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The Chronicles of Obama


lockmat

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Evidently you were screaming so loud that you were not able to read what I posted - nothing about free markets, hate rhetoric, corporate America, etc. BTW, without "the free market" we would be living like folks in Russia, China, Cuba, or other third world dumps. You really need to grow up.

I read demonrats. It was there, it still is. I don't suppose that's a cutsie pet name for your wife?.. No, it's hate rhetoric, pure and simple. The growing up piece wasn't hate rhetoric though. Oh no, it surely wasn't. In Houston, grow up is one of those phrases used to mean either hello or goodbye like aloha in Hawaii, right? Wow.

My post was about rational discourse and an acknowledgement that "not everything worthwhile will turn a profit." I'm not sure where you heard that I was totally opposed to the free market, as I'm just not opposed to actually employing governmental power to do things that aren't necessarily beneficial for businesses to do. Some things businesses do better than government. Some things the government does better than businesses. Frankly, I'm all for even more stringent healthcare measures than even Obama would dare try to pass. I don't understand how some folks can feel comfortable with healthcare being run as a for-profit business. When the goal is the bottomline, and the health of the customers is secondary, I see a problem. The government doesn't have to turn a profit on healthcare. It could lose a ton of cash and still be a success as long as the health of the citizens is ensured. People rail against the government and spout patently ridiculous Fox News talking points like "What has the government ever done right?" without acknowledging that big business has a much worse history of running off the rails. Hey, remember that big bailout? Wait, wait, the bailout wasn't businesses fault, was it? I'm sure that was Barack Comrade Hussein Obama's fault too, right? Good grief. Aloha.

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For all the parents screaming about this speech, and demanding that their kids not be subjected to it, I'll bet they would be stunned to find how many of their children do not share their political views. Even more would be shocked to find that their kids secretly support the positions that the president espouses. A common parental malady is the one that causes parents to forget that kids think their parents are kooks. When parents actually behave like kooks, well, so much the kookier.

Today's parents grew up during the decades of wretched excess. Many are not even old enough to remember the recessions of the 70s and early 80s. They only know the easy credit, hyper-materialistic days of the late 80a, 90s and early to mid 2000s. The kids, however, are living through the worst recession since the Great Depression. They are very likely to have far different views on how things work, as well as how they should work. Parents who naively assume that their kids will grow up with the same political views as theirs are likely in for a shock.

And it should go without saying, yet I've not heard it mentioned once, in accusing the president of indoctrinating your children, you have just called your children idiots who cannot think for themselves. I can only imagine what the kids think of that.

First, I didnt read or listen to the speech so this is still coming from the "before the speech" mentality....There is a reason parents dont want their kids listening to the speech and that reason is that they do not trust Obama and do not know what he is going to say. If parents were afforded a bit more advance notice, and allowed to preview the speech, I believe the backlash would have been far more toned down. Believe it or not, most crazy right wing nuts, are actually pretty educated, and tend to be very involved in their childrens lives. But having heard him talk multiple times, lie through his teeth to get elected, and outwardly support socialism, it is not one bit strange to me that parents would not blindly trust this man not to take the opportunity to spew a bit of politics. Its my understanding that this did not take place, and I am happy to hear that, but I do not think its strange for people not to trust him to do the right thing. This president surrounds himself with racists, terrorists, and criminals....Parents should not have to blindly accept that he gets an open forum to their children just because he is the President. I respect the office of the President, but I do not respect the President himself.

Second and in response to Attica Flinches comment - the free market may not be perfect, but it is far better than the alternative. Socialism fails every single time. There is not one single socialist country in the world that has anywhere near the standard of living that we have. There is not a socialist country with better health care, there is not a socialist country with anything better than us. There may be things that are not "profitable" that are still worth while, but those things do not need to be funded by the government. Those things need to be funded by the individuals who actually care about those things. If you want to support people who do not work, and give them money to feed their kids, I applaud you for it, but its not the governments job. It should not be forced down the throats of every single person in America simply because you want it that way. Charities are much more efficient than the government, and charitable giving goes up when the economy is going well. The economy goes up when government gets out of the way, not into the way. I have disagreed fundamentally with almost every single thing that Obama has done since he got into office - and until he stop making more restrictions, raising taxes, and punishing business, I will continue to oppose him. I am just glad that we only have 3.5 years left of him - this man has ZERO chance of winning re-election and he knows it...that is why he is shoving everything down our throats as quickly as possible. Democrats are going to lose every election from now until he is out. He is more polarizing than Bush, and its because his policies and his beliefs are anti-American.

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I read demonrats. It was there, it still is. I don't suppose that's a cutsie pet name for your wife?.. No, it's hate rhetoric, pure and simple. The growing up piece wasn't hate rhetoric though. Oh no, it surely wasn't. In Houston, grow up is one of those phrases used to mean either hello or goodbye like aloha in Hawaii, right? Wow.

My post was about rational discourse and an acknowledgement that "not everything worthwhile will turn a profit." I'm not sure where you heard that I was totally opposed to the free market, as I'm just not opposed to actually employing governmental power to do things that aren't necessarily beneficial for businesses to do. Some things businesses do better than government. Some things the government does better than businesses. Frankly, I'm all for even more stringent healthcare measures than even Obama would dare try to pass. I don't understand how some folks can feel comfortable with healthcare being run as a for-profit business. When the goal is the bottomline, and the health of the customers is secondary, I see a problem. The government doesn't have to turn a profit on healthcare. It could lose a ton of cash and still be a success as long as the health of the citizens is ensured. People rail against the government and spout patently ridiculous Fox News talking points like "What has the government ever done right?" without acknowledging that big business has a much worse history of running off the rails. Hey, remember that big bailout? Wait, wait, the bailout wasn't businesses fault, was it? I'm sure that was Barack Comrade Hussein Obama's fault too, right? Good grief. Aloha.

The bailout was a result of democrat policies - in case you forgot, Republicans attempted to rein in Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac and were stopped in their tracks by the democrats and the National Black Caucus. Wall Streets problems are far too complicated for me to even attempt to explain to someone in an online forum; but they are a result of a whole spiel of issues - mostly created by the wall street fat cats - who also happen to be heavily democratic....Lets not forget all the problems began to spiral out of control when Democrats gained control of Congress - not when Obama was elected. The proverbial $hi%& hit the fan when Obama was elected because it sealed the deal. The entire recession is a result of out of control policies that were not reined in, followed by business being petrified of a socialist President and a Democrat Congress....the environment for growth and expansion is not there when the result of more hard work and investment is higher taxes.

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I have no problem with what he actually said in the speech, or with what any past president might have said in their speech. As long as we're talking about working hard, staying in school, etc., that's OK, but is what parents ought to be doing. I would bet that a high percentage of kids that heard it, have forgotten what they heard by now. I did have a problem with the lesson plan that was sent out (& then ammended) & with all of the republican complaints about the address - as well as the democrat complaints back in '91.

Too bad some people think they have some right to not be offended & start screaming about hate rhetoric every time they hear something they don't agree with. Let's turn this around - If I was really a rabid right winger, do you think I just might be offended by quite a few of the posts here. Sure am glad that I don't really have to take any of this crap too seriously.

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Second and in response to Attica Flinches comment - the free market may not be perfect, but it is far better than the alternative. Socialism fails every single time.

Not really, and certainly not where it's utilized in measured doses. Pure socialism, where government controls production, supply and distribution of all goods and services is destined to failure, sure, but so is the purest lassaiz-faire form of capitalism. A balance between the two works, has worked and will continue to work. There are numerous examples in everyday American life that prove handily that bits and pieces of socialism work smoothly in unison with capitalism. Are the roads you drive on, the police and military who defend you, the firefighters who put out your kitchen fires or the schools that educate your children (and occasionally show motivational speeches by a sitting US president - oh noes!) anti-American? These are things the government does a heck of a lot better than private enterprise, and frankly I truly believe that something as important as the health of a country's populace is far too important to leave up to organizations whose primary purpose is turning a profit. The benchmark for healthcare should be health, not revenue.

BTW, were you aware most charities' budgets are funded by public grants and earmarked for specific purposes? So... even though there's an illusion of private charity, the goverment is still mostly funding these organizations and telling them what to do.

Too bad some people think they have some right to not be offended & start screaming about hate rhetoric every time they hear something they don't agree with. Let's turn this around - If I was really a rabid right winger, do you think I just might be offended by quite a few of the posts here. Sure am glad that I don't really have to take any of this crap too seriously.

You really threw me off the scent with the demonrat and grow up pieces. And, I realize I don't have the right to not be offended. It's the American way. I realize and accept that, just as all those Obamaphobes should have realized and accepted that when their precious over-protected booger-factories went off to school the other day.

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For all the parents screaming about this speech, and demanding that their kids not be subjected to it, I'll bet they would be stunned to find how many of their children do not share their political views. Even more would be shocked to find that their kids secretly support the positions that the president espouses.

You obviously do not know anything about children. They do not have political views. At least none that are truly their own. Most of their "political views" are heard from their parents, guardian, or G-d forbid - the television.

A common parental malady is the one that causes parents to forget that kids think their parents are kooks. When parents actually behave like kooks, well, so much the kookier.

Today's parents grew up during the decades of wretched excess. Many are not even old enough to remember the recessions of the 70s and early 80s. They only know the easy credit, hyper-materialistic days of the late 80a, 90s and early to mid 2000s.

Wow, way to gloss over nearly half a century. Wretched excess? Perhaps if you think that everyone lived a Sixteen Candles life and drove around like Weird Science's Gary and Wyatt in Porches & Ferrari's that were paid for in cash thanks to money dad was making hand-over-fist in the junk bond market. Easy credit? I remember when credit card companies used to turn people down, now they issue them to college freshman along with a frisbees. My sister received a credit card in the 90's... she was 12.

The kids, however, are living through the worst recession since the Great Depression. They are very likely to have far different views on how things work, as well as how they should work.

Here is a perfect example of when a view isn't necessarily ones own true opinion. The above is a regurgitated statistic. I'm willing to bet that the author couldn't explain why it is what they claim it to be. Furthermore, children of today will not remember waiting in soup lines or at the very least, a gasoline queue determined by even/odd license plates.

Parents who naively assume that their kids will grow up with the same political views as theirs are likely in for a shock.

And it should go without saying, yet I've not heard it mentioned once, in accusing the president of indoctrinating your children, you have just called your children idiots who cannot think for themselves. I can only imagine what the kids think of that.

How is that calling your kids idiots? That's called parenting - for better or worse - and that is still the right of the parent, not the state. Parents control what their children see and hear. If children are as smart as the author presumes them to be, which in most cases they are not - we are talking elementary school kids here - then their bright intelligent children will inquire as to why mom and/or dad wishes them to not participate.

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We should impeach Obama and bring back George Bush by popular demand.

Can't believe our Country has literally fallen apart like the Roman Empire since Obama took office.

If only we could get Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Klan back to running our Government how it should be run.

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WASHINGTON — The change was subtle, but significant.

In his speech to Congress on Wednesday night, President Barack Obama gave a more accurate — and less reassuring — account of the impact of his proposed health care overall than he has done in the past.

It went by in a blink.

He told Americans that nothing he is proposing will force businesses or consumers to change their existing insurance coverage. That much is true.

It's also true that nothing in his plan guarantees that policies people have now will continue to be available in the same form. In earlier accounts, he spoke with unmerited certainty in saying people who are happy with their current insurance can simply keep it.

article

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First, I didnt read or listen to the speech so this is still coming from the "before the speech" mentality....There is a reason parents dont want their kids listening to the speech and that reason is that they do not trust Obama and do not know what he is going to say. If parents were afforded a bit more advance notice, and allowed to preview the speech, I believe the backlash would have been far more toned down. Believe it or not, most crazy right wing nuts, are actually pretty educated, and tend to be very involved in their childrens lives. But having heard him talk multiple times, lie through his teeth to get elected, and outwardly support socialism, it is not one bit strange to me that parents would not blindly trust this man not to take the opportunity to spew a bit of politics. Its my understanding that this did not take place, and I am happy to hear that, but I do not think its strange for people not to trust him to do the right thing. This president surrounds himself with racists, terrorists, and criminals....Parents should not have to blindly accept that he gets an open forum to their children just because he is the President. I respect the office of the President, but I do not respect the President himself.

Second and in response to Attica Flinches comment - the free market may not be perfect, but it is far better than the alternative. Socialism fails every single time. There is not one single socialist country in the world that has anywhere near the standard of living that we have. There is not a socialist country with better health care, there is not a socialist country with anything better than us. There may be things that are not "profitable" that are still worth while, but those things do not need to be funded by the government. Those things need to be funded by the individuals who actually care about those things. If you want to support people who do not work, and give them money to feed their kids, I applaud you for it, but its not the governments job. It should not be forced down the throats of every single person in America simply because you want it that way. Charities are much more efficient than the government, and charitable giving goes up when the economy is going well. The economy goes up when government gets out of the way, not into the way. I have disagreed fundamentally with almost every single thing that Obama has done since he got into office - and until he stop making more restrictions, raising taxes, and punishing business, I will continue to oppose him. I am just glad that we only have 3.5 years left of him - this man has ZERO chance of winning re-election and he knows it...that is why he is shoving everything down our throats as quickly as possible. Democrats are going to lose every election from now until he is out. He is more polarizing than Bush, and its because his policies and his beliefs are anti-American.

...And Americans are demanding the job security that allows them to post lengthy diatribes - without basis, without reference - all day, from their workplace, because we, as Americans, need allow foreign competition to kick our butts, because we choose to hire our children to do such things. It is increasingly important that we become critical non-contibutors to our country, talking about charitable options, without actually volunteering or contributing to them. It is increasingly important that we promote a 4x10 area at the local CVS committed to preventive healthcare, twice a year, to address the needs of 48 million Americans. It is increasingly important that we gripe about our neighbors, but fail to engage them in any meaningful way. Because that is what America is all about.

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Second and in response to Attica Flinches comment - the free market may not be perfect, but it is far better than the alternative. Socialism fails every single time. There is not one single socialist country in the world that has anywhere near the standard of living that we have. There is not a socialist country with better health care, there is not a socialist country with anything better than us. There may be things that are not "profitable" that are still worth while, but those things do not need to be funded by the government.

You seem to be of the opinion that there is only the "free market" or "socialism". There are a million shades of gray between the two. In fact, the US comprises one of those shades of gray. And, while you claim that socialism always fails, you ignore that much of the EU is socialist and is far from failing.

Oh, and I'll take a sports car from one of those socialist countries over a "free market" American car every time. :)

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And yet, so-called socialist countries like Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, France, and Austria all have lower poverty rates that the United States.

I'm not sure the 46 million Americans without healthcare or the millions who've lost their homes and life savings due to our healthcare system would agree.

I mostly agree with your rebuttal, but these are datapoints of convenience which do not relay the whole story.

RE: the so-called socialist countries, you should've cited Norway. It is the only country that can be said is a darker shade of socialist than the United States AND that has higher per capita income. Of course...its economy is Alaskan in scope, pretty small and very dependent on its natural resources. The other countries you mentioned are all obviously going to have lower poverty rates; that's the whole point of socialist policies. That does not mean that the whole of those countries are better off in aggregate.

RE: the folks without healthcare, people who have lost their homes and life savings due to our excellent (and indeed expensive) healthcare could still file for bankruptcy and get bailed out without living out many years of their natural lives (which they retained from the bankruptcy, in addition to a bunch of other personal property) as indentured servants. Seems like a bargain to me.

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I mostly agree with your rebuttal, but these are datapoints of convenience which do not relay the whole story.

RE: the so-called socialist countries, you should've cited Norway. It is the only country that can be said is a darker shade of socialist than the United States AND that has higher per capita income. Of course...its economy is Alaskan in scope, pretty small and very dependent on its natural resources. The other countries you mentioned are all obviously going to have lower poverty rates; that's the whole point of socialist policies. That does not mean that the whole of those countries are better off in aggregate.

True, but there is the matter of what kind of disparity between rich and poor one finds acceptable. Maybe it's good to have unlimited earnings possibilities, as it is one factor in motivating the entrepreneurial spirit that drives this country. But at what point does it become immoral, or even uneconomical, to forget about the millions who still live in poverty? Which one is the greater success, the country with the massive disparity between rich and poor--but a very wealthy top, or the one where most people have good standard of living, but where a person has less of a chance at really making it big? I don't really know, but a few safety nets, like guaranteed healthcare, may at least prevent folks from falling into poverty in the first place.

I think it's interesting that at least some of the super-rich, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, were against the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and are now major philanthropists. I guess a person only needs so much money before guilt sets in.

RE: the folks without healthcare, people who have lost their homes and life savings due to our excellent (and indeed expensive) healthcare could still file for bankruptcy and get bailed out without living out many years of their natural lives (which they retained from the bankruptcy, in addition to a bunch of other personal property) as indentured servants. Seems like a bargain to me.

We all pay for their bankruptcy indirectly, just as we pay for those uninsured ER visits through higher premiums and excessive hospital fees. It's hard to imagine that most of those who file for bankruptcy are pleased about it. I don't think it's as much of a quick-fix as you allude to, nor is living in a country with some socialist economic policies akin to indentured servitude. The people living in some of the "socialist" countries with whom I've met all seem satisfied. Their biggest complaints seem to be that some goods (i.e. - clothing) are much cheaper here than in their home countries. But they can't imagine the idea of losing their healthcare coverage because of a job change or a pre-existing condition.

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True, but there is the matter of what kind of disparity between rich and poor one finds acceptable. Maybe it's good to have unlimited earnings possibilities, as it is one factor in motivating the entrepreneurial spirit that drives this country. But at what point does it become immoral, or even uneconomical, to forget about the millions who still live in poverty? Which one is the greater success, the country with the massive disparity between rich and poor--but a very wealthy top, or the one where most people have good standard of living, but where a person has less of a chance at really making it big? I don't really know, but a few safety nets, like guaranteed healthcare, may at least prevent folks from falling into poverty in the first place.

I think it's interesting that at least some of the super-rich, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, were against the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and are now major philanthropists. I guess a person only needs so much money before guilt sets in.

If you feel bad for the poor, give them some money. This is the basis for my beliefs about federal funding to social services.

Charitible giving ought to be offset by a tax credit up to a certain amount. The charitible giving could be allocated according to the moral compass of each individual taxpayer. If you consider poverty to be the paramount problem affecting society, give to a charity that you see as doing an effective job at combating the problem, whether that entails operating a soup kitchen or providing affordable housing or providing for necessary surgeries. And if your neighbor thinks that the money could best be spent on schools (which is a better way to attack the root of the problem, IMO), then let them do that. Maybe I don't give a crap about the poor or about children and want a new amenity in my neighborhood park. It's all good.

This approach pretty much eliminates class warfare mentality. No congress elected in part by poor people ought to be authorized to tax the wealthy to their direct benefit. That's theft.

We all pay for their bankruptcy indirectly, just as we pay for those uninsured ER visits through higher premiums and excessive hospital fees. It's hard to imagine that most of those who file for bankruptcy are pleased about it. I don't think it's as much of a quick-fix as you allude to, nor is living in a country with some socialist economic policies akin to indentured servitude. The people living in some of the "socialist" countries with whom I've met all seem satisfied. Their biggest complaints seem to be that some goods (i.e. - clothing) are much cheaper here than in their home countries. But they can't imagine the idea of losing their healthcare coverage because of a job change or a pre-existing condition.

You just illustrated the essential problem. They're allocating more resources to healthcare than we are, meaning that they have to sacrifice resources that could otherwise be used for other purposes, whether to grow their economy or to enjoy a higher level of consumption. We face the same choice. If we make healthcare a priority, then we have to sacrifice investments into our economy or other consumption options.

My pointing out bankruptcy was to indicate that there's already a way for those afflicted with "crushing debts" to avoid indentured servitude or debtors' prison and bounce back as productive members of society...without losing their lives in the process. On the one hand, bankruptcy is an unpleasant enough experience to keep most people from using it willy nilly for non-critical health procedures, but on the other, it allows people the option of getting what they need to live their lives productively, even if they have to start from scratch. Yes, bankruptcy does feed back into society, but the threat of it acts as the rationing mechanism of last resort.

If you modify rationing mechanisms such that we have a greater aggregate amount of healthcare being performed, the burden on society increases. There is the argument about preventative healthcare offsetting higher costs later on, and I'm sure that that holds true for some health issues, but not always. I suspect that the savings from preventative medicine will likely not be sufficient to have a significant effect if such programs are implemented competently. In fact, prevention can be excessive and wasteful if efforts expended to prevent a disease among many people can be more costly than just treating the disease for the few that develop it. These aren't issues that you or I can competently debate, however, because there isn't a workable healthcare bill in congress yet that would provide specificity.

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There is nothing good about a country with a bunch of sick, unhealthy, unhappy, or almost dead folks. Preventative measures are essential but there are still millions upon millions of people that have stuff happen that no one can prevent. Insurance helps but only if you have it and only if it is effective. Millions do not have it for whatever reason, and millions more are underinsured or have meaningless insurance.

I have to give credit - I have pretty decent insurance. I also realize that if I was not on a group plan through my employer, I would not a.) be insurable and b.) afford the rates if I happened to qualify for a plan. So I am very grateful that I am still employed and that my employer subsidizes a considerable amount.

Oh, and COBRA, if I happened to be laid off - so I have no income, but I must pay my $400+ monthly premium (HMO) plus copays. That won't work. Oh, and I'll never be able to be self employed or work for a place that doesn't provide insurance. I've had to turn down jobs because of that in the past. While I have it pretty good it could flip in an instant. And I wouldn't make it very long.

So my interpretation and feeling from those that opine that access to health care is a privilege and not a humane right is that I am in their euthanasia pool. I don't think I could afford to live without insurance, so that would make me a burden to others (and just think of those poor folks with serious serious illnesses!!). What's the answer? To off everyone who is a medical liability?

Just remember - every time an insurance claim is denied, your insurance company's stock climbs a few points.

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So my interpretation and feeling from those that opine that access to health care is a privilege and not a humane right is that I am in their euthanasia pool. I don't think I could afford to live without insurance, so that would make me a burden to others (and just think of those poor folks with serious serious illnesses!!). What's the answer? To off everyone who is a medical liability?

Not necessarily. Do the total annual costs of your medical expenses exceed your total potential income (inclusive of the value of your benefits package, were it to be paid to you in cash)? Do you see yourself making significantly more income in the future? I'll bet that there'd be a way to finance your survival, but I'll bet that it'd make for a pretty miserable existence.

I know that Obama got some undue flack over the "death panels" thing, but I don't mind the idea, honestly. If my 89-year-old grandmother got herself injured in such a way as she'd be recovering from a treatment for the remainder of her natural life and would never serve another productive purpose to society, then I think that the government ought to deny her treatment--although, obviously, if the family pays for it, then that's fine. ...well, as luck would have it, that's exactly the situation she's in, and Medicare will pay for a $60,000 surgery that will require years of government-paid therapy to heal from. That's wasteful, and we do need healthcare reform. I'm just not sure that that necessarily means that we need to be guaranteeing even more procedures (if that's what it calls for, which nobody is sure that it does or not because there isn't a bill).

As for denying treatment to someone younger, like yourself, who may never be sufficiently productive to pay for their own survival...well that triggers a debate over the morality of evolution, survival of the fittest, reproductive rights, and essentially whether the treatment of unhealthy people today is worth having increasingly unhealthy people in future generations that have to be treated. (We've talked about the prospect of 'Idiocracy' before, now just consider how that translates to in terms of health. Scary. Sadly, I don't think people want to have that debate; both sides of it would have blood on their hands. Nobody walks away feeling good about the outcome, whatever it is.

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There is nothing good about a country with a bunch of sick, unhealthy, unhappy, or almost dead folks.

But is that really an accurate vignette of our nation? I haven't seen anyone dying a death from pestilence in atleast a week! rolleyes.gif

For someone with the capacity to articulate a positive message, Obama seems to be cultivating a mood of self-loathing pity and (IMO false) misery. As someone that loves this country, it's bounding on offensive. Is it really so bad here? America is a damn good place that provides amazing opportunities to lift oneself above the need for subsidized living. And we have the illegal immigrants to prove it.

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If you feel bad for the poor, give them some money. This is the basis for my beliefs about federal funding to social services.

Charitible giving ought to be offset by a tax credit up to a certain amount. The charitible giving could be allocated according to the moral compass of each individual taxpayer. If you consider poverty to be the paramount problem affecting society, give to a charity that you see as doing an effective job at combating the problem, whether that entails operating a soup kitchen or providing affordable housing or providing for necessary surgeries. And if your neighbor thinks that the money could best be spent on schools (which is a better way to attack the root of the problem, IMO), then let them do that. Maybe I don't give a crap about the poor or about children and want a new amenity in my neighborhood park. It's all good.

This approach pretty much eliminates class warfare mentality. No congress elected in part by poor people ought to be authorized to tax the wealthy to their direct benefit. That's theft.

Charitable donations are already tax deductible. Despite such incentives, charities have not even begun to solve large scale issue like poverty, homelessness or lack of healthcare. So while they certainly have their place, they aren't an end-all solution. In the case of poverty, only good economic policy combined with opportunity and a willingness and determination of the poor will bring them into the middle class. Pinning everything onto charities seems like a convenient way for some to waive any responsibility on the issue.

You just illustrated the essential problem. They're allocating more resources to healthcare than we are, meaning that they have to sacrifice resources that could otherwise be used for other purposes, whether to grow their economy or to enjoy a higher level of consumption. We face the same choice. If we make healthcare a priority, then we have to sacrifice investments into our economy or other consumption options.

I think you're correct. We have plenty of spending that could be redirected towards healthcare. But it's not as if those without healthcare don't already cost us money through lower productivity, unemployment, visits to the ER, etc. If those folks are able to stay healthy and productive, the economy would benefit. It's also a given that some government spending is wasteful, and the argument could be made that it's better to use that money to directly help people and save lives.

My pointing out bankruptcy was to indicate that there's already a way for those afflicted with "crushing debts" to avoid indentured servitude or debtors' prison and bounce back as productive members of society...without losing their lives in the process. On the one hand, bankruptcy is an unpleasant enough experience to keep most people from using it willy nilly for non-critical health procedures, but on the other, it allows people the option of getting what they need to live their lives productively, even if they have to start from scratch. Yes, bankruptcy does feed back into society, but the threat of it acts as the rationing mechanism of last resort.

If you modify rationing mechanisms such that we have a greater aggregate amount of healthcare being performed, the burden on society increases. There is the argument about preventative healthcare offsetting higher costs later on, and I'm sure that that holds true for some health issues, but not always. I suspect that the savings from preventative medicine will likely not be sufficient to have a significant effect if such programs are implemented competently. In fact, prevention can be excessive and wasteful if efforts expended to prevent a disease among many people can be more costly than just treating the disease for the few that develop it. These aren't issues that you or I can competently debate, however, because there isn't a workable healthcare bill in congress yet that would provide specificity.

I think preventative healthcare is just another tool. If someone has access to health insurance, he/she is more likely to get the regular physical or other relatively inexpensive checkup and avoid waiting until seriously ill (and thus costing their employer significant time away from work as well as more expensive medical care to treat the illness). But I agree too that some doctors are enamored with their expensive high-tech tools, and they should be discouraged from running expensive tests when unnecessary.

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But is that really an accurate vignette of our nation? I haven't seen anyone dying a death from pestilence in atleast a week! rolleyes.gif

For someone with the capacity to articulate a positive message, Obama seems to be cultivating a mood of self-loathing pity and (IMO false) misery. As someone that loves this country, it's bounding on offensive. Is it really so bad here? America is a damn good place that provides amazing opportunities to lift oneself above the need for subsidized living. And we have the illegal immigrants to prove it.

Europe probably has worse immigration problems than most parts of the United States, just from different source regions, so that's probably not the best argument.

Still, I do agree with you that our concept of what constitutes povery or inhumane conditions lacks an appreciation for how the third world lives. If this were really a debate about what is humane and moral, we'd be talking about cutting back on our own consumption, investment, and government spending in order to allocate massive quantities of foreign aid to the third world. But in fact, this whole issue is about class warfare in a nationalistic context, obscured by a thin veil of poorly-articulated morality. It's really very base and ugly.

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For someone with the capacity to articulate a positive message, Obama seems to be cultivating a mood of self-loathing pity and (IMO false) misery. As someone that loves this country, it's bounding on offensive. Is it really so bad here? America is a damn good place that provides amazing opportunities to lift oneself above the need for subsidized living. And we have the illegal immigrants to prove it.

It's hard to put a positive spin on people who die because of our healthcare system. Fixing that broken system will make us an even greater country.

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It's hard to put a positive spin on people who die because of our healthcare system.

Excluding malpractice... no one dies because of our healthcare system. Age, heart disease, cancer, automotive accidents, and the like kills people. Not our healthcare "system". Our healthcare system causes none of those things, and ultimately prevents death from none of them. No amount of reform will change that, nor prevent a single death from occuring. Delay it... perhaps. But given that the majority of the medical care over a lifetime is received in the last 3-years, that record is far from perfect. We shall all die in the end. Not even Obama can deliver everlasting life.

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As for denying treatment to someone younger, like yourself, who may never be sufficiently productive to pay for their own survival...well that triggers a debate over the morality of evolution, survival of the fittest, reproductive rights, and essentially whether the treatment of unhealthy people today is worth having increasingly unhealthy people in future generations that have to be treated. (We've talked about the prospect of 'Idiocracy' before, now just consider how that translates to in terms of health. Scary. Sadly, I don't think people want to have that debate; both sides of it would have blood on their hands. Nobody walks away feeling good about the outcome, whatever it is.

I could get the bare minimum I need to survive and make it if for some reason insurance disappeared. But, in order to get the medication, I have to get a prescription, and in order to get a prescription, I have to pay for an office visit. Oh, and because what I take is a biologic (thanks, FDA, for not supplying guidelines to drug manufacturers and caving in to the BIO lobbyists), patents will reign supreme and generics are not in the forseeable future.

But you're right, under natural circumstances I would be long dead (at the age of 10). And I can't blame my parents/family since there's no genetic history. Fun!

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Excluding malpractice... no one dies because of our healthcare system. Age, heart disease, cancer, automotive accidents, and the like kills people. Not our healthcare "system". Our healthcare system causes none of those things, and ultimately prevents death from none of them. No amount of reform will change that, nor prevent a single death from occuring. Delay it... perhaps. But given that the majority of the medical care over a lifetime is received in the last 3-years, that record is far from perfect. We shall all die in the end. Not even Obama can deliver everlasting life.

I think it's fair to say that people die because of our healthcare system, even when you exclude malpractice. An illness or injury may ultimately cause the actual death, but if the health issue was treatable, and the health insurance company drops coverage upon learning of the illness or injury, then that patient died in part because of the healthcare system that refused to save their life.

Also, I don't think most people view saving a life as simply delaying the inevitable, unless that person is indeed elderly and loosing their functions as part of normal aging. Even so, I don't think it's a health insurance company's role to determine whether someone is too old or unnecessary to deem worthy of saving.

Edited by barracuda
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You seem to be of the opinion that there is only the "free market" or "socialism". There are a million shades of gray between the two. In fact, the US comprises one of those shades of gray.

Correct! My economics teacher* says that everyone's both a capitalist and a socialist (at least in office) and socialism ≠ Democrats.

I'd say he's right...

* he's a Libertarian, so he can openly bash either side.

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But is that really an accurate vignette of our nation? I haven't seen anyone dying a death from pestilence in atleast a week! rolleyes.gif

For someone with the capacity to articulate a positive message, Obama seems to be cultivating a mood of self-loathing pity and (IMO false) misery. As someone that loves this country, it's bounding on offensive. Is it really so bad here? America is a damn good place that provides amazing opportunities to lift oneself above the need for subsidized living. And we have the illegal immigrants to prove it.

It's not that it's so bad here but that politicians need a crisis, manufactured or otherwise, to move their pet projects forward. One of the weaknesses (or strengths, depending on how you look at it) of democracy is that it tends towards stasis. Obama has picked his crisis du jour in healthcare. Last year it was Bush and TARP. Next year it will be something else. There will always be a 'crisis' and we'll always be given dire predictions on the impending demise of the American way of life unless we do or don't do this, that or the other. It makes for good television, too (if you don't believe me just watch Glenn Beck sometime).

Unfortunately, the alternative is to have one person dictate what will be done and when. I'll take the perpetual series of crises over that any day. At least I can turn of the tv when I get tired of hearing about how bad things are here.

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Also, I don't think most people view saving a life as simply delaying the inevitable, unless that person is indeed elderly and loosing their functions as part of normal aging. Even so, I don't think it's a health insurance company's role to determine whether someone is too old or unnecessary to deem worthy of saving.

It is inevitably a morbid discussion. It's unscientific... but as I look back on friends/family that have died prematurely:

6 - were involved in car vs. car accidents.

1 - was killed in a solo bike accident (with helmet).

2 - were killed in a car vs. bike accident.

1 - died in a aircraft crash.

2 - died of heartattacks. Both had regular physicals that did not detect any problems, one had an EKG for his race driving physical only 3-months prior.

1 - had cancer, but was treated to the gold standard.

0 - died because of lack care, or an insurance company limiting care.

To my mind... the biggest threat to one's longevity is likely commuting to work every day (by car or bike). If I could get a guarentee of no automotive accidents, but I never get to see a doctor again... I'd take that deal. To paint the current situation as if people are dying en masse because of lack of proper care doesn't match my observations.

Great, now I can't get that Jim Carrell Band song out of my head! tongue.gif

Correct! My economics teacher* says that everyone's both a capitalist and a socialist (at least in office) and socialism ≠ Democrats.

I don't know who to cite, but I've read: "In the 'American Way' profits are capitalized and losses are socialized."

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I don't know who to cite, but I've read: "In the 'American Way' profits are capitalized and losses are socialized."

I've heard that too, but I think it was "profits are privatized and costs are socialized" and it was in reference to the climate change debate, but the same principle applies here too.

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I've heard that too, but I think it was "profits are privatized and costs are socialized" and it was in reference to the climate change debate, but the same principle applies here too.

Ah. Thank you August. I still wish I knew whom to accredit it to. Afterall, in today's economy, credit is EVERYTHING!

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I've heard that too, but I think it was "profits are privatized and costs are socialized" and it was in reference to the climate change debate, but the same principle applies here too.

Not sure where it started, but it was co-opted for the bank bailout in the form that Gooch read.

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LOL

Republicans are looking more and more like the pre-Civil War confederates every passing day. Hopefully they will cool their jets this fall, unless their gunning for CIVIL WAR II :ph34r:

Since the confederacy formed in February of 1861 and the Civil War started in April of 1861, the pre-Civil War confederacy was only 3 months long, give or take a few days. My recollection of that exact period in history is that the primary political issue driving the confederacy was succession from the Union. Other than Gov Good-Hair Perry, has anyone else in the Republican party talked about succession? And if so, are you really taking them seriously? Please enlighten us on how the Republicans are looking more and more like the people of a few Southern states during those 3 months and how Republican opposition to Democratic programs is somehow different than it has ever been and how that is going to lead us to another Civil War.

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Since the confederacy formed in February of 1861 and the Civil War started in April of 1861, the pre-Civil War confederacy was only 3 months long, give or take a few days. My recollection of that exact period in history is that the primary political issue driving the confederacy was succession from the Union. Other than Gov Good-Hair Perry, has anyone else in the Republican party talked about succession? And if so, are you really taking them seriously? Please enlighten us on how the Republicans are looking more and more like the people of a few Southern states during those 3 months and how Republican opposition to Democratic programs is somehow different than it has ever been and how that is going to lead us to another Civil War.

You mean secession, right? If you want to apply succession to the US, it is still three years away.

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LOL

Republicans are looking more and more like the pre-Civil War confederates every passing day. Hopefully they will cool their jets this fall, unless their gunning for CIVIL WAR II :ph34r:

Alternatively, I could present an argument how Democrats are looking like more and more like Communists and how this would lead to a VIOLENT ЯEVOLUTION :ph34r:

...but I'm not, because that's just going to lead to trouble. I wouldn't deny that the parties are starting to get a bit radical, though... :unsure:

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Alternatively, I could present an argument how Democrats are looking like more and more like Communists and how this would lead to a VIOLENT ЯEVOLUTION :ph34r:

...but I'm not, because that's just going to lead to trouble. I wouldn't deny that the parties are starting to get a bit radical, though... :unsure:

You know nothing about Communists if you think Democrats look like Communists. Rampant ignorance is the real problem these days.

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You know nothing about Communists if you think Democrats look like Communists. Rampant ignorance is the real problem these days.

That's kind of the point. I was making an exaggeration in response that Republicans are like pre-Civil War confederates. Rampant ignorance is the problem. Sorry for the confusion, folks. ;)

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That's kind of the point. I was making an exaggeration in response that Republicans are like pre-Civil War confederates. Rampant ignorance is the problem. Sorry for the confusion, folks. ;)

Sorry I missed the joke. It was a little too close to what one actually hears these days.

You are correct, there is exaggeration and ignorance enough to go around.

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Sorry I missed the joke. It was a little too close to what one actually hears these days.

You are correct, there is exaggeration and ignorance enough to go around.

Ignorance is the real problem. It's amazing to me with all the available resources, especially with the web, just how much more uninformed the general populace today seems as compared to generations in the past. Case in point, I had a conversation with my father recently about the healthcare issue in which he spouted several far-right talking (shouting?) points about death panels, socialism and governmental ineptitude. Not once did he present a valid concern (and yes, they're out there), he just reiterated verbatim what he'd been informed he should be outraged about without understanding all those outrages was entirely manufactured and simply not real.

As far as joking about this issue goes, I'm an affable guy. I love jokes and joking, but this really is too big and important an issue to fart around about. I completely understand why you didn't get the joke. All the finger-pointing done by the radicals on the far-right might be laughable if it wasn't so vehement and dangerous. If the general populace wasn't so easily pushed to anger for reasons they neither comprehend nor care to comprehend, I think it would be ok to laugh off the right's hyperbolic rhetoric, but that's not the case. People are incensed, they're frightened, they're saying words like "revolution" and "secession," and all because the government wants to ensure the health of the people. That's just sad and pathetic. My country tis of thee, sweet land of eff off you working class loser, I refuse to share because my situation has yielded more fiscal results than yours, and even though I'm every bit as lazy as you, I'm going to pretend my success is the result of hard work and not luck and pretend your failures are due to inert laziness, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!

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All the finger-pointing done by the radicals on the far-right might be laughable if it wasn't so vehement and dangerous. If the general populace wasn't so easily pushed to anger for reasons they neither comprehend nor care to comprehend, I think it would be ok to laugh off the right's hyperbolic rhetoric, but that's not the case. People are incensed, they're frightened, they're saying words like "revolution" and "secession," and all because the government wants to ensure the health of the people. That's just sad and pathetic.

In all fairness, nobody from the extreme right is throwing around revolution or secession because the government wants to ensure the health of the people. There's more than one way to skin a cat, and they are convinced that under the 'leftist regime' implementation of healthcare reform, that quality of care will decline, that forced healthcare rationing will be necessary and will be implemented by the government, and that this is all part of a broad trend towards nationalization (or an informal system whereas the effect is the same, even if there's a facade of private ownership). They articulate their case poorly, present it out of anger instead of reason, and most seem not to comprehend the underlying issues that make some of their concerns valid. It does get pretty assinine, but what's new?

On the other side, you have an extreme that exhibits cult-like behavior over a messianic leader and that rejects traditional religion and yet embraces the concept of sanctity of life (a Judeo-Christian value) as the primary basis for their support for a bill that they haven't read--because it doesn't exist yet. There's no apparent consideration for the intense gladhanding that is very clearly going on behind the scenes or for the potentially catastrophic risks posed by poor implemenation of well-intended policy; of course, with respect to these two criticisms, they seem to apply uniformly to the supporters of whichever Party happens to be in power.

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In all fairness, nobody from the extreme right is throwing around revolution or secession because the government wants to ensure the health of the people. There's more than one way to skin a cat, and they are convinced that under the 'leftist regime' implementation of healthcare reform, that quality of care will decline, that forced healthcare rationing will be necessary and will be implemented by the government, and that this is all part of a broad trend towards nationalization (or an informal system whereas the effect is the same, even if there's a facade of private ownership). They articulate their case poorly, present it out of anger instead of reason, and most seem not to comprehend the underlying issues that make some of their concerns valid. It does get pretty assinine, but what's new?

I don't understand this concern. Even if people are given a "public option" (like Medicare), if there's a market for private healthcare, someone will provide it. So where does rationing come in? If you've got the means to have healthcare now, and you want to continue paying for private insurance or private healthcare, I'm sure someone will provide it. That's the whole idea of a market economy. And don't tell me our entire market-based economy is going to disappear because of Obama's so-called Socialism; we all know that's ridiculous.

On the other side, you have an extreme that exhibits cult-like behavior over a messianic leader and that rejects traditional religion and yet embraces the concept of sanctity of life (a Judeo-Christian value) as the primary basis for their support for a bill that they haven't read--because it doesn't exist yet. There's no apparent consideration for the intense gladhanding that is very clearly going on behind the scenes or for the potentially catastrophic risks posed by poor implemenation of well-intended policy; of course, with respect to these two criticisms, they seem to apply uniformly to the supporters of whichever Party happens to be in power.

Why is it that suppporting this president is "cult-like behavior over a messianic leader"? He is an intelligent, patriotic man and a strong leader. I'm happy to support our president. I think that's patriotic. But the terms of dialogue have conveniently shifted... if one didn't support Bush, one was an enemy of the state. Now, if you support Obama, you're a sheep following a false Messiah. Sorry, you just can't have it both ways (unless you are Glenn Beck...).

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I don't understand this concern. Even if people are given a "public option" (like Medicare), if there's a market for private healthcare, someone will provide it. So where does rationing come in? If you've got the means to have healthcare now, and you want to continue paying for private insurance or private healthcare, I'm sure someone will provide it. That's the whole idea of a market economy. And don't tell me our entire market-based economy is going to disappear because of Obama's so-called Socialism; we all know that's ridiculous.

Why is it that suppporting this president is "cult-like behavior over a messianic leader"? He is an intelligent, patriotic man and a strong leader. I'm happy to support our president. I think that's patriotic. But the terms of dialogue have conveniently shifted... if one didn't support Bush, one was an enemy of the state. Now, if you support Obama, you're a sheep following a false Messiah. Sorry, you just can't have it both ways (unless you are Glenn Beck...).

I think the concern is that we are heading down the road towards a European-style healthcare system. In those health systems there is a rationing of care by the govenment. Many don't believe the Obama Administration or the Democrats in Congress when they say that for those who already have insurance nothing will change. They are tinkering with a large and important segment of our economy and lives and the probablility that unintended consequences are going to arise is pretty high. For instance, in this entire debate I haven't heard any politicians discuss how we are going to deal with the supply side of the equation. If we are going increase demand by bringing in more people, then the supply of doctors, hospital beds, medicines, etc. are going to need to go up as well or you are looking at increased, not decreased costs.

On your second point, I'd argue that the president is intelligent and patriotic, but not a strong leader. He has handed much of his policymaking over to the congressional Democratic leadership. That's what worries me more than anything. Nancy Pelosi seems to be driving national policy...

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I don't understand this concern. Even if people are given a "public option" (like Medicare), if there's a market for private healthcare, someone will provide it. So where does rationing come in? If you've got the means to have healthcare now, and you want to continue paying for private insurance or private healthcare, I'm sure someone will provide it. That's the whole idea of a market economy. And don't tell me our entire market-based economy is going to disappear because of Obama's so-called Socialism; we all know that's ridiculous.

To be clear, I was only stating the superficial and unreasoned concerns of the far right. Rationing is a concern because if the aggregate quantity of healthcare consumed is expected to increase and the supply of health practicioners is inelastic and the government is intent on forcing the cost of care to go down, then the only mechanism to create a price ceiling is to ration care by bureaucratic process. I'm sure that there would still be an unregulated option, but with the labor market for healthcare practicioners so tight, it would likely be prohibitively expensive. In a worst-case scenario, all that happens is that people who want a procedure done that isn't being approved by a bureaucrat will just go overseas for treatment...just like the Canadians do with us. As long as the US government still liberally issues passports to its citizens and does not disallow foreign spending on health procedures, I don't think that any of the right-wing rhetoric about communism/fascism holds water. So you're basically right, even if a "public option" eliminates the viability of the business model for private insurance, there will be a market for healthcare...in India.

Why is it that suppporting this president is "cult-like behavior over a messianic leader"? He is an intelligent, patriotic man and a strong leader. I'm happy to support our president. I think that's patriotic. But the terms of dialogue have conveniently shifted... if one didn't support Bush, one was an enemy of the state. Now, if you support Obama, you're a sheep following a false Messiah. Sorry, you just can't have it both ways (unless you are Glenn Beck...).

Pot, meet kettle. Patriotism is the celebration and support of the system of government, not any particular role (such as hearkens back to a King that rules absolutely by divine right) or any one leader (of many). As much as the political extremes like to throw rhetoric around about patriotism, it is assinine that they do not understand the very system of government that they each fervently embrace.

Btw, Glenn Beck very publicly threw GWB under the bus back in 2006 or 2007. You should've used that horse's ass Sean Hannity as the example.

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Why is it that suppporting this president is "cult-like behavior over a messianic leader"? He is an intelligent, patriotic man and a strong leader. I'm happy to support our president. I think that's patriotic. But the terms of dialogue have conveniently shifted... if one didn't support Bush, one was an enemy of the state. Now, if you support Obama, you're a sheep following a false Messiah. Sorry, you just can't have it both ways (unless you are Glenn Beck...).

Bingo! Isn't it funny how Conservatives suddenly don't like America? When Bush was in office it was unpatriotic to not support the President let alone bash everything he does in a time of war. They do that now with Obama. When Bush was in office if he had been giving a speech before Congress and a Democrat did what Joe Wilson did, disrespecting the office of the Presidency, that person would be branded unAmerican among many other things. I see nothing wrong w/ Joe Wilson calling Obama a liar, that's freedom of speech, but yelling it out while Obama was addressing Congress was a complete showing of disrespect for the office of the Presidency. Now Conservatives are OK w/ that... how odd. When Bush was in office Fox News claimed to be the "we love America" news network... now they can't stand America.

Here's what I think. Conservatives aren't pro-America they are pro-conservatives. Conservatives don't love America they love the conservative parts of it. Conservatives aren't going to do anything to help Americans right now they are going to do whatever it takes to get elected in the next election. They claim they want health care reform but refuse to work towards it. They know if health care reform comes it will only help Obama... why would they want that?

If you can turn on Fox News and not see w/ your own eyes that people like Hannity and Beck are making stuff up to scare Americans b/c let's face it if Conservatives know one thing it's that Americans are easily scared... then you are an idiot. You are also being taken advantage of by the people u support. And let's face it, you know there are some people out there who don't like Obama b/c he's black... they won't come out and say that obviously they will just say they don't like him b/c they don't think he was born in America or something stupid like that.

It's becoming pretty obvious who the real "pro-America" party is and it's not the Republican Party. I've been saying that for a while now but wow has it become obvious.

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I don't understand this concern. Even if people are given a "public option" (like Medicare), if there's a market for private healthcare, someone will provide it. So where does rationing come in? If you've got the means to have healthcare now, and you want to continue paying for private insurance or private healthcare, I'm sure someone will provide it. That's the whole idea of a market economy. And don't tell me our entire market-based economy is going to disappear because of Obama's so-called Socialism; we all know that's ridiculous.

No politican will tell you this. But we should fear un-rationed care as much as rationed care. Why? Because un-rationed care will lead to shortages.

Think of it like this. If we made food free. "Customers" could choose from any items in a grocery store without regard to price. The store would quicly run out of lobster, the best cuts of meat, and highest grades of fish. Thus, these foods would only be available to the the lucky first-in-line, or those with "friends" in the grocery store.

When healthcare is perceived to be free, nothing prevents "customers" from abusing the system by overusing it - depriving it to others that actually need to access the system. The effect is the same as we have now. Only a finite number of "customers" will receive the limited amount of available services.

Edited by Gooch
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By custom, speakers of the house don't typically vote unless it comes down to the wire. But to ignore the formal and informal influence of this position is pretty short-sighted.

Exactly. The speaker of the house isn't just anybody. She is the head of the majority party and as such has huge influence both politically and procedurally. That's why we get to see her smiling face so often on the news. My point is that so far Pelosi has been a notably stronger leader than Obama.

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