TBIF Reads

Good Morning!!

Here’s some reads to get you started today!

Hillary Clinton was asked about the SCOTUS ruling yesterday in St. Petersburg, Russia.  She said she was “obviously quite excited”.

“I haven’t had a chance to read the decision. I literally just heard as we landed that the Supreme Court has upheld the healthcare law. Obviously I want to get into the details, but I’m very pleased. That’s how I hoped it would turn out,” Clinton said in video posted by PSB’s “NewsHour” and reported by Agence France Presse.

The high court ruled to uphold the healthcare law in 5-4 decision that prompted calls for repeal from Republicans and daylong praise by Democrats.

“I think it’s a great moment to just think about what this will mean for the millions and millions of Americans who have already benefited from the Affordable Care Act and some many more who will continue to do so,” Clinton added.

She noted that although there is still a lot of work to do implementing the healthcare law, she was “obviously quite exited to hear the results.”

Most right-wing hacks responded in their normal over-the top way.  Rush Limbaugh–why is he still relevant?–said that SCOTUS was a “death panel”.   The Aqua Buddha doesn’t understand the role of the Supreme Court in the constitution.  He said that just because SCOTUS says it’s constitutional doesn’t mean it is constitutional.   Representative “Mean Jean” Schmidt gives all women a bad name with this show of hysteria.  (Let’s not even mention Quitterella or “I married a closet case” Michelle Bachmann.)  Let’s just say the Teabots are on a rampage.

I’m sure we will find more realistic assessments of the ruling in a few days when constitutional law scholars sift through the thing.

Nobel Prize winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz is out on the interview circuit in support of his new book.   Here’s an interesting interview with Stiglitz on the terrible consequences of income inequality.

One of the myths that I try to destroy is the myth that if we do anything about inequality it will weaken our economy. And that’s why the title of my book is The Price of Inequality. What I argue is that if we did attack these sources of inequality, we would actually have a stronger economy. We’re paying a high price for this inequality. Now, one of the mischaracterizations of those of us who want a more equal or fairer society, is that we’re in favor of total equality, and that would mean that there would be no incentives. That’s not the issue. The question is whether we could ameliorate some of the inequality — reduce some of the inequality by, for instance, curtailing monopoly power, curtailing predatory lending, curtailing abusive credit card practices, curtailing the abuses of CEO pay. All of those kinds of things, what I generically call “rent seeking,” are things that distort and destroy our economy.

So in fact, part of the problem of low taxes at the top is that since so much of the income at the very top is a result of rent seeking, when we lower the taxes, we’re effectively lowering the taxes on rent seeking, and we’re encouraging rent-seeking activities. When we have special provisions for capital gains that allow speculations to be taxed at a lower rate than people who work for a living, we encourage speculation. So that if you look at the design bit of our tax structure, it does create incentives for doing the wrong thing.

Basically this means that lowering taxes for the hyper-rich doesn’t create jobs.  It creates gambling and influence peddling.

Here’s “Eight Great Lines Written by the Late Nora Ephron” from truthdig.

Even people who don’t like Nora Ephron movies have to concede that she broadened things for women, both the female professionals following in her wake and the female audience members soaking in her stories. She was no bleeding-edge feminist, but in a culture that produces one vapid Prince Charming chick flick after another, Ephron generally focused on characters—Julia Child among them—who had their own force of personality, their own reasons for being.

Truthdig contributor Carrie Rickey remembers on her own blog eight of her favorite Ephron lines. Here are three:

“When your children are teenagers it’s important to have a dog so someone in the house is happy to see you when you get home.” — from the book “I Feel Bad About My Neck”

“Harry, you have to find a way of not expressing every feeling you have, every moment you have them.” — spoken by Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally … ”

“She makes coffee nervous” — spoken by Tom Hanks (of Parker Posey) in “You’ve Got Mail”

I guess I’m going multimedia these days.  I have another Youtube for you.  This one is kinda kewl.  It’s on “mathematics made visible and the art of M.C. Escher. Who hasn’t had at least one of his posters hanging on your dorm or bedroom wall as a kid?

His cool, analytic tendency was apparent from the start. “Maurits Escher is a good graphic artist,” wrote the headmaster of the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts in 1922, the year of Escher’s graduation, “but he lacks the right artistic temperament. His work is to too cerebral–neither emotional nor lyrical enough.” Escher’s work became even more cerebral over time, as it grew in geometric sophistication.

There’s a great 1 hour long documentary available too.  Follow the link above when you have the time.  It’s well worth it.

I also recommend that you read the FT and “A manifesto for economic sense” by Paul Krugman and Richard Layard.

As a result of their mistaken ideas, many western policy makers are inflicting massive suffering on their peoples. But the ideas they espouse about how to handle recessions were rejected by nearly all economists after the disasters of the 1930s. It is tragic that in recent years the old ideas have again taken root.

The best policies will differ between countries and will require debate. But they must be based on a correct analysis of the problem. We therefore urge all economists and others who agree with the broad thrust of this manifesto for economic sense to register their agreement online and to publicly argue the case for a sounder approach. The whole world suffers when men and women are silent about what they know is wrong.

Here’s an interesting archaeological find from the UK. A woman and a cow were found buried together in Cambridgeshire.

The grave was uncovered in Oakington by students from Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Central Lancashire.

At first it was thought the animal skeleton was a horse.

Student Jake Nuttall said: “Male warriors might be buried with horses, but a woman and a cow is new to us.”

He added: “We were excited when we thought we had a horse, but realising it was a cow made it even more bizarre.”

Co-director of the excavation, Dr Duncan Sayer, from the University of Central Lancashire, said: “Animal burials are extremely rare, anyway.

Skeleton of a woman found in Anglo-Saxon grave Grave goods including brooches indicated the woman was of high status

“There are only 31 horse burials in Britain and they are all with men.

“This is the first animal to be discovered with a woman from this period – the late 5th Century – and it’s really interesting that it’s a cow, a symbol of economic and domestic wealth and power.

“It’s also incredibly early to find any grave of a woman buried with such obvious wealth.”

One more totally bizarre dig story.  I know.  I wanted to be an archaeologist as a kid. I’m still fascinated with it all. This one is from Philadelphia: “How Thousands of Headstones Ended Up Under a Philadelphia Bridge”.  Go look at the pictures.  They are very haunting and macabre.

The Betsy Ross Bridge in Philadelphia seems like any other. It doesn’t have the grace of the Golden Gate or the history of the Brooklyn Bridge, nor does it draw any acolytes wanting to make the trek across. The structure exists primarily to move people, and this it does well, helping connect Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Most commuters, however, are surely unaware of what the bridge’s foundation is actually built on: a cemetery.

The bridge springs from the headstones of a forsaken graveyard, dumped unceremoniously into the Delaware River. The sunken stones at the base of the bridge came from Monument Cemetery, once located two miles from City Hall. Monument Cemetery, established in 1839, was the second Victorian garden style cemetery in Philadelphia, after Laurel Hill, now a protected historic landmark. Monument was modeled after the Pere Lachaise in Paris, and was created to function both as a final resting place for the dead as well as a green respite from the surrounding urban environment.

That’s my offerings today!  Thank Buddha it’s Friday!  What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


67 Comments on “TBIF Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Let’s face it: this is less about healthcare and more about the unvarnished hatred of Obama by the GOP. The afternoon vote on Holder would have been their grand slam “win” had the SC voted down Obamacare which is why Boehner allowed that vote to come to the floor on the same day.

    The GOP could give a rat’s ass about affordable healthcare. They have no alternative plan other than to defeat Obama at every turn. The “Party of No” has no compunction about denying access to millions of people as long as they can eke out a victory that makes the present occupant of the WH appear impotent.

    This one party has deliberately stood in the way of job creation for the past 3 1/2 years and stood shoulder to shoulder against any proposal that may offer some form of relief to the nation in their singular quest to showcase Obama as a failure for their own gains.

    Obamacare may not be a perfect solution but it does offer the opportunity for UHC to one day come to fruition as we rank 37th in the world in healthcare for industrialized nations who pay far less for it.

    The GOP leadership is made up of a of nasty little people who are playing a political game and not serving the interests of its citizens and hopefully this will come home to bite them in the ass.

    • dakinikat says:

      I can no longer vote for a Republican because of all of that. They have no problem with running the country into the ground. They have spent the last two years introducing laws that would make thr Taliban gleeful. The overt racism is appalling as well as the misogyny. You have to be seriously deluded to not see all this.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I’ve never understood why people want to be buried in the ground. I plan to be cremated.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Aren’t some religions adamantly against cremation? I seem to remember hearing that recently. If that’s the case, I’d speculate that’s the primary reason so many people won’t consider that option. Burial will, no doubt, become a moot point once we reach the Soylent Green future.

      • NW Luna says:

        Those that believe in the “resurrection of the body” don’t hold with cremation, IIRC. Never could figure out why a diety could reassemble bodies OK after decomposition, but not after combustion!

  3. mjames says:

    My son-in-law’s father was diagnosed with a brain tumor about 8 months ago. He’s a guy who’s done everything you’re supposed to. He is in excellent physical health (except for the tumor, of course, an illness that is becoming more and more prevalent amongst us oldsters). He worked hard. He saved a lot. He has Medicare, Medicare Part B, supplemental coverage, drug coverage, all of it, every goddam thing he was supposed to have.

    And now? Well, he now shells out $5,000 of his own money each month (for his medications, I believe). That’s on top of the money coming out of his Social Security check each month (an additional $300 or so). He is expected to live for another year. That’s $60,000. So, while he is trying to cope with the fact that his life is ending, he is overcome with anxiety that he is taking money his wife will need to live on when he is gone (as he was the major breadwinner). He is in sheer agony – physically and emotionally. (Not to mention the agony his wife is going through – agony that she is losing her husband of a zillion years, agony that she will be alone, and, of course, guilt that she dare worry about money at all when someone she loves is dying.)

    How many of us could realistically pay out an additional $5,000 per month? Are you kidding me? I am beginning to believe that TPTB want us to die off – and die off quickly. There are not enough resources left on the planet to sustain us all. It’s planned demolition. Pure inhumane evil by corporations (who, though “persons” themselves, unfortunately cannot suffer the physical and emotional agonies of cancer like real people), to boost their bottom line.

    I’m sick.

    • HT says:

      mjames, it is so sad that this is happening. My sympathies to you and your family. One thing I will add – I have a friend that was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour and given a very short time to live. That was 7 years ago. She’s had a couple of operations and undergoes regular chemo and radiation. The difference is that most of her treatment is covered by the National Health plan. It makes a difference when she doesn’t have to worry herself even sicker by wondering where she would get the money to pay the health related bills. That’s one more reason why UHC is important.

    • bostonboomer says:

      MJames,

      Is this person extremely wealthy? Most people don’t have to pay anything for Medicare Part A (hospitalization), and Part B is around $100, deducted from SS check. If he is paying that much for meds, I wonder why he doesn’t pay for a Medicare supplement that covers drug costs?

      • dakinikat says:

        My dad’s cancer treatment and his pacemaker were all paid for with his medicare. As far as I can see, he’s had stellar coverage.

      • bostonboomer says:

        If the person is very wealthy, he might have to pay something for Medicare A. That could be the $300.00. It can be more than that. But I don’t understand the $5,000 per month for meds. Medicare Part D should cover part of it, and there are supplement insurance plans that cover drugs also.

      • Beata says:

        That sounds right, BB. I have never heard of someone with the coverage mjames’ family member has paying $5000 per month out-of-pocket for meds.

      • mjames says:

        He has it all, BB. I wrote my answer below (in the wrong place). This is a disaster.

    • Beata says:

      My sympathy as well, mjames.

      If your son-in-law’s father has not seen a neurosurgeon at a major medical center with a first-class NS department for a second opinion and / or treatment, I would encourage him to do so. As you say, brain tumors are becoming more prevalent. They are also becoming more treatable. Don’t give up hope.

      If you want information about hospitals with the best NS departments, ask me and I will try to help you. This is a subject I know about from experience.

      • mjames says:

        Thank you so much. I believe he does not want further input and has chosen his path. I do not want to disrespect his choices. Dying is hard enough as it is. My way of helping now is being there for his son, with whom I am very close. I will pass the info on to his son.

    • mjames says:

      All I really know is that the man pays an additional $5,000 per month out-of-pocket, and the family is in shock. My son-in-law says it’s for meds, but, of course, once the donut hole has passed, the man should be covered again. He has all the coverage. I suspect that he is receiving some advanced treatment that is not “medically necessary” or “reasonable and necessary,” but, since he wants to stay alive, he’s eating the cost himself. I’ll find out more when my daughter and son-in-law return from a visit with his father and let you know. But the expenditure is real – and they are hurting terribly.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I don’t doubt what you’re saying. I’m very sorry to hear about this. BTW, one of the things the ACA is going to do eventually is eliminate the donut hole.

      • When my Nana was alive, she was on Medicare and had drug coverage as well, and her meds were around 1200 a month…

  4. The story about the cow and the woman is fascinating. Thank you for posting that! My thesis in college was on The Tain, a Celtic story about the Cattle Raid of Cooley. It makes me wonder if the significance of the cow in those early stories have something to do with the burial. Complete Cattle Raid of Cooley, Irish and English

    • dakinikat says:

      That’s an interesting link! Thanks for that! I’ve always had a morbid fascination with grave goods. It just provides an interesting perspective on what people were like way back when …

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    It just goes to show how quickly we are to confer “celebrity” upon someone without much effort.

    John Roberts has now become a “celebrity” of sorts among the liberal/progressive sphere for upholding Obamacare. And that is all well and good.

    However, this is the same John Roberts who voted in favor of Citizens United that has led to the outright buying of the political system and grants those with money rights that upend the ordinary voter in the US. How is that a good thing?

    Instead let’s wait to see how this conservative judge rules in the future before we start with the tee shirts and coffee mugs proclaiming him a “hero” before we turn him into an icon he may not be.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The right wing blogs have developed a new conspiracy theory having to do with Roberts having changed his vote in the health care case for some reason. I haven’t been able to figure out why they think this is important. In addition, Drudge is attacking Roberts by claiming he is taking seizure medication and that influenced his thinking somehow.

      http://mediamatters.org/blog/201206280027

      • RalphB says:

        Permanent CYA while hitting the other side with any stick available is what they’re doing. It’s how they keep winning.

      • Beata says:

        Following yesterday’s vote, evidence has been uncovered proving that Roberts’ real name is Nikolai Ulyanov and he was born in Kazan. Shocking!

      • As an epileptic, I know the problems associated with these epileptic drugs…but if this is the reason for his decision, then I guess all his previous rulings are also influenced.

    • dakinikat says:

      The wing nuts are calling for Robert’s impeachment. I can get on board with that!

  6. RalphB says:

    Screw proclaiming Roberts some kind of hero. He’s still a right wing justice and we shouldn’t forget it. In an election year, can Democrats stop wetting themselves long enough to win? Please.

    You Just keep on Pushing My Love Over the Borderline

    For once in your god damned lives, put aside your fucking stupid beliefs about purity and how the public option was the bestest thing since sliced bread, accept the massive, game-changing victory you got today, and use it as a god damned bludgeon against the troglodytes whose health care plans are modeled after Ebeneezer Scrooge. For once, focus your bloodlust on Republicans instead of the DLC/Firebots/ANYONE WITHOUT AN (R) AFTER THEIR NAME. I’m begging you.

    For once in your lives turn a win into a win, just like the Republicans were able to do when I was a wingnut (and half the time they were able to turn a loss into a win). Don’t argue amongst yourselves about what would have been better- smash the Republicans around the head and neck with the cudgel you have been given. We’re not debating which Democratic plan would have been better, we’re debating the reality of what we have now versus the 18th century version of what Republicans would replace it with.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s a good question. Right now things are really looking bad for Romney and good for Obama. Can the Dems somehow avoid completely screwing it up again?

      • Beata says:

        Great link, Ralph.

        As a former history major, I enjoyed learning about the 18th century. I just don’t want to live in it.

      • propertius says:

        How do you figure that, BB?

        60% of voters poll as opposed to the mandate. This decision allows Romney to campaign against the mandate, criticize Obama for increasing taxes in a recession, and accusing him of lying about the penalty not being a tax and breaking his promise not to raise middle-class taxes, all without having to make any policy proposals of his own. That’s going to play extremely well for him in the swing states.

        • dakinikat says:

          The poll results are based on how you word the question. They’re already dragging out old media footage of Romney explaining the traditional republican take on the mandate which it’s a way to force responsibility. Just because Roberts framed it as a tax doesn’t mean people will take it that way. If you have insurance or you are in the medicaid expansion it won’t even impact you. I think there’s going to be far more people impacted by accessibility than by that small penalty. It’s like who cares about cigarette taxes other than smokers? It’s all just right wing propaganda at this point. I don’t know if you read any of my earlier comments but my family has now personally benefited from this bill. I had no hope for it being worth anything. My youngest daughter and I both have coverage that we wouldn’t have if this hadn’t passed. I’m not thrilled about the bill as a whole, but I think the right wing melodrama is going to backfire. The only people I know all whooped up about this are right wingers and the folks that really really really would accept nothing but medicare for all. Every one else knows its highly flawed and hopes it’s a step in the right direction. At least there’s a law on the book to start the framework towards true universal coverage. Like I said, I’m just happy there are no more “uninsurable babies”. I want to improve on it from there. I’m all meh about the stupid mandate frankly.

        • dakinikat says:

          Only 2 in 100 Americans Will Face Penalty for Not Getting Health Coverage

          http://www.offthechartsblog.org/only-2-in-100-americans-will-face-penalty-for-not-getting-health-coverage/

          Individual Mandate Will Benefit All, But Directly Affect Only a Few

          http://www.offthechartsblog.org/individual-mandate-will-benefit-all-but-directly-affect-only-a-few/

          It won’t affect the vast majority of Americans. Most Americans already have insurance — through their jobs or through a program like Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). They simply will check a box on their tax forms stating they have coverage. A new Urban Institute study found that only 7 percent of people under age 65 will have to buy health insurance or face a penalty — and many of them will get subsidies to make coverage more affordable.

          Most uninsured Americans want coverage. Many uninsured people don’t have a job that provides insurance and either can’t afford to buy it in the individual market or would get rejected by insurance companies because they have (or have had) serious health problems. Only 7 percent of the uninsured report that they don’t have insurance mainly because they don’t think they need it, according to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

          The small number of uninsured people who don’t want coverage will simply pay a modest fee. That makes sense, given the burden that the uninsured place on taxpayers and people with health insurance, who help pick up the tab when an uninsured person receives health care (such as at an emergency room).

          That’s from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

        • dakinikat says:

          Sorry … this is my take:

          Romney is now in the position of having to attack a GOP-appointed Chief Justice for upholding what was Romeny’s main achievement as governor. They have tons of old footage of him talking up personal responsibility and a mandate. I don’t see this is a positive for Romney. It also takes him away from the economy and jobs which is what really matters right now if you read the polls. The more he plays to what sells to the extreme right wing the more he loses the center. The polls don’t show this as a hot button for any one but right wing nut jobs who like tea bagging boobs Quitterella and I married a closet case Michelle.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Propertius,

        I’m basing my opinion on polls and on my own observations of and intuitions about current events. Right now Obama is leading in the polls in swing states generally.

        I suppose if a majority of voters are really as beyond stupid as you seem to be suggesting, they might not noticed that Romney supported the mandate in Massachusetts, and in 2009 recommended that the Mass. health plan be adopted nationally. They might not notice that he even called the Mass. penalty a “tax.” on multiple occasions. But are they really so stupid that when there learn there is no enforceable “penalty” in the bill that they will still hallucinate that they are being taxed? If so you could be correct, despite all evidence of polling and focus groups.

        Then again, there is growing evidence from polls that voters detest the kind of “businessman” that Romney was at Bain Capital. How will that change over time? In general voters tend not to start loving candidates that they once detested. But again, who knows?

        I certainly don’t claim to know the future. If I did, I would probably be much less interested in politics. I tend to be an optimist. Based on your comments, you are a pessimist. That’s probably one reason why we see things differently.

    • mjames says:

      This is not a win for anyone except insurance companies. Poor people have lost mightily with the expansion of Medicaid now optional, there being essentially no penalty for refusal to comply with the expansion. The middle class has lost mightily as insurance costs continue to skyrocket and are now mandatory, with no meaningful quality or price controls at all. This is not Democrats versus Republicans. My God, the stupidity. Not only has my team – the 99% – just lost big time, the table is now set (along with the Citizens United decision) to invalidate any legislation designed to help the 99% in the future.

      • propertius says:

        And, of course, this has killed any hope of implementing single-payer for at least a generation.

        Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said Thursday that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care law means progressive lawmakers won’t be pushing for a single-payer option anymore, though the concept will live on in their minds.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/single-payer-option-health-care_n_1634853.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

      • RalphB says:

        This is not Democrats versus Republicans. My God, the stupidity.

        We disagree about what is stupid. I guess I’ll put you down as a No.

      • dakinikat says:

        There are a few good things in the bill. There is no such thing as an “uninsurable” baby for one. Another is letting young adults stay on their parents insurance. There’s a lot of stuff in this bill that needs to be worked on. I’m just hoping we can get rid of enough republicans in congress to improve things. Too bad we can’t get more true independents that are focused on issues instead of partisan politics.

        • dakinikat says:

          The really bad thing for poor people is the decision to make the medicare expansion voluntary. It’s likely the red states with the poorest people will pass on it on sheer ideological reasons. States will pay for people still heading for emergency rooms rather than take the 100% funding they get from the feds. Turning this down will hurt women disproportionately. I listened to Democracy Now on this topic this morning. There will be about 8 1/2 million people that will get left behind.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I disagree that the SCOTUS decision has ended all hope for single payer in my lifetime. And I’m getting on in years. I think there’s hope for it. But again, I tend to be an optimist. If “progressive” lawmakers are going to stop pushing for single payer, that seems very stupid and counterproductive. Maybe we need to replace these “progressives” with some FDR liberals then.

      • propertius says:

        Maybe we need to replace these “progressives” with some FDR liberals then

        No “maybe” about it.

        But, if our experience in Colorado is an example, any attempt to run a real FDR-style liberal will be crushed during the primaries by the DCCC, DSCC, and the White House. They’ve shown absolutely no reluctance whatsoever to interfere with the nomination process in order to insure that only good corporate “team players” get to run in the general.

        Like it or not, Lambert is right about ObamaCare: it’s a corporate-backed roach motel for health care reform. Reformers go in, but they don’t come out.

      • northwestrain says:

        By giving the Insurance companies all the power — in this crap law which is slightly better than nothing — we have been turned into a nation of serfs and the 1% who are parasites of the very worst kind.

        0bama is not our friend — he works for the corporations. He does what he has to do “for the people” to get the necessary votes. Some people are still deeply in love with the myth — and then there are those of us who always saw through the myth and see the self centered Chicago Politician — who walked over a whole lot of people and ignored the poor in his own district.

        Yes — the lack of price controls — tells us that the law was written by and FOR the insurance industry and the pharma industry.

        This law is better than nothing — but it is still a POS law.

        Women are also screwed by the Stupak part of the law — and the GOP plan of killing more women must be obeyed. This law was written for the male of the species — with a few after thought provisions for the female of the species. There were male Senators who wanted no part of this law to recognize female health needs. I’ve read every word of this law and I have to agree — this is still a health care for men law. Women’s health care needs were an after thought — and Stupak made sure that women would continue to be 3rd class citizens — below agricultural livestock.

  7. RalphB says:

    Deep in the heart of wingnut insanity, they’re flinging all kinds of excrement around. If you go there, be prepared to duck or you might get hit with flying poo.

    http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2012/06/why-did-roberts-switch-his-vote-was-he.html

    SPECULATION: THIS IS MERELY A GAMING SCENARIO: IF OBAMA THREATENED TO KILL CHELSEA, THEN MIGHT HE THREATEN A JUSTICE OF THE SCOTUS TO SAVE OBAMACARE?

    BETTINA VIVIANO CLAIMS THAT IN 2008 OBAMA CRONIES THREATENED TO KILL CHELSEA TO GET THE CLINTONS TO BACK DOWN FROM USING THE BIRTHER ALLEGATIONS AGAINST OBAMA.

    I didn’t know that Obama threatened to have Chelsea killed during the 2008 primary. Thanks to the internet I am already stupider than when I woke up this morning.

    I’m speculating but what could have happened is John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy are in a bar one night in the lead up to their ACA ruling. While nursing their third bourbons, Roberts turns to Kennedy and says, “Hey, I’ve got an idea. Ya wanna fuck with some people?”

    • dakinikat says:

      It’s worse than it was under the Clintons …

      • Sweet Sue says:

        No, it’s not.
        Michelle hasn’t been hauled in front of a grand jury and President Obama hasn’t been impeached.

      • propertius says:

        and President Obama hasn’t been impeached.

        And nobody’s filed a subpoena to examine his penis for distinguishing characteristics. I think time is dimming the memory of just how rough Clinton had it.

        • dakinikat says:

          True. But continually asking for birth certificates after Hawaii and the campaign has ponied them up is harassment too. Plus, the entire Muslim slur. The racism is ugly. I don’t mean to equivocate every single little outrageous republican campaign item of personal destruction. It just seems that when ever a nonRepublican is going to hold a high office that we’re going to get these horrible witch hunts now. The Holder thing reminds me of White Water and Vince Foster. The Clintons and the Obamas have both been on the receiving end of right wing hate campaigns that have been carried into political bodies by partisan hacks in congress. I’m frankly tired of it all.

      • bostonboomer says:

        No, but impeachment has come up recently.

        http://www.capitolcolumn.com/news/jon-kyl-on-obamas-immigration-policy-impeachment-is-always-a-possibility/

        There is still plenty of time for all that to happen if Obama is reelected.

      • propertius says:

        FWIW: I think he ought to be impeached for his extra-judicial assassination policy.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I agree, it is worse than it was with Bill Clinton because of the 24/7 News cycle that propels and is propelled by the batshit crazy right wingers at Fox, Conservative Radio talkers and the right wing blogosphere that trots out every crazy-asshat scenario imaginable.

        I can’t think of anything I haven’t heard about him. I’m sure he’s no angel, some of the rumors that swirled about him in the beginning were worth checking out. Some of the rumors may have been true, but damn. it’s become so loud and bizzare that nothing explains it except mania. And there is an underlying racism directed at him that it is impossible to deny.

        And the only reason they haven’t tried to impeach him, is they don’t have a blue dress.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The Republicans like the assassination policy though.

    • bostonboomer says:

      WTF?! Sigh……

  8. ANonOMouse says:

    I totally understand why the GOP, the Teabots, the Chamber of Commerce, Big Insurance, Big Pharma, Wall Street and many Medical providers are hand-wringing over the ACA. They see that after the full implementation of the ACA in 2014, that it has the potential to evolve into a system that isn’t profit driven, but is driven by disease prevention with a unified system of record keeping (making it much harder to milk the system and decreases the opportunity for provider fraud, which is where nearly all of the fraud in Medicare and Medicaid exists) and quality of patient care FIRST.

    As a senior citizen I particularly understand how puffed up the cost of healthcare is. Every time I look at an Medicare EOB for services delivered and compare the difference between what the facility NORMALLY charges for the service, and what Medicare has determined as a fair payment for services rendered, the overpricing of services is glaring. We’ve all been screwed, blued and tattooed by For Profit Healthcare, (including Big Pharma and Big Insurance) for so damned long, we’ve come to accept the screwing as normal, the price you pay for real capitalism. POOH!!!!, We’re like the spouse, the parent, or the relative that protects and excuses the addicted abuser. We’re co-dependents and party to the LIE that everything is JUST FINE with healthcare the way it is. It’s not just fine, every study shows we lag behind most of the West in quality of care, cost of care, we’re even behind in Life expectancy. No the ACA is not SPUHC, but I’m hopeful that the ACA will usher in the beginning of the end of Medicine for OUTRAGEOUS profit.

    I want all people who work in medicine to make a good living. The Docs, the nurses, the techs, the medical assistances, the scientists, the pharmacists, the caregivers. My oldest child is a Medical professional, an exec with a major hospital corp and has spent a small fortune on the education required to reach that goal. We agree that degrees of expertise, advanced education,training and the responsiblity that comes when caring for the health of other human beings, justifies higher compensation. We also agree that there’s a difference between higher and fair compensation and making a KILLING at the healthcare trough. Making a killing on healthcare is what must be eliminated. Some Docs may abandon Medicare or Medicaid for boutique practices during the transition, but I don’t think the majority of Docs will. Those who do will not survive because of the sheer number of people on Medicare and Medicaid. Nor will they survive when Americans finally understand that in the case of healthcare, unbridled capitalist profit should not drive the system, and that it has no real place in the system at all.

    • dakinikat says:

      For profit, third party payer insurance is not a sustainable model. All the rest of the world has figured that out. The original Blue Crosses were representative of that too. Most insurance used to be mutual companies and not what they are now.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Big insurance isn’t hand-wringing. This is a bonanza for them. In fact insurance stock shot up after the decision. Same with Big pharma. They love the health care bill. Same with hospitals. They are all going to clean up.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I don’t have any direct evidence I can share with you that there’s hand wringing going on, but I do have some anecdotal info from a family member who says that associates in the for profits are very nervous about where the ACA may go.

        But you’re correct, in the near future the additional volume will line their pockets.

        • dakinikat says:

          I think that’s why the law has the checks that reimburse folks if their insurer overdoes it with bonuses or overhead. People are already getting those. 80% of their expenses have to be on direct care or they cut checks to their subscribers for the difference.

          Reining in Administrative Costs
          Small businesses spend about 18% more on average than large businesses for comparable health
          policies. This is largely due to high administrative costs, which can be up to 30% of premiums. The
          new law includes administrative simplification programs, helping to put the country on a path to
          lower-cost, standardized administrative transactions, processes and forms. Additionally, it establishes
          insurer efficiency standards that require 80% of premium dollars be spent on care, not administrative
          overhead and executive compensation, for small group and individual plans. For large group plans, the
          standard will be 85%. All of these measures will lower the time doctors have to spend on paperwork.

      • northwestrain says:

        They should love this law — because Big Insurance and the pharma corporations wrote big chunks of the law. When reading the early document it is easy to see all the different Fonts and formatting — each font relating to the “health company” lobbying points.

        Who is dumb enough to believe that the Insurance companies won’t continue to deny payments for medical services and nitpik to the point that it would be easier to pay the whole damn bill in the first place.

        No cost control — that was a real special gift to the corporations.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Thanks Dak…..I’ll check out those links.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Here’s some information on another aspect of the ACA, from Charlie Pierce. It’s about a pilot program for caring for people in their own homes. I know from my experience–18 years caring for an elderly person with multiple health and psychological problems–that a program like this makes sense.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/obamacare-alzheimers-impact-10152540

    • NW Luna says:

      There’s been tons of research on transitional care programs. Good, comprehensive care and close followup for people with chronic disease, whether at home, hospital, or sub-acute care facilities, lowers costs and improves quality and satisfaction.

      But it’s a different way to practice, and in order for it to work as a business model one needs a capitated system or vertically integrated system. Or Single Payer! Otherwise one organization will profit at the extent of another. Sigh.

      But incrementally, we may be moving forward.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It works really well when it is arranged through Medicare. I know this from experience.

      • NW Luna says:

        It works really well when it is arranged through Medicare.

        Yes, and Medicare is Single Payer. But often there are separately owned entities for which the providers work: hospitals, home-health agencies, primary-care clinics, etc. Each clinician’s actions can affect another’s work, so coordination is essential. Glad you and yours had a good experience.

  10. ecocatwoman says:

    I thought this was an interesting story on Morning Edition this morning about the impact of the ACA on insurance brokers: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/06/29/155936131/after-years-of-uncertainty-a-health-care-business-gets-an-answer

    This part at the end speaks to the rules on limiting administrative costs:
    For instance: Insurance companies have to reduce administrative costs. Stapleton’s agency collects fees from insurance companies. His business is an administrative cost.

    And starting in 2014, the law says insurance companies will not be allowed to deny people for pre-existing conditions. And at some point, people won’t need to go through an agency like Stapleton’s at all; the law creates online exchanges to buy insurance.

    Stapleton says he’s thinking about getting into life insurance. Or maybe car insurance or home insurance — anything that moves him away from the individual health market.