Why are Republicans Wrong about Everything?


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Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
John McCain, question

"You said build the dang fence, where is the dang Fence?"

Have you done anything you said you would do?

Social climber
So Cal
Feb 20, 2013 - 05:41pm PT
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.


Feb 20, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
TGT, I laugh robustly at your frustration. Four more years baby!

Social climber
So Cal
Feb 20, 2013 - 06:07pm PT

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 20, 2013 - 07:11pm PT
For you, TGT...

WEDNESDAY, FEB 20, 2013 02:30 PM PST
Rick Scott caves on healthcare opposition
The Florida governor agrees to expand Medicaid coverage to 1.3 million people after fighting it tooth and nail


Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 20, 2013 - 07:14pm PT
Scott said that the recent death of his mother made him re-think his position...



What a slimeball..he uses the death of his mother to take cover for the political reality that the vast majority of his constituency is gonna love the implications of the medicare reforms, and would vote him out of office in a heartbeat if he opposed them.

Repugnican in the slimiest sense of the word.

Gold Canyon, AZ
Feb 20, 2013 - 09:29pm PT

Right back atcha, TGT...



Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Feb 20, 2013 - 09:31pm PT

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 20, 2013 - 10:10pm PT
Pete V. Domenici (R NM): Rated 100% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record.

You pretty much have to rate a guy %100 pro family when he has two of them. Also, kind of have to admire him sticking to his guns on the abortion issue even if keeping his gun in it's holster is a challenge for the guy.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Feb 21, 2013 - 11:10am PT
Get a load of this:

American Moral Compass Differs Greatly from Canada and Britain
Posted on Feb 21, 2013

In January, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted a three-country survey aimed at figuring out how people in the United States, Canada and Britain felt about specific issues. The idea was not to look at these contentious topics through the lens of legality, but rather see whether respondents would regard them as “morally acceptable” or “morally wrong.”

Out of the 21 issues that were tested in the survey, people in the United States were less likely to find 20 of them “morally acceptable” than their counterparts in Canada and Britain. Even topics that might seem inoffensive in the 21st Century, such as divorce, saw a large variance. While four-in-five people in Britain (79%) and Canada (80%) saw no problem with divorce, the proportion dropped to 65 per cent in the United States.

Prostitution and pornography are two topics where the views of male respondents skewed the national average in the three countries. A minority of respondents across the board looked at both issues as “morally acceptable”. Still, only one-in-four Americans (23%) found prostitution as “morally acceptable”, compared to 34 per cent of Britons and 41 per cent of Canadians. On pornography, Americans were ten points below Canadians on the morality scale (32% to 42%) and eight points below Britons (40%).

In Britain, following years of successful campaigns by animal welfare groups—which eventually led to legislation that banned the hunting of wild mammals with dogs—respondents are definitely more likely to have moral qualms when dealing with animals.

Medical testing on animals is not a moral problem for 38 per cent of Canadians, but the proportion drops to 29 per cent in Britain. The biggest gap observed is on buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur. While half of Canadians (50%) and two-in-five Americans (42%) believe this is morally acceptable, only one-in-five Britons (21%) concur.

Americans were particularly disturbed with a topic that has been heavily discussed recently: doctor-assisted suicide. While 61 per cent of Britons and 65 per cent of Canadians regard this issue as “morally acceptable”, the number was drastically lover in the United States—just over a third of respondents (35%).

The death penalty, abolished in two of the three countries, showed remarkable stability. A majority of Americans (58%) find capital punishment as “morally acceptable”, but the difference with the other two countries was not as sizeable as one might expect (53% in Canada, 50% in Britain). Research conducted in 2012 by Angus Reid Public Opinion showed that 65 per cent of Britons and 61 per cent of Canadians would reinstate the death penalty for murder, which was abolished from their countries in 1969 and 1976.

Still, there are four issues where the public in all three countries is unforgiving: cloning humans, paedophilia, polygamy and infidelity. Contraception, sex before marriage and having a baby outside marriage were not seen as moral problems. But married men and/or women having an affair is an issue that does not get a moral endorsement from more than 14 per cent of people in every country. Once again, America was more unadventurous, at just seven per cent.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Feb 21, 2013 - 11:17am PT
So how is washington working these days? Do we have a budget? Nope. Do we have gun control plans or new laws? Nope again. Seems i remember Obama saying not having a debt ceiling and budgets were irresponsible when he ran the first time. Now he asks to do just that...?

Hows our "foreign relations" working out? N Korea just tested Nuclear weapons AGAINST the US and UN sanctions and prohibitions. Egypt is nothing but chaos. We just gave Syria a bunch of 30 million dollar aircraft..Wha?


Feb 21, 2013 - 11:33am PT
Thank you, Dr. F., for starting this thread to show how Republicans are WRONG about EVERYTHING.

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Feb 21, 2013 - 11:42am PT
Ron, we are merely reaping what we have sown over the last century or so.

Feb 21, 2013 - 11:47am PT
Must read article on the current state of health care in the US



Trad climber
Fresno CA
Feb 21, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
Thanks for the link, Joe. That was a surprisingly good article, considering it comes from Time. I agree that anyone interested in why we spend so much on health care (or to put it in context, on 20% of our economy) should read it.

I wonder if the author is the same Steven Brill who published and edited American Lawyer, because he obviously has a good understanding of the law and how it affects peoples' behavior. [Oops. I see that the article confirms that he is.] One example:

"His rationale speaks to the real cost issue associated with medical-malpractice litigation. It’s not as much about the verdicts or settlements (or considerable malpractice-insurance premiums) that hospitals and doctors pay as it is about what they do to avoid being sued. The most practical malpractice-reform proposals would not limit awards for victims but would allow doctors to use what’s called a safe-harbor defense."

"When Obamacare was being debated, Republicans pushed this kind of commonsense malpractice-tort reform. But the stranglehold that plaintiffs’ lawyers have traditionally had on Democrats prevailed, and neither a safe-harbor provision nor any other malpractice reform was included."

He also shows a decent understanding of medical economics:

"That kind of systemic overhaul not only seems unrealistic but is also packed with all kinds of risk related to the microproblems of execution and the macro issue of giving government all that power.

Yet while Medicare may not be a realistic systemwide model for reform, the way Medicare works does demonstrate, by comparison, how the overall health care market doesn’t work.

Unless you are protected by Medicare, the health care market is not a market at all. It’s a crapshoot. . . .

Put simply, the bills tell us that this is not about interfering in a free market. It’s about facing the reality that our largest consumer product by far — one-fifth of our economy — does not operate in a free market."

His conclusion about ObamaCare isn't that far from mine:

"Obamacare does some good work around the edges of the core problem. It restricts abusive hospital-bill collecting. It forces insurers to provide explanations of their policies in plain English. It requires a more rigorous appeal process conducted by independent entities when insurance coverage is denied. These are all positive changes, as is putting the insurance umbrella over tens of millions more Americans — a historic breakthrough. But none of it is a path to bending the health care cost curve. Indeed, while Obamacare’s promotion of statewide insurance exchanges may help distribute health-insurance policies to individuals now frozen out of the market, those exchanges could raise costs, not lower them."

What I think he misses, however, is any chance to make a non-market subject to market forces, and the absurdity of using an insurance model for lots of traditionally non-insurable risks. He also understates American medicine's performance: our cancer survival rates are exceedingly high when compared with those of other countries. He's also a bit optimistic about medicare's cost cutting on availability of medical services, although he acknowledges in passing that the effect would be to lower the supply of docs. I know too many docs who are ready to quit seeing Medicare patients.

I've expounded at length on what I think we need to fix this earlier in this thread and its predecessors, so I see no need to repeat.

Thanks again for steering me to it.


Feb 21, 2013 - 12:42pm PT

Rick Scott Delivers Death Blow to Obamacare Repeal


From the moment President Obama set out to reform the health-care system, Republican opposition was a Terminator robot driven by a boundless, remorseless determination to kill. Every single Republican in Congress opposed the bill, and Republicans who even considered supporting something vaguely like it were ruthlessly purged. Even after it was passed, Republicans ginned up far-fetched legal challenges, held endless votes to repeal it, and vowed not to implement it at the state level. They couldn't be bargained with, couldn't be reasoned with, and felt no pity.

The repeal machine has suffered a series of devastating blows — the Supreme Court upholding the individual mandate, Obama’s reelection, the decision of several Republican governors to accept the program’s expansion of Medicaid — and continued to lurch forward. But Governor Rick Scott’s announcement that he will enroll uninsured Floridians in Medicaid appears to be a real death blow, the moment the cyborg’s head is crushed in a steel press.

From the moment he appeared on the national stage, Scott seemed to be engineered to fight health-care reform. The wealthy owner of a vast hospital chain that paid massive fines for overbilling Medicare during his tenure, Scott bankrolled an anti-reform lobby, then ran and won in 2010 on a platform of obsessive opposition to Obamacare. He has steadfastly vowed to turn down federal subsidies to cover his state’s uninsured, and even concocted phony accounting assumptions to justify his stance. Rick Scott really hates health-care reform.

But Scott is a vulnerable incumbent in a swing state. And his refusal to accept Medicaid expansions would have left his state’s hospitals on the hook for $2.8 billion when uninsured Floridians show up in emergency rooms, prompting them to lobby Scott to change his mind. And so he has. For an enjoyable sampling of conservative apoplexy, try Philip Klein (“waving the white flag is an accurate description of Scott’s decision”), Mario Loyola (“the most grievous blow since the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Obamacare last year”), and Michael Cannon (“will he sell out Florida’s job creators too?”).

Cannon’s outrage in particular is almost poignant. He has served as a health-care adviser to Scott in Florida, and as a founder of the “Anti-Universal Coverage Club,” lent Scott the closest link, of all the governors, to the conservative movement’s maniacal hatred for providing health insurance to those too sick or poor to obtain it on their own. The ability of governors to turn down Medicaid funding is the last line of defense against Obamacare, and Scott’s betrayal of the cause — choosing the financial health of his own state’s hospitals over the chance to deny medical care to his own state’s poor — lands a blow of both substantive and symbolic power.

We are not about to enter a new era of peace and health-care love. The death struggle between liberals fighting to make health insurance a basic right and conservatives fighting to prevent that is over. What’s replacing it is a more mundane form of trench warfare. The new conservative position will come to revolve around expanding the role and prerogative of private insurance, and the liberal goal will be to strengthen regulation and help the poor and sick.

A glimpse of the new conservative health-care line comes from former Romney adviser Avik Roy and conservative think-tank apparatchik Douglas Holtz-Eakin in a joint-bylined column. In it, they point the way toward the future of the health-care debate. Gone is the millennial struggle to preserve the dying embers of freedom. They actually allow that the central architecture of Obamacare — the establishment of subsidized exchanges where individuals can purchase private insurance — is an “important concession to the private sector.”

Right! It’s a Republican-designed idea! It might have helped if Republicans had noticed this, instead of screaming about socialism, back when Obama was trying to pass the plan.

In any case, Roy and Holtz-Eakin argue that their discovery that Obamacare consists mainly of a free-market health-insurance mechanism offers conservatives a wonderful opportunity. Here their thinking grows extremely confused. The problem with Obamacare , they argue, is that the exchanges are regulated. The “community rating” provision, which prevents insurers from charging higher rates to people more likely to get sick, “will dramatically increase premiums for young people.” They propose to get rid of such regulations and turn the exchanges into a free-market paradise “modeled on the Swiss system.”

As a policy guide, this is utterly daft. Health-care economist Aaron Carroll fisks the op-ed and concludes that they have no idea at all how the Swiss system works. It’s more regulated than Obamacare, not less. Community rating is needed because that’s how you make insurance affordable to sick people — otherwise, insurers will just sign up healthy customers.

But as a political roadmap, Roy and Holtz-Eakin offer what looks like the most plausible way forward for the GOP. The health-insurance industry doesn’t want the government forcing them to sell products to money-losing sick people. Insurers will want to skim the healthiest people from the pool. And conservatives don’t like regulation. That is a perfect match of constituency and ideology.

So the broader struggle will never end. But the conservatives understand that the struggle to preserve “American exceptionalism” in health care — America’s standing as the sole advanced democracy without universal citizen access to medical care — is over.

Repubs Have Failed.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Feb 21, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
Poor ol Jesse Jackson,, just got convicted of squandering funds,, on things like,,, TWO SHOULDER MOUNT ELK....Dems,,, just gotta love em.

Feb 21, 2013 - 03:11pm PT
I did the on-set video tech work for Dr. Ruiz's campaign spots, couldn't be happier or prouder that he was one of 9 House pickups for dems! Feel like I made a pretty solid contribution to exterminating the repub vermin from American political life!


Rep. Raul Ruiz, an Rx for D.C.

The freshman Democrat, who's also a doctor, is already being touted as a difference maker in the House.

You'd almost think that someone had stapled several resumes together and put them in Raul Ruiz's file: magna c#m laude at UCLA; three graduate degrees from Harvard (a medical degree and masters in public policy and in public health); doctoring to poor people on three continents and at home in the poor reaches of the Coachella Valley, where his adoptive parents were migrant workers; an Army award for helping Haiti earthquake victims. And he plays trumpet and dances baile folklorico. Now he has exchanged one big white building, a hospital, for another one — the U.S. Capitol. A stripling of 40, Ruiz is a member of Congress, having defeated incumbent Republican Mary Bono Mack, and was named by Politico as a freshman most likely to succeed.

People will try to pigeonhole you: Democrat, Latino, migrant-worker parents. How are you not only that?

I'm an ER doctor, period. I look at a problem with a certain lens: very action-oriented, very results-oriented. When patients come to the emergency department, they're wearing a [hospital] gown whether they're affluent or indigent. And pain feels the same whether you live in the rich area or the poor neighborhoods. My role is to alleviate that suffering and improve the lives of my patients, and that's the way I perceive policy.

You're a freshman but not new to politics. You have a public policy degree from the Kennedy School at Harvard, and, of course, you were high school student body president

That's when I drew my reelection posters by hand!

When I was in medical school, I knew I wanted to go home and effect change. Being a physician would allow me to be an advocate for the community beyond the exam room. I was trying to decide between a public health degree and a public policy degree, and one of my deans told me to get the course catalogs and highlight the classes that were most interesting. At that time the Kennedy School [of Government] clearly won. Learning how to solve complex problems really was in tune with what I wanted to get accomplished.

Some people regard medicine as separate from policy.

I don't. The measurement of good policy is the well-being of the community. I saw the human faces of failed policies, and they weren't smiling. You take care of a patient who's gasping for air because of congestive heart failure and fluid in their lungs, and they're in such a severe state because they haven't taken their diuretics and they tell you they can't afford it. That's where you can clearly see the link.

I started an internship program with high school and undergrads who want to be doctors in underserved areas. What started with nine students out of a Starbucks is now 115 students under the UC Riverside school of medicine. Oftentimes my students would come to me in tears because they were concerned that they wouldn't be able to pay for school and had to take a semester off, work in the fields or with their parents to save money for school, so their dreams were deferred. You start realizing how real policy is in their lives. The people we serve are not a spreadsheet.

I don't suppose everyone could do what you did, which was go door to door with a contract asking people to invest in your education?

One of my mentees started doing the same thing, writing a contract and telling people, "I'm coming back" [after graduation]. We talk about following through [on] your commitment with discipline and dedication.

You came back from Harvard to the only not-for-profit hospital in the Coachella Valley. Is that the right model for medical care?

There are a lot of different models that we have to look at. Overall, we need to go back to a simplified vision of our healthcare system. Every system has an output and oftentimes we lose sight that the output for a healthcare system is to produce a healthy and productive population. And the way we measure how well a system functions is by how effective and efficient it is. We determine how effective it is by looking at how healthy the population is, and efficiency is determined by the amount of resources it takes to produce that output, [including] time and personnel.

Your district epitomizes the gap between rich and poor that was discussed during the campaign. Is this a public-policy responsibility?

We value the pursuit of excellence with personal responsibility. Oftentimes we end there. We forget the other value that makes America the greatest country on Earth: That is the value of service with social responsibility, service to our community and our country. The recipe to revive the American dream is to hold these two values in parallel. So when you see a growing crisis in the disparities of not only income but education and healthcare, we need to demonstrate our commitment to the value of service with social responsibility.

I'm talking about the hunger like I had, being a poor boy who grew up in a trailer wanting to better the lives of his family and community. There were angels in my life who helped me get to that next step. We are all connected; my success wasn't mine — it was my community's that believed in me; it was my parents', who sacrificed their comfort so we could have an education.

Your newly drawn 36th District just nudged into the majority-Democratic voter column. One supporter says your election is a tipping point for the Coachella Valley.

I think it is. I think we've reached the critical threshold of an inclusive district for everyone to have a voice and come to the table and work together. We have a certain knack in the desert; we learn how to thrive in inhospitable environments.

Speaking of inhospitable environments, how do you propose getting along in a partisan Congress?

The beauty of coming in fresh is that I have no political baggage. I'm not here to be partisan. Whoever has that great idea that's going to improve the lives of the people I serve, I'm willing to cooperate and collaborate.

After the Sandy Hook massacre, you talked about "automatic weapons of war." Have you treated child gunshot victims?

One of the most difficult things as a physician is to tell a mother that her child died. Working in trauma centers, I've had to do that. The pain, the crying — in Spanish el llanto — you think about those when you come home after a late shift. The first thing in your head is, we've got to stop this. How can we use a public health approach to be the most effective as possible to reduce violence?

What are your plans for your two committees, natural resources and veterans affairs?

We have the Salton Sea; it's a looming public health disaster [but] another opportunity to be the economic engine not only for my district but for Southern California, with geothermal energy and tourism. Veterans' affairs is very special to me; we have so many veterans in the district. Whenever I take care of a World War II veteran, I am completely humbled.

Have you ever thought about what you'd be doing if you had stayed in Mexico with your widowed father, not been adopted by your American aunt and uncle?

Let me tell you a story. I was about 6 or 8 years old; my mother took me to run errands to a border city called Mexicali. My treat for going was that she would buy me my favorite food, a mango. They put on lime and chili powder — man, those are the best. I was looking forward to that mango all day. When we were done, my mother bought me this mango, and I was about to take a bite and this kid, maybe 4 or 5, comes up to me, barefoot, ripped jeans, dirty, with the hungriest eyes, and looked at my mango. My mother took the mango from me and gave it to him, and I stood there looking at him carrying my mango away and I learned a valuable lesson: that we've all got to help others who need help. We weren't well off, but we were well off enough to buy a mango and perhaps buy another one. Those become wired into your system and become the values that are fundamentally who you are. I've always wondered if I would have stayed in Mexico, how would my life have been? Would I have had the opportunities to go to school? Would I have had the lesson I learned through my parents that made me who I am?

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2013 - 09:50am PT
Rolling Stone Mag interview with Al Gore

Question: has Democracy been hacked?

Al: Yes, It has been captured and distorted and no longer operates as it was intended by our founders. It more often serves the interests of those who have found a way to take control of its operating system. It's not as if there was a pure golden age of democratic innocence and then all of sudden it became functionally corrupt and distorted. From the earliest days, wealth power always struggled against the efforts of those who want to institute reforms. In the past, periods of excess were soon followed by periods of of reform and cleansing and a reassurance of the essential purposes of American Democracy. The progressive era was one such period of reform, as was the New Deal. But as a consequence of our historic transition from being a republic of letters to a republic of television, there has been a solidifying of corporate and special interest influence.

But Dr. F, Al Gore has a big house, so that makes him a bad person, right?
He is fighting for America, not against it, it doesn't matter how rich you are. Rich people are fine, all we say to them is; just pay your dang taxes, don't hide your money offshore, don't send jobs to China, and don't steal people's pension so you can get a bonus.

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Feb 22, 2013 - 09:56am PT
^^^ Exactly!
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