not at the protests.

You made your personal opinion relevant. You analogized your defense of the protesters to a lawyer presenting both sides of an argument, for example in a memo or in a discussion within his law firm. When he does that, you're correct; his personal opinions on the issue in question are irrelevant, since everyone involved is on the same side of the only issue that matters, i.e., representing their common client.

But this is a public debate forum, and that makes it more like a courtroom than like the situation you described. Here, credibility matters and objectivity isn't presumed. When you say something that's evidently biased, and then refuse to say whether it reflects your personal opinion, it's fair to conclude you're not evading an answer that would tend to prove your objectivity.

You seem to be demanding a detailed explanation of my personal opinion, in addition to that original exchange that I had with another poster. As stated, it is irrelevant, except apparently to you, for reasons that are unclear.

I've been encouraging you to explain the inconsistency between your comment and your denial that it sheds any light on your personal views. If you check the thread, you'll see that's where I entered this discussion. You're welcome to believe that inconsistencies which call your credibility into question are irrelevant, but objective observers may reach a different conclusion.

Only you and one other poster, who is an established griefer here even in the middle of the night for some strange, sad reason, seem to care intensely.

I see at least three commenters, plus you, still engaged in this discussion, but I agree with you about one thing: I've given this more time than it deserves. As for why, it's because I resist concluding someone is obfuscating when their failure to address an issue can plausibly be chalked up to a misunderstanding, i.e., a somewhat gentler take on Hanlon's razor. Unfortunately, your persistent evasions by way of personal attack and other distractions finally leave me no choice but to reach that conclusion, a conclusion, by the way, apparently reached some time ago by the "established griefer." But what else is new? The guy is my personal Kilroy.

If it's any consolation, I'm not even going to mention the irony impairment suggested by you calling someone on this particular thread an "established griefer." Uh oh, look what I did there.
8.11.2009 7:35pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
a conclusion, by the way, apparently reached some time ago by the "established griefer."


Yes. I always start by assuming good faith, and I maintain that assumption until I see lots of contrary evidence. But this is one of those cases where I eventually did see lots of contrary evidence. And you've done a nice job explaining the reality of the latest evidence.

Thanks for the kind remark about me and Kilroy.
8.12.2009 1:46pm

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