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« Liberal Outrage: June 2009 | Main | Liberal Outrage: August 2009 »

Liberal Outrage

Love Medicare, hate government run healthcare.

Krugman reacts to this oddity:

Why Americans hate single-payer insurance

Because they don't know they have it. A commenter points me to this:

At a recent town-hall meeting in suburban Simpsonville, a man stood up and told Rep. Robert Inglis (R-S.C.) to "keep your government hands off my Medicare."

"I had to politely explain that, 'Actually, sir, your health care is being provided by the government,' " Inglis recalled. "But he wasn't having any of it."

One of the truly amazing and depressing things about the health reform debate is the persistence of fear-mongering over "socialized medicine" even though we already have a system in which the government pays substantially more medical bills (47% of the total) than the private insurance industry (35%).

Meanwhile Matthew Yglesias provides data that shows that older people are the least likely to support universal healthcare. As he says:

I assume that were seniors not in a position to benefit from a special, wildly popular "universal health care for old people only" program that they would look more kindly on creating a universal health care program.

By fnord12 | July 28, 2009, 12:09 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



Jersey

This is the simplest write-up I've seen of the recent string of arrests in Jersey.


By fnord12 | July 27, 2009, 5:00 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Gaming the system

This may be technically legal, but how does it provide any value to society?


By fnord12 | July 27, 2009, 1:22 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Stand down, India. China, get ready for war.

TPM:

Sen. John Cornyn's office has apologized for his statement last week that America needs the F-22 fighter plane in order to deal with the national security threat from India -- which is an ally of the United States -- saying he misspoke.

"Senator Cornyn misspoke saying 'India' when he meant to say 'China,'"


By fnord12 | July 27, 2009, 10:56 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



'He is there to pass health-reform--not make us post-racist, or post-police power, or post-whatever.'

I guess i was pretty impressed with Obama's defusing of the Gates situation, and was only a little disappointed with the fact that (the appearance is that) he's backing down off his original "the police acted stupidly' stance. Ta-Nehisi Coates flips that perspective on me:

I feel pretty stupid for going hard on this, and stupider for defending what Obama won't really defend himself. I should have left it at one post. Evidently Obama, Crowley and Gates are talking about getting a beer together. I hope they have a grand old time.

The rest of us are left with a country where, by all appearances, officers are well within their rights to arrest you for sassing them. Which is where we started.

...
I hope Crowley, Gates and Obama get that beer soon. They need to pour out a little something for Shem Walker. We can't all go to Harvard.

By fnord12 | July 27, 2009, 8:53 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Whatever happened to Honduras?

Remember that? Some sort of coup or something?

The US still hasn't officially called it a coup or cut off funding. Could it have anything to do with the fact the Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State, and her former campaign mouthpiece Lanny Davis is now a lobbyist for the pro-coup interests, could it?

This was reported by TPM on the 14th (link above) with little impact. Mark Weisbrot, in the LA Times opinion section, follows up.


By fnord12 | July 24, 2009, 10:19 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Senate 'delays' healthcare reform

Link:

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said yesterday that the delay of a vote on health care reform should help the process. "I think it's helping a little because this is so complicated and Senators want to feel comfortable with what they're doing," Baucus told reporters.

A delay won't help the process. A delay will push the vote on this bill to a time when they're all too worried about getting re-elected to take a stand on anything. And opponents of health care reform are well aware of that; it's why they're delaying.

The Patriot Act was signed a little over a month after September 11th. It was 100s of pages long. It contained sweeping changes to complex laws around law enforcement, surveillance, and counter-terrorism. And yet they were able to get it through Congress in no time at all.

Obama campaigned on health care reform. It's been 8 months since he was elected. Democrats have been trying to pass healthcare reform since Harry Truman. There are plenty of existing models (Canada, Massachusetts,etc.) to draw upon. What excuse is there for a delay?


By fnord12 | July 24, 2009, 9:59 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Nice to see an op-ed like this in the Washington Post

Harold Meyerson:

Watching the centrist Democrats in Congress create more and more reasons why health care can't be fixed, I've been struck by a disquieting thought: Suppose our collective lack of response to Hurricane Katrina wasn't exceptional but, rather, the new normal in America. Suppose we can no longer address the major challenges confronting the nation. Suppose America is now the world's leading can't-do country.
...
Centrist Democrats' opposition to health reform verges on the incoherent. A caucus (the Blue Dogs) formed ostensibly to promote balanced budgets now disapproves of the proposed taxes that would cover the expenses of the new programs. The congressional centrists say, commendably, that they want to squeeze more economies out of the system, but they oppose giving more power to an agency that would set the payment scales for physicians.

Read the whole article for the bonus: "Distribution, si; production, no!"


By fnord12 | July 22, 2009, 8:48 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Switcharoos

Walmart - which currently encourages its employees to go on Medicaid so that it doesn't have to provide affordable health insurance - has just come out in favor of employee mandates that force employers to cover all employees. It's a move that has pro-health reform advocates scratching their heads. I'm not necessarily interested in the employer mandate; i just want a public option that will cover anyone who wants it. But it is a policy that is favored by most progressives, so it's interesting to see Walmart support it. The 'common ground' may be that it will be a likely strain on small businesses, which will be to Walmart's advantage in driving out the competition.

Meanwhile, Joe Lieberman - who, when welcoming him back into the Democratic caucus, Harry Reid told us that he was a good Democrat on everything except the Iraqi war - has come out against the Public Option.

So basically our enemies are our friends and our friends are our enemies. If we're naive enough to have believed that Lieberman was ever our friend, and if we don't suspect Walmart of having an ulterior motive.


By fnord12 | July 1, 2009, 1:27 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



www.data.gov

There's been a lot of (justified) mocking comparisons between Obama's call for greater government transparency during the campaign and his actions as president (continuing to use 'state secrets' and 'national security' to avoid releasing evidence in court cases, refusing to release the torture photos, keeping the White House visitor log a secret), but this looks like it could be a big deal.

Jay Ackroyd at Atrios says:

I spent the last two days at the Personal Democracy Forum. By far, the most important presentation came from the Obama administration's IT folks. They have created an engine for providing data feeds from Federal departments. It includes GAO and departmental data that drills down to the purchase order level. Adherence to budgets and schedules are part of the base system, as are both contractors AND the contact information for the official responsible for the project.

It's live, it's beta, it's "iterative." They say they launched with 47 data feeds. Now it is over 100,000.

Exciting! And hard to undo by a future administration.

And here's a summary. This could wind up being almost as important as the Freedom of Information Act.


By fnord12 | July 1, 2009, 9:50 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



You know it's true

A comment* at Balloon Juice:

also, the best comment I've seen so far regarding the Franken win is over at Wonkette:
BREAKING: HARRY REID ANNOUNCES IT NOW TAKES 61 VOTES TO BREAK A FILIBUSTER

*Yes, i'm quoting a comment quoting a comment.


By fnord12 | July 1, 2009, 9:43 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



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