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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Shorter Politico: It’s not that Boehner’s a bad guy, he’s just unwilling to say what he actually thinks if it might get him in trouble with the base. If it was up to him things would be very very different but unfortunately he’s the only reasonable man in all of Congress. Poor Reasonable John Boehner is surrounded on all sides by extremists. Gee, if only he was in a position to deliver some kind of public rebuke to those other  the nutcases yknow?

Baucus’s bill retains the noxious “free rider” provision on employers. Rather than a simple employer mandate that forces every employer over a certain size to provide health-care insurance or pay a small fee, the free rider approach penalizes employers for hiring low-income workers who are eligible for subsidies. That will create an incentive to do one of two things: Dont hire low-income workers hire a teenager looking for a job rather than a single mother, or hire a housewife looking for a second job rather than an unemployed breadwinner, or hire illegal immigrants.

And it actually gets worse. The employer pays more if the low-income worker needs subsidies for his family as opposed to just himself. So it not only discriminates against low-income workers, but it particularly discriminates against low-income parents. Single mothers will get the worst deal, as they have lower incomes, and as you might expect, children who need health care.

via Ezra Klein – The Baucus Bill: The Worst Policy in the Bill, and Possibly in the World .

So you’ve probably seen the new pissing contest about how many people showed up to the Glen Beckathon over the weekend. Fun stuff: wingnuts invent some bs story about ABC news confirming their delusions then get smacked down with an ‘official’ ABC estimate of 70,000 or so, at which point the spin pivots from “even the liberal ABC news says…” to “well of course the liberal ABC news says…” It’ll be fun to watch this play out over the next couple days – and oshit, Jon Stewart just got back from vacation.

Here’s my absolute favorite though. I don’t know if “Thomas Lifson” is an idiot or a liar – in fact I don’t actually know if he’s the original source of this claim but I see several blogs linking him. So the guy says that a spokesman from the Park Service named Bana “is quoted” as saying the Million Teabagger March was the biggest event in DC history. That strikes me as funny for two reasons: One, the Park Service doesn’t do estimates after the Million-Man March controversy other than the exception they made for the inauguration, and two, when I say Lifson says Bana is quoted as making this statement I mean that literally because he doesn’t provide a link. But I’m sure it’s all on the up and up.

Just kidding. Bana was talking about the inauguration and the quote is from January. Some people.

edit. It’s even funnier than I originally thought. Lifson originally linked to the boston.com story, which he apparently had been told was in reference the the Beck rally. Later, after actually reading the article – or at least having readers point out in comments what it really says – he  removed the link, but otherwise left the post intact. Not that we can generalize from this guy but I’ve often wondered at whether people like this and the Gateway Pundit are shameless liars or just really gullible, prone to wishful thinking, opposed to reading, etc. Whatever the specifics of their motivation I’ve now seen a couple examples in the last week that demonstrate that they really are just full of shit.

(And no I don’t know what being “in violation of plagiarism” means or how misattributing the Dana quote puts you there either.)

Now, I know that right now, I’m supposed to be all re-injected with yes-we-can fever after the big health care speech, and it was a great speech — when Black Elvis gets jiggy with his teleprompter, there is none better. But here’s the thing: Muhammad Ali also had a way with words, but it helped enormously that he could also punch guys in the face.

indeed, bill maher, indeed.

The Republicans appear to be coalescing around a “plan” for healthcare “reform.” This is the 3rd-4th example I’ve seen of GOP officials pushing these concepts in the last couple of weeks. Amazingly enough it’s a rehash of failed bad ideas from the Bush era. At least it’s better than plugging their ears and shouting “NO NEGATIVE NOTHING NOPE NEVER” repeatedly until passing out. Baby steps.

In short, the problem isn’t that your insurance costs too much or that you might lose it or anything like that. The problem is that you have insurance, especially insurance through your employer. Ideally you wouldn’t have insurance at all or at least you’d have much less of it.

That’s the essence of where Republicans want to go. And why Democrats aren’t making that a lot more clear is a very good question without any good answers. The problem is that you go to the doctor and agree to take the tests the doctor recommends. Shadegg and Hoekstra want a system where if your doctor suggests a biopsy for a suspicious lump you think about the pros and cons. Is it worth the money? Do you have the money? How suspicious is the lump anyway? Maybe you get the first one. But not necessarily the follow up scan six months later.

This is the essence of the Republican plan: the fact that you’re insured and aren’t directly feeling the cost of individual tests and procedures is the problem and getting rid of the insurance concept is the solution. Give you a structure where you can save money for future procedures and medications (the more money you have the better) and you decide how much medical care you think you can afford. That’s what HSAs are about (google it). That’s the gist of the column and it’s not surprising because that’s what most conservative policy ideas are about.

via On Offense | Talking Points Memo.

So the questions that make this interesting: is this a sign that they realize the “party of No” routine is losing steam? Are they concerned about how the next couple months plays out now that the White House is finally willing to start spelling out what they want from reform? What does the fact that they’ve felt the need to release this tell us?

now, you know i’m not the biggest fan of olbermann. i usually find him to be annoying bombastic and histrionic, not to mention on the verge of a heart attack, he gets so worked up. but occasionally, he says something awesome.
which i cannot get to embed properly, god dammit, but you can watch it at msnbc. the best part starts at around 7:55; if you don’t want to watch, i’m pasting the transcript below the jump.

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