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Everything posted by jryan

  1. They aren't ignorant of the debt, they just believe in drinking yourself sober. That isn't to say that the previous president was a spend thrift, either... but the current administration seems hell bent on making him appear that way.
  2. By the way, this also leads right back to the ignored wisdom of the US founding fathers. By the US Constitution, the most readily acceptable way to create and regulate a health care system is at the state level. What we have almost working in the EU is essentially state level socialized medicine. Of course, Massachusetts tried their damnedest to recreate European style social program, and have earned top honors as most debt ridden state in the union. And that state's health plan was the model for Obamacare. We're screwed.
  3. More important in that chart of external debt, ParanoiA, is the percent of GDP for the individual countries. Look at the UK, and all the other Social Democracies that Obama and the Democrats seek to emulate. They are drowning in debt. The elephant in the room there is that the entire world could not afford to float us that much credit. That amount of credit almost doesn't exist... and in practical terms does not. The GDP of the entire planet was $57.5 trillion in 2009, if we ran UK social programs (debt equal to 365% of GDP) we would need to borrow $51 trillion. And that isn't even counting internal debts to Social Security and Medicare which total $107 trillion at the moment, and since they are internal debt are also pinned to our inflation... so we can monetize ourselves out of those obligations. But hey, 16 million people now are forced to buy health care they didn't want and the other 15 million are saved a visit from a social worker to sort out their medical expenses. Fiscal catastrophe is a small price to pay for such wanted and unwanted conveniences!
  4. Not to mention that the racial and sexual epithets have not been corroborated by the video, and the video shows that the "spitting" incident was accidental. Here is the video. The blogger sees more than there is in the video... or fails to understand the difference between purposeful spitting and spray.
  5. Claiming "Republicans don't want to improve the country" is begging the question, Bascule. We must first assume that the Democrat bill was good for the country before we can accept the accusation. Not everyone assumes it is a good bill.
  6. Of course, the Democrats will have to actually be compromising as well... which they have yet to be in the last year.
  7. Only if you define dissenting views as disruptive. Well, as was pointed out in the original question, the Republicans leaving at 2:00pm was within the rules. I took the objection to mean they were not acting in good faith, or with decorum. My examples were of Democrats behaving in a similar fashion. This is just partisan posturing, Mr. Skeptic., and you know it. It is also begging the question on part of the Democrats. The "common-sense proposals" are defined by the folks shutting off the lights and cutting off the microphones. Returning after the break to compromise is not a defense for the poor behavior. I suppose when Republicans decide to finally cooperate with Democrats you will excuse them the poor behavior?
  8. If you like "Orange versus lighter" you should see "carrots versus microwave" Do a youtube search though as doing it yourself can be bad for you and your microwave.
  9. Which, of course, is why I provided all the other links and lists in my post. I could also provide more, if needed.
  10. Well no, and when you make a quick list like that there will be some that don't fit hypocrisy. Arguing that a tax law be changed to benefit you, on the other hand, would be hypocrisy if you are a tax-happy liberal. But there is still plenty there that is hypocritical.
  11. LIst of Democrat hypocrits And then there is ... a short list of more liberal hypocrits: # California Democrat Nancy Pelosi receives large-scale financial support from organized labor – while she and her husband own a vineyard and stakes in a hotel and a restaurant chain that are all non-union shops. # "Environmentalist" Pelosi also has a stake in a posh country club that skirted environmental protection provisions. # Ted Kennedy fights for the estate tax and rails against tax shelters – while benefiting from trusts and private foundations that have shielded most of his family’s fortune from the IRS. # The deeply personal reason why Kennedy opposed a plan to provide clean alternative energy to Cape Cod. # Robert Kennedy Jr. proclaims that it’s not moral to profit from natural resources, but receives an annual check from his family’s oil profits. # Al Franken attacks conservatives because they "lack diversity," yet less than 1 percent of the employees he has hired over the past 15 years were African-American. # Socialist radical Noam Chomsky charges that the Pentagon is the "most hideous institution on earth" – while being paid millions by the Pentagon over the last 40 years. # Ralph Nader says unions are essential to protect worker rights – but fired his employees when they tried to form a union. # Barbra Streisand urges Americans to cut back on their conspicuous consumption – while spending $22,000 a year to water her lawn. # Billionaire George Soros maintains that the wealthy should pay higher tax rates, but holds the bulk of his fortune in tax-free overseas accounts. # Hillary Clinton says 13-year-old girls are capable of deciding to have abortions without parental consent – but prevented her 13-year-old daughter from getting her ears pierced. # Why Schweizer – who spent two years researching liberal hypocrisy – calls his discoveries "stunning." .... as well as.... Here's a gay conservative that keeps a blog about liberal hypocrisy and... LA Times article about hypocritical Democrat tax cheats And there's plenty more from a quick Google search. Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. But an interesting point on hypocrisy... while there are long lists of hypocrites on both sides is hypocrisy actually an inherently BAD thing? I have often seen hypocrisy used on both sides to show how the underlying ideology is faulty, but to me that seems counter intuitive. If I were a smoker and told my children to never smoke I would be a hypocrite while my teaching would be sound. For hypocrisy to actually be BAD you have to first believe that the underlying rule that the person is breaking is unsound. Not paying taxes, for example, is hypocritical for a liberal who believes in high taxes, but is only wrong because, whether the tax is right or wrong, we all believe we should pay our taxes. So in this way we all seem to have it backwards. Liberals should be demonizing LIBERALS for their hypocrisy, and Republicans demonize Republicans when the hypocrisy is strictly ideological. Where we can both agree on a hypocrisy being bad is also where we can all agree on what a proper behavior should be. Maybe that is more for the philosophy thread, but I figured since we pulling out yard sticks here we ought to give some thought to what we are measuring. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged House Democrats literally lock out Republicans after Obama claims there will be transparency Democrats turn off lights in house chambers and kill microphones to stop debate And so on.
  12. The pools do exist in most states already. And as a social worker one of my jobs was to match these same children with state and federal programs. For example, for chronically ill children it was common to get them into either SSD or SSI through the Social Security administration, and from there they are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid... but in most cases even that step was unnecessary as SCHIP and CHIP and numerous other state and national programs already existed to meet the child's insurance needs. Heck, in many cases the primary assistance was coming from pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and private charities.
  13. Another strange thing about this health care bill, and I think the white wash is rather interesting.... Elimination of "preexisting condition" denials for children not immediate, contrary to President Obama's claim. Apparently the rules were supposed to take effect immediately for children and in 2014 for adults but someone way back when the Senate voted on the bill without reading it failed to read it.... Anyway, that is no big deal, really, as I don't think there will be major resistance to a new bill changing the law on minors to 2010. But here is the passage I found interesting: Parents whose kids are turned down by an insurer would still have a fallback under the law, even without Sebelius' fix. They could seek coverage through state high-risk insurance pools slated for a major infusion of federal funds. The high-risk pools are intended to serve as a backstop until 2014, when insurers no longer would be able to deny coverage to those in frail health. That same year, new insurance markets would open for business, and the government would begin to provide tax credits to help millions of Americans pay premiums. As someone who worked as a social worker, this statement is not a surprise, but it is probably a surprising revelation to many. What they are saying, though not as clearly as I am about to, is that medical coverage for children with preexisting condition denials has been around for a rather long time. This bill really does nothing but transfer what was a state managed program into Federal control. As such, this bill was never about getting children their cancer treatment.. that was already happening contrary to the sick children paraded in front of cameras. It has always been about giving the Federal Government control over that treatment. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged I think "time and again" is a bit too strong a phrase, as the only time I have seen that such a mandate was ever issued was in 1792, and was largely abandoned once the state could afford to equip actual armies, and repealed in 1903 when the program was determined to produce very poor quality militias. And in any case it was never meant to compel a citizen to spend large sums of money every month for the rest of their life. As I said before, I'd like to see the liberal response to a ramrodded reinstatement of the Militia Act of 1792 we'll see exactly how keen they are on the Commerce Clause and the reach of it's powers.
  14. Yeah, term limits would be nice. No more career politicians. I would want to also see an amendment that would required each spending measure to require it's own vote. No more earmarks, ever. Also, for fun, require that every Senator and Congressman pass a multiple choice exam on the contents of each bill before they are allowed to cast a vote other than "present".
  15. I don;t think they will go down without a fight, but the SCOTUS doesn't have a dog in these fights other than the law. It's certainly not a perfect check or balance, but it's something, at least. It is a shamefully anecdote driven process, for sure. Well, there is the Louisiana exemption from Medicaid costs, house staffers who wrote the bill possibly exempted themselves, though the religious exemption touted by Democrats late last year apparently is also in doubt as the exemption is referenced in the bill, but in a section that doesn't appear to exist. That will cause some headache, I think. Well, that's true. It should go to the health care providers directly. You and I know that the Fed will take their cut first, though. Because the stock market is the stock market. How good of an indicator was the stock market when it came to Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Enron, Madoff Investment Securities, FNMA, FDMC and so on? You could point to any of them in 2007 as signs that their plans were fantastic... I would guess that the investors see a large group of 16 million or more healthy adults who will be buying insurance in the coming year.. but that is no endorsement of the plan beyond the short term.
  16. The militia act was an emergency power that did not require the permanent retainer of the gear when it was not needed. But I suppose that will be a good test of the Democrat zeal, however. The first bill passed when under a Republican House, Senate and Presidency should be a reinstatement of the Militia Act of 1792 requiring that all Americans purchase a firearm. It will shape up to be a far reaching ruling to be sure. Also note that his argument is also not a matter of slippery slope, but rather of legal precedent that does, and the moment of decision, have far reaching application. I don't totally agree with the Gonzalez-v-Raich comment, but it is certainly something to consider. The primary difference in that case is that the Federal Government was enforcing a prohibition on a product rather than demanding a perpetual purchase of a service. Also, an interesting link in these first two articles is that a challenge to Gonzalez-v-Raich (via a finding of unconstitutionality in the health care bill) will open the door to both state rights to control banned substances as well as state rights in setting their own gun laws exclusively. It really is a sticky wicket that the SCOTUS has gotten itself in over the years. This challenge could bring several contradictory rulings to a head. In this case US-v-Raich that expanded the power of Congress under the commerce clause and -v Lopez and -v Morrison where laws were struck down for exceeding authority ("federal mandated gun-free zones" and "Violence Against Women Act" respectively) I see it as a distinct possibility. I think for the first argument to work the U.S. will have to establish the criteria for a state of emergency, which is easy to say but not so easy to do. Also I wouldn't be so sure that the 1792 mandate will be found compelling given the uniqueness of the circumstances surrounding the act itself. It would be hard to argue lack of Federal funding for provision of insurance which enacting a bill that itself creates enormous debt itself. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged I don't think it is such a slam dunk as the court has been wrestling with the commerce clause for a while now while the current court, at best, waffles with limitations under the commerce clause. It appears, at least in Lopez, Morrison and Raich that the drift in the court is toward affirming federal prohibitions under the commerce clause while limiting proactive measures that congress grants to itself. Well, it doesn't have to be. It will certainly be interesting to hear the arguments on this one and the deliberations of the court. Good Points: I would have to say the attempt to reign in Medicare fraud and abuse... though I think that is a pipe dream. Bad Points: I don't think they have thought through this legislation very carefully. It is easy to find loopholes in the program that do nothing but punish health insurance companies while funneling money into the Federal coffers. For example, by all rights the fines that people will pay for not having insurance should, by all rights be funneled back into the insurance companies who are the only losers under the new program. I've found nothing in the bill that shows this will happen. It seems designed to ruin the health insurance industry while also making it harder for physicians to stay in business.
  17. So how does Paul Krugman establish "more careful" in this context other than that this poll agrees with his expectations? I never made a qualification of the dissent one way or the other, iNow. Arguing that you can toss out public dissent because you believe it is split on two sides of the debate misses the point entirely. Well, sure it is, because it is important to know a broad base of what Americans want in their legislation and create programs that the majority of Americans support. They failed to do that in this case by a rather wide margin.
  18. And again, this isn't a "regulation of health insurance" that is in question here. It is the constitutionality of the Federal Government mandating purchase of health insurance without the ability to opt out. I have seen drinking age used in other articles to justify this. The Federal government sets a national drinking age, and then pins highway maintenance money to it's enforcement. States like Louisiana, however, for a very long time opted out of the state mandated drinking age and repaired their own roads. They had a choice. There is nothing in the wording of the law that would allow the states, the employers or the individuals the ability to opt out of buying health insurance. Ironically, nor should there be as the program doesn't even begin to work without mandatory participation. The whole reason that mandatory participation is included in this bill is it is necessary to offset the increased cost due to the clause eliminating pre-existing conditions. As I pointed out earlier, with the elimination of pre-existing conditions health care becomes unworkable without universal participation, otherwise everyone would opt out of insurance until they are actually seriously ill. It would be silly not to since maintenance health costs are far lower per year than are premiums. Also, ironically, the bill has a fine for not participating that is $750 or 2.5% of income (whichever is more). If the average family health plan is $13,375 annually then that makes paying the fine the better financial choice for anyone making less than $260,000 a year (assuming a fine of less than half the cost of average insurance premiums). After all, without pre-existing conditions you can always buy health insurance when you get seriously ill and spend the half of the savings on other goods and services until you do get sick and sock the rest of the money away to pay for incidental medical bills throughout the year. And no, paying a fine is not the same as opting out. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts mergedAlso, I would like to point out that it appears that I could pay fines and pay a lot less for my families insurance than I do now as I will be guaranteed coverage if one of us does get very ill. As such, arguing for the old plan is counter to my immediate financial interest. I oppose this bill because in the long run it will bankrupt this country whether I pay into the new system or not.
  19. Look at the broad base of polls before the vote was made, ecoli. Nobody was showing majority support for the bill. That is as close to reality as the polling will get for a while.
  20. I wouldn't put much stock in afterglow polling. This is the same polling phenomenon that had Obama at 65% approval after the election while garnering 52% of the vote. The polls right up until passage showed a 10.7 point advantage to the opposition. At this point a lot of people are hoping beyond their previous judgment that this bill will work out.
  21. This is not a slippery slope argument. It a flat statement of the precedent being set. This is part of the process that the SCOTUS will use to determine if the law will stand. But they DIDN'T make the state mandates contingent on acceptance of funding. With the connection to funding it is still a choice of the individual states. This law does not give the states, or the individuals, the choice. Exactly. But the bill does not make it an option to the states contingent on funding. <...> It wouldn't be a mandate then. Yes I am. It IS distinguishable from Garcia as it doesn't simply madate employee benefit levels offered by the employer but also mandates that the employee must buy them. It would be indistinguishable if the federal government mandated income levels at the SAMTA and then ordered citizens to work there.
  22. But that is circular logic as the other citizens also have the right to not purchase health insurance. You can't force one group to buy a commodity so that another group who wants the commodity can afford it. This is a poor argument. All the author has done so far is establish that mandates are really just regulations with the rationale being nothing more than "just because". Again a weak argument. The Federal Government has the ability to set taxes and tax credits. In this case the tax credit would be used which is an incentive, which is not a mandate either. Also it again makes the false, or yet unproven, assertion that mandates are regulations. This is, as I stated earlier, most likely the argument that the Federal Government will use. As such they will need to establish that universal health care is a sufficiently compelling interest to deny the citizen right to property. But here the argument runs into a problem. This is a bizarre argument as they claim there is no requirement to get medical treatment, yet they also claim that should you want that treatment it should be a right. If they argue the fundamental right of treatment decoupled from economic consideration (as they have) then the conclusion is that the Federal Government can not limit or regulate treatment. Without health care being a fundamental right they have a hard time arguing that there is a compelling need for the mandate. As I said before, taxation and providing a service is not automatically the same as mandating the purchase of a good or service. If they successfully make that connection there will be a rather amazing precedent set that could easily see "Buy American!" turned from a simple slogan to a Federal mandate to boost the economy. Having read the executive brief they have made no arguing substantively different than above. As such, I don't agree with the determination for the same reasons already stated. The only interesting difference is that they make claim that the Federal Government can issue such mandates and enforce them through tax-and-spend rights and by tying federal funds to states on state adherence to the federal mandates. This is interesting for a few reasons. First it is interesting as in that form of implementation the Federal Government agrees in principle with the fact that they have no authority for such mandates, and choose instead to buy state complicity (states do have such rights). Second, for such a piece of legislation to work it would have to be financially beneficial to the state to comply with the federal mandate. Also I am pretty sure that that mechanism needed to be in the bill when it was passed into law.
  23. Ooops, missed those. #1 and #2 would be useful but would probably need a good deal of understanding to not be dangerous. As such, I don't think we are ready for them. That leaves #3 for me, with the only concern being that there would be a strong push by humanity to supplant existing ecosystems with those plants.
  24. The automobile insurance example fails on two fronts. First, nobody is required to buy a car, so the mandatory nature of of auto insurance is attached to the freedom to buy, or not buy, a car. Second, mandatory purchase of health insurance is also not like mandatory auto insurance because the auto insurance mandates are a STATE law, not a federal one. By the way, it's not illegal for states to mandate the purchase of health insurance. This is the central function of the Massachusetts insurance reform. Which is apparently not against the Massachusetts constitution. It could go either way, but I think there are strong grounds for overturning that bit of the law which in turn would make the rest of the bill completely unworkable. I would guess that the Federal Government will defend their stand on "human rights" grounds, arguing that health care is a right. This would grant them precedent via the Slavery argument, which was arguably a matter of Federal mandates on state commerce. But the inalienable right argument has a serious downside to it in that by arguing for the bill on those grounds they will lose their ability to argue that the federal government can deny any health care coverage at all. Due process for denying individuals these rights would be rather onerous.
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