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Week In The News: Obamacare Blowup, NSA Fury And A Year After Sandy

Obamacare hullaballoos. NSA snooping fury still rising. Superstorm Sandy, one year on.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP)

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP)

Rolling thunder on the big issues this week.  On Obamacare, more rollout problems and now some Americans losing their old insurance and not happy about it.  The President’s old words replayed and a new argument:  this is better, get with it.  NSA surveillance still roiling Europe and now Google and Yahoo too.  The spymasters making no apologies.  We’ve got abortion battle and shutdowns in Texas.  Chemical weapon shutdown in Syria.  A plea for help from Iraq.  And electronic devices cleared for airline takeoff.  Up next On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Siobhan Gorman, intelligence correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. (@Gorman_Siobhan)

Julie Rovner, health policy correspondent for NPR. (@JRovner)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Europeans Shared Spy Data With U.S. — “The revelations suggest a greater level of European involvement in global surveillance, in conjunction at times with the NSA. The disclosures also put European leaders who loudly protested reports of the NSA’s spying in a difficult spot, showing how their spy agencies aided the Americans. The phone records collected by the Europeans—in war zones and other areas outside their borders—were shared with the NSA as part of efforts to help protect American and allied troops and civilians, U.S. officials said.”

NPR: Congressmen Berate Sebelius For Cancellations, Website Woes — “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a date with lawmakers frustrated by the rocky rollout of the HealthCare.gov website. What she got at the House Energy and Commerce Committee was four hours of venting from Democrats and Republicans alike.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: Sandusky Settlements Cost Nearly $60M – “The university’s board of trustees had approved paying up to $60 million earlier this year, and the tab came to $59.7 million, the university said in a news release. The first multimillion-dollar settlement, with a 25-year-old man who was abused in a campus shower, was announced in mid-August. University officials predicted at that time that 25 more settlements would soon follow as part of a global agreement.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Mike_Card

    Pick any of those headlines and the reply is: the House doing the only thing they know how to do–pander to their owners, now that bribery is legal.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Do you know that there is an AI program at Carnegie Mellon University that is reading “The Web” ( what is said) and trying to create a knowledge base ? Maybe the NSA is doing this. If not, maybe they should be. Wouldn’t this be a more valuable use of all of those computer processors? At least we would have a chance of benefiting from all of that eavesdropping. It is going to happen, one way or another. Is it time to have a discussion about spying on a different level, with different objectives? Maybe “we” could cut a deal and all could “save face”.

    Read the Web:

    http://rtw.ml.cmu.edu/rtw/index.php

    Did you know that President James Garfield found an original proof for the Pythagorean Theorem?

    http://mathandmultimedia.com/2012/03/26/president-garfield-pythagorean-theorem/

    Just some general fooling around notes. Any comments ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler%27s_identity

    Note: You should actually write that first one as:

    1/1^(s). I am taking some liberties here. Why not?

    0 = 1 + 1/(2)^s + 1/(3)^s + 1/(4)^s + … Riemann Zeta Equation

    0 = 1 + 1 / ( (2)^ ( ½ + bi) ) + 1 / ( (3)^(½ + bi) ) +

    1 / ( (4)^(½ + bi) + … Assumed form of Riemann Zeta solution

    0 = 1 + 1 / ( (2)^ ( ½) ) * (2^(bi) ) + 1 / ( (3)^(½)) * (3^(bi) ) + 1 / ( (4)^(½) * 4^(bi) ) + … Same as above Riemann, just a break down of exponential multiplications.

    Of course: (n)^(½) is the same as : square root of n ; [sqr(n)] therefore:

    0 = 1 + 1 / ( sqr(2) ) * (2^(bi) ) + 1 / ( sqr(3)) * (3^(bi) ) + 1 / ( sqr(4)) * 4^(bi) ) + …

    And from Leonhard Eulers Identity:

    (Exp^(Pi * I) ) + 1 = 0

    Or

    (Exp^(Pi * I) ) = -1 : For Pi = 180 degrees and here capital “I” is to be read as imaginary number small I .

    Therefore:

    (Exp^(Pi * I) ) = 0 + 1 / ( sqr(2) ) * (2^(bi) ) + 1 / ( sqr(3)) * (3^(bi) ) + 1 / ( sqr(4)) * 4^(bi) ) + …

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Above I wrote:

      “Note: You should actually write that first one as:

      1/1^(s). I am taking some liberties here. Why not? “

      So just so you understand. Although I used an equal sign for my fooling around, in actuality, you can not do this. The correct way to make such an assumptive statement would be to use an equal sign with a question mark above it? I wrote this to try to generate some ideas about the equation! Think of it at brainstorming.

      PS I was hoping that someone would say something.

  • John Cedar

    More proof that we are doomed as a society until totalitarian socialism is completely implemented. Rich people are big meany pants:
    http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/07/take-two-normal-people-add-money-to-just-one-of-them-and-watch-what-happens-next.html?m=1

    Cruz should try to defund UC Berkeley, with this kind of tripe coming out of there.

    Garbage brains in = garbage “research” out.
    Just like climatologists :)

    • northeaster17

      You must be getting nervous

      • Ray in VT

        “Small words, from a small being, trying to attack what he doesn’t understand.”

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I miss John Ash…

      http://youtu.be/5RmdAlaOiMw

    • Don_B1

      What you are describing fits the Heritage Foundation quite well:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/the-fall-of-the-heritage-foundation-and-the-death-of-republican-ideas/279955/

      Have some enlightening reading, if you are capable of looking past your ideological blinders.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      I thought your link to the video was very good. Please bring it up again, sometime. I don’t agree with your conclusions, though, but it does make for worthy evidence. Evidence for discussion, not sufficient for conclusions, either way.

  • Ray in VT

    I guess that the House must really be getting on top of all of the issues before it, as the House schedule for 2014 shows it having 13 fewer working days than for 2013.

    • brettearle

      They must be quicker studies (as they get older!?); therefore, less days needed!

      • Ray in VT

        Maybe they’re just factoring in fewer attempts to repeal the ACA or defund ACORN.

        • brettearle

          Great point…..implying that Congressional Business is so-o-o filled with political detritus…

          Benghazi and Fast & Furious alone are so intoxicating that the Right, in their increased spare time, might give up drinking.and take up Grouse Hunting. [That is, only if Scalia and Cheney serve as spiritual mentors.]

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, the 4 that died in Benghazi were phony victims. So were the many that died as a result of Fast and Furious, phony victims.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s a sick way to describe the deaths of people. Amazing. You can’t be serious.

          • HonestDebate1

            If the scandals are phony as Obama has stated and Brettearle has implied then the victims must be phony as well.

          • Ray in VT

            Why? There are certainly issues regarding those topics, it is just a shame that the critics choose to believe, for instance, that no aid was put in motion regarding Benghazi, or that Fast and Furious is some sort of back door attempt to undercut the 2nd Amendment by fueling violence in Mexico or something.

          • brettearle

            Ray, I am boycotting HD, directly–so I will reply to him through you.

            People like HD wish to exacerbate the politics of a scandal, or a so-called scandal, by Piling it On and exaggerating their implications, exponentially.

            In the decayed Propaganda of the American GOP and American-GOP media in the 21st century, the Right will jump, leap, lunge, grab, and clutch at the chance of taking an anti-Democrat story–or in the case of Obama, an anti-Obama story–and wring it and squeeze it, and twist it, and milk it, for all that it’s worth.

            And they will do this to such a radical and pathological fault that THEY WILL WIND UP ACCUSING US LIBERALS– HERE, ON THIS WEB–OF MEAN SPIRITED, RECKLESS APOLOGISTS WHO COULDN’T CARE LESS FOR HUMAN LIFE AND WHO OWN REVERENCE FOR LIFE’S CHEAPNESS

            THAT IS UTTER BULLSHIT AND IT IS A PAX ON HD’S HOUSE, AND ALL OTHERS OF HIS ILK, TO STATE IT MUCH LESS IMPLY IT….

            Shame…. PATHETIC.shame…..

            .

          • jefe68

            Wow, well said.

          • brettearle

            Thanks much. Appreciate it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Did Obama lie or not?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — nothing like an old-fashioned “I gotta speak my mind about this and get it off my chest right now!” piece is there?

            Well said.

          • brettearle

            Thanks, much.

          • Don_B1

            DisHonestDebate is only serious in his attempts to lead the discussion into blind alleys or just make incendiary comments to distract from the issue at hand.

          • HonestDebate1

            The issue at hand is that Obama lied and Obamacare is imploding.

          • brettearle

            You missed my point.

            But, as I said a few days ago, i am not discussing things with you.

            After our last discussion about ACA, I have finally come to the same conclusion that others of my brethren, on this Forum, have come to:

            You are the Opposite of your Title.

          • HonestDebate1

            If you want to claim I am not honest just because you disagree with me then fine, that way you don’t have to engage nor defend your notions. But I deny the charge.

            Are you honest enough to say Obama lied about being able to keep your plan or can you at least explain how it is that he didn’t lie? It’s seems to me that is a better barometer for honesty that your scurrilous and baseless accusation.

          • jefe68

            You, not honest? Say it isn’t so…

          • Ray in VT

            I would make the claim that you are not honest based upon the fact that you can’t honestly present the content of the dictionary, which seems like something that is pretty basic.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — you were a little slow on the uptake, but you got there.

          • brettearle

            Ha. Ha. But there is….

            more going on, than even you may realize….

            Fool me once, the

          • hennorama

            brettearle – connections, connections …

            Wild turkey are related to grouse, and to quail, and also to chickens. Chickens are sometimes preyed on by Cooper’s Hawks. Cooper’s Hawks are also known as “chicken hawks.” Former VPs Cheney and Quayle are also known as “chickenhawks.” Former Vice President Cheney was hunting quail when he shot his friend in the face. VP Cheney shooting his friend in the face was an “unforeseen event.” Dan Quayle once said “We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur,” and is a former Vice President. Drinking is a vice. Presidente, Wild Turkey, The Famous Grouse, and Chicken Cock are all brands of alcoholic beverages, as is Bird Dog Whiskey.

            See:

            http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/danquayle102920.html
            http://www.chickencockwhiskey.com/
            http://birddogwhiskey.com/

            And no, we are not James Burke, nor are we plural.

          • brettearle

            Henn–

            You are somethin’ else!

            STOP IT!

            Stop bringing such bemusement into my life!

            Stop Dave…..Dave Stop.

            I’m losing…..my….mind….Dave….I…can…..feel…..
            ………………………………….it

            Daisy……Daisy……Give…..Me….

          • hennorama

            brettearle — yes, I’m, “somethin’ else,” which one supposes is preferable to the alternate alternative.

            Doot doot dee doo. {rimshot}

            Presumably, you prefer to not further discuss the ongoing discussions involving the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade people, and the “rebranding” rumors.

            If so, I concur.

            Also, one must recognize the necessity of taking one’s amusement and bemusement where one finds it, else, like the tree falling in the woods, its passing is unheard.

            As previously stated, I would extend the series to “cemusement” but alas, the only support for that particular trisyllable is found on the blog of someone who says:

            “It’ll Be A Thing!
            New Word: Cemuse – to distract someone through comedy”

            See again:
            http://jeremyisintheoffice.blogspot.com/2012/06/itll-be-thing.html

            Sorry to have to break this to ya, Jeremy, but it WON’T “Be A Thing!” anytime soon.

            Sadly.

        • TFRX

          You forgot the New, New Black Panther Party.

    • Yar

      Why are the rating agencies complicit in this destructive behavior?
      We have a congress that hasn’t passed a budget, and doesn’t have a credit plan for the year, yet it knows how many days they plan to work.
      The thing that gets my goat is that if any business failed to file a business plan it would lose its credit rating. If I rated the credit worthiness of the US, I would require a budget and a debt plan before the physical year to receive a top rating.

    • Don_B1

      And just consider their extremely overworked schedule this year: in the 62 days of November and December, the House is scheduled to be in session for all of EIGHT (8) of them (four each month!).

      But they are having trouble figuring out what to schedule for those days, there just is so little to do.

      They have voted to kill Obamacare over 45 times and voted to cut food stamps and increase payments to absentee farmers, plus pushed to attach riders to expedite the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as countless attempts to regulate women’s healthcare, so what else is left?

  • Ed75

    This week they were discussing President Obama’s ‘lies’. Here’s another one: he said that the agreement to not spend taxpayer money on abortion, which had been in place since 1973 (Hyde Amendment) would be honored. The ACA breaks it – everyone contributes to an abortion kitty. And subsidies pay for plans that have abortion, those subsidies come from tax money.

    • HonestDebate1

      Obama can lie with immunity. It’s does not matter how blatant the lies are, the left will never even admit he is lying. They certainly don’t care.

      • Ray in VT

        Just like the right won’t do with their guys. The lies of liberal presidents just seem to get fewer Americans killed.

        • HonestDebate1

          Thank you for finally admitting Obama lied. Did it hurt?

          • Ray in VT

            Where did I do that? I am sticking by the absurd double standard that you employ when evaluating the statements of politicians whom I like versus those who are enemies of America.

            It pains me to see my paralyzed neighbor who lost the use of his four limbs because of Bush’s lies. Those lies, though, must be defended. Bush, though, gave up golf, so that’s equal sacrifice.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you mean that Obama didn’t lie? How is that possible? Please explain.

          • Ray in VT

            I have explained. Perhaps you either did not understand or have merely forgotten. I am using your Bush standard, where, for instance, even when the AG admits to having conducted surveillance on Americans without warrants and not needing to go to the FISA Court to get them after the fact, that is still not warrantless surveillance of Americans. I believe it, so it cannot possibly be a lie according to the supposed only definition of that term. It’s much easier to operate when I can choose to ignore reality so as to make it fit my ideology and beliefs.

        • brettearle

          Ray….unfortunately, I can’t forget Gulf of Tonkin…..for example.

        • jefe68

          Depends on the presidents. LBJ comes to mind. Look, most politicians are liberals, when it comes to the making statements that turn out to be not true, or they have to renege on a promise. HW Bush’s famous “read my lips” quote lost him an election.

          The right wing posse on this forum are only interested in posting as much misinformation as they can to back up their regressive political ideology.

          • Ray in VT

            I was thinking only of fairly recent events (post 1992ish), so I didn’t think of either George H.W. Bush’s statement or the Gulf of Tonkin, so thank you to both you and brettearle. We could also chuck in the everything that went on with Reagan and our support for right-wing dictatorships and death squads in Central America in the 1980s.

          • jefe68

            I don’t it matters which era you pick.
            In the minds of the Gregg’s of the world President Obama could do a weather report for DC and they would say he was lying and if it rained in NC they would blame him for that and the milk going off.
            Some people are so far up Rush Limbaugh’s sphincter they can’t think or see straight.

          • HonestDebate1

            Is it your position that if you like your plan you can keep it?

          • Don_B1

            As far as the law goes,, it is true. The policies in effect at the time were grandfathered to be available to the insurees as long as they want.

            This problem applies only to the 15% of policy holders that get their insurance in the Individual Market, and the “keep your insurance” is still true for those who have employer (private or public) provided insurance (though it often happens that companies change the insurance they offer, which is true with or without the PPACA).

            But that applied to the plan the insuree had at the time, which was 2010.

            If in the meantime, the policy was changed, either by the insuree or the insurance company, that provision no longer applies.

            It also seems that at least some companies have changed their policies, possibly to avoid the grandfather clause, but even then, the new policies are highly likely to be better policies.

            I, and many others do not consider the fact that President Obama did not go into all the subtle details an outright lie, particularly when you don’t consider so much of President George W. Bush’s statements which claimed WMD in Iraq were not lies.

            This might be one of those occasions where comparison of intent and result are applicable and show that President Obama may have oversimplified, but did not lie.

          • HonestDebate1

            Well at least you tried. Thanks.

          • Ray in VT

            The thing that I’m blaming Obama for today: daylight savings time ends early Sunday morning. This is just another big government handout to the daylight industry. Don’t let big government tell you what time it is. Make one up for yourself and try to make people accept the time that you have decided upon #nobama.

          • brettearle

            I think that we should blame Obama for being a threat to the House Republicans who showed up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, last night–all dressed up as “The Grim Reaper”– with petition documents for Impeachment Proceedings and proclaimed to the Standard Bearer,

            “Trick, no Treat”.

            [And Ted Cruz was the only exception: He dressed up as Belushi from "The Blues Brothers" and remarked to Michelle,

            "I want to buy one of your children."]

          • Ray in VT

            How much for the little girl?

          • Labropotes

            Ray, I am always intrigued by the examples you pick of absurdity — they tend to be the very positions I hold. Yet again, I am one of those nuts that think that noon should mean the sun is directly to the south, and the day is exactly half over.

          • Ray in VT

            While probably more accurate, I think that it creates issues when it comes to dealing with times across space if, for instance, each town decides for itself what time it is.

          • Labropotes

            Okay, I accept non gerrymandered time zones.

            But one of nature’s wonders, the rapid change in the length of days near the equinoxes, is obscured for children by “springing forward” and “falling back.”

          • Ray in VT

            True, but I think that it has practical purposes. I find that it is either depressing to get up when it is dark, or that it was depressing that it was getting dark out when I was getting home from school as a kid, but that’s what one gets with these latitudes. My wife and I talk to our kids a lot about the natural world, and it helps that our kids are pretty interested in science and nature.

          • Don_B1

            Exactly!

            It was the railroads that pushed for standard time zones, where the centers of adjoining zones would be 1 hour apart.

            Printing train schedules was a nightmare before standard time zones.

            But daylight savings time goes back to Ben Franklin, and you are correct that recent calculations show that daylight savings does not save energy and may even cause more energy use.

          • Don_B1

            President Reagan’s non-apology for IranContra comes to mind. A well-crafted statement deflecting from the issue at hand.

          • brettearle

            Great photo.

            Where’s it from?

            Do you know the web site, “Mock the Dummy”?. Check it out. Satire on that site, reminded me of that photo.

            I mentioned LBJ below–regarding lies and Gulf of Tonkin.

          • jefe68

            It’s an old Vaudeville photo. I found it on a site about Vaudeville.

            There is a vaudevillian aspect to the right wing on this forum. I just imaged all of them doing this cakewalk while singing all the memes they post here day in and day out.

          • brettearle

            YUK

          • TFRX

            It’s not the “seven little Foys” is it?

          • Don_B1

            Good analysis except that i think the right wing posse posts so much misinformation in order to distract others from how regressive their policies really are.

        • William

          Tell that to the 50,000 Americans killed in the Vietnam War.

          • Ray in VT

            I addressed that pretty major oversight below, as I was thinking and referring to events of only the past 20 years or so.

          • Ray in VT

            Also, given that the first incident did in fact occur, it is possible that even without the supposed second attack the Resolution and subsequent escalation could have occurred.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I see you have attracted the attention of the faceless chorus. They must be particularly out of sorts with the headlines.

        • Don_B1

          Well, it certainly gives counterpoint to the Republican meme of a “liberal” MSM.

          It shows that what the MSM is really all about is controversy and selling their product, whether it is telling the full story or just the parts that inflame the public.

        • HonestDebate1

          Oh well, another day another dollar.

  • Ed75

    It’s the 40th anniversary of The Exorcist, perhaps the scariest movie of all time, which depicts a real case of possession in 1949, Mr. Blatty’s purpose was to write to encourage people’s faith.
    Word has it that our government even spied on the Vatican – now we know why there was so much electronic wiring in the Sistine Chapel during the conclave.

    • brettearle

      Please cite your source about this.

      Your claim is SO extreme that it seems to me that you have a basic obligation to cite your source.

      • Ed75

        About The Exorcist? See ‘The World Over’ with Raymond Arroyo, last night or on other occasions when Mr. Blatty has been a guest. It’s on utube.
        About the Vatican? They said on the news they had eavesdropped on the Vatican, they asked Fr. Lombardo, the Vatican spokesman a few days ago, and he said that they were not concerned and would not get involved. But during the conclave coverage the spoke at length about the electronic blocking they were installing.

        • brettearle

          I am referring only to the Vatican…

          What do you mean “THEY” said on the news.

          WHO? WHICH SOURCES, please?

          • Ed75

            I listen to WNYC a lot, it was on All things considered or an WNYC news program.

    • J__o__h__n

      Possessions and demons aren’t real. I’d have more respect for religions if they didn’t rely on fear, fraud, and magic tricks.

      • Ed75

        Hmm. What to say. Religion’s task is to teach us what God has revealed to us, in a reliable way. In its rites its task is to allow us to render praise to God and for us to grow in sanctification.
        What would a religion be if it didn’t speak of spiritual realities (God, angels, etc.)? It would be an ethics. Its task is to teach us of these realities, which we can reach to an extent by reason, but only fully through revelation.
        Mark’s Gospel has several stories of Jesus healing possessed persons, like the demoniac among the graves, and Jesus speaks of the fallen spirits – and the holy angels – many times. As T.S. Eliot calls them, they are our cousins. But you’re right, there are even some Catholics who don’t believe in angels, though it’s doctrine and little makes sense without them.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Fox News reported an incident at Brown University in which Ray Kelly, NYC Police Chief, had been invited to speak concerning certain NYC crime-prevention policies but was prevented from doing so as a result of being shouted down by students. I am not aware of any of the other networks reporting this story (perhaps because it calls into question the open-minded, tolerant thinking that liberals think that they exhibit and that narrow minded tea party types do not exhibit in their view). I would suggest that Brown University considering adding a course on respectful civil discourse/non-bullying/the democratic process to their required curriculum as a large portion of their students desperately need to be enlightened. I’m sure this same group was aghast when certain member of the Republican Party threatened to shut down the government due to their disagreement over Obamacare. And yet shutting down discourse is exactly what this group of students was guilty of.

    • brettearle

      I apologize for being a copyeditor… And call me petty, if you like….

      But even though I likely don’t agree with you, somehow I think you are making a cogent and strong point.

      But your run-on sentence(s) read like filibusters.

      If you rewrite your comment, I would surely want to look at it, much more carefully. I’d be surprised if some others didn’t feel the same way.

      • jefe68

        This chap is trying to spin an event at Brown into by smearing the entire student population of the school. Then he tries to tie it into the absurdist event of the GOP government shutdown. What the those particular Brown students had done was not a good thing, but it was civil disobedience. The subtext of that comment was all Brown students are awful liberals and the ACA is not a law.

        • brettearle

          I simply want to understand his argument first.

          But I appreciate your clarification.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            My point is that a rather large group of students (the lecture hall was full) did not have the common courtesy to allow Ray Kelly to speak before pronouncing judgment. Did they have the right to do what they did under their first amendment rights? Perhaps. I’m sure that they would have appreciated the courtesy of being able to speak if the shoe was on the other foot. Seeing a video of the incident certainly does not speak well of that particular group of students. And yes, i would risk generalizing to say the the general university population leans liberal in their political viewpoint. But in a way it is not their fault as much of their education, whether it is through the mainstream media, public education, etc., is liberally biased and so they have not been exposed to all sides of many arguments.

          • northeaster17

            Ray Kelly does not extend the courtesy for many New Yorkers to walk down the street with out being accosted by New York’s finest.
            When a Police Department pepper sprays those peacefuly protesting. When they forcefully search and violate the 4th amendment rights of those simply walking down the street.
            They should not be surprised when citizens voice their extreme displeasure at an inappropriate time or place.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            The policies of NYPD have resulted in a huge drop in crime, particularly black on black crime.

          • Don_B1

            The crime rates were dropping steeply before the “stop and frisk” policies were implemented. Is there anything that indicates that the previous trend would have stopped without those policies being implemented?

          • northeaster17

            Funny how the 4th amendment being curbed is a positive but any look at the 2nd is sacrilege

          • nj_v2

            “leans liberal”

            WTF does that mean?

          • TFRX

            Another Libertarian whose worldview of the media and liberals is chock full of GOP-made stereotypes. How unusual!

          • brettearle

            Thank you for the revision….

        • brettearle

          Also, by my `praise’, I was trying to coax him into making his point crisper.

          You don’t find it hard to read people’s comments, here sometimes–because of prose style?

          I do…

    • Don_B1

      This story was covered on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes where the students who did this were properly disparaged for not allowing democratic processes to take place.

      But the forum needed to assure that the students could make their points also. I do not know what was on the agenda in this regard.

  • HonestDebate1
    • anamaria23

      You must be delighted.!

      • HonestDebate1

        No, I’m disgusted. People will be fined because they have lost the plans Obama said they could keep, now they can’t sign up. Obama could have delayed this mess with the shutdown deal. This proves he wanted the shut down.

      • jefe68

        They all are. They want this to fail.
        They don’t want people have health insurance.
        They don’t want elected presidents who do not line with in their political ideology to make the nation work. If you read this chaps comments it’s all about Obama is ruining the nation.

        Meanwhile back in reality the deficit is going down, not up. In the 2014 fiscal year, which began at the start of this month, the federal deficit is expected to come in at just 3.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That’s down from 10.1 per cent of G.D.P. in 2009, when the Great Recession was at its height. And next fiscal year, the deficit will fall even further, to 2.1 per cent of G.D.P.

        http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/10/slaying-the-deficit-bogeyman.html

        • HonestDebate1

          BS.

          • jefe68

            You lie!

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          The saddest part is that I am sure that you fully believe that I and my friends are heartless monsters.

          “I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.”

          ― Booker T. Washington

          • HonestDebate1

            This reminds me of the Joe Wilson incident. People were more upset that he called out Obama for lying than they were at Obama for lying. It is painfully clear Obama lied, they can’t defend it so that means we are mean-spirited and dishonest.

          • jefe68

            It was his complete disrespect for the office of the presidency and the rules that govern the Congress that was the issue.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sure, but Obama standing up in the hallowed hall and lying to America was far more disrespectful.

          • jefe68

            The right wing vaudeville act in full swing.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            But you have no problem with the students of Brown university shouting down guest speaker Ray Kelly? Interesting…

          • jefe68

            I never said I endorsed what the students did at Brown. I guess you have a comprehension issue.

            Here’s what I wrote: What the those particular Brown students had done was not a good thing, but it was civil disobedience.

            I’m not supporting what they did, but I do support civil disobedience. By the as long as we are on about people behaving like assholes, I can dig up plenty of tea party people acting like jerks at town hall meetings and political rallies.

            You folks are not exactly what I would call saints in regards to being belligerent.

          • Don_B1

            What about the members of the Tea Party who have stood up at Congressional members’ “town meetings” and prevented discussion by yelling and speaking over others, preventing a full discussion of the issues being discussed?

          • HonestDebate1

            That was before the tea party. The people have a say.

          • Don_B1

            B.S. ! !

          • jefe68

            No I don’t. I just think a lot of the right is so far to that end of the spectrum that they can’t relate to the majority anymore.
            The nation is not as right wing as you seem to be. Nor is it left wing.
            However if you see a centrist democrat president as a socialist there’s nothing I’m going to do to make you see any sense in the foolishness of such an apparition.

            You pervert the memory of Booker T Washington. But that’s how you lot roll.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            If I as a member of the Tea Party can not relate to the majority any more then how do you explain this:
            “Overwhelming majorities of Mainstream voters identify more with the average Tea Party member than with either the president or the average member of Congress. Pluralities of the Political Class agree more with Obama and Congress.”

            Read the whole results here:
            http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/october_2013/42_identify_with_obama_politically_42_with_the_tea_party

          • jefe68

            Yeah I guess it depends on which pool you want to use. I guess that’s why Obama won the last election. All those tea party folks stayed home. (sarcasm)
            You folks are a minority, period.
            You can float this anyway you want to.
            What I see here is a kind bunker mentality.
            But you can’t change the reality that the nations demographics is changing.
            In a decade the tea party will be nothing more than fringe group of disgruntled pensioners yelling about keeping government out their Medicare.

            http://www.gallup.com/poll/164648/tea-party-support-dwindles-near-record-low.aspx

          • HonestDebate1

            He won swearing up and down you would be able to keep your doctor, plan and your premiums would go down.

          • jefe68

          • Don_B1

            Rasmussen has always had a right-wing bias; other polls have shown much worse acceptance of Tea Party policies. It would seem that the Republican and right-wing ideological blinders are letting them ignore the real problems with their ideology, just like they did in the months leading up to Candidate Romney’s large loss to President Obama.

          • Don_B1

            No, but you are ideologically blinded to the consequences of the regressive policies you advocate and are totally unwilling to openly discuss the facts of what is happening because of the austerity those policies are forcing. When a fact that disproves one of your cherished memes, you just ignore it and then repeat, again and again, that totally debunked meme.

            DisHonestDebate’s post of “B.S.” above fits the description above.

      • HonestDebate1

        How about you Anamaria, do you think Obama was lying when he said you could keep your plan if you liked it?

        • jimino

          I would prefer people be allowed to keep their worse plans, that fail to include coverage for many types of care, or have reasonable co-pays, then be absolutely refused treatment unless they paid up front for the care their crummy plan didn’t cover. But for some reason medical care is not and never has been governed by the market rules that affect everything else..

          • HonestDebate1

            Key words: “be allowed”.

            How about you, did Obama lie?

          • jimino

            The entire “debate” consisted of lying by both sides, so yes. Obama has done more damage to progressive goals than any president in history. I have always termed him the 3rd most right-wing president in modern times. I’m moving him up with the NSA and incompetent ACA roll-out to #2.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thank you.

          • Don_B1

            There is no indication that those in the Independent Insurance Market will not have the opportunity to buy a different policy that, while it may cost a bit more, will also provide better coverage for hospital, drug, and preventative services.

            In Florida, the letters going out to Individual Insurance policy holders also say that the company is offering comparable policies that are PPACA compliant, and that they can be obtained, with comparison to those of other companies, on the exchange for Florida.

      • Guest

        Some one has a lil crush on Gregg Smith. hehe

  • JONBOSTON

    Tom Ashbrook and Jack Beatty:
    Question for today’s panel–are we now witnessing the rapidly escalating collapse of the Obama presidency, overcome by failed domestic and foreign policies, serial lying and deceit of Nixonian proportions, and unparalleled incompetence?

    • Coastghost

      Obama arguably is out-Cartering Carter, given the lousy 2013 he’s having (just coincidence that Carter anagrammatizes “crater”, which as noun and verb names and explains Obama’s present circumstance).

    • Don_B1

      Your rant is pure opinion, unsupported by fact without your twisted interpretations.

      • HonestDebate1

        Where is the success story regarding foreign policy? Iran? The Russian reset? Benghazi? Egypt? Syria?

  • alsordi

    As is typical for American history, the future written-story will likely be distorted, sanitized, exaggerated,propagandized and any redeeming lessons will be forgotten. However in the event, that the people take back their media, people like Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and Susan Lindauer will be regarded as heroes with enormous courage to face such a ruthless, stealthy and powerful oppressor. These are the real patriots, while most other Americans are compliant sheep.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      You conflate very different stories in a sickening attempt to prove a patently false point. Are you the ghost of Howard Zinn?

      • northeaster17

        Zinn was a great man

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          He may be your hero, but I do not consider him great.

          • northeaster17

            He survived 50 air missions over Germany and came home to talk and write about the folly of war and the war machine. He did well

          • nj_v2

            And i don’t consider your opinion worth a can of flat beer.

        • Coastghost

          With or without Zinn, Americans commonly cannot distinguish greatness from megalomania, which is what Snowden exhibits whether he is a “patriot”, an NSA stooge, an NSA plant, or a paid Russian agent.

          • alsordi

            Disinformation is a common strategy to discredit the heroes. Reports of even Julian Assange being a plant has arisen.
            But a most reliable indicator is if the whistle blower confronts the Israeli Lobby, he or she is for real.

          • Coastghost

            According to his media profile, Snowden is purely an opportunist: he certainly has made no name for himself inside or outside Russia as spokesman for the plight of that unnamable Russian girl punk group, nor has Snowden breathed one word that we know of on behalf of the captive Greenpeace activist trespassers. Purely an opportunist, unless or until otherwise noted.

          • jimino

            So you would prefer not knowing what he disclosed? If not, what’s your point?

          • Coastghost

            What explicit favor has Snowden done for me? If this scramble of US foreign relations, military alliances, trade pacts, and the economy is all for my benefit, I want to wait several years before I even think of offering Snowden any congratulations. (At this point I have NO idea who or what Edward Snowden is: on the basis of what I see, though, I do not perceive him as any close friend. If US companies lose their ability to work in foreign markets, and this causes further erosion in the US domestic labor market and the US economy more broadly, don’t YOU forget to come back and thank Edward Snowden profusely.)

          • Labropotes

            Do you think the movie Brazil has a happy ending?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Is it possible that Snowden did some good and some harm? Perhaps exposing domestic abuses is good but some of the foreign exposures are potentially harmful.

          • Labropotes

            I suppose one’s view of Snowden depends on how much legitimacy you think the US Government and the US Security State have. I feel they have very little. The strength and wealth of the nation is in its people. Government is a necessary evil that has become a principe end. In this case, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes, but unnecessary chaos could cost the folks. What if friendly governments are now less likely to share info on terror threats? Will there be collateral damage in the business community?

          • Labropotes

            I don’t see terrorism as a significant threat to the United States. I try to governing my actions according to morality, not expedience. They don’t necessarily conflict, but morality is a moving average of expedience, and by adhering to morality I make allowance for my own lack of experience and knowledge. I have faith that by treating my friends as I wish to be treated, I will strengthen our friendship and my security. There are exceptions, but they are eddies in a stream.

          • Coastghost

            Obviously sad with the Jill Layton character getting wasted. (The propagation of paranoia can be dangerous: I don’t need Edward Snowden to not tell me what is going on.)

          • jimino

            Skip the gibberish, please.

            Would you prefer to be aware of what Snowden disclosed or not? That’s not a hard question to answer.

          • Coastghost

            I can’t think that Snowden has added much detail to what I already was guessing, and having the level of detail publicized that he seemed to have his pathological hands on does not seem to yield clarity as much as it churns the froth that more intensely. So: no.

          • jimino

            I will have to be satisfied with gibberish I see.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s seems to me that natter how one feels about Snowden the vetting process for security clearance is woeful.

          • Don_B1

            And neither can you!

      • alsordi

        “patently false”??? Time to toss those junior highschool history books you been referring to…don’t ya think ?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Well, Feintstein finally making explicitly legal the broad snooping, and Obama making sure while the average person can be snooped on, financial terrorists cannot.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131031/12394625090/feinstein-releases-fake-nsa-reform-bill-actually-tries-to-legalize-illegal-nsa-bulk-data-collection.shtml

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE99U1EQ20131031?irpc=932

    • alsordi

      How dullened the American people are to not see Diane Feinstein as the treasonous and vested fascist that she is.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The overarching theme we need to examine is

    The Ends Justify the Means.

    That is a hell of a slippery slope for us to be comfortable accepting from political leaders with powers greater than ever seen in history.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The only check against Ends Justify Means is Rule of law.

    Too bad nobody wants to bother rediscovering the rationale behind its historical origins.

    Boy, if the neocon crowd ever gets back in power, the blood of their abuse of power will be on the hands of the DNC apologists turning blind eyes as fast as they can these days.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Hillary Clinton recently was paid $400K by Goldman Sachs for two speaking events in a single week. Two thought provoking points were made in the report. How was Hillary able to convert a career in “public service” into a fortune >$100M? And why is Hillary cozying up with the big banks while preparing to run for President? What is the quid quo pro?

    This is an example of what is wrong with today’s politics. I guess it takes a village. btw — where is ‘occupy’ on this?

    “The Predators’ Moll
    Column: Hillary Clinton (D., Goldman Sachs)”

    http://freebeacon.com/the-predators-moll/

    • alsordi

      GS’s overly generous payment is called a “bribe in advance”. The Clintons are a perfect example how the power elite (the bankers) control so-called “elected” leaders through both BRIBERY and BLACKMAIL.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    McDonough tried to assure angry senators he is personally taking charge of the disparate federal offices in charge of implementing the massive law, which has been plagued by technical errors.

    “He gave us the impression that he’s taking charge of the different elements and cracking the whip. He said to let him know if we had concerns,” said a Democratic senator who attended the meeting.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/188896-senate-dems-vent-to-white-house-over-obamacare

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Bombshell report. Obama officials knew in 2010 that millions (including those who have insurance through their employer) will lose their current plans.

    “Obama Officials In 2010: 93 Million Americans Will Be Unable To Keep Their Health Plans Under Obamacare”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/31/obama-officials-in-2010-93-million-americans-will-be-unable-to-keep-their-health-plans-under-obamacare/

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Electronic devices were approved for use on airplanes because if you’re not communicating the NSA can’t spy on you. “National Security” trumps whatever nonsense the FAA had been claiming for airline safety.

    Thanks much. Registered Professional Engineer

  • northeaster17

    Maybe a breath of sanity? https://twitter.com/JustinWolfers/status/395982657814667264/photo/1
    ACA chart University of Michigan

  • Coastghost

    When “accountability” consists of anything more than a public hand-slapping, what does it consist of, these days?

    • jimino

      Name the last person held responsible for anything in DC. Hell, the worst ones got Presidential medals of honor, so at least we’re showing improvement with a slap on the wrist.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Scooter LIbby
        Not even a pardon even though he was caught up in a witch hunt.

        • Labropotes

          -1. Junking you on that one, friend.

        • jimino

          I guess that’s what he gets for not sinking like a non-witch would have.

      • Coastghost

        David Petraeus resigned without overmuch provocation, recent enough for me to recall.

        • Labropotes

          A Tom Ashbrook coinage that has stuck with me since this scandal is David Petraeus’s “perfumed biographer.”

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    I cordially invite all of you to join me at the next meeting of the Worcester Tea Party:

    Monday Nov. 4, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

    at The Canal
    65 Water Street
    Worcester MA

    .for more information:
    http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=a8223d84-33f7-40aa-8e73-f6ebd00cba2b&c=fd763ba0-2055-11e3-b8af-d4ae526edd6c&ch=fdadc660-2055-11e3-b8fd-d4ae526edd6c

    • jimino

      I live too far away to attend.

      Will the focus be on demanding a federal strategy for reigning in government benefits to big banks and a predatory financial sector? That’s what I always hear is the true impetus behind the founding of the Tea Party, although all the elected officials who claim its mantle always seem to be talking about cutting food stamps, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare instead.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I’m sorry to miss you maybe another time.

        • jimino

          So the answer is “no”, focus will not be on the falsely-claimed raison d’etre for the Tea Party. I guess I won’t miss anything then.

          • Don_B1

            The disinvite was clear; they don’t want anything presented that might give them cognitive dissonance, it’s such a mind-boggling disturbance.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Maybe it will be about Obama selectively turning off snooping on the Financial Giants.

        http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE99U1EQ20131031?irpc=932

        • jimino

          I wasn’t thinking of the IMF and World Bank. Are they in the Tea Party’s sights?

    • tbphkm33

      FYI – that’s the address to the old phone booth at the corner, if more than two Tea Baggers are attending – someone please bring an umbrella :)

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    What’s a red solo cup? Is it part of the standard place setting for BBQers?

    “Pass the molasses, Goober.”
    “Youse want that in a red solo cup?”
    “Nah. Blue is good enough. Burp.”

    Thanks much. Hoober Doober

    • Labropotes

      The antecedent would need to be Goobers or the personal pronoun You. Otherwise you have a disagreement in number.

  • Labropotes

    Isn’t the role of the press in part to keep the government accountable? Julie Rovner has never exhibit deep understanding or predictive insight regarding ACA. Why didn’t she anticipate that hundreds of thousands would lose coverage? Because she is “pro” and is just trying to sell the ACA. “People may not know that that red solo cup has a hole in it!” Yes, the American people are just too stupid to notice they are drinking from an empty cup. Maybe she is onto something…

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      She is auditioning to be the next Baghdad Bob.

    • Coastghost

      And NPR has been rolling the credits for Kaiser Health News every day for all of October, if my ears have any reliable memory. (Journalistic advocacy is NOT journalism, which is shoddy enough on a good day.)

      • Labropotes

        I am troubled by NPR accepting funds for specific types of coverage, also.

    • nlpnt

      And here’s where the metaphor fails, Cup with a hole=obvious. Bad pre-exchange “insurance” with huge coverage gaps=buried in fine print.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Big brother knows best.

  • nlpnt

    Instead of messing around with Fords and Ferraris, Rep. Blackburn should point out that some of these old plans that don’t cover hospitalization (!), which is akin to buying a car and finding out after you’ve signed papers and handed over a check that an engine costs extra.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Tom, this is a moment in history.

    You are on propaganda patrol today, please don’t let this spin stand.

    Can we at least see if we can get the panel to gurgle:

    Yes, Obama lied, but all Presidents lie.

    That would at least lead to a deeper conversation about truth and government, if such quaint notions matter any more.

    Do the Ends Justify the Means? Does your panel believe so?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Obama promised a $2500 cut for the average family.

    • hennorama

      WftC – I realize this trope helps the conservative narrative, but let’s look at the record.

      DullLisa.com has this headline: “Video: 19 Times Obama Promised to Lower Annual Insurance Premiums By $2500” (See: http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2013/10/28/Video-19-Times-Obama-Promised-to-Lower-Annual-Insurance-Premiums-By-2500 )

      The problem with the headline is that then-candidate Senator Obama qualified his phrasing by saying “UP TO” or “AS MUCH AS” $2,500 in ten of these video clips. One has to at least point out these qualified instances, which outnumber the others. As such, one might interpret that candidate Obama intended to be qualified in his phrasing.

      If this is the evidence, it’s mixed at best.

      Not exactly a “promise,” is it?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Now we are resorting to the “Obama is a typical politician” excuse. Hmmm. I thought Obama was supposed to transcend politics — usher in a new age of utopia.

        • hennorama

          WftC — TY for your response.

          I am merely pointing out that this so-called “promise” was qualified. Do you dispute this?

          • HonestDebate1

            You are defending a lie. He knew premiums would not go down. Everybody did. If you want to say he lied but he didn’t break his promise then I’m sure you can do it. You are second to none at that sort of parsing.

          • Don_B1

            President Obama also said that some people’s premiums would go up, those who had really lousy plans. And that will be true for only a small percentage of people.

            But some people’s plans’ premiums have gone down! Sally Kohn is one who is saving over $5,000, $408 /year in lowered premiums and $5,000 in deductibles, with much better coverage:

            http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/10/21/was-obamacare-guinea-pig/

            Many/most others will join her.

          • HonestDebate1

            The vast majority have gone up and I’ll decide which is a better plan. I would rather not have maternity coverage.

          • TFRX

            Gawd, that crap again.

      • Labropotes

        So you expect no more clarity or integrity from the President than you expect of a Red Lobster promotion? Those qualifications you cite have been used to create false impressions while wearing a loincloth of honesty since Gilgamesh. Better a loincloth than nothing.

        • hennorama

          Labropotes — all the examples discussed above were from CANDIDATE Obama.

          • Labropotes

            Oh, that was from before they shook the etch-a-sketch. /sarc

            Seriously, I don’t hold Obama to these kinds of statements. I reject the whole attitude of an easy-breezy way of talking that doesn’t even reference the truth or the possible. The kind of mindset that adds the word “Period” to the end of a dubious statement. The kind of mindset that allows Holder to tell congress he’d never heard of a case of the DoJ wiretapping a journalist or a news organization about a month after he signed a warrant doing just that. He wasn’t lying, just talking without reference to the truth.

          • hennorama

            Labropotes — TY for your response, despite the mixed-candidate metaphor of your first sentence.

            It’s certainly reasonable to review what a candidate said on the campaign trail, and to then compare it to their actions once elected.

            As to AG Holder, here’s his testimony, per politico.com, which is a bit different from your description:

            “With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I’ve ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be a wise policy. In fact, my view is quite the opposite,” Holder said.

            Please note AG Holder said “potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material,” and not what you described.

            Perhaps you perceive AG Holder as splitting hairs, but that is what lawyers do, is it not?

            Thanks again for your response.

            See:
            http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2013/05/justice-department-defends-eric-holder-testimony-165003.html

          • Labropotes

            I used the phrase to reverse the direction of the legitimate criticism of Mitt.

            DoJ request for a warrant to access the Fox News reporter’s email referenced the reporters potential criminality. Holder signed the warrant. QED. I don’t, but if someone takes what the assistant pardoner of Marc Rich says seriously, he lied.

          • hennorama

            Labropotes — TY for your response. Your sarcasm was noted.

            One expects nothing will be gained from further exchange on this topic, so no further comment will be forthcoming.

  • Les

    With all of this fallout, could it have been any worse if universal healthcare had been instituted?

    • Don_B1

      If we see the website problems corrected within this month, it will be hard to know. When you look at just the extension of drug benefits to known Medicare patients, which was actually as bad or worse than what HealthCare.gov has proven to be, it could well be.

      But there is no doubt that the involvement of multiple insurance companies, some new to the market, with different computer systems, it is clear that using the private sector instead of directly going through the government has greatly complicated the system. See:

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/26/why-is-obamacare-complicated/

      and be sure to follow the link to Mike Konczal’s analysis.

  • Yar

    One thing that may happen with these individual policies that have gone up is the insurance companies may be forced to send rebates due to the 20 percent overhead cap required by the ACA.

  • hennorama

    Here’s to the World Champion Boston Red Sox, and the hirsute of Papiness.*

    * unabashedly stolen from Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated. Unlike Senator Rand Paul, and at least one member of this forum, when I steal someone else’s words, I freely admit it.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Evidence on Rand Paul please.

      Are you using Rachel Maddow’s accusation? She edited out the part of the speech where he attributed the film.

      But then she was outed for her own plagiarism.

      http://rare.us/story/rachel-maddow-mocked-rand-paul-for-plagiarism-but-shes-been-accused-of-it-too/

      • adks12020

        Yes, he attributed the film but he plagiarized the description from Wikipedia. That’s the funny part.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Is that Maddow’s gripe? No wonder her ratings suck.

          • OnPointComments

            I read a story that suggested that Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes are the same person — no one has ever seen them together at the same time, kinda like Clark Kent and Superman. I guess this might be the reason that the ratings for both are in the cellar.

      • hennorama

        WftC — this issue has been widely reported, as your link indicated.

        What is weird is not that Sen. Paul’s speechwriters lifted something, but that when caught, he didn’t simply say “Oops. Someone on my staff messed up.”

        Instead, he attacked the messenger, making this minor story into an even bigger story.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Is that what you are reduced to?

      • hennorama

        RWB — thank you for your response.

        Unfortunately, my comment is getting attention for the throwaway part about Sen. Paul, rather than the acknowledgment of the Boston Red Sox’ World Series Championship.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          TY hennorama, it is a good idea to maintain an single emotional tone in a message. Such changes attract more attention than is often intended. That is why message discipline is so very important if one wants to be understood.

          • hennorama

            RWB — were I acting as anyone’s “messenger,” I would likely stick to your sage advice.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are the messenger, we all are.

    • StilllHere

      I guess that makes him vice presidential material since Biden stole the account of someone else’s life.

      • hennorama

        StilllHere – thank you for your response.

        Certainly then-Senator Biden’s plagiarism, discovered during the 1988 Presidential campaign, was serious and deserving of the criticism he received. He paid the price then, and appears to have learned his lesson.

        Whether Sen. Paul and his speechwriters change remains to be seen, but is certainly likely given this recent negative publicity.

    • Labropotes

      Everyone remembers his inspiration and does all he can to cover his tracks. Therein lies the creative process.

      • hennorama

        Labropotes — perhaps.

        Personally, I enjoyed Rushin’s phrase so much I had difficulty waiting to use it. But I certainly wouldn’t do so without attribution.

        • Labropotes

          As alluded to by St.’s Monty Python,

          Wilde: “I wish I had said that.”

          Whistler: “You will, Oscar, you will.”

    • Don_B1

      You should enjoy this article by sports journalist Allen Barra:

      http://www.salon.com/2013/10/31/a_yankee_fans_lament_i_dont_hate_these_red_sox/

      • hennorama

        Don_B1 — thanks for sharing that enjoyable article.

        Coincidentally, the other day, in response to [Wm_James_from_Missouri]‘s post that included an equation with two red socks as the denominator in one expression, I wrote “the problem with your equation is that Red Sox do not divide one, they unite all.”

        I considered adding a parenthetical “except Yankees fans, of course,” then realized this particular Boston team’s performance could convert even the most fanatic.

        As Mr. Barra’s article demonstrates.

        Thanks again.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The Feintstein bill would actually finally make explicitly legal the broad snooping, under the guise of weak reform.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131031/12394625090/feinstein-releases-fake-nsa-reform-bill-actually-tries-to-legalize-illegal-nsa-bulk-data-collection.shtml

    Meanwhile Obama turns off the snooping of his financial masters, the same ones buying off Hillary apparently.

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE99U1EQ20131031?irpc=932

  • toc1234

    of course Obama didn’t know about the eavesdropping… he’s the ‘bystander president’. he never knows about anything that would be inconvenient. (notwithstanding the Osama assassination which he apparently, to hear him tell it, planned himself… )

    • StilllHere

      He would have been there and taken him out personally if he hadn’t of had a golf game conflict.

  • DrADrax

    3% will pay more, 3% will pay the same, 14% will pay less, 80% will be un-affected. — but let’s not be bothered by facts.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/chart-winners-and-losers-from-obamacare

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Gruber is not a reliable source. He is a cheerleader.

      • Don_B1

        He is a knowledgeable expert having worked on the implementations of both RomneyCare in Massachusetts and contributed his expertise to the Senate committees when they were writing the PPACA bill. He has an academic reputation to maintain which mitigates against exaggerating the prospects of the PPACA.

    • Don_B1

      See Justin Wolfers for a nice chart showing the figures you cite:

      https://twitter.com/JustinWolfers/status/395982657814667264/photo/1

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Privacy. Ha! That’s so……..1700′s. Who needs it!

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    No more unconstitutional snooping.

    Walk softly and carry a big stick.

  • alsordi

    The real power behind faux-democracies is coercion and bribery. And to bribe and blackmail, the power elite must know the weaknesses and scandals of others. This is the real reason NSA spies on allied leaders.

    • Labropotes

      Democracy don’t rule the world, you’d better get that in your head./ This world is ruled by violence, but I guess that’s better left unsaid.

      B. Dylan

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Tom a question for your panel, whether for Obamacare or NSA.

    Do the Ends Justify the Means?

    What does that mean for our Constitution?

  • JGC

    There has been congressional testimony from the companies that designed the ACA website, and from some of the members of the Obama administration. I would also like to see some of the CEOs of the insurance companies called to testify as to their decisions to cancel some of the individual policies, in spite of the grandfather clause, and trying to shift those people into tneir new ACA-compliant policies.

    • pete18

      The grandfather clause as written and supported by democrats was what has led to these cancelations . This was predicted by the Republicans who tried to block it.

      http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/31/senate-democrats-supported-rule-that-lead-to-insurance-cancellations/

    • TFRX

      It’s missing from the press coverage also. Marsha Blackburn has made the rounds saying “People want to drink beer from a red plastic cup, not champagne from a crystal flute.”

      I don’t drink a lot of beer from red plastic cups, but the policies she’s saying other people without her money are in love with are basically crap.

      Given Marsha Blackburn’s history of getting things wrong…

      • hennorama

        TFRX – Rep. Marsha Blackburn was so interested in the hearing, she left.

        To run to Fox’s cameras.

        The Daily Show with Jon Stewart showed her leaving, and then going on the air on ‘Fox Business’ while the hearing was still in progress.

        The most relevant part of the clip begins at about 5:18, but Stewart riffed on Rep. Blackburn for quite a bit, starting at about 3:35:

        http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-october-31-2013/she-got-blame—grandstandy-type-congress-people

        • TFRX

          And once again, if we had someone inside the Beltway actually talking to people who need real health insurance, rather than taking every Foxholer’s new “Joe The Plumber” word for it, the coverage might be different.

          But now it’s gone meta–the coverage of the coverage of all the carefully selected poster children who say “I was against the ACA from the beginning, I looked at almost nothing, and it’s not as good as what I had” is taken at face value rules the day.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    With all respect, this caller displays the current American ignorance of how lawless Washington is these days.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Perhaps this example will help them understand:

      FTA:
      “About 8,400 individuals adjudicated as eligible for a security clearance from April 2006 to December 2011 owed approximately $85 million in unpaid federal taxes, as of June 2012,” according to a report released Thursday.

      http://freebeacon.com/8400-security-clearance-holders-owe-irs-85-million-in-unpaid-taxes/

      • Labropotes

        I have $14,000 outstanding liability to the IRS so in that group, I’m above average. I’m trying, man.

        • Labropotes

          Junked? Identify yourself, rouge. I done wrong for getting laid off and living off my 401k for two years? If I’d been a better man, I’d have collected unemployment. Alas, fool that I am…

          • hennorama

            Labropotes — that’s a difficult situation.

            For comparison, the following is based on an actual case of which I have direct knowledge. The exact figures are different, but the essence is there:

            A taxpayer owns a house that has been refinanced multiple times. Over the years, the taxpayer used some of the re-fi proceeds to pay for living expenses, to help support offspring who live in the house, and to pay off credit cards and auto loans.

            Due to a decline in housing values, the mortgage of $400,000 far exceeds the house’s value of $200,000. The taxpayer’s only asset other than an older vehicle and a few personal possessions is a 401(k) account containing $575,000.

            Having no other income, the taxpayer cashes out the entire 401(k) at one time, pays off the mortgage and Federal taxes, and has $402 left over.

            Unfortunately, the taxpayer did not take state income taxes into account, and will likely be paying them off until and after death, as the state has put a tax lien on the property.

            Had the taxpayer instead let the bank take the house in repossession, the taxpayer’s finances would be in a far better state at present.

            All of the above, as well as your story, goes to show that emotion can play a significant part in financial decision-making. The taxpayer above was emotionally attached to the house, as well as being a great believer in personal responsibility.

            I both salute the integrity of, and sympathize with this individual, as the financial institutions involved cared not one whit, and were only interested in collecting the exorbitant interest and fees they were charging on the mortgage and refinancing (over 14 percent at the time of payoff.)

            Best of luck in getting the monkey off your back.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    We have a Constitution, because “most” people being good, is not good enough.

    • Don_B1

      But even that barrier to disaster can be breached if voters are not attentive to what is really going on with the efforts of billionaires and other wealthy people to carve out sinecures in government benefits to business and low taxes for themselves that end up leaving nothing for the middle- and lower-income groups to grow on.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Can’t wait for Clapper and Alexander to appear in the public schools. Show & Tell: How to Spy on Your Friends and Neighbors.

    WIN BIG PRIZES!

    Thanks much. Winston Smith

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We have met the enemy..

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Jack is the black box frightening enough for you and yours align with folks like Rand Paul for a stretch to stop it? Or is it ok because Obama is at the helm.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      If only Obama was at the helm. Or maybe an adult. HLB

    • nj_v2

      Leather Dave is nothing but persistent; holding out for whatever whackadoodle politician that proffers his Libertarian fantasies.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        I think the term is CONsistent.

        But we look forward to an explanation of your fantasy, to go up against the status quo, that, i think, you don’t support.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Snowden is a Patriot.

    • Coastghost

      Or: Snowden is an opportunistic megalomaniac.
      Or: Snowden is an NSA plant.
      Or: Snowden is a paid Russian agent.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Or just possibly all of the above.

  • Yar

    Does the President have the power to order destruction of data collected by the NSA upon leaving office? Can the next President use NSA data to show wrongdoings of the previous administration?

  • J__o__h__n

    Silliest news of the week: A Hallmark Christmas ornament has drawn criticism from people who accuse the greeting card company of political correctness and anti-gay bias. The ornament — a tiny sweater — is decorated with the words “Don we now our FUN apparel!”

    Call Bill O’Reilly! It is the war on gay Christmas.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    The website launched on a Tuesday. Publicly, the government said there were 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours. But at a meeting Wednesday morning, the war room notes say “six enrollments have occurred so far.”

    They were with BlueCross BlueShield North Carolina and Kansas City, CareSource and Healthcare Service Corporation.

    By Wednesday afternoon, enrollments were up to “approximately 100.” By the end of Wednesday, the notes reflect “248 enrollments” nationwide.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57610328/obamacare-early-enrollment-numbers-very-small-documents-show/

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    James Madison said “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Yes, but such historical wisdom is lost on people today. Gimme a latte and an iPhone and a charismatic leader, and I’m all set!

    • Don_B1

      The modern Republicans have a slightly different but analogous (false) threat: debt beyond what can be paid off, which this country is far from reaching and is highly unlikely to reach no matter how much Republicans spend through tax cuts and war spending, but boy will they try.

  • JGC

    Now that Snowden has found employment with a big tech company in Russia, I wonder if he realizes as an American citizen, he is still required to report all his worldwide income to the IRS, file his 1040 with them, and his FBAR document with Treasury? Otherwise, he might get into some trouble with the U.S. government….

  • 65noname

    did the announcers really let a recent caller say that the current NSA spying must be alright because NSA employees are mostly rightwing and “conservatives” would object to any improper spying? Was he kidding? are the announcers asleep? Or simply disengenous? It is conservatives who consistently support the right of the government to spy on dissents, supposedly in the name of national security. You know, the need to protect the national securityh against civil rights workers because it clearly is against american security interests for afro-americans to have the right to vote. or to use public restrooms.
    The same with freedom of speech; it was, and is, the left not the right that has fought against the government’s attempts to subvert the public’s right to exercise its opposition to government policies. And fights the goveernment’s attempts to prevent rt from being censored in the name of religion, etc

    • brettearle

      I think that he was using conservative, with potential irony:

      He was referring to basic behavior AND possibly, ultimately, to political persuasion.

      There are many conservatives, especially those who are Libertarians–who deplore the business of excessive spying.

      • 65noname

        perhaps. but, in general, the history is that conservatives have opposed civil rights and progressives have supported them. and have been the victim of right wing attacks for exercising their civil rights.

        • brettearle

          I am separating justified monitoring– potentially major terrorism attacks, threatening our security–from politically motivated monitoring, driven by ignorance and bias.

      • TFRX

        I didn’t hear the irony in the caller’s voice.

        And, once again, “conservative” used to have meaning.

        • brettearle

          On a second look, you may be right about that.

          But, in any case, it is my understanding that Libertarians often deplore NSA’s reach.

        • brettearle

          TFRX–

          I am separating justified monitoring– potentially major terrorism attacks, threatening our security–from politically motivated monitoring, driven by ignorance and bias.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    “You need to go through the process”

    Our new “Walk on, into, the machine”.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Re: ACA website bugs, gotchas, virii, roadside bombs, “killer apps.”

    My legacy will forever be known as: The Blue Screen of Death.
    –Barack Obama {visionary, speechifier, golfer guy}

    Use the 7 iron next time, Mr. President. On your own foot.

    Thanks much. HLB

  • toc1234

    telephone sign-up didn’t work so well either? huh? no way, I don’t believe it. Obama has his best ex-ACORN hacks working as navigators. how isn’t that working out??

  • toc1234

    uh oh, Tom. Are your screeners out to lunch today? how did those two inconvenient calls get thru?

  • Coastghost

    The (Un)Affordable Care TAX Act.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Is this mess really going to be ‘revenue neutral’?

    What if the bulk of users receive subsidies or go on medicaid?
    I guess we’ll know for sure by March 1.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    In the war to provide all Americans with simple, affordable heath care, remember this. Not one dollar from the budget to manufacture, transport, store, and maintain our vast nuclear arsenal — was removed or spent elsewhere. You can sleep soundly tonight knowing nukes will always trump the health of our nation.
    –Barack H. Obama, President {and visionary!}

    BOOOOMMMM.

    Thanks much. HLB

  • MrNutso

    The signal is that if you appoint appeals judges who are ideologically against something, and will not alter their beliefs based on the facts of a case, you get rulings like the one reinstating Texas’ abortion ban.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    $24B cost for the Republican government shutdown. In order not to pay $4B for the food stamp program.

    GOPers: Everyone of them is named EINSTEIN.

    Dufus Einstein.

    Thanks much. Hoober Doober

    • hennorama

      HLB — be prepared for multiple attacks on your figure of “$24B cost for the Republican government shutdown.”

      For the record, that figure is an estimate and is not definitive.

      • HonestDebate1

        For the record, the number is totally bogus and Obama shut down the government.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          It is Mark Zandi’s number.

          ’nuff said.

          • hennorama

            WftC — nope, it’s from S&P.

        • jimino

          Which I understand to be a good thing, from the teabagger perspective. So are you suggesting the baggers should be celebrating the President’s accomplishment and give him credit?

          • HonestDebate1

            Sure. He shut down the government, he gets credit for the savings. It’s Friday, maybe they’ll go ahead and knock off for the day. The less they do to us the better.

          • jimino

            I feel your pain. I wish they would remove every possible federal installation from your State and eliminate as much federal spending done there as possible. Whatever needs doing can be done by paying someone located somewhere else to do the job.

            I am all for giving you what you want.

          • HonestDebate1

            You gotta admit, the shutdown was sweet.

          • Don_B1

            You really are sick.

  • MrNutso

    So no discussion of Republics renewal of election nullification by putting holds on two of the Presidents qualified political appointments?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Same coverage that onpoint gave Reid for nullifying Bush appointees.

      • TFRX

        Don’t play that game, Anonymous Hold and Record Number of Filibusters. You will lose.

  • Coastghost

    Query for Julie Rovner: are these fresh increases in medical insurance premiums a function of THE GOVERNMENT or of THE MARKET? How can you distinguish the culprits in this public-private environment?

    • HonestDebate1

      They are a function of the government reminding the market that it’s not free, just as they are a reminder that insurance is no longer insurance. It’s redistribution.

      You nailed it last week regarding Marilyn Tavener.

    • jimino

      Oh great sage of medical economics, why does “the market” price US health care at more than twice what every other developed country pays, both in dollars and as a percentage of GDP? Maybe co-expert Greg can help you answer this one.

      • jimino

        C’mon guys! Enlighten me with your economic wisdom.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        You raise an excellent question. It turns out the US is far and away the leader in spending on legal services ($220B in 2008) too. I suspect that we are also the leader in spending on pet Halloween costumes ($300M in 2013).

        I found this piece which synthesized the academic research. The number one cause is labor costs (5x). Number two is per capita income.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2012/03/01/why-are-u-s-health-care-costs-so-high/

  • mumtothree

    Re Healthcare.gov: Works great in Mass. Re-directs you to MAHealthConnector.org. Which does not work well. Could you send a few of those federally-contracted code jockeys up here to debug the MA website?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    If you build it, they will come…….see it doesn’t work, and leave.

    So then you grab them by the back of the neck.

    • OnPointComments

      “A liberal is someone who doesn’t care what you do, as long as it’s mandatory.” — Charles Krauthammer

  • TFRX

    No Ron Fournier this week?

    Guess he’s too busy playing the BothSides game.

    “How Crazies Are Destroying Your Party” (each of them) is backed up by zero examples of the left-wing crazies.

    Guess it’s a step up for Fournier–he’s not tweet-pledging Karl Rove to keep his chin up this week. That I know of.

  • lobstahbisque

    And now a little right wing levity for a change.

    • hennorama

      lobstahbisque — the fish in the barrel/deer in the headlights is far too easy a target.

      • lobstahbisque

        I know. But when all you’ve got are lemons—- Plus— putting “right wing” and “levity” in the same sentence was a bit of a stretch……

        • hennorama

          lobstahbisque — regardless of all of the above, the comic relief was indeed appreciated.

      • TFRX

        I see the barrel as overflowing with fish. Until Bachmann does her mea culpa, why stop eating fish out of that barrel?

        Call me when she gets off the wingnut welfare and removed from a few right-wing or mainstream Rolodexes. Call me when David Gregory laughs at her.

        • hennorama

          TFRX — your point is well-taken.

          • TFRX

            This thread has given me a gnawing for a barrel of lobster bisque. Time for dinner!

          • hennorama

            TFRX — yadda yadda yadda then, Ms. Elaine Benes.

          • TFRX

            Touche!

    • lequickbrownfox

      What a pleasant distraction. Contrast a failed presidential candidate with the guy who is in office so that the elected guy looks better? Nice try.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Joe Biden caught on mic. after discussing the exposure of the numerous Obamacare lies:

    “Mr. President, now THIS is a big f’n deal”

    • Bill O’Brien

      wftc: talk about lies?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Humor Bill — humor.

        • Bill O’Brien

          ok, sorry.

          • Don_B1

            They are so desperate for applause on anything they count that sorry bit as comedy!

        • HonestDebate1

          You know what? I get the joke but I seriously believe Biden’s words should have been our mantra all along regarding a host of issues. It’s seems to me this administration goes out of it’s way to say “Fast and Furious”, sex scandals at DHS, “I’ll be more flexible”, the NSA abusing section 215 of TPA, the IRS targeting the Tea Partiers, Benghazi and on and on are not a big deal. As a matter of fact Joe Wilson should have shouted it at Obama instead of “You lie”. Meanwhile, if they can blame Republicans or the Tea Partiers then it’s disaster. It’s a huge deal.

          And what do we get at a time when honest debate is sorely needed? We get vitriol. We get “everybody does it”. We get Bush, Bush, Bush and more Bush. We get a blessed few who will even acknowledge Obama lied much less that think it’s a big deal. We get “What difference at this point does it make?”

          • Labropotes

            If I were president, I’d have an agenda. I would regret the time I had to spend politicking. And when I’d won the confidence of the coach (congress) and been given the ball (the ACA), I’d be totally committed to a touchdown or at least a 1st down. I would do everything I could to assure success because, at least to me and my staff, my agenda would be a big deal.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            President Romney?

          • HonestDebate1

            That is completely appropriate. However, the assumption and order of your first sentence overlooks a significant dynamic. To be President you must have the agenda first and sell it to the voters. Then you become President and your endeavors are noble… if the agenda you implement is the same as the agenda you sold.

          • Labropotes

            I feel that championing a kind of universal health care while holding the power to implement it and not striving to do so is a form of hypocrisy. Evidently, Obama didn’t think his major legislative achievement was a big deal after all. He set any number of issues ahead of it even when he faced no reelection and no funding issues. I haven’t the capacity or desire to govern anything other than a spreadsheet and a barn yard.

          • HonestDebate1

            What he champions is a single-payer system. He told us that. He said it may take 15-20 years. These problems are not a mistake, it’s not supposed to work. All Obama cares about is that it is law, we’ll fix it later. It’s a stepping stone. He knew the political realities so he lied. He sold snake oil and liberals don;t care because they are on board. Single-payer her we come… by any means necessary.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Unfortunately, it appears we are dependent on an honest media to hold administrations accountable. There are so many folks in this country that don’t pay attention.

            The media gave more attention to a Romney tweet for the first week after Benghazi than on the terrorist attack itself. CBS news even withheld key parts of an interview with the President from 9/12.

            “Could you repeat that Candy?”

  • pete18

    For those who are finding some sort of comfort in thinking that the only people who will be losing their insurance plans are those who buy their own insurance in the private market:

    Contrary to the reporting of NBC, the administration’s commentary in the Federal Register did not only refer to the individual market, but also the market for employer-sponsored health insurance.

    Section 1251 of the Affordable Care Act contains what’s called a “grandfather” provision that, in theory, allows people to keep their existing plans if they like them. But subsequent regulations from the Obama administration interpreted that provision so narrowly as to prevent most plans from gaining this protection.

    “The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34,552 of the Register. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and become illegal. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/31/obama-officials-in-2010-93-million-americans-will-be-unable-to-keep-their-health-plans-under-obamacare/
    Even the most partisan liberal democrat should be angry and disgusted by this.

    • jimino

      Maybe someone told him his claim would be a “slam dunk”. You wouldn’t blame a President for acting on such advice, would you?

      • pete18

        So you’re saying this doesn’t bother you?

        • jimino

          Kind of. I don’t like the intellectually dishonest debate that affects every policy under consideration.

          But it bothers me a lot more that before the ACA requirements, so many people wrongly believed they had what they thought was adequate health insurance coverage, only to find out after they received care they didn’t, such that as many as 75% of bankruptcies precipitated by medical expenses were people with what they thought was adequate health insurance.

          Does that bother you?

          • HonestDebate1

            Excuse me, I don’t mean to butt in but I must ask: Do you see how perilously close you are to saying government knows better than you what is in your best interest?

            Does that bother you?

          • jimino

            Feel free to interject.

            Unlike you, I don’t think every law (that’s the things governments enact) is bad. I don’t take every such act as harming my freedom. You’re not an anarchist, are you?

          • pete18

            That’s not much of an argument. It isn’t a decision between every law being bad and
            none being bad, it’s an acknowledgment that this law is really bad.

          • HonestDebate1

            Where on earth did you get that? I just think I know better what’s best for me. I liked my policy.

          • jefe68

            The alternative is what? Do nothing?

          • HonestDebate1

            That is an Evel Kneival leap.

          • pete18

            If true, yes. That would be fraud. However I’m a little suspicious of that claim. But even we assume it is as you present it, that doesn’t justify trying to fix the problem with a horrible law, which causes massive numbers of people to lose insurance that they wanted or liked. If the ACA was presented honestly it would have never passed, even with the bribery and “party unity at any cost” mentality of the democrats. There were many problems with the health care system pre-Obama care, none of that excuses the lies with which it was sold with and the disaster that it is becoming and will continue to be. All the current problems with it were completely predictable. You should have a problem with that.

          • jimino

            It’s not fraud, it’s ignorance by the policy purchaser of the intricate details of the lousy policy they bought, a completely expected outcome given the complexity of such a document.

            My stats are from the article linked to by Worried elsewhere in these comments

          • pete18

            Speaking of fraud:

            Suppose BHO Insurance Co. decides it wants to corner its state’s
            market in automobile coverage. It begins an aggressive ad campaign
            offering a too-good-to-be-true deal: Sign up with us, and we’ll give
            you better coverage at lower premiums. We’re so sure you’ll love our
            deal that if you like the terms of your existing policy, you’ll be able
            to keep them–GUARANTEED!

            The ad campaign, with the
            company’s charismatic president acting as pitchman, is a smashing
            success. The competing companies lose so much business that they declare
            bankruptcy or are acquired by BHO. But BHO’s policies are more
            expensive, and they include “comprehensive” coverage most customers neither need nor want. Take it or leave it, the company says, reneging
            on its guarantee in the knowledge that state law requires cars to be
            insured before they can be driven on public streets.

            You’d call that a bait-and-switch. The legal term is fraud.

            Perhaps the president-pitchman could escape criminal charges by claiming he was just a figurehead–that subordinates developed and executed the fraud
            without his knowledge. But certainly the company would face at least
            civil liability, and its president could be held responsible for
            negligence.

            It seems to us that morally speaking, ObamaCare is the rough equivalent of our fictional scenario. The most salient difference is a way in which ObamaCare is worse than BHO Insurance Co.:
            The ObamaCare fraud was conducted irrespective of the volition of the
            “customers.” Obama and his compatriots were able to carry out their scam merely by twisting arms in Congress’s back rooms.

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304073204579171762226617546

          • Don_B1

            Wow! How many hours did it take you to construct this piece of false equivalence and strawman arguments?

            The savings arguments were always in terms of the trend of rising premiums and decreasing coverage. And there was always the recognition that for some people, in the Individual Market, who had been getting catastrophic coverage policies, their new policies would cost more, but not anywhere near the “doubling” that many radical right-wing politicians are claiming, without providing any details of the policy being “selected” or the circumstances of the insuree and whether a full search of other possibilities had been performed.

            And, as I have pointed out several times, there are people who represent the promises made in “selling” the PPACA: Sally Kohn has selected a policy for next year where she will save some $5,000 over the cost of her policy this year, and will have better coverage to boot. Many, many more workers in the Individual Market will find they are in the same boat and find better policies.

            The PPACA contains a provision that grandfathers all policies in effect in 2010 when the law was passed. But the Individual Market has always had the problem of volatility in the offered policies, and many of the policies of 2010 were not offered or selected in 2013, so the insurance companies are free to alter them yet again, but this time the new policies do have to be PPACA compliant. This means that the provided coverages are more inclusive, which will help prevent health problems from growing more expensive and thus lower the cost of healthcare for everyone.

            It is the classic case of helping everyone in society versus the claim of the individual to avoid making a contribution to that societal good, from which even that individual will benefit.

            If the cost of healthcare in this country is going to be reduced, it will be by providing better delivery of services which will also require more collective responsibility for those costs.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — if we must use auto insurance as metaphor, one could more aptly compare GEICO’s tagline (“15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance”) to the qualified phrase “we’ll lower premiums BY UP TO $2,500 for a typical family per year.”

            No one ever mentions the “public option” as the context of these remarks. That’s part of the context of the “if you like your plan you can keep your it” statements. At the time, a so-called “public option” was being considered, and critics were saying it would be socialized medicine. One way to counter this was to emphasize the phrase above, and similar. The legislation was still in flux.

            (For some further enlightenment, see: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/keep-your-insurance-not-everyone/ )

            Let’s let President Obama explain what he means, in his own words, from a June 2009 press conference:

            “When I say if you have your plan and you like it, or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don’t have to change plans, what I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform. … Let’s say that we take the advice of some folks who are out there and say, ‘Oh, this is not the time to do health care. We can’t afford it. It’s too complicated. Let’s take our time,’ et cetera. So let’s assume that nothing happened. I can guarantee you that there’s the possibility for a whole lot of Americans out there that they’re not going to end up having the same health care they have. Because what’s going to happen is, as costs keep on going up, employers are going to start making decisions: ‘We’ve got to raise premiums on our employees. In some cases, we can’t provide health insurance at all.’ And so there are going to be a whole set of changes out there. That’s exactly why health reform is so important.”

            See:
            http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/aug/11/barack-obama/barack-obama-promises-you-can-keep-your-health-ins/

            Context is important, don’t you agree?

    • hennorama

      pete18 — a point of clarification, so that no one misunderstands:

      The sentence, “All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their ‘grandfather status’ and become illegal” was written by Forbes contributor Avik Roy, and does NOT appear as part of the comments in the Federal Register.

      Also, Mr. Roy, and you by quoting his article, used only a sentence FRAGMENT, in the portion of the article beginning with “The Departments’ mid-range estimate…” above. This is misleading, and Mr. Roy knows this.

      This is the entire sentence, as well as the two sentences preceding it (emphasis added to show the excluded part of the sentence):

      “These estimates are extended through 2013 by assuming that the identical percentage of plan sponsors will relinquish grandfathering in each year. Again, to the extent that the 2008–2009 data reflect plans that are more likely to make frequent changes in cost sharing, this assumption will overestimate the number of plans relinquishing grandfather status in 2012 and 2013.

      UNDER THIS ASSUMPTION, the Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013.

      And the prior page of the FR said this, regarding changes in 2008 and 2009:

      “In total, approximately 66 percent of small employers and 48 percent of large employers made a change in either cost sharing or premium contribution during 2009 that would require them to relinquish grandfather status if the same change were made in 2011. [25]”

      In other words, large number of employers had been making changes to their benefit plans. This is normal, as employers had been adapting to the changing health insurance and health care marketplace.

      See:
      http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-06-17/pdf/2010-14488.pdf (pgs. 34551 & 34552, which are pgs. 15 & 16 of the PDF)

  • TFRX

    Funny how the horror story memes are too good to check. Except for a few reporters. http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-debunked-20131030,0,5675347,print.story

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      ….for a second I thought you were referring to scare mongering around the sequester.

      • TFRX

        Fixed for the lazy among you.

        Cavallaro, a well-spoken woman, says she is currently paying $293. Under the ACA she said she’d get a comparable policy with a monthly premium from $478-500.

        The NBC-LA channel 4 newsreader said nothing but “Right…” in response.

        However, this average, ordinary citizen didn’t look one second beyond that. She had junk insurance. All details in the report about deductibles, copays, primary and specialty visits, listed by the LATimes report, greatly favor people who actually use their insurance.

        I’ve got a few years of adulthood, and in it, I’ve had to change insurance, both car and health. Funny, the first thing I did wasn’t to put on my best suit, call a TV reporter, and plead my ignorance.

  • Mattyster

    Funny how health insurance costs were skyrocketing every year before Obamacare, but now when costs go up it’s all because of Obamacare. How convenient for insurance companies.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      ACA was sold as a method to “bend the cost curve”. Further, a savings of $2500 for the average or typical family was promised.

      What is interesting is Obamacare is claimed to be modeled on MA (only partially true) and yet MA still has the highest health care costs in the country after 5 years. But in MA, wait times for seeing your doctors is increasing dramatically. Wait times will certainly increase nationally after Obamacare.

    • Labropotes

      Legitimate criticism. No doubt, there will be brainless partizans who conflate the impact of ordinary inflation — including the ever increasing usage, not just price, of health care services — with the ACA. Boo (down arrow) them.

    • fun bobby

      it was supposed to lower costs

  • 228929292AABBB

    How about a Red Sox show? Boston Strong, Tom my brother!

  • Retired Cotton Farmer

    I’m concerned that the government is collecting and storing all this information about everybody. I’m most concerned that is being done in secret. Why not do all that in the open – is there ANY evidence that all this secrecy improves national “security” (except, perhaps, of the ones doing the collecting)?

    • northeaster17

      We do know that some of the evidence that has been provided has been false.

  • hennorama

    “Another Obamacare horror story debunked”

    From the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik:

    “Deborah Cavallaro is a hard-working real estate agent in the Westchester suburb of Los Angeles who has been featured prominently on a round of news shows lately, talking about how badly Obamacare is going to cost her when her existing plan gets canceled and she has to find a replacement.

    “She says she’s angry at President Obama for having promised that people who like their health plans could keep them, when hers is getting canceled for not meeting Obamacare’s standards.

    “Please explain to me,” she told Maria Bartiromo on CNBC Wednesday, “how my plan is a ‘substandard’ plan when … I’d be paying more for the exchange plans than I am currently paying by a wide margin.”

    “Bartiromo didn’t take her up on her request. So I will.

    “The bottom line is that Cavallaro’s assertion that “there’s nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act,” as she put it Tuesday on NBC Channel 4, is the product of her own misunderstandings, abetted by a passel of uninformed and incurious news reporters.”

    Mr. Hiltzik goes on to note,

    “Cavallaro told me she hasn’t checked the website of Covered California, the state’s health plan exchange, herself.”

    And,

    “At her age, she’s eligible for a good “silver” plan for $333 a month after the subsidy — $40 a month more than she’s paying now. But the plan is much better than her current plan — the deductible is $2,000, not $5,000. The maximum out-of-pocket expense is $6,350, not $8,500. Her co-pays would be $45 for a primary care visit and $65 for a specialty visit — but all visits would be covered, not just two.

    “Is that better than her current plan? Yes, by a mile.

    “If she wanted to pay less, Cavallaro could opt for lesser coverage in a “bronze” plan. She could buy one from the California exchange for as little as $194 a month.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for Ms. Bartiromo’s retraction.

    Just like with Fox News and Sean Hannity’s “Obamacare victims,” whose claims have been similarly debunked.

    See:
    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-debunked-20131030,0,6010994.story#axzz2jPjAy25R

    http://www.salon.com/2013/10/18/inside_the_fox_news_lie_machine_i_fact_checked_sean_hannity_on_obamacare/

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Repeat.

      • hennorama

        WftC — OK, if you insist…

        “Another Obamacare horror story debunked”

        From the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik: …

        Well done, TFRX, as usual.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Yeah, yeah. Normally I wouldn’t have pointed it out but the TFRX post was only a couple below.

          btw – we haven’t seen the totality of unintended consequences yet. As I’ve mentioned before I know personally dozens of folks laid off from a major medical device manufacturer due to an explicit 5% cut to accommodate the device tax. Many of these consequences will be difficult to measure. However, we will be able to directly measure the impact on the deficit -March 1 will be a good time to check back.

          • hennorama

            WftC — indeed, that’ll teach me to post without reading every other comment. Regardless, the point is an important one, wouldn’t you agree? Lazy journalism is never a good thing, as you no doubt would agree.

            Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

            See how easy it is to note one’s error?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes, it is good to set the record straight. It doesn’t happen very often and when it is it gets buried on page C-38.

  • Ray in VT

    So what’s this? 60 Minutes’ Benghazi “witness” previously said that he didn’t get near the compound on the night of the attack or something?

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT — let’s just say that this “witness” seems to have a credibility problem.

      Per washingtonpost.com:

      “But in a written account that Jones, whose real name was confirmed as Dylan Davies by several officials who worked with him in Benghazi, provided to his employer three days after the attack, he told a different story of his experiences that night.

      “In Davies’s 2 1/2-page incident report to Blue Mountain, the Britain-based contractor hired by the State Department to handle perimeter security at the compound, he wrote that he spent most of that night at his Benghazi beach-side villa. Although he attempted to get to the compound, he wrote in the report, “we could not get anywhere near . . . as roadblocks had been set up.”

      “He learned of Stevens’s death, Davies wrote, when a Libyan colleague who had been at the hospital came to the villa to show him a cellphone picture of the ambassador’s blackened corpse. Davies wrote that he visited the still-smoking compound the next day to view and photograph the destruction.”

      See:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/60-minutes-broadcast-helps-propel-new-round-of-back-and-forth-on-benghazi/2013/10/31/fbfcad66-4258-11e3-a751-f032898f2dbc_story.html

      In addition, Fox News had been using him as a source, but “we stopped speaking to him when he asked for money.”

      Per mediamatters.org:

      “Asked by Fox News anchor Jenna Lee what information the “Jones” interview brought to the story, correspondent Adam Housley said that he had previously spoken to the man “a number of times and then we stopped speaking to him when he asked for money.”

      Here’s the subject Fox News video:

      http://mediamatters.org/embed/static/clips/2013/10/28/32643/fnc-hn-20131028-witness

      Sources:
      http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/11/01/veteran-journalists-criticize-60-minutes-for-se/196718 (Veteran Journalists Criticize 60 Minutes For “Serious Problem” With Benghazi “Witness”)

      http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/11/01/60-minutes-benghazi-report-takes-a-huge-credibi/196705 (60 Minutes Benghazi Report Takes A Huge Credibility Hit)

      http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/10/28/60-minutes-benghazi-eyewitness-asked-fox-news-f/196623 (60 Minutes’ Benghazi Eyewitness Asked Fox News For Money)

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Hmmm. I smell the Vince Foster truth squad. Where is Lannie Davis?

        We’ll see.

        • hennorama

          WftC — all I know is that the name of Mr. Davies’ employer, Blue Mountain, reminds me that I need to buy coffee beans.

      • brettearle

        Henn….why give fuel to the radically politicized opposition, by drawing prolonged attention to this tragedy?

        How many minds are we going to change?

        The sad part about the story is that the Radical Right chats it up to such a fare-the-well that we almost lose sight of proper perspective:

        That, above and beyond all of the mistakes

        and misperceptions, it was not Hiroshima; it

        was not blanket carpet bombing in No.

        VietNam; it was not even the Kenyan and

        Tanzanian embassy atrocities.

        We are going to be facing these ugly moments, in the future–even if Ted Cruz or Bernie Sanders were President.

        I know you know this–but I, nevertheless, need to say it….

        • hennorama

          brettearle — your point, as usual, is well-taken.

          However, as written the other day, in part, I’m a kwixotic Kona-konsuming kook.

          Someone’s gotta do it. dontcha think?

          • brettearle

            K Kould Kome a-Kross as Kostly Konundrum, Konsidering K Klings to sKarce LexiKon Koming-out Korners in K-Webster’s Diktionary, by Komparison…

            Kan’t mind Your ‘P’s and ‘Q’s’?

            Kowabunga!

      • HonestDebate1

        That’s all the more reason why all the witnesses should have been made available a year ago. The Benghazi debacle was a travesty. It is extremely disingenuous to imply otherwise. The inevitability of attacks on the witness was never in doubt, that’s what they do and you parrot it. That’s what you do.

      • HonestDebate1

        Why are you so eager to believe Media Matters? Why don’t you expect there to be attacks on the witness and be skeptical accordingly?

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/02/exclusive-benghazi-whistleblower-says-he-was-smeared.html

    • jefe68

      The story, or stories shale we say, have some contradictions. Of course if this chap turns out to be a lier, watch how the right wing posse on this forum circle their wagons and have a temper tantrum about Benghazi.

  • hennorama

    Starbucks announces the 2013 “Red cups are here!”

    Is this a nod to Rep. Marsha Blackburn and her “red Solo cups”?

    (Tongue firmly in cheek as to above)

    See:
    http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks?utm_source=msr&utm_medium=email&utm_content=explore&utm_campaign=redcup-national

    • brettearle

      Can I assume that your sophisticated caffeine taste buds confronts the Truth about Starbucks’ coffee–even though the `shoppe’ decor eclipses Dunkin’?:

      That the former’s brew is rancid, sour, bitter; not to mention vitriolic–especially by comparison to its blue-collar rival?

      The nouveau elite can simply not `stomach’ the hoi-polloi’s superiority, in this matter….And, as usual, they live in brimming and screeching denial of the raw, unadulterated Truth.

      • hennorama

        brettearle — I think that both Starbucks and Dunkin’ have fine products, and they serve their respective customers’ tastes and needs well.

        As the saying goes, à chacun son goût.

        And The Truth is playing for Brooklyn now. Weird wild stuff, that.

        • brettearle

          Don’t get me started on the Truth.

          I am going to send you a Celtics column I wrote….

          Did you see my “Stop Dave” far below….in response to your grousing?

          I’ll bet you didn’t know that you are a natural grouser….

      • Don_B1

        You must get your Starbucks from someone who does not know how to brew coffee!

        Starbucks is strong, yes, but rancid? Only if you leave it on the heat for a few days, maybe, but the coffee in my house never lasts anywhere near that long!

        If you drink your coffee black and unsweetened, as I consider the best way, I don’t see why or how you could find it vitriolic. Maybe you need to check the temperature of the water going through the grounds and the time it takes to go through.

        If you like iced coffee, try making some coffee the cold-water way; there is a good description of how to do that in the interview with Jack Bishop of America’s Test Kitchen on NPR’s Fresh Air:

        http://www.npr.org/2013/08/01/207858033/americas-test-kitchen-on-grilling-peaches-tofu-and-burgers

        This might/should allow you to evaluate the differences between different coffees in a more taste-transparent environment(?).

        • brettearle

          Don–

          Always a pleasure to read your comments….

          I hate to admit this but when it comes to Iced-Coffee I am a McDonald’s abuser {maybe if I got it hot, there, I could sue…it’s happened again).

          However, I am an amateurish aficionado, when it comes to Juan Valdez…..

          Melita Cone, Percolator, French Press….but no Keurig.

          I’ve never been able to understand the Starbuck’s taste bud.

          I’ve been in too many Starbucks, over the years, to think it’s simply poor preparation.

          I’m an 8 O’Clock Bean kinda guy.

          [Don't tell anybody]

          I get it….Morning Joe and Morning Jo?….

          Mems or Memes?

          GOP Memes should be investigated by the CDC…..

          • hennorama

            brettearle — there’s nothing wrong with Eight O’Clock Coffee.

            I’d recommend using their Chili Chocolate ‘recipe’ on occasion. There’s just something about that combo of flavors that reminds me of Mexico. Personally, I enjoy grating some Abuelita chocolate and combining it with some chili powder, but I’m sure their idea works well, too.

            See:
            http://www.eightoclock.com/coffee-recipes

          • Don_B1

            I see my finger missed the “e” key on “memes.”

            I started with a Chemex and now have a Cuisinart with its own grinder (sounds like a helicopter revving up for takeoff) and insulated holder so not immediately drunk coffee is not “burned.”

            Bought a Tassimo and within a year Starbucks moved to the poorer performing Keurig (second-party assembler [?] puts Starbucks in Tassimo cups at $60/lb – ridiculous!)

            So I have a single-brew machine on counter much less expensive than “Clover” talked about here:

            http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2013/11/better-brewing-through-technology.html

            You might enjoy the hints about what variables need to be controlled to get a cup of coffee that is not bitter, etc., not to mention vitriolic. But try a less crowded Starbucks where the barista has the time to make the coffee to his training, and if still well short of perfection, ask him/her about why and check out the person’s training. [Then complain to the franchiser or to Starbucks?]

            Good luck in finding a good cup of coffee no matter who is making it! May you find a good source.

          • brettearle

            Great comment…..and thanks for the tips….I may have more to say…

            Part of your comment is mindful of Dylan’s lyric:

            “Started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.”….

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Obama bundler’s firm hired to fix web mess they helped create.

    http://nypost.com/2013/11/01/obama-donors-firm-hired-to-fix-web-mess-it-helped-make/

  • hypocracy1

    “Secretary, some people prefer to drive a Ford instead of a Ferrari,
    some people like to drink out of a red solo cup, not a crystal stem. You
    are taking away their choice,” said Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

    If you had the choice between a Ford and a Ferrari, and you prefer the Ford? You must be from Tennessee.

    • hennorama

      hypocracy1 — one wonders if Jeff Foxworthy is updating his “You might be a redneck if …” routine.

    • Zenplatypus

      Not necessarily. I suspect a good number of auto enthusiasts nationwide would opt for a Ford GT over a Ferrari…

      • fun bobby

        I would opt for an ’83 festiva

      • TFRX

        I’m allegorizing, of course, but: Don’t we get enough of “Ferrari v. Ford GT–Which is the car you should drive” kind of coverage in our economics press already?

    • TFRX

      The amazing thing is what Marsha Blackburn considers a servicable healthcare policy*. The people at Ford ought to be put off by the comparison.

      *Hint: It’s something she and her family haven’t had to settle for ages, if ever. But these real worries for millions of Americans are merely hypotheticals for too many folks in the press corps, so it doesn’t get dug into.

    • HonestDebate1

      Or NC. A Ferrrari would be useless to me.

    • fun bobby

      see how well that Ferrari does in new England and good luck paying for it, hell a Ferrari probably costs almost as much as a health plan on the exchange

    • John Cedar

      You must be assuming the choice is between two free cars rather than choosing which car you want if you have to actually pay for the one you choose.

    • OnPointComments

      Why do you suppose many more Fords are on our roads than Ferraris?

      • hypocracy1

        If price was an issue, you never had a “choice” to begin with.

        Bad analogy is Bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    Rovner claims she “cringed” when she heard President Obama making claims that costs would go down. Really? Where is her great reporting on that.. Oh thats right, she was part of the media cover-up that allowed Obama to get this disaster passed.
    Now the American people are getting hit in their pocketbooks. The media spin machine is in crisis. They are flat out lying to the people who can all finally see THE KING HAS NO CLOTHES.

  • allen 2saint

    That the site wasn’t better handled is, of course, a mistake, but this grandstanding is such blatant political opportunism it’s embarrassing. The same people who, to this day, refuse to admit that Bush was wrong on Iraq, have been an enemy of this law from day one for no reason other than it comes from the President Obama.

    • HonestDebate1

      That makes no sense. It’s nothing personal against Obama, it’s a lousy law sold with lies and passed without reading it. Iraq is irrelevant It is the same people who said premiums would not go down, who said you couldn’t keep your doctor. In other words those who warned you.

      • allen 2saint

        “Lousy law sold with lies and passed without reading it.”

        Nope. No bias there. You just keep believing what they tell you.

        • HonestDebate1

          I am biased but I’m right.

          Are you of the mind Obama did not lie about premiums, the mandate, keeping your doctor, the cost, etc.? What can you point to that says this is a good law?

          • allen 2saint

            He didn’t “lie” he was “given bad intelligence” so that doesn’t make it his fault.

            Millions with chronic pre-existing conditions, including my nephew, will never, ever have to beg for coverage again. Frankly, I could care less about anything or anyone else. And you and your party would have denied him that.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, I’m not heartless.

          • allen 2saint

            Of course you’re not. I phrased that in a cruel manner. I apologize.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s alright, it goes in one ear and out the other anymore but I do appreciate that you weren’t being gratuitously nasty. I suppose I should apologize for assuming you were.

            We could subsidize or buy your nephew and others like him all the care they needed with trillions to spare if not for Obamacare. There are better solutions than to blow up the entire system.

          • allen 2saint

            We’re people, even if we can’t see each other and civility and respect is important. Here’s the thing: People are dying. I worked in a public hospital. I saw them. Is the system perfect? No. Was the former system, where people were bankrupted daily? No. Life spans are only so long and now, many like my nephew, will be able to live like free men and women, not second class citizens, for their life spans. That will relieve financial, psychological and spiritual stress on many. That is good. It will save lives. Will it need to be adjusted? Sure. The old system needed adjustment, too.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree the old system needed adjustment. But we trashed it and started over. Millions of people lost policies they liked.

          • allen 2saint

            I regret that, of course and hope they will adjust that. Someone told me once that its a whole lot easier to run to a guy pushing a car up a hill and help him then it is to agree to the guy who walks up to you and asks, “Hey, how about pushing a car up a hill?”

            I think the process is better having been started, but I feel as bad for people affected now as I would hope they felt for my nephew, who will never be cured and will face his illness his entire life.

          • pete18

            The goal of covering people with pre-existing conditions is a good one but surely you’re not saying that reaching that goal at ANY cost is alright and that a president is allowed to make false promises and lie as long as the goal that you would like is reached?

          • allen 2saint

            Wait: One President says something that turns out not to be true, yet millions of people have access to life saving health care. That is a “lie” for which the same people who have opposed him from the start will not forgive him. He is a “liar” and no one wants to acknowledge either the unfairness he is trying to fight or the benefit.

            Yet, a past president goes to war with a country. A war which kills thousands of innocent civilians, not to mention Iraqi and American combatants, and wounds our economy. And when it turns out his reasons aren’t true, he says he only was working on “faulty intelligence” and is given a pass by his supporters. He is not called a “liar” but a “patriot.”

            Is this difference not apparent to you? The double standard which is so obvious.

            I would gladly apply the “zero tolerance” policy you propose, but let’s use it across the board then. Are you prepared to call George Bush a “liar?”

          • pete18

            “Wait: One President says something that turns out not to be true, yet
            millions of people have access to life saving health care. That is a
            “lie” for which the same people who have opposed him from the start will
            not forgive him.”

            I’m sorry, what did he say that turned out to be true? I missed that.

          • allen 2saint

            Yeah. I know I’m right, too, that’s why I don’t need to resort to cheap shots.

          • pete18

            Nice non-answer. You proposed that Obama was being attacked for saying something that was true. I’m trying to find out what it is that you think he said about Obama care that was true? Certainly it wasn’t the definitive promise that he made both before and after the law was passed
            that people who liked their healthcare would be able to keep their plans,

            “If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”

          • allen 2saint

            No, I said “turns out not to be true.”

          • pete18

            My mistake, I misread your post. However,
            see my post above regarding the benign intentions you imply to Obama with the phrase, “turns out not to be true.”

          • allen 2saint

            Pete, it doesn’t matter. They both are presidents making things happen. Was Bush benevolent in his decision? Could you as easily imbue him with the same diabolical thinking you attribute the Obama?

          • pete18

            You could, but I don’t think there’s much evidence for it. I don’t necessarily think Obama was diabolical, but I think he knew that his promise was a false one. Perhaps he justified that to himself for what he thought was the achievement of a greater good. Non the less, the public has every right to be angry and critical about numerous false promises that delivered a very bad law, even if there are some positives for some people within it.

          • HonestDebate1

            If he believed it then he is stupider than I thought.

          • allen 2saint

            Don’t think “stupider” is a word, actually. Was Bush “stupid” for killing thousands of people? For ruining the economy and not even caring for our wounded solidiers when they returned, by letting Walter Reade turn into a cesspool? That happened on his watch. Was he a “patriot?”

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t accept your premise and Bush is irrelevant. I don’t agree with the notion that you can excuse bad behavior by citing other bad behavior but again, I don’t accept your premise.

            I am just saying it was very obvious from the start that you could not keep your plan or doctor. Obama had to know he was lying. It’s a bait and switch for single-payer.

          • allen 2saint

            AND you will call Obama a liar while you will call Bush a patriot. Two presidents with two major actions. Both made “mistakes” yet, one you will call a “liar” when he makes a life saving health policy while you will call one who starts an unjust war killing thousands a “patriot.” Both of these things are true. I am not excusing either, I am asking you as a fellow citizen to consider this thinking.

          • HonestDebate1

            I do not think Bush lied. I think he believed to the pit of his soul with every fiber of his being that there were stockpiles of WMD. So did a host of prominent Democrats going back to the Clinton administration. I thing the war was just and unavoidable.

            I believe Obama did know he was lying.

            I think there is a world of difference between a lie and a mistake although I have seen it posited that there is no difference.

          • allen 2saint

            Therein lies the problem. You trust implicitly a person whose actions resulted in the deaths of thousands, and you give him a pass because he is of your party and you distrust another, because he is not.

          • HonestDebate1

            Absolutely false. For one thing I’m not a Republican. For another I trust no one implicitly.

          • allen 2saint

            These two contrasting issues show you are biased towards Bush for whatever reason. He goes to war, killing thousands and you trust him with no evidence to substantiate that trust, yet, with Obama, you equally distrust him. At “best” Bush was grossly incompetent or, at the even less, “responsible for the mistake’ just like Sebelius is for the Healthcare website, yet none of you are calling for him to “take responsibility” for Iraq. You come up with reasons to protect him even though there is no evidence and you look down on me for thinking otherwise.

            You could be republican, Tea Party or whatever. It simply is so. You’re not alone and I don’t think any less of you. It’s simply how things have worked out.

            If you’re an honest person, which I think you are, just take this one to bed, OK? Give it a think.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, you are looking at it through your prism. There were 17 violated UN resolutions and a unanimous vote it the security council. There was authorization from Congress. There was the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. There were all of these Democrats:

            http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp

            Hussein was hooting at our jets, he tried to assassinate out President. He tortured his people, He gassed them. He invaded a sovereign nation. He swindled the world with “Oil for Food”. He was on the state sponsors of terrorist list. We had no verification after the inspectors left in 1998. This was unacceptable in a post 9/11 world.

            You can say there was no reason but it has no credibility.

          • allen 2saint

            No, he was a two bit dictator and he was easy to eliminate. You are defending Bush to the hilt. You listen to all this, yet you are not acknowleding that the poor and uninsured are dying by the thousands and you have no concern for them.

            I did not expect you to listen, as you are convinced you are morally “better” than me, as so many conservatives are convinced. My reasoning and my values come from my religious convictions, which are more important than politics. I need to move on with my day. Goodbye.

          • HonestDebate1

            All I can do is disagree, you have me wrong. Bush is irrelevant and I do notice your steadfast refusal to say Obama lied. I think I could make the same case better about you, but this is not about you so I won’t.

            Obama is the issue. It’s seems to me your main point it to tell me what I think when you don’t know me. I am irrelevant to this as well.

            I think Obama lied about what Obamacare is so it would pass; so he could get re-elected. That would have been much harder if people knew the truth about the cost, the mandate, the premiums and the ability to keep your plan.

          • pete18

            I never personally called Bush a “patriot” although I supported his decision on Iraq and do not think he lied about the intelligence when promoting the policy. There was certainly enough information and history for him to rightly assume that Hussain was continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction, despite the fact that there were other pieces of intelligence that stated otherwise. I think there is a lot that you can rightly criticize Bush for on his Iraq policy but lying about the intelligence is not one of them.

            However, for health care, it was absolutely clear that the promise that people could keep their current health care policies was not true and it was not a matter of Obama weighing
            contradictory evidence and making the best judgement that he could.

            “The basic idea underlying the rules is that if the pre-existing plans remained unchanged, they could continue. If,
            however, there was any significant change in coverages, co-pays, and so
            on, then the plan would become subject to all of the requirements of
            Obamacare (even grandfathered plans are subject to a number of Obamacare
            requirements). The problem is that the health insurance market is
            constantly changing, and it is typical for plans to change, to some
            degree, from year to year. So the administration looked at historical
            data to estimate how many employer-sponsored and individual plans would
            likely lose their grandfather status once Obamacare was implemented. The
            administration’s methodology can certainly be questioned, but the
            results were as has been reported. This chart sums them up; click to
            enlarge:

            The Obama administration projected low-end, mid-range and high-end estimates for how many plans would be terminated, in total and broken down between large and smaller employers. The bottom line is that the administration expected 51% of all employer plans to be terminated as a result of Obamacare. That is the mid-range estimate; the high-end estimate was 69%. So as of 2010, the Obama administration planned that most Americans with employer-sponsored
            health care plans would lose them, whether they liked those plans or
            not.”

            See the federal estimates here:
            http://www.powerlineblog.com/admin/ed-assets/2013/11

            http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/11/lies-of-obamacare-documented.php/FederalRegister092.jpg

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “He didn’t “lie””
            I understand wanting to give the President the benefit of doubt but there is a pattern. Google the phrase “Obama didn’t know”.
            Benghazi was ’caused’ by a youtube video for two weeks after they were certain that it was a planned terrorist attack? He paid zero price for that whopper due to a compliant press corp. “Can you repeat that Candy?”

            OK, let’s say he was duped into saying this falsehood over and over simply because the folks who loaded it into the teleprompter didn’t warn him that it was false. Is he going to fire them now?

            Where is the accountability?

            Why did he go to Boston and instead of apologizing for misleading the American public he decided to falsely blame “bad apple” insurance companies? He doubled down on the lie AFTER everyone is certain that he KNOWS he’s been misleading for 4 years and that it never would have passed without misleading.

            We should expect better from our ‘leaders’. We deserve better.

          • allen 2saint

            Worried for the country, clearly, you are very happy to pick this president apart, but are not as happy to look at the failures of his predecessor. Your name shows that you are not content to say he is a man who, like any other president, has made mistakes. You must attribute evil to him. Yet, a man who made decisions that killed thousands and then said it was “faulty intelligence” and allowed our veterans to rot in bad hospitals, you do not criticize because perhaps you believe him to share your religious views or he looks like you. He made more “errors” and allowed more evil to take place than Obama. His decisions destroyed the economy, yet you are not blaming him. You are biased. Until people drop this party identity and start trying to work together, we will continue down this path with American judging American, not content to say we disagree, but only content when we demonize the other.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I never said Obama was evil. He has clearly made political calculations to mislead. His rational was probably “the ends justify the means” IF I can get away with it. And he’s gotten away with it time and time again. So he will continue until called out.

            I have been critical of Bush but he isn’t our current President. Bush mislead when he pushed Harriet Myers as the ‘best qualified’ SCOTUS nominee. His own party pushed back and he was forced to drop a bad nominee. That’s how a healthy system works.

            Sure, I have a political ideology but what is happening NOW transcends ideology.

          • pete18

            Bush also spent like a drunken sailor, which he was roundly criticized for from the
            right, it may be one of the big reasons that he lost the Senate in 2006. However Bush always had a hostile press, which held him accountable for anything that went wrong. Until very recently, Obama had nothing dewy-eyed transcribers blowing kisses at him from the press pit.

          • HonestDebate1

            I think it was dissatisfaction with Bush that led to the Tea Party.

          • HonestDebate1

            You could make the same argument about Bush’s immigration policy, we the people nixed it.

            I got into a heated email debate with Laura Ingraham over Harriet Meyers when she was nominated.

            No point really.

          • pete18

            Which of Bush’s decisions,”destroyed the economy?”

          • allen 2saint

            Were you as outraged about the Iraq war? Were you as demanding of “the truth?” or do you only demand that of people you disagree with?

    • fun bobby

      Bush was wrong on Iraq. this law is terrible because its a giveaway to the drug and insurance companies, an unprecedented infringement of privacy of average citizens, and a massive expansion of inefficient bureaucracy. I voted for obama

      • allen 2saint

        It’s not an infringement on privacy any more than Medicaid or any other program is. Of course, it’s inefficient now! It just started. Name anything the government has done that was successful right out of the gate.

        • fun bobby

          the IRS now gets my health records, that’s an infringement of privacy. I agree the government stinks at doing things which is why I want them as little involved as possible. the list of things the government is good at is short.

          • allen 2saint

            Yeah, you were spoon fed the “privacy” stuff after the government started up again. Hey, I have a question: Were you as worried about all this privacy and up in arms about “big government” when Bush was running it? Or did your “patriotism” emerge when Obama was elected?

          • fun bobby

            you must have me confused with someone else. way to ignore the message a take a wild swing at the messenger. I voted for Obama dummy. nice try

          • allen 2saint

            There’s no reason to name call. You simply could have answered me. I find the “cult of hysteria” surrounding privacy equally distributed between Republicans and disenchanted Democrats who bark the second they hear a dog whistle because anger and fear are easier reactions than curiosity.

          • fun bobby

            you came projecting a lot of garbage on me that was pretty off base.
            why does it have to be about all that? What’s wrong with wanting some privacy from the government? I don’t vote for either party.

          • allen 2saint

            Were you as concerned about your privacy under George Bush? Was government “too big” then?

          • fun bobby

            Of course I was. Why would I not be? why would who was president matter? you seem trapped in a partisan mindset you want to project on others.

          • allen 2saint

            I watch the news and I would say 99% of the people concerned about what you are, including those who post here claiming to be “biased, but still right” are partisan.

            I have no problem with the IRS knowing what it already knows to get me medical coverage I need. Americans are very concerned about protecting their “privacy” because they are caught up on the values of individualism over the common good.

          • fun bobby

            you were able to ascertain that from “the news”? I must be a 1%er.
            you did not have medical coverage before?
            I don’t even know what to say about your bizarre chastisement of Americans. where exactly is your glass house located?

          • allen 2saint

            I’m an American and, like every other American, I can criticize my country. If it sounds bizarre to you, you should look around you. I’m right.

          • fun bobby

            American values dictate that the common good is achieved best by enabling individuals to have rights and liberty.

          • allen 2saint

            LOL.

          • jefe68

            Oh no the IRS, ATF, FBI, FAA, FDA, and all the other government agencies are going to send those jack-booted thugs to your home any day now. Be scared, be very very scared… or better yet, lock and load and show them what your made of…

          • fun bobby

            I guess you were not listening to NPR’s on the media today about the journalist who had her house raided in order to steal her files on her sources and whistleblowers. perhaps give it a listen and then see if you can still be so glib.

  • RolloMartins

    I hate it when one of those NY or NJ commercials come on the tube, filling the air with how resilient NY’ers are (or Jersians). You know what would really help? Having the gov’t actually help the people who are still in need. One year later? We still have some homes from Irene that need help.

    • fun bobby

      Yankees suck

      • fun bobby

        I posted this on BUR right not WNYC?

  • WorriedfortheCountry
    • lobstahbisque

      $6.99 for one lousy magazine? Well I never….

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        LOL. I notice that too. Lots of gloss.

    • fun bobby

      that nerd does not look Canadian enough

      • JGC

        Needs a toque.

        Wait a minute. Are you talking about the nerd on the right or the one on the left?

        • fun bobby

          Obama was always a cool kid. he was getting high while they were studying

    • John Cedar

      The New Yorker is slipping…where is the plausible deniability for Obama in that depiction?

  • fun bobby

    if the tsa agents and all the jackbooted thugs at the airport can’t protect themselves how could they possibly protect a passenger?

    • HonestDebate1

      I just learned they aren’t armed. Who woulda’ thunk? That’s nuts.

      • fun bobby

        not the TSA agents. no one should want them to be armed. they have literally 2 weeks of training. we need to do away with them. the armed thugs I was referring to are the hordes of state troopers who patrol around. this illustrates the folly of having the checkpoints because all they do is create a mass of unarmed people who are sitting ducks.

        • HonestDebate1

          Train them, I want them armed.

          • fun bobby

            you want to arm the pedophiles? this incident demonstrates the folly of trying to make the public safe by disarming it and the utter uselessness of the checkpoints

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree with you there but I don’t hate the TSA. They are just doing their job.

          • fun bobby

            their job is to infringe on liberty and molest citizens, F them, they serve only as puppets in a security theater designed to cow people into submission. I cant think of anything less American

          • anamaria23

            That is what the shooter thought also. That’ll teach him as he lay dead.

          • fun bobby

            he is alive. dorner was pro gun control does his being shot down by police make you think that position is wrong?

          • HonestDebate1

            Your outrage is misplaced. The laws, methods and approach are stupid. They may indeed be puppets but blame DHS. They are just doing their job. I would rather their job be to profile and use weapons if needed.

          • fun bobby

            the stasi was just doing their job as well

          • HonestDebate1

            C’mon dude. The TSA is not the Stasi.

          • fun bobby

            yeah that’s not fair to the Stasi they did not go around sticking their hands down anyone’s pants

  • houser934

    I think it will all blow over and is just noise. Yes, it’s messy right now, but in the long run I am grateful that I will at least have an opportunity to purchase medical insurance and that opportunity cannot be taken away when I get sick.

    • fun bobby

      did you have no coverage before and have you purchased some on the exchange yet?

      • JGC

        As you know, I have dual U.S.Canadian citizenship and am living in Canada. I have access to healthcare through the public Quebec Medicare system, which is paid through our taxes.

        Who provides your healthcare coverage?

        • fun bobby

          so then what are you talking about with being happy to be able to buy it?

          • JGC

            I am happy my family in the U.S. is able to be covered by the ACA provisions. This includes my young niece who has an autoimmune disease. She is still covered under her father’s policy for a little while longer. And she and our family do not have to worry about the pre-existing condition clause that so many people have had to face. allen 2saint, below, makes the same point about his nephew.

            How have you earned your healthcare coverage, and why are others not entitled to have access to the same?

          • HonestDebate1

            JGC, I am seeing a lot of sentiment just like yours but there is another side to the equation. When someone can avoid paying in for decades, wait until they get sick and then buy insurance with the same ease as a young healthy person, it is no longer insurance. The actuarial tables don’t work. That is why I have to have maternity coverage. Leave aside the fact that it’s not supposed to work, that insurance companies have a target on their back and expect the demonization of them to ensue. This debacle is going to cost us $3 trillion over the next decade. We could buy high risk policies for every pre-existing condition and save bookoos.

            Millions of people are now losing policies they liked. I see zero zip nada connection between opposing Obamacare and the notion that the same people advocate denying access to healthcare. Obamacare is not a solution.

          • jefe68

            Lets do nothing. Keep the wonderful health care system we have in place.
            That’s the GOP plan. Do nothing, let people go bankrupt or go uncovered or as Mitt Romney said, people without insurance can get health care at the Emergency rooms.

            If this is what you advocate for, that’s sick…

          • pete18

            Doing worse is not better is not better than doing nothing. It was clear that this was doing worse from the get-go.

          • jefe68

            Well that what people said about SS and Medicare. A whole lot of Americans seem to really like those programs.

            You right wingers really want nothing to work. That’s clear. Some on the right seem to think the market will take care of this. Well, that’s what we’ve had for decades and it’s not working.

            Come up with more than tort reform and cheap lousy insurance coverage, which is all the GOP has offered up.

          • pete18

            Public support for social security has always been strong right from the very beginning. Public support has always been weak for Obama care and it becomes weaker not stronger when people learn more bout it and see it’s implementation.

            As I said before, doing nothing is always better than doing worse. Do you disagree with that proposition?

          • jefe68

            Actually it had a few hiccups at the beginning and the rollout did not go to smoothly. It also excluded the majority of women and African Americans.

            You don’t if the ACA is doing worse.
            How could you? It’s not had enough time to be fully implemented.

            Doing nothing about our dysfunctional health care system is no longer an option.
            You obviously disagree with that premiss.

          • pete18

            “You don’t know if the ACA is doing worse.”

            Let’s see, hardly anyone can sign up for it, the people that are able to seem to be trending towards medicare, which will not be supportable over the long term,100s of thousands of people have already lost their private insurance because of it, many doctors and hospitals are indicting that they will refuse to treat people on exchanges or will be asking for all the deductible payments up front, which makes complete sense given how little they will be paid under ACA, none of the current or future estimates show the program lowering health care costs. I would say unless your wearing blinders, it’s clear to see that it is not working and there is nothing within the plan’s architecture that indicates that it will work in the future.

          • HonestDebate1

            And you barely scratched the surface.

          • jefe68

            OK lets say te ACA completely fails. Which is what you lot want. Then what.
            The GOP has no plan, none. I keep repeating myself on this and you lot just keep on going on about the ACA as this colossal failure, meanwhile the American health care system is failing and will eat up our GDP and it will have a negative effect on our economy.

            You lot seem to think like horses with blinders on. Health care is one of the largest issues this nation is going to face in the next decade. Doing nothing, as you have advocated for, is just really stupid.

          • pete18

            You, of course, misquote me. I don’t advocate doing nothing, however I do think that doing nothing is far less damaging than doing something that makes things worse. I think the claim that doing ANTYHING is better than doing nothing is……stupid.

            You are also wrong that there are no ideas from the GOP or conservatives. There have been numerous ones presented over the last eight years. The fact that you and other democrats don’t like them (which is perfectly fine) doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

            Jonh McCain: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/10/the-mccain-health-care-plan-more-power-to-families

            Mitt Romney: http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/06/20/mitt-romney-outlines-his-plan-to-replace-obamacare/

            I’ll re-post some of my thoughts about the topic from a previous thread during the time that Obamacare was being debated:

            I think most people on the left and right believe that the major problems of the current state of our health care system are:

            • A large number of people who cannot afford insurance and need to have access to decent coverage.

            • A large number of people with pre-existing conditions whom insurance companies either won’t insure, or will only insure at an extremely expensive cost.

            • Rapidly rising costs for people’s health care.

            • The possibility of losing one’s health care if one loses one’s job.

            • The risk of bankruptcy for people who get serious illnesses and don’t have adequate insurance.

            The basic premise of the conservative approach is to make the system more competitive, not less, and create portability so people are not dependent on their employer for their health care. That means finding ways to get more private insurers into the game and allowing people to have the
            ability to shop across state lines to find the best deal. It also means making
            it easier and more attractive for more doctors and nurses to enter the field
            and be well rewarded for their work.

            Some of the specific ideas (many taken form the Cato institute and Whole Foods John Mackey’s op-ed on health care) in reaching these goals are:

            • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but
            individual health insurance is not. This would make it easier and more
            affordable for individuals to buy their own health insurance and not be dependent on their employer and job for coverage.

            • Repeal all state laws that prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be
            portable.

            • Create medical savings accounts for people to put money in for their yearly deductible medical costs. These would be tax-free and people would be allowed to keep any unspent money, which would mean they would be motivated to shop for the best deals for their medical care. The government would pay money directly to people who were unable to afford their own medical insurance and they in turn would buy their own plan and benefit from any savings they were able to create by picking a more economical plan.

            • Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors into paying insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are ultimately being passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.

            • Make health care costs transparent so that consumers will understand what health care treatments cost. How many people know what their last doctor’s visit cost? What other goods or services do we as consumers buy without knowing how much they will cost us? We need a system where people can compare and contrast costs and services. You shouldn’t just
            know your co-pay amount you should know the full amount charged by your doctor.

            • Voucher Plan for Medicare: Give Medicare enrollees a voucher and let them choose any health plan on the market that fits
            their needs, not what the government dictates. Vouchers would be means-tested, would include Medicare spending and would help protect seniors from rationing, something the Obama- Pelosi plan would not do.

            • Congress should reform Medicaid and the State Children’s health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) the way it reformed it in 1996 when it block-granted the programs. This would help reduce the deficit and
            encourage states to target resources to those most in need.

            • For pre-existing conditions, create high-risk insurance pools, and have the government subsidize the premiums, with means-tested, direct payments, for people who cannot afford the higher
            premiums.

            • Rethink medical licensing laws to encourage greater competition among providers. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, midwives, and other non-physician practitioners should have far greater ability to treat patients. Doctors and other health professionals should be able to take their licenses from state to state. We should also be encouraging innovations in delivery such as medical clinics in retail outlets.

            I think the mistake the left is making here is in thinking that the only way to fix these problems is a massive overhaul of the whole system. Conservatives believe that you can make major improvements to these problems with smaller, targeted changes rather than firebombing the whole city. In the instances where some of these free market ideas don’t work, you will not have constructed a bureaucratic monster, which would be virtually impossible to reset after it took effect.

          • jefe68

            So let me get this straight. you say I miss-quote you and then go on to say doing nothing is better than trying to fix the mess we now have. Why? Because in the minds of all the right anything Obama does or wants to do is bad. That’s the message I keep getting. Did you read the Forbes article? Because it does have some ideas that I think would work. And the author is a Conservative.

          • pete18

            Either I’m really inarticulate, or you have reading comprehension issues. Here’s what I said, “I don’t advocate doing nothing, however I do think that doing nothing is far less damaging than doing something that makes things worse.”

            I’m not sure how you can read that and draw the conclusions that you do.

            In the middle of my post, I framed the problems that I think the pre-Obama care system had, and which I believe there is general agreement on from the left and the right. I also listed a series of ideas that conservatives have suggested for improving that system and why i think those approaches are better (all of which was written and originally posted over two years ago).

          • jefe68

            No, I’m reading you correctly. I’m saying we are beyond the point of doing nothing about health care in this country. Get it.

          • fun bobby

            sounds perfect

          • HonestDebate1

            Neither Medicare nor Social Security was rammed through by one party with bribes, kickbacks, signing statements and budget gimmicks like reconciliation. Neither was sold as something it’s not. There was a debate and a consensus… but they’re still going bankrupt.

          • jefe68

            SS is not going bankrupt and will only cause budget problems in about 50 years.

            This could easily be fixed by raising the cap to include all the millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires.

            Medicare is not the problem, the cost of health care is. How is it that you can’t understand this?

            “We shall amend the Social Security Act to make it workable. We recognize that society, acting through government, must afford as large a measure of protection as it can against involuntary unemployment and dependency in old age. We pledge that the Federal Government will do its proper share in that task.”

            You know who gave this speech?
            Alf Landon, the Kansas governor and GOP nominee in the 1936 election.

          • HonestDebate1

            The aging boomers are a fiscal ticking time bomb that is not a half century away. But that was not the point, it was an after thought. Let’s just say you’re right.

            No law this sweeping and transformative should ever be passed on a 100% partisan basis without anyone reading it. This is what happens. That is the difference between Obamacare and everything else.

          • jefe68

            And yet the GOP in 1936 went along with a lot of FDR’s programs. Which they don’t like now and have spent the decades trying to overturn. The GOP of today is the party of no. They don’t want to agree to anything any Democratic president proposes. You’re very mindset on most issues are a reflection of the very thing I’m talking about.

          • HonestDebate1

            So Republicans want to overturn Social Security and Medicare? Who knew? All I’ve heard is an effort to make them solvent?

          • jefe68

            How soon we forget. G.W Bush wanted to privatize SS. And Paul Ryan wanted to turn Medicare into a voucher system which was designed to fail and put most folks who use it into finical ruin.

            Cutting these program year in and year out os a way of ending them. Are you really not able to parse this?

          • HonestDebate1

            If you want to call the OPTION to invest A VERY SMALL percentage of YOUR OWN MONEY privatization then fine. It’s silly. If you want to ignore Obama forcing 2 million out of Medicare and into a voucher system, ditto. Doing nothing means the programs will die.

          • jefe68

            I’m I getting into your head? Oh my.
            It was a partial privatization of SS which would have lead to a full privatization. THis is how Republicans roll, they chip away at programs they don’t like or they under fund them. Get it.

          • fun bobby

            yet we ended up with medicare part D

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            SS 2013 trustee report:

            “The trustees estimate that, in the absence of policy changes, the
            combined Social Security trust funds will be exhausted in 2033 —
            unchanged from last year’s report.”

            “Policymakers will have to replenish the Disability Insurance trust fund by 2016.”

            http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3977

            Unfunded liabilities:
            SS: $16T
            Medicare part D: $22T
            Medicare: $87T

            Yes, SS is the easiest to solve. The sooner the better. And yes, health care costs are too high. The ACA did little to lower costs but instead threw more folks into the broken part of the system (medicaid). I hope you understand that medicaid currently runs as a loss and is subsidized by the private market. The same with medicare. That is why it is so hard for patients to find doctors.

          • HonestDebate1

            Bingo.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            That isn’t what Ronney said. He said each state should have a plan that is best for that state. Central planning never works.

          • jefe68

            And guess what? Most Red states would do nothing as they have been doing for a long time. Texas is a good example. Poor coverage and one of the most unhealthy states in the nation. In fact most of the Red Southern states have lousy health care systems.

            I’m not sure if the ACA is going to work. But what we had before was not working.
            In my opinion the entire health care system in this country is broken and should be rebuilt from the ground up.

            The for profit, fee for service system that we have stinks, period.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “Most Red states would do nothing”
            The definition of hubris. I know you believe that they are just rubes and goobers and they don’t know what they are missing. But jefe knows best. Really?

          • pete18

            The headline for this story not only applies to Obama but to you http://finance.yahoo.com/news/healthcare-shoppers-aren’t-as-dumb-as-obama-thinks-195824524.html

          • fun bobby

            what about states with republican governors would any of them come up with plans to cover all their residents?

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s no one’s plan. That is a baseless talking point and nothing more.

          • jefe68

            The GOP does not have a comprehensive health care plan. None, nada.
            Oh the individual mandate was their idea. Now it’s not…

            Speaking of baseless comments, your’s get the baseless meme award.

          • HonestDebate1

            The last time I listed several you didn’t like them but they were plans. Speaking of talking points, the mandate thing is another. You should study it.

          • JGC

            What I hear you explaining is “when someone can avoid paying in for decades…it is no longer insurance.” Isn’t that why Obamacare put the mandate in place, to encourage/twist everyone to get coverage, to get everyone into the (insurance) pool, as a way of fairly spreading the risk? To try to stop people from avoiding insurance coverage?

            Do only young women need to consider maternity coverage? How did they get in the maternal condition in the first place? If anything, according to this line of thinking, only postmenopausal women should be excluded from the insurance necessity here since men like the ancient Tony Randall could still father children at the age of 108. Why do I have to cover prostate problems and vasectomies while you have to cover endometriosis and breast lumpectomies? They are all medical conditions. The insurance industry has made artificial constructs to deliver their product using a divide and conquer mentality, but we all develop a medical situation that deserves professional care at some point.

            Millions of individual policy holders are losing their coverage because the insurance companies have decided that the policy which was lucrative for them last year, is no longer lucrative enough this year, even with the grandfather clause in place. The grandfather clause did not permit them to lessen the coverage in the plan, although it did permit modest increases in the premiums and deductibles.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s is no longer insurance when the insurer cannot use it as a factor. The young healthy folks will opt for the fine and will not increase the pool.

            Yes, only young women need maternity coverage. My wife turns 55 this week, neither of us need it. I should be able to choose what coverage I want. You should not have to pay for my prostate exam.

            The thing is, it can’t work. The grandfather clause was bogus.

            http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/31/senate-democrats-supported-rule-that-lead-to-insurance-cancellations/

            The insurance companies do not make a profit by losing customers.

          • JGC

            …do not make a profit by losing customers, although an insurance company can avoid a loss by denying certain customers. If they are keen to make a profit by gaining customers, I would expect they will pull out the stops to get the younger and healthier population signed to their policies.

            About your link above on political ticker, right at the end of the piece, what interests me is the line ” In practice, insurance companies are loath to leave their plans unchanged, so grandfather plans are diappearing and people are being forced to change their plans to meet Obamacare’s more robust coverage requirements.” The first clause in that sentence (“In practice insurance companies are loath to leave…”) has no link provided for further explanation, unlike the other two clauses in that sentence “”so grandfather plans are disappearing…” and “people are being forced…”. I would really like to know why the insurance companies want to retain the capacity to fiddle with their plans and dump individual customers, even though they are still able to continue to charge modest price increases which includes inflation on top of an extra 5 t0 10% cushion in some areas. There is no link to this, and that is the reason why I think the insurance executives should also be hauled out in front of a Congressional panel. I suspect they would have a lot to say, both pro and con to Obamacare, if put under oath.

            On to something completely different: On NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, there was a Paul Theroux interview, “Paul Theroux Aims to Go Off the Beaten Southern Path.” You should contact him through NPR, and suggest he visit your area of the country. He is asking for help in contacting folks that could give him interesting stories. I bet you and your family could show him some authentic scenes of local life, through your music and equine businesses.

          • HonestDebate1

            For example, if the insurance co-pay changes by $5 the plan is not grandfathered. The insurance companies are not the demons here. They cannot operate under these constrictions and keep the cost unchanged.

            That’s interesting about Mr. Theroux but the last thing I need is yet more fame and glory. Thanks, for thinking of me though. I am hesitant to write about off-topic goings on here at the farm or on the road but life moves me. I am constantly learning (or being reminded) about what really matters. The pissin’ and moaning around here (I’m as guilty as anyone) sure doesn’t matter at all. I am grateful that you and others look past politics and appreciate it when I do write about things that matter to me. And BTW, I certainly enjoy hearing about your family on occasion too. It’s good to keep things in perspective.

          • hennorama

            JGC – the post to which your replied was not an explanation. Rather, it was ignorant and dishonest pontification.

            The ignorant and dishonest believe they are now actuaries, and based on the nonsense they hear and read, are now qualified to pontificate about health insurance.

            The ignorant and dishonest fail to mention that people can only sign up for policies inside the health insurance exchanges during open enrollment periods. When the initial open enrollment period for individuals ends on March 31, 2014, future open enrollment periods will be the same as those for Medicare, running from October 15 to December 7 each year.

            The ignorant and dishonest fail to mention that private health insurance plans, both inside and outside of the exchanges, still have waiting periods before coverage begins.

            The ignorant and dishonest believe that insurers somehow fail to account for human behavior. The ignorant and dishonest example of someone “waiting until they are sick to buy insurance” is analogous to someone who has driven only used cars for decades, then purchases a new car, pays for coverage, then gets into an accident the same day. Insurers account for these events.

            The ignorant and dishonest fail to recognize that the premiums paid into the insurance pool, by a large group of policyholders, are designed to pay for ALL covered benefits. The prenatal care visit is the same as the child’s broken leg and the visit to the proctologist to locate and remove one’s head.

            The ignorant and dishonest fail to mention that even if someone could “wait until they are sick to buy insurance,” the premiums they pay go into the insurance pool, just like those of all other policyholders, and are taken into account by the actuaries.

            The ignorant and dishonest believe that the PPACA is somehow designed to fail, and that insurers don’t essentially have a guaranteed profit margin, as they are allowed to use up to 20 percent of premiums for administrative overhead and profit.

            The ignorant and dishonest appear to want women, especially young women, to pay higher premiums than men, as evidenced by the complaint that maternity benefits are part of the list of “essential benefits” provisions of the PPACA:

            “Essential health benefits must include items and services within at least the following 10 categories:

            -ambulatory patient services
            -emergency services
            -hospitalization
            -maternity and newborn care
            -mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
            -prescription drugs
            -rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
            -laboratory services
            -preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
            -pediatric services, including oral and vision care.”

            What a horrible, horrible thing to have – an actual minimum standard for health insurance coverage.

          • HonestDebate1

            If you want to debate me then debate me. Don’t hide and tell lies about what I think.

            I have a lot of respect for JGC but hardly ever agree with her on matters of politics. I get a lot from her comments because she understands honest debate. We have been chatting longer than you have been around this blog. She certainly does not need you to explain things to her.

            I am going to expand on what we were last discussing regarding what is important in life. I did not go into it with her because the conversation felt good and I didn’t want to push the envelop and imply she was guilty of what I see happening. You are.

            Conservatives tend to think liberals are stupid. Liberals can easily counter that notion with intellect. But Liberals tend to think of Conservatives as evil. That is harder to counter because it’s emotional. Our natural response is to defend ourselves against the accusation. Then the debate moves from the issue at hand and becomes a sideshow. You are right on cue. There is not one iota of truth or relevance to the notion that Republicans have any desire to deny anyone health care. It is disingenuous to argue the value of the 10 essential health benefits because no one is saying they have no value. The debate has nothing at all to do with that. The debate is over the government deciding what is best for individuals. No one wants young women to pay more, that is another emotional accusation to imply evil and distract. Every age group has different needs. Men and Women have different needs but you don’t want to debate that because you would rather imply we don’t care about young women.

            Here’s my analogy. If we lowered the speed limit to 10 MPH think of how many lives would be saved. Now we could debate the cost/benefit analysis. We could debate whether the solution was too extreme. We would likely come to a solution because it’s logical and plain when looked at honestly. Or I could talk about my uncle being killed in a wreck. I could talk about the very young children he left behind. I could ask you why you don’t car about the kids. I could say you have no heart. I could call you a racist for no reason. I could run ads about heartless, racist speeders. That’s not honest debate.

  • Don_B1

    The “old” IOKIYAR !

  • fun bobby

    one of the mythbusters was there in the terminal.

  • hennorama

    ZaZa — thank you for your informative response about the “farm bill/food stamp bill.”

    However, I made no mention of that whatsoever. My point was solely about the likelihood of others in this forum disputing the estimated cost of the recent Federal shutdown.

    Thanks again for your informative post.

  • HonestDebate1

    If allegations are true, it turns out the person behind the smears on Herman Cain and Mitch Daniels’ wife was Jon Huntsman. It is also alleged that it was Huntsman’s father who told Harry Reid that Romney hadn’t paid his taxes.

    I never liked Huntsman but have been lectured by many a liberal that he was the only sane Republican choice. Never trust a liberal endorsed RINO.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Interesting.

      Is Huntsman going to resign now as co-chair of that phony ‘no-labels’ group?

      Also, it turns out he may have lied to Obama too.

      “Report: Huntsman Told White House No Presidential Run While Laying The Groundwork”

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/report-huntsman-was-telling-white-house-no-presidential-run-while-laying-the-groundwork

      • HonestDebate1

        I forgot about the no-labels thing. To me the notion is bogus. We will never solve squat until we brand politicians for who they are. Obama is a liar and an Alinsky acolyte. He is ruthless. It’s time people realize that. The Huntsmans of the world would have us accept a fundamentally transformed America.

    • jefe68

      Wow, politics is a dirty game. Who knew?

    • hypocracy1

      I’ve never liked Herman Cain or Mitch Daniels..

      I guess that makes us even?

    • TFRX

      Yeah, the Jon Huntsman boom among “liberals” wasn’t exactly as big as you remember.

      Some people thought, out loud, “He doesn’t have a single birther on his committee”. But that doesn’t make him a sane choice. Plenty of polite-sounding non-facts came out of him, and he was given a wide berth because of his manner.

      It was a gambit to get the David Brookses of the world to say “Huntsman’s left-wing enough because he’s not batcrap rightwing in policy or demeanor”.

      • HonestDebate1

        He’s nasty.

    • TFRX

      The Jon Huntsman boom among “liberals” wasn’t exactly as big as you remember. I dunno about your neck of the woods, but in urbia/suburbia, where all those liberals are, Huntsman was seen as a gambit to get the David Brookses of the world to say “Huntsman’s left-wing enough because he’s not batcrap rightwing in policy or demeanor”.

      JH found polite ways to be wrong and flog lots of discredited RW stuff to the “liberal” media.

    • fun bobby

      he is no gary johnson

  • hennorama

    Good news. Doing Good is Good for You.

    From the 2013 Health and Volunteering Study, conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by UnitedHealth Group and the Optum Institute:

    Among people who volunteered in the last twelve months,

    76% say that volunteering has made them feel healthier
    94% say that volunteering improves their mood
    78% say that volunteering lowers their stress levels
    96% say that volunteering enriches their sense of purpose in life
    95% say they are helping to make their community a better place
    80% say that they feel they have control over their health
    And 81% of employed volunteers who volunteered through their workplace agreed that volunteering together strengthens relationships among colleagues

    See:
    http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/UHG/PDF/2013/UNH-Health-Volunteering-Study.ashx

    At this time of year especially (and also given recent reductions in SNAP benefits) your local food bank could use your help, whether as a volunteer or as a donor.

    http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx (Food Bank Locator)

    http://www.volunteermatch.org/ (Find a nonprofit that needs you)

    http://www.allforgood.org/ (Find ways to do good)

    • HonestDebate1

      I actually appreciate your sentiment but I have to say, duh. We are adults here, hopefully nobody needs a study to understand the benefits of compassion. Hopefully we live it.

      SNAP benefits have doubled under Obama, any pain from the modest reduction is not because of the cuts. It’s because the Obama economy has killed so many jobs.

      Sorry to be a buzz kill, carry on.

    • Fredlinskip

      Cool!

      On the other hand, it’s nice to stay home in the ivory tower so as to become properly indoctrinated of the facts by Fox “News” and Rush all day.

      • hennorama

        Fredlinskip — thank you for your response.

        In my albeit limited experience, both Food Bank volunteers and clients have varied political leanings. No party or belief system has a monopoly on poverty, hunger, or volunteerism, and a hungry person seldom cares about the politics of those lending a helping hand.

        There are millions of people who need help, and anyone who can should lend them a hand. Food Banks around the nation have seen both increased demand and decreased donations during and after the Great Recession, and current cuts to SNAP benefits have them bracing for even HIGHER demand for their services and products.

        Help out if you can.

        Thanks again for your response.

        • HonestDebate1

          Republicans are twice as charitable as Democrats according to most studies.

          • fun bobby

            compare the % donated to charity by each candidate in the last presidential election

          • Fredlinskip

            That might (?) very well be true.
            But political policy of GOP as a whole would seem to indicate otherwise.

        • Fredlinskip

          You’re right, and thanks for bringing up a positive comment amongst the din of negativity posted on this comments page.
          Pardon my cynicism.

          And pardon me if I am of the belief that one party’s political policies seem to point to a more empathetic stance towards those in need than the other.

          And thank you for your community service.

          • hennorama

            Fredlinskip — thank you for your response and your kind words.

            Cynicism is an easy and somewhat natural response to the current state of political affairs, so no pardon is required. It’s also pretty easy and somewhat natural to take action about some of the most pressing needs of others, and doing so requires no particular political stance, only a willingness to help.

            Plus, as my original post points out, “Doing Good is Good for You.”

            Thanks again for your kind words.

          • fun bobby

            this is where the difference lies. one side thinks that tax money should be used by the government to provide charity. the other side thinks people should not be impaired by the government from providing charity directly. one side thinks charity should involve coercion and bureaucracy

          • HonestDebate1

            one side thinks charity should involve coercion and bureaucracy… which of course is not charity.

            As I recall, Obama’s budgets eliminated (or maybe limited) the charitable deduction.

          • Fredlinskip

            I suppose that’s one way of looking at it.

            Here’s another.
            One side believes that market forces will endow certain individuals to acquire enough that they will see fit to provide “charity“. This is akin to the good old “trickle up” policy.

            The other side might posit, “ how likely is that a few individuals would possess the wisdom as to bring about the greatest good for the many? Isn‘t that what constitutional government was created for-
            the greatest good for the many?”

          • fun bobby

            I have never heard of “trickle up”. were you referring to “trickle down”? In any system there are inevitably have and have nots. it is incumbent on the haves to take care of the have nots to maintain their heads connections to their bodies. neither bureaucracy nor coercion is required for this to work. Also one does not need to be wealthy to help others. I think a good way to transition away from the mess we have would be to allow taxpayers to earmark their tax money to what government functions they thought were good uses of it and then require that the departments budgets be limited to whatever they receive.
            what’s ensured by our constitution is equal protection and liberty not equal outcome. I am sure people differ in how they define “the good”. I am confused about the “few individuals” are you referring to successful people or to politicians.

          • Fredlinskip

            “trickle down” refers to supply-side economics, while “trickle up” refers to what this policy actually achieved.
            “Trickle up” performed with alacrity in ’08 financial crisis for example.

            What I refer to by “the few”, would include the 1% of Americans that have received 95% of all income gains since ‘08 .

            “What’s ensured by our constitution is equal protection and liberty not equal outcome.”
            I would agree- as was the case when tax rate of upper incomes was 91%

            You’re right- people differ in how they define “the good”. Where we differ is that you seem to believe a small minority should define what is “the good”. I would suggest that that decision would be better left in the hands of “we the people”- and their representatives in gov.

            Our constitutional government as established in constitution is far from a perfect entity- but is a better source for “good” than leaving it hands of a few “Masters of the Universe”.
            IM (humble)O

          • fun bobby

            you have things all confused.

          • Fredlinskip

            Perhaps.
            It’s late and I’m tired.
            Catch you on the rebound.
            Have a good week.

  • pete18

    Here’s the new excuse for Obama’s lying, epitomizing the arrogance of the left: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/10/30/Maher-Americans-lie-Obama

    • hennorama

      pete18 — you’re taking comedian/satirist Bill Maher seriously now?

      Interesting.

      • pete18

        He wasn’t telling a joke he was giving serious commentary and excuse making:

        http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/bill-maher-obama-had-lie-stupider-americans

        • HonestDebate1

          He is absolutely right. It is interesting to see the left acknowledge what we have been saying for 3 years is true.

        • hennorama

          pete18 — thank you for your response.

          Whether Mr. Maher was being comic, satirical, or serious is not the point. Rather, the point is that it’s interesting that you and others are suddenly taking Mr. Maher’s words seriously.

          • pete18

            I’m not suggesting that Maher is an important or deep thinker, I’m only using his words as a crystalized, public reflection of what seems to be one of the prevalent rationalizations from the left for Obama’s lying. It is infused with one of the major pieces of arrogance found in statist thinking, “we know what’s best for you, you ignorant rube!”

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY for your response.

            I understand and respect your views, and (surprise!) completely disagree with them, as well as your premises.

            One notes also that in the clip to which you linked, Mr. Maher does not say “Obama lied.” Note also the minor quibble that he said Americans were getting “stupider,” and not more ignorant.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            On his show, he told DWS it was a lie. He is right. Do you agree with him?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMU_JamTqGk

          • HonestDebate1

            I certainly took him seriously when he called Sarah Palin a c#nt. I took him seriously when he gave Obama a million dollars.

          • brettearle

            Interesting you’d use a “pound” sign….

            [Couldn't resist]

          • HonestDebate1

            yikes.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — discipline, sir, discipline.

            Resistance is not futile.

          • brettearle

            `Vary’ Profound!

            I posted the column.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — at first glance, I thought you wrote ‘Varys’ Profound! and blushed at the thought of being compared to The Spider, whose profundity is beyond compare:

            “Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick. A shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”

            Thank you for your abundantly kind words.

          • brettearle

            Henn–

            Would you not agree that, on occasion, Maher has been an equal opportunity Bash-er?

            PS Are you, indeed, a Basketball fan–and, if so, can I print an article I wrote about the Celtics?

            I can put in on an earlier web page of an earlier show…..

          • hennorama

            brettearle — yes, yes, and yes.

            Wow … my natural grousing suddenly turned into easy agreement. It’s been a day thus far.

            As usual, I blame Canada, especially Steve Nash.

          • brettearle

            Nash?

            For getting older and not being able to beat the Thunder so that West Coast ShowTime could have beaten the Heat?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — yes, all that, plus he was first to mind. ;-)

      • HonestDebate1

        Why wouldn’t anyone take a serious statement seriously?

  • Fredlinskip

    It seems that since the end of the debacle of the shutdown the “news” spin cycle has been largely about seeing if we can’t manufacture some more crisis
    The web site problems will be fixed.
    If NSA policy established in previous administration, need be reviewed and changed- this can be done.
    Privacy issues are important, but let’s not feign surprise that some of the billions (trillions?) spent on antiterrorist policy since 9/11 would not be spent in such endeavors.

    How about spending some time on some of the more relevant issues facing our nation.

    • HonestDebate1

      The is a big effing deal.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      President Obama promised no more “manufactured” crisis. Period!!!

      Oops!

      How would you feel if you were one of the millions who received a cancellation letter due to government intervention and now can’t get on the government website to shop and face no insurance Jan 1? You wouldn’t consider this a ‘manufactured’ crisis.

      • anamaria23

        Hopefully the law can be changed and amended so that the millions can keep their insurance if they like it.
        How would you feel if you were one of the millions who will continue without any coverage at all due to states not extending Medicaid with no options at all?

        • HonestDebate1

          Rob Johnson sponsored a bill that does just that and I think I read that a Democrat did the same. It may even have been my Senator.

          I can’t prove it but I believe if it were to come to pass I strongly believe Obama would veto it. The thing is Anamaria, the bill relies on people not being able to keep their plans. This is why they eviscerated the grandfather clause.

    • brettearle

      I can’t agree with you on these matters.

      I’m an Obama supporter. But NSA policy and ACA issues are significant–in an ongoing way.

      There are fewer issues more fundamental than privacy, for many, many citizens in this country.

      And the issue of Security vs Privacy is very, very close in importance, to just privacy alone.

      Media ignored the NSA issue, in many ways,BEFORE the Snowden debacle.

      They should not, in retrospect, let NSA fritter away into the background and go onto, so-called “bigger and better things”.

      With regard to ACA, we would have to expect glitches–if not major ones–at first. We saw them, with Medicare, when Medicare was first implemented; and we saw problems with the Medicare D program under Bush II.

      There may be no more fundamental policy, right now than Health for everyone in this country–RREGARDLESS of how you feel about Health policy in this country.

      Even after the web site becomes more efficient, there will be all sorts of problems to work out–including proper communications by CSR’s; knowledge of coverage and eligibility; administrative details that secure sign-ups and mailings and Internet connectivity between provider and end user.

      The Media should NOT let up on these issues.

      And I am surprised that you would like to look at these matters–simply from a political point of view.

      • Fredlinskip

        I hope I didn’t suggest that the NSA issue should be ignored, but would maintain that it should not eclipse other issues. Much policy established in the wake of 9/11 was questionable and deserves greater scrutiny. I would maintain that much of our nation’s actions in response to 9/11 was more damaging to our nation/and world then the attack itself.

        What would you expect NSA to do with the hundreds of billions granted to them after 9/11 with the simple mandate of “preventing another attack”?
        Yes there is cause for concern – and hopefully sensible changes, if warranted, will be made.

        Yes the website is a major embarrassment.
        But it’s too early in the process to make grandiose judgments as far as the overall “success” of the program.

        “I am surprised that you would like to look at these matters–simply from a political point of view.”
        That’s a fair criticism. It is hard to look at the comments on this page and not react in a political sort of way. You’re a better man than I if you’re capable of remaining impartial.

        I t has been my observation that current GOP has offered an unprecedented policy of obstructionism to current administration.
        Many of these comments seem to suggest that the NSA issues, and the ACA rollout problems are ENTIRELY the fault of one man.
        I would disagree.

        • brettearle

          First, let’s get my own emotions out of the way, before I comment on what you said.

          You will see, if you scroll down `aways’, my very harsh criticism of the Right, on this forum, as well as the Right in general. [Patience....you'll find my comment below somewhere....in this particular thread]….

          The trap that the Right sets for us–without even really trying–is to get us to ignore our true values:

          keeping our eye on the `prize’ of recognizing those issues that are critical to the country and what to do about them; and how to make sure that the facts, of these matters, are not being polluted by the Right…..

          and, sometimes, to make sure that we, ourselves are not influenced, by a radical reaction of the Left, to the Right’s Myopia……

          The NSA is so far out of control in a way–from 9/11 fear and from lack of adequate oversight–that it is incumbent upon all of us, to keep abreast of the issue.

          And the only way to do that is by having Media stay on top of it–for, perhaps, an indefinite period of time…..

          The Right does not have rational control of a number of arguments; what’s more, more than ever, the Right is losing a grip of those priorities, that are important to the Public.

          Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s screw-ups–some of which are the Administration’s own fault–need to be watched and monitored. And, unfortunately, the mistakes are mitigating against the unraveling of the Right.

          The real mental dexterity involved is to ward off the Right’s irrational attacks and at the same time recognize what the Obama administration is doing wrong.

          Of course the President is not completely at fault. However, it is his Administration and these issues are happening under his Watch.

          A few on the Right are somewhat flexible.

          But not many.

          BUT, in my view, it is ESPECIALLY important for us to remain flexible.

          After all, that’s some of what being a, quote, Liberal, unquote, is all about, is it not?

          • Fredlinskip

            Well spoken.
            Appreciate you taking the time to try and keep me on the straight and narrow .

            Perhaps I need stick to the day job- which in truth I have been- 7 days a week lately, which is perhaps clouding my perspective.

            That said, at least if this past week is any indication, it does not seem that anyone needs be much concerned about media holding Obama Admin’s “feet to the fire” on these issues.

            And as far as NSA, if media ever lets up any, it seems Snowden will see fit to trickle out some new revelation to further damage relations with yet another of our foreign allies.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Just in from the department of irony…

    “Nobel Peace Prize Winner Obama Reportedly Told Aides Last Year That He’s “Really Good at Killing People””

    #nobelprize
    #giveitback

    http://reason.com/24-7/2013/11/03/nobel-peace-prize-winner-obama-reportedl

    • fun bobby

      is it because he goes to the shooting range all the time or because the drones are so accurate?

  • HonestDebate1

    My observations on likes and dislikes:

    I get a kick out of them. I think it’s interesting that the likes are known and the dislikes are anonymous. It’s seems like PC to me. I rarely ever click dislike. If I do it is only when I think the comment is inappropriate. I can’t imagine I’ve clicked it 5 times. The last time it was in response to someone asking the price for someone’s daughter. It was a joke but inappropriate and not funny. I never click dislike to replies of my comments, I debate them. I notice others reply and say they clicked dislike and why. That’s kinda’ cool. I think it’s very interesting when the dislikes mount up on my comments without replies. It seems to me that means I won the argument. And when they mount up to quotes from MLK Jr. or some other such righteous eloquence then I know it’s ideological and nothing more. I assume (maybe incorrectly) they would not do so if they weren’t anonymous. They are cowards as far as I am concerned. In short, I wear the dislikes like a badge of honor and a sure sign of how petty some people can be.

    As far as the likes go, I’m not to generous there either but I try to be. I just don’t think about it much. I do make more of an effort to click like when it’s a commenter who I normally disagree with. I hope it is noticed that I am putting ideology aside. I certainly notice when a regular adversary does the same for me. But I love looking to see who clicks on the nasty comments. I get a lot of those. I happen to think gratuitous nastiness is petty. Liking them is even more petty. Some commenters are not embarrassed and proudly out themselves. That tells me I’m in their head.

    No point really.

    • OnPointComments

      I’m happy when I get either likes or dislikes. When I get likes, I figure that a portion of the huddled masses thinks I’ve provided an especially intuitive insight, and when I get dislikes I assume that I’ve really ticked off the liberals. Either one puts a smile on my face. :)

  • TFRX

    Looks like Rand Paul has to clap his yap about dueling. It’s unconstitutional (From the Kentucky constitution).

    …I do further solemnly swear (or affirm) that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons

    Either he’s the manlyman whose honor is affronted by a journalist, or Kentucky has a duty to oust him for his unconstitutional activities.

    In the era of IOKIYAR, I’ll settle for Rand Paul shutting his mouth. Cos nobody inside the Beltway is going to say “Does this disqualify Rand Paul from serving in the Senate”?

    • HonestDebate1

      I think the first amendment trumps here and that assumes he violated the Constitution which he didn’t. Lighten up.

      Do you remember when Zell Miller challenged Chrissy to a duel to defend Michelle Malkin’s honor? That was a classic…. and funny.

      I see a reply to me from you just appeared below, the one about Huntsman. I’m thinking it was moderated but I can’t figure out why. I guess the moderator strolled through on this Sunday and showed mercy. Go figure.

    • allen 2saint

      Rand Paul is a dangerous, dangerous man. He stirs fear and anger and yet, whenever he is given hard question in an interview, he acts like a bully of a petulant child. He doesn’t think he deserves to be questioned. THAT, my friends is facism. You put that man in the White House and you will really see a nightmare.

      • fun bobby

        where as Obama has created the most transparent administration in policy and frequently engages the public and unfriendly media outlets in open discourse right?

        • allen 2saint

          Oh, what, are you part of my fan club now?

          Rand Paul, who’d be standing on street corners looking for a job if not for his dad, is a political hack. Obama is president. He was a community organizer in Chicago. What would Paul organize that he could not have direct control over? Nothing. I heard him talk once, criticizing “big government” and he added, at the end, “…and I’m a doctor.”

          Jerk, you’re an eye doctor and the only reason you have a license is you own the organization!

          He and his Tea Party are known across the media as naive children who wouldn’t run a lemonade stand and certainly cant govern.

          • HonestDebate1

            A community organizer’s job is to stir fear and anger. That’s what they do.

          • allen 2saint

            Thank God I know the difference between an exchange of ideas and smacking my head against a wall. Obama also is a law school grad and professor. Rand Paul is a child who is unable to work with others. Hearing his attempts to attract African Americans and Latinos to the Tea Party is so amateurish it’s laughable.

            I’m done with this exchange because I have my graduate work to attend to.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are entitled to your opinion but I see no reason to say Rand Paul or Barrack Obama or Donald Trump or Ed Shultz can’t be President. The only criteria is age and citizenship.

            What do you think of Obama’s stated views of the Constitution regarding negative liberties? I think they are un-American and cannot imagine why he was hired.

          • allen 2saint

            The President’s view of America, as a country where we take care of each other, is morally superior and more Christian( I am a theologian) than Rand Paul’s selfish, greed driven vision. Period.

          • HonestDebate1

            The question is not whether America is a nation that takes care of each other. It is how best to achieve that end. Assuming Rand Paul and his ilk don’t care for their fellow man is not very Christian of you.

          • allen 2saint

            But it’s very Christian of you to call the POTUS unAmerican right?
            Like every citizen, I have a right and a duty to think critically of what’s going on in my country. My faith calls for me to criticize people in power when it is against my values…or did you think only YOU had the right to do that?

            My country is a place where THE PRESIDENT wants to extend health care to everyone. That is Christian. Or we could have a country where, if Rand Paul got his way, people would be begging in the streets for health care and Civil Rights, whichis treating everyone with their God given dignity would be abolished and every business owner, in his view, would be able to discriminate at will. THAT is Ayn Rand’s atheist vision that Paul aspires to.

          • pete18

            As a Christian you should know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

          • allen 2saint

            I sure know when someone can’t come up with an intelligent argument, I’ll tell ya that. My profession is knowing what Chritian means. When it’s your profession, too, look me up and I’ll listen.

          • pete18

            Are you telling me that only graduate theology students are capable of knowing what being Christian means?

            Being Christian doesn’t mean ignoring common sense. It is a common sense reality that good intentions are not always enough to measure the goodness or effectiveness of an act. Karl Marx had an abundance of good intentions and his ideas contributed to some of the most cruel and destructive policies in history. Takes more than good intentions.

          • allen 2saint

            I think my education should be respected just like anyone else’s. I’m investing all my savings and three years of my life to do this work. Are you?

            Rand Paul wants to take away every policy that helps people because he thinks that individualism is “God.” Ayn Rand, who was an atheist and was not a secular humanist. She espoused that the poor should die. That is wrong. That is against the Christian values I believe in. Rand Paul believes it, too. He wanted some escalator removed from an office building so the people in town could help a disabled townsperson by themselves. That makes the disabled person dependent! That is enslavement! That is the same facism he accues the POTUS of.

            POTUS took a step forward and I applaud it. Needs some adjustment, sure, but ya know what? My nephew who has a genetic disorder will never have to worry about getting health care again. No one cares about those kind of things but the families who face it and no one worried a minute about us except the POTUS.

          • HonestDebate1

            I respect Christians. I’ve read the Bible and think it’s a great book but I feel like no one knows the ultimate truth, that includes me. I do not think my view is more righteous than anyone else’s. It’s a shame you seem to.

          • allen 2saint

            No, I didn’t say that. Most Tea Partiers, who claim to be Christian, are acting against their beliefs. I am not out to preach to anyone except fellow Christians who are misguided into thinking that they are right in following a maniac like Rand Paul.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who is following Rand Paul? At this point I would not vote for him. I don’t think he is Presidential material. But it would be crazy at this point to rule him out. I’m open.

          • allen 2saint

            Hey, if you could go for a known plagiarist who uses racist messaging to achieve his goals, knock yourself out.

          • pete18

            Which Christian belief?

            It is better to give a hungry man a fish?
            Or, it is better to teach a hungry man how to fish?

            How un-Christian of those Tea Partiers to want to the government to live within their means, to stop bankrupting the country and saddling more debt on multiple generations of grandchildren. This is what you’re learning at grad school?

          • allen 2saint

            well, I learned we’re 27th in overall health of our newborns in grad school. I learned we’re the last developed nation to have anything like universal care. those morons are still asking junion high level questions about government.

          • pete18

            Again, what is it that is un-Christian or even uncharitable about wanting your government to live within it’s means and not saddling the future generations with more debt?

            “Morons” that must be the “Christian” term for loving thy neighbor.

          • allen 2saint

            We live in an unjust economic conditions. Catholic Bishops observed that in the 80′s. Health care should not be so expensive.

          • pete18

            Why can’t you answer my question?

          • fun bobby

            no his comment was only about what “Chritian” means. the man is clearly very learned.

          • JGC

            I think you meant to write, “No, his comment was only about what “Chritian” means. The man is clearly very learned.”

            If you want to start making grammatical and spelling corrections, there are only too many folks here willing to help you, too.

          • fun bobby

            sure but I am not claiming to be an expert on punctuation, he was claiming to be an expert on “chritian” and saying that his opinion on the subject is somehow better than someone else’s. its was pretty funny

          • fun bobby

            “My profession is knowing what Chritian means.”
            what exactly does “Chritian” mean?

          • allen 2saint

            Well, let me let you in on a little secret: it doesn’t mean seizing on a little misspelling when you’re losing an argument, genius.

          • fun bobby

            lets look at your statement in context:

            “I sure know when someone can’t come up with an intelligent argument, I’ll tell ya that. My profession is knowing what Chritian means. When it’s your profession, too, look me up and I’ll listen.”
            brilliant argument

          • HonestDebate1

            Allen 2Saint, I was referring to this:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jr9mLB3yKs

            I think that view turns the Constitution on it’s head and is un-American. I think the mantra of fundamentally transforming America is the antithesis of respect for America. I think sitting 20 years in a church that says GD America is not something I would personally tolerate. I did not say Obama is un-American, I said his views were. This is an informed honest opinion. You don’t have to agree.

            Alas, I am not a Christian. I do not draw on faith to form my opinions, I draw on the record. It’s abysmal. Obamacare does NOT extend health care to everyone. saying Rand Paul wants people to beg in the streets is a hideous and shallow position. Honest debate is not possible and that’s before I ignore your thinly veiled implication of racism.

          • allen 2saint

            Right, see here’s the problem: You think your criticism of the POTUS are NOT hideous or shallow. So, really, where are we going here? You could care less about my opinion and I could care EVEN less about yours.

            Rand Paul used racially coded messages all the time until he was told the Tea Party needed “more minorities.” His rhetoric is absolutely cartoonish now, as if no one remembers all the other things he has said. You can answer to it or not, I don’t care. It’s fact.

          • HonestDebate1

            I made the case, you did not.

          • allen 2saint

            You keep telling yourself that.

          • jefe68

            I hate to inform you, but Obama is a centrist Democrat who is selling out this nation to corporations. He;s not what you think he is, nor has he ever been.
            The right on this forum, while they are as partisan as one can get, regressive in their ideology, are correct about Obama’s lack of transparency and his lack of being truthful.

            Read up on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is deliberately shrouded in secrecy, a trade deal powerful people, including President Obama, don’t want you to know about. More than 130 members of Congress have asked the White House for greater transparency about the negotiations and were essentially told to go fly a kite.

            http://billmoyers.com/segment/yves-smith-and-dean-baker-on-secrets-in-trade/

          • allen 2saint

            Sigh. Yeah…outrage is the new black.

          • jefe68

            So let me get this straight. You have no outrage over how this huge trade agreement is being done in secrecy?

            The ACA is fast becoming a huge disaster for the president Obama. Don’t get me wrong, I want this thing to work. But the more I read on this every day the more it’s clear that a lot bad decisions were made from the get go.
            His first mistake was giving to much the insurance corporations and big pharma.
            By the way, back to the TPP, that has provisions that will basically strip any government from dealing with large pharmaceutical corporations in drug prices. He’s corporate Democrat, noting more nor less.

            Then there’s the drones. You like that our government is engaging in this kind of activity?

            Are you so blinded by your own ideology that you think Obama can do no wrong? He’s corporate/centrist Democrat who was never even close to being a progressive. Look at his record it’s there for anyone willing to see it.

            That said, he’s also dealing with a right wing that’s pretty much in the land of craziness. But that does not change who and what kind of politician Obama is.

          • allen 2saint

            “Blinded by ideology” is probably not the way I’d try to reason with someone. No, I’m not blinded by anything. I am just very pragmatic about things.

            To date, he is better than the alternative and he’s my president. “Outrage” against Obama only falls into the hands of his opponents, who have made it clear they have no agenda other than to stop him. Or outrage against Obama walks people right into the hands of Rand Paul, who, along with the rest of the Tea Party has depended on fear based, racially coded messaging to attack him and they turned it up double with the NSA problem.

            ACA is a big government program. I’m sure mistakes were made. They always will be. We’ll work on it.

            The drones. Maybe it went too far. I definitely am against civilian casualties, but am I up in arms as if Obama had some nefarious intent? Nope. So far, he hasn’t decimated a country over “faulty intelligence” and that’s the track record we have from the other side. He won’t do that.

            You want to flip out on him because he’s a corporate/centrist and I knew that all along. He was better then and he is better today than the other choice. Some days that’s the best you can do.

            I know people on politics and I know the “real progressives” you’re talking about and none of them could get out of their own way. Nader is a menace and the people I talk to say he is a ruthless egomaniac who would be nothing but destructive. Basically, a reverse Tea Party. No thanks.

            Outrage doesn’t do anything. If you’re that worked up about it, then join a cause and make your voice heard. Take some action. Right now, grad school and all, I’m doing my thing, hoping the right wing, who truthfully has been amoral in their tactics, don’t get into power, cause then there will be plenty more to be outraged about.

          • fun bobby

            pragmatic or dogmatic?

          • allen 2saint

            Luckily, this is not an interrogation and you don’t stand in judgement of me. You just think you do. So, you get to figure that one out for yourself.

          • fun bobby

            sounds like dogma to me

          • allen 2saint

            OK. Good for you.

          • fun bobby

            God bless you jefe. I have to give you a lot of credit for not blindly towing the party line on this one

          • fun bobby

            well said Jefe

          • fun bobby

            his vision is not of a country where we all take care of each other its a vision where the government takes care of everyone.

          • HonestDebate1

            Bingo.

          • allen 2saint

            Yup, as long as you have insurance you could care less, right? People like my nephew? Let ‘em die right, if they have a pre-existing condition. Go to your Tea Party rallies and suck it all up, buddy, as of this year, my nephew is covered for life. I’m sure you could care less, but it’s important to me and frankly, thats all that matters.

          • fun bobby

            I have to laugh about your Tea Party comment. you are so far off and you persist with this delusion you keep projecting.
            I think without all the government subsidies the costs would be lower for all and perhaps even affordable. more giveaways to the drug and insurance companies will only benefit those special interests. Has he gotten a policy on the exchange yet? how much is it?
            Why don’t you help your nephew?

          • anamaria23

            The fear and anger are already there. Hope for their future is what is needed.
            Early education is one of the great affirmers of one’s worth in society.
            As well as health care.

          • fun bobby

            yes Obama is famous for his cooption of hope

          • HonestDebate1

            In my opinion anger is a useless and destructive emotion. I think fear can be very useful if it’s confronted. The problem is when these emotions are exploited for political gain.

            Hope is everything. IMO that is the default emotion we all share. It should be nurtured because in America it’s real. I believe the politically motivated exploitation of emotions is a sin of the highest proportion.

            It is my honest opinion President Obama has done just that.

            I am not going to try to convince you of anything. I just would like you to consider the possibility that I (and many others) am sincere.

          • TFRX

            At some point you think it’s useless and destructive? It’s easy to say that after all the right-sourced anger has been fetishized in your media (and the mainstream) over the last five years.

          • JGC

            Much like many Fox News and radio talk show hosts do.

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree.

          • fun bobby

            has your community organizer had any success in the lemonade industry? or any industry for that matter? what were his accomplishments in community organization?

          • allen 2saint

            Nope, just stuff like teaching constitutional law classes at one of them there colleges where they make the elites go and running a country where he gets the admiration of liberals like Robert Gates for making gutsy decisions. Industry? Maybe you’d like a CEO like Cheney. He was smart enough to get himself a contract worth billions while he was Veep. Maybe that’s the kind of prez you’d like.

          • fun bobby

            finished your graduate work already? was it a dissertation on the origins of oversized shoes into the discipline?
            I refuse to accept your turd sandwich/ giant douchbag dichotomy. I notice you could not come up with anything Obama accomplished as a community organizer.

          • HonestDebate1

            “He was smart enough to get himself a contract worth billions while he was Veep.”

            What are you talking about?

          • anamaria23

            I was never a community organizer, but as a very young health care worker was exposed to the same impoverished population as Barack Obama was. It was one of the most valuable experiences of my life and helped shaped my world view and understanding of what the effect of powerlessness is on the human spirit.
            While someone such as Paul Ryan’s intentions may be honorable, one of his points of pride is that he has never left his home town. He should see a bit more of the world and move beyond the writings of Ayn Rand as a guide to mature thinking.

          • fun bobby

            well that does not answer any of my questions. My years as an inner city public school teacher were very enlightening, I learned how with hard work people can rise out of poverty. Just the other day I ran into a former student who had become a nurse at a hospital where I was visiting a patient.

          • anamaria23

            Those are great stories. I have witnessed many myself with young people from all over the world as well as here.
            No worker with the truly poverty stricken works to teach them that they are powerless, but instead encourages them that they are NOT powerless and how to gain the power to uplift themselves. That is the whole point.
            Did not MLK encourage his people out of helplessness and to demand a rightful place in society?

          • fun bobby

            yes he did not encourage them to rely on the government for help

          • anamaria23

            Without the government, they might still be sitting at the back of the bus.
            I wonder how many of the success stories you relate had need of food stamps at some time in their life.

          • fun bobby

            it was the government that forced them to sit there. It was a brave woman and not the government that remedied the situation. I don’t know about the girl who was a nurse but the girl whose mother raised 7 kids on her own and is now going for her PhD never took any stamps. What some people discount is the power of people to help themselves and one another without coercion.

          • JGC

            The Civil Rights movement without a doubt demanded that the federal government step up for the rights described in the Constitution. When you say the government forced them to sit there (the back of the bus), you are referring to the local or state governments. The federal government had a very important and necessary role in the Civil Rights movement, but it only came at the demand of the organizers of the movement. And it did not come immediately.

          • HonestDebate1

            Rosa Parks did not need government, she just sat down in front.

          • anamaria23

            She was a great impetus indeed, but she could not change laws.

          • HonestDebate1

            MLK studied hard and held the bar expectation for blacks very high. He advocated education. He advocated excellence.

            “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

            He did not say you are helpless, hopeless and worthless, here’s a check.

          • JGC

            Sometimes we ask a question and we don’t always get an answer — right?

            More and more we have evidence that children deprived of physical and/or emotional sustenance are permanently deprived of the underpinnings that set them successfully on the path of life. There are some who survive in spite of their derelict circumstances, but it would be better if they had never suffered these circumstances at all.

            It shows in one of your examples, that a former inner city student became a nurse. In many zip-codes of the nation, to study and graduate as a nurse, would just be…normal. It would not be exceptional. So why is that, and why should we tolerate that pulling-yourself-up-by your-bootstraps perception, when clearly there is something else governing their future success? Why should their families tolerate that reality?

          • fun bobby

            maybe in Canada its easy to become a nurse but here in the states it is a lot of work and several years of post graduate education, even more impressive to do it while raising a child. I know a daughter of millionaires that is a nurse as well, you don’t know what you are talking about.

            “it would be better if they had never suffered these circumstances at all.”

            http://buddhism.about.com/od/thefournobletruths/a/The-First-Noble-Truth.htm

          • JGC

            It is well documented that the global stresses found in an inner city, impoverished neighborhood (probably like the one where you were a teacher for years), can permanently alter the young that are raised in those circumstances, even at the level of their brain connections. Once the brain has been rewired due to years of exposure to poor nutrition, poor health, extreme anxiety or even violence, it can be a bridge too far for such a person to perform well in a classroom. It is amazing that the nurse from your class found her resilience to rise above those circumstances. But it is not acceptable to think that in such a classroom, that of 35 students in that class, only a few can succeed, and that the reason why the rest did not is because they possessed a loser, powerless mentality.

          • fun bobby

            ah, the subtle classism of lowered expectations. I used to teach all my students about learned helplessness. That’s the biggest threat to their success. In Canada you have 35 kids in a class?

  • OnPointComments

    The definition of irony should be: Democrats excoriating Republicans as obstructionists for wanting to delay the individual mandate, and then having Democrats suggest that the individual mandate should be delayed.

    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/11/01/baucus-compares-obamacare-to-humpty-dumpty/

    “Let’s just see how much of this can be put together, how much Humpty Dumpty can be fixed, in the next month,” [Dem. Senator Max] Baucus told KYAA-AM. “And if it looks like Humpty Dumpty’s not getting put back … together, then maybe we should start thinking about delaying the penalties. It’s not right to penalize people for mistakes that the government’s made because the exchange isn’t working.”

    • HonestDebate1

      Obama could have avoided the shutdown if he agreed to delay the mandate. Not only that, it would have better for America and better for Democrats in 2014. The irony is thick.

  • OnPointComments

    Jay Leno: The Obamacare website went live on October 1st. After the first day, more people had walked on the surface of the moon than had purchased health insurance through the Obamacare website.

    • HonestDebate1

      Hilarious!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    This tweet from a liberal female columnist says it all:

    “@kirstenpowers10: Interesting that 100% of columnists Obama has met with one on one (b/c he thinks they “matter”) are men #waronwomen”

    • fun bobby

      no wonder Michelle feels like a single mother

    • OnPointComments

      Dana Milbank (another male columnist) of the Washington Post posed the question “What did President Obama know and when did he know it?” Whether about the NSA spying, or the website, or the IRS, or DOJ use of subpoenas. His conclusion:
      Question: What did Obama know and when did he know it?
      Answer: Not much, and about a minute ago.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-what-did-president-obama-know-and-when-did-he-know-it/2013/10/28/584702d0-4013-11e3-a751-f032898f2dbc_story.html

      As I’ve said before, this administration enthusiastically embraces ignorance and incompetence.

      • TFRX

        Ooh, when President Obama has lost Dana Milbank, it means…

        Actually, nothing. Dana Milbank is a weathervane of Inbred media.

        • OnPointComments

          I would think that you’d be hoping Dana Milbank is correct, because if he is proved to be wrong it means that President Obama, contrary to his statements, did know what was going on with people losing their health plans, NSA spying, IRS targeting of conservatives, and the DOJ subpoenaing reporters records.

          • StilllHere

            You’ve put him in a tough spot now.

          • TFRX

            Nah, Dana Milbank is not worth listening to. If he’s got something correct, it’s almost by chance. If he’s got something wrong, it’s almost by habit. If he’s got something about a Democrat, his answer is “go toward the mythical middle to appeal to the voters that we Beltway Inbreds feel must exist out there someplace”.

            Milbank’s made money for himself. But nothing like a “name” for analysis.

  • pete18

    One of the people that is losing his health care coverage because of Obama Care (stage 4 Gallblader Cancer patient) Is it alright that he was lied to? Is the idea of covering one set of patients while pulling the life saving insurance away from another set of patients a Christian one? PS, all of this was completely predictable and predicted : http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304527504579171710423780446

  • pete18

    Jay Carney said that the private individual market, in which people are currently losing their coverage, is ONLY 5% of all the health care in America, suggesting that this is a small cost to pay for the glories of Obamacare the main goal of which was to cover people who are currently uninsured. Let’s look at the math, 5 % adds up to about 15 million people. The number of people who were estimated to be uninsured before Obamacare was about 30 million people. So 30 million is a lot of people but 15 million is not? Statist moral math (all predictable).

  • J__o__h__n

    .

  • 228929292AABBB

    Julie Ravner’s not doing a lot to dispel the idea some people have that NPR is democrat friendly here. Ms. Sebelius would have done well to hire Ms. Ravner to testify in her place defending the Affordable Care Act, she’s a zealous advocate for President Obama.

  • OnPointComments

    The mad men are truly in charge of the asylum. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which will come up for a cloture vote in the Senate today, mandates that employers in the United States permit men to dress as women at work and women to dress as men as long as they otherwise adhere to “reasonable dress or grooming standards.”

    • fun bobby

      meh seems like a distraction at best. don’t let them distract you from the NSA and obamacare and agenda 21

  • Regitisanelohssa

    Here’s a suggestion for Nikkita the caller. She and her husband should consider WORKING FULL-TIME and going to school PART-TIME! Take responsibility. You have to do what’s called sacrificing. If you have TWO kids and DON’T work full-time you and your spouse are idiots–plain and simple. Oh, and make sure your “degree” is in a field where you can get a bona-fide job that provides more than $25,000/year. I bet you’ve got student loans by the way…just a hunch. SNAP for seniors and children can be justified. For a lot of adults receiving this “benefit” it’s a matter of feeling entitled.

  • OnPointComments

    Midlands man has personal information compromised on healthcare.gov

    “About a month ago, attorney Tom Dougall logged on to healthcare.gov to browse for cheaper insurance for him and his wife. On Friday, the last thing he expected to hear on his voicemail was a man from North Carolina who says he can access all of Tom’s personal information.

    “I tried to call healthcare.gov last night and they have no procedure whatsoever to handle security breaches,” he said. “All they can do is try to sell you a policy.”

    “Late Sunday, an HHS official said a security team is working to fix the issue. “We are aware of this issue and it is on our punch list of fixes, scheduled to be addressed in the very near future.”

    http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/23864518/only-on-10-midlands-man-has-personal-information-compromised-on-healthcaregov?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer5ccdd&utm_medium=facebook

  • pete18

    Tweet of the day: Dear America: We warned about higher premiums & millions of cancellations, & the media called us racist liars. Remember that. –Tea Party

    • HonestDebate1

      I chuckled and clicked like a few hours ago but as I think about it, it’s not funny at all. It’s quite hideous. Now he says:

      “What we said was you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed”

      No, that’s not what he said. He’s lying about the lie. It’s unbelievable.

      • pete18

        Well, he’s a serial liar, who’s completely inexperienced and lacks any sense of perspective, humility or respect for the voters. But, hey, who cares, his intentions are good! What’s far more troubling than Obama’s obvious faults is how many people have been taken in by him for so long.

        • HonestDebate1

          I agree, it’s terrifying.

          • pete18

            Did I forgot to mention exorbitantly self-absorbed and arrogant? The list is so long.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s a given.

        • Mark

          He’s not a serial liar, he is a pathological liar (there is a difference). There are behavioral therapists and medication that can treat this issue.

          • pete18

            The medication is called a Republican congress.

  • HonestDebate1

    Obama’s approval rating is now 39% and I guess that’s one reason why the libs here are getting so nasty. I find is odd they are still holding ideology over truth. It seems to me the outrage should be directed at our President. Early on one disingenuous commenter actually gave the date Obama made the claim and then parsed it to pieces as the commenter is known to do. As if he said it only once…or twice or twenty times. This illustrates the how much of a bubble many here live in.

    In watching video montages of the numerous times Obama repeated the lie something occurred to me. Many of those times were not during the election. He also got more and more emphatic with words and phrases like, “no matter what” or “period”. Why? Because many of us knew it wasn’t true and were calling him on it. His evolving emphasis proves we knew it wasn’t true.

    • Ray in VT

      Ah, picking the lowest point from a group of points. That’s right about in line with what I expect from you. Just ignore the higher ones. They don’t fit the ideology, just like the dictionary, which is why it must be rewritten to fit your definition. Ideology over facts and living in a bubble are something that you display on a pretty regular basis here.

      • HonestDebate1

        Ah, making chicken salad out of chicken litter in the name of ideology to delude yourself into thinking lies don’t matter.

        • Ray in VT

          Is that an admission of what you are doing? It’s seems pretty accurate. If not, then:

          Keep on shoveling that horse cr*p. You seem pretty adept at it.

          Lies only matter when it’s a Democrat, apparently (and that guy gets called a liar with a much lower standard than the conservatives or Republicans). A Republican can tell lies that get us into wars and cost thousands of American lives and that’s cool.

          • HonestDebate1

            I can see why you want to change the subject but just because your man Obama’s signature achievement is imploding doesn’t mean you have to be so hateful.

          • Ray in VT

            How am I hateful? You accuse me of that quite a bit. I just have no use for the sort of lies and tactics that you use, especially when you self-righteously declare that you never lie, despite obvious evidence to the contrary.

            The health care law is doomed! DOOOOMED!!!!!!!!! Why, they haven’t worked out the bugs on the website yet! It’s a total failure! Let’s just scrap it all and start over. A true conservative would wake a magic liberty wand and fix it all, just like they would have done with the recession. They built Rome in a day, so why can’t Obama personally fix this all just as fast. Those darned, dirty libs!

            I think that it’s telling that you’ve picked one data point and rather defended your conduct in doing so by choosing another highly limited scope. Typical. Quit pinballing. Geez.

      • pete18

        He’s just using the standard used for reporting polling numbers when Bush was in office. The media always headlined his lowest numbers.
        Goose, gander.

        Since Obama’s numbers are all steadily trending down, there’s small comfort for his supporters in
        pointing out the higher numbers, the average is still 43 and some change.

        • Ray in VT

          So he is the media now and two wrongs, this one actual and the other alleged, make a right? It sort of reminds me how the same thing happened right before the election last fall, except back then we also got the “poll truthers” who thought that the polls were all being cooked for Obama anyways, so the negative ones could be disregarded.

          Steadily trending down? I don’t really see that. There has been a drop in the past week, but when one looks at the numbers over a period of time, such as the last 3 months, they have gone up and down within a certain range.

          • pete18

            If you look at it over the last year, a much better measure, it has been a steady drop down, my guess is that it will continue to head in that direction, given that what little credibility he had left is now completely shot and people are now feeling the real pain and consequences of Obama care. But, if looking at the higher numbers of the various polls or the small pockets of up and down trends gives you some reassurance, please, keep living in the bubble.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, keep on guessing. I’m willing to wait to see what happens. And if one wants to look even further back, then the President is right about where he was at this time back in 2011, and his numbers went up quite a bit through 2012 and into early 2013, but if you’re determined to push a particular line, then fine.

            I am often told that I live in a bubble, but I don’t know which one that is. I think that it may be the bigger bubble that surrounds the TEA Party/GOP “reality” bubble.

          • pete18

            There’s nothing to wait for, his numbers are at the lowest point of his presidency.

            What reality do you think the Tea Party is ignoring? The one that says the government can keep spending beyond their means and nothing bad will happen?
            Or the one that says if you like your current health plan or doctor you can keep it?

          • Ray in VT

            Most of reality. The one that doesn’t go for their sort of political ideology. The one that doesn’t like the sort of economic laissez-faire theories. The one that goes with the vast majority of scientists and scientific data regarding climate change. The one that doesn’t like the sort of “right wing social engineering” that is envisioned by the GOP’s budget proposals. Also the one that doesn’t show any sort of evidence for the sort of bizarre conspiracy theories that get promoted or advanced by the most prominent TEA Party Caucus members in the House.

          • pete18

            Global warming and laisser-faire economics are both debatable topics, to define being on the opposite side of your
            perspective on those issues as a denial of reality is partisan nonsense. I’m not sure what right wing “social engineering” you are referring to, although my guess is that it falls into the same category. Nor am I aware of the Tea Party conspiracy theories that you are referring to but I’m sure you’ll enlighten me. However, there is no debating the reality of Obama’s dropping popularity or his broken promises
            over healthcare.

          • Ray in VT

            Believe what you want, dude. The public is just pretty hard against a lot of those positions. I don’t think that climate change is very debatable in the larger context, despite the efforts of a highly vocal minority, many of whom (coincidentally I’m sure) are hooked up with fossil fuel companies or their front groups. I was referring to Newt’s take on the Ryan budget, and as for conspiracies, I would direct you to the hilarious remarks out of people like Bachmann, Gohmert and the rest (Obama supports terrorists, Obama’s fueling violence in Mexico to crack down on the Second Amendment, a bunch of stuff about Benghazi that seems to have little to nothing to do with the actual security failures).

          • pete18

            “I don’t think that climate change is very debatable in the larger context, despite the efforts of a highly vocal minority, many of whom (coincidentally I’m sure) are hooked up with fossil fuel companies or their front groups.”

            Then why has there been no warming for the past 15 to 17 years even though carbon dioxide levels have continued to increase? This reality has not been invented by oil backed front groups. The IPCC itself has admitted this. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/09/26/as-its-global-warming-narrative-unravels-the-ipcc-is-in-damage-control-mode/

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