March 22, 2010 archive

If you’re a zombie, and you know it, clap your hands!

Ha ha.  That’s a joke.  Zombies can clap, but by definition, do not have conscious awareness.

Now that [Health Care is] done, Barack Obama will go down in history as one of America’s finest presidents. It’s always possible of course that, like LBJ, he’ll get involved in some unrelated fiasco that mars his reputation.

Yglesias giving some tongue action

Suffering succotash: The Punchline.

Selling Snake Oil

Ezra Klein, BiT (Broderite-in-Training) does his best to comfort a single mother about her Health Care prospects.

A reader writes in:


I do not understand how this bill will affect my family and me. I am a self-employed single mother. I cannot afford health care for myself and my children. I made $38,000 last year and I expect to make less than $35,000 this year. What does this health care reform mean for me? Will I be able to get coverage for my children and myself in this first year?

Not in the first year, necessarily. But when the bill goes into effect in 2014, your situation will change dramatically. Using the Kaiser Family Foundation’s premium calculator and a slightly stylized version of your situation (the calculator is not terribly flexible), here’s what I can say:

First, you’ll be buying insurance on the exchanges. That means no discrimination based on preexisting conditions, insurers who are being watched and regulated, lots of choices, and the buying power that comes from being part of a large risk pool rather than being on your own.

More specifically, your income would make you eligible for substantial subsidies. About $11,571 worth, to be precise (this is keyed to a family of four, I should say). The cap on your premium payments as a percentage of your income would be 4.4 percent. You’d be paying about $1,540 a year.

So for the next four years, this single working mother of at least two will be stuck waiting for the privilege to pay an extra $1500 she doesn’t have (not including copays and deductibles) for a bare bones health insurance policy that won’t even cover her if she becomes pregnant again accidentally.  And the best part?  If she doesn’t pay her mandated tithe to a for-profit insurer, the IRS will fine her even more money she doesn’t have.

Quite a sell job Obama & Co. has created for itself, don’t you think?  

After all of the teabagging hoopla, the breathless media coverage, and the Presidential hopenotics that have intentionally raised outsized expectations about what Obamacare actually does, the Dems are now forced to defend this deeply flawed and regressive legislation for the next two election cycles before most of the alleged ‘benefits’ (such as they are) even begin to kick in.

So get used to four more years of pandering Ezra Klein posts chock full of platitudes about ‘choice’ and ‘buying power’ (neither of which actually exists under this legislation) and specious arguments that if we all just stay patient, keep Smoking the Hopium*, and vote for the Democrats, our Brave New Healthcare Order awaits.

That is, of course, assuming there are any Democrats left in four years.

*h/t TheMomCat

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Europe split amid rising Greek anger

by Roddy Thomson, AFP

2 hrs 20 mins ago

BRUSSELS (AFP) – Europe split on Monday amid rising Greek anger at Germany as Athens battles to keep financial market wolves at bay, three days from a tense-looking summit of EU leaders in Brussels.

Pressure initially mounted on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the European Commission, the bloc’s current Spanish chair, France and Italy each urging her to nail down concrete aid plans.

Athens then accused Berlin of profiteering amid a euro currency slump.

Are you prepared for the water cooler wars?

Battle of the Bulge Pictures, Images and Photos

This writer would be the first to agree that the bill passed yesterday represented a huge wet kiss, planted firmly on the (well, you designate the body part) of large health insurers, Big PhRMA, and corporate health care providers. Despite including almost everything in this bill that Republicans had recommended in times past, not a single Republican voted in its favor.  

Add Shit to Soup, Then Serve as “Healthcare Reform”

Chef Obama 2

To pass “Healthcare Reform” yesterday, one last dose of shit had to be added to the soup.

At 4 p.m. ET Sunday, hours after the debate had begun on the floor of the House, Stupak announced that he and seven fellow Democratic holdouts had reached a deal with the White House and would vote in favor of the bill. Their decision ensured that the Democrats would have the votes to pass it.

The battle began in late June, when Stupak and other Democrats who oppose abortion demanded that the bill include specific language banning any taxpayer funding for abortions in new government-funded health insurance exchanges or at community health centers.

Democratic leaders and the White House resisted, saying a precedent set in 1976 with the so-called Hyde Amendment would stand and no abortions would be paid for with government money. That amendment has applied mainly to Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor.

The last-minute compromise: a promise that after the health care bill passed, Obama would sign an executive order affirming that it would not result in any government funding for abortions.

A few anti-shit purists mildly complained, but the chef’s core clientele celebrated in their board-rooms!

The Dow’s pharmaceutical components were among the very few stocks in the black on Monday, as drug-makers are expected to profit from the expansion of health-care coverage. Merck rose 0.3%, while Pfizer climbed 1.1%.

And what were the only remaining alternatives, after 14 months of non-stop “compromise?”

It was either Obama’s shitty soup, or lunatics screaming “nigger” in the streets.

Kollective Krazy: can we move beyond it?

I see things in wholes and in parts at the same time. We are each part of the Kollective Krazy of this time. Tea Baggers are examples of millions of Mad Hatter Tea Parties. We are not in the realm of reason — Marx would never have foreseen that Lewis Carroll would be the great thinker of our age.

Since WWI there has been a conscious and concerted attempt to control the minds of the American people. To rule in a democracy requires that minds be controlled and programmed–there is no alternative. Naturally, that is what has happened.  We are so used to it we normally don’t see it. We have to get out of our normal consciousness to see it–I think most of us here know this from having a long experience of being on the outside looking in.

I believe there is no hope at all for anything resembling the ideal view of a Constitutional Democracy ever flourishing in the USA. That period is over never to return. I suggest we adjust to that reality and try to build something relatively sane for our family and friends. I think life will go on but we have to get rid of the hope that anything can stop the march towards the clearly discernable neo-feudal order. There is simply no force in society that can help us at this time. American intellectuals and progressives have given up on integrity, reason and courage and are as much corrupted by konsumer kulture as the Tea Baggers — perhaps even more so.

Poverty and Unemployment Is Still A Pre-Existing Condition

(Cross-posted from The Free Speech Zone)

The lack of a comprehensive PUBLIC OPTION makes this bill a fucking joke.

It’s not over yet since the Senate still has to vote on it for it to be finalized.

Here are the final touches to the bill that were passed as well.

Does it matter though?

Open Acceleration


Sandstorms sweep into Beijing


Don’t Worry, Be Happy; or at least Discuss the Possibility …

What do you want? [from life]

A great job?

A fulfilling relationship?

Go sailing around the Pacific for a few years in your very own luxurious boat?

Or just to get along better with yourself?

Perhaps you want one of more of those things. But beneath those many common wishes, if you take it a step further, often lies a wish to find happiness.


Here are seven such ideas about how you can find happiness.

How to Find Happiness: 7 Timeless Tips from the Last 2500 Years

by Henrik Edberg

What you got.

This is what you got for 6 years of time and money supporting Democrats-

A middle class family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income – out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible.  Many families who are already struggling to get by would be better off saving the $5,243 in insurance costs and paying their medical expenses directly, rather than being forced to by coverage they can’t afford the co-pays on.

Read it and weep suckers.

And then realize that the reason “health care” was the top priority is that it had the greatest public support and least resistance.

What do you think is going to happen with financial reform and global warming?

Welcome to the new Black Plague, the new Dark Ages.

And it has nothing to do with the melanin of our President.

Just his policies.

Rooney: Finding a Good Job

If you were glued to the reports on the Health Care debate and vote last night and didn’t switch over to 60min you might want to listen to Andy.

He hits a number of true buttons in this short take, especially as one looks at the job openings, most are for paper pushers, and not a whole hell of alot of those, not for those who actually do the work that keeps those pushing papers or working in their cubes on their computers!

Docudharma Times Monday March 22

Monday’s Headlines:

Jeremy Laurance: A health debate outsiders find hard to understand

Indian coffee houses battle for custom on frontline of culture war


Finding in Foreclosure a Beginning, Not an End

In North Dakota, waterlogged life goes on


Miles from the Kremlin, protesters aim fruit and fury at Putin

Nicolas Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement thrashed in regional elections

Middle East

Two more Palestinian youths shot dead by Israelis in bloody weekend

Netanyahu hits defiant note ahead of visit with Obama


Sahil Saeed ordeal exposes growth of homeland kidnap ‘trade’

China’s corrupt Communists in the frame for graft


Tanzania, Zambia demand one-off ivory sales

Latin America

Haiti races to house post-quake homeless before the rainy season

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