Why are Republicans Wrong about Everything?


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Trad climber
Mar 21, 2014 - 11:23am PT
It's true. Reagan singlehandedly defeated the USSR shirtless with an American flag bandana around his head and Obama is Putin's puppetmaster reestablishing the lost glory of the Soviet empire.


Mar 21, 2014 - 11:45am PT
You can place a poster's aggregate contributions on a bell curve - from useful (funny, insightful, informative, or helpful) to useless (unoriginal, poorly thought out, propaganda or otherwise false, and caustic or just plain mean spirited for its own sake).

I tend to skip over posters in the low end of this curve. Unfortunately for the site in general, these posters tend also tend to be very prolific.

I just can't believe one of them - the furthest down on this bell curve, is actually a teacher.

I have several friends who are teachers. They are completely different animals, however - they read (quality works) extensively, question everything (intelligently), and vet their information carefully. After all, they're teachers - they have to.

This is the only response I'll grant this particular poster - the shipload of chaff he delivers to this site on a daily basis - none of which I've bothered to read (one need only read the URLs to skip) warrants a blanket comment and nothing more.

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Mar 21, 2014 - 11:50am PT
This is the only response I'll grant this particular poster - the shipload of chaff he delivers to this site on a daily basis - none of which I've bothered to read (one need only read the URLs to skip) warrants a blanket comment and nothing more.

My comment to the above mentioned poster would be how "It's a shame when cousins marry and breed".

Social climber
Falls Church, VA
Mar 21, 2014 - 11:52am PT
did fracking the latest cali earthquake?




or maybe not...


definitely not...


hmmm... must be global warming

Trad climber
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:10pm PT
John posted
I know a great many health care providers of all varieties. My wife is a nurse. Our best man is a doctor. My main climbing partner is married to a nurse practitioner.

I have 3 doctors in my family, a physical therapist in private practice and I'm a nurse studying to be a nurse practitioner. None of that is relevant, it just makes it sound like I know what I'm talking about. Protip: just because someone works in healthcare doesn't mean they know jack sh#t about healthcare finance.

Virtually every health care worker I know claims that they need to perform procedures, prescribe medication, or run tests that the patient probably would choose to forgo, if the patient were making the payments directly, but which the professional cannot forgo without fear of being sued.

Any good health care practitioner will tell you what seems true and what evidence can back are completely different things.

What seems true is that because we live in a litigious society and because we are told that doctors practice a lot of CYA medicine that it must be a significant portion of our higher costs. What the evidence can support is that tort reform would reduce health care spending by about 0.5% (http://cbo.gov/publication/41334); and in 2004 the CBO found no statistically significant difference between healthcare spending in states that limited malpractice suits and those that didn't (http://cbo.gov/publication/15162);.

The Dartmouth Atlas has extensive analysis showing that healthcare over-expenditures are primarily driven by lack of evidence, access to care (well we have this scope/MRI/cath lab available so let's take a look), legacy treatment plans (I do it this way because that's how I was taught) and regional customs (this is how we treat this around here). The idea that the "only reason" that doctors order too much imaging is because they are afraid of getting sued is actually rather insulting. Most times I see people ordering things because they actually care about figuring out what is wrong with people and/or worry about the professional embarrassment of being that guy who missed the brain bleed. The answer to this is better evidence based practice and stronger support for people to follow those practices...not the protection of providers against actual consequences of negligence.

John continued
At least in California, if a doctor gets sued for malpractice, he or she cannot settle the case without it being recorded as a blot on their record. This forces them to spend untold amounts of time and agony defending claims that are usually spurious. A great many of those suits allege that the doc failed to do everything possible to treat the patient. This provides a powerful incentive to maximize, not optimize health care.

Do you actually know they are spurious? I work in healthcare and let me tell you, we make mistakes all the time. Most of them aren't something people should be sued over, but this is an industry that has a low track record for quality and some doctors do in fact deserve to be sued. And there is a fairly good argument for not letting people buy their way out of culpability with a settlement. Furthermore, tort reform would only limit the damages, not the reasons you can sue someone which completely invalidates most of your argument.

John boasted
As I stated much earlier in this thread, and which no one has refuted, the main reason we spend more on medical care is that we get more medical care.

Sort of true. Certainly the least not true thing you've said so far. Again, though, the answer is a better healthcare system, not tort reform nor a tax deduction for health care spending (though I am in not necessarily opposed to either of those things).

John proposed

1. For coverage of uninsured patients, something in the nature of the VA would be a good option. Particularly as the population of veterans decreases as the generations subject to the draft die out, we should integrate that system into a general system available to those who want it -- but there should be some cost. Otherwise, there is no incentive to use it wisely.

So an actually nationalized healthcare system for the poor? You realize that this is far, far to the left of most Democrats and heretical for a Republican.

2. There is no reason why health coverage should be dependent on employment. The tie between health care coverage and employment has three historic roots:

Preach on, brother! (seriously)

The disadvantage, of course, is that health benefits become an impediment to changing employment, and compound the economic difficulty of losing or leaving a job. I suggest that we eliminate the employee's tax break on employer-paid health care, and replace it with a deduction for medical expenses, including medical insurance -- without any requirement that these expenditures exceed a certain percentage of income. This will provide an incentive to have your own insurance, rather than be on the dole with my VA For All plan, above. In addition, it will provide some connection between the consumer of health care and the cost of same.

Ok, stop preaching. As I've mentioned earlier in this thread, this is hilariously and woefully inadequate. Unless you're saying that everyone up to XX% of the poverty line is moved into your new Nationalist Healthcare System and then the only people left over are folks who can straight up afford unsubsidized health insurance. The problem with health insurance isn't the tax deduction, it's that it's entirely unaffordable without vastly expanding the risk pools and means testing the premiums. You also mention nothing about people with preexisting conditions or people who lose their jobs and are no longer able to afford coverage because of illness. Do they fall back into your People's Republic of Healthcare plan? That's fine by me if they do it just needs to be specified since most Republicans are proposing "instead of Obamacare" ideas and then completely leave the sick out in the cold.

John continued
3. We should do something to restore health insurance to its role as insurance. It currently covers several things (birth and birth control, to cite two contradictory examples) that are not traditionally insurable risks. I rather suspect maintenance-type health care would be cheaper if we paid for it the way we pay for car repair.

A false equivalency at the very least because cars have an objectively agreed upon value and people do not. At a certain point it's cheaper to junk the car and get a new one. I'd like to think we've moved passed that kind of attitude about people in this country.

4. We need tort reform that respects freedom of contract. A doctor should not feel compelled to provide the very best treatment if it costs 100 times as much as the next best treatment, and is .001% better. Virtually all health care recipients have sufficient intelligence to make those sorts of decisions themselves.

I already covered this.

5. We should have used some of that pork-barrel money (disguised as "stimulus" money) to build and staff a lot of new med schools.

This is an interesting concept as the "doctor shortage" thing has a lot of legs in the media but there are some pretty good arguments to the contrary. You say that we get "more healthcare" and that is somewhat true. We actually give more healthcare to people who don't need it and not enough healthcare to people that do. There are a lot of countries with significantly fewer doctors per capita and they have better healthcare outcomes in part because the more healthcare you give someone the higher the chance that something will go wrong (and then a higher chance that the doctor gets sued too).

This is just an outline, but I think it's far better than giving the government control over 18% of American GDP.

Which would be an entirely nationalized healthcare system which, ironically, works extremely well in many other post-industrial countries to accomplish all of the goals that you talked about with lower costs, better outcomes and better patient satisfaction. Also, your "VA for the poor" idea is light years closer to that than anything in Obamacare.

Honestly, John, if your proposal is basically "nationalized healthcare for everyone who can't afford health insurance and tax deductible healthcare/insurance for everyone who can" plus keeping all the provisions for not being able to kick people off their insurance, preexisting conditions, etc. you sound like a center-left or maybe even solidly left candidate to me. You could easily put in tort reform as part of that package and Democrats would support it (though, as I've said, you'd accomplish nothing other than appeasing the American Medical Association and gaining the support of hospital administrators). Somehow I doubt that is what you actually wanted though.

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
Oh yes...the Ukraine is clearly Obama's fault.

I heard the drought in the SW was his fault, too.


lost, far away from Poland
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:23pm PT

Credit: moosedrool

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:32pm PT
"Somehow Obama seems to be making a huge mess of the Ukraine."

"...I merely was asking why we care?"

Then why didn't you simply ask 'why we care'?

Because what you actually wrote was:

"Somehow Obama seems to be making a huge mess of the Ukraine."

...which most reasonable people would read as...

"Somehow Obama seems to be making a huge mess of the Ukraine."

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:34pm PT
Coz, I agree with you but I learned a long time ago it is next to impossible
to have a reasoned discussion here because anything you say will be distorted.
And anything you say which they can't reply to with a quick and dismissive
bit of saecasm, at best, will be ignored. Like you I too voted for Obama
but I've been <cough-cough> less than thrilled with much of his foreign
policy. What I really don't get about him is why he gets so worked up over
the Ukraine while millions of 'his people' are dying in Africa and all he
does there is send in a few dozen Green Berets.

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:38pm PT
Reilly, how can any reasonable person distort the meaning of something like this?

"Somehow Obama seems to be making a huge mess of the Ukraine."

No matter what your view of Obama, what this pretty clearly says is that Coz believes that Obama seems to be making a huge mess of the Ukraine.

One of the keys to productive communication is being articulate in your meaning.

And 'douche nozzle' is definitely not helpful.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:40pm PT
Well, Ap, I agree that douche nozzle does not enter into my usual catch
phrases for foreign policy discussions but I live in a glass house so I'm
not gonna examine any pretty rocks. But maybe we could all refrain a bit
from pushing some obvious buttons.

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:42pm PT
Word, Reilly.

Mar 21, 2014 - 12:47pm PT
Um...Obama is American, not African.

As American as any of us.

It's digital - you either are or you are not.

This is a concept that eludes many Americans.


Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:54pm PT
That much I agree with, 100%.

Ukraine is an issue primarily for political reasons, and the 2016 POTUS race. Obama & the Dems have been every bit as hawkish as the Repubs for the last 7 years, and the Repubs know damn well that their meme of 'Dems weak on defense' has been greatly undermined.

Any self-respecting, true conservative believes that dealing with our own country's issues first takes great priority over policing the world. Like so many other parts of conservatism, though (i.e. individual liberty & the influence of the Religious Right), that premise has been diluted and lost due to neo-con influence.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:55pm PT
This is a concept that alludes many Americans.

To what?

Mar 21, 2014 - 12:57pm PT
Typo police. So tedious.

It doesn't erase the incredibly racist remark that spawned my comment, however.

Here's an experiment.

The next time you call someone a 'girl' as an insult, substitute 'black' or 'Mexican' and see how it flies with the general public.

It's all the same joke, Coz. My guess? For all your bluster - you'll quietly stop using it because, at some level beyond your compulsive need to check off your tit for tat balance sheet, you agree that it's just not cool.

And you are VERY concerned with how people view you here. That's not exactly a secret.
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Mar 21, 2014 - 01:18pm PT
We don't care about Ukraine. Russia and Europe care about the pipelines in Crimea. Russia cares about its Black Sea Fleet Base ( nukes) in Sevastopol. The Russians also aren't keen on the wests recent putsch in Ukraine ( nazis funded by american neocons.). I think Putin is on task. So is our President.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Mar 21, 2014 - 01:29pm PT

Thanks for your thoughtful reply to my post. I don't care if someone labels my proposals left, right, or Martian. I do, in fact, contemplate government run and funded health care for the poorest Americans, in part because we already have it in California in the form of county hospitals treating all-comers, regardless of ability to pay. Let's make the de facto system intentional so that we can improve it.

I have seen the statistical papers that allegedly show that tort reform would not materially reduce health care spending, and I respectfully disagree with their methodology. Limiting malpractice awards will limit E & O premiums, but not "cover your ass" medicine. The tort reform I advocate would be more in the nature of making freedom of contract free of tort liability. If a care provider makes a mistake, fine. If a care provider does what the provider and patient agreed, the only tort would be if the provider did a negligent or worse job of what was agreed.

If we allow health insurance, rather than forcing prepaid health care, as the Patient Protection [sic] and Affordable [sic] Care Act requires, consumers can decide for themselves where they draw the line between insurance and prepaid care. Therein lies the rub. I believe that most consumers of health care are perfectly capable of, and likely to, make cogent decisions about how they spend their health care dollars. The ACA has a tacit assumption that consumers are incapable of doing so.


Trad climber
Fresno CA
Mar 21, 2014 - 01:38pm PT
Ukraine matters because of NATO, and also, more deeply, because of the effect of any Russian territorial designs on nuclear proliferation.

The NATO aspect may not be clear on this side of the Pond, but is perfectly -- and frighteningly -- so in Poland, the Baltics, and eastern and central Europe generally.

The effect on nuclear nonproliferation is more subtle. The main reason we can tell countries not to acquire nuclear weapons of their own is that the US will use its military might to defend that country from aggression. If actions prove that a US promise of defense means nothing, countries that currently lack nuclear weapons have a greater incentive to acquire those weapons, as a hedge against US unreliability.

President Obama is not doing the will of some shadowy bankers. He's doing his best to try to protect the interests of the United States and the Western World in a situation that has peoples' negative imaginations shooting into orbit. We all should hope that he and his administration can find the wisdom and courage to act in those interests. This situation transcends partisan politics, and it saddens me to see so many thinking otherwise.

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Mar 21, 2014 - 01:49pm PT
I don't think Obama would lose any points saying,"Let Europe deal with it we have enough problems."

He would lose MASSIVE points with EUROPE.

You might ask why we care?

the EU is one of the other GREAT POWERS on this planet. As such, they are a great trading power, have huge impacts on worldwide (and our) fiscal health, are frequent partners in military operations during the last 100 years, are able to exert political influence in places where we cannot (think Iran).

Thowing our strategic partners over the railing is not in our interests.
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